To George Clinton
H. Qrs V[alley] f[orge] April 24th 1778.
In the affair of Princetown the winter before last, a box was taken from the enemy, which by appearances was supposed to contain a quantity of hard money. It was put into a small ammunition cart, on the spur of the occasion and has since disappeared. I am informed there were some suspicions at the time against one Crane, a Capt. Lieutenant in the artillery—who, it was imagined had converted the box and its contents to his own use.
The inclosed letter to Mr Hamilton gives some reason to believe those suspicions were not without foundation; and if any method could be fallen upon to detect the villainy, and recover the money, or some equivalent for it, it would not be amiss. I am not able to give you any clue to the discovery further than to refer you to Mr Kip; whom I have desired to communicate to you all the information he may be possessed of, on the subject.1 Crane it seems, lives in Orange county, within your government. I am with much Respect & Esteem Sir Your most Obed. Serv.
Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. The enclosure was a letter from Richard Kip, Jr., an assistant deputy quartermaster general, who wrote Alexander Hamilton from Pompton, N.J., on 15 April 1778: “Last Decem’r a Twelvemonth a Small Box was Taken at or Near Princetown And Deposited in an Amunition Cart & Supposed to be Taken From thence by Capt. Crane. I can Assure you that I have Seen a Box in Crane’s Possession That answers the Description & Since the Discovery he is prepareing to Leave the Continent. He Now Resides in Clarks Town, Orange County. A Line to Collo. Gilbert Coper at Kakeate with Direction to Detect Or Apprehend In haste May Still Serve to Recover the Money &c. for those Justly Entitled to the Same” (Hastings, Clinton Papers description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends , 3:173).