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Document 1 


John Stites - Audit Office compensation application - 2


Pg’s 231-234

To the Commissioners appointed by Act of Parliament to enquire into the losses and services of the American Loyalists

The memorial of Mr John Stites late of the City of New York, Merchant but now in London.

Sheweth...........That your memorialist is a native of America and has always been a zealous adherent to the King and Govt. of Great Britain. That at the commencement of the late rebellion in America your memorialist was settled at New York and from the persecution of its inhabitants he was obliged to fly to New Jersey where he purchased a small farm near Elizabeth Town, to which he removed with his family and upon the Royal Army taking possession of New Jersey in the autumn of 1776 he joined them and rendered the Royal cause every assistance in his power.
           
That your memorialist went, at a very great personal risqué from Sir Geo. Osborne at his (Sir George’s) particular desire when he commandeered a detachment at Elizabeth Town to Sir Wm. Howe with intelligence of importance in the month of December 1776.
           
That in consequence of your memorialists exertions in favor of Great Britain, during the rebellion in America he has been prosecuted in the year 1777 and all his property in New Jersey ( a schedule of which he begs leave to annex) has been confiscated and sold in consequence of his loyalty to his Majesty and attachment to the British Government.
           
Your memorialist therefore respectfully prays that you may be pleased to take his case into your consideration in order that he may be enabled under your report to receive such aid or relief as his losses and services may be found to deserve.
           
And your memorialist shall pray &c.

10th Octr 1786.     John Stites   
 

Schedule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One plantation or farm of land nearly adjoining to Elizth. Town New Jersey about two miles from Staten Island, containing 271/2 acres of excellent land on which was erected a good two story new house completely finished 82 feet front and 40 feet deep the whole valued at £1400 currency dollars at 7/6 is in Sterling

 

 

  840.00.00

Household and kitchen furniture

 

  £500.00.00

1441.05.00

One trunk of silk and laces

 

  1260.00.00

15 tons of bar iron at £50 per ton

 

   750.00.00

2 ? Of Jamaica Spirits 232 gallons at 12/-

 

   139.04.00

50 of sugar

 

   112.16.00

 

 Total

 £2562.00.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sub total - Sterling 

 £2281.05.00

Bonds & Notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bond of Hezekiah Thompson to John Stiles due

9th May 1770

  £35.00.00

1450.06.08

ditto  Nathaniel Norris

13th Oct 1775

   50.00.00

ditto  Benjamin Miller

1st

   50.00.00

ditto  Isaac Woodruffe

4th

  250.00.00

ditto  William Seaman

3 Sep 1776

   50.00.00

ditto  Jonathan Williams

ditto

  100.00.00

ditto  Andrew Miller

25-Oct

   50.00.00

ditto John Baty

1 Dec 1777

  850.00.00

ditto  Cornelius Miller

5-Jul

  100.00.00

ditto  Isaac Beriau

25 July 1778

  110.00.00

ditto  Elijah Crane

3d July

   77.14.04

ditto  Mathew Halstead

20th Sepr

   65.19.04

ditto  John Polhumus

30-Mar

   36.12.00

ditto  James Griggs

25-Jul

    6.03.01

ditto  John Harman

5-Jul

    4.02.06

ditto  Meaker Squires

24th April

    9.11.03

ditto  William Crane

April

  733.00.00

 

 

 

 

 

Total New York currency  

 £2579.07.06

 

Amount of losses in Sterling 

 £3731.11.08

 

Pg 234

Octr. 27th 1786

Evidence on the foregoing memorial of John Stites

Claimant sworn. Memorial read and confirmed upon oath.

            Was settled in New York prior to the war. Is known to Mr. Jauncey and Colonel James Delaney. Was born at Elizabeth Town in New Jersey but had resided in New York from 1763 to 1775 as a Merchant. He always took part with the British, but cannot say but he conformed to the Americans so far as paying taxes and submitting to them whilst he lived under their Government. He thinks he did sign an Association in 1775 which was entered into New York for the Preservation of Order. In New Jersey it was called a Tory Association. He had once or twice turned out to exercise with the Militia at Elizabeth Town, but after the Kings troops landed in Staten Island he refused to go out against them and in consequence was obliged to quit the country. Says he joined the King’s troops the first opportunity and continued after he had joined them as a Merchant at New York where he was part owner of three privateers. He continued at New York till the evacuation and after that event he staid there still as a Merchant till late Spring. His family are still in New York. Says the Americans levied a fine of £270 currency upon him, when they came in on account of his having lived within the British lines. Says he has paid double taxes ever since and has served no office at New York. Being questioned whether he does not consider himself as a subject of the State of New York , says he does whilst he lives under their jurisdiction, but considers himself as a British subject residing there on sufferance. He means as soon as he can wind up his matters to quit New York to come and reside here. His wife and family are Americans and his property in New York is not confiscated. He is come to England chiefly for the purpose of prosecuting this claim and is about to return to New York as soon as this and his other business is finished.

Property

A plantation adjoining Elizabeth Town.

Title  -  Conveyance dated 27 April 1776 whereby George Mitchel and uxor in consideration of £935 N.J. Curry conveys to John Stites in fee a tract of land in Elizabeth Town containing 27 acres 22 rods.
           
Says he paid the consideration on the receipt of the deed in cash. He bought it cheaper on account of the war being commenced. Says he laid out above £500 New York currency in completing the house and store.
           
Says the house and all his moveable property was seized and sold on his quiting Elizth Town and going into New York.
           
Values the estate at £1400 currency or £840 Sterling.Thinks it was in June 1777 that it was confiscated or else in 1778.
           
Produces an extract from the account of sales signed by Abraham Dunham auditor of accounts New Jersey dated 18th April 1786 whereby the real and personal estate of John Stites Jr. late of the County of Essex and State of New Jersey has been confiscated and sold for £8,072.
           
Says the furniture he brought from New York, where he had been a housekeeper many years.            Produces a valuation of his land sworn to by Jonathan J. Dayton and Edward Thomas valuing the farm at £1400.
Likewise a valuation of personal as well as real estate by Thomas Woodruff junior, wherein the real estate is valued as above and the personal estate at £3,160. It is without a date, but the claimant says it was taken in 1777 or 1778 when the Commission took possession of the property under confiscation and woodruff was employed by the Commission to make the appraisement of the property.

Thomas Shawe….Sworn

            Did not know Mr. Stites before 1777 but knew him from that time till he himself left New York, which was the October before the evacuation. He never knew anything to the contrary of his loyalty. He had a share in a privateer with the witness.
           
Witness is an Englishman and has no connections with America. He knows Mr. Stites resides at New York and he believes he means to continue there whether as a subject of the State or not he knows not. Knows nothing of his intentions to come away.

Dr. Henry Norris….Sworn

            Has long known the claimant. Knew him before the war, but had not seen him from 1773 to 1781. His father had property at Elizabeth Town, but claimant had no property there at that time. He saw him in New York in 1781 when he kept a store in Queen Street. He was always represented to the witness as a Loyalist in he never knew to the contrary when he himself came into New York, he was told he might call upon the claimant who would not betray him. Being asked if he thinks the claimant a Loyalist, he says whilst he lived at New York he looked upon him as a Loyalist, but never knew him to do anything for the King against the States. He was a quiet man.
           
Never heard of his estate being confiscated till after he came to England. Should have thought it would not have been confiscated had he not been a Loyalist.
           
Witness knows the estate the claimant says was his. He was always looked upon as a man of property as was his father before him. The father he believes kept quite and lost nothing. He died just about the time of the peace. Does not know which way he was inclined.
           
Thinks the land reasonably valued at £1400 New York currency.

Cornelius Hatfield….Sworn

            Remembers the claimant was at Elizabeth Town in 1776 when the British came there. He then looked upon him as a Loyalist and thinks so still, but he knows that is not the prevailing opinion. Says he had a good deal of conversation with him in New York. Mr. Stites thought the British arms were declining and being a Merchant was of opinion that he might do himself no good by making a noise. He was a quite man, knows he had a farm adjoining Elizabeth Town which has been confiscated and sold. Nobody doubted his loyalty then. In August 1777 his personal estate was sold.
           
Says Mr. Jauncey of New York knows him, but he thinks him friendly to the Americans. Mr. Cavalier Jonet also knows him.
           
Thinks the farm with the furniture and other things could not be worth less than £1500 York currency altogether, the land was certainly worth £20 an acre, does not include merchandise in the sum of £1500.
           
Says he cannot speak positively to the point, but knows in his head that the estate was purchased under the confiscation by the father of claimant for a trifle.   


Audit Office - National Archives ref :- AO/12/14
Acknowledgements to the National Archives


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