From the New York Convention
In Convention of the Representatives of the State
of New York—White Plains July 16th 1776.
We cannot but express our Satisfaction at the unremitted Attention which Your Excellency manifests to the Interest of this State—we see the force of Your Observations and have taken and shall continue to take every Measure which we conceive most conducive to defeat the Designs of our Enemy. This will in part Appear from the enclosed Resolutions—We are extreamly sorry that the low State of our finances reduces us to the Necessity of applying to Your Excellency for a loan, which it may perhaps be inconvenient for You to make but we shall take the earliest care to replace what nothing but urgent Necessity would have induced us to borrow.1
As our Troops are but ill supplied with Ammunition we hope that Your Excellency will Order them an immediate Supply as part of them are already in Motion as well as direct the Commissary General to take the necessary Steps for their Subsistence—New Levies who have never seen Service will without doubt require a Commander of some experience; such a one we trust Your Excellency will supply as soon as possible.2
Our Apprehensions of an Attempt on the part of our Enemies to cut off the Communication between the City and Country by landing above Kingsbridge makes us wish to have some force ready to hang on their Rear in Case such a Step should be taken; for which reason we have not only called out all the force we could possibly collect (exclusive of that which may probably be wanted in the frontier Counties) but would take the Liberty if it should meet Your Excellency’s approbation to suggest the same Idea to Governor Trumbull who by forming a Camp at Byrom River of 6000 Men might render any Design which the Enemy may have to land above Kingsbridge extreamly Hazardous.3
We have just been informed that the Ships which sailed this Morning have anchored about ten or twelve Miles below Fort Montgomerie—We have great Reason to believe that their Design to pass it and burn our Shipping at Poukeepsie.
We shall be happy to co-operate with Your Excellency in every Measure which may tend to secure the Liberty of America, which we conceive to be nearly connected with the preservation of this State.
We have this Moment heard that the Phœnix is aground in Haverstraw Bay and have some reason to believe it. We remain Your Excellency’s most Obedient and very humble Servt
Nathll Woodhull Presidt
LS, DLC:GW; copy, enclosed in GW to Hancock, 19 July 1776 (first letter), DNA:PCC, item 152; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169. The New York convention approved a draft of this letter this afternoon (N.Y. Prov. Congress Journals description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety, and Council of Safety of the State of New-York, 1775–1776–1777. 2 vols. Albany, 1842. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , 1:527). The wording of the printed draft is the same as that of the LS, but the first sentence of the last paragraph of the LS appears as a postscript to the printed draft.
1. In the enclosed resolutions of this date, the convention requests GW to advance it £20,000 to expedite the raising of militia levies from Westchester, Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange counties. One fourth of those counties’ militias were to be called out until the end of the year to defend the state. Money was needed because the convention, recognizing that “at this busy Season of the Year the Service may be inconvenient,” had voted to allow each Man “twenty Dollars as a Bounty with continental Pay and Subsistence.” Several other measures concerning the raising of these levies are included in the enclosed resolutions as are a resolution punishing treason by death, a recommendation to county and district committees “immediately to apprehend and Secure all such Persons whose going at large at this critical Time they shall deem Dangerous to the State,” and a request that GW write Governor Trumbull asking him to take steps to maintain communication between Connecticut and the army at New York (DLC:GW; see also N.Y. Prov. Congress Journals description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety, and Council of Safety of the State of New-York, 1775–1776–1777. 2 vols. Albany, 1842. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , 1:525–27).
2. In the enclosed resolutions of this date, the convention requests GW “to appoint an Officer to take the Command of all the Levies” on both sides of the Hudson, and “to nominate . . . two Deputy Commissaries,” one for the levies on each side of the river, who were “to provide four Months Provisions for Six thousand Men to be deposited in two Magazines . . . at such Places as his Excellency General Washington shall think proper to appoint” (DLC:GW).
3. GW wrote Trumbull regarding this proposal on 19 July. The Byram River, which flows into Long Island Sound, is the boundary between Greenwich, Conn., and Port Chester, New York.