This American Revolutionary War commission document at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum was presented to James Mitchell Varnum of East Greenwich, RI (Varnum House Museum) on May 10, 1779, naming him Major General of all Rhode Island Militia forces opposing the Crown troops of Britain. It is now properly framed and on display for the first time thanks to the generous donations made by our Facebook followers. Thank you!
Some of the historic documents at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum are more interesting than incredibly important.
For example, here we have a 1797 dated arrest warrant for East Greenwich resident, Thomas Howland, for not paying his fine and late fee ($2.22 total) for skipping out on parade duty as a member of the Kentish Guards!
An arrest warrant! Apparently, the 18th-century EG Parade Committee didn’t mess around.
This is the original charter of the Rhode Island United Train of Artillery (UTA) written April 22nd, 1775, just 3 days after “the shot heard round the world” at Concord, MA, that began the U.S. fight for independence. After raising 80% of the funds through a grant, the document has gone through an extensive conservation process by one of the nation’s best conservators. It was also mounted by the same conservators, allowing it to be safely shared with the public.
The UTA became part of the Continental Artillery Regiment under the famous Henry Knox participating in several important campaigns and battles including Battle of Long Island and the Siege of Boston. This charter is one of the founding documents of the US military … a true American treasure.
Very soon, you will soon be able to see it on display at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum.
We just completed a custom frame using high-quality museum glass to display George Washington’s letter to General James Mitchell Varnum (written on the eve of the Battle of Red Bank, NJ). We will proudly display this original letter in our museum for the public to see.
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