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The American Revolution
Revolutionary War: The Home Front
The British Invasion of New York Encourages Loyalists and Indians

From George Washington's point of view, the invasion of New York by British forces would likely encourage loyalists and Indians to take up the British cause. In the following letter to the Continental Congress, written on July 4, 1776, what concerns does Washington raise about this prospect?

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I shall also take the Liberty again to request Congress, to Interest themselves in having the Militia raised and forwarded with all possible expedition, as fast as any considerable number of them can be collected, that are to compose the Flying Camp.

This I mentioned in my Letter of Yesterday, but think proper to repeat it, being more and more convinced of the necessity. The Camp will be in the Neighbourhood of Amboy, and I shall be glad, the Conventions or Committees of Safety of those Governments from whence they come, may be requested to give me previous notice of their marching, that I may form some plan, and direct Provision to be made for their reception. The disaffection of the People at that place and others not far off, is exceedingly great, and unless it is checked and overawed, it may become more general and be very alarming. The arrival of the Enemy will encourage it.

They or at least a part of them are already landed on Staten Island, which is quite contiguous and about 4000 were marching about it yesterday, as I have been advised and are leaving no Acts unessayed, to gain the Inhabitants to their side, who seem but too favourably disposed. It is not unlikely that in a little time they may attempt to cross to the Jersey side, and induce many to join them, either from motives of Interest or fear, unless there is a force to oppose them.

As we are fully convinced that the ministerial Army we shall have to oppose this Campaign, will be great and numerous and well know, that the utmost Industry will be used, as it already has been, to excite the Savages and every body of People to Arms against us whom they can Influence, It certainly behooves us to strain every nerve to Counteract their designs: I would therefore submit it to Congress whether, especially as our Schemes for employing the Western Indians do not seem to be attended with any great prospect of success from General Schuyler's Accounts, It may not be advisable to take measures to engage those of the Eastward, the St. Johns, Nova Scotia, Penobscot &ca. in our favor. I have been told that several might be got, perhaps five or six hundred or more, readily to Join us. If they can, I should imagine, It ought to be done. It will prevent our Enemies from securing their friendship, and further, they will be of infinite service, in annoying and harrassing them should they ever attempt to penetrate the Country. Congress will be pleased to consider the measure and if they determine to adopt it, I conceive it will be necessary to Authorize and request the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay to carry it into Execution.

Their situation and advantages will enable them to Negotiate a Treaty and an Alliance better than it can be done by any persons else.
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