William Maclay to Secretary Shippen



Sunbury, September 23, 1775.

sir: I enclose to you an estreat of the fines adjudged in our Quarter Sessions, as far back as February Sessions, 1774. Before that time there are none worth attention, save the fines of one Williams, alias Adams, who broke


jail and escaped. I am not certain whether I ever sent any account of fines heretofore, but rather think I did not. I believe it is a generally received opinion, that the Governour remits the fine of the woman, in cases of fornication. I mention this circumstance, as it is likely the Sheriff, under the influence of this opinion, may have omitted taking the fines from them; if the Sheriff has heretofore paid any of the fines now estreated, it will be easy to let him have the necessary credit.

The Congress, at the last meeting, ordered the memorials respecting the Connecticut intrusion to lie on their table to the next meeting, on the 5th of September. In the mean time, their Delegates were directed to enjoin a peaceable behaviour on their people. The 5th of September is come and past; the injunction, therefore, is no longer binding, according to their mode of reasoning. We never had more rumours about them and their designs: Samuel Wallis has just now been with me, respecting the conduct of one Vincent, who lives near Mr˙ Modie. This man was some time ago appointed a Connecticut Magistrate, and is now at Wyoming, in order to pilot down three hundred of them to the West Branch; his son was with him, and is returned, and gives out that his father only waited until the armament would be ready. Wallis says he has taken some pains to examine into the story, and for his part verily believes it to be true; if so, we shall soon hear of them. They have lately been at great pains to enlist their adherents among ˙˙˙˙˙˙˙into the twenty-fourth or Butler' s Regiment. It is highly probable that every motion of the people at Wyoming is in consequence of orders from the Colony of Connecticut; if so, it is incontrovertible that they intend, per fas et nefas, to possess themselves of the country. It seems mysterious that they should be so intent upon pushing their encroachments so far southward into the Susquehannah settlement, while the lands west of Wyoming are quite unoccupied, and quite disregarded. Perhaps a west line from the most southern settlement they can effect, by art or force, may be contemplated by them, as the boundary of their future empire; that is, in case they intend to leave Pennsylvania a name or place at all among the Colonies.

I am, Sir, with great respect, your most obedient and most humble servant,


Mr˙ Shippen.