George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General James Clinton, 26 June 1779

From Brigadier General James Clinton

H. Qrs Connojoharis Creek [N.Y.] June 26th 1779


It is with singular Pleasure I can inform Your Excellency, that I have forwarded on to Lake Otsego one Hundred and twenty three Boats which are now at the Landing, thirty more are this day on the Road, and the remainder necessary to compleat the Complement of two hundred and twenty expected up in a few Days—I have also forwarded on all the Provision necessary for the use of the Detatchment for three months except about 500 Barrels which thro’ some disapointment had not arrived in Albany by the last accts, but I expect them by the remainder of the Boats and Waggons.

I have given Genl Sullivan a similar account of my Situation and forwardness,1 and expect by the time I receive his Orders, I shall be perfectly in readiness to comply with them.

I enclose a Copy of the Proceedings of the Genl Court Martial by which Mr H[enr]y Hare and NewBurrow were tried the former was executed last Monday, the latter is under sentence of Death.2

I flatter my self my Conduct on this Occasion will meet with your Excellency’s Approbation as I conceived Examples of this kind were absolutely necessary in our present Circumstances. I have the Honour to be with great respect Your Exell: humble Servant

Jas Clinton

ADfS, N; copy (extract), enclosed in GW to John Jay, 15 Aug. 1779, DNA:PCC, item 166; copy (extract), DNA:PCC, item 169.

1This letter from Clinton to Maj. Gen. John Sullivan has not been identified.

2The enclosed court-martial proceedings have not been indentified, but Clinton discussed these prisoners in a letter of 6 July to his wife, Mary DeWitt Clinton, written at “Camp at the South End of Otsego Lake.” That letter reads: “I Left Conojoharie the 1st of July and am now at this place with all the Regiments and Stores for the Expedition, and only wait for orders to march; we have 208 Bateauxs in the Lake and a great quantity of Provisions and other Stores and although the Distance of the Carrying place was at Least twenty miles and the Road Exceeding bad, we got all over with Expedition and not a Single Accident. . . .

“My Detachment will Consist of about 2000 men, Includeing Officers Voluntiers and twenty five Indians who are all healthy and in high spirits.

“I have nothing further to acquaint you of, Except that we apprehended a Certain Lt. Henry Hare and a Serjt. Newberry, both of Coll. Butler’s Regt., who Confesed that they left the Seneca Country with Sixty three Indians and two white men, which Divided themselves in three parties, one party was to attack Schoharry, another party Cherry Valley and the Mohawk River, and the other party to Sculk about Fort Schuyler and the upper part of the Mohawk River to take prisoners or Sculps. I had them tryed by a Genl. Court Martial for spies, who Sentenced them both to be hanged, which was Done accordingly at Conojoharrie, to the Satisfaction of all the Inhabitants of that place that were friends to their Country, as they were known to be very active in almost all the Murders that were Committed on these Frontiers; they were Inhabitants of Tryon County and had Each a wife and several Children who Came to See them and beg their Lives” (Hastings and Holden, 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 5:122–23). Henry Hare’s execution would have occurred on Monday, 21 June. For another account of the capture and executions of Hare and William Newbury, see Jeptha R. Simms, History of Schoharie County, and Border Wars of New York … (Albany, 1845), 296–98.

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