George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Eliakim Littell, 15 May 1793

From Eliakim Littell

Newark New Jersey 15th May 1793

The Memorial of Eliakim Littell.

Humbly sheweth, That as early as the year 1776 Your Memoralist took an active part against the common enemy of this Country; by entering on board of the Schooner Putnam as sails Master, that in December of the same year, Your Memoralist Raised a Company of Rangers at my own expence; which proved of great Service to the County of Essex, N: Jersey.1

2ly That as early as the Year in April 1777. Your Memoralist Received a Commission from Congress as a first Lieutenant in Coll Ogdens Regimt, Recruited fifty Six men for during the War, and continued with them untill after the Battle of Munmoth, at which time thro’ the great fatigue I sustained, was obliged to Resign: (my health being So much impaired).2

3ly That your Memoralist in the year 1780 Commanded a Company of Militia Artilery which on the 7th June at the battle of Springfield, Your Memoralist Received your Excellency’s Aprobation, together with General Daytons & many other field Officers.3

4th & lastly, That in the year 1791 Your Memoralist Received a Commission in the Levy service as a Lieutenant, under the Command of General St Clair against the Indians near the (Miamia Towns on the 4th of Novr 1791) Likewise carried with him one of his Sons at his own expence without pay or rations who Remained on the field of Action, & was one of the fiew who escaped, your Memoralist was one of the Last officers who left the field, which can be well Attested; That the fatigue and hardship your Memoral[is]t Sustained, impaired his health so much, as to desable him for some Time of even earning his Bread, which has greatly Reduced him & family.4

However, as your Memoralist is now thro’ the assistance of Almighty God, quite Recovered, and is able & willing to Serve his Countrey, which was always his greatest Glory, And as the countrey Calls for a great number of Officers & soldairs to subdue the Savage’s. He intrates your Excellency, to take his case into Consideration; and grant him a Commission to Raize a Company of Men; or any other Commission your Excellency, will be pleased to grant him being duly perswaded that he can raise the men, as Soon as any man in the state of New Jersey5—And your Memoralist in duty Bound will ever pray

Eliakim Littell
late Lt. in the Levy Service


1Eliakim Littell (1742–1805) was born in Springfield, N.J., and resided in Westfield, Essex (now Union) County, at the time of the Revolutionary War. Capt. Thomas Cregier commanded the armed schooner General Putnam in the coastal waters off New York in 1776.

2Matthias Ogden (1754–1791) of Elizabeth, N.J., who was wounded during the siege of Quebec in December 1775, joined the 1st New Jersey Regiment as a lieutenant colonel in March 1776. Promoted to colonel on 1 Jan. 1777, he was captured by the British in October 1780. After his exchange the following spring, Ogden returned to active duty until 1783. The Battle of Monmouth occurred on 28 June 1778.

3On 7 June 1780 New Jersey Continentals, militia under Col. Elias Dayton of the 3d New Jersey Regiment, and other Continental troops under General Lafayette temporarily halted Gen. Wilhelm von Knyphausen’s attack upon Springfield, New Jersey.

4Littell and his son Stephen (1772–1818) survived the 4 Nov. 1791 attack that a confederation of northern Indians had made on Gen. Arthur St. Clair’s army while it was encamped on the banks of the eastern branch of the upper Wabash River at present-day Fort Recovery, Ohio. The Miami towns to which Littell refers may have been either Kekionga and other Miami villages near the confluence of the St. Joseph and St. Marys Rivers or the collection of Indian villages at Glaize on the Maumee River.

5GW did not grant Littell a military commission.

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