From Isaac Ledyard1
[Fishkill, New York, September 27, 1780]
Since writing two Letters2 to his Excely. concrning Mr. Wm. Smyth. I have learned for a certainty that he was laying a plan for rescuing Joshua Smyth3 which was frustrated by Col. H. Hay his Uncle in Law.4
I would wish to give you all ye. information I can in this young Mans Case that you may be ye. better able to determine concerning him, which causes you this trouble.
I am my dear Col. Your Affectionate
ALS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Ledyard was a surgeon’s mate, First New York Regiment. On October 6, 1780, he became assistant purveyor, hospital department.
2. Both of these letters, dated September 27, 1780, are in the George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
3. Joshua Hett Smith was court-martialed, tried, and acquitted (October 26, 1780) for lack of evidence. He was then arrested by the New York commissioners of conspiracy and imprisoned at Goshen, New York. He escaped to New York City in May, 1781.
4. Nothing is known concerning this plan for Joshua Hett Smith by his son, William. Nor is there any information on how Colonel Ann Hawkes Hay frustrated this plan. Hay was a colonel in the New York Militia and the husband of Joshua Hett Smith’s sister. It was at Hay’s house in Fishkill, New York, that Smith was arrested for his alleged part in the Arnold plot.