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HISTORY OF CANADA.   113

vasion of New York by British troops by way of Lake Champlain and the Hudson River. Such an inroad, if successful, would cut the revolted colonies in two. So important was the matter deemed that in the spring of 1776 three commissioners were appointed by Congress to proceed to Mt unreal to see what could be done to secure the adhesion of the Canadians to their cause. One of these commissioners was the celebrated Benjamin Franklin ; another was Charles Carroll, who as a Catholic might, it was thought, have weight with his co-religionists of Canada. The mission was a failure. The commissioners reported that the Congress troops were in bad plight ; that their credit was poor ; and that, by their exactions and frequent failure to fulfil their contracts, they had estranged the Canadians from the cause of Congress.

End of the Invasion.—In a rash attempt to regain lost ground, General Thompson early in June advanced from Sorel against Three Rivers, which was now again in the hands of British troops. After landing above the town the Congress army lost its way, got into a marsh, and in this plight was attacked by the British. General Thompson was taken prisoner with about three hundred men, the rest escaping back to Sorel. The British now advanced upon the camp at this point, only to find that it had been abandoned and that the Congress troops were in full retreat for Lake Champlain, Arnold, from Montreal, joining them on the way. As nine thousand veteran regulars were behind them, their rapid departure from the province is not, perhaps, a matter for surprise.

Carleton's Energy.—Montreal was at once garrisoned by a British force ; St. John's was reoccupied ; and Carleton took post at Isle aux Noix, intending to carry the war into the enemy's country as soon as the necessary supplies and transports could be collected. This he found a work of extreme difficulty. Three vessels sent out from England had been taken to pieces and carried overland to the upper waters of the Richelieu, and there put together again ; but, with this exception, Carleton had no boats and no material ready to build them, no stores, and no covering for the troops. Nevertheless, he went vigorously to work. No one was allowed to stand idle. While boats were being built the troops were drilled in forest warfare, and councils were held with the Indians and their favor was gained.

Naval Battle on Lake Champlain.—It was October 9


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