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Letter from Egbert Benson


Thursday A˙ M˙, December 7, 1775.

The Congress met pursuant to adjournment.

Present: Colonel Nathaniel Woodhull, President.

For New-York. — Mr˙ Roosevelt, Mr˙ Brasher, Captain Rutgers, Mr˙ Ray, Mr˙ Beekman Mr˙ Sands, Colonel McDougall, Mr˙ Cortlandt, Mr˙ Van Zandt, Mr˙ Scott.

Albany. — Colonel Rensselaer, Captain Cuyler, Colonel Nicoll, Mr˙ Bleecker, Mr˙ Gansevoort.

Dutchess. — Mr˙ Humphreys, Mr˙ Gilbert Livingston, Mr˙ Schenck.

Ulster. — Mr˙ Cantine, Mr˙ Wynkoop, Mr˙ Palmer.

Suffolk. — Mr˙ Hobart, Mr˙ L' Hommedieu, Mr˙ Strong.

King' s. — Mr˙ Vanderbilt, Mr˙ Leffertse.

Westchester. —Colonel Joseph Drake, Colonel Graham, Colonel Gilbert Drake.

For Goshen Precinct, Orange County. — Mr˙ Clowes.

A Letter from Egbert Benson, Esq˙, Chairman of the Committee of Dutchess County, informing the Congress of a new Committee' s being chosen for the said County; that they had again honoured him with the Chair; that, as he resides in the extreme part of the County, many inconveniences might arise, if all matters respecting the said County should be directed to him, and therefore, at a meeting of the said Committee, they had appointed Col˙ Freer, Capt˙ Platt, and Messrs˙ John Child, Paul Schenck, and Peter Tappan, (all residing at Poughkeepsie,) a Committee of Correspondence, and requesting that all Letters, &c˙, from this Congress respecting their County, be directed in future to those gentlemen, was read and filed.

Another Letter from Egbert Benson, Esq˙, Chairman of the Committee of Dutchess County, dated November 28, 1775, was read and filed, and is in the words following:

"Red Hook, Dutchess County, November 28, 1775.

"Sir: I am now to acknowledge the receipt of a letter from some individual members of pur late Congress, enclosing copies of certain resolutions of the Continental Congress, of the 8th inst˙, respecting a number of men to be furnished by this County for the use of the fortress in the Highlands.


"The letter came to hand the 18th inst˙, and I would immediately have called the County Committee together, but found it would be the saving only of a few days, the stated meeting being the 27th, and therefore, with the unanimous advice of the friends of the cause in the neighbourhood, I thought proper to defer the matter till that time, especially as the calling a special meeting, the members being dispersed through the County, is attended with considerable expense. There was a circumstance, also, of which I supposed the Congress ignorant, that induced me to think that the business did not require such immediate despatch, namely, that Captain Havens with fifty men, belonging to the Continental forces (the party that escorted the Chambly garrison to Connecticut) were on their march to garrison the fortification.

"I laid the letter before our General Committee on Monday last, who ordered me to write to the Colonels of the two Minute regiments in the County, desiring them each to bold a company in readiness to march at a minute' s warning, with a request also, that those gentlemen would immediately write to the commanding officer at the fortress, informing him of the places of rendezvous of their respective regiments.

"This measure was advised by three members of the Continental Congress, whom I saw as they passed through this County in their way to the northward. They informed me that they had been at the fort where they had left part of two companies, and that when Mr˙ Havens arrived with his party there would be men sufficient for its present defence, or at least as many as could conveniently be accommodated, and therefore proposed that we should only hold a company or two ready to march upon an emergency.

"I have the pleasure to inform the Congress, that several companies have not only turned out as volunteers, but have, both men and officers, solicited the service.

"I remain, by order of the Committee, your very humble servant,


"Nathaniel Woodhull, Esq˙, President of the Provincial Congress, New-York,"