Primary tabs

Letter from the Committee of Dutchess County to the New-York Congress



Poughkeepsie, December 5, 1775.

GENTLEMEN: Some few days past, three men were committed to jail in consequence of an order from the General Committee of Dutchess County, on a charge of having aided and assisted Peter Harris in inlisting men for the Ministerial Army. The Committee of Poughkeepsie Precinct, having reason to believe that some further discovery might be made of the pernicious scheme carrying on in this County against the friends of American liberty, as well to procure further evidences against said prisoners, the Chairman issued citations for a number of persons to appear before said Committee the 4th instant, on which day most of them appeared; and Mr˙ Justice Ellis being called in to qualify them, three persons, whom the Committee deemed the most material witnesses, refused to be sworn, and contemned the authority of the Committee, saying, they had taken counsel so to do.

And the Committee being of opinion that there are several very officious Ministerial agents in this County, who have corrupted the minds of many of the ignorant and baser sort of men among us, maliciously telling them, the Whigs


are in rebellion, the King would conquer them, and their estates be forfeited; and if they take up arms against them, the King, for their services, will give them the Whigs' possessions: The Committee, taking these matters into consideration, and being of opinion that the denial of their authority is of the last importance, and not being clear that any particular rule is pointed out by Congress, think it expedient to solicit their advice in the premises.

We are, gentlemen, your most obedient and very humble servants.

By order of the Committee:


To the Provincial Congress, New-York.