Lot 205: Revolutionary War Era Muster Roll, Original Manuscript Document, Lemuel Clap

Early American

December 10, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, US

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Description: American Revolution
1780 Captain Lemuel Clap's Company Revolutionary War Muster Roll at Dorchester, Massachusetts
August 3, 1780-Dated Original Manuscript Document, Muster Roll of Captain Lemuel Clap's Company, Dorchester, Mass., Choice Very Fine.
An original, Manuscript Document Signed, listing the Enlisted Men in Captain Lemuel Clapp's Company, Dorchester, Massachusetts, measuring 11" x 16", dated August 3rd, 1780. The men acknowledge receipt "of Captain Lemuel Clapp, the whole of the State's Wages for the months of May, June & July, 1780." A very rare, important historic Revolutionary War military payroll, with forty soldiers listed. Normal folds, wear, a couple trivial fold pinholes, minor edge chipping. This Muster Roll for "Capt. Lemuel Clap's Company detached to Major Nathaniel Heath's guard" (which patrolled South Boston and Dorchester Heights). It is well organized to show the names of soldiers, rank, time of enlistment, and pay owed. The clean handmade laid period British made paper has a huge watermark of the Crown for King George III. Some great names including Lemuel Clap (Captain), Aaron Bird (1st Lieutenant), and Nathaniel Clap, amongst many others. Docket upon the blank reverse reads: "A Pay Roll for May June & July 1780."
Lemuel Clapp, a Dorchester Patriot who invited George Washington's troops to encamp on his estate during the Siege of Boston, was, like the site's first English owner, Roger Clap, a man of pronounced Puritan tenets. One of those tenets was self-sufficiency, and from the time that Roger Clap erected his house, in winter of 1633, to the enlargements to the Clapp House in 1767 and 1768 by Lemuel Clapp, the family ran a working farm.

The Captain Lemuel Clap House (1767) is a historic house located at 199 Boston Street, Dorchester, Massachusetts. It is now owned by the Dorchester Historical Society, which opens the house for tours two afternoons per month. It is one of two Clapp Houses owned by the society that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It appears that a house has occupied this site since about 1633, and possibly today's house was its enlargement.

Although there is no solid evidence for this possibility, the Clapp family genealogy records that such a first house was built circa 1633 by Roger Clapp, one of Dorchester's original settlers in 1630, and then rebuilt and enlarged by his descendant Lemuel Clap in 1767. On the other hand, the Historical Society also has evidence that the earlier house was built by the Ward family at the beginning of the 18th century.

There seems little doubt, however, that today's house was substantially constructed by Lemuel Clap in 1767. The house was purchased by Historical Society in 1945, and moved several hundred yards from Willow Court to its current location in 1957. Its rooms currently contain items from the Society's historical collection.
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