Table of Contents List of Archives Top of Page
Previous   Next

made use of to influence the minds of the electors, by the very persons who held the polls in some Districts, and that many persons were admitted to vote, by no means qualified as the law directs.

That the Committee of the County of Charlotte met on the 1st of May; and notwithstanding the irregularity of the election, in the Districts of New-Perth, Skenesborough, Black-Creek, and Granville, they decided the election in favour of the persons abovementioned, without waiting for the polllists from several townships, in which your Petitioner was elected, or granting a scrutiny agreeable to his earnest application; although the union of the County much depended on an impartial decision of the merits of this election.

That the only reason that your Petitioner has ever heard offered for this precipitate step, was the nonattendance of the members for the Districts of Kingsbury, &c., in order to produce their polllists on the 1st of May; although no positive order to that effect was, (as your Petitioner is credibly informed,) at the preceding meeting of the 29th of March, ever entered on the Minutes of the Committee. A strange conclusion ! from which it may be inferred that the orders of the Committee, however irregularly specified, are to be inexorably observed, like the laws of the Medes and Persians, even at the hazard of the union of the County, whilst the positive ordinances of your honourable body may be dispensed with, by the mere caprice of the Chairman of the County Committee.

Your Petitioner further begs leave to represent, that several members of the County Committee, instead of judges, made themselves parties to the merits of the election; by which means the jealousies and dissensions which have arisen in the County, from the designs of turbulent, interested, and ambitious persons, and from an inadequate representation of the freeholders and freemen in the County Committee, have much increased.

That your Petitioner, at the earnest request of several of the principal freeholders and freemen in this County, offered himself a candidate to represent them in Convention, flattering himself that, from an impartial representation of the political management of affairs in this County, the inhabitants might be rescued from that anarchy and oppression with which they are threatened.

That the most wicked and false aspersions have been thrown out to discourage his exertions, by the arts and influence of men who are strangers to integrity, and the true principles of civil liberty; and that the Committee have unhappily given their sanction to such unworthy attempts.

That your Petitioner is, nevertheless, conscious of his zealous attachment to the grand cause, and pledges himself to prove to the satisfaction of your honourable House the truth of these assertions, and the purity of his zeal for the happiness and union of this country.

He therefore humbly prays, that the Deputies now offering themselves for this County may not be permitted to take their seats in your honourable House, as the legal Representatives of this County; and that any proceedings with respect to your Petitioner, and the Committee of this County, may be suspended until his arrival in New-York, which he flatters himself will be about the 14th instant.

Your Petitioner is at present engaged in procuring true lists of the qualified votes in the different Districts, and in collecting other materials to prove to the satisfaction of this House the lamentable state of this County, and the urgent necessity there is that the wisdom of your body should interfere to save it from anarchy and oppression. Your Petitioner, therefore, flatters himself that this may plead in excuse should he not be present on the first day that the new Convention meets.

This Petition is presented in behalf of upwards of two hundred of the principal freeholders and freemen of the County, to the westward of the New-Hampshire Grants, whose sacred rights of election, your Petitioner esteems it his duty to defend from the usurpation of any body of men whatsoever.

They were the legal majority at the close of the poll had a regard for justice and the ordinances of your House prevailed. He therefore considers himself one of their legal Representatives; and your Petitioner, &c.,


Appendix. —The election in the different Districts where John Williams, Alexander Webster, and William Malcolm, were chosen, opened on the following days, at the places mentioned: New-Perth, 23d of April; Black-Creek, 22d of April; Skenesborough and Granville, on the same day, between the 1st and 16th of April.


New-York, May 4, 1776.


Fishkill, May 4, 1776.

SIR: I herewith enclose you General Washington’s order to me, to make the necessary inquiry relative to a number of arms he was informed was in Wiltsy’s store, with the baggage of officers taken at St. John’s, and to secure the same. Agreeable to which, I beg you will secure said arms, as I am informed they are removed from Wiltsy’s store, and are now in your possession; and transmit to me as expeditiously as possible, the officer‘s name and rank, and where he now is, who stored them at Mr. Wiltsy’s; the number of arms, and every other circumstance which may come to your knowledge respecting the same, authenticated by affidavits of the facts, where in your power. And if it shall appear that he has in this respect violated the articles of capitulation, I would advise, in such case, he be secured from escaping until the pleasure of Congress shall be known as to his conduct.

I am, your most obedient servant,


To Richard Van Wyck, Esq., Chairman of the Committee of Rombouts Precinct, Dutchess County.


Fort George, May 4, 1776, ten o‘clock, A. M.

DEAR SIR: Your Excellency’s favours of the 24th and 29th of April, are this moment come to hand.

To-morrow evening I shall furnish batteaus sufficient to carry the remainder of General Thompson’s Brigade to Canada; but as we can build only four a day, the troops must necessarily be detained some time, unless part of the batteaus should return from Canada, which I ordered to be done when the first left this. To supply so large an Army with provisions will require the greatest attention and alertness. Nothing shall be wanting on my part.

I believe Mr. Ray’s information is groundless, as all the arms Mr. Rensselaer (who is conductor at Albany) has, were purchased by my order; and I cannot think he has a sufficiency for the troops raising at Albany. I shall direct him to send your Excellency a return.

I shall procure more carpenters, that the troops may be despatched the soonest possible; and hope four days hence to build six batteaus a day. One regiment will be able to cross Lake Champlain in vessels, and I shall find means to get it to Ticonderoga, without waiting for batteaus to pass Lake George.

I am, with every sentiment arising from respect and esteem, your Excellency‘s most obedient, humble servant,


To His Excellency General Washington, &c., &c.


Fort George, May 4, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: I am this moment advised by express from General Washington, that six regiments were to leave New-York after the 29th of April last. The First Brigade, under General Thompson, came unexpectedly on me, and has distressed me much. The addition of that now coming under General Sullivan, I do not know how to get on to this place, without stopping the transportation of provisions; and if that is done, our Army already in Canada must suffer, if not starve. In this truly distressing dilemma, I apply for your aid without hesitation, and with the fullest confidence to receive it, as I have had such repeated instances of your readiness to promote the good of the common cause, and to relieve my distresses.

Permit me, then, to wish you to write circular letters to the Committees in every District, to try to procure all the

Table of Contents List of Archives Top of Page
Previous   Next