Primary tabs

Ethan Allen to the Massachusetts Congress



Crown Point, June 9, 1775.

HONOURABLE GENTLEMEN: I am informed by Colonel Easton that you are well satisfied with the economy and enterprising spirit of a number of the sons of liberty, who, animated with the glorious example of the brave action at Concord, were inspired to make those acquisitions to the United Colonies of which your Honours have received intelligence, viz: the sovereignty of Lake Champlain, and the fortresses thereon, with an armed sloop and all the boats on the lake, and also took into possession a schooner, which was the property of Major Skene, and furnished it out for war. These armed vessels are at present abundantly sufficient to Command the lake. The making these acquisitions has greatly attached the Canadians, and more especially the Indians, to our interest. They have no personal prejudice or controversy with the United Colonies, but act upon political principles, and consequently are inclined to fall in with the strongest side. At present ours has the appearance of it, as there are at present but about seven hundred regular Troops in all the different Posts in Canada. Add to this the consideration of the imperious and haughty conduct of the Troops which has much alienated the affections of both the Canadians and Indians from them. Probably there may soon be more Troops from England sent there, but at present you may rely on it that Canada is in a weak, and almost helpless condition. Two or three thousand men, conducted by intrepid commanders, would at this juncture make a conquest of the ministerial party in Canada, with such additional numbers as may be supposed to vie with the re-enforcements that may be sent from England. Such a plan would make a diversion in favour of the Massachusetts-Bay, who have been too much burdened with the calamity that should be more general, as all partake of the salutary effects of their merit and valour in the defence of the liberties of America. There would, furthermore, be this unspeakable advantage in directing the war into Canada, that it would unite and confirm the Canadian and Indians in our interest; and as England can spare but a certain number of her Troops, therefore the more she sends to defend her interest in Canada, which at present is languid and weak, the less she can send to Boston, or any other part of the Continent. By gaining the sovereignty of Canada, would intercept the design of the Quebeck Bill, and greatly discourage the Ministry, who dote much on the efficacy of it.

I would to God America would exert herself in proportion to the indignity offered her by a tyrannical Ministry. She might mount on eagles' wings to glory. Fame is now hovering over her head. A vast Continent must either sink to bondage, ignominy, and exquisite horrour, or rise triumphant above the shackles of tyranny to immortal fame.

I hope, gentlemen, you will use your influence in


forwarding men, provision, and every article for the Army that may be thought necessary. Blankets and provisions are scarce. I might have added the article of powder. It ought to be observed that the Colonies must first help their friends in Canada, and then it will be in their power to help them again.

I subscribe myself your Honours' most obedient servant,


To the Honourable Provincial Congress of the Massachusetts-Bay, or the Council of War, at Watertown and Cambridge.