George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Philip Schuyler, 30 April 1777

From Major General Philip Schuyler

Philadelphia April 30t. 1777

Dear Sir

Inclose your Excellency sundry Resolutions of Congress, which are to be executed if approved of, by you, and also the Quarter Master General and Commissary General’s Orders to their Deputies for that purpose, to be expedited or detained as your Excellency shall judge best.1

The Reasons which induced the House to adopt the first Resolutions were founded on an apprehension that if the Enemy should penetrate the Country by Hudson’s River, and your Excellency should be under the Necessity to march into Ulster, that you would be greatly distressed for provisions, that part of the Country affording little or none of the Meat Kind, altho’ there is great plenty of Flour; not less than 20,000 Barrels as the president of the Convention informs me in a Letter of the 18t. Instant: that it did not appear to the House that the Removal of the salted Meat from Derby and the three other places mentioned in the Resolve would put you to any Inconveniency.2 If you should be under the Necessity of marching into that part of New York on the East Side of Hudsons River, Connecticut or the Massachusetts Bay a Supply of the Meat Kind can be furnished from or in the two last mentioned States, and Flour in or from the former—That the Wheat mentioned in the fourth Resolve should remain where it is, to be thence sent into the more interior part of the Massachusetts Bay, should the Enemy attempt a Debarkation in any of the Eastern States, and thereby render it necessary to keep up an army in that Quarter3—The sixth Resolution was founded on a Conviction that there is a Sufficiency of Flour in the District mentioned for the Support of the Northern army.4 These being the general principles on which the Resolutions I have quoted were founded, the others, in a Manner follow of Course.

Inclose your Excellency Copy of a Return of the Wheat and Flour now in the County of Albany exclusive of what is purchased for the Use of the army, which is very considerable.5

I propose, in a Day or two, to resign my Commission; as soon as I have done it I shall transmit to your Excellency my Reasons for such a Step.6

Inclose your Excellency Colonel Wood’s Return7—I have attempted, ever since my last,8 to procure a Return of the Troops in this City, but hitherto in vain—I am however promised it to Day, and shall transmit your Excellency a Copy by the first Conveyance—I believe they amount to about eleven hundred many of which wait for Cloathing and accoutrements & others move to Bristol to Day. I am dear Sir most respectfully Your Excellency’s obedient humble Servant:

Ph: Schuyler

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

1Schuyler by order of Congress sent GW copies of its resolutions of this date “for establishing Magazines of provisions in such places as may best secure them from falling into the Hands of the Enemy, and to facilitate the Transportation thereof for the use of the Armies of the United States” (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 , 7:315–17; see also the copies of the resolutions in DLC:GW, and notes 2, 3, and 4). The orders from Quartermaster Gen. Thomas Mifflin and Commissary Gen. Joseph Trumbull have not been identified.

2In the first of the enclosed resolutions, Congress directed “That the salted pork and Beef now at Derby Salisbury, Canaan and Sharon in the State of Connecticut be removed into Ulster County in the State of New York and to the Distance of twenty Miles from Hudson’s River, provided the Enemy are not in possession of Hudson’s River, to the Northward of the Highlands: if they are, that all the provisions and other Stores at the first mentioned place be removed farther from the Sound, and those at the other places farther from Hudson’s River” (DLC:GW; see also ibid., 315). Congress also resolved on this date “that one thousand Head of fat Cattle be immediately purchased in the Eastern States, and sent without Delay into Ulster County,” and that “500 bushels of salt” be sent to that county (DLC:GW; see also ibid., 316–17).

3In this resolution Congress ordered “That 100,000 Bushels of Wheat purchased by Deputy Commissary [Elisha] Avery in the Eastern parts of the County of Albany and Western parts of the Massachusetts Bay be not removed to Hudson’s River” (DLC:GW; see also ibid., 316).

4Congress resolved in this resolution that General Gates’s army “be supplied with Flour out of that part of the County of Albany which lies on the West Side of Hudson’s River & on the East Side as far down as to Kinderhook District and also out of the County of Tryon” (DLC:GW; see also ibid.).

5The enclosed return of 17 April shows that the county had 77,924 barrels of wheat, 3,265 barrels of flour, and 410 bushels of peas that could “be spared for the Use of the Continental Service” (DLC:GW).

6Schuyler did not resign his commission. During May he mended his relations with Congress, and on 22 May Congress directed Schuyler to resume command of the northern department (see Gerlach, Proud Patriot description begins Don R. Gerlach. Proud Patriot: Philip Schuyler and the War of Independence, 1775–1783. Syracuse, N.Y., 1987. description ends , 225–29, 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 , 8:375).

7This return from Col. Joseph Wood has not been identified.

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