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Claims and Memorials
Memorial of John Dawson of New York

To the Honorable Commissioners appointed
by Act of Parliament, for enquiring into the
Losses and Services of the American

The Memorial of John DAWSON lately Merchant in New York

Most humbly Sheweth

That your Memorialist at the Commencement of the American Troubles, and for Several Years before was an Inhabitant of the City of New York where he carried on a very extensive and Profitable Trade.

That from his Political Principles, and well known Loyalty to his King and Country he very early incurred the Suspicion of the People in Power.

That about one Month before Your Memorialist was obliged to quit New York, he was applied to, requesting he would undertake to load a Ship (called the Polly, Commanded by Captain John HYLTON) with Provisions of different kinds, on Account of his friends Messrs DALE, DEMUNT & others who in Confidence informed Your Memorialist, was intended as a Supply to the Fleet which was expected to be then on their Passage from Boston to New York, but in order to Colour the Design (as permission was first to be Obtained of Congress to Load the Vessel with Provisions) it was therefore given out that She was intended for the West Indies.

Your Memorialist loaded the said Ship in about ten days with a Cargo which cost near four thousand pounds, with which the Captain proceeded to Sea to meet the British Fleet where he disposed of the whole, and which was found to be a very seasonable Supply.

That in consequence of Your Memorialist firm attachment to His Majesty Person and Government and Supporting the same to the risque of his Life and Property, that to preserve the one he was obliged to fly and to seek an Assylum in the Province of New Jersey; to avoid the violence of War, Rebels and their Persecutions of the Loyalists, and has lost the other nearly to the Amount of Six thousand pounds Sterling which his Partner in Trade and Congressman disposed, or Carried off during his Absence to the rebels amongst whom he was a leading Man,

that by this Transaction Your Memorialist and Family are reduced to ruin and Poverty, tho’ born to better and happier prospects.

That very soon after Your Memorialist return to New York He was Invited to Join a Number of other Gentlemen in forming an Independent Company, to be Commanded by Capt. Oliver TEMPLETON.

Your Memorialist remained Connected with said Company a long time untill his extreame bad health would not suffer him to continue any longer, but obliged him to return to England for a reistablishment thereof.

That as to Your Memorialist Property begs leave to refer to the Schedule herewith, from which he has never Since his Partner got Possession thereof derived any Benefit whatever, and to which he is now Excluded,

and as Your Memorialist hath Sacrificed every thing which he was Possessed of, therefore prays that Your Honor’s would please to take his Case into your Consideration, in order that Your Memorialist may be enabled under your report, to receive Such Aid and relief or Otherwise the Appointment to Some Place or Office in any of the Departments under the Crown, it being the Wish and desire of Your Memorialist (if possible) not to be further Burthensome to Government without they received the Benefit of his Services.

As his Losses and Services shall deserve and Merit, and Your Memorialist will ever Pray.


Adjoining King Edward Stairs
January 19th 1784

Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 54, folios 335–336.

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