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Colonel Hazen to General Schuyler


Head-Quarters, Montreal, April 1, 1776.

SIR: General Wooster left this place for Quebeck, the 27th last month. He has honoured me, though unequal to the task, with the command of this District. I shall, therefore, to the utmost of my abilities, do for the best; and I conceive it my duty, as well as inclination, to inform you of every material circumstance as they occur to me, as well as to give you a particular account, from time to time, of this important district; and perhaps it may not be thought amiss if I add my own ideas of the whole country, and affairs in general. You are not unacquainted with the friendly disposition of the Canadians when General Montgomery first penetrated into the country. The ready assistance which they gave on all occasions, by men, carriages, or provisions, was most remarkable; even when he was before Quebeck, many Parishes offered their service in the reduction of that fortress, which was at that time thought unnecessary. But his most unfortunate fate, added to other incidents, has caused such a change in their disposition, that we are no more to look upon them as friends, but; on the contrary, waiting an opportunity to join our enemies. That no observations of my own may remain obscure, I beg leave to observe, that I think the clergy (or guardians of the souls, and conductors of the bodies) of these enthusiasts have been neglected, perhaps in some Instances ill used. Be that as it will, they are unanimous, though privately, against our cause; and I have too much reason to fear many of them, with other people of some consequence, have carried on a correspondence the whole winter with General Carleton in Quebeck, and are now plotting our destruction. The peasantry in general have been ill used; they have in some instances been dragooned, with the point of the bayonet, to furnish wood for the garrison, at a lower rate than the current price; carriages, and many other articles furnished, for which certificates were given, not legible and without signature — the one half of consequence rejected by the Quartermaster-General. It is true, they have been promised payment, from time to time; yet they look upon such promises as vague, their labour and property lost, and the Congress and the United Colonies as bankrupt; and (what is a more material point) they have not seen sufficient force in the country to protect them. These matters furnish very strong arguments to be made use of by our enemies.

To take a view of our little Army here, I have pretty good information that our strength in camp before Quebeck did not, on the 19th of March, much exceed that on the day after General Montgomery' s fall. General Arnold had at that time about four hundred men in a small-pox Hospital. Neither order nor subordination prevails, and of course shortly


no soldiers. On the 15th of this month, those who wintered in the country are free, and, in my opinion, neither art, craft, nor money, will prevail on many of them to reinlist to serve in Canada. Colonel Livingston' s Regiment, consisting of about two hundred, will be free on the same day; very few, of them, if any, will re-engage. Of my intended regiment I have about two hundred and fifty. The want of money obliges me to stop; where I shall remain until matters take a change, if ever, in our favour, as not a man more will now engage, and those which I have inlisted will go to the right about in case the Canadians in genera] join against us; at least such is my opinion. With respect to the better sort of people, both French and English, seven-eighths are Tories, who would wish to see our throats cut, and perhaps would readily assist in doing it.

The taking of Quebeck is altogether casual. The keeping of the country, according to the present appearance of affairs, is totally against us. No preparation has been, or can be made to guard the river, for a very good reason — no money or men of skill to do it; the whole country left without any other kind of law than that of the arbitrary and despotick power of the sword in the hands of the several commanding officers — too frequently abused in all cases of this nature.

You may remember, sir, in a conversation with you, at Albany, I urged the necessity of sending immediately to Canada able Generals, a respectable Army, a Committee of Congress, a suitable supply of hard cash, a printer, &C. Indeed, I had before represented those measures in person to Congress — at least to the Committee of Congress — and we have since been flattered, from time to time, with one or all those essentials.

The Savages hereabouts are cool; they keep aloof from us; we are to expect little or no friendship from them, and, indeed, little or no precaution has been taken for that purpose. It is excepted by some that numbers will come from the interior country, and fall on our frontiers, early in the spring.

Enclosed I transmit you extracts from some private letters, which accidentally came to hand from the camp before Quebeck. I believe the contents, as the news has come to town several ways. The Canadians taking up arms so early against us is of the most important consequence. We have brought about ourselves, by mismanagement, what Governour Carleton himself could never effect.

Having endeavoured to lay before you a true state of facts as they occur to me, if I have done my duty thereby, I shall be happy; if I have exceeded, I beg you will impute it to pure zeal in my country' s cause, and the ardent desire I have, on all occasions, to contribute all in my power for the interests of the United Colonies. And should you be of opinion that any of my remarks are worthy the attention of Congress, you will please to communicate them.

I am, sir, with true respect, your most obedient servant,


To Major-General Philip Schuyler.