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Letter from General Schuyler to Colonel Dayton



Saratoga, May 14, 1776.

SIR: General Sullivan will order you to proceed to Johnstown with a detachment of the regiment under your command. On your arrival there you will take up your quarters at the house of Gilbert Tice, inn-holder, and give notice to the Highlanders who live in the vicinity of the town to repair to it; and when any number are collected you will send off their baggage, and infirm women and children, in wagons, for which you will apply to the Committee of the County of Tryon, or some of them. You will make an exact list of the men, women and children, distinguishing those under five years old, and those from five and under twelve, from those beyond that age; copies of which you will transmit me; you will give the strictest order that no abuse be given to the persons of these people, and that all their effects be secured in such a manner that the most trifling part of their property may not be destroyed.

After having secured the Highlanders, you will let Sir John Johnson know that you have a letter from me, which you are ordered to deliver to him in person, and beg his attendance to receive it. If he comes, as soon as you have delivered the letter and he has read it, you are immediately to make him close prisoner, and carefully guard him, that he may not have the least opportunity to escape. When you have done this, you are to repair to his house, taking him with you, and after having placed proper sentinels to prevent any person belonging to the family from carrying in or out papers, you are to examine his papers in his own presence and in the presence of William Duer, Esq˙, who


companies you, and with whom I wish you to consult when any difficulty arises. If you find any papers relating to any intended operation against the cause of America, or any letters from British Governours or officers, or agents of the Ministry, you will make a list of such papers and letters, copy whereof you will deliver to Sir John Johnson, and another, together with such papers and letters, you must transmit to me. You and Mr˙ Duer will both give your words of honour that you will discover to no person whatever the contents of any papers or letters which are of a private nature, and which do not affect the cause of America. Although Sir John is to be closely guarded, he is by no means to experience the least ill-treatment in his own person or those of his family; and you are to be particularly careful that none of the men under your command, or any persons whatsoever, destroy or take away the most trifling part of his property, except arms and ammunition, which you are to secure and bring down with you and deliver to Mr˙ Philip Rensselaer, store-keeper, with a charge to keep them safe until further orders from me. In securing Sir John Johnson, and in searching his house, I wish the least tumult possible, and to that end you are not to suffer private soldiers to enter it, unless by your immediate order. You will constantly keep strong guards and good look out, that you may not experience a surprise, both in marching to and whilst you remain there; and on your return, having secured Sir John Johnson and brought him to Albany, you are there to cause him to be guarded with the same attention, and to send me notice of his arrival.

I am, sir, your humble servant,

To Colonel Dayton.