Governour Tryon to Lord George Germain

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GOVERNOUR TRYON TO LORD GEORGE GERMAIN.

New-York, December 24, 1776.

MY LORD: On the 10th instant I reviewed the Militia of Queen' s County, at Hampstead, when eight hundred and twenty men were mustered; and on Thursday following, I saw the Suffolk Militia at Brookhaven, where near eight hundred men appeared, to all of whom, as well as to the Militia of Queen' s County, I had in my presence an oath of allegiance and fidelity administered, the form of which, is herewith transmitted.

I took much pains in explaining to the people (having formed them into circles) the iniquitous arts, etc˙, that had been practised on their credulity, to seduce and mislead them; and I had the satisfaction to observe among them a general return of confidence in Government. A very large majority of the inhabitants of Queen' s County have indeed steadfastly maintained their royal principles, as have small districts in Suffolk County. Some men from South and Easthampton townships, who attended the review, assured me, Rebel parlies from Connecticut were then on the eastermost part of the island, and which prevented in general the settlers in that quarter from attending my summons; but that they are very desirous to live under a peaceable obedience to his Majesty' s authority. The enclosed letter from their Presbyterian minister will more fully explain their sentiments.

Three companies, I learned, had been raised out of Suffolk County for the Rebel Army; most of whom, I was made to understand, would quit that service, if they could get home.

I have the pleasure to assure your Lordship, through the whole of this tour I did not hear the least murmur of discontent, but a general satisfaction expressed at my coming among them; and to judge from the temper and disposition I perceived in them, there is not the least apprehension of any further commotions from the inhabitants on Long-Island; all are industrious in bringing to market what provisions the island affords.

The late successes of his Majesty' s arms in the Jerseys and Rhode-Island, will assuredly open considerable resources of provisions and forage for the Army, which, with the plentiful and abundant supplies from the mother country, will enable this high-spirited and victorious army to take the field early next spring.

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The General has been pleased to give my Secretary, Colonel Fanning, a warrant to raise a battalion of Provincials of five hundred men; they are to be listed for the American service, and for the term of two years, or during the war, at the General' s option. This corps, I expect, will be completed so as to be ready to take the field with the Army.

While on Long-Island, I gave certificates to near three hundred men, who signed the Declaration prescribed by the King' s Commissioners' Proclamation of the 30th November last. Large bodies of the people have already taken the benefit of the grace therein offered them.

I am, with perfect esteem and respect, my Lord, your Lordship' s most obedient and very humble servant,

WM˙ TRYON.