Brigadier General Richard Montgomery (1738–1775), member of the New York Provincial Congress, killed at the battle of Quebec City, was born and brought up in Ireland, first serving in the British Army during the French and Indian War. Unlucky in love, and having failed to gain promotion, in combination with hopes of becoming a gentleman farmer, he left Ireland for New York in 1773, when he married into the Livingston family.
In this fateful letter, written to his cousin John, he outlines his hopes and plans:"You no doubt will be surprised when I tell you I have taken the resolution of quitting the service & dedicating the rest of my life to husbandry for which I have of late conceived a violent passion a passion I am determined to indulge, quitting the career of glory for the substantial comforts of independence. My frequent disappointments with respect to preferment, the little prospect of future advancement to a man who has no friends able or willing to serve him, the mortification of seeing those of more interest getting before one, the little chance of having any thing to do in the way of my profession & that time of life approaching, when rambling has no longer its charms have confirmed me in this indulgence of my inclination.
"And as a man with little money cuts but a bad figure in this country among Peers Nabobs etc. etc. - I have cast my Eye on America where my pride & poverty will be much more at their ease. This is an outline of my future plan. You will hear the rest shortly."
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