Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Council of Safety

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CT's RevWar Heritage, People & Stories

In 1775, Connecticut’s General Assembly was even more part-time than it is today, usually meeting only two or three times from May through September. After the Lexington Alarm in April, the Assembly recognized that Gov. Jonathan Trumbull would need to be able to act far more quickly in war time, and authorized the formation of a special committee of advisers handpicked by the governor to assist him. The Council of Safety, as it was called, held its first meeting on June 7, 1775, in Governor Trumbull’s storehouse in Lebanon, soon dubbed the War Office. Attending were Governor Trumbull, Deputy Governor Matthew Griswold, the Honorable Jabez Huntington, along with William Williams (serving as clerk), Nathaniel Wales, Jedediah Elderkin, Joshua West, and Benjamin Huntington (Esquires). At the first meeting they decided to send fifty barrels of gunpowder to brigadier generals Spencer and Putnam, leading the Connecticut troops at Boston. The powder would come from Connecticut’s public stores at Norwich, Windham, and Lebanon. Thus began the important role of Trumbull and the Council as a source of logistical support to Washington and the Continental army throughout the Revolutionary War.

In all, forty-seven men served on the Council from June 1775-November 1783. Here are their names, copied from a calligraphied list in the collection of the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, dated 1843:

Hon. Gov. Jonathan Trumbull

Matthew Griswold

Eliphalet Dyer

Jabez Huntington

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Nathaniel Wales, Jr.

Jedidiah Elderkin

Joshua West

Benjamin Huntington

Richard Law (1776)

Titus Hosmer (1776)

William Hillhouse (1776)

Thomas Seymour

William Pitkin (1777)

Benjamin Payne (1777)

Daniel Sherman (1777)

Andrew Adams (1777)

Abraham Davenport (1777)

Jeremiah Wadsworth (1777)

Thaddeus Burr (1777)

James Wadsworth Jr.

Roger Sherman (1777)

Joseph Platt Cook(e)

Jesse Root

Samuel Bishop

Samuel Mott (1779)

Oliver Ellsworth

Col. Williams

Jedediah Strong

David Mumford

Samuel Bishop Jr.

John Canfield

Jabez Hungerford

Joseph Spencer (1780)

Jabez Perkins

Joshua Porter (1783)

Ebenezer Ledyard

Oliver Wolcott

Joseph Hopkins

Col. John Chester

Jeremiah Halsey

Roger Newberry

John Chandler

James Hillhouse (1782)

Thomas Mumford

Jabez Hamlin


CT Needs a Revolutionary Trail?

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Recently, the Norwich Bulletin suggested that Connecticut needs a Revolutionary War “trail,” a pathway of sites and organizations that have ties to our state’s Revolutionary history.

That’s exactly what we’ve felt for some time now! Thus, we created this nifty web site. But here’s where we need your help: tell all your friends. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Make sure the Powers That Be know about and its sponsoring organizations.

We’re in this for the long haul. The Revolution wasn’t won in a day, right? (1775-1783, in case you were wondering.) We can fight for what’s important, and we need every assistance we can get.

Happy Fourth!

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Happy Independence Day to all our readers and fans!

As you probably know, we’re working on a Timeline of Connecticut During the Revolution, and as we’ve been assembling facts and dates, we’ve been struck by how often July 4 seems to come up. It’s probably coincidence, but since in another life we write speculative fiction, we can’t help feeling that behind the coincidence lies some greater significance.

Here are a few of the July 4’s we’ve found:

1768: Jonathan Trumbull writes that disputes between the colonies are discouraging, and that, “The Clouds seem to thicken up and Blacken upon us…”

1773: Connecticut forms its own Committee of Correspondence.

1775: Benjamin Tallmadge writes to Nathan Hale to encourage him to join the army.

Know of any others? Drop us a line!