Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My 4th Great-Grandfather's Signature on a Revolutionary War Document ~ Dated August 23, 1776

While doing research for a future post about my 4th great-grandfather, Dr. Luther L. Waterman, who was a surgeon in the Revolutionary War, I stumbled upon an absolutely amazing document.  I was looking through the following website:

The Register of
William Bond Papers
1768 - 1777
MSS 0080

Mandeville Special Collections Library
Geisel Library
University of California, San Diego
Here's the link to the website: The Register of William Bond Papers 1768-1777.  Clicking on this link will provide you with a long list of fascinating documents from the Revolutionary War.   I clicked on the link, List of men to be discharged due to illness from Colonel Bond's regiment, and to my absolute amazement, this is what I saw:

List of Soldiers Being Discharged Due To Illness  Luther Waterman Signed Document 1776
Page 1

Here I was, staring at a document that was written and signed by my 4th great-grandfather, Luther Waterman.  It was truly an unbelievable moment!

I knew I wanted to have a copy of this incredible document and I also wanted to be able to share it with you, my wonderful readers.  So, I called the library at UC San Diego and  was given permission to download this historic document and also to share it on my blog.  Of course, I needed to include a link to where I found it, which I've done.  The document contained two pages.


Here is the transcription for Page 1 (to the best of my abilities):

                                                    Mount Independence August 23 – 1776

Barnard Newel Ens of Cpt Draper’s Company
Joshua Jacson Sargt of Cpt Child’s Compy
John Hackelton Sargt of Cpt Cook’s Compy
Nathan Newel private of Cpt Flatcher’s (?) Comy
Abner Molton private of Cpt Mahew’s (?) Compy
All of Col. William Bond’s Regiment being sick & infirm for a considerable time & in probability will not be fit for farther service this Campaign I do therefore recommend them to Your Honor as proper subjects for a discharge
                                                                                  Luther Waterman Surgn
To the Hon.bl Maj. Ge. Gates

Luther Waterman was a surgeon serving under the command of Colonel William Bond in 1776. He was present at an engagement at Isle aux Noix, at Lake Champlain in 1776.  To give you a historic perspective and background for the amazing document I'm sharing with you today, here is a partial biography of Colonel William Bond.  It's from the same website containing Luther Waterman's document.
Biography of William Bond (partial) 
"William Bond and the 25th Regiment participated in the campaign to conquer Canada during 1776. Congress had requested that General Washington send four regiments to reinforce the army in Canada. On March 15, 1776, the 5th and 25th Regiments received orders from General Horatio Gates to march to Norwich, Connecticut. On March 30, the Massachusetts regiments led by William Bond, John Patterson and John Greaton, along with the New Hampshire regiment led by Enoch Poor, arrived in New York. On April 21, the four regiments sailed in sloops up the Hudson River to Albany under the command of General William Thompson.
In early May, the 25th Regiment was preparing to cross into Canada by boat and reached Sorel by June 14, Chamblee by June 17, Isle aux Noix by June 18, and Crown Point by July 11. On August 10, the 25th Regiment was camped at Mount Independence, a hill near Fort Ticonderoga. The stagnant lakes and swamps around Mount Independence contributed to the diseases already suffered by the regiment, including smallpox. Desertions and discharges for medical reasons severely reduced troop strength. On August 31, 1776, Colonel William Bond died of illness at Mount Independence."
The document written and signed by Dr. Luther Waterman was dated August 23, 1776, just eight days prior to the death of Colonel William Bond.

I wanted to know where Mount Independence was, so I did a little research.  I found the following information from the website Vermont State Historic SitesMount Independence is located in Vermont, along the shores of Lake Champlain.  During the Revolutionary War it was the location of one of the largest colonial military encampments.  Originally named Rattlesnake Hill, it was renamed Mount Independence on July 28, 1776 after The Declaration of Independence was read at the new fort.

Was my 4th great-grandfather, Dr. Luther Waterman, there at Mount Independence when The Declaration of Independence was read?  If so, what were his thoughts and feelings?  I wish I could read his journal.  I wonder if he kept one and where it is today.

And here is Page 2 of this historic document:

List of Discharged Soldiers Due to Illness during Revolutionary War Pg 2
Page 2

I tried to transcribe this page as well.  Here's the transcription for Page 2 (to the best of my abilities):

                                                                    Mount Independence Aug. 24 1776 

Having examined into the cases of the within mentioned persons find them to be as there set forth & do concur with the Surgeon in recommending them for a discharge 
To the Honbl Maj. Gen. Gates                       William Bond Coll 
The within named Ens Newel  Sargt Jackson & Hackelton, & Privates Newel and Molton --- are hereby dischargd from the service of the United States --- on the request & Certificate of the Surgeon & Col. of the Regiment to which they belong. 
                       The Col. of the Regiment has liberty to give a (?) Discharge to each one of them --- Signing his Name                          “by the Genl’s Orders” 
Ticonderoga H (?) August 25th 1776                                      J Trumbull Depty Ag Genl

I did a little research to try and figure out the name at the bottom right side of Page 2.  I found out that the name is John Trumbull, Deputy Adjutant-General.

The second page of this document was signed by several people on two different days, August 24 and August 25, 1776.  The recommendation by Luther Waterman was agreed to and the men listed on Page 1 were discharged from duty.

The discovery of this document is very exciting to me.  And I'm thrilled I was able to share it with you.

Thanks for reading!

Jana

© 2013 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

28 comments:

  1. Wow! What a find! Could cause a case of the goosebumps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy,

      It was definitely a jaw-dropping experience (in a good way)! =)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. So happy for you! What a wonderful thing to find!
    Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cheri,

      Thank you! It really was absolutely amazing to find this document.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comments!

      Delete
  3. I'm so jealous! What a cool thing to see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Wendy,

      Yes, it was cool beyond belief to actually see this document from 1776 written and signed by my 4th great-grandfather. Absolutely amazing!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  4. Jana, what a treasure to find! The story is amazing! Your right, it would be so cool to read his journal. Thank you for sharing such a find and a piece of history.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Betty,

      Thank you! I wonder if his journal still exists and if so, where it is.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comments!

      Delete
  5. Jana: Congratulations on that awesome find!! All of us who have a sudden discovery of an ancestor can empathize with the thrill you experienced, but a 1776 signature by a 4x great grandfather -- how totally cool and thrilling is that!! ;-) Thank you so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John,

      Thank you! Oh yes, this discovery was just that - totally cool and thrilling. I mean, who would have thought that a document written and signed by one of my ancestors would be included in a special collection at a university? And from 1776 no less! Amazing!

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for your comments. I really appreciate it!

      Delete
  6. What everyone already said and I am still trying to pick my own jaw up off the floor. An absolutely amazing find!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andrea,

      Thank you! It truly is an astounding discovery.

      I truly appreciate you stopping by and thanks for your comments!

      Delete
  7. What an Ancestor Autograph Book you can make now, eh?? This is eye-popping, Jana. Lovely treasure indeed! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Celia,

      Yes! Eye-popping! What a great way to put it. It truly is a stunning discovery.

      Thanks so much for sharing in my excitement about this amazing document.

      And thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. Jana, though I've never uncovered anything quite so notable, I can nevertheless relate to how you put it: an unbelievable moment! There is nothing quite so monumental as putting your hands--or at least your eyes--on a piece of paper once drawn up and signed by your own ancestor. What a thrill!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jacqi,

      So true! There's just something special about seeing, or better yet, putting your hands on, a piece of paper your ancestor wrote and signed. Now I'm wondering if it's possible to go to UC San Diego and see this document in person. It will have to be on my must-do list if I'm ever in Southern California.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  9. Wow, Jana, this is such a thrilling find! Kind of brings history to life for you, doesn't it? That biography is awesome as well. What a perfect intersection of genealogy and history!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shelley,

      This really does bring history to life for me. I'm glad you liked the biography too. I think it helped to put the document into historical context.

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  10. That certainly is a great find, I bet you were trembling when you found it. Lets hope you find more and that elusive journal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bill,

      Oh! It was truly a stunning find! And unbelievably cool to see this document from 1776 written and signed by my 4th great-grandfather! And I'd love to find his journal (if it still exists).

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  11. Such an incredible find!!!!! I am thrilled you found it. It would be awesome if you could actually find his journal. It's a real probability that he kept one during that time period.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cindy,

      Thank you! Yes, it was just amazing to see the document online. I wonder what it would be like to see it in person. I would like to find that out, if I'm ever in the San Diego area.

      And I'm going to do some research to try and find his journal, if he kept one and it's still around somewhere. I would tend to agree with you that there's a very good probability that he did keep a journal. I hope it was kept safe somewhere and wasn't thrown away at some point. That would just be tragic!

      Thank you for stopping by and for your comments!

      Delete
  12. Wow. Right on the heels of the Declaration of Independence! Your 4 x great grandfather was there at the making of history. That's also what I would wonder -- how he would feel when the Declaration of Independence was read. That's quite a document to stumble upon. Thank you for sharing!

    You might be interested: A few weeks ago, on my February 8th blog, I told the story of my 1st cousin 6 times removed, who signed the Declaration of Independence. My blogs generally focus on the history of slavery in this country and my own family's involvement, and that's how the Declaration of Independence is tied in . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mariann,

      I love your statement about my 4th great-grandfather being there at the making of history. I think that's so amazing to think about.

      I looked at your blog post from February 8th. Wow! That's so very cool that one of your distant cousins actually signed The Declaration of Independence! Amazing!

      Thank you so much for reading my blog post and for your comments. I really do appreciate it!

      Delete
  13. What a great find! I held the original marriage license of my 2nd great grandparents and wanted to run from the building with it in my hands. But I managed to contain myself and settle for a picture :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Debi,

      Thank you! It really is an exciting find. Unbelievable, actually.

      You held your 2nd great-grandparents marriage license in your hands? Wow! That's way cool! Congrats on that exciting find too.

      And thank you so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  14. I like Celia Lewis's comment - that's one for the autograph book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dochiny,

      Yep! It really is. Which reminds me...did I add Luther's signature to the Ancestor Signatures page of this blog? Hmm, I'll need to check that and make sure to add this very special signature there.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete

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