Original November 1780 Broadside

MASSACHUSETTS

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Item#: 127421 price:$2,400.00

Original November 1780 Broadside
Original November 1780 Broadside
Original November 1780 Broadside

"TO MUSTER THE MEN THAT SHALL INLIST INTO THE CONTINENTAL ARMY": REVOLUTIONARY WAR-ERA MASSACHUSETTS RESOLUTION TO MUSTER 4290 MEN THROUGHOUT THE STATE FOR THE CONTINENTAL ARMY, 1780

(AMERICAN REVOLUTION) MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. In the House of Representatives, November 27, 1780. Resolved, That the following Persons be appointed in each County to muster the Men that shall inlist into the Continental Army… [Boston: Printed by Benjamin Edes and Sons], 1780. Folio (8 by 13-1/2 inches), printed bifolio, four pages (page [2] blank) on two leaves, uncut. $2400.

Rare November 27, 1780 bifolio printing of three Massachusetts government resolutions to increase the number of men mustered into the Continental Army to fight the British.

Massachusetts was the center of opposition to British colonial rule and the focus of Britain's most oppressive economic policies and military actions during the early years of the Revolution. The war began in April 1775 with Lexington and Concord, after which the British occupied Boston until March 1776. In January 1776, Massachusetts reorganized its militias, replacing the loosely-structured volunteer army of 1774-5 with a more permanent and formal organization. The new militia regiments were organized into county-wide brigades and included all able-bodied male citizens between 16 and 60. In addition to providing local defense and training, these regiments served as the primary source of reinforcements for the Continental Army throughout the war. However, there were numerous and serious problems with the Massachusetts soldiers and officers, including difficulties with paying and supplying them, as well as recruiting and keeping them. Desertion was such a problem that on October 24, 1776, the Massachusetts legislature passed a resolution requiring sheriffs to help the Committees of Correspondence, Inspection and Safety "for the purpose of apprehending and securing any deserters from the army, that shall be found within their limits."

The three resolutions appear on the first page. The first resolves that "the following Persons be appointed in each County to muster the Men that shall inlist [sic] into the Continental Army." The second appoints Superintendents for each county; the third states "That each and every Muster Master and Superintendent be sworn in to the faithful Discharge of his or their Duty as Muster Masters or Superintendents before he or they enter upon the same." All are signed in type by John Hancock as Governor, and also by Caleb Davis, as Speaker; Jerome Powell, as President; and John Avery, as Secretary. Page [2] is blank; pages [3] and [4] are entitled "The Schedule." Organized by County, the list discloses the enlistment quotas for each town, for a total of 4290 men to be enlisted. American Revolutionary broadsides, especially those concerning the war, are extremely rare and desirable. "Only a small percentage of the total number of broadsides from the era of the American Revolution has survived" (Lowance and Bumgardner, Massachusetts Broadsides of the American Revolution, pp. ix-x). Ford, Massachusetts Broadsides 2251. Evans 16864. ESTC W34153 [8 locations].

Fine condition.

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