The Bushnell Park Series -- Israel Putnam  LbNA # 14796 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateApr 30 2005
LocationHartford, CT
Planted ByWild Rover    
Found By Chrissy
Last Found Jan 20 2006
Hike Distance?


***I believe this box went missing. Sorry. --WILD ROVER

Israel Putnam, who was to become an honored American Revolutionary War General, was born in Salem Village, Massachusetts on January 7, 1718. In 1740 his family moved to a farm in Connecticut in the area of present day Pomfret/Brooklyn, where he lived out his life. In 1742 he became a local legend when he crawled into a cave and confronted and killed a wolf that had been slaughtering local farmers' livestock. {1} Tales of Putnam's bravery had begun, and Putnam became known as "Old Wolf" and later as "General Wolf."

Putnam enlisted as a Private with Rogers' Rangers and took an active part in the French and Indian War. His bravery led him to be promoted to Captain in 1756, and then to Major in 1758 as he continued to burnish his legendary reputation with several extraordinary exploits during he initial phase of what was to become a long and heroic military career. {1} In 1764 Putnam commanded five companies of Connecticut troops during the Pontiac conspiracy under Colonel John Bradstreet, and in 1774 he became Lieutenant of the 11th Regiment of the Connecticut Militia. {2}

According to legend, Putnam left his plow in the field when he received news of the fighting at Lexington and Concord, to offer his services to the Patriot cause, and his reputation secured his appointment as one of four Major Generals to serve under General George Washington. {3} "Old Put" as he was now called, displayed heroic leadership at battles at Chelsea Creek, Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill. It was at the battle of Breed's Hill that Old Put's command of "Don't fire 'til you see the whites of their eyes!" had caused his men to gun down the British with deadly accuracy. {1} When General Washington moved the army to New York, Major General Putnam was given command of Long Island. {4}

One of the colonies' most valiant Patriots, Israel Putnam was laid to rest on May 29, 1790 and interred in a tomb in the Brooklyn Town Cemetery. The site became overrun with hero worshipping visitors, and the mutilated marble marker was removed to the Capital Building in Hartford for safekeeping, where it has been on display ever since. Many who have viewed the marker for the past 200 years believe Putnam's body lies beneath it, perhaps in a basement crypt. {1} Nearby to the Capitol Building, in Bushnell Park, stands an eight foot bronze monument presented to the city of Hartford in 1874 to honor one of Connecticut's greatest folk heroes and the American Revolutionary War General who commanded troops at Bunker Hill.


This letterbox is part of the Bushnell Park Series planted by MayEve and Wild Rover. The series, which is made up of six (6) semi-micro boxes discreetly planted in this busy inter-city park, made its debut at the Spring Into April Drive on 04/30/2005. Be sure to get MayEve’s “Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch” letterbox already planted in Bushnell Park, and look for MayEve & RTRW’s “Opera At The Bushnell” letterbox planted at nearby Bushnell Center For The Performing Arts. ***NOTE: The only letterbox in the Bushnell Park Series with a logbook is the Park River Pump House letterbox.


Very near to the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch (on the opposite side of Trinity Street from the carousel) you will find the monument to Israel Putnam. With your left shoulder against the base of the monument of "Old Put" take a compass bearing of 340 and walk N/NW about 95 steps towards the Pavilion to a large tree with a massive goiter. Standing with the goiter at your left shoulder, take a compass reading of 340 (again) and continue on with the Pavilion to your left and the Corning Fountain to your right, about 175 steps to a knobby pair of Weeping Cherry trees just past the Pavilion. Standing between the cherry sisters, take a bearing of 360 and walk due north past a lamp post and over the sidewalks to a small tree that bends hard to the left as it rises. (It is the tree closest to the first lamp post on the rear walkway, and at the time of planting the blossoms of this tree were the lightest pink). “Old Put” is waiting for you in the hollow of this tree. The wonderful stamp for this letterbox was carved by RTRW.


Thanks to MayEve for helping to make this idea for an urban park series a reality, and to Shutterbug for walking Bushnell Park to help find hiding places for these boxes. A very, very special thanks to RTRW for carving this wonderful stamp. --WildRover

{1}, from "Legendary Connecticut" by David E. Phillips.



{4},by The Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.