Worthy Partner: The Papers of Martha Washington

By Joseph E. Fields; Martha Washington | Go to book overview
force, under Major-general Philip Schuyler, was to proceed north through the lake regions and the St. Lawrence corridor, taking Montreal, and then on the Quebec. The other force, under the command of Colonel Benedict Arnold, was to proceed from Fort Augusta, by way of the Kennebec River, the Dead River, across the Heights of Land, then to the Chaudier River and up the St Lawrence River to Quebec. The two expeditions would then join forces and take the city by assault. Schuyler fell ill and was succeeded by Montgomery, his second in command. Arnold, in spite of insufficient supplies, bitter cold weather, desertions, and difficult wilderness terrain, arrived first, and crossed the St. Lawrence on the night of November 13, 1775. Montgomery, moving north, took Fort St. John, Chambly, and Montreal. He joined forces with Arnold on December 2nd. The assault began on December 31, 1775.

Both Arnold's and Montgomery's forces were decimated. Montgomery was killed instantly. Arnold, severely wounded, lived to fight another day. For further biographical details see Randolph Adams' sketch in DAB. Also, E. B. Livingston, The Livingstons of Livingston Manor, N.Y. 1910, p 555. For the best account of the Canadian expedition, see Allen French , The First Year of the American Revolution, New York, 1934, Chapters XXVII, XXXV.

2.
The allusion is to the celebration commemorating the Birth of the Dauphin of France, held at West Point, May 31,1782. G.W. first announced the birth to the army on May 22, and directed "such demonstrations of joy as are thougt proper for the occasions." A feu de joye was ordered for May 30, and the attendance of all officers not detained by duty was requested. The celebration was postponed one day. There were no general orders or communications issued from headquarters on the 31st, unusual in itself. An interesting description of the elaborate preparations for the event was noted by Thacher, p. 309-12. See also, 5 Freeman, p. 416.
3.
Mrs. Montgomery speaks figuratively when she mentions the Plains of Abraham, a favorite dying place of heroes, as the place where her husband fell. He was killed in a narrow passageway along the edge of the declivity of the Citadel. See French First Year, pp. 614-15, supra.

To Mr. Stewart

( March 10, 1800)

The text is not available. It was written for MW by Tobias Lear. On a list once made available to ViMtV, a portion of the address leaf bears the word, "Painter." It is conceivable the "Mr Stewart" referred to is Gilbert Stuart, the portraitist of GW and MW.


From Francis Adrian van der Kemp

Madam

Permit mine condolence to interrupt your grief. Words are here inadequate to the task. We must apply our thoughts to the virtues of that excellent Man: and then we may find strength of mind enough to adore Providence and imitate your example in obliging your Countrymen by a new most affectionate sacrifice.

Your Politeness which I experienced after I crossed the Atlantic, will find an excuse for this intrusion.

May the choice of Heavens blessings, peace of mind and Serenity of Soul, be your constant Share till that moment you return to your Maker,

-362-

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