Hartford, Connecticut: May 22, 1777. A Revolutionary War pay order made out to Captain Ezra Sperry (sic) for the sum of 60 pounds six shillings and eight pence for "sundry losses of cloathing (sic) & expense of sickness of his compy of Militia Expedition to N. York 1776 as pr acct and charge the state - Hartford. May 22nd, 1777".
It is signed on the verso in full by Captain Speary, who writes, "May the 29th, 1777 received this order in full of Samuel [Hamilton?] as witness my hand, L60 - 6 -8, Ezra Speary". Signed below Speary's statement is Samuel [Hamilton? Horniston?]'s signature, and the docket in another hand, "No. 7506, Order, Capt Ezra Sperry, dated 22nd May 1777, L60 - 6- 8, audited 11th Sept 1777", signed E. [Ritkin?]."
George Washington had been unsuccessfully battling the British in New York and had called for militia reinforcements to assist. Seven Connecticut militia regiments journeyed to New York in March 1776 to help in holding the city until the Continental army arrived from Boston, where the British had just evacuated.
In August 1776 the British and their fleet arrived in New York, leading to victories on Long Island and Manhattan and driving Washington out of Manhattan and up to White Plains NY.
Washington guessed that the British would attack Philadelphia next, so he moved south to New Jersey. At Trenton Falls NJ, Washington's position looked weak, but surprisingly, Howe ordered his army into winter quarters rather than attacking the Americans. Washington successfully counterattacked the British at Trenton in late December 1776 and then at Princeton in early 1777.
In a just 9 days Washington had turned the tables and produced two major victories over one of the world's most powerful armies, putting to rest any doubts about his military leadership.
There is a Captain Ezra Sperry born 12th Dec 1730 in New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, died 10 Nov 1803 (aged 72), Bethany, New Haven County, Ct and buried at Old Bethany Cemetery, Ct. John Lawrence (1719 - 1802) was the treasurer for the colony of Connecticut.
Pen and ink on watermarked laid paper, docketed on verso. 8 3/4 x 6 1/4". Period folds. Very good condition. Item #23872