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Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England. Printed by order of the General Assembly (Volume 5) online

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counterfeiting bills of credit emitted by this colony, for money
paid unto officers and sundry other persons that assisted him
therein ; lor searching after, and finding the plates, and for his


expenses in putting up the pillory for, and taking it down,
after cutting the ears of Joshua Reed, and treating his aid,
&c. ; which being duly examined, —

This Assembly do vote and resolve, and it is voted and re-
solved, that the said account be, and the same is hereby al-
lowed ; and that £125 Qs., the amount thereof, be paid the
said Joseph Scott, out of the general treasury.

Whereas, Capt. Job Bennett, Jr., exhibited unto this Assem-
bly, an account by him charged against the government, for
his time, horse hire and expenses, when after persons suspect-
ed to have been concerned in counterfeiting the Crown Point
<£16 bills, emitted by this colony ; and in apprehending Jo-
seph Monroe and Joshua Reed, for money advanced to sun-
dry officers who assisted him in that business ; and for money
advanced, to have the pillory put up for, and taken down, after
cropping Monroe, Ide and Win, and treating his aid ; which
being duly examined, —

This Assembly do vote and resolve, and it is voted and re-
solved, that the said account be, and the same is h(!reby al-
lowed ; and that £52 7s., the amount thereof, be paid the said
Job Bennett, Jr., out of the general treasury.

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au-
thority thereof it is enacted, that every master of a vessel
that may befired at by Fort George, shall pay £5, in old tenor
bills of credit, for every shot, to be applied unto the use of the
colony ; and upon neglect or refusal to pay the same, shall be
subject to a prosecution from the captain of the fort, for the
time being, agreeably to the set forms now used in the courts
of law, in this colony.

God save the King.

Governor /Shirk?/ to Major General Johnson.

Camp at Oswego, Sept. 19th, 1755.
Sir : — Three day? ago, I received a letter from Mr. Stevenson, of Albany, en-
closing a copy of the general letter, which you have sent to Lieutenant Governor
Phipps, and the governors of the other colonies, which have raised forces for the
expedition against Crown Point, giving an account of two actions, which happened


on the 10th instant, between tlie army under your command, and the French; ia
the first of which, a detachment of one thousand English, commanded by Col.
Williams, and a party of two hundred Indians of the Six Nations, were defeated,
with a considerable loss on their side ; in the second, the French, &c., their Indians
attacked the main body of your army in their camp, at Lake George, and were re-
pulsed with a considerable one on theirs.

Mr. Stevenson informs me, that upon finding I had no letter directed to me
among the packets, which came from your camp, and discovering the words upon
the seal side of that directed to Governor Phips, " Please to despatch a copy of this
letter to General Shirley, my time and circumstances won't permit my writing to
him immediately," he opened it, and took a copy of it, to be sent forthwith to me ;
and as the events contained in it, so nearly concern His Majesty's service, under my
immediate command, as well as his other service upon this contment, under my di-
rection, I can't avoid expressing my surprise at your omission to acquaint me with
them directly from yourself; which, let your hurry and circumstances be what they
would, you might at least have done by ordering your secretary or any clerk, to
transcribe a copy of your letter to the governors, to be sent me from Albany, in-
stead of desiring Lieut. Governor Phips to send me one from Boston.

What could be your reason for postponing my being acquainted with these mat-
ters, which I ought to have known as soon as possible, to so distant a time, as my
hearing from Mr. Phips must have been, seems difficult to say.

However that may be, my duty to His Majesty requires me to take the first op-
portunity of transmitting you my sentiments upon the present state of the service,
which I have put under your immediate direction.

Upon the statement of your letter to the several governors, sir, it appears to
me that the late defeat of the French forces and their Indians in the engagement at
your camp, hath given you a favorable opportunity of proceeding, as soon as the
expected reinforcements from New England shall join you at Ticonderoga ; which
post, since you have taken the route to Crown Point, that you have done, it is of
the utmost consequence to the success of the expedition under your command, to
make yourself master of as soon as possible.

By the account given in the copy of the minutes of your council of war, enclosed
to me in your letter of the 1st instant, of the strength of your army a few days be-
fore the late actions, and in your letter to the governors, of the loss you have sus-
tained in both engagements, the number of your remaining troops must, upon the
arrival of your reinforcement from New England, exceed four thousand ; and that
of your Indians, be upwards of two hundred.

From the account given you by the French general, your prisoner, of the
strength of his army, in the beginning of the first action, it consisted of two hundred
grenadiers, eight hundred Canadians and seven hundred Indians, of different na-
tions ; and from the account given you by his aid-de-camp of the loss of the French
and the Indians, in both actions, and the pursuit which ensued, they lost in the
whole one thousand men, and the major part of their chief officers, together with
Mont;ieur Pierre, the ofiicer who had the chief command and greatest influence
over the Indians ; so that according to their accounts, which seem most to be de-
jiended upon, the French had not above seven hundred men left of their whole
army, which attacked your camp.

In these actions, sir, you have experienced the good behaviour of your officers
and troops, who nuist be now flushed with their late victory ; the French, on


the other hand, must be greatly disconcerted by the late defeat of their army, and
loss of their general, and so many of their principal officers ; and the French In-
dians, in particular (which consists of different nations), by the loss of Monsieur
St. Pierre, who seems to have been a necessary officer for keeping them together.

You had before acquainted me, in your letter of the 1st instant, from your camp,
at Lake George, that " some Indians, you * * * ggut out * «
* * on the scout, told you, they had discovered a party of French and In-
dians, at Ticonderoga ; but that no works were thrown up then ; and that you was
impatient to get a number of batteaux up, and put in order ; when you proposed to
proceed with a part of the troops, and endeavor to take post at Ticonderoga."

I hope, sir, if that is not yet done, that you still propose doing it, as soon as pos-
sible ; the necessity of driving the enemy from that pass, still continues ; the longer
time is given them to fortify it, the more difficult it will be to dislodge them, and
the more you will lose the advantage, which their defeat, and your own victory
have given you to effect it.

You say in your letter to the governors, " Your men have suffered so much fa-
tigue for three days past, and are constantly standing upon the arms by day, half
the whole upon guard every night, and the rest lay down armed and accoutred,
that both officers and men are almost worn out ; that the enemy may rally, and you
judge they have considerable reinforcements near at hand ; so that you think it
necessary to be on your guard, and be watchful to maintam the advantage, you
have gained."

To make the most of the advantage you have gained, it seems clear, sir, that you
should make use of the opportunity it hath given you, of proceeding upon your ex-
pedition, whilst the spirits of your army are elated with success, and those of the
enemy lowered by the loss of the greatest part of theirs.

As to your apprehensions, that the enemy might rally, and that they had con-
siderable reinforcements near at hand ; it is mentioned in your letter, that your
men and Indians pursued the French soon after their repulse, slaughtered great
numbers, and took several prisoners, among whom, was the French general, him-
self; so that their army was entirely routed, and yours master of the field ; rally-
ing the second day after so general a rout as this, is, I believe, unknown in the
case even of great armies ; and that the small remains of the French army should
return the next day to the attack of your camp, where they had so lately felt the
effects of your cannon against their musketry, seems not much to be apprehended ;
it is more probable, that the slaughter they had suffered in the pursuit, with their
loss of most of their chief officers, will in the end occasion, if not a total dissipation
of the Indians, yet at least a great desertion among them, and of the Canadians,

Upon what foundation you judge that the French army had considerable rein-
forcements near at hand, is not mentioned in your letter ; it seems more likely, that
they sent all the forces they could spare, from Ticonderoga and Crown Point
(where you say so many of the regular troops were posted) to attack your camp ; es-
pecially as they were to do it only with musketry.

You say, further, in your letter to the governors, "that from the papers of Mon-
sieur Dieshau, the French general, you find, he brought under his command in the
men of war lately arrived at Quebec, three thousand one hundred and seventy-one
VOL. V. 58


regular troops, who are partly in garrisons at Crown Point, and encamped at Ti-
conderoga, and other advantageous passes between your camp and Crown Point.

That you expect very shortly, another and more formidable attack ; and that the
enemy will then come with artillery ; that Col. Williams had the ground cleared for
building a stockaded fort ; and that your men are so harrassed, and obliged to be
so constantly upon watchful duty, that you think it would be both unreasonable,
and, as you fear, in vain to set them at work upon the designed fort.

That you design to order the New Hampshire regiment up to your camp, to re-
inforce you ; and that you hoped some of the designed reinforcements would be
with you in a few days ; and that when those fresh troops arrived, * * *
you should immediately set about building a fort."

I hope you will, before now, have received my letter of the 12th instant, in which
I sent you an account from Admiral Boscawen's letter to the late General Brad-
dock, of the number of troops which were sent from France this summer, to North
America, and what part of them arrived in Canada ; which will show you that there
mnst be some mistake in the above account extracted by you from Monsieur Die-
shau's papers, of the number of those which arrived with him at Quebec.

It is clear from this account, that the whole number sent from France, was, as
M. Dieshau's papers make them to be, about three thousand ; and by other un-
doubted accounts, as well as the admiral's, that of these, he took eight companies
in the Alcide and Lys men of war ; and that eleven hundred are in garrison at

Now supposing that the remainder arrived at Quebec, without any loss in their
passage (which is not very likely), the most that got to Quebec, must be sixteen
hundred and seventy-one ; five hundred at least of which, I have intelligence from
Indians, who came here from Cadaraqui, at different times within these five weeks,
and a party of Indians and Albany men, whom I sent there since that time, are
now encamped close to that fort ; and a number of them were killed (according to
your own account,) in the late attack upon your camp and the pursuit which en-
sued ; so that the remainder, supposing them to be now, as you say, partly in gar-
rison at Crown Point, and encamped at Ticonderoga, and other advantageous
passes between your camp and Crown Point, can't amount to near the number
which you seem to think are there.

I can't therefore but think you may spare from the fort at the Carrying Place,
and from your camp at Lake George, a body of troops more than sufficient to drive
the French from Ticonderoga, and possess yourself of that pass ; and hope you will
lose no time in doing it.

If Crown Point is inaccessible to the army now with you, through the route you
have taken to it, it will probably be more so to double the number of troops the
next year, and must be come at through another route ; in which case, the fort you
design to build at the end of the lake, will be of little or no utility for carrying on
another expedition, and but of very little, even for the defence of the country between
Lake George, late St. Sacrament, and Hudson's River, whilst two roads lie open for
the French to make incursions into it, viz. : through Wood Creek and the South
Bay ; the latter of which, they have lately made use of, to come at both your

As to your expectation of a more formidable attack very shortly from the enemy,
and that they will tlien come with artillery ; I suppose that artillery must be brought
from Crown Pointor Ticonderoga ; and if the French should imagiue that vou design



to attempt nothing further this campaign, than building the stockaded fort, you pro-
pose, I think it probable enough that they make you a visit at your camp with
cannon ; in which case, I doubt your fort, when built, would not stand long.

But I believe the thoughts of the French are at present taken up in securing
themselves against a visit from you at Crown Point ; which I hope may be still
made them this year, with success ; and that to enable jou the better to do it, the
colonies may send you a second reinforcement in time.

I am sorry to hear that you received a wound in the late engagement, and hope
that the ball is by this time extracted from your thigh, and your wound is in a fair
way of healing ; I congratulate you upon your success, hitherto, and wish it may be
increased in the remaining operations of the campaign ; and am.

Sir, your most humble servant,


To Major General Johnson.

Governor Shirley to Major General Johnson.

Camp at Oswego, September 24th, 1755.

Sir : — Yesterday afternoon, I received your letter, dated 9th instant, being a
copy of that to the several governors of the several colonies concerned in the expe-
dition under your command ; and the same with what Mr. Stevenson transcribed
from your letter to Governor Phips, and sent me seven days ago, as you will per-
ceive by mine to you of the 19th instant.

In your last, I received enclosed, a copy of the orders and instructions for the
regular troops sent to Cadaraqui, which are a confirmation of the intelligence I sent
you in my last, viz. : that five hundred of the regular troops, which came from
France, with Mr. Diesbau, are encamped at the fort there. It appears, also, by
those instructions, that there were at least one hundred and sixty-six Canadians
sent with them on the 1st and 2d of August last ; and that a number of Indians are
there, likewise.

By the express, which delivered me your letter, I received one dated the 10th
instant, from Capt. Ayre, your engineer, informing me of the strength of the fort
built at the Carrying Place ; * * * " that with a garrison of three or
four hundred men, would be able to resist an attack of fifteen hundred, if no can-
non were brought against it ; and that in his opinion, it is very necessary that a
strong and regular work should be erected at Lake George, to keep possession of
that country, so far ; that if the French can seize and take the before mentioned
work at the Carrying Place, he fears it would be attended with bad consequences ;
as it would cut off your retreat and communication with Albany, and totally stop
your reinforcements and provisions, from joining you, if another road cannot be
found, which he believes is not easy to be met with ; that he thinks what induced
the French, or may induce them hereafter to attack you at Lake George, is fearing
that you would not attempt to go any further, and so were resolved to call you off,
before you returned ; and seems to infer from thence that the enemy must be so
formidable, as to make it unadvisable for you to proceed further ; and concludes
with extolling the gallantry and resolution of the French troops in their late attack
of you."

I agree, sir, in sentiments with your engineer, concerning the bad' consequences


of the enemy's taking the fort at the Carrying Place, and am muchj concerned at
the weakness of its works ; especially, as both yourself and he, are [apprehensive of
another attack at Lake George, with cannon.

If I was in your situation, my chief apprehensions would be, that the French
would make an attempt upon that fort with cannon, which they might transport
thither as easily as to Lake George ; and I think you judged extremely right in
sending a detachment of one thousand men to its support, upon the first alarm of
the enemy's bemg upon their march towards it ; and for my own part, I must own,
I should have thought it a better piece of conduct, in M. Dieshau, if, after defeat-
ing the party under Col. Williams's command, he had attacked the fort at the
Carrying Place, instead of your camp ; which, according to your engineer's ac-
count of it, might have been more easily won, with the force he had with him, than
had your camp been stormed.

I can by no means adopt your engineer's opinion of the urgent necessity of im-
mediately erecting a strong regular fort at Lake George, for maintaining possession
of the country so far. In my opinion, the most material place for erecting the
strongest works, is at the other end of the Carrying Place (at or near where the
fort lately built, stands), which is about seventeen miles distant from it. It seems to
me that a regular strong fort there, would be a much more essential one for cover-
in" the country against the attacks of the French, from the river Champlain,
through the three several routes that lead from thence to it, than one at Lake
George, which would leave it uncovered in two of those routes ; besides, how could
a fort at Lake George, be supported, when its communication with Albany was cut
off, which, as your engineer rightly observes, would most probably be the case, if
the French should take our fort at the Carrying Place.

I would therefore recommend it to you in the strongest manner, as an object
which deserves your attention, to have the * * » * fort at the
Carrying Place strengthened as much as the circumstances of your army will ad-
mit, consistent with your proceeding directly to Ticonderoga.

As to the formidable strength of the enemy, you will have to encounter in your
march thither, I have told you my sentiments at large in my last letter ; and with
regard to the gallant behaviour of their troops in the late actions, I must own, I dif-
fer widely in opinion from your engineer ; their retreat was a very bad one, with-
out conduct or resolution ; they could not otherwise have suffered so great a
slaughter as you say they did, in the short pursuit made of them by your troops and
Indians, which jumped over the barricade of your camp after them.

The more I think of your situation, the more advisable I think it will be for you
to proceed to Ticonderoga ; as the honor of His Majesty's arms and the interest of
the colonies seem to require it. The consequences, I fear, will be bad, if you do
not ; and I can't but hope that you will see these matters in the same light which I
view them in.

The weak condition which I found this place in, and our want of dry provisions,
have hitherto inevitably hindered me from proceeding in the expedition under my
command ; but both these obstacles will, I hope, be so far surmounted in three days,
as to permit me to do it.

I wish you a speedy recovery of your wound, and much success ; and am,

Sir, your most humble servant,

To Major General Johnson.


P. S. Be pleased to communicate this to Capt. Ayre ; I have not time to •write
to him before I sail.

Governor Shirley to Governor Hopkins.

Camp at Oswego, September 25th, 1 755.

Sir : — Your Honor hath already had an account from Major General Johnson, of
the late actions at and near his camp, at Lake George, late Lake Sacrament ; and
you have my sentiments upon the situation of the service under his command, con-
tained in the two enclosed copies of letters to him from me, dated the 19th and
24:th instant.

As I was the first proposer of the expedition against Crown Point to the several col-
onies concerned in raising forces for it, and have been a principal promoter of its
being carried into execution, I have it the more at heart, that the issue of it should
be for Hia Majesty's service, the honor of his arms, and welfare of his colonies ; all
which are deeply interested in the succeeding operations of this campaign against the
French in this expedition, and make it my indispensable duty to contribute my ut-
most endeavors for having those operations conducted in the best manner, to answer
those important ends.

The weak condition in which I found this place, and want of dry provisions, have
hitherto put it out of my power to proceed from hence upon the expedition under
my own immediate command ; but as those obstacles are now in some measure re-
moved, make it advisable for me to move, which I purpose to do in three days, not-
withstanding the lateness of the season, and hope to return to this place in thirty
days from that time.

The settlement of every thing here before I go, and my preparations to embark,
will not permit me to enlarge now upon the service of the other expedition, so mu^t
beg leave to refer Your Honor « * * * to the enclosed copies, and to re-
commend it to the care of the several governments concerned, from whom I flatter
myself General Johnson hath or will soon receive such further reinforcements as
may absolutely secure the success of his attempt against the French encroachments
at Crown Point this year. I am, sir, with great regard, &c.,


To Governor Hopkins.

Proceedings of the General Assembly held for the Colony of
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at South Kings-
town, the last Wednesday in October, 1755.

The Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Governor.

The Hon. Jonathan Nichols, Deputy Governor.

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the authori-
ty thereof it is enacted, that two commissioners be appointed


on the part of this colony, to meet commissioners of the other
governments at New York, in order to consider the state and
circumstances of said governments, with regard to the encroach-
ments of the French, &c., and that an act be drawn up ac-

Be it enacted by this General Assembly, and by the au-
thority thereof it is enacted, that His Honor, the Governor, and
tlie attorney general be, and they are hereby constituted a
committee to prepare a bill for appointing commissioners on
the part. of this colony to meet commissioners of the other gov-
ernments, to consider the state of said governments, in respect
to the encroachments of the French, and present the same to
this Assembly as soon as possible.

This Assembly do vote and resolve, and it is voted and re-
solved, that Nicholas Cook, Philip Greene and George Brown,
Esqs., be, and they are hereby appointed a committee, to audit
Daniel Jenckes Esq. and Mr. Elisha Brown, their accounts of
the charges of finishing the new jail in Providence ; and that
the said committee give an order upon the general treasurer,
for such part of the money that shall appear to be due to the
said Jenckes and Brown, as said committee shall think proper,
and make report to this Assembly at their next session.

This Assembly do vote and resolve, and it is voted and re-
solved, that Obadiah Brown, James Sheffield and Josiah Rus-
sel, Esqs., together with Mr. Joseph Lippitt, who were appoint-
ed a committee to audit the accounts of the committee of war,
be, and they are hereby further continued a committee for that
purpose ; and that any two of them, be, and are hereby au-
thorized and fully empowered to audit the accounts of His
Honor, the Governor and Daniel Jenckes, Esq., and make re-

Online LibraryRhode Island. cnRecords of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England. Printed by order of the General Assembly (Volume 5) → online text (page 43 of 56)