Skip to main content

Full text of "Biographical notes concerning General Richard Montgomery, together with hitherto unpublished letters"

See other formats


B ^ I [H°^ . ^.. 





0, 

6 1 
6i 
2| 

9i 
91 
6i 






BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

CONCERNING 

I.ENERAL glCHARD |[ONTGOMERY 

TOGETHER WITH 

HITHFRTO UNPUBLISHED LETTERS. 

1876. 



university of CaWorma 
""^southern Regional 
Library Facility 



Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



littp://www.arcliive.org/details/biographicalnoteOOIiuntiala 



UCSB LIBRARY 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 



CONCERNING 



/^^^ 



IrENERAL illCHARD MONTGOMERY 



TOGETHEK WITH 



HITHERTO UNPUBLISHED LETTERS. 



1876. 



' Newii ■■ Book and Job PiiiitluK Hounc, Main Street, cor. Garden, PoniclikeepBle 



The letters published in this paper, and the biographical 
notes concerning General Montgomery, written by Mrs. 
Montgomery, have been carefully transcribed from the 
original manuscripts. 

L. L. H. 

Montgomery Place, 

November 10, 1876. 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 

COXCERNIXG 

GENERAL RICHARD MONTGOMERY 

WITH 
UnpubHahed Letter* and Manuscript* , 



Among that small band of military leaders who 
shared the perils of our early struggle for independence, 
the name and fame of Richard Montgomery should be 
held especially dear by the people of New York. He 
has now been dead a hundred years, yet during that 
period but one short biography of him has been written ; 
and although his memoiy is still revered by the Ameri- 
can people, little is generally known of his personal 
history. Few and meagre are the materials left to aid 
us in attaining accurate knowledge other than that 
contained in the public records of his day. What we 
have found is nevertheless of value, from the fact that 
in these hitherto unpublished documents, the prominent 
characteristics of General Montgomery appear strongly 
marked throughout ; and every anecdote and tradition, 
every letter, however trifling, contains proofs of his 
keen love of justice, of his unwavering devotion to liber- 
ty, of his indomitable will and courage, and of his 
abiding sense of duty. 



It is not the province of the writer of thia article to 
discuss the professional merits of General Montgomery, 
or even to attempt any consecutive narration of his 
campaign in Canada. To string together the accounts 
that have been furnished by the letters and manu- 
scripts preserved at Montgomery Place, to present these 
fragmentary but authentic papers to the public in en- 
tire form, and to bring the reader into closer acquaint- 
ance with the hero of Quebec, — such is our purpose. 

General Montgomery was by birth an Irishman. In 
his youth he served in the British army, during the 
French and Indian War. Always an ardent lover of 
liberty, he had a great admiration for republican insti- 
tutions. Perhaps, while he served with honor in the 
British army, his Irish blood may have inclined him to 
be restive under British rule. Be this as it may, on his 
return to England, after the close of the seven years' 
conflict, he is said to have formed friendships with Fox, 
Burke and Barre, becoming deeply imbued with their 
views of the rights of the Colonies. Superseded and 
disappointed in the purchase of a majority, he quitted 
England forever, to make this country the home of his 
adoption. 

While still a Captain in the British army, Mont- 
gomery had met Janet Livingston, the daughter of 
Robert R. Livingston, one of the Judges of the King's 
Bench. He was on his way to a distant post and had 
come on shore with all the oflSoers of his company at 
Clermont, Judge Livingston's country place on the 
Hudson. Subsequently when he returned to settle in 
America, he renewed his acquaintance with her, and 
with the consent and approbation of her parents, mar 
Tied her, in July, 1773. Among the papers before us 
are the letter of Montgomery to Judge Livingston, 
asking for the hand of his daughter, and Judge Living- 



3 

ston'8 reply. This correspondence shows the stately 
steps by which matrimony was approached in the olden 
time. 

" K1NG8BRIDGE, May 2()th, 1773. 
"Sib: — Though I have been extremely anxious to solicit your 
approbation, together with Mrs. Livingston's, in an affair which 
nearly concerns my happiness and no less affects your daughter. 
I have, nevertheless, been hitherto deterred from this indis- 
pensable attention by reflecting that from so short an ac- 
quaintance as I had the honor to make with you I could not 
flatter myself with your sanction in a matter so very important 
as to influence the future welfare of a child. I therefore wished 
for some good-natured friend to undertake the kind office of 
giving a favorable impres.sion ; but, finding you have already 
had intimation of my desire to be honored with your daughter's 
hand, and apprehensive le.st my silence should bear an unfavor- 
able construction, I have ventured at liust to request, sir, that 
you and ^Irs Livingston will consent to a union which to me 
has the most promising appearance of happiness, from the lady's 
uncommon merit and amiable worth. Nor will it be an incon- 
siderable addition to be favored by such respectable characters 
with the title of son, should I be so fortunate as to deserve' it. 
And if to contribute to the happiness of a beloved daughter can 
claim any share with tender parents, I hope hereafter to have 
some title to your esteem. 
" I am, sir, 

" With great respect, 

" Your most obedient servant, 

" RicH,\HD Montgomery." 

" C1.AREM0NT, 21ST JiNE, 1773. 

"Sir: — I received j'our polite letter by the hands of Mr. Law- 
rence at Poughkeepsie, from whence I returned last night. 

"I was there so engaged in the business of Court, both night 
and day, that I had no time to answer it, and tho' I would have 
stolen an hour for that purpose, it required a previous consulta- 
tion with Mrs. Livingston. 

" Since we heard of your intentions, solicitous for our daugh- 
ter's happiness, we have made such enquiries as have given a 
great deal of satisfiiction. We both approve of your proposal 
and heartily wish your union may yield you all the happiness 
you seem to expect, to which we shall always be ready to con- 



tribute all in our power. Whenever it suits your convenience, 
we hope to have the pleasure of seeing you here, and in the 
meantime, I remain, with due respect, 

" Y'r most humble servant, 

" Robert R. Livingston." 

Mrs. Montgomery wrote a series of notes to be used 
for a memoir of her husband. No part of her simple, 
accurate and quaint narrative can be omitted without 
loss. 

" General Montgomery traced his origin from 



that Count de Montgomery, who, unfortunately, in play- 
ing with foils with his King, Henry II. of France, 
wounded him in the eye, thus causing his death. For 
this mishap the Count was brought to the scaffold. His 
family afterwards went to the Low Countries. One of 
their descendants came to England with William, Prince 
of Orange, and commanded a regiment during the wars 
of- Ireland, where, either by his prowess or his wealth, 
he owned three estates. General Montgomery was 
born in Dubhn, and was educated in the College of 
Dublin. His father, Thomas Montgomery, of Donegall, 
had three sons, Alexander, John and Richard, and one 
daughter, married to Viscount Ranelagh. The eldest 
son, Alexander, was an officer under Wolfe, in the eon- 
quest of Canada, and for forty years member of Parlia- 
ment for the county of Donegall. John died at Lisbon, 
a noted merchant. Richard was the third sou. His 
mother was an Enghsh lady of fortune, whose estate 
was settled on her younger children, the eldest son 
having inherited the estate of his uncle. Richard was 
placed in the British army in the 17th regiment, by the 
advice of his brother Alexander, his senior by many 
years. He was at the taking of Cape Breton, with Am- 
herst. The latter marched to reinforce Wolfe. He 



used to say that his march from Albany under General 
Amherst was very severe. Amherst did not go to 
Quebec ; when he heard of the victory he returned to 
New York. Lord Monckton, who was Colonel of the 
17th Regiment, was then Governor of New York. The 
duty on this expedition was very severe. All the duty 
of this regiment was in America. For this reason, when 
the Stamp Act was to be enforced, order was given to 
employ that regiment, then in England, which Mont- 
gomery, receiving with several others, declared publicly 
that having lived so long in America, they would throw 
up their commissions if the order were persisted in. 

" Montgomery had the promise of a majority in the 
year 1771, and had lodged his money for the purchase, 
when he was overlooked, and another purchased over 
him. This gave him a disgust for the service. He im- 
mediately sold out, and in 1772-3 came to New York, 
purchased a farm at Kingsbridge, and in July, 1773, 
was married. He then removed to Rhinebeck, where 
he built a mill and laid the foundation of a house. 

*' Unknown as his modesty led him to suppose himself 
to be, he was chosen, early in 1775, one of the Council 
of Fifty, to New York, from Duchess County. Al- 
though he received this call with surprise, and left his 
etirement with no small regret, he hesitated not a 
moment. The times were dangerous, but he shrank 
not from the duties of a citizen. While thus engaged 
Congress determined to raise troops in defence of our 
rights. Philip Schuyler was appointed the Major- 
general, and the appointment of Brigadier-general was 
tendered to Montgomery. Before accepting it he came 
into his wife's room and asked her to make up for him 
the ribbon-cockade which was to be placed in his hat. 
He saw her emotion, and marked the starting tear. 
With persuasive gentleness he said to her: 'Our 



country is in danger. Unsolicited, in two instances, 
I have been distinguished by two honorable ap- 
pointments. As a politician I could not serve them. 
As a soldier I think I can. Shall I then accept the 
one, and shrink from the other in dread of danger? 
My honor is engaged.' 

" Mrs. Montgomery took the ribbon, and he continued : 
* I am satisfied. Tru.st me. You shall never blush for 
your Montgomery.' 

*• On his departure he remained only a moment to bid 
Judge Livingston farewell, who said, 'Take care of 
your life.' * Of my honor, you would say, sir,' was 
Montgomery's answer. 

" In passing his own villa he said : ' I must not suffer 
myself to look that way.' 

" He had hardly received this appointment when it 
was announced that General Washington was to pass 
through New York, on his way to Boston. On the 
morning of his expected arrival the whole town was in 
a state of commotion. All the militia was paraded, 
bells ringing, drums beating, — and in that moment the 
British Governor Tryon arrived. As he landed he 
looked with delight at the general excitement that pre- 
vailed, and said : * Is all this for me ? ' When two of 
his counsellors took him mournfully by the hand, and 
led him to a house in Broadway, where he nearly 
fainted when he saw the great Washington pass, at- 
tended by a crowd of patriots ! At a window, next to 
the City Hotel, I was happily so placed that I could 
see him. Here General Schuyler and General Mont- 
gomery received their commissions and instructions. 
General Montgomery told General Washington he 
wished he would allow him to go with him ; to which 
Washington answered, * Sir, you have more important 
business to attend to; — we trust everything to you.' 



Washingtt.n's stay at New York was but a moment. 
He drove a sulky, with a pair of white horses; his 
dress was blue, with purple ribbon sash, — a lovely 
plume of feathers in his hat. All this was a most 
mortifying sight to Governor Try on. 

" The next day, when Montgomery opened his com- 
mission, he found all the commissions of his brigade 
left in blank. Such was the trust reposed in him. 

" Plots \^ ere soon discovered, fomented by Governor 
Tryon and his counsellor}*. The committee determined 
to che<:k them by confining the Governor ; but General 
Montgomery took a milder course, and advised the 
Governor to embark again tor England rather than be 
insulted in this country. This advice the Governor 
took that very night, and oflPered his best thanks to the 
General. 

" A few days later, the accounts of the battle of Bun- 
ker Hill arrived. The papers had a deep black margin. 
Blood had been shed and the Americans had been 
beaten. Our house was tilled with a crowd of long 
faces. General Montgomery met tbem with a smile of 
satisfaction. ' Gentlemen,' said he, * I am content. 
What I feared has not happened. The Americans will 
fight, and I am well pleased at this experiment.' The 
Tories, however, made a great uproar. Many ladles 
came to us for protection, and they had a thousand 
fears without occasion for any. No gentlemen offered 
to take commissions in the army. The mechanics 
alone offered, and General Montgomery accepted them 
without demur. When the brigade was filled several 
gentlemen came forward, but he refused them the 
places, telling them they should have been first, and 
were too late. 

" The General left for Ticonderoga with four thousand 
men, but many left him and many sickened ; many ran 



8 

at the shake of a leaf. One of these was named 
Quackenbosh, who was very bold until some attack 
was determined on, then he jso frequently entreated for 
leave of absence, that General Montgomery said to 
some one passing by : 'I think this quake-in-the-bush 
had best be gone altogether.' 

•* Congress at three different times refused to accept 
General Montgomery's resignation. They continually 
promised him ten thousand men and always failed in 
their support. His patience was exhausted. The com- 
mander-in-chief. General Schuyler, was ill, causing 
weeks of delay in the campaign. When he arrived, 
they embarked immediately. On landing at Fort 
Chamblay, a gun was tired, and the Commander ordered 
the troops to retreat, when another attack of illness 
obliged General Schuyler to return home. The fort 
soon after surrendered. It was remarkable that the 
Commander of St. Johns was the very Major who had 
superseded General Montgomery in purchasing the 
majority. 

" How Montreal surrendered is well known. That 
General Montgomery supposed it might have been bet- 
ter defended, is concluded from one expression of his. 
He said : ' I suffered the officers to pass my fort with- 
out notice. Because I had placed a few cannon on the 
bank — 1 blush for His Majesty's officers! — they actu- 
ally preferred being made prisoners ! Carletou has es- 
caped, the more 's the pity.' General Montgomery in- 
tended quartering for the winter at Montreal. His 
men were in rags and his provisions exhausted. He 
had written repeatedly for more troops and none were 
sent. Twice he .sent in his resignation and twice it was 
refused. The wild march of Arnold up the Kennebec 
altered all the plans, and obliged Montgomery to sacri- 
fice himself." 



Here the MS. euds, much to our regret. It has the 
vitality which contemporaueous history finds in tlie 
journals of «very day ; a vitality vainly sought except 
from the pen of an eye-witness to the stirring events 
which move men's souls. 

At the time of Montgomery's marriage, war was only 
dreamed of by the few who saw the storm in the 
distance. Studious in his tastes and habits, he 
earnestly wished for retirement. " Ambition," says Mrs. 
Montgomery, "seemed to have no part in him." He 
was exceedingly fond of country life. Books and the 
family circle with which he had connected himself 
constituted his happiness. He purchased a well- 
stocked farm and a mill ; where, as his brother-in-law 
and biographer, General Armstrong, says, he prose- 
cuted his new career of agriculture " with that combi- 
nation of diligence and discretion which directed all his 
movements." 

Two years of quiet and domestic happiness were 
broken in upon by Montgomery's being sent as a dele- 
gate from Dutchess County to the first Provincial Con- 
vention, held in New York in April, 1775. He never 
thought himself fit for civil service, and with reluctance 
took the place assigned him. But his heart was in the 
movement. With such feelings of ardent devotion did 
he give himself up to the cause of American liberty 
that, when called upon by Congress to quit the re- 
tirement of his farm in order to become one of the first 
eight brigadier-generals, he wrote to a friend, " that the 
honor, though entirely unexpected and undeserved, he 
felt to be the will of an oppressed people, which must 
be obeyed ; " and he accordingly went immediately 
into active service. 

Mrs. Montgomery accompanied him on his way as far 



10 

as Saratoga. In after-years their parting was described 
as follows, by his brother-in-law, Edward Livingston, 
who was at the time a boy of eleven: "It was just be- 
fore General Montgomery left for Canada. We were 
only three in her room, — he, my sister, and myself. He 
was sitting in a musing attitude between his wife, who, 
sad and silent, seemed to be reading the future, and 
myself, whose childish admiration was divided between 
the glittering uniform and the martial bearing of him 
who wore it. Suddenly the silence was broken by 
Montgomery's deep voice, repeating the line, ' 'Tis a mad 
world, my masters.' ' I once thought so,' he continued, 
'now I know it.' The tone, the words, the circum- 
stances all overawed me, and I noiselessly retired. I 
have since reflected upon the bearing of this quotation, 
forcing itself upon the young soldier at that moment. 
Perhaps he might have been contrasting the sweet quiet 
of the life he held in his grasp, with the tumults and 
perils of the camp which he had resolved to seek with- 
out one regretful glance at what he was leaving behind. 
These were the last words I heard from his lips, and I 
never saw him more." 

We turn next to the letters written by General Mont- 
gomery to his wife during his last brilliant and memora- 
ble campaign. The correspondence was not voluminous. 
Death soon put an end to it, and at that time communi- 
cation between Canada and New York was slow and 
difficult. In the most favorable weather the sloops 
which plied the Hudson required a week to go from 
Albany to New York. General Montgomery's letters 
are but nine in number, and we have copied those that 
are of most interest for the benefit of our readers. On 
comparison of dates some of them prove to have been 
two mouths on the way from Montreal or other parts of 
Canada, to Rhinebeck, where Mrs. Montgomery lived. 



11 

" Isle aux Noix, Sept. 12th, 1775. 
"I am, my dear Janet, so exceedingly out of spirits and so 
chagrined with the behavior of the troops, that I most heartily 
repent having undertaken to lead them. I went down the river 
the other day with 800 or 900 men, in order to cut off the com- 
munication between St. Johns and Montreal. The detachment 
marched off from the boats at night, and in less than half an 
hour, returned in the utmost confusion, some little noise having 
been made by a few of our own stragglers in the bushes. They 
gave way near the front, and the panic spreading, they were like 
Bheep, with some few exceptions, — nor can I say who behaved 
worst. With solicitation, entreaty and reproaches, I got them 
off again, and in less than an hour they came back, having be- 
haved almost as infamously as at first. In their last excursion 
the advanced guard surprised a Canadian officer and some In- 
dians in a hut ; the officer and one Indian were killed, but the 
firing of two or three shot set the whole line a-firing without 
any object. The commanding officer, who was Ritzma, repre- 
sented the impracticability of getting the' detachment off. The 
next morning I tried again with as little success. la Hhort, such 
a set of pusillanimous wretches never were collected. Could I, 
with decency, leave the array in its present situation, I would 
not .serve an hour longer. I am much afraid the general char- 
acter of the people has been too justly represented. However, 
there are some whose spirit I have contidence«in ; they are 
taking pains with the men, and they flatter me with hopes of 
prevailing on them to retrieve their characters. We were so un- 
fortunate as to have some Canadians witnesses of our disgrace ! 
What they will think of the brav Bostonians, I know not! 
My own feelings tell me they are not likely to pat confidence 
in such friends. Shew this to your father only ; it can't be 
of service to our common cause to make known our weakness. 
May I have better news to write hereafter ! 
" Adieu, my dearest Janet ; 

" Believe me most affectionately yours, 

" RiCUASD MONTGOMBBY." 



" IsLK AUX Noix, Sbpt. 6th. 
*' My Dear Janet : — 

" I take the earliest opportunity of letting you hear I am well. 
We have made an excursion to St. Johns with the small corps 
with which I left Ticonderoga. We found the enemy's vessel, 
which mounts sixteen guns, almost ready to sail. We had but 



12 

two pieces of artillery with carriages — by no means sufficient to 
undertake a siege, or to destroy the vessel, which is under the 
cannon of the fort. It has therefore been judged expedient by 
everybody to put in practice the first project of throwing a boom 
over the channel at the Isle aux Xoix, which we are now about 
getting ready. We have not as yet received intelligence that 
can be relied on with respect to the intentions of the Canadians ; 
but a Mr. Hazen, who lives at St. Johns, and is a sensible man, 
is of opinion that tho' they will not take up arms against us, yet 
they will not act offensively in our favor. When we are certain 
of their friendship, so far as to lie quiet, we shall march a strong 
detachment by land into the country, which we sball be masters 
of, if Mr. Carleton is not speedily reGnforced. We had a little 
skirmish with the Indians;— two very good officers wounded 
and nine or ten privates killed ; a good deal of confusion in the 
action; the Yorkers little acquainted with wood-fighting; the 
Connecticut men behaved well for the most part, but in the 
evening, when some shells were thrown from the fort, they 
showed a degree of apprehension that displeased me much ; but I 
hope and believe it will wear oif by a little practice. The 
general thought proper to remove a little farther ofi" with the 
boats and vessels; and the}' embarked with such confusion as 
can only be palliated bj' saying they are young troops. I have 
endeavored to make them ashamed of themselves, and hope this 
won't happep again. I believe I am on a tolerable footing with 
them, foor Schuyler is in so miserable a state of health as to 
make him an object of compassion. 

"I wrote you from Crown Point, and also your worthy father. 
I then referred you to him for news. I must now beg of him to 
read this letter, which contains all I have to say, being much 
hurried. Should any report prevail at Albany of any accident 
having happened to me, I have requested Walter Livingston to 
send you this by express. 

"Adieu! my dearest Janet. Rest assured of my warmest 
afifection. 

" Richard Montgomery." 



" Camp near St. Johns, 
" October Gth. 
" My Dear Janet : — 

" It i.s with inexpressible concern I find by a letter from 
your father that you are ill. I wish he had kept the intelli- 



13 

gence a secret ; I do not want any addition to iny uneasii^sa. 
That this may find you recovered is my warmest wish ! 

" Little change has happened since my last. 1 still wait for 
reenforcement ; the troops have hitherto gone home sick, almost 
as last as they came. We have been like half-drowned rats 
crawling thro' the swamp, but the weather is now much altered 
for the better, and I hope it will continue. 1 believe we shall in 
a few days set about our business in earnest. If powder don't 
fail U8, 1 think we shall tinish this affair. I have had overtures 
for an accoumiodation from St. Luke Le Come, and some other 
principal people of Montreal. He ia a great villain and as cun- 
ning as the devil, but I have sent a ^ew Englander to negotiate 
with him. 

" Had we twice or thrice as many men, everything would 
long ago have been settled. All the lower class of people are 
anxious for our success, but have been intimidated much by 
our weakness, lest by a miscarriage they should be left to the 
vengeance of tyranny. 

"I am extremely sorry to hear of your father's indisposition 
and your mother's, but hope most sincerely their health may by 
this time be reestablished. My affectionate duty attends them 
and also your grandfather. 

" Farewell, my dear Janet ; believe me ever yours, 

" KiCHAKD MoSTOOMfiBY," 



" Camp neah St. Johns, Octobek 9th. 
" This evening I received my dear Janet's three letters to the 
23rd September, which bring me the agreeable news of your re- 
covery. I hope to have the same account of your good father 
and mother, whose health and happiness I think myself deeply 
interested in. You are certainly right : I most certainly might 
have advanced Harry to a majority. Disinterested and gener- 
ous motives will forever, I hope, prevent me from serving my- 
self or family at the expense of the public. Though a tine, 
spirited fellow, he has not experience for such an important 
post. I grant there are others as bad and worse— it is not my 
doing, nor will I ever have such a weight on my conscience. I 
always told you what I know to be a fact ; I am unfit to deal 
with mankind in the bulk, for which reason I wish for retire- 
ment. 1 feel too sensibly the rascality, ignorance and Belfiehness 
so common among my fellow creatures to deal with them and 
keep my temper. I have been dragged from obscurity much 
against my inclination and not without s. me struggle, as yoa 



14 

well lyiow ; and depend upon it, the instant I can with decency 
slip rav neck out of the yoke, I will return to my family and 
farm, and that peace of mind which I can't have in my present 
situation. 

"General Schuyler may return in u few days. His n-turu to 
Ticonderoga has been a mo«t fortunate affair. We should most 
certainly have been obliged to return half-starved, and leave the 
unfortunate Canadians to take care of themselves. Providence 
does much for us and we little for ourdelvesi 

"The negotiation with St. Luke ended in nothing. It is sup- 
posed the Governor had gotten some'^int of it. and St. Luke, in 
order to acquit himself, made the Indian deliver my letter, 
which was an answer to his mes.sage, to the Governor, who or- 
dered it to be burned without reading it. 1 suppose he vvaa 
afraid of making a discovery which would have obliged him to 
treat St. Luke roughly. I anxiously wait to hear of the Kenne- 
bec expedition. If it succeed, it will be a great stroke ; if we 
do'n't get more powder I am afraid this will be a tedious affair 
and that we shall be obliged to starve them out. You must 
not go into the hou.se until I return. If you have a mind for 
Mrs. What-do-you-call-her — the Frenchwoman, keep her by all 
means. Harry is well, as are the two officers you mention. 
Willett has been ill. I answered Mr. Diiane's letter. It went by 
an express to Philadelphia; he was at that time returned to 
York ; do mention it when you write to Robert ; I should be 
Borry to have him think me wanting in common politeness. 

"The box arrived in good time. I am now sitting beside a 
very comfortable tire in my tent, and we have had for the first 
time some very pleasant weather. 

" I am obliged to Shone for his good opinion, but alas ! he is 
a very indifferent judge. At the forts I will not winter; it is 
possible I may be obliged to stay in Canada, but I shall 
certainly return if in my power. 

"My affsctionate good wishes and duty wait on your grand- 
father. My love to the girls. 

" .^dieu, my dear Janet ; believe me 
" Your truly affectionate 

"Richard Montgomery." 



"MONTRK.AL. Nov. 13tH. 

" My Dear Janet : — 

"This morning the Bostoniana have marched into town ; the 
Governor, with his small garrison, having abandoned it two 



lo 

nights since, and retired towards Quebec, where he will run 
some risk of being caught by Col. Arnold, who is arrived in that 
neighborhood. 

" I am summoning all my virtue against the legion of females 
soliciting for husbands, brothers and sons taken prisoners. 

" Y(m may depend upon it, I will return home the instant I 
have put matter* on such a footing as to be able to retire with 
propriety. I am very well, and very anxious to see you. 
" Farewell, uiy dear Janet. 

" Believe me yours, with real affection. 

" Richard Montgo.mkrv." 



"MoNTRE.\L, Nov. 24th. 
" My Dear Janet: — 

" I wrote to you by Harry, and hope you have some days ago 
had the pleasure of seeing him. I long to see you in your new 
house. If the winter set in soon do n't forget to send for the lath 
to fence the garden, and also to have chestnut posts cut for the 
same purpose. I wish you could get a stove fixed in the hall — 
they are the most comfortable things imaginable. 

"The other da\' General Pre-scott was so obliging as to sur- 
render himself and fourteen or fifteen land officers, with above 
one hundred men, besides .sea officers and sailors, prisoners of 
war. I blush for His Majesty's troops I Such an instance of 
base poltroonery I never met with ! and all becau.se we had half- 
a-dozen cannon on the bank of the river to annoy him in his re- 
treat. The Governor escaped more's the pity I Prescott, 
nevertheless, is a prize. He is a cruel rascal. I have treated 
him with the sovereign contempt his inhumanity and barbarity 
merit. 

"To-morrow I hope to set out for Quebec, to join Col. Arnold, 
who is impatient to see us. His little army has undergone inex- 
pres.sible hardships, and entered the country half-starved and 
half-naked. Should fortune continue her favor we may perhaps 
bring that business to a happy issue. In the meantime, adieu ! 
" Believe me most affect'ly your 

" Richard Moxtuomkry." 

" P. S. — I have no time to write to your father. I have been 
overwhelmed with business, and am out of all patience at being 
obliged to sjjend so much of this precious season in this town. 

" My most affectionate respects attend the old gentleman and 
lady. My love to the girls. Do they go to town ? No husband.s 
this winter? Alas! 

" I live in hopes to see you in six weeks." 



16 

" Holland Housk, 
"near Quebec, December otu. 
•' My Dear Janet: — 

" This day I had the pleasure of yours of the 13th of October. 
I think your letters are a long time on the road. I believe I 
have now the right to complain, as I am sure yorj do n't write so 
often as I do, 

"I suppose long ere this we have furnished the folks of the 
United Colonies with subject-matter of conversation. I should 
like to see the long faces of my Tory friends. I fancy they look 
a little cast down, and that the Whig ladies triumph most un- 
mercifully. 

"The weather continues so gentle that we have been able, at 
this late season, to get dov.'n by water with our artillery, &.c. 
They sire a good deal alarmed in town, an<i with some reason. 
The garrison is little to be depended upon, and very weak in pro- 
portion to the extent of the works. I wish it were well over 
with all my heart, and sigh for home like a New Englander. 

"I shan't forget your beaver blanket if I get safe out of this 
affair, nor your mother's martin-skins. Present my aflectionate 
duty to her, and maki^ her easy respecting Harry. He has by 
no means given me any offence, though some uneasiness by 
some little imprudences. I am glad to hear your house is in 
such forwardness. ?.lay I have the pleasure of seeing you in it 
soon ! 

"Till then, adieu! 

" Believe me affectionately yours, 

" Richard Montgomery." 



-80 ends this short correspondence. The last 



letter is dated on the 5th of December. The brave 
and resolute Montgomery was destined to die on the 
last day of the same month. 

The letters we have just perused not only give evi- 
dence of character throughout, but also show him to us 
genial, affectionate, and on occasion fond of a joke at 
home. 

General Schu3?ler's health did not permit him to con- 
duct this campaign as had been intended. He relin- 
quished the command of the forces to General Mont- 



17 

gomery at Isle aux Noix. There waa insubordination 
among the troops. Montgomery's energy and dauntless 
will were more than equal to the emergency. He had 
great trouble with the New Englanders, and wrote 
home : " They are the worst stuff imaginable for soldiers. 
They are homesick ; their regiments are melted away 
and yet not a man dead of any distemper among them. 
There is such an equality among them that the officers 
have no authority, and there are few among them in 
whose spirit I have confidence ; the privates are all 
generals but not soldiers, and so jealous that it is im- 
possible, though a man risk his person, to escape the 
imputation of treachery." 

The troops seemed thoroughly demoralized, the New 
Yorkers as well as the others. "0 fortunate husband- 
men!" wrote Montgomery, " would I were at my plough 
again ! " He was thoroughly disgusted with them all. 
However, his course through Canada was a triumphant 
one, and, notwithstanding all his difficulties, success 
followed iu his footsteps. " I have courted fortune," he 
wrote iu another letter, " and found her kind. I have 
one more favor to solicit and then I have done." The 
capture of Quebec would, he thought, complete the 
American possession of Canada, and make it a part of 
the Union. His rapid succe.sses all over Canada had 
made him hopeful. "Fortune," he said, "favors the 
brave." Little had he then contemplated failure, or his 
own approaching end ! In a conversation which he had 
with one of his aides-de-camp shortly before the stoi-m- 
ing of Quebec, he had indulged in meditations on his 
own life, and spoke of his loss of ambition, a sense of 
duty being alone left as his spring of action ; he longed 
to return to the retirement of his country life, though he 
said he " would always be ready to contribute to the 
public safety, should the scene change and his services 



18 

be again required." He was convinced that there was, 
as he said, "a fair prospect of success"; and, notwith- 
standing the perils of his situation, his hopes ran liigh 
and his soul was undaunted. It was on the 31st of 
December, 177.5, that the attack on Quebec was made. 
The little American army had undergone inexpressible 
hardships during the campaign ; and the soldiers were 
half-starved and half-naked. General Montgomery liad 
won the contidence of the men, and was greatly beloved 
by them, yet it took all his magnetic power to stir them 
into renewed exertion, disheartened as they were by 
fatigue. " Men of New York," he exclaimed, "you will 
not fear to follow where your General leads ; march on ! " 
Then, placing himself in the front, he almost immediately 
received the mortal wound which suddenly closed his 
career. 

Thus fell Richard Montgomery, at the early age 
of thirty-seven. Young, gifted, and brave, he was 
mourned throughout the country, at whose altar he 
had offered up his life — apparently in vain ; for his fate 
decided the battle in favor of the British. 

Under the continued fire of the enemy, the inanimate 
form of Montgomery is said to have been borne from 
the field of battle by Aaron Burr, Through the 
courtesy of the British general, who greatly respected 
him. General Montgomery was buried with all the 
honors of war, within the walls of the city of Quebec. 

General Montgomery's will had been made at Crown 
Point, on the 30th of August, soon after the com- 
mencement of his last campaign. The authenticity of 
this document is attested by the signature of Benedict 
Arnold. It is still in existence, and reads as follows : — 



19 



" THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF RICHARD 
MONTGOMERY. 

" I give to my sister, Lady Ranelagh, of the Kingdom of Ire- 
land, all my personal fortune for her sole use, to be disposed of 
as she pleases, except such legacies as shall be liereafter men- 
tioned. All my just debts must fir.st be paid. Also, I give my 
said sister my estate at Kingsbridge, near New York, for her sole 
use, to be disposed of as she thinks fit. To my dear wife, Janet 
Montgomery, I give my furniture, farm uten.sils, carriages of all 
sorts, horses, cattle, shares, books, (to this, watch, mathematical 
and philosophical instruments and apparatus.) 

" I also leave to my said wife the farm I purchased from 
Shaver at Rynbeck, with horses and everything upon it. 

" The ample fortune which my wife will succeed to, makes it 
unnecessary to provide for her in a manner suitable to her situ- 
ation in life and adequate to the warm affection I bear Irer. 

" My dear sister's large family want all I can spare. I could 
wish to recommend one or two of her younger children to my 
Janet's protection. 

" I must request the Honorable Robert Livingston, my much- 
honored father-in-law, and my brother-in-law, Robert, his son, 
(whose good sense and integrity I have all confidence in) to see 
this, my last Will and Testament, executed. Tho' the hurry of 
public business and want of knowledge in the law may have 
rendered this instrument incorrect, yet I believe my intention 
is plain. I therefore hope no advantage will be taken of any 
inaccuracy. 

" My brothers, whom I greatly esteem and respect, will ac- 
cept of what alone I have in my power to give, my earnest 
wishes for their happiness ! 

{Robert Walkin, [Signed] 
Edward MoU, Richard Montgombry. 

J. I. Tftard. 

"August 30th, 1775, 
"Crown Point. 

" This may certify that the foregoing Will and Testament of 
the late General Montgomery, was found by us among bis papers 
a few days after his Death, and immediately sealed up. 

" Benedict Arnold, 
" Donald Campbell, 

[This is signed and written 
in the handwriting of Arnold.] 



20 

Tlie Will was proved and filed of record at the Sur- 
rogate's Office at Poughkeepsie, on the fourth day of 
August, 1781. 

General Montgomery left no descendants. By his 
will it appears that he bequeathed the greater part of 
his fortune to his relatives in Ireland. The farm at 
Kingsbridge would now be of enormous value, from its 
close proximity to New York. It consisted of sixty- 
seven acres, and lay on the division-line between " the 
Yonkers and the Manor of Fordham." Fort Inde- 
pendence, with its appendages, having been erected 
upon it, the farm was, in a manner, ruined by the 
Continental army, during the Revolutionary War. 
The d\Velling-house, barn and other outhouses were en- 
tirely demolished, and the orchard all cut down, as well 
as the whole of the forest. The fences were destroyed, 
and much of the surface of the soil pared off to make 
Fort Independence. The earth was also thrown up in 
various forms for that fortification and the redoubts 
around it. It is easy to imagine the devastation 
effected by the army in the whole neighborhood. As a 
farm it was useless, for some time at least. Had Mont- 
gomery lived he would have had much to do in re- 
storing order from chaos. His own fortune had been 
principally invested in this farm at Kingsbridge. He 
was punctilious in the extreme in all money matters, 
and his remote accounts with his eldest brother, Alex- 
ander, prove him to have been always possessed of 
independent pecuniary resources. During the cam- 
paign in Canada his accounts were carefullv kept at all 
times. A memorandum of the payments made by him 
u[) to the very day of his death was found among his 
papers. The following curious inventory of his effects 
was taken, and forwarded to New York. The greater 
part of his wardrobe was purchased by General Arnold : 



21 

"An Inventory taken of the property & effects of the late Gen- 
eral Montgomery on the 2d Day of January, A. D., 1776, 
at Holland House, in the presence of Col. Donald Camp- 
bell, Major F. Wissenfetts, Major Matt. Ogden, Rev. John 
I. Tetard, and Mr. Aaron Burr, Aide-de-Camp. 
" One hundred & eleven dollars in Continental Bills. 
" Fifty shillings lawful money of Connecticut. 
"Sixteen shillings lawful money of the Province of Massa- 
chusetts. 
"A Bag containing forty -five receipts amounting to five 
thousand seven hundred and forty pounds, nine shillings and 
three-pence halfpenny, currency of New York. 
" In the same bag a string of white Wampum. 
" Forty-eight half-Johannes. 
" One-quarter of a Johannes. 
" Two light pistols. 
" Fifty half-Joes. 

" One hundred and ninety-three English shillings. 
" Six English half-crowns. 
" Twenty new Spanish Dollars. 

" Small money four shillings & 10 cents. 

"£347.4.7 

" At opening a Black trunk, 3rd January, were present Col. 
Donald Campbell, Major John Brown, Major Fred. Weis- 
senfelts, and Aaron Burr, Aide-de-camp. 

" 7 Rufiled shirts ; 3 sold to Gen. Arnold. 
" 6 Plain ditto, sold 4 at 8 dols., and 2 at 3 dols. 
" 10 Cambric stocks, 6 sold to General Arnold. 
" 6 Muslin neckcloths. 

" 1 Silk do. sold to General Arnold. 

"9 pair silk stockings. 
" 3 pair thread do. 

" 3 pair woollen do, — 1 pair to Dick, the negro boy. 
" 1 old pair socks. 

" 7 Linen and 2 Silk Hand's— 3 linen sold to General Arnold. 
" 2 cotton caps. 
" 3 pair white breeches. 
" 2 white Holland waistcoats. 
" 2 pr. nankeen breeches. 

" 1 casimere waistcoat and breeches — sold to Gen'l Arnold. 
" 1 pair of elegant Indian leggins — sold to Gen'l Arnold. 
" 1 pair of Mocassins. do. do. do. 



22 

" 1 old white coat. 

" 1 pair Sheets — taken for Hospital. 

" 2 pillow-cases. 

" 1 pair of leather and two p'rs. of cloth shoes. 

" 2 pair silver buckles. 

" 1 Doz. knives and forks — sold to General Arnold. 

" 1 pair half-gaiters, with silver Buckles. 

" 1 pair Spurs. 

" 1 pair Gloves. 

" 1 brown watch coat. 

" 6 Silver table-spoons— sold to Gen. Arnold. 

" 6 do. tea-spoons. 

" 6 silver Tea-spoons and a pr. Tea-Tong-. hired at Montreal — 

Gen'l Arnold. 
" 5 Razors and Razor-strop. 

" 1 Conib-case, 1 Shaving Box, 1 crooked Tortoise-shell comb. 
" 1 mattress and 2 pillows. 

" 2 Blankets, 1 Counterpane — sold to Col. Warner. 
" 1 Buflfalo skin. One clothes-brush — to Mr. Burr. 
"1 small jacked Portmanteau (sent down with Maj. Ogden.) 
" 1 old trunk, 5 Table-cloths — to Ger. Arnold. 

£19 . 8 . 6 

"Books. f'Gen. Schuyler 

" Saxe's Reveries. \ authorized Col. 

" Polybius, Vols. 1 & 2. j Ed. Autil to take 

"Clarrac, U Ingenieur de Campagne. "! these and lodge 

" La Science Militaire, Tour 3, 7, 8, & 10. i his receipt 

" Johnson's English Dictionary. [ for them." 

'* [Signed] Donald Campbell, ) 

" Dep'ty Quarter M'r Gen'l. ) Fred. Weissenfels, M. B. 
" Matt. Ogden, 
" J. I. Tetard. 



" At Col. Donald Campbell's request, Governor Carleton .sent 
out of town the late General Montgomery's gold watch and seal, 
which Col. Campbell forwarded to Gen'l VVooster, at Montreal, 
by the hands of Messrs. Jeffries and Minott. Gen'l Wooster 
sent the watch by Lt. Col. Ritzma to New York, to Mrs. .Mont- 
gomery." 



23 

Together vrith this inventory, an account was sent 
to Mrs. Montgomery of the manner in which his effects 
had been disposed of, and a list of the articles marked 
on the inventory as sold to Gen. Arnold. 

To the south of Quebec the memorable Plains of 
Abraham extend themselves, recalling so forcibly the 
memory of past events that they cannot be viewed 
without emotion. The recollection of the acts of hero- 
ism that have distinguished these plains will kindle the 
fire of enthusiasm in the coldest heart. None can see 
with indifference the spot where Wolfe and Montgom- 
ery bled — where they fell, each one in turn a self-de- 
voted victim to his country's cause. To the modern 
traveler this Gibraltar of America appears truly im- 
pregnable. Whatever difficulties present themselves in 
viewing the ground now, they are nothing to what they 
were in 1775. The perpendicular height of solid rock, 
to the top of which the eye can scarcely reach, is de- 
scribed as having seemed to threaten a row of miser- 
able huts built directly at its foot. These huts formed 
one side of a narrow lane, running close beside the 
water's edge. This latter was the very path by which 
General Montgomery entered the Lower Town. It has 
been said that he knew the fortifications well, because 
he had been with Wolfe at the taking of Quebec. 
This is a mistake. Hq was in the British army, in 
Canada, during the French and Indian War, but not 
with Wolfe — having been ordered to follow General 
Amherst with his regiment. This error probably origi- 
nated with the fact that Alexander Montgomery, the 
General's eldest brother, wa« with Wolfe at Quebec. 

The difficulties which Arnold had to encounter in his 
attack on the northern side of the town were perhaps 
equal to those met by General Montgomery. The de- 



24 

file through which he marched was equally narrow, and 
nature had, in every respect, thrown more obstacles in 
his way. But he was more fortunate in that the guard 
who defended the field-post he attacked was com- 
pletely surprised, and made little or no resistance. 
Had the fatal discharge which destroyed Montgomery's 
life been retarded but a few seconds he would have 
been under shelter of the enemy's works, and would 
not have been injured. In that case, the issue of the 
conflict would probably have been far difierent. 

The following estimate of the British forces at Que- 
bec is copied from a memorandum of General Mont- 
gomery's : — 

"Forces at Quebec, Dec. 1775. 

" McLean's Emigrants, 200 

"Fusiliers, {7th Iteg't,) 60 

" Seamen, oOO 

" British Militia, 300 

" French Militia, 700 . 



" Total, 1,700." 

Formidable as the works were that surrounded the 
Upper Town, the garrison was not considered strong 
enough to have resisted the simultaneous attacks that 
would have been made from various directions, had 
Montgomery succeeded in eflfecting his junction with 
Arnold. 

The body of General Montgomery remained in Que- 
bec for forty-three years. It was then brought to New 
York City, in compliance with a special act of the 
Legislature. Reminiscences of Montgomery would be 
incomplete unless including a careful notice of the 
honors conferred on him by the State of New York, 
nearly half a century after his death : and the details, 



25 

as likely to be interesting and curious to our readers, 
are here subjoined : — 

" An Act of Honor 

" TO THE Memory of 

" General Richard Montgomery. 

" Whereas, General Richard Montgomery, a citizen of this 
State, distinguished himself by his valor and patriotism among 
the earliest of the heroes of the Revolution, and was slain while 
in the act of gallantly leading the attack on Quebec ; and, 
whereas, the remains of the said General Richard Montgomery 
are interred near the battle-ground undistinguished by any re- 
spectful mark ; and whereas, a niohument has been erected to 
his memory with others in St. Paul's Church in the City of New 
York, by the Congress of the United States ; — 

'■ Therefore : Be it enacted by the people of the State of New 
York, represented in Senate and Assembly, that the person ad- 
ministering the government of this State for the time being, be 
and is, hereby authorized to cause such measures to be taken as 
he shall deem expedient to obtain the consent of the Govern- 
ment of Canada, to the removal of the remains of General Rich- 
ard Montgomery from Quebec to the City of New York, there to 
be deposited in St. Paul's Church near the monument there 
erected to his memory ; and that he shall cause such removal 
to be made, when such consent is obtained, at the expense 
of the State." 

A copy of the act was sent to the widow of Mont- 
gomery by Governor Clinton, accompanied by the fol- 
lowing note : 

" Albany, 4 March, 1818. 
" Madam : — In the execution of the enclosed act, entitled 
'An Act of Honor to the Memory of General Richard Mont- 
gomery,' it will aflbrd me great pleasure to consult your feelings 
and wishes: and I shall esteem it a favor to be furnished 
by you with any intimations or references which may have a 
tendency to afford you gratification, to render due honor to the 



,26 

memorj^ of your illustrious husband, and to promote the views 
of the State, on this distinguished occasion. 
" With every sentiment of respect, 
" I have the honor to be 

" Your most devoted friend, 
" And obedient servant, 

" DeWitt Clinton." 

At Mrs. Montgomery's request, Governor Clinton com- 
missioned her nephew, Lewis Livingston, to superintend 
the removal of General Montgomery's remains to New 
York. From a minute report which he wrote to his 
father, Mr. Edward Livingston, then in Louisiana, we 
gather many details of interest hitherto unknown to the 
public. On account of the great lapse of time since the 
death of General Montgomery, apprehensions were 
entertained that there would be difficulty in ascer- 
taining the exact spot where he was iuterred. Should 
the place of burial be known, it was even a matter of 
doubt whether any part of his remains would be found, 
as it was supposed they must long since have ceased to 
exist. Such apprehensions were, however, groundless. 
Shortly after the arrival of Col, Livingston in Quebec, 
an Old man of eighty-nine years of age was pointed out 
to him, who had served in the British army, and was 
the very person who had been intrusted with the super- 
intendence of the General's burial. As he still pos- 
sessed all his faculties, Col. Livingston obtained from 
him every requisite information. Owing to the alter- 
ation that had taken place in the appearance of the 
ground, he could not indicate exactly where the body 
lay. It was found, however, within a few feet of the 
place he fixed upon; and there was so much circum- 
stantial evidence to corroborate all he said, that not 
the slightest doubt could be entertained of his veracity. 
He mentioned a number of details respecting the in- 



27 

terment, and gave a particular description of the coffin 
in which the body was placed, — which corresponded 
perfectly with the appearance of the one taken up. 
Thio coffin, wonderful as it may appear, was still in a 
state of very good preservation, although it had been in 
the ground for over forty-two years. Th(? pressure of 
the earth had broken in the lid, but the bottom and 
sides were nearly entire ; the skeleton was also nearly 
entire ; the skull was perfect, and also the thigh and 
hip bones ; the ribs were the only parts that had en- 
tirely decayed. 

The coffin was kept exactly in the state in which it 
was found, and placed in a strong wooden case. Sir 
John Sherbroke, then Governor of the Province of 
Quebec, was at this time extremely ill. He wrote, how- 
ever, a very polite letter to Col. Livingston, expressing 
his regret that his state of health would not permit him 
to offer to a relative of the illustrious dead, such atten- 
tions as would otherwise have been paid. The course 
of action which he pursued was very liberal. He did 
not hesitate one instant to deliver up the remains ; he 
only expressed a desire that the affair should be con- 
sidered a private rather than a public transaction, 
probably because he would thereby incur less responsi- 
bility and avoid censure. Mr. William Smith, (the son 
of the Chief Justice then deceased,) was extremely use- 
ful in furthering the views of Col. Livingston ; he was 
intimate with the Governor, and used his influence to 
obtain a compliance with the request of which he was 
the bearer. 

Governor Clinton had directed the Adjutant General, 
with Colonel Van Rensselaer and a detachment of cav- 
alry, to proceed to Whitehall to accompany the remains 
tu New York, regulating the journey so as to reach Al- 
banv on the 4th of Julv. Thev left Whitehall on the 



28 

2d, arriving at Albany by the 4th. Great preparations 
had been made to receive the remains with all possible 
splendor and iclat. All the military were under arms 
and stationed about a mile from the city. On the arri- 
val of the body and escort, they formed in front of the 
hearse and began the procession, which upon reaching 
the residence of the Patroon, General Van Rensselaer, 
was joined by an immense concourse of citizens. The 
pall-bearers consisted of old Revolutionary oflBcers and 
members of the ISociety of the Cincinnati. The pro- 
cession moved in this way through the principal streets 
of Albany, and stopped at the Capitol, where the re- 
mains were laid in state. In every village on the route 
similar honors, though on a smaller scale, had been 
paid to the memory of the gallant Montgomery. At 
Troy a reception had been conducted in nearly as 
brilliant a style as at Albany. The skeleton had been 
taken out of the box in which it was placed for safe 
conveyance, and placed in a magnificent coffin which 
had been sent on by the Governor. 

All these ceremonies being over. Col. Livingston 
called on Governor Clinton, and gave him an account 
of his mission. The latter expressed himself satisfied, 
and informed Col. Livingston that he should, in con- 
junction with two of his aides-de-camp, proceed with the 
remains to New York, to have them placed in the City 
Hall, where the Society of Cincinnati w^ould be prepared 
to receive them. On the 6th of July, at 9 o'clock in the 
morning, a procession, perhaps still larger than the first, 
formed at the Capitol and accompanied the coflSn to the 
steamboat Richmond, on board of which it was put 
with a large military escort. The boat floated down 
for several miles under a discharge of minute-guns 
from both shores. It was astonishing to observe the 
strong sympathies which were everywhere evoked by 



29 

the arrival of these sacred remains. The degree of en- 
thusiasm that prevailed and the patriotic feeling that 
evinced itself, reflected credit upon the State of New 
York ; and not a voice was heard in disapproval of the 
tributes of respect thus paid to the memory of this 
Hero of the Revolution. 

Governor Olinton had informed Mrs. Montgomery 
that the body of the General would pass down the 
Hudson ; and by the aid of a glass she could see the 
boat pass Montgomery Place, her estate near Barry- 
town. We give her own quaint and touching terms, 
as she describes the mournful pageant in a letter to her 
niece. " At length," she wrote, " they came by, with 
all that remained of a beloved husband, who left me in 
the bloom of manhood, a perfect being. Alas ! how 
did he return ! However gratifying to my heart, yet 
to my feelings every pang I felt was renewed. The 
pomp with which it was conducteil added to my woe ; 
when the steamboat passed with slow and solemn 
movement, stopping before my house, the troops under 
arms, the dead march from the muffled drum, the 
mournful music, the splendid coffin canopied with crape 
and crowned by plumes, you may conceive my anguish ; 
I cannot describe it. Such voluntary honors were never 
before paid to an individual by a republic, and to Gov- 
ernor Clinton's munificence much is owing." 

At Mrs. Montgomery's own request she was left 
alone upon the porch when the Richmond went by. 
Forty-three years had elapsed since she parted with her 
husband at Saratoga. Emotions too agitating for her 
advanced years overcame her at this trying moment. 
She fainted ; and was found in this condition after the 
boat had passed on its way. Yet the first wish of her 
heart was realized, after years of deferred hope ; and 
she wrote to her brother in New Orleans, " 1 am satis- 



30 

fied. What more could I wish than the high honor 
that has been conferred on the ashes of my poor 
soldier." 

The ceremonies in the city of New York were more 
brilliant than any of the same kind ever before 
witnessed there. The remains were landed at Fort 
Gansevoort, accompanied by a detachment of U. S. 
Infantry, from Albany. The coffin was received by the 
Governor's Guard, and escorted by the infantry and a 
troop of horse to the City Hall, where it was deposited 
until the day of the funeral. The New York Daily 
Advertiser^ of July 8th, 1818, contains every detail of 
these interesting obsequies, the order of the procession 
as settled by the marshal of the day ; also a picture of 
the coffin, a list of the aids and of the committee of ar- 
rangements. A guard of honor flanked the bier. It 
was recommended to the citizens to be silent during the 
solemnities of the day. Guns were fired from the 
Washington Navy Yard, from the Battery, and from 
the forts in the harbor; and minute-guns were fired 
until the funeral ceremonies ended. The bells of the 
diflFerent churches were tolled, and the flags in the 
harbor were at half-mast. The United States Infantry 
and a detachment of the Governor's Guards did duty 
night and day at the City Hall. The remains were 
finally interred on the morning of the 8th of July, 1818, 
beneath the monument in front of St. Paul's Church, 
which bears the following well-known inscription, from 
the pen of Franklin : 

" This monument is erected by order of Congress, 25th Janua- 
ry, 1776, to transmit to posterity a grateful remembrance of the 
patriotic conduct, enterpiise and perseverance of Major-General 
Richard Montgomery, who after a series of successes, amidst the 
most discouraging difficulties, fell in the attack on Quebec, .31st 
December, 1775, aged 37 years." 



31 

Among the poetical productions of the Revolution is 
a school-piece entitled " The Death of Montgomery," 
published by John Trumbull, of Providence, in the year 
1777. It is far from being uninteresting, although the 
poet's fancy has given Aaron Burr an excellence alto- 
gether ideal. Another curious poetical effusion of the 
times was a short political tract in which the Ghost of 
General Montgomery was introduced. This was pub- 
lished in 1776, as an appendix to the third issue of 
Paine's pamphlet on " Common Sense." Thus it ap- 
pears that it may have been written by Paine, though 
it is not in either of the editions of his collected works. 
It is entitled : " A Dialogue between the Ghost of 
General Montgomery, just arrived from the Elysian 
Fields, and an American Delegate, in a wood near Phil- 
adelphia." 

There are but few relics of General Montgomery in 
existence besides the papers we have alluded to, his 
public correspondence preserved at Washington, and 
his letters to General Schuyler. His watch and seal, 
removed from his person on the field of battle, were 
forwarded to Mrs. Montgomery, according to the direc- 
tions of General Carleton, and are carefully preserved 
A sword said to be his, and lately on exhibition at the 
Museum of Morrin College in Quebec, has been pur- 
chased and presented to the University of Virginia. 
The only original portrait of him is at Montgomery 
Place. It was sent to Mrs. Montgomery by Lady 
Ranelagh, after the death of the General, and represents 
him as a young man of about twenty-five years, the age 
at which he first left Ireland. The countenance is 
frank, gallant and handsome, and indicates a generous 
and amiable disposition. 






University of California 

SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY 

405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1388 

Return this material to ttie library 

from wtiicii it was borrowed. 




UC SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITy 



A 000 662 996 8