December 31, Five prisoners brought to the Committee by Captain Menee and Ensign Baldwin


Fish-Kills, Connor' s Tavern, 31st December, 1776.

The Committee met. Present: John Jay, Chairman, William Duer, Zephaniah Platt.

A Letter of the 30th instant, from Colonel Huntington, was read, informing that by order of General Heath he had sent to the Committee six Prisoners, viz: Henry Fowler, Zophar Beeck, Henry Laback, John Rikeman, Aaron Lawrence, and Abraham Williams, being persons unfriendly to the United States, particularly John Rikeman, who was apprehended for seizing and holding a Continental soldier till the enemy came and took him.

Ordered, That the said Prisoners be committed to the Guard, and that John Rikeman be put in irons.

Captain Richard Menee and Ensign Joseph Baldwin appeared before the Committee, and inform that they brought with them five Prisoners, to wit: Josiah Smith, John Brown, Richard Lawrence, John Grant, Jonathan, a Mulatto, who says he belongs to Benjamin Lister, at Long-Island.

Messrs˙ Richard Menee and Joseph Baldwin being sworn, say, that yesterday morning they were informed by Philip Vincent and Henry Cornell, that Philip Vincent' s mother had heard the dog bark in the night, and got up; that she saw fifteen or twenty men travelling towards the mountains; that there being reason to believe that the said persons were going to join the enemy, these deponents and several others of the neighbourhood pursued them; that these deponents went together, and overtook two, as they believe, of the said persons, and apprehended them in the mountains, viz: William Willson and another, whose name they have forgot; that they examined them for papers, and took from James Willson two papers containing the route they were to go; that Willson told him he had got one of the said papers, marked (Wooden,) from Henry Wooden, at his house; and further, that he was going to New-York, to see his brother. That they delivered the said two prisoners to Captain Myrick; that Henry Wodden confessed to these deponents that he had given Willson the said paper, and appeared very uneasy about it, and begged them to destroy it.


Sworn in Committee, by

JOHN JAY, Chairman.

Captain Menee and Ensign Balding further inform the Committee, that they have good intelligence of a number of persons who are going to the enemy, that will rendezvous at Joseph Bright' s, near Croton River.

Resolved, That they go to General Heath, and concert with him a plan for apprehending them; and that a Letter on the subject be written to General Heath.

Ordered, That William Besley and Cornelius Besley, against whom nothing appears, and whom there is reason to believe entirely innocent, be discharged.

Ordered, That Daniel Smith and Isaac Smith apprehend, and bring before this Committee, Henry Wooden.


Ordered, That nineteen Cartridges be given them.

Petition of Peter Dobbs, Amos Le Forge, Henry Le Forge, Ebenezer Odell, and Josha˙ Odell.

Ordered, That Thomas Valentine be permitted to return home, on his parole to return to this Committee in a month, to remove his family.

Josiah Smith, one of the Prisoners brought this day by Captain Mana and Ensign Balding, being examined, saith, that he is the son of Josiah Smith, deceased; that he lives in Charlotte Precinct, with Isaac Beagle; that yesterday noon a mulatto fellow, Jonathan, who had worked some time with James Doughty, and who is now a prisoner here, came to him, and told him there was a chance to get clear of drafting, and go to the Island, and told him to go to Thomas Tobias, and he would see the man there; that this deponent thereupon went to William Doughty' s, and there saw Frederick Tobias, who also told him the same that the negro or mulatto had; and further said that one Grant was then at Thomas Tobias' s, who would take him safe to Long-Island, and advised him to go. That then examinant returned home, and told his master, Isaac Beagle, what had passed, and that he intended to go to Long-Island; that Isaac Beagle dissuaded him from going, saying that this examinant would certainly be taken up; that this deponent then went to Thomas Tobias' s, and saw the said Grant, whose Christian name is John; that Frederick Tobias told the said Grant that this examinant would go with him; and that Grant told this examinant to go along towards Poghkeepsie, and he would overtake examinant, which examinant did; that Joseph Haight, of Nine-Partners, was to be there, but he was gone before examinant came near to Poghkeepsie; that examinant went on the way to Poghkeepsie as far as the said Joseph Haight' s, and from thence to the mountains, where he was apprehended; that the other prisoners with whom he was taken were the only persons that came off with him; that he understood from the mulatto that the said Joseph Haight was to be their Captain; and that this examinant intended to have returned home again in a fortnight; that the examinant has understood from the said Grant that Isaac Viel, of Beekman' s Precinct, was coming with a company of men down this night, in order to go over to Long-Island; and that the horse he rode belongs to Richard Lawrence, one of the prisoners.


Ordered, That sixteen Shillings be paid to Peter Van Bremen, for carrying Captain Myrick and five men to Dan˙ Wright' s, in a sleigh.

Captain Isaac Concklin and Lieutenant Josiah Burton, of Charlotte Precinct, being sworn, severally depose, that John Grant, one of the prisoners brought here this day, is generally reputed to be a bad man, and very disaffected to the American cause, and that he this day said, in the hearing of these deponents, that he never would be a friend to the American cause, or words to that purpose. And further say not.


Sworn in Committee, by


Samuel Gale and William Tredwell appearing, took the Oath of Allegiance, and were discharged.

Captain Myrick reports, that in pursuance of the order of yesterday, he went to Daniel Wright' s, where he was informed that so many men had pursued the company of Tories he had been directed to apprehend that he did not proceed; that Lieutenant Alger came to Wright' s while he was there, and delivered to him one John Reed, whom he; said he had taken at or near David Akins' s, in the mountains, and who had Informed him that a company of Tories were coming down that night; whereupon he joined his men to those of Lieutenant Alger, and kept guard at John Halstead' s; that when they arrived at Halstead, they found two men there, Timothy Pettit and Jacob Jackson; that the latter was by the fireside, and the former on the stoop; that it was then between ten and eleven at night, and their horses were under the shed by the door; that this deponent asked Jackson which way he was from; he said, from the northward; he asked him which way he was going; that he hesitated, and then answered that he was going to the northward again; and that then Pettit came in, and he


asked him which way he was going; he said, to Bedford; that he asked him whether they were both going one way; he replied, Yes. On this he suspected them both, and asked Jackson for his pass; that Jackson said Pettit had it; that on examining their papers, he suspected them to be forged, and therefore brought them both to this Committee. That Joseph Baldwin and Captain Manee delivered to him two prisoners they had taken, viz: James Tuttle and William Wilson, whom he hath also brought with him.

Account of Cash disbursed in pursuance of orders contained in the Book of Minutes of the Proceedings of the Committee for Inquiring into, Detecting, and Defeating all Conspiracies, &c.

Reference to Orders.

Cash paid Peter Van Bremen, 16; 31st December, 1776.

John Reid, one of the prisoners mentioned in Captain Myrick' s Report, this day being examined and sworn, saith, that he is a labourer, sometimes working at one business and sometimes at another, and has not settled place of abode. That last Friday was a week, whent his deponent was at work at John De Graaf' s, at Nine Partners, and one William Busbey, a man about thirty years of age, who he believes has been part of the last summer at Spencer Town, came there; that deponent asked what news? He said not much; that deponent then asked him which way he was going; he said to New-York, and would be glad of deponent' s company; to which deponent answered, No; that he said, Thomas Tobias was going. Thomas Tobias was to


be a Lieutenant, and the Doctor, his brother, a Captain. That deponent then finding the scheme that Busbey was on, thought it would be best to come into his measures, that by discovering his designs he might the better defeat them. That deponent then told Busbey he would go with him. That they then went together to John Smith' s, in the Nine Partners, aforesaid, when there found Thomas Tobias, and several others unknown to this deponent. That there Busbey told Thomas Tobias that he would go to Spencer Town and bring him thirty men well armed; on which Thomas Tobias took his shoes off, and gave them, with a bill of 55s˙ 4d˙ to Busbey, to go to Spencer Town for that purpose. That Busbey went off. That last Sunday, Thomas Tobias told deponent that two of Busbey' s men had come down, with side arms, to John De Graave' s, and that Busbey was not far behind with a number more. That last Sunday night, Thomas Tobias came to John Smith' s aforesaid, and there collected all the men that were going with him, concluding that it would not do for him to stay for Busbey, as the men were growing difficult. He further said he had agreed with Isaac Vail.

A Letter from Colonel Pollard, with a Prisoner, Anthony Kennedy, who had a Lieutenant' s warrant from Governour Brown, and had lately come from ___, and referred by Convention to this Committee, was read:

Anthony Kennedy appearing, was admitted to his parole for three days.

John Reid was also enlarged on his parole.

Committee adjourned.