Primary tabs

Albany (New-York) Committee to the Continental Congress



[Read before Congress, June 26, 1775.]

Albany Committee Chamber, June 21, 1775.

To the Members of the Continental Congress:

GENTLEMEN: Mr˙ Dirck Swart, a member of this Board, who is just returned from Crown Point, brings the following intelligence: that one Mr˙ Hay, who lives about ten miles up Lake Champlain, came down to Crown Point, who told Colonel Arnold and others that he had been to Montreal for some flour; that Governour Carleton had him seized and confined for several days; that by the interposition of the English merchants of that place, he received liberty to return home; and that the merchants who procured him the pass from the Lieutenant-Governour, desired him to go down to Crown Point and Ticonderoga with all speed, and communicate to the commander of those fortresses that the French Caughnawaga Indians had taken up the hatchet, but that they refused to go out upon any scouts until nine of their men, who were then out, returned; and that Governour Carleton was giving them presents daily.

We are very sorry to inform you that, from a number of corroborating circumstances, we have but too much reason to believe the above information to be true, and more especially as the Troops, which amount to about six hundred men, suffer no persons coming up the lake to pass St˙ John' s if they can avoid it, where they are building floating batteries and boat. Mr˙ Suart also acquaints us that Mr˙ Hay said that Governour Carleton had asked, the English merchants to take up arms against the Yankees, to make use of his own phraseology; that the merchants refused; upon which he told them that he would set the Town on fire; when the merchants said he was welcome to do so, and added, they would carry as much fire as himself. Mr˙ Hay also desired Mr˙ Swart, if he should happen to meet Mr˙ Pierce, he should request him not to proceed, as the English merchants in Canada conceived it unsafe for him.

The forces above named are in no proper state of defence, principally owing to the scarcity of powder; of which article we have not yet been able to send up more, with the supply we have received from New-York, than three hundred and fifty pounds; which quantity is altogether insufficient to answer the purposes intended, and of little service in case of an attack. We can farther inform you this City is not half supplied (nor frontier inhabitants) with either powder or arms, for which applications have been, and daily are making to us; and as we have no prospect of any farther supply from New-York, we beg to be assisted, if possible, from the lower Governments, with all the despatch possible.

We should also desire that the command at the forts might be settled. Colonel Hinman, we understood, would have taken the command; but by his appointment from Governour Trumbull, his orders are only to re-enforce the garrisons and command his regiment; upon which Colonel Arnold refused to resign. We therefore conceive it highly necessary that a matter of such importance should be settled with all speed. The above we are also informed by Mr˙Swart, who was present and heard each read the other' s instructions.

We thought it our indispensable duty to acquaint you of these matters, and therefore send them to you per express.

We are, gentlemen, your very humble servants. By order of the Committee:
Chairman pro tempore.