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Walter Spooner to the Continental Congress



Springfield, July 3, 1775.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOURS: The Congress of the Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay, on the 14th day of June last, appointed Walter Spooner, Jedediah Foster, and James Sullivan, a Committee to repair to the Fortresses of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, on the Lake Champlain, to inquire into the importance of holding those posts, and the method by which they may be maintained; to establish, in the pay of said Colony, so many men to defend the same posts as they should judge necessary, not exceeding four hundred. And the said Committee were also by the said Congress directed, when they should have made themselves fully acquainted with the situation and importance of said posts, respectfully to signify their thoughts thereon to your Honours.

Wherefore, by order of said Committee, I take leave to inform you, that it is the opinion of said Committee, that such is the importance of those fortresses, that should they once be in the hands of the enemies to America, the Colony of New-York, together with the New-England Colonies, would be in continual danger of having depredations committed on them by the regular forces who would be possessed of those garrisons; and should the Canadians and savages (who we hope are not yet at enmity with us) be inclined to take part with the Ministerial Army, the distress of the Colonies before-mentioned must be extremely great.

A garrison at the south end of Lake George, however tenable, could be of but little service to the New-England Colonies; because the most easy route for an army from Quebeck into New-England, would be through Lake Champlain to South-Bay, from whence they might travel by land through the new settlements of New-York into the New-England Governments, and destroy the frontier Towns on their march; drive the farmers from their fields; prevent the large supplies of wheat and other necessaries, which may soon be expected from those new settlements; send distress and famine into the bowels of the country; and all this without being on a right line within many miles of the south end of Lake George.

I am also ordered by said Committee to signify to your Honours, that at it is the opinion of said Committee that the defence of those fortresses must be supported by holding the command of Lake Champlain, which they conceive may be more easily done by having vessels of various constructions, well manned, armed, and floating there; for which purpose the Committee have stationed four hundred men there, which are all that the embarrassed circumstances of our Colony can at present admit of, to co-operate with near a thousand under the command of Colonel Hinman, who is sent to those posts by the Government of Connecticut. But whether the forces now on the lake are sufficient for the purposes aforementioned, your Honours will judge.

I am, with due respect, in behalf of said Committee, your Honours, most obedient humble servant,


To the Hon˙ President and Members of the American Congress now sitting at Philadelphia.