Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 10: John Graham Released


   On February 10, 1776, three New York City innkeepers—John Bridgwater [Bridgewater?], James Holdin and Thomas Hyat—appeared before the Committee of Safety and jointly engaged on behalf of John Graham, a prisoner in the city’s Upper Barracks.
   The trio pledged, “That the said John Graham will demean himself peaceably, and be of good behaviour toward all the friends of liberty in America, and not do any act…contrary to any measure directed by the Continental Congress, or the Provincial Congress, or Committee of Safety of this Colony, or any Committee of any City, Town, Precinct, or District, in this or any other of the United Colonies.”
   If Graham failed to comply by the innkeepers’ engagement, the trio agreed to “surrender the said John Graham a prisoner” to any guard commissioned by the Provincial Congress or the Committee of Safety of New York or commander of the Continental Army in New York.  If they could not produce Graham a prisoner, they agreed to pay or suffer any penalties that Graham himself, in case of his default, would be “adjudged to bear, pay, sustain, or suffer.”
   The Committee of Safety, “Ordered, That the said John Graham, now a prisoner in the Guard-House, at the Upper Barracks, be discharged.”
   Historian T. H. Breen called America's local and provincial committees 
“schools of revolution, giving thousands of Americans experience in self-government.  By serving on committees and enforcing the resolutions of the Continental Congress, Americans affirmed their commitment to law and order rather than mob rule or mere rebellion.  Consult T. H. Breen, The Secret Founding Fathers, The Daily Beast, 3 July 2010 http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/07/03/the-real-founding-fathers-th-breen-on-the-american-revolution.html# (accessed 9 February 2013).
   The Hyatt Hotels Corporation is not named for innkeeper Thomas Hyat.  Entrepreneurs Hyatt von Dehn and Jack D. Crouch owned Hyatt House, at Los Angeles International Airport.  The Hyatt Hotels Corporation formed in 1957 when Jay Pritzker bought von Dehn's shares of Hyatt House.  
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