George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Philip Schuyler, 10 May 1776

From Major General Philip Schuyler

Albany Friday May 10th 1776

Dear Sir

The Canada Post is just arrived and has brought me the Enclosed, I was requested by the Commissioners to seal & forward that to Congress There can be no Impropriety in Your Excellency’s perusing It, I have therefore left It open to be sealed before It leaves You.1

The little Quantity of Provisions at Quebec is truly Allarming, they will receive all that was at the Posts above, by General Thompson’s Brigade, but besides What I have Mentioned to be now on the Way from hence to Fort George, No more can be sent until the Troops are passed.

I believe the Gentlemen are Mistaken, & that More Troops are in Canada than they mention, for supposing Bedels, Porters, Burrel’s[,] Warners, Maxwell’s, Du Haas’s & Sinclairs to Consist of five hundred, the Number will be three thousand five hundred, Exclusive of the Troops that remained in Canada last Winter, few of Which are Yet returned, unless they are gone by the Rout of Onion River into New England.

Will Your Excellency be so good as to transmit Congress a Copy of my Orders to Mr Price.2

Yesterday I reviewed General Sullivan’s Brigade the Indians to the Number of about two hundred and sixty Attended and were greatly pleased with the Order & Regularity of the Troops, and surprized at the Numbers, which the Tories had industr[i]ously propagated, Consisted of three Companies only, but that We have them Continually walking the Streets in Order to induce the Belief of a greater Number than there really was; A few Indians will leave this with the Interpreter in a Day or two, on a Visit to Your Excellency, they may possibly wish to go to Boston or Philadelphia, And I have assured them, that If they do, proper Care will be taken to supply them with whatever is Necessary. I am with the most perfect Esteem Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Servant

Ph: Schuyler

LS, DLC:GW; LB, NN: Schuyler Papers.

1Schuyler wrote to Hancock on this date enclosing the letter that the three commissioners to Canada—Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase, and Charles Carroll of Carrollton—wrote to Hancock on 1 May from Montreal. “The utmost dispatch should be used in forwarding a large sum hither,” the commissioners told Hancock, “otherwise it will be impossible to continue the war in this Country, or to expect the continuance of our interest with the people here, who begin to consider the Congress as bankrupt and their cause as desperate. Therefore till the arrival of money, it seems improper to propose the federal union of this Province with the others, as the few friends we have here, will scarce venture to exert themselves in promoting it, till they see our credit recoverd, & a sufficent army arrived to secure the possession of the Country.... We understand that the Troops now before Qubeck have not ten days provision; but hope, as the lakes are now open, supplies will soon reach them.... We are told that not less than the eight thousand orderd by Congress will be a sufficient army for this quarter. As yet there are but about three thousand, including those now passing down to Quebeck, who are just come over the lakes. The small pox is in the army, & General Thomas has unfortunately never had it” (DNA:PCC, item 166). For the commissioners’ covering letter to Schuyler of 1 May, see Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 3:612, n.1.

Schuyler also apparently enclosed for GW a copy of Benedict Arnold’s letter to him of 30 April from Montreal, in which Arnold informed Schuyler of the plans to fortify posts at Richelieu and Jacques Cartier and to build four row galleys at Chambly (DLC:GW).

2For Schuyler’s orders of 7 May to James Price, see Schuyler’s first letter to GW of this date, note 7. GW enclosed a copy of those orders in his letter to Hancock of 15 May.

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