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Burning of Kingston

October 14. –Yesterday, General Vaughan, having under his command a large body of British, who have committed various acts of vandalism, in their passage up the North River, landed a number of men at Esopus, marched up to the defenceless town of Kingston, about two miles from the river, and immediately set it on fire. The conflagration was general in a few minutes, and in a very short time that pleasant and wealthy town was reduced to ashes; one house only escaped the flames. Thus by the wantonness of power the third town in New York for size, elegance, and wealth, is reduced to a heap of rubbish, and the once happy inhabitants (who are chiefly of Dutch descent) obliged to solicit for shelter among strangers; and those who lately possessed elegant and convenient dwellings, obliged to take up with such huts as they can find to defend them from the cold blasts of approaching winter. We learn that the inhabitants saved the best part of their movable property; but some lost the greatest part of their temporal all. ‘Tis said the enemy took little plunder, being told that Governor Clinton was at hand with fifteen hundred men, but unluckily not so near as to save the town. They burnt several houses at Rhynbeck Flats, and proceeded as far as Livingston Manor, where they burnt a few more. Our troops are now up with them. It is hoped they will be able to put a stop to these depredations. Britain, how art thou fallen! Ages to come will not be able to wipe away the guilt, the horrid guilt, of these and such like deeds, lately perpetrated by thee.1


1 New York Packet, October 23. A Philadelphia paper gives the following notice of this expedition: –“By express from New York, we have the following intelligence: –That General Sir Henry Clinton, after his successes on the North River, had detached General Vaughan with two thousand men towards Albany; that at Esopus, about fifty miles this side of Albany, General Vaughan had fallen in with a very large party of rebels, and had entirely defeated them; had taken between thirty and forty pieces of cannon, with all their stores, baggage, &c.; that the rebels having fled to the houses at Kingston and fired upon the royal army from the windows, General Vaughan had set fire to it and laid it in ashes; that from Esopus he had proceeded on to join General Burgoyne, and in a few days we hope to hear of the two generals having formed a junction at Albany.”– Pennsylvania Ledger, October 29.

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