On July 24, 1776, Congress President John Hancock scolds General Philip Schuyler. In a letter, Hancock accuses the officer of tolerating discord between soldiers from different states under his command. Disappointed, Hancock told Schuyler that Congress was “concerned that it should be necessary to recommend harmony to the officers and troops of the various states under your command” may show greater weakness or wickedness than throwing them away. provincial reflections on each other, which must have a direct tendency to hamper public service and weaken the union of American states.
Schuyler was probably ill-prepared to deal with the diversity of enlisted men under his command, mainly from the lower ranks of society. They were united only by their common desire to defeat the British. He himself had a very different background as a product of the New York elite silver inbred society. His mother, Cornelia Van Cortlandt, and his wife, Catherine Van Rensselaer, were both from Dutch families of high New York society. Schuyler served briefly in the Continental Congress before receiving his commission as a Major General in the Continental Army and taking command of the Northern Department. In this capacity, he orchestrated the disastrous and preventive invasion of Canada in 1775, although another New York brigadier and colleague, Richard Montgomery, had to take command when Schuyler’s health began to deteriorate. . Montgomery was killed in the failed attack on Quebec on December 31, 1775.
Schuyler was relieved of his duties and replaced by General Horatio Gates after the loss of Fort Ticonderoga in April 1777. Schuyler requested a court martial in order to defend his reputation. Confirmed by procedure, he resigned from the army and returned to the service of the Continental Congress. After the War for Independence, he supported the Federal Constitution and served two stints in the United States Senate before his health forced him to retire. His family, however, retained his power and influence. His daughter, Elizabeth, married Alexander Hamilton in 1780.