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Letter from General Livingston to General Washington, enclosing intelligence from Staten-Island


Elizabethtown, July 5, 1776.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY: Since my last, I have received so many applications from the inhabitants along the Sound, Woodbridge, and Amboy, relating to the defenceless state of their borders, the whole Militia being sent to New York, that, to allay their fears, (with the approbation of General Mercer, who had stopped them at Newark Ferry, where they were ordered to assist General Heard,) I ordered Major Duyckinck, with six hundred Middlesex Militia, to Amboy, leaving one hundred men at the Blazing Star Ferry.

This morning, I received an application from the three companies of the Woodbridge Militia, now at your city, requesting my interest with your Excellency, to let them return to defend that quarter; but perhaps when they are informed of the above disposition, it may make them easy.

I have this moment received an express, with a piece of information, which I trouble you with, only from the advantage that may arise from your having intelligence of every kind, that the whole may be compared together; and, to prevent mistakes, I beg leave to transcribe the letter.

"SIR: A relation of Mr˙ Dississoway stole away from Staten Island last night in a small canoe, with James Fitz Randolph, (both of whom are returned again;) they are staunch friends, and say, that if Dississoway does not return by tomorrow, his estate shall be forfeited. Randolph says he is much insulted for being a Whig by the lowest sort, but must return to save his family from being hostages. He heard the Major with other officers declare, at about four o' clock yesterday, there should be three thousand men landed at Amboy this day, before that time; and from what he could gather, that they intended to push matters in the Jerseys. We are in such a situation at this time, that with difficulty we raise a small guard, and many begin to talk of being afraid we are sold; and if the clamour is not soon stopped, God only knows what soon will be the consequence in this place, as some intend to go over, themselves and families, and not return."

This letter was written this morning, and is signed Daniel Moores, who is a principal man in that neighbourhood. Nothing material happened here last night, except that being informed of a large parcel of fat cattle being pastured on the neck along the Sound, I have ordered a party to drive off


all cattle and sheep to a place of safety. The enemy are throwing up breastworks at every avenue to the Island, but do not appear otherwise very busy.

I have just been informed that the West Jersey Militia are on their way to this place, and I shall forward them to New York, unless I receive contre orders from your Excellency.

I have the honour to be, your Excellency' s most humble servant,

To His Excellency General Washington.