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KILLING THEIR OWN SIDE'S SPY

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ORDER OF DOCUMENTS

John Cantine, who commanded the militia guard that normally patrolled the East Branch of the Delaware River, wrote to Governor Clinton, on 4 September 1778:

"Marbletown 4th Sept. 1778

"Dear Sir, The misfortune of Harmanis Dumon's Death or Being Wounded, I Received the 28th Ultomo which was then Supposed to Be Done By the Enemy, whose Number was Computed (By those who Brought the Intelligence first) to Be about two Hundred, I immediately ordered the Detachment at Little Shandakan of Colo. Sneyder's Regim't to Joyn those at great Shandakan, Being one Company of about fifty men of Colo. Hasbrouck's Regim't and forty out of my own, which whould have made a Body of about one Hundred and thirty men, But the time of Colo. Hasbrouck's men was Just Exspired and those who where to Releif them not yet Come, which freequently is the Case, with those Releifs. So that, all the men on those two posts Could muster But about Seventy or Eighty men, with which I Intended to have marched Immediately to Packatackan, But those of my own Regim't, Colo. Sneyder's Not Being Come, On account of Not haveing a Suffitient Supply of provision Ready, (as they Say). I then was oblidged to send for them a Second time, on which they Immediately Came. I, previous to this, had Sent three men as Spies to that place, who were to meet me four mile from Packatackan. Next morning I proceeded on my way, Came there about four o'Clock in the after Noon with Seventy men with me, Buried Dumon that afternoon, who was Dyed the Night after he was Shot, and By the Best Information I Could git he had Been Shot By our own gaurd from Scohary; there were two men Belonging to the gaurd who where know to Be the Sons, of a man who formerly teatched School at Packatackan, Since moveed to Scohary, and Belong Now to Harper's Rangers, as I have Been Informed by the people of Packatakan. After they had Shot Dumon and was Lying in his Bed, Some of them Said they had a mind to tomahack him; Stript him of his Shouse, Buckles, hat and Some other trifles. I Shall Not Inter Into the perticulars of the Behavour of that gaurd, as I have Directed those of the Inhabitants I Could Deprnd on, to go to Colo. Pawling and make affidavits thereof, who has promised me to transmit them to your Excellency as Soon as he Could Collect them together. I whould only mention that Dumon was & has Been the Cheif man we Depended on for Intelligence from that Quarter, and Petter Burger and Albartus Sluyter were Never known or held to Be Enemys to their Cuntry, who have Been Plundered by them of all ye whearing apparal Belonging to their families. I have Distroyed and Brought of all kind of provisions in that place, Leaving None of ye families or their affects, But ye aforesaid Sluyter and Burger and one Fradrick Kittle (with Bearly So much grain and milk Cattle as to maintain their families) they Solesited it as a favour of me, to Let them Stay. I told them I was willing to Do any thing for the good of their, But, that I Exspected that ye favour they askt whould prove their Ruin. Kittle has promised me to give Intelligenc if I Send to him persons who he Can Depend will Not Deceive him; the Scout I had to Papakton is Returned; they have Brought one Commans, who is a Commarade of Birch whome they Say they have wounded; Hendrick Bush they Happened to See on ye opposite Side of the River; they Endeavoured to make him Stand, But he Steping forward Behind a tree, Seven of them fired and Lodged Seven Balls in the tree he Stud Behind; the River their Being to Deep to waid, made His Escape Leaving his hat Behind him. Thay have Brought of Very Considerable of Sheeps, Hogs, and Cattle also a Quantity of Dears Leather; Destroyed all ye grain on the River for tweenty miles, Exceept Indian Corn (tho they where but thirteen In Number). I will Send a Scout to Destroy that as Soon as possible. There are Some who offer Vollenteryly to go to Aughquago. I whould Be glad to have your opinion wether advisable to Let them go.

I am with Esteem Dear Sir Your affectionate frind & Hum'e Ser't

John Cantine.

To his Excellency, Geo. Clinton

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Governor Clinton sent affidavits to "Colo. Wm. Butler Com'g at Schohary" with the following letter:

"Poughkeepsie 6th Sep'r 1778

"Dear Sir, By a Number of Affidavits which will be handed to you by the Bearer you will learn that Hamanus Dumond, late an Inhabitant of Poughetaghten on the Delaware, was lately cruely murdered by a Party of Men supposed to be from the Neighbourhood of Schohary under the Command of Colo. Harper. What adds to the Cruelty of the transaction, is that Dumond had for some Time Passt remained at his Habitation at Poughataghten at the Request of Colo. Cantine, who commands the Militia in actual service on the Frontiers of Ulster and Orange Counties for the Purpose of acquiring & transmitting his Intelligence which he had friequently done. But the Danger increasing in that Quarter, he was now moving into the securer Settlements with his Effects, of which the Party who Shot & plundered him, after he was mortally wounded, even of his wearing apparel, was informed & coud not doubt. You will also perceive by the Affidavits, that several other of the well disposed Inhabitants were plundered of their Effects by the Party. Placing the greatest Confidence in you & considering you as immediately Commanding the Militia in actual Service in your Quarter, I have, therefore, to request that you will cause the Effects of Dumond & the other Persons who were plundered by the above Party, to be restored to the Bearer, for the use of the owners, and that you will deliver the Delinquents over to the Civil Authority to be dealt with according to their Crimes. I am Sir with great Respect Your most Obed't Serv't. [G.C.]

Colo. Wm. Butler Com'g at Schohary."

(pp. 739-740)

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Col. Levi Pawling also sent word and affidavits to Governor Clinton.

S'r. Inclos'd I Send your Excellency Some affidavits which points out that their has been a party of men from Schohary, to Poughkataken Killd Harmanus Dumon; Carry'd of [off] a Number of Horses and Many other articles which are not Numerated in the affidavits; Dumon was the only Friend we had in that Settlement; he Continued Their as long as he Thought him Self and family Safe; at length thought him Self In danger, moved Down with his family, whent up with his waggon To fetch Some things he had left, was killd by Men who have acted with the greatest Imprudence." (Levi Pawling to George Clinton, No. 1733, vol. III, p. 738)

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On September 8 Governor Clinton sent the following letter to Colonel William Butler, in which the Governor, again, referrs to the killing as "murder":

Poughkeepsie Sept'r 8th 1778

Dear Sir, I have received your two Letters of the 13th & 31st Ultimo (both whic came to hand much about the same time) & thank you for the Intelligence they contain. In answer to that part of your Letter, which respects the Cattle bro't in by your Scouts I have to inform you that I am not authorized to make any Decision respecting them and altho' I agree with you, that the Troops should have all reasonable encouragem't given them for any extraordinary Exertion; yet I am not without my fears that a Reward arising in this way among the most virtuous Soldiery, might be productive of dangerous Consequences by lead'g them (on the principle of encreasing their Reward) to acts highly prejudicial to the well affected Inhabitants in preference to that of destroying the Enemies of the Country. By the Affidavits which I inclosed you in my Letter of the 6th Inst., w'th respect to the murder of Dumond & the plundering of several of the well affected Inhabitants who were removing with their Effects from the Delaware, I am confirmed in this Opinion. I do not however mean to disapprove of the mode you & the Commiss'rs have agreed upon of selling the Cattle & detain'g the monies aris'g from the sale until the Disposition thereof shall be properly determined. I am more than ever convinced, that offensive Operations ag't the Savages & Tories is absolutely necessary, & could, therefore, have wished that the plan you proposed to Genl. Starke had been carried into execution, especially as (if I know the man) it must have been much better than any he can devise. Some short time ago our Guards stationed on the Delaware in Ulster County destroyed the Grain &c. to prevent its falling into the hands of the Enemy, since which a small Party of Indians & Tories who stole past our Guards burnt 3 or 4 Houses & Barns near Rochester, killed two men & carried off another. I have received no Intelligence from the southern or eastern Quarter lately. I remain with great Esteem D'r Sir Your most Obed't Serv't

Geo: Clinton.

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