Little-known gems from the era of the Revolution

Although we have an “American Revolution Collection”, there are still many important documents found in other collections or by themselves. Here are a few examples. From February 25, 1780, we have an account of the State of Connecticut with Joshua Elderkin, Commissary for cloth sent to the Northern Army and to the Ship O. Cromwell, for refreshments to the marching troops, and for supplies in the Quartermaster’s department.

Many of our manuscripts enumerate the types of supplies the army needed. As late as 1782, Roger Tyler Jr. of Branford reported to the State Treasurer the articles of provisions, cloathing, &c taken in on the 2/6d tax, namely beef, pork, oats, white woolen cloth, white and brown linen cloth, and woolen stockings.

Eliphalet Thorp raised his own Company of men for the winter campaign and was reimbursed by the Pay-table Committee on December 31, 1776. David Silliman billed the state for carrying a warning to the Representatives of Redding, Danbury, New Fairfield and Newtown. The bill, dated February 15, 1781, included the cost of hiring a horse (40 miles at eight pence a mile), for two days of travel (at ten shillings a day), and for incidental expenses. The grand total was two pounds, thirteen shillings in state money. There was no federal or national money at that point. The state was also responsible for the cost of transporting [gun] powder for the use of Colonel Ward in 1776.

State printer Timothy Green submitted his bill in 1782. He published Assembly resolutions, advertisements, copies of laws, resolutions of the Governor and Council of Safety, and proclamations, along with the local New London newspaper. Undoubtedly, with some searching, we could find examples of his printing elsewhere in our collections. This is just one of many instances where the print collections and manuscripts complement each other.

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