George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Philip John Schuyler, 8 August 1781

Albany August 8th 1781

Dear Sir

On Saturday the 29th ult. the Commissioners for detecting conspiracies received information that a certain Capt. Myer of Roger’s rangers from Canada lurked in the vicinity of this place. His intentions were to take or assassinate me, this corroborated intelligence given to General Clinton by a person escaped from Canada, On the monday following, a tory, whose gratitude for favors received (surmounted the Influence of his principles) informed that parties were lurking for me, advised me not to walk out on my farm, and assured me that a rumour prevailed amongst the tories that a reward of two hundred Guinies had been promised to deliver me in canada, added to this, Major McKinstry advised me by Express on Sunday, that a party under one Jones, a Lieut. in the British irregulars, watched my coming to Saratoga to take me, that he had certain intelligence of it, and that another party was near this place for the same purpose. On this variety of information, I tooke every precaution for my security, except requesting a guard from General Clinton, went little abroad, and never in the rear of my house, & closed my back doors at sunset, the Enemy finding It Impossible to surprize me out of my house, attempted last night about 9 oClock to take me in it, forced the Gate of a Close court Yard and entered thro the Kitchen, four white men whom I had in the house having flown to their arms very gallantly disputed the passage into my hall, where I was at supper, and gave me time to gain my bedchamber, where my arms were deposited, the Enemy’s members prevail’d, they secured two of my men, wounded a third and obliged the other to fly out of the house for safety, some then entered, whilst others surrounded the house, those in the quarter exposed to my fire retired on the first discharge, those that had got in the Saloon, leading to my bed room, retreated with Great precipitation, on hearing me call "come on my lads surround the house, And Secure the Villains who are plundering," I believe this little incident saved me, for altho the townsmen run with all possible celerity to my assistance assoon as they heard the firing, yet they came too late to overtake the enemy, who Carried off the two men, and part of my plate, Myers who was wounded, headed the party which Consisted of about twenty.

Gen. Clinton has ordered me a Serjeants guard but apprehends that he is not authorized to let it remain should he receive Your Excellencys orders to send down Cortlandts regiment, and as It would be imprudent for me to remain in my house without one, the inhabitants back of me for many miles being almost all disaffected, I have to intreat the favor that a small guard may be left me of men least capable of active service.

Mr Morris had advised me that the money for building the boats will be ready by the time specifyed in the Contract, I am much obliged by your Intervention on this Occassion, and happy to find that the expence is considerably less than I estimated.

The Com[t] Genl not having sum at the time Your Excellencys order was given I have been under the necessity of borrowing nearly three hogsheads, I wish he may be directed to enable me to replace It assoon as he conveniently can. I am Dr Sir with the most Sincere esteem & affection Your Excellency’s Obedient Servant

Ph: Schuyler

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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