Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR-GENERAL PHILIP SCHUYLER. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL PHILIP SCHUYLER. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. II (1758-1775).
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL PHILIP SCHUYLER.
New York, 25 June, 1775.
You are to take upon you the command of all the troops destined for the New York department, and see that the orders of the Continental Congress are carried into execution, with as much precision and exactness as possible. For your better government therein, you are herewith furnished with a copy of the instructions given to me by that honorable body. Such parts thereof as are within the line of your duty, you will please to pay particular attention to. Delay no time in occupying the several posts, recommended by the Provincial Congress of this colony, and putting them in a fit posture to answer the end designed; neither delay any time in securing the stores, which are, or ought to have been, removed from this city by order of the Continental Congress.
Keep a watchful eye upon Governor Tryon, and, if you find him attempting, directly or indirectly, any measures inimical to the common cause, use every means in your power to frustrate his designs.1 It is not in my power, at this time, to point out the mode by which this end is to be accomplished; but if forcible measures are judged necessary, (respecting the person of the Governor,) I should have no difficulty in ordering of them, if the Continental Congress was not sitting; but as this is the case, [and] the seizing of governors quite a new thing, and of exceeding great importance, I must refer you to that body for direction, if the Governor should make any move towards increasing the strength of the Tory party, or in arming them against the cause we are embarked in. In like manner, watch the movements of the Indian Agent, (Colonel Guy Johnson,) and prevent, as far as you can, the effect of his influence to our prejudice with the Indians.1 Obtain the best information you can of the temper and disposition of those people, and also of the Canadians, that a proper line may be marked out to conciliate their good opinion, or facilitate any future operation.
The posts on Lake Champlain, &c., you will please to have properly supplied with provisions and ammunition; and this I am persuaded you will aim at doing on the best terms, to prevent our good cause from sinking under a heavy load of expense. You will be pleased, also, to make regular returns to me once a month, and to the Continental Congress, and oftener as occurrences may require, of the forces under your command, of your provisions, stores, &c., and give me the earliest advices of every piece of intelligence, which you shall judge of importance to be speedily known. Your own good sense must govern in all matters not particularly pointed out, as I do not wish to circumscribe you within narrow limits. I am Sir, &c.2
[1 ]Tryon had been governor of New York since August, 1771, and recently absent for several months in England. He was known to be extremely hostile to the movements in the colonies; and, possessing much talent and address, it was feared his influence would have a pernicious effect on the inhabitants of New York, who already manifested a lukewarmness and hesitancy by no means encouraging to the ardent champions of liberty. Hence the necessity of keeping an eye on his motions, and guarding against any schemes he might adopt to promote his aims. The mayor, aldermen, and commonalty of the city congratulated him in a public address, to which he replied; but there was no intercourse between him and the Provincial Congress.—Almon’s Remembrancer, vol. i., p. 180.
[1 ]Guy Johnson resided at Guy Park, near the Mohawk River, at that time on the frontiers of New York, and had excited a good deal of uneasiness among the people, by the part he had taken with the Indians, and by the influence he was known to have over them. A correspondence of a pointed nature had already passed between him and the New York Provincial Congress.—Journals of the Congress for 1775.—Also, Sparks’s Life of Gouverneur Morris, vol. i., p. 41.
[2 ]After Washington had left Philadelphia a change in the sentiments of Congress respecting Canada occurred, and Schuyler was ordered to repair at once to Ticonderoga and Crown Point, to examine into the condition of these posts and obtain intelligence of the disposition of the Canadians and the Indians of Canada; to destroy all British boats on the lakes, and if practicable and not disagreeable to the Canadians, to occupy St. Johns and Montreal. The cause of this change was the letter from the Albany Committee, printed in Force, American Archives, Fourth Series, ii., 1048.