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INDIAN (HIEFS AT CAMBRIDGE.
spective tribes, to have a talk about the impend. ing invasion of Canada. One was chief of the Caughnawaga tribe, whose residence was on the banks of the St. Lawrence, six miles above Mon treal. Others were from St. Francis, about fortyfive 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 decorum.
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, 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 persuade him to take up the hatchet against the Americans, but in vain. ancestors gave this country to you,” added he grandly, “we would not have you destroyed by England; but are ready to afford you our assís. tance.”
Washington wished to be certain of the conluct of the enemy, before he gave a reply to these Indian overtures. He wrote by express, therefore, to General Schuyler, requesting him to
" As our
ascertain the inteutions of the British governot 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 le 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 event that would have a decisive effect and influence on the public interest.
The few whom I have consulted on the project approve it much, but the final determination is deferred until I hear from
Not a moment's time is to be lost in the preparations for this enterprise, if the advices from you favor it. With the utmost expedition the season will be considerably ad. vanced, so that you will dismiss the express as soon as possible.”
The express found Schuyler in Albany, where he had been attending the conference with the Six Nations. He had just received intelligence which convinced him of the propriety of an expedition into Canada; had sent word to General Montgomery to get everything ready for it, and
EMBARKATION OF MONTGOMERY.
was on the point of departing for Ticonderogu to carry it into effect. In reply to Washington, he declared his conviction, from various accounts which he had received, that Carleton and his agents were exciting the Indian tribes to hostility. “I should, therefore, not hesitate one moment," adds he,“ to employ any savages that might be willing to join us."
He expressed himself delighted with Washington's project of sending off an expedition to Que bec, regretting only that it had not been thought of earlier. “ Should the detachment from your body penetrate into Canada," added he, “and we meet with success, Canada must inevitably fall into our hands."
Having sent off these dispatches, Schuyler hastened back to Ticonderoga. Before he reached there, Montgomery bad received intelligence that Carleton had completed his armed vessels at St. John's, and was about to send them into Lake Champlain by the Sorel River. No time, therefore, was to be lost in getting possession of the Isle Aux Noix, which commanded the entrance to that river. Montgomery hastened, therefore, to embark with about a thousand men, which were as many as the boats now ready could hold, taking with him two pieces of artillery ; with this force he set off down the lake. A letter to General Schuyler explained the cause of his sudden departure, and entreated bim to follow on in a whaleboat, leaving the residue of the artillery to come on as soon as conveyances could be pro« cured.
Schuyler arrived at Ticonderoga on the night of the 30th of August, but too ill of a bilious fever to push on in a whaleboat. He caused, however, a bed to be prepared for him in a covered bateau, and, ill as he was, continued forward on the following day. On the 4th of September he overtook Montgomery at the Isle la Motte, where he had been detained by contrary weather, and, assuming command of the little army, kept on the same day to the Isle Aux Noix, about twelve miles south of St. John's - where for the present we shall leave him, and return to the head-quarters of the commander-in-chief.
A Challenge declined. — A Blow meditated. - A Cautious
Council of War. — Preparation for the Quebec Expedition. - Benedict Arnold the Leader. — Advice and Instructions.
- Departure. - General Schuyler on the Sorel. — Reconnoiters St. John's. — Camp at Isle Aux Noix. — Illness of Schuyler. — Returns to Ticonderoga. — Expedition of Montgomery against St. John's. — Letter of Ethan Allen.- His Dash against Montreal. — Its Catastrophe. A Hero in. Irons. — Correspondence of Washington with Schuyler and Arnold. - His Anxiety about Them.
HE siege of Boston had been kept up
for several weeks without any remark
able occurrence. The British remained within their lines, diligently strengthening them; the besiegers having received further supplies of ammunition, were growing impatient of a state of inactivity. Towards the latter part of August there were rumors from Boston, that the enemy were preparing for a sortie. Washington was resolved to provoke it by a kind of challenge. He accordingly detached fourteen hundred men to seize at night upon a height within musket-shot of the enemy's line on Charlestown Neck, presum. ing that the latter would sally forth on the following day to dispute possession of it, and thus be drawn into a general battle. The task was executed with silence and celerity, and by daybreak