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Letter from the Committee to General Montgomery


[No˙ 1.] Ticonderoga, November 30, 1775.

SIR: The Congress having done us the honour to appoint us as a Committee to confer with the General and yourself, on the measures necessary to be taken for the reinlistment of the Army, as also to conciliate the affections of the Canadians, and to remove as far as in us lay, every objection that the good people of that Province might have to a union with the thirteen Colonies, who are struggling in the glorious cause of freedom; we arrived here a few days since in prosecution of that design, but are extremely happy to find, that General Schuyler and yourself have, in a great measure, by your prudence and foresight anticipated our business, and rendered a journey into Canada, in some measure/unnecessary at present, which indeed we rather decline, on account of the advanced season of the year, and the improbability of your being able to lend us any assistance, while the enemies of the natural rights of man continue their hostilities against our fellow-subjects in that Province, and confine your attention to those military operations which are necessary to procure their relief. We cannot help, however, expressing the ardent wishes of the Congress, that you would cherish the first dawnings of liberty among a people who have early testified their sense of its value, if we may be admitted to judge from the assistance they afforded you in repelling its enemies; that you would assure them that the honourable the Congress have, through us, declared, that they hold their rights as dear as their own, and that on their uniting with them they will exert their utmost endeavours to procure for them and their posterity the blessing of free Government, and that


security of their property which is derived from the British Constitution; that they hold sacred the rights of conscience, and will never disturb them in the free enjoyment of their religion. The honourable Congress recommend it to you to use your utmost endeavours to procure a free meeting of the people in their several Parishes, out of whom to choose a Provincial Convention, who will form such rules and regulations as the present exigencies may render necessary for their Province; from this body they hope that Delegates will be chosen to meet and co-operate with them in such measures as they shall think necessary for their mutual security, against the unjust violences of an arbitrary Ministry; if the unsettled state of the Province should prevent a free and full representation of the whole Colony, yet the honourable the Congress win acquiesce in the choice of such Towns, Parishes, and Districts, as may think it proper to send Deputies. Or if, previous to their meeting in Congress, they should have any difficulties which it is out of your power to remove, a Committee of Congress will, at any time, when the communication is more open, be ready to meet and confer with them on the subject, at Albany, Montreal, or any other place, which they may think proper to appoint. We need not mention to you the propriety of punishing, in the severest manner, any of our troops who should so far forget the duty that they owe to us and our worthy allies, as to offer the least injury, either to their property or persons. We know not your arrangement of the Army, but presume you have not in the distribution of commissions overlooked the merit of those who deserve well of their country, or suffered, those to be advanced who have merited its censure. General Schuyler has enclosed our last instructions, which will show you the design of the Congress with respect to Quebeck, but which from your letter we find you have already in some measure anticipated. We also give you our sense with respect to the clothing and bounty to the troops; in the management of which, we must rely upon your prudence, and doubt not that the Congress will make good any engagements into which you may have found it necessary to enter. The other subjects of our conference with the General, some of which are mentioned to you in his letter, and others wanting the sanction of Congress, we think it unnecessary at present to trouble you with. The post being just about to depart, we cannot enlarge; if any other opportunity should offer, we may write you again before we leave this. We congratulate you upon the happy success of our arms, and hope shortly to hear that your prosperous endeavours has left no footing to our enemies in that country, from which they hoped to draw the most effectual supplies.

We remain with the greatest respect, your most humble servants, ROBERT R˙ LIVINGSTON,

To General Montgomery.