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Report by Colonel Ethan Allen, to General Schuyler


[No˙ 5.]

Wednesday, September 6, 1775.

Set out from Isle-aux-Noix on the 8th instant; arrived at Chambly; found the Canadians in that vicinity friendly; they guarded me under arms night and day, escorted me through the woods as I desired, and showed me every courtesy I could wish for. The news of my being in this place excited many Captains of the Militia and respectable gentlemen of the Canadians to visit and converse with me, as I gave out I was sent by General Schuyler to manifest his friendly intentions towards them, and delivered the General' s written manifesto to them to the same purpose. I likewise sent a messenger to the chiefs of the Caughnawaga Indians, demanding the cause why sundry of the Indians had taken up arms against the United Colonies; they sent two of their chiefs to me, who plead that it was contrary to the will and orders of their chiefs. The King' s Troops gave them rum, and inveigled them to fight General Schuyler; that they had sent their runners, and ordered them to depart from St˙ John' s, averring their friendship to the Colonies. Meanwhile, the sachems held a General Council, sent two of their Captains, and some beads and a wampun belt, as a lasting testimony of their friendship; and that they would not take up arms on either side. These tokens of friendship were delivered to me, agreeable to their ceremony, in a solemn manner, in the presence of a large auditory of Canadians, who approved of the league, and manifested friendship to the Colonies, and testified their good will on account of the advance of the Army into Canada. Their fears (as they said) were, that our Army was too weak to protect them against the severity of the English Government, as a defeat on our part would expose our friends in Canada to it. In this dilemma, our friends expressed anxiety of mind. It furthermore appeared to me that many of the Canadians were watching the scale of power, whose attraction attracted them. In fine, our friends in Canada earnestly urged that General Schuyler should


immediately environ St˙ John' s, and that they would assist in cutting off the communication between St˙ John' s and Chambly, and between these forts and Montreal. They furthermore assured me, that they would help our Army to provision, &c˙; and that, if our Army did not make a conquest of the King' s garrisons, they would be exposed to the resentment of the English Government, which they dreaded, and consequently that the attempt of the Army into Canada would be to them the greatest evil. They further told me that some of the inhabitants, that were in their hearts friendly to us, would, to extricate themselves, take up arms in favour of the Crown; and therefore that it was of the last importance to them, as well as us, that the Army immediately attack St˙ John' s, which would cause them to take up arms in our favour.

Governour Carleton threatens the Canadians with fire and sword, except they assist him against the Colonies, and the Seigneurs urge them to it. They have withstood Carleton and them, and keep under arms throughout most of their Parishes, and are now anxiously watching the scale of power.

This is the situation of affairs in Canada, according to my most painful discovery.

Given under my hand, upon honour, this 14th day of September, 1775.


To his Excellency General Schuyler.