George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Jacob Bayley, 11 September 1778

To Brigadier General Jacob Bayley

[White Plains, 11 September 1778]


I am to request that you immediately employ Proper Persons to gain the most Authentic Intelligence from Canada of the several matters hereinafter mentioned vizt

First—What Force is now in Arms in that Country.

Secondly—If any Reinforcement has arrived in Canada the Summer past, & if any are expected to arrive this Season.

Third—In what State of Defence are the Garrisons, and how are the Troops posted in that Country.

Fourth—Are any Canadians in Arms there, if so, are they Compell’d to it, or is it from their own Choice, & what number.

Fifth—The General Sentiments of the People with respect to American Politics and that of the Clergy in particular.

Sixthly—The Disposition of the Indians in the Neighbourhood of Canada.

Seventhly—who is the Governor and Principal Magistrate in that Country.

Eighthly—If there is a plentiful, or short Crop, there, and what may be the Price of Grain.

Ninthly—If the Canadians have been disarmed by any Authority from Government, or not.

Tenthly—Whether the Canadians wou’d chuse to reunite with the Independent States of America.1

If you find a favorable Account, from Credible People on the matters herein mentioned, and as your Situation is so distant from hence, you may in the Month of November next imploy a part of Colo. Bedels Regimt, shou’d it be continued, or a small number of other good men, in Cutting a Road from your House into Canada which you with others, have reported unto me to be practicable. Your reasonable Expences in this Service will be allowed You—You will from Time to Time Transmit to me an Account of your Proceedings with all the Intelligence you shall Collect. Given at Head Quarters White Plains Sepr 11th 1778.

Go: Washington

Copy, MHi: Heath Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The copy, which is in the hand of Bayley’s scribe, was enclosed to Maj. Gen. William Heath by Bayley in his letter of 21 Oct. (MHi: Heath Papers).

1On 13 Oct., Bayley wrote Col. Timothy Bedel, directing him to “immediately proceed to the Upper Co’os with Joseph Lewis [Gill] and provide a proper person to go with him among the Indians,” where “Lewis” and his companion were to seek answers to these questions (Hammond, Rolls of Soldiers description begins Isaac W. Hammond, ed. Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War, 1775, to May 1777. . . [vol. 1]; Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War, May, 1777, to 1780 . . . [vol. 2]; Rolls and Documents relating to Soldiers in the Revolutionary War . . . [vols. 3-4]. New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers, vols. 14–17. Concord and Manchester, N.H., 1885–89. description ends , 4:276).

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