“Too Fond of Company”
British rule mandated that families must provide shelter and provisions to British soldiers at their own expense. Oyster Bay had to accommodate a series of British regiments, including the Queen’s Rangers, commanded by Colonel John Graves Simcoe, who settled into the Townsend home for the winter of 1778 -1779. Simcoe, who believed slavery was morally wrong, likely had close contact with Liss during his stay. He also invited his good friend John André to come for a visit. Liss and the other enslaved people of the household were required to wait upon these British officers in addition to their regular duties for the Townsends.