Israel Putnam’s Signature and Terrible Spelling

Thanks for checking out our first post in the “Geek Out” series! Various members of our cast and creative team will be sharing cool facts, pictures, thoughts, curses, and who-knows-what-else from our research and individual processes on “Your Colonel.”

First, here’s Israel Putnam (a hero at Bunker Hill, he’s the guy responsible for the famous “whites of their eyes” command). Though he doesn’t make an appearance in the play, his two youngest daughters (Ethel and Anita) do, and everyone is staying at his military home on Manhattan:

Israel Putnam Portrait

“Old Put” escaping from the British at Horseneck From The Project Gutenberg EBook of “Old Put” The Patriot, by Frederick A. Ober (

Here’s another way to imagine him – as the art team of the new Assassin’s Creed team did (who’d’ve thought hours of gameplay could count as research?):

Israel Putnam concept art from Assassin's Creed III

Israel Putnam concept art from Assassin’s Creed III (

His signature:

Israel Putnam's signature

Israel Putnam’s signature (

And an anecdote, from Margaret Moncreiffe’s memoirs, of Putnam’s notoriously bad spelling:

“[General Putnam’s]┬ábad orthography was amply compensated for by the magnanimity of the man who wrote it.”

The letter in question read:

“Ginrale Putnam’s compliments to Major Moncrieffe, has made him a present of a fine daughter, if he don’t lick [like] her he must send her back again, and he will provide her with a good twig [Whig] husband.”

What do you know about Israel Putnam? We’d love to hear your favorite anecdotes, or see favorite statues, paintings, etc., in the comments below!

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