Putnam, Israel

Putnam, Israel,

1718–90, American Revolutionary general, b. Salem (now Danvers), Mass. A farmer at Pomfret, Conn., he fought in the French and Indian WarsFrench and Indian Wars,
1689–1763, the name given by American historians to the North American colonial wars between Great Britain and France in the late 17th and the 18th cent.
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, seeing action at Montreal (1760) and at Havana (1762). In 1764, he was commander of the Connecticut force sent to relieve Pontiac's siege of Detroit. At the outbreak of the American RevolutionAmerican Revolution,
1775–83, struggle by which the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic seaboard of North America won independence from Great Britain and became the United States. It is also called the American War of Independence.
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 he joined the Continental army and was prominent in the battle of Bunker Hill. Putnam was in command at the unhappy battle of Long Island (1776) and in 1777 lost forts Montgomery and Clinton in the Hudson Highlands to the British. A paralytic stroke (1779) ended his military career.


See biographies by W. Cutter (1847, repr. 1970) and I. N. Tarbox (1876, repr. 1970).

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Putnam, Israel

(1718–90) soldier; born in Salem Village (now Danvers), Mass. A veteran of service with Connecticut militia during the French and Indian War, he became an early opponent of British rule. Appointed major general of Continental forces (1775), Putnam fought at Bunker Hill but proved unequal to subsequent command responsibilities. A paralytic stroke forced his retirement from the army in 1779.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.