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Letter from Governour Trumbull to General Schuyler



Lebanon, July 17, 1776.

SIR: Agreeable to your request in your letter of the 12th instant, which I had the honour to receive by the return of our post, I have employed suitable persons to procure the felling axes you mention, and have furnished them with £300 to defray the expense, and make no doubt I shall soon be able to send them forward. In the mean time, should be glad to be advised whether you would have them with helves and ground, or whether it will answer to send them forward without either.

I have also issued a proclamation promising pardon to such deserters from the Northern Army as shall return to their Colonies by the 12th day of August next, and enjoining all officers, civil and military, to apprehend all such deserters found in this Colony after said 12th August, and confine them in some prison, giving notice, that they may be returned to the respective corps to which they belong.


The scarcity of materials renders it extremely difficult, if not impracticable, to supply the troops now raising in this Colony with tents. May not temporary barracks be erected at a moderate expense to supply the want of them?

I took the liberty in a former letter to inquire whether a considerable number of the old gun barrels and locks taken at Ticonderoga and Crown Point, were not yet on hand, and to propose that they might be sent and fitted for use here. One hundred and eighty were formerly sent me, out of which one hundred and seventy good arms fit for service have been made; which encourages me to repeat my inquiry and request respecting other arms under like circumstances, and to hope for like success with them; and the teams returning that carry the axes may bring them.

I have advanced out of the Colony Treasury £50 to each of the head carpenters sent forward from this Colony to join you agreeable to your request, which it is expected will in proper time be replaced.

I hope the design of Dr˙ Ely' s journey to the northward may not be mistaken. The infection of the small pox in the Northern Army, accounts of which were spread by every traveller from thence, and represented in such a light as induced a belief that it was inevitable by any who should join that Army, greatly retarded the levies for that service, as scarcely one in twenty of our people have had that distemper. To prevent the bad effects of this terrour, almost universal, it was judged expedient to send a person of known skill in that distemper, who might examine the true state of the matter upon the spot, in confidence that his report would lessen the apprehensions of danger, and facilitate the raising of men to join and support that Army. We meant not to invade your province or the business of the physicians in the Army, nor did we entertain the shadow of a doubt that you would use every prudent and practicable expedient to stop the progress of the infection and provide for the safety of the Army. To obviate the ill effects of exaggerated reports from weak or designing men, by which the levies for that service in this Colony were obstructed, was our only motive to send Dr˙ Ely to that quarter. His great skill and experience in that distemper generally known here, as well as his character for candour and probity, will naturally gain the fullest credit to the favourable report expected from him, and enable us speedily to fill up the battalion destined for that service. It is with great satisfaction that I receive your information of the measures concerted for preventing the further progress of the infection, and hope the same may be effectual for that purpose.

I am, with great truth and regard, sir, your humble servant,

To Major-General Schuyler.