New York (State). Governor (1777-1795 : Clinton).

Public papers of George Clinton, first Governor of New York, 1777-1795, 1801-1804 .. (Volume 5) online

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Online LibraryNew York (State). Governor (1777-1795 : Clinton)Public papers of George Clinton, first Governor of New York, 1777-1795, 1801-1804 .. (Volume 5) → online text (page 1 of 80)
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1777-1795— 1801-1804.







■rxo..h?£ J'

Must not Itv Loaned.]


The period embraced in this volume is from June 1, 1779, to
July 10, 17S0. These thirteen months were fraught with the
most stirring and exciting events. The atrocities committed by
the Indians kept the settlers along the widely exposed frontier
in a state of constant apprehension. The principal events were :
the capture of Stony Point by General Wayne; the expedition
of General Sullivan to chastise the troublesome Indians; the
appointment of John Jay as Minister to Spain; the transfer of
New York's western territory to Congress, for the common good;
and the return of General Lafayette, who brought from the
French government to Washington the commission of Lieuten-
ant General and Vice Admiral of France.


State Historian.

State Capitol, Albany, N. Y., November 6, 1901.





Captain Uriali Drake's Company of Exempts, Ulster County. .. . 3-4

Genei'al McDougall furnishes Governor Clinton witli a list of the

enemy's vessels in the Hudson River 4-5

Robert Benson reports all quiet at Kingston 5

Colonel Udny Hay disapproves of American disposition.? 5

Governor Clinton goes to the front — Is willing to act subordinate
to General McDougall, as a brigadier in the Continental

Line 6

Congress and the New Hampshire Grants — An effort made to pro-
mote an amicable settlement of the existing differences.... 7-10
James Duane and the new tax — Doubtful of its success — He

fears General Schuyler has hurt his cause 10-12

Colonel Webb expresses disappointment in not seeing Governor

Clinton 13-14

A i^turn of the Brigade of Militia of the County of Dutchess
under the command of Jacobus Swartwout, Colonel Com-
mandant 15

Ration returns of Associated Exempts at Fishliill 10

A regimental return of Colonel Ilardcnbergh's regiment of

Militia 1^'

A return of a part of the 2d regiment of Militia from Ulster

County commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Jacob Newkirk.. 17

Petition in behalf of Jonas Rumsey 1"

President Jay writes to (Governor Clinton regarding the Vermont

imbroglio 1 1 1 S

The New Ilampsliire Grants committee lS-19

Joseph Sacketl pleads for Jonas Rumsey 19

Commissary Elmendorph establislies a deix)t at Marbletown 20

Colonel Malcom reports the disposition of his troops in the Iligh-

lands -*^-^

X Table of Contents.


Captain Darby reports his command too weali for comfort 22-23

Colonel Ludinton's regiment detached 24

Colonel Uduy Hay condemns Colonel Drake's conduct in a horse

matter 25-27

A return of Colonel Hardenbergh's regiment of Militia 28

Morning returns of Exempts in the Highlands, under Governor

Clinton 29

A regimental return of Colonel Ludinton's regiment of Militia in

the state of New York 29

A return of the 2d regiment of Militia from Ulster County com-
manded by Lieutenant Colonel Jacob Newkirk 30

A return of the regiment belonging to Colonel Hopkins 31

Governor Clinton issues discretionary orders to Colonel Malcom . . 32

Governor Clinton sends instructions to Colonel Ludinton to harass

the enemy 32-34

Governor Clinton notifies General McDougall of his dispositions. . 34-35
Colonel Van Schaick sends intelligence to General James Clinton

of the intentions of central New York Indians 35-36

A return of a detachment of Colonel Allison's regiment ordered

to West Point 37

A return of part of the Brigade of Militia of the County of
Dutchess, commanded by Colonel Commandant Jacobus

Swartwout 38

General McDougall to Governor Clinton regarding military dis-
positions 39

Papers relating to a ferry on the Mohawk, at Half Moon 39-40

A return of Colonel Hardenbergh's regiment of Militia 41

A return of part of the Bi'igade of Militia of the County of
Dutchess commanded by Colonel Commandant Jacobus

Swartwout 42-43

Greneral return of the regiment of Associated Exempts under the

command of His Excellency Governor Clinton 44

A return of part of the Brigade of Militia of the County of
Dutchess commanded by Colonel Commandant Jacobus
Swartwout 45

Table ok Contexts. xi


General Paj-sons unable to control his command eitlu-r by numbers

or by orders r. ' 4t'> 47

Samuel Townsend obtains permission to seize wheat summarily. 47-48

General McDougall notifies the Governor that Washington wishes

an interview at West Point the next day 4S-49

Colonel Malcom urges the dismissal of the Militia lor political

reasons 49-rtO

Activity of the enemy — Colonel WoodhuU reports on the work

of fortifying Verplanks and Stony Points 50-51

The Connecticut Militia dismissed, but ordered to be prepared to

march at a moment's warning 51-52

The Vermont controversy — Governor Clinton writes to Egbert

Benson and the Cumberland committee on the subject 52-54

Civil war cloud on the New York horizon — Governor Clinton dis-
satisfied with the inaction and injustice of Congress toward
New York in the Vermont affair 54-57

Governor Clinton writes a forcible letter to the New Y'ork dele-
gates in Congress on the same subject 5S-59

To vindicate New York's honor — The Governor notifies Wash-
ington of his determination to take the field against the
Vermont blusterers 59-61

Govei-nor Clinton to General McDougall relative to military dis-
positions near West Point 01-62

Gerrit Groesbeck's vouchers for the distribution of £250 among

the frontier sufferers as i-eceived by him from Major Lush. . 62-63

The situation becoming critical— The sentiment for independence
evidently growing in Vermont in spite of New York's hostility
to it "-'^^ "^^

Important but exaggerated noAVS from South Carolina 65-66

Regimental return of the Associated Exempts under the command

of His Excellency Governor Clinton ^"

Civil war imminent— Ethan Allen hurls defiance at Governor
Clinton— Three thousand fighting men, two-thirds of whom
are reported to be willing to take arms against New York. . 67-70

Returns of delinquents in Colonel Hopkins' regiment, with lists

of such as are Whigs, neutrals or doubtful, and Tories 71-74

3:ii Table of Contents.


Hetum of the Levies commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Albert
Pa-nling raised for the defence of the frontiers and stationed
extending from I'ienpack to Great Shandaken, in Ulster

County '^

Governor Clinton to General Washington 76

The enemy's opei'ations in Westchester 76

Beacon erected in the Highlands and on the hills north of Fish-
kill 76-77

Relating to William Haley, a servant 77

The state's provisions for the families of soldiers 77-78

An anonymous letter touching the strength of the Indians and

Tories and their methods 78-70

Governor Clinton's measures for the protection of Westchester

County 7J>-80

The Governor notifies General McDougall of his dispositions .... 80-81

Lieutenant Colonel Pawling on regimental affairs 81-82

The Sullivan expedition under way — General James Clinton leaves

Albany for the front — His final arrangements for his family. 82-84

The real politics of the Vermont situation 84-85

Continuation of rumors from the south 85-86

General .James Clinton notifies his brother of the preparations

made for the Sullivan expedition 86-87

System of signals for the posts in the Highlands 87-88

Messrs. Jay and Duane's reply to Governor Clinton's letter on

the Vermont question 89-90

Du Simitiere writes an entertaining letter to the Governor 90-92

Commissary Townsend's efforts to collect wheat in Westchester

County 92-93

The Vermont dispute — Governor Clinton's frank admisskms to

John Jay — The responsibility of Congress 93-95

General Greene's account of the nffnir at Cliarlestou, South Caro-

li"fi 95-97

The Congressional committee appeals to the patriotism of the

rebellious Vermonters 97-9.8

The New York Legislature not to convene before August 99

Table of Contents. xiii


The Vermont dispute, the enemy along the Hudson, tlie Legisla-
ture and domestic affairs — George Clinton to James ITuane. . 99-101

The Legislature to meet after the harvest is gathered 101

The Governor acknowledges communications from John Jay.... 102

Judge Wynkoop writes of flour purchased for the Commissary

Department 102

Money wanted immediately — General Greene requests Governor
Clinton to make a loan of one hundred thousand dollars — The
Governor declines 103-104

Account of flour purchased by Major Ilendrick Wyckoff in June,

1779 105

Hendrick Wyckoff 's returns of flour seized in June, 1779 106

Returns of Lieutenant Colonel Albert Pawling's regiment of new

Levies 107

The Vermont complicatioin — Micah Townscnd of the opinion that

further delay will benefit the new state lOS-119

Massachusetts asks for flour that was seized by New York 120

Colonel Hay relative to quartermaster supplies, and a guard for

the beacon — Governor Clinton's reply 120-121

James Clinton reports progress — Summary fate of Lieutenant

Hare and Sergeant Newberry who were treated as spies. .. . 122-123

The Massachusetts Board of War asks for the release of the

flour seized in Dutchess County 124-125

Colonel Peter Van Ness' certificate as to money collected of the

officers and exempts of his regiment 125-127

A complicated financial transaction 127

Captain Hallett ordered to take command of the Levies detailed

for the defence of Westchester County 127-128

Judgtis' report to Governor Clinton of the capital conviction and
sentence, at the late Oyer and Terminer in Ulster County, of
Jo.s. Brown, William McCrany and Jonah Wood — With the
papers relating to the pardon of Brown and McCrany 12S

Colonel Ludinton dismisses his regiment and praises his com-
mand highly 128-129

General Sullivan to James Clinton 129

xiv Table of Contexts.


Goremor Cliniton places conditions on the exchange of Mrs.

MacDonell 129-131

Steuben sends a copy of his regulations to Governor Clinton. . . . 131-1.32
Vermont's claim to statehood — Ira Allen presents her case in a

clear and exhaustive address 132-143

Zachariali Frigler to Governor Clinton — Petition for release from

prison 143

Governor Clinton places the responsibility for the flour seized

upon the Massachusetts agent -y 143-145

C5olonel Hay de.<ires information relative to Van Tassel, a

prisoner 14.5-14H

Funds for frontier sufferers 146-147

Interceding for Jonah Wood, under sentence of death 147-148

The Sullivan expedition — Failure to receive commissary supplies

delays the advance — General Sullivan's apprehensions 148-1-50

A raid on Minisink — Albert Pawling asks for and receives instruc-
tions 150-151

Washington commends Colonel Fleury and indorses his applica-
tion for a furlough 152-156

The friends of New York in Vermont show signs of despondency. 15G-15S

Outrages committed in Westchester County by refugees 158-160

The affair at Minisink — Governor Clinton's instructions to Colonel

Pawling lGO-161

Certificate for exchange of Johannes Snedeker for Justice Hewlit. 161

The destruction of Minisink — Evidence furnished that Brant led

the party — The damage done 162-164

Governor Clinton to General James Clinton, with account of the

destruction of Minisink by Brant and his party 164

Governor Clinton to Dr. Ker — Delay 'of the Sullivan expedition

responsible for the exposed condition of our frontier 164-166

Oliver Wolcott intercedes for a prisoner who was captured "'going

to the enemy" 166-167

Return of the Levies furnished by General Ten Broeck's brigade. 167

Returns of flour purchased in July by Major Wyckoff 163

Return of flour seized by Major Wyckoff in July 169

Table of ('ontkni-s. xv


Petitiou from Xowhurirb, &c., for panloii of .Toscpli lU-owii ami

William McCraiiy !7(»

Petition of John Katlian of I'uiliam, Cumberlaud County, Ver-
mont lTu-171

Judge Yates reports the conviction and sentence of John Cittimon

for robbery 171

Hilkiah Grout fined by the superior court of Vermont 172

Henry Remsen writes to Governor Clinton — His strong recom-
mendation for his brother-in-law as a Loan CoramissioncM-. . . . 173-174

Ethan Allen pivpares for war against New York 175

Rieturn of Lieutenant Colonel Albert Pawling's Levies 17G

Sullivan under way at last — Notifies General ^\'asllington — Sends

instructions to General James Clinton 177-17S

Tryon County petitions against roving bands of Indians 17S-179

George to James Clinton — Tlie INlinisinU affair, Sullivan's march-
ing orders to the General and other topics of importance. . . . ISO-lSl
Colonel Albert Pawling's marching orders — Governor Clinton's
comprehensive grasp of the situation — His precautionary sug-
gestions 181-183

James L:liuton confident of tlie success of his expedition 183

Governor Trumbull introduces Dr. Hodges to Governor Clinton.. 184

A pass for I'eter Sacket 184

Petition in favor of John Signnm, under condemnation at Albany. 1.S4

The troubles of Thomas Menzies — Held a prisoner for three years,
his property appropriated by the troops, indemnity i-efused

him — And all for declaring allegiance to the Crown 184-187

James Wilkinson announces his appointment as Clothier Greneral. 187-188
Progress of Sullivan's expedition — .James Clinton amused over
certain falsehoods propagated and disseminated by the

enemy 1S8-U>0

In regard to flour for the state 190-191

An order to state agents to deliver flour to Commissary Ctiyler. . 101

Governor Clinton writes to Washington relative to tlie orders

Colonel Pawling received for the Sullivan expedition lltl-lOli

The case of John Douglass, privateersman 193

xyi Table of Contents.


Relative to the exchange of citizens— Correspondence between

Governor Clinton and General Robert Howe on this subject. . 194-19S
John Jay resigns as Chief Justice — Determined to retire to pri-
vate life — But -will not shrink from his duties as a citizen —
Compliments for Governor Clinton 19S-199

Colonel John Lamb, outranlved by Colonel Crane, desires to re-
sign from the service 199-200

General order for uniforms— With the facings to distinguish

troops from the different states 201-202

Governor Livingston of New Jersey returns thanks to Governor

Clinton for a copy of the constitution of New York 203

Alexander Hamilton's facetious letter introducing an old woman

to Governor Clinton 203-204

The Legislatm-e in session — Governor Clinton's address — Condi-
tion of the state — Financial complications and embarrass-
ments 205-211

Colonel Beatty requests the Governor to supply him with informa-
tion concerning Ensign Leggett and Colonel Thomas 211-213

The case of Colonel John Lamb— Governor Clinton submits the
matter to President Jay and requests his influence in Colonel
Lamb's behalf 213-211

Hardships for our prisoners — Technicalities and red tape deprive

them of the society of their families 214-216

Relating to the State Clothier 216

Relative to the Loan Commissionership 210-217

Colonel Van Schaick requested to make inquiry regarding the fate

of the prisoners taken at Minisink 217

A similar request made of General Schuyler 218

Commissary Wadsworth apprehensive of a flour famine 21S-21d

Colonel Pawling's vouchers for money disbursed among indigent

families on the frontiers 219-220

Governor Clinton's reasons for not exchanging Mrs. MacDonell. . 220-222

Draft cartel for the exchange of Mrs. McFarren and others for

Mrs. Mitchell and others 222-22.3

Relating to flour for the army 223

Table of Contents. xvii


Sullivan defeats Brant at Newtown — .lames Clinton's modest and
comprehensive report of the battle — A well-planned and well-
fought affair 224-242

Colonel Barber's description of the battl*- 242-243

General Heath brings the Wr->roh - =-^-r i-pr»-1nt:..ns to Wa-hlns-

ton's notice 243-244

Colonel Pawling fails to form a jnnccion with General Clinton. . 244-24S
Returns of wheat and flour, purchased by Hendrick Wyckoff in

August. 1779 249

Stephen Ward brings serious charges against Grant and Menzies. 250-251
John Jay requested to withhold his resignation for a r 251

Colonel Pawling's reasons for his failure to join G- con. 252-253

Westchester inhabitants petition '■" " - -' -f against . ..-^-.-rrs. . . 2"" i-4
Colonel Hughes supplements t. _ s against Grant an:

Menzies 2.>4r-236

Reply of the Senate to Governor Clinton's speecii S6-25S

The Gk>vemor submits ■-'— - - - ications v.- -►- L-i^isla-

tnre 259

Major Hetfiel' : :he Governor for dismissing

John Tillman 200

Joiin Jay complimented t;y :r.-:r i. - - i/'l

Governor Clinton expresses r^- - i.licltations to tL^- L-=rc:?-

latnre 261-262

Petition from Saratoga for - to take floor to Boston to

procure salt - -

Response of the Assem'^-'^ -•• -'"^ Governors address. =

The Governor lays the - sition before the Legislature. .. . 2i'A-2^

Again the qaestiou of supplying the army with flour 265-i.->3

The Governor again addresses the Assembly

Indians and Tories - - - ■ -h&r depredaiioDS along the Mohawk

VaBey 2«7-2»5S

A proposition to exchange I : Dninuoood for Lieuoenaat

Dodge - "

<Si:-vemor Clisto-n subniirs >- - -'»*

R-r5:;rK?iliiz :^e exobanze •;•:.• • 2eC^-270

xviii Table of Contents.


Samuel Curson asks for rostinitioii for arms and ammunition cap-
tured by a British privateer 270-272

Petition in behalf of Christian Becker's son, Rhinebeck Precinct. 272

Malcom Morison makes application that his wife and children be

forwarded to New York 272-273

Philip Schuyler to Governor Clinton, relative to matters on the

frontier 273-274

Albanians petition for Dr. A'an Dyck's return 274

A number of women and children sent through the lines to the

enemy 275

Mrs. Tuttle allowed to pass to Canada 275

Governor Clinton suggests to General Schuyler the excliange of

the Campbell family for the Tuthill family 276

To shut off communication between the disaffected and their

friends, the enemy 27G-277

Lieutenant Colonel Pawling's return of State Levies 278

Captain Hallett captures two horse thieves 279

Governor Clinton vetoes the i-equest of Colonel Robinson for the

Morison family 279-280

The Governor denies the request of Margaret Crooke to visit her

father 280-281

Henry Wisner requests a guard for Minisink 281-282

The Governor lays before the Legislature additional acts of

Congress 282-285

The depreciated cui*rency — Massachusetts suggests a convention

at Hartford ib consider the financial complications 285-287

John Ja3" as minister to Spain — His wise suggestions touching

the momentous questions under consideration 288-291

Captain Wood ordered to guard Minisiaik 291-292

Governor Clinton promises hearty cooperation with our allies. ... 292-293
Limitations of the flour supply law — Commissary Flint of the
opinion that further legislation is necessary — Present assess-
ment too low 293-295

Return of flour and wheat purchased in September, 1779. by

Hendrick Wyckoff 296

Johnsto-wn women petition for removal to the British lines 297

Taiii.e ok Contknts. xix


The case of Samuel Ilako — He clniins lie was h< hy Jidiii

R. Liviugston — Letters to estal)lisli liis cliaraclcr 2!i7 ;{(HJ

Several messages from Governor ("lintoii in iIm- I,c;.'ivliitiiri> .''.OO-GOl

Congress takes action on tlie Vernidiit disimii- .•{(il-.'J02

Flour and salt supply 3<i2-3<>3

Tryon County's exposed cdndition — (JovcnKjr (Jlinlon notifies
otlicers -who petition, that they must rely upon their own

Militia :i04-;i(J6

Governor Clinton urges the governors of New Jersey and Con-
necticut to cooperate in suppressing bands of phmderors 306-307

Governor Clinton to the Tv(>gislature 307

The ti-oublesome qm'stion of exchanging women 307-308

Gouverneur MoiTis defeated — Governor Clinton extends congi-atu-

lations and best wishes to John Jay 309-310

Orders for the ships Montgomery and Congress in the Highlands.. 3K^-311
Suggestions from John Jay — Names Schencct^ady for the capital
of the state — First proposition to cede New York state lands

west of Niagara to the genera] government 311-316

Dr. Yach's modest bill 315

Congress, finance and taxation 315-31tJ

Governor Clinton announces to the Legislature Tlie appointment

of John Jay as minister to Spain 310-317

Governor Clinton writes to General AYashington and promises

hearty cooperation 317-31S

The Commissary General and the supply of flour for the army —

Governor Clinton's reply 31S-319

One ton of powder ordered for the militia 310-320

Privileges refused to Tory families until women and ehildu'n caph

tured at Cherry Yalley and on the frontier are returned 320

Return of Lieutenant Colonel Albert Pawling's new Levies 321

Estimate of militia forces to cooperate with General \Yashington

for the defence of the frontiers 322

Further messages from Congress to the Legislature 323

Thursday, December ninth, selected as a day of Tlianksgiving. . . . 324

General Knox removes tr<jops Mho were encamped on tJovemor

Clinton's farm 320

XX Table of Contents.


Vermont appoints five agents to present her claims to Congress

for recognition to statehood 325-326

The Treasury Ofl5ce talies measures to guard against counterfeit

bills ; • 326-327

New York officers poorly clad — Colonel Marinus Willett appeals

to the Governor to correct a manifest wrong 327-329

Alarming rumors from the frontier — Colonel Van Dyck reports to
Colonel Van Schaick that a lai-ge force of the enemy had

appeared before Oswego 329-331

Governor Clinton lays the reports before the Commander-in-chief. 331-332
Five regiments ordered to reinforce General Ten Broeck if the

Indian uprising rumors be true 332-333

Governor Clinton sees no immediate necessity for putting arms

into the hands of the militia 333-334

General Schuyler receives his certificate of appointment as dele-
gate to Congress 334-336

Suspending state-land warrants until the war ends 336-337

James Duane on Congressional matters and the Vermont dispute. 337-3-38

Petition from Phoebe Campbell 338-339

Return of the five Continental battalions raised under the direc-
tion of New York 340

Petition from the inhabitants of Deer Park, Ulster County, for

protection 341

Return of camp equipage S42

Governor Clinton makes acknowledgment of a number of official

letters 343

Captain Hallett commissioned as a dragoon and asks to be

relieved of his present command 344

Major Hill ordered to report to Colonel Hay for instructions 344-34.5

Returns of Second Brigade 346

Captain Wilson ordered on provost marshal duty 347

Retunis of First Brigade 348

Colonel Beatty makes a plea for Captain Youngs 349

Hugh Fraser requests permission for his wife and family to be

sent to New York 340-351

Difference in price for flour between this state and other states. .. 351

Table of Contents. xxi


Governor Clintou to General Robert Howe. 351-352

Major Wynkoop applies for a furlough 3r»2

A return of arms wanting to complete Colom-l Piatt's Exempi- :;.')2

Return of Colonel Piatt's Exempts 353

Returns of the First Brigade 35i

Lewis Morris Jr., makes a request in behalf of Mrs. Jolmson and

luT (laughter :'55

State prisoners delivered to the Governor 355

Return of the First Biigade — Militia in actual service 356

Return of Second Brigade .....•■■ 357

Return of Exempts in actual service 358

Return of the Militia in service 359

A number of flag permits issued by the English General, Patti-

son 300-501

Allan MacDonell and Hugh Eraser iterate a request for their

families to join them in New York 361

Colonel Ward directed to detail a muster master for the Militia. . 362

Return of Exempts 362

Return of Second Brigade 363

General Pattison issues a number of permits 364

Return of General Ten Broeck's Brigade 365

Return of Militia stationed at Palmertown, Fort Edward &c 366

Receipts for the moneys on the sale of Hake's goods 367-568

Dr. Lawrence vouched for by William Worth ington 368-369

Lieutenant Belding notifies Captain Mitchell of the arrival of his

wife with a flag 370

Captain Youngs obtains his parole 370

Dr. Treat desires to transport two mischievous Tory women 370-371

Online LibraryNew York (State). Governor (1777-1795 : Clinton)Public papers of George Clinton, first Governor of New York, 1777-1795, 1801-1804 .. (Volume 5) → online text (page 1 of 80)