Table of Contents List of Archives Top of Page
Previous   Next

thousand dollars. He will immediately come to me at New-York, as I shall want some of the money to pay off the troops. If any commands, please to write me by Mr. White.

I am, with due regard, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


To the Honourable John Hancock, Esquire.


[Read May 2, 1776.]

In Committee of Safety, New-York, }
April 29, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: On the 23d March last we wrote to you upon a subject of the utmost importance: the command of the Marine Department on the lakes. Our application was occasioned by a letter from General Schuyler, a copy of which we then enclosed to you. The General in that letter informed our Congress that, in case Major Douglass should decline that command, there was no person he would more willingly have to command the vessels than Captain Wynkoop; and requested, at any rate, to send him up the soonest possible, with a sufficient number of sailors for the two schooners and sloops. We further informed you, that we immediately sent for Captain Wynkoop, communicated to him the General’s letter, and sent him, with a copy of it, to Major Douglass; that he was then in service, and that it would be at least two months before he could attend at the lakes, if his health would permit; that we thereupon wrote him a letter, a copy of which, and of his answer, we also enclosed to you. In our letter to him we also gave him a gentle reproof for his uncertain answer to Wynkoop, and signified that we expected his immediate answer, and in case of his acceptance, he should stand ready for the execution of his duty at a minute’s warning, whenever the service should require it. In his answer he informed us: “I told Captain Wynkoop what I now tell you, that whenever I receive orders from the Congress or General, I was willing to comply, if my health would permit; and as Captain Wynkoop is desired by the General to get his men and go up, I beg you would assist and forward him; and if I am not called upon, shall endeavour to serve my country in some station of as much importance as to command the lakes.” We further reminded you in the above-mentioned letter, that the season was so far advanced that the service would suffer if the vessels on the lakes were not immediately employed. And conceiving that Major Douglass’s indetermination would make room for a new appointment, we took the liberty, through you, to recommend Captain Wynkoop as a person who was bred a mariner, had frequently been master of mercantile vessels, had served with reputation last war, both in the land and sea service; that we then thought him (as we still do) an officer of merit; and that we had heard his conduct in the last campaign highly applauded, conceived him to be worthy of the trust, and that from General Schuyler’s letter, the appointment would not be disagreeable to him. We further informed you that Captain Wynkoop would not continue in the marine service under Major Douglass; but that, nevertheless, we had prevailed on him, with the argument of danger that the service would suffer, to engage seamen and proceed to the General with all possible despatch. To this letter we have hitherto not been favoured with an answer; but have heard a report that some order from the Continental Congress has been sent to Major Douglass to repair to the post assigned him. General Schuyler, still attentive to the importance of the service on the lakes, in a letter of the 4th instant to General Thompson, who furnished us with a copy of it, writes thus: “Will you be so good as to request the New-York Congress that the sailors may be sent up without delay.” In consequence of this we sent for Captain Wynkoop, being convinced of the impossibility of sending up the seamen without an officer, and engaged him to inlist the men, and to proceed to put the vessels in order, under the present uncertainty of his station, on condition that he be permitted to quit the service in case he should be superseded. Of this we informed General Schuyler, by letter of the 25th instant, of which Captain Wynkoop, who is gone up with his seamen, is the bearer.

After what has been said in recommendation of, Captain Wynkoop, we shall presume to say no more than that, in case Major Douglass should decline, we hope this fresh instance of Captain Wynkoop’s zeal for the publick service, added to his former merit, will have sufficient weight with the Congress to confirm him in that command which was destined for Major Douglass.

We herewith send you the Petition and Remonstrances of New-York, for redress of grievances.

Major Benedict, of the first New-York Battalion, conceiving himself unfit for that office, has made a voluntary resignation, by which that Majority has become vacant. On this occasion we conceive it to become our duty to hold up two candidates for the choice of Congress. Major Barnabas Tuf-hill, of Colonel Holmes’s Regiment, of the last year’s levies, and the person who, from an attention to rank, we put on the list of Lieutenant-Colonels for the present levies, is one. He was an officer in the last war, and we have never heard of anything to his disadvantage, either in civil or military character. Captain Marinus Willet was in service during the last war, and was Captain in the last year’s New-York levies; and, with an attention to his rank as second Captain in the First Battalion, and when Captain Weisenfels, who was the first Captain, was promoted to a Lieutenant Colonelcy, we recommended Captain Willet for the Majority; but by some mistake, as we conceive, Captain Benedict, the second Captain of the Fourth Battalion, was preferred to him. Captain Willet cannot, in our opinion, have a better recommendation than General Schuyler’s letter to us of the 4th March last, which is literally as follows, to wit: “When an officer has acted with remarkable attention and propriety, it becomes a duty in his commander to give publick testimony of it. Such has been the conduct of Captain Willet during the last campaign; he is therefore entitled to the attention of his country.” For these reasons we beg leave to hold up Captain Willet as another candidate for the Majority.

We are, respectfully, gentlemen, your most obedient, and very humble servants,

By order:


To the Gentlemen Delegates for New-York, in Continental Congress.


New-York, April 29, 1776.

It is with great concern I learn from every hand, that your works for the defence of Boston and the harbour go on exceedingly slow. I must entreat you, therefore, to push Colonel Gridley on to a diligent and faithful discharge of his duty in this particular. We cannot possibly tell where the enemy will pitch their tents next. If Boston is left open and unguarded, it may be a temptation to go there; but at any rate, no time should be lost in putting the town in the best posture of defence the nature of the case will admit of. I shall be glad, in your next, to receive a particular account of what has been done towards fortifying the harbour.

Four regiments, to wit: Poor’s, Patterson’s, Greaton’s, and Bond’s, are already gone off for Canada. Reed’s and Stark’s will embark this day for Albany, on their route to the same place; and four others will follow in a day or two.

I am, sir, &c.,


To Major-General Ward.


New-York, April 29, 1776.

DEAR SIR: I wrote you on the 24th instant, and now, to inform you that, in addition to the four regiments detached from hence under General Thompson, I am ordered by Congress to send six more. This detachment will be under the command of General Sullivan, and consists of two of the Eastern regiments, (Reed’s and Stark’s), and of four of these Provinces. The two first will embark to-day, the others will be pushed forward as soon as possible.

I have spoken to the Commissary to send forward a supply of provisions. He says that he is taking measures for that purpose, and that it shall be done. The powder you wrote for I shall attempt to furnish, and as early as in my power, the augmentation of the Army in Canada necessarily requiring a large increase to that which was there before.

The Congress have sent three boxes of money, said to contain three hundred thousand dollars. They arc thus far

Table of Contents List of Archives Top of Page
Previous   Next