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Letter from Robert G. Livingston to the New-York Convention



Newark, August 27, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: At this moment, so important to the general welfare of America, it becomes every well-wisher of his country to discourage everything that has a tendency to weaken our present struggles; and as nothing can more effectually injure us in that way than a depreciation of the Continental currency, I was greatly surprised at the conduct of a gentleman of New York in refusing a sum of money in that currency. The circumstances are these: I was bound with Mr˙ Samuel Hake to Captain Anthony Rutgers in a bond of £900. The last Saturday I sent the principal and interest due upon that bond by Robert Hyslop to Mr˙ Rutgers to discharge the same, but he absolutely refused to receive the money offered him, which was in Continental money.

I thought it my duty to inform you of this matter, as it may be attended with the most dangerous consequences to the publick interest; for if such a person as Mr˙ Rutgers may refuse it, who may not do the same, and where will it end? For my part, I have received lately very large sums in that money, with as great a readiness as I would gold or silver. But if I cannot pass it again, it will be dead and useless to me, and I must of course refuse it from my debtors, which must inevitably introduce the greatest confusion in the country, and which no friend of his country can think of without trembling.

I lay this matter before you, gentlemen, as being thoroughly convinced you will do everything in your power to put a stop to such practices.

I am, with great esteem, gentlemen, your most humble servant,

To the Chairman of the Committee of the City and County of New York.