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Letter from General Lee to Colonel Sears



New-York, March 5, 1776.

SIR: As I have received intelligence from the Commander-in-Chief that there is the greatest reason to expect very soon at this place a considerable army of the enemy, it appears to me that I should be in the highest degree culpable, that I should be responsible to God, my own conscience, and to the Continent of America, in suffering,, at so dangerous a crisis, a knot of professed foes to liberty and their country to remain any longer within our own bosom, either to turn openly against us in arms, (in conjunction with the enemy,) or covertly to furnish them with intelligence, and carry on a correspondence, to the ruin of their country. I must desjre that you will offer the enclosed Test to the people of whom I send you a list. Their refusal might be considered an avowal of their hostile intentions. You are therefore to secure their persons, and, without loss of time, to send them up, as irreclaimable enemies to their country, to close custody in Connecticut. Richard Hulot is to have no conditions offered to him, but to be secured without ceremony. I am, sir, yours,

CHARLES LEE, Major-General.

To Lieutenant-Colonel Sears, Deputy Adjutant-General.