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Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman in Quebeck



As this Colony is in some sort detached from the rest, we imagined ourselves in no danger of being involved in these alarming disputes that now prevail over this Continent; the contrary of which, however, I am now sorry to inform you of.

About the beginning of May last, as you would see in your newspapers, the rebels made, themselves masters of all the forts, &c˙, on Lakes George and Champlain, which lie between this and the Southern Colonies; likewise, of the King' s sloop and boats on said lakes. They have also, since that time, repeatedly attempted to invade, and consequently to plunder this Province; but have, as yet, been luckily prevented from putting their intended scheme into execution, by means of a few Troops and the British Militia. In the course of the summer, there have indeed been several slight engagements, in which the rebels were always defeated, but with very little loss to His Majesty' s Troops.

Last post brought us advice from Montreal, that on Monday last, two or three hundred rebels, including some Canadians who have joined them, landed within a league of that place, and in expectation of a great number of Canadians to assist them, they intended to have taken the Town by surprise, and to have plundered it.

The inhabitants, however, directly upon their landing, took the alarm, and the drums beat to arms. Upon which, about three hundred gentlemen, merchants, and other inhabitants, together with forty soldiers, marched out, under the command of Major Campbell. They immediately attacked the rebels, who, after a brisk fire for the space of an hour, were obliged to give way and take to their boats, by which they escaped over the river, but with the loss of a considerable number killed and wounded; besides thirty-four taken prisoners, among whom is one Ethan Allen, Commander-in-Chief of that party. Only three men killed on the King' s side, with three or four wounded. My uncle, who is at present at Montreal, was in the engagement, and came off safe. Some of the rebel prisoners, who are Canadians, inform us that Allen hired them at the rate of fifteen pence per day, and moreover promised them their share of the plunder of Quebeck and Montreal.

From the little expectation we had of being involved in this quarrel, we are left in a great measure defenceless, by reason of our Troops being all sent to Boston, except two Regiments, who only remain in this Province. Matters being in this situation, we are under the necessity of laying aside carrying on business as usual, and have been all obliged to take up arms, and form ourselves into a Militia, for the safety of ourselves and property. We are also very busy in putting this garrison into the best posture of defence we can, and are determined to hold it out to the last, in case of an attack.

The season of the year will, however, in a short time, oblige the rebels to leave the Country, and next spring we expect assistance from Great Britain, or some place else, so that the danger is not now so great as we imagined some time ago.