Primary tabs

Letter from William Birdsall to the New-York Committee of Safety



At Oyster-Bay, Southwest Neck, March 21, 1776.

GENTLEMEN OF THE PROVINCIAL CONGRESS IN NEW-YORK: I think myself bound in duty to inform you of the conduct of the people in the southeasternmost part of our County of Queen' s County, where I am weft acquainted. I here enclose a song, that is publickly and frequently sung with joy and jollity, and healths drank "Damnation to the Congress." Such publick conduct, I conceive, is detrimental to the publick union of friendship in our County — to the American cause now in contest with Great Britain. I, for my own part, rely my trust and confidence in the Continental and Provincial Congress; and depend they will take all methods that to them may seem advantageous for the safety of our country, and the more perfect union of the people. I can say our Queen' s County has been, and still is, in a surprising situation, and dangerous to the welfare of our country, and in remarkable contradiction with those who are actually friends to the cause of America; and unless some particular resolves should be shortly passed for the better regulating said County, and by its being in some way regulated by the Congress military law, I apprehend it will grow worse, instead of better. I am ready and free to discharge any request in my power for the protection of my country, at either the call of the Continental or Provincial Congress; and therefore I pray that, until a perfect peace may be finally settled with you, (the Congress and Great Britain,) you may stand fast in the light, with that true guide in Congress, that will support and protect advantageous laws for the protection of your friends, and a perfect union in and throughout all the thirteen United Colonies — and more, all the friends to the American cause, be they where they may.

From your most obedient and humble servant,


To the Honourable Provincial Congress in New-York.