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The Danbury Expedition

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

May 12. –The rebels have industriously reported, and even had the assurance to publish in some of their newspapers, that the King’s troops employed in destroying the magazine at Danbury, “behaved with great barbarity, wantonly and cruelly murdering the wounded prisoners who fell into their hands, and plundering the inhabitants, burning and destroying every thing in their way.” That this is a most audacious falsehood, fabricated to delude the weak and credulous into a state of desperation, the inhabitants of the country from Norwalk to Danbury can, if they dare, sufficiently testify. The country people know that not the least plunder was committed either upon their goods or cattle, even where the houses were abandoned; that the soldiers paid for every article they wanted; and that neither man, woman, nor child received the least injury or molestation from the army, except the rebels who attacked them, or were found in arms. They accomplished the object for which they entered the country, and then returned, in the utmost order, to the place of embarkation.

For the same inflammatory purpose, the following article, taken from the Connecticut Journal of the thirtieth of April, was evidently composed: “A member of Congress, in a letter dated April fifteenth, 1777, writes to his friend in this town, (New Haven,) that an extract of a letter from England to the commissioners, (Doctor Franklin, &c., in France,) mentions, that the British ministry intends totally to destroy the New England States, and make slaves of the southern.” So we see what we poor people of New England have to depend on. A certain old gentleman would be puzzled to exceed this story in impudence or falsehood. The author at least must have had his full inspiration to invent it. 1


1 Gaine’s Mercury, May 12.

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