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To the Inhabitants of Canada



Isle-aux-Noix, September 5, 1775.

FRIENDS AND COUNTRYMEN: The various causes that have drove the ancient British Colonies in America to arms have been so fully set forth in the several petitions, papers, letters, and declarations, published by the Grand Congress, that our Canadian brethren (at the extirpation of whose liberty as well as ours the nefarious schemes of a cruel Ministry directly tend) cannot fail of being informed thereof, and pleased that the Grand Congress have ordered an Army into Canada, to expel from thence, if possible, those British Troops, which, now acting under the orders of a despotick Ministry, would wish to enslave their countrymen. This measure, necessary as it is, the Congress would not have entered on, but in the fullest confidence that it would be perfectly agreeable to you; for, judging of your feelings by their own, they could not conceive that any thing but the force of necessity could induce you tamely to bear the insult and ignominy that is daily imposed on you, or that you could calmly sit by, and see those chains forging which are intended to bind you, your posterity, and ours, in one common and eternal slavery; to secure you and ourselves from such a dreadful bondage, to prevent the effects that might follow from the Ministerial Troops remaining in Canada, to restore to you those rights which every subject of the British Empire, from the highest to the very lowest order, or whatever his religious sentiments may be, is entitled to, are the only views of the Congress. In these sentiments, you will readily believe that they have given me the most positive orders to cherish every Canadian, and every friend to the cause of liberty, and sacredly to guard their property; and such is the confidence I have in the good disposition of my Army, that I do not believe I shall have occasion to punish a single offence of this kind.

A treaty of friendship has just been concluded with the


Six Nations, at Albany. I am furnished with an ample present for their Caghnawaga brethren and the other Canada tribes. If any of them have lost their lives, I sincerely lament the loss; it was done contrary to orders, and by scoundrels ill-affected to our glorious cause; and I shall take great pleasure in burying the dead, and wiping away the tears of their surviving relations, which you will communicate to them.