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Meeting of Freeholders of Westchester County, New-York



White-Plains, in the County of Westchester, April 11, 1775.

On the 28th of March last, the following gentlemen having received letters from the Chairman of the Committee of the City and County of New-York, relative to the appointment of Deputies for this County, met at this place for the purpose of devising means for taking the sense of the County upon the subject, viz: Theodosius Bartow, Esq˙, William Sutton, Esq˙, Captain Joseph Drake, James Willis, Benjamin Drake, Moses Drake, Colonel Lewis Morris, Thomas Hunt, Abraham Legget, James Horton, Jun˙, Esq; Stephen Ward, and Abraham Guion, Esq˙, who, having taken the same into consideration, agreed to send the following notification to the principal freeholders in the different Towns and Districts in the County, viz:

March 28, 1775

SIR: A number of gentlemen from different Districts in, the County of Westchester, having this day met at the White-Plains, to consider, of the most proper method of taking the sense of the freeholders of the said County upon the expediency of choosing Deputies to meet the Deputies of the other Counties, for the purpose of electing Delegates to represent tins Colony in the General Congress to be held at Philadelphia, on the 10th day of May next, are of opinion that the best way of proceeding for that purpose will be to have a general meeting of the freeholders of said County. As this County if very extensive, we take the liberty of recommending the meeting to he held at the White-Plains, on Tuesday the 11th day of April next, at 10 o' clock in the forenoon, at the Court-House, and therefore do desire you to give notice of the same to all the freeholders in your District, without exception, as those who do not appear and vote on that day, will be presumed to acquiesce in the sentiments of the majority of those who vote.

We are, &c˙, &c.

The above notice having been generally given and distributed, a very numerous body of freeholders of the County assembled at the Court House at the White-Plains, on the day appointed, and chose Colonel Lewis Morris for their Chairman. An inconsiderable number of persons, (among whom were many tenants not entitled to vote) with Isaac Wilkins, Esq˙ and Colonel Phillips at their head, then appeared; and Mr˙ Wilkins, in their behalf, (as he said,) declared that they would not join in the business of the day, or have any thing to do with Deputies or Congresses; but that they came there for the sole purpose of protesting against such illegal and unconstitutional proceedings; after which they departed.

The following question was then put to the people by the Chairman, viz: Whether they would appoint Deputies for this County, to meet, the Deputies of the other Counties at the City of New-York, on the 20th of April instant, for the purpose of electing Delegates to represent this Colony in the General Congress, to be held at Philadelphia on the 10th day of May next?

To which question they unanimously answered that they would.

They then appointed the following eight persons, or a majority of them, to be the Deputies of this County, for the purpose aforesaid, viz: Colonel Lewis Morris, Stephen Ward, Daniel Drake, Esq˙, Colonel James Holmes, John Thomas, Jun˙ Esq˙, Jonathan Platt, Esq˙, Robert Gramham, Major Philip Van Cortlandt.

The two following Resolves, were then unanimously entered into, viz:

Resolved, That the thanks of this body be given to the virtuous minority of the General Assembly of this Province, and particularly to John Thomas, anti Pierre Van Cortlandt, Esquires, two of our Representatives, for their firm attachment to, and zeal on a late occasion, for the preservation of the union of the Colonies, and rights and liberties of America; and, that this Resolve be communicated by the Chairman to every gentleman of whom that minority consisted.

Resolved That the thanks of this County are due to the Delegates who composed the late Congress, for the essential services they have rendered to America in general; and that this Resolve be forthwith published.


After the business of the day was thus concluded, the people gave three huzzas for our gracious Sovereign, and dispersed quietly without the least disorder.