New Jersey Volunteers
[Extract of a letter from Peter DUBOIS to Sir Henry CLINTON, dated Morris Town, December 3rd, 1777.]
Yesterday Was Executed here pursuant to their Sentence, Mr. James ILIFF & Mr. John MEE.
Mr. ILIFF was a Lieut. in Colo. BARTON’s Regiment and for some years had been an inhabitant of Hunterdon County in the Province of N. Jersey Where he had been collecting together a number of people who were Solicitous to fly from Tyranny and Join their Countrymen on Staten Island with whom he was taken in the month of September on their way to their Regiment, for which he has Suffered death.
During his confinement and at the place of Execution he behaved with Great Calmness and fortitude, Declaring that He had Acted from a principle of Duty to His King and Enjoy’d the Satisfaction of an Approving Conscience in his last moments.
I shall hereafter give you more particulars concerning these unfortunate and much neglected men, at present I have no time.
Twenty four have been pardoned on the Express Condition of their Inlisting in the Continental Army & paying Charges which Amounted to Eighteen pounds per man. Nine are Respited for a month Among them is Dr. FORMAN.
I cannot for want of time by this Oppty. tell you how much All these poor people have Suffered nor how their Sufferings have been agravated by Every Species of Insult.
The Corps of ILIFF & MEE were drawn on a Sled from under the Gallows & thrown Into the Room in which Dr. FORMAN & his companions are confined in Irons. And the Gallows was placed before their prison window.
University of Michigan, William L. Clements Library, Sir Henry Clinton Papers, Volume 27, item 52.
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