From the New York Council of Safety
State of New York Kingston July 27th 1777
By Order of the Council of Safety I have the Honor of transmitting to your Excellency, the enclosed Extracts of a Letter from Major General Schuyler, and a Copy of a Letter from the Council to Governor Trumbull.1
Such is the State of our Northern Affairs at present as to promise the Enemy an easy Conquest. This State is greatly exhausted, and our New England Brethren are not yet roused. The Council request that your Excellency will be pleased to animate them to more vigorous and manly Exertions; and they wish that if the State of military Operations, with which your Excellency is best acquainted, would admit of it, a Reinforcement from the Southern States might be obtained for our Support, and particularly against the expected Invasion by the Way of Oswego by the Success of which they will be more immediately and deeply affected, as their Frontiers as well as those of this State would be thereby exposed to Depredation.
What new Miracle, Providence may have in reserve for our Deliverance, or what further Measures General Howe may pursue to defeat his own Purposes are uncertain. Our Affairs however in the Northern Department wear a gloomy Aspect, and the Council think it their Duty to leave no Means unassayed to repel the Enemy and to render the issue of the present Campaign glorious to the American Arms. I have the Honor to be with great Respect and Esteem Your Excellency’s most Obedient and very humble Servant
Pierre Van Cortlandt Presdt
LS, DLC:GW. The committee of safety drafted this letter on 27 July (see 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 , 1:1019).
1. These enclosures are in DLC:GW. In his letter to the New York council of safety, written at Moses Creek, four miles below Fort Edward, N.Y., on 24 July 1777, Schuyler urges the council of safety to request militia reinforcements from the eastern states, especially Connecticut, to assist his plan to “dispute every Inch of Ground with General Burgoyne, and retard his Descent into the Country as long as possible” (see also 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 , 1:1017). The council of safety’s letter to Connecticut governor Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., of 27 July gives the reasons why the state of New York cannot provide adequate militia reinforcements to Schuyler and expresses the “hope the State of Connecticut will on this Occasion exert herself in a Manner becoming the Character she hath hitherto sustained in the Scale of american Importance & that New York will not be left unsuported in this Day of Trial” (see also ibid., 1018–19).