Wythe & the Congress Committee of Ticonderaoga to General Richard Montgomery, 30 November 1775
Note: Wythe was not a signer of this letter. It was, however, referred to him and others by the Continental Congress.
The committee assigned to confer with General Montgomery writes to Montgomery to congratulate him on movement into Canada and ask him to appeal to the affections of the Canadians so he can try and negotiate a meeting between them and Congress.
Ticonderoga 30th Nov. 1775
The Congress having done us the honour to appoint us as a Committee to Confer with the General and Yourself on, the measures necessary to be taken for the reenlistment of the Army, as also to Conciliate the affections of the Canadians and to remove as far as in us lay every Objection that the good people of that Province might have to a Union with the thirteen Colonies, who are Struggling in the Colonies Cause of freedom — We arrived here a few days Since in prosecution of that design, but are extremely happy to find, that Gernal Schuyler and Yourself have in a great measure by your prudence and foresight anticipated our business, and rendered a Journey into Canada in some measure unnecessary at present which indeed we rather decline on Account of the Advanced session of the Year and the improbability of your being able to lend us any Assistance, while the enemies of the National Rights of man, continue their hostilities against our fellow Subjects in that Province, and Confine your Attention to those Military opperations which are Necessary to procure their Relief.
We cannot help however expressing the ardent wishes of the Congress, that you would Cherish the first dawnings of liberty among a people, who have early Sacrificed their Sense of its Value, if we may be Admitted to Judge from
from the Assistance they afforded you in repelling its’ enemies. — That you would assure them that the Honb. the Congress have thro’ us declared, that they hold their Rights as dear as their own, and that in their uniting with them they will exert their utmost endeavours to procure, for their and their posterity the blessing of free government, and that Security to their property and persons which is derived from the British Constitution. — That they hold Sacred the rights of Conscience, and will never disturb them in the free enjoyment of their Religion. —
The Honb. Congress Recommend it to you to use your utmost endeavours to procure a free meeting of the people in their several Parishes, out of whom to Chuse a Provincial Convention who will form such Rules in regulations as the present exigencies may render necessary for their Province from their body they hope that delegates will be chosen to meet and Cooperate with them in such measures as they shall think Necessary for their mutual Security against the unjust violences of an arbitrary ministry. If the unsettled state of the Province should prevent a free and full representation of the whole Colony, yet the Honb. the Congress win acquiesce in the choice of Such Towns Parishes, and districts, as may think or pressure to send deputies. Or if previous to their meeting in Congress they think have any Difficulties which it is out of your power to remove, a Committee of Congress will at any time, when the Communication is more open, be ready to meet and Confer with them on the Subject at Albany, Montreal, or any other place, which they May
May think proper to Appoint — We need not mention to you the possibility of punishing in the Severest manner any of our Troops, who should so far forget the duty that they owe to us and our worthy Allies, as to offer the least injury, either to their property or Persons. — We know not your Arrangement of the Army, but Presume you have not in the distribution of Commissions overlooked the Merit of those who deserve will of their Country, nor Suffers those to be advanced who have merited its Censure. — General Schuyler has inclosed our last instructions which will Shew you the design of the Congress with Respect to Quebeck, but which from your letter we find you have already in some measure Anticipated. He who also gives you our Sense with Respect to the Clothing and bounty to the troops, in the management of which we must rely upon your prudence and doubt not that the Congress will make good any engagements into which you may have found it Necessary to enter. The other Subjects at our Conference with the General sense of which are mentioned to you in his letter and others wanting the Sanction of Congress, we think it unnecessary at present to trouble you with — The post being just about to Depart we cannot inlarge if any other opportunity should offer, we may unite you again before we leave this — We
We Congratulate you when the happy Success of our Arms and hope shortly to hear that your prosperous endeavours has left no footing to our enemies in that Country from which they hoped to draw the most effectual supplies. —
We Remain with
The greatest Respect
Your obedient Servts
Rob. R. Livingston
Rob. T. Paine
Copy of Letter to General Montgomery
23 Letter and Report of the Committee appointed to repair to Ticonderoga & Confer with Gen. Schuyler
Read Dec. 23. 1775 —