Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776)
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. III (1775-1776).
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER.
Head-Quarters,Cambridge, 20 August, 1775.
Since my last of the 15th instant I have been favored with yours of the 6th. I am much concerned to find, that the supplies ordered have been so much delayed. By this time I hope Colonel McDougall, whose zeal is unquestionable, has joined you with every thing necessary for prosecuting your plan.
Several of the delegates from Philadelphia, who have visited our camp, assure me that powder is forwarded to you; and the daily arrivals of that article give us reason to hope, that we shall soon have a very ample supply.2 Animated with the goodness of our cause, and the best wishes of your countrymen, I am sure you will not let any difficulties, not insuperable, damp your ardor. Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.1
In my last, a copy of which is enclosed, I sent you an account of the arrival of several St. Francis Indians in our camp, and their friendly dispositions. You have also a copy of the resolution of Congress, by which you will find it is their intention to seek only a neutrality of the Indian nations, unless the ministerial agents should engage them in hostilities, or enter into an offensive alliance with them.2 I have been, therefore, embarrassed in giving them an answer, when they have tendered their services and assistance. As your situation enables you best to know the notions of the Governor3 and the agents, I proposed to him [the chief] to go home by way of Ticonderoga, referring him to you for an answer, which you would give according to the intelligence you have had, and the judgment you have formed of the transactions among the Indians; but as he does not seem in any hurry to leave our camp, your answer by the return of this express may possibly reach me, before he returns, and alter his route. Four of his company still remain in our camp, and propose to stay some time with us.1
The design of this express is to communicate to you a plan of an expedition, which has engaged my thoughts for several days. It is to penetrate into Canada, by way of Kennebec River, and so to Quebec by a route ninety miles below Montreal. I can very well spare a detachment for this purpose of one thousand, or twelve hundred men, and the land-carriage by the route proposed is too inconsiderable to make an objection. If you are resolved to proceed, which I gather from your last letter is your intention, it would make a diversion, that would distract Carleton, and facilitate your views. He must either break up and follow this party to Quebec, by which he will leave you a free passage, or he must suffer that important place to fall into our hands; an event that would have a decisive effect and influence on the public interests. There may be some danger, that such a sudden incursion might alarm the Canadians, and detach them from that neutrality which they have hitherto observed; but I should hope, that, with suitable precautions, and a strict discipline preserved, any apprehensions and jealousies might be removed. The few, whom I have consulted upon it, approve it much; but the final determination is deferred until I hear from you. You will, therefore, by the return of this messenger, inform me of your ultimate resolution. If you mean to proceed, acquaint me as particularly as you can with the time and force, what late accounts you have had from Canada, and your opinion as to the sentiments of the inhabitants, as well as those of the Indians upon a penetration into their country; what number of troops are at Quebec, and whether any men-of-war; with all other circumstances, which may be material in the consideration of a step of such importance. Not a moment’s time is to be lost in the preparation for this enterprise, if the advices received from you favor it. With the utmost expedition, the season will be considerably advanced, so that you will dismiss the express as soon as possible.
While the three New Hampshire companies remain in their present station, they will not be considered as composing a part of the Continental army, but as a militia under the direction and pay of the colony, whose inhabitants they are, or for whose defence they are stationed; so that it will not be proper for me to give any orders respecting them.
We still continue in the same situation, as to the enemy, as when I wrote you last; but we have had six tons and a half of powder from the southward, which is a very seasonable supply. We are not able to learn any thing further of the intentions of the enemy, and they are too strongly posted for us to attempt any thing upon them at present.
My best wishes attend you; and believe me, with much truth and regard, my dear Sir, your very obedient humble servant.
[2 ]“Upon the application of Dr. Franklin to this Board for a quantity of gunpowder for the use of the troops under the command of Col. Schuyler, Resolved, that 2,244½ lbs. of gunpowder now in magazine, under the care of Mr. Robert Towers, be immediately sent, and that a proper team be provided to take said powder, and to be attended on the road by Thomas Aply, until he receives orders from Col. Schuyler.” Towers reported that he had delivered to Aply, 382 lbs. of musket powder and 1,754 lbs. of cannon powder, which were sent forward on August 10th.—Penn. Council of Safety, 300, 301. The powder reached Albany on the 21st.
[1 ]In a letter of the 6th of August, General Schuyler complains of the tardiness of the New York Provincial Congress in raising men. He says: “Not a man from this colony has yet joined me, except those raised and paid by the Committee of Albany; nor have I yet received the necessary supplies, which I begged the New York Provincial Congress to send me, as long ago as the 3d of last month, and which the Continental Congress had desired them to do.”
[2 ]Journals of Congress, 1 July, 1775.
[3 ]General Carleton, Governor of Canada.
[1 ]Genl. Schuyler soon after met a number of the Indians of the Six Nations and opened negotiations for a treaty. The Indians held back, being apprehensive that they would be asked to take up arms in the American cause. As it was a family quarrel, they said, they would not interfere, but remain neuter. “That Governor Carleton and his agents are exerting themselves to procure savages to act against us I have reason to believe from the various accounts I have received, but I do not believe he will have any success with the Canada tribes, tho’ I make no doubt he is joined by some of the more remote Indians, who, I believe, will assist him, and who have already served him as scouts from St. Johns. I should, therefore, not hesitate one moment to employ any Indians that might be willing to join us.”—Schuyler to Washington, 27 August, 1775.