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1777 Revolutionary War Captain's Bond Signed by James Dana who Claimed to have Fired the First Shot at Bunker Hill !

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JAMES DANA (1735-1817). Fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill and a Captain who has long claimed to that he fired the very First Shot at the Battle of Bunker Hill (even though today we think it more likely was fired by John Simpson). Also Signed by OLIVER ELLSWORTH.

June 20th, 1777-Dated, Rare Connecticut Revolutionary War Partially-Printed Document being Captain Ebenezer Mosely’s 3,000 Pounds Bond, Signed by Captain James Dana, who claimed to have fire the very first shot at the Battle of Bunker Hill, plus Ebenezer Moseley who was a New England Company missionary and a captain in the Connecticut militia during the Revolution, Oliver Ellsworth, and other American Patriots, Very Fine.

This Bond made to: "Captain in Colonel Ely's Regiment now raising for the defence of this State", measuring 8" x 13.5" boldly printed and signed on clean laid period paper, having two 1” or so paper voids at the right margin edge, apparently where its seal was torn when opened and a short 1.5” fold split reinforced on the reverse. With this bond, Ebenezer Mosely and James Dana agreed to serve as sureties that Ebenezer Mosely is appointed to Captain in Colonel Ely's Regiment, now raising for the defence of the State of Connecticut. Plus, Founding Father, Signer of the Constitution, and Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Oliver Ellsworth, and Fenn Wadsworth, Sign as witnesses. Docket on the blank reverse reads, in full: “Ebenezer Mosely’s Bond - 3,000 Pounds - June 20th 1777”.
This historic Document is not only Signed by Ebenezer Mosely, but also Captain James Dana.

Dana had long claimed to that he fired the first shot at Bunker Hill (even though we know today it was fired by John Simpson), also Signed by Oliver Ellsworth (Founding Father and Chief Justice), and Fenn Wadsworth, with Two red wax seals at bottom right. Docketed on the blank verso. Signatories Include:

Ebenezer Moseley was a New England Company missionary and a captain in the Connecticut militia during the Revolution. He enlisted in the Connecticut militia when the Revolution broke out and led troops at the Battle of Bunker Hill. By the time he retired from the militia in 1791, he had advanced to the rank of captain. Between 1776 and 1806, Moseley was a regular representative in the Connecticut legislature, and he oversaw the 1786 incorporation of Hampton as an independent town from Windham. In 1788 he was made a deacon in his father's church.

James Dana (1735-1817), who fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill and who claimed to have fired the very First Shot at the Battle of Bunker Hill, April 1775, which is documented by all accounts including his historical records.


It has now been considered by later historians that most likely Private John Simpson fired the first shot at Bunker Hill. His Connecticut men were the first to fire on the British at the siege of Boston. After Bunker Hill he excepted a Colonel position. Capt. Dana stood in high confidence of General Washington. He was a first lieutenant in the 3rd Connecticut Regiment from May to December 1775 and a captain in Col. Andrew Ward's Connecticut state regiment from May 1776 to May 1777. He was also with General Washington at New York & was present at battles of Trenton & Princeton.

Colonel John Ely: In 1775 Ely, after the news of the battle of Lexington came to Westport, mustered a company of militia as Captain and marched with it to Roxbury, now part of Boston. The next year as Major he performed a tour of duty as commandant at Fort Trumbull, New London, also serving there as physician and one day he sent a "pithy" letter to the Captain of a vessel at the mouth of the harbor suspected of being English which promptly sailed away.

In 1776, he was ordered by Connecticut to tend to the medical needs of soldiers. Major Ely was a man of wealth, mostly invested in farms. One of these in 1777 he sold and used most of the proceeds in raising a regiment of which he was commissioned Colonel. To many of his men he furnished arms, uniforms, and other supplies at his own expense. He marched his regiment to New London and was again appointed commandant of the Fort.

After he became a prisoner, his son Capt. Worthington Ely organized a small force to capture a British officer to exchange for his father. In this he was successful. But due to the entreaties of the other officer prisoners, Dr. Ely agreed to remain a prisoner to care for his fellow officers. Sometime after this, when he became eligible for exchange, a group of former prisoner officers under the leadership of Col. Matthews (later a member of Congress and Governor of Georgia) and Col. Ramsay of the Maryland line, urged him to continue caring for his fellow prisoners. Thus Dr. Ely remained a prisoner for three years, until finally released on 25 December 1780.

Ely was one of the l most famous doctors of his era, particularly for treating soldiers who were afflicted by Smallpox. After he was captured by the British, he refused to be exchanged, because he did not want to leave his patients. He was released as part of a prisoner exchange on December 5, 1780.

Fenn Wadsworth (1750-1785) born in Farmington, Connecticut) was a Brigade Major to General James Wadsworth from 1776 to 1779. He fought in many battles during that time, but his failing health forced him to leave active service. He stayed in Connecticut's government, however, and was a member of the state's Pay-Table, which was responsible for military expenditures during the Revolutionary War.

Oliver Ellsworth (1745 - 1807) was born in Windsor, Connecticut, and entered Yale College in 1762. At the end of his second year, he transferred to the College of New Jersey (Princeton), from which he graduated in 1766. He studied the law for four years, gained admission to the bar in 1771, and married Abigail Wolcott in 1772. In 1777, he became state's attorney for Hartford County, served on the Pay-Table Committee, and helped manage Connecticut's war expenditures during the Revolutionary War.

In 1777, he was also named a delegate to the Continental Congress from Connecticut, a position he held until the end of the war. He served on the Supreme Court of Errors in Connecticut from 1785 and later on the Connecticut Superior Court. In 1787, voters selected Ellsworth as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, where he helped draft the Constitution and created with Roger Sherman the Connecticut Compromise between large and small states. He left the convention before signing the final document but worked for its ratification.

He served as one of the first two U.S. Senators from Connecticut from March 1789 to March 1796, when President George Washington nominated Ellsworth as the third Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, a position he held from 1796 to 1800. After traveling to France as a special U.S. Envoy to end the Quasi-War, he resigned from the Court in December 1800 because of illness.

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