To George Clinton
Head Quarters White plains 21st July 1778
I have been favd with yours of yesterday, and soon after, Genl Gates transmitted me letters from Colo. Ethan Allen to Genl Stark and himself upon the same subject.1
I plainly perceive, that this matter is likely to be productive of a serious dispute between the State of New York and the inhabitants of Vermont, and therefore, I do not chuse to give any determination.2 I shall transmit the whole proceedings to Congress, and desire their decision. In the mean time, I have ordered the prisoners to be returned to Fort Arnold, where they are to remain, in an easy confinement under the care of Colo. Malcom the commanding Officer.3 I am with great Esteem Dear Sir Your most obt Servt
LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, NNU-F: Richard Maass Collection; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. Ethan Allen wrote Gates from Albany on 15 July: “The Court of Commissioners for the County of Bennington, and State of Vermont, Having sentenced Eight Persons from said County, to be Banished to the Brittish lines … for their inimical and Treasonable Conduct, Against the Independent states of America; This is therefore Earnestly to Desire your Honours Interposition, so far as to send them to the Enemies lines, agreeable to their sentance. … Seventeen of those Attrotious Villains have been Thus Sentanced to Banishment, some have been sent to the Brittish lines Thro’ the State of Connecticut, the Polocy is approv’d of by Gentlemen in general, which I have Conversed with, and I hope & Expect it will meet with your Honours approbation.
“Sure I am that it Intimidates the Tories, and their Connections, and Strengthens the hands of the friends of liberty, in our parts, and is Attended with the Salitary Consequences which may Naturally be Supposed to result from such a procedure …” (NHi: Gates Papers; see also Duffy, Ethan Allen and His Kin description begins John J. Duffy et al., eds. Ethan Allen and His Kin: Correspondence, 1772–1819. 2 vols. Hanover, N.H., 1998. description ends , 1:83–84). Allen’s letter to Brig. Gen. John Stark has not been identified.
2. At this point on the draft, Tilghman wrote but crossed out the clause “especially as the Jurisdiction of the latter is not acknowledged.”