Rufus Putnam

A Peek into history: Rufus Putnam

Here is an American Revolutionary War Hero many of you will not have heard of, Rufus Putnam.


Rufus was born in Sutton Massachusetts on April 9,1738. His father died when he was young and as was customary then he spent a few years in his Grandfathers home. After his mother remarried he return to live with her in the Inn she helped run. He learned the importance of a job well done and how to interact with people.

During the French and Indian War he served in a Connecticut regiment that saw action in the Great Lakes Region, just South of the Canadian Border. During his time with the Army he studied surveying, learning the importance of the lay of the land. He also learned how to command troops effectively. Rufus returned home from his military service somewhat famous.

On April 19, 1775, the same day as the Battle at Lexington and Concord, he enlisted in one of Massachusetts' first regiments. This regiment saw heavy action at Bunker Hill.

At Cambridge Massachusetts he assisted in the over night construction of fortifications on Dorchester Heights above Boston. This quick deployment of Colonial Troops behind fortification with artillery support on the high ground forced the British Army to withdraw from Boston over the next few weeks.

By 1783 he had become a Brigadier General in charge of the first Army Corps of Engineers. His work in surveying and design helped create many fortifications which assisted in the Colonial Victories at Sewall's Point, Providence, Newport, Long Island, and West Point.

After the war he settled in the Northwest Territory and helped establish the state of Ohio. He did this in hopes to draw more Revolutionary Soldiers with land grants to move westward and populate the territories seceded by the British in the Treaty of Paris.

In 1790 George Washington appointed him a Supreme Court Judge for the Northwest Territory.

In 1796 he was appointed Surveyor General of the United States. He served in this position until 1803.

In 1802 Rufus helped draft the first constitution for the state of Ohio. Many still consider him the father of Ohio.

May 4,1824 marks the passing of Rufus Putnam. He was laid to rest at Mound Cemetery in Marietta, Ohio.


Three Cheers for Patriot, Soldier, Statesman, Pioneer and Founding Father Rufus Putnam!

Hip-Hip, HOORAY! Hip-Hip, HOORAY! Hip-Hip, HOORAY!

History needs you!
Help pass along our history, become active in your local Historical and Genealogy Societies.

The William Prince Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, right here in Princeton would be happy to help you get involved.

History does not repeat itself, but it most assuredly rhymes!

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Father, retired Firefighter

American History, no such thing as a single cause
American History, no such thing as a single cause

History is a muddy mess! If someone tells you ANY event in history happened due to one thing or issue, RUN! They are an idiot! Example 1:American Revolution. What caused it? Taxes, representation, military over reach, distance, King George? All good answers but there are hundreds more! Example 2: "Civil War" was all about slavery. Lincoln called for the invasion in 1861 yet he created West Virginia in 1863 as a NEW UNION SLAVE STATE. Many more examples are out there...

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