Claims and Memorials
Immediately after the unfortunate affair of the takeing the Hessians at Trenton Government wanting intelligence of the Rebel army and movements & I was applied to by a person sent by Colonel SHERRIFF Deputy Quarter Master Genl. who at that time had the management of collecting Intelligence desiring the fullest information of Mr. Washingtons situation, numbers and intentions, the prospect he had of of [sic] being joined and a Variety of questions to the same purpose.
I very soon answered every thing agreeable to his wishes.
The Rebel army remaining at Morristown for some considerable time gave me an oppertunity of furnishing him with accounts twice a week from them for which purpose a messenger was kept employed by Goverment to go between my house and New York untill the time of Colonel SHERRIFF going to England.
The general tenor of the intelligence was the number of the army from from [sic] Returns as well as what was taken by Counting them, their movements, detachments, Inlistments, Stores, Artillery, Magazines of Provisions, as well as amunition, Cloathing &c, and in short every thing relative to them; the opinion of their council of war when Genl. HOWE embarked his troops to sail for the Cheseapeke, the private opinions of the General Officers in their army, respecting their intended Plans; the Ideas they entertained of the consequences of the Different Posts they held how far they would be effected by the loss of them.
Many resolutions of Congress previous to their being made Public, likewise private opinions of its Members, the State of their finances trade &c &c.
Genl. BURGOYNEs Dispatches to Sir Henry CLINTON have been received and sent in by me.
A Map of New Jersey being wanted I was aapplied to, to procure the actual surveys of the different Counties that one might be made therefrom which would give the commander in Chief a full Idea of that Province which Surveys after a great deal of Difficulty and risk, I accomplished excepting to a few triffles.
The Winter the army was employed in the reduction of Charlestown and Mr. Washington with his army lay at morristown when the Kings out Posts were threated;
every attention was paid to his movements that not the least alteration toke place in his army but what his Majesties Generals was immediately acquainted with it, so close was he attended to that he even declared he found it impossible to attempt any but what the Enemy got intelligence of.
The expedition intended against Canada under the Marquis Fayette; the Plan of it was no sooner laid the Genl. was made acquainted with it, it fell through owing to the Lake not getting in a proper state.
The Destination of the French fleet under Monsieur Ternay, their arrival at Rhode Island and the force with them.
The state and Situation of West Point in the year 1780, taken from Genl. St. Clairs Aid [de] Camp who came down with the most pressing Solicitations from St. Clair to Mr. Washington for a reinforcement, from the apprehension that his Majesties troops in Jersey and those just arrived from Charlestown might be suddenly turned against that Garrison and the impossibility with the small force he had of resisting the attempt.
The dissatisfaction that prevailed in the Rebel army, the Pensilvania line in perticular, their revolt, and that of the Jersey line and every circumstance relative to them.
The first movements of Mr. Washington to the Southward against Lord CORNWALLIS, His real intentions when it was generally thought that Staten Island was the the [sic] Object, the numbers of his Army Artillery &c he had with him was sent in by me;
The Navy have been furnished with accounts of the Rebel trade, the sailing of their Vessells Cargoes, Places bound to; the times of their expected arrivals and every information that put it in their power to injure their trade.
Soldiers belonging to his majesties army who were prisoners, friends to Goverment who have been obliged to fly from the hands of Persecution, have found a safe asylum at my house untill a safe conveyance cou’d be had for them and then I have sent them within his majesties lines;
Every species of Intelligence that had the least tendency to promote his Majesties Service from the time first mentioned, down to the time when I was taken in custody, at all risks, have been collected and sent in by me; Numberless Plans, for Distressing the Rebels by cutting of[f] their Parties, intercepting their Supplies, surprising their out Posts &c &c.
Last Spring I proposed a Plan to Colonel DELANCEY (Adjutant General) for Obtaining intelligence from Philadelphia twice a week which plan was highly approved of by the Commander in Chief, and I was requested to go on with it;
a waggen and Horses was purchased for the purpose and was upon the point of putting the Plan in execution, (and am now in advance for the waggen & horses,) but unfortunately was taken up for writing a Letter intended for your Excellencies perusal & information which was detected, and I was thereby reduced to the Necessity for the Preservation of my life to seek Protection within his majesties lines.
[enclosed with memorial of 16 October 1782.]
Great Britain, Public Record Office. Audit Office, Class 13, Volume 109, folios 20-22.
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