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General Wooster to President of Congress



[Read March 5, 1776.]

Montreal, February 21, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: Our distressing circumstances, together with the fatal consequences we have reason to apprehend, for want of hard money, have induced me to send my Secretary, Mr˙ Cole, to you, to bring forward what can be instantly procured. Provisions and wood cannot be obtained, nor can we pay for the transporting of any thing, but with hard cash, which, if we are not immediately supplied with, we must either starve, quit the country, or disgrace our army and the American cause, by laying the country under contribution; there is no other alternative. We have not by us half money enough to answer the pressing demands of the country people, to whom we are indebted. By the middle of March, or a little later, we shall not be able to pass with any thing up and down this country; our flour is already in a manner gone, and every other kind of provision soon will be, yet a large supply must be sent to the camp before the roads are impassable. Our friends here can supply us with specie no longer; our credit sinks with the inhabitants. Mr˙ Walker and Mr˙ Price will inform you more fully the absolute necessity of supplying the army before it is too late; a few days delay, at this critical time, may be attended with fatal consequences. I understand there is a quantity of pork at Fort George, which I have desired General Schuyler to forward across the Lakes; whether he will do it or not, I cannot say: I hope he will. Being certain that the Congress want nothing but information of the necessities of the army, in order, as far as possible, to supply them, I now take the liberty to give the necessary information, and am, with the greatest respect, gentlemen, your most obedient, and very humble servant,

To the Honourable Continental Congress.