From Major General Philip Schuyler
Albany Septr 8th 1776
Yesterday I was honored with your two Favors of the 20th Ultimo and 4th Instant, the former Mr pallasier, the latter by Mr Allen.1
Mr Pallasier will leave this for Tyonderoga to Morrow Morning.
Notwithstanding the Retreat from Long Island, I am still in Hopes, that the Enemy will not be able to accomplish their Intentions, and that you will in the End reap those Laurels which you so highly merit.
General Gates in a Letter just received from him observes “that as the Fleet is large and mounts a great Number of Cannon and the Body of Troops here very considerable, it is immediately necessary that fifteen Tons of powder, ten of Lead with Flints and Cartridge paper in proportion should be sent to this post.” I have taken the Liberty to transmit this Request directly to Congress, supposing that you would not be able to comply with it—Should I be mistaken and your Excellency be able to order up any of these Articles you will please to advise Congress thereof.2
By the inclosed papers your Excellency will percieve that we are threatned with an Enemy from the Westward—I have requested the Committee of this County to order the Militia to march—They have directed half of the whole Militia of the County immediately to move to Tryon County and I have requested General Gates to hold three Regiments in readiness to march.3
Colonel Dayton cannot be short of Salt provisions as he mentions, unless the Commissary at his post has made a false Return—He has had a constant Supply of fresh Meat since his last Return, Copy whereof I now inclose.4
Inclose an Account of what Boards have gone from here, by comparing that with the Account of what is received, the Quarter Master General will know what Number may be at peek’sKill and on their Way down5—I shall order all to be sent that can be collected, but I fear they will be very inconsiderable as not many Boards have been sawed lately—My Mills that used to cut from forty to fifty thousand Boards of fourteen Feet long have not cut one this Year, as I was under a Necessity of sending my Oxen to the Army—That has been the Case with several others—Should you want Timber for the Buildings, I believe it might be procured here and sent down in Sloops.
Should you stand in Need of small Craft to convey Troops from one Quarter to the other they might be brought from Lake George, I believe fifty could be spared. I am Dr Sir with the greatest Esteem your Excellency’s most obedient humble Servt
P.S. I have advised Congress of the Information given me by Colonel Dayton.6
LS, DLC:GW; LB, NN: Schuyler Papers.
1. GW’s letter to Schuyler of 20 Aug. introduces Christophe Pélissier (b. 1728), a French Canadian whom Congress recently had made an engineer. “Presuming It will be more agreeable to him,” GW writes, “and also more benificial to the States, to employ him in the Northern Department on the Works at Tyonderoga, those opposite & such Others as You may conceive Necessary to be erected, I have directed him to wait on You for that purpose & to put himself under Your Command” (LB NN: Schuyler Papers). A native of Lyon, France, who had emigrated to Canada about 1752, Pélissier became director of an ironworks near Trois Rivières in 1767, and when American forces invaded Canada in late 1775, he enthusiastically supported them, supplying munitions and other stores for the attack on Quebec. Having accepted an American commission as colonel for the Trois Rivières district, Pélissier was obliged to leave Canada when the American army retreated in June 1776. On 20 July he petitioned Congress to provide him a means of supporting himself and assisting the American cause (see Pélissier to Congress, that date, DNA:PCC, item 78). Nine days later Congress appointed Pélissier an engineer with the rank of lieutenant colonel and sent him to GW (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 5:615). Pélissier served at Ticonderoga as an assistant engineer under Col. Jeduthan Baldwin until late December when he returned to Congress to solicit promotion to chief engineer at Ticonderoga (see Schuyler to Hancock, 30 Dec. 1776–1 Jan. 1777, DNA:PCC, item 153). Congress referred his request to GW, who declined to act on it (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 7:60, and GW to Hancock, 5 Feb. 1777, DNA:PCC, item 152). Dissatisfied with that response, Pélissier sailed to Lyon by March 1777, and except for a brief visit to Canada in 1778, he remained in France until his death sometime before 1799 (see Schuyler to Hancock, 8 Mar. 1777, DNA:PCC, item 153, and Pélissier to Congress, no date, DNA:PCC, item 78).
2. For Gates’s letter to Schuyler of 5 Sept., see Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 5th ser., 2:185–86. After receiving Schuyler’s letter to Hancock of this date, Congress on 14 Sept. resolved to send 15,000 tons of powder, 20,000 flints, 10 tons of lead, and 100 reams of cartridge paper to Ticonderoga (see Schuyler to Hancock, 8 Sept., DNA:PCC, item 153, and JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 5:756, 758).
3. Schuyler enclosed a copy of Col. Elias Dayton’s letter to him of 4 Sept. from Fort Schuyler covering a letter to Dayton of that date from Thomas Spencer at Oneida, who reported rumors of an impending Indian attack on the Mohawk Valley. Spencer had received word from Onondaga that 700 Indians at Oswego commanded by Walter Butler were planning to strike various settlements in the valley. Dayton also included another letter of 4 Sept. written by Spencer on behalf of the Onondaga chiefs requesting assistance from the Mohegan tribe in New England (DLC:GW). For Schuyler’s letter to Gates of 7 Sept. concerning reinforcements for Tryon County, see Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 5th ser., 2:220. For the drafting of the Albany County militia, see the Minutes of the Albany and Schenectady Committees description begins Minutes of the Albany Committee of Correspondence, 1775–1778. 2 vols. Albany, 1923–25. description ends , 1:546–47.
4. Dayton writes in his letter to Schuyler of 4 Sept. that “we are pretty well supplied with Flour but scant of salt provision” (DLC:GW). The enclosed copy of Henry Glen’s return of provisions at Fort Schuyler on 13 Aug. shows 180 barrels of pork, 226 barrels of flour, 23 head of cattle, and 467 soldiers victualed (DLC:GW).
6. See Schuyler to Hancock, this date, DNA:PCC, item 153.