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General Schuyler to the President of Congress



[Read October 31, 1775.]

Ticonderoga, October 14, 1775.

SIR: I had just closed my letter of yesterday when I had the honour to receive yours of the 9th, enclosing the resolution of Congress of the 14th September, and the alarming intelligence contained in yours of the 7th. You may recollect, Sir, that early after the meeting of Congress I urged the necessity of securing Hudson' s River, and assigned my reasons for it. I have been, and still am, so deeply impressed with the necessity of doing it, that I saw with chagrin that it has been so long neglected, and I learned with pleasure that a fortification was at last begun at Martelaer' s Rock; but that is not the only place that ought to be secured; there are several others, both above and below, that ought equally to claim attention, and immediately too; for should a body of forces be sent up Hudson' s River, and a chain of vessels stationed in all its extent, it will undoubtedly greatly distress if not totally ruin our cause. The Indians, notwithstanding their declarations, will, in such a case, in all probability, act against us; the disaffected to our cause gain strength, and many others, through fear and the principle of sell-preservation, will either be neuter or join our foes. To me, Sir, every object, as to importance, sinks almost to nothing when put in competition with this of securing Hudson' s River.

I hope Congress will pardon the freedom with which I express myself on this occasion. The danger of such an operation on the part of the Ministry is painted in such lively colours on my mind, that I could not avoid saying what I have done.

I shall immediately transmit to Doctor Stringer your resolutions respecting the Hospital. I fear the pay allowed to the Mates is too little, and that they will not remain in the service. He has now I suppose near two hundred sick under his care.

Soon after my appointment, as I understood that I was to have a Brigade Major, provision being made for it, and that the appointment lay with me, as one of my suite, I appointed Captain Dimon, of Colonel Waterbury' s Regiment, to that office, who has acted in that capacity ever since. Should I have erred, I beg Congress to impute it to a mistake, and not to any presumption of mine.

I shall be happy to learn the resolutions of Congress on my several letters, which you are so good as to say will soon be transmitted me. The bags containing the six thousand three hundred and sixty-four Pounds, Pennsylvania currency, have been delivered me under seal, by the gentlemen to whose charge they were intrusted, and I shall forward them to-morrow to General Montgomery.

I have not heard a word from St˙ John' s since mine of yesterday. I am still in hopes all will go well there, unless a want of ammunition takes place. The New-York Congress have wrote to Connecticut; what the result of their application is, I do not yet know.

I should be extremely happy if your good wishes (on which I return you the most unfeigned thanks) for the restoration of my health were realized; but, unfortunately for me, I am so daily weakening by a violent lax and extreme sweatings at night, that I shall think it necessary to send for Doctor Stringer to me, because I neither can (consistent with the publick weal) nor will I quit this place to go southward until our affairs in Canada are decided.

General Wooster having ordered a Court-Martial at Fort George, of which I was informed only this morning,


which he by no means had a right to do, and apprehensive, from that extraordinary conduct, that he might create difficulties if he should join the Army under General Montgomery (from which I cannot dissuade him, nor dare I order him to stay, lest the Regiment should refuse to go, which he says they would do,) I thought it my indispensable duty to write him a letter, of which the enclosed is a copy, and to which I received an answer, copy of which you have also enclosed. I have since received letters advising me that he has presumed to discharge men of Hinman' s and Waterbury' s Regiments. I assure you, Sir, that I feel these insults from a General Officer with all that keen sensibility that a man of honour ought; and I should be ashamed to mention them to Congress, but that the critical situation of our publick affairs at this period require that I should sacrifice a just resentment to them, and I would wish to have it remembered that to that cause only must be imputed that I have suffered a personal indignity.

I am, Sir, most respectfully, your very obedient humble servant,


To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq˙, &c.