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Report on the application of John Moore, Charles Inglis, and Others



Your Committee, appointed on the 11th instant to consider the Letters brought by the flag of truce for the purpose of procuring liberty for sundry persons to go with their effects to the city of New-York, having deliberately considered the above several matters committed to them, do report thereon as follows, to wit:

1st. With respect to the application of John Moore, your Committee is well informed that he demeans himself in New-York, ever since the commencement of the present controversy, as an insolent opponent to the American cause; that he held appointments under the Crown of Great Britain in the departments of the Customs and Revenue; and your Committee have no doubt that, in adherence to the enemies of the United Slates, he still holds those appointments, and that he is publickly advertised, as your Committee is credibly informed, as being Deputy Secretary of the State of New-York, appointed by authority derived from the King of Great Britain, to officiate in that office during the absence of Samuel Bayard, Jun˙, who was formerly Deputy Secretary of this State, and is now a State prisoner.

2d. That with respect to the Reverend Charles Inglis, your Committee has the utmost reason to believe that he has ever been a dangerous and insidious enemy to the liberties of the United States, and that he was strongly disposed to adhere to their enemies, otherwise he would doubtless have removed into Ulster County, where his connexions by marriage would have rendered his residence with his family much more agreeable than at New-York; and which he probably would have preferred, had not his attachment to the unjust designs of the King and Parliament of Great Britain overbalanced all other considerations. That your Committee have been credibly informed, that through his connexions in


Ulster County, he lias maintained a dangerous correspondence with the disaffected in that part of this State, and that he has been lately in Dutchess County, for no other purpose, as your Committee conceives, than to invigorate the seeds of disloyalty to this and the other United States, which have been so plentifully disseminated in that County; and that to finish his political character, your Committee is well informed, that under the sacred protection of a flag of truce, he is now possessed of a great number of copies of the late proclamation of Lord Howe and General Howe, calculated to debauch the subjects of the United States from their most just and righteous allegiance, and which your Committee conceives he would not have brought with him under that protection but for tbe purpose of dispersing them by his agents through the country.

3dly. With respect to the application of Philip I˙ Livingston, your Committee report, that he has been Sheriff of the County of Dutchess, which office has, from its nature, given him great influence in the County; that while he resided in it, he committed sundry overt acts of disloyalty to this and the other United States, and not only fled, from a sense of guilt, but voluntarily put himself into the hands of the enemy.

4thly. With respect to the application of James Jauncey, Jun˙, Esq˙, your Committee do report, that he lately was, and doubtless slill claims to be, one of the Council and Master of the Rolls under the late Government of the State of New-York, and was apprehended and conveyed into the State of Connecticut as a prisoner, not only on account of his holding those offices, but also on account of his connexions by marriage with Sir Gilbert Elliot, a member of Parliament, active against the liberties of America, and one of the Cabinet, as well as of the Privy Council, of the King of Great Britain.

5thly. That with respect to his father, no application being personally made by him, it would, in the judgment of your Committee, be a depreciation of the honour of this Convention to take any notice of the application of his son in his behalf.

6thly. That with respect to Frederick Philips, your Committee are well informed that he has exerted himself in promoting an association in West-Chester County, highly injurious to the American cause; that his great estate in that County has necessarily created a vast number of dependents on his pleasure, and that your Committee verily believe that the shameful defection of the inhabitants of that County is in a great measure owing to his influence.

7thly. With respect to Jacob Watson, your Committee, or some of them, know him to be a Briton born, a Quaker by profession, and in principle inclined to submit to the British Government. That his religious profession has exempted him from all services in this State, by which means he has had ample leisure and opportunity to pursue his private interest; which, they have been informed, he has industriously improved, by monopolizing large quantities of salt and other articles of merchandise, the distribution of which, by sale in small quantities, in due season, would have tended much to the health and happiness not only of the Continental Army, but also of the loyal inhabitants of this State. That from his two letters, the one to Daniel Terboss, the other to Daniel Birdsell, referred to your Committee, it appears as follows: That he had deposited in the hands of the former a quantity of salt, which he had forbade him to sell, intending to apply it in the package of pork; but that since, understanding the salt was much wanted, he directs him to dispose of it for pork, flax-seed, or good firkin butter, and that if the salt should already be disposed of, his consignatory should lay out the money in flax-seed; and it also appears that he had deposited in the hands of his other consignatory, Birdsell, not only a quantity of salt, but also a quantity of molasses, which, expecting they will be much wanted in Birdsell' s neighbourhood, he directs him to sell, and lay out the money in flax-seed, pork, or good firkin butter; and further, that if any of the salt or molasses should be already sold, to lay out the money in those articles. From all which it appears to your Committee, that while the said Jacob Watson voluntarily lives under the protection of a Government inimical to this and the other United States, he is pursuing a commerce unfriendly to the inhabitants of this State, and in its prosecution dangerous to the liberties of America, as it affords the means of a communication which may be improved by the enemies


of the American cause to the injury of the United States. That your Committee has been further informed that the said Jacob Watson is possessed of large quantities of salt in the County of Albany, and that the inhabitants of this State are very much distressed by the want of salt and molasses.

8thly. With respect to the case of Mrs˙ Jane Knox, as she is a widow, enjoying no great affluence, your Committee conceives, that though she has evinced her attachment to them by voluntarily remaining in New-York, when she had it in her power to remove herself, with her effects, inlo the country, yet that she cannot do mischief to the American cause.

9thly. That the case of Lady Johnson merits, in the opinion of your Committee, a particular attention. They are informed that she is a lady of great art and political intrigue; of great firmness of mind, and most warmly attached to that interest which is so inimical to the freedom and independence of the American States, and has, in your Committee' s opinion, done great mischief, by her address, to the American cause. That her situation at Albany renders the communication between herself and her husband, who has, by a breach of his parole, forfeited both his honour ami estate, extremely easy, and therefore dangerous to the publick safety.

Your Committee, having thus stated the political characters of the several persons whose cases have been submitted to their consideration, beg leave to advise:

1st. That the applications of John Moore, the Reverend Charles Inglis, and Philip I˙ Livingston, be rejected, not only because they conceive it would be dangerous to permit them to pass up into the country, but because a permission to their families to go to New-York, with their effects, would, besides furnishing a dangerous channel of intelligence, prove an incentive to rebellion, and be an act of direct aid and comfort to the enemies of the freedom and independence of the United States of North America.

2dly. With respect to the application of James Jauncey and Frederick Philipse, your Committee beg leave to advise that a permission to the former to go to New-York would imply the consent of this Convention to his exercise of two most important offices under a Government which, on account of its tyranny, the good people of this State have thought proper to reject; and that a like indulgence to the latter, who requests liberty to return to his family at Philipsburgh, would put it in the power of a professed enemy of the American cause not only further to disaffect the inhabitants of West-Chester County, but to put many of them in arms against the United States of America.

3dly. With respect to Jacob Watson, your Committee are of opinion that, independent of his personal attachment to that Government which the enemies of American liberty aim at establishing over us, discovered by his voluntary continuance among the enemy, his commercial scheme, in which he may have monopolized at least two necessary articles of consumption, and his intention to dispose of them at high prices, not for Continental money, but for articles either fit for exportation, under the countenance of the enemy, or for their consumption, recommend his case to the particular attention of this Convention, not only on account of a dangerous intercourse that may be maintained through a mercantile channel, but from the evident proofs of his intending to exact high prices for the most necessary articles, and his clear intention to maintain a commerce prejudicial to the American States. Your Committee do therefore advise, that proper commissioners be appointed, to seize such commodities within this State belonging to the said Jacob Watson, as may be necessary either for the consumption of its inhabitants or the use of the Continental Army, and to inventory, report, and detain the same, subject to the order of this Convention.

4thly. With respect to Mrs˙ Jane Knox, your Committee beg leave to recommend that her effects may, by permission of this Convention, be conveyed to her by the vessel provided with a flag of truce, and now lying at Cortlandt' s Point, under the command of the Continental galley; but that previous to their embarkation, proper persons may be appointed carefully to inspect the same, to the end that no dangerous intelligence may be secretly conveyed in any of the packages.

5thly. Your Committee further report it as their opinion, that all the applications above committed to them, whether consisting in letters or memorial, except the case of Jane


Knox, be rejected, and that the flag of truce, and the persons who came up with the same and are now protected thereby, be immediately ordered to return in the most direct manner to the city of New-York; and that Major-General Heath, or the officer commanding in his absence at Peek' s Kill, be furnished with a copy of as many of the resolves of this Convention on the above subject as respect the matters referred by Major-General Heath to the consideration of this Convention, and be requested to attend to the return of the said flag of truce in such manner as, if possible, to prevent the communication of any person on board with others on the land.

6thly, and lastly. Your Committee being fully of opinion that the residence of Lady Johnson at Albany, under the above-mentioned circumstances, may be highly detrimental to the American cause, and that a permission to her to return home will be equally if not more injurious to it, do therefore earnestly recommend her immediate removal to one of the New-England States, under such circumstances as may be consistent with her rank and her sex.

By order of the Committee:

AB' M YATES, Jun˙, Chairman.

Fish-Kill, December 13th, 1776.