Primary tabs

Report of Dennis Getchall


[No˙ 5˙]

Vassalborough, September 13, 1775.

SIR: In compliance with your orders, I proceeded with Mr˙ Berry on our intended journey to Quebeck, as follows: Friday, September 1st, we sat out, and got, on Saturday 2d, to Howard' s, at Skowhegin Falls, twenty-four miles distance; rainy weather. Sunday, 3d, we arrived at Norridgewock, twelve miles distance; rainy weather. Monday, 4th, we arrived at Carratuncas Falls, eighteen miles distance; swift water and shoal. Tuesday, 5th, we readied the great carrying place, water shoal and swift, distance eighteen miles. Wednesday, 6th, we got to the third pond, in the great carrying place, distance nine miles. Thursday, 7th, we arrived at an Indian camp, thirty miles up Dead River; good water. Here we got intelligence of an Indian, that he was stationed there by Gov˙ Carleton, as a spy, to watch the motions of an Army or spies that was daily expected from New-England; that there were spies on the head of Chaudiere River; and down the river, some distance, there was stationed a regular officer and six privates. He positively declared that, if we proceeded any farther, he would give information of his suspicions of our designs, as otherwise he should betray the trust reposed in him. But, notwithstanding his threats, we thought it of moment to get all possible intelligence, and went, the 8th, thirty miles up the river aforesaid; but finding the water pretty shoal, and meeting with nothing new, we returned to the camp. Upon our first arrival at the camp, our Indian pilot thought it dangerous to proceed any farther, and declined going with us. In the time of our absence he conferred with an Indian squaw, of whom we got intelligence that all the young Indians from that quarter had gone to Johnson, but the Indian had a commission from Carleton; that at Shettican, the uppermost settlement on Chaudiere River, there was a great number of Mohawks, that would have destroyed us if we had proceeded; and that the spy hourly expected the arrival of three canoes of Indians. We found the carrying places pretty passable; the water, in general, shoal, on account of the late dry season. The trees were well marked, as far as we went, and the way is so direct as may be easily found.

Thus far, Sir, agreeable to your orders, and to the utmost


of our power, have we proceeded on our intended tour; and are, with esteem, Sir, your humble servants,



SIR: The above is a copy of a letter I draughted for the above gentlemen, and, at the request of Mr˙ Getchell, I now send it by the bearer; and am, Sir, yours, &c˙,


Memorandum. — Reuben Colburn, by whose direction this party was sent out, acted under the orders of General Washington, in order to see what were the obstacles Col˙ Arnold would be likely to meet on his way to Quebeck.