Amendment to Report of Committee on Letters from Washington, Schuyler, and the Commissioners in Canada
[21 May 1776]
Strike out 3d. 4th. and 5th.
Instead of 11th. substitute ‘that General Schuyler be informed that Congress have in view these two great objects, the Protection and assistance of our Canadian friends, and the Securing1 so much of that country as may prevent any communication between our enemies and the Indians. The means of effecting these purposes by fortifying proper posts, building armed vessels where most expedient, opening roads of communication or otherwise, are left to the determination of a council or councils of war governing themselv[es] by events and their knowlege of the country.’
Dft (DLC: PCC, No. 19, vi). This is a separate slip inserted in a much longer committee report drafted by other hands; the full report, as revised by members of the committee and in turn by Congress, is printed in JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, D.C., 1904–37, 34 vols. description ends , iv, 375–8. TJ’s substitution for the eleventh paragraph, struck out, is the third paragraph of the report as adopted.
On 14 May 1776 a letter from Washington of 11 May, one from Schuyler of 3 May, and one from Capt. Daniel Robertson (a captured British officer) of 9 May, were read in Congress and referred to a committee composed of TJ, William Livingston, and John Adams; on 16 May a letter from the Commissioners in Canada of 1 May, one from Schuyler of 10 May, and one from Washington of 15 May were read and referred to the same committee; on 18 May a letter from Washington of 17 May and three letters from the Commissioners in Canada of 6, 8, and 10 May, respectively, were read and referred to the same committee, which was then enlarged by the appointment of Robert Morris, Duane, R. H. Lee, Edward Rutledge, and R. R. Livingston (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, D.C., 1904–37, 34 vols. description ends , iv, 352, 358–9, 362–3). On 21 May the committee reported, but only on the letters received on 16 and 18 May; Congress debated its recommendations that day and passed them, with omissions and alterations, on the next (same, p. 374, 375–8). TJ did not contribute to the later report of this committee, which was submitted and partly adopted 25 May, on the earlier letters of Washington, Schuyler, and Capt. Robertson; see JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, ed. W. C. Ford and others, Washington, 1904–1937 description ends , v, 392. He was, however, to review the whole report, for most of its recommendations were referred to the “committee of conference,” appointed 23 May and augmented 25 May, to confer with Generals Washington, Gates, and Mifflin “upon the most speedy and effectual means for supporting the American cause in Canada” (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, D.C., 1904–37, 34 vols. description ends , iv, 383–4, 391, 394–5). For the results, see TJ’s Reports of 17 June, below.
1. Substituted in another hand for “Retaining.”