Benjamin Franklin Papers

John Hancock to the Commissioners to Canada, 26 April 1776

John Hancock to the Commissioners to Canada

ALS (draft): National Archives

Philada. April 26th. 1776.


The late Disturbances in Canada, owing to an Insurrection of a Number of the Inhabitants, have, for some Time, occupied the most serious Attention of Congress. In Pursuance of which they have come into sundry Resolves calculated both to increase our military Force in that Country, and to allay the Fears and Apprehensions of the People. Of this latter Kind is the Resolve I herewith transmit by order of Congress to you. In Addition to the four Battalions now on their March to Canada, the Congress have, since the Receipt of Genl. Schuyler’s last Letter, ordered six1 more to be sent there as soon as possible.2 With sincere wishes for your Health, and Success, in your important Engagements I have the Honour to be, with every Sentiment of Esteem and Regard, Gentlemen, your most obedient and very humble Servant

J H. Prest.

To the Honble B. Franklyn, Saml. Chase, & Charles Carrol Esquires, Commissioners in Canada

1The draft originally read “four.”

2On April 1, after Gen. Wooster had left for Quebec, the commander of the garrison in Montreal reported at length to Schuyler on the gloomy situation: the Canadians around Quebec were taking up arms for the British, and those around Montreal were only waiting to do the same; American mismanagement had achieved what Carleton never could have. Force, 5 Amer. Arch., IV, 869–70. Schuyler forwarded this report to Philadelphia; see his letter above, April 13. Congress expressed thanks for the information, appropriated $300,000 for the army in Canada, instructed the commissioners (presumably the resolve Hancock enclosed) to apologize for the troops’ behavior and remedy the Canadians’ grievances, and ordered six additional battalions sent north from the army at New York. JCC, IV, 301–2.

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