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Israel Putnam

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"What would you know about victory? I killed a she-wolf in her den, armed with only a knife. I escaped the Caughnawaga Indians who sought to burn me alive. And, I was the sole survivor of a shipwreck at the Battle of Havana. So you'll excuse me if I choose not to follow your advice."
―Israel Putnam speaking to a Continental Army officer at the Battle of Bunker Hill.[src]
Israel Putnam
ACIII-I Putnam Render
Biographical information
Born

7 January 1718
Salem Village, Massachusetts Bay, British America

Died

29 May 1790 (aged 72)
Brooklyn, Connecticut, United States of America

Political information
Affiliations

Sons of Liberty
Continental Army

Real-world information
Appears in

Assassin's Creed III

Voice actor

Andreas Apergis

Israel Putnam (1718 – 1790) was an American general in the Continental Army, who fought with distinction at the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolutionary War.

Around the time of the battle, Putnam came into contact with the Assassin Connor, who assisted him by assassinating Putnam's British counterpart, John Pitcairn, who led the Regulars at Bunker Hill.

A year later, Putnam was present during an attempted assassination of George Washington, which was also foiled by the Assassins, where he declared Connor a hero.

Biography

Early life

Putnam was born in Massachusetts, but later moved to Connecticut to take up farming. Following this, he joined the colonial militia during the French and Indian War, and earned a reputation for bravery and inspiring the soldiers around him.

Putnam is also credited to have killed the last wolf in Connecticut in 1742. It is said he crawled into its den with a musket, a torch, and a rope tied around his feet so that he could be pulled out.

In 1758, Putnam was captured by a group of Kanien'kehá:ka in the village of Caughnawaga, but he was rescued just before his execution.

Several years later, in 1762, he was shipwrecked in Cuba during the Battle of Havana. During his time in Cuba, Putnam discovered cigars and introduced them to the colonies.

After the war ended, Putnam returned to Connecticut, where he was a vocal opponent of the British tax policies. He also founded the Connecticut branch of the Sons of Liberty.

When he heard about the battles of Lexington and Concord, Putnam immediately signed up for the Continental Army and was named Brigadier General of the Connecticut forces.[1]

Battle of Bunker Hill

"The enemy advances and you tremble. They've better numbers, you say. Better weapons. Better training. But I do not fear, and neither should you. For what they have in material, they lack in conviction and care. But not us. We have discipline. We have order. And most importantly, we have passion. We believe!"
―Israel Putnam's speech before the battle.[src]

During the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, Putnam was approached by the Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton, better known as Connor, who was looking for the British Army major and Templar John Pitcairn.

In order to flush Pitcairn out, Putnam tasked the young Assassin with disabling two British frigates which were bombarding the hill from the harbor. Once the frigates were disabled, Putnam rallied his troops by delivering an inspiring speech, and Connor then set out to assassinate Pitcairn.

ACIII-Publicexecution 11

Putnam calling off the soldiers

Traversing the battle and entering Pitcairn's camp, Connor succeeded in killing the major, but nevertheless Putnam was outnumbered and forced to retreat, granting the British a Pyrrhic victory.[1]

A year later, Connor was captured by the Templars and falsely accused of plotting to assassinate General George Washington, a crime the Templars themselves were planning to commit.

He later escaped execution and killed the true conspirator, Thomas Hickey, before he could strike Washington. When surrounded by armed guards after killing Hickey, Putnam arrived to vouch for Connor's innocence, proclaiming him a hero to the Patriot cause.[1]

Later life

"Washington had high hopes for Putnam as a leader, and he was named Washington's second-in-command in New York. Unfortunately, Putnam was a good soldier but a poor tactician. The battle at Long Island was a rout. Putnam fared no better at his next post guarding forts on the Hudson River."
―Israel Putnam's database entry.[src]

After helping prevent the assassination of Washington, Putnam's career began to decline. After being named Washington's second-in-command in New York, Putnam was routed in the Battle of Long Island. Later, he was nearly captured after losing the Battle of Forts Clinton and Montgomery.

After these two devastating losses, Putnam requested to be reassigned to recruitment, and Washington agreed. Then, in December of 1779, Putnam suffered a paralyzing stroke, which ended his military career. He died eleven years later, in 1790.

Alternate timeline

In an altered reality, where Washington ruled America as a tyrant king with an Apple of Eden, Putnam served as his right-hand man with Benedict Arnold. Under the Apple's influence, Putnam became corrupted, brutal and cruel. While at Washington's palace, Kaniehtí:io infiltrated the throne room and stole the King's scepter which contained the Apple. Putnam and his men chased after her and was able to fire a shot from his musket, knocking away the scepter from Kaniehtí:io as she made her escape.[2]

ACIII-Warn 9

Putnam along with King Washington

Putnam was present during the burning of Kanatahséton, riding at Washington's side. Washington expressed doubts about his resolve and powers, but he was assured by both his generals when they reaffirmed their loyalty. Putnam gave the order to destroy the village and kill all of the villagers.[3]

For the next five months, Putnam ruled over Frontier in Washington's name alongside Arnold, and was the commanding officer of the encampment at Valley Forge. Putnam went to visit Arnold at Fort Duquesne, but unbeknownst to him was being followed by Ratonhnhaké:ton, who soon after infiltrated and assassinated Arnold. Catching him off guard, Putnam approached Ratonhnhaké:ton from behind and knocked him unconscious with his pistol.[3]

Putnam traveled to Boston presenting the captive Ratonhnhaké:ton to King Washington as a gift, to which Washington decided to sentence Ratonhnhaké:ton to death by beheading along with a group of random civilians. Washington soon began to question Benjamin Franklin's loyalty and conviction, hence he allowed Putnam full control over Boston and ordered him to deal with the rebellion. After Franklin's defection, Putnam successfully lured the rebels to Boston Neck. The rebel troops were shot down and Putnam personally killed Samuel Adams, beating him to death with his pistol, while also chopping off the fingers of Kanen'tó:kon left hand with his own stone tomahawk.[4]

Escape to New York 6

Putnam holding Kanen'tó:kon hostage

Ratonhnhaké:ton and Franklin later attempted to flee Boston with a crew on board the Aquila. Putnam arrived at the port, holding Kanen'tó:kon hostage and ordered Ratonhnhaké:ton to surrender. Using his animal powers, Ratonhnhaké:ton attacked and wounded Putnam. While dying, Putnam came to his senses, realizing that he had been corrupted by the Apple's power and with his last words expressed regret for the atrocities he had committed.[4]

Personality and characteristics

"How dare you sneak up on me like that! Why don't you just go off there and just help this camp retreat! Don't ever do that again you hear me! God Damnit."
―Israel Putnam.[src]
Battle of Bunker Hill 2

Connor listening to Putnam at Bunker Hill

As a military officer, Putnam was strict and straightforward with his troops, admitting to them that the British had better weapons and training at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Before the battle however, he roused his soldiers with an inspiring speech, but later admitted to Connor that it was all a lie.

In addition, Putnam was loud and unrestrained. He would constantly shout at soldiers over insignificant issues and was pessimistic regarding the war, believing to have lost the Battle of Bunker Hill before it truly began.[1]

Trivia

  • A bronze statue was erected in Redding, Connecticut to commemorate Putnam's famous escape from the British in 1777.

Gallery

References

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