September 26, 2018 O'Connor's Americana Collection
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/26/2018
EASTON, James (1728-1796), as colonel upon Continental service; autograph document signed (ADS), dated 'Crown Point/ July 1st: 1775"; one page, quarto sheet (9 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches), ink on laid paper, some separation at the folds. With fringed leather "possbles" bag with original leather cord, 7.5 x 5 inches that is most likely associated with Jonathan Armstrong, although a note in Mr. O'Connor's hand states that it belonged to Francis Pfister (although upon what authority is unknown). 2 pieces. On May 1, 1775, Captain Edward Mott from Connecticut met with Major John Brown and Colonel James Easton at the latter's tavern in Pittsfield to make initial plans to seize badly needed artillery and munitions from the British garrison at Fort Ticonderoga. The initial force consisted of Mott's 16 Connecticut volunteers, plus additional Berkshire men recruited from Easton's Massachusetts militia regiment, which joined forces with volunteers from the Green Mountain Boys of the Hampshire Grants six days later. The entire force was placed under command of Ethan Allen of the Green Mountain Boys, with Easton as second-in-command. The force, numbering some 180 men, was divided, with the main force of some 140 men under Allen and Easton, marched towards Fort Ti (captured on the evening of May 10th). Captain Samuel Herrick's company of volunteers, including Jonathan Armstrong (1743-1826), headed to the Loyalist settlement of Skenesborough (Whitehall) at the south end of Lake George, to seize the shipyard and sawmill, which was captured on the morning of the 11th. Herrick, Armstrong and most of the company sailed for Ticonderoga later that day aboard a captured schooner, christened Liberty. There they remained in garrison, until sent to occupy Crown Point. Easton later traveled to Boston to inform the Provincial Congress of the capture of the lake posts and returned later that summer, now a colonel in the Continental forces and bearing orders to recruit men for his new regiment, the initial corpus of which was formed from Herrick's company at Crown Point. The earliest, and certainly one of only a handful of documents to survive from Easton's Regiment of 1775, is this military appointment , "To Mr. Jonathan Armstrong, Confiding in Your Loyalty to Your Country and Your Good Conduct, I Do hearby Constitute and Appoint you to do the Dewty [sic] of the Second Serg[ean]t in Capt. Samuel Herrick's Companey, Commanding the Soldiers to Obey you as Such and You to Conform Your Self to the Rules of the Commanding or other Superior officers for Which This Shall be Your Sufficient Warrant. Given under my hand The Day and Date above} [signed] James Easton Colo[nel]". Colonel Easton, Captain Herrick, newly-promoted Sergeant Armstrong and the rest of the skeleton regiment sailed north from Crown Point a few days later and took part in the captures of the St. Johns, Fort Chambly and eventually, Montreal. With the expiration of their enlistments on 1 January 1776, most of these survivors of the brutal Canadian campaign made their ways homeward from Canada, Armstrong among them. Now 32, he was war-weary, having first "seen the elephant" as a teenager serving in the Connecticut Provincials, one of four soldiers from his company to return from Cuba after the taking of Havana in 1762. Like his former commanders Easton and Herrick, Armstrong was a Connecticut native, Norwich-born, but moved to the Hampshire Grants in search of land and better opportunities. When the German and Loyalist forces under Baum marched on Bennington in August 1777, he responded one last time to the call for arms--fighting as an unattached volunteer in the attack on the Tory Redoubt on August 16th. That fall, Armstrong moved to the fledgling settlement of Dorset in Bennington County (Vermont) and became an active member of the community, raising a sizeable family there. An incredibly rare grouping of a Green Mountain Boy involved in the Ticonderoga and Canadian expeditions of 1775, as well as the decisive battle of Bennington two years later.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,800.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $12,600.00
Estimate: $3,500 - $5,500
Number Bids: 27
Auction closed on Wednesday, September 26, 2018.
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