Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776)
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. IV (1776).
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL SCHUYLER.
New York, 7 June, 1776.
I have not time to answer your two last favors minutely, but only to acknowledge the receipt of them, being just returned from Philadelphia, and the post about to depart this morning. The situation of our affairs in Canada is truly alarming, and I greatly fear, from the intelligence transmitted from thence by Captain Wilkinson to General Greene,1 that ere this we have sustained further and greater misfortunes, than what happened when you wrote. I have enclosed you a copy of his letter, by which you will see I have too much ground for my concern; and I sincerely wish the next letters from the northward may not contain melancholy advices of General Arnold’s defeat, and the loss of Montreal. The most vigorous exertions will be necessary to retrieve our circumstances there, and I am hopefull you will strain every nerve for that purpose. Unless it can be now done, Canada will be lost for ever; the fatal consequences of which every one must feel.
I have enclosed to you a copy of a resolve of Congress for reinforcing the army in Canada, and keeping up the communication with that province.2 I hope the several colonies will immediately furnish their quotas of men, which, or as many of them as may be necessary, I should imagine had better be employed at the communications, and all the enlisted soldiers sent forward to Canada. You have, also, another resolution for employing and engaging a number of Indians in the service,3 though Congress have not particularized the mode for raising and engaging ’em. I would have you, and the Commissioners appointed for Indian affairs, pursue such measures for the purpose, as to you may seem best for securing their friendship and service. If a smaller number than two thousand will do, I would not advise more to be embodied than may be necessary.
If your presence or direction at St. John’s, or any post in Canada, could be of service and tend to put our affairs in a better channel than they now are, I would wish you to goe, as General Thomas is down with the smallpox; but I do not mean to direct or request you to do it, if you think by remaining where you are, or not going, will be of more public advantage, or that the cause will be injured by doing it. You will be governed by such measures, as appear to you best, and the circumstances of our affairs under your management, and those in Canada with which you must be much better acquainted than I am, or can possibly be, at this distance. It is probable your presence may be necessary & wanted at the negotiation with the Indians, which will be one cause to prevent your going.1
[1 ]See this letter in Wilkinson’s Memoirs, vol. 1., p. 43.
[2 ]It was resolved, June 1st, that six thousand militia should be employed from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and New York, to reinforce the army in Canada.
[3 ]Congress had voted the raising of two thousand Indians for the Canada service. In reply, General Schuyler very naturally inquired where they were to be found, and added, that, instead of raising this number for the American cause, he thought that if they could be prevented from joining the enemy it was more than could be expected. The Indians had but one maxim in their alliances with the whites, which was to adhere to the strongest side, where they were paid the most liberally, and ran the least risk. Congress had small means, and were parsimonious from necessity. They were moreover averse at first to employing this kind of aid, and sought only to keep the savages in a peaceful neutrality. As this was not possible, from the fierce and warlike nature of these sons of the forest, and as the enemy has no scruples on the subject, it was deemed necessary by Congress to seek their assistance. No moment, however, could have been more unpropitious for such an attempt, than the present, when the declining state of affairs in Canada held out feeble encouragements to a people, who acted upon the principle and with the ultimate aim of the savages.
[1 ]General Schuyler soon afterwards went to the German Flats, where he met a large number of Indians from the western parts of New York, with whom a treaty was formed.