The Arrest of Peter Poillon

Poillon Farmhouse (now known as the Olmsted House)
General Washington wrote to the Committee of Safety, informing
it that “Peter Poillon, of Richmond County, had been arrested for
supplying the king’s ships with provisions.”  On the 5th, Poillon was
taken before the Committee and examined. He did not deny the
charge; but pleaded in extenuation that “the regulations for pre-
venting intercourse with the King’s ships had not been published in
Richmond County until the 2d or 3d of that month, and that there-
fore he was ignorant of them.” He stated further that ”he left home
with a considerable sum of money, to discharge a debt in Kings
County, together with some articles of provision for New York mar-
ket, of the value of about three pounds”; that “while passing the
warship ‘Asia,’ at as great a distance as he safely could, he was
fired at and could not escape.” He proved further, by reputable
witnesses, that he “was a respectable man, and had always been
esteemed a friend to the liberties of his country.” Poillon was dis-
charged, with a caution “hereafter to keep at a safe distance from
the King’s ship, and to warn his fellow-citizens of Richmond County
to do the same.”

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Quoted From: Morris, I. K. (1898). Morris’s memorial history of Staten Island, New York. New York: Memorial Pub. Co.

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