Primary tabs

Letter from Colonel Guy Johnson to Lord George Germaine



Staten Island, August 9, 1776.

MY LORD: I have the honour to acquaint your Lordship that I arrived here the 29th ultimo, after a long passage, and much molestation from the Rebel vessels for the last three weeks, one of which attacked us near Bermudas, but was, after a pretty close engagement of an hour and a half, beat off with much loss, though she damaged our masts and rigging so much that we could not pursue her. My Surgeon is shot through the leg, and five others slightly wounded — a trifle, considering her great superiority, for she had more than double our complement of men, and carried fourteen six-pounders, and swivels, against our twelve three-pounders. My officers and the Indians behaved very well, and were very useful at small-arms.

The General had been arrived here some time with the troops from Halifax, and from him your Lordship will doubtless


receive an account of affairs here. I, however, think it necessary to enclose your Lordship a copy of the best and latest intelligence I could procure respecting the back country and the Indians, and I have good hopes that my officers there have discharged their duty, and conducted the Indians agreeable to my instructions and the promises of the latter. At present everything awaits the grand operation, and on its issue our future measures must depend. I think the prospect is favourable, and that the declaration for an independency must totally silence any advocates they had in England. At all events, I flatter myself I shall discharge my duties as far as time and circumstances will admit; in good hope that I shall soon be enabled to meet our friends to the northward, when I shall endeavour to merit his Majesty' s favour and your Lordship' s patronage, by a zealous attention to the trust reposed in me. This moment an inhabitant of the Mohock River has found means to reach our camp, and informs that he had heard that Sir John Johnson had reached General Burgoyne; that a Colonel Dayton, with six hundred men, was repairing Fort Stanwix; and that General Schuyler had opened a Congress at the German Flats, but that only some of the Oneidas and Oughquagys attended it; and adds, that the Rebels had carried off my negroes, &c˙, and demolished everything on my estate. The Indians that attended Schuyler have been long under the influence of New England missionaries, and I found some difficulty with them last year.

I beg to be honoured with your Lordship' s commands; and I am, with very great respect, my Lord, your Lordship' s most obedient and most humble servant,

To the Right Honourable Lord George Germaine.