From the King’s District Committee of Correspondence
Kings District [Albany County, N.Y.]
13 May 1776 In Committee
By the Inclosed you will discover the Glimmering of such a Plot as has seldom appeared in the world, since the fall of Adam by the Grand deceiver & Supplanter of Truth.1
The Surprizing progress & lengthy strides that the Spirit makes according to the discoveries we have been able to make which is very lately, we take the Earliest Opportunity2 to Advertise you of and pray that you wou’d immediately consider Its importance, and as you find so Act, the Bearer we recommend to your Examination in the premisses,3 but must beseech that the utmost Secrecy and dispatch be used to carry something into Execution for the fullest discovery & overthrow of this most dark and dreadfull Overthrow of this once happy Land.4 To some members of this Committee these things are made known but they Injoined the Oath of Secreting Names which must suffice in that Office5—But the Information pray examine and make what you can of It & add what you can to It, for Beleive It the plan is as deep as Hell,6 many Other Circumstances and things perfectly Agree with these Informations & we depend on It, that the Tories have a set time, when we cant find, to rise against the Country—Tis very near this Information we depend on to be true.
Sr you will excuse our troubling you on this subject when the all of this Country is so near Ruin. we are Sir your very H. Servt
Chairman of the Committee of Kings district
Copy, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, enclosed in GW to Schuyler, 21 May 1776, NN: Schuyler Papers. GW apparently sent the original letter to the New York provincial congress on 19 May (see GW’s second set of orders to Israel Putnam, 21 May 1776, n.2).
Kings District, located in the part of Albany County that lay east of the Hudson River and adjoined Massachusetts, had been settled largely by New Englanders. Matthew Adgate (1737–1818) served on the Albany County committee of correspondence in addition to the district committee.
1. The enclosures are the depositions of two unnamed informants who on this date gave the district committee rambling accounts of a supposed Loyalist conspiracy involving many New York Patriots who would betray the American cause when British troops arrived. They were said to include a majority of the provincial congress and Schuyler, who according to one of the informants “was a true man for the King” secretly holding a British commission. When the Loyalists arose, he would command the area from Ticonderoga to West Point and cut off American communications with Canada (DLC:GW). For Schuyler’s outraged response to these scandalous rumors, see his letters to GW of 21, 28, 31 May 1776. For similar accusations against Schuyler, see the Great Barrington, Sheffield, and Canaan Committees of Safety to GW, 26 May, and the Berkshire County Committees of Safety and Inspection to GW, 7 June 1776.
2. The version of this letter printed in Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 4th ser., 6:438, reads “this earliest and immediate opportunity.”
4. The Force version reads “this most dark and dreadful scheme to overthrow this once happy land” (Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 4th ser., 6:438).
5. The Force version reads “which must suffice in that point” (ibid.).
6. The Force version reads “dark as hell” (ibid.).