Letter from General Livingston

v1:1531

Die Jovis, 8 ho˙ P˙ M˙, August 22, 1776.

The Convention met on a summons of the Members and ring of the bell. Present:

NEW-YORK. — Colonel Broome, Mr˙ Bancker, Mr˙ Jay; Colonel Lott, Captain Rutgers, Captain Denning, Mr˙ Roosevelt, on duty.

ALBANY. — Mr˙ Adgate.

SUFFOLK. — Mr˙ W˙ Smith, Mr˙ Tredwell, Mr˙ Hobart.

ULSTER. — Mr˙ Confine, Mr˙ De Witt.

DUTCHESS. — Mr˙ Sacket, Mr˙ Schenck.

QUEEN' S. — Mr˙ Samuel Townsend, Mr˙ Jos˙ Townsend, Mr˙ Ben˙ Sands.

WESTCHESTER. — Mr˙ Zeb˙ Mills, General Morris, Mr˙ Gouv˙ Morris.

ORANGE. — Mr˙ Outwater, Mr˙ Jos˙ Smith.

CHARLOTTE. — Mr˙ Duer.

Abraham Yates, Jun˙, Esq˙, being absent, and the Convention suddenly and unexpectedly convened, William Smith, Esq˙, was chosen President for the evening.

Mr˙ James Townsend and Mr˙ Hobart delivered a copy of a Letter from Brigadier-General Livingston, of New-Jersey, to his Excellency General Washington, which was read, and is in the words following, to wit:

"MAY IT PLEASE TOUR EXCELLENCY: In the utmost haste I must inform you that very providentially I sent a spy last night on Staten-Island, to obtain intelligence of the movements of the enemy, as many things, apparently new, were seen from our lines. He has this moment returned in safety. The substance of his information I must give you in short: He went on Staten-Island about midnight, and got, undiscovered, to the house of the person to whom he was

v1:1532

sent, who informed him that the whole force of the enemy, of every kind, was thirty-five thousand men, fifteen thousand of whom were left on the Island, but all the rest embarked; that they expected to attack every hour, he thinks this night at farthest; it was to be on Long-Island and up the North-River; that the fifteen thousand men were to land and attack on Bergen-Point, Elizabethtown-Point, and at Amboy. He has heard the orders read, and heard the Generals talk of it. The wagons are all laid out and ready; that they appear very determined, and will put all to the sword. They are in great want of provisions; pork tolerably good, but flour exceedingly bad. They have eat up all the cattle, and are now killing and barrelling up all the horses they meet with. All the field-pieces are taken on board except two. The information may be depended on. Ten pounds have been given for a cow, and ten dollars for a sheep. That the Tories on the Island are very ill-treated lately, so that the inhabitants, who at first were so pleased, would now be willing to poison them all. They take from them everything they choose, and no one has anything they can call their own.

"I am, with great respect, &c˙, &c˙,

"WILLIAM LIVINGSTON.

"Elizabethtown, August 21, 1776."

Mr˙ Hobart further informed the Convention that the enemy are landed on Nassau-Island; that the Rifle Regiment are retreated to the lines; that the enemy have landed a party of Light-Horse, and between thirty and forty pieces of Artillery.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Hobart, Mr˙ Duer, Mr˙ Jay, Mr˙ Morris, General Morris, and Mr˙ Benjamin Sands, be a Committee to take the said Letter and intelligence into consideration, and report thereon to-morrow morning, and to write to General Washington to know whether he desires General Morris' s Brigade to be called out.

Ordered, That the Treasurer remove the Treasury and Papers and Accounts near to the Church in Harlem to-morrow morning.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Gerard Bancker remove all the Books and Papers of the late General Assembly of this State to Harlem to-morrow morning.