There were several reasons why the militia system of military defense developed in the New World. First, most of the colonies were too underpopulated to afford a standing military system. Few could afford to allocate a significant portion of their able-bodied manpower to a standing army. They lacked a sufficient tax base to be able to bear the costs of a standing military. Many citizens philosophically opposed having a standing army, thinking it destructive of liberties. If the Crown provided the soldiers, it could assume a significant role in the affairs of the colonies. Most of the New England colonies harbored secrets, especially regarding the degree to which their state-established religion was in communion with the Church of England. Some also thought that citizens were free only when they shouldered the burden of their own defense.(1)
From the viewpoint of the Crown, if the colonists wished to undertake the grand adventure, abandon their own homes, and move to a savage new world, they had better be prepared to protect themselves. The Crown was constantly in debt and had little, if any, extra money to dedicate to an army across the Atlantic. Many of the colonists had fallen into disfavor with the crown, notably the Calvinist religious dissenters who settled New England, and the king cared little about what their fate.
Yet, the colonists faced constant dangers from all sides, ranging from Britain's various traditional enemies, such as Spain and France, to the native aborigine. Therefore, the colonies reverted to the military organization of an earlier time, the militia system as used at the beginning of modern Europe. While the European militias had atrophied and could, at best, be considered a vestigial organ of the state, the American militias had become vibrant military, social, and fraternal organizations necessary to the very existence of the colonies. No king would attempt to stave off his enemies on the continent, but the French and English kings depended almost exclusively upon their North American colonial militias. Nowhere was the militia system as well organized as in Puritan New England.(2)
When the Puritans landed in New England they wished to found their own city on the hill, secular paradise, or land of the chosen people. Initially, the Pilgrims courted the indigenous Amerindians and became friends with the Wampanoags. The Massachusetts colony was wholly separatist and wanted nothing more than to be left alone. In the earliest years there was virtually no need for a strong military system. The friendship was short-lived, for the Europeans never did quite master the skill of being good neighbors to the Amerindians and leaving them alone. Within ten years the Puritans had come to regard themselves as the new Zion and the Amerindians as Canaanites. They did not regard themselves as interlopers, but as God's chosen people for whom the new land had been prepared, and which they could develop without limitation. Like the Jews of the Exodus, the Puritans did not spare the Canaanites. Within ten years after the Puritans initially landed those at Boston had formed a mighty militia system.
Three separate, and often mutually distrustful, authorities vied for control of the New England militias. First, each colony had its own militia organization which was identical with, or responsible to, the colonial legislature and/or governor. Second, the New England colonies having created a unified military plan known as the New England Confederation, placed their individual militias under this regional authority. At various times the individual colonial authorities refused to cooperate and release militiamen to assist the general authority. Massachusetts refused to assist the other members in the first Narragansett War (1645-50) when it was not especially threatened, but demanded assistance from the other colonies when in 1675 in the second Narragansett War it was sacked and pillaged. Third, the mother country was the ultimate sovereign authority that periodically intervened in local militia affairs. As with most other aspects of colonial policy, England generally neglected the colonies, but on occasion it attempted to impose its will on its dependencies. The colonial militias usually provided for virtually all of their own colonies' defense and this freed the English standing army for larger and, to the mother nation, more important duties. In general, the colonies were delighted to receive money, materials, equipment, and arms from England, but they disliked the brutal discipline and elitist attitude of the professional officer corps and they held the army in disdain for it was essentially useless in frontier warfare against savages who did not follow the rules of European warfare. They especially resented English intrusion into the appointment of militia officers.
The New England Puritans of c.1630 were displeased with the English militia system for a variety of reasons.(3) Charles I had reorganized the English militia, creating a far more elitist and disciplined organization than his father, James I, had possessed. He brought veteran professional military men, many the veterans of several continental European wars, to train and discipline the raw militia recruits. He also introduced new weapons and required that existing weapons, most long neglected and in a sad state of disrepair, be properly mended. He angered the Puritans by requiring that, following church services on Sundays, the train bands were to engage in such sports as "archery, running, wrestling, leaping, football playing, casting the sledge hammer and playing at cudgels."(4) The Puritans regarded this as a sacrilegious violation of the Sabbath which they argued was to be a day of rest and not of praying and playing games. Thus, Charles added a religious question to the existing legal and constitutional questions concerning his reorganization of the militia. Charles I bragged that his reorganized train band system was "the perfect militia."(5)
The English Puritan brethren had rejected the militia policies of Charles I and in the bitter debate in the parliamentary session of 1628 railed hard against the imposition of tyrannical standards on an essentially civilian body.(6) Those Puritans who sailed with John Winthrop in 1630 had an idea of a militia constituted in a way quite different from the Stuart train bands. There was no question that they would create a militia, for they were well aware of the massacre of the ill-prepared Virginians at the hands of the Indians in 1622. But they did not agree with Charles I that his idea of a train band was a perfect militia.(7)
The Charter of New England of 1620 created a militia primarily as an instrument to contain "Rebellion, Insurrection and Mutiny" against the crown. The militia was also to "encounter, expulse, repel and resist by Force of Arms" by "all ways and meanes" whatever foreign or native forces might be directed against the colony. The charter made the president the militia commander, although the assent of council was needed to deploy the militia. Council was to make appropriate laws for enrollment, training and discipline of the militia. The charter required the president and council to supply arms, ammunition and other goods of war.(8)
The New England Puritans first hired professional military men to equip, drill and train the militia, but these men were veteran soldiers who were not Puritans and did not share the religious vision of the city on the hill. They had a particular dislike for the demand the Puritan made that they be allowed to elect officers, an idea inconceivable to professional military men. They were also expensive, both in terms of pay and in terms of the discontent they fostered in the colony. Jost Weillust, a German artillery specialist, left the Massachusetts Bay Colony almost immediately, having acquired no love for the new land and perhaps overcome by homesickness. Daniel Patrick and John Underhill lasted somewhat longer, but they were never comfortable with the spartan life of New England Puritanism. Both were accused of having committed adultery with young women of the community and were asked to leave.(9) Underhill and the Puritans parted company on less than friendly terms. He observed with disgust that the Puritans were, at best, "soldiers not accustomed to war" who were "unexpert in the use of their arms." The political authorities of New England decided that henceforth they would hire only Puritans, whether they were military veterans or not.
There were many demands for money to fund various governmental activities and the tax base was small. One of the larger items in the defense budgets was the erection and maintenance of frontier fortifications. To save money the militias were originally all volunteer organizations. Many militiamen objected to their deployment in construction and maintenance of forts and places of refuge. However, when the governments failed to recruit enough volunteers to complete the work, they turned to the draft to fill out the quota of volunteer workmen. The draft depleted the resources of many militia companies.(10)
Beginning with the Mayflower Compact of 11 November 1620 the New England colony had been founded upon a social contract. The colonists believed that the only way free men could be brought to obey the law was to base the law upon a contract upon which all agreed. The New England Puritans had a strong sense of democracy and they demanded broad based political participation in all decision making. The social contract had a natural law, Scriptural base. Each man agreed to give up his own interest and benefits voluntarily to the greater community in exchange for protection and congeniality. Among free men no amount of coercion could replace voluntary consent of the governed as the cornerstone of the polity. The congregational churches, election of ministers and magistrates, creation of state and town governments, and organization of the militia were all arranged contractually. Thomas Hooker, one of the most important of the Puritan theorists, argued that a man who desired to live a good life in a Christian polity must "willingly binde and ingage himself to each member of that society . . . or else a member actually he is not."(11) Each man under contract viewed himself as the author of law and the creator of order.
This contractual model extended to the founding and operation of the militia. The major application of the contractual principle extended to recruiting and training a militia in New England and with the popular election of militia officers. The New England militia was a contractual or covenanted organization, based on the principle of voluntary collectivism. A contractual militia was no threat to civil liberties, freedom or civil rights, especially when tied to Scripture. The contract limited deployment of troops and militiamen argued that no governmental power could force them to serve beyond the boundaries of their own colony, and only rarely beyond their own region.(12)
In times of trials and external threats the Puritans frequently called for fasting among the entire community as a means of supporting their militiamen. Fasting served as communal expiation for their un-Christian divisiveness within the ranks of the faithful. It also served to assist in communal re-dedication to their sacred covenant.(13) As late as the 1760s, while Boston was under the yoke of British occupation forces who were being quartered in private homes, Governor Bernard called for "a general fast, to be kept the sixth of April next" offered up so that "God would be graciously pleased to continue us, the enjoyment of all our invaluable privileges, of a civil and religious nature."(14)
The British authorities intensely disliked this democratic practice. When Sir Charles Hardy in 1756 was raising troops for his attack on the French fort at Crown Point he complained bitterly about the practice of the militiamen electing their own officers.
Pray, my Lord, where have these men come from? Under the vote for raising the Men . . . the Men have it in their own Choice & are supported in it by a law of the Colony from whence they came, and the Consequence is plain . . . . The present Method is attendant with great Delays . . . . Captains of the Regulars will think it hard to be commanded by Field Officers of the Provincials & the Field Officers will likewise think so in having them on equal foot . . . . All Men raised in the Provinces for his Majesty's Service should be raised by the Commander in Chief who may give blank Commissions in such Numbers he thinks proper, to the several Governors, to fill up with the Names of such Persons as may be qualified . . . .(15)
In the other colonies the officers were appointed by the governors, proprietors or legislature. In practice it made little difference because the New Englanders were generally much persuaded to recruit officers from among the better class, which frequently translated to the religious hierarchy. There was no discernable difference between the military and the social structure of the community.
As early as 1632 Governor Winthrop noted that the people had demanded the right of free men to select their own officers.(16) He was able to delay the grant of this right temporarily, for the Puritans had long since decided that free men who could elect their own ministers and political leaders could certainly be entrusted with the selection of militia officers. Besides, it was their very lives, and not the life of the governor, they were entrusting to their elected officers. The legislature bided its time, waiting to force the governor's hand at the first opportunity. That opportunity came in 1636 as the colony prepared for war with the Pequot Indians. The Massachusetts General Court enacted legislation allowing each regiment and company to nominate its own officers, subject to ratification by the council. In practice, this confirmation was ordinarily automatic. The militia units responded immediately by holding elections and sending in the names for approval. The requirements for becoming an officer, in addition to election, were correct church membership and status as freemen.(17) In a few cases, the militia units would send up more names than were actually needed, or additional names after council had questioned a name, but frequently these additional names were found to be disqualified on some ground.(18) In 1643 the general court fully yielded its power to appoint militia offices, although it still appointed sergeant major general, the highest office in the New England colonies. However, the company sergeant-majors, were made elective.
As late as the American Revolution the practice of election of officers came under criticism of several experienced military and some legislators from the middle and southern colonies. General George Washington, for example, disliked the practice of electing officers because he believed that it was misplaced democracy, was wholly inappropriate to the martial spirit, and that it subverted attempts to foster military temperament. During the war Washington cashiered several officers because they had fraternized too much with their men. Such fraternal relations, Washington reasoned, would subvert discipline, while doing nothing to create a spirit of command. He argued that the only way to select officers was to test the military prowess and competence and learning in the art of war.(19)
While the English regarded the Puritans as hopelessly democratic, the colony of Massachusetts Bay still had a rigid class structure, seen nowhere better than in its militia organization. The wealthy citizens who could afford the equipment organized as cavalry, which became the elite units within the militia. The underclass, on the other hand, supplied the foot soldiers. These were men for the most part who could barely afford to buy the most basic weapons that the law required them to supply. The many men who were so poor that they could not otherwise afford arms were provided guns at public expense, but only in exchange for performing public service. John Shy likened their obligation to labor to pay for their arms to the English working class which had to labor in the working-houses to compensate for charitable support.(20)
The chief military commanders ordinarily held the position of colonial governor, a title well established in England. His military deputies carried the title of councillors. In time of actual war in New England the governors frequently asked for and received the support of various town and city officials, men who often doubled as militia officers. Together, these men constituted the council of war.(21)
By 1641 both the home government and various local authorities in New England had come to the conclusion that a militia was indispensable for the protection of the inhabitants. A publication entitled An Abstract of the Laws of New England as They are Now Established(22) concluded that for the best protection of the county, "First, a law [is] to be made for the training of all the men in the country fit to bear arms, unto the exercise of military discipline. . . ." The only other measure suggested for colonial defense was "and withal, another law to be made for the maintenance of military officers and forts."
The New England Confederation, formed in 1643, was a primarily military organization consisting of New Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, New Haven, Cornwall [Maine], and King's Province [a disputed area in southern New England]. This was essentially the same area as James II reorganized in 1686-89 as the Dominion of New England. It was devised as for "mutual safety and welfare," a self-defense program based on the colonial militias of these member provinces. Delegates met in Boston and adopted a written constitution which formed The United Colonies of New England. Each colony retained its own system of managing internal affairs. Questions of war and peace were decided by eight commissioners representing Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven. Any six commissioners constituted a working majority. The commissioners met at least once a year and more frequently if there were problems brewing within its area of design.
Expenses for the defensive system were borne by the colonies in proportion to the male population between ages 16 and 60, that is, of men of the proper age to serve in the militia. Massachusetts certainly bore the bulk of the expenses and had the vast majority of men subject to militia service, yet its commissioners carried no greater weight than the smaller colonies. The confederation would make, or at least approve, all appointments of officers and designate an overall commander-in-chief. Ordinarily, confederation troops were to be under the command of the ranking officer of the colony in which the troops were presently deployed.(23)
In 1653 the council met at Boston to consider "what number of soldiers might be requisite, if God called the Collonies to make warr against the Dutch." It named as captain commander John Leverett of Boston and apportioned its force of 500 as follows: Massachusetts Bay, 333; Plymouth, 60; Connecticut, 65; and New Haven, 42.
A major problem occurred for the confederation in 1653 when Massachusetts Bay refused to approve a war against the Dutch. Without its men and monetary contributions the union could not operate effectively. Initially, Massachusetts opposed the admission of Narragansett Bay [Rhode Island] and Cornwall [Maine] because the inhabitants held heterodox religious views. After 1664, when New Haven was annexed to Connecticut, the quotas and representation of the two confederation members was combined. At that point the constitution was amended to allow for meetings once ever three years instead of annually. The federation simultaneously went into a precipitous declined, but it revived briefly after a major threat from the native aborigine appeared. Between 1645 and 1650, and again in 1675, it waged war on the Narragansetts.(24) It operated most successfully during King Philip's War (1675-76), coordinating the defense of the region. In 1684 the charter of Massachusetts Bay was withdrawn and the confederation came to an end.
The Confederation had assumed the power to negotiate arms and gunpowder contracts, and to contract for maintenance and repair of the confederation's arms. Arms and supplies were to be stored in several convenient locations, with access to these materials of war granted to all members. It had sought the authority to declare war on Amerindian tribes on behalf of all members and to regulate the Indian trade and license Indian traders. It had sought the power to negotiate alliances with the various Amerindian tribes and to send negotiators to settle inter-tribal disputes. The confederation legally could take no action until at least six members approved, although this was not always the actual case.(25)
New England was more than sufficiently rich to sustain its militia. When it deployed men on the frontier it found that a town could feed, house, and otherwise provide for a considerable number of men. Most towns could contribute a company or two of militia to the general effort while retaining sufficient strength to defend themselves. Most towns had one or more fortified buildings that served as a base of operations when the militia was deployed in the area; and as places of refuge if the town came under Amerindian attack.
New England frequently offered its militiamen various incentives for performing their duties well. Although these colonies did not have large blocks of land to donate (as Virginia did) but they did offer occasional bounties in land, notably in Maine. The colonies generally did not have to offer scalp bounties in order to mobilize militiamen, but again, on occasion, they did so. Too, there were possibilities of militiamen obtaining plunder; and others obtained money from the sales of Amerindian captives as slaves.
In 1688 the King James II was expelled, nominally because he kept a standing army in violation of Parliament's orders and for being sympathetic to Roman Catholics and to the French. Parliament passed a Mutiny Act, setting up courts-martial and imposing military law for periods of up to six months. There was no appeal to either the courts or Parliament and we may view this action as the beginning of true, sovereign parliamentary supremacy.
The Glorious Revolution brought a Bill of Rights, that, among other things, provided that the king could not keep a standing army in the time of peace. Parliament would fund the military on an annual basis through the conventional budgetary process. In April 1689 the colonists of New England decided to endorse in the change of government by ousting royalist and reactionary Governor Edmund Andros. The provincial authorities also ordered the arrest of royalist officers serving in Andros's army. Without their leaders, the army dissolved. A popular leader, Jacob Leisler, declared himself to be acting lieutenant-governor, to serve until the pleasure of Parliament become known. Dutch settlers in Albany (who were also under Andros's control) refused to recognize Leisler's dubious claim, choosing to rule themselves through a popularly elected town assembly. Only a militia remained to protect the borders, restrain and pacify the Amerindians and maintain order.
The Dominion of New England "fulfilled the expectations of the Lords of Trade as a solution of the colonial problem of defense." It checked Indian encroachments and strengthened the alliance with the Iroquois. Andros's garrisoning of the frontier and his aggressive military ventures "made New England formidable to its enemies."(26) When the Dominion of New England collapsed, the new government in England delayed the formulation of imperial policy for the defense of the colonies. The Lords of Trade were insisting on reestablishing a consolidated government over the northern colonies, which they interpreted to include New England, New York, and New Jersey, under a single governor-general. However, this plan of reconsolidation was left unresolved because of the effective opposition led by the New England agents in London.(27) The New England Puritans could claim victory only to the extent that they had succeeded in maintaining their status as a separate colonies. Still, for a variety of good reasons, substantial opinion existed for re-establishing the Dominion. There was general agreement that any new dominion must shed its autocratic features. On 25 January 1691, a group of forty-five of the leading citizens of Massachusetts petitioned the King to appoint "a Governor and Council over us to administer the Government with an elected Assembly . . . and as many of the little provinces as seem good to you may be united under one Governor for mutual defence and security."(28) In July 1691 New York Governor Henry Sloughter, claiming that he had the backing of the council and General Assembly, expressed the same desire.(29) On 14 May 1692 William Phips (1651-1695) arrived at Boston carrying a parliamentary commission naming him as captain-general, governor and commander in chief of the militia for Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, the King's Province, Massachusetts and New Hampshire estates. This was a plan the New England colonies opposed with great vigor because these provinces claimed that they alone controlled their own militias. They claimed there was no legal provision for subordinating the provincial militias to any exterior authority.(30)
Meanwhile, the colonists sought to create a military union on their own, prompted by the French and Indian hostilities along the New York and Maine frontiers in 1689. These incursions caught the northern colonies unprepared. To meet the emergency, attempts were made to reinstate a regional military union of much the same sort as the New England Confederation. Mutual military support was the theme of the times. In July 1689 Massachusetts Governor Bradstreet requested that Connecticut authorities to "be ready to yield all necessary assistance when desired according to the rules of our ancient union and confederation."(31) But the Confederation was not revitalized. Robert Livingston, writing from Hartford, speaking for many, argued that "it will be very requisite that the united Colonies take Inspection of all affairs with us, since their interest and ours are so inseparable . . . "(32)
Connecticut and Rhode Island would not allow Phips to recruit volunteers, let alone draft men, from their militia on grounds that their charters granted them exclusive and inviolable rights to control and deploy their own militias. Phips appealed to the king, arguing that "you will not be soe unmindfull of your old neighbours." This failed to yield any results. The Rhode Island Assembly refused to recognize Phips as commander over the colony's militia and petitioned the crown for recognition of its charter rights. The Attorney General and Committee of Trade agreed to uphold Rhode Island's constitutional stand, but reaffirmed the Attorney General's opinion of 1690 that the crown retained the power to appoint a commander in chief over any part of a colony's militia. Thus, in time of invasion the king or his delegate could take charge of whatever forces required. Phips made no overt move to assume command over the militia of the colonies.(33)
In May 1693, the crown ordered Benjamin Fletcher, governor of Pennsylvania, West Jersey, and New York, to take command of the Connecticut militia for an expedition against Canada. It told Phips to "consult and advise" with Fletcher. East Jersey and Pennsylvania refused to respond to Fletcher's demands for money and troops.(34) In October 1693 Fletcher, accompanied by two members of the New York Council, traveled to Hartford to establish his commission as commander of the Connecticut militia. Having learned of Fletcher's intentions earlier, the Connecticut General Court dispatched Fitz-John Winthrop to England to secure confirmation of the charter. The General Court took the position that Fletcher's commission could not supersede the powers that the Connecticut Charter granted to the colony over its own over the militia. "We are still willing to doe our proportion with our neighbours in such public charge wherein we are equally concerned," the Connecticut General Court informed Fletcher, but other colonies must do their share. Connecticut argued that it had already done more than its part by contributing to the garrisons at Albany and Deerfield.(35)
Fletcher, in a letter to the Lords of Trade, warned that Connecticut's obstinacy would lead to a French victory in North America. "These People of Connecticut are in a greate fright the noise of a Quo Warranto or A sharp Letter from theire Majesties will reduce Them the wisest and Richest of them Desire to bee under the Kings imediate Government."(36) Fletcher called a general conference of the governors to obtain pledges of troops and financial aid from each colony. The Board of Trade authorized to Fletcher to issue a call for troops from New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Moreover, the crown authorized the appointment of a chief commander to order the combined provincial militias in time of war. The crown also ordered the colonies to contribute troops or other assistance upon request of the governor of New York.
Several of the colonies were outraged at this assertion of English power over the colonial militias. The Rhode Island Assembly resolved that "in time of peace, and when the danger is over, the militia within each of the said provinces ought, as we humbly conceive, to be under the government and disposition of the respective Governors of the Colonies, according to their Charters."(37) Another negative provincial reaction was financial. For example, the Maryland House of Delegates only reluctantly voted a small appropriation and elusively talked of the possibility of future free will donations.(38) The London Board of Trade considered the establishment of a colonial military union to be of paramount importance.
On 30 September 1696 the Board considered various proposals along that line from the colonies. John Nelson, Governor Fletcher of New York and Governor Nicholson of Maryland offered plans that, while intriguing, were also insufficient or unacceptable. The Board concluded that in wartime all provincial militia should be placed under one a single authority who would bear the title of captain general, who would be invested with the powers of a royal governor.
American colonial representatives then appeared before the Board of Trade, but they were unable to agree on a united front that they would present before the board. Edmund Harrison, Henry Ashurst, William Phips, representing New England and Daniel Coxe of New York argued for the creation of a governor general with civil as well as well as military jurisdiction. Fitz-John Winthrop reiterated Connecticut's position based upon the charter rights it held that precluded tampering with its militia. Chidley Brooke and William Nicoll of New York favored a stronger union than any yet proposed. The Board of Trade feared the consequences of voiding the charters of Rhode Island and Connecticut without due legal process. Thus, the Board decided to recommend a military union superimposed by the Crown. In February 1697 an order by the king-in-council directed the establishment of a military union of the four New England colonies, New York, and West New Jersey under a captain-general.(39)
The first appointment of captain-general went to Richard Coote, first Earl of Bellomont in the Irish peerage. Bellomont had powerful support, for among those backing him were William III, Lord Shrewsbury and Sir Henry Ashurst. It was a good appointment for Bellomont was acceptable to the New England and New York. While his political title was Governor of New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, in reality Bellomont received command over all the militia of the northern colonies. That command could be exercised only during wartime. Bellomont did not reach New York until April 1698 and did not take over the reins of the Massachusetts government until May 1699. Unfortunately, his first great commitment was not military but criminal. He arrived just in time to become embroiled in the Captain Kidd affair.(40) He had no success in gaining recognition of his military powers in Rhode Island. Whatever chance he may have had to succeed there initially was soon lost as he became obsessed with enforcement of the highly unpopular Navigation Acts.(41) More destructive yet, he became entangled in the complex politics, largely of New York, that had also undone his predecessor, Benjamin Fletcher. Bellomont died suddenly in March 1701, and with him died also the plan for military unity.
Renewed call for a central military authority for New England came as the colonies prepared to enter Queen Anne's War. Joseph Dudley had received his commission in 1702 as Governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. With this was his appointment as captain general with authority over all the New England militia in time of war. He was also vice-admiral of Rhode Island.(42) Dudley found it impossible to weld together an inter-colonial military system. New England had two objections to his appointment. First, there had objections to his previous service as the first governor of the Dominion of New England. He was also closely tied to the established high church party in England. Rhode Island and Connecticut remained recalcitrant concerning their charter privileges. Connecticut refused to send troops beyond the frontier of the Connecticut Valley during the early phase of Queen Anne's War. Connecticut disbanded its militia in 1704 without Dudley's authorization. When told to obey the orders of the Massachusetts Governor, Connecticut refused. In late 1706 and early 17077 Dudley appealed to Fitz-John Winthrop, begging him to use his powers of persuasion to enlist the support of Connecticut in the combined provincial expedition being assembled to capture Port Royal in Acadia. Winthrop replied that the Connecticut Assembly would not cooperate because there was nothing about that expedition that would benefit the colony. Rhode Island also denied Dudley's military authority over its militia.(43)
Professor John Shy, a leading critic of the American colonial militia system, observed that, about 1710, "it would be wrong to idealize the New England militia, but it would be equally mistaken not to recognize that there the institution had retained its vitality."(44) Toward the end of Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) Governor Joseph Dudley could boast that his militia system had achieved two goals. First, it successfully defended its own frontiers and most settlements from French and Amerindian attack. Second, it had supplied significant troop strength to assist the English expeditions against French Canada.
Military exercise was closely associated with the Sabbath, with drills often following church services. The Puritan clergy had no problem with being closely connected to the military since Calvinism accepted the Old Testament view of God as the warring Jehovah ready to smite his enemies and protect those with whom he had a covenant. Many a sermon given on militia day began with the words of second Chronicles, to be "ready prepared for war."(45) Exercise with arms was a godly thing for a man to do as well as being a way to train one's self physically.
John Calvin (1509-1564), founder of Puritanism, had taught that war is the way of life in the material world, with God's people pitted against the devil and his minions. God's people must be ever militant and constantly armed in a physical, as well as material, sense. Christian warfare is certainly not confined to the spiritual realms, but finds real struggles in worldly combat. Some Christians will experience only spiritual tests while others will be called to the front in war. Calvin obscures any differences to be found between physical and spiritual warfare. The Christian in every sense is called upon to gird his loins, take hold of his shield, and don his armor. Every Christian is a soldier and has a role in the army of Christ.
And Paul, after he has warned us that our struggle is not with flesh and blood, but with the princes of the air, with the powers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness (Eph. 6:12), forthwith bids us put on that armor capable of sustaining so great and dangerous a contest (Eph. 6:13). We have been forewarned that an enemy relentlessly threatens us, an enemy who is the very embodiment of rash boldness, of military prowess, of crafty wiles, of untiring zeal and haste, of every conceivable weapon and of skill in the science of warfare.(46)
As Puritanism expanded in England and gained adherents so Calvin's call to arms found support in religious writings. The eminent preacher John Downame ( -1652) produced an important and influential tract, The Christian Warfare, in 1609, in which he warned that Christians must not grow too fond of the material world for it is the arena of combat between the devil and God. He urges each man to become a soldier of Christ in both the physical and physical senses. Each reborn Christian will be awakened to the knowledge that he must stand firm physically and spiritually in face of God's enemies. It was Downame who popularized the image of Nehemiah's workers who worked on the temple while girding his loins against the enemy. All Christians must emulate Nehemiah by being both worker and militiaman. He urged all the faithful to heed the words of Paul in Ephesians (6:11): "Put on the whole armor of God that ye be able to stand against the assaults of the devil."(47)
What would the Lord God permit his people do if their enemies burned their crops, slaughtered their cattle, abducted their wives and children, and killed and tortured the inhabitants of the land He had given them? One early work answered the question by calling the people to arms. Captain Edward Johnson (1599-1672) was a joiner by vocation, preacher by avocation, and militiaman by necessity. He became an expert in the use of artillery and was founder of the new settlement of Woburn. He wrote his masterpiece The Wonder-Working Providence of Sion's Saviour in New England about 1653, partially to persuade others to join his settlement and largely to extol the greatness of God who had delivered His people out of bondage and into the new promised land. Johnson saw the migration in military terms, calling the settlers soldiers employed in God's service. To Johnson's way of thinking, God in holy scripture had provided all the military knowledge that His people needed to defeat the devil's forces. The Bible was the only book on military tactics and strategy humans needed. Johnson's book used military terminology and vocabulary familiar to the men of his time. He dwelled, with some obvious delight and pleasure, on the bloodier parts of the Old Testament, showing that God intended that war be unrelenting and filled with slaughter of Satan's followers.
Johnson's biblical and practical arguments, following Calvin and Downame, influenced nearly all ministers and writers for the next hundred years. Later writers followed both Johnson's form and substance. He effectively combined Biblical rhetoric with law of the colonies, giving justification to the natural inclination that men have to kill their enemies. Other works followed.(48)
A generation later, during King Philip's War, preachers suggested that the saints take refuge behind "protective shields of spiritual walls." Some, perhaps more practical, interpreted this as meaning that the towns ought to build stockades. Some of the elders suggested building a wall eight feet high stretching from the Charles to the Concord River.(49)
The more worldly clergy agreed with the politicians about the efficacy of a physical wall, suggesting in their sermons that the correct model was found in the Book of Nehemiah. This leader labored mightily in constructing the walls of the temple, building them as strong as materials and technology permitted. While engaged in this labor, Nehemiah and his men remained armed, ready to unsheath the sword in their own defense. Just as the Christian put on his spiritual armor, so he also was to arm himself physically.(50) Proper physical facilities combined with a well-trained citizen army would create all the protection God's people would need to survive.
There were certain practical aspects of combining military training with Sunday services. Preachers could subject their flock to prolonged sermons that often took several hours to deliver. Puritans endured these homilies because they were the center of the religious service and because they represented an exercise in literacy and literature.
Politics and religion entered into militia service and organization. During the religious quarrel over the Anne Hutchinson heresy, some men refused to march with their units as long as Pastor John Wilson served as a chaplain, while others indicated their unwillingness to serve if Wilson were dismissed.
New England's ministers argued that the Christian defense of true religion was vitally interconnected with the defense of the colonies. Both matters could be advanced by combining arms with a Calvinist interpretation of biblical text. Many chose to back their words with action by marching as chaplains with the troops during war or punitive expeditions against the Amerindians.
On 3 June 1678, Boston minister Samuel Nowell (1634-1688) delivered a discourse to his congregation based on the image of biblical patriarch Abraham as the first great man of arms fighting in the Lord's cause. He promised that abundant blessings would flow upon such men as served faithfully in the militia. Typical of the second generation political pulpit, following Johnson, was Nowell's "Abraham in Arms" in which he described the importance of the armed citizenry.
God's vineyards hath no other walls, but only our Souldiery, that and our Poverty. We have no walled towns, as they have in other places, our Forts and Castles are contemptible. We have not any bank of money to hire Souldiers; our strength by sea is small & for friendship and favour in the world with any that should help us, is not much, or our friends lye too far off to help us in time of need.(51)
Nowell continued, suggesting that, with God's help, there was no obstacle that could overcome the arms of the Puritans. God's people were clad in spiritual armor that no arrow could penetrate or spear violate.
Cotton Mather (1663-1728) was one of the best known political-religious philosophers of Puritanism and arguably the finest and most influential American theologian of the period. On 1 September 1689 he delivered a long and powerful sermon urging his fellow Puritan to smite their Amerindian adversaries, justifying the punitive expedition on biblical grounds. Like his Calvinist predecessors, Mather thought it was the duty of all believers, but especially the elect, to defend their own territory. Incursions into their land was caused by Satan, in his disguise as the French king, and his devils under the guise of papist soldiers. These legions of the prince of darkness had seduced the innocent savages into playing their evil game. Protestants must rise and do battle with such evil figures. Mather followed St. Augustine on his doctrine of the just war, seeing the wars against the French and their Amerindian allies as the children of light pitted against the children of darkness. Mather referred to the Amerindians variously as Canaanites, Medianites, and "barbarous heathen." Those killed or maimed in such a campaign might expect a stern but just God to reward them for their sacrifices on His behalf.(52)
During King William's War of 1689-1697, Reverend Benjamin Wadsworth (1670-1737) offered a blessing to the militiamen who were marching toward French positions in the North, entitled "A Letter of Wholesome Counsels Directed to Christian Souldiers Going Forth to War," exhorting them to behave as warriors of biblical times. The war generally inspired ministers to focus upon worldly strife and the temporal duties of the militiaman to an extent not seen in more than a generation. This emphasis was to be repeated in later wars with France, so much so that one might think that each new generation of pastors had dusted off and delivered again the famous sermons of this generation.(53)
King George's War (1740-1748) again brought forth support for the militia from the New England political pulpit. On 1 August 1745, Nathaneal Walter (1711-1776) delivered a powerful sermon at the Old Boston Church, "The Character of a True Patriot," in which he dwelled on the subject of the Christian's dual duty of serving God and his king by entering into combat with the devil and his earthly legions.(54) Thomas Prince (1687-1758) followed on 27 November 1746 with a condemnation of cowards and a promise of sainthood to true patriot militiamen, delivered at the South Church in Boston.(55) On 17 June 1745, Jared Eliot (1685-1763), pastor at Killingworth, repeated the same basic themes to the militiamen of his congregation.(56)
In 1732 Oliver Peabody introduced the heroic image of David the warrior king into the literature of the New England pulpit. Beginning with 2 Samuel 1:18, Peabody developed the image of the godly youth who slew Goliath and taught his people the use of arms. David trained his men in news ways of waging war, which lessons were still valuable to the militia of New England. Peabody described the ideally trained militiaman.
[H]e will be a finished soldier, that can find, fight and conquer his enemies in the thicket of the Woods; and immediately fall into a marshalled and regular Army, or into a disciplined troop, and fight and overcome in an open Field; and also excel again on the Mighty Deep, and understand the best Manner of fighting on the sea.(57)
In 1741 William Hooper (1674-1767), a late Puritan clergyman, delivered a sermon entitled "Christ the Life of True Believers and their Appearance in Glory" in which he argued that men who failed to defend their native land had little chance of gaining salvation. True Christians were required to take up arms against the heathen (Amerindians) and heretics (Roman Catholic French).(58)
After news of clashes with the French and their occupation of the Ohio Territory was received, all the northern colonies called for a day of fasting and prayer that the land might be delivered from the French and their Amerindian allies. In Newark, New Jersey, on 1 January 1755, Reverend Aaron Burr (1716-1767) delivered a long sermon calling upon "the Lord Jehovah . . . to smite his enemies as in the days of old." Burr thought that, should the Protestants unite in their effort and make appropriate offerings and prayerful petitions to God, they would surely be rewarded with victory.(59)
New England's clergy was not going to be outdone by a mainstream Protestants from New Jersey. Reverend Samuel Checkley (1723-1768) preached a major and lengthy sermon, "The Duty of God's People When Engaged in War," in Boston soon after to the local militia. So popular was that discourse among the local politicians that he was invited to deliver it to militia units throughout the province of Massachusetts.(60) William Currie (1709-1803) preached a similar sermon at Radnor Church on 7 January 1747.(61)
Reverend Peter Clark (1694-1768) prepared a sermon with a theme similar to Checkley's. Entitled "Religion to be Minded Under the Greatest Perils of Life," this discourse also exhorted Christians to do their duty, including faithful service in the militia.(62)
Clark's and Checkley's sermons were buttressed by a powerful sermon delivered by Reverend Sylvanus Conant (1720-1777) in his "The Art of War, the Gift of God." In the Old Testament, God had drawn a blueprint for victory in wars in which His people defended divine justice. God had instructed the Hebrew people in the art of war and inspired their leaders to use even the most unorthodox tactics to win against their enemies. The art of war, it seems, was born in the mind of the Heavenly Father, to be used to advance His causes.(63) An anonymously written and printed largely religious discourse on much the same themes appeared about this same time under the title, "New England's Misery, the Procuring Cause and a Strong Remedy."(64)
Reverend Samuel Cooper (1725-1783) delivered another powerful and politically charged sermon before the governor of Massachusetts in the summer of 1759. Militia service, he argued, was the duty of every Christian male. He thought that the most severe legal penalties and social ostracism could be directed against those who shirked their duty. Cooper assured the governor that he was properly discharging the functions of his office when he sent the militia into battle against God's enemies and the unconverted heathen.(65)
Samuel Chandler's (1723-1768) Thanksgiving Day sermon, given on 29 November 1759, reminded the faithful that they must rejoice in the defeat of the papist French and be prepared at all times to repel false religion because God required that "true religion" be defended, if necessary by force of arms. Good Christians could be godly soldiers in righteous causes.(66)
The surrender of Montreal occasioned an extensive response from the New England pulpit. The Seven Years' War being now terminated, we should expect to hear the kind of sermon preached by Reverend Amos Adams (1728-1775), at Roxbury, Massachusetts, on 25 October, and Nathaniel Appleton a few days later. While the principal theme of these sermons was thanksgiving for the safe return of many militiamen, victory over their ancient enemy, and the end of a long and costly war, the preachers universally used the occasion to exhort the citizen-soldiers to be prepared to continue to serve whenever danger threatened the country.(67)
On 6 March 1763, Pastor John Brown (1715-1766) preached a sermon on religious liberty and political freedom in which he urged all Christians to take up arms against the marauding Amerindians. In doing so, they were doing God's work and defending His people. Likewise, Protestants must rejoice in the defeat of the Catholic French and be ever vigilant lest they return to North America to threaten Protestantism.(68)
When Anglican minister Anthony Benezet (1713-1784) delivered in Philadelphia a sermon entitled "Thoughts on the Nature of War and Its Repugnancy to Christian Life," the congregation virtually rebelled. The newspapers summarized the sermon and it was printed by one of the larger and more prominent publishers of the day. Reaction to the sermon, especially in New England was strong, appearing in various sermons, especially those delivered before militia companies, such as the Ancient Artillery Company of Boston.(69)
A recent historian concluded that "the combined emphasis upon aggressive Christian combat, which received the imprimatur of Bible and minister . . . shaped the expectations of New England's earliest settlers in the seventeenth century." The ministers adopted an aggressive style, used strong rhetoric, depicted heroic biblical figures fighting God's wars, and painted glorious pictures of the triumph of good over evil. Discussion of great biblical war heroes was designed, of course, to inspire parallel lives among the militiamen of New England.(70)
We may summarize the themes of the political pulpit as follows. First, war spiritualizes the soldier by making him ponder his own mortality and his relationship to his Creator whom he might soon meet.
Second, it brought each man into contact with the heroic figures of the Old Testament who then offered him a choice of role models for his own life, just as others may have been inspired by stories of the saints. The clergy stopped just short of condemning those who were cowardly in battle, but most agreed with Increase Mather that courage was a manifestation of God's grace, given to the elect. Many sermons emphasized the importance of behaving bravely in performance of all duties, especially militia duty.
Third, it produced an archetype in ancient Israel and presented the parallel so clearly that all could see that New England constituted the New Jerusalem and the saints inhabiting the land were the new Chosen People.
Fourth, it reminded all that the Second Coming of Christ and what are generally known as millennial events were hard by the door, close at hand. Man should never stray from this vision when there would be the final clash between God and Satan, the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:16). Even that battle had its archetypes in the victories of Barak over the Canaanites and of Gideon over the Midianites. The battles in this new world just might be some of the tribulations noted in the apocalyptic view of St. John the Divine as immediately preceding this final battle.
Fifth, ministers reminded the officers that the Bible offered the best and most reliable guide to many things, not the least important of which are military tactics and strategy. The men should take great comfort when their elected officers opted to follow the great leaders of the Jewish Bible. There were, according to the ministers, great parallels between the way the native aborigine fought and the way enemies of Israel had waged war. Men should choose their officers for their virtue, godliness and intimate knowledge of scripture.
Sixth, it was the duty of every man to learn his trade and to practice it with patience and skill, but to also be a soldier in the Army of God. We may recall the early emphasis, especially in Johnson, on Nehemiah and his men working on the temple while standing guard over their nation. In short, it was godly to be expert in war (2 Tim. 2:3), every Israelite in God's service is a man of war.
Seventh, the clergy revived the notion that had plagued St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and most of the commentators in the new field of international law, namely, what is the just war? It was clear that these men would not entertain the possibility that no war is just as was the premise of the pacifist sects, such as the Society of Friends. Quakers became an object of frequent parody and ridicule. Any war against God's enemies, notably the devil and his legions, would clearly be just. Likewise, wars against false religion, notably papism, were justified. The clergy appointed itself judge over such determination and classification. Few, if any, of New England's wars were found to be unjustified.
Eighth, wars must also be fought justly, although there are notable biblical examples of Israel slaughtering all the enemy.(71) It is much better to be magnanimous in victory and charitable in peace. Neither should one fight an offensive war, although the clergy universally classified wars of retaliation and punishment as justified. A defensive war is lawful beyond dispute. Reverend Increase Mather (1639-1723), president of Harvard, commented on the just war.
And in some cases men may be called to ingage in an Offensive War. This may be Lawful when their Liberties, Properties and Possessions are invaded. . . . Only it is to be remembered that an Offensive War is not to be undertaken but with the Consent and Authority of the Magistrates. The reason is because war is an act of Vindictive Justice and therefore must have the Countenance of those who are by their Office Revengers to Execute wrath on them that do Evil.(72)
Not all commentators agreed with Mather that the magistrates alone should decide when a war was justified. Some wished to engage the clergy since the question was a moral one. Others wished that the process would be more democratic, involving the whole community. The latter view was derived from William of Ockham, a favorite of Martin Luther, who had argued that all moral and theological decisions should be made by the whole body of the faithful.
Three men in addition to Nehemiah stand as archetypes of the military heroism required of New England militiamen. Abraham was the first great religious general and an archetype of Jesus Christ. Joshua completed the mission initially assigned to Moses, expelling the Canaanites from the Promised Land. David was the favored of God, prophet, poet and priest, but it was David the youthful military genius and conqueror of Goliath upon which the Puritan clergy dwelled. The preachers reminded the people how David instructed his flock in the use of arms and urged them to learn the use of the bow (2 Sam. 1: 17-27).
Woven upon biblical imperatives, the minister's words commanded a central position in the militia rituals. During his service as a militiaman in 1686, bookseller John Dunton (1659-1733) recalled the prayer meetings. They began with a
solemn prayer in the field upon the day of training, [which] I never knew but in New England, where it seems to be a common custom. About three o'clock, both our exercise and prayers being over, we had a very noble dinner to which all the clergy were invited.(73)
Later militiamen recalled hearing and being inspired by such sermons. Sergeant David Holden (1738-1803) recalled serving in the Massachusetts militia and hearing sermons on the righteous cause and just war being fought against the French and their Amerindian allies.(74) As a young man much afraid of death or permanent injury, Uriah How (1738-1758) kept a journal in which he recorded his innermost thoughts. How thought that the many sermons he heard while on service relieved him of much apprehension. Presumably, when he was killed in his twentieth year, he had been better prepared to meet his Maker because of the messages he had heard.(75) David B. Perry, born in 1741, was a teenager in the Seven Years War and much afraid of what might be his fate in battle. He, too, felt comforted by the message of the preachers who accompanied the militia. When he entered the patriot cause in the American Revolution, Perry urged his fellow soldiers to attend religious services, relating his own experience with the clergy in the earlier war.(76) Two other privates in the Massachusetts militia, men who served in both the Seven Years War and the Revolution, felt themselves to have been much inspired by the call to action issued by New England clergymen before and during enlistment.(77)
General Seth Pomeroy (1706-1777) and General Rufus Putnam (1738-1824) thought that their men in both the Seven Years War and the War for Independence had achieved far greater peace of mind than most other militiamen and soldiers because of the comfort offered by militantly military clergy who accompanied their troops.(78)
Funerals of prominent militia officers and of enlisted men killed in battle offered occasions to combine military parades with martial sermons. The dead man's comrades turned out in large numbers to parade and accompany the deceased to the grave. The precedent of firing volleys of musket shots over the grave seems to have been common practice by 1630. The clergy utilized the opportunity of such a funeral to laud the Christian soldier who serves God by smiting His enemies. Clergy frequently compared the wearing of physical armor in military service to the assumption of the armor of God in baptism. During the funeral service the deceased put away his metal armor and weapons to assume the spiritual armor of grace that God bestowed on His elect.
Each colony in New England set aside one or more days for training and disciplining the citizen-soldiers. This custom had been inherited from medieval England where similar days had been set aside for like purpose in each shire. When training day laws went unenforced the militias lapsed into mobs that were unable to coordinate their activities on the field of battle and were unwilling to obey their officers. Occasionally, part of the training days was set aside to repair and build fortifications. A chaplin opened and closed the day with a prayer and occasionally with a sermon. The minister also enforced morality laws to such a degree that public drunkenness was all but unknown and the camp followers that commonly accompanied men in arms were also nowhere to be found.
During the French and Indian War a New York correspondent of the London-based Public Advertiser praised the moral character of the New England militiamen.
We put no Confidence in any other Troops than theirs; and it is generally lamented that the British veterans were not put into Garrison and New England Irregulars sent to the Ohio. Their men fight from Principle and always succeed. The Behaviours of the New England Provincials at Albany is equally admirable and satisfactory. Instead of the Devastations committed by the [British regular] Troops in 1746, not a single Farmer has lost a Chicken or even a Mess of Herbs. They have five Chaplains and maintain the best Order in Camp. Public Prayers, Psalm-singing and Martial Exercises engrossed their whole Time at Albany. Twice a week they have Sermons and are in the very best frame of Mind for an Army, looking for success in a Dependence upon Almighty God . . . . Would to God the New England Disposition in this Respect were catching.(79)
The number of annual training days was fixed by law and varied considerably according to time and place. In 1631 the Massachusetts militia was so enthusiastic about training days that it mustered weekly. Within a year the enthusiasm waned and musters were then held monthly. By 1637 the interest had continued to decline and consequently drills were held only eight times a year. Subsequent changes in the law reduced the obligation to six times a year and then just four. Emergencies changed the militiamen's minds and prompted them to take muster more seriously. During King Philip's War the Massachusetts militia mustered every Sunday and one additional day per week.(80)
Training days became social occasions. Whole families attended. The women folk prepared the means which were taken in common. The children enjoyed a rare opportunity, at least in rural areas, to socialize and to play with large numbers of other children. Many young, single men met their future wives at these gatherings. Occasionally, a church or public building had to be repaired and this was done as a part of, or adjunct to, training days.(81) A British officer described New England training under the watchful eye of five chaplains who assumed responsibility for the mortality and general decorum.(82)
To Jeffery Amherst's seasoned, professional officers the Americans were utterly ill-mannered and ungentlemanly. They ignored class distinctions which were all important among the British officer corps. They reported to Amherst that the officers joined their men in carousing and carrying on, often into the wee hours of the morning. The militia officers were as bad as the men, engaging in all manner of outrageous behavior. They often wore costumes and unacceptable, non-military clothing. Many officers failed to wear insignia or distinctive uniforms that would identify them amongst their men. Moreover, they failed to obey even the most rudimentary rules of sanitation. Men and officers alike stank for they failed to bathe or change and wash their clothing.
In traditional studies, and in most secondary sources, the Massachusetts militia is viewed as a simple and logical extension of the colony, but unworthy of in-depth study because it was less innovative than most other aspects of American Puritan development. At most Massachusetts slightly modified the traditional English Puritan train band model as befitted the necessities of the new world. During the entirety of the Old Charter period of Massachusetts history, that is, 1629-1684, the colony struggled to define the precise limits on popular participation in government and church. The militia was drawn into this debate, perhaps reluctantly, as both actor and subject acted upon. We have discussed much of the origin of the Massachusetts militia above while discussing the general emergence of the New England Puritan militia.
The governor was commander-in-chief of the province. Direction of military affairs is naturally an executive function. He theoretically was required to lead troops in battle. He ordered the disposition of troops and alone decided what points to garrison. He could sound an alarm and call out the militia. He might be assisted by a Council of war, generally appointed by the General Court. Often militia officers served in the legislature and they brought with them an intimate knowledge of military situations in all parts of the province. By the end of Phips' term as governor the precedent was well established of regarding various assistants, deputy and lieutenant governors, legislators and militia officers as an informal council of war.
The legislature retained the right to make the laws with respect to the militia and to fund the it. The General Court jealously guarded its prerogative to legislate in great detail concerning liability for service, arms required, inspection of arms and equipment, frequency of training and appointment, or at least confirmation, of officers. The legislature also created courts martial, prescribed punishment for various infractions and ensured subordination of the military to civilian authority. It supported the militia by offering bounties on Amerindian scalps when pressures on the frontier became too great. It also attempted to keep the frontier populated by forbidding desertion of frontier towns, primarily in order to retain a buffer between the unsettled frontier and the cities. Eventually, it allowed the colony's troops to assist other colonies. It also forbade the impressment of militiamen by force or trickery.(83)
Even before the first religious dissenters settled in Massachusetts, white adventurers had sacked Amerindian villages as far north as Maine. Some slave traders had raided the villages, taken some natives captive and sold them into the slave trade. Some villages along the coast, especially near Cape Cod, had already been deserted as the reputation of the ruthless traders grew. Many Amerindians had died of a plague a few years before the Pilgrims arrived in 1620, and this may account in some large measure for their inability to meet and expel the new wave of invaders. The Pilgrims were shocked to discover that Samoset greeted the first party to land in English.(84)
In 1626, in preparation for the voyage to populate what became the town of Boston, the founders prepared a list of military equipment which they considered indispensable to equip the projected 100 militiamen.
3 drums, to each 2 pairs of heads
2 partizans, for captain and lieutenant
80 bastard musketts, with snaphaunces, 4 ffoot in the barrel
6 longe fowling pieces with bastard muskett boare, 6 ffoote longe
4 longe fowling pieces, with bastard muskett boare, 5.5 ffoote longe
10 ffull musketts, 4 ffoote barrel, with match-locks
90 bandoleers, for musketts, each with a bullett bagge
10 horne flaskes, for longe fowling pieces, each with a bullett bagge
100 swords and belts
60 corselets & 60 pikes; 20 half-pikes
12 bbls powder, 8 bbls for the forts; 4 for small shotte
8 pieces of land ordnance for the forts
namely, 2 demie culverings, 30 c. weight a peace
3 sackers, each weighing 25 c. weight(85)
The bandoleers were belts which each held 12 rounds of ammunition and a leather covered priming box. Ten bandoleers were of standard musket size and were stamped M, while two others were for bastard musket size and were stamped B. All bandoleers were purchased at pence each from John Grace of London. Twenty of the suits of armor were ordered from Thomas Stevens, Buttolph Lance, London. Armor consisted of corsalet, back, breast, culet, gorget, tases, and helmet, all varnished black. Four suits of armor were equipped with closed-visor helmets instead of the open type common to this period.(86)
In 1628 the General Court of Massachusetts created a fundamental charter which established political and legal authority in the colony, including power over the militia. The Charter recognized that safety and the peace could not be maintained without a well organized militia.(87) It observed that "Piety cannot be maintained without church ordinances and officers, nor justice without laws and magistrates, no more can our safety and peace be preserved without military orders and officers."(88) The "well ordered of the militia is a matter of great concernment to the safety and welfare of this commonwealth."(89) In 1628 John Endecott (c.1588-1655) emigrated to Massachusetts with sixty English colonists, joining those already at Salem. When the colony was properly organized he became, in 1630, the first head of the provincial militia. His expedition against the Pequots helped to provoke the First Pequot War, which began in 1637. Between 1644 and his death on 15 March 1655 he served as governor.(90)
In the first report extant from Governor Cradock, dated 16 February 1629, the colony reported that it was attempting to spread Christian Gospel among the natives. Cradock reported considering enlisting friendly Christian Indians into the colony's militia. In its response to Cradock, dated 17 April 1629, the New England Company did nothing to encourage the military enlistment of natives, although it commended him on his attempt to convert them.(91)
The Charter of Massachusetts Bay of 1629 directed that the governor and company provide the inhabitants with "Armour, Weapons, Ordnance, Municon, Powder, Shott . . . and all Manner of Clothing, Implements, Furniture, Beastes, Cattle, Horses, mares, Marchandizes, and all other Thinges necessarie for the saide Plantacon and for their Use and Defence." The charter gave the governor the power to impose martial law, to build and maintain forts and other facilities and to maintain stores of arms and materials of war. More specifically, the charter required that the
Governor of our said Province or Territory for the time being shall have full Power by himselfe or by any Chief Comander or other Officer or Officers to be appointed by him from time to time to traine, instruct, Exercise and Governe the Militia there and for the speciall Defence and safety of Our said Province or Territory to assemble in Martial Array and put in Warlike posture the Inhabitants of Our said Province or Territory and to lead and Conduct them and with them to Encounter, Expulse, Repell, Resist and pursue by force of Armes as well by sea as by Land within or without the limitts of Our said Province or Territory and alsoe to kill, slay, destroy and Conquer by all fitting wayes Enterprises and meanes whatsoever all and every such Person and Persons as shall at any time hereafter Attempt or Enterprize the destruccon, Invasion, Detriment or Annoyance of Our said Province or Territory . . . .(92)
In March 1631 the Court of Assistance of Massachusetts Bay ordered that all men, including indentured servants, but excluding magistrates and ministers, equip themselves with guns within two weeks. They were to have a minimum of 20 bullets, a length of match a pound of gunpowder and other necessary accoutrements. If a man did not already own a gun the colony would advance him the money and he would have to pay it back within a reasonable time.(93) If a man could not pay for his gun the town would hire him, or hire him out to another man, until the cost of the gun was repaid. Farmers might pay for their arms in country produce.(94) No one was to travel, except within Boston, unless one was armed with a gun.(95) Militia companies were all ordered to muster and drill on Sundays.(96) In 1632 the militia musters were reduced to just one every month.(97) The undated text of the first militia act of the colony of Massachusetts Bay read,
Section 1. Forasmuch as the well ordering of the militia is a matter of great concernment to the safety and wellfare of this Commonwealth It is ordered by this Court and the authority there of. . . .
Section 9. Every person above the age of sixteen years shall duly attend all military exercises and service, as training, watching, warding under the penalty of five shillings for every fault, except magistrates, deputies and officers of court, elders and deacons, the president and fellows, students and officers of Harvard College, and professed school masters, physicians, chirourgeons allowed by the magistrates, treasurers, surveyor generals, public notary, masters of ships and other vessels above twenty tons, fishermen constantly employed at all fishing seasons, Constant herdsmen, and such other as, for bodily infirmity or other just cause shall by any County Court, or Court of Assistant (after notice of the partys desired to the chief officer of the Company to which he belongs) be discharged; also one servant of every magistrate and teaching elder, and the son and servant of the major general for the time being, also such as dwell at remote farms, shall be exempt from watching in the town, but shall watch and ward as their chief officer shall direct otherwise; and all farms distant above four miles from the place of exercising the Company, or have a ferry to pass over, that have about twenty acres of land in tillage, and twenty head of great cattle upon such farms, shall upon reasonable allowance to the Company, have one man exempted from ordinary trainings.(98)
The object of immediate concern for the militiamen of Massachusetts was the Pequot Indians. By 1635 the men of Massachusetts Bay were expanding rapidly into the distant Connecticut Valley and thus came into conflict with the indigenous land holders, the Pequots. When the Pequots killed seven of the interlopers, Massachusetts responded by mustering its militia, attacking the Pequots and killing several hundred of them. The survivors took refuge with other tribes. After this tribe was contained the colonial militia had to deal with the Narragansetts and their allies the Wampanoags, and the Abenakis and Penobscotts, allies of the French in Canada. The elitist Puritans had no trouble identifying the Amerindians as heathens and allies of the evil one. In turn the native Americans regarded the Puritans as unprincipled warriors who had no regard for their unwritten rules of conventional warfare. As the Chosen People, the Puritans thought they had an unbridled right to claim any territory they desired in their Promised Land.(99)
In 1635 the legislature ordered that militia fines be used to purchase arms for those too poor to provide their own guns.(100) On 9 September 1636 the provincial legislature voted to "limit ye election of Military Officers in ye several Towns to such only as are of ye trained bands and so thereby all such Freemen as are exempt from ordinary training should be barred from having any votes in such elections."(101) In 1636 officers elected by militia companies were still subject to legislative and executive approval.(102)
In 1636 the colony of New Plymouth revised its law regarding indentured servants. One provision concerned the militia. "No servant coming out of his time or other single person be suffered to keep house," the law read, "till such time as he be completely provided for of arms and ammunition."(103)
In 1637 the legislature ordered that a long list of classes of persons accused of various eccleastical and civil offenses, including blasphemy, religious heterodoxy, rape, sodomy and theft, "bee disarmed."(104) The apparent intention of the legislation was to deny arms to criminals and heretics because these were the symbol of freemen. On 24 April 1638 Governor John Winthrop incorporated the Military Company of Massachusetts, guaranteeing that "no officer should be put up[on them but of their own free choice." Each enlisted man was given 500 acres and each officer 1000 acres of land. The militia company was renamed the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company on 2 September 1700.(105) In 1639 the legislature exempted from militia duty a number of classes of trades, including ships' carpenters, fishermen during season, and millers, but required them to maintain firearms.(106)
The community was the basic unit of many activities, including militia service. Towns were the basic units of military organization wherein men armed and trained themselves for war. Initially, all Boston area militias were rather democratic although the officers reflected the basic Calvinist hierarchy of church and state. All able-bodied males served in the militia, excepting certain governmental officials, but including indentured servants and slaves. The regiment was first noted in 1636 when Captain John Underhill brought the companies from Roxbury, Dorchester, Weymouth and Hingham under a single, unified command and integrated it with the South Boston Militia and other city militia companies. After 1637 men could nominate and elect their own officers from among the town's freemen, subject only to the (almost automatic) approval of town council.(107)
The average militiaman was little concerned about organization beyond his own company for it was in this basic unit that he socialized, trained, elected their own officers and fought when called into actual service. Most commoners were armed merely with pikes and some small cutting instrument, such as sword or scalping knives. A few of the wealthier citizens own match-locks and even fewer had wheel-locks. The companies marched out on the greens, often located convenient to the churches or town meeting houses, there to drill under the appreciative and watchful eyes of their families.
On 13 January 1639 the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston was formed and the democratic pattern was broken. The militia unit was organized as an elitist organization, comprised exclusively of the prominent townsmen and was drawn largely from the harbor communities. To be accepted into this company was a certain indication that one had arrived socially. It emulated a similar elitist company in London and remained, throughout its history, largely self-regulating. John Winthrop was made an honorary colonel and first nominal commander.(108) It was the oldest company of artillery militia in the nation.
The men of Massachusetts were not always perfect citizens or part-time soldiers. Captain Underhill recorded that, upon sounding an alarm, he was amazed to see that his trained bands "knew not how to behave."(109) They often missed the legally mandated training days and failed to accept discipline or to maintain their arms in good working order. Those who failed to attend musters, maintain proper equipment and arms, or otherwise follow the militia law, paid fines which the town authorities put to good use buying flags and banners, drums and bugles and other impedimenta.
Towns served as vehicles for many forms of communal action. They performed what was then considered social welfare and engaged in various forms of social action. The principal function the town undertook was defense of home, citizen and community through the organization and maintenance of a militia. The militia also served a social function of social integration. To expedite their obligations, the town governments maintained watch-houses, supplies of gunpowder and flints and match, extra weapons and spare gun parts and armories, the latter often located in the basements of town meeting houses.
In 1634 Ensign Richard Morris entered into a political dispute with his commander and resigned his commission. In other cases, men displayed culpable, if not criminal, disregard for safety. In one incident in Watertown, a servant brought his loaded weapon to the training field. After going through the manual of arms and marching for a while with the loaded piece, he accidentally discharged it, wounding himself and three others. Captain Underhill noted that such carelessness with arms was not especially uncommon.(110)
Wars served as a vehicle to obtain slaves and servants according to an order of the General Court in 1641. The law held there was to be no involuntary servitude, including "bond slavery, villeinage or captivity" in the colony "unless it be lawful captives taken in just wars."(111)
Despite the failures which made them easy targets for their critics, past and present, the militia performed major services. They served watch in the city wards and mounted the towers for seaward watch on Beacon Hill and at the Town Gate. Captain Underhill led the militia to the distant Connecticut frontier there to assist their neighbors in the Pequot Indian War. In 1642 the legislature received warning of the possibility of a major attack from Amerindians allied with the French. Militia training was increased.(112) The legislature took certain steps to close some gaps in the basic militia act. One amendment to the basic militia act required that even those who were not required to muster had to provide themselves with arms. "All persons exempt from training who yet are to find arms and are able to use them, shall appear with their compleat arms before the Military Commander twice in the year to bee exercised, . . . except physicians, church elders, scholars and surgeons."(113) The legislature also ordered "that every smith in this jurisdiction, laying aside all other business, do with all speed, attend the repairing of arms . . . of the several towns."(114)
In the same year the legislature moved to stem the trade in firearms, gunpowder and bullets to the Amerindians. The illegal arms trade had provided the natives with the wherewithal to massacre the settlers and defeat the militia. It noted that earlier legislation had failed to prevent arms from falling into the hands of the native aborigine. If any man was caught selling or bartering guns he was to pay a fine of £10 for each firearm sold; £5 for each pound of gunpowder; and 40 shillings for each pound of lead, shot or bullets.(115) In 1640 the colony of New Plymouth had imposed a fine of £20 "upon any that shall give, trade, truck or exchange with the natives any kind of military arms, or guns of any length or sort whatsoever."(116)
In 1643 the General Court created a new provincial militia law. The preamble contained a strong endorsement of both morality and the value of a trained militia. "As piety cannot be maintained without church ordinances and officers, nor justice without laws and magistracy, no more can our safety and peace be preserved without military orders and officers." Exemptions from the law were provided for students at Harvard College, schoolmasters, ministers of approved congregations, physicians, certain fishermen and magistrates. All other freemen were to muster four to six days a year for inspection and training. The Massachusetts militia was organized along county lines, the first provincial militia to be organized in this territorial manner. The county officers included a captain, one lieutenant, an ensign, three sergeants and three corporals. Initially, a company consisted of 64 men, but the number was eventually increased to 100. A new company could be formed anytime a unit of one hundred militiamen could be found.(117) The election of officers was provided for by law, but only a complete company was granted this right. This proved to be an effective incentive to maintain full company strength.(118)
All persons of any Trayned Band, both freemen and others, who have taken the oath of residents, or shall take the same, and being no covenant servant in household with any other, shall have their votes in nomination of those persons who are to bee appointed captaines, or other inferior officers of the same band, provided they nominate none but such as shall be freemen.(119)
In 1643, following the failure of some militia officers and units in the Pequot War, the General Court set up an advisory committee on military preparedness that could also act decisively in emergencies. It was staffed primarily with county militia captains and other presumably learned men of war.(120)
In 1644 the legislature passed legislation, not part of the militia act, which nonetheless had implications for that legislation. For reasons of personal safety and protection, "all inhabitants . . . are to have arms in their houses ready fixed for service." The legislature lamented the "neglect of ye arms of ye country" and ordered all inhabitants to have repaired all arms that were out of order. It also ordered the Surveyor General to import or otherwise obtain quality arms and to offered these arms at cost to all who might need decent guns.(121)
On 14 May 1645 the Massachusetts Assembly passed a law which required that all young men between the ages of 10 and 16 years practice with arms under the supervision of officers designated by the principal officers of the militia. They were to trained in the use of pikes, bows and arrows and guns. In the earliest years one-third of a militia company was armed with pikes and the remainder with fire-locks. Pikes proved to be useless in deep woods combat and all men were soon equipped with fire-locks, but tomahawks, scalping knives and other edged weapons which were useful in hand-to-hand combat were added as standard equipment. "All inhabitants, seamen as well as others, are to have armes in their howses fitt for service, with pouder, bullets, match, as other souldiers; and ye fishermen, shipp carpenters & others not exempted by lawe shall watch . . . and traine twice a yeere according to order."(122)
Companies were constituted of 64 men. No company with less than a full roster of men was permitted to elect its own officers, a most important prerogative on the time and place. After the clerk certified to the General Court that a company had its required membership, the men "shall have liberty to choose sergeants and other inferior officers." These officers swore an oath to "trayne them in the use of armes, eight dayes in the yeere."(123)
This pre-militia training was designed to make certain that all young men had adequate familiarity with the common militia weapons. The Assembly also ordered that the great militia be called out annually for minimal training. The Assembly assumed that the citizenry would own its arms and would be familiar with the basic care and operation of these weapons. The annual inspection would ascertain which citizens had failed to provide weapons. The discipline would insure that each man would know where and how to form in case of emergency. Training time was set at eight days, with advance notice of six days.(124)
The watch mandated in the law was designed principally to look for the approach of enemies from any direction. As a secondary function the watch was to look for crime in progress and to resist violence. If the watch came upon an enemy or criminal the men were to capture, or if necessary kill, the culprits. If their force was inadequate to contain the menace they were to fire warning shots to attract the attention of others. Citizens were expected to grab their own arms and rush to the assistance of the watchmen. Watch began "halfe an hower after sonne setting" and continued until dawn. Men were to be armed with muskets or pikes.(125)
The General Court also ordered "that all Scotsmen, Negers & Indians, inhabiting with or servants to the English, from the age of 16 to 60 yeares, shall be listed." These men were to be mustered, disciplined and trained with the rest of the company. Those who loved at such a distance as to be inconvenienced to travel to train with their companies were permitted to gather, if at least 12 in number, and train themselves six times a year; or to train with other companies if they lived close to another militia company than to their own.(126)
In 1645 the legislature instituted two interesting changes of policy. First, the legislature ordered that musket and pistol balls were to be supplemented with swan shot.(127) Swan shot is commonly known in contemporary literature as buckshot and is used to discharge a relatively broad pattern, increasing the chances of even a poor marksman hitting his target in dense brush. Today it is used for hunting medium size game in urban areas because it does not carry nearly as far as a single ball. Muskets of the colonial period would have discharged about two ounces of shot pellets about the size of a pea. These shot could do considerable damage to man or even several men in a small group at ranges of 50 or more yards. Second, the legislature ordered that small children, those under the age of 16, were to acquaint themselves with arms. It suggested that children begin pre-induction militia training by practicing with scaled-down bows and arrows, small pikes and miniature guns.(128)
On 12 August 1645 the Assembly provided for the recruitment and special training of an elite corps. This select militia was to consist of the thirty best men from each of the larger militia units. Their training concentrated on tracking, capturing and expelling hostile Amerindians and the French woodsmen, the courriers de bois. They were to be prepared to move against hostile elements within thirty minutes of receiving a call from the authorities. They were to keep their arms, powder, match and accoutrements fresh and ready.(129) The reference in the law to "fresh Match" tells us that they were armed with matchlock arms instead of flintlock or snaphaunce lock arms. These select militiamen were the forerunners of the Minute Men of fame at Lexington and Concord.
In 1647 the legislature made a number of changes to the militia act. The first alteration allowed those militiamen residing in the outlying areas to deduct their travel time to and from militia muster from the eight days they were required to serve annually.(130) Another new provision to the militia law that allowed "the militia officers of each Company . . . with the advise and consent of such soldiers as are allowed their Votes in Choice of their Officers, shall, from time to time, appoint days for training their companys, so that there shall be eight days appointed for the same every year."(131) Another amendment attempted to provide some standardization of arms. Henceforth, militiamen could not fulfill the obligation to provide arms with just any gun. "No musket shall be allowed for service under bastard musket bore and not under 3'9" in length, nor any piece above 4'3" and every soldier is to be furnished with [a] priming wire, worm and scourer, fitted to ye bore of his musket."(132) Finally, an additional law also made provision for armourers. "Upon any Military Expedition . . . all Smiths and other work Men are to attend the repairing of arms and other necessaries and may not refuse such pay as the Country affords."(133) In the same year the list of those exempted from militia service included: the students and faculty of Harvard; school masters; notary publics; physicians and surgeons; masters of ships at sea; millers; ferrymen; herdsmen and nearly all political and public officers. However, all except magistrates, physicians and teachers were to be provided with arms. The colony provided that those who could not afford arms were to be provided with them, but the poor may be required to perform public service or barter what they may have in excess to obtain the public arms.(134) On 20 May 1647 the legislature repealed the act of 9 September 1636 and allowed all freemen, and not just those required to attend militia musters, to vote on officers of the various militia companies.(135)
On 27 May 1652 the Massachusetts Assembly decided to expand the obligation to serve in the militia. Heretofore, Afro-Americans, whether freemen or slaves, were not enrolled in the militia. Amerindians who lived in peace with the colonists had also been exempted. The new act included "Negroes, Scotsmen and Indians living with, or in servitude to" the colonists were obliged to serve in the militia beginning at age 16 years. The inclusion of Scotsmen referred to indented captives, taken by Oliver Cromwell's forces at the Battle of Dunbar.(136) The General Court ordered that "all Scotsmen, Negroes and Indians inhabiting with, or servants to, the English" be mustered with the militia.(137) However, just five years later, the legislature passed a law which prohibited blacks, whether free or enslaved, and Amerindians from joining the militia in the interests of "the better ordering and settling of severall cases in the military companyes."(138)
By 1655 the colony had established minutemen and we find references to their training and deployment.(139) In 1656 the Assembly passed substantial new legislation relative to the militia. The amendments provided substantial penalties for avoidance of militia duty. Only those previously exempted and anyone exempted by the courts could escape the impact of the militia law.(140) The militia law was not all inclusive. As with the 1643 militia act, exceptions were made for the following: magistrates, court officers and their chief deputies, deacons of the Church, and the faculty and students at Harvard College. Certain civilians whose services were indispensable were exempted. These included ferrymen, millers, and fishermen and herdsmen who were permanently employed at their trades. Those frontiersmen who lived at too great a distance from a militia company to muster conveniently were also exempted. Smiths and carpenters, physicians and surgeons were exempted from regular service, but could be drafted when their special talents were needed. Naturally the disabled were exempted from militia service. The law made particular reference to the release of those who had a "natural or personal impediment" such as "want of years, greatness of age, defect of mind, failing of senses, or impotence of limbs." Those exempt from militia discipline still had to provide themselves with a musket.(141) No man might join the militia "but as are of honest and good report and freemen."(142) Shortages of manpower caused the enlistment of men as young as sixteen years.
In 1660 a new militia act required "every person above the age of sixteen years" to train except the usual civil and occupational list and "one servant of every magistrate and teaching elder, and the sons and servants of the Major General." No mention was made of Amerindians or persons of color. Additional training requirements were added, with specifics left to the military commanders.(143)
Initially, the colony had tried to fill all its militia obligations and requirements with volunteers and when this failed it had created a system of obligatory militia service.(144) The system which proved to be reasonable and durable was one of universal militia service supplemented with a secondary system of drafting militiamen to serve as artificers and garrison troops at forts.(145) The General Court placed great value in forts so a remarkable amount of the militiaman's time was spent in garrison duty in static fortifications.(146)
In ordinary times regiments were to drill once every three years, with the militia officers to work out the schedule.(147) The legislature then fixed specific dates between 1641 and 1651 and again between 1671 and 1676.(148) Some counties failed to muster their militia for regimental meetings and some general gatherings were devoted to other activities, such as repair of fixed fortifications.(149) The training paid off. In 1680 Jasper Danckaerts, who was unimpressed with the drill of the New York militia, complimented the military order and discipline he saw in Massachusetts.(150)
The General Court in 1665 decided that much "mischief" among the natives had been brought on by excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages so it prohibited absolutely the sale of any intoxicating substance to them. All the Indian trade was henceforth to be conducted in licensed trading houses. Finally, seeing that the natives had no sense of permanent conveyances of land, and that they became warlike when cheated out of their lands in order yo to satisfy debts to the traders, the Court forbade the sale of Indian land without its express approval.(151)
By 1687 it was evident that the colony had to enact an adequate militia law for its own protection. The gave assembly the reasons for creating the Militia Act of 1687. "Whereas it is absolutely necessary that the inhabitants throughout this Territory and Dominion be well armed and trained up in the art military, as well for the honour and service of his most excellent Majesty as for the preservation and defence thereof from any violence or invasion whatsoever, Be it therefore enacted by the Governour and Council and it is hereby enacted and ordained by the authority of the same . . . ." The law provided for universal free male public obligation to serve in the militia. The law provided, "That no person whatsoever above sixteen years of age remain unlisted. . . ." If the man could enlist himself, that was fine, but if not self-enrolled, the obligation fell upon "masters, mistresses, or employers, under the captain or other officers in the respective places of their abode . . . ." Men had the choice of serving in regiments of foot or horse. After a young man turned age sixteen he must enlist within "the space of six weeks, on penalty of forty shillings, and so for every six weeks such persons shall remain unlisted."
Each man was responsible for obtaining and maintaining his own weapons, supplies and accoutrements. "And that every foot soldier be provided with a well-fixed musket, the barrel not under three foot in length and the bore for a bullet of twelve to the pound, a collar of bandoliers or cartouch box with twelve charges of powder and bullets at the least, and a sword, or, if the officer so appoint, with a good pike and sword . . . ." The militiamen had to present their arms and equipment on demand. He "so shall appear when and where appointed, upon penalty of six shillings for his default in not appearing and four shillings for want of each charge of powder or bullets, musket, pike, sword, bandoliers or cartouch box, so as the whole penalty for any person at one time exceed not ten shillings. . . ."
The law provided that if a militiaman wanted to perform his service on horseback that the cavalryman also had to equip himself. As applied to cavalry, the law said "that every soldier belonging to the horse shall, when and where commanded, appear and be provided with a good serviceable horse covered with a good saddle, with holsters, breastplate and crupper, and case of good pistols and sword, and half a pound [of] powder, and twenty sizeable bullets, on penalty of ten shillings for each time absence and six shillings for default of each the particulars above mentioned, so as the whole penalty for one time exceed not fifteen shillings." Even though the cavalryman had to provide his own pistols he still had to own a shoulder arm. "And every trooper [shall] have at his usual place of abode a well fixed carabine, with belt and swivel, on penalty of ten shillings, which they shall bring into the field when commanded, upon penalty of answering the same at a court martial."
Some militiamen might not be able to afford the required arms. There were some very poor families in early Massachusetts. Providing arms for several males, father and sons, placed a considerable burden on some families. The law,
Provided nevertheless, that if any person who is to provide arms or ammunition cannot purchase them by such means as he hath, he shall bring to the clerk of the company so much corn or other merchantable goods as by apprizement of the clerk and two of the company mutually chosen by them shall be judged of a greater value by a fifth part than such arms and ammunition is of; and thereupon shall be excused from the penalty for want of arms and ammunition, but not from appearance, until he be provided for and furnished, which the said clerk shall do as soon as may be, by sale of such goods, and render the overplus if any be to the party. But if any person be not able to provide himself arms and ammunition, through his mere poverty, if he be single, he shall be put to service by any justice of the peace, to procure him estate to purchase arms with, and his master shall find him arms during his service; if otherwise, the selectmen, townsmen or overseers shall provide and furnish him with arms and ammunition at the publick charge of the town, the which arms shall be kept by the clerk of each respective company, well fixed and fitted for service, under the care and inspection of the chief military officers there.
The law wished to provide local authorities with reliable and permanent militia company rosters. Therefore, any person wishing to move had to make the appropriate notification to his militia unit commander. "And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no person so listed as aforesaid shall depart thence without a discharge from the commander of the company or troop where listed, on penalty of forty shillings; and that no commander of any company or troop shall refuse, when desired, to give a discharge in writing to any that is removing his abode out of the precincts, under the penalty of £5."
Proper equipment and uniforms were important to militia companies, partially to give the men a sense of pride in the units, and partially to assist in identifying the various units. "The Colonels of the respective Regiments, or other chief officers, shall once every year, at the least, issue out their warrants to their inferiour officers, commanding them to make diligent search and inquiry in their several precincts, that all be duly listed, armed and equipped, and to return to them such defects as shall be found, to the end the same may be reformed, on penalty of one hundred pounds." Flags and musical instruments were also extremely important to the militia units as they were to regular military units. Men marched to the beat of drums and both drums and trumpets conveyed orders and assignments. Flags identified various companies and served as a rallying point, especially after a battlefield was obscured by the haze produced by gunpowder. Thus, the law required that, "all Captains of companies of foot or troops of horse shall, within six months from and after publication of this act, provide for their companies and troops, drums, drummers and colours, trumpets, trumpeters and banners, at their own charge, under penalty of ten pounds, and so for every six months such commanders shall remain unprovided . . . ."
Although custom and practice varied widely, in early Massachusetts various non-commissioned officers and important musicians were paid. "All trumpeters and drummers lately in service, or that shall by the several captains be put into that service, shall hold and attend the said service during the captain's pleasure, upon the salary of forty shillings per annum for a trumpeter and twenty shillings per annum for a drummer finding their trumpet and drum, and twenty shillings for a trumpeter and ten shillings for a drummer if the captain find them, upon penalty of forty shillings." If the militia fines were insufficient to provide the necessary equipment, town authorities had to find the funds to buy whatever was needed. The law provided that "in case the fines and forfeitures for defaults allowed to the captains as aforesaid shall fall short of the charge of providing drums, drummers and colours, the account thereof being given to the chief field officer and by him allowed, the sum wanting shall be supplied and satisfied by the select men, townsmen or overseers out of the moneys raised or to be raised to defray other public charge in each respective town."
Officers were to drill, inspect, discipline and exercise their militia charges regularly. "And that three times in every year, or oftener if command be given by his Majesty's Captain General or Commander-in-chief for the time being, the several companies and troops in each Regiment shall meet at the next and most convenient place to be appointed by their respective officers, to be then and there by them mustered and exercised." Failure to exercise an officer's responsibilities could bring considerable penalties. "And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That once every year, or oftener if thereunto commanded, each particular captain, or lieutenant, where no captain is appointed, shall give to his field officer, and the field officer to his Majesty's said Captain General or Commander-in-chief for the time being, fair written rolls of their respective companies and regiments. And if any field officer, captain or other inferiour officer or soldier shall neglect or contemn performing the lawful commands of their respective superiour officers, he or they shall be punished by fine, cashiering or other punishment, according to the discretion of a court martial."
Men who failed to assume all their responsibilities, as we have seen, were subject to fines. The Militia Act provided for the disposition and distribution of militia fines. "That the several fines and forfeitures mentioned in this act and not declared in what manner they shall be recovered and how disposed of, that all such as do relate to any person under the degree of a captain shall be to the respective captains, to defray the charge of their companies or troops, and to be levied before the next exercising day, by distress and sale of the offender's goods, by the captain's warrant to the clerk; but if the offender be a servant the owner's goods shall be liable to the distress and sale as aforesaid so that satisfaction may be made: and for all other penalties mentioned in this act, the same shall be levied by distress and sale of the offender's goods and chattels, by warrant from the chief field officers in the respective places or from his Majesty's Captain General or Commander-in-chief for the time being; one half thereof shall be to our sovereign lord the King, his heirs and successors, for and toward the support of his government here, the other half to the informer."
Standing watch was among the most unpopular duties a militiaman might draw, but, on the frontier and along the coast-line, it was among the most important duties to which he might be entrusted. When Amerindians might attack, or French or other hostile navies might land in wartime, watch duty was standard fare. Not surprisingly, the law provide, "That all persons listed as aforesaid shall readily attend and serve on the watch when appointed, under the penalty of three shillings for each default and that it shall and may be lawful for any captain or other commission officer under the degree of a captain, in their captain's absence, to grant warrants of distress against any persons whatsoever that shall absent themselves from their duty on the watch or night guards, they keeping an exact account of all sums and forfeitures levied and received thereby, which they are to render to their superiour officers when required: provided always, that no trooper shall be obliged to watch or ward but under the command of his proper officer, and in his proper arms."
Firing arms was a standard method of issuing warnings and summoning aid. Spurious and random firing after nightfall were more than a minor inconvenience; they misled, even deceived an unsuspecting population. Thus, the act provided "that no person whatsoever presume to fire any small arms after eight of the clock at night, unless in case of an alarm, insurrection or other lawful occasion; and in either of the said cases, four muskets or small arms distinctly fired, or, where great guns are, the firing of one great gun and two muskets or small arms distinctly, and beating of drum, shall be taken for an alarm; and every person that shall neglect his duty in taking and giving forward any alarm by firing as aforesaid, or shall be guilty of firing any small arms after eight of the clock at night . . . ." The man engaging in the illicit or frivolous firing of arms "shall be fined or otherwise punished at the discretion of a court martial, not extending to life or limb." Men were to assume that the firing of arms after sundown were call to arms and all militiamen must respond immediately. "And in case of such alarm, every soldier is immediately to repair armed to his colours or court of guard, upon the penalty of five pounds."
The law also restricted the arbitrary discharge of large guns from ships in the harbor. "And for the better prevention of false alarms, that no captain, master or commander of any ship or vessel riding at anchor in any [of] the harbors, ports or bays within this Dominion, or any other person, fire any gun after eight of the clock at night, under penalty of forty shillings for every gun so fired, to be levied by warrant from the chief officer, not under the degree of a captain, (who is hereby impowered to administer an oath and give judgment thereupon,) by distress or sale of the offender's goods, or for want of distress the said chief officer is hereby impowered to commit such offender to jail, there to remain until payment of the same; and that in case the said officer shall not perform his duty therein, he shall forfeit ten pounds, to be levied by warrant from the Governor or Commander-in-chief for the time being: provided always, that this clause shall in no ways concern or extend to any captain or officer of any of his Majesty's ships of war, for their firing at setting of the watch."
There were exemptions from militia service. Naturally, professional and enlisted military officers and enlisted soldiers were exempted. Most others on the exemption list were civil officers, including, "all the members of his Majesty's council, justices of the peace, sheriffs, coroners, and all officers of courts; treasurers, surveyors and deputy surveyors; the clerks belonging to the surveyor's office; and one servant of every member of the council. . . .; as also all officers imployed about his Majesty's revenue." Also exempted were "ministers ; the president, fellows, students and officers of Harvard college; professors and allowed schoolmasters; physicians and chirurgeons [surgeons]; masters of ships and other vessels above twenty tons, in actual employ; constant fishermen and herdsmen." (152)
By the time the assembly had passed the Militia act of 1687, some militiamen had decided to question the right of government to draft them for any service, and many refused to report for garrison and maintenance duties. Threatened by this near universal revolt the legislature provided for a method of escaping from the draft. One could hire a substitute for a minimal payment. Consequently, the real burden of serving unpleasant and boring duty details fell on the poorest citizens and the non-citizens, the unemployed, transients and freebooters. Men with certain skills, such as carpenters and smiths, were more liable for the draft than most militiamen simply because the work on fortifications required their services. One could also reduce one's chances of being drafted by contributing supplies and arms to the common cause.(153)
Militia officers in Massachusetts were popularly elected. Every soldier, as well as those exempted by the law from militia discipline, was allowed to participate in the election. Any freeman might stand for election. The troops having fewer than 64 members had officers appointed by the Assembly. The assembly encouraged smaller units to merge their troops, primarily to allow for the election of officers. (154) When there was a tie, or when more than one man was elected to a particular rank, the man with the greatest seniority in the militia was chosen as senior officer.(155) The Governor of the Colony or his designate served as the Major-General of the colonial militia. Officers might be required to present a certificate from their parsons, identifying them as part of the elect. The General Court was never pleased by the democratic selection process and after 1664 it increasingly meddled into the officer selection process, exercising its power to "nominate, choose and appoint" the militia officer class. Those wishing to serve as officers might petition the General Court, providing it with recommendations and testimonials relative to their alleged qualifications.(156) These papers were similar to those prepared for officers nominated democratically in earlier times. The Court still later chose to rotate militia officers with mixed results. After 1645 the General Court increasingly guarded its prerogative militia powers.(157) In October 1687, Governor Edmund Andros usurped the power to appoint all civil officers, including those of the provincial militia. His "despotic rule" continued through February 1689 when the people of Boston, "as their contribution to the Glorious Revolution," removed him from authority.(158)
The sergeant major-general was the highest ranking militia officer in the colony. He could always replace officers in the field, an obvious military necessity when officers were killed, wounded or otherwise rendered incapable of serving. When the Sergeant Major-General of the militia called the unenrolled troops into service or into joint military training camps, he would decide the order of rank among the eligibles in each rank. His own family was exempted from militia drill and assembly, and he received other privileges commensurate with his rank and importance.(159) He or his designate negotiated with the officers of neighboring colonial militias.(160)
When the colony needed the services of the militia, a signal consisting of firing of four muskets, ringing of church bells or other pre-decided alarm, would call the assembly. Any man failing to respond was to be fined £5 sterling. Excepting a decision made by the Major-General, a local committee consisting of the officers of the militia units could decide to hold the militia or to dismiss it.(161)
Local officers, whether elected or appointed, had primary responsibilities for the organization and discipline of the militia companies. The county captain was the principal militia officer in each county. He was charged with inspecting the arms carried by militiamen and checking the people attending church or otherwise travelling to make certain that they were armed. At times the county militia units paid his salary from militia fines and at other times he General Court paid his stipend.(162) On occasion the General Court or Sergeant Major-General might send militia captains as emissaries to various Amerindian chiefs and villages. They might also act as mediators, negotiators or arbitrators in Amerindian affairs and disputes. They sometimes negotiated the release of caucasian captives and hostages.(163)
The sergeant-major assisted the county captain. He assessed fines, sought out delinquents, supervised drills and generally ordered the company's military business. In times of crisis he led the forces and could, if necessary, impress goods into the public service.(164) The county militia clerk was assigned the most unpleasant tasks. So unpopular was the position that the General Court mandated that clerks serve when elected or appointed or pay a stiff fine. He called roll at militia musters and reported those who failed to attend. He also kept the equipment roster, noting any deficiencies and levying fines on those under-equipped and he made arrangements for the poor to work on public projects to pay for militia equipment that they could not afford.(165) He added various charges to the fines that were not paid immediately. In return he received one-quarter of all fines and generally received a kick-back or legal commission on purchases of supplies and equipment.(166)
The militia law required that each man supply himself with at least a pound of gunpowder and twenty bullets. If the gun was a firelock, at least a foot of match rope must be supplied, and if a flintlock, spare flints were in order.(167) In addition militiamen usually carried a hatchet or tomahawk,(168) scalping knife or sword and knapsack and cartridge belt.
Cavalry units were formed as auxiliaries to the regular militia. Initially, they served as scouts with infantry, but they rapidly developed into effective combat units.(169) First organized in units of thirty mounted men, cavalry units were expanded into units based on seventy men.(170) Units with forty or more mounted men could nominate their own officers.(171) These were the elite militiamen. Only freemen who were admitted to full citizenship, and, usually, were Puritans, could join the mounted militia. An applicant or his family had to own property valued at no less than £100 in order to serve in the cavalry. He had to equip himself with saddle, bridle, holster, pistol or carbine and sword and provide his own horse.(172) In return he received may privileges not accorded infantry militiamen. He could not be drafted, but had to volunteer, for service outside the colony. He paid no ferry charges or head rate poll tax.(173)
The General Court encouraged these militiamen living on or near the frontier in sparsely populated areas to develop mounted militia units to expedite muster and organizational time.(174) As long as the cavalry was properly utilized they proved to be effective. When they were misused and improperly deployed, as in King Philip's War, they suffered enormously and were nearly disbanded.(175) Frontiersmen usually valued their riding horses highly and were often unwilling to use their best horses in combat because of the possibility of injury. On the other hand, some militiamen were frequently guilty of overloading the horses so that the animals died en route to battles, or were so slower by the weight that they offered little advantage over foot soldiers.(176)
Cavalry units were not created or prepared for use against the native aborigine. The eastern and northern Indians did not begin to acquire large quantities of horses until about 1725 and by 1740 an Amerindian living in these areas who possessed no horse was a rarity. But even after acquiring horses, these tribes rarely used them to advantage in war.(177)
The Wampanoag tribe has been peaceful, even friendly, toward the European settlers under Massasoit, and there were few problems as long as he lived. On Massasoit's death in 1661 he was briefly followed by his elder son Alexander. Upon Alexander's death King Philip, Massasoit's second son, became the sachem of the Wampanoags. A proud and talented, even charismatic, but brooding, man, King Philip had long envied the physical possessions of the Europeans and loathed their encroachment on the Wampanoag's ancestral lands. He mourned the passing of tribal autonomy and independence, especially with their growing dependence, even addition, to the white man's goods. He thought that he was to be joined by the Narragansett tribe of Rhode Island, which resented what they considered preferential treatment of the rival Mohican tribe. The Narragansett and Wampanoag tribes, traditional enemies, had found new reasons to bury the hatchet. King Philip's War began in June 1675 when Wampanoag warriors attached and destroyed the frontier town of Swansea, thirty miles form Plymouth. Plymouth Plantation and Massachusetts militiamen hurried to the scene. The Narrgansetts watched and waited and while the Mohican and Pequot tribes assisted the colonists.
The militia immediately gained the upper hand. They drove Philip from the Mount Hope Peninsula and trapped them in a dismal swamp. The militia was too poorly led and disciplined to close the trap and Philip escaped, enlisting the Nipmuck tribe of central Massachusetts during his escape. In December 1675 the militia made a second mistake. Unable to get the Narraganset to make any clear statement of commitment they moved against their principal fortified town. This settled the issue and, with the Narragansetts now among the belligerents, other tribes joined the war. One tribe or another pillaged nearly every small frontier town and outlying farm. Finally, Brookfield was destroyed. They laid waste the Connecticut Valley. Militia sent in pursuit of raiders frequently fell victim to ambushes.
On 10 February 1676 the Amerindians burned Lancester and eleven days later destroyed much of Medfield. On 13 March they successfully attached Groton, which was burned after it inhabitants fled. Providence and Warwick, Rhode Island, and Simsbury, Connecticut, were abandoned. The Massachusetts towns of Andover, Woburn, Sudbury, Bridgewater, Hadley, Hatfield, Springfield and Marlboro were all successfully attacked. Urban areas had to provide for increasingly large numbers of refugees and prices of foodstuff rose as crops were burned and cattle and horses slaughtered in the fields. But the militia was learning the military supplies arrived from England. The Amerindians had no outside sources of supply and no sense of planning for a prolonged war. Militia had burned their crops and killed many of best warriors. Hunger, malnutrition and disease took horrible tolls. On 12 August 1676 the militia trapped and killed Philip near Plymouth, where the war had begun. The war dragged on with sporadic attacks as late as the summer of 1677 in Maine. In a most unconventional tactic for the Amerindians, the Pequots made their last stand in a fort near present-day Mystic, Connecticut, as did the Wampanog allies of King Philip on Rhode Island in 1675.(178)
Colonial militia leaders had learned some expensive lessons. They saw the value of hiring other Indians to track and scout. They changed their principal weapons. King Philip's War marked the end of the European pike as a principal militia weapon in American. Amerindians were much more intimidated by the thunder and novelty of firearms than they were by pikes creating light infantry and of abandoning obsolete and useless equipment and accoutrements which added nothing and only burdened the militia-man(179) They learned to make war in Amerindian fashion in the deep woods. A few months of actual service proved to be infinitely more useful than years of militia muster and marching. It was King's Philip's war that changed the American militia from a European para-military organization into an Indian fighting machine.(180) The American Revolution would force the militia to reverse that pattern.
Much has been written of the barbarous behavior of the Amerindians during King Philip's War, but little has been written of the devastating effect it had on the natives. The New England militia had realized that, if properly armed, equipped, united and led, the natives just might win the war. The Christian natives, derisively called "Praying Indians," represented an enormous reservoir of strength if Philip could rally them to his cause. Many of the converts owned firearms, some had money and supplies, most knew the whites and their battle tactics well, and many were sympathetic to at least some of Philip's causes. Some caucasian leaders thought that the converts were not to be trusted, and it was just a matter of time before they joined Philip. They were almost certain to spy on the whites and report weaknesses in deployment of troops and fortifications that Philip could exploit. One preacher summed up this opinion: "We have been nourishing vipers." While standing firm against this opinion initially, to the point of defending the Christian Indians, the magistrates saw their authority undermined, and their position eroded, as a few cases of treason and spying were uncovered. So the praying Indians were murdered, their property confiscated, and their buildings burned and cattle killed. More converts defected and joined Philip, precipitating more reprisals. By the time the dreadful war was over perhaps as many as 3000 supposedly friendly Indians had been murdered, scattered, dispossessed of land and property, or otherwise alienated and injured.
Had it not been for the more than three thousand allies, notably from among the Mohican and Natick tribes, the settlers might not have withstood the initial Amerindian assault. Had these native Americans joined Philip, he might well have exterminated the settlers. Yet most were rewarded by having their crops wasted, homes burned and possessions plundered. Many were relocated from their homes just before harvest time, leaving them to starve. At the suggestion of John Eliot, some were exiled to the barren (and by now misnamed) Deer Island in Boston Harbor. Relief supplies to these displaced persons was slow in coming and many perished of exposure and starvation. It was the general opinion of the period diarists that the praying Indians never returned to their former level of prosperity.(181) By 1677 the General Court had consolidated the praying Indians into just four villages and they were not permitted to leave their own villages without express permission from the Court. In 1681 the number of towns was reduced to three. Those who remained in Massachusetts had be instructed in Christianity. They were strongly encouraged to wear their hair short in the manner of the English and abandon their scalp lock style. They were forbidden to carry firearms, required to obtain travel permits, and prohibited from entertaining strangers in their homes. Rebellious and rogue Amerindians could be enslaved and sent to the West Indies or imprisoned.(182)
On 2 June 1685, the General Court of New Plymouth enacted its final militia law. The law required militia service of all able-bodied freemen and indentured servants and mandated attendance at periodic military training sessions. Exempted were physicians, magistrates, ministers, school masters, the colony's secretary, clerks of courts, sheriffs, constables, herdsmen, millers, masters of ships, seamen, and heads of households who had three or more sons enlisted in the militia. Physicians could write letters of exemption for those who were physically unable to serve, whether on a permanent or temporary basis.(183) The royal charter of 17 October 1691 formally incorporated Plymouth and Maine within Massachusetts, ending the necessity for a separate body of laws for these colonies.
In 1680, Massachusetts Governor Simon Bradstreet wrote to the London Company concerning the militia. The militia was not selective, but it enlisted all men except "Negroes and slaves whom wee arme not."(184) In 1693 the General Court again affirmed that all blacks and Amerindians were to be "exempted from all trainings."(185) An Act for regulating the militia was adopted on 22 November 1693.
Whereas, for the honor and service of their majesties, and for the security of this their province against any violence of invasion whatsoever, it is necessary that due care be taken that the inhabitants thereof be armed, trained and in a suitable posture and readiness for the ends aforesaid, and that every person may know his duty and be obliged to perform the same, Be it therefore enacted by His Excellency the Governor, Council and Representatives in General Court Assembled, and it is ordained and enacted by the authority of the same. . .
Sec. 1. That all male Persons from sixteen years of age to sixty . . . shall bear arms and duely attend all musters and military exercises of the respective troops and companies where they are enlisted or belong, allowing three month's time to every son next after coming to sixteen years of age, and every servant so long after his time is out, to provide themselves with arms and ammunition, &c.
Section 12. That the persons hereafter named be exempted from all trainings, viz., . . . indians and negroes.
Section 26. That all persons exempted by this law from trainings shall, notwithstanding, be provided with arms and ammunition compleat, upon the same penalty as those that are obliged to train.(186)
The main tactics employed by Amerindians were offensive: surprise and destruction by deception. They preferred to attack in superior numbers and retreated when the odds went against them. They liked to surround an enemy and strike at dawn. One authority believes that they did not develop either tactics or strategy and were wholly predictable in behavior because they lacked the social structure to develop and execute advanced or complicated maneuvers; and they had not developed the imagination necessary to conceive of new methods of warfare. One of the greatest reasons for their downfall across North America was their inability to cooperate with other tribes, especially those who had been traditional enemies. Even their direction by European officers, English or French, did not change their way of fighting. Caucasian officers who were successful with the Amerindians in war found they had to follow the Amerindian practices rather than try to change them. The greatest influence that European officers exercised was in getting the Amerindians to make occasional raids during winter, as in 1704 on Deerfield, Massachusetts.(187)
In 1672 the militia of Massachusetts numbered 15,000 men, although only 6000 of these men had the right to vote or to hold political office.(188) More men could vote on their militia officers than could vote on their political officers. The patience and organization paid off. Jasper Danckaerts who severely criticized the New York militia in 1680 found the militia in Boston to be most impressive.(189) In 1678 the colony restricted shooting and arms practice near public or privately owned buildings for the protection of the citizenry.(190) In 1692 the General Assembly repeated the orders concerning the arming of the militia, but restricted the bearing of arms when the carriage might cause alarm or violate the general peace.(191)
Local militia companies were financed by militia fines. The company clerks collected the fines. They purchased the various supplies, such as firewood, gunpowder, match, flints, lead and food with these funds. On occasion they purchased arms and supplies for poor freemen.(192) The General Court imposed various duties and imposts to shore up the militia treasury at various times.(193) It also kept some expenses low by engaging in price fixing and by setting legal charges for services.(194) Still, supplies were often insufficient for the needs of the militia. For example, on 23 January 1694 Charles Frost reported to the General Court that, "for the great want of Shoes and Stockings our soldiers here, several of them, are incapable of service for want thereof." Nathaniel Saltonstall agreed, reporting on the same date that his men were in great need of snowshoes for winter service and "ammunition, provisions and cloathing."(195)
During the winter of 1694-95 Lieutenant-governor Stoughton carried on involved correspondence with governor and council in Connecticut, trying to work out details of the defense of the region around Deerfield and along the Connecticut River. The principal issue discussed was how, when and under what conditions the militias of the two colonies could cooperate in the defense of an area of common concern.(196) In 1696 the General Court named one commissioner and authorized the governor to name a second commissioner to carry out negotiations with Connecticut and Rhode Island to defend the same frontier areas.(197)
In 1695-96 the home government requested that Massachusetts send troops to assist in the defense of New York. The legislature demurred and Governor Stoughton was delighted to hide behind it, writing that the requested aid could not be provided conveniently. For his part, Stoughton was delighted to have a scapegoat when pressured by the British authorities.(198)
In 1702, perhaps in anticipation of full war, Queen Anne sent instructions to Governor Dudley. "All planters and Christian servants," she ordered, must "be well and fitly provided with arms." The entire militia was to be put in a state of absolute readiness and even indentured servants were to be fully armed against the expected invasion of the French and their Amerindian allies. All militia were to be mustered, trained and placed under adequate discipline. Still, the queen warned, "you are to take special care that neither the frequency nor the unreasonableness of remote marches, musters and trainings be an unnecessary impediment to the affairs of the inhabitants." Martial law was to be proclaimed only in case of extreme emergency and with the consent of council.(199)
In 1704 the French and their Amerindian allies destroyed the town of DeerfieId, on the Connecticut River in Massachusetts. The little town already had a history of tragedies. It was nearly annihilated in 1676 during King Philip's War, and in 1694 a raiding party of French and Indians had barely been beaten off. As a result several of its 41 houses were fortified, and a sentry had been posted nightly since war resumed. On the last night of February 1704 a mixed party of 200 Canadians and 140 Abenakis and Christianized Indians of Caughnawaga attacked, under the command of Captain Hertel de Rouville, veteran of the last war. The village contained two hundred and seventy settlers as well as twenty militiamen from neighboring towns, all apparently asleep. The surprise was complete, but the slaughter not as heavy as might have been expected. Thirty-eight inhabitants were massacred and seventeen houses went up in flames, but at least half of the others found refuge in one or another of the fortified places. There was enough resistance for the Indians to lose eight warriors, and the Canadians three militiamen. One hundred and eleven prisoners were taken and sent north to French Canada at daybreak. The surviving villagers pursued the retreating raiders and inflicted thirty additional casualties on the enemy. For their part the Massachusetts militia lost nine men and failed to recover any captives. On the 300 mile journey to Montreal, sixteen of the prisoners were killed, with several being burned at the stake, and two reportedly starved to death. The most famous captives were the family of the Reverend John Williams. The baby was killed at the outset, and Mrs. Williams was killed on the march, along with their Negro slave. Three sons, two daughters, and Rev. Williams survived the long trek. Eventually almost all the Deerfield survivors were ransomed and exchanged with Massachusetts. The notable exceptions were a few children, including Eunice, daughter of Rev. Williams. Even Governor Vaudreull could not obtain her release from the Indians. She remained with the Caughnawaga converts, converted to Roman Catholicism, married one of the Indians, and had two children. Thirty-six years later she was reunited with her brothers and sister for a visit, but the gulf was so great that she returned to Caughnawaga to live out the remainder of her eighty-nine years. Rev. Williams published an account of the massacre and capture which has remained the primary source of first-hand information on this event.
The governor and legislature set up a system of town-fortresses all along the 250 mile border with Canada. Each town had its own militia. The linking and communication was provided by select militia which communicated on horseback, weather permitting, and on snowshoes during the winter. These strategic hamlets served as bases to launch attacks as well as defensive positions and havens for the population in times of trouble. This system, combined with strategic alliances with the League of the Iroquois and the general debility of the Amerindians allied to the French, served well to protect the colony. During Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) the monarch inquired of Governor Joseph Dudley, "how many [men] are fit to bear arms in the militia." It is unfortunate that his response cannot be located.(200)
During this same time period Massachusetts used ranging units of minutemen, forts and regular militia, but it still cost the province about £1000 for each Amerindian killed(201) In 1707 the legislature decided that blacks living in the province were getting a free protection while whites had to serve in the militia. The legislature passed an "act for the regulating of free negroes." It read in part, "Whereas in the several towns and precincts within this province there are several free negroes and mulattos, able of body, and fit for labour, who are not charged with trainings, watches, and other services required of her Majesty's subjects, whereof they have share in the benefit." Section three provided that "all free male negroes or mulattos, of the age of sixteen years and upwards, able of body, in case of alarm, shall make their appearance at the parade of the military company of the precinct wherein they dwell, and attend such service as the first commission officer of such company shall direct, during the time the company continues in arms, on pain of forfeiting the sum of twenty shillings to the use of the company, or performing eight days labor as afore
said, without reasonable excuse made and accepted for not attending."(202) It ordered that blacks be required to "do service equivalent to trainings." The legislature specifically mentioned substituting public service, such as highway maintenance for militia service. In times of crisis blacks were to report to the militia assembly to serve in whatever capacity they might be ordered. Failure to do public service was penalized by a fine of five shillings and failure to muster in times of emergency subjected a black man to public service of eight days.(203)
Massachusetts raised 550 militiamen to avenge the Deerfield Massacre. Command devolved on Colonel Benjamin Church, now 65 years of age and not in the best of health. Church decided not to pursue the Deerfield hostages, but to destroy the Abenakis by striking at the their towns and villages from Penobscot to Port Royal. Church's militia sailed out of Boston on May 21, 1704. Raiding along the way, they killed a few Indians and captured others, including the half-breed daughter of Baron de St. Castin, who had returned to France. The expedition burned Grand Pré on the Bay of Fundy and reached Port Royal, but at a council of war on July 14 Church and his fellow officers decided it was too strong to be taken with men, equipment and materials on hand. The force returned home with a hundred prisoners, mostly Abenakis, having lost only six men. Actually the militia had fought few, if any, real battles and achieved little except for the taking of prisoners and the burning and looting of the Amerindian towns. This was the fifth and last Indian expedition of Colonel Church.
Legislative leaders of Massachusetts were highly irritated at New York by this time. The colony had refused to participate in the expedition and the British authorities had done little to encourage New York to participate. The cost in men and money had been borne exclusively by New England, and that meant, primarily by Massachusetts. What was much worse, Albany merchants were carrying on a quiet, but effective and profitable, trade with St. Lawrence River Indians. Moreover, plunder taken on Amerindian raids in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts turned up for resale in Albany shops.
A lull now developed, and it was French Governor Vaudreuil who opened negotiations for an exchange of prisoners in May, 1705. He controlled 117 New Englanders and he claimed to know of 70 more among his Amerindian allies. Massachusetts sent up to Quebec 70 prisoners, mostly Amerindians, but received only 60 caucasians in return. Vaudreuil claimed that his Amerindians were independent allies. Although he claimed to have used his best arguments and powers of persuasion he had failed to convince them to yield their captives. In ill humor, legislators in Massachusetts now accused their own commissioner, Samuel Vetch, of prolonging the exchange business in order to carry on trade as a war profiteer among the enemy. Actually Vetch was carrying a secret letter to Vaudrenil from Governor Dudley proposing a truce of neutrality between the two provinces. Vaudreuil received it favorably but insisted on two conditions: that New York and the other northern English colonies be included, and that the English give up their fishing rights off Newfoundland. The first was difficult to comply with; and the second was impossible. Additionally, Vaudreuil continued to argue that he could not persuade his Amerindian allies to surrender their prisoners.
Governor Dudley had sought help from England to capture Port Royal in Acadia and obtained nothing. English authorities clung stubbornly to the belief that the colonists could and should prosecute the war on or near their own soil. Colonel Church's failure against Canada focused even greater attention on the issue. Although some Boston merchants were trading illegally with the French and their Amerindian allies, most supported strong prosecution of the war in Canada. Boston fishermen were frequently driven away from fishing grounds off Newfoundland by French privateers operating out of Port Royal. Finally in 1707 Dudley asked the General Court to authorize and underwrite yet an enterprise against Port Royal. Two regiments were called for, vessels were to be impressed, an English frigate in port was to be used's and neighboring colonies were to be invited to join. The expedition sailed on May 13. New Hampshire contributed 60 men, and Rhode Island 80. With the two Massachusetts regiments there was a grand total of 1,076 soldiers and about 450 sailors. Colonel John March was the commander, facing a military problem quite different from his frontier service. The volunteer militia were landed in two parties and without much trouble drove the advanced French forces back into the fort, commanded by Governor Daniel d'Auger de Subercase. The New England militia arranged itself in a long semicircle and camped.
Soon after the militia disintegrated into a wrangling, unmanageable mob. The officers did not know how to conduct a siege, and the soldiers, losing all confidence in them, reverted to behaving like the civilians that they actually were. After three councils of war about proceeding or giving up, the noble force decamped for Casco Bay. Colonel March sent an apologetic message to Governor Dudley, who, although deeply disappointed, demanded that March make another attempt at once. Accordingly Dudley dispatched to Maine a hundred recruits, another frigate, and three members of the provincial council to advise March. The expedition returned to Port Royal in August and found that the French also had been reinforced. For a week there was repeated skirmishing in the open, with several casualties, but no decision. Once more the New Englanders withdrew. Boston was loud in its condemnation and demanded court-martial proceedings, but with officers accusing one another there were hardly enough left to serve as judges. The discreditable wrangling eventually dissipated itself.
Border raids resumed in 1708. In midsummer Governor Vaudreuil put together a force of one hundred Canadians and three hundred Christian Indians under Hertel de Rouville, of Deerfield fame. They were to be joined en route by eastern Indians and sweep the frontier once more. But the reinforcements did not appear, and many of the mission Indians turned back after experiencing what they considered to be evil omens. With his force reduced almost by half, De Rouville decided to strike at Haverhill, Massachusetts, on the north side of the Merrimac River. The village contained about thirty houses, perhaps one hundred and fifty people, and thirty militia in a picket fort. Just before dawn on August 29 the French and Indians struck. They met a spirited resistance as most of the inhabitants fired from their houses. The raiders tried to burn them out but were not successful. Stubborn fighting persisted for several hours. Relief troops came and tried to ambush the enemy, but killed only nine and wounded eighteen. After the attackers withdrew, the village counted up sixteen dead and three taken prisoner.
Late in 1706 Samuel Vetch had embarked for England. A 38 year-old Scot, he was married to Robert Livingston's daughter. Vetch was a newcomer to Massachusetts commerce, but he had seen enough of the war to become convinced that nothing effectively against Canada could be accomplished without military aid and leadership from home. The idea was prevalent in New York, of course, but Vetch had the energy and persuasiveness to present the glorious enterprise to influential government officials. There was something in it for himself as well. However, it took him two years to extract a favorable decision. He promised that 2500 colonial troops would co-operate, although his authority for making such a statement is surely suspect. Vetch thought it best if two battalions of regulars and six warships were dispatched from England with a regular military commander-in-chief to lead the attack on Quebec. Governor Dudley supported the idea, and so did Lord Lovelace, who was being sent to New York as governor to replace the corrupt Cornbury. The Board of Trade was slowly convinced by the end of 1708, and its recommendation was adopted by the ministry and the queen in February 1709. For his effort Vetch was given a colonel's commission to direct colonial preparations and was promised the governorship of Canada after it was taken. With Colonel Francis Nicholson, recently governor of Virginia, Vetch sailed for Boston.
Fifteen hundred men from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, including the regular Independent Companies, were to rendezvous at Albany in May for an advance on Montreal. The Iroquois were to be brought into the campaign if at all possible. New England was to raise a thousand men to join with the English forces for an attack by sea on Quebec and Port Royal. Vetch was effective in arousing enthusiasm in all the northern colonies except Quaker Pennsylvania. Despite the sudden death of Governor Lovelace, New York moved with alacrity under Lieutenant Governor Ingoldsby and chose to participate actively in this campaign. John Schuyler was sent off to the Iroquois with gifts. Colonel Nicholson was accepted to command the forces gathering at Albany. Never had the northern colonies co-operated so harmoniously and energetically, for they were all convinced that driving the French out of North America was the only means of achieving permanent peace. Although Pennsylvania had refused to furnish men, volunteers from the other colonies more than offset the defection. Everything was in readiness and anticipation high, but the British fleet and troops did not appear. In October Vetch learned that officials in London had quietly abandoned his scheme. Vetch cursed the day and returned an embittered man who had failed largely because he had not engaged in court politics and aristocratic intrigues. When the action at Port Royal did occur, the effort was chiefly the work of royal marines, and it was Port Royal, not Quebec, that would be the target. When Front Royal surrendered on 2 October 1710, American militia and volunteers had played at best a minuscule part. Vetch contented himself with a royal governorship at Port Royal, now renamed Annapolis Royal and his garrison troops were British regulars, not militia.
In 1715 a militia unit under Captain John Lovewell engaged a body of Amerindians in the Massachusetts territory of Maine. The Amerindians on Lovewell's militia, which broke ranks and pursued the attacker. He led them into an ambush in which the Amerindians killed many militiamen both from musket fire and in the hand to hand combat that followed. Lovewell's Fight, as the action was known, changed militia tactics somewhat, showing the great value of sustaining discipline.(204) In 1733 the legislature passed a act regarding the ownership of a militia gun.
Act for Regulating the Militia. Every Soldier and other Householder shall always be supplied with a well fixed Firelock Musket of Musket or a Bastard Musket Bore, the Barrel not less than 3 foot and a half long, or other good Fire Arms to the satisfaction of the Commission Officers of the Company, a Cartouch Box, one pound of good Powder, 20 Bullets fit for his Gun and 12 Flynts, a good Sword or Cutlass, a Worm and Priming Wire, fit for his Gun, on Penalty of 6 Shillings.(205)
In 1723, following the departure of Governor Shute, the legislature and the new governor, Dummer, clashed with the legislature over control of the militia. Dummer accused the assembly of trying "draw off the forces" so the legislature assured Dummer that it merely meant to "draw off the pay and sustenance" of the military. Seeing that the power of the purse, as the house viewed it, meant, in reality, that the assembly would control the militia, Dummer answered that, while the legislature did have the power to appropriate money for all purposes, military included, he would not countenance any interference with his duties under the colonial charter to control the militia.(206)
The legislature was not through. It began to demand the submission of the journals and other records of field commanders that it authorized committee members to examine in detail and report to the whole body. The legislature had mandated that such journals be kept as early as Shute's administration, but it was not until it clashed with Dummer that it began its examination. Heretofore, the only reports required of militia commanders had been those routinely submitted in all colonies to the governor in his capacity as supreme military commander.
The situation was impossible, of course. By involving the legislature so heavily in day to day operations, the legislature tended to undermine military discipline. If an officer was dissatisfied with his orders or assignment it appeared he could go over the governor's head and appeal to the assembly. Legislative tampering might suggest that advancement might come more rapidly by catering to the legislature than to the governor. If the officers and men had carried out a mission under gubernatorial orders, would the legislature withhold their pay or punish them? It had occasionally blocked pay and expense vouchers when it suspected financial irregularities, but it was nearly impossible to do so for policy reasons. Neither could the legislature withhold militia supplies and materials of war and thus weaken the colony in order to enforce its will on the governor and his militia. Even some responsible legislative leaders saw that by allowing politics to enter into military decisions and the deployment and discipline of the militia, the legislature had also invited insubordination. What it could, and did, do was to use its power of the purse to control the building, maintenance and garrisoning of forts, fortresses and fortified positions. It could also withhold appropriations and authorization for expeditions into other colonies.(207)
In early 1724 the legislature decided that it would issue pay and vouchers to militia units only after it had examined its journals and checked its muster rolls. It had come to the realization that it could not challenge the governor on policy matters, but it was determined to exercise as fully as possible what powers it did have. The reports that Shute and then Dummer sent regarding the legislature's interference with the military for a time put the colony's charter. Indeed, it was at this time that the English government issued the Explanatory Charter, settling several problems in favor of the privy council. The home government thought Massachusetts had a surfeit of democracy and that its congress was attempting to usurp traditional and legal executive powers. It restrained itself from demanding a reduction in real legislative power, being quite satisfied that the legislature would return to its traditional and legal powers.
By 1739 the freeholders of Boston had become concerned with their defense, holding that a defenseless town invited war.(208) The press in Pennsylvania, a colony that had no militia act of its own, reported with some considerable envy that Massachusetts had newly enacted its fundamental militia law. The new law required that
Every inlisted soldier and other householder (except troopers) shall be always provided with a well-fixed flintlock musket, of musket or bastard musket bore; the barrell not less than three foot and a half long, or other good firearm, to the satisfaction of the Commissioned Officers of the Company; a knapsack; a cartouch box; one pound of good powder; 20 bullets fit for his gun; and 12 flints; a good sword or cutlass; a worm and priming wire fit for a gun. A penalty of six shilling for want of such arms as hereby required, and two shillings for each other defect , and the like sum for every four weeks he shall remain unprovided; the fine to be paid by parents for their sons under their command; for their servants, other than servants upon wages.(209)
When England declared war (War of Jenkins' Ear) on Spain on 19 October 1739, the American colonies were assigned quotas of volunteer militia to be recruited. The Massachusetts legislature offered a bounty for enlistments, but still had trouble filling even half Governor Belcher's quota. To increase popular participation, colonial militia volunteers were to be allowed to continue to elect their inferior officers. Officers and men would have rank and pay, and were to be armed and clothed, in measure equal to their professional British military counterparts. They were to "have their just share and proportion of all plunder or booty gained from the enemy, according to their services."(210) After the war they were to be permitted to retain their arms and uniforms for military duty.(211) Some 500 volunteers from Massachusetts, along with volunteers from Rhode Islander, filled five ships when they left Boston harbor. After the British bloody defeat during the attack on Cartagena, West Indies, survivors barely filled one ship upon return. The colonists lost 153 officers and 30 transport commanders and untold numbers of enlisted men both to enemy fire and fever.(212) Approximately ten percent of the volunteers had survived.
On 25 October 1743 France signed a treaty known as the Second Family Compact with Spain and on 15 March 1744 joined Spain's war against England. The French made an unsuccessful assault on Annapolis Royal [Port Royal], Nova Scotia, in 1744. With a real threat to its security the legislature of Massachusetts took several steps to provide for the colony's defense. It increased military appropriations and increased militia training. And it appointed a new commander.
Sir William Pepperrell (1696-1759) was a prosperous merchant who spent much of his time in Boston and had served in the Massachusetts legislature and on the governor's council. Already a colonel in the Massachusetts militia, he recruited and commanded the New England volunteer militia which, in cooperation with the British Royal Navy, on 17 June 1745, captured Louisbourg, now in Nova Scotia. In 1746 Pepperrell was made a baronet, a title never bestowed heretofore to an American-born British subject. Because of this success, between 1754 and 1759, the British confirmed his command of all military forces of Massachusetts.(213)
In June 1745 Sir Peter Warren's fleet, along with Pepperrell's land forces, captured Fort Louisbourg and Sir William Johnson led his Iroquois warriors into Canada. The French retaliated by burning Saratoga in late November 1745. Massachusetts militia participated, primarily as volunteers, in the successful siege of Louisbourg, a French stronghold in Canada. the Board of Trade congratulated Governor William Shirley (1694-1771)(214) for his part in recruiting volunteers, equipping the troops and organizing the expedition.(215)
Immediately, the Massachusetts legislature began lobbying for the return of its provincial militia. While the militia was fighting at Louisbourg raids on the frontier had increased and the legislature wished to deploy the militiamen in defense of their own homes.(216) After the French incited Indian raids into Maine, all the New England colonies declared war on the Amerindian tribes allied with the French.(217) In late August 1745 the French allied tribes broke their treaty of neutrality with the Six Nations.(218) Shirley supported the legislature's demand for the return of the militia, informing the English that the militia volunteers were "to be discharged as soon as the expedition be over."(219) The militia was successful in repelling both French and Amerindian invasions thereafter, although calls for assistance continued to pour into Shirley's office until the end of the war. Some frontier towns demanded troops to garrison various forts and towns. Shirley agreed that hereafter no soldier would be sent out of the province for a period greater than one year, and additional militia would be enlisted, trained and equipped to replace any volunteer or impressed militiamen serving elsewhere.(220)
In April 1746 three British regiments relieved the volunteer colonial militiamen at Louisbourg. The British home war office conceived of another assault on Canada, with two armies leaving the colonies to attack the French. One army would move up the St. Lawrence River toward Quebec while the second would attack Montreal by way of Lake Champlain. Advertisements appeared in newspaper throughout the colonies, asking for enlistments of three, five, and seven years. Massachusetts offered volunteers £30 and a blanket and exemption from all impressment for two years following their return.(221) For its part, the home government offered bounties in the form of land around Louisbourg to survivors of the expedition.(222)
The legislature argued that the militiamen would do better staying at home to defend against Amerindian raids. Governor Shirley disagreed. He argued that the tribes allied to the French had long been the greatest threat to the New England provinces and that the best way to end that threat was to carry the war into their villages. By striking at the heart of the problem the Amerindian threat would be destroyed for all times. This was properly an American cause and should be carried out by militia volunteers.(223) The British demanded that 4300 men be recruited from the colonies, but they themselves were unable to release any troops from home because all available men were fighting on the Continent. The war ended with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle signed on 18 October 1748.
The Louisbourg matter was not quite finished. A pamphlet appeared which was extensively reviewed, extracted and debated in the New England newspapers. The anonymous author contended that there was no clear authorization from Britain to undertake the mission; that the authorities knew that the war was going to end and that Louisbourg would be returned to the French; and that the New England colonies had incurred enormous expenses which the mother country would not refund. Quite serious was the charge that the militia had been illegally and illicitly removed from the province, leaving its borders open for attack and leaving the inhabitants at the mercy of the marauders. The first obligation of the militia was the protection of the home folks, and not to act as a reservoir of trained manpower for military operations beyond the colonies' borders. Weakening of the colony's defenses to provide troops for service in any foreign land was unconscionable. Moreover, the impressment or recruitment of militiamen for dreary and unproductive foreign service had a deleterious effect on morale in the militia.(224) The same certainly could have been said of the recruitment of troops for the ill-fated West Indian campaign.
In 1754 the Massachusetts General Court decided to create two laws dealing with offenses committed within the military, to be administered by courts-martial, and extended for an indefinite period of time. The Press Act dealt with the pilferage of arms, supplies and equipment. The Mutiny Acts applied to crimes which were uniquely military, such as mutiny, sedition and desertion, and conspiracy to commit these forbidden acts.(225) Although many had been passed previously, no mutiny act had ever been applied in time of peace, and all of them heretofore, carried a one year limitation [unless the enlistment ended earlier], and expired after 365 days unless re-enacted. Mutiny acts specifically refused to exempt men from the provisions of civilian due process. Courts-martial might recommend a death sentence, but it could not be imposed without the concurrence of the provincial governor acting in his capacity as commander in chief of the colony's military. Puritanical New England lawmakers concluded from their study of the Holy Bible that the good book limited corporal punishment to 39 lashes. The law implied, if not specifically allowed, that militia units apply certain punishments including the lash within the noted limits. They also might impose the running of a gauntlet and riding the wooden horse and perhaps a few other relatively minor physical punishments. Greater penalties were reserved to the civilian courts and political authorities.(226)
Desertion had occasionally been a problem before imposition of the Mutiny Act, but these were usually handled by the officers. Colonel Richard Sykes related an incident that had happened in the earliest days of the Seven Years War. It concerned "a person that was willing to enlist under me and accordingly I enlisted him and paid him his Bounty, but he took the first opportunity to desert and I missed him instantly and advertised him and [offered a reward] of 20 shillings sterling for taking him before a magistrate."(227)
In the autumn of 1754 Governor Shirley wrote to the Earl of Halifax to report that he had experiences great difficulties during the previous summer raising 800 men to deal with the French who he was "certain had made a considerable progress in building forts" within Massachusetts. He also reported that the French had begun to establish permanent settlements within the province and that he was hard-pressed to recruit men to build and man the forts designed to protect the colony from further encroachments by the French.(228) In November 1754 the Board of Trade appointed Shirley to command two new American regiments and gave him the order to recruit, and draft if necessary, 1000 Americans to serve. Moreover, the Board of Trade ordered that militia regiments be raised in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and Pennsylvania and placed under the command of Sir Peter Halket and Colonel Dunbar.(229) At the same time Shirley was forced to deal with a problem that also plagued Pennsylvania authorities: enlistment of indentured apprentices and servants. The province had recently had good luck with its efforts to recruit men, but
the great Dispute on this recruiting Service has been enlisted Servants. The [debate] has been carried on to a great Height in Pennsylvania and Maryland. I have always declared it was my opinion that His Majesty has an undoubted right to the voluntary services of His Subjects.
In 1757 the British hoped to raise in the Colonies a substantial American force to join the British regulars in the war on the French in Canada. Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire were jointly assigned quotas of 30,000 men of the 12,000 men respectively. Massachusetts had been assigned by far the largest single quota of any of the British colonies in North America. This was not a good time for the colony to be asked to carry such a large burden. Lieutenant-governor Spencer Phips had found it necessary to ask the Assembly to pay the volunteers who had returned from Albany, New York, in the summer of 1757, following the abandonment of that campaign by the British army. The Earl of Loudoun could not pay the Massachusetts militia and volunteers because he had barely enough money to pay his won regular army troops. The legislature refused to increase taxation, especially to pay for a lost campaign, so the province was forced to issue paper money to pay the troops.
The Massachusetts provincial mutiny law was suspended in 1757 when Lord Loudoun placed the militia and provincial volunteers under the British Mutiny Act. This law carried far more severe penalties that the provincial law had ever imagined. Under the British act the possibility of appeal of a sentence to civilian authorities was impossible. This law had already created a draconian system, based upon inhuman and brutal discipline. Sentences imposed under it included the brutal whipping, and even execution, of some of the enlisted men. The provincial law had limited physical punishment to thirty-nine lashes, the traditional biblical number given to Jesus Christ before the crucifixion. Under the British law as many as a thousand lashes might be imposed. To many provincials, this really meant that the law sanctioned execution by whipping. Even army surgeons were more likely to revive a man who had become senseless than they were to intervene to restrict the imposition of sentences.
The British military system had long been based upon the creation and maintenance of an absolute dichotomy between men and officers. The implementation of this distinction began with an absolute refusal of officers to learn even the first names of their men. The officers were taught to regard the enlisted men as low-life types, devoid of a real human nature, morality and sentiment. Most officers believed that enlisted men were capable of reacting to, and were necessarily restrained only by, the harshest possible physical punishment. This practice stood in stark contrast to the New England tradition in which enlisted men and officers alike shared religious services, food and drink, and a faith in democratic practices.
It is certainly possible that the imposition of martial law on Americans were among the true causes of the climate of opinion that led to the Revolution and the Declaration of Independence.
During the French and Indian War, Massachusetts had enlisted many slaves. At least on militia company showed blacks on its rolls.(230) In 1763 Reverend Jeremy Belknap, an early opponent of slavery, noted that the number of slaves in Massachusetts had undergone a precipitous decline because so many had enlisted in the militia, or served as volunteers, and had won their freedom by serving in the recent war. Still others had won their freedom, or merely escaped, by enlisting in the army or navy.(231)
We may think of the militias of the southern colonies exclusively when we think of the containment of slaves, but northern militias also had a certain responsibility in that area as well. Josiah Quincy, Jr., described the slave patrols of Massachusetts, on which he served. Local committees, as in South Carolina, were wholly responsible for enforcement of slave laws. The committees consisted of three justices of the peace who were empowered to enlist militiamen as a posse comitatus, arrest slaves for virtually any reason and tray and punish a slave at the place of arrest. A convicted slave had no recourse to appeal or any other trial.(232)
The British army, always hungry for manpower, used the New England volunteer militia in the French and Indian War as a reservoir of trained manpower upon which to draw for recruits. British recruiting officers often neglected to explain that enlistment was for life. Garrison troops were much more likely to be kept beyond their terms of enlistment and pressured into agreeing to serving in the regular army than those troops assigned to combat duty. The walls of a fortress kept the enemy out, but made the commander a dictator within, holding for him all those who entered its ramparts.(233)
The governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Pownall, wrote to William Pitt in England, arguing against the deceitful and damaging practice of recruiting his citizens into the regular army. He used language that he knew would appeal to an English gentlemen, arguing that recruitment had been among the sons of the best people of New England, when, in fact, he knew that to his own people these class distinctions meant little or nothing. Pownall knew that the people of Massachusetts were far too democratic in spirit to care whether those impressed or enlisted under false pretenses or with less than full disclosure were themselves, or were the sons of, farmers, tradesmen, merchants or gentlemen.
I beg leave, sir, to inform you that most of these soldiers in the ranks are freeholders, who pay taxes; that these are the sons of some of our representatives, the sons of some of our militia colonels, and the sons of many of our field officers, and other officers now doing duty as privates in the number I have this year raised. And that the sons of some of our principal merchants, who pays £500 sterling per annum taxes, were impressed for the same.(234)
The real point Pownall was making was that his people believed that military service was to be undertaken only when there was a threat and the freemen could not long remain free if they allowed themselves to be enlisted into a system where even the most rudimentary freedoms were lost. After a war Americans believed that the military should be disbanded, or at least reduced substantially, and volunteers and militia should return to their homes and to normalcy. By reducing the military presence and dismissing most of the men, England would be guaranteed an effective fighting force should it be needed again. By continuing to bind a free people to an archaic, draconian and authoritarian military system, England risked alienating those on whom it had depended in the past, on whom it must depend in the future for defense in North America.(235)
The American, and especially the New England, colonists had endured many infringements of their liberty by 1775. As early as the 1760s the anonymous authors of the Journal of the Times, presumed to have been written in Boston, boasted that there were "30,000 men between Boston and New York ready to take up arms" in order to "throw off the dependance" upon Great Britain unless the mother country improved relations.(236) They disliked many of the English remedial remedies taken to insure continued hegemony over the colonies. The English had interrupted shipping and required that the colonies trade only with the Mother Nation or her other colonies. The Quebec Act, extending full religious toleration to the French-Canadians who were Roman Catholics, did not set well with the prejudiced colonial Protestants. They did not like the Quartering Act which allowed for the billeting of the King's soldiers in any home or ship. The Port Act had thrown hundreds of seamen and longshoremen out of employment. General Gage's troops cut off the city's provisions by sea, but they arrived by land in a wide variety of carts, wagons, and other conveyances.
Of the many acts Americans considered intolerable none was more odious than the Quartering Act. American intellectuals recalled Machiavelli's warning that standing armies in times of peace are most likely to get into mischief and to brawl with the civilian population. A New England minister in 1768 had noted that "wherever troops are quartered, the civil authority should have a strict eye over them."(237) The Boston Evening Post and other newspapers of the 1760s and 1770s frequently reported that soldiers quartered had committed various atrocities against the population.(238) One great objection to quartering of troops in peacetime was that it violated the English Bill of Rights and was thus viewed as an "intolerable grievance" to freemen.(239)
One great objection to the quartering of troops in the body of a town is the danger the inhabitants will be in of having their morals debauched. The ear being accustomed to oaths and imprecations, will be the less shocked at the profanity and the frequent spectacles of drunkenness, exhibited in our streets, greatly countenances this shameful and ruinous vice. The officers of the army are not backward in resenting the smallest disrespect offered themselves by a soldier, and such offenses are severely punished, but it seems the name of God may be dishonored with horrid oaths and blasphemies. . . .(240)
Adding to the increasingly hostile atmosphere was the position and attitude of Governor Thomas Hutchinson (1711-1780). He seemed bent on promoting confrontation by advocating and enforcing policies that seemed to have been designed expressly to alienate the people of Massachusetts Bay. A fifth-generation descendant of Anne Hutchinson, Thomas was the son of a wealthy merchant who entered politics in 1737. He represented Massachusetts at the Albany Conference, having served as a delegate in the General Court and as judge. By 1756 he was considered the most able man in Governor William Shirley's administration. In 1758 he became lieutenant-governor and in 1760 chief justice of the superior court. He was a staunch conservative who opposed the growing sentiments for independence, such as opposition to the Writs of Assistance and the Stamp Act Congress. When Governor Bernard returned to England in 1769, Hutchinson became acting governor, and, in 1771, governor. He defended the absolute sovereignty of the British parliament over the colonies. The fact that his family had long lived in the colony caused many to think him traitor to his own. Benjamin Franklin caused some thirteen politically incriminating letters to made public. Despite this embarrassment, and the formal request of the General Court that he resign and leave the colony, he remained in power through the Boston Tea Party. The latter event was precipitated in some large measure because Hutchinson had insisted on collecting the hated tax on the East India Tea Company's popular product. Finally, Thomas Gage assumed office on 1 June 1774 and Hutchinson left for England, never to return to America. By this time, the stage for open rebellion and insurrection was well set. Hutchinson's conservatism was well expressed after he settled in England in a rejoinder he wrote in response to the Declaration of Independence.(241)
Meanwhile, the French were enjoying the English discomfort. Their observers and political analysis knew that the Americans were well prepared and well armed and were spoiling for a confrontation. They seemed to have been amused at the naivety of the English who were ignoring the obvious signs warning that trouble lay ahead. As early as 1774 the French newspapers observed that the militias of New England were prepared to repel force with force. The French press reported that Massachusetts Bay could muster 119,600 militiamen "all of good will and prepared to act if they must."(242)
For its part the English press had little but disdain for their provincial cousins. The London Publick Advertiser of January 1775 had belittled the military prowess of the colonials. No American force could begin to think realistically of challenging the British force, the finest standing army in the world. Each disciplined British soldier was worth several of the backwoods militiamen. There was no true standing army, but if one should be formed each trained English soldier would be worth at least two of their opponents. The Advertiser's reporter declared, "The Americans, though in general of our stock, appear to me to have for the most part degenerated from the native valor as well as [the] robust make of the men in this country."
By the spring of 1775 the city was like a tinder pile, ready to be set ablaze by a single incident. Governor Gage had inherited a time-bomb from Governor Hutchinson and seemed to have no idea how to defuse it. The citizens had been fired up by earlier confrontations such as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. The Sons of Liberty, the Committee of Correspondence and other patriotic propagandists were agitating among the population. The city had split its loyalties between the growing cause for independence and the united empire loyalists. Clashes between the growing the two native groups occurred daily. Patriots had good intelligence. Men like John Hancock, Francis Shaw and Paul Revere entertained the cream of the young and ambitious British officer corps, quietly, but efficiently, milking information on the number, arms, spirit and disposition of British troops.
In addition to serving as Governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Gage (c.1719-1787) was supreme commander of the King's forces in America. He had arrived initially in America to serve on Braddock's ill-fated expedition and afterwards fought successfully against the French. In 1760 he had been appointed governor at Montreal, and in 1763 became supreme commander at New York. His immediate charge in 1774 was to quiet agitation against various parts of the Intolerable Acts. He had been provided with 4000 troops in Boston to keep the peace. He pondered his alternatives. Could he respond by using purely political means as governor or need he use the military force at his disposal as commander? Should he remain in Boston holding city, or should he move his troops into the countryside, pacifying the entire state? The decisions were difficult, but little might Gage have imagined how important these decisions would become.(243)
Meanwhile, the Massachusetts colonial militia, long fallen into disuse and disorganization, was revitalized, equipped and drilled. The colonial militia marched and the English marines and regular army troops counter-marched. Each observed the other. While many senior British officers dismissed the rustic citizen-soldiers as suitable only to deal with the native aborigine, other officers saw a purpose in the militia training. If nothing else the gatherings patriotism. These factors proved to be far more important to the future of the nation than the actual military training and practice the meetings generated.
The British officials had good intelligence.(244) There were more than enough Tory spies and other Loyalists to keep Gage and his staff informed of the events transpiring in the country. The British could observe the development of things in Boston first hand. When the British did nothing to prevent the citizen-soldiers from organizing these trained bands became ever more bold. Their governing body, the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, met in Cambridge without British consent or legal authority. The Congress empowered the Committee of Safety, headed by John Hancock, to call out the entire state militia if the events of the day required. Hancock divided the militia into the regular citizen-soldiers and the select group, the Minutemen, who were to respond to any emergency at a moment's notice. Both militia groups were clearly extra-legal. There was no threat from foreign enemy or Amerindians. The reconstituted militia was wholly designed to counter English power.(245)
None of this had been lost on Gage or on most of his officers. He opted to use some military measures against the colonists. Gage knew what military measures were being taken in both the city and the surrounding countryside. Some of the militia appropriated some of the colony's artillery. The Congress voted to equip a militia of no less than 15,000 men. A powder magazine and armory were set up in Concord.(246) The Congress appointed five generals -- Artemas Ward, Seth Pomeroy, John Thomas, William Heath and Jedediah Preble -- to head the trained bands. Gage decided that things had gone too far. The rebels must be disarmed. There was no end to their potential for military power.
The English colonial authorities considered taking away the colonials' arms, but rejected this idea because it was impossible to do. On 15 December 1774 Gage wrote to the Earl of Dartmouth, "Your Lordship's idea of disarming certain Provincials would doubtless be consistent with Providence and Safety; but it neither is, or has been, practicable without
having recourse to force and being Master of the Colony."(247) In London, William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, on 20 February 1775, had moved that the House of Lords address the king, asking that the problems be resolved and a way found to establish the peace. Pitt asked that the "fatal acts of the last session be repealed." On 1 February 1775 he had moved a provisional act for settling the disputes in America, but the bill was rejected.(248) Conflict seemed to be inevitable.
In February 1775 Colonel Thomas Leslie led has 64th North Staffordshire regiment to seize the militia supplies. Leslie had no thought of provoking war. When the militia of the greater Salem are mustered and confronted the British troops, Leslie withdrew. The supplies remained in colonial hands. The Minutemen had achieved their purpose. All knew that this was the first, unfinished chapter. A more active commander or more aggressive troops or an accident might make the next encounter more memorable.
The Committee of Safety in February 1775 ordered the commanders of the town militias to assemble one-quarter of their men and to occupy and hold a long list of vital points of communication and security. On 28 June this list was expanded and the Committee created 23 militia companies of 50 men each to guard the seacoast and to watch for English naval activities. By January 1776 the militia was ordered to form eight additional companies to guard coastal locations not covered by the first order.(249)
The militia supplies at Salem were moved to what the Committee of Safety thought were more secure quarters at Concord. The Congress resolved that any time the British high command moved 500 or more of its troops out of Boston this act would be considered to be hostile to the colony. The Congress authorized the Committee of Safety to act in defense of the colony and its citizens. Force against a large troop deployment was automatically defined as a defensive act. There was no authorization of offensive action.
On 15 April 1775 General Gage acted. He issued orders to his elite troops, men especially selected out of all regular army units under Gage's command. They were to train for a search and destroy mission. The command extended to over 700 select men. The Committee of Safety and Massachusetts Congress watched and waited. The British reported that on the eighteenth of April the following companies were committed to action: "the grenadiers of his army and the light infantry, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith of the Tenth Regiment, and Major Pitcairn, of the Marines . . . and the next morning eight companies of the Fourth and the same number of the Twenty-third and Forty-ninth, and some marines, marched under the command of Lord Percy to support the other detachment."(250)
On the night of 18 April 1775 Paul Revere and William Dawson received word. They must cross Boston harbor, past H. M. S. Somerset, and prepared to spread the alarm. Revere, a Boston silversmith, had been responsible for the popular copperplate depicting the colonists' view of the Boston Massacre of 5 March 1770. He was a trusted courier for the Committee of Safety and had arranged to set in motion a warning system should the British authorities decide to move against the revolutionary leaders. Dr. Joseph Warren, chair of the Massachusetts Committee of Safety, ordered Revere to issue the warning, saying that the British troops were preparing to march from Boston. Using a small rowboat he had secreted, Revere avoided detection by British naval patrols. He borrowed a horse in Charlestown and set out for Concord. Initially blocked by British patrols along the Cambridge Road, Revere rode through Medford, arriving at about midnight at Lexington. At the home owned by Reverend Jonas Clarke, Revere awakened John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Warren had also sent William Dawes to Roxbury. Joined by Dr Samuel Prescott of Concord, Revere and Dawes set out to spread the alarm along the whole line of communities in which Minutemen were awaiting news of British movements, especially those guarding the militia supplies at Concord. Intercepted by a British patrol, Revere was captured, Dawes fled back toward Lexington, but Prescott escaped to carry the message to Lincoln and Concord. Revere convinced his captors that the entire countryside was already alarmed and gathering under arms and they would be at great risk in holding him. The British officer in charge released Revere who then returned to Lexington and there rescued vital papers that Hancock had left behind. There he saw the first shots fired.
Samuel Adams and John Hancock authorized the sounding of the general alarm. For the next sixteen hours the militia responded. Lexington awakened, the word spread toward Concord. Through the night as the British column moved forward, news of their march was eliciting a colonial response. The quick trip across the Charles River in boats was the easy part for the British troops. They disembarked into knee deep cold water. Then they assembled at arms for two hours. They marched waist deep through the biting cold of a backwater. As they marched northward they became aware that surprise was not their ally. Church bells and other sounds of the night served notice that their mission was uncovered. In command was Colonel Francis Smith of the Tenth Lincolnshires. Second in command was Marine Major John Pitcairn. If not the senior commander at least his second inspired confidence.
Daylight began to break as the column neared Lexington. By now the horse hoof beats translated into silhouettes of horse and rider. The sound of the ringing bells translated into armed men gathering informally into armed units. "The country had been much alarmed," Gage reported, "By the firing of guns and ringing of bells." He then dispatched two companies to secure two important bridges.(251) The semi-lit fields seemed to be filled with human beings headed toward their rendez-vous with destiny. Pitcairn dispatched a messenger to Gage in Boston. He told of the premature discovery of his mission and asked for additional troops.
As the column entered Lexington they saw before them two companies of
Minutemen. Battle order was formed on the close end of the town green. There
was no surprise, only discomfort at the approaching moment of decision. Captain
John Parker of Lexington sized up the situation correctly. The first confrontation
would not be recorded in Lexington. Gage later reported that his army "found a
body of the country people drawn up under arms on a green close to the road; and
upon the king's troops marching up to them, in order the enquire the reason of their
being so assembled, they went off in great confusion." Pitcairn wanted no battle
for his part either. But his orders were clear. All militia under arms were to be
detained and disarmed and/or taken into custody. Pitcairn turned his column to cut
off the retreat of the militia. A shot rang out. No one save the person who pulled
the trigger will ever know who bears the responsibility for the start of the war.
Gage reported it was probably the Americans who fired first. "Several guns were
fired upon the kings' troops from behind a stone wall and also from the meeting
house, and other houses, by which one man was wounded, and major Pitcairn's
horse shot in two places."(252)
After the first anonymous shot the British line fired in volleys. The troops broke rank and charged the militiamen. Pitcairn struggled to restore order and stop the firing. Eight Americans lay dead on the Lexington green. There were no remarkable British casualties. The column reformed and marched on toward Concord and the military supplies stored there. Reuben Brown, saddler of Concord, had ridden to Lexington for news. He returned to report to the colonials that the British had fired on the militia at Lexington. The militia readied itself for the British troops. The militia at Concord had received reinforcements. The Lincoln militia had arrived and advance notice was received that yet other militia units were due to arrive momentarily. The militia marched out to meet the British troops and escorted them into the village. The citizen-soldiers occupied the high ground beyond their muster field. The British began to ransack the town. The militia from Acton, Carlisle and Chelmsford arrived, swelling the colonial ranks. Captain Isaac Davis, the gunsmith, spotted smoke arising for the town and concluded that the British were burning the town. He led his Acton militia in the charge and the battle was engaged.
This time there was no doubt who fired first. The British loosed volley after volley. Davis had made his last gun, for he was probably the first to fall to the British troops at Concord. The streets turned into slaughter pens. The militia ignored military formation so familiar to the disciplined English troops. They fanned out and fired not in volleys but on individual initiative at selected targets. Their aimed precision drove the best of Gage's command back. The lines broke and the English fled in disarray. Back to Lexington they raced.
The account of the action was published in a local newspaper and was widely reprinted for weeks after in nearly all the newspaper in other areas of the nation. This American account claimed the British commander cried,
"Disperse you Rebels -- Damn you! Throw down your Arms and dispense." Upon which the Troops huss'd, and immediately one or two Officers discharged their Pistols, which were instantaneously followed by the Firing of four or five of the Soldiers,then there seemed to be a general discharge from the whole Body.(253)
There are a number of extant depositions taken from Americans who witnessed the massacre. They differ slightly in the report of the exact words spoken by the British commander, and whether it was the commander or his lieutenant who gave the order to fire. For example, Elijah Sanderson claimed that he was present on Lexington common and he "heard one of the regulars say, 'damn them, we will have them' and immediately the regulars shouted aloud, ran and fired upon the Lexington company." Simon Winthrop "observed an officer at the head of the said troops, flourishing his sword, and with a loud voice, giving the word, 'fire -- fire' which was instantly followed by a discharge of arms." John parker, commander of the Lexington militia, claimed that "I immediately ordered our militia to disperse and not to fire." The "regular troops were on the march from Boston, in order to take the province stores at Concord" and upon his order not to fire the British "troops made their appearance and rused furiously, fired upon and killed eight of our party." A number of members of Parker's militia signed a common affidavit,(254) which claimed that "about five o'clock in the morning, hearing our drum beat we proceeded toward the parade" grounds where they formed. Seeing that "a large body troops were marching toward us" they heard orders from Parker to offer no resistance "At which time the company began to disperse. Whilst our backs were turned on the troops, we were fired on by them, and a number of our men were instantly killed." Levi Mead and Levi Harrington reported that "two of the regulars whom took to be officers, fired a pistol or two on the Lexington company, which was dispersing, and they were immediately followed by several vollies from the regulars."
William Draper reported that "the commanding officer, as I took him, gave the command to fire upon the said troops, 'fire, fire, fire' and immediately they fired before any of captain Parker's company fired." Thomas Fessenden gave this account. "I saw three officers on horseback advance to the front of the said regulars, when one of them, being within six rods of the said militia, cried out, 'disperse you rebels, immediately,' on which he brandished his sword over his head three times; meanwhile the second officer, who was about two rods behind him, fired a pistol, pointed at said militia, and the regulars kept huzzaing till he had finished brandishing his sword, and when he had thus finished brandishing his sword, he pointed it down toward the said militia, and immediately on which, the said regulars fired a volley at the militia." After the initial shots were fired "the said militia dispersed every way as fast as they could and while they were dispersing, the regulars kept firing at them incessantly."(255)
Meanwhile, several companies of British troops which had moved beyond the town returned. They had seen and heard the battle at the bridge. As they returned the militia covered them, but did not fire. The citizen-soldiers seemed willing to avoid further hostilities if possible. Colonel Smith assembled his Lincolnshire companies. They could see ever more militiamen arriving. They seemed to be aware that news of the two bloody confrontations was spreading among the new arrivals. As they finally left town at about high noon the British fired a parting volley at the militia. This act of contempt was the immediate cause of the Battle of the Nineteenth of April 1775.
The citizen-soldiers knew better than to attempt to fight the British regulars on their own terms. They did not form a line of attack. They hid behind rocks and trees, behind fences, wood piles and outbuildings. They fired, retreated, reloaded and fired again. Gage reported that "on the return of the troops from Concord, they were very much annoyed, and had several men killed and wounded, by rebels firing from behind walls, ditches, trees and other ambushes." The British troops that were put to flight by the citizen-soldiers of Massachusetts were quite probably the finest in the world. But they had retreated. Many threw away their weapons and back packs and ran. As the harried British troops arrived back in Lexington, at the sight of the first blood, they were joined by some 2000 fresh troops under Lord Percy. Percy had recruited three loyalist guides from Boston: Thomas Beaman of Petersham; Samuel Murray of Brookfield; and Edward Winslow, Jr., of Plymouth.(256) The early morning call for assistance had been answered. But the calm was short lived. Percy brought several small cannon and fired at the Americans with these. Gage reported, "the rebels were for a while dispersed; but as soon as the troops resumed their march, they began to fire upon them again from behind stone walls and houses, and kept up in that manner a scattering fire during the whole of their march of 15 miles, by which means several were killed and wounded." As the combined forces returned to Boston they found the citizen-soldiers were positioned along the road just as they had been with the smaller column. They were bold in their harassment. Occasionally, the column stopped to fire back or to set up light artillery wherewith to sweep the colonial lines. But the muskets were highly inaccurate at the distance between the column on the road and the colonials in their hiding places. There were seldom enough men concentrated to justify the use of even the small artillery pieces in the British command.
Although Gage had twice reported only that "several" men were killed or wounded, the British suffered 72 killed and many more wounded on that fateful day. Gage even reported that "such was the cruelty and barbarity of the rebels that they scalped and cit off the ears of some of the wounded men."(257) Superior marksmanship and the use of rifles rather than the New England fowling pieces would have inflicted even more casualties. These were not backwoodsmen or hunters whose lives depended upon proper and accurate use of their guns. They were merchants, tradesmen, clergymen and farmers who had far less experience with aimed, precision firing than had their backwoods cousins. Moreover, their fowling pieces were not rifled arms.(258)
One American wrote to an English newspaper that "had the people had time to have alarmed the country, and to have collected their militia, it is probable that the retreat of the regulars would have been totally cut off."(259) Perhaps the most significant fact noted about this engagement was that the Massachusetts militia had turned out no less than 3763 Americans even though the patriots had received only a few hours' notice.
A few days after the incidents, General Gage appeared before the Selectmen of Boston. He reported that "there was a large body of men in arms" and that he was prepared to take whatever action was necessary to maintain might be injured in any resulting confrontation.(260) The patriots claimed that "20 or 30 thousand men . . . surrounded Boston and shut in the British soldiers and cut off all supplies of fresh provisions."(261) Gage demanded that the inhabitants give up their arms and place them, with tags denoting individual ownership attached thereunto, in a public hall in Boston. Later, "the arms aforesaid at a suitable time would be return'd to the owners."(262)
The inhabitants did bring in 1778 firearms, 634 pistols, 973 bayonets and 38 blunderbusses.(263)
Boston became an armed camp. Patriots bragged that the "militia at present consists of 17 or 20 thousand men" all under "strict military discipline plus another "20 or 30 thousand farmers who hold themselves ready to march at a minute's warning." In short, "all the yeomanry are under arms as a militia."(264) Reports of the militia spontaneously rising were received from as far away as Virginia. There, reports of the events at Lexington and Concord had spurred the people into preparedness.
We shall therefore in a few weeks have about 8000 volunteers (about 1500 of which are horse) all completely equipped at their own expence, and you may depend are as ready to face death in defence of their civil and religious liberty as any men under heaven. These volunteers are but a small part of our militia; we have in the whole about 100,000 men. The New England provinces have at this day 50,000 of as well trained soldiers as any in Europe, ready to take the field at a day's warning, it is as much as the more prudent and moderate among them can do, to prevent the more violent from crushing General Gage's little army. But I still hope there is justice and humanity, wisdom and sound policy, sufficient in the British nation to prevent the fatal consequences that must inevitably follow the attempting to force by violence the tyrannical acts of which we complain. It must involve you in utter ruin, and us in great calamities, which I pray heaven to avert, and that we may once more shake hands in cordial affection as we have hitherto done, and as brethren ought ever to do. . . . Messrs. Hancock and Adams passed through this city a few days ago . . . about 1000 of our inhabitants went out to meet them, under arms . . . . By last accounts from Boston, there were before the town 15,000 or 20,000 brave fellows to defend their country, in high spirits . . . . Should the King's troops attack, the inhabitants will be joined with 70,000 or 80,000 men at very short notice. . . .(265)
The English press at first discounted the possibility of real and open rebellion, preferring to think that the skirmishes were acts of isolated insolence.(266) By mid-July the English press was reporting that "the Town of Boston was surrounded by a large body of Rebel Provincials and that all communication with the Country was cut off." An American correspondent of a London newspaper reported that all New England was an armed camp.
Several companies of New England men are actually arrived in this town [New York]. I conversed with one of them, who told me he had left his farm to come to our assistance; and one of their Captains assured our people, that if they wanted men, they could furnish us with ten thousand in three days time. They exercise to admiration: it is true they have not that sprightly and foppish appearance of regular forces when nicely powdered; however, they are hardy, can endure fatigue, and have made themselves masters of the essential parts of military skill. Four New England governments have two hundred thousand of these soldiers in arms; they are a sober, good kind of people, strong pedestrians, and think it a part of their religious duty to defend their charters . . . .(267)
Things in Boston after the conflict at Concord went from bad to worse.
Gage accused some Bostonians of being incendiaries and ordered that "all Persons.
. . should immediately lay down their arms" and desist from "burning houses." In
Charles Town some 350 houses burned in one night. Gage let it be known that the
king was still willing to pardon all rebels except John Adams and John Hancock.
On 17 May a fire broke out and "it was the officers order not to call fire, one
having threatened to beat out a man's brains that did."(268) A letter from Charles
Town dated 19 May 1775 noted that Gage "agreed, on delivering up their arms,
they should come out with their effects." Unfortunately for the colonists, "it is
complied with on their part; on his there is a shocking failure."(269) The British
marines had little respect for the militiamen whom they had easily dispersed.
British troops broke into John Hancock's house and "plundered" his possessions
and also the same night began to "pillage and break down" the fences of other
homes.(270) Meanwhile, "the first Embarkation of Troops from Ireland, consisting
of three Regiments of Infantry and one of Light Cavalry, was arrived at Boston"
and would quickly disperse the rebels.(271)
Colonel Joseph Palmer of Braintree, a member of the Committee of Safety, grasped the meaning and importance of the events that had transpired. His dispatched a veteran post rider, Israel Bissel to outlying areas even to Connecticut to inform them of the confrontation. Bissel understood all too well the importance of the information he carried. He did not stop after riding to Connecticut. He spread the word south to New York, into New Jersey and on to Philadelphia.(272)
Within ten days virtually all the inhabitants of the middle and upper souther colonies knew what had happened in Massachusetts. Virginia received the news with great interest. Lord Dunmore had attempted to seize militia supplies in that colony. n Colonel George Washington had dispersed the militia rather than confront the British troops and start the war of rebellion in Virginia. Now that the first shot had been fired Virginia prepared to defend its right to keep and bear arms.
The Massachusetts Provincial Congress had its version of the story of the events at Lexington and Concord. "Hostilities are at length commenced in this colony by the troops under the command of General Gage," the assembly reported, "and it being of the greatest importance that an early, true and authentic account" be made available, the legislative body published the following.
[A] body of the king's troops . . . were secretly landed at Cambridge, with an apparent design to take or destroy the military and other stores, provided for this colony, and deposited at Concord -- that some inhabitants of the colony... travelling peacefully on the road... were seized and greately abused by armed men...that the regular troops on their way to Concord, marched into the said town of Lexington, and the said [militia] company, on their approach, began to disperse -- that, notwithstanding this, the regulars rushed on with great violence and first began hostilities, by firing on said Lexington company, whereby they killed eight, and wounded several others -- that the regulars continued their fire, until those of the said company, who were neither killed or wounded had made their escape -- that ... the detachment then marched to Concord, where a number of provincials were again fired on by the troops, two of them killed and several wounded, before the provincials fired on them.... To give a particular account of the ravages of the troops, as they retreated from Concord to Charlestown, would be difficult ....(273)
On 21 April 1775 the Committee of Safety voted to raise 8000 volunteers from among the militia to serve for seven months. Two days later the Provincial Congress increased the authorization to include 13,600 men. Ultimately, the colony decided that a force of 30,000 men, including all active forces and reserve militia. The militia was divided into three classes: the Minutemen, who were to respond immediately to any threat from British or Amerindian threats; the regular militia, who acted as back-up forces and a reserve from which to draw volunteers, and, later on, as a reservoir for the state drafts; and the invalid corps of those who, through injury, infirmity or age, could not serve in ordinary circumstances, but which constituted a final line of defense.(274) Massachusetts actually raised 17,000 men in 1775. The Committee of Safety chose the principal officers and the men elected their officers inferior to full colonel. In May 1775 the Committee ordered 2000 volunteers to report to Boston to assist in lifting the siege, and it ordered the towns to muster and hold in indefinite reserve one-half of the active militia.(275) The Committee was not prepared to feed, clothe, house and otherwise provide for a greater number in and around Boston, but wished to have a larger force available immediately in case of major military action with the British. The force sent to Boston, along with militia, volunteers and others from Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island fought the Battle of Bunker Hill on 17 June 1775.
One of the earliest clashes between Massachusetts militia nd British forces occurred immediately after the British march on Lexington and Concord, just off a neck of land near Boston Harbor. A band of militia, calling themselves "true sons of liberty," challenged the seamen aboard the Lively Frigate on 20 April at about five o'clock in the morning. Both sides exchanged shots from both muskets and small swivel guns loaded with grape shot. A British sailor on the ship reported, "The Americans had 25 killed and 30 wounded, whom they left on shore." American fire "killed two and wounded many more." After exchanging fire for about an hour, "we sailed for Boston with colours flying."(276)
Leaving no doubt as to the cause of the conflict between the colonies and the mother nation, on 6 July 1775, representatives from Massachusetts introduced to the Continental Congress a document drafted by Thomas Jefferson and John Dickinson, the "Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms." The document described how General Gage's troops disarmed the compliant citizen-soldiers of Boston.
The inhabitants of Boston being confined within that town by the general their governor, and having, in order to procure their dismission, entered into a treaty with him, it was stipulated that the said inhabitants having deposited their arms with their own magistrates, should have liberty depart, taking with them their other effects. They accordingly delivered up their arms, but in open violation of honour, in defiance of the obligation of treaties, which even savage nations esteemed sacred, the governor ordered the arms deposited as aforesaid, that they might be preserved for their owners, to be seized by a body of soldiers; detained the greatest part of the inhabitants of the town, and compelled the few who were permitted to retire, to leave their most valuable effects behind. By this perfidy wives are separated from their husbands, children from their parents, and the aged and sick from their relations and friends, who wish to attend and comfort them, and those who have been used to live in plenty and even elegance, are reduced to deplorable distress.(277)
The French press reacted with delight upon receiving the news of the commencement of hostilities in Massachusetts Bay. It referred to the English as "tyrants" and expressed pleasure that the conflict had turned bloody.(278) They reported that the militia "breathed the same courage, the same desire of defending their rights and their liberties... to the last individual."(279) The Press reported that women were joining the militia. It reported a company of "Amazons" who had "taken up arms to second their husbands in defense of their rights."(280) And it relayed tales of citizen-soldiers performing impossible feats, such as militiamen firing, reloading and firing at a rate of eleven shots per minute.(281) The French perceived our militia as invincible.
There was no patriot standing army in Massachusetts when the Revolution began. All able-bodied men were more or less enrolled in militia companies, about thirty in all, with companies ranging in size from between 200 to 700 men each. The militiamen were divided into two classes. The active list encompassed all able-bodied males between ages sixteen and fifty. There were many exemptions from this enrollment on this list, including religious leaders and conscientious objectors, civil officers and others engaged in vital occupations, such as arms makers and ferry operators. This list was supplemented by the alarm list which included all males between sixteen and sixty-five not enrolled on the active list. There were few exemptions from this list for it was to be used only in cases of extreme emergency at such time as all available men who could fight had to be mustered. This list was of significance when an enemy attacked during a period when most, if not all, regular militiamen were absent from town. The active list mustered eight times a year for training lasting from three to seven days at each muster, and the alarm list was supposed to muster twice a year, although it complied with the law so only on rare occasion. General officers of each list were appointed by civil authorities, but the non-commissioned officers and officers inferior to full colonel were elected as had been traditional. The musters rarely produced much real military training in the sense of a European army of the time.
Each man was theoretically responsible for providing his own arms, ammunition, accoutrements and equipment. The selectmen of the community were supposed to make provision for arming the poor, but did so only occasionally. There was no uniformity of bore or caliber of the arms, so providing standard ammunition was essentially impossible. The most that could be done was to provide bar lead from which the men cast their own bullets and kegs of gunpowder from which men made cartridges or filled their powder horns. There were no uniforms, with most militiamen wearing much the same clothing that they wore at home.
During the early years of the Revolution, the army was largely drawn from volunteers among the active list. The active list militiamen often fought as units in the first months of the Revolution, and intermittently thereafter. As the war dragged on, volunteers, and even impressments through state drafts, drew almost equally on the two lists. By 1780 the distinction between the lists had been lost and hence the practice of keeping the lists separate was discontinued. Colonels of the militia, often referred to as county lieutenants, enjoyed considerable latitude in drafting men for service in the Continental Line, or assigning men to various other duties. The principal limitation on military commanders was demographic. State law in Massachusetts, as in most New England states, required that levees be assigned according to the population of the various towns and districts.(282)
Following the orders of Congress, in the fall of 1775, the legislature of Massachusetts enacted a new militia law. The colony was ordered to provide each inhabitant with a good musket. Public officers were to arrange to collect arms from private holders and to distribute these to such of the militia men who had none of their own. Those militia men who brought their own arms were to receive a bounty of ten shillings.(283)
On 16 January 1776 the Massachusetts General Council ordered men between the ages 16 and 50 years of age be enrolled in the militia, provide their own weapons under penalty of law, elect their own officers and muster and train several times a year.(284) It also resolved that "free Negroes who have served faithfully in the Army at Cambridge may be reenlisted therein, but no others."(285)
Black militiamen presented a problem for the Massachusetts militia. Initially, the colony had enlisted free blacks, which effectively meant any person of color since only a very few slaves were maintained there. In 1775 General George Washington expressed his preference that no "stroller, Negro or vagabond" be enlisted.(286) On 20 May 1775 the Massachusetts Council of Safety "resolved that ... no slaves shall be admitted into this army upon any consideration" and refused free blacks on the ground their admission would be "inconsistent with the procedures that are to be supported" meaning that they would "reflect dishonor on this colony." By the summer 1777 several legislatures in New England began to have second thoughts about cutting off a prime source of strong manpower. Recruits were had to find, so they offered cash bounties to free Afro-Americans and offered freedom to slaves who enlisted and served for their full terms. Urged on by Alexander Hamilton, who favored racially integrated militias, the states found a useful reservoir of manpower within the black community.(287)
The Battle of Bunker Hill followed the British occupation of Boston. During May 1775 both the Americans and the British had built up their strength around Boston. Three British general arrived to assist Gage, Sir William Howe (1729-1814), Sir Henry Clinton (1738-1795), and John Burgoyne (1722-1792). Howe, the illegitimate son of King George I, had a brilliant early military career. He led the special battalion in the successful assault on Quebec in 1759. Returning to England, he stood for a seat in the House of Commons, winning in 1758. He had opposed British coercive policies against the colonies. He fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill and almost immediately thereafter replaced General Thomas Gage, who was recalled to England, as the supreme British commander in America. Although he consistently defeated George Washington, his failures to follow up after victories combined with his failure to support Burgoyne led to rumors that he secretly supported the rebel cause.(288)
Sir Henry Clinton was the son of the governor of New York, so his military career had begun as a member of the New York militia. He served during the Seven Years War in Germany, rising to the rank of major-general by 1772. He served at the Battle of Bunker Hill and was knighted and promoted to lieutenant-general for his action during the Battle of Long Island in 1776. When William Howe resigned his command in 1778 Clinton was appointed to serve as supreme British commander in America. He decided to try to win in the South and so shifted the major theater of operations to Charleston, South Carolina. Clinton resigned in 1781 after a long standing quarrel with General Charles Cornwallis, which some historians believe contributed to the latter's loss at Yorktown.(289)
Commonly known as "Gentleman Johnny," Burgoyne was a politician and playwright as well as military leader of promise who had first distinguished himself in campaigns in Portugal in 1762. He served in the House of Commons between 1763 and 1775. He accepted a commission in 1776, serving as a lieutenant-general. After his defeat at Saratoga he returned to England in disgrace and resigned his commission. He served briefly, 1782-83, as commander-in-chief in Ireland. Thereafter he occupied his time writing.(290)
On 12 June Gage offered amnesty to all rebels except Samuel Adams and John Hancock, placed the city under martial law and declared all rebels under arms to be traitors. Learning that Gage planned to fortify Dorchester Heights, the Massachusetts Council of War ordered the militia to build fortifications on Bunker Hill, later changed to Breed's Hill, overlooking Boston Harbor from Charlestown peninsula. On 17 June Gage discovered the Americans and ordered his ships in the harbor to begin to shell their position. After the tide was correct for landing, Gage ordered his troops to disembark and commerce a frontal assault on the American position. The official American version of the battle described the way the patriots waited on the British troops before firing. "The provincials within their entrenchments impatiently waited the attack of the enemy and reserved their fire till they came within 10 or 12 rods, and then began a furious discharge of small arms." The militia repeated this tactic during the second and third British charge.(291) General Howe moved 2400 troops into the battle, but withering fire from the militia twice drove them back. Reinforced by Clinton, Howe ordered a bayonet charge which routed the militia commanded by Colonel William Prescott and Dr. Joseph Warren. Warren was killed(292) as were 100 other Americans, with 276 wounded and 30 taken prisoner. British losses were staggering, with 1054 report casualties, or 42% of the British troops engaged. Moreover, American marksmen concentrated their fire on the officer corps and a large proportion of those killed were commissioned officers.(293) The British stopped at the end of peninsula and several days later General George Washington arrived to take supreme command.
The armed force of the state, and of the nation, at this point consisted solely of volunteers drawn from the militia; and of the militia, in various sub-divisions. The volunteers were treated in exactly the same way as the militia, receiving only basic subsistence pay. The men provided their own weapons, clothing, accoutrements and supplies. Massachusetts allowed the men $4 each for overcoats during the winter of 1775-76. There was not as yet any realization among the men that a prolonged struggle lay before them. As at the beginning of any way, men were overcome by sentiments of patriotism and spurred to action by propaganda efforts, such as Thomas Paine's The Crisis and the Declaration of Independence.
On 21 January 1776 the state legislature authorized the recruitment of 728 volunteers, to be drawn primarily from the militias of Hampshire and Berkshire counties, to serve in Canada. The militia was clearly not authorized to march beyond the border of the new nation. There were some questions about the deployment of militia in other states, although mutual aid pacts and traditional understandings seemed to grant full authorization for deployment of Massachusetts militia within the rest of the New England states. Deployment of the militia in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania or elsewhere was of questionable legality. But there was no question that volunteers would have to be drawn for any service outside the United Colonies, just as volunteers had been drawn for British service against the French over the previous century. The militia was the principal, but not sole, source of volunteers. The legislature offered a bounty of 40 shillings to each volunteer. Service and payments were authorized for one year's service, 21 January 1776 through 1 January 1777.(294)
Early in 1776 the Massachusetts legislature enacted a new militia law, thereby repealing all previous acts. Appointment of general and field officers became the provenance of the state legislature. The militia encompassed all males. It was divided into two classes, the active and the alarm lists. The alarm list was comprised of those who would serve as minutemen, ready and able to go into action immediately upon notice of an emergency. Regardless of class, each man was required to provide himself, at his own expense, with a suitable firearm; priming wire and brush; bayonet, sword, hatchet or tomahawk; knife; tow for wadding; canteen; knapsack; blanket; and ammunition. Theoretically, a man could plead extreme poverty and expect to have the selectmen of the town provide him with such equipment as he could not afford.(295) In practice, guns were so scarce that many militiamen, even among those who could afford them, were unable to procure any firearms. The local committees of safety first confiscated arms from non-associators, which meant from those who refused to sign the new oath of loyalty to the United States. The committees also sought to purchase local citizenry any superfluous arms; and to contract with various tradesmen to manufacture arms.
In early June 1776 the Continental Congress ordered Massachusetts to supply 3000 militia to reinforce the continental army then in Canada. Soon after, the Congress requested 2000 additional militia to march to New York to the relief of the inhabitants there.(296)
In November 1776 the legislature added to the militia law certain provisions. Patriotism and nationalistic sentiments may have attracted militiamen initially, but the realities of war soon diminished the enthusiasm of all but the most hardy and ardent patriots. A draft became the inevitable alternative. One-quarter of all militiamen were to be designated as potential draftees. Those designated might be selected by lot or marked as prospective draftees at the time of their enlistment. In any event, those drafted could be called up at any time to serve three months with the Continental Line. Short enlistment periods constantly hampered the efforts of the regular officers. Those who failed to report for militia duty and musters were subject to moderate fines. Those who had been designated for the draft, and who failed to report within twenty-four hours of notice, could be fined £10 If he failed to report at the time his unit marched off to war he could be fined £12. During his actual service a private was paid £4 per month, with non-commissioned officers paid slightly more. Chronic offenders, and those unable to pay militia fines, could be jailed. Deserters could be court-martialed and even executed upon conviction.(297)
On 20 January 1776 the legislature authorized the enlistment of 4368 men to serve with the Continental Line until 1 April 1776 at the pay of £3 per month. Each town was assigned a quota, to be filled by volunteer militiamen, if possible, and by draft if necessary.(298) In June the legislature authorized the enlistment of 5000 men for the Line from among both the active and the alarm militia lists. Of these 5000 men, 3000 were to be sent to Canada. To attempt to avoid drafting men to serve outside the United Colonies, a bounty of £7 was offered to volunteers. The remaining 2000 men called up were to serve in New York, and to volunteers a bounty of £3 was offered. In both cases, men who provided their own weapons were to be allowed six shillings and twelve shillings for a blanket and supplies.(299) Filling the quota for the Canadian expedition proved to be most difficult so on 12 July the legislature authorized a draft, the first state draft to be used to recruit men to fight on foreign soil. If a man was drafted and refused to march, or to furnish a substitute, he was to be fined £3, with provision made for additional £3 fines.(300)
On 9 July 1776 the legislature authorized two additional regiments for service in Canada. The legislature, noting the previous failure to attract volunteers, immediately moved to a draft, and authorized militia officers to choose every twenty-fifth man from both the regular and alarm militia lists, and notify them of their obligation to serve on the Canadian expedition. Men drafted were to serve until 1 December 1776.(301) In September the legislature ordered that one-fifth of the militia list, regular and alarm, were to be drafted for serve in New York and New Jersey. This time service was to be "until recalled." Those who failed to report were to be fined £10 and those who failed to march, or to furnish a substitute, were to be fined an additional £10 and jailed.(302) Additional calls for drafts from the militia were made on 30 November, for 90 day service in New York.(303)
As the ranks of the militia were depleted by the several drafts, so the local responsibilities were increased. The militia had sole responsibility for the seacoast watch, for garrisoning various forts and fortified points against both the Amerindians and British forces and protecting vital military stores and manufactories engaged in the production of materials badly needed for the conduct of the war. The Committee of Safety estimated that these responsibilities required the active services of between 3500 and 4000 militiamen. And, in case of real attack, more militiamen would be required to fight. Some militia were actually enlisted, usually for periods of from 30 to 90 days, to serve at various garrisons and fortresses. Throughout the war the legislature continually resorted to the draft to fill these positions, and, on the average, 3500 militiamen were on active local duty.(304)
In September 1776 the Continental Congress voted to raise 88 battalions of 726 men each, to constitute a regular army. Enlistments were for the "duration of the war," although it later modified that service, reducing enlistments to three years. Massachusetts was assigned fifteen, later raised to eighteen, regiments.(305) Once again the militia, in both forms, became the source of voluntary recruitment, supplemented quickly by a draft. Since states were required to clothe and equip their own quotas, Massachusetts had the right to pick its own uniforms. Massachusetts provided each soldier with two linen hunting shirts, two pairs of pants, a waistcoat made of wool or leather with long sleeves, one pair of breeches, hat of wool or leather, two additional shirts, two pairs of stockings and two pairs or shoes or boots. The state legislature placed a cost of $20 per man of this clothing allowance.(306) It also provide the following arms: a musket with ramrod and bayonet, a worm and priming brush, bayonet scabbard and belt, sword or tomahawk, cartridge bag or box sufficient to hold 15 rounds of ammunition, 100 swan [or buck] shot, jack-knife, one pound of powder, lead sufficient to make 40 bullets, knapsack, canteen and one blanket.(307) This was substantially the same equipment required of militiamen under the state Militia Act of 1776. In practice, most men brought their own arms and accoutrements, and the state made allowance for such equipment. Men were allowed one penny per mile for travel to the point of rendez-vous, and 20 shillings per month pay for a private.
Massachusetts had an enormously difficult time in filling its initial quota of fifteen regiments, and never did fill the later quota of eighteen regiments. In January 1777 the Committee of Safety and legislature concurred that there was a great need to muster all militiamen so that conscripts to fill the national quota could be located. Thus, the legislature ordered that each county lieutenant or colonel muster his militia company and hold them until the quota was filled. It began by offering an enlistment bounty of £20.(308) Finally, the officers were told to draft every seventh man to fill the regiments.(309) General Washington asked the state to recruit and equip a battalion of artillery. In March 1777 the legislature offered a bounty of £20 to each recruit for artillery service, although the bounty was reduced to £15/10/0 for those who did not have their own small arms and accoutrements. When the ranks had not been filled by 15 May the legislature authorized the militia officers were to draft enough men to fill the artillery battalion, with service to be only until 10 January 1778. Those failing or refusing to report, or to furnish a substitute, were subjected the rather standard fine of £10, which penalty was increased to one year in jail if the miscreant totally disobeyed the law. This time, the legislature added an additional penalty, a fine of £10, to be levied against the officers and selectmen who failed or refused to follow the law to the letter. Even the handicapped and disabled were required, under the same penalties, to provide a substitute.(310)
By August, the state was still having problems keeping the ranks of the Continental Line filled, so it again called up the militia and increased penalties from £10 to £15. General officers, especially those hold the rank of general, were to be dismissed if they failed fill their quotas from among the militia and volunteers. Towns, through their local committees of safety and selectmen, which failed to recruit their full quotas from among the local militia were subject to individual fines of from £4 to £6 per deficiency per month. On 17 April 1778 the legislature, having reached the end of its patience, and under considerable pressure from Congress, ordered that towns which had not filled their quotas were be fined £150 for each man they were short on the date of accounting, set as 20 May 1778. Failures of men to report or provide substitutes were increased on 20 April 1778 to £20. On the same day, fines to be levied against militia officers and town selectmen were also increased to £10 per month for each deficiency. Some of the fines were returned to the towns by offering them bonuses of £30 for each new man recruited by 20 May 1778. As the quotas were filled, the legislature discovered that the drafting of one man out of each seven militiamen was insufficient to raise the numbers needed to fill fifteen regiments. Fifteen hundred additional men were required, so the bounty for volunteers was raised to $300, so as relieve some pressure on the hard-pressed towns and local militia units.(311)
By 9 June 1778 the legislature found it necessary to raise 2000 additional men. To make the enlistment more attractive, the legislature voted to allow conscripts to serve for only nine months instead of the three years that Congress had mandated. Recruiting officers were given a $10 bonus for each new recruit they signed. To sweeten the offer of $300 bounty the state offered 100 acres of land. By volunteers were increasingly difficult to locate, so the draft was re-imposed. Men who were, by handicap, age or infirmity, unable to serve had to find substitutes within 24 hours or be assessed a fine of £45, and inability to pay might bring legal action against one's property, goods or estate. Towns which failed to fill their quotas could be assessed a one-time fine of £20 plus £15 per month for each deficiency. Conversely, towns were allowed a bonus of £120 for each new recruit. If the quotas remained unfilled on 1 August 1778, towns could be fined £350 for each deficiency.(312)
On 5 June 1780 the legislature called for 3934 men to serve in the continental line for the term of six months. Any man drafted who refused to report, or who was unfit for duty, had to either furnish a substitute or be subject to a fine of £150 and possible imprisonment. Pay was 40 shillings a month. It now was payable in silver or gold as an added inducement to join the army for few men were willing to accept the virtually worthless script. Subordinate officers who failed to fill their quotas could be fined up to £100 and commanding officers could be dismissed for similar failings.(313)
By December 1780 the terms of enlistment of those volunteers and draftees from the militia who had been signed in 1776 and 1777 were expiring and additional men were needed to fill the Massachusetts quota. Additionally, desertions, casualties, sickness, injuries and other factors had severely reduced the number of active soldiers. The legislature assigned a state-wide quota of 4240 men, apportioned according to population to the local towns and cities.(314) Under the Act of 2 December 1780,(315) towns were ordered to divide all inhabitants into as many groups as they were short in their quotas, with each group to choose one of its number in any way they chose. If a group failed to produce a man who was acceptable by 31 January 1781, then the town had to hire a man irrespective of cost or inconvenience. Local authorities and town councils were again threatened with fines for failures to fill the ranks. The legislature gave the towns until 31 January 1781 to find the necessary conscripts so again the militia companies were ordered out and a draft imposed.
By law of 26 February 1781 towns were ordered to form their militiamen into as many groups as they were deficient in their quotas for the continental line. Each group was responsible for providing on recruit for the army. In cases where the groups of the town militias failed to produce the required recruits, fines were levied and recruitment numbers were increased.(316) This draft was followed by a second draft from the militia completed on 30 June 1781. Towns deficient in filling their quotas by the end of October 1781 were assessed £128/9/6 for each delinquency. In March 1782 the state was still deficient by 1500 men, and the legislature imposed larger quotas on the town militia companies.(317)
Fines, imposed costs, penalties, bonuses, threats and appeals to patriotism had all failed miserably to fill the state's quota of soldiers. At the end of the Revolution, Massachusetts reported that it had 4370 active soldiers in national service(318) whereas the state's quota on that date had been 8350 men in continental service. In 1790 Secretary of War Knox reported to Congress that, although Massachusetts and New Hampshire had been assigned a quota of 88 battalions, Massachusetts had never supplied more than 7816 men at a time, that being in 1777. According to General Knox by war's end, Massachusetts had only 3730 men in continental service, or about 600 fewer than the state had previously claimed.(319)
The Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 provided that "The People have a right to keep and bear arms for the common defence." The purpose of this provision was clear enough. The state was going to take the legal step to guarantee to the people the right whose violation had sparked the beginning of the Revolution. The right was an individual guarantee which benefitted the people, but, as it had been in medieval Europe, the right to bear arms also benefitted government as much as, if not more than, the citizenry. Not only had the militia been a source of trained manpower for continental line, it had functions of its own to serve, duties which were at the very heart of the rationale of the creation and maintenance of the militia.
In 1777 as the British force of 10,000 veterans and mercenaries under General John Burgoyne prepared to cut the new nation in half with his march from Canada south through New York, there was general alarm sounded throughout New England. The political authorities of the various New England states concluded that this was to be the year that the British would make their major moves. They now had mustered a powerful land force, with regular British troops having been supplemented by Hessian mercenaries. it was uncertain on how many fronts other than New York they might move against. In January 1777 the Massachusetts legislature created a select militia unit of 2000 militiamen to serve in any of the states of New England until 21 April. In April the Committee of Safety dispatched two companies of militia to march to Rhode Island.(320) On the one hand, the legislature supported the effort by offering a bounty of 20 shillings a month greater bounty than was offered for continental service for marching with the militia; and on the other hand, it provided severe penalties for failing to report as directed.(321) Reports of threatened British and Tory action brought an emergency call, so the militia of the nearest Massachusetts county, Bristol, were ordered to muster and march as soon as possible to Rhode Island until the militiamen ordered out earlier arrived.(322) On 30 April the Committee of safety, with legislative authorization, dispatched 1500 men to Fort Ticonderoga, to counter any move Burgoyne's force might make in that direction. The militia units were to serve at the fort for two months.(323)
In May 1777 the legislature authorized the deployment of two regiments of militia at Boston for one year. There was the possibility that these and other militia might have to be deployed elsewhere in New England.(324) The militia resisted, having had its ranks diminished by the drafts to fill the continental line. The legislature countered by offering a $10 bonus to all militiamen who would volunteer for state service before 10 June for the one year term of service. By that date the two regiments, consisting of 1500 militiamen departed for service, which, as it turned out, was to be in Rhode Island.(325) The militiamen were most unhappy at being ordered to serve so far away from their own homes, and in another state. The legislature quickly rescinded the previous order and asked that volunteers be drawn from the two militia regiments to serve "in New England" for a term of two months.(326) On 27 June it changed the term of enlistment from two to six months.(327) The ranks were apparently filled and these militiamen served their full term in Rhode Island.
In July 1777 the officers in charge of the militias of Hampshire and Berkshire Counties, Massachusetts, received orders to muster "all available men" and march to Fort Edward, there to reenforce the northern continental army.(328) On 6 August the legislature sent 2000 militiamen to again reenforce the northern army, but this act was suspended when one-sixth of the militia of seven Massachusetts counties was drafted, to serve until 1 December 1777. The militia called into this service were to be paid £2/10/0 per month.(329)
In September 1777 the legislature ordered that 3000 militia were to be called out immediately for "secret service."(330) In December 1777, the legislature ordered one-half of the militia units of the counties of Middlesex, Worcester, Hampshire and Berskire, and part of the militia of Essex County, to "join the army" for a one month tour of duty. The militia soon discovered that the primary reason this order had been issued was to draw out the militia and, from it, to recruit volunteers for the continental line. The legislature had authorized payment of a bonus to volunteers of £12/20/0 above the pay offered by the line.(331)
Burgoyne's once fine army surrendered on 17 October 1777, by the Convention of Saratoga. By terms of the agreement, the vast majority of the 5700 prisoners of war were to be taken to Boston, and from there, sent to England, with the proviso that they would not serve again in the war. Responsibility to the care of the P.O.W.'s fell in large on the Massachusetts militia. Many townspeople were afraid that the prisoners might escape and wreak havoc; and other patriots would have assaulted, possibly murdered, them, on account of real or imagined extra-legal injuries caused by British or Tory forces. The legislature and Committee of Safety authorized the muster of 1000 Massachusetts militia to guard them. In January 1778 the legislature drafted 800 militiamen to serve as guards. It is unclear whether the full compliment of militia had failed to muster or if the militiamen had assumed their tour of duty had expired and went home. In March the legislature issued a third call for militiamen to guard the prisoners. Failure to report for guard duty subjected one to a fine of £10, and one was still considered to be a militiaman and could still be called for guard or other duty immediately after the fine was levied.(332)
In April 1778 the legislature dispatched 1300 Massachusetts militiamen to the defense of the Hudson River. Almost immediately after that deployment, the legislature sent 200 militiamen to Rhode Island. Increasingly severe penalties were levied for failures to serve. Even a man inspected and certified physically unfit for military duty had to procure a substitute at his own expense. If a poor invalid was unable to find a volunteer substitute and too destitute to buy one, he might be sent to prison for up to eight months. Moreover, even after an invalid had provided a substitute his name remained on the militia list and he might have to do the same again. Officers had no discretion, and an officer found delinquent, which often meant sympathetic to the plight of a poor man, he might be found guilty of neglect of duty and be fined £30. The legislature provided a bounty for each man enlisted or drafted of £30. The men were paid the prevailing wages given to privates in the continental line, plus a state bonus of 40 shillings a month.(333)
In 1778 most recruitment effort directed at volunteers, and most deployment of Massachusetts militia, was for service within Rhode Island. In June 1778, Massachusetts sent 1800 militiamen to Rhode Island, to serve for six months. To soften the impact of the order, the legislature paid those called out £4/13/0 a month above the wages received by the continental line. Tons were offered a bonus of £14 for each militiaman sent out of state.(334) On 16 June the legislature sent out 250 more militiamen to Rhode Island, to serve only three weeks, until the remainder of 1800 men from the earlier call arrived.(335)
In April 1779 Rhode Island again asked Massachusetts for assistance from its militia. Massachusetts responded by sending out a regiment to serve for eleven months. Pay was £10 above the allowance given by Congress to those serving in the continental line. Protests about high taxes, inflation of the state currency and service outside their own state prompted the legislature to increase the allowance to £16 above national wages. Additionally, the legislature offered each man a bounty of £30 and a new suit of clothes. Recruiting officers received a bonus of 30 shillings for each militiaman enlisted. The state still imposed fines and penalties for officers, political officials and men if any man failed to march with his militia regiment.(336) Just three days after the first assignment of militiamen to service in Rhode Island the legislature sent out a call for 500 additional men to march to Rhode Island.(337) On 8 June the legislature ordered 800 militiamen to muster, and assigned them to duty for eight months in Rhode Island. The legislature increased the penalties for failure to report to £30 per incident.(338)
On 26 June 1780 the legislature made an emergency appeal for 4726 volunteer militiamen to enlist for three months' service to march to the Hudson River in New York. Few volunteers were available so a draft ensued. Officers, civil officials and men refusing to march were subjected to fines of up to £300.(339) During the summer of 1780 Massachusetts twice sent militiamen to Rhode Island. In the first case 1200 militia were enlisted for forty days' service. Several months later an additional 500 militia were drafted for five months' service.(340)
The Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 made all able-bodied males over age 16 members of the militia. All militiamen, including those who could not vote in local and state elections because of their age, were eligible to elect officers because "youths will be more tractable under officers of their own choice."(341) Articles X and XVII of the Constitution read,
X. Each individual of the society has a right to be protected in it by the enjoyment of life, liberty and property, according to standing laws. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of this protection; to give his personal service, or an equivalent, when necessary; but no part of the property of any individual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. . . .
XVII. The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence. And, as in the time of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the consent of the legislature; and the military power shall always be held in an exact subordination to the civil authority and be governed by it.(342)
The state's Bill of Rights of 1780 provided for militia duty:
Each individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty and property, according to standing laws. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of the protection; to give his personal service, or an equivalent, when necessary.(343)
On 14 December 1780 the selectmen of Grafton submitted a petition to the General Court in Boston, asking that a pension be granted for George Gire, an African-American living in the city. Apparently, Gire had received a pension of 40 shillings per year for his service in the French and Indian War, but, for some reason, it was terminated in June 1779. The selectmen asked that the pension be restored for Gire was aged and infirm and had served his militia well during the war.(344)
On 30 June 1781 the legislature again sent militia into New York, for service on the Hudson River. This time 2700 militia marched to the defense of West Point. Washington had requested that the militia take the place of some of his regular troops, which regular continental line were dispatched to swell Washington's force at the siege of Yorktown.(345)
One of the last actions of the Massachusetts militia was the suppression of Shays' Rebellion of 1787. Staged by debtors, largely farmers from western Massachusetts, it was comprised of nearly all former soldiers and militiamen of the Revolution. The followers od Daniel Shays (c.1747-1825) demanded an easy money policy and an extension of credit and reduction of taxes, past and present. During the early 1780's the state legislature had been dominated by merchants and others of the upper class. The wealthier citizens were much concerned about the depreciation of the currency through the issuance of paper money unbacked by bullion. The legislature imposed heavy taxation and refused to stay debts of the poorer members of society, many of whom were serving for as little as 40 shillings a month in the continental line and state militia. Imprisonment for debt had become common by 1785, so in 1786 mobs of Shays' followers began to close the rural courts which imposed the law. The state governor was James Bowdoin (1726-1790), an early and ardent patriot and Boston merchant, and president of the state constitutional convention of 1779. Bowdoin was horrified at the threat to law and order that he perceived in Shays' Rebellion and asked the legislature to take strong action against it. On 25 January 1787 the legislature authorized the use of the militia to suppress anarchy. Many of the wealthier citizens contributed liberally to the support of this force and on 4 February it dealt Shays' followers a crushing blow at Petersham. Shays' Rebellion had been suppressed by General Benjamin Lincoln, the general who surrendered about 5000 men under his command on 12 May 1780 to the British at Charleston, South Carolina, the largest single loss of men during the entire Revolution. The courts dealt out harsh sentences, but a more liberal government, elected soon after the suppression of the revolt, gave pardons to Shays and other leaders and provided son debt relief.(346)
The Dutch were supposedly the first Europeans to explore the Connecticut about 1614, and they constructed a settlement at Windsor in 1634. A bitter winter claimed many lives and the settlement did not endure.
Connecticut was founded on the democratic principles of Reverend Thomas Hooker, views shared and perhaps developed first by Roger Williams in Rhode Island. However, the democratic principles Hooker espoused were far removed from the understanding of democracy of the next century. Hooker had been born in England, probably about 1586 in Marefield, Leicester, studied for the Anglican ministry at Queen's College, Cambridge, developed strong Puritan leanings, was exiled in 1633, emigrated to Massachusetts Bay, established a congregation at Newtown, and moved to Hartford in 1636.
Hooker's rule did not produce the anarchical disorder found in Rhode Island, largely because his congregation preferred the town (or plantation) over the individual, although it gave preference to local governmental units over the larger colonial ones. On 3 March 1636 a commission began to meet, forming the colony's first government. Consisting of eight men, this commission exercised full executive, legislative and judicial authority for regulating all matters including military discipline. Commission government lasted only a year, meeting from 26 April 1636 through 28 March 1637. The first officers of the Connecticut were John Mason and Roger Clap.(347)
The General Court governed Connecticut in 1637 and 1638. On 24 January 1639 the three plantations of Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor adopted the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. Springfield under William Pynchon refused to federate and by 1649 was sending delegates to the General Court of Massachusetts. By 1662 some 15 towns had associated. Franchise was essentially open to all male free Trinitarians. Between 1637 and 1643 Reverend John Davenport and others purchased land from the Amerindians and founded New Haven, Stamford, Guilford and Milford, establishing Mosiac law as the basis of the governance of the General Court. Since the colony still had no charter, the Restoration in England left the colony without legal status until Governor John Winthrop, Jr., obtained a royal charter on 3 May 1662. New Haven was included within the scope of the Connecticut Charter, but the plantation opposed its inclusion. Soon faced with a choice of joining Connecticut or coming under the rule of the Duke of York, and thus being included in the Province of New York administratively, the towns of New Haven plantation, one by one, affiliated, until finally New Haven itself yielded to pressures on 5 January 1665.
The commission was followed by a general court whose meeting was required by the impending Pequot Indian war. In their language Pequot translated to "destroyers of men" and they were opposed to the colonization of their land. Initial skirmishes occurred at Saybrook and extended as far upriver as Wethersfield. Three murders, including two massacres on Wethersfield Plantation, prompted the Court to consider undertaking a defensive war. The Pequots had moved southward, warring against a number of other tribes, including the Niantics, Mohegans and Narragansetts, pausing to recoup and gather their strength on the banks of the Thames River near the present boundary of Rhode Island.
The colony thought it could count upon the offended tribes, especially the powerful Narragansetts under Miantonomo, to become allies in the war. In May, Hooker and his council decided that the militia must go on the offensive, so the three principal towns were required to supply 90 men, which required a commitment of about half of the able-bodied men in the colony. Springfield Plantation and a few other tiny settlements were exempted from the general requirement that all federated towns contribute men toward the expedition. All the plantations were vulnerable to attack, but these towns were so exposed to dangers that the Court feared for the safety of the men's families should they be called to war. By the end of June an additional 40 men had been added. Supplementing this tiny force were the traditional enemies of the Pequots, the Mohicans under Uncas.
Captain Mason's mixed force of militia and Amerindians followed the Pequots to a location near Nehantic Fort. The surprise attack on the Pequot encampment about two miles from present-day Mystic was an overwhelming success, although the expected alliance yielded few warriors from the other Amerindian tribes. Pursuing the Pequots with a vengeance, the Connecticut militia trapped them near Southport and in a bloody fight in a swamp destroyed Pequot power. The surviving Pequots turned on their chief Sassacus and chose a new war leader. Mason pursued the Pequots and killed most of the survivors at what is now Fairfield.
In preparation for the Pequot War of 1636, the General Court at Hartford ordered that "every Plantation shall train once in every month and if upon complaint of their military officer it appears that there bee divers very unskillful" the commander may order that additional exercises be held, either for the whole company or only for those who were deficient. Further,
It is ordered that every plantacon shall traine once in every moneth, & if vppon complainte of their military officer it appr that there bee divers very vnskilfull the sayde plantacon may appointe the officer to traine oftener the saide vnskillfull. And that the saide military officer take veiwe of their seurall Armes whether they be seruiceable or noe. And for default of every souldiers absent the absent to paye 5s. for every tyme without lawfull excuse within 2 dayes after tendered to the Comrs or one of them in the saide plantacon. And for any default in Armes vppon warnings to them by the saide officer to amend the same & a tyme sett & if not then amended by the tyme appointed, 1 shilling [fine] every tyme. And where Armes are wholly wantinge to be bounde over to answere it at the next Corte.(348)
Consideration of the increasing threat from the Pequots constituted the only important business of the first session of the Connecticut General Court. Following the victory of the Pequots, Mason was named "publique military officer of the plantacions of Connecticut." The Court established powder magazines in the four towns. Public supplies of gunpowder were designed to augment the smaller supplues each man was required to keep at his home, and to supply men who practiced shooting on training days. Most of the towns began with a supply of two small [half] barrels of gunpowder. The Court also ordered that an enumeration be made of the male inhabitants with an eye to requiring universal military training of all able-bodied males between 16 and 60.
Possession of firearms, of course, gave the settlers an enormous advantage over the natives who were armed only with stone age weapons. As elsewhere. just the sound of the discharge of a firelock was sufficient to strike terror in the hearts of the savages. Gun control was advanced, with the General Court assigning severe penalties for the sale to the Indians of arms, gunpowder and lead. The law proved easier to pass than to enforce, and other European powers, notably France, supplied arms and munitions to the Amerindians.
The Court invested in some military equipment for its militia. "It is ordered that there shalbe fiftie Costlets provided in the plantacons viz., Harteford 21 Costlets, Windsor 12, Weathersfield 10, Agawam 7, which are to bee provided within 6 monthes at farthrest." A corslet was light half-armor worn by heavy infantry, consisting of a collar, breast-plate, tassets, vambraces, gauntlets and an open helmet, but no leg-harness.(349) The officers were to make a list of those militiamen to whom the armor had been issued, and the men were required to maintain the corsalets once issued. "And the saide Costlets are to be viewed by the military officer that is provided for that purpose, and if he disallowe them as insufficient they are to pruide better. And alsoe that the saide Townes are to giue in the names of such as are to finde the saide Cosletts, att the next generall Courte, and then such as shall faile to provide by the day aforsaide shall forthwith pay 10 shillings and five shillings a moneth vntill he hath supplied them; and it shall alsoe be lawful for the saide military officer to call for the saide corsteletts to viewe whether they [be] in repaire or noe." The penalty for missing a meeting was 5 shillings. The law provided that the Connecticut militia might offer fraternal aid to any of the other colonies.(350)
Next, the General Court granted John Mason the permanent rank and pay of captain with an annual salary of £40, making him the colony's first paid military officer. It instructed him to train the militiamen. "It is alsoe ordered that the saide Captaine Mason shall have liberty to traine the saide military men in every plantacon. . . ." He was to assemble the men and drill then at least "tenn dayes in every yeere, soe as it be not in June or July, giving a weekes warning before hand. . . ." All able-bodied men above the age of sixteen years were to muster. Each man was to supply himself with a good match-lock or fire-lock and accoutrements suited to his arm, a half-pound of gunpowder and two pounds of lead ball. In the same act, the commissioners ordered that specific training days be established. "It is ordered that Captaine Mason shalbe a publique military officer of the plantacons of Conecticot, and shall traine the military men thereof in each plantatons according to the dayes appointed . . . ." Those officers assigned to training the milita "shall have 40 livres pr annum, to be paid oute of the Treasury quarterly, the pay to begine from the day of the date hereof."
Having made at least some preparations for defense, the colony appointed additional paid officers. Captain John Underhill, having left the confining religious atmosphere of Massachusetts, was placed in charge of military planning, assisted by Captain John Mason and Lieutenant Robert Seely. The colony had few problems with the Amerindians for another forty years.(351) When war came between the Mohegans and the Narragansett, the whole New England Confederation took the side of Uncas over the Narragansett's Miantonomo whom the Mohegans treacherously murdered.
During the Pequot War, the Connecticut militia demanded that it have its own choice of chaplain as well as officers. Reverend Samuel Stone had initially served as chaplain, but the popular choice was Reverend John Wilson. The civil authorities had suspended Wilson because they had thought him guilty of heresy. Wilson was suspected of accepting and disseminating the teachings of Anne Hutchinson.(352) Until Wilson was released for service the militia simply refused to march.
Following the Pequot War there was a colonial expansion into the interior, especially into areas once owned by the Pequots. Here the militia performed another kind of service. Some interior towns began life as forts, manned only by militia. Saybrook, for example, was little more than a pallisaded safety haven established by Lion Gardiner in 1635, but by 1641 it had lost its military character. Other areas attracted militia to guard trading interests and these fortified areas grew into towns.(353)
Shortly after the Pequot War the General Court ordered that some militia companies be enrolled as minutemen. This specially prepared, trained, and equipped organization was to be a ready force to engage any enemy, foreign or domestic, at a moment's notice.
The obligation to bear arms was universal, although exemptions could be made for those with physical handicaps. "Item, it is ordered that all persons shall beare Armes that are above the age of sixteene yeeres except they doe tender a sufficient excuse [to] the Corte & the Cort allowe the same. The Comrs & Church officers for the present to bee exempted, as alsoe for the tyme to come after they have beene a Comissioner or Comrs or Church officer. . . ." Those excused from militia duty were "to bee likewise for all tymes afterward exempted for bearing Armes, Watchinges & Wardinges."
The new order placed the towns and plantations under obligation to keep supplies for the militia. "It is ordered that there shalbe a magace of powder and shott in every plantaton that the supply of Or[dinary] military men if occasion serve, videlicet; Harteford twoe barrels, Windsor 1 barrell of powder, 300 weighte of leade, Weathersfeild 1 barrell of powder, 300 of leade, Aggawam halfe a barrell of powder, 150 of leade. . . . The presence of such supplies did not excuse the militiamen from the individual obligation to own arms and supplies. "Every military man is to have continually in his house in a readines halfe a pounde of goode powder, 2 1b of bullets. . . ."
On 18 February 1638 the Connecticut General Council took up the issue of equipping the militia. Inspectors had failed in their assignment of "surveying the armour and other military provisions" of each able bodied male inhabitant and in each town four times a year. Council ordered the inspectors to take their charge seriously and to make the required surveys. Those failing to do so would be fined £0/20/0. The militia was to meet for instruction, inspection and training at least six days a year.(354)
In 1643 the militia of Hartford made a report of the arms it possessed. It had in the magazine 2 great guns, 35 pounds of fine powder, 2 kegs of gunpowder, one-half pig of lead, 12 half-pikes, 680 flints and various "dogs and staples of uiron." In 1706 it possessed 1326 pounds of lead, 2 kegs plus another 600 pounds of gunpowder, 10 great guns, 33 half-pikes and various worms, bullets, chargers and flints.(355)
In 1637 Connecticut had proposed that the Puritan colonies form a mutual aid military alliance against the Amerindians and the Dutch. Two major obstacles precluded an early decision to form this league. Springfield had chosen to enter the New England Confederation in 1643 as a part of Massachusetts, seceding from Connecticut, a decision to which Massachusetts did not acquiesce for ten years. In the interim this small plantation which laid on the east side of the Connecticut River was essentially devoid of outside help. William Pynchon governed until his death and was succeeded by his son John ( -1703), ruling under Massachusetts commissions as judge and magistrate dating from 1641. The second controversy centered around the division of Pequot land ceded after the war. In 1643 the treaty was signed but the antipathy had not ended. The confederation was essentially unnecessary after Connecticut in 1665 annexed New Haven although it continued to exist on paper for some time after that.
In 1644 the Connecticut Code of Law required that, the cities were to arm their inhabitants, as were needed for the militia. The law defined the militia as "every male person within this Jurisdiction that is above the age of sixteen years." Magistrates and ministers were exempted from training with the remainder of the militia, but were considered to be a part of the militia. Each citizen-soldier had to provide his own powder, shot, cartridge box and accoutrements.(356) "Each inhabitant in this corporation [Hartford] . . . is to provide and keep Armes. . . [and] shall provide four pounds of bullets and one pound of powder; and that this shall be in readiness at all times . . . . "(357) Militia units are as old in America as the foundation of each colony. Each group of pioneering Europeans brought with it an armorer who also served to organize and discipline the colonists in the citizen-soldier militia system. The early militia law passed in Connecticut in 1644 provided that,(358)
Each towne allso shall provide so many good firelocke muskets and good backswords or Cutlases. . . . That every male person within this Jurissdiction that is above the age of 16 years . . . shall bee allwayes provided with and have in readiness by them halfe a pound of Powder two serviceable Bullitts or shott, and two fathoms of Match to every Matchlock, upon the penalty of 5 shillings per month.
In 1650 the legislature allowed each man 12 pence per year to maintain his own firearm.(359) In 1653 the legislature ordered the militia be organized along county lines, following the model created by Massachusetts in 1643. By 1658 the Connecticut militia had established a standard of three days local militia muster and two days general muster. On 23 August 1658 the General Court ordered that there be "three particular training days that are by order and custom be attended . . . the General Muster is to be attended for two days space." The Court further ordered that"noe soldier that attendeds the service aforesaid shal dimish any of that proportion of powder that ye Order of the Country imposeth on him."(360)
Connecticut adopted its first code of laws in 1650, and agitated for separation from Massachusetts. In 1662 John Winthrop succeeded in obtaining a crown charter, thus guaranteeing full independence from the parent colony. The Connecticut Charter of 1662 provided authority for the colonial authorities to create and arm a militia. The charter assigned several tasks to the militia, including seacoast watch, posse comitas, containment of rebellion and insurrection and resistance to the Amerindians. The charter read in part,
it shall and may be lawful . . . for the Chief Commanders, Governors and Officers . . . by their Leave, Admittance, Appointment or Direction from Time to Time, and at all Times hereafter, for their special Defence and Safety, to assemble, Martial Array, and put in warlike Posture the Inhabitants of the said Colony, and to Commissionate, Impower and Authorize such Person or Persons, as they shall think fit, to lead and conduct the said Inhabitants and to encounter, repulse, repel and resist by Force of Arms as well as by Sea or Land, and also to kill, slay and destroy by all fitting Ways, Enterprises and Means whatsoever, all and every such Person or Persons as shall at any time hereafter attempt or enterprize the Destruction, Invasion, Detriment or Annoyance of the said Inhabitants or Plantations, and to use and exercise Martial Law in such Cases only as Occasion shall require. . . .(361)
In 1663 the General Court appointed a muster master, an officer whose primary responsibility was to see that the men enrolled in the militia actually attended musters and drilled properly. The colony created a committee of overseers to inspect the militia, its arms and training.(362)
Prior to 1672 each town in the colony had one militia company, with 64 men being considered a full complement, although most companies were undersubscribed. On 26 June 1672 the regimental system was created, with the first companies to be integrated being drawn from the counties of Hartford, New Haven and Fairfield. In October 1672 the colony created a new militia act. It required that all able-bodied males between ages 16 and 60 serve except magistrates, church officers, physicians and surgeons, school masters, herdsmen and mariners. The remainder was placed on active call "to bear arms unless they upon just occasions have exemptions granted them by the Court."(363)
On 11 August 1673 the Grand Committee of Connecticut ordered that another specialized branch of the citizen soldiers be formed to operate as dragoons. The Committee ordered that, "each dragoone be provided with a good sword and belt and serviceable muskett or kirbine, with a shott pouch and powder and bullitts, vizt., 1 pound of powder made into cartridges fitt for his gunne and 3 pounds of bulletts. . . ." The Colony would pay for the hardware and individual was to keep his gun and accoutrements in his home ready for use at a moment's notice. "[I]n the county of Hartford there shall be raysed 100 dragoones, to be in readiness upon an howr's warning for a march; whoe are to have their armes well fixed and fitted for service."(364) In 1660 blacks, whether free or enslaved, and Amerindians were specifically exempted from standing watch or serving in the militia.(365)
Early in the history of Connecticut edged weapons, not firearms, predominated as militia weapons. On 31 July 1666 the colony ordered that "such persons as bear Pikes in ye Train Bands . . . shall forthwith procure their pikes to be sufficiently headed and [the] pike to be no less that 1`4 foot in length." Those who failed to properly maintain their pikes "shall sell their poles to the Overseer of the Town where they live."(366)
On 14 October 1675 the legislature ordered an inspection of all mounted troops and the dismissal of such of them as had failed to provide himself with a good horse and appropriate arms and equipment. Those so dismissed had to rejoin their old foot regiments.(367) Following reports of massacres perpetrated by the Pequot Amerindian nation, the colonial legislature ordered that all persons "be duly prepared and provided with arms and ammunition."(368) It also ordered,
that none should go to work, nor travel, no, not so much as to Church, without arms. A corps of guard of 14 or 15 soldiers was appointed to watch every night and sentinels were set in convenient places about the Plantations, the drum beating when they went to watch, and every man commanded to be in readiness upon an alarm, upon pain of a [fine of] £5. A day of fast and prayers was also kept.(369)
In 1675 the last major Amerindian war broke out. Known as King Philip's War, led by a chief known among his own people as Metacom, leader of the Wampamoags, this bitter and brutal struggle had multiple roots. Metacom had run up considerable debts that he could satisfy only by selling land to the colonists. The colonists hung several warriors for murdering Metacom's secretary. Clashes occurred as early as June 1675 at Swansea, Rhode Island, and spread quickly. Metacom was able to enlist other tribes, including the Nipmucks. Connecticut sent some of the newly formed dragoons to New London and Stonington. The New England Confederation called for 1000 men, of which 315 were to come from Connecticut. It actually delivered five companies commanded by Major Robert Treat and 150 warriors from its allies the Mohicans.
On 19 December 1675 the allied force confronted some 3000 Amerindians under Metacom at a fortified blockhouse surrounded by a triple pallisade. At the Great Swamp Fight, near Narragansett Bay, about two-thirds of the Amerindians were killed. Connecticut lost forty dead and the same number wounded. Among the dead was Captain John Mason, Jr.
The war continued, with the Amerindians raiding into Connecticut, first at Pine Meadow [Windsor Locks] and then burning the settlement at Simsbury, although most of the action occurred in Massachusetts. The war ended only when Metacom was betrayed by another Indian, and trapped, then killed, by Massachusetts militiamen.
In 1680 the colony could boast that it had 2507 trained militiamen. There were about 60 mounted troops, militia dragoons, and another three troops of mounted militia were being trained. Each county had its own train band which elected its own officers. All militia were nominally under the command of the colony's governor. The train bands were apportioned as follows: Hartford County, where there are 835 trained soldiers; New Haven, where there are about 623 trained soldiers; New London, where there are about 509 trained soldiers; Fairfield, where there are about 540 trained soldiers(370) In May 1680 the legislature placed a fine of three shillings on those neglecting to attend militia training sessions.(371)
A new Militia Act, passed on 24 March 1687, required that each militiaman provide himself with a musket, cartridge box, sword, a dozen bullets and gunpowder in measure. The fine for missing militia muster was reduced from 30 to six shillings.(372)
When James II came to the British throne, he appointed Edmond Andros as Viceroy over territory including Connecticut. Andros had had a long standing dispute with Connecticut dating to his term as governor of New York when he had tried to please then Duke of York by extending York's governance over all territory west of the Connecticut River. In October 1687, Andros came to Hartford and assumed the power to appoint all civil officers, including those of the provincial militia. On 28 October 1687 Andros demanded the surrender of the colony's treasured charter. As the legislature debated the issue into the night, the candles were suddenly extinguished. A militia captain named Wadsworth is credited with seizing the charter and hiding it in the Charter Oak. Despite his failure to confiscate the charter, Andros' "despotic rule" continued through February 1689 when the people of Boston, "as their contribution to the Glorious Revolution," removed him from authority. The new king, William of Orange, in 1689, allowed to people of Connecticut to reassume the charter and govern themselves.(373)
By an Act of 1689, the Connecticut legislature ordered that militia officers formerly commissioned by the governor retain their offices, but "in case of want of officers in any Trayned Bands, or they be dissatisfied with their officers, they may nominate others to the next Session of the Court."(374)
King William's War followed. In 1689, the French, operating out of Canada, raided into New York, burning Schenectady. The General Court, fear a French invasion of Connecticut, mobilized the minutemen. The Crown issued a call for 1000 men, of which 315 were to be militia volunteers from Connecticut. Nothing came of the war as far as Connecticut was concerned, although the war dragged on inconclusively until 1697.
On 14 May 1692 William Phips arrived at Boston carrying a commission as Captain-general, Governor and Commander-in-chief of the militia for Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, the King's Province, Massachusetts and New Hampshire estates. Connecticut opposed one portion of this appointment with great vigor because it controlled its own militia completely by terms of its colonial charter. There was no provision for subordinating its provincial militia to any exterior authority. Its council and legislature vowed to retain control over the militia and not submit to Sir William or anyone else not approved by the provincial authorities.(375)
Militia days, as the required days of training of the great militia were called, underwent several changes during the colonial history of Connecticut. During most of the Seventeenth Century the militia drilled on most Sabbaths.(376) Failure to attend militia training continued to be a problem in the colony so in October 1696 the legislature again took action. It reenacted the law to "prevent and suppress the disorder of Soldiers in not coming . . . in their Arms Compleat and well fixed upon the days of training. . . to exercise in the use of his arms and military discipline." This time it lowered the fine for each infraction to two shillings.(377)
By 1698 the training days were dropped to six times a year.(378) In October 1708 the legislature lowered the upper age bracket for militia training to 55. They were ordered to maintain their weapons as before so that they constituted a final reserve; and they were permitted, as veterans, to continue to participate in elections of militia officers. The government also ordered that artillery companies be created within the militia system.(379) The next year the legislature moved to require additional training of militia officers and instruct them in the use of training manuals.(380) In August 1710 the government ordered that annual returns of the militia be made, giving certain basic information. The report had to show the numbers enrolled in each company; the extent of arms and training among the men; and the numbers of eligibles in each militia district.(381)
The age span for required militia service likewise underwent several changes. Most of the time Connecticut, like most other colonies, set sixteen as the minimum age for service. Initially men served only until they were age 30. In 1708 the age bracket was extended to fifty-five.(382) The age was then lowered to fifty (383) and finally, in 1764, to age 45. (384) A census of the militia taken in September 1730 showed that there were 8500 freemen enrolled.(385) For some unknown reason attorneys were exempted from militia duty.(386)
King William III was succeeded by Queen Anne, who entered the War of Spanish Succession, as it was known in Europe, and Queen Anne's War, as the colonists called it. In 1703 the French burned Deerfield, Massachusetts. The Connecticut General Court debated and finally decided that it would not deploy militia in the wilderness areas of the colony because "French and Indians lurked" all along the frontier. The elected body also resisted the Crown's call to dispatch militia volunteers to accompany the ill-fated expedition against Port Royal in 1707.
In 1708 Queen Anne ordered Colonel Samuel Vetch to contact the colonial governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and order them to provide 1500 of their best militiamen to serve as volunteers in her army. She assigned Connecticut to provide 350 men to fight in Canada. Additionally, the queen ordered Vetch to try to enlist as many Connecticut volunteers as possible to join the expedition. This time, the Court was unable to shield its militia, so 300 volunteers form part of the 1500 man colonial force, which, with 400 British regulars, captured Port Royal, but only at a very considerable cost in men, money and materials of war.(387)
On 14 October 1708 the legislature amended the fundamental militia act. In addition to the occupational exemptions, the law now exempted "Indians, Negroes and Mulattoes." It also created a watch system for the "time of war and danger" that required service of all militiamen. The disposition of men on watch was left to the military authorities. The act was almost immediately amended to require attendance at militia musters and exercises, again allowing the military officers to set time, place and frequency of training days.(388)
In September 1730 the governor was asked to report to the Lords of Trade on the state of the colony and its militia. The colony had about 12,000 inhabitants in 1640. In 1730 there were an estimated 38,000 inhabitants of all ages, races and both sexes, among which were 700 Indian and black slaves. Without giving specific numbers, the governor reported that "the number of inhabitants [has] much increased this ten years past." Membership in the train bands, as the colony continued to call its militia, was an estimated 8500, including most males, ages 16 to 55. The minutemen constituted about one-third of this number, and the dragoons filled one regiment, although both were undertrained.(389)
The colony, as with its sister colonies, generally imported all the militia arms, whether swords, pikes, muskets or fowling pieces, from the mother country. By 1700 local arms makers had begun to make some weapons. One of the first identifiable arms contractors was a militia captain, Theophilus Munson, born 1 September 1675. On 6 March 1697 he purchased a property on the southeast corner of Elm and High streets, New Haven, where he built a gunshop and smithy. A musket with a hand-made dog-lock dated 1700 bears his mark. He also made various edged weapons, including pikes. A list of the colony's debts for August 1711 shows a bill from Munson for repairing and marking the colony's arms. Another invoice dated 8 December 1728 shows that he worked on the colony's "great guns" or cannon. His business prospered and his shop grew in size. He presumably trained quite a few apprentices and journeymen gunsmiths and supervised their work until his death on 28 November 1747.(390)
Because the government believed that far too many men were being declared invalids who were sufficiently able-bodied to perform militia duty, in October 1714 the law was altered so that a certificate of two physicians or surgeons were required to obtain even a temporary exemption.(391) Other minor changes were made to the militia act in October 1722.(392) With reports of impending attacks along the frontier by Amerindians linked with the French in Canada, on 26 April 1725 the legislature moved to increase militia training, equipage and practice.(393)
In the autumn of 1733 Governor Talcott appointed Captain John Mason to study the reasons why the Amerindians raided the frontier. On 8 October 1733 Mason reported to Governor Talcott that, after completing his study of, he had concluded that the availability of intoxicating liquors was the major factor. He recommended that the governor appoint several men to act as agents to control the trade in spirits and to "prosecute to effect such persons as should be known as to sell [liquor] unto them." Mason thought that the costs of controlling the liquor trade would be more than offset by the reduction in uses and deployment of the militia. "Your Honour is not insensible," he wrote, "of the great damage that strong liquors have been to these people."(394)
In 1740 Connecticut revised its militia law.(395) Those between 16 and 60 years of age were liable for service either in the army or the militia. The purpose of the new act was simply stated in its preamble. "Whereas for the honour and service of his Majesty, and for the security of this his Majesty's Colony against any violence or invasion whatsoever, it is necessary that due care be taken that the inhabitants thereof he armed, trained, and in a suitable posture and readiness for the ends aforesaid: And that every person may know his duty, and be obliged to perform the same." The act provided universal manhood training. "Be it enacted by the Gouvenour Council and Representatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, That all male persons, from sixteen years of age to fifty, shall bear arms and duly attend all musters and military exercises of the respective troops and companies where they are inlisted or do belong."
The exceptions to universal service were relatively few and were the common exceptions found in most contemporary provincial militia acts. It exempted "assistants, justices of the peace, the Secretary, church officers, time rector, tutors and students at the collegiate school, masters of art, allowed physicians and surgeons, representatives or deputies for the time being school masters, attorneys at law, one miller to each grist-mill, constant herdsmen, amid mariners who make it their constant business to go to sea, sheriffs, constables, [and] constant ferrymen,." Those physically unable to serve had to provide physicians' certificates. "Lame persons or otherwise disabled in body, producing certificate thereof from two able physicians or surgeons s to the acceptance of the two chief officers of the company whereto seeking dismission appertain, or of the chief officer of the regiment to which such company belongs. . . ."
The law provided exemptions for the disabled, members of certain professions, and all non-Caucasians. The law also exempted "Indians and negroes." All other persons "listed in any troop or company shall so continue and attend all duty in such troop or company, or otherwise suffer the penalty by law provided, until orderly dismissed, or removed out of the town or precinct; and in case of removal into the precinct of aim other company in the same town, to produce a certificate under the hand of the chief officer of time company in the precinct where he is removed, that he is listed theresaid, and to lead or cause such troops, so formed or filled up, to impelled to be choice of officers proper and necessary and make return thereof to the General Assembly."
The law allowed the men latitude in the selection of their uniforms. "And the respective troops in this Colony are hereby impowered, two-thirds at least of such troops agreeing to pass votes for the regulating said troops with respect to the colour of their cloathing. . . ." The troops were also permitted "to impose fines, not exceeding twenty shillings per day, on such as neglect or refuse to comply with such votes; and such fines shall be leveyed in the same manner, and disposed of and improved for the same uses, as other fines and penalties in said troops by law are."
The legislature retained the power to appoint senior officers. "That there shall be in each regiment, from time to time, appointed by the General Assembly a colonel, lieutenant-colonel amid major, who shall be commissioned by the Governor for the time being." The legislature gave certain specific powers to these senior officers. "That the colonel or chief officer of each regiment, as often as he shall see cause, shall require the captain or chief officer of each company in his regiment to meet, at such time and place as he shall appoint, to confer with them and give in charge such orders as shall by them, or the major part of them, be judged meet, for the better ordering military affairs and promoting military discipline in said regiment."
Each unit elected its own minor officers. The act charged the senior officers with seeing that musters and drills were held. The senior officers were to check on the elected minor officers to ascertain if they were performing their duties properly. Training and equipment inspection were the most important functions of the minor officers in peacetime. There were to be four training days per year, with no less than three days advance notice of musters.
That the colonel or chief military officer of each regiment is hereby authorized and required to muster together the several companies in his regiment, or such a number of them as he shall judge proper, [at least] once in four years, for regimental exercise; which musters the several captains or chief officers of said companies are required to attend with their companies, on penalty of £5, which said penalties shall be distrained by warrant from the chief officer of said regiment, directed to either of the constables of the town in which said captain dwells, and be paid into the treasury of said town. . . . That the colonel or chief officer of each regiment shall be, and is hereby impowered and authorized, upon any alarm, invasion, or notice of the appearance of an enemy, either by sea or land, to assemble in martial array and put in war-like posture the whole militia of time regiment under his command, or such part of them as he shall think needful, and being so armed, to lead, conduct and imploy them, as well within the regiment whereto they belong as in any other adjacent place in this Colony, for the assisting, succumbing and relieving any of his Majesty's subjects, forts, towns or places that shall be assaulted by as an enemy, or in danger thereof, and with them by force of arms to encounter, repel, pursue, kill and destroy such enemy, or any of them, by any fitting ways, enterprizes or means whatsoever. And the colonel or chief officer of any regiment, so taking to arms or leading forth any party of men, shall forthwith post away the intelligence and occasion thereof to the captain-general or commander in chief for the time being, and shall attend and observe such directions and orders as he shall receive from him. . . . That when any town or place in this Colony shall be assaulted by Indians, or any other enemy, it shall be lawful for and within the power of the chief commission officer or officers of the company or companies in such place so assaulted, to call forth all the souldiers under his or their command, and to martial order and dispose them in time best manner to defend the place assaulted, and to encounter, repel, pursue and destroy time enemy, and, if need so require, to assist a neighbour town when assaulted as aforesaid. And that such officer or officers so taking to arms shall forthwith dispatch notice to his or their superior officer of his or their motion and time occasion thereof, and observe such commands and orders as he or they shall receive from him.
The law gave officers considerable latitude in handling minor offenses that might occur within their units. "That the chief officers of each regiment shall order the correcting and punishing disorders and contempt on days of regimental exercises, and the two chief officers of any company or troop shall order the correcting and punishing disorders and contempt on training days or on a military watch." Their authority was limited to levying fines and the imposition of what was then considered relatively easy physical punishment, that is, "the punishment not being greater than laying neck amid heels, riding time wooden horse, or twenty shillings fine." The fine for insubordination was £10.
The penalty for missing drills was increased to 10 shillings for enlisted men and 12 shillings for officers. Adults were, of course, responsible for their own berhavior and compliance with the law. Parents and guardians were responsible for their wards. "That all fines, penalties and forfeitures, arising by virtue of this act or any breach thereof, shall be levyed on the goods or chattels of the respective delinquents, if upwards of twenty-one years of age, and on the goods or chattels of tine parents, masters or guardians of such delinquents as have not arrived at the age of twenty-one years. . . ." The law also specified the use of fines. The militia fines "shall be for the use of the respective companies or troops to which the persons fined do belong, (except such fines as are otherwise disposed of in this act:) that is to say, for tine procuring and maintaining trumpets, colours, banners amid halberts, and for paying drummers and trumpeters, or other charge of said company, by direction of tine commission officers of such company".
The act assumed that militia fines would be sufficient to provide some basic equipment and accoutrements. However, "where there are not fines sufficient to provide halberts amid colours amid to pay drummers, what is wanting shall be had out of the town treasury." The towns and cities also had to provide, out of their own resources, for military stores, such as ammunition, lead and gunpowder. "The providing a sufficient stock of ammunition or military stores for the Colony, as also for the several towns within the same, is necessary for the defence thereof . . . ."
And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the selectmen of the several towns in this Colony, and they are hereby ordered and directed to provide, keep, and to renew from time to time as occasion shall require, a sufficient stock of ammunition or military stores inn the several towns in this Colony to which they do respectively belong, which shall not be less than fifty pounds of good powder, two hundred weight of bullets and three hundred flints, for every sixty listed souldiers, and after that proportion for all the listed souldiers in each town, whether they be more or less. And the selectmen of any town that are not able (upon information made to the colonel or chief officer of tine regiment to which such town doth belong) to make it appear to said colonel or chief officer of such regiment, that they are provided with such stock of ammunition as aforesaid, within three months after the publication hereof, shall pay a fine of £5 lawful money, one-third part of which fine shall be to him that shall inform against them, the remainder shall be laid out and improved towards the procuring such stores which said penalty shall be distrained by warrant signed by said colonel or chief officer of said regiment, directed to the sheriff of the county in which such town is, his deputy, or either of the constables of said town, and shall be accordingly collected and paid into the hands of said colonel or chief officer aforesaid, for the purposes aforesaid . . . . And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the selectmen of any town, as aforesaid, shall incur the same penalty for every three months that they shall remain unprovided as aforesaid, to be levyed and improved as aforesaid. . . . And if any person or persons, being warned as aforesaid, or in any other manner which the authority and selectmen shall agree and conclude upon, shall neglect or refuse to attend at time and place, armed and furnished as aforesaid, or to observe the orders to them given by the constable or any other person appointed by the authority and selectmen as aforesaid, shall for every such neglect or offence pay a fine of ten shillings, which by warrant from an assistant or justice of the peace shall be levyed by the constable, and disposed of for the use of said watch.
The colony had to provide some basic stocks of war materials. "The Treasurer of this Colony for the time being shall, at all times hereafter, at the publick charge of this Colony, procure, keep and maintain, a magazine of powder and shot, to be ready for the use of the Colony as occasion may call for the same; and the said Treasurer is hereby ordered and directed to take direction from time to time for the Governor and Council, respecting the quantity and proportion of said stores of ammunition."
Men had to provide their own equipment and firearms. The law provided, "That every listed souldier and other house-holder (except troopers) shall always be provided with, and have in continual readiness, a well-fixed firelock, the barrel not less than three feet and an half long, or other good fire-arms to the satisfaction of the commission officers of the company to which he doth belong, or in the limits of which he dwells, a good sword or cutlass, a worm primer, and priming wire, fit for his gun, a cartridge-box, one pound of good powder, four pounds of bullets fit for his gun, and twelve flints, on penalty of ten shillings for want of such arms and ammunition as is hereby required, and three shillings for each defect; and the like sum or sums for every four weeks he shall remain unprovided." Those who had extra duties also had to provide what they needed. "And every person chosen by any company for their drummer, upon his accepting said service shall provide himself a good drum, and constantly attend service when required, on penalty of ten shillings fine for each day's neglect, to be levyed by warrant from the two chief officers of time company to which such drummer belongs; and shall be paid for each day's service six shillings."
The law created a militia class for cavalry. Members of the mounted units had to keep a horse and weapons appropriate for use on horseback. "That every trooper shall be always provided with a good serviceable horse, not less than 14 hands high, to the acceptance of the two chief commission officers of the troop to which he belongs, covered with a good saddle with housing and other proper furniture thereto, bitt, bridle and holsters, and furnished with a carbine, the barrel not less than two feet and half long, with a belt and swivel, a case of good pistols, a sword or cutlass, a flask or cartridge-box, one pound of good powder, three pounds of sizeable bullets, twenty flints, a good pair of boots and spurs, on penalty of 15 shillings for want of such horse, as is hereby ordered, and three shillings for each other defect, and the like sum for every six weeks he shall remain unprovided; and that each trooper list his horse, and shall not dispose thereof without the consent of the chief officer, on the penalty of five pounds. And for non-appearance at the time and place appointed for exercise, every listed trooper shall pay a fine of twelve shillings for each days neglect."
The law provided that towns set up watches wherever needed. "And, for as much as it may be necessary for the better defence of the Colony, or any parts thereof exposed to invasion &c., that watches and wards be kept up at times and places within the same, Be it therefore further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That when and so often as the authority and selectmen in any town in this Colony, or the major part of them, shall judge it necessary or highly convenient for the safety of such town, to have watches and wards therein, they are hereby authorized and impowered, by warrant to command the constable, or some other meet person by them appointed, to warn such a number of men to appear at such time and place in said town as they shall think necessary; and all and every such person or persons that shall be notified to watch or ward as aforesaid. . . ." Those chosen for watch duty "shall appear at the time and place with a good fire-lock and sword, a quarter of a pound of powder, and one pound of bullets fit for his gun, and observe such directions as shall be given by order of said authority and selectmen, who are hereby impowered to give such orders and directions relating to the regulating such watching and warding, and the continuance thereof, as they shall judge needful."(396)
In early 1740 Great Britain asked Connecticut to supply volunteers from the militia to serve in an expedition against the Spanish West Indies under Major-general Gooch.(397) The militia supplied 600 volunteers, and Governor Talcott wrote to Captain John Monson, informing him that the British were overwhelmed by the response. Still, the colony had a quota of only 200 volunteers and it was to be Monson's job to choose which of the 600 men would be enrolled. The remainder of the volunteers would be retained to protect the colony from French and Indian attack.(398)
In March 1755 the General Assembly raised 1000 men, placed in two regiments. Shortly thereafter the colony enlisted another 7500 militiamen who were ordered to form in two additional regiments.(399) On 23 January 1755 Privy Council Secretary Robinson notified the governor of Connecticut that Parliament had inserted a clause in the Mutiny Bill "enacting that all [militia] troops in America whilst in conjunction with the British forces under the command of an Officer bearing His Majesty's immediate commission shall be liable to the same Martial Law and Discipline as the British Forces are." The same act reduced all colonial militia officers to a subordinate position to all but the lowest rank of British commissioned officers. Thus, even a general in the Connecticut militia was required to take orders from a British army captain.(400)
The legislature chose in the same year to make certain revisions in the colony's militia law primarily aimed at preventing men to escape their militia duty through one of several clever ruses. It also made all militiamen, including special and mounted troops, subject to impressment into the king's service outside the province. Still, the lawmakers lamented, it was to be hoped that the militia "in this Colony are not likely to be serviceable abroad" and that they "will be excused from a proportionable part of his Majesty's service against the enemy" because taking the militia out of the province might weaken it "to the prejudice of the public service."(401)
In 1755, as the crown prepared to attack the French at Crown Point and elsewhere, Governor Thomas Fitch reported to the Lords of Trade and the Privy Council that the colony was in a poor state of readiness to undertake an expedition against the French. The greatest problem was a deficiency in arms of military type and quality. "What adds to our difficulties in these services is the want of a supply of good arms, there being no Public Store of that kind in the Colony." The militiamen's arms were wholly inadequate. "Those which belong to private persons [are] mostly poor and undersized and unfit for an expedition." Many militiamen were too poor to buy sufficient arms, with the result being that the "able-bodied effective men are unprovided and unable to provide for themselves."(402) Still, if the crown were to provide arms, the colony "though small, being warmed with zeal for your Majesty's service" was able to "raise 1000 men . . . to be augmented by 1500 if there be necessity of it" to join in the attack on the French at Crown Point.(403)
The Lords of Trade wrote to Governor Fitch, asking "the present actual state and quantity of cannon, small arms, ammunition and other ordnance and military stores belonging to the said Colony" whether publicly held or in private hands. It also asked for the "real number of persons, whites and blacks, how many of the former are able to bear arms" in the colony and the state of the colony's militia law. Having already reported on the state of armaments, in a letter that doubtless was in transit when the Lords wrote to Fitch, the governor had only to supplement his previous report. His response came in several parts, spread out over more than a full year in time.
Meanwhile, Fitch was able to tell the king of a major success on Lake George. The French and their Amerindian allies had been raiding the New England colonies from Fort St. Frederick at Crown Point. The provincial forces routed Baron Dieskau's "troops, consisting of Regulars from France, Canadians and Indians of diverse Nations." The 3000 militia and volunteers had inflicted many casualties "wherein many of the officers and a great number of the enemies were slain, their general taken and a happy victory obtained."(404) The king responded to the good news by noting the arms deficiency Fitch had reported on 1 August and taking cognizance of his report that the militia could be of greater use to the crown "if a proper supply of good arms could be furnished them." The king notified Fitch that, as a reward for faithful service, and as an inducement to act even more boldly against his enemies, he was shipping 10,000 stands of arms, sufficient ammunition and other accoutrements for the use of all the New England colonies.(405)
Lord Loudoun, having succeeded William Shirley (1694-1771)(406) as supreme British commander in North America, decided to bring his regular army units in the colonies up to full strength. To do that he needed to recruit Americans and chose to seek volunteers from among the militia. Three regiments in Nova Scotia and those in New York were all under the full compliment of 1000 men each. Loudoun also sought rangers to supplement his regular troops on the frontier. Governor Fitch was authorized to offer land bounties of 200 acres to each volunteer. Loudoun required that the provinces grant the rangers "their pay, arms and cloathing."(407) The king would assist by granting New England, New York and New Jersey the subsidy of £115,00, of which Connecticut received £26,000.(408) Meanwhile, Loudoun, along with his second in command, Major-general Abercrombie, were trying to piece together a total force of 10,000 men, regular army and militia, to assault Crown Point. Fitch pledged a force of 2500 militia, which was exactly double his assigned quota. By the end of June 1756 he had raised the full compliment of men.(409)
On 30 March 1756 Governor Fitch replied to the inquiry made by the Lords of Trade on the composition and organization and legal standing of the militia. He reported that not only "every enlisted soldier but all others exempted from duty are to keep . . . one gun and sword or cutlass, one pound of powder, 4 pounds of bullets and 12 flints . . ." All militia eligibles "are obliged on the first Monday of May annually to produce throughout the Colony, to be viewed by respective officers" the arms required by law. The governor complained that "these arms being all of private property are very various in their sorts and sizes, according to the different occasions and humors of their owners and accordingly not at all adapted to the business of a Campaign."(410) He later reported that between the end of 1749 and the beginning of 1756 the iron furnaces of the colony had sustained an annual production of 120 tons of bar iron, some of which was used for military purposes.(411)
In 1757 the British government assigned Connecticut a quota of 5000 men out of a total assessment of 30,000 men to be recruited from among the colonial militias, to fight with the British army in Canada.(412) When the word reached Governor Fitch of the surrender of the British army at Fort William Henry, Fitch was alarmed. Adding to his apprehension were reports of illness, death and desertion among the provincial militias in service in the northeast. He informed the Earl of Holderness that he expected the worst. "The militia was put under standing orders to march in whole or in part, as there should be occasion."(413)
In 1764 the legislature provided that no member of the unenrolled militia would have to train more often than four times a year.(414) In May 1746 Connecticut suspended the purchase of Indian scalps, an incentive to militiamen of long standing.(415) In May 1747 the fine for missing militia drills was raised to three shillings, the initial amount of the fine.(416)
In 1762 the governor reported to the Board of Trade the increases in population since 1756. In 1756 there were 128,212 white and 3587 black inhabitants; and in 1762, there were 141,000 whites and 4590 blacks. In 1762 the militia numbered 20,264. The governor noted that "the Militia spend their own time, supply themselves with arms and are of no expence to the Colony." However, there was a small expense associated with the artillery. "We have," the governor said, "a small batterey at New London, expence of which to the Colony is small."(417)
In October 1774 Governor John Trumbull (1710-1785)(418) reported to the King's Secretary of State that there were 191,392 caucasian inhabitants and 6464 blacks, mostly freemen. The Connecticut militia rosters contained the names of 26,260 men. The militia had been incorporated under an Act for the Encouragement of Military Skill for the Better Defense of the Colony. The militia still embodied all able-bodied men, ages 16 to 45, excepting primarily clergymen and civil and eccleastical officers. The militia was divided into eighteen regiments, with a mounted troop attached to each. Each town had a "train band" company which drilled four times a year. There were also 18 regiments with at least one company of mounted militia within each regiment. Both foot soldiers and cavalry were required, under penalty of fines, to provide themselves with adequate and appropriate arms. Fines were imposed if arms were not in good working order. Trumbull noted that the militia was not "of any expense to the colony." A general muster was held every four years. By March 1775 there were 22 militia regiments of foot and additional artillery and mounted companies. Regiments with less than six men had two drummers and two fifers; when a regiment exceeded 100 men three of each musician were appointed.(419)
The subject of an adequate militia occupied the thoughts of many of the colony's leaders as war approached. All agreed that the militia as then constituted was inadequate to protect Connecticut should the colony be engaged in a war with the mother country. On 22 August 1774 Christopher Leffingwell wrote to Silas Deane (1731-1789)(420) that,(421)
At present we are in a miserable, defenceless situation; our Militia is under a bad regulation, (at least it appears to me to be so). I want the Militia throughout the Continent on a better footing. I have thought much but have said but little on the subject. But as our whole dependence is in the wisdom, prudence and determination of the Congress, the highest and most respectable Council that ever was (and perhaps that ever will be) in America, who will give laws to this whole Continent, laws like unto those of the Medes and Persians, which must not be altered, but must and I believe will be strictly and most religiously observ'd ,-- I could wish among other things it might be recommended by the Congress to have eighty or am' hundred thousand men on the Continent under regular Discipline, on the following plan or somewhat similar to it, vizt., The superior or commissioned Officers to be appointed by the General Assemblys, and to be such as are possessed of Real Estate worth contending for: The Adjutants and Serjeants to be under constant pay; to be well acquainted with discipline ; the former to instruct the Officers in what relates to the Evolution and Manouvres of an Army, the better to teach the manual Exercise: and that they be always ready to receive and discipline such men as shall be presented to fill up Vacancies. The Arms and Clothing to be purchas'd by the respective Governments, and deposited under the care of proper Officers at the place of Rendezvous in each County.(422)
Leffingwell then described the militia system recently adopted.
The Select-Men of each Town to make a return of the number of males from 18 to 45 years of age, excepting Clergy of all denominations, Magistrates, &c. The proportionable number being flx'd that each Town shall raise. The Select-Men, with the consent of the Inhabitants, either proceed to balloting or laying a tax to pay a premium sufficient to induce men to enter [as] Volunteers. The men so chosen (on pain of Imprisonment or other penalty) be oblig'd to appear at the place of rendezvous, at time appointed, to learn the Exercise for one month at least, during which time they shall be subjected to military law, and all Offences punishable by Court-Martial. But if any person shall be under necessity of leaving the County in which he serves, he shall be oblig'd to shew his reasons before two Magistrates in the Town in which he belongs, who shall be impowered (if they see cause) to grant him a Dismission, and appoint another in his stead, who must immediately attend the Serjeant to learn the Exercise; to receive the same pay (or more) that the regulars do during the time they are embodied; the money to be paid out of the Colony Treasury; and after attending one month in every year for three years, they shall be finally discharg'd. But if during the above term they are call'd to actual service, they may not lay down their arms till they obtain a legal discharge, on pain of being treated as deserters. Some such regulation as this appears to me absolutely necessary for our defence against both foreign and domestic Enemies.(423)
On 10 October he thought that "our militia [is] the best I have ever seen."(424)
The initial militia law of the state, after the Declaration of Independence was little more than a re-enactment of the 1740 law. (425) On 8 September 1774 many prominent politicians in the colony petitioned the legislature to enact a new and stronger militia act in anticipation of war.(426) In May 1775 the Connecticut legislature offered modest payments to those of the citizenry who complied with the militia law. "One shilling and six pence shall be paid to each of said men who shall supply themselves with three pounds of ball, also three shillings for a pound of powder, and three pence and a half for half a dozen flints." If the citizen did not have his supplies or arm in readiness "such defect [is] to be supplied by the selectmen of each town, respectively, out of the town stock."(427)
As the militia took stock of its arms it was in for a bitter surprise. Jedediah Huntingdon reported on 1 July 1775 that, "I got the arms repaired. They were in the worst order when in took them in hand. Some of them had nothing left but the barrel and part of the lock."(428) The legislature moved to contract with various local gunsmiths to repair and manufacture arms. Among those who were contractors were Amasa Palmer, Edward Williams, William Williams, Hezekiah Huntington, David Trumbull of Lebanon and John Page of Preston. They and other contractors were directed to mark the arms they made or refurbished with S. C. for the State of Connecticut and with their own names, initials or marks. Edward Williams supplied the state with new musket locks to replace inoperable locks on older guns and around which to build new ones. On 16 February 1776 the legislature hired Trumbull to oversee the refurbishing of arms found at Crown Point left over from the Seven Years War so that the state militia could be armed. He and those whom he hired evidently performed this task well for on 14 July 1777 the legislature appointed Trumbull to gather armourers and repair arms found at Albany. Finally, on 29 July of the same year it ordered Trumbull to refit, appraise and issue various arms received from abroad and 500 muskets received from Springfield. On 15 February 1777 the Council of Safety commissioned William Williams to repair a chest full of "broken firearms" from the ship Oliver Cromwell for the use of the state militia. Europe was cleaning out its arsenals, shipping arms that, in many cases, were long out of repair or obsolete. Most of these, even after repair, were deemed suitable only for militia use.(429)
The basic militia organization remained the 64 man company, although, as we have seen, the regiment had been introduced as an organizational unit by 1672 and reconstituted in 1739. In 1775 there were 24 regiments existing on paper. In December 1775 the colonial leaders adopted a manual of exercise for militia training.(430)
Like the militia from other states, those from Connecticut were not well disposed to accept discipline. They especially disliked siege and garrison duty and other times of inactivity between battles. About 40% of the state's troops in the Revolution were militia, and nearly all Connecticut troops in the Continental Line had served in the militia. In 1776 Washington complained to Connecticut Governor Nicholas Cooke that the Connecticut militia "are not to be depended upon for more than a few days; as they soon get tired, grow inpatient, become ungovernable, and of course leave the service."(431)
In the winter of 1775-76 Connecticut militia were deployed in Massachusetts, while the colony raised 19 regiments of 900 men each.(432) In the summer of 1776 Washington put out a call for men to come to his aid in the New York city area. The New York Mercury described the Connecticut volunteers and militia as "hearty fellows" who could stand against either the king's troops or German mercenaries. The paper described the militia as wearing brown or blue regular coats and trousers, while some backwoodsmen arrived in white hunting shirts.(433)
On 8 June the Continental Congress order that Connecticut furnish two battalions of militia to reinforce the army in Canada. Shortly thereafter it ordered 5500 Connecticut militia to reinforce the army under siege in New York.(434) On 13 June 1776 Jedediah Huntingdon wrote to his brother Jabez, lamenting the shortage of arms, "you see . . . how far short of the demands of Congress this Colony has come in furnishing their Militia at the present crisis." Further, the militia itself was in deplorable state of readiness. The legislature "have only ordered them reviewed and to stand ready." However, the state was meeting its obligation to Congress to provide men to the Continental Line. "I now inform you that this Colony are drafting the Militia agreeable to Resolve of Congress."(435)
The Connecticut Committee of Safety, like committees in other colonies, contracted with various gunsmiths, armorers, blacksmiths and assorted other tradesmen, to manufacture muskets for the colonial militia and the state's members of the Continental Line. One such contractor was Samuel Hall of East Hadden, who offered to make 400 muskets at £3/10/0 each. Within a year Hall wrote to the legislature, in response to its complaints that he had failed to deliver the muskets in a timely fashion. He pointed out that he had delivered 143, and was "pursuing his business faithfully" but the militia had drafted him and his apprentices and journeymen into the militia "so that he was hindered and delayed." Hall pointed out that he and his men were supposed to have deferments because of the important nature of their work to the militia. In May 1778 the legislature informed him that no more muskets would be purchased, but Hall responded that he had 44 almost completed and 25 more in various stages of completion. The legislature debated and finally decided to accept the remainder.(436)
In the summer of 1777, urged on by Alexander Hamilton, Connecticut turned to the black community as a source of manpower. Blacks could voluntarily enlist or be enlisted as a paid substitute of another.(437)
Maine, also known as Cornwall, was the subject of early conflicting claims. In November 1603 the French king granted Sieur de Monts a patent which included Maine. In 1604-05 Champlain explored much of the province. The territory also fell within the English grant issued in 1606 to the Plymouth Company. It was noted again in the English Council for New England in 1620. In 1622 the English king granted to Captain John Mason and Sir Fernando Gorges all lands between the rivers Kennebac and Merrimac, to a distance of 60 miles inland. The name Maine was first noted in this charter and thus antedates all provincial names except Massachusetts and Virginia. Charles I renewed the charter ten years later, stipulating that the grant must, henceforth, be called Maine exclusively. In 1664 the king granted Maine to "our dearest brother James Duke of York" for an annual rent of four beaver skins. It then reverted to Massachusetts and remained part of that state until it received statehood in 1820.
The 1639 Grant of the Province of Maine to Gorges made him captain-general of the militia and stipulated that he was to provide his inhabitants with "Ordynances, Powder, Shott, Armour and all other Weapons, Munition and Habilliments of Warr both for defence and offence." The militia was to contain the French and their Amerindian allies as well as all other hostile savages and to restrain "Rebells, Traytors, Mutyners and Seditious Persons."(438) In 1664, when the province came under the rule of the Duke of York, the king issued much the same command in the charter. The militia was charged with the containment of "rebellion, insurreccon and mutinie" as its primary, but not exclusive, responsibility. It was also to "repel and resist by force of arms" by "all wayes and means" all "warlike" savages and foreign troops as might threaten.(439)
On 17 October 1691, the king issued a royal charter which formally incorporated both Maine and Plymouth colonies into Massachusetts.
The royal Commission of New Hampshire of 1680 required that the president and council create and maintain a militia. They were to "give commissions from time to time to such persons and persons whom they shall judge best qualified for regulating and discipline of ye militia." The officers were to instruct their peers "how to bear and use their arms." They were to make certain that "care be taken that such good discipline shall be observed as by ye said Council shall prescribe." The commission made no mention of suppression of rebellion or other assistance to the civil authorities as was the case in other early charters, but commanded only that the militia provide for "ye better defence and security of all our loving subjects within ye Province of New Hampshire."(440)
Militia development in New Hampshire basically followed the standard New England pattern. The militia law had required each male inhabitant between ages 16 and 60 to serve in the militia. Each man had to provide himself with a musket, bayonet, knapsack, cartridge box, a pound of gunpowder, 20 lead bullets, and 12 flints. Each town was required to maintain for each militia company of 60 men 1 barrel of gunpowder, 200 pounds of lead and 300 flints. All able-bodied males being eligible for draft into the regular military units.(441) The militias rarely drilled except in wartime. When they did drill, on the sole authority of towns in which they were organized, it was frequently for the "greater glory of the King," and not to increase the knowledge of the military arts. The crown was always a bit suspicious of colonial military organization.(442) The militia was exercised to the taps of at least two drummers and various other musicians.(443)
In 1684 the Crown sent Edward Canfield to suppress radical Puritan practices, including much of the local self-government and religious and political discrimination against other religions. As a career military man Canfield was naive about the institutions of self-government and localism. Resistance took the form of rebellion, with a trained band led by a religious fanatic named Edward Gove. Canfield organized a militia of his own supporters, many of whom were greedy land speculators. Nathaniel Ware, a justice of the peace from Hampton, organized yet a third militia. Ware was successful in disarming Gove before Canfield's militia arrived. Canfield accused Gove of high treason, and Gove was found guilty, but was eventually pardoned.(444)
In 1693 Massachusetts asked New Hampshire to pay its share of costs for defense of the north and western frontiers. Pleading inability to pay, New Hampshire did not pay. Massachusetts then withdrew its men and the Indians fell upon the open frontier with a vengeance. Even Portsmouth came under attack. The governor was obliged to impress men of his own guard to man the outposts on the frontier because the militia was disheartened and their arms were in poor shape. The militia had seen, or at least heard of, their comrades-in-arms being tortured after they were captured by the Amerindians. Many merely wished to remain at home to defend and protect their own families. New Hampshire was forced to beg assistance from the Massachusetts militia, which in a few months it did send. The situation did have one small benefit. It moved New Hampshire toward greater independence from Massachusetts. The two would, for the time, have one governor, Lord Bellomont, but would otherwise be separate.(445) As originally constituted the governorship of New Hampshire had enormous powers. He could dismiss local councillors, call the legislature into session or dismiss it, veto legislation and control the militia(446)
Fortunately for the settlers there was an epidemic of small pox among the Amerindians. Their strength depleted, the Indian leaders sued for peace at Fort Pemaquid, pledging allegiance with the English and abandoning their French allies.(447)
The peace proved to be short lived. Recruited during the summer of 1694 by a Frenchman, Villieu, 250 warriors gathering from among the tribes of St. John, Penobscot and Noridgwock. On the night of 17 July 1694, they attacked Durham, where there were 12 houses garrisoned by militia. Over 100 settlers were captured and five of the fortified houses were burned.(448) In 1696 a group of Amerindians attacked Portsmouth and took 19 prisoners, but the militia commanded by Captain Shackford mustered, followed and overtook them, rescuing all prisoners. The political situation had deteriorated because Governor Usher had engaged in land and commodity speculation during the terrible Indian wars. He thereby lost both the respect of the people and the militias.(449)
By 1703 the provincial executive power of Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire were combined under Joseph Dudley, Anglicized American. He loved power and was a sophisticated man of the world. The Canadian governor, Callieres, died in May, 1703, and was succeeded by the Marquis de Vaudreuil, a veteran of the last war who had taken Callieres' place as governor of Montreal. He was a French aristocrat, a capable leader who held his office until his death in 1725. Governor Dudley called the Abenaki chiefs to council in June, 1703, and they swore to keep the peace. But within a month Governor had assembled some five hundred of the tribe and sent them against Maine under the Sieur de Beaubassin.
Queen Anne's War, also called the War of Spanish Succession, raged between 1702 and 1713. On 10 August 1703 the Abenakis raided settlements in Maine. They divided into half a dozen war parties to strike simultaneously on August 10 from Wells to Saco to Casco Bay. At Wells thirty-nine inhabitants were killed or captured. At Saco and other places, a hundred were taken or killed. Chief Moxus led the attack on the fort at Casco, which was under the command of Major John March. Three militiamen, drawn from the fort by trickery, were killed. Beaubassin brought up his other parties, substantially increasing the strength of his force. The fort held out until relieved ny additional militia companies. Two months. later another raid in the area cost eighteen killed or captured at Black Point, and six killed at York. The French were successful in so committing the Abenakis that the English were unlikely to make peace with them.
In August 1704 a large body of French and their Amerindian allies began a campaign of terrorism from Deerfield west, killing and capturing 130 settlers. They destroyed Deerfield on 28 August 1704. The government spurred the militia to action by offering a bounty of £40 for each Indian scalp. To eliminate the Abenakis' supplied, and to gain control of Acadian fisheries, 500 New England militiamen under Colonel Benjamin Church attacked and destroyed the French villages of Minas and Beaubassin in July 1704. In 1706, as the militia was pursuing one group of hostiles, another band fell upon Durham. Disguising themselves as male militiamen, the local women repelled the aborigine.(450)
In late May 1706 the New Hampshire militia carried the war into New France, attacking Port Royal, seat of the French Indian agents. Initially they fought bravely and well, but soon after the first victory the lack of a unified command and petty jealousies among militia commanders subverted the campaign.(451) On 21 September 1707, in retaliation, the Amerindians attacked winter Harbor, Maine. In October 1710 a joint punitive expedition of New England militia and British troops reduced the French stronghold at Port Royal.
Under the Treaty of Utrecht of 11 April 1713 France ceded Newfoundland, Acadia and Hudson's Bay. The treaty effectively ended the long war between the eastern New England tribes, but the quarrel between the whites and the Abenakis was still simmering. The French set a Jesuit priest, Father Sebastian Rasle to offer arms to the Abenaki if they would rise against the New England colonists. In 1724 the New England joint militia attacked the largest Abenaki village in Maine and killed over 80 warriors and Father Rasle. Determined to end the threat from the Abenakis once and for all the governor authorized bounties of up to £100 for scalps taken by the militiamen. Spurred on by the bounty, Captain John Lovewell raised a militia company and surprised the last, large group of Abenakis on the border between Maine and New Hampshire and, in a bloody engagement, broke their power forever. By 1730 they were no longer a threat and most migrated elsewhere.(452)
The New Hampshire legislature on 13 May 1718 passed an Act for the regulating of the Militia, which read in part,
Whereas for the honor and service of his Majesty, and for the security of this his province, against any violence or invasion whatever, it is necessary that due care be taken that the inhabitants thereof be armed, trained, and in a suitable posture and readiness for the ends aforesaid, and that every person may know his duty, and be obliged to perform the same. Be it therefore Enacted by His Excellency the Governor, Council and Representatives, convened in General Assembly, and by the Authority of the same, That all male persons from sixteen years of age to sixty (other than such as are hereinafter excepted), shall bear arms and duly attend all musters, and military exercises, of the respective troops and companies where they are listed or belong, That there be military watches appointed, and kept in every town, at such times, in such places, and in such numbers, and under such regulations, as the chief military officers in every town shall appoint, or as they may receive orders from the chief officer of the regiment; and that all persons able of body, or that are of estate and not exempted by law, shall by themselves, or some meet persons in their stead, to the acceptance of the Commander of the watch, attend the same, on penalty of five shillings for each defect, there having been due warning given. . . . That the persons hereafter named be exempted from all trainings, viz. . . . Indians and Negroes. . . . That the persons hereafter named be and hereby are exempted from military watchings, and warnings, viz. The members of the Council, secretary, representative for the time being, ministers and elders of churches, allowed physicians, and chyrurgeons, constables, constant ferrymen, and one miller to each grist mill. . . . All males from sixteen to sixty are required to bear arms and train with the companies in their regions. All able-bodied persons are to help in keeping military watches. Indians and negroes are exempted from trainings, but are not listed among those exempted from the watches.(453)
In 1724 the Connecticut militia serving on the northern frontier enlisted over 40 Amerindians in its service. It also advised against permitting its Amerindian allies to migrate northward and mix with the Amerindian tribes which were friendly with the French. Captain John Mason justified this prohibition. "I can't think it any benefit to our Indians or to the Colony that they should associate themselves with the Indians that live remote."(454)
In 1745 a joint New England militia operation was successful in its siege of Louisbourg, the French fortress on Cape Creton Island. The superior military prowess of the New Hampshire and other New England militiamen in this operation boosted the general morale as well as raised the English estimate of value of the New England militia. The French and Indian reaction to the destruction of Louisbourg took the form of reprisal attacks on the New Hampshire frontier patrols. He also authorized payments against for the taking of scalps by volunteer and militia companies. The militia was quite effective in guarding the frontier. In one of the few engagements worth mentioning, at Charlestown 30 militia repelled a reported 300 French and Indian attackers.(455)
During the French and Indian War, the New Hampshire militia was effective in holding and protecting the frontier. Its militia served mainly as a deterrent against French and Indian encroachment into New England, and as a reservoir of manpower for the English effort. Several hundred of the select militia fought in New York and in Canada.(456) Benning Wentworth, Governor of New Hampshire, in 1756 reported that "hardly a regiment of the Militia in the Province is fully provided with a pound of powder to each Man, which is the Quantity with which the Law requires each Soldier to be furnished . . . . The Militia both horse and foot are esteemed more useful for Home Service than those of the Southern Colonies, and that they are at most provided with Arms but in general of the meanest Sort."(457)
The origin of the well-organized New Hampshire militia of the Revolutionary War era can be traced to the efforts of Governor John Wentworth in the decade before the Revolution. Wentworth thought to use the militia as a tool of control over seditious activities of groups which became the leaders of the patriot cause within his state. He reorganized the militia into twelve regiments, which organization remained after revolution came. He drilled and disciplined these regiments and appointed the most prominent men of the regions as their officers. He instituted an inspection program which insured that the enlisted men had the required arms and accoutrements. By the spring of 1775 Wentworth could report that the town militias were prepared to defend the colony against invasion "by His Majesty's enemies." He also reported to Lord Darmouth that "The people here . . . are arming and exercising men, as if for immediate War." (458) Much of what Wentworth accomplished in militia reform was laudatory, but some of his appointments were purely political. When he could think of no other civil rewards to dispense, he chose to make his favorites into officers in the militia. Some of these appointments angered even his colonial supporters and certainly served to lower morale in the militia.(459)
On 13 December 1774 Paul Revere arrived in Portsmouth to relate that the Massachusetts Committee of Safety had learned that Wentworth was taking possession of Castle William and Mary, the stronghold that guarded Portsmouth harbor. Henceforth, regular British troops would garrison that fortress instead of colonial militia. Revere also related that England had embargoed further exports of military stores that might be used by the various colonial militias. The local militia then began to remove supplies from all magazines that might fall under English control, or which might be seized by the British army. On the night of 14-15 December militiamen raided Castle William and Mary and took control of 100 barrels of gunpowder, several cannon and 60 stands of arms. More munitions and arms might have been obtained except for the arrival of two English men-of-war from Boston. Wentworth decided to test the loyalty of the militia, while suppressing insurrection, if possible, by ordering the militia to muster under his direction. The militia ignored him. Several magistrates then called upon him to inform him that matters were now beyond his power to control and that he could not expect the militia to control the people.(460)
Wentworth attempted to regain his control over the militia by making new appointments among the militia. He dismissed John Sullivan,(461) charging him with having led or organized the seizure of military supplies from Castle William and Mary, and for having ignored his orders to quell insurrection. But it was Sullivan and his companions who now controlled the militia, not Wentworth. When one loyalist militia captain attempted to follow the royal governor's orders, and to resist the patriots, the citizen-soldiers simply ignored him, elected a new captain and followed Sullivan's orders.
The first reorganized militia company was created in Portsmouth on 20 December 1774, followed rapidly by Dartmouth. While most able-bodied men did join the militia, and many who were unable to bear arms were otherwise employed, one group of older men, most German veterans of the French and Indian War, formed the Old Men's Company of militia.(462) On 6 April 1775 the Hillsborough Congress resolved that,
Whereas it is Necessary for the Defense of any People that they Perfect themselves in the military art, and whereas it is said that from the good discipline of regular Troops that one Regiment would put to flight ten that are not Disciplined, we earnestly recommend . . . to form themselves in to companies and make choice of such men as they shall think Best Qualified for teaching the military art to meet once a week.(463)
The third provincial congress met at Exeter, New Hampshire, on 21 April 1775, to debate what action the province ought to take following the clash between minutemen and British troops at Lexington and Concord. Four days later a delegate well-known to the members of the congress, James Sullivan, arrived from Boston, requesting that New Hampshire form a regular body of troops. The congress took no action on that request, but it did resolve on 26 April that each town should lay in all necessary military supplies and raise companies of minutemen.(464)
The war presented the New Hampshire militia with at least five problems. First, it had a seacoast and a harbor at Portsmouth to defend from raids from the British navy, but the militia figured little in this unless the English landed troops, in which case the militia would be the first line of defense. Second, the frontier, especially through the Connecticut Valley, was open to raids from the English and their Amerindian allies from Canada. The defense of the frontier was the primary responsibility of ranging companies of militia. Third, the same routes invited the relay of information from Tory spies to English authorities in Canada. Rangers and frontier scouts would have to try to intercept spies and their messengers. Fourth, the militia would have to act as a reservoir, to supply the army with men to help to fill the quota set by the national Congress. Fifth, it would have to spread good news, quash rumors, refute bad news and generally keep morale high on the home front. Most of the province was remote and rumors, more than accurate information, was the case on many days.(465)
When news reached New Hampshire that hostilities had commenced in Massachusetts many minutemen rushed to aid their brethren without waiting for orders to march. They went to Massachusetts as individual volunteers, not as organized companies. Moreover, the minutemen and organized militia were augmented by hundreds of the unorganized militia or irregulars. They had no clear chain of command and were under no discipline. Without any clear battle lines or engagements at hand the majority returned home as quickly as they had assembled. General John Stark (1728-1822) was able, by force his personality, to retain many men whom he then enlisted into more formal units and placed them under his command.(466)
Immediately after the Revolution began New Hampshire reformed its militia. One company of Rangers was stationed on the Connecticut River, and two additional militia companies were enlisted for support of the Rangers if need be. The twelve regiments of militia which were recruited by Royal Governor Wentworth were retained and four regiments were formed as Minutemen. The minutemen were treated as a select militia and trained monthly, with the intention of deploying them anywhere they were needed on short notice.(467)
On 20 May 1775 the New Hampshire Provincial Congress authorized the recruitment of 2000 men from the militia into the regular army. When recruitment was complete the militia reservoir of trained manpower had produced sufficient men to form three regiments of state troops. On 1 December 1775 Generals George Washington and John Sullivan were forced to recruit militia from New Hampshire and Massachusetts to take the place of the Connecticut militia because the latter had taken offense at some real or imagined injury from the commanders and had marched away, alleging that their enlistment was up. New Hampshire provided thirty-one companies, containing 1800 militiamen; and Massachusetts contributed 3200 militiamen, all to serve six weeks. Volunteers and militia filled the nation's needs through the end of the year 1775. There was, as yet, no thought of a draft.(468)
When the Continental Congress created a national army the state regiments became the New Hampshire Continental Line. Continental Congress allowed the continuation of election of subordinate officers and largely confirmed the state appointment of superior officers. These three regiments were deployed throughout the nation until 1781 when the number was reduced to two line regiments, or 1152 men, although the greatest number raised in that time frame was 744.(469) Throughout the war the town and state governments paid bounties of up to £10 for volunteers who were willing to leave the militia and join the Continental Line. In 1779 the state added the interesting inducement of exempting regulars from paying state taxes.(470) When these inducements failed to fill the ranks the state passed its first draft law on 18 January 1777. The colonels of each regiment were assigned quotas for volunteers. If an insufficient number volunteered from the various militia districts, the militia commanders were authorized to draft men from their units to fill the quotas. Men could avoid being drafted by hiring substitutes and by simply refusing to march as ordered and paying rather nominal fines.(471) By 1779 so many militiamen paid the fine rather than responding to the draft that the fines were raised substantially so that only a few rich draftees could afford to avoid service in that way.(472)
In addition three militia regiments were formed into a reserve brigade to protect the inhabitants. The Militia Act provided that all general and field officers be appointed by the two houses of the state legislature. Election had been commonplace, except under Royal Governor Wentworth, for all officers up to and including full colonel. All subordinate militia officers were to be elected by the citizen soldiers. The militia was a town-based organization and had long been controlled by the ruling oligarchy in each town. After the events of Lexington and Concord nearly all militia officers resigned their commissions and invited the men in their old companies to elect new officers. Most officers had gained sufficient respect from their men to be reelected by them. Only those with loyalist sympathies were removed and replaced by patriots.(473)
The Continental Congress feared the establishment of a permanent military machine as a result of the war effort. On 18 July 1775 Congress recommended that New Hampshire reorganize its militia by maintaining its quota by establishing a system of temporary enlistments from the state militia.(474) After an unsuccessful attempt to reorganize in August 1775, the provincial congress provided a new militia law on 9 September 1776. The state legislature now appointed all superior officers, including colonels, and all commanding officers of the local militia organizations. The state militia was placed under the command of a major-general, also a political appointee. The militia comprised all able-bodied males between ages 16 and 50, although there was a long list of exemptions, mostly of clergy and those engaged in some aspect of military production. The local militias were called "training bands" with 68 men comprising a fundamental unit. All members of the training bands had to provide themselves with arms and specified accoutrements at their own expense. If a man claimed to be too poor to equip himself he had to apply to the town council. If they agreed that he was impoverished, and that equipping himself would be an undue
hardship, the town was obliged to equip him. A poor man so equipped might be charged with performance of some civic duty as recompense. Officers other than local commanders were popularly elected. These training bands were to be exercised and drilled on a regular basis, eight times a year, and thus constituted a select militia. The law was enforced, unlike earlier militia laws, and officers who failed to enforce the law were subject to fines and loss of position. This group constituted the reservoir from which the vacancies in the Continental Line were filled. There was also a great, or unenrolled, militia called the alarm list. To this list there were few exceptions, except for those with religious scruples against military service and clergy. The alarm list also had some organization and occasional training. The members elected their own officers and drilled only twice a year.(475)
The militia organization was more than sufficiently strong to survive the change of political order. It formed the basis of military and political order in the towns and gave enormous support to the Provincial Congress. That congress recommended increased military training for all communities.(476)
The militia took charge of arms and gunpowder and distributed these according to needs. The militia laws had long required each town to maintain stocks of gunpowder, flints and muskets, but, as elsewhere, enforcement of the law had been lax. Towns began to scout for supplies, some of which they purchased. With all military supplies becoming scarce the New Hampshire militia looked for other possible sources.
When the enlistment of the Connecticut militia expired in March 1776 sixteen companies of New Hampshire militia were sent to Boston and remained until the English withdrew. Overall one authority estimated that "the percentage of adult males who left their homes for any length of time remained smaller than in each of the colonial wars. After 1776 the total never exceeded one-tenth of those eligible for military service."(477) Terms of enlistment for New Hampshire soldiers were short as with the soldiers from all the states. In 1777 and 1778 some enlistments were for only eight or nine months. Desertions were not uncommon, with men leaving for a variety of reasons, including tending to their farms and protecting their families. The militia continued to serve as a reservoir for continual recruitment of replacements. On 23 January 1777 General Washington wrote the New Hampshire Committee of Safety that "We have a full army one day and scarce any the next."(478) On 31 January Washington reported that "our new army will scarcely be raised, before it will dwindle and waste away".(479) Finally, in October 1778 Washington wrote to the New Hampshire Committee of Safety that, "I am religiously persuaded, that the duration of the war and the greatest part of the misfortunes and perplexities we have hitherto experienced are chiefly attributed to the system of temporary enlistments."(480)
In 1790 General Henry Knox reported to Congress that, although Massachusetts and New Hampshire had been assigned a quota of 88 battalions, New Hampshire had never supplied more than 1282 men at a time, and that by war's end, had only 700 men in continental service.(481)
Politics entered into the appointment of all superior officers. Some appointed officers resented political intrusion into what they considered their prerogative. General John Sullivan wrote the Provincial Congress, "Surely by my having the Choice of 31 set the Officers who have been under My Immediate Inspection, I could have had a much Better Opportunity of Selecting 8 good ones that You who were not here and Could not know how they behaved."(482) Others argued that appointment of officers lessened the possibility of social revolution from below, while increasing discipline. They feared, "electing officers by the voice of tumult, dissention and party spirit" would create a truly revolutionary militia.(483)
Ill feeling among several ranking militia officers resulted in the resignation of Colonel John Stark of Dunbarton from his regular army appointment. Stark believed that he had been passed over for promotion to general both in terms of experience and seniority. He had served with distinction in the Seven Years War as a captain in Rogers' Rangers and, at the beginning of the war, was probably the most able commander available to the province. He was opinionated and direct in manner and was not a politician and often offended those who were. Stark returned to militia duty and campaigned bravely and wisely. The army's loss became the militia's gain. He was given command at Bennington and deployed his militia brilliantly. For this leadership he was rewarded with an appointment as a brigadier-general in the Continental Line.(484)
John Sullivan (1740-1795) was a lawyer from Durham with essentially no military experience. He had been a major in the local militia. After much political intrigue and backbiting Sullivan was given command over New Hampshire's three regiments of the Continental Line. Most of his contributions to the patriot effort were consequently as an officer in the regular army. He did have an opportunity to use his militia experience in a punitive expedition against the Amerindians and tories in New York. After a number of especially bloody and ruinous raids throughout New York and south in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania, General Washington bent to political pressures and diverted as part of his small force to a campaign on the frontier. On 29 August 1779 Sullivan's force, consisting of about equal numbers of militia and regulars, defeated a tory-Iroquois force led by Sir William Johnson's son John and Joseph Brant at Elmira, New York. Sullivan pressed on, destroying 40 Seneca and Cayuga villages and 160,000 bushels of corn and other foodstuff and supplies. The cost was very small to the patriots, in large because Sullivan managed his force wisely and in part because Sullivan managed his force wisely and in part because the Amerindians avoided direct confrontation. The expedition effectively reduced the Iroquois threat to occasional small raids.(485)
General John Sullivan hero to the American Revolution and commander of the punitive expedition in New York among the Six Nations in 1778, was the post-war governor in New Hampshire. A strong supporter of the state militia system, Sullivan supported the enactment of a strong militia act, based on his wartime experiences. "The citizens of every community, however desirous of peace, should always be prepared for war, and this can never be the case without a well-regulated militia, or a standing army." He rejected the notion of a standing army in the free republic. "The latter, I am fully persuaded, is more dangerous to the liberties of any country than a foreign force, and I most ardently pray may never be established in the American states." He knew that as a general in the late war "I could do but little towards forming a well-regulating militia, without the countenance and aid of the people at large." He believed that militia duty was a responsibility of all citizens, and was critical of the post-war militia act because "With us, at this day, a slender escape, a defect in the militia law, or, at a word, a small fine, amy exempt a person during life from appearing in the field." Tyrants are under no such disability because "the despot issues his orders and punishes the breech, according to his caprice." The only way to avoid having a standing army was to establish a militia with a universal obligation to militia service. "If we approve not of a standing army, our militia must be taught the use of arms; or our safety will defend on the peaceful dispositions of our neighbors, and not upon any precautions of preparations of our own." He recommended the merit appointment of superior militia officers and the popular election of the minor officers. "Formerly, the man of wealth and family was sought after, without the least attention to capacity." This was not the democratic way, for in a democracy talent and ability are more important than family connections or wealth. Sullivan suggested that officers be instructed in military science for "it is really surprising that . . . the most important science should be so lightly esteemed as to entrust the teaching of it to persons totally uninstructed and who have not even the capacity to acquire a knowledge of it themselves." He noted that the law of his own state "enacts that every soldiers shall be provided with a gun, bayonet, cartouch-box" but lamented that there was no requirement that there be "a uniformity of arms."(486)
The first constitution of the state of New Hampshire was not created until after the war was over, in 1784. Reflecting the experiences of the colonial experience and war, the document provided for a militia, popular election of minor militia officers, legislative appointment of superior officers and subordination of the military to the civil authorities. It also contained a strong statement outlining the individual's responsibility to offer his services in defense of his state. It also provided exemptions from military service for those who, by reasons of conscience and religion, were opposed to bearing arms. The president of the state was named commander of all military forces, including the militia. The constitution outlined the duties, functions and control of the militia.
The president of this state for the time being, shall be commander in chief of the army and navy, and all the military forces of the state, by sea and land; and shall have full power by himself; or by any chief commander, or other officer, or officers, from time to time, to train, instruct, exercise and govern the militia and navy; and for the special defence and safety of this state to assemble in martial array, and put in warlike posture, the inhabitants thereof, and to lead and conduct them, and with them to encounter, expulse, repel, resist and pursue by force of arms, as well by sea as by land, within and without the limits of this state; and also to kill slay, destroy, if necessary, and conquer by all fitting ways, enterprize and means, all and every such person and persons as shall, at any time hereafter, in a hostile manner, attempt or enterprize the destruction, invasion, detriment, or annoyance of this state; and to use and exercise over the army and navy, and over the militia in actual service, the law-martial in time of war, invasion, and also in rebellion, declared by the legislature to exist, as occasion shall necessarily require: and surprize by all ways and means whatsoever, all and every such person or persons, with their ships, arms, ammunition, and other goods, as shall in a hostile manner invade or attempt the invading, conquering, or annoying this state: and in fine, the president hereby is entrusted with all other powers incident to the office of captain-general and commander in chief, and admiral, to be exercised agreeably to the rules and regulations of the constitution, and the laws of the land; provided that the president shall not at any tconstitutionr, by virtue of any power by this constitution granted, or hereafter to be granted to him by the legislature, transport any of the inhabitants of this state, or oblige them to march out of the limits of the same, without their free and voluntary consent, or the consent of the general court, nor grant commissions for exercising the law-martial in any case, without the advice and consent of the council.
Conscientious objectors, however, had to bear the costs of hiring replacements.(487) The bill of rights attached to the constitution contained the following provisions.
XXIV. A well regulated militia is the proper, natural and sure defence of a state.
XXV. Standing armies are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be raised or kept up without the consent of the legislature.
XXVI. In all cases, and at all times, the military ought to be under strict subordination to, and governed by the civil power.(488)
In 1749 New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth began issuing land grants to unexplored territories west of the Connecticut River. New York also had claims on the area and in 1764 King George III decided in favor of that colony. In 1770 the highest court of New York held the New Hampshire claims to be invalid, forcing those who had purchased lands from New Hampshire to buy them anew from New York. Settlers who had what they believed to be valid grants from New Hampshire fought a minor, but effective, guerilla war. They elected Ethan Allen (1741-1801) colonel of their "militia" known as the Green Mountain Boys. Initially known as the Grants, Vermont was comprised of the eastern counties of New York, especially Charlotte, Cumberland and Gloucester. British authorities refused to intervene with military force and attempted to mediate a peaceful settlement to the dispute. Of course, a force of regular British army would have been worthless in the hilly wilderness. British authorities also refused to allow New York to issue more land warrants until the dispute was settled. In this matter Britain acted wisely and had it so acted in other matters might have precluded the American Revolution.
Early in the war for independence the Green Mountain Boys espoused the patriot cause. Massachusetts had authorized a regiment to capture Fort Ticonderoga and sent Benedict Arnold on that mission. On 6 May 1775 Arnold learned that Ethan Allen was raising a force of Green Mountain Boys to accomplish the same mission. Arnold joined Allen and attempted unsuccessfully to claim command. Nonetheless, Arnold joined the force of 83 Green Mountain Boys and on 9 May crossed Lake Champlain and early in the morning of 10 May captured the 42 man British garrison, as Allen is alleged to have said, "in the name of the great Jehovah and the Continental Congress." On 12 May the force occupied Crown Point and on 16 May it seized St. John's across the Canadian border. The force suffered no casualties, but captured some valuable supplies, including cannon, which were later of great use to Washington's army. Ethan Allen reported to the Massachusetts Congress that, "by order of the General assembly of the Colony of Connecticut, [I] took the fortress of Ticonderoga by storm." He described his force. "The soldiery was composed of about 100 Green Mountain Boys and nearly 50 veteran soldiers from the Province of Massachusetts Bay . . . under the command of Colonel James Easton."(489)
Allen continued his partisan activities, capturing Skenesborough on 12 May. He also captured a schooner and was delighted to find some medium bore cannon in good order on board. He communicated his good fortune to Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull, sending along with the message "a major, a captain and two lieutenants in the regular establishment of George the Third." He indicated that he intended to march on other British fortifications, and to capture other boats, along Lake Champlain. "The enterprise," he bragged, had been achieved by the "Green Mountain boys, nor do I hesitate as to [reporting] the success."(490)
Led by Ira Allen (1751-1814), brother of Ethan; and Thomas Chittendon and Jonas Fay, Vermont declared itself to be an independent republic during the Revolution and is thus unique among the New England states. The Continental Congress never recognized Vermont's claim to nationhood, did not grant it statehood and left its legal status undecided during the entirety of the war. Still, it treated Vermont as though it was a state in terms of military action, recruitment and mutual assistance. On 1 January 1777, a letter sent to General Washington reported on the Vermont independence movement. The state of New York
formerly consisted of 14 counties of which five and a part of a sixth are in possession of the enemy and a considerable part of the inhabitants of the Counties of Gloucester, Cumberland and Charlotte appear determined to shake off their dependence upon us so that above one-half is already lost; and of the remainder a considerable portion is disaffected and ready upon a favorable opportunity to join the enemy.(491)
In early 1777, having declared itself an independent and sovereign state, Vermont sought admission to the American confederation. New York Governor Clinton opposed the secession, but realized that practically he was powerless to stop it. Had he attempted to employ force, it would have diverted badly needed troops of both New York and Vermont from the northern department of the fledgling army. The authorities of Vermont were prepared to use the newly formed state militia to guarantee its independence against New York and England alike. Its separate existence as a republic lasted for 14 years until it was admitted to the union as a state in 1791.
While still a part of New York, on 7 June 1776, Vermont was ordered to raise 250 militia to be inducted into Continental Line. Just three days later, on 9 June, the four counties of New York which became Vermont were asked to provide men, with a bounty of $4 as an incentive, to assist in the invasion of Canada. On 23 July 1776 the counties were asked to muster 250 militia to serve on the frontier. The pay per day was based on the allowance given to soldiers of equal rank in continental service. Each man was required to provide himself with a "good Musket or Fire-lock, Powder Horn, Bullet Pouch, Tomahawk, Blanket and Knapsack." Further, a company of rangers was to be formed whose duties extended not only to the protection of the frontier, but to assisting neighboring counties with Amerindian invasions.(492)
The most famous action of the Vermont militia, the seizure of Fort Ticonderoga, occurred just prior to the Vermont independence movement came to fruition. Ethan Allen was captured on 25 September 1775 during Arnold's ill-fated campaign against Canada, but exchanged on 6 May 1778. He then retired from military life, although granted the rank of colonel in the Continental Line. Most of what is heard of Vermont's military contributions during the war came from a second Vermont regiment raised under Colonel Seth Warner (1743-1784).(493) Allen became a major general and commander of the state militia.
The Vermont Constitution of 1777 provided "that the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State." It also prohibited the maintenance of armies in peacetime and subordination of military to civil power.(494)
On 29 August 1777 the government raised 375 militia for its own defense. On 18 June it offered a bounty of £4/4/0 for militiamen who would enlist in the Continental Line. Later, the bounty was raised to $10. The men also received 50 shillings a month pay.(495) Because of the constant threat of invasion from Canada, one-sixth of the militia was stationed for six months duty on a rotational basis on the frontier.(496) On 20 February 1779 the legislature authorized an allowance of $5 for each gun lost by either Vermont soldiers or militiamen in actual combat or when they were captured in an engagement. On 11 March 1779 100 militia were sent to guard the frontier against an anticipated Tory and Amerindian attack. On 5 June 1779 150 militia were mustered to serve as guards for prisoners and supplies in Rutland.
In the spring of 1779 many citizens of Cumberland County denied the power of the government to draft militiamen into the Continental Line. They threatened violence and formed a rag-tag non-uniformed militia to resist the draft. Ethan Allen drew a second non-uniformed militia force, rode through Cumberland County and suppressed the draft riots. No one was killed or injured in this incident.
Ethan and Ira Allen entered into negotiations with British authorities as early as 1779, in a desperate attempt to guarantee Vermont independence. The primary role of Vermont's militia during the Revolution was the maintenance of peace on its border with Canada, especially against the northern, formerly pro-French, Indian tribes. Ethan Allen loved to brag that he had 7000 militia under his command, but in the spring of 1780 it could barely field 19 men to defend along the western flank of its defensive line. It seems unlikely that Allen ever mustered more than 500 men at one time during the war, out of a population of about 40,000.(497)
The Treaty of Paris of 1783 did nothing to clarify Vermont's status, although New York continued to deny its separation until Vermont was finally admitted to statehood in 1791.
Rhode Island was created by pioneers who possessed virtually nothing but their simple household goods, tools and arms and a strong determination to succeed. Most did not possess even simple ploughs. In the seventeenth century the colony was known only for its agricultural products, notably tobacco, sheep, swine, cattle, corn, tobacco and goats. The population grew very slowly and prosperity came but slowly. Founder Roger Williams drew up a simple social contract to which young men, upon achieving majority, added their names to those of their forbearers.
Williams believed fully in the universal brotherhood of all humankind and labored hard at achieving a lasting peace not only between Europeans and the Amerindians, but also among the various Amerindian tribes. His mission of peace caused him to travel throughout all of New England. Already unpopular among the Puritans for his religious views, Williams argued that the various Indian wars had been caused directly by the bellicose policies the other New England colonies had followed regarding their aboriginal neighbors. He especially wished to prevent the formation of an alliance between the Pequots and Narragansett tribes because he regarded it as an ant-colonial military arrangement. If peace could be achieved, then the militia would have few duties and responsibilities, even though militia duty was among the most fundamental responsibilities accepted by all signing the contract.
The Rhode Island militia was formed prior to 1640. Before the colony created a formal militia organization it created a watch system. On 5 September 1638 the legislature "ordered that on the twelfth day of this ninth month there shall be a general training and exercising of those who are to bear arms in the art of military discipline and that [includes] all that are 16 and upwards of 50."(498) At the same time the legislature created public militia inspection officers and ordered them to "go into every house and [see] what arms are defective and that the men whose arms" are defective are "ordered to have the same repaired." The inspectors were to make certain as well that each man had four pounds of gunpowder for his weapon.(499) From 1639 onward the men of the militia companies elected their own officers."(500)
By 1640 the Rhode Island militia was training eight days a year, with a general muster being held twice a year. The law required that by "the second beat of the drum all men allowed and assigned to bear arms are to make their personal appearance, completely armed, to attend their colours by eight o'clock in the forenoon." The legislature completely revised the colony's law in 1640. The portion which covered the militia reads,
20. It is agreed and ordered, that all Men allowed and assigned to beare armes, shall make their personall appearance completely armed with Muskett and all its furniture ; or pike with its furniture, to attend their Coulers by Eight of the clock in the morning, at the second beat of the Drum, on such dayes as they are appointed to Traine. And further it is ordered, that eight severall times in the yeare the Bands of each Plantation shall openlie in the field be exercised and disciplined by their Commanders and Officers. And further it is ordered, that there shall be two Generall Musters in the yeare, the one to be disciplined at Nieuport, the other at Portsmouth; and that if any shall faile to make their personal appearance as aforesaid, according to time and place aforesaid, he shall forfeit and pay the sum of five shillings into the hands of the Clark of the Band. And further it is ordered, and by this present authority established, that if any person shall come to the said Training or Generall Muster, defective in his armes or furniture equivalent, he shall pay forthwith the sum of twelve pence ; and further it is ordered, that when the Generall Muster shall be held at the one Towne, there shall be a sufficient Guard sett and left at the other Towne with the Constable or his deputy. And further, it is ordered, that the Commanders Vidg't, Chieftaine and Lieutenant, shall appoint the dayes and times of their s'd meetings; And further it is ordered that all men who shall come and remaine the space of twentie days on the Island, he shall be liable to the injunctions of this order; provided, that if eyther heardsmen or Lighter men be other ways detained upon their necessary employments, they shall be exempted, paying only two shillings and six pence for that day, into the hands of the Clarke : And further be it established, that the two Chiefe Officers of each Towne, to witt: the one of the Commonweal, the other of the Band; and these two officers upon the exhibition of the Complaint by ye Clark (which shall be within three dayes after the faults committed), shall Judge and determine of the reasons of their excuses, who upon the hearing thereof, shall determine whether such person shall pay five shillings and six pence, or nothing. And further it is ordered, that Libertie be granted to Farmer or Farmer,' to leave one man at the s'd Farme, he paying the sum of two shillings and six pence into the hands of the Clarke. And further it is ordered, that the Clarke of each Band shall receive the monies off any Man to provide and make supply of such things as he shall stand in need, of; during which time, after the deliverie of the s'd money, he shall be excused for his defects in his Armes ; but if the money be not delivered, then to be liable to the injunction herein contained ; provided, also that the Clark of each Band shall hereby be authorized to ask, receive or destraine for all such fines or forfeitures As by any are made, and that the said sum of monies so levied shall be employed to the use and service of the said Band.
21. It is ordered, that the Treasury shall provide and fitt up on Drum Collers and halberts for the Band of Portsmouth.(501)
On 1 March 1643 the legislature ordered "every man to come armed unto meeting every sixth day."(502) Just a few weeks later, on 10 April, the legislature reiterated its position "that every man carry arms with them unto the meeting [on] the sixth day."(503)
In 1647 the assembly ordered that,
the Towne Councils shall have power to cause those which are defective in armes, to he supplied in an equal way according to Estate and strength. And if any of ye Traine Band after his appearance shall refuse or neglect the command of his Captain, to be exercised and disciplined, he shall forfeit as much as if he had not appeared: And that the Town Council shall order the power of the Military Officers within the Towne, and in all cases that concerne ye whole, the President and ye foure assistants, and ye Captains of every Band shall be the Councill of Warr; that if any of the Officers of ye Band be at any time left out, they shall beare Armes again, for ye Constitution of our place will not beare the contrary : that every Inhabitant of the Island above sixteen or under sixty yeares of age, shall alwayes be provided of a Musket, one pound of powder, twenty bullets, and two fathom of Match, with sword, rest, bandaleers all completely furnished.(504)
In 1647, in another legislative action, the council moved to prevent the sale of arms and gunpowder to the enemy.
It is ordered and agreed, that if any person or persons, shall sell, give, deliver, or any otherwayes convey any powder, shott, lead, gunn, pistoll, sword, dagger, halberd or pike to the Indians that are or may prove offensive to this Colonie, or any member thereof, he or they, for the first offence, shall forfeit ye sum of five pounds; and for his second offence, offending in the same kind, and being lawfully convicted, shall forfeit ten pounds; half to the State, and half to him that will sew for it, and no wager of Law by any means to be allowed to the offender. And, it is further ordered, that if any person shall mend or repaire their Guns, he or they shall forfeit the same penaltie.(505)
In 1650, the legislature acted to repair certain deficiencies in the colony's militia. First, the law had not specifically required that the citizens own firelocks that were in working order so the legislature ordered that all the colony's arms be brought into proper working order. "All excuses sett aparte," it decreed, the gunsmiths authorized by the colony "shall mende and make all lockes, stockes and pieces that by order from the warden of each Towne shall be from any of the inhabitants thearof presented to them." The legislature did offer to stand the cost of such repairs, giving "just and suitable satisfaction in hand payed, without delay." Those who failed to bring their arms forth were placed "under the penaltie of ten pounds, to be levied by distraint from the head officer to the use of the sayd Towne's Militia." Next, it offered to pay for the repairs to private arms used in militia service. "It is ordered, that all men that have gunns and pieces to mend, and have need to have them mended for their present defence, shall forthwith, according to order, Carrie those pieces to mende, upon paine of forfeiting ten shillings a piece, which shall be levied by distraint from the head officer of the Towne to the use of the sayed Towne's militia."(506)
Next, in the same year, it decided to create adequate gunpowder magazines along with supplies of flint or match as needed by establishing repositories of these vital militia supplies. The assembly "ordered that the proportions allotted to the Towne for a magazine for the present, and constant supply, be equally layed upon the inhabitants of each Towne by the councill thereof." The inhabitants were taxed "according to each man's strength and estate; which being made known to every man by theare Sarjeants." Failure to contribute was punishable by fine. "Each man in particular shall be liable to the penaltie above sayed."(507) The legislature specified what must be kept constantly on hand in the magazines.
It is ordered by the authoritie of this present Assemblie, that each Towne shall have in it a magazine for its present and constant defence. The Towne of providence shall have in its magazine one barrell of good powder, five hundred poundes of leade, six pikes, and six muskets all in good case and fit for service. The Towne of Portsmouth shall have in its magazine two barrells of good powder, one thousand weight of leade, twelve pikes and eighteen muskets, all in good case and fit for service. The Towne of Newport shall have in its magazine three barrells of good powder, one thousand weight of leade, twelve pikes and twentie foure muskets, all in good case, and fit for service. The Towne of Warwick shall have in its magazine one barrell of good powder, five hundred weight of leade, six pikes and six muskets, all in good case and fitt for service; and all thease magazines shall be thus compleately furnished by the last day of the month called August next ensuinge, under the penaltie of ten pounds sterling for each default therein, upon sufficient information of the default, by virtue of a warrant from under the Presidents hande, the Generall Sarjeant shall take it by distraint and forthwith returne it into the publicke Treasurie.(508)
In 1650, the legislature again laid on all inhabitants the heavy burden of providing an arm suitable for militia use. "It is ordered that . . . one was posest of a gunn, &c., as his owne proper goods, and upon demand of the Solicitor cannot produce, or will not give a good account what is become of it, before one or two persons or the Atturney, he shall be judged guiltie of breach of the lawe." Moreover, the law extended "to enquirie especially of gunnes and other prohibitions, as powder, shott, leade, wine or liquors that hath been marchandized or convayed away to the Indians since the lawe made in that respect."(509)
In 1651 the colony experienced a time of grave civil disorder and insurrection. William Coddington, president of the General Court, attempted to effect a coup d'etat, claiming that he had the support of the vast majority of the population. When the court threatened to remove him from office if he "deserted" the colony, Coddington sailed for England. There he brought his case before the Council of State which received him favorably and offered him a lifetime appointment as governor of the islands of Aquidneck and Conanicut. Dr John Clarke and Roger Williams were able to convince the Council to rescind Coddington's commission, largely because they convinced it that Coddington had formed a conspiracy with the Dutch at New Amsterdam. On 7 April 1652 the Council of State revoked Coddington's commission and confirmed Williams' patent of 1644. The government had been able to hold its own and to restore some semblance order in some part because it controlled the militia.(510)
The collapse of Coddington's scheme did not restore a full and lasting peace for the centrifugal forces of excess liberty and liberty bordering on license were far too strong. Especially in Providence the populace was dissatisfied with any sort of governmental restraints on what was virtual anarchy. Adding to the discord was the split between the islands and the mainland so great in intensity that between 1651 and 1654 the court met with only delegates from Providence and Warwick, while all other areas boycotted the legislative meetings. Finally, in 1654, Williams returned and threw all his energies into building a cohesive and integrated society. Bolstered by a letter of support from Cromwell, Williams did succeed in overcoming the disunity and regional antagonisms so that by March 1656 even Coddington agreed to accept the authority of the General Court and charter. Introduction of the common American punishments of the time, including the whipping post, pillory and stocks; and the appointment of constables and militia sergeants to assist in maintaining the peace also helped restore order.(511)
In the Charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations of 18 July 1663(512) the crown granted the authority to the governor and company to appoint militia officers and to prepare "for the defence and safeguard of the sayd Plantations." More specifically, the governor was "to assemble, exercise in arms, martiall array, and put in warlyke posture, the inhabitants of sayd collonie for theire special defence and safety." Should the militia be called out to defend the colony or to go on offense against its enemies, the militia was permitted to "encounter, expulse, expell and resist by force of armes . . . and alsoe to kill, slay and destroy" the king's enemies.(513) In implementing this charter in March 1664 the General Court repealed the earlier provision that all laws had to be approved by the towns before becoming effective.
In 1665 the Assembly of Rhode Island, "taking into consideration the great defect in training, occasioned by the remissness of some vnder the pretence of the burden in training soe often as eight dayes in the yeare, . . . enacted and declared, that the sixe dayes only in the yeare be ordered, and are hearby ordered for the milletary exercise in training, which shall be dilligently attended to in each respective towne . . . ." The Assembly was most concerned about the burden that the militia law placed on the poor by requiring them to purchase arms from their own meager resources and by forcing them to miss many days' work. It noted "the great inequality, in that the poorest being vnable to spare wherewith to maintaine armes and amunition, as powder, &c., yett are forced by the law to beare armes as well as the most able . . . ." The act specified the times for militia muster. "The dayes prefixed for the exercise of training, are yearly to be the last Monday in May; the first Monday in September; the first Monday in November; the last Monday in March, and the last Monday in Aprill."
The act made the officers responsible for gathering the militia for training "vpon penalty that each Captain, or in his absence, the Leftenant of each towne, shall be fined in case he call not the listed soulders together by warrant. . . ." It also specified the penalties for failures. "The summe of ten pound starling to the Gennerall Treasury, to be by law recovered by the said Treasurer, for the Collony; as alsoe fortye shillings for each defect of calling the said company together to traine on each the training dayes hereafter appointed, or refusing then to exercise them in training . . . " The act specified fines "for every defecte in not duely attending the trainings, each one listed, soe deficient, shall for every dayes defect, pay three shillings fine, to be levied by distraint on the partyes goods, or on the goods of the master, or mistress, or parents of such sones or sarvants as are defective; and to the end the fines may be levied more certainly, the same . . . . "
Some militia fine money was to be used to maintain and repair, even purchase if absolutely necessary, arms for the poorer men. "And for the incorradgement of the meaner sort, there shall be alowed yearly nine shillings in currant pay to, or for, each soldiare listed in the traine band, to be duely payed and discounted yearly by the Clarke or Treasurer of the traine band, at the Captain's discretion for the repaireing of armes, &c.; and the said nine shillings yearly to be payed and cleared by or before the last Monday in March. . . ."
The law required that parents be responsible for their sons and masters for their servants. Specifically, it required that, "parents and masters as find armes and amunition (as they must doe) for their sones and sarvants that are listable, which are to be listed, and to traine. . . ." Further, the law required that householders or other men that find themselves armes and traine in their owne persones; which all men from sixteene years of age to sixtye yeares old are hearby required to doe, both masters, parents, sones, sarvants and others. . . ."
Following law passed previously on 4 May 1664, the 1665 act retained provision for the men to elect their own officers. The Assembly ordered the militiamen to assembly immediately "to make choyce of Captaine and other officers milletary . . . ."
Exemptions from militia duty in early Rhode Island were rare. The law principally allowed exceptions for "such as are in publicke office." Earlier laws had exempted a few others from military service, such as ministers, and the 1665 Act recognized those that "are by former lawes exempted."(514)
By an act of the General Assembly passed at a session held on 1 May 1667, it was provided that "noe person or persons within this Colony from the age of sixteen years unto the age of sixty years, shall be released from traininge or other duties in military affairs, excepting only the civil officers in this Colony &c, the exceptions not including negroes or persons of color."
Dr John Clarke who had worked with Roger Williams in frustrating the Coddington cabal had remained in England, acting as an informal agent of the provincial government. Knowing of the colony's deficiencies in gunpowder, shot, match, flints and other martial supplies, Clarke was able to secure supplies for distribution to the towns from various friends and supporters. Supposedly the money advanced for the supplies was a loan, but it does not appear that it was ever repaid in full.(515)
In 1676 the colony ordered that free blacks "shall be lyable to that service."(516) In that year the legislature enacted a law providing for a fine of 5 shillings for those eligible for militia service and who failed to respond to a call to muster.(517) Militiamen were required to have "a musquet, cartouche box, 12 bullitts, a half pound of [gun]powder and 6 flints." Each man also had to provide his own accoutrements. A man who reported for training days with unsuitable or defective equipment was liable for a fine of 3 shillings. If a soldier neglected to pay, or could not pay, his militia fine he was jailed.(518) Some men were assigned to picket or warding (watching) duty. This additional militia duty could be avoided by paying for a substitute.(519) Militia duty was required of all able-bodied males between the ages of 16 and 60. The men elected their own officers. If they elected an officer with less than five years of militia service, that officer had to receive special training. Officers could use corporeal punishments, including "riding the wooden horse" and "hog tying" in addition to the levying of fines.(520) An act of the General Assembly of the Colony of Rhode Island, and Providence Plantations, at its session begun May 2, 1676, read in part,
June the 30th . . . Voted, that whenever there is a clause made at an Assembly held May the 7th, 1673, wherein is specified that persons declaring that it is against their conscience or judgements to bear arms in martial or military manner, that such shall not be liable to the military authority, nor any ways liable to pay the fine by law afore ordained and set; and finding that several, under pretense decline their duty, whereby great disturbance is in the several Train Bands; therefore for the encouragement of the Militia in this Colony, the said clause in the said law is made void, null and repealed. . . . And all persons in this Colony are to be observant actively or passively, as the former laws have provided in Military affairs, and this to stand in force, any law or laws, clause or clauses therein to the contrary notwithstandinge.(521)
In 1677 the Rhode Island Assembly found it necessary to strengthen the militia law. The Assembly prefaced the act with the comment that "His Royall Majesty . . . granted unto his people and subjects the inhabitants thereof, free liberty of conscience for the real worship of God, as they arc perswaded by the several dispensations thereof: yet therein alsoe strictly requiring and commandinge that all due obedience shall be give unto the laws of his realme, which as is well knowne, are upheld and mainetained under God, both from forreign invasion and domestick rebellion by the millitary power alsoe strictly requireinge. . . ."
Not all inhabitants were willing to perform their militia duties, for reasons varying from conscience to contempt for all civil authority. "Some under pretence of conscience, hath taken liberty act contrary, and make voyde the power, strength a authority of the millitary soe necessary to be upheld and maintained, that the civill power (in which the whole free dome and priviledges of his Majesty's subjects are kept and preserved), cannot without it be executed. . . ." The overall effect was such "that this his Majesty's Collony this time is in effect wholly destitute of the millitary forces for the preservation thereof." The Assembly warned that the "inhabitants therein . . . may thereby be made a prey unto the weakest meanest of his Majesty's enemys." There was no question as to the obligation to bear arms in defense of the colony. The authorities took "into their most serarious consideration and findinge that his Majesty in his Pattent hath required that the inhabitants of his Collony are to be led, conducted and trained up in martiall affaires." Therefore, the civil power ordered that "by the power and authority thereof, [we] order, enact and declare that the inhabitants of every respective towne within the Collony" shall register and serve in the militia. The men "shall in each towne respectively have their free choyce or election of their millitary commanders and officers; and that yearly, upon the last Monday in the month of May." The men were free "to make choyce and elect their commander and millitary officers." On election day and five other days a year that "there shall be . . . traininge days."
The authorities further ordered "that the Governor, Deputy Governor, or any one Assistant, in each respective towne shall give forth warrant unto the Towne Sergeant warne the inhabitants to assemble in armes on the day abovesaid. . . ." The authorities decreed that "for the future it is enacted, that the Captaine, or in his absence the next chief commander of the respective Trained Bands, shall give forth warrant from time to time unto their respective Corporalls, or some other person, whoever they thinke convenient, to warne and require the inhabitants yearely, on the said last Monday of May, to assemble in armes." At such time the men were to "elect their respective commanders and millitary officers for the exercisinge of the people in martiall affaires in each respective towne."(522)
The 1677 Act made the cities and towns responsible for funding the major portion of militia costs. Some costs were borne by militia fines, but shortfalls were to be made up by local taxes.
Rhode Island required some native Americans to enroll in the colony's militia.(523) In 1678 the Rhode Island assembly ordered that,
several Indian servants upon New Shoreham, and other Indians there, . . . may be serviceable to her Majesty . . . . [They are] to be entered and trained up in martial discipline . . . . That all Indian men servants, and others of said island, shall be under the command and discipline of such Captain and other officers . . . for training up and instructing in martial discipline . . . and that they be by the inhabitants and authority of said Island carefully provided for with arms and ammunition . . . .(524)
In the 1690s the Rhode Island legislature became embroiled in a dispute with their governor, Sir William Phipps over the command of the colonial militia. In a petition of 2 August 1692, the colony claimed that Phipps had no authority to assume command of its militia. The colony appealed to the crown: "his Excellency, Sir William Phipps . . . writ a letter directed to your Majesties' Governor and Councill here, a copy whereof is herein enclosed, declaring himself to be empowered with the militia of this your Majesties' Collony." He wanted the colony to "send some persons to him, and to propose men, faithfull to their Majesties, to be commisionated, &c." The "Governor and Councill being convened, and perusing the letter, found that the grant was with respect to a statute made in the thirteenth year of the reign of King Charles the Second." According to the colony, Charles "gave the Governor and Company of his said Collony . . . the sole power of the militia therein from him and successors, to them and their successors." Therefore, under charter rights, Phipps had no power to issue order. The colony was willing to cooperate, but found Phipps in no mood to compromise his supposed authority.
That nevertheless, we your Majesties' Governor and Councill, taking notice of your Majesties' good intentions towards us in the time of war for our better defence against the enemies, were willing to submit to your Majesties' commands when made to appear, and thereupon chose and commissionated Major John Greene, Deputy Governor, and Mr. Henry Britemen, Assistant, to treat with his Excellency, concerning his commission, who carried with them a list of the commissioned officers of the trained bands, chosen by the order of the Collony, which they delivered; as also gave in a list of some of the principal persons. who together with some other their adherents were disobedient and disclaimed this your Majesties' government, the copy of the return whereof is also herewith sent. But his Excellency, instead of sending an answer to the Governor, which he promised to do, he sent up Commissions to Major Peleg Sanford, endeavoring thereby to commissionate the most of them objected against, and thereby endeavoring to depose those severall of them that have stood up hitherto to support your Majesties' government hero; but the most of either of them do refuse to take such commissions, so that your Majesties' good intentions towards this your poor distressed Collony, in this time of war, is like to be subverted, and that which was proposed for better defence against the enemy, is hike to make way for an inlet to the enemy if not timely prevented. Whereupon, your Majesties Governor and Councill saw cause to order the Generall Assembly to be convened for the resettling the militia, and to make application to your Majesties for redress herein, and thie rather because our Commissioners, aforesaid, obtained not a sight of his Excellency's commission, nor of an attested copy.(525)
On 7 December 1693 the Attorney General, Edward Ward, offered his opinion on the significance and power of the Rhode Island colonial charter.
I find by a copy of the commission granted by their Majesties the 12th of December, 1691, unto Sir William Phipps, reciting the Act of Parliament made in the thirteenth year of the reign of King Charles the Second, for the militia, and that thereby the sole and supreme power, government, command and disposition of the militia and of all forces by sea and land, forts and places of strength belong to their Majesties; their Majesties for the better protection and security of the inhabitants in those parts, did constitute and appoint the said Sir William Phipps their Majesties' Lieutenant and Commander in Chief of the militia, and of all forces by sea and land, forts and places of strength in the said Collony (amongst other places there mentioned), during pleasure. The petitioners, by their annexed address, and by Mr. Christopher Almy, their Agent here, do humbly represent that their Charter being granted since the making of the Act for the Militia, they thereby humbly conceive they have the power [for the] training and government of the militia in that Collony, and that the subsequent commission of Sir William Phipps, which was never so much as published, or made known by him amongst them, may be an occasion of great inconvenience and prejudice to their Collony, which is but small, and a frontier to the sea, and open to the enemy if he should command (as he already hath), severall men out of it, the whole number of the inhabitants being but sufficient for its defence, and humbly praying their Majesties' confirmation of their Charter and all the priviledges thereby granted . . . . The power given by the Charter to the government of the Collony to trayn and exercise the inhabitants of the Collony in martial affairs, as also the rest of the Charter, is still in force. . . . I see nothing in point of law but that their Majesties may . . . gratify the Petitioners and confirm their Charter. . . . Edward Ward, Attorney General.(526)
On 2 August 1694 the Queen's Council responded to both the colonial petition and Attorney General Ward's opinion on command of the Rhode Island militia. Despite charter rights, the queen was sovereign and, as final and complete political power, had the absolute right to order the disposition of all troops, colonial militia or any others. The council offered one compromise: Rhode Island would not be required to furnish more troops in proportion to its population in any draft of militiamen or volunteers than any other colony.
Her Majesty having received the humble Address and Petition of the Governor and Company or their Majesties' Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, in New England, humbly representing that the petitioners had received advice from Sir William Phipps, Governor in Chief of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, that he was empowered with the militia of the Colony of Rhode Island, the grant of which power to Sir William Phipps, the petitioners find to be with respect to the statute made the 13th year of King Charles the Second . . . whereby the role power or the militia is granted to the Company. And therefore humbly praying their Majesties' confirmation of their government, according to the boundaries of their Charter; which Address having been referred to the Right Honorable, the Lords of the Committee of Trade and Plantations, for their Lordships' consideration, and to report their opinion what is fit to be done therein; and the Lords of the Committee having received the report of Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor Generall upon the said Address, and a petition in behalf of the Colony of Connecticut, in relation to the militia of those Colonies, and uniting their strength against the French . . . . we do hereby require and command our Governor [of Rhode Island] . . . to provide and send to be under his [Phipps'] command and direction for the defence of our Province of New York . . . . We [have] given especial directions to our Governor . . . not to demand or require at any time a greater part of the quota of our Militia of our Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation than he shall in proportion demand or require of the quotas of the rest of the adjacent Colonies . . . .(527)
On 21 August 1694 Queen Mary reaffirmed the appointment, power and full authority of Phipps to command all her forces, militia and volunteers included, irrespective of charter or other provincial rights.
It having been represented unto us by your humble address and petition, that our Commission to our trusty and well beloved Sir Wm. Phipps, Knight, Governor in Chief of our Province of the Massachusetts Bay, in New England, whereby he is ewpowered to command the militia of our Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, being with respect to the statute made in the 13th year of the reign of our Royal uncle, King Charles the Second, of blessed memory; by the Charter to the Governor and Company of our said Colony . . . the sole power of the militia is granted to the said Company, you having therefore humbly prayed our confirmation of the government of our said Colony according to the boundaries of the said Charter; and whereas, out of our great care and tenderness for the preservation of all our loving subjects as well in their rights and priviledges as for the security of their persons and estates. . . . the uniting the strength of our said Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, and the adjacent Colonies, for the defence of our subjects in those parts against the French [is of utmost importance] . . . . We have thereupon further signified our pleasure to our said Governor of our Province of the Massachusetts Bay, that in the execution of the powers granted to him by our said Commission, he do not take upon him any more than during war to command such quota or part of the militia of our said Colony, as we shall at any time direct as occasion may require the same, except in case of imminent danger of an actual invasion of the enemy; in which case we have directed him, that with the advice of the Governor of our said Colony, he conduct and command the rest of the forces of our said Colony, for the preservation of our said Colony, or of such other of our adjacent Colonies as shall most stand in need thereof; he taking care that he do not leave our said Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation unprovided of a competent force for the defence and safety thereof. . . . of our pleasure to our several Colonies and Provinces in the northern parts of America, the 11th day of October, 1692, to be aiding and assisting to our Governor and Commander in Chief of our Province of New York, for the defence and security of our said Province against the attempts of our enemies, and to agree upon a quota of men or other assistance to be given by each of our said Colonies or Provinces, for the defence and security of our said Province of New York, some of our said Colonies or Provinces having omitted to send Commissioners to adjust the quotas to be furnished by them respectively, nothing hath been done therein; we have thereupon thought fit to appoint the several quotas of men or other assistance to be furnished by our said Colonies and Provinces respectively, for the defence and security of our said Province of New York. And accordingly we do hereby signify our will and pleasure unto you, that a quota or part of our militia of our Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, not exceeding forty-eight men, be the measure of the assistance to be given by our said Colony for the defence and security of our said Province of New York . . . .(528)
In February 1708 Queen Anne appointed Colonel Samuel Vetch to represent her among the various colonial governors and to order them to provide her with militia to supplement her army in the campaign planned against French Canada. She assigned "the governor of New England and... the governor of Rhode Island" a quota of "1200 of thier best men" from among the militia and also to encourage as many militiamen as possible "to go as Volunteers in the Expedition."(529)
On 7 May 1718, the "General Assembly of His Majesties Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England begun and Held at Newport . . . And Continued by Adjournment to the Ninth Day of September following," passed legislation concerning the militia.
Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly of this Colony and by the Authority for the same, and it is hereby Enacted. That all Acts heretofore made Relating to the Militia or appointing Officers of the same, Be hereby and Absolutely Repealed and Declared Null and Void, and that for the future the following Order, Regulation, and Rules Relating to the same, be Kept and Observed by all Persons in this Colony. . . . First it is Enacted and appointed, that all Male Persons Residing for the space of Three Months within this Colony, from the Age of Sixteen to the Age of Sixty Years, shall bear Arms in their Respective Train Bands, or Companies whereto by Law they shall belong Excepting only . . . . And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That upon any Alarm in time of War, or other emminent danger of any Assault or Invasion, all Male Persons, both Listed Soldiers and others in this Colony of and between the Age of Sixteen and Sixty, shall upon notice of the same, forthwith Repair to the Colours and Ensigns of such Company, within whose Province they Inhabit or dwell.(530)
In 1730 the legislature repealed the militia act of 14 June 1726.(531)
In 1740-41 Rhode Island provided 2300 volunteers to the British attack on Cartagena, West Indies, during King George's War. The order for recruitment of volunteer militia in Rhode Island is similar to that which the legislatures in all the colonies were required to promulgate.
An Act for raising and enlisting a number of soldiers, to be transported to the West Indies for His Majesty's service. Whereas, His Majesty hath been graciously pleased to make a declaration of war against the King of Spain, and being determined in the most effectual manner to distress and annoy the Spaniards; and more particularly by making an attempt upon some of their most considerable settlements in the West Indies; and for that purpose having recommended to this government the necessity of raising a number of soldiers to be there transported; -- In obedience therefore, to His Majesty's orders, and for the encouragement of those who shall enlist in His Majesty's service, be it enacted by the General Assembly of this colony and by the authority thereof it is enacted, that there be a commanding officer in each regiment in this colony appointed by the Governor and so many of the council as are upon Rhode Island, to enlist so many men as shall be willing to serve His Majesty in the intended expedition against the Spaniards, which officer so appointed, shall be obliged to enlist himself. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that each soldier (so enlisted by said officer) being an able bodied effective man, shall have the sum of £3 allowed him by the colony, at the time of his enlisting; and shall be exempted from all military service for the space of three years after his return, except in cases of great extremity; and that the money hereby allowed, be deposited in the hands of each colonel in the colony, for the purpose aforesaid. And in order to facilitate the raising and enlisting such soldiers, the field officers in each county be hereby empowered to call each captain's company together, in order for the aforesaid commanding officer to enlist soldiers, as aforesaid; and that each of the said officers attend on said companies. And it is also further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that there be at the charge of the colony, provided proper transports for the transporting such and so many men as may be enlisted, at such time as His Honor, the Governor, upon further advice, shall judge proper, to embark them, in order to go to the place of the general rendezvous.(532)
The Massachusetts legislature offered a bounty for enlistments, but still had trouble filling even half Governor Belcher's quota. Colonials were to be allowed to elect their inferior officers, and officers and men would have rank and pay, and be armed and clothed, equal to the British troops. They were to "have their just share and proportion of all plunder or booty gained from the enemy, according to their services."(533) After the war they would be permitted to retain their arms and uniforms for military duty.(534) Along with 500 volunteers from Massachusetts, the Rhode Islanders filled five ships when they left Boston harbor and, after the bloody defeat, barely filled one ship on return. They lost 153 officers and 30 transport commanders and untold numbers of enlisted men both to enemy fire and fever.(535) Approximately ten percent of the volunteers had survived.
In the early fall of 1741 the British army proposed moving against Cuba. The New England governors and the English authorities agreed on an enlistment bounty of £4 sterling. Massachusetts Governor Belcher appealed to patriotism, indicating how important the West Indian and Cuban trade were to all of New England. Rhode Island again led the New England colonies with recruits which may speak more of the economic conditions than their patriotism or foolhardiness. Massachusetts did recruit more men than it had for the ill-fated Cartagena expedition.(536) The Duke of New Castle had hoped to raise 3000 provincial volunteers for his West Indian expedition. In proportion to its size, Rhode Island supplied the largest number of recruits. Two companies were drawn largely from its militia. It had a large financial stake in the West Indian trade.(537)
On 24 December 1754, Isaac Norris rose in the legislature and spoke in favor of "establishing a regular Militia within the Province, and providing Arms and Stores of War and building proper Magazines at the most convenient places. All these things they desire may be done in such Manner as to be the least burdensome to the Inhabitants . . . ."(538) A new militia act appeared in February 1755.(539)
In 1755 Rhode Island again was assigned a quota of militia volunteers to supplement the British army with men to join the regular British army in a joint punitive expedition against Crown Point.(540) The text of the legislative act reads as follows.
Whereas, the defeat of the English army at, or near the Monaungahela,(541) may not only inspirit the French and their Indian allies, but give them an opportunity and the advantage of detaching such a part of their forces to the northward, as may render the success of the expedition under Major General Shirley against Niagara precarious, but frustrate that which this colony, in conjunction with some other of His Majesty's governments in North America are engaged in, against Crown Point, and thereby bring the English empire in those parts, into considerable danger; for preventing whereof, as far as lieth in the power of this colony, Be it enacted by this General Assembly . . . that three companies, of fifty men, each, including officers, be forthwith raised and supported at the expense of this colony, under the command of such officers as shall be chosen and appointed for that purpose, and sent by land unto Albany, as fast as the companies can be filled up . . . and from thence, to march with the utmost expedition . . . against Crown Point . . . . the officers to be chosen, shall have and receive the same wages, and enjoy equal immunities and advantages with those already sent; and every soldier to be raised, the same wages bounties and immunities in every respect . . . . And as a further encouragement, and for the more speedy raising men to form the three new companies, each soldier shall have and be allowed, upon his enlisting, a bounty of £25, old tenor . . . . And to the end that there may be a sufficiency in the general treasury, for raising men, paying bounties, supporting the troops, and other incident charges, Be it further enacted, that the sum of £20,000 be forthwith made and struck . . . . within the space or term of two years from the passing this act, by a tax to be assessed and levied upon the inhabitants of this colony, in the same manner as the tax for sinking the £60,000 . . . . This Assembly do vote and resolve, and it is voted and resolved, that the sum of £5,000, be allowed and paid out of the general treasury, towards carrying on the building of Fort George. . . .(542)
The British attempted to recruit volunteers, out of the militia units or elsewhere, with advertisements in newspapers and elsewhere. Broadsides, or posters hung in public places, were among the more popular devices used for recruitment. One Broadside, dated 8 August 1757, called the militia to duty during a critical phase of the French and Indian War.
Advertisement! This is to command and require all, and every one, of His Majesty's well affected subjects who are able to bear arms, to repair with all expedition, to Fort Edward on Hudson's River, to march with General Webb, to the relief of Fort William Henry, which still stands out fighting against a large and numerous enemy; which if not speedily relieved must fall the sacrifice and the whole Province of course; some of the colonels of the militia have been so remiss in their duty on this occasion. This method is taken to warn all His Majesty's subjects of the danger . . . .(543)
The legislature acquired arms and distributed these among the citizen-soldiers of the colony. The militia men were required to care for the arms and to be prepared to account for them at any time. After the militia trained each company commander was to account for all arms in his command.(544)
In 1774 the assembly created a frontier ranging company of militia, to be called the North Providence Rangers.(545) Immediately after, the legislature created the permanent rank and position of major-general of the militia, the occupant of this office to be appointed by the governor.(546) Finally, it passed the last major revisions of the basic militia act enacted prior to independence.(547)
it is enacted, that for the future, each enlisted soldier, who shall not be provided with a sufficient gun, or fuzee, as directed in the said act, shall be fined two shillings, lawful money, for each deficiency; and also, that every soldier be provided with a good bayonet fixed on his gun, upon the penalty of four pence, lawful money, for each default. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the captain, or, in his absence, the next superior officer of each respective company, shall warn and call together the company under his command, one day in every month, and exercise the same in martial discipline, according to the mode established by His present Majesty in 1764 . . . . That the first warning be by warrant under the hand and seal of such officer, issued within ten days before such training or exercising; and that all succeeding warnings be given verbally by the commanding officer for the day, at the head of the company, while under arms. Provided, nevertheless, that in the towns of Providence and Bristol, the captain, or other commanding officer, may warn their companies by beat of drum, as in the said act is permitted in the town of Newport. . . . within ten days after each penalty shall be incurred, the captain, or other superior officer, shall issue his warrant therefor, returnable to himself, within twenty days ; and that twelve- and-an-half per cent. only, be allowed for collecting such fines. . . . the fines of all those who, being exempted from appearing on the days of training, are notwithstanding, obliged to be provided with arms and other accoutrements, shall be the same for every deficiency, as the fines of the enlisted soldiers ; and that the examination and survey, appointed by the said act, shall be made by the sergeants of the company in whose district they live, by warrant from the captain, on the first Monday in February, and on the last Monday in April. . . . no town officer shall be exempted from doing military duty, as an enlisted soldier, excepting the members of the town council, the town treasurer, the town clerk and the town sergeant. . . . that there be a general muster and review of each regiment or battalion, twice in every year, to wit : on the first Monday in April, and on the first Monday in October; and that there be a general muster and review of brigade, once in two years. . . . that the captain general, lieutenant general and major general, or any two of them, be, and they are hereby, fully authorized and empowered to direct and order when, and in what manner, the forces within this colony shall march to the assistance of any of our sister colonies, when invaded or attacked; and also in what manner the said forces shall be provided and supplied; and also to direct and make use of the cannon belonging to the colony, either in or out of the colony, as they may deem expedient. . . . that the said forces, whenever they shall be called out of the colony, shall be under the immediate command and direction of the major general.(548)
In June 1776 the new state government ordered the publication and distribution of a set of regulations for army and militia drill and discipline.(549) In the late winter of 1775-76 the Rhode Island legislature passed laws implementing the orders of Congress to revitalize the colony's militia.(550) It ordered that,
all such persons as are by law obliged to equip themselves with a good fire-arm, bayonet and cartouch box, and who shall not, by the report of a town council, be declared incapable of providing themselves, . . . do provide themselves by the 20th day of April, agreeably to the law, under the penalty of £5 . . . .(551)
In the urban areas of colonial America, the militia thrived only as long as there was an immediate threat from the native aborigine. The governor of Rhode Island, Nicholas Cooke, wrote to General George Washington, on 25 January 1776:(552)
For many years past, the inhabitants of this colony, surrounded on the land side by Connecticut and Massachusetts Bay thought themselves in a perfect state of security, and entirely neglected military discipline, and disposed of their arms so generally, that at the breaking out of the present war, the colony was in a manner disarmed. We have taken every method in our power, by purchasing, by employing manufacturers, and by importation, to procure a sufficient quantity, but are still so deficient . . . [that] we shall scarcely be able to find arms for the troops we have ordered to be raised for our immediate defence. Besides which, the peculiar situation of the colony requires that every man in it should be provided.
In April 1777 Rhode Island ordered that militia be allowed the same monthly wages to militia as were received by soldiers enlisted in the continental service.(553) Soon after, Rhode Island conducted its second draft of militia, to relieve those called a year earlier. The law read,
. . . . resolved, that the first division of the second draft of the militia, and alarm and independent companies, heretofore drafted agreeably to the resolves of the Assembly, passed at their session in December and March last, be formed into companies, as are by said resolves directed; and that they march to such part of the shores within their respective counties, as shall be directed by the commanding officer, on or before the 24th day of this current April, properly equipped, to relieve those that are now upon duty, and there to remain and do duty for fifteen days from the time they shall actually take the field. . . . to exert themselves in the defence of their country, that a bounty of ten shillings, lawful money, be allowed to each non-commissioned officer and soldier of the said first division of the second draft of the militia, and alarm and independent companies, who shall do his duty; and that all fines which shall be incurred for delinquency, after deducting the cost and fees for collecting the same, shall be equally divided among the non-commissioned officers and soldiers doing duty, who belong to the same town with the delinquents who shall neglect to do duty. . . . in case of sickness and inability to do duty (which alone shall excuse any person), it shall be in the power of either of the field officers of the regiment of the district, to permit such a person to hire a man to do his tour of duty; and if such sick and unable person shall be extremely poor in the judgement of such field officer, as to be unable to hire a person in his stead, that such field officer be empowered to remit such poor person's fine. . . . the other divisions of the independent companies, alarm companies and militia, so drafted, as aforesaid, relieve said division, agreeably to said resolves; and that they be entitled to the same wages and encouragement as are allowed said division, and be subject to the same penalties. . . . the lists of the male inhabitants within this state, from sixteen years of age, and up wards, that have been taken and returned . . . be bound together, and lodged in the secretary's office.(554)
. . . resolved, that the commanding officer of the Continental troops within this state, for the time being, have liberty to call into service all such field officers as he shall deem necessary for the public service. . . . the several independent companies within this state, when called out to service in the pay of this state, or of the United States, shall be allowed pay for the same number of officers in proportion to the number of privates, as are in the foregoing resolve allowed to militia and alarm men. . . . that five hundred effective men be raised by the several towns within this state (excepting the towns of Newport, Portsmouth, New Shoreham and Middletown) for filling the Continental battalions raising by this state, on or before the 10th day of May next; that they be proportioned to the several towns, according to the number of polls; and that [several men] . . . be a committee to proportion the same, to the respective towns . . . that each town be empowered to give such a sum, over and above the bounties already allowed, as they can agree for, with the men enlisting, not exceeding the sum of £22, lawful money.(555)
In February 1778, the Rhode Island legislature authorized the recruitment and enlistment of black, whether free or enslaved, into both the militia and the state's Continental Line. A few free blacks responded to the offer of a bounty for enlistment, but the response was greater among the slaves to whom "freedom with their swords" was tendered, provided only that they serve with bravery and fidelity. Black recruits into both the militia and the Continental Line provided the state with integrated forces, among the very first in America. Only commissions as officers were beyond the reach of blacks; but the ranks of non-commissioned officers were open to persons of color.
In May 1778 the Rhode Island assembly passed legislation to strengthen its militia. The legislation failed to achieve its aims. In September 1779 the legislature directed Major General James Varnum "to cause strict examination to be made of the state of arms &c. of the militia, alarm and independent companies within this state on the third Monday of October next." Varnum was to report on deficiencies and the legislature would attempt to correct any and all problems with the militia.(556)
The universal practice of drafting militiamen into the Continental Line had proved to be as noxious to men in Rhode Island as elsewhere. In May 1781 the state passed a new militia act which provided that militiamen who were deployed along the frontiers were "to serve within this State for [a period not exceeding] one month . . . and no longer; and not to be marched out of the same." The law proved to be popular and was renewed in August 1781.(557)
1. Vernon Louis Parrington. Main Currents in American Thought. 2 vols. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1927, 1:3-51.
2. Russell Weigley. History of the United States Army. New York: Macmillan, 1967, 3-4.
3. T. H. Breen, "English Origins and New World Development: The Case of the Covenanted Militia in Seventeenth Century Massachusetts," Past and Present, 58 : 3-25.
4. This objection to excess militarism on Sundays was repeated in the 1760s. This time it was the practice of the British army stationed at Boston that upset the citizenry. New York Journal, Supplement, 13 and 20 July 1769.
5. Lindsay Boynton, The Elizabethan Militia, 1558-1638. London: Routledge and K. Paul, 1967, 246-50.
6. Boynton, Elizabethan Militia, 275-93.
7. John Shy. Toward Lexington. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1965; Darrell Rutman, "A Militant New World, 1607-1640" University of Virginia Ph. D. dissertation, 1959.
8. Benjamin P. Poore, ed. The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters and Other Organic Laws of the United States. 2 vols. Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1877, 1: 925-29.
9. Oliver A. Roberts. History of the . . . Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, 1637-1888. Boston: Mudge, 1895, 1: 1-3; L. E. DeForest. Captain John Underhill: Gentleman, Soldier of Fortune. New York: Underhill Society of America, 1934, 6-7, 28; John Winthrop. History of New England. J. K. Hosmer, ed. New York: Holt, 1908, I: 78; 2: 153-54.
10. Records of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay in New England. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, ed. 5 vols. Boston: State of Massachusetts, 1854. 2: 222; 4, part 2: 575; 5: 48, 71, 76, 123, 144-45; The Compact with the Charters and Laws of the Colony of New Plymouth. William Brigham, ed. Boston: State of Massachusetts, 1836. Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England. Nathaniel Shurtleff, ed. 10: 360. Hereinafter cited as Plymouth Col. Rec.
11. Thomas Hooker. A Survey of the Summe of Church Disciple. London: Bellamy, 1648, I: 47.
12. The Colonial Laws of Massachusetts Reprinted from the Edition of 1660, with Supplements to 1672, Containing also the Body of Liberties of 1641. W. H. Whitmore, ed. Boston: State of Massachusetts, c.1860, 35.
13. David D. Hall. Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Beliefs in Early New England. New York: Knopf, 1989, 169-72.
14. New York Journal, Supplement, 27 April 1769.
15. Sir Charles Hardy to the Earl of Halifax, dated 7 May 1756, in Stanley Pargellis, editor. Military Affairs in North America, 1748-1756. Hampden, Ct.: Anchor, 1969, 172.
16. Winthrop, History of New England, 1: 79.
17. Winthrop, History of New England, 1: 125; Massachusetts Colonial Records, 1: 187-88; Sharp, "Leadership and Democracy," 256-58; Edward Johnson, The Wonder Working Providence of Sions Savior in New England . J. F. Jameson, ed. New York: Scribner's, 1910, 231; Breen, "English Origins," 84.
18. Winthrop, History of New England, 3: 503-04; 4: 106; Massachusetts Colonial Records, 1: 221, 231.
19. John R. Alden. A History of the American Revolution. New York: Knopf, 1969, 253.
20. Shy, Toward Lexington, 3.
21. Louis Morton, "The Origins of American Military Policy," Military Affairs, 22 : 75-82; Daniel Boorstin. Americans: The Colonial Experience. New York: Vintage, 1958, 341-72; Shy, Toward Lexington, 3-4.
22. ed. by William Aspinwall. London: Aspinwall, 1641, chapter 3.
23. Plymouth Col. Rec., 1: 360.
24. Plymouth Col. Rec., 5: 74-76; 9: 12, 22, 45, 105; 10: 357-58; Mass. Col. Rec., 3: 39, 311; 5: 69.
25. Plymouth Col. Rec., 9: 27.
26. Viola Barnes. Dominion of New England. New York: Kennikat, 1960, 229.
27. Ibid., 262.
28. "Address of Divers Gentlemen, Merchants and Others of Boston, to the King," dated 25 January 1691, Calendar of State Papers: America and West Indies., 13: 212.
29. Calendar of State Papers: America and West Indies, 13: 514.
30. Gersham Bulkeley, "Will and Doom, or, the Miseries of Connecticut by and under an Usurped and Arbitrary Power"  in Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 3 : 70-269 at 240f.
31. "Order of Simon Bradstreet, Governor of the Massachusetts Convention," dated 17 July 1689, Connecticut Archives, 2: 10.
32. dated 9 May 1690, in New York Colonial Documents, 3: 729.
33. Massachusetts Archives, 2: 211-12; Herbert L. Osgood, The American Colonies in the Eighteenth Century, 1: 100-03.
34. Herbert L. Osgood, American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century. New York: Macmillan, 1904-07, 1: 102-03; New York Colonial Documents, 4: 13.
35. The Acts and Resolves of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. 17 vols. Boston: State of Massachusetts, 1869-1910, 7: 418.
36. Governor Fletcher to John Trenchard, dated 10 November 1693, quoted in John G. Palfrey. History of New England. Boston, 1890, 4: 225-27.
37. Rhode Island Colonial Records, 3: 296.
38. Mathew P. Andrews. History of Maryland. Chicago: Clarke, 1925, 209-10.
39. Osgood, American Colonies, 1: 151-52, 267-69; New York Colonial Documents, 4: 259-61; Calendar of State Papers: America and West Indies, 15: 318.
40. Archibald Hanna, Jr. "New England Military Institutions, 1693-1750" Ph. D. dissertation, Yale University, 1951; Frederic de Peyster. The Life and Administration of Richard, Earl of Bellomont. 2 vols. New York: New York Historical Society, 1879, 31-32, 57.
41. See de Peyster, Earl of Bellomont.
42. Everett Kimball. The Public Life of Joseph Dudley, 1660-1775. New York: Harvard Historical Studies, 1911, 15: 75, 120, 143-48.
43. Kimball, Joseph Dudley, 143-47; Palfrey, New England, 4: 359-62; Harry M. Ward. Unite or Die: Intercolony Relations, 1690-1763. Port Washington: Kennikat, 1971, ch. 2.
44. Shy, Toward Lexington, 14.
45. 2 Chron. 18:18.
46. John Calvin. Institutes of the Christian Religion. John T. McNeil, ed. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1967, 1: 73.
47. John Downame. Christian Warfare Wherein is First Generally Shewed the Malice, Power and Politike Stratagems of the Spiritual Enemies of Our Salvation, Sathan. . . .. London: Kyngston, 1604.
48. Edward Johnson. The Wonder Working Providence of Sion's Saviour in New England. london, 1654.
49. Mass. Archives, 68: 174-80.
50. See Eph. 6: 11-17.
51. Samuel Nowell. Abraham in Arms, or, the First Religious General with his Army Engaging in a War for which He Has Wisely Prepared and by Which Not Only an Eminent Victory Was Obtained, but a Blessing Gained Also. Boston: Foster, 1678. The best source for early documents and sermons is the Early American Imprints, two series. Hereinafter, E. A. I., 1st series, no. 256.
52. Cotton Mather penned several influential works on the Indian wars. The History of a Long War with Indian Savages and their Directors and Abettors. Boston: Green, 1714. E. A. I. 1st series, no. 1688; The Present State of New England, Considered in a Discourse on the Necessities and Advantages of a Public Spirit in Every Man. Boston: Green, 1690. Photostat Americana, 1st series, 1936; Souldiers Counselled and Comforted, a Discourse Delivered unto Some Parts of the Forces Engaged in the Just War of New England against the Northern and Eastern Indians . Louisville, Ky: Lost Cause Press, 1967.
53. Benjamin Wadsworth. A Letter of Wholesome Counsels Directed to Christian Souldiers Going Forth to War. Boston: Green, 1709. E. A. I., 1st series, no. 1438.
54. Nathaneal Walter. The Character of a True Patriot. Boston: D. Heachman, 1745, E. A. I., 1st series, no. 5706.
55. Thomas Price. Salvation of God. E. A. I, 1st series, no. 5856.
56. Jared Eliot. God's Marvellous Kindness. New London, Ct.: Green,1745.
57. Oliver Peabody. Essay to Revive and Encourage Military Exercises. Boston: Eddes & Gill, 1732.
58. William Hooper. Christ the Life of True Believers and their Appearance in Glory . Boston: Fowle, 1741.
59. Aaron Burr. A Discourse Delivered at Newark in New Jersey on 1 January 1755, Being the Day Set Aside for Solemn Fasting and Prayer. New York: Gaine, 1755. News Micro 961.
60. Samuel Checkley. The Duty of God's People When Engaged in War. Boston: Fowle, 1755. News Micro 961.
61. William Currie. A Sermon Preached in Radnor Church on Thursday, 7 January 1747.... Philadelphia: Franklin & Head, 1748, E. A. I., 1st series, no. 6119.
62. Peter Clark. Religion to Be Minded Under the Greatest Perils of Life. Boston: Kneeland, 1755. News Micro 961.
63. Sylvanus Conant. The Art of War, the Gift of God. Boston: Edes & Gill, 1759. News Micro 961.
64. New England's Misery, the Procuring Cause and a Strong Remedy Proposed. Boston: Fowle & Draper, 1758.
65. Samuel Cooper. A Sermon Preached before His Excellency, Thomas Pownell. Boston: Green & Russell, 1759. News Micro 961.
66. Samuel Chandler. A Sermon Preached at Gloucester, Thursday, 29 November 1759, Being the Day of Provincial Anniversary Thanksgiving. Boston: Green & Russell, 1759. News Micro 961.
67. Amos Adams. Songs of Victory Detested by Human Compassion and Qualified with Christian Benevolence. Boston: Edes & Gill, 1759. News Micro 961; Nathaniel Appleton. A Sermon Preached on October 9, being a Day of Public Thanksgiving Occasioned by the Surrender of Montreal. . . . Boston: Draper, 1760. E. A. I., 1st series, no. 8536.
68. John Brown. On Religious Liberty, a Sermon. . . . Philadelphia: Davis & Reymers, 1763. E.A.I. 1st series, no. 9356.
69. Anthony Benezet. Thoughts on the Nature of War and its Repugnancy to Christian Life. Philadelphia: Millar, 1766. E. A. I., 1st series, 10,505. Pennsylvania Ledger, 10 October 1766; Boston Gazette, 22 October 1766.
70. Marie L. Agearn. The Rhetoric of War: Training Day, the Militia and the Military Sermon. Westport, Ct.: Greenwood, 1989, 23.
71. Survivors in war were frequently slaughtered as in: Judges 9:45; 2 Sam. 12: 31; and 2 Chron. 25:12. Others were carried into captivity, Num. 31:26. Some were even mutilated, Judges, 1:6.
72. Increase Mather. A Discourse Concerning the Grace of Courage. Boston: Eddes, 1710.
73. John Dunton's Journal, Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 2d series, 2 : 107.
74. David Holden. Journal Kept by Sergeant David Holden of Groton, Massachusetts, during the Latter Part of the French and Indian War. Cambridge, Ma,: Wilson & Son, 1889.
75. Uriah How. A Discourse Written by Uriah How of Canaan in the Twentieth Year of His Age. New Haven: Parker, 1761. E. A. I., 1st series, no. 41,202.
76. David B. Perry. Recollections of an Old Soldier. Tarrytown, NY: W. Abbatt, 1928; Magazine of History, extra no. 37: 1.
77. Military Journals of Two Private Soldiers, 1758-1775. Poughkeepsie, NY: Tomlinson, 1855.
78. Seth Pomeroy. Journal and Papers of Seth Pomeroy, Sometime General in the Colonial Service. New York: Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New York, 1926, publication number 38; Rufus Putnam. Journal of General Rufus Putnam Kept in Northern New York during Four Campaigns of the Old French and Indian War, 1757-1760. Albany: Munsell, 1886.
79. Extract of a letter from New York, dated 1 August, The Public Advertiser, 6 October 1755.
80. Mass. Col. Rec., 1: 85, 90, 102, 124, 210; 4 part 1: 420; 5: 211-12.
81. "Training Day" in Thomas C. Cochran and Wayne Andrews, eds. Concise Dictionary of American History. New York: Scribner's, 1962, 961.
82. The Public Advertiser, 6 October 1755.
83. Herbert Russell Spencer. Constitutional Conflict in Provincial Massachusetts. Columbus, Ohio: Heer, 1905, ch. 7.
84. Senate Executive Document 95, 48th Congress, 2d Session, 38-39.
85. Records of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay in New England, 1: 25-26.
86. Harold L. Peterson, communication, in The Gun Collector, 4 (December 1946): 12.
87. Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England. edited by N. B. Shurtleff. Boston: State of Massachusetts, 1854, I, 17. Hereinafter cited as Mass. Col. Rec.
88. Mass. Col. Rec., 1: 85.
89. The Charter and General Laws of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay in Mass. Col. Rec., 1: 157.
90. Laurence S. Mayo. John Endecott. New York: DaCapo, 1971.
91. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 17, 384.
92. B. P. Poole, ed. The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters and Other Organic Laws of the United States. 2 vols. Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1877, 1: 938-53.
93. in Daniel Boorstin, Americans: The Colonial Experience, New York: Vintage, 1958, 355.
94. Mass. Col. Rec. IV, 222; Records of Massachusetts, 1: 93, 120.
95. Mass. Col. Rec., 1: 85.
96. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 85.
97. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 102.
98. Characters and General Laws of the Colony and Provinces of Massachusetts Bay. Boston: Prescott and Story, 1814, 157-160.
99. Jack S. Radabaugh, "The Militia of Colonial Massachusetts," Military Affairs, 43 : 1-18; Howard H. Peckham, The Colonial Wars, 1698-1762. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964, 19-20.
100. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 137.
101. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 191.
102. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 187.
103. Regulation of Servants in New Plymouth, 1636, in W. Keither Kavenagh, ed. Foundations of Colonial America. 3 vols. New York: Chelsea House, 1973, 1: 405.
104. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 212.
105. Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, Series 2, 2 : 186-87.
106. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 258.
107. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 186-87.
108. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 250; Darrett B. Rutman. Winthrop's Boston. Chapel Hill, N. C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1965, 215-16; Oliver A. Roberts. History of the Military Company of Massachusetts, Now Called the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, 1637-1888. 4 volumes. Boston: Mudge, 1895.
109. Winthrop's Journal, 1: 91-92.
110. Winthrop's Journal, 1: 89-96.
111. General Order of Massachusetts, 1641, in Kavenagh, Colonial America, 1: 405.
112. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 24, 25, 28, 29.
113. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 31.
114. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 25.
115. Laws of Massachusetts Relating to the Indians, 1642, in Kavenagh, Colonial America, 1: 413.
116. Laws of New Plymouth, 5 March 1640, in Kavenagh, Colonial America, 1: 444.
117. Records of Massachusetts, 3: 267-68; 5: 16.
118. Records of Massachusetts, 3: 267-68.
119. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 188.
120. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 39, 42-43.
121. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 67.
122. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 328; 2: 119.
123. Records of Massachusetts, 3: 267.
124. An Order about ye Choyce of Sergeant-majors and their Charge; the clarkes of bandes with their Charge & Oath & Military Watches, in Records of Massachusetts, 3: 12.
125. Order of 18 June 1645, in Records of Massachusetts, 3: 35-36.
126. Records of Massachusetts, 3: 268.
127. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 124.
128. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 12.
129. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 41.
130. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 216.
131. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 221.
132. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 222.
133. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 222.
134. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 221.
135. Records of Massachusetts, 3: 108.
136. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 99; 3: 267-68, 397.
137. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 99; 3: 268.
138. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 397.
139. Records of Massachusetts, 3: 41.
140. Records of Massachusetts, 4: 257.
141. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 210, 258; 2: 221-22; 4, part 1: 14; 5: 51.
142. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff and others, eds. Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England. 12 vols. Boston: State of Massachusetts, 1855-61, 2: 61.
143. Manuscripts Archives of Massachusetts.
144. Records of Massachusetts, 5: 71, 76.
145. Records of Massachusetts, 4, part 2: 575; 5: 48, 123, 144-45.
146. Records of Massachusetts, 4, part 2, 332; 5: 73.
147. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 158.
148. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 256; 4, part 2: 486.
149. Records of Massachusetts, 4, part 2: 276, 333.
150. Journal of Jasper Danckaerts. B. B. James and J. F. Jameson, eds. New York: Scribner's, 1913, 239, 271.
151. Records of Massachusetts, 4, part 2: 282; 5: 63.
152. An Act for settling the Militia. Council Chamber in Boston, 24th of March, in the 4th year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James the second, Annoque Domini 1687. Public Records of Massachusetts, 3: 429-33.
153. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 212; 3: 368; 5: 48.
154. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 221; 3: 42.
155. Records of Massachusetts, 4: 106.
156. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 117; 2: 124; 4, part 2: 368; 5: 69, 74.
157. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 125; 4, part 2: 28, 74; 5: 80.
158. "Memoir of Roger Wolcott" , in Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 3 : 321-36.
159. Records of Massachusetts, 4: 56.
160. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 160; 2: 268.
161. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 43.
162. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 99, 138, 160; 2: 38, 223.
163. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 24; Radabaugh, "Massachusetts Militia," 7.
164. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 118, 256; 4, part 2: 28.
165. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 222.
166. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 118-19, 122; 3:9 398.
167. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 85.
168. The origin of the word tomahawk is in dispute. A smith named Thomas Pearson who lived near Philadelphia in the late seventeenth century allegedly made an American improvement on the European hatchet, to be used as a weapon of war instead of a cutting instrument. Legend ascribes its origin to "Tommy Pearson." Webster's dictionary indicates that it was an adaptation of an Algonquin Indian word tomehagen or Mohican tamoihecan meaning a wooden war club. Later it was applied by the Amerindians to any and all war clubs or cutting instruments, iron or wood. Horace Edwin Hayden in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 3 : 358.
169. Records of Massachusetts, 4, part I: 379.
170. Records of Massachusetts, 3: 265, 398.
171. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 158, 164.
172. Records of Massachusetts, 3: 264-65; 4, part 2, 97; 5: 438.
173. Records of Massachusetts, 5: 49, 70-71, 4, part I: 323; 3: 398.
174. Records of Massachusetts, 3: 419; 4, part 2: 439; 5: 254, 409-10.
175. Records of Massachusetts, 5: 47, 70-71.
176. John K. Mahon, "Anglo-American Methods of Indian Warfare, 1676-1794," Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 15 : 254-75 at 256.
177. Frank G. Row. The Indian and the Horse. University of Oklahoma Press, 1955, 69, 222, 230.
178. The outline of the war is taken from the best book on this subject, Douglas Leach. Flintlock and Tomahawk: New England in King Philip's War. New York: Macmillan, 1958. See also George M. Bodge. Soldiers in King Philip's War Boston: third ed.; Little Brown, 1906; Benjamin F. Stevens. King Philip's War. Boston: Sawyer, 1900; and Douglas Leach, ed. A Rhode Islander Reports on King Philip's War. Providence, R. I.: Brown University Press 1963.
179. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 43; V, 47.
180. See Harold Peterson, "The Military Equipment of the Plymouth and Bay Colonies, 1620-1690," New England Quarterly, 20 : 197-208.
181. George E. Ellis. The Red Man and the White Man. Boston, 1882, 459-63; Goodkin, "An Historical Account of the Doings and Sufferings of the Christian Indians in New England in the Years 1675, 1676, and 1677, diary in possession of American Antiquarian Society; Senate Executive Document 95, 48th Congress, 2d Session, 45-47.
182. Records of Massachusetts, 5: 136, 327; Proceedings of the Massachusetts Natural Historical Society and Library Association, 1; Senate Document 95, 48th Congress, 2d Session, 46-47.
183. General Laws of the Inhabitants of the Jurisdiction of New Plimouth. Plymouth: General Courts, 1685, 51.
184. Simon Bradstreet to Privy Council, 18 May 1680, in James Savage, editor, "Gleanings from New England History," Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, third series, 7 : 336.
185. Acts and Laws of the General Court of Massachusetts, 1692-1719. London, 1724, 51.
186. Acts and Resolves of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, 1: 128-30, 133.
187. Harry H. Turney-High. Primitive War: Its Practice and Concepts. University of South Carolina Press, 1949, 125ff.
188. Calendar of Massachusetts State Papers, 1669-1674, p. 332 [manuscript].
189. Danckaerts, Journal, 239, 271.
190. Council of Boston, 28 March 1678.
191. Colonial Laws of the Province of Massachusetts, 1692-93. edited by W. H. Whitmore. Boston: State of Massachusetts, c. 1860, chapter 18, section 6.
192. Records of Massachusetts, 2: 119.
193. Records of Massachusetts, 1: 212; 2: 124; 5: 71, 76.
194. Mass. Col. Rec., V, 79, 137.
195. Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 43 [1909-10]: 512-14.
196. Acts and Resolves, 1694-95, c. 62.
197. Acts and Resolves, 1696-97, c. 76.
198. Acts and Resolves, 1695-96, cc. 29, 38.
199. Queen Anne's Instructions to Governor Dudley, 6 April 1702, in Kavanagh, Colonial America, 1: 318.
200. Queen Anne's Instructions to Governor Dudley, in Kavenagh, Colonial America, 1: 318.
201. Francis Parkman, Half Century of Conflict, 1: 100.
202. Acts and Resolves of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, 1: 606-07
203. Acts and Laws of Massachusetts, 1692-1719. London, 1724, 242.
204. Frederick Kidder. The Expeditions of Captain John Lovewell and His Encounters with the Indians. Boston: Bartlett & Halliday, 1865.
205. Boston News-Letter, 7 February 1733.
206. Records of the General Court, 11: 479.
207. See Henry Russell Spencer. Constitutional Conflict in Provincial Massachusetts. Columbus, Ohio: Heer, 1905, 121-25.
208. American Weekly Mercury, October 1739.
209. Pennsylvania Gazette, 11 October 1739.
210. Boston News Letter, 17 July 1740.
211. Boston News Letter, 22 May, 5 and 26 June 1740.
212. Boston News Leader, 2 July and 6 August 1741.
213. Byron Fairchild. Messrs. William Pepperrell: Merchants at Piscataqua. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1954.
214. J. A. Schutz. William Shirley, King's Governor of Massachusetts. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina, 1961. Shirley was an early advocate of British destruction of all French forces in North America and the annexation of Canada. He was trained as a lawyer and emigrated to America in 1731 and held several posts in Massachusetts before serving as governor between 1741 and 1757. Following Braddock's defeat he was the nominal British military commander in North America. After he failed to capture Fort Niagara in 1755, his fate was sealed and he was replaced by Lord Loudoun. He served as governor of the Bahamas, 1761-1767.
215. Boston News Leader, 27 July 1745.
216. Boston News Letter, 1 August 1745.
217. Boston News Letter, 29 August 1745.
218. Boston News Letter, 5 September 1745.
219. Boston News Letter, 12 September 1745.
220. Boston Gazette, 22 April 1746; Independent Advertiser, 24 April 1746.
221. Boston News Letter, 5 June 1746
222. Boston Evening Post, 16 June 1746.
223. Boston News Letter, 2 July 1746
224. Boston News Letter, 10 June 1748; Independent Advertiser, 27 June and 4 and 11 July 1748.
225. Acts and Resolves, Public and Private, of the Province of Massachusetts. Boston: State of Massachusetts, 1908, 3: 737, 753-54.
226. Fred Anderson. People'S Army: Massachusetts Soldiers and Society in the Seven Years' War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984, 123-25.
227. Richard Sykes to Samuel Phillips Savage, 9 July 1759, in Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, 43: 653.
228. William Shirley to Halifax, 10 August 1754, in Stanley Pargellis. Military Affairs in North America, 1748-1765. Hampden, Ct.: Anchor, 1969, 25-26.
229. "Sketch of Regulations & Orders Proposed Relating to Affairs of North America," in Pargellis, Military Affairs, 24-35.
230. History of the Town of Higham, Massachusetts. 3 vols. Higham: Higham Historical Society, 1893, 1: 265.
231. "Queries Respecting the Slavery and Emancipation of Negroes in Massachusetts, Proposed by the Honorable Judge Tucker of Virginia and Answered by the Reverend Doctor Belknap," Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, first series, 4 : 199.
232. Josiah Quincy, Jr., "The Journal of Josiah Quincy, Jr., 1773" Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 49 : 446, 454-57.
233. Anderson, People's Army, 65-66.
234. Thomas Pownall to William Pitt, dated 10 September 1758, in Parkman Papers, 42: 285.
235. Anderson, People's Army, 61-62.
236. Boston Evening Post, 3 April 1769.
237. quoted in New York Journal, 29 December 1768.
238. New York Journal, Supplement, 9 February, 6 April and 29 June 1769; Boston Evening Post, 1 May 1769.
239. Boston Evening Post, 1 May 1769.
240. reprinted in New York Journal, Supplement, 12 January 1769.
241. Bernard Bailyn. The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson. Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press, 1974; Peter O. Hutchinson, comp. The Diary and Letters of His Excellency Thomas Hutchinson. 2 vols. Boston: A. M. S., 1963
242. Gazette des Deux-Ponts, 19 December 1774. Other reports which extolled the virtues of the American militia appeared in Gazette de Leyde on 11 February and 23 August 1774. The press and its reading public apparently delighted in the discomfort and dilemma of its age-old enemy.
243. J. R. Alden. General Gage in America. Baton Rouge: L. S. Press, 1948.
244. See Franklin B. Hough. General Gage's Informers. Ann Arbor, Mi.: University of Michigan Press, 1932.
245. The account of the events at Lexington and Concord given here largely follows The American Heritage Book of the Revolution. New York: American Heritage, 1958, pp. 46-119; and John R. Alden, A History of the American Revolution. New York: Knopf, 1969, pp. 173-78.
246. A large quantity of provisions and military stores being deposited here, induced General Gage, who commanded the British troops at Boston, on the memorable 19th of April 1775, to send a detachment to destroy them. Who, after they had thrown a considerable quantity of flour and ammunition into the mill pond, knocked off the trunnions and burnt the carriages of several field pieces, and committed other outrages, were opposed at the North bridge by the militia of this and several other towns . . . . While the troops were in town, they fired the court house, in the garret of which there was a great quantity of powder. This fire, by the intercession of one Mrs. Moulton, a woman of above 80 years of age, the troops extinguished; otherwise the houses adjoining, would have been destroyed. . . . These depositions are recorded in the town books of Concord . . . . [Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, 1: 240-41].
247. American Archives. Peter Force, ed. 9 vols. in series IV and V. Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1837-1853. Series 4, Volume 1, p. 1046. Hereinafter cited as Amer Arch, with series number given first, volume second and page number last.
248. London Chronicle, 21 January 1775; 2 February 1775.
249. C. P. Greenough, "How Massachusetts Raised her Troops in the Revolution," Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 55 [1921-22]: 348.
250. "The British Account of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, White Hall, June 15, 1775," in American Museum, or, Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces, Etc. Philadelphia: Matthew Carey. 1789, 5: 87. See also Franklin B. Hough. The Day of Lexington and Concord, the 19th of April 1775. Boston: Little Brown, 1925.
251. Gage in American Museum, 87.
252. Gage, in American Museum, 87.
253. Essex Gazette, 25 April 1775.
254. Signers included: Nathaniel Mulliken, Philip Russell, Moses Harrington, Jr., Thomas and David Harrington, William Grimes, William Tidd, Isaac Hastings, Jonas Stone, Jr., James Wyman, Thaddeus Harrington, John Chandler, Joshua Reed, Jr., Joseph Symonds, Phineas Smith, John Chandler, Jr., Reuben Cock, Joel Viles, Nathan Reed, Samuel Tidd, Bejamin Lock, Thomas Winship, Simeon Snow, John Smith, Moses Harrington III, Joshua Reed, Ebenezer Parker, John Harrington, Enoch Willington, John Hormer, Isaac Green, Phineas Stearn, Isaac Durant and Thomas Headley, Jr.
255. These and other depositions were first published in American Museum, or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces, Etc. Philadelphia: Matthew Carey, 1789, 5: 79-87.
256. William H. Siebert, "Loyalist Troops of New England," New England Quarterly, 4 : 108-47.
257. Gage in American Museum, 87.
258. Fowling pieces were designed to fire pellets like a modern shotgun although they were safe for use with a single ball. At distances greater than fifty yards they were not especially accurate and were comparable to the British muskets.
259. Bristol Gazette, 24 August 1775.
260. Connecticut Courant, 17 July 1775.
261. Bristol Gazette, 24 August 1775.
262. Connecticut Courant, 23 April 1775.
263. R. Frothingham, History of the Siege of Boston. New York: Little, Brown, 1903, 95.
264. Bristol Gazette, 24 August 1775.
265. Letter from Virginia, 16 April 1775, London Chronicle, 1 June 1775.
266. London Gazette, 30 May 1775.
267. Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, 5 July 1775.
268. A letter from Boston, London Evening Post, 26 June 1775.
269. Letter from Charles Town, New England, 19 May 1775, Lloyd's Evening Post and British Chronicle, 28 June 1775.
270. Letter from Worcester, Massachusetts Bay, 20 May 1775, London Chronicle, 8 July 1775.
271. London Gazette, 18 July 1775.
272. The news of Lexington reached Philadelphia about five o'clock in the afternoon on Monday, 24 April 1775, from Trenton, New Jersey. A facsimile of that original message was reproduced in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 27 : following page 257.
273. "Report of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, or, Address by the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, sitting at Watertown, to the Inhabitants of Great Britain," [26 April 1775] in ALden T. Vaughan, editor. Chronicles of the American Revolution. New York: Columbia University Press, 1965, 167.
274. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War, I, p. xii.
275. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War, I, p. xiv.
276. Letter from a midshipman on board the Lively Frigate now stationed off the neck of land near Boston, London Morning Post and Daily Advertiser, 13 July 1775. The midshipman reported that the date of the action was 20 April, but his letter was dated 14 May.
277. Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of American States. 69th Congress, 1st Session, H.R. Doc. 398 , pp.14-15.
278. Gazette des Deux-Ponts, 12 June 1775.
279. Gazette de Leyde, 4 July 1776.
280. Gazette des Deux-Ponts, 27 July and 24 August 1775; Gazette de France, 25 August 1775.
281. Gazette des Duex-Ponts, 19 December 1774.
282. C. P. Greenough, "How Massachusetts Raised Her Troops in the Revolution," Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 60 [1921-22]: 345-70.
283. 4 American Archives 2: 1018-20.
284. Acts and Resolves, Public and Private, of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. Boston: State of Massachusetts, 1869-1922, 5: 445-54.
285. 4 American Archives 4: 1644.
286. quoted in Otto Lindenmayer. Black and Brave. New York, 1970, 17.
287. Frederick Scott Oliver. Alexander Hamilton. New York: Crowell, 1970, 74-128.
288. Troyer S. Anderson. The Command of the Howe Brothers during the American Revolution. New York: DaCapo, 1988; Ira D. Gruber. The Howe Brothers and the American Revolution. New York, 1972.
289. William B. Wilcox. Portrait of a General: Sir Henry Clinton in the War of Independence. New York, 1964.
290. R. J. Hargrove. General John Burgoyne. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1973.
291. "An Account of the Battle of Bunker's Hill, published by a committee of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts," in American Museum, or, Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces, Etc. Philadelphia: Matthew Carey, 1789, 5: 107.
292. A long and glowing eulogy to Dr. Warren is found in "An Eulogium on the memory of the major general Warren who fee June 17, 1775, at Bunker's Hill, written shortly after that lamented event, in American Museum, 5: 200-02.
293. Allen French. The First Year of the American Revolution. New York: Octagon, 1934; Richard Frothingham. History of the Siege of Boston. Boston: Little Brown, 1849.
294. Acts and Resolves of the Massachusetts Assembly, 19: 221.
295. Acts and Resolves, 5: 445.
296. R. I. Col. Rec., 7: 577.
297. Acts and Resolves, 5: 595.
298. Acts and Resolves, 39: 217.
299. Acts and Resolves, 19: 462, 517.
300. Acts and Resolves, 19: 519.
301. Acts and Resolves, 19: 517.
302. Acts and Resolves, 19: 558.
303. Acts and Resolves, 19: 690, 691, 698.
304. Greenough, "Massachusetts Troops," 351.
305. Journals of the Continental Congress, 2: 336.
306. Acts and Resolves, 5: 680-81.
307. Acts and Resolves, 5: 448.
308. Acts and Resolves, 19: 741.
309. Acts and Resolves, 19: 781.
310. Acts and Resolves, 19: 141, 781, 821, 921.
311. Acts and Resolves, 20: 367, 386, 415, 702.
312. Acts and Resolves, 5: 1297-98; 21: 575.
313. Acts and Resolves, 21: 519.
314. Acts and Resolves, 21: 38.
315. Acts and Resolves, 21: 190.
316. Acts and Resolves, 21: 307.
317. Acts and Resolves, 21: 190, 621, 656, 825; Greenough, op. cit., 355.
318. Greenough, "Massachusetts Militia," 355.
319. General Knox's report was summarized in Emory Upton. Military Policy of the United States from 1775. Washington; U. S. Government Printing Office, 1904, 34, 40, 47, 57-58.
320. Acts and Resolves, 19: 765, 877.
321. Acts and Resolves, 19: 559, 576, 690.
322. Acts and Resolves, 19: 880.
323. Acts and Resolves, 19: 925.
324. Acts and Resolves, 19: 931.
325. Acts and Resolves, 20: 42.
326. Acts and Resolves, 20: 50.
327. Acts and Resolves, 20: 52.
328. Acts and Resolves, 20: 61.
329. Acts and Resolves, 20: 87-88.
330. Acts and Resolves, 20: 114.
331. Acts and Resolves, 20: 125.
332. Acts and Resolves, 20: 191, 255, 333, 470.
333. Acts and Resolves, 20: 373, 386, 470.
334. Acts and Resolves, 20: 441.
335. Acts and Resolves, 20: 450.
336. Acts and Resolves, 20: 687.
337. Acts and Resolves, 20: 694, 700.
338. Acts and Resolves, 20: 700; 21: 33.
339. Acts and Resolves, 21: 519, 568.
340. Acts and Resolves, 21: 324, 625.
341. Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 50 [1916-17]: 375-411.
342. Constitution of Massachusetts, 1780, in Poore, Federal and State Constitutions, 1: 958.
343. Benjamin P. Poore, comp. The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters and Other Organic laws of the United States. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1878, 1: 958.
344. Manuscript Archives of Massachusetts, 231: 293.
345. Acts and Resolves, 21: 674.
346. Andrew M. Davis. Shays' Rebellion. Worcester, Ma: Historical Society, 1911; David P. Szatmary. Shays' Rebellion. Amherst, Ma.: University of Massachusetts, 1980.
347. Mark C. Walsh. Free Men Shall Stand: The Story of Connecticut's Organized Militia from 1636. Hartford: Connecticut National Guard Officers Association, 1991, 1-9.
348. Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 1636-1776. edited by James H. Trumbull and Charles J. Hoadly. 15 volumes. Hartford, Ct.: State of Connecticut, 1850-1890, 1: 4.
349. Leonid Tarassuk and Claude Blair. The Complete Encyclopedia of Arms and Weapons. New York: Mondadori, 1982, 141.
350. Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 1636-1776. edited by James H. Trumbull and Charles J. Hoadly. 15 vols. Hartford, Ct.: State of Connecticut, 1850-1890, 1: 4, 15, 118-19. Public Records of the State of Connecticut. edited by Charles J. Hoadly and Leonard W. Labaree. 9 volumes. Hartford, Ct.: State of Connecticut, 1894-1953. Hereinafter cited as Connecticut Col. Rec. and Connecticut State Rec.
351. Captain John Mason's account of the Pequot War is given in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 2d series, Vol. 8. Se also Colonial Records of Connecticut, 1: 74, 95, 197, 295, 324.
352. Simeon Ash and William Rathband, eds. A Letter of Many Ministers in Old England . . . to the Reverend Brethren in New England, Concerning Nine Positions. London, 1643.
353. Charles M. Andrews. The Colonial Period in American History. 4 vols. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1936, 1: 119-22, 158-67.
354. Connecticut Col. Rec., 1: 30.
355. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 6: 68, 332.
356. Connecticut Col. Rec. 1: 544.
357. Connecticut Col. Rec., 2: 19.
358. Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut. 15 vols. ed. J. H. Trumbull and C. J. Hoadly. Hartford: State of Connecticut, 1850-90, 1: 544-45.
359. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 6: 96.
360. Connecticut Col. Rec., 1: 57-58.
361. Connecticut Charter of 1662 in Poore, ed. Federal and State Constitutions, 1: 256.
362. Public Rec. Ct., 2: 44.
363. Laws of Connecticut. Hartford: George Bimley, 1865, 49.
364. Connecticut Col. Rec., 2: 207-08; 217-18; 346-47.
365. Colonial Records of Connecticut, 1: 349.
366. Public Rec. of Ct., 2: 45.
367. Public Rec. of Ct. 2: 270.
368. Pub. Rec. Ct., 2: 347.
369. Plymouth Col. Rec., V, 176; Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Series III, Volume 6, p. 36.
370. Spencer P. Mead. "The First American Soldiers," Journal of American History, 1 : 120-230.
371. Public Rec. Ct., 3: 63.
372. Colonial Rec. of Ct., 3: 430, 440-41.
373. "Memoir of Roger Wolcott" , in Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 3 : 321-36.
374. Reported in Gersham Bukeley, "Will and Doom, or, the Miseries of Connecticut by and under an Usurped and Arbitrary Power," , Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 3 : 70-269.
375. Gersham Bulkeley, "Will and Doom, or, the Miseries of Connecticut by and under an Usurped and Arbitrary Power"  in Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 3 : 70-269.
376. Connecticut Col. Rec., IV, 41.
377. Public Rec. Ct., 4: 177.
378. Connecticut Col. Rec., 4: 80 and 250.
379. Public Rec. Ct., 5: 83.
380. Public Rec. Ct., 5: 129.
381. Public Rec. Ct., 5: 165.
382. Ct. Col. Rec., 5: 83.
383. Connecticut Col. Rec., 8: 36.
384. Connecticut Col. Rec., 12: 248.
385. Connecticut Col. Rec., 7: 584.
386. Public Rec. Ct., 7: 344-45.
387. 28 February 1708, the Queen to Vetch, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 38 : 340-44.
388. Acts and Laws of His Majesties Colony of Connecticut in New England. New London, 1715, 78, 155-57.
389. Public Rec. Ct., 7: 36.
390. Robert Gardner. Small Arms Makers. New York: Crown, 1963, 138.
391. Public Rec. Ct., 5: 454-55.
392. Public Rec. Ct., 6: 361.
393. Public Rec. Ct., 6: 511.
394. Captain John Mason to Governor Talcott, 8 October 1733, in Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 4 : 290-91.
395. "An Act for Regulating the Militia," published May 1741, Ct. Col. Rec. 8: 379-87; repealing the Act of 1702, Ibid. 5: 73-85..
396. Ct. Col. Rec., 8: 379; 10: 411.
397. Ct. Col. Rec., 7: 325.
398. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 5 : 269-70.
399. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 9: 4.
400. "Secretary Robinson to the Governor of Connecticut," 23 January 1755, in Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 1 : 258.
401. Public Rec. of Ct., 10: 410-11.
402. Thomas Fitch to Sir Thomas Robinson, 1 August 1755, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 1 : 265-67.
403. Governor Thomas Fitch to the king, 1 August 1755, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 1 : 268-69.
404. Thomas Fitch to the king, October 1755, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 1 : 271-73.
405. Sir Thomas Robinson to Governor Fitch, 11 November 1755, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 1 : 276-77.
406. J. A. Schutz. William Shirley, King's Governor of Massachusetts. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1961.
407. Secretary Henry Fox to the Governor of Connecticut, 13 March 1756, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 1 : 277-80.
408. King's Warrant, 8 March 1756, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, Vol. I , 290-91.
409. Governor Fitch to the Lords of Trade, 29 June 1756, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 1 : 301-02.
410. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, I, 282-84.
411. Governor Fitch to the Lords of Trade, 18 November 1757, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 1 : 327.
412. "Some Hints for the Operations in North America for 1757," in Pargellis, Military Affairs, 314.
413. Governor Fitch to the Earl of Holderness, 17 November 1757, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 1 : 324-26.
414. Connecticut Col. Rec., XII, 248.
415. Public Rec. Ct., 9: 227.
416. Public Rec. Ct., 9: 291.
417. Public Rec. Ct., 9: 630-31.
418. Johnathan Trumbull was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, on 12 October 1710 and was a merchant by trade. He was the only colonial governor who supported the Revolution. Under his leadership, Connecticut provided supplies and men for the patriot cause. Glenn Weaver. Jonathan Trumbull: Connecticut's Merchant Magistrate. Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society, 1956.
419. Mead, "First American Soldiers," 121; Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 7 : 13-15.
420. Deane was an interesting and somewhat tragic figure. The son of a Connecticut blacksmith, Deane was a successful merchant and lawyer. He was a member of both the first and second Continental Congress, where he helped organize the Continental Line. In 1776 Congress sent him to Europe to buy supplies and sell American produce. Arthur Lee (1740-1792) accused Deane of misappropriation of funds and malfeasance in office. Congress recalled Deane in 1778, accused him of the above captioned offenses, and demanded that he defend himself. His poorly kept records failed to exonerate him, so he withdrew from politics and died in England. Finally, Congress cleared his name in 1842. Deane Papers, 1774-1790. 5 vols. New York: N. P., 1887-90.
421. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 2 : 140
422. Christopher Leffingwell of Norwich to Silas Deane at Philadelphia, 22 August 1774, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 2 : 140-41.
423. Leffingwell to Dean, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 2 : 142.
424. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 2: 189.
425. Ct State Rec., 1: 91.
426. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 20: 215-16.
427. Ct. Col. Rec., 15: 16.
428. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 20: 225.
429. Robert Gardner. Small Arms Makers. New York: Crown, 1963, 144, 196, 211, 212. The meaning of Trumbull's charge regarding the arms from Springfield is unclear. Obviously this antedates by some 20 years the establishment of the U. S. Arsenal at Springfield. There seems to have been no private armory or consortium of gunsmiths capable of producing 500 arms. These may have arrived from abroad and been stored at Springfield. If the arms were newly made the meaning of the order may have been to prove the arms.
430. Public Rec. Ct., 15: 195.
431. dated 5 December 1775 in The Writings of George Washington. edited by John C. Fitzpatrick. Washington: U.S. Government, 1931-45, 4: 146.
432. London Evening Post, 15 February 1776.
433. New York Mercury, 18 August 1776.
434. R. I. Col. Rec., 7: 577.
435. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 20: 298.
436. Robert Gardner. Small Arms Makers. New York: Crown, 1963, 82.
437. Mitchell, op. cit., pp. 125ff.
438. Grant of the Province of maine, 1639, in Poore, ed. Federal and State Constitutions, 1: 778.
439. Grant of the Province of Maine, 1664, in Poore, Constitutions, 1: 784-87.
440. New Hampshire Commission of 1680, in Poore, ed. Constitutions, 2: 1276.
441. Chandler Eastman Potter. Military History of the State of New Hampshire. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 38-39.
442. Richard Francis Upton. Revolutionary New Hampshire. New York: Octagon Books, 1971, 40-41.
443. Raoul F. Camus. Military Music of the American Revolution. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1976, 40-41.
444. Jere R. Daniell. Colonial New Hampshire: A History. Millwood, N.Y.: K.T.O., 1981, 90-91.
445. Daniell, Colonial New Hampshire, 116-17; George Bartsow. History of New Hampshire. Concord, N.H.: Boyd, 1842, 110-11.
446. Daniell, Colonial New Hampshire, 139-40.
447. Barstow, History of New Hampshire, 110-11.
448. New Hampshire Historical Society Collections, 5: 129-53.
449. Barstow, Colonial New Hampshire, 112.
450. Barstow, Colonial New Hampshire, 118-19.
451. New Hampshire Historical Collections, 5: 174-75.
452. Barstow, Colonial New Hampshire, 118-19.
453. Acts and Laws passed by the General Court or Assembly of the Province of New Hampshire, in New England. Acts and Laws of His Majesty's Province of New Hampshire in New England. Portsmouth: David and Robert Fawle, 1771, 92, 94, 95; New Hampshire Historical Collections, 5: 174-75.
454. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 4 : 10-14.
455. Daniell, Colonial New Hampshire, 139
456. Daniell, Colonial New Hampshire, 139.
457. in Louis K. Koontz, The Virginia Frontier. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1925, 170.
458. New Hampshire Provincial Papers, 7: 444.
459. Jere R. Daniell. Experiment in Republicanism. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970, 17.
460. Edwin Page, "The King's Powder, 1774," New England Quarterly, 18 : 83-92.
461. John Sullivan was born on 17 February 1740, was a lawyer and politician by profession and commissioned general in the patriot army when the Revolution began. He was captured at the Battle of Long Island, exchanged and fought at the battles of Trenton and Princeton. His most important campaign came in 1779 against the loyalists and their Amerindian allies in New York. He was chief executive of New Hampshire in 1786, 1787 and 1789 and a federal district judge, 1789-95. He died on 23 January 1795. Thomas C. Amory. The Military Services and Public Life of Major General John Sullivan. Boston: Wiggin and Lunt, 1868; Charles P. Whittemore. A General of the Revolution: John Sullivan. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961.
462. Barstow, Colonial New Hampshire, 245-46; Potter, New Hampshire, 114-15.
463. quoted in Richard Francis Upton. Revolutionary New Hampshire. New York: Octagon Books, 1971, 40-41.
464. Upton, New Hampshire, 41.
465. Upton, New Hampshire, 88-89.
466. Caleb Stark. Memoir and Official Correspondence of General John Stark . . . . Concord, N.H.: Lyon, 1860; Howard P. Moore. A Life of General John Stark of New Hampshire. New York, 1949.
467. Barstow, New Hampshire, 244.
468. Greenough, op. cit., 348.
469. American State Papers: Military Affairs, 1: 14ff.
470. New Hampshire State Papers, 8: 393.
471. Metcalf, Laws of New Hampshire, 4: 77; New Hampshire State Papers, 8: 760.
472. Metcalf, Laws of New Hampshire, 4: 219, 293.
473. Daniell, Experiment in Republicanism, p. 98.
474. Ford, Journals of the Continental Congress, 2: 187-90.
475. Metcalf, Laws of New Hampshire., 4: 39-57; New Hampshire State Papers, 7: 575-83.
476. Daniell, Colonial New Hampshire, 239.
477. Daniell, Colonial New Hampshire, 239.
478. Daniell, Colonial New Hampshire, 245.
479. New Hampshire Historical Society Collections, 2: 155.
480. New Hampshire Historical Society Collections, 2: 165.
481. General Knox's report was summarized in Upton. Military Policy, 34, 40, 47, 57-58.
482. Sullivan Papers, 1: 190. dated 24 March 1776.
483. New Hampshire Historical Society Publications, 9: 878-82; New Hampshire Gazette, 8 February 1783.
484. Caleb Stark. Reminisces of the French War, Rogers' Expedition with the New England Rangers and Life of Major General John Stark. Concord, N. H.: Roby, 1831.
485. There are many important, and generally unstudied, personal records of the men and officers of the Sullivan expedition. The following list was compiled in May 1879 by David Craft and published in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 3 : 348-49, and consisted of journals kept by officers connected with this Expedition. . Lieutenant (afterwards Colonel) John Jenkins. The original in 1879 was in the hands of his grandson, Hon. Steuben Jenkins, of Wyoming, Penna;  George Grant, published in Wyoming Republican, Wilkesbarre in 1868; and in Hazard's Register, 14: 72-76.  Thomas Grant, published in Historical Magazine, August and September 1862;  Daniel Livermore published New Hampshire Historical Collections, 6: 308-335;  Adam Hubley, published as an appendix in Miner's History of Wyoming;  James Norris' journal. The original in the Buffalo Historical Society. An imperfect copy of the Norris papers was published in Hill's New Hampshire Patriot;  Capt. Theodosius Fowler, beginning with August 30, is in Campbell's Border Wars and O'Reilly's History of Rochester;  Lieutenant William Barton's journal, published in New Jersey History Society Transactions Vol. II;  Dr. Ebenezer Elmer's journal, published as above. See also Historical Magazine, August 1862;  Lieutenant William Rogers, original in hands of L. B. Rogers, Esq., Newark, N. J. is but little else than a table of distances, of but little or no value.  Lieutenant John L. Hardenberg, original in hands of Rev. Dr. Hawley, of Auburn Theological Seminary;  Rev. William Rogers, published in Universal Magazine for 1797, 1: 390-399, and 2: 86-91, and 200-206. This copy ends August 7;  Erkuries Beatty, original in the New York Historical Society;  General Henry Dearborn, original manuscript in hands of family in Boston, Mass.;  Nathaniel Webb's journal, known to have been published in 1855 the Elmira Republican, but only a fragment survived. Besides these, Captain William Pierce of Colonel Harrison's Regiment of Artillery, and first Aide-de-Camp to General Sullivan, kept a Journal, which was copied by Major Adam Hoops, but Craft located neither. It has also been generally believed that Colonel Gansevoort kept a Journal; if so, Craft did not found it. The same has been said of Obadiah Gore, of Shesbequin. The following persons have written narratives, more or less full, and of varying value: Colonel Cortlandt, published in the Elmira Advertiser in 1879. John Salmon's journal was published in Seaver's Mary Jemisom (old ed.); and also in Wyoming Massacre. Nathan Davis' journal was published in the Historical Magazine, for April 1868, beginning on page 198. Moses Van Campen's journal was published in his Memoirs. There are also letters of James Clinton, Lt.-Col. Francis Barber, and Gen Washington.
486. John Sullivan, "Address of Governor Sullivan to the freeman of New Hampshire," in American Museum, or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces, Etc. Philadelphia: Matthew Carey, 1789, 5: 574-79.
487. New Hampshire Constitution of 1784, in Poore, Constitutions, 2: 1280-82.
488. New Hampshire Constitution of 1784, in Poore, Constitutions, 2: 1282.
489. Ethan Allen to the Congress of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, 11 May 1775, American Archives, ed. Peter Force. 9 vols in series 4 and 5. Washington: U. S. Government, 1837-53. Herein after cited as Amer. Arch., with series first, then volume number and page. 4 Amer. Arch. 2: 556; Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 1 : 177-78.
490. Ethan Allen to Governor Jonathan Trumbull, by Learned Hebard, 12 May 1775, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, 1 : 178-79. Hugh Moore. Memoir of Colonel Ethan Allen. Plattsburg, N.Y.: O. R. Cook, 1834; Ethan Allen. A Narrative of Colonel Ethan Allen's Captivity, Written by Himself. Burlington, Vt.: Chauncey Goodrich, 1838; Ethan Allen. Reason, the Only Oracle of Man. New York: Scholars' Facsimiles, 1940.
491. John E. Goodrich, Vermont Rolls of Soldiers in the Revolutionary War. Rutland: Tuttle, 1904, 820.
492. Vermont Rolls, 816-17.
493. Seth Warner was born at Roxbury, Connecticut, on 6 May 1743, and was an important leader of the Green Mountain Boys. He was captured at Crown Point, exchanged and, on 31 October 1775, defeated a British force at Longueuil during the retreat from Canada. In 1777 he helped defeat the British forces at the Battle of Bennington during the Saratoga campaign. He died on 26 December 1784.
494. Vermont Constitution of 1777 in Poore, Constitutions, 2: 1860.
495. Journals of the General Assembly, 1: 666.
496. Journals of the General Assembly, 1: 779.
497. Charles A. Jellison. Ethan Allen: Frontier Rebel. Syracuse University Press, 1969, 238.
498. John Russell Bartlett, ed. Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Providence: Crawford Greene & Bros., 1856, 1: 61.
499. R. I. Col. Rec., 1: 77.
500. R. I. Col. Rec., 1: 117, 120-21, 153, 218, 381.
501. R. I. Col. Rec., 1: 104-05.
502. R. I. Col. Rec., 1: 79.
503. R. I. Col. Rec., 1: 80.
504. R. I. Col. Rec., 1: 154
505. R. I. Col. Rec., 1: 155.
506. |506. R. I. Col. Rec., 1: 220-21.
507. R. I. Col. Rec., 1: 223-24.
508. R. I. Col. Rec., 1: 223-24.
509. R. I. Col. Rec., 1: 226.
510. Calendar of State Papers: Colonial Series, American and West Indies, 1574-1733. 40 volumes. London: H. M. Stationary Office, 1862-1939. 1574-1660: 337-38, 353-54.
511. Charles M. Andrews. The Colonial Period in American History. 4 vols. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1936, 1: 32-36, 56-57.
512. The charter of the Colony of Rhode Island was sealed at Whitehall on 8 July 1663.
513. Charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. . . ," in Poore, ed. Federal and State Constitutions, 2: 1600.
514. R. I. Col. Rec., 2: 114-16.
515. R. I. Col. Rec., : 396-99.
516. R. I. Col. Rec., 2: 536.
517. R. I. Col. Rec., 3: 93, 295-97.
518. R. I. Col. Rec., 3: 430-32.
519. R. I. Col. Rec. 3: 432.
520. R. I. Col. Rec., 3: 433.
521. R. I. Col. Rec. 2: 549
522. R. I. Col. Rec., 2: 566-68.
523. R. I. Col. Rec., 3: 526.
524. R. I. Col. Rec. 3: 526.
525. "Address from Rhode Island to Their Majesties William and Mary," 2 August 1692, R. I. Col. Rec., 1: 288-89.
526. "Attorney General's Opinion upon the Address from Rhode Island of August 2, 1692," 7 December 1693, R. I. Col. Rec., 3: 293-94.
527. "Order of Council upon the Address from Rhode Island, Concerning the Militia," 2 August 1694, R. I. Col. Rec., 3: 295.
528. "Queen Mary to the Governor and Council of Rhode Island relating to the Militia," 21 August 1694, R. I. Col. Rec., 3: 298-99.
529. "Queen Anne to Colonel Samuel Vetch. Instructions to Our Trusty and Well Beloved Colonel Vetch, to be Observed in his Negotiations with the Governors of Several of Our Colonies in America," 28 February 1708 in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. 38 : 340-44.
530. Acts of His Majesties Colony of Laws of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in America, 85-86.
531. Public Law 212; R. I. Col. Rec., 4: 437.
532. R. I. Col. Rec., 4: 573-74.
533. Boston News Letter, 17 July 1740.
534. Boston News Letter, 22 May, 5 and 26 June 1740.
535. Boston News Leader, 2 July and 6 August 1741.
536. Albert Harkness, Jr. "Americanism and the War of Jenkins' Ear" Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 38 [1950-51]: 61-90.
537. R. I. Col. Rec., 4: 213.
538. R. I. Col. Rec., 4: 213.
539. R. I. Col. Rec., 5: 156, 227, 472, 562.
540. An Act for raising and supporting three companies, of fifty men, each, including officers, to join the troops already sent by this government in the expedition against Crown Point. R. I. Col. Rec., 5: 440-41.
541. This refers to the celebrated defeat of the English forces under General Braddock, on the 9th July, 1755, when an attempt was made to invest Port DuQuesne, (now Pittsburgh,) the stronghold of the French. Colonel, afterwards General, George Washington, acted on this occasion, as aid to General Braddock.
542. An Act for raising and supporting three companies, of fifty men, each, including officers, to join the troops already sent by this government in the expedition against Crown Point. R. I. Col. Rec., 5: 440-41.
543. R. I. Col. Rec., 6: 84.
544. R. I. Col. Rec., 6: 68.
545. "An Act Incorporating a Military Company by the Name of the North Providence Rangers," R. I. Col. Rec., 7: 268-69.
546. "An Act for Appointing a major general of the forces of this colony annually," R. I. Col. Rec., 7: 269.
547. "An Act in addition to and Amendment of, an act entitled An Act for Regulating the Militia of this Colony," R. I. Col. Rec., 7: 269-71.
548. "An Act in addition to and Amendment of, an act entitled An Act for Regulating the Militia of this Colony," R. I. Col. Rec., 7: 269-71.
549. R. I. Col. Rec., 7: 576.
550. R. I. Col. Rec., 7: 7, 120, 198, 226.
551. R. I. Col. Rec., 7: 478-79.
552. R. I. Col. Rec., 7: 501.
553. R. I. Col. Rec., 8: 208.
554. R. I. Col. Rec., 8: 197-89.
555. R. I. Col. Rec., 8: 200.
556. R. I. State Rec., 8: 595.
557. R. I. Col. Rec., 9: 400, 471.