George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Timothy Bedel, 5 November 1778

From Colonel Timothy Bedel

Haverhill [N.H.] 5th Novr 1778


The Bearer Capt. Frye Bayley, with his Two Lieuts. who were Ordered by the Honorable Major Genl Gates to go with a Flagg to Saint John’s with Lieut. Singleton of the Eight Regt British, and was detained, are now Returned Capt. Bayley will be able to Inform Your Excellency of every particular relative to their Confinement and the Enemies motions, shall be glad your Excellency will give Orders for him and his Two Lieuts. to receive their Pay from the Time of the Enclosed Orders from Genl Gates1—On the 16th of March last I received Orders from the Honorable the Marquiss De La Fayette to raise a Regt—a Copy of said Orders I Transmitted to your Excellency by Genl Bayley,2 The Comittees in this Quarter met and Voted Six hundred Men shod be raised, they have constantly been kept out as Scouts, and part are now gone to Cut the Road they were raised untill the first of April next, and have never reced any Money Cloathing &c. shall be glad Your Excellency wod give further Orders regarding the same3—There is a number of Indians about here who have had some Trifling Presents from the Commissioners, and as they hear of the Expidition to Canada are desireous to go we have here about Forty sometimes Fifty, and at their request I write to your Excellency—Joseph Louis the Chief of Saint Francois Tribe is gone to Lake Amprobagog and is daily expected back, he Informed the Saint Francois Tribe were all willing to Join the United States4—We have Constantly News from Canada, all favourable, a small reinforcement arrived, Provisions very Cheap and Plenty Shall be glad of your Excellencies further Orders by the Bearer. I am Your Excellencies most Obedient Humble Servant

Timo. Bedel

ALS, PHi: Gratz Collection.

1George Singleton (c.1750–1789), an Irish-born New York merchant, was commissioned a lieutenant in Sir John Johnson’s loyalist Royal Greens regiment (not the British 8th Regiment of Foot) in June 1776. He was wounded and captured near Fort Stanwix, N.Y., during the Battle of Oriskany on 6 Aug. 1777, and in December of that year he was sent to Canada on parole under cover of a flag of truce, at which time his escorts were detained. Bedel wrote to Col. Moses Hazen on 7 Feb. 1778 that “the Flagg which I sent by Genl Gates’s order with Lieut. Singleton (who was taken Prisoner at Fort Stanwix) to St. Johns is not returned, but are detained as I am since informed, they went from here the 10th of December” (DNA:PCC, item 166; see also Jacob Bayley to GW, this date). Singleton remained on parole in Montreal until 1780, when he returned to duty as a captain in the Royal Greens. At the end of the war he took up business as a merchant once more, this time in Ontario, Canada.

2For Lafayette’s letter to Bedel, dated 16 March 1778, see Lafayette Papers description begins Stanley J. Idzerda et al., eds. Lafayette in the Age of the American Revolution: Selected Letters and Papers, 1776–1790. 5 vols. Ithaca, N.Y., 1977-83. description ends , 1:358–60.

3GW referred the matter to Congress; see GW to Laurens, 20 Nov., and Laurens to GW, 28 November.

4Joseph Louis Gill (1719–1798), also known as Magouaouidombaouit, or “Friend of the Iroquois,” was a son of Samuel and Rosalie Gill, an English couple who had been captured by the Catholic, pro-French Abenaki Indians and had chosen to live among them. By 1749 Gill had married an Abenaki woman and become a chief of the St. Francis, or Arosaguntacook, tribe of the Abenakis, who lived along the St. Lawrence River in Canada. Gill lost his wife and a child to a raid by Robert Rogers in 1759, and that experience apparently weakened his loyalty to the British after they took control of Canada at the end of the French and Indian War. In the summer of 1778 Gill fled to Newbury, Vt., after the British discovered that he had tried to help five Americans escape from Quebec to New England, and he spent the next two years in hiding. In 1780 he emerged to give himself up to the British, and after receiving a royal pardon he led a raid on Newbury that captured American Maj. Benjamin Whitcomb, who escaped under suspicious circumstances as Gill was leading him to captivity. Gill remained an Abenaki political and religious leader until his death. “Lake Amprobagog” apparently is Lake Memphremagog, approximately sixty miles north of Newbury on the Vermont-Quebec border.

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