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Samuel Thompson to New-York Congress



Brookhaven, February 15, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: Whereas, by the Convention of this Province, the Committee of Suffolk County were directed to make a return of a draft of the several harbours in said County, to the said Convention, as soon as might conveniently be. Pursuant thereto, the County Committee ordered me to send in a draft of the East and West harbours of Brookhaven, commonly known by the names of Setauket and Stony-Brook harbours; and, although I know myself a bad draftsman, yet I have undertaken the task, unequal to it as I was, and have endeavoured to make something like a plan, not only of the harbours and channels, but, also, of the beaches and lands between them, and have, also, endeavoured to tell something of their length and distances, and, also, of the depth of the water in some places.

By my card, I have made the distance from Mount-Misery-Clift, or Point, by Setauket-Harbour, eight miles and an half; but, I believe, as the shore runs, it is more than ten miles to Rasepeige-Clift, at the west end of Long-Beach, in Smithtown, a long and very defenceless shore; but, although some people think it a matter of small importance whether Setauket-Harbour be fortified or not, I profess I cannot be of their opinion, as there is not one harbour, from the Oysterpond' s Point to Setauket-Harbour, that a vessel of any considerable burden can get into, and the distance is more than fifty miles. I think Setauket-Harbour must be secured by a small fort built on the beach that runs off from Mount-Misery-Point, as no vessel of burden can get in without coming within forty rods of said fort. And, if our cruisers should happen to be chased at low water, I think they may run in within an hundred rods of said fort. If it should be done only with a small battery, and the enemy should land to the east of them, and corne upon the back of them, as they may do at low water, our soldiers will have no shelter. I think there should be, at this place, not less than six or eight guns, some of which should be nine or twelve-pounders; on the Sound side, small guns would answer; on the back side, Stony-Brook-Harbour would need but two six or nine-pounders, placed on the high clift. Some have thought it would be best to place the battery on George' s Neck, four hundred rods from the harbour, but I cannot join with them, (at Setauket-Harbour.) Justice Strong, by whom you will receive these few lines, can, I think, explain the matter more fully to you.

We are very much in want of a gunsmith here to fix our guns and make us bayonels; but gunsmiths are very extortionate in their asking, which I think ought to be looked to, as their work is not worth more now than it used to be, when they would do their work better, and for a much less price. There are several blacksmiths in this town that say they would take in a good workman, and assist him, and, unless we can have a workman, we cannot possibly be fixed as we ought to be, to defend our country. There are numbers amongst us that have no guns, nor could they buy if they had money.

Gentlemen, from your very humble servant,


To the Congress at New-York.