Request for the enlargement of Malcolm Morrison, The enlargement of Malcolm Morrison considered highly inexpedient and improper

v3:1549

December 23, 1776.

Present: Leonard Gansevoort, Esq˙, Chairman, John Jay, Zephaniah Platt, Nathaniel Sachet, Esqs.

Mathew Paterson, John Youngs, and Roswell Wilcox, appeared before the Committee, and requested the enlargement of Malcolm Morrison, unless the charges against him were such as rendered it inconsistent with the safety of the State.

Ordered, That the said gentlemen be informed of the several charges and evidence against the said Morrison.

Resolved, That the enlargement of the said Malcolm Morrison would be highly inexpedient and improper, and would greatly impeach the impartiality of this Committee.

Roswell Wilcox, of Frederick' sburgh, in Dutchess County, being sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, deposeth and saith, that on last Tuesday week he was at the house of Mr˙ Mathew Paterson, in company with Malcolm Morrison, John Youngs, and divers others; that this deponent sat next to the said Malcolm Morrison, by the fireside; that the said Morrison asked him, in a whisper, whether, if the regular Army was to come into those parts, he shouldn' t want a protection; to which the deponent answered, indeed he should; on which the said Morrison replied, that he could get one for him; that this reply gave the deponent a good deal of thought; that afterwards, when this deponent was going out of the house in order to go home, the said Morrison followed

v3:1550

him, saying he wanted to speak to him, and that they went together into Mat˙ Paterson' s back room; that the said Morrison then pulled a printed paper out of his pocket and read it to the deponent; that the said printed paper was styled a protection, and purported to be an order from the Commander-in-Chief of the enemy' s Army to all his officers, soldiers, and others, not to molest or injure the said Morrison in his person or property, and that the said paper bore date at White-Plains in the month of November; that this deponent was much shocked at hearing the said paper read, and asked the said Morrison where he had got it; upon which he answered, that he had got, and could get one for this deponent; that this deponent remonstrated to him on the danger of having such protection, observing that they would compel those having them to fight for the enemy, which he would rather die than do; upon which the said Morrison said, so would I, adding that the meaning of the said protection was only to save his property from plunder; that this deponent then looked upon the said Morrison to be in liquor, and told him he would speak to him about it the next day; that he accordingly saw the said Morrison the next day, and told him that the protection he had shown was a bad thing, and of bad consequence, and had given him, the deponent, much uneasiness, and said it would be better for him to reveal it to this Committee; and that the said Morrison said, What I have I shown it to you? and proceeded to say he wished he had never seen it, and that he had understood that Aikens and Patterson had had some difference about the plagued thing; that he did not know what he should do; that this deponent expected to have had some further conversation with him upon the subject, but said Morrison' s going from home and continuing out so long that he and some of his neighbours communicated it to this Committee. And this deponent further saith, that David Aikens, of Fredericksburgh, is generally reputed to be very disaffected to the American cause, and that he has told this deponent that he had signed the Association because there were so many people travelling that he did not conceive himself safe; and that his moral character is very suspicious and questionable. And further this deponent saith not.

ROSWELL WICOX.

Sworn in the presence of the Committee by me,

LEONARD GANSEVOORT, Chairman.

Leonard Gansevoort, Chairman.

Ordered, That Nathaniel Sacket, Esq˙, be appointed Treasurer to this Committee and Auditor of all the Accounts offered to this Committee for payment.

Mr˙ Duer informed the Committee that Colonel Henry Ludinton had told him that he had discovered that Jesse Holmes, who was committed to the Guard-House for travelling without a pass, and not being able to give a good account of himself, is a brother-in-law to John Miller, who has inlisted a company in the service of the enemy, and that the said Jesse Holmes is a dangerous person.

Mr˙ William McNeil and Mr˙ David Lyons appeared before the Committee, and informed them that they had apprehended, disarmed, and secured, a certain soldier, who was offering a Horse for sale, which, from his account, they had reason to think was stolen — being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God depose and say: (Pro ut.)

Ordered, That the Prisoner attend the Committee.

The Prisoner appearing, the above Affidavit was read to him; and being examined, he saith, that his name is Zebediah Heath; that he is a private soldier in Captain Thomas Cogshall' s company, in Colonel Baldwin' s regiment, from the Massachusetts-Bay. That he belongs to the town of Sandown, in New-Hampshire. That the Horse taken from him and mentioned in the Affidavit of Messrs˙ McNeil and Lyons, he took as a Continental Horse below the lines, from a man he did not know.

Divers other questions being asked him, and he behaving in an insolent manner, and appearing to be in liquor,

Ordered, That he be committed to the Guard-House, and that his further examination be postponed till to-morrow.

The Committee proceeded to take into consideration the Examination of John Hams, and thereupon came to the following Resolutions, viz:

Resolved, That Enoch Crosby, assuming the name of — ,do forthwith repair to Mount Ephraim, and use

v3:1551

his utmost art to discover the designs, places of resort, and route of certain disaffected persons in that quarter, who have formed a design of joining the enemy; and that for that purpose the said Enoch be made acquainted with all the information received by this Committee concerning this plot; and that he be furnished with such papers as will enable him to pass there without interruption, and with such others as will enable him to pass as an emissary of the enemy amongst persons disaffected to the American cause.

Resolved, That Enoch Crosby be furnished with a Horse, and the sum of thirty Dollars, in order to enable him to execute the above Resolution.

Resolved, That Mr˙ Nathaniel Sackett be requested to give such instructions to Enoch Crosby as he shall think best calculated to defeat the designs of the persons above mentioned.

Resolved, That the Treasurer pay Enoch Crosby thirty Dollars for secret services.

Ordered, That the Treasurer pay Hugh Connor three Pounds ten Shillings, for a Saddle and Bridle, for the use of this Committee.

Resolved, That a Letter be written to Thaddeus Burr, Esq˙, of Fairfield, in the State of Connecticut, enclosing copy of the Examination of John Hains, concealing his name, and requesting him to concert and execute such plan for apprehending and securing the persons therein mentioned.

Resolved, That Nathaniel Socket, Esq˙, be requested to furnish Enoch Crosby with such clothing as he may stand in need of.