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Letter from William Smith, Chairman of the Committee of Suffolk County


5 ho˙ P˙ M˙, Die Lunae, February 5, 1776.

The Committee met pursuant to adjournment.

Present: Mr˙ Joseph Hallett, Chairman, Colonel McDougall, Mr˙ Scott, Colonel Brasher, Mr˙ Tredwell, Mr˙ Brewster, Mr˙ Oothoudt, Mr˙ Sands.

A Letter from William Smith, Esq˙, Chairman of the Committee of Suffolk County, was read and filed, and is in the words following, to wit:

Suffolk County, January 24, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: In pursuance to your order, we have appointed the Field-Officers for the Minute-Men in this County, and, also, the officers for the Artillery company; which companies, we trust, will be some security to this County, at the same time this Committee beg leave to mention, that the Militia of this County but little exceeds two thousand. The great exposedness of the east end, and the extensiveness of the County, induces us to desire such number of Continental troops may be stationed here as the Congress in their wisdom shall judge necessary; we make no doubt the Continent proposes to protect and defend this Island, and hope you will use your endeavours that a sufficient force may be posted here for that purpose.

We have a number of poor men in this County, who are good soldiers, and friends to the cause, and would be glad to inlist as Minute-Men, but have no guns; we should be glad to know if a number can be procured at the publick expense, for such persons as are unable to purchase them.

The situation of this County in many parts makes it extremely difficult to raise and train the Minute-Men; they complain they are not sufficiently paid, considering the great distance they have to travel, many eight, ten, and twelve miles, and that on foot, to exercise. The officers, also, on the same account, are at considerable expense, besides the expense raising their companies, and pray they may be considered. By order of the Committee:


"To the Honourable Provincial Congress, New-York."


A list of the Officers of the Minute-Men approved and chosen by the County Committee:

Josiah Smith, Colonel; John Hulbert, Second Colonel; Isaac Reeve, First Major; Jonathan Baker, Second Major; Isaac Overton, Adjutant; Ebenezer Dayton, Quartermaster.

Officers of the Artillery: William Rogers, Captain; John Franks, Captain-Lieutenant; Jeremiah Rogers, First Lieutenant; Thomas Baker, Second Lieutenant; John Tuthill, Lieutenant Fire-Worker.

By order of the Committee:

"WILLIAM SMITH, Chairman."

Ordered, That Commissions issue for the gentlemen therein named, and that the residue of that Letter remain for the consideration of the Provincial Congress.

[Commissions issued, dated February 20, 1776.]