CLINTON, George (1739-1812), New York Governor, Vice-president. Manuscript Orderly Book, Fishkill, Albany, Kingston, 2 November 1779 - 29 June 1780, accomplished in several different hands, with two orders executed and signed by Governor George Clinton ("Geo Clinton"). Oblong 8vo, 176 pp., in a blank book of 256 pages, paper boards, one leaf torn out
A GEORGE CLINTON ORDERLY BOOK. An extensive Orderly Book showing Governor and General George Clinton struggling with unruly militia, supply shortages and the deadly Tryon County raids of British General John Johnson. 4 Nov 1779: "The governor is extremely surprised to find that many officers shew so little regard to Orders..." Many officers failed to appear for parade, forcing their troops to be "detained a long time in the cold...."
Licentiousness is rebuked: (4 Nov.): "The Governor is rendered unhappy by finding it necessary to prohibit gaming or acts of immorality in a camp composed of the respectable yoemandry of the State...he considers it his Duty to forbid such behaviour which if permitted or continued will destroy the reputation and Morals of the troops." He also wants the "sutlers" driven from the camp. These supply merchants were often sources of gambling, drinking and prostitution. Several entries record harsh punishments of 10, 20 even 40 lashes meted out to miscreants in front of the assembled regiment.
On Nov. 19 Clinton dismisses some of the militia serving with his forces, and passes along Washington's thanks to the troops. But he "cannot forbear expressing his Displeasure at the shameful behaviour of those who saw an Emergency so Interesting to the State, and when the most important services were expected of them, if they are to be judged by their conduct, have abandoned the cause of their Country." The orderly book concludes with the dramatic and violent raids of Sir John Johnson in Tryon County and across the Mohawk Valley, which commenced on 21 May 1780. General Orders for 24 May begin: "The Safety of the State at this juncture require that the Militia, particularly those regiments contiguous to the frontier Settlements, should be kept in the most perfect Readiness..." Clinton failed to intercept Johnson at Ticonderoga, and on 2 June 1780, with the danger passed, he again offers thanks to his troops.