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Letter from General Schuyler to the President of Congress



Read March 26, 1776.

Albany, March 12, 1776.

SIR: Yesterday, the Sub-Committee of this City and County delivered me two papers, of which the enclosed (Nos˙ 1 and 2 ) are copies. No˙ 3 is a copy of my letter to Sir John Johnson on the occasion. Should I find, on further inquiry, that the charges against him are supported, I propose despatching a messenger to the Six Nations, to advise them of his conduct, and of my intentions not to suffer him to remain in Tryon County. I could wish to have the opinion of Congress before I take this step with Sir John, and will defer it until then, if it can be done with safety to our cause.

We shall be able to procure a sufficiency of Indian goods in Canada, if the traders are not permitted to go from thence. The more I reflect on the consequences of permitting them to go, the more I am convinced they ought not. The Indians that will suffer most by the restraint, will be the more remote ones; and we may inform them that they owe their misfortune (as they really do) to our enemies; and they may probably second our operations, by attacking Detroit, or at least by coming down to that place in such numbers as to destroy great part of the provisions for the subsistence of the garrison, and that of Niagara.

By a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Wade, of the 29th ultimo, which I received on the llth instant, I find that part of the New-Hampshire Regiment was marched on the 24th ultimo. Immediately on the receipt of Colonel Wade' s letter, I despatched an express to Ticonderoga, with directions for forwarding provisions to Onion-River, where I am apprehensive the men will arrive, and suffer, before the provisions. I am sorry that I had not more early intelligence of their marching.

The fat cattle in the western parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut are all engaged for the Army at Cambridge; so that my intentions to supply the Army in Canada by the way of Onion-River, cannot be carried into execution.

The ice has not yet left Hudson-River at this place, but is now only passable with great danger. Carriages are so very difficult to be got (on account of the scarcity of forage and extreme deepness of the roads) to forward on the troops, that I fear the whole will not be able to cross the lakes on the ice.

I dare not yet purchase any working cattle to send to Ticonderoga, as the little hay I have been able to procure will not suffice to feed them until they can get grass. I


shall, therefore, as soon as the heavy cannon come up, and Lake George opens, send the working-oxen from my farm at Saratoga, with forage to convey the cannon and stores across the Carrying-place, and replace them out of those that must be bought for the spring and summer' s work at Ticonderoga.

I should be glad to know what allowance Congress has made to the officers who are prisoners. I have advanced money to many of them, to enable them to pay for their quarters, as I did not choose any longer to discharge the bills that were brought in, they being so enormously high. When I get the directions of Congress, I shall ascertain what may be due from them to the publick, or from the publick to them.

I find that the gentlemen of the Pay-Table of the Colony of Connecticut, and I, have differently construed the resolutions of Congress of the 19th of January last. They pay four dollars as a bounty to a soldier, although he does not furnish himself with any kind of arms. I have allowed no bounty at all to such of Colonel Van Schaick' s Regiment as came without arms, and have only advanced a month' s pay to enable them to purchase clothing. Be so good as to transmit me the opinion of Congress on this matter as soon as possible.

I am, sir, with the sincerest esteem and respect, your most obedient humble servant,


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