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The unjust, cruel, and tyrannical acts of a venal British Parliament, tending to enslave the American Colonies, have obliged them to appeal to God and the sword for redress. That Being, in whose hands are all human events, has hitherto smiled on their virtuous efforts. And, as every artifice has been used to make the innocent Canadians instruments of their cruelty, by instigating them against the Colonies, and oppressing them on their refusing to enforce every oppressive mandate, the American congress, induced by motives of humanity, have, at their request, sent General Schuyler into Canada for their relief. To cooperate with him, I am ordered by his Excellency, General Washing ton, to take possession of the town of Quebec.
I do, therefore, in the name of the United Colonies, demand immediate surrender of the town, fortifications, &c., of Quebec, to the forces of the United Colonies under my command ; forbid ding you to injure any of the inhabitants of the town in their persons or property, as you will answer the same at your peril. On surrendering the town, the property of every individual shall be secured to him ; but if I am obliged to carry the town by storm, you may expect every severity practised on such occasions ; and the merchants, who may now save their property, will probably be involved in the general ruin.
I am, Sir, your most obedient, humble servant,
- Benedict Arnold
- Correspondence of the American Revolution; Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Volume I., Jared Sparks, 1853