George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the New Jersey Convention, 16 August 1776

To the New Jersey Convention

Head Qrs [New York] Aug. 16. 1776.


I am informed that in consequence of my Letter acquainting you that a number of Persons deemed unfriendly to the Interests of America were suspected of holding a Correspondence with the Enemy from Shrewsbury & its Neighbourhood, Mr Isaac Low late of this City has been apprehended, & is now detained under some kind of Confinement.1

Since that time I have received Satisfaction with respect to this Gentleman, who I find has also entered into a Contract with the Congress for the Supply of a great quantity of European Goods—I should therefore be glad that any restraint laid upon him meerly upon my Representation might be removed, & he restored to his former Liberty on such Terms & Conditions as you may think proper if any are necessary.2 I am with much Respect & Regard Gentlemen Your most Obed. & Very H’ble Servt


LB, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1See GW to Samuel Tucker, 7 August. William Livingston wrote Tucker on 26 July: “I have authentic Information that some of the most malignant New York Tories have seated themselves in Shrewsberry; a very improper place on Account of the facility it affords for keeping up a Communication with the Enemy. Isaac Lowe, & one Roome are particularly mentioned” (Prince, Livingston Papers description begins Carl E. Prince et al., eds. The Papers of William Livingston. 5 vols. Trenton and New Brunswick, N.J., 1979–88. description ends , 1:107–8).

2The convention complied with this request on 19 Aug. (see Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 4th ser., 6:1665). Isaac Low (1735–1791), a New York City merchant who served in the First Continental Congress during 1774 and the New York provincial congress during 1775, was a political moderate who opposed independence. Low apparently went to New Jersey after news of the Declaration of Independence reached New York in July, and in September he returned to the British-occupied city, where he lived for the remainder of the war, serving as president of the chamber of commerce. In 1783 Low moved to England.

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