Massachusetts Militia Pay Petition Listing 27 Minutemen Who Responded to the Lexington Alarm
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Manuscript Document, Dorchester, Massachusetts, December 30th, 1775, addressed to Massachusetts Treasurer Henry Gardner. 1p. 8 x 13 in. Likely Drury's retained copy from the time, with the signatures all in one hand, though some may be signed with marks & Jonathan Hemenway has signed himself. A scarce petition for pay listing 44 members of Captain Luke Drury's Company, 27 of whom were Grafton, Massachusetts-area Minutemen who had marched 36 miles to respond to the Lexington-Concord Alarm on April 19-21, 1775. The list includes Fortune Burnee, a Minuteman of African American and Native American heritage, and his half-brother, Joseph Anthony, who enlisted on April 29th and died in service. Another of the Minutemen listed is the famous clockmaker Aaron Willard. Petition "to pay Capt Luke Drury the Whole of our Wages (as born on his Muster roll for our Services as Officers & Soldiers in his Company) from the time of our inlistment to the first Day of August for which this shall be your effectual voucher." Today, the terms minuteman and militiaman are often used interchangeably, but there was a distinction in the eighteenth century. Militia were men in arms formed to protect their towns from foreign invasion. They could designate up to one quarter of their force as minutemen, a specially trained force required to be highly mobile and able to assemble instantly to a call to arms. It is difficult to categorize specific men into either of the two groups based on the surviving historical record. We apply the term here to all of those militia who responded April 19-21, 1775, to the Lexington-Concord Alarm. The 27 soldiers and officers listed here who were part of Luke Drury's Grafton, Aaron Kimball's Grafton, & John Putnam's Sutton April 19-21 Minutemen companies are: 1st Lt. Asaph Sherman, Sgt. Nathan Morse, Sgt. Shelomith Stow, Sgt. Ebenezer Phillips, Sgt. Jonah Goulding, Cpl. William Walker, Cpl. Joseph Leland, Drummer Elijah Rice, Fifer Zadock Putnam, Matthias Rice, Isaac Brigham, Eliphalet Smith, George Smith, Peter Butler, Thomas Pratt, William Evans, Elisha Aldrich, Aaron Willard, Eseck Dexter, Moses Sherman, Fortinatus (Fortune) Burnee (signed with mark), Edward Buttrick, Ebenezer Leland, Solomon Brooks, Ebenezer Melendy, Thomas Leland [Sr.], & Samuel Stearns.Luke Drury (1734-1811) of Grafton, Massachusetts joined the militia in 1757 during the French and Indian Wars. As captain of a company of Minutemen and Militamen, he responded to the Lexington Alarm, and later joined Colonel Jonathan Ward's regiment to fight at Bunker Hill. Drury and his men served in different areas during the war, from West Point to Grafton, where his company guarded military stores. He also supported the Continentals financially, at one point giving £50 fifty pounds to enlist soldiers in Grafton.In 1786-1787, Drury became deeply involved in Shays' Rebellion, a tax revolt led by farmers in western Massachusetts. The uprising was quashed, and Drury imprisoned as "a person dangerous to the state." He was eventually released on good behavior. Drury remained active in state and local politics, serving terms as constable, deputy sheriff, tax collector, assessor, selectman, and state legislator.ConditionUsual folds, small loss at bottom left corner affecting some marginal ciphering, else fine condition.Joseph Anthony and Fortune Burnee, Jr., half brothers, were both part African-American and Hassanamisco Nipmuc (Native American). Compared to records of white New Englanders, we know relatively little about them, but even so, more information exists on these freedmen than is the norm. Several of the Anthonys and Burnees were recorded in the Grafton vital, land, and probates records [the U.S. census neglected to record Native Americans from 1790-1890], and the Burnees have been discussed in recent historical and sociological literature: exploring the relationships both amongst marginalized peoples as well as with their white. (See website for full description). Bookseller Inventory # 20781.03
Title: Massachusetts Militia Pay Petition Listing ...
Publisher: Dorchester, Massachusetts
Publication Date: 1775
Binding: No binding
Book Condition: Fine
Book Type: Manuscript Document
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