Primary tabs

Examination of the Evidence against Colonel Hamman


The Examination of the Evidences against Colonel HAMMAN, in respect to his behaviour as an officer on the evening of the day on which the enemy' s ships came to anchor off TARRYTOWN, in this County, and as a buyer of pork for this State.

Lieutenant Daniel Marlin, being sworn, deposeth and saith, That upon seeing the fleet drawing near Tarrytown, the 12th instant, ordered hie Sergeant to warn the men — this was about seven o' clock; that said Sergeant afterwards told the deponent he had been with Colonel Hammond to warn him, and that thereupon the said Colonel mounted his horse and set out directly to warn Captain Vermilie; that the said Colonel and a brother of this deponent had some words, as the deponent heard from some of the men, but cannot recollect from whom; and that the said Colonel arrived at Tarrytown between twelve and one o' clock the next morning, as his said brother informed him. And further this deponent saith not.

Samuel Purdie, Jun˙, being sworn, deposeth, That Colonel Hammond agreed with him for four barrels pork at £4 5 per barrel. That afterwards the said Colonel told him that Colonel Drake was dissatisfied with the bargain, and asked him, the said Colonel Hammond, if he did not think the people would take the pork again. That Hammond said he told the said Drake that he did not choose to go about to countermand what he had done, for that he knew that some of the people wanted the money; that he would sooner take it himself than do so. That he, the deponent, after this, delivered the said pork to the said Colonel Hammond. That either at that time, or some time before, the said Colonel told the deponent that the said Colonel Drake had wrote to him, the said Hammond, for a number of prime barrels of pork, which the deponent thinks he, the said Hammond, said were about eight in number. That the next day after the said Hammond had received the said four barrels pork from the deponent, he told the said deponent, it having been repacked, that he had made three barrels of prime pork out of the four barrels aforesaid, and that he did allow the deponent but £4 for the remaining barrel. That the deponent heard others call the said repacker of the said pork by the name of Thomas Hunt, and heard him say that he was authorized by the Congress to that employment. The deponent further saith, that he was present when the said repacker was repacking the pork of James Requaw, and that he saw several pieces of the said pork rejected by the said repacker, and that afterwards he, the deponent, saw the said Requaw carrying back several pieces of the said rejected pork in his cart. And the deponent saith that he heard the said Colonel Hammond say to the said Requaw, that he would as soon see his pork repacked as any of his neighbours, if the repacker thought it would do. The deponent further saith, that he saw several prime pieces of pork taken by Joseph Leggett, while the said Hunt was repacking pork, which he, the said Leggett,h ad sold the said Hammond, and that the deponent did not hear the said Leggett, or any other person, desire the said packer to put in any pieces into the barrels but what he thought proper; nor doth he know that any pieces were taken out of any of the said barrels after having been repacked.

Jonathan G˙ Tompkins, Esq˙, being sworn, deposeth and saith, That near nine o' clock in the evening of the 12th instant, he called at Colonel Hammond' s, and found a man advising him to warn his men to muster, for the enemy' s ships were coming up the river. The said Colonel asked the deponent whether the report was a matter of fact; this deponent told him it was, and desired said Colonel to warn his officers immediately. That the Colonel turned to a certain Justice Deane, and borrowed his horse, and set off directly with the deponent, without so much as going into his own house first, to warn Captain Vermilier; and he, the said Colonel, also desired the aforesaid man to warn all he came across, and that they should influence others to do the same. That the said Colonel informed the deponent that he was under the necessity of ordering the people to meet at his house, as he had the ammunition there; that Captain Requaw was sufficiently warned, being in a field from which he could see the vessels as they came up. That the deponent parted with the said Colonel about two miles from the river where the road strikes off to Captain Vermilier' s. That the said Colonel went towards the said Captain' s, and the deponent to the river at Tarrytown. That about ten o' clock the deponent returned to the said Colonel' s, and was told that he had not returned since he had set out with the said deponent; and he deponent believes that the said Colonel was active in collecting his men; and further saith not.

Captain Benjamin Vermilie being sworn, deposeth and saith, That in the evening of the 19th instant Colonel Hammond came to his house, early in the evening, and gave him orders to warn the men as fast as he could. After the said deponent had warned the Corporal to acquaint the Sergeants to come down to Tarrytown, this deponent went to Mr˙ Vantassel' s, and found the Colonel there; that scarcely an hour after the deponent with the Colonel went down to the river; but the hour of the night he could not tell, as he had no watch.

Peter Allair, clerk to Colonel Hammond' s Regiment, being sworn, deposeth and saith, That Colonel Hammond' s son-in-law, about nine o' clock, warned him to turn out on the alarm; that he went to alarm some men, then returned to the Colonel and charged all the guns there; that he afterwards went to Vantassel' s, and that the Colonel was there before him And the deponent believes that the said Colonel made no unnecessary delay in going down to Tarrytown; the time of night he knew not.

Lieutenant Cornelius Vantassel being sworn, deposeth and saith, That on the aforesaid evening he went to the house of Lieutenant Martin, where he found Colonel Hammond, about one or two o' clock, and found him doing his best to prepare and forward the men to the shore; that he, the Colonel, got the deponent a hat-full of cartridges for his men, who had before but three or four rounds a man; and that said Colonel was busy in furnishing others with cartridges also.

Joseph Youngs being sworn, deposeth and saith, That William Paulding, Esq˙, told the Committee of this place, (Westchester,) that Colonel Hammond had been warned at ten o' clock on the evening the enemy appeared off Tarrytown, and did not go to Tarrytown till ten o' clock the next day; but the deponent going down to the said town found, by the information of credible persons, that Colonel Hammond had been down at about one in the morning; and further saith not as to that matter. That he was present when Joseph Drake asked Hammond if he could purchase him some pork; the Colonel replied he could; that Hammond bought some by Drake' s order, who told him he allowed him to give £4 and £4 5 per barrel for prime pork. After he had bought it, Drake told Hammond the Congress would not allow so much, and asked him whether he could not return it to the people again. Hammond told him he could not, for that he would rather lose the five shillings. Young then advised Hammond to keep the pork, for that he would not lose by it.

Joseph Leggett doth affirm, That he was present when Requaw' s pork was repacked by the aforesaid Hunt, and told the company, of which Colonel Hammond and the repacker Hunt were two, that the pork was very much moulded; and that he saw the said repacker put several pieces to his nose, and throw them aside; but did not see or learn that Colonel Hammond gave the repacker any orders or instructions about the said pork. The affirmant further saith, that in his opinion the said pork was not merchantable; that he, the affirmant, saw Colonel Hammond cull one barrel of pork out of four or five, but that the remaining three were good pork and merchantable.

Martinus Van Woort being sworn, deposeth and saith, That he sold Colonel Hammond five barrels pork; that he was present at repacking the same; that the said Colonel Hammond, upon a door which he had laid down, took and laid the prime pieces of the said five barrels; that four barrels were filled by the repacker Hunt; and that a barrel was filled with part of the prime pork, and marked by the repacker; the remainder of the said prime pieces of pork the deponent took back; and also that he, the deponent, heard the repacker commend the whole of the said pork as he was repacking it; and that he does not know whether Hammond took the said barrel prime pork to himself or not.

From the foregoing evidences it appears to this Committee that the charges exhibited against Colonel Hamman, both in regard to the affair of the pork and neglect of duty as an officer, are entirely groundless; and that therefore the said Colonel ought to be acquitted from all further trouble on these accounts, and returned to his Regiment immediately.

July 24, 1776.