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Dutchess County Committee to their Deputies in Provincial Congress



Charlotte Precinct, August 31, 1775.

GENTLEMEN: I am directed by the Committee to write to you respecting Messrs. Lester, Doughty, and Berghs. We have been credibly informed those persons have actually enlisted a number of men to serve against us in one way or another, and have threatened to come with an armed vessel and carry off some of the inhabitants who have been active in the present measures. They are now either in New-York or on board the man-of-war. We must therefore request you will use your utmost endeavours in discovering and apprehending them. We have also information that his son is employed in purchasing live stock for the use of the men of war. We would therefore recommend, that a vessel should be immediately procured for the purpose of searching all vessels going up and down the river. By this means not only the above supplies may be prevented from reaching the men of war, but the above persons may be the more readily apprehended. A particular lookout should be kept for the sloops belonging to the Berghs and one Dop. The propriety of the measure, however, we leave in your discretion. We would also mention to you, as a suspected person, one Lauchlin McDonald, who lately went from Fredericksburgh, with some men he had enlisted, in Peter Bogardus' s sloop, belonging to Fishkill.

I am also directed by the Committee to request answers to the following queries, viz:

Whether the Committees have power to call out the Minute Companies whenever they think proper?

Whether we are authorized to engage the Minute-Men any and what pay, when in actual service?

Whether the Committee can be supplied with a small sum, to answer contingent charges?


Whatever expense accrues now must be defrayed by the members of the Committee out of their own pockets, which we conceive to be exceedingly hard upon us, considering the expense we already are at in attending the Committee, without any hope of compensation in the nature of wages. Indeed, we are in so much danger from the disaffected persons in the County, that we shall be soon obliged to take some spirited measures respecting them. Those measures, however, we shall be unable to pursue without a proper supply of cash. You may be assured it will be expended with the utmost parsimony, and a proper account will be rendered of it. You will be pleased to favour us with an answer as speedily as possible.

I remain your very humble servant,

By order of the Committee:

E˙ BENSON, Ch' n.

To the Gentleman attending as Deputies, from the County of Dutchess, in Provincial Congress.