Putnam, Rufus

Putnam, Rufus,

1738–1824, American Revolutionary general, one of the founders of the Ohio Company of AssociatesOhio Company of Associates,
organization for the purchase and settlement of lands on the Ohio River, founded at Boston in 1786. Its organizers were a group of New England men, most of them former American Revolutionary army officers. In July, 1787, one of the directors, Dr.
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, b. Sutton, Mass.; cousin of Israel PutnamPutnam, Israel,
1718–90, American Revolutionary general, b. Salem (now Danvers), Mass. A farmer at Pomfret, Conn., he fought in the French and Indian Wars, seeing action at Montreal (1760) and at Havana (1762).
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. In the French and Indian War he joined (1757) the army and saw action around Lake Champlain. In 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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, Putnam was an engineering officer at Boston, New York, and West Point; he also served as a field officer, most notably under Horatio Gates in the Saratoga campaignSaratoga campaign,
June–Oct., 1777, of the American Revolution. Lord George Germain and John Burgoyne were the chief authors of a plan to end the American Revolution by splitting the colonies along the Hudson River.
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 (1777) and under Anthony Wayne at Stony Point (1779). He was made a brigadier general in 1783, after the war's end. In 1786 he, with other veterans, formed the Ohio Company of Associates. Putnam helped the passage of the Ordinance of 1787, and in 1788 he and Manasseh CutlerCutler, Manasseh
, 1742–1823, American clergyman, scientist, and one of the organizers of the Ohio Company of Associates, b. Killingly, Conn. A student of both law and theology, he was admitted to the bar in 1767 and was ordained (1771) pastor of the Congregational Church
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 supervised the building of Marietta, Ohio. Putnam was appointed (1790) judge of the Northwest TerritoryNorthwest Territory,
first possession of the United States, comprising the region known as the Old Northwest, S and W of the Great Lakes, NW of the Ohio River, and E of the Mississippi River, including the present states of Ohio, Ind., Ill., Mich., Wis., and part of Minn.
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 and later was (1796–1803) U.S. surveyor general.


See his memoirs, ed. by R. Buell (1903).

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Putnam, Rufus

(1738–1824) soldier, Ohio pioneer; born in Sutton, Mass. After serving in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, he became superintendent of the Ohio Company. He was surveyor general of the U.S.A. (1796–1803) and an influential figure in Ohio until his death.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.