Philip Schuyler to John Hancock, referred to Wythe & Committee, 7 March 1776

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Philip Schuyler wrote to Congress to discuss several issues that had arisen that pertained to the military. First, Schuyler wrote about how George Washington had sent two letter to him for more arms to be purchased for his troops near Canada. Schuyler asked for Congress' help in the matter, but he knew that it might be impossible for Congress to comply with the request since it had been difficult to get supplies to troops in Canada previously. Schuyler mentioned a cannon that was to be transported from Fort George in New York by land. Since the transportation by land would be highly expensive, he suggested that Congress partially transport it by sea to decrease unnecessary expenses.

"Philip Schuyler to John Hancock, 7 March 1776, pg 1." Image from The Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789.

Letter text

Page 1

Albany March 7th 1776


Since my last of Yesterday I have received a Return of our Force at Quebec; from which I have extracted the inclosed. I am also honored with two Letters from General Washington of the 25th and 27th [?]. He intreats me to purchase Arms in this Quarter for his Army. It would give me great Happiness, if we could comply with his Request; but with all the pains taken we have not hitherto been able to procure a Sufficiency for the Troops that will pass thro’, and go from hence to Canada. Governor Trumbull by whom I am also honored with a Letter of the 1st Instant says "I expect they [Cols. Bevrel’s Regiment] will need the Arms & Accoutrements, you gave Encouragement to supply them with." I will continue to purchase whatever can be procured, even at the high price we are obliged to give, but begin to be very apprehensive that a sufficient Number cannot be procured, nor can we get any from New York.

Page 2

"Philip Schuyler to John Hancock, 7 March 1776, pg 2." Image from The Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789.

The heavy Cannon from New York are at [?] and the reparations were making for transporting them by Land, which would occasion a vast and needless Expence, as they could not be sent from this place, if they were nowhere, nor from Fort George until the Lakes open. One of the Committee who had them in Charge collect upon me this Day for my Advice; which was, to leave them on Boar as of the Vessel, and to come up the River as the Ice should give Way. There is a prospect that the River will be navigable in a very few days.

Governor Trumbull has desired me to mention to Congress, the Necessity of appointing person to liquidate the Accounts of the Taking of Tyconderoga &c. It is really very necessary that it should be done. Perhaps the Committee of this City might be thought competent to it.

I should be happy, if I could with any propriety render myself at New York immediately but until all is in proper Train for the Northern Service, which cannot be until the Lakes are open I judge it would be prejudicial to the Service for me to leave this; Altho I stand in great Need of [Relocation?], as the frequent letting of Blood, which is thought necessary for my Disorder, weakens me much; but I am nevertheless much better than I have latterly been, and hope a Change of Air will perfectly restore me.

I have just received Accounts from the posts above that the Slay-men refused to carry the heaviest Cannon I ordered from Fort George &c.

The Expence of Ferriage and the Transportation by Land, from hence to Forge George runs so amazingly high, that I propose to have the provisions carried partly by Water; which will not only make some Abatement in the Expence of Transportation, but lessen the Charge we are at in maintaining the Roads.

The Bearer is Colo. Dongan; to his Services I have been informed, we are much indebted. His Influence with the Canadians and the Assistance given by him, during the Siege of St. John’s, have been frequently mentioned to me. I am Sir most sincerely

Your obedient
Humble servant
Ph. Schuyler

To the Honorable John Hancock Esq. &c. &c.

Page 3

"Philip Schuyler to John Hancock, 7 March 1776, pg 3." Image from The Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789.

Letter from general Schuyler 7 March 1776

Read 21. 1776.

Referred to Mr. Wythe
Mr. Harrison
Mr. J. Adams.

See also