The Committee of Safety at Coram


When trouble broke out between England and her colonies, the Continental Congress recommended that towns, in the thirteen colonies, start Committees of Observation. These committees were organized in each town to watch that colonists followed the boycott issued by the Continental Congress in 1774. People who supported the boycott began calling themselves patriots and those who refused were called loyalists, or Tories.

The "Committee of Observation" for Brookhaven Town met at Coram on June 27, 1775, and the following paragraph is quoted from the resolutions they adopted.

"Resolved; That we will use our utmost end endeavor strictly to adhere to the Resolutions of the Honorable Continental Congress, and to comply with the injunctions of our Provincial Convention, which we hope is the most effectual means to obtain redress of our present grievances, and to save us from impending ruin."

As matters grew more serious the Continental Congress recommended a new committee to be set up and be called the Committee of Safety. This committee was to watch the actions of the Tories in each town.

The Committee of Safety met in Coram on April 16th. The work below was transcribed by Brookhaven Town Historian Osborn Shaw.

April 16,1776
The Inhabitants of Brookhaven Manor of Saint Georges and Patenship of Meriches being legally conveened in one General Assembly or Town Meeting on the 16th of April A.D. 1776 at Corum and then unitedly chose under the Inspection of their old Committee a new Committee of Safety to superintend their public Concerns, and as their Representatives to act for the year ensuing, which Committee concisted of the following Gentlemen, each of whom being separately chosen by a great Majority of voices, namely:
Their Names
William Smith Esqr
Nathanael Woodhull Esqr
William Floyd Esqr
Josiah Smith Esqr
John Woodhull Esqr
Selah Strong Esqr
Thomas Helm Esqr
Capt. Samuel Thompson
Capt. Jona R Baker
Isaac Overton Esqr
Capt. Nathan Rose
Elijah Davis
Jonah Hulse
Benjamin Havens
Mathew Smith
David Howell
Joseph Brown
John Woodhul jun
Phillips Roe
Nath. R Roe jun
Abraham Woodhull
Selah Strong A.B.
Thomas Smith
Humphry Avery
Wessel Sell
And Benjamin Woodhull:
Who being nearly all present instantly formed a meeting, and chose John Woodhull Esquire Cheirman
and Samuel Thompson Clerk. And agreed.
A meeting agreed on:
That they would meet at the House of Nathan Woodhull on the First Tuesday in May 1776 at 10 of the clock in the forenoon,

May 6th 1776
At which Time and place they met, but finding much business and being unable to attend thereupon, agreed to meet at Corum at the house of Ebenezer Dayton on Monday the 13th of May at 9 o'clock in the morning.
A meeting opened

At Corum May 13th 1776
The committee of Safety of Brookhaven, the Manor Of Saint Georges and Patenship of Meriches met according to agreement: Members then present were John Woodhull Chairman
William Smith Esqr
Selah Strong Esqr
Isaac Overton Esqr
Capt, Jonathan Baker
Capt. Nathen Rose
Humphery Avery
Benjamin Havens
Selah Strong A.B
Nathanael Roe Jun
John Brown
Josiah Smith Esqr
Thomas Helm Esqr
Capt. Samuel Thompson
Capt. William Brewster
Elijah Davis
Mathew Smith
Abraham Woodhull
Benjamin Woodhull
And proceeded to the Business
It was mooved by Justice Strong, and agreed to N.C. that Ebenezer Dayton be Clerk of this committee.
Against Plots & unwilling Evidences
A report having prevailed, that there was within our District some private plots layed, and secretly carrying into Execution, by some unfriendly person dangerous to the Liberty's of America: and to Discover which, sundry Evidences were cited, some of whome appearing unwilling to be sworn or pass an examination, Therefore,
Resolved that any person or persons refusing to be sworn,
or to answer to any questions that shall be asked by this Committee this Committee will take such affectual measures as they shall think proper, to secure or confine such person, or persons, until they will comply whatever resolves relative to proceeding with persons unfriendly to the rights, of America are or shall be made for the purpose of obtaining Evidence of such plots & dangerous proceedings.
County Committee

Resolved that Capt. Samuel Thompson, Lieut. Abraham Woodhull, Thomas Helm Esqr, Isaac Overton Esqr & Humphry Avery from Brookhaven: William Smith Esqr, William Floyd Esqr and Nathanael Woodhull Esqr from the Manor of Saint Georges: and Josiah Smith Esqr and Mathew Smith from the Patenship of Meriches, be appointed to attend the County Committee at all their meetings to represent said Town, Manor and Patent.
A Quorum of 7
Resolved that any seven or more of this Body, shall or may act upon Busines, being Summoned together by the Chearman or any two of the Members: and that such Seven be a Quorum.

Of Richard Miller
Resolved, That an order be made to Capt. Selah Strong , to apprehend Richard Miller, and that the Chearman, with any Two or more other members of our own Body to assist him, be a Sub Committee to give said Miller a hearing and receive Satisfacation if offered from him.

Horseracing surpressed
Resolved, that within our District there be no Horsracing for wagers, & that any person convicted of concenting his horse or mare should run: or ride a race: or hold Stakes : Or give a start: or lay any Wager, (especially) of Liquor or Money, each such offender shall for each such offence forfeit the sum of One Pound and Cost of Tryal , recoverable upon proof being made to the Committee, and levied by warrant from the chearman , on the goods and chattles of the offender, and for want of effects, to be committed to the common Goal for one Month: And the said fines to be disposed off as this committee shall hereafter direct. Also Voted that the Clerk of this Committee serve the Inhabitants with Several Copies hereof.

Nash against Patchin
Sundry Evidences being called to discover the secret plots & misconduct of Sundry persons and Daniel Nash being Sworn Deposeth that he heard Andrew Patchin say (as he was going home from General training) the Congress goes on as they ought not to do and Dam'd the Congress in all their unlawful proceedings.

Finch against Patchin
Nathanael Finch being Sworn, Deposeth that he heard Andrew Patchin Dam the Congress, and used them with very abusive & vilifying Language, and was amind that all present (being a considerable number) should agree with him, to rezist and oppose the Congress and all military officers & others. He perticularly Dam"d Colonel William Floyd, saying he came home from the Congress on purpose to make Distubance and the Devil would have him, for he would go to hell for what he had done, and so would Capt. Nathan Rose and Lieutenant William Baker, and persuaded all present to agree to go to no more trainings, Saying neither he, nor any of his should, and Said all those who would not so agree, was worse than Infidels.

Contractors to buy guns & make returns & c.
Resolved that Lieutenant George Smith and Lieutenant William Clarke be appointed Contractors for the committee to go throughout our District and buy of all persons Guns agreeing with them at prices at their Discretion but not exceeding four Pounds and giving Receipts to the vendors, mentioning the quality of the guns, and prices agreed upon, and that in three months time, this Committee will cause them to be paid for accordingly, and that they tender an Association Recommended by the Committee of Safety of New York, to such as are notedly unfriendly, and make to this Committee a return of said Guns, a List of their Contracts, with the said Association, and their other proceedings in writing under their hands. And Resolved that this Committee will pay said Contractors for their time and trouble, and

Disarming non associates
Resolved also, that they make a return to Capt. Selah Strong by a list of all the names of those whome they judge to be unfriendly to the American Cause, who shall refuse to Associate. And Capt. Selah Strong is hereby required to Disarm such unfriendly persons according to the Resolves of the Committee of Safety of New York.

Thomas Fanning cited
Upon Complaint that Thomas Fanning holds currespondence with his Brother Edmond Fanning, and other our Enemies, and is concerting and practizing Measures unfriendly to the Libertys of America.
that He be cited by Lieut. George Smith, to appear forthwith before this Committee, with all the Letters he has received within three Months, relative to the Dispute between Great Britain and America.

Patchin Admonishd
Voted that Humphry Avery do adomish Andrew Patchin for his past Misbehaviour, and exhort him to furter good behaviour, and give perticular attention to his conduct, & at our next meeting make report of his proceedings and of sd Patchins behaviour.

Thomas Fanning appeareth & abuseth the Committee
Thomas Fanning having been cited to appear before this Committee to answer to complaints and evidence exhibited against him and to appear with all the Letters he had received within three months, relative to the Dispute between Great Britain and America: He appear'd, but brought no Letters: Said he had such, but would not shew them if he had his flesh all pul'd off with hot pinchers.
He Deny'd the authority and Legality of the Committee: He Used them with Contempt and abusive Language calculated to Dissuade & Discourage all the persons from opposing the Ministerial Troops employed against the Liberty of America

Weed Deposeth against Fanning
And Jehiel weed being Sworn Deposeth that Mr. Thomas Fanning Told him he looked upon the chance of said Deponent a year hence to be better for the Neck or farm said Deponent resides on, (and the property of Justice Selah Strong, one of the Congress) than said Strongs chance would be, provided he the Deponent did not take up arms against the Kings Forces. And at the same time Mr. Fanning told him we should never have any peace till 5 or 6 of them Dam Scoundrels on the Congress were hanged. He mentioned their Names, and the Deponent remembered that John Hancock and Samuel Adams were two of them. And said Deponent Deposes that he verily believes the foregoing calculated with view to, and Design of Discouraging said Deponent from doing his Duty under the Congress, and to induce him to oppose Congressional Measures.

Woodhull against Fanning
And Lieutenant Abraham Woodhull being sworn, Deposeth that he heard Mr. Thomas Fanning say (Amongst other words to Discourage from adhereing to the measuris of Congress) that if a had a hundred Lives, he would venture Ninety & Nine of them on the side of the King's Forces, rather than one the part of the congress.

Marvin's Evidence against Fanning.
Lieutenant Benjamin Marvin being Sworn, Deposeth, that he heard Mr. Thomas Fanning say, we never should have any peace until Six or Seven on each side of the principle Men in Boston who had been first promoters off: and the Opposition to, the grievous Acts of Parliament were hanged.
And that is of late his practice to make use of Language tending to Discourage & interupt the necessary Union and firmness of the colonies, in Maintaining their rights and Liberties: and that his behaviour is consonant.
Fanning confesseth Weed's & Woodhull's Evidence.
Said Fanning Denyed the Evidence of Mr. Jenhill Weed as to the words , better chance for said farm: but owned he said as good a chance as Justice Strong: and angryly said it was still his opinion.
He also owned the truth of Lieutenant Abraham Woodhull's Evidence, and said he was still firm in the same opinion and resolution that if he had a hundred lives he would venture Ninety and Nine of them on the of the King, rather than one on the part of the Congress.
Insluting Words.
He told the Committee he neither feared Nor regarded them, saying their Day & Race was very short. He Incisted upon having Evidences present and privy to all the proceeding of this Committee saying he Intended to over hall the same.

May 13th at 10' clock P.M.
Adjournment until 7 o' clock A.M.


Tuesday May 14th 1776 at 9 o' clock A.M. met according
To adjournment and proceeded to business.

Samuel Dayton being sworn deposeth he heard said Thomas Fanning say while the committee kept the Doors of their room shut (and said fanning being without) that he would fight with pistols with any three members of this committee if they dare: And Isaac Smith being sworn, Deposeth the same as did Samuel Dayton.

Refuseth to justify
This committee after hearing foregoing and much more of his talk and other Evidences to the like purpose, offered him a fair chance to make his innocence appear upon a fair hearing & Trial, but he Said he would not spend his breath to justify himself upon such charges.

Mr. Fanning refuseth to give Bonds.
This committee Asked him for Bonds or other promissory written obligations to satisfy this committee, and the people at large Of his further good behavior, which he refused too give, or make any verbal concessions except a promise of passive obedience as a prisoner to obtain a short space upon his Parole of honor.

T. Fanning is ordered before the Congress.
Resolved That Thomas Fanning be carried before the Honorable Provintial Congress of New York, by Captain Selah Strong: and that the Chairman sign a Warrant Directed to him for that purpose and that the clerk of this committee copy these minutes of evidence, and of our proceedings to be inclosed in said warrant & be therewith delivered to the said congress whome we desire to examine the same together with the said Fanning and make such orders and take such measures with him, as they in their superior judgement shall think proper.
The meeting is closed
The foregoing is a true record of this meeting.
Attest Ebenezer Dayton

May 20th 1776

Pursuant to Notification from Isaac Overton Esqr. Mr Humphry Avery and Mr Elijah Davis, this Committee met on Monday the 20th of May 1776

Members Present
Members Present, Thomas Helm Esqr. Selah Strong Esqr. Isaac Overton Esqr. Captin William Brewster Mr. Elijah Davis, Mr Humphry Avery, Mr. Nathanael Roe, Lieut . Abraham Woodhull, Selah Strong A.B. Ensign Benjamin Woodhull, Mr Phillips Roe, Mr Wessel Sell: and Thomas Helm Esqr being chosen chairman P.T. Proceeded to Business

Watch of 15 Men
Upon complaint that water, Provitions & men had gone from Blew Point and places adjacent to the Ministeriel fleat: Resolved that Captain Selah Strong select by Inlistment out of his Company, fifteen men & order them as a Watch at Blew Point, with three hired boats, to reconniter the south bey & watch the Proceedings all unfriendly persons therein, or on the Land adjoining, within

Station, pay, Boats, House & aid of a watch of 15 men & c.
Within our jurisdiction, and Assure such Watch of such Pay & Provitions as Continental troops are allowed, until further orders. And Ordered that Mr. Humphry Avery procure for said Watch a house & said boats, and other Necessaries at his Descretion: and that his committee will provide ways and means to pay the same: & that the Officer of said Watch for the time being, have Authority to call in to his Aid such of Melita as he in his Discretion may judge Necessary as Exigence of Affairs may require and that a copy hereof be signed by the Chearman & Delived to Captain Selah Strong to put into immediate Execution.

Nathl Roe Contractor
Resolved that Nathanael Roe junior be appointed & Authorized as a Contractor To buy Guns & c. in the Lieu of Lieut. William Clarke during his absence on a Military Command.

John Allabeen jun Deposeth against Daniel Rose& Mr. Fanning & c.
Upon Suspicion that some persons resident amongst us Kept up an Intercourse with the Ministerial Fleet & Army: And John Allabeen junior being Sworn Deposeth that he being at the house of John Bayles InKeeper on the 6th of May A.D. 1776 he heard Daniel Rose say, Mr. Fanning & I know more than all you Committee or Congress Men, for we have the News from on Board the Ship, and I have more half Johannises in my Chest, that I brought from on Board the Ship, than all the Town can produce beside.
Moreover he Deposeth that said Daniel Rose then said, I can have the Ship come ashore anytime when I please, & can sell them my produce of any Kind & not be beholden to your Committee nor Congress: I can go on board the ship any time when I please & live a gentleman all my days & directed his discourse to said deponat saying to him, I don't mind telling you anything as a friend: & further saith not.
A meeting agreed on that sundry person be cited to appear thereat & c.
Agre'd that this committee meet again on Thursday next, being May 23d A.D. 1776 at one of the clock in the afternoon & ordered that Mr. Humphry Avery cite Sundry persons both as offenders & evidence to appear before this Committee at that time and then Adjourned to that time.
The foregoing is a true record of the foregoing meeting.
Attest Ebenezer Dayton clerk
May 23d 1776
This committee met according to agreement on the 23d day of May A.D 1776 at one o`clock p.m.
Members Present: John Woodhull Esqr chareman
William Smith Esqr Colonel Josiah Smith
Capt. Samuel Thompson Selah Strong A.B.
Benjamin Havens Thomas Helm Esqr
Isaac Overton Esqr Capt. Nathan Rose
Thomas Smith Humphry Avery
Mathew Smith Selah Strong Esqr
Nathaneal Roe junr. Capt.Wm., Brewster
Phillips Roe adj Joseph Brown

The Guns Committed to the care of Colonel Josiah Smith Resolved
That Colonel Josiah Smith take the charge & care of getting the Guns procured by this committee, in obedience to a Resolve of the Committee of Safety of New York well fitted for the use they were Designed & this Committee will provide ways and means to pay the Expense charge of the same in three Months.

Wm. Smith Esqr. Directed to write in the behalf of this Committee for a guard & c.

Resolved that William Smith Eqsr. be Directed in the behalf Of this Committee to make by letter Application to the Commander in Chief for a guard of Continental Soldiers to Guard the Southern part of our jurisdiction against our Domestick & foreign Enemies & to make report to him of the various curcumstances that make it in our opinion necessary such a guard be stationed to the said Service or for a Vessel of force to cruise in the South bey and to use his judgement Discretion in the matter

Reports of Unfriendly conduct
Reports of Sundry persons having been guilty of Language & other Conduct immical to the Liberties of North America being represented to this Committee & Sundry persons being Sworn to Discover the truth of said Reports that is to say

John Smith Deposeth against Baker & N. Gyer
John Smith of Winthrops Patent Deposeth that Nathan Gyer & his wife told his the sd John Smith, that Capt. Jonathan Baker had urged sd Gyer to go off spedily with his vessel, least he should be taken, and that said Baker told sd Gyer, he came to him on purpose to hurry him the sd Gyer off least a Mob would Ketch him (meaning a part of minutemen sent by the Committee) this being the last time sd Gyer went from Blew Point with his vessel, & that the time before, he gave said Gyer liberty to go, telling him that Humphry Avery one of the members of this Committee had a warrant from this Committee for him the said Gyer.

Joseph Rulands Evidence
Joseph Ruland being also Sworn Deposeth that being with his vessel in the South bey against Hempstead & being on shore a Man to him unknown offered him the said Ruland nine Dollars to carry him the said Stranger on board the Ship Dutches of Gorden to see Governor Tryon and that said Stranger enquired of him if he knew.

Rulands Evidence
one Nathan Gyer of Blew Pont and gave him yes for answer upon which sd Stranger also asked him the Deponent if there were not some men with said Gyer & whether he had or had not carried them on Board the Ships of War saying they were his men belonging to his Company which Company he said was then full.

Daniel David Deposeth against Jonathan Baker
Daniel Davis junior being Sworn Deposeth that he was at ye South side of the Island in Company with Capt. Jonathan Baker some time past whome he heard say he must then go up & see he Tories, and being in Discourse, one word brought in another, until Capt. J. Baker said with a Resolute voice & in a Diseffected manner, that if the Congress threw off Dependance upon Great Britain, he would oppose them, & swore by the Living God that made him, he would beat up for volenteers to raise a Company to oppose the Congress in that Case, & would do it if they quartered or Cut him in Inch Pieces for so doing.

Henry Hulse Deposeth against S. Fountain
Henry Hulse junior being Sworn Deposeth that he was an apprentice to Stephen Fountain. Who was gone from home & carried with him his Gun & Powder, & had sent him the Deponent home to his father's to stay until times were settled, and that a number of New England People had staid in that neighbourhood, being to him Strangers, who were often at the house of Stephen Fountain & as often in private Conference in private places, and would not let him come near them, nor hear what they said, and that they are now all gone, he supposeth with Stephen Fountain, but he doth not Know where.

Seth Scribner's Evidence.
Seth Scribner's being Sworn Deposeth that Mr. Nathan Gyer's son came to his house & staid all night with his brother Ebenezer Scribner & were much together in private & that now they are missing and a number of others are gone also, but he Knows not where, & says that if there was any private Plotts he don't think they would let him Know it.

Guard. Under E. Marvin
Resolved that Ephraim Marvin be requested to inlist not less than three nor more than Twenty men to serve as a Guard until further orders who was gone from home & carried with him his gun & Powder & had sent him the Deponent home to his father's to stay until times were settled, and that a number of New England People had staid in that neighborhood, being to him Strangers, who were often at the house of Stephen Fountain & as often in private Conference in private places, and would not let him come near them, nor hear what they said, and that they are now all gone, he supposeth with Stephen Fountain, but he doth not Know where.

Seth Scribner's Evidence.
Seth Scribner being sworn deposeth that Mr. Nathan Gyers's son came to his house & staid all night with his brother Ebenezer Scribner & were much together in private & that now they are missing and a number of others are gone also, but he knows not where, & says that if there was any private Plotts he don't think they would let him Know it.

A Guard under E. Marvin
Resolved that Ephraim Marvin be requested to inlist not less three nor more than Twenty men to serve as a guard until further orders to relieve the Guard under the Command of Lieut. William Clarke at Blew Point, and that the said Guard be paid & provided in the manner as the Guard under the Command of Lieut. Clarke aforsaid.

May31st 1776
On the last day of May 1776 At a special meeting of a sub committee of the Committee of Brookhaven, Manor of St. Georges & Patentship of Meriches, authorized to act in cases of Emergency, by a Resolve of the whole body in a full meeting passed the 23 d of August A.D. 1775. Members present,
Elijah Davis
Humphrey Avery
Isaac Overton Esqr.
Capt. Wm. Brewster
Resolved In a sub-committee of the Committee of Brookhaven Manor of St. Georges and Patentship of Meriches on the last day of May A.D. 1776 that Ephraim Marvin Adjudent of the Minute regiment of this County be ordered to go immediately to Rockaway or elsewhere, as he shall find necessary, and inform such officers and Committees as he shall think likely to be able to apprehend Nathan Gyer, and Jonathan Baker and many others, Inhabitants belonging within our jurisdiction, that we judge them enemies of the American cause & that we desire such Committees & officers either to secure such offenders as enemies, or else send them under a sufficient guard to this Committee to be Dealt with according to their Crimes. And that we refer such committees & officers to Adjudent Marvin for a general state of the offences of such enemies & of their names, And Assure such Committees & Officers, that we veryly believe he is a gentleman of truth that may be Depended upon in such his information.
Also Resolved that a letter of Instruction be wrote to Lieut. William Clarke in the following words.
Corum May 31st, 1776
Lieut. William Clarke
Sir, the Security of the Country does require & we do Direct you forthwith to raise between ten & twenty of your men well armed & mounted on horseback if possible & if not so on foot & go in quest of John Ackerly, Jacob Smith (son of Isaac) and Benjamin Smith (son of John) and other tories whom it is said have returned from on Board the Ships of war & have been routed, and whether you imprison them or not, go to South and join the Guard under the Command of Adjudent Ephraim Marvin, to proceed jointly against our enemies, as the nature of the case may require with a Sufficient Guard, all the Prisoners you shall make or receive, as they will otherwise be required by other Enemies said to be lurking in the woods & to continue your operations until you have made Diligent Search as the Nature of the Case may require, & for your so doing, this shall be a Sufficient Authority, according to the Resolves Of the Committee of Brookhaven, Manor of Saint Georges & patentship of Meriches.

True Record of this Humphry Avery
Meeting Attest Isaac Overton
Ebenezer Dayton Clerk Elijah Davis

June 4th 1776
At a meeting of the joint Committee of Brookhaven Manor of Saint Georges & patenship of Meriches Assembled at the House of Andrew Baron on the 4th of June A. D. 1776.
Messrs Members present were.
David Howell William Smith Esqr.
Humphry Avery Josiah Smith Esqr.
Samuel Thompson Isaac Overton Esqr.
Jonah Hulse Nathan Rose Esqr.
Thomas Smith Samuel Thompson Esqr.
Benjamin Havens Mathew Smith
John Woodhull junr. Elijah Davis
Benjamin Woodhull
Voted that Josiah Smith Esquire be Chairman - Protemporary & proceeded to business.
The Complaint against J. Baker and Stephen Fountain.
Capt. Jonathan Baker and Stephen Fountain being brought before the Committee by the Minutemen according to the order of this Committee against whome complaints having been made that they are Enemies to the Liberties of North America and as such had taken up arms & held currespondence with our enemies on board the Ministerial Ships of war, and had very much promoted Discord amongst the Inhabitants & had Seduced many to forsake the cause or their country and had been with many others on board the vessel of Nathan Gyer, which they had procured for the purpose of going on board the Ministerial Ships of war from on board which vessel (while on their passage) they had fled on shore (while she was persuaded) & that they were taken by the minutemen (as they were privately lurking in secret places on shore) after said vessel with their guns on board had been taken by Continental troops in the South bey off against Hempstead and since condemned as a Lawful prize.To Asertain the truth of which Complaints of the following evidence was brought against them upon a fair Tryal.viz.
Adjudent E. Marvin's Evidence.
The evidence of Ephraim Marvin Adjuent in the mint service vs Sundry Persons.
Ephiraim Marvin, Adjt. Being Sworn Deposeth that being sent by the Committee to Rockaway, to see whose guns were taken on board the vessel of Nathan Gyer, and to apprehend Capt. Jonathan Baker & others, and give orders to have them apprehend if found there hereafter, he the Deponant on his way saw the horse of sd. Baker tied behind the house of Daniel Hart, and being alone & fearing sd. Hart would resqui sd Baker from him , he proceeded forward until he came to the Riflemen at Rockaway, who let him go on board the vessel that they took with Nathan Gyer, Lazarus Gyer & Ebenezer Scribner on board, and they shewd him a number of guns they took on board sd vessel, among which they saw the guns belonging to & used lately by sd Baker & Fountain, also the guns of Eliakim Jones & Joseph Scribner, and Sundry other guns, one amongst them yt he did not know was a Holland gun with the upper side of the barrel flat from ye lock to near the muzzle, and another that was a short musket with a Brass round the stock below the lock.And that with three Riflemen, he went in persuit of sd Baker & coming near the house of James Morris, he saw sd Baker start from the fore door & ran he supposeth through the house, and from the back door northward twoard the woods, but was stopped by the Rifel Sergeant, who threatened to shoot him, if he did not restore himself up a prisoner, and the said Deponant saith that from the best circumstances he could learn sd Baker & Fountain and all the others above named had been on board the vessel of Nathan Gyer, in her to have a passage to the ships of war in the Ministerial Service.

Lieut. William Clarke
William Clarke Lieutenant of the Minit Company in Brookhaven, Being Sworn, Deposeth that from all appearances and circumstances, and what he could learn , Stephen Fountain did go on Board vessel of Nathan Gyer for a passage to the Ships of war an Enemy to America.
Hannah Hawkings her Evidence
Hannah Hawkings being Sworn Deposeth that Captain Baker came to their house when her husband was gone abroad, & she was telling him that she was very uneasy about the times, and amongst other things she asked him , supposing there is Tories amongst us when the King's Troops shall come , how will they get to them? To which he answered that 140 had asked him that question already , he also said, tell your husband to come & see me, & do you come also: he also said he advised all the Tories to obey all orders of the Committee & sign all their Papers whatever, & by all means be still at present: She saith that she at that time did not think he meant any harm.

Robert Homan
Robert Homan Deposeth that Capt. Jonathan Baker came to his house and asked him if he would not come down with Mr. Samuel Conkling and help take the Gard at Blew Point saying it was a poor notion of the Committee to send them there, & that they were young and did not Know their Duty, and that a fiew old men would take their Guns from them all.
Benjamin Woddhull's Evidence .
Ensign Benjamin Woodhull being Sworn Deposeth that William Albertson on his own Return from Queens County told him that he there met Capt. Jonathan Baker who after other Discourse asked him if he Knew Ludlee the boatman at Ketchaboniack and if he would hire his Pettiauger for the use of some Gentleman belonging at the West end of the Island and that said Albertson said he told sd Baker he did not think Ludlee would hire his Boat as the times was very Difficult and Baker said tell him to apply to me & I will Insure her, this being after the Vessel of Nathan Gyer was taken & Condemned.

Garret Degroat his Evidence
Garret Degroat being Sworn Deposeth that while he was a Soldier had the Care of Capt. John Baker as one of the Gard that Kept him in custady soon after being imprisoned, and he coming to the fire in the hous of Justice Saml Tobey, he saw sd Baker pull a paper out of his pocket, saying it was not a Letter he had received from on Board the Men of war, and upon the Deponent's seeming to Scruple his word , he offered to let sd Deponant read the Letter or paper but upon the Depinants holding out his hand to receive it to read, said Baker flung it into the fire, saying you shall not read it, for it is only a Letter I received for William Smith, and the Deponen saith the writing was Learge & black, but that he did not know the hand, nor read a word of it.

Francis Bartoe
Francis Bartoe being Sworn saith, he only beside Garret Degroat, was present when Capt. Baker Burn't the letter as Above related by sd. Degroat, and that he the said Bartoe was not very high, nor in reach of sd. Baker, nor read, nor observed whether it was large or small writing, nor whether there was much or little of it, but saw it burn.

Josiah Saturly
Josiah Saturly being sworn saith that being at the house of Justice Samuel Tobey on the 23rd May 1776, he heard Capt. Jonathan Baker tell Jehiel Weed, I was going across my Corn and saw Crows pulling it up, and went into the house to get my gun, and it was gone, but who took it he said he did not know, but wished he did, for he would not take Ten Dollars for it.
Samuel Saturly
Samuel Saturly being sworn Deposeth that he was present and heard the same Discourse of Captain Jonathan Baker, as above related by Josiah Saturly.
Annanias Smith's Evidence against J. Baker and others.
Annanias Smith being Sworn Deposeth, that Capt. Jonathan Baker in Discoures with him, owned that he gave Nathan Gyer Liberty to go out with his vessel, the last time but one, and that sd Gyer and his wife told him so too: and that when sd gyer was getting ready to the last time, he the Deponent was very uneasy, having credibly heard that several Strangers were in the place, whome he feared sd. Gyer had agreed to carry on board the ships of war, and went to Mr. Humprey Avery to have his boat stoped: which not being likely to be effected, he to be further satisfied, went and watched the shore at about 9 or 10 o'clock in the evening, and saw the boat of Captain Jonathan Baker pass from Daniel Nashes Landing (whom he expected had harboured these tory Strangers) full of men as he took it, and went round untill against the house of Nathan Gyer, and near the sd Gyer's vessel, which he thinks they went on board off, and thereupon heard a gun fired on board said vessel, which he supposeth was a token for said Gyer and others to know they were got on board and for them to come also. And said Deponent saith, the wife of sd Gyer told him since, that her husband with to Strangers, and others went out of the house the same time sd Gun was fired, and went on board as she supposes: and that she also said Captian Jonathan Baker as a Committee Man, had given her husband Liberty to go to go this last time with his vessal: and the Deponent Declares that Capt. J. Baker in next morning and other circumstances which were to him very strong and convincing, he judges & does verily believe, that Captain Jonathan Baker lent his boat for that purpose.
And said Annanias Smith doth further Declare, that he is a Neighbor to Capt. Jonathan Baker, and hath Dayly observed his Language, and manner of Deportment & general Conduct, and doth seriously believe from what he has seen of him, and from his general Character that he hath for months past spent the Chief of his time in promoting of, & carrying on a traiterous Currespondence with our common Enemies, & helping such amongst us to go on board the King's Ships of war, and Dayly busy in promoting Diseffection amonst the Inhabitants to the Common Cause of America. and Intirely believes him to be our enveterate Enemy. And that he heard him say, there was no order in this Committee, nor never had been.
Mathew Beal
Mathew Beal being Sworn Deposeth that the Common report of Capt. J. Baker is, that he is, an unfriendly person to the Common Cause of America, yet saith he don't Know him to be an Enemy: but does verily believe him one from Circumstances he hath observed in his Deportment, & manner of his spending his time amongst others who bear the same character.

Humphry Avery
Humphry Avery being Sworn Deposeth that he Knows nothing of Capt. Baker of his absolute Knowledge that does positively proove him an Enemy, but he hath observed many circumstances in his behaviour that gave him strong suspicion that he is an Enemy to his Country, and that he is so deemed by Common Report: he saith that he heard sd Baker say there was no order in the Committee, & Dispised their Conduct.
Phillip Ackerly
Phillip Ackerly being Sworn Deposeth that he doth not Know where his son John Ackerly is gone but hath not seen him since last fryday. He said his son seldom goes much abroad, and does not Know what he is now gone after, that his son's Gun is a short Muskit with a brass round the Stock below the Lock, and that the last he Know of it, or saw it, was some time pas't, when it was sent to Stephen Fountain to be repaired and that the last time he J. Ackerly was abroad before this time he is now gone, he staid from home not more than Saix Days, and don't think it was so long.

Stephen Ackerly being Sworn Deposeth that Benjamin Smith has been much abroad lately and that the last time he came home he had then been gone several Days and he understands he is gone again and says it was reported he went to go on board the Ship of war. He saith the Gun of Benjamin Smith has a flat square
Streak on the uper side of the Barrel reaching beyond the sight or to near the muzzle.

Alexander Smith his Evidence
Alexander Smith being Sworn Deposeth that he for several Months past had lived with & worked for Benjamin Smith upon hire & that he is now gone from home & hath not been home since Saturday last and that the last time he was gone before, he staid five or does he Know what after nor when he will return. Said Deponent saith the Gun of sd Benn Smith is what is called a holland Gun, with a flat Streak the upper side the Barrel and saw her hang upon hooks in the house about 2 months past and hath not seen her since but Knows not where she is gone nor who removed her.
Motion J. B. S. F.
It was mooved that the sence of the Committee be taken whether Capt. Jonathan Baker and Stephen Fountain from the Evidence heard be not persons Dangerous to the Liberties of America and within the Discription of a Resolve of Congress as persons we are Directed to Arrest & secure which passed in the Affirmative Nem & Con.
Motion to secure J. Baker & S. Fountain
It was mooved that they Jonathan Baker & Stephen Fountain be both sent to the Care of the Committee of New Haven to be by them Secured in Confinement until Legally Discharged and that if the Committee of New Haven should refuse to receive the said Baker & Fountain that they be from thence Carried to the Provintial Congress of New York to be by them so secured and that a State or Sum of the Evidence against them be sent with them to the Committee of New Haven or at New York to the Congress or Committee of Safety.
The question being Called for
It passed in the Affirmative Nemina Contra dicenta.
that for the purpose of carrying the foregoing votes into Execution a Warrant be made out & signed by the Chairman in the following words, viz.
Warrant to commit J. Baker & S. Fountain
Suffolk County
To William Clarke Lieut. Of the Minute-Company in Brookhaven, You are hereby required by the joint Committee of Brookhaven, Manor of Saint Georges and Patenship of Meriches to take with you what Assistance you see proper & Safely convey the Bodies of Jonathan Baker & Stephen Fountain & them Deliver into the Care of the Committee of New Haven as persons that have acted inimical to the Liberties of America in a most glaring manner and oought to be take strict care off. But in case they should not be received by the Committee in New Haven, then you are in such case to Deliver the above persons to the Provintial Congress in New York, of the Committee of Safety in their Recess. Signed by order of sd. Committee the 4th of June A. D. 1776.
Josiah Smith Chearman P.T.

To Apprehend Sundry Enemies
that a warrant be issued and signed by the Chearman Directed to Ephraim Marvin Adjudent of the Minute Regiment requiring him to apprehend all those men whose Guns he can find that were on board the vessel of Nathan Gyer when taken lately at Rockaway, and if he can convey them to the County Jail before the County Committee shall set to do it, but if not to bring them before this Committee to have a tryal. They should not be received by the Committee in New Haven, then you are in such case to Deliver the above persons to the Provintial Congress in New York, or the Committee of Safety in their Recess. Signed by order of sd. Committee the 4th of June A. D. 1776
Josiah Smith Chearman P. T.

At a meeting of the Committee of Brookhaven of manor of Saint Georges & Patensihp of Meriches at the house of Nathan Woodhull on the 20th of June A. D. 1776
John Woodhull Chairman Members present were
Nathanael Roe Phillips Roe
Capt. Samuel Thompson Joseph Brown
Selah Strong A. B. Thomas Smith
Abrm Woodhull

James Smith being Duly Sworn Deposeth and saith that William Longbottom said he wished he dare reveal his Secrets unto him & told him that if he was obligated to go in the Service for to run in the Woods and gave him Liberty to Kill any of his Sheep or other Creatures of his to live upon & when the troops came he would let him know. Said there was Twelve Thousand to Land at Rockaway & expected there was four hundred raised to join them in Suffolk County and at the same time the Shiping to Attack New York and a great number in Queens County, & if required they should have twelve tenders sent into the Southbey & the Terms they should enjoy their Estates as usual & all Dammages made good to them & said his Knowledge came from Governor Tryon and Edmond Fanning said hewould reveal more unto him if he dare & if he knew any one that he could trust to Discover their Plann.
And John Smith being Sworn Deposeth & saith that John Ackerly & Jacob Smith came unto his Father's house one evening and asked him if he would be willing to join a Company under Capt. Baker to join the King's Forces which said John Smith utterly refused.
At a meeting of the Committee of Brookhaven, Manor of Saint Georges & Patenship of Meriches at the house of Nathan Woodhull on the 21st of June 1776.
Nath Roe Junr. Members present
Abram Woodhull William Smith Esgr.
Isaac Overton Esqr. Samuel Thompson
Selah Strong A. B. Thomas Smith
Phillips Roe. Elijah Davis
Sleah Strong
Isaac Overton Esqr. Being Chosen Chairman Protemporary, proceeded to Examin Evidence. And Benjamin Smith being Sworn Deposeth that he has no opinion about his neighbours being unfriendly or not to Congressional Measures and Knew nothing about them.
Phillip Ackerly being Sworn Deposeth that he has not seen his son John Ackerly since the last of May past & has received no Letters from him, nor heard of him & has not to his remembrance heard or seen anything of Jacob Smith nor Benjamin Smith since the Last of May past: And being asked where his son John Ackerly is gone, & what after? He answered he did not Know, nor had not been able to form any judgement even in his own mind: and made the same answer to the same Questions then asked him Relative to Benjamin Smith son of John Smith and Jacob Smith. He being asked how he thought his son's Gun got on board the vessel of Nathan Gyer & whether it came there with his sons approbation or not? To which he answere'd he did not think it came there either with his sons Knowledge or Approbation and he also said he verily believed that if the Kingss Troops came his son John Ackerly & also sd BenjaminSmith & Jacob Smith would not join the king's forces nor those of the Country but act in a strict Line of Nutrality but he being asked if they were obliged to take a Declared part & fight on the one side or the other what he thought they would do in that Case to which he said he believed they in that Case would join their Country and being asked that if at this time both King's Standard & that of the Congress were rected and he himself obliged to join the one or the other & could have his Choice which: which he would repair to & he said to that of the Congress. And he being asked if he & his son John Ackerly ever talked together about the measures persued by the Congress and the King & his Ministry? To which he answered he did not remember any Discourse with him to matter upon them Subjects. And he Declared that his purpose was to use his Endeavqurs to promote the measure of Congress & prevent opposition as far as he is able to the measure now persued by the Congress
Plat Smith being also aworn Deposeth that he Knows nothing of his own personal Knowledge of any unfriendly Conduct of any person whatever.

William Longbottom, being Sworn Deposeth that he believed all the Combinations & Inlistments were for the purpose of Nutrality & call'd them a Club of Sivility that intended to fight on nither side.
Resolved that if John Ackerly, Benjamin Smith, Jacob Smith & other's will come before a Sub Committee consisting of Selah Strong & Isaac Overton Esqrs and Elijah Davis and Ebenezer Dayton our Clerk on tuesday next or at any time after not more than Ten days hence and pay such Costs make such Acknowledgments and Promises & give such Bonds with Sufficient Securities as will Satisfy sd Sub Committee that the Publick will not be endangered by them for the futer and that upon their so doing they shall During their Respective good behaviour have their Intire Liberty & be restored to the favour of Society & Entitled to the protection of
this Committee.
Selah Strong Esqr being Duly Sworn Deposed that he heard Capt. Jonathan Baker say either in April or March 1776 that if he could not have a commission this year to serve in the Continental Army he would never ask for one again on that side. But signifyed that he would get a commission to serve in the King's forces.

At a meeting of the Committee of Brookhaven Manor of Saint Georges & patenship of Meriches on the 25th of June 1776. Members present
John Woodhull Esqr. Chairman
Elijah Davis
Capt. William Brewster
Benjamin Havens
Humphrey Avery
Abraham Woodhull
Thomas Helm Esqr.
William Smith Esqr.
Josiah Smith Esqr.
Isaac Overton Esqr.
David Howell
Thomas Smith
On motion made it unanimously agreed that whereas on the 18th of this month it was voted by all or nearly all the Inhabitants within the jurisdiction of this Committee that the 39 soldiers required therein should have a bounty of five dollars each to be raised by a rate levyed on them by this Committee who then procured for that purpose by way of hire 198 dollars of the Executors of Noah Hammond deceased that the sd proceedings of that day should be recorded and that we do further agre thereto at this time in manner following therefore
Resolved that this Committee will cause the same 198 dollars to be paid to the sd Executors and that this Committee hath by virtue of sd vote full power to levy a rate upon sd voters for that purpose and do resolve that the same shall be done as soon as Conveniently can be and do pledge ourselves in the meantime to the sd. Executors for the payment of sd. 198 dollars.

As Clerk of the joint Committee of Safety of Brookhaven Manor of Saint Georges & Patenship of Meriches I do certify the foregoing to be a true Record of the proceedings of said Committee Attest
Ebenezer Dayton, Clerk
This is what happen to the patriot, Samuel Thomson, who wrote some of the foregoing minutes and who is mentioned in them so frequently.

"I do hereby certify, that Samuel Thomson aged 39 of Brookhaven Township, has voluntarily swore before me, to bear Faith and true Allegiance to his Majesty King George the Third; and that he will not, directly or indirectly, openly or secretly, aid abet, those of his Government, or molest or betray the Friends of Government; but that he will behave himself peaceably and quietly, as a faithful Subject of his Majesty and his Government. Given under my hand on Long-Island, this 1st of September, 1778.

W. M. Tryon Gorenor

Note: The above is copied from the original now preserved in the Pennypacker Long Island Collection, East Hampton, L. I. It was given to the late Orville B. Ackerly, 14 June 1921, By James E. Bayles of Port Jefferson, L. I. and was acquired by Mr. Pennypacker at the auction sale of Mr. Ackerly's collection of records and documents. The original is a printed form with blank spaces left to be filled in by written words, which are indicated by underlining.
Osborn Shaw

Thomas Helne Esq Richard Woodhull Mr. Joseph Brown and Samuel Thompson
In particular that we make an apology for coming so late into Congressional measures and hope a vail may be cast over our past conduct, for we can assure the publick in general that our past Remissness, was not for a want of a patriotick spirit in a number of our individuals, but because that opposission ran so high heretofore in some parts of this town that an attempt of this kind would perhaps have answered no valuable purpose but we verily believe that past opposition arose for want of better information in a great measure. It is also resolved at this meeting that we will keep a strict watch that no provitions be transported from within the bounds of the districts of our constituants so that Designingly or Actidentialy to fall into the hands of our Enemies.

tis voted and agreed that the vote and proceedings of this Day be published in Mr. holts paper Signed by order of the committee.

Samuel Thompson Clerk John Woodhull Esq Chairman

At a meeting of the committee of Brookhaven the manner of ST. Georges and the Pattenship of Moriches at Coram on the 3rd day of August 1775 Present Coll. William Floyd Coll. Nathanel Woodhull T
Thomas Helme Esqr was chosen Chairman P.T.

And it was unamimously voted that the above committee be Joyned as one for the future and that it to be in the power of the chairman & any two of the members of the old committee to call a meeting at any time hereafter as occasion may require which meeting for the future shall be held at the house of Ebenezer Dayton.

Resolved that Selah Strong Esqr and Samuel Thompson be a committee to procure four hundred weight of gun powder and be distributed by them as they see proper within the limits of this committee and also eight hundred weight of lead to be distributed by them in the same manner.

Resolved that Selah Strong Esqr and Samuel Thompson Do procure the money to purchase the above Articles and that this committee will provide ways and means to repay the same.

Resolved that the Clerk of this meeting make out a list of those that have and those that have not sign'd the Association and Return the same to the Congress at New York according to their order and that it be Done with all convenient speed. Resolved that a letter be wrote to the Provincial Congress informing them of the Conduct of several person within the Limits of this Committee.
Signed by order of the Committee.
Thomas Helme Chairman
At a meeting of the Committee of Brookhaven the manner of St. Georges and Pattenship of Moriches at Coram on the 23d. Day of August 1775.
Present Coll William Floyd Mr. John Robbinson Capt Jonathan Mr. Thomas Fanning Mr.Thomas Fanning Mr. Nathaniel Roe, Thomas Helme Esqr Mr. Joseph Brown, Mr. Noah Hallock & Samuel Thompson. Coll. Floyd was chosen Chairman for the Day.
Complaint being made to this Committee by James Fitch now a liver at Coram, that he had this mare much abused and Killed by being Rode on the late alarm to Easthampton for which he Demands pay of sd, Committee.

Resolved that further consideration of the matter be Refered to the Consideration of this Committee at their next meeting.

Voted and agreed that in case of any Emergency that any two or more of the members of this meeting shall have sufficient Authority to Direct in making such provision as the nature of case may require.

Voted and agreed that it be Recommended to the commanding officers of the several malitia Companys withing the Limmits of this Committee to call their Respitive Companys together in order to chuse their officers agreeable to the order of the Provincial Congress and that it be Done with all Convenient speed.

Resolved that this Committee will apply to the provincial Congress for payment of wages and other expence occasioned by the late alarm and other of the like Kind and that it be Recommended to the several Captains to send in to the next meeting of this.

Committee an authentic account of their expencis.
Floyd Chairman
At a meeting of the Committee of Brookhaven the manner St. George and pattenship of Moriches at Corum on the 2d Day of September 1775 presint John Woodhull Esqr Thomas Helm Esqr

Capt. Jonathan Baker Lieut. Daneil Roe Mr. John Robinson Capt William Brewster Mr. Nathanael Roe Mr. John Woodull Mr. Joseph Brown and Samuel Thompson first Resolved that in case of invasion that any two of the Malitia or next commanding officers within out Limit to call their Respective companies together with all convenient speed and to march them completely arm'd to the place where the invasion shall happen to be made.
Resolved and voted unanimously by this Committee that all such persons as had not signed the General Associations before the 15 th of July have still a right to sign it ,ought to be Received as associates when they do sign the same .
Voted and agreed that the Consederation of Mr. Fitchs mare be Referd to the Consideration of this Committee at their next meeting the evidence not being present

Signed by order of the Committee
John Woodhull Esgn Chairman

At a meeting of the Committee of Brookhaven Mannor S. Georges & Pattenship of Moriches on the 21 st of September 1775 at Coram John Woodhull Chairman present .
William Brewster Sammel Thompson
William Smith Noah Hallock
Nathanael Woodhull Nathanael Roe
Josiah Smith Daniel Roe
Joseph Brown Thomas Helme
Joseph Brewster
1. Resolved that whereas Selah Strong & Sammel Thompson have procured as part of the quantity they were ordered to get 50 of gunpowder 400 weight of bullet Lead 1250 gun flints they are ordered by the Committee to let the Captains of the four Companys have their Equeal parts of it .
2. whereas Divers persons have complain 'd to us at this meeting of the misbehaviour of others toward them

Therefore it is Resolved , that if hereafter any person or persons whatever shall Threaten or Disturb the peace or queit of others by night or by Day on any pretence whatever within the bounds of Our District without an order from this Committee ( or some other commissoned or non-commissoned officer approved of by this Committee ) may be complained of to this Committee and they shall be oitede before us , and punished according to the Judgement of us on hearing their Crime. Resolved further that the clerk of this meeting shal coppy of the above Resolve and serve the same on the persons that have been complained of to us.
Sign'd by order of this meeting
John Woodhull Chairman
A letter was also wrote by the clerk by order of the committee and sign'd by the chairman to Gilbert Smith Esqr. Requesting him to withdraw the suit of Zophar Hawking against______ for a saddle and bridle taken in the alarm
Footnote: The blank space was evidently left for a name to be inserted which for some reason was omitted

At a meeting of the Committee of Brookhaven Mannor of St. Georges and Pattent of Moriches at setauket present
Thomas Helm Esqr. Chairman
Selah strong Esqr.
Isaac Overton Esqr.
Capt. Nathan Rose
Capt. William Brewster
Joseph Brown
Phillips Roe
Thomas Smith
Elijah Davis
Abraham Woodhull
Selah Strong
Humphrey avery
John Woodhull
Benj. Havens

Transcribed by
Osborn Shaw
Brookhaven Town Historian
Typed by,
Kristin DiFrancia

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