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General Schuyler to the Continental Congress



[Read July 17, 1775.]

Albany, July 11, 1775.

SIR: I have the honour to advise you that I arrived here on Sunday at noon; since which time I have been closely employed in the duties of my office.

It is with pleasure I remark, that intelligence from various quarters indicate a friendly disposition in the Indians towards us. No efforts are, however, wanting on the part of our enemies to change these sentiments in the savages to resentment and hostility, an evil highly incumbent on us to guard against, and of which the Committee of this place have so just a sense that they pay it the closest attention, whilst they look up to that respectable body Which represents the Continent of America for the line of their future conduct in this delicate and important matter.

The unhappy controversy which has subsisted between the officers at Ticonderoga, relative to the command, has, I am informed, thrown every thing into vast confusion. Troops have been dismissed, others refuse to serve, if this or that man commands. The sloop is without either captain or pilot, both of which are dismissed or come away: I shall hurry up there much sooner than the necessary preparations here would otherwise permit, that I may attempt


to introduce some kind of order and discipline amongst them.

I am this moment favoured with a letter from Col˙ Hinman, and sundry returns, copies of which enclose. You will perceive by the return No˙ 1, that on the 7th instant they had only one barrel of flour at Ticonderoga, twenty at Crown Point, and twenty at Fort George. By No˙ 2 and 3, it appears that about four hundred and seventy-seven barrels of flour have been sent up, amounting to about ninety-five thousand four hundred rations, and that about twenty thousand remain; so that seventy-five thousand are expended. From the same returns it appears, that about sixty-five thousand rations of pork have been also expended, exclusive of thirty-five fat oxen; hence a very considerable waste or embezzlement has taken place. Permit me here, Sir, to urge the necessity of the appointments I recommended in my letter of the 28th June, as indispensably necessary to carry on the service with propriety, economy, and certainty, to which I must add another, that of a Muster-Master and Deputies; without which such a scene of confusion and controversy must unavoidably take place in the payment of the Troops, as will be beyond the power of the most able accountant to rectify. These offices are so necessary, that I should not have hesitated one moment to have made the appointments, had I not received your orders to the contrary.

Give me leave, Sir, to request a copy of such Articles of War as the Congress may have adopted. The scandalous want of subordination, and the low treatment which I am informed some officers give, and others receive, merit exemplary punishments, as they are ruinous to the Army, destructive to the service, and disgraceful to those in command.

Governour Trumbull has honored me with a letter, in which he advises me, that no more than forty half barrels of powder can be sent me from the Colony of Connecticut, That from Pennsylvania is not yet arrived, and you will perceive that there is very little with the Troops. Should Governour Carleton know our true situation, with respect to this article, it would be very easy for him to use it to our disadvantage. Governour Trumbull will send me fifteen thousand Pounds in money, which is so much wanted here that the spirited Committee of this place have been under the necessity of emitting one thousand Pounds in small bills, as a circulating medium, to pay troops and others employed in the service; which, although it passes as currently as bank bills in the best of times, I shall order it to be called in as soon as I am enabled to do it, jest it should open a door to fraud and confusion.

As the transportation of salted meat is attended with the very heavy expense of a sixty-five mile land carriage to Fort George, before I left New-York I ordered one hundred head of fat cattle to be purchased in Connecticut, and to be drove up to Ticonderoga, where there is a sufficiency of pasture for them.

Enclose you, Sir, an extract of a paper received from Governour Trumbull, relative to the temper of the Caughnawaga Indians, marked No˙ 4.

The paper No˙ 5, will show you how very weak we are with respect to vessels for transporting troops across the lake, or even with those necessary to keep the command of the lake, in case Mr˙ Carleton should provide himself with a naval force. I hope, however, soon after my arrival at Ticonderoga to be in a better condition for maintaining the advantage we have acquired.

I hope to be at Ticonderoga on Friday or Saturday, from whence I shall do myself the honour to transmit you a full account of the state of the troops, and of every other matter which may be necessary for your information.

I am, Sir, respectfully, your most obedient, and most humble servant,


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