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and fortify the shore and island at the Falls of Richelieu, with a number of cannon, not exceeding twenty pieces, under the direction of such persons as General Thomas or the Commanding Officer in Canada shall appoint for that purpose.

Agreed, that it is necessary immediately to fortify the Post at Jacques Cartier, with a number of cannon, &c., not exceeding ten pieces, and that the Commanding Officer in Canada give directions for that purpose.

Agreed, to build immediately, at Chambly, six gondolas, of a proper size to carry heavy cannon, to be under the direction of General Arnold, who will employ Colonel Hazen to oversee and direct the workmen.

BENEDICT ARNOLD, Brigadier-General.


We have at length come to the end of our long and tedious journey, after meeting with several delays, on account of the impassable condition of the lakes; and it is with a longing desire of measuring back the same ground that I now take up my pen to inform you of my being in good health, thank God, and of wishing you a perfect enjoyment of yours.

We came hither the night before last, and were received at the landing by General Arnold, and a great body of officers, gentry, &c., and saluted by the firing of cannon, and other military honours.* Being conducted to the General’ s house, we were served with a glass of wine, while people were crowding in to pay their compliments; which ceremony being over, we were shown into another apartment, and unexpectedly met in it a large number of ladies, most of them French. After drinking tea, and sitting some time, we went to an elegant supper, which was followed with the singing of the ladies, which proved very agreeable, and would have been more so if we had not been so much fatigued with our journey. The next day was spent in receiving visits and dining in a large company, with whom we were pressed to sup, but excused ourselves in order to write letters, of which this is one, and will be finished and dated to-morrow morning.

I owe you a journal of our adventures from Philadelphia to this place. When we came to Brunswick, in the Jersey Government, we overtook the Baron de Woedtke, the Prussian General, who had left Philadelphia the day before us. Though I had frequently seen him before, yet he was so disguised in furs that I scarce knew him, and never beheld a more laughable object in my life. Like other Prussian officers, he appears to me as a man who knows little of polite life, and yet has picked up so much of it in his passage through France as to make a most awkward appearance.

When we came to New-York, it was no more the gay polite place it used to be esteemed, but it was become almost a desert, unless for the troops. The people were expecting a bombardment, and had therefore removed themselves and their effects out of town; and the other side, the troops were working at the fortifications with the utmost activity. After spending some disagreeable days at this place, we proceeded by water up to Albany, about one hundred and sixty miles. At our arrival there, we were met by General Schuyler, and entertained by him during our stay with great politeness and very genteelly. I wrote to you before of our agreeable situation at Saratoga, and of our journey from thence over Lake George to Ticonderoga; from the latter place we embarked on the great Lake of Champlain, about one hundred and forty miles to St. John’ s. We had a passage of three days and a half. We always came to in the night time. Passengers generally encamp in the woods, making a covering of the boughs of trees, and large fires at their feet; but as we had a good awning to our boat, and had brought with us good beds, and plenty of bed-clothes, I chose to sleep aboard.


Providence, May 1, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: Yours I received per express this day, dated in April, and observe the contents. Shall endeavour to give you a state of the Navy under my command; and shall begin with the time we arrived in New-London River, where we landed sick people, not fit for duty, in the hospital, which I provided with difficulty: seventy-two from the Alfred, thirty-four from the Columbus, fifty-eight from the Andrew Doria, seventeen from the Cabot, sixteen from the Providence, and five from the Fly; in all two hundred and two people, which weakened the fleet so much that I applied to General Washington and got an order for two hundred men; about one hundred and seventy of whom I got on board the fleet; when I came to sail with our fleet, in order to speak with the fleet at or near Newport; but the Alfred got ashore near Fisher’ s Island, and was obliged to be lightened to get her off, which we did without much damage. In the mean time Wallace and his whole fleet left Newport.

We sailed from New-London on the 24th April, and met nothing; the next day the weather proving rough we put in here, where we have landed upwards of one hundred sick men; and there are daily more taken down with some new malignant fever. I was making all the despatch possible to procure provisions and stores, in order for a three or four months’ cruise, when I received by the same express General Washington’ s orders to send his men immediately to New-York; which I must comply with.

I had brought round here twenty-six heavy cannon, for the defence of the town of Newport, and by that service expected to obtain liberty to inlist men out of the Government troops to have made up my complement; but if the cannon must be taken away I cannot ask it with modesty, and if I do, I am in doubt whether it would be granted.

I am ready to follow any instructions that you give at all times; but am very much in doubt whether it will be in my power to keep the fleet together, with any credit to myself or the officers that belong to it; neither do I believe it can be done without power to dismiss such officers as I find slack in their duty. I left the sloop and the Andrew Doria at New-London, unloading stores; when I get a return of what they land, shall immediately transmit it to you. I ordered the Andrew Doria to careen there, which I hear is done. Should be glad you would give orders what should be done with the New-Providence sloop, which I wrote my brother about.

Enclosed you have a copy of Captain Whipple’ s request to me, which suppose I shall grant, and expect that may bring on some more inquiries; but do not expect anything which may now be done will mend what is past.

I am, with great respect, your most obedient humble servant,


To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq., President of the Marine Committee.


Providence, May 1, 1776.

SIR: Your favour of the 25th of April, per express, have received. Am very much obliged to you for the use of your men, and shall despatch them to New-York immediately, in the sloop Providence, Captain Hazard; although we still continue to be sickly on board all the vessels, so that it will be impossible to go to sea with the fleet, before we get recruited with hands, which will not easily be done.

I am, with great respect, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


To General Washington.


Watertown, May 1, 1776.

MY DEAR SIR: The Tories dread a declaration of Independence, and a course of conduct on that plan, more than death. They console themselves with a belief that the

*MONTREAL, May 1, 1776.—On Sunday last arrived here Baron Woedtke and Colonel De Haas, with Mr. Joseph Terry, of this place, accompanied by several other gentlemen of the Army; and on Monday, the Committee of the honourable Continental Congress for establishing and regulating the Continental affairs in this Province, with the celebrated Doctor Franklin at their head. They were received on the beach at the Post de Vadreuil by General Arnold, and the friends to liberty, and a salute was fired from the Citadel. Being escorted to Head-Quarters, they and a number of friends to liberty spent the evening with decent mirth.

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