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Letter from General Washington to the President of Congress



[Read May 16. Referred to Mr˙ Livingston, Mr˙ Jefferson, and Mr˙ J˙ Adams.]

New-York, May 15, 1776.

SIR: Since my last of the 11th instant, which I had the honour to address you, nothing of moment or importance has occurred; and the principal design of this is to communicate to Congress the intelligence I received last night from General Schuyler, by a letter of the 10th, respecting the progress of our troops in getting towards Canada, not doubting of their impatience and anxiety to hear of it, and of everything relating to the expedition. For their more particular information and satisfaction I have done myself the pleasure to extract the substance of his letter on this head, which is as follows:

"That General Thompson, with the last of his brigade, in the morning of Tuesday se' nnight embarked at Fort George, and in the evening of the next day General Sullivan arrived at Albany; that he had ordered an additional number of carpenters to assist in building boats, who, finishing eight every day, would have one hundred and ten complete by the 21st, before which he was fearful the last of General Sullivan' s brigade could not embark; that they would carry thirty men each, besides the baggage, ammunition, and intrenching tools; that he has given most pointed orders to restrain the licentiousness of the troops, which was disgraceful and very injurious in those gone on heretofore, in abusing the inhabitants and batteaumen, and that he had ordered Captain Romans from Canada for trial at Albany, there being sundry complaints lodged against him. He also informs, that the sixty barrels of powder had arrived and would be forwarded that day; that the first regiment, of General Sullivan' s brigade marched that morning, and that the intrenching tools, and about six hundred barrels of pork, were also gone on; that he cannot possibly send more than half of the three hundred thousand dollars into Canada, being greatly in debt on the publick account, and the creditors exceedingly clamorous and importunate for payment; which sum he hopes will be sufficient till the Canadians agree to take our paper currency, to which they are much averse, and of which he is exceeding doubtful; that he had got the chain and would forward it that day to General Arnold, with orders to fix it at the rapids of Richelieu. He adds, that he had reviewed General Sullivan' s brigade in presence of about two hundred Indians, who were greatly pleased with the order and regularity of the troops, and surprised at the number, which the Tories had industriously propagated consisted only of three companies, and that they were kept always walking the streets to induce them to believe their number was much greater than it really was."

I have enclosed a copy of General Schuyler' s instructions


to James Price, Esquire, Deputy Commissary-General, for the regulation of his conduct in that department, which I received last night, and which General Schuyler requested me to forward you. I also beg leave to lay before Congress a copy of a letter from Samuel Stringer, Director of one of the Hospitals, purporting an application for an increase of Surgeons' mates, &c˙,an estimate of which is also enclosed, and submit it to them what number must be sent from hence or got elsewhere. It is highly probable that many more will be wanted in Canada, than what are already there, on account of the late augmentation of the Army; but I thought it most advisable to make his requisition known to Congress, and to take their order and direction upon it. As to the medicines, I shall speak to Doctor Morgan (not yet arrived) as soon as he comes, and order him to forward such as may be necessary, and can possibly be spared.

I have the honour to be, with sentiments of much esteem and regard, sir, your most obedient servant,


To the President of Congress.