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Col Israel Putnam
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Birth: 1738
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Mar. 7, 1812
Washington County
Ohio, USA

Israel Putnam Jr (1738-1812) was one of ten children of Hannah Pope (1739-1766) and General Israel Putnam (1717/18-1790), famous to history for purportedly shouting to his soldiers at the Battle of Bunker Hill, June 16-17, 1775. "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!" [. . .]

The wife of Israel Putnam Jr was Sarah Waldo (1740-1808). Among their eight children was Mary Putnam (1773-1838), born on August 5, 1773 in Brooklyn, Connecticut, the home state of this Putnam generation. [. . .] In 1798, Mary would wed Daniel Mayo (1762-1838) of Massachusetts and move with him to Newport, KY.

By 1788, two tiny communities (Belpre & Marietta) had been established along the Ohio River. This was the work of a handful of Revolutionary War veterans and prospective frontier settlers from New England and the Mid-Atlantic States. In 1786, in Boston, these intrepid adventurers had formally organized an association with the goal of opening to farming a vast tract of western lands.

In the spring of 1788, the first of these homesteaders, arriving mostly as family groups, had established the community of Marietta on the Muskingum River near its outflow into the Ohio River. The war veterans, whose leader was former General Rufus Putnam, decided to name their town in honor of the French queen, Marie Antoinette, whose nation had given crucial navel aid during the American Revolution. Between 1788 and 1790 four different companies of New Englanders, composed of several dozen people - mostly families - arrived at Marietta and began to spread out from there.

The name of their second settlement was Belle Prairie, soon shortened to Belpre. [. . .] By 1789, the Belpre settlement consisted of a few dozen log cabins on the banks of the Ohio River. The inhabitants [. . .] began farming in the spring of that year. The Marietta and Belpre settlers were intent upon taming the territory with plow and cow.

The journey from Connecticut (the Putnam home state) was a trip of astonishing rigor and tragedy. Here follows selections from an important never-before published letter written by Israel Putnam (1738-1812), with his cousin Rufus Putnam (1738-1824), one of the leaders of the Ohio Company.

When Israel wrote in 1795, to his brother-in-law back in Connecticut, he had already been living in Belpre and had returned to Connecticut to bring out his family, with other settlers.

To Col. Lemuel Grosvner
Postmaster at Pomfret, Conn.
Sunday morning, Belpre, October 18, 1795

Dear and Loving Brother;

I recd your favor of ye 25th ult, last Monday. [. . .]

We passed on well from Harrisburg till we were ascending the last of the three mountains, and there Clarry [wife of his son Israel] met with a miscarriage which hindered us the day. We made a bier and carried her over to the first plantation, two miles, and there tarried eight days for her to recover and then proceeded on slowly as our cattle could bear, for their shoes were almost all off, and no possibility of getting them on. so we had to wait for their feet to grow when worn too thin. But after all that, we arrived at headwaters [of Ohio] in two months, only abating the time we laid by for Clarry. So long I laid out to be getting to ye waters. [. . .]

Israel [the letter writer's son] was taken sick and unable to drive his team so that Waldo arrived just soon enough. Before we got to where we took Maum [evidently a pet name for his wife] was taken sick - both with dysentery [. . .] Mr. Cutler and I drove the cattle about 50 miles, but I had not reached there before a messenger overtook us with the information that Maum and Israel were both very dangerously sick at Elizabethtown, a little further above Pittsburgh. [. . .]

Maum and Israel were very low and weak but there was a clever little rise of water and all were a mind to embrace it and did - and got on slowly, for our boat had all our wagon body and its covers and loading and if the wind was ahead we floated up stream, so were obliged to come to till there was calm - Maum and Israel mending slowly.
Mr. Butler's youngest child about 16 or 18 months old, had been sick and great part of the journey was taken with the disorder and died within a few days. [. . .]

Mr. Cutler's oldest daug, 7 or 8 years Old, was taken sick and died before we reached Muskingum [. . .] After all our delays, terrible sickness and deaths on board ye boat - which many times aground and all hands out in the water lifting with iron spikes, etc. we arrived at Marietta ye 18th day of September, Israel so that he could walk with a cane, and Maum a little better, Clarry and Fanny poorly. [Fanny was a little child of Clarry.]

[. . .] Monday we set off and arrived at Belpre. Tuesday bought a house. Maum and ye girls went on visit to Waldo's about three miles down ye river, George and I cleaning ye house. I believe by this time you are tired of particulars. I think the family are as well pleased with the situation and people as I expected and much better than they expected. [. . .]

I have meat to kill, people to say "how do ye" to and every tool to grind and helve, a shaving brake and a shelter or hovel to make for my cattle in ye winter before I could begin harvesting my corn. But now I have a barrel of good pork, some good dry venison, hams, good turkey hanging ready to roast and with plenty of good soil in ye garden, and ye family have all good health and excellent stomachs. My old shop or cabin has been a hen roost for some years and for ten shillings I bought the cabin full of hens and chickens and have plenty of eggs. Tomorrow I am going to harvesting, wind and weather permitting. Then I shall shut up a pair of hogs and bring in my fatting cow and look a little like living through ye winter. If I can obtain forage enough for my cattle.[. . .]

It has been sickly up the river this season -- owing, some people think to a little standing water just by their stockades. Maum wishes you to let Mr. Barrett to have a little indigo to color some for her - wish you to mention it. As David is with you, he may send him a line. As to the debts due me I shall always be ready to receive ye money, or you may and use it. But don't distress people where it is perfectly safe; where it is otherwise, I would have the money collected, or ample security given to your full satisfaction.[. . .]

Shall be happy to hear from you [. . .] as often as anything worth offers and you may expect the same from me.

Yours etc.
I. Putnam


This bio has been excerpted from Volume I of a book of family history entitled ALL OF THE ABOVE I by Richard Baldwin Cook. For additional information, visit the contributor profile, #47181028.

Family links: 
  Israel Putnam (1718 - 1790)
  Hannah Pope Putnam (1721 - 1765)
  Sarah Waldo Putnam (1740 - 1808)*
  Israel Putnam (1766 - 1824)*
  Aaron Waldo Putnam (1767 - 1822)*
  Mary Putnam Mayo (1773 - 1838)*
  George Washington Putnam (1777 - 1815)*
  Israel Putnam (1738 - 1812)
  Mehitable Putnam Tyler (1749 - 1789)**
*Calculated relationship
Son of General Israel Putnam, aged 72 yrs.

This monument erected by:
Maj. L.J.P. Putman, Great Grandson of Gen. I. Putnam and Son of Israel Putnam
Note: The monument lists "General" Israel Putnam, who is buried in Connecticut. "Israel Putnam" (d 1824), grandson of the General, is buried at Rockland Cemetery, Belpre. There is a headstone for Col Israel Punam at Cedarville. See #24723417.
Putnam Cemetery
Washington County
Ohio, USA
Maintained by: Richard Baldwin Cook
Originally Created by: J W
Record added: Jul 30, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15095248
Col Israel Putnam
Added by: J W
Col Israel Putnam
Added by: J W
Col Israel Putnam
Cemetery Photo
Added by: J W
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

May GOD Bless You Col. Israel Putnam ! ! ! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::It is on Major General Benjamin Butler's in Lowell, Middlesex County, Massachusetts ( this County has Two County Seats) , the monument reads."the true touchstone of civil ...(Read more)
- Jonathan Robert De Mallie
 Added: Nov. 9, 2013

- DMLeForce
 Added: Mar. 25, 2012

- Diddy & Doodle
 Added: Jul. 4, 2011
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