. Col. James Wilson, an officer in the “flying camp” at Amboy, had written to Pres.
Hancock, 22 Aug. 1776, proposing that Congress offer rewards to the officers of the
German mercenary troops encamped on Staten Island if they would desert the British
service (Force, Archives
, 5th ser., 1:1110). The first proposal of this kind had been made in Congress on
21 May (see under that date
's Autobiography, above), and Congress had more recently put into effect an ingenious
scheme to suborn the German troops themselves (JCC
, 5:640, 653–655). The report of the present committee, written by Jefferson and brought
in on 27 Aug., recommended that free land be offered to officers on a graduated scale
according to their rank; it is printed in Jefferson's Papers, ed. Boyd
, 1:509–510. On this whole curious episode see L. H. Butterfield, “Psychological Warfare in 1776: The Jefferson-Franklin Plan to
Cause Hessian Desertions,” Amer. Philos. Soc., Procs.
, 94 (1950):233–241.