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Benedict Arnold to the Continental Congress



Crown Point, May 29, 1775.

GENTLEMEN: Your resolution of the 18th instant, and recommendation of measures to the City of New-York and Albany, in consequence of the taking possession of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, has this moment been delivered me, as commanding officer here, the purport of which induces me to believe the Committee of Safety of the Massachusetts-Bay have not informed you of my appointment, or instructions from them, which I have taken the liberty to enclose; and, in consequence, arrived in the neighbourhood of Ticonderoga the 9th instant, where I met one Colonel Allen, with about one hundred men, raised at the instance of some gentlemen from Connecticut, who agreed we should take a joint command of the Troops. The next morning, at four o' clock, we surprised the garrison and took them prisoners, the particulars of which you have doubtless heard. Some dispute arising between Colonel Allen and myself, prevented my carrying my orders into execution, until the 16th, when, being joined by fifty men of my own Regiment, and a small schooner taken at Skenesborough, which I immediately armed, and sailed for St˙ John' s, in quest of the sloop. The 17th, being becalmed within ten leagues of St˙ John' s, I manned out two small batteaus, with thirty-five men, and, after rowing all night, at six o' clock next morning landed at St˙ John' s, and took a sergeant and his party of twelve men prisoners, the King' s sloop, of seventy tons, mounted with two brass six-pounders, and seven men, and in two hours after left St˙ John' s, having previously taken on board such stores, &c˙, as were valuable. Providence remarkably smiled on us, as a few hours' delay would have ruined our design, a party of one hundred and twenty men, with six pieces of cannon for the sloop, being on their march from Montreal, at only twenty miles distant; add to this a party of forty men on a march from Chamblee, twelve miles distant. Colonel Allen arrived at St˙ John' s the same, evening, with one hundred men, and being attacked the next morning by the Regulars, retreated, and left three men behind, two of which are since arrived.

I have armed the sloop with six carriage and twelve swivel-guns; the schooner with four carriages and eight swivels. I have sent to Lake George one brass twelve pounder, six large brass and iron mortars and howitzers, and am making all possible preparation for transporting all the cannon here, and as many as can be spared at Ticonderoga, to Fort George.

I must beg leave to observe, gentlemen, that the report of Ticonderoga' s being abandoned, have thrown the inhabitants here into the greatest consternation. There are about five hundred families to the northward of Ticonderoga, who, if it is evacuated, will be left at the mercy of the


King' s Troops and Indians, and who have, part of them, joined the Army, and cannot now remain neuter, to whom a remove would be entire ruin, as they have large families and no dependance but a promising crop on the ground. I need not add to this, gentlemen, that Ticonderoga is the key of this extensive country, and if abandoned, leaves a very extensive frontier open to the ravages of the enemy, and to continual alarms, which will probably cost more than the expense of repairing and garrisoning it.

I esteemed it my duty, as a servant of the publick, to give you the foregoing hints, and hope the exigence of the times will be a sufficient apology for the liberty I have taken.

I have the honour to be, very respectfully, gentlemen, your most obedient humble servant,