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General Montgomery to General Schuyler



Montreal, November 19, 1775.

DEAR GENERAL: I wrote to you the other day, in a great hurry, by express, sending a letter for General Washington, from Colonel Arnold. I have this morning had another express from Colonel Arnold, acquainting me he


has crossed the river to the Quebeck side; that he has been near surprising the Town; that it was closely invested; that they were in the greatest confusion within, the inhabitants having refused to take arms. A scarcity of provisions and wood must bring the garrison to terms, were a blockade alone to be the measure adopted. Mr˙ Carleton is in statu quo, about fifteen miles on this side Sorel, where I hope they will not let him pass. I suppose Mr˙ Carleton is on board the fleet, which left this upon my arrival, as I never, have had any account of his making his escape.

I have not yet been able to adjust the new formed corps, or get our warm clothing ready to go down, touching which I am exceedingly impatient, Arnold having no artillery, and being in want of warm clothing.

I have appointed a Mr˙ Mason (one of our friends in this Town) Postmaster, till the pleasure of Congress be known, to be recommended to Dr˙ Franklin.

I find Mr˙ Price so active and intelligent, so warm a friend to the measures adopted by Congress, that I wish to have him mentioned in the strongest terms to Congress. I have set a Regiment on foot of Canadians, James Livingston, Colonel; to be engaged for twelve months, should this unhappy controversy last so long.

I have made the inhabitants acquainted with the views of Congress relative to this Province, declaring I should call a convention upon my return from Quebeck. I have had some conversation with Pierre Flacquet, a Jesuit, at the head of the society here, and esteemed a very sensible fellow. He complained of some little indignities shown their order, particularly in making part of their house the common prison, by his Majesty' s Governours. I promised redress, and hinted, at the same time, the great probability of that society enjoying their estate, (notwithstanding Sir Jeffery Amherst' s pretensions,) should this Province accede to the general union. I hope this hint may be of service, the Priests hitherto having done us all the mischief in their power; in many Parishes they will not yet give the people absolution. However, I have shown all the respect in my power to religion, and have winked at this behaviour in the Priests, for fear of giving malice a handle.

I wish I could have apprized you in time of your obligations to Captain McKay. He generously offered Mr˙ Carleton, if he would give him two hundred men, to go and burn the new church at Sartigan, last summer; he is so inveterate a fellow, that I think if the other prisoners should be indulged in returning to their families this winter, he ought not to be permitted to enter this Province. When a convention is assembled, I propose requesting the return of the other gentlemen on their parole.

The inhabitants are our friends on both sides of the river to Quebeck; our expresses go without interruption backwards and forwards; a young man who has got out of Quebeck informs me that the Lieutenant Governour, the Chief Justice, and several others, have put their baggage on board ship, and that no ship is permitted to sail: this looks as if they despaired of making a defence. Colonel Maclean has threatened a sortie. Arnold is apprized of it, and his troops wish for it.

I hear there is a considerable quantity of powder at Niagara; perhaps this may be thought an object worthy of attention. They have been very apprehensive of an attack from the Virginians in that quarter all this summer. I fear Carleton has thrown a great quantity of powder into the river. I have desired a severe message to be delivered to him on that subject.

Farewell, my dear Sir, and believe me, with all regard and respect, your most obedient servant,


To General Schuyler.

P˙S. Hard money, if possible, should be sent down. I can get some thousands here from Price, though not sufficient to answer all expenses, and it is too soon to offer paper.