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Colonel Brown to General Gates


To the Hon˙ HORATIO GATES, Esq˙, Major-General in the Army of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Commanding at ALBANY, humbly showeth:

That in the month of February last, Brigadier-General Arnold transmitted to the honourable Continental Congress an unjustifiable, false, wicked, and malicious accusation against me and my character, as an officer in their service; at the time when I was under his immediate command. That had there been the least ground for such accusation, the author thereof had it in his power, indeed it was his duty, to have brought me to a fair trial by a General Court-Martial in the country where the pretended crime is said to have originated. That I was left to the necessity of applying to Congress, not only for the charge given in against me, but an order for a Court of Inquiry on my own conduct with respect thereto. That in consequence of my application, I obtained a positive order of Congress to the then General commanding the Northern Department, for a Court of Inquiry, before whom I might justify my injured character. That the said order was transmitted to your Honour, at Ticonderoga, in the month of August last, and notwithstanding the most ardent solicitation on my part, the order of Congress has not yet been complied with. That upon my renewing my application to your Honour for a Court of Inquiry, you was pleased to refer me to the Board of War. Thus I have been led an expensive dance from Generals to Congress, and from Congress to Generals, and am now referred to a Board of War, who, I will venture to say, have never yet taken cognizance of any such matter, nor do I think it, with great submission to your Honour, any part of their duty. I therefore must conclude that this information, from the mode of its origin, as well as from the repeated evasions


of a fair hearing, is now rested on the author' s shoulders. I therefore beg your Honour will please to order Brigadier-General Arnold in arrest, for the following crimes, which I am ready to verify, viz:

1st. For endeavouring to asperse your petitioner' s character, in the most infamous manner.

2d. For unwarrantably degrading and reducing the rank conferred on your petitioner by his (General Arnold' s) superiour officer, and subjecting your petitioner to serve in an inferiour rank to that which he had been appointed.

3d. For ungentleman-like conduct in his letter to General Wooster, of the 25th of January last, charging your petitioner with a falsehood, and in a private manner, which is justly chargeable on himself.

4th. For suffering the small-pox to spread in the camp before Quebeck, and promoting inoculations there in the Continental Army.

5th. For depriving a part of the Army under his command of their usual allowance of provisions ordered by Congress.

6th. For interfering and countermanding the orders of his superiour officer.

7th. For plundering the inhabitants of Montreal, in direct violation of a solemn capitulation agreement entered into with them by our late brave and worthy General Montgomery, to the eternal disgrace of the Continental arms.

8th. For giving unjustifiable, unwarrantable, cruel, and bloody orders, directing whole villages to be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof put to death by fire and sword, without any distinctions to friend or foe, age or sex.

9th. For entering into an unwarrantable, unjustifiable, and partial agreement with Captain Foster for the exchange of prisoners taken at The Cedars, without the knowledge, advice, or consent of any officer than those present with him on the spot.

10th. For ordering inoculation of the Continental Army at Sorel, without the knowledge of, and contrary to the intentions of, the General commanding that Northern Department, by which fatal consequences ensued.

11th. For great misconduct during his command, from the camp at Cambridge, in the year 1775, until he was superseded by General Montgomery, at Point-aux-Tremble, near Quebec.

12th. For great misconduct in his command of the Continental fleet in Lake Champlain, which occasioned the loss thereof.

13th. For disobedience of the orders of his superiour officers, while acting by a commission from the Provincial Congress of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay, and for disobedience of the orders of a Committee of the same Congress, sent from that State to inspect into his conduct; and also for insulting, abusing, and imprisoning the said Committee; as also for a treasonable attempt to make his escape with the navigators then at or near Ticonderoga, to the enemy at St˙ John' s, which obliged the then commanding officer of Ticonderoga and its dependencies to issue a positive order to the officers commanding our batteries at Crown-Point to stop or sink the vessels attempting to pass that post, and by force of arms make a prisoner of the said General Arnold, (then a Colonel,) which was accordingly done.

JNO˙ BROWN, Lieutenant-Colonel.

Albany, 1st December, 1776.