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desire and apprehension ever since the great contest subsisting between Great Britain and the American Colonies. Our situation has been such that we have not had it in our power to do anything in conjunction with the other Colonies. The form of Government we are under, and the manner of executing its authority, has been such that we are rather to be looked upon as slaves than freemen.

With anxious desires have we been waiting for the success of your righteous cause, and that you would cast an eye of pity towards this forlorn part. We have, indeed, nothing to recommend us but misery and impending destruction and devastations. We trust our manner of proceeding will have the desired effect on you, as well as the others who are the instruments of supporting the liberty of mankind.

We have been harassed much, occasioned by different proceedings of Government; threatened are we because we have such sentiments concerning the cause contended for by our brethren on the Continent. News has been received that troops will soon be sent among us. This, in a manner, has roused many who were environed in lethargy. Committees have been appointed from the different towns (including the Acadians) to fall upon some method of safety, there being a number among us (vainly called Government-men) who are continually prying into our proceedings, and, with accumulated tales, give information to the Government at Halifax. Liable, therefore, are we to be cut in pieces, having no expectation of succour but what comes through your Excellency.

We agreed in our Committees that nothing should be done publickly, as it might aggravate the others to fall upon us sooner than they intended; and further, as we could not tell the intention of the honourable Continental Congress concerning us.

Therefore, as individuals who belong to the aforesaid Committee, do recommend Jonathan Eddy, Esq., to your Excellency, who will acquaint you with our situation; and praying with ardency that your Excellency will please relieve us, so that we may be able to give our sentiments publickly, and join with our little strength, in conjunction with the other Colonies, in preventing the ensigns of slavery from being set up in any part of this great Empire. And we further pray your Excellency will keep this our request a secret for the present.

We do, separately and jointly, pray for the success of your arms, and that you may be victorious, and vanquish all your enemies.

We are, with the greatest respect, your Excellency’s most devoted and very humble servants,



Whitehall, February 17, 1776


SIR: The events which happened in the Province under your government, in the month of November, left no room for any other consideration but that of sending as early as possible a relief to the Town of Quebeck, in case you should have been able, with the small garrison you had collected together, to maintain possession of it during the winter; such relief to be followed by a body of troops sufficient to retake the town in case it should have fallen into the hands of the Rebels, and to effect the recovery of the whole of the Province to his Majesty’s possession.

To this end it was judged expedient immediately upon the arrival of Lieutenant Pringle, in the Nancy, to equip a small squadron of his Majesty’s ships, consisting of the lsis, of fifty guns, the Surprise, and Triton frigates, and the Martin sloop-of-war. This squadron has been accordingly prepared with the greatest despatch, and will be accompanied with three victuallers and two large navy transports, having on board provision for three thousand men for three months.

His Majesty has also thought fit to direct that the Twenty-Ninth Regiment should be distributed on board the different ships, in the manner stated in the enclosed paper; and the whole being now ready to sail, enclosed I send you a copy of my letter of instructions to Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon, and of the instructions given by the Admiralty to the Captains of the several ships, pursuant to the directions I had the honour to send their Lordships by his Majesty’s command.

Every effort is making to push forward the second em-barcation of troops, so that they may be ready to sail by the 20th of next month.

That embarcation will consist of six Regiments from Ireland, and two from Great Britain, together with four companies of Artillery, and a large battering train; the whole to be under the command of Major-General Burgoyne, who, together with Major-General Lord Cornwallis, is appointed by the King to serve under you on the side of Canada; but it will possibly be some time before you can have the assistance of Lord Cornwallis, as he is at present appointed to serve under Major-General Clinton, upon an expedition to the southward, but he will proceed to Quebeck with his regiment as soon as that service is over.

To this force it is proposed to add about five thousand foreign auxiliary troops, furnished by the reigning Duke of Brunswick and the Prince of Waldeck; of which about three thousand will be ready to embark in the Elbe, in the beginning of March, and the remainder as soon after as possible.

Enclosed I send you the state of the British Regiments that are to proceed under the command of Major-General Burgoyne; and I am to signify to you his Majesty’s commands, that you do give the necessary directions for the disembarcation of the said troops, as well as of the foreign auxiliaries; and that you do employ them in such manner as you shall think most effectual for his Majesty’s service.

Major-General Burgoyne will be so fully instructed in every point, in regard to the important services that are to be carried on, on the side of Canada, that it will be unnecessary now for me to say anything on that subject, and, therefore, I have only to enclose to you his Majesty’s warrant, containing a signification of his Majesty’s pleasure for your direction in carrying into execution the powers vested in you by your commission of posting officers to vacancies.

I am, &c.,


To Sir Guy Carleton, Quebeck.


Whitehall, March 28, 1776.

SIR: I have already informed you in my letter of the 17th February, of which I now enclose a duplicate, that the force to be employed in Canada under your command would consist of nine British Regiments, and about five thousand foreign auxiliaries.

I hope that by this time the Regiments from Ireland are nearly ready to proceed, and this letter will be delivered to you by Major-General Burgoyne, who accompanies the first embarcation from hence, consisting, as you will see by the enclosed state, of about two thousand Brunswick Troops, being the first division of that corps, and also of the Twenty-First Regiment, from Plymouth.

It is impossible, on account of the difficulty of procuring transports, to say when the second division of the Brunswick Troops will be ready to embark, but I hope it will be in the course of next month.

Enclosed I have the honour to send you a list of commissions, by which his Majesty gives military rank in America to his General Officers serving there; and it is hoped that this arrangement will have the effect to prevent any embarrassment or inconveniency from any claim in the General Officers of the foreign troops to have command in consequence of superior rank to the natural born subjects of Great Britain, upon whom it is his Majesty’s intention that the command shall in all cases devolve.

The defeat and repulse of the Rebels at Quebeck, on the 31st December, was a great and happy event; and I am commanded by the King to express to you the sense his Majesty entertains of your service on that important day, and of the services of all those who distinguished themselves upon that occasion.

It is hoped and believed that so severe a check will have had the consequence to deter the Rebels from any other such attempts upon Quebeck; and we trust the armament

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