CILLEY, Joseph, Major General.

Fully manuscript commission document, signed, appointing Enoch Page a "Captain of the Tenth Company, of the Fourth Regiment of Militia in... Province of New Hampshire".

Nottingham, NH: Twelth day of August, 1772 Stock Code: 116877

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Exemplary pre-Revolutionary War military document, linking two men with extensive service during the period. Joseph Cilley (1734-99) was born in Nottingham, New Hampshire, son of Captain Joseph Cilley of the Isle of Shoals. Cilley served as an officer in the American Revolution and earlier, in 1758 seeing action in the French and Indian Wars as a sergeant on attachment with Rogers' Rangers. Men from the New Hampshire Militia - which was founded in 1680, and had been present at the capture of Louisbourg in 1745 - fought at the Battle of Lake George, the Siege of Fort William Henry, the Siege of Louisbourg (1758), the Battle of Carillon and the fall of Fort Carillon (later Ticonderoga) in 1759, the Battle of the Plains of Abraham and the Battle of Sainte-Foy near Quebec, and at the final capitulation of New France at Montreal. Cilley began his Revolutionary War service at the Battle of Lexington. In 1777 he was appointed lieutenant-colonel in the 1st New Hampshire Regiment which, under his command, fought in numerous significant engagements including Trenton, Princeton, Monmouth, and Stony Point, and through the Saratoga Campaign. In 1779 Cilley was with Clinton-Sullivan Campaign against the Six Nations in the western New York, in the same year being voted a pair of pistols by the New Hampshire Assembly "as a token of this State's good intention to reward merit in a brave officer". Following the war, in 1786 he was appointed major general of the 1st Division New Hampshire Militia, commanding the troops that put down the Paper Money Riot in Essex, NH, later that year. Cilley was elected to the New Hamshire senate, and was one of the founders of the Society of the Cincinnati in New Hampshire, serving variously as treasurer, vice-president, and president.

The recipient Enoch Page (1742-1832), was Cilley's brother-in-law, being married to his sister Alice. During the Revolutionary War he was a first lieutenant in Captain Ballard's Company of Colonel Frye's Regiment, Cambridge, 14 July - 6 October, 1775, and subsequently a captain commanding a company in Col. Senter's Regment at Rhode Island, August-December, 1777.

A highly attractive piece, we have been unable to trace any other documentary material from Cilley on the market.

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Half sheet of laid paper with indistinct watermark of the Royal Arms within garter, surmounted by a crown (79 x 304 mm), papered seal intact, text in a neat clerical hand, signed by Cilley with a flourish.


Paper with light browning overall, creases from old vertical median, and trifold horizontal folding, associated splitting neatly repaired some time ago with translucent paper adhesive tape, a few minor edge-splits, but very good.


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