Udny Hay to General Gates



HONOURABLE SIR: The favours you have bestowed on me on many occasions, that readiness you have always showed to assist every person who you had reason to believe was a true friend to the noble-cause in which we were all engaged, induces me to hope you will lay the above account before


the honourable the Continental Congress of these States, not as a claim made by me for losses sustained, as every shilling' s worth of it originated from acts of my own free will; but rather as a narrative of actual facts, which, should I hereafter be found to deserve it, may induce that honourable body, on some future day, to provide for me in a way which, without being any incumbrance to the publick, may, in some measure, compensate for the heavy loss I have sustained. And that the reality of those losses may appear more clear, must beg leave to give you a short sketch of the manner in which they were occasioned.

The first article in the above account, viz: the three hundred tons of ship timber, was carried down as low as St˙. Erras, but arrived there too late to be carried over the rapids of Chamblee that spring, owing to General Cartoon' s having refused me the liberty of getting that assistance, either in men or provisions, which I had provided for that purpose, not for any particular grudge he bore me as an individual, but from my being represented to him as a person too much biased in favour of the general American cause to be trusted, or in any respect assisted; and next fall, when the waters were again sufficiently high, though I offered the best security the city of Quebeck could afford for my good behaviour, was by Lieutenant-Governour Cramahé refused the liberty to go and save my property, which at that time could very easily have been done. The consequence was that this spring the greatest part was drove off by the ice, the rest either fell into the enemy' s hands or was destroyed by ourselves. In short, sir, every article I lost in the above account proceeded from my being deprived of that liberty of looking after my own affairs, which a person less suspected than myself could easily have obtained; nor can you be surprised I was watched with a jealous eye, when I acquaint you that the business I followed occasioning me yearly to employ a great number of the lower class of Canadians at and about Quebeck, it was well known I must have a considerable influence over them, and that opinion was strengthened by a leading man of that class in the suburb of St˙. Rocks, informing the Adjutant-General of the British Militia, at that time very assiduous in raising men for Colonel McLean' s regiment, that he and many more were ready to take up arms, provided I would agree to march at their head; this occasioned an immediate application to me on that subject; but I thank my God neither fear of punishment, nor offers of reward, were ever able to prevail on me to sign a paper, appear on the parade, or take up the arm against that cause in which I am determined religiously, zealously, and conscientiously to discharge the duties of whatever station I may be placed in, as far as ever my abilities will permit.

As to the prices of the articles charged, Mr˙. John Benfield, of Quebeck, merchant, now at Congress, is a very good judge, having had a considerable connection in that branch for several years past.

I hope you will excuse this trouble, and believe me to be, with a just sense of all your favours already conferred on me, and with due respect, sir, your most obedient and very humble servant,

Major General Gates.


Major General Gates.

Endorsed: General Gates recommends Udny Hay to be made Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant D˙.Q˙.M˙. General, stationed at Ticonderega.


French Secretary and Interpreter to the Northern Department.