Connecticut

Connecticut Militia in 1735 Petitions Officers for Drill Closer to Their Homes

Connecticut Militia in 1735 Petitions Officers for Drill Closer to Their Homes

 

[CONNECTICUT MILITIA, Autograph Document Signed, to Officers of Third Militia, Lyme, Connecticut, 1735; with responses of Captain Richard Ely, October 6, 1735; Major John Clark, October 8, 1735; and Captain Richard Ely, c. October 20, 1735. 2 pp., 7.5" x 12.25"  Expected folds; tape repair to splits on folds; some small holes.

 

In this petition, thirty-five Connecticut militiamen in the western part of Lyme township ask their officers to form them into a company for the purpose of drilling closer to their homes, so that they can devote less time to travel and more to military discipline. The officers grant their request and help them select sergeants to lead their drills.

 

Excerpts

“your humble petishoners the subscribers hear of [hereof being in habited very remote from the appointed Train field in Lyme so that when we are called out to attend the disopline as the Law directs the Greatest part of our time is taken up in traveling and not in disopline and so the end of the Law is defeted and your Pettishoners much Exposed and not disoplined so that for this with many other reasons which may be offered to your wise and prudent consideration you will Grant to us your pettishoners the Liberty of being a Leftenants Company by ourselves under such Regulations as the Law directs not excluding our selves from under your command care and wise conduct att all Such times as the Law hath Reference to”

[Signed with the names of thirty-five militiamen, including several with each of the surnames of Comstock, Church, Beebe, and Sanders

 

[Ely’s Response: “In Answer to this your Pettion Wee are very free to Grant your Requests provided your Limits Extends no further Easterly than Tantomorantom Brook And that there bee a suficant number Within thos Limits that are Compelled by Law to attend the Disepline And so shall Prefer the whole matter to the Honred Major Clark who hath full power to order that whole a faire.”

 

[Ely’s Order based on Clark’s Response: “The Company being Leagely [? in order to make Choys [choice of such ofesers as might bee thought proper and one ye 20th day of October [wee met? att the appointed place and finding not more than about 28 souldrs that was compelled by law to bare arms and was desirous to be a Company by themselves [? I led them to the Choys of Two Sargents and they mad Choys of Mr John Comstock to be their first sargant and Mr John Sanders the second...And I pray that they may be Comisanated accordingly.”

 

Richard Ely (1690-1767) was born in Lyme, Connecticut, to Judge William Ely.  In 1714, he married Ruhama Thompson (1693-1726), with whom he had six children. Ely represented Lyme in the General Assembly in 1719, 1724-1726, 1728, and 1737. In 1723, the General Assembly confirmed him as Ensign of the North Company or trainband of militia in Lyme. In 1728, he became Lieutenant, and in 1733, Captain of the North Company in Lyme. In 1730, he married Margaret Olcott, with whom he had seven children. He held a military commission in King George’s War and participated in the siege of Louisbourg (Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia) in 1745.

 

John Clark (1655-1736) was born in Saybrook, Connecticut, and in 1684, married Rebecca Beaumont, with whom he had eight children. Clark was commissioned as Lieutenant of the Train Band of Saybrook in 1699, as Captain, in 1702, and as Major thereafter. He commanded the troops to suppress protests and protect the library of Yale College in its removal from Saybrook to New Haven in 1718.

 

John Comstock (1696-1767) of Lyme, Connecticut, served as a sergeant in the training band. He was later commissioned as Ensign.

 

 

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Item: 64614

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