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communication with the country. AVe continued in this situation
until the 20th, having often attempted to draw out the garrison
in vain. On a strict scrutiny into our ammunition, found nuiny
of our cartridges (which to appearance were good) inserviceable
and not ten rounds each for the men, who were almost n.iked,
barefooted, and much fatigued; and as the garrison was daily
increasing and nearly double our numbers, we thought it prudent
to retire to this place and wait the arrival of Gen. ^Montgomery,
with artillery, clothing, &c, who to our great joy has this morn-
ing joined us with about three hundred men. ^^'e propose
immediately investing the town, and make no doubt in a few
days to bring Gov. Carlton to terms. You will excuse tlie
incori-ectness of my letter, and believe me with the greatest
esteem. Dear Sir, your friend and very h'ble serv't.


Point x\ux Trembles, 27th Xov., ITT-j.
SiK — Yours of the 2Gth from Champhiin, I received this minute,
and have ordered a party of forty men to Grand Isle to escort
the ammunition down. By no means venture by water, but on
the receipt of this procure carts to bring down the whole- Pray
make all possible despatch. •

3 am Sir, Your humble servant,
Capl. J. TJus'ui. 1>- Af^N'"-'^-


• PoiXT Arx TuEMnLE?, oOth Xov.. 1775.

Dear Sir— ]\ry last was of the 2.3th inst. advising- you of tho
Hunter sloop, Cnpt. Napier in the snow, and a schooner^, goin'-r
up to Cape Saute. They have been there until this niorninir,
%yhen they came down and are now otT this place under l\dl .sail
down. It will be impossible for them to ascend the river airain
this season ; so that your vessels, if you think proper to send
them down, will run no risk, except of ice, and may be laid up
in safety at Cape Eouge.

I have not had the pleasure of hearing from you these ten
days; and am very anxious for your safe arrival. The ammuni-
tion you ordered us has been strangely delayed, and is not yet
come to hand, but hourly expected. On receipt of it I intend
returning to my old quarters near Quebec.

Nothing has lately occurred worth notice, except the burning
of Major Caldwell's house, supposed to be done by order of Gov.
Carlton to deprive us of winter quarters. Tlie inhabltant.s of
Quebec are much disunited and short of provisions. We have
many friends tliere, and if the place is attacked with spirit, I
believe will hold out but a short time.
I am very respectfully,

Dear Sir, }-our most obed't humble servt.

Brig. Gen. Montgomery. B. Aknold.

. Point Aix Tkj-mbles, 30th Nov., 1775.
Gextlemex— This serves to advise you that the armed ships
in the river, which have been sometime off Cape Sante are now
returned to Quebec; so that there will be no danger of your
coming down in boats, or any kind of water craft, except that of
ice. I am Gentlemen, your humble servt,

D. AnxoivD,
To tJie officers of the Cont. Army on- their }
way from Montreal to QwJjec. ' ^

Point Arx TuEMitLEs, 30th Nov., 1775.
Dear Sir — This will be handed you by Mr. 13 irr, a volunteer
in the army, and son to the former president of Ne-.v JiM-.sey
college, lie i.s a young geiillcuiauof much lile aui activilv, and


has acted with much spirit and re-^ohition on our fatiiining
march. His eoadiu't, I make no doubt, will be a suinLaent
recommendation to your favor.

I am dear Sir. your most obed't humble serv't.
Brig. Gen. Montgomcnj. B. Arnold.

Befop.k Queuec, Dec. 5, 1775.
May it please your Excellency,

My last of the 20th ult. from Point Aux Trembles advising
of my retreating from before Quebec, I make no doubt your
excellency has received. I continued at Pt. Aux Trembles
until the third instant, when, to my great joy, Gen. Montgomery
joined us with artillery and about three hundred men. Yesterday
wo arrived here and are making all possible preparations to
attack the city, which has a wretched, motley garrison of disaf-
fected seamen, marines, and inhabitants, the walls in a ruinous
situation, and cannot hold out long. Enclosed is a return of my
detachment amounting to six hundred and seventy-five men, for
whom I have received clothing of Gen. Montgomery. I hope
there will soon bo provision made for paying the soldiei's, as
many of them have families wlio are in want. A continual
hurry has prevented my sending a continuation of my journal.
I am with very great respect.

Your excellency's most obed't ii'ble serv't.

B. Aknold.

[The history of this expedition, so far as it can be gathered from the
fore;T,jhig letters, terminates abruptly on ilie 5th of Dec, 177"), the dale of
the last of the series. A full account of the subsequent events will, how-
ever, be found in the journal prepared by President Allex, to which wo
have already alluded, and which immediately follows.]



1 N T R O D L" C T I N

Gen. Washington, in bis letter to Congress, dated Sept. 21,
1775, says, -'I am now to inform the honourable Congress, that,
encouraged by the repeated declarations of the Canadians and
Indians, and urged by their requests, I have detaehcd Colonel
Arnold wiUi a thousand men to penetrate into Canada by way of
Kennebec river, and, if possible, to make himself master of
Quebec. By this manccuvre I proposed either to divert Carleton
from St. Johns, which would leave a free passage to Gen.
Schuyler; or, if this did not take effect, Quebec in its present
defenceless state, must fall into his hands an easy prey." At tho
same time he furnished Arnold with copies of a Manifesto,
printed at Cambridge, that he might distribute them among the
Canadians. This address to the " Inhabitants of Canada" was
in Washington's name, and concludes with these words : '• Let
no man desert his habitation— let no one Hee as before an
enemy. The cause of America and of Liberty is the cause of
every virtuous American citizen ; whatever may be his religion
or his descent, the L'nited Colonies know no distinction, but such
as slavery, corruption, and arbitrary dominion may create.
Come, then, ye generous citizens, range yourselves under the
standard of general Liberty— against which all tiie force and
artifice of tyranny will never be able to prevail."

In his instructions to Arnold, Gi;n. Washington charged him,
and the army, to consider themselves nut as marching through


an cnomv's country, bat tlirough that of friends ami brr tiir-'n.
" Should any American soldier be so base and infau^.ous, a^^ to
injure any Canadian in his person or property, I do ino.^t. ear-
nestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exeniiilary
punishment as the enormity of the crime may require." All
disrespect also to the religion of the country was prohibited, and
the strictest order enjoined.


Soon after the commencement of the revolutionary war, Gen.
"Washington resolved to send a detachment of his army inio
Canada, through the wilderness of INIaine, in order to co-operate
with the troops which were to penetrate into Canada from the
State of Xew York by lake Champlain. The detachment con-
sisted of ten companies of musket men, belonging- to Xew
England, and three companies of riflemen, from A'irginia and
Pennsylvania, amounting to about eleven hundred men, each
company consistilig of eighty-four men, rank and tile. The
commander was Col. Benedict Arnold of Connecticut. The
field oificers were. Col. Christopher Green of Tihode Island, Col.
Eoger Enos, Maj. Return J. Meigs, and :Maj. Timothy Bigelow.
The staff consisted of Adjutant Frebecer of Denmark, Quarter-
master Hyde of Massachusetts, Dr. Senter of Ehode Inland,
and another surgeon, and Mr. Spring, Chaplain. !Matthe\v
Ogden and Aaron Burr of Xew Jer.-^ey, John McGuyer and
Charles Porterfield of Virginia, volunteers. Mr. Oswald was
private secretary to Arnold. The captains of the companies
were, Henry Dearborn of Xew Hampshire, McCobb of George-
town, Williams, Goodrich, Hubbard, and Scott of Massachu:.etts,
Hanchett of Connecticut, Topham, Thayer, and Ward from_
Ehode Island; and the captains of the riflemen were Daniel
Morgan of Virginia, the commander, "William Hendricks of
Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, and Matthew Smith oi' i-.m-
caster county, Pennsylvania. There was only one cha})]ain, 3lr.
Samuel Spring, a young preacher wlio had graduated at l'r;ai-e-
ton College in 1771. Some of the other othcers were, Lieuts,,
Archibald Steele, Michael Simpson, P. Nichols, Ilumpiueys,


Heath, Tisdiile, Cooper; Sergecint Miijor, Joseph Aston, and
Sergeant, Thos. Gibson, John Joseph Henry was u pi-iv;ite

Of these names several are distinguished in American History.
Colonel Arnold is sufficiently notorious for liis attempt as a
traitor to deliver the post aif AVest Point into the iiands of the
enemy. i\lajor Meigs, afterwards colonel, received a vote of
thanks from Congress for the skill and valor with which he
conducted the expedition against Long Island, in 1777. Ho
was with Wayne at the capture of Stony Point, in 1770. Ho
was afterwards one of the iirst settlers of Ohio, and agent for
the Cherokee Indian afiairs. He died at the Cherokee Agency,
Jan. 28, 1S23. He was the father of the late Postmaster
General of the United States. Gen. Morgan's name is inter-
woven in the whole history of the war. Gen. Dearborn has held
various high offices in our country, and in the war of 1812 made
a successful descent upon Upper Canada. Col. Burr has been
Vice President of the United States. Mr. Henry was president
of the second judicial district in Pennsylvania, and died in 1810.
Lieutenants Xichols and Simpson became, thii-ty or forty years
afterward, generals in the militia of Pennsylvania. Chaplain
Spring was the late Pev. Dr. Spring of Xewburyport, an
eminent minister, who died March 4, 1819, aged seventy-two

Major ]\[eigs kept a short journal of occurrences from Sept.
9, 177.3, to Jan. 1, 1770. There was also published in 1812, an
account of this expedition, compiled from memory a few years
before his death, by Judge Henry. From these accounts the
facts in the following narrative are chielly derived.

Sept, 0, 1775, orders were given to draft the men, collect
prov'isions, and build two hundred batteaux.

Sept. 13th, in the evening, the troops of this detachriient

1 Additional officers rueiitioned by Gen. Dearborn, May, 1820. I.ieuL
Ilutcliins, afterward a captain, now living in Fryeburg. Lieut. Andrews,
now living in New IlrlLsboro', Hampshire, aged ninety-one. Lieut. Tiiomas,
afterward killed in battle. Lieuts. Webb, Huuiplirey.s, (or Hiunptsny.s,)
Slofuin, Sliaw, of Rhode Island; Brown, Cumstoc-k, of Ma'^saehusetts ; Sav-
age of Connecticut; Brewer of Virginia. There were two Lts. Iluuiplireys,
one of Rhode Island, and une of Virginia.


marcliod tVoni Caniliridije, a few miles, to ^Mystic or ;^[ellfnI•.l ;
the next day through Salem to Danvers; on the IGth. in i!,<!
forenoon, they arrived at Newburyport and encamped. ^Eajur
Meigs says that on Sunday, the 17th, he attended divine servioo
at Eev. Mr. Parsons' meeting, and dined at Mr. N. Tracy's.
• Tuesday, 19th. The whole detachment was embarked on
board ten transports, one of them called the sloop Britannia, in
the morning, and sailed out of the harbor. At 1 o'clock I*. M.
orders were received to sail to the Kennebec, fifty leagues
distant. The wind was fair and very^ fresh, so that in the morn-
ing of the 20th they made the mouth of the Kennebec right
ahead, and soon entered it. Being hailed by armed men from
the shore, they answered that they were continental troops, and
requested a pilot, who was immediately put on board. With
favorable wind and tide they proceeded up the river. Five
miles from the mouth was a large island called Eousack, ( Arrou-
seag, or Arrousick,) where were several good dwelling-houses
and a handsome meeting-house.'

Twenty miles from the mouth of the river the detachment
passed a large bay on the left, called Merry Meeting Bay,
formed by the Androscoggin river in its junction from the west
with the Kennebec; and five miles higher up they passed Swan
Island, just above which they came to anchor opposite to
Pownalborough, (now Dresden,) where was a block-house called
Fort Pownal. It was but fourteen days since the first orders
for the expedition had been given. During the 21st the troops
were at Gardiner's town. At Major Colburn's ship-yard at
Pittston, on the east side of the river, the vessels were aban-
doned, and the troops obtained batteaux, built for the purpose,
in which they proceeded up the river. On the evening of the 22d,
Major Meigs lodged at the house of Mr. North. Saturday, the
23d, the troops ascended the river six rniles to Fort Western, —
a fort at Augusta, on the east bank of the Kennebec, which

.'.At this place, in Georgetown, opposite Phipsbnrg, it is believed the late
Gov. Sullivan of Massachusetts then lived, for it was liere that he coiu-
m,enced tlie practice of the law. When once asked by Gen. Knox, wiiy ho
selected such an obscure spot, he replied, tliat he knew he must break into
the world, and he tliought it prudent to nuke the attempt in a tceak fl^cc-


was built in the year 1754.' On tlio evening of tiieir nrrival,
some of the soldiers being at a private house, one of them, bv
the name of McCormick, being turned out of the house in a
quarrel, discharged his gun into it and killed a man. He was
tried by a court-martial, and received sentence of death, but was
reprieved till the pleasure of Gen. Washington could be known.
Most of the troops remained several days at Fort Western,
in order to complete the necessary preparations for their ardu-
ous undertaking. Here it was resolved to send forward a small
party of eight or ten men, to explore and mark the Indian paths
at the carrying-places in tlie wilderness, and to proceed to the
Chaudiere river in Canada, and ascertain its course; and then to
send forward Capt. ^Morgan with the three companies of ritiemen
to the Great Carrying-place as pioneers, to clear the road for
other divisions of the army.


To the command of the small party Arnold appointed Lieut.
Steele, who was active, hard\', and courageous. He selected
seven men, namely, Jesse Wheeler, George Merchant, and James
Clifton of ^[organ's company; Robert Cunningham, Thomas
Boyd, John Tidd, and John McKonkey of Smitli's. Steele also
selected John Joseph Henry, a youth of sixteen years, the
author of the account already referred to, because he was hi>«
mess mate and friend, and was acquainted with the hardships of
a wilderness. ITenry was the son of W. Henry, Esq., of Lan-
caster, Pennsylvania, born Xov. 4, 1758. On his return from
Detroit, whither he accompanied an uncle, he had become
acquainted with difficulties of the same kind with tliose which

' This i'jii was foiiueil by two blockhouses and a large liouse. cue liuiid-
red feet long, the jiroperty of James Howard, Esq., the whole inclosed with
picket.''. One of the block-houses is now standing, a venerable memorial of
Indian wars, near the covered bridge, which now stretches across the river,
•Judge Howard, at house the officers were well entertained, die 1 in
May, 1787. aged eighty-six years. He was the first commandant of th-j fort,
and alihouHh he reached a remarkably old age, yet one of his soldiers at
this fort lived to be much older ; it was John Oilley, a native uf Irela'.id, .^-ho
enlisted about the year 17J0, and died at Augusta, July 'J, lbl;3, aged ab.ul
one hundred and twenty. lour years.


he was now aliont to encounter, subsisting several days lictw.'cri
SanJusky and the Ohio river on acorns. lie had Joinod t'ne
Pennsylvania troops witliout the knowledge of his faihu-r.
Besides these men, two guides were employed, XeliLniiali
Getchel, a respectable man, and John Ilorne, an ngi - >l a'ad
grey-headed Irishman.

This party of eleven men left Fort AVestern, Sept 2od or 2 }th,
in two bireh-bark canoes, each of which carried five or si:: men,
a barrel of pork, a bag of meal, and two or three hundred jtounds
of biscuit. They arrived in the evening at Fort Halifax, about
twenty miles from Fort Western, situated on the point of land
in the tovv'n of Winslow, opposite to Waterville, which is formed
by th.e junction of the Sabastieook river on the east, witli
Kennebec on the west. The fort consisted of old block-houses
and a stockade in a ruinous condition. Here a barrel of pork
was exchanged for a barrel of smoke-dried salmon, with the
the commander of the fort ; near the fort resided a Capt. Harri-
son of Huddlestone, a whig, who treated the company v.ilh
much hospitality. Probably the next day the party arrived at
Skowhegau Falls, five miles east of the village of Xorridgewock,
at a point where the river separates the present town of El'.oui-
field on the south, from Milburne on the north. These falls are
about seventeen miles from Fort Halifax. This was the couairy
of beavers. "With two men, met with not far from the falls, two
fresh beaver tails were obtained in exchange for pork.

Just below the falls there was a rock of bluish tiint in a conical
form, five feet in height, and ten or twelve feet in diameter at the
base, which was scalloped out down to the water's edge. Getchel
had been informed, that the Indians of former times had ob-
tained from it their spear and arrow-heads or points. '

The carrying-place round the falls was ascertained, and the
trees to designate it were carefully marked or blazed with the
hatchet, as they were also at other portages. The canoes at
such places were carried on the back in the following manner :
A broad straight stave was bound to the central cross bar of

> Of this /act I liave no doubt, as I obtained myself an Indian arrow-Iiead,
apparently answering to tliis description, at the old Indian village in ^•^'•
rid^ewock. .

Arnold's expedition. 605

the canoo by a stout leather tlioniif passing through two perfora-
tions an inch or more apart at the middle of the stave. Tliis rested
upon the back side of the head and on the shoulders, when the
canoe was thrown upon the shoulders to be carried.

Above the falls there were few impediments to navigation for
a considerable distance. The last white inhabitants lived at
Norridgewock, After entering the uninhabited wilderness, it
was thought prudent, lest Indians should be lurking near, not to
fire a gun, although the temptation presented by fine ducks and
moose, was almost irresistible. About the 29th of Sept., having
passed the Cariotunk Falls, they arrived at the Great Carrying-
place, distant between forty and fifty miles from Skowhegan.
This twelve-mile carrying-place is in the northern range of town-
ships of what is now called the Bingham purchase, or the
Million of Acres, The distance from the Kennebec to Dead
River on the west is but twelve miles, and the communication is
facilitated by three or four considerable ponds ; but to ascend
the Kennebec nearly twenty miles to the mouth of Dead River,
and then to proceed up this river in its circuitous course would
make the whole distance fifty or sixty miles. It is, however,
impossible to ascend in this manner, for Dead River, for fifteen
or twenty miles from its mouth, is a broad shallow and rapid
river, and has one considerable fall. It receives its name from
its sluggishness in that portion of it which is below and above
the twelve mile carrying-place.

On leaving the Kennebec the path was found tolerably distinct;
but it was made more so by marking the trees and cutting th©
bushes with the hatchet or tomahawk. In the evening the party
encamped on the margin of the first pond or lake, where there
was plenty of trout, which old Clifton caught in abundance.
Here it was determined the next day, to leave Clifton and
M'Konkey, with half the provisions; the other part was divided
equally by a kind of lot in the following manner. Steele made
a division into as many parts as there were men, in the presence
of all concerned. He then directed some one to turn his back,
and asked him, laying his. hand on a particular portion, " Whose
shall he this ? " To the one whose name he happened to mention
it w:id given. Tlie two men left hero were directed to retire to


the soutli end of the pond,- and there remain eoneealed, and
await the return of the otliers, who expected to be absent; about
eight or ten days._

It required two days for tiie party to pass the two otlier pond.s,
to explore and mark the Indian path, and to reach Dead River.
This was found to be deep, with an imperceptible current,
about two hundred and fifty yards wide. The trees observed
were chiefly evergreens. The Balsam Fir (Pints Fraseri
overlooked by 2\[ichaux, but ditlering from the Silver Fir) was
found to be very abundant. It has many protuberances or
blisters on the bark, which yield a balsamic liquid, useful in
medicine. Getchel taught Henry to place the edge of a broad
knife at the under side of the blister in the morning, and to
receive the balsam by placing his mouth at the back part of
the knife. The liquid was found to be heating and cordial, and
was thought to contribute to the preservation of health.

JLeaving the encampment at Dead River about the 2d of Octo-
ber, they ascended the river rapidly to the foot of a rapid, where,
as usual; they made their bed of tlie branches of fir or spruce.
It was resolved to eat their pork raw, and to eat bat twice a day.
Half a biscuit and half an inch square of pork constituted their
supper; for, ignorant of the distance to the Chaudiere, it was
necessary to be economical in expending their stock of pi'ovisions,

Oct. 3. Surmounting the rapids in the boats in about an hour,
there was good water during the rest of the day; at night they
encamped at the foot of a fall of four feet. During the' next
day there was good water. They caught trout and a delicious
chub, which they call fall fish. The common trout of the river
were pale with pink spots; but some larger trout, caught in a
deep spring-head, were of a dark hue, with beautiful crimson

The party were now approaching the wigwam of Xatanis, the
only remaining Norridgewock Indian, whom they were instructed
by Arnold to seize or kill, in the persuasion that he was employed
by the Canadian government as a spy. llis abode was at a
middle point between the American and Canadian settlenjents;
it was chosen probably with reference to the convenience of
hunting. The cabin of Natanis was surrounded, but he was nut

Arnold's sxpeditiox. 507

found; it stood on a bank about twenty yards from the river,
and a grass plat extended around a little more than shooting
distance with the ritie. Near this place a considerable stream
from the west fell into Dead Eiver, and seven miles up that
stream it was said there lived a number of Indians. Xatanis
afterwards joined the invading arm}'- on the Chaudiere, with
about forty of the St. Francois band, who lived nearly opposite
the mouth of the De Loup.'

At the junction of the west stream with Dead Eiver, a stake
was found driven down to the water's edge, with a piece of
birch bark, neatly folded up, inserted into a split at the top.
On opening the bark, it was found to be a map of the streams above
them. It was probably placed there with friendly intentions by
Natanis, who had discovered the party at their first encampment
on Dead Eiver, and was now hovering around them, although
afraid to show himself lest he should be killed.

The first pond at the head of Dead Eiver appeared to be a
mile in' diameter. Here, on a small island of a quarter of an
acre^the party discovered a delicious cranberry, growing on a
bush ten feet high, and the fruit as large as a cherry.'^ A
second pond was found in one or two miles, and a third
pond not far distant. The country was mountainous. One
mountain was a beautiful cone ; and perpendicular cliffs formed
the border of one of the ponds.

The weather began now to be cold. • Mr. Henry describes his
dress as follows : a roundabout woolen jacket, a pair of half
worn buckskin breeches, a hat with a feather, a hunting shirt,
leggins, a pair of moccasins, and woollen stockings and shoes in

1 Judge Henry lemenibered an Indian bj^ the name of Sabattis. I am
happy to have it in my power, after the lapse of fifty years from the time of

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