Report of the Committee on the danger to which the Colony is exposed from intestine enemies, read and approved


The Report of the Committee, for that purpose, on the danger to which this Colony is exposed from the intestine enemies, and the ways and means necessary to be taken to guard against those dangers, being fairly copied, agreeable to the directions given to the Secretaries yesterday evening, the same was signed by John Alsop, Esq˙, their Chairman, read, and approved of; and it is agreed that a recital of the Resolution of the Continental Congress, of the 6th day of October last, recommending. * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Your Committee do report that there is great reason to believe that the enemies of American liberty have a general communication with each other, through this and part of the neighbouring Colonies, by reason whereof the influence of the British Government is much extended, and the minds of the people poisoned by false reports and suggestions. That many ill-disposed people have lately resorted unto, and a great number dwell in the southern and eastern parts of Queen' s County; that there are also several ill-disposed persons in the City and County of New-York, and in King' s County, and in sundry other parts of this Colony, many of whom will most probably take up arms on the part of our foes whenever they shall see a prospect of success.

That, from the various reports and the best intelligence which can be obtained from Europe, as also from the positive assertions of the disaffected throughout this and the neighbouring Colonies, and from such of their measures as have come to the knowledge of your Committee, there is no room to doubt that a large hostile armament will soon arrive in this Colony.

That the greater part of those who now hold offices and commissions under the Crown, and many others who are generally reputed inimical to American liberty, will be liable to suffer injuries from the resentment of the people, and the Colony in general exposed to great danger from the active exertions of those among us who are determined to assist in the subjection of America.

Your Committee are therefore of opinion that, as well out


of regard to the safety of individuals as for the general welfare of America, it is highly and indispensably necessary to take speedy and effectual measures to prevent the hostile intentions of our foes, to stop the channels of intelligence and communication among the disaffected, and to quell the spirit of opposition which hath hitherto prevailed.

Your Committee do propose that, for these purposes, the following persons be apprehended, by the assistance of the Continental Troops now stationed in and near this city, to wit: * * * * * * * * * * * *

That a Committee be appointed to confer with the Commander-in-Chief, now here, upon the subject of apprehending the persons above-named, and to superintend the taking of them; that, upon and after the apprehension of the said persons, such of them as shall give good and sufficient security, on oath and otherwise, as the said Committee shall think proper, that they will not be concerned in any measures taken or to be taken against the United American Colonies, or any or either of them, and that they will discover all measures taken or to be taken against the said Colonies, or any or either of them, as far as the same shall come to their knowledge respectively, be permitted to go at large; and that, as to such persons as shall refuse such security, it shall be in the discretion of the said Committee to admit on their parole of honour, to be given to the said Committee as to the Continental Congress, as many of the said persons as may, in the judgment of the said Committee, safely be trusted on their said parole to reside in some part of one of the neighbouring Colonies, such as shall be chosen by the said respective persons, and approved of by the said Committee; and that all such persons as, in the opinion of the said Committee, cannot safely be trusted on their said parole, or, if to be trusted, shall refuse to give such parole, shall be reported to this Congress, to be severally dealt with as this Congress shall think proper.

That it be recommended to all the General County Committees in the several Counties of this Colony to apprehend all persons holding military commissions under the King of Great Britain, and also all such persons holding civil offices under the said King, or being possessed of influence in their respective Counties, as are suspected of holding principles inimical to the said United Colonies; and, after they shall have been apprehended, to deal with them in such manner as is prescribed for the conduct of the Committee above-named.

All which is, nevertheless, most humbly submitted.

JOHN ALSOP, Chairman.