George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Livingston, 11 July 1777

From William Livingston

New Town, Sussex [N.J.] 11 July 1777


Some of our Militia having been posted as Guards at Elizabeth Town and Newark by order of some Officers under your Excellency’s Command; I am informed that a Body of the continental Troops has lately been station’d at both those places. That in consequence of this, the Militia stationed at Elizabeth Town, have been discharged while those at Newark are still detained on Duty. I do not pretend to be sufficiently acquainted with Circumstances to determine whether there be a necessity for keeping the latter any longer in that Post; but considering the busy season of the year, how much our People have been harrassed, & how apt militia are to take umbrage if treated in a manner different from their Neighbours, I could wish, if it be not inconsistent with the public Interest, that those of Newark could also be discharged.

The Council of Safety has pretty well suppressed the Spirit of Disaffection in this County; & I hope by the vigorous measures lately adopted, we shall soon reduce that almost totally revolted County of Bergen to the obedience of the States.

I have not been honoured with your Excellency’s acknowledgment of my Letter respecting Capt. Wetherby, which, as it inclosed an original Affidavit, & Wetherby’s discharge of the Soldier under his own hand, it would give me Pain, to think it had miscarried.1 I am with great Respect your Excellency’s most humble Servant

Wil: Livingston


On this date Adj. Gen. Timothy Pickering wrote to Livingston: “By direction of his Excellency General Washington, I am to inform you that a considerable number (I believe about thirty) of the inhabitants of this state have been confined in the provost guard; having been taken up as dangerous persons, inimical to the interests of the United States. They are a burthen upon the army—They have been confined a considerable time—And cannot be tried but by the civil authority. When the army first marched from Middle Brook I applied, by the Judge Advocate, to a Justice of the peace (Colo. Tuttle) [Samuel Tuthill] desiring him to take charge of them: But there were difficulties in the way; and so they continued prisoners. His Excellency wishes you to cause provision to be made as soon as possible for them, that they may be taken off his hands. They are at present under the care of a guard at Morris Town, of which Major Murray has the direction” (ALS, MHi: William Livingston Papers).

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