Monday, December 24, 2012

This Day in History: December 24, 1781

New Jersey governor William Livingston was lamenting the death of his pastor:

The most notorious incident of military officiousness had occurred Nov. 24, 1781, when a soldier at Elizabethtown shot and killed the reverend James Caldwell.  The minister was carrying a parcel that belonged to a New York woman travelling under a flag of truce when he was stopped by a soldier who suspected him of smuggling.  Caldwell agreed to return the package to the ship but was shot by the soldier as he stepped on board.

William Livingston (probably quoting a newspaper) to Benjamin Lincoln, December 24, 1781, William Livingston Papers, ed. Carl Prince, vol. IV, pp.354-356