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Letter to the Committee of Tryon County


In Provincial Congress, New-York, December 9, 1775.

GENTLEMEN: The Congress have this day entered into the consideration of your letter of 28th October, and are of opinion that your application to Sir John Johnson, requesting


an answer from him whether he would allow his tenants to form themselves into companies and associate with their brethren of your County, according to the resolves of the Continental Congress, for the defence of our liberties, was improper with respect to him, and too condescending on your parts, as it was a matter that came properly within your province, and to which we doubt not but you are competent, as you have a line of conduct prescribed to you by Congress. With respect to your second question to him, whether he would take any active part in the controversy at present subsisting between Great Britain and her Colonies, we conceive to be very proper, and thank you for your information on that head. As to the third question, we conceive that he can claim no title to the Court-house and Jail in your County, as we are credibly told that his father, Sir William Johnson, did, in his life time, convey the same to two gentlemen in trust for the use of your County; however, as an attempt to use the same for the purpose of confining persons inimical to our country may be productive of bad consequences, we beg leave to recommend to you to procure some other place which may answer the end of a Jail, and give you our advice not to molest Sir John as long as he shall continue inactive, and not impede the measures necessary to be carried into execution from being completed.

We are extremely sorry that Mr˙ White has, by his imprudent conduct, rendered himself justly obnoxious to you. The best advice we can give you in this unhappy affair is, that if you are of opinion that his exercising his office will be dangerous to your liberties and security, that you permit the office to be exercised by his Deputy, and that you draw up a petition, get as many persons of your County to sign it as possible, and present it to die Governour of this Colony, setting forth that it is very disagreeable to the people in general that he should execute that office, and praying that he may be displaced, and his place supplied by a person who would be acceptable to the people of your County.

We are, most respectfully, gentlemen, your most obedient, humble servants,

To Nicholas Herkimer, Esqr˙, Chairman of the Committee of Tryon County.

P˙ S. The credentials from your County for Mr˙ Moore are not yet arrived, though several letters have been forwarded to you for that purpose.