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New Oath of Allegiance – Cadwallader Golden

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

August 17.—The following oath is part of an act lately passed by the New York Congress at the Fishkills, which is to be taken by every subject, agreeable to the new constitution established by the Congress:—

“I A. B. do solemnly, and without any mental reservation whatever,, swear and call God to witness, (or, if the people called Quakers, affirm,) that I believe and acknowledge the State of New York to be of right a free and independent State, and that no authority or power can of right be executed in or over the said State, but what is, or shall be granted by, or derived from the people thereof; and further, that as a good subject of the said free and independent State of New York, I will, to the best of my knowledge and ability, faithfully do my duty, and as I shall keep or disregard this oath, so help and deal with me Almighty God.”

The first person who was cited before the commissioners to take the oath, was Cadwallader Golden, Esq., of Coldenham, in Ulster county, New York, and eldest son of the late lieutenant-governor of that province. This gentleman showed an unshaken attachment to his sovereign and the constitution, from the first of the present rebellion. He had been a prisoner among the rebels for above two years, great part of the time closely confined in a common jail, or on board a sloop in the Hudson River, (in company with many other loyal sufferers,) for no other cause than avowing his sentiments with candor, modesty, and firmness, against independency. Determined to adhere to the good old constitution under which he and his fellow subjects enjoyed so much happiness, he persevered calmly, though resolutely, to oppose each innovation, for which he was ignominiously treated from time to time, and suffered every wanton indignity that malice could invent. When desired to take the above oath, he nobly refused it, returning a decent, spirited answer, in writing, which does him great honor; whereupon he was ordered to depart, and go within the British lines. On Monday last he arrived at New York in a flag of truce sloop, leaving behind him his wife, and a numerous family of children, to the insults, and a large estate to the depredations of a blind, infatuated people.1


1 New York Gazette, August 17.