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Letter from Rev. Eleazer Wheelock to General Washington, giving him an account of an interview



Dartmouth College, December 2, 1775.

MUCH HONOURED AND RESPECTED SIR: On the 13th ult˙ the famous Major Rogers came to my house from a tavern in the neighbourhood, where he called for refreshment. I had never before seen him. He was in but ordinary habit for one of his character. He treated me with great respect; said he came from London in July, and had spent twenty days with the Congress, in Philadelphia, and I forget how many at New-York; had been offered and urged to take a commission in favour of the Colonies, but, as he was now in half pay from the Crown, he thought proper not to accept it; that he had fought two battles in Algiers, under the Dey; that he was now on a design to take care of some large grants of land made to him; that he was now going to visit his sister, at Moor' s Town, and then return by Memmack River, to visit his wife, whom he had not yet seen since his return from England; that he had got a pass or license to travel from the Continental Congress; that he came in to offer his service to procure a large interest for this College; that the reputation of it was great in England; that Lord Dartmouth, and many other noblemen, had spoken of it, in his hearing, with expressions of highest esteem and respect; that Capt˙ Holland, Surveyor-General, now at New-York, was a great friend to me and the College, and would assist me in the affair; and that now was the most favourable time to apply for a large grant of lands for it.

I thanked him for expressions of his kindness, but, after


I had shown some coldness in accepting it, he proposed to write me in his journey and let me know where I might write him, and he should be ready to perform any friendly office in the affair. He said he was in haste to pursue his journey that evening. He went to the aforesaid tavern and tarried all night; the next morning told the landlord he was out of money and could not pay his reckoning — which was three shillings — but would pay him on his return, which would be within about three months, and went on his way to Lyme; since which I have heard nothing from him. But yesterday two soldiers, viz: Palmer, of Orford, (whom they say was Lieutenant under Colonel Bedel,) and Kennedy, of Haverhill, on their return from Montreal, informed me that our officers were assured by a Frenchman, a Captain of the artillery, whom they had taken captive, that Major Rogers was second in command under General Carleton; and that he had lately been in Indian habit through our encampments at St˙ John' s, and had given a plan of them to the General; and suppose that he made his escape with the Indians, which were at St˙ John' s.

This account is according to the best of my remembrance. If it shall prove of any service to detect such an enemy I shall be glad; if not, my intention will, I trust, apologise for what I have wrote.

I am, much honoured Sir, with much esteem and respect, your Excellency' s most obedient and very humble servant,


His Excellency General Washington.