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Deposition of John Duguid



John Duguid being duly sworn, saith, that he is a North Britain, and has lived in Canada for about sixteen months past; that, by order of the Commissary-General there he came to St˙ John' s about a month and a half ago as a cooper; that he staid there about four or five weeks, when they wanted him to continue in their service, but he thought it his duty to come here and give information, and that he left St˙ John' s about twelve days ago; that his wife' s relations live on Esquire Gilliland' s Patent; that when he was about to leave St˙ John' s, he obtained a pass to go to Missiskoui, but meant to go to Willsborough, to which place he believes he could not have got a pass; that there were then at St˙ John' s about four hundred and eighty Regular Troops, and about one hundred and ten at Chambly, which is about twelve miles distant from St˙ John' s; that the troops are supplied with provisions from Montreal and Quebeck; that there were in store, when he left St˙ John' s, about two weeks provisions, but that they had sent to Montreal for provisions for two months, to be lodged at Chambly, and brought to St˙ John' s as wanted; that there are no Canadians at St˙ John' s, except two Indian interpreters, and about twenty others, with horses, employed in drawing pickets; that they are making two fortifications at St˙ John' s, one of which is nearly completed, on which are about eight field-pieces mounted, and some small mortars; that these were to be taken down to make room for others; that between thirty and forty guns, of twelve, eighteen, and twenty-four pounders, with carriages, were landed at Chambly, but not brought to St˙ John' s when he came away; that he does not believe they would be brought to St˙ John' s till the timber of the vessels was brought up which was framed at Chambly, and they were employed in bringing it to St˙ John' s two days before the deponent came away; that they had about thirty or forty carriages employed in the work, and expected a great many more the next day, and thought to get the timber there in four or five days, and that by this time he imagines the guns are there; that the timber belonged to Mr˙ Bell, and was seized at Chambly; that the keel of one of the vessels was between fifty-three and fifty-four feet long, and that of the other between fifty-five and fifty-six feet, and that they are to be built between the fortifications; that there were between fifty and sixty carpenters; and this deponent supposes the vessels are well advanced by this time, and they are to mount sixteen or eighteen guns each, the most of them twelve pounders; that the forts are square, and of equal dimensions, and about one hundred yards asunder; that the south and east sides are formed with a ditch and parapet, picketed, and the north and west sides with strong pickets, ten feet long, and the water from the lake is to be let into the ditch of the north fort; that the forts communicate by a small breastwork, near the water-side; that there were thirty Indians at St˙ John' s for some time, and nine arrived there the night before this deponent left it, some few of whom are Caughnawagas; that some frequently return to Montreal, and others came; that he was particularly informed by the British Merchants of Montreal, that there had about five hundred Indians came down with Colonel Johnson and Colonel Claus, about one hundred of whom this deponent saw at Montreal; that he was informed the remainder were at Lachine; that it was reported these Indians were coining up the lakes to act against the Colonies, when the Regulars were ready; that the Canadians will not take up arms on either side, but wish to remain neuter; that when the officers appointed by Governour Carleton attempted to force the Canadians to take up arms, about three thousand of them assembled, and obliged the officers to quit their purpose and return home; that the son of M˙ De Chambeault, one of the principal seigneurs in Canada, had a commission to raise men, but attempting it was disarmed by the people, and escaped to Montreal; that his father came next day, and was obliged to go thither likewise;


that the Canadians were headed by M˙ L' Artifice; that they have arms, but no ammunition but what they got from the merchants, who, as this deponent understands, have a considerable quantity at Quebeck; that Artifice and two others went to Governour Carleton at Montreal, to know if it was his positive orders to force them to take up arms; for if it was, they were determined to oppose it to the last; that he heard the officers at Chambly had received letters informing them that four Regiments were expected every day at Quebeck; that about six of the Indians at St˙ John' s, with an interpreter, are sent as spies once every week, with positive orders not to pass the line; that the country in Canada is very ill off for provisions, and flour four Dollars per hundred at Quebeck, by reason of the exportation to England, and that the dry weather has greatly injured their crops; that they have only two small batteaus at St˙ John' s, about ten at Chambly, and twenty at Montreal, which may be got up the river, or over land, to St˙ John' s; that when the vessels are finished, they propose to bring them upon the lake; that this deponent heard of two men being taken with an Indian boy, on the other side of the line, and the boy was released; that there were three armed schooners, of sixty or seventy tons each, lying off the mouth of Sorel, in the St˙ Lawrence, commanded by Algeo La Force and La Tourt; that he thinks the number of Regulars at Montreal does not exceed twenty, and that those at Quebeck are not more than a company, and most of them sick, and about thirty recruits from England; that on a report that the New-England people intended to come through the woods and attack Quebeck, a Captain was sent down to take command of the troops there; that the Canadians about Quebeck were disposed to be neutral, as well as those about St˙ John' s, but that the priests and seigneurs were stimulating them to take up arms against the Colonies; that on account of the new laws, which impose the same taxes that were levied by the King of France, the Canadians are very much disobliged, and declare they will oppose the taxes to the utmost; that there was a report in Canada, that an army of fifteen thousand men was coming from this way; that the Regulars determined when they come up the lake, to destroy all the settlements on this side of the line, particularly Mr˙ Gilliland' s. And further saith not.


Sworn this 2d day of August, 1775, before me,

The above Deposition was taken from the mouth of the deponent, in the presence of General Schuyler, Colonel Hinman, Colonel Mott, and Major Welsh, by JOHN MACPHERSON.