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Letter from the New-York Committee of Safety to Lord Stirling



In Committee of Safety, New-York, Sunday Evening, 8 o' clock, January 21, 1776.

MY LORD: By the seizure of a man, brought up from the Hook by one of our pilots, from on board a transport, we, this instant, have learned her being in a distressed condition, and waiting there for direction and assistance from this port. She has been out thirteen weeks, destined for the Head-Quarters of the Ministerial troops, so that, if she receives relief, she will, doubtless, proceed for Boston. She is deeply laden with all kinds of stores for the army.

Our intelligence is from letters found on the prisoner, directed to certain persons under fictitious directions, which were intended to be conveyed, by him, on board of the man-of-war. It would greatly serve the publick cause could she be seized. There are the most evident reasons why we, in New-York, ought not, in point of prudence, to do it. We have two ships-of-war lying here, and our exports, as yet, happily, uninterrupted by them.

This discovery cannot be kept long a secret, and we think it our duty to submit this case to your immediate attention. Should it be known to the ships-of-war, they will, doubtless, send down their boats, which consideration has induced us, by express, to furnish you with this opportunity of serving the publick.

The above reasons point out the propriety of keeping


the source of your information a secret, and, to this end, we beg you will destroy this as soon as read.

We are, my Lord, with great respect, your Lordship' s most obedient.

By order of the Committee:

P˙ S. She is a ship of between three and four hundred tons, a galley-built ship, without a head; has yellow sides, blue quarter-boards, with the trophies of war painted on the quarter-boards; has six three-pounders on the quarter deck. She has, it is thought, a quantity of ammunition on board. She has about twenty hands, and lies hovering off and on, without the Hook, and will not leave that station till she receives intelligence from shore. Captain William Rogers, the bearer of this, will be a proper person to take the direction of the undertaking.

To the Right Honourable the Earl of Stirling.