George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Frederick Jay, 16 August 1776

To Frederick Jay

Head Quarters New York Augt 16th 1776

Sir

In Consequence of my Orders, the undermentioned persons have been apprehended and are now under a Guard at New Rochelle or its Neighbourhood.1 As the sending a Guard thro’ to Govr Trumbull with them would be attended with much Inconvenience to the public and cannot be agreeable to the Gentlemen Upon their giving you their Word & Honor to proceed to Lebanon to Govr Trumbull I am satisfyed to permit them to go without any other Escort than that of the Officer who will deliver you this. I must beg the favor of you to take the Management of this Business and as soon as it is put upon a proper Footing dismiss the Guard now there. I am with due Respect Sir Yr most obt Servt.

LB, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Frederick Jay (1747–1799), the younger brother of John Jay, had been an agent in the Dutch East Indies and at Curaçao for a cousin’s trading company before setting up his own firm at New York in 1773. Jay became second lieutenant of the “Corsicans” independent militia company in early 1775, and on 14 Sept. 1775 he was commissioned first lieutenant of the “Heart’s Oak” company in Col. John Lasher’s 1st Regiment of New York Independents (see O’Callaghan and Fernow, N.Y. Documents description begins E. B. O’Callaghan and Berthold Fernow, eds. Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New-York. 15 vols. Albany, 1853–87. description ends , 8:601–2, and Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 4th ser., 3:708). Jay was a member of the New York general assembly from 1777 to 1783. In 1789 he asked GW to name him collector of customs at New York, but GW declined to do so (see Jay to GW, 10 May 1789, in Papers, Presidential Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series. 17 vols. to date. Charlottesville, Va., 1987–. description ends , 2:257–58).

1The suspected Loyalists named on this list are: “Colo. Philips[,] Jas. Jauncey & his two Sons[,] Joseph Bull[,] Isaac Corsa[,] John Rodgers[,] Ware Branson.” Frederick Philipse, Sr. (1720–1786), of Westchester County, a former member of the general assembly and a militia colonel, was paroled by the Connecticut council of safety on 23 Dec. 1776, as were former New York City assemblyman James Jauncey, Sr. (d. 1790), and his sons James and William (see the parole of that date in DNA:PCC, item 67, and Hinman, Historical Collection description begins Don R. Gerlach. Proud Patriot: Philip Schuyler and the War of Independence, 1775–1783. Syracuse, N.Y., 1987. description ends , 400). For efforts to exchange Philipse and James Jauncey, Sr., see GW to William Livingston, 11 May 1777, and GW to the Board of War, 24 Jan. 1778, both in DLC:GW. James Jauncey, Jr. (d. 1777), who had been appointed master of the rolls for the court of chancery in 1774 and a member of the council in 1775, was proposed for exchange with a Pennsylvania officer by the Continental Congress in January 1777, but he died before it could be effected (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 7:52–53, and 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 , 1:850–51). Joseph Bull, who apparently was detained because he opposed independence, proved to be a Patriot (see Bull to Henry Remsen, 1 June 1776, in Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 4th ser., 6:671–72, and Bull to Nathaniel Woodhull, no date, ibid., 5th ser., 2:109–10). Isaac Corsa (d. 1805 or 1807) of Long Island, a veteran of the French and Indian War, was paroled on 26 Dec. 1776 (see statement of parole, 23–26 Dec. 1776, in DNA:PCC, item 67). “John Rodgers” may be Brig. Gen. Lewis Morris’s servant, John Rogers, whom the New York convention on 28 Aug. ordered to be arrested for manifesting “a disposition extremely inimical to the rights and liberties of America.” The next day the convention sent Rogers to the Westchester County jail for confinement until further orders (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 , 1:595–96, 600).

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