Primary tabs

Letter from the Committee of Dutchess County


A Letter from the Committee of Dutchess County, dated the 5th instant, was read and filed, and is in the words following, to wit:

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 good 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 were 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 it 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:
"SAMUEL DODGE, Chairman.

"Provincial Congress, New-York."

The same being read and considered, thereupon

Resolved, That if any person or persons, being brought before the Committee of any County, Town, Manor, Precinct, or District, within this Colony, to give in his, her, or their evidence on oath, or by affirmation, according to the best of his, her, or their knowledge, in any matter or charge, within the authority or jurisdiction of such Committee, brought against any other person or persons, shall refuse to give his, her, or their evidence, respectively, on oath or affirmation, he, she, or they so refusing shall be immediately committed to safe custody, at his, her, or their own private expense; there to remain until he, she, or they consent to be qualified, and give in his, her, or their evidence or testimony as aforesaid.

Mr˙ Clowes obtained leave of absence to goto Queen' s County.

The Congress adjourned till to-morrow morning, at ten o' clock.