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Major John Brown to General Montgomery



On board the Sloop lying at the north of Isle-au-Motte,
Wednesday, August 23, 1775.

SIR: This minute Sergeant Griffin arrived from St˙ John' s, where he has been sent by Captain Stewart as a spy. He brings intelligence that the two vessels building there are very forward, that their hulls seem to be finished, being blacked up to their gunwales, and that their masts are preparing; that they appear of large size. This, Sir, is alarming news indeed, if true, which I have no reason to doubt; they will be ready to sail in one week, or ten days at most, for by Griffin' s account, as well as others, the workmen are extremely busy and assiduous, working till after dark every night. These vessels, when on the lake, will effectually command it, and the expedition is up for this year, provided that no re-enforcement comes to Canada this year.

I went with Captain Stewart yesterday, and sounded the channel near the point next below Windmill Point. Am of opinion that a stand may be made there; but should better judges think the Isle-au-Noix, or some place below that, better to intrench and effectually stop the enemy' s vessels coming up, I shall perfectly agree with them. If the Army are not ready to march within the time abovementioned, a plan of this kind must be executed, or we lose all, i. e. the command of the lake, which is tantamount.

Beg your Honour' s pardon for writing in a dictatorial style; should not attempt it were it not demonstration that the vessels mentioned at St˙ John' s, with what armed batteaus the enemy can easily furnish, can easily sweep this lake in its present condition. I therefore humbly beseech that some effectual measure may be immediately entered into to keep the command of this lake; which, I believe, may most readily and effectually be done by sending some part of the Army immediately into Canada, as I cannot consider the enemy powerful as yet; shall be willing to lead the way on the shortest notice. I hear that two Regiments are coming to join this Army, via Cohos and Onion River; the bearer will inform more particularly concerning this matter. I hope to set off to-morrow for Crown Point.

I am Sir, with great respect, your Honour' s most obedient humble servant,


To Brigadier-General Montgomery.