George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Officers of the Westchester County Militia, 15 July 1776

From Officers of the Westchester County Militia

Tarry town [N.Y.] 15 July [17]76

May it please Yr Excellency to take into Consideration our humble petition. Whereas two of the Enemies’ ships of War with their Barges and their tenders are arrived up the North River as far as Tarry town, we suppose with a hostile design to distress us—With the concurrence of the Congress and assistance of the Committee and by the forwardness of a number of volunteers a considerable number of people are collected to our assistance most of whom are very anxious about their harvests, which are now fit for Collection and in a suffering Condition for want of labour. We therefore humbly petition your Excellency to send us such a number of troops as Your Excellency shall judge proper, to secure the inhabitants up & down the river from the cruel designs of the enemy. As to further particulars must beg leave to refer Yr Excellency to the bearer Capt. Dutcher.1 In the name of the officers here present, I have the honor to subscribe myself, Yr Excellency’s most obed.

James Hamman2
Lieut. Col. of the 1t Battalion of
Militia in West Chester County

Sprague transcript, DLC:GW; LS, sold by Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, catalog 1190, 30–31 Oct. 1950, item 1144.

1William Dutcher (1741–1794) became captain of the Upper Philipsburg Associated Company of the Westchester County militia in September 1775, and on 5 Aug. 1776 the New York convention authorized Dutcher to raise a company of volunteers to serve on active duty with the Westchester militia regiment commanded by Col. Thomas Thomas (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 , 1:556–57).

2James Hamman (Hammond; 1727–1810) was commissioned lieutenant colonel of Col. Joseph Drake’s 1st Regiment of Westchester County militia in October 1775. On 24 July 1776 a committee of the New York convention cleared Hamman of charges “that he had not acted uprightly in the purchase of some pork” and had neglected his duty when the British warships came up the river, and on 1 Aug. 1776 the convention named him lieutenant colonel of Col. Thomas Thomas’s Westchester County militia regiment (ibid., 531–32, 540, 552). Hamman served as a lieutenant colonel of militia until 1780 when he was captured at Tarrytown and held prisoner on Long Island for some time.

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