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Letter from the President of Congress to General Schuyler



Philadelphia, May 24, 1776.

SIR: I did myself the honour of writing to you this morning, and at the same time transmitted all the hard money that was in the Treasury, amounting to sixteen hundred and sixty-two pounds one shilling and three pence, which I hope you will duly receive.

The Congress have this day come to the enclosed resolutions, which I am commanded to forward to you by express, as containing matters of the highest importance to the welfare of these United Colonies. It must no doubt have occurred to you, sir, that should our enemies get possession of any one Province, which may not only supply them with provisions, &c˙, but from which they may harass the adjacent country, the preservation of American liberty would be rendered thereby much more difficult and precarious. It is this circumstance which at present gives perhaps a greater weight to the war in Canada than in any other part of America, as the danger of our enemies' getting footing there is much greater. The consequences, too, in case they succeed in that Province would be much more fatal, as we may expect, if that event takes place, to have all the Canadians and Indians join against us.

It is not conceivable in my mind that there was ever a time or situation that called for more vigorous and decisive measures than the present in Canada. Our enemies seem determined to prosecute their plans against us with the greatest violence; while their schemes are kept so enveloped in darkness that there is no possibility of finding them out. This much only we may be sure of: that they will aim the most deadly blows at our devoted country. It is our duty, therefore, to shield and protect her from all evil, but especially in those parts where she is the most vulnerable. Whether or not the Province of Canada is this part I shall leave it to you to determine.

I have the honour to be, sir, your most obedient and very humble servant,

JOHN HANCOCK, President.

To Major-General Schuyler, Albany.