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Full text of "A history of the equestrian statue of Israel Putnam, at Brooklyn, Conn. : reported to the General Assembly, 1889"

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,A HISTORY 






EQUESTRIAN STATUE 



Israel Putnam, 



AT BROOKLYN, CONN. 



I\eporicd lo Ir^c (ctcr)cral /isscrr)bly, 1SS9- 



HARTFORD, CONN.: 

Press of The Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company. 

iS8S. 






IN EXCHANGE 
JAN 5 . 1915 



CONTENTS. 



Page. 

Preface, .......... 3 

Resolution concerning Monument, .... 6 

Report of Commission, ....... 7-17 

List of Competitors for the Monument, . . .10 

Contract with Karl Gerhardt, 11 

Warrantee Deed from Thomas S. Mar lor, . . -13 
Resolution providing for Dedication, . . . .16 
Resolution adopted by Town of Brooklyn,. . . 17 
Exercises at Dedication, ..... 19-64 

Presentation Address by Morris W. Seymour, . . 21 
Address of Acceptance by Gov. Lounsbury, . . 22 

Poem, by Prof. Chas. F. Johnson, 25 

Memorial Address by Henry C. Robinson, ... 33 

Military Review, 61 

Order of Exercises, 61 

Items of Interest, ........ 62 

Inscription on Monument, ...... 63 



PREFACE. 



Although frequently suggested, it was not until the year 
1886 that the State, by an official act, recognized its duty to 
erect a monument to the memory of Israel Putnam. 

In this year the Putnam Phalanx and the people of Wind- 
ham County pressed the matter upon the attention of the 
General Assembly, and that body, after listening kindly to 
earnest memorials and the addresses of distinguished citi- 
zens, appointed by joint resolution commissioners to procure 
a monument to the memory of Gen. Israel Putnam, and 
cause the same to be placed over his grave, in the town of 
Brooklyn, Conn. 

This pleasant duty the commissioners have performed, 
and it is their purpose in the following pages to report to 
the General Assembly and to preserve for all who may be 
interested, an official account of their work and the exer- 
cises at the dedication of the monument. 

Morris W. Seymour, 
Henry C. Robinson, 

George G. Sumner, 

George F. Holcombe, 
Heman a. Tyler, 

George P. McLean. 




ISRAEL PUTNAM. 



(FROM A PAINTING BY H. I. THOMPSON) 



RESOLUTIONS 



CONCERNING 



Putnam « Monument 



REPORT OF COMMISSION 



Accepted by the General Assembly in 1887, 



RESOLUTION 



CONCERNING MONUMENT AT THE GRAVE OF GENERAL 
ISRAEL PUTNAM, APPROVED FEBRUARY 19, 18.S6. 



Resolved by this Asse?n/>/y : 

Section i. That Henry M. Cleveland of Brooklyn, Heman A. 
Tyler of Hartford, George F. Holcombe of New Haven, George 
P. McLean of Simsbury, Morris W. Seymour of Bridgeport, and 
Henry C. Robinson and George G. Sumner of Hartford, are hereby 
appointed a Commission to procure a monument to the memory of 
General Israel Putnam, and cause the same to be placed over his 
grave in the town of Brooklyn. 

Section 2. Said Commission is hereby authorized to make a con- 
tract in the name and in behalf of the State with some competent person 
to be by them selected for constructing said monument and placing it 
in position over said grave; provided that the expense to the State of 
said work shall be limited in said contract to a sum not exceeding ten 
thousand dollars. 



REPORT OF COMMISSION 

TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY, ACCEPTED, AND ORDERED ON 
FILE IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY. 



To the General Assembly^ State of Coniieeticut, janiiary Session, 
A.D. 1887.- 

The undersigned, having been appointed by the General 
Assembly at its January Session, A.D. 1886, a Commission 
to procure a monument to the memory of Major-General 
Israel Putnam, and to erect the same over his remains in 
the town of Brooklyn, in this State, as will more fully appear 
by a copy of said act hereto annexed, would respectfully 
report : 

That immediately upon their said appointment, they met 
at Hartford on the 19th day of February, and having duly 
organized, unanimously adopted the following : 

Voted, To invite designs for a monument, to Ise erected in Brooklyn, 
Connecticut, to the memory of General Israel Putnam, said design to be 
submitted to the Secretary of the Commission, on or before the 15th of 
May, A.D. 1886. No restriction is made upon the nature, style, or 
character of the monument, except that its cost must not exceed the sum 
of ten thousand dollars. The Commission will allow the sum of two 
hundred and fifty dollars for any design they may choose to accept. 

A large number of artists accepted this invitation, and 
submitted designs according to the terms of said vote. 
Some of them were exceedingly appropriate and meritorious. 
As will be seen, no restrictions were made upon the nature 
or style of the monument, and among the number submitted 
was a design for an equestrian statue, which was so appro- 
priate that the commission were of the opinion that if it 
were possible to procure a monument of that character 



within the sum appropriated, they ought so to do. They 
therefore rejected all designs, as was their privilege, and 
advertised for a further competition, limiting the same to 
equestrian statues. At their second competition, four 
designs of exceptional merit were submitted, one by Mr. E, 
S. Woods of Hartford, one by Mr. George E. Bissell of 
Poughkeepsie, N. Y., one by the Bridgeport Monumental 
Bronze Company, and a fourth by Mr. Karl Gerhardt of 
Hartford. After several days of very careful study and con- 
sideration, the committee made selection of the design pre- 
sented by Mr. Gerhardt, and voted him the two hundred and 
fifty dollars award. They subsequently, on the second day 
of October, A.D. 1886, entered into a contract with him to 
erect a monument modeled on that design, on the site 
selected by the Commission, for the sum of nine thousand 
seven hundred and fifty dollars. The names of the artists 
who so kindly submitted their designs to the commission 
are hereto annexed, as also a copy of the contract entered 
into with Mr. Gerhardt, 

The act of the General Assembly requires that the mon- 
ument should be erected in the town of Brooklyn in this 
State, and " over the grave " of the General. A literal com- 
pliance with this direction, if the act was to be interpreted 
to mean over the grave where the General was originally 
buried, was found to be impossible, as even the simplest 
monument in that place would have interfered with the right 
of others in a manner in which the Commission had neither 
the power nor the inclination to do. Upon this fact being 
brought to the attention of the descendants of General 
Putnam, they acting through and by the Hon. Wm. H. Put- 
nam, a lineal descendant of the General, immediately signi- 
fied their willingness to remove his remains to such place as 
the Commission might select, so that the monument when 
erected should, in fact, stand over his grave ; and this too 
without any expense to the State. As they had the legal 
right to make such removal, the Commission could see no 
objection to such course. 



In the matter of selecting the site, the Commission here 
had a great deal of trouble, and have been compelled to hold 
a large number of meetings. The public square in the 
village of Brooklyn belongs to the First Unitarian Society, 
but upon such terms and conditions that the Society was 
not willing that the monument should be erected or the 
interment made at that place lest their title to such property 
might be endangered. A public spirited citizen of the town 
tried to purchase the lot upon which the house of General 
Putnam stood, in order to present it to the State, as a site 
for the monument, but as he was unable so to do, the Com- 
mission finally selected the location a few rods below the 
public square. It is on the northeast corner of the historic 
Mortlake property. To the north is the old church, where 
Putnam rang the bell and attended service ; to the north- 
east, near the site of his inn, stand the remains of the tree 
on which hung the tavern sign ; to the east, the field where 
the old hero left his plow and the quiet pursuits of hus- 
bandry, for the cause of liberty and the field of battle. To 
this place the descendants of General Putnam have removed 
his remains, and placing them in a sarcophagus they have 
been built into the foundation upon which the statue will 
ultimately rest. In its work the Commission has been 
greatly assisted by the untiring energy, kindness, and gener- 
osity of the Hon. Thomas S. Marlor. He not only donated 
to the State the plot of ground upon which the monument 
will ^tand, but graded the same, paved and erected a granite 
roadway and coping ground it. The town of Brooklyn, at a 
legal meeting warned for that purpose, generously voted the 
sum of five hundred dollars, which has enabled the Commis- 
sion to carry on its work and pay the necessary expenses of 
advertising, etc. 

It is hoped and expected that the monument will be 
ready to be delivered over to the State during the early part 
of the coming Summer, complete and paid for, within the 
amount appropriated. Every effort will be made to accom- 
plish this result by the 17th of June. 



lO 

It would be fitting that this event should be celebrated 
in a manner worthy of the memory of Connecticut's greatest 
revolutionary hero, and of the dignity of the State. If it 
should seem best to your Honorable Body that the State 
should take part in the ceremonies incident to the unveiling, 
presentation, and acceptance of this work of art, which we 
trust and believe will be a fitting tribute on the part of a 
grateful people to one who gave his all for American indepen- 
dence, it will be necessary for you to take into consideration 
some bill directing the manner of, and providing the means 
for such ceremony. All of which is respectfully submitted. 

On behalf of the Committee, 

MORRIS W. SEYMOUR, 
HEMAN A. TYLER. 



LIST OF COMPETITORS FOR THE PUTNAM MONUMENT 

DESIGN. 

John Bishop, New London, Conn. 
Charles Conrad, Hartford, Conn. 
Berkshire Marble Company, Boston, Mass. 
Karl Gerhardt, Hartford, Conn. 
S. Maslen & Company, Hartford, Conn. 
John Baptista, Chelsea, Mass. 
William Booth, New London, Conn. 
Calvin S. Davis, Waterford, Conn. 
Charles F. Stoll, New London, Conn. 
Thomas W. Casey, New London, Conn. 
Alfred F. Stoll, New London, Conn. 
George E. Bissell, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 
Andrew O'Connor, Worcester, Mass. 
Simonson & Poll, Washington, D. C. 
White Bronze Company, ]5ridgeport. Conn. 
R. L. Pierson, Park Place, New York. 
George Keller, Hartford, Conn. 
Enoch S. Woods, Hartford, Conn. 
Smith Granite Company, Providence, R. I. 
John Reicther, Hartford, Conn. 



No. 


I. 


No. 


2. 


No. 


3- 


No. 


4- 


No. 


5- 


No. 


6. 


No. 


7- 


No. 


8. 


No. 


9- 


No. 


lO. 


No. 


II. 


No. 


12. 


No. 


13- 


No. 


14. 


No. 


15- 


No. 


16. 


No. 


17- 


No. 


18. 


No. 


19. 


No. 


20. 



No. 


21. 


No. 


22. 


No. 


23- 


No. 


24. 


No. 


25- 


No. 


26. 



II 



Alexander Doyle, Great Jones St., New York. 

C. S. Luce, West 23d Street, New York. 

New England Granite Co., 132 1 Broadway, N. Y. 

George Crabtree, New Britain, Conn. 

John Hannah, New Britain, Conn. 

PJrunner &: Tryon, Union Square, New York. 



SECOND COMPETITION. 

Enoch S. Woods, Hartford, Conn. 

George E. Bissell, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 

Karl Gerhardt, Hartford, Conn. 

Bridgeport Monumental Bronze Company, Bridgeport, Conn. 

Andrew O'Connor, .Worcester, Mass. 



CONTRACT WITH KARL GERHARDT. 

This agreement made and entered into this second day of 
October, A.D. 1886, by and between the State of Connecticut 
(by its agents undersigned) of the first part, and Karl Gerhardt 
of Hartford, Connecticut, of the second part, witnesseth as 
follows : 

Said Gerhardt hereby agrees to make a bronze equestrian 
statue of Israel Putnam, granite or other stone pedestal, in 
accordance with specifications hereunto appended. 

And said Gerhardt agrees that he will execute all said work 
with his best skill and ability, and that he will submit to the 
inspection and approval of said agents his design and studies of 
any and every part of said work, and will conform to their express 
wishes in fashioning and constructing the same. 

And the said Gerhardt agrees to complete the same to the 
acceptance and approval of said Commission on or before the 
first day October, 1887, absolutely, and on or before June i, 1887, 
if possible. 

And said party of the first part, agrees upon the full and 
complete performance of said undertaking by said Gerhardt, as 
hereinbefore set forth, to pay to him the sum of ($9,750) nine 
thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars. 



12 

Specifications of Equestrian Statue of Israel Putnam 7vith pedestal 
and foundation, to be 77iade for the State of Connecticut by Karl 
Gerhardt. 

Statue and pedestal to be made after the style of the design 
accepted by the Putnam Monument Commission, subject to 
alterations to be made by said Commission, which alterations are 
to be made in all cases without extra charge by said Gerhardt. 

The statue and pedestal together to be twenty-five feet in 
height, divided as follows : the statue to be twelve feet in height ; 
pedestal to be thirteen feet in height. 

The statue to be composed of the best bronze, finished in 
workmanlike manner, and chemically colored. 

The pedestal to be of granite, or other stone, its character, 
whether Westerly, Quincy, or other granite, or freestone or other 
stone, to be determined by the Commission. 

Stones to be used in pedestal to be of dimensions, and to be 
dressed as prescribed by said Commission, and all to be pure, 
homogeneous, and free from white horse or other defect. 

If said pedestal shall be built of freestone, it shall be sub- 
jected to such treatment as said Commission may prescribe, and 
each stone therein contained shall be accepted by said agents of 
the State. 

Said pedestal shall have a bronze frieze of oak and laurel 
leaves encircling the cap stones to tablets, to be made of the best 
bronze in workmanlike manner and chemically colored. 

Tablets are to be made on each side running from capstone 
to platform which forms part of base of pedestal, and said tablets 
are to bear the original inscription of General Putnam's tomb- 
stone, written by President Dwight of Yale College, the same to 
be cut on the surface of the tablets. 

On either end of said pedestal there shall be an ornamental 
wolf's head, composed of best bronze, finished in workmanlike 
manner, and chemically colored, and forming a division of seats. 
Said pedestal to be built after the design accepted by said 
Commission. 

The base stones of said pedestal are to be twenty-two feet 
and six inches in length, twelve feet and six inches in width, and 
twelve inches in depth. Upon said stones and surrounding the 
base of the pedestal is to be erected a granite seat, one and one- 



13 

half feet in height, to be completed after the manner of said 
design. Foundation to be laid to the acceptance of said Com- 
mission, in all respects, as to depth, size, quality, and dressing of 
stone, character of material, and workmanship. 

The same to be built in the town of Brooklyn, Connecticut, 
in such place as said agents shall designate, and said pedestal and 
statue are to be placed thereon by said Gerhardt. 

All of said undertakings by said Gerhardt are to be done to 
the acceptance and approval of said Commission. 

HENRY M. CLEVELAND, 
HEMAN A. TYLER, 
KARL GERHARDT. GEORGE P. McLEAN, 

MORRIS W. SEYMOUR, 
HENRY C. ROBINSON, 
GEORGE G. SUMNER. 
By HEMAN A. TYLER, 

Secretary. 
Hereunto authorized. 

The form of the foregoing contract is approved by us. 

HENRY C. ROBINSON, 
GEO. P. McLEAN, 
HEMAN A. TYLER, 
GEORGE G. SUMNER. 

Hartford, 09tober 2, 1886. 



WARRANTEE DEED EXECUTED BY THOMAS S. 
MARLOR. 

To all people to whotn these presents shall come, greeting : 

Know ye that I, Thomas S. Marlor of the town of Brooklyn, 
County of Windham, and State of Connecticut, for the considera- 
tion of One Dollar received to my full satisfaction of the State of 
Connecticut, do give, grant, bargain, sell, and confirm, unto the 
said State of Connecticut one certain tract of land situated in said 
town of Brooklyn, bounded and described as follows, to wit : 
Beginning at the southeast corner of said tract, at a stone post, 
thence north '6\° east 64 feet 6 inches, bounded easterly by the 
highway leading from Brooklyn to Plainfield, thence north 79°, 



west 78 feet, bounded north on land of the First Trinitarian 
Society,' thence south 10°, west 66 feet 3 inches, bounded west on 
land ofj said grantor, thence south 80°, east 80 feet to first-men- 
tioned point. It is understood and agreed that the above- 
described piece of land is to be used for a site for a monument to 
be erected to the memory of General Israel Putnam, 

To have and to hold the above-granted and bargained prem- 
ises, with the appurtenances thereof, unto said State, its succes- 
sors and assigns forever, to it and their own proper use and behoof. 
And also, I, the said grantor, do for myself, my heirs, executors, 
and administrators, covenant with the said State, its successors 
and assigns, that at and until the ensealing of these presents, I am 
well seized of the premises as a good, indefeasible estate in fee 
simple, and have good right to bargain and sell the same in man- 
ner and form as is above written ; and that the same is free from 
all incumbrances whatsoever. And the said grantor by these 
presents binds himself, and his heirs, and assigns forever, that no 
building shall be erected further east than at present standing on 
land of said grantor adjoining. 

And furthermore, I, the said grantor, do, by these presents, 
bind myself and my heirs forever to warrant and defend the 
above-granted and bargained premises to said State and its suc- 
cessors and assigns, against all claims and demands whatsoever. 

WARRANTY DEED EXECUTED BY THOMAS'S. MARLOR. 

To all people to whom these presents shall cotne, greeting : 

Know ye that I, Thomas S. Marlor of the town of Brooklyn, 
County of Windham, and State of Connecticut, for the considera- 
tion of One Dollar received to my full satisfaction of the State of 
Connecticut, do give, grant, bargain, sell, and confirm unto the 
said State of Connecticut, certain land situated in said Brooklyn, 
and described as follows, to wit : A certain driveway situated on 
the south side of property deeded by this grantor to the State by 
deed dated September 10, 1886, and recorded in Brooklyn Land 
Records, Vol. xiii, page 78. Said way being sixteen (16) feet 
wide, and bounded north on land of the State, east by highway, 
south by the Mortlake Hotel property, so called, and west by said 
Mortlake Hotel property, extending seventy feet in length, more 
or less. 



15 

The said Marlor, grantor, hereby reserving to himself, his 
heirs, and assigns, a right of way over the land herein conveyed, 
said right to include all privileges of ingress and egress which 
may be necessary to the use and enjoyment of the said Mortlake 
Hotel property. 

To have and to hold the above-granted and bargained 
premises, with the appurtenances thereof, vmto the said State, its 
successors and assigns forever, to it and their own proper use and 
behoof. 

And also I, the said grantor, do for myself, my heirs, execu- 
tors, and administrators, covenant with the said State, its succes- 
sors, heirs, and assigns, that at and until the ensealing of these 
presents, I am well seized of the premises, as a good, indefeasible 
estate in fee simple, and have good right to bargain and sell the 
same in manner and form as is above ivritteii ; and that the same 
is free from all incumbrances whatsoever, except as above stated. 

And furthermore, I, the said grantor, do by these presents 
bind myself and my heirs forever to warrant and defend the above- 
granted and bargained premises to the said State, its successors 
and assigns, against all claims and demands whatsoever, except 
as above stated. 

Note. — The specifications for Pedestal as also the report of Commis- 
sioner Henry M. Cleveland, disapproving of the action of his associates in 
approving the site, will be found in Legislative Documents, 1S87. 



RESOLUTION 



PROVIDING FOR DEDICATION OF MONUMENT, APPROVED 
MAY lo, 1887. 



Rcsoh'L'd by this Assembly : 

That His Excellency, the governor of this State, be requested 
to call out at least one regiment of the Connecticut National 
Guard to assist at and participate in the dedication of the Monu- 
ment erected by the State to the memory of Major-General 
Israel Putnam. 

That the Quartermaster-General of the State be, and he is 
hereby, authorized and directed to furnish, erect, and remove such 
tents and camp equipage, and fire such salutes as the Commission 
appointed to erect said monument may require on the occasion 
of such dedication. 

That a sum not exceeding six thousand five hundred dollars 
be and is hereby appropriated to defray the expenses which may 
be incurred by the said Commissioners in the ceremonies 
attending the dedication of said monument, and that the comp- 
troller be directed to draw his order on the treasurer of the State 
for such portions of said sum as may be called for by the chair- 
man of said Commission and approved by the Governor. 

Note, — The words "and approved by the Governor" were added by 
subsequent resokition adopted May 19, 18S7. 



RESOLUTION 



ADOPTED 1;Y the TOWN OF BROOKLYN APPOINTING 
COMMITTEE TO AID COMMISSION. 



" JicsolTcii, That a committee of fifty (50) be appointed for 
the town to act in harmony with the wishes of the Putnam Monu- 
ment Commission in the dedicatory services of the proposed 
Putnam Monument, consisting of the following gentlemen : 



BENJAMIN A. BAILEY, 
WILLIAM PI. PUTNAM, 
THOMAS S. MARLOR, 
WILLIAM CLAPP, 
STEPHEN H. TRIPP, 
ENOS L. PRESTON, 
THEODORE D. POND, 
Rev. THOMAS FOGG, 
CHARLES B. WHEATLEY, 
WILLIAM H. CUTLER, 
Rev. E. S. BEARD, 
CHARLES PHILLIPS, 
Rev. G. W. BREWSTER, 
HENRY H. GREEN, 
HASCHAEL F. COX, 
CHARLES G. WILLIAMS, 
JOHN G. POTTER, 
SAMUEL BRADFORD, 
VINE R. FRANKLIN, 
AMOS KENDALL, 
CHARLES SEARLS, 
ALBERT DAY, 
L. S. ATWOOD, 
Rev. S. F. JARVIS, 
FRANK E. BAKER, 
A true copy, 



Attest, 



JOHN M. BROWN, 
Rev. WILLIAM GUSSMAN. 
JOHN HYDE, 
DARIUS DAY, 
HENRY S. MARLOR, Jr. 
Rev. a. J. GULP, 
JOHN N. BURDICK, 
GEORGE BROWN, 
ELIAS H. MAIN, 
JAMES C. PALMER, 
SIMON SHEPARD, 
ALBERT D. PUTNAM, 
EDWIN SCARBOROUGH, 
JOSEPH B. STETSON, 
THOMAS R. BAXTER, 
WILLARD DAY, 
FRANK DAY, 
CHARLES H. CORNWALL, 
EPHRAIM PRENTICE, 
RUSSELL W. BAILEY, 
WILLIS A. KENYON, 
DANIEL B. HATCH, 
J. SPRAGUE BARD, 
WELLINGTON E. JAMES, 
JOHN A. SHARPE, 

THEO. D. POND, 

Chairman. 




EyUESTRIAN STATUE OF ISRAEL I'Ul'NAM 
AT BROOKLYN, CONNECTICUT. 



EXERCISES AT DEDICATION 



Equestrian ^Statue 



JUNE 14, 1888. 



PRESENTATION ADDRESS. 

MORRIS W. SEYMOUR. 



Fellozv-Citizens, Ladies and Gentleniejt : 

A neglected grave, a battered and broken tomb-stone and 
underneath the bones of a hero: — this the picture which 
inspired the good people of this town with the desire to 
erect a more fitting memorial to one of their most distin- 
guished fellow townsmen. This inspiration spreading, as 
all good inspirations must, into the adjoining towns and 
throughout the length and breadth of the county, at last 
made itself felt in the hall of legislation, and in 1886-7, the 
State of Connecticut, ever mindful of the reputation of her 
children, appropriated a sum of money and appointed a 
commission to erect and appropriately dedicate a monument 
to one of her noblest sons. Their work done, that commis- 
sion here present to your excellency, as the official head of 
the State and the representative of its people, the fruits of 
their labor. On yonder plot of ground, the property of the 
State, the gift of a generous citizen of this town, wrapped 
about by that flag which he did so much to elevate among 
the nations of the earth — chiseled by the hand of cunning- 
artists in bronze and granite, stands the statue of one who 
in life was simple as a child, tender as a woman, brave as a 
lion, and underneath that statue rest the remains of Israel 
Putnam. 



GOVERNOR LOUNSBURY'S ADDRESS OF 
ACCEPTANCE. 



In accepting this Statue in the name of the State I give 
voice to the thanks of this Commonwealth for the faithful 
services of the Commissioners and for the admirable work of 
the artist. 

We all know that we can do nothing here to-day to per- 
petuate the memory of the illustrious dead. He, whose 
command directed and whose presence inspired the heroic 
struggle on Bunker Hill, crowns with his glory even the 
lofty monument that is erected there. The genius of 
neither orator nor artist can gild the fame of Israel Putnam. 

You place this monument not so much as a duty which 
you owe to the dead, as a duty which you owe to yourselves. 
It is alike the outburst and the token of your love and* 
gratitude. It is not to mark the mortal dust of the immor- 
tal soldier, but it is rather to point your children to his liv- 
ing example, to the teachings which he chiseled on the 
monuments of a Nation's history. 

It is alike well whether we celebrate this hour in the 
throb and glow of a generous state pride, or whether, for- 
getting that we have any share in Putnam's glory, we seek 
to impress upon our hearts the simple and sublime lesson of 
his life. 

Israel Putnam was great in his energy, great in his 
courage, great in his patriotism, but he was greatest of all in 
his intense personality. It was a rugged personality, but it 
so stamped its influence upon the men of his time and upon 
the time itself, that, next to Washington, no soldier of the 
Revolution left behind him a o-randcr work or one more 



23 

sharply defined as his own. His tireless activity and his 
matchless courage were not simply the results of splendid 
physical gifts, but they were rather parts themselves of a 
mighty soul so intense in its unborn energy that it knew no 
weariness ; so consecrated to its work that it knew no fear. 

Putnam was a patriot of the patriots, but to one of his 
profound individuality, patriotism meant something more 
than its simple definition in the schools. What we call Put- 
nam's patriotism was this generous passion intensified and 
directed by his obedience to the two great laws of his nature. 
His manhood, asserting the right to its own development 
as the supreme end of its existence and demanding civil 
liberty as the sacred means to this sacred end, was the first 
great law. And it was supplemented by a second, written 
in the surpassing generosity of his nature: The right which 
thou claimest for thyself and which thou shalt not basely 
yield is thy brother's also, and in thy equal love for him thou 
shalt struggle for thy brother's right as thou strugglest for 
thine own. 

Always and everywhere it is man's intelligent obedience 
to these two laws of his higher nature that gives to patriot- 
ism all its worth that makes it a factor in civilization and 
progress. Love for fellow man, appreciation of one's self, 
faith in one's destiny, a clear perception of the right means 
of development, all alike lie at the base of its virtue and 
power, and he who by his teachings or his life lessens the 
force of any one of these essentials degrades the individual 
and undermines the State. 

The sturdy self-asserting manhood and the unselfish 
devotion of Putnam and of the men cast in his heroic mold 
won for them and bequeathed to you the blessings of consti- 
tutional liberty. It remains for you through the same 
virtues to preserve these blessings for yourselves and to 
transmit them to the generations to come. To do this you 
need no special school in which to teach the duty of patriot- 
ism. Least of all do you need to inculcate the doctrine that 
the State is above the citizen. The State may be divinely 



24 

appointed but in the State itself there is no divinity. Upon 
the individual alone God has stamped his own immortal 
imasfe. Set the destiny of the State above the destinv of 
the individual and you found your government upon a false- 
hood, upon sand that the storm of discontent and floods- of 
revolution will surely sweep away. But fill the soul with 
just conceptions of its own immortal destiny, educate the 
mind until it clearly sees the need of civil liberty to man's 
development and the need of the State to the preservation 
of that liberty and the people will protect the Government 
as they protect themselves. Do this and you found the 
State upon a rock so firm that it will stand while God's truth 
upon the earth endures. 



POEM 

BY PROFESSOR CHARLES F. JOHNSON, TRINITY COLLEGE, HARTFORD. 

The men of Rome, who framed the first free state, 

When Rome in men and not in wealth was great. 

Placed in their homes, as in an honored shrine. 

Rude portrait busts, cut with no art divine, 

But roughly chipped from rock or wrought in brass 

By craftsmen of the town ; so might time pass. 

And still the worthy sire perpetuate 

Brave thoughts, brave deeds, in men of later date. 

And these they called their household gods, and knew 

Them worthy worship, and from them they drew 

The consciousness that men had lived and died 

In days agone; these dull and heavy-eyed 

Stone faces mutely testified that life 

Is grounded in the past, that toil and strife 

Are not for self, nor borne for self alone. 

That children reap where worthy sires have sown. 

'Twas thus the Julian or the Fabian name 
Linked past to present in ancestral fame ; 
And thus the Roman gens inherited 
Traditions from the past, life from the dead, — 
A life, not fleeting with the life of man. 
But life, renewed, continuing, whose span 
Binds men in generations by a law 
Higher than that through which the living draw 
To living comrades and to present friends, 
A law of higher sanction, higher ends. 
Because it is a law beyond our ken. 
Binding, not man to man, but man to men. 

But there were those who had been called to die 
When Roman legions marched to victory, 

4 



26 

Who reached the higher plane of citizen, 

Where nobler bonds made one all Roman men, 

Who served that august thing, the Roman state, 

And held their gens, their homes, subordinate. 

These men the Romans honored over all, 

Their busts were placed for a memorial 

About the forum, where all men could see 

The great republic's honored ancestry ; 

For them the white and flawless stone was brought. 

For them the precious silver bronze was wrought 

By one whose cunning hand could realize 

In bronze or stone the broader sympathies, 

Who had that feeling for the soul of man 

Which makes an artist of an artisan. 

Often on festal days tliL' fatlier led 
His sons up to the Capitol, and said, 
' Look ; this is Fabius, wliose constancy, 
Unshaken in defeat, saved Italy 
From Hannibal ; your grandsire served with him 
In those dark days when all our hope grew dim ; 
This is that elder, greater one with whom 
Your grandsire's grandsire fighting died when Rome 
Conquered the Samnite hordes — Cincinnatus, 
We have not now such men to fight for us ; 
And this is he, the greater, mightier far, 
'Who, born no king, made monarchs draw his car' ; 
And this is Regulus, who kept his faith 
With Carthaginian foes — though faith meant death 
He would not break his word ; beneath is graved 
* He lost his life, but Roman honor saved.' 
Alas, this modern age can never breed 
Men of the pith of these, our honored dead." 

Thus would the veteran to his children praise 

The patriot heroes of the ancient days ; 

Thus were preserved the annals of the state. 

And, thus, the civic virtues, incarnate 

In brass or stone, kept life, grew broad, and were 

The compact base of Roman character. 



27 

We, too, have our great names. How shall we set 

These jewels in Columbia's coronet ? 

Where shall we place our heroes,^ — -we who owe 

More to our dead than they of long ago ? 

They tore the feudal shackles from the state, 

And built an England here regenerate 

By sacrifice and blood, and by their deed 

Enforced and supplemented Runnymede ; 

They saved the great tradition of the race, 

Defiled or lost in its old dwelling place, — 

The folk-moot and the witenagemote, — 

Of freedom's tree the deep earth-holding root. 

Through them we teach the world what freedom means ; 

It is our heritage, but others' dreams; 

It has no center here, the soil is free ; 

There is no cloistered shrine for liberty. 

For Greene, for Putnam, or for Washington 

We need no Abbey and no Pantheon. 

They fought not to exalt a conquering race 

But for mankind ; their pedestal and place 

Is underneatli the over-arching sky. 

Our dome of state is God's own canopy. 

Erect in Nature's presence let them stand. 

The free-born heroes of our Yankee land ! 

Strong-limbed, great-hearted men of massive mould. 

There is no marble white enough, nor gold 

Of fineness fit to build their monumemt ; 

No roof is needed but the heavens bent 

Above their heads, — the air, wide-spread and free. 

Shall symbolize a people's liberty. 

The labored fabric of scholastic rhyme 

Seems inharmonious with this place and time ; 

Rough, fiinty shards of Saxon speech were fit 

For Putnam's name, to rightly honor it. 

His memory needs no set and garnished phrase, 

His deeds are made no greater by our praise ; 

We were the losers if tradition dim 

Were all that kept alive the thought of him, 

The brave old man and true, who set his face 

Like rock, towards liberty's abiding place. 



28 



Like Abraham Lincoln's and John Brown's, his name 

Old English half, half from the Bible came ; 

His rugged Saxon nature held, like theirs, 

Two kindred elements ; the one which dares 

To act ; the other, higher one, which hears 

The murmur of a people's voice, and fears 

Not to respond with action, though slow years 

May come and go and never realize 

God's high commission to the centuries. 

They feel the ground-swell of some sea beyond, 

The deep pulsation of the vast profound ; 

The great communal heart beats in their breast ; 

Unspoken sympathies forbid them rest, — 

These tribunes of the people, they who trace 

Their lineage back to men of that free race 

Which in its home beside the Northern sea 

Laid the broad basis of democracy. 

Thus Putnam felt at once our cause was right, 
And tarried not to think of England's might. 
The ragged Continental uniform 
Was freedom's chosen livery, when 'twas worn 
By men like him. No labored argument 
On policy or law framed his intent. 
Bluff, hearty, simple, cheerful, resolute, 
A firm-set soul, torn by no subtle doubt, 
By birth and nurture he was formed a man 
Fit for the time, great freedom's partizan. 

In Putnam's youth, each frontier settlement 
Was like the vanguard of an army, sent 
To hold the outposts. In that rugged school 
Tempered and trained, he proved a man to rule 
The rude frontiersman, for he "dared to lead 
Where any dared to follow." In their need 
Men looked to him. In God's appointed hour 
Our war for freemen's rights against the power 
Imposed on Englishmen in their old home, — 
Which still by impotence avoids its doom, — 
Our war for civic independence came. 



29 

A tower of strength was Israel Putnam's name, 
A rallying-word for patriot acclaim ; — 
It meant resolve, and hope, and bravery. 
And steady cheerfulness, and constancy. 

A free state needs no death's-head for a sign 
Of sovereignty ; it is itself divine. 
Weak simulacra of old feudal things, 
Bourbon or Guelph, — fantastic, out-worn kings, — 
Are hateful to it. Slow its instinct draws 
Unto its champions, by those deep laws 
In which its being rests. It knows the soul 
In which its own is mirrored ; then the whole 
Moves as a whole. Voices as one voice ring, — 
" The man ! the man ! Behold the freeman's king ! 

God sends our kings, Lincoln and Washington ; 
Putnam is not of these. They stand alone, 
And solitary on their heights remain ; 
He with his fellows on a lower plane. 
But on that plane of broad humanity, 
What stronger man or nobler soul than he — 
A nature on broad lines and simple plan. 
Type of the primitive American ! 

We will not smile as did the ''gilded youth," 
Nor make a sun-myth of his "old she-wolf," 
Like some poor pedants of these later years. 
Who, lacking insight, claiming to be seers, 
Hungry for slander as their daily food, 
Moth-eat the fame of all our "great and good" j- 
(When such men die they'll find 'twill be as well 
To avoid the ghost of Uncle Israel — ) 
We know the man too well to laugh, unless 
In love — he is too big. Perhaps in dress 
Or speech he was uncouth ; perhaps his pen 
Ran to phonetic forms of words. What then ! 
Give him a horse and sword, and everywhere 
The enemy advance, " Old Put " is there. 
He had a knack of getting in the way 



30 

And getting out in time. The British say 

He all that Jersey winter hardly would 

Allow them leisure time to cook their food ; 

For just as they were sitting down at table 

They'd hear a noise, and that " abominable, 

Ubiquitous, old, rebel general " 

Would make an unexpected morning call. 

And "cook their goose" himself, with Yankee sauce, 

And then, with prisoners and spoils, be off. 

Our other generals might be there, or here ; 

On right or left, or hurrying from the rear. 

But Putnam and his men were always near. 

His instinct taught him where his men should go 

To capture trains and squadrons of the foe ; 

Toil could not daunt him nor his age forbid, 

The more he had to do the more he did. 

Though three-score years and one, his zeal outran 

The energy of many a younger man, 

And, had his years been more by ten per cent., 

He would have filled a good-sized continent. 

Such were our Continentals, such the one 

Called on to lay a nation's corner-stone. 

To found a nation needs a man to act, 

A man whose thought is welded close to fact. 

For, though the essential basis of the State 

Is laid by elders, who in grave debate 

Search precedent and history, and draw 

From philosophic fount the organic law, 

Great is the man who strikes, strikes for the right 

By that sure instinct which sees more than sight. 

Without the soldier's arm, state-craft is vain. 

If force invade men's rights, force must maintain ; 

A people's uplift martyrs' lives demands ; 

Rooted in conflict all man's progress stands, • 

And through all time this truth has firmly stood, 

A nation's corner-stone is laid in blood. 

Our corner-stone was laid on Bunker Hill, 

And Israel Putnam laid it. 'Twas his will 

Inspired, his dauntless energy upheld 



31 

Our farmer-soldiers on that fateful field. 
Years were summed up in that aeonian day 
When Putnam's shout rang o'er the furious fray 
The battle-cry of freedom, — all who heard, 
To battle-fury felt their pulses stirred. 
It rings across the years, its music is 
Accordant with the cheer from Salamis 
Or Marathon, or with Rienzi's cry: 
"The people's rights, and death to tyranny." 



And, if in years to come men should forget 

That only freedom makes a nation great ; 

If in the turmoil of this modern world, 

Where hopes and faiths, together heaped and hurled, 

Obscure the visage of our father's God, 

And make us recreant to our Saxon blood ; 

If men grow less as wealth accumulates. 

Till gold becomes the life-blood of our States ; 

If swarms of European outcasts come 

To poison freedom in her latest home, — 

The socialists, who know no social laws, 

The communists, foes to the common cause ; — 

If all our country seems degenerate, 

Our great republic, heir to common fate, 

Till some give up the duties of a man, 

Forfeit their birthright as American ; 

Should all these heavy ills weigh down our heart. 

We'll turn to him who acted well his part 

In those old days, draw lessons from his fame. 

And hope and courage from his honored name. 

But should the anarch's red flag be unfurled 

In some great city of our western world, 

If, some time, hand to hand and face to face, 

Men meet those "enemies of the human race," 

We'll call upon the spirit of " Old Put," 

The farmer-soldier of Connecticut, 

As they of yore. We should not call in vain ; 

From distant prairie and from western plain. 

From Lake Ontario unto Puget Sound, 



32 

Where're the good old Yankee stock is found, 
We'd have reply : " Our sturdy fathers fought 
For civil rights, and won; these are inwrought 
Deep in our hearts. We hold our lives in fee 
To keep unsmirched that precious legacy. 
Strike that old drum once more, and you shall see 
New ' Minute men,' and ' Sons of liberty.* " 

Our noblemen were not mere dukes of shires; 
Kings without crowns, the continent was theirs. 
Therefore, to-day we know no boundaries ; 
No north no south confines our sympathies, 
Nor east nor west ; our country's reveille 
Calls forth an uncontracted loyalty. 
This was a patriot in no narrow sense, 
Let our whole country do him reverence. 

This monument, by skillful artist wrought. 

Sums up and formulates a people's thought, 

Else vague or lost, and renders permanent 

The only deathless thing, a sentiment. 

With democratic dignity instinct, 

To memories of freedom's battles linked, 

'Tis set a beacon in this ancient town. 

'Twill stand when we are gone, and long hand down 

The light of liberty in this her home. 

In future years may children's children come 

As to a sacred spot, to look upon 

The rugged face of freedom's champion. 

So may Columbia's empire ever be 

Land of the free brave — home of the brave free. 



MEMORIAL ADDRESS. 

HENRY C. ROBINSON. 

Ninety-eight years ago the wasted form of an 
old soldier, scarred by tomahawk and bullet, was 
laid to rest in yonder graveyard. The sacred acres 
were filled with mourners. He was consigned to 
sleep in the echoes of artillery and of musketry, and 
under the glories of the flag, the fibres of whose folds 
his own brave hands had so conspicuously helped to 
weave. His epitaph was written by the foremost 
scholar of our State. The fret of time, the frost of 
winter, and the selfish hand of the relic-hunter wasted 
the stone slab on which it was written. And here, 
above a handful of ashes, all that remains of that 
stalwart frame, which, in life, was the inspiration of 
Colonists, the hate of Frenchmen, the fear of English- 
men, and the awe of Indians, today, late, but not too 
late, a grateful State has built a seemly and enduring 
pedestal, has placed upon it his war-horse, and called 
again to his saddle, with his bronzed features saluting 
the morning, the Connecticut hero of the revolution. 

Blessed is a state which has a history. Its pres- 
ent is the natural evolution of its past. Out of strug- 
gles it has grown ; from storms and sunlight of other 
years it has made strength. Its greatness of other 
centuries is its renewed and transfigured greatness of 
to-day, its traditions are its inspirations, its buried 

5 



34 

heroes are its living prophets. It is the blessedness 
of continued personality, the manliness of the mature 
man ; its brain has developed with its muscles, its 
heart with its bones. Reverence and pride for the 
past, the kindling warmth of tender associations, and 
the hallowed flames of love are its attributes. The 
scholar reads about it, the poet sings of it, the phi- 
losopher studies it. The banks of its streams are 
sacred for the foot-prints upon them ; its mountains 
are dear for the brave steps that climbed them ; its 
groves are instinct with the meditations of its patriot 
fathers; its churches are pure with the purity of its 
saints ; its graveyards are peopled with the presences of 
its ancestry. Thermopylae was a perpetual legacy to 
the sons of Sparta, the atmosphere of the Academy 
was an everlasting inheritance to the men of Athens. 
The children of Israel sing the songs of Miriam and 
David, study the philosophy of Moses, and Ezra, and 
Hillel, fight over the battles of Saul and the Macca- 
bees, and rightly say, they are all ours. The wars 
are over, the wisdom is written, the lyrics are sung, 
the laws are written on papyrus, are cut in stone, are 
printed on paper, but the lesson in them all is as 
fresli as a bubbling spring. We stand almost aghast 
before the grandeur of a new state, as Dakota, 
but we find no leaves of history to turn over 
and study and ponder. But when we examine 
the record of the last two and a half centuries 
of human progress, the filial love of the people 
of Connecticut finds a catalogue of statesmen, 
and warriors, and orators, and philanthropists, a 
story of patriotism, and self-government, and edu- 
cation, and discipline, and virtue, and piety, better 



35 

than all the traditions, gathered from three thou- 
sand years, which haunt the waters of the Ganges, or 
are assembled on the banks of the Nile. And the 
result of those early frictions and fights with rough 
nature and rougher man are written in the culture, 
and courage, and refinement, and sentiment of our 
little Commonwealth of to-day. There was choice 
seed dropped in the scant' soil of the wilderness by 
the pilgrims and by the colonial rebels, but lo, the 
wilderness has become a garden and blossoms like 
the rose. 

A nation's character may be read in its heroes. 
It has been often said that no nation is better than 
its gods. Nor can it be unlike its demi-gods. Tell 
us what were the shrines in the Pantheon and whose 
ashes lie in Westminster Abbey, and we can more 
than guess what was Rome and what is England. 
And if the gates of the abbeys have opened chiefly at 
the bidding of kings, the people have found the graves 
of their heroes in the churchyard, have followed their 
ashes to the rivers where spite and malice flung them, 
have chanted their stories in song and set up their 
memorials in marble and bronze. If men of blood 
and ambition are the ideals of a nation, we find a 
nation of warriors; if patriots are the heroes, be 
they on the battle-field or in the council chamber, 
we find a nation proud of its nationality. Nor are 
our heroes only the leaders. A personal friend of 
Mr. Lincoln tells how he rode with him in a carriage 
through the city of Washington when its squares 
were dotted with camps, and its streets were full of 
boys in blue. When generals and field-officers 
saluted him, he returned the compliment by the cus- 



36 

tomary and formal wave of the hand, but when a 
private soldier presented arms, he rose in his carriage 
and took off his hat. He did not undervalue lead- 
ership, but he appreciated that patriotic, unher- 
alded support of the flag which was found in the 
lines. And so our people, in memorializing the 
critical struggle at Antietam, chose for a symbol, not 
a portrait of one of the many general officers who 
made great names on that historic ground, but 
the figure of an American soldier, with no state 
or regimental distinction, only a type of the hundreds 
of thousands who fought and fell, and whose 
names do not appear in the histories, but whose 
blood won the victory. 

If it is true that the admiration of a community is 
significant of its character, it is equally true of its con- 
tempt. It is not military greatness that we honor 
to-day, it is loyalty to manhood and to truth and to 
country. When the aggressions of the mother country 
became insufferable, and the cry was " to arms," there 
were two men upon the soil of our little Connecticut, 
who were especially conspicuous for their military ac- 
complishments. Both incarnated personal bravery; 
neither had learned an alphabet out of which the 
word "fear" could be made; both were leaders. One 
gathered the sons of New Haven upon the Green and 
drilled them for war, — the other left his oxen in the 
field and rode to Boston. Both had achieved success 
and glory in the earlier wars. The eyes not only of 
Connecticut and New England, but of Virginia and 
the Carolinas turned to both of them. Both were 
offered high places by the enemy. One went through 
the struggle with an unclouded story, and to-day his 



37 

name, the name of Putnam, is written upon nine 
counties in nine states, and we are bending in rever- 
ence before his statue. The other fled his country, 
died in ignominy, and an American community would 
as soon adopt the name of Judas as the name of 
Arnold. 

Nations are not created by acts of parliament, 
nor by acts of congress, nor are they made by treaties. 
Statutes and treaties imply states behind them. 
Nations grow — grow from the people. The United 
States are the result of no sovereignty but the sover- 
eignty of this great people — a people made and being 
made of the manifold strength of the older folk. 
Time has winnowed away the chaff and sifted out the 
grain from many peoples, and many races, and has 
brought many good " remnants " together, to work 
out in wholesome friction the best methods of 
self-government and constitutional law. Hither 
have come, each with a gift, first of all and best 
of all, the Puritan to New England, and the sturdy 
Scotchman, the honest Briton, the quick-witted 
Irishman, the Huguenot, son of a martyr and father 
of heroes, the Dutchman, full of honesty and trade, 
the German — happy combination of much good- 
ness and few faults, the Scandinavian, the Italian, 
the Mongolian, and the African, by the grace of 
God and the will of the people and the terrible 
tribulation of war, transformed from chatteldom 
to manhood. 

In studying the history of our country, we may 
and must study its biographies. Its own biography, 
so to say, is made up of the stories of its individual 
lives. It was once taught, with more or less truth. 



38 

that the genius of a whole nation is the creation of 
a single life, as Alexander's and Solomon's and 
Julius Cesar's. It is only a partial truth. The in- 
dividual of mark represents, just as truly as he creates, 
a community. Marcus Aurelius and Christopher 
Columbus were not prodigies, springing from the air 
or the sky or the rocks : — their roots struck into soil 
— they were born in the travail of forces, which are 
only lost to our sight because the chronicles were kept 
by courtiers. It is a flippant philosophy which sees in 
human progress only the work of individual greatness ; 
the great individual incarnates in blossom and fruit, 
the processes of society for an era, as the aloe expresses 
the natural forces of a century. We look at the 
liberal legislation of England for a quarter of a century, 
its education bills, its burials bills, its extension of the 
franchise, its disestablishments, and we give glory to 
Gladstone and Peel. But behind Gladstone and Peel 
there has been a great constituency, struggling with 
burdens and pleading for rights, often in inarticulate 
ways, and they have only waited for the strong arm 
of Peel and the matchless voice of Gladstone to strike 
and speak for them. We look back to the first half 
of the seventeenth century, and we glory in Winthrop 
and Hooker, but Winthrop and Hooker were largely 
representative of the common ideas of the little colony. 
We stand in reverence before Washington, in admira- 
tion before Trumbull, and Adams, and Hamilton, in 
enthusiasm before Putnam and Moultrie, but let us 
never forget the hardy, believing, self-denying- men 
whom they represented and who supported them. 
When we honor Putnam, and Wooster, and Knowlton, 
and Chester, and Humphreys, let us never forget the 



39 

thirty-one thousand, nine hundred and thirty-one men, 
most of them private soldiers, whom Connecticut sent 
to the revolutionary fields, from Ticonderoga to York- 
town. Neither let us forget that the atmosphere of 
Connecticut was charged with ozonic forces of the 
most patriotic and self-centered kind. Our ancient 
seat of learning at New Haven was a very furnace of 
patriotism. In 1774, Dr. (President) Stiles wrote 
" there is to be another Runnymede in New Eng- 
land." In 1779, President Napthali Daggett, with 
his fowling piece blazing away at British regulars, 
made the most picturesque single portrait of the war. 
And a greater than both, through the war a tutor, but 
afterwards President, one of America's chief educators, 
Timothy Dwight, whose distinguished grandson and 
successor to-day leads our worship of Almighty God, 
was firing the young men of Yale with that burning 
patriotism which prepared them so well for the promi- 
nent part which they were so soon to play in the 
trying campaigns of war. Of the small number of 
alumni upon Yale's catalogue in the days of the revo- 
lution, two hundred and thirty-four rendered con- 
spicuous personal service upon the battlefield. The 
universities have been the friends of freedom. Bie- 
otry and tyranny are exorcised from the human mind, 
as evil spirits, by the influence of intelligence and 
education and culture, an influence covering and bless- 
ing both the learned and the unlearned. 

You will not expect an extended sketch of our 
hero to-day — only now and then a leaf from his life. 
Salem had the honor of his birth, in 17 18, and well did 
he repay the obligations of his Massachusetts' nativity, 
by the defense and deliverance which he brought to 



40 

her territory. He was of sturdy English blood, and, 
curiously enough, the family crest was a wolf's head. 

Like Washington and Hale, in his youth he was a 
conspicuous leader in athletic sports. When he 
visited the city of Boston for the first time, and his 
rural appearance excited uncomplimentary comment 
from a city youth of twice his size, who chaffed him 
in a way to which the country boy was not accustomed, 
the young Israel proceeded to amuse the Boston people, 
who even at that early day seem to have had a keen eye 
for the champion's belt, by a thorough, if not a scien- 
tific pounding of his antagonist. He was first married 
at twenty-one years of age, and at once moved to Pom- 
fret. He settled at Mortlake, and became a large pro- 
prietor of land. Here, in industry and domestic virtue, 
he pursued the hardy life of a Connecticut farmer. He 
was fond of horses and was interested in stock-breeding. 
Here occurred the wolf's den incident, a story which 
will be told to reverent and admiring boys as a classic 
so long as boys admire pluck and bravery — which may 
it be as long as grass grows ! In the French and Indian 
war, beginning as a captain under Sir William John- 
son in 1753, he continued in service until his final 
return from Canada, in 1762. 

In looking at the great deliverance from the op- 
pressions of England in our war for independence, 
we are sometimes tempted to forget the importance 
of the earlier struggles, in which our fathers fought, 
as British colonists, against the aggressions of France 
upon the North. This contest continued at intervals 
for nearly a century before the revolution. The Eng- 
lish colonists held the coast. They had brought here 
the free ideas of the common law, of magna charta, 



41 

and the bill of rights. They had done much more ; 
they had abolished primogeniture and entails, had 
introduced reasonable laws of inheritance, had estab- 
lished universal education, had made, in the cabin of 
the Mayflower, an embryonic attempt at a written con- 
stitution, and, at I hirtford, in 1639, had indeed made 
a written constitution which is the type of the written 
constitutions of modern civilization. They were learn- 
ing the sovereignty of the individual man, and were 
unlearning lessons of subservience and idolatry to 
rank, and title, and heredities, and despotisms, and 
divine rights, and prelacies, and spiritual and temporal 
lordships, which were entrenched in Bastilles, and 
behind pillars of Hercules, built up by centuries on 
centuries of assumptions, traditions, prescriptions, and 
possessions, supported by credulity and superstition, 
by fears, natural and unnatural, by the power of 
money and of the sword, by punishments in the name 
of law and by threats of everlasting punishment in the 
flames of hell. Out of these bigotries and horrible 
oppressions of body, and mind, and soul, and into 
these regions of political right and moral sweetness 
and intellectual light, the Puritans in New England, 
and the colonists in Virginia and Maryland were 
leading a civilization better even than the advanced 
civilization of England. But there were other powers 
struggling to get possession of this fair land — little 
known then for its real physical worth, but at least 
known as a market for European wares, and as yield- 
ing something in the way of furs, and a few other 
articles of value. For many years French civilization 
on the North and West, and Anglo-Saxon civilization 
on the East, wrestled for su^Dremacy. The scene of 



42 

the conflict was New York and Canada, and Northern 
and Eastern Pennsylvania. The French held the 
Qfreat riv^ers, could make war with the Indians for allies 
as against the English colonists, whose course with 
the Indians had always been unwise and unjust, a 
policy which we haven't yet outgrown. In the end the 
flimsy Latin civilization was driven from the country, 
and we were delivered from the power of Bour- 
bonism, and the hands on the dial went forward 
and not backward. 

And what a country was then saved for the larger 
humanities ! A land, the granary and garden of the 
world, the story of whose factories and agriculture and 
commerce is a very miracle of progress ; a land, great 
in material wealth and its innumerable agencies and 
demonstrations of mercantile success, and even greater 
in its elevations of the humble, its development and 
culture and education of the many, its abolition of 
class notions and class facts in political and rcHgious 
life, its loyalty to law without the defence of bayonets, 
and its development of that personal freedom which is 
the supreme Divine gift that lifts man to manhood ; 
a land offering to human study the sublime picture of 
a nation, inconceivably strong, and every year becom- 
ing stronger in geometrical progressions, according to 
the will of Almighty God, governing itself without 
the sceptre of a king, or the })atronizing dominion 
of an enthroned ecclesiastic, or the tread and tramp 
of a standing army. 

And this repulse of haughty Bourbon France could 
never have been won by the British army alone, and 
her Braddocks and Abercrombies. They knew little 
of the country and less of the hostile Indians. But 



43 

the provincials knew the Indians and their ways, and 
they knew the country, and its mountains, and rivers, 
and swamps, and its winters, too. 

We risk httlc in saying that for audacity, intre- 
pidity, ingenuity, for an imprudence which concealed 
the very genius of prudence, for sagacity, intuition, 
prescience of hostile manoeuver, for leadership 
in woods and boats and swamps, no single man 
who entered into that conflict was the superior 
of Israel Putnam. He was not slow in exhibiting 
his peculiar genius in these campaigns. He soon 
found out the incapacity of many of his superiors. 
Several times he took unauthorized responsibil- 
ities, and once or twice forbidden ones, which were 
only saved from severe criticism by the brilliant 
success which attended him on each occasion, and 
by the demonstrations which he so often made of his 
larger intelligence. As an Indian fighter, Putnam 
had qualifications which have not been excelled in 
the long story of our conflicts with the red men, from 
John Mason to George S. Crook. And, in the more 
regular contests with the F'renchmen, he was almost 
uniformly a successful and skilful officer. His bravery 
was of that hiohest kind which never lost its wisdom. 
When he and Major Rogers were examining Crown 
Point, and had moved up so close to the fort and so 
far from their troops that Rogers was taken, Putnam 
had no idea of letting Rogers go into captivity, nor 
any more idea of firing a gun to insure his own; so 
he knocked the captor of his friend dead with one 
blow from his old fusee. The career of Putnam in 
in these earliest wars was as romantic as the journeys 
and battles of /Eneas, and as real as martyrdom. 



44 

In the forests and swamps and fields, in rajoids and 
creeks, and on the lakes, by night and by day, in re- 
connoitre, or bush fight or battle line, as scout, or as 
company leader, in charge of a battalion or in single 
combat, he was tireless in action, fertile in expedients, 
absolutely insensible to fear and almost invariably a 
victor. A prisoner, bound to a tree, struck in the 
jaw by the butt of a Frenchman's musket, his head 
made a target for Indian tomahawks, then released 
and tied to a stake, surrounded by faggots, and, when 
the flames were already scorching him, rescued by 
the bravery of an oflficer as by a miracle, his iron 
nerve never failed him. Prostrate upon his back and 
tied to two stout saplings at diverging angles, and 
surrounded by sleeping Indians, suffering the agonies 
of the rack, his humor bubbled into a laugh as he 
thought what a droll picture it all would make for a 
painter's canvas. He struggled with fire at the mag- 
azine for hours, until but a single thickness of board 
stood between the furious element and the gunpowder, 
and until he conquered, and saved fort, garrison, and 
magazine, his hands and face and legs blistered and 
burned, the very skin coming off with his burnt mit- 
tens. There is more pluck exhibited than glory in 
prospect in such a fight with fire at the very lip of a 
magazine. At last, maimed, worn, and lacerated, he 
arrived a prisoner at Montreal. Here he met the cul- 
tured and patriotic Colonel Philip Schuyler. At the 
shocking sioht of Putnam's condition, Colonel 
Schuyler said that it was difficult to restrain his 
language "within bounds consistent with the pru- 
dence of a prisoner and the meekness of a Christian." 
In this war Putnam was doing more than to 



45 

help in whipping the French. He was studying as 
well the strength and the weakness of the British sol- 
dier, and the qualities and invincibilities of his provin- 
cial neighbors and brethren. 

For the next twelve or more years after the 
French and Indian war, Putnam remained at home 
an object of admiration and love by his neighbors 
and many friends. He was honored by civil office 
and enjoyed the hearty esteem of the colonists. 

And here we claim for Putnam an intuition of 
the coming independence, which few, even of the 
most radical of the fathers, dared to hope for. A 
complete and successful separation and a new repub- 
lic were things which great and wise leaders re- 
garded as hardly to be desired, still less to be 
ex})ectcd. Freedom under the crown was the 
general hope. ' But this unlettered man thought 
deeper and saw more clearly the struggles to come, 
and their issue. He waited for a war which he felt was 
at hand and for a victory which he felt was to be 
ours. He well understood the encroaching tyranny 
of the crown, he knew there could be but one solu- 
tion of provincial troubles and in that fearful contest, 
with its not unguessed agonies, and sorrows, and 
disappointments, and jealousies, and mistakes, he 
knew the ultimate invincibility of the American colo- 
nists. And so, when a stamp master was appointed 
to enforce the stamp act in Connecticut, Putnam 
inspired the measures, more forcible than polite, 
which resulted in his resignation. And his statement 
to Governor Fitch on the subject was so unmistak- 
able in its tenor that no stamps ever came to this 
colony from New York. When the Port bill 



46 

oppressed Boston, Putnam sent on sheep and lambs, 
and openly declared that their blood was but a type 
of the sacrifice which he and his neio'hbors were 
ready to make in the common defence. And when the 
tidings of Lexington came, the old prophet saw the 
morning in whose twilight he had been watching. 
Even the accomplished Warren, upon whose green 
grave the muses of history and poetry and eloquence 
have delighted to linger, no less a patriot than Put- 
nam, but more conservative, and inclined to hope yet 
in the power of persuasion, and perhaps trusting 
to the noble oratory of Chatham, failed to convince 
the blunt old soldier that harmony was possible, and 
ultimately acquiesced in his bold measures. When 
British officers reasoned with him on the folly of 
colonial resistance, and asked him if he had any doubt 
that five thousand veterans could march through the 
continent, "no doubt," said he, "if they behaved 
civilly and paid well for everything they wanted ; " 
" but," he continued, after a pause, " if in an hostile 
manner, though the American men were out of the 
question, the women with ladles and broomsticks 
would knock them all on the head before they could 
get half through." Putnam expected to fight the 
mother country and expected to win. 

For these intuitions we claim eminence for our 
General. It is given to few to feel the first waters of 
tides, to know the gathering storms and coming sun 
bursts, to measure the patience and endurance of 
peoples in the shadow of death, and to forecast the 
issues of crises, as by instinct. Such power of insight 
we conceive was the highest trait in the composition 
of that peculiar man, Abraham Lincoln. Such 



47 

powers normally belong to men of the people. Here 
kings and prelates have often failed. Putnam was 
thoroughly of the people. His call to the Major 
Generalship was by a vox populi, which stood not 
upon proprieties of order in promotion. Untrained 
in letters, the wants of his countrymen and their 
rights had been his alphabet. He had found out the 
capacities for endurance of man's physical nature, 
the inborn sovereignty of the people, the electric 
power of patriotism. And so he looked across the 
ocean to the King and felt the certain comings of 
continued and increasing exactions ; he looked over 
the rough hills of New England, and the plains of 
the South, and from Lake Champlain to Georgia he 
heard the speech of patriots and their prayers, and, as 
clearly as he foresaw the snows of December and the 
foliage of June, he recognized the coming clash of 
arms and the deliverance of the oppressed. 

The call came soon. It found him in the field. 
Leaving his oxen unloosed and mounting his horse, 
he rode to Boston to the fight which he saw had 
come, and had come to stay until it should be forever 
settled upon principles of freedom and right. He 
forsook his home and the joys of domestic life to 
serve the people without a hesitating look or word. 
He returned from Massachusetts for troops, and was 
appointed a General by Connecticut. 

It was but a few weeks from Lexington to 
Bunker Hill. 

" God helps the heavy battalions," said Napo- 
leoH. God helped David and his sling, says history. 
Is it to be a victory for Napoleonism, and the fire of 
hell which he made the genius and motive of battle. 



48 

or shall wrath and its remainders be turned to praise 
and made to promote the ongoings of truth and the 
civilization of society ? 

It was a sorry match as a military problem. 
Here were regulars, veterans, victors of many fields, 
trained to touch shoulders, to hear commands, to 
march and wheel in time ; their arms were well ap- 
pointed and clean, their ammunition was plentiful and 
of the best ; their officers were educated, experienced, 
brave. Here were traditions, and prestige, and the 
grip of the leading monarchy of the world upon its 
colonies. Here were ships of war and the flames of 
fire striking terror by the horrors of a burning city. 
But here too, were tyranny, and oppression, and 
pride, and swelling self-confidence. 

There were a few hundred yeomen with insuffi- 
cient arms and short rounds of powder and shot. 
They have come from Massachusetts, and Connecti- 
cut, and New Hampshire. Their leaders have had 
little council together. They have scraped up a 
clumsy redoubt and have covered a rail fence with 
loose hay. Thank God they are on a hill ! But if 
they are awkward, untried soldiers, they are freeholders 
and freemen. If they have no common acquaintance, 
they have a common cause ; if they have no uni- 
formity of dress or of arms, they have but one purpose 
and a single inspiration. If they have left different 
firesides in different states, they have all left homes 
with kindred watch-words. They all love freedom 
and God ; they all hate oppression and the King. 
And with them and over them are invisible things in 
holy concert; the elevation of man, the supremacy 
of constitutional law, the transfiguration of human 



49 

beings from vassalage to independence, and the will 
of Almighty God that these vast millions of acres of 
land, and lake, and river, with treasures unguessed 
of soil, and stream, and mine, shall not be tributary to 
the haughty little island across the Atlantic. 

The assault was made, and renewed, and again 
renewed. The people watched the struggle from the 
roofs and steeples of Boston, and held up the cause 
of the patriots with their prayers. And the friends 
of man have returned to the picture of that struggle 
again and again, and with tears of joy. The un- 
disciplined yeomanry withstood the charge of the best 
disciplined troops, and the crowning victory of York- 
town was spoken from Bunker Hill. The last of the 
retiring patriots, he who had filled, as nearly as the 
circumstances would allow anyone to fill it, the posi- 
tion of commanding general, who had superintended 
the construction of the humble fortifications, who had 
cautioned the patriots to hold their fire and to hus- 
band their powder, who had offered his stalwart body 
as a target for British balls from the beginning to the 
end, upon the hill, in the field, and in the highway, in 
the assault, in urging reinforcements, and in the final 
withdrawal, was Israel Putnam. 

Three weeks after the battle Samuel B. Webb 
wrote from the seat of war at Cambridge : 

" You will find that Generals' Washington and 
Lee are vastly prouder and think higher of Putnam 
than of any man in the army, and he, truly, is the 
hero of the day." 

On the 9th of July, 1775, Silas Deane, a Connecti- 
cut man of national reputation and intensely patriotic, 
wrote from Philadelphia, then the capital city : 



50 

" The cry here is Connecticut forever. So high 
has the universally applauded conduct of our Gover- 
nor (Trumbull), and the brave intrepidity of old 
General Putnam and his troops raised our colony in 
the estimation of the whole continent." And again 
on July 20th, 1775, he writes: 

" Putnam's merit runs through the continent; his 
fame still increases, and every day justifies the unani- 
mous applause of the country. Let it be remembered 
that he had every vote of the congress for Major- 
General, and his health has been the second or third 
at almost all our tables in this city." 

But they were all heroes. Not only Putnam, and 
Prescott, and Warren, and Stark, and Knowlton, and 
Chester, and Grosvenor, but each one of the fifteen 
hundred who proved in the heat and carnage of that 
June afternoon that free hearts are invincible. On 
the 17th of June, 1775, Artemas Ward and Charles 
Lee were chosen to the office of Major-General by 
congress, and on the 19th of June, Philip Schuyler 
and Israel Putnam were elected to the same rank, and 
of the four, Putnam alone was chosen unanimously. 

I have alluded to Putnam as the commanding offi- 
cer at Bunker Hill. It is enough to say that the voice 
of contemporaneous literature and the representations 
of the early sketches and pictures of the battle as pub- 
lished in this country and on the otlier side of the 
ocean, are substantially unanimous in demonstration 
of the fact. It was reserved for later and ill-judged 
criticism to question it. The artificial rules of eti- 
quette and precedence were then, as they had been 
before, and as they now are, and as they ever will be, 
the cause of historical quarrel and discussion. The 



51 

troops about Boston had their own State com- 
manders; indeed, Major Stark, of New Hampshire, 
was chosen to his rank by the soldiers upon the 
ground. There was Httle unity of plan. General 
Ward, who was the ofificer in command of all the 
forces, was at Cambridge. It is almost certain that 
General Putnam represented him at the battle, but the 
troops on the hill were chiefly from Massachusetts, 
and the Massachusetts troops were in the redoubt 
where Colonef Prescott had personal command. It 
is a fair statement of the case to say that Putnam's 
rank gave him the command by his presence on the 
field ; that the plan of the engagement and its execu- 
tion were principally his, although he was unable to 
get the reinforcements which were needed and for 
which he made loud demand and continued exertion. 
In the broad sense of leadership there can be no 
doubt in any impartial mind Lnat he was the leader of 
the American troops, and was so considered by friends 
and foes at the day and time. 

It is to be regretted that doubts about Putnam's 
capacity for leadership, and even about his courage, 
have been raised, but they must have been. They 
were raised about Washington, and Greene, and every 
great leader in the revolution. And one only needs 
to reacl any history, so called, to see the strange possi- 
bilities of conclusion to which authorities can arrive in 
their accounts of battles, and estimates of military 
men and military affairs. Nor is this peculiarity of 
historical literature exclusively true of the battle- 
field. It has been several times argued, and last of 
all by the mysterious language of ciphers, by which 
any literary result conceivable can be attained, that 



52 

the greatest of poets and dramatists did not write his 
own plays, and, still later, we learn that the most 
charming, characteristic, and inimitable reminiscence 
of a great war, written by our own greatest soldier 
and greatest man, was, in fact, the literary achieve- 
ment of another, whose greatness the Republic had 
failed to appreciate. But while it is true, such is the 
power of partisanship, prepossession, and bias over 
the human mind, and so easily do we make into be- 
liefs those thoughts which are born of our wishes, 
that there can be few facts of history which, in a 
quarter of a century after their occurrence, will not 
be questioned, the world will still justly credit Hamlet 
to Shakespeare, his Memoirs to Grant, and Bunker 
Hill to Putnam. 

Washinoton did not meet Putnam until he came 
to Cambridge. They had both achieved glory in the 
Indian war; they knew and loved each other, but 
they met for the first time at the headquarters of the 
Continental army. And the absolute confidence 
which Washington had in Putnam never abated until 
death. He had no doubt about delivering his Major- 
General's commission to him with his own hands, 
while he hesitated in the case of others. He had no 
doubt in sending him to New York to take chief 
command, after the enemy had retreated from Bos- 
ton, and after Putnam himself had taken possession 
of the forts, provisions, guns, stores, and supplies in 
the name of the thirteen colonies. He had no doubt 
in intrusting to him the supreme command at Phila- 
delphia in his own absence. He had no doubt in 
directing him to open his military letters. He had no 
doubt of his purity, patriotism, and rare capacity, 



53 

when he addressed him in words of deep tenderness, 
in the day of an assured peace based upon our 
national independence. 

The story of Putnam's career from Bunker 
Hill until his paralysis in the winter of 1779-80 
is deeply interesting. He had his share, and no 
more, of the ill fortunes of the campaigns, and 
he had his full share of success. He fought the 
so-called battle of Lono- Island under circumstances 
for which he was not responsible, but which made 
success impossible ; he conducted the retreat through 
the present limits of the City of New York before the 
superior force of Lord Howe with characteristic fear- 
lessness and courage. His discriminating eye se- 
lected the heights of West Point as a base of oper- 
ations ; he captured hundreds, probably thousands, of 
prisoners in the Jerseys ; he beat the bullets of the 
British dragoons as he rode down Horseneck steps, 
where no red coat dared to follow him, and so 
aroused the admiration and wonder of Gov. Tryon, 
of odious memory, that he sent him a new cap for 
the one which had been ventilated by a British mus- 
ket ball. He replied to the haughty demand of 
British officers for the return of the spy, Edmund 
Palmer, in such accurate and concise terms, that the 
letter has passed into classic literature. 

It was not to be that Putnam's voice should 
thunder commands and his sword flash in the 
final victories. The horrible shock of his cap- 
tivity in the earlier war, the re-action from his 
wearied life of exposure, the strain of his long 
ride to Concord and Boston, as glorious and 
heroic as Paul Revere's, had searched through the 



54 

joints of even his matchless harness. As he was 
on his way to headquarters, at sixty-one years of age, 
the wild throbs of his noble heart pressed too sorely 
upon his aching brain, and the strong man fell ; those 
muscles, which never before had refused to obey the 
commands of his sovereign will, gave no response. 
It was a sad ride back to his loved Mortlake, and the 
fields which he had made green, and the flocks which 
he had guarded, and the friends for whom he had 
Ions: hazarded his life. But it was to be. He must 
wait, with moist eyes and lifted prayer, for the good 
end of whose coming he made no doubt. For eleven 
years, with unclouded mind, until the surrender of 
Cornwall is, and the final peace, and the recognition 
of the union by the European nations, and the 
adoption of the constitution, and the oath of the first 
President, watched by admiring friends, telling over 
and over again the adventures and victories of the 
past, he lived close to the spot where he now sleeps, 
until the 29th of May, 1790, when he went on to join 
the ])atriot Governor, Jonathan Trumbull, and the 
patriot martyr, Nathan Hale, and to wait awhile to 
welcome Washington and LaFayette. 

Think not as you read of Putnam's bravery that 
it was the bravery of thoughtlessness ; his courage 
was of the kind that thinks. Think not, as you see 
him soiled in the grime of battle and red with blood 
stains, that he rejoiced in destruction; he was as 
sensitive to the sufferings of others as a mother. 
Think not as you study his rugged features that he 
was vulgar and brutal, he guarded the honor of 
woman with the chivalry of a knight. Think not as 
you hear him hiss imprecations, in his lisping accent, 



55 

upon the British troops, that he was a blasphemer; 
so were their enemies cursed by the devout Hebrew 
prophets and psahnists, whose battle hymns Putnam 
studied as models inspired from heaven. Think not 
he loved war more than peace, the battle-field more 
than the farm, the camp more than home. He 
loved war for the sake of peace and freedom, he 
loved the battle-field because he loved his farm, 
he loved the camp because he saw through and 
beyond its tents the rest of home. 

Let us never for a moment believe that the 
fathers fought for military glory or for war's sake. 
They fought for peace and for law; for states which 
they loved and for a Union whose future they but 
dimly guessed. Indeed when the war was over, 
and the independence of the United States was 
assured, and the representatives of the states were 
convened to form a constitution, how little did even 
they know in what supreme architecture they were 
building, and how great things they were creating. 
There has never been assembled in the history of 
the world, in the name of country, or science, or 
religion, a company of men of like numbei's, who 
brought to their duties larger intellectual capacity, 
and higher moral qualities and purer patriotism, nor 
one that was more apparently under the special guid- 
ance of the great Father of all men, than the little 
band of statesmen which met in Philadelphia to or- 
ganize a constitution for the people of the thirteen 
confederated states. And Connecticut was there by 
a representation inferior to none — by Sherman, sec- 
ond only to Franklin in wisdom, by Ellsworth, unsur- 
passed in eloquence, and by Johnson, unexcelled in 



56 

scholarship. As to-day wc have a lineal descendant 
of President Dvvight to lead oar devotions, so are we 
fortunate in having a lineal descendant of Dr. Wil- 
liam Samuel Johnson to sound the rhythm of our 
verses. 

In passing, let me remind you that our Connect- 
icut Sherman was the only man who enjoys the sin- 
gular place in history of having signed the four 
supreme papers of American independence : the 
Articles of Association of the congress of 1774, 
the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of 
Independence, and the Constitution. 

Had that little body of men really felt the full 
greatness of their work, for themselves and their 
children, for the American people, and for humanity, 
they must have risen above their environment to 
heights of seership never before scaled. With 
local attachments, strong and dominant, and yet 
bound together by the success of a union against 
oppression, and conscious of the weakness of a con- 
federation which had no clement of nationality in it, 
they wrought out that matchless instrument which 
reserved to the several communities self-government 
in the matters which are best left to local control, 
and bound a people into unity in those matters which 
make a nation for national defense, and national 
commerce, and national welfare. The rights of the 
states are safest in the sovereignty of the nation, and 
the nationality of the Republic is safest in the self- 
o-overnment of the states. So are the waves distinct, 
but it is one sea ; so are the trees distinct, but it is 
one forest ; so are the mountains distinct, but it is one 
range. And the older nations are copying more and 



57 

more our example of home rule in local matters, and 
national control in national things, and the will of 
the people, limited only by the solemn, catholic, 
unimpassioned principles of organic law, supreme in 
each. 

As we recall the history of the fathers, reverence 
and gratitude bid us bend at many a battle field and 
in many a council chamber. And how often are we 
tempted to say of this or that or the other one, that 
his strong arm, or his heart's blood, or his foresight, 
or his patience, or his genius at harmonizing discord, 
or his zeal of enthusiasm, or his inspiring magnetism, 
or his clarion word of command, or his silent act of 
obedience, was the salvation of the young nation, as 
it escaped destruction in ten thousand crises ! 

But it is neither easy, nor wise, nor necessary to 
separate too sharply the greatness of the revolution- 
ary heroes into its individual forces. It is seldom 
that nature resolves her shafts of light into prismatic 
colors and writes their elemental hues upon the sky. 
The dash of Wayne, the daring of Putnam, the tire- 
less strategy of Greene on the field, the wisdom of 
Trumbull, the courageous and tenacious counsel of 
Adams and Quincy, the eloquence of Ellsworth, the 
sagacity of Franklin and Sherman, the genius of 
Hamilton, and the foresight of Morris, in the state, 
and the supreme and unique judgment, patriotism, 
and leadership, both on the field and in the state, of 
the one and only Washington were all blended in 
the harmonies of a historic whole which has bathed 
humanity with a flood of light leading on toward a 
perfect day. 

Putnam was not learned in martial lore, he was 

8 



58 

not a master of the alleged chess-board of war; 
he was not a combiner of great military causes to 
bring about great strategic results. In managing 
divisions, corps, and brigades, in distributions of the 
different arms of the service, artillery, cavalry, in. 
fantry, commissary, and hospital, in generalizations 
of campaigns, or of a single battlefield, he was sur- 
passed by many of his revolutionary associates — by 
many, whose commissions ran out for one cause or 
another before the end — as well as by Washington 
and Greene. Like Wayne and Arnold, he fought 
whatever was in front of him ; battle-line, fortress, 
bushman, hostile boats, white man, black man, red 
man — if it hindered his cause, if it stayed his ad- 
vance, it must go away or go down. He believed in 
hard pounding in attack, so did Wellington and 
Grant. He was fertile in plan within certain 
ranges, and could fight the fire of stratagem with 
the fire of counter stratagem. Like Grant again, 
he moved very early in the morning, and like 
that same great general and greater man, he never 
learned that there was a time to quit the field 
while a ray of light flamed in the sky. He was a 
military leader rather than a great general. His 
leadership was marked by enthusiasm and faith, by 
daring and tenacity and endurance. And he was in 
every fibre of his being a true man — kind, honest, 
pure, conscientious, devout. He loved goodness, and 
good men, and good things ; he hated jealousies, and 
envies, and bitterness, and injustice. 

Putnam was not a scholar; he knew nothing 
of the dead languages of Virgil and Herodotus, 
but he needed no pedagogue to translate for him 



59 

the legend " E pluribus unum," nor clerkly min- 
ister to interpret for him the motto " Qui trans- 
tulit sustinet. " He was unfamiliar with the 
written philosophies of state craft, but he knew 
that freemen were competent to make a state 
without the consent of a king. He knew nothing of 
navigation, but when duty called him to descend the 
rapids of the Hudson, he found a new course through 
boiling waves, and past sharp edged rocks. He 
knew little about the scientific distinction between 
original and reflected light, and he never heard of 
the spectroscope, but he knew that the moonlight on 
the river was his ally to scourge the treacherous In- 
dians, He had never heard of evolution nor studied 
the birth of nations, but out of the travails of cam- 
paigns in Canada, and bitter suffering by Lake 
Champlain, by the stone walls of Lexington, and the 
hay-fence ramparts of Bunker Hill, he felt the certain 
birth of an independent nation at that early hour, 
when' even the great Washington and Adams only 
dared to hope for a better and more honorable 
dependence upon the mother country. The fibres 
of his being were neither by nature nor by 
culture delicate or refined, but his heart beat 
and his nerves thrilled with a patriotism as pure and 
true as the on-rushing waters of Niagara. If there 
was no place in his garden for tropical flowers, there 
was no room there for poisonous grasses. If he had 
little conception of the great universe of stars and 
planets, he knew there was to be a new day, and he 
stood and waited for the dawn with his sword in hand. 
What went ye out into the wilderness to see ? a 
reed shaken with the wind } 



6o 

But what went ye out into the wilderness to see ? 
a man clothed in soft raiment ? Behold they that 
wear soft clothinij are in kins^'s houses. 

But what went ye out to see? a prophet ? 

Yea, I say unto you and more than a prophet. 





TlieiyiiitbLl lialf^s ©I j4t* * 
,<' _ Wlio 1 

V.„, jom at Salem '^ 

n tliE frovmcs of Miffetliii i 
\Qm tli^ fevepthday ollaiQiiiL >g 
>^'- ' .J), 1711a 1 

And died 
pn tlie twenty mm tin ddj of May 

^ thoiiartaSDiajer . ^ . 

/ [ 

"S P2 Ink iw^ p 
To tnl4i]^^ r^^ nilTiippiiieh cf 

(1 ^Ufl,i '>, If ilfaUi L 
.pinpmljer the diftjBgujI] f il v^^ltot f*^] vk 

li ill [Hill lU n M lis i^cv/oU ^. 

I ) 1 Mam 
A/jjni lui lity wab fm|,' 

jAi cLli^^'o f i Iminentdirtio 
By ppT lonal wortli 






SLAB TAKEN FROM PUTNAM'S GRAVE IN BROOKLYN, AND NOW IN THE 
POSSESSION OF THE CONNECTICUT HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 



6i 



MILITARY REVIEW. 

Under command of Chief Marshal Tyler the military or- 
ganization marched before Gov. Lounsbury in the following 
order : 

First Division — Col. Havens. 

Third Connecticut Regiment. 

Putnam Phalanx. 

First Company Governor's Foot Guard. 

Second Division — Gen. D. W. Wardrop. 

Montgomery Light Guard Veterans, Boston. 

Roxbury Artillery, Roxbury, Mass. 

Third Division — Col. Clark. 

Providence (R. I.) Light Infantry. 

Bristol (R. L) Artillery. 

Fourth Division — Col, C. T. Homer. 

Veterans of Seventh Regiment, New York. 

Veterans of Twenty-second Regiment, New York. 

Veterans of Thirteenth Regiment, New York. 

Veterans of Ninth Regiment, New York. 

Veterans of Twenty-third Regiment, New York. 

Veterans of Seventy-first Regiment, New York. 

ORDER OF EXERCISES AS ARRANGED BY THE COMMISSION. 

Prayer of Invocation, Rev. Timothy Dwight, S.T.D., LL.D. 
Music, "Hail Columbia," Band and Chorus. 

Presentation of Statue, in behalf of the Commission. 

Hon. Morris W. Seymour. 

Salute. 

Acceptance, in behalf of the State, 

His Excellency, Phineas C. Lounsbury. 
Music, " Star Spangled Banner," Band and Chorus. 

Poem, Prof. Chas. F. Johnson, Trinity College. 

Memorial Address, Hon. Henry C. Robinson. 

Music, "America," Band and Chorus. 

Military Review, By Gqvernor Lounsbury. 



62 



ITEMS OF INTEREST. 

The Commissioners regret that the language of the prayer 
of invocation could not be secured for this report. 

At the close of Mr. Seymour's remarks the statue was 
unveiled by John D. Putnam of Wisconsin, a great -great- 
grandson of Israel Putnam. 

At the conclusion of the exercises announced by the 
Commission, Colonel Gates, of the Thirteenth New York 
Veterans, presented to the Commission a floral design of 
great beauty, representing the corps badge of the association. 

Governor Taft of Rhode Island, in response to the hearty 
greetings of the spectators, spoke as follows : 

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen : 

I am glad to be present on this occasion, to respond briefly 
for the State of Rhode Island ; for we have gathered here 
to pay respect to the memory of one who occupied a large 
place in the minds and hearts of the whole people during 
that struggle from which sprang the birth of a nation. 

The State I represent was a participant in that contest, 
and furnished men who left behind the memory of their 
glorious deeds. General Nathaniel Greene was no less illus- 
trious than his companion in arms, General Israel Putnam, 
whose memory we this day commemorate. No monument 
has been erected in Rhode Island to him who fought by the 
side of Connecticut's hero, other than that in the hearts of 
her people. I trust the day is not far distant when you may 
be asked to participate in the dedication of one similar to 
that before us, made from enduring bronze and granite, 
erected to the memory of General Nathaniel Greene, Rhode 
Island's greatest son. 

Mr. Wm, H. Putnam, only surviving grandson of Israel 
Putnam, Mr. Gerhardt, the sculptor, and Mr. Thos. S. Marlor, 
the generous citizen of Brooklyn, were called to the front 
of the platform by President Seymour, where they were 
honored with approving cheers by the assembled soldiers 
and civilians. 

The following is the famous inscription written by Presi- 
dent Dwight shortly after Putnam's death, for the tombstone 
at Brooklyn, and now inscribed on the pedestal of the statue : 



^3 

Sacred be this Monument 
to the memory 
of 
Israel Putnam, Esquire, 
Senior Major General in the Armies 
of 
the United States of America, 
who 
was born at Salem, 
in the Province of Massachusetts, 
on the 7th day of January, 
A.D. 1718. 
and died 
on the 20th day of May, 
A. D. 1790. 
Passenger, 
If thou art a soldier, 
drop a tear over the dust of a Hero 
who 
ever attentive 
to the lives and happiness of his men, 
dared to lead 
where any dared to follow ; 
if a Patriot, 
remember the distinguished and gallant 
services rendered thy country 
by the Patriot who sleeps beneath this mar- 
ble ; if thou art honest, generous 
and worthy, render a cheer- 
ful tribute of respect 
to a man 
whose generosity was singular, 
whose honesty was proverbial ; 
who 
raised himself to universal esteem, 
and offices of eminent distinction, 
by personal worth 
and a 
useful life. 



64 

The Commissioners desire to express their earnest appre- 
ciation of the kind assistance received from the citizens and 
choir of Brooklyn, the Putnam Phalanx, and the patriotic 
press of Connecticut. 

They desire also to extend special thanks to the distin- 
guished authors of the literary exercises that form the valu- 
able part of this history, and they feel it their duty to say of 
Mr. Robinson that he consented to deliver the memorial 
address only because his associates would not listen to his 
repeated refusals to do so. 

The generous words that have already been spoken in 
praise of the statue are due to the sculptor and the State. 

The Commissioners will be satisfied if it shall be said that 
their efforts have indirectly resulted in calling again to the 
stirrup the man who watched with Washington the cradle 
of the new-born nation, until the daring words that had been 
traced by Jefferson in fading ink were rewritten in crimson 
letters on the scattered tents of monarchy. 

GEO. P. McLEAN, 

In behalf of the Comtnissioncrs. 



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