Letter from the Committee of Panton to General Gates, submitting a plan for the protection of themselves and their families



Panton, July 4, 1776.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOUR: With hearts full of gratitude, we beg leave to return you our most sincere thanks for the kind regard you have paid to our petition of yesterday, by sending over Captain Hay to hear our proposal with respect to forming a mode of protection for ourselves, our families, and for us. If agreeable to you, sir, we would be glad three gentlemen, sufficiently well acquainted with the nature of farming to be sufficient judges of the value of all


the standing stock on each of our farms, might be appointed by your Honour to appraise the same, as we all expect that whatever loss may accrue (moveables excepted) to any one of us from the enemy shall be borne by the whole in proportion to the valuation of every individual' s stock at the beginning. We are likewise desirous that some sort of fort or forts may be built at such place or places as may be found most proper, to which we could retire every night. We are ready to put ourselves under the command of any officer you may please to appoint for our protection, till our crops are got in, the damage, if any, which may happen to any individual ascertained, provided we are not sent further to the northward than Onion River, nor further to the southward than Ticonderoga, except the whole Army should think proper to move. We will be glad to supply the Army with whatever may be saved of our crops, after reserving what is absolutely necessary for our families, at the price customary to be given for such articles in this country. We hope we shall have the liberty of choosing our own officers. If agreeable to your Honour, it would be very pleasing to us if Captain Stanton was to take command of the whole of this place. We are sorry to trouble you at this time of hurry and business, but hope necessity will plead our excuse.

Determined to defend the freedom of America at the risk of everything that is dear to us, permit us to wish that your Honour may long be continued in the chief command over us, as the easy access the distressed find to your ear is a convincing proof you will do everything in your power to render us as happy as the present situation of affairs will admit of.

We have the honour to be, with the utmost respect, your Honour' s most obedient humble servants,



To the Hon˙ Major-General Gates, at Ticonderoga.