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Oliver Ellsworth

Lt. David Smith

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Ellsworth authorizes payment to Lt. David Smith,

a noncommissioned officer in the 1st Connecticut Brigade

who served at Peekskill, New York, under the command of General Erastus Wolcott

Oliver Ellsworth, 1745–1807.  Drafter of the United States Constitution; 3rd Chief Justice of the United States, 1796–1800.  Manuscript Document Signed, O Ellsworth, one page (recto and verso), 8” x 6¾”, [Hartford, Connecticut], August 5, 1777.  Also signed by Lt. David Smith, David Smith Lieut.

This Revolutionary War-dated pay warrant has excellent war content.  Ellsworth, as a member of the Connecticut Committee of the Pay Table, authorizes payment of £67 to Smith, part of payment “to Noncommissiond officers & privates that lately marchd to Peekskill under the command of Brigr Genl Woolcott [sic].  Smith has signed on the back to acknowledge receipt of payment. 

Smith, one of several David Smiths from Connecticut who served in the Revolutionary War, commanded a company in Colonel Thomas Belden’s regiment of the 1st Connecticut Brigade under the command of General Erastus Wolcott.  In 1777, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, General George Washington, asked Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull to send troops to serve for six weeks at Peekskill, where General Alexander McDougall was posted with a small detachment of troops.  Three regiments, including troops under Wolcott and others, were ordered to reinforce Peekskill and were placed on duty at various points, including White Plains, Fishkill, Crompond, and Fort Montgomery.  The 1st Connecticut Brigade served at Peekskill form March to June 1777.  Smith joined Belden’s regiment on April 7, 1777, and was discharged on May 19, 1777.

This warrant has a beautiful signature by Ellsworth and is a desirable relic from the Revolutionary War.  There are a few minor stains, not affecting the signatures, and the piece is irregularly trimmed but otherwise very nice.  Overall the piece is in fine condition.


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