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The Sub-Committee of the City and County of Albany to the Provincial Congress of New-York



[Read before Congress June 3, 1775.]

Albany Committee-Chamber,

May 26, 1775.

GENTLEMEN: We have received a letter from the New-York Committee, of the twentieth inst˙, enclosing the Resolution of the Continental Congress of the eighteenth instant. We have likewise received some material information from the north and westward, which we shall now lay before you. And first respecting our western intelligence. We are so much crowded with business and despatches from different quarters, that we cannot so copiously enlarge on every different subject as we could wish; we shall therefore only state the necessary facts to you, interspersed with such remarks as we conceive of consequence.

The first of our intelligence from the west was, that the Indians were exceedingly uneasy, and more of them daily coming in to Colonel Johnson' s place at Guy Park, occasioned, as he alleges, by reason of a report in his neighbourhood, that the New-England people, with some others, intended seizing and taking him captive to New-England, and by this means extinguish the Indian council fire. And that this was to be done in consequence of another report that Colonel Johnson was setting up the Indians to destroy the inhabitants, &c.

Next we received a letter wrote by four Mohawks to the Oneidas , where of we enclose you a copy, translated from the Mohawk into English, No˙ 2.

Next we received a letter from the Committee of Palatine District , in Tryon County, whereof we enclose you a copy, No˙ 3; our answer to which you have enclosed , No˙ 3, a.

Next, five persons from Tryon County here, who made oath of their being stopped in the road at Colonel Johnson' s on the seventeenth instant; we enclose copy of the affidavit, No˙ 4.

On the same day we also received from the Committee of Schenectady a copy of Colonel Johnson' s letter to them, dated the eighteenth, which you have enclosed, No˙ 5, and to which the Schenectady Committee wrote him an answer, whereof we have no copy.

Next we received copy of a letter from Colonel Johnson to the Magistrates and others of Palatine, Canajoharie, and the upper Districts, dated twentieth instant, which you have enclosed, No˙ 6; and of the answer to which we have no copy.

Next we received copy of another letter from Colonel Johnson , without a date, directed to the Magistrates, &c˙, of Schenectady, and the Mayor and Corporation, &c˙, of Albany, which you have enclosed, No˙ 7; whereupon we wrote him a letter, dated the twenty-third instant, copy whereof you have enclosed, No˙ 8˙, and one to the same effect was wrote to him, on the same subject, by the Corporation here.

Next we received copy of the speech of the Mohawks, interpreted by the Reverend Mr˙ Kirkland, on the twentieth instant, whereof you have a copy enclosed, No˙ 9 ; whereto we wrote an answer , dated twenty-third instant, and appointed two persons of our Committee, To wit, Gilbert Marselis and Peter Schuyler, to go to the Mohawks, with Mr˙ Martin Lydias as an interpreter; enclosed you have a copy thereof, No˙ 10.

Next we received a reply from the Mohawks to our answer, dated the twenty-fifth; a copy whereof you have enclosed, No˙ 11, wherein is contained the reply of the Indians, and the Sub-Committee' s answer thereto.


We shall now proceed to communicate our northern intelligence, the substance of which you will fully collect from Col˙ Arnold' s letter to us, dated twenty-second inst˙, whereof we enclose you a copy, No˙ 12 . Second: Col˙ Arnold' s letter to Captain Noah Lee, dated the twenty-third instant , whereof we enclose you a copy, No˙13˙ Third: We yesterday received the Quebeck mail opened, and sent to us by some of our people from above, and such letters as were already opened, were inspected by two of our members, who made an extract of such passages in them as respected their publick commotions, a copy of which extract we enclose you, No˙14.

We shall now take notice of the New-York Committee' s letter to us, of the twentieth instant, enclosing the Resolution of the Continental Congress, from which we find that the reduction of Ticonderoga by our forces, is approved of, and recommending us to proceed with all possible despatch with a sufficient body of forces, &c˙, to the northward, to remove the cannon and stores from Ticonderoga to the south end of Lake George. We are now busy to raise two Companies, each Company composed of fifty men, in order to go upon said expedition, who we expect will be in readiness to march in two or three days. But, gentlemen, there are a number of very material difficulties that immediately arise. We have no ammunition; all the powder already gone up, with what we can possibly collect yet among us, will not amount to above two hundred and fifty pounds; and with so small a quantity it is impossible for us to do any thing of consequence, nor can we possibly conceive how the Provincial forces can maintain these northern posts, or withstand the attack of the British Troops from Quebeck, who are, from the best intelligence we can collect, preparing, as fast as possible, to come down, in order to take these places from us; an enterprise which, if by them undertaken and completed, will introduce our enemies into the very bowels of our Country. We beg of you, gentlemen, without delay, to take these important matters into your most serious and immediate consideration, and afford us the necessary assistance in this our distressed situation, and send us up, with all possible speed, a sufficient quantity of powder, without which nothing can possibly be done. We likewise stand in need of blankets, pitch, tar, oakum, nails, spikes, gin, ropes, camp-kettles, intrenching tools, &c˙, and some rice, oat-meal, and barley, &c˙; also for the sloop and schooner, two mates, two gunners, two gunner' s mates, two boatswains, and eighteen seamen, agreeable to Colonel Arnold' s list, (copy enclosed,) No˙ 15, all winch you' ll be pleased to cause to be sent up to us with all possible despatch.

We would beg of you, likewise, to take into consideration some mode or plan for raising and paying our forces; the one which we have adopted here, pro hâc vice, until you conclude upon a better one, we enclose you a copy of, No˙ 16.

We would mention another matter to you, which, in our humble opinion, requires your immediate consideration; that as the vessel from St˙ John' s has lately been taken by our forces, and whereof the Continental Congress have had no intelligence, on the eighteenth instant, when they entered into the Resolution respecting Ticonderoga, and removing the stores and cannon from thence to Lake George, whether it would not be expedient to fortify the latter instead of the former, as Ticonderoga is by far the strongest and most important fortress.

We beg the favour of you that you will, immediately after your perusal of this our letter, and the papers herewith sent, be pleased to forward the same to the Continental Congress by the most speedy and eligible mode of conveyance.

We are, gentlemen, you most obedient servants.

By order of the Committee:

SAMUEL STRINGER, Chairman pro tem.