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Letter from Christopher Leffingwell to Governour Trumbull: Account of his proceedings in removing cattle, etc., from Long-Island



Norwich, September 30, 1776.

HONOURED SIR: In pursuance of orders received from your Honour and from Colonel Wolcott, in conformity thereto, I have been with my company and twelve men from Colonel Wolcott' s, with what shipping I could find, to Sag-Harbour, where I was joined by a company from Colonel Livingston, with which we have taken off most of the fat cattle that was left in the Hamptons and on Montauk, as also most of the sheep, having left a sufficiency of fat beef and mutton and the milch cows, for the use of the inhabitants that tarry on the island, as also the greater part of the lean and young cattle.

The vessels I took up at Norwich and New-London brought off seven hundred and ninety sheep, one hundred and fifty-two head of horned cattle, three families, furniture, &c˙, &c. The sheep and cattle have been delivered to the Committee of Norwich. Several of the owners are now there taking charge of their own. Others are expected soon, but probably there will be a number that no owner will appear for this some time.

The Committee of Norwich have never received any request from the Convention of the State of New-York, neither had they seen the resolution of that Convention recommending the removal of the women, children, stock, &c˙, until I shew a copy of it to them this day. They were proposing to advertise the remaining cattle and sheep for sale at publick auction; but as it is new business, and they are not invested with such authority as they could wish, they desire to be instructed by your Honour. A great number of the inhabitants of Easthampton own they have taken the oath of allegiance, and signed the roll of submission; many of which have since come off, and more intend coming. They are threshing their English grain, and are very desirous of getting their Indian corn, if possible. My company were the last troops on the island, Colonel Livingston' s men having embarked and sailed before we had taken all the stock on board. The officers and men have exerted themselves beyond what is common, and are much fatigued; hope your Honour will excuse them from any further immediate service, that they may have time to recruit, except something very special should require their aid.

I have paid some of the masters and people I employed in the shipping, as I promised them their money immediately on their return. The owners I have paid nothing; wish to be directed how to settle with them, and advised how they shall be paid, and when, as they will be calling on me.

Beg leave to subscribe, with great esteem, your Honour' s most obedient, humble servant,


To Governour Trumbull.

N˙ B˙ The vessels employed by Colonel Livingston imagine must have carried off double the number of stock and ten times as many of the inhabitants as those I employed.

C˙ L.