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Westchester County New York Militia
Memorial & Resignation of James DeLancey

To his Excellency Sir Guy CARLETON Knight of the most
honorable Order of the Bath General & Commander in Chief &c

The Memorial of James DeLANCEY of West Chester County Esquire.

Most humbly sheweth,

That your Memorialist has, from the very Commencement of the present Controversy between Great Britain & America, evinced the most zealous & unequivocal Attachment to his Sovereign & the British Constitution, & since the Year 1777, has commanded the Militia & loyal Refugees in the County to which he belongs- a Corps consisting of five hundred Men, who, as well as your Memorialist, have served without either Pay or Cloathing.

That by Means of their Service, the Enemy has been constantly kept at such a Distance from King’s-Bridge, as to render that Post perfectly secure, & to keep up a Communication with the Country People for the Supply of the Magazines & Markets at New York.

That the Enemy have been repelled in every Attempt to destroy the People under your Memorialist’s Command, & that in the many Engagements which he has had with them your Memorialist has been so fortunate as to capture a Number of Prisoners sufficient not only for the Exchange of his own Men, but also for the Release of above five hundred British Prisoners.

That your Memorialist has in the Course of his Services, repeatedly received the Thanks of the Commander in Chief & of those General Officers under whom he has had the Honor to serve.

That he has always endeavoured to maintain the strictest & most exemplary Discipline in his Corps, & has gone in that Respect much beyond what has ever been practised in other Bodies constituted in a similar manner.

That your Memorialist has at all Times exerted the most anxious & unwearied Attention to preserve the Property of the Inhabitants in the Country & afford them every Protection, by which means he is well convinced that he has acquired & maintained the firm & general Attachment at least of such of them as were loyally disposed-

But that he now finds to his great Mortification, that there is a Number of People, irritated at his Zeal & Service in the Cause of Government, who secretly endeavour to prejudice him in your Excellency’s Opinion, by collecting in an underhanded Manner, Depositions respecting every Irregularity committed in the County of West Chester & its Vicinity, which are indiscriminately charged against the Refugees under his command, tho’ most of them have originated from People who have no Connection with that Corps.

That your Memorialist, finding it impossible to conteract the Artifices of such designing Men, whose Enmity against him is probably caused by his steady Attachment to Government, & who seek to gratify it by taking the most unfair methods to ruin him in your Excellency’s Opinion; & being prompted by a Regard to his Reputation which has hitherto remained unimpeached, finds himself compelled to request Permission to resign a Command which he accepted at the repeated Solications of two General Officers; which he hoped, from his manner of executing it, would gain him the Esteem of all the King’s Friends; & which in the present Situation of Affairs it can no longer be useful to retain.

But as his Services have been great, & as he quits that Property which has hitherto been his sole Subsistence, he is also under the Necessity of requesting from Government an Allowance that may be adequate to his Support.

Confiding in your Excellency’s Humanity & well known Attention to those Persons who have discharged their Duty, your memorialist flatters himself that he shall obtain this his Request, & as in Duty bound will ever pray &c


New York 3d April 1783

Great Britain, Public Record Office, Headquarters Papers of the British Army in America, 30/55/7302.

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