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Letter from General Schuyler to the President of Congress


February 6.

Yesterday Colonel Ritzema arrived from Canada, and brought me a letter from General Wooster, copy whereof enclose. Colonel Ritzema does not think it possible to complete two regiments out of the last campaign' s troops, now in Canada. I shall be agreeably disappointed if one can be raised there, I have advised Colonel Ritzema to proceed to Philadelphia, that Congress may have an opportunity of examining him as to our affairs in Canada, The civil police of that country, I am very certain, claims immediate attention. Its arrangements ought not to be left to any military commander, who must necessarily have his hands full of other business.

Enclose an account that has been sent me by Governour Skene' s overseer. He supposes that by this time a much greater quantity of staves than what he has charged, are destroyed. I have so many applications of the like kind that I am ashamed of the conduct of our troops. Tories and Whigs are indiscriminately the object of plunder whenever a fair opportunity offers. You cannot, sir, imagine, how detrimental this is to our cause; and what remedy to apply, I know not. I have given orders, I have entreated the officers to attend and prevent such scandalous depredations, but all in vain.

I believe there are very few arms left in Canada, either of those found in the garrisons taken, or those left by the soldiers. What is become of them? They are stolen and brought down the country. Very few, fit for any thing, are left in store here. Half the regiment raising in Connecticut is to be supplied here. If I should have a number sufficient, they will hardly be worth the carrying. The arms of the two companies from Pennsylvania, that are arrived, are also much out of repair. Could not the arms taken from the Tories on Long-Island, be immediately sent up?

I conceive that the quantity of powder Congress has ordered up is vastly short of what will be wanted in Canada. Let the fate of Quebeck be what it will, fifteen tons would not be too much.

I am, most respectfully, and most sincerely, sir, your obedient, humble servant,


To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq˙, &c.