15 | From Jeffery Amherst

    Lake Champlain 14th. October 1760.


    I am to Return You thanks for the Publick Invitation You have given, at my request, to the Traders of Your Province, to provide Quebec & Montreal with goods; and I am hopefull, that the opinion which has prevailed, among the Merchants of Boston, that it was not too late to freight for the former of those two places will prove practicable; if it should not, the same Encouragement, that I offered them thro’ You, shall be given them, whenever they shall think it more adviseable to follow the other Route.__

    Immediately after the Reduction of Canada in the Disposition I made of the Troops, I provided for the Garrison of Nova Scotia, by ordering a Competent Number of Regulars thither, and upon their arrival at Halifax, such of the Forces of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay as may be there, will be immediately sent home; as will doubtless likewise those from Louisbourg after the Reduction of that place; but from what You mention,112 and the Corroborating Accompts I have had from those two Provinces, of the shamefull Desertion of those Forces, It is more than probable, that but few are remaining of them: and now I am on that Topick, I cannot help repeating what I have Several times mentioned to Governor Pownall & Lt. Govr. Hutchinson, that these Deserters on their Return, ought not only to be discountenanced by the Province, but, at least ought to be Mulct113 the Pay that may be due to them, as, without some such mark of disapprobation, it will be an Encouragement to all Others in future times; and as You must be Sensible how highly detrimental such behavior must be to the King’s Service, You will agree with me of the absolute Necessity there is, to put the most Effectual stop to it possible: I leave it therefore to Your better Judgement to devise Such means as You shall think proper, more fully to answer these Ends, and, I am, with the greatest Regard,

    Sir, Your most Obedient Humble Servant

    Jeff Amherst

    His Excellency Governor Bernard

    LS, RC BP, 9: 143-144.

    There were at least fourteen “troop disorders”—acts of “wilful disobedience including mutiny and desertion”—among the New England regiments between 1755 and 1759, including those stationed at Louisbourg and Halifax, which were sparked by inadequate provisioning, discontent over low pay, and fear of being sent to the West Indies. Fred W. Anderson, “Why did Colonial New Englanders Make Bad Soldiers? Contractual Principles and Military Conduct during the Seven Year’s War,” WMQ 38 (1981): 395-417, at 406-408.