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James Easton to the Massachusetts Congress



Crown Point, June 6, 1775.

RESPECTABLE GENTLEMEN: It is of the utmost importance to the United Colonies to cultivate harmony and friendship with the Canadians and their Indians. I have painfully exerted myself to procure and secure it. Have sent you a copy of a letter Colonel Allen and myself wrote to the Canadians. It appears to me of importance that your Honours should be acquainted with the state of policy and of facts. You will discern by perusing the enclosed, that a party of Canadians made an attack upon our reconnoitering party. Since that, Mr˙ Ferris, an inhabitant of the New-Hampshire Grants, has been at Montreal, and returned to this place. He is a man I can confide in, and informs that Saint Luke La Corne, who acted many barbarities towards our people last war, (for which he was sainted,) has been using his utmost influence to excite the Canadians and Indians to take part in the war against the United Colonies, and that he and Captain McCoy, who commanded the Canadians' attack, have made but little proficiency. Most of the said party of Canadians were appointed officers, but could procure but very few soldiers, and not one Indian. Saint Luke advises that some in every Parish be immediately executed, except they will join the King' s Troops. There are lately come to St˙ John' s near two hundred Regulars, and joined Captain McCoy' s party of about fifty Canadians, who have been mentioned as assailants on the reconnoitering party; they are there fortifying.

I still retain my sentiments, that policy demands that the Colonies advance an Army of two or three thousand men into Canada and environ Montreal. This will inevitably fix and confirm the Canadians and Indians in our interest. Nothing gives me so much concern, as the mistaken policy in our worthy Congresses and Assemblies, who, for want of the real knowledge of certain facts, imagine that to push an Army thither would offend the Canadians, and incense them against the Colonies. The armed vessels are advanced to the north part of the lake to command it, and consequently to guard the frontier settlements thereon.

We hear that Colonel Hinman is appointed Commander-in-Chief of this department, and is marching hither with a thousand men. This is joyful tidings to us; we hope it will prove true for we cannot long conduct our Army, without it be regularly organized with officers, and under pay. I am gentlemen, your most obedient humble servant,


To the Hon˙ Provincial Congress, Committee of Safety, or the Council of War, at Watertown and Cambridge.