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Letter from General Thomas to the President of Congress



[Read April 16, 1776.]

Albany, April 8, 1776.

SIR: I received your favour of the 6th of March, with the directions of Congress to proceed to Canada. In consequence of which I left Roxbury the 22d, for Albany, where I arrived the 28th. I have been detained on account of the lakes being impassable; but am in hopes boats may pass in a few days. I shall take the very first opportunity.

I am sorry to find the troops so backward; I understand many of the regiments are very incomplete as to number, especially those of New-York and New-England. I cannot find the whole, which may be expected to form the Army in Canada, will amount to five thousand, while I expect Montreal, and the posts on our way, will require near one thousand; and should a reinforcement of the enemy arrive before we get possession of Quebeck, considering the smallness of our number, some disagreeable consequence must ensue. For Canada, we cannot expect to be able to call in any assistance from the inhabitants, as in the other Colonies, on any emergency. I hope the Congress will take this matter into consideration, whether the number mentioned is sufficient to resist the force that our enemy will be likely to send that way. I am not at present able to make any regular return of the state of the Army in that quarter, but shall, as soon as it possibly can be done. I understand by General Schuyler, that he has made some representation to Congress on this matter; therefore shall, on my part, pursue every measure that is in my power for the good of the common cause.

I am, sir, with the greatest respect, your most obedient and very humble servant,


To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq.