George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major Thomas Wickes, 10 September 1778

From Major Thomas Wickes

Huntington [N.Y.] Septr 10th 1778


I have Certain Accompts that the Enemy at Newyork are Putting Large Quantitys of Lead on Board there Transports, and the Coopers are Very Bussy in Over haling and Reparing there Water Casks, I was further Informed that days was Appointed to Sell there horses but I have not heard Whether they Sold any, there Sick is Removing down to the ferry, from out of the Country, A man is Sent to Loyds Neck to Pay off all the Wood Cutters and Carter that have been Imployd, but I did not Learn Whether he was to discharge them, an Intire Imbargo is Laid on all Vessels none is allowd, not the Wood botes to Leave the City, Its the Oppinion of our Friends on the Island and in Newyork that they are Preparing to Leave Newyork, but Tryon tells the torys and Friends to Goverment as he Calls them, that a Large Reinforcement Will be here Soon, at Least ten thousand, that they are Under Convoy of Admiral Birumb, Since Tryon hath Swore the People its Very difficult Gitting People to Go to Newyork, most of those that I sent to Newyork are either Prisoners or have fled into the Woods to Secret themselves, to Prevent being Prisoners, The Inclosed is a Copy of the Oath that Tryon Obliges the Inhabitants to take, or to Pay five Pounds and Quit the Island Imediately.1 I am Sir With Due Respect Your Excellencys Most Obdient and Very Humbl. Sert

Thos Wickes


1The oath asked a resident of “Southold Township” to swear “to bare faith and true Allegance” to the king “& that he Will not directly or Indirectly openly or Secretly, aid, abet, councel, Shelter or Conceal, any of his Majestys Enemys, and those of his Goverment, or Molest or betray the Friends of Goverment but that he will behave himself Peaceably and Quietly, as a Faithful subject of his Majisty and his Goverment” (DLC:GW). Tryon reported to the British secretary of state for the colonies that the oath was “administered to all the inhabitants on the north side of the island, giving them the alternative either to take the oath or remove with their families and furniture to Connecticut. Not one of the whole chose the latter, even the hottest rebels said my proposal was generous and took the oath, which convinces me that the acrimony of opposition is much softened by the late concessions of government” (Tryon to Lord George Germain, 5 Sept., in Davies, Documents of the American Revolution description begins K. G. Davies, ed. Documents of the American Revolution, 1770–1783; (Colonial Office Series). 21 vols. Shannon and Dublin, 1972–81. description ends , 15:198).

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