Report of the Committee of Treasury, 12 November 1776

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Page one of a report from the Committee of Treasury in the handwriting of George Wythe, concerning the petition of Lieutenant Colonel John Brown. Image from Fold3.

This draft of a petition in the handwriting of George Wythe, concerning Major John Brown (1744-1780) for promotion in consideration for his service during the Canada Campaign, was presented to the Second Continental Congress in 1776. Brown played a key role in the conquest of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775 by Colonial Forces.

The petition is endorsed as being read in Congress on November 12. The text of the final report was published in the Journals of the Continental Congress (1906).[1]

Document Text, November, 1776

Page 1

The committee, to whom that part of the petition and memorial of John Brown, Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment commanded by Colonel Elmore, praying that his extraordinary services in Canada last year may be considered, was referred, have examined the matter thereof; and report, that, according to the narrative of Colonel Browne, contained in his letter to Major General Schuyler, he performed many valuable services in Canada; that he was instrumental in procuring useful intelligence of the number and strength of the british forces and armed vessels there, and of the inclinations and designs of the inhabitants and savages; that he cut off the communication between Saint John's and the circumjacent country, surprized Laprairie, took Chamblé, captivated prisoners, and seised stores and other things; and that during the whole campaign he was almost continually in some active employment, by night as well as by day, suffering much fatigue and hardship, and frequently exposed to dangers; that these allegations are in some measure supported partly by letters to Congress from the late Brigadier General Montgomery, dated the 19 and 24 of September, 16 and 20 of October, 3 of November, and 5 of December, 1775, with the articles of capitulation at Chamblé when it was surrendered, and partly by a certificate signed by Colonels James Livingston and Timothy Bedel, Major Robert Cockran, and Captains Gershom Motte and William Satterlee. That on the eighth day of November, 1775, the Congress in their instructions to the gentlemen appointed to repair to Ticonderoga, authorised them, among other things, to assure Major Brown and Major Livingston,

Page two of the petition. Image from Fold3.

Page 2

that Congress had a just sense of their important services, and would take the first proper opportunity to reward them: ~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

But it appears to the committee, that, if Colonel Brown be rewarded by promotion in military rank, which is supposed to have been designed by that assurance, his eye-sight is so impaired by the cold weather last winter that he will not be able to perform the duty of his office, unless it be in some stationary post. It is therefore upon the whole matter submitted to Congress to determine whether any further provision ought to be made for him or in what other manner, he having been [                    ] promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel from that of major.

Page three of the petition. Image from Fold3.

Page 3

November [?] 1776

Report on so much of lieutenant colonel John Brown's petition and memorial as prays that his extraordinary services in Canada last year may be considered.

Read in Congress Nov. 12. 1776
Ordered to lie on the table.

see also


  1. Journals of the Continental Congress, ed. Worthington C. Ford, Vol. 6, October 9-December 31, 1776 (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1906), 942-943.

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