Description

    Stephen Hopkins French and Indian War document paying Giles Russel funds to raise soldiers to go to Crown Point

    Stephen Hopkins Manuscript Document Signed "Step. Hopkins," "Peter Bours," and "Tho: Cranston" as members of the Committee of War, one page, 6" x 3.75". Inlaid to to 8.5" x 4.5" Newport, August 30, 1755. To Thomas Richardson, General Treasurer. In full "Please to pay Mr. Giles Russell Two hundred pounds old Tenor, being to enable him to pay the Bounty &c: of Soldiers he is now raising as Recruits to go to Crown Point, and Charge the Same to the Colony." Endorsed on verso "Giles Russel" who has acknowledged that he "Receivd the Contents of the within." Light show-through from verso.

    On April 16, 1755, Sir William Johnson was commissioned by King George II with troops placed under his command "to be employed in an attempt to erect a strong Fortress before an eminence near the French Fort at Crown Point, and removing the encroachments of the French on His Majesty's land there." Probably the soldiers to be raised by Giles Russel were for this purpose as well as fighting the war.

    Although born in Connecticut, Yale-graduate Russel (1729-1779) served with Rhode Island regiments in the French and Indian War. He was appointed Ensign in 1755, then Lieutenant (1756), Adjutant (1758), and Captain (1760). Russel would be wounded in the Battle of Ticonderoga, fought in July 1758 just south of Crown Point, where the French repulsed a British assault in one of the bloodiest battles of the colonial wars. The British seized both Ticonderoga and Crown Point from the French the following year. Russel practiced law until the Revolution. In 1776 , he served as Lieutenant-Colonel of Sage's Regiment in Gen. Washington's Army. Russel saw action at Germantown and Monmouth and wintered at Valley Forge(1777-1778). Ordered to march into Connecticut with his regiment at the time of Tryon's raid in July 1779, his old leg wound worsened and Col. Russel died in Danbury on October 28th.

    In February 1755, a Committee of War had been chosen by the Assembly of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence plantations to have general direction of military matters during the French and Indian War. Signer of the Declaration of Independence Stephen Hopkins served on the Committee of War from 1755-1757, Peter Bours from 1755 until his death in 1761, and Thomas Cranston from 1755-1762. Bours (1707-1761) had been part owner of the Brig "Marygold" whose various cargoes included slaves, rum, and sugar. He was Speaker of the Assembly from 1744-1746. Hopkins had served as Speaker six times between 1738 and 1749. Cranston was Speaker from 1748-1749, 1750-1757, and 1760-1762. Cranston, Rhode Island, was first incorporated as a town in 1754. It was named Cranston in honor of then-Speaker Thomas Cranston and his family. His father Samuel had been Colonial Governor from 1698-1727.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2008
    16th-18th Thursday-Saturday
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