Primary tabs

Governour Trumbull to General Schuyler



Lebanon, August 18, 1775.

SIR: I have before me his Excellency General Washington' s letter of the 14th instant, wherein he mentions, "We begin to feel a scarcity of lead. I have concluded that part of the stock found at Ticonderoga should be brought down; for this purpose have wrote to General Schuyler."

He desires me to take the direction of this matter, and be cautious and not suffer it to be water-borne when there is any danger of the enemy' s shipping. His letter to you on that head I conclude is enclosed. I have wrote to Mr˙ Commissary Phelps that it will be sent by the returning teams from Lake George to him at Albany, from thence he is to direct it in the safest, least expensive, and directest way to the camp before Boston; not to suffer it to be water-borne where there is any danger. Possibly it may be best to carry it down the North River, as far as Colonel Hoffman' s, and there taken into carts or wagons, and carried in the best and most direct way by land.

We have at Middletown, in this Colony, a lead mine, about seven or eight tons of ore raised, and preparations making to smelt it. It is expected saltpetre will soon be made in plenty, and there is no doubt of finding sulphur. These internal resources for ammunition will prevent the operation of the mischievous measures by cutting us off from all foreign supplies. Eight wagon loads of powder went into camp before Boston yesterday. Five deserters have come in lately. Our forces have the advantage in all little skirmishes. They have about one hundred prisoners. Friday last his Excellency wrote to General Gage, desiring him to free our prisoners from the common jail, in which both officers and soldiers are confined; informing him that unless he liberated them from that confinement, his officers and soldiers should be treated in the same manner. I have not heard the answer. People continue to come out slowly from Boston, who agree not more than six thousand men fit for duty in the enemy' s fortress and camp.

August 21st˙ — Since writing the above I am favoured with your letter of the fourteenth, with yours to my son. I hope with you concerning the tents for Colonel Hinman' s Regiment, although I am not without fears of unnecessary delays. I doubt not it will recover many of the sick to find they are going in action. I perceive a complaint of


bad water; hope they will go where they will find better. Am obliged for your congratulations on my son' s appointment. ' Tis truly agreeable to find it approved of. He set out for New-York on Thursday seven-night, and this day received a letter from him, informing that he is going to Philadelphia for the money. He has orders for one hundred thousand Dollars, and mentions your right to draw for two hundred thousand more if needed. Shall send an express to meet him at New-York. I have sent to Colonel Mott to make all possible haste up. I am surprised at the mention of Congress preventing your going forward at so promising an opportunity. Our enemies are the Ministerial Troops in Canada, while the Canadians are our friends, and will join us at a time when they are able and not forced to the contrary by our enemies. The Indians will join the Canadians, and it will save both blood and treasure to make our approach while our enemies are few and every thing looks promising. There are at least seven hundred and fifty men, who may possibly be spared, who are yet in this Colony, to assist in the enterprise. Since receiving yours, have given the intelligence to General Washington, and shall expect his answer soon. Surely it is not the intention of the Continental Congress to prevent your going forward.

I am, with great esteem and sincerity, Sir, your obedient and humble servant,


The Honourable General Schuyler.