From Brigadier General William Livingston
Elizabeth Town [N.J.]
5 July 1776
May it please your Excellency,
I forwarded the inclosed early this morning, but thro’ a mistake of the express was this moment returned to me. Since which I am honoured with your Excellency’s Letter of this Day, part of which is answered by the enclosed Letter. Every thing in my power shall be carefully attended to, for the public Good. We have plenty of Provision, I am informed it will continue. I forgot to mention in my last, that on examining a Person who was taken by one of the Tenders in the Kills, I found that Capt. Williams of the Tender, has a Wife & Children in New-York. He married Benjn Stout’s Daughter in the Bowry. I mention this Circumstance, as it may lead to discover a Correspondence between them.1 The Examinant said that Capt. Williams expressed his Desire of leaving the Service, & getting to New-York. General Mercer having returned Yesterday, I send back the Letter directed to him.2
Col. Drake of the 2d Morris Battalion has not been able to come down with his Men, till this Day. He has about 250 men, who will be here this evening, and I shall forward them to New York to morrow morning without delay, unless your Excellency shall give other Orders.3 I have the Honor to be your Excellency’s most humble & most obedient Servt
1. Benjamin Stout, Sr. (died c.1788), a grocer in New York City, signed an address pledging allegiance to the king in October 1776 (see Jones, History of N.Y. description begins Thomas Jones. History of New York during The Revolutionary War, and of the Leading Events in the Other Colonies at that Period. Edited by Edward Floyd De Lancey. 2 vols. New York, 1879. description ends , 2:436–52). None of the three daughters mentioned in his 1783 will was married to a Williams (Abstracts of Wills description begins Abstracts of Wills on File in the Surrogate’s Office, City of New York. 1665–1801. 17 vols. New York, 1893-1909. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vols. 25–41. description ends , 14:140).
3. Jacob Drake, Jr. (1732–1823), served as a colonel in the Morris County militia from 1776 to 1777. He was also a member of the New Jersey general assembly from 1776 to 1778 and the council of safety from 1777 to 1778.