John La Grange Mercereau
The Rebel Spy
When John La Grange Mersereau was born in 1757 in New York, New York, his father, Joshua, was 29 and his mother, Sophia, was 24. He had one brother. He died on May 18, 1841, in Covington, Pennsylvania, having lived a long life of 84 years.
Letter from John Mercereau to General George Washington
John Mercereau's letter
Woodbridge June 20, 1780
Intelligence received from Staten Island
Clinton arrived from the southward with about fourty sail and came in at Sandy Hook on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning - and landed on Staten Island on Monday six thousand men, by common report there, however it is certain that some of the troops are advanced on both the roads leading to Amboy as far as within five miles of the ferry on west end of the Island. The Enemy's boats have been sounding about the mouth of the Rariton River, and sett up some stakes which has since been pulled up. I saw four topsail vessels sail out at Sandy Hook on Sunday afternoon. I took them to be frigates.
P. S. The movements of the Enemy has prevented us from receiving our weekly accounts but are in hopes that it will be more regular soon.
I have been infored that one of our privateers has captured a pilot boat and thirteen fishing boats mostly from Staten Island, and don't doubt but if the prisoners are detained, we might might engage some of them as pilots for us.
Source: John Mercereau to George Washington, June 20, 1780, George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799: Series 4. General Correspondence. 1697-1799