John Elmendorf to New-York Committee of Safety



Kingston, 3 December, 1776.

SIR: I am happy to hear that the Convention entertains such an opinion of my fidelity to our common cause, as to empower me in procuring requisites in order to make our common defence; but am sorry to inform you that at this present time I cannot accept of performing that trust reposed in me, for reason of such daily depredations and plunder of private property at my house. You are sensible when such outrages are committed, in having your doors splintered, forced, &c˙, it is requisite for an honest man, and a lover of his country' s rights, to alleviate the distress of my good family (as they may be called by the world) with my presence. Nothing grieves me more than daily to observe, and be an eye witness to such confusion and turbulent dispositions of the people. I should willingly embrace an opportunity for the service of my country at any other time, so with reluctance might decline, and refer you to some other person for the completion of the trust I was honoured with.

I am, with the greatest esteem and regard for the welfare of the publick in general, your most obedient, humble servant,


To Pierre Van Cortlandt, Esq˙, Vice President of the Committee of Safety, at Fishkill.