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That soon after, returning from Halls Tavern to his own house, he saw Johnson, and several officers with him, coming out of his (this examinants) house; upon which he ran immediately to this Chamber, to lay his case before this Congress, and found the Congress was not yet assembled. That Johnson pursued him to this Chamber, and into the Chamber, and beat him with his stick until this examinant took the stick from him. That Johnson then beat him with his fists, and struck him many blows on his arms, attempting to strike him on the head, and also struck him a blow in the eye, and bit his hand. That Johnson then ordered two other officers to take hold of him (this examinant) and carry him to the Guard-House; that one of them seized him by the collar, and forced him out of the room, and that they forcibly took him to the Guard-House. That William A. Forbes was one of the officers, and went to the Guard-House with him. That the other officer told this examinant that Captain Johnson was his superior officer, and that he was obliged to obey him. That they took him to the upper Barrack Guard-room.
The examinant further says, that, yesterday morning, Samuel Burling came into his shop, and mentioned, as a report or news, that Lord Dunmore had landed in Virginia with some troops, and that a number of Virginians had joined him. That he (the examinant) soon after went to dress Colonel Ritzema; and, being by him asked what news, mentioned what Samuel Burling related. That this is the matter for which Captain Johnson called on him for his author.
Sampson Dyckman says he was talking to Captain Johnson; that Johnson called to Lesslie, and asked if he had found that man; that Lesslie said no, but he could find him; and he gave substantially the same account which Alexander Lesslie has given. And he further says, that when Johnson was beating him in the Assembly Chamber, he took Johnson off, and separated them. That Captain Johnson desired him to take Lesslie to the Guard-House, and that he refused.
Alexander Lesslie and Sampson Dyckman ordered to withdraw.
The Congress then went into the consideration of the conduct of Captain John Johnson; and the whole examinations of the parties, and the above memorandum of the evidence of Sampson Dyckman, were severally read.
Mr. Van Cortlandt then moved his motion for dismissing Captain Johnson from service, as before entered on the Minutes of this afternoon, be now read and taken into consideration.
And the same being again read, is in the words following:
I move that the warrant to raise a Company of the Troops of this Colony in Continental service, lately given to John Johnson, be taken from him, and that, as far forth as in the power of this Congress, he be dismissed the Continental service, and all employments under this Congress.
Debates arose thereon; and after some time spent therein, and the question being put thereon, it was carried in the negative, in the manner following, to wit:
Ordered, therefore, That the said motion be rejected.
Mr. Gansevoort then moved, and was seconded, in the words following, to wit:
I move that Captain John Johnson be ordered to the bar of this Congress; and that he make proper concessions for the insult offered to this Congress, by usurping a power which is vested in this Congress; that he be charged to behave himself peaceably towards Alexander Lesslie, whom he has grossly injured; that he receive a severe reprimand from the Chair; and that he be told if he should be guilty of the like behaviour in future, this Congress will cause him to be displaced.
The same being read a second time and agreed to,
Resolved, That Captain John Johnson be ordered to the bar of this Congress; and that he make proper concessions for the insult offered to this Congress, by usurping a power which is vested in this Congress; that he be charged to behave himself peaceably toward Alexander Lesslie, whom he has grossly injured; that he receive a severe reprimand from the Chair; and that he be told if he should be guilty of the like behaviour in future, that this Congress will cause him to be displaced.
Mr. Hobart, according to order, reported a draft of a Letter to the Delegates of this Colony at Continental Congress, requesting permission for Patrick Sinclair to go to Britain; which was read and approved, and is in the words following, to wit:
In Provincial Congress, New-York, March 7, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: The late Provincial Congress having received information, on the 3d of August last, that Captain Patrick Sinclair was appointed Lieutenant-Governour and Superintendent at Missilimacana, being a person of great influence with the Indians, and that he was then in this city on his way to that post, and thinking it would be imprudent to permit any gentleman under the influence of the British Ministry to go into the interior of the country to exercise those offices who might prejudice the Indians against the United Colonies, ordered him to be taken into custody, and sent him, on his parole, to Suffolk County, on Nassau-Island, where he has since continued to demean himself very unexceptionably. He has lately applied, by letter, (a copy of which you have enclosed,) to this Congress for leave to return to Europe. As we do not choose to take a step of this kind without the advice of your honourable; body, we beg you will lay the state of this gentlemans case before Congress, and let us have their directions thereon. We beg leave to suggest that Mr. Sinclair was not laid under restraint as an enemy to the country. No information was received of his entertaining sentiments unfriendly to the United Colonies, but to the contrary; and that he had invariably treated our Indian traders with the greatest humanity and politeness. For these reasons, and from the consideration that he was not looked upon as a prisoner of war, we wish the favour he asks may be granted.
And are, your humble servants. By order.
To the New-York Delegates in Continental Congress.
Ordered, That a copy thereof be engrossed, and signed by the President, and transmitted.
Mr. Hobart, according to order, also reported a draft of a Letter to Colonel Blackwell, and sundry other gentlemen, of Queens County, on the subject of forming the friends to liberty in their County into a Militia, and of choosing and appointing Committees; which was read and approved, and is in the words following, to wit:
In Provincial Congress, New-York, March 7, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: The Congress being of opinion that it is absolutely necessary that the inhabitants of your County, who have signed the Association, and are friendly to the liberties of their country, should be formed into military companies and regimented, and be in a capacity of defending themselves if attacked; and, being informed that they have appointed a County Committee and likewise that Committees, are chosen in several Districts in your County, request that they carry the resolves of Congress for regulating the Militia into execution, and recommend suitable men for the Field-Officers.
The very great importance of the rights for which we are contending, added to the consideration of the present critical situation of our publick affairs, and the great probability that the enemy will endeavour to get possession of this Colony in the course of the spring, renders it totally unnecessary for us to urge any arguments with you on the subject. We doubt not you will exert yourselves to have these matters settled with all possible despatch in your County.
We remain your humble servants. By order.
To Colonel Blackwell
Die Veneris, A. M. March 8, 1776.
The Congress met pursuant to adjournment.
Present: Brigadier-General Woodhull, President.
FOR NEW-YORK.Mr. Van Zandt, Mr. Randall, Mr. Prince, Captain Rutgers, Mr. Rutgers, Captain Denning, Mr. Evert Bancker, Mr. Sands, Colonel McDougall.