Israel Putnam

Israel Putnam

Danvers, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 29 May 1790 (aged 72)
Brooklyn, Windham County, Connecticut, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Windham County, Connecticut, USA
Plot Remains interred inside pedestal of monument
Memorial ID 8046 · View Source
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Revolutionary War Continental Major General. He was not a great military leader nor a great leader of the people but was the epitome of spirit, courage and sacrifice shown by average men who helped America succeed in Colonial times and gain its independence. Many of his exploits are mythical and barely believable. He was born on his father's farm in an area which today is Danvers, Massachusetts, the tenth of eleven children. The little education he received was from a little local country school. Married at twenty and was soon a large land owner in the area between the villages of Pomfret and Brooklyn in Connecticut which became known as the 'Putnam Farm.' Industrious Israel Putnam soon had a farm bristling with fruit trees with herds of sheep and goats. During the French and Indian War, Putnam offered his services and was given the rank of captain becoming a member of a Ranger band where he served as a scout with great distinction. Returning to his Connecticut farm and while plowing, a messenger came with the news of the British attack. Putnam left his plow, rushing off to join the Americans in the fight for Independence. During ensuring battles, he was a hero at Bunker Hill. However; Washington blamed him for losses when in command on Long Island for responding too late to orders. In a subsequent battle, he suffered a stroke and his military life was over. He spent the last years of his life on his farm in Connecticut dying some eleven years later of acute inflammatory disease. After a religious funeral mingled with military honors and a eulogy delivered by a personal friend, he was interred in the Brooklyn cemetery. The tomb was three feet high, constructed of brick and across the top a marble slab with a lengthy epitaph by Rev Timothy Dwight who became the President of Yale. In 1888, General Putnam's remains were removed and reburied under a new bronze equestrian statue in Brooklyn, Connecticut. The original epitaph was emblazoned upon the new monument. The original grave stone is under glass and can be seen in the north alcove of the Connecticut State Capital in Hartford. Epilogue: Some of the stories told about Israel. These are but a few excerpts from my primary New England school reader- Upon his first visit to Boston, he thrashed a lad bigger and older than himself for sneering at the rustic style of his homespun garments; His father sent him to drive home a young bull recently purchased. The bull resisted and Putnam put on a pair of spurs, jumped out from behind a tree, jumped upon its back and rode the animal home. Then we have the sheep and goat story - A wolf was wantonly destroying the animals of farmers in the region. Putnam tracked the wolf to a rocky cave. Many ways were attempted to dislodge the predator. Then Israel crawled into the cave, tethered to a rope, his only light was a birch-bark torch. The wolf glared at him out of the darkness and growled menacelly. He was drawn out hurriedly severely cut and bruised. Loading his musket, he went in again and shot the wolf. After being drawn out, he went in a third time and emerged dragging the creature by the ears-And a final: During the French and Indian War, Putnam was captured by a band of Indians, bound to a tree with twigs and branches place about him. The red men danced around and began to yell and scream while setting fire to the brushwood. Amazingly, a French officer rushed in, cut the ropes saving him from a fiery death.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 7 Jan 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8046
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Israel Putnam (7 Jan 1718–29 May 1790), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8046, citing Putnam Monument, Brooklyn, Windham County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .