I [JOHN CHATFIELD] HAVE THIS DAY VOLUNTARILY INLISTED MYSELF AS A SOLDIER IN THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IN THE --- BATTALION ORDERED TO BE RAISED IN THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT, TO SERVE DURING THE PRESENT WAR, UNLESS SOONER DISCHARGED: AND I DO BIND MYSELF TO CONFORM IN ALL INSTANCES TO SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS ARE OR SHALL BE ESTABLISHED FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF SAID ARMY. WITNESS MY HAND, THE --- DAY OF ---177[7]. Revolutionary War Enlistment Certificate.

I [JOHN CHATFIELD] HAVE THIS DAY VOLUNTARILY INLISTED MYSELF AS A SOLDIER IN THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IN THE --- BATTALION ORDERED TO BE RAISED IN THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT, TO SERVE DURING THE PRESENT WAR, UNLESS SOONER DISCHARGED: AND I DO BIND MYSELF TO CONFORM IN ALL INSTANCES TO SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS ARE OR SHALL BE ESTABLISHED FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF SAID ARMY. WITNESS MY HAND, THE --- DAY OF ---177[7].

[Hartford? 1776 or 1777]. Small broadside, oblong 4" x 2-3/4". "John Chatfield" is inserted in manuscript as the name of the volunteer, and so signed at the end, with the date "Feb. 24th" in manuscript. For the year, "177" is in type, and the final "7" in manuscript. Outer margin closely trimmed, but text unaffected. Very Good.

An unrecorded form of Revolutionary War enlistment engagement, significant and exceedingly interesting for its reference to "the United States of America." Recorded enlistment engagements from this era-- all of them rare-- refer to the "United Colonies of America", "America," the "Colony of Massachusetts," or the "Colony of Massachusetts-Bay". We have handled an unrecorded Massachusetts enlistment engagement from this era which refers to the "United States of America." Enlistment engagements from Connecticut referring to the "United States of America" from this era are unrecorded. The Continental Congress renamed the Nation "United States of America" on September 9, 1776, ordering that "In all continental commissions, and other instruments, where, heretofore, the words 'United Colonies' have been used, the stile be altered for the future to the 'United States'."
John Chatfield lived in Killingworth, Connecticut. He was probably John Chatfield, III, [1754-1832], son of John Chatfield, Jr. [1729-1786]. Killingworth furnished about 100 men during the Revolution. Chatfield and his fellows "marched from Killingworth for the relief of Boston, etc., in the Lexington alarm, April 1775," under Captain Samuel Gale. [HISTORY OF MIDDLESEX COUNTY... page 424 (New York: 1884)]. John Chatfield received a bounty before 1780 from Killingworth. [List and Returns of Connecticut Men in the Revolution 1775-1783, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford: 1909.] He began receiving a Revolutionary War Pension on April 27, 1821, when he was living in Georgia, for his service as a Private. [The National Archives; Washington, D.C.; Ledgers of Payments, 1818-1872, to U.S. Pensioners Under Acts of 1818 Through 1858 From Records of the Office of the Third Auditor of the Treasury; Record Group Title: Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury; Record Group Number: 217; Series Number: T718; Roll Number: 2, accessed on Ancestry website.].
Not located on NAIP, ESTC, OCLC as of January 2018. See Shipton & Mooney 43387 for a 1777 printed Authorization for a recruiter to enlist freemen "in any of the United States of America." See also Bristol B4394 for printed 1776 Instructions to recruiters of freemen "for the service of the United States of America." Item #34559

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