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Petition from John Willett


A Petition of John Willett, and fourteen other persons, inhabitants of Queen' s County, now prisoners under a guard in the City of New-York, was read and filed, and is in the words following, to wit:

"To the Honourable the Provincial Congress of the Colony of NEW-YORK, convened in the City of NEW-YORK, the Petition of the subscribers, inhabitants of QUEEN' S County, on NASSAU-ISLAND, humbly showeth:

"That your Petitioners have been obliged to attend the honourable the Continental Congress at Philadelphia, in obedience to an order from that body, as verbally delivered by Colonel Heard. That they have been at great expense in their journey to and from Philadelphia, and are now confined in this city at their own expense, and denied the pleasure of visiting their families. That when they left their several homes to attend the honourable the Continental Congress, they were admitted to go and return to this Congress on parole of honour. That they are ready and willing to pledge their honours to observe such orders as this honourable body shall direct, respecting their appearance, provided they are admitted to go at large; or, if bail should be required, they are ready and willing to give such reasonable security as to this honourable body shall seem meet,


for their appearance whenever required. The Petitioners, therefore, humbly pray that this honourable body will give them such relief in the premises as to them shall seem meet. And the Petitioners shall ever pray, &c.

"John Willett,
"Benj. Whitehead,
"Thomas Smith,
"William Weynman,
"Nathaniel Moore,
Daniel Kissam,
John Shoals,
Samuel Hallett,
Gilbert Van Wyck,
John Townsend,
John Polhemus,
Charles Hicks,
Samuel Martin,
David Brooks,
Joseph French.

"NEW-YORK, February 12, 1776."

After reading the said Petition and prayer thereof, Mr˙ Scott moved, and was seconded, that the prayer thereof be granted.

Debates arose upon the said motion, and the question being put thereon, it was carried in the negative by a great. majority.