Wythe, John Adams & Silas Deane to Nathaniel Woodhull, 19 October 1775

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George Wythe, John Adams, and Silas Deane were members of a Continental Congress committee that dealt with collecting the accounts of the hostilities of troops or naval forces on the colonies. The accounts they had collected showed the evidence of the transgressions through the information gathered on the number and value of buildings destroyed, the number of vessels seized, and the stock taken from the seized vessels. The committee asked the president of the New York Provincial Congress Nathaniel Woodhull to find more evidence from the people of his colony on the same information and send his findings to the Continental Congress.[1]

Letter text

Philadelphia, 19 Oct. 1775

The continental congress having been pleased to appoint us a committee for collecting an account of the hostilities committed by the ministerial troops and navy in America since last March, with proper evidence of the truth of the facts related, the number and value of the buildings destroyed, and of the vessels inward and outward bound seised by them as nearly as can be ascertained and also the stock taken by them from different parts of the continent, as you may see by the resolve inclosed; we entreat the assistance of the convention of your colony in this business, that we may be enabled to perform what is required of us in the manner and with the expedition the congress expects; and, to that end, that you will be pleased to furnish us with the necessary materials, sending to us clear distinct full and circumstantial details of the hostile and destructive acts, and the captures or seisures and depredations, in your colony, and accurate estimates of the loss and damage, with the solemn examinations of witnesses, and other papers and documents officially authenticated.

We are, Sir, Your obedient servants,
Silas Deane
John Adams
George Wythe


  1. George Wythe, John Adams & Silas Deane to Nathaniel Woodhull, 19 October 1775, Letters to Delegates to Congress: 1774-1789, vol. 2, ed. Paul H. Smith (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1976), 208.