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Deposition of John Shatforth



John Shatforth, late of Yorkshire, in Old England, being duly sworn, deposeth and saith: That he went from Esquire Gilliland' s Patent to St˙ John' s, about the first of May last, where he has been since employed in farming; that his father and mother live there; that he procured a pass from Major Preston to come from St˙ John' s to Mr˙ Gilliland' s, to harvest, and accordingly left that place the 21st of July; that at that time there were about four hundred and sixty Regular Troops there, but no Canadians, except two Indian interpreters, and about half a dozen hauling pickets for the fortifications; that there are between thirty and forty Indians there, some of them of the Caughnawagas, and some of the Messasagas, who go out for spies; that this deponent believes their orders are not to pass the line, but cannot tell whether they would act against the Colonies, if required; did not hear that General Carleton was enlisting any Canadians: was informed by Mr˙ Duguid that there were some Indians at Montreal, but does not know certainly, as he never was there; that he, this deponent, had heard the Canadians say they wish to remain neutral; that the fortification at St˙ John' s is a fort with a double row of pickets, and the largest pickets of it are as big as a man' s thigh; that there are trenches on the outside, and a breastwork on the inside of the pickets; that they intend to let water from the lake into the trenches; that he was not allowed to go into the fort, but supposes it to contain about an acre of ground; believes they have eight or ten guns mounted, mortars included, and are preparing to mount more, as they have more embrasures for


them; that the fort is square, and without bastions; that there is another fortification to the northward of the one described, and like it, on which no cannon are mounted; that the timber, ready framed, was hauling by the Canadians from Chambly; when he left St˙ John' s, for building two schooners, one of which is to be of fifty-four feet keel, and the other of fifty-five; that the timber belonged to Mr˙ Bell, and was seized by the Regulars at Chambly; that provisions in Canada were very scarce, and that flour was the most so; that this deponent saw no boats at St˙ John' s, except two small batteaus, and did not hear of their having any more elsewhere; that more Regular Troops were expected in Canada, which news they heard from Quebeck; that he cannot tell what other Troops are in Canada, but that there are some at Chambly, though he cannot tell their numbers. He knows John Duguid, who was a cooper at St˙ John' s, employed by the Commissary. That the schooners were coming up the lake, as soon as they were finished; that he, this deponent, lived better than half a mile from the fort; that he has not lately seen any provisions come to St˙ John' s, and all that are brought must pass by his door; that he saw the two men that were taken with the Indian boy, and believes they were sent to Montreal; that he does not suppose the Canadians would take it ill if the Colony Troops were to pass the line; that he heard and believes there were about three thousand people assembled at Chambly, to defend themselves against being forced to take up arms, who did not continue together above two or three days, but he cannot tell in what manner they were dispersed; that the Canadians have arms, but no ammunition; that the Regular Troops declared, that when they came up the lake, they would destroy Esquire Gilliland' s settlement. And further saith not.


Sworn this 2d day of August, 1775, before me,

The above Deposition was taken from the mouth of the deponent, in the presence of General Schuyler, Colonel Hinman, Colonel Mott, and Major Welsh, by JOHN MACPHERSON.