I take the Liberty to give You an Account of the Behaviour of some of the Inhabitants of this County when lately visited by the Rebels, that Your Excellency may have an Idea what kind of Subjects many of them are.
Our Hospital was at some Distance from the Works – as there was not a convenient House near – When we were attack’d by the Rebels – A Party of them was sent to it – those Sick who were able, attempting to make their Escape – were fir’d at.
Jonathon Thompson who lives next to the Hospital, seeing which Way they ran, Call’d out to the Rebels “here here they run” pointing with his Hand the Way they went.
Samuel Thompson Son of the above at the same Time endeavour’d to intimidate the Inhabitants – By telling them – Our Fort had surrendered – that the Rebels intended staying two or three Days – and had a twenty Gun Ship and Number of Privateers in the Sound – Stories well calculated to prevent our having Assistance.
Men of this ungenerous Stamp endeavour further by the sly underhand Methods to defraud Government.
Their Young Men go over to Connecticut and enter the Rebel Service while their Fathers and Friends take Mortgages on their Estates – and secure in the Oath of Fidelity – hug themselves when they think they have sav’d their Property.
There is a constant Correspondence between Connecticut & this County carried on to a most daring Degree I am well convinc’d.
The late Party that came over rob’d only me and my Officers Doctr. PUNDERSON & Mr. HUBBARD of our Horses – they must have been particularly pointed out to them as they made great Inquiry after a fine Horse of Captn. ALLISONs on which one of our Men made his Escape that Morning.
I neglected mentioning in my late Letter what Equipment the Rebels came over in – it consisted of six Sloops, 26 Whale Boats with other small Craft.
I have this Instant while writing the following authentic Information lodg’d against a Justice Selah Strong by a Gentleman from Connecticut – that he wrote to Genl. Parsons there were a Number of Vessels collecting Forage at Southold – Guarded by a fourteen Gun Schooner and fifty Men on Shore under the Command of Captn. Raymond – who might easily be surpris’d.
That he secreted a Deserter three Weeks who went by the Name of BOYD – that he has repeatedly sent Intelligence to the Rebels in Connecticut of the Situation of the Troops in this Place by John and Cornelius Clark.
This very Mr. Strong has pretended to be our Friend – and several Times given Information of the last nam’d Persons being over – but not untill they were gone.
What Security can Government receive – while there are such Villains ready to stab her in secret.
That Success may attend your Excellency’s Arms and all Traitors be discover’d is the sincere Wish of
Your most oblig’d
To M:G: TRYON
[received 3 September 1777]
University of Michigan, William L. Clements Library, Sir Henry Clinton Papers, Volume 23, item 31.
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