From the New York Council of Safety
State of New York ss; Council of Safety, Kingston,
July 30th 1777
We enclose your Excellency the Examination of a prisoner which we have Reason to believe is true, as it exactly corresponds with every other Information that we have received from that Quarter—Our Army is extremely weak, the Country Exhausted, our Neighbours languid—And our People threatned with Invasions on every quarter.1
In this State we can only apply to your Excellency to second our endeavours, without which the Enemy will easily accomplish the Object which they have so long & earnestly pursued and obtain full possession of this State.
Governor Clinton will be qualified this day so that your Excellency’s future Requisitions from this State will be directed to him.2 I have the Honor to be with great respect Your Excellency’s most obedient humble Servant
Pierre Van Cortlandt Presdt
LS, DLC:GW. The council of safety read the draft of this letter and ordered it to be engrossed, together with its enclosure, on this date (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 , 1:1021).
1. The enclosed examination of Francis Horsman, made at Kingston, N.Y., on 30 July 1777 and signed by New York committee of safety secretary John McKesson, reads: “Mr Robert R. Livingston reported the Examination of Francis Horsman which is in the words following to wit. The Voluntary Examination of Francis Horsman a Prisoner of the 53d Regiment lately taken near Fort Ann, He says that he wishes to swear Allegiance to this State and quit the British service provided he is not forced to fight against them which his former Oath Obliges him not to do—that the Troops with General [John] Burgoine consist of the following Regiments the 9th 20th 21. 42. 24. 53. & 62d British and about 4,500. Forreigners That each Company consits of about 62. Men inclusive of Officers—that fifty men from each Regiment were left in Canada together with five hundred Forreigners and the 31. 29 & 34. Regiments, that there are about 400 Canadians and as many Indians with Genl Burgoine that Sir John Johnston with about a thousand Men exclusive of Indians had left Montreal before they quited Canada in order to penetrate by the Mowhawk River—that the Regiments in Canada were stationed one at Quebeck one at Montreal, and one at St Johns and Chamblee” (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 , 1:1021).
2. For the council of safety’s proclamation of this date declaring George Clinton “Governor, General and Commander-in-chief of all the militia, and Admiral of the navy” of New York, see ibid., 1021–22.