General Court Martial of John Lawrence
Tuesday the 22d Feby. 1780.
The Court being met pursuant to Adjournment.
Capt. FARQUHAR of the 20th Regiment being ordered to the Southward; Capt. Patk. TYTLER of the 80th Regt. was Sworn in his room— and the members and President took their Seats as follows.
The President, Members, and Judge Advocate being duly Sworn.
Tuesday the 22d Feby. 1780.
The Court met pursuant to Adjournment.
Ensign John LAWRENCE of the 1st Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers, came Prisoner before the Court accused of the Murder of Ensign John MOFFATT of the Queens Rangers, on, or about the 14th day of Jany. 1780.
Ensign John THOMPSON of the 1st Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers being duly sworn deposed that about about [sic] the 13th Jany. 1780, the Prisoner went to him (the Witness) and desired him to go with him, as he had appointed to meet Ensign MOFFATT;
that they accordingly went to the place of appointment, and waited there for near two hours, and upon Ensign MOFFATT not coming they went away;
that between 8 and 9 o’Clock the same Evening (to the best of his recollection) the Prisoner received a message from Ens. MOFFATT, desiring him to meet him that Evening, and the Witness advised him not to go that night as probably the affair might be accomodated, upon which the Prisoner (Ensn. LAWRENCE) sent him word that he would not meet him that Evening, but would, the next morning;
that they accordingly met, and went to the side of a hill, and they each, (Ensn. MOFFATT and the Prisoner) fired a Pistol, and Ensn. MOFFATT immediately fell, and said that he was killed, upon which the Witness went up to him, and found that he was mortally wounded & that he (Ensn. MOFFATT) had received a Wound from a Ball, which went through the lower part of his Belly.
Q:(by the Court)— Was the Body of Ensign MOFFATT examined by any surgeon after he fell?
Q: Did he (the Witness) see the body examined?
Q: Did he (the Witness) see the Pistols loaded, and in what manner?
Q: Was the ground marked out?
Q: Did he (the Witness) know the cause of their dispute?
Q: Did Ensign MOFFATT and the Prisoner both fire at the same time?
Q: Was there any efforts made, to accommodate their dispute previous to their going to the ground where the Duel was fought?
Q: Was there any conversation passed between Ensn. MOFFATT and the Prisoner previous to their getting to the place of appointment?
Q: Was their [sic] any thing said to the Parties after they got to the place of appointment, or on the way to it concerning the accomodation?
Q:(by the Prisr.)— Was he (the Prisr.) Wounded at the same time that Ensign MOFFATT fell?
Lieut. John PENDRED, of the Queens Rangers being duly Sworn deposed that on the Evening of the 13th Jany. last Ensn. MOFFATT desired him (the Witness) to carry a note to the Prisr. (Ensn. LAWRENCE) which he did;
and carried back Ensn. MOFFATT back an answer, which was that he would meet him at 9 o’Clock the next morning with Pistols at the Widow PRYANs, at the same time he (the Witness) endeavoured every thing in his power to Settle the Dispute amicably;
that they met at the hour and place appointed and the ground was marked, and the Pistols were loaded in his (the Witness) presence, with one Ball each;
that Ensign MOFFATT and the Prisoner stood to their ground, and they both fired at the same time and Ensign MOFFATT immediately fell, and he (the Witness) went up to him, and Ensn. MOFFATT said “My dear fellow I am killed” and immediately expired—;
that he (the Witness) examined the body, and found that he was wounded in the lower part of his Belly, and that the Ball had entered on one side, & gone out the other.
Q:(by the Court)— Was the body examined by any Surgeon?
Q: What was the reason why the Body was not examined by a Surgeon?
Q: What was the reason the Body was not examined by a Surgeon immediately after the Duel?
Q: How long was it from the time Ensn. MOFFATT was killed to the time that he was burried?
Q: Were the Rebels all that time on Staten Island?
Q: Where was the Body interr’d?
Q: Where was the Body carried to after the Duel?
Q: Were the Pistols equal in length & Size?
Q: Was there any proposal for interchanging Pistols?
Q: What was the reason that they would not Settle the dispute at the time he (the Witness) endeavoured to do it?
Q: Does he (the Witness) recollect any conversation, between Ensn. THOMPSON, and himself previous to their going to the place of appointment?
The Court adjourned ‘till Wednesday morning 11 o’Clock.
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