Papers brought by the Committee from General Washington, yesterday, read and considered, Examination of John Hendrickson: The general part of the inhabitants of Hempstead and Rockaway are against the measures of the Colonies and in favour of the King, Examination of Martin Bebee, the messenger who brought the despatches from King' s District to General Washington


Die Lunae, 9 ho˙ A˙ M˙, May20, 1776.

The Congress met pursuant to adjournment.

FOR NEW-YORK. — Mr˙ Bancker, Mr˙ Alsop, Mr˙ Lewis,
Present: Brigadier-General Woodhull, President.
Mr˙ Jacobus Van Zandt, Mr˙ Hallett, Captain Denning, Mr˙ Scott, Colonel Stoutenburgh, Mr˙ Sands, Mr˙ Peter P˙ Van Zandt.

FOR ALBANY. — Mr˙ Glenn, Mr˙ Cuyler.

FOR DUTCHESS. — Mr˙ Paul Schenck.

FOR ORANGE. — Mr˙ Little.

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

FOR CHARLOTTE. — Mr˙ Webster.

FOR KING' S. — Mr˙ Leffertse.

FOR RICHMOND. — Mr˙ Journey, Mr˙ Conner.

FOR WESTCHESTER. — Mr˙ Morris, Major Lockwood, Colonel Gilbert Drake.

FOR TRYON. — Mr˙ Moore, Mr˙ Harper.

The following gentlemen attending to take their seats, were sworn, and severally took the same oath which was administered to the Members yesterday, as entered on the Minutes, viz: Mr˙ Alsop, Mr˙ Lewis, Mr˙ Peter P˙ Van Zandt, Mr˙ Little, Mr˙ Schenck, Mr˙ Lawrence, and Colonel Blackwell.

The whole Proceedings of yesterday, with the several Papers brought by the Committee from General Washington yesterday, were read and taken into consideration, and some time spent therein.

John Hendrickson attending agreeable to the request of yesterday, the following oath was administered to him:

"I, John Hendrickson, do solemnly swear on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, that the evidence that I shall give to the Congress shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and that I will keep secret my examination before this Congress until leave shall be given by order of this Congress to reveal the same."

The President, by order of Congress, assured Mr˙ Hendrickson that his name and the substance of the evidence which he shall give, shall, for the present, be kept secret.

John Hendrickson, being examined on oath, says: That he does not know of any private plot among the disaffected on Long-Island; that he has observed the people of Hempstead in high spirits of late; that the general part of the inhabitants of Hempstead and Rockaway are against the measures of the Colonies and in favour of the King; that about a fortnight ago there was a report that a fleet was expected to arrive, and that they appeared rejoiced at it; that they expect to reap a benefit from the arrival of a fleet; that some of them say they expect to join the King' s troops if they arrive; that Richard Hulet and Thomas Cornell were esteemed leading men of those disaffected in Hempstead and Rockaway; that Stephen Hulet was also esteemed a man of influence among them and active; that Richard Hulet and Thomas Cornell are absent; that Isaac Denton, near Rockaway, is thought to be active at present and to assist in sending provisions to the ships of war; that Isaac Denton has a sloop of his own, and that he (the examinant) has heard that the said Isaac Denton has put provisions on board; that he has lately heard James Smith, of Hempstead, say he would join the King' s troops if they should arrive; that people came to Hempstead from other places, who are said to come there for refuge; that he has not lately seen many strangers going there, but that in January and February last he has seen many persons, sometimes a number in a day, who were strangers, going to Hempstead; that they appeared to be reserved and cautious; that he has lately seen some strangers in the County who are not residents; that he believes several of the inhabitants are yet armed; that he has lately been informed that along the south side, among the gunners, every other man at least is armed; that he lately saw two or three men like private men who he supposed belonged to one of the ships of war; that they appeared like sailors; that from his general acquaintance it is his opinion that most part of the inhabitants would oppose


the liberties of America if British troops should arrive; that there are yet some arms in and about the town of Hempstead; that the inhabitants are five or six hundred in number; that he has heard the inhabitants speak of Gabriel Ludlow, Justice Clowes, Daniel Kissam, and Isaac Smith, Esquires, as principal men, but that he has not heard any of those gentlemen say anything disaffected to the Colonies, and has not had conversation with them on the subject of the present troubles; that last winter a number of the inhabitants met two or three different times at the house of George Ryerson; that there were thirty or forty men at each of those meetings, as he imagines; that he has seen David Golden, Captain Whitehead, Dr˙ Arden, Thomas Cornell, Captain Richard Hulet, and Isaac Kip, go there; that Captain Hicks, at Rockaway, who formerly had a commission from Government, had about one hundred and forty men in his company; that he conceives many concealed their best arms when Colonel Heard came to disarm them; that they sometimes go out gunning and shooting, but complain for want of ammunition; that the few friends to liberty in that part of the country are afraid on account of the openness and threats of the disaffected; that Nathan Smith told the examinant that one Ackerman had informed him that he (the said Ackerman) had seen a quantity of beef and pork on board of Isaac Denton' s sloop; that there were also butter, eggs, and gammons on board, and that the sloop proceeded out of Rockaway Inlet towards the ships of war; that this was a few days before Captain Parr came up there with a company of Riflemen; that he has at three different times seen one sloop come into Rockaway Inlet; that at one time it was Denton' s sloop which he saw, and that the last he saw was a light sloop which came in there on a Friday, which was a fortnight ago last Friday; that from the caution the greatest part of the inhabitants observe with the few friends to liberty, it is very difficult to obtain a knowledge of their intentions or designs; that he was informed that lately at a vendue at Rockaway, one Jacob Foster, who had a cockade in his hat, was much abused and ill treated because he was a Whig; that the cockade was taken out of his hat and trod on by one Joseph Beagle; that he also heard that Jacob Hendrickson was abused and his hair pulled because he was a Whig; that he, (the examinant,) while he was at the vendue and before he left it, saw Joseph Langdon there; that he appeared to be disaffected and active among the people; that at a sheep-shearing lately in Hempstead, there was fresh lime punch plenty to be sold, and that it was sold in the pens by Timothy Clowes, a tavern-keeper.


Martin Beebe, the Messenger, who brought despatches from King' s District to General Washington, was called in, sworn, and examined, and his Deposition follows, viz:


Martin Beebe, of King' s District, in the County of Albany, Farmer, being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists, deposeth and saith: That he has acted as Clerk of the Committee of King' s District; that he is bound by oath not to mention the names of two persons who on oath gave the information to sundry Members of the Committee of King' s District, which are contained in two papers now shown to him, and of which he was the bearer to General Washington; that the two persons who gave those informations are esteemed to be persons of veracity and to be believed; that he has known them a considerable time; that he is informed that the person mentioned by the name of Brown, is now a non-commissioned officer in Captain Vosburgh' s company, in the Continental service, and that he (this deponent) has been informed that when the said company comes to action, the said Brown is to take the command of the company; that he has understood that the information that Brown was an officer in the Thirteenth Regiment, was obtained from McDonald, the Miner, who told it to George Hinsdale; that Silas Howard is esteemed to be a Tory; that George Hinsdak is esteemed to be deceitful and inimical to his country; that the last account he heard of Brown was, that he was gone to Johnstown; that he has heard and believes that the said Brown has told the soldiers of Captain Vosburgh' s company that he should sometimes be gone, but they must not wonder at it; that he would sometimes be drunk, but they must not think strange of it; that when they came into any engagement their Captain would be missing,


and they must follow him; that Captain Barret Dier has formerly been a Committee-man in King' s District; that Samuel Messenger is reputed to be a Tory; that John Guernsey is a person who was some time ago disarmed; that the two persons who were examined on oath before part of the Committee of King' s District, and whose names are concealed, were persons who had formerly been dealt with by the Committee of King' s District, and had been laid under solemn obligations not to do anything against the liberties of this country, and to give information to the Committee of any plot, conspiracy, or mischief, agreed or determined on against the country; that the said two persons have since declared that the schemes and plans in agitation appeared so horrible, that through compunction of conscience they came to the Committee to give information of what they knew; that they at the same time declared, that unless their names were concealed they would not give information of what they did know; and that the Members of the Committee who were then present and this examinant were sworn to conceal their names before the said two persons gave the information contained in the two papers exhibited as their testimony.