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John McDonald to New-York Congress



The information of John McDonald, late Miner, and Clerk, from Scotland, who, on the 15th of September, 1775, was appointed to proceed to Mr˙ Palmer, at Newburgh, to examine his Lead Mines; and, according to my charge, have taken inspections of the state and value of the Mines, with all possible diligence, conformable to mining, which, as in the following, most humbly sheweth:

The principal and only valuable mines that I know of, and I make not the least doubt the best in this Continent, are on Judge Livingston' s land, adjoining to Mr˙ Palmer' s.

The inclination of the mine vein is to the southwest and northeast, and of two feet breadth, mostly white spar, from which have taken a sample of the ore, &c˙; may make you sensible, if it be worth your while to put it in execution, and from its advantageous situation for working is most likely to turn out to immediate profit, both for the owner and the Continent. The branch of Mr˙ Palmer' s mine is about five feet breadth, consisting of different sorts of spar, and seems to me to be of likely quality, but at present free from the appearances of metals, till farther trials are made. And in case these mines be pursued, conform to its circumstances, requires the first necessary scheme, which driving a cross cut, in order to work out better discovery; if successful, the worker or overseer, providing being perfectly acquainted with lead mines, must fix upon driving an inset as low as level bearing, also sinking, cross cutting, and rising, where the appearances are best, so that the same were brought to a bearing, the better to indemnify damage or expenses, I would not launch out considerable sums of money upon uncertainty, in trials of this nature, but where there is a visible prospect; and how the above mines turn out, there' s none can express till trials are made. It is my humble opinion, what may be for a national, publick good, should be rather bestowed upon, than lie dead and useless in the bowels of the earth.

Honourable Congress or Committee, this is most humbly offered to your serious consideration; and remain your honours' most humble servant,


To the Honourable Provincial Congress, or Committee, now sitting in the City of New-York.