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William Gilleland to the Continental Congress



Near Crown Point, May 29, 1775.

GENTLEMEN: As a lover of my liberty and my country, I beg leave to offer you my warmest congratulation on the success of His Majesty' s arms, under the prudent and spirited conduct of Colonel Arnold and Mr˙ Ethan Allen, in reducing the important posts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point, and in seizing the armed sloop on this lake, and all the officers, soldiers, and military stores. These acquisitions I conceive to be highly advantageous to the American cause; and we all ardently hope that you, gentlemen, will order them to be sufficiently supported and defended; for which purpose I imagine that a thousand men (sailors,


engineers, and artillery-men, included) should be immediately stationed at Ticonderoga, Crown Point, and Point Aufere, and a sufficient number to man the sloop, the schooner, and the large and small boats now in our possession, and which at present gives us the mastery of the lake. Point Aufere is on the west side of this lake, seven miles south of the Canada line, whereon was built last summer a very strong stone and lime wall house, with strong ball-proof brick, sentry boxes at each corner, commanding every inch of ground about the house, having in them, and in a large dry cellar under the house, forty-four port-holes. This may, at a small expense, be made a very important post, by throwing up a breast-work, or by intrenching round the house, to be defended by a few pieces of cannon, whereby every naval irruption that may be attempted by the enemy, may be greatly obstructed, if not entirely frustrated; and we frontier inhabitants encouraged to remain on our flourishing settlements, without being alarmed at or exposed to the incursions of either the soldiery, the Canadians, or the Indians — the latter two of whom I must say, at present, have all the appearance of being neutrals, if not friends.

I must beg leave to observe to you, that there are now in these parts a very considerable number of men under the command of Mr˙ Ethan Allen, as brave as Hercules, and as good marksmen as can be found in America, who might prove immediately serviceable to the common cause, were they regularly embodied, and commanded by officers of their own choice, subordinate to whoever has or may be appointed commander-in-chief, or to the instructions of the Grand Congress. These men being excellent wood rangers, and particularly acquainted in the wilderness of Lake Champlain, would, in all likelihood, be more serviceable in these parts than treble their number of others not having these advantages, especially if left under the direction of their present enterprising and heroick commander, Mr˙ Allen.

I hope, gentlemen, you will pardon the freedom of this address, since it goes to you from one very much interested in the subject, having upwards of fifty families settled under his protection, on the most remote frontier of this Province, some of whom only ten miles south of the Canada line, the first settlement ever made under the British Government on Lake Champlain.

I have the honour to be, with the most profound respect, gentlemen, your most devoted and most obedient servant,


To the Hon˙ the Continental Congress.