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“John Martin, Commissary General at New York with speed;

NORTH HAVEN, Febʼy 12, 1778. We the inhabitants of North Haven whose names are underwritten are the king's loyal subjects and well wishers to his Majesty, George III. We have therefore provided a considerable quantity of provisions and tobacco for the use of his army, and intend to send at the first opportunity we have to New York or Long Island. We have likewise several young men that intend to join the regulars the first chance they have.

We hope the God of Heaven will succor you in your endeavors to subdue the rebels to your subjection, so we must conclude.

Your hearty friends and well wishers.” As the letter was not sent, one can but suspect that it was the act of men who were fearful as to the outcome of the Patriots' cause, and were mindful of the truth of the maxim

“It is well to moor your bark with two anchors.” Fortunately for the signers of the document it did not become public until long after the war was ended.

The brothers of Parson Andrews who lived in Meriden did not escape without smarting under the same lash that had smitten him. Moses, who lived on the old home farm, was forbidden by the Inspection Committee to leave it under any pretext whatsoever; and Denison was suffering from a like restriction. To Moses the most grievous part of his punishment was in being forbidden to worship with his brethren on the Lord's Day in the parish church in Wallingford. He accordingly requested permission to go to church on Sundays. The request was refused, but he was given liberty to attend the Congregational services in Meriden. This was a favor that was galling, so he determined to worship in his own house. The parlor was transformed into a chapel, rough benches were provided, and neighboring churchmen were invited to attend, while Moses acted as lay reader. This was the beginning of St. Andrew's Church, Meriden. The services here so humbly begun were continued in the same place for a quarter of a century: the old house is still standing.

The power exercised by the Committee of Inspection was very great: it was fear of this arm of the law that kept many from showing the slightest sympathy with the mother country, while inwardly they may have felt considerable. It was the powerful instrument with which the Patriots crushed almost all independence of statement: an illustration of this is furnished in the following extracts from the weekly press of the period.

At a town meeting held in 1775, a Committee of Inspection was elected to inquire into all cases of suspected loyalty, and to take such measures as were necessary: the Committee did not let the grass grow under its feet. In the Connecticut Journal, November 12, 1775, appears the following:

“At a meeting of the Committee of Inspection for the town of Wallingford in the County of New Haven on the 6th day of Nov. 1775, Benjamin Hall 'the 3rd of said Wallingford having been notified to appear before the Committee and answer a complaint made against him, for a breach of the Hon. Continental Association against his attendance. To the charge exhibited against him pleaded not guilty: whereupon the Committee proceeded to hear and examine the evidence, and on a full and fair tryal are unanimously of the opinion that the complaint was fully proved against said Hall, and that he has violated the 11th article of the Continental Association in employing Asa Austin of said Wallingford as a schoolmaster who was then considered as an enemy to his country, and as such had been advertised in the Connecticut Journal, and that said Hall has also industriously used his influence and endeavours to frustrate the designs of the Grand Continental Congress, in representing them to be a hot headed absolute body of men, aiming at the subversion of the English constitution, and exercising a tyrannical dominion over the colonies. In justifying parlimentary measures and in casting virulent reflections upon the Committees acting under the Congress: such as being arbitrary in their proceedures—and meanly and most ridicuously employed to peep into old women's tea pots and

pots. Strictly adhering to the doings of the Congress we now hang up: to public view the aforesaid Benjamin Hall the 3rd

inveterate enemy to the rights of British America: and most devoutly recommend to all the friends of this once happy but now injured and bleeding country, forthwith upon the publication of this to withdraw all connections and commercial dealings with said Hall as directed by the aforesaid Congress in the 11th article of this Association, and the Chairman is desired to procure a copy of this judgment, to be inserted in the public papers.

Signed by order

CALEB JOHNSON, Chairman." Asa Austin, who was in dire disgrace for rash remarks and had been advertised as an enemy to his country, afterwards repented his foolishness and did penance for his transgressions by signing the following confession, which appeared in the same newspaper, under date of December 20, 1775:

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“I Asa Austin of Wallingford, being sensible that I have contemptuously violated the third article of the Honorable Continental Association and treated the Committee of Inspection with contempt in refusing to treat with them when duly notified to appear before them, and also in speaking unfavorably to the measures taken by my country in defense of her stipulated rights, whereby I have greatly offended the good people of the United Colonies, which inconsiderate conduct I heartily reflect upon, praying the forgiveness of all whom I have justly offended; and as I am hearty in my request, I promise that for the future I will stand by my country in defense of its sacred liberties, and utterly discountenance and disunite from those who are inimical to the rights of British America.

ASA AUSTIN. Voted, that the above confession is accepted upon the signer thereof forthwith publishing the same in the Gazette. A true Copy examined. WALLINGFORD, Dec. 11, 1775.

Per DAVID BROOKS, Clerk." At the April, 1779, session of the General Assembly, a petition from Benjamin Hall of Wallingford was received, stating that he had been apprehended and confined in New Haven County jail for having more than two years ago entertained at his house for a few days, one Porter, his brother-in-law, who proved to be an enemy to his country: he asked for relief and the legislature let him out on bail. In the Connecticut Journal, April 12, 1780, the estate of Benjamin Hall, late of Wallingford, politically deceased, by joining the enemies of his country, is advertised as in the hands of an administrator. He eventually came back and lived in the parish of Cheshire until his death. He was a graduate of Yale in the class of 1754.*

But there was work for the men of Wallingford other than guarding Tories and star chamber sessions of the inquisitorial Committee of Inspection. No effort was needed to fan the fires of patriotism or awaken a martial spirit, for from the first the war was enthusiastically supported by the great majority of the people. The same spirit of independence and enthusiasm which caused its citizens in town meeting assembled, alone of all those of this colony, to treat the Stamp Act with defiance in 1766, brought them together on November 29, 1774, to adopt, with but three dissenting votes, the articles of agreement contained in the “Association” formulated by the Continental Congress; and to choose a committee to raise money for the benefit of the sufferers at Boston.

* An amusing illustration of the inquisition of the Inspection Committee of Norwalk is found in the Connecticut Gazette of New London under date of April 26, 1776. Rev. Jeremiah Leaming of Norwalk had been called to Stratford to christen an infant with the opprobious name of Thomas Gage. The act was considered as a disguised insult and parson Leaming was summoned before the Committee to explain the transaction. He said the child had been offered by its parents for baptism under that name, and according to the rubric he was obliged to use the name suggested by the Godfathers and Godmothers, and had no discretion in the matter. The Committee could not bring themselves to believe that he was innocent of an attempt to insult and ridicule the Continental struggle: but out of regard for his office and parishioners they considered it expedient only to present the facts to the public to make what judgment they saw fit. He was afterwards confined in jail, as a Tory.

It was this same spirit of enthusiastic loyalty which was so manifest when Colonel Wadsworth came over from Durham on the morning of April 23, 1775, just after the news from Lexington had reached him, to order his companies to the front: he found, to his surprise, that several of the men had already started in that tumultuous rush to the scene of action.

Again, when beacon fires and scurrying messengers had spread the news that the British had landed in New Haven in 1779, tradition gives us a glimpse of Colonel Street Hall, astride of his horse, madly galloping over hill and dale, shouting as he rode: “Turn out! The British are in New Haven." And turn out they did, for the record is still preserved of seventy-six men who marched from Meriden and thirty-seven from Wallingford. Two men from Cheshire lost their lives in the engagement.

Of all the sons of Wallingford, he who most distinguished himself during these years of storm and stress was Lyman Hall: born in 1724, he graduated from Yale in 1747, and settling in Georgia in after years was elected to the Continental Congress and thus became one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

There is neither time nor space to mention more than a few of the gallant men who brought honor to their town and aid to their country by their services in the field.

Colonels Thaddeus Cook and Street Hall (younger brother of Lyman), already conspicuous when the war broke out on account of services in the French and Indian wars, were active and successful in their positions. Captains Isaac Cook, John Couch of Meriden parish and Nathaniel Bunnell of Cheshire parish, were brave and active men. Lieutenants Ephraim Chamberlain and Joseph Shaylor, of Meriden, were among the four hundred picked men from the Connecticut division who took part in the storming and capturing of Stony Point, under "Mad” Anthony Wayne, on July 15, 1779; one of the most brilliant exploits of the war. Lieutenant John Mansfield, when Lafayette called for volunteers to form a “forlorn” hope, was the first to offer himself, and then led the assault on the redoubt before Yorktown, on October 14, 1783, and was severely wounded: his bravery was complimented in Colonel Hamilton's report. And thus the list might be extended indefinitely: altogether, there were quite five hundred men of the township of Wallingford who were actively engaged in the regular army or served in the militia companies which were called into the field at various times.

As the war dragged its weary length along, hardships multiplied, and it was found needful to make provision for caring for the families of soldiers serving in the Continental army, and as the first flush of enthusiasm faded away, it was necessary to provide bounties to induce men to enlist, just as was done in other towns.

A large powder house which stood in the northern portion of the town was the cause of anxiety at various times, and the free men were obliged to furnish guards to prevent the hated Tories from blowing it up. It should not be forgotten that Wallingford was at that time one of the largest towns in the state: indeed, it had nearly as many inhabitants as Hartford. The tax rate was prodigious and caused the people to groan under the heavy burden: in one year, the darkest of the war, the rate reached the sum of 6s. 4d. on the £, which was practically confiscation, or else it denoted a great depreciation in the circulating medium.

Wallingford was as susceptible as other parts of the country to news of success, and we find in the Connecticut Journal of

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