The Tentative Rebels:
New York City During the American Revolution
By Jim Davis
The province of New York had a strong loyalist reputation during the American Revolution. This opinion extended to its largest municipality, New York City, derisively referred to by one rebel as “Torytown.” This assessment has been subsequently echoed by many historians, most notably Alexander C. Flick at the turn of the 20th Century. The colony’s reputation for loyalism was not entirely groundless; New York possessed strong pockets of loyalist support in western Long Island and upstate in Tryon County. The cautious actions of New York’s political leadership also contributed to this reputation ñ although prudence in such uncertain times does not automatically prove loyalist sentiment. In order to evaluate whether New York City really was a loyalist stronghold, this paper examines the course of events in the city during the rebellion’s first year.
In the years preceding the Revolution, New York City witnessed patriot agitation as was found elsewhere in the American colonies. New Yorkers observed boycotts of British goods, erected liberty poles, harassed loyalists, and established a Committee of Correspondence to facilitate communications with their counterparts in other colonies. Although New Yorkers erected a great equestrian statue of King George in appreciation of the 1766 repeal of the Stamp Act, during the early 1770s anti-British attitudes began to harden. In imitation of the Boston Tea Party, aroused patriots dumped several boxes of tea from the merchant ship London into New York Harbor. After the British Government closed the port of Boston, New Yorkers refused to provide supplies and labor to General Gage’s garrison, and joined fellow Americans in providing relief to the city. William Smith, a royal judge of strongly loyalist sympathies, ruefully recorded the growing public hostility towards the King:
It is astonishing to observe to what a Pass the populace has arrived. Instead of that Respect they formerly had for the King, you now hear the very lowest Orders call him a Knave or a Fool, & reproaching him for the Diversity of his & his Grandfather’s Conduct.
The patriots were divided between radicals and moderates. The former included many artisans, mechanics, and other disenfranchised individuals with fewer stakes in the status quo, and fewer qualms about using violence and intimidation to further their aims. They were directed by determined leaders such as Isaac Sears, a privateer from the French and Indian War, and John Lamb, who nursed a personal grievance against the British since the Sugar and Molasses Acts ruined his lucrative West Indian trade. The moderate patriot faction included many merchants, property holders, and others of the more affluent classes. Their relative prosperity gave them a stronger desire for stability and order than their more radical social inferiors, so they favored boycotts and petitions over violence and lawbreaking. As anti-British resentment spread, moderate leaders such as Isaac Low, John Jay, and the Livingstons took a more active role, challenging the radicals for leadership.
The loyalists seemed to defy any neat categorization in New York City. As would be expected, they included many royal officials with a direct personal stake in the status quo. However, loyalist support could be found among all social and economic classes. Most religions were also represented, although Anglicans predominated. As a general rule, ethnic and religious minorities ñ many of whom looked to the crown for protection ñ had a greater propensity towards loyalism. Suspicion of the more militant New England rebels may have been a contributing factor towards loyalism; New York and New England had long maintained a mutual antipathy that predated the Revolutionary era. Most loyalists concurred with the patriots’ jealous defense of their colony’s rights against Parliamentary usurpation, but would demur at armed rebellion.
The popular Royal Governor, William Tryon, and his octogenarian Lieutenant Governor, Cadwallader Colden, could still rely on the loyalist-leaning New York Provincial Assembly, elected to office in 1769. Early in 1775, it had voted down successive resolutions approving the proceedings of the First Continental Congress, thanking New York’s delegation for their work, and appointing delegates to the Second Continental Congress. Meanwhile, New York patriots created the Committee of Sixty, an extra-legal body to enforce the Continental Congress’ anti-British boycott. Many in New York began to look to the Committee as the colony’s real government. On March 4, the Committee proposed the creation of a Provincial Convention to elect delegates to the Continental Congress. This Convention assembled on March 20 and selected twelve men to represent the colony, including Jay, George Clinton, and Robert R. Livingston.
New York City learned of the fighting at Lexington and Concord with the arrival of a dispatch rider on the morning of April 23. The news immediately threw the city into a great commotion, as noted by Smith:
It is impossible fully to describe the agitated State of the Town since last Sunday, when the News first arrived of the Skirmish between Concord & Boston. ñ At all corners People inquisitive for News ñ Tales of all Kinds invented, believed, denied, discredited.
The radicals took matters into their own hands as throngs of aroused citizens paraded the city’s main streets. That evening many of them assembled before the City Hall demanding access to the armory. When they were denied the keys they broke in anyway, carrying off hundreds of muskets, bayonets, and cartridge boxes. Some went so far as to propose attacking the vulnerable royal garrison of just over 100 soldiers commanded by Major Isaac Hamilton, but nothing came of it. Instead, angry patriots vented their resentment by assaulting prominent loyalists such as James Rivington, publisher of an outspokenly loyalist newspaper. The President of King’s College, Myles Cooper, barely escaped upon the warning from a student who ran ahead of the mob coming for him. Less than a week later on April 28, 360 armed men led by Sears closed the Customs House in order to prevent trade with the British. The merchants of the town dared not complain for fear of drawing the mob’s wrath.
Many remarked at the strength of rebel sympathy in New York City. A letter from New York printed in London stated “in this city it is astonishing to find the most violent proposals meeting with universal approbation. The next day, an assemblage of six or seven thousand gathered to hear an address by Low beseeching them to sign an Association declaring their resolve:
We…do in the most solemn manner, resolve never to become slaves; and do associate, under all the ties of religion, honour, and love to our country to adopt…whatever measures may be recommended by the Continental Congress, or resolved upon by our Provincial Convention, for the purpose of preserving our Constitution and opposing the execution of the several arbitrary and oppressive Acts of the British Parliament, until a reconciliation between Great Britain and America, on Constitutional principles, (which we most ardently desire) can be obtained
Low and other leading citizens of the city proceeded to sign the document as the crowd roared their approval. Over the next hour another thousand affixed their signatures. Copies were later posted throughout the city so that others could sign. Although many thousands throughout the colony ultimately refused to sign the Association, residents of the city itself appeared to support it for the most part.
As the initial fervor passed, however, the conduct of New York’s moderate leadership took on a decidedly ambivalent appearance. Although they retained their resentments against the Crown, and provided assistance to the war effort, the prospect of actual fighting seems to have given many pause. This ambivalence was manifest in an open letter from Henry Remsen to Lieutenant Governor Colden printed in the May 22 edition of a New York newspaper. After reciting the familiar litany of grievances against the Royal Government ñ Parliamentary taxation, the blockade of Boston, the Quebec Act ñ Remsen implored Colden to exercise his influence to divert the war away from New York City:
It is our ardent Wish, Sir, that the same Tranquility and good Order may be permanent. We look forward therefore with deep Concern at the expected Arrival of Troops from Great-Britain, an Event that will probably be attended with innumerable Mischiefs. Their presence will doubtless revive the Resentment of our Inhabitants, at the repeatedly avowed Designs of subjugating the Colonies by Military Force. Mutual Jealousies may break out into reciprocal Violence. Thousands will in that case, be poured in upon us from other Counties and the neighboring Colonies, who, we are well assured, have resolved to prevent this City from being reduced to the present Situation of Boston. Thus, instead of being a secure Garrison Town and Place of Arms, as is vainly expected by some, the Streets of New York may be deluged with Blood.
These fears could only have been intensified by the arrival of the British warship Asia in New York Harbor on May 27, soon to be joined by the Kingfisher. Lieutenant Governor Colden had sent for the Royal Navy to protect loyalists from further harassment. Henceforth, moderate rebel leaders trod carefully for fear of provoking a devastating bombardment. For his part, Captain Vandeput of the Asia was reluctant to fire on the town. Loyalists owned many of the buildings likely to be damaged, and the British were already looking forward to making New York a base of operations at some future time, and wanted to preserve the town intact. Nonetheless, New Yorkers couldn’t have known this with certainty at the time.
Meanwhile, the rebels moved to replace the loyalist-leaning Provincial Assembly ñ which was never to meet again. The Committee of Sixty called for the election of a Provincial Congress, which met for the first time on May 22. Despite the outbreak of hostilities in Massachusetts, moderates were still reluctant to make a complete break with Britain and her institutions. They grappled with the radicals for control of the Provincial Congress as it charted an erratic course over the coming months. The Provincial Congress acted to recruit and supply the militia, and directed military operations in upstate New York. But, moderates blocked a vote approving the proceedings of the First Continental Congress ñ just as the discredited Provincial Assembly had done earlier ñ and won approval of a letter to the Second Continental Congress urging a peaceful resolution of the rebellion. The Provincial Congress appointed a Committee of Safety to manage executive matters during its periodic recesses. Over the coming months, the Committee played an important role raising and equipping troops for the defense of New York, and watching loyalists suspected of assisting the British.  Yet, while the Committee prepared for war, it also allowed the British courts and magistrates to operate unmolested, and even permitted the provisioning of the British warships in the harbor.
His force dwindling as desertions mounted, Major Hamilton decided to withdraw his beleaguered garrison to the British warships. Although he received assurances from the Provincial Congress that he could retire unmolested, an angry crowd soon gathered around the small column and forcibly divested them of several cartloads of arms and ammunition. Several soldiers deserted on the spot. The Provincial Congress insisted that the perpetrators return the plundered supplies, but their command apparently fell on deaf ears.
The Provincial Congress’s ambivalence was further exemplified by their dispatch of separate delegations to welcome both General George Washington and Royal Governor William Tryon upon their separate arrivals in New York City on June 25. Washington was passing through town on his way to take command of the rebel force besieging Boston. An enthusiastic crowd greeted him with loud huzzas as he landed in the city. Later that evening the well-liked Tryon returned from England to a friendly reception, although most accounts recall it as less enthusiastic than the one accorded to Washington. William Smith noted that the amiable welcome for Tryon was more a reflection of New Yorkers’ personal regard for him, rather than for his office. Tryon soon discovered his irrelevance to the colony’s governance; the people of New York now followed the dictates of the Provincial Congress. Early in July, the Provincial Congress declined to participate in a formal welcome address to the Governor:
Though this Congress entertains the highest respect for his Excellency, yet it will be altogether improper for the said Corporation, or any other body corporate, or individuals, in this Colony, to address his Excellency at this most critical juncture.
As the moderates vacillated, the radicals acted. After several boxes of saltpeter were removed from the Royal Magazine at Turtle Bay in early June, the Provincial Congress sent some members to try and get the supplies returned, and directed the army to keep an eye on what was left. At the urging of Sears and Lamb, a sloop manned by New England rebels divested the magazine of its remaining arms and ammunition, and carried them back to Connecticut. Many New Yorkers were angered by this raid by New Englanders, which struck them as analogous to the British raid on Concord. After a mob destroyed a small boat from the Asia, the Civil Magistrates of the city arranged to have a replacement boat built ñ which was destroyed in turn before carpenters could complete it.
A small skirmish occurred during the night of August 23 as a detachment of men, acting on orders from the Provincial Congress, commandeered twenty-one royal cannon from the Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan. One British soldier was killed in a brief exchange of gunfire between the rebels and some British troops in a barge hovering just offshore. The Asia loosed a few broadsides into the town to support their men. Although it did minor damage to nearby buildings, the evening’s encounter threw the whole city into a panic; many packed-up their belongings and fled to the countryside. A day later, talks between local officials and Captain Vandeput, mediated by Tryon, seemed to cool the passions of some rebels who advocated “rash measures.” Nonetheless, the exodus from the city continued, as recorded by a loyalist-leaning Moravian pastor, Reverend Shewkirk: “the City looks in some streets as if the Plague had been in it, so many houses being shut up.” On July 29, after condemning the Asia for unwarrantedly firing on the city, the Provincial Congress reiterated the ongoing policy of allowing New Yorkers to provide supplies to the royal squadron in order to “preserve the peace, quiet the minds of the inhabitants, and prevent the Officers and Men belonging to any of his Majesty’s Ships…from coming to this City, under pretence of procuring supplies.” On September 1, the Congress prohibited New York residents from providing supplies to the British army and navy, but apparently maintained an exception for the British warships hovering menacingly in the harbor.
Tryon’s position within the city grew increasingly untenable. On August 22, the Continental Congress voted to secure all crown officials. Fearing bombardment from the British navy in reprisal, the Provincial Congress declined to arrest the Governor. In October, Tryon learned of a plot by Sears and others to arrest him and send him to confinement in Connecticut. Tryon offered to remove himself to the Asia in order to save the town from shelling should his person be violated. Although local officials asked him to remain, they offered him little physical protection. So, Tryon withdrew to the safety of the royal squadron in the harbor on October 19. The Governor was still allowed to receive visitors from the city, and made a pretense of running the colony from aboard ship.
By this time, Isaac Sears, fed up with the caution of New York’s moderate leadership, had removed himself to Connecticut where he publicly denigrated his hometown’s patriotism. He wouldn’t stay away long. On November 20, he led a small band of mounted rebels from New Haven into Westchester County just north of New York City and arrested some prominent loyalists, sending them back to Connecticut under guard. Joined by some local patriots, the band proceeded to New York City. Entering the town at noon on November 23, they destroyed the press of loyalist printer James Rivington, and carried off his types. Their business done, they rode out of town to the cheers of onlookers. While many of the more radical New Yorkers applauded the action, the moderates objected to the interference of Connecticut men in their internal affairs. The Provincial Congress fired off an indignant petition to Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull protesting the affair: “While we consider this conduct as an insult offered to this Colony, we are disposed to attribute it to an imprudent, though well intended, zeal for the publick cause…we cannot but consider such intrusions as an invasion of our essential rights as a distinct Colony.” The petition went on to request the release of the Westchester loyalists, and the return of Rivington’s types: “We are fully sensible of his demerits; but we earnestly wish that the glory of the present contest for liberty may not be sullied by an attempt to restrain the freedom of the Press.” Governor Trumbull shortly released the Westchester men, but would not return Rivington’s property.
The strategic importance of New York City to the rebel cause was widely agreed upon by its leaders. The Hudson Valley provided a navigable highway far into the interior of the colony, so the possession of the city by the British threatened to divide New England from the rest of the colonies. In early January 1776, General Charles Lee, scarcely able “to sleep from apprehensions on the subject,” proposed to General Washington that he be sent to secure New York with volunteer troops recruited from Connecticut. Washington was concerned about the possible presence of loyalists in New York, as well as by reports that the British at Boston were outfitting an amphibious expedition that might be intended for the city, but he was unsure of the extent of his powers as the young nation’s first Commander in Chief. However, after John Adams assured him that such action was within his authority, Washington agreed to send Lee to New York.
General Charles Lee was arguably one of the most fascinating characters to participate in the Revolution; he was certainly one of the most controversial. Physically, he was tall, skinny, slovenly in dress, and fairly ugly. He was frequently stricken by gout, which may have contributed to his rather cantankerous and fickle demeanor. He was loquacious, vulgar, and prone to sarcasm. His constant companions were a large train of yapping dogs, which at times seemed his only true friends. Later in the war, Lee was court-martialed after a falling out with Washington during the Battle of Monmouth, and died in ignominy in 1782. But, in early 1776 he was widely considered a rising star of the young Continental Army due to his extensive military experience. As he took command in New York City he had no ambiguity as to the situation; he understood clearly that America was at war, and that half measures would not suffice.
Lee proceeded to Connecticut where he easily raised a small force of volunteers for his expedition, and set off for New York in late January. However, Lee’s progress alarmed the citizens of New York, prompting an exodus of noncombatants from the city in the dead of winter. While professing themselves “as unanimously jealous in the cause of America as any representative body on the continent,” the Committee of Safety nonetheless implored Lee to proceed no further than the colonial boundary with Connecticut until March. They informed him that the situation in New York was precarious. No defensive positions had been prepared. Furthermore, ammunition supplies were low, and the presence of Lee’s force might provoke the small British squadron in the harbor to interrupt clandestine ammunition shipments into the port. The ever-present prospect of bombardment by the Royal Navy, against which the city had no effective deterrent, was also on their minds. Delaying hostilities until warmer weather in March would have at least eased the plight of the fearful refugees.
Lee assured the Committee that he had no plans to harass the Royal Navy squadron as long as they behaved, and that in any event “the destruction of the seaport towns would if possible be a severer stroke to the Ministry and their Instruments than to the Inhabitants themselves.” He proposed to bring only part of his force into the city, while leaving the main body in western Connecticut for the time being. He felt compelled to conclude by diplomatically assuring the Committee that:
I am not one of those who have entertained a bad opinion of the virtue of N. York, or made it my business to asperse them; on the contrary, I have condemn’d loudly the illiberal, impolitic and unjust reflections I have heard frequently thrown out.
However, his report to Washington on the affair struck a different tone:
The whigs, I mean the stout ones, are it is said very desirous that a body of troops should march and be stationed in their City: timid ones are averse, merely from the spirit of procrastination, which is the characteristic of timidity. The letter of the Provincial Congress, you will observe breathes the very essence of this spirit; it is wofully hysterical.
American Archives, Series 4, Vol. 2-5.
The Papers of General Nathaniel Greene, vol. 1 (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1976).
Lee Papers (New York: New York Historical Society, 1871).
Historical Memoirs of William Smith, edited by William H. W. Sabine (New York: Colburn & Tegg, 1956).
The New York Gazette and Weekly Mercury
The Papers of George Washington: Revolutionary War Series, Vol. 3-6 (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1988).
Carl L. Becker, The History of Political Parties in the Province of New York, 1760-1776 (Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1909).
Alexander C. Flick, Loyalism in New York During the American Revolution (New York: The Columbia University Press, 1901).
Agnes Hunt, The Provincial Committees of Safety of the American Revolution (Cleveland: Press of Winn & Judson, 1904).
Henry P. Johnson, The Campaign of 1776 Around New York and Brooklyn (Brooklyn, NY: Long Island Historical Society, 1878).
Bernard Mason, The Road to Independence: The Revolutionary Movement in New York, 1773-1777 (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1966)
William H. Nelson, The American Tory (New York: 1961).
M. Christopher New, “James Chalmers and ëPlain Truth:’ A Loyalist Answers Thomas Paine, The Early American Review (http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/fall96/loyalists.html) (Fall, 1996)
New York Division of Archives and History, The American Revolution in New York: Its Political, Social, and Economic Significance (Albany, NY: 1926).
New York Historical Society, Narratives of the Revolution in New York (Kingsport, TN: Kingsport Press, Inc.; 1975).
Phillip Ranlet, The New York Loyalists, (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1986).
John Shy, A People Numerous and Armed (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1990)
Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, Father Knickerbocker Rebels: New York City During the Revolution, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1948).
 Letter of March 21, 1776 from the John Eustace to Charles Lee; Lee Papers (New York: New York Historical Society, 1871) p. 362. Ranlet, pp. 66-7.
 Alexander Flick, Loyalism in New York During the American Revolution (New York: The Columbia University Press, 1901). Phillip Ranlet, The New York Loyalists, (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1986) pp. 5-7.
 William H. Nelson, The American Tory (New York: 1961) pp. 102-3.
 Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, Father Knickerbocker Rebels: New York City During the Revolution, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1948) , pp. 11-2, 20-1, 24.
 Wertenbaker, p. 13.
 Wertenbaker, p. 34.
 Wertenbaker, p. 43-4.
 Journal entry of September 7, 1774; Historical Memoirs of William Smith, edited by William H. W. Sabine (New York: Colburn & Tegg, 1956) pp. 192.
 Carl L. Becker, The History of Political Parties in the Province of New York, 1760-1776 (Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1909) p. 51.
 Wertenbaker, pp. 10-1.
 Becker, pp. 51, 82-3.
 Wertenbaker, p. 35-8.
 Flick, pp. 31-36. Ranlet, pp. 3-4, 182-6. Nelson, pp. 89-90.
 Flick, p. 52. Ranlet, p. 182.
 Wertenbaker, p. 44-6. Becker, p. 176.
 Wertenbaker, p. 53.
 Journal entry of April 29, 1775; Historical Memoirs of William Smith, p. 222.
 Wertenbaker, p. 53. Journal entries of April 24 & 27, 1775; Historical Memoirs of William Smith, pp. 221-2.
 Ranlet, p. 59.
Bernard Mason, The Road to Independence: The Revolutionary Movement in New York, 1773-1777 (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1966) pp. 76-7.
 Becker, pp. 196-7, Wertenbaker, p. 56.
 Mason, p. 77.
 The New York Gazette and Weekly Mercury, May 22, 1775.
 Wertenbaker, p. 62. Ranlet, p. 52.
 Agnes Hunt, The Provincial Committees of Safety of the American Revolution (Cleveland: Press of Winn & Judson, 1904) p. 63. American Archives, Series 4, Vol. 2, pp. 1785-6, 1792.
 Hunt, p. 63-7.
 Hunt, p. 67. Wertenbaker, p. 62. Becker, p. 219.
 Wertenbaker, p. 58. Proceedings of the New York Provincial Congress for June 3, 1775; American Archives, Series 4, Vol. 2, p. 1274.
 Journal entry of June 25, 1773, Historical Memoirs of William Smith, pp. 228c-d. Ranlet, p. 61. Becker, p. 218. Wertenbaker, pp. 60-1.
 Proceedings of the New York Provincial Congress for July 5, 1775; American Archives, Series 4, Vol. 2, p. 1341.
 Proceedings of the New York Provincial Congress for June 29, 1775; American Archives, Series 4, Vol. 2, p. 1331. Ranlet, p. 61. Wertenbaker, p. 58.
 Proceedings of the New York Committee of Safety for July 13 and 18, 1775; American Archives, Series 4, Vol. 2, pp. 1791, 1812. Wertenbaker, p. 62.
 Diary entries of August 24 & 25, 1775 by Reverend Shewkirk; in The Campaign of 1776 Around New York and Brooklyn by Henry P. Johnson (Brooklyn, NY: Long Island Historical Society, 1878) Part II, pp. 103. Letter of August 24, 1775, from Captain Vandeput to the Mayor and other Magistrates of the City of New York; American Archives, Series 4 Vol. 3 p. 550. Wertenbaker, pp. 62-3.
 Diary entry of August 28, 1775 by Reverend Shewkirk; Johnson, Part II, pp. 103.
 Proceedings of the New York Provincial Congress for July 29, 1775; American Archives, Series 4, Vol. 3, p. 565.
 Proceedings of the New York Provincial Congress for September 1, 1775; American Archives, Series 4, Vol. 3, p. 573.
 Becker, p. 225. Ranlet. p. 61.
 Ranlet, p. 62.
 Nelson, p. 100. Wertenbaker, pp. 64-5. Ranlet, p. 4. Becker, p. 245-6. Proceedings of the New York Provincial Congress for December 12, 1775; American Archives, Series 4, Vol. 4, p. 402.
 Letter of January 5, 1776 from Charles Lee to George Washington; The Papers of George Washington: Revolutionary War Series, Vol. 3 (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1988) pp. 30-1.
 Letter of January 6, 1776 from John Adams to George Washington and letter of January 8, 1776 from George Washington to Charles Lee; The Papers of George Washington, Vol. 3; pp. 36-8, 53-4.
 John Shy, A People Numerous and Armed (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1990) pp. 135-62.
 Letter of January 21, 1776 from the New York Committee of Safety to Charles Lee; Lee Papers, pp. 242-4. Johnson, pp. 51-3.
 Letter of January 23, 1776 from Charles Lee to the Chairman of the New York Committee of Safety; Lee Papers, Vol. 1 (New York: New York Historical Society, 1871) pp. 256-8.
 Letter of January 24, 1776 from Charles Lee to George Washington; Lee Papers; Vol. 1, p. 259.
 Hunt, pp. 69-70. American Archives, Series 4, Vol. 4, p. 1096.
 Diary entry of January 5, 1776 by Reverend Shewkirk; Johnson, Part II, pp. 105-6.
 Letter of February 5, 1776 from Charles Lee to George Washington; Lee Papers; p. 271-2. Extract of a Letter from New York, to a Gentleman in Philadelphia, Dated February 5, 1776, American Archives, Series 4, Vol. 4, p. 942.
 Letter of February 19, 1776 from Charles Lee to George Washington; Lee Papers; p. 309.
 Report on the Defense of New York, March, 1776; Lee Papers; pp. 354-6.
 Wertenbaker, pp. 70-1.
 Letter of February 14, 1776 from Charles Lee to George Washington; Letter of February 26, 1776 from George Washington to Charles Lee; Lee Papers, pp. 295, 326-7.
 Letters of February 16 & 20, 1776 from Charles Lee to the President of Provincial Congress of New York; Lee Papers, pp. 301, 315.
 Letter of February 20, 1776 from the Provincial Congress of New York to Charles Lee; Lee Papers, p. 315-6.
 Becker, p. 248.
 Letter of February 29, 1776 from Charles Lee to George Washington; Lee Papers, pp. 335, 338.
 Becker, p. 249.
 Johnson, pp. 59-60.
 Johnston, p. 63.
 Letter of April 17 from George Washington to the New York Committee of Safety, the Committee’s reply of April 18, and Washington’s proclamation of April 29; The Papers of George Washington, Vol. 4, pp. 77-9, 81, 164-5. Proceedings of the New York Committee of Safety for April 18, 1776; American Archives, Series 4, Vol. 5, pp. 1453-4.
 General Orders issued on April 27, 1776 by General Washington; The Papers of George Washington, Vol. 4, p. 140-1.
 General Orders issued on May 14, 1776 by General Washington; The Papers of George Washington, Vol. 4, p. 296.
 General Greene’s Orders of May 5, 1776, The Papers of General Nathaniel Greene, Vol. 1 (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1976) p. 212.
 Wertenbaker, p. 78.
 Diary entry of June 13, 1776 by Reverend Shewkirk; Johnson, Part II, pp. 108.
 New York Division of Archives and History, The American Revolution in New York: Its Political, Social, and Economic Significance (Albany, NY: 1926) pp. 65-6.
 M. Christopher New, “James Chalmers and ëPlain Truth:’ A Loyalist Answers Thomas Paine, The Early American Review (http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/fall96/loyalists.html) (Fall, 1996)
 Becker, pp. 265-70. Mason, pp. 172-5.
 New York Historical Society, Narratives of the Revolution in New York (Kingsport, TN: Kingsport Press, Inc.; 1975) pp. 25-31. New York Division of Archives and History, pp. 67-9. Becker, pp. 271-4.
 Wertenbaker, p. 84.
 Letter of September 8, 1776 from George Washington to John Hancock; The Papers of George Washington, Vol. 6, pp. 248-52.
 Letter of September 11, 1776 from “Certain General Officers” to George Washington; The Papers of George Washington, Vol. 6, p. 279.
 Council of War Minutes for September 12, 1776, and a letter of the same date from George Clinton to George Washington; The Papers of George Washington, Vol. 6, p. 289-92.
 Letter of September 3, 1776 from John Hancock to George Washington; The Papers of George Washington, Vol. 6, p. 207.
 Becker, p 206.
 Letter of October 23, 1775 from Nathaniel Greene to Samuel Ward, Jr.; The Papers of General Nathaniel Greene, p. 139. Ranlet, p. 7.
 Diary entry of September 16, 1776 by Reverend Shewkirk; Johnson, Part II, pp. 117.
 Mason, pp. 78-9.
 Ranlet, pp. 79-82.