Description

    Dunlap broadside establishing the Continental Army

    [American Revolution]. Second Continental Congress Broadside Announcing Resolutions for the Establishment of the American Army, May 27, 1778; Printed by John Dunlap. Two pages (front and back of a single sheet), 8" x 13", trimmed, and bound in a manuscript orderly book owned by Lieutenant Colonel Ezra Badlam and General Stephen Badlam of Massachusetts. At the bottom of the verso of the broadside is printed: "York-Town, [Pennsylvania]: Printed by John Dunlap"; [circa June 4, 1778]. This broadside bears the signature of "Lt. Co. Badlam", who was Ezra Badlam, brother of General Badlam.

    During the early years of the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army suffered problems of low recruitment, supply shortages, and sinking morale. In late 1777, General George Washington complained to Congress concerning the need for various improvements in the army. A committee from Congress met with Washington in early December 1777 and discussed the formation of another committee to meet with the general. In early January 1778 Congress established a new committee, consisting of the Board of War and four members of Congress. In the meantime, Washington solicited the opinions of his general officers concerning the reorganization of the army. At Washington's urging, Congress, temporarily located at York, Pennsylvania, because of the British occupation of Philadelphia, sent members of this new committee to Washington's headquarters at Valley Forge, to confer with him on this topic. The committee met near Washington's camp from January 28 through early March 1778. At the beginning of their meetings, Washington presented the committee with a long memorandum containing his and his general officers' recommendations for reorganizing the army. Although the committee made proposals for reorganizing supply procedures and revising recruitment regulations, Congress' response was slow and piecemeal as they deliberated Washington's various recommendations. Congress did not approve a plan for reorganizing the army until May 1778, which is outlined in this broadside, creating a new general military establishment that defined the composition of infantry, artillery, and cavalry regiments; detailed the structure of the provost and engineering departments; and set pay rates and procedures regarding promotions. It was not until November 1778 before implementation of these resolutions was completed. Although the reforms of Congress did not resolve all of the army's problems, they did address many of Washington's concerns. A later version of this broadside, including resolutions passed on November 24, 1778, was issued, with no printer indicated.

    On June 4, 1778 the Continental Congress ordered the resolutions for the arrangement of the army to be transmitted to General Washington. On that day Henry Laurens, president of the Congress, wrote a letter to Washington in which he enclosed "about 200 copies in two Bundles" of the acts of Congress concerning the establishment of the army for the general to distribute among the army at Valley Forge. Laurens informed Washington that he would transmit other copies of the resolutions to several generals, the local press, and to all the states in due course.
    The copies referenced by Laurens is the broadside offered here. Printed by John Dunlap, this is a scarce printing with no recent auction sales recorded and with only six libraries identified as having copies.

    The orderly book, 8.75"x 13.5", 542 pages (120 blank), bound in full calf, includes entries from November 24, 1786 to May 1, 1807, includes a note in the front endpaper from John Badlam Howe, indicating that he was a great nephew of Ezra Badlam and a grandson of Stephen Badlam. The entries, in various hands, are of orders and letters from both Ezra and Stephen Badlam. Part of the bound manuscript (165 pages) consists of orders and correspondence concerning Ezra Badlam and the 3rd Massachusetts Militia Regiment (November 24, 1786 through November 17, 1787) and Stephen Badlam and the 1st Brigade, 1st Division of the Massachusetts Militia (September 4, 1799 to May 1, 1807). The second part of the manuscript includes muster rolls for various Massachusetts towns (257 pages), which includes the following information: name, age, height, eye and hair color, trade, terms of enlistment, date of enlistment, bounty or pay, and other remarks.

    Bound in among the orders and correspondence are the following eight broadsides concerning the Massachusetts Militia:

    Commonwealth of Massachusetts. General Orders. Head-Quarters, Northampton, 20th April, 1802 (Northampton, Massachusetts, 1802). 1 sheet (2 pages), 7" x 12.5", printed on laid paper, trimmed. Commander in chief of militia is pleased to learn that officers and soldiers continue to maintain a respectable and well-regulated militia. Issued by William Donnison, Adjutant General.

    Commonwealth of Massachusetts. General Orders. Head-Quarters, March 1, 1803 ([Boston, Massachusetts], 1803). 1 sheet (1 page), 7" x 11.75", printed on laid paper, trimmed. Commander in chief of militia reports of recent activities concerning militia. Issued by William Donnison, Adjutant General.

    Commonwealth of Massachusetts. General Orders. Head-Quarters, March 8, 1804 ([Boston, Massachusetts], 1804). 1 sheet (1 page), 8"x 12.75", printed on laid paper. Commander in chief urges officers and soldiers to continue to collect and maintains detailed information concerning the militia, including muster rolls. Issued by William Donnison, Adjutant General.

    Commonwealth of Massachusetts. General Orders. Head-Quarters, March 12, 1805 [Boston, Massachusetts], 1805). 1 sheet (1 page), 7.5" x 12.75", printed on laid paper, trimmed. Commander in chief is pleased to announce that the state militia flourishing and prosperous. Issued by William Donnison, Adjutant

    Court-Martial. ([Boston, Massachusetts], 1805. 1 sheet (1 page), 7.75" x 13", printed on laid paper, trimmed. Proceedings of a court martial against a soldier in the militia, held in the town of Castine, Massachusetts, on August 12, 1895. Issued by William Donnison, Adjutant General.

    Commonwealth of Massachusetts. General Orders. Head-Quarters, March 12, 1806 ([Boston, Massachusetts], 1806). 1 sheet (1 page), 7.5" x 13", printed on laid paper, trimmed. Commander in chief maintains it is the duty of the nation to provide for its own security and the important role that militia units play in this role. Issued by William Donnison, Adjutant General.
    Court Martial. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. First Division. Militia. Division Orders ([Boston, Massachusetts], 1806). 1 sheet (1 page), 7.5" x 13", printed on laid paper. Proceedings of a court martial against a soldier in the militia, held in Boston on November 14, 1806. Issued by John T. Sargent, A.D.C.

    Commonwealth of Massachusetts. General Orders. Head-Quarters, February 28, 1807 ([Boston, Massachusetts], 1807). 1 sheet (1 page), 7" x 12", printed on laid paper, trimmed. The Commander in chief announces that the militia will remain strong in the face of international concerns. Issued by William Donnison, Adjutant General.

    Condition: The Dunlap broadside is bound into the manuscript orderly book and has horizontal and vertical folds, with separation along the top horizontal fold and at the intersection of the top horizontal and the middle vertical folds. The bound orderly book calf cover is worn and chipped, with its front cover separating from the spine. The back cover is also separating from the spine. Internally, there are several pages in the front that are loose or separating from the binding. Overall the text block is sound and the Massachusetts broadsides are in fine condition.


    More Information:

    Ezra Badlam (1746-1788) served as a lieutenant in the Lexington Alarm of 1775. In June of that year, he was commissioned a captain of the Continental Artillery Regiment, in which he served through December 1775. On January 1, 1776, Badlam was promoted to captain of the 26th Continental Infantry, and on November 1 of that year he was appointed major in the 9th Massachusetts Regiment. He was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Massachusetts Regiment on July 7, 1777. On January 1, 1781, Badlam was transferred to the 8th Massachusetts Regiment. He later served in the 3rd Massachusetts Regiment up until his death.

    Stephen Badlam (1748-1815), brother of Ezra, served as a brigadier general in 1st Brigade, 1st Division of the Massachusetts Militia.

    John Dunlap (1747-1812), born in Ireland, moved as a child to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with his uncle, who was a printer and publisher. By the age of eighteen he was running his uncle's business and had started the newspaper Pennsylvania Packet, (later known as the North American and United States Gazette) which was extremely successful, becoming the first daily newspaper in the United States. Dunlap was later appointed printer to the United States Congress, and it was his press which first issued the Declaration of Independence. George Washington appointed him an officer in his bodyguard at Trenton and Princeton. He died of a stroke in his adopted city Philadelphia.





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    May, 2017
    11th Thursday
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