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Letter from General Washington to General Schuyler: The four Regiments are now embarking; and with all the stores that can be spared will be pressed forward with the greatest possible despatch; it will be impossible to keep the Indians in a state of neutrality; and Congress has been urged to engage them on our side to prevent their taking an active part against us



New-York, April 19, 1776.

DEAR SIR: Yours of the 12th instant, from Fort George, was delivered me, with the enclosures, yesterday, by express. I agree with you that the intelligence is very alarming, and requires the strictest attention. The four regiments ordered from hence are now embarking, and I hope will soon be with you. I need not urge the necessity of forwarding them from Albany with all possible despatch. You will have with the troops five hundred barrels of provisions. The Commissary-General expects every moment a large quantity from Connecticut; and what can be spared of it shall be sent to you in the same bottoms without delay. What; General Lee contracted for is not yet delivered. His sudden and unexpected departure to the southward left the contractors at a loss where to deliver the provisions, and apply for the pay. The Commissary-General has since renewed the contract, and ordered them to send the provisions here.


I have ordered a return to be made of the state of our magazine; and if the powder you request can possibly be spared, you shall have it. I have written to Congress to know whether they would incline to send you a further reinforcement of men; but we are yet in a very uncertain situation, not knowing where the enemy may bend their force, and constant applications from all quarters of the sea-coast, for a supply of men and ammunition. The recruits that have been lately raised here are totally unfurnished with arms, and, what is still worse, we do not know where to procure them.

You, who know the temper and disposition of the Savages, will, I doubt not, think with me, that it will be impossible to keep them in a state of neutrality. I have urged to Congress the necessity of engaging them on our side to prevent their taking an active part against us, which would be a most fatal stroke, under our present circumstances. The commotions among the Canadians is really alarming. I am afraid proper measures have not been taken to conciliate their affections, but rather that they have been insulted and injured, than which nothing could have a greater tendency to ruin our cause in that country; for human nature is such that it will adhere to the side from whence the best treatment is received. I therefore conjure you, sir, to recommend to the officers and soldiers, in the strongest terms, to treat all the inhabitants (Canadians, English, and Savages) with tenderness and respect, paying them punctually for what they receive, or giving them such certificates as will enable them to receive their pay.

As you are perfectly well acquainted with the country and its inhabitants in and about Albany, I think it would be best for you to remain there, at least until the troops and all their supplies are forwarded from thence to Canada. Besides the four regiments ordered for that service, I shall send a company of Riflemen, a company of Artificers, and two Engineers.

I beg you will continue to furnish me with intelligence of every interesting occurrence; and believe me, most affectionately, your obedient, humble servant,


To General Schuyler.