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I am sorry to transmit to Your Lordship the disagreeable account of a disagreeable Business, some time in the Beginning of this Month, upon news of the Rebel Army approaching, General Carleton set out for Montreal in great Haste; the 7th instant the Rebels landed in the Woods near St.John's, and beat back to their Boats by a Party of Savages incamped at that Place; in this Action the Savages behaved with great Spirit and Resolution, and had they remained firm to our Interests, probably the Province would have been safe for this Year, but finding the Canadians in General averse to the taking up Arms for the Defence of their Country, they withdrew, and made their Peace.Frontiersmen from Virginia and other colonies were already entering that area.Land development companies such as the Ohio Company had already been formed to acquire ownership of large tracts and sell land to settlers and trade with the Indians.
Carleton had taken an ill measure of the influence of the seigneurs & Clergy over the lower order of people whose Principle of conduct founded in fear & the sharpness of authority over them now no longer exercised, is unrestrained, & breaks out in every shape of contempt or detestation of those whom they used to behold with terror & who gave them I believe too many occasions to express it.
To secure the allegiance of the approximately 90,000 Canadiens to the British crown, first Governor James Murray and later Governor Guy Carleton promoted the need for change.
There was also a need to compromise between the conflicting demands of the Canadien subjects and those of newly arrived British subjects.
On June 7, after having received word of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, as well as the capture of Fort Ticonderoga and Benedict Arnold's subsequent raid on Fort Saint-Jean, he wrote to Colonial Secretary Dartmouth: My Lord!
The 19th of last Month in the Evening, I received Intelligence from General Gage by Sea of the Rebels having commenced Hostilities in the Province of the Massachusetts, and Requesting I would send the 7th Regiment with some Companies of Canadians and Indians to Crown Point, in order to make a Diversion, and favour his Operations.
John's and Chambli, being, as far as I can find, entirely cut off.