Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Philip Schuyler, 13 April 1776

From Philip Schuyler1

ALS and copy: National Archives

Fort George 13th Apr. 1776.

Dear Sir:

The lake is open in so many places that I am of opinion you may set out for this place as Early as you can. I have received some dispatches from Canada which I Inclose you and by which you will see the necessity of sending a large reinforcement. Please to bring up with you the papers I Inclose as I have no Copies of them.2

The Bearer goes Express to Congress and to Gen: Washington. I am Dear Sir Your most Obedient Humble Servant,

P Schuyler.

Dr. Franklin

1We print this letter before the one that follows because we believe that BF received it before writing Hancock. If so the General’s messenger covered the more than twenty-five miles between Fort George, from which Schuyler wrote, and Saratoga, from which BF wrote, in a single day. In the conditions then prevailing this seems possible. The snowfall on April 12 produced, as BF told Hancock, a strong current in the Hudson that would have accelerated passage down river. Several days later the commissioners, making the reverse journey encumbered by baggage and fighting the same current, spent an extra night en route but otherwise would have arrived in a day and a half. Carroll, Journal, pp. 46–9.

2The dispatches were, we assume, the gloomy ones from Montreal and Quebec printed in Force, 4 Amer. Arch., V, 868–71. Some of them were long. When they arrived in the late afternoon of the 12th Schuyler, to judge by his covering notes to Congress and to Washington (ibid., cols. 868, 871–2), had copies made for each; his messenger left early on the 13th. The General apparently sent BF the originals in order to save making second copies.

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