Education

In Provincial Congress, New-York, Queens County Disaffected Persons, Dec. 12, 1775


Historical Context
Throughout the 1700s, American colonists increasingly rebelled against British policies.  By 1774, economic restrictions that the British placed on colonists had angered them to the point of open rebellion. The Boston Tea Party in late 1773 inspired a similar event in New York in April of 1774. In April of 1775, rebels established the New York Provincial Congress, the first governing body of New York State. As rebellion against the British became more widespread and open, some colonists just as openly supported the British. These colonists were known as loyalists. By December of 1775, the Provincial Congress did not yet support independence, but it was concerned with limiting the power of loyalists to undermine rebel actions. 

 
Essential Question
What were some of the ways that colonists expressed their opinions about and debated social and political issues in the years leading up to the Revolution?

 
Check for Understanding
After completing the Written Document Analysis graphic organizer, students should answer the following questions with evidence from the document.

 

What is the overall purpose of this document?  In what ways does this document show how colonists were expressing their opinions about social and political issues in the years leading up to the Revolution?

 
[click to enlarge]
Broadside. "In Provincial Congress", Queens County, NY , New York State Library, NYSL_StarBroadside_3835
Document Description
Broadside announcing "In Provincial Congress, New-York, Dec. 12, 1775" Queens County.
Questions
  1. What information has the Provincial Congress received?

     
  2. Why did the men listed need “arms and ammunition”?

     
  3. Why did the men listed need to be “protected from injury or insult”?

     
  4. Consider the professions of the men listed, as well as other evidence from the document.  What motives might these men have to become “disaffected”?

     
Historical Challenge
Research other examples of colonists arming themselves and creating militias.  How did the British government encourage, and then later, discourage this throughout the colonial period?
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Write an editorial in support of the actions of the men in the document.

 
Transcription
In Provincial Congress

          New-York, Dec 12 1775



Whereas this Congress has received undoubted Information, that a Number of disaffected Persons in Queen’s County, have been supplied with Arms and Ammunition, from on board the Asia Ship of War, and are arraying themselves in military Manner to oppose the Measures taking by the United Colonies, for the Defence of their just Rights and Privileges. Ordered that, of

 

Jamaica Township.

Captian Benjamin Whitehead,

Charles Ardin,

Joseph French, Esq.

Johannes Polhemus, Newtown

Nath. Moor,

John Moor, senior,

Capt. Samuel Hallet,

John Moor, junior,

William Weyman,

John Shoals,

Jeromus Rapalye.

 

Flufhing Township.

John Willet.

 

Hempstead Township.

Justice Gilbert VanWyck,

Daniel Kissam, Esq; Cowneck.

Captain Jacob Mott,

Thomas Cornell, of Rockaway,

Gabriel C. Ludlow,

Richard Hewlet,

Captain Charles Hicks,

Doctor Martin,

Justice Samuel Clowes, Oyster Bay.

Justice Tho. Smith, Hog-Island.

Justice John Hewlet,

Captain George Weeks,

Doctor David Brooks,

Justice John Townsend.

 

Being charged as principal Men among the disaffected in said County, do attend this Congress, at Ten o’Clock, Tuesday Morning next, the 19th inst. To give Satisfaction to this Congress in the Premises, and that they be protected from the Injury or Insult during their coming to and returning from this Congress.