Primary tabs

No. 31. Deposition of Isaac Peabody


[ No˙ 31. ]


The Deposition of Captain Isaac Peabody, of lawful age, being duly sworn, saith: That on Sunday morning, the 13th instant, he returned to the house of Seth Chase, in Little White Creek. I asked Mr˙ Chase if he had seen any of our Kinderhook friends the night past. He answered, no. I told him I wanted to see Mr˙ Hughs, the man we discoursed with last night in the road. He then told me Mr˙ Hough told him the discourse he had with us, and that Mr˙ Hough knew no more of the plan than what he had communicated to him. I asked him if he had for certain that Burgoyne with his Army was coming round the lakes? He answered, that Colonel Man had sent a page to Arlington, and he was at his house night before last, on his return to Colonel Man, and told him that Colonel Man' s order to the people of Arlington was to remain peaceable and still, if their intentions were undiscovered, till further orders from him, for he found, by intelligence from Burgoyne, he would not get through his march so soon as expected; but if they were discovered, to make the best of their way to him. The page further saith, that the people of Arlington had made such preparations for their march, that they could not forego it without being discovered; therefore, would march to-night. Mr˙ Chase then said, the people of White Creek are secure, they would not march till further order from Colonel Man. He likewise said, that Colonel Man had twelve fat oxen for the purpose of victualling the friends of Government on their march to join the King' s Army. And others had several more cattle for the same purpose. I then asked him to direct me to a plan whereby our Kinderhook friends could get safe to the King' s Army. He then told me that Colonel Man had given countersigns at two places, and if these countersigns could be conveyed to your friends, they can pass safe, and get all intelligence necessary. He then spoke to his wife to bring him a paper, on which she immediately came to us and takes a paper out of her bosom and gave it to her husband, and he handed it to me, saying, Now I give you my life. I took the paper and read it to be this: "At Landlord Northrop' s the countersign is Tryon; and at Jacob Lansing' s Ferry, the countersign is Burgoyne." I told him for fear I should make a mistake in these countersigns, I would write them down. Then wrote them down. He then said that upon giving these countersigns out at these two places, we could be secreted, have provisions, or be helped on our way, or any thing we desired to forward. He further said, that Simon Covill was a good friend to Government, and that I might not be afraid of him; he further said, that his house was a place where Colonel Man' s page came for entertainment, and to bring news to the friends to Government.


Bennington, October 14, 1776.


The said Isaac Peabody, upon recollecting further, said, that the above-said Seth Chase told him that Colonel Man had given orders, in the day time to keep the woods, and in the night to come upon the roads, and to march twenty


in a body, at the distance of one mile one body from the other, and before and after each body of twenty men, one man should be placed at the distance of ten rods, and if anybody was coming after them, the rear guard was to speak loud enough for those before to hear, and the parties were then to skulk into the woods, and if any person were to meet them, the advance guard to act in like manner.


A true copy from the original, examined and transmitted by order of the Committee.