Syracuse, New York: Dec 10, 1852. Envelope or Cover. This circular measures approximately 7.5” x 10”. It is enclosed in its original mailing envelope which is addressed to a Militia Major in Paris. It bears a double oval Utica postmark dated Dec 17 and a manuscript “2” rate mark indicating the then current postal rate to mail up to 3 ounces of printed matter. The circular is in nice shape; the envelope has been roughly open and is missing a piece of its back flap.
The circular announces the state militia will be hosting a conference to determine the feasibility of establishing a
“fraternal communion” to “foster, encourage, and perfect our Militia system,” “discuss amendments . . . before the Legislature,” and “elevate the standing and character of our Militia [to be] the largest, best organized and best drilled body of independent troops in the world.”Membership dues of $5.00 were proposed, some of which was to be applied to the hosting of a Military Ball.. Very good. Item #009699
In fact, the New York State Militia became the largest militia force in the United States. Although the state funded and directed its training and organization, individual militiamen were required to provide their own muskets and equipment, and officers also provide their own mount, saddle, pistols, sabres, and bearskin caps.
Generally, membership in local militias was compulsory in the early United States and every male citizen between the ages of 18 to 45 was required to attend military training. During peace time militiamen were required to attend several musters each year (under penalty of fine) or hire substitutes (e.g., unnaturalized immigrants) to serve in their place. Although required to provide their own firearms, substitutions for them were often allowed as well (e.g., cudgels).
(For more information see Fearon’s Sketches of America. . .., and “New York State Militia” online at worldhistory.us.online.).