May 14, Examination of Henry Dawkins: Acknowledges he engraved plates for counterfeiting the paper Bills of Credit, Examination of Isaac Youngs


In the Congress Chamber of the City-Hall of New-York,
Die Martis, 3 ho˙ P˙ M˙, May 14, 1776.

The following gentlemen met pursuant to their adjournment and agreement of this morning, viz:

FOR NEW-YORK. — Colonel Brasher, Colonel Stoutenburgh, Mr˙ Bancker, Captain Denning.

FOR ALBANY. — Mr˙ Cuyler, Mr˙ Glenn.

FOR DUTCHESS. — Mr˙ Paul Schenck.

FOR SUFFOLK. — General Woodhull, Captain Wickham.

FOR WESTCHESTER. — Mr˙ Paulding.

FOR ORANGE. — Mr˙ Herring.

FOE KING' S. — Mr˙ Polhemus, Mr˙ Covenhoven.

No other Members appearing, the gentlemen present could not proceed to business as a Congress.

But Prisoners brought from Nassau-Island by Captain Wool, were separately brought in, and examined in the presence of Mr˙ Alderman Brasher, and the Examination of Thomas Henderson, Henry Dawkins, and Isaac Youngs, respectively, follow, viz:

City of NEW-YORK, ss:

Thomas Henderson, of Cold-Spring, in the Township of Huntington, in Suffolk County, Cooper, being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists, deposeth and saith: That he knows Charles Friend, and has known him since some time last summer; that he knows a person who is commonly called and known by the name of Henry Dawkins; that said Dawkins has for several weeks past resided at the house of Israel Youngs, in Huntington; that Dawkins said yesterday, in the deponent' s presence, that he had been there upwards of eight weeks; that some weeks ago he saw the said Dawkins grinding some tools, which he then took to be


Engraver' s tools; that soon after Dawkins came up to Cold-Spring, he told the deponent that he was an Engraver and a Silversmith; that there has been a suspicion in that neighbourhood that Dawkins and the Youngs were counterfeiting money; that he (the deponent) some time ago informed Charles Friend that Henry Dawkins, a countryman of his, was in the neighbourhood at Israel Youngs; that Friend asked what he was doing there; that he (the deponent) said he supposed living on his money, which the Provincial Congress paid him for cutting plates; that Friend said, then be was on some such business now, and that he would have it out of him; that he (the deponent) told Friend he had the same suspicion; that he further told Friend that no person was permitted to go into Dawkins' s chamber, and that Israel Youngs himself split the wood for fire and carried it up himself; that Friend went to see Dawkins.

City of NEW-YORK, ss:

Henry Daivkins, late of the City of New-York, at present of Cold-Spring, in Huntington Township, Engraver, being examined, says: That he left New-York nine weeks ago this day; that Israel Youngs had frequently before that applied to him to undertake to cut plates to make such bills as those issued by the Provincial Congress; that he (this examinant) would not undertake to make him such, because he had been sworn not to cut any other such; that the said Israel Youngs frequently came to see the examinant in New-York Jail, and came to see him while he (the examinant) was cutting those very plates; that after he (the examinant) was out of Jail some weeks, Israel Youngs came to the examinant and lent him some money to pay his shop rent, and took him (the examinant) up to the said Youngs' s house in Youngs' s sloop, together with his (the examinant' s) little son; that Israel Youngs had several times, both before and after he (the examinant) came out of Jail, applied to him to cut plates to print Provincial Bills of Credit; that after he (the examinant) had been a day or two at Cold-Spring, the said Israel Youngs showed him a large bundle of money, and took out of it a Connecticut bill of forty Shillings, and asked if he (the examinant) could imitate that for him, and requested him to do it immediately, and told the examinant that he (the said Israel) was about to pay a large sum of money and wanted it done immediately, that he might pay it away, as the examinant then understood; that said Israel Youngs told the examinant that he would reward him generously, and that he should never want; that the said Israel Youngs came to New-York for a press, but having got a bookbinder' s press, which would not suit the purpose, he (the examinant) directed him to Woolhaupter to make a proper press; that, in the mean time, the said Israel Youngs was so impatient that, at his solicitation, he (the examinant) rubbed and made about a dozen of copies with a burnisher; that he believes the bills were signed by Israel Youngs; that he (the examinant) saw Israel Youngs sign three or four of those rubbed off with the burnisher; that the said Israel afterwards desired him (the examinant) to rub off some others in the same method; that he (the examinant) refused, as it injured the plate; that after the rolling-press was brought to Israel Youngs house and put up, he (the examinant) pressed off seven other bills in Israel Youngs presence, and showed him how to press the bills and make them; that any others that have been pressed and made were made by Israel Youngs, or some of the others concerned; that, by the handles of the press being very black, he judged at several different times that they had been at work; that it is about four weeks since the press was brought there; that Isaac Youngs and Townshend Hulet were concerned in this business; that Isaac Youngs frequently came and stayed with him hours at a time, and Townshend Hulet was frequently there and used to sleep in the room with him; that some time ago, (to wit: about a month ago, as he thinks,) Israel Youngs came to New-York, and when he returned home, brought with him a newspaper printed by Hugh Gaine, mentioning the difference between certain counterfeited Connecticut bills and the true bills, and got him (the examinant) to alter and amend the plate he had cut, to correct the differences or faults pointed out in that newspaper; that he (the examinant) did correct and amend the plate accordingly; that the counterfeit Connecticut bills described in that newspaper were those which had been struck off or printed on the said plate cut by him


(the examinant;) that soon after the rolling-press before-mentioned was set up, he then pressed the seven bills before-mentioned, and found that he had corrected the faults mentioned in that newspaper; that Israel Youngs told him when he gave him the newspaper that the bills were suspected; that he made no other plates for Connecticut money than the two plates for the forty Shilling bills; that after the examinant had completed the plate above-mentioned, Israel Youngs applied to him to make two plates to print thirty Dollar bills, Continental money; that he (the examinant) also completed those two plates; that Israel Youngs told this examinant that Isaac Ketchum was to go to Philadelphia to procure paper for the purpose of printing thirty Dollar bills; that he (this examinant) does not know whether Isaac Ketcham succeeded or brought such paper with him from Philadelphia or not; that Israel Youngs next applied to him to cut plates to print bills of Massachusetts money of the denomination of forty-two Shillings, lawful money, each; that he (this examinant) did engrave for him (the said Israel Youngs) two plates for making those bills of forty-two Shillings, lawful; that he never saw but one impression of the last-mentioned bill struck or printed, after which he (this examinant) corrected the plate for the front of the bill. The examinant being shown four copies of such bills, says they have been made with the plates which he (the examinant) cut. That the said Israel Youngs, when the last-mentioned plates were finished, took all the six plates which were finished and put them away together; that some times the said Israel Youngs used to put the said plates in a large deep chest in his parlour and sometimes in his desk; that he (the examinant) has at some times seen him put the plates in his pocket and go up stairs towards the rolling-press. That the said Israel Youngs afterwards applied to the examinant to cut plates for a two Dollar bill, and gave him a sample or bill; that he (the examinant) had proceeded to cut a part of the plate for the front of the bill. The said last-mentioned plate being produced to him, he says that is the plate which he had begun to engrave. That when Israel Youngs left home to come to New-York, about six or seven days ago, he locked up the plate in his chest of drawers; that Israel Youngs, about a month ago, told the deponent that Thomas Henderson had intimated to him that he (the said Henderson) knew what they were about, and seemed to suspect that he (the examinant) must have dropped some words that had given Henderson cause of suspicion or some knowledge of the affair. That the said rolling-press was fixed and set up in a garret, with a small window in it, which garret had not a floor, but that boards were laid there to support the press; that it was a low garret in which a person could not stand upright; that the passage to that garret was a small door out of the room in which the examinant lodged into a passage up, or place where a small stairs was made; that the said small door was placed in a wall where a bed stood before it, and that he (the examinant) did not know of the said small door, stairs, or garret, until the said Israel Youngs asked him to go up there to put the rolling-press together, which was then up in the garret. That the bills which the said Israel Youngs signed he subscribed three names to them, to wit, the same names which were signed to the bills from which the plates were engraved; that he (the examinant) was importuned by both Israel and Israel Youngs to sign or subscribe the names to the counterfeit Connecticut bills; that through their importunities he attempted to sign one bill, but that that bill was destroyed. That Isaac Ketcham went to Philadelphia to get paper, as Israel Youngs informed the examinant, and that they expected the paper.


Taken before me this 14th day of May, 1776.

L˙ C˙ BRASHER, Alderman.

City of NEW-YORK, ss:

Isaac Youngs, of Cold-Spring, in the Township of Huntington, on Nassau Island, being examined, says: That Henry Dawkins has resided in Israel Youngs' s house, which is under one roof with his (the examinant' s) house for several weeks past; that he did not know that Henry Dawkins was engraving plates to print money; that he did not know that a rolling-press was in Israel Youngs' s garret until after Captain Wool came there last Sunday morning; that he once saw Henry Dawkins rubbing a copper-plate, but did not


know what it was for; that he did suspect that Dawkins was cutting plates to make money, but never informed himself nor ever attempted to inform himself; that his brother-in-law, Townshend Hulet, did sometimes sleep in the room with Dawkins; that he does not know where Townshend Hulet is; that the said Hulet does not stay much at home of late; that Isaac Ketcham has not frequented his brother' s house more of late than formerly; that he did imagine that Henry Dawkins was making money, and spoke to his brother about it; that Israel Youngs said he never would pass any of it. Isaac Youngs further says that he did not deny to Captain Wool that there was any door or passage up to the garret where the press was found; that he did inform him that there was a door, and showed it to him; that Henry Dawkins informed the examinant that he could make a plate so exactly that it would not vary from the Congress bills, or words to that effect; that he (the examinant) informed Israel Youngs of it, and told bun that he (this examinant) thought it was a sin to pass such money if it should not be found out, and that he would not have any hand in it; that the said Israel Youngs said he would not pass any of it.


Taken this 14th day of May, 1776, before me:

L˙ C˙ BRASHER, Alderman.

Isaac Ketcham, having requested to be further heard before the gentlemen present, was again brought in and examined; and his short examination, now taken and by him subscribed in the presence of Mr˙ Alderman Brasher, was taken on the same paper with his examination in the former part of the day, and is herein before contained.