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to be exported out of this State; on this information I went after said flour, and



THE NEED OF A HISTORY OF NEW YORK 35

found it on the Road between Bakman's Precinct and Connecticut, and seized
said flour. The Baror shows an agreement between himself and one Mr. Wing
that lives in this State on the edge of Connecticut. I shall wait your Excellency's
Order in the matter, I am,

"Your very humble Servant,

"Brinton Paine.
"To His Excellency George Clinton, Esq."
("Clinton Papers,"" Vol. IV, p. 194.)

" Amenia, 16 November 1778.

"Sir, Lieut: Doty waits on your Excellency with a letter from Mr. Colt which I
conclude is to Endeavour to put a stop to Particular Persons Purchasing large
Quantities of Flour under Pretense of Purchasing for the Eastern State Troops.
Great abuses have been committed in that Way. . . .

"I could wish No Permits might be given to such People as it only Tends to
raise the price and is a violation of a Rule of Congress which forbids purchasers
Interfering with other Districts.

"I am Sir, Your Humble Servant,

"James Reed, A.C.P.

"His Excellency Governor Clinton, Esq., Poughkeepsie."

("Clinton Papers," Vol. IV, p. 283.)



John Jay Made President.

Gouverneur Morris Looks for "Good Gonsequences" by This Promotion.

"Phila: 10th Dec'r. 1778.
"Sir:

"I have the pleasure to inform your Excellency that the hon'le John Jay Esq.
is elevated to the Chair of Congress, which as well from your Friendship for him,
as for Reasons of public Importance will, I am confident, be agreeable to you.
The weight of his personal Character contributed as much to his Election as the
Respect of the State which hath done and suffered so much, or the Regard for its
Delegates which is not inconsiderable. The Public will I am confident experience
many good consequences from the Exchange. I am respectfully your Excellency's
most obedient and humble Servant.

"Gouv. Morris.
"His Exc'y George Clinton, Esq., Gov'r State of New York.

"Poughkeepsie."
("Clinton Papers," Vol. IV, p. 360.)



General Washington Commends Governor Clinton's Services.

"Headquarters, Middlebrook, 3 May 1779.
"Dear Sir: I am honored with your favor of the 25th of last month. The readi-
ness with which you comply with all my requests in prosecution of the public
service has a claim to my warmest acknowledgment. I am glad to hear of the
measures the State has taken for raising a thousand men, and of your expectation
that the number will soon be completed, I hope the intelligence from Colonel
Cantine will not materially retard the progress of a business, on which the general
securitv of the frontier so much depends."
(" Clinton Papers," Vol. IV, p. 196.)



36 THE NEED OF A HISTORY OF NEW YORK

General Washington to Governor Clinton — For the Defense of the

New York Frontier.

"Headquarters, Dobbs Ferry 5th August, 1781.
"Dear Sir, Your favor of the 1st Inst, inclosing the Letter from General Schuyler
& others, is this moment come to hand. It is not a little distressing to find that
the States will not, or cannot fill their Continental Battalions, or afford the Aids
of Militia required from them — but that instead thereof they are expecting from
me the few operating Troops which I have to depend on. The consequence of
this Conduct is too obvious to need any comment. Instead of offensive Measures a
defensive Plan must be adopted — instead of an active & decisive Campaign, which
I had hoped to have made, we must end our operations in Languor and Disgrace
— & perhaps protract the War, to the Hazzard of our final Ruin.

"In Consequence to your Excellency's former Letter, I dispatched an Express
to Govr. Hancock, with a reiterated Request that he would order on the Militia of
Berkshire and other Western Counties immediately to Albany — and have also
addressed the command'g officer of the Militia raising in those Counties, begging
him to march forward without delay to the Orders of Gen'l Clinton. What
effect these requisitions will have, it is impossible for me to say. In the mean-
time, I will leave the Remains of Courtlandt's Regt. at Albany, trusting that the
State will, by its own exertions, enable me to call them down when necessary, by
substituting 9 months men, if those for three years cannot be obtained.

"In hopes that no further Delay of the Militia, from the Western parts of
Massachusetts may happen, for Want of any Exertions on my part, I have desired
Major General Lincoln, an officer of that State, to proceed to the County of Berk-
shire, for the Express purpose of hastening them on — however little Effect my
written Applications have had — I hope his personal Attendance will produce the
Aid we expect from those Counties.

"I have the honor to be with the Highest esteem and Respect,

"Your Excellency's most Obed't & Humble Servant,

"( }ov'r. Clinton."

("Clinton Papers," Vol. VII, p. 166.)

A Strong Defense of the State's Position by Governor Clinton.

Governor Clinton Assures President Hanson that the Spirit oj Patriotism Has Not

Waned Despite the Misfortune and Injuries Suffered — He Deplores the

Defects in the Powers of Congress.

"Poughkeepsie Novr. 24th, 1781.
"Sir: During the Recess of the Legislature of this State I received several Letters
from the Superintendent of Finance; which were laid before them in their late
Session and the Result of their Deliberations were certain Resolutions, a copy
whereof agreeable to their Request I do myself the Honor to transmit to your
Excellency.

"With the Legislature I may venture to pledge myself for the truth of the
Facts contained in the Resolutions, & in the letter of the 15th of Feby. last. In-
deed the essential Facts, and from which the Inability of the State is necessarily
to be inferred, namely the Deprivation of Commerce, the Loss and Devastation
of Territory by the Enemy, the Usurpations of our Revolted Subjects and the
subsistence of the Greater Part of the Army in the articles of Bread and Forage
for a series of Campaigns on credit, and the Amount of the Debts thus contracted
still due, either to the Inhabitants individually, or to the State in consequence of
receiving the Purchasing Officer's Certificates in payment of Taxes, are of such
universal notoriety that I shall presume it unnecessary further to evince them;




From an Old Print Property of New York Public Library

GENERAL GEORGE CLINTON,
FIRST GOVERNOR, STATE OF NEW YORK



THE NEED OF A HISTORY OF NEW YORK 37

I shall, therefore, only observe in addition that there is more than a Hazzard that
we shall not be able without a change in our Circumstances long to maintain our
Civil Government.

"This State I flatter myself has for its Spirit & Exertions in the War stood equal
in point of Reputation with any other in the Union, and notwithstanding our Mis-
fortunes & Injuries and notwithstanding our Legislature is, with respect to the
Individuals who compose it, fluctuating, I am confident the People at large and
their Representatives in Gov't. Still retain the same Spirit, & are equally dis-
posed to every possible Effort in the Common Cause. I mention this, lest it be
supposed that we were sinking under our Distresses, or were attend'g to our par-
ticular interests without a due Regard to the Gen'l. Good.

"I trust there can be no higher Evidence of a sincere Disposition in the State
to promote the common interest, than the alacrity with which they passed the
Law for grant'g to Congress a Duty on Imports, and their present Proffer to accede
to any Propositions which may be made for rendering the Union among the States
more intimate, and for enabling Congress to draw forth & employ the resources
of the whole Empire with the utmost Vigor; for altho' we are unable in our present
condition to contribute an immediate pecuniary Aid, we have the Prospects of
future Wealth and Ability, when by a Peace, and the Determination of the Con-
troversy relative to our Boundaries, we shall be restored to the entire possession
of the State. These Prospects we are willing to anticipate, and I do not hesitate
to give assurances that this State will, on her Part, cheerfully consent to vest
the Sovereignty of the United States with every power requisite to an effectual
Defence against foreign Invasion & for the Preservation of Internal Peace and
Harmony; and as an individual, I can not forbear declaring my Sentiments that
the Defects in the Powers of Congress are the chief source of present Embarrassm'ts
and as a Friend to the Independence & True Interests & Happiness of America,
I could wish to be indulged in expressing an earnest Desire that Measures might
be taken to remedy these Defects.

"While Congress in their Requisitions are subject to the Control of the several
Legislatures, we can have no Reason to expect that the aggregate Strength of
our Country including in the Idea, Men, Money and Supplies of every kind, can
be properly applied to the great Purposes of the Union.

"With respect to the Application for a loan of Powder, I would observe that
our State Magazine is now entirely exhausted and we have no means to supply
it; the Stock which we have hitherto had, has been wholly expended in the Common
Defense, and should the Militia be called out, we could not avail ourselves of their
Services for want of this essential Article.

"The case of the Artificers in the several Departments within the State is
truly deplorable. Many of them are Refugees from the Parts of the State in
the Possession, or Incursions of the Enemy, with Families and no Means of Sub-
sistence other than their wages.

"There are Arrears due to many of them since 1778, and they are reduced
to the utmost Distress; unless, therefore, they can be relieved, they must inevitably
leave the Service, which will be attended with the most injurious Consequences,
as it will be impossible to procure substitutes. As I am informed by the State
Agent that he had lately addressed a Letter to the Superintendent of Finance
explaining fully the necessity of a speedy Settlement of his accounts, I will only
beg leave to add on that Subject that there is a reason to apprehend, should this
Business be delayed, that the greatest Care and Attention of the Public Officers
concerned will be sufficient to prevent Abuses; as from the nature of the Service
the Delivery of the Supplies, must frequently be made to Boatmen and others of
low character, and whose receipts are the only Vouchers the Agent can in these
Circumstances Procure.

"I have the honor to be, &c, &c, &c."
"Presidt of Congress."

("Clinton Papers," Vol. VII, p. 520.)



38



THE NEED OF A HISTORY OF NEW YORK



The Governor Informs Robert Morris that the Embarrassed Situation
of the State Has Prevented the Printing of the State Laws for a Year.

"Pough'sie, Nov. 24th, 1781.
"Sir, I have the honor of laying before the Legislature of this State your Several
Dispatches from the 6th of July to the 19th of October last inclusive, and I now
inclose for your information, a Copy of the concurrent Resolutions of the Senate
and Assembly, the result of their Deliberations on the Subjects of your Letters.

"I am unhappy that I have not been able to transmit the information requested
by your letter of the 26th of July last. The embarrassed Situation of the State
has prevented for more than a year past, the printing of our Laws, and the Returns
from the different Counties into the Treasury, owing to the frequent incursions of
the Enemy into several of them, are at present too imperfect to be relied upon.
The Legislature, however, at their late Meeting have adopted Measures which
when executed will enable me to accomplish this Business, and you may rely,
Sir that it shall not on my Part meet with the least unnecessary delay.

"I have the honor to be &c &c

"The Honble. Robert Morris Esq. Superintendent of Finance."

("Clinton Papers," Vol. VII, page 523.)




OUR COUNTRY'S FINANCIAL CONDITION.

? T the opening of the second session, Congress began to wrestle
with the grave question of finance. . . . Not long afterward the

Ay report of the Committee prepared by Governeur Morns was sent
v% to Philadelphia when Congress was in session. It displayed a
pretty thorough comprehension of the situation and evinces a
high order of financial ability, which the author on more than one
_ occasion subsequently exhibited. . . ."
It was decided to raise three millions of dollars.

July 29, 1775.

"As assessment also was prepared, based upon the supposed population of
the Colonies, including the negroes and mulatoes, which was revised as soon as
the correct list of each colony could be obtained. Georgia had not linked her
fortunes with those of the other Colonies, the sum assigned to each colony was
the following:

In 1782 there was another assessment.

A comparison is made showing the depreciation.

1775 ' 7 S2 Depreciation Aproxt.

New Hampshire #124,000 #80,000 #44,000 36%

Massachusetts Bay 434,ooo 320,000 114,000 26

Rhode Island 72,000 48,000 24,000 35

Connecticut 249,000 220,000 26,000 11

New York 249,000 90,000 158,000 64

New Jersey 161,000 11,000 51,000 32

Pennsylvania 372,000 300,000 72,000 19

Delaware }7> 000 28,000 9,000 24

Maryland 310,000 220,000 90,000 29

Virginia 496,000 290,000 206,000 41

North Carolina 242,000 14^,000 [99,000 44

South " 242,000 120,000 1 :S,ooo 51



THE NEED OF A HISTORY OF NEW YORK 39

''A financial picture drawn at that time by General Cornell in Philadelphia,
is not less true than startling. 'The situation of our finances is such as to make
every thinking man shudder.' The new money ordered into circulation by the
resolution of the 18th of March meets with so many obstructions, I almost despair
of the credit it will have in the states that comply with the resolution. If that
should fail, good God, what will be our fate, without money or credit at home or
abroad? We have not one farthing of money in the treasury, and I know of no
Quarter from which we have a right to expect any" — ("Financial History of the
U. S," from 1774 to 1789, by Albert S. Boles, pages 24, 39, 101).

This was the financial condition when Congress selected Robert Morris
(of Pennsylvania) Superintendent, February 20, 1781. Morris did not accept
till March 13th. He wrote Congress: "If therefore it be the idea of Congress
that the office Superintendent of Finances is incompatible with commercial con-
cerns and connections, the point is settled; for I cannot on any consideration con-
sent to violate engagements or depart from those principles of Honour which it is
my pride to be governed by. If, on the contrary, Congress have elected me to this
office under the expectation, that my mercantile connections and engagements
were to continue, an express declaration of these sentiments should appear on the
minutes, that no doubt may arise or reflections be cast on this score hereafter."

Morris also claimed the right of appointing those who were to assist, as he
could only in that way be responsible. It appears that the Committee, who
probably reflected the opinion of Congress, especially of Samuel Adams who was
afraid of delegating even the smallest shadows of power to anybody, wanted
more definite information concerning the persons included under the control of the
removing power of Morris and desired to make a list of them. There were few
men who did so much for their country as Robert Morris; he pledged his personal
notes at six months after date and the proceeds were used to purchase supplies
for the army.

"A vast deal of speculation was carried on by the Government officials in
these days. Extravagance is the legitimate child of speculation and notwithstand-
ing the Puritan severity of the revolutionary times the words of extravagance
rankly flourished not only in the management of public business but in the affairs
of private life."

Hancock as Chief Magistrate of Massachusetts led the way in that State.
"In a series of routs, balls and glittering re-unions, entirely incompatible with the
stern spirit of republicanism which had produced and sustained the Revolution."
Franklin wrote in 1779: "The extravagant luxury of our Country in the midst of
all its distresses is to me amazing when the difficulties are so great to find remit-
tances to pay for the Armies and Ammunition necessary of our defense.

"I am astonished and vexed to find upon inquiry that much of the greatest
part of Congress interest bill comes to pay for the tea and a great part of the
remainder is ordered to be laid out in gewgaws and superfluities. The articles
of rum and tea alone which are drank in this Country would pay all its taxes.
But when we add sugar, coffee, feathers and the whole list of bubbles and trinkets,
what an enormous expense." . . . "My Countrymen are all grown very tasty." . . .
"Feathers and Jordens must all be imported. A New Hampshire man who drinks
forty shillings of rum in a year and never thinks of the expense will raise a mob to
reduce the Garrison's salary which amounts to threepence a man per annum"-
(Noah Webster, "Coll. of Essays," page 129).

"The winter during which the forces of Washington remained half-starved
at Valley Forge and in which their Commander complained so bitterly of the
sullen or hostile attitude of the population was long remembered in Philadelphia
for its gaiety and charm." In May, 1778, a more than commonly splendid festival



4 o THE NEED OF A HISTORY OF NEW YORK

was given by the English officers in honour of Sir William Howe, who was just
leaving America, and his brother. It was called the Mischianzo and a magnifi-
cent tournament, a regatta, a ball, a great display of fireworks with innumerable
emblems and exhibition of loyalty to England. It brought together one of the
most brilliant assemblages ever known of youth, beauty and fashion of Phila-
delphia, and it was afterwards remembered that the unfortunate Major Andre
was one of the most prominent in organizing the entertainment and that this most
adorned of the Philadelphia beauties was Miss Shippen, soon after to become
the wife of Benedict Arnold" — (Green's "Historical View of the American
Revolution").




NEW ENGLAND'S THRIFT.

EW ENGLAND'S thrift developed very early in the Revolution.
After the battle of Concord, the Colonists commenced to send in
their claim for damage sustained. The following are from but
few of many:

"Damage Done During the Fight."

"Accompt of the loss Mr. James Call sustained April 19, 1775. Containing
the following articles. Then follows a list of sixty-four different articles." Among
them were, '"A New Psalm Book — a new Book 'The Death of Abel.' Three
pairs of cotton stockins, mens. Three pair White Yarn — Do — two pounds hard
Soap. From Mr. James Miller of Charlestown's list 'one gallond rum, one beaver
hat.' The most remarkable Claim was that of Estate of Samuel Shed. 'To 1 1
acres of pasture laid open all the season of the summer for which I was offered by
Mr. Honeywall £2-15-4'" — ("Beginning of the American Revolution," by
Ellen Chase, Boston).

Just why Mr. Shed did not replace his fence, history does not state.




NEW ENGLAND ENGROSSED IN PRIVATEERING.

'MERICAN Navy appears to have been almost wholly manned by
natives, and in this respect it furnished a great contrast to the
army, in which the foreign element was very prominent. The
popularity, however, of the regular naval force could never
compete with that of privateering, which was soon practiced
from the New England and Pennsylvania coasts on a scale and
iwith a daring and success rarely equalled. The zest with which
the Americans threw themselves into this lucrative form of enterprise is a curious
contrast to their extreme reluctance to take arms in the field. 'Thousands of
schemes for privateering,' wrote John Adams in August, 1776, 'are afloat in Amer-
ican imaginations.' In the beginning of the war this kind of enterprise was es-
pecially successful, for a swarm of privateers were afloat before the English appear
to have had the smallest suspicion of their danger."

" Naval History of the American Revolution " — Rev. Edward E. Hale, D.D.

It is a misfortune for the history of this country that no intelligent man in
New England interested himself in the systematic history of the privateer enter-
prises of the United States in the Revolution while the seamen lived who engaged
in them. But no such person undertook this historical work, and the materials



THE NEED OF A HISTORY OF NEW YORK 41

do not now exist from which it can be thoroughly done. Some details noticed by
authors of this time excite attention and surprise as they reveal the magnitude
and number of the prizes made by privateers. Such is the statement, cited above,
that the prizes sent in by Whipple in one cruise exceeded one million dollars in
value. Hutchinson, in his diary, reports the belief that seventy thousand New-
Englanders were engaged in privateering at one time. ... In the year 1781 the
privateer fleet of the port of Salem alone consisted of fifty-nine vessels, which
carried nearly four thousand men. ... In 1780 the Admiralty Court of the Essex
district of Massachusetts, which was the largest of the admiralty districts, had
condemned 818 prizes. It must be supposed that other districts were not insig-
nificant. In the single month of May, 1779, eighteen prizes were brought into
New London. . . . "But an incomplete list in the Massachusetts Archives of those
commissioned in that State gave us the name of two hundred and seventy-six
vessels. As the reader has seen, the fleets from Rhode Island, Connecticut and
Philadelphia were also large. It would probably be fair to say that between the
beginning and end of the war more than five hundred privateers were commissioned
by the different States. ... In the year 1777 the whole number of officers and
men in the English navy were eighty-seven thousand. Although Hutchinson's
estimate is probably an overestimate, it is to be remembered that, as the reader
has seen, there were at the same time very considerable Naval forces in the employ
of the several States and of the United States Government. This would show
that, man for man, the numerical forces engaged by the two parties were not
very much unlike. In the Atlantic Ocean, the Americans seemed to have out-
numbered the English. . . .

"The Navy of Massachusetts between the beginning and end of the war
numbered at least twenty-four vessels. . . . Between the beginning and end of the
War, the Salem vessels alone numbered nearly one hundred and fifty. The
Massachusetts Archives give a list of three hundred and sixty-five as commissioned
and belonging in Boston. If we had lists, equally full of privateers which sailed
from Falmouth (Portland), from the Merrimac, from Marblehead, from Falmouth,
Dartmouth, Plymouth, Barnstable, and other towns on Cape Cod, it is probable
that we should enlarge the list of Massachusetts privateers so that it should include
more than six hundred vessels."

("Winsor's Narrative and Critical History." Vol. VI, pages 584-588.)

The average crew was about sixty-six men to a vessel. There would be thirty-
nine thousand six hundred men from Massachusetts alone engaged in the privateer-
ing. The privateering was carried on in a most reckless manner, little respect
was paid to whom the prize belonged, friend and foe were treated very much alike.
May 9, 1778, President Laurens was obliged to issue a proclamation: "Whereas
Congress have received information and Complaints, 'That violence has been done
by American armed vessels to Neutral Nations in seizing ships belonging to their
subjects and under their colors, and in making captures of those of the enemy
whilst under the, protection of neutral Coasts, contrary to the usage and Custom
of Nations.' To the end that such unjustifiable piratical acts which reflect dis-
honour upon the National Character of these States, may be in future effectually
prevented. . . . And further; the said Congress doth hereby Resolve and Declare
that persons wilfully offending any of the foregoing instances, if taken by any
foreign powers in consequence thereof, shall not be considered as having the
right to claim protection from these States, but shall suffer such punishment
as by the usage and customs of Nations may be inflicted. . . .

"The tide of speculation having once set in could not easily be turned."

Long after the War had closed speculation still continued. "The Country
swarms with speculation," says Webster.

How different the State of Affairs in New York.



4^



THE NEED OF A HISTORY OF NEW YORK



James Duane Grieves Over the Extravagance of Living and the


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