A Retained Copy in Which Dr. John Ely Requests A Discharge From The Continental Army

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"I Have No Knowledge That Co. Worthington Or Any Other Gentleman (Producing A Proper Pass) Hath Ever Been Molested In Passing Any Of My Guards.” And If Subjected To This Dishonorable Control Must (The With Reluctance) Beg Your Excellency To Give Me An Honorable Discharge"

DR. JOHN ELY (1737-1800) Captain in the 6th Connecticut regiment, (raised a regiment at his own expense), 1775, promoted major, 1776, and was colonel of 4th battalion, 1777, when captured at Long Island. he was not exchanged until 1780, and during that time acted as physician to the smallpox patients on Long Island.
Autograph Letter 1777, Saybrook, Connecticut. One page 8 ¼” x 12”. Retained copy docketed in the hand of Connecticut Revolutionary hero Colonel John Ely. “Letter Sent to his Excellency 1777” In writing to the Governor of Connecticut, the author requests an honorable discharge after dealing with what appears some military shenanigans. Concerned with the behavior of his superiors and private and petty “bickerings” this emotional missive penned in the heat of the Revolutionary War provided the worrisome details encountered, the standards of officers guards giving clearances to pass to Colonel Worthington and other, and the commanders complaint how his regiment is subjected to ‘capricious humor and dishonorable control.’ He requests to be let go, honorably:

“May it please your Excellency, Received your Excellency’ favor of the 5th.
I note the contents and as it is my duty so it shall ever be my utmost purpose to execute the commands of my superiors consistent with the trusts of my constituents, the good of my Country, the confidence of my superiors and the honor of my office, nor shall any party or petty differences (sic) or private bickerings ever in the least stand in the way of executing my publick trusts, except they inevitably stand in contrast with my office and duty. Sensable (sic) of the great burden of your Excellency’s Publick and important concerns (I) must beg your Excellency’s pardon for the trouble of this, which I should not, the principal part of my last passed unnoticed of waved, on which (I) beg to be more explicit. I return your Excellency, thanks for the honor conferred on me in yours of ye 2nd, as an experienced officer."

"I have ever endeavoured a faithful discharge of my duty and have (for ought I know) steered clear of publick censure and am sorry if these of my command have not. As to my officers and guards ay Saybrook, so far as I have been acquainted (they) have been faithful in their duty and (I) know not that they are justly censured. I have no knowledge that Col. Worthington or any other gentleman (producing a proper pass) hat ever been molested in passing any of my guards. Without which (the pass) it is not supposable he or any other gentleman can be known to My different guards, and without which boats or vessels may not with safety to our post and guards or even this state, be suffered to pass, nor I myself able to answer for those consequences that may insue. Although with the utmost readiness and pleasure I will obey and execute (as far as is ay power) every order of my superiors in du subordination, so long as continued in my command, yet if any regiment must be subject to the uncontrollable command of the capricious humor of an individual who is of a different department and I myself subject to be less a commander without a command. (I) must stand in most disagreeable light unable to answer the just expectations of any constituents, without the confidence of any superiors, and unable to support the honor of my office and if subjected to this dishonorable control must (the with reluctance) beg your Excellency to give my and honorable discharge.”

Pen is light, paper dampstained some, small holes at folds. VG. A most interesting Rev War item.