<br /> Lee Letter: n287

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Samuel Chase
Recipient: Richard Henry Lee

Dear Sir.

I thank You for your Letter of the 3rd of April which Mcfinie delivered Me
last Tuesday.1 Our Letters to Congress will
give You all the Information in our Power relative to our Affairs in
this Colony.

I am at a Loss to express my Astonishmt. at the Conduct of Congress. Almost
two Months ago they voted 4 Battalions, and since 6 more Battalions for
this Country, without the least provisions for their Support.

We have now 4,000 Troops in Canada & not a Mouthful of food. Pork is
not to be procured. Wheat may be bought for Specie, but we have none.
Necessity has compelled Us to take provisions. Will this contribute to
regain the Affections of this people? I entirely agree with You as to
the Importance of fortifying the pass at De Chambault. On the Day after
We arrived, it was determined to possess that post and Jacques
Cartier – but how can it be done? On Tuesday Colo. Maxwell was at Jacques
Cartier with a small force and Genl. Thomas was at De Chambault with
900 Men. They have none or very little provisions. They have no Cannon
or a few pieces without Carriages (the greater part of the Carriages
fell into the Enemies Hands) and they have but little powder. Eight
Tons came with Us, We lost one, but can get no certain account of the
rest. Nothing is wanting but a Wind for the Enemies frigates to pass
the falls of Richlieu, & then all Communication by water will be
cut off.

General Arnolds Letter will give You all we know of our affairs below. I
beg You would seriously attend to our Letters to Congress. Our affairs
here are almost desperate. Unless immediate attention is given to this
Country it will not only be lost to Us, but added to the Enemy. For the
Love of your Country cease the keen Encounter of your Tongues, discard
your Tongue Artillery and send Us some field or We are undone. My God,
an Army of 10,000 without provisions or powder! Remember our Army are
naked, I mean the fugitives from Quebec.

I hope I shall be excused in Saying the Congress are not a fit Body to act
as a Council of War. They are too large, too slow and their Resolutions
can never be kept secret. Pray divide your Business into different
Departments, a War office, a Treasury Board, et et. Follow the British
Regulation as to your Army. They have not one officer too many. There
must be a regimental paymaster. I am not able to point out the Remedy,
but I see our affairs in so miserable a Condition, that I think they
are almost desperate.

Since the above Mr. McCord, of Credit, arrived here; he left Loretto on
Monday, he was told by some French people, our friends, who came out of
Quebec on Sunday, that only one frigate & one Transport with only
two Companies of the 29th Regiment, had arrived there from Halifax;
that they came to see if the City was taken; that it was reported in
the City, that Genl. Howe & his Army would come there – that there
was no account of more ships arrived below. He left Jacques Cartier on
Tuesday afternoon; our Troops had left it the Sunday before, he got to
De Chambault on Tuesday night; our Troops had left it on Monday. He
arrived at Three Rivers Wesday at 4 o’Clock P.M. That Genl. Thomas
was there, that the Canadians in general were friendly – he was told the
frigate that came in, lies in the Bason of Quebec. That he saw two
small vessells at anchor at Aux Ecurueil, abot. 3 Leagues below the

Mr. Murdock Steward, a Gent. of veracity – he left Three Rivers yesday
Morning, the 16th, That Genl. Thomas was there with about 1000 Men.

I have been called at least twenty Times since I began this Scrawl – to act
as Commissary, Genl, Justice, et et – in short I act in as many
Capacities as Moliers Cook. Farewell, tell Mr. J. Adams he is indebted
to Me several Letters.

Your affectionate & obedt. Servt.
Saml Chase

[P.S.] Mr Carroll desires his Compliments.


Receiver’s copy, University of Virginia Library.

1 Not found.