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Letter to Captain Haskell at West Point from Joseph Danforth, Respecting Landowners, April 3, 1782

Letter from Joseph Danforth  to Captain Haskell regarding being considerate of farmers' fields

Letter from Joseph Danforth to Captain Haskell regarding being considerate of farmers' fields

Other, USMA_Danforth_Haskell
 
Document Description
Letter to Captain Haskell at West Point from Joseph Danforth, Assistant to the Deputy Adjutant General about soldiers respecting the farms and fields of local inhabitants, April 3, 1782.
 
Transcription
Highlands, April 3, 1782
As the Season is now arrived when Inhabitants are putting up their fences and preparing to improve their fields, the fences are not to be thrown down, or gates left open, nor are the troops to cross wheat fields or other enclosures, but keep the roads.
            The officers are requested to inculcate this on the men, and see that it is duly observed.
Copy of Gen[era]l Orders
Jos. Danforth Assistant to the DAG

Capt. Haskell
DAG
 
 
Questions
Why would the troops disrespect the land and the people they had fought for? 
 
How do you think the troops responded to Capt. Haskell’s request to keep to the roads when passing through towns?
 
What does the phrase “inculcate this on the men”… mean to the officers?
 
 

Historical Context
Revolutionary War hostilities ended after the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, although the war did not officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Between those years, the American military was still on duty but restless. The soldiers had not been paid because the Continental treasury did not have enough money. The focus of the military turned to controlling the troops and maintaining good relations between soldiers and citizens. This can be seen in the April 3, 1782 letter written by Joseph Danforth, Assistant to the Deputy Adjutant General, to Captain Haskell at West Point. Finally, in 1783, Congress passed a resolution promising soldiers five years’ bonus pay, which helped to calm them.
 
 
Essential Question
How did the aftermath of the Revolutionary War affect ordinary people’s lives?
 
 
Check for Understanding
Write an essay describing some of the problems people faced in their daily lives after the Revolutionary War.
 
 
Glossary
DAG – Deputy Adjutant General
Inculcate – To teach persistently and earnestly