New York (State). Dept. of State.

Calendar of historical manuscripts, relating to the war of the revolution, in the office of the Secretary of State, Albany, N.Y online

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Online LibraryNew York (State). Dept. of StateCalendar of historical manuscripts, relating to the war of the revolution, in the office of the Secretary of State, Albany, N.Y → online text (page 77 of 89)
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kind and Lay the matter Before the Convention which I trust will find a method to
prevent my Ruin. It is a Very hard thing that I must Ruin my Self and he and two
Lieuts Draw full pay for Eight Privates.
I take Leave to Subscribe my self your most Obedient Servant


P. S. He has promised three times as much which I can prove.

Itq)ort on Inoculating for Small Pox

[Misoel. Pap. 38 : V4 ]

In Committee of Safety fob the State op New Yoek, )
FiSHKiLL, Jani^ IS"" 1T77. J

The Committee to whom was recommitted the Report of the Committee, have
according to order taken the same into consideration and beg leave to report the
following Preamble & Resolution.

Whereas the small Pox prevails in several parts of this State and there is reason
to apprehend that notwithstanding every Precaution it will become more general
& predominant. And whereas the salutary Practice of Innoculating for that Disease
is totally prohibited within this State by a Resolution of the provincial Congress
passed on the 18'" day of December 1775 and the good People thereof are conse-
quently exposed to the danger of being visited by that fatal Distemper in the natural
way. And whereas at the same time that it is proper to remove the Discontents of
the good People of this State by reason of their being deprived of the a'dvanta^es
of Innoculation it is also necessary to prevent as far as possible the spreading °of
that Disease in places thro' which the Troops of the United States may be called
to pass or may be Stationed for the Defence of the Country,

Resolved therefore that the general Committee of each respective County within
this State do appoint and assign fit and suitable places for Innoculating Hospitals in
their respective Counties, using every precaution in their power to prevent the
spreading of the small Pox In, on or Near any of the publick Roads or in or near
any City, Town or Village thro' which the Troops of the United States usually or
may probally pass or in which they are or may be Stationed, and that the practice
of Innoculation be restricted to such places as shall be so appointed by the respective
County Committees in which it shall be lawful for all Persons to innoculate & be
innoculated notwithstanding the aforesaid Resolution of the Provincial Congress to
the Contrary —

Besolved, further, that if any Person or Persons shall inoculate for the small Pox
at any Place or Places other than those appointed by the Committees of each County,
he she or they so offending shall forfeit the Sum of five hundred Pounds for the use
of this State.

Mr. Sessions, Mr. Gelston, diss"

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1111] PETITIONS. 595

Captain Winn to the Convention.

[Petitions, 33: 666; Miaoel. Pap. 38: 461.]

Albany, IS"" January, 1777.
Honoured Gentlemen : I am thro' unfortunate necessity obliged to make appli-
cation to your Honourable by presenting the Inclosed Memorial (which hope you
■will be good Enough to take into Consideration) in which have set down some
instances of the behaviour of Jacob Weaver, A Ranger by me Enlisted in my Com-
pany in your Service, beg leave to inform your Honours that for Fear of Tiring your
patience have omitted to mention several Crimes by him Committed, while under
my Command, and also beg leave to assure your Honours that there is not a single
Bylable in my Memorial mentioned but I am ready to prove fully and clearly when
thereunto required or when it shall please your Honourable House to Give order for
a Court of Enquiry or a Court Martial to Enquire into my Conduct, which not only
beg for, but hope your Honours will not be offended at my making demand of a
Court of Enquiry to examine into the Affair and of a General Court Martial for my
Tryal if any is necessary to clear up my character to an Impartial World. As I
have been treated in an unheard of manner by the Committee of Tryon County who
have never put me under arrest agreeable to the Continental Rules of Warr under
which I am appointed an officer, but instead thereof ordered me to be Close Con-
fined in the Common Prison in Johnstown, which cannot help thinking is a willfuU
mistake in them, and bad usage to me, unhappy and unfortunate as I am, whether I
have done wrong or not, in at all times as farr as lay in my power keept my Com-
pany Active on their duty agreeable to my orders received from the former
Committee of Tryon County, and when not only they but their relations tho't that
they were to be excused from duty on ace' of their Money's not immediately coming
to hand. I advanced them my own money for their Maintenance and kept them on
duty when the other two Companies were at home. I say if this is to be accounted
a Crime, I have done it, but hope it will be otherwise looked on. If any of the
Rangers in my Company accused me with missusage or had I wantonly or willfully
missused any of them then should think my Circumstances if possible more unhappy
than they are. Had I ever disobeyed any Commands of the Committee or any other
person or persons having power or authority to Command me, should never dare to
lift up my voice to ask for that proper support I hope to obtain from your Honours.
I ever was and will be obedient in all things to my superiors ; ever have wished for
an opportunity to shew with what Readiness I would lay down my life in my
Country's service, and hope that your Honourable House will never be the Encour-
agers of Mutiny or Licentiousness in your Soldiery more especially in so precarious
and necessaiy Service as that of Rangers which requires not only the most strict
subordination but also Silence, Interpidity and Courage. I humbly hope your
Honours will take this my most unhappy case into your consideration and give such
orders therein as to your Honours in your superior wisdom shall seem good, and
that I may have Liberty of joining my Company, and no longer ly inactive, but that
I may have the honour to lead my Company where both myself and them may be of
some further sei-vice to the Country by at least attempting to destroy some part of
the Enemy's Fleet now lying Frozen up at the North end of Lake Champlain, or
else joining the Army in endeavouring to regain possession of the City of New
York in the doing of which I am will to venture all Hazards and hope your Honours
will see me worthy to be Allowed and beg leave to subscribe myself with the
utmost Respect and Fidelity, Honoured Gentlemen, Tour most obedient and Most
Devoted Humble Servant JOHN WINN.

To the Honourable President and Members of the Convention of Representatives
■ of the State of New-York.

The Memorial of Capt° John Winn Lately Commanding A Company of Rangers
in Deffeuce of American Liberty, Humbly Sheweth,
. Your Memorialist was on the 1°' of August last apointed to Enlist and Command

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596 PETITIONS. [1111


a company of Rangers, which he did in the County of Tryon, and on the i"" of same
Month Enlisted one Jacob Weaver a Soldier in s^ Company.

The 28"" Aug" your memorialist in geting s° Company Mustered ordered s'
Weaver to pass the Muster Master which he disobeyed, but as he was present was
by the Muster Master excused.

The 29'" Aug" was ordered by the Committee to March with the Company to the
South-west End of Lake Otsego. The SO* of Aug" sent a Soldier to Jacob
Weaver's House, order him to Join the Company Which order tho' punctually
delivered was by him disobeyed.

The 5'" Septem' Rec* intelligence by Express from John Frey Esq' Chairman of
the Committee, that he expected Stone Arabia wou'd be Attacked by the Enemy
Immediately and ordering me there with all Speed with my Company, that night
Marched with my Company all Night thro' the Woods & the next morning reached
the Mohawk River. As Jacob Weaver had disobeyed my orders & not Joined the
Company sent A Soldier the second time to order him to join the Company. He
came in the Afternoon without Arms, said his Gun was sent to be repaired. I
advanced him money to pay the Repairs, ordered him to Return to me immediately
when he got his Gunn. This he also disobeyed. Instead of doing this he stayed
some days Drunk at the House of W" Seeber, Esq' as I am since informed. The
'?"' Septem' Ordered Lieut. Gross to March out with 20 Men to Lake Otsego, and to
carry Weaver with him. Lieutenant Gross after some days got him, but not with-
out Trouble, and Ordered him on a Scouting party thro' the Woods to the German
Platts to Return Immediately. When they Arrived at the German Flatts Jacob
Weaver directly in disobedience of Lieut Gross's orders as well as Contrary & in
disobedience of the Officer wha Commanded the Party stayed three days drunk at
the House of Capt. George Herkimer.

After your Memorialist having Ranged the Woods N° East of Stone Arabia with
Two partys of Rangers & found no appearance of an Invasion or Enemy, was
ordered to March with my Company again to Lake Otsego. When I came there
found Jacob Weaver was Left Lieu* Gross Contrary to orders. Sent for him. He
stayed untill the 4* of October, when he again Runn away ; while your Memorialist
was ordered to attend the Committee. On my return ordered a Soldier to goe to
his House, & order him to Return to the Company. This he also disobeyed.
Some days after sent another Soldier to order him to Return to his Duty. This he
also disobeyed as well as Returning me Threatening and abusive Answers. The
18"* of October Rec'* intelligence that Gen' Schuyler was apprehensive Ticonderoga
and North Frontiers of Tryon County wou'd be attackted by the Enemy. Tho't it
^ my indispencible duty to bring my Company to where they might most Readyly be
useful! in deffence of the Country and discovering the Enemy, Hired a Horse and
Sent One of the Rangers to order Jacob Weaver to Join the Company not having
returned since the 4"" This he also disobeyed.

The 20"' of October your Memorialist was ordered by the Committee of Tryon
County to March with his Company to Philadelphia Bush, and from thence Range
the Woods as farras Fort George, which order your Memorialist received with great
pleasure, thinking it might be a means of gaining an Oppertunity to Convince the
World it was his greatest pride and happyness of defending with his life the inesti-
mable Rights of this country. The same day at the House of Gose Van Allstyne
at Conajoharry, a number of the Privates Mutinized, refused to March any further
or do any sort of Military duty untill paid of their full Arrears of pay, altho' they
see the Militia March off before them who were to receive neither pay nor Bounty.
Your Memorialist offered them all the money in his possession yet unexpended in
the Maintainance of them ; the Greater Number then Returned to their duty ; your
Memorialist then received another order from another party of the Committee
ordering me to March my Company directly back again to the House of W" See-
ber, Esq' which did. When arrived there they ordered me to send a party of Men to
to bring Jacob Weaver to join the Company which I did ; after some debate among
them they ordered me to Obey the first order, I had Rec'' from Caughnawaga, that
night again Marched as farr as Van Allstyne's, Jacob Weaver in the Night took

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1111] PETITIONS. 597

Opportunity to endeavour to Raise a second Mutiny, advising the men not to March
any further at the same time Swearing if your Memorialist should Attempt to com-
pell him or any other man in the Company to March out of the County he wo'ld
murder me, as your Memorialist borrowed Ninety dollars from Brigadier General
Herkiemer which together with my own Money not yet expended in Maintainance
of the Company, tho't Sufficient for their present Necessitys in the Morning of the
Za*" Septem' at Gosse Van AUstyne's got the Copipany in Rank in order to March.
Upon my ordering them to March Jacob Weaver disobeyed, jumped out of the
Ranks, swore he would do no sort of Military duty, unless immediately paid his
full pay, abusing the other Soldiers for Cowards and Rogues for not following his
Example, I took his Gun away ordered him to be Marched in the Rear of the Com-
pany a prisoner, when we came to the Ferry kept by Martin Van AUstyne, s* Wea-
ver asked for his Gunn which was ordered to be returned to him, give him some
Money and a dram, after he got his Gunn, he told me never to Attempt to take his
Gunn from him again or make him a prisoner, for if I did, he swore he would shoot
me thro' the Heart, to which I answered him I should never neglect my duty thro'
fear of any threats from him or any other persons, — upon the Road in marching
thro' Johnstown the whole Company was detained by him about Two Hours, tho'
your Memorialist sent two persons to order him two Sundry times under Ai-ms, he
disobeyed and would not appear untill I myself went personally to bring him out
of A Tavern between Johnstown and Philadelphia Bush, he had the Effrontarry to
tell your Memorialist that it was not worth while for the Americans to attempt to
fight for their Libertys, saying the Country was Sold for a price by those persons
who were at the Head of Affairs, for which I reprimanded him Sharply and cautioned
him not to make use of such Language in future- — Upon arrival of the Com-
pany in Philadelphia Bush, while Shoes, Provisions, &o., were getting ready for the
Company, Jacob Weaver wasted all his Ammunition. In the Morning of the 28"" of
October when Reddy to March on a Scout to Fort George was obliged to take from
the Soldiers left behind from each Soldier a little powder and Ball to make up a
sufficiency for s* Weaver before I Marched, give a very Strict Charge to the Party
then going with me to be silent, watchful and by no means any of them to Attempt
to fire a Gunn without my Espicial orders or Liberty, yet nevertheless s* Weaver,
disobeyed, was noisey and unruUy in the Woods fired off his Gunn Twice while I
was standing close to him Commanding him not to fire.

The 31" of October in Crossing Hudsons River on a Rafl at the House of M'
Jessop the Elder, when the Raft was broke by the Negligence of S* Weaver, Tour
Memorialist was wet Breasthigh saving S* Weaver's Arms as well as my own dry.
That Night S'' Weaver complained of being unwell. I then caused him to ly on a
feather Bed close by the fire which M' Jessop had provided for me. Bro't up staira
an armfuU of Indian Corn Stalks and there lay on them with my Lieutenants. The
next Morning Offered to leave him there along with W" Roorey another Soldier .
who Complained of being also a little unwell, he Refused to stay behind saying he
was well enough to go to Fort George, taking up his Gunn said he woud fire
her off. I commanded him not to fire. He disobeyed my Orders, Fired ot his
Gunn while I was standing close by him Ordering him not to fim A number more
of the Rangers were going to follow his example. I with difficulty restrained them.
Ordered them to March in a Quiet, Silent & WatchfuU Manner for Fort George.
When we Arrived at the Five Mile Runn, after allowing the Soldiers time to take a
refreshment I ordered them to turn out and form in Rank in order to March to * ort
Georsre. The Soldiers all Immediately obeyed except S^ Jacob Weaver who diso-
beyed. When all the Rest were Ready to March & had waited some time sent a
Sergeant to order him again out, who returned and told me he could not get him
out I went myself to the House, when I ordered him out he told me he would
first Eat Dinner. I patiently waited until he had done, ordered tim out Alter
some time found he disobeyed in not coming, that a number more of the boldieis
were again gone out of the Rank into the House. Ordered the Sergeants to goe
again tS the House and order them all out into their Rank; who returned & told,
me they would not come out, but disobeyed both my orders and theirs. I agam

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598 PETITIONS. [1777

went myself to the House ordered them all to goe out and goe to their Respective
places in the Ranks, they all Obeyed except E^ Jacob Weaver, who swore he wou'd
first cut his Box full of Tobacco. I then asked him if he would go with me to Fort
George or stay there until my return, he answered I will goe to Fort George but you
must first give me a dram. This I did. While I was paying for th^ Liquor I heard
a Gunn fired, went out but could not Learn who Fired — Observed S* Weaver
making Ready to fire ofi" his Gunn, see and heard one of the Sergeants order him not
to fire off his Gunn but fall into his Rank in order to March. I called to him Twice
myself ordering him not to Fire. He looked at me yet Disobeyed my orders and
Fired off his Gunn. I then again ordered him to goe to his place in the Rank. He
again disobeyed, said he would not go into the Rank, that he stood well Enough. I
repremanded him for firing away his Ammunition as well as disobeying my orders
and ordered him to go immediately to his proper place in the Ranks. He not only
disobeyed my orders but give me abusive language, and to justifie himself says
when I shot I intended to have Shott the Head out of yon Barrel and it does not
Signifie your taking so much Command over me I stand well Enough and will not
fall into" any other Rank than I now am, tho' will prove he stood at or near the
distance of Ten or Twelve paces in the Rear of the Ground on which the Rank was
formed. I again ordered him to fall into his Ranke ; he again disobeyed giving me
the former Ans' I will not &c. I see he looked angry at me, thought him preparing
to advance to Strike me, on which I pushed at him with my Gunn, not intending to-
do him* the Least Bodily injury but to oblige him to obey my orders and fall into his
place in the Ranks. He as soon pushed at me, nocked off a piece of Skin and Flesh
of my Hund, Catched hold on my Gunn, broke the Ramrod and Endeavoured to
disarm me, I disengaged myself and my Arms from him and left him.

He complained of being Hurted went into the House, while I proceeded on my
March to Fort George, the next Morning was informed he was unable to March.
Got Doctor Budd to goe to see if he was in need of a doctor's Assistance. When
the Doctor had examined him he told me S'' Weaver was not in the Least danger
or ill by reason of any hurt received from me, that as soon as the fumes of Liquor
were expelled from him he wou'd be perfectly well and that S*" Weaver could not
dy if he was to try for it — I nevertheless left a Soldier belonging to the Company
to attend him with a Six dollar Bill and half a Guinea to pay lor their maintenance
until S* Weaver should be able to Return home, —

I now call Almighty God to Witness, that my Intention or my Heart never meant
nor was never stained with Malice or the least willful intention of doing the man
the Least Bodily injury. Think that if I am blamed with Killing him, the Charge is
unjustly laid against me, as will bring good proof that all the while he lay in Phila-
delphia Bush he complained of being unwell and unable to do any sort of duty, tho'
too Stubborn to inform me of it — in the morning before we Marched from Philadel-
phia Bush on the Scout to Fort George he exchanged his Beef for Butter with the
Woman of the House where he Lodged and Complained to her that he was unwell
and unable to do his duty, and when advised by the Woman to inform me of his
being not well & unfit for duty, told her no he would not give me the Satisfaction
or Honour to ask my Liberty to stay behind if he shou'd dy on the Road.

Thus happened this unhappy afair, I not having the Least intention of injuring
any Person, but doing what I tho't my unavoidable duty, that of keeping Silence
and Good order among the Men under ray command, if I was to be afraid to order
them to do their duty, what was for their own Credit and good, and had no Author^
ity to Restrain them from Mutinizing, Shooting away their ammunition and making
a noise when perhaps the Enemy might be within Hearing of the Report of our
arms and Noise, what figure should we have made or in what manner defended
ourselves should we happen to be attackted by the Enemy when our Ammunition
was all Expended Shooting at Marks in direct disobedience to the orders of the Ofii-
cer Commanding the party. If my Authority permitted me to restrain the Rangers
under my Command from wasting their Ammunition, Noise, Quarreling, and Drunk-
enness well, if not, if I had no authority to keep order while upon Actual duty in the
Woods, I was rendered at once incapable of serving my Country properly as an

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1111] PETITIONS. 599

Officer in so precarious and Hazardous A Station as that of an Officer in the Rangers
^and the Rangers more properly to be called Rioters if instead of the most Strict
good order, Military Discipline, Activity, Courage & Watchfulness, Hollowing,
Shooting, Noise, Drunkenness, Quarrels and disturbance in disobedience to the Com-
mand of their Officers were to be their Exercise which ever was Jacob Weaver's
favourite Occupation.

Shortly after my Arrival in Tryon County I was Confined by the order of the
Comffiittee of that County in the Common Guard-house, among a parcel of Torrys
in the Goal at Johnstown upwards of Forty days, tho' I repeatedly petitioned them
to give or get an order for my tryal by A Court Martial agreeable to the Continen-
tal Rules of Warr, this they yet ha^e not done, and would have yet remained in the
same deplorable state of Confinement, had not Col: John Nicholson upon being
ordered to Leave Johnstown Ordered me to goe with the Regiment to Albany since
which time I have Petitioned The Honourable Major Gen' Schuyler for to take my
case into Consideration and give such orders therein as his Superiour Wisdom should
direct, and shall not Leave this place without his Orders or Liberty or Orders from
your Honourable House.

If Soldiers or Rangers will get drunk, disobey the Commands of their Officers
when on Actual Duty and Wantonly waste their Ammunition in the Woods when
they should be Silent, obedient to their Officers & watchfuU as Hawks, what will be
the Consequences but the Endangering the Lives of such Soldiers who do behave
well, and of Ruining the Country which they are enlisted to deffend. Such hath been
the Behaviour of Jacob Weaver, a Man whose whole Life hath been one Continual
Scene of Drunkenness, Quarreling, and Disturbance and disobedience to the Laws
of God and Man.

Your Memorialist will prove that on the March between Canajoharry and Fort
George it was the avowed Intention and Intent of S* Jacob Weaver to attempt to
murder me, only for causing him to do his duty.

Your Memorialist tho' rendered unhappy and distressed, as much as is possible for
a man to be at the unhappy Event of this unfortunate afiair, humbly hopes that
there is & Ought to be a proper Subordination keept up in all your Armys, and
that this unhappy afiair will be Looked upon by your Honourable House and the
World as an unfortunate Accident happening in the way of an Officer in the way
of his Indispencible Duty — Endeavouring to cause Mutinous Soldiers to do their
duty in the Manner they ought.

Your Memorialist begs leave to inform your Honours that he maintained his
Company of Rangers on his own private Money from the time of their going on
duty untill the 14^ of Novem' last. That he never disobeyed or left unexecuted the
Orders of the Committee, or any Superior Officer. That he hath served His Country
with Integrity and Courage, as well while Clerk of the Committee of Tryon County
as since his being appointed an Officer which the Members of the Late Committee
will Testifie at any time when called on. That he hopes your Honours will be the
Supporters of Order and good discipline and Consider that Guard houses or places
of Confinement are seldom found in the Woods and that it may be in the power of
an ill behaved. Mutinous uurulley man in the Woods to Make such a noise & Alarm
as will cause the whole party to be either Taken, or killed by the Enemy, who may
perchance be better disciplined.

Your Memorialist begs leave to inform your Honours that since my Confinement,
am informed the Licentiousness of the Rangers hath been so great that they have
Wasted or Embezelled almost all the Ammunition sent up for their use by Major
General Schuyler. That they hold their Fists under Lieutenant Gros's Nose threaten
to beat and abuse him and refuse to obey his Commands — that they are Suffered by
this Committee (Lately Ellected) to remain idle and all orders & Military Gover-
ment disregarded by them Stealing the wealth of the Publick without any intention

Online LibraryNew York (State). Dept. of StateCalendar of historical manuscripts, relating to the war of the revolution, in the office of the Secretary of State, Albany, N.Y → online text (page 77 of 89)