On the 18th day of April, 1775, a detachment of British troops under Colonel Smith, was sent from Boston by General Gage,
to destroy some American stores collected at Concord, then a small village, six miles north-west of Lexington, in Massachusetts.
Upon Lexington Common seventy men were drawn up; on whom Major Pitcairn ordered the detachment to fire. The order was promptly
obeyed, and seven men were killed and three wounded. There the blood of patriots was first shed; that was to nourish the infant
tree of Liberty, during a seven years' struggle, while the ruthless elements of tyranny were warring for its destruction.
On the 29th day of the same month and year, and eleven days after the bloody tragedy at Lexington, the inhabitants of the
city of New York called a meeting of all who were opposed to the oppressive acts of the English Parliament, formed a general
association, adopted a Pledge, and transmitted a copy to every county in the State for signatures.
The storm had burst, and every day was adding fearful intensity to its force.
The proud Lion of England had lapped the heart's blood of the descendants of the Plymouth Rock Pilgrims ; and their brethren
of the other colonies saw that, ere long, with a few more bounds, he would leap among them. Between submission and resistance
they were called to choose ; the former they had yielded to until it had ceased to become a virtue, and the latter was the
only alternative left to men who were determined to wear the yoke no longer. The British Parliament and King had as zealous
partisans and friends among us, as they had at home. It became necessary, in some way, to ascertain who were the friends of
our own, and the mother-country.
The Pledge was suggested ; and, acting on
a test of divine origin, they who refused to sign it were set down as opposed to their country and the maintenance of her
rights. In order to secure unanimity of purpose and harmony of action-to ascertain who could be relied on in the different
counties, and draw out their political sentiments on the issue joined between the unnatural Mother and her rebelling Daughters-to
commit the people to one side or the other of the question, and by united action among the friends of the cause, to prepare
for the approaching conflict, was the object of the Pledge. If there ever was a "time that tried mens' souls,"
it was when they grasped the " gray-goose quill" to sign their death-warrant if they failed, or their liberty if
successful. At that period, even the most violent patriot must have looked upon the undertaking as desperate and almost hopeless,
with but one chance out of ten in his favor. But they were men of a by-gone and an iron age, upon whom the world may not look
again. They had made up their minds to die rather that submit and when men of such indomitable energy of mind once deliberately
resolve, their destiny is fixed.
New York, it will be seen, moved early to
ascertain, after hostilities had commenced, the sentiments of her citizens on the issue of a nation's freedom. The Pledge
was as follows ;
"Persuaded that the salvation of the rights and liberties of America depend, under God, on
the firm union of its inhabitants in a rigorous prosecution of the measures necessary for its safety ; and convinced of the
necessity of preventing anarchy and confusion, which attend the dissolution of the powers of government, we, the freemen,
freeholders, inhabitants of _____, being greatly alarmed at the avowed design of the Ministry to raise a revenue in America,
and shocked by the bloody scene now acting in Massachusetts Bay, do, in the most solemn manner, resolve never to become slaves
and do associate, under all the ties of religion, honor, and love to our country, to adopt and endeavor to carry into execution
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 Acts of the British Parliament, until
a reconciliation between Great Britain and America on constitutional principles (which we most ardently desire) can be obtained
; and that we will in all things follow the advice of our General Committee respecting the purposes aforesaid, the preservation
of peace and good order, and the safety of individuals and property."
Signers in Beekman's Precinct, Dutchess County, July, 1775.
William Humfrey, Joshua Carmen, Ebenezer Cary, Charless Platt,
William McNeal, William Clark, Thomas Ley, Samuel Crandel, Maurice Pleas, Thomas Nethaway, Benoni Sweet, Nathaniel Stevenson,
Nathaniel Cary, Samuel Lewis, Zebulon Ross, Samuel Gardiner, Martin Cornell, Benjamin Noxon, Elial Youmans, John Forguson,
Henry Whikmon, Nuklus Olney, Walton Huling, John Huling, Jacob Miller, William McDowell, Thomas Cornell, Isaac Dennis, James
Humfrey, Thomas Spencer, William Bently, Jr., Fr. West, John Jenkins, Aholyab Markes, Arnold Reynolds, Amos Randall, John
Wightman, Whiten Parkes, Jonathan Dennis, Gideon Hall, Jabez Spencer, John Eagles, John Sweet, James Wells, Job Shearman,
Joseph Carr, Daniel Uhl, William Smith, Samuel Sweet, Peter Shear, Peter Shear, Jr., Roger Mory, Jr., Isaac Yerrington, Peter
Storm, Josiah Ingersol, James Mc Lees, Nathaniel Wicks, John Weaver, Edward Howard, Wiliam Hall, Joseph Carr, Joshua Champlies,
Jr., Isaac Vail, John Arnold, Job Tanner, Johannes Delong, Hezekiah Rogers, Ezekiel Rogers, Griffin Reynolds, Peter Brill,
Samuel Cornwell, Josep Lawless,Jr., Peter McClus, John Hopim, Zephaniah Brown, Cornelius Van Wyck, Joshua Carman, Jr., John
Melony, John Andrews, Charles Newton, Henry Bailey, Francis Losee, Daniel Smith, William Shear, William Champlin; Philip Vincent,
John Vinton, Stephen Forgoson, Jonathan West, John Kelly, Benjamin Fargason, Joseph Reynolds, Maurice Smith, Joseph Taylor,
Steven Johnson, James McCollom, Edward Weaver; Gershom Thorn, Peter Harris, William Brewer, James M. Creedy, Abraham Hyatt,
filbert Totten, Edward Tredwell, Elias Alley, Isaac Calton, Peter Harris, James Vosburgh, Jesse Oakley, Tillinghast Bentley,
Peter Noxon, Thomas Doxsle, Henry Pearsall, Garret Mill, Johannes Lain, Henry Smith, Lodovick Sweet, George Sweet, David Storm,
Salmag. Edwards, Stephen Townsend, Joshua Burch, David Brill, Nicholas Koons, Benjamin Birdsall, Christopher Wait, David Sweet,
John Moon, Nicholas Potter, Judiah Jenkins, Jr., Jonathan Jenkins, Thomas Clark, John Hill, Andrew Cockrane, Timothy Force,
Clear Everit, Ezekiel Smith, Benjamin J. Rish, Isaac J. Rish, Rowland Stafford, William Bentley, Tabor Bentley, Thomas Baker,
William Spencer, John Bentley, Nial Tripp, Daniel Fish, Judiah J. Rish, Solomon Force, Benjamin Force, Seth Sprague, Benjamin
Spencer, Samuel Whitman, Matthew Coon, Nathaniel Sweet, Casy Eldridge, Jr., Johannes Lossing, Samuel Tomson, Benjamin Hall,
Abel Parker, James Tanner, Joshua Champlin, Benjamin Force, Abraham Denne, Joseph Denne, Richard Mackrill, Jacob Lain, John
Beam, Henry Shear, Theophilus Sweet, John Wooley, William Tanor, Charles Heayelton, John Snider, Seth Smith, Jacob Esmond,
John Sweet, Elisha Champlin, Joseph Holloway, Jacob Hutchins, Jr., John Oats, James Eastmond, Lewis Shear, Israel Vail, David
Storm, Jonathan Jenkins, Gideon Hall, Ezekiel Hubbard, Joseph Booler, John Sweet, Joshua Mowry, Stephen Mowry, Cornelius Meynard,
Tobias Clements, George Croukhill, Jonathan Parks, John Fish, Woos Dakin, Digmus Kimee, John Comptor, John Lamb, Jacob Rouse,
Elijah Forgason, Elijah Forgason, Jr., Job Conger, David Pamer, David Abbet, Matthew Beckwith, Abraham Mosher, David Cash,
Amos Crandell, Pardon Fish, Sylvanus Cash; Thomas Bullock, Henry Birdsall, Nathaniel Sol, Ebenezer Sol, David Brown, Samuel
Euery, Addom Bockus, Nehemiah Lester, Jonathan Alger. Nathaniel Rogers, Andrew Carman, Albert Adriance, James Wiltse, Samuel
Young, Daniel Lawrence, William B. Alger, Job Green, William Humfrey, Jr., Joseph Carman, John Hegerman, George Losee, Johannes
Acker, France Wiltse, Henry Cornell, Abel Simon, Zachariah Flagler, John Reasover, John Losee, William Kelley, William Barber,
Nathaniel Smith, Caleb Townsend, Myndert Harris, Obadiah Cooper, Jr., John Hicks, Peter Leavens, Joel Edget, Peter Cartwright.
are the names of those persons who refuse to sign the Association of Beekman's Precinct, Dutchess County :
Arey Delong, James Gaslin, Peter Rosseil, Jacob Hasver, Matthias
Valentine, Richard Heliker, William Harris, Richard Tripp, Richard Tripp, Jr., Israel Tripp, James Noxon, Barthol. Noxon,
Jr., Michel. Woolf, Smighting Tripp, Peter Hogoboom, Daniel Beadle, John Wilkenson, Christopher Moyer, Myndert Valey, Henry
Gidley, John McDonald, Samuel Smith, Martine Easterly, Daniel Ferris, James Burtice, Nathan Hyatt, Frederick Shapher, Thomas
Brundage, Peter Levins, Sr., William Bocker, Baultis Veily, Bartholomew Wood, Abraham Byce, Jr., Peter Chatterton, Philip
Miller, Lawrance Lossee, Israel Titus, John Brown, Robert Thorn, Stephen Lockwood, Peter Paley, Jonathan Thorn, Peter Dop,
Peter Johnson, Johannes Miller, Jeremiah Leuderbeck, Philip Flagler, William Giles, Daniel Way, John Smith, Garret Burtis,
Martine overaker, Cornberry Dayton, Myndert Cole, Josiah Bull, Jr., Charles Thomas, Gilbert Thorn, John Akerbry, Cornelius
Hegeman, Jonathan Atherton, William Woolf, Aaron Lasey, Crapo Lake, Francis Delong, John Burnit, Stephen Dean, Samuel Stringham,
Ichabod Bourman, Sylvester Richmond, James Titus, Ephraim Horton, Edward Adams, Thomas Hutchings, Robert Moon, James Striker,
Ebenezer Worden, Charles Vincent, William Sleeves, Thomas Langdon, Peter Buyce, Jr., Samuel Emory, Rowland Emory, Jacob Brill,
Jeremiah Haxstum, Elias Palmer, Benjamin Kenyon, Nicholas Mosher, Richard Cornell, Peter Deeyo, James Pettet, William Gifford,
Jr., Capt Yerry Emigh, Peter Simson, Lawrence Emigh, Samuel Whipple, Isaac Veal, Philip Emigh, Nicholas Emigh, son of Philip,
Hendrick Emigh, John Ball, Hendrick Klyn, John Dearstine, Abijah Ketcham, Michal Shearman, Amos Pine, Nathan Hoag, Peter Emigh,
Richardus Cornell, Valentine Stover, Richard Vincent, Preserved Fish, Joseph Losee, Capt Joseph Harris, Lieut. Hey. Collins,
Ensign Barnt Veily, Abraham Buyce, Causper Overhiser, William Gifford, Roger Morey, Samuel Crandle, Samuel Crandle Jr., Peter
Kedney, Oliver Waterman, Jesse Thorn, Jacob Ferguson, Johannes Shear, Charles Davis, Jasper Fullmore, Andrew Skidmore, John
Golder, Capt. Michael Vincent, Lieut. Peter Buyce, Ensign Steph. Hunt, Yerry Lossing.