• Revolutionary War Gen. Cornell Involved In Boston Siege, Battle Of Bunker Hill; Helped Arrest NY Mayor Who Plotted To Kill Gen. George Washington

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    EZEKIEL CORNELL (1732-1800) was a Revolutionary War General who represented Rhode Island in the Continental Congress from 1780 to 1782.  Nicknamed “Old Snarl,” Cornell served in Hitchcock’s regiment, fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill and was present at the Siege of Boston.  Following the British evacuation of Boston in 1776, the army was redeployed to Long Island in September 1776.  On Long Island, Cornell occupied the former British controlled St. George’s Episcopal Church (Hempstead, NY), which had been founded by Cornell’s relatives and was a hotbed of Tory sentiment. Cornell sought to root out British loyalists and converted the church to a store house, forbade the parson from praying for the King or any of the Royal Family and used the previous communion table for his soldiers to eat on. Cornell was part of the Continental Army contingent, dispatched by General Nathaniel Greene, that arrested Loyalist New York Mayor David Mathews on June 22, 1776 on suspicion that Mathews had participated in a plot by Thomas Hickey to assassinate General George Washington.  Although Cornell resigned from the Continental Army in December 1776, he was appointed deputy adjutant general on October 1, 1776, and played an active role in the Battle of Rhode Island in 1778.  Cornell served as a member of the Continental Congress from 1780 and 1782 and retired to his Scituate, Rhode Island farm.  He died in Milford, Massachusetts on April 25, 1800.

     

    Offering a 2 ¼ x 4 ½ WAR-DATE “April 13, 1778, appeared Benj Reynolds and made oath to the truth of this abstract. Ezek Cornell B [rigadier] Genl.”  A short but significant item signed by this important Revolutionary War hero.

     

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