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Letter from General Schuyler to the President of Congress



Read March 15, 1776.

Albany, March 6, 1776.

SIR: Instead of one hundred and twenty sleds to convey the cannon and provision from Fort George, Ticonderoga, &c˙, to Canada, with the utmost efforts only seventy-six could be procured; the great scarcity of forage, and danger of going at this, advanced season, deters them. The winter here is entirely broken up, and I believe Hudson' s River will be clear of ice in a few days. It may be best, therefore, that the remainder of the troops from New-Jersey and Pennsylvania should embark at New-Windsor, or still lower down, if craft can be procured.

Only one company of Colonel Burrel' s Regiment is gone past here. I greatly fear that the remainder will not be able to pass the Lakes on ice, unless a sudden change in the weather takes place. Some horses, and one man, have already been drowned on Lake George and Lake Champlain. It would be happy for us if the Lakes immediately opened, as I have got matters in such a way that I can immediately send on the troops by water; but, should the Lakes become impassable in any way, I must of necessity detain the troops at this place until they open, as well to save the expenditures of what pork we have at Fort George, as that they cannot be quartered there.

All the Six, and some other Indian nations, are now holding a conference at Onondaga. I expect they will soon request the like at this place. I dread their coming, as we have nothing for them; and unless something is given, they are always disgusted.

The sleds that left this with the last Pennsylvania Company, I am this moment informed, are returned, not being able to proceed farther than twenty miles from this, Hudson' s River being broken up there, but as yet impassable.

I have not yet been able to discover that there is any, truth that the Highlanders are inlisted; I shall continue my inquiries; and if the report has any foundation, I will make them prisoners.

On the 28th ultimo I sent General Wooster something above twenty-one hundred pounds in specie, which I have collected on my notes, payable in like money, on demand. We are greatly distressed for money for the current expenses of the day.

I am, sir, most respectfully, your most obedient humble servant,


To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq.