Table of Contents List of Archives Top of Page
Previous   Next

letter, of the men’s receiving the same provision and pay with the Continental Troops in the Middle Department.

Your Memorialist would beg leave to represent to your Excellency, that the above men, under Major Doughty, did join the Continental Army in New-York, and there did faithfully serve (as by a certificate from Lord Stirling fully appears) for the space of eighteen days; for which services, and also for the subsistence of the men whilst on their march, there is now due to them the sum of two hundred and eighty-nine pounds, which sum still remains unpaid.

Your Memorialist would further beg leave to represent to your Excellency, that much jealousy subsisted in the minds of the above men, upon marching, as to the propriety of the application from his Lordship to the County Committee, and thence many hastily concluded that the application being improper, the pay and subsistence might be uncertain. Your Memorialist, fearful of any delay, and anxious to remove every doubt in the minds of his men, became surety, and pledged his faith that the men should be paid at some short day after being discharged from the service, or become Paymaster himself.

Your Memorialist would therefore further beg leave to represent to your Excellency, that, as much depends upon the Militia being regularly paid, your Excellency would be pleased to point out some ways and means for the speedy payment of the above debt of two hundred and eighty-nine pounds, that all jealousy may be removed from the minds of the good people of the County of Morris, when called forth to any future service.

And your Memorialist, as in duty bound, will ever pray.


New-York, April 17, 1776.


Philadelphia, April 17, 1776.

SIR: I have it in charge from Congress to direct that two companies of Colonel Dayton’s Battalion of New-Jersey Troops be stationed at Cape-May, for the protection of the property and navigation in that quarter. You will please to issue the necessary orders accordingly.

I am, sir, your very humble servant,

JOHN HANCOCK, President.

To General Washington, at New-York.


Head-Quarters, April 17, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: There is nothing that could add more to my happiness than to go hand in hand with the civil authority of this, or any other Government to which it may be my lot to be ordered; and if, in the prosecution of such measures as shall appear to me to have a manifest tendency to promote the interest of the great American cause, I shall encounter the local convenience of individuals, or even of a whole Colony, I beg it may be believed that I shall do it with reluctance and pain; but in the present important contest the least of two evils must be preferred.

That a continuance of the intercourse which has hitherto subsisted, between the inhabitants of this Colony and the enemy on board the ships-of-war, is injurious to the common cause, requires no extraordinary abilities to prove. A moment’s reflection not only evinces this truth, but points out the glaring absurdity of such procedure. We are to consider ourselves either in a state of peace or war with Great Britain. If the former, why are our ports shut up, our trade destroyed, our property seized, our towns burnt, and our worthy and valuable citizens led into captivity, and suffering the most cruel hardships? If the latter, my imagination is not fertile enough to suggest a reason in support of the intercourse.

In the weak and defenceless state in which this city was, some time ago, political prudence might justify the correspondence which subsisted between the country and the enemy’s ships-of-war; but as the largest part of the Continental troops is now here, and as many strong works are erected and erecting for the defence of the city and harbour, these motives no longer exist, but are absorbed in others of a more important nature.

To tell you, gentlemen, that the advantages of an intercourse of this kind are altogether on the side of the enemy, whilst we derive not the smallest benefit from it, would be obvious to every one. It is, indeed, so glaring, that even the enemy themselves must despise us for suffering it to be continued; for, besides their obtaining supplies of every kind, by which they are enabled to continue in your harbours, it also opens a regular channel of intelligence, by which they are, from time to time, made acquainted with the number and strength of our works, our strength, and all our movements, by which they are enabled to regulate their own plans, to our great disadvantage and injury. For the truth of this I could produce instances; but as it may be the subject of future discussion, I shall decline it at present.

It would, gentlemen, be taking up too much of your time to use further arguments in proof of the necessity of putting an immediate and total stop to all future correspondence with the enemy. It is my incumbent duty to effect this, convinced as I am of the disadvantages resulting from it; and it cannot be thought strange or hard that, under such conviction, I should be anxious to remove an evil which may contribute not a little to the ruin of the great cause we are engaged in, and may, in its effects, prove highly detrimental to this Colony in particular.

In effecting the salutary purposes above-mentioned, I could wish for the concurrence and support of your honourable body. It will certainly add great weight to the measures adopted, when the civil authority co-operates with the military, to carry them into execution. It will also redound much to the honour of the Government, and of your Committee in particular; for the world is apt to judge from appearances; and while such correspondence exists, the reputation of the whole Colony will suffer in the eyes of their American brethren.

It is therefore, gentlemen, that I have taken the liberty to address you on this important subject, relying upon your zeal and attachment to the cause of American liberty for your assistance, in putting a stop to this evil, and that you will co-operate with me in such measures as shall be effectual, either to prevent any future correspondence with the enemy, or in bringing to condign punishment such persons as may be hardy and wicked enough to carry it on otherwise than by a prescribed mode, if any case can possibly arise to require it.

I have the honour to be, with the utmost respect, gentlemen, your most obedient, humble servant,


To William Paulding, Esq., Chairman of the Committee of Safety of the Colony of New-York.


Dutchess County Committee, April 17, 1776.

SIR: Agreeable to your requisition, we now return you a state of the four Companies of Continental forces raising in this County for the defence of the Colony.

Captain Rosekrans is already, with his company, stationed at the fortifications in the Highlands. As we had no opportunity of seeing Captain Rosekrans, we could not procure an exact return; but from information, the company must be almost, if not entirely, complete.

Captain Swartwout has sent off his men from time to time, as they inlisted, to the Highlands; and having his officers recruiting in different parts of the County, it was impossible, upon so short notice, to furnish us with a proper return, though make no doubt but that, by this time, he must have upwards of fifty men.

Captain Child, who succeeds Captain Barker, (the latter having resigned,) received a warrant from the Committee of Safety only last week; and we find, by the tenour of it, he is indulged with three weeks to make his return. However, the firm activity of this gentleman, and being generally well liked, we imagine he will speedily raise a company.

Captain Pearse, before this comes to hand, will have waited on the Committee of Safety, to make his return and receive their directions in person.

We remain, most respectfully, your very humble servants. By order of the Committee:


To William Paulding, Esq., Chairman of the Committee of Safety, New-York.

Table of Contents List of Archives Top of Page
Previous   Next