George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Philip Schuyler, 10–11 July 1775

To Major General Philip Schuyler

Cambridge 10th[- 11] July 1775


I receivd your Favor of 1st Inst. by Express from New york; but as I am exceedingly hurried in making out my Dispatches for the Hble Congress at Philadelphia it is not in my Power to answer it in so full a Manner as I wish.

Notwithstanding Governor Tryon’s plausible Behaviour I recommend it to you to watch him narrowly and as any unlucky Change of Affairs on our part may produce in him a Change of his present unexceptionable Conduct; I expect you will on the first Appearance of such Change pursue the Advice given in my last Letter.1 The like Advice I give you re[s]pectg General Haldiman who is supposd by some to have gone to N. York with a Design to counteract us in that provin⟨ce.⟩2 The Commissions which have been forwarded to me, are not sufficient to answer the Demand I have for them there being at least 1000 Officers in this Department & not more than 500 Commissions in my Possession. As you are so much nearer to Philada than I am I request you to apply to Congress for as many as you are like to Want.

The disper[s]ing of hand Bills amongst the Troops on their arrival at N. York has my most hearty approbation—& may have a good Effect here.

Our Enemies have attempted Nothing against us since my Arrival here—They are strongly posted on Bunkers Hill and are still busy in throwing up additional Works. We have thrown up several Lines & Redoubts between Mystick River & Dorchester point to prevent their making way into the Country & in a few Days shall be well prepared to receive them in Case a Sortie is attempted.

I sincerely thank you for your Attention to the Directions of the Congress & for your kind Wishes and am with much regard Sir Yr Obedt friend & most Obedt H: Ser.

G. Washington

P.S. I herewith Inclose a report this Minute received from the Camp at Dorchester—The Design of this Manoevre I am at a loss to know; but suppose it may be intended as a diversion to our Forces here. It howevr behooves you to keep a good look out to prevent any surprize your way.3

DfS, in Thomas Mifflin’s writing, NHi: Joseph Reed Papers; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The closing, signature, and postscript of the draft are all in GW’s writing. Although the postscript is not dated, it was apparently written on 11 July. See note 3.

1For GW’s earlier instructions regarding William Tryon, see GW to Schuyler, 25 June 1775, n.3.

2Frederick Haldimand (1718–1791), a Swiss officer who had become a British major general, sailed from Boston for New York on 16 June 1775, but his trip had no military purpose. Recently recalled to England after long years of service in America, he went to New York to board the July packet ship for its voyage home across the Atlantic. Haldimand first joined the British army in 1756 as a lieutenant colonel in the Royal Americans, and after the French and Indian War he remained with the army in America, becoming a major general in 1772. While Gen. Thomas Gage was in England from 1773 to 1774, Haldimand assumed the duties of commander in chief for North America, and when Gage returned, Haldimand became his second in command. In the spring of 1775 it was decided in London to remove Haldimand from that position in order to preclude any possibility of the principal command devolving on a foreign-born officer in the midst of the grave new crisis in America. Haldimand remained in England until June 1778 when he was appointed governor and commander in chief for Canada, positions which he held until November 1784.

3This enclosure has not been found, but it undoubtedly contained news of the British convoy that set sail in Boston Harbor on 11 July. See GW to Hancock, 10–11 July 1775, Document II. Letter Sent, n.31. The date of the convoy’s sailing indicates that GW added this postscript to the letter sometime on 11 July.

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