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Letter from the Committee of Safety

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WHITE-PLAINS JAIL, August 18, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: Our confinement at present is the cause of our troubling your honourable House with this our imperfect petition. We have conversed with the Deputy Chairman of the General Committee of this our County, who we have desired to wait on you, and will, if called on, deliver our sentiments fuller than we are able to set forth with ink and paper. Gentlemen, as we are convinced we are confined on no other principle than for the safety of the States of America, we rather applaud than blame you for it; we have not been wise enough to associate with you, still we are not unwise enough not to consider that self-preservation is the first law of nature. Still, gentlemen, we flatter ourselves that what we say here (joined to what the person we send will add) will convince your honourable House that our enlargement will in nowise endanger the States of America, which being done to the full satisfaction of your House, we doubt not (trusting in the goodness of the members that

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compose your body, and that the safety of the State is the only motive of your confining us) but that we may have our enlargements. Our proposal is, first, that we will in nowise resist or oppose the authority of the States of America; secondly, that whenever an attack shall be made on the said States, if we cannot find a resolution sufficient to join our brethren and neighbours in repelling force by force, then and in such case we will repair immediately to the common jail of our County, or to such other place as you in your wisdom shall think proper; and thirdly, for the performance of said propositions we are willing to bind ourselves under the ties of bonds or solemn oaths. So, gentlemen, we rest it here, only referring you to Mr˙ Miller, and desiring you to take our case into mature consideration; and your petitioners, as in duty bound, shall ever pray, &c.

EDMUND WARD,
JOSIAH BROWN,
JOSEPH PURDY,
BARTHW˙ HAINS,
SAMUEL, MERITT,
JOSHUA PURDY,
JONATHAN PURDY,
GABRIEL PURDY,
PHILIP FOWLER,
CALEB MORGAN,
JOHN BESLEY,
WILLIAM BARKER, Jun˙,
GILBERT HORTON,
JOHN McCORD,
ISAAC BROWN.

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