Tag Archives: Benedict Arnold

Oliver Hanchett’s Letter Requesting Payment

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 9.19.24 PMHere is an image of a letter that Oliver Hanchett wrote in July of 1778. Hanchett was a Captain in Colonel Wyllis’s Regiment in 1775. He marched with his company from Roxbury Massachusetts to Quebec under Colonel Arnold. In storming the city he was taken prisoner on 31 December 1775 and was paroled. He did not receive pay and wages or rations while paroled. Here he asks how he can be reimbursed for these things as well as the thousand dollars he spent during the expedition.

The transcription on the letter is as follows:

Suffield July 12th 1788

I was a Capt in Col. Wyillis Reg.T in 1775 and marched with my Company from Roxbury near Boston to Quebec under the Command of Col. Arnold and in Storming the City I was taken prisoner the 31st of December 1775 and was paroled and while on parole I did not receive any pay for Wages nor Rations if Sir there be anything coming to me I hope Sir you will inform W. Hent the Bearer of this, what would be my duty to obtain my right. I have given W. Hent an order to recieve my notes.
[undecipherable] Am [undeciphrable]

John pierce Sig_r Oliver Hanchett

Source: http://wardepartmentpapers.org/document.php?id=3105

Research Log – Oliver Hanchett

With limited information gained from various sources about Oliver Hanchett, we seek for more information about his life and experiences to aid our investigation on Exeter’s case.

We then decided to find sources and records in the Connecticut Library, but I ran into some difficulty and questions.

I faced some issues while researching about our key figure – Oliver Hachett on the CT Library website. First is the fact that I cannot find a Hartford county database on this page and the information here is very limited. Does that mean We have to access physically to some sources in the library?Log 1

Losing hope in the individual database search on state archives, I went to the page of archives search, I couldn’t find Hachett’s family, is there any other source I could go and find information.Log 2

So far, we have found Oliver Hanchett’s name on multiple documents in this page, include “Crime and misdemeanors”, “Militia”, we are wondering if there is any more places he could be in and if there is any more records that is more detailed in your physical data base.

Log 3


Researching and Understanding Hanchett’s War Experience


Image Source: 


As we delve deeper into Hanchett’s Revolutionary War record, we should keep in mind that he left Suffield as a Lieutenant on his way to the Lexington Alarm. When he left with Arnold for the wilderness campaign to invade Canada and siege Quebec, he was a captain. Several accounts that I have read explain that higher ranking officers met with captains to discuss how best to move forward given the problems that the soldiers had with maps, weather, and faulty boats. So that puts our figure right in the heart of discussions! Also note during this long march to Quebec how other Connecticut troops abandoned the march. Can we find out how that affected other troops who continued on with the fight? Read this article to get an overview. Remember, Wikipedia is a good gateway to the topic. Let’s also reflect on how this article can be improved; we will do that revision work with my Wikipedia account (I have some digital “cred” with this organization). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Canada_(1775)

Also review this article as we want to learn the battle from Arnold’s point of view, which was also Hanchett’s point of view. In both situations, utilize critical cross referencing skills and explore a few sources.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benedict_Arnold%27s_expedition_to_Quebec

Roger Enos is an interesting figure for us to understand how he chose the opposite of Hanchett and retreated. How does his path juxtapose with Arnold and Hanchett’s? What happened to his life after that decision? Note, too, how he was older and a veteran of the French and Indian War; we’ll also show you in class how he was connected to another famous Suffield veteran of that war. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Enos Check out this link to reflect on a larger text that might help us understand Hanchett’s role: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/481435.Through_a_Howling_Wilderness