in the province makes him a fit subject for
Chap. XLI.} 1775. June 17.
an important trust; but has he strong nerves?
I could wish that point well ascertained with respect to any man so employed.’
Doubts existed in congress, and the vote for him was not unanimous.
Born to opulence, accustomed to ease, of a generous, open, and unsuspicious nature, infirm in health, choleric and querulous, Schuyler
was ill suited to control undisciplined levies of turbulent freemen; or to pierce the wiles of a crafty foe. Without peculiar fitness for the battle field, he had personal integrity, social consideration, and a rare and almost unique superiority to envy; and his patriotism was so sincere and so ardent, that he willingly used his credit, influence, and wide connections to bring out the resources of his native province.
In this kind of service no one equalled him, and neither rude taunts, nor inconsiderate disregard of his rank, nor successful intrigues, could quench his hearty and unpretending zeal.
For the fourth major general
, the choice fell upon Israel Putnam
, of Connecticut
, of the same colony, stood before him in age and rank; but the skirmish at Noddle's Island
had been heralded as a great victory, and the ballot in his favor is recorded as unanimous.
by birth, at the ripe age of thirty seven he began his career in war with the commission from Connecticut
of a second lieutenant, and his service had been chiefly as a ranger.
Deficient in the reflective powers, he was also unusually illiterate.
His bustling manner and adventurous life had made his village tavern the resort of the patriots of his neighborhood; its keeper their military oracle; but his fame rested on deeds