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Letter from General Schuyler to Governour Trumbull: Intends to publish a narrative in justification of his conduct



Albany, September 15, 1776.

SIR : Yesterday I had the honour to receive your favour of the 10th instant. As I could not find time to gel the treaty with the Indians copied, I took the liberty to send you the originals, which I hope you have received. It will not be necessary that I should be furnished with the invoices of the sundry articles you have been so good as to send to Ticonderoga. The amount of the first parcels was endorsed on one of the accounts brought me by Mr˙ Williams, and not discovered until after I had written.

I am happy, sir, that the reflections you have made on the state of the Northern army, are similar to those I have long since done myself the honour to communicate to Congress. The officers and soldiers who were last year engaged in the service, and those that are now, will be convinced


that I have paid early and repeated attention to their distresses. As soon as I can publish a narrative in justification of my conduct, which I am bound to do, in justice to myself, to my family, and to the Convention of this State, who, unsolicited by me, wrote a letter so favourable to Congress as induced them to confer the command in this department upon me, and who also kindly, though without my knowledge, requested Congress above two months ago, that an inquiry should be made into my conduct — that if guilty I might suffer; if otherwise, the odium which I so generally laboured under might be wiped away. I had gone before the Convention in this request, and I have since repeated it in the most pressing terms, but hitherto without success. Perhaps, it may hereafter appear, that it was in the power of Congress to have justified me against every calumny; if so, it is probable the candid will ask why it was not done. That, too, may possibly appear.

Your attentions, sir, to supply the army merits the warmest acknowledgments of every friend of his country. You have mine most unfeignedly. How it comes that the troops are not supplied with salt, vinegar, and mutton, I really do not know. By the last return, of the 1st of this month, four hundred and sixty sheep were at Fort George. There are not less than seven hundred barrels of salt at Fort George, &c˙, which I had ordered to be purchased last Fall, and a very considerable quantity of vinegar is gone up, for which I have given a special permit to a person who had it for sale. Peas have only lately been forwarded — as none were to be had of the last year' s crop. I shall immediately write to the Superintendents of the Hospital, on the subject of wine and refreshments for the troops, and order that it be furnished the unhappy sick. I assure you, sir, that I have always felt much for them, and wished and strove to alleviate their distresses as much as lay in my power. Before fresh meat could be got for them from the interiour parts of the country, I sent an hundred sheep from my farm at Saratoga, with as many milch cows as I could possibly spare, and ordered a number to be purchased in the vicinity of this place — which were sent the soonest they possibly could — nor shall I slacken to aid them during the short time I am to remain in the command, which I believe will not exceed a fortnight, as I have sent my resignation to Congress. I sincerely wish my successor may meet with less trouble than I have had, and give more satisfaction than I have been able to, with my best exertions. If he deigns to consult with me, I will do all in my power to aid him, and in every instance will try to convince my countrymen that I am the honest and warm though injured friend of America.

The cannonade on Lake Champlain, which was supposed to be occasioned by our fleet' s meeting with the enemy, was only a few cannon fired by General Arnold at a party of the enemy, who attacked a boat belonging to the fleet, and killed three and wounded six of the crew. Our fleet lays off Isle-au-Motte, consisting of thirteen sail, and will very soon, if it is not already, be reinforced by three large and stout galleys. The intelligence from Fort Stanwix proved fallacious.

The Commissioners of Congress appointed to adjust the publick accounts in this department are arrived. I beg you will be so good as to cause publication to be made in your State, requesting all persons that have any accounts to settle to repair to this place Little can, however, be done in the Canada accounts until they are furnished with General Wooster' s. Will your Honour be so good as to advise that gentleman of this, if he should be in Connecticut?

The Storekeeper informs me, that he has not above fifty gun-barrels that cannot be repaired here. These he will send by the first conveyance, together with such as he may receive from Ticonderoga, which are ordered to be sent for.

I am, sir, most respectfully, and with great esteem, your most obedient humble servant,


To the Hon˙ Jonathan Trumbull, Esq˙, &c.