1812 p 1 2-20-20

caption, page 12:

The Putnam family letters from 1812. Courtesy photo.

Putnam family
POMFRET — The Pomfret Historical Society recently acquired 17 letters from 1812 that were authored by sisters Harriet-Wadsworth and Elisabeth Putnam of Brooklyn. The letters were addressed to Ebenezer Grosvenor of Pomfret.
According to John Charest, president of the Pomfret Historical Society, the Putnam family women were granddaughters of Gen. Israel Putnam and daughters of Col. Daniel Putnam.
Gen. Putnam was renowned for his gallant defense of the region during the French-Indian Wars and was one of Gen. George Washington’s commanders during the Revolutionary War.
Gen. Putnam was captured by Mohawk Indians in 1758 and was almost executed except for the intervention of rain and a kind French officer. Col. Daniel Putnam was a Revolutionary War veteran an aide de camp to the Continental Army staff.
Col. Daniel Putnam and his daughters, at the time these letters were written, lived at the Putnam Elms in Brooklyn, Charest said. Brooklyn was originally part of Pomfret but was spun off as a separate town in 1786.
Charest said initial research indicates that the Putnam daughters and Ebenezer Grosvenor were first cousins. The women’s father, Daniel Putnam, and Ebenezer’s mother Eunice were siblings and offspring of Gen. Israel Putnam. Harriet-Wadsworth Putnam eventually married Ebenezer Grosvenor in 1815. Ebenezer died in shortly thereafter in 1817. It appears Harriet never married again and she died in 1869 at the age of 77.
The Pomfret Historical Society is working with Mary Brown, coordinator at the Putnam Elms, and The Col. Daniel Putnam Association to interpret and conserve these important documents.
He said the letters are all folded and must be flattened without damage before interpretation of the contents can begin. Preliminary review of the letters indicates that the handwriting will be challenging to decipher. The physical condition of the letters is good considering they are over 200 years old, Charest said.  It is hoped that the documents may provide contemporary insight regarding the War of 1812 and other local or regional matters. 

To Learn
POMFRET — To learn more about the “Putnam family” letters, said John Charest, president of the Pomfret Historical Society, consider becoming a member of the Pomfret Historical Society. The historical society is the caretaker to the Old Pomfret Town House (1841) and the Brayton Grist Mill (1890). Both of these buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Charest said historical society members activities include: Assisting in cataloging artifacts and setting up displays; Curatorial & Docent Services at the Brayton Grist Mill; Planning, coordinating and implementing historical related events or programs; Creating and editing informational articles, brochures and signage for our displays; Website editing; Development of a new Pomfret Historical Society website; and Digitization of historical documents and photographs.  The Pomfret Historical Society generally meets on the third Thursday of every month excluding July and August. For questions or if you cannot make the meeting, please email or call: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 860-460-6689.


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