Standing take examinations and try persons' in custody by the Congress or Committee of Safety, General Putnam' s Letter relating to Amos Bull and other Prisoners, referred to the General for the City, Committee to sound the depth of the water between Red Hook and Bedlow' s Island


Die Lunae, 9 ho˙ A˙ M˙, May 27, 1776.

The Congress met pursuant to adjournment.

Present: Brigadier-General Woodhull, President.

FOR NEW-YORK. — Colonel Jay, Colonel Remsen, Colonel Broome, Mr˙ Randall, Captain Denning, Colonel Brasher, Mr˙ Scott, Mr˙ Alsop, Mr˙ Lewis.

FOR ALBANY. — Mr˙ Cuyler, Mr˙ Glenn.

FOR ORANGE. — Mr˙ Haring, Mr˙ Little.


FOR ULSTER. — Colonel Hasbrouck, Mr˙ Brewster, Major Parks, Mr˙ Cantine.


FOR TRYON. — Mr˙ Moore, Mr˙ Harper.

FOR SUFFOLK. — Gen˙ Woodhull, Mr˙ Gelston, Mr˙ Wickham.

FOR WEST-CHESTER. — Mr˙ Paulding, Mr˙ Haviland, Mr˙ Tompkins.

FOR KING' S. — Mr˙ Covenhoven, Mr˙ Jeremiah Vanderbilt.

FOR CHARLOTTE. — Colonel Malcom, Mr˙ Webster.

Colonel Remsen represented to the Congress that many persons were confined by order of this and the former Congress and Committee of Safety, and the necessity of appointing a Standing Committee to examine and discharge such of them as shall appear to be innocent of the charges alleged against them.

Thereupon, Ordered, That Colonel Broome, Mr˙ Cuyler, Colonel Remsen, Colonel Malcom, Colonel Brasher, or any three of them, be a Standing Committee to take examination of and try all such persons as are taken into custody by order of this or any former Congress or Committee of Safety of this Colony, as also all such persons as shall hereafter be taken into custody by order of this Congress or their Committee of Safety, excepting those already committed on suspicion of counterfeiting Paper currency; that the said Committee have power to call in and examine witnesses and papers for that purpose; and further, that the said Committee be, and they are hereby authorized, to discharge all such Prisoners as shall, on full inquiry, appear to said Committee to be innocent of the charges alleged against them respectively; that the said Committee keep a record of their proceedings in the premises, and to recommit all such of the said Prisoners as they shall find guilty, and report them, with their crimes, and the substance of the evidence that shall have been given for and against them.

A Letter from General Putnam, relating to Amos Bull and some other Prisoners who had been taken by one of the Military Guards, was read. A Memorandum enclosed in the said Letter was also read. The said Memorandum contains the names of sundry witnesses against John Beck and Mary, his wife, on a charge of attempting to supply Provisions to the Ships-of-War, and refers to parts of a Letter in custody of one of the Secretaries; and also contains a Memorandum that a Frenchman, known by the name of Dr˙ Du Buke, had been taking notes on the Batteries and Fort with a pencil.

Ordered, That Mr˙ McKesson wait personally on the General Committee of this City, now sitting, and deliver to them General Putnam' s Letter, and all the other papers in his custody relative thereto, and give them such other information on that subject as he may have obtained, that the said General Committee may proceed thereon.

It was suggested to the Congress that some gentlemen are of opinion that it would be advantageous for the defence of this Colony to impede the navigation between Red-Hook, on Nassau-Island, and Bedlow' s Island, if the same can be done.

Therefore, Ordered, That Colonel Malcom and Captain Daniel Shaw, and such persons as they shall think proper to take to their assistance for the purpose, be, and they are hereby, authorized to sound the depth of the water between Red-Hook, on Nassau-Island, and Bedlow' s Island, and make report of their doings to this Congress; and that they apply to the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Troops in this Colony for permission to perform the said service without interruption or molestation from the troops on board.

Mr˙ Covenhoven was duly sworn and took the usual oath of secrecy.