Rufus Putnam

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<p>Rufus Putnam was a soldier and early settler of Ohio after the American Revolution.</p>
<p>Putnam was born on April 9, 1738, in Sutton, Massachusetts. His father died when Putnam was seven and his mother apprenticed him to a millwright. In 1757, he fought for the British in the French and Indian War. When the war was over, Putnam returned home where he became a farmer and a miller. He also lobbied the English government to provide veterans of the French and Indian War with land bounties along the Mississippi River. Fearing conflicts between its colonists and the Native Americans residing west of the Appalachian Mountains, England issued the Proclamation of 1763. It prohibited any of England's colonists from living west of the mountains. The English government denied Putnam's request.</p>
<p>At the start of the American Revolution, Putnam enlisted in the Continental Army. Early in the conflict, he helped prepare earthworks and other defensive features for the Americans surrounding English soldiers in Boston, Massachusetts. He also assisted George Washington in preparing New York's defenses. He spent the remainder of the war in upstate New York and fought in the Battle of Saratoga. He began the war as a lieutenant colonel and by its conclusion had risen to the rank of brigadier-general. </p>
<p>Throughout the conflict, Putnam served as an advocate for junior officers and enlisted men. America's first government, created by the Articles of Confederation, had limited powers and faced tremendous difficulty meeting its expenses. This included paying the men in its army. The Confederation Congress promised to give these men land grants in the Ohio Country, but the Congress was slow to act. In 1783, Putnam helped draft the Newburgh Petition. In this document, many of the officers in the Continental Army demanded payment immediately in land grants or they would even contemplate replacing their government. General George Washington was able to prevent an uprising.</p>