George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Philip Schuyler, 1 July 1775

From Major General Philip Schuyler

[New York] Saturday July 1st 1775


I do myself the Honor to advise your Excellency that the Connecticut Troops, that arrived in this Colony under the Command of Brigadier Wooster are encamped within two Miles of this Town. I have not yet had a Return of their Numbers[.] as soon as my Order for that Purpose is complied with I shall transmit it.1

Inclose You Sir a Copy of the Resolutions of the Hono: the Continental Congress of the 27th ult. I shall prepare with all possible Dispatch to carry into Execution their Views and propose leaving this for Albany in my way to Ticonderoga on Monday next.2

Eight Transports with Troops, that have been at Sandy Hook since Thursday last are to sail from thence to Day. Reports prevail that the Men on Board have muntinied, that they refused to go to Boston, of this however I have not been able to get any Certainty. Hand Bills have been introduced amongst them to encourage them to quit on the first favorable Opportunity a Service which must render them odious to all honest Men.3

Governor Tryon’s Conduct has hitherto been unexceptionable and from the Information I have been able to procure, some of which I put great Confidence in, I have reason to beleive that the Line he has chalked out for himself is such as we would wish he should hold.4

I beleive the Commissions for this Department were already forwarded to You before my Letter (In Obedience to Your Order) to the Congress on that Subject arrived. If they are to be sent back, I beg of You to Order them to be directed to the President of the Provincial Convention here.5

No Preparation has as yet been made to occupy a Post in the Highlands. by what I can learn the Provincial Convention have Doubts about the Propriety (which they have or mean to state to Congress) arising from the Want of Ammunition, to maintain the Post after it shall be compleated.6

A Ship from London in five Weeks advises that the Remonstrance sent by the Assembly of this Colony to the House of Commons has been rejected by them as containing Sentiments derogatory to the Rights of Parliament: This Manoevre has already had Salutary Effects. many whose Sentiments are friendly to America, but who differed as to the Mode of procuring Redress, now publickly declare that they will no longer sit idle Spectators of their Country’s Wrongs.7

That Success and Happiness equal to the Merit & Virtue of my General may crown all his Operations is the Wish of every honest American by none more sincerely than me. I am Your Excellency’s Most Obedt & Most Humb. Servt

Ph: Schuyler

LS, DLC:GW; LB, NN: Schuyler Papers.

1Schuyler informed the Continental Congress on 28 June that Wooster’s force “arrived to within two miles of this town about 8 this Morning and got Sheltered in Barns and outhouses, as soon as the weather (which is at present Wet And Stormy) will permitt, I propose to Encamp them on the south side of Sand hill which is nearly two miles from hence” (DNA:PCC, item 153).

2For a discussion of these resolutions regarding Canada, see Hancock to GW, 28 June 1775, n.1. The copy of the resolutions that was enclosed in Schuyler’s letter to GW is in DLC:GW. The next Monday was 3 July.

3Between 24 and 27 June seven British transport ships carrying reinforcements arrived off Sandy Hook, N.J., from Cork, Ireland, and anchored there to take on fresh water. They were joined on 27 June by another transport loaded with some troops from the New York garrison. Two more transports, apparently from Cork, reached Sandy Hook on 30 June, and that same day all ten transports sailed for Boston under escort of a British warship.

4“Governor Tryon I have reason to believe will not create any trouble in his Government,” Schuyler wrote to Congress on 28 June. “It is said that he laments (and is sincere) that the unhappy Controversy has been carryed so far and that he wishes a happy termination of It on principle⟨s⟩ friendly to both” (DNA:PCC, item 153). Schuyler lodged directly across Broadway from the house in which William Tryon was staying. According to Loyalist historian Thomas Jones, Schuyler attempted to call on the governor to congratulate him on his return to the colony, but Tryon refused to see him because he came in his uniform and presented himself as “General Schuyler,” a rank that the governor would not recognize (Jones, History of N.Y. description begins Thomas Jones. History of New York during The Revolutionary War, and of the Leading Events in the Other Colonies at that Period. Edited by Edward Floyd De Lancey. 2 vols. New York, 1879. description ends , 1:58).

5In his letter of 28 June to Congress, Schuyler wrote: “General Washington before we parted desired me to Inform Your Honors that he thought It most advisable that the Commissions for the Officers in the New York department should be directly sent to me to be filled up” (DNA:PCC, item 153). GW could spare no blank commissions from those that Hancock forwarded to him, and Congress did not send any to Schuyler until September (GW to Schuyler, 10–11 July; New York Provincial Congress to GW, 3 Aug.; GW to Peter Van Brugh Livingston, 10 Aug.; Livingston to GW, 21 Aug. 1775).

6For a discussion of the two posts that were proposed for the West Point area in the Hudson highlands, see Instructions to Schuyler, 25 June 1775, n.2. On 18 Aug. the New York provincial congress ordered those posts to “be immediately erected” and appointed commissioners to oversee their construction (N.Y. Prov. Congress Journals description begins Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety, and Council of Safety of the State of New-York, 1775–1776–1777. 2 vols. Albany, 1842. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records). description ends , 1:110).

7On 25 Mar. 1775 the New York general assembly sent addresses to the king, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons protesting the infringement of colonial rights but reaffirming its loyalty and expressing hopes for reconciliation. Edmund Burke, a member of Parliament and agent for New York, read the remonstrance to the House of Commons, the boldest of the three addresses, to that body on 15 May 1775. “He then moved for Leave to bring it up to the Table, and the Question being put by the Speaker, that this Remonstrance be now brought up, Lord North paved the Way for getting rid of the main Question by moving an Amendment; that the Words ‘which is derogatory to the Supreme Authority of the British Parliament.’ be added. Upon which a short Debate ensued, the House divided, for the Amendment 186. against it 67. of course the main Question was lost” (Town and Country Magazine, May 1775, DNA:PCC, item 75).

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