The History of New York State
Book XI, Chapter II

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam


#1 "The American Revolution in New York," prepared by the Division of Archives and History, State of New York (Univ. State of N. Y., 1926), p. 9.

#2 Ibid. p. 13.

#3 See "The Governmental Story of New York," also "Bench and Bar," chapters of this compilation.

#4 "The American Revolution in New York," pp 28-29.

#5 "Stokes' "Iconography," IV, 752.

#6 Ibid., IV, 803, quoted the New York "Post-Boy" of Feb. 5, 1770.

#7 "The American Revolution in New York," Div. Of Archives & History, State of N. Y. (1926), p. 34.

#8 Ibid., p. 63.

#9 Ibid., p. 47.

#10 Ibid., pp, 40-41.

#11 Ibid., p. 133.

#12 It has been asserted tht the words of Ethan Allen were: "In the name of the Continental congress, by God!" which seems more characteristic expression of the leader of the Green Mountain Boys. Allen was of bluff,. Breezy speech, not often given to sanctimonious thought.

#13 "New York's Part in history," (Sherman Williams), p. 66.

#14 "History of the American Revolution," by David Ramsay, (1789), II, 63.

#15 "Biographical Notes concerning General Montgomery," p. 129.

#16 "History of the United States," by Beard, p. 122.

#17 "A View of Society and Manners In France, Switzerland and Germany," by John Moore, M. D. (London, 1786): Letter 96

#18 "History of the American Revolution," by David Ramsay, II, 122

#19 Ibid., II, 122.

#20 Ibid., II, 123.

#21 "Memorial History of New York City," by Wilson, II, 526.

#22 "As the disposition was made," wrote Greene, "and the enemy advancing, we durst not attempt any new disposition; indeed, we saw nothing amiss. We all urged His Excellency to come off. I offered to stay. General Putnam did the same, and so did General Mercer; but His Excellency thought it best for us all to come off together, which we did, about half an hour before the enemy surrounded the fort."--Bryant and Gay's "History of the Untied States," II, p. 518.

#23 Whether Howe took pity on the prisoners, or came to look upon them as more of a menace than a anything else--seeing that small-pox raged in some of the prisons--he released a couple of thousand prisoners during the winter. . One writer of the time, in a letter dated Morristown, January, 1777, put a scathing interpretation upon Howe's act of clemency. As he saw it, Howe had "discharged all the privates who were prisoners in New York; one-half he sent to the World of Spirits for want of food; the other he hath sent to warn their countrymen of the danger of falling into his hands, and to convince them, by ocular demonstration, that it is infinitely better to be slain in battle than to be taken prisoner by British brutes.

In April, 1777, General Howe asked Washington to acknowledge his release of "a considerable number of officers and twenty-two hundred privates" by releasing what British and Hessian prisoners he had. Washington refused, saying indignantly that he British general had violated the spirit of the agreement for exchange of prisoners, and had nullified its purpose. Washington, now, would not be bound "either by the spirit of the agreement or by the principal of justice to account for those prisons, who, from the rigor and severity of their treatment, were in so imaciated and languishing, a state at the time they came out, as to render their death almost certain and inevitable, and which, in many instances, happened while they were returning to their homes, and in many other after their arrival." To exchange healthy British soldiers for such wreck of humanity would, said Washington, "afford the greatest encouragement to cruelty and inhumanity."

The prison records constitute a veritable book of horrors. The "Recollections of the Jersey Prison-ship" show conditions as horrible--though on a larger scale--as those of the Black Hole of Calcutta, which had horrified the English-speaking world twenty years before. General Johnson, who lived hear Wallabout Bay, estimated the number of deaths on the prison ships anchored there at 11,500. No estimate puts it lower then 10,000.--Ibid. I, 540, 541.

In a letter from Washington to Howe, April, 1777, refusing Howe's request for an exchange of prisoners, the American general declared that he was "compelled to consider of a fact not to be questioned that the usage of our prisoners whilst in your possession, the privates at least, was such as could not be justified. This was proclaimed by the concurrent experience, in the speedy death of a large part of them, stamped it with infallible certainty." Yet, the fiend Cunningham was permitted by Howe to continue to have charge of the New York military prisons until the end.

#24 "State of the Expedition," 188-189, Appendix XLVII.

#25 "Burgoyne's Expedition of 1777, by Samuel Adams Drake, p. 28

#26 "Bryant's history of the United States," II, 569, gives Burgoyne's admonition to the Indians at Bouquet River, thus: "I positively forbid bloodshed when you are not opposed in arms. Aged men, women and children must be held secure from the knife or hatchet, even in the time of actual conflict. You shall receive compensation for the prisoner you take, but you will be called to account for scalps. In conformity and indulgence of your custom, which has affixed an idea of honor on such badges of victory, you will be allowed to take the scalps of the dead, when killed by your fire or in fair opposition; but on no account or pretense or subtlety or prevarication are they to be take from the wounded, even from the dying, and still less pardonable will be held to kill them in that condition."

#27 "New York's Part in History," by Sherman Williams, p. 256.

#28 Bryant's "History of the United States," II, 584.

#29 "New York: The Planting and Growth of the Empire State," by Ellis H. Roberts, II, 433.

#30 Ibid., II, 437.

#31 "New York's Part in History," by Sherman Williams, p.226.

#32 Journal of the Sullivan Expedition," by Major Norris, in the possession of the Buffalo Historical Society.

#33 "New York's Part in History," by Sherman Williams, p. 239.

#34 Ibid.

#35 Guizot's "History of France," V, 209.

#36 "Memorial history of the City of New York." By Wilson, II, 560.

#37 "New York's Part in History," p. 216.

#38 "The American Revolution in New York," p. 177.

#39 Ibid., p. 126.

#40 Ibid., p. 177.


The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

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