Increasing animosity between the hard-working colonials, who had built their new communities with their own blood sweat and tears, and their British overseers, who were taxing the colonies ever more heavily to finance affairs at home, finally exploded with the "shot heard round the world" on April 19, 1775. French-and-Indian War hero Major Israel Putnam, along with the ranks of Brooklyn militia, immediately joined the Massachusetts patriots in the escalating battle with the British.
Leading the Connecticut contingent as General-in-Chief at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17th, Putnam repeatedly rallied and encouraged the loosely organized Colonials. First-hand accounts of the soldiers he commanded credit his intrepid leadership with turning what most certainly would have been a bloody rout into a resounding victory for the Americans. Two days after the battle, by unanimous vote, Gen. Washington commissioned Putnam as Major General in the American Continental Army.
Other Putnam Facts
As a young farmer Putnam crawled into an occupied wolf's den armed with his musket and torch and shot the notorious sheep killer. This earned Putnam popularity among the other town's people.
During the French and Indian War Putnam was ambushed and tied to a tree. He was nearly burned to death by his Indian captors before being rescued by the French.
Other Facts of Interest
Prudence Crandall, a school teacher, was tried for the crime of educating black students in Brooklyn at the Town Hall.
Brooklyn has one of the oldest agricultural fairs in the United States.
Godfrey Malbone decided to build his own church in Brooklyn rather than pay taxes for the one he didn't want.
General Wolfe Tavern
(The image to the right is a photograph of the original sign from the Tavern. The original sign is owned by the Connecticut Historical Society)
In 1767 Colonel Putnam married Deborah Gardiner, a woman with prominent social status. Colonel Putnam was the popular man of the day and their house was often visited by soldiers as they passed through Windham County. Colonel Putnam realized that his estate was not large enough to accommodate all the visitors and moved to the Avery estate on the Town Green.
He opened the house to the general public for accommodations. He hung the above sign before the door, and General Wolfe Tavern became one of the most noted gathering places in Eastern Connecticut.