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Report by Major Williams


Die Martis, 9 ho˙ A˙ M˙, September 26, 1775.

The Committee met pursuant to adjournment. Present:

For ORANGE, John Haring, Esquire, Chairman.

For NEW-YORK, Mr˙ Van Zandt, Mr˙ Beekman, Mr˙ Hallett, Mr˙ Thomas Smith, Mr˙ John Van Cortlandt, Mr˙ Richard Yates.

For ALBANY, Mr˙ Nicoll.

For DUTCHESS, Mr˙ Gilbert Livingston.

For KING' S, Mr˙ Henry Williams.

For SUFFOLK, John Foster.

For CUMBERLAND, Mr˙ Williams.

For CHARLOTTE, Mr˙ Watkins.


Mr˙ Benson returned from Jamaica, reported that he had seen Major Williams, and the other gentlemen at Jamaica; that to prevent mistakes, he had obtained the report of Major Williams in writing; which was read and filed, and is in the words following, to wit:

"Jamaica, September 25, ten o' clock, P˙ M.

SIR: I have endeavoured, in the Towns of Jamaica and Hempstead, to carry the resolutions of the Congress into execution, but without the assistance of the Battalion shall not be able to do it to any good purpose. The people conceal all their arms that are of any value; many declare they know nothing about the Congress, nor do they care any thing for the orders of the Congress; and say that they would sooner lose their lives, than give up their arms, and that they would blow any man' s brains out that should attempt to take them from them.

We find there are a number of arms, that belong to the County, in the hands of the people; some persons are so hardy and daring as to go into the houses of those that are friendly, and take away by force those County arms, that our friends have received from the clerk of the County. We are told that the people have been collecting together, and parading in sundry places, armed, and firing their muskets by way of bravado.

We also have it from good authority, that Governour Colden yesterday sent his servant round to some of the leading people, advising and directing them to arms, and defend themselves, and not deliver their arms, in consequence of which, a number of people collected themselves this morning to retake the few arms we collected yesterday; for some reason did not proceed.

Captain Hulet, of Hempstead, told us he had his Company together last Sunday, and said, had your Battalion appeared, they should have warmed their sides.

On the whole, had we the Battalion, we believe we should be able to collect a very considerable number of good arms, and support the honour of the Congress, but without it shall not; and think that if the Battalion, is sent up, the sooner the better.

Some of the leading men of Hempstead, whom we this day had together, proposed to call the Town together on Monday next, and consult on the matter, and return some answer or other on Tuesday next, and seemed desirous to put off the matter till the whole Congress met. Whether they mean, by this put off, to gain time to arm and prepare, or what else, we know not.

I am, Sir, your humble servant,


On reading the above Report of Major Williams, it is Resolved and Ordered, That tie Committee appointed to collect Arms in Queen' s County be desired to send to this Committee all the Arms already collected; and that they proceed in collecting all the Arms they can, and return with them to this City on or before Friday next. That Samuel Verplanck, Thomas Smith, David Clarkson, John Vanderbilt, and Benjamin Kissam, Esquires, be a Committee to proceed on Friday next to Queen' s County, and use every prudent measure in their power to collect Arms in the said County; and that they attend a meeting of the inhabitants intended to be held at Hempstead on Monday next, and endeavour to prevail on them to comply with the former Resolutions of this Committee; and, also, that they report to this Committee or the Provincial Congress the names of all such as have or do oppose the measures of the Continental or Provincial Congress or of this Committee.

The Committee then adjourned until nine o' clock, tomorrow morning.