28. OLIVER ELLSWORTH (1745 - 1807) American politician, delegate to the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Manuscript D.S. "O. Ellsworth" 1p. oblong 8vo., [Connecticut], May 10, 1776, instructing treasurer John Lawrence, Esq., to pay "Samuel Bradley two pounds nine shillings & four pence for entertaining the Riflemen on their March thro this Colony to join the American Army near Boston last summer...". Split at right, just slightly touching paraph of Ellsworth's signature, margins uneven as issued, however writing bright and clear. Anticipating the seizure of New York City by the British for their new base, Commander-in-Chief George Washington detached Charles Lee from the Boston army in January 1776 to raise volunteers in Connecticut to support the commander's defense of the New York waterways. However, by the time the British contingent arrived in the New York Harbor, Washington had under his command in New York only 19,000 men, mostly green Continentals and untried militiamen, poorly armed, badly equipped, and led by amateurs. With the crushing American defeat on Long Island in August 1776, the morale of Washington's troops dropped so sharply that militiamen began going home in large numbers. The Connecticut contingent alone dropped from 8,000 to 2,000 in a few days.  $400-600

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