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Letter from Gen. Schuyler to Walter Livingston and the gentlemen of the Secret Committee



Fort George, May 22, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: By General Sullivan, who arrived last night, I was favoured with both your letters of the 20th instant.

I am much obliged to you for having taken prudent measures to prevent the evils that might be occasioned by the scandalous and false reports propagated to prejudice your respectable body and myself with the publick. We must bear with the caprice, jealousy and envy of our misguided friends, and pity them. Our Tory enemies we must watch with care and circumspection, and convince our countrymen by our actions, that we are true sons of liberty. I have some reason to apprehend that the Tories are not the only ones that have been assiduous in propagating this story. In the district you mention are some persons who applied for offices, which neither the Committee nor I could confer. This disappointment chagrins them, and, I believe, they have occasioned the report.


I am much obliged to Mr˙ Trumbull for the step he has taken. It is something singular that at the very time I was sending troops to apprehend Tories, to whom I am so obnoxious that they would not hesitate to assassinate me, the country below should be arming against me as a Tory. I am extremely sorry that the bird is flown; however, I hope still to see him in custody, unless he should have escaped to the westward. I am perfectly in sentiment with you, that the most vigorous measures ought to be pursued against Sir John Johnson and his infernal associates; and I therefore wish that a considerable sub-Committee of the Committee of the City and County of Albany was sent into Tryon County, to join the Committee of that County, and to fall upon the most effectual measures to secure the country. To prevent the necessity of sending to me, should you adopt what I recommend, and need the aid of troops, I enclose you an order to Colonel Dayton. The two companies in Tryon County raised there, you will also dispose of as you think best for the publick service.

I have sent scouting parties from this and Ticonderoga to the westward. Should Sir John and his crew be gone that way to Canada, he will in all probability fall into our hands, as I shall immediately convey the intelligence. If the Highlanders are really gone off armed, Sir John and the McDonalds have been guilty of a fraud, in not delivering up their arms last winter; and I must beg of you to signify it to the Congress, that the McDonalds may be closely confined.

Would it not be best to have all the Tories in Tryon County brought away?

I am, gentlemen, most sincerely, your obedient, humble


To Walter Livingston, Esq˙, and the Gentlemen of the Secret Committee.