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Claims and Memorials
Letter from Stephen Holland Regarding Memorial


Being informed that a Memorial of mine requesting, for they [sic] reasons therin set forth, that a higher Rank than I now enjoy, and an encrease of half pay might be allowed me, had been referred to you by the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury, I beg leave to submit to your consideration the following state of my case.

Upon the Commencement of Hostilities in America, it was my intention to have taken the earliest opportunity in my power of Joining the Kings Troops, but I was prevented from doing so by Governor WENTWORTH, who thought I might render more Service to the cause of Government by remaining where I was.

While I continued in a very disagreeable situation in the Rebel Country, I received information that General HOWE was giving great encouragement to the raising of Provincial Regiments for the Kings Service, which led me to think I might be useful in that way, and after Consulting Col. (now Sir Archibald) CAMPBELL, then a Prisoner amongst the Rebels, Who approved of the plan, I set about inlisting Men in the most private manner I could, not doubting I should receive a Warrant for raising a Corps, as soon as I reached the Head Quarters of His Majesty's Army, and be allowed the privilige, which I understood had been granted to all others, of Nominating the Officers to serve under me.

By the time I had engaged somewhat more than two hundred Men, I found the Rebels so elated with some success they had met with, that I was in continual danger of my life, I therefore set off, with three Gentlemen I intended as Officers of the Corps, and some of they [sic] Men, in order to get within the British lines, but unfortunately for us, our design was suspected, and we were all apprehended and Committed to Goal.

It must I daresay readily occur to you from my situation in that Country, it cannot be in my power to produce Vouchers for my expenditures in so Hazardous an undertaking, but I am ready to make oath if I am required, that the money advanced to the Men- the cost of maintaining such of them as were from time to time confined on suspicion while I remained in the Rebel Country, including my own expences in Prison, Amounted altogether to above four hundred pounds Sterling--

After I had been some months at New York, the Warrant which Accompanies my Memorial was granted me, not only differing from those granted to others, but, what was of more consequence to me, Incompatible with the engagements I had come under to my Men, That they should serve in a Body and be Commanded by Officers they Knew; though my prospects were now but Gloomy, Rhode Island being recommended as a proper Station for me, to take, I went there, not without some hopes, either that my friends might be able to obtain an alteration in the Warrant, which would have insured my success, or that from a concurrence of fortunate circumstances, I might have it in my power to comp]eat a Corps, upon the hard times prescribed me; want of Interest at Head Quarters prevented the forlner, and the evacuation of Rhode Island destroyed all expectation of the latter- from that time till the peace I remained a Captain in the P. Wa. A. Regt. a Company in which had been given me some months before I received my Warrant, with an assurance that it was meant only as a present subsistance.

From Lieut. General PRESCOTTs Certificate you will observe, that a Considerable number of my Men, without waiting for the notice from me which had been agreed upon, came into Newport, and rendered material Services there.

In Consequence of the advice of my friends, I presented the Memorial which is now before you for additional rank and half pay. The former is to me no object, but the inadequacy of Captains half pay to the decent Support of my Wife and large family, renders the latter of the utmost moment;--

The Adjutant General for North America I understand has reported unfavourably on my claim, but has mentioned my Services- for these and they [sic] expences I have incurred I cannot help flattering myself you will think me entitled to some Compensation--

I hope you will pardon this long detail which my feelings for my family have led me to obtrude upon you, and that you will make as favourable a Report upon my case, as from the whole of the Circumstances it shall appear to merit.

I have the Honor to be with the
greatest respect
Your most Obedient Hble. Servt.

Upper Marylebone Street
No. 21 Decr. ye 28th 1786

Lieut. General Sir Wm. FAWCETT
and Major General ROY
     &c &c &c

Great Britain, Public Record Office, Treasury Office, Class 1, Volume 642, folio 241-242.

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