Report of the Committee on a more effectual mode of detecting and defeating the designs of the internal enemies of the State, resolved on, and agreed to by the Convention


The Convention resumed the consideration of the Report of the Committee "on a more effectual mode of detecting and defeating the designs of the internal enemies of this State." The same being read by paragraphs, resolved on, and agreed to, is in the words following, to wit:

"In Convention of the Representatives of the State of New-York, "September 21, 1776.

"Whereas divers of the inhabitants of this State have, by the wicked arts and insidious and corrupt practices of William Tryon, Esq˙, late Governour of the Colony of New-York, and his adherents, been seduced to take part with our enemies, and aid and abet their measures for subjugating the United States of America:

"And whereas, although sundry of the said parricides


have been discovered and secured, yet there is the highest reason to believe that the measures hitherto pursued fully to detect and suppress such iniquitous practices and conspiracies, have not been effectual; and whereas this State is at present invaded by a powerful army at the capital, and threatened with the incursions of another army, attended by an host of savages on its northern and western frontiers, this Convention find themselves reduced by the great laws of self-preservation, and the duties which they owe to their constituents, to provide that no means in their power be left unessayed to defeat the barbarous machinations of their domestick as well as external enemies; and do, therefore,

"Resolve, That a Committee be appointed for the express purpose of inquiring into and detecting and defeating all conspiracies which may be formed in this State against the liberties of America; that they be empowered to send for persons and papers; to call out such detachments of the Militia or Troops in the different Counties as they may from time to time deem necessary for suppressing insurrections; to apprehend, secure, or remove, such persons who they shall judge dangerous to the safety of the State; to make drafts on the Treasury for a sum not exceeding five hundred Pounds; that they be empowered to enjoin secrecy upon their own members and the persons employed by the Committee, whenever they shall judge the same necessary; and in general to do every act and thing whatsoever which may be necessary to enable them to execute the trust hereby reposed in them; that the said Committee keep regular Minutes of all their proceedings and expenditures, together with the examinations which they may from time to time take, and the correspondence they carry on for executing these resolutions, in order that the whole or any part thereof may be submitted to the consideration of this Convention, or future Legislature of this State, whenever and as often as they may think proper to call for the same; that they be empowered, if they shall think it necessary, to raise, officer, and put under pay, any number of men, not exceeding two hundred and twenty, officers included, to be upon the same establishment with those under the command of Captain Melancthon Smith, and to station them in such places, and to employ them on such services, as they shall judge expedient for the publick safety.

"Resolved, That the Company of thirty men, ordered this day by this Convention to be raised by Captain Delavergne, be under the direction of the said Committee.

Ordered, That the several Committees in this State, do from time to time transmit to the above-mentioned Committee, all such information as they shall receive, relating to any machinations and conspiracies against this State, and that copies of these Resolutions be immediately sent by express to the Chairman of the County Committees, and to all the Brigadier-Generals, or Commanding Officers of the Militia in this State, that they may govern themselves accordingly.

Extract from the Minutes:


Resolved and agreed, unanimously, That the said Committee be chosen by ballot.

And the ballots of the several Counties being delivered in and told, William Duer, Charles He Witt, Leonard Gansevoort, John Jay, and Zephaniah Platt, Esquires, appeared duly elected by a majority of votes, to be the members of that Committee.

Resolved, therefore, That those gentlemen be the Committee.

Resolved, That Nathaniel Sackett, Esquire, be added to and be a member of the said Committee.

And Ordered, that the Secretaries send notice to Charles De Witt, Esquire, of his appointment to be one of this Committee, and desire his attendance.

Resolved, That the Chairman and two members of the said Committee be a quorum to proceed on business.

Resolved and ordered, That the Examinations of Samuel Gale, William Tredwell, and Benjamin Ludlum be delivered to the said Committee; that they take the same, with any other papers or evidences relating thereto, into consideration; and commit them or take securities of them, or liberate and discharge them respectively, as the said Committee may think proper.

Resolved and agreed, That the order for committing


the said Samuel Gale, Benjamin Ludlum, William Tredwell, to the officer of the guard at this place, be rescinded.

And Ordered, That the Secretaries take security of each of them, by bond, with a surety to the President, in the sum of £500, each, with condition for their appearance, respectively, before the said Committee on request, and in the mean time not to depart farther than two miles from the Dutch Church, at Fishkill.