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General Heath to New-York Convention



Peekskill, December 24th, 1776.

SIR: On the 3d instant I received a letter from the honourable President of the Convention of the State of New-York, representing that complaint had been made to the Committee of Safety, of depredations committed by Captain Ford and his company, and that certain resolutions had passed in the Committee, which were to be transmitted to his Excellency General Washington, with a request that Captain Ford be delivered up, in order to answer for his misconduct in a course of justice; and that, in the mean time, I would detain Captain Ford in custody, and to give orders for securing such of the plundered effects as could be found.

Detesting a spirit of plundering, and at all times determined to bring offenders to justice, I immediately ordered Captain Ford under arrest, and several of his men under guard. Soon after being ordered over into the Jerseys, I have not heard any thing further of the matter until this day, when receipts, copies of which are enclosed, were presented to me, with a complaint that the prisoners lay confined, and were not brought to trial.

By the receipts, it appears that the parties injured have had reparation made them. It now remains that the offenders be brought to trial for the offence. I must, therefore, beg that you will inform me, as soon as possible, whether you desire that they should be given up to be tried by civil law? If not, I shall immediately order them to be tried by court-martial. A speedy determination is necessary, as they are all artificers, and much wanted at this time; and such as are not guilty should return to their duty.

I am informed that a troop of Horse, belonging to the State of Connecticut, have been for some time posted at Fishkill, and that they are not much wanted there. If it be


so, a part of them will be of great service at this place, and should be glad that they may be ordered down accordingly.

I am, sir, with respect and esteem, your most humble servant, W˙ HEATH.

President of the honourable Convention of the State of New-York.