4 ¼ x 8 ¼ ALS pay order signed by THOMAS SEYMOUR and counter signed by THADDEUS BURR, dated Nov. 26th, 1776, ordering Treasurer JOHN LAWRENCE to pay the “sum of five pounds, seven shillings & three pence” to Burr “for his services and expenses...and charge the state. Most notable about the document is Burr, a significant figure in Revolutionary War Connecticut, signed on the verso as having received the payment.
The money likely had to do with his role as Deputy and a member of the Committee of War for Fairfield. Burr held a number of roles during the Revolutionary War. When Trail Bissell made his express ride throughout Connecticut warning that the Battle of Lexington had commenced, Burr endorsed his papers.
Burr had a very close relationship with Massachusetts Gov. John Hancock, whose marriage ceremony occurred at Burr’s mansion.
When Fairfield was attacked by the British in 1779, Mrs. Burr appealed to Gov. Tyron to protect their mansion. According to some accounts, he bluntly rebuffed the request and the mansion was burned along with its furnishings. A few weeks later, Gov. Hancock and Burr surveyed the ruins. Hancock encouraged Burr to rebuild and offered to provide all the glass needed so long as he rebuilt the house as an exact replica of Hancock’s.
In January 1788, Burr was a delegate to the State Convention at Hartford called to ratify the new Constitution of the United States. He steadily voted to adopt the constitution.
An original portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Burr were painted by the renowned painter John Singleton Copley. [Research included]
THOMAS Y. SEYMOUR rose to the rank of Major in the Continental Army. After graduating from Yale, he was given the commission in the Second Continental Regiment of Light Dragoons. Under the command of Gen. Horatio Gates and acting as an aide on the staff of field general Benedict Arnold, Seymour participated in the historic battle against the British near Saratoga, NY.
A portion of the regiment, commanded by then-Lieutenant Seymour, constituted the sole Continental cavalry engaged in the fighting. The American victory at Saratoga proved to be a turning point in the Revolutionary War. It prevented the British from cutting off New England from the rest of the colonies. On December 17, 1777 at Freeman’s Farm, Lt. Seymour escorted the captive British Gen. John Burgoyne to Boston. Burgoyne was so impressed with the way he was treated that he presented Seymour with a magnificent saddle. Seymour resigned from the army in 1778, returned to Hartford and began practicing law. In 1791, he served as an active member of the Connecticut Anti-Slavery Society.
The letter has folds, normal wear, but is easily read and contains bold signatures – along with the “magical date” of 1776.
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