Primary tabs

Letter from the President of Congress to General Schuyler



Philadelphia, January 10, 1776.

SIR: I had the pleasure of transmitting you, some days ago, a letter of thanks for your eminent services in the cause of your country.

The several letters you mention in your last, came safe to hand, and were laid before Congress. The distresses of this great Continent, thrown into convulsions by an unnatural war; the unprepared state we were in, when unjustly attacked; the enemies that have arisen up against us in different quarters; and the horrid attempts of the Southern Governours to excite domestick insurrections, and bring the Savages to desolate our frontiers; the necessity of providing armed vessels, to prevent, if possible, the desolation threatened our sea-coast; these, and other matters of the highest importance, which you can easily conceive, must apologize


for your letters not having an earlier answer; besides, the Congress flattered themselves, from the steps they had taken, and from the orders and instructions given to their Committee, who were sent to confer with you, that your army would have reinlisted, and your difficulties in other respects have been relieved.

After the return of their Committee, the Congress took into consideration your several letters, and the Report of the Committee, and thereupon came to sundry resolutions which I have the honour to enclose.

Phelps has thrown in a petition praying to be heard in his justification; but, as matters of higher moment engage the attention of the Congress, that is suffered to lie over.

The Congress resent the conduct of Lieutenant Halsey, and are of opinion you should proceed to have his conduct inquired into by a court-martial, giving him previous notice to appear in his own defence, and that such sentence should be passed on him as the court-martial shall think just; and should he decline to submit his conduct to such examination and sentence, in that case all arrears due to him ought to be stopped.

I cannot sufficiently express the confidence the Congress have in your attention to the publick interest, and their reliance that you will give to the proper officers in your department such orders as will procure indemnification to the publick for any embezzlement or waste of its stores or moneys.

Desirous of giving every reasonable encouragement and indulgence to men who have resigned their lives in the cause of their country, they have given you power to grant discharges to such officers as find themselves under a necessity of quitting the service, and to remit to such of the troops raised in the Colony of New-York as may reinlist, any right the Congress might have to stop wages for the underclothes delivered to them.

I must not omit to inform you of the grateful sense the Congress have of the friendly offices Mr˙ Price has done to General Montgomery, for the support of the American cause. You will, therefore, be pleased to embrace the first opportunity of returning him their thanks for the same, and assure him immediate measures shall be taken for replacing the moneys he has advanced.

You will, also, be pleased to notify Colonel Easton their approbation of his services, and that they will retain in their minds a just sense of them.

The conduct, spirit, and resolution shown, both by the officers and men who have penetrated Canada, have induced the Congress, in testimony of their approbation, to reserve the raising of two regiments out of the forces now there, for the defence and protection of that country, which their valour has rescued from slavery. The regiments in Pennsylvania and New-Jersey are under orders to march and join them, and the other regiments destined for that service will be ordered to march as fast as raised.

The enclosed resolutions of Congress are so full and explicit that I need not enlarge.

I shall be happy to hear of your perfect recovery, being, with much esteem, sir, &c˙,

John Hancock, President.

To General Schuyler.