Just one month after the historic Battle of Bunker Hill, Oliver Ellsworth authorizes payment for a unit of Minutemen from East Hampton, Connecticut, who had rushed to the defense of Boston
Oliver Ellsworth Revolutionary War-date Manuscript Document
Signed "Oliv. Ellsworth". One page, 8.5" x 5.5",
Hartford, Connecticut, July 25, 1775, addressed to John Lawrence,
the Treasurer of the Connecticut Paytable Committee. At the
outbreak of the Revolution, Oliver Ellsworth represented Windsor in
the General Assembly, and was one of the committee of four ("The
Paytable") that managed all the military finances of the
Connecticut colony. This document authorizes payment for a
contingent of Chatham (now East Hampton), Connecticut militiamen,
who had just taken part in the historic Battle of Bunker Hill. The
document reads: "Pay to the Select Men of Chatham or order the
Sum of Twenty Eight pound ten Shilling & Eight pence mony in
Bills-it being the amt. of what is allowd. Capt. Silas Dunham &
Company for Time & Expence in the Late Boston Alarm as per
acct. & charge the same to Acct. of the Colony of Connect."
The document is countersigned by committee member Thomas Seymour
and docketed by Silas Dunham on the verso.
The Battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775) occurred outside British-occupied Boston early in the Revolutionary War. The British sent several of their best generals to put down the burgeoning American rebellion. The generals concluded that an attack on Cambridge must be mounted as soon as possible. Before the plan could be put into effect, rebel spies in Boston learned of it. On the starlit night of June 16, 1,200 American militiamen, armed with picks and shovels, advanced to fortify Bunker's Hill. Neither a British artillery bombardment nor a frontal assault by 2,400 British soldiers under the command of General William Howe could dislodge the Americans. The main American position of 1,600 men turned back two more advances by British troops who were in tight formation and burdened by heavy packs. General Howe then ordered his soldiers to drop their packs and rush forward in a bayonet charge. By the time they reached the American redoubt, the rebels' supply of powder had given out. The resulting American retreat became a near rout. Howe, though, decided against pressing on toward Cambridge and stopped the pursuit. The British won at a horrible cost. The battle had destroyed the British myth that Americans could not stand against the regulars. Manuscripts with a direct association to the Battle of Bunker Hill are exceedingly rare. In near fine condition with bright paper and bold ink.
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