Newbury August 31 1780
One party for intelligence to Canada returned yesterday; they have been longer out than I expected; their account agrees with the former, that the force in Canada is chiefly at Quebec, where they mean to make their chief stand; three hundred men at St Johns and Isle au Noix, one hundred men at Sorell; about six hundred at Montreal, and stationed among the Inhabitants from Chamble to Sorell; the Inhabitants continue in our favour; Crops good. None of the fleet have arrived from London, one of our Crusers taken near Quebec, three hundred of the regular troops were sent from Quebec down the river some time since, not returned, Capt. Goslin one of the parties sent to me by the Marquis, is not returned from St Nicholas, tho’ he has been out thirty five days, by him I expect (if he is not taken) a more particular account, which I shall immediately transmit to your Excellency. I am obliged to find hard money for the parties I send into Canada and money for the expresses—as I have not received any money for public use for nine months past, and have expended all I can borrow, I could wish to have some little supply by Colo. Olcott or an order on the State of the Massachusetts for any sum your Excellency shall please, I will be accountable for the same; as to an expedition into Canada I cannot give it up; the importance of it to the united States is so great—that Country (at least the District of Montreal) can easily be reduced; so easily that if only the people to the East of Lake Champlain included in the Province of Quebec by their bill of 1774 were imployed and the Canadians were armed they would drive every British out of Canada, except Quebec; if I had either money or an order of Congress I will engage bread enough for any army needed to reduce that Country; forage plenty and the people spirited. I am your Excellency’s humble Servant
Newbury August 31 1780
I am informed that there is a number of arms at Springfield, wanting stocks only; if your Excellency would send an order for five hundred of them, I will be accountable for them and it will oblige the people and be of service to the general cause. I would also be glad of an order on the commissary of cloathing at Boston for twenty blankets, and sixty yeards of cloath, for indian stockings; as I have been obliged to borrow those articles for the parties I have sent into Canada; Colol Olcott the bearer may be enquired of respecting my request and can bear what orders of any kind your Excellency sees fit to send. I am &c.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.