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FOILED AMBITION.

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ever, were not quelled; and he forthwith repaired to the army at Ticonderoga to offer himself as a volunteer.

Schuyler, at first, hesitated to accept his services. He was aware of his aspiring notions, and feared there would be a difficulty in keeping him within due bounds, but was at length persuaded by his officers to retain him, to act as a pioneer on the Canadian frontier.

In a letter from camp, Allen gave Governor Trumbull an account of the downfall of his towering hopes. "Notwithstanding my zeal and success in my country's cause, the old farmers on the New Hampshire Grants, who do not incline to go to war, have met in a committee meeting, and in their nomination of officers for the regiment of Green Mountain Boys, have wholly omitted me."

His letter has a consolatory postscript. "I find myself in the favor of the officers of the army and the young Green Mountain Boys. How the old men came to reject me I cannot conceive, inasmuch as I saved them from the encroachments of New York." *-The old men probably doubted his discretion.

Schuyler was on the alert with respect to the expedition against Canada. From his agent Major Brown, and from other sources, he had learnt that there were but about seven hundred king's troops in that province; three hundred of them at St. John's, about fifty at Que

* Am. Archives, 4th Series, iii. 17.

bec, the remainder at Montreal, Chamblee, and the upper posts. Colonel Guy Johnson was at Montreal with three hundred men, mostly his tenants, and with a number of Indians. Two batteries had been finished at St. John's, mounting nine guns each other works were intrenched and picketed. Two large row-galleys were on the stocks, and would soon be finished. Now was the time, according to his informants, to carry Canada. It might be done with great ease and little cost. The Canadians were disaffected to British rule, and would join the Americans, and so would many of the Indians.

"I am prepared," writes he to Washington, "to move against the enemy, unless your Excellency and Congress should direct otherwise. In the course of a few days I expect to receive the ultimate determination. Whatever it may be, I shall try to execute it in such a manner as will promote the just cause in which we are engaged."

While awaiting orders on this head, he repaired to Albany, to hold a conference and negotiate a treaty with the Caughnawagas, and the warriors of the Six Nations, whom, as one of the commissioners of Indian affairs, he had invited to meet him at that place. General Richard Montgomery was to remain in command at Ticonderoga, during his absence, and to urge forward the military preparations. As the subsequent fortunes of this gallant officer are inseparably connected with the Canadian campaign, and have endeared his name to Americans, we pause to give a few particulars concerning him.

GENERAL MONTGOMERY.

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General Richard Montgomery was of a good family in the north of Ireland, where he was born in 1736. He entered the army when about eighteen years of age; served in America in the French war; won a lieutenancy by gallant conduct at Louisburg; followed General Amherst to Lake Champlain, and, after the conquest of Canada, was promoted to a captaincy for his services in the West Indies.

After the peace of Versailles he resided in England; but, about three years before the breaking out of the Revolution, he sold out his commission in the army and emigrated to New York. Here he married the eldest daughter of Judge Robert R. Livingston, of the Clermont branch of that family; and took up his residence on an estate which he had purchased in Dutchess County on the banks of the Hudson.

Being known to be in favor of the popular cause, he was drawn reluctantly from his rural abode, to represent his county in the first convention of the province; and on the recent organization of the army, his military reputation gained him the unsought commission of brigadiergeneral. "It is an event," writes he to a friend, "which must put an end for a while, perhaps forever, to the quiet scheme of life I had prescribed for myself; for, though entirely unexpected and undesired by me, the will of an oppressed people, compelled to choose between liberty and slavery, must be obeyed."

At the time of receiving his commission, Montgomery

was about thirty-nine years of age, and the beau ideal of a soldier. His form was well proportioned and vigorous; his countenance expressive and prepossessing; he was cool and discriminating in council, energetic and fearless in action. His principles commanded the respect of friends and foes, and he was noted for winning the affections of the soldiery.

While these things were occurring at Ticonderoga, several Indian chiefs made their appearance in the camp at Cambridge. They came in savage state and costume, as ambassadors from their respective tribes, to have a talk about the impending invasion of Canada. One was chief of the Caughnawaga tribe, whose residence was on the banks of the St. Lawrence, six miles above Montreal. Others were from St. Francis, about forty-five leagues above Quebec, and were of a warlike tribe, from which hostilities had been especially apprehended.

Washington, accustomed to deal with the red warriors of the wilderness, received them with great ceremonial. They dined at head-quarters among his officers, and it is observed that to some of the latter they might have served as models, such was their grave dignity and de

corum.

A council-fire was held. The sachems all offered, on behalf of their tribes, to take up the hatchet for the Americans, should the latter invade Canada. The offer was embarrassing. Congress had publicly resolved to seek nothing but neutrality from the Indian nations,

INDIAN OVERTURES.

unless the ministerial agents should make an offensive alliance with them. The chief of the St. Francis tribe declared that Governor Carleton had endeavored to per suade him to take up the hatchet against the Americans, but in vain. "As our ancestors gave this country to you," added he grandly, "we would not have you destroyed by England; but are ready to afford you our assistance."

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Washington wished to be certain of the conduct of the enemy, before he gave a reply to these Indian overtures. He wrote by express, therefore, to General Schuyler, requesting him to ascertain the intentions of the British governor with respect to the native tribes.

By the same express, he communicated a plan which had occupied his thoughts for several days. As the contemplated movement of Schuyler would probably cause all the British force in Canada to be concentrated in the neighborhood of Montreal and St. John's, he proposed to send off an expedition of ten or twelve hundred men, to penetrate to Quebec by the way of the Kennebec River. "If you are resolved to proceed," writes he to Schuyler, "which I gather from your last letter is your intention, it would make a diversion that would distract Carleton. He must either break up, and follow this party to Quebec, by which he would leave you a free passage, or he must suffer that important place to fall into other hands -an event that would have a decisive effect and influence on the public interest.

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