Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO COLONEL BENEDICT ARNOLD. INSTRUCTIONS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776)
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TO COLONEL BENEDICT ARNOLD. INSTRUCTIONS. - 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 COLONEL BENEDICT ARNOLD.
1. You are immediately on their march from Cambridge to take the command of the detachment from the Continental army against Quebec, and use all possible expedition, as the winter season is now advancing, and the success of this enterprise, under God, depends wholly upon the spirit with which it is pushed, and the favorable dispositions of the Canadians and Indians.
2. When you come to Newburyport you are to make all possible inquiry, what men-of-war or cruisers there may be on the coast, to which this detachment may be exposed on their voyage to Kennebec River; and, if you should find that there is danger of your being intercepted, you are not to proceed by water, but by land, taking care on the one hand not to be diverted by light and vague reports, and on the other not to expose the troops rashly to a danger, which by many judicious persons has been deemed very considerable.
3. You are, by every means in your power, to endeavor to discover the real sentiments of the Canadians towards our cause, and particularly as to this expedition, bearing in mind, that if they are averse to it and will not coöperate, or at least willingly acquiesce, it must fail of success. In this case you are by no means to prosecute the attempt; the expense of the expedition, and the disappointment, are not to be put in competition with the dangerous consequences, which may ensue from irritating them against us, and detaching them from that neutrality, which they have adopted.
4. In order to cherish those favorable sentiments to the American cause, that they have manifested, you are, as soon as you arrive in their country, to disperse a number of the addresses you will have with you, particularly in those parts, where your route shall lie; and observe the strictest discipline and good order, by no means suffering any inhabitant to be abused, or in any manner injured, either in his person or property, punishing with exemplary severity every person, who shall transgress, and making ample compensation to the party injured.
5. You are to endeavor, on the other hand, to conciliate the affections of those people, and such Indians as you may meet with, by every means in your power; convincing them, that we come, at the request of many of their principal people, not as robbers or to make war upon them, but as the friends and supporters of their liberties as well as ours. And to give efficacy to these sentiments, you must carefully inculcate upon the officers and soldiers under your command, that, not only the good of their country and their honor, but their safety, depend upon the treatment of these people.
6. Check every idea and crush in its earliest stage every attempt to plunder even those, who are known to be enemies to our cause. It will create dreadful apprehensions in our friends, and, when it is once begun, no one can tell where it will stop. I therefore again most expressly order, that it be discouraged and punished in every instance without distinction.
7. Any King’s stores, which you shall be so fortunate as to possess yourself of, are to be secured for the Continental use, agreeably to the rules and regulations of war published by the honorable Congress. The officers and men may be assured, that any extraordinary services performed by them will be suitably rewarded.
8. Spare neither pains nor expense to gain all possible intelligence on your march, to prevent surprises and accidents of every kind, and endeavor if possible to correspond with General Schuyler, so that you may act in concert with him. This, I think, may be done by means of the St. Francis Indians.
9. In case of a union with General Schuyler, or if he should be in Canada upon your arrival there, you are by no means to consider yourself as upon a separate and independent command, but are to put yourself under him and follow his directions. Upon this occasion, and all others, I recommend most earnestly to avoid all contention about rank. In such a cause every post is honorable, in which a man can serve his country.
10. If Lord Chatham’s son should be in Canada, and in any way should fall into your power, you are enjoined to treat him with all possible deference and respect. You cannot err in paying too much honor to the son of so illustrious a character, and so true a friend to America. Any other prisoners, who may fall into your hands, you will treat with as much humanity and kindness, as may be consistent with your own safety and the public interest. Be very particular in restraining, not only your own troops, but the Indians, from all acts of cruelty and insult, which will disgrace the American arms, and irritate our fellow subjects against us.
11. You will be particularly careful to pay the full value for all provisions, or other accommodations, which the Canadians may provide for you on your march. By no means press them or any of their cattle into your service, but amply compensate those, who voluntarily assist you. For this purpose you are provided with a sum of money in specie, which you will use with as much frugality and economy, as your necessities and good policy will admit, keeping as exact an account as possible of your disbursements.
12. You are by every opportunity to inform me of your progress, your prospects, and intelligence, and upon any important occurrence to send an express.
13. As the season is now far advanced, you are to make all possible despatch; but if unforeseen difficulties should arise, or if the weather should become so severe, as to render it hazardous to proceed, in your own judgment and that of your principal officers, whom you are to consult,—in that case you are to return, giving me as early notice as possible, that I may render you such assistance as may be necessary.
14. As the contempt of the religion of a country by ridiculing any of its ceremonies, or affronting its ministers or votaries, has ever been deeply resented, you are to be particularly careful to restrain every officer and soldier from such imprudence and folly, and to punish every instance of it. On the other hand, as far as lies in your power, you are to protect and support the free exercise of the religion of the country, and the undisturbed enjoyment of the rights of conscience in religious matters, with your utmost influence and authority.
Given under my hand, at head-quarters, Cambridge, this 14th day of September, 1775.