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The Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution by Mrs. Mercy Warren of Plymouth Massachusetts

Volume 2 From Saratoga in 1778 to the Eve of Yorktown in 1781

volume 1, volume 3

The original 3-volume work is 1317 pages long. Mercy wrote early drafts of this work near the time of the events described, and completed the work about four years before it appeared in 1805. She explains the delay as due to health problems, temporary bouts of blindness, and grief at the death of one of her five sons.

Mercy wrote in the third person even when dealing with events involving her immediate family. Keep in mind that James Otis (early advocate of the rights of the colonies) was her brother, James Warren (speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives) was her husband, and Winslow Warren (would-be diplomat) was her son.

Chapter 11 -- Northern Department. General Carleton superseded. General Burgoyne vested with the command for operations in Canada. Ticonderoga abandoned by General St. Clair. Affair of Fort Stanwix. Of Bennington and various other important movements of the two armies, until the Convention of Saratoga. General Burgoyne repairs to England on parole. His reception there. Reflections and observations on the events of the Northern Campaign
Chapter 12 -- Observations on the conduct of the British Parliament, previous to the capture of Burgoyne. The ineffectual efforts of the commissioners sent to America in consequence of Lord North's Conciliatory Bill. Their attempts to corrupt individuals and public bodies. Negotiation broken off. Manifesto published by the commissioners. Counter Declaration by Congress. Sir William Howe repairs to England
Chapter 13 -- Evacuation of Philadelphia. Battle of Monmouth. General Lee censured. General Clinton reaches New York. The Count de Estaing arrives there. Repairs to Rhode Island. Expedition unsuccessful. French Fleet rendezvous at Boston to refit after damages sustained by a storm. Lord Howe leave the American Seas. Marauding exploits of General Grey. Destruction of Wyoming. Expedition into the Indian Territories.
Chapter 14 -- Foreign negotiations. Dissensions among the American commissioners. Deane recalled. Mr. Adams appointed. Mr. Lee and Mr. Adams recalled. Spain declares war against England. Mr. Jay sent to the Court of Madrid. Sir George Collier's expedition to Virginia. His sudden recall. Ravages on the North River. Depredations in the state of Connecticut, in aid of Governor Tryon and his partisans. General Washington seizes Stoney Point. Recovered by the British. Penobscot expedition. Destruction of the American navy.
Chapter 15 -- A retrospect of some naval transactions in the West Indies 1778 and 1779. Affairs in Georgia concisely reviewed. General Lincoln sent to take the command at the southward. The Count de Estaing's arrival in Georgia. Savannah closely besieged by the combined forces of France and America. Repulsed by General Prescott. The Count of Estaing leaves the southern clime. The Count Pulaski slain in Georgia. Some anecdotes of Count Kosciusko.
Chapter 16 -- Sir Henry Clinton and Admiral Arbuthnot sail for South Carolina. Charleston invested. Capitulates. General Lincoln and his army prisoners of war. General Clinton returns to New York. Lord Cornwallis's command and civil administration in Charleston. Mr. Gadsden an other gentlemen suspected and sent to St. Augustine. Much opposition to British authority in both the Carolinas. The Count de Rochambeau and the Admiral de Tiernay arrived at Newport. British depredations in the Jerseys. Catastrophe of Mr. Caldwell and his family. Armed neutrality. Some observations on the state of Ireland. Riots in England. Cursory observations.
Chapter 17 --Distressed situation of the army and the country from various causes. General Gates sent to the southward. Surprised and defeated at Camden by Lord Cornwallis. Superseded. General Greene appointed to the command in the Carolinas. Major Ferguson's defeat. Sir Henry Clinton makes a diversion in the Chesapeake in favor of Lord Cornwallis. General Arnold sent there. His defection and character. Detection, trial, and death of Major Andre. Disposition of the Dutch Republic with regard to America. Governor Trumbull's character and correspondence with Baron Van de Capellen. Mr. Laurens appointed to negotiate with the Dutch Republic.
Chapter 18 -- Revolt of the Pennsylvania line. Discontents in other parts of the army Paper medium sunk. Some active movements of Don Bernard de Galvez in America. War between Great Britain and Spain opened in Europe by the siege of Gibraltar. Short view of diplomatic transactions between America and several European powers. Empress of Russia refuses to treat with the American States.
Chapter 19 -- General Gates surrenders the command of the southern army to General Greene, on his arrival in South Carolina. Action between General Sumpter and Colonel Tarleton. General Morgan's expedition. Meet and defeats Colonel Tarleton. Lord Cornwallis pursues General Morgan. Party of Americans cut off at the Catawba. Lord Cornwallis arrives at Hillsborough. Calls by proclamation on all the inhabitants of the state to join him. Battle of Guilford. Americans defeated. Lord Cornwallis marches towards Wilmington. General Greene pursues him. General Greene returns towards Camden. Action at Camden. Lord Rawdon evacuates Camden and returns to Charleston. Barbarous state of society among the mountaineers, and in the back settlements of the Carolinas. Attack on Ninety-Six. Repulse. General Greene again obliged to retreat. Execution of Colonel Hayne. Lord Rawdon leaves the state of South Carolina and embarks for England. Action at the Eutaw Springs. General Greene retires to the high hills of Santee. Governor Rutledge returns to South Carolina and resumes the reins of government.
Chapter 20 -- Lord Cornwallis marches to Wilmington. Marquis de la Fayette sent to Virginia. Death of General Phillips. Lord Cornwallis moves from Petersburg to Williamsburg. Dissonant opinions between him and Sir Henry Clinton. Crosses James River. Takes post at Portsmouth. Indecision of Sir Henry Clinton. Meditates an attack on Philadelphia. The project relinquished.

Chapter Eleven:  Northern Department. General Carleton superseded. General Burgoyne  vested with the command for  operations in Canada. Ticonderoga abandoned by General St. Clair. Affair of Fort  Stanwix. Of Bennington and various other  important movements of the two armies, until the Convention of Saratoga. General  Burgoyne repairs to England on parole.  His reception there. Reflections and observations on the events of the Northern  Campaign

 From the time that Quebec was invested by Montgomery and Arnold, at the close of  1775, until the termination of General Burgoyne's campaign, in the autumn of  1777, the successes, the expectations, and the disappointments from that quarter had  been continually varying.

Sir Guy Carleton, the governor of Canada, and who for a number of years had been  commander in chief of all the British forces through that province, was a officer  of approved fidelity, courage, and ability.  He had successfully resisted the storm carried  into that country by order of Congress.  He had triumphed in the premature  fall of the intrepid, but unfortunate Montgomery.  He had driven back the impetuous  Arnold to the verge of the lakes. He had defeated the operations of General  Thomson in a bold and successless attempt to surprise the British post at Trois Rivieres:  General Thomson was there made a prisoner, with all his party who escaped  the sword.  This happened about the time a detachment was marched northward under  the command of General Thomas. He died of the small pox, as related  above, when most of his army was destroyed by the sword, sickness, or flight.

Though General Carleton had occasionally employed some of the Indian allies of Great  Britain, he had by his address kept back the numerous tribes of savages, near  and beyond the distant lakes.  He rather chose to hold them in expectation of being  called to action, than to encourage their ferocious inclination for war, which they  ever prosecute in those horrid forms that shock humanity too much for description.   Whether his checking the barbarity of the savages or whether his lenity to the  unfortunate Americans that had fallen into his hands operated to his disadvantage, or  whether from other political motives is uncertain; however, he was superseded  in his military capacity, and the command given to General Burgoyne, who had re- embarked from England early in the spring, and arrived at Quebec in the month of  May, 1777, with a large and chosen armament.

General Carleton felt the affront as a brave officer, conscious of having discharged his  trust with a degree of humanity on one side, and the strictest fidelity to his  master on the other.  He immediately requested leave to quite the government and repair  to England.  Yet he did not at once desert the service of his King.  His  influence was too great among the Canadians and over all the Indian tribes to hazard his  absence at this critical conjuncture.  His return to Europe was therefore  postponed.  He encouraged the provincials to aid his successes, and exerted himself  much more than heretofore to bring on the innumerable hordes of the  wilderness.  IN consequence of this, they poured down from the forests in such  multitudes as to awaken apprehensions in his own breast of a very disagreeable  nature.  But he cajoled them to some terms of restraint; acted for a time in conjunction  with  Burgoyne, and made his arrangements in such a manner as greatly to  facilitate the operations of the summer campaign.

General Burgoyne was a gentleman of polite manners, literary abilities, and tried  bravery; but haughty in his deportment, sanguine in opinion, and an inveterate foe to  America from the beginning of the contest with Britain.  This he had discovered as a  member of the House of Commons, as well as in the field.  On his arrival in  Canada, he lost no time, but left a sufficient force for the protection of Quebec, and  proceeded immediately across the lakes, at the head of 8000 or 10,000 men,  including Canadians, and reached the neighborhood of Crown Point before the last of  June.

There, according to the barbarous system of policy adopted by his employers, though  execrated by a minority in Parliament, he summoned the numerous tribes of  savages to slaughter and bloodshed.  A congress of Indians was convened, who met on  the western side of Lake Champlain.  He gave them a war feast, and though  his delicacy might not suffer him to comply with their usual custom and taste the goblet  of gore by which they bind themselves to every ferocious deed, he made them  a speech calculated to excite them to plunder and carnage, though it was speciously  covered by some injunctions of pity towards the aged and infirm, who might  experience the wretched fate of becoming their prisoners.  Yet, he so far regarded the  laws of humanity as to advise the savages to tomahawk only such as were  found in arms for the defense of their country, and gave some encouragement to their  bringing in prisoners alive, instead of exercising that general massacre usual in  all their conflicts; nor would he promise a reward for the scalps of those who were killed  merely to obtain the bounty.

Having thus, as he supposed, secured the fidelity of savages, whom no laws of  civilization can bind when in competition with their appetite for revenge and war, he  published a pompous and ridiculous proclamation.  In this, he exhorted the inhabitants  of the country, wherever he should march, immediately to submit to the  clemency of his royal master.  To quicken their obedience, he ostentatiously boasted that  "he had but to lift his arm, and beckon by a stretch thereof" the  innumerable hordes of the wilderness, who stood ready to execute his will and pour  vengeance on any who should yet have the temerity to counteract the authority  of the King of England.  He concluded his proclamation with these memorable threats:  "I trust I shall stand acquitted in the eyes of God and man in denouncing and  executing the vengeance of the state against the willful outcasts. The messengers of  justice and wrath await them in the field, and devastation, famine, and every  concomitant horror that a reluctant, but indispensable prosecution of military duty must  occasion, will bar the way to their return." [See Burgoyne's speech to the  Indians, and his singular proclamation at large, in the British Remembrancer, the Annual  Register, and many other authentic records.]

After these preliminary steps, General Burgoyne pushed forward with his whole force,  and possessed himself of Ticonderoga, without the smallest opposition.  This  was a strong post commanded by General St. Clair, an officer always unfortunate, and in  no instance ever distinguished for bravery or judgment.  Though the  Americans here were inferior in numbers to the British, they were not so deficient in  men as in arms, more particularly musketry and bayonets.  But their works were  strong, the troops healthy, and they had just received a reinforcement of men, and a  fresh supply of everything else necessary for defense.  In these circumstances,  there could scarcely be found a sufficient excuse for calling a hasty council of war and  drawing off by night 5000 or 6000 men, on the first approach of the enemy.   The want of small arms was the only plausible pretense offered by the commander to  justify his conduct.  This deficiency St. Clair must have know before July 5,  when he in a fright felt with his whole army, and left everything standing in the garrison.  [About this time a misfortune befell the Americans not far distant from  Montreal, at a place called the Cedars.  There Major Butterfield with his party were  compelled to surrender prisoners of war.  This party captured by Captain  Forster, who commanded the British, consisted of 400 or 500 men.  It was warmly  disputed afterwards between Congress and the British commanders whether the  Cedars men, who were permitted to depart on parole, should be exchanged for British  prisoners taken under Burgoyne.]

It is not probable the Americans could have long kept their ground against the  superiority of the British officers, and the number and discipline of their troops.  Yet,  undoubtedly, measures might have been early taken by a judicious commander to have  retreated if necessary without so much disgrace and the total loss of their  artillery, stores, provisions, their shipping on the lake, and many valuable lives.  The  order for retreat was unexpected to the army.  They had scarce time to secure a  part of their baggage.  The flight was rapid, and the pursuit vigorous.  The soldiers  having lost confidence in their commander, the out-posts were everywhere  evacuated, and a general dismay pervaded the fugitives, who, in scattered parties, were  routed in every quarter, and driven naked into the woods.

After two days wandering in the wilderness, the largest body of the Americans who had  kept together were overtaken and obliged to make a stand against a party  that much outnumbered them, commanded by Colonel Frazier, who had been  indefatigable in the pursuit.  The action continued three or four hours, when the  Americans, though they fought with bravery, were totally routed with very great loss.   Colonel Francis, the gallant commander of this party, was killed, with many  other officers of merit.  200 or 300 privates were left dead on the field, thrice that  number wounded or taken prisoners. Most of the wounded perished miserably in  the woods.  The British lost several officers highly esteemed by them, among whom was   Major Grant, a man of decided bravery.  Yet General Burgoyne found to  his cost, his incapacity to execute the boast he had some time before made in the House  of Commons that "so little was to be apprehended from the resistance of the  colonies that he would engage to drive the continent with 500 disciplines troops."

General St. Clair had made good his own retreat so far as to be six miles ahead with the  van of the routed army.  Such was his terror on hearing of the defeat of  Colonel Francis and some other successes of the royal army, that, instead of proceeding  to Fort Ann, as intended, he shrunk off into the woods, uncertain where to  fly for security.  Another party of the Americans, who had reached Fort Ann, were  attacked and reduced by Colonel Hill, with one British regiment.  They set fire to  the fortress themselves to prevent its falling into the hands of the victors, and fled with  the utmost speed toward Ford Edward, on the Hudson.  General St. Clair, and  the miserable remains of his army who escaped death either by fatigue or the sword,  after a march of seven days, through mountainous and unfrequented passages,  harassed in the rear, and almost without provisions of any kind, arrived at Fort Edward  in a most pitiable condition.

General Burgoyne was too much the experienced officer to neglect his advantages.  He  pushed forward with equal alacrity and success; and in spite of the  embarrassments o bad roads, mountains, thickets, and swamps, he reached the  neighborhood of Fort Edward within a few days after the broken remnant of St.  Clair' army had posted themselves there.  On his approach, the Americans immediately  decamped from Fort Edward, under the command of General Schuyler,  whom they found there, and withdrew to Saratoga.  He had been making some efforts to  collect the militia from the country contiguous, to aid and support the  routed corps; but on their advance, he did not think it prudent to face the British troops.

A share of the public odium on this occasion fell on General Schuyler.  His conduct, as  well as the delinquency of General St. Clair, was very heavily censured.  They  were both ordered, with some other of the principal officers of the late council of war at  Ticonderoga, to repair to Congress to answer for the loss of that fort, and  

the command of the Lake Champlain.  On the other hand, it was no small triumph to  General Burgoyne and his army thus to have chased the Americans from the  province of Canada, to find themselves in possession of all the lakes, and to see the  British standard erected on the Hudson, which had long been an object of  importance with administration.

Exaggerated accounts of the weakness of the Americans, the incapacity of their officers,  and the timidity of the troops were transmitted to England; and the most  sanguine expectations formed by people of every description through the island  They  were ready to imagine that, hunted from post to post, both in the northern and  southern departments, the spirits of the colonists must be broken, their resources fail,  and the Untied States thus repeatedly disappointed would lose all energy of  opposition and soon fall a prey to the pride and power of Great Britain.  But  notwithstanding the unhappy derangement of their affairs at the northward, and the  successes of General How in the southward, there appeared not the smallest inclination  among the people at large throughout the American states to submit to royal  authority.  the untoward circumstances that had taken place neither exhausted their  hopes nor damped the ardor of enterprise.  The dangers that lowered in every  quarter seemed rather to invigorate the public mind and quicken the operations of war.

On the defeat of St. Clair and the advance of the British army, the eastern states  immediately drafted large detachments of militia and hastened them forward.   Congress directed General Washington to appoint proper officers, to repair to Saratoga  and take the command.  They also appointed a court of inquiry to take  cognizance of the delinquency of the suspended officers.  But their influence was too  great with the commander in chief and some principal members of Congress to  subject them to that measure of degradation which it was generally thought they  deserved.  They were dismissed, though not with approbation, yet without any  severe censure.  But as the conduct of St. Clair was disgraceful and that of Schuyler  could not be justified, they were neither of them appointed to active service.

General Gates, a brave and experienced officer formerly in British service, a man of  open manners, integrity of heart, and undisguised republican principles, was  vested with the chief command to act against Burgoyne.  On his arrival at Saratoga, he  drew back the army and encamped at a place called Stillwater, where he  could more conveniently observe the motions of Colonel St. Ledger, who was advancing  to the Mohawk River to invest Fort Stanwix.  This post was commanded  by Colonel Gansevoort, whose bravery and intrepidity did honor to himself and to his  country.  General Arnold was sent on with  a reinforcement from the  continental army and a large train of artillery to the aid of General Gates.  He was  ordered to leave the main body and march with the detachment towards the  Mohawk River to the assistance of Gansevoort. But before there was time sufficient for  his relief from any quarter this gallant officer found himself and the garrison  surrounded by a large body of British troops, in conjunction with a formidable  appearance of savages, yelling in the environs, and thirsting for blood.  At the same  time, he was threatened by their more enlightened, yet to more humanized allies, that  unless he immediately surrendered the garrison or if he delayed until it was taken  by storm, they should all be given up to the fury of the Indians, who were bent upon the  massacre of every officer and soldier.

St. Ledger, by letters, messages, and all possible methods, endeavored to intimidate the  commander of the fortress.  He observed that the savages were determined  to wreak their vengeance for the recent loss of some of their chiefs on the inhabitants of  the Mohawk River and to sweep the young plantations there, without  distinction of age or sex.  He made an exaggerated display of his own strength, of the  power and success of Burgoyne, and the hopeless state of the garrison, unless  by a timely submission they put themselves under his protection.  On this condition, he  promised to endeavor to mitigate the barbarity of his Indian coadjutors and to  soften the horrors usually attendant on their victories.

Colonel Gansevoort, instead of listening to any proposals of surrender, replied "that  entrusted by the United States with the charge of the garrison, he should defend  it to the last extremity, regardless of the consequences of doing his duty." Their danger  was greatly enhanced by the misfortune of General Harkimer, who had  marched for the relief of Fort Stanwix, but with too little precaution.  At the head of 800  or 900 militia, he fell into an ambush consisting mostly of Indians, and,  notwithstanding a manly defense, few of them escaped.  They were surrounded, routed,  and butchered, in all the barbarous shapes of savage brutality, after many of  them had become their prisoners, and their scalps carried to their British allies to receive  the stipulated price.  A vigorous sally from the garrison, conducted by  Colonel Willet of New York, and his successful return with a number of prisoners, gave  

the first information of the failure of Harkimer.  This instead of discouraging,  inspirited to fresh enterprise.  The valiant Willet, in contempt of danger and difficulty,  hazarded a passage by night through the enemy's works, and traversed the  unexplored and pathless wilderness for upwards of 50 miles, to the more inhabited  settlements, in order to raise the country to hasten to the relief of the garrison and  the protection of the inhabitants scattered along the borders of the Mohawk River.

General Arnold had marched with a thousand men for the relief of the besieged; but  though in his usual character he made all possible dispatch, the gallant  Gansevoort had two days before his arrival repulsed the assailants and obliged them to  retreat in such disorder that it had all the appearance of a flight.  In  consequence of this, St. Ledger was obliged to relinquish the siege with so much  precipitation that they left their tents, stores, and artillery behind them, and their  camp kettles on the fire.  This movement was hurried on by the sullen and untractable  behavior of the Indians, which rose to such a height as to give him reason to be  apprehensive for his won safety.  His fears were well founded.  Their conduct had  become so outrageous that it was not in the power of Sir John Johnson, Butler,  and other influential friends of the savages to keep them within any bounds.  They  frequently plundered the baggage of the British officers; and when an opportunity  offered the slightest advantage, they murdered their British or German allies, with the  same brutal ferocity with which they imbrued their hands in the blood of  Americans.

The next movement of importance made by General Burgoyne was an attempt to get  possession of the little obscure town of Bennington, lying in the Hampshire  Grants among the Green Mountains and made considerable only by the deposit of a  large quantity of cattle, provisions, carriages, and other necessaries for the use  of the American army.  For the purpose of seizing these, as well as to intimidate the  people in that quarter by the magnitude of his power and the extent of his  designs, he detached a party of Hessians, with a few loyalists, and some Indians, to the  amount of 1500, and gave the command to colonel Baum, a German officer.   He was commissioned, after he had surprised Bennington, to ravage the adjacent  country, and, if possible, to persuade the inhabitants that he was in force sufficient  and that he designed to march on to Connecticut River, in the road to Boston.  He was  ordered to inform them that the main body of the British army was in motion  for the same purpose [See General Burgoyne's orders to Colonel Baum in Note 1, at the  end of this chapter.], that they were to be joined at Springfield by a  detachment from Rhode Island, and that by their irresistible power, they meant to bring  the rebellious Americans to due submission, or to sweep the whole country.

It is astonishing that a man of General Burgoyne's understanding and military  experience should issue orders so absurd and impracticable. He must have been very  little acquainted with the geography of the country, and less with the spirit of the  inhabitants, to have supposed that a detachment of 1500 men could march from  Saratoga until they reached the Connecticut River, take post at a variety of places,  levying taxes on the inhabitants, making demands of provisions, cattle, and all  other necessaries for the use of his army, without any resistance; thence to proceed down  the river to Brattleborough, and to return by another road and take post at  Albany; and this business to be completed in the short term of a fortnight.  Nor did he  discover less ignorance if he expected a detachment to leave Rhode Island and  march through the country to Springfield on the same design, and from there to meet  Colonel Baum at Albany.

It is impossible to suppose that so renowned a commander as General Burgoyne could  mean to deceive or embarrass his officers by his orders; but if he flattered  himself that they could be executed, he must still have cherished the opinion that he  once uttered in the House of Commons, that 4000 or 5000 British troops could  march through the continent and reduce the rebellious states to a due submission to the  authority of Parliament.  In this march, Burgoyne ordered all acting in  committee or in any other capacity under the direction of Congress to be made  prisoners.

These pompous orders and bombastic threats were far from spreading the alarm and  panic they were designed to excite.  The adjacent country was immediately in  motion, and all seemed animated with the boldest resolution in defense of the rights of  nature, and the peaceable possession of life and property.  When Colonel  Baum had arrived within four miles of Bennington, appearances gave him reason to  apprehend that he was not sufficiently strong to make an attack on the place.  He  judged more prudent to take post on a branch of the River Hoosuck, and by express  inform General Burgoyne of his situation and the apparent difficulty of executing  his orders with only 1500 men.

In consequence of this information, an additional party, principally Waldeckers, were  sent on under the command of Colonel Breyman.  But before he could  surmount the unavoidable impediments of marching over bad and unfrequented roads  and reach the camp of his friends and his countrymen, a body of militia  commanded by General Starks had pressed forward, attacked, routed, and totally  defeated Colonel Baum, in the neighborhood of Bennington.  General Starks in  his early youth had been used to the alarm of war.  His birthplace was on the borders of  New Hampshire, which had been long subject to the incursions of the  savages.  When a child, he was captured by them and adopted as one of their own, but  after a few years restored.  He led a regiment to the field in 1775 and  distinguished himself as a soldier.  On the new arrangement of the army, he retired as a  citizen.  His manners were plain, honest, and severe; excellently calculated for  the benefit of society in the private walks of life.  But as a man of principle, he again left  the occupation of the husbandman when his country was in danger.  On  Burgoyne's approach, he voluntarily marched to the state of Vermont, at the head of the  militia, and immortalized his name by his signal success at Bennington, in one  of the darkest periods of the American war.

Bennington, the present scene of action, as the first settlement in the territory of  Vermont, which was as recent as the year 1769.  This was made by the possessors  of the tracts called the New Hampshire Grants,  robust and hardy set of men, collected  from the borders, and under the jurisdiction of the provinces of New  Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.  Rough, bold, and independent,  these people, generally denominated the Green Mountain Boys, were  brave and active, not only in the present conflict, but were eminently useful to their  country by their intrepidity and valor, to the conclusion of the American war.  [General Burgoyne observed in a letter to Lord George Germaine "that the Hampshire  Grants, almost unknown in the last war, now abound in the most active and  most rebellious race on the continent, and hang like a gathering storm on my left." See  further particulars of the state of Vermont in Note 2, at the end of this  chapter.]

Governor Skeene, a singular character, who had been a colonel in one of the king's  regiments, had obtained a commission from the Crown to act as governor at and  about Lake Champlain, had assumed jurisdiction over the Hampshire Grants, and acted  as companion and guide to Colonel Baum in the expedition.  He fled on the  first appearance of danger, as did the loyalists, the Canadian provincials, and the  Indians.  Baum was wounded and taken prisoner, and his whole corps captured by  this small body of American militia. Colonel Breyman, who arrived in the afternoon of  the same day, escaped a similar fate only by flight, after a short and brave  defense, and the loss of most of his men.

This memorable even would perhaps at any other period have appeared of less moment;  but when so renowned a commander as General Burgoyne, in the zenith of  success and the pride of victory, was threatening with the aid of his savage adherents to  execute all the deeds of horror enjoined by his employers, a repulse from so  unexpected a quarter was humiliating indeed.  It gave a new turn to the face of the  campaign.  The success at Bennington took place on August 16, 1777.

On the first rumor of this action through the country, the loyalists, who in great numbers  still resided among the opposers of royal authority, affected everywhere to  cast over it the shade of ridicule.  They alleged that the raw militia of Hampshire, and  Starks their commander, must have been too much awed by the name and  prowess of General Burgoyne and his experience veterans to attempt anything of  consequence. Nor were they convinced of the truth of the report until they saw the  prisoners on their way to Boston.  But the people at large, who appeared to have been  waiting with a kind of enthusiastic expectation for some fortunate event that  might give a spring to action, at once gave full credit to the account and magnified this  success in strains of the highest exultation and defiance, and in the warmth of  imagination anticipated new victories.

It is certain that from this moment fortune seemed to have changed her face. Whether  the spirits of the British officers and troops flagged in equal proportion, as the  enthusiasm fro glory and victory seemed to rekindle in the bosoms of their antagonists,  or whether General Burgoyne was restricted by orders that obliged him in  some instances to act against his own better informed judgment, his success terminated  with the capture of Fort Edward.

By some of his letters written soon after this to the Minister of the American  Department, the situation of the British army began to appear to General Burgoyne  exceedingly critical.  He intimated his apprehensions; and with an air of despondency, in  one of them he observed "that circumstances might require that he and the  army should be devoted; and that his orders were so peremptory that he did not think  himself authorized to call a council of war with regard to his present  movements." [See General Burgoyne's own letters in his defense and narrative.]  It was  doubtless thought necessary, at all hazards, to prevent the forces under  General Gates from being at leisure to join General Washington.  It was also a favorite  point with the ministry that Burgoyne should push on to Albany.  But,  however dubious the prospect might then appear to himself, or whatever might be his  own expectations, General Burgoyne thought proper to pass the Hudson and,  about the middle of September, he encamped on the heights and plains of Saratoga.

Supported by a number of brace, experienced and most approved officers in British  services, a large armament of British, Hessians, and provincials, with a  prodigious train of artillery and his copper-colored scouts and allies, he with all industry  prepared to offer battle and try the fortune of war in a general engagement.   The Americans, in equal readiness for action, marched from their camp on the 19th, and  at a place called Stillwater attacked the right wing of the British army,  commanded by Burgoyne himself.  Meeting a repulse, they turned their whole force to  the left, commanded by the Baron Reidesel, and supported by General  Phillips at the head of a formidable artillery.  The Americans sustained the combat for  several hours, against officers of distinguished bravery and more experience  than themselves, who commanded some of the best troops the princes of Germany or  even the monarch of Britain could boast; but evening advancing, without  decided advantage, the loss of men being nearly equal on both sides, the Americans  retreated and recovered their camp with little interruption.

The British troops lay on their arms through the night, and in the morning took an  advantageous position and spread themselves along a meadow, in full view and  almost within canon-shot of the American camp.  Here General Burgoyne received  intelligence from Sir Henry Clinton that he had embarked for the North River  with several thousand troops, in order to make a diversion in his favor that might greatly  facilitate his operations.  This account flattered the former expectations of  Burgoyne; who judged that General Gates would be obliged to divide his army to succor  the distressed villages on each side of the Hudson, now exposed to the most  cruel ravages.  Expectation was again raised, and the British army invigorated by fresh  hopes that a junction at Albany might soon be effected.

With these ideas, General Burgoyne found means to dispatch several messages by  private ways through the woods to General Clinton.  The purport of these was  "that if possible to remain unmolested, he should keep his present position a few days  longer; when probably the American army might be weakened by the necessity  of detachments for other service." He was further strengthen in the ideas of success by a  recent disappointment of the Americans in an attempt to recover  Ticonderoga.  Had this enterprise succeeded, it would at once effectually have prevented  the retreat of the British army, which began to be contemplated.

The business was principally committed to the direction of General Lincoln, and  prosecuted with vigor by the Colonels Brown, Johnson, Woodbury, and other  spirited officers.  They passed the mountains between Skeensborough and Lake George  in so rapid and private a manner that before any intimation of the business  was disseminated, they seized the outposts and captured the armed vessels and a number  of boats on the lake and with four companies of foot and a party of  Canadians they took possession of Mount Independence and summoned the garrison in  Ticonderoga to surrender.  This was gallantly refused, and the fortress  bravely defended by Brigadier General Powell.  The Americans made several efforts to  storm the garrison; but repulsed with resolution and valor, they found  themselves not in force sufficient for farther trial; and after a few days, they relinquished  the design and retired.

Yet notwithstanding the rebuff and retreat from Ticonderoga, with the advantages the  British affected to claim from the action at Stillwater and the flattering  encouragement received from Sir Henry Clinton, General Burgoyne was still involved in  complicated difficulties.  The dangers he had to encounter increased on  every side. Fresh troops of militia were continually reinforcing the army of his enemies,  while his own daily lessened by the desertion of the Canadian militia, the  provincial loyalists, and the defection of the Indians.

These last grew sullen from the disappointment of plunder and were irritated from the  notice General Burgoyne was obliged in honor to take of the barbarous murder  of a Miss McCrea, on which many of them drew off in disgust.  This beautiful young  lady, dressed in her bridal habiliments, in order to be married the same evening  to an officer of character in Burgoyne's own regiment, while her heart glowed in  expectation of a speedy union with the beloved object of her affections, was induced  to leave a house near Fort Edward, with the idea of being escorted to the present  residence of her intended husband, and was massacred on the way, in all the  cold-blooded ferocity of savage manners.  Her father had uniformly been a zealous  loyalist. But it was not always in the power of the most humane of the British  officers to protect the innocent from the barbarity of their savage friends.

General Burgoyne was shocked by the tragic circumstances that attended the fate of this  lovely, unfortunate girl.  But he attempted to palliate the crime, though he  did not neglect an endeavor to inflict due punishment on the perpetrators.  Yet such was  the temper of his Indian adherents that instead of inflicting death, he was  obliged to pardon the guilty chiefs, notwithstanding the cry of justice and the grief and  resentment of her lover. [The Earl of Harrington observed in evidence on  Burgoyne's trial that it was his opinion and that of other officers that when General  Burgoyne threatened the culprit with death and insisted, that he should be  delivered up that it might have been attended with dangerous consequences.  Many  gentlemen of the army besides himself believed that motives of policy alone  prevented him from putting this threat in execution; and that if he had not pardoned the  murderer, which he did, the total defection of the Indians would have  ensured.  He observed that "the consequences on their return through Canada might have  been dreadful, not to speak of the weight they would have thrown into the  opposite scale, had they gone over to the enemy, which I rather imagine would have  been the case."] The best coloring that could be given the affecting tale was that  two of the principal warriors, under a pretense of guarding her person, had, in a mad  quarrel between themselves, which was best entitled to the prize, or to the  honor of the escort, made the blooming beauty, shivering in the distress of innocence,  youth, and despair, the victim of their fury.  The helpless maid was butchered  and scalped, and her bleeding corpse left in the woods, to excite the tear of every  beholder.

In addition to the complicated embarrassments the British commander had to conflict,  provisions grew short in the camp.  He was obliged to lessen their rations and  put his soldiers on allowance.  The most he could hope, as he observed himself in a  letter to Sir Henry Clinton, was to hold out to October 12, or effect a retreat  before, in the best possible manner.  The last expedient he soon found impracticable, by  the precaution taken by General Gates to guard all the passes, to cut off all  supplies, and nearly to surround the British army.  In this uncertain and distressed  situation, General Burgoyne waited with all the anxiety of a faithful servant, and the  caution and vigilance of an able commander, from the action of September 19 until  October 7, without any nearer prospect of a diversion in his favor.  He then found  it necessary to make a general movement, either to decide the fate of his brave officers  and men in the field of battle by a general engagement, or force a retreat.

General Gates equally prepared, either for attack or defense, a warm engagement  ensured, which proved fatal to many of the best officers in the British line; but after  a sharp conflict of several hours, and the highest exhibitions of military prowess, the  British found it necessary to recover their camp before evening, which they did in  some disorder.  They had scarcely entered it when it was stormed on every side.  Lord  Balcarras with his light infantry, and a part of the British line, were ordered to  throw themselves into the entrenchments, which they executed with spirit, and made a  gallant and resolute defense. But the action led on by the ardent and undaunted  Arnold, who acquitted himself with his usual intrepidity, was vigorously pushed in spite  of the most valiant opposition, until almost in the moment of victory, Arnold  was dangerously wounded and his party obliged to retreat. The Americans were  fortunate enough to carry the entrenchment of the German reserve, commanded by  Colonel Breyman, who was killed in the engagement.  All the artillery and equipage of  the brigade, and about 200 officers and privates were captured.

The engagement was continued through the whole of this fated day, which closed the  scene of conflict and mortality on many brave men, and a number of officers of  distinguished valor.  The first in name who fell was Brigadier General Frazier.  "Before  his death, General Frazier requested that his body might be carried to his  grave by the field officers of his own corps, without any parade, and buried there.   About sunset, the body was brought up the hill, attended only by the officers of  his own family. They passed in view of the greatest part of both armies. Struck with the  humility of the scene, some of the first officers of the army joined the  procession, as it were from a natural propensity, to pay the last attention to his remains.

"The incessant cannonade during the solemnity; the steady attitude, and unaltered voice  of the chaplain, though covered with the dust which the shot threw up on all  side; the mute, but expressive sensibility on every countenance; the growing duskiness  of the evening, added to the scenery -- combined to maker a character and to  furnish the finest subject for the pencil or a mater that any field has exhibited."  [Extracted from a letter of General Burgoyne.]

Colonel Breyman and Sir James Clark, aide decamp to General Burgoyne, were also  killed.  Major Ackland was dangerously wounded, and taken prisoner.  Lady  Ackland, whose conjugal affection had led her to accompany her husband through all  the dangers and fatigues of a campaign in the wilderness, was a woman of the  most delicate frame, of the genteelest manners, habituated to all the soft elegancies and  refined enjoyments that attend high birth and fortune.  Her sufferings exhibit a  story so affecting to the mind of sensibility that it may apologize for a short interlude in  the most interesting detail of military transactions.

She had accompanied Major Ackland to Canada in 1776. After which she traversed a  vast woody country, in the most extreme seasons, to visit her husband, sick  in a poor hut at Chamblee.  On the opening of the campaign of 1777, the positive  injunction of her husband prevented her risking the hazards expected before  Ticonderoga.  There Major Ackland was badly wounded, on which she crossed the  Champlain to attend him.  She followed his fortune and shared his fatigues,  through the dreary way to Fort Edward; there lodged in a miserable tent which by  accident took fire by night, when both Major Ackland and herself were saved by  an orderly sergeant, who dragged them from the flames almost before they awoke.

Lady Ackland lost not her resolution or her cheerfulness by the dangers she had  encountered; but accompanied by her soldier to the action on September 19.  By  his order, she had followed the route of the artillery and baggage, where she would be  least exposed, until she alighted at a small uninhabited tent, which, when the  action became general, the surgeons took possession of to dress their wounded.

Thus, within hearing of the roar of cannon, when she knew the situation of her beloved  

husband was in the most exposed part of the action, she waited some hours in  a situation and in apprehensions not easily described.  The Baroness of Reidesel, and the  wives of the Majors Harnage and Reynal were with her; but she derived  little comfort from their presence.  Major Harnage was soon brought into the tent  dangerously wounded, accompanied with the tiding of the death of the husband of  Mrs. Reynal.  Let imagination paint the misery of this little group is distressed females.   Here among the wounded and the dying, Lady Ackland with her usual  serenity, stood prepared for new trials, until the fatal October 7, when her fortitude was  put to the severest test by the intelligence that the British army was defeated  and that Major Ackland was desperately wounded and taken prisoner.  Not borne down  by grief or anxiety, she the next day requested to leave to attend the  wounded prisoner, to the last moment of his life.

General Burgoyne, from whose narrative some circumstances of Lady Ackland's story  are selected, observes "that though he had experienced that patience and  fortitude in a supreme degree, were to  be found, as well as every other virtue, under the  most tender  forms, he was astonished at this proposal.  After so long an  exposure and agitation of the spirits, exhausted not only for want of rest, but absolutely  for want of food, drenched in rain for 12 hours together, that a woman should  be capable of delivering herself to the enemy, probably in the night, and uncertain what  hands she should fall into, appeared an effort above human nature."  He adds,  "he had not a cup of wine to offer her; all which the hapless lady could be furnished was  a little rum and dirty water, an open boat, and a few lines to General Gates."

Thus this lady left the British lines, attended only by Mr. Brudenell, chaplain to the  artillery, the major's valet-de-chambre, and one female servant.  She was rowed  down the river to meet the enemy, when her distresses thickened anew.  The night  advanced before she met the outposts. The sentinel would neither let the boat  pass, nor the passengers come on shore, notwithstanding the singular state of this heroic  lady was pathetically represented by Mr. Brudenell. Apprehensive of  treachery, the sentinel threatened to fire into the boat if they attempted to stir until the  appearance of day.  Thus, through a dark and cold night, far advanced in a  state that always requires peculiar tenderness to the sex, with a heart full of anxiety for  her wounded husband, she was obliged to submit, and in this perilous  situation, to reflect until the dawn of the morning, on her own wretched condition and  the uncertainty of what reception she should meet from strangers in hostile  array, flushed with victory and eager to complete the triumph of the preceding day.

When General Gates in the morning was made acquainted with the situation and request  of Lady Ackland, she was immediately permitted to visit her husband, under  a safe escort.  The American commander himself treated her with the tenderness of a  parent, and gave orders that every attention should e paid due to her rank, her  sex, her character, and the delicacy of her person and circumstances. [See Note 3 at the  end of this chapter]. He wrote General Burgoyne and assured him of her  safety and accommodation, and informed him that this line of conduct would have been  observed without a letter from the British commander, not only to this lady,  but to others of his unfortunate friends, languishing under their wounds; that the  American commanders needed not a request to excite their humanity to the  unfortunate, who by the chances of war had been thrown on their compassion.  In the  same letter he reminded General Burgoyne "that the cruelties which marked  the late effort for the retreat of his army were almost without a precedent among  civilized nations; and that an endeavor to ruin, where they could not conquer,  betrayed more the vindictive spirit of the monk, than the generosity of the soldier."  [General Gates's letter to General Burgoyne, October 10, 1777.]

Notwithstanding the misfortunes and the losses of the preceding day, General Burgoyne  did not yet totally despair of retrieving his affairs and his honor, by another  general engagement.  This he endeavored to effect on the eighth, and in this he was  again disappointed.  The utmost bravery was exhibited on both sides, but no  decided action.  Several days passed on in desultory skirmishes: spirit and intrepidity  were not wanting on either side; while the one had everything to hope and  inspirit them, the other, nothing left but a choice of insurmountable difficulties.

In this situation, the British commander judged the best expedient was a second effort to  repass the Hudson and retreat to Fort Edward.  To this every impediment  was thrown in his way.  A retreat was rendered impracticable by the number and  vigilance of the Americans.  The borders of the river were lined with troops; and  detachments pushed forward to cut off all hope of retreat on every side.  The condition  of the British army grew hourly more desperate. Winter was approaching,  their provisions spent, the troops exhausted by continual fatigue; and not the smallest  prospect of relief appeared from any quarter.

In this deplorable situation, General Burgoyne summoned a grand council of war, in  which, as he stood in  need of every advice, not only the field officers, but the  subalterns had a voice.  It was unanimously judged most prudent, in the humiliated and  hopeless condition to which they were reduced, to open a treaty of  convention, and endeavor to obtain some honorable terms of surrender.  General Gates  was acknowledged by all, not only the valiant, but the humane and generous  foe. They had no doubt he would mitigate their mortification, as far as the laws of war  or of honor would permit, from the victor to the vanquished.

In consequence of this determination, the solemn negotiation took place on October 13.   General Burgoyne intimated to the American commander that he wished to  send a field officer to him, to confer on matters of the highest moment and requested to  know when he might be received.  General Gates really possessed that  humanity which distinguishes the hero from the assassinator of the feelings of wounded  honor.  He seemed touched by the request, with that sympathy which ever  resides in the bosom of generosity; and replied instantly, that an officer from General  Burgoyne should be received at the advanced post of the army of the United  States at ten o'clock the next morning.

Major Kingston was accordingly sent at the appointed time and was conducted to the  headquarters of the American army.  The purport of the message was that  Lieutenant General Burgoyne, having twice fought General Gates, had determined on a  third conflict; but well apprised of the superiority of numbers and the  disposition of the American troops, he was convinced that either a battle or a retreat  would be a scene of carnage on both sides.  In this situation, he was impelled by  humanity and though himself justified by established principles of states and of war to  spare the lives of brave men upon honorable terms.  Should General Gates be  inclined to treat upon those ideas, General Burgoyne would propose a cessation of arms,  during the time necessary to settle such preliminaries, as he could abide by  in any extremity.

A convention was immediately opened. A discussion  of some articles proposed by the  American commander, which appeared to the British officers inadmissible,  occasioned a delay of two or three days. These being accommodated, a treaty of  surrender was signed October 17, 1777.  The substance of the treaty was:

That the troops under the command of General Burgoyne, should march out of their  camp with the honors of war, and the artillery of the entrenchment, to the verge  of a certain river, where the arms and the artillery should be piled at the command of  one of their own officers;

That a free passage should be provided for the army to return to England, on condition  that they should not serve again in America, during the present contest; that  transports should enter the port of Boston for their reception, whenever General How  should think proper to request it; and that they should be quartered near  Boston, that no delay might take place, when an order  for embarkation arrived;

That the Canadians of every description should be permitted to return immediately, on  the sole condition of their not again arming against the United States;

That the army under General Burgoyne should march to the Massachusetts by the  nearest route; they should be supplied with provisions, both on their route and in  quarters, at the same rate of rations, by order of General Gates, as that of his own army;

That the officers should wear their side arms and be lodged according to their rank; nor  at any time be prevented assembling their own troops, according to the usual  military regulations;

That passports should be granted to such officers as General Burgoyne should appoint,  immediately to carry dispatches to Sir William Howe, to General Carleton,  and to England by way of New York; and that General Gates should engage on the  public faith, that one of the dispatches should be opened.

After the second article was stipulated that if a cartel should take place by which the  army under General Burgoyne or any part of it might be exchanged, the second  article should be void, as far as such exchange should be made.

These and several other circumstances of less moment agreed to, the convention was  signed with much solemnity.

After the negotiation was finished and completed by the mutual signature of the officers,  General Gates conducted not only as an officer of bravery, punctuality, and a  nice sense of military honor, but with the fine feelings of humanity, and the delicacy of a  gentleman. He carried these ideas so far as to restrain the curiosity and pride  of his own army, by keeping them within their lines while the British were piling their  arms.  He did not suffer a man among them to be near witness to the humiliating  sight, of a haughty and once powerful foe, disarming and divesting themselves of the  insignia of military distinction and laying them at the feet of the conqueror.

Thus, to the consternation of Britain, to the universal joy of America, and to the  gratification of all capable of feeling that dignity of sentiment that leads the mind to  rejoice in the prospect of liberty to their fellow men, was the northern expedition  finished.  A reverse of fortune was now beheld that had not fallen under the  calculation of either party.

It is more easy to conjecture than agreeable to describe the chagrin of a proud, assuming  foe, who had imperiously threatened to penetrate and lay waste cities and  provinces, thus humbled by the arms of a people they had affected to hold in the utmost  contempt, and their laurels thus faded beneath the sword of the victorious  Americans.

It was a tale without example in British annals, that so many thousands [5752 men  surrendered, exclusive of Canadians. 2933 had been previously slain.] of their best  troops, in conjunction with a large body of German auxiliaries, commanded by generals  and field officers of the first character, accompanied by many young  gentlemen of noble family and military talents, should be thus reduced, mortified, and  led captive, through a long extent of country, where they had flattered  themselves they should parade in triumph.  They were obliged before they reached their  destined quarters, to traverse the pleasant grounds, pass through many  flourishing towns, and growing settlements, where they had expected to plant the  standard of royalty, in all the cruel insolence of victory, to the utter extermination of  every republican principle.

The British army, with General Burgoyne at their head, was escorted from the plains of  Saratoga to their quarters at Cambridge, about 300 miles, by two or three  American field officers, and a handful of soldiers as a guard.  The march was solemn,  sullen, and silent; but they were everywhere treated with such humanity, and  even delicacy, that themselves acknowledged, the civil deportment of the inhabitants of  the country was without a parallel.  They thought it remarkable that not an  insult was offered, nor an opprobrious reflection cast that could enhance the misery of  the unfortunate, or wound the feelings of degraded honor.

As soon as General Gates had finished the campaign of Saratoga, which terminated with  so much eclat to himself, and so much glory to the arms of his country, he  wrote a spirited letter to General Vaughan, who had been for some months ravaging,  plundering, and burning, with unparalleled barbarity, the settlements on the  North River.  He informed him that "notwithstanding he had reduced the fine village of  Kingston to ashes, and its inhabitants to ruin; that though he still continued to  ravage and burn all before him, on both sides of the river; these instances of unexampled  cruelty but established the glorious act of independence, on the broad basis  of the general resentment of the people." He added, "and is it thus, sir, your king's  generals think to make converts to the royal cause? It is no less surprising than  true, the measures they adopt to serve their master have the quite contrary effect.  Abler  generals, and much more experienced officers than you can pretend to be  are by fortune of war now in my hands.  This fortune may one day be yours; when it  may not be in the power of anything human to save you from the just resentment  of an injured people." [General Gates's letter, published in the British Remembrancer.]

After this letter, General Gates stayed only to make the necessary arrangements, and  immediately moved on to the relief of the sufferers in that quarter.  On the  approach of the renowned conqueror of Burgoyne, the marauding parties under General  Vaughan, Wallace, and Governor Tryon, all retied to New York, there to  give an account to administration of their barbarous exploits against the defenseless  villages.

General Clinton with 3000 troops, in conjunction with Commodore Hotham, had  entered the Hudson in the beginning of October.  At a great expense of men on  both sides, they took possession of Stoney Point, Verplanks, and the forts Montgomery  and Clinton.

The posts on the Hudson were defended by officers of dexterity and skill.  Governor  Clinton of New York, a gentleman distinguished for his patriotism, military  talents, and unshaken firmness in the cause of his country, commanded the Forts Clinton  and Montgomery.  General Putnam, an experienced and meritorious officer,  as stationed lower down the river.  But thought he works were strong, and defended with  courage and ability by the American officers, they were overpowered by  the number of the enemy, and obliged to retreat with precipitation.  After the storming  of the Forts Clinton and Montgomery, many of the soldiers, and some officers  were made prisoners.  The retreat of those who escaped was effected with difficulty.   Governor Clinton himself had time only to escape by crossing the river in a   boat.

The Count Grabouski, a Polish nobleman, a volunteer in the British army, fell in the  storm of other forts, as did Major Sill, and several other officers of much military  merit.  General Clinton had laid waste the borders, dismantled the forts, burnt most of  the houses, and spread terror and devastation on both sides of the Hudson.   General Vaughan was left to finish the business.  In one of his letters transmitted to  England by Lord Viscount Howe, he boasts that "he had not left one house in the  flourishing and industrious town of Esopus"; and offers no other reason for reducing it  to ashes but that "the inhabitants had the temerity to fire from their houses on  his advance" to rob them of liberty, property, and life.  This is a mode of making war  that the politeness and civilization of modern Europe has generally agreed to  criminate, though still practiced by many inhuman conquerors; but it was revived and  adopted in the American system, with all the ferocity that stimulated the ancient  barbarians to sink in conflagration the Italian cities.

These instances of severity were not singular.  The same mad fury was exercised in  almost every place where the strength and power of Britain obtained the  advantage.  This became the source of perpetual jealousies and destroyed all confidence  between Britons and Americans, even in the faith of treaties.  Thus some  intimations from General Burgoyne while at Cambridge that the terms of convention  were not fully complied with on the part of America, and some equivocal  conduct with regard to the embarkation of the troops raised a suspicion that the British  officers intended to evade their engagement and transport the captured army  to New York, instead of conveying them directly to England, as stipulated.

This was grounded on a proposal that the convention troops should march to Newport  and there embark.  This occasioned a resolve of Congress "that the troops  should remain in their quarters at Cambridge until an explicit ratification of the  Convention of Saratoga should be properly notified to Congress by the Court of Great  Britain."  This was heavily complained of by General Burgoyne and his officers, who  said that this step was sinking the dignity, and a breach of faith in that respected  body.  Political casuistry frequently palliates the deviations from rectitude in public  bodies.  Sound policy might justify the measure, but it is yet doubtful whether there  was sufficient reason to believe that Burgoyne meant to break his engagements and  throw his troops into New York, to be immediately again employed against the  United States.

New causes arose to enhance the difficulties of their exchange or their return to their  native country.  Thus this idle and dissipated army lay too long in the  neighborhood of Boston for the advantage of either side.  While there in durance, they  disseminated their manners; they corrupted the students of Harvard College,  and the youth of the capital and its environs, who were allured to enter into their  gambling parties, and other scenes of licentiousness.  They became acquainted with  the designs, the resources, and the weaknesses of America; and there were many among  them, whose talents and capacity rendered them capable of making the  most mischievous use of their knowledge.  After long altercations between General  Phillips and General Heath, who commanded in that quarter, relative to the  disorders that took place among the soldiery of both parties, and mutual charges of  breaches of the articles o convention, Congress directed that the British troops  should march to Charlotteville in Virginia.  They accordingly left Cambridge on  November 10, 1778.

General Burgoyne had early requested leave to repair to England on parole, pleading the  broken state of his health, the deranged situation of his private affairs, and  the hazard of character, if not present to defend himself on the tidings of his defeat.  He  was permitted by Congress to depart, and arrived in England in May, 1778.  But he met a very ungracious reception both from the people, the ministry, and his king.   Notwithstanding his abilities to serve, and his fidelity to his master, he was  refused an audience by Majesty, a court of inquisition , or a court martial, and for some  time a hearing in the House of Commons.

He had left England in the sanguine expectation of carrying conquest before him,  wherever he appeared, and of subduing the Americans and restoring tranquility to  the revolted colonies.  He had returned on parole by the favor of that authority he had  ever despised, and left his army in the hands of his enemies.  The debates in  Parliament on the occasion were warm and interesting.  Some law officers of the Crown  insisted that as a prisoner he was bound by his first engagements.  They said  to talk of a trial without the power to punish was a farce.  It was urged "that as a  prisoner, he was not capable of acting in his personal capacity; and that under his  present obligations, he was totally incapacitated for the exercise of any civil office, in  competent to any civil function, and incapable of bearing arms in his country."  [Parliamentary debates.]

Thus was the haughty Burgoyne affronted and mortified, after long and faithful services  to his king and country.  He was ordered immediately to repair to America as  a prisoner, according to his engagements; but as the ill state of his health prevented his  compliance, he was persecuted until he resigned all his employments under the  crown.

After some time had elapsed, General Burgoyne was permitted the opportunity of  speaking for himself in the House of Commons, where he defended his own  reputation ad cause with ability and spirit.  In the course of his argument, he cast many  severe censures on the ministry; and did not scruple to pronounce them totally  incapable of supporting the weight of public affairs, in the present dangerous and critical  emergency, into which they had brought the nation.  Nor was he without  many powerful advocates, who both ridiculed and reprobated the severity with which he  was treated.  Strong intimations had been suggested, both within and  without doors, that it might be thought expedient that the General should be sacrificed to  save the reputation of the minister.  Several expressions of his previous to  his capture intimated his own apprehensions.  In a letter to the Secretary of State, he  said, "my confidence is still placed in the justice of the King and his Council, to  

support the general they had thought proper to appoint to as arduous an undertaking and  under as positive directions as a cabinet ever signed."  In the same letter, he  gave his opinion of the number and discipline of the American troops and the many  

difficulties he had to encounter without the liberty of acting at discretion.

General Burgoyne observed himself, with regard to American bravery, when speaking  of the action of September 19, "few actions have been characterized by more  obstinacy in attack or defense.  The British bayonet was repeatedly tried ineffectually.   1100 British soldiers, foiled in these trials, bore incessant fire from a  succession of fresh troops, in superior numbers, for above four hours; and after a loss of  above a third of their numbers, (and in one of the regiments about  two-thirds) forced the enemy at last.  Of a detachment of a captain and 48 artillery-men,  the captain and 36 men were killed or wounded.  These facts are marked  by a concurrence of evidence that no man can dispute.  The tribute of praise due to such  troops will not be wanting in this generous nation; and it will certainly be  accompanied with a just portion of shame to those who have dared to depreciate or fully  valor so conspicuous; who have their ears open only to the prejudice of  American cowardice, and having been always loud upon that courtly topic, stifle the  glory of their countrymen to maintain a base consistency."  He also adds with  regard to the action of October 7, "if there can be any persons who, after considering the  circumstances of this day, continue to doubt that the Americans possess  the quality and faculty of fighting, (call it by whatever name they please) they are of a  prejudice that it would be very absurd longer to contend with."  But no hazard  

or fatigue, bravery or misfortune was thought a sufficient apology for the loss of his  army.

The northern expedition had been a favorite object with the British administration.  They  were sanguine enough to suppose, and the nation was led to believe, that  success in that quarter would reduce the turbulent spirits of Americans so low as to  prevent further energy of opposition, and bring the whole country to a due sense  of subordination, and unconditional submission to the authority of Parliament.  The low  ebb of American affairs at the southward, previous to the success of General  Gates, gave some reasonable grounds for such an expectation.  It is not strange that a  disappointment in this favorite object, which was calculated, if successful, to  redound much to the glory of the British arms, should be equally mortifying to the pride  of the ministry, and the high-spirited people of England, or that it threw the  Parliament and the nation into a ferment, that did not easily subside.  Many gentlemen  of distinguished talents, did honor to the feelings of the heart, and the sagacity  of their understanding, while it was a subject of parliamentary debate, by their humane,  sensible, and judicious speeches, interspersed with pointed wit, and brilliancy  of sentiment.

The conquest and capture of General Burgoyne and the British army under his command  was undoubtedly the most fortunate circumstance for the United States that  had yet taken place. It was the most capital and eventful military transaction from the  commencement to the close of the American war.  The termination of this  expedition opened new views to the philosopher, the politician, and the hero, both at  home and abroad.  It disseminated a spirit and produced  effects throughout  America, which had been neither anticipated nor calculated until her sons paraded in the  style of the conqueror before the humiliated bands of veteran British and  German prisoners.

So many thousands of brave men and distinguished officers led captive through the  wilderness, the plains, and the cities of the United States was a spectacle never  before beheld by the inhabitants; and the impression it made on their minds was in  proportion to the novelty of the scene and the magnitude of its consequences.  It  was viewed as a prelude to events of the highest moment, both to the arms and to the  future negotiations of the United States.  British battalions were no longer  deemed invulnerable, even by the most timid and uninformed sons of America.  That  formidable power which had spread dismay through the colonies, they now  beheld as the object of curiosity, and her armies were viewed more in the light of  compassion than of terror.

Nor were the troops o the United States longer considered as a mere undisciplined  rabble, either by the Parliament or the people of England.  Their armies began to  appear formidable; and conciliation was pressed from very respectable characters.  From  the moment of their recent victory, the United States were beheld in a still  more honorable light by the other European powers.  Most of them had yet stood  undecided and wavering; none of them seemed determined on which side to  declare or whether to look coolly on, as uninterested spectators, until Great Britain had  sufficiently chastised her rebellious children.  It is true some loans of money  had been obtained from France previous to this period, and the sale of prizes had been  permitted in the Gallic ports; but this appeared to be more in consequence of  the benevolence and the enthusiasm of the people, than the result of any governmental  system to aid America effectually, in her struggle for freedom and  independence.

The consequences of the brilliant success of General Gates, the influence of this event  on the opinion of foreign nations, its operation on the councils of Britain, its  effects on the policy of several European courts, and its important consequences  throughout America, will be related concisely in the subsequent part of these annals.

But it is proper before we conclude the present chapter to detail a few other  circumstances relative to General Burgoyne. After some time had elapsed and the  agitation of parties so far cooled as to permit him the public defense of his character, he  gave an affecting epitome of his feelings, his difficulties and embarrassments  in the northern expedition.  He observed, "the remembrance of what I personally  underwent cannot easily be suppressed; and I am sure I shall not outgo the  indulgence of the candid, if in delineating situations so affecting, I add feelings to  justification.  The defense of military conduct is an interesting point of professional  honor; but to vindicate the heart, is a duty to God and to society at large.

"Few conjunctures in the campaign I have been describing, few perhaps upon military  record, can be found so distinguished by exigencies or productive of such  critical and anxious calls upon public character and private affection as that which now  took place.

"In the first place, the position of the army was untenable; and yet an immediate retreat  was impossible, not only from the fatigue of the troops, but from the necessity  of delivering fresh ammunition and provisions.

"The losses in the action were uncommonly severe.  Sir Francis Clarke, my aide  decamp, had originally recommended himself to my attention by his talents and  diligence. As service and intimacy opened his character more, he became endeared to  me by every quality that can create esteem.  I lost in him a useful assistant, an  amiable companion, an attached friend.  The state was deprived by his death of one of  the fairest promises of an able general.

"The fate of Colonel Ackland, taken prisoner and then supposed to be mortally  wounded, was a second source of anxiety.  General Frazier was expiring.

"In the course of the action, a shot had passed through my hat, and another had torn my  waistcoat.  I should be sorry to be thought at any time, insensible to the  protecting hand of Providence; but I ever more particularly considered (and I hope not  superstitiously) a soldier's hair-breadth escapes as incentives to duty, a  marked renewal of the trust of being, for the due purposes of a public station; and under  that reflection, to lose our fortitude by giving way to our affections, to be  diverted by any possible self-emotion, from meeting a present exigency with our best  faculties, were at once dishonor and impiety." [Burgoyne's defense.]

Perhaps no general officer ever experienced a greater variety of untoward  circumstances, than General Burgoyne before the Convention, and the surrender of his  army to the victorious Americans.  It requires a lively imagination to comprehend a full  view of the difficulty of marching an army, composed of heterogeneous  materials from Quebec to Saratoga, to traverse a forlorn wilderness, pathless thickets  and swamps, extensive sheets of water, and navigable lakes defended by a  resolute enemy, covered by strong works, that cost the waste of many of his troops to  overcome.

It is true his German allies were brave and the usual value of British troops needs no  encomium; but the Canadians and the loyalists could not be depended on, and  the hordes of savages that joined his train were more the objects of terror than  assistance, even to the masters under whom they had enlisted.  They pillaged,  plundered, threatened, and occasionally murdered their friends, and when the case grew  desperate, retreated in tribes to take shelter in their distant forests.

Of the loyalists, General Burgoyne thus observes, "Many of them had taken refuge in  Canada the preceding winter, and others had joined us as we advanced.  The  various interests which influenced their actions, rendered all arrangement of them  impracticable.  One man's views went to the profit he was to enjoy when his corps  should be complete; another, to the protection of the district in which he resided; a third  was wholly intent on revenge against his personal enemies; and all of them  were repugnant even to an idea of subordination.  Hence, the settlement who should act  as a private man, and who as an officer, or in whose corps either should be,  was seldom satisfactorily made among themselves; and as surely as it failed, succeeded  a reference to the commander in chief, which could not be put by, or  delegated to another hand, without dissatisfaction, increase of confusion, and generally a  

loss of such services as they were really fit for; viz. searching for cattle,  ascertaining the practicability of routes, clearing roads, and building detachments or  columns on the march."  He farther observed that "the interests and passions of  the revolted 'Americans concenter in the cause of the Congress and those of the loyalists  break and subdivide into various pursuits, with which the cause of the King  has little or nothing to do."

From these and other circumstances above detailed, even prejudice itself ought to allow  a due share of praise to General Burgoyne for maintaining his resolution and  perseverance so long, rather than to wound his character by censure, either as a soldier, a  man of honor and humanity, or a  faithful servant to his king.

But talents, valor, or virtue, are seldom a security against the vindictive spirit of party,  or the resentment that results from the failure of favorite political projects.   Thus, ;though the military abilities of General Burgoyne had been conspicuous and his  services acknowledged by his country, yet from the mortification of the  Monarch, the court, and the people of England, on the disgrace of their arms at Saratoga,  he was not only suffered, but obliged to retire.

Thought he marked resentment of administration was long kept up against this  unfortunate officer, he did not spend all the remainder of his days in private and literary  pursuits.  It is true he never again acted in a military capacity; but time relieved the  present oppression when he again took his seat in Parliament and with manly  eloquence not only defended the rights and liberties of his native isle against the  arbitrary systems in vogue, but asserted the justice and propriety of American  opposition.  This he did with becoming dignity and an impartiality which he never might  have felt, but from the failure of this northern expedition.  The reputation the  American arms acquired by this defeat, not only humbled the proud tone of many  British officers besides General Burgoyne, but did much to hasten the alliance with  France, and brought forward events that accelerated the independence of America.


Note 1

General Burgoyne's instructions to Lieutenant Colonel Baum.

"The object of your expedition is to try the affection of the country; to disconcert the  councils of the enemy; to mount the Reidesel dragoons; to complete Petre's  corps; and to obtain large supplies of cattle, horses, and carriages.

"The several corps, of which the enclosed is a list, are to be under your command.

"The troops must take no tents; and what little baggage is carried by the officers must be  on their own battalion horses.

"You are to proceed from Batten Kill to Arlington, and take post there until the  detachment of the provincials under the command of Captain Sherwood shall join  you from the southward.

"You are then to proceed to Manchester, where you will again take post so as to secure  the pass of the mountains on the road from Manchester to Rockingham;  from thence you will detach the Indians an light troops to the northward, towards Otter  Creek. On their return, and receiving intelligence that no enemy is upon the  Connecticut River, you will proceed by the road over the mountains to Rockingham,  where you will take post.  This will be the most distant part of the expedition  and must be proceeded upon with caution, as you will have the defiles of the mountains  behind you, which might make a retreat difficult.  You must therefore  endeavor to be well informed of the force of the enemy's militia in the neighboring  country; should you find it may with prudence be effected, you are to remain there,  while the Indians and light troops are detached up the river; and you are afterwards to  descend the river to Brattleborough; and from that place, by the quickest  march, you are to return by the great road to Albany.

"During your whole progress, your detachments are to have orders to bring in to you all  horses fit to mount the dragoons under your command or to serve as  battalion horses for the troops, together with as many saddles and bridles as can be  found.  The number of horses requisite besides those necessary for mounting the  regiment of dragoons ought to be 1300. If you can bring more, for the use of the army, it  will be so much the better.  Your parties are likewise to bring in wagons  and other convenient carriages, with as many draught oxen as will be necessary to draw  them. And all cattle fit for slaughter (milch cows excepted, which are to be  left for the use of the inhabitants). Regular receipts in the form hereto subjoined, are to  be given in all places, where any of the above articles are taken, to such  persons as have remained in their habitations and otherwise complied with the terms of  General Burgoyne's manifesto; but no receipt to be given to such as are  known to be acting in the service of the rebels.  As you will have with you persons  perfectly acquainted with the country, it may perhaps be advisable to tax the  several districts with the portions of the several articles and limit the hours for the  delivery; and should you find it necessary to move before such delivery can be  made, hostages of the most respectable people should be taken, to secure their following  you the next day.

"All possible means are to be used to prevent plundering.  As it is probable that Captain  Sherwood, who is already detached to the southward, and will join you at  Arlington, will drive a considerable quantity of cattle and horses to you, you will  therefore send in these cattle to the army, with a proper detachment from Petre's  corps, to cover them, in order to disencumber yourself; but you must always keep the  regiment of dragoons compact.  The dragoons themselves must ride, and take  care of the horses of the regiment.  Those horses that are destined for the use of the army  must be tied in strings of ten each, in order that one man may lead ten  horses.  You will give the unarmed men in Petre's corps to conduct them and inhabitants  whom you can trust.

"You must always keep your camps in good position, but at the same time where there is  pasture; and you must have a chain of sentinels around your cattle when  grazing.

 "Colonel Skeene will be with you as much as possible, in order to distinguish the good  subjects from the bad, to procure the best intelligence of the enemy, and  choose those people who are to bring me the accounts of your progress and success.

"When you find it necessary to halt a day or two, you must always entrench the camp of  the regiment of dragoons in order never to risk an attack or affront from the  enemy.

"As you will return with the regiment of dragoons mounted, you must always have a  detachment of Captain Frazier's or Petre's corps in front of the column, and the  same in the rear, in order to prevent your falling into an ambuscade, when you march  through the woods.

"You will use all possible means to make the country believe that the troops under your  command are the advanced corps of the army, and that it is intended to pass  to Connecticut on the road to Boston. You will likewise intimate that the main army  from Albany is to be joined at Springfield by a corps of troops from Rhode  Island.

"It is highly probable that the corps under Mr. Warner, now supposed to be at  Manchester, will retreat before you; but should they, contrary to expectation, be able  to collect in great force and post themselves advantageously, it is left to your discretion  to attack them or not; always bearing in mend that your corps is too valuable  to let any considerable loss be hazarded on this occasion.

"Should any corps be moved from Mr. Arnold's main army, in order to interrupt your  retreat, you are to take as strong a post as the country will afford, and send the  quickest intelligence to me; and you may depend on my making such movements as  shall put the enemy between two fires, or otherwise effectually sustain you.

"It is imagine the progress of the whole of this expedition may be effected in about a  fortnight; but every movement of it must depend on your success in obtaining  such supplies of provisions as will enable you to subsist for your return in this army, in  case you can get no more.  And should not the army be able to reach Albany,  before your expedition should be completed.  I will find means to send you notice of it,  and give your route another direction.

"All persons acting in committees or any officers under the direction of the Congress,  either civil or military, to be made prisoners.

"I heartily wish you success; and have the honor to be, sir, your humble servant,

"John Burgoyne, Lieutenant General

"Headquarters, August 9, 1777."


Note 2

It was several years after the confederation of the thirteen American states before  Vermont was added to the union.  The inhabitants kept up a long and severe  altercation with the several governments, who claimed both territory and authority, until  

on the point of decision by the sword, both parties appealed to the General  Congress.  This was a business that divided and embarrassed and was not terminated  until the agents  of Britain interfered and offered advantageous terms to the  Vermonters, if they would withdraw from the confederated states and become a  province of Britain.

From their love of liberty and their attachment to their country, these offers were  rejected, though they complained heavily of the delays and evasions of the  Congress.  Rough as their native mountains, strong and flinty as the rocks that  surrounded them, they bid defiance to dangers; and equally despised the intrigues of  Britain, the subterfuges of the claimants on their territory, and the suspension in which  they were held for a time by Congress.  They resisted obstinately the  interferences and claims of the neighboring governments; their alienation from them,  and their hatred to the state of New York, in particular, daily increased. And in  spite of all opposition, they continued their claims and supported their rights to be  considered a free, independent, and separate state, entitled to the same privilege as  the thirteen old colonies.

Colonel Ethan Allen, one of their principal leaders; a man of courage and ferocity, of  pride without dignity, a writer without learning, a man of consequence merely  from a bold presumptive claim to a capacity for everything; without education, and  possessed of little intrinsic merit;; wrote to Congress on this occasion and  observed "that Vermont has an indubitable right to agree to terms of a cessation of  hostilities with Great Britain, provided the United States persist in a rejection of  her application for a union with them.  But not disposed to yield to the overtures of the  British government," he added, "I am as resolutely determined to defend the  independence of Vermont, as Congress are that of the United States; and rather than fail,  will retire with hardy Green Mountain Boys into the desolate caverns of the  mountains and wage war with human nature at large."

After long suspension and many impediments, Congress thought proper, in order to  prevent the effusion of blood among themselves, which this occasion threatened,  to accede to the reasonable demands of these legitimate sons of freedom, who chose  delegates from Congress, maintained their independence, and were a strong  link in the confederated chain against the encroachments and the power of Britain." [A  further description of the settlement and progress of the Hampshire Grants  may be seen at large in a late accurate history of Vermont written by Doctor Samuel  Williams. This work is replete with moral and philosophical observations, which  are honorary to the very sensible writer, and at once entertain and improve the reader.


Note 3

The afflictions of this extraordinary lad did not terminate in America.  By the assiduity  of the physicians and the tender care of a most affectionate wife, Major  Ackland partially recovered from his wounds in a short time, and was permitted to  repair to New York. It was not long before his health was sufficiently restored to  embark for England; but his wounds incurable, and his mind depressed, he was led to  habits of intemperance that soon put a period to his life.

The death of her husband and the domestic afflictions of the family of Lord Ilchester,  the father of Lady Ackland, all combined to overpower the heroism of a mind  superior to most of her sex, and involved this unfortunate lady in a deep and  irretrievable melancholy.


Chapter Twelve:  Observations on the conduct of the British Parliament, previous to the  capture of Burgoyne. The ineffectual  efforts of the commissioners sent to America in consequence of Lord North's  Conciliatory Bill.  Their attempts to corrupt  individuals and public bodies. Negotiation broken off.  Manifesto published by the  commissioners. Counter Declaration by  Congress. Sir William Howe repairs to England

 While America gloried in her recent successes against the northern army, and was  making all possible preparations for vigorous action at the southward, the coercive  system in Britain was so far from being relaxed that the most severe measures were  urged with bitterness and acrimony.  The speeches of the King were in the same  tone of despotism as formerly; the addresses of Parliament were in the usual style of  compliment and applause; as if they had little else to do but to keep each other  in good humor until alienation was complete and the colonies so far connected with  other powers that there could be no hope of reconciliation.

But though a unison of sentiment and a perfect conformity to the royal will previous to  the new of Burgoyne's defeat appeared in the majority of both houses of  Parliament, yet the measures of the ministry were, as usual, warmly opposed by some  gentlemen of the first abilities in the nation.  Several of the principal nobility  were in the minority and urged an accommodation before American should be  irretrievably lost.  It was recommended to the minister "rather to forge bands of amity  for the minds than chains for the bodies of Americans." The present moment of  uncertainty with regard to success was urged as the proper season for giving the most  unequivocal proofs of cordiality, by requesting His Majesty to order a cessation of  hostilities and the immediate adoption of measures for accommodation. [Debates  in Parliament before the new of the termination of the northern campaign reached  England.]

Mr. Fox, whose powers of oratory were the admiration of the world, not only reasoned  against their measures, but ridiculed the ministry in the most pointed manner,  for their ignorance of America from the outset of the controversy. He alleged "that they  had mistaken the extent of the thirteen colonies, and considered the  Massachusetts as including the whole."  Nor were they less mistaken in the weight of  opposition they had to encounter.  He observed "they had ever been blind to  the consequences of their own measures, or they never would have rejected the most  dutiful and loyal petitions; more especially that presented by Mr. Penn, late  governor of Pennsylvania, even after the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill." [See  Note 4, at the end of this chapter] He expatiated on the absurdity and injustice  of the Bill for Transporting Americans to England for Trial, the Quebec Act, the  Restraining Bill, the Declaratory Act, and the Boston Port Bill.

All papers relative to America for three years past were ordered to be laid before the  House; and the state of the army and the expenditures in the course of the war  loudly called for.  But amidst the severe scrutiny of the House, the anxiety of the nation,  the perseverance of the King, and the perplexity  of the minister, all parties  were thunderstruck by the arrival of the intelligence of Burgoyne's defeat and the  capture of the army at Saratoga.

A general gloom overspread every countenance; the severest censures were cast on the  late measures of administration; indignation burnt in the bosoms of those  who opposed them; clamor raged without doors; asperity, sarcasm, and reproach from  the lip of truth within; and, notwithstanding his abilities and his firmness, the  minister was distressed and minority increased, and opposition was strengthened.

Lord Chatham rose with his usual energy, eloquence, and commanding spirit, and  reprobated both the war and the mode of prosecuting it; and with vehemence and  acrimony asserted, "that a court system of wickedness "had been adopted for the last 15  years, subversive of all faith and confidence, tending to extinguish all  principle in the different orders of the community; and that an ascendancy had been  obtained by worthless men, the dregs of party, where no influence ought to exist.   That a spirit of delusion had gone forth, the people had been deceived by ministers, and  Parliament had sanctioned the deception.  False lights had been held out to  the country gentlemen, imposed on by the ideal project of an American revenue; but that  the visionary phantom, conjured up for the basest purposes of deception,  

was about to vanish."

The minister [Lord North], though attacked, mortified, and embarrassed, retreated with   ability and address from ground to ground, through the debates, and  endeavored to shift the blame from himself and cause the failure of the system and the  odium of disappointment on the want of capacity in the officers employed.  He  manifested his regret for the unhappy differences between the two countries in  passionate expressions and urged that the conciliatory plan he had proposed some  time before might be immediately adopted; and that commissioners should be sent to  America with powers to restore tranquility without further delay.  He  acknowledged that he began to despair of reducing the colonies by arms, unless a  disunion could be effected and the intervention of foreign powers in their behalf  decidedly prevented.

But the people in several counties were so infatuated by the popular theme of an  American revenue that subscriptions were opened in London, Bristol, and other  places for raising and supporting a body of troops at private expense to supply the  deficiencies in the army by the Convention of Saratoga.  The legality of this  measure was contested in both houses of Parliament; and a resolve was proposed by the  Earl of Abingdon "that granting moneys for private uses and without the  sanction of Parliament was against both the letter and the spirit of the constitution; that  obtaining money by subscription and applying it to His Majesty's use, in such  manner as he should think fit, was unconstitutional, and a direct infringement of the  principles of the British constitution."  But the measure was not discountenanced  by authority, and the subscriptions went on.

If not first suggested by them, these subscriptions were encouraged by some of the most  affluent of the American refugees, who had repaired to England on the  retreat of General Howe from Boston.  This appearance of settled rancor against their  native country increased the resentment of their countrymen; and in  consequence thereof, some of their estates, which had been only sequestered, were  confiscated and sold, and the moneys arising therefrom deposited in the public  treasury.  But many of this class of people who laid their real or pretended sufferings  before administration, were afterwards amply provided for by the liberality of  the British government, though not adequate to their own expectations.

All Europe had beheld with astonishment and applause the exertions and struggles of the  America colonies against the opulence, the arms, and the intrigues of  Britain.  It was now three years that they had with uncommon resolution and  systematical decision supported their armaments by sea and land, without a single ally.

The American Congress had indeed, as early as the beginning of the autumn, 1776,  appointed commercial agents to several European courts, empowering them to  procure arms, ammunition, and clothing, on the credit of the United States.  They were  received politely by the nation, though not publicly countenanced by the  Court of France, on their first arrival. Yet their negotiations had been favorable to trade  and to the condemnation of a vast number of prizes that had been taken by  the Americans and sent into the several ports of France.

Doctor Franklin was soon after empowered to act as an American plenipotentiary there,  and arrived in France, December, 1776.  The celebrity of his character and  the popularity of his mission insured him the warmest reception from all ranks; and the  minister [the Count de Vergennes] gave him private encouragement to hope  for all necessary aid, and a full completion of the wishes of his constituents.  The  Spanish ambassador, likewise, at this time requested copies of his instructions, and a  sketch of the state of America, which he forwarded to his Catholic Majesty, as the two  courts were determined to act in perfect unison, although no national  compact was completed between France and America until early in the year 1778. [See  Doctor Franklin's letter to Congress, March 1778.]

It required time to ripen a measure in a despotic court, to support a struggle like the  present; a struggle unparalleled in modern nations.  An effort for the liberties of  mankind by colonial opposition to the parent state, the proud and potent sovereignty of  Britain, might rationally be expected to have an influence on the political  systems of the greatest part of Europe.  Besides, the intrigues of the British cabinet and  the policy of France might cooperate to postpone the event of any foreign  alliance with the colonies, until American firmness had been tried in the ordeal of  affliction, and her constancy and success had rendered her more respectable in the  eyes of older nations and long practiced statesmen.

But the conquest and capture of a British army, commanded by officers of distinguished  name and abilities, was considered as a decided proof of the importance of  the connection, and hastened the determination of France to conclude a treaty that might  cut off all hope of reconciliation between the colonies and the mother  country.  Thus on February 6, 1778, a treat of alliance, amity, and commerce was signed  by the minister on the part of France and by Benjamin Franklin, Arthur  Lee, and Silas Deane, Esquires, on the part o the United States of America.  Doctor  Franklin was immediately introduced to His Most Christian Majesty, as the  minister plenipotentiary for the American states; and on the May following, the Sieur  Gerard arrived on the continent, in quality of ambassador, and was introduced  in form to the American Congress.

This mortifying event had for some time been predicted by the minority in the British  Parliament; yet the minister affected to disbelieve even the probability of its  taking place; and as late as March 11, 1778 desired "that it might be remembered he  declared in his place that he knew of no such treaty, either in existence or  contemplation." Only eight days after this, the Duc de Noailles, in the name of his  sovereign, announced the treaty in form; and a rescript thereof was delivered to the  King of Great Britain.

The ignorance or incapacity of the minister in not obtaining more early intelligence of  the conduct of the House of Bourbon, or his wickedness in concealing the  information if he had  received it, was echoed from the House to the City, and from the  City through the nation.  But there was little reason to doubt, notwithstanding  the solemn declaration of the minister, that he had obtained more authentic documents  than he was willing to acknowledge, of the transactions of the French cabinet.   This was undoubtedly the reason why the Conciliatory Bills were hurried through both  houses and sent over to Lord and General Howe before the Act was  completed or commissioners named for the purpose.

Many distinguished members in both houses of Parliament insisted that an immediate  suspension of hostilities and a  direct acknowledgment of the independence of  America was the only medium of safety.  They justly observed that burning some of  their fairest towns, desolating their lands, plundering their houses, and abusing  their wives and daughters had left such an acrimonious stamp on the minds of  Americans as destroyed all faith and confidence in the appearances of accommodation,  or advances towards reconciliation.  Others still sanguine in prosecution of measures  less derogatory to the pride of Britain, urged a change of ministry and a new  arrangement of officers in both the civil an military departments.  AT the same time  they urged that commissioners should be appointed to repair to America to confer  with Congress as a legal body or with the state legislatures in their present form; and  that they should be authorized to offer a cessation of hostilities, a repeal of all  obnoxious bills, a free trade, a representation in Parliament, and, in short, almost  everything they could wish, except an explicit acknowledgment of independence.

This mode was adopted and commissioners appointed to make overtures from the parent  state that would once have been received with the highest tokens of  gratitude. But that period was irretrievably passed.  Probably had administration taken a  cool retrospect of the natural operations of the human mind and reflected on  the insult and mortification, of the repeated rejection of sincere and ardent petitions; of  the commencement of hostilities by staining the sword with the blood of  innocence; of the miseries that awaited the unhappy victims, which the uncertain  chances of war had thrown into their hands; and the numberless instances of  deception, that had been practiced on the less experienced politicians of America -- they  must themselves have been sensible that all ideas of peace on any  conditions but the most decided acknowledgment of the independence of the United  States were precluded.

But men impelled by a partiality for systems of their own fabricating, whether they  originated in passion, plausibility, or interest, can seldom bend their pride to a  generous dereliction of their favorite object, though reason or time might have brought  to their view a full conviction of its absurdity or impracticability.

Great Britain was at this time herself without allies; nor had she any reason to expect the  assistance of foreigners to facilitate the subjugation of America, except the  auxiliaries she had obtained at an immense expense from some of the petty princes of  Germany.  They had some time before applied to the states of Holland to send  forward a Scotch brigade in their service in aid of their hostile operations against the  colonies; but by a single voice of one of their honest republicans, it was  presented, and the proposal rejected in a style characteristic of his nation.  He observed  that "it was more proper for Britain to hire janisaries for their purpose than  to apply to the Batavians, who had so dearly purchased their own liberties." [Speech of  Van der Capellen, in the Assembly of Overyssel.]

Thus, while a war with France was apprehended to be the immediate and inevitable  consequence of the weak, pernicious, and perverse councils of the British  cabinet, the opposition declared the nation had everything to fear from the House of  Bourbon, and nothing to hope from the assistance of other European powers.   These circumstances generally known, occasioned the most painful feelings to those  who were actuated by the principles of justice or humanity; nor were the minds  of such as were influenced only by the rancor of party, much more tranquil.  But the loss  of the colonies, the independence of America, her connection with France  their hereditary fore, could not yet be digested by the King, the ministry, or the nation;  and the conciliatory proposals were voted to be carried forward on other  principles than those of humanity or equity.  The army and navy establishments were  augmented; and the proud display of war, power, and conquest as again to  accompany the soft voice of peace and reunion.

The gentlemen appointed to undertake the arduous work of conciliation with the  American states, after the inhumanity and irritation of a three years war, were the  Earl of Carlisle, Sir William Eden, Governor Johnstone, and Sir Henry Clinton.   Qualified for negotiation and determined if possible to reunite the revolted colonies  with Great Britain, they left England with these flattering expectations, and arrived in  the Delaware the latter part of May, amid every preparation on both sides for  opening a vigorous campaign.

During their residence in America, they faithfully executed their trust; and by every  exertion, both in their joint and separate capacity, they endeavored to fulfill the  expectations of their sovereign.  Yet from the reception which Congress had recently  given to a previous intimation of their designs, the commissioners could have no  very sanguine hopes of success.

General Howe had, as early as April 21, sent a flat to General Washington, informing  him of his own expectations.  At the same time, he transmitted him a copy of  the Conciliatory Bill.  These the General immediately forwarded to Congress, who  appointed a committee to consider the proposition.  It did not take much time to  deliberate before the committee reported a number of reasons why the proposals of the  British Court appeared to them fallacious; and that it was "their opinion that  the United States could with no propriety hold any conference or treaty with  commissioners on the part of Britain, unless as a preliminary they withdrew their fleets  and armies and in positive and express terms acknowledged the independence of the  United States."

This spirited  language, before any account of the completion of any treaty with France  had arrived in America, discovered a due dependence on their own  magnanimity and firmness; and by the dignity of their resolutions, Congress manifested  a consciousness of the justice of their cause and a reliance on that providential  support they had hitherto remarkably experienced.

Perhaps at no time since hostilities had commenced between Great Britain and the  colonies, could the United States have been found less disposed to negotiate on  the terms now offered by the British government, than at the present.

When the commissioners arrived, they found the news of an alliance with France, and a  treaty of amity and commerce with that nation had reached York Town,  where Congress was sitting, on May 2, very short time after they had rejected the  proposals sent on by Lord Howe. [These overtures were rejected on April 28,  1778. See Journals of Congress.]

All America was apprised of the divisions in the British Parliament, and happy in their  own unanimity.  An ambassador had been appointed to repair to America, and  her independence was acknowledged by one of the first courts in Europe.  The brilliant  successes of the last year, and the promising appearances on the opening the  campaign of the present, all cooperated to lead the Congress and the state legislatures to  continue the high tone of sensibility and dignity, becoming a free and  independent people, just emancipated from foreign domination.  The commander in  chief, the officers of the army, the soldiers in the field, and indeed every  description of people, felt a new degree of enthusiasm, enkindled from the sanguine  expectation of all necessary aid, in consequence of an alliance with France,  which was now completed to their wishes.

The commissioners on their arrival lost no time.  they immediately opened their  correspondences both public and private.  The secretary to this commission was the  celebrated Doctor Ferguson, a gentleman well known in the literary world by his elegant  historical and philosophical writings.  Yet the respect for his character and  abilities which would have insured his welcome on any occasion unconnected with  political considerations, could not influence Congress to rant him passports, as  requested by the commissioners, only to deliver in person the credentials for opening a  treaty.  In consequence of this refusal, the King's commission, and a letter  from the commissioners, were both sent on by the usual military posts.

The letter contained some flattering advances towards America, and many  complimentary expressions to individuals; but it was without the smallest appearance of  any recognition of the independence of the United States.  Many reproachful strictures  on the insidious policy of France were interwoven in the letter.  This rendered  their address still more exceptionable in the eye of Congress; and their overtures were  generally disgusting to the people at large.

In the present crisis, it was not thought either polite or politic by anyone to interlard the  proposals for an accommodation with America with indelicate reflections on  the new allies of the United States, almost at the moment when Congress had received  the most indubitable proofs of the friendship of the House of Bourbon; and  when every bosom glowed with hope and expectation, of the highest advantages from an  alliance just sealed by each party, and ratified by Congress, to the mutual  satisfaction of both nations.

Yet allowances ought ever to be made for hereditary or national prejudices, as well as  for private disgusts.  In both cases the soreness of the human mind feels the  keenest sensibility, when old wounds are probed by a hand prepared to strike a mortal  

blow, the first favorable opportunity.  Thus the commissioners and the British  nation beheld with indignation and bitterness the arm of France, their hated rival,  stretched out to rescue their colonies, now the United States, from the despotic  view of the King and Parliament of England.

When Congress had given the proposals for peace, offered under the sanction of royal  authority, a fair and candid discussion, a reply was concisely drawn up and  signed by the Honorable Henry Laurens, President of the Continental Congress.  It was  observed in this answer to the proposals, that "both the late acts of  Parliament, and a commission empowering a number of gentlemen to negotiate, and the  letter received by Congress from those gentlemen, all went upon the same  mistaken ground, on the supposition that the people of America were the subjects of the  Crown of Britain.

"That such ideas were by no means admissible.  Yet notwithstanding the injustice of the  claim on which the war originated, and the savage manner of conducting it,  Congress was inclined to peace, whenever the King of England should manifest a  sincere disposition therefore, by an explicit acknowledgment of the independence  of America, and by withdrawing his fleets and armies; that they will then enter into a  treaty of commerce, not inconsistent with treaties already existing."

They also referred the commissioners to their resolves and determinations of April 23,k  a short time before the arrival of the treaty of alliance with France.

This drew out a second letter from the commissioners, drafted with much art, ability,  and address.  In this, they observed that "they were not disposed to dispute  about words; that a degree of independence was admitted in their letter of June 10; that  the people of America had the privilege of disposing of their own property,  and to govern themselves without any reference to Britain, beyond what is necessary to  preserve a union of force, in which mutual safety consists."  They added "that  danger from their hereditary enemy and gratitude to those who had hazarded much for  their affection to Britain must for a time prevent His Majesty from withdrawing  his fleets and armies; but that they were willing to enter on a discussion of  circumstances that might be necessary to secure an enlarge their independence; and that  they wished for a full communication of the powers by which Congress was authorized  to treat with foreign nations."

They intimated that there had been no resolutions of the particular assemblies conferring  this power.  Thus an effort was made in the beginning of negotiation to  diffuse jealousies, and divide the people.  In short, the sophistry that marked their public  declarations, and the insidious proposals made to corrupt private persons  were very unbecoming the negotiators for peace an inconsistent both with the probity of  individual character and the dignity of their master.

It does not appear that the conduct of any of these gentlemen singly was equally  reprehensible with that of Governor Johnstone. By private letters to some of the  members of Congress, [The principal of these were Joseph Reed and Robert Morris,  Esquire, of Pennsylvania, and Francis Dana or Massachusetts.] he endeavored  to warp their integrity with the flattering promises of distinguished offices an  emoluments in proportion to their risk in promoting the present views of administration.   He was bold enough to say, "Washington an the president would have a right to  everything a grateful nation could bestow if they would be instrumental once more in  uniting the interests of Great Britain and America." [See Governor Johnstone's letter to  Robert Morris, Esquire, laid before Congress, June 1778.]

His advances to Mr. Reed, an influential member of Congress, were still more openly  affrontive, by offering him a direct bribe, and naming the conditions for the sale  of his honor.  Governor Johnstone doubtless thought he knew his men, when he selected  Mr. Reed, Robert Morris, Esquire, and Mr. Francis Dana to open his  correspondence with and try the golden effects of secret influence that had been so often  successful in his native land.  He might perhaps think it some extenuation of  the affront offered to Mr. Reed that he had formerly fallen under some suspicions from  his countrymen.

He had been early and zealous in opposition got Britain; had repaired to Cambridge as  aid decamp to General Washington; was afterwards appointed adjutant  general; and continued in habits of intimacy and confidence with the commander in  chief until the retreat through the Jerseys and the gloomy and desperate situation  of American affairs towards the close of the winter of 1776.  His fortitude then forsook  him, [See Cadwallader's letters to and of Mr. Reed.  They exhibit strong  suspicions that agitated by fear in the most gloomy period of American affairs, he really  contemplated security for himself and friends, under the protection of the  British standard.  This appeared at the time to be the apprehension of many of his  connections.  However, if he was really as culpable as represented by some of  those letters, he soon recovered his firmness, his character, and the confidence of his  country, and the commander in chief.]  and despairing of brighter prospects in  his country, more from timidity than disaffection, he was on the point of relinquishing  the public cause.  It was asserted he absolutely applied to Count Donop at  Burlington for a protection for himself and family, on condition of his forsaking his  country, in the lowest stage of her distress and his general and friend, at a period  when he most needed his assistance.

But the brilliant action at Trenton, and the subsequent successes at Princeton, and other  places at the beginning of the year 1777 restored the tone of his nerves so   as to enable him to act with distinguished firmness, fidelity, and bravery on many trying  occasions; and disposed almost everyone to throw a veil over the momentary  weakness of a mind generally well disposed to his country. [Mr. Reed had publicly  announced his regret that a letter written by him to General Lee in the year 1776  had been published to the world.  He observed that "that letter was written in haste and  written in a moment of great anxiety; not from any diminution of affection for  General Washington" whom he justly styles "a great and good man."  This letter was  undoubtedly the result of Mr. Reed's apprehensions at a period when there was  utmost danger, that all would be lost to America, from various causes that presented more  vigorous operations.  But he ever after expressed the highest respect for  the character of the commander in chief; and observed that his countrymen might rest in  

full confidence in the judgment, abilities, and discretion of General  Washington.]

These circumstances were known in the British army, and probably induced Governor  Johnstone to think Mr. Reed a proper subject for his designs.  He proposed  as an adequate reward for his treachery if Mr. Reed would engage his interest to  promote the object to their commission, that he should have any office in the  colonies in the gift of his Britannic Majesty, and the sum of 10,000 pounds sterling in  hand.  This extraordinary proposal was made through a lady, who had some  connections in the British army.  Finding she expected an explicit reply, and being a  lady of so much respectability as to demand it, Mr. Reed answered that "he was  not worth the purchasing, but such as he was, the King of Great Britain was not rich  enough to do it."

Mr. Johnstone knew Mr. Morris to be a commercial character, a speculating genius, a  calculator of finances, and a confidential friend of General Washington.  He  might probably think that if the commander in chief of the American army could once  be brought to listen to proposals or to barter his fidelity, no one could make a  better bargain for Britain than Mr. Morris, who had so much the ear and confidence of  General Washington.

From some circumstances in Mr. Dana's former conduct, Mr. Johnstone might think  himself sure of his influence, without bidding very high; and though liberal of his  master's gold, it does appear that he offered him a direct bribe.  Mr. Johnstone's  confidence in the success of his attempt on the fidelity of this gentleman was  probably grounded on a circumstance  generally known.  Mr. Dana had formerly fallen  under the suspicions of many of his countrymen that he was not friendly to  their opposition of British measures.

This suspicion arose from his having repaired to England a short time before the  commencement of the war.  But within a year after the Battle of Lexington, he had  eradicated those prejudices by returning to his native country, entrusted with some  secret communications from the friends of America then in England.  This  recommended him to favor and reconciliation with t his countrymen. They laid aside  their suspicions; and some characters of known integrity brought him forward,  and soon after he was chosen a member of the general Congress.

The above traits of character might be thought proper materials for a British  commissioner to operate upon, but Governor Johnstone was mistaken in the character of  Americans. For, notwithstanding their passions, their foibles, or their weaknesses, there  were few at that time who would not have spurned at the idea of being  purchased.  They highly resented the effort to tamper with their integrity at any price,  when the liberty of America was the stake.

These letters and transactions were immediately laid before Congress by the several  gentlemen, who thought themselves particularly insulted by such unequivocal  attempts on their honor and fidelity.  This demeanor of one of the commissioners was  resented in a manner that might be expected from that respectable body.  The  American Congress at this period was, with few exceptions, composed of men jealous of  their rights, proud of their patriotism and independence, and tenacious of  their honor and probity. They resolved that as they felt, so they ought to demonstrate the  most pointed indignation against such daring attempts to corrupt their  integrity.  They added that "it was incompatible with their honor to hold any further  intercourse with George Johnstone, Esquire, more especially to negotiate" with  him on affairs in which the cause of liberty was interested." [For Mr. Johnstone's private  letter to the President of Congress, and Mr. Laurens' reply, which was  

equally honorable to himself and to his country, and which breathed that spirit of  dignity, independence, and virtue, which uniformly marked the character of this  gentleman, the reader is referred to the journals of Congress.]

This resolve announced in all the public papers drew out a very angry declaration from  Mr. Johnstone.  He intimated that he should decline acting in future as a  commissioner, or in any other way negotiating with Congress.  He observed that "the  business would be left in abler hands; and that he should be happy to find no  other impediment in the way of accommodation, after he was removed; but that he was  inclined to believe the resolutions of Congress were dictated on similar  motives to the Convention of Saratoga."  Mr. Johnstone alluded to a resolve of Congress  in reply to the offer of the commissioners to ratify the Convention of  Saratoga.  To this offer they had replied "that no ratification that maybe tendered in  consequence of powers that only reached the case by construction or which may  subject all transactions relative thereto either to the future approbation or disapprobation  of Parliament can be accepted by Congress."

To the resentful language of Governor Johnstone, he added that Congress acted a  delusory part, contrary to the wishes of their constituents; and after many very  severe reflections on their connection with France, he avowed a total disregard either of  the good or ill opinion of such a body; but acknowledged "that making a just  

allowance for men acting under the heats of civil convulsions, he had a regard for some  individuals that composed it."

Doubtless, at the moment of this passionate declaration, Mr. Johnstone had forgotten the  flattering epithets, even to adulation, that he had recently bestowed on the  same body he now affected to hold in sovereign contempt.  But Congress persevered in  their usual steady line of conduct, and took no farther notice of the letters,  declarations, or addresses of the commissioners.

 Thus closed their public negotiations.  Yet they did not despair of dividing the colonies.   Letters and addresses were still circulated to the governors of particular  states, and to private gentlemen, and inflammatory declarations were spread throughout  America.  The poison of these new modes of overture for peace, between  contending nations, was effectually antidoted by the spirited publications of several  gentlemen of ability, in their private capacity. [W.H. Drayton and others.]

The last effort made by these disappointed negotiators before they left America as the  publication of a manifesto signed by three of them and dispersed throughout  the continent.  This address appeared to be dictated more by resentment and despair than  expectation or hope.  It contained an endeavor to foment jealousies  between the several states; and insinuated that Congress were not authorized by their  constituents to reject the offers of Britain or to enter into alliances with foreign  nations.  Proposals were made for separate treaties either with the governors, the  legislative bodies, or individual gentlemen; and offers of pardon were held out to  any in civil or military departments, and to all descriptions of men who should, within  40 days, desert the service of their country and enlist under the standard of  Britain.

This was not the most offensive part of this extraordinary manifesto.  Vindictive  threatenings were denounced against all who should continue deaf to these gracious  and generous calls of their Sovereign.  It finished by declaring that if America still  preferred her connection with the insidious and hereditary enemy of Britain, she  must expect the operations of war would be continued in such modes as tended most to  distress, depopulate, and ruin.  [See the manifesto at large in the British  Remembrancer and in the Annual Register, as well as in the Journals of Congress.]

Mankind are seldom driven into compliance by the haughty threats of powerful  adversaries, unless they feel their own weakness to such a degree as to render them  abject.  But America, conscious of her own internal strength, and sure of the assistance  of foreign allies, rather spurned at the virulent spirit of this declaration.  It did  not increase their respect towards the negotiators for peace.  Nor were the Americans  alone offended at the style and manner of this address. It was considered as  deficient both in policy and humanity even by some officers in the British army.  One of  them, of high rank, immediately repaired to England and declared with   honest indignation in the House of Commons, of which he was a member, that "he could  not bear the attempt to convert soldiers into butchers, assassins, and  incendiaries; or the abominable idea of sheathing his sword in the bowels of age and  innocence.  Nor would he be instrumental in tarnishing the luster of the British  name by acts of barbarity, in obedience to the man dates of the most infamous  administration that ever disgraced a free country." [See debates in Parliament.]

But by the activity of officers of less delicacy and tenderness, the theory of cruelty held  out by the commissioners was soon realized by the perpetration of every  crime; and the extreme rigor of war, which in modern times has been meliorated by the  general consent of civilized nations, was renewed in America, in all the  barbarous shapes that the ingenuity or the wickedness of man could invent.

Soon after the manifesto of the commissioners was published, a declaration was issued  by Congress, though not in terms equally cruel and threatening.  They,  however, discovered their resentment by the severity of their language; and a sort of  license was encouraged for retaliation on individuals, if the British proceeded to  murder the inhabitants and burn the houses of private persons.  They thought themselves  justifiable in this from past sufferings, and the present threatenings of officers  commissioned to reconcile, instead of further irritating the injured Americans.

Congress reproached them with meanness, in attempting to carry their point by bribery,  corruption, and deceit; an charged their nation with making "a mock at  humanity, by the wanton destruction of men; a mock at religion by impious appeals to  God, whilst in the violation of his sacred commands; and a mockery of reason  itself, by supposing that the liberty and happiness of America could safely be entrusted  to those who had sold their own, unawed by a sense of virtue or shame."   They appealed to the Searcher of Hearts for the rectitude of their intentions, and  observed that not instigated by anger or revenge, they should, through every  possible change of fortune, adhere to their determinations.  In this state and temper of the Congress, the people, and the commissioners, Sir Henry  Clinton took the command of all the royal troops in America.  Previous to the  opening of the summer campaign, Sir William Howe had obtained leave to repair to  England.  His intended absence was much regretted by the British army, and, as  a man of pleasure and address, by the gay part of the city of Philadelphia.  Every  manifestation of respect was expressed on the occasion, and the most superb  display of modern luxury exhibited in a n elegant entertainment, which drew attention  from the novelty of the style.  The mischianza was considered a new species of  pleasure; but the appellation was only an additional decoration to an effort designed to  pay the highest compliment and respect both to the military and the private  character of General Howe.

Notwithstanding this and other testimonials of the affection of his officers and his army,  he was censured by the ministry on his arrival in England, and a public clamor  prevailed against his general conduct, during his command in America.  In consequence  of the ill temper excited against him, he published a long narrative in his own  defense, and urged a free examination of his conduct in the House of Commons.

But the minister appeared averse to strictures that might lay open too many of the  secrets of the cabinet.  However, several distinguished gentlemen of the army were  at last called to examination, and on the whole gave a favorable testimony to the military  character and operations of General Howe, and extenuated the failure of  particular maneuvers by the difficulty and embarrassment of his situation, in a country  where it was impossible for him to know whether he was surrounded by friends  or foes, and where he often found himself deceived by the misrepresentations of the  loyalists.  In order to invalidate the evidence of Lord Cornwallis and other  respectable characters, the party against Sir William Howe procured the examination  and evidence of Joseph Galloway and some others of the most inveterate  refugees who had fled from America and were disappointed that the subjugation of their  country was thus long delayed.

Much censure fell on the ministry for their resorting to the testimony of American  refugees, pensioners, and custom-house officers, whose places, pensions, and  existence depended on their adherence to ministerial measures, to invalidate the  evidence of military men of high rank and great professional knowledge.

Sir William Howe was not again vested with command during the American war.  Some  other officers, either disgusted or discouraged, returned to England after the  summer campaign. Several of them were advanced and sent out again in the succeeding  spring to pursue the work of slaughter or to humble the spirit of Americans  at the feet of monarchy.  A number of these ill-fated officers, whose merits were  conspicuous in their line, did not again return to the bosom of their native country,  the beloved island of Britain; where their surviving friends were left to weep at the  recollection of the ashes of the brave, scattered over the heights and plains of the  American world.


Note 4

Governor Penn was the last proprietary governor of the state of Pennsylvania.  After the  Revolution, different modes were adopted.  The patent granted by the  Crown to the celebrated Penn, the founder of that colony, included a vast territory; but  the enormous claims of the family were extinguished by an act of the  legislature of Pennsylvania.  This was not in consequence of any political delinquency  of the late governor, who had acquitted himself with ability and address, and  retained his patriotism and attention to the interests of his country to the end of the  contest.  The heirs of the family voluntarily relinquished their extensive claims in  consideration of a very handsome sum of money paid to the claimants by the legislature,  in lieu of all quit-rents that might hereafter be demanded.


Chapter Thirteen:  Evacuation of Philadelphia. Battle of Monmouth. General Lee  censured. General Clinton reaches New  York. The Count de Estaing arrives there. Repairs to Rhode Island. Expedition  unsuccessful. French Fleet rendezvous at  Boston to refit after damages sustained by a storm. Lord Howe leave the American Seas.  Marauding exploits of General Grey.  Destruction of Wyoming. Expedition into the Indian Territories.

 The new commission with which Sir Henry Clinton was now vested was prompt,  arduous, and replete with consequences of the highest magnitude to his country  and to his own reputation.  The Trident man of war had arrived in the Delaware early in  the month of June, 1778.  In this ship came the British commissions for  conciliation; and through the hand of William Eden, General Clinton received  peremptory orders to evacuate the city of Philadelphia within six days after their  reception.  Accordingly, the whole British army decamped and began their march  toward New York on June 18.

The sudden desertion of a city that had been so much the object of their warmest wishes  tended at once to disheartened the adherents to the royal cause and to  invigorate the operations of their antagonists.  It could not be expected that General  Washington would remain a quiet spectator of this movement of the British  troops.  He immediately dispatched a reconnoitering party under General Maxwell to  harass their march. [Before General Washington moved, he called a council of  officers to consult on the expediency of attacking the British on their march.  They were  almost unanimously opposed to the measure, as the failure of success would  be ruin to the American army.  But the American commander, with two or three of his  best officers, had no reluctance at hazarding the consequences of a general  action.]  The Marquis de la Fayette also marched at the head of a detachment to meet  them and impeded their progress; and general Lee, with two brigades, was  ordered to follow and support him.

The British commander prepared for this interruption, suddenly attacked and routed the  cavalry under the Marquis.  By this the infantry were deranged; and General  Washington, finding an action of moment was likely to ensure, posted himself, after  several military movements, as advantageously as possible, near the heights of  Monmouth.

The Americans spirited and courageous, the British resolute, brave, and desperate, a  sharp conflict succeeded.  The military game of death and retreat, of recovery  and slaughter, was kept up for several hours without decision.  But a misunderstanding  on a disobedience of orders by General Lee occasioned such a derangement  on the American side as gave the opportunity for a safe retreat to the royal army, in spite  of the valor and intrepidity of their opponents.  Many on both sides fell by  the intense heat of the weather.  It was one of those days not unusual in the southern  clime when the stroke of the sun is instantaneously fatal to human life, without  the agitation and fatigue inseparable from the hour of battle.

Some warm expressions in the heat of engagement from General Washington drew  several letters from Lee, that could not be passed over in silence.  For these, and  for his deportment through the events o the day of action, he as suspended from his  command, and afterwards tried by a court martial.  The exigencies of affairs, as  well as his misconduct made it necessary that he should lie under censure for  disobedience, and disrespect to the commander in chief. [the court martial adjudged  that he should retire from the army and lie under suspension for one year.] Yet many of  his brother officers advocated or at least extenuated his conduct.

Perhaps it might not have been either treachery, cowardice, envy or any other unworthy  motive that influenced the conduct of General Lee.  He had but recently  recovered his liberty after he was captured at Hackinsack.  Previous to that time, the  American army was too justly considered by him an undisciplined rabble.  They  had indeed, in his absence, made great improvements in the art of war, and the necessary  arrangements of military discipline.  However, he had not yet a proper  confidence in the infant troops he commanded, when opposed to the superiority of  British battalions, actuated by necessity in addition to constitutional bravery.  He  might retreat more from the cautious prudence of an experienced officer than from any  design to betray or disobey the orders of the commander in chief; but it is  certain he did not on all occasions discover a due respect either for the character of  talents of General Washington.

General Lee was never again employed in American service; and undoubtedly died a  martyr to chagrin, disappointment, and personal abuse, in consequence of the  ingratitude of some of his former friends, arising from the popularity of a more favored,  fortunate, and meritorious officer.

After his trial and suspension, General Lee retired to a little farm in Baltimore, where he  lived in the most coarse and rustic manner.  Totally secluded from all society,  he conversed only with a few favorite authors and his dogs, until the year 1782, when,  weary of his sequestered situation, he left his retreat and repaired to  Philadelphia.  But out of command, he found himself without friends, without respect,  and so far from that independence congenial to his mind and to his years, that  he was almost without the means of subsistence.  In a short time, he sickened  and died  in obscurity, though in a city where he had been used to receive the highest  marks of applause and respect.

After the Battle of Monmouth, both parties boasted their advantages, as is usual after an  indecisive action.  It is certain, Washington and his brave troops gained only  honor and applause, [Even the British themselves acknowledged that the Americans  behaved with great sprit and intrepidity.  In this action, a corps commanded by  Colonel Dearborn acquitted themselves with such undaunted bravery that they attracted  particular notice.  A southern officer of rank rode up to Mr. Dearborn and  inquired "who they were and to what portion of America that regiment belongs?" The  colonel replied in this laconic and soldierly manner, "Full-blooded Yankees, by  God, sir, from the state of New Hampshire."], whilst Sir Henry Clinton must have  thought himself fortunate indeed; on the one hand he escaped a pursuing army, and  on the other, a fleet commanded by the Count de Estaing, which had just arrived in the  Chesapeake.

The design of the French admiral was to shut up the British army in Philadelphia; but  from the inclemency of the weather, and contrary winds, a long passage  prevented his arriving seasonably to effect so desirable an object.  When Sir Henry  Clinton left Philadelphia, he could scarcely expect or entertain a hope that he  could conduct his army in safety through such an extent of country to their destination at  New York.  but after surmounting many embarrassments, he arrived there  with his troops, nearly at the same time when the French squadron appeared at the  entrance to the Delaware.

It was a happy circumstance for Clinton that the Count de Estaing did not at first direct  his course to New York.  However, within a few days after the arrival of the  British troops, he appeared unexpectedly off Sandy Hook; and to the inexpressible  mortification of British pride, they found themselves blocked up in their own  harbor, by the hereditary enemy of their nation.  Old antipathies revived; irritation and  resentment were wrought up to the highest pitch by new provocations; and  nothing could exceed the indignation raised by the idea that the King of France was  sending out his fleets and armies to aid and support the rebellious colonies.

From the situation of the two fleets before New York, an engagement was thought by all  to be inevitable.  A spirit was diffused through all ranks of the royal army  and navy, expressive of the vigor, valor, and activity of British soldiers and seamen.   Such was the popularity of Lord Howe, the importance of the cause, and their  resentment towards France that he soldiers, scarce recovered from their wounds and  fatigue, in the late action and retreat, were solicitous and impatient to face their  Gallic enemy; and the British seamen in private service were equally emulous, and  solicited eagerly, and even contested the honor of employment in the navy.

Prepared for action and confident of success, they ostentatiously boasted that the name  of Howe and the terror of the British flag must intimidate Frenchmen in the  moment of danger; as the recollection of former defeats would officiously obtrude, in  spite of their most brilliant designs.  This opinion was in some measure  sanctioned by the inactivity of the Count of Estaing, who, after lying 11 days without  the smallest advance to action, left his station at Sandy Hook, an proceeded  northward.

It is difficult to say whether the joy or the surprise of his enemies preponderate on this  occasion.  They justly considered it a very fortunate circumstance, as within  two or three days, five ships of the line belonging to Admiral Byron's squadron, arrived  singly in so shattered a condition that probably they, with the remainder of the  fleet, must without a blow have fallen into the hands of the French, had they continued  before New York.

This unexpected maneuver o the Count was in consequence of a preconcerted plan that  all naval operations should be suspended at the southward and that with all  possible dispatch, the French fleet should repair to Rhode Island.  This was in order to  favor an expedition for the recovery of that beautiful spot, which had been  seized in October 1776 and held by British troops, now commanded by Sir Robert Pigot.   There, under cover of a number of frigates, they had rested in safety  nearly two years.  Detachments from the army at Newport and its environs had  frequently made incursions to the main, burnt a part of the town of Bristol, and  greatly annoyed both Providence and all the adjacent country.

The Count of Estaing arrived before Newport on August 9; and within a few days, a  large body of militia from the neighboring states, commanded by General  Hancock, and a detachment of continental troops under the command of General  Sullivan, landed on the island.

The American troops, healthy, active, and vigorous flushed in the hope of victory, not  only from their own spirit and bravery, but from expectations derived from the  presence of their new allies, with a powerful naval force to aid their operation, were  sanguine, confident, and impatient for action.  But to their unspeakable  disappointment, the very day on which they landed, the French fleet again put to sea,  their commander having received intelligence that Lord Howe had left Sandy  Hook, in full force to engage him and to prevent the dislodgment of the royal troops  who were strong and well fortified in every part of the island.

Count de Estaing judged it prudent to meet and fight the British squadron at sea, rather  than suffer Lord Howe to make an effort to gain the harbor.  His force was  superior, this officers equally brave. There was a mutual ardor engagement in the  seamen, and a mutual ambition for glory, in both the British and French  commanders.  But the unforeseen operations of nature, that so often impede the design  of man, again defeated the proud expectations of triumph in both parties.  A  severe storm that raged 48 hours, separated the two fleets; and such was the violence of  a gale scarcely paralleled in those seas, that Lord Howe in a very shattered  and broken condition, was obliged to repair to New York to refit; and the French  commanders thought themselves happy to reach Boston in a very wretched and  disabled state.  The admiral's own ship as dismasted.: the Caesar of 74 guns,  commanded by Monsieur de Booves, met the Isis, a British ship of war of only 50  guns.  A sharp conflict ensured; but the Caesar having last all he masts in the storm,  darkness approaching, most of his men being slain, and his own right arm shot  off, Monsieur to Booves found it necessary to sheer off for Boston, where the whole  fleet arrived in a few days.

The Count was opposed in the measure of leaving the harbor of Newport by all the  American and many of the French officers, but none more strenuously than brave  Marquis de la Fayette, who followed him to Boston with the utmost celerity, to endeavor  to expedite his return. [Zealous to promote the same object, the  commissioners of the navy-board at Boston, with great dispatch repaired, watered,  victualled, and equipped the ships under the command of the Count de Estaing.  It not being practicable to return to Rhode Island, he in a few weeks after sailed in  complete order for the West Indies.] This misfortune damped the ardor of the  militia, some of whom had, more from ostentation than bravery, voluntarily engaged in  this expedition.  Near 3000 men relinquished their posts and left the island in a  day.  Many of them were influenced to this precipitate desertion by the conduct of Major  General Hancock, who, in spite of the remonstrances of friends and  forgetful of the hazard of popularity left all in the moment of danger and repaired to  Boston.

General Sullivan, not disheartened by these unexpected events, nor discouraged by the  untoward accidents that hitherto attended his operations, kept his station 14  days after the secession of so large a part of his forces.  Nor did he suffer his troops to  be idle. Several skirmishes took place that kept up apprehension on the one  side and a military ardor on the other; but none of more importance than an action on the  morning of the 29th, when a cannonade began early on both sides and  continued some hours with doubtful success.  A detachment of British troops under  Colonel Campbell as routed and fled in confusion, leaving many dead on the  field, among whom a favorite nephew of the commander was killed by his side. After  this, Sullivan and his officers, judging it not prudent to attack a superior force  entrenched within their lines, withdrew to their own camp, while the British employed  the ensuing night in strengthening and fortifying theirs.

Within three days after this rencounter, an express arrived from General Washington  with information that Lord Howe had again sailed from New York and that Sir  Henry Clinton had himself embarked with 4000 men for the relief of Rhode Island.  On  the same day, the Marquis de la Fayette returned from Boston and reported  it impossible for the Count de Estaing to arrive there again, timely for an operations of  consequence; and as nothing effectual could be done without the aid of naval  force, General Sullivan thought proper to withdraw his troops from the island.

His retreat was conducted with such secrecy, silence, and dexterity as discovered the  judgment and ability of the experienced commander.  He had in his council  some officers of distinguished name who fully justified his conduct through the whole  of this unsuccessful expedition.  Greene, la Fayette, and Laurens [The noble  disinterested sentiments of this gentleman, who was then aid decamp to General  Washington, were exhibited in his reply to Congress, who for his distinguished  bravery in this and other actions had advanced him to the rank of lieutenant colonel.   Mr. Laurens' acceptance would have superseded some officers in the family of  the commander, earlier in commission.  Apprehensive that it might create some  uneasiness among them, he declined the honor.  He observed "that having been a  spectator of the convulsions occasioned in the army by disputes of rank, he held the  tranquility of it too dear to be instrumental in disturbing it."] , Fleury, Wade,  Glover, Knox, Livingston, and Talbot, with many other excellent officers, had the  mortification to quit the field, without the laurels so fair a prospect of military glory  had waved in view.

This disappointment occasioned some temporary murmurings against the conduct of de  Estaing, and even the connection with France.  A squabble, soon after the  fleet arrived in Boston, between some French and American sailors heightened the  uneasiness.  But the most respectable people, disposed to view with a favorable  eye and to place the utmost confidence in their untried allies, all censure was hushed;  and a discreet silence in the more prudent prevented or counteracted all  invidious observations from the less candid.

Lord Howe arrived in the harbor of Newport with 1000 sail of ships of war and  transports the morning after Sullivan's retreat.  Admiral Byron was hourly expected  to join him.  Thus, so superior in strength, there was every reason to expect Boston  would be the next object of attack.  In consequence of this appearance, the  Count de Estaing, who found it would require time to victual, water, and equip his  shattered fleet for a second cruise, judged it necessary to fortify several  advantageous islands in the harbor, and thus be in readiness for the reception of the  British fleets, if they should be again disposed to visit Boston.

Lord Howe, before he returned to New York, went round and looked into the harbor of  Boston; but finding most of the ships belonging to the French fleet repaired,  and Castle Williiam and the islands in a defensible state, he did not think proper to make  any hostile attempt on the town.  Not perfectly pleased with the American  war, and disgusted at some things relative to his own command, his Lordship resigned  his commission soon after this and repaired to England.  He left the American  seas in September 1778.

When His Lordship arrived in England, he complained publicly that he had been  deceived into the command and deceived while in it.  Tired and disgusted with the  service, he had been compelled to resign; and that he had suffered too much ever to risk  a return to any situation that might terminate in equal mortification.  He  observed that he must be excused from any employment while the present ministry  continued in office, being convinced by decisive experience that the not only  risked his own honor and professional character in the attempt, but that under such  councils, he was as sensible as those who had been earlier in opposition that no  

essential service could be rendered to his country.

But though we see him no more on the American theater, yet, notwithstanding his  dissatisfaction with the conduct of administration, Lord Howe again, before the  conclusion of peace, acted a conspicuous part under the renowned flag of Great Britain.

The celebrated Bougainville, who had before explored the other side of the globe, was,  with many other officers of high rank and distinction, for the first time in the  American seas.  They were everywhere welcomed as the generous friends of the United  States, the patrons of liberty, and the supporters of the rights of men.  But  as there had not yet been time to prove the sincerity of either party, the old officers who  remembered the late war between England and France, when America  hugged herself in the protection of Britain and adopted all her opinions, looked as if they  wished rather than believed all ancient prejudices obliterated. [Some  jealousies had arisen while in Rhode Island on some points of etiquette between the  Count de Estaing and the commander of the American forces.  These had been  amicably adjusted; yet the pride of older military characters had been too much hurt for  the wound to be instantly healed.] They seemed silently to half doubt the  reality of that friendship which appeared in the politeness of their reception, from a  people of a different religion, language, habits, and manners; and at first seemed  reluctant to hold back that flow of affection which the Americans were ready to return in  full measure.

As to the younger class, unconscious of injury, ambitious for glory, and eager for the  humiliation of Britain, hope danced in their eye. Every feature displayed the wish  of mutual confidence; and with honest joy, they extended their arms to embrace their  new allies. Yet, the squadrons of the House of Bourbon riding in the ports and  fortifying the American harbors against their natural friends, the parent of the once loyal  and affectionate colonies, was an event which, though precipitated by the  folly of Britain, had out run the expectations of America; nor could such a circumstance  fail to excite the most serious recollections and contemplations, both of the  philosopher and the politician.

 The timely and judicious movement of General Sullivan disappointed the expectations  of Sir Henry Clinton, who flattered himself he should arrive soon enough to cut  off the retreat of the American army.  When he found they had withdrawn, he  immediately left the neighborhood of Rhode Island and returned to New York, after he  had dispatched Major General Grey at the head of a large detachment on a marauding  expedition against some defenseless towns in Massachusetts.

The first attack was on Bedford, a small town on the River Acushnet.  He landed in the  evening.  The inhabitants alarmed at this unexpected attack, most of them  fled, and left their property a prey to their enemies.  When they returned in the morning,  they found the Britons retired; but to their inexpressible mortification, almost  everything of value was destroyed or carried off.  Houses, warehouses, magazines, and  stores, with near a hundred sail of shipping were burnt on the Bedford and  Fairhaven sides of the river.

After this feat, Grey proceeded to Martha's Vineyard, laid the inhabitants under  contribution, and demanded a surrender of their arms.  From thence he visited  Nantucket and the neighboring isles; and with the plunder of 15,000 or 20,000 cattle and  sheep, for the use of the army at New York, he returned with this party,  exulting in depredations that would have been disgraceful to an officer of much inferior  character and abilities. [A number of refugees from the state of Massachusetts  aided Grey in depredations on their countrymen and former friends.  From a regard to  the feelings of some of their connections, still living in America, we forbear to  name them.]

Sir Henry Clinton, pleased with the success of this expedition, sent Grey immediately on  to aid a similar mode of war on the Jersey coast.  Lord Cornwallis had with  a large body of troops taken post between the North River and the Hackinsack. General  Knyphausen with another division was posted in a parallel position on the  other side of the North River.  Thus were they conveniently situated to guard their  foraging parties, and distress the country by sudden depredations and continual  havoc, during the remainder of the autumn.

General Grey, with his usual activity, had gained intelligence of the insecure situation in  which a regiment commanded by Colonel Baylor had reposed themselves for  the night of September 24.  A party sent on with orders to give no quarter cut off the  guards an surprised the unhappy victims, asleep in an outhouse.  They awoke,  submitted, implored quarter, and were massacred in an hour.  Only 10 or 12 escaped  with life, after they were barbarously wounded, stripped, and left for dead.   This remnant so far recovered as, by favor of the darkness, to reach the post of their  friends and detail the horrid transaction.  They agreed on oath that they and  their companions had all surrendered as soon as they found themselves in the enemy's  hands and asked only for life.  But the savage cry was "kill them, kill them; we  have orders to give no quarter", and the barbarous echo was kept up until every man as,  or appeared to be murdered. [See a particular detail of this transaction in  the British Remembrancer, with the affidavits of the few soldiers that escaped the  massacre.]

A repetition of the same cruel policy soon after took place on the surprise of a party of  Pulaski's light infantry.  Some deserters had betrayed them into the hands of  the British.  Several hundred of these unhappy men were butchered without mercy, after  the surrender of their arms.  The Baron de Bose, a Polish nobleman, as  among the slain.  An apology was afterwards attempted, by pleading that they had  received information that Count Pulaski, in orders to his legion, had enjoined that  no quarter should be given to any that might fall into their hands.  This was denied both  by the Count and his officers.  But had it been true that a foreign nobleman,  hardened amid the barbarities of Polish confederacies, could so far deviate from the laws  of humanity as to give such an order, the example should never have been  followed by the polite and gallant Englishmen. But in this war, they seemed to have lost  those generous feelings of compassion to the vanquished foe that must ever  be teemed honorary to the human character.

A counterpart to the conduct of the more refined, though little more humanized  commanders of the predatory pirates in the middle and northern colonies was  exhibited in the southern borders by their savage allies of the wilderness.

This was dreadfully realized by the inhabitants of Wyoming, a young settlement on the  eastern branch of the Susquehanna.  the population of this once happy spot  had been remarkably rapid, and when the fury of civil discord first appeared among  them, it contained eight townships of five miles square each.  They were situated  in a mild climate, in a country fertile and beautifully displaying a picturesque  appearance of that kind of primitive simplicity only enjoyed before the mind of man is  contaminated by ambition or gold.  But party rage had spread its baneful influence to the  remotest corners of America, and political animosities had at this period  poisoned the peace, even of the most distant villages, where simplicity, friendship, and  industry had reigned, until the fell fiend which prompts to civil war made its  frightful appearance, attended by all the horrors imagination can paint.

The inhabitants of this favored spot, perhaps more zealous than discreet, had so far  participated the feelings of all America, as voluntarily to raise and send forward  1000 men, to join the continental army.  This step disclosed the embers of opposition  that had hitherto lain concealed in the bosoms of a number long disaffected to  the American, and warmly attached to the royal cause.  A rancorous spirit immediately  burst from the latent spark, which divided families, and separated the  tenderest connections.  Animosities soon arose to such a height that some of the most  active members of this flourishing and happy society abandoned their  plantations, forsook their friends, joined and instigated the neighboring savages to  molest the settlements, and assisted in the perpetration of the most unheard of  cruelties.

Several outrages had been committed by small parties, and many threatening  appearances had so far alarmed the inhabitants that most of them had repaired to some  fortresses early erected for their defense against the native savages.  Yet there was no  apprehension of a general massacre and extermination until the beginning of  July, 1778, when an army of near 2000 men made its appearance on the Susquehanna  and landed on their borders.  This body was composed of the motley  materials of Indians, Tories, half-blooded Englishmen, and British renegades, headed by  one Butler, who had nothing human about him, except a rough, external  figure of a man.

All the inhabitants of those weak, defenseless settlements capable of bearing arms,  embodied and put themselves under the direction of a person of the same name, a  near relation of the commander of the savages.  This man, either through fear, weakness,  or misplaced confidence, listened to the offers of treaty from his more artful  kinsman, and suffered himself with 400 men to be drawn from Fort Kingston by a  delusive flat, that alternately advanced and retired, as if apprehensive of danger.   Caught by the snare, he was completely surrounded before he had any suspicion of  deception, and his whole party cut off, notwithstanding they fought with a spirit  becoming their desperate situation.

The victor immediately pushed on, invested the garrison thus indiscreetly left, and  demanded a surrender.  The demand was accompanied by the horrid display of a  great number of scalps, just torn from the heads, and yet warm with blood, of their  nearest friends and relations.  In this situation of wretchedness, embittered by  impotent resentment, Colonel Donnison, on whom the command had devolved, finding  resistance impracticable, went out himself with a  flag to ask the terms of  surrender.  To this humiliating question, the infamous Butler replied with all the sang- froid of the savage, and the laconism of an ancient Greek, "the hatchet."

The unfortunate Donnison returned in despair; yet he bravely defended the fort until  most of his men had fallen by his side, when the barbarians without shut up this  and a neighboring garrison where a number of women and children had repaired for  safety, and setting fire to both, they enjoyed the infernal pleasure of seeing them  perish promiscuously, in the flames lighted by their bloody hands. [The transactions at  Wyoming are recorded above, agreeably tot he most authentic accounts at the  time.]

After this catastrophe, the most shocking devastation was spread through the townships.  While some were employed in burning the houses, setting fire to the  cornfields and rooting out every trait of improvement, others were cruelly and wantonly  imbruing their hands in the blood of their parents, their brothers, and every  near connection who had unfortunately held different political opinions.  But a particular  detail of the transactions of savages, stimulated by the agents of more refined  and polished nations, with passions whetted by revenge, without principle to check its  operations, is too painful to the writer and too disgraceful to human nature to  dwell on.  Nor is it less painful to the impartial historian to relate the barbarous, though  by them deemed necessary, vengeance soon after taken by the Americans.

The conflagration spread over the beautiful country of the Illinois, by a Colonel Clark of  Virginia, equally awakes compassion and was a counterbalance for the  sufferings of the miserable Wyomings.  It is true the Illinois and other distant warlike  tribes were at the instigation of Governor Hamilton [Governor Hamilton was  afterwards captured by Clark.] the British commander at Detroit, generally assisting in  the measures perpetrated under Butler and Brandt nearer the frontiers; and  perhaps the law of retaliation may, in some measure, justify the depredations of Clark.

This intrepid ranger left Virginia in the course of this summer, with a few adventurers as  hardy as himself, and traversed a country 1100 or 12000 miles in extent; and  surmounting all the hardships that imagination can paint, through a wilderness inhabited  only by strolling hunters from among the savages, and the wild beats that  prowled before them, through hunger, fatigue, and sufferings innumerable, they reached  the upper Mississippi.  The Indian inhabitants, who had there long enjoyed a  happy climate and the fruits of a fertile soil, under a high degree of cultivation, fearless  of danger from their distance from civilized neighbors, were surprised by Clark  and his party.  Their crops were destroyed. Their settlements broken up. Their villages  burnt, the principal of which was Kafkafkias.  This town contained near 3000  houses; and had it not bee surprised at midnight by these desperate invaders, bold,  outrageous, and near starving in the wilderness, the natives might successfully  have defended their lives and their plantations. But not a man escaped seasonably to  alarm the neighboring tribes.

A British officer, one Rocheblave, who acted as governor and paymaster for American  scalps, was taken and sent to Virginia, with many written proofs of the cruel  policy of inciting the fury of savages against the American settlements.  From Quebec,  Detroit, Michilimankinac, etc. these orders everywhere appeared under the  signature of the chief magistrates, acting in the name of the British King.  Some of their  principal warriors were made prisoners. The remainder who escaped the  sword had only to fly farther through a trackless wilderness, if possible to procure some  new lodgment, beyond the reach of civilized pursuers.

Nor did the Cherokees, the Muskinums, the Mohawks, and many other average tribes  

feel less severely than the Illinois the resentment of the Americans for their  attachment to the British nation and their cruelties practiced on the borders of the  Atlantic states.

An expedition entrusted to the conduct of General Sullivan against the Six Nations, who  had generally been better disposed towards Americans than most of the  savage tribes, was replete with circumstances that must wound the feelings of the  compassionate heart; while the lovers of cultivation and improvement among all  mankind will be touched by a retaliation bordering, to say the least, on savage fury.  The  sudden and unexpected destruction of a part of the human species, enjoying  domestic quiet in the simplicity of nature, awakes the feelings of the first. The second  must be disturbed in his philosophical pursuits of cultivation and improvement  when he contemplates fire and sword destroying all in their way and houses too well  built to be the workmanship of men in a state of rude nature, the prey of  conflagration, enkindled by the hands of the cultivators of the arts and sciences. [By the  testimony of British writers, this description is not exaggerated.  See their  registers and histories.]

The rooting up of gardens, orchards, cornfields, and fruit trees, which by their variety  and growth discovered that the industrious hand of cultivation had  been long  employed to bring them to perfection, cannot be justified, more especially where there is  a mind capable of looking forward to their utility and bake to the time and  labor it has cost to bring them to maturity.  But General Sullivan, according to his own  account in his letters  to the commander in chief, to Congress, to his friends  and others, spared no vestige of improvement and appeared little less proud of this war  on nature than he was of his conquest of the savages. [See General Sullivan's  account of this expedition on the public records, dated September 30, 1779.]

The difficulties, dangers, and fatigues of the march required courage, firmness, and  perseverance.  Hunger and famine assailed them before they reached the fertile  borders of the pleasant and well-settled Indian towns. Yes General Sullivan and his  party finished the expedition in as short a time as could be expected, and to all  public appearance, met the approbation of Congress and of the commander in chief.

Yet there were some things in the demeanor of General Sullivan that disgusted some of  his officers and raised a censure on his conduct that made him unhappy and  led him to resign his military command.  His health was indeed broken, which he  imputed to the fatigues encountered on this hazardous march. Yet he lived many  years after this period, and was advanced to the highest stations in the civil  

administration of the state of New Hampshire, and died with the reputation of a brave  and active officer, both in military and civil life.

General Sullivan had acquitted himself during his military command with valor and  reputation in many instances.  During the ravages of the British on the Jersey shore,  in the latter part of the summer of 1777, he had gained much honor by an expedition to  Staten Island, concerted by himself.  This he undertook without any orders  from the commander in chief ;and for this a court of inquiry was appointed to examine  into his conduct.  His reasons for such a step, without permission or  command, were thought justifiable.  He brought off a great number of prisoners, officer,  soldiers, and Tories, who had frequently made incursions on the borders of  the Jerseys, and harassed, plundered, and murdered the inhabitants in their sudden  depredations.  it appeared that General Sullivan had conducted this business with  great prudence and success. He was, by the court of inquiry, acquitted with honor and  applause, for planning and executing to great advantage a design from which  so much benefit had resulted.

It may be thought by some an apology sufficient for the invasion of Clark and Sullivan,  of Pickens, Van Schaick, and others, that the hostile dispositions of the  aboriginals had always led them to imbrue their hands in the blood of the borderers. The  warriors of the distant tribes, either instigated by their own ferocity and  resentment, or the influence of Europeans inimical to the United States, were ever ready  to molest the young settlements. Jealous of their encroachments, the natives  viewed them with such a hostile eye that no treaties were binding.  When a favorable  opportunity presented, they always attacked the whites, perhaps from the same  impulse that in human nature prompts all mankind, whether civilized or savage, to resist  the invaders of his territory.

Indeed their condition and their sufferings, from the first emigration of the Europeans,  their corruptions in consequence thereof, their wards, and their extirpation from  a vast tract of the American continent must excite a solemn pause in the breast of the  philosopher, while he surveys the wretchedness of savage life, and sighs over it  misery.  Yet he is not relieved when he contemplates the havoc among civilized nations,  the changes in society, the protraction of principle, and the revolutions  permitted by Providence in this speck of creation.

The rivers of blood through which mankind generally wade to empire and greatness  must draw out the tear of compassion; and every sympathetic bosom will  commiserate the sufferings of the whole human race, either friends or foes, whether  dying by the sword, sickness or remorse, under the splendid canopy reared by  their own guilty hands.  These with equal pity look into the wilderness; they see the  naked hunter groaning out his fierce soul on his native turf, slain by the tomahawk  of his own savage tribe, or wounded by some neighboring hordes that prowl through an  existence little elevated above the brute.  Both stages of society excite  compassion, and both intimate to the rational mind that this is but the road to a more  improved and exalted state of existence.

But the unhappy race of men hutted throughout the vast wilderness of America, were the  original proprietors of the soil; and if they have not civilization, they have  valor; if they have not patriotism, they have a predilection to country, and are tenacious  of their hunting grounds.  However the generous or human mind may revolt at  the idea, there appears a probability that they will be hunted from the vast American  continent, if not from off the face of the globe, by Europeans of various  descriptions, aided by the interested Americans, who all consider valor in an Indian only  as a higher degree of ferocity.

Their strenuous efforts to retain the boundaries assigned them by nature and Providence,  are viewed with contempt by those descriptions of persons, or rather as a  sanction to their own rapacity, and a warrant from heaven to exterminate the hapless  race.  But "the rivers, the mountains, the deserts, the savages clad in armor, with  other destroyers of men", as well as the voice of heaven and their natural boundaries,  forbid these encroachments on the naked forester, content with the produce of  nature in his own grounds, and the game that plays in his own wild woods, which his  ancestors have possessed from time immemorial.

 The ideas of some Europeans as well as Americans, that the rude tribes of savages  cannot be civilized by the kind and humane endeavors of their neighbors, is  absurd and unfounded.  What were once ancestors of the most refined and polite modern  nations but rude, ignorant savages, inured to all the barbarous customs and  habits of present existing tribes/  Nature has been equal in its operations with regard to  the whole human species.  There is no difference in the moral or intellectual  capacity of nations, but what arises from adventitious circumstances that give some a  more early and rapid improvement in civilization  than others.  This gradual rise  from the rude stages of nature to the highest pitch of refinement may be traced by the  historian, the philosopher, and the naturalist, sufficiently to obviate all objections  against the strongest efforts to instruct and civilize the swarms of men in the American  wilds, whose only natural apparent distinction is a copper-colored skin.  When  the present war ceases to rage, it is hoped that humanity will teach Americans of a fairer  complexion to use the most strenuous efforts to instruct them in arts,  manufactures morals, and religion, instead of aiming at their extermination.

It is true at this period, when war was raging through all the united States, few of the  tries of the wilderness appeared to be contented with their own native  inheritance.  They were everywhere stimulated by the British government to hostility,  and most of the inhabitants of the wilderness seemed to be in array against their  former colonies.  This crated a necessity in Congress to act offensively against the rude  and barbarous nations.  Defensive war against any nation, whether civilized or  savage is undoubtedly justifiable both in a moral and political view.  But attempts to  penetrate distant countries and spread slaughter and bloodshed among innocent  and unoffending tribes, too distant to awaken fears, and too simple and unsuspicious to  expect approaching destruction from those they had never injured, has no  warrant from Heaven.

Even in the present war, instances may be adduced of the effects of civilization, which  often soften the most savage manners; one of which may be here recorded.  A  part of the Muskingum tribe had professed themselves Christian of the Moravian sect.   They considered war of any kind as inconsistent both with the laws of religion  and humanity.  They refused to take any part with the numerous hostile tribes of savages  in the war against the Americans.  They observed with more rationality and  consideration than is generally discovered in more civilized nations "that the Great Spirit  did not make men to destroy, but to assist and comfort each other."

They persisted in this placid demeanor, until some of their savage neighbors were so  enraged that they forcibly removed them from their former settlement; and after  committing great cruelties and destroying a number of them, placed the remainder near  the Sandusky.  Their removal was in consequence of orders from the British  commander at Detroit.  They remained for some time in the enjoyment of their own  simple habits; but some suspicions were afterwards infused among the settlers on  the Monongahela that their dispositions were not friendly to the Americans.  It is painful  o relate that on this slight pretense, a number of Americans embodied  themselves and marched to the Moravian town, where the principle men had repaired by  permission to reap the harvest they had left standing in the fields.  The  Americans followed them and barbarously murdered the whole of this innocent and  inoffensive band.

The whites at first decoyed them by a friendly appearance, which induced them to  collect themselves together. When thus collected, they, without resistance,  suffered themselves to be bound and inhumanly butchered.  They died professing their  full expectation that their troubles would soon be at an end.  Thus they fell as  martyrs to religion, by the hands of a people who had much longer professed themselves  adherents to the principles of Christianity.

This instance of the treachery and cruelty of the whites is one among many other proofs  of the truth of an observation made by a gentleman [A young American  officer of great sensibility and penetration, who fell at the Battle of the Miamis, 1791.]  afterwards, "that the white savages were generally more savage than the  copper-colored; and that nine times out of ten, the settlers on the borders were the  aggressors; that he had seen many of the natives who were prisoners at Fort  Washington; that they appeared to be possess of much sensibility and gratitude; that he  had discovered some singular instances o this among them, very honorable to  the human character, before the advantages or the examples of civilized nations had  reached their borders.'

In short, no arguments are necessary to adduce the truth or impress on the minds either  of the philosopher or the politician that it will be the indispensable duty of the  American government, when quietly established by the restoration of peace, to endeavor  to soften and civilize, instead of exterminating the rude nations of the  interior.  This will undoubtedly be attempted in some future period, when uncultivated  reason may be assisted; when arts, agriculture, science, and true religion, may  enlighten the dark corners which have been obscured by ignorance and ferocity, for  countless ages.  The embrowned, dusky wilderness has exhibited multitudes of  men, little distinguished from the fierce animals they hunted, except in their external  form. Yet, in a few instance, the dignity of human nature has been discovered by  traits of reason and humanity, which wanted only the advantage of education to display  genius and ability equal to any among the nations, that have hunted millions of  those unhappy people out of existence, since the discovery of America by Europeans.   But it is a pleasing anticipation that the American Revolution may be a means  in the hands of Providence of diffusion universal knowledge over a quarter of the globe,  that for ages had been enveloped in darkness, ignorance, and barbarism.


Chapter Fourteen:  Foreign negotiations. Dissensions among the American  commissioners. Deane recalled. Mr. Adams  appointed. Mr. Lee and Mr. Adams recalled. Spain declares war against England. Mr.  Jay sent to the Court of Madrid. Sir  George Collier's expedition to Virginia. His sudden recall.  Ravages on the North River.   Depredations in the state of  Connecticut, in aid of Governor Tryon and his partisans. General Washington seizes  Stoney Point. Recovered by the British.  Penobscot expedition. Destruction of the American navy.

 It has already been observed that in an early stage of the American contest, some  gentlemen were deputed to negotiate ad to endeavor to secure the assistance of  several European nations.  This had had such an effect that at the period we are now  upon, the United States were in strict alliance with France, and were  considered in a partial and respectful light by some of the first powers in Europe.  Yet  difficulties both at home and abroad which had scarcely been viewed in  theory, were no realized and felt with poignancy by the true friends of their country.

The objects that employed the abilities of Congress at this period were of such  magnitude as required the experience of ancient statesmen, the coolness of long  practiced politicians, and the energies of virtue.

The articles of confederation offered to the consideration of each legislative in the  several states, in 1776, had been rejected by some and suspended by others.  It  is true, they were now recently ratified by all of them, but were scarcely yet established  on a permanent basis. [See Note 5 at the end of this chapter.]

They had to arrange, harmonize, and support the new permanent army, collected from  every part of the union, and now interwoven with foreign volunteers from  different European nations; and in the rear of every other difficulty at home, they had to  guard with all possible discretion, against the innumerable moral and political  evils ever the inevitable consequence of a depreciating currency.

Abroad they had a task of equal difficulty, to heal the animosities that existed and to  conciliate the differences that had arisen among the American ministers at the  court of France, to prevent the fatal consequences of their virulence toward each other.   This was expressed in strong language in their letters to Congress, nor was it  a secret in the courts of England or France, in some instances, perhaps it was fomented  by both.

In the infancy of Congress, in the magnitude of the new scenes that were opening before  them, and in the critical emergencies that sprung up on untrodden ground,  they, through hurry or inexperience,  had not in all instances selected men of the most  impeccable characters to negotiate with foreign powers.  Perhaps in some of  their appointments, they did not always look so much at the integrity of the heart, as at  the capacity of the man for the arts of intrigue, the ray address, and the supple  accomplishments necessary for the courtier, both to insure his own reception with  princes, and to complete the wishes of his employers in his negotiations with  practiced statesmen.

Silas Deane, Esquire, a delegate to Congress from the state of Connecticut, was the first  person who had been vested with a foreign commission.  He embarked as a  commercial agent in behalf of the United States in 1776, and as afterwards named in the  honorable commission for a treaty of alliance with the Court of France, in  conjunction with Doctor Franklin and Arthur Lee, Esquire.

Mr. Deane had nothing to recommend him to such a distinguished and important  appointment, except a degree of mercantile experience, combined with a certain  secrecy or cunning that wore the appearance of knowing things much beyond his ability  and the art of imposing a temporary believe of a penetration far beyond his  capacity. His weakness and ostentation, his duplicity, extravagance and total want of  principle were soon discovered by his constituents; but they placed the most  unlimited confidence in the great abilities, profound knowledge, and unshaken  patriotism, of the venerable and philosophic Franklin.  His warm attachment to his  native country had been evinced in numberless instances, during his long residence in  England as agent to the British Court, both for the Massachusetts and the sate  of Pennsylvania.

Before he left England in 1775, he had taken unwearied pains to reconcile on the  principles of equity and sound policy, the breach between Great Britain and  America.  In the beginning of hostilities, he repaired to Philadelphia, as chosen a  member of Congress, and by his decided republican principles, soon became a  favorite in the councils of American, a stable prop of her independence, and the most  able and influential negotiator they could send abroad.

The character and principles of Mr. Arthur Lee gave equal reason to expect his most  energetic endeavors to support the interest and weal of America.  He had  resided in England for several years as agent for the state of Virginia.  Invariably  attached to his native country, and indefatigable in his efforts to ward off the  impending evils that threatened it, he had communicated much useful intelligence and  advantageous advice to the patriotic leaders in various parts of America; and by  his spirited writings and diligent exertions, he procured them many fiends in England.   He was a man of a clear understanding, great probity, plain manners, an strong  passions.  Though he loved America sincerely, he had at this period great respect and  affection for the parent sate; and his predilection in favor of Britain appeared  strongly, when balanced with the idea of an American connection with the House of  Bourbon.

The celebrity of Doctor Franklin has been so just and so extensive that it is painful even  for the impartial historian who contemplates the superiority of his genius to  record the foibles of the man; but intoxicated by the warm caresses and unbounded  applause of all ranks, among a people where the art of pleasing is systematized,  he appeared notwithstanding his age and experience, in a short time after his residence  in France, little less a Gallican than an American.  This might be from polity.  It  was said, however, that he attached himself to the interest of the Count of Vergennes,  who, though he countenanced the American Revolution, and cooperated in  measures that completed it, yet it was afterwards discovered that he secretly wished to  embarrass her councils and dreaded the rising glory of the United States.  Whatever suggestion there might have been, it was never supposed that Doctor Franklin  was led off from his attachment to the interest of America; yet this  distinguished sage became susceptible of a court influence that startled his jealous and  more frigid colleague, Mr. Lee.

Thus the trio of American agents at the Court of France were designated by peculiar  traits of character; yet the respectability of Dr. Franklin and Mr. Lee was never  lessened either at home or abroad notwithstanding some variation of opinion.  But Mr.  Deane immersed in the pleasures of a voluptuous city, a dupe to the intrigues  of deeper politicians, not awed by the aged philosopher the tools of the French minister,  and the supple instrument of military characters, ambitious of rifling into the  fair field of glory in America, he wasted the property and bartered away the honors of  his country, by promising offices of rank to 50 gentlemen at a time.  He sent  many of these on to America wit the most flattering expectations of promotion and even  with ideas of superseding the previous appointments of Congress.

Many of the French officers who arrived on the American continent at this early period,  with these fallacious hopes, were men of real merit, military experience, and  distinguished rank; but it was impossible for Congress to provide for them all according  to their views, without deranging the whole army and disgusting many of their  best officers.  Thus disappointed, some of them returned to France, under a cloud of  chagrin that was not easily dissipated.

The indiscretion of Mr. Deane did not terminate with his engagements to individual  strangers; for while he embarrassed Congress sand the army with his contracts  and his country by squandering the public moneys, he had the audacity to propose in a  letter to a person of influence that a foreign prince should be invited to  command the armies of the United States. [Deane in this letter name Prince Ferdinand of  Brunswick as a suitable commander for the armies of the free Americans.]

From the outlines of these heterogeneous characters, it is not strange that the most  incurable animosities took place among the commissioners, and arose to such a  height as to endanger the interests of an infant republic. Indeed the fate of America in  some measure depended on the vigor, integrity, prudence, and unanimity of her  ministers abroad; but dissension ran to such a pitch among them that it exposed them not  only to the censure of their country, but to the derision of Britain.  Consequently, an immediate recall of some of the American commissioners became  necessary, and an order passed in Congress, December, 1777 that Silas Deane,  Esquire, should immediately return to America.  No reasons were offered for his recall;  and Mr. John Adams of the state of Massachusetts was chosen to succeed  as the commissioner in behalf of the United States at the Court of France.

Mr. Deane arrived in America a short time after the treaty with France had been received  and ratified by Congress.  He assumed an air of importance and  self-confidence; and as guilt frequently sends a hue and cry after justice, in order to  hoodwink the multitude, and calls loudly for vengeance on such as are about to  detect his villainy, he offered a most inflammatory address to the public, complaining of  ill usage and vilifying Mr. Lee in the grossest terms.  He criminated every part  of his public conduct, charged him with betraying his trust, corresponding with  gentlemen in England, impeding as much a possible the alliance with France, and  disclosing the secrets of Congress to British noblemen.  At the same time, he cast the  most virulent and insidious reflections on his brother, William Lee, agent for  Congress at the courts of Vienna and Berlin.

He claimed much merit relative to the treaty of alliance with France, and complained  

heavily that Congress delayed giving him an opportunity of vindicating his own  character, by an immediate public investigation.  By these bold suggestions and  allegations, so injurious to Congress and to their ministers the public mind was for a  time greatly agitated  But the attack on individual character was defeated by the  exertions of some very able writers [Amor Dayton and others. Also Mr. Paine,  author of a pamphlet entitled Common Sense. See some observations on his character,  Note 6 at the end of this chapter.], who laid open the iniquitous designs and  practices of the delinquent and his abettors; while Congress parried the abuse, they  defended their own measures and quieted the clamors of a party against  themselves, by calling Mr. Deane to a hearing on the floor of their house.

With the guise of innocence and the effrontery of guilt, he evaded the scrutiny by  pleading that his papers and vouchers were all left in Europe, where, he alleged, the  necessity of his own private affairs required his immediate presence.  In short, though it  was obvious that he had abused his commission, rioted long at the public  expense, and grossly slandered some of its most faithful servants, yet by the influence of  certain characters within and a tenderness for some without, who might be  exposed by too strict an investigation, Congress were induced to suffer him again to  leave the continent and return to Europe, though into as a public character, yet  without punishment or judicial censure.  He afterwards wandered from court to court,  and from city to city, for several years; at last, reduced o the extreme of  poverty and wretchedness, he died miserably in England.

Parties ran very high in Congress relative to the dissension among their ministers.  Mr.  Lee had many friends in that assembly.  Dr. Franklin had more. And it was  necessary for some mercantile speculators in that body to endeavor to throw a veil over  the character of Mr. Deane that under its shade, the beams of clearer light  might not too deeply penetrate their own.

Mr. Robert Morris, a member of Congress from the state of Pennsylvania,  had  undoubtedly been concerned in some very profitable contracts in company with  several French and American gentlemen, besides Mr. Deane; and under the sanction of  public negotiations, the most lucrative trade was carried on, and the fortunes  of individual accumulated beyond calculation.

Monsieur Gerard, the French minister residing in Philadelphia, as warmly attached to  Dr. Franklin and Mr. Deane and not less disgusted with Mr. Lee.  It may be  observed that there are few public ministers so tenacious of the dignity of their own  character and conduct as not occasionally to descent to rank among partisans  and exert the influence of public character to gratify private interest or resentment.  Thus  Mr. Gerard, an idolizer of Dr. Franklin, supported Mr. Deane, offered  pensions to take off the defenders of Mr. Lee, and instead of retaining the superiority of  an ambassador from one of the first monarchs in Europe, appeared the  champion of a club of merchants and speculators.  He resided but a short time in  

America; the Chevalier de la Luzerne superseded him as ambassador to the United  States, in the summer of 1779.  The reasons of his recall do not appear; but it was  undoubtedly a prudent measure in the Court of France, not to suffer a minister to  continue after the had discovered himself attached to a party.

Within a few months after Congress had made a new arrangement of ministers, and Mr.  Adams had been sent on in the room of Mr. Deane, both Mr. Adams and  Mr. Lee were directed to repair immediately to American; and Dr. Franklin was  appointed sole minister at the Court of France.  Americans, it is true, were early  initiated in the spirit of intrigue, but they were not yet so thoroughly acquainted with the  maneuvers of courts as to investigate the necessity of the sudden recall of  those gentlemen.

Mr. Lee had been very severely censured by many for his want of address and his  unaccommodating spirit that the French Court. Nor had he been more successful  in his negotiations with Spain. He had resided some months at Madrid as commercial  agent with powers if practicable to negotiate a treaty or to obtain a load of  money for the use of the United States.  But he was unacceptable to the court; and though  he had the abilities of a statesman, he was without the address of a courtier;  and his negotiations in Spain redounded little to the advantage of America.  Yet such  was his integrity that he found it not difficult on his arrival in his own country to  reinstate himself fully in the good opinion of the public and to wipe from his character  the aspersions of malice or prejudice.

 Mr. Adams returned rather disgusted at the early revocation of his commission, and the  unexpected order thus speedily to leave the Court of France. He did not  himself repair to Congress, but retired privately to his seat in Braintree, where he  employed himself for a time in preparing a concise statement of the situation and  political connections of the different powers of Europe, which he laid before Congress,  with his opinion of their interests and their views relative to America, and  recommended the pursuance of every step that might tend to strengthen the alliance with  France. Nothing can more strongly exhibit the pride Mr. Adams felt in the  Gallican alliance and his zeal for supporting it than the expressions contained in his own  letters on this subject, on his first residence at the Court of France.

But in Mr. Adams's communications to Congress, he advised them strenuously and  invariably "to guard against the principles in government and the manner that  were so opposite to the constitutions of America, and the character of a young people,  who might hereafter be called to form establishments for a great nation." [This  was under the despotism of kings. It was monarchic principles and manners that Mr.  Adams then admonished his countrymen to avoid. See his letter to Congress,  August 4, 1779.] Mr. Adams continued this retired and mortified situation for some  months; but we shall see in its place, he was afterwards called upon to transact  affairs of a very high and important nature.

It was obvious to everyone that from the family interest and connection between the  courts of France and Spain, the latter would undoubtedly cooperate with the  views and designs of the former; but no treaty, alliance or any public countenance had  yet been given to the Americans by the Court of Madrid.  Spain had oscillated  between peace and war for several years. She had offered herself as mediatrix among the  contending powers; but insulted on the seas and her interference rejected  by Britain, she appeared in June 1779 to act a more decided part.  The Marquis de  Almodovar, the Spanish ambassador in London, delivered a rescript to Lord  Weymouth about this time, couched in language that amounted to a declaration of war.

On these movements in Europe, Congress thought proper again to send an envoy to the  Court to Spain.  John Jay, Esquire, a gentleman from the state of New  York, was appointed to this mission, September 27, 1779. His capacity was equal to the  business. He was well received, and his public character acknowledged;  yet his negotiations were of little consequence to America, while he resided in Spain.  Perhaps apprehensive that the spirit of freedom and revolt might extend to her  own colonies, Spain chose to withhold her assistance.

No treaty with the United States was effected by Mr. Jay's mission, no concessions with  regard to the free navigation of the Mississippi or any security for trade to  the Bay of Honduras were obtained.  On these important points, he was directed to  negotiate as well as solicit a loan of money sufficient to assist eh United States in  pursuit o their measures.  But no loan of money of any consequence was to be drawn  from the frigid and wary Spaniards. Notwithstanding the necessities of  America were fully exposed by her minister, the highest favor he could obtain was the  trivial load of 4000 or 5000 pounds.

Spain had no predilection in favor of the independence of the British colonies. She had  always governed her own plantations beyond the Atlantic with a very  arbitrary and despotic hand. Their contiguity and intercourse with the North Americans  led her to fear that the spirit of freedom might be contagious and their own  subjects there so far infected as to render it necessary to keep themselves in reserve  against future contingencies.  This they had done for some time after a war was  announced between Great Britain and France; but it was impossible for them to continue  longer neutral. France was now involve din war, and decidedly supporting  the Americans, and England, in expectation of a union of interests, and a modification of  the same line of conduct, in the courts of several branches of the House of  Bourbon, had in various instances discovered a hostile disposition, and stood in a  menacing posture, as if both her sword and her flag were ready to meet the  conjoined forces of both France and Spain.

His Catholic Majesty thought it impossible for him longer to delay an explicit  declaration of his intentions. He published a long manifesto, giving the reasons for a  declaration of war. He ordered his ambassador to retired from the Court of London,  without taking leave, and in a schedule published by order, great moderation  was professed.  In a paper delivered to Lord Weymouth by the Marquis de Almodovar,  it was observed that "the causes of complain given by the Court of London  not having ceased, and that Court showing no dispositions to give reparation for them,  the King has resolved, and orders his ambassador to declare that the honor of  Crown, the protection which he owes to his subjects, and his own personal dignity do  not permit him to suffer their insults to continue and to neglect any longer the  reparation of those already received; and that in this view, notwithstanding the pacific  dispositions of His Majesty, and even the particular inclination he had always  had and expressed, for cultivating the friendship of his Britannic Majesty, he find  himself under the disagreeable necessity of making use of all the means which the  Almighty has entrusted him with, to obtain that justice which he has solicited by so  many ways, without being able to acquire it.

"In confiding on the justice of his cause, His Majesty hopes that the consequences of this  resolution will not be imputed to him before God or man; and that other  nations will form a suitable idea of this resolution by comparing it to the conduct which  they themselves have experience on the part of the British ministry."

While things stood thus in the courts of Great Britain, France, and Spain, the indecisive  movement for a time in the southern states of America, engaged the public  attention, and awakened anxious apprehensions for the result; at the same time that a  scene of rapine and plunder was spread through the central parts, Virginia,  New York, and Connecticut.

The predatory excursions of this year were begun early in the summer.  An expedition to  the Chesapeake, under the command of Sir George Collier of the navy and  General Matthews of the army, served no other purpose than to alarm, distress, and  impoverish the towns of Portsmouth, Suffolk, and other places in the state of  Virginia that fell under their spirit of conflagration.  They stayed but a short time there.  After enriching themselves with the spoils of the inhabitants and leaving many  of those who had once basked in the lap of affluence the houseless children of poetry,  they left the state, by order of the British commander in chief.

The pleasant line of towns bordering on  Long Island Sound, in the state of Connecticut  were the next who felt the severe consequences of this mode of war from  British troops supported and covered by the squadron under Sir George Collier, who  was recalled from the Chesapeake to aid similar measures farther north.

About the beginning of July, Governor Tryon with a number of disaffected Americans  and General Garth with a ravaging party of British troops and German  Yaughers, landed at New Haven, took possession of the town with little resistance,  plundered and insulted the inhabitants, on whom every cruelty was perpetrated,  except burning their houses; this was delayed from their thirst for plunder and the  barbarous abuse of the hapless females who fell sacrifices to their wanton and  riotous appetites.  Hurried afterwards by their avarice for new scenes of plunder and  misery, they left New Haven and repaired to Fairfield, where they landed on  the seventh of the month.

This place suffered a still more cruel and severe fate.  Their landing at Fairfield was but  feebly opposed. The militia indeed made a faint resistance, but soon retreated,  and left their property and, in many instances, their families to the mercy of the enemy.   This was not altogether from the want of courage, but from a consciousness  of their won comparative weakness, and a strange delusive opinion that the generosity  and compassion of the British would be exercised towards them when they  found only a few women, children, and aged men left, who seemed to have thrown  themselves on their compassion.

The historian would willingly draw a veil over the wanton outrages committed on the  wretched inhabitants left in the town, most o them of the feebler sex.  Some of  them, the first characters in the place, from a wish to save their property, and an  indiscreet confidence in the honor of Governor Tryon, which whom they had been  personally acquainted, and who had formerly received many civilities at their houses,  risked their own persons and their honor amid the fury of a conquering enemy  on a kind of sham protection from a man who had forgotten the obligations of politeness  and the gratitude due to those who had treated him with every mark of  

genteel hospitality.

The principal ladies of Fairfield, who from little knowledge of the world, of the usages  of armies or the general conduct of men, when circumstances combine to  render them savage, could not escape the brutality of the soldiery, by showing their  protections from Governor Tryon.  Their houses were rifled, their persons  abused, and after the general pillage and burning of everything valuable in the town,  some of these miserable victims of sorrow were found half distracted in the  swamps and in the fields, whither they had fled in the agonies of despair.

Tryon endeavored afterwards to exculpate his own character and made some futile  excuses for his conduct.  He would have justified himself on the principles of  policy when he felt the indignation expressed against him for his want of humanity; but  policy, reason, and virtue equally revolt at modes of war that eradicate from  the mind not only the moral feelings, but the sense of decency, civility, and politeness.

The avidity of this party was by no means satiated by the distresses of New Haven and  the total destruction of Fairfield. The neighboring towns of Norwalk and  Greenfield suffered a similar fate. the waste of property in shipping and merchandise  was there more complete.  The whole coast equally defenseless and exposed to  their ravages expected to fall in the same way; but, whether from compunction or policy  is uncertain, whichever it might be, Sir Henry Clinton thought proper to  check the career of depredation by  a sudden recall within ten days of their landing at New Haven.

Meantime, General Washington had kept himself in a defensive and respectable  situation in the central parts of America, but without a movement for any very capital  stroke, after the derangement of a well concerted plan for an attack on the city of New  York.  He had expected the aid of the French squadron from the West  Indies to facilitate this judicious measure.  The militia of several states had been  collected to assist in the design. the arm was in high spirits. Sanguine expectations  were formed; and everything promised success to the enterprise.  But the Count de  Estaing, perhaps ambitious to subjugate one of the states to the arms of his  master and not dreaming of effectual resistance to a force, both by land and sea, that  might reasonably be thought sufficient for the most capital enterprise, instead of  uniting first with General Washington and covering his attempt on New York by a  respectable necessary naval force, he thought proper to hazard the reduction of  Georgia on his way, and then repair northward.

But his attack on Savannah, his unexpected repulse and retreat, not only retarded, but  totally prevented the decisive stroke contemplated by Washington, nor less  apprehended by Clinton, who was thereby induced to order the evacuation of Newport  and draw off all his troops from that quarter.  Newport and its environs had  been infested with the inconvenience and misery of an army and navy on their borders  from the seizure of that place by Earl Percy in 1776 to their relief in the  present year.

The circumstances above related put it out of the power of General Washington to  prosecute the feasible system he had meditated.  The militia were dismissed, and  many of the continental troops returned as usual at the expiration of their term of  enlistment.  General Clinton had made several attempts to draw the American  commander from his strong and defensible post in the Jerseys, as well as to induce him  to divide his army to oppose the desultory invasions and depredations on the  defenseless east coast.  But General Washington very well knew the advantages he  might lose by weakening the main body of his army and was too wise and  judicious to be ensnared by the maneuvers of the British commander.

The first object of Sir George Collier's speedy recall from the ravage of the borders of  Virginia was to cooperate with General Vaughan in the important movement  son the North River.  The principal design of this project was to obtain some important  posts on the Hudson. General Vaughan, who had before been distinguished  for his feats there, still commanded on the Hudson, but higher up the river. On the  arrival the squadron commanded by Sir George Collier, they united, and  immediately made themselves masters of Stoney Point on the one side, and Verplanks  Neck on the other.

After these places had been dismantled the preceding autumn by Sir Henry Clinton, the  Americans had in part repaired the works. In each post they behaved with  spirit and resolution; but as their numbers were inconsiderable, and their works  unfinished, they soon surrendered prisoners of war, on the single condition of humane  treatment.

Not many days after this event, General Washington ordered a detachment of his most  active troops, under the command of General Wayne, to attempt the  recovery of Stoney Point.  This bold and vigorous enterprise was conducted in a manner  peculiarly honorary both to the officers and soldiers, but not altogether so  consistent with humanity.  they were directed not to load their pieces, but to depend on  the bayonet. One who appeared discontented at the order was shot on the  occasion.  Though this summary mode of punishment is severe, it was designed to  prevent the effusion of blood.  Doubtless, had the British been early alarmed by  the fire of the American arms, the carnage would have been greater.

The works had been repaired and strengthened with great alacrity, and two British  regiments, some loyal Americans, and several companies of artillery left in  garrison by General Vaughan.  On the evening of July 5, after a difficult and hazardous  march, Wayne reached, surprised, and recovered the post, in spite of the  valiant opposition within.  Colonel Fleury, an amiable, ambitious, and spirited young  Frenchman, had the honor and peculiar pleasure of striking the British standard  with his own hand.  this youthful officer had received the thanks of Congress and the  honorary rewards of the soldier for his distinguished bravery in several previous  rencounters.

General Wayne was himself slightly wounded in the enterprise; but the united applauses  of the commander in chief, of Congress and of his country, which he received  would have been ample compensation for more painful wounds, or much severer  fatigue. The acquisition of this post was more honorary than important. An attempt  to have held it would have been fruitless. It had been previously determined in a council  of war that on the success of Wayne, the works should be demolished and  the stores brought off.

Sir Henry Clinton immediately set his whole army in motion for the relief of Verplanks,  which was momently expected to surrender to the American arms, and for the  recovery of Stoney Point.  He succeeded in his wishes; and after only three days of  possession, this contested spot a third time changed its masters; and the  command of the whole river for a time continued in the hands of the British.

Several other maneuvers took place about this time near New York, and the more central  parts of the country that kept up the spirit of enterprise and the honor of  the arms of the states. But a more consequential affair occupied the public attention in  the eastern extreme of the American territory.  A Colonel Maclean had been  sent with a party of British troops from Halifax to land at the mouth of the Penobscot,  within the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts. He erected a fort, and established  a strong post in a convenient situation for harassing the trade and distressing the young  settlements bordering on the province of Nova Scotia.  When this intelligence  was received at Boston, the hardy and enterprising sprit of the men of Massachusetts did  not hesitate to make immediate preparation to dislodge n enemy whose  temerity had led them to encroach on their state.

It had been only four years since the commencement of hostilities with Britain.   America was then not only without a navy, but without a single ship of war. The idea  of constructing and equipping a maritime force was ridiculed by some and thought  chimerical and impracticable by others.  But the human mind is generally capable  of accomplishing whatever it has resolution to under take.

By the industry and vigilance of public bodies and pirate adventurers, they had in this  short period acquired a navy that a century before would have made a  

respectable figure among the most warlike nations; and within ten days after Maclean's  attempt was known at Boston, the Warren, a handsome new frigate of force,  commanded by Commodore Saltonstall and seventeen other continental, state, and pirate  ships, were equipped, manned, victualled, and ready for sea.  They were  accompanied by an equal number of transports, with a considerable body of land forces  who embarked in high spirits and with the sanguine expectation of a short  and successful expedition.

This business was principally conducted by the state legislature. Nor would the  gentlemen of the continental navy board consent to hazard the public ships, unless the  commander officers were positively enjoined to execute their design immediately.  They  were apprehensive that nay delay might give opportunity to send a superior  force from New York.  from the dilatory conduct of the Americans, after they reached  Penobscot, these apprehensions were realized; and before any efficient  movements had taken place, Sir George Collier with a heavy squadron under his  command, appeared for the relief of Maclean.

General Lovell, who commanded by land, was a man of little military experience and  never made for enterprise sufficient to dislodge the British from a post of  consequence or in any way complete an undertaking that required decision, promptitude  and judgment.  Commodore Saltonstall proved himself a character of as  little enterprise, and in this instance, of less spirit than the commander of the troops  designed to act on shore.

Thus by the shameful delay of both and to the mortification of many brave officers who  accompanied them, the expedition terminated in the disgrace of both army  and navy and the total destruction of the fleet. On the first appearance of George Collier,  the American shipping moved up the river with a show of resistance, but in  reality to escape by land from an enemy they seemed not to have expected, nor had the  courage to face.  Two of their best ships fell into the hands of the British.  The remainder, lighted by their won hands, suffered a complete conflagration.  The  panic-struck troops, after leaving their own ships, chagrined at the conduct of  Saltonstall, and disgusted with the inactivity, indecision, and indiscretion of Lovell,  made their escape through the woods in small, indiscriminate parties of soldiers  and sailors. On their way, they agreed on nothing, but in railing at their officers and  suffering the natural ebullitions of disappointment to spend itself in mutual  reproaches.  With fatigue, hunger, and difficulty, they reached the settlements on the  Kennebec, and brought the intelligence of their won defeat.

It was not in the power of the infant states to repair their maritime loss during the war;  and to complete the ruin of their little navy, some of their best ships were lost  in the defense of Charleston the year following, as will be seen hereafter.  What added to  the mortification of this last stroke was that these ships were prepared and  ready to sail in order to prosecute a very flattering expedition projected by the  gentlemen of the navy board in the eastern department when they received an express  order from Congress to send them to South Carolina.

Scarcely an single event during the great contest caused more triumph to Britain than  this total demolition of the beginning of an American navy.  So successful and  enterprising had they been that a gentleman of the first information has observed that  "the privateers from Boston in one year would defray more than one half the  expense of that year's war." [See letters of the honorable John Adams to Mr. Calkoen.]  By their rapid progress, they had given the promise of a formidable  appearance on the ocean that in time they might become a rival even to the proud  mistress of the seas; but this blow gave a fatal stroke of the present to all farther  attempts of the kind.

After the loss of Charleston, the ship Alliance and the Deane frigate were the only  remnants left to the American navy.  These were soon after sold at public auction,  the navy boards dissolved, and all maritime enterprise extinguished, except by private  adventurers.  They were also much less fortunate after the loss of the public  ships than they had been at the beginning of the war.  It was calculated that two out of  three were generally captured by the British, after the year 1780. Time may  again revive the ambition for a naval power there, as American is abundantly replete  with everything necessary for the equipment of fleets of magnitude and  respectability.

After all it may justly be considered that the constructing a national fleet is but an  addition to human misery; for besides the vast expense of such equipments, the idle  and licentious habits of a vast body of sailors, a naval armament is only a new engine to  carry death and conflagration to distant, unoffending, innocent nations.  The  havoc of human life on the ocean, the great balance of evil resulting from naval  engagements, if duly weighted in the scale of equity or humanity might lead the nations  with one general consent, to their total annihilation. Yet undoubtedly, the pride of  empire and the ambition of kids will still induce them to oppress their subjects for  the purpose of enhancing their own power, by this horrid instrument of human carnage;  an that they will continue to waft death and destruction to every corner of the  globe, that their maritime thunders can reach.

It is true the etiquette of modern courts usually introduces some plausible apologies as a  sort of prelude to the opening of those real scenes of war and destruction  which they are preparing to exhibit by that monstrous engine of misery, a naval  armament. "They usually trumpet forth the godlike attributes of justice, equity, mercy,  and above all, that universal benevolence and tenderness to mankind with which their  respective courts of sovereigns are supposed to be infinitely endued; and  deplore in the most pathetic strains those very evils that they are bringing on and those  miseries which they are exerting their utmost powers to inflict."

But it is to be feared that it will be long before we shall see a combination of powers ,  whatever maybe their professions, whose ultimate object is the establishment  of universal equity, liberty, and peace among mankind.  War, the courage of the human  race, either from religious or political pretenses, will probably continue to  torment the inhabitants of the earth until some new dispensation shall renovate the  passions correct the vices, and elevate the mind of mortals beyond the pursuits of  time.

The world has so long witnessed the sudden and dreadful devastation made by naval  armaments that it is unnecessary to expatiate thereon; it is enough to observe  that the splendid display of maritime power has appeared on the largest theaters of  human action.  The proudest cities have unexpectedly been invaded and the  inhabitants involved in misery by the firs of those floating engines in too many instances  to particularize for the first building up a British navy to the early attempt of  America to strengthen themselves by following the example of the parent state, in  building and equipping ships of war in the beginning for their opposition to British  power.

The truth of this observation may be evinced by a single instance of surprise and capture  by a little squadron under the command of Commodore Hopkins, only the  second year after hostilities commenced between Great Britain and the colonies.  The  American commander of a ship of only 36 guns and seven or eight small  vessels surprised New Providence, captured the governor, lieutenant governor, and other  officers of the Crown, seized near a hundred pieces of cannon, and carried  off all the warlike stores on the island. But not habituated to the usual cruelties exercised  on such occasions, though they continued there two or three weeks, they  offered no insult to the inhabitants and took possession of no private property without  paying for it.  This was an instance of lenity that seldom falls under  observation, where men have been longer inured to scenes and services that harden the  heart, and too frequently banish humanity from the breast of man.

The small  naval armament constructed by the United States, did not continue long  enough in existence either to attempt great enterprise or to become hardened by  the cruel achievements consequent on the invasion of cities, towns, and villages, and  desolating them by the sudden torrents o fire poured in upon their inhabitants.   Some future day may, however, render it necessary for Americans to build and arm in  defense o their extensive sea board, and the preservation of their commerce;  when they may be equally  emulous of maritime glory, an become the scourge of their  fellow men, on the same grade of barbarity that has been exhibited by some  other nations.


Note 5

Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union between the states of New Hampshire,  Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, Connecticut,  New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,  South Carolina, and Georgia.

Article 1 The Style of this confederacy shall be "The United States of America."

Article 2 Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom and independent, and every power,  jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the  United States in Congress assembled.

Article 3 The said states hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other,  for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and  general welfare; binding themselves to assist each other against all force offered to or  attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty,  trade, or any other pretense whatever.

Article 4 The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people  of the different states in this union, the free inhabitants of each of these states  (paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice excepted) shall be entitled to all  privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states; and the people of each  state shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other state; and shall enjoy  therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties,  impositions, and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively; provided that such  restrictions shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal or property  imported into any state, to any other state of which the owner is an inhabitant; provided  also that no imposition, duties, or restrictions shall be laid by any state on the  property of the United States or either of them.

If any person guilty of or charged with treason, felony, or other high misdemeanors in  any state shall flee from justice, and be found in any of the United States, he  shall, upon demand of the governor or executive power of the state from which he fled,  be delivered up and removed to the state having jurisdiction of his offense.

Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these states to the records, acts, and  judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other state.

Article 5 For the more convenient management of the general interests of the United States,  delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of each  state shall direct to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November in every year;  with a power reserved to each state to recall its delegates or any of them at  any time within the year and to send others in their stead for the remainder of the year.

No state shall be represented in Congress by less than two nor by more than seven  members; and no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three  years in any term of six years; nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of  holding any office under the United States, for which he, or another for his  benefit, receives any salary, fees, or emolument of any kind.

Each state shall maintain its own delegates in a meeting of the states, and while they act  as members of the committee of the states.

In determining questions in the United States in Congress assembled, each state hall  have one vote.

Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or questioned in any  court of place out of Congress; and the members of Congress shall be  protected in their persons from arrests and punishments during the time of their going to  and from and attendance on Congress, except for treason, felony, or breach  of the peace.

Article 6 No state, without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, shall send any  embassy to or receive any embassy from or enter into any conference,  agreement, alliance, or treaty with any king, prince, or state: nor shall any person  holding any office of profit or trust under the United States or any of them accept of  any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind whatever from any king, prince, or  foreign state; nor shall the United States in Congress assembled or any of them  grant any title of nobility.

No two or more states shall enter into any treaty, confederation, or alliance whatever  between them, without the consent of the United States in Congress  assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into  and how long it shall continue.

No state shall lay any posts or duties which may interfere with any stipulations in  treaties entered into by the United States in Congress assembled with any king,  prince, or state, in pursuance of any treaties already proposed by Congress to the courts  of France and Spain.

No vessels of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any state except such numbers  only as shall be deemed necessary by the United States in Congress  assembled for the defense of such state or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept  up by any state in time of peace except such number only as in the judgment  of the United States in Congress assembled shall be deemed requisite to garrison the  forts necessary for the defense of such state; but every state shall always keep  up a well regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered; and shall  provide and constantly have ready for use in public stores a due number of  field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition, and camp equipage.

No state shall engage in any war without the consent of the United States in Congress  assembled, unless such state be actually invaded by enemies, or shall have  received certain advice of a resolution being formed by some nation of Indians to invade  such state, and the danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay till the  United States in Congress assembled can be consulted; nor shall any state grant  commissions to any ships or vessels of war nor letters of marque or reprisal, except  it be after a declaration of war by the United States in Congress assembled, and then  only against the kingdom or state and the subjects thereof, against which war  has been so declared, and under such regulations as shall be established by the United  States in Congress assembled; unless such state shall be infested by pirates; in  which case, vessels of war may be fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long as the  danger shall continue, or until the United States in Congress assembled shall  determine other ways.

Article 7 When land forces are raised by any state for the common defense, all officers of or  under the rank of colonel shall be appointed by the legislature of each state  respectively, by whom such forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such state shall  direct; and all vacancies shall be filled up by the state which first made the  appointment.

Article 8 All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense  or general welfare and allowed by the United States in Congress assembled  shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several states  in proportion to the value of all land within each state, granted to or  surveyed for any person, as such land and the buildings and improvements thereon shall  be estimated according to such mode as the Untied States in Congress  assembled shall, from time to time, direct and appoint.  The taxes for paying that  proportion shall be laid and levied by the authority and direction of the legislatures  of the several states, within the time agreed upon by the United States in Congress  assembled.

Article 9 The United States in Congress assembled shall have the sole and exclusive right and  power of determining on peace an war, except in the cases mentioned in the  Sixth Article; or sending and receiving ambassadors; entering into treaties and alliances;  (provided that no treaty of commerce shall be made whereby the legislative  powers of the respective states shall be restrained from imposing such imposts and  duties on foreigners as their own people are subjected to or from prohibiting the  exportation or importation of any species of goods of commodities whatsoever); of  establishing rules for deciding in all cases what captures on land or water shall be  legal, and in what manner prizes taken by land or naval forces in the service of the  United States shall be divided or appropriated; of granting letters of marque or  reprisal in times of peace; appointing courts for ht trial of piracies and felonies  committed on the high seas, and establishing courts for receiving and determining  finally  appeals in all cases of captures; (provided that no member of Congress shall be  appointed a judge of any of he said courts.)

The United States in Congress assembled shall also be the last resort on appear in all  disputes and differences now subsisting or that hereafter may arise between  two or more states, concerning boundary, jurisdiction, or any other cause whatever;  which authority shall always be exercised in the manner following: Whenever the  legislative or executive authority, or lawful agent, or any state in controversy with  another shall present a petition to Congress, stating the matter in question and  praying for a hearing, notice thereof shall be given by order of Congress to the  legislative or executive authority of the other state in controversy, and a day assigned  of the appearance of the parties by their lawful agents, who shall then be directed to  appoint by joint consent commissioners or judges to constitute a court of hearing  and determining the matter in question; but if they cannot agree, Congress shall name  three persons out of each of the United States; and from the list of such  persons, each party shall alternately strike out one, the petitioners beginning, until the  number shall be reduced to thirteen; and from that number not less than seven  nor more than nine names, as Congress shall direct, shall in the presence of Congress be  drawn out by lot; and the persons whose names shall be so drawn, or any  five of them, shall be commissioners or judges to hear and finally determine the  controversy so always as a major part of the judges who shall hear the cause shall  agree in the determination; and if either party shall neglect to attend at the day  appointed, without showing reasons, which Congress shall judge sufficient, or being  present shall refuse to strike, the Congress shall  proceed to nominate three persons out  of each state, and the secretary of Congress shall strike in behalf of such  party absent or refusing; and the judgment and sentence of the court to be appointed, in  the manner before prescribe, shall be final and conclusive; and if any of the  parties shall refuse to submit to the authority of such court, or to appear or defend their  

claim or cause, the court shall nevertheless proceed to pronounce sentence  or judgment, which shall in like manner be final and decisive, the judgment or sentence  an other proceedings being in either case transmitted to Congress and lodged  among the acts of Congress for the security of the parties concerned; provided that every  commissioner, before he sits in judgment, shall take an oath to be  administered by one of the judges of the supreme or superior court of the state where the  cause shall be tried, "Well and truly to hear and determine the matter in  question, according to the best of his judgment, without favor, affection, or hope of  reward"; provided also that no state shall be deprived of territory for the benefit  of the United States.

All controversies concerning the private right of soil claimed under different grants of  two or more states, whose jurisdictions as they may respect such lands, and the  states which passed such grants are adjusted, the said grants or either of them being at  the same time claimed to have originated antecedent to such settlement of  jurisdiction, shall on the petition of either party to the Congress of the United States be  finally determined as near as may be in the same manner as is before  prescribed for deciding disputes respecting territorial jurisdiction between different  states.

The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole and exclusive right  and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority  or by that of the respective states -- fixing the standard of weights and measures  throughout the United States -- regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the  Indians, not members of any of the states, provided that the legislative right of any state  within its own limits be not infringed or violated -- establishing and regulating  post offices from one state to another, throughout all the United States, and exacting  such postage on the papers passing through the same as may be requisite to  defray the expenses of the said office -- appointing all officers of the land forces in the  service of the United States, excepting regimental officers -- appointing all the  officers of the naval forces, and commissioning all officers whatever in the service of  the United States -- making rules for the government and regulation of the said  land and naval forces, and directing their operations.

The United States in Congress assembled shall have authority to appoint a committee to  sit in the recess of Congress to be denominated "A Committee of the  States," and to consist of one delegate from each state; and to appoint such other  committees and civil officers as my be necessary for managing the general affairs of  the United States under their direction -- to appoint one of their number to preside,  provided that no person be allowed to serve in the office of president more than  one year in any term of three years; == to ascertain the necessary sums of money to be  raised for the service of the United States, and to appropriate and apply the  same for defraying the pubic expenses -- to borrow money, or emit bills on the credit of  the United States, transmitting every half year to the respective states an  account of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted -- to build and equip a navy -- to  agree upon the number of land forces, and to make requisitions from each  state for its quota, in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in such state; which  requisition shall be binding, and thereupon the legislature of each state shall  appoint the regimental officers, raise the men, and clothe, arm, and equip them in a  soldier-like manner, at the expense of the United States; and the officers and men  so clothed, armed, and equipped shall march to the place appointed and within the time  agreed on by the United States in Congress assembled. But if the United  Sates in Congress assembled shall, on consideration of circumstances, judge proper that  any state should not raise men or should raise a smaller number than its  quota and that any other state should raise a greater number of men than the quota  thereof, such extra number shall be raised, officered, clothed, armed, and  equipped in the same manner as the quota of such state, unless the legislature of such  state shall judge that such extra number cannot be safely spared out of the  same, in which case they shall raise, officer, clothe, arm, and equip as many such extra  number as they judge can be safely spared.  And the officers and men so  clothed, armed, and equipped shall march to the place appointed and within the time  agreed on by the United States in Congress assembled.

The United States in Congress assemble shall never engage in a war nor grant letters of  marque and reprisal in time of peace, nor enter into any treaties or alliances,  nor coin money, nor regulate the value thereof nor ascertain the sums and expenses  necessary for the dense and welfare of the Untied States, or any of them; nor  emit bills, nor borrow money on the credit of the Untied States; nor appropriate money,  nor agree upon the number of vessels of war to be built or purchased or the  number of land or sea forces to be raised nor appoint a commander in chief of the army  or navy, unless nine states assent to the same; nor shall a question on any  other point, except for adjourning from day to day, be determined unless by the votes of  a majority of the United States in Congress assembled.

The Congress of the United States shall have power to adjourn at any time within the  year and to any place within the United States, so that no period of  adjournment be for a longer duration than the space of six months, and shall publish the  journal of their proceedings monthly, except such parts thereof relating to  treaties, alliance, or military operations, as in their judgment require secrecy; and the  yeas and nays of the delegate of each state on any question shall be entered o  the journal, when it is desired by any delegate; and the delegates of a state or any of  them, at his or their request, shall be furnished with a transcript of the said  journal, except such parts as are above excepted, to lay before the legislatures of the  several states.

Article 10 The Committee of the States or any nine of them shall be authorized to execute, the  recess of Congress, such of the powers of Congress as the United States in  Congress assembled, by the consent of the nine states shall from time to time think  expedient to vest them with; provided that no power be delegated to the said  committee, for the exercise of which, by the articles of confederation, the voice of nine  states in the Congress of the United States assembled is requisite.

Article 11 Canada acceding to this confederation and joining in the measures of the United States  shall be admitted into and entitled to all the advantages of this Union; but no  other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine  states.

Article 12 All bills of credit emitted, moneys borrowed, and debts contract by or under the  authority of Congress, before the assembling of the United States, in pursuance of  the present confederation, shall be deemed an considered as a charge against the United  States, for payment and satisfaction whereof the said United States, and the  public faith are hereby solemnly pledge.

Article 13 Every state shall abide by the determinations of the United States in Congress assembled  on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the  articles of this confederation shall be inviolably observed by every state, and the union  shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any  of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the Untied States, and be  afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every state.

These articles shall be proposed to the legislatures of all the United States to be  considered an, if approved of by them, they are advised to authorize their delegate to  ratify the same in the Congress of the United States; which being done, the same shall  become conclusive.

By order of Congress, Henry Laurens, president


Note 6

The name of Thomas Paine has become so generally known both in Europe and  America that a few strictures on his character may not be uninteresting.

Mr. Paine was a native of England, but he had resided in America some time before the  American Revolution took place.  He warmly advocated the cause of the  colonies and wrote in the spirit of the times with much applause.  Several of his bold  publications displayed a considerable share of wit and ingenuity, though his  arguments were not always conclusive.  His Crisis, his Common Sense, and some other  writings were well adapted to animate the people, and to invigorate their  resolutions in opposition to the measures of the British administration.

Though not generally considered a profound politician, yet as it was then thought he  wrote on principles honorable to the human character, his celebrity was extensive  in America and was afterwards disseminated in England; and his merit as a writer for a  time appreciated by a work entitled the Rights of Man, which was replete with  just and dignified sentiments on a subject so interesting to society.

His celebrity might have been longer maintained and his name have been handed down  with applause had  he not afterwards have left the line of politics and  presumed to touch on theological subjects, of which he was grossly ignorant, as well as  totally indifferent to every religious observance as an individual, and in some  instances his morals were censured.

Persecuted in England, he repaired to France, some time before monarchy was subverted  in that nation.  There, after listening to the undigested rant of infidels of  antecedent date, and learning by rote the jargon of the modern French literati, who  zealously labored in the filed of skepticism, he attempted to undermine the  sublime doctrines of the Gospel, and annihilate the Christian system. ["The infidel has  shot his bolts away, Till his exhausted quiver yielding none, He gleans the  blunted shafts that have recoiled, and aims them at the shield of truth again." Cowper.]  Here he betrayed his weakness and want of principle, in blasphemous  scurrilities and impious raillery, that at once sunk his character, and disgusted every  rational and sober mind.

It is no apology that this was done at a period, when all principle seemed to lie prostrate  beneath the confusions and despotism of the Robespierian reign. It is true,  this insignificant theologian, who affected to hold in contempt all religion, or any  expectations of a future state, was at this time trembling under the terrors of the  guillotine; and while imprisoned, he endeavored to ingratiate himself into the favor of  the ruling faction of France by leveling his sarcastic pen against opinions that had  been for ages held sacred among mankind.

The effusions of infidelity, entitled the Age of Reason would not have been thought  worthy of a serious refutation had not much industry been employed to  disseminate this worthless pamphlet among the common classes of mankind. The  young, the ignorant, the superficial and licentious, pleased with the attempt to let  loose the wild passions of men by removing so efficient a guard as is contained in the  sacred scriptures, this pernicious work was by them fought for, and read with  avidity.  This consideration drew out the pens of men of character and ability to antidote  the poison of licentious wit.

No one had more merit in the effort than the learned, pious, and excellent Dr. Richard  Watson, Bishop of Landff.  His works have always been read with pleasure  and applause, by every man of genius, virtue, and taste, in whatever branch of literature  he drew his pen.  His observations on the writings of Paine, his letters to Mr.  Gibbon, with a concluding address to young gentlemen, will be read with delight and  improvement by every person who adores the benignity of divine government,  long after the writings of infidels of talent and ingenuity are sunk into oblivion.

Men of discernment are ever better pleased with truth, in its most simple garb, than with  the sophisticated, though elegant, style of wit and raillery, decorated for  deception; and the name of Voltaire, with other wits an philosophers of the same  description will be forgotten and even the celebrated Gibbon will cease to be  admired by the real friends of the Christian dispensation, while its defenders will be held  in veneration to the latest ages.

The lovers of liberty on reasonable and just principles were exceedingly hurt that a man  so capable as was Mr. Paine, of exhibiting political truth in a pleasing garb,  and defending the rights of man with eloquence and precision, should prostitute his  talents to ridicule divine revelation, and destroy the brightest hopes of a rational  and immoral agent.

Mr. Paine out-lived the storms of revolution both in America and in France, and he may  yet add one instance more to the versatility of human events by out-living his  own false opinions and foolish attempts to break down the barriers of religion, and we  wish he may by his own pen endeavor to antidote some part of the poisons he  has spread.


Chapter Fifteen: A retrospect of some naval transactions in the West Indies 1778 and 1779. Affairs in  Georgia concisely reviewed. General  Lincoln sent to take the command at the southward.  The Count de Estaing's arrival in  Georgia. Savannah closely besieged by  the combined forces of France and America. Repulsed by General Prescott. The Count  of Estaing leaves the southern clime.   The Count Pulaski slain in Georgia. Some anecdotes of Count Kosciusko.

From the concise mode of narration hitherto observed in these annals, a particular detail  of naval operations will not be expected. Yet it is necessary to look a little  back, and observe that an insular war had raged between the British and French in the  West Indies, during the winter of 1778, though they had not yet received any  intelligence that a formal declaration of hostilities between those two potent nations had  taken place.

The island of Dominca was seized by the Marquis de Bouille, governor of Martinico, as  early as September, 1778; but the terms imposed on the inhabitants by the  conqueror, were so mild that they scarcely felt the change of sovereignty.  No licentious  rudeness or avaricious pillage was permitted by the humane and honorable  commander, who, through all his conduct in the West Indies, exhibited a specimen of  that generous compassion always honorary to the conqueror and to human  nature.

The loss of the island of Dominca was peculiarly mortifying to the Court of St. James,  as it had been ceded to Great Britain on the last peace, as a kind of balance of  accounts, after a very expensive war, with the House of Bourbon.

Admiral Barrington with a considerable force lay at this time at Barbadoes, in a very  anxious and inactive state. He had yet no orders for hostile operations; but he  was soon after relieved by the arrival of 5000 men commander by General Grant,  conveyed by six ships of the line and a number of frigates, under the direction of  commodore Hotham. The want of instructions, and even of intelligence that might be  depended on, had exceedingly embarrassed the British admiral; but on  Hotham's arrival, an expedition to the island of St. Lucia was prosecuted with celerity  and success.

The chevalier de Micaud, the commandant, took all the precaution of a brave and  judicious officer. The main point as to prevent the completion of the British  success until he should be relieved by the arrival of the French squadron from Boston,  which he had the highest reason every moment to expect.  The Count of  Estaing had formed the design and was in force sufficient to have swept all the leeward  islands, before the junction of Admiral Barrington and Commodore Hotham.   But interrupted in his military progress by a second violent gale in the American seas,  and seldom a favorite of fortune, he did not appear in sight of St. Lucia until the  last French flag was struck.  He, however, made some spirited, but successless efforts  for the recovery of the islands. The vigilance and valor of the British  commander defeated this design; to which was added the mortification of repeated  disappointment in several valiant rencounters with the bold and resolute English.

Though the Count de Estaing's ships were equal in force and experience had shown that  neither his officers nor seamen were deficient in courage, yet after he quitted  St. Lucia, he apparently declined a general engagement and within 10 days withdrew to  Port Royal.  He was frequently insulted while there by the appearance of  challenge from the British flag; but he still adhered to his own system of inaction,  determined to undertake no capital stroke before the arrival of fresh reinforcements  from Europe.  It was not until the month of June, 1779 that this event took place when  the arrival of Monsieur de la Motte, with everything necessary for the most  vigorous naval operations excited the Count de Estaing to immediate enterprise.

The first object of attack was the valuable island of St. Vincents, which had formerly  cost much British blood to arrest and secure by the cruel attempt to exterminate  the unfortunate and innocent Caraibs.  After the easy acquisition of this island, the  Count proceeded to the Grenades. He there landed 2000 or 3000 men under the  command of Count Dillon, a brave Irish officer in the French service.  He also headed a  strong column himself and attempted to carry the most defensible fortress by  storm. His superiority of strength insured his success; and Lord Macartney was obliged  to offer a surrender, on the proposals of capitulation he had at first rejected;  but the Count received and treated the governor's flag with an unbecoming hauteur.  He  made new and severe proposals in such a tone of defiance and contempt  that both the governor and the inhabitants chose rather to surrender at discretion than to  bind themselves to such hard conditions as neither the customers of nations  nor the justice of courts had usually required.

There is much reason to believe that the Count de Estaing did not exercise all the lenity  that ought to be expected from a brave and generous conqueror.  On the  contrary, after this new acquisition, the inhabitants were plundered and distressed; an  unbounded license raged among the soldiery, until their excesses were checked  by the humanity of Count Dillon, who paid every attention to the miseries of  the  people; and supported by his own regiment, he rendered the condition of the  conquered island less deplorable.

The capture of St. Lucia was in a degree fatal to the conquerors. The noxious air of an  unhealthy island in a burning climate did more than the sword of France to  waste the veterans of Britain. Sickness and mortality raged and cut down the troops; and  the squadron weakened by the departure of Admiral Byron, to convoy the  homeward bound fleet of merchantmen, nothing of consequence was attempted in his  absence.

When he returned, both St. Vincents and the Grenades were in the hands of the French;  but so uncertain were the accounts at first received of the wretched situation  of the Grenades, that the British commander determined to hazard an attempt for their  relief. This brought on a general, though not a decisive action.  It was  supported on both sides with laudable spirit and bravery; but they finally separated  without victory on either.  Yet the proud and gallant Britons, whose island has  long assumed the haughty style of mistress of the seas, who have justly boasted their  superiority in naval engagements, could not forebear to claim the advantage in  this doubtful conflict.  But it is certain the wounded fleets under the Admirals  Barrington and Byron found some difficulty in reaching St. Christophers, without some  of their ships falling into the hands of their enemy.

The Count de Estaing returned to Grenada; and the lilies of France waved for a short  time in the West Indies; and the English admirals were insulted in their turn by  the parade of the French fleet before St. Christophers, in the same manner Lord  Barrington had before maneuvered in vain at Martinico, without provoking the  Frenchmen to engage.  After these partial successes, the Count de Estaing soon left the  tropical seas and repaired again to the American continent, where the  assistance of a naval force was by this time exceedingly wanted to aid the operations of  the Americans.

The southern campaign had been opened the preceding year by the seizure of the capital  of Georgia. Sir Henry Clinton, late in the autumn of 1778 had ordered a  large detachment of Hessian, British, and provincial troops, under the command of  Lieutenant Colonel Campbell, to Savannah, to assist Major General Prevost in  further prosecuting some unexpected advantages he had already gained.  They were  escorted by a small squadron under the command of Commodore Parker, and  arrive din the Savannah December 27.

The state of Georgia was at this time in a very weak and defenseless situation.  Their  frontiers were exposed to the depredations of the savages; and the rude  incursions o the wild borders who mixed with them had often been so troublesome as to  require the call of the southern militia to check their outrages.  Colonel  Campbell landed his troops immediately on his arrival in the river, and by several  spirited and judicious movements, possessed himself of the town of Savannah, the  capital of the state, with little or no loss, and obliged General Robert Howe, a gentleman  of North Carolina, who commanded a party of about 800 militia, to retreat  with precipitation.

Orders had been previously given by Sir Henry Clinton to Major General Prevost, the  commander in chief in East Florida, to repair with all possible expedition to  aid the invasion and reduction of Georgia.  This active officer immediately collected his  remote cantonments, and with dispatch and perseverance, pushed his march  through a hot and barren country of great extent.  Surmounting innumerable difficulties  and fatigue, he reached Sunbury, and took possession of the town and  garrison, before Campbell had possess himself of Savannah.

Both military skill and a great degree of humanity marked this first important enterprise  in the south.  The British commander forbid that the inhabitants not in arms  should be either molested or plundered; and by promises and proclamations encouraged  them to submit quietly to the authority of the parent state.  Some acquiesced  by inclination, and many impelled by necessity, appeared ready to enlist under the  British standard; others, of more bold and independent sentiments, made their  escape across the river with the hope of an asylum in South Carolina.

These successes again encouraged the disaffected and disorderly people who had long  infested the back parts of North Carolina, to renew their incursions.  Those  insurgents had been apparently subdued, their leaders cut off, and their spirits broken in  the beginning of the American convulsions; but their aversion to the reigning  powers in that state still rankled in their breasts. They had impatiently waited an  opportunity of displaying it in all the fierce and cruel modes of savage war, in  conjunction with the neighboring Indians, to whom they had attached themselves.

They considered this a favorable crisis, and again left their rural occupations.  They  united with some scattering parties of the same description on the borders of  South Carolina and Georgia, embodied themselves, and in their progress committed ever  outrage that might be expected from an armed banditti. But on an attempt  to join General Prevost, their main body was attacked by the provincial militia, many of  them cut off, and others taken prisoners.  The remainder fled to the frontiers  of Georgia, where, with their old associates of the wilderness, and all others who could  be collected in the back settlements, they untied to aid General Prevost in his  future operations.

The hazardous situation of Georgia, and the imminent danger of the wealthy sate of  South Carolina had spread an alarm that awakened to immediate exertion for the  recovery of the one and the security of the other.  General Lincoln had seasonably been  sent forward to take the command in the southern department. He reached  Savannah a short time after Colonel Campbell's arrival there; but he found himself not in  so eligible a situation as might have been wished.  The number of troops  under his command fell far short of expectation. The artillery and stores were  insufficient. And every difficulty was enhanced by the want of order and discipline in  the  militia, who refused to submit to the necessary subordination of armies. They left their  posts and retired at pleasure.

General Lincoln, however, consistent with his usual disposition on all occasions,  endeavored to make the best of his situation.  He continued himself at Purisburgh,  with the main body of his army and ordered General Ashe, with a detachment of 2000  men, to take a strong post at a place called Briar Creek.  His design was to  secure the upper part of the country against the loyalists, who were everywhere  collecting their strength.

Soon after General Ashe had taken possession of the advantageous post that in the  opinion of principal officers promised perfect security, General Prevost formed  and executed the design of surprising him there.  To facilitate this judicious measure, he  made such arrangements on the banks of the Savannah as took off the  attention of General Lincoln. At the same time, he ordered his brother, Colonel Prevost,  by a circuitous march of 50 miles, to fall unexpectedly on Ashe's party at the  creek.  the success of the enterprise justified the design. The whole detachment was  routed, many of them killed or captured; and thus the way was opened for the  loyalists and their copper-colored allies in the back country, to join Prevost without  molestation.  After this action, which took place on March 3, the two parties  separated by the river, continued quietly in their own posts until the later end of the  month of April 1779.  Savannah, Sunbury, and some other towns were in the  hands of the British, and the state by proclamation laid under military government. Yet  the people in general considered themselves as belonging to the union.

General Lincoln, zealous to procure an election of delegates to Congress from Georgia,  which he expected would be impeded by violence, felt his advantageous  situation on the lower part of the river and moved towards Augusta.  This was rather an  unfortunate movement, as, had he continued his first station, he might have  secured Charleston for a time. Indeed, there was then little reason to apprehend any  immediate danger in that quarter. Yet he had the precaution to leave General  Moultrie, with 1500 men, to guard the passes of the river.

The campaign in Georgia, however, did not redound much to the advantage of the  American arms, or to the honor of General Lincoln. It was thought by some he did  not discover himself a judicious and experienced commander, who had penetration to  calculate on fortuitous events or resources at hand to extricate himself, when  they unexpectedly took place. Yet he supported a character, cool and brave, under a  variety of disappointments. He was, however, led a circuitous dance from  place to place, by the rapid movements of General Prevost through the state of Georgia,  until he was obliged to move with more serious prospects towards  Charleston.

 The loss of his party at Briar Creek was no more than might have been expected from  the activity and vigor of such an officer as Prevost, attending more to his  military renown than to the political maneuvers of the state.  While General Lincoln was  canvassing for the election of a delegate to congress, the commander of the  forces of his antagonist was intent only on winning success in the field.

The active Prevost seized the moment of advantage; suddenly cross the river in different  parts, and penetrated into South Carolina, with little or no opposition. The  party under Moultrie consisting chiefly of militia, on seeing themselves surrounded on  all sides by British troops, retreated hastily and secured themselves within the  city of Charleston.

General Prevost having thus succeeded, even beyond his most sanguine expectations, in  several enterprises of considerable moment, inspired by his own wishes, and  prompted by the importunities of the loyalists, he formed the bolder resolution of  pushing directly for Charleston. He arrived at the River Ashley on May 11, crossed  it, and within a few days summoned the city to surrender. Nor had he any reason for  some time to regret the determination.  He had every assurance from the  disaffected Americans that Charleston would surrender without resistance and that they  had the best authority for this decided opinion; nor did they in this instance so  totally disappoint the expectations of their British friends, as they frequently had done,  and continued to do in the subsequent informations.  It is true General Prevost  did not immediately succeed to the full completion of his hopes; but on the first  summons to surrender, the citizens assured him that no opposition should be made,  provided they might be permitted to continue in the state of neutrality to the conclusion  of the war.

This was the only instance in America of an offer made so derogatory to the honor of  the union.  No single state, whatever might be their distresses, ever expressed a  wish during the war to be bound to a neutral repose while their sister states were  bleeding at every pore, in support of the general cause.  The conduct of the citizens  of Charleston cannot be accounted for, but from the momentary panic which to which  the human mind is liable, when sudden danger presses before it has time to  collect its own fortitude and to act with decision and dignity consistent with previous  principles.

South Carolina had been distinguished for the bold and active part taken by that state  against the measures of Britain. This was the first southern colony, after  Virginia, who adopted the proposal of a general Congress; nor was there now any reason  to suspect any defection in the bulk of the inhabitants, thought there were  numbers in the city of Charleston attached to the royal cause.  Her patriots were  unshaken, her officers brave; and the subsequent conduct of the people at large,  and the sufferings of individuals effaced the unfavorable impressions this proposal  might have left, had it not have been wiped off by the vigorous opposition  afterwards made to a successful foe, both in their councils and in the field, amid the  extremes of peril, personal danger, and public misery.

General Prevost, encouraged by success, and animated by his own personal bravery,  united with the hope of subduing Charleston, rejected the offer of neutrality,  and all further negotiations ceased.  The city immediately recovered its former spirit,  and preparation was made on both sides for the most vigorous attack and  defense.

General Lincoln had been rather slow in his movements, having been deceived into an  opinion that Prevost had no farther design in crossing the River Savannah than  to procure forage and provisions.  But soon finding more serious consequences were to  be expected, he hastened on with his whole force, and made his  arrangements with so much judgment and alacrity that General Prevost thought it  prudent to withdraw from before the city, lest his retreat be cut off.  He encamped  his troops on the islands before the harbor, where he continued for some time, in  anxious expectation of reinforcements from New York This being delayed until the  advance of the intense heats, and the sickly season of that country came on, which  rendered it in some measure necessary to suspend all vigorous operations in that  quarter, little else was done there this year, except the indiscriminate plunder of the  wealthy inhabitants of the state, who were out of the reach of the protection of  their friends.

Affairs in Georgia requiring his presence, General Prevost repaired there soon after the  siege of Charleston was raised.  He left a force sufficient in Port Royal to  encourage his friends by keeping up the appearance of some permanent establishment in  that province, where he meant soon to return. But early in the autumn, the  unexpected arrival of the squadron commanded by the Count de Estaing, on the southern  coast, gave the flattering promise of a new face to the affairs of Georgia  and the Carolinas.

The admiral, on his arrival in Savannah, landed his troops with all possible expedition,  and in conjunction with the Americans, laid siege to the capital of Georgia.  On  September 16, he demanded a surrender of the town to the arms of the King of France.  The summons was in language that rather excited terror than allurement, and  would have determined an officer of less courage an resolution than General Prevost to  defend the town to the last.  The situation of Savannah was indeed scarcely  defensible; but resolved not to yield but in the last extremity, Prevost returned a polite,  but evasive answer to the French commander; and had the address to obtain  a truce of 24 hours to deliberate.

In this fortunate interval, the arrival of Colonel Maitland, with a body of troops from  Port Royal, put an end to deliberation.  All thoughts of surrender were laid aside  and a most gallant defense made.  The town was bombarded for five days, to the great  terror and distress of the inhabitants. In this predicament General Prevost  wrote and requested the Count de Estaing that the women and children with his own  wife and family might be sent down the river and placed under the protection of  one of the French ships.  After some delay, he had the mortification to receive an  impolite and cruel refusal.

 As this answer was signed by both the French and American commanders, censure for  want to humanity fell equally on each. It is not improbable the severe  language it contained might be designed to intimidate and hasten a surrender and  thereby prevent the further effusion of blood. Yet there appeared a want of  generosity unbecoming the politeness of the Frenchman and inconsistent with the well- known humanity oft he American commander.  of this they seemed to be  sensible within a few days, when fortune began to change her face.  Apologies were  made both by General Lincoln and the Count for this indelicate refusal. Great  tenderness was therein expressed for the inhabitants and every civility offered,  particularly to the General's lady and family, and a ship assigned as an asylum for  herself and friends.  General Prevost replied to this offer of kindness, extorted by  apprehension if not by fear, that "what had been once refused in terms of insult,  could in no circumstances be deemed worth the acceptance."

The little time gained by this short parley for the purposes of civility was improved by  General Prevost to great advantage in every view.  With indefatigable industry  he strengthened his old works; and, assisted by the spirit and capacity of Mr. Moncrief,  the chief engineer, he erected new ones with celerity and judgment, very  honorable to his military talents and consistent with his zeal and alacrity on all  occasions.

The arrival of an officer of Colonel Maitland's abilities, accompanies by a considerable  reinforcement, was indeed a very fortunate circumstance at this period for the  commander at Savannah Stimulated by a recent affront, and urged on by a constitutional  activity and  thirst of military applause, General Prevost seemed to bid  defiance to the combined forces of Franc and America, and repulsed them in every  quarter.

On October 11, the besiegers attempted to storm the town, but were defeated with great  slaughter.  They, however, kept up the appearance of a blockade until the  16th, when they requested a truce to bury their dead, and take care of their wounded.   This was readily granted by Prevost.  The conflict had been bloody indeed,  and both sides equally wished for time to perform this charitable and necessary business.    Soon after the melancholy work of interring many of their comrades, the  French and Americans took the advantage of a dark and foggy night, and retreated with  all possible precipitation, breaking down the bridges as they passed, to  impede the pursuit of their enemies, if they should be disposed to follow them.

The Count of Estaing had now an opportunity to survey the condition of his fleet, when  he found the sailors sickly and dispirited, nor was the army less so, from the  unhealthiness of the climate, and the failure of their late enterprise. The Count himself  had been wounded in the course of the siege, and several of his best officers  were either killed or wounded. The loss of very many of his men in this decided repulse,  with the disgrace that every commander thinks he incurs when the  expectation of success from great designs is defeated, deeply affected the mind of the  French commander. Thus unfortunately disappointed in the spirited attack on  the town of Savannah, he found it necessary, forma  combination of untoward  circumstances, to abandon the design of recovering George.  In a short time after this,  the French commander bade adieu to the American seas.

He had never been disgraced by any deficiency in military ability, knowledge, or spirit,  while acting in behalf of the United States. Yet a series of disappointments  had prevented his reaping the laurels, the just reward of bravery, or rendering much  service to his allies, who had received him with the highest marks of cordiality  and expectation. [The count de Estaing was some years afterwards one of the proscribed  victims who fell by the guillotine, amid the distractions and misery of his  own country, in the infuriated reign of Robespierre.]

The summons of the Count de Estaing to the British commander to surrender the capital  of one of the states to the arms of his most Christian Majesty as neither  pleasing, prudent, or productive of harmony and confidence between the French under  his command and the Americans. It occasioned some discontent at the time;  and perhaps some jealous Americans did not regret that the recovery of Georgia was left  to an officer of merit in their own corps, sent forward afterwards by  General Greene, who had been the favorite of fortune, of the people, and of the  commander in chief.

This was done at a period of complicated difficulties, when General Greene could not  leave the state of South Carolina himself, but in the abilities of General Wayne  he had the utmost confidence. The even showed that this confidence was not misplaced.   We shall see hereafter General Wayne was sent on and had the honor of  finished the war in Georgia, and the pleasure of witnessing the evacuation of the troops  from their strongholds in that state, annihilating the last remains of British  authority there, and recovering again the youngest of the sister states to their former  union.

In the repulse before Savannah, many valorous officers fell.  Among this number was  the Count Pulaski, a Polish nobleman of great consideration.  Hi bravery and  enterprising spirit was celebrated not only in America, but in his own country.  He had  once, amid the fierce contests of the miserable Polanders, in the height of his  zeal for the recovery and support of the liberties of that nation, seized on the person of  the King of Poland, and for a time held him his prisoner; and though he had  with him only two or three, whom he deemed trusty associates, one of them relented and  betrayed him. The kind of saved, and the Count obliged to fly.  A few  years after, he repaired to America, where he found a field ample enough for the  exercise of his soldierly talents to cherish his love of freedom and to support the  military character of his ancestors and his family, many of whom survived this heroic  officer.

The Count Pulaski was not the only officer of his nation who distinguished himself in  the American war; but the Count Kosciusko, for his firmness, his valor, and his  sufferings, merits particular notice.  He was amiable and virtuous, as well as brave, and  supported a character that will seldom be passed over silence, in a history of  either Poland or America.

The Kingdom of Poland had for years exhibited a most striking monument of human  misery.  Their struggles for liberty, the pride of the nobles, the ignorance and  barbarism of the peasantry, their unstable confederacies, the usurpation of princes and  the interference of neighboring monarchs rendered it a scene of carnage for  several ages previous to the expulsion of Stanislaus Augustus, their ruin as a nation, and  the partition of their country among the crowned despots that surrounded  them.  the sovereign of Poland was dethroned; the kingdom partitioned among the trio  combined for that purpose: Frederick, Catherine, and Maria Theresa.  Many  of the inhabitants were sent to plant colonies in the cold and distant regions of Siberia,  and other parts of the Russian domains. Some of the nobility survived under  the heavy yoke of their victorious neighbors; others had fled, and lent their valorous  arms to England, France, and America.

This melancholy termination of efforts grounded in nature and reason, fight for a time  smother the spark of freedom implanted in very human breast, which yet almost  every man, when ascending the pedestal of power endeavors to extinguish in the bosom  of all but himself. But the misfortunes of their country or their own personal  sufferings could not deaden the flame of liberty and independence that burnt in the  bosoms of many noble-minded Polanders. Though the distractions of their native  country obliged them to abandon it, their enthusiasm was cherished amid strangers, and  they lent their veteran abilities to aid the emancipation of others from the  degrading yoke of servitude.

The character of no one of this distinguished band became more conspicuous than that  of the Count Kosciusko, who survived the fierce conflicts to which his  bravery exposed him through the revolutionary war in America. [see more of the Count  Kosciusko in Note 7 at the end of this chapter.] His subsequent transactions  in his native country, his valor, his misfortunes, and his renown are too well known and  

too replete with extraordinary events to record in this place.

While we admire the patriotism, bravery, and other virtues that adorned the characters of  some individuals among the heroes of that ill-fated country, the deplorable  situation of Poland should forever stand as a memento to all other nations who claim or  maintain any degree of freedom.  By their private animosities, jealousies and  dissensions, all confidence was destroyed and all patriotism annihilated, except in the  bosoms of a few, until their king was dethroned, and nobility laid prostrate, the  country drenched in blood, and the people driven into banishment by thousands, and  obliged to wear out a miserable existence, under the authority of the arbitrary  sovereigns who had completed the ruin of their liberty, their government, and their  country.

The history of Poland is indeed an awful lesson to every republic where the seeds of  dissension begin to spring up among the people.  Those symptoms, when  nurtured by faction, and strengthened by jealousies among themselves, render the people  an easy prey to foreign invaders, and too generally terminate in a tragic  catastrophe, similar to that of the Poles; who no longer continued a distinct nation, after  the era which has stained the annals of Europe by the shameful partition  treaty preconcerted in the cabinets of Russia, Prussia, and Germany, and announced by  the joint declaration of their sovereigns, in 1773.

The inhabitants of Poland were now the subjects and slaves of those usurping princes,  who had seized and divided the kingdom; transplanted the inhabitants of the  territory to distant regions, and repeopled the depopulated country with the soldiers of  Prussia, Germany, and the northern potentates, who had long trained their  own subjects to bend in silence, under the yoke of servility.

The partition of Poland was a singular event in the history of Europe, where the great  powers, inattentive to the balance about which they had for many years  expressed so much solicitude, viewed this extraordinary circumstance with little or no  emotion.  Whatever may be the effect on the general state of Europe, it is yet  uncertain whether the Poles lost so much by the change as had been apprehended.

It is difficult to say in what period of the history of Poland they had proper claim to the  honor of a free, republican form of government.  The people had long  groaned under the unbridled oppression and power of a proud domestic aristocracy. The  absurd veto, designed as a check, only increased their discontents,  jealousies, rancor, and confusion.  They had indeed a nominal king, more the subject of  a foreign power than the sovereign of his own country.  They are now under  the iron hand of foreign despotism.  Whether that, or the scourge of aristocracy is the  most productive of vassalage and misery is a problem yet undecided.  We  leave deeper politicians to determine if they can which is the most abhorrent to the  feelings of humanity.  But the discussion of the constitution of the Poles is not a  part of the business of the present work. Yet the ruin of Poland may be viewed as an  example and a warning to other nations, particularly to those who enjoy a free,  elective, representative government.


Note 7

The Count Kosciusko was a gentleman of family without the advantages of high fortune.   His education, person, and talents recommended him tot he King of  Poland, by whom he was patronized and employed in a military line.

Early in life, he became attached to a lady of great beauty, belonging to one of the first  families in the kingdom.  The inequality o fortune prevented his obtaining  consent from her parents to a union, though the affections of the lady were equally  strong with his own.  The lovers agreed on an elopement, and made an attempt to  retire to France; pursued and overtaken by the father of the lady, a fierce rencounter  ensued.  When Kosciusko found he must either surrender the object of his  

affection or take the life of her parent, humanity prevailed over his passion, he returned  the sword to its scabbard, and generously relinquished the beautiful daughter  to her distressed father, rather than become the murderer of the person who gave being  to so much elegance and beauty, now plunged in terror and despair from the  tumult of contending passions of the most soft and amiable nature.

This unfortunate termination of his hopes was one means of lending this celebrated hero  to the assistance of America.  Wounded by the disappointment, and his  delicacy hurt by becoming the topic of general conversation on an affair of gallantry, he  obtained leave from his sovereign to retire from Poland. He soon after  repaired to America, and offered himself a volunteer to General Washington, was  honorably appointed, and by his bravery and humanity rendered essential services  to the United States. After the peace took place between Great Britain and America, he  returned to his own distressed country. [It was a question in a literary  society afterwards in London which was the greatest character, Lord Chatham, General  Washington, or Count Kosciusko.]

His sufferings and his bravery in his struggles to rescue his native country from the  usurpations of neighboring tyrants, until the ruin of the Kingdom of Poland and the  surrender of Warsaw are amply detailed in European history.  Wounded, imprisoned,  and cruelly used, his distresses were in some degree ameliorated by the  compassion of a Russian lady, the wife of General Chra-cozazow, who had been a  prisoner and set at liberty by the Count. This lady could not prevent his being  sent to Petersburg, where he was confined in a fortress near the city; but he surmounted  imprisonment, sickness, misery, and poverty, and afterwards revisited  America, where he was relieved and rewarded, as justice, honor, and gratitude required.


Chapter Sixteen:  Sir Henry Clinton and Admiral Arbuthnot sail for South Carolina.  Charleston invested. Capitulates. General  Lincoln and his army prisoners of war. General Clinton returns to New York. Lord  Cornwallis's command and civil  administration in Charleston. Mr. Gadsden an other gentlemen suspected and sent to St.  Augustine. Much opposition to  British authority in both the Carolinas. The Count de Rochambeau and the Admiral de  Tiernay arrived at Newport. British  depredations in the Jerseys. Catastrophe of Mr. Caldwell and his family. Armed  neutrality. Some observations on the state of  Ireland. Riots in England. Cursory observations.

From the unavoidable inactivity of the Americans in some parts of the continent and the  misfortunes that had attended their arms in others, in the summer of 1779, Sir  Henry Clinton was left without any impediment to prosecute a well concerted expedition  to the southern colonies.  The opulence of the planters there, the want of  discipline in their militia, the distance and difficulty of reinforcing them, and the sickly  state of the inhabitants, promised an easy conquest and a rich harvest to the  invaders.

The summer and autumn passed off; and it was late in the month of December, before  General Clinton embarked.  He had a strong body of troops and a forcible  

squadron commanded by Admiral Arbuthnot, who accompanied him; but they  proceeded heavily on their way; and it was not until the ensuing spring was far  advanced that the Admiral passed the bar and made himself master of the harbor of  Charleston.

The Americans flattered themselves for some time that they should be able to make an  effectual resistance to the passage of the British fleet up the Cooper River.  (This passes on one side, and the Ashley runs on the other of the town of Charleston.)  But they soon abandoned every ground to the potent English, except the town  of Charleston, which they determined to defend to the last extremity.

Governor Rutledge was vested by the legislature with very extraordinary powers, which  he was obliged to exercise in their full altitude.  This gentleman had acted on  all occasions with spirit and judgment becoming his character, both as a soldier and a  magistrate.  He immediately called out the militia; and published a  proclamation, directing all the inhabitants who claimed any property in the town to  repair immediately to the American standard on pain of confiscation. Though  

couched in strong and severe terms, this proclamation had little effect.  The manifest  reluctance of some to oppose the power of Britain, the dread that others felt of  so potent an adversary, the ill success of the American arms in Georgia, the surprise of  the cavalry and other parties that were coming to their relief, the arrival of  British reinforcements, and the rapid advance they made to conquest, appalled the  inhabitants, and obliged the citizens soon to abandon all hopes of even saving their  town.

The first summons of surrender, on  April 16, was rejected by the American  commander, though it announced the dreadful consequences of a cannonade and storm,  which would soon be the unhappy fate of Charleston, "should the place, in fallacious  security, or the commander, in wanton indifference to the fate of the inhabitants  delay a surrender." General Lincoln replied that he had received a joint summons of  General Clinton and Admiral Arbuthnot; that "60 days had passed since it had  been known that their intentions against the town of Charleston were hostile; in which  time had been afforded to abandon it; but that duty and inclination pointed to  him the propriety of defending it to the last extremity."

After this decided answer, the most vigorous operations ensued on both sides, but with  great advantage in favor of the British, until May 8, when Sir Henry Clinton  again called on the American commander to prevent the farther effusion of blood by an  immediate surrender.  He warned him that "if he refused this last summons,  the should throw on him the charge of whatever vindictive severity an exasperated  soldiery might inflict on the unhappy people; that he should wait his answer until 8  o'clock, an hour beyond which, resistance would be temerity."

General Lincoln summoned a council on this occasion, who were unanimously of  opinion that articles of capitulation should be proposed. [This general view of the  siege and surrender of Charleston is principally collected from General Lincoln's  defense and apology in a letter to General Washington, which the author was  favored with the perusal of in manuscript by General Lincoln.] The terms offered were  several of them rejected. Others were mutilated. And all relaxation or  qualification being refused by the British commander, it was as unanimously agreed that  hostilities should again recommence on the ensuing day.  Accordingly, an  incessant fire was kept up from the 9th to the 11th, when an address from the principal  inhabitants of the town and a number of the country militia expressed their  satisfaction in the terms already offered y General Clinton. At the same time, the  lieutenant governor and council requested that negotiations might be renewed and  that they might not be subjected to the horrors of a city taken by storm.

The militia of the town had thrown away their arms.  The troops on the lines were worn  down with fatigue, and their provisions exhausted. Thus closely invested on  every side, a disaffected, factious party within, no hopes of succor from without an all  possibility of retreat cut off, General Lincoln again offered terms of surrender,  little variant from Clinton's proposals.  They were acceded to, and signed May 12.

Though the conditions were not the most favorable to the inhabitants, or honorary to the  soldier, yet perhaps they were as lenient as could be expected from an  enemy confident of success, and as honorable as could be hoped, in the desperate  situation to which the Americans were reduced.  The continental troops were to  retain their baggage, but to remain prisoners of war until exchanged. Seven general  officers were among the prisoners.  The inhabitants of all conditions were to be  considered as prisoners on parole; but they soon experienced the severities usually felt  by a conquered city.  All who were capable of bearing arms were enrolled in  the British service; and the whole state laid under heavy contributions.

The loss of Charleston, the great number of the captured, and the shipping that fell in its  defense was a severe blow to America.  Much censure was cat on General  Lincoln for neglecting a timely retreat, and for attempting the defense of the town  against such superior force, both by sea and land. But it must be acknowledged he  did all that could be expected from an officer of courage to save the capital and the state;  or from a man of humanity to make the best possible terms for the  inhabitants. He afterwards justified the measure by a full detail of the invasion, and the  motives for his conduct tot he satisfaction of the commander in chief and of his  


General Lincoln certainly had great merit, in many respects; yet it may be observed, few  officers have been equally fortunate in keeping up the eclat of character,  who have so frequently failed in enterprise. For, however unjust it may be, yet military  fame more generally depends on successful events than on bold design or  judicious system.  Victory had seldom followed in the rear of any of his exploits; yet  from his known bravery and patriotism, from his acknowledged integrity and  honor, he escaped the censure frequently attached to unfortunate heroes, and which  might have fallen heavily on a general of more doubtful character.

Before Sir Henry Clinton left Charleston, some new and severe regulations took place  that could not well be justified either by the letter of the spirit of the  capitulation.  All persons in the city were forbidden the exercise of their commercial  pursuits, excepting such as were decided friends of the British government.   Confiscation and death were threatened by proclamation to any who should be found in  arms, unless in support of royal authority. All capable of bearing arms  enrolled for British service. Such as had families were permitted to continue near them  and defend the state against their American brethren. Those who had none  were required to serve six months out of twelve in any part of the southern states.

Many inhabitants of the principal towns and indeed a great part of the state of South  Carolina, despairing of any effectual resistance and unwilling to abandon their  connections and their property laid down their arms and submitted either as prisoners of  war, or subject to the King of Great Britain. And even congratulatory  addresses were fabricated and signed by great numbers of respectable characters in  Charleston and offered to the British commanders on the success of their arms.  Thus from motives of interest or fear, many who had appeared to be actuated by higher  principles stooped to the servile homage of the sycophant, and flattered the  victors on the conquest of their country; an acquisition that reduced their countrymen to  beggary and themselves to slavery.

Soon after these arrangements, Sir Henry Clinton vainly flattering himself that he had  entirely subdued one wealthy colony at the extremity of the continent, and that  everything was in a hopeful train for other brilliant strokes of military prowess, left the  command of the southern department to Lord Cornwallis and repaired himself  to New York.  His Lordship immediately detached a strong body under the command of  Lord Rawdon to march, to subjugate, and guard the frontiers, while he  turned his own attention to the commercial regulations and the civil government of the  newly conquered province.  But he soon found the aid of auxiliaries, impelled  by fear or stimulated by the hope of present advantage is not to be depended on and that  voluntary compacts are the only social ties considered among mankind as  binding on the conscience.

On the first opportunity, many persons exchanged their paroles for certificates of their  being good subjects and immediately returned to the country or to the  neighboring state, and stimulated their friends to resistance. A remarkable instance of  this nature was exhibited in the conduct of Colonel Lisle, a brave American  officer; who, after an exchange of the parole, decamped from the British standard, and  carried off with him a whole battalion to the aid of Colonel Sumpter, and  other spirited officers, who were in motion on the borders of both the Carolinas.

The new regulations and the hard conditions enjoined on them by the conqueror were  highly resented by many of the principal inhabitants of Charles ton.  Their  dissatisfaction as so apparent that they soon fell under the suspicion and displeasure of  the commander.  Some allegations were brought against them, though far from  being sufficiently founded.  they were charged with treasonable practices and designs  against government; arrested in their beds, sent on board prison ships, confined  and treated with great rigor, and in a short time sent off to St. Augustine.  Among this  number was Lieutenant Governor Gadsden, a gentleman early distinguished for  his patriotism, his firmness, his republican principles, and his uniform exertions to  emancipate his country from the shackles of British government.

Nothing appeared to justify the severities exercised toward these gentlemen; nor was  there any reason to believe they had forfeited their honor.  The rigorous policy  of a conquering foe was all that was offered in vindication of this step.  But it is certain  the Carolinians in general evinced the difficulty of holding men by political  fetters, while the mind revolts at the authority that has no claim but what arises from the  laws of conquest.

Lord Rawdon was extremely active on the frontiers. No exertion was wanting on the  part of this valiant officer to bring the whole country to a united submission to  royal authority; and a diversion was made in the Chesapeake, under the command of  General Leslie in favor of the operations in the Carolinas. Yet within two  months after the surrender of Charleston, opposition to British government again  resumed a stable appearance.

Marches, counter-marches, surprise, pillage, and massacre had for some months  pervaded the frontiers; and whichever party gained the advantage, the inhabitants  were equally wretched.  But a particular detail of the miseries of the southern states  through this period would be more painful than entertaining to the reader, and is a  task from which every writer of humanity would wish to be excused. Imagination may  easily paint the distresses when surveying on the one side a proud and potent  army flushed with recent success and irritated by opposition from an enemy they  despised both as Americans and as rebels. Their spirit of revenge continually  whetted by a body of refugees who followed them, embittered beyond description  against their countrymen, and who were joined by a banditti who had no country,  but the spot that yielded a temporary harvest to their rapacious hands: rapine and  devastation had no check.

On the other side, little less severity could be expected from a brave and high-spirited  people not softened by the highest refinements of civilization, warmed by the  impulse of retaliation, driven almost to despair and under every painful apprehension for  their lies, their property, their liberty and their country. These were joined by  the soldiers of fortune and the fierce borderers who had not yet been taught to yield  quietly either to military or civil subordination. The most striking outrages were  everywhere committed. But no partisan distinguished himself more on either side than a  Colonel Tarleton, who made himself a character in the ravage of the  Carolinas, equally conspicuous for bravery and barbarity; and had the effrontery  afterwards in England to boast in the presence of a lady of respectability that he  had killed more men and ravished more women than an man in America. [This was so  highly resented by the lady, who had before been his friend, that by her  influence, she defeated his hopes as a candidate for a member of Parliament.]

But not the loss of their capital, the ravage of their country, the proscription of some of  the principal inhabitants, and the total ruin of some of the wealthiest families  could subdue the spirit of independence and the aversion to British government that had  taken deep root in the bosoms of most of the inhabitants of the southern  states.

Sumpter, Morgan, Marion, Lee, Caswell, Rutherford, and other brave officers,  continually counteracted the intrigues of the loyalists; and attacked, harassed, and  

frequently defeated the British parties that were detached to the various parts of the  country to enforce submission.  Nor did the repulse in Georgia, the loss of  Charleston, nor the armament sent to the Chesapeake by Sir Henry Clinton in favor of  Cornwallis's movements, in the smallest degree check the vigorous efforts of  these spirited leaders, by whose assistance a new face to the affairs of their country was  soon restored.

France had this year given new proof of her zeal in favor of American independence.   The Count de Rochambeau arrived on July 11 at Newport, with 6000 land  forces, under cover of a respectable squadron commanded by the Admiral de Tiernay.  They brought the promise and the expectation of farther and immediate  support, both by land and sea.  Some ineffectual movements were made on both sides, in  consequence of these expectations; and on the arrival of Admiral Graves  at New York, with six sail of the line and some transports, a feint was made by Sir  Henry Clinton, with the assistance of those fresh reinforcements immediately to  attack the French at Rhode Island. This plan was diverted by General Washington's  preparation to embrace the favorable opportunity to strike a decided blow by  the reduction of New York.

All the states east of the Delaware discovered their readiness by all possible exertions to  cooperate in the deluge; but amid all the preparation and sanguine hope of  the Americans, an account was received, equally mortifying to the United States and to  their allies already in America, that Admiral de Guichen had sailed from the  West Indies directly for France, instead of repairing with all his forces as was expected  to aid the united operations of Washington and Rochambeau.  The Admiral  de Tiernay died soon after at Newport. It was thought by many that his brave officer fell  a sacrifice to chagrin and disappointment.

After the failure of these brilliant hopes, little more was done through the summer in the  middle and eastern department, except by skirmishing parties which served  only to keep up the hope of conquest on the side of Britain, while it preserved alive  some military ardor in the American army.  But so uncertain are the events of war  that the anticipation of success, the pride of victory, or the anguish of disappointment,  alternately play on the passions of men, until the convulsion gives place to  tranquility and peace or to the still solemnity of melancholy, robbed of all its joys.

General Washington found himself at this time unable to do much more than to guard  against the uncertain inroads of a powerful fleet and a hostile army.  It could not  be congenial to the feelings of the military character, endowed with a spirit of enterprise,  to be placed in a situation merely defensive, while too many circumstances  forbade any concentrated plan that promised any decision of the important object for  which the United States were struggling.

While thus situated, the British troops were frequently detached from New York and  Staten Island to make inroads and by surprise to distress and destroy the  settlements in the Jerseys.  The most important of their movements was about June 25,  when General Knyphausen with about 5000 regular troops, aided by some  new levies, advanced upon the right wing of the American army, commanded by Major  General Greene.  Their progress was slow until they arrived at Springfield,  where they were checked by a party of the Americans.

They had yet done little mischief on their march, but at Springfield they burnt most of  the houses in the town, and retired from thence to Elizabethtown. After some  time, they advanced from Elizabethtown with the whole of their infantry, a large body of  cavalry, and 15 or 20 pieces of artillery. Their march was then rapid and  compact. They moved in two columns, one on the main road leading to Springfield, the  other on the Vauxhall road.  Major Lee with the horse and pickets opposed  the right column, and Colonel Dayton with his regiment the left; and both gave as much  opposition as could have been expected from so small a force.

General Greene observed in a letter to Congress that the American troops were so  extended to guard the different roads leading to the several passes over the  mountains that he had scarcely time to collect them at Springfield and make the  necessary dispositions, previous to the appearance of the enemy before the town;  when a cannonade commenced between their advance and the American artillery, posted  

for the defense of the bridge.

Every prudent measure was taken by General Greene to confront and repel the invaders,  protect the inhabitants and secure the retreat of his own parties when  danger appeared from superior numbers.  The Generals Maxwell and Dickenson, the  Colonels Shrieve, Ogden, and others, at the head of their regiments, exhibited  the highest specimens of American bravery; but the enemy continued to press on in  great force.  Their left column began an attack on Colonel Angell, who was  posted to secure a bridge in front of the town. "The action was severe and lasted about  40 minutes; when superior numbers overcame obstinate bravery" and forced  the American troops to retire over the second bridge.

After various military maneuvers, skirmishes and retreats, General Greene took post on  a ridge of hills from whence he detached parties to prevent the burning so the  enemy, who spread conflagration wherever it was in their power, and retreated towards  Elizabethtown. This detachment from the British army finished their  marauding excursion and recrossed to Staten Island July 23.

The outrage of innocence in instances too numerous to be recorded, of the wanton  barbarity of the soldiers of the King of England, as they patrolled the defenseless  villages of America, was evinced nowhere more remarkably than in the burnings and  massacres that marked the footsteps of the British troops, was they from time to  time ravaged the state of New Jersey.

In their late excursion, they had trod their deleterious path through a part of the country  called Connecticut Farms.  It is needless to particularize many instances of  their wanton rage, and unprovoked devastation, in and near Elizabethtown.  The places  dedicated to public worship did not escape their fury. These they destroyed  more from licentious folly than any religious frenzy or bigotry, to which their nation had  at times been liable.  Yet through the barbarous transactions of this summer,  nothing excited more general resentment and compassion than the murder of the amiable  and virtuous wife of a Presbyterian clergyman, attended with too many  circumstances of grief on the one side and barbarism on the other, to pass over in  silence.

This lady was sitting in her own house, with her little domestic circle around her, and  her infant in her arms; unapprehensive of danger, shrouded by the consciousness  of her own innocence and virtue; when a British barbarian pointed his musket into the  window of her room, and instantly shot her through the lungs. A hole was dug,  the body thrown in, and the house of this excellent lady set on fire, and consumed with  all the property it contained.

Mr. Caldwell, her affectionate husband, was absent. Nothing had ever been alleged  against his character, even by his enemies, but his zeal for the rights and his  attachment to his native country.  For this he had been persecuted, and for this he was  robbed of all that he held dear in life, by the bloody hands of men, in whose  benevolence and politeness he had had much confidence, until the fated day when this  mistaken opinion led him to leave his beloved family, fearless of danger and  certain of their security from their innocence, virtue, and unoffending amiability.

 Mr. Caldwell afterwards published the proofs of this cruel affair, attested on oath before  magistrates, by sundry persons who were in the house with Mrs. Caldwell  and saw her fall back and expire, immediately after the report of the gun.  "This was," as  observed Mr. Caldwell, "a violation of every tender feeling; without  provocation, deliberately committed in open day; nor was it ever frowned on by the  commander." The catastrophe of this unhappy family was completed within two  years by the murder of Mr. Caldwell himself by some ruffian hands.

His conscious integrity of heart had never suffered him to apprehend any personal  danger, and the melancholy that pervaded all on the tragical death of his lady, who  was distinguished for the excellence and respectability of her character, wrought up the  resentment of that part of the country to so high a pitch that the most timid  were aroused to deeds of desperate heroism.  They were ready to swear like Hannibal  against the Romans, and to bind their sons to the oath of everlasting enmity to  the name of Britain.

But we shall see too many circumstances of similar barbarity and ferocious cruelty to  leave curiosity ungratified or to suffer the tear of pity to dry on the sympathetic  cheek as we follow the route of the British army.  Agitation and anxiety pervaded the  eastern states, while rapine and slaughter were spread over the middle  colonies.  Hope was suspended in every mind; and expectation seemed to hang on the  consequences of the strong effort made to subdue the southern provinces.

The present year was replete with the most active and important scenes, both in Europe  and America.  We leave the latter to wait the operation of events and turn  our eyes toward Great Britain, whose situation was not less perplexed and embarrassed  than that of the United States.  The sources of concern which pervaded the  patriotic part of the nation were innumerable.  A remarkable combination of powers  against the British nation was unusually alarming.  Spain had now declared war  and acted with decision; and many new and great events among other nations threatened  both the maritime and internal state of Great Britain, with checks to their  pride and power which they had not before experienced.

The despot of Russia, with haughty superiority, appeared at this time, umpire of the  Armed Neutrality, set on foot by herself. [Before this period, the wealth and  inhabitants of the Turkish empire had been diminished and the power of the Sublime  Porte so far crippled by the ambitious projects of Catherine that they were  unable to lend much assistance to any of their distressed neighbors.  For some time after  the remarkable partition of Poland, the hero of Prussia, the Germanic body,  

and the northern powers breathed in a kind of truce, as if paralyzed by the recollection of  recent slaughter and devastation rather than in the benign prospect of a  permanent peace.] The novelty of this measure excited much observation, attention, and  expectation, both in Europe and America.  Some writers have robbed the  Empress of the honor of originating this humane project, which was thought to be  leveled at the imperious sway and the insolent aggression of the British flag, which  had long been vexatious to all the nations.

This measure has been attributed to a stroke of policy concerted by Count Panin, in  order to defeat the design of Sir James Harris, minister from Great Britain, who  had been making every effort in favor of his court to engage the Empress to fit out a  naval armament against Spain.  Prince Potemkin, the Empress's favorite, was  fond of the measure of assisting the court of Spain. But the determined opposition of the  Count Panin, against the interference of the Court of Russia in the war  between Great Britain and the House of Bourbon, in conjunction with the American  colonies, was such that the design was not only defeated, but the Court of  Petersburg took the lead in a declaration to the belligerent powers, for settling the  principles of navigation and trade; and the armament in preparation for other  purposes, as sent out to support the armed neutrality. [See History of the Armed  Neutrality by a German nobleman.  A  more recent work has attributed the origin  of this benevolent system to the policy of the Count de Vergennes and has asserted that  it was a plan of his won to counteract the operations of the British Court  against France, by this check to the power of their navy.  But from the character of the  Count de Vergennes, as drawn by an American minister, his abilities were not  equal to the comprehensive system.  HE observed that "notwithstanding the gazettes of  Europe had been filled with pompous panegyrics of this minister and sublime  ideas of his power and credit as well as his abilities, it was but mere puff and bubble  And that notwithstanding his long experience in courts, he was by no means a  great minister; that he had neither the extensive knowledge, nor the foresight, nor the  

wisdom, nor the virtue, nor the temper of a great man."

But such was the commanding genius of Catherine, and her predominant passion for the  extension of her fame that those who have studied her character will not  deny her the capacity, nor the honor of originating this humane and novel system.  She  was a woman in whom were united the most splendid talents, a magnificent  taste, an unconquerable mind, the most beneficent virtues, and the most detestable  crimes.  But whoever was the prime mover of a system so benevolent, the idea  was the greatest that ever entered into the head of a prince, since the days of Henry IV of  France. [Everyone acquainted with the history of France will recollect the  benevolent design formed by Henry IV and his sagacious minister, the Duke of Sully, to  put an end to the waste of human life by war, by a combination, great,  extensive, and more humane than generally falls under the contemplation of princes.  Hi  design to settle the contests of nations by amicable treaty was defeated by  the hand of the assassin, which deprived him of life.] The design was glorious, as it  might in time be so far improved as to put a period to a great part of the distress  brought on the trade of nations by the ambition, interest, and proud usurpation of some  maritime powers.

The empress forwarded an explicit declaration of the design and the nature of the  combination to the several European courts.  By this extraordinary treaty, all  neutral ships were to be freely navigated from port to port on the coasts of nations at  war, and the effects belonging to the subject of any sovereign were to be safe in  all neutral vessels, except contraband merchandise.  Thus the seas were to be left in the  situation designed by God and nature, that all mankind might reap the  benefits of a free and open intercourse with each other.

Several other article, humane, just, and favorable to trade, were stipulated.  Their  security was guaranteed by a powerful fleet, directed by a despotic female; while  the neighboring sovereigns, awed by her prowess, strength, and stern authority, aided  her measures.

Though this was a very unpleasant proposition to the Court of Great Britain, it was  acceded to with alacrity by the northern powers, and by most of the other courts  of Europe.  Thus Sweden, Denmark, and Portugal united with the potent court of  Petersburg to guard and protect the trade of nations, while war raged among so  many of them.

This capital measure was equally pleasing to France, Spain, and America; but to Great  Britain it was a grievance of magnitude; and what greatly enhanced their  mortification, it had originated with a sovereign whom they considered as a friend and  an ally; one to whom they looked forward as a powerful assistant, if the  exigencies of war should oblige them to seek the further aid of foreigners  But as a  writer observed, "the solitary Court of London was obliged to suppress her  indignation." Neither her resentment, chagrin, or address could prevent a measure which  Great Britain considered as particularly injurious to herself.

The British minister expostulated warmly with the Court of Petersburg on the constant  attention and regard hitherto shown on every occasion to the flag and  

commerce of Russia by Great Britain. He declared there was a continuance of the same  disposition and conduct in his court, and reminded the Empress of the  reciprocal ties of friendship, and the commercial interests by which the two nations were  mutually bound.

The confederacy too formidable for opposition in their present situation, an equivocal,  rather than an explicit reply to the declaration of the Empress, was sent by  the Court of Great Britain to the British envoy resident at Petersburg, dated April 23,  1778.

While this indecisive mode of conduct was observed by the Court of Great Britain, the  other European powers had not only readily agreed to the proposition for an  armed neutrality, but appeared generally predisposed to a friendly intercourse with  America, if not unequivocally to support her claim to independence.

A general state of danger from foreign combinations seemed to threaten the Empire of  Great Britain with a convulsion in almost all its parts; at the same time,  discontent and dissatisfaction, particularly in Ireland, seemed to be on the point of rising  to an alarming height, and fast approaching to a crisis.

It was observed by one of their own writers that "it was not to be expected that a country  dependent on Great Britain and much limited in the use of its natural  advantages should not be affected by the causes and consequences of the American war.   The sagacious in that kingdom could not avoid perceiving in the present  combination of circumstances an advantage which was to be now improved or given up  forever."

There now appeared a remarkable revolution in the temper of the people of Ireland that  discovered strong symptoms of their weariness of their subordinate and  depressed situation.  These were doubtless quickened and brought into action, by the  struggle of the Americans for independence. Early in the opposition of the  united colonies to parliamentary measures, Congress had forwarded a friendly address to  the inhabitants of Ireland.  In this they had observed that "the ministry had  for ten years endeavored by fraud and violence to deprive them of rights which they had  for many years enjoyed"; that "at the conclusion of the last war, the genius of  England and the spirit of wisdom, as if offended at the ungrateful treatment of their  sons, withdrew from the British councils, and left that nation a prey to a race of  ministers, with whom ancient English honesty and benevolence disdained to dwell.  From that period, jealousy, discontent, oppression, and discord have raged  among all His Majesty's subjects, and filled every part of his dominions with distress  and complaint."

In this address to the inhabitants of Ireland, the American delegates had recapitulated  their several grievances, which had driven them to opposition and a suspension  of all commerce with Great Britain, Ireland, and the English West India islands.  After  observing that they hoped from this peaceable mode of opposition to obtain  relief, they made a friendly apology to the Irish for including them in this restriction,  assuring them "that it was with the utmost reluctance we could prevail upon  ourselves to cease our commercial connections with your island.  Your parliament had  done us no wrong.  You had ever been friendly to the rights of mankind; and  we acknowledge with pleasure and with gratitude that your nation has produced patriots  who have nobly distinguished themselves in the cause of humanity and  America.

"On the other hand, we were not ignorant that the labors and manufactures of Ireland,  like those of the silk worm, were of little moment to herself, but served on y to  give luxury to those who neither toil nor spin.  We perceived that if we continued our  commerce with you, our agreement not to import from Britain would be  fruitless; and were therefore compelled to adopt a measure to which nothing but  absolute necessity could have reconciled us.  It gave us, however, some consolation  to reflect that should it occasion much distress, the fertile regions of America would  afford you a safe asylum from poverty and in time from oppression also; an  asylum in which many thousands of your countrymen have found hospitality, peace, and  affluence, and become united to us by all the ties of consanguinity, mutual  interest, and affection." [See Note 8 at the end of this chapter.]

"We offer our most grateful acknowledgments for the friendly disposition you have  always shown towards us.  We know that you are not without your grievances.   We sympathize with you in your distress; and are pleased to find that the design of  subjugating us has persuaded administration to dispense to Ireland some vagrant  rays of ministerial sunshine.  Even the tender mercies of government have long been  cruel towards you.  In the rich pastures of Ireland, many hungry parricides have  fed and grown strong to labor in its destruction.  We hope the patient abiding of the  meek may not always be forgotten; and God grant that the iniquitous schemes of  extirpating liberty from the British Empire may be soon defeated!

"But we should be wanting to ourselves; we should be perfidious to posterity; we should  be unworthy that ancestry from which we derive our descent, should we  submit with folded arms to military butchery and depredation, to gratify the lordly  ambition or sate the avarice of a British ministry.  In defense of our persons and  properties, under actual violation, we have taken up arms.  When that violation shall be  removed and hostilities cease on the part of the aggressors, they shall cease  on our part also.  For the achievement of this happy event, we confide in the good  offices of our fellow subjects beyond the Atlantic. Of their friendly disposition we  do not yet despond, aware, as they must be, that they have nothing more to expect from  the same common enemy than the humble favor of being last devoured."

This energetic address to the Irish may be seen in almost every public record of the  transactions of Congress in 1775.  This, with other addresses of the same  determined body of men, to the inhabitants of England, of Canada, of the United States,  comprise an epitome of the grievances complained of by Americans, of the  existing opinions, and the cause of the colonies taking arms against the parent state.

The similarity of sufferings which the Irish had long felt, oppressions which had often  driven them to the point of despair, a project of successful resistance by the  colonies to the overbearing measures of the British Crown and Parliament awakened in  them a dawn of hope that relief might result from union and concert among  themselves, sufficient to check the present and to prevent still greater burdens from the  usurpations of power often exercised against them, without equity or  humanity.

The rising ferment in the Irish nation was justly alarming to the Court of Britain.  This,  with the weight of foreign combinations which pressed on them, awakened  apprehensions in the highest degree, in  the minds of the sober and judicious, who had  the welfare of the nation at heart.  In addition to their concern from these  causes, their differences of opinion with regard to their own internal affairs, on almost  every subject, increased.  This disunion of sentiment appeared in the vast  number of petitions laid on the table of the House of Commons from the most  respectable counties; not less than 40 at once.  These brought on much debate and  altercation that promised much reform and produced little.

The enormous influence of the Crown, the abuse of contracts, the corruption in all  departments were discussed, and the American war again reprobated.  The waste  of human life, and the treasures of the nation were pathetically lamented in the course of  parliamentary debate; and this absurd and fruitless war criminated in strong  language.

The strength of party was tried to its utmost on a variety of subjects.  The increasing and  dangerous influence of the Crown was particularly dwelt upon. On this, a  member of the House [Sir Thomas Pitt] observed that nothing more strongly evinced its  existence than the minister's keeping his place "after so many years of loss,  misfortune, and calamity, as had already marked the fatal course of his administration."  He asked "whether that noble lord had not lost America? whether he had not  squandered many millions of the public money and wasted rivers of blood of the  subjects of Great Britain? And yet, though the whole country, with one voice, cried  out against him, and execrated his American war, the noble lord still held his place.   Could this possibly be ascribed to any other cause than to the overgrown  influence of the Crown, along with that daring exertion of it which sets the voice and the  interests of other people at naught?"

He observed that the present minister by his measures "had sunk and degraded the honor  of Great Britain.  The name of an Englishman was now no longer a matter  to be proud of.  The time had been when it was the envy of all the world. It had been the  introduction to universal respect.  But the noble lord had contrived to sink it  almost beneath contempt.  He had rendered his countrymen, and their country,  despicable in the eyes of every other person."

This session of Parliament continued desultory, angry, agitated, and inconclusive, until  towards the close, when all eyes were opened to immediate danger by the  distracted and incoherent conduct of Lord George Gordon, at the head of the London  Associators, who had combined expressly to defend the Protestant religion.  They had taken the alarm from a motion made by Sir George Saville, deemed too  favorable to the Roman Catholic religion, though received with universal applause  in the House of Commons.

It is observable that the pretext of religion had often rent in sunder the bands of union,  and interrupted the peace of the English nation, from the conquest to the  present day.  Nor had persecution ever been pushed with a more severe hand in any part  of the world, than among these islanders, all of whom professed  themselves Christians, though divided by a variety of denominations.  The popish  religion had been particularly inhibited from the days of the Stuarts; but a many of  the nobility still adhered to the Catholic faith, a degree of liberality and toleration was  indulged, and religious distinctions, if not annihilated, had generally lain dormant  among a people highly improved in politeness and erudition.  Yet the same spirit of  bigotry was concealed in the bosoms of many, which wanted only the contact of  a torch to emblazon into the flames of persecuting fury.

This the present moment presented; and no animosities of this nature had for many years  arisen to such a height of riot, confusion, tumult, and danger as raged in the  city of London in consequence of an act recently passed entitled "an act for relieving His  Majesty's subjects professing the popish religion from certain penalties and  disabilities imposed on them by an act made in the 11th and 12th years of the reign of  King William III." The zealous opposition in Scotland to any relaxation of the  penal laws against the Papists, seems to have originate the Protestant association in  England.

Though not immediately connected with American affairs, it may not be improper  before we conclude this chapter to notice that no heat of opposition among the  insurgents of the colonies, as they were termed, ever arose to such an atrocious height as  the mobs in London is the face of the Parliament of England and under the  eye of their sovereign.

The restless and turbulent spirit and conduct of Lord George Gordon gave rise to the  notorious outrages committed in and about London in the month of June 1778.   Enthusiastically bitter against the indulgence of the Roman Catholic religion, he carried  his designs and temper so far as to spread the same intolerant spirit through a  large body of his adherents.  50,000 or 60,000 persons assembled in St. George's Fields  under the appellation of the Protestant Associators, distinguished by blue  cockades in their hats, a badge which they endeavored to affix to many well-meaning  persons whom they compelled to move in their train. The passions of the made  

multitude inflamed by various artifices, they paraded the city for several days and set  fire to many elegant buildings, among which Lord Mansfield's house, furniture,  library, and many valuable manuscripts were destroyed.

Lord George Saville's house in Leicester Fields fell under the resentment and fury of the  rioters, professedly for his preparing and bringing a bill into Parliament in  favor of the Catholics.  the bishop of Lincoln and several other dignified clergymen felt  the effects of their ruffian and licentious hands. they were insulted, abused, and  treated with the utmost rudeness and indignity.  In short, plunder, rapine, anarchy,  murder, and conflagration spread in every quarter of the city.  The prisoners were  released and the jails set on fire. Newgate, King's Bench, the Fleet Prison, and other  public buildings destroyed.  Neither the civil authority, the remonstrances of the  moderate, nor the terror of the military were able to quell the rioters or disperse the  rabble under four or five days that the city blazed in so many different and  conspicuous parts, as to threaten the conflagration of that noble capital.

As soon as a degree of quiet was restored by a dispersion of the inflamed multitude,  Lord George Gordon was taken into custody and committed to the Tower.   After six or seven months confinement, he was tried. But as there appeared a  derangement of his intellectual faculties, bordering on insanity, he was acquitted and set  at liberty.

It is no singular circumstance that a zeal for religion or rather a particular mode of  worship should disgrace the Christian system by the wild fanaticism of its real or  pretended votaries.  It has been observed that this was the pretext for the licentious  conduct of the London Associators.  their cry was religion. Forgetful among the  most ferocious deeds of cruelty that the religion they ostensibly pretended to defend was  interwoven with the most rational morality and the most fervent piety.

The same illiberal spirit of superstition and bigotry has been the pretext for establishing  inquisitions, for Smithfield firs, for massacres, wars, and rivers of human blood  poured out on the earth, which groans beneath the complicated crimes of man.  Thus,  mistaken ideas of religion have often led the multitude to deeds of cruelty and  madness, enkindled the fury of the assassin to murder the monarch amid his guards or  the hapless maid in her devotional closet.  The ignorant, the artful, or the  illiberal children of men have often brought forward the sacred name of religion to  sanction the grossest absurdities, to justify the most cruel persecutions, and to  violate every principles of reason and virtue in the human mind.

It is a melancholy truth that the Christian world too generally forgets that the mild spirit  of the gospel dictates candor and forgiveness towards those who are  dissentient in opinion.  The example of the good Samaritan was recorded to impress the  cultivation of the benevolent affections towards all mankind, without  restriction to neighbor or to country. And the sword of Peter was ordered into its  scabbard by the founder of that code of rational and just sentiment, productive of  order and peace in the present stage of weakness and error.

The mild virtues of charity and brotherly kindness are the distinguishing characteristics  of this benign religion. Yet it is not less humiliating than wonderful when we  calmly reflect that mankind have seemed to delight in the destruction of their fellow  beings, from the earliest records of time to the present struggles of America, to  maintain their rights at the point of the sword, against a nation long inured to the  carnage of their own species.

This has been evinced not only in the oppression of Great Britain over their own  colonies and the civil convulsions on their own island, but from the havoc made by  their enormous naval armaments, which have crimsoned the ocean with human blood,  carried death to their antipodes and desolation around the globe.

To the universal regret of the most benevolent part of mankind, they have witnessed that  the nabobs of India have been reduced to slavery and the innocent  inhabitants of the eastern world involved in famine, poverty, and every species of  misery, notwithstanding the immense resources of the most luxuriant and fertile  country on earth, by the innovating, ambitious and insolent spirit of a nation, assuming  the jurisdiction of the seas and aiming at universal domination.

 The black catalogue of cruelties permitted by the English government and executed by  their myrmidons in the east, against the innocent natives of India, will leave a  stain on the character of the British nation until the memory of their deeds shall be  blotted from every historic page.  Nor was the system of conquest there relaxed in  the smallest degree. While the Ganges and the Indus were reddened with the blood and  covered with the slaughtered bodies of men, their armies in the west were  endeavoring to reduce their former colonies to the same state of slavery and misery with  the inhabitants of that distant region.

The attempted extermination of many of the primitive inhabitants, and the waste of  human life through all Industan and other parts of the eastern world, by the  destroying sword of Britain are recollections too shocking for the humane and  benevolent mind to dwell on.  Too melancholy a picture is exhibited when the eye of  compassion is turned towards that ill-fated country.  It must in tears behold the zemidars  and the nabobs in chains, their princes and princesses in every age  immersed in poverty, stripped of their connections, captured by the English and dying in  despair without the cold solace of pity from their foes.  All the ancient,  well-informed, and ingenious inhabitant of that rich, populous, and favored spot of  creation, involved in one common ruin, exhibit the most striking and affecting view  of the cruelties of man and the vicissitudes of human affairs that modern history  presents.

These last observations indeed may not appear to be connected with the design of the  present work.  Nor have the cruelties which have been exhibited in the East  Indies by the arms of Great Britain arisen from a spirit of religious intolerance. It may,  however, be observed, when the mind has for a moment left the more  sublunary pursuits of man, an adverted to the sacred theme of religion, that nothing can  be a more insurmountable bar to the propagation of truth, either in the east,  the west, or in the dark regions of African or Asiatic slavery, than the cruelties  perpetrated by men who profess a system of ethics more sublime than that of  Zoroaster, morals more refined than taught by Socrates, and a religion pure and simple,  inculcating the most benign dispositions, forbidding all injuries to the weakest  of its fellow beings.  Observations on the moral conduct of man, on religious opinion or persecutions and the  motives by which mankind are actuated in their various pursuits will not be  censured when occasionally introduced.  They are more congenial to the taste,  inclination, and sex of the writer than a detail of the rough and terrific scenes of war.  Nor will a serious or philosophic mind be displeased with such an interlude, which may  serve as a temporary resting post to the weary traveler who has trodden over  the field of carnage, until the soul is sickened by a view of the absurdity and cruelty of  his own species.

These reflections may justify a short digression that only means to hint at the happy  consequences that might result if a nation which extends its power and carries its  arms to the extremities of the globe would transmit with them that mildness of manners,  that justice, humanity, and rectitude of character that would draw the  inhabitants of the darker regions of the world from their idolatry and superstition.  Thus  nations who had long been immersed in errors might be led to embrace a  religion admirably adapted to the promotion of the happiness of mankind on earth, and  to prepare a rational agent for some higher stage of existence when the drama  on this tragic theater is finished.


Note 8

The cruel oppressions long suffered by the Kingdom of Ireland from the haughty  superiority of British power, induced the wretched inhabitants to avail themselves of  this invitation, and to resort by thousands to America after the peace took place between  Great Britain and the United States.  After this, the confusions and  distractions in Ireland arose to such a height as rendered a residence there too  insupportable for description.  The miserable inhabitants who escape the sword, the  burnings, and the massacre of the English, had flattered themselves that if they could  retreat from their native country, they should received a welcome reception to an  

asylum to which they had formerly been invited by the congressional body who directed  the affairs of America.  There they justly thought their industry might have  been cherished, their lives and properties be secure, and their residence rendered quiet;  but a check was put to emigration for a time by an alien law enacted by  Congress in the year 1798.

This was very contrary to the policy and to the principles express by Governor Trumbull  of Connecticut to Baron R.J. Van de Capellen, "Seigneur du Pol, Membre  des Nobles de la Provence D'Overyssel, etc." dated Lebanon, August 31, 1779.

He observes that "the climate, the soil, the productions of a continent extending from the  30th to the 45th degree of latitude, and in longitude an unknown width, are  various beyond description, and the objects of trade consequently unbounded.  There is  scarce a manufacture, whether in the useful or ornamental part of life of  which you will not here find the materials, collected as it were in an immense magazine.  In every requisite for naval armaments we abound, our forests yielding  prodigious quantities of timber and spars; our mountains, vast mines of iron, copper, and  lead; and our fields producing ample crops of flax and hemp. Provisions of  all kinds are raised in much greater quantities than are necessary for our own  consumption; and our wheat, our rye, our cattle, and our pork, yield to none in the  world for quality.

"The price of cultivated lands is by no means extravagant; and of uncultivated, trifling;  12,000 acres, situated most advantageously for future business, selling for 300  guineas English, i.e., little more than 6 pence sterling the acre.  Our interests and our  laws teach us to receive strangers form every quarter of the globe with open  arms.  The poor, the unfortunate, the oppressed form every country will here find a  ready asylum; and by uniting their interests with ours, enjoy in common with us all  the blessings of liberty and plenty.  Neither difference of nation, of language, of  manners, or of religion will lessen the cordiality of their reception, among a people  whose religion teaches them to regard all mankind as their brethren."


Chapter Seventeen:  Distressed situation of the army and the country from various causes. General Gates sent to the  southward. Surprised and defeated at Camden by Lord Cornwallis. Superseded. General  Greene appointed to the command in  the Carolinas. Major Ferguson's defeat. Sir Henry Clinton makes a diversion in the  Chesapeake in favor of Lord Cornwallis.  General Arnold sent there. His defection and character. Detection, trial, and death of  Major Andre. Disposition of the Dutch  Republic with regard to America. Governor Trumbull's character and correspondence  with Baron Van de Capellen. Mr.  Laurens appointed to negotiate with the Dutch Republic.

The year 1780 was a year of incident, expectation, and event; a period pregnant with  future consequences, interesting in the highest degree to the political happiness  of the nations and perhaps ultimately to the civil institutions of a great part of mankind.   We left England in the preceding chapter, in a very perturbed state, arising  both from their own internal dissensions and the dread of foreign combinations, relative  to their own island and its former dependencies.

At the same time, neither the pen of the historian, nor the imagination of the poet can  fully describe the embarrassments suffered by Congress, by the commander in  chief, and by men of firmness and principle in the several legislative bodies through this  and the beginning of the next year.  The scarcity of specie, the rapid  depreciation of paper, which at once sunk the property and corrupted the morals of the  people; which destroyed all confidence in public bodies, reduced the old  army to the extremes of misery, and seemed to preclude all possibility of raising a new  one, sufficient for all the departments; were evils which neither the wisdom nor  the vigilance of Congress could remedy.

At such a crisis, more penetration and firmness, more judgment, impartiality, and  moderation were requisite in the commander in chief of the American armies than  usually fall within the compass of the genius or ability of man.  In the neighborhood of a  patent army, General Washington had to guard, with a very inadequate force,  not only against the arms of his enemies, but the machinations of British emissaries,  continually attempted to corrupt the fidelity both of his officers and his troops.

Perhaps no one but himself can describe the complicated sources of anxiety that at this  period pervaded the breast of the first military officer, whose honor, whose  life, whose country hung suspended not on a single point only, but on many events that  quivered in the winds of fortune, chance, or the more uncertain determinations  of men.  Happy is it to reflect that these are all under the destination of an unerring hand  that works in secret, ultimately to complete the beneficent designs of  Providence.

Some extracts from his own pen very naturally express the agitations of the mind of  General Washington in the preceding as well as the present year.  In one of his  letters to a friend [This original letter was to James Warren, Esquire, speaker of the  Assembly of Massachusetts, March 31, 1779.]  he observed "...Our conflict is  not likely to cease so soon as every good man would wish.  The measure of iniquity is  not yet filled; and unless we can return a little more to first principles and act a  little more upon patriotic ground, I do not know when it will, or what may be the issue  of the contest.  Speculation, peculation, engrossing, forestalling, with all their  concomitants, afford too many melancholy proofs of the decay of public virtue; and too  glaring instances of its being the interest and desire of too many, who would  wish to be thought friends, to continue the war.

"Nothing, I am convinced, but the depreciation of our currency proceeding in a great  measure from the foregoing causes, aided by stock-jobbing and party  dissensions, has fed the hopes of the enemy, and kept the arms of Britain in American  until now.  They do not scruple to declare this themselves; and add that we  shall be our own conquerors.  Cannot our common country (America) possess virtue  enough to disappoint them? With you, sir, I think that he consideration of a little  dirty pelf to individuals is not to be placed in competition with the essential rights and  liberties of the present generation and of millions yet unborn.

"Shall a few designing men, for their own aggrandizement, and to gratify their own  avarice, overset the goodly fabric we have been rearing at the expense of so much  time, blood and treasure? And shall we at last become the victims of our own  abominable lust of gain? Forbid it Heaven! Forbid it all, and every state in the union!  by enacting and enforcing efficacious laws for checking the growth of these monstrous  evils, and restoring matters in some degree to the pristine state they were in at  the commencement of the war.

"Our cause is noble. It is the cause of mankind. And the danger to it springs from  ourselves.  Shall we slumber and sleep then when we should be punishing those  miscreants who have brought these troubles upon us, and who are aiming to continue us  in them? while we should be striving to fill our battalions and devising ways  and means to appreciate the currency, on the credit of which everything depends?  I  hope not. ... Let vigorous measures be adopted to punish speculations,  forestallers, and extortioners; and, above all, to sink the money in heavy taxes to  promote public and private economy, encourage manufactures, etc.

"Measure of this sort gone heartily into by the several states will strike at once at the  root of all our misfortunes and give the coup de grace to British hope of  subjugating this great continent, either by their arms or their arts.  The first, as I have  before observed, they acknowledge unequal to the task; the latter, I am sure,  will be so, if we are not lost to everything that is good and virtuous.

"A little time now must unfold in some degree the enemy's designs. Whether the sate of  affairs in Europe will permit them to augment their army with more than  recruits for the regiments now in America, and therewith attempt an active and vigorous  campaign, or whether with their Canadian and Florida force they will aid and  abet the Indians in ravaging our western frontier, while their shipping with detachments  harass, (and if they mean to prosecute the predatory war threatened by  administration through their commissioners) burn, and destroy our sea coast, or whether,  contrary to expectation, they are more disposed to negotiate than to either,  is more than I can determine.  The latter will depend very much on their apprehensions  of Spain and their own foreign alliances.  At present, we seem to be in a  chaos, but this cannot last long, as I presume the ultimate determinations of the British  Court will be developed at the meeting of Parliament after the holidays."

An extract of another letter from General Washington to the Governor of Pennsylvania,  dated August 20, 1780, discovered the same anxiety for the fate of the  contest as the above.  In this he said, "To me it will appear miraculous if your affairs can  maintain themselves much longer in their present train.  if either the temper or  the resources of the country will not admit of an alteration, we may soon expect to be  reduced to the humiliating condition of seeing the cause of America held up in  America by Foreign arms.  The discontents of the troops have been gradually nurtured  to a dangerous extremity.  Something satisfactory must be done, or the army  must cease to exist at the end of the campaign; or it will exhibit an example of more  virtue, fortitude, self-denial, and perseverance than has perhaps ever been  paralleled in the history of human enthusiasm."

While thus impressed with these apprehensions of the depreciation of public virtue,  General Washington had to balance the parties and to meliorate the distresses of  the inhabitants, alternately ravaged by all descriptions of soldiers in the vicinity of both  armies.  It was impossible for him to strike any capital blow, without money  even for daily expenses, without a naval force sufficient to cover any exertions; his  battalions incomplete, his army clamorous and discontented, and on the point of  mutiny, from the deficiencies in their pay and the immediate want of every necessary of  life.

At the same time, the legislatures of the several states were in the utmost anxiety to  devise ways and means to supply the requisitions of Congress, who had recently  laid a tax of many millions on the states in order to sink the enormous quantity of old  paper money.  The calls of an army, naked, hungry, and turbulent, even to the  discovery of symptoms of revolt, were indeed alarming.  The pressing necessities of the  army, and the critical exigencies of the times crowded upon them in every  department and required the utmost wisdom, vigilance, and fortitude.

Nothing depictures the characters, the sentiments, and the feelings of men more strongly  than their private letters at the time.  Perhaps this may be evinced by giving  the reader a paragraph of a letter from the speaker of the House of Representatives of  Massachusetts [The honorable James Warren, Esquire] to a private friend at  this critical era of embarrassment and perplexity.

"Our public affairs wear a most disagreeable aspect. Embarrassments increase from  every quarter. My contemplations are engrossed by day and by night for the  salvation of my country.  If we succeed, I shall have pleasure which a fortune cannot  give. If we fail, I shall feel consolations that those who are intent only on making  fortunes must envy.  In a country abounding with men and provisions, it would torture a  Sully to raise and support an army in the field.  Everything is resolved into  money; but the real question is, how to get it?  Taxes, though so great and often  repeated, do not bring it in fast enough. We cannot borrow, because no one will  lend, while the army is in danger of starving or disbanding. If we lay more taxes, the  very people who have been used to tender half of their property or even their all  for the service of their country will now revolt at the idea of paying a two-hundredth part.  And it might perhaps create uneasiness that might break the union.  On the  other hand, if we do not lay more taxes, for aught I see, there must be an end of the  contest.  All these difficulties are increased by the successes of the enemy, which  clog our measures by dispiriting the army and the people.  But I do not despair.; One  vigorous and grand campaign may yet put a glorious period to the war. All  depends on proper exertions. We have to choose glory, honor, and happiness, or infamy,  disgrace, and misery."

The complicated difficulties already depictured clearly prove that such a spirit of avarice  and peculation had crept into the public departments and taken deep hold of  the majority of the people as Americans a few years before were thought incapable of.  The careful observer of human conduct will readily perceive that a variety of  concurring causes led to this sudden change of character.  The opulent, who had been  used to ease, independence, and generosity, were reduced, dispirited, and  deprived of the ability of rendering pecuniary service to their country by the unavoidable  failure of public faith.  Great part of the fortunes of the widow, the orphan,  and the aged were sunk in the public funds; so that the nominal income of a year would  scarcely supply the necessities of a day.

The depreciation of paper had been so rapid at this time [See scale of depreciation.],  $120 of paper currency was not an equivalent to $1 in silver or gold. While at  the same time, a sudden accumulation of property by privateering, by speculation, by  accident, or fraud, placed many in the lap of affluence, who were without  principle, education, or family.  These, from a thoughtless ignorance, and the novelty of  splendor to which they had been total strangers, suddenly plunged into every  kind of dissipation, and grafted the extravagances and follies of foreigners on their own  passion for squandering what by them had been so easily acquired.

Thus, avarice without frugality, and profusion without taste were indulged and soon  banished the simplicity an elegance that had formerly reigned; instead of which  there was spread in America among the rising generation, a thirst for the accumulation  of wealth, unknown to their ancestors.  A class who had not had the  advantages of the best education and who had paid little attention to the principles of the  revolution took the lead in manners. Sanctioned by the breach of public  faith, the private obligations of justice seemed to be little regarded, and the sacred idea  of equity in private contracts was annihilated for a time by the example of  public deficiency.

The infantile state of government, the inexperience of its leaders, and the necessity of  substituting a medium with only imaginary value, brought an impeachment on  Congress, without voluntary deviations from probity or willing breaches of faith.   Perhaps nothing is more true than a observation of a member of that body that "the  necessity of affairs had often obliged them to depart from the purity of their first  principles."  The complaint that the fountain was corrupt was artfully diffused.  However that might be, the streams were undoubtedly tainted, and contamination, with  few exceptions, seemed to run through the whole body of the people; and a  declension of morals was equally rapid with the depreciation of their currency.

But a superintending Providence, that overrules the designs and defeats the projects of  men, remarkably upheld the spirit of Americans; and caused events that had  for a time a very unfavorable aspect to operate in favor of independence and peace and  to make a new nation of the recent emigrants from the old and proud Empire  of Britain.

But they had yet many difficulties to struggle with, which will be sufficiently evinced as  we follow the route of the British army, and detail the transactions in the  Carolinas.  The embarrassments and distresses, the battles, skirmishes, and  disappointments, the alternate successes and defeats, flight and pursuit that took place  between the contending parties there must be more copiously related previous to the  maneuvers through the state of Virginia that led to the last capital stroke which  finished with glory and renown the grand contest between Great Britain and her colonies  and sealed the independence of America.

Indeed, a considerable time had elapsed before the distresses of the country; the  situation of the army, naked, hungry, and clamorous; the pressing importunity of  General Washington; the addresses and declarations of Congress; and the remonstrances  of the several legislative bodies could arouse from the pursuit of private  interest those who thought themselves secure from immediate danger.

Though from many untoward circumstances, a cloud for a time had seemed to hover  over the minds of many, the people again awakened, both from the dream of  secure enjoyment in some and the dread apprehensions in others of falling under the  British yoke. The patriotic exertions and unshaken firmness of the few in every  state again had their influence on the many, and all seemed ready to suffer anything but  a subjugation to the Crown of Britain.

Not the loss of Charleston, a captured army, the destruction of their marine, the sinking  state of their medium, the internal ravages of their country, and their sea coast  blazing under the fire of their enemies had the smallest tendency to bend the Americans  to a dereliction of their claim to independence.  A confidence in their own  good fortune, or rather in that Providence whose fiat points out the rise an marks the  boundaries of empire, supported the more thoughtful; while a constitutional  hardiness, warmed by enthusiasm, and whetted by innumerable and recent injuries, still  buoyed up the hopes of the soldier, the statesman, the legislator, and the  

people at large, even in the darkest moments.

Immediately after the news reached Congress that General Lincoln had surrendered  Charleston and that himself and his army were prisoners of the British  commander, the Baron de Kalb, a brave and experienced Prussian officer, who had been  some time in the American service, was ordered to Virginia, with sanguine  hopes of checking the further progress of the British arms.  Though the Baron de Kalb  was an officer of great military merit, his command at the southward was only  temporary.

General Gates, the successful conqueror in the northern, was vested with the chief  command in the southern department.  It was an appointment of great  responsibility This might be a reason, in addition to the great respect which this foreign  nobleman had for General Gates, that led him to express in all his letters to his  friends the peculiar satisfaction he felt on his arrival to take chief command. An officer  of this name and experience, at once emboldened the friends of their country,  and intimidated the wavering and disaffected. The renowned solider, who had captured  one proud British general and his army, was at that time viewed with  particular awe and respect by another.

Nor was it long before most of the British commanders were convinced of the delusory  nature of those assurances they had received from the loyalists that a general  disgust to the authority of Congress prevailed; that the defection, more particularly in  North Carolina, was such that the people were ready to renounce all American  usurpations, as soon as the royal standard should be erected among them. But  experiment soon convinced them of the futility of such expectations.

The Baron de Kalb had been sent on earlier from headquarters.  He had with him a  detachment of 1400 men.  He stayed only a few weeks in Virginia and move  from thence to Carolina, where he soon after met General Gates.  After the junction of  General Gates and the Baron de Kalb, they, with unexampled patience and  fatigue, marched an army of several thousand men through a barren country that  afforded no subsistence except green fruits and other unwholesome aliments.  They  reached the borders of South Carolina and encamped at Clermont on August 13.

On his arrival in the vicinity of the British headquarters, General Gates published a  proclamation, inviting the patriotic inhabitants of South Carolina "to join heartily in  rescuing themselves an their country from the oppression of a government imposed on  them by the ruffian hand of power." In this proclamation, he promised  forgiveness and perfect security to such of the unfortunate citizens of the state as had  been induced by the terror of sanguinary punishments and the arbitrary  measures of military domination apparently to acquiesce under the British government.

He observed "that they had been obliged to make a forced declaration of allegiance and  support to a tyranny which the indignant souls of citizens resolved on  freedom inwardly revolted at with horror and detestation; that they might rest satisfied  that the genuine motive which has given energy to the present exertions is the  hope of rescuing them from the iron rod of oppression and restoring to them those  blessings of freedom and independence which it is the duty and interest of the  citizens of these United States jointly and reciprocally to support and confirm.

The situation of General Gates at Clermont was not very advantageous, but his design  was not to continue long there, but by a sudden move to fall unexpectedly on  Lord Rawdon, who had fixed his headquarters at Camden.  This place as bout 13 miles  distant from Clermont, on the borders of the River Santee, from whence the  communication was easy to the internal parts of the country.

Lord Cornwallis had gained early intelligence of the movements of the American army,  and had arrived at Camden himself, with a similar design, by an unexpected  blow, to surprise General Gates and defeat his arrangements.  His Lordship effected his  purpose with a facility beyond his own expectation.  The tow armies met in  the night of August 15, 1780. Mutually surprised by the sudden necessity of action, a  loose skirmish was kept up until the morning, when an general engagement  commenced.

The British troops were not equal in numbers to those of the Americans, including the  militia; while the renowned character of General Gates heightened the ideas of  their strength.  But the onset on both sides began with equal spirit and bravery, and was  continued with valor equally honorary to both parties, until the militia,  intimidated, particularly those from Virginia and North Carolina, gave ground, threw  down their arms, and fled with great precipitation.  The order of the army was  immediately broken, and fortune no longer favorable, forsook the American veteran at  the moment his reputation courted and depended on her smiles.  His troops  were totally routed, and the general himself fled, rather than retreated, in a manner that  was thought for a time in some measure to sully the laurels of Saratoga.

The Baron de Kalb, an officer of great military talents and reputation, was mortally  wounded in this action. He died rejoicing in the services he had rendered America  in her noble struggles for liberty, and gloried with his last breath in the honor of dying in  defense of the rights of man.  Before his death, he dictated a letter to a friend,  expressive of the warmest affection for the Americans, containing the highest  encomiums on the valor of the continental troops, of which he had been so recent a  witness, and declaring the satisfaction which he then felt in having been a partaker of  their fortune, and having fallen in their cause. [When Lord Cornwallis was  informed of the rank and merits of Baron de Kalb, he directed that his remains should be  respectfully interred.  He was buried near the village of Camden; but no  memorial of the deposit of this distinguished hero has been preserved, though Congress  some time afterwards directed a monument should be erected to his  memory. Nothing was, however, done, except planting an ornamental tree at the head of  his grave.]

The proportion of slain among the Americans was much greater than that of the British.   Brigadier General Gregory was killed, with several other brave officers.  Rutherford and others were wounded and captured. The total rout of the Americans was  completed by the pursuit and destruction of a corps at some distance from  the scene of the late action, commanded by Colonel Sumpter.  He was advancing with a  strong body to the aid of General Gates, but meeting the news of his defeat,  he endeavored to retreat, and being unfortunately overtaken by Colonel Tarleton, his  whole party was dispersed or cut off.

Censure for a time fell very heavily on General Gates for the precipitation and distance  of his retreat.  He scarcely halted until he reached Hillsborough, 100 miles  from the field of battle.  Yet either the courage nor the fidelity of the bold and long-tried  veteran could be called in question.  The strongest human fortitude has  frequently suffered a momentary eclipse from that panic-struck influence, under which  the mind of man sometimes unaccountably falls, when there is no real or  obvious cause of despair.  This has been exemplified in the greatest military characters;  the Duke of Parma [The masterly retreat of the Duke of Parma before the  King of France was indeed a hasty flight; but he soon recovered himself and asked the  king by a trumpet, "what he thought of this retreat?" The king was so much  out of humor that he could not help saying "he had no skill in retreating; and that in his  opinion, the best retreat in the world was little better than a flight." The Duke,  however, gained, rather than lost reputation thereby. He resumed his high rank, as a  commander of the first abilities and lived and died crowned with military fame  and applause. Siege of Rouen. Med. Univ. History.] and others; and even the celebrated  royal hero of Prussia has retreated before them as in a fright, but recovered  himself, defied, and conquered his enemies.

General Gates, though he had lost the day in the unfortunate action at Camden, lost no  part of his courage, vigilance, or firmness.  After he reached Hillsborough, he  made several efforts to collect a force sufficient again to meet Lord Cornwallis in the  field; but the public opinion bore hard on his reputation.  He was immediately  superseded, and a court martial appointed to inquire into his conduct  He was indeed  fully justified by the result of this military investigation, and treated with the  utmost respect by the army, and by the inhabitants on his return to Virginia.  Yet the tide  of fame ebbed fast before him; but the impression made by his valor and  military glory could never be erased.

The most exalted minds may, however, be clouded by misfortunes. Chagrined by his  defeat, and the consequences attending it, the climax of his affliction was  completed by the death of an amiable wife, and the loss of his only son, a very hopeful  youth, who died about the same time.  This honest republican, whose  determined spirit, incorruptible integrity, and military merits had been so eminently  useful to America in many critical emergencies, retired to Traveler's Rest, his seat  in Virginia, where he continued until the temporary prejudice against him had subsided,  when he again resumed his rank in the army.

After a little time had dissipated the sudden impression made by his ill success and  retreat, it was allowed by almost everyone that General Gates was not treated by  Congress with all the delicacy or indeed gratitude that was due to an officer of his  acknowledged merit.  He, however, received the orders for supercedure and  suspension, and resigned the command to General Greene with becoming dignity.

With a generosity and candor characteristic of himself, General Greene, who succeeded  in the southern command, on all occasions vindicated the reputation of  General Gates, who was fully restored to the good opinion of his countrymen; and  continued to act an honorable part until the conclusion of the war.  General  Greene invariably asserted that if there was any mistake in the conduct of Gates, it was  in hazarding an action at all against such superior forces, not in his retreating  after the battle was irretrievably lost.  There was a large class who from various motives,  after the misfortunes of General Gates, endeavored to vilify his name and  detract from his character.

It may be observed in this, as in innumerable instances in the life of man, that virtue and  talents do not always hold their rank in the public esteem.  Malice, intrigue,  envy, and other adventitious circumstances, frequently cast a shade over the most  meritorious characters; and fortune, more than real worth, not seldom establishes  the reputation of her favorites, in the opinion of the undiscerning multitude, and hands  them down to posterity with laurels on their brow, which perhaps they never  earned, while characters of more intrinsic excellence are vilified and forgotten.  General  Gates, however, had the consolation at all times to reflect on the just and  universal plaudits he received for the glorious termination of his northern campaign and  the many advantages which accrued to America from the complete conquest  of such a formidable body of her foes.

Lord Cornwallis did not reap all the advantages he had expected from his victory at  Camden.  His severity did not aid his designs, though he sanctioned by   proclamations the most summary executions of the unhappy sufferers who had by  compulsion borne arms in the British service and were afterwards found enlisted  under the banners of their country, in opposition to royal authority.  Many of this  description suffered immediate death in consequence of the order of the commander  in chief, while their houses were burned and their families obliged to fly naked to the  

wilderness to seek some miserable shelter.  Indeed, little less severity could have  been expected from circumstances not favorable to the character of a British nobleman.

Whether stimulated by resentment, aroused by fear, or prompted by a wish to  depopulate a country they despaired of conquering, is uncertain.  It is true, however,  that some of the British commanders when coming to action observed in general orders  that they wanted no prisoners; and it was said that even Lord Cornwallis had  sometimes given the same cruel intimation to troops too much disposed to barbarity,  without the countenance of their superiors.  The outrages of Tarleton and other  British partisans, who cruelly and successfully ravaged the Carolinas, exemplified in too  many instances that the account of this disposition is not exaggerated.  Their  licentiousness was for several weeks indulged, without any check to their wanton  barbarities.  But the people daily more and more alienated from the royal cause, by  a series of unthought of miseries, inflicted and suffered in consequence of its success;  the inhabitants of the state of North Carolina, as well as South Carolina and  Georgia, and indeed the settler on the more distant borders, were, in a few weeks after  

the battle of Camden, everywhere in motion to stop the progress of British  depredation and power.  For a time, these fierce people were without connected system,  regular discipline or subordination, and had scarcely any knowledge of  each other's designs.  Small parties collected under any officer who had the courage to  lead them on, and many such they found, ready to sacrifice everything to the  liberty they had enjoyed and that independence they wished to maintain.

From the desultory movements of the British after the Battle of Camden, and the  continual resistance and unceasing activity of the Americans, attach and defeat,  surprise and escape, plunder, burning, and devastation pervaded the whole country,  when the aged, the helpless, the women and the children alternately fell the prey  of opposite partisans.  But the defeat of Major Ferguson, a brave and favorite officer,  early in autumn, was a blow that discovered at once the spirit of the people  and opened to Lord Cornwallis the general disaffection of that part of the country where  he had been led to place the most confidence.

Major Ferguson had for several weeks taken post in Tryon County, not far distant from  the western mountains.  He had there collected a body of royalists who,  united with his regular detachments, spread terror and dismay through all the adjacent  country.  This aroused to action all who were capable of bearing arms in  opposition to his designs.  A body of militia collected in and about the highlands of  North Carolina. A party of Hunter's riflemen, a number of the steady yeomanry of  the country, in short, a numerous and resolute band, in defiance of danger and fatigue,  determined to drive him from his strong position on a spot called King's  Mountain.  Under various commanders who had little knowledge of each other, they  seemed all to unite in the design of hunting down this useful prop of British  authority, in that part of the country.

These hardy partisans effected their purpose; and thought eh British commander  exhibited the valor of a brave and magnanimous officer, and his troops acquitted  themselves with vigor and spirit, the Americans, who in great numbers surrounded  them, won the day.  Major Ferguson, with 150 of his men, fell in the action, and  700 were made prisoners, from whom where selected  few, who, from motives of public  zeal or private revenge were immediately executed.  This summary infliction  was imposed by order of some of those fierce and uncivilized chieftains who had spent  most of their live in the mountains and forests amid the slaughter of wild  animals, which was necessary to their daily subsistence.

Perhaps the local situation of the hunts man or savage may lessen their horror at the  sight of blood, where streams are continual pouring down before them, from the  gasping victim slain by their own hands; and this may lead them, with fewer marks of  compassion, to immolate their own species when either interest or resentment  stimulates.  In addition to this, all compassionate sensations might be totally deadened  by the example of the British, who seemed to estimate the life of a man on the  same grade with that of the animal of the forest.

The order for executing 10 of the prisoners [This step was justly complained of in a  letter to General Smallwood from Lord Cornwallis.  He particularly regretted the  death of a Colonel Mills, a gentleman of a fair and uniform character; also a Captain  Oates, and others who were charged with no crimes but that of royalism.]  immediately on their capture was directed, as previously threatened by a Colonel  Cleveland, who with Williams, Sevier, Shelby, and Campbell were the principal  officers who formed and conducted the enterprise against Ferguson.

After this victory, most of the adherents to the royal cause in the interior parts of the  Carolinas either changed sides or sunk into obscurity.  Lord Cornwallis himself,  in a letter to Sir Henry Clinton about this time, complained that "it was in the militia of  the northern frontier alone that he could place the smallest dependence; and  that they were so totally dispirited by Ferguson's defeat that in the whole district he  could not assemble a hundred men, and even in them he could not now place the  smallest confidence." [Sir Henry Clinton observed on this occasion that "the fatal  catastrophe of Ferguson's defeat had lost Lord Cornwallis the whole militia of  Ninety-Six, amounting to 4000 men; and even threw South Carolina into a state of  confusion and rebellion."]

There had been repeated assurances given by the loyalists in North Carolina that their  numbers and their zeal would facilitate the restoration of His Majesty's  government in that province; but it appears by many circumstances that these promises  were considered as very futile in the opinion of several of the principal officers  of the British army, as well as the chief commander.

Soon after the affair with Ferguson, Lord Cornwallis's health was so far impaired that he  directed Lord Rawdon to make communications to Sir Henry Clinton, and  to give him a full statement of the perplexed and perilous situation of His Majesty's  forces in the Carolinas.  After stating many circumstances of the deception of the  loyalists the difficulty of obtaining subsistence in such a barren country, and other  particulars of their situation, Lord Rawdon observed in this letter to General Clinton  that they were greatly surprised that no information had been given them of the advance  of General Gates's army; and "no less grieved that no information whatever  of its movements was conveyed to us by persons so deeply interested in the event as the  North Carolina loyalists."

After the defeat of General Gates and the dispersion of his army, the loyalists were  informed that the moment had arrived when they ought immediately to stand forth  and "exert themselves to present the reunion of the scattered enemy.  Instant support was  in that case promised them.  Not a single man, however, attempted to  improve the favorable opportunity or obeyed that summons for which they had before  been so impatient.  It was hoped that our approach might get the better of  their timidity; yet, during a long period, while we were waiting at Charlotteburgh for our  stores and convalescents, they did not even furnish us with the least  information respecting the fore collecting against us.  In short, sir, we may have a  powerful body of friends in North Carolina, and indeed we have cause to be  convinced that many of the inhabitants wish well to His Majesty's arms; but they have  not given evidence enough either of their number or their activity to justify the  stake of this province for the uncertain advantages that might attend immediate junction  with them.  There is reason to believe that such must have been the risk.

"While this army lay a Charlotteburgh, Georgetown was taken from the militia by the  rebels; and the whole country to the east of the Santee gave such proofs of  general defection that even the militia of the High Hills could not be prevailed on to join  a party of troops who were sent to protect the boats on the river.  The defeat  of Major Ferguson ha so far dispirited this part of the country, and indeed the loyal  subjects were so wearied by the long continuance of the campaign that  Lieutenant Colonel Cruger (command at Ninety-Six) sent information to Earl  Cornwallis that the whole district had determined to submit as soon as the rebels should  enter it." [Lord Rawdon's letter to General Clinton, October 29, 1780.]

While Lord Cornwallis lay ill of a fever, Lord Rawdon wrote to Major General Leslie in  terms of disappointment and despondence.  He observed "that events had  unfortunately taken place very different from expectation; that the first rumor of an  advancing army under General Gates had unveiled a spirit of disaffection of which  they could have formed no idea; and even the dispersion of that force did not extinguish  the ferment which the hope of its support had raised.  This hour, the majority  of the inhabitants of that tract between Pedee and the Santee are in arms against us; and  when we last heard from Charleston, they were in possession of  Georgetown, from which they had dislodged our militia. [See printed correspondence of  Generals Clinton, Cornwallis, Rawdon, etc., published in London, 1783.]

While Lord Cornwallis was thus embarrassed and disappointed by various unsuccessful  attempts and the defeat of many of his military operations in the Carolinas  this year, Sir Henry Clinton made a diversion in the Chesapeake, in favor of His  Lordship's designs.  A body of about 3000 men was sent on under the command of  General Leslie.  He was under the orders of Lord Cornwallis; but not hearing from His  Lordship for some time after his arrival, he was totally at a loss in what  manner to proceed. But some time in the month of October, he received letters from  Lord Cornwallis directing him to repair with all possible expedition to  Charleston, to assist with all his forces in the complete subjugation of the Carolinas.

Sir Henry Clinton, from an idea that Cornwallis's prime object was the reduction of the  Carolinas and sensible of the necessity at the same time of solid operations in  Virginia, paid all proper attention to the expedition into the Chesapeake.  After General  Leslie, in obedience to the orders of Lord Cornwallis, had marched to the  southward, the command of the armament in Virginia was given to General Arnold, who  now acted under the orders of Sir Henry Clinton.  In consequence of his  defection, he had been advanced to the rank of a Brigadier General in the British army.

General Arnold had recently deserted the American cause, sold himself to the enemies  of his country, and engaged in their service.  He was a man without principles  from the beginning; and before his defection was discovered, he had sunk a character  raise by impetuous valor, and some occasional strokes of bravery, attended  with success without being the possessor of any intrinsic merit.

He had accumulated a fortune by great crimes, and squandered it without reputation,  long before he formed the plan to betray his country and sacrifice a cause  disgraced by the appointment of a man like himself to such important trusts.  Proud of  the trapping s of office, and ambitious of an ostentatious display of wealth and  greatness (the certain mark of a narrow mind) he had wasted the plunder acquired at  Montreal, where his conduct had been remarkably reprehensible; and ha  dissipated the rich harvest of peculation he had reaped at Philadelphia, where his  rapacity had no bounds.

Montreal he had plundered in haste; but in Philadelphia, he sat himself down deliberately  to seize everything he could lay hands on in the city, to which he could affix  an idea that it had been the property of the disaffected party and converted it to his own  use. {See resolutions of the Governor and Council at Philadelphia, February  3, 1779, relative to Arnold's conduct in that city.] Not satisfied with the unjust  accumulation of wealth, he had entered into contracts for speculating and privateering,  and at the same time made exorbitant demands on Congress, in compensation of public  services.  In the one, he was disappointed by the common failure of such  adventures; in the other he was rebuffed and mortified by the commissioners appointed  to examine his accounts, who curtailed a great part of his demands as unjust,  unfounded, and for which he deserved severe reprehension, instead of a liquidation of  the accounts he had exhibited.

Involved by extravagance, and reproached by his creditors, his resentment wrought him  up to a determination of revenge for public ignominy, at the expense of his  country, and the sacrifice of the small remains of reputation left after the perpetration of  so many crimes.

The command of the very important post at West Point was vested in General Arnold.  No one suspected, notwithstanding the censures which had fallen on him, that  the had a heart base enough treacherously to betray his military trust.  Who made the  first advances to negotiation is uncertain; but it appeared on a scrutiny that  Arnold had made overtures to General Clinton, characteristic of his own turpitude and  not very honorary to the British commander, if viewed abstractedly from the  usage of war, which too frequently sanctions the blackest crimes and enters into  stipulations to justify the treason, while generosity despises the traitor and revolts at  the villainy of the patricide.  Thus his treacherous proposals were listened to and Sir  Henry Clinton authorized Major Andre, his adjutant general, a young gentleman  of great integrity and worth, to hold  personal and secret conference with the guilty  Arnold.

A British sloop of war had been stationed for some time at a convenient place to  facilitate the design. It was also said that Andre and Arnold had kept up a friendly  correspondence on some trivial matters previous to the personal interview, which took  place on September 21, 1780.  Major Andre was landed in the night on a  beach without the military boundaries of either army.  He there met Arnold, who  communicated to him the state of the army and garrison at West Point, the number  of men considered as necessary for its defense, a return of the ordnance, and the  disposition of the artillery corps in case of an attack or alarm.  The accounts he  gave in writing, with drafts of al the works.  These papers were afterwards found in the  boot of the unfortunate Andre.

The conference continued so long that it did not finish timely for the safe retreat of  Major Andre. He was conducted , though without his knowledge or consent,  within the American posts, where he was obliged to conceal himself in company with  Arnold until the ensuing morning.  It was then found impracticable for Clinton's  agent to make his escape by the way he had advanced.  The Vulture sloop of war, from  whence he had been landed, had shifted her station while he was on shore  and lay so much exposed to the fire of the Americans that the boatmen whom Arnold  had bribed to bring his new friend to the conference, refused to venture a  second time on board.  This circumstance rendered it impossible for Major Andre to  return to New York by water. He was therefore impelled, by the advice of  Arnold, to a circuitous route as the only alternative to escape the danger into which he  was indiscreetly betrayed.

Thus as this young officer, whose former character undoubtedly rendered him worthy of  a better fate, reduced to the necessity of hurrying as a disguised criminal  through the posts of his enemies in fallacious hopes of again recovering the camp of his  friends.  In this painful state of mind, he had nearly reached the British, when  he was suddenly arrested within the American lines, by three private soldiers.  He  reflections may be more easily imagined than described -- taken in the night,  detected in a disguised habit, under a fictitious name, with a plan of the works at West  Point, the situation, the numbers, and the strength of the American army, with  a pass under the hand of General Arnold in his pocket book.

He urged for a few moments that man who first seized his horse's bridle, to let him pass  on; told him that his name as John Anderson; that his business was important;  and that he could not be detained. But two other soldiers coming up and in a peremptory  manner saluting him as their prisoner, after challenging him as a spy, he  attempted no farther equivocation, but presented a purse of gold, an elegant watch, and  offered other very tempting rewards if he might be permitted to pass  unmolested to New York.  Generously rejected all pecuniary rewards, the disinterested  privates who seized the unfortunate Andre had the fidelity to convey their  prisoner as speedily as possible to the headquarters so the American army.

Such instances of fidelity and such contempt for private interest which united with duty  and obligation to the public are so rare among the common classes of  mankind that the names of John Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac Vanvert [These  were the names of the three soldiers who detected and secured Major Andre.]  ought never to be forgotten.  General Washington immediately informed Congress of  the whole business and appointed a court martial, consisting of the principal  officers of the army, to inquire into the circumstances and criminality of this interesting  affair.

The day after Major Andre was taken, he wrote to General Washington with a frankness  becoming a gentleman and a man of honor and principle.  He observed that  what he had as yet said of himself was in the justifiable attempt to extricate him from  threatened danger; but to, too little accustomed to duplicity, he had not  succeeded. he intimated that the tempter of his mind was equal; and that no  apprehension of personal safety had induced him to address the commander in chief. But  that it was to secure himself from the imputation of having assumed a mean character,  for treacherous purposes or self-interest, a conduct which he declared  incompatible with the principles which had eve actuated him as well as with his  condition in former life.

In this letter he added "It  is to vindicate my fame that I speak: not to solicit security.  The person in your possess is Major John Andre, adjutant general to the British  army." He then detailed the whole transaction, from his going up the Hudson in the  Vulture sloops of war, until seized by Tarrytown, without his uniform, and , as  himself expressed, "betrayed into the vile condition of an enemy within your posts." He  requested His Excellency that he might be treated as a man of honor; and  urged that "in any rigor policy might dictate, I pray that a decency of conduct towards  me may mark that though unfortunate, I am branded with nothing  dishonorable, as no motive could be mine, but the service of my king; and that I was  involuntarily an impostor."

After a thorough investigation, the result of the trial of Major Andre was a unanimous  opinion of the court martial that his accusation was just.  They reported "that  Major Andre, adjutant general to the British army, ought to be considered as a spy from  the enemy; that he came on shore from the Vulture sloop of war in the night  of September 21, on an interview with General Arnold, in a private and secret manner;  that he changed his dress within our lines, and under a feigned name, and in a  

disguised habit, passed our works at Stoney and Verplank's Points; that he was taken in  a disguised habit on his way to New York; that he had in his possession  several papers which contained intelligence for the enemy; and that agreeable to the  laws and usages of nations, it is their opinion he ought to suffer death." [The  court consisted of 14 very respectable officers, of whom General Greene was president.   See trial of Major Andre.]

Great interest was made in favor of this young gentleman, whose life had been  unimpeached, and whose character promised a distinguished rank in society, both as a  man of letters and a soldier.  He was elegant in person, amiable in manners, polite,  sensible, and brave; but from a misguided zeal for the service of his king, he  descended to an assume and disgraceful character; and by accident and mistake in  himself, and the indiscretion and baseness of his untried friend, he found himself  ranked with a class held infamous among all civilized nations.

The character of a spy has ever been held mean and disgraceful by all classes of men;  yet the most celebrated commanders of all nations have frequently employed  some of their bravest and most confidential officers to wear a guise, in which, if  detected, they are at once subjected to infamy and to the halter. Doubtless, the  Generals Clinton ad Washington were equally culpable in selecting an Andre and a Hale  to hazard all the hopes of youth and talents on the precarious die of  executing with success a business to which so much deception and baseness is attached.

But the fate of Andre was lamented by the enemies of his nation. His sufferings were  soothed by the politeness and generosity of the commander in chief, and the  officers of the American army.  The gloom of imprisonment  was cheered in part and the  terrors of death mitigated by the friendly intercourse and converse of  benevolent minds; and the tear of compassion was drawn from every pitying eye that  beheld this accomplished youth a victim to the usages of war.  While the  unfortunate Hale, detected in the effort of gaining intelligence of the designs of the  enemies of his country, in the same clandestine manner, had been hanged in the city  of New York, without a day lent to pause on the awful transition from time to eternity.  [See an account of Captain Hale's execution in the British Remembrancer,  and other historical records.]

This event took place soon after the action on  Long Island.  The dilemma to which he  was reduced and the situation of his army rendered it expedient for General  Washington to endeavor to gain some intelligence of the designs and subsequent  operations of Sir William Howe and the army under his command.  This being  intimated by Colonel Smallwood to Captain Hale, a young gentleman of unimpeachable  character and rising hopes, he generously offered to risk his life for the  service of his country in the perilous experiment.  He ventured into the city, was  detected, and with the same frankness and liberality of mind that marked the  character of Andre, acknowledged that he was employed in a business that could not be  forgiven by his enemies; and without the smallest trait of compassion from  anyone, he was cruelly insulted and executed with disgraceful rigor. Nor was he  permitted to bid a melancholy adieu to his friends by conveying letters to inform  them of the fatal catastrophe that prematurely robbed them of a beloved son.

The lies of two such valuable young officers thus cut off in the morning of expectation  were similar in everything but the treatment they received from the hands of  their enemies.  The reader will draw the parallel or the contrast between the conduct of  the British and the Americans on an occasion that demanded equal humanity  and tenderness from every beholder and make his own comment.

A personal interview at the request of Sir Henry Clinton took place between the  Generals Robertson and Greene; and everything in the power of ingenuity, humanity,  or affection was proposed by General Robertson to prevent the fate of the unhappy  Andre.  It was urged that he went from the Vulture under the sanction of a flag;  and that General Arnold had, as he had a right to do, admitted him within the American  lines.  But Major Andre had too much sincerity to make sue of any  subterfuge not founded in truth. In the course of his examination, he, with the utmost  candor, acknowledged that "it was impossible for him to suppose he came on  shore under the sanction of a flag."

The propriety and dignity with which he had written to General Washington on his first  becoming a prisoner; the acknowledgment of his rank and condition in life, the  manner of his detection, the accident of his being betrayed within the American posts;  and indeed such was his whole department that he feelings of humanity forbade  a wish for the operation of the rigorous maxims of war.

It was thought necessary that he should be adjudged the victim of policy; but resentment  towards him was never harbored in any bosom.  He gratefully  acknowledged the kindness and civilities he received from the American officers; but he  wished some amelioration of some part of his sentence; his sensibility was  wounded by the manner in which he was doomed to die.

He wrote General Washington the day before his execution that "Buoyed above the  terror of death by the consciousness of a life devoted to honorable pursuits,  stained with no action that can give me remorse, I trust that the request I make to Your  Excellency at this severe period, and which is to soften my last moments, will  not be rejected.

"Sympathy towards a soldier will surely induce you to adapt the mode of my death to  the feelings of a man of honor.

"Let me hope, sir, that if aught in my character impresses you with esteem towards me;  if aught in my misfortunes marks me the victim of policy, not of resentment; I  shall experience the operation of those feelings in your breast by being informed I am  not to doe on a gibbet."

This is last and pathetic  request, to die as a soldier and a man of honor, not as a  criminal, the severity of military rules pronounced inadmissible; and this gallant and  amiable young officer fell as a traitor, amid the armies of America, but without a  personal enemy.  Every tongue acceded to the justice of his sentence, yet every eye  dropped  tear at the necessity of its execution.  Many persons, from the impulse of  humanity, thought that General Washington might, consistently with his character  as a soldier and a patriot, have meliorated the sentence of death so far as to have saved,  at his own earnest request, the amiable young man from the ignominy of a  gallows, by permitting him to die in a mode more consonant to the ideas of the brave,  the honorable, and the virtuous.

When General Arnold was first apprised of the detection of Major Andre and that he  was conducted to headquarters, he was struck with astonishment and terror,  and in the agitation and agonies of a man, he called for a horse, mounted instantly,  and rode down a craggy steep, never before explored on horseback.  He  took a barge, and, under a flag, he passed Verplank's Point and soon found himself safe  beneath the guns of the Vulture sloop of war.  Before he took leave of the  bargemen, he made them a very generous offers if they would act as dishonorably as he  had done; he promised them higher and better wages, if they would desert  their country and enlist in the service of Britain; but they spurned at the offer and were  permitted to return.  Perhaps, had these American watermen been apprised of  the full extent of Arnold's criminality, they would have acted with as much resolution as  the trio who seized Major Andre, and have secured Arnold, when he might  have suffered the punishment he deserved.

After Arnold had got safe to New York, he wrote to General Washington in behalf of his  wife; endeavored to justify his own conduct, and his appointment and  conference with Andre; claimed his right to send a flag to the enemy for any purposes he  might think proper while he held a respectable command in the American  army; and urged the release of Major Andre with art, insolence, and address.  He did not  stop here, but on October 7, five days after the execution of Andre, he  sent out an address to the people of America, fabricated under the auspices of his new  masters, and couched in very insolent and overbearing language.  He cast  many indecent reflections on Congress, on his countrymen, on the French nation, and on  the alliance between America and France.

Soon after his arrival in New York, he received the price of his fidelity: 10,000 pounds  sterling, in cash, and his honor, in a new commission under the Crown of  Great Britain.

The Generals Clinton and Robertson did everything to save the life of their favorite  Andre, except delivering up the traitor Arnold. Tot his exchange, General  Washington would readily have acceded; but a proposal of this nature could not be  admitted; for, however beloved or esteemed the individual may be, personal  regards must yield to political exigencies. Thus while the accomplished Andre was  permitted to die by the and of the common executioner, the infamous Arnold was  caressed, rewarded, and promoted to high rank in the British army.

The American government was not remiss in all proper encouragement to signal  instances of faithful attachment to the interest and service of their country.  Congress  ordered that the three private soldiers who had rejected the offers of Andre on his  detection should each of them be presented with a silver medal, $200 annually  during life, and the thanks of Congress, acknowledging the high sense they retained of  the virtuous conduct of Paulding, Williams, and Vanvert.

Sir Henry Clinton had so high an opinion of General Arnold's military abilities and  placed such entire confidence in this infamous traitor to this country that he vested  him with commands of high trust and importance; and for a time placed his sole  dependence on him for the ravage of the borders of Virginia. He had now the sole  command in the Chesapeake; and by his rapacity, he was qualified to surprise and  plunder.  His talents for prosecuting hostilities by unexpected attack and massacre  were well known in both armies.  But affairs in Virginia beginning to wear a more  serious aspect, General Clinton thought it not proper to leave General Arnold to his  own discretion for any length of time, without the support and assistance of officers of  more respectable character, who we shall see were appointed and sent  forward the beginning of the next year.

We leave the operations of the British commanders in their several departments for the  present and again advert to some interesting circumstances and new  disappointments that took place towards the close of the present year and filled the mind  of every true American with the utmost concern.  There had yet been no  treaty or public stipulations between the United States and any foreign nation except  France; but circumstances had been ripening to bring forward immediate  negotiations with the Dutch Republic.

Holland was at this period in a more delicate situation than almost any other European  power.  Great Britain claimed her as an ally and held up the obligations of  patronage and protection in strong language. But the nature of the dispute between Great  Britain and her transatlantic domains, as well as the commercial views of  the Belgian provinces interested the merchants, the burgomasters, and the pensioners of  Holland in favor of America.  While the partiality of the Stadtholder, his  family, and the court connections were altogether British; or, at least, the motives of  interest, affection, or fear held them up in that light.

In the intermediate time, the clandestine assistance given by the Dutch merchants was  very advantageous to America; and the private encouragement of some of  other magistrates of the United Netherlands that a treaty of alliance and the strictest  amity might in time be accomplished between the two republics, heightened the  expectations of the American Congress.  None of the principal characters among the  Batavians were more zealously interested in the success of the American  struggle for independence than Robert Jasper Van de Capellen, Lord of Marsch.

This worthy Dutchman, as early as December 7, 1778 had solicited a correspondence  with several of the most prominent characters in America.  A more correct  and judicious correspondent he could not have selected than Governor Trumbull of  Connecticut, whose merits as a man, a patriot, and a Christian cannot be too  highly appreciated.  This gentleman was distinguished in each line of this triple  character: as a man, his abilities were conspicuous, his comprehension clear, and his  judgment correct.  The sedateness of his mind qualified him for the patriot, and the  friend of a young and growing country, whose manufactures had been checked,  her commerce cramped, and her liberties (for the enjoyment of which they had fled to a  distant world) curtailed; and in no instance did he ever deviate from the  principles of the revolution.  His uniform conduct as a Christian was not less signal; his  integrity and uprightness, his benevolence and piety, and the purity and  simplicity of his manners, through a long life, approached as near the example of the  primitive patterns of a sublime religion as that of anyone raised to eminence of  office, who, by the flatteries of their fellow men, are too often led to forget themselves,  their country, and their God.

The Baron Van de Capellen was a zealous supporter of the Americans in their claim to  independence and predisposed many of his countrymen to unite cordially with  them and enter into treaties of amity and commerce, previous to the arrival of a minister  at the Hague to negotiate on that subject.

In one of his letters to Governor Trumbull, he had observed "that among other causes of  distrust, in relation to the credit of America, was the false intelligence which  the English incessantly circulate, the effects of which the friends of the Americans  cannot destroy, for the want of information; that it was of the last importance to  enable them by authentic relations which should contain nothing but what was precisely  true and in which even the disadvantages inseparable from the chances of war  should not be concealed; in order to enable them from time to time to give an idea of the  actual state of things and of what is really passing on the other side of the  ocean."

He added, "If you choose, sir, to honor me with such a correspondence, be assured that I  shall make a proper use of it.  Communications apparently in confidence  have a much stronger influence than those which appear in public." He observed that "a  description of the present state and advantages of United America; of the  forms of government in its different republics; of the facility with which strangers there  may establish themselves and find a subsistence; of the price of lands, both  cultivated and unimproved, of cattle, provisions, etc.; with a succinct history of the  present war, and the cruelties committed by the English, would excite  astonishment in a country where America is known but through the medium of the  gazettes."

Governor Trumbull had not hesitated to comply with this request. He had detailed a  succinct narrative of past and present circumstances and the future prospects of  America; for a part of which the reader is referred to Note 9, at the end of this chapter.   The Baron Capellen observes on the above letter of this gentleman that "it  was to be regretted that so handsome, so energetic a defense of the American cause  should be shut up in the portfolio of an individual; that he had communicated it  with discretion in Amsterdam; and that it had made a very strong impression on all who  had read it."

These favorable dispositions among many persons of high consideration in the United  Netherlands, whose ancestors had suffered so much to secure their own  liberties, led Congress to expect their aid and support in a contest so interesting to  republican opinion and the general freedom of mankind.  It forbade any farther  delay in the councils of America.  Congress were convinced no time was to be lost; but  that a minister with proper credentials should immediately appear in  a public  character at the Hague; or if that should be found inadmissible that he should have  instructions to regulate any private negotiations according to the dictates of  judgment, discretion, or necessity.

Accordingly, early in the present year, the honorable Henry Laurens of South Carolina,  late president of the Continental Congress, was vested with this important  commission.  Perhaps a more judicious choice of a public minister could not have been  made throughout the states.  From his prudence, probity, politeness, and  knowledge of the world, Mr. Laurens was competent to the trust, and well qualified for  the execution thereof. But he was, unfortunately, captured on his way by  Admiral Edwards, carried to Newfoundland, and from thence sent to England, where he  experienced all the rigors of severity usually inflicted on state criminals.

Before Mr. Laurens left the foggy atmosphere of Newfoundland, an apparent instance of  the deep-rooted jealousy harbored in the breasts of British officers against  all Americans who fell into their hands was discovered by the refusal of Admiral  Edwards to permit at Mr. Laurens's request Mr. Winslow Warren to accompany  him to Europe in the frigate in which he sailed.

This youth was the son of a gentleman who had been vested with some of the first and  most respectable offices of trust and importance in America.  He was  captured on his way to Europe a few weeks before Mr. Laurens, to whom he had  introductory letters from some of the first characters in America, to be delivered  on his arrival at the Hague. Their unfortunate meeting as prisoners on this dreary spot  gave him an early opportunity to present them. No cartel had yet been settled  for the exchange of prisoners; and sensibly touched with compassion for their  sufferings, Mr. Warren voluntarily engaged to remain as a hostage until that  arrangement might take place.  The Admiral consented to send a great number of  Americans to Boston, on Mr. Warren's word of honor that an equal number of  British prisoners would be returned.

Mr. Laurens wished to anticipate his release from the generous feelings of his own mind  as well as from the delicacy of sentiment and the accomplished manners of  Mr. Warren; and though they were both treated with the utmost politeness by Admiral  Edwards, he refused to gratify these gentlemen in their mutual wishes to be  fellow passengers, as they were fellow prisoners.  But the Admiral permitted Mr.  Warren, within three or four days after Mr. Laurens's departure, to take passage in  another frigate bound directly to England.

Mr. Laurens took an affectionate leave of Mr. Warren, and requested him to write his  friends or to tell t hem if he reached America before him that "though he was  an old man who had recently lost all his estates in Charleston by the capture of that city  and had now lost his liberty, that the was still the same; firm, cheerful, and  unruffled by the shocks of fortune."

When Mr. Laurens arrived in England, he was committed to the Tower, confined to very  narrow apartments, and denied all intercourse with his friends.  There Mr.  Warren saw him when he arrived in England, near enough to exchange a salute, but they  were not permitted to speak to each other.

It is observable that the defection of General Arnold, and the capture of Mr. Laurens  took place within a few days of each other.  These two circumstances operated  on the passions of men in a contrasted point of view.  The treachery of Arnold was  beheld with irritation and disdain by his former military associates and with the  utmost disgust and abhorrence through all America.  The fate of Mr. Laurens awakened  the better feelings of the human heart.  As an individual of the highest  respectability, all who know him were pained with apprehensions, lest he should be  subjected to personal danger or sufferings.  As a diplomatic officer, the first  public character that had been sent to the Batavian provinces, it was feared captivity and  detention might have an unfavorable effect on the foreign relations of  America, and particularly on their connection with Holland.  Indeed, a variety of  circumstances that took place through the summer and autumn of this did not augur  the most propitious promises relative to the operations of the next year.


Note 9

Governor Trumbull observed thus: "The only obstacle which I foresee to the settlement  of foreigners in the country will  be the taxes, which must inevitably for a time  run high, for he payment of the debts contracted during the present war.  These, indeed,  will be much lightened by the care which has been taken to confine these  debts as much as possible among ourselves, and by emitting a paper currency in place of  borrowing from abroad.  But this method, though it secures the country  from being drained hereafter of immense sums of solid coin which can never return, has  exposed us to a new and very disagreeable embarrassment by its monstrous  depreciation.  An evil which had its rise in and owes all its rapid increase to the single  cause of our not having provided at a sufficiently early period for its reduction  and payment by taxes.  This measure was indeed rendered impractical at the proper time  by the radical derangement of the system of government and, consequently,  of revenue in many of the United States; and its necessary delay till the removal of these  impediments gave time for avarice and suspicion to unite in sapping the  foundations of our internal credit."

He adds, "I am no advocate for internal or foreign loans.  In my opinion, they are like  cold water in a fever, which allays the disease for a moment, but soon cases it  to rage with a redoubled violence; temporary alleviations, but ultimately real additions  to the burden.  The debts which we have already contacted or may hereafter  to necessitated to contract abroad, I have not a doubt but will be paid with the utmost  punctuality and honor; and there can be no surer foundation of credit than we  possess in the rapidly increasing value and importance of our country.

"In short, it is not so much my wish that the United States should gain credit among  foreign nations for the loan of money, as that all nations, and especially your  countrymen in Holland, should be made acquainted with the real state of the American  war.  The importance and greatness of this rising empire, the future extensive  value of our commerce, the advantages of colonization, are objects which need only to  be known to command your attention, protection, and support.

"Give me leave most sincerely to express my grief that the efforts you have made for the  removal of oppression in your own country and for extending the blessings  of liberty and plenty to the poor should have met with so ungrateful a return of  persecution and insult.  Unhappy state of man! where opulence and power conspire to  load the poor, the defenseless, and the innocent with accumulated misery; where an  unworthy few join to embitter the life of half their fellow men, that they may  wallow in the excess of luxurious debauch or shine in the splendid trappings of folly.


Chapter Eighteen:  Revolt of the Pennsylvania line. Discontents in other parts of the  army Paper medium sunk. Some active  movements of Don Bernard de Galvez in America. War between Great Britain and  Spain opened in Europe by the siege of  Gibraltar. Short view of diplomatic transactions between America and several European  powers.  Empress of Russia refuses to  treat with the American States.

We have already seen the double disappointments experience by the United States  occasioned by the capture of one army in South Carolina under General Lincoln,  and the defeat of another commanded by General Gates in North Carolina, who was sent  forward with the highest expectations of retrieving affairs in that quarter...  We have seen the complicated embarrassments of the United States relative to raising,  paying, and supporting a permanent army... We have seen the pernicious  effects of a depreciating currency and the beginning of a spirit of peculation and regard  to private interest that was not expected from the former habits and  professions of Americans... We have seen the disappointments and delay relative to  foreign negotiations... We have seen both the patient sufferings of the American  army under this greatest necessity and the rising restlessness that soon pervaded nearly  the whole body of the soldiery; and we have also seen the desertion of a  general officer, in whom confidence had been placed as a man of courage. We left  Arnold stigmatized as a traitor and in all the pride and insolence of a British  general, newly vested with command in reward of villainy, beginning under the British  standard his career of ravage and depredation in Virginia.

In addition to the alarming circumstances already recapitulated at the close of the  preceding year, the most dangerous symptoms were exhibited in the conduct of a  part of the army which broke out in revolt; and the secession of the whole Pennsylvania  line spread a temporary dismay.

On January 1, 1781, upwards of a thousand men belonging to that line marched in a  body from the camp; others, equally disaffected, soon followed them.  They  took an advantageous ground, chose for their leader a sergeant major, a British deserter,  and saluted him as their major general.  On the third day of their revolt, a  message was sent from the officers of the American camp. This they refused to receive.  But to a flag which followed, requesting to know their complaints and  intentions, they replied that "they had served three years; that they had engaged to serve  no longer; nor would they return or disperse until their grievances were  redressed and their arrearages paid."

General Wayne, who commanded the line, had been greatly beloved and respected by  the soldiery, nor did he at first himself doubt but that his influence would soon  bring them back to their duty.  He did everything in the power of a spirited and judicious  office to dissipate their murmurs and to quiet their clamors in the beginning  of the insurrection. But many of them pointed their bayonets at his breast; told him to be  on his guard; that they were determined to march to Congress to obtain a  redress of grievances; and that, though they respected him as an officer, and loved his  person, yet, if he attempted to fire on them, "he as a dead man."

Sir Henry Clinton soon gained intelligence of the confusion and danger into which the  Americans were plunged. He improved the advantageous moment and made  the revolters every tempting offer to increase and fix their defection.  He sent several  persons to offer in his name a pardon for all past offenses, an immediate  payment of their full demands on Congress, and protection from the British government.   He desired them to send proper persons to Amboy to treat farther and  engaged that a body of British troops was ready for their escort. [See Sir Henry Clinton's  letter to Lord George Germaine, January, 1781.]

How far the conduct of Sir Henry Clinton is to be justified by the laws of war, we leave  to the decision of military characters; but to the impartial spectator, though  so often practiced by officers of consideration and name, it appears an underhand  interference, beneath the character of a brave and generous commander, to  stimulate by those secret methods a discontented class of soldiers to turn the points of  their swords against their country and their former friends.

But the intrigues of the British officers and the measures of their commander in chief  had not the smallest influence.  The revolted line, though dissatisfied and  disgusted, appeared to have no inclination to join the British army.  They declared with  one general voice that was there an immediate necessity to call out the  American forces, they would still fight under the orders of the congressional officers.   Several British spies were detected, subtly employed in endeavoring to increase  the ferment, who were tried and executed with little ceremony.

The prudent conduct of the commander in chief and the disposition which appeared in  government to do justice to their troops subdued the spirit of mutiny.  A  respectable committee was sent from Congress to hear their complains and as far as  possible to relive their sufferings.  Those whose term of enlistment was expired  were paid off and discharged; the reasonable demands of other satisfied; and a general  pardon granted to the offenders, who returned cheerfully to their duty.

The discontented and mutinous sprit of the troops was not, however, entirely eradicated.  The sources of disquietude in an army situated like the present, were too  many to suppress at once. They were without pay, without clothing sufficient for the  calls of nature; and not satisfied with the assurances of future compensation, their  murmurs were too general, and their complaints loud and pressing.

The contagion of the mutinous example of the Pennsylvania line had spread in some  degree its dangerous influence over other parts of the army.  It operated more  particularly on a part of the Jersey troops, soon after the pacification of the disorderly  Pennsylvania soldiers, though not with equal success and impunity to  themselves. They were unexpectedly surrounded by a detachment from the main body  of the army and ordered to parade without their arms. On discovering some  reluctance to obey, Colonel Sprout of the Massachusetts Division, as directed to advance  with a party and demand their compliance within five minutes.  As their  numbers were not sufficient for resistance, they submitted without opposition.  A few of  the principal leaders of the revolt were tried by a court martial and adjudge  

guilty. As a second general pardon, without any penal inflictions, would have had a fatal  effect on the army, two of them suffered death for their mutinous conduct.

This example of severity put a period to every symptom of open revolt, though not to  the silent murmurs of the American army. They still felt heavily the immediate  inconveniences of the deficiency of almost every article necessary to life. They had little  subsistence and seldom any covering, except what was forced from the  adjacent inhabitants by military power.  These circumstances were aggravated by the  little prospect there still appeared of filling their battalions and establishing a  permanent army.  Every evil had been enhanced and every pleasing anticipation  darkened by the general stagnation of paper money, previous to the absolute death  of such a ruinous medium of intercourse between man and man.  It had created  suspicions and apprehension in every mind and led everyone reluctantly to part with  their specie before they new the fate of a currency agonizing in the last pangs of  dissolution.

The successes at the northward had indeed given a spring to expectation and action; but  the gloomy appearances of affairs at the southward, the ineffective  movements in the central states, and the perseverance of the King and the Parliament of  Britain in their measures against the colonies notwithstanding their recent  connection with a potent foreign power, wrapped in clouds of uncertainty the final  termination of the present conflict.

These were discouragement's that in theory might be thought insurmountable. But  American Independence was an object of too great magnitude to sink under the  temporary evils or the adventitious circumstances of war.

That great source of moral turpitude, the circulating paper, which had languished the last  year until without sinew or never for any effective purpose, died of itself in  the present, without any visible wound, except from the immense quantity counterfeited  in New York, and elsewhere under British influence. In a confidential letter to  Lord George Germaine about this time, General Clinton observed that "the experiments  suggested by Your Lordship have been tried. No assistances that could be  drawn from the power of gold or the arts of counterfeiting have been left unattempted.  But still the currency, like the widow's cruise of oil, has not failed."

It is true, indeed, that he currency answered most of the purposes of Congress, for some  time after the date of the letter from which the above extract is taken.   When the paper ceased to circulate, no one mourned or seemed to feel its loss; nor was it  succeeded in any stagnation of business or derangement of order.   Everyone rejoiced at the annihilation of such a deceptive medium, in full hope that  confidence between neighbor and neighbor, which this had destroyed, would again  be restored.

The immense heaps of paper trash, denominated money, which had been ushered into  existence from necessity, were from equal necessity locked up in darkness,  there to wait some renovating day to reinstamp some degree of value, on what had  deceived many into an ideal opinion that they possessed property.  It was not  long after this paper intercourse ceased before silver and gold appeared in circulation,  sufficient for a medium of trade and other purposes of life.  Much of it was  brought from the hoarded bags of the miser, who had concealed it in vaults instead of  lending it to his distressed countrymen; and much more of the precious metals  were put into circulation by the sums sent from Europe to support a British army in  captivity and for the pay of the fleets and troops of France, which were sent  forward to the assistance of the Americans.

Notwithstanding all the baneful evils of a currency of only a nominal value, that  fluctuates from day to day, it would have been impossible for the colonies to have  carried on a war in opposition to the power of Great Britain without this paper substitute  for real specie.  They were not opulent, though a competence had generally  followed their industry.  There were few among themselves wealthy enough to loan  money for public purposes. Foreigners were long shy; and appeared evidently  reluctant at the idea of depositing their moneys in the hands of a government with whom  they had but recently commenced an acquaintance.

France, indeed, after the Declaration of Independence, generously lent of her treasures to  support the claims of liberty and of the United States against the strong  hand of Britain. But Spain kept her fingers on the strings of her purse, though, as  observed above, America had sent several agents to the Court of Madrid to solicit  aid.  Nor was it until the year 1782 that even Holland opened hers to any effective  purpose, for the pecuniary calls that accumulated beneath the waste of war, in  which their sister republic was involved.

A few observations on the eventful transactions which took place among the nations of  Europe this year may here be properly introduced, before a farther  continuance of the narrative of the war.  This is necessary to give a clearer idea of the  connection brought forward between America and several foreign nations,  besides France and Spain, before the pride of Great Britain could condescend to  acknowledge the independence of the United Sates.

Previous to Lord Cornwallis's last campaign in America, most of the belligerent powers  in Europe had stood aloof, in a posture of expectation, rather than immediate  action, as waiting the events of time to avail themselves of cooperation when  convenient, with that side that might offer the greatest advantage when weighed in the  political scale by which the interest of all nations is generally balanced.

France had long since acknowledged the independence of America; and the whole  House of Bourbon now supported the claim of the United States, though there  had yet been no direct treaty between America and Spain.  It had been the general  expectation for some time before it took place that Spain would finally unite with  France in support of the American cause. From this expectation, the Spaniards in South  America had prepared themselves for a rupture, a considerable time before  any formal declaration of war had taken place, between the Courts of Madrid and St.  James.  They were in readiness to take the earliest advantage of such an  event.  They had accordingly seized Pensacola in West Florida, and several British posts  on the Mississippi before the troops stationed there had any intimation that  hostilities were denounced in the usual style between the Crowns of England and Spain.

Don Bernard de Galvez, Governor of Louisiana, had proclaimed the independence of  America at New Orleans a the head of all the forces he could collect as early  as August 19, 1779 and had proceeded immediately to surprise and conquer wherever he  could the unguarded settlements claimed by the Crown of Britain.  The  British navy, generally masters of the ocean, had, early after hostilities commenced,  beaten some of the Spanish ships, intercepted the convoys, and captured or  destroyed several of the homeward-bound fleets of merchantmen.  But by the time we  are upon , the arms of Spain had been successful in several enterprises by  sea. At the Bay of Honduras and in the West Indies, they also soon after gained several  other advantages of some moment.

Don Bernard de Galvez had concerted a plan with the governor of Havana to surprise  Mobile. He encountered storms, dangers, disappointments, difficulties almost  innumerable.  This enterprising Spaniard recovered, however, in some measure, his  losses; and receiving a reinforcement from Havana, with a part of the regiment of  Navarre, and some other auxiliaries, he repaired to, and landed near Mobile.  He  summoned the garrison to surrender, who, after a short defense, hung out a white  flag, and a capitulation took place by which he English garrison surrendered themselves  prisoners of war.

In Europe, the war had been opened on the side of Spain, by the siege of Gibraltar. This  strong fortress had been closely invested by a powerful fleet and army for  some time.  The piratical states of Barbary, who, to the disgrace of Europe, were  permitted to war upon, or to make tributary all the nations, had been recently  disgusted with Great Britain; and such a defection had taken place that no relief could be  expected from that quarter, or any supplies of provisions obtained from  them for the garrison, which was reduced to such distress that they were several weeks  without bread, except a few worm-eaten biscuits, sold at an enormous price:  a guinea was refused for a calf's head, a chicken sold for 9 shillings sterling, and  everything else proportionately scarce and dear; until the hardy British veterans  found they could subsist on the scanty allowance of a jill or two or rice per day.

But by the unexampled intrepidity of General Elliot and the equal bravery of Boyd, the  second in command; by the courage and perseverance of many gallant British  officers and the spirit and constitutional valor of their troops, the garrison was enabled  to resist and to hold out amid the distresses of famine and against the most  tremendous attack and bombardment that perhaps ever took place.  A prodigious  number of cannon of the heaviest size, and a vast apparatus of mortars, at once  spouted their torrents of fire and brimstone on that barren rock. With equal horror and  sublimity, the blaze was poured back by the besieged, with little intermission.

The sheets of flame were spread over the adjacent seas and the shipping for three or four  weeks; when the magnanimous officers in the garrison, who had been for  four days together without provisions of any kind, except a few kernels of rice and a  small quantity of moldy bread, were relieved by the arrival of Admiral Rodney,  on his way to the West Indies.  He was accompanied by a British fleet under the  command of Admiral Digby, who continued there with a number of ships sufficient  for defense and for the security of a large number of Spanish prizes taken by Admiral  Rodney.  He had fallen in with a fleet of 11 heavy ships of the line, commanded  by Don Juan Langara, who , after being dangerously wounded and his ship reduced to a  wreck, yielded to the superiority of the British flag, as did the San Julien,  commanded by the Marquis Modena, and indeed nearly the whole of the Spanish fleet.

Notwithstanding the reduction of Gibraltar was suspended, w shall see the object was  not relinquished. More formidable exertions were made the next year by the  combined forces of France and Spain, for the completion of this favorite project.

It was indeed some time after the accession of Spain before any other European power  explicitly acknowledged the independence of the United States. But Mr.  Izard, who as sent to Tuscany, and Mr. William Lee to the Court of Vienna in 1778,  inspired with that lively assurance which is sometimes the pledge of success,  had met with no discouraging circumstances.

Holland had a still more difficult part to act than France, Spain, or perhaps any other  European power, who actually had adhered to or appeared inclined to favor the  cause of America.  Her embarrassments arose in part from existing treaties with Great  Britain, by which the latter claimed the Dutch Republic as their ally,  reproached her with ingratitude, and intimated that by former engagements that republic  was bound in all cases to act offensively and defensively with the Court of  Great Britain.  Thus the measures of the Batavian provinces were long impeded by the  intrigues of the British minister and the English faction at the Hague, before  their high mightinesses acceded to the acknowledgment of American Independence.

We have seen above that the friendly disposition of the Batavians towards America was  such in the particular situation of both republics as to render it at once  rational and expedient for the American Congress to send a public minister to reside at  the Hague.  Mr. Laurens, as already related, was appointed, sent forward,  captured on his way, and detained for some time at Newfoundland.  The unfortunate  capture of the American envoy prevented for a time all public negotiations with  Holland.  He had been vested with discretionary powers and had suitable instruction  given him to enter into private contracts and negotiations, as exigencies might  offer, for the interest of his country, until events were ripened for his full admission as  ambassador from the United Sates of America.

Mr. Laurens was captured at some leagues distance from Newfoundland. When he  found his own fate was inevitable, he neglected no precaution to prevent the  public papers in his possession from falling into the hands of his enemies.  The British  commander knew not the rank of his prisoner until the packages seasonably  thrown overboard by Mr. Laurens were recovered by a British sailor who had the  courage to plunge into the sea with so much celerity as to prevent them from  sinking.

By these papers a full discovery was made not only of the nature of Mr. Laurens's  commission, but of the dispositions of the Batavians to aid the exertions beyond the  Atlantic for the liberties of mankind.  Their own freedom was a prize for which their  ancestors had struggled for more than 70 years against the strong hand of  despotism, before they obtained the independence of their country.

In Mr. Laurens's trunk, thus recovered, was found a plan of a treaty of alliance between  the States of Holland and the United States of America; also, letters from  the pensioner of Amsterdam with many communications and letters from the principal  gentlemen and merchants in that and many other cities in the Dutch provinces.

Admiral Edwards considered the capture of Mr. Laurens as so important that he  immediately ordered a frigate to England for the conveyance of this gentleman, and  the evidence of the commission on which he had been sent out.  These important papers  received in England, Sir Joseph Yorke, the British minister resident at the  Hague, was directed by the king his master to lay the whole of these transactions before  their high mightinesses the states-general of the United Provinces.

The British minister complained loudly and in terms of high resentment of the injuries  and insults offered to Great Britain by the ungrateful conduct of the Republic of  Holland.  He urged that secretly supplying the rebellious colonies with the  accouterments of war was a step not to be forgiven; that what had been suspected before  now appeared clearly; and that he had the evidences in his hand and the names of the  principal conspirators; that the Belgian provinces were countenancing public  negotiations and on the point of executing treaties of amity and commerce with the  revolted Americans. He informed the states-general that the King of England  demanded prompt satisfaction for these offenses; that as a proof of their disavowal of  these measures, he required immediate and exemplary punishment to be  inflicted on the pensioner Van Berkel and his accomplices, as disturbers of the public  peace and violators of the law of nations.

Notwithstanding the resentment of the British envoy, the conduct of the Dutch Court  remained for some time so equivocal that neither Great Britain nor America was  fully satisfied with their determinations.  It is true,  a treaty with the United States was  for some time postponed; but the answer of their high mightinesses to the  memorial and remonstrances of Sir Joseph Yorke not being sufficiently condescending  and decided, he disgust daily increased. He informed his Court in very  disadvantageous terms of the effect of his repeated memorials, of the conduct of their  high mightinesses, and of that of the principal characters of the Batavian  provinces at large.

Great Britain soon after, in the recess of Parliament, amid all her other difficulties, at  war with France, Spain, and America, and left alone by all the other powers of  Europe to decide her own quarrels, announced hostilities against the Netherlands; and a  long manifesto from the King was sent abroad in the latter part of December  1780.

A declaration of war against the Republic of Holland by the King of Great Britain was  very unpleasing to most of the northern powers. The Baron Nolken, the  Swedish ambassador resident at the Court of London, remonstrated against it in a state  paper in which he observed "that the flame of war, kindled in another  hemisphere, had communicated to Europe. But the King of Sweden still flattered  himself that this conflagration would not extend beyond its first founds; and  particularly that a nation entirely commercial, which had made neutrality the invariable  foundation of its conduct, would not have been enveloped in it; and yet,  nevertheless, this has happened, almost in the very moment when that power had  entered in to the most inoffensive engagements with the King and his two northern  allies.

"If the most exact impartiality that was ever observed could not exempt the King from  immediately feeling the inconveniences of war by the considerable losses  sustained by his commercial subjects, he had much greater reason to apprehend the  consequences when those troubles were going to be extended; when an open  war between Great Britain and the Republic of Holland multiplied them; and to  conclude, when neutral commerce was about to endure new shackles, by the  hostilities committed between those two powers." He added "The king could not but  wish sincerely that the measures taken by the Empress of Russia for  extinguishing this new war in its beginning might be crowned with the most perfect  success."

But, indifferent to the remonstrances and memorials of the potentates of Europe, Great  Britain, hostile, wealthy, powerful, and proud, appeared regardless of their  resentment and ready to bid defiance, and spread the waste of war among all nations.

The capture of Mr. Laurens was, however, no small embarrassment to the British  ministry.  Their pride would not suffer them to recognize his public character. They  dared not condemn him as a rebel. The independence of America was too far advanced,  and there were too many captured noblemen and officers in the United  States to think of such a step, lest immediate retaliation should be made. And his  business was found too consequential to admit of his release. He was confined in  the Tower, forbidden the use of pen, ink, and paper, and all social intercourse with  anyone; and was even interdicted any converse with a young son, who had been  several years in England for his education.

There he suffered a long imprisonment at his own expense, until many months had  elapsed and many unexpected events had taken place, that made it expedient to  offer him his liberty without any equivalent.  This he refused to accept, from the feelings  of honor, as Congress at that time had offered General Burgoyne in exchange for Mr. Laurens.

The integrity of Mr. Laurens could not be warped either by flatteries or menaces, though  his health was much impaired by his severe and incommodious  confinement.  It was intimated to him at a certain period of his imprisonment that it  might operate in his favor if he would advise his son, Colonel John Laurens, to  withdraw himself from the Court of France, where he was then executing with success a  commission from Congress to negotiate a loan of money and solicit farther  aid both by sea and land in behalf of the American States.

The firmness of Mr. Laurens was not shaken by the proposal. He replied with equal  confidence, both in the affection of his son and the delicacy of his honor.  He  observed that "such as the filial regard of his son that he knew he would not hesitate to  forfeit his life for his father; but that no consideration would induce Colonel  Laurens to relinquish his honor, even were it possible for any circumstance to prevail on  his father to make the improper request."

Immediately after the new of Mr. Laurens's capture, imprisonment and detention in  England, the American Congress directed John Adams, Esquire, who had a  second time been sent to Europe in a public character, to leave France and repair to  Holland, there to transact affairs with the states-general, which had before been  entrusted to the fidelity of Mr. Laurens.  Mr. Adams's commission was enlarged. From  his confidence in his talents and integrity, he was vested with ample powers  for negotiation, for forming treaties of alliance, commerce, or loan of moneys, for the  United States of America.  Not fettered by instructions, we shall see he  exercised his discretionary powers with judgment and ability.

Thus in strict amity with France and Spain on the point of a treaty of alliance with the  Batavian Republic, Sweden and Denmark balancing, and nearly determined on  a connection with America, her foreign relations, in general, wore a very favorable  aspect.

The Empress of Russia only, among the European nations where an intercourse was  opened, refused peremptorily to receive any minister at her court, under the  authority of the Congress of the United States of America. Overtures were made to the  haughty sovereign of the Russian Empire early enough to evince the high  consideration in which her arms and her character were viewed in America, as well as in  Europe; but without the least shadow of success.  Determined to maintain  her independent dignity, and hold the neutral position she had chosen, she did not even  deign to see the person sent on by Congress to act as agent at the Court of  Petersburg; but she concluded the business with the policy of the statesman, the address  of her sex, and the superiority of the Empress Catherine.

It was indeed doubted by many at time, whether Mr. Dana was qualified to act as envoy  at the Court of Russia, and negotiate with such a potent state. He was  undoubtedly a man of understanding, with due share of professional knowledge, having  been for several years an attorney of eminence. But it was thought that he  had not either the address, the penetration, the knowledge of courts, or of the human  character necessary for a negotiator at the court of a despotic female at the  head of a nation of machines, under the absolute control of herself and her favorites.

It requires equanimity of temper, as well as true greatness of soul, to command or retain  the respect of great statesmen and politicians. Distinguished talents and a  pleasing address were peculiarly necessary for a negotiator at the Court of Russia, both  from the character of the nation and the monarch.  The Russians were  sanguine and revengeful, and ready by their precipitate counsels to aid their arbitrary  mistress in their bold designs and despotic mandates; while she, as the dictatress  of Europe, determined the ruin of princes, and the annihilation of kingdoms.

On the earliest notice of an application from the Congress of the United States, the  Empress, after several expressions of civility, containing a respectful regard to the  interests of the American states, made all proper acknowledgments to them for the  attention paid to herself. She had before granted them the free navigation of the  Baltic, in spite of the remonstrances of the British minister resident at Petersburg against  it.

She, however, ordered her minister to inform the American envoy that "as mediatrix  with the Emperor of Germany and the King of Prussia relative to the disputes  subsisting between France, Spain, and Great Britain, she thought it improper for her to  acknowledge the independence of America until the result of the mediation  was known; because the provisional articles depended on the definitive treaty." That  "when the latter was completed, she should be ready to proceed in the business;  but that it would be highly improper for her to treat with America as an independent  state, by virtue of powers or credentials issued previous to the acknowledgment  of American independence by the King of Great Britain." That "her delicacy was a law  to her, not to take before that time a step which might not be considered as  corresponding with those which have characterized her strict neutrality, during the  course of the late war; notwithstanding which the Empress repeats that you may  enjoy not only for your own honor, but also for your countrymen, who may come into  her Empire on commercial business, or otherwise, the most favorable  

reception and the protection of the laws of nations."

This declaration placed the American agent in a very unpleasant predicament; totally at  a loss what further steps to take, not able to obtain even an audience of the  empress, he soon returned to America. [It was a singular circumstance at the Court of  the Empress Catherine for any foreign minister or agent to be refused an  interview with Her Majesty. She had always, from pride, curiosity, or policy,  condescended to converse herself with strangers who visited her court on public  business.]

The failure of this negotiation might not be entirely owing to a want of diplomatic skill  or experience in the agent employed at the Court of Russia.  Though the choice  of the congressional minister was perhaps not so judicious as it might have been, many  concurring circumstances prevented his success.  The intrigues of Britain, the  arts of France, and the profound policy of the Court of Petersburg probably all combined  to defeat a measure which, from the situation of some of the belligerent  powers, and the known character of the Empress, could not rationally have been  expected at that time to meet the wishes of Congress.  It was also suggested that  the double-dealings of some Americans of consideration had their weight in frustrating  the negotiation, and preventing a treaty between one of the most distinguished  and influential powers in Europe and the United States of America.

The above is a summary sketch of the views, the dispositions, and connections of the  most important European powers, while the maneuvers in Virginia and the  other southern states were ripening events which brought forward accommodations that  no long after terminated in a general pacification, among the nations at war.   The narration of naval transactions connected with or influential on American affairs,  both in the West Indies and in the European seas, is postponed to a subsequent  part of this work; while we proceed on some further detail of military operations on  land.


Chapter Nineteen:  General Gates surrenders the command of the southern army to  General Greene, on his arrival in South  Carolina. Action between General Sumpter and Colonel Tarleton. General Morgan's  expedition. Meet and defeats Colonel  Tarleton. Lord Cornwallis pursues General Morgan. Party of Americans cut off at the  Catawba. Lord Cornwallis arrives at  Hillsborough. Calls by proclamation on all the inhabitants of the state to join him. Battle  of Guilford. Americans defeated.  Lord Cornwallis marches towards Wilmington. General Greene pursues him. General  Greene returns towards Camden. Action  at Camden. Lord Rawdon evacuates Camden and returns to Charleston. Barbarous state  of society among the mountaineers,  and in the back settlements of the Carolinas.  Attack on Ninety-Six. Repulse.  General reene again obliged to retreat.  Execution of Colonel Hayne. Lord Rawdon leaves the state of South Carolina and  embarks for England. Action at the Eutaw  Springs. General Greene retires to the high hills of Santee.  Governor Rutledge returns  to South Carolina and resumes the reins  of government.

 After the misfortune and suspension of General Gates, immediate steps were taken by  Congress and the commander in chief to restore the reputation of the  American arms, to check the progress of the British, and defeat their sanguine hopes of  speedily subduing the southern colonies.  Major General Greene was  ordered on to take the command in that quarter.  He arrived about the middle of autumn,  1780, at the headquarters of General Gates; soon after which, everything  seemed to wear a more favorable appearance, with regard to military arrangements and  operations in the American army.

General Gates surrendered the command with a dignity and firmness becoming his own  character, conscious that his disappointment and defeat did not originate in  any want of courage or generalship, but from the unavoidable and complicated  difficulties of existing circumstances.  General Greene succeeded him, received the  charge of the army, and took leave of General Gates, with a delicacy and propriety that  evinced the high respect he felt for his predecessor.

All the prudence and magnanimity, valor and humanity that adorned the character of  General Greene were necessary in the choice of difficulties that attended his new  command. He had succeeded a brae, but unfortunate officer whose troops were  intimidated by recent defeat, dispirited by their naked and destitute situation, in a  country unable to yield sufficient subsistence for one army and which had for several  months been ravaged by two.

Lord Cornwallis's army was much superior in number and discipline, his troops were  well clothed and regularly paid, and when General Greene first arrived, they  were flushed by recent successes, particularly the defeat of General Gates.  It is true, the  death of Major Ferguson and the route of his party was a serious  disappointment, but not of sufficient consequence to check the designs and expectations  of a British army commanded by officers of the first military experience.

The inhabitants of the country were indeed divided in opinion; bitter, rancorous, and  cruel, and many of them without any fixed political principles.  Fluctuating and  unstable, sometimes they were the partisans of Britain, and huzzaed for royalty; at  others, they were the militia of the state in continental service, and professed  themselves zealots for American independence. But General Greene, with remarkable  coolness and intrepidity checked their licentious conduct and punished  desertion and treachery by necessary examples of severity; and thus in a short time, he  established a more regular discipline.

Skirmishing parties pervaded all parts of the country.  No one was more active and busy  in these scenes than the vigilant Tarleton. An affray took place in the month  of November between him and General Sumpter.  After victory had several times  seemed to change sides, the continental troops won the field without much loss.   General Sumpter was wounded, but not dangerously.  The British lost in wounded and  killed, near 200.

The British troops had yet met with no check, which had in any degree damped their  ardor, except the defeat of Major Ferguson.  The most important movement  which took place for some time after this affair was an action between General Morgan  on the one part, and Colonel Tarleton on the other, in the month of January  1781.  General Morgan was an early volunteer in the American warfare. He had  marched from Virginia to Cambridge at the head of a body of riflemen to the aid of  General Washington in 1775.  He continued to stand ready to enter on the post of danger  in any part of the continent where the defense of his country required the  assistance of the most valorous leaders.  General Greene, convinced that no man could  more effectually execute any command with which he was entrusted, ordered  General Morgan, with considerable force, to march to the western parts of South  Carolina.

Lord Cornwallis, having gained intelligence of this movement, dispatch Colonel  Tarleton in pursuit of General Morgan. In a few days, they met near the River  Pacolet.  General Morgan had reason to expect, from the rapid advance of Colonel  Tarleton, that a meeting would have taken place sooner; but by various  maneuvers he kept his troops at a distance, until a moment of advantage might present  for acting with decided success. The Americans had rather kept up the  appearance of retreat until they reached a spot called Cow-pens. Fortunately for them,  Tarleton came up, and a resolute engagement ensured. When, after a short  conflict, to the great joy of the Americans, the British were routed, and totally defeated.

Colonel Tarleton, as one of the most resolute and active of the British partisans, was  particularly selected by Lord Cornwallis and ordered to march with 1100 men  to watch the motions of Morgan, impeded his designs, and keep in awe the district of  Ninety-Six, toward which he found a detachment of the American army was  moving.  The unexpected defeat of Tarleton for a time  threw him into the background  in the opinion of many of the British officers; nor was Lord Cornwallis himself  much better satisfied with this conduct. [Sir Henry Clinton observed afterwards, "that  the unfortunate action at the Cow-pens diminished Lord Cornwallis's army  nearly one fourth." If this was true, it must have been by desertion, or by a sudden  defection of the inhabitants of the state, who had previously aided him.]

The name of Tarleton and his successes had so long been the terror of one side and the  triumph of the other that neither had calculated on a derangement or defeat  of his projects.  But 300 of his men killed in the action at Cow-pens, 500 captured and  himself obliged to fly with precipitation convinced the people that he was no  longer invincible.  The militia of the country were inspirited, and many of them flocked  too the American standard who had heretofore been too much intimidated to  rally around it.

Colonel Tarleton was severely censured by the British officers for suffering himself to  be defeated with this advantages of discipline, numbers, and everything else that  in all human probability might have insured him victory.  They did not tax him with a  want of personal bravery; but some of them would not allow that he had talents  for anything superior to the requisites for "a captain of dragoons who might skirmish  and defeat in detail." However, he had certainly been considered by most of  them in a higher point of view before this misfortune.  But his flight and the loss of his  light troops left a tarnish on his military character that could not be easily wiped  off or forgiven.  This loss of these light troops, so peculiarly necessary in the present  service, as felt through all the succeeding campaign. But Tarleton soon  recovered himself and returned from his flight. He appeared within a day or two, not far  from the ground from which he had been beaten, and resumed his usual  boldness and barbarity.

Tarleton's defeat was a blow entirely unexpected to Lord Cornwallis, and induced him to  march himself from Wynnesborough to the Yadkin, in pursuit of General  Morgan, with the hope of overtaking him and recovering the prisoners.  The British  troops endured this long and fatiguing march under every species of difficulty,  over rivers, swamps, marshes, and creeks, with uncommon resolution and patience.   What greatly enhanced their hardships and inconveniences, the path of their  route was, a Lord Cornwallis expressed it, "though one of the most rebellious tracts in  America."

General Greene, in hearing that His Lordship was in pursuit of Morgan, left his post  near the Pedee under the command of General Huger, and, with great celerity,  marched with a small party of friends and domestics 150 miles and joined General  Morgan before Lord Cornwallis arrived at the Catawba.  In the pursuit, Lord  Cornwallis cut off some of the small detachments, not in sufficient force for effectual  opposition. It is true, General Davidson made an unsuccessful stand on the  banks of the Catawba, with 300 or 400 men; but the British, fording the river  unexpectedly, he was himself killed, and his troops dispersed; and the crossing the  

river by the British army was no farther impeded.

General Greene had ordered the Colonels Huger and Williams, whom he had left some  days before at the Pedee, to join him with their troops.  However, it as but a  very short time after this junction, before General Greene had the highest reason to  conclude that the safety of his troops lay only in retreat. Nor was this  accomplished but with the utmost difficulty, as the way he was obliged to traverse was  frequently interrupted by steep ascents and unfordable rivers. But he  remarkably escaped a pursuing and powerful army, whose progress was, fortunately for  the Americans, checked by the same impediments, and at much less  favorable moments of arrival.  Though we do not assert a miracle was wrought on the  occasion, it is certain from good authority, [See General Greene's own letters,  and the letters of other officers.] that the freshets swelled and retarded the passage of the  British, while they seemed at times, to suspend their rapidity in favor to the  Americans; and the piety of General Greene in several of his letters, attributed his  remarkable escape and the protection of his little army to the intervention of a  superintending Providence.

Thus after a flight and chase of 15 or 20 days, supported by the most determined spirit  and perseverance on both sides, General Greene reached Guilford about the  middle of February, where he ordered all the troops he had left near the Pedee, under  officers on whom he could depend, to repair immediately to him.

Lord Cornwallis at or near the same time took post at Hillsborough and there erected the  royal standard.  General Leslie had, according to orders, left Virginia and  marched further south.  He had arrived at Charleston about the middle of December.   He, without delay, marched with 1500 men, and soon overtook and joined  Lord Cornwallis, in the extreme part of the sate. He had found the British commander  immersed in cares, perplexity, and fatigue, endeavoring with all his ability to  restore by force the authority of his master, among a people, the majority of whom, he  soon found to his mortification, were totally averse to the government and  authority of Great Britain. General Leslie continued with him until some time after the  Battle of Guilford, and by his bravery and activity was essentially serviceable to  the royal cause.

At Hillsborough, Lord Cornwallis, by proclamation, called on all the faithful votaries to  the Crown of Britain to repair immediately to his camp with ten days  provisions to assist in the full restoration of constitutional government. Numbers from  all parts of the country listened anew to the invitations and threatenings of the  British commander and moved, with all possible dispatch, towards his camp.  But many  of them fell on their way, by the fatal mistake of misapprehending the  characters and connections of the partisans about them.  It must be extremely difficult in  a country rent in sunder by civil feuds and in arms under different leaders of  parties opposed to each other to know at once in the hurry and confusion of crossing and  recrossing to join their friends, whether they were not encircled by their  enemies.

Tarleton himself had sometimes mistaken his own partisans for the friends of Congress.  Thus many of the royalists, as they were hastening to take protection under  the banners of their King, were cut down by the same hand that spread slaughter and  desolation among the opposers of the Monarch. Many unfortunate victims of  the sword drew destruction upon themselves by similar mistakes. An instance of this,  among others shocking to the feelings of humanity, was the massacre of 300 or  400 of this description of persons headed by a Colonel Pyles. They accidentally fell  in  the way of a continental detachment, commanded by General Pickens.  The  royalists, mistaking the republicans for Tarleton and his party, whom Pickens was  pursuing, they acknowledge themselves as subjects of the Crown, made a merit of  their advance, and called on Colonel Tarleton as their leader; nor were they undeceived  but by the blow that deprived them of life.  It is indeed to be much lamented  that they were treated with as little mercy, and all cut down with  equal cruelty, to any  that had been experienced by the Americans from the most remorseless of  their foes.

 While in this state of confusion and depredation through the whole country, General  Greene and Lord Cornwallis lay at no great distance from each other; but  Greene kept his position as much as possible concealed, as he was not yet in a situation  to venture a decisive action; and though he was obliged to move earlier  towards the British encampment, no engagement took place until about the middle of  March. In the mean time, by his ability and address, he eluded the vigilance of  his enemies and kept himself secure by a continual change of posts, until strengthened  by fresh reinforcements of the North Carolina and Virginia militia. The few  continental troops he had with him, joined by these, and a number of volunteers from  the interior mountainous tracts of the western wilderness induced him to think  he might risk a general action.

On March 15, the two armies met at Guilford and seemed, at first, to engage with equal  ardor; but, as usual, the raw militia were intimidated by the valor and  discipline of the British veterans. Almost the whole corps of Carolinians threw down  their arms and fled, many of them without even once discharging their firelocks.   This, of course, deranged the American army; yet they supported the action with great  spirit and bravery for an hour and a half, when they were entirely broken, and  obliged to retreat with the utmost precipitation. Both armies suffered much by the loss  of many gallant officers and a considerable number of men.

Lord Cornwallis kept the field and claimed a complete victory; but the subsequent  transactions discovered that the balance of real advantage lay on the other side.   His Lordship, immediately after the action at Guilford, proclaimed pardon and  protection to all the inhabitants of the country on proper submission; yet at the same  time, he found it necessary to quit his present ground. He had previously taken the  determination, to try the success of British arms in North Carolina and Virginia.  He formed this resolution early; and would have prosecuted it immediately after  Ferguson's defeat, in October, 1778, had he not been detained by sickness.  After  his recovery, he pursued the design; and for this purpose had ordered General Leslie to  leave Virginia, who (as has been observed) joined him with a large  detachment of troops, about mid-winter.  His Lordship, however, thought proper still to  postpone his original design, with the hope of bringing General Greene to a  decided action, and thereby more firmly uniting the inhabitants of the country to the  royal cause.

After the action at Guilford, and the dispersion of the American troops, Lord Cornwallis  found it difficult to procure forage and provisions sufficient for the  subsistence of his army.  He left the late field of action, and moved onwards a few miles,  an halted at Bell's Mills, where he stayed two days, and gave the troops a  small supply of provisions.  From thence, he moved slowly, on account of his sick and  wounded, to Cross Creek.

It appears by his own letter to Lord George Germaine that he had intended to continue  thereabouts for some short time; but a variety of disappointments that  occurred induced him to alter his resolution.  In this letter, he observes, "From all my  information, I intended to have halted at Cross Creek as a proper place to  refresh and refit the troops; and I was much disappointed on my arrival there to find it  totally impossible.  Provisions were scarce; not four days forage within 20  miles; and to us, the navigation of the Cape Fear River to Wilmington impracticable, for  the distance by water if upwards of 100 miles. Under these circumstances, I  was obliged to continue my march to this place." [See Earl Cornwallis's letter to Lord  George Germaine, dated Wilmington, April 18, 1781.]

Lord Cornwallis, having decamped from the neighborhood of his late military  operations, marched with all possible expedition toward the more eastern parts of  North Carolina.  He found many difficulties on his way, but pursued his route with great  

perseverance, as did his army. They cheerfully sustained the severest fatigue;  but as they had frequently done before, they marked their way with the slaughter of the  active, and the blood of the innocent inhabitants, through a territory of many  hundred miles in extend from Charleston to Yorktown.  It was afterwards computed that  1400 widows were made during the year's campaign, only in the single  district of Ninety-Six. [General Green's letters authenticate this fact.]

After the defeat at Guilford, General Greene availed himself of his religious opinions to  obtain relief and assistance from the neighboring country.  He had been  educated in the Quaker denomination of Christians, but not too scrupulously attached to  their tenets to take arms in defense of American liberty. The inhabitants in  the vicinity of both armies generally belonged to that sect. In the distress of the  retreating army, he called them out to exercises of that benevolence and charity of  which they make the highest professions.  He wrote and reminded them that though they  could not conscientiously, consistently with the principles they professed,  gird on the sword for the usual operations of war, yet nothing could excuse them from  the exercise of compassion and assistance to the sick and wounded; to this  they were exhorted by their principles; and an ample field was now displayed to evince  their sincerity by every charitable act.

His letters were more influential on this mild and unoffending body of people than the  proclamations of Lord Cornwallis.  They united to take care of the sick, to  dress the wounded, and make collections of provisions for the relief of the flying army.   This was a very essential advantage to General Greene, whose confidence in  the simplicity and kindness of this body of people relieved him from any anxiety and  embarrassment, relative to the sick and wounded he was obliged to leave  behind.

Their example probably had an influence on others of different denominations and  indeed on most of the people in the circumjacent villages, whom we shall soon see  quitting the royal standard and following the fortune of the routed commander and his  army, notwithstanding the high hopes which had been entertained for a short  time by the British that this defeat would put an end to any other effective operations of  the rebel General Greene, as they style him in their letters.

In consequence of the action of Guilford, General Greene had to lament the loss of  several valuable officers, among whom were the Generals Stephens and Huger,  dangerously wounded.  But those who were faithful to the service, on principles of  supporting the general liberties of their country, lost no part of their vigor or  fortitude under the sharpest disappointments and misfortunes, but raised anew and set  their hardy faces against the most adverse circumstances that might arise in the  dangerous and uncertain conflict.

This, General Greene attested in all his letters. Yet the ignorance of the people in   general, the little knowledge they had of the principles of the contest, the want of  stable principles of any kind among the generality of the inhabitants, rendered  dependence on their fidelity very uncertain, on both sides, the question, and put it  beyond the calculation on events, as neither the British nor American commanders could  make an accurate statement of the numbers from day to day that belonged  to their own army.  Self-preservation often led both parties to deception; and the danger  of the moment sometimes more than the turpitude of the heart prompted  them to act under disguise.

The letters and accounts of all the general officers on both sides of the question portray  these difficulties in a style and manner more descriptive than can be done by  anyone who did not fee l he complicated miseries which involved both armies and the  inhabitants of the Carolinas at this period.  To them, the reader is referred,  while we yet follow the American commander through perplexity, embarrassment, and  fatigue, too complex for description.

After the defeat of Guilford, General Greene was far from being discouraged or  intimidated by the victorious triumph of his enemies. He retreated with a steady step  and retired only ten or fifteen miles from the scene of the late action. He had every  reason to expect a second rencounter with the British army, who boasted that  their victory was complete, though it was acknowledged by Lord Cornwallis that the  action at Guilford was the bloodiest that had taken place during the war. [See  Lord Cornwallis's letter to Sir Henry Clinton in Clinton's Narrative, p. 9.] Yet when  Lord Cornwallis withdrew from the late scene of action, it did not appear so  much the result of a systematic design of an able general, as it did that of the retreat of a  conquered army.

This, with other circumstances, induced General Greene, after he had collected most of  his scattered troops, to follow His Lordship rather than to fly further. The  inhabitants of the country (singular as it may appear) from this time more generally  flocked to the camp of the defeated than to that of the conquering general. A more  thorough disaffection to British government hourly appeared and a more impressive  alarm from the apprehensions of subjugation seemed to discover itself from the  day of the retreat at Guilford. Number from all quarters came forward; and General  Greene soon found himself in a situation to pursue in his turn.

He accordingly followed the British army through cross roads and difficult paths for  about ten days; when finding His Lordship declined meeting him again and that  by the rapidity of his movements their distance widened, General Greene thought it best  to halt and not further attempt to impede the route of the British commander  toward Wilmington; and prepared himself to prosecute his previous design of relieving  the sate of South Carolina, without further delay.

Within a few days, he began his march toward Camden, the headquarters of Lord  Rawdon, on whom the command had devolved and who was there encamped  with only 900 men.  General Greene's approach was rather unexpected to Rawdon; but  by a sudden and judicious advance, he fell on the Americans before they  were in readiness for his reception.  Notwithstanding this sudden attack, which took  place on April 25, General Greene, always cool and collected, sustained a  severe conflict with his usual intrepidity; but was again obliged to retreat, thought his  numbers were superior.  Yet he observed about this time that he was not so  amply supported as he might have expected by aids from Virginia, Maryland, or  elsewhere; and that in North Carolina such was the fluctuation of opinion, the  operation of fear, and a too general want of principle that he could not place the  strongest confidence in many who accompanied him.

Lord Rawdon attempted soon after to bring General Greene to a second engagement; but  he too well understood the advantages he might gain by declining it.  The  consequences justified his conduct; as Lord Rawdon, in a few days after the action at  Camden, burnt many of the mills, adjacent private houses, and other buildings,  and evacuated the post and moved toward Charleston, where he judged his presence was  more immediately necessary.  This sudden evacuation of Camden  inspirited the Continentals and inspired them with a dangerous enthusiasm that for a  time could not be resisted.  The banks of the rivers and the country were  scourged by various partisans, in pursuit of forage and provisions, which were generally  secured by the Americans, after skirmishing and fighting their way through  small parties of the enemy, too weak for successful opposition.

Sumpter, Marion, and other leaders, General Greene observed "have people who adhere  to them and appear closely attached; yet, perhaps more from a desire and  the opportunity of plundering than from an inclination to promote the independence of  the United States." General Greene was attached and supported by many  brave, humane, and valiant officers in his peregrinations through the Carolinas, but their  followers were generally licentious beyond description.  This sometimes  impelled him to severities that wounded the feeling of the man, though necessary in the  discipline of an army.

A detail of all the smaller rencounters that took place in this hostile period in both the  Carolinas, might fatigue more than it would gratify the humane or inquisitive  mind. It is enough to observe that the Americans, under various leaders and some capital  commanders were continually attacking, with alternate success and defeat,  the chain of British posts planted from Camden to Ninety-Six; and as General Greene  himself expressed his sentiments in their embarrassed situation, "We fight, get  beaten, rise, and fight again: the whole country is one continued scene of slaughter an  blood. This country may struggle a little longer; but unless they have more  effectual support, they must fall." [General Greene's letter to the Chevalier de la  Luzerne.]

It is to be lamented that very many in this day of general distress suffered themselves to  be governed either by vindictive passions or their feelings of resentment for  personal injuries. Many took advantage of public confusion to gratify, if not to justify,  their own private revenge, a stronger stimulus with some, than any public or  political principle. Besides these, there were numbers who seemed to enlist under the  banners of liberty with no views but those of rapine, assassination, and  robbery; and after they had for a time rioted in the indulgence of those infernal passions,  they frequently deserted and repaired to the British camp and renewed each  scene of villainy against the party they had just left.  They were indeed well calculated  to become instruments in the hands of the British officers, to perpetrate the  cruelties they were too much disposed to inflict on the steady adherents to the American  cause. Thus, whether they pretended to be the partisans of the one side or  the other, rapacity and violence raged among a fierce people, little accustomed to the  restraints of law and subordination.

The manners of the mountaineers and borderers of the Carolinas, exemplified too  strongly the native ferocity of man.  Though descended from civilized ancestors, it  cannot be denied that when for a length of time, a people have been used to the modes of  savage life common to the rude stages of society, not feeling themselves  restrained by penal laws, nor under the influence of reason or religion, nor yet impressed  by apprehensions of disgrace, they sink into the habits of savages, and  appear scarce a grade above the brutal race.  Thus it required a very severe military  discipline to reduce to order the rude peasantry that poured down from the  mountains and collected from the most rough, uncultivated parts of the country.

Dissension, mutiny, robbery, and murder spread to an alarming degree.  There were too  many instances of villainy and barbarity to render it necessary to adduce  more than a single fact, that may convey an idea of the hazard of life without the risk of  battle.  We mention therefore only the death of a Colonel Grierson, a  distinguished loyalist, because this circumstance is particularly noticed by the  commanders of both armies.  This gentleman was shot by an unknown hand, after he  had surrendered his arms to the Americans.  Great exertion was made to discover the  perpetrator of this cruel deed. General Greene offered a reward of 100  guineas for the detection of the murderer, but without effect. Private assassination had  become too familiar a crime in that hostile country for the perpetrators to  betray each other.

Perhaps few officers could have extricated themselves and recovered from the  unforeseen embarrassments that attended him through the southern campaign with  the  facility, judgment, and perseverance that marked the conduct of the American  commander in the Carolinas. His mind was replete with resources in the greatest  difficulties, and his resolution equal to the severest enterprise. While the humanity of his  disposition led him to soften as much as possible the horrors of war, the  placidity of his manners engaged the affections of his friends and the esteem and respect  of his enemies. Yet he was obliged to make some severe examples of  atrocious characters and to punish by death several who were detected under the  description of deserters and assassins.

After the action at Camden, Marion, Peckens, and Lee, with their partisans, attacked and  carried a number of small forts in the district of Ninety-Six, with little or no  effectual opposition, until they crossed the Santee, and attacked Fort Cornwallis,  commanded by Colonel Brown, who defended it with great spirit and gallantry.  As  the Americans approached, the British garrison, for their own better security, nearly  covered themselves under ground.  They obstinately refused to surrender until  every man who attempted to fire on the besiegers was instantly shot down; but after a  siege of 12 or 14 days, the fort, with about 300 men, was surrendered by  capitulation.

Brown had been so barbarous and ferocious as a partisan that he was hourly  apprehensive of meeting with summary vengeance from the hands of some of those  who had suffered, either in their persons or their friends.  Many he had murdered in cold  blood; others he had cruelly delivered into the hands of the savages to suffer  longer torture. But the victor, feeling compassion for individual suffering, sent him  under an escort for this better security, to Savannah.  Without this indulgence, he  must have fallen an immediate sacrifice, as he had to pass through the long tract of  country where he had been active in perpetrating the severest cruelties,  accompanied by a number of loyalists, between whom and the adherents to the  American cause, there raged such an infernal spirit of bitterness that extermination  seemed be equally the wish of both parties.

The leaders of the American partisans were frequently checked by the humane advice of  General Greene.  He exhorted them that it was more their duty by their  lenity to induce those in opposition to unite with them in supporting the cause of  freedom than it was to aim at their extermination.  In a letter to Pickens he observed  that "the principles of humanity as well as policy required that proper measures should  be immediately taken to restrain abuses, heal differences and unite the people  as much as possible."

While these desultory excursions were kept up, General Greene was endeavoring to  concentrate his forces for the prosecution of more important objects.  Many  occurrences  had redounded much to his honor, though some of them were unfortunate.   But his misfortunes did not impair his military reputation; nor was his  courage or ability called in question on his assault on Ninety-Six, though it did not  terminate agreeably to his hopes.  The garrison as defended with the greatest spirit  and ability by Lieutenant Colonel Cruger.  They sustained a siege with almost  unexampled bravery, from May 24 to June 18.

Notwithstanding the valor of the British troops and the fortitude of their commander,  they were reduced to the point of surrender, when by the address of an  American lady, prompted by a laudable affection for her husband, a British officer  within the garrison, she found means to convey a letter to Colonel Cruger, with the  pleasing intelligence  that if they could hold out a short time longer, their deliverance  might be certain; that reinforcements were at hand; that Lord Rawdon was  marching to their relief with 2000 fresh troops who had arrived within seven days from  Ireland.

It was happy for General Greene that he obtained early information that this strong body  was on their way and was hourly expected by his antagonists; but it was  very affecting to the feelings of honor, patriotism, or pride to find himself obliged to  raise the siege, almost in the moment of victory, and to retreat with precipitation  from a spot where but a day before he had reason to flatter himself he should reap the  laurels of conquest.  This unexpected turn of affairs was truly distressing to the  American commander.  It was painful and humiliating to be compelled again to fly  before a pursuing enemy, to the extreme parts of a country he had recently trodden  over with so much fatigue and peril.

Some of his associates were so much disheartened by the untoward circumstances of the  campaign that they advised him to fly from Carolina and to endeavor to  save himself and the remainder of his troops by retreating to Virginia.  To this advice,  General Greene replied in the laconic style of the Spartan, with the spirit of a  Roman, and the enthusiasm of an American, "I will recover this country or perish in the  attempt." His subsequent conduct and success justified his noble resolution.   He soon collected the militia from the distant parts of the state, called in his  detachments, and inspirited his troops so far as to recover his usual confidence in them.   This encouraged him to offer battle to Lord Rawdon on July 12.

His Lordship, strongly posted at Orangeburg, and strengthened by additional troops  from several quarters, declined the challenge.  This was not because he did not  think himself in sufficient force to accept it. He had previously determined to return to  Charleston as soon as circumstances would permit. His presence was there  necessary, not only on account of military arrangements, but from the confusion and  disorder of civil affairs, the animosities of  the citizens of different descriptions,  the insolence of the loyalists, and the complaints of those who had been compelled to a  temporary submission.

When Lord Rawdon withdrew from Orangeburg, he left a sufficient number of troops  for its defense; and making due arrangements for the security of other posts,  he hastened to Charleston. On this, General Greene detached a part of his own army to  march towards the capital, and returned himself with the remainder and took  post on the heights near the Santee.  From thence, he continually harassed the British by  small parties, who alternately returned these aggressions.  Skirmish and  defeat, plunder, slaughter, and devastation were everywhere displayed, from the  extremity of the country to the environs of the city.  Several weeks elapsed before  the operations of either army were more concentrated.

While the military operations against the Americans were vigorously pursued without,  the devoted city of Charleston suffered misery beyond description within.   Severity, cruelty, and despair raged for a time without check or control.  A single  instance of inhumanity, in the sacrifice of one of the victims of their resentment will  be sufficient to evince the rigor and impolicy of British measures.  The execution of  Colonel Hayne will leave a stain on the character of Lord Rawdon, without  exhibiting any other proofs of barbarous severity.

This gentleman had been a distinguished and very active officer in the American service  previous to the subjugation of Charleston.  When this event took place, he  found himself called to a separation from his family, a dereliction of his property, and  submission to the conqueror.  In this situation, he thought it his duty to become  a voluntary prisoner, and take his parole.  On surrendering himself, he offered to engage  and stand bound on the principles of honor to do nothing prejudicial to the  British interest until he was exchanged; but his abilities and his services were of such  consideration to this country that he was refused a parole and told he must  become a British subject or submit to close confinement.

His family was then in a distant part of the country and in great distress by sickness and  from the ravages of the loyalists in their neighborhood.  Thus he seemed  impelled to acknowledge himself a subject of a government he had relinquished from  the purest principles, or renounce his tenderest connections and leave them  without a possibility of his assistance, and at a moment when he hourly expected to hear  of the death of an affectionate wife, ill of the small pox.

In this state of anxiety, he subscribed a declaration of his allegiance to the King of Great  Britain, with this express exception, that he should never be required to take  arms against his country.  Notwithstanding this, he was soon and repeatedly called upon  to arm in support of a government he detested or to submit to the severest  punishment.  Brigadier General Patterson, commandant of the garrison and the intendant  of the British police, a Mr. Simpson, had both assured Colonel Hayne that  no such thing would be required; and added "that when the royal army could not defend  a country without the aid of its inhabitants, it would be time to quit it." [See a  representation of Colonel Hayne's case laid before Congress after his death.]

Colonel Hayne considered a requisition to act in British service after assurances that this  would never be required, as a breach of contract, and a release in the eye of  conscience from any obligation on his part.  Accordingly, he took the first opportunity  of resuming his arms as an American, assumed the command of his own  regiment; and all fond of their former commander, Colonel Hayne marched with a  defensible body to the relief of his countrymen, then endeavoring to drive the  British partisans and keep them within the environs of Charleston.  He very  unfortunately, in a short time, fell into the hands of a strong British party, sent out for  the  recovery of a favorite officer, [This was a General Williamson, captured within seven  miles of the city, by a small reconnoitering party sent out by Colonel Hayne.]  who had left the American cause and become a devotee to British government.

As soon as Colonel Hayne was captured, he was closely imprisoned. This was on July  26. He was notified the same day that a court of officers would assemble the  next day to determine in what point of view he ought to be considered. On the 29th, he  was informed that in consequence of a court of inquiry held the day before,  Lord Rawdon and Lieutenant Colonel Balfour had resolved upon his execution within  two days.

His astonishment at these summary and illegal proceedings can scarcely be conceived.  He wrote Lord Rawdon that he had no intimation of anything more than a  court of inquiry to determine whether he should be considered as an American or a  British subject. If the first, he ought to be set at liberty on parole.  If the last, he  claimed a legal trial. He assured his Lordship that on a trial he had many things to urge  in his defense; reasons that would be weighty in a court of equity; and  concluded his letter with observing, "If, sir, I am refused this favor, which I cannot  conceive from your justice or humanity, I earnestly entreat that my execution may  be deferred; that I may at least take a last farewell of my children, and prepare for the  solemn change." [See a more full account of the treatment of Colonel Hayne in  his own   papers, afterwards presented to Congress.]

But his death predetermined, his enemies were deaf to the voice of compassion.  The  execution of his sentence was hastened, though the reputation and merits of this  gentleman were such that the whole city was zealous for his reservation.  Not only the  inhabitants in opposition to British government, but even Lieutenant Governor  Bull, at the head of the royalists, interceded for his life.  The principal lades of  Charleston endeavored, by their compassionate interference, to arrest or influence the  relentless hand of power.  They drew up and presented to Lord Rawdon a delicate and  pathetic petition in his behalf. His near relations, and this children, who had  just performed the funeral rites over the grave of a tender mother, appeared on their  bended knees to implore the life of their father.  But in  spite of the supplications  of children and friends, strangers and foes, the flinty heart of Lord Rawdon remained  untouched, amid these scenes of sensibility and distress.  No amelioration of the  sentence could be obtained. And this affectionate father took a final leave of his children  in a manner that pierced the souls of the beholders.  To the eldest of them, a  

youth of but 13 years of age, he delivered a transcript of his case, directed him to convey  it to Congress, and ordered him to see that his father's remains were  deposited in the tomb of his ancestors.

Pinioned like a criminal, this worthy citizen walked with composure through crowds of   admiring spectators, with the dignity of a philosopher, and the intrepidity of  the Christian.  He suffered as a hero, and was hanged as a felon, amid the tears of the  multitude, and the curses of thousands, who execrated the perpetrators of this  cruel deed.

Soon after this transaction, Lord Rawdon, on account of the broken state of his health,  obtained leave to repair to England. Captured on his passage by the Count  de Graffe, he was detained a short time. But soon after his arrival on the shores of Great  Britain, his singular treatment of Colonel Hayne was the topic of every  conversation; and it was proved to have been so pointedly severe as to be thought  worthy of parliamentary discussion.  The strictures of the Duke of Richmond  thereon were pointed with severity.  He thought the dignity and humanity of the nation  called loudly for a court of inquiry on high-handed executions, without trial, or  any opportunity given for legal defense.

This motion, however, was productive of no consequences, except the ebullitions of  Lord Rawdon's resentment; who, it was observed, conducted more with the  violence of a soldier of untutored manners that with the urbanity or politeness of the  gentleman.  He wrote to the noble Duke in high and offensive language, little if  anything short of a direct challenge; but His Grace did not deign to think himself  accountable to an individual for defending the principles of equity and the cause of  the injured, in the freedom of parliamentary debate and investigation.

After Lord Rawdon had taken leave of America, and embarked for England, the  command of the British army in Charleston devolved on Colonel Balfour. This  officer, though a brave man, as not distinguished for his humanity; nor did he seem  more disposed, on a new acquisition of power, to soften the rigors of war than his  predecessors in command.

It had, previous to the present period, appeared by the letters of Colonel Balfour, that his  apprehensions relative to the southern campaign and the termination of the  war had been clouded to a considerable degree.  He had written to Sir Henry Clinton on  May 6 that "their situation was exceedingly distressing and dreadful,  notwithstanding Lord Rawdon' brilliant successes; that the enemy's parties were  everywhere; that the communication with Savannah by land as everywhere cut off;  that the Colonels Brown, Cruger, and others, at different important posts, were in the  most critical situation." He added in the same letter, "Indeed I should betray the  duty I owe Your Excellency, did I not represent the defection of this province so  universal, that I know of no mode, short of depopulation, to retain it.  The spirit of  revolt is kept up by the many officers, prisoners of war. I should therefore think it  advisable to remove them, a well a to make some striking examples of such as had  been protections, yet snatch every occasion to rise in arms against us."

Whether Colonel Balfour wished to be the executioner of this cruel policy or not, he  justified it in his answer to General Greene, who demanded the reason of  Hayne's execution. Balfour replied that it took place by the joint orders of Lord Rawdon  and himself, in consequence of Lord Cornwallis's directions, to put every  man to death who might be found in arms, if he had been received as a subject of Great  Britain, after the capitulation of Charleston in 1780.

General Greene threatened retaliation; but his humanity led him to the suspension of  such severities, though he felt wounded at the treatment of a person of such  real merit as Colonel Hayne, and the premature stroke that robbed his country and his  family of this brave , unfortunate man.  He pointedly criminated the authors of  his death, as acting an unjust, inhumane, and an illegal part. In a letter to Colonel  Balfour, he observed that he was happy for the honor of Colonel Hayne that nothing  could be found against him to warrant his execution, but "the order of Lord Cornwallis,  given in the hour of victory, when he considered the lives, liberties, and  property of the people prostrate at his feet.  But I confess I cannot repress my  astonishment that you and Lord Rawdon should give such an extraordinary example  of severity on the authority of that order, under such a change of circumstances, so long  after it had been remonstrated against by myself in a letter to Lord  Cornwallis.  In informed His Lordship that his orders were cruel and unprecedented; and  that he might expect retaliation from the friends of the unfortunate."  [General Greene's letters to Lord Cornwallis and Colonel Balfour, in his dispatches to  Congress at the time.]

Indeed it was the universal voice that the conduct of Rawdon and Balfour in this affair  could be justified by no law, civil or military, and was totally repugnant to the  spirit of humanity or to divine injunctions.  General Greene declared in the most solemn  manner that he had never authorized or countenanced executions on  such  principles; that he had done all in his power to soften resentment, to conciliate the  inhabitants of different descriptions, and to prevent as much as possible all private  assassinations which had too frequently taken place in spite of discipline or humanity;  and that he sanctioned no public executions, but for the crimes of desertion and  murder; crimes which by no construction could be charged on Colonel Hayne.

But the death of this worthy man, the victim of resentment, was not avenged by  retaliation, as threatened.  It was postponed from the humanity and generosity of the  American commander, as well as from the uncertainty of all human events, and the  impossibility of calculating from the changes of war, which party might be the  greatest sufferers, by a determined spirit of retaliation and execution on both sides.

 Fierce rencounters were still kept up between the British detachments posted on  advantageous heights, and on the banks of deep and unfordable rivers which  intersected each other, and the hardy chieftains who led the Carolinian bands, over  mountains, declivities, swamps, and rivers, to the vicinity of the city.  Thence they  were often obliged to retreat back from the borders of civilization and softer habitations,  again to seek safety in the dreary wilderness, to which they were pursued by  their enemies, who were sometimes repelled, at other successful in cutting off the little  parties of Americans; until the British, wearied of the mutual interchange of  hostilities without decision, drew in their cantonments, and took post about the  beginning of September, at the Eutaw Springs, which were situated a the distance of  only 50 miles from Charleston.

General Greene had, when near the waters of the Congaree, while they were separated at  the distance of only 15 miles, attempted to bring them to a closer  engagement; but there appeared at that time no inclination in the British to meet him.   He found they were about to take a new position.  This induced him to follow  them by a circuitous march of 70 or 80 miles.  Desultory skirmishes continued during  the month of August; but on September 8, General Greene again renewed his  challenge, fought and obtained an advantage that was an over-balance for the many  successless rencounters that had long kept the public mind in suspense and  apprehension, and Green's army in such a continual fluctuation that there was no  calculating its numbers or its strength from day to day.

General Greene advanced to the Springs, where the main body of the British troops were  collected. He had with him about 2000 men; but these were commanded  by some of the best officers.  They attacked and routed the British encampment. The  action was severe.  Great numbers of the British officers and soldiers were  either slain or captured.  Yet the Americans suffered so much that Colonel Stuart, the  British commander, claimed the advantage.  Indeed, General Greene suffered  the loss of many brave soldiers, and some very valuable officers.  A Colonel Campbell  of Virginia fell toward the termination of the action, and had time after the  mortal wound only to observe that "as the British fled, he died contented."

Colonel Stuart wrote Sir Henry Clinton a detail of the affair, in the pompous style of  victory; but notwithstanding, he arrogated so much on the occasion, the action at  the Eutaw Springs put a period to all farther offensive operation in that quarter. And the  British troops after this seldom ventured far beyond the boundaries of  Charleston.  Besides the numbers slain in this action, 400 or 500 of the British troops  were made prisoners of war.  The Americans suffered equally, and perhaps in  greater proportion tot heir numbers than the British. Not less than 500 men and upwards  of 60 officers were killed or captured, besides the wounded.  After this  action, General Greene retired again for a time to the heights bordering on the River  Santee.

A new face to affairs now soon appeared in the city.  The royal army had been so much  reduced by the vigilance and activity of General Greene that what had been  denominated by some writer a re-action of events, began to operate.  The British  adherents to monarchy in Charleston, and the power and influence of royal  government, were in a short time brought very low.  Consequently, the sufferings of  those who had triumphed in the depression and subjugation of their countrymen  were felt with almost equal rigor and severity to that which had been inflicted on the  opposers of British authority, when their commanders in all the insolence of  conquest, contemplated the certainty of the subjugation of the southern states.

Governor Rutledge had left the state of South Carolina and repaired to Philadelphia,  after the surrender of Charleston.  He now returned and reaffirmed the reins of  government.  Soon after his arrival in his native state, the Governor published a  proclamation offering pardon, on certain conditions, to all who had been aiding the  British service, except such as had signed addresses, and voluntarily taken commissions  to support the arms and authority of Great Britain.

The injunctions contained in this proclamation, dated September 27, were rigorously  executed.  All those who were implicated as opposed either in principle or  practice to the interests or to the arm of their won country, felt heavily the reverse of a  change of masters.  The Governor, feeling not only the miseries in which has  native state had been so long involved, but the highest indignation at the treatment  received by individuals and the inflictions imposed on many by the severity of  Rawdon and Balfour, suffered his resentment to fall indiscriminately on all the partisans  of royalty.

Many who had reaped the sweets of changing with the times, by availing themselves of  the property of those who had fled, were now compelled by the Governor to  fly from their agreeable plantations.  This description of people had seized the villas of  those who had taken their standard under congressional protection, rather than  relinquish their independence by becoming subjects of the King of England.

They had occupied without the city the best accommodated situations which had before  belonged to the captured or exiled inhabitants, who had opposed the British  invasion.  This class of persons were now reduced to the necessity of removing into a  town still occupied by foreign troops.  Driven into the city, and shut up with  their families in inconvenient huts, the reverse of the easy accommodations to which  they had lately been used, and the affluence which some of them had formerly  possessed, any of them fell a prey to sickness, and the concomitant miseries of war.

Nor less aggravated were the distresses of those inhabitants within the city, whose  fidelity to their country could not be shaken, and whose connections were in arms  without.  They suffered every kind of distress, yet with the most heroic firmness, and  even the ladies, in many instances, gave a glorious example of female fortitude.   They submitted patiently to inconveniences never before felt, to hardships they had  never expected; and wept in secret the miseries of their country, and their  separation from their tenderest connections, with whim they were forbidden all  intercourse, and were not permitted the soft alleviation of the exchange of letters.   With becoming dignity, they had secluded themselves from the gaieties of the city; and  refused on all occasions, to partake of any amusements in company with  British officers; while with a charitable hand, they visited and soothed, whenever  possible,  the miserable victims crowded on board prison ships and thrust into jails.

Their conduct was resented by the officers of the army who themselves affronted them  and exposed them to insults of every kind, instead of defending the tender and  helpless sex, as is justly expected and required by the laws of civilization and humanity.   But the busy hand of time was ripening events that put a period to their  afflictions. At least, for such of them as lived through the perils and hardships of the  siege, the capture of their city, the waste of their property, the exile from their  families and sufferings too many to recount, which are usually inflicted on the  vanquished by the conqueror.

Among those who lived to return from their banishment to St. Augustine, was the  venerable Gadsden, who, through all the shocks of fortune, the rotation of events  which he experience was never shaken in his principles.  He had always deserved and  retained the confidence of his country. A firm, uniform republican, he as  chosen a member of the General Congress which met at New York in 1765.  He was a  worthy delegate in the respected Assembly which assumed and declared the  independence of the United States. He had no predilection in favor of kings, and was  ever averse to monarchic institutions and usages.  This was probably a reason  why he suffered such particular severities from the British commander.   Notwithstanding his long confinement in the castle of St. Augustine, and his own  personal  sufferings, he lived to exemplify his humanity and generosity toward persons who had  been accessory, if not principals, in instigating the British officers to cruelties  toward him, which they would not otherwise have practiced.

The General Assembly of the state as called upon to meet at Jacksonborough, the  beginning of the ensuring year.  Their constitution required a rotation of office,  which rendered Mr. Rutledge ineligible to serve longer as their first magistrate.  In  consequence of this, Mr. Gadsden as chosen governor; but his advanced age an  declining health induced him to refuse the laborious talk. This was a period of peculiar  difficulty, in the administration of the civil affairs of the state. In the sessions at  Jacksonborough, there was little lenity exercised toward that description of persons who  had taken British protections, or had in any manner abetted their measures,  either in the city or the field.  Their property was confiscated, many of their persons  condemned to banishment, and the most rigorous prosecutions commenced  against all suspected persons.

Though Mr. Gadsden had declined acting as governor of the state, he did not sit down an  inactive spectator of the infringements of humanity or justice in society, into  which persons might be hurried by an over-heated zeal, or the want of a proper restraint  on the prejudices and passions of men.  He vigorously opposed the  proceedings of the assembly, which cut off the loyalists from returning to their  allegiance, even if they wished it, and sitting down quietly in the bosom of their country. It is now time to leave for the present, the deranged state of their civil police, and the  hostile confusion which still pervaded the two most southern colonies, South  Carolina and Georgia, and pursue the narrative of the march of the British army through  North Carolina.  The slaughter that accompanied his route, through every  stage of its progress, is an unpleasant tale. There appeared few interludes of humane and  generous deportment toward the miserable, from the borders of South  Carolina, until Lord Cornwallis reached the important stand in Virginia, which finished  his career of military fame and success, and again humbled the proud glory of  the British arms, beneath the standard of the Americans.

But before we follow the conqueror of Charleston in his pursuit of new victories in the  more central part of the union, we will just observe that no one of the 13  United States felt more severely the fatal consequences of revolutionary convulsions,  than that of South Carolina. Many of the best of its citizens perished in the  conflict; others, from independence and opulence were reduced to the lowest grade of  hopeless penury, while they beheld with astonishment, the sudden  accumulation of fortune by those whom they had viewed as a subordinate class, now  grown up to incalculable wealth, amid confusion and depredation.  The  convenient situations for commerce which they had formerly occupied, were soon after  possessed by British agents, sent on at the close of the war to reap the  gleanings of property, by the demands of  speedy liquidation of old British debts.

Those debts could not be discharged by men whose plantations were ruined, their slaves  enticed or stolen away, and every other species of property wasted in the  general pillage.  Their capital had bee held for a considerable time as a conquered city,  by the invaders of life, liberty, an property, sanctioned by the authority of the  King of England. It is obvious that his patronage and protection should forever have  nurtured the peace,  prosperity, an growth of the American colonies.  But  interest and policy dictated the wisdom of this line of conduct which would have  prevented the irretrievable blow, which rent in sunder the Empire of Britain.

But as a wounded limb, pruned or bent downwards, yet not destroyed by the hand of the  rude invader sometimes revives and flourishes with new vigor, while the  parent stock is weakened and its decay accelerated by the exuberance of its former  luxury and strength, so may some future period behold the United Colonies,  notwithstanding their depression and their energetic struggles for freedom, revivified,  and raised to a degree of political consideration that may convince the parent  state of the importance of this loss.  They may perhaps be taught to dread any future  rupture with a people grown strong by oppression, and become respectable  among all nations, for their manly resistance to the tyrannous hand stretched out to  enslave them.


Chapter Twenty:  Lord Cornwallis marches to Wilmington. Marquis de la Fayette sent  to Virginia. Death of General Phillips.  Lord Cornwallis moves from Petersburg to Williamsburg. Dissonant opinions between  him and Sir Henry Clinton. Crosses  James River.  Takes post at Portsmouth. Indecision of Sir Henry Clinton. Meditates an  attack on Philadelphia. The project  relinquished.

In the first moments of victory, the mind is generally elate with the expectation of  applause, and the prospect of additional fame. This was exemplified in the conduct  of Lord Cornwallis when the retreating Americans had turned their faces from the field  at Guilford, and left him to publish proclamations, invitations, and pardon to  the inhabitants of the south.  The scepter of mercy was held out to them, on condition  that they were sufficiently humbled to become the obedient subjects of those  who had destroyed their liberty, their property, and the lives of their friends, to obtain  inglorious conquest, and arbitrary dominion.

He was a man of understanding and sagacity, though not so thoroughly acquainted with  the natural feelings of mankind as to escape a disappointment from the  conduct of the Carolinians.  They revolted at the idea of seeing one American state after  another subdued and laid low at the feet of foreign conquerors.  Many,  whose minds had been held in a neutral state previous to this period, now repaired with  great precipitation to the congressional officers and enlisted under their  banners for the defense of their native country.

Lord Cornwallis, after the action at Guilford and the retreat of General Greene, lost no  time in expediting his previous plans of military arrangements; and,  consistently with his own character, he soon moved to endeavor to prosecute them with  success.  He had reason to calculate that when he had finished a long and  fatiguing march which lay before him, that he should meet General Phillips in Virginia,  with a large body of troops, and by their junction impede all resistance, and  reestablish the authority of their master in that rebellious state.  Instead of a completion  of these expectations, he had when he arrived there only to witness a fresh  instance of the uncertainty of human hope, followed by a train of new disappointments.

The British commander immediately hastened by the most convenient route to  Wilmington, and from thence to Petersburg. Innumerable difficulties had attended Lord  Cornwallis and his army in his march from Guilford to Wilmington; but in his judgment,  the march was absolutely necessary.  Such was the situation and distress of  the troops and so great were the sufferings of the sick and wounded that he had no  option left after they had decamped from the field of battle and moved to Cross  Creek.  The army was obliged to pass a long way through a perfect desert where there  were neither provisions for their subsistence nor water sufficient to carry the  mills, even could they have procured a supply of corn.  At the same time, he had reason  to expect that the whole country east of the Santee and Pendee would be in  arms against them, notwithstanding his previous proclamation and promise of pardon,  on his leaving Guilford.

He wrote Sir Henry Clinton, after his arrival at Wilmington, that he had reason to  suppose many who had taken part in the rebellion had been convinced of their  error and were desirous to return to their duty and allegiance; that he had promised them  pardon, with few exceptions, on the surrendering of themselves, their arms,  and ammunition; and that they should be permitted to return home, on giving a military  parole; that their persons and properties should be protected from violence;  and, as soon as possible, that they should be restored to all the privileges of legal and  constitutional government.

 These specious promises had little effect on the alienated inhabitants. No allurements  could induce them to join heartily in assisting the British commander to  subjugate their native land.  Their defection daily increased; and a more thorough  aversion to the designs and the authority of the British government almost  universally appeared.  This, His Lordship himself attested.  He observed afterwards in a  letter to Sir Henry Clinton that "after the complete victory at Guilford, his  numbers did not increase, though he had stayed two days near the field of action." His  Lordship acknowledged that though he had marched through the part of the  country where he had reason to suppose he had the most friends, he found himself  equally disappointed and mortified.  He observed that "Many of the inhabitants  rode into camp, shook me by the hand, said they were glad to see me, and to hear that  we had beaten Greene, and then rode home again; for I could not get a  hundred men in all the Regulators' country to stay with me, even as militia." [See Lord  Cornwallis's letter to Sir Henry Clinton, April 10, 1780.]

This must have been a very unpleasant prelude to His Lordship's march through a  forlorn wilderness, interspersed with deep rivers, which must greatly impede an  army encumbered with sick and wounded, who were, many of them, obliged to travel in  wagons, while all were scantily provided with clothes, shoes, or provisions.  But notwithstanding all impediments, they reached Wilmington April 7.

There, the commander found new sources of anxiety. He felt his apprehensions  increased on account of the situation of Lord Rawdon, on whom the command had  devolved when Lord Cornwallis left Guilford. He had left with him only 900 mean; but  whatever dangers his little army might be exposed to from the pursuit of  General Greene, which was now ascertained it was impossible for Lord Cornwallis to  tread back his steps to their assistance.  These considerations determined His  Lordship to take the advantage of General Greene's having left the back part of Virginia  open, to march immediately into that state.

As he had received express in junctions from Sir Henry Clinton, to leave the Carolinas  as soon as possible and repair to Virginia to the aid of General Phillips. It was  his opinion, that his own movements were not optional. This officer had been sent  forward to the Chesapeake with a reinforcement, in order to support the measures  Sir Henry Clinton had, early in the preceding winter, adopted, and for a time had  entrusted General Arnold to prosecute.

Previous to Lord Cornwallis's removal from Wilmington, he wrote General Phillips that  he was in great distress at the reflection that General Greene had taken the  advantage of his absence and had marched towards South Carolina; that he had  endeavored to warn Lord Rawdon of this danger; but that he had reason to think his  dispatches had been intercepted. He observed that "the mountaineers and militia had  poured into the back parts of that province; and he much feared that Lord  Rawdon's posts would be so distant from each other and his troops so scattered as to put  him into the greatest danger of being beat in detail; and that the worst of  consequences might happen to most of the troops out of Charleston.  By a direct move  towards Camden, I cannot get there time enough to relive Lord Rawdon;  and should he have fallen, my army would be exposed to the utmost dangers, from the  great rivers I should have to pass, the exhausted state of the country, the  numerous militia, the almost universal spirit of revolt which prevails in South Carolina,  and the strength of Greene's army, whose continentals alone are almost as  numerous as I am."

His Lordship seemed, however, determined to make a feint in favor of Lord Rawdon by  moving towards Hillsborough;.  Yet he did not seem to expect much  advantage could result therefrom.  His situation was such that he appeared embarrassed  in his decisions. Nor could he easily determine, under the difficulty of  existing circumstances, what line of conduct would best promote the general cause in  which he was engaged.  In Lord Cornwallis's letter to General Phillips, from  which an extract is given above, dated Wilmington, April 24, 1781, he informed him  that an attempt to march from thence to Virginia was exceedingly hazardous;  and that many unforeseen difficulties might render it totally impracticable; that he  should, however, endeavor to surmount them, and, as soon as possible, attempt to  march on to Roanoke. In the mean time, he cautioned General Phillips to take no steps  that might expose the army with him to ruin, if in any event their junction  should be retarded.  He urged him to transmit the earliest intelligence from time to time,  until circumstances should admit of his meeting him at Petersburg.

General Washington, soon after Arnold's embarkation from New York, had ordered a  detachment of continental troops, under the command of the Marquis de la  Fayette, to follow, to watch the motions, and, if possible, to defeat the sanguinary  purposes of this newly converted agent to execute the designs of their enemies and  waste the blood of his countryman.

A French squadron had lately arrived at Rhode Island, a part of which, it was expected,  would soon repair to the Chesapeake, under and able and experience naval  commander, the Count de Barras.  High expectations were formed by every class of  Americans that the assistance of France this year would be sufficient to enable  the armies of the United States to counteract, if not to defeat, the designs of the British  commanders in their several departments.

Sir Henry Clinton, apprised of these circumstances, and very apprehensive for the safety  of his friends in Virginia, judged it necessary there should be no further  delay in sending a more respectable force to that quarter to strengthen the hands of  General Arnold.  Arnold had, on his first arrival in Virginia, landed at Westover  and marched to Richmond, destroying all before him, with little or no opposition.  He  had assisted in his marauding exploits by Colonel Simcoe, who marched from  Richmond to Westham, and there destroyed one of the finest foundries for cannon in all  America.  They burnt, plundered, and destroyed everything before them as  they moved.  Yet Sir Henry Clinton was convinced that their numbers were not  sufficient to facilitate his wishes and subdue the state, without a more strong and  respectable force.  In consequence of this determination, he had ordered Major General  Phillips, with 4000 men, to repair immediately to Virginia to succor Arnold.   He likewise had directed Lord Cornwallis to form a junction with General Phillips, as  soon as the affairs of Carolina would admit of his transferring his command  there, and leaving that state. By some expressions in the order, it seemed to e left  discretionary with His Lordship to move when and where he thought proper;.  Yet  in consequence of this call and the reasons annexed thereto, he thought himself  obligated to hasten his march to meet General Phillips, according to the directions of  Sir Henry Clinton.

Lord Cornwallis, notwithstanding all the discouraging circumstances which he had  encountered and which at times still seemed to increase before him, did not lose  sight of the objects of conquest, victory, and glory, to be acquired in Virginia.  So prone  is man to anticipate the completion of his own wishes that he continues to  cherish them even after probabilities cease to exist.  Thus the confidence of His  Lordship had in the military abilities of Lord Rawdon, the repeated defeat of General  Greene, and the broken state of his army, from the frequent instances of flight and  desertion, still  flattered him with ideas that the Carolinas might yet be subdued.

These considerations induced him to hasten his march toward the state of Virginia. His  troops were indeed in a miserable condition for a march of 300 miles, in a  hostile country, where they could not avail themselves of its produce, however  necessary for their subsistence, without being impeded by skirmishing parties.  Both  the cavalry and infantry were in a very destitute situation, with regard to forage,  provisions, and clothing; but these were not impediments sufficient to stop the  progress of veteran troops, with an able commander at their head.  They began their  march on April 25 and arrived at Petersburg on May 20.

The route from Guilford to Wilmington, and from Wilmington to Petersburg as attended  with unusual fatigue and difficulty. Yet Lord Cornwallis moved with  cheerfulness and alacrity, supported by the sanguine expectation and pleasing idea of  triumph in the reduction of Virginia, in addition to the conquest of the  Carolinas.  Groundless as were these expectations, His Lordship, at the time, flattered  himself that the work of subduing the Carolinas was nearly finished and that  they should soon only have to take measures for retaining in obedience those turbulent  and refractory states. But when he had completed his march and arrived the  destined spot, that opened to his imagination new scenes of glory and victory, he found,  on every side, embarrassments that he had not contemplated, and  disappointments that wounded both his personal feelings as a friend, and his military  pride as an officer.

He met at Petersburg the melancholy tidings of the death of General Phillips, from  whose acknowledged military talents an experience, he had reason to expect  advice and assistance in every exigency.  This brave and judicious officer, who had so  often staked his life in the field of battle, fell a victim to sickness.  Lord  Cornwallis had no opinion of Arnold. He despised him as a man or an officer, and hated  his as a traitor.  He wrote to Sir Henry Clinton that he experience had made  him less sanguine; and that more arrangements were necessary for so important an   expedition as the present, than had ever occurred to General Arnold.  To this,  His Lordship added many other expressions of contempt and disgust, for the new  

favorite of the British commander in chief..

It is not strange that many officers among the gallant troops of Great Britain, men of  name an distinction should be much chagrined at the rank given to and the  confidence placed in this unprincipled minimum.

Before his death it had appeared, that Major General Phillips, who had formerly suffered  by the bravery of Arnold and his associates, was manifestly pique at the  attention paid to his advice and the anxiety shown by Sir Henry Clinton for his  safety. Phillips had but recently obtained his liberty after the Convention of  Saratoga. Exchanged for General Lincoln, this expedition to Virginia was his first  command of any magnitude, after his release.  He found in the ordered received  from General Clinton some mortifying expressions and a letter that accompanied them  contained still more.  Clinton had indiscreetly intimated therein to General  Philips that "the security of Arnold and his troops at Elizabeth River was the principal  object of Phillips's expedition to Virginia."  For this expression, General Clinton  found himself afterwards obliged to apologize. It was deemed grossly affrontive to a  high spirited officer of the rank, merits, and military abilities possessed by  General Phillips.

From the circumstances already related, it appears clearly that Lord Cornwallis's route  from Charleston to Virginia was long, hazardous, and fatiguing.  He had not  traversed less than 1100 or 1200 miles when he reached Cobham on James River,  including the necessary circuitous marches he was obliged to make to avoid  rivers, rapids, mountains, and other impediments to ease or expedition in traveling.

From this place, he wrote some of his most desponding and discontented letters to  General Clinton.  He found the British troops scattered in small detachments an  posted at a distance from each other in various parts of the country.  He observed to Sir  Henry Clinton, "One maxim appears to me to be absolutely necessary for  the safe and honorable conduct of this war -- which is, that we should have as few posts  as possible; and that wherever the King's troops are, they should be in  respectable force.  By the vigorous exertions of the present governors of America, large  bodies of men are soon collected; and I have too often observed that when  a storm threatens, our friends disappear."

Before Lord Cornwallis left Cobham, he observed in a letter to General Clinton that "he  wished to call his attention to the inutility of a stand at an offensive post that  could have no influence on the war that still existed in Carolina and that only gave them  a few acres of unhealthy swamp in Virginia, liable at any time to become a  prey to the enemy, without any superiority of force." [Lord Cornwallis's letter from  Cobham, James River.]

From his first arrival in Virginia, he had declined acting with General Arnold; but he  was not long mortified with the sight or the society of a man he so much  detested.  He did not reach Petersburg until May 20, and in the beginning of June, he  was relieve from an associate so disagreeable to the feeling of a man of honor,  by Arnold's return to New York.

Sir Henry Clinton had various reasons for the recall of this officer.  These he did not  announce; but he doubtless through that from his constitutional boldness and the  desperate situation in which he would be found if defeated by the Americans, that  Arnold would be a useful agent if New York should be seriously attacked. But  the principal design appeared soon after to be that of employing him in a business for  which he was peculiarly calculated; the surprise, the plundering, and the burning  of plantations and defenseless towns on the sea coast of the state of Connecticut and  other places.

The unexpected and much lamented death of General Phillips and the recall of General  Arnold, a man held odious by Cornwallis in every point of view, left his  Lordship the sole responsibility for events in Virginia; and perhaps the movements and  termination of the campaign there were conducted with as much judgment, ability, and military skill as could have been exhibited by any officer involved in similar  difficulties and embarrassments.

It was not many weeks after Lord Cornwallis arrived in Virginia before the intelligence  he received from the southward filled him with the most serious and alarming  apprehensions for the safety of Lord Rawdon.  He found by the most authenticated  accounts that General Greene had taken the advantage of his absence and had  moved with all possible expedition toward the environs of Charleston; that success had  attended his maneuvers in various instances; and that Lord Rawdon had a  frequently been disappointed in his systems.  To return, and follow him, was  impracticable; though, in his opinion, the Carolinas were in the utmost danger of being  lost to Great Britain.  Yet the work assigned him in Virginia, required the talents and the  vigilance of the ablest commander.

On his arrival in that state, he found the Americans in high spirits, and their troops  strongly posted on the most convenient ground.  He found that General Arnold  had done little to facilitate the conquest of Virginia. He had indeed burnt several houses,  destroyed some stores, and murdered many of the inhabitants; but no  consistent plan of conquest appeared to have been either arranged or executed.  His  Lordship also felt heavily the death of General Phillips, from whom he expected  much information and advice, in the critical emergencies that opened upon him the  farther he advanced.

The orders of General Clinton were peremptory, and to Cornwallis appeared inscrutable;  and in addition to the list of perplexities and disappointments that daily  thickened upon him, he received orders from Sir Henry Clinton to send on a part of his  troops for the defense of New York, which he still apprehended would soon  be attacked by the combined armies of France and America.

Thus, embarrassed on every fide, his own systems deranged, his judgment slighted, and  his opinions disregarded by the commander in chief, His Lordship as  evidently chagrined. Yet he lost not the vigilance or activity of an officer of  distinguished valor; and soon made an effort to concentrate this troops, and to place the  main body of his army in the posts he judged best calculated for defense.  In this he  differed widely in opinion from Sir Henry Clinton; but finally took his stand at  Yorktown, in obedience to the orders of the commander in chief.

The Marquis de la Fayette had not been idle before the arrival of Lord Cornwallis; and  afterwards aided by the judgment and experience of the Baron de Steuben,  who arrived in the month of June, he kept the British troops in play for some time.  But  the number of his troops was inconsiderable, and most of them militia men.  They were easily routed in detached bodies by the more experienced partisans who  opposed them. Besides many officers of superior name and character, in the  train of Lord Cornwallis, he was attended with very many who had no higher  description of talent, than what was necessary for sudden and bold invasion of the  weak and defenseless, without any relentings, or compassionate feelings toward the  victims who fell into their hands.  In a war like the present, they had many  opportunities of indulging their propensities, and exhibiting those talents.

The violent and cruel vigilance of Colonel Tarleton is already too well known to require  any comment.  Among other British partisans of notoriety, was a Colonel  Hamilton, who had distinguished himself for his activity and his severity, from Georgia  to Virginia.  Not less active than either of the above, was a Colonel Simcoe,  more remarkable for intrigue, stratagem, and surprise than for the cool operations of the  commander of magnanimity.  The courage which is accompanies by  humanity is a virtue; but bravery that pushes through all dangers to destroy is barbarous,  is savage, is brutal.

These were the principal officers at the time, that headed the detachments in most of the  marauding parties that infested the state of Virginia. Simcoe had  distinguished himself in this way through the Jerseys, until taken prisoner by the  Americans. When he recovered his liberty, he pursued the game; and became so  perfect in the art of coup de main that in one of this excursions in Virginia, he eluded  event the vigilance of the Baron Steuben, so far as to oblige him to remove with  precipitation from an advantageous post, not without considerable loss.

Lord Cornwallis himself detailed some of the heroic feats of this trio in a letter to Sir  Henry Clinton, dated Williamsburg, June 30. The principal design of His  Lordship as by their movements to prevent the junction of General Wayne, who was  marching through Maryland to the assistance of the Marquis de la Fayette.  He  pushed his light troops over a river in haste in order to effect this, if possible.  Finding it  impractical, and that in spite of all his efforts General Wayne had made good  his march and reached his intended post, he took the advantage of the Marquis's passing  the Rappahannock, and detached Lieutenant Colonels Simcoe and Tarleton  to disturb the Assembly of the state, then sitting at Charlotteville.  The result of this  excursion was the capture of several of the members of the Assembly, and the  waste of the continental stores in that quarter.  They destroyed at Charlotteville and on  their return 1000 stand of arms, 500 barrels of powder, and a large quantity  of other military accouterments and provisions.

The Baron Steuben had his station at this time, at the point of Fork. He was surprised  and obliged to retreat after a short rencounter. Simcoe followed and used  every exertion to attack his rear guard. Not effecting this, he destroyed, as usual, all the  continental stores which lay in their way.  There, and in places adjacent, the  Americans lost 3000 or 4000 stand of arms and a large quantity of powder and other  store.  The Baron had with him in this affray about 800 men, mostly militia.

After this, Lord Cornwallis moved himself to Williamsburg. There he gave fully and  freely to Sir Henry Clinton, his opinion of the only mode of effecting the security  of South and the reduction of North Carolina, which he found was expected from him  both in England and America. He observed that, in his judgment, "until Virginia  was subdued, they could not reduce North Carolina or have any certain hold of the back  country of South Carolina; the want of navigation rendering it impossible to  maintain a sufficient army in either of those provinces at a considerable distance from  the coast; and the men and riches of Virginia furnishing ample supplies to the  rebel southern army.  I will not say much in praise of the militia of the southern  colonies; but the list of British officers and soldiers killed and wounded by them since  last June, proves but too fatally that they are not wholly contemptible." [See Lord  Cornwallis's letter to General Clinton, dated Williamsburg, June 30, 1781.]

It appears from all the correspondence and conferences between Sir Henry Clinton,  General Phillips, and other officers, that the British commander in chief had  seriously contemplated an excursion to Philadelphia.  He intimated in one of his letters  to General Phillips, not long before his death, that they probably had more  friends who would cooperate with them in the state of Pennsylvania than either in  Maryland or Virginia.  He seems to have been led to this opinion by the  representations of a Colonel Rankin. He urged this as an experiment that would redound  much to the advantage of Lord Cornwallis's operations in Virginia.  General  Clinton clearly discovered that he had a predilection, himself, in favor of the project.  He  asked the advice of the Generals Phillips and Arnold on the subject, after he  had appeared to be predetermined to make the experiment.

When it was disclosed to Lord Cornwallis by General Phillips's letters falling into his  hands, he did not hesitate to remonstrate against drawing off 4000 men from  Virginia for service in the Delaware, in this critical exigency of affairs in all the more  southern colonies.  He observed in the same letter from which an extract is given  above that Sir Henry Clinton, being charged with the weight of the whole American  war, his opinions, of course, were less partial, and were directed to all its parts;  and that to those opinions it was his duty implicitly to submit.

He then adds that "Being in the place of General Phillips, I thought myself called upon  by you to give my opinion on the attempt on Philadelphia.  Having experienced  much disappointment on that head, I own I would cautiously engage in measures,  depending materially for their success on the active assistance from the country;  and I thought the attempt on Philadelphia would do more harm than good to the cause of  Britain; because, supposing it practical to get possession of the town,  (which, besides other obstacles, if the redoubts are kept up, would not be easy) we could  not hope to arrive without their having had sufficient warning of our  approach to enable them to secure specie, and the greatest part of their valuable public  stores, by means of their boats and shipping."

The difficulty in discriminating friends from foes in Philadelphia, the improbability that  they could continue long there if they succeeded, the stronger necessity for all  the troops that could be spared from New York to act in Virginia, and the hazard that  would attend an attack on Philadelphia were circumstances that induced Lord  Cornwallis very judiciously to portray them in his letters to Sir Henry Clinton, as an  object where the balance of the risk far outweighed any promise of advantage.

It may easily be supposed that those free opinions and advice, which he considered as  obtruded, could not be very acceptable to the commander in chief at New  York. More especially, as it as evident there had long existed heart burnings and  jealousies between Sir Henry Clinton and Lord Cornwallis.  These were heightened  by the warm altercations between them, with regard to the most convenient and  advantageous posts for defense, as well as the arrangements for offensive  operations.

The encampment of the Marquis de la Fayette was at this time about 18 or 20 miles  from Williamsburg.  He had with him about 2000 men.  This was a number far  too short for any offensive movements against such a strong and forcible British army as  was then posted in Virginia.  He was in impatient expectation of  reinforcements, which he had now reason to conclude as certain, from the junction of  the American and French troops commanded by the Count de Rochambeau.   But the Marquis was obliged to act again, before there was time for his relief by the  arrival of his friends.

Lord Cornwallis endeavored before the middle of July to cross James River and pass his  army to Portsmouth.  The Marquis de la Fayette sent forward the  Pennsylvania line, with some other detachments, to impede their passage.  This brought  on a smart engagement, which terminated with considerable loss on both  sides.  The approach of evening, with other disadvantageous circumstances, obliged the  Americans to retreat, leaving the few cannon they had with them behind.   The darkness of the night prevented a pursuit.  The next day the British passed the river;  but not without some difficulty from its width, which was about three miles.

The Marquis de la Fayette, through the difficulties which he had to encounter in  Virginia, had on all occasions conducted with more valor, caution, prudence, and  judgment than could have been expected from so young an officer.  When the Baron de  Steuben joined him in the month of June, he had few men under his  command, expect the militia, whose numbers were indeterminate, and the time of their  continuance in service always uncertain.  Yet much generalship and military  address had been shown on various occasions, both by the young hero and the aged  veteran.  They, through all the summer, opposed the vigilance and superior  force of Lord Cornwallis, with great courage and dexterity.

Lord Cornwallis had made several judicious attempts to surprise the Marquis with his  little armament, consisting, as His Lordship occasionally observed, "mostly of  unarmed peasantry."  But wary and brave, his ability and judgment had supplied the  deficiencies, and balanced the weakness of his detachment; and before the  arrival of the Generals Washington and Rochambeau, the Marquis de la Fayette had  rendered very essential service to the American cause by his valor and firmness  in the state of Virginia.

Lord Cornwallis had been but a few days at Portsmouth before he received a letter from  Sir Henry Clinton, censuring him in direct terms for attempting to pass  James River, and taking his stand at Portsmouth, though he had before recommended  this to General Philips, as a convenient post.  He observed that he had  flattered himself, until he had the honor to receive His Lordship's letter of July 8, "that  upon reconsidering the general purport of our correspondence, and General  Phillips's papers in your possession, you would at least have waited for a line from me in  answer to your letter of the 30th ultimo, before you finally determined upon  so serious and mortifying a move as the repassing James River and retiring your army to  Portsmouth.  And I was the more induced to hope that this would have been  the case as we both seemed to agree in our opinion of the propriety of taking a healthy  station on the neck between the York and James Rivers, for the purpose of  covering a proper harbor for our line of battle ships."

Through all his correspondence, orders, commands, countermands, and indecision,  during the present summer, no man ever appeared more embarrassed, or more  totally at a loss how to arrange his military maneuvers than did General Clinton.  He  appeared at time to consider the reduction of Virginia as a primary object, and  that it was of the highest importance that Lord Cornwallis should be there strengthened  and supported both by sea and land.  At other periods, he treated the  operations there in so light a manner that his ideas could not be comprehended even by  so intelligent an officer as Lord Cornwallis.

It was not more than three or four weeks previous to the date of the above letter that Sir  Henry Clinton had pressed His Lordship, as if in a sudden fright, to send  him 2000 troops to aid in the defense of New York; and, as if under some panic-struck  influence, he said, "The sooner they are sent, the better; unless Your  Lordship may have adopted my plan to move to Baltimore or the Delaware Neck and  put yourself in a way to cooperate with us; but even in that case, you can  spare us something, I suppose.  From all the letters I have seen, I am of opinion, if  circumstances of provisions, stores, etc., turn out as they wish, that the enemy will  certainly attack this post.  As for men for such an object, in this (circumstanced as they  suppose it to be) it cannot be doubted that they can raise a sufficient  number."

Sir Henry Clinton had found by an intercepted letter that there were 8000 men collected  at West Point, and that others were coming in very fast.  He informed  Cornwallis that he had certain intelligence that Admiral Barras had sailed from Rhode  Island; that many circumstances had put it beyond a doubt that the design was  to form a junction between him and General Washington, and that they meditated an  attempt on the post at New York.

It is needless to detail much more of the correspondence of the British officers acting at  this time in America. Their characters are sufficiently elucidated, not only by  their own letters, but by subsequent transactions.  It is enough to observe that by the  correspondence of the general officers, afterwards published in England, it  clearly appears that they did not harmonize in opinion. Their councils at this time were  confused, and their plans indecisive.

Yet it is worthy of notice that distrust, dissension, and vilification were kept up equally  between some of the British naval commanders and Sir Henry Clinton.  In one  of his confidential letters, he complained that "all opportunities of advantage were  impeded or lost by the slowness and obstinacy of the Admiral."  He observed that  "his strange conduct had, if possible, been more inscrutable than ever. At one time, he  declared he was immediately going home. At another, he had sworn he know  nothing of his recall.

In a secret and confidential letter to General Phillips, Sir Henry Clinton assured him that  "if he was not better satisfied by the next post, relative to the recall of  Admiral Graves,  he should probably leave the management of him solely to Lord  Cornwallis." [See General Clinton's vindicatory letters.] In this letter he censured  His Lordship in direct terms for leaving the Carolinas but half  subdued to pursue the  chimerical project of doubtful conquests in Virginia.  He asserted that his  invitation, not his commands to His Lordship, to come to the Chesapeake  was on the  supposition that everything was settled in the Carolinas, agreeably to the  wishes of administration and the designs of the government of England.

Sure of the confidence of General Phillips, Sir Henry Clinton expressed the utmost  astonishment that "with nine British battalions, a legion of infantry, a detachment of  yaughers, five Hessian and several provincial battalions, some American light horse, and  large detachments of artillery and dragoons, that Lord Cornwallis should yet  pretend that he wanted forces sufficient for the most solid operation in Virginia."  [General Clinton's letter to Major General Phillips, April 1781, printed in England  with his other letters.]

He sneered at His Lordship's idea, that it was impossible to act with his army in  Carolina, without the assistance of friends.  This reflection alluded to a letter received  by him, in which Lord Cornwallis observed that the royal cause had few friends in that  country, and that when a storm threatened, even those few disappeared.  An  historian had observed that "Chofroes relinquished the Cochian war in the just  persuasion that it is impossible to hold a distant country against the wishes and efforts  of its inhabitants." [Gibbon on the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.] His Lordship  might probably be of the same opinion.  This opinion was justified by hi own  experience, in too many mortifying instances for the tranquility of a man of his  sensibility.

It has been above observed that by the sudden death of General Phillips, all these letters  fell into the hands of Lord Cornwallis, with several others of the same style  and tenor.  This circumstance greatly aggravated the dissension and disgust between the  commander officers in New York and Virginia.  Yet, notwithstanding the  implied censure or reproach which they contained, in most of Sir Henry Clinton's letters  afterwards to Lord  Cornwallis, he had written with great complaisance, and  had express the highest confidence in His Lordship's abilities and judgment. But the  breach became irreconcilable.

Through the whole business, Lord Cornwallis constantly affirmed that his force was  insufficient even for defensive operations.  He took the liberty to intimate to Sir  Henry Clinton that notwithstanding there had been a call for a part of his troops for the  defense of New York, that he had never been under any apprehensions for  the safety of that city.  With the same freedom, he remonstrated against a plan that had  been meditated by the commander in chief at New York, for an attack on the  city of Philadelphia.

His Lordship asserted with some degree of warmth that it appeared to him highly  imprudent that any par of his army should be detached for that or any other  purpose.  But he observed further that in his subordinate situation, unacquainted with the  instructions of administration, ignorant of the forces under the command of  His Excellency General Clinton, and without the power of making arrangements, he  could only offer his opinion: that plans of execution must come from himself, who  had the materials for forming as well as the power of executing.

These remonstrances had little weight with the British commander in chief. It appears  through all  their correspondence that these gentlemen differed very widely in  opinion with regard to the modes of action, the numbers necessary for effective  execution, the best posts for defense, and indeed in the general plan of all their  operations.  However, Sir Henry Clinton still kept up the idea of supporting the war in  Virginia, and of aiding Lord Cornwallis to the utmost, notwithstanding he had  sent an order to draw off a par of his troops.

After he was thoroughly alarmed at the hazardous situation of the commander in  Virginia, he relinquished his chimerical project of attacking Philadelphia; he  countermanded the orders for drawing off a considerable part of the troops; and  endeavored to hasten on a small squadron of British ships then lying at Sandy  Hook. He flattered himself that a few ships under the flag of Britain might intercept the  fleet and interrupt the designs of Admiral Barras, who had sailed from Rhode  Island; or retard a still more important object, the arrival of the Count de Graffe in the  Chesapeake, where he was hourly expected.  He made some other ineffectual  efforts for the relief of the British army, which was soon after cooped up by a large  French fleet that arrived within the Capes.

The dissension, discord, and division of opinion among the British officers was not all  that occasioned the fatal delay of strengthening Lord Cornwallis in Virginia; it  may be ascribed more to that atmosphere of doubt in which Sir Henry Clinton was  involved.  Irresolute measures are ever the result of a confusion of ideas.  The  vast object of reducing such a wide extended country, and setting the wheels of  operation in motion, so as to work with equal facility from Georgia to Virginia, from  Virginia to the north, and from Canada to the eastern extreme, was too wide an extent  for the compass of his ability.

His mind seemed for a time to be plunged in a chaos, uncertain where to begin, in the  complicated difficulties of his official duties, or where to set the strongest  materials of his machinery to work in all its parts, in a manner that would  produce a  complete system of conquest through the United States.  There was no  deficiency of courage, ardor, or fidelity to their master, among the officers of the Crown,  however dissentient in opinion with regard to the modes of execution.  But  these dissensions prevented that ready cooperation in action which is necessary both to  defeat the designs of their enemies and to complete their own systems by  judicious and prompt decision, and the immediate execution of well-digested plans.

The movements of the continental and French army had alarmed Sir Henry Clinton to  such a degree that he long persisted in his determination of recalling a part of  the troops from Virginia for the immediate defense of New York. He informed Lord  Cornwallis that General Washington had with him 8000 or 10,000 men, besides  the French battalions; and observed that everyone acquainted with the disposition of the  inhabitants east of the Hudson must be sensible in what manner their  appearance would affect the numerous and warlike militia of the New England states.

Sir Henry Clinton, doubtful of the farther success of Lord Cornwallis, apprehensive of  an immediate assault on New York, and reasonably calculating the numbers in  array against him as very far superior to his own, lost sight for a time of the dangerous  situation of Lord Cornwallis and the army in Virginia.  To complete the  agitation of his mind, he was now trembling for his sinking reputation, which had been  severely attacked in England.  From these circumstances, his despondency  was nearly equal to his irresolution.  Yet, apparent necessity awakened his energy for  the defense of the city of New York; and every possible step was taken to  meet the combined troops in a manner becoming a British veteran commander.

Lord Cornwallis, with very different ideas, was parrying the attacks of the Americans  then in Virginia, and preparing, as far as possible, for the resistance of stronger  bodies of enemies.  He was persuaded that General Washington and the Count de  Rochambeau, aided by a powerful French fleet, had deeper laid system and were  on the point of disclosing designs of higher magnitude and more important  consequences than had ever been apprehended by Sir Henry Clinton.

The variety of smaller skirmishes, retreats, reprisals, and unexpected rencounters, that  took place on the different rivers and posts in Virginia may at present be left to  advert more particularly to the difficulties of Lord Cornwallis had to contend with and  the dangers he had to combat, previous to the decision of his fortune in that  quarter. He had for a time taken his stand at Portsmouth, but he left that station as soon  as possible; and according to orders from the commander in chief,  concentrated his forces at Yorktown and Gloucester, towards the close of summer, much  against his own judgment.

We have seen that by the indecisions of General Clinton, the delay of reinforcements  both by land and sea, and the general defection and disgust of the Virginians to  any appearance of the authority of the Crown of Britain, there were causes sufficient to  discourage an officer who was ambitious to act with vigor and promptitude.  But these were far from comprising the whole of the gloomy prospect which lay before  Lord Cornwallis.  He had the highest reason to expect the approach of  General Washington, accompanied by the experienced and renowned Rochambeau. At  the same time, he had well grounded expectations of a French fleet in the  Chesapeake to counteract any naval operations on the part of Britain.  This combination  of dangers, added to the inconvenient and indispensable post His Lordship  was impelled to take, reduced him to the most perplexed and embarrassed state of mind.   Yet he supported himself with firmness and magnanimity, until new and  inextricable difficulties led him to despair of the success of the campaign.  This was  apparent by the tenor of his letters, as well as by his general deportment, for  some time previous to the catastrophe of the fatal day, which reduced a nobleman of the  first rank, an officer of the highest military fame and pride, to the condition  of a prisoner.


Volume 1

Volume 3

Typed by hand from the edition of 1805 by Richard Seltzer, modernizing the spelling and punctuation and making other edits for readability. The original three-volume work is 1317 pages long.

This edition Copyright (c) 2002 Richard Seltzer   Permission is granted to make and distribute complete verbatim electronic copies of this item for non-commercial purposes provided the copyright information and this permission notice are preserved on all copies. All other rights reserved. Please contact us first if you are interested in making copies for commercial purposes, Comments welcome.

Mercy wrote early drafts of this work near the time of the events described, and  completed the work about four years before it appeared. She explains the  delay was due to health problems, temporary bouts of blindness, and grief at the death of her only son. privacy statement