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ĽU'Tion. - 117 ed, and essays are already appearing in the public pa- 1775. pers, to ridicule the people's fears of that horrid measure.” The house of assembly, in their answer declared, “ There is nothing we desire with greater anxiety than a 29. reconciliation with our parent state, on constitutional principles. We know of no sentiments of independency that are by men of any consequence openly avowed ; nor do we approve of any essays tending to encourage such a measure. We have already expressed our deteftation of such opinions, and we have fo frequently and fully declared our sentiments on this subject, that we should have thought ourselves, as at present we really deserve to be, exempt from all fufpicion of this nature.” The governor in his reply mentioned, that he had not the most diftant thought, while speaking of the sentiments of independency openly avowed by fome, that they would consider the remark as at all meant for, or applicable to their house. He concluded with pointedly saying, “ I sincerely wish that both you and I may ere long have the happiness to see those, who either openly or privately avow sentiments of independency, men of no
The New York convention having resolved upon the removal of the cannon from the battery in the city, captain Sears was appointed to the business. . Captain Vandeput, of the Asia man of war, was privately informed of the design, and prepared to oppose its' execution. Learning when it was to be attempted, he appointed a boat to watch the motions of the people allembled for that purpose about the dead of night. The failors in the boat giving the signal, with a flash of powder, of what was going forward, the persons on shore mistook
1775. it for an attempt to fire a musket at them, and imme
diately aimed a volley of shot at the boat, by which a man was killed. Captain Vandeput soon after commenced a firing from the Asia with grape shot, swivel shot, 18 and 24 pounders, without killing a single perfon, and wounded only three, two nightly, the other lost the calf of his leg. He then ceased for a considerable time, fuppofing that the people had desisted from their purpose; while they were only changing their mode of operation. Captain Sears provided a deceiving party, intended to draw the Asia's fire from the line of the working party. He sent the former behind, a breast work, by which they were secured on dodging down upon observing the flash of the Afia's guns. When all was in readiness, they huzzaed, and fang out their notes as though tugging in unison, and fired from the walls ; while the working party filently got off twenty-one eighteen pounders, with carriages, empty cartridges, rammers, &c. Upon hearing the noise, and seeing the fire of the musketry, the captain ordered the Asia to fire a whole broad-side toward that part of the fort, where the deceiving party had secured themselves, with
out intending a particular injury to the city; however, Aug, fome of the shot could not but fly into it and do
damage. This affair happened at a very late hour, between twelve and two; and threw the citizens into the utmost confternation. Such was the stillness of the night, that the report of the cannon was heard at Philadelphia, ninety miles off. The distress of the Yorkers was much increased, by a painful apprehension, that captain Vandeput would renew his firing upon the city. A removal of men, women, children and goods commenced, and
continued till Saturday. Matters were afterward fo ad- 1775 justed, as to quiet the apprehensions of the people, in reference to their suffering further from the Asia. To prevent it, the convention permitted Abraham Lott esce to supply all his majesty's ships, stationed at New York, with all necessaries, as well fresh as salted, for the fole use of said ships.
The art and influence of governor Tryon alarmed the continental congress, some of the members especially, so that it was moved, that he should be seized. But Mr. Duane, one of the New York delegates, speaking in behalf of, and answering for him, no refolution to that purpose was taken. Mr. Duane saying, in his eagerness to defend the governor, that he was as good a friend to the American cause as any one present, called up captain John Langdon from New Hampshire, who resenting the affertion as an aspersion on the several members, answered with much acrimony, and was permitted to go on as long as he pleased, Mr. Duane's conduct not having answered, in several instances, the warm wishes of the zealous delegates. Though nothing was resolved upon against governor Tryon, the matter only subsided for the present, under an apprehension that if the motion was made, it would not be carried, or when carried would be conveyed to the governor time enough for him to secure himself. The affair was brought on again after a while in another form; and congress resolved, oa, “ That it be recommended to the several provincial af- 6 femblies or conventions, and councils or committees of fafety, to arrest and secure every person in their respective colonies, whose going at large may in their opinion endanger the safety of the colony, or the liberties of
1775. America.” An authentic copy of the resolve was to be
transmitted by the delegates to proper persons in the different colonies. The fathers of it aimed at governor Tryon; they had little or no expectation that the New York convention would secure him ; but they hoped that the fons. of liberty at large would effect the business. It has been asserted, that Mr. Duane was uneasy at the resolution, and withdrew from congress for near an hour before he returned to his feat. Be that as it may, it is certain, that Mr. Duane's footman went off to governor
Tryon in season to give himn information of what was OA. resolved; which occasioned his writing to the mayor of 13.
New York, acquainting him that he knew from undoubted authority, what was recommended to the provincial congress, and desiring to be informed whether he should be secure in the protection of the corporation and citizens. The provincial congress had not then received the recommendation. Several letters passed upon the occafion ; but the governor not obtaining fatisfaction as to his being secure, went on board the Halifax packet,
of which he informed the mayor by letter; and in that 19. expressed his readiness to do such business of the coun
try, as the fituation of the times would permit.
if troops came, in order to save their estates, &c. These 1975. speeches were uttered without meeting with any censure.
The day the governor sent his letter from on board, Messrs. Low, De Lancey, Walton, Kiffam, Verplank, &c. &c. labored hard in the provincial congress, to preclude the freemen of the city from voting for new members, and the mode of voting by ballot. They were for polling as formerly, and expected, that if the freemen were excluded, the freeholders would return none, but such as would be for preserving the city though at the expence of the liberties of America.
The New York troops are not to be depended upon in general. Persons who have been pretty hearty, are now afraid of falling a sacrifice. The defection becomes greater every day in both city and country. This may be owing to the arts of governor Tryon, whose exertions may be as strenuous and successful in the ship as in the city. He is not at a loss how to intrigue with the people of his government.
Such is the importance of securing the North River, that the continental congress have given direction for rendering it defensible, by erecting fortifications in the High-lands, and garrisoning the same. They have also those apprehensions of the New Yorkers, that they have directed Mr. Alexander, titular lord Stirling, to collect Nov. the troops raised in and for the defence of New Jersey, 27. (except six companies ordered to the forts on the North River) and to place them in barracks in the easiern division of the colony, as contiguous to New York as can be, there to remain till further orders. The city abounds with persons opposed to congressional measures. Their opposition was much strengthened by Mr. Ri