On February 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee wrote to Samuel Adams from Massachusetts, "I pray you Sir to leave nothing undone that may secure Canada & New York this winter. These are the openings thro which America may, by able fencers, receive the worst wounds."
In 1777, British Gen. John Burgoyne led an army of Britons, Hessian mercenaries and Indian supporters into New York through Canada. In early-1776, however, Americans were trying to maintain a military presence in Canada and maintain the support of the people of Canada.
Paul H. Smith, et al., eds., Letters of Delegates to Congress: Vol. 3: January 1, 1776-May 15, 1776 (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1978), page 214.