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Letter from General Sullivan to General Washington



Camp on Winter-Hill, December 17, 1775.

MUCH RESPECTED GENERAL: Agreeably to your order have again wailed on Major Rogers, and strictly examined him. Have seen his several permits, and think them genuine, and in every respect agreeably to the copy sent you. He says he left New-York about the 10th of October, being ill with the fever and ague, was ten days in getting to Albany; that there, and at the place called Stone Rabba, he tarried ten days more; he then passed through Hoosuck, Standford, Draper, and Hinsdale, in his way to his brother, who lives in Kent; he was three days in performing this route, and tarried with his brother five or six days more; he was then three days in going to Westminster, and in his way passed through by Dartmouth College, and saw Mr˙ Wheelock; from thence he went to his farm in Pennicook, where he tarried six or eight days; from thence he went to Newbury, and from thence to Portsmouth, and after tarrying there some few days, laid his permit before the Committee of Safety. He owns every thing in Mr˙ Wheelock' s letter, except that of his having been in Canada, which he warmly denies, and says he can prove the route he took, and prove himself to have been in the several towns at or near the days he has mentioned. I asked him why he came to the camps, as he had no business with any particular persons, and had no inclination to offer his service in the American cause; to which he replied, that he had voluntarily waited upon the Committees of several Colonies, as he thought it a piece of respect due to them, and would probably prevent his being suspected and treated as a person unfriendly to us; that he likewise thought it his duty to wait on your Excellency, and acquaint you with the situation of his affairs, and if he could, to obtain your license, to travel unmolested.

These, sir, are the facts as handed to me by him. What may be his secret designs I am unable to say, and what steps are most proper to be taken respecting him your Excellency can best judge. I am far from thinking that he has been in Canada; but as he was once Governour of Michilimackinack, it is possible he may have a commission to take that command, and stir up the Indians against us, and only waits for an opportunity to get there; for which reason I would advise lest some blame might be laid upon your Excellency in future, not to give him any other permit, but let him avail himself of those he has; and should he prove a traitor, let the blame centre upon those who enlarged him. I beg pardon for intruding my opinion, and subscribe myself your Excellency' s most obedient servant, JOHN SULLIVAN.

His Excellency General Washington.