Affiliate Link

British Account of Elizabethtown and Newark

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

Seeing in your last Wednesday’s Gazette an extract taken from a rebel paper of the second instant, giving an account of the taking and bringing Justice Hedden and Robert Neil prisoners from Newark to this city,1 treating Mr. Hedden with great cruelty, and reflecting on the officer who commanded that party, you may inform the public that the apprehending of Justice Hedden was no part of the object of the King’s officers; but that one Walker, a volunteer with them, who with many others had been most inhumanly and barbarously treated by Justice Hedden, went with a few of the privates to his house and took him, without waiting long for him to put on his clothes, which he intentionally delayed; when the officers perceived, on their march, his want of more clothing, they provided him with some.

If Mrs. Hedden was wounded, it is what she merited, by her assaulting and opposing all in her power, the carrying away her husband. There was no intent to hurt Mrs. Hedden, but to make her desist in her violence; if any harm happened to her, she must blame her own fury. Mr. Hedden and his friends may, if they have any sense of justice remaining, find that justice hath in part overtaken him, when they reflect on the acts of barbarity he has frequently committed on many of his Majesty’s loyal subjects for not perjuring themselves in abjuring their lawful sovereign, and swearing allegiance to the Congress, and to the State, of New Jersey. Among many of his persecutions were imprisonments, reducing others to bread and water only, stripping many women and children of their clothing, beds, and household furniture, and then banishing them without the necessaries of life, and seizing and selling the estates of a great number of his Majesty’s subjects, to his no small emolument.

Robert Neil is also notorious in his way. A bankrupt four years past, since acting under the pretence of a sub-deputy quarter-master to the rebel army, made it his constant practice to take and dispose of, on his own account, to the Continental troops, the wheat, corn, and other grain, and also the firewood he cut from many valuable lots of land, belonging to those he pleased to call Tories and enemies to the State of New Jersey, whereby both Hedden and Neil have amassed large estates with the properties of others. Common justice, it is hoped, will prevent their discharge, till they have made full satisfaction to his Majesty’s faithful subjects for the injuries they have done them.2


1 New York.
2 Rivington’s Gazette, February 16.