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Title: A popular history of the United States of America, Vol. II (of 2_ : from the discovery of the American continent to the present time
Author: Howitt, Mary (Mary Botham)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A popular history of the United States of America, Vol. II (of 2_ : from the discovery of the American continent to the present time" ***


                            POPULAR HISTORY
                                 OF THE
                             UNITED STATES

                            BY MARY HOWITT.

                 Illustrated with Numerous Engravings.

                                VOL. II.

                               NEW YORK:
                     HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
                            FRANKLIN SQUARE.

  Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight
                        hundred and fifty-nine, by

                            HARPER & BROTHERS,

 in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the Southern District of
                                New York.

                          CONTENTS TO VOL. II.

                               CHAPTER I.

                     COMMENCEMENT OF THE GREAT WARS.

 The Austrian succession.—Renewed treaty with the six
 nations.—Breaking out of the war.—Governor Shirley attacks
 Louisburg.—Co-operation of the colonies.—Commodore Warren’s
 squadron.—Siege of Louisburg.—The city capitulates.—Franklin’s
 scheme for raising troops.—The peace of
 Aix-la-Chapelle.—Louisburg and Cape Breton returned to the
 French.—Undefined limits of English and French claims on
 America.—The Ohio company.—Remonstrance of
 Duquesne.—Washington’s first service.—Disputes among the
 colonists themselves.—Franklin’s scheme for general union
 rejected.—Braddock chosen major-general.—Taxation and
 discontent.—The English occupy Nova Scotia.—Acadia.—The outrage
 on the Acadians.—Their unhappy fate.—Braddock’s fancied
 security.—His discomfiture and death.—Expeditions against
 Niagara and Crown Point.—Death of Williams and
 Hendricks.—General feeling in North America for liberty.—John
 Adams and his teachings                                            1–19

                               CHAPTER II.


 Plan of the campaign of 1756.—Arrival of General
 Abercrombie.—The Marquis of Montcalm.—Loudon’s disasters in
 1756 and 1757.—Loudon recalled.—Preparations for a new
 campaign.—Energetic exertions of the colonists to raise troops
 and money.—Siege of Louisburg.—Death of Howe.—Repulse of
 Abercrombie.—Forbes’ expedition against Fort Duquesne.—The fort
 destroyed.—Campaign of 1759.—Scheme for conquest of
 Canada.—General Wolfe.—Amherst at Ticonderoga.—Wolfe undertakes
 the siege of Quebec.—Wolfe’s energetic measures.—Taking of
 Quebec.—Death of Wolfe and of the French Marquis
 Montcalm.—Operations in Canada.—Montreal surrendered.—The
 Cherokees humbled.—Peace of 1763.—Indian rising, and terrible
 vengeance.—Canada in English hands                                20–34

                              CHAPTER III.


 Debt resulting from the struggle with the French.—Amount of
 expense incurred.—Growing power of the colonies.—English
 encroachments.—Navigation acts.—Duties on various
 articles.—Accession of George III.—Stamp-tax.—Indignation in
 the colonies.—Barre’s speech in the House of Commons.—The
 “Liberty tree.”—First colonial congress at New York.—Franklin
 at the bar of the house.—Repeal of the stamp act.—Operations of
 the Assembly at Massachusetts.—Reinforcements in New York.—The
 breach widens.—Tories and whigs.—Impulse given to the home
 manufactures of America.—First settlements in Tennessee.—The
 tea dispute.—Boston port bill passed.—Meeting of the Great
 Congress.—Efforts to produce a reconciliation.—Preparations for
 war.—Indian warfare.—The New England restraining bill.—Breaking
 out of the war.                                                   35–60

                               CHAPTER IV.


 The British forces in America.—The affray at Lexington.—Its
 effect on the Americans.—Unity among the colonists.—Arnold’s
 exploits.—Battle of Bunker’s Hill.—Washington appointed
 commander-in-chief of the American army.—The Indians
 propitiated.—Montgomery takes possession of Quebec.—Settlement
 in Kentucky.—Obstinacy of George III.—Vain attempts at
 reconciliation.—British interests in the colonies.                61–74

                               CHAPTER V.

                      BOSTON.—LOSS OF NEW YORK, &C.

 Washington resolves to occupy Boston.—The British evacuate the
 city.—Washington marches to New York.—Charleston
 fortified.—Moultrie’s defence of Charleston harbour.—The siege
 raised.—The declaration of independence drawn up and signed on
 the 4th July.—Howe arrives at Sandy Hook.—Plots against
 Washington.—Offers from Britain of indemnity on
 submission.—Disasters of the Americans at Long
 Island.—Washington returns to New York.—The British assault
 Fort Washington.—The Howes issue a proclamation for
 submission.—Despondency among the Americans.—Washington’s
 exploit at Trenton.—Attack on the British at Princetown.—The
 recovery of the Jerseys.—Franklin sent as envoy to
 Paris.—Lafayette joins the Americans.                             75–92

                               CHAPTER VI.

                THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR (_continued_)—1777.

 War on the Canadian frontier.—Washington at
 Morristown.—Burgoyne’s expedition in the North.—His plan of
 operations.—Engagement at Hubbardton.—Burgoyne’s successes: he
 reaches the Hudson.—The “Green Mountain Boys” and their
 prowess.—Fate of Jenny M‘Crea.—General Gates assumes the
 command.—Battle of Saratoga.—Burgoyne falls back on
 Saratoga.—Surrender of the British army at Saratoga.—Washington
 at Philadelphia.—Battle of the Brandywine river.—Howe enters
 Philadelphia.—Washington’s ill success at Germantown.—His
 precarious position.—Want and distress in the American
 army.—Plan of confederation.                                     93–110

                              CHAPTER VII.

                THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR (_continued_)—1778.

 Discussions in Parliament on the American war.—Conciliatory
 measures proposed and rejected.—Losses suffered by the
 Americans.—Increase of warlike spirit among the
 Americans.—Treaties of commerce and alliance between France and
 the United States.—Offers from Britain rejected.—Philadelphia
 evacuated.—Battle of Freehold.—French fleet arrives to assist
 the Americans.—Attempt against Newport abandoned by
 D’Estaing.—British fleet, sent to oppose D’Estaing, arrives at
 New York.—Commissioners for conciliation.—Lafayette challenges
 the Earl of Carlisle.—The war assumes a ferocious
 character.—Destruction of Fort Wyoming.—The war in the
 South.—Savannah captured by the British                         111–128

                              CHAPTER VIII.

                THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR (_continued_)—1779.

 Clarke takes the British post of Kaskaskia.—Improved state of
 Washington’s army.—John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle executed
 for treason.—Operations in the South.—State of Georgia and the
 Carolinas.—Loyalists or tories.—Party-spirit.—Victory of the
 British at Briar Creek.—March of the British towards
 Charleston.—They besiege the town, but soon retreat.—Clinton at
 Philipsburg.—Washington at New Jersey.—Tryon’s
 devastations.—Stony Point retaken with the bayonet.—Major Lee’s
 successes at Paul’s Hook.—Flight of the Americans on the
 Penobscot.—New settlements in the West.—Indian and loyalist
 depredations                                                    129–145

                               CHAPTER IX.

                  THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR (_continued_).

 Events in the West Indies.—Preparations for an attack on
 Savannah.—Paul Jones encounters Pearson.—Proposal to employ
 negroes in the war.—The British conquer South Carolina.—Action
 at Springfield                                                  146–159

                               CHAPTER X.

                THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR (_continued_)—1780.

 General Gates sent to the relief of the southern provinces.—His
 discomfiture near Camden.—Women participate in the war.—Treason
 at West Point.—Arnold’s treachery.—Enterprise of Major
 André.—Failure of the scheme; escape of Arnold; arrest and
 death of André.—Gates superseded.—Ferguson slain.—Position of
 England at the close of 1780.—Critical state of affairs in
 America.—Financial efforts.—Arnold fights on the British
 side.—He ravages the banks of the James river                   160–174

                               CHAPTER XI.

                THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR (_continued_)—1781.

 Cornwallis advances towards North Carolina.—Tarleton’s defeat
 at the battle of the Cowpens.—Passage of the Yadkin.—State of
 the American army.—The tories of North Carolina arm on the
 British side.—Greene and his taciturnity.—Battle near
 Guilford.—The Americans routed.—Greene’s advance to South
 Carolina.—Battle of Hobkirk’s Mill.—Sufferings of both
 armies.—The command of the British devolves on Colonel
 Stuart.—Execution of Isaac Hayne.—Phillips and Arnold in
 Virginia.—Operations of Cornwallis.—Smallness of Washington’s
 force.—Threatened attack on New York.—Sudden march towards the
 North.—Undecided Battle at Eutaw Springs                        175–191

                              CHAPTER XII.

                     CLOSE OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.

 The French fleet arrives at the Chesapeake.—Du Barras arrives
 with his squadron.—Washington’s plans.—Fort Griswold carried by
 assault.—Ledyard murdered.—The British force blocked up at
 Yorktown.—Cornwallis’s hopes of relief.—Capitulation of the
 British army.—Yorktown and Gloucester surrendered.—The news of
 Cornwallis’s surrender in England.—Its effects on the king and
 on his ministers.—The Rockingham and Shelburne
 administrations.—Negotiations.—Dubious conduct of
 Vergennes.—The preliminaries of peace signed.—Murder of Joshua
 Huddy.—Captain Asgill’s narrow escape                           192–204

                              CHAPTER XIII.


 Poverty of the American government.—Destitute condition of the
 republican troops.—Financial embarrassments.—Boundary line of
 States.—Claims to the territory of Vermont.—New York and other
 States oppose the admission of Vermont into the Union.—War on
 the Western frontiers.—Fight with the Indians in
 Kentucky.—Battle of the Big Blue Lick.—Simon Girty, the
 refugee.—Massacre of the Kentuckians.—Passage in the life of a
 Kentucky prisoner.—The back settlements of Carolina             205–214

                              CHAPTER XIV.

                        THE FIRST YEARS OF PEACE.

 Financial difficulties.—A monarchical government
 proposed.—Washington’s patriotism.—Discontent in the
 army.—Washington negotiates with the troops.—Washington
 established as the seat of government.—Peace with Great Britain
 formally proclaimed.—Washington’s entry into New
 York.—Washington resigns his commission as
 commander-in-chief.—Evacuation of America by the
 British.—Slaves under British protection.—The loyalists
 dissatisfied.—The anti-slavery struggle.—Meeting of
 Congress.—Financial arrangements.—Economical efforts.—Jefferson
 succeeds Franklin as ambassador to France.—Treaty with the
 Indians.—Kentucky and Tennessee.—Decimal
 coinage.—Taxation.—Large numbers of malcontents.—The Habeas
 Corpus act suspended.—Attempt to capture the arsenal at
 Springfield.—Reform of the government.—The Church of England in
 America.—Religious excitement in the States                     215–231

                               CHAPTER XV.


 Meeting of the Convention.—Arduous debates.—The Constitution
 proposed.—Its provisions.—The various articles of the
 Constitution.—Washington elected President.—Amendments in the
 Constitution                                                    232–249

                               CHAPTER XV.


 Great accession of territory to the States from the treaty with
 the six Indian nations.—The Ohio company formed.—Kentucky
 applies to be admitted into the Union.—Ohio settlements.—The
 city of Marietta founded.—Washington county.—The Constitution
 adopted throughout the States.—Washington elected
 President.—His disinterestedness.—His mode of life.—The
 departments of foreign affairs, of the treasury, and of war,
 established.—The President’s tour through the States.—The
 session of 1790.—Discussion on the debt in Congress.—Rhode
 Island added to the Union.—The Indian chief, M‘Gillivray.—The
 act for the encouragement of learning.—The Indian
 war.—Disastrous defeat of St. Clair.—The city of Washington
 laid out                                                        250–265

                              CHAPTER XVII.

               WASHINGTON’S ADMINISTRATION (_continued_.)

 The French revolution and its influence.—Washington
 re-elected.—Genet, the minister of the French
 republic.—Sympathy in Philadelphia with the French
 republic.—Genet’s turbulent conduct.—Reaction.—General Wayne
 succeeds St. Clair.—Defeat of the Indians.—Treaty at
 Greenville.—Insurrection at Pennsylvania.—Disaffection and
 sedition checked by military force.—Act for the establishment
 of a navy.—Threatened rupture with Britain.—Unpopular
 treaty.—Treaties with Algiers and with Spain.—Petitions against
 the British treaty.—Washington’s firmness.—Monroe sent to
 France as ambassador.—Failure of his mission.—Washington’s
 farewell address                                                266–280

                             CHAPTER XVIII.


 Adams elected President and Jefferson Vice-President.—Prospect
 of war with France.—Attempt at conciliation.—French
 depredations and American reprisals.—Death of
 Washington.—Tokens of respect to his memory in America, France,
 and England.—Jefferson and Colonel Burr.—Second census of the
 United Slates.—Louisiana purchased.—The Illinois territory
 acquired.—War with Tripoli.—Burning of the
 “Philadelphia.”—Jefferson re-elected President, and Clinton
 Vice-President.—England assumes the right of search.—Engagement
 between the “Leopard” and the “Chesapeake.”—Bill of embargo
 passed by Congress.—Burr’s enterprise in the Western
 States.—His arrest.—He is accused of treason, and acquitted     281–294

                              CHAPTER XIX.


 Election of Madison.—Hostile attitude of England towards
 America.—Engagement between the “President” and the “Little
 Belt.”—The Indian chief Tecumseh.—Harrison’s victory over the
 Indians.—Preparations for war.—War with Britain
 proclaimed.—Proposed invasion of Canada.—Detroit
 surrendered.—General Hall arraigned and convicted of
 cowardice.—Battle of Queenstown.—Expedition against the
 Kickapoo Indians.—The “Guerrière” frigate taken by the
 “Constitution.”—Encounter between the “Wasp” and the
 “Frolic.”—The “Constitution” takes the “Java.”—Lord Castlereagh
 rejects the American proposals for peace.—Madison re-elected
 President.—Efforts of the Americans to establish a
 navy.—Combats on the lakes.—The “Chesapeake” taken by the
 “Shannon,” and the “Argus” by the “Pelican.”—Encounters on Lake
 Erie.—The Indian confederacy broken up.—Tecumseh slain          295–309

                               CHAPTER XX.


 General Brown advances into Canada.—Battle at Niagara
 Falls.—Defeat of the British at Plattsburgh.—Destruction of the
 city of Washington.—Enterprise of the British at
 Alexandria.—British expedition against New Orleans.—New-year’s
 day, 1815.—The British attack repulsed.—Arrival and
 ratification of a treaty of peace.—Expedition against the
 Algerines.—Second national bank established.—James Monroe
 elected President.—African colonisation society.—Great western
 canal.—Depredations of the Seminole and Creek Indians.—Debates
 on the slavery question.—Operations against the West Indian
 pirates.—Death of Adams and of Jefferson                        310–323

                              CHAPTER XXI.

                       THE EVENTS OF TWENTY YEARS.

 Temperance societies formed.—Statistics of
 drunkenness.—Anti-Masonic societies founded.—Abduction of
 William Morgan, and consequent excitement.—General Jackson
 re-elected.—Renewed Indian hostilities.—The celebrated chief,
 “Black Hawk.”—His exploits; his capture.—The last days of
 “Black Hawk.”—Description of “Black Hawk.”—Growth of
 civilisation in the West.—The tariff bill passed.—Excitement
 caused by this measure.—Compromise bill introduced by Henry
 Clay.—Indian rebellion.—Injustice practised towards the
 tribes.—Osceola’s plan of revenge.—Massacre of Major Dade and
 his men.—Devastations.—Submission of the Indians.—Van Buren
 elected President.—End of the Seminole war.—Osceola’s
 imprisonment.—Harrison President.—State repudiation of
 debt.—Anti-rent disturbances.—Iowa and Florida received into
 the Union                                                       324–340

                              CHAPTER XXII.


 First settlement of the whites in Texas.—Spanish population of
 Texas.—Restrictions on trade.—Texas in the early part of the
 present century.—Population in 1833.—Santa Anna and his
 operations.—Fortress of the Alamo taken.—Goliad taken.—Santa
 Anna captured.—Duplicity of Santa Anna.—Texas admitted into the
 Union.—The war with Mexico.—The treaty of 1846.—New
 Mexico.—Utah and California.—Puebla and the metropolis Mexico
 taken.—Orderly conduct of the victors.—Mexican ideas concerning
 the Americans.—Moral state of Mexico.—Treaty of
 peace.—Wisconsin admitted into the Union.—Mormonism.—The Great
 Salt Lake.—Joseph Smith the Mormon prophet.—His
 pretensions.—The Mormons establish themselves.—Murder of Smith
 and his brother.—Statistics of Mormonism.—Mormon government and
 morality.—Mormon journeys                                       341–359

                             CHAPTER XXIII.


 Upper California discovered by Sir F. Drake.—Sebastian
 Viscaino.—Early Spanish settlement in California.—Humboldt’s
 statements concerning California.—Mrs. Willard’s account.—The
 United States’ exploring expedition under Fremont.—The gold
 discoveries and consequent emigration.—Sacramento
 city.—Californian Indians.—The cholera.—Distress and famine
 among the Californian emigrants.—State organisation of
 California.—Convention at Monterey.—Signing of the
 convention.—California sends members to Congress.—California
 admitted into the Union.—Considerations on the United
 States.—Education.—Manufactures.—Railroads.—The electric
 telegraph.—Cotton and woollen manufactures.—Printing
 operations.—Journals.—Typefounding.—Boot and shoe
 manufactures.—Iron foundries.—Art-education.—Commercial
 advantages of the American States                               360–387

                        ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. II

   COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF                                _frontispiece_
 DEATH OF GENERAL WOLFE                                   _to face_   30
 STAMP ACT RIOTS                                               „      39
 THROWING THE TAXED TEA INTO BOSTON HARBOUR                    „      52
 GENERAL BURGOYNE AND THE INDIANS                              „      95
 WASHINGTON’S RECEPTION AT NEW YORK                            „     219
 WASHINGTON TAKING LEAVE OF THE ARMY                           „     220
 TOMB OF WASHINGTON                                            „     283

                               A POPULAR

                     HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.

                               CHAPTER I.

In 1744, the disputed Austrian succession threw the whole of Europe into
arms, and France and England were of course once more at war. In
expectation of this event, when an invasion from Canada might be feared,
New York fortified Albany and Oswego, and the friendship of the Six
Nations was secured. This precaution was additionally necessary, as they
had taken offence, owing to a collision which some of their people had
come into with the backwoodsmen of Virginia. At a convention held at
Lancaster, to which Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland were parties,
the Six Nations, with due oratory and ceremonial, relinquished all title
to the valley of the Blue Ridge, the central chain of the Alleganies.
The western frontiers thus secured, New England proposed a combination
of the five northern colonies for their mutual defence, which New York
declined, trusting to enjoy her former neutrality.

The war broke out. Fort Canso, in Nova Scotia, was taken by the French;
Annapolis was besieged by a united force of Canadians and Indians;
privateers issued from Louisburg, and the eastern Indians again attacked
the frontiers of Maine. The northern provinces were routed, and Governor
Shirley of Massachusetts resolved to attack Louisburg. Louisburg, the
capital of Cape Breton, was called, from the strength of its
fortifications, the Dunkirk of America. Its position was one of great
importance, commanding the navigation of the St. Lawrence and the
fisheries of the adjoining seas.

The scheme was a bold one, and Shirley applied to the British ministry
for naval assistance, in the meantime laying open his views to the
general assembly, after having first sworn all the members to secrecy.
Six days were taken to deliberate upon it, and then the scheme was
negatived as too hazardous and expensive. And so it might have ended,
had not one of the members, during his evening devotions, been heard to
pray for the success of the undertaking. The scheme got wind, and the
populace approved; the plan was therefore again proposed in the council,
and carried by one vote.

Troops were immediately raised by New England. Connecticut sent 500 men;
Rhode Island and New Hampshire each 300; but those of Rhode Island did
not arrive until Louisburg was taken. Pennsylvania, refusing troops,
furnished provisions; and New York, £3,000, a quantity of provisions,
and ten eighteen-pounders. The great burden of the war, of course, fell
upon Massachusetts, who furnished an army of 3,250 men, with ten armed
vessels,—all the fishermen, whose trade the war had interrupted,
entering the service as volunteers. The command in chief was given to
William Pepperell, a rich merchant in Maine, who was celebrated for his
universal good fortune; and Whitfield, then preaching in New Hampshire,
suggested as the motto of their flag, “Never despair with Christ for the
captain;” and one of the army chaplains, a disciple of Whitfield,
carried with him a hatchet, to hew down the images in the French

An express sent to Commodore Warren, in the West Indies, requesting the
co-operation of such ships as he could spare, returned with a negative
answer just before the expedition was leaving Boston. Nothing daunted,
however, they set sail, and approaching Cape Breton, were prevented from
entering its harbours by the great quantity of floating ice. Returning
then to Casco, they lay there for several days under a bright sky and in
clear weather, and here were agreeably surprised by the arrival of a
squadron from Commodore Warren, who had received subsequent orders to
render all possible assistance. The next day, nine vessels from
Connecticut joined them also, with the troops from that colony. On the
30th of April, the fleet, consisting of 100 vessels, entering Cape
Breton, came in sight of Louisburg. This commanding fortress, the walls
of which were forty feet thick at the base and from twenty to thirty
feet high, was surrounded by a ditch eighty feet wide, and was furnished
with 101 cannon, seventy-six swivels, and six mortars; its garrison
numbered 1,600 men, and the harbour was defended by an island battery of
thirty twenty-two pounders, and by the royal battery on the shore,
having thirty large cannon, a moat, and bastions, all so perfect that it
was supposed 200 men could defend it against 5,000. The assailants, on
the contrary, had only eighteen cannon and three mortars. Reaching the
shore, however, they effected a landing almost without opposition, and
the following day Colonel Vaughan of New Hampshire led a detachment
through the woods, past the city, which they greeted with three cheers.
The French, at their approach, having spiked their guns, fled from the
royal battery in the night, and the next morning Vaughan and thirteen of
his men, having gained possession, defended it against the boats which
were sent from Louisburg to retake it. Seth Pomroy, a gunsmith, and a
major in one of the Massachusetts regiments, was now employed in the
oversight of twenty smiths, who were employed in drilling the cannon;
and in the meantime, and for fourteen nights in succession, the hardy
besiegers were engaged in dragging their artillery over some miles of
boggy morass impassable to wheels, and for the carriage of which a New
Hampshire colonel, a carpenter, constructed sledges, which the men, with
straps over their shoulders and midleg-deep in mud, drew safely over.
Five unsuccessful attempts were made on a battery which defended the
town, and the troops, insufficiently provided with tents and other
comforts, suffered severely in that cold and foggy climate. But nothing
could daunt their ardour. Seth Pomroy, the gunsmith-major, wrote to his
wife: “Louisburg is an exceedingly strong place, and seems impregnable.
It looks as if our campaign would last long; but I am willing to stay
till God’s time comes to deliver the city into our hands.” And his wife
replied in the same resolute spirit: “Suffer no anxious thoughts to rest
in your mind about me. The whole town is much engaged with concern for
the expedition, how Providence will order the affair, for which
religious meetings every week are maintained. I leave you in the hand of

At length it was resolved that the fleet should enter the harbour and
bombard the city, whilst the land forces attempted to scale the walls.
Whilst this was under meditation, a French ship of sixty-four guns,
laden with supplies, was taken, after an active engagement, within sight
of the town. Fortunately for the besiegers, disaffection prevailed
within the walls, and the governor, dispirited by this success of the
enemy, sent out a flag of truce and offers of capitulation. On the
forty-ninth day of the siege, Louisburg surrendered, together with the
island of Cape Breton. When the conquerors entered the city and beheld
the strength of the works, their very hearts sunk within them at the
greatness of their undertaking; “God has gone out of the way of his
common providence,” said they, “to incline the hearts of the French to
give up this strong city into our hands.”

The loss of Louisburg exasperated the French nation, and a powerful
armament was fitted out to ravage, in return, the whole coast of North
America; but Providence again interfered in their behalf; the fleet,
under the Duke d’Anville, was scattered and destroyed by storms and
wreck, and, to complete its misfortunes, the commander died suddenly,
and his successor, in a fit of delirium, committed suicide. The
following year, a second fleet, sent out for the same purpose, was taken
by Anson and Warren.

The capture of Louisburg was not less a cause of rejoicing in England
than in the colonies. Pepperell was made a baronet, and commissioned as
a colonel in the British army, and Warren promoted to the rank of
rear-admiral. The report of Warren, however, as regarded the New England
people, only confirmed the suspicions which were entertained of them at
home. “They have,” said he, “the highest notions of the rights and
liberties of Englishmen, and, indeed, are almost levellers.”

The Canadian French retaliated immediately for their loss, by attacking
the English frontiers and taking several outposts, but no great damage
was done. This success revived the favourite scheme of the conquest of
Canada, and England, as well as the colonies, began active preparations
for carrying it out. In Pennsylvania, where hitherto peace principles
had been very carefully maintained, an active military spirit, excited
by Benjamin Franklin, who now, after twenty years of industry, had
acquired a handsome property, prevailed. “He was the originator,” says
Logan, “of two lotteries, that raised above £6,000 to pay for the charge
of the batteries on the river, and he found out a way to put the country
on raising above 120 companies of militia, of which Philadelphia raised
ten, or about 100 men each. The women, too, were so zealous that they
furnished ten pair of silk colours, wrought with various mottoes.”
Logan, himself a Quaker, though not a strict one, was highly satisfied,
as he says, with “Benjamin Franklin for contriving the militia,” and he
adds, that, “Franklin, when elected to the command of a regiment,
declined the distinction, and carried a musket among the common

The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, however, put an end to all these ambitious
schemes of conquest, and the mutual restoration of all places taken
during the war being one of its conditions, Cape Breton and Louisburg,
to the grief and mortification of the northern colonies, were returned
to France. The only thing which consoled Massachusetts for this loss
was, that the British indemnified her for the expenses of this last
enterprise, to the amount of £183,000, a very welcome boon, when her
finances were suffering the most serious embarrassment, owing to her
extensive issues of paper money and the depreciation of the currency. It
was proposed by Thomas Hutchinson, grandson of the celebrated Anne
Hutchinson, and now a wealthy merchant of Boston, and speaker of the
House of Representatives, that the money thus granted should be imported
in silver, and applied to redeem, at its current value, all the
outstanding paper. This was done, and for a quarter of a century, says
Hildreth, Massachusetts enjoyed the blessing of a sound currency.

It was just at this time when a great inroad was attempted on the
rigidity of the Puritan manners, by the attempt of some young Englishmen
at Boston to introduce theatrical entertainments. The play first
announced was Otway’s Orphan, but it proceeded no further than
announcement, such exhibitions being at once prohibited, “as tending to
discourage industry and frugality, and greatly to the increase of
impiety and contempt for religion.” Connecticut immediately followed the
example; neither would she suffer such Babylonish pursuits. Two years
afterwards, a London company of actors came over, and acted the Beau’s
Stratagem and Merchant of Venice, at Annapolis and Williamsburg in
Virginia. Connecticut and Massachusetts being closed against them, they
confined their labours to Annapolis, Williamsburg, Philadelphia,
Perth-Amboy, New York and Newport.

The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle left the great causes of difference, the
undefined limits of the French and English claims in America, still
unsettled. The French, by virtue of the discoveries of La Salle,
Marquette, Champlain and others, claimed all the lands occupied by the
waters flowing into the St. Lawrence, the Mississippi and the Lakes, and
all watered by the Mississippi and its branches. In fact, they claimed
the whole of America, except that portion which lies east of the
Allegany chain, the rivers of which flow into the Atlantic, and even of
this they claimed the basin of the Kennebec and all Maine to the east of
that valley. The British on the contrary, asserted a right to the entire
country, on account of the discovery of Cabot, extending their claims
under the old patents with more than equal extravagance, from the
Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. To strengthen this title, they had lately
purchased from the chiefs of the confederated Six Nations, acknowledged
by the treaties of Utrecht and Aix-la-Chapelle as being under British
protection, their claim to the country of the Mississippi, which, it was
stated, had at some former period been conquered by them.

The French, as we have already said, had in part carried out their plan
of a chain of forts, to connect their more recent settlements on the
Mississippi with their earlier ones on the St. Lawrence, when in 1750 a
number of gentlemen of Virginia, among whom was Lawrence Washington, the
grandfather of the celebrated George, applied to the British parliament
for an act for incorporating “the Ohio Company,” and granting them
600,000 acres of land on the Ohio river. This was done; the tract was
surveyed, and trade commenced with the Indians. The jealousy of the
French was roused; and the Marquis du Quesne, governor of Canada,
complained to the authorities of New York and Pennsylvania, threatening
to seize their traders if they did not quit this territory. The trade
went on as before, and the French carried out their threat, burning the
village of an Indian tribe which refused submission, and seizing the
English traders and their merchandise; and the following year the number
and importance of the French forts was increased.

Robert Dinwiddie, at that time royal governor of Virginia, alarmed at
those violent proceedings, purchased permission of the Indians on the
Monongahala to build a fort on the junction of that river with the
Allegany, and determined to send a trusty messenger to the French
commandant at Venango, to require explanation and the release of the
captured traders. It was late in the season, and the embassy demanded
both courage and wisdom. A young man of two-and-twenty, a major in the
militia, and by profession a land-surveyor, and who when only sixteen
had been employed as such by Lord Fairfax on his property in the
Northern Neck, was selected for this service. This young man was GEORGE

The journey, about 400 miles through the untracked forest, and at the
commencement of winter, though full of peril and wild adventure, was
performed successfully. Washington was well received by the commandant,
St. Pierre, who promised, after two days’ deliberation, to transmit his
message to his superiors in Canada; and all unconscious of the present
or future importance of their guest, who was making accurate
observations as to the strength of the fort, the French officers
revealed to him, over their wine, the intentions of France to occupy the
whole country.

The reply of St. Pierre, the contents of which were not known till
opened at Williamsburg, leaving no doubt of the hostile intentions of
the French, Dinwiddie began immediately to prepare for resistance,
promising to the officers and soldiers of the Virginian army 200,000
acres of land to be divided amongst them, as an encouragement to enlist.
A regiment of 600 men, of which Washington was appointed
lieutenant-colonel, marched in the month of April, 1754, into the
disputed territory, and, encamping at the Great Meadows, were met by
alarming intelligence; the French had driven the Virginians from a fort
which, owing to his own recommendation, they were building at “the
Fork,” the place where Pittsburg now stands, between the junction of the
Monongahala and the Allegany, the importance of which position he had
become aware of on his journey to Venango. This fort the French had now
finished, and had called Du Quesne, in honour of the governor-general;
besides which, a detachment sent against him were encamped at a few
miles distance. Washington proceeded, surprised the enemy, and killed
the commander, Jumonville—the first blood shed in this war.

On his return to the Great Meadows, Washington was joined by the troops
from New York and South Carolina, and here erected a fort, which he
called Fort Necessity. Frye, the colonel, being now dead, the chief
command devolved upon Washington, who very shortly set out towards Du
Quesne, when he was compelled to return and entrench himself within Fort
Necessity, owing to the approach of a very superior force under De
Villier, the brother of Jumonville. After a day of hard fighting, the
fort itself was surrendered, on condition of the garrison being
permitted to retire unmolested. A singular circumstance occurred in this
capitulation: Washington, who did not understand French, employed a
Dutchman as his interpreter, and he, either from ignorance or treachery,
rendered the terms of the capitulation incorrectly; thus Washington
signed an acknowledgment of having “assassinated” Jumonville, and
engaged not again to appear in arms against the French within twelve

Hitherto, the intercolonial wars had originated in European quarrels;
now, the causes of dispute existed in the colonies themselves, and were
derivable from the growing importance of these American possessions to
the mother-countries; the approaching war, in consequence, assumed an
interest to the colonies which no former war had possessed. It was now,
therefore, proposed by the British cabinet that a union should be formed
among the colonies for their mutual protection and support, and that the
friendship of the Six Nations should be immediately secured. Accordingly
a congress was convened at Albany, in June, 1754, at which delegates
appeared from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut; Delaney, governor of New York,
being the president. A treaty of peace was signed with the Six Nations,
and the convention entered upon the subject of the great union, a plan
for which had been drawn up by Benjamin Franklin, the delegate from
Pennsylvania, and which was carefully discussed, clause by clause, in
the assembly. Both William Penn, in 1697, and Coxe in his “Carolana,”
had proposed a similar annual congress of all the colonies for the
regulation of trade, and these were the bases of Franklin’s plan of

This plan proposed the establishment of a general government in the
colonies, the administration of which should be placed in the hands of a
governor-general appointed by the crown, and a council of forty-eight
members, representatives of the several provinces, “having the power to
levy troops, declare war, raise money, make peace, regulate the Indian
trade and concert all other measures necessary for the general safety;
the governor-general being allowed a negative on the proceedings of the
council, and all laws to be ratified by the king.” This plan was signed
by all the delegates excepting the one from Connecticut, who objected to
a negative being allowed to the governor-general, on the 4th of July,
the day on which Fort Necessity was surrendered, and the very day
twenty-two years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

This scheme of union was, however, rejected by all the colonial
assemblies, on the plea of giving too much power to the crown; and,
strange to say, was rejected likewise by the crown, because it gave too
much power to the people. The colonial union, therefore, being at an end
for the present, it was proposed by the British ministry that money
should be furnished for the carrying on of the war by England, to be
reimbursed by a tax on the colonies. This scheme, however, the colonies
strongly opposed, being averse, argued Massachusetts, to everything that
shall have the remotest tendency to raise a revenue in America for any
public use or purpose of government. It was, therefore, finally agreed
to carry on the war with British troops, aided by such auxiliaries as
the colonial assemblies would voluntarily furnish. These pending
territorial disputes led to the publication of more complete maps,
whereby the position and danger of the British colonies were more
clearly understood. The British colonies occupied about a thousand miles
of the Atlantic coast, but their extent inland was limited; the
population amounted to about 1,500,000. New France, on the contrary,
contained a population not exceeding 100,000, scattered over a vast
expanse of territory from Cape Breton to the mouth of the Mississippi,
though principally collected on the St. Lawrence. The very remoteness of
the French settlements, separated from the English by unexplored forests
and mountains, placed them in comparative security, while the whole
western frontier of the English, from Maine to Georgia, was exposed to
attacks of the Indians, disgusted by constant encroachments and ever
ready for war.[2]

While negotiations were being carried on with France for the adjustment
of the territorial quarrel, the establishment of French posts on the
Ohio and the attack on Washington being regarded as the commencement of
hostilities, General Braddock was selected as the American
major-general, under the Duke of Cumberland, commander-in-chief of the
British army. Braddock was a man of despotic temper, intrepid in action,
and severe as a disciplinarian; and as the duke had no confidence in any
but regular troops, it was ordered that the general and field officers
of the colonial forces should be of subordinate rank when serving with
the commissioned officers of the king. Washington, on his return from
the Great Meadows, found Dinwiddie re-organising the Virginia militia,
and that, according to the late orders, he himself was lowered to the
rank of captain, on which he indignantly retired from the service.

In February, 1755, Braddock, with two British regiments, arrived in
Chesapeake Bay, the colonies having levied forces in preparation, and a
tax being already imposed on wine and spirituous liquors, spite of the
general opposition to such imposts, and which excited a very general
discontent, each family being required on oath to state the quantity
consumed by themselves each year, and thus either to perjure or to tax
themselves. This unpopular tax gave rise to several newspapers, the
first newspaper of Connecticut dating from this time.

Braddock having arrived, a convention of colonial governors met at
Alexandria, in Virginia, to concert the plan of action, when four
expeditions were determined upon. Lawrence, the lieutenant-governor of
Nova Scotia, was to reduce that province; General Johnson, from his long
acquaintance with the Six Nations, was selected to enrol the Mohawk
warriors in British pay, and conduct an army of Indians and provincial
militia against Crown Point; Governor Shirley was to do the same against
Niagara; while Braddock was to attack Fort Du Quesne, and thus recover
the Ohio Valley and take possession of the North West.

Soon after Braddock sailed, the French sent out a fleet with a large
body of troops under the veteran Baron Dieskau, to reinforce the army in
Canada. Although England at this time had avowed only the design of
resisting encroachment on her territory, Boscawen was sent out to cruise
on the banks of Newfoundland, where he took two of the French ships; of
the remainder, some aided by fog, and others by altering their course,
arrived safely at Quebec and Louisburg; at the same time, De Vaudreuil,
a Canadian by birth, and formerly governor of Louisiana, arrived and
superseded Du Quesne as governor of Canada.

Three thousand men sailed from Boston under Lieutenant-colonel Winslow,
on the 29th of May, for the expedition against Nova Scotia. This Winslow
was the great-grandson of the Plymouth patriarch, and grandson of the
commander of the New England forces in King Philip’s war; he was a
major-general in the Massachusetts militia, and now, under the British
commander-in-chief, was reduced to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. At
Chignecto, in the Bay of Fundy, he was joined by Colonel Monckton with
300 British regulars, and advancing against the French forts at Beau
Sejour and Gaspereau, took possession of them in five days, after slight
resistance; and no sooner did the English fleet appear in the St.
John’s, than the French, setting fire to their fort at the mouth of that
river, evacuated the country. The English thus, with the loss of about
twenty men, found themselves in possession of the whole of Nova Scotia:
when great difficulty arose, what was to be done with the people?

Acadia was the oldest French colony in America, having been settled by
Bretons sixteen years before the landing of the pilgrim fathers. Thirty
years before the commencement of the present war, the treaty of Utrecht
had ceded Acadia to Great Britain, yet the settlement remained French in
spirit, character, and religion. By the terms granted to them when the
British took possession, they were excused from bearing arms against
France, and were thence known as “French Neutrals.” From the time of the
Peace of Utrecht, they appear, however, almost to have been forgotten,
until the present war brought them, to their great misfortune, back to
remembrance. Their life had been one of Arcadian peace and simplicity;
neither tax-gatherer nor magistrate was seen among them; their parish
priests, sent over from Canada, were their supreme head. By unwearied
labour they had secured the rich alluvial marshes from the rivers and
sea, and their wealth consisted in flocks and herds. Their houses,
gathered in hamlets, were full of the comforts and simple luxuries of
their position; their clothing was warm, abundant, and home-made, spun
and wove from the flax of their fields and the fleeces of their flocks.
Thus were the Acadians prosperous and happy as one great family of love.
Their population, which had doubled within the last thirty years,
amounted at this time to about 2,000.

Unfortunately, these good Acadians had not strictly adhered to their
character of neutrals; 300 of their young men had been taken in arms at
Beau Sejour, and one of their priests was detected as an active French
agent. It was resolved, therefore, to remove them from their present
position, in which they had every opportunity of aiding the French.
Lawrence, lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia, Boscawen, and Mostyn,
commanders of the British fleet, consulted with Belcher, chief-justice
of the province, and the result was a scheme of kidnapping and conveying
them to the various British provinces, although at the capitulation of
Beau Sejour it had been strictly provided that the neighbouring
inhabitants should not be disturbed. But no matter; they must be got rid
of, for there was no secure possession for the English while they, bound
by all the ties of language, affection, and religion to France, remained
there. A sadder incident of wholesale outrage hardly occurs in history
than this. The design was kept strictly secret, lest the people, excited
by despair, should rise _en masse_ against their oppressors. Obeying the
command, therefore, to assemble at their parish churches, they were
surrounded by soldiers, taken prisoners and marched off, without
ceremony, to the ships, for transportation. At Grand Pré, for example,
says Bancroft, 418 unarmed men came together, when Winslow, the American
commander, addressed them, as follows: “Your lands and tenements, cattle
of all kinds, and live stock of all sorts, are forfeited to the crown,
and you yourselves are to be removed from this province. I am, through,
his Majesty’s goodness, directed to allow you to carry off your money,
and your household goods, as many as you can without discommoding the
vessels you go in.” They were the king’s prisoners; their wives and
families shared their lot; their sons, 527 in number; their daughters,
576; the whole, including women and babes, old men and children,
amounting to about 2,000 souls. They had left home in the morning; they
were never to return. Wonderful it seems, that Heaven left such an
outrage on humanity unavenged on the spot!

The 10th of September was the day of transportation. They were marched
down to the vessels six abreast; the young men first, driven forward by
the bayonet, but not a weapon was allowed to them. It was a scene of
heart-breaking misery, and in the confusion of embarkation, wives were
separated from their husbands, parents from their children, never to
meet again! It was two months before the last of the unhappy people were
conveyed away, and in the meantime many fled to the woods; but even this
availed nothing, the pitiless conquerors had already destroyed the
harvests, to compel their surrender, and burnt their former homes to the

A quota of these poor, unhappy people were sent to every British North
American colony, where, broken-hearted and disconsolate, they became
burdens on the public charity, and failed not to excite pity by their
misery, spite of the hatred to them as Catholics and the exasperation
produced by the protracted war. Some few made their way to France;
others to Canada, St. Domingo, and Louisiana; and to those who reached
the latter country, lands were assigned above New Orleans, still known
as the Acadian coast. A number of those sent to Georgia constructed rude
boats, and endeavoured to return to their beloved homes in the Bay of
Fundy. Generally speaking, they died in exile, the victims of dejection
and despair.

It will be remembered by our readers, doubtless, that one of the finest
poems which America has produced, “Evangeline,” by Longfellow, is
founded on this cruel and unjustifiable outrage on humanity.

The English, in the meantime, as if their arms were not to be blessed,
had met with a severe repulse in their attempt to drive the French from
the Ohio. Braddock’s troops landed at Alexandria, a small town at the
mouth of the Potomac, early in June; and Colonel Washington, being
permitted to retain his rank in consequence of the reputation he had
already attained, joined the expedition soon after. Braddock made very
light of the whole campaign; being stopped at the commencement of his
march, for want of horses and wagons, he told Benjamin Franklin, that
after having taken Fort Du Quesne, whither he was hastening, he should
proceed to Niagara, and having taken that, to Frontenac. “Du Quesne,”
said he, “will not detain me above three or four days, and then I see
nothing which can obstruct my march to Niagara.” Franklin calmly
replied, that the Indians were dexterous in laying and executing
ambuscades. “The savages,” replied Braddock, “may he formidable to your
raw American militia; upon the king’s regulars it is impossible that
they should make any impression.”

Among the wagoners, whom the energy of Franklin obtained, was Daniel
Morgan, famous as a village wrestler, who had emigrated as a
day-labourer from New Jersey to Virginia, and who, having saved his
wages, was now the owner of a team, all unconscious of his future
greatness.[3] By the advice of Washington, owing to the difficulty of
obtaining horses and wagons, the heavy baggage was left under the care
of Colonel Dunbar, with an escort of 600 men; and Braddock, at the head
of 1,300 picked men, proceeded forward more rapidly. Fort Du Quesne, in
the meantime, was receiving reinforcements.

Braddock was by no means deficient in courage or military skill, but he
was wholly ignorant of the mode of conducting warfare amid American
woods and morasses; and to make this deficiency the greater, he
undervalued the American troops, nor would profit by the opinions and
experience of American officers. Washington urged the expediency of
employing the Indians, who, under the well-known chief Half-king, had
already offered their services as scouts and advance parties; but
Braddock rejected both the advice and this offered aid, and that so
rudely that Half-king himself and his Indians were seriously offended.

It was now the 9th of July, and the governor of Du Quesne almost gave up
his fort as lost; for Braddock and his army were that morning only
twelve miles distant. Washington, about noon riding a little a-head,
looked back from the height above the right bank of the Monongahala, and
beheld the advanced guard of regulars, headed by Lieutenant-colonel
Gage, advancing, with all the glitter of their brilliant uniform, into
an open wood. At that moment the Indian war-whoop sounded, and they were
fired upon from all quarters by an invisible foe. The assailants, about
200 French and 600 Indians, hidden in some ravines on each side of the
road and amid the long grass, poured in a deadly fire: the British
troops, seized with sudden panic, were thrown into hopeless confusion,
and would have fled, but that Braddock rallied them and exerted himself
to the utmost to restore order. Succeeding in part, and preserving
something like the order of battle, the horrors of the moment were
increased; for his men, “penned like sheep in a fold,” were the better
mark for the invisible enemy, who themselves, expecting merely to
harass, never hoping to defeat, were astonished at their own success.
The Indians, singling out the officers, shot down every one; of
eighty-six officers, twenty-six were killed and thirty-seven wounded; of
the men one-half were killed or wounded. Washington alone seemed to be
preserved as by an especial Providence. In vain the Indian singled him
out also as a mark for his rifle; no bullet took his life, though two
horses were shot under him, and four bullets, after the battle, were
found lodged in his coat. Well might the savage exclaim, “Some powerful
Manitou guards his life!” This singular preservation of the young
Washington, in the midst of death, attracted the attention of all. “I
cannot but hope,” said a learned divine, a month afterwards, “that
Providence has preserved that heroic youth, Colonel Washington, in so
especial a manner for some important service to his country.” And in
England Lord Halifax inquired, “Who is this Mr. Washington? I know
nothing of him; but they say that he behaved in Braddock’s action as
bravely as if he loved the whistling of bullets.”

Braddock remained undismayed amid the shower of bullets; five horses
were shot under him, and at length a ball entering his right side, he
fell mortally wounded. With difficulty he was borne off the field; for
many hours he remained silent; towards evening he said, “Who would have
thought it?” On the 12th, Braddock being conveyed to Dunbar’s camp, the
remaining artillery was destroyed, the public stores and heavy baggage
burnt, to the value of £100,000, Dunbar assigning as the reason, the
dying general’s commands. The next day they retreated, and the same
night Braddock died; his last words being, “We shall know better how to
deal with them another time.” His grave may still be seen near the
public road, about a mile west of Fort Necessity.[4]

Philadelphia was preparing for the triumph of victory, when the news of
this shameful defeat reached the city, in the arrival of Dunbar, on whom
the command had now devolved. The whole frontier of Virginia was thus
left open to the depredations of the French and Indians. The French at
Fort Du Quesne endeavoured to withdraw the Cherokees from their fidelity
to the English, and news of this reaching the ears of Glen, governor of
South Carolina, a council of Cherokee chiefs was called, the covenant of
peace was renewed, and the cession of a large tract of land in South
Carolina was obtained.

The expedition against Niagara was entrusted to Governor Shirley, who
now, by the death of Braddock, was commander-in-chief of the British
forces. It was intended that the troops destined for this service should
assemble at Oswego, whence they were to proceed by water to the mouth of
the Niagara. The march, however, was one of extreme difficulty, the
troops being disabled by sickness and disheartened by the news of
Braddock’s defeat; and when after six weeks it was accomplished, various
adverse circumstances, violent winds and rains, and the desertion of
their Indian allies, rendered it unadvisable for them to proceed. Two
strong forts were, however, erected, and vessels built in preparation
for their embarkation.

The troops destined for the expedition against Crown Point, consisting
principally of the militia of Connecticut and Massachusetts, were
entrusted to General (afterwards Sir William) Johnson. In June and July,
about 6,000 New England men, having Phineas Lyman as their
major-general, reached the portage between Hudson River and Lake George,
where they constructed a fort called Fort Lyman, afterwards Fort Edward.
Here they were joined by General Johnson, with about 3,400 irregulars
and Indians, towards the end of August, when he assumed command and
advanced towards Lake George. Dieskau, in the meantime, having ascended
Lake Champlain with 2,000 men from Montreal, was now pushing on to Fort
Lyman, when, altering his route, probably at the request of his Indian
allies, who dreaded the English artillery, he suddenly attacked the camp
of Johnson. Already informed of his intended attack on Fort Edward,
Johnson had sent out 1,000 Massachusetts men, under Ephraim Williams,
and a body of Mohawk warriors, under a famous chief called Hendricks,
for the purpose of intercepting their return. Unfortunately, however,
this detachment fell in with the whole force of Dieskau’s army in a
narrow defile, and were driven back with great slaughter, Williams and
Hendricks being soon slain. It was this Williams who, when passing
through Albany, made his will, leaving his property, in case of his
death, to found a Free School for Western Massachusetts, which is now
the Williams College; a better monument, as Hildreth justly observes,
than any victory would have been. The loss of the enemy was also

The firing being heard in the camp of Johnson, the repulse of Williams
was suspected. A breast-work of felled trees was therefore hastily
constructed, and a few cannon mounted, which had just been brought up
from Fort Edward; and scarcely had the fugitives reached the camp, when
the enemy appeared, who met with so warm a reception from the
newly-planted cannon, that the Canadian troops and the Indians soon
fled, greatly to the chagrin of Dieskau. Johnson, being early wounded,
retired from the fight, and the New Englanders, under their own
officers, fought bravely for five hours. It was a terrible day for the
French; nearly all their regulars perished, and Dieskau was mortally
wounded, though he still refused to retire. Two Canadians, who wished to
carry him from the field, were shot dead at his side, and he himself
soon after, being found seated on the stump of a tree, was wantonly shot
by a renegade Frenchman. A small remnant fled, only to be pursued by a
detachment from Fort Edward. Instead of pursuing his advantage, Johnson
spent the autumn in erecting a fort on the site of his encampment,
called Fort William Henry; and the season being late, dispersed his army
to their respective provinces. In the meantime the French were
strengthening their position at Crown Point, and fortifying Ticonderoga.
These actions are known as the battle of Lake George.

Benjamin Franklin having about this time published an account of the
rapid increase of population in the United States, the attention of
England was turned to the immensely growing power of her colonies. Let
us hear the reasoning of the two parties on this subject. “I have
found,” said the royal governor, Shirley, who had been appealed to,
“that the calculations are right. The number of the inhabitants is
doubled every twenty years.” He admitted that the demand for British
manufactures and the employment of shipping increased in an equal ratio;
also that the sagacity which had been displayed in the plan of union
proposed at the late congress at Albany, might justly excite the fear of
England, lest the colonists should throw off their dependence on the
mother-country and set up a government of their own. But, added he, let
it be considered how various are the present constitutions of their
respective governments; how much their interests clash, and how opposed
their tempers are, and any coalition among them will be found to be
impossible. “At all events,” said he, “they could not maintain such an
independency without a strong naval force, which it must ever be in the
power of Great Britain to prevent. Besides, the 7,000 troops which his
Majesty has in America, and the Indians at command, provided the
provincial governors do their duty and are maintained independent of the
assemblies, may easily prevent any such step being taken.”

The royal governor of Virginia, Dinwiddie, urged upon parliament his
plan of a general land and poll tax, begging, however, that the plan
might come entirely as from them; he urged also the subversion of
charter-governments, arguing that all would remain in a distracted
condition until his majesty took the proprietary government into his own
hands. Another advised that Duke William of Cumberland should be sent
out as sovereign of the united provinces of British America, on the plea
that in a few years the colonies of America would be independent of

These fears were prophetic of the future, and indeed were but an echo of
the popular sentiment. Franklin was thinking, and acting, and scattering
abroad words, which were winged seeds of liberty; Washington was already
doing great deeds; and John Adams, then the young teacher of a New
England free school, was giving words to ideas which thousands besides
himself were prepared to turn into deeds. “All creation,” said he, “is
liable to change; mighty states are not exempted. Soon after the
Reformation, a few people came out here for conscience sake. This
apparently trivial incident may transfer the great seat of empire into
America. If we can remove these turbulent Gallics, our people, according
to the exactest calculation, will in another century become more
numerous than England itself. All Europe will not be able to subdue us.
The only way to keep us from setting up for ourselves, is to disunite
us.” They had learnt already that union was strength.

                              CHAPTER II.

The plan of the campaign for 1756, arranged by a convention of
provincial governors at New York, was similar to that of the preceding
year: the reduction of Crown Point, Niagara and Fort Du Quesne. The
enrolling of volunteer militia went on; Benjamin Franklin being active
for this purpose in Pennsylvania, and he himself now assuming military
command as a colonel on the frontier from the Delaware to the Maryland
line. The frontiers of Virginia continued to suffer severely, though
Washington, with 1,500 volunteers, did his utmost for their protection.
It was difficult to obtain a larger volunteer force, on account, said
Dinwiddie, writing to the Board of Trade on this subject, “of our not
daring to part with any of our white men to a distance, as we must have
a watch over our negro-slaves.”

The war had now continued two years without any formal declaration of
hostilities between Great Britain and France. In May, however, of this
year it was made.

In June, General Abercrombie, who superseded Shirley, arrived with two
regiments from England, and proceeded to Albany, where the provincial
troops and the remains of Braddock’s army were already assembled—short
of provisions, however, and suffering from small-pox. Abercrombie,
deeming his forces insufficient for the proposed campaign, determined to
wait for the arrival of Lord Loudon, now appointed commander-in-chief.
This occasioned a delay until the end of July. In the meantime, the
French, under the Marquis of Montcalm, successor to the Baron Dieskau,
taking advantage of the tardiness of the English, had made an attack on
Fort Oswego, which it had been intended to reinforce with a regiment of
regulars under General Webb; but it was then too late; the Forts Oswego
and Ontario were taken, and Webb retired precipitately to Albany.
Upwards of 1,000 men, 135 pieces of artillery, a great amount of stores,
and a fleet of boats and small vessels built the year before for the
Niagara expedition, fell into the hands of Montcalm.

To gratify the Six Nations, and induce them to assume a position of
neutrality, Montcalm destroyed the forts, after which he returned to
Canada. These disasters were as discouraging as the defeat of Braddock
had been in the former year. The march to Ticonderoga was abandoned, and
Forts Edward and William Henry were ordered to be strengthened.
Feebleness and incapacity characterised the campaign. The Indians,
incited by the French, renewed their border depredations; and the
Quakers incurred no inconsiderable ignominy by persisting to advocate
the cause of the Indians, holding conferences with them and forming
treaties of peace. But though these measures were against the spirit of
the time, they persevered, and succeeded in thus defending the frontiers
of Pennsylvania as well as some of the other colonies by force of arms.

On July 9, 1757, Loudon sailed with 6,000 regulars against Louisburg,
the important stronghold of the North, as Fort Du Quesne was of the
West, and on the 13th reached Halifax, where he was reinforced by eleven
sail of the line, under Admiral Holbourn, with 6,000 additional troops.
Nothing, however, was done; for on learning that Louisburg was
garrisoned by 6,000 men, and that a large French fleet lay in her
harbour, the expedition was abandoned, and Loudon returned to New York.
In the meantime, Montcalm, combining his forces from Ticonderoga and
Crown Point, amounting to 9,000, with 2,000 Indians, ascended Lake
George, and laid siege to Fort William Henry, which was at that time
commanded by Colonel Munro, with upwards of 2,000 men, while Colonel
Webb was stationed at Fort Edward, only fifteen miles distant, with
5,000. For six days the garrison made a brave resistance, until the
ammunition being exhausted, and no relief coming from Fort Edward, Munro
capitulated; honourable terms being granted, “on account,” said the
capitulation, “of their honourable defence.” But the terms were not
kept. The Indians attached to Montcalm’s army fell upon the retiring
British, plundering their baggage and murdering them in cold blood.
Munro and a part of his men retreated for protection to the French camp;
great numbers fled to the woods, where they suffered extremely; many
were never more heard of.

In the civil history of the colonies there is very little to chronicle
during this period. In Pennsylvania a dispute arose respecting the
rights of the proprietaries to exempt their own lands from taxes raised
for the defence of those lands. Benjamin Franklin visited England in
consequence, and the question was decided by the proprietaries yielding
on certain conditions. In Georgia, also, arose a dispute in which the
Creek Indians took a lively interest, as it grew out of the claims of
that Mary Musgrove, the Indian interpreter, who had materially aided
Oglethorpe on his arrival in that country. Mary had now married, for her
third husband, Thomas Bosomworth, Oglethorpe’s former agent for Indian
affairs, but who, having taken orders in England, had returned as
successor of Wesley and Whitfield, and claimed the islands on the coast
and a tract of land above Savannah, which the Creeks had made over to
her, as well as twelve years’ arrears of salary as Indian interpreter.
The dispute, after having continued twelve years, was settled at this
time to the entire satisfaction of Mary and her nation. The island of
St. Catherine was secured to her and her husband, and £2,000 paid in
liquidation of her other demands. Georgia was also, about the same time,
divided into parishes, and the Church of England established by law.

The unfortunate results of the campaigns of 1756–7 were extremely
humiliating to England, and so strong was the feeling against the
ministry and their measures, that a change was necessary. A new
administration was formed, at the head of which was William Pitt,
afterwards Lord Chatham; Lord Loudon was recalled; additional forces
were raised in America, and a large naval armament and 12,000 additional
troops were promised. After this great expenditure of money and of blood
on the part of the English, the French still held all the disputed
territory. The English were still in possession of the Bay of Fundy, it
is true; but Louisburg, commanding the entrance of the St. Lawrence,
Crown Point and Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain, Frontenac and Niagara on
Lake Ontario, Presque Island on Lake Erie, and the chain of posts thence
to the Ohio, were still in the hands of the French. They had driven the
English from Fort Oswego and Lake George, and had compelled the Six
Nations to neutrality. A devastating war was raging along the whole
north-western frontier; scalping parties advanced to the very centre of
Massachusetts; to within a short distance of Philadelphia, and kept
Maryland and Virginia in perpetual alarm.[5]

The campaign of 1758 began in earnest. Pitt addressed a circular to the
colonies, demanding at least 20,000 men; the crown undertook to provide
arms, ammunition, tents and provisions; the colonies were to raise,
clothe and pay the levies, but were to be reimbursed by parliament. This
energetic impulse was cheerfully responded to. Massachusetts voted 7,000
men, besides such as were needed for frontier defence. The advances of
Massachusetts during the year amounted to about £250,000. Individual
Boston merchants paid taxes to the amount of £500. The tax on real
estate amounted to 13s. 4d. in the pound. Connecticut voted 5,000 men;
New Hampshire and Rhode Island a regiment of 500 men each; New Jersey
1,000; Pennsylvania appropriated £100,000 for bringing 2,700 men into
the field; Virginia raised 2,000. To co-operate with these colonial
levies, the Royal Americans were recalled from Canada, and large
reinforcements were sent from England. Abercrombie, the new
commander-in-chief, found 50,000 men at his disposal—a greater number
than the whole male population of New France. The total number of
Canadians able to bear arms was 20,000; the regular troops amounted to
about 5,000; besides which, the constant occupation of war had caused
agriculture to be neglected. Canada was at this time almost in a state
of famine.[6] “I shudder,” wrote Montcalm to the French government, in
February 1758, “when I think of provisions. The famine is very great;
New France needs peace, or sooner or later it must fall; so great is the
number of the English; so great our difficulty in obtaining supplies.”
The French army, and the whole of Canada, were put on restricted
allowance of food.

The campaign, as we have said, began in earnest; there was no trifling,
no delay. Three simultaneous expeditions were decided upon; against
Louisburg, Ticonderoga, and Fort Du Quesne. The possession of Louisburg
was deemed very important, as opening the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and thus
admitting the English at once to the capital of Canada. In June,
Boscawen appeared before Louisburg with thirty-eight ships of war,
convoying an army of 14,000 men, chiefly regulars, under General
Amherst, but including a considerable body of New England troops. The
siege commenced. It was here that General Wolfe first distinguished
himself in America; his amiable disposition and calm, clear judgment
early won the esteem and admiration of the colonists. Here, also, served
Isaac Barre, raised by Wolfe from a subaltern position to the rank of
major of brigade. The siege was conducted with great skill and energy,
and on the 27th of July, this celebrated fortress was in the hands of
the English, and with it the islands of Cape Breton, Prince Edward’s
Island and their dependencies. The garrison became prisoners of war; the
inhabitants were shipped off to France. Such was the end of the French
power on the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

While the siege of Louisburg was going forward, General Abercrombie,
with 16,000 men and a great force of artillery, advanced against
Ticonderoga and Crown Point. On the 16th of July, having embarked at
Fort William Henry, he advanced down Lake George, and landing near the
northern extremity of the lake, the march commenced through a thick wood
towards the fort, which Montcalm held with about 4,000 men.
Unfortunately, the vanguard—headed by the young and gallant Lord Howe,
who, like Wolfe, had already gained the enthusiastic affection of the
Americans—ignorant of the ground, lost their way and fell in with a
French scouting party, when a skirmish took place, and though the enemy
was driven back, Lord Howe fell. The grief of the provincial troops,
and, indeed, of the whole northern colonies, was very great for the loss
of this brave young man, to whose memory Massachusetts afterwards
erected a monument in Westminster Abbey.[7]

The death of Lord Howe is said to have considerably abated the ardour of
the troops; nevertheless, Abercrombie, without waiting for the coming up
of his artillery, hastened on the attack of Ticonderoga, having been
assured that the works were unfinished, and that it might easily be
taken. The result, however, proved the contrary. The breast-work was of
great strength, and defended by felled trees, their branches sharpened,
and pointing outwards like spears. The utmost intrepidity, however, was
shown in the attack; but, with the loss of about 2,000 killed and
wounded, Abercrombie was repulsed, and the next day made a disorderly
retreat to Fort William Henry.

Colonel Bradstreet, being about to march at the head of the provincials
of New York and New England against Fort Frontenac, obtained from
Abercrombie, after this defeat, a detachment of 3,000 men, and with
these, having marched to Oswego, he crossed Lake Ontario, and on the
25th of August attacked Fort Frontenac, which in two days’ time
surrendered. Three armed vessels were taken, and the fort, which
contained military stores intended for the Indians, and provisions for
the south-western troops, was destroyed. On their return, the troops
assisted in erecting Fort Stanwix, midway between Oswego and Albany.
Among the officers who served with Bradstreet were Woodhull and Van
Schaick, afterwards distinguished in the revolutionary war.

The expedition against Fort Du Quesne was entrusted to General Forbes,
who early in July commenced his march with 7,000 men, including the
Pennsylvanian and Virginian levies, the royal Americans recalled from
South Carolina, and a body of Cherokee Indians. Washington, who headed
the Virginian troops, and was then at Cumberland ready to join the main
army, advised that the military road cut by Braddock’s army should be
made use of; instead of which, Forbes, induced by some Pennsylvanian
land-speculators, commenced making a new road from Ray’s Town, where the
Pennsylvanian forces were stationed, to the Ohio. Whilst a needless
delay was thus caused, Major Grant, who, with 800 men, had been sent
forward to reconnoitre, was repulsed with the loss of 300 men, and
himself taken prisoner. This misfortune, and the loss of time caused by
making the road, which drove them into the cold season, together with
considerable desertion and sickness, so dispirited the troops, that a
council of officers determined to abandon the enterprise for the
present. Just at that moment, however, a number of French prisoners
accidentally brought in, revealed the feeble state of the garrison, and
the news of the taking of Fort Frontenac reaching them at the same time,
it was resolved to push forward immediately; and though they were then
fifty miles from Du Quesne, and had, at the commencement of winter, to
traverse untracked forests, they succeeded in arriving at the fort on
the 25th of November, when it was found to be a pile of ruins, the
garrison having set fire to it the day before, and retired down the

The possession of this post caused great joy. New works were erected on
the site of Du Quesne, the name of which was now changed to Fort Pitt,
afterwards Pittsburg, now the Birmingham of America.

The consequence of this success was immediately seen, by the disposition
which the Indians showed for peace. The frontiers of Virginia and
Maryland were relieved from their incursions; and at a grand council
held at Easton, in Pennsylvania, not only deputies of the Six Nations,
but from their dependent tribes, the Delawares and others, met Sir
William Johnson and the governors of New York and New Jersey, and solemn
treaties of peace were entered into. In order to check the north-eastern
Indians, who still remained hostile, and to prevent their intercourse
with Canada, Fort Pownall was erected; the first permanent English
settlement in that district.

The great object of the campaign of 1759 was the so-long-desired
conquest of Canada. The intention of the British minister was
communicated to the various colonial assemblies under an oath of
secrecy; and this, together with the faithful reimbursement of their
last year’s expenses, induced such a general activity and zeal, that
early in the spring 20,000 colonial troops were ready to take the field.

In consequence of his disaster at Ticonderoga, Abercrombie was
superseded, and General Amherst became commander-in-chief. The plan for
the campaign was as follows: Wolfe, who after the taking of Louisburg
had gone to England, and was now returning with a powerful fleet, was to
make a direct attack on Quebec; Amherst was directed to take Ticonderoga
and Crown Point, and so proceed northerly; while General Prideaux, who
commanded the provincial troops and Indians, was to descend the St.
Lawrence after taking Fort Niagara, and join Amherst in an attack on
Montreal. Such was the proposed plan. The three divisions were intended
to enter Canada by three different routes of conquest, all to merge
finally in the conquest of Quebec, the great heart of the French power
and dominion in America.

According to arrangement, Amherst arrived before Ticonderoga in July,
with 11,000 men, when the garrison of the fort having been weakened by
the withdrawal of forces for the defence of Quebec, both this and Crown
Point surrendered without difficulty; the want of vessels, however,
prevented him for some time either proceeding to join Wolfe at Quebec or
attacking Montreal.

General Prideaux proceeded in the expedition against Niagara with his
provincials and a body of warriors of the Six Nations, who, in spite of
their treaty of neutrality, had been induced to join in this enterprise.
Prideaux advanced by way of Schenectady and Oswego, and on the 6th of
July effected a landing near Fort Niagara without opposition. The
bursting of a gun, however, killed General Prideaux, when the command
devolved on Sir William Johnson. Twelve hundred French, and an equal
number of Indian auxiliaries, advancing to the relief of the garrison,
gave battle to the English, and were routed with great loss, leaving a
considerable number prisoners; on which the dispirited garrison
capitulated. The surrender of this post cut off all communication
between Canada and the south-west.

Sir William Johnson having so far accomplished his object, should,
according to pre-arrangement, have descended Lake Ontario, to co-operate
with Wolfe on the St. Lawrence; but again the want of shipping,
shortness of provisions and the incumbrance of his French prisoners,
prevented his doing so.

Thus disappointed in receiving these important reinforcements, Wolfe was
compelled to commence the siege of Quebec alone. The presence of Wolfe
had already inspired the most unbounded confidence. His army consisted
of 8,000 men; his fleet, commanded by Admirals Saunders and Holmes,
consisted of twenty-two ships of the line, and the same number of
frigates and armed vessels. On board of one ship was Jervis, afterwards
Earl St. Vincent; another had for master, James Cooke, the afterwards
celebrated navigator. The brigades were commanded by Robert Moncton,
afterwards governor of New York, and the conqueror of Martinique. Wolfe
selected as his adjutant-general Isaac Barre, his old associate at
Louisburg, an Irishman of humble birth, but brave, eloquent, and

On the 27th of June, the whole armament disembarked on the island of
Orleans, just below the city. We will give a rapid account of the events
of this important siege from Mrs. Willard’s excellent history.

“From the island of Orleans, Wolfe reconnoitred the position of his
enemy, and saw the full magnitude of the difficulties which surrounded
him. The city of Quebec rose before him upon the north side of the St.
Lawrence; its upper town and strong fortifications situated on a rock
whose bold and steep front continued far westward, parallel with the
river, its base near to the shore, thus presenting a wall which appeared
inaccessible. From the north-west came down the St. Charles, entering
the St. Lawrence just below the town, its banks steep and uneven and cut
into deep ravines, while armed vessels were borne upon its waters, and
floating batteries obstructed its entrance. A few miles below, the
Montmorenci leapt down its cataract into the St. Lawrence; and strongly
posted along the sloping bank of that river and between these two
tributaries, the French army, commanded by Montcalm, displayed its
formidable lines.

“The first measure of Wolfe was to obtain possession of Point Levi,
opposite Quebec. Here he erected and opened heavy batteries, which swept
from the lower town the buildings along the margin of the river; but the
fortifications, resting on the huge table of rock above, remained
uninjured. Perceiving this, Wolfe next sought to draw the enemy from his
entrenchments, and bring on an engagement. For this purpose he landed
his army below the Montmorenci; but the wary Montcalm eluded every
artifice to draw him out. Wolfe next crossed that stream with a portion
of his army, and attacked him in his camp. The troops which were to
commence the assault fell into disorder, having, with impetuous ardour,
disobeyed the commands of the general. Perceiving their confusion, he
drew them off, with the loss of 400 men, and re-crossed the Montmorenci.
Here he was informed that his expected succours were likely to fail him.
Amherst had possession of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, but was preparing
to attack the forces withdrawn from these places at the Isle aux Noix.
Prideaux had lost his life, and Sir William Johnson had succeeded him in
the command; but the enemy were in force at Montreal, and from neither
division of the British army could the commander at Quebec hope for

The bodily fatigues which Wolfe had undergone, and his anxiety and
disappointment, threw him into a fever, which for a time disabled him
from action; nevertheless he devised desperate means of attack, which,
on proposing to his officers, were decided to be impracticable. Finally,
it was determined to convey by night four or five thousand men to the
level plain above the town, called the Heights of Abraham, and draw
Montcalm “from his impregnable situation into open action.”[8]

“Montcalm,” continues Mrs. Willard, “perceiving that something was about
to be attempted, despatched M. de Bourgainville with 1,500 men higher up
the St. Lawrence, to watch the movements of the English. Wolfe, pursuant
to his plan, broke up his camp at Montmorenci and returned to Orleans.
Then embarking with his army, he directed Admiral Holmes, who commanded
the fleet in which himself and the army had embarked, to sail up the
river several miles higher than the intended point of debarkation. This
movement deceived De Bourgainville, and gave Wolfe the advantage of the
current and the tide to float his boats silently down to the destined

This was done about one hour before daybreak. Wolfe and the troops with
him leapt on shore; the light infantry whom the force of the current was
hurrying along clambered up the steep shore, staying themselves by the
roots and branches of the trees. French sentinels were on the shore; one
of these hailed in French and was answered by an officer in that
language. Escaping the dangers of the water’s edge, they proceeded,
though with the utmost difficulty, to scale the precipice. The first
party which reached the heights secured a small battery which crowned
them, and thus the remainder of the army ascended in safety. In the
light of morning the British army were discovered by the French, drawn
up on this lofty plain in the most advantageous position.

Montcalm, learning with surprise and consternation the advantage gained
by the enemy, left his strong position, and displaying his lines for
battle, intrepidly led on the attack. Being on the left of the French,
he was opposed to Wolfe, who was on the right of the British. In the
heat of the engagement both commanders were mortally wounded. This was
the third wound which Wolfe had received, and Isaac Barre, who fought
near him, received a ball in the head, which ultimately deprived him of
sight. “Support me,” said Wolfe to an officer near him; “do not let my
brave fellows see me fall!” He was removed to the rear, and water was
brought to quench his thirst. Just then a cry was heard, “They run! they
run!” “Who runs?” exclaimed Wolfe, faintly raising himself. “The enemy!”
was the reply. “Then,” said he, “I die content;” and expired. Not less
heroic was the death of Montcalm. He rejoiced when told that his wound
was mortal, “For then,” said he, “I shall not live to see the surrender
of Quebec!”

After the battle, General Townsend conducted the English affairs with
great discretion. The French on their part appear to have yielded at
once to the suggestion of their fears. The capitulation of Quebec was
signed five days after the battle. Favourable terms were granted to the

General Townsend returning to England, General Murray was left in
command, with a garrison of 5,000 men. The French army retired to
Montreal, and M. de Levi, who had succeeded Montcalm, being reinforced
by Canadians and Indians, returned the following spring, 1760, with
6,000 men to Quebec. General Murray left the fortress, and a second
still more bloody battle was fought on the Heights of Abraham. Each army
lost about 1,000 men, but the French maintained their ground, and the
English took refuge within the fortress. Here they were closely
invested, until having received reinforcements, M. de Levi abandoned all
hope of regaining possession of Quebec, and returned to Montreal, where
Vaudreuil, the governor, assembled all the force of Canada.


Desirous of completing this great conquest, the northern colonies
joyfully contributed their aid, and towards the close of the summer,
three armies were on their way to Montreal; Amherst at the head of
10,000 men together with 1,000 Indians of the Six Nations, headed by Sir
William Johnson; Murray with 4,000 men from Quebec; and Haviland at the
head of 3,500 men, by way of Lake Champlain. The force which was thus
brought against Montreal was irresistible; but it was not needed;
Vaudreuil, the governor, surrendered without a struggle. The British
flag floated on the city; and not alone was possession given of
Montreal, but of Presque Isle, Detroit, Mackinaw and all the other posts
of Western Canada. About 4,000 regular troops were to be sent to France,
and to the Canadians were guaranteed their property and liberty of

Great was the joy of New York and the New England states in the conquest
of Canada, as their frontiers were now finally delivered from the
terrible scourge of Indian warfare. But while they rejoiced from this
cause, the Carolinian frontiers were suffering from incursions of the
Cherokees, who had been instigated to these measures by the French, who,
retiring from Fort Du Quesne, had passed through their country on their
way to Louisiana. General Amherst, therefore, despatched Colonel
Montgomery against them, who aided by the Carolinian troops, marched
into their country, burned their villages, and was on his way to the
interior, when they in their turn besieged Fort Loudon, which, after
great suffering, the garrison were compelled to surrender, under promise
of a safe conduct to the British settlements. This promise, however, was
broken; great numbers were killed on the way and others taken prisoners;
and again the war raged on the frontier. The next year Colonel Grant
marched with increased force into their country; a terrible battle was
fought, in which the Cherokees were defeated, their villages burned, and
their crops destroyed. Finally they were driven to the mountains, and
now subdued and humbled, besought for peace.

The war between England and France, though at an end on the continent of
America, was still continued among the West India Islands, France in
this case also being the loser. Martinique, Grenada, St. Lucia, St.
Vincent’s—every island, in fact, which France possessed among the
Caribbees—passed into the hands of the English. Besides which, being at
the same time at war with Spain, England took possession of Havanna, the
key to the whole trade of the Gulf of Mexico.

In November, 1763, a treaty of peace was signed at Paris, which led to
further changes, all being favourable to Britain; whilst Martinique,
Guadalope and St. Lucia were restored to France, England took possession
of St. Vincent’s, Dominica and Tobago islands, which had hitherto been
considered neutral. By the same treaty all the vast territory east of
the Mississippi, from its source to the Gulf of Mexico, with the
exception of the island of New Orleans, was yielded up to the British;
and Spain, in return for Havanna, ceded her possession of Florida. Thus,
says Hildreth, was vested in the British crown, as far as the consent of
rival European claimants could give it, the sovereignty of the whole
eastern half of North America, from the Gulf of Mexico to Hudson’s Bay
and the Polar Ocean. By the same treaty the navigation of the
Mississippi was free to both nations. France at the same time gave to
Spain, as a compensation for her losses in the war, all Louisiana west
of the Mississippi, which contained at that time about 10,000
inhabitants, to whom this transfer was very unsatisfactory.

Three new British provinces were now erected in America; Quebec and East
and West Florida. East Florida included all the country embraced by the
present Florida, bounded on the north by the St. Mary’s. West Florida
extended from the Apalachicola River to the Mississippi; from the 31st
degree of latitude on the north, to the Gulf of Mexico on the south,
thus including portions of the present states of Alabama and
Mississippi. The boundary of Quebec corresponded with the claims of New
York and Massachusetts, being a line from the southern end of Lake
Nipissing, striking the St. Lawrence at the 45th degree of latitude, and
following that parallel across the foot of Lake Champlain to the sources
of the Connecticut, and thence along the highlands which separate the
waters flowing into the St. Lawrence from those which fall into the

All, however, was not yet peace in the northern provinces. The English
might possess themselves of French territory, but they could not win the
hearts of the Indian, whom the devoted missionaries and the kind and
politic French traders had attached to their nation. When, therefore,
the English, who treated the Indians with cold contempt, were about to
take possession, Pontiac, the brave and intellectual chief of the
Ottawas, who cherished the hope of restoring his nation to independence,
endeavoured to excite the Red men against their new lords. “If,”
reasoned he, addressing his people, “the English have expelled the
French, what should hinder, but that the Indian should destroy them
before they have established their power, and thus the Red man once more
be lord of the forest?” Pontiac, by his eloquence and energy, gained the
co-operation of the whole north-western tribes, and the plan of a
simultaneous attack on all the British posts on the lakes was formed
without any suspicion being excited. The day fixed was the 7th of July,
and on that day nine forts—all, indeed, excepting those of Niagara,
Detroit and Fort Pitt—were surprised and taken. Nor was the outbreak
confined to the forts; the whole frontier of Pennsylvania and Virginia,
especially the former, was attacked, and the scattered traders and
settlers plundered and cruelly murdered. The back settlers of
Pennsylvania—principally Scotch and Irish Presbyterians, men of a
character very different to that of the mild Quakers, and who, in the
spirit of the older Puritans, regarded the Indians as the Canaanites of
the Old Testament—rose up in vengeance, and the leaders of this movement
coming principally from a place called Paxton, the body assumed the name
of “the Paxton Boys,” and pursued their victims with a bloodthirsty
spirit, which aimed at nothing less than extermination. In vain Benjamin
Franklin interfered to save such friendly Indians as had fled for refuge
to Philadelphia and other towns; the avengers knew no mercy, and for
these unhappy remnants of a once powerful race there appeared no place
of refuge but the grave. Such of the Christianised Indians as escaped
this cold-blooded massacre established themselves on a distant branch of
the Susquehanna; though their peace there was but of short duration,
being again compelled, within a few years, to emigrate to the country
north-west of the Ohio, where they and their missionaries, the
Moravians, settled in three villages on the Muskinghum.

The conquest of Canada and the subjection of the eastern Indians giving
security to the colonists of Maine, that province began to expand and
flourish. The counties of Cumberland and Lincoln were added to the
former single county of York, and settlers began to occupy the lower
Kennebec, and to extend themselves along the coast towards the
Penobscot. Nor was this northern expansion confined alone to Maine;
settlers began to occupy both sides of the upper Connecticut, and to
advance into new regions beyond the Green Mountains, towards Lake
Champlain, a beautiful and fertile country which had first become known
to the colonists in the late war. Homes were growing up in Vermont. In
the same manner population extended westward beyond the Alleganies, as
soon as the Indian disturbances were allayed in that direction. The
go-a-head principle was ever active in British America. The population
of Georgia was beginning to increase greatly, and in 1763 the first
newspaper of that colony was published, called the “Georgia Gazette.” A
vital principle was operating also in the new province of East Florida,
now that she ranked among the British possessions. In ten years, more
was done for the colony than had been done through the whole period of
the Spanish occupation. A colony of Greeks settled about this time on
the inlet still known as New Smyrna; and a body of settlers from the
banks of the Roanoke planted themselves in West Florida, near Baton

Nor was this increase confined to the newer provinces; the older ones
progressed in the same degree. Hildreth calls this the golden age of
Virginia, Maryland, and South Carolina, which were increasing in
population and productions at a rate unknown before or since. In the
north, leisure was found for the cultivation of literature, art, and
social refinement. The six colonial colleges were crowded with students;
a medical college was established in Pennsylvania, the first in the
colonies; and West and Copley, both born in the same year—the one in New
York, the other in Boston—proved that genius was native to the New
World, though the Old afforded richer patronage. Besides all this, the
late wars and the growing difficulties with the mother-country had
called forth and trained able commanders for the field, and sagacious
intellects for the control of the great events which were at hand.

                              CHAPTER III.

A vast amount of debt, as is always the case with war, was the result of
the late contests in America. With peace, the costs of the struggle
began to be reckoned. The colonies had lost, by disease or the sword,
above 30,000 men; and their debt amounted to about £4,000,000,
Massachusetts alone having been reimbursed by parliament. The popular
power had, however, grown in various ways; the colonial assemblies had
resisted the claims of the royal and proprietary governors to the
management and irresponsible expenditure of the large sums which were
raised for the war, and thus the executive influence became transferred
in considerable degree from the governors to the colonial assemblies.
Another, and still more dangerous result, was the martial spirit which
had sprung up, and the discovery of the powerful means which the
colonists held in their hands for settling any disputed points of
authority and right with the mother-country. The colonies had of late
been a military college to her citizens, in which, though they had
performed the hardest service and had been extremely offended and
annoyed by the superiority assumed by the British officers and their own
subordination, yet they had been well trained, and had learned their own
power and resources. The conquest of New France, in great measure, cost
England her colonies.

England, at the close of the war—at the close, in fact, of four wars
within seventy years—found herself burdened with a debt of £140,000,000;
and as it was necessary now to keep a standing army in her colonies, to
defend and maintain her late conquests, the scheme of colonial taxation
to provide a regular and certain revenue began again to be agitated.
Already England feared the growing power and independence of her
colonies, and even at one moment hesitated as to whether it were not
wiser to restore Canada to France, in order that the proximity of a
powerful rival might keep them in check and secure their dependence on
the mother-country. As far as the colonists themselves were concerned,
we are assured by their earlier historians that the majority had no idea
of or wish to separate themselves from England, and that the utmost
which they contemplated by the conquest of Canada, was the freedom from
French and Indian wars, and that state of tranquil prosperity which
would leave them at liberty to cultivate and avail themselves of the
productions and resources of an affluent land. The true causes which
slowly alienated the colonies from the parent state may be traced back
to the early encroachments on their civil rights and the restrictive
enactments against their commerce.

The Americans were a bold and independent people from the beginning.
They came to the shores of the New World, the greater and better part of
them, republicans in feeling and principle. “They were men who scoffed
at the right of kings, and looked upon rulers as public servants bound
to exercise their authority for the benefit of the governed, and ever
maintained that it is the inalienable right of the subject freely to
give his money to the crown or to withhold it at his discretion.” Such
were the Americans in principle, yet were they bound to the
mother-country by old ties of affection, and by no means wishful to rush
into rebellion. It was precisely the case of the son grown to years of
discretion, whom an unreasonable parent seeks still to coerce, until the
hitherto dutiful, though clear-headed and resolute son, violently breaks
the bonds of parental authority and asserts the independence of his
manhood. The human being would have been less worthy in submission; the
colonies would have belied the strong race which planted them, had they
done otherwise.

England believed that she had a right to dictate and change the
government of the colonies at her pleasure, and to regulate and restrict
their commerce; and for some time this was, if not patiently submitted
to, at least allowed. The navigation acts declared that, for the benefit
of British shipping, no merchandise from the English colonies should be
imported into England excepting by English vessels; and, for the benefit
of English manufacturers, prohibited exportation from the colonies, nor
allowed articles of domestic manufacture to be carried from one colony
to another; she forbade hats, at one time, to be made in the colony,
where beaver abounded; at another, that any hatter should have above two
apprentices at one time; she subjected sugar, rum and molasses to
exorbitant duties on importation; she forbade the erection of iron-works
and the preparation of steel; or the felling of pitch and white
pine-trees unless in enclosed lands. To some of these laws, though felt
to be an encroachment on their rights, the colonies submitted patiently;
others, as for instance, the duties on sugar and molasses, they evaded
and opposed in every possible way, and the British authorities, from the
year 1733, when these duties were first imposed, to 1761, made but
little resistance to this opposition. At this latter date, however,
George III. having then ascended the throne, and being, as Charles
Townshend described him, “a very obstinate young man,” it was determined
to enforce this law, and “writs of assistance,” in other words,
search-warrants, were issued, by means of which the royal custom-house
officers were authorised to search for goods which had been imported
without the payment of duty. The people of Boston opposed and resented
these measures; and their two most eminent lawyers, Oxenbridge Thatcher
and James Otis, expressed the public sentiment in the strongest
language. Spite of search-warrants and official vigilance, the payment
of these duties was still evaded, and smuggling increased to a great
extent, while the colonial trade with the West Indies was nearly

In 1764 the sugar-duties were somewhat reduced, as a boon to the
colonies, but new duties were imposed on articles which had hitherto
been imported free; at the same time, Lord Grenville proposed a new
impost in the form of a stamp-tax. All pamphlets, almanacs, newspapers;
all bonds, notes, leases, policies of insurance, together with all
papers used for legal purposes, in order to be valid, were to be drawn
on stamped paper, to be purchased only from the king’s officers
appointed for that purpose. This plan met with the entire approbation of
the British parliament, but its enactment was deferred until the
following year, in order that the colonies might have an opportunity of
expressing their feelings on the subject. Though deference was thus
apparently paid to their wishes, the intention of the British government
was no longer concealed. The preamble of the bill openly avowed the
intention of raising a revenue from “His Majesty’s dominions in
America;” the same act gave increased power to the admiralty-courts, and
provided more stringent means for enforcing the payment of duties and
punishing their evasion.

The colonies received the news of these proposed measures with strong
indignation. Massachusetts instructed her agent in London to deny the
right of parliament to impose duties and taxes on a people who were not
represented in the House of Commons. “If we are not represented,” said
they, “we are slaves.” A combination of all the colonies for the defence
of their common interests was suggested.

Otis, who had published a pamphlet on Colonial Rights, seeing the tide
of public indignation rising very high, inculcated “obedience” and “the
duty of submission,” but this was not a doctrine which the Americans
were then in a state of mind to listen to. Better suited to their
feeling was Thatcher’s pamphlet against all parliamentary taxation.
Rhode Island expressed the same; so did Maryland, by their secretary of
the province; so did Virginia, by a leading member of her House of
Burgesses.[11] Strong as the expression of resentment was in the
colonies, addresses in a much milder strain were prepared to the king
and parliament from most of them, New York alone expressing boldly and
decidedly the true nature of her feelings, the same tone being
maintained by Rhode Island.

[Illustration: STAMP ACT RIOTS.]

But the minds of the British monarch and his ministers were not to be
influenced either by the remonstrances and pleadings of the colonies or
their agents in London, or of their few friends in parliament.
Grenville, the minister, according to pre-arrangement, brought in his
bill for collecting a stamp-tax in America, and it passed the House of
Commons five to one, and in the House of Lords there was neither
division on the subject nor the slightest opposition. This act was to
come into operation on the 1st day of November of the same year. It was
on the occasion of its discussion in the House of Commons, that Colonel
Barre, who had fought with Wolfe at Louisburg and Quebec, electrified
the house with his burst of eloquence in reply to one of the ministers
who spoke of the colonists as “children planted by our care, nourished
by our indulgence, and protected by our arms.” “They planted by your
care!” retorted Barre. “No; your oppression planted them in America.
They nourished by your indulgence! They grew up by your neglect of them.
They protected by your arms! Those sons of liberty have nobly taken up
arms in your defence. I claim to know more of America than most of you,
having been conversant in that country. The people, I believe, are as
truly loyal subjects as the king has, but a people jealous of their
liberties, and who will vindicate them should they ever be violated.”

The day after the Stamp Act had passed the house, Benjamin Franklin,
then in London as agent for Philadelphia, wrote the news to his friend,
Charles Thompson. “The sun of liberty,” said he, “is set; you must light
up the candles of industry and economy.” “We shall light up torches of
quite another kind,” was the reply.

Anticipating opposition to this unpopular measure, a new clause was
introduced in the Mutiny Act, authorising the sending of any number of
troops into the colonies, which, by an especial enactment, were to be
found with “quarters, fire-wood, bedding, drink, soap and candles,” by
the colonists.

The news of the passage of the Stamp Act called forth a universal burst
of indignation. At Boston and Philadelphia the bells were muffled, and
rung a funeral peal; at New York the act was carried through the streets
with a death’s head affixed to it, and labelled, “The folly of England
and the ruin of America.”[12]

The House of Assembly was sitting when the news reached Virginia, and
the leading aristocratic members hesitated to express an opinion.
Several days passed, and nothing was said; but the popular sentiment
found an utterance from the lips of Patrick Henry, a young lawyer and
member of the Assembly, who introduced a series of resolutions, which
were, in fact, the key-note to all that followed. The first four
resolutions asserted the rights and privileges of the colonists; the
last denied the authority of any power whatsoever, excepting their own
provincial Assembly, to impose taxes upon them, and denounced any person
as an enemy to the colonies, who should by writing or speaking maintain
the contrary. These strong resolutions led to a hot debate, during which
Henry, carried away by the fervour of his patriotism, styled the king of
England a tyrant. “Cæsar,” said he, “had his Brutus; Charles I. his
Cromwell; and George III.——” the cry of “Treason! Treason!” interrupted
him—“and George III.,” continued the corrected orator, “may profit by
their example. If that be treason, make the most of it!” Spite of strong
opposition, the resolutions passed; the last and most emphatic, by only
the majority of one vote. The next day, in the absence of Henry, it was
rescinded. But the whole had already gone to Philadelphia in manuscript,
and soon circulating through the colonies, met with a warm response, and
gave an impetus to the popular feeling.

Before the proceedings in Virginia were known in Massachusetts, the
General Court had met, and a convention or congress of deputies from the
various colonial houses of representatives was called “to meet at New
York on the first Tuesday in October, to consult on the difficulties in
which the colonies were and must be placed by the late acts of
parliament levying duties and taxes upon them;” and further, “to
consider of a general and humble address to his majesty and the
parliament, to implore relief.”

In the meantime the popular feeling grew in intensity, and public
meetings were held throughout the colonies—a new feature in colonial
history,—and inflammatory speeches made, and associations formed, and
resolutions agreed upon, to resist to the utmost this detested
measure, which was stated to be “unconstitutional and subversive of
their dearest rights.” Nor were they contented with talking merely.
Associations, under the name of “Sons of Liberty,” a phrase taken from
Colonel Barre’s famous speech, were formed in Connecticut, New York,
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, who proceeded to express
the popular sentiment in a very forcible manner. The stamp-officers in
all these provinces were either compelled or persuaded to renounce
their appointments; the stamps were seized and burned, and in Boston
scenes even of disgraceful violence occurred. Public meetings were
held under a large elm-tree, in an open space in the city, which hence
took the name of the “Liberty Tree;” the effigies of such as were
considered friends of the British government were hanged in its
branches, beneath which inflammatory speeches were made. The house of
Oliver, appointed stamp-distributor of Massachusetts, was attacked,
the windows broken, and the furniture destroyed, and he compelled to
resign. A violent sermon was preached against the Stamp Act, and this
excited the mob still further; many houses of the public officers were
attacked and destroyed, together with private papers and public
records, as was particularly the case at the house of Hutchinson, the
lieutenant-governor, whose furniture was piled into bonfires, the
flames of which were fed with invaluable manuscripts, the carefully
collected historical records of thirty years. These acts of violence
were of course committed by such ignorant mobs as are the product of
all periods of popular excitement. The respectable inhabitants of
Boston expressed their “abhorrence,” and a civic guard was organised
to prevent their recurrence; nevertheless the offenders passed
unpunished, whence it may be inferred that “the respectability” of
Boston did not quarrel with the spirit of their proceedings.

And now, on October 7th, the first Colonial Congress met at New York;
twenty-eight delegates being present from nine colonies; among these
were Timothy Ruggles, president, Otis, of Massachusetts, William
Johnson, of Connecticut, Philip Livingstone, of New York, John
Dickinson, of Pennsylvania, John M‘Kean, of Delaware, Christopher
Gadsden and John Rutledge, of South Carolina—all names afterwards
distinguished in the revolution. After mature deliberation, “a
Declaration of the Rights and Grievances of the Colonies” was drawn up,
in which all the rights and privileges of Englishmen were claimed as the
birthright of the colonists; one of the most important of which was an
exemption from all taxation, except such as was imposed by their own
consent and by their own representatives. A petition to the king and
parliament was also prepared, in which the cause of the colonies was
eloquently pleaded.

These proceedings were sanctioned by all the representatives, excepting
Ruggles, the president, and Ogden, of New Jersey, both of whom refused
to sign, on the plea of the approbation of their several assemblies
being first required. The petition and memorials, signed by the other
delegates, were transmitted to England, and all the other colonies gave
in their approval immediately afterwards.

On the important 1st of November, the day on which the Stamp Act came
into operation, scarcely a sheet of all the many bales of stamped paper
which had been sent out to the colonies was to be found. They had either
been destroyed or shipped back to England. The day was observed as one
of public mourning; shops were closed, vessels displayed their flags
half-mast high, processions paraded the streets, and every means was
used to show the public disapprobation. The very terms of the act
caused, in the present state of the popular mind, a suspension of the
whole machinery of the social state. Business for the time was at an
end; the courts of law were closed; marriages could not take place, nor
could the affairs of the dead be legally settled. This was a state,
however, which could not continue, and by degrees things fell into their
usual course, without any regard to the act of parliament at all.

On the 6th of November, a public meeting of the more influential
inhabitants of Boston formed a combination of retaliation on Great
Britain. The purport of this was, that no goods should be imported from
England nor used by the colonies. The women entered into the scheme with
the utmost enthusiasm. All British manufactures were foresworn, and
every kind of domestic manufacture was to be encouraged. In order to
promote the home manufacture of woollen cloths, it was determined for
the present to eat neither mutton nor lamb, that the American flocks
might thus be allowed to increase. By these means it was intended that
the trade with Great Britain should be destroyed.

England received the news with mingled alarm and displeasure.
Nevertheless, a change having taken place in the ministry, Lord
Grenville being succeeded by the Marquis of Rockingham, a party more
favourable to America was in power; and it was now, therefore, evident
to all that one of two measures must be immediately taken—either the
odious Stamp Act must be repealed, or the colonies must be compelled to
obedience by force of arms. The former was the wiser course, and a
strong party now existed to advocate it. Angry debates began in the
British senate on the subject. Lord Grenville’s party opposed repeal,
which Pitt in the House of Commons, and Lord Camden in the House of
Lords, as warmly advocated. “You have no right,” said Pitt, addressing
the house, “to tax America. We are told that America is obstinate—is
almost in open rebellion. I rejoice that America has resisted. Three
millions of people, so dead to all the feelings of liberty as to
voluntarily submit to be slaves, would have been fit instruments to make
slaves of all the rest. The Americans have been wronged. They have been
driven to madness by injustice. Let this country be the first to resume
its prudence and temper. I will pledge my word for the colonies, that on
their part animosity and resentment will cease!”

Franklin, summoned to the bar of the house as a witness, declared that
the act could never be enforced; and the bill for the repeal was carried
in the Commons. In the House of Lords it met with great opposition. Lord
Camden advocated the cause of the colonies with great eloquence. “My
position is this,” said he—“I repeat it, I will maintain it to my last
hour—taxation and representation are inseparable. This position is
founded on the law of nature. It is more—it is itself an eternal law of
nature; for whatever is a man’s own is absolutely his own; no man has a
right to take it from him without his consent. Whoever attempts to do it
attempts an injury; whoever does it commits a robbery.”

The bill for repeal passed, but it was accompanied by another, called
“the Declaratory Act,” which was intended to save the national honour by
avowing the principle “that parliament had a right to bind the colonies
in all cases whatever.”

The repeal of the Stamp Act caused great joy in London to the merchants,
manufacturers, and friends of America. In America it was received by a
general outburst of loyalty and gratitude. A general thanksgiving was
appointed; statues to Pitt and even to the king were voted, and erected
in various places. Pitt became more than ever the idol of the colonies;
and thanks were voted to him by most of the colonial assemblies.

The rejoicing, however, was only of short duration. The Declaratory Act
made known the principle of action which it was intended to pursue
towards the colonies, and accordingly the following year its operation
commenced. Again the ministry was changed; and though Pitt, now Earl of
Chatham, was at the head of affairs, and Lord Camden had a seat in the
cabinet, advantage was taken of Chatham’s illness, and Charles
Townshend, now Chancellor of the Exchequer and a former member of
Grenville’s ministry, brought in a bill for taxing all tea, glass, paper
and painters’ colours, imported into the colonies. This bill being
supposed less objectionable than the Stamp Act, passed the two houses
with but little opposition. Nor was this all; a standing army was to be
maintained in the colonies, and permanent salaries provided for the
governors and judges, so as to make them independent of the colonial
assemblies; while a third act empowered the naval officers to act as
custom-house officers, armed with authority to enforce the trade and
navigation acts. Punishment was also inflicted on New York and Georgia
for their disregard of the late Quartering Act; the legislative assembly
of New York was suspended until his majesty’s troops were provided with
supplies at the expense of the colony, and the troops were withdrawn
from Georgia for the same cause, leaving her exposed to the incursions
of Indians and the insurrection of negroes, which soon brought her to

The passing of these bills in such quick succession left the Americans
no longer in doubt of the line of policy which it was intended by
England to adopt towards them, and the excitement and indignation which
they occasioned equalled that produced by the Stamp Act. The colonial
assemblies met, and the strongest dissatisfaction was expressed.
Pamphlets circulated briskly, and the newspapers, now about
five-and-twenty in number, entered boldly on the subject of colonial
rights. The “Letters of a Pennsylvanian Farmer to the Inhabitants of the
British Colonies,” written by John Dickinson, flew from one end of the
colonies to the other. Franklin caused an edition to be published even
in London. The object of Dickinson’s letters was to show how dangerous
was the precedent of allowing parliamentary taxation in any form or to
any extent whatever.

Again meetings were held and associations formed for the support and
encouragement of home manufactures, and against the use and importation
of British goods. This movement, which commenced in Boston, extended
throughout the province, and the example was followed in Providence, New
York and Philadelphia. In New Hampshire the non-importation agreement
was not so warmly seconded, owing to the influence of the governor,
Wentworth, while in Connecticut, under William Pitkin, the governor and
an ardent patriot, it met with universal acceptation.

The assembly of Massachusetts invited by circular the co-operation of
the other provinces for the maintenance of colonial rights; the prime
movers in this measure being Thomas Cushing, the speaker of the House of
Assembly, James Otis, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Joseph Hawley, all
men of character and great influence. Otis was a lawyer; Cushing,
descended from an old Puritan line in the colony; Adams, a stern Puritan
likewise, educated for the ministry, but forced by circumstances to
become a merchant—he had, however, been unsuccessful as such, and after
various reverses and changes was now an active politician and patriot, a
man though poor, and whose wife by her industry supported the family,
yet who exercised an extraordinary influence upon the fate of his
country. Hancock, the youngest of this patriot band, was a wealthy
merchant, descended from a line of merchants, “young, gay, of winning
manners, with a strong love of popular approbation.” “Hancock,” says
Hildreth, “acted very much under the guidance of Adams, who saw the
policy of putting him forward as a leader.” Hawley was a member of
Northampton County, a lawyer by profession, a man of sound judgment,
religious feeling, and unimpeachable character. The leader in the House
of Representatives at this time was James Bowdoin, the grandson of a
French Huguenot, whose father from the smallest beginnings had become
the most opulent man in Boston, his immense wealth being inherited by
his son and only child at one-and-twenty; he, too, acted under the
direction of Adams.

The revenue officers no sooner began to enforce the collection of
duties, than, as might be expected in the existing state of public
feeling, they found themselves violently opposed by the merchants.
Before long, also, the sloop Liberty, belonging to Hancock, being seized
on the charge of having smuggled goods on board, the smothered fires
burst into open flame. The populace rose, and the terrified revenue
officers fled for their lives to the barracks on Castle Island, at the
mouth of the harbour.

About the same time orders were received from England that “the
Circular,” issued by the last court, and which had given great offence,
should be rescinded, and great disapprobation was expressed in his
majesty’s name of “that rash and hasty proceeding.” But the circular had
already gone forth, and by a vote of ninety-two to seventeen the House
of Assembly refused to rescind. Orders had also been received by all the
other colonies, desiring them to pay no attention to this offensive
circular; but Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia, and Georgia, had
already committed themselves to it; and Maryland and New York, instead
of obedience, now put forth remonstrances of their own.

Still was New York in contention with the governor on the subject of the
quartering of the troops, when General Gage, commander-in-chief of the
British forces in America, at the request of Bernard, the governor, who
had complained to England of the tumultuous and refractory character of
the people of Boston, was ordered to establish a military force in the
city, to keep the inhabitants in order, as well as to aid the revenue
officers in performing their duties. Two additional regiments were in
consequence sent over from England. Late in September they arrived, and
with muskets charged, and fixed bayonets, marched in as to a conquered
town. The people, however, remained refractory; nor, though ships of war
were in their harbour, and 1,000 armed men in their streets, would they
submit to find them quarters. At length the discomfited governor was
compelled to yield; one regiment encamped on Boston common, and the
State-house was thrown open for the accommodation of the rest. It was
Sunday when all this happened, and as the State-house stood opposite the
great church, the inhabitants were disagreeably disturbed in their
worship by the beating of drums and the marching of the troops, only to
find themselves challenged by sentinels stationed in the street on their
way home. These were not circumstances calculated to mollify the popular
resentment; the most irritating language passed between the soldiers and
the citizens, and the public excitement increased daily.

The news of this reception given to the troops, which was transmitted to
England both by Gage and Governor Bernard, caused an equally violent
excitement in England. Parliament declared the conduct of Massachusetts
to be “illegal, unconstitutional, and derogatory to the rights of the
crown and of parliament, and urged upon the king, that the governor
should be ordered to obtain all information regarding this treason, and
to send suspected persons over to England for trial, under an old
statute of Henry VIII., for the punishment of treasons committed out of
the kingdom.” And a bill to the same effect, spite of the opposition of
Barre, Burke, and Pownall, was immediately passed.

Every new step now taken, either by the colonies or the mother-country,
increased the distance between them. The news of these instructions
called forth immediately the most decisive expression of opinion from
the colonial assemblies. The Virginian Assembly, in which Thomas
Jefferson now first distinguished himself, and which was sitting when
these tidings reached, passed a resolution denying boldly the king’s
right, either to tax the colonies without their consent, or to remove an
offender out of the country for trial. As soon as Lord Boutetout, the
governor, heard of this, he dissolved the assembly, but the members,
instead of submitting, resumed their sittings in a private house, and
choosing Peyton Randolph as their speaker, passed resolutions, drawn up
by Colonel Washington, against the use of British goods. Their example
was followed, and the “non-importation agreement” of Boston, Salem and
New York, now became general. In North Carolina the assembly was also
dissolved, as well as in Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, indeed, the
military still occupying the town of Boston and the State-house, the
rupture became so violent, that when Sir Francis Bernard communicated to
the assembly his intention of going to England, to represent to
parliament the disaffected state of the province, the assembly drew up a
petition praying that he might be removed for ever from the government
of the province, and denouncing, in the strongest terms, the fact of a
standing army being maintained among them in a time of peace, and
against their express desire. Leaving the administration in the hands of
Lieutenant-governor Hutchinson, Bernard departed.

In the following year, 1770, an event occurred at Boston, which caused
great excitement throughout America. An affray having taken place
between some citizens and soldiers, the populace became greatly
exasperated, and on the 5th of March, a crowd insulted the city guard
under Captain Preston, and dared them to fire. The soldiers fired, three
of the people were killed, and others seriously wounded. At once the
whole city was roused, and thousands appeared in arms. After great
difficulty, and by promise that justice should be done them on the
morrow, the lieutenant-governor succeeded in appeasing the tumult.
Captain Preston and his company were tried for murder; two of the most
distinguished American lawyers and patriots, John Adams and Josiah
Quincy, very nobly volunteering their services in their defence. Two of
the soldiers were convicted of manslaughter, the rest were acquitted;
but this circumstance only tended to increase the ill-feeling between
the citizens and the soldiers.[13]

On the very day of the outrage at Boston, Lord North, who was now at the
head of the British administration, brought in a bill for the repeal of
the detestable Quartering Act, and the removal of all the late offensive
duties, excepting those on tea. It was time, in fact, to do something,
as during the last year the amount produced by these very taxes had been
swallowed up in their collection; British trade with the colonies was
nearly at an end, and the military expenses amounted within the same
period to £170,000. But even this conciliatory measure could do little.
The Americans would accept nothing which still recognised the principle
that parliament had a right to tax the provinces, and _tea_ became now
an article especially marked out by the non-importation agreements.

The concessions of government were not, however, without their effect in
America; two parties began now to exist; those who inclined to
moderation and adherence to the mother-country, called _Tories_, and the
opponents, _Whigs_. In New York the party of Tories was strong, being
composed of wealthy merchants, and members of the Church of England.
These having power in the assembly, which now, after a suspension of two
years, was allowed to meet again, submitted to the “Quartering Act,” and
provided for the soldiers, to the extreme disgust of the patriots and
sons of Liberty, at whose head was a wealthy merchant, Alexander
M‘Dougall, a man who had raised himself by his own energy from poverty,
and who was afterwards a major-general in the revolutionary army. This
man having expressed his views very strongly, was imprisoned by the
assembly, thus glad to show their zeal and loyalty, and M‘Dougall became
at once a popular hero and martyr, and his prison the gathering-place of

The non-importation and non-consumption agreements led to results of a
beneficial character in social life which had not been contemplated. The
senseless pomp of mourning and funeral expenses in which the colonists
had indulged was discontinued; American manufactures were stimulated,
“home-made was the fashion; and in 1770, the graduating students at
Cambridge took their degrees in home-spun suits.”

As we have before said, every successive act of Britain only served to
alienate still more the hearts of her colonies. In 1772, parliament
provided for the maintenance of the governor and judges of Massachusetts
out of the royal revenues of the province, independent of the colonial
assembly, and this was resented as an intended bribe to the governor and
an infraction of their rights. Public meetings were again held
throughout Massachusetts, and corresponding committees were formed,
whose business was to discuss and consider the rights of the colonists
and to communicate and publish the result. In the following year these
committees commenced operation in New Hampshire, Rhode Island,
Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland, as well as in Massachusetts.
These, “the nurseries of independence,” gave again great offence in

During June of the same year, the Gaspe, an armed revenue schooner,
which had been a great cause of annoyance in Narrangansett Bay, was
purposely enticed into shoal-water by a vessel to which she gave chase,
boarded and burnt by a party from Providence. This daring outrage called
forth the indignation of parliament, and an act was passed for sending
to England for trial all persons concerned in destroying his majesty’s
ships, etc. A reward of £600 was offered for the discovery of the
persons concerned in the destruction of this vessel, and powerful
machinery of examination was put in action; but though the perpetrators
were well known, so strong was public feeling in their favour, that no
legal evidence could be obtained against them.

“While ardent discussions,” says Hildreth, “on the subject of colonial
and national rights were going on in Massachusetts, some reflecting
persons were struck with the inconsistency of contending for their own
liberty and depriving other people of theirs. Hence arose a controversy
as to the justice and legality of negro slavery. This controversy led to
trials at law, in which the question was freely canvassed, and it was
proved by legal decisions ‘that the colonists, black or white, born
there, were free-born British subjects, and entitled to all the
essential rights of such.’ These were the first steps towards the
abolition of slavery in Massachusetts.”

Whilst disputes were maturing themselves into the great national contest
between the mother-country and the colonies, the colonies were not
altogether at peace among themselves; the question of boundary being
fruitful in controversy. Pennsylvania and Connecticut quarrelled
violently about the possession of the Wyoming Valley, on the Upper
Susquehanna, and blood was even shed. Virginia quarrelled with
Pennsylvania, also, about her western frontier, laying claim to
Pittsburg and the whole district west of the Laurel Mountains. The
boundary dispute which had long agitated New York and New Jersey was
happily adjusted about this time, as was also that between New York and
Massachusetts. Violent were the disputes, however, between New York and
the settlers in the infant Vermont, the territory lying west of the
Connecticut, “the Green Mountain Boys,” as they were called, and the
leaders of whom were Ethan Allen and Seth Warner, emigrants from
Connecticut to the Green Mountains. But, spite of disputes both at home
and abroad, settlers extended themselves farther and still farther, to
the north and to the west. The formidable Six Nations had now disposed
of all their vast territory south of the Ohio, as far as the Cherokee or
Tennessee River, to the British Crown, for the sum of £10,460. Settlers
were already occupying the banks of the Kenhawa River, flowing north
into the Ohio, beyond the great Allegany Range. In consequence of this
immense cession of territory, land companies started up in England for
the establishment of new colonies, but the growing troubles with the
mother-country prevented their plans being carried out.

The first settlements in the present state of Tennessee were made by
emigrants from North Carolina, who established themselves on the Wataga,
one of the head streams of the Tennessee, in the land of the Cherokees.
Like the early settlers of New England, these emigrants organised
themselves into a body politic, and drew up a code of laws to which
every individual assented by signature. About the same time that
settlers extended themselves to the Tennessee, an Indian trader,
returning to North Carolina from one of his far journeys west, induced
Daniel Boone and four other settlers on the Yadkin, in Maryland, by his
glowing accounts of the wonderfully beautiful regions which he had
discovered, to return with him for their exploration. They set out,
reached the head waters of the Kentucky, and as hunters traversed the
fertile plains and magnificent forests in pursuit of the buffalo and
other game. They had encounters with Indians, and Boone was taken
prisoner, but managed to escape, and was soon after joined by his
brother, who had come out in search of him. Boone was a second Nimrod, a
mighty hunter; and as such, explored the beautiful region between the
Upper Kentucky and the Tennessee. The country pleased him greatly, and
hastening back to the Yadkin, he sold his farm, and with his wife and
children and five other families, returned to this “New Western
Paradise,” being joined by volunteer settlers to the number of forty as
he journeyed along. All, however, did not go smoothly with them; they
were met by hostile Indians and some of their number killed; and war
having broken out between the backwoodsmen of Virginia and the Indians
on the Ohio, they were detained a year and a half by the way. While the
west was thus opened to the colonists, Georgia also acquired a large
increase of territory by the purchase of land from the Creeks and

About this time Whitfield died in America, and Wesley sent over
disciples to establish the Wesleyan Church in that country; soon after
which, Mother Ann Lee also arrived, the foundress of the Shakers, whose
singular communities exist to this day, here and there, throughout the
country. About the same time, also, the sect of the Universalists began
to attract attention, under the preaching of John Murray; and though at
first few dared to avow this so-called heresy, it gained great
acceptation, and tended considerably to soften the stern, rugged heart
of puritan New England.

We now return to the great contest which cast all minor subjects into
the shade.

The British ministry intended by cunning policy to effect what open
measures had failed to do. The East India company were allowed by act of
parliament to export tea to the American colonies free from English
duties, liable only to threepence per pound, to be paid by the
colonists, and which would thus give them tea cheaper than that
purchased by the English. Tea was shipped in great quantities to
America, which the colonists, who objected as strongly as ever to the
principle involved in the measure, determined should never be permitted
to land.

The pilots, therefore, in Philadelphia harbour were ordered not to
conduct the ships into the river, and their cargoes were consequently
returned to England; at New York, the governor commanded the tea to be
landed under protection of soldiers, but the people gained possession,
and prohibited its sale. At Charleston, also, its sale was forbidden and
it was stored up in damp cellars to render it unfit for use. At Boston,
the tea being consigned to the governor and his friends, it was feared
that it would be landed spite of the public, to prevent which a number
of men, disguised as Indians, boarded the vessels at night, and threw
their cargoes overboard. Three hundred and thirty-two chests of tea were
thus broken open and destroyed.

The news of this determined and offensive procedure caused the utmost
astonishment and indignation in England, and it was resolved in
parliament “to make such provisions as should secure the just dependence
of the colonies and due obedience to the laws throughout the British
dominions and as an especial punishment of the contumacious Bostonians,
a bill passed the house in March, 1774, to oblige them to repay the
value of the destroyed article, and also interdicting all commercial
intercourse with the port of Boston, and prohibiting the landing and
shipping of any goods at that place;” and by the same act the
custom-house and its dependencies were removed from Boston to Salem,
which it was intended to raise on the ruins of its neighbour city and


General Gage superseded Hutchinson as governor of Massachusetts, in
consequence of the unpopularity of the latter. A number of manuscript
letters, written by him to various members of parliament, had fallen
into the hands of Benjamin Franklin, now agent in London for
Massachusetts, New Jersey, Georgia and Pennsylvania, and having been
sent by him to Boston, and circulated extensively though privately,
caused his removal from office.

When, in May, the news of the Boston Port Bill reached that city,
together with instructions to the new governor, to send to another
colony or to England, for trial, any persons indicted for murder, or any
other capital offence committed in aid of the magistrates in the
fulfilment of their duty, an astonishment of grief and anger fell upon
the citizens, and a meeting of the inhabitants declared that “the
impolicy, injustice and inhumanity of the act exceeded their powers of

The General Assembly met, but was adjourned by the governor to Salem,
and it was then resolved that a colonial congress should be convened to
take into serious consideration the present difficult state of affairs.
James Bowdoin, Thomas Cushing, Samuel Adams, John Adams and Robert Treat
Paine, were therefore at once appointed as their representatives to such
a congress, and the speaker of the house was ordered to inform the other
colonies of this measure. The governor, hearing of these proceedings,
ordered the assembly to dissolve, but in vain; his officer was not
admitted, and in defiance of orders, the assembly finished its business.

The colonies sympathised warmly with Massachusetts, and Massachusetts
was true to herself. The behaviour of the inhabitants of Salem, whom it
was intended to benefit at the expense of Boston, was very noble. They
replied to the governor’s proclamation, “That nature, in forming their
harbour, had prevented their becoming rivals to Boston in trade; and
that, even if it were otherwise, they should regard themselves as lost
to every idea of justice and all feelings of humanity, if they could
indulge a thought of seizing upon the wealth of their neighbours, or
raising their fortunes upon the ruins of their countrymen.” More than
this; the inhabitants of Marblehead and Salem offered to the suffering
merchants of Boston the use of their harbour, wharfs and warehouses,
free of all charge; and in Virginia, where Lord Dunmore, now governor,
found it impossible to manage the “the refractory people,” “a day of
fast, humiliation, and prayer,” was appointed for the 1st of June, the
day on which the Boston Port Act came into effect, “that they might
beseech of God to avert the evils which threatened them, and to give
them one heart and one mind firmly to oppose, by all just and proper
means, every injury to the American rights.”

In September, the great congress proposed by Massachusetts met at
Philadelphia, composed of delegates from eleven of the colonies—the most
important assembly which had yet come together in America, and for the
result of whose deliberations all parties waited with extreme interest
and anxiety.

By unanimous consent, Peyton Randolph, of Virginia, was chosen
president; to each province was given one vote; they proceeded in their
deliberations with closed doors; and a committee, composed of two
persons from each province, was appointed to state the rights of the
colonies in general, together with every known instance in which these
rights had been infringed by the mother-country, and the proposed means
of redress. The conduct of Massachusetts, in her “conflict with wicked
ministers,” was approved, and a continuance of supplies for her relief
was voted. A letter of remonstrance was addressed to the governor,
General Gage, who was erecting fortifications on Boston Neck, begging
him to “desist from military operations, lest a difference altogether
irreconcilable should arise between the colonies and the parent state.”

The committee appointed for that purpose drew up a document setting
forth, in a string of resolutions, the rights of the colonies, which,
being approved, was published as the well-known “Bill of Rights.” A
suspension of all commercial intercourse with Great Britain was resolved
upon, until the grievances of the colonies were redressed; an address to
the king was voted, together with others to the people of Great Britain
and British America. The non-importation agreement bound them, “under
the sacred ties of virtue, honour, and love of liberty,” not to import
or use any British goods after the 1st of December, 1774, particularly
the articles, tea and molasses. Agriculture, the arts and manufactures,
were to be promoted in America by all possible means; committees were
appointed to see this agreement entered into, and all who violated it
were to be regarded as enemies to their country. To the honour of this
assembly it must be stated, that they bound themselves also not to be in
any way concerned in the slave-trade.

The proceedings of this congress awoke, as might be expected, a still
stronger spirit of animosity in England. In vain the congress deplored
to the king “the apprehension of his colonists being degraded into a
state of servitude from the pre-eminent rank of English freemen;” in
vain they besought that “the royal indignation might fall on those
designing and dangerous men, who, by their misrepresentations of his
American subjects, had compelled them by the force of accumulated
injuries to disturb his majesty’s repose;” in vain they prayed for
“peace, liberty, and safety; wishing not the diminution of the royal
prerogative, nor soliciting the grant of any new right in their favour;”
in vain they concluded their petition by earnestly beseeching the king,
“as the father of his whole people, not to permit the ties of blood, of
law, and loyalty, to be broken.” In vain did Lord Chatham stand before
the British senate as the eloquent advocate of America, declaring that
the way must be immediately opened for reconciliation, or it would be
soon too late. “His majesty,” argued he, “may indeed wear his crown, but
the American jewel out of it, it will not be worth wearing. I say,”
continued he, taking up the argument of American wrongs, “you have no
right to tax the colonies without their consent. They say truly,
representation and taxation must go together; they are inseparable. This
wise people speak out. They do not hold the language of slaves; they
tell you what they mean. They do not ask you to repeal your laws, as a
favour; they claim it as a right—they demand it; and the acts must be
repealed. Bare repeal, however, will not satisfy this enlightened and
spirited people. You must go through with the work; you must declare
that you have no right to tax them; thus they may trust you—thus they
will have some confidence in you.”

In vain did the merchants of London and other commercial towns petition
in favour of America. Dr. Franklin and other colonial agents were
refused a hearing before the house. America was condemned. The two
houses of parliament, by a large majority, assured the king that “the
Americans had long wished to become independent, and only waited for
ability and opportunity to accomplish their design. To prevent this,
therefore, and to crush the monster in its birth, was the duty of every
Englishman; and this must be done, at any price and at every hazard.”
Such was the temper of parliament.

In the meantime, the colonies were not indifferent to the increasing
difficulties of the times. Massachusetts already assumed a military
aspect. The congress, which, spite of the opposition of the governor,
continued to hold its sittings, seeing that the military stores were
already seized by the governor, proceeded themselves to take measures
for the defence of the province. £20,000 were voted for this purpose,
and the collectors of taxes received orders no longer to forward their
moneys to the government treasurer, but to a new one of their own
appointment. Further, it was ordained that a number of the inhabitants
should be enrolled as a militia of 12,000 men, ready to march at a
minute’s notice; officers were chosen, and committees of supplies and
safety held their regular sittings. Gage denounced their proceedings,
but no notice was taken of his denunciations; “he had no support except
in his own troops and a few trembling officials, while the zealous
co-operation of an intelligent, firm, energetic, and overwhelming
majority of the people, gave to the provincial congress all the strength
of an established government.”[14]

In November, at the very time when the king and the British parliament
were resolving to keep terms no longer with the colonies, Massachusetts
sent agents to New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut, to inform
them of her measures, and to solicit their co-operation in raising an
army of 20,000 men, ready to act in case of need.

In the midst of all these growing internal excitements, and while the
colonists were deeply occupied in the maintenance of their rights, the
frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia were again visited by the
miseries of Indian warfare. It was at this time that the family of the
famous chief Logan, an old and faithful friend of the whites, was
murdered in cold blood; and this and other atrocities committed by the
explorers of Ohio and Kentucky, led to the sorrows of the present Indian
war. Daniel Boone, the hunter of the Kentucky plains, was placed in
command of a frontier fort by Lord Dunmore, governor of Virginia, and a
war of extermination was carried on against the Indians. At length,
negotiations of peace were entered into, and it was on this occasion
that Logan made his celebrated speech: “I appeal to any white man,”
spoke the eloquent chief of the forest, “if he ever entered the cabin of
Logan hungry, and he gave him not meat; if he ever came cold and naked,
and he clothed him not. During the last long and bloody war, Logan
remained idle in his cabin; and such was his love for the whites, that
his countrymen pointed as they passed, and said, ‘Logan is the friend of
the white men!’ I even thought to live with you, but for the injuries of
one man. Colonel Cresop, last spring, in cold blood, and unprovoked,
murdered all the relatives of Logan, not sparing women and children.
There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature!
This called on me for revenge! I have fully glutted my vengeance! For my
people, I rejoice at the beams of peace; but mine is not the joy of
fear—Logan never felt fear. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one!”

At the commencement of 1775, America very generally stood in a position
of hostility to the mother-country. The congress of Massachusetts had
held its third sitting; volunteers were in arms throughout the province,
and every town had its committees of safety, correspondence and
inspection. John Thomas, of Plymouth, and William Heath, a Roxbury
farmer, were appointed generals of the Massachusetts army.

In Rhode Island, in consequence of the royal prohibition of the
exportation of military stores to America, and the removal of armed
ships from Narrangansett Bay, the people of Providence conveyed
forty-four pieces of cannon thither from Newport; and when called upon
by the British naval commander for an explanation, Governor Wanton, a
stout patriot, bluntly replied, that they were removed to prevent their
falling into his hands, and were intended to be used against any force
which might molest the colony. In New Hampshire, John Sullivan a lawyer,
and John Langdon, a merchant of Portsmouth, headed a party who entered
the fort at that place, and possessed themselves of 100 barrels of
powder, cannon and small arms. The convention of Maryland ordered the
enrolment of militia, and voted £10,000 for the purchase of arms. In
Pennsylvania, the public spirit was less unanimous. The provincial
convention of that province expressed themselves less decidedly than
suited the temper of the ardent patriots, one of the leaders of whom was
Thomas Mifflin, a young Quaker, possessed of much energy of character,
and remarkable powers of popular eloquence. Mifflin, however, was an
exception to the general body of Quakers, who, whatever their original
opposition to established forms, have ever been loyal and obedient to
the powers that be; and now, in their yearly meeting held in
Philadelphia at the commencement of 1775, they put forth their
“testimony of abhorrence to every measure and writing tending to break
off the happy connexion of the colonies with the mother-country, or to
interrupt their just subordination to the king.” Very different was the
spirit of the sects and their ministers in New England. Everywhere it
evinced opposition to the king and the mother-country, whose attempts to
force an established episcopal church, with a bishop at its head, upon
the colonies, had only tended still more to increase that very spirit of
resistance which had first sent their forefathers to these shores. The
Presbyterians of every New England state were all staunch Whigs. The
episcopal clergy and their congregations, wherever found, were Tories;
so also were the landed proprietors and merchants, especially the more
recent settlers. The Episcopalian and Tory party was more numerous in
New York than in any other of the northern provinces. In Georgia they
were also considerable, and the influence of Governor Wright prevented
this province from joining the American Association; and in the southern
provinces, the law of primogeniture, which still considerably prevailed,
together with the institution of slavery, had given rise to a local
aristocratic class, totally opposed in sentiment to the democracy of the

These were the elements upon which England depended to establish her
power in the coming contest;—nor were these all; she depended, not only
on the loyalty and attachment of the Episcopalians everywhere, but on
the peace-loving principles of the Quakers, who were an influential
portion of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and North Carolina; she
expected if not aid, at least no opposition from the numerous German
settlers, who, established in large colonies, had not yet acquired the
English language nor amalgamated with the British colonists; and at the
same time she depended for aid upon the Scotch Highlanders, who abounded
in New York and North Carolina, and who were at the same time ignorant
and loyal.

It being determined therefore to show no concession to the rebellious
spirit of the colonies, a bill was brought in in February, 1775, for
cutting off the trade of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and
New Hampshire, excepting with Great Britain and her West India
possessions, and to prohibit also their fishing on the banks of
Newfoundland, which was then a great branch of their trade and industry.
While this bill was under discussion, news reached England of the
adhesion which was given by the other colonies to the measures of the
American Congress; and all the colonies, excepting New York, North
Carolina and Georgia, were included in the bill of restriction. At the
very time that this New England Restraining Bill was agitating all
parties, Lord North proposed what he called a conciliatory plan, which
was, in fact, that Great Britain should forbear any scheme of colonial
taxation, on condition that the assembly of each province should raise a
suitable amount of money, which should be disposable by parliament. This
plan, though vehemently opposed in England, as conceding too much to the
colonies, was utterly rejected by the colonies, as compelling them to
yield that over which they claimed to have a right. In the midst of all
these attempts at coercion and conciliation, an endeavour at negotiation
also failed between Benjamin Franklin and some members of the cabinet
who were friendly to America.

The West India merchants petitioned against the restraining bill, as
interfering fatally with their commercial relationships, and foretelling
famine and ruin to the West India islands in consequence. The assembly
of Jamaica petitioned parliament on behalf of “the claim of rights set
up by the North American provinces,” and protested against the “plan
almost carried into execution for reducing the colonies into the most
abject state of slavery.” Petitions for conciliation were presented from
the British Quakers and the British settlers in Quebec, and Wilkes, as
lord mayor of London, presented a remonstrance to the king from the city
authorities, expressing “abhorrence of the measures in progress for the
oppression of their fellow subjects in the colonies.” But all was of no
avail. Nothing was to be done; and Franklin, seeing the hopeless state
of affairs, set sail for America, and almost at the same moment the
battle of Lexington was fought.

                              CHAPTER IV.
                         THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.

When, in February, 1775, the provincial congress met again at Cambridge,
the committee of supplies took the most active measures for the raising
and drilling of the militia, and for the procuring of ammunition and
military stores of all kinds. A day of fasting and prayer, according to
puritan custom on solemn and important occasions, was also appointed;
New England was preparing temporally and spiritually for the great time
of trial.

The British forces under the command of General Gage, at Boston,
amounted to about 3,000. Gage, aware of what was going forward around
him, resolved to disable the insurgent colonists by gaining possession
of the stores and ammunition which had been collected by them, and
stored at Salem and Concord. At Salem the search was unsuccessful, the
troops being driven back from a bridge, the passage of which was
disputed on the Sunday. The attempt at Concord was of a much more
serious character, military stores being collected there to a great
extent. Eight hundred men were sent out on this expedition, with orders
of despatch and secrecy, under the command of Colonel Smith and Major
Pitcairn, on the night of April 18th, and arrived at Lexington, within
five miles of Concord, just before sunrise. But the alarm had been
already given, and it being supposed that the intention was to seize
John Hancock and Samuel Adams, who were then there, the minute-men of
the place were drawn up to resist them. Pitcairn, at the head of his
regulars, advanced within musket-shot, and exclaimed, “Disperse, rebels!
Throw down your arms, and disperse!” No notice being taken of these
words, a volley was then fired, which killed eight of the minute-men and
wounded several others. The British, however, declared that the
minute-men fired first; but be that as it may, they then fled, and the
firing was continued, the regulars marching on to Concord, where they
destroyed and took possession of the stores, while the minute-men being
reinforced by different bodies which had hurried there at the sound of
the firing, a skirmish ensued. A considerable number of the regulars
were killed, and the rest forced to retreat, the colonial militia
pursuing them hotly all the way back to Lexington, where, fortunately
for themselves, they found Lord Percy with a reinforcement of 900 men.
But for this timely aid, it is doubtful if any of their number would
have reached Boston; the Americans, having the advantage of the
knowledge of the ground, and availing themselves of the Indian mode of
warfare, took fatal aim from behind bushes, stone walls, barns, or
whatever offered a means of concealment. At sunset the exhausted
regulars reached Bunker’s Hill, near Boston, having lost in killed and
wounded about 300 men, while the loss of the provincials amounted to

The news of this battle, of this first shedding of blood, flew like
wild-fire through the colonies. Couriers were despatched at full speed
from place to place, bearing tidings which called all to arms. “The war
has begun!” was shouted in the market-place; at the ferry on the river;
in the crowded meeting-house on the Sabbath; and all rushed to arms. It
was twenty days, however, with their utmost speed, before the news
reached Charleston in South Carolina; yet, long before that time,
volunteers had marched from all parts of the New England colonies.

From Rhode Island, a body of volunteers hastened to Boston, under the
command of a young Quaker, Nathaniel Greene, who was disowned by his
brethren for this violation of their principles. Nor could the
admonitions and threats of discipline of the elder Friends of
Philadelphia keep the martial spirit of their young men under control.
Mifflin’s example and influence was stronger than all the advice they
could give, and Quaker-Philadelphia sent out a company of brave
volunteers. Delaware, Maryland, and North Carolina, all were moved by
the same spirit; while Patrick Henry, the young patriot lawyer of
Virginia, marched with a troop of volunteer riflemen to Williamsburgh,
the capital of the Old Dominion, and compelled the royal treasurer to
refund the value of ammunition which Lord Dunmore, the governor, had
lately seized. Dunmore, incensed, issued a proclamation declaring them
rebels, and fortified his residence. Soon after, letters of his,
addressed to the English government, and which were considered false to
the colony, being intercepted, the public indignation waxed hot against
him; whereupon, fearing for his life, he fled to a man-of-war lying at
Yorktown, and abandoned his government. Governor Martin, of North
Carolina, about the same time, fled also in terror on board a ship of
war, at the mouth of Cape Fear River; and in South Carolina, Lord
William Campbell, the governor, being suspected of secret negotiations
with the Cherokees, was likewise obliged to retire. Georgia, the
hitherto “defective link in the American chain,” soon became soldered by
the kindling flame of liberty. In vain Sir James Wright, the governor,
did his utmost to maintain the loyalty and allegiance of the province.
The powder was removed from the magazine at Savannah; and the cargo of a
powder-ship, which lay at the mouth of the river, forwarded to the camp
at Boston.

Georgia sent five delegates to the provincial congress about to assemble
at Philadelphia; and henceforth the style of the “Thirteen United
Colonies” was assumed.

The battle of Lexington was soon followed by other events. The
Massachusetts committee of safety had already contemplated gaining
possession of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, on which depended the control
of Lakes George and Champlain, when, without waiting for higher commands
than those of patriotism, the bold Ethan Allen and Seth Warner, at the
head of their “Green Mountain Boys,” set out on the enterprise. Without
being aware of this movement, Benedict Arnold, a New Haven trader, then
in camp before Boston with a company of volunteers, received a
commission from the committee of safety, to raise a body of troops in
Vermont and proceed on this enterprise. Arnold was well pleased, for it
was a favourite scheme of his own, but presently found, to his surprise,
that others were before him. Taking command, therefore, under Allen,
they marched together to Ticonderoga, which they reached on the 9th of
May, and on the 10th, by break of day, entered the fort unperceived,
with eighty men, and surprising De la Place, the commandant, in his bed,
ordered him to surrender, “in the name of the Great Jehovah and the
Continental Congress.” No resistance was attempted; and Crown Point was
taken with equal ease. The garrison of both forts did not amount to more
than sixty men, but above 200 pieces of artillery and a valuable
quantity of powder, of which there was great want in the provincial
camp, fell into the hands of the captors. After this, Arnold manned a
small schooner, and proceeding down the lake, surprised the Fort of St.
John and seized a sloop-of-war laden with stores; the pass of
Skeensborough, now Whitehall, was likewise secured. Three important
posts which commanded the lakes, together with much needed cannon and
munitions of war, being thus secured in rapid succession and without
bloodshed, raised the hopes of the Americans and inspired them with

While these events were going forward, Lord North’s conciliatory
proposition was laid before the various colonial assemblies and
rejected. On May 10th the colonial congress met at Philadelphia. Its
meeting was momentous. Thomas Jefferson was chosen president, and Thomas
Hancock secretary. Bills of credit were issued for defraying the
expenses of the war. It was resolved, that hostilities had been
commenced by Great Britain; allegiance was still avowed, and an anxious
desire expressed for peace; nevertheless it was voted that the colonies
ought to put themselves in a posture of defence against the
parliamentary schemes of compulsory taxation. After much opposition,
another petition to the king was agreed upon. The New England states
entertained and freely acknowledged the desire for independence; the
middle and the southern states still hesitated, though all had sent
delegates to the congress. Addresses were also prepared to the people of
Great Britain and Ireland, as well as an appeal made to the “oppressed
inhabitants of Canada,” as through Canada it was expected that England
would make an attack on the colonies.

In order to prevent General Gage from penetrating into the country,
which was his intention, congress recommended to the council of war
completely to blockade him in Boston; for which purpose, Colonel
Prescott, with a detachment of 1,000 men, including a company of
artillery and two field-pieces, was ordered to march at nightfall of
June 16th, and take possession of Bunker’s-hill, an elevation just
within the peninsula of Charlestown, and commanding the northern
approach to Boston, which city it overlooked. By some mistake, however,
they proceeded to Breed’s Hill, a lower height and still nearer to
Boston. With the utmost silence and despatch they laboured all night,
and before morning had thrown up a considerable redoubt, capable of
defending themselves from the fire of the enemy. Great was the
astonishment of the British the next morning, and a fire was immediately
opened upon them from the ships in the river. The work, however, went on
uninterruptedly, when, about noon, 3,000 picked men, under command of
Generals Howe and Pigot, embarked in boats and landed at the foot of
Breed’s Hill, and advanced slowly in two columns; the artillery in the
meantime being directed against the works. At this critical moment no
system prevailed in the American army; the same troops who had been at
work all night were still in the intrenchments; neither General Warren
nor Israel Putnam, though on the ground, had troops under their command;
forces which had been ordered thither had not arrived and the stock of
ammunition was very small.

It was a splendid summer’s afternoon, when the British advanced up the
hill. Clinton and Burgoyne were stationed on a height in Boston to watch
the action; and all the surrounding eminences, spires of churches, and
roofs of houses, were crowded with spectators, awaiting anxiously,
though with opposing interests, the result of the approaching conflict.
Slowly and uninterruptedly advanced the British, until within about ten
rods of the redoubt, when such a deadly fire assailed them that their
ranks were mown down, the whole line broken, and they fell back in
disorder. Again they were rallied and brought back to the charge by
their officers, but again were repulsed with loss. Infuriated by defeat,
and in consequence also, it is said, of shots being fired from a house
on the left, Gage ordered Charlestown to be set on fire; the wooden
buildings burned rapidly and the tall spire of the meeting-house was
wrapt in flame; 2,000 people at least being thus rendered houseless.
Amid the terrors of the burning village, the British regulars made a
second and yet a third attack, and this time with better success. The
ammunition of the provincials began to fail, and the British artillery,
now brought up to the breast-work, swept it from end to end, while three
simultaneous attacks carried it at the point of the bayonet. Courage now
could avail nothing, and the provincials under Colonel Prescott made
good their retreat across Charlestown Neck, exposed to an incessant fire
from the shipping, and entrenched themselves on another height still
commanding the entrance to Boston. The British took possession of
Bunker’s Hill. This defeat the Americans esteemed as a victory; in
England the victory was considered little less than a defeat, and
General Gage was in consequence superseded by Sir William Howe, brother
of Lord Howe, who perished before Ticonderoga. Of 3,000 British engaged
in this conflict above 1,000 fell. The loss of the Americans was in
about the same proportion; out of 1,500, 450 were killed and wounded,
but among the former was General Warren, whose loss caused the deepest
regret to his country.

This second encounter, in which undisciplined troops had so bravely
withstood the flower of the British army, raised still higher the hopes
and confidence of the Americans. The English discovered also that they
had no insignificant enemy to deal with.

The day before the battle of Bunker’s Hill, the Provincial congress at
Philadelphia, having voted to raise an army of 20,000 men, proceeded to
elect George Washington, then present as delegate from Virginia, to the
rank of commander-in-chief. The northern colonies had resolved, in order
to secure the adherence of the South, to choose a southern commander,
and the superior wisdom of Providence guided them in the selection. God
provides the man for the work, and Washington was the appointed agent of
a great people’s emancipation. Divine wisdom, and not that of man,
guided the choice. Washington, with great modesty and dignity, accepted
the appointment, declining all compensation for his services beyond the
defrayment of expenses. At the same time that Washington received the
command in chief, Artemas Ward, of Massachusetts, Colonel Lee, formerly
a British officer, Philip Schuyler, of New York, and Israel Putnam, of
Connecticut, then with the camp before Boston, were appointed
major-generals, and Horatio Gates adjutant-general.

Washington, accompanied by a number of ardent young men from the South,
soon appeared in the camp and assumed command. He found excellent
_materiel_ for an army, but great want of arms and ammunition as well as
deficiency of discipline. The troops, now amounting to 14,000 men, were
arranged in three divisions; the right wing under General Ward, at
Roxbury; the left, under Lee, on Prospect Hill; and the centre at
Cambridge, where were Washington’s head-quarters. The post of
quarter-master-general was given by Washington to Mifflin, the young
Quaker of Philadelphia, who had accompanied him as aide-de-camp; and
Robert Harrison, a lawyer of Maryland, was chosen by him for the
important office of his secretary, the duties of which he faithfully
performed for several years. Among the new companies which now joined
the camp was one from Virginia, led by that same village wrestler,
Daniel Morgan, who was hired by Benjamin Franklin to aid in the removal
of stores for Braddock’s army, and in whose defeat he was wounded. The
British, thus hemmed in at Boston, suffered greatly from want of

While Washington was occupied in organising his army and endeavouring to
introduce order and discipline among troops unaccustomed to
subordination, congress was employed in providing the necessary means
for the support of the war. A declaration of war was also issued, in
which the causes and necessity for taking up arms were set forth. This
document, which was ordered to be read from every pulpit in the
colonies, asserted that their cause was just, their union perfect. “Our
internal resources are great,” said the declaration, “and if necessary,
foreign aid is undoubtedly attainable.” “Nevertheless,” it went on to
say, “we have not raised armies with the ambitious design of separating
from Great Britain. We have taken up arms in defence of the freedom
which is our birthright. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall
cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their renewal
shall be removed.”

The importance of keeping on good terms with the Indians at this
critical juncture was not overlooked; and three boards were established
for the management of Indian affairs. An armed body of Stockbridge
Indians, the last remains of the New England tribes, was already with
the camp at Boston; and overtures were made to the Six Nations. Louis,
the chief of the French Mohawks, a half-blood Indian, received a
commission as colonel, and at the head of an Indian troop faithfully
served the American cause.

The first complete line of postal communication was established at this
time by congress, amid its multifarious concerns, and Benjamin Franklin
was appointed post-master-general, with power to appoint deputies for
the conveyance of the mail from Falmouth in Maine to Savannah in

While the British army was blockaded at Boston, and the highway to
Canada opened for the Americans by their possession of Ticonderoga and
Crown Point, it was resolved by congress to invade and possess
themselves of that province, and thus counteract the movements of Sir
Guy Carleton, the governor, who was evidently under orders from England
to attack the colonies from the north-west. Two expeditions were
therefore sent out—the one under Generals Schuyler and Montgomery, by
way of Lake Champlain; the other by the Kennebec, under General Benedict
Arnold; the whole of these forces amounting to about 3,000 men.

On the 10th of September, Schuyler and Montgomery appeared before St.
John’s, the most southern British fort in Canada, but finding it too
strong for attack, retired to the Isle aux Noix, 115 miles from
Ticonderoga, which they fortified, and where Schuyler issued circulars
to the Canadians, inviting them to join the Americans and assert their
liberty. But soon after hastening to Ticonderoga for reinforcements, he
fell sick, and the whole command devolved upon Montgomery.

Having received reinforcements, though in want of artillery and
ammunition, and having engaged the Indians in a treaty of neutrality,
Montgomery returned to St. John’s, which he besieged with but little
success, though he took Fort Chambly, at a few miles distance, where he
was fortunate enough to obtain several pieces of cannon and a
considerable quantity of powder. Colonel Ethan Allen, the hero of
Ticonderoga, being sent out, during the siege of St. John’s, with a
detachment of about eighty men, to secure a party of hostile Indians,
met on his return with another officer as rash and daring as himself,
and they, without orders, madly determined to attempt the surprise of
Montreal. Montreal did not yield so easily as Ticonderago fort had done;
Allen was taken prisoner, treated with great severity, and sent to
England in irons. Montgomery, however, having renewed the siege of St.
John’s, that fort surrendered on the 3rd of November, after which he
advanced rapidly to Montreal, which Carleton had abandoned, making his
escape down the river to Quebec. The following day, Montgomery, having
engaged to leave the inhabitants undisturbed in the free exercise of
their laws and religion, took possession of the town, where his troops
found a very welcome supply of woollen goods, with which they were
enabled to clothe themselves—a necessary circumstance at the
commencement of a rigorous Canadian winter. Although the kindness of
Montgomery’s disposition and conduct induced many Canadians to enlist
under his arms, he suffered greatly from the insubordination and
desertions of his own troops; while others, the time of their service
being expired, returned to their own homes. Nevertheless, with the
remnant of his army, amounting merely to about 300 men, he proceeded
rapidly towards Quebec, expecting to meet there General Arnold, with his
detachment of 1,000 men, who was to advance thither by the Kennebec.

The hardships which Arnold and his men had in the meantime endured, in
the trackless and desolate forests of Maine, at the commencement of
winter, were almost incredible; nevertheless, on the 9th of November, he
arrived at Point Levi, opposite Quebec. Could he have immediately
crossed the St. Lawrence, the city, which was indifferently defended and
which was alarmed at his approach, might easily have been taken; but,
for want of boats, it was not until the 13th that he was able to cross,
and by that time Carleton, who had escaped from Montreal, had gained the
city and put it in a state of defence. On the night of the 13th,
therefore, Arnold crossed with his army, now reduced to 700 men, and
ascending the cliffs to the Heights of Abraham, as Wolfe had done
before, hoped to take the city by surprise. Finding, however, the
garrison prepared for his reception, and not being strong enough to
hazard an assault, he retired twenty miles down the river, there to
await the arrival of Montgomery.

Montgomery joined Arnold on the 1st of December, all his Connecticut men
having by this time returned home, so that the united forces of the two
generals did not amount to 1,000. On the 5th, a message to surrender
being sent to Carleton, the messenger was fired upon. It was then
resolved to batter the town, but their artillery was found insufficient
for the purpose, and after a siege of three weeks, during which the
assailants suffered incredibly from the severity of the season, an
assault was resolved upon as the only chance in their desperate
circumstances. On the last night of the year, therefore, in the midst of
a violent snow-storm, and with the ground several feet deep in snow, the
American troops set forth in four divisions, commanded by Montgomery,
Arnold, Brown and Livingston; and whilst the two latter were to make a
feigned attack on the Upper Town, the two former, each at the head of
their respective forces, were to assault the Lower Town at two opposite
quarters. Montgomery had already passed the first barrier, the enemy
flying before him, when the discharge of a piece of artillery deprived
this brave man and two other officers of life. Disheartened by the death
of their leader, the next in command ordered a retreat. Arnold, in the
meantime, was boldly pushing his way forward into the town, when a ball,
while cheering his men onward, shattered his leg. He was unwillingly
borne from the combat, while Daniel Morgan, at the head of his Virginian
riflemen, pushed forward and made himself master of the second battery.
For several hours he and the fragments of the companies who now met,
sustained their ground, but at length, overcome by superior numbers,
they were obliged to surrender as prisoners of war. Not less than 400
men perished in this unfortunate attempt, and 300 more were made
prisoners. Wounded as he was, Arnold retired with the small remains of
his army to a distance of three miles, where, covering his camp with
ramparts of frozen snow, he kept Quebec in a state of blockade through
the winter.

Carleton treated his prisoners with great kindness; they were well fed
and clothed, and afterwards allowed a safe return home. This humane
policy greatly strengthened the British interests in Canada.
Reinforcements arrived early in the spring for Arnold, but small-pox had
already broken out among the troops, of which frightful disease General
Thomas, who was sent out to supersede Arnold, died. The Americans
retreated; and one by one, before midsummer, nearly all the posts which
had been taken by them fell into the hands of the British.

In the midst of the anxieties and disturbances of the preceding year,
the new province, which is now Kentucky, received still further
accession of settlers through the means of Richard Henderson, a North
Carolina lawyer, a man of great enterprise and energy, who had purchased
a large tract of country from the Cherokees for a few wagon-loads of
goods. Henderson, now associated with Boone, the bold hunter and settler
of the wilderness, who had already established himself at Boonesburgh,
and with other early settlers, especially an adventurous backwoodsman
named Harrod, the founder of Harrodsburg, proceeded to organise
themselves as the province of Transylvania. Courts and a militia were
established, and laws enacted; and soon after a delegate sent thence to
the continental congress at Philadelphia. Unfortunately for the new
colony, Virginia laid claim to the territory as lying within her
charter, and the Transylvanian delegate could not be recognised. About
the same time that this early settlement of Kentucky was going forward,
400 families from Connecticut left their old homes to seek new ones
under General Lyman, in the province of West Florida.

While the Americans were wasting their strength in unsuccessful attempts
in Canada, the seaports of New England were kept in continual alarm by
British cruisers, who not only landed to obtain supplies of which the
royal forces were in great need, but also sailed under orders to lay
waste and destroy in case of resistance. Hence Falmouth, now Portland, a
rising town of 500 houses, was burned by Lieutenant Mowatt, which caused
an increase of exasperation in the minds of the colonists, and led them
also to attempt maritime warfare. Congress authorised the fitting out of
thirteen war-frigates, and the raising of two battalions of marines.
Privateering was established, and courts of admiralty formed for the
adjudication of prizes. All ships of war employed in harassing the
colonies, and all vessels bringing supplies to the British forces, were
declared lawful prizes.

Great anxiety existed in the mind of the commander-in-chief, owing to
the extreme scarcity of ammunition and military stores in his army. The
utmost efforts were used to discover lead mines in the country, and to
establish the manufacture of saltpetre; a secret committee was also
formed for the importation of powder and lead from the West Indies.
Another cause of anxiety, and still the greater, existed in the
insubordination of the army itself. At the close of 1775, the term of
enlistment having in many cases expired, thousands had marched away to
their homes, disgusted with the hardships and discomforts of military
life. The enthusiasm of patriotism had died out in many breasts; whilst
jealousies among the officers, selfishness and faithlessness, gave
reason for an anxious looking forward to the future.

In the meantime, the petition of congress to the king, or “the Olive
Branch,” as it was called, and which had been intrusted to the care of
Richard Penn, grandson of the proprietary, and long time resident in
America, had been presented. This was the last hope of the colonists for
reconciliation, and the tidings regarding it were anxiously waited for.
The news came. His majesty deigned no reply; and in his opening speech
to parliament accused the Americans of hostility and rebellion, and
declared the object of their taking up arms to be the establishment of
their own independence. In vain did the friends of America in the House
of Commons earnestly advocate their cause; in vain did the merchants of
London again remonstrate against coercive measures; a bill was passed
declaring them rebels, prohibiting all trade with the thirteen colonies,
and making their ships and goods and all persons trafficing with them,
lawful prize. The same act authorised the impressment of the crews of
all captured vessels for service in the royal navy. Commissioners of the
crown were, however, empowered to pardon and remit from penalty all such
colonies or individuals as by ready submission merited such favour.
Furthermore, treaties were entered into by the British government with
the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel and other German princes, for 17,000 men
to be employed against the Americans. Twenty-five thousand additional
English troops and a large fleet, abundantly supplied with provisions
and military stores, were ordered to America.

These tidings convinced America that she had no longer anything to hope
from the mother-country; sorrow, indignation and anxiety filled all
hearts. These measures gave, however, by no means unqualified
satisfaction, even in England. It is worth recording, as an instance of
noble sacrifice to principle, that Lord Effingham, and the eldest son of
the Earl of Chatham, threw up their commissions rather than act in this
American war, which they considered so unjust. The office of
commander-in-chief having been offered likewise to General Oglethorpe,
the founder of Georgia, was declined by him naturally enough, and that
rank was now held by General Howe.

Howe and his army spent their winter in Boston as best they could,
suffering greatly from want of supplies. Fuel was obtained by pulling
down houses, and the poorer class of inhabitants were sent out of the
city, in order to decrease the consumption of food. Three companies,
however, of “Loyal American Associators” were formed; and, spite of
puritanism, balls and a theatre were got up by the British officers, and
the largest of their meeting-houses was turned into a riding-school.

The growth of the British interests in the colonies was not, however,
confined by any means to Boston. New York had long been suspected of a
growing partisanship; and the government newspaper, “Rivington’s
Gazette,” now became so offensive to the “Sons of Liberty,” that some
members of this distinguished body, to the number of seventy-five, rode
at noonday to the suspected Tory newspaper-office, broke the presses,
and carried off the type; a proceeding which was very satisfactory to
the Whig portion of the public, both there and elsewhere. At Albany,
too, on the Hudson, at the extreme frontier of New York, the party of
loyalists was becoming very formidable, under Sir John and Guy Johnson;
the one the head of a colony of Scotch Highlanders, the other the Indian
agent there. General Schuyler had already compelled these men to give
their word of honour not to take up arms against America; nevertheless,
Guy Johnson had withdrawn into Canada with a large body of Mohawks,
under the celebrated chief Brandt, who had long served on the British
side. Sir John Johnson also fled to Canada, where he too became a
powerful adversary, at the head of his “Royal Greens”—two battalions
raised from his tenants and dependants.

Nor was Lord Dunmore inactive in the South. Having carried off in his
turn a printing-press, he printed and dispersed a proclamation declaring
martial law, calling upon all who could bear arms to join him in the
king’s name, and offering freedom to all slaves and indented servants of
rebels who would join his standard. By this means he gained a great
number of adherents, amongst whom were many fugitive slaves, after which
he took up his position near the town of Norfolk, where he was defeated
by the colonial militia, and again driven to his ships, accompanied by
great numbers of royalists. Norfolk was bombarded by him and finally
burnt, which was a cause of great indignation in Virginia, this being
one of the richest and largest of her towns. Great was the damage which
for the next several months Dunmore effected on the coast, burning towns
and houses, plundering plantations and carrying off slaves. Finally
pursued, harassed, and suffering from want of provisions, he and his
adherents were compelled to retire to St. Augustine in the West Indies.

                               CHAPTER V.

At the commencement of 1776, the American army under Washington was
reduced to little more than 9,000 men. By the united strenuous efforts,
however, of congress and the commander-in-chief, it was raised in
February, to 14,000, and was moreover brought into a state of more
perfect organisation.

His anxieties with regard to the army being now so far removed,
Washington resolved to expel the enemy from Boston, which they had
occupied so long. A portion of the British troops still being encamped
on Bunker’s Hill, where they had lain all the winter and suffered
severely, Washington sent a strong detachment on the night of the 4th of
March, when there was no moon, to take possession of Dorchester Heights,
on the opposite side of the city, and which commanded it entirely.
Carrying the necessary tools with them, the Americans silently ascended
the heights, and before daylight had thrown up a strong redoubt. The
sight of these works astonished General Howe the next morning, and he
immediately made preparations for dislodging the Americans, plainly
perceiving that unless this were done he must evacuate the city. A
violent storm, however, rendered the embarkation of the troops
impossible, and the Americans had thus time afforded for the completion
of their works.

Before, however, an attack on either side was made, Washington received
a proposal that he should allow the British troops to pass out
unmolested, on condition that Howe left the town uninjured. Accordingly,
on the 17th, the whole British force, amounting to 7,000, with about
2,000 marines, and accompanied by about 1,500 loyalists, quietly left
the city and embarked for Halifax. Of the loyalists it must be remarked,
that many of them were persons of large property, who thus sacrificed
all for the maintenance of principle. Their conduct was admirable,
though it met with no reward but misery and ruin. The embarkation
occupied eleven days, and as the rear-guard was passing on board,
Washington and his troops entered the city, with colours flying and
drums beating, while the inhabitants knew not how to give sufficient
evidence of their joy. Many fugitive families also now returned to their
homes, and all Massachusetts rejoiced exceedingly. A medal was struck,
by order of congress, to celebrate this event.

The British fleet sailed for Halifax, Washington being convinced that
its ultimate destination would be New York, which, from its central
situation and the great number and influential character of the British
partisans there, would be an easy and important acquisition. No sooner,
therefore, had he placed Boston in a suitable state of defence, than,
leaving five regiments there, under the command of General Ward, the
main body of the army was put in motion towards New York, which was
intended to form his head-quarters. Washington arrived there in April.

The plans of the British for 1776 embraced the recovery of Canada, the
reduction of the southern colonies, and the possession of New York.
Canada, as we have said, was soon regained; and about the time when the
first detachment of Washington’s army reached New York, Sir Henry
Clinton appeared off Sandy Hook, with a fleet from England. Finding,
however, that any attempts were at this time impracticable, Clinton
sailed to the south, and at Cape Fear River was joined by Sir Peter
Parker, who had sailed from England with seven regiments on board.

A packet of intercepted letters to Governor Eden and others had given to
congress information of the enemy’s intended movements, and General Lee
was appointed to the command in the southern provinces. All was in
readiness, therefore, at Charleston, the point of attack. The most
vigorous means had been used for this purpose throughout the Carolinas.
Charleston was fortified, and a fort on Sullivan’s Island at the
entrance of Charleston harbour, built of palmetto wood, was garrisoned
with about 400 men, and placed under command of Colonel Moultrie.

On the 4th of June, the British fleet appeared off the harbour, and
after considerable delay, a strong force having landed under General
Clinton, on Long Island, east of Sullivan’s Island, the palmetto fort
was subjected to a heavy bombardment; but the balls took little effect,
sinking into the soft wood as into a bed of earth, and at the same time
three ships, attempting to gain a position between Sullivan’s Island and
the shore, were stranded; two of them being afterwards got off with
damage, and the third abandoned and burnt. Moultrie and his brave 400
Carolinians defended the fort with such cool and resolute courage, that
after an engagement of eight hours, from eleven in the morning to seven
in the evening, the British vessels retired with considerable damage and
loss, the admiral himself being wounded, and the ex-governor, Lord
Campbell, who fought on the flag-ship, mortally so. The loss of the
garrison was only ten killed and twenty-two wounded. This fort has borne
the name of Moultrie ever since.

One little incident of this attack may be related, as it proves the cool
courage of the garrison. At one moment, after a heavy cannonade, the
anxious Americans, who were watching the fight from the shore, beheld
the American flag suddenly disappear from the ramparts. They now feared
that it was all over, and expected to see the British ascend the
parapets in triumph. But no! a moment afterwards and again the
republican banner was floating on the walls. The fact was, that the
flag-staff was shot away and the banner fell outside the fort, when,
without a moment’s hesitation, a sergeant of the name of Jasper leaped
over the walls, and amid a shower of English bullets returned with the
flag and hoisted it once more. Within a few days after this repulse, the
British set sail, with all their troops on board, for the neighbourhood
of New York.

Thirty-five thousand men, well supplied with provisions and all the
necessary munitions of war, were now in array against the Americans. It
was evident that Britain would remit none of her demands, and now aimed
at nothing but the entire subjection of the colonies. For a long time,
and even after they appeared in arms, had the colonies sincerely wished
to preserve their allegiance to the monarch and attachment to the
mother-country. Now, however, a change was rapidly taking place in their
feelings; the sentiment of loyalty was giving way before republican
principles and the desire for independence.

Early in this year, Thomas Paine, a recent emigrant to America and
editor of the “Pennsylvania Magazine,” published a pamphlet, called
“Common Sense,” which spoke out at once the secret sentiment of the
people. It went direct to the point, showing in the simplest but
strongest language the folly of keeping up the British connexion, and
the absolute necessity which existed for separation. The cause of
independence took, as it were, a definite form from this moment.

Early in May, in accordance with the growing sentiment of the public,
congress, on the motion of John Adams, recommended to the colonies no
longer to consider themselves as holding authority under Great Britain.
“The exercise of all powers of government,” said congress, soon after,
“must be under authority from the people of the colonies, for the
maintenance of internal peace, the defence of their lives, liberties and
properties, against the hostile invasions and cruel depredations of
their enemies.”

Virginia had already acted on these principles, and other colonies soon
followed the example. On June the 7th, Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia,
at the request of his colleagues, formally introduced into congress a
motion declaring that, “The United Colonies are, and ought to be, free
and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to
the British crown; and that their political connexion with Great Britain
is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.” This important resolution, like
all other proceedings of congress, was debated with closed doors, and
finally was carried; though it encountered great opposition from some
even of the warmest friends of American independence, but who now
considered it premature. It was carried by a bare majority, and then
left for final deliberation on the 1st of July.

In the meantime, a committee, consisting of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin
Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and R. R. Livingstone, had been
appointed to draw up a declaration in accordance with the purport of the
resolution. Each, it was agreed by the committee, should prepare such a
statement as his own judgment might dictate; all should then be
compared, and the most complete selected; or one be finally drawn up
from all. The one prepared by Thomas Jefferson was at once, it is said,
declared by his brother committeemen to be so superior to the rest that
it was unanimously adopted, with but little alteration.

The Declaration of Independence was read in congress on the day
appointed. Delegates for nine out of the thirteen colonies adopted it at
once. New York declined to vote for want of instructions; Delaware was
divided; the delegates of Pennsylvania were three for and four against
it; of South Carolina one for and three against. On the 4th of July it
received the votes of all, with the exception of New York, which,
however, was formally given a few days afterwards.

Miss Bremer tells us, in her recent work on America, that everything in
the hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed, is preserved
as it was then to the present day. The green table still stands, around
which the members of the government sat, and upon which this important
document was signed. She relates also an amusing expression of Benjamin
Franklin’s on this occasion. Some of those present appeared doubtful and
uncertain as to whether it were wise to sign, and were half-inclined to
draw back. “Nay, gentlemen,” said some one, wishing to insure their
adherence, “let us not be divided, let us all hang together.” “Yes,”
said Franklin, in his quiet way, “or else we shall all have to hang
separately!” All laughed and all signed.

The Declaration of Independence for the whole Thirteen United States
went abroad, and was received by demonstrations of joy. Public
rejoicings were made, and the ensigns of royalty everywhere destroyed;
leaden statues of the monarch being, wherever found, melted down for
bullets. The legal position of the Tory party now became very serious.
Many of these, being persons of high principle as well as of education
and wealth, were exposed to the violence of political mobs, whose
practices of tarring, feathering and carting, were disgraceful to the
cause of liberty, of which they called themselves the supporters. As
party-feeling in the course of the war grew more violent, the sufferings
of the royalist party became extreme. The new state governments enforced
obedience to their authority by severe penalties, confiscation of
property, imprisonment, banishment, and finally death. As yet, however,
they contented themselves with admonitions, fines, recognisances to keep
the peace and prohibitions to go beyond certain bounds.[15]

Besides all these important measures in congress, it must be borne in
mind that money had to be raised for the carrying on of the war. The
United States congress had already an enormous debt, and again about
£1,000,000 was issued in paper money.

Whilst the Declaration of Independence was occupying congress, General
Howe arrived on June 25th from Halifax before Sandy Hook, just by New
York, and on the 2nd of July took possession of Staten Island. On July
12th, Admiral, brother of General Howe, arrived from England with large
reinforcements, and soon after, Sir Henry Clinton, with his fleet from
the south. General Howe thus found himself at the head of 24,000 of the
finest troops in Europe, well-appointed and supplied; while further
reinforcements were expected daily, which would swell his numbers to

As Washington had supposed, the intention of the British was to gain
possession of New York, and having command of the Hudson river, open
communication with Canada, and thus separate the eastern from the middle
states and be able to carry the war into the interior; while Long
Island, adjacent to New York, which abounded in grain and cattle, would
afford subsistence to the army. By the middle of summer, as we have
already seen, the American forces were driven out of Canada, and the
northern frontier exposed to attack.

One of Washington’s first measures, on taking up his quarters in New
York, where the British party was strong, was to prevent any
communication with the enemy’s ships, or between the ex-governor Tryon,
who had been for some time on board the Asia in the harbour, and his
friends in the town. Nor were these precautions needless; among other
plots discovered was one for seizing Washington, and conveying him on
board a British ship, some of Washington’s own soldiers having been
corrupted for that purpose, one of whom was tried by court-martial and
shot in consequence. The mayor also of the city was imprisoned for
carrying on a correspondence with Tryon.

Although the force under Washington at this time amounted to 27,000 men,
yet great numbers were again undisciplined militia, many invalids, and
all very indifferently provided with arms. The really effective force
amounted, perhaps, to 17,000. Among other distinguished men who now
entered the American service was Thadeus Kosciusko, afterwards so
distinguished in Poland, and who served during the whole war as an

Soon after the landing of the British army, the admiral, Lord Howe, who
had brought with him from England authority to the royal governors “to
grant pardon and exception from penalty of all such colonies or
individuals as might by speedy submission merit that favour,” sent a
letter containing a statement of this authority, and an offer of pardon
to all who would submit. This letter was directed to George Washington,
Esq. Washington, however, declined receiving in his private capacity any
communication from the enemies of his country; the style of the address
was then changed to that of George Washington, etc., etc., etc., and it
was requested that the offer of pardon contained in the letter might be
made known as widely as possible. Congress ordered it to be published in
every newspaper throughout the Union, “that everybody might see how
Great Britain was insidiously endeavouring to amuse and disarm them;”
and replied, that “not considering that their opposition to British
tyranny was a crime, they therefore could not solicit pardon.”

Nothing being gained by this attempt at conciliation, the British now
proceeded to the prosecution of the war, which they were prepared to
carry on with the utmost vigour. Washington, aware that the enemy would
advance to New York by way of Long Island, had entrenched a portion of
the American army, 9,000 strong, at Brooklyn, opposite New York, under
General Greene. Greene, unfortunately, being taken dangerously ill, the
command was transferred to Israel Putnam, who, being a stranger to the
ground and unacquainted with the works, was not qualified for the
command of so important a position.

On August 22nd, the English landed on the southern shore of Long Island,
and advanced to within four miles of the American camp, between
themselves and which stretched a range of wooded hills, through which
ran two roads, while a third followed the shore at the western base of
the hills. On the 27th, dividing their forces into three divisions,
under Grant, Heisler and Clinton, the British silently advanced at night
by these three several roads towards the American army. Early in the
morning, Clinton, proceeding by the eastern road, having seized an
important defile, which through carelessness had been left unguarded,
descended with the morning light into the plain, and within sight of the
American camp. In the meantime General Sullivan, who, on the first alarm
of the British approach, had hastened out to meet them with a
considerable force, had fallen in with Generals Grant and Heisler;
whilst Clinton, who by this time was safe on the plain, hastened forward
and threw himself between Sullivan’s corps and the American camp. The
moment Clinton’s approach had been perceived, the Americans attempted a
retreat, but it was too late. The English drove back upon Heisler’s
Hessians, and thus locked in between two hostile armies, some few
managed to escape, but the greater number were killed or taken
prisoners. It was a disastrous day. The true number of the Americans
killed was never ascertained; about 1,000 were taken prisoners. The
English lost only about 400. The victors, 15,000 strong, encamped
directly opposite the American lines. Among the prisoners were Generals
Sullivan, Stirling and Woodhull, late president of the provincial
congress. This latter was taken the day after the battle, being
surprised with a small party driving off cattle. He was wounded and
treated with such cruel neglect that his wounds mortified and he died.
The Tories of Long Island, who had been treated with severity, now
retorted the same on the adverse party.[16]

This defeat was more disastrous even than the loss of so much life, in
the effect which it produced on the American mind. The utmost doubt and
depression prevailed, and again regiments which were enlisted only on a
short term, quitted the service the moment it had expired, and even in
some cases deserted before that was the case.

The British not following up their advantage immediately, Washington,
aware that his position could not be maintained, withdrew silently to
New York on the night of the 29th, greatly to the surprise and vexation
of the enemy; who, however, had now the entire and undisputed possession
of Long Island. A descent upon New York was the next object of the
British commanders; but before this was attempted, another endeavour was
made for compromise and accommodation. Howe sent over his prisoner,
General Sullivan, to desire a conference for this purpose, offering an
exchange of Generals Sullivan and Stirling for Generals Prescott and
M‘Donald, which took place; and a deputation, consisting of Benjamin
Franklin, John Adams and Edward Rutledge, met the British commissioners
on Staten Island; but no favourable result followed, the American
deputies insisting that “the Associated Colonies should not accede to
any peace or alliance but as free and independent states.”

This attempt having again failed, the next movement was to enlist a
loyalist force. Oliver Delaney, brother of a former governor of New
York, and Courtlandt Skinner, late attorney-general of New Jersey, were
commissioned to raise four battalions each; while Tryon, still claiming
to be governor of New York, was appointed major-general. Landing a
considerable force in the city of New York, Washington, on the 12th of
September, removed his head-quarters to the heights of Harlem, seven
miles above the city. The British fleet appeared in the Sound and sailed
up each side of Manhattan, or New York Island, on which New York stands;
a battery was erected, and while the attention of the Americans was
diverted by the fire from Howe’s ships stationed in the East River and
the Hudson, he landed his troops at Bloomingdale, about five miles above
the city and only two from the American camp. Troops had been stationed
to guard this landing; but seeing now the advantage gained by the
alacrity of the English, they fled panic-stricken, without even firing a
gun, as did also two New England brigades, in company with Washington,
who had come down to view the ground. Washington, thus left undefended,
except by his immediate attendants, within eighty paces of the enemy,
was so distressed and excited by their dastardly conduct, that he
exclaimed, “Are these the men with whom I am to defend America?” His
attendants turned his horse’s head, and hurried him from the field.[17]
The next day, a skirmish taking place, the Americans retrieved their
character in some degree, though it was with the loss of two able

The loyalists of New York received the British army with the utmost joy.
A few nights after, a fire breaking out, which destroyed the largest
church and about one-third of the city, this disaster was attributed to
“the Sons of Liberty,” some of whom, seized on suspicion by the British
soldiers, were thrown into the flames. The fire, however, is supposed to
have originated in accident.

The utmost depression prevailed in the American camp at Harlem. The
favour of Heaven, it was feared, had deserted their cause. Anxiety,
despondency and dread filled all hearts; and sickness, the necessary
concomitant of such a state of mind, prevailed greatly. There were no
proper hospitals; the sick lay in barns and sheds, and even in the open
air under walls and fences. The army was wasting away by the expiration
of service and desertion; few would enlist. It seemed as if ere long
America must yield from the mere inability to sustain her army.
Washington did his utmost to revive hope and courage, and also appealed
to congress for aid, without which success was impossible. A bounty of
twenty dollars was offered therefore on enlistment, and grants of land
promised to the soldiers and officers. So far good; in the meantime,
Washington was unwilling to risk a general engagement, and Howe also on
his side not venturing to attack the American camp, satisfied himself by
making a movement to gain Washington’s rear, in order to cut off his
connexion with the eastern states and thus prevent his receiving
supplies from that quarter. For this purpose a portion of the royal
troops was withdrawn from New York to Westchester, while three frigates
were sent up the Hudson, to prevent any intercourse with New Jersey.
Reinforcements were received by the British army.

Washington, to avoid being thus enclosed on all sides, crossed over with
his army from New York Island, and took up his position along the
western bank of the Bronx River, which separated him from the English,
and so extending towards White Plains. On the 28th of October, a
skirmish took place, in which the Americans were driven from their
ground with considerable loss; immediately after which, Washington took
up a much stronger position on the heights of North Castle, about five
miles further northward.

Discontinuing the pursuit of Washington, Howe now turned his attention
to the American posts on the Hudson, with the design of entering New
Jersey. Aware of this intention, Washington crossed the Hudson with his
army, and joined General Greene at Fort Lee, on the western bank of the
Hudson, at the town of Hackensack in New Jersey, three miles only to the
south-west of Fort Washington, where was a garrison of 3,000 men, and
ten miles only from New York city. Scarcely, however, were these
arrangements made, when Fort Washington was assaulted by a strong
British force. The commander, Colonel Magaw, made a brave defence and
the assailants lost 400 men in gaining the outworks; but no sooner were
the British within the fort, than the garrison, to the number of 2,000,
overcome with terror, refused to offer any resistance, and all, together
with a great quantity of artillery, fell into the hands of the
British.[18] Two days afterwards Lord Cornwallis crossed the Hudson with
6,000 men, against Fort Lee, which also surrendered with the loss of
baggage and military stores.

Misfortune was the order of the day. Alarm and distrust increased;
Washington and his daily diminishing army fled from point to point. The
New York convention moved its sittings from one place to another, the
members often sitting with arms in their hands to prevent surprise; when
just at this disastrous crises, new alarm arose from the proposed rising
of the Tories in aid of the British. Many suspected Tories, therefore,
were seized, their property confiscated and themselves sent into
Connecticut for safety. The gaols were full; so also were the churches,
now employed as prisons, while numbers were kept on parole. These
resolute measures effected their purpose; the Tory party yielded to a
force which they were not yet strong enough to control, and deferred
active co-operation with the British to a yet more favourable time.

On the last day of November, the American army amounted but to 3,000
men, and was then retreating into an open country at the commencement of
winter, without tents, blankets, or intrenching tools, and but
imperfectly clad. The prospect was hopeless in the extreme. The towns of
Newark, New Brunswick, Princetown, and Trenton, all in New Jersey, were
taken possession of by the British. Finally, Washington, on the 8th of
December, crossed the Delaware, which was now the only barrier between
the English and Philadelphia. The first state legislature of New Jersey,
of which William Livingston was governor, like that of New York, had
been driven, during these commotions, from one place to another; nor had
their most urgent endeavours to call out a militia been availing, so
depressed was the public mind.

Nor was the prospect more cheering in Pennsylvania. The hearts of many
began to fail them; and saving for the energy of Mifflin and a few
others, the American party in Philadelphia might have gradually melted
away. But Israel Putnam had command of the city, and Mifflin put forth
all his eloquence, and patriotism and courage still survived. In the
meantime the disasters of the Americans were not ended. General Lee, an
ambitious and conceited man, who ranked his own military experience as
superior to that of the commander-in-chief, instead of hastening across
the Hudson to join the main army, as Washington had earnestly requested
him to do without loss of time, determined on a brilliant and
independent achievement which should at once startle both English and
Americans, and give him a great reputation. Lingering, therefore, among
the hills of New Jersey while he decided what his great exploit should
be, he lodged one night with a small guard at a house some little
distance from his army, when he was surprised by a body of British
cavalry sent there for the purpose, and carried prisoner to New York.
The command of his troops falling on General Sullivan, the latter
conducted them without further delay to join Washington, whose forces
were thus increased to 7,000 men.

On the very day also on which Washington crossed the Delaware, a British
squadron from New York, under command of Sir Peter Parker, took
possession of Newport in Rhode Island, the second city in New England,
the few troops stationed there abandoning the place without a blow for
its defence. The American squadron, under Commodore Hopkins, was thus
blocked up in Providence River, where it lay for a long time useless.

Having gained this important hold on the colonies both by land and sea,
the Howes issued, as royal commissioners, a proclamation “commanding all
insurgents to disband, and all political bodies to relinquish their
assumed authority, granting sixty days within which to make this
submission.” On this, great numbers of wealthy persons, many of whom had
already been active in the revolutionary movements, to the amount even
of from two to three hundred a day, came in to make the required
submission. The cause of American independence appeared hopeless, and
would have been so had all the people been cowards and time-servers. But
there were thousands of true hearts left within her yet. Congress,
sitting at that time at Philadelphia, adjourned to Baltimore in
Maryland, and Washington was invested for six months with unlimited
powers. Authority was given him to raise sixteen battalions of infantry,
in addition to those already voted, and to appoint officers; the bounty
on enlistment was increased, as were also grants of land for service. He
was also empowered to raise and equip 3,000 light horse, three regiments
of artillery, and a corps of engineers; to call out the militia of the
different states; to displace and appoint all officers under the rank of
brigadier-general, and to fill up all vacancies. He was further
authorised to take whatever he might require for the use of the army at
his own price, and to arrest and confine all such as should refuse the
continental money, a new trouble which had arisen, owing to the vast
issue of paper money. The entire power was thus placed in the hands of
Washington, and he was worthy of the confidence.

Christmas was now at hand, and gloom and despondency pervaded the
American mind. The sixty days were passing on, and the timid and
vacillating were giving in their adherence to the British, when
Washington, as it were, rose up and girded his loins for action. Aware
that the festivities of the season would be fully enjoyed in the British
camp, he resolved to avail himself of the time for an unexpected attack,
and selected the Hessians stationed at Trenton as its object. On
Christmas-eve, therefore, he set out with 2,500 picked men and six
pieces of artillery, intending to cross the Delaware nine miles below
Trenton, while two other forces, under Generals Cadwallader and Irving,
were to cross at other points at the same time. The river was full of
floating masses of ice, and it was only after great difficulty and
danger that the landing was effected by four o’clock in the morning,
when, amid a heavy snow-storm, Washington’s force advanced towards
Trenton; the other bodies under Cadwallader and Irving not having been
able to effect a landing at all.

It was eight o’clock when Washington reached Trenton, where, as he
expected, the Hessians, fast asleep after a night’s debauch, were easily
surprised. Their commander was slain, and their artillery taken,
together with a thousand prisoners. Of the Americans two only were
killed, two frozen to death, and a few wounded, among whom was
Lieutenant Monroe, afterwards president of the United States. Without
waiting for any movement on the part of the British, whose forces so far
outnumbered the Americans, Washington immediately re-crossed the
Delaware, and entered Philadelphia in a sort of triumph with his

This unexpected and brilliant achievement created an immediate reaction.
Several regiments, whose term of enlistment was about expiring, agreed
to serve six weeks longer, and militia from the adjoining provinces
marched in. Nor was the effect on the British less striking. General
Howe, astounded by this sudden movement in the depth of winter, in an
enemy whom he considered already crushed, detained Lord Cornwallis, then
just setting out for England, and despatched him with additional forces
to New Jersey, to regain the ground which had been lost. Washington, in
the meantime, knowing the importance of maintaining the advantage he had
gained, re-crossed the Delaware, and established himself at Trenton,
where reinforcements were ordered immediately to join him. On January
2nd, 1777, Lord Cornwallis, with the van of the British army,
approached. On this, Washington withdrew to some high ground on the
eastern bank of a small river which divides the town, and commenced to
entrench himself. The British attempting to cross, a sharp cannonade
ensued, which produced little effect on either side, when Cornwallis,
thinking it most prudent to wait for reinforcements which he expected
the next day, encamped for the night.

Washington knew that his position was a very hazardous one. It was a
great risk to wait for a battle, with his 5,000 men, most of them
militia, new to the camp, and that against a greatly superior and
well-disciplined force. To re-cross the Delaware, then still more
obstructed with floating ice, was equally dangerous, with the enemy
behind him. With great sagacity and courage, therefore, he decided on a
bold scheme, which fortunately was executed with equal courage and
skill. This was no other than to attack the enemy’s rear at Princetown,
and, if possible, gain possession of his artillery and baggage.

Replenishing, therefore, his camp fires, and silently sending his own
heavy baggage to Burlington, and leaving parties still busied at their
entrenchments within hearing of the enemy, Washington marched with his
army, about midnight, towards Princetown, where three British regiments
had passed the night, two of which, marching out to join Cornwallis,
were met and attacked about sunrise by the Americans. A sharp conflict
took place, and the Americans were giving way, General Mercer, an
officer of great promise, being mortally wounded, when Washington and
his select corps came up, and the battle was renewed. One division of
the British fled to New Brunswick, the rest rallied and continued their
march to Trenton. About 400 of the British were killed and wounded; the
American loss was somewhat less.

At dawn, Lord Cornwallis beheld the deserted camp of the Americans and
heard the roar of the cannonade at Princetown, on which, discovering
Washington’s artifice, and fearful lest his military stores and baggage
at New Brunswick should fall into his hands, he immediately put his army
in motion, and reached Princetown when the Americans were about to leave
it. Again was Washington in great danger. “His troops,” says Hildreth,
“were exhausted; all had been one night without sleep, and some of them
longer; many had no blankets; others were barefoot; all were very thinly
clad.” Under these circumstances the attack on New Brunswick was
abandoned, and Washington retired to strong winter-quarters at
Morristown. There he remained till spring, having, in fact, repossessed
himself, in the most masterly manner, of New Jersey. General Putnam was
stationed at Princetown, and other officers at various places, and
skirmishes went on continually, in which the Americans were mostly
successful, being eagerly joined by the inhabitants, who had many wrongs
and ravages to complain of. The British, in fact, suffered greatly
through the winter, from want of forage and fresh provisions.

The effect of Washington’s rapid successes in the Jerseys was like a
succession of electric shocks through the states; and even to this day
it is said, when any unexpected and exciting intelligence is about to be
given, the phrase “Great news from the Jerseys!” is made use of.

“The recovery of the Jerseys,” to use again the words of the able
historian Hildreth, “by the fragments of a defeated army, which had
seemed just before on the point of dissolution, gained Washington a high
reputation, not only at home, but in Europe, where the progress of the
campaign had been watched with great interest, and where the disastrous
loss of New York and the retreat through the Jerseys had given the
impression that America would not be able to maintain her independence.
The recovery of the Jerseys created a reaction. The American general was
extolled as a Fabius, whose prudence availed his country no less than
his valour. At home, also, these successes had the best effect. The
recruiting service, which before had been almost at a stand, began to
revive, and considerable progress was again made in organising the new

The powers with which congress had invested the commander-in-chief
enabled him to make many important changes and provisions for the
well-being of his troops. For instance, the whole hospital department,
which had been very inefficiently filled, was now reorganised; and in
order to prevent the visitation of small-pox, which had proved hitherto
a fatal scourge in the army, every recruit was properly inoculated
before entering the service. An exchange of prisoners took place also at
this time, though the British at first refused, on the plea that the
Americans were rebels. The number of prisoners amounted to about 5,000
in the hands of the British, and 3,000 in those of the Americans. Great
indignation was excited in consequence of the condition to which, it was
discovered, the Americans taken at Long Island and Fort Washington were
reduced by the hardships of their confinement. They were placed in the
custody of the New York Tory party, by whom they had been so cruelly
treated that many had died, and the rest were so emaciated and feeble
that Washington refused to return an equal number of well-conditioned
Hessians and British.

Congress, in the meantime, was again sitting at Philadelphia, and wiser
heads or braver hearts never met for a country’s need. The business
which occupied them was of the most momentous character.

Though Hopkins and his squadron were blocked up at Providence,
privateering had been carried on, principally by New England frigates,
to a great extent. The homeward-bound British ships from the West Indies
offered rich prizes, and in the year just concluded no less than 350
British ships had been captured. A new foreign trade had also been
opened with France, Spain and Holland, principally by way of the West
Indies; and though great risk attended it, still it was the successful
commencement of the great American trade; and the national flag of
thirteen stars and stripes, as appointed by congress, was now first
hoisted in this maritime service.

By no European nation was the progress of the war of independence in
America watched with more interest than by France, who still was
smarting under the loss of her American possessions; hence the American
privateer found ever a ready sale for his prizes in the French ports;
and armed French vessels, sailing under American commissions, were
secretly fitted out. Early in the struggle with the mother-country, the
colonies had avowed their reliance on foreign aid, if necessary; and at
the commencement of the preceding year, Silas Deane, member of congress
for Connecticut, had gone to Paris, ostensibly as a private merchant,
but, in fact, to negotiate with France for the supply of arms and

After the Declaration of Independence, however, Benjamin Franklin was
openly sent to Paris, and other persons to different European courts,
for the same purpose. “The distinguished talents, high reputation, and
great personal popularity of Dr. Franklin,” says Willson, “were highly
successful in increasing the general enthusiasm which began to be felt
in behalf of the Americans.” His efforts were in the end successful; and
although France delayed for a while the recognition of American
independence, yet she began to act with less reserve, and by lending
assistance in various ways—by loans, gifts, supplies of arms, provisions
and clothing—she materially aided the Americans. The tardy action,
however, of the French court was outdone by the general zeal of the
nation. Numerous volunteers, the most eminent of whom was the young
Marquis de Lafayette, offered to risk their fortunes and bear arms in
the cause of American liberty. Lafayette fitted out a vessel at his own
expense, and in the spring of 1777 arrived in America. He at first
enlisted as a volunteer in Washington’s army, declining all pay for his
services; but congress soon after bestowed upon him the appointment of

While all these important affairs were going on in the north, the
western frontier of the Carolinas and Georgia was again visited by
Indian warfare, which was only concluded by the Cherokees ceding a large
portion of territory. About the same time, the newly-attempted colony of
Transylvania quietly gave up its plans of independent existence and
became a portion of Virginia, the new county of Kentucky including the
whole of the present state of that name.

                              CHAPTER VI.
               THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR (_continued_), 1777.

The fear of the invasion of Canada by the British, had, as we have
already seen, led the Americans to make a disastrous attempt at the
conquest of that province. The so-much-feared invasion was now at hand.
In the meantime, as the spring of 1777 advanced, although as yet the
main armies were inactive, various little attacks and reprisals were
made. An armament sent up the Hudson by Howe for that purpose destroyed
the military stores of the Americans at Peekskill, and General Lincoln,
stationed at Boundbrook in New Jersey, was surprised by Lord Cornwallis,
and escaped only with the loss of a considerable portion of his baggage
and about sixty lives. A few days afterwards, Tryon, late governor of
New York, at the head of 2,000 men, landed in Connecticut and advanced
to Danbury, an inland town, where a large quantity of provisions was
collected; having destroyed these, set fire to the town, and committed
various acts of atrocity, he departed as rapidly as he had come. Arnold
and Wooster, however, pursued him at the head of militia, hastily
collected for that purpose, and three several attacks were made, in
which the veteran and greatly respected Wooster was killed and Arnold
had two horses shot under him. Tryon made good his escape with a loss in
killed, wounded, and prisoners, of about 300; and congress, in
acknowledgment of Arnold’s bravery, presented him with a horse fully
caparisoned, and raised him to the rank of major-general. In return, a
small party of Americans under Colonel Meigs landed on Long Island,
destroyed twelve vessels, and took a large quantity of provisions and
forage collected at Sag Harbour, and carried off ninety prisoners,
without himself losing a single man. Another little triumph of the
Americans is worth recording. General Prescott, who had been taken
prisoner at Montreal, two years before, when Governor Carleton made his
escape, now being stationed at Newport in Rhode Island, irritated the
Americans no little by offering a reward for the capture of Arnold; on
which Arnold, in return, offered half the amount for the capture of
Prescott. Accordingly, it being presently ascertained that Prescott
frequented without precaution a country-house near the town, a party of
forty men under one Colonel Barton set out with the intention of
carrying him off, landed at night on the island, entered the house, and
taking the general from his bed, hurried away with their prize. Until
now the Americans had not been able to ransom their General Lee, who had
been taken much in the same manner, and the two officers were shortly

In the meantime Washington remained with his army at Morristown, waiting
with great anxiety the development of the enemy’s plans of operation,
and increasing his own strength by the arrival of recruits, who still
came in only slowly. The plans of the British general appeared for a
long time uncertain, whether to march directly upon Philadelphia or to
co-operate with Burgoyne, who had now assumed the command in Canada. In
the north, the American army was so very feeble, that it was feared lest
Ticonderoga, almost the sole remains of the American conquests in that
quarter, might be seized by a sudden movement from Canada over the ice.
The service in the north was indeed so unpopular, that a species of
conscription was obliged to be resorted to in order to fill up the
regiments. Indeed the reluctance to serve was felt so generally
throughout the northern provinces, that the prohibition against the
enlistment of negro-slaves was removed, and now recruits of any colour
were joyfully received, and many negro-slaves gained their freedom in
this manner. In the south, also, indented servants enlisting were
declared to be freemen.

As spring came on, General Burgoyne, who had served in Canada under
Governor Carleton, and who had gone to England for the purpose of urging
upon parliament the reduction of America by a powerful descent upon the
colonies by the way of Lake Champlain and the Hudson, returned with a
large army and military stores for that purpose.


On the 16th of June, Burgoyne, at the head of an army of nearly 10,000
men, British and German, with a great number of Canadians and Indians,
set forth on his expedition. His first encampment was on the western
shore of Lake Champlain, near Crown Point, where he met the Six Nations
in council, and was joined by about 400 of those powerful warriors.
Burgoyne, however, so little understood the character of the red men,
that he addressed them in a very pompous speech, endeavouring to induce
them to alter their irregular mode of warfare. To just as little purpose
was the proclamation which he issued at the same time, in an equally
pompous manner, in which, after demonstrating his own power and that of
the British, he threatened the colonists with extermination, before the
fury of the savage Indian, if they persisted in resisting his arms.

Burgoyne’s plan of operation was, after taking Ticonderoga, to advance
upon Albany on the Hudson, where he would be met by Colonel St. Leger,
who, with 2,000 men, chiefly Canadians and Indians, was to proceed by
way of Oswego, against Fort Schuyler or Stanwix, and so gain the same
point, after which both armies were to join General Clinton at New York.

Two days after Burgoyne had published his formidable proclamation, he
appeared before Ticonderoga, then garrisoned by General St. Clair with
about 3,000 men. Spite of all the labour and expense which had been
bestowed on this fort, one important circumstance had been most
singularly overlooked. The fort was commanded by a neighbouring height,
called Mount Defiance, which being considered inaccessible, had been
left undefended. Burgoyne, however, at once perceiving the advantage to
be obtained by the possession of this height, lost no time in preparing
to gain it, and three days after he had made his appearance, his
artillery was placed on the summit. St. Clair seeing that no chance
remained for himself and his troops, resolved upon immediate evacuation.
The baggage and stores, under the convoy of the last remains of the
American flotilla, were secretly despatched down to Skeensborough, and
the troops also in two divisions, the one under St. Clair, the other,
which left two hours later, under Colonel Francis, commenced their
retreat at the dead of night, but were discovered by the enemy owing to
the accidental burning of a building on an adjoining height. The next
morning, therefore, the rear division was overtaken by General Fraser at
the head of a British troop, near Hubbardton, where an engagement took
place, in which the Americans were routed, and flying before the enemy,
spread throughout the adjoining country the terror of the British arms.
One thousand Americans were killed, wounded and taken prisoners on this
disastrous day, among the former of whom was Colonel Francis. Nor was
this all; General Reidesel with a corps of Germans pursued and overtook
the American stores and baggage, which fell into his hands; and the
garrison of Skeensborough, on learning this melancholy intelligence and
of the approach of Burgoyne, set fire to the works, and fled to Fort
Anne, half-way between them and the Hudson. Pursuit followed; a skirmish
took place, and in the infectious terror of the time, having set fire to
the works of Fort Anne, they fled to Fort Edward, the head-quarters of
General Schuyler. At this same point, also, arrived St. Clair, who with
his division had been wandering about for seven days. Thus, after defeat
and flight, were assembled the whole force of the American northern
army, amounting only to 5,000 men, many of whom were only
hastily-summoned militia, wholly unorganised, while of ammunition there
was great scarcity.

Again despondency and gloom overspread the American mind. The successes
of Burgoyne came, says Hildreth, like a thunderclap on congress. “We
shall never be able to defend a fort,” wrote John Adams, “till we shoot
a general.” Disasters, the inevitable result of weakness, were
attributed to the incapacity or cowardice of the officers. The New
England prejudice against Schuyler revived, and all the northern
generals in fact were recalled; and but for the interference of
Washington, the northern army must have been disbanded for want of
officers. Schuyler, in the meantime, was doing the best that he could
under existing circumstances. Before leaving the various positions, he
took every means to annoy and impede the movements of the enemy,
obstructing navigation, breaking up roads and bridges, and closing up
every passable defile by felling trees on either side, which,
interlacing their branches in the fall, formed an almost insuperable
barrier. Schuyler, in whom, however, Washington never lost confidence,
was superseded, and Gates was appointed by congress to take his place.
Reinforcements also were sent up; Daniel Morgan with his rifle corps,
the impetuous and bold Arnold and Lincoln, who was a great favourite
with the Massachusetts men. Kosciusko was also in the army as its
principal engineer.

Burgoyne, making himself sure of speedily establishing the royal power
in the north, called a convention by proclamation for concerting
measures for this purpose. A circumstance connected with the history of
Vermont, as an infant state, gave him additional hopes of the popular
adhesion in this quarter. Vermont having organised herself into an
independent state, had solicited admission into the union as such, and
been refused, through the influence of New York, who claimed that
country as a portion of her territory. Burgoyne was, however,
disappointed in his hopes; Vermont entertained no feelings of animosity;
and Schuyler, in return, published his counter-proclamation, threatening
the punishment of traitors to all who foreswore their allegiance to
American independence.

Burgoyne, not without great difficulty, at length reached the Hudson, to
the great joy of the British army; and Schuyler, unable to face him,
retreated to Saratoga, where the tidings of new disasters soon reached
him. Burgoyne had several weeks before despatched Colonel St. Leger,
with Sir John Johnson and his Royal Greens, together with a body of
Canadian rangers, and the formidable Brandt and his savages, to harass
the western frontier of New York. Fort Schuyler, commanded by Colonels
Gansevoost and Willett, was attacked, and General Herkimer, hastening to
his relief with militia, which he had raised for that purpose, fell into
an ambush near the fort and was mortally wounded, besides losing 400
men, amongst whom were many of the leading patriots of that part of the
country. This was sad news for Schuyler, and as the north-west abounded
in Tories, it was necessary, if possible, to relieve Fort Schuyler, so
as to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy, which would
cause, it was apprehended, a general disaffection. Arnold volunteered to
undertake this perilous service, and Schuyler, having despatched him
with three regiments, withdrew from Saratoga to the islands at the
confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers.

Although success had followed the British, and Burgoyne was in
possession of so many strong posts, and had command of Lakes Champlain
and George, and great amount of stores and provisions lay at Fort George
for his use, yet the means of transport were so difficult, that the army
was reduced to the greatest straits. To obtain immediate supplies,
therefore, he despatched Colonel Baum, a German officer of rank, with
500 men, together with a body of Canadians and Indians, to seize a
quantity of provisions which the Americans had stored at Bennington.
There was at this time at Bennington, under the command of Colonel
Stark, a corps of New Hampshire militia, raised by a merchant of
Portsmouth, named Langdon, on the news of the loss of Ticonderoga. As
soon as Stark heard of the attack which was to be made on the stores, he
sent off for Seth Warner’s Green Mountain Boys, his own force having
also been strengthened by volunteers and fugitives from the defeat at
Hubbardton. Baum, seeing Stark prepared for him, entrenched himself
about six miles from Bennington, intending to make an attack the
following day. But violent rain came on, and both Stark and Baum
deferred any movement, both hoping for reinforcements, Baum from Colonel
Breyman, who was marching to his assistance, and Stark from the Green
Mountain Boys, who were hourly expected. But the violence of the weather
kept both back, and the next morning, Stark, at the head of his New
Hampshire men, marched out to meet the enemy. The address of Stark to
his men is worthy of being remembered. “There they are;” said he,
pointing to the British; “there they are! We must beat them, my boys, or
Molly Stark will be a widow this night!”

The assault was vigorous, and after a desperate fight of about two hours
the intrenchments were carried, Baum was killed, and the Germans were
mostly slain or taken prisoners, and the Indians and Canadians fled to
the woods. Hardly, however, was the victory gained, when Breyman and his
reinforcements appeared, and the fight was renewed, Seth Warner and his
brave Boys having fortunately appeared at the same moment on the other
side. The battle lasted till dark, and then Breyman fled, leaving his
baggage and artillery behind him. The British lost about 600, the
greater number however being taken prisoners, besides 1,000 stand of
arms and four pieces of artillery. The American loss was merely fourteen
killed and forty-two wounded.

This defeat was the turning point in the career of the British; the
tidings dispirited and embarrassed them, and for the first time showed
their grand plan of dividing the northern from the southern provinces to
be doubtful. The effect on the Americans was still greater; hope and
confidence woke anew, and the worthy Schuyler might soon have regained
his character, had not Gates appeared a few days afterwards to assume
the command. Schuyler, however, like a true patriot, who is able to sink
self-interest in the well-being of his country, removed merely to
Albany, where he continued to render every possible assistance to the
carrying on of the campaign. Gates was also immediately joined by Daniel
Morgan and his riflemen, and by a New Hampshire regiment.

The tide had now completely turned. Not only had Stark’s victory revived
the hopes of the Americans, but the cruelties and treacheries of
Burgoyne’s Indian allies had roused the popular indignation, and the
tragical fate of a young woman, while it called forth universal
sympathy, completed the measure of hatred which was given to the
British. Jenny M‘Crea, a young lady of Fort Edward, the daughter of a
loyalist family, and betrothed to a loyalist officer, was murdered in
the woods by the Indian guard whom her lover had appointed to conduct
her to a place of safety, and whose fidelity he believed secured by a
promised reward. On the road, however, it appeared that the Indians
quarrelled respecting this reward, and the poor girl was murdered in the
dispute, her bloody scalp with its long tresses being the Indian signal
to the lover of the cruel fate of his mistress. Such was Burgoyne’s
version of this tragedy; but besides the daughter, the whole family was
murdered, they being carried off to the woods, murdered and scalped in a
most barbarous manner. These cruel individual instances, which every man
and woman would take home to themselves, roused the whole northern
provinces. The death of Jenny M‘Crea sent out hundreds of volunteers.

The Indians, also, now began to desert the camp of the British in great
numbers; and Arnold, on his way to the relief of Fort Schuyler, having
spread everywhere exaggerated accounts of his numbers, St. Leger fled
from his newly-acquired possession, leaving his tents standing and his
stores and baggage behind him.

The American army now amounted to upwards of 5,000, and Gates left his
camp on the Islands, and took up his position on Behmus Heights at
Stillwater, on the west bank of the Hudson, close to the river. With
great labour and difficulty Burgoyne had brought down from the depôt on
Lake St. George thirty days’ provisions for his troops, and now,
therefore, he crossed the Hudson by a bridge of boats, and encamped on
the 14th of September at Saratoga. On the 19th, skirmishing began
between the advanced parties; reinforcements were sent in by the two
armies as the fortunes of the combat seemed to vary, till at length the
battle became general. The fighting continued furiously and without
intermission, till night at length made it impossible to distinguish
friend from foe. Victory had changed sides many times during the fight;
but the British retired, and left the Americans masters of the field.
Both claimed the victory, but the loss of the British was the greater.

Two days before the battle of Stillwater, a considerable advantage had
also been gained by a party of Lincoln’s militia, who surprised the
posts at the outlet of Lake George, took a considerable number of
prisoners and armed vessels; after which, in concert with another party,
they advanced to Ticonderoga. Burgoyne’s position thus became perilous
and difficult in the extreme. His provisions and forage were
diminishing; his allies were daily deserting; and if he retreated, the
Americans, flushed with what was vaunted as a great victory, were in his
rear. In the midst of this anxiety one hope remained, which was
communicated by a letter in cypher, that troops would be sent by Clinton
from New York to make a diversion on the Hudson, and thus the alarming
position of Burgoyne be relieved. The present time must, however, be
cared for. The two camps were within a short distance of each other, and
skirmishes were of daily occurrence; and at length, on October 7th, a
battle took place—the famous battle of Saratoga. Morgan and his riflemen
distinguished themselves early in the combat. “Gates,” says Hildreth,
“did not appear on the field; but Arnold, though without any regular
command, took, as usual, a leading part. He seemed under the impulse of
some extraordinary excitement, riding at full speed, issuing orders and
cheering on the men.” The battle was fought with the utmost bravery on
both sides, until night again put an end to the fighting. The Americans
slept on their arms, intending to renew the combat with the morning;
their advantages so far were decisive. Of the British, 400 men were
killed, wounded, or taken prisoners; tents, ammunition and artillery,
fell into the hands of the Americans. Next morning the British commander
was found to have quietly retired during the night, and to be drawn up
in order of battle on some high ground near.

Gates was too wary to venture another battle with the enemy posted to so
much advantage, and made preparations, therefore, for enclosing him as
he lay, which Burgoyne perceiving, prepared for retreat. In the meantime
skirmishing went on; General Lincoln was severely wounded on the
American side, and General Fraser, a British officer of high rank, was
killed, and buried on the hill which bears his name. The Baroness de
Reidesel, who, with her young children, followed the camp, and whose
quarters were turned into a sort of hospital for the wounded officers,
has left a pathetic account of the horrors of that day, and the retreat
which followed.[19]

Burgoyne fell back upon Saratoga, abandoning his sick and wounded amid
drenching rain; the bridges were broken down, the rivers were swollen,
and though the distance was but six miles, this retreat consumed the
whole day. His situation was now lamentable in the extreme. He heard
nothing from New York of the expected aid; he was in the midst of a
hostile country hemmed in by an enemy whose forces, now amounting to
12,000 men, were daily increasing, while his had melted away to less
than one-half of that number, nor could even these be depended upon. His
boats laden with provisions were taken, and there remained now but a
three days’ supply. In this terrible and unlooked-for emergency, a
council of war was called, to which every officer was summoned, and a
treaty of capitulation was agreed upon.

Gates demanded unconditional surrender, but Burgoyne would not consent
to this. And it being feared that the long-expected diversion from New
York should be made, and thus change again the fortunes of the day,
Gates did not hesitate long as to terms. On the 27th of October,
Burgoyne surrendered his army as prisoners of war, it being agreed that
on laying down their arms they should be conducted to Boston, thence to
embark for England under condition of not again serving against the
United States. The prisoners included in this capitulation amounted to
5,642, the previous losses being upwards of 4,000. There fell also into
the hands of the Americans thirty-five brass field-pieces and 5,000
muskets, besides baggage and camp equipage. The colours of the German
regiments were preserved by being cut from their staves, rolled up, and
stowed away in the baggage of Madame Reidesel.

The British troops thus subjected to humiliation were, however, treated
with great delicacy by the Americans; their officers, and Burgoyne in
particular, receiving many kind attentions. Burgoyne was entertained
with distinguished hospitality by General Schuyler, although his
country-house and much of his property had been destroyed by order of
the British commander.

As soon as the surrender of Burgoyne was known, the British garrison at
Ticonderoga destroyed the works and retired to Canada. Clinton, with
Tryon and his Tory forces, on the same intelligence, dismantled the
forts on the Hudson, and having burnt every house within their reach,
and done all the damage in their power, returned to New York. Thus ended
an enterprise from which the British had hoped and the Americans feared
so much, and its results were in the highest degree advantageous to the
cause of the republicans. The enemy was not only weakened and
humiliated, a large and welcome supply of arms and stores obtained, but
the Americans rose greatly in the estimation of foreign nations, who
watched the contest with anxious and eager attention.

The joy of the Americans, especially those of the Northern States, was
almost beyond bounds, and, as might be expected, the military reputation
of Gates stood very high—nay, even for the time, outshone that of
Washington, whose loss of Philadelphia, of which we have yet to speak,
was placed unfavourably beside the surrender of a whole British army.
The good General Schuyler, who had been superseded by the prosperous
Gates, was acquitted with the highest honour after strict investigation
of his military conduct. He resigned his commission in the army, but
still continued to serve his country no less zealously as a member of

We must now return to Washington at Philadelphia, whom we left in
anxious uncertainty as to the intentions of the British general, whether
he would march upon Philadelphia according to former plans, or seize
upon the passes of the Hudson, and carrying up his large forces to the
north, co-operate with Burgoyne in that quarter. In order, however, to
be prepared for either of these movements, a large camp was formed under
General Arnold on the western bank of the Delaware; and towards the end
of May, Washington, with about 8,000 men, moved to Middlebrook, ten
miles from Princetown, where he might have a better opportunity of
watching and interrupting the movements of the enemy.

Howe, whose real intention was to bring on a general engagement with
Washington, in which case he calculated on certain victory, marched out
from New Brunswick, where he had concentrated his army, after leaving
his winter-quarters at New York. Finding, however, the position of
Washington too strong, he fell back to Amboy, threw a bridge across to
Staten Island, and sent over his heavy baggage and some of his troops.
Washington, deceived by this manœuvre, ordered his troops out in
pursuit, and himself moved to Quibbleton. This was what Howe had in
view, and now suddenly turning round, he attempted to gain the strong
ground which the American commander had left; but Washington, perceiving
the drift of the enemy, made a hasty retreat to his old position, not,
however, without some loss both of men and artillery. Finding his plans
unsuccessful, Howe finally on the 30th of June withdrew with all his
troops to Staten Island, leaving Washington in undisturbed possession of
New Jersey.

Again Washington knew not the intentions of the British either by land
or water. A fleet of transports, he knew, was fitting out in New York
harbour, but its destination was unknown. At length, on the 23rd of
July, the fleet, under command of Admiral Howe, set sail northward with
troops to the amount of 18,000 on board, and Washington, suspecting that
its operations would be in that quarter, marched also in the same
direction. By the end of July, however, it was heard of as approaching
Cape May, and Washington then returned to the Delaware. After still
continued uncertainty as to its object, the fleet at length sailed up
the Chesapeake, and on the 25th of August the troops landed near the
head of Elk River in Maryland, fifty miles south-west of Philadelphia.
While the unascertained intentions of the British left Washington
unemployed, other minor objects engaged his attention. An expedition was
made against the loyalists of Staten Island, who were a great annoyance
to the inhabitants of New Jersey, against whom they made armed
incursions, plundering their dwellings and driving off their cattle. The
non-combatant Quakers also of Pennsylvania and New Jersey became a cause
of anxiety, and were subjected to punishment. It happened that the
papers and advices of the two several yearly meetings of this body came
in possession of the leaders of the expedition against Staten Island.
These being examined by the Council of Philadelphia, were found to
contain matter of a treasonable character, and eleven wealthy and
leading Quakers of Philadelphia, among whom was the father of the
president of the council, were arrested. So great indeed was the
suspicion excited by the Quaker loyalty, that it was deemed necessary
not only to send these eleven but various other leading men, John Penn,
the late governor, and Benjamin Chud, the late chief justice, being of
the number, prisoners to Fredricksburg in Virginia. So alarming indeed
was this detected treason considered to be, that congress recommended
every state to arrest all persons, Quakers or others, who had in any way
evinced a disposition inimical to the cause of America, also to seize
the papers of the Quaker yearly meetings, and transmit the political
portion of their contents to congress.

Howe, on landing in Maryland, published as usual his offer of pardon to
all who would submit at once to the British sway, and security to such
as remained peaceably at home; after which he commenced his march
towards Philadelphia. Washington awaited his approach at Wilmington,
under circumstances, as the historian[20] remarks, much less favourable
than those which enabled the northern army so successfully to repel the
contemporaneous advance of Burgoyne. There was no New England here to
pour in her militia; no bold forces of New Hampshire and the young
Vermont to come down like a mountain torrent; Pennsylvania was impelled
by no general zeal either of patriotism or liberty; the greater part of
the Quakers, a wealthy and influential body, were, if not strongly
tinged by British loyalty, at all events neutral. The militia of
Pennsylvania, even at this moment, when the enemy was advancing on the
capital, amounted barely to 3,000. Washington’s force was greatly
inferior to that of the enemy, not much exceeding 11,000 men. The
militia of Maryland and Virginia it is true, had been called out to his
aid, but as yet had not arrived. Nevertheless, he now resolved upon a
battle, and after considerable manœuvring and skirmishing, on Sept. 10th
he crossed the Brandywine River, a shallow stream, on the opposite side
of which the enemy was encamped, and awaited the event of the next day.

Early on the morning of the 11th, the British force crossed the
Brandywine in two columns. The Hessians, under General Kniphausen,
having commenced a spirited attack, the intention being to deceive the
Americans by the idea that no other attack was intended, whilst Lord
Cornwallis, with a still larger force, having made a circuitous march,
crossed the Brandywine at another point, with the design of falling on
the American rear. Aware of this movement only too late, and confused by
contradictory statements, General Sullivan, who had been despatched by
Washington to interrupt it, was soon driven back and the fortunes of the
day terminated wholly in favour of the British. The Americans retreated
during the night, and the next day reached Philadelphia, their loss in
the battle being above 1,000 in killed, wounded and prisoners, while the
loss of the British was not above half that number. Among the officers
who suffered and distinguished themselves on the American side were
three foreigners—La Fayette who was wounded in the leg while attempting
to rally the retreating troops; the Baron St. Ovary was taken prisoner;
and Count Pulaski, a Pole, who had entered the army as a volunteer,
displayed so much courage and conduct that he was rewarded by congress a
few days afterwards with the rank of brigadier-general and command of
the horse.

The day after the battle, a party of the enemy entered Wilmington and
took prisoner the governor of Delaware, and seized beside a considerable
amount of property, both public and private.

After a few days’ rest, Washington resolved to hazard another battle,
and accordingly, on the 16th, re-crossed the Schuylkill, and marched
against the British at Goshen, twenty miles from Philadelphia; but
violent rain coming on after the action had commenced and the powder in
the defective cartridge-boxes of the Americans becoming wet and unfit
for use, he was obliged to recall his men and retire. In another
instance also, were they unfortunate on the same day. Washington had
left Colonel Wayne, with a detachment of 1,500 men, concealed in a wood
to annoy the rear of the British, tidings of whom being carried to the
British commander by some of the numerous disaffected in the
neighbourhood, they were surprised by a strong detachment sent out for
that purpose, and compelled to fly with the loss of 300 men; the British
lost but seven.

On the 22nd, Howe crossed the Schuylkill, lower down than Washington had
done, and thus, to the infinite annoyance of the American commander,
placed himself between him and Philadelphia. Nothing, says Hildreth,
could now save the city but a battle and victory. Washington’s troops,
inferior in number, had been fatigued and harassed by their recent
marches. They were sadly deficient in shoes and clothing; their arms
were bad; while the irregular supplies consequent on recent changes in
the commissary department, and the increasing financial embarrassments
of congress, had sometimes even deprived them of food. Under these
circumstances it seemed almost too hazardous to risk a battle. The
necessity of abandoning Philadelphia had already been foreseen; the
hospitals, magazines and public stores had been removed; congress had
adjourned to Lancaster, having first invested Washington with the same
unlimited powers which had been given to him on a former occasion.
Washington entrusted to the young Hamilton, one of his aides-de-camp,
the important office of obtaining a supply of shoes, blankets, and
clothing for his army from Philadelphia, before the city passed into the
hands of the enemy, which was accordingly done.

On the 25th of September, Howe entered Philadelphia, where he was
received with a warm welcome by many; Duche, the late chaplain of
congress, writing to Washington and advising him “to give up the ungodly
cause in which he was engaged.” Four regiments were quartered in the
city, and the main army encamped at Germantown, ten miles distant.

Washington in the meantime passed down the Schuylkill, and encamped with
his army at Shippack Creek, eleven miles from Germantown, where he was
at length joined by the Maryland militia, though diminished to half its
promised amount by desertion. Having learnt that a part of the British
army had been sent to the Delaware, Washington resolved on attacking the
remainder at Germantown, and accordingly, on the evening of the 3rd of
October, set out for that purpose, and succeeded in surprising the
British early the next morning. For some time everything went well for
the Americans, when a heavy fog coming on, and the British availing
themselves of the cover of a stone house, the fortune of the day turned.
The darkness was such that friend could not be distinguished from foe;
the Americans fell into confusion; the ammunition of some corps was
expended, and others, seized with a panic, fled. That which had promised
to be a victory was changed into defeat. The American loss was about
1,000, 400 of whom were taken prisoners; among the killed was General
Nash, of North Carolina. The British lost about half that number.

Washington retired about twenty miles inland, where he received
reinforcements from the north with the welcome news of Burgoyne’s
surrender, and additional militia from Maryland and Virginia, after
which he returned to his old quarters at Shippack Creek. Howe also
removed from Germantown to Philadelphia. Instead of pursuing Washington,
shortness of provisions rendered it necessary for Howe to open the
navigation of the Delaware, the command of which was held by Forts
Mifflin and Mercer, still in the hands of the Americans, and which
prevented any communication between the British army and their fleet
then lying in Delaware Bay. This measure indeed was absolutely
necessary, as but little subsistence could be obtained from the adjacent
country, for although considerable defection prevailed throughout
Pennsylvania, still the presence of the American army formed a great
check; and the late edict of congress, which Washington was there to
enforce, and which rendered liable to the punishment of death any person
daring to afford supplies to the British, rendered help from the country
impossible. “The British commander,” said Dr. Franklin, wittily, “now
discovered that instead of taking Philadelphia, Philadelphia had taken

Forts Mifflin and Mercer were therefore attacked on the 22nd of October.
Fort Mercer, which was garrisoned by somewhat less than 500 men, under
the quaker commander Nathaniel Greene, was assailed by General Count
Donop, at the head of 2,000 Hessian grenadiers, who, after having
succeeded in taking the outworks were repulsed with great loss, Donop
himself being mortally wounded. The attack on Fort Mifflin, which was
made by shipping, was at first equally unsuccessful, two of the enemy’s
ships being destroyed in the attempt. Every effort was now made to
strengthen the defences of both forts, but in proportion as the efforts
on the one hand increased, so did those on the other; and finally, after
the utmost bravery had been displayed, Fort Mifflin, which was almost
battered to pieces by the fire of the enemy, was abandoned in the night
by its garrison who withdrew to Fort Mercer, which was also evacuated on
the 16th of November, before the accumulated force of the British. With
the loss of those forts, the American shipping was reduced to great
danger. Some few, under the cover of night, succeeded in ascending the
river above Philadelphia; and seventeen were burnt by their crews that
they might not fall into the hands of the enemy. The navigation of the
Delaware was now opened and the British commander could freely
communicate with the fleet.

Soon after these events, Washington, wishing to confine the enemy
within as close quarters as possible, established his winter-quarters
at Valley Forge, a high and strong position on the south side of the
Schuylkill, and about twenty miles from Philadelphia. Contrary to the
wishes of some of his more ardent officers, Washington refused to
attack Philadelphia, nor would he be drawn out to battle by any of the
repeated attempts which Howe made for that purpose. A season of sorrow
and of hard trial was at hand for Washington. As we have said, the
brilliant success of Gates in the north had eclipsed the reputation of
the commander-in-chief, and a plot was formed at this time to supplant
him by his more successful rival. But patience as well as achievement
is the virtue of heroes; and Washington, calm in the midst of enemies,
abated not one jot of patriotic endeavour, nor allowed himself to be
turned either by friend or foe from the path which, though yet dark,
he knew to be that of duty; and ere long events justified him before
the world.

A gloomy winter was at hand. We will give Hildreth’s picture of the
state of the camp at Valley Forge. “Such was the destitution of shoes,
that all the late marches had been tracked in blood, an evil which
Washington had endeavoured to mitigate by offering a premium for the
best pattern of a shoe made of untanned hides. For want of blankets,
many of the men were obliged to sit up all night before the camp fires.
More than a quarter of the troops were reported unfit for duty, because
they were ‘barefoot and otherwise naked.’ Even provisions failed; and on
more than one occasion there was famine in the camp.[21] Diseases ensued
as a matter of course; the temporary buildings used as hospitals were
crowded and unfit for the purpose. Great numbers died from hospital
fever alone. There was no change of linen; nor were even medicines to be
obtained. The hospitals, it is said, resembled rather receptacles for
the dying than places of refuge for the sick.”

Such was the American camp at Valley Forge.

Other national events besides those of war took place in the past year,
to which we must now for a moment revert, and which we will give in the
condensed form of Marcius Willson.

“After the colonies had thrown off their allegiance to the British
crown, and had established separate governments in the states, there
arose the further necessity for some common bond of union which should
better enable them to act in concert as one nation. In the summer of
1775, Benjamin Franklin had proposed to the American congress articles
of confederation and union among the colonies; but the majority in
congress not being prepared for so decisive a step, the subject was for
the time dropped, but was resumed again shortly before the declaration
of independence in the following year.

“On the 11th of June, congress appointed a committee to prepare a plan
of confederation. And the plan, reported by the committee in the
following July, was, after various changes, finally adopted by congress
on the 15th of November, 1777. Various causes, the principal of which
was a difference of opinion respecting the disposition of the vacant
western lands, prevented the immediate ratification of these articles by
all the states; but at length those states which claimed the western
lands having ceded them to the Union for the common benefit of the
whole, the articles of confederation were ratified by Maryland, the last
remaining state, on the 1st of March, 1781, at which time they became
the constitution of the country.

“The confederation, however, amounted to little more than a mere league
of friendship between the states; for although it invested congress with
many of the powers of sovereignty, it was defective as a permanent
government, owing to the want of means to enforce its decrees. While the
states were bound together by a sense of common danger, the evils of the
plan were little noticed; but after the close of the war they became so
prominent as to make a revision of the system necessary.”

                              CHAPTER VII.
                 REVOLUTIONARY WAR (_continued_), 1778.

Let us now see the effect of the war so far, both in the mother-country
and America. The surrender of Burgoyne’s army caused a great sensation
in England, and efforts were immediately made in several of the large
Scotch and English towns to send out troops to supply the loss; in
London also, where the progress of the war had raised an anti-American
spirit, £20,000 was raised by subscription for that purpose. On the
other hand, subscriptions were also raised to relieve the American
prisoners, who, from the cupidity and heartlessness of those in whose
hands they were placed, were suffering from the want of the very
necessaries of life.

When parliament met in January of this year, the American war was the
first and most important topic of discussion, and Burke and the Duke of
Richmond, Lord North, and the whole of the Rockingham party, entered
more or less into the advocacy of the colonies. As to the war itself,
the loss of life it had occasioned, the enormous expenses which it had
entailed, and the hopelessness of its results, formed a strong argument
in the mouths of all reasonable men. Still the war-party was strong, and
Burgoyne could neither obtain an audience from the king nor get a
hearing in parliament. To increase the inveteracy of feeling also,
congress appeared ready to evade the terms of the convention of
Saratoga. On some plea of suspicion regarding the intentions of the
British officers who objected to the troops embarking at Boston, and had
ordered the transports for their conveyance to Rhode Island instead,
they were detained in the country as prisoners of war.

Nevertheless, plans of conciliation were proposed, for which purpose two
bills were introduced into the house; the one renouncing all intention
of levying taxes in America—conceding, in effect, the whole subject of
dispute; the other authorising the appointment of three commissioners,
who in conjunction with the naval and military commanders, should be
empowered to treat for the re-establishment of the royal authority.
“Great Britain,” in fact, as the American historian justly says, “had
reason to be weary of a war which had cost her already more than 20,000
men and five millions sterling in expenditure. Five hundred and fifty
British vessels, besides those which had been recaptured, had been taken
by the American cruisers. These cruisers so infested even the British
seas, that convoys had become necessary from one British port to
another. To this must be added the loss of the American trade, a large
mass of American debts held in suspense by the war, the exile of the
American loyalists, and the confiscation of their property. The British
West Indies suffered for want of their accustomed supplies of provisions
and timber from the North American colonies; and the British merchant
complained that the slave-trade was reduced by the war to one-fifth of
its former amount. And to all these was now added the fear of French
intervention and French war.”

An address also was moved to his majesty, which spoke freely the
sentiments of this party, expressing “strong indignation at the conduct
of his ministers, who had brought about the present unhappy state of his
dominions, who had abused his confidence, and by their unfortunate
counsels dismembered his empire, disgraced his arms, and weakened his
naval power; whilst, by delaying to reconcile the difference which they
had excited amongst his people, they had taken no means of counteracting
a fatal alliance with the ancient rival of Great Britain.”

It was in the great debate which followed on this plain-speaking address
that Earl Chatham, when protesting vehemently against any measures which
might tend to the dismemberment of the empire, was seized with that
fainting-fit in the midst of the Lords which was the prelude of his
death eleven days afterwards.

In vain was the eloquence of the Duke of Richmond and other members of
the opposition—the motion for the address was lost; nevertheless, so
earnest was the feeling on the subject, that a noble protest, signed by
twenty peers, was entered; “because,” said they, “we think that the
rejection of the address at this time may appear to indicate in this
house a desire of continuing that plan of ignorance, concealment, deceit
and delusion, by which the sovereign and his people have already been
brought into so many and so great calamities; and because we hold it
absolutely necessary that both sovereign and people should be
undeceived, and that they should distinctly and authentically be made
acquainted with the state of their affairs, which is faithfully
represented in this proposed address.”

The Americans had still greater reason even than the British to deplore
the war, from which their sufferings were so great in every way. The
Newfoundland fisheries and the trade to the West Indies, both so vitally
important to the New England colonies, were at an end. Nine hundred
vessels had fallen into the hands of the enemy. The coasting trade had
been destroyed, and Boston and the other New England seaports, cut off
from their usual supplies, experienced great scarcity of food, enhanced
by internal embargoes which now began to be laid on by the different
states. Add to which, great public debts rapidly accumulating, and a
constantly depreciating currency. The war had been carried on at great
expense; the frequent draughts of militia, besides the interruption to
agriculture, had proved a most costly and wasteful expedient. Besides
all this, there had been great want of system and accountability in
every department; and peculation, a customary incident of all wars, had
not failed to improve so convenient an opportunity. Already the
liabilities contracted by congress amounted to upwards of eight millions
sterling; nor indeed was this the whole amount; the private debt of
Massachusetts alone amounted to about one million, besides her share of
the general liabilities. The loss of life too, had been enormous; vast
quantities had died of sickness, of suffering from insufficiency of food
and needful comforts and clothing. A sadder or more disastrous war could
hardly have been conceived.

Nevertheless, spite of all these unlooked-for calamities and this
unimagined expenditure, the war-spirit at the commencement of 1778 was
far more extensively spread than had ever before been the case. The very
calamities of the war, which had now entered, as it were, into every
individual home, had estranged the national heart from the
mother-country. Any conciliation, any termination of the struggle, short
of entire separation from England, would not be listened to. Besides,
when the Americans looked at the position of affairs after a three
years’ war, spite of all their losses and sufferings, they saw no cause
for despair—as indeed, there was none. The British after all, retained
possession but of Long Island and Staten Island, of the insular cities
of Newport in Rhode Island and New York, and of Philadelphia on the
mainland. As yet they had no interior hold on the country, and though a
strong loyalist party existed in various states, and loyalist troops had
been raised in Pennsylvania, New York and among the Catholics of
Maryland, still the whole number did not amount to above 3,600 men, and
their influence tended rather to increase the bitterness of hatred
against Britain, who had thus caused civil war in the land, than in
reality to weaken or endanger their cause.

While the British parliament was debating the subject of conciliation,
the colonies were preparing to carry on the war with renewed vigour. The
cabal against Washington had ended in the disgrace of its originators,
and that great man now stood higher than he had hitherto done in the
regard and confidence of the nation. Advantageous changes were made in
all the war departments, in accordance with Washington’s wishes, and to
the displacement of his enemies. Nathaniel Greene, a favourite officer
of Washington’s, was appointed quarter-master-general; Colonel Jeremiah
Wadsworth accepted the office of commissary-general, in the place of
Mifflin, one of the cabal; while General Conway, its head, and a man of
weak character, was displaced as army inspector by Baron Steuben, a
Prussian officer, who had lately offered his services to congress, and
who soon introduced a complete system of exercise and tactics into the
American army. By the new organisation the colonial force would have
amounted to 60,000 men, but not being fully carried out, to about only
half that number; no troops were demanded from Georgia and South
Carolina, in consequence of their great slave population. Two
independent corps were also raised; the one under Pulaski, the Pole; the
other under Armand, a French officer; a third entirely composed of
cavalry, was raised by Henry Lee, of Virginia, already distinguished in
the war. The fortifications of the Highlands were vigorously prosecuted
under the direction of Kosciusko.

Again large issues of paper money were made, which, causing still
further depreciation, led to the greatest perplexity and embarrassment.
The reduced pay of the officers, insufficient for their simplest needs,
must have compelled many able and long-tried officers to throw up their
commissions, had not Washington induced congress to promise half-pay for
seven years to all officers who served to the end of the war, and a
gratuity to the common soldiers.

About the middle of April, at the very moment when all was in active
operation to carry on the war with renewed vigour, the first tidings of
the conciliatory bills reached New York, and ex-governor Tryon and the
Tory party used their utmost endeavours to diffuse them throughout the
colonies. To counteract the influence of these measures, congress
ordered them to be immediately published in every newspaper of the
States, accompanied by the printed resolutions of their body on the
subject. “There was a time,” said Governor Turnbull, “when this step
from our acknowledged parent would have been accepted with joy and
gratitude, but that time is irrevocably past. No peace can be concluded
now with Great Britain on any other terms than the most absolute,
perfect independence. Nevertheless,” concluded he, “the union by a
lasting and honourable peace is the ardent wish of every American. The
British nation will then find us as affectionate and valuable friends as
we now are determined and fatal enemies, and will derive from that
friendship more solid and real advantage than the most sanguine can
expect from conquest.”

On the 22nd of April, congress officially declared, that any man or body
of men, who should presume to make any separate or partial agreement
with the commission under the crown of Great Britain, should be
considered as enemies of the United States; that the United States would
enter into no treaty with Great Britain until her fleets and armies were
withdrawn, or the independence of America acknowledged.

Scarcely were these resolutions published, than, as if to give them
value with the public, Simon Deane arrived at Yorktown, where congress
was then sitting, in a royal frigate from Paris bringing with him for
ratification two treaties of alliance and commerce between France and
the United States; the last of which was signed the 30th of January, and
the former on the 6th of February. On the 4th of May, they were ratified
by congress, and the utmost joy and exultation prevailed throughout the
United States. There was an end now to the hatred of France in America;
her independence was acknowledged by that nation, and congress extolled
“the extraordinary equity, generosity and unparalleled honour of the
French monarch.”

By the treaty of alliance it was stipulated that in case of war
occurring between France and England, the two parties should aid each
other with counsel and with arms, and that neither should conclude truce
nor peace with Great Britain without consent of the other. This treaty
being considered equivalent to a declaration of war between France and
Great Britain, the English ambassador was recalled from Paris, and
active preparations for war were made by both nations.

On May 8th, Sir William Howe having at his own request resigned the
command of the American army, Sir Henry Clinton arrived at Philadelphia
to take his place, and early in June the three commissioners appointed
under Lord North’s Conciliatory Bill—the Earl of Carlisle, William Eden,
brother of the late governor of Maryland, afterwards Lord Auckland, and
Governor Johnson—arrived at the same city a few days before the British
troops evacuated. The day after their arrival, a passport being refused
by Washington to Dr. Ferguson, the secretary of the commission, a letter
was despatched by them, together with the late acts of parliament and
other papers, directed to congress. A suspension of hostilities was
proposed, and as the basis of a final adjustment of the contest, an
extension of the privileges of trade hitherto allowed to the colonies
was promised; no military force was to be kept up in any colony without
the consent of its assembly; the continental bills of credit were to be
taken up and ultimately discharged; the colonies were to be represented
in parliament, and the British government in the colonial
assemblies;—almost everything was to be conceded excepting the
acknowledgment of independence.

These concessions came too late. Two years before they would have been
accepted with gratitude. They were now rejected; it could not have been
otherwise. Congress gave a very summary reply in the words of the
resolution already stated, and firmly refused to treat in any way with
Great Britain, unless she withdrew her troops or acknowledged the
independence of the States. The commissioners returned a long and
argumentative reply, to which congress made no answer.

In the meantime a French fleet, under the command of Count D’Estaing,
being despatched to America with the design of blockading the British
fleet in the Delaware, and Philadelphia being no longer safe quarters
for the British army, active preparations were made for its evacuation.
On the 18th of June, accordingly, Sir Henry Clinton marched out of
Philadelphia with about 12,000 men, while the baggage and a great amount
of stores and a considerable number of non-combatants were sent to New
York by water, whither also the army was bound by land. Washington,
already aware of this intended evacuation, broke up his camp at Valley
Forge, and while with his main army, the number of which considerably
exceeded that of the British, he cautiously followed the enemy, he
despatched General Maxwell with a brigade to co-operate with the New
Jersey militia in harassing them, and throwing every possible impediment
in their way, so that time might be given him to bring up his full force
and to profit by any opportunity which offered. The wish of the
commander-in-chief was to bring on a general engagement, but in this
wish he was overruled by a council of officers.

The progress of the British was very slow, and many were the
difficulties which they encountered; the weather was rainy and the heat
intense, and they were encumbered with so enormous a quantity of
baggage, that their line of march through the narrow roads of the
country occupied twelve miles. The cause of this quantity of baggage, as
far as provisions were concerned, was a matter of prudence with General
Clinton, who knew that no subsistence was to be obtained for his troops
in the hostile country through which they had to march. On the 25th of
June the two armies were so near each other, that Washington despatched
General Lee, now but recently exchanged, with two brigades to press upon
Clinton’s left, and prevent him from occupying the strong position of
the Nevisink Hills, near Middletown, which he was then approaching. On
the 28th, Clinton encamped at Monmouth, now Freehold, twelve miles from
Middletown, and Lee, who was six miles in advance of Washington,
received orders from his commander to attack the enemy, himself
promising to bring up the main army to support it. Washington,
accordingly advancing for this purpose, was astonished to meet Lee
retreating; according to his own account, having merely ordered his men
to retreat for the purpose of gaining a more favourable position.
Washington, however, incensed at perceiving what appeared to him flight
rather than any other movement, severely reprimanded the general, and
ordered the line of battle to be immediately formed. This was done; the
battle was renewed till the darkness of night closed the combat. The
Americans lay on their arms, fully determined to attack the British in
the morning; but availing themselves of the cover of night, the British
retired with profound silence to the high grounds of Nevisink, which it
had been Washington’s object to prevent them gaining, and where they
were now safe from attack. The number of killed and wounded on both
sides has been very differently stated; but in both armies many died
without a single wound, from fatigue and the excessive heat of the
weather, which on that day was unusually extreme; fifty-nine English
soldiers are said to have died from this cause. Several officers of
great ability were killed also on both sides.

As regarded General Lee, the day after the battle he wrote a very angry
letter to Washington, on the subject of the reprimand which he had
received, and again, in answer to Washington’s reply, wrote a second of
a similar character. The consequence was the arrest of Lee, and his
trial by court-martial, on the charges of disobedience to orders,
misbehaviour before the enemy, and disrespect to the commander-in-chief.
Of a portion of these charges he was found guilty, and suspended from
command for twelve months. He, however, never re-entered the American
army, and died at Philadelphia shortly before the conclusion of the war.

Immediately after the battle of Freehold, Clinton proceeded from his
position on Nevisink Hills to Sandy Hook, where, fortunately for him,
the fleet of Lord Howe, which had been detained in the Delaware by
contrary winds, had arrived only the evening before. By these means he
was enabled to reach New York in safety, totally unconscious of a new
danger from which he was so opportunely removed.

A new enemy was now approaching the scene of action. Two days after the
British fleet had sailed, news arrived that Count D’Estaing was off the
Delaware, with a French fleet of twelve ships of the line and four
frigates, with 11,000 French troops on board. Had he been only
eight-and-forty hours earlier he might have met the British transports,
heavily laden as they were, totally unconscious of this new danger, and
convoyed only by two ships of the line, and their destruction would have
been inevitable; while the English army, unable to proceed to New York,
would have been enclosed by the Americans on the one hand, and on the
other, cut off from supplies by the French fleet, and a second surrender
must have been the consequence. Two days made all the difference.

The arrival of the French fleet was, however, a cause of great
exultation to the Americans. With it also came out M. Gerard, late
secretary to the king’s council, as ambassador to the United States, and
soon after Benjamin Franklin, still in France, was appointed to the same
office in that country.

D’Estaing, having failed to surprise the British fleet in the Delaware,
proceeded without loss of time to Sandy Hook, and came to anchor off New
York Harbour, on July 11th. A joint attack on the British by land and
sea was now decided upon, and for this purpose Washington crossed the
Hudson with his army, and encamped at White Plains. The utmost alarm
prevailed among the British and the loyalists of New York. The British
fleet was not in the best condition for this formidable encounter. Most
of the ships of the line, having been long on service, were out of
condition and badly manned; they had, however, the advantage of
position, being within the harbour which is formed by Sandy Hook, and
the entrance to which is covered by a bar. The French fleet was in
excellent condition, and among its ships of the line were several of
great force and weight of gun. These heavy ships were the salvation of
the British fleet, and the ruin of the French enterprise. The New York
pilots would not venture to take them across the bar, and after having
lain outside the harbour for about eleven days, the British fleet locked
up within it and looking out anxiously every hour for the arrival of an
expected squadron from England, under Admiral Byron, D’Estaing was seen
to sail away with a favourable wind, and in a few hours was out of
sight. The expected British reinforcements arrived very shortly after
D’Estaing was gone.

This projected attack of the British fleet being necessarily abandoned,
Washington recommended D’Estaing to proceed against Newport in Rhode
Island, which was still held by the British, under General Pigot, with
6,000 men. For the purpose of co-operation in this expedition, which
Washington had anticipated, General Sullivan had been already sent with
a detachment to Providence, where he was joined by 5,000 militia of
Massachusetts and Connecticut, and shortly after by two brigades under
Generals Greene and La Fayette. The utmost enthusiasm prevailed
everywhere, and perfect success was calculated upon. The plan of the
expedition was simple. D’Estaing was to enter the harbour of Newport,
while the army advanced from the other side, and thus place the British
once more between two fires.

The French fleet already occupied Narrangansett Bay, and was in
communication with the American army; nay, even having advanced into
Newport harbour, had compelled the British to burn or sink six of their
frigates, to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy.

On the 10th of August, the American army, 10,000 strong, landed on the
north end of Rhode Island proper, on which Newport stands, expecting to
be joined by 4,000 French troops from the fleet, as had been arranged
with D’Estaing, when all unexpectedly the British fleet under Lord Howe
appeared in sight. This fleet, as soon as released from its blockade in
New York harbour and strengthened by its reinforcements, set sail for
the relief of Newport, where it arrived at this critical moment. No
sooner was this perceived by the French admiral, who knew that his force
was superior to that of the British, than he sailed out to give them
battle, carrying the troops with him. Astonished and disappointed by
this unexpected movement, the American army continued their march
towards Newport and encamped within two miles of the enemy’s works.
Meanwhile, the two admirals striving each to secure the weather-gage,
two days were spent in this contest of seamanship, when a violent storm
arose and separated the two fleets at the very moment when about to
engage. For two days more the tempest raged fearfully, and scattered and
damaged the ships greatly. Five days later the French admiral reappeared
off Newport with two of his ships, one of which was his own, dismasted,
and others seriously injured. The British squadron had also suffered
equally. On the 22nd of August, two days later, D’Estaing, contrary to
the earnest entreaties of the American generals, insisted on giving up
the attempt against Newport, and sailed away to Boston to refit.

The American army in Rhode Island and the people of the northern
colonies in general were indignant at this desertion, and the old hatred
of the French was in such danger of reviving, and indeed did express
itself by a riot in Boston, that it required all Washington’s influence
to allay it; while congress, in order to pacify D’Estaing, who was
becoming angry on his part, passed a resolution approving of his
conduct. In the meantime, General Sullivan, now placed in the most
difficult circumstances in Rhode Island, and deserted by great numbers
of his own troops, commenced a retreat. On the 29th of August, having
already sent off his artillery and baggage, he put his troops in motion,
and though vigorously pursued and attacked on every possible quarter by
the British forces, he had yet taken all his measures so well, that he
arrived without any considerable loss at his old post on the north of
the island, and the next day passed his army over to the mainland in
safety. Nor was his fortunate retreat made too soon, as Sir Henry
Clinton arrived from New York with a strong force immediately

The same day that Sullivan abandoned Rhode Island, Lord Howe entered the
Bay of Boston in pursuit of D’Estaing, whom he however found so securely
defended by the batteries and other measures of defence taken both by
the Americans and the French, that any attack upon him was impossible.

Late in the autumn, the English fleet, which had been sent out under
Admiral Byron to counteract D’Estaing, arrived at New York, having
encountered and been detained by severe tempests. Byron sailed to
Boston, as Howe had done before, to look after and attack the French
admiral; but again a violent storm arose, the fleet was dispersed, and
one of the English ships was wrecked on Cape Cod; after which,
D’Estaing, having now refitted, sailed for the West Indies, the
principal seat of war between France and England, and whither had sailed
also 5,000 British troops from New York, under Commodore Hotham,
escorted by a strong squadron.

The three commissioners who had come over for the purpose of
conciliation having, as we said, produced no effect on congress,
afterwards attempted to corrupt the minds of private individuals, or at
least this charge was proved upon Governor Johnstone. Under this
suspicion congress ordered all the letters written by that gentleman to
his American friends—among whom were General Reed, Francis Dana and
Robert Morris,—to be laid before them. These letters, as regarded
General Reed, proved that a Mrs. Ferguson, a lady of Philadelphia, had
been employed to offer him £10,000 and any office which he might desire
in the colonies, if he would aid in bringing about the proposed
reconciliation. His reply was worthy of an American patriot: “I am not
worth purchasing,” said he; “but such as I am, the king of England is
too poor to buy me.”[22] These discoveries called forth a declaration
from congress that Johnstone was guilty of an attempt at bribery, and
such being the case, it was incompatible with the honour of that body to
hold any intercourse with him. This led to a violent reply from
Johnstone, accompanied by a document from his fellow-commissioners, by
no means calculated to decrease the difference between the two parties.
Congress vouchsafed no reply, making use only of the public press to
utter their sentiments.

Besides the attempt at conciliation, the commissioners endeavoured to
use their influence, with equally little success, in obtaining the
discharge of Burgoyne’s troops, who were still detained in the country,
contrary to capitulation. Whatever the reasoning of congress might be on
this subject, nothing but the quibbles of lawyers could be produced in
support of it; and the unfortunate troops, contrary to all honour, after
having suffered greatly in the north, were marched off to
Charlottesville in Virginia, where they could be more easily guarded and
more cheaply fed. There they were quartered in log-huts, gardens were
allotted to them, and their encampment formed a village. Some of the
officers were afterwards exchanged, but the greater number remained
prisoners to the end of the war.[23]

The last act of the commissioners was the publication of a violent
manifesto, addressed not only to congress and the assemblies, but to the
people at large, intended to separate them from their rulers, by
charging upon them all the miseries and the consequences of the war,
declaring that the contest changed its nature when America estranged
herself from the mother-country and mortgaged herself and her resources
to the enemies of Great Britain; the clergy were reminded that the
French were papists, and the lovers of peace were appealed to against
ambitious men who were subjecting their country to unnecessary warfare.
Forty days were allowed for submission, after which, if the offer were
rejected, the country was threatened with desolation as the future
object of the war. The circulation of this manifesto under flags of
truce was prohibited by congress, but it was published in all the
newspapers with a counter-manifesto and with comments from the pens of
some of their most able men.

As the commissioners had disparaged France in this document, the Marquis
La Fayette, as the representative of his country, sent a challenge to
the Earl of Carlisle, which that nobleman declined to accept, on the
plea that he was responsible only to his sovereign for his public acts.
Shortly after this time the Marquis La Fayette returned to France, in
which country he believed that he could serve the rising interest of
America more effectually than in her armies.

At the end of the forty days, having flung their firebrand into the
country, the commissioners departed, much to the relief of congress, but
not before their threatened warfare of desolation had commenced its

Sir Henry Clinton, finding all quiet at Newport, returned to New York,
whence he despatched Major-General Grey on an expedition against the
southern shores of Massachusetts and the adjacent islands. In Buzzard’s
Bay, a great resort of American privateers, he destroyed about 100
vessels with all the stores in the neighbourhood, burnt the towns of New
Bedford and Fairhaven, and carried off from the inhabitants of the
fertile island of Martha’s Vineyard a vast quantity of sheep and oxen.
But this was little in comparison with his next achievements. He
surprised, in the dead of the night, a sleeping American regiment of
light horse, near Tappan, killed a number of them in cold blood, wounded
many others and took the rest prisoners. The town of Egg-harbour in New
Jersey was burnt, and all the houses and mills and property belonging to
the Whig party in that neighbourhood destroyed; while a detachment under
one Captain Ferguson, guided by deserters, surprised and cut to pieces
the greater portion of Pulaski’s legion. Such was the spirit of ferocity
which existed at this moment in the British soldiery; but horrible as
were these instances of merciless warfare, they were trivial in
comparison with what was going forward in remoter regions, where the
Indian savage became the bloody tool of the American loyalist. All our
readers know the tragedy of Wyoming. It was enacted at this time. We
have already mentioned the settlement of this beautiful valley of the
Susquehannah by a number of the quiet people of Connecticut. It had
greatly flourished and become very populous, although from the first it
had been a cause of dispute between Connecticut and Pennsylvania, both
of which states claimed it as belonging to their territory. A few years
before the present time, some Scotch and Dutch settlers from New York
had come to the valley, thirty of whom having been lately seized on
suspicion of being Tories, were sent to Connecticut for trial. Nothing
being proved against them, they were discharged, and immediately, as if
in confirmation of the accusation, they enlisted in the partisan corps
of Butler and the half-blood Indian Brandt, then stationed in the Mohawk
valley, eager for the moment of revenge, which was not far off.

Although Wyoming had been only settled since the last war, it numbered
about 4,000 inhabitants, one-third of whom it had sent out to the
American army, thus leaving itself undefended. This weak state was well
known to the offended party, who induced Butler and Brandt to lead to
Wyoming a body of 1,500 men, partly Indians, and partly loyalists
disguised as such, for the purpose of extermination. On the first rumour
of the probability of such an invasion, a body of men was raised to
garrison the valley; but they were hardly organised when, at the
commencement of July, Butler and his terrible army appeared and
commenced their bloody work by waylaying and murdering some of the
inhabitants. There were four forts in the valley; the upper fort, being
held by a disaffected party, surrendered at once; the few soldiers
hastily mustered marched out to meet the enemy, but being a mere
handful, were surrounded, many were killed on the spot, and others who
were taken prisoners were put to death with every Indian ingenuity of
torture. Such as escaped fled to Fort Wyoming, which was then besieged.
Under pretence of a parley, the principal officer was drawn out with a
number of his men, when the fort was attacked and the greater part
slain. The remnant which remained, on desiring to know what terms might
be expected, received for reply the emphatic words, “The hatchet.” At
last compelled to surrender, the men were put to the sword, and the
women and children shut up in the houses and the barracks, which were
consumed in one general conflagration. The last fort offered no
resistance, and surrendered on the promise of security to life and
property; but the promise was not kept, the unhappy people suffered the
fate of the others. Butler, it is said, marched away with his Tories at
the surrender of the fort, but could not induce the Indians to follow
his example; and frenzied with the rage of blood, they remained behind,
burning the houses, ravaging the fields, killing and maiming the very
cattle with horrible tortures, murdering the men who resisted, and
driving such women and children as escaped with life into the forests
and mountains. According to some historians there were loyalists among
these Indians, who excelled even them in barbarity.

The fate of Wyoming awoke the liveliest indignation; and an expedition
of retaliation was very soon undertaken against the Indians of the Upper
Susquehannah; and though the Indians, aware of their approach, fled, yet
were their harvests destroyed and their fields laid waste. Another
expedition was undertaken against the Canadian settlers, most of whom
were loyalists, west of the Alleganies. These incursions served only to
call forth reprisals; and in November, the flourishing settlement of
Cherry Valley, in New York, was surprised by a party of Indians and
loyalist regulars. The fort, which was garrisoned by about 200 soldiers,
was not taken; but its colonel, who lodged in the town, was killed, the
lieutenant-colonel taken prisoner, and the inhabitants suffered the
cruel fate of those of Wyoming.

We have already mentioned that Commodore Hyde Parker had been sent in
November with a detachment of 3,500 men, under Colonel Campbell, against
Georgia; at the same time instructions had been forwarded to
Major-General Prevost, who commanded the troops in East Florida, to make
all necessary preparations for the defence of Fort St. Augustine, and to
co-operate in the views of the present expedition by entering the
province of Georgia from that side, and advancing, if possible, so far
as to assist Colonel Campbell in the intended attack on Savannah.

The scene of events is now about to be in great measure removed from the
North to the South. While the northern provinces had been so long
harassed, and had suffered from the calamities of war, the southern had
enjoyed such comparative tranquillity that they had duly cultivated
their affluent lands and gathered in their abundant harvests, and had
carried on their export trade with most of the European markets without
impediment, except from British cruisers in the ocean. There had, it is
true, been a continuance of petty hostilities between Georgia and East
Florida, which had kept up a rumour of war in the south; and in West
Florida the British settlements had quietly submitted to the Americans;
but as yet all had been comparative peace.

The shortness of provisions in the north, from which the British
suffered, rendered it additionally important for them to gain possession
of Georgia, the feeblest of the southern provinces. As regards, indeed,
the want of provisions, it was felt by the Americans equally with the
British; and it is stated that D’Estaing would have found it
impracticable to have victualled his ships at Boston but for the
opportune seizing, by the New England cruisers, of so large a number of
English provision-ships on their way to New York, that there was not
only abundance for the French fleet, but the general price of food was
lowered thereby in Boston market. This event, which was a great triumph
to the Americans, was a serious cause of increased anxiety and suffering
to the British army.

But the possession of Georgia was not only important to the British, as
furnishing an abundant supply of its staple commodity, rice, and its
other numerous products, but as enabling East Florida to join her
forces, and thus to form an aggregate establishment in the south, which
might greatly influence the ultimate fortunes of the war; besides which,
a door would thus be opened into South Carolina.

The commander of the American forces in the southern department was at
this time Major-General Robert Howe, who, however, not having given
satisfaction to congress, was about to be superseded by General Lincoln,
when, on the 23rd of December, the British fleet arrived at the island
of Tybee, near the mouth of the river Savannah. The Americans were
wholly unprepared for the removal of the scene of war from the north to
the south, and no measures of defence had been taken to secure Savannah.
Though Howe was there with the whole regular force of the southern
department, consisting of six South Carolina and the one Georgia
regiments, the whole force did not amount to 800 men; while the
batteries which had been constructed for the defence of the river had
been suffered to fall into decay.

The capture of Savannah was very easy. On the 28th, the enemy landed
just below the town, Major-General Howe having drawn up his forces about
half a mile to the east, his left resting on the river, and his right
and rear covered by rice-swamps, across which he believed there was but
one road. “Fortune, however,” says the British report of this
enterprise, “whose favours no prudent officer will ever deny, threw a
negro into the hands of the commander, whose intelligence turned to the
happiest account.” This man led a British detachment, by a private road
known to himself, to the back of Howe’s force, and the Americans, thus
at once attacked in front and rear, were completely routed. The British
loss was less than thirty; of the Americans 450, while several
commissioned officers were taken prisoners; and Savannah, with its
artillery, shipping and stores, fell into the hands of the British. The
remains of Howe’s army fled into South Carolina.

This was the greatest acquisition made by the British in the present
year. Washington had gone into winter-quarters at Middlebrook. The two
hostile armies of the north were now, at the close of 1778, after two
years’ struggles and manœuvres, in very nearly the same relative
position as at the close of 1776. The British, driven from the mainland,
were now again entrenched on New York Island; and Washington, speaking
of the present state of affairs, nobly remarked: “The hand of Providence
had been so conspicuous in all this, that he who lacked faith must have
been worse than an infidel, and he more than wicked who had no gratitude
to acknowledge his obligations.”

                             CHAPTER VIII.
                 REVOLUTIONARY WAR (_continued_), 1779.

While the war was being carried forward on the eastern borders of the
States, and the people suffered grievously from the natural consequences
of the prolonged struggle, the spirit of enterprise was no less alive in
the remoter provinces, and adventurers were advancing towards that Great
West which has ever been so attractive to the American mind. As had been
so often the case before, the restlessness of the Western Indians led
now to the conquest of their territory. It was reported to congress that
the Indians of the Ohio had been stimulated to hostility by Hamilton,
the British commandant at Detroit, and in consequence it was determined
to send an expedition against that post; but before this was done, one
still more important was accomplished by George Rogers Clarke, a young
backwoodsman of Kentucky. Clarke was a man of great sagacity; and having
come to the conclusion that the best way of putting an end to Indian
hostilities was to destroy the sources whence they derived encouragement
and support, and having correctly ascertained that these border Indians
were not merely the tools of the British, but that great numbers amongst
them were well-inclined towards the Americans, he proposed in December,
1779, to the executive council of Virginia, a plan for the reduction of
the British posts of Detroit, Vincennes and Kaskaskia, all founded, as
we may remember, by the French in the days of their American prosperity.
The governor and council approving of Clarke’s plan, afforded him such
facilities as he required for its accomplishment. Early the following
year he enlisted 200 men for three months, and, accompanied by thirteen
emigrant families, descended the Ohio to the Falls, where the emigrants
parted company and settled themselves in Corn Island, the little band of
warriors thus dropping, as it were, by the way the seeds of civilisation
and domestic life. Again Clarke embarked on the river, and advanced to
within sixty miles of its mouth, where, hiding his boats, he marched by
land to Kaskaskia, which he reached on the evening of July 5th. The
march had been difficult, and having long been short of food, they were
on the point of starvation, but the town and fort being taken by
surprise yielded to the famished men without a struggle. M. Rocheblave,
the British commandant, was taken in his bed, and not a drop of blood
was shed. The inhabitants were mostly French, and the news of the French
alliance with the Americans, and the respect shown by the conqueror to
life, property and religion, disposed the inhabitants to be satisfied,
if not pleased, with the change. The papers of the governor, among which
it was suspected were orders from Hamilton to excite the Indians to
hostility, were immediately either destroyed by his wife or concealed
among her clothes, for “the conqueror, as a gallant son of Virginia,
would not tarnish the fame of his state by an insult to a female;”
therefore the papers remained undiscovered.

After a few days’ rest and refreshment in Kaskaskia, Clarke and his men
proceeded to Cahokia, a small but important post which possessing a
great trade with the Indians, was the depôt of arms and ammunition; this
and another neighbouring post also surrendered without bloodshed.
Besides these conquests, the people of St. Vincent’s, or Vincennes, on
the Wabash, swore allegiance to Virginia, and friendly relations were
established with the Spanish commander at St. Louis, on the other side
of the Mississippi. A party was also sent by Clarke to build a stockade
at the falls of Ohio, which was the first germ of the present city of

Returning to Kaskaskia, Clarke convened the hitherto hostile Indian
tribes, who filled with dread of this boldest of the “Big Knives,” as
they called the Virginians, were easily induced to transfer their
allegiance from the British to the Americans. The territory thus
acquired, embracing all the country north of the Ohio, was erected by
the assembly of Virginia into the county of Illinois.

The army of Washington passed this winter more comfortably than the
last. A supply of clothing had been received from France; and provisions
were secured by congress having laid an embargo on all exports. In fact,
the army was now better fed and supplied than at any former period.
Great discouragement and distress, however, prevailed, owing to the
depreciation of the bills of credit, which had reduced the pay of the
army to a mere trifle, totally insufficient for their needs. The Tory
party also caused many troubles and anxieties; and so dangerous an
element was this in the state, that even after the evacuation of
Philadelphia by the British, when congress had resumed its sittings in
that capital, many wealthy and respectable citizens became amenable to
the law; and two Quakers, John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle, were found
guilty of treason, and spite of every effort being made to save them,
were executed. These trials and executions greatly inflamed the hatred
of the Tories, and party-spirit became still more bitter.

In the minds of the Americans this inveteracy was increased by the late
conduct of the once popular General Arnold, who, in consequence of his
wounds, had been appointed to the military command in Philadelphia, and
to the astonishment and disgust of his friends, showed a great leaning
towards the adverse party, and very soon married a young wife, the
daughter of a Tory family.

Towards the close of the past year America obtained, through her
commissioners in France, a loan from the French court of 3,000,000 of
livres—a very insufficient sum to relieve their present difficulties,
and the obtaining of which led to much quarrelling and party-spirit.
Congress, occupied with disputes which originated in this loan, “was
reduced,” says Hildreth, “to a very low ebb. Many of the abler members
left it; frequently there were not more than twenty-five in attendance.
Washington passed five weeks at the commencement of the year in
Philadelphia, and his letters at that time evince serious alarm at the
state of affairs.”

A scheme for the invasion of Canada by the aid of a French fleet was
entertained at this time by congress, but discouraged by Washington, who
had strong suspicion that if successful it would tend only to the
advantage of France. It was resolved therefore, that all offensive
operations should be confined to an attack on Detroit, and an expedition
against the Six Nations.

The year 1779 commenced by a new issue of paper money, to the amount of
ten millions, and additional bills to about the same amount, at various
times before the month of June. Under this rapid issue, Hildreth tells
us, increased depreciation took place, together with a spirit of
speculation and fraud on the one side, and unfounded jealousies and
suspicion on the other. Prices rose enormously, and while it was
remarked that Tories and speculators grew rapidly rich, honest men and
patriots were reduced to poverty.

But spring was now coming on, and it was necessary to organise the army
for operation. Exclusive of the few troops in the south, the American
army, at the commencement of the campaign of the year, amounted barely
to 16,000. Three thousand of these were with Gates at Providence; 7,000
in the neighbourhood of Middlebrook, the winter-quarters of Washington;
of the remaining 6,000, part were in the Highlands completing the
defences of West Point, under M‘Dougall, and the remainder under Israel
Putnam, on the east side of the Hudson. As the British had 11,000 men at
New York, and 5,000 at Newport, Washington did not deem it prudent to
attack either of these places.

We now return to the South. When Colonel Campbell was despatched to
Georgia, orders were sent to General Prevost in East Florida, to march
his troops to his aid and to assume command. In this march along the
uninhabited coast, which at that time lay between Florida and Georgia,
his soldiers suffered greatly, having frequently no other provisions
than oysters. Sunbury, a fort garrisoned by 200 provincials, Savannah
being at that time in the hands of the British, surrendered with but
little show of resistance. Arrived at Savannah, General Prevost assumed
command, and then despatched Colonel Campbell against Augusta, which
also surrendered, the garrison and the more patriotic inhabitants
escaping across the river Savannah into South Carolina. The whole of
Georgia was thus in the hands of the British.

When the news of this easy conquest reached Charleston, the South
Carolina militia were called out, but the call was reluctantly obeyed.
The American forces under General Lincoln, principally consisting of
North Carolina militia, amounted to about 1,400, and these were
stationed to guard the passages of the Savannah river, which formed the
boundary between Georgia and South Carolina. Although the troops of
Prevost amounted to a much larger number, he hesitated to attack
Charleston, but sent an expedition against Port Royal, which was so
bravely defended by General Moultrie, that they were defeated with
considerable loss.

The population of the three southern provinces, Georgia and the two
Carolinas, was of a mixed character, without any bond of religion or
interest, very different indeed to that of the north. The wealthy
planters along the sea-coast were mostly Whigs, but the excess of slave
population left the country without soldiers. The interior of the
country was occupied by scattered settlements of Dutch, Germans,
Quakers, Irish Presbyterians and Scotch Highlanders, who held little
intercourse with each other. The Quakers, Dutch and Germans, meddling
little with politics, inclined to submit to the British army for the
sake of peace and quietness. The Irish Presbyterians were Whigs, the
Scotch Highlanders Tories, as were the so-called Regulators of North
Carolina, and the Scotch and British traders of the interior.[24]

The success of the British in Georgia encouraged the loyalists of these
remote regions to rise. They were many of them men to whom excitement of
any kind was welcome. Hardy and desperate in their lives, they are
described by a writer of those days as having long been in the condition
of outlaws, ready to attach themselves to the Indians or any others for
incursions on the frontiers. The nature and remoteness of the country
enabled them to keep up a free intercourse with their old friends,
like-minded with themselves, who had however, for the sake of remaining
quiet, submitted to the present government. From these circumstances,
and the cast of mind acquired by their constant intercourse with the
savages, they were ever ready to take up arms, and many of those who
continued in the occupation of their farms and had the character of
peaceable men, occasionally joined those parties which were openly in
arms on the frontiers, and bore a share in all the devastation they

About 700 of these people therefore embodied themselves, and set out
towards Augusta, intending there to join the royal troops, and
committing great devastation and many cruelties by the way. They were,
however, attacked by a body of South Carolina militia, under Colonel
Pickens, when very near the end of their march; their leader, Colonel
Boyd, was slain; 400 of their number killed or taken prisoners, seventy
of whom, being put on trial for treason, were found guilty, but five
only of the most influential executed; the remaining 300 reached

The most terrible feature of the war in the south was the rancorous
party-spirit which prevailed in it. Four battalions of Carolina
loyalists had already joined the British army in Georgia, one of which
was commanded by a Colonel Brown, originally a trader. This man who had
formerly been tarred and feathered by the Whigs now pursued them with
implacable hatred, and, following the example set at Augusta, hung all
his Whig prisoners.

General Lincoln being reinforced by accessions of militia which had
arrived for the protection of South Carolina, was stationed at
Purysburg, on the north bank of the Savannah, about twenty miles above
the city of that name, and now despatched General Ashe, with about 2,000
men of the Georgia and Carolina militia, to take up a position nearly
opposite Augusta. On this movement General Prevost recalled the British
force from that place, with orders to take up their post at Hudson’s
Ferry, lower down the river. On the retreat of the British, Lincoln,
whose intention it was to retake Georgia and confine Prevost to the
coast, ordered General Ashe to leave his baggage behind, to cross over
into Georgia and take up his position at Briar Creek, a very strong
situation. This was done; Briar Creek, which was too deep to be forded,
covered his front, the river Savannah and a deep morass covered his
left, and 200 horse guarded his right. No attack was suspected; General
Prevost manœuvred on the banks of the river between Ebenezer and
Savannah, and Lincoln kept himself on the alert, expecting that the
danger lay in that quarter. In the meantime a detachment was proceeding
by a circuitous march to attack Ashe’s rear, while another detachment
advanced as if to attack Lincoln in front, where he was unassailable,
but in fact merely to divert his attention. The feint was entirely
successful. The rear, totally unprepared for attack, was surprised in
open daylight, and throwing down their arms without firing a shot, whole
regiments of militia fled. The deep creek and the marsh, otherwise their
security, became thus the means of their destruction. Stupified by
terror, great numbers were drowned in the one and swallowed up in the
other. A few officers and one North Carolina regiment endeavoured to
retrieve the fortunes of the day by a brave but ineffectual defence; but
the chances were all against them. About 400 were killed and made
prisoners, among the latter of whom was Brigadier-General Elbert, a
brave man and the second in command; the numbers who perished in the
river and the swamp are unknown; 450 were all who rejoined Lincoln’s
army. Seven pieces of cannon, almost all their arms and ammunition, and
such baggage as they had with them, fell into the hands of the British,
whose loss only amounted to five killed and eleven wounded.

This disastrous and disgraceful defeat enabled the British to reoccupy
Augusta, and gave them once more undisputed possession of Georgia. Such
being the case, Prevost secured the co-operation of the loyalists, by
proclaiming Sir James Wright governor and reestablishing a royal
legislature, as it existed before 1775.

The present alarming state of affairs was useful in arousing the
Carolinians. Every effort was now made to reinforce General Lincoln’s
army. John Rutledge, a popular man, in whom all had confidence, was
appointed governor and vested with extraordinary powers; a stringent
militia law was enforced, and by the middle of April, two months after
the defeat at Briar Creek, Lincoln found himself at the head of 5,000
men. About the end of that month, therefore, leaving General Moultrie
with 1,500 troops to garrison the lower passes of the river, at
Purysburg and the Black Swamp, Lincoln, hoping to recover the upper
parts of Georgia, as well as to protect the meeting of the assembly of
that state, quitted his position, which had hitherto enabled him to
protect Charleston, and proceeded towards Augusta. The movement was
unfortunate. No sooner was he gone than General Prevost, whose force had
received a considerable accession of loyalists from South Carolina as
well as Georgia, resolved to cross the river and penetrate into
Carolina, where he knew that the royal cause had many friends, and at
the same time to obtain a good store of provisions, of which he was in
want. Crossing the Savannah, therefore, at the end of April, with about
3,000 men, Prevost advanced forward with but little opposition from
Moultrie, whose troops behaved no better than those of Ashe at Briar
Creek, though defended like them by almost impassable swamps, and who
now fled before him to Charleston. The ease with which every impediment
was overcome by the British army, the assurance which the general
received on all hands from the loyalist party that Charleston would
surrender without resistance on his first appearance, furnished a new
object to his enterprise.

Lincoln was on his way to Augusta, when news reached him of the British
army having crossed the Savannah, and believing it only a foraging
expedition, he contented himself with sending off a battalion to
reinforce Moultrie. A few days later an express conveyed to him the more
serious information that the British army was now several days on its
march towards Charleston; the country was up, and hundreds flocking to
the royal standard. Without a moment’s delay the American army now
re-crossed the river, and a detachment on horseback was sent forward for
the greater despatch.

The British army was in the meantime advancing on the capital of South
Carolina, almost without opposition. Moultrie’s militia, which was
retreating before him, was weakened at every turn; for as the effects
and families of the militia lay on the very line of retreat, they
deserted for considerations which were nearer to them than patriotism
and honour. The British general himself, astonished at his undertaking,
delayed and deliberated instead of availing himself of all the
advantages which offered; which had he done, and marched at once upon
Charleston, he might have taken the city at once. As it was, the
townspeople had time to throw up fortifications, at which every master
and slave laboured alike; and Charleston was saved for that time.

On the 11th of May the British army appeared before the city, and
Moultrie, with the remains of his troops, the battalion despatched by
Lincoln, and Rutledge with 500 militia, were then within its walls.
Pulaski and his legion arrived at the same time as the enemy, while
Lincoln with his army might be daily expected. There was no immediate
fear, therefore, for the town, and Rutledge, when summoned to surrender
under favourable conditions, proposed stipulations of neutrality for
South Carolina during the war. The terms of each party were rejected by
the other, and the townspeople and garrison prepared for a general
assault, which was expected on the morrow. The British general now found
himself in a difficult and dangerous position. The spirit friendly to
the royal cause, which he had been led to expect in Charleston, did not
meet him there; on the contrary, the town was prepared for vigorous
resistance; he had neither battering artillery nor a naval force to
co-operate with him, and Lincoln, with a force equal if not superior to
his own, might hourly be looked for. Under these considerations it was
better to provide for his own safety than to risk a doubtful contest.
Leaving, therefore, a guard at the river Ashley, the British troops
quietly retreated during the night, the garrison, who stood to their
arms all night in fear of a sudden attack, not having the least
suspicion of such a movement. The enemy had retreated to the islands of
St. James and St. John, which lie to the southward of Charleston
harbour—the commencement of a labyrinth of islands which continue to the
sea. These islands, being well cultivated and fertile, afforded good
quarters and excellent provision for his army, which retired in a few
days, carrying off with them about 4,000 slaves as booty. Lincoln, in
the meantime, having arrived, attacked the British at Stono River, where
was a strong redoubt between the mainland and St. John’s Island. The
attack was made with great spirit, and so vigorously repelled, that the
Americans were obliged to retire with considerable loss.

The hot season was now at hand, and both the British and American troops
began to suffer severely from fever. In order, therefore, to have an
eligible retreat for his army during the intense heats and the unhealthy
season which was commencing, and at the same time to keep hold on South
Carolina, General Prevost determined to secure possession of Beaufort,
in Port Royal, by placing a garrison there under Colonel Maitland, after
which he retired to Savannah with his main army.

While these events were occurring in South Carolina, Sir Henry Clinton
despatched from New York a fleet under command of Commodore Collier, now
appointed to the naval command in America, with 2,000 troops under
Major-General Mathews, to make a descent upon Virginia, and by
devastating the coast and plundering the country, to inflict as much
misery and ruin on the colonies as possible. Entering the Chesapeake,
the squadron which escorted the troops advanced up Elizabeth River, and
took possession of the town and fort of Portsmouth, the garrison of
which, knowing themselves incapable of defence, fled at the approach of
the enemy. On the opposite side of the river stood the town of Norfolk,
which having already been destroyed in the present war was just
recovering from its ruin, and now also fell into the hands of the enemy.
These two towns were the seats of the Virginian foreign export trade,
which, spite of the war, was considerable; and higher up the river lay
Gosport, where the state of Virginia had established a navy yard. A
great number of ships lay at these different places, among the rest two
large French merchantmen laden with tobacco, which the Americans burnt,
together with several of their own ships, on the approach of the fleet,
to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy. In the meantime
detachments having landed carried fire and sword inland. The town of
Suffolk was attacked and plundered, as were the villages of Kempes’,
Shepherd’s and Tanner’s Creeks. “Within a fortnight,” says the British
chronicler of that day, “while the fleet and army continued on the
coast, the loss of the Americans was prodigious.” To say nothing of
cruelty, outrage, and general devastation practised on defenceless
people, above 130 ships and vessels of various kinds were destroyed.
“Seventeen were brought away as prizes, all that were on the stocks were
burnt, naval stores were carried off or destroyed, as well as everything
relative to the building or fitting up of ships. Among other booty
carried off were 3,000 hogsheads of tobacco. The damage done in this
expedition was estimated at above half a million sterling.”[26]

Spite of the flattering assurances of support which the naval and
military commanders received from the loyalist inhabitants of Virginia,
and which were eagerly reported by them to Sir Henry Clinton, and spite
of the advantages which they urged would accrue to the royalist cause by
converting Portsmouth into a place of arms, and thus destroying the
trade of the Chesapeake, Sir Henry issued orders of recall; and the
fleet and the army having fired the storehouses and dock-yard buildings
of Gosport, set sail with their booty and prizes, and reached New York
within a month of their setting sail.

The British troops were needed to assist in an attack on the American
works, situated at Stony and Verplank’s Points, two opposite projections
on the Hudson, about forty miles north of New York, and highly important
to the Americans, as commanding a ferry, the loss of which would oblige
them to make a detour of ninety miles through the mountains, to
communicate with the eastern and southern provinces. To prevent the
completion of these works, therefore, Sir Henry Clinton undertook an
expedition in person, which set out on the last day of May. His first
object of attack was Stony Point on the west bank of the river, which
being unfinished and incapable of defence was evacuated at his approach.
Cannon placed on the heights of Stony Point unfortunately commanded
Verplank’s Point, on which a little fortress called La Fayette was just
completed, and this being invested from the land side also was
compelled, after a brave resistance, to surrender. These important works
being secured, Clinton ordered them immediately to be completed, and on
the 2nd of June encamped his army at Philipsburg, half-way between
Verplank’s Point and New York; and Washington, in order the better to
cover the yet unfinished works of the Americans in the Highlands, which
were endangered by the garrisons of these conquered posts, removed his
army from Middlebrook to New Jersey.

While the campaign on land was confined to the surprise of posts and
desultory expeditions, the Connecticut cruisers, with their whaleboats
and other small craft, seriously inconvenienced and distressed the
British army and the loyalist city of New York, by intercepting and
taking almost every vessel that came upon their waters, and in
preventing any intercourse with Long Island, whence the supplies of the
army and city were principally sent. To put a stop to this annoyance, as
well as to make a most severe retaliation, Sir Henry Clinton ordered
ex-governor Tryon, now a general officer, to embark with about 2,600
men. On July 5th, the fleet reached New Haven, which was plundered and
the fort with everything available for naval or military purposes
destroyed; but the town was spared because the inhabitants made but
small resistance. Fairfield and Norwalk, however, two other ports having
a stronger military force, fared much worse; both towns, together with
Greenfield, a village near Norwalk, were set on fire and everything of
value destroyed. The loss which the Americans sustained in this
predatory expedition was very great; besides houses and other property,
shipping of all kinds with stores and merchandise were destroyed
totally. After these devastations on the mainland, he was proceeding to
Long Island, intending to make a descent on New London, when he was
suddenly recalled. Whether he had exceeded the orders of Clinton in
these outrages, or whether his forces were required in another
direction, of which we shall speak anon, is not known; but probably the
former cause had some influence, for Tryon deemed it necessary to excuse
the fires and destruction which marked his career, by a letter to the
general, in which he said that the Americans, or _usurpers_, as he
called them, placed their hopes of securing the empire by avoiding
decisive actions, and in the escape of their own property during the
protraction of the war. Their power, he said, was supported by the dread
of their tyranny and the arts which they practised to inspire the
credulous public with confidence in the forbearance of the royal forces.
It had been his wish, therefore, to detect this delusion, and that
without injury to the loyalists. All that he regretted was that places
of worship were burnt; but these, he said, being built of boards and
standing among the houses, could not be preserved, it being impossible
to fix limits to a conflagration.

The surprise of Verplank’s and Stony Points had, as we have said, called
Washington out of New Jersey, and he was now encamped on high and strong
ground above those places, and on each side of North River. Sir Henry
Clinton desired nothing more than to draw him down from these fastnesses
into the flat country, and bring on a general engagement in such ground
as would insure success to the British army. But Washington was too wary
to be seduced into such an error. Nevertheless he was not inactive.
While the two armies lay, as it were, watching each other, a bold
enterprise was undertaken and executed with so much spirit and success
as to be the most brilliant action of the whole campaign. This was no
other than the surprise and retaking of Stony Point, the works of which
had been now carefully completed and strongly garrisoned by the British.

Washington appointed General Wayne to this arduous task. On the 15th of
July this detachment set out, having to march over mountains, across
morasses, and through difficult defiles, where they were obliged to
advance in single file the greater part of the way. By eight in the
evening they were within a mile of the fort, when they halted and formed
into two columns as they came up; after which Wayne and his officers
silently reconnoitred the works. About midnight the two columns marched
to the attack from different points; and here it is worth observing that
the van, consisting of 150 picked men, advanced with unloaded muskets
and bayonets fixed—the bayonet, which had been so often fatal to the
Americans, being the only weapon used in this attack. The most wonderful
discipline prevailed in these troops; both columns were commanded not to
fire a shot, and not a shot was fired. They advanced through the most
difficult approaches, the ground being covered at that time with the
tide, through a morass, removing as they went the formidable works in
front and flank, and in the face of an incessant fire of musketry. On
they went, their numbers thinned at every step, and at about one in the
morning the two columns met at the same moment in the centre of the
works. Wayne, though wounded in the head, refused to retire; his loss in
killed and wounded was about 100; about fifty of the garrison were
killed; the remainder, 450, were made prisoners.

As soon as Stony Point was taken, the artillery was turned against
Verplank’s; but before anything could be effected, the news of the
former achievement had reached Sir Henry Clinton, and the whole British
army marched out, whilst the navy advanced up the river to the scene of
action. But Washington, who had already completed the object he had in
view, which was no other than the destruction of the works and the
carrying away the artillery and stores, abandoned the place before the
arrival of the British either by land or water.

About the same time that Stony Point was recaptured by Wayne, Major Lee
surprised the British garrison at Paulus Hook, New Jersey city, a point
of land opposite New York; killed thirty and took 160 prisoners. These
triumphs, however, were painfully counterbalanced by an unsuccessful
attempt in the north. During the summer an expedition had been
undertaken by the British to plant a strong post on the Penobscot, in
the eastern and unsettled parts of Maine, which, causing serious alarm,
led the state of Massachusetts to fit out an expedition to prevent its
accomplishment. So urgent and important was the undertaking considered,
that in order to secure armed vessels and transports, Massachusetts laid
an embargo on its shipping for forty days. By this means a very
considerable armament was fitted out with no loss of time, under the
conduct of Commodore Saltonstall, a Connecticut sea-captain.

Fifteen hundred militia were embarked in this fleet, under General
Lovel, a man greatly beloved and esteemed, though without military
experience.[27] On the 25th July, the fleet, to the amount of
thirty-seven sail, appeared in the Penobscot, the British colonel,
Macleane, having in the meantime put the unfinished fort in as complete
a state of defence as the time permitted. With great labour and the loss
of about 100 men, the American general at length effected a landing, and
on the third day opened a battery, in spite of which, and for many days
afterwards, the internal works of the fort went on every day adding to
its strength. For a whole fortnight this was continued, cannonading from
without, and increasing strength within. At length a general attack both
of the fort and the shipping was resolved upon; intelligence of which
being carried to the commander by a deserter, he instantly threw up new
works which covered the place. But this precaution was unnecessary; news
of this expedition had already reached Sir Henry Clinton, and Sir George
Collier was despatched with five ships of war to the Penobscot. The
commander and the garrison were awaiting the expected attack on the 11th
of August, the day intended for it, when, to their infinite
astonishment, the Americans were gone; they had during the night
re-embarked their forces and artillery, and were nowhere to be seen. At
the first approach of the British they had fled up the river. The enemy
pursued, three sloops of war which had been confined to the harbour now
joining in the chase. Escape was impossible; five frigates and ten
smaller vessels were run ashore and blown up; the remainder were taken.
The soldiers and sailors escaped to the shore, but the whole region in
which they found themselves was a desolate and uninhabited wilderness.
The indignation of the land forces on this dastardly termination of
their enterprise was so great, that they are said to have come to blows
with the seamen in the dreary solitudes through which they had to travel
before they could reach an inhabited country. Saltonstall was tried by
court-martial and cashiered.

Besides the humiliation and shame of this flight, the loss to Boston in
its shipping was almost ruinous. Nineteen vessels of which the squadron
consisted were destroyed or taken—a force, it is said, little inferior
to that of the royal navy of England at the accession of Elizabeth.

We must now for a moment return to the frontiers to see what is going on
there, and taking Hildreth for our guide we shall receive a lucid
summary of events. “George Rogers Clarke, still commanding in the
newly-conquered Illinois, was giving fresh proofs of vigour and
enterprise, and extending also the authority of Virginia. Hamilton, the
British commandant of Detroit, descended the Wabash with eighty soldiers
to watch Clarke, and organise an expedition against him, in which he
expected to be greatly aided by the Indians. Informed of these facts by
a French trader, Clarke mustered 170 men, and after sixteen days’ march,
five of which were spent in wading the drowned lands on the Wabash,
suddenly appeared before Vincennes, which the British had recaptured,
and where Hamilton then was. The fort surrendered in a few days, and
Hamilton was sent prisoner to Virginia on the charge of having
instigated the Indians to cruelty against the colonial settlers.

Security being thus given against the Indians north of the Ohio, the
settlement of Kentucky began rapidly to increase, and in April of this
year a log-erection formed the commencement of the present city of
Lexington. By the Virginia land system, all who had settled west of the
mountains before June of the preceding year were entitled to 400 acres,
merely for the payment of the taxes on that quantity of land. The whole
tract between the Green River and the Tennessee was reserved for
military bounties.

While Clarke was extending the domains of Virginia, the first
settlements took place in Western Tennessee, under the guidance of James
Robinson, who eleven years before had been the patriarch and founder of
Eastern Tennessee. With a company of ten persons he followed the Oby to
its junction with the Cumberland; some of his companions embarked there,
while the rest pursued the riverbanks by land to the spot where now
stands the city of Nashville. Here, planting a crop of corn, and leaving
three persons to watch it, they returned for their families. Some
travelled through the woods, driving their cattle before them; others
embarked with the women and children on the head waters of the
Tennessee, intending to descend that river to its mouth and then proceed
up the Cumberland. But a severe winter delayed them by the way, and
their destination was not reached till the following spring.

Thus sprung up the future states of the West, and the red man retired
from before the white. In the meantime war, which the Indian rendered so
much more formidable from his British alliance, was continued on the
western frontiers of the eastern states. Again we will follow our former
guide. “The Six Nations, with the exception of the Oneidas, carried on a
border warfare. The Senecas, and the loyalist refugees among them,
ravaged the frontiers of New York and Pennsylvania; and the Onondagas,
though professing neutrality, shared in their hostilities.

“To check these depredations, a strong force under General Sullivan was
sent against them. The troops assembled at Wyoming, where they were
joined by a New York brigade, under James Clinton, who effected the
junction of the troops in a singular manner; crossing from the Mohawk,
where he had been stationed, to Lake Otsego, he dammed up the lake, and
so raised up its level, and then, by breaking away the dam, produced an
artificial flood, by which the boats were rapidly earned down the
north-east branch of the Susquehannah. While this was being effected,
the terrible Brandt surprised, plundered and burnt the village of
Minisink, near the north-west corner of Jersey; and a detachment of
militia sent in pursuit, falling into an ambush, were nearly all slain.

“Sullivan’s army, amounting to 5,000 men, passed up the Chemung branch
of the Susquehannah, in the month of August, and at Elmira encountered a
strong body of combined Indians and loyalists, under Brandt, Butler and
Johnson, which they completely defeated, and in pursuit crossed into the
hitherto unexplored valley of the Genessee. In order that the want of
food might compel the Indians and their allies to quit that part of the
country, everything was ravaged. The ancient Indian orchards were cut
down, vast quantities of corn were destroyed, and eighteen villages
burnt to the ground. This expedition, through an unknown country,
covered for the most part with thick forests, was extremely laborious,
nor did it wholly accomplish its object; the Indians and loyalists,
though dispersed for the moment, soon renewed their depredations, which
were continued as long as the British war lasted, and to which the fury
of revenge now added increased ferocity.”

                              CHAPTER IX.
                    REVOLUTIONARY WAR (_continued_).

The struggle between Great Britain and her colonies was watched with
great anxiety by Spain, who, having herself a colonial empire, dreaded
the effect of example. Spain offered herself as mediator in the quarrel,
and was accepted as such, though nothing was effected thereby; not even
the terms of mediation being agreed upon. Various considerations,
however, inclined her now to favour the cause of the Americans, although
she did not acknowledge their independence. She was desirous of
recovering Gibraltar, the loss of which had so deeply humiliated her
national pride, besides Jamaica and the two Floridas, with a territory
on the east bank of the Mississippi, which latter she hoped to obtain
through the gratitude of America. She declared war, therefore, against
Great Britain, and, in conjunction with France, a formidable armament
appeared on the English coast—a second armada, to be dispersed like the
former one by tempest, and desolated by disease as pitiless as war
itself, upwards of 5,000 soldiers dying in their ships within a very few

While Spain was assuming the character of mediator between the two
contending parties, there had been so little good faith on her part,
that the Spanish governors and commanders in the West Indies and America
were aware of the intended declaration of war before it was made known
in Europe. The infant settlements of Louisiana were as yet attached to
those of West Florida, and though, as we have already said, they had
submitted to the Americans in the preceding year, the submission had
been but temporary, and British troops had been since then stationed
there to preserve their allegiance. The moment, therefore, that Don
Bernando de Galvez, the Spanish governor of Louisiana, heard of the
declaration of war with Great Britain, he proclaimed the independence of
America by beat of drum, and having already assembled his forces,
consisting of Spanish regulars, American volunteers and negroes, at New
Orleans, set out on an expedition against the British settlements on the
Mississippi. So well had he laid all his plans, that Major-General
Campbell, who commanded at Pensacola, was not aware of danger even
threatening the western part of that province, until the Spaniard was in
possession of it. With the same address and expedition he succeeded in
taking a royal sloop which was stationed on Lake Pontchartrain, as well
as several vessels laden with provisions and necessaries for the British
troops. In this manner were Baton Rouge and Fort Panmure, near Natchez,
taken, and a few months later Mobile; and for the honour of the Spanish
general it must be told that, in all his successes, his conduct was
marked by good faith, humanity and kindness. By the end of the year
1779, Pensacola was the only post of West Florida remaining to the

In the meantime, events of some importance had been occurring in the
West Indies. The island of Dominica had already been taken from the
British by an expedition from Martinique, when the English and French
fleets, which respectively sailed from Boston and New York on the same
day, reached the West Indies. The British fleet first arriving,
proceeded immediately against St. Lucie, which was taken, spite of
D’Estaing’s attempt to retain it. On its surrender, the French fleet
retired to the harbour of Port Royal in Martinique. The fleets of the
French and English were about equal, and the latter used every means in
their power to bring about a naval engagement; but D’Estaing was not to
be provoked to action. His imperturbability was unaccountable, excepting
that he was in daily expectation of reinforcements. Reinforcements came,
but not alone for the French—Admiral Rowley joined the British squadron
about the same time, with several ships of war. The noxious climate of
St. Lucie, however, having caused a terrible mortality in the British
troops, Admiral Byron left the island to convoy a numerous fleet of
merchantmen to England, and D’Estaing sent out a detachment against St.
Vincent’s, which was surrendered at once without a shot being fired.
Large reinforcements again arrived from France, and D’Estaing, now
willing enough for action, proceeded against the island of Granada, with
a fleet of six-and-twenty ships of the line, with frigates, and 10,000
land forces. The whole defence of the island was less than 1,000 men,
and its sole strength consisted in a fortified hill, which commanded the
capital, St. George, its forts and harbour. The island had just
surrendered after a bloody defence, when Byron returned, and hearing of
the loss of St. Vincent’s and the attack on Granada, proceeded at once
to the latter place, though his fleet was now considerably weakened by
the convoy he had sent to England. To his disappointment, the French
flag was flying on the fort as he came within sight of the island. An
engagement however took place, but of an indecisive character, and the
English fleet, greatly damaged, retired to St. Christopher’s to repair.

Soon after these events D’Estaing, leaving the West Indies, proceeded to
the coast of Georgia with twenty-two ships of the line. The strong
position which the British forces had so easily gained in Georgia and
South Carolina, was not only distressing in its present effect, but
alarming with regard to its probable consequences in the American
struggle. The scene of action was almost out of the reach of the main
army and the seat of council, while the British marine force afforded
decided advantages to their troops in a country bordered by the sea, and
chequered with inland navigation. To all appearances the subjugation of
the Southern States was almost complete. The most serious apprehension
prevailed, and it was determined to bring, if possible, the French fleet
into useful operation. As yet America had derived no essential service
from her French allies. The attempt on Rhode Island had been productive
of expense, danger, and loss, without the slightest benefit. The
mischief and inconvenience to the southern provinces had been permitted
without the slightest interference. As regarded the whole conduct of the
French commander, the Americans had the utmost cause for
dissatisfaction; they had supplied and equipped his fleet at Boston,
only to enable him to abandon their southern coasts at the moment of
their greatest danger, and when the seizure of Savannah and Georgia
opened the whole Carolinas to the British. Finally, the Americans
complained that while the French were enriching themselves in the West
Indies, they were left to bear all the burden of the war, contrary to
the stipulations of the treaty. The Americans complained bitterly.

Immediately, therefore, after the action before Granada, and in
consequence of this dissatisfaction, D’Estaing received orders from home
to render some essential service to his allies. He was firstly commanded
to free the southern colonies from their present danger, by the
destruction of the small force under Prevost; and secondly, to
co-operate with Washington in a simultaneous attack by land and water on
New York.

At the end of August, D’Estaing stood for the coast of Georgia with
twenty-two ships of the line, and news being sent to General Lincoln at
Charleston of his approach, no time was lost in preparing for an attack
on Savannah. As if in good augury of their success, the French fleet, by
its sudden appearance on the coast, surprised and captured some British
vessels, laden with provisions. Lincoln, in the meantime, reinforced by
several North Carolina regiments, despatched by Washington to the south,
and by the militia, which marched out in great numbers, hastened to
Savannah, which, greatly to the surprise and displeasure of the American
general, D’Estaing had summoned to surrender “to his most Christian
Majesty of France.”

Prevost, on the first rumour of the danger which awaited him, summoned
to Savannah the greater part of the British forces from Port Royal and
other places; and removing the shipping higher up the river, destroyed
the batteries on the island of Tybee, and put the city in a rapid state
of defence. In reply to D’Estaing’s summons of surrender, Prevost, whose
expected reinforcements had not yet arrived, requested a suspension of
hostilities for four-and-twenty hours, to which D’Estaing agreed, who
not having, as yet, formed a junction with the American forces under
Lincoln, knew not the importance and necessity of an immediate attack.
Within the four-and twenty hours the reinforcements arrived. Three
cheers, which rung from one end of the town to the other, welcomed them,
and Prevost notified D’Estaing the following day that he would defend
the place.

Pulaski with his legion, and Lincoln with 3,000 men, proceeded to
besiege the town, with regular approaches. On the 24th of September the
siege commenced; D’Estaing grew impatient of these operations, and at
midnight, between the 3rd and 4th of October, a heavy bombardment, which
lasted for five days, was commenced. The effect of this fell mostly upon
the town, where, besides the destruction of houses and people, women,
children and negroes were the greatest sufferers. Prevost, touched by
the sufferings of these defenceless people, whose distress and danger
were increased by the number of burning houses, wrote a letter to
D’Estaing, requesting permission to send them down the river in vessels
intrusted to the care of the French, there to await the result of the
siege, acquainting him that his own wife and family should be the first
to profit by this permission. For three hours the discharge of cannon
and shells was continued, and then a refusal, signed both by Lincoln and
D’Estaing, was returned.

The siege promised to be tedious, and D’Estaing’s patience was worn out.
The obstructions in the narrow part of the channel prevented his fleet
from approaching the shore; and he now became afraid that one of those
hurricanes common to this season might drive it out to sea, or it might
be attacked by the British while so many of his guns and troops were
otherwise employed. Full of impatient fears, he insisted upon the town
being carried by assault; and on the 9th of October, two columns, the
picked men of both armies, were led to the assault by D’Estaing and
Lincoln. It was a fatal step; by a strange mistake, the attack that was
to be made at four in the morning was delayed till broad daylight; and
the garrison directed their guns with fatal aim upon the advancing
assailants. Some of the outer works were taken, but the most fearful
carnage marked every step. At length, Pulaski, at the head of his
legion, was mortally wounded, and the Americans fled; D’Estaing received
two wounds, and the French were repulsed with great slaughter.

The loss of the French and the Americans was about 1,100, that of the
British only fifty-five. On the 18th the siege was raised, and
D’Estaing, as soon as he could re-embark his troops, set sail for the
West Indies. Lincoln returned to Charleston, and the militia were
disbanded. It was the most disastrous attempt which had been made during
the war. This second failure at co-operation with the French caused
still greater dissatisfaction.

Among others who fell at Savannah was that Sergeant Jasper who had
distinguished himself so gallantly in the defence of Fort Moultrie, on
Sullivan’s Island, in 1776. Moultrie’s regiment had been presented with
a stand of colours, by a Mrs. Elliot, embroidered by her own hands; and
Jasper, as a reward of his own individual merit, had received a handsome
sword from Governor Rutledge. During the assault of Savannah, two
officers having been killed in endeavouring to plant these colours, and
a third wounded, Jasper seized them and was in the act of planting them,
when he too fell mortally wounded. Pulaski, severely wounded, was
carried on board a vessel for Charleston, but he died on the way, and
was buried beneath the waves. Funeral rites were performed at
Charleston, and all America mourned for him who had been one of the
truest and bravest supporters of her cause.

The appearance of D’Estaing on the southern coast suspended all active
operations at New York, in the apprehension of a formidable concerted
attack by sea and land, from the combined French and American forces.
Washington also, on his part, expected this co-operation, and had
prepared himself for it by calling out the militia of the northern
provinces; it being supposed by all parties that Savannah would soon
surrender, and D’Estaing then proceed northward. Clinton took active
measures for the strengthening of New York, and so momentous was the
crisis considered, that the troops were withdrawn from Newport, in Rhode
Island, as well as from Verplank’s and Stony Points, all of which were
thus again suffered to fall into the hands of the Americans. When,
however, it was clearly ascertained that D’Estaing was gone, Sir Henry
Clinton, relieved from any apprehension regarding the north, set sail
for Savannah with 7,000 troops, 2,000 of whom were American loyalists,
while the same number remained behind under Kniphausen, who held New
York with a powerful garrison. The militia of the northern provinces was
disbanded; and Washington, anxious for the future, and disappointed and
disgusted by the conduct of his allies, went into winter-quarters near

Although the American efforts at naval warfare were now considerably
diminished, owing to the increased vigilance of the British squadron,
and to want of funds on the part of the colonies; still many armed
vessels, both public and private, were on the seas, and a considerable
amount of the French loan was employed in the fitting out of cruisers in
the French ports.

It was in the autumn of this year that the renowned sea-fight took
place, which made the name of Paul Jones one of terror in the British
seas. Paul Jones was a native of Scotland, who emigrated to America,
made money and in 1773 settled in Virginia. On the breaking out of the
war, he was one of the first officers commissioned in the American navy.
He cruised in the West Indies, picked up many prizes, and showed on all
occasions great boldness and address. In 1777 he was sent to France, and
there appointed to the command of a French ship under American colours.
The next year, cruising on the coast of Great Britain, from the Land’s
End to Solway Frith, where as yet the American flag had never ventured,
he made a descent on the Scotch coast near Kirkcudbright, and plundered
the house of the Earl of Selkirk, where, tradition says, he had once
lived as servant, and a second by night on the Cumberland coast, at
Whitehaven, where he spiked the guns in the fort, and burned one or two
vessels. For a whole summer he kept the north-western coast of England
and the southern coast of Scotland in a continual state of alarm, and
made his name one of terror. The next year he returned to cruise on the
eastern coast, no longer with a single ship, but a squadron, manned by
French and Americans. This squadron consisted of the Bonhomme Richard,
of forty guns, which he himself commanded, the Alliance of thirty-six,
the Pallas, a frigate of thirty-two, and two other smaller vessels.
Cruising with these ships, he fell in with a British merchant-fleet, on
its return from the Baltic, under convoy of Captain Pearson, with the
Serapis, of forty-four guns, and a smaller frigate; and one of the most
desperate naval engagements on record took place off Flamborough Head.
About seven o’clock in the evening, Paul Jones in the Bonhomme Richard,
engaged Captain Pearson in the Serapis, the ships advancing nearer and
nearer, until at length they dropped alongside of each other, head and
stern, and so close that the muzzles of the guns grated. In this close
contact the action continued with the greatest fury till half-past ten,
during which time, Jones, who had the greater number of men, vainly
attempted to board, and the Serapis was set on fire ten or twelve times.
Every time the fire was extinguished, till at length, a cartridge of
powder taking fire, a great number of officers and men were killed.
After a desperate and last attempt to board Paul Jones, Captain Pearson
hauled down his colours, two-thirds of his men being killed or wounded,
and his main-mast gone by the board. The Bonhomme Richard was in little
better condition, for, to add to her misfortunes, the Alliance coming up
in the darkness and confusion of the night, and mistaking her for the
enemy, had fired a broadside into her, not discovering his error till
the glare of the burning Serapis had revealed it. The next day, Paul
Jones was obliged to quit his ship, and she sank at sea almost
immediately, with, it is said, great numbers of the wounded on board. Of
the 375 men whom she carried, 300 were killed or wounded. The Pallas
captured the Countess of Scarborough, and Jones, on the 6th of October,
succeeded in carrying his shattered vessels into the waters of the

The gloom which overspread the public mind at the close of this year had
its origin in many causes, not the least of which was the disappointment
arising from the French alliance. Not alone had the French been useless
to the republican cause, as far as their own efforts went, but this
alliance with a powerful nation, from which such great advantages were
expected, had disposed a considerable portion of the American public to
sink into an apathetic state, waiting, as it were, for others to do the
work; and now that the others had not done it, they were depressed and
almost hopeless of the cause itself. This despondency and apathy alarmed
the earnest patriots, and Washington and the other leaders called upon
the nation in the most earnest and solemn manner to rouse from their
lethargy, and trust neither to chance nor to strangers, but to their own
exertions for the establishment of their rights. There was but little
response to the appeal; the very army itself seemed affected by the
lethargic torpor of the public mind.[29]

Another cause of anxiety and distress we have already alluded to. This
was the depreciation of the paper currency. At the close of this year a
dollar in specie could scarcely be obtained for forty in bills. But the
very paper was fluctuating in value. Hence a set of men arose, who,
speculating on this currency, amassed immense wealth, while honest men
and the nation itself were reduced to beggary. One cause of the
depreciation of the American paper at this time, was the disgraceful
fact that England herself turned forger, and sent over immense
quantities of spurious hills, so well imitated as scarcely to be
distinguished from the true, and which her emissaries distributed
through the country, causing the utmost distress and confusion, and the
recall of several issues of American paper.

Very different was the state of things in England. Spite of her having
to carry on war at this time both with France and Spain, and though
several of the European nations joined in an “armed neutrality” against
her, renewed exertions were made at the close of this year for
prosecuting the war with the colonies. Eighty-five thousand marines, and
35,000 troops, in addition to those already engaged, were voted by
parliament for the following year, together with the enormous sum of
five millions for carrying out this service.

Admiral Arbuthnot had been sent from England in the spring with
reinforcements, but did not arrive at New York till August. In December,
his fleet conveyed Sir Henry Clinton and his 7,000 troops to the south,
and after a tempestuous voyage, landed them at Tybee Island in Savannah
harbour, on the last day of January, 1780.

The winter of 1780 was extremely severe; the Hudson and the harbour of
New York were frozen over. The garrison and the inhabitants, cut off
from their usual supplies by water, suffered extremely from the great
scarcity of fuel and fresh provisions. In the expectation that
Washington might cross the ice for a general attack, the whole
population was put under arms, and the so-called “Board of Associated
Loyalists” formed for the defence of the city. But Washington was in no
condition to undertake such an enterprise. His entire force did not
exceed 10,000 men—a smaller number than composed the garrison of New
York; many were militia, whose term of enlistment was expiring; and
though congress had called upon the states to send in their quotas, so
as to form an army of 35,000 men, this was not done. Recruits could only
be obtained on increased bounties, which caused great dissatisfaction to
the old soldiers enlisted for the war. Indeed, as regarded the whole
state of the American army, nothing could be more discouraging. In a
report sent to congress this spring, it was said, “the army was five
months unpaid; it seldom had more than six days’ provision in advance,
and was on several occasions, for sundry successive days, without meat;
it was destitute of forage; the medical department had neither sugar,
tea, chocolate, wine, nor spirits; every department was without money or
even the shadow of credit.”[30]

Such was the gloomy prospect in the North; in the South it was even
worse. As soon as the transports, which had suffered severely in the
voyage, were refitted at Savannah, Sir Henry Clinton embarked, and
proceeding to Charleston, landed his troops on St. John’s island, and
afterwards took possession of St. James’s, the same islands, lying at
the mouth of Charleston harbour, which we have already mentioned in
General Prevost’s expedition. The intention being to blockade the town,
the British army gradually advanced through the islands to the mainland.
Several weeks were spent in this occupation, and Lincoln employed the
same time in strengthening and completing the fortifications. Governor
Rutledge was invested with dictatorial powers, and slaves were impressed
to labour at the works. The neighbouring militia was called upon, but
the call was not obeyed, the plea being that no man dared to leave his
home, fearing an insurrection of the negroes, and their desertion to the
enemy. In this emergency it was earnestly recommended by some to raise
2,000 negro troops, to be purchased at a certain price from their
owners, and emancipated when the war was over. But this plan was not
agreed to, though it may be mentioned here that many negroes served in
the war of the southern states, with great credit as soldiers, and
received their freedom in consequence.

The British operations before Charleston were rapid and successful; the
success both at Savannah and Charleston being attributed in great
measure to the skill of the British engineer Moncrief. General Lincoln
depended upon four American and two French frigates for the defence of
the harbour; but in defiance of these, the English ships crossed the
bar, and entered the harbour without loss or difficulty. To prevent the
enemy from ascending Cooper’s River, between which and the Ashley River
Charleston stands, a number of merchant vessels now useless were sunk.
Taking, however, advantage of wind and water, the British admiral having
overcome these obstacles, passed with but trifling loss the heavy
batteries of Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island, which had already
become so celebrated for the obstinate and successful defence made
against the attack of Sir Peter Parker. As yet the communication with
the country north of Cooper’s River was kept open by two regiments of
horse, stationed about twenty miles above Charleston. These, however,
were surprised, dispersed and partly cut to pieces by a detachment of
British cavalry, led by the enterprising Colonel Tarleton, and supported
by light infantry under Major Ferguson. By these means the passes of
Cooper’s River were in the hands of the British, and the only road for
retreat was closed, and shortly afterwards, a large reinforcement
arriving from New York, the collected remains of the cavalry were again
attacked, and again defeated by Tarleton. The whole country north of
Cooper’s River was now occupied by the British, and the investment of
the town was complete. Step by step the defences of Charleston had given
way. On the very day that the cavalry were defeated, Fort Moultrie,
threatened both by land and sea, surrendered. The inhabitants losing all
hope and courage, proposed to abandon the town, but Lincoln would only
consent to capitulation. On the 7th of May, therefore, he opened a
correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton; but the terms which he proposed
were rejected, as higher than a commander in his condition had a right
to ask. Hostilities again commenced; the British pushed their operations
vigorously; one outwork after another was gained; they had advanced to
the very ditch of the town. A new negotiation was opened, and the town
surrendered upon the terms which were then offered, and which were
considered favourable, the British commanders declaring themselves
wishful to conciliate by clemency. On May 12th, the garrison marched out
with cased colours and silent drums, surrendering their arms as
prisoners of war. The continental troops and seamen were allowed to keep
their baggage but were to remain prisoners of war until exchanged; the
militia were dismissed on parole, not to serve again in the war. The
British report states that seven general officers, ten continental
regiments and three battalions of artillery, became prisoners on this
occasion. The whole number of men in arms who were taken, exclusive of
1,000 seamen, amounted to 5,611. More than 400 pieces of artillery were
also lost to the Americans, besides four frigates.

The lieutenant-governor and five of the council were included in the
capitulation, but Governor Rutledge and the three other councillors had
left the city before the investment was completed.

A series of rapid successes followed. Three expeditions were immediately
sent out—one towards the Savannah River; another seized an important
post called Ninety-Six, 150 miles from Charleston; and a third scoured
the country between the Cooper and the Santee Rivers. The object of this
last expedition, under Lord Cornwallis, was to defeat a body of troops
under Colonel Burford, on its march to Charleston. Burford, on receiving
tidings of the surrender of the town, retreated rapidly up the
north-east bank of the Santee, but Tarleton in pursuit moved more
rapidly than he did. By a forced march of 105 miles in fifty-four hours,
he came up with him at Waxhaws, on the frontier of North Carolina, took
his troops by surprise, attacked and completely defeated them, granting
no quarter; and “Tarleton’s quarter,” in memory of the merciless
slaughter of this day, has become a Carolina proverb. Burford and a very
few only escaped, while the British lost but eighteen. The celerity of
British conquest, the rapid speed of the cruel Tarleton, who seemed to
possess a terrible ubiquity, spread a panic fear through the South. The
patriots fled, and the great mass of the inhabitants rushed to meet the
royal troops and offer their allegiance to the British crown. The
reduction of South Carolina seemed so complete, that Sir Henry Clinton
wrote to England that there were few men in the province who were not
prisoners to, or in arms with, the British forces. “South Carolina is
English again,” said he, in his exultation.

The conquest of South Carolina thus accomplished, and the hot weather
coming on, Sir Henry Clinton began to make arrangements for his return
to New York, leaving Lord Cornwallis with 4,000 troops to hold and
extend his conquests. Before this was done, however, the royal
government was established and a mode of settling the affairs of this
province adopted which had long been recommended in England to the
British commanders in America. This was by establishing such an internal
force in each subjugated province as should in a great measure secure
its defence and allegiance, and suppress every tendency to rebellion.
Accordingly, proclamations were issued promising full pardon to all who
would immediately return to their duty as British subjects. But no
neutrals were to be allowed; every man who admitted himself to be a
British subject must take up arms in support of the British government.
All must be in readiness with their arms at a moment’s notice; they who
had families must form a militia for home defence; they who had none
must serve in the royal forces any six months in the ensuing twelve.
Thus were citizens armed against citizens, and the members of a family
one against another. The worst miseries of civil war were introduced;
and this was to be done, said the proclamation, “to drive out the rebel
oppressors and all the miseries of war from the province.”

This system of intercolonial subjugation was expected to work so
efficiently, that Sir Henry Clinton returned to New York, fully
believing that a few months would complete the subjection of the whole
South, at least. So certain was the British commander of the success of
his plans, that before leaving Charleston he sent to bid the loyalists
of North Carolina to gather in their crops and keep quiet till autumn,
when the British army would march to their assistance.

While these events had been occurring in the South, the American
prospects in the North were by no means flattering. The Honourable Board
of Associated Loyalists, as they called themselves, organised at New
York, possessed at this time, among other means of annoyance to their
countrymen, a considerable fleet of small privateers and cruisers, which
did great damage. Their enterprises are described as being bold and
successful, their intimate knowledge of the coasts, creeks and villages
giving them great advantage in their predatory excursions. Many outrages
and excesses were committed; party-spirit and private hatred finding
here occasions of ample revenge, which was retorted whenever opportunity
occurred. In this manner the adjoining coasts of the continent,
especially the nearer parts of the Jerseys, became scenes of havoc and

A few days previous to the return of Sir Henry Clinton, Generals
Kniphausen and Tryon, with 5,000 men, passed over by night from Staten
Island to Elizabeth Town in New Jersey, being desirous of bringing
Washington from his strong position at Morristown; and the next day
marched through a fertile region, scattered parties of the country’s
militia firing upon them wherever cover of any kind enabled them to lie
concealed. As a little incident of the march, it may be mentioned that
they burned a pleasant, peaceful settlement called the Connecticut
Farms, with its little Presbyterian meeting-house; and shot, through the
window of her house, the wife of the minister, who sat there clustered
with her children. This cold-blooded action, like the Indian murder of
Jenny M‘Crea, excited the utmost indignation, and greatly increased the
hatred which was felt towards the British in those parts.

From Connecticut Farms the army advanced to Springfield, where the
American general Maxwell, with the Jersey militia, was strongly posted,
on finding which, after a little skirmishing and burning a few houses,
the British retired towards Elizabeth Town, being vigorously pursued all
the way. On the arrival of Sir Henry Clinton, with his troops from
Charleston, the attack on Springfield was again determined upon, and
such movements took place among the shipping and such preparations were
made, as led Washington to suppose that the strong posts of the
Highlands were about to be attacked. Accordingly he marched a
considerable number of his troops in that direction, and again the
British general hoped that Washington might be seduced from his
impregnable camp. In the meantime General Greene, with Stark’s and the
Jersey militia, were stationed at Springfield, which lay at the foot of
those very hills and defiles which constituted the strength of the
country. A column of 6,000 men marched upon Springfield, and a sharp
action took place, not less than a hundred were killed on either side,
and the village was set on fire. The sight of the flames, it is said,
kindled New Jersey. The old spirit of the early days of the revolution
was once more awoke. The British were pursued with such vigour that,
passing rapidly through Elizabeth Town, they were glad to take refuge in
Staten Island.

                               CHAPTER X.
                 REVOLUTIONARY WAR (_continued_), 1780.

Sir Henry Clinton left the South, believing that the revolutionary
spirit there was so nearly quelled that but little apprehension need be
felt regarding it. And as if to strengthen this opinion, a decided
victory was gained very soon by Lords Cornwallis and Rawdon (afterwards
the Earl of Moira), over the combined American forces, under Baron de
Kalb and General Gates, at Camden.

General Gates had been sent by Washington, with a strong force from the
North, for the relief of the southern provinces. The season was
unhealthy; they marched through a barren and disaffected country, were
greatly in want of food, and eating unripe peaches and green corn which
soon produced disease, their numbers were sadly weakened and thinned. In
the meantime De Kalb, with the Delaware and Maryland regiments, marching
south with the same object, suffered equally, collecting their own
supplies on the march—lean cattle from the canebrakes and Indian corn,
the only grain of those regions.[32]

The approach of Gates raised the hopes of the patriots of South
Carolina, and Colonel Sumter, who had fled with his partisan-band to
North Carolina, on the late triumphs of the British, returned with his
fearless followers and made successful attacks on the British posts;
while Marion, another bold leader, issuing from the swamps of the Lower
Pedee with a number of only half-clad men, began to attack their
outposts with equal success. These partisan-bands having joined Gates,
he advanced from Clermont, about thirteen miles distant from Camden, on
the 5th of August, with the intention of surprising the British camp;
while Cornwallis, who had, on his junction with Rawdon, assumed the
command, was advancing from Camden with the design of surprising the
Americans. The next morning by break of day the two armies encountered
each other. Although the Americans greatly outnumbered the British,
Gates’ militia, which were new to the field, on the first charge of the
British bayonets threw down their arms and fled, General Gates and
Governor Casswell being fairly carried off the field by the fugitives,
whom they could not rally. In vain did the better disciplined and more
experienced regiments of Maryland and Delaware sustain their ground with
firmness, and even compel the enemy to retire; they too, being attacked
in flank and De Kalb their leader mortally wounded, were broken and
fled. The pursuit lasted for twenty-eight miles; every corps, says
Hildreth, was scattered; men and officers, separated from each other,
fled singly or in small parties through the woods. The road was strewn
with killed and wounded. Arms, knapsacks, broken-down wagons and dead
horses scattered the road for many miles. Of the Americans, 900 were
killed, and about the same number taken prisoners, many of whom were
wounded. The British lost only between 300 and 400 men.

A few days afterwards disastrous news reached Gates, and about 200 men,
the collected fragments of his late considerable force, now assembled in
the Valley of Wateree in North Carolina, about eighty miles from the
scene of their terrible defeat. This was, that Sumter, having fled with
his followers to the same district, had been pursued by the rapid and
merciless Tarleton, in whose furious career more than half his cavalry
had broken down. Coming with the remainder in hot speed upon the camp of
the partisan leader, who, believing himself safe, had relaxed his guard,
he had been surprised, his prisoners released, 300 of his own men
captured, and 150 killed, while he himself narrowly escaped with his

The Carolinas might now be considered subdued, for no organised American
forces remained within them. To make the subjection more complete, and
to awe the spirit of insurrection which had shown itself on Gates’
approach, Lord Cornwallis adopted measures of extreme severity. Orders
were issued to hang every man now found in arms, who had formerly taken
British protection, and several such persons having been discovered
among Sumter’s followers, they were accordingly hanged on the spot. The
property of all such as had left the province to avoid the British rule,
and of all that held commissions under congress, was declared to be
sequestrated, and Gadsden and forty other of the principal inhabitants
of Charleston, suspected of having corresponded with their friends in
arms, were put under arrest and sent prisoners to St. Augustine.

These extreme measures, however, failed of their intended purpose. A
reaction, as was sure to be the case, followed. The people, who had been
awed into subjection, were now exasperated to revolt. Marion again had a
ragged but formidable band under his control among the swamps of the
Pedee, and Sumter presently collected a new force with which he harassed
the north-western districts, and in which he was aided by volunteers
from the mountains. Both were now commissioned as generals, and a
guerilla warfare was kept up by them.[33]

Nor was the public reaction confined only to the men—it raised the women
of South Carolina into heroism. They gloried in being called
“rebel-ladies,” refused their presence at the scenes of gaiety offered
them by the conquerors of their cities, and occupied themselves instead,
in visiting and relieving the sufferings and wants of the wounded
soldiers, and encouraged their husbands, sons, or brothers, still to be
“rebels,” and die, if it must be so, rather than submit to the British.
Nor was this noble patriotism confined only to the South. Mrs. Willard
assures us, eloquently, that patriotism glowed in the hearts of women
throughout all parts of the country, and that they displayed great
activity in collecting materials and making clothes for the soldiers. In
Philadelphia, a society for this purpose was formed, at the head of
which was Martha Washington, the wife of the commander-in-chief. All
this was as it should be, but not more than we have a right to expect
from the daughters of a parentage so worthy as was that of many an
American. The earth’s best blood was in their veins. The daughters of
those pilgrim-mothers who left their native land to establish purer and
more Christian homes in the American wilderness, could not so belie
their ancestry as to fail in the charities of womanhood.

But we now come to a dark passage, which forms a strong contrast to the
patriotism of the above.

The utmost gloom hung over the American affairs in the North. France had
once more, it is true, under the influence of La Fayette, who now
returned to America, sent over a fleet and a considerable number of
troops, to co-operate with the republicans; but nothing as yet had been
done. So doubtful indeed did it appear, towards the autumn of 1780,
whether the army could even be maintained for another campaign, that
Washington was anxious, while he had yet any forces under his command,
to strike some decisive blow, and he accordingly proposed to Count de
Rochambeau, the French general, who lay with his troops at Newport, to
make an attack on New York. In order to concert this proposed plan,
Washington went to Hartford, and during his absence a scheme of treason,
in the very bosom of the American camp, came to light, which fell like a
thunderbolt on the country, and which has so much interesting detail
connected with it, that we must be allowed to give it somewhat fully,
and in doing so we will principally follow the excellent American
historian Hildreth, and the Annual Register of 1781.

In September, a plot was laid for betraying the important fortress of
West Point, and other posts of the Highlands, into the hands of the
enemy, the traitor being no other than Arnold, the most brilliant
officer and one of the most honoured in the American army. Arnold,
however, with all his fine qualities as a soldier, was a man of an
overbearing and reckless spirit; he had in many cases shown great want
of integrity and disregard of the rights of others; nevertheless his
valour and his many brilliant achievements had cast his faults into the
shade and placed him in command at Philadelphia. There, however, as we
have already mentioned, his conduct had given rise to much
dissatisfaction. He occupied the best mansion in the city, and lived in
so expensive a style as to become involved in debt, to free himself from
which he entered into mercantile and privateering speculations. This
mode of living and these speculations led to the interference of
congress, and the sentence of a reprimand from the commander-in-chief.
His debts and moneydifficulties caused him to request, but in vain, a
loan from the French minister. The same causes had already led him to
open a correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton, though how this was first
commenced, and through whom carried on, is not known. When, however, he
was satisfied that the treacherous purpose he had in view would be
satisfactorily entered into, and in order to enable him to accomplish it
most effectually, he solicited from Washington the command in the
Highlands, and Washington, who, spite of Arnold’s faults, had confidence
in him, and who was glad to show this after the humiliation he had just
laid upon him, placed that important trust in his hands.

The peculiar circumstances of these highland strongholds at this crisis
must be borne in mind. The failure of the French fleet with regard to
the attack on New York having overthrown all prospects of active
operation on the side of the Americans for the present season,
Washington stationed his army for the winter in these very posts, on
each side of the North River, where, besides security, they had an
opportunity of watching the motions of the British and repressing any
incursions from New York. In this arrangement, the strong and very
important post of West Point, with its neighbouring dependencies and one
wing of the army, were intrusted to the custody and conduct of General

In order to arrange the terms of the bargain, an interview was necessary
with some confidential British agent, and Major André, with whom Arnold
had already carried on a correspondence under the feigned names of
Gustavus and Anderson, volunteered for this purpose. The outlines of the
project were that Arnold should make such a disposition of the wing
under his command, as should enable Sir Henry Clinton to surprise their
strong posts and batteries, and throw the troops so entirely into his
hands that they must inevitably either lay down their arms or be cut to
pieces on the spot. Nor was this all; other consequences followed: the
remainder of Washington’s army would thus he laid open to the joint
attack of the British forces both by land and water, so that nothing
would remain for the American cause but slaughter, rout, dispersion and
final ruin. Such a blow, it was deemed, would be irrevocable.
Independent of the loss of artillery, magazines and stores, such a
destruction of their disciplined troops and of their best officers must
be immediately fatal.

If a presentiment of woe falls like a great cloud over the sensitive and
occult spirit at the approach of evil, we may well understand why the
mind of Washington at this moment was overcast by gloom and
apprehension. A few hours after he had gone to Hartford, under great
depression and anxiety, the necessary steps were taken for the
accomplishment of this stratagem of evil. The British sloop-of-war
Vulture, with Major André on board, having already ascended the Hudson,
and lying now some few miles below King’s Ferry, a boat was sent off by
Arnold at nightfall, which brought André on shore and landed him on the
west side of the river, just below the American lines, where Arnold was
waiting for him. It was morning before the arrangements were completed,
and then Arnold persuaded André to enter the American lines and remain
secreted all day in the house of one Smith, the person who had brought
him on shore. In the meantime the Vulture, having attracted the notice
of the American gunners, had found it necessary to change her position,
and probably from the dread of discovery, though the true cause has
never been really known, Smith refused to take André back to the ship at
night as he had engaged to do.

On the second day, therefore, towards sunset, laying aside his uniform,
which he had till now worn under a plain surtout, assuming an ordinary
dress, and being furnished with a pass from Arnold, in the name of John
Anderson, he set out on horseback, with Smith for a guide, and having
passed through a remote part of the camp, and all the guards and posts,
in safety, they crossed King’s Ferry and spent the night with an
acquaintance of Smith’s. The next morning, the guide having conducted
him safely across Croton River, left him to pursue the rest of his
journey alone. He had now to pass through a district some thirty miles
above the Island of New York, known as “neutral ground,” a populous and
fertile region, infested by bands of plunderers, called “Cow-Boys and
Skinners.” The “Cow-Boys” lived within the British lines, and bought or
stole cattle for the supply of the British army. The rendezvous of the
“Skinners” was within the American lines. They professed to be great
patriots, making it their ostensible business to plunder all who refused
to take the oath of allegiance to the State of New York. But they were
ready in fact to rob anybody, and the cattle thus obtained were often
sold to the “Cow-boys,” in exchange for dry goods brought from New York.
By a state law, all cattle driven towards the city beyond a certain line
were lawful plunder, and a general authority was given to arrest
suspicious travellers.[34]

In passing through a place called Tarrytown, André was stopped by three
young men, John Paulding, David Williams and Isaac van Wert, on the
look-out for cattle or travellers. His passport at first seemed to
satisfy them, and they allowed him to proceed. He had not, however, gone
many yards, when one of them on recollection was so forcibly struck by
some peculiarity in the stranger’s manner or countenance, that he
peremptorily insisted on returning with his companions, and examining
more strictly. This second thought on his part was fatal to André.
André, not used to, or not prepared for such an encounter—or, as he
himself said in his letter to Washington, too little versed in deception
to practise it with any degree of success—offered his captors a
considerable purse of gold, a valuable watch, or anything which they
might name, if they would suffer him to proceed to New York.

His offers were rejected; he was searched, suspicious papers were found
in his boots, and he was carried before Colonel Jamison, the commanding
officer on the lines. The papers found upon André, who still maintained
the name of Anderson, a supposed inhabitant of New York, were found to
contain precise accounts of the state of the forces, ordnance and
defences of West Point and its dependences, with the artillery orders,
critical remarks on the works, the amount of men on duty each day,
together with interesting particulars, which had been laid before a
council of war by the commander-in-chief. Although these papers were in
the handwriting of Arnold, Jamison, unable to believe that his
commanding officer was a traitor, forwarded them by express to
Washington at Hartford, and sent the prisoner to Arnold, informing him
of his assumed name, his passport, and that papers of a very suspicious
character had been found upon him. Circumstances favoured Arnold in
various ways. Major Talmadge, who had been absent, returning at this
moment, retained André, though the letter went forward to Arnold, and
the express, with the papers themselves, sent to Washington, missed him
on the road, he being then on his return to Hartford. Washington’s
aides-de-camp, who preceded him, were breakfasting with Arnold when
Jamison’s letter arrived. Pretending that it was an immediate call to
visit one of the forts on the other side of the river, Arnold rose from
table, called his wife up stairs, told her sufficient to throw her into
a fainting-fit, mounted a ready-saddled horse, rode to the river-side,
threw himself into a barge, passed the forts, waving a handkerchief by
way of flag, and ordered his boatmen to row for the Vulture. Safe on
board, he wrote a letter to Washington, declaring that the love of his
country had been the ruling principle of his life; but the main purpose
of the letter was to ask protection for his wife, whom he declared
innocent of what he had done.[35]

When André found that Arnold had escaped, and that no means of delivery
remained for himself, he wrote a letter to Washington, avowing his name
and character. The imputation of treachery and the dread of appearing in
the base light of a spy, appeared worse to him than death. Strange, that
a noble nature, such as André’s unquestionably was, had not perceived
from the first that the whole transaction was base, and that he was the
tool of a second Judas. The burden and shame, however, of the
consequences of his act bowed him down to the very dust, and he now
besought of Washington that to whatever fate a rigorous policy might
doom him, a decency of treatment might be observed which should testify
that, though unfortunate, he was branded with nothing dishonourable, and
that he was involuntarily an imposter. André was examined before a board
of officers, and upon the very story which he himself told he was
pronounced a spy, and as such was doomed to speedy death.

Sir Henry Clinton used the utmost efforts to save him, but the manly and
frank behaviour of André, and the amiable character which he bore,
pleaded for him more than all these, or than the letter which Arnold
wrote to Washington on the same subject, threatening the severest
retaliation if the life of André were taken. The public heart
sympathised with him, but martial justice demanded his life, and his
last prayer that he might be shot rather than hanged was denied. And it
was right so far, that if it be justifiable to take human life, and this
were a crime of which death was the penalty, the quality of the offender
should make no difference; on the contrary, perhaps, even in proportion
as his nature was pure and generous, so could there be the less excuse
to him of a dull perception between a base and a noble action; and the
intended treachery of Arnold was base in the extreme.

The day after the sentence was passed, Oct. 2nd, it was carried into
execution, and the dignity and composure of the criminal is said to have
excited the utmost admiration, while it melted all hearts. The sympathy
which André excited in the American army, says the British chronicler of
this event, is perhaps unexampled under any circumstances. It was said
that the whole board of general officers shed tears at the drawing-up
and signing the report, and that even Washington wept upon hearing the
circumstances of his death. All those about him treated him with the
most marked attention, with the greatest kindness and the most
scrupulous delicacy.

There is a touching pathos in the whole sad history, and a calm dignity
in the behaviour of all parties, the offender and the offended, which
elevate humanity and are deeply affecting to contemplate. Nor as
regarded Arnold, the willing Judas of American liberty, was this noble
Christian dignity compromised. Washington sent Mrs. Arnold to her
husband at New York, who was himself obliged to confess his obligation
to the commander-in-chief for the kindness and protection which she had
received from him, as well as the many obligations she was under to the
gentlemen of his family. The clothes and baggage which he had sent for
were likewise forwarded to him, but as regarded all other matters, his
letters and himself were passed over without the smallest notice.[36]
Somewhat later, however, when he had published an address to the
inhabitants of America, calling upon them to “surrender to Great
Britain, and to be no longer the tools and dupes of congress and
France,” his name was publicly placed by the executive power of
Pennsylvania at the head of a list of ten traitors, who were summoned to
surrender by a given day, or to be subjected to all the pains, penalties
and forfeitures of high-treason. Beyond that, Arnold was dead to the
country; the magnitude of his offence placed him below her recognition.
For himself he received £10,000, and was made a brigadier-general in the
British army. He was also authorised to raise a corps of cavalry and
infantry among the disaffected, who were to be clothed and fed like the
other troops in the British service, and to whom a bounty of three
guineas per man was given, besides payment at full value for horses,
arms and accoutrements. All these being intended as strong baits in
opposition to the distress, want of pay, hunger and nakedness of the
republican army.

As regarded the treachery of Arnold, Washington took immediate measures
to protect his camp and works from its consequences; but it did not
appear that he had any party in the army; no defection followed, and the
example tended probably rather as a warning than otherwise.

During these events in the north, the two hostile parties in the south
had not been inactive. General Gates, who had not sustained in South
Carolina the reputation which he gained by the surrender of Burgoyne,
was superseded by General Greene. Both Lee and Steuben were ordered to
the south, as well as Kosciusko, who acted as engineer.

In September, Cornwallis detached Colonel Ferguson to the frontiers of
North Carolina, for the purpose of encouraging the loyalists to take
arms. A large number of the most profligate and abandoned repaired to
his standard, and under the conduct of their leader committed atrocious
excesses. This roused the country; the militia were out; and a force of
mounted backwoodsmen, armed with rifles and their provision at their
backs, led by Shelby and Sevier, afterwards first governors of Kentucky
and Tennessee, and joined by various partisan corps, marched against
Ferguson, who was advancing towards the mountains. On the first tidings
of this formidable force Ferguson fled, pursued by 1,000 of the best
mounted and surest marksmen out of double that number; and so rapid was
the flight and the pursuit, that in thirty-six hours the
mountaineer-backwoodsmen dismounted but once. Ferguson, finding escape
impossible, chose a strong position at King’s Mountain, on the Catawbee
River, the boundary line between North and South Carolina. The attack
was furious and the defence exceedingly obstinate; but, at length,
Ferguson being slain, and 300 of his followers killed or wounded, the
survivors, to the number of 800, threw down their arms and surrendered.
Ten of the most obnoxious of these were immediately hanged as traitors,
an outrage which was soon richly retaliated. After this the backwoodsmen
retired as rapidly to their homes, and their victory, when trumpeted
abroad, raised the sinking spirit of the South.[37]

Again Marion and Sumter were in the field, and the ubiquitous Tarleton,
with his rapid cavalry, was despatched first against one and then the
other. Marion was driven back to his swamps; and Sumter, having joined
with other partisan corps in an attack on Fort Ninety-Six, defeated and
took prisoner Major Wemyss, after which, having received intelligence
through a deserter that Tarleton and his troop were out in pursuit, he
took up a position on Blackstock Hill. Tarleton, after a severe loss,
was obliged to retreat, leaving Sumter severely wounded, and in
possession of the field. The close of the year was now approaching, and
Sumter being conveyed to a place of safety, his followers dispersed.

On December 2nd, Greene joined the American army at Charlotte and
assumed command. He found the troops without pay, and their clothing in
tatters. There was scarcely a dollar in the military chest, and
subsistence was obtained by impressment; nevertheless he entered at once
on active operations; determining, however, rather to harass the British
army than, in the present weak condition of his troops, to risk a
general action. But it was not the army alone which was on the alert.
All the scattered settlements of Whigs and Tories were in hostile array,
and pursued each other with almost savage fury. The excitable
temperament of the South gave to the struggle a more terrible character
than it had in the North. Everywhere were small parties under arms, some
on one side some on the other, desperately bent on plunder and blood.

At the close of this year England was satisfied with the progress which
her arms had made in America; no ground of any consequence was lost in
the North, while in the South, Georgia was entirely subdued and the
royal government re-established. The possession of Charleston, Augusta,
Ninety-Six and Camden, supported by an army in the field, secured entire
control over the populous and wealthy parts of South Carolina. North
Carolina was full of Tories, impatient to acknowledge the British crown
on the arrival of Cornwallis. The three southern states were incapable
of helping themselves, and the North, exhausted and penniless, was in no
condition to help them. The colonies seemed almost sinking under the
accumulated pressure of this long-protracted struggle. England, in the
meantime, assailed by three European nations, and sustaining a war
against two hemispheres, America and the East Indies, was putting forth
energies and voting supplies on the most immense scale, as if the very
demand increased her powers of exertion. The siege of Gibraltar, under
its commander Elliot, was going on; great battles were fought on the
West Indian and European seas; fleets and armies went to the East and to
the West, and the new year commenced with preparations in all these
various and remote scenes of action for new enterprise, for new effort.

As regarded America herself, France, in addition to the troops under
Rochambeau, sent out a large fleet at the commencement of this year,
under the Count de Grasse, which, after having performed certain service
in the West Indies, was to co-operate with Rochambeau and Washington on
the coast of America.

The state of affairs, however, was most anxious and critical, and
calculated to create the most serious alarm. Although the efforts made
during the past year, and the late successes in the South, had revived
the public spirit, still no sufficient or permanent means had been
provided for supplying the increasing wants of the army. The country
seemed upon the brink of ruin. Nor can any situation be imagined more
painful than that of the American congress at this moment. The enemy had
advanced into the heart of the country; they had important militia
operations to carry forward, but were wholly without money. Their bills
of credit had so completely lost their value, that they had ceased to be
a legal tender, and were not received even in payment of taxes. In this
emergency their agents, as already had been done, were directed to
borrow from France, Spain, and Holland. They resorted to the unpopular
measure of taxation, the tax being apportioned among the several state
governments, by whose authority it was collected; and in order as much
as possible to introduce economy and to prevent disorder, waste, or
peculation, they appointed Robert Morris of Philadelphia as their
treasurer, a man whose pure morals, ardent patriotism, and great
knowledge of financial concerns, eminently fitted him for this important

The zeal and genius of Morris soon produced the best results. A national
bank was established, wealthy individuals were induced to deposit here
their funds, and by borrowing in the name of government from this bank,
and pledging in return the taxes not yet collected, he was enabled to
anticipate them, and command a supply. He also made use of his own
credit, which was good, and bills were in circulation at one time,
bearing his signature, to the amount of £100,000. Franklin also obtained
a loan of 4,000,000 of livres from the court of France, which likewise
gave its guarantee to Holland for a loan of 10,000,000. Spain refused to
lend money unless she received a monopoly of the navigation of the
Mississippi, which was steadily refused.[38]

So far a better prospect dawned, but before the effects were perceived
to any extent, an alarming revolt took place among both the
Pennsylvanian and the New Jersey troops, the causes of which were the
exact terms of their enlistment, and the want of necessaries. The
Pennsylvanian troops, to the number of 1,300, abandoning their camp,
commenced their march to Princetown, where congress was sitting, that
they might lay their grievances before it. On their way they were met by
emissaries from Sir Henry Clinton, who wished to entice them into the
British service; but indignant at this attempt to corrupt their
fidelity, they seized their tempters and gave them up to General Wayne
to be punished as spies. At Princetown they were met by a committee from
congress, which, fearing the effect of this revolt at this moment,
relieved their necessities in part, and allowed such as claimed their
discharge on a three years’ service, to leave the ranks, which most of
them did. To their credit, however, be it said, that when offered a
reward for apprehending the British emissaries, they nobly refused it,
saying, they wanted no reward for doing their duty to their country
against her enemies. The revolters in New Jersey did not, however, come
off so well. Washington, determined to put a stop to further
insubordination, despatched at once a force on which he could rely, from
West Point, under Colonel Howe, which suddenly surrounding the camp of
the insurgents, compelled them to submission, and two of their leaders
being tried by court-martial and shot, there was no more revolt in the

In October of this year, General Leslie sailed from New York, with 3,000
men, to reinforce Lord Cornwallis, and lay for some time at Portsmouth
on the Chesapeake, to be in readiness against North Carolina. On the
news, however, of Ferguson’s defeat, he proceeded to Charleston, and
shortly after—in fact, at the very commencement of 1781—Sir Henry
Clinton despatched the traitor, now Brigadier-General Arnold, to occupy
Portsmouth and to make a diversion in Virginia, not doubting but that
the force of his name and character would attract great numbers to the
British standard. The force under Arnold amounted to about 1,700, most
of them loyalists, a small corps of 200 having been raised in New York
by Arnold himself, together with a considerable number of armed vessels.
Arriving in the Chesapeake, and leaving a sufficient force at
Portsmouth, Arnold ascended the James River, and commenced a series of
ravages on the unprotected settlements. Governor Jefferson called out
the militia, but the white population were so scanty and scattered on
their distant plantations, and were so much occupied in keeping their
slaves in order, that the call was hardly obeyed, 200 only appearing for
the defence of Richmond, the capital.

Arnold entered without opposition, and immediately commenced to destroy
the public stores, as well as many public and private buildings, after
which he retired to Portsmouth, which he fortified and made his
head-quarters. A plan in the meantime was formed by Washington to
capture him and his army. La Fayette was sent down into Virginia, and at
the earnest request of Washington, the French fleet stationed at Rhode
Island, with a number of French troops on board, sailed to co-operate
with him. The British, however, being apprised of this project, Admiral
Arbuthnot sailed from Gardiner’s Bay in Long Island, where he had lain
with his squadron all the winter, attacked the French fleet off the
capes of Chesapeake, and compelled it to return to Rhode Island. The
British squadron entered the Chesapeake, and shortly after, a
reinforcement of 2,000 men being sent from New York to Portsmouth,
Arnold, happily for himself, was delivered from the imminent peril which
had threatened him of falling into the hands of his countrymen. The
British frigates ascending the rivers of Virginia, levied contributions
upon all the tide-water counties. One of these vessels entering the
Potomac, reached Mount Vernon, the home and plantation of Washington,
whose manager, to save the buildings from destruction, supplied a
quantity of provisions, greatly to the displeasure of the American
commander-in-chief when he heard of the fact.[39]

                              CHAPTER XI.
               THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR (_continued_), 1781.

With the commencement of the year all parties in the South prepared for
war. On the 1st of January, Lord Cornwallis left his camp at
Winnsborough, intending to advance into North Carolina and interpose
between Greene and Morgan, who were now actively on the alert, and
against the latter of whom Tarleton had been despatched, with orders to
“push him to the utmost.” Greene, at the head of 1,000 men, was encamped
at the confluence of Hick’s Creek with the Peedee, while Morgan, with
the same number, had been sent westward by him to guard the passes of
the Pacolet river. On Tarleton’s approach Morgan retreated; Tarleton
crossed the river, and the pursuit began. The situation of Morgan was
perilous, the enemy was behind him, the Broad River before him, to cross
which was impossible. But Morgan, the stout quondam wrestler and
teamsman, was not easily daunted; on his right lay a hilly district
which might afford him protection; choosing, therefore, his ground
hastily, he drew up his men in order of battle, at a place called the
Cowpens, about three miles south of the boundary of South Carolina. The
forces were about equal. Tarleton was confident of victory; Morgan also
intended that the day should be his; about half of his troops, however,
were South Carolina militia, under General Pickens, new to war, and
therefore little to be relied upon. These he placed in the van, while
the continentals, on whom he could depend, were posted in an open wood,
and the cavalry on a slope in the rear. As he expected, the militia gave
way immediately before the impetuous attack of Tarleton; the British
troops shouted for victory, and rushed forward in pursuit, but then the
real struggle of the fight commenced. The continentals, too, had
retrograded for a moment before the rapid advance of the British, who,
mistaking this for retreat, rushed forward in some confusion, and the
next moment a deadly fire from the Americans, who had suddenly faced
about, turned the British pursuit into flight; and while these rapid
movements had been taking place, the American cavalry coming up decided
the fortune of the day. The ground was in an instant, as it were,
covered with killed and wounded. Tarleton’s whole force was completely
routed. The British lost 400 in killed and wounded, while 500 prisoners,
with a large quantity of baggage, and 100 dragoon horses, fell into the
hands of the Americans, whose loss was less than eighty men.

Immediately on the news of this unexpected disaster, Lord Cornwallis,
then on the left bank of the Broad River, despatched a part of his army,
disencumbered of baggage, in the hope of intercepting Morgan before he
could pass that river, and recovering, at least, the prisoners; but
Morgan, ever active, and aware of his probable danger, pushed on without
loss of time for the fords of the river, which he was fortunately able
to cross two hours before the van of the enemy appeared on the opposite
bank, and by that time a sudden rise of the river had rendered it

Disappointed, therefore, in this design, and knowing that the loss of
the light troops could only be remedied by the general activity of the
whole army, Lord Cornwallis spent two days in burning all superfluous
baggage and stores, himself setting the example by destroying every
unnecessary article or luxury which belonged to himself. Upon this
principle all the wagons, excepting those loaded with hospital stores,
salt, or ammunition, and four empty ones reserved for the sick or
wounded, were destroyed; all casks of spirituous liquors or wine were
staved, and the only supply of flour they could depend upon was the
pittance they might obtain and carry along with them.

The heavy rains which had been so serviceable to Morgan in preventing
the further progress of the enemy continued for two days, and all the
fords for forty miles were not only impassible from the accession of the
waters, but vigilantly guarded by American detachments; and Greene
himself, on receiving intelligence of the battle of the Cowpens,
hastened forward from the Peedee, and assumed in person the command of
Morgan’s division, being now desirous of keeping the enemy on the other
side of the river until the whole force arrived.

On the first falling of the water, Lord Cornwallis, who had in the
meantime come up, detached a party of the army to attack a private ford
which was held by 300 Americans, and of which they succeeded in forcing
a passage. Again the American army retreated, and again the British were
in pursuit, and a second time came very close upon their rear as they
were about to cross the Yadkin, as the Peedee is called in its upper
course. Again the American army crossed safely, and only a small portion
of their baggage remained on the other side, when the British came in
sight, and a smart skirmish took place between the advance and rear
guards. But again the river rose, and the pursuers were unable to cross.
The hand of Providence seemed extended as of old to open for his people
a path through the waters, which he closed again to their enemies. So it
appeared to the Americans safe on the other side, and so it was regarded
throughout the country.

From the Yadkin, Greene proceeded to Guildford Court-house, having
effected a junction with his main army, which, under General Huger, had
advanced up the left bank of the river, and continued his flight, still
vigorously pursued by Cornwallis, who was anxious to prevent his
entering Virginia, whence alone supplies and recruits could be expected.
It was now for the third time a trial of speed between the two armies,
and for the third time also the British reached the banks of the river
Dan, an upper branch of the Roanoke, just as the American rear were
safely across. Here Cornwallis, mortified at such repeated
disappointments after the extraordinary efforts which he had made, gave
up the pursuit and turned slowly towards the South. It was well that he
did so, for the American army needed repose; the march of the last day
had been forty miles; the shoes were worn from the soldiers’ feet, many
were quite barefoot, and this long and hasty flight was tracked with
their blood.[40]

The American army thus driven out of North Carolina, Lord Cornwallis,
after giving his troops a day’s rest, led them slowly back to
Hillsborough, the seat of the state government, where he erected the
royal standard, and issued a proclamation inviting all loyal subjects to
repair to him and aid in restoring the constitutional government to the
colony. We have mentioned the sufferings of the American army—those of
the British were not much less. “The wants and distresses of the English
troops,” says the British chronicler of these events, “were only
equalled by their toils and fatigues. They traversed a country which was
alternately a wild and inhospitable forest, or inhabited by a people who
were, at least, highly adverse, however they might venture or not to be
hostile. When to these are added all the possible incommodities incident
to bad roads, heavy rains, want of cover, and the continual wading
through numberless deep creeks and rivers in the depth of winter, some
idea may be formed of their sufferings.”

While these events were going forward, and the state authorities having
fled from Hillsborough to Newbern, a British detachment from Wilmington
marched to that place, entered it without impediment, burned the
shipping, and having destroyed all the salt, sugar, rum, and stores of
every kind, returned to Wilmington.

In response to the proclamation of Lord Cornwallis, the Tories of North
Carolina began to embody themselves, and on February 21st, Tarleton was
despatched into the district between the Haw and Deep rivers to assist
in their organisation. In the meantime, General Greene, reinforced by a
body of Virginians, re-entered North Carolina, and hearing of this
movement among the Tories, sent Colonel Lee, with a body of militia, to
prevent it. On his way Lee encountered the newly-embodied loyalist
troops, with whom Tarleton had not yet come up, and they mistaking these
troops for those of their friends, eagerly made known their loyalty by
shouts of “Long live the King!” when being at once surrounded by the
Americans, the greater number were cut to pieces, and the remainder made

Greene, though still receiving reinforcements, did not consider himself
as yet strong enough to encounter an engagement; and in order to avoid
surprise, took up a new position every night, never informing any person
the day before where his next encampment would be. Indeed, the strict
reserve which this commander maintained regarding his plans caused the
utmost embarrassment to the British throughout the whole southern
campaign. The prisoners taken on any occasion from the American army
would give no account of the numbers and disposition of the troops, nor
yet of the ground where they lay. Lord Cornwallis complains repeatedly,
that “either from stupidity or design the country people would give him
no information, or if they did, it was unintelligible or contradictory;
the little reliance to be placed on any information which was obtained
being among the distinguishing features of the war in this province.”

Lord Cornwallis moved from point to point, anxious to cover the country
and afford the loyalists encouragement and opportunity to join his army,
and at the same time to keep open the communication of Cape Fear River,
which the “grievous distresses” of his army rendered necessary. At
length, towards the middle of March, Greene’s forces, now amounting to
about 4,500 men, and being at a great distance from his supplies, and in
the midst of a country where his friends were few and wavering, he, too,
sought a battle in his turn. For many days Cornwallis had been harassed
by uncertain rumours as to the course of his enemy, when, on the 15th,
he received the authentic intelligence that Greene had reached Guilford,
twelve miles only from the British camp, and that a battle might be

The country in which the two armies were to meet was a wilderness
covered with tall wood, and a thick undergrowth of shrubs, with here and
there a clearing. Greene, having left his baggage seventeen miles in the
rear, posted his men on advantageous ground on a wooded hill with an
open field in front, about two miles from Guilford Court-house. The
North Carolina militia, many of them compelled to serve as a punishment
for their suspected loyalty, were posted in the front. At the first
charge these militia fled, throwing away their arms and knapsacks; the
Virginian militia, however, stood firm and fought resolutely for a
considerable time, when, being driven back, the action became general;
but owing to the nature of the ground the order of battle was completely
broken, and consisted rather of a series of irregular, hard-fought and
bloody skirmishes. At length the Americans were driven back, and their
artillery captured, when Greene ordered a retreat, which was made
without confusion, and the same night he reached the Iron Works of
Troublesome Creek, at eighteen miles’ distance.

The loss on both sides was said to be between 400 and 500; and as the
fighting had extended over a great space of ground, the wounded were
scattered as widely. “There were neither houses nor tents to receive
them,” says Hildreth. “The night that followed the battle was dark and
tempestuous; horrid shrieks resounded through the woods; many expired
before the morning.”

The Americans were routed, but the British were in no condition to
follow them; the troops in the first instance were worn down by the
excessive fatigues of a long march; their wounded, which lay so wide and
so ill provided for, required attention; and besides, such was the
desolate state of the country, that during the two days they remained
here they had no bread, nor was forage to be obtained nearer than nine
miles; and though the victory was gained in a part of the country which
boasted of its loyalty, very little assistance was given, nor did any
great number join the royal cause. Leaving, therefore, seventy of the
worst wounded behind him, in a Quakers’ meeting-house converted into a
hospital, Lord Cornwallis retired by easy marches to Cross Creek, now
Fayetteville, again issuing a proclamation, and using all means in his
power to encourage and call forth the loyalists of the district, but
with little effect. He was disappointed also in the store of provisions
which he expected to have found here; the absolute scarcity compelled
him still to advance; and after a toilsome circuitous march of 200
miles, the victors, who according to their own phrase, “had gained so
much glory at Guilford,” reached Wilmington worn out and famished, and
thankful to find at length shelter and rest.

Though Greene did not fare much better as regarded the subsistence of
his army, no sooner had Cornwallis retired towards Wilmington, than he
determined to march into South Carolina, now held in subjection by Lord
Rawdon and a small force. Early in April, therefore, Greene was
advancing through that barren region in which Gates and his troops had
suffered so much eleven months before, towards Camden, where Lord Rawdon
lay with about 900 loyalists. Despatching Colonel Lee with his cavalry
to join Marion and other partisan corps immediately on his entering
South Carolina, Greene took up his position at Hobkirk’s Mill, about two
miles from Camden, and on April 25th a battle took place, the victory at
first strongly inclining to the Americans. A Maryland regiment, however,
falling into confusion, a rout ensued, but the loss was about equal on
both sides; and in consequence of the American artillery having been run
down a steep hill among some brushwood, it was overlooked by the British
troops in their pursuit, and the American cavalry carried it safely away
before their return. Greene retired the same night to Rugeley’s Mills,
about twelve miles off, where he encamped.

The news of Greene’s bold advance into South Carolina reached Lord
Cornwallis at Wilmington, too late for him to march to the succour of
Lord Rawdon; he, therefore, imitating the American general’s policy,
marched at once into Virginia, to join the British force under Arnold
and Philips, which was committing great ravages there.

Although the British had defeated the Americans in the last engagement,
this victory no more than the former produced any favourable results to
the British cause. Already before this battle was fought, Fort Watson,
on the Santee River, and one of the lines of communication between
Camden and Charleston, had surrendered to Lee and Marion; the whole
country was in arms, and Colonel Watson on his way to reinforce Lord
Rawdon, was in consequence obliged to pass and repass the Santee, going
down almost to the very mouth of the river for the first, and up to the
confluence of that river with the Congaree for the second, before he was
able to reach Camden, where he had long been anxiously expected. But
with his arrival came the intelligence that Fort Motte, situated at the
junction of the Congaree and Santee, was invested by Lee and Marion.
This being the case, Lord Rawdon, now reinforced, withdrew to Nelson’s
Ferry, sixty miles from Camden, having first made a vain attempt to draw
General Greene into another engagement. On the 9th of May he abandoned
Camden, having destroyed all the works, and leaving behind him such sick
and wounded as were unable to bear the removal, and on the 13th arrived
at Nelson’s Ferry, the unwelcome news having reached him by the way of
the surrender of Fort Motte. This was a heavy loss, for at this place
were deposited all the provisions that were intended for the supply of
Camden. More bad news followed: Sumter took another strong post at
Orangeburg, and Fort Granby surrendered to Lee, who was then sent
against Augusta. Scarcely had these tidings been received than Colonel
Balfour, the commandant of Charleston, made his appearance, full of
apprehensions regarding the state of affairs there, and the alarming
turn which they had taken in so short a time. So little, indeed, had
this been expected, that the whole fortifications of the town had been
removed, and the new were not yet completed; and so strong was his
belief in the general disaffection of the people, that if any misfortune
happened to Lord Rawdon’s forces, the loss of the province and capital
might be anticipated. As a proof of the disaffection of the country, it
is related by the English that for five days after Lord Rawdon had
crossed the Santee, not a single person of any sort whatever came near
his camp, nor could the spies and emissaries which he sent out in all
directions procure for him any true intelligence as to the situation of
the enemy. The enemy, however, was busy all this time, and as we have
said, one strong post after another was taken. Alarmed at these ominous
proceedings, Lord Rawdon, accompanied by a great number of Tory
families, retreated from Nelson’s Ferry to Monk’s Corner, still nearer
to Charleston, that he might protect the town and the fertile country
which intervened.

The next tidings were that General Greene was investing Ninety-Six, the
principal British stronghold in the upper country, which the garrison of
American loyalists was very bravely defending. On this, being
fortunately just then reinforced by three regiments from Ireland, Lord
Rawdon hastened to its relief. It was then the middle of summer, and
marching with as much speed as the excessive heat would allow, he had
the mortification of learning by the way, that Augusta had surrendered,
and that the forces employed in its reduction had now joined Greene.

The Americans were attempting an unsuccessful assault on Ninety-Six,
when the unwelcome tidings reached them, that Lord Rawdon, strongly
reinforced, was advancing to the relief of that fort. The utmost bravery
had been displayed in the attack, the ditch was full of killed and
wounded, when Greene determined to abandon the attempt, and not even to
face the new foe. He had already, it appeared, anticipated such an
event, by sending off all the heavy baggage across the Saluda, whither
he now also followed. The British pursued for forty miles, as far as the
fords of Ennoree, but finding then that the Americans had crossed safely
two hours before, and the troops being spent with fatigue and the
excessive heat, Lord Rawdon slowly returned to Ninety-Six, which was
then abandoned, and the British army, again accompanied by great numbers
of terrified loyalists, retired to Orangeburg, where leaving the greater
part of his forces to aid the loyalists in embodying themselves, he
marched with the remainder to Congaree, closely pursued by Greene, who
hoped to be able to surround him while he waited for promised
reinforcements. It happened, however, that Lord Rawdon arrived at
Congaree two days sooner than was expected, and finding the enemy so
near, and suspecting their intentions, he made a rapid move again
towards Orangeburg, and Greene, now joined by Marion, having altered his
intentions, retired as suddenly to the hills of the Santee, to refresh
his troops and wait for reinforcements.

The summer in the South closed the campaign. The sufferings of the
British in this climate were excessive. During renewed forced marches,
under the rage of a burning sun, they were frequently, when sinking
under the extremest fatigue, not only destitute of every comfort, but
almost of every necessary. They were for the greater part destitute of
bread, and the country afforded no vegetables as a substitute—salt too
failed them, at length, and their only resource was water and the wild
cattle found in the woods. About fifty men in this last expedition sunk
under the rigour of their exertions and died of sheer fatigue. Nor did
the Americans suffer less. Twice they had been defeated in two pitched
battles; yet upon the whole the campaign terminated in their favour. The
greater part of Georgia was recovered, as were also the two Carolinas;
the British being now limited to the district between the Santee and the
Lower Savannah.

Although operations between the main armies were suspended during the
hot and unhealthy season, the partisan corps on both sides were actively
employed. This it was which added such additional horrors to the war in
the South. Houses were plundered and burned and their inhabitants
murdered, women and children seldom being spared. One great object of
plunder was slaves. Sumter paid his men in this manner. The number of
slaves carried off during the war is estimated at 30,000. Lord Dunmore,
at the commencement of the struggle, armed the slaves against their
masters; and had the British persevered in this plan, and, treating the
slaves as men and king’s subjects, converted them into soldiers, the
conquest of the Southern States would have been almost inevitable.[41]

Lord Rawdon soon after returned to England, in consequence of ill
health, and the command devolved upon Colonel Stuart. Before his
departure from Charleston, however, a tragical circumstance occurred
there which greatly irritated the Carolinians and threw great odium upon
the British. This was the execution of Colonel Isaac Hayne, a firm
patriot, who, at the commencement of the war, had entered with ardour
into the republican struggle and assisted in person at the defence of
Charleston. On the surrender of the city, having been offered British
protection or rigorous confinement, he was weak enough to choose the
former, it being urged in his excuse, that his wife and children were
ill of the small-pox, and this was his only alternative to avoid being
separated from them. When the British were driven from his
neighbourhood, he took up arms against them, and in this condition was
taken prisoner and brought before Colonel Balfour, the commandant of the
place, who condemned him to death. Every effort was used to save his
life; General Greene avowed his determination to retaliate; the
loyalists, with the governor at their head, and the most distinguished
women of Charleston, begged for his life, as did his little children,
dressed in deep mourning. But in vain; Lord Rawdon reluctantly gave his
consent to the execution, which accordingly took place, causing a
universal execration.

While these events had been occurring in the Carolinas, General Phillips
and the traitor Arnold were carrying everything before them in Virginia,
and successively defeated such bodies of militia as could be suddenly
brought into the field, while their best troops were fighting the
battles of others in the Carolinas[42]. After having fortified
Portsmouth at the mouth of the James River, and thus secured a place of
retreat, Phillips advanced up that river, which, with its numerous
dependent branches and creeks, laid the whole central country on either
hand open to him. On the Appomatox, a confluent of James River, he took
Petersburg, where he destroyed 4,000 hogsheads of tobacco, collected
there for shipment to France. Besides this, shipping and vessels of all
kinds, on the stocks and in the river, public buildings and warehouses,
with their contents of timber, provisions and all other stores, were
destroyed; after which, Arnold advancing up the river where a
considerable fleet of vessels had taken refuge, the greater number were
burned or scuttled to prevent their falling into his hands. From
Petersburg the enemy proceeded to Manchester, just opposite Richmond,
where they destroyed nearly 2,000 hogsheads of tobacco; La Fayette, who
had just arrived there with a detachment of New England troops, and to
whose presence Richmond owed its temporary safety, having the
mortification of witnessing the conflagration from the opposite shore.
Havoc and devastation marked the career of these ruthless invaders, who,
after collecting an immense booty in tobacco and slaves, and having
destroyed ships, warehouses and mills, everything, in short, which came
in their way and was of value to the inhabitants, returned to their
shipping and fell down the river towards its mouth.

As regarded the force collected for the defence of Virginia, it was
totally inadequate to the necessities of the province. The entire force
of the Virginia line now under arms did not exceed 1,000 men, and were
at this time absent serving under Greene; about 500 recruits, unarmed
and unclothed, whom Steuben was vainly endeavouring to equip, were at
Richmond. The only effective force were drafts of the New England
regiments, under La Fayette, who, little inclined to serve in this
unhealthy climate, were only kept together by his threats to shoot
deserters, and by winning their fidelity through their gratitude,
inasmuch as, on his own credit, he supplied them with hats, shoes and
blankets, of which they were in grievous need.

We have already said that Lord Cornwallis, informed of the unfortunate
turn which the British affairs had taken in South Carolina, resolved,
although his own force was reduced, to hardly more than 1,000 effective
men, to march to Virginia and effect a junction with General Phillips.
Again the British commander complained bitterly of the sufferings and
destitute condition of his troops. Neither cavalry nor infantry, he
said, were fit to move, yet they must commence on the morrow a march of
several hundred miles, through a country chiefly hostile, frequently
desert, which did not afford one active or useful friend, where no
intelligence was to be obtained, and where no communication could be

The march, however, was made through all these difficulties and
impediments; and on the 25th of April, about a month after he had set
out, he reached Petersburg, where he found the troops of General
Phillips, who himself had died only a few days previously, and shortly
after was reinforced also by four regiments sent from New York. On the
approach of Cornwallis, La Fayette, having removed the most valuable
stores from Richmond, abandoned that town and retired towards the
north-west, to form a junction with General Wayne, who was now on his
march with 1,000 of the Pennsylvanian levies to join the southern army.
The assembly of Virginia, on the abandonment of Richmond, adjourned to
Charlottesville, and increased powers, suitable to the emergency, were
conferred upon Governor Jefferson. The prisoners under Burgoyne’s
capitulation, who had been living for the last two years in this
neighbourhood in great comfort, in their huts amid their gardens, were
now also suddenly removed across the mountains to Winchester.

In this central province all the scattered operations of active
hostility converged, as it were, to a point. Cornwallis pursued La
Fayette for thirty miles, in hopes of preventing his union with General
Wayne, but being disappointed in this object, overran the country for
sixty miles on the borders of the James River, and destroyed a vast
amount of both public and private property; among the former the
Virginian laboratory and armoury, in which a large quantity of arms,
ammunition, and other stores, greatly needed by the Virginian army, were
consumed. Whilst this devastation was going on in one direction,
Tarleton was sent to make a dash at the Virginian assembly at
Charlottesville and to carry off Jefferson. On his way he met twelve
wagons laden with clothing and stores for Greene’s army, all of which he
destroyed; he succeeded also in capturing seven members of assembly, but
Jefferson, who had been warned of his danger, escaped.[44]

Lord Cornwallis, on the return of the detachments, having received
orders from Sir Henry Clinton, who was apprehensive that Washington was
about to attack New York with the aid of the French fleet, removed his
army, towards the end of June, from Richmond to Williamsburg,
considerably nearer the sea, and about midway between the great rivers
James and York, destroying, as was customary, whatever property lay in
his way. La Fayette having now joined Wayne, and being still further
strengthened by Baron Steuben’s troops, as well as by such militia as
Virginia herself was able to raise, was in so powerful a condition as to
render any movements of the British a matter of great caution;
nevertheless Cornwallis was active, and his cavalry, mounted on the very
horses which the planters had refused to Greene, and which the British
had now seized, scoured the country, carrying terror into all quarters.

From Williamsburg, Cornwallis proceeded to Portsmouth, which it was
strongly recommended, both in England and by Sir Henry Clinton, should
be occupied as a permanent position convenient for naval operations, and
for such warfare as, while it was defensive on their part, would be
extremely distressing to Virginia. On his way thither, and when just
about to cross James River, Cornwallis was attacked, in the afternoon of
July 6th, by La Fayette, who erroneously supposed that a portion of the
army had crossed the river. General Wayne, who led the advance, seeing
on the contrary the whole British army drawn out against him, made an
impetuous attack and then suddenly retreated, leaving his cannon behind.
The darkness of evening coming on, and Cornwallis suspecting an
ambuscade, no pursuit followed, and the British crossed the river in the

Arrived at Portsmouth, Cornwallis, on personal examination, not deeming
it suitable for the intended purpose, and conceiving that nothing less
than offensive war would be effectual in Virginia, selected, in
preference, the two posts of York Town, on the river of that name, and
Gloucester Point on the opposite side, which he immediately commenced
fortifying, his force amounting in the whole to about 7,000.

“The Southern States were very anxious for the personal presence of
Washington, but he believed that the South might be most effectually
served by striking some decisive blow at New York. The means, however,
for such a blow were not so obvious. The superiority of the British
naval force still kept the French army idle in Rhode Island. The
Southern States, invaded and overrun, were hardly able to defend
themselves; while the Eastern States, hitherto so sturdy, seemed now
almost exhausted. Recruits for the army came in very slowly. The New
York regiments had been detached to defend that state from Tory and
Indian invasion. The Pennsylvanian line, and even some drafts from the
eastern regiments, had been sent to Virginia. Late in the spring the
entire force under Washington’s immediate command fell short of 7,000
men, not equal to the number of loyalists employed at that time in the
British service. It was with the utmost difficulty that even this small
force was fed. To obtain a supply of provisions, Washington was obliged
to send Heath to the Eastern States with a circular-letter and pressing

Washington’s letter obtained some supplies from New England, and
Pennsylvania consented to furnish more, on the credit of taxes just
imposed; but impressment, after all, continued to be the principal means
for feeding the army, and the only money which could be obtained was by
selling bills on Benjamin Franklin, which it was hoped the French court
would enable him to meet.

About the same time that Cornwallis entered Virginia, Washington
received the welcome intelligence from the French admiral, the Count de
Grasse, in the West Indies, that he was about to proceed with a powerful
fleet to the American coast, on which the French army, which, had lain
idle for eleven months in Rhode Island, marched to join Washington; who,
breaking up his camp in July, passed the North River to meet them. Their
junction took place at the White Plains, on the New England side of the
Hudson, and the combined armies encamped at Philipsburg, within twelve
miles of King’s Bridge, sufficiently near New York to excite great
alarm. The apparent intention of these great movements was an attack on
New York, which became confirmed by an intercepted letter from
Washington to the French commander, Rochambeau, in which such an attack
was spoken of in undisguised terms. But the intentions of Washington,
whatever they might have been in the commencement, soon became very
different; nevertheless, the object now was to confirm Sir Henry
Clinton’s suspicion, that time might be given to carry out the still
more formidable plan, of which no idea appeared to exist in the mind of
the British commander. It was under the apprehension of this combined
attack that Sir Henry Clinton recalled a considerable part of the troops
under Lord Cornwallis, from Virginia, immediately afterwards
countermanding his recall, being himself reinforced by the arrival of
3,000 Hessians; the same apprehension also rendered it desirable to
occupy some strong position in Virginia.

Now, therefore, in the month of July, New York was kept in a state of
perpetual alarm. A body of 5,000 French and American troops, on one
occasion, took up a position near King’s Bridge, in the night, which
they occupied for forty-eight hours, with every appearance of an
intended attack. The two commanders, Washington and Rochambeau, attended
by their principal officers and engineers, reconnoitered the island of
New York; the report of the expected daily arrival of the Count de
Grasse was sedulously propagated, and when the precise time of that
admiral’s arrival at the Chesapeake was ascertained, the French troops
advanced to Sandy Hook and the coasts opposite Staten Island, as if with
a view of seconding the operations of the fleet. So far, indeed, was
this deception carried, that ovens were erected near the mouth of the
Raritan, on Sandy Hook, as if for the supply of the army.

The intention was very different. The object was to strike a blow at
Cornwallis in Virginia. Orders, therefore, were sent to La Fayette to
take up such a position as would cut off the retreat of the British army
into North Carolina, and on August 19th, Washington crossed the river
and marched directly into the Jerseys, to Trenton upon the Delaware,
this very movement being considered in the first instance merely to
conceal his ultimate intentions. So carefully, indeed, had Washington
concealed the object he had in view, that the New England troops were
ignorant of their destination, and on arriving at Philadelphia and
discovering that they had a long southern march before them, showed such
signs of dissatisfaction that it appeared necessary to pacify them by a
small payment in specie, which could only be done by borrowing from the
French military chest. Fortunately, too, at that moment Laurens had
arrived from France with a supply of clothing, arms, and ammunition; so
that the troops proceeded in good humour, and better clad than usual.

While Washington was preparing for his operations in the South, Greene,
whose ardour was ever unabated, having profited by his temporary
retirement, during the unhealthy season, among the hills of the Santee,
appeared at the beginning of September once more in the field. His
former successes had revived the hopes of the North Carolina Whigs, and
it was now determined to make one great effort for his support. Measures
were accordingly taken for keeping 2,000 militia in the field; he
received a number of horses for the use of his cavalry, together with a
fresh supply of arms. Three hundred horses, imported by Jefferson to
prevent their falling into the hands of the British, were also sent to
him from Virginia.

Thus recruited and reinforced, Greene, being joined also by the partisan
corps of Marion, at the commencement of the cool season, marched up the
Wateree to Camden, in South Carolina, crossed first that river, then the
Congaree, and thus approached the British army, commanded by Colonel
Stuart, who had succeeded Lord Rawdon, which retired before him down the
Santee to Eutaw Springs, whither Greene pursued them. It was the 8th of
September when the two armies, about equal in force, engaged. The
British were at first driven back in great confusion, victory strongly
inclining to the American side, but rallying again in a favourable post,
the British repulsed their assailants with heavy loss. The battle of
Eutaw Springs is memorable as being one of the bloodiest and the most
valiantly-contested fields of the war, and also for being the last of
any consequence at the South. The loss of the British was about 500,
with 250 prisoners, that of the Americans about the same.

Both sides, Hildreth tells us, claimed the victory, but all the
advantage accrued to the Americans. The British immediately retired to
Monk’s Corner, and were thus restricted to the narrow tract between the
rivers Ashley and Cooper. Congress, in acknowledgment of Greene’s
service in this battle, voted him their thanks and presented him with a
conquered standard and a medal struck for the occasion. He, however, was
too much exhausted to continue active operations. His troops were
barefoot and half naked; he had no hospital stores, hardly even salt,
and his ammunition was very low. He retired again to the hills of the

                              CHAPTER XII.

We now return to Washington, who at length received the long-wished-for
intelligence, that De Grasse, with the French fleet, was approaching the
Chesapeake. Admiral Rodney, who had been busy in the West Indies,
whither De Grasse had also sailed, apprehending that a part of the
French fleet would proceed to the American coast, had sent Hood, with
fourteen ships of the line, to reinforce Admiral Graves, who commanded
on the American station. Hood arrived off the Chesapeake, August 25th,
and not finding Graves there as he expected, proceeded to New York,
where he learned that Du Barras, who commanded the French squadron at
Newport, in Rhode Island, had put to sea three days before, evidently
with the design of a junction with the French West India fleet. In the
hope of intercepting this junction, Graves sailed with the united
English fleet; but had the mortification of discovering on his arrival,
September 5th, off the entrance of the Chesapeake, that De Grasse had
arrived six days before, and now, with four-and-twenty ships of the
line, lay safely at anchor inside Cape Henry.

All the present operations of the combined American and French forces
were evidently the result of a well-concerted plan, besides which an
extraordinary coincidence occurred in their several movements by sea and
land, which was beyond the reach of calculation. We have already seen
that Du Barras sailed from Rhode Island on the 25th of August; on the
28th De Grasse arrived with his fleet at the Chesapeake. On the same day
the French and American armies reached the Head of Elk, and an hour
after their arrival received an express from De Grasse, with the welcome
intelligence of his safe anchorage at Cape Henry. This is the more
remarkable when we consider the distance of the parties from each other
as well as the scene of action, and the difficulties and delays to which
all were liable.[46] But the run of ill luck which had hitherto attended
every combined attempt of the French and Americans appeared now to have
changed. All went well with them, as in the rapid winding up of a long
story, where the heroes are crowned with especial success as a
compensation for past sorrows and sufferings.

Du Barras, however, did not arrive in the Chesapeake for near a
fortnight after De Grasse, having put out to sea from fear of being
intercepted by the British fleet, which was a very necessary caution, as
he had under his charge the transports which conveyed from Rhode Island
the heavy ordnance and other necessaries indispensable for the siege of
York Town, and upon which the success of the enterprise depended. De
Grasse, in the meantime, sent four ships of the line and several
frigates to block up James and York rivers, so as to cut off the retreat
of Cornwallis, and landed also 3,000 French troops, under the Marquis
St. Simon, who had joined La Fayette, then at Williamsburg.

The first intelligence which Admiral Graves received of the French
fleet, was the discovery of it, early in the morning of September 5th,
lying within the mouth of the Chesapeake. Each enemy was an unwelcome
sight to the other, and the French ships immediately stood out to sea.
For five days the two fleets manœuvred in sight of each other; a distant
cannonade was kept up; but De Grasse had no intention of coming to a
close action, his sole object was to keep possession of the Chesapeake,
and to cover the arrival of Du Barras with his squadron and convoy from
Rhode Island. All this was done so successfully that Du Barras entered
the bay without the slightest impediment, on the 10th of September,
which was in fact signing the doom of Lord Cornwallis; and the French
fleet, no whit the worse, returned to their old anchorage in the
Chesapeake; while Graves, who had suffered considerably, having lost two
of his ships and been obliged to burn a third, sailed immediately to New
York to refit. On the 17th of September, transports began to bring down
a portion of the French and American armies from the Head of Elk, while
Washington proceeded with the remainder to Annapolis, whence they too
were conveyed by the same easy mode to Williamsburg, where all had
arrived by the end of the month. Washington and the principal commanders
having already had an interview, the plan of operations was agreed upon.
Before, however, we proceed to this, we must return to Sir Henry

Having at length discovered the true purpose of Washington’s deeply-laid
scheme, Sir Henry Clinton attempted to prevent its full accomplishment,
by rendering it necessary for that commander to divide his forces.
Arnold, therefore, having now returned from Virginia, was immediately
despatched on a plundering expedition against Connecticut, of which
state he was an unworthy native.

Landing his troops from the shore of Long Island, in the night of the
6th of September, at New London, a resort of privateers and the seat of
the West India trade, Arnold advanced up the Thames, at the mouth of
which New London is situated, and having taken Fort Trumball, about a
mile below the town, New London was plundered and then burned, and a
large amount of property destroyed. On the other side of the river was
Fort Griswold, which, being strongly garrisoned, was resolutely defended
by Colonel Ledyard. At length, however, it was carried by assault, with
a loss to the British of 200 men, and the retaliation for this loss was
as cowardly as it was bloody. Entering the fort, a British officer
inquired who was the commander. “I was,” replied Colonel Ledyard,
presenting his sword, “but now you are.” On these words the weapon so
surrendered was plunged into the bosom of the late brave commander, and
an almost general slaughter followed; forty out of 160 being all that

Washington, to Clinton’s disappointment, took no notice of this
movement, but proceeded calmly with his operations in the South; and
these enormities having roused a spirit in Connecticut which Arnold did
not dare to encounter, he retreated to New York. The loss which the
Americans sustained, besides about a dozen ships which were burnt, was
very great. The quantities of naval stores, of European manufactures,
and of East and West India goods found here, was almost incredible.
Everything on the town-side of the river was destroyed by fire. Nothing
was carried off excepting such small articles of spoil as afforded no
trouble in the conveyance.[47]

The British had taught the Americans much important war-craft during
this long struggle; as for instance, in the general orders which
Washington gave to his American troops, he charged them to use and
depend upon the bayonet, as their best and most essential weapon, in
case they should be encountered on the march from Williamsburg, assuring
them that they would by that means effectually cure the vanity of the
British troops, who attributed to themselves so decided a superiority in
that sort of close and trying combat. Nor did he omit any opportunity of
exciting that honourable emulation between the allied troops which
appeared so conspicuously in the subsequent operations.[48]

The combined French and American armies having, by the help of the
French transports, formed a junction with La Fayette at Williamsburg,
proceeded on the last days of September to invest Lord Cornwallis in
York Town. Their whole force amounted to 16,000, 7,000 of whom were
French picked men, the very flower of the army. The British force, about
8,000 in number, were chiefly at York Town, which had been made as
strong as possible, Cornwallis having abandoned his more distant posts,
which had been intended to command the peninsula, as too much exposed to
be maintained under present circumstances. These, therefore, were all
immediately seized by the combined armies. The post at Gloucester Point,
opposite to York Town, was occupied by the famous Tarleton, with both
cavalry and infantry, amounting to about 600 men.

On the evening of the 9th of October the batteries were opened against
the town, the works of which, even had they been completed, would have
been incapable of sustaining such a weight of force; but, as it was, the
British troops were as much employed in their construction, amid the
fire of the enemy, as in their defence. In a few days most of their guns
were dismounted and silenced; their defences in many places broken down.
Shells and red-hot ball had reached even the British ships in the
harbour, several of which were burned.

In the meantime, Sir Henry Clinton, who had learned the junction of the
Rhode Island squadron with the French fleet, from Admiral Graves on his
return to New York, and of the peril which threatened Lord Cornwallis,
lost no time in refitting and equipping a fleet to aid in extricating
him and his army. Accordingly, on the 19th of October, with upwards of
7,000 of his best forces, Sir Henry Clinton set sail on this important
service, with twenty-five ships of the line and eight frigates. All felt
the greatness of the enterprise; the spirit, it is said, which
influenced both officers and common men was full of enthusiasm, all
believing that whatever the result might he, they were about to be
engaged in one of the most obstinate and bloody naval battles ever

On the 5th of October, Lord Cornwallis received a letter from New York,
informing him of the relief that would sail thence for him about that
date. But it was a fortnight later before the fleet passed the bar of
New York harbour; and in the meantime, while Lord Cornwallis was
anxiously expecting relief which never came, events were proceeding

The most interesting feature of the siege was the storming of two
redoubts, which, standing forward, greatly impeded the progress of the
besiegers. It was determined, therefore, to attack these as the darkness
of night fell, on the 14th. The attack of the one was committed to the
Americans, under Colonel Hamilton, Washington’s aide-de-camp, and the
other to the French, the one nation emulating the other in the honour
and the duty of the enterprise. Both were successful; both redoubts were
taken, when daylight appeared, but the loss of the French was the

So important did Lord Cornwallis consider the taking of these redoubts,
that, writing to Sir Henry Clinton the following day, he said that “he
considered his situation desperate.” Using, however, all means to
procrastinate, he anxiously and impatiently waited for relief from New
York; but in vain.

At length, when no relief came, and when, on the 16th, a hundred pieces
of heavy ordnance had so ruined the works and overpowered the batteries
that the besieged could not show a single gun, and their shells, their
sole means of defence, were nearly exhausted, Lord Cornwallis
determined, as a last resource before surrendering, to attempt an escape
with the greater part of his troops. Accordingly boats were secretly
prepared; and abandoning the baggage, the troops during the night were
to pass over to Gloucester Point, to cut their way through a French
detachment posted in the rear of that place, and by rapid marches to
reach New York in safety. The first debarkation had been made towards
midnight in safety, when the weather, which had hitherto been moderate,
instantly changed, and a violent storm drove the boats down the river.
It was impossible to bring back the landed troops; and thus weakened and
discouraged, the danger of the army was still further increased.

Means of defence there were none; their hopes of succour were at an end;
the troops were diminished and worn out by constant watching and
unremitting fatigue.

To avoid, therefore, the useless shedding of blood by an assault,
Cornwallis wrote to Washington on the 17th, proposing a suspension of
hostilities for twenty-four hours, and that commissioners might be
appointed to settle terms of capitulation.

On the 19th, the posts of York Town and Gloucester were surrendered, and
the British troops, about 7,000 in number, became prisoners of war to
Washington. The ships and naval stores, with 1,500 seamen, were given up
to the French. The officers and soldiers retained their baggage, but all
visible property was liable to be seized. Washington would not grant any
expressly favourable conditions, as Lord Cornwallis wished, on behalf of
the loyalists who were under British protection in the town, alleging
that theirs were civil offences which did not come under the authority
of a military commander. One favour, however, was granted—that
Cornwallis should be allowed the use of a ship ostensibly to convey
despatches to New York, and which should be allowed to pass unexamined.
In this vessel many obnoxious persons escaped.

General Lincoln, who had surrendered his sword to Lord Cornwallis at
Charleston, by a sort of poetical justice, was appointed to receive the
sword of the British commander on this occasion; and not forgetting what
the British had then demanded, the capitulating force was now required
to march out of the town with their colours cased.

As regarded the general treatment both of officers and men, nothing,
however, could have been nobler. Lord Cornwallis, in his public letter
to England, testified to the “kindness and consideration of the enemy.”
The kindness and attention shown by the French officers in particular,
he says, “have really gone far beyond what I can possibly describe, and
will, I hope, make an impression on the breast of every British officer,
whenever the fortune of war shall put any of them in our power.”

It is mentioned as a singular circumstance in the events of this
surrender that the American commissioner appointed to draw up the terms
of capitulation was Colonel Laurens, son of Laurens, late president of
congress, who was at that time prisoner in the Tower of London.

On the 24th of October, five days after the fall of York Town, Sir Henry
Clinton and the British fleet arrived off the capes of Chesapeake, where
they first learned that they had arrived too late, and that Cornwallis
had surrendered, on which mortifying intelligence, and unwilling to
encounter the superior French fleet, they hastily returned to New York.

Washington would gladly have finished this successful campaign by an
attack on Charleston; but the Count de Grasse, fearing to remain on the
American coast in the stormy season which was at hand, sailed shortly
after for the West Indies. Count Rochambeau cantoned his troops during
the winter at Williamsburg. Wayne, with 2,000 Pennsylvanian
continentals, marched to reinforce Greene’s army in South Carolina,
while the main body of the American army returned to their old positions
on the Hudson. The prisoners of Cornwallis’s army were marched over the
mountains to Winchester, whence a part of them were sent to Lancaster in

The surrender of Cornwallis was in effect the end of the war. The
British power was now reduced merely to defensive measures, and was
confined principally to the cities of New York, Charleston and Savannah.
Wilmington was very soon evacuated, thus putting an end to all the hopes
of the loyalists of North Carolina; and early in January, Greene
approaching Charleston, so distributed his troops as to confine the
British to the Neck and the adjoining islands.

The news of the important victory of the allied armies in the South
caused a general rejoicing throughout the Union. Nothing could equal the
joy and satisfaction caused by the prospect which it afforded.
Washington ordained a particular day for the performance of Divine
service in the army, recommending that all the troops should engage in
it with a serious deportment and that sensibility of heart which the
surprising and particular interposition of Providence in their favour

Congress, on receiving the official intelligence, went in procession to
the principal church in Philadelphia, to return thanks to Almighty God
for the signal success of the American arms, and appointed the 13th day
of December as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.[50]

The official intelligence of the surrender of Lord Cornwallis reached
the British cabinet on Sunday, Nov. 25th. The tidings were a blow to the
minister, Lord North, who according to Lord George Germaine’s account,
received them as he would have done a cannon-ball. He paced up and down
the apartment, exclaiming with the deepest emotions of consternation and
distress, “Oh God, it is all over!” The king was more calm, perhaps
because he was of a more stolid nature. Lord George Germaine
communicated the “dismal intelligence” by letter. The king replied that
he “particularly lamented the unfortunate result of the operations in
Virginia, on account of the consequences connected with it, and the
difficulties which it might produce in carrying on the public business,
or in repairing the misfortune. It would not, however,” he asserted,
“make the slightest alterations in those principles of his conduct which
had hitherto directed him, and which would always continue to direct
him, in the prosecution of the present contest.”[51]

Accordingly, the speech from the throne, on the re-opening of
parliament, two days after this news had arrived, breathed the same
warlike spirit as at the late close of the session. Nevertheless, a
strong opposition existed in parliament; the war was extremely unpopular
with the British nation at large; and from the 12th of December to the
4th of the following March, motion after motion was brought forward in
the house, for the termination of the war, when, on this latter day, a
resolution was moved by General Conway, “that all those should be
considered as enemies to his majesty and the country who should advise,
or by any means attempt, the further prosecution of the war in America.”

On the 20th, the administration of Lord North terminated, and the
advocates of peace and American independence immediately came into
power, the Marquis of Rockingham being at the head of the ministry.
Hopes of some possible accommodation were entertained, by Lord Shelburne
and his party, according to Lord Chatham’s ideas. Overtures were made to
Adams at the Hague, and to Franklin at Paris, to ascertain whether the
United States would agree to a separate peace, and to something short of
the entire recognition of their independence. Sir Guy Carleton, who was
appointed to supersede Sir Henry Clinton, was commissioned to treat for
peace. He addressed, therefore, a pacific letter to Washington, and put
a stop to the predatory incursions of the loyalist Indians, which had
been long the scourge of the New York frontiers. Powers to treat were
communicated to congress; but that body declined to negotiate except in
conjunction with France, and at Paris. Franklin also had returned for
answer, through Richard Oswald, a British merchant who had formerly
large commercial dealings with America, and who had been sent to Paris
for the purpose of sounding him, that nothing short of independence,
satisfactory boundaries, and a participation in the fisheries, would be
admitted as the foundation for a treaty.

On July 1st, Lord Rockingham died, and Lord Shelburne succeeded him. The
views of the king were now strengthened by his minister’s disinclination
for the dismemberment of the empire. Rodney had captured nearly the
whole fleet of De Grasse in the West Indies, and England was again
triumphant in the western hemisphere. Nevertheless the king, in
proroguing parliament on July 11th, spoke of his anxious wish for peace.
In August, an act of parliament was obtained, authorising a negotiation
with America, and Oswald returned to France, to treat with the American
agents and commissioners, Franklin, Adams and Jay.

Difficulties arose immediately. The commissioners were authorised to
conclude a peace with the agents of certain Colonies. Jay objected, and
refused to proceed until Oswald came empowered to treat with the agents
of the “United States of America.” This objection being overcome, others
had arisen in the meantime. The French minister, Vergennes, from what
motive does not exactly appear—perhaps from not being wholly favourable
to the new republic—while he instigated the Americans to insist on their
share of the Newfoundland fishery, urged the British government not to
make the concession. The British agents, however, aware of the double
dealing of Vergennes, exposed it, and satisfied the American
commissioners that in this respect nothing was to be feared; and no time
was lost in bringing the treaty to a conclusion. On the 30th of
November, therefore, the preliminaries of the articles of peace were
signed at a private meeting unknown to Vergennes, although this
proceeding was contrary to their original treaty with France and the
late orders of congress.

Vergennes complained of being duped, and felt, or pretended, great
indignation at what he called American chicanery; nevertheless, so
little did it affect him that, a few days afterwards, he agreed to
advance a new loan of six million of livres, to enable America to meet
the expenses of the coming year. But there was good reason for
suspicion: Vergennes was soon afterwards discovered, in conjunction with
Spain, labouring to limit the boundaries assigned to the United States,
and earnestly advising the British not to yield too liberally.[52]

So anxious was the British minister to announce the coming peace, that
eight days before the preliminaries were signed by the American agents,
he addressed a letter to the lord mayor of London, to acquaint him with
the speedy conclusion of the negotiations, and that parliament would be
prorogued in consequence from the 26th of November to the 5th of

On the 5th of December parliament accordingly met, and the king
announced that, in pursuit of a general pacification, he had offered to
declare the American colonies free and independent states; and added,
with evident discomposure of manner, that in admitting the separation of
the colonies from the crown of Great Britain, he had sacrificed every
consideration of his own to the wishes and opinion of his people.

On the 20th of January, 1783, the preliminaries of peace were signed at
Paris, the American signatures being those of John Adams, Benjamin
Franklin, John Jay, and Henry Laurens. Before signing the address,
Franklin, it is said, put on triumphantly the dress suit, which he had
never worn since the day of Wedderburn’s attack in the British privy

The British monarch acknowledged by these arrangements the freedom,
sovereignty and independence of the United States, relinquishing all
claims to the government, proprietary, and territorial rights of the
same. The boundaries allowed embraced a larger extent of territory than
the States, when colonies, had claimed. At the commencement of the
negotiation, the British commissioners had claimed the country north of
the Ohio as a part of Canada, to which, indeed, the Quebec act annexed
it. They sought also to extend the western limits of Nova Scotia, as far
as the Pemaquid, according to the old French claim. These points,
however, were compromised; the peninsula of Upper Canada was yielded to
the British, the eastern boundary of the United States remaining fixed
at the St. Croix. The northern limit of Florida, according to the
proclamation of 1763, was agreed to as the southern boundary of the
United States, being the river St. Mary’s from its mouth to its source,
a due west line thence to the Apalachicola, and from that river to the
Mississippi, the 31st degree of north latitude. But, by a secret
article, it was agreed that if Britain, at the peace with Spain, should
still retain West Florida, the northern boundary of that province was to
be a due east line from the mouth of the Yazoo to the river

Full liberty was secured to the Americans to take fish of every kind on
the Grand Bank, and all other banks of Newfoundland, as also in the Gulf
of St. Lawrence, and all other places in the sea where they had formerly
been accustomed to fish. The navigation of the Mississippi, from its
source to the ocean, was for ever to remain free and open to the
subjects of Great Britain and the citizens of the United States alike.
All the British armies, garrisons and fleets, were to be withdrawn with
all convenient speed from the United States, without causing _any
destruction, or carrying away of negroes, or any other property of the
Americans_; this last clause being inserted at the instance of Henry
Laurens, who represented the slaveholding interests of America, and who
had arrived at Paris two days previous to the signing of the
preliminaries. A great deal was said on the subject of allowing
compensation to the American loyalists, an unfortunate class which had
strong claims on the British government. The American commissioners,
however, resolutely opposed all compensation, Franklin even declaring
that they would rather risk a war by themselves alone than consent to
any indemnification for the enemies of and the traitors to their
country. A clause was, however, inserted, earnestly recommending the
legislatures of the respective States to provide for the restitution of
all estates, rights, and properties which had been confiscated,
belonging to real British subjects.

While these negotiations and events were taking place in Europe, all was
not peace and satisfaction in America; and as regarded the case of the
loyalists, the prospect of peace with the concession of Great Britain
was anything but acceptable. We will take one incident to show the state
of feeling between the two parties. After the American successes in the
Carolinas and Georgia, and the capitulation of York Town, the loyalists,
maddened by the loss of their property and friends, and the hopeless
prospects before them for the future, determined to take the law into
their own hands, and on the first occasion hang a republican in
retaliation. White, a loyalist, had been put to death for some cause on
the 30th of March; on the 12th of April, therefore, Joshua Huddy, a
captain in Washington’s army, was seized and hanged, with the following
label on his breast: “We, the refugees, having beheld with grief the
murders of our brethren, determine not to suffer without taking
vengeance, and thus begin; and have made use of Captain Huddy as the
first object to present to your view; and further determine to hang man
for man while there is a refugee existing. _Up goes Huddy for Philip

Savage as was this spirit of vengeance, it was the natural growth of the
terrible struggle which for so many years had been going forward in the
heart of the country, and which gradually transformed men into fiends.
This Philip White, it appears, was murdered by a set of men called the
“Monmouth Retaliators,” at the head of which was a General Forman,
otherwise “Black David.” Captain Huddy, it was said, was also himself a
retaliator. Sir Henry Clinton immediately ordered the murderers of Huddy
to be arrested; and Captain Lippincott, their leader, being tried by
court-martial, a verdict of Not Guilty was returned, on the plea that he
had merely acted in obedience to the commands of his superiors, the
“Directors of the Board of Associated Loyalists.” Washington,
dissatisfied with this decision, demanded that Lippincott should be
given up to him, to be tried by republican law, which being refused, he
wrote again, declaring that he, too, in that case, would retaliate. A
few days after this second letter, Sir Henry Clinton was superseded by
Sir Guy Carleton, who brought with him the first intimation of the
willingness of the British government to treat for peace with the United
States on the basis of their independence. To him Washington applied on
the subject of Lippincott, declaring, as he had already done to Sir
Henry Clinton, his intention of retaliation, if Lippincott were not
given up. The young officer selected by lot for this melancholy and
wicked purpose was Captain Asgill, a prisoner taken at York Town, son of
Sir Charles Asgill, and only nineteen years of age. Sir Guy Carleton, in
reply to Washington’s demand, very properly broke up the Society of
Associated Loyalists; but Lippincott was still not given up. In the
meantime, the rank and peculiar circumstances of young Asgill had
aroused a strong party to intercede in his behalf; but it was not until
November that this young man was set at liberty and allowed to return
home. Whether in reality he would have suffered innocently under
Washington’s threat of retaliation, we cannot say; but his liberation
appears rather to have been the result of interference than a voluntary
concession on the part of the American commander. Lady Asgill wrote, in
July, a very affecting letter to the French minister Vergennes,
beseeching his interference as a friend of Washington’s, with that
commander; and this letter being read by Vergennes to the king and queen
of France, they commissioned the minister to add their desires to his
own, “that the inquietudes of an unfortunate mother might be calmed, and
her tenderness reassured.” Washington, on this, forwarded the copy of
Lady Asgill’s letter, which had been sent to him, together with that of
the French minister, to congress, and the result was an order from that
body, dated 7th of November, to set Captain Asgill at liberty.

                             CHAPTER XIII.

Another great cause of anxiety at this moment, though by no means a
fresh one, was the poverty of the American government, which rendered
the situation of the Republic, even after it had achieved its object,
extremely critical. In the prospect of peace, and the consequent
disbanding of the army, where was the money to be found to pay its long
arrears, to say nothing of the gratuities which had been promised to
both officers and men on the termination of the war? In May, 1782,
Washington wrote of his army on the Hudson, as destitute of provisions
and in a state of disorder and almost mutiny; and that if the British
knew his real situation, and were to make a sudden attempt, he must be
driven from his post. Of the army in the South, also, General Greene
wrote in August an account still more melancholy. He said that of his
men, one-third were “entirely naked, with nothing but a pair of breeches
about them, and never came out of their tents,” and that the remainder
were “as ragged as wolves.” Their food was as bad as it could be, “their
beef perfect carrion, and even of that they had often none at all;” and
that the spirit of the army was so mutinous that executions were not
unfrequent to check it. Washington feared that even this terrible remedy
would lose its effect, and that peace with Britain, if it came, might be
succeeded by a social war, so difficult would it be to disband an army
with weapons in their hands, who had no prospect before them but poverty
and starvation. Well might a deep gloom rest at this time upon his mind.

In the month of July, the rate of interest demanded for money was sixty
per cent. In September, Morris, on whose credit the national bank in
Philadelphia had been established, confessed that he had no money, and
as to borrowing more, it would only increase the mischief, as he saw no
prospect of payment.

About this same time the French auxiliary army marched from Virginia to
Boston, where it embarked. Hildreth says that the conduct of the French
troops, during the two years and a half that they had been in the
country, had been very exemplary. They had done less mischief on their
marches than the same number of American soldiers; and the regularity
with which all their supplies were paid for in cash, contrasted most
favourably with the means by which the American troops were too often

The boundary line of some of the states having, as we have already said,
been a fertile subject of dispute for many years, became in some few
instances settled during the present year. Hence, the western boundary
of Pennsylvania being decided, Pittsburg returned again to the
jurisdiction of that state. The quarrel, too, was adjusted between
Connecticut and Pennsylvania, relative to the territorial claim to
Wyoming, which also was settled in favour of the larger state, not
wholly, however, to the satisfaction of the people of Wyoming.

Between Vermont and New York an old dispute existed. New York asserted a
claim to the whole territory—Vermont resolutely resisted it; and being
peopled by a stout, determined race, the Green Mountain Boys had, as we
have already related, declared themselves, in 1778, an independent
state, and as such had applied to congress for admission into the Union.
The delegates of New York prevented their admission, but nothing daunted
by their rejection, they organised their own constitution, and chose the
farmer and innkeeper, Thomas Chittenden, as governor. To be an innkeeper
in those primitive, sturdy times, was not to be a man of an inferior
class: three American generals, Putnam, Wheedon, and Sumner, were
innkeepers, as well as the clear-headed and stout-hearted governor of
Vermont. Besides the dispute with New York, the Green Mountain Boys had
a second with their equally sturdy neighbour, New Hampshire, the ground
of which was this: sixteen newly-settled townships, on the eastern side
of the Connecticut River, had applied to be received as a part of
Vermont, in order to escape from the heavy taxes which the war rendered
it necessary to impose. The townships on both sides of the river next
endeavoured to constitute themselves into a new state, under the name of
New Connecticut. This secession caused New Hampshire, in retaliation, to
lay claim to the whole territory of Vermont. New Hampshire and New York
both claiming Vermont, Massachusetts next started up as a claimant also,
and demanded, on the plea of her old rights, the whole southern portion
of this coveted little state. Congress now offered to interfere and
settle the question of this disputed territory, which Massachusetts
objected to, in the fear that by this means she would not come in for
any portion at all. Vermont, in the meantime, had made up her mind to
abide no decision of congress, any more than to yield to any of the
separate claimant states, and now took a step, in the persons of her
bold sons, the farmer Chittenden and the two warlike brothers Ethan and
Ira Allen, the true intention of which has never yet been clearly
ascertained. Negotiations were entered into with the British authorities
in Canada, probably with a twofold view of guarding against invasion
from that side in the present critical state of their affairs, and of
operating on the fears of congress. The scheme appeared to answer its
purpose; congress promised to recognise Vermont as an independent state,
providing she would relinquish her encroachments on New York and New
Hampshire. Vermont deliberated; and New York and New Hampshire
protesting against the interference of congress, declared that they
would send in troops to establish their claims to the whole. Civil war
seemed at hand, when Washington interfered, like the parent among his
quarrelsome children, and recommended that the New Hampshire townships
should be restored to the original state, which was agreed to, and
Vermont again applied to be received into the Union, when again New York
interfered to prevent the accomplishment of her wishes. This was in
February, 1782, when peace with Great Britain was looked upon as
certain. And now came a time when Vermont triumphed over her more
powerful neighbours, and cared very little for admission into the Union.
She was thus free from continental debt, and the perpetual calls of
congress for money.

The opposition which New York made to the admission of Vermont into the
Union was strengthened by the four Southern States, who dreaded lest
their own backwoodsmen should follow the example of the bold little
northern state. Kentucky, which in 1781 had increased so greatly that it
was divided into three counties—Jefferson, Fayette, and Lincoln—had, as
we already know, long since petitioned congress on the subject, and
similar ideas prevailed among the settlers on the Tennessee.[54]

Though the main armies were lying in a state of inactivity during the
present year of pacific negotiation, war still prevailed, and that with
unusual severity, on the western frontiers. The Christian Delawares
settled on the river Muskinghum, in the present state of Ohio, where
they had many flourishing and populous villages, suffered cruelly at
this period. Unlike the Indians in general, they had, as followers of
Christ, renounced war and the weapons of war, and aimed at preserving
throughout these troubled times a perfect neutrality. The hostile
Indians, on their way from Detroit and the north-west to the American
frontiers, demanded supplies from these Delawares, whose villages lay
directly on the war-path, and which they had no means of refusing. Hence
they were regarded by the backwoodsmen as “the half-way-house” of the
enemy, and compelled, in the autumn of 1781, to abandon their peaceful
and prosperous homes, and remove to Sandusky on Lake Erie. The following
winter, being reduced to great suffering from the want of provisions,
they obtained permission to return to the Muskinghum, to gather in the
corn left standing in the fields. Just then some murders being
committed, near Pittsburg, by a wandering party of Shawanees, the
Delawares, though innocent, were suspected, and about ninety men of the
neighbourhood, under the leadership of one Williamson, marched to the
Muskinghum to take vengeance. For want of a canoe, they crossed the
river in a wooden trough made to hold maple sap, two men at once, and
arrived at the centre village, where a party of Christian Indians were
gathering in their corn. The Indians of another village were sent for,
and a council held to decide on their fate. Williamson referred the
matter to his men. Sixteen only voted for mercy, the remainder, holding
the faith common on the frontiers, that “an Indian had no more soul than
a buffalo,” were for the murder of all. They rushed on their prey, knife
in hand, and soon ninety unarmed Indians, avowing, like themselves,
faith in Christ, lay bleeding on the ground.

Nor did this satisfy them. Flushed with success, continues Hildreth,
from whom we take this account, 480 men marched in May, under Colonels
Williamson and Crawford, to complete the destruction of the Christian
Indians, by assailing Sandusky, which, however, lay in the midst of
Indians of a very different character. Waylaid by a hostile party near
Sandusky, they were attacked by an overwhelming force, and obliged to
retreat with much loss of life. Williamson made his escape, but Crawford
and many more fell into the hands of the Indians, who burned him at the
stake, together with his son and his son-in-law, in revenge for the
murders at the Muskinghum.

1782 was a disastrous year in Kentucky, from the same cause. Several
Indian battles occurred, but the one at the Big Blue Lick was the
bloodiest ever fought in Kentucky. We will give it somewhat in detail,
from Lippincott’s Cabinet History of Kentucky, as a specimen of border
warfare; and a picture also of the perils of backwoods-life. On the
southern banks of the Elkhorn stood Bryant’s Station, containing about
forty cabins, strongly palisadoed and garrisoned by fifty men. On the
12th of August, news reached them that a Captain Holden, with a party of
seventeen, had been defeated by the Indians near the Upper Blue Licks,
and that the loyalist, Simon Girty, with other refugees, and an army of
600 Indian warriors, might be almost hourly expected. The garrison, thus
warned, were under arms when Girty and his army approached. The enemy,
aware that preparation was made for their reception, left a considerable
body in ambush near the spring which, at some little distance, supplied
the station with water, and only a small portion appeared before the
place, hoping to entice the garrison outside their defences, while the
remainder were so posted, in case this scheme succeeded, as to storm one
of the gates and cut off their return. Fortunately, however, when just
about to sally forth, a sudden firing in the opposite direction made
them aware of their danger, and closing their gates, they awaited the
enemy within their defences. But they had no water. Without water they
must perish. In this difficulty the women came to their aid. They would
venture to fetch water from the spring, in the hope that the Indians
lying in ambush would not unmask themselves merely to women. Accordingly
a body of elderly matrons marched down to the spring, where lay about
500 Indian warriors in ambush. Their faith saved them; they supplied the
wants of the station, and not a single shot was fired.

Messengers were sent off to all the nearest stations to summon help,
which might now soon be expected; accordingly thirteen young men sallied
out upon the decoy-party, and at that moment Girty rushed forward at the
head of the main body towards the gate intending to force an entrance.
But the garrison was ready for him and his party, and they were driven
back. In a few minutes they were again out of sight. About two o’clock
in the afternoon, sixteen men on horseback, and about double that number
on foot, from a neighbouring station, approached in aid of their
besieged friends. All was silent, no enemy to be seen. On one side of
the road which led to the village, lay a large field of 100 acres full
of standing corn; a thick wood was on the other, and amid the corn and
within the wood were the Indians crouched, waiting within pistol-shot
the approach of this little band. As the horsemen entered the lane a
sudden firing commenced. They put spurs to their horses, the lane was
deep in dust, amid a cloud of which they escaped and reached the fort
unharmed, the gates of which were opened to receive them. The men on
foot were less fortunate; passing by a short cut through the corn, they
heard the firing and rushed to the succour of their friends. Luckily the
Indian guns being then mostly discharged, and the rifles of the
Kentuckians loaded, they had some advantage, and by pointing them at the
Indians, and dodging and running deeper into the corn, were enabled to
keep them at bay for some time.

Some entered the wood and escaped through the cane thickets; some were
shot down; others maintained a running fight, stopping to load and fire
from behind trees. One stout young fellow, being hard pressed by Girty
and several Indians, fired; Girty fell, but the ball struck a thick
piece of soling-leather which lined a pouch which he wore, and saved his
life. Six white men were killed, not so many Indians.

The Indians now returned to the fort, and knowing that the neighbouring
station would soon take the alarm and rush to the aid of their friends,
the chiefs proposed to raise the siege, but Girty determined to try the
effect of negotiation first. Crawling on his hands and knees, therefore,
in Indian fashion, to the close neighbourhood of one of the gates, where
stood the stump of a tree, he mounted it, and with a flag of truce in
his hand hailed the garrison, commending them for their bravery, but
assuring them that resistance was vain, as he had 600 men with him and
hourly expected reinforcements and artillery, and advising them,
therefore, to surrender, when not a hair of their heads should be
hurt—otherwise he would blow the whole place into the air. “Shoot down
the villain!” said many voices; but the flag of truce protected him. No
answer being returned, he cried, “Do you know who it is that speaks to

“Do we know you?” exclaimed an energetic young man named Reynolds, who
undertook to give reply in the name of the garrison; “Yes, we know you,
Simon Girty!” and then proceeding in the same strain, he said, that he
himself had a good-for-nothing rascally dog, and that for want of a bad
name he called him Simon Girty; adding, that if he had artillery coming
he might bring it up; that they too expected reinforcements; and that,
in short, if Girty and his gang remained four-and-twenty hours longer
before the place, their scalps would be soon drying on the roofs of the

Such was the reply to Girty. It was very offensive, but it was
irresistible, and the next morning they retired so precipitately that
several pieces of meat upon their roasting-sticks were left and their
fires still burning. By noon 160 men had assembled at Bryant’s Station,
under Colonels Todd, Trigg, Boone, and the celebrated Major M‘Gary. The
Kentuckians are remarkable for their impetuosity, which amounts almost
to rashness. In the afternoon they were all ready and impatient to set
off in pursuit; M’Gary objected to this precipitancy, but was overruled.
The party was mostly mounted.

At the Lower Blue Licks they came in sight of the enemy, who, having
reached the southern bank of the Licking, were then ascending the rocky
ridge on the other side. The Indians halted for a moment, turned round
and gazed at their pursuers, and then quietly proceeded onward. The
Kentuckians halted also, and consulted together what was best to be
done. Boone, who understood perfectly the Indian mode of warfare,
expressed his belief that an ambush was planted in a ravine about a mile
in advance. He advised to wait for Logan, who might be expected soon to
join them with reinforcements. Waiting, however, did not suit their
ardent temperaments; and M’Gary suddenly raising the war-whoop, spurred
his horse into the stream, waving his hat and shouting, “Let all who are
not cowards follow me!” and all followed him.

As Boone had expected, no sooner had they reached the ravine than they
were attacked; a deadly fire poured in upon them; they staggered and
fell in every direction, the enemy in the meantime being completely
concealed. They fled back to the river; the Indians pursued, and now the
slaughter with the tomahawk commenced. The ford was narrow, and great
numbers were killed there. It was a scene of horrible confusion—horses
plunging, riders falling, others attempting to mount, and amid all, the
bloody Indian tomahawk doing its cruel work.

One man named Netherfield, who had been laughed at as a coward, and who
had never dismounted, was the first to reach the opposite shore. Here,
soon joined by some of his comrades, he looked round, and seeing the
massacre that was going forward, pulled rein as he exclaimed, “Halt!
fire on the Indians! Protect the men in the river!” And on this all
wheeled round, fired, and rescued several poor fellows in the stream
over whom the tomahawk was lifted.

Reynolds, the young man who replied to Girty, had a narrow escape.
Finding in the retreat an officer wounded, he dismounted and gave him
his horse, when he was immediately seized by three Indians. They were
just about to despatch him, when two other white men rushed by. Two of
the savages started in pursuit, and the third having stooped to fasten
his moccasin, Reynolds sprang away from him and escaped.

More than sixty Kentuckians were slain in this battle; among whom were
six officers and the son of Daniel Boone. Such as regained the shore,
too weak to rally, started homeward in great dejection. On their way
they met Logan. He had reached Bryant’s Station with 500 men, soon after
their departure. Nothing now remained but to go back and bury the dead.
Logan accompanied them. Arrived at the scene of carnage, an awful
spectacle presented itself; the dead bodies were strewed over the ground
as they had fallen; the heat was intense, and birds of prey were feeding
on the carcases. The bodies were so mangled that none could distinguish
friend or relative. The dead were buried as rapidly as possible.

Nor was this all the carnage. The Indians after the defeat had
scattered, but only to sweep through other settlements, carrying
everywhere destruction before them.

Innumerable instances of suffering fortitude and heroism abound in this
portion of the American border-history. One passage from the life of a
Kentucky pioneer we will give, even at the risk of being thought to
dwell too long on this subject.

During this same troubled year of 1782, late in the summer, predatory
bands of Indians having committed great ravages in the vicinity of
Elizabeth Town, Silas Hart, surnamed by the Indians “Sharp-Eye,”
assembled a party of settlers and pursued the marauders. In the pursuit
Hart shot their chief, and his brother, having vowed vengeance, came
secretly with a small band of warriors to Elizabeth Town, and commenced
the work of plunder and destruction.

The neighbourhood was roused, and the Indians fled, Hart being again the
foremost in pursuit. Finding it impossible to overtake the savages, the
people returned to their homes; and the Indians, who kept close watch
upon their movements, turned when they turned and followed them back to
the settlement.

Hart reached home, some five miles from Elizabeth Town, about dusk, and
fearing no enemy, went to bed and slept soundly. The next morning, the
Indians, who had secreted themselves round the house in the night,
suddenly appeared at the door, and the brother of the fallen chief
deliberately shot Hart dead. The son of Hart, a boy of twelve, no sooner
saw his father fall than, grasping a rifle, he sent a bullet through the
chief before he could enter.

The Indians rushed into the house; again the foremost warrior was killed
by a blow from a hunting-knife in the hands of the resolute boy; the
family, however, were speedily overpowered and carried into captivity.
The daughter, unable to bear the fatigues of a forced march, was
despatched by the Indians at a short distance from the settlement. The
mother and son were doomed to a lingering and painful death.

When the prisoners reached the Wabash, preparations were made for their
execution. Fortunately, the extraordinary heroism of the boy having
touched the heart of an influential woman of the tribe, his life was
spared at her intercession. Mrs. Hart was also saved from the stake by
the intervention of a chief. The mother and son were finally ransomed
and returned to their desolate homes.

The back settlements of South Carolina were ravaged also by parties of
loyalists and Cherokees, the brother of General Pickens being on one
occasion made prisoner. At the head of a body of South Carolina and
Georgia militia, General Pickens, in return, invaded and laid waste the
Cherokee country.

In February, General Greene being reinforced by the Pennsylvanian troops
under Wayne, despatched him into Georgia, when Clarke, who commanded
there for the British, drew in his outposts, and having ravaged and
destroyed everything in his way, retired to Savannah. The people of
Georgia, republicans and loyalists, were so impoverished by mutual
plunder, that even seed-corn was hardly to be had. In June, Wayne’s camp
was attacked by a body of Creek Indians, who, however, were repulsed
with loss. In July, the British forces evacuated Savannah, carrying with
them not less than 5,000 negroes. In October, a new expedition against
the Cherokees, undertaken by Pickens, resulted in a treaty by which
Georgia obtained all the Cherokee lands south of the Savannah and east
of Chattahoochee, and the Creeks shortly after relinquished all claim to
the lands east of the Altamaha and Oconee. Skirmishing continued in the
neighbourhood of Charleston till near the end of the year, in which some
valuable lives were lost, that of the younger Laurens being one. On
December 14th, Charleston was evacuated.[55]

                              CHAPTER XIV.
                         FIRST YEARS OF PEACE.

The year 1783 commenced with the old money difficulties. Peace was now
certain; but the disbanding of the army without money to pay its
arrears, was a difficulty which all the wisdom and the courage of the
young republic knew not how to overcome. Many schemes were suggested;
among the rest, one had been started the preceding year, which, however,
met with no encouragement; but as it presents the noble spectacle of a
human being superior to temptation and ambition, we must be allowed to
pause upon it for a moment. One Louis Nicola, a colonel of the
Pennsylvanian line, regarding the financial difficulties of America as
the result of republican principles, became the agent of a party in the
army who held similar views. It was proposed, therefore, that a
monarchical government should be established, with Washington at his
head, the army, of course, coming in for a fair share of offices and
emoluments. Nicola was employed to lay the plan before the
commander-in-chief, which he did in a plausible and elaborate letter.
The government proposed for America was, however, to be no ordinary
monarchy; “nevertheless,” said the writer, “strong arguments might be
adduced for admitting the title of king.”

Washington’s ambition was not of that vulgar kind. The proposal
astonished, displeased and grieved him. He replied that no occurrence
during the whole war had caused him so much pain, as now to learn that
such ideas existed in the army, ideas which he viewed with abhorrence
and reprehended with severity. “I am at a loss,” continued he, “to
conceive what part of my conduct can have given encouragement to an
address which to me seems big with the greatest mischief which could
befall my country. If I am not deceived in the knowledge of myself, you
could not have found a person to whom your schemes are more
disagreeable.” “Nevertheless,” said Washington, turning to the root of
the mischief, “no man possesses a more sincere wish to see ample justice
done to the army than I do; and as far as my powers and influence, in a
constitutional way, extend, they shall be employed to effect it.”

No more was heard of making Washington king. But the causes of the
army’s discontent remained no less this year than they had done the
last, although congress did its utmost for their removal. Discontent and
disaffection were growing apace. Even Washington began now to be
censured for indifference towards their troubles, because he had not
removed them, and because his own private property left him independent
of pay, which in fact, he had declined from the first.

Congress was anxiously deliberating on some means of raising money, when
an anonymous invitation appeared, calling upon the general and
field-officers, with an officer from each company, to attend a meeting
on the following day, for the purpose of taking their own affairs into
consideration. At the same time an artful and energetic address was
circulated, written, as was afterwards discovered, by Captain Armstrong,
aide-de-camp to Gates, appealing to the passions of the officers,
setting forth their unrequited dangers and sufferings, and advising them
no longer to ask for justice from congress, but with arms in their hands
to obtain it from that body through their fears.

Washington, who was still in camp at Newburgh, seeing the fearful crisis
which was now at hand, issued an order denouncing the anonymous call for
the meeting as irregular, and naming a later day, on which the officers
were invited by himself to assemble for the purpose of receiving the
report of their committee sent to congress; while, in the meantime, he
had personal interviews with individual officers, and used all his
influence to calm their passions and to infuse a spirit of confidence
and patience.

The meeting assembled, and Washington rose to read a short speech which
he had prepared. He took off his spectacles to wipe them, remarking that
his eyes had grown dim in the service of his country, but that he had
never doubted her justice. He then, reading from the paper, appealed to
the patriotism and good sense of the officers, and entreated them to
rely on the justice of congress, and stigmatised the anonymous addresses
as the work of some British emissary, whose object was disgrace to the
army and ruin to the country. Then repeating in public the remonstrances
he had used in private to different officers, he retired from the
meeting. No one rose to counteract the effect of the speech. A series of
resolutions was then passed, expressive of unshaken confidence in
congress, “and abhorrence and disdain of the infamous proposal”
contained in the anonymous addresses.[56]

Washington had pledged himself to the army to use his utmost influence
with congress, and he redeemed his pledge. The half-pay for life which
had been promised, was soon after commuted into five years’ full pay at
once, the certificates to be issued for it to bear interest at six per

The insurrection among the officers had been quelled, but the army
itself was not satisfied. Three months’ pay had been promised, but as it
was not forthcoming, the men thought probably that neither could they do
better than appeal to the fears of congress, as the officers themselves
had just before recommended. Congress was sitting at Philadelphia, when
a letter demanding their pay was sent to that body by the Pennsylvanian
troops, just returned from the South, and immediately afterwards that
part of the troops stationed at Lancaster marched to Philadelphia for
the same purpose. Congress desired that the militia might be called out;
but the council of Pennsylvania, with President Dickenson at their head,
frightened at this threatening aspect, demurred, alleging that the
militia would not act unless some outrage were committed. The mutineers,
on reaching the city, were joined by the troops in barracks, and under
the command of seven sergeants surrounded the State-house, where
congress and the state council were sitting, and demanded immediate
payment. They were only induced to disperse on being allowed to choose a
committee to represent their grievances.

Congress, which felt itself doubly insulted by the mutineers and the
pusillanimity of the Philadelphia council, adjourned in disgust to
Princetown, where they were received with great respect. Washington, on
hearing of the revolt, sent 1,500 men, who instantly dispersed the
mutineers, several of whom were tried and condemned by court-martial,
but afterwards pardoned.

It now became a warmly-agitated question where congress should
permanently hold its sittings, since Philadelphia had proved herself so
incapable of protecting that august body. One party advocated a federal
city being established on the Delaware, another on the Potomac. Maryland
offered Annapolis; New York, Kingston on the Hudson: while the council
of Philadelphia apologised and endeavoured to bring back congress to
their city, but in vain. It was finally agreed that, as soon as two
suitable sites could be found, two federal cities should be created, at
which congress should alternately hold its sittings. In the meantime
Annapolis and Trenton were to be used for that purpose, the next session
to be held at Annapolis. The following year congress sat at Trenton, but
adjourned to New York, where it continued to meet till the year 1800, by
which time the city of Washington had been prepared for a suitable
federal seat of government. Washington stands in a territory ten miles
square, called the District of Columbia, which had been ceded to the
general government by the States of Maryland and Virginia for that

On the 19th of April, 1783, exactly eight years after the battle of
Lexington, the news of the preliminaries being signed between Great
Britain and the United States, with the consequent cessation of
hostilities, was published in the camp at Newburgh. The proclamation of
peace was celebrated, four days afterwards, in Greene’s camp, by
fireworks and musketry; and the very army, “ragged as wolves,” was at
that moment so short of food that for several days they had been without
either bread or rice. On June 8th, Washington published a farewell
letter addressed to the governors of the States, urging oblivion of
local prejudices and politics, indissoluble union, a proper peace
establishment, and careful provision for the payment of the public debt.
On November 3rd was issued a proclamation from congress for the general
disbanding of the army, which took place on the 5th; Washington having
the day previous issued his farewell orders. On the 25th, the British
troops having all embarked at New York, a detachment of the American
army, under General Knox, entered and took possession. And here we may
remark, that during the last year, 1782, the desertions from the British
army in New York had been very frequent, especially from Arnold’s corps,
the men going off with their horses and arms, by threes, fives and sixes
at a time, as did also many Hessians.


On the same day that the Americans regained possession of New York,
Washington also entered it, preparatory to taking leave of the army. We
will give the account of these remarkable events from Dunlap’s History
of New York, who quotes principally from the narrative of an
eye-witness:—“On that memorable day, the 25th of November, General
Washington entered the city by the Bowery, the only road at that time,
accompanied by his friends and the citizens, mostly on horseback. At an
appointed hour the British troops had embarked, and their gallant fleet
was standing to sea over the bay.

“The military of the American army were under the command of General
Knox, who took immediate possession of the fort, and prepared to hoist
the American colours and fire an appropriate salute. The British, after
taking down their flag, had ‘knocked off the cleats and slushed the
flag-staff,’ so as to prevent the American colours from being hoisted.
But after an hour’s hard labour, in which a sailor-boy played a
distinguished part, the American standard was hoisted on Fort George by
this same sailor-boy, a true type of bold young America; and a salute
was fired of thirteen rounds immediately, and three cheers were given.

“At the time the flag was being hoisted, the river was covered with
boats filled with soldiers, to embark on board the shipping that lay at
anchor in the North River,—the boats at the time lay on their oars,
sterns to shore, to observe the hoisting of the American colours, during
which time they preserved a profound silence. The boats rowed off to
their shipping when the salute of thirteen guns was fired.

“The commander-in-chief took up his head-quarters at the tavern known as
‘Black Sam’s,’ so called from its keeper, Samuel Francis, being a man of
a dark complexion, and there he continued until December the 4th. On
that day at noon the officers assembled, when their beloved leader
entered the room, and after addressing them in a few words, concluded by
saying: ‘I cannot come to each of you to take leave, but shall be
obliged to you if you will come and shake me by the hand.’

“General Knox, who had served with him from the commencement of
hostilities, was the first to experience the parting grasp of the hero’s
hand; and in turn all present, with tears and in silence, pressed that
hand which had guided a nation through the storms of war, and was
destined afterwards to rule its destinies. Leaving the room, he passed
through a line of his brave soldiers to Whitehall, where he entered into
a barge waiting for him. He turned to the assembled multitude, waved his
hat, and then bade them a silent adieu, as they thought, for ever.”

Congress was sitting then at Annapolis, and Washington hastened thither,
to deposit in the hands of those from whom he had received it, in the
year 1775, his commission of commander-in-chief of the American forces.

On his way, he deposited in the Controller’s office at Philadelphia, the
account of his expenses during the war, secret-service money included,
which amounted to £19,306 11s. 6d. A public audience was appointed by
congress to receive him, and briefly addressing it, he offered his
congratulations on the termination of the war, and concluded by saying:
“Having finished the work assigned me, I now retire from the great
theatre of action, and bidding an affectionate farewell to this august
body, under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my
commission and take my leave of all the employments of public life.”

From Annapolis Washington hastened to his home at Mount Vernon, which he
had visited but once during the eight years of his arduous public
service, and where he continued quietly living as “Farmer Washington”
until summoned by the public voice to a convention, for the amendment of
the government founded by the old confederacy of sovereign States, and
of which we shall speak in its place.

We now return to the evacuation of America by the British. Four days
after the British troops had left New York, Long Island and Staten
Island were given up. The whole sea-coast was thus once more wholly
American; but the western frontier-posts of Oswegatchie, Oswego,
Niagara, Presque Isle (now Erie), Sandusky, Detroit, and Mackinaw, were
still held by British garrisons.


Henry Laurens, it will be remembered, had caused the insertion of an
article in the treaty of peace, to prohibit the carrying away of slaves
under the protection of the British. This referred principally to
Virginia and the Carolinas, where great numbers of slaves had joined the
British, under promise of protection. Sir Henry Clinton, however, was
not disposed to pay attention to this prohibition; and when Washington
reminded him of it, he replied that it would be highly dishonourable to
the British flag to surrender any who had taken refuge under it.
Accordingly he sent off all such negroes in the first embarkation, in
order that their safety might be secured. They were taken to Nova
Scotia, and thence many of them emigrated to Sierra Leone, where their
descendants, as merchants and traders, now constitute the wealthiest and
most intelligent population of that African colony.[57]

There had also been an attempt, on the part of Britain, to provide for
the safety and indemnification of the loyalists, in the treaty of peace.
Little, however, could be done for them by this mere _recommendation_ of
justice and humanity. The difficulty of finding transports for the
removal of the loyalists, who had crowded into New York with their
families, delayed the evacuation of that city considerably. The penalty
of the American laws compelled them to abandon their country, although
at the sacrifice of wealth and property. Many of them, however, spite of
the confiscations, possessed considerable wealth, which had been made
during the war by privateering and as sutlers to the British army. Those
from the Northern States settled principally in Nova Scotia or Canada;
450 sailed to Nova Scotia in the month of October, from New York, under
a strong convoy. They were furnished by the British with provisions for
a year; rations for a passage of twenty-one days; clothing; tools for
husbandry, together with arms and ammunition. They were to receive also
grants of land. The greater number of them, however, gradually returned
to the United States, when a few years had worn away the inveteracy of
the hatred felt against them. Those from the Southern States found
refuge in the British West India Islands. The feeling against the
loyalists was very strong in the South, where the sufferings of the
people had been severe and more recent. In reestablishing the State
government of South Carolina, none were allowed to vote who had taken
British protection. Among the very earliest proceedings of the assembly,
was the passage of a law banishing the most active British partisans,
and confiscating their property. The services of General Greene were
rewarded by a grant of 10,000 guineas, to purchase him an estate. The
Georgia Assembly passed a similar law of banishment and confiscation,
and Greene received also from this province the present of a confiscated
estate; while North Carolina acknowledged his services by a grant of
wild lands.[58]

The loyalists, finding that the mere recommendation of indemnity from
Great Britain did not secure it to them from the State government,
appointed a committee of their body to lay their grievances and their
faithful services before the British parliament. A commission was
accordingly appointed to inquire into and report upon their claims and
losses; and in 1791, 4,123 claims were admitted, amounting to upwards of
£8,000,000. All claims of £10,000 and under were paid in full, the
remainder in a three-and-a-half per cent. stock. Claimants whose losses
were the deprivation of lucrative offices received equivalent pensions.
On the whole they were extremely well provided for and indemnified. The
Penn and Calvert families received a considerable portion of this
parliamentary allowance; besides which, we must not omit to mention
that, in 1779, Pennsylvania, by act of assembly, granted to the heirs of
William Penn, on the relinquishment of quit-rents and proprietary
claims, the sum of £130,000, to be paid by instalments, commencing the
first year after the peace. The State of Maryland was less liberal, as
regarded her proprietary claims, on the plea of the illegitimacy of the
infant representative of the Calverts.

Whilst the great struggle for independence had been going on, and every
state in turn, New Hampshire excepted, had been the scene of a
desolating war, the heart of the nation had still been so vigorously
alive that the organisation of the local governments and the arrangement
of terms for confederation and union had never for one moment been lost
sight of. Liberty and enlightenment gradually advanced, although the
revolution made no violent change in the political institutions of
America, beyond casting off the superintending power of the
mother-country, and that power in a great degree was replaced by the
authority of congress.

“The most marked peculiarity of the revolution,” continues the able
historian, Hildreth, to whom we are so largely indebted, “was the public
recognition of the theory of the equal rights of man”—a theory set forth
in the declaration of colonial rights, made by the first congress at
Philadelphia; solemnly reiterated in the Declaration of Independence;
and expressly or tacitly recognised as the foundation-principle of all
the new governments. This principle however, encountered, in existing
prejudices and institutions, many serious and even formidable obstacles
to its general application, giving rise to several striking political
anomalies. Of these the most startling was domestic slavery, an
institution inconsistent with the equal rights of man. That this anomaly
was felt at the time, is clearly enough evinced by the fact that no
distinct provision on the subject of slavery appears in any State
constitution, except that of Delaware, which provided “that no person
hereafter imported from Africa ought to be held in slavery under any
pretence whatever; and that no negro, Indian, or mulatto slave ought to
be brought into this state for sale from any part of the world.”

Prior to the revolution the anti-slavery struggle had begun in New
England; and in 1777, a number of slaves on board a prize-ship taken by
an American privateer and brought into Salem for sale, were at once set
at liberty by the interference of the General Court, and yet the
provisional congress of Massachusetts at the same time forbade any negro
to enlist into the army. Its Bill of Rights declared all men to be born
free and equal, and this was considered by the Supreme Court to prohibit

The assembly of Pennsylvania in 1708 forbade the further introduction of
slaves, and gave freedom to all persons thereafter born in the state.
The most enlightened and illustrious citizens of Virginia and Maryland
responded to the feelings which led New England and Pennsylvania to
abolish slavery in their states, and they too forbade the further
introduction of slaves and removed the restrictions on emancipation,
though slavery as an institution was retained. New York and New Jersey
followed the example of Virginia and Maryland, forbidding also the
introduction of slaves from other states. The Quaker population of North
Carolina strongly advocated the same Christian line of conduct, but were
not supported by the legislators of the state. South Carolina and
Georgia made no alteration whatever in their laws regarding slavery.

The importation of “indented servants,” so numerous in some of the
states, and who were slaves in a modified sense, ceased with the war of
the revolution. But in Connecticut, even to within the present century,
debtors unable to meet the claims against them might be legally sold by
their creditors into temporary slavery.

The year 1784 brought with it all the anxieties and difficulties
consequent on the termination of a struggle, such as that through which
America had just passed. The crisis of a great fever was over, and the
sufferer was left with prostrated strength, excited nerves, and
irritable temperament. Wisdom and prudence, and the vigour of his
youthful constitution would, however, restore him to perfect health. In
the meantime many a long depression and many a sally of impatience and
petulance must be borne.

This was precisely the case with America. She had suffered from every
calamity of war; her towns had been burned, her country ravaged, her
frontiers laid waste by Indians; her citizens had been called out to
serve in her army, and to suffer even more than the average miseries of
camps, hunger, nakedness, and disease, with insufficient hospital
resources. Citizen had been armed against citizen, and even brother
against brother. Civil war had here assumed its direst aspect.
Agriculture, trade and manufactures, had decayed during the war, and
thousands of otherwise industrious and prosperous inhabitants were
thrown out of employment, and so totally impoverished as to be nearly
destitute of clothing. The once imposing navy was now completely
annihilated. Almost every vessel, whether home-built or purchased, had
been destroyed or had fallen into the hands of the enemy. The only ship
of the line built during these disastrous years, and finished in 1782,
was presented to the king of France, to supply the loss of one of his in
Boston harbour. Add to all this an immense debt, the natural consequence
of war, universal distress and discontent.

Congress met; and financial affairs claimed its first attention.
Secondly came an important fact. Virginia ceded all her claims to lands
lying north-west of the Ohio. New York had already set this example two
or three years before, and now prided herself on having been the first
to do so. By her act of cession, Virginia stipulated for the security of
the French inhabitants already occupying those lands, and that those
lands should be erected into republican states, to be admitted into the
Union with the same rights as the older states. This led to vast plans
for the laying out of states, and the government of the immense
territory which the United States expected to acquire by the cession of
the claims of the different states. The originators of these plans were
Jefferson, who sat in congress as delegate from Virginia; Chase, of
Maryland; and Howell, of Rhode Island. Among other proposed conditions
for new states was the following: “After the year 1800, there shall be
neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, other than in the punishment
of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” But the
requisite votes of nine states could not be obtained, and this condition
was lost.

Everything was done by congress to reduce the public expenditure. The
military force retained at the peace amounted to 700 men, placed under
Knox, in garrison at West Point and Pittsburg. These however, being
thought too many, all were disbanded, excepting twenty-five men to guard
the stores at Pittsburg, and fifty-five for West Point and other
magazines, while no officer above the rank of captain was retained. Nor
was even a minister-of-war considered necessary.

In March, 1785, Benjamin Franklin, after an absence of nine years,
solicited his recall, and Jefferson was appointed to succeed him as the
American representative at the French Court, and just about the same
time John Adams was appointed to the same office in England. The now
aged Colonel Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia, was the first person
who waited on the American minister in London. Great Britain declined as
yet to send over a diplomatic agent to the United States.

In October, 1784, a treaty was concluded at Fort Schuyler between the
United States and the chiefs and warriors of the Six Nations, by which
the Mohawks, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas, who during the war had been
adherents of the British, consented to peace and the release of
prisoners. At the same time they ceded all their claim to the territory
west of Pennsylvania. In the following January a similar treaty was
entered into with the Wyandots, Delawares, Chippewas and Ottawas, by
which the two former nations agreed to limit themselves to a tract on
Lake Erie. The Shawanees refusing to form any pacific treaty, congress
empowered the enlistment of 700 men for three years, to defend the
western frontiers.

Again Kentucky, which now numbered six instead of three counties, and
which had a supreme court and court-house, together with a jail,
although as yet built only of hewn logs, resolved to form a separate
state, and accordingly petitioned Virginia for permission to do so. They
had no printing-press or newspaper as yet, but the address on this
important occasion was circulated in manuscript.

Tennessee was rapidly increasing likewise, and beginning again, like her
neighbour, to think of independence, although as yet a great portion of
the present territory remained in the hands of the Indians. Under the
name of Franklin, or Frankland, a provisional government was organised,
with John Sevier at the head, which, though leading to violence and
almost civil war, and put down for the present, yet rose up again in due
time, like a growth of the forest, and John Sevier was the first
legalised state’s governor, with a recognised place in congress. Nor
were the Wyoming people yet satisfied, and a John Franklin there, with
Ethan Allen of Vermont, and other “wild Yankees,” as they were called,
agitated for an independent existence, until at length Pennsylvania, who
had acted like a step-mother to them, pacified their uneasiness by
granting their reasonable requests. The settlers of Maine also were
stirred by the same craving for independence, and agitated for it and a
remission of taxes.

Massachusetts surrendered to the United States, in April, her claims to
the western territory; and in May, congress enacted an ordinance for the
survey and sale of the lands north-west of the Ohio. Regular surveys on
a systematic and uniform plan were commenced. The plan is described by
Hildreth as consisting of a series of lines perpendicular to each other,
the one set running north and south, the other east and west, by which
means the federal lands were to be lotted out into townships of six
miles square, each township to be again subdivided by similar lines into
thirty-six sections, each containing a square mile. The survey has since
been carried to half and quarter sections, and even to sixteenths. One
section in each township was to be reserved as the basis of a school
fund, which however, it is to be regretted, has not always been attended
to. The public lands, when ready for market, were to be sold by public
auction, the minimum price being one dollar per acre, to which the
expenses of survey were to be added.

The whole attention of congress was not, however, devoted to such
agreeable subjects as the survey and sale of the great western
territory. The early instalments of foreign debts were falling due in
addition to the old pressure for money. It was no use to impose taxes,
for each state had its own local debts, and congress had no legal power
to enforce their payment. Nevertheless, in the midst of all these urgent
and accumulating cares, congress being possessed of powers to regulate
the currency and coinage of the country, turned its attention to this
subject. A decimal scale was adopted, and the dollar, as the coin best
known and most common in America, was taken as the money unit. A mint
was established in October, 1786, but the poverty of congress allowed no
coinage excepting a few tons of copper cents.[59]

We have spoken of the uneasy, restless spirit which was agitating in the
newer settlements, the resistance against taxation being in many cases
the primal cause, while others were by no means wanting, among which may
be reckoned the disorganisation of the social state by the long war, the
regular useful and arduous occupations of the male population having
been interrupted, and a vast number of discontented, impoverished and
unoccupied men thrown upon society. The general court of Massachusetts
had found it necessary to impose taxes which, perhaps, in any case would
have been ill received, but which now led to general resistance and even
rebellion. The discontented had arms in their hands; they had seen the
country free itself from the tyranny of Britain by these means, and now
they were about to try the same against what they considered the tyranny
of their own government. In September of 1786, the number of the
malcontents appearing so large and formidable, the militia were called
out to protect the sittings of the court, which it was the object of the
insurgents to prevent; and so conciliatory and considerate was the
spirit of the government, that their grievances were taken under
consideration and as much as possible redressed. Bills were passed for
diminishing legal costs, law charges being at that time enormous; and
for allowing the payment of taxes and private debts in specific articles
instead of specie, of which there was scarcely any in the country; as
well as for applying certain revenues, formerly devoted to other
purposes, to the payment of governmental taxes. So far were concessions
made; still the agitation continued, and the Habeas Corpus Act was
suspended for eight months. Under the plea of raising troops to act
against the north-western Indians, congress enacted the enlistment of
1,300 men, to sustain the government of Massachusetts. Nevertheless full
pardon for past offences was promised to all, if they would cease from
these illegal agitations.

But the seriousness of the occasion only increased, and at length some
few of the agitators were lodged in Boston jail. This was the token for
more determined measures, and upwards of 1,000 armed men, under the
command of Daniel Shays, a late captain in the continental army, of Luke
Day and Eli Parsons, appeared at Worcester, where the supreme court had
just adjourned, and placed guards over those houses where the judges
lodged, so as to prevent the sitting of the court, while the remainder
took up their quarters in an old revolutionary barracks in the
neighbourhood. Another still larger body, also under the command of
Shays, marched towards Springfield, where was the federal arsenal under
the guard of General Shepherd, of which they intended to possess

This was in the depth of an unusually severe winter, and the insurgents
suffered bitterly from the cold and want of provisions; nevertheless
their ardour was unabated. Arrived at Springfield, and in reply to the
demand that the arsenal should be surrendered, General Shepherd, after
warning and entreating them to retire, fired upon them. The first
discharge was over their heads; no notice was taken. The second was into
the ranks; a cry of “Murder!” arose, and all fled in confusion, leaving
three men dead on the field and one wounded.

General Lincoln pursued with 3,000 militia, called out to serve for
thirty days; but the insurgents fled to Pelham, where they posted
themselves upon two hills, rendered almost inaccessible by a great fall
of snow. They offered to disperse on condition of general pardon, which
Lincoln, however, was not empowered to grant, and then being sorely
pressed for food, made a sudden retreat to Petersham. Lincoln, informed
of this retreat, set off at six in the evening, and marching all night
forty miles, through intense cold and a driving snow-storm, reached
Petersham by daybreak, to the astonishment of the rebels, who had not
the least idea of this movement, and accordingly fled in disorder or
were taken prisoners.

The energy of Lincoln broke up this formidable confederacy. Straggling
parties still were in existence, and occasional collisions took place
between them and the authorities, but the public danger was at an end.
In May, a pardon was proclaimed to all who, within three months, should
take the oath of allegiance, with the exception of nine persons. All
insurgents, however, were deprived for three years of the right to vote,
to serve as jurymen, or to be employed as schoolmasters, innkeepers, or
the retailers of ardent spirits. Of the nine condemned to death, four
escaped from prison, four were afterwards liberated, and one was
condemned to hard labour.

In September, tranquillity was so generally restored that it was judged
safe to disband such troops as still remained in service. The leniency
which had been shown towards the insurrectionists was the only safe
course. The sentiment of the people was with them, and at the general
election the ensuing year, all who had been active against them lost
their votes. Hancock was elected governor in the place of Bowdoin.

It had long been felt that the Articles of Confederation were
insufficient for the growing national exigencies. As early as 1782 it
was recommended to form a convention for their revision and amendment.
Great care had been taken in framing the original articles that no power
should be delegated which might endanger the liberties of the individual
states. Congress had no authority to enforce its own ordinances; and
now, when the external danger was removed by peace, they were, as we
have seen, disregarded and contemned also. It was evident to all that a
more energetic form of government was required. In 1783, John Adams,
then in Europe, suggested to congress the expediency of strengthening
the general government. On a motion of Madison, in a convention of the
delegates from five of the Middle States met at Annapolis in 1786, it
was concluded that nothing short of a thorough reform of the existing
government would be effectual for the welfare of the country. Congress
approved, and passed a resolution recommending a general convention of
delegates for that purpose to be held at Philadelphia.

Before, however, we proceed to the important business of this
convention, we must notice a few facts which mark the progress of
opinion in the States. In 1784, soon after the treaty of peace was
signed, Franklin received overtures from the pope’s nuncio at Paris,
relative to the appointment of a vicar apostolic for the United States.
Congress being referred to, replied that the business was of a spiritual
nature and did not fall under their cognisance. John Carroll, of
Maryland, was soon afterwards consecrated archbishop of the United
States. Catholics, though still suffering under political disabilities
in some of the states, had freedom of worship everywhere, and very soon
a Catholic church was opened even in the puritan city of Boston.

The Church of England in America, which suffered much during the war,
reorganised herself after the peace, and became established on a
reformed basis. The title of lord bishop, and all other titles
descriptive of temporal power and presidency, were dropped, and the
clergy and dignitaries of the church declared liable to deposition from
office in case of misconduct, by the state and general conventions. The
liturgy was purged and modified to suit a republican country. The
English bishops demurred at these innovations, but there was no remedy;
and in 1787, White of Philadelphia, and Madison of Virginia, together
with Seabury, who had been ordained by the episcopal Church of Scotland,
were consecrated bishops, and formed the nucleus of episcopal authority
in America.[60]

In 1784, Thomas Coke, one of Wesley’s ablest coadjutors, and ordained by
him bishop, arrived at New York, bringing with him Wesley’s plan for the
organisation of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Methodism was now wanted
in America; it was the element of religious excitement, which the temper
of the times required, and it spread rapidly, especially among the
poorer classes of the Southern States. It commenced by excluding
slaveholders from its communion; but as God suffers his sun to shine on
the just and unjust alike, methodism opened its pale to sinners of every
description. The zeal of the Methodists aroused the somewhat slumbering
energies of the Baptists, and religious revivals commenced, especially
in the Middle and the Southern States. They were the safety-valves in
many cases for the excited and agitated popular mind. The Presbyterians,
as the Episcopalians had done, reorganised their church on a national
basis. In New England, by that necessary law of reaction which never
fails, latitudinarianism had followed the sternness of the puritan
creed, and made its way with the learned, while universalism was adopted
by the less educated.[61]

                              CHAPTER XV.

In May, 1787, the convention met for the revision of the Articles of
Confederation, twelve states being represented by men distinguished by
their talents, character, practical abilities, and public service.
Franklin, who had been among the first to propose a Colonial Union in
1754, was there; Dickinson, as delegate from Delaware; Johnson, of
Connecticut; and Rutledge, of South Carolina, who had been movers in the
Stamp Act Congress of 1765. Besides Benjamin Franklin, there were
present seven who had signed the Declaration of Independence, all tried
men and true; while the revolutionary army was represented by
Washington, Mifflin, Hamilton and Pinckney; eighteen were members at the
same time of the Continental Congress. Altogether this important
convention numbered about fifty delegates. Rhode Island sent no

On the 29th of May the business of the convention was opened by Randolph
of Virginia, this honour being conceded to Virginia as her due, the idea
of the convention having originated with her. All the business, however,
proceeded with closed doors and an injunction of inviolate secrecy. The
members were not even allowed to take copies of the proceedings. They
had met to revise and amend the Articles of Confederation, instead of
which it was soon deemed advisable to form a new constitution. Long and
arduous debates followed; months went on in discussion and deliberation;
the soundness and wisdom of purely democratic and republican governments
were questioned; committees sat; adjournments took place; causes of
dispute occurred; rival parties contended, federalists and
anti-federalists; slaveholding and free states, difficulties having
arisen even then between the slaveholding and the non-slaveholding
states as regarded representation, and every other interest. But if
doubt and difficulty and discord arose, they were met and overcome. Nor
can any greater argument be advanced in favour of the sound wisdom and
the true patriotism of every party, than that all opposing interests and
all questions of contention were gradually compromised; and spite of
every opposing element, spite of selfish interests, and the jealousies
and rivalries of opposing parties, a rough draft of the proposed
Constitution was prepared by the beginning of August, and forms, in
fact, the present Constitution of the United States. It is simply as
follows, and well worthy to be read and considered.

  We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect
  union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for
  the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the
  blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and
  establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

                               ARTICLE I.

                               SECTION I.

  All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a congress of
  the United States, which shall consist of a senate and house of

                              SECTION II.

  I. The house of representatives shall be composed of members, chosen
  every second year by the people of the several states, and the
  electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for
  electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.

  II. No person shall be a representative, who shall not have attained
  to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the
  United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of
  that state in which he shall be chosen.

  III. Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the
  several states which may be included within this Union, according to
  their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the
  whole number of free persons, including those bound to servitude for a
  term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all
  other persons.[63] The actual enumeration shall be made within three
  years after the first meeting of the congress of the United States,
  and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they
  shall by law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed
  one for every 30,000, but each state shall have at least one
  representative: and, until such enumeration shall be made, the state
  of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts
  eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five,
  New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one,
  Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five,
  and Georgia three.

  IV. When vacancies happen in the representation from any state, the
  executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such

  V. The house of representatives shall choose their speaker and other
  officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Much was said in the convention on the question of the elective
franchise. Franklin’s argument is worth remembering. He was opposed to
any restriction on the right of suffrage. He said that it was of “great
consequence not to depress the virtue and public spirit of the common
people, of which they had displayed a great deal during the war, and
which contributed principally to the favourable issue of it; and he did
not think that the elected had any right, in any case, to narrow the
privileges of the electors;” and universal suffrage was established. A
member of the house must be twenty-five years of age, and have been for
seven years a citizen of the United States, being an inhabitant, at the
time he is elected, of the State for which he is chosen. No person,
however, holding any civil office under the authority of the United
States, can, at the same time, become a member of congress.

By the constitutional rule of appointment, three-fifths of the slaves in
the Southern States are computed in establishing the appointment of the
representatives of the lower house, which is supposed to be delegated by
the _free_ citizens of the United States. This is considered as a
necessary consequence of the previously existing state of domestic
slavery in that portion of the country.

                              SECTION III.

  I. The senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators
  from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years: and
  each senator shall have one vote.

  II. Immediately after they shall be assembled, in consequence of the
  first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three
  classes. The seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated
  at the expiration of the second year; of the second class, at the
  expiration of the fourth year; and of the third class, at the
  expiration of the sixth year, so that one-third may be chosen every
  second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise,
  during the recess of the legislature of any state, the executive
  thereof may make temporary appointments, until the next meeting of the
  legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.

  III. No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained to the
  age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United
  States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that
  state for which he shall be chosen.

  IV. The vice-president of the United States shall be president of the
  senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.

  V. The senate shall choose their other officers, and also a president
  _pro tempore_, in the absence of the vice-president, or when he shall
  exercise the office of president of the United States.

  VI. The senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When
  sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath, or affirmation. When
  the president of the United States is tried, the chief-justice shall
  preside: and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of
  two-thirds of the members present.

  VII. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to
  removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office
  of honour, trust, or profit under the United States: but the party
  convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment,
  trial, judgment, and punishment, according to law.

                              SECTION IV.

  I. The times, places, and manner of holding elections for senators and
  representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature
  thereof; but the congress may, at any time, by law make or alter such
  regulations, except as to the place of choosing senators.

  II. The congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such
  meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall,
  by law, appoint a different day.

                               SECTION V.

  I. Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and
  qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall
  constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn
  from day to day, and may be authorised to compel the attendance of
  absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house
  may provide.

  II. Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its
  members for disorderly behaviour, and, with the concurrence of
  two-thirds, expel a member.

  III. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time
  to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may, in their
  judgment, require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of
  either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of one-fifth of
  those present, be entered on the journals.

  IV. Neither house, during the session of congress, shall, without the
  consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any
  other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting.

                              SECTION VI.

  I. The senators and representatives shall receive a compensation for
  their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury
  of the United States. They shall, in all cases except treason, felony,
  and breach of peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance
  at the session of their respective houses, and in going to and
  returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either house,
  they shall not be questioned in any other place.

  II. No senator or representative shall, during the time for which he
  was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of
  the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments
  whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no person,
  holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of
  either house during his continuance in office.

                              SECTION VII.

  I. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of
  representatives; but the senate may propose or concur with amendments,
  as on other bills.

  II. Every bill which shall have passed the house of representatives
  and the senate shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the
  president of the United States; if he approve, he shall sign it, but
  if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to that house in
  which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at
  large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such
  reconsideration, two-thirds of that house shall agree to pass the
  bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other
  house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by
  two-thirds of that house, it shall become a law. But in all such cases
  the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the
  names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered
  on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be
  returned by the president within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it
  shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like
  manner as if he had signed it, unless the congress, by their
  adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

  III. Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of the
  senate and house of representatives may be necessary (except on a
  question of adjournment), shall be presented to the president of the
  United States; and before the same shall take effect shall be approved
  by him; or, being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two-thirds
  of the senate and house of representatives, according to the rules and
  limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

                             SECTION VIII.

  The congress shall have power—

  I. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises; to pay the
  debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the
  United States; but all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform
  throughout the United States.

  II. To borrow money on the credit of the United States.

  III. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several
  states, and with the Indian tribes.

  IV. To establish a uniform rule of naturalisation, and uniform laws on
  the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States.

  V. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and
  fix the standard of weights and measures.

  VI. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and
  current coin of the United States.

  VII. To establish post-offices and post-roads.

  VIII. To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing,
  for limited times, to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to
  their respective writings and discoveries.

  IX. To constitute tribunals inferior to the supreme court.

  X. To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high
  seas, and offences against the law of nations.

  XI. To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make
  rules concerning captures on land or water.

  XII. To raise and support armies; but no appropriation of money to
  that use shall be for a longer term than two years.

  XIII. To provide and maintain a navy.

  XIV. To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and
  naval forces.

  XV. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of
  the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.

  XVI. To provide for organising, arming, and disciplining the militia,
  and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service
  of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the
  appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the
  militia, according to the discipline prescribed by congress.

  XVII. To exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases whatsoever, over
  such district (not exceeding ten miles square), as, may by cession of
  particular states, and the acceptance of congress, become the seat of
  the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places
  purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the
  same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals,
  dock-yards, and other needful buildings:—and

  XVIII. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for
  carrying into execution the foregoing powers and all other powers
  vested by this constitution in the government of the United States, or
  in any department or office thereof.

                              SECTION IX.

  I. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states
  now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by
  the congress, prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight,
  but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding
  ten dollars for each person.

As we have already said, this question of slavery was a fertile apple of
discord in the convention, and even then it threatened to break up the
Union; South Carolina and Georgia insisted on having slavery in the
fullest meaning of the accursed thing, or they would not enter the
Union. They would not only hold slaves, but they would import them; and
hence the Constitution provided for “_the migration of such persons as
any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit_,” prior to
the year 1808, when the importation of slaves was to cease. Until
January, 1808, South Carolina traded to the African coast for the souls
and bodies of men, all the other states having before that time entirely
discontinued it. While we are on the subject of slavery, we must mention
that, when, in the convention, the articles of the proposed Constitution
were being drawn up, one for the mutual delivery of fugitives from
justice came in due course, on which Pierce Butler proposed, and Charles
C. Pinckney, both of South Carolina, seconded, the motion that fugitive
slaves and servants should be included. Wilson of Pennsylvania objected,
and Butler withdrew his motion; but the next day introduced a clause,
substantially the same with that now found in the Constitution, viz.:
“that no person held to service or labour in one state, under the laws
thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or
regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labour, but shall
be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labour is
due.” (See Article IV. Sect. iii.) This being copied from one of the
provisions of the old New England Confederation, passed unobserved.

  II. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended,
  unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may
  require it.

  III. No bill of attainder, or ex post facto law, shall be passed.

  IV. No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid, unless in
  proportion to the census, or enumeration, herein before directed to be

  V. No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state.
  No preference shall be given, by any regulation of commerce or
  revenue, to the ports of one state over those of another; nor shall
  vessels, bound to or from one state, be obliged to enter, clear, or
  pay duties in another.

  VI. No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of
  appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of the
  receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from
  time to time.

  VII. No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States; and
  no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall,
  without the consent of congress, accept of any present, emolument,
  office, or title of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or
  foreign state.

                               SECTION X.

  I. No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation,
  grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of
  credit; make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of
  debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing
  the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.

  II. No state shall, without the consent of congress, lay any imposts
  or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely
  necessary for executing its inspection laws: and the net produce of
  all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports and exports,
  shall be for the use of the treasury of the United State, and all such
  laws shall be subject to the revision and control of congress. No
  state shall, without the consent of congress, lay any duty of tonnage,
  keep troops, or ships of war, in time of peace, enter into any
  agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or
  engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as
  will not admit of delay.

                              ARTICLE II.

                               SECTION I.

  I. The executive power shall be vested in a president of the United
  States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four
  years, and, together with the vice-president, chosen for the same
  term, be elected as follows:

  II. Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature
  thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of
  senators and representatives to which the state may be entitled in the
  congress; but no senator or representative, or person holding an
  office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed
  an elector.

  III. The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by
  ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an
  inhabitant of the same state with themselves. And they shall make a
  list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for
  each; which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit, sealed, to
  the seat of government of the United States, directed to the president
  of the senate. The president of the senate shall, in the presence of
  the senate and house of representatives, open all the certificates,
  and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest
  number of votes shall be the president, if such number be a majority
  of the whole number of electors appointed; and if there be more than
  one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then
  the house of representatives shall immediately choose, by ballot, one
  of them for president: and if no person have a majority, then from the
  five highest on the list, the said house shall, in like manner, choose
  the president. But in choosing the president, the votes shall be taken
  by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a
  quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from
  two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be
  necessary to a choice. In every case, after the choice of the
  president, the person having the greatest number of votes of the
  electors shall be the vice-president. But if there should remain two
  or more who have equal votes, the senate shall choose from them, by
  ballot, the vice-president.

  IV. The congress may determine the time for choosing the electors, and
  the day on which they shall give their votes: which day shall be the
  same throughout the United States.

  V. No person, except a natural born citizen or a citizen of the United
  States at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall be
  eligible to the office of president, neither shall any person be
  eligible to that office, who shall not have attained to the age of
  thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the
  United States.

  VI. In case of the removal of the president from office, or of his
  death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of
  the said office, the same shall devolve on the vice-president, and the
  congress may, by law, provide for the case of removal, death,
  resignation, or inability, both of the president and vice-president,
  declaring what officer shall then act as president, and such officer
  shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or a president
  shall be elected.

  VII. The president shall, at stated times, receive for his services a
  compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during
  the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not
  receive, within that period, any other emolument from the United
  States, or any of them.

  VIII. Before he enters on the execution of his office, he shall take
  the following oath, or affirmation:

  “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the
  office of president of the United States, and will, to the best of my
  ability, preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the United

                              SECTION II.

  I. The president shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of
  the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when
  called into the actual service of the United States; he may require
  the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the
  executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of
  their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves
  and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of

  II. He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the
  senate, to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the senators present
  concur; and he shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent
  of the senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and
  consuls, judges of the supreme court, and all other officers of the
  United States whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided
  for, and which shall be established by law. But the congress may, by
  law, vest the appointment of such inferior officers as they think
  proper in the president alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads
  of departments.

  III. The president shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may
  happen during the recess of the senate, by granting commissions, which
  shall expire at the end of their next session.

                              SECTION III.

  He shall, from time to time, give to the congress information of the
  state of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures
  as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary
  occasions, convene both houses, or either of them, and in case of
  disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he
  may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall
  receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care
  that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the
  officers of the United States.

                              SECTION IV.

  The president, vice-president, and all civil officers of the United
  States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and
  conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and

                              ARTICLE III.

                               SECTION I.

  The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme
  court, and in such inferior courts as the congress may, from time to
  time, ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and
  inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and
  shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation
  which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

                              SECTION II.

  I. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity,
  arising under this constitution, the laws of the United States, and
  treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority; to all
  cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; to
  all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to
  which the United States shall be a party; to controversies between two
  or more states, between a state and citizens of another state, between
  citizens of different states, between citizens of the same state
  claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state,
  or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens, or subjects.

  II. In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and
  consuls, and those in which a state shall be a party, the supreme
  court shall have original jurisdiction. In all other cases before
  mentioned, the supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both
  as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations,
  as the congress shall make.

  III. The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be
  by jury; and such trials shall be held in the state where the said
  crime shall have been committed; but when not committed within any
  state, the trial shall be at such a place or places as the congress
  may, by law, have directed.

                              SECTION III.

  I. Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war
  against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and
  comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the
  testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in
  open court.

  II. The congress shall have power to declare the punishment of
  treason; but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood,
  or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.

                              ARTICLE IV.

                               SECTION I.

  Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts,
  records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the
  congress may, by general laws, prescribe the manner in which such
  acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect

                              SECTION II.

  I. The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all the privileges
  and immunities of citizens in the several states.

  II. A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other
  crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another state,
  shall, on demand of the executive authority of the state from which he
  fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the state having the
  jurisdiction of the crime.

  III. No person, held to service or labour in one state under the laws
  thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or
  regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labour, but
  shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or
  labour may be due.

                              SECTION III.

  I. New states may be admitted by the congress into this Union, but no
  new state shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any
  other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more
  states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of
  the states concerned, as well as of the congress.

  II. The congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful
  rules and regulations respecting the territory, or other property,
  belonging to the United States; and nothing in this constitution shall
  be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States or of
  any particular state.

                              SECTION IV.

  The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a
  republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against
  invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive
  (when the legislature cannot be convened), against domestic violence.

                               ARTICLE V.

  The congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it
  necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution, or, on the
  application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states,
  shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either
  case, shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of this
  constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of
  the several states, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the
  one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the congress:
  Provided, that no amendment, which may be made prior to the year 1808,
  shall, in any manner, affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth
  section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent,
  shall be deprived of its equal suffrages in the senate.

                              ARTICLE VI.

  I. All debts contracted, and engagements entered into, before the
  adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United
  States under this Constitution, as under the confederation.

  II. This Constitution and the laws of the United States, which shall
  be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be
  made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme
  law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby,
  anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary

  III. The senators and representatives before-mentioned, and the
  members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and
  judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several
  states, shall be bound by oath, or affirmation, to support this
  Constitution: and no religious test shall ever be required, as a
  qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

                              ARTICLE VII.

  The ratification of the conventions of nine states shall be sufficient
  for the establishment of this Constitution, between the states so
  ratifying the same.

    _Done in convention by the consent of the states present, the
    seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord, one thousand
    seven hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the
    United States of America, the twelfth. In witness whereof, we have
    hereunto subscribed our names._

  _New Hampshire._—John Langdon, Nicholas Gelman.

  _Massachusetts._—Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King.

  _Connecticut._—William Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman.

  _New York._—Alexander Hamilton.

  _New Jersey._—William Livingston, David Brearley, William Patterson,
  Jonathan Dayton.

  _Pennsylvania._—Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris,
  George Clymer, Thomas Fitzsimons, Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson,
  Gouverneur Morris.

  _Delaware._—George Read, Gunning Bedford, jun., John Dickenson,
  Richard Bassett, Jacob Broom.

  _Maryland._—James M‘Henry, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, Daniel

  _Virginia._—John Blair, James Madison, jun.

  _North Carolina._—William Blount, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Hugh

  _South Carolina._—John Rutledge, Charles C. Pinckney, Charles
  Pinckney, Pierce Butler.

  _Georgia._—William Few, Abraham Baldwin.

                                         GEORGE WASHINGTON, _President_.

  WILLIAM JACKSON, _Secretary_.

Hildreth tells us that, as regards the injunction of secrecy with
respect to the proceedings of the convention, it was never removed. At
the final adjournment the journal was entrusted to the custody of
Washington, by whom it was afterwards deposited in the Department of
State. It was first printed by order of Congress in 1818. Yates, one of
the members, took short notes, which were printed after his death, in
1821. Still more perfect notes by Madison have been recently published.

The first sitting of congress, after a great deal of discussion
respecting the seat of the Federal Government, was settled, on the 13th
of September, 1788, to be at New York. The first Wednesday in the
following January was appointed for the choice of the presidential
electors; the first Wednesday in February for the election of President
and Vice-president; and the first Wednesday in that year, being the 4th
of March, for the first meeting of congress, for the organisation of the
government of the United States under the new constitution.

Washington received the unanimous vote of the electors, and became
President-elect; John Adams, having the next highest number, was
entitled to the office of Vice-president. To these events we shall,
however, return presently; in the meantime other circumstances require
our attention. But in order to give a complete view of the constitution
of the United States, we will in this place present twelve amendments,
which were made at different times; the first ten on the first, the
eleventh on the third, and the twelfth on the eighth sitting of


                               ARTICLE I.

  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
  prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
  speech, or of the press; or the rights of the people peaceably to
  assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

                              ARTICLE II.

  A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free
  state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be

                              ARTICLE III.

  No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without
  the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be
  prescribed by law.

                              ARTICLE IV.

  The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,
  and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be
  violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause,
  supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the
  place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

                               ARTICLE V.

  No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous
  crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except
  in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when
  in actual service, in time of war, or public danger; nor shall any
  person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of
  life or limb; nor shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a
  witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or
  property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be
  taken for public use without just compensation.

                              ARTICLE VI.

  In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a
  speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and
  district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district
  shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of
  the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the
  witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining
  witnesses in his favour, and to have the assistance of counsel for his

                              ARTICLE VII.

  In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed
  twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no
  fact, tried by jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of
  the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

                             ARTICLE VIII.

  Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor
  cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

                              ARTICLE IX.

  The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be
  construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

                               ARTICLE X.

  The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
  prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states
  respectively, or to the people.

                              ARTICLE XI.

  The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to
  extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against
  one of the United States, by citizens of another state, or by citizens
  or subjects of any foreign state.

                              ARTICLE XII.

  The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by
  ballot, for president and vice-president, one of whom, at least, shall
  not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall
  name, in their ballots, the person voted for as president, and, in
  distinct ballots, the person voted for as vice-president; and they
  shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as president, and
  of all persons voted for as vice-president, and of the number of votes
  for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit,
  sealed, to the seat of the government of the United States, directed
  to the president of the senate. The president of the senate shall, in
  the presence of the senate and house of representatives, open all the
  certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having
  the greatest number of votes for president shall be the president, if
  such a number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed;
  and if no person have such a majority, then from the persons having
  the highest numbers, not exceeding three on the list of those voted
  for as president, the house of representatives shall choose
  immediately, by ballot, the president. But, in choosing the president,
  the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state
  having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member
  or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the
  states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the house of
  representatives shall not choose a president, whenever the right of
  choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next
  following, then the vice-president shall act as president, as in the
  case of the death or other constitutional disability of the president.

  The person having the greatest number of votes as vice-president shall
  be the vice-president, if such number be a majority of the whole
  number of electors appointed; and if no person have a majority, then
  from the two highest numbers on the list, the senate shall choose the
  vice-president—a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of
  the whole number of senators, and a majority of the whole number shall
  be necessary to a choice.

  But no person, constitutionally ineligible to the office of president,
  shall be eligible to that of vice-president of the United States.

                              CHAPTER XVI.

While the convention at Philadelphia occupied themselves with the new
constitution, the vast territory north of the Ohio River was formed, by
the congress at New York, into a territorial government under the name
of the North-Western Territory. Among other provisions of the government
of this new territory was the carrying out of an important republican
principle which some of the older states had not yet adopted; this was
the equal division of all landed as well as personal property between
the children of persons dying intestate. The fullest religious freedom
was also insured; provision made for schools and for justice and
humanity towards the Indians, and a strong protest entered against
slavery, inasmuch as it was declared that there should be neither
slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, otherwise than
as punishment of crimes of which the party shall have been duly

Seventeen millions of acres on the northern bank of the Ohio were now in
possession of the United States, in consequence of the already mentioned
treaties with the Six Nations. These formerly powerful and warlike
tribes now retained but a small hold upon the lands which had once been
their own. They were beginning, like their more feeble eastern brethren,
to pass away from before the white man. The entire Mohawk nation
emigrated in a body into Canada, and other Indian nations followed their

The pressure of war being removed from the eastern states, their
restless and adventurous sons now went forth to explore and establish
peaceable settlements, with all the amenities of domestic life and
civilisation, in the wilderness. The State of New York located her
disbanded soldiers on the land-bounties which she had promised them,
upon such western lands as she retained after resigning her larger
claims to the Union; Pennsylvania followed this example. Occupation was
thus given to the unemployed, and a source of vast wealth opened to the
impoverished. In July of this same busy year, the Ohio Company was
formed, for the settlement of portions of this great territory, with the
Rev. Manasseh Cutler, Winthrop Sargeant, and other citizens of New
England, at its head.

In September, the Kentuckians, now holding their fourth convention at
Danville, once more applied to congress for admission into the Union;
but though they had now advanced so far as to have a spokesman in
congress, in the person of one of the Virginian delegates, a Kentucky
lawyer, and were possessed of a newspaper, the “Kentucky Gazette,”
printed and published at Lexington, they were again unsuccessful in
their application.

General St. Clair was elected governor of the new territory north-west
of the Ohio, and thither flowed the great tide of emigration from the
New England states, which had hitherto poured into Vermont, New
Hampshire and Maine. All New England was now astir with the movement
westward, and again we have chronicles of migration and early
settlement, as in the days of the Pilgrim Fathers. Quaint and beautiful
are the details which exist of these movements. The plans were drawn in
Boston, and at Providence in Rhode Island, of great cities to be erected
on the banks of rivers flowing as yet through the wilderness; the
intending emigrants met to draw lots for their future homes in these
cities, each “town-lot to be ninety feet front and 180 feet in depth;”
the centre street of the city to be 150 feet wide. As in the old times,
“the Mayflower” set sail with the pioneer settlers; and on the 7th of
April, 1788, General Rufus Putnam, the leader of this party, landed at
the mouth of the Muskinghum, opposite Fort Harmer. Nothing can be
pleasanter than the records of these early Ohio settlements. Captain
Pipes, the chief of the Delawares, with about seventy of his tribe, came
down for the purpose of trading with the garrison of Fort Harmer, shook
hands with the new-comers, and welcomed them cordially to the shores of
the Muskinghum, on the head waters of which river they themselves
resided. The settlers arriving from the stern climate of New England,
where they had left frost and snow, were struck by the contrast
presented by the vegetation of their new home. The pea-vines, say they,
and buffalo-clover, with various other plants, were nearly knee high,
and afforded a rich pasture for their hungry horses. The trees had
commenced putting forth their foliage, the birds warbled a welcome song
from their branches, and all nature smiled at the approach of the

On these auspicious shores the settlers immediately commenced felling
trees for their log-houses, and for the clearing of the land; while
General Putnam resided in a tent which they had brought with them. In
five days they had cleared and sown several acres of land. A month later
one of the settlers wrote—“This country for fertility of soil and
pleasantness of situation exceeds all our expectations. The climate is
exceedingly healthy; not a man sick since we have been here. We have
started twenty buffaloes in a drove. Deer as plenty as sheep in other
places. Beaver and other animals abundant. I have known one man to catch
twenty or thirty in one or two nights. Turkeys are innumerable; they
come within a few rods of us in the fields. We have already planted a
field of 150 acres of corn.” In July, another writer says—“The corn has
grown nine inches in twenty-four hours for two or three days past.”

The city, which was laid out according to the great plan already formed,
and including within its area the remains of an ancient fortified town,
somewhat similar to those since discovered in Central America, and which
were here carefully preserved, received the name of Marietta. This name
was an abbreviation of Marie Antoinette, the name of the young queen of
France, and was intended as a mark of respect to that sovereign, in
consequence of the attention and kindness with which she had treated
Franklin when at the court of Louis XVI., and of the interest which she
had taken in the American struggle. The leaders of this settlement were
principally old soldiers, and it was natural in them to remember with
gratitude the kind offices which this young and beautiful woman had
rendered to their cause; nor is their veneration for the classics less
distinguishable. There was the “Capitolium” of the city, and the “Via
Sacra,” while the garrison, with block-houses at the corners, was called
“Campus Martius,” “as if,” says the historian, “in anticipation of the
Indian war, which soon commenced, and continued for five years, during
which time it was strictly a military camp.” Every feature of the infant
colony bore the stamp of sylvan prosperity; the early regulations for
the government were written out and posted on the smooth trunk of a
large beech-tree. The 4th of July, the anniversary of the Declaration of
Independence, was celebrated by “a sumptuous dinner, eaten under a
bowery which stretched along the banks of the Muskinghum.” The table, we
are informed, was supplied with venison, buffalo and roast-pigs, with a
variety of fish. Among the latter was a pike weighing 100 pounds, which
was caught at the mouth of the Muskinghum, by Judge Gilbert Devoll and
his son Gilbert, and the tail of which dragged on the ground when
suspended upon a pole between the shoulders of two tall men. On this
occasion an oration was made by one of the judges, the first political
oration ever made in Ohio.

On the 9th of July, General St. Clair arrived as governor of the colony,
and was received in “the bowery” with Arcadian honours, and the firing
of fourteen guns. So rapid was the progress of this settlement, that
before the end of the summer the city-lots, with their streets and open
public spaces, covered an area extending one mile on the Ohio River, and
one mile and 120 perches on the Muskinghum. A substantial bridge was
built over the creek which falls into the Muskinghum, in the southern
part of the city, called, with their love of classical history, “Tiber
Creek,” and three other bridges were also built over smaller streams. A
road was cut through the forest to the Campus Martius, and the clearing
and planting of land went on vigorously. Again and again wrote the
settlers of the prosperity and plenty which surrounded them; the harvest
was cut in the autumn, and in some cases yielded 104 bushels of ears to
the acre, some of these ears yielding a pint and a half of shelled corn
each. “As for beans, turnips, pumpkins, squashes, cabbages, melons,
cucumbers, etc., they are,” says the exultant writer, “the very finest
in flavour I ever tasted, and the great production is truly surprising.”
The district of Marietta was called Washington county.

Emigration and colonisation was now the order of the day. It supplied
the want of employment and excitement caused by the cessation of the
war, and was a healthy outlet for the energies of the people. Among
other emigrants who went out to the western settlements of New York was
Daniel Shays, who had been included in a bill just passed of general
pardon and indemnity for all concerned in the late insurrection. Shays
lived to be very old, supported in his latter days by his pension as a
revolutionary soldier. In October, John Symmes, one of the judges of
Marietta, purchased a large tract of land between the great and little
Miami rivers, and in the following month the first settlement within
that purchase, and the second within Ohio, was commenced at Columbia at
the mouth of the little Miami, five miles above the site of the present
Cincinnati. All went on prosperously; towns were laid out, forests
cleared, roads opened, mills and bridges built, and population flocked
in. Nor was this alone the case on the Ohio. Within twelve months, more
than 10,000 emigrants passed through Marietta on their way to Kentucky
and other parts of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The West, the “great
West,” the boast of the American, was putting forth its vast attractions
and luring tens of thousands even then.

At the close of 1787, it was doubtful what would be the fate of the
Federal Constitution in the States. It was received with distrust and
jealousy by a great body of the people, who feared that the extensive
powers given by the new Constitution to the federal government would
place them under oppressions as grievous as those of the mother-country,
which they had just shaken off. On the other hand, it was supported by
the wealthy portion of the community, by the public creditors and
merchants, the former of whom saw in it their only chance of payment,
while the latter hoped everything from the extension and regulation of
commerce. In the midst of this doubt and uncertainty, an able series of
articles appeared in a New York paper, written by Hamilton, Madison and
Jay, advocating the new constitution, and these so completely meeting
all objections, helped greatly to settle the question.

Delaware was the first state to adopt the Constitution, on December 7th;
five days later Pennsylvania followed the example; and soon after New
Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut. Massachusetts weighed and deliberated,
with able men on either side, the friends of the Union looking anxiously
on, well knowing that on the decision of that important state would
depend the decision of others; and at length, on February 7th, the new
Constitution was ratified by her, the majority in its favour being
nineteen. Maryland gave in her adhesion in April, South Carolina in May,
and in June New Hampshire. The Constitution was earnestly advocated and
opposed by the different parties in the conventions of Virginia and New
York, but both ratified it, the one in June, the other in July.

Eleven states had now adopted the Constitution, and though North
Carolina still hesitated, and Rhode Island obstinately held no
convention, measures were immediately taken for the organisation of the
new government. As was to be expected, Washington received at the
appointed time the unanimous vote of the electors, and became
president-elect; the next highest number of votes was for John Adams,
who was in consequence entitled to the office of vice-president; and
senators and representatives under the new Constitution were chosen also
in the eleven ratifying states.

The 4th of March was the day appointed for the new government to
commence operations, but so many impediments occurred that it was not
until the 30th of April that this took place. Some of the causes of this
delay are curious. By the help of several public-spirited citizens of
New York, who advanced the necessary funds, the old City Hall was
prepared for the occasion. The important day was ushered in by the
firing of cannon and the ringing of bells. But after all, the building
was not ready, and more than that, eight senators only and thirteen
representatives made their appearance, not enough to form a quorum in
either house. The fact was, that most of the members, many of them from
great distances, having to travel to New York on horseback, had found,
at that early season of the year, the roads in many places impassable by
floods, especially where rivers had to be forded. On the last day but
one of March, thirty members, sufficient to form a quorum, being
present, business commenced. The vice-president Adams arrived in New
York, escorted by a troop of horse, on April 21st, and Washington, as
president, proceeded from Mount Vernon in Virginia, to New York, in a
sort of triumphal progress, the people everywhere eager to testify their
affection and esteem, and on the 29th of April landed at New York,
having crossed over from New Jersey in a barge fitted up for the
occasion, and rowed by thirteen pilots in white uniforms.

But even now the new Federal Hall was not ready, and Washington took the
oath of office, after Divine service had been performed in all the
churches, in a balcony fronting the street where the assembled populace
could witness the ceremony. The oath was administered by Livingston,
Chancellor of New York, who, on its conclusion, exclaimed aloud, “Long
live George Washington, President of the United States!” and the
multitude answered with enthusiastic shouts.

The inaugural address of Washington was short, and remarkable for its
deep tone of gratitude to the Divine Ruler, who had permitted the
affairs of America to take a favourable issue; for its pure and elevated
sentiment of political wisdom, and of devotion to that beloved country
in whose service he had already laboured so faithfully. “The foundation
of the national policy,” he remarked, “should be laid in the pure
principles of private morality; no truth being more thoroughly
established than that there exists an indissoluble union between virtue
and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of
an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public
prosperity and happiness.” He considered “the success of the republican
form of government as an experiment entrusted to the American people,”
and assured them, “that the propitious smiles of Heaven could never be
looked for if the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself
had ordained, were disregarded.”

His disinterested patriotism was proved by the fact that now, as on the
former occasion when he held the office of commander-in-chief, he
desired no other compensation for his services than the reimbursement of
his expenses.

It was early attempted in the senate to introduce styles and titles of
office, and to address the president as “His Highness,” but this was
resolutely opposed; nevertheless a committee was appointed to consider
the subject, and in the meantime the question was decided by the house
of representatives, the supporters of republican simplicity. They
addressed Washington, in their reply to his opening address, merely as
“the President of the United States.”

Washington on his part, though a strenuous advocate of republican
simplicity, found it necessary to sustain the dignity of his office by a
form of etiquette which was considerably censured at the time, but which
has ever since continued to regulate the presidential household. He laid
it down as a rule to return no visits. Certain days were appointed for
levees; nor were any invitations to dinner given, excepting to foreign
ministers, officers of the government, and strangers of distinction. The
arrangement of the ceremonial at levees and other public occasions was
entrusted to Humphries, who had formerly been aide-de-camp to
Washington, and later, secretary of legation at Paris, and who was
supposed to know a good deal on the punctilios of court life. Trifling
matters of ceremonial introduced by Humphries, as the placing the
president and his wife on elevated seats at public balls, and requiring
the dancers to acknowledge their presence by bows and curtseys, led to
trouble in after years, as marks of the monarchical tendencies of the
federal party.[64] For the rest the greatest simplicity prevailed; there
was neither ostentation nor reserve, and the guests of the first man in
the Union were entertained with as much ease, and received as kind a
welcome, as though he had still been only “Farmer Washington.” On the
Sundays, however, no visits were received. He regularly attended church
in the morning, and in the afternoon retired to his private apartment.
The evening was spent with his family, when sometimes an intimate friend
might call, but promiscuous company was not permitted.[65]

The first objects of congress were to establish a revenue for the
support of government, and the supply of the exhausted treasury; to
organise the executive departments; to establish a judiciary; and to
amend the constitution. In order to provide a revenue, duties were
imposed on the tonnage of vessels, and on foreign goods imported into
the states, among which were ardent spirits. As regarded spirituous
liquors, the attention of the public was just turned to this subject by
a tract on the great evils attending their use, lately published by Dr.
Rush. It was the commencement of the temperance movement, and at the
great Federal Festival, held at Philadelphia to celebrate the adoption
of the new Constitution, ardent spirits had been excluded, American beer
and cider being the only liquors used.

Three executive departments were established to aid the president in the
affairs of government—the departments of Foreign Affairs, of the
Treasury, and of War. Thomas Jefferson was appointed to the first,
Alexander Hamilton to the second, and General Knox to the third, which
he had long held, the small navy being also placed under his care. These
offices were under the control of the president, and the power of
removing them was, after much discussion, placed also in his hands.

The national judiciary now established consisted of a Supreme Court,
having one chief-justice and several associate judges, as well as
circuit and district courts possessing jurisdiction as specified in the
Constitution. Washington declared that “the due administration of
justice was the firmest pillar of good government, and that the
selection of the fittest characters to expound the laws and dispense
justice was an invariable object of his anxious concern.” He selected,
therefore, the fittest men he knew for those important appointments; and
John Jay became chief-justice, and Edmund Randolph attorney-general.
Several amendments to the Constitution were proposed, ten of which, as
given in the preceding chapter, were afterwards adopted.

The salary of the president was fixed at 25,000 dollars a year, that of
the vice-president at 5,000, those of the heads of departments at 3,500.
Six dollars a day, with six dollars for every twenty miles of
travelling, were allowed to the representatives, and seven dollars, with
the same sum for travelling expenses, in the same ratio, to the members
of the Senate. The chief-justice of the Supreme Court was to receive
4,000 dollars, and the associate judges 500 dollars less, per annum.

On the 29th of September, the first session of congress closed. In
November, North Carolina ratified the Constitution.

During the recess of congress, the president made a tour through the New
England states, omitting, however, Rhode Island, which had not yet given
in its adhesion to the Constitution. Everywhere he was received with
demonstrations of love and respect. “Men, women and children,” says
Jared Sparkes, “people of all ranks, ages, and occupations, assembling
from far and near, at the crossings of the roads and other public places
where it was known he would pass. Military escorts attended him on the
way, and at the principal towns, he was received and entertained by the
civil authorities.

“This journey,” continues the same writer, “not only furnished proofs of
the attachment of the people, but convinced him of the growing
prosperity of the country, and of the favour which the Constitution and
the administration of government were gaining in the public mind. He saw
with pleasure that the effects of the war had almost disappeared; that
agriculture was pursued with activity; that the harvests were abundant,
manufactures increasing, the towns flourishing, and commerce becoming
daily more extended and profitable. The condition of society, the
progress of improvements, the success of industrial enterprise, all gave
tokens of order, peace and contentment, and a most cheering promise for
the future.”

Journeys of this kind, the great object of which was the becoming better
acquainted with the capabilities, as well as the condition of the
country, were not uncommon with Washington. Already, in 1784, at the
close of the war, he had made a journey of 600 miles, to visit his lands
on the Ohio, when the practicability of a great scheme suggested itself
to him, viz. that of uniting the East and West, by means of
intercommunication between the head waters of the Atlantic streams and
the western rivers. He pressed the subject upon the notice of the
government of Virginia, the result of which was the formation of two
companies, “the Potomac Company,” and “the Kenhawa and James River
Company.” Washington thus became the first mover in the great series of
internal improvements which took place.

The second session of congress opened on the 6th of January, 1790.
Hamilton, the secretary of the treasury, brought forward early his
report upon the public debt contracted during the war, and which had
hung like a mill-stone so long round the neck of government. Taking an
able and enlarged view of the advantages of public credit, he
recommended that not only the debts of the continental congress, but
those of the individual states contracted on behalf of the common cause,
should be funded or assumed by the general government, and that
provision should be made for paying the interest by taxes imposed on
certain articles of luxury, and on spirits distilled in the country.
This report led to long discussion; but in conclusion, congress passed
an act for the assumption of the states’ debts, and for funding the
national debt. Provision for the payment of the foreign debt was made
without any difficulty. The debt funded amounted to about 75,000,000
dollars; and it was especially enacted that no certificate should be
obtained from a state-creditor, which it could not be ascertained had
been issued for the express purposes of compensation, services, or
supplies, during the late war. The proceeds of the western lands and the
surplus revenue, with the addition of 2,000,000 dollars which the
president was authorised to borrow at 5 per cent, constituted a sinking
fund to be applied to the reduction of the debt. The effect of these
measures upon the country in general was of the most satisfactory kind.
The sudden increase of monied capital gave a fresh impulse to commerce
and consequently to agriculture.

Shortly after the discussion on the debt commenced in Congress, it was
interrupted by petitions from the yearly meeting of the Quakers of
Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York, advocating the abolition of
slavery, and which were followed up by a memorial from the Pennsylvania
Abolition Society, signed by Benjamin Franklin as president, one of the
last public acts of this remarkable man’s life; he died a few weeks
afterwards. This subject led to two months’ controversy on the subject
of slavery and the slave-trade, the end of which was a report, entered
on the journal of the debates, that any state thinking proper to import
slaves, could not be prohibited by congress prior to the year 1808,
although it had power to prevent their supplying foreigners with slaves,
and that they had no authority to interfere in the emancipation of
slaves, or in the treatment of them in any of the states.

In May of this year, Rhode Island acceded to the New Constitution, and
thus completed the union of the Thirteen States. About the same time an
act was passed for accepting a cession of land from North Carolina, and
erecting it into a territorial government, under the title of “the
Territory South of the Ohio,” and which was in every respect to stand
upon the same basis as the “Territory North West of the Ohio,” with this
exception, that slavery was not excluded. This new territory, which
forms the present Tennessee, included the late aspiring state of
Frankland, and another tract of about 2,000 square miles, which had been
settled in 1780 by James Robertson, who, with about forty families, had
advanced 300 miles into the wilderness, and there established the town
of Nashville on the banks of the Cumberland River; whither, also, he had
been followed by many of the officers and soldiers of the revolutionary
war, to whom land-bounties had been assigned on the same river. The new
territory, for which a governor was presently appointed, was for the
greater part in the possession of the Indians at that very time.

Indian wars were the certain result of the advance of the white man into
the wilderness, and the frontiers of the more southern states still
continued to be the scenes of bloodshed. A war had been carried on for
some time between the Creek Indians and Georgia, on the subject of lands
said to have been ceded by the Indians to that state, but which they
denied. The Creek warriors were well supplied with fire-arms and
ammunition, and had the advantage of an able and accomplished chief, a
half-breed Indian called, after his father, M‘Gillivray, and who had
received an excellent education in Charleston. Under this chief the
Creeks carried on a fierce and terrible war, which spread alarm even as
far as Savannah. Washington, anxious to bring about a negotiation with
these formidable warriors, invited M‘Gillivray to New York; and
accompanied by twenty-eight chiefs and warriors, he arrived there,
congress being still in session, and was received with every mark of
respect and attention. A treaty of peace was entered into; wampum given
and tobacco smoked; after which M‘Gillivray having made a speech, and “a
shake of peace” between Washington and the chiefs being given, “a song
of peace” was raised by the Indians, and the ceremony ended. Peace was
established on the frontiers of Georgia, and the lands which the Creeks
claimed solemnly guaranteed to them, not much to the satisfaction of the

Thus successful with the Creeks, they were much less so with the western
Indians, who encouraged, it was said, by the British in Canada, insisted
on making the Ohio their boundary, and infested the banks of the river,
attacking the emigrant boats, which descended it, and carrying their
ravages far into Kentucky. Pacific overtures having been made in vain by
the president to these hostile Indians, General Harmar was sent from
Fort Washington, now Cincinnati, with a force of 1,400, to reduce them
to terms. He succeeded in destroying the Indian villages and their
harvests, but in two engagements near the confluence of the St. Mary’s
and St. Joseph’s in Indiana, successive detachments of the army were
defeated with considerable loss.

Congress during this present session passed an act “for the
encouragement of learning,” which secured a copyright to authors for
fourteen years, and if living at the end of that term, for fourteen
years longer.

During the session of 1791, a National Bank was proposed by Hamilton,
which met with the most vigorous opposition from the republican party,
who considered that congress had no constitutional power for such a
measure. The supporters of the bill maintained it to be constitutional
and necessary for the operations of government. The president required
the opinions of the cabinet in writing, and after mature deliberation,
gave the bill his signature, and the bank was established at
Philadelphia, with a capital of 10,000,000 dollars.

The dissentions on the subjects of the funding system and the bank,
originating in the heart of the republic, extended themselves to the
extremities, and were a signal for the people to range themselves under
two parties. Hamilton and Jefferson were the leaders of these factions,
and Washington in vain endeavoured, by his practical wisdom and
affectionate remonstrances, to reconcile the two parties. But we have
not space to enter at large into the struggles and bitternesses of this
party strife. We pass, therefore, on to events.

New York having relinquished her claim to Vermont, though not without
the purchase of a release for 30,000 dollars, and the Green Mountain
Boys, having adopted the Constitution, were in February admitted into
the Union.

The Indian war still continuing, and even with increased violence,
additional troops were raised and command given to General St. Clair,
governor of the North West Territory, to march to the relief of the
suffering settlers; and in October he encamped with 1,400 men near the
Miami villages. The chief of the Miamis, at this time, was the powerful
Michikiniqua, or the Little Turtle, who by the force of native talent,
had raised himself to the military leadership of the confederated
western tribes. In his forces, which numbered about 1,500, were included
many half-breeds and refugees, among whom was the notorious Simon Girty.
St. Clair and his officers were asleep in the midst of their camp, when
in the early dawn they were roused by a sudden attack. The carnage which
followed was terrible; more than one-fourth of the Americans, and the
artillery and baggage, fell into the hands of the enemy.[66] This second
repulse spread the greatest terror throughout the north-west frontier
even into Pennsylvania. On the news of this disaster, congress resolved
to prosecute the war with increased vigour, and provision was made for
augmenting the army, by enlistment, to the number of 5,000 men. The
defeat of Harmar and St. Clair had, however, created such a dread of the
Indians, that a sufficient number of recruits could not be obtained. A
clamour was raised against the war; Willett and Daniel Morgan, old
revolutionary officers, declined to act as brigadier-generals, Willett
openly declaring his doubt of the justice of the war. “The intercourse,”
said he, “which I have had with these people, and the treatment which I
and others have received from them, makes me their advocate. The honour
of fighting and beating the Indians is not what I aspire after.” Colonel
Harden and Major Trueman were then sent with a flag of truce, to attempt
a negotiation, but they were both murdered. The Six Nations now, at the
request of Washington, interfered to persuade the tribes on the Wabash
to withdraw from the confederacy, and make peace with the United States.
This was in part effected, and the Miamis agreed to a conference the
following spring.

The first census of the inhabitants of the United States was taken this
year, when the population was found to be 3,921,326, of whom 695,655
were slaves. By this census the representatives were apportioned,
allowing one representative for each 33,000 inhabitants, and thus giving
the house 105 members. The revenue, according to the report of the
secretary, amounted to 4,771,000 dollars.

In this session, the long-agitated question regarding the locality of
the permanent seat of government was decided. A district, ten miles
square, comprehending lands on both sides the river Potomac, was
selected and the city of Washington laid out, the sales which took place
producing the necessary funds for its erection.

Kentucky had the satisfaction, after her long efforts at independence,
to be admitted into the Union, in June of 1792. The same year the
post-office was organised and a mint was established and located in
Philadelphia. The coinage, to be called Federal money, were the eagle,
half-eagle and quarter-eagle in gold; the dollar, half-dollar,
quarter-dollar, dime and half-dime in silver; the cent and half-cent in
copper. The device for the coinage led to considerable agitation; the
head of Washington, in the first instance, and other presidents for the
time being, with the name and order of succession, being considered an
alarming step towards monarchy, like the former proposition of the title
of Highness and the present levees of the president, and was therefore
rejected. An emblematic figure of liberty was finally adopted.

The first Congress had now closed its sessions. Washington was again
elected president, and was inaugurated in March of 1793, John Adams also
being re-elected to the office of vice-president.

                             CHAPTER XVII.
               WASHINGTON’S ADMINISTRATION (_continued_).

The two parties of Federalists and Anti-Federalists enlisted under their
banners the friends and enemies of the new National Constitution, the
former asserting the necessity of a strong central government, and the
latter opposing, with jealous anxiety, any measure which should lessen
the popular power by decreasing that of the individual States. The
admirable working, however, of the Constitution under Washington and his
able ministry; the increase of commerce; the extension of territory, and
the general prosperity, would no doubt within a few years have allayed
party animosities, had not an element at that moment come into operation
which, if no other causes had existed, would have divided the country
into two equally violent parties. This was the French Revolution.

Thomas Jefferson had been recalled from France, where he acted as
ambassador of the United States, to take part in the administration
under the new Constitution, and brought with him a strong prepossession
in favour of the French revolutionists. Nothing could be more natural
than that the citizens of the United States, who had so lately and so
gloriously achieved their own independence, should sympathise warmly in
the struggle of that very nation which had aided them in the time of
their difficulty to throw off the despotism under which they was
suffering, and the early and better impulse to which had been a spark
caught from the American flame of liberty. While the anti-federalists,
resisting, as they believed, all dangerous aggressions on their own
dearly-bought independence, cordially espoused the French cause; the
federalists saw in the outrage and ferocity of the French republicans
indications which filled them with the utmost jealousy and alarm, lest
the same spirit should break forth upon their shores, and sweep away
those wise foundations of order which had been so carefully laid.

With these opposite sentiments towards France were united, as a matter
of course, equally opposed feelings towards England. The federalists
regarding their country as allied to Great Britain by similarity of
language, religion, and literature, were ready even to doubt, with the
example of France before them, whether a republican form of government
could be relied upon, and to draw still more closely the bonds of union
between themselves and the mother-country. They charged the
anti-federalists with blind devotion to the French cause, and their
leaders, with Jefferson at the head, with being deeply tinctured with
the sentiments of the French school of philosophy, and with the design
of introducing the same infidel and jacobinical notions into America, as
had led to the sanguinary and revolting scenes in France.[67]

The revolutionary party in France regarded the Americans as brethren,
and expected from them only applause and sympathy. The French minister
who had been sent over by the king was recalled, and citizen Genet, as
representative of the new republic, arrived in April, 1793, about a
month after Washington’s second entrance into office, at Charleston,
South Carolina, where he was received with distinguished respect and
honour, intended to express the approbation with which America regarded
the change in the institutions of France. While the minister of the
French republic was thus received with peculiar marks of honour by the
anti-federal party, they insisted upon the president resuming office
with the most republican simplicity. Jefferson was at the head of this
movement, and lest he might appear as the only thorough republican in
the cabinet, now that republicanism was the fashion, Hamilton, the
opponent of Jefferson, fell into the same idea. Knox and Randolph
dissented; and Washington took the oath of office in the Senate-chamber
in the presence of the members of the cabinet, various public officers
and foreign ministers. The Vice-President Adams, too, assumed a
republican simplicity of living; gave up his house in Philadelphia and
went into lodgings, leaving his wife at home to manage the farm, to whom
writing, he said that his style of living made him very popular, and
that he himself was well satisfied with his present simplicity. This
republican rage was consequently shocked severely on the occasion of
Washington’s next birth-day, when visits of congratulation, balls,
parties, and other festivities, took place, not in Philadelphia only,
where congress was now sitting, but in many other cities and towns; all
which were regarded by the democrats as alarming steps towards monarchy,
and the press teemed with bitter effusions on the subject.[68]

Genet, the new French minister, flattered by the reception given to him,
and supposing that the American nation, whatever its government might
be, were ready to embark in the cause of France, proceeded to authorise
the fitting out and arming privateers in the port of Charleston, and the
enlisting men and giving commissions to cruise and commit hostilities on
nations with whom the United States were at peace. He assumed also to
authorise the French consuls throughout the Union to erect Courts of
Admiralty, for trying and condemning such prizes as might be brought
into the American ports; and acting on this assumed authority, proceeded
accordingly against several prizes which were very soon brought to

Five days before the arrival of Genet at Charleston, the news had
reached New York of the French declaration of war against England and
Holland. Washington, who was then at Mount Vernon, hastened to
Philadelphia, summoned his cabinet, and took into serious consideration
the important question, as to what part the United States must take in
the present crisis of European affairs. Not wishing to involve his
country in the contests of Europe, he himself advocated neutrality, and
the cabinet finally came to the same opinion. This step, however, was by
no means a popular one. Genet, who was an old and able diplomatist,
arrived at Philadelphia immediately after the American government had
published their decision. His journey, like his reception, called forth
the most extravagant enthusiasm. The very men, says Hildreth, who had
reprobated any demonstration of respect to Washington, as savouring too
much of the old spirit of monarchical adulation, now seemed almost
insane in the fervour of their desire to do honour to the Republic of
France, in the person of her minister.

Republican feasts were held in sober Philadelphia; the public press took
up the cry; democratic societies were formed; the red cap of Liberty was
hoisted; the Marseilles hymn was sung, with two additional verses
written by Genet, with reference to the navy; and a large faction, more
French than American, seemed all going mad together.

Genet was a firebrand in the country. Not alone did he attempt to
exercise sovereignty on the coast, but to organise in Georgia and South
Carolina a hostile expedition against Florida, and another in Kentucky
against New Orleans. The leadership in this latter undertaking was given
to George Rogers Clarke, who formerly distinguished himself in the
revolutionary war by the conquest of the Illinois country, but who now
had sunk very low by a long course of intemperance. America could not
rule her own country as long as Genet remained within it. Nothing could
be more opposed than the restless, scheming, hot-headed and unprincipled
Genet, and the calm, religious, and sagacious Washington. The excesses
into which Genet and his party ran, caused complaints from the British
minister. The cabinet resolved to enforce the laws; and Genet, believing
that the whole management of American affairs was in his hands,
threatened to appeal to the people against their government.

A reaction had already begun, and this very attempt to shake the
government served but to strengthen it. Washington requested the recall
of Genet, and in the following year his place was supplied by Fauchet,
who was instructed to inform the American government that France
disapproved of the conduct of her late minister. The Reign of Terror had
now commenced in that devoted country, and Genet, who had in the
meantime married the daughter of Governor Clinton, of New York, not
choosing to return to France settled down in America, dropping at once
his character of democratic agitator and sinking into the obscure

We must now take a rapid glance at the state of affairs in the West.
After the defeat of St. Clair in 1791, General Wayne, to whom the
Indians gave the name of the Black Snake, was appointed to the command
of the American forces. Taking post near the country of the enemy, he
made assiduous but vain attempts at negotiating peace, while his troops
suffered greatly from a kind of epidemic influenza. The winter of 1793
he passed on the ground where the disastrous battles of 1791 had been
fought, and here erected Fort Recovery. The Little Turtle would
willingly have made peace, for, said he, addressing the confederated
tribes, “we shall not now surprise them, for they have a chief who never
sleeps;” but the Indian council insisted on war.

Early in the summer of 1794 operations commenced; Fort Recovery was
attacked, and the Indians repulsed, although at the loss of 300
pack-mules and fifty men. In August, a reinforcement of 1,100 men having
joined him, Wayne reached the confluence of the Au Glaize and the Maumee
rivers, about thirty miles from a British post, where the whole force of
the enemy, about 2,000 strong, was collected. Here, taken by surprise,
they fled precipitately, and were pursued for two hours at the point of
the bayonet. The country was finely cultivated and full of abundant
crops. The American commander declared that he had never seen anything
equal to it. The banks of those beautiful rivers appeared for many miles
one complete village. At this point the conqueror built a strong fort
called Fort Defiance, and a second called Fort Adams, to connect it with
Fort Recovery.

Wayne offered to treat with the Indians, but they asked ten days for
deliberation. This he would not grant, and followed them down the Maumee
for two days; on the third he found them strongly encamped by the river,
and a battle took place in which they were completely routed. The
English lost 107 men; the loss of the Indians was never ascertained. The
Indian corn-fields were ravaged up to the very walls of the British
fort. Two British companies, it was asserted, with their faces painted
to represent Indians, were in the fight; nevertheless, when the routed
Indians fled to the fort for refuge, they were refused admittance, which
treatment they never forgave; and Buckongahelas, the principal chief of
the Delawares, immediately afterwards made peace with the Americans. The
British influence over the savages was broken, and their confederacy
dissolved. This victory insured peace and security to the whole
settlements north-west of the Ohio, and even extended to Georgia.

On the 3rd of August, 1795, Wayne concluded a treaty of peace on behalf
of the “Thirteen Fires,” as the federal states were called, with the
Indians at Greenville. The principal chiefs, Tarhe, Buckongahelas, Black
Hoof, Blue Jacket, and the Little Turtle, attended by 1,100 warriors,
were parties to it. This treaty stipulated that the Ohio, with a few
reservations, should thence become the boundary of the Indian territory.
Besides the extent of country thus ceded, were several detached portions
of territory, including the present or former sites of forts in the
possession of the British, and about to be surrendered under a treaty
with Great Britain, of which we shall speak anon, having, as regards
these Indian affairs, somewhat advanced beyond the regular course of
events. Among these cessions was a tract opposite Louisville, granted by
Virginia to George Rogers Clarke and his soldiers for their services in
the Illinois country; the ancient post of Vincennes and other French
settlements; Fort Massac on the Ohio; and several other forts on
different rivers with adjacent territory, Detroit, Mackinaw, and tracts
at Sandusky, Chicago, and at the mouth and head of the Illinois river.
The Indians received for these cessions 20,000 dollars worth of goods,
with an annual allowance of about 10,000 dollars more.

At the exchange of prisoners which took place on this occasion, many
affecting incidents occurred. The war, as against Kentucky, had lasted
for about twenty years, during which time a great number of white people
had been carried into captivity. Wives and husbands, parents and
children, who had been separated for years, were now reunited. Many of
the younger captives had quite forgotten their native language, and some
of them absolutely refused to leave the savage connexions, into whose
families they had been received by adoption.[69]

We now return to Congress and the affairs of the administration. On the
1st of January, 1794, Jefferson resigned his office as secretary of
state, and was succeeded by Randolph; William Bradford, of Pennsylvania,
supplying his place as attorney-general.

This year was rendered remarkable by an insurrection in Pennsylvania. In
1791, congress had enacted laws laying duties upon spirits distilled
within the United States, and upon stills. The operation of these laws
had from the first created dissatisfaction, and an organised system of
resistance was formed in the four western counties, and especially among
the anti-federal or democratic party, to resist and defeat them.
Indictments were found against such as had neglected to enter their
stills, and the marshal of the district, about to serve the thirtieth
warrant near Pittsburg, was met by an armed force which put him and his
men to flight. This was the signal for further and more determined
violence. The next morning, the house of General Neville, the inspector
of the revenue, who had been wounded the day before, was attacked by an
armed force, under a man called Tom the Tinker, and entered. Several
persons were wounded, and Neville compelled to enter into stipulations
to desist from the execution of his office. The following day the attack
was renewed by a still more formidable party, but Neville had then fled,
and the buildings were burned to the ground by the infuriated mob, the
garrison which was stationed there being compelled to surrender. The
marshal and the inspector fled to Ohio, and embarking, descended to
Marietta, and thence by land to Philadelphia. This was a great triumph
to the malcontents; a meeting was held at Pittsburg, and corresponding
societies established. The mail from Philadelphia was intercepted, and
the letters examined to ascertain beforehand how their affairs had been
taken up at head-quarters. These multiplied outrages appeared to the
president as very alarming signs of the times, especially as the
democratic societies of the West were beginning to affiliate with their
ferocious brethren of Paris. Several of the cabinet agreed with
Washington in the necessity of using very decided and summary measures,
and it was proposed to call out the militia. Again the governor of
Pennsylvania, this time Mifflin, doubted his authority to call them out,
or their obedience if he did so, and Washington immediately issued a
proclamation commanding the insurgents to disperse, and warning all
persons against aiding, abetting, or comforting the perpetrators of
these treasonable acts, and requiring all officers and other citizens,
according to their respective duties and the laws of the land, to use
their utmost endeavours to suppress these dangerous proceedings.

The insurgents were no way deterred by this proclamation, and meetings
of delegates from all the disaffected districts took place under
liberty-trees with liberty-banners floating around them. The president’s
call for the militia was responded to; and quotas were sent in from
Virginia under the old revolutionary officer Morgan, as well as from
Maryland, while Mifflin, thinking better of his hesitation, made a tour
through the lower counties, and using his extraordinary popular
eloquence for the occasion, soon filled up the ranks. Again, on the 25th
of September, the president issued a second proclamation, admonishing
the insurgents, and forcibly stating his determination, after the spirit
of defiance with which the former lenient treatment of the government
had been received, to obey the duty assigned to him by the Constitution,
and “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” and that he would
proceed forthwith to reduce the refractory to obedience.

It was time that summary measures were taken, for disaffection and
sedition were spreading in all directions; armed mobs were marching
everywhere, erecting liberty-poles and committing deeds of violence.
Fifteen thousand men were sent into the disaffected districts, under
General Lee of Virginia. No sooner was the news abroad that this
formidable army was advancing against them, than the tide of democratic
violence began to ebb; liberty-poles were pulled down, and the armed
insurgents dispersed. Several of the most active leaders were handed
over to the civil authorities for trial, but were afterwards pardoned,
as were also two others who were found guilty of treason. Morgan,
however, remained in the disaffected counties through the winter, with a
body of 2,500 men. The government was strengthened even by this
outbreak; the decision and promptitude of the president won the respect,
and his lenity the hearts of the country.

During this session an act was passed to raise a naval force consisting
of six frigates, as a defence for American commerce against the Algerine
pirates; no less than eleven merchant vessels and upwards of 100
citizens having been captured by those pests of the ocean. An act also
was passed about the same time for fortifying the principal harbours,
the more immediate cause for which was the apprehension of war with
Great Britain, which at that time prevailed.

Ever since the treaty of peace in 1783, Great Britain and the United
States had been mutually reproaching each other for having violated its
conditions. The former complained that the royalists were prevented from
recovering possession of their estates, and British subjects from
recovering their debts. The Americans, on the other hand, complained
that the British had carried away negroes at the close of the war, and
that they still obstinately retained those military posts in the
north-west, of which such frequent mention has been made. The excitement
against Great Britain received, however, at this moment a great
accession by two orders in council just issued, and by which all British
cruisers were directed to stop and seize all ships laden with provisions
bound for any French port, and to bring them for adjudication into the
British courts of admiralty. These orders, which in fact went to destroy
all neutral trade with the French colonies, produced the utmost
excitement in Philadelphia, and for the moment nothing but war with
Great Britain was talked of. Congress assembled, and a bill was passed
laying an embargo for thirty days, which was again extended to a second
thirty; and it was further debated whether all commercial intercourse
with Great Britain and her subjects, as far as regarded all articles of
British growth or manufacture, should not be discontinued, until she had
acceded to their reasonable demands.

Washington foresaw in these violent measures no other issue than war
with the mother-country, which he desired under every circumstance to
avoid; and believing that the existing differences between the two
countries might be brought to an amicable adjustment, resolved to make
the experiment. Accordingly, Chief-Justice Jay being appointed to this
important mission, embarked on May 13th, being attended to the shore by
a great concourse of people, whom at parting he assured of his
determination to leave no means untried for the security of the
blessings of peace.

This measure being taken for pacific arrangements, congress passed acts
for putting the country in a state of defence. The principal harbours
were to be fortified, as we have before said, and 80,000 militia to be
held in readiness for immediate service; the importation of arms was
permitted free of duty, and additional taxes were levied.

About this time, the afterwards celebrated John Quincy Adams, son to the
vice-president, received his first public appointment as minister at the
Hague, he having already distinguished himself by certain articles in a
Boston paper on Genet’s proceedings, which attracted Washington’s

Hamilton, at the commencement of this year, resigned his office of
Secretary of the Treasury, and was succeeded by Oliver Wolcot; and at
the close of this session, General Knox having resigned, Timothy
Pickering of Massachusetts was appointed Secretary of War.

Jay was successful in his mission, and early in the following year a
treaty was laid before the Senate for ratification. This treaty provided
that the posts which the British had retained should be given up to the
Americans, and compensation made for illegal captures of American
property; and the United States were to secure to the British creditor
the proper means of collecting debts which had been contracted before
the peace of 1783. It did not, however, prohibit the right of searching
merchant vessels, and thus violated the favourite maxim of the
Americans, that “free ships make free goods.” The treaty was not all
that Washington himself desired; but as no better terms were to be had,
he wisely resolved that, if the Senate approved of it, he would not
withhold his signature.

The country was in a state of angry excitement, and ready to reject
rather than accept it, even before they knew the exact terms of the
treaty, while the Senate, with closed doors, were discussing it and
coming gradually to the decision that it should be ratified. At this
moment an imperfect copy appeared in a newspaper, and Washington then
ordered it to be published.

This was like throwing a lighted brand among combustibles. The partisans
of France assailed it with the utmost violence; an outcry was raised
against it from one end of the Union to the other, as “a pusillanimous
surrender of American rights, and a shameful breach of obligations to
France.” City after city protested against it, and the popular feeling
was expressing itself in acts of outrage and violence, when Washington,
with the prompt decision of a wise governor, after protesting and
remonstrating against such clauses of the treaty as he considered
injurious to the American interests, settled the question by attaching
his signature to the treaty. “As regards this treaty,” says Jared
Sparkes in his Life of Washington, “time disappointed its enemies and
more than satisfied its friends. It saved the country from a war,
improved its commerce, and served in no small degree to lay the
foundation of its durable prosperity. The great points which were said
to be sacrificed or neglected—the impressment of seamen, neutral rights
and colonial trade—have never yet been settled, and are never likely to
be settled while England maintains the ascendancy she now holds on the

Two other treaties were negotiated about the same time; one with
Algiers, by which the commerce of the Mediterranean was opened, and the
prisoners who had been in bondage for many years released; but for this
was paid the large sum of 763,000 dollars, with an annual tribute in
stores of 24,000 dollars, a black-mail which was paid likewise by
various European nations, to secure them from the piracies of the Dey.
The other treaty was with Spain. Spain had long acted towards the United
States in an unfriendly manner. She was fearful lest the principles of
liberty and independence which they had so successfully asserted should
find their way into her contiguous provinces. She had always endeavoured
that the western boundary of this so dangerous neighbour should be fixed
at 300 miles east of the Mississippi, and she denied to the inhabitants
west of the Alleganies access to the ocean by that great river, the
mouth of which was in her province of Louisiana. At length, however,
when at home she became involved in a war with France, and in America
alarmed by the unauthorised preparations making in Kentucky, under the
influence of Genet, to invade Louisiana, she intimated her willingness
to adjust her differences with the United States by treaty. An envoy
extraordinary was therefore immediately despatched to Madrid, and in
October a treaty was signed, by which the western boundary of the
American republic was fixed according to their own claims, the
navigation of the Mississippi made free to both nations, and the
American citizens allowed the privilege of landing and depositing
cargoes at New Orleans.

During the recess of congress, and while the president was busied with
filling up vacancies in his cabinet, the treaty with Great Britain was
agitating the country, and petitions got up against it and numerously
signed were presented to the House of Representatives when the fourth
sitting of congress commenced. By this time, however, the offensive
treaty had been ratified by his Britannic Majesty, and no other means of
opposition now remained to the democratic or French party in the House
of Representatives but to demand from the president the instructions by
which Jay had entered into this negotiation. Washington refused to
comply with this demand, asserting that the power to make treaties was
vested by the Constitution solely in the president, with the advice and
consent of the Senate, and that the House of Representatives had
hitherto acquiesced in this mode of procedure. The malcontents were not
prepared for this refusal, and the debate which it led to was carried on
for many days with great eloquence as well as warmth. But even though
Washington hazarded much in opposing the popular branch of the
legislature, his was not a mind to be swayed by any lesser consideration
from that which he knew to be the true line of duty. He believed that to
yield in this instance would be to introduce a dangerous principle into
the diplomatic transactions of the nation, and he was firm in his

The resolution moved in the house, to make the necessary appropriations
to carry the treaty into effect, again called forth violent opposition.
The people themselves now took up the subject also; meetings were held,
and the strength of the two parties fully tried, until at length it was
evident that the majority were in favour of the treaty. Petitions in its
favour were presented to congress; and lastly, Fisher Ames, of
Massachusetts, at that time just risen from his sick-bed, appeared in
the house, pale, feeble, and scarcely able to stand, and spoke with such
irresistible power on behalf of the treaty, that further opposition was
vain. The eloquence of the sick man conquered; and the necessary laws
were passed for the fulfilment of this agitated treaty.

The number of 60,000 inhabitants being required to constitute a state
government, and Tennessee having attained to a still higher population,
was admitted into the Union this year; and Sevier, who had distinguished
himself in the extinct state of Frankland, was elected governor. This
new State was peopled principally from North Carolina. The first
newspaper established at Knoxville was in 1793.

The troubles regarding Jay’s treaty with Great Britain were not yet at
an end. The French government and its partisans in America, who had,
spite of the neutral position assumed by the United States, always
calculated upon substantial aid and service being rendered to France,
were consequently greatly disappointed and annoyed by the line of
conduct which Washington had adopted, and which had tended to knit up,
rather than to dissever, the old relationships between the two kindred
countries. Washington and the federalists were pronounced to be hostile
to the cause of France; to be traitors to their own principles, enemies
to the rights of man, and meanly subservient to Great Britain.

Morris, the successor of Jefferson as American representative in France,
a man of great sagacity and cool judgment, who having taken an active
part in the revolution of his own country, could not yet regard with
satisfaction the means adopted to establish a republic in France, was
looked upon with suspicion by whatever party for the time being held the
reins of government. Accordingly, when the Committee of Public Safety,
under Robespierre and his associates, sent letters of recall to Genet,
they requested also that another ambassador might be sent to supply the
place of Morris. Mr. Monroe, an ardent friend of republican liberty and
the rights of man, was sent over. The fall of Robespierre had taken
place when Monroe arrived in Paris, and the Thermodorians, who were then
in power, received him with considerable coolness, as questioning the
loyalty of the nation which he represented to their great goddess of

The new ambassador by his instructions was empowered to contradict the
report circulated in France of the unfriendly feelings of the president
and his party towards the cause of that country. Monroe made the most of
this permission; and Merlin de Douay and he embraced in public, that the
French people might be edified by the spectacle which was to “complete
the annihilation of an impious coalition of tyrants;” and the convention
passed a decree that the “flags of the two republics should be
entertwined and suspended in their hall, in testimony of eternal union
and friendship.” In return, the French colours were sent to America for
the same purpose, by M. Adet, who superseded Fauchet, he being removed
at the fall of the Robespierre faction. These colours were duly
presented on New-year’s-day, 1796, with an address, and the president
replying, the colours were ordered to be deposited with the archives of
the nation.

These theatrical flatteries were, however, but tricks and cajoleries to
induce America to take part in the wars of France; and Monroe, caught in
the snare that was laid, was not long before he wrote to urge the policy
of a loan to France, adding “that the Americans in that case might at
once seize the western posts, and the territory on the Lower
Mississippi, occupied by the Spaniards, and trust to French aid to see
them out of the war—if war should follow, which he did not conceive
likely, either on the part of Britain or Spain, considering the success
of the French arms.”

The schemes of the infatuated Monroe did not meet with that
encouragement in America which he had led the French government to
expect; and Jay’s treaty being about this time ratified, the French
cruisers were ordered to capture, in certain cases, the vessels of the
United States, and several hundred vessels laden with valuable cargoes
were in consequence seized and confiscated.

Monroe, highly unfit for his office, not only displeased the government
at home by his attempt to compromise them, but fell into disgrace at
Paris, because he had failed to bring about that close alliance between
the United States and France which he had promised. He was recalled; and
Charles C. Pinckney, of South Carolina, appointed in his stead, he being
furnished with instructions to use every effort, compatible with
national honour, to restore the amicable relations which had formerly
existed between the two countries.

But events were tending more and more to separate them. The British, at
this time, were endeavouring to complete the conquest of the French
portion of St. Domingo, the defence of which, for the republic, was left
almost entirely in the hands of the black general, Touissaint.
Provisions and horses, purchased in America, had been forwarded in
American vessels chartered for that purpose, for the supply of the
British troops. Adet complained of this, and very soon after had to
communicate the decree of July 14, which empowered the seizure of
American vessels in the West India seas. In November a proclamation was
issued by Adet, commanding, in the name of the French Directory, all
Frenchmen in America to assume the tri-coloured cockade. And this
cockade was at once mounted, not only by Frenchmen, but by the American
partisans of the French Republic. Adet was commencing the career of

With the close of 1796, which was now at hand, the time for the election
of a new president was come. Washington, weary of the anxieties and
contentions of public life, had already, in September, published a
farewell address to his countrymen, which bore strongly upon the present
state of public feeling; he emphatically urged the maintenance of Union,
as the palladium of political prosperity and safety; of the Federal
constitution, and of the public credit; he solemnly adjured them to
avoid sectional jealousies and heartburnings, the baleful effect of
party-spirit, and of permanent inveterate antipathies against particular
nations or passionate attachments for others. He dwelt at length on the
policy of an impartial neutrality and of a disconnexion with the nations
of Europe, so far as existing treaties would permit, together with the
dangers of foreign influence.

The address bore directly upon the present position of America with
regard to France, and was, in fact, so important in this respect, that
Adet followed it up with a manifesto which, like the address, was
circulated through the newspapers and intended to counteract its effect.

Washington, as president, met the national legislature for the last time
in December, and his last words in that character were a fervent desire
“that the virtue and happiness of the people might be preserved, and
that the government which they had instituted for the protection of
their liberties might be perpetual.”

                             CHAPTER XVIII.

Had Washington been willing to accept the presidentship yet a third
time, the wishes of the nation would gladly have retained him in that
office; but this not being the case, the two great political parties
were each anxious to see its leader at the head of the administration.
The federalists claiming to be the sole adherents of the measures
adopted by Washington, and dreading the influence of French sentiments
and principles, made the most active efforts to elect John Adams; while
the republicans, declaring themselves to be the only true friends of
liberty, and accusing their opponents of a dangerous tendency to Great
Britain and her institutions, were no less strenuous to elect Thomas
Jefferson. The result of the election was that Adams was president, and
Jefferson vice-president.

The new president was inaugurated on the 4th of March, Washington being
present as a spectator, and well pleased to see his place filled by one
whom he considered worthy of so high a trust.

Scarcely had the president assumed his authority, when intelligence
reached him that the Directory of Paris had refused to receive Pinckney,
announcing to him “their determination not to receive another
minister-plenipotentiary from the United States, until after the redress
of grievances demanded of the American government, and which the French
Republic had a right to expect from it;” and immediately afterwards he
was compelled, by a written mandate, to quit the territories of the
French Republic.

Congress was immediately called, and met on the 15th of June, when this
extraordinary aspect of affairs was submitted by the president to their
consideration. Wishing still to preserve peace and friendship with all
nations, so far as was compatible with the honour and interests of the
United States, the president proposed to institute a fresh attempt at
negotiation; but earnestly recommended it to congress to provide in the
meantime effectual measures of defence.

As a last effort, therefore, to effect a negotiation, three
envoys-extraordinary were appointed, at the head of whom was Pinckney,
then at Amsterdam. Their instructions were to establish peace and
reconciliation by all means compatible with the honour and the faith of
the United States; but to impair no national engagements; nor to permit
any innovations upon those internal regulations for the preservation of
peace which had been deliberately and uprightly established; nor yet to
surrender any rights of the government. These ambassadors, also, the
Directory refused to receive. Proposals however were made to them, which
proceeded verbally from Talleyrand, the French minister for foreign
affairs, through inofficial persons. A large sum of money was in the
first place demanded, preparatory to any negotiation being entered into.
To this insulting proposal no other reply than an indignant negative
could be returned; and when the demand was persistently urged, the
envoys broke off any further communication; on which two of them, who
were federalists, were ordered to leave France, while the third, who was
an acknowledged republican, was permitted to remain.

When these events were known in the United States, they excited
universal indignation. For the moment party animosity seemed to be at an
end, and one universal sentiment prevailed, “millions for defence, not a
cent for tribute.” The treaty with France was declared by congress to be
void, and authority was given for seizing French armed vessels.
Provision was made for raising a small standing army, the command of
which was offered to General Washington, who accepted it with
reluctance, though entirely approving of these measures. General
Hamilton was appointed second in command, and a naval armament decided

[Illustration: TOMB OF WASHINGTON.]

The French had already commenced depredations on the American commerce,
and reprisals soon followed. In February, 1798, the French frigate
L’Insurgent, of forty guns, which had captured the American schooner
Retaliation and carried her into Guadaloupe, was compelled to strike her
colours to the American frigate Constellation, after a close engagement
of an hour and a half, her loss being much the greater. This victory on
the side of the United States soon produced overtures from the Directory
at Paris, on which Adams immediately appointed Oliver Ellsworth,
chief-justice of the United States, Patrick Henry, late governor of
Virginia, and William Van Murray, minister at the Hague, to conclude an
honourable peace. On their arrival in Paris, they found the Directory
overthrown, and Napoleon Bonaparte at the head of the government, with
whom a treaty of peace was satisfactorily concluded on September the
30th, 1800; after which the provisional army was disbanded by order of

Washington, though he took the supreme command of the army, never
believed that the French would actually invade the United States. He was
not, however, permitted to witness the re-establishment of peace. On the
14th of December, 1799, he calmly and peacefully expired, after an
illness of twenty-four hours, at Mount Vernon, his beloved residence, in
the sixty-seventh year of his age. The whole nation mourned his loss.

Congress was in session at Philadelphia when the news of this melancholy
event reached that city, and both houses immediately adjourned for the
remainder of the day. On assembling the next morning, the House of
Representatives resolved that the chair of the speaker should be
shrouded in black; that the members should wear mourning during the
remainder of the session; and that a committee of both houses should be
appointed “to consider on the most suitable manner of paying honour to
the memory of the man, first in war, first in peace, and first in the
hearts of his fellow-citizens.”

The Senate testified their respect in a similar manner, and the joint
committee of the two houses appointed—that a marble monument should be
erected to commemorate the great events in the military and political
life of Washington; that an oration suitable to the occasion should be
pronounced in presence of both houses of congress; and that the people
of the United States should wear crape on their left arms for thirty

“No formal act of the national legislature was, however, required,” says
Jared Sparkes, “to stir up the hearts of the people or to remind them of
the loss which they had sustained in the death of a man whom they had so
long been accustomed to love and revere, and the remembrance of whose
deeds and virtues was so closely connected with that of their former
perils, and of the causes of their present prosperity and happiness. The
mourning was universal. It was manifested by every token which could
indicate the public sentiment and feeling. Orators, divines,
journalists, and writers of every class, responded to the general voice
in all parts of the country, and employed their talents to solemnise the
event, and to honour the memory of him who, more than any other man, of
ancient or modern renown, may claim to be called THE FATHER OF HIS

Both in France and England also was a tribute of respect paid to the
memory of this truly great man. On the 9th of February, soon after the
news of Washington’s death reached France, Napoleon Bonaparte, then
first consul, issued the following order of the day to his army:
“Washington is dead! This great man fought against tyranny; he
established the liberty of his country. His memory will always be dear
to the French people, as it will be so to all freemen of the two worlds;
and especially to French soldiers, who, like him and the American
soldiers, have combated for liberty and equality.” It was likewise
ordered that for ten days black crape should be suspended from all the
flags and standards throughout the Republic. A funeral oration in honour
of Washington was also pronounced in the Hôtel des Invalides, then
called the temple of Mars, the first consul and all the civil and
military authorities being present. The news of Washington’s death
arrived in England at the time when the British fleet, which had chased
the French fleet into the harbour of Brest, was lying at Torbay, and
consisted of nearly sixty ships of the line. Lord Bridport, who had the
command, on hearing the intelligence, ordered his flag half-mast high,
which example was followed by the whole fleet.

During the summer of 1800 the seat of government was removed to the city
of Washington, in the District of Columbia, of which we have already
spoken. During the same year the territory between the western boundary
of Georgia and the Mississippi river, and a portion of the north-west
territory called Indiana, were erected into a distinct government,
called the Mississippi Territory.

As the time approached for the election of a new president, the two
parties made again the most strenuous efforts each to acquire the
direction of government. Adams had been elected by the predominance of
federal principles, but several things had occurred in his
administration which had not only weakened his personal influence, but
rendered the party to which he was attached unpopular with the majority.
The acts by which the army and navy had been strengthened, and which had
placed 80,000 militia at his command, were regarded by the democratic as
indications of a wish to subvert the spirit of republican government;
while the Alien and Sedition Laws, to which he had given his sanction,
completed his unpopularity, and fomented party animosity to an extent
which had never been equalled, and tended greatly to the overthrow of
the federal party.

The federalists supported for the approaching election Adams and General
Pinckney, the democratic party Thomas Jefferson and Colonel Aaron Burr.
The two latter were found to have a small majority, the whole of the
republican party having voted for them, with the intention of Jefferson
being president and Burr vice-president. On counting the votes, however,
it was discovered that both were equal; the selection, therefore, of the
president devolved upon the house of representatives, who, voting by
states, according to the constitution, should decide between the two.
Again and again and yet again the balloting was repeated in the house,
and the result always the same; nor was it until the thirty-sixth
balloting that one altered vote turned the scale in Jefferson’s favour.
He became president, and Aaron Burr vice-president. To guard against the
recurrence of such a difficulty, Article XII. was added to the

Tucker, in his life of Jefferson, thus describes the scene which the
house of representatives presented on this extraordinary occasion: “The
business of the house being confined to balloting, and the result always
showing an adherence by every member to his first purpose, some of the
members conducted themselves in one way and some in another, according
to their various characters and tempers; a portion of the republican
party, gloomy, suspicious, and resentful, auguring the worst
consequences and preparing their minds for the most desperate results;
others, more sanguine, looking forward to a happy termination of the
conquest, which they laboured to bring about by the arts of blandishment
and conciliation. A few, quietly and steadily doing their duty,
determined neither to frustrate the wishes of the people, by changing
their votes, nor to submit to any unconstitutional expedient which a
majority of both houses might venture to resort to. The federal party,
conscious of not having the approbation of the people, exhibited less
variety of emotion; they justified themselves by the exercise of a
constitutional right, and thought it prudent and decent to conceal their
secret satisfaction of vexing and embarrassing their adversaries.”

On the election of Jefferson, all the principal offices of the
government were transferred to the republican party; Madison was
appointed to the department of state; the system of internal duties was
abolished, together with several unpopular laws which were enacted
during the last administration.

A second census of the United States was taken in 1801, giving a
population of 5,319,762, presenting an increase of 1,400,000 in ten
years. During the same time the exports had increased from nineteen to
ninety-four millions of dollars, and the revenue from 4,771,000 to
12,945,000. A wonderful increase, which has scarcely a parallel in the
history of the progress of nations, excepting it may be in some
extraordinary cases, like those of California and Australia under the
gold impulse, but which as regards the United States must be attributed
only to sound laws and political institutions, as well as to the
enterprising and industrious habits of the people.

In 1802 the State of Ohio was admitted into the Union, and the following
year the first states convention met. Within thirty years from the time
when its first settlement of forty-seven individuals was made at
Marietta the number of its inhabitants exceeded half a million, and from
this extensive and important tract slavery was entirely excluded.

The right of depositing merchandise at New Orleans, which had been
granted to the citizens of the United States by the Spanish governor of
Louisiana, in a late treaty, and which was absolutely necessary to the
people of the western states, was withdrawn this year, and caused a
general agitation. A proposal was made in congress to take forcible
possession of the whole province of Louisiana; but milder measures were
adopted, and the right of deposit was restored. In the year 1800,
Louisiana had been secretly ceded to France, and Jefferson, in 1802,
opened a private correspondence with Livingston, in Paris, on the
subject of this cession. The United States had hitherto, he said,
considered France as their natural friend, but the moment she became
possessed of New Orleans, through which three-eighths of the produce of
the Americans must pass, she would become their natural enemy. The case
was different with a feeble and pacific power like Spain; but it would
be impossible that France and the United States could continue friends
when they met in so irritating a position. That the moment France took
possession of New Orleans, the United States must ally themselves with
Great Britain; and, he asked, was it worth while for such a short-lived
possession of New Orleans for France to transfer such a weight into the
scale of her enemy? He then artfully suggested the cession of New
Orleans and the Floridas; but adds, and even _that_ they would consider
as no equivalent while she possessed Louisiana.

In January, 1803, agents were sent over to negotiate the purchase of
Florida; but instead of the purchase merely of New Orleans and the
Floridas, as had been planned, they were able to effect that of all
Louisiana, equal in extent to the whole previous territory of the United
States. They owed their good fortune to the war which was so suddenly
renewed between France and England, when the government of France,
convinced that the possession of Louisiana would soon be wrested from
her by the superior naval power of England, readily consented to make
sale of it to a third power, and the rather, as the money was very
acceptable at that time.[70]

For the trifling sum of 15,000,000 dollars the United States became
possessed of that vast extent of country embracing the present State of
Louisiana, which was called “the Territory of Orleans,” as well as of
“the District of Louisiana,” embracing a large tract of country
extending westward to Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. The treaty was
concluded at Paris in 1803. The area of the country thus ceded was
upwards of 1,000,000 square miles, but all, excepting a small
proportion, occupied by the Indians, its natural proprietors. Its
inhabitants, chiefly French, or the descendants of the French, with a
few Spanish creoles, Americans, English and Germans, amounted to between
80,000 and 90,000, including about 40,000 slaves.

About the same time the United States acquired another considerable
extent of territory. The Kaskaskia Indians, occupying the country which
extended along the Mississippi, from the mouth of the Illinois to the
Ohio, and which is considered the most fertile in the Union, finding
themselves so reduced by wars and other causes as to be unable to defend
themselves from the neighbouring tribes, transferred their country to
the United States, reserving only for agricultural purposes sufficient
to sustain the remnant of the nation. For this valuable acquisition the
United States engaged to extend to them protection, and give them annual
aid in money, implements of agriculture, and other articles of their

In 1803 an appropriation was made by congress for defraying the expenses
of an exploring party across the continent to the Pacific. This was a
scheme which the president had much at heart, and under his auspices it
was carried out; Captain Meriwether Lewis being at the head of the
expedition, while second in command was Captain Jonathan Clarke, brother
of George Rogers Clarke, and under them twenty-eight well-selected
individuals, with an escort of Mandan Indians. The expedition set out on
May 14th, 1804.

Since 1801 war had existed between the United States and Tripoli.
Without going into minute details of this war, we will follow the
abstract given of it by Willson. “In 1803 Commodore Preble was sent into
the Mediterranean, and after humbling the emperor of Morocco, he
appeared before Tripoli with most of his squadron. The frigate
Philadelphia, under Captain Bainbridge, being sent into the harbour to
reconnoitre, struck upon a rock, and was obliged to surrender to the
Tripolitans. The officers were considered prisoners of war, but the crew
were treated as slaves. This capture caused great exultation to the
enemy; but the daring exploit of Lieutenant, afterwards Commodore
Decatur, humbled the pride which they felt in this accession to their

Early in February of the following year, Lieutenant Decatur, under the
cover of evening, entered the harbour of Tripoli, in a small schooner,
having on board but seventy-six men, with the design of destroying the
Philadelphia, which was then moored near the castle, with a strong
Tripolitan crew. By the aid of his pilot, who understood the Tripolitan
language, Decatur succeeded in bringing his vessel in contact with the
Philadelphia, when he and his followers leapt on board, and in a few
minutes killed twenty of the Tripolitans and drove the rest into the

“Under a heavy cannonade from the surrounding vessels and batteries, the
Philadelphia was set on fire, and not abandoned until thoroughly wrapt
in flames; when Decatur and his gallant crew succeeded in getting out of
the harbour without the loss of a single man. During the month of
August, Tripoli was repeatedly bombarded by the American squadron, under
Commodore Preble, and a severe action occurred with the Tripolitan
gunboats, which resulted in the capture of several, with little loss to
the Americans.

“At the time of Commodore Preble’s expedition to the Mediterranean,
Hamet, the legitimate sovereign of Tripoli, was an exile, having been
deprived of his government by the usurpation of a younger brother. Mr.
Eaton, the American consul at Tunis, concocted with Hamet an expedition
against the reigning sovereign, and obtained from the government of the
United States permission to undertake it.

“With about seventy men from the American squadron, together with the
followers of Hamet and some Egyptian troops, Eaton and Hamet set out
from Alexandria towards Tripoli, a distance of 1,000 miles across a
desert country. After great fatigue and suffering they reached Derne, a
Tripolitan city on the Mediterranean, which was taken by assault. After
two successful engagements had occurred with the Tripolitan army, the
reigning bashaw offered terms of peace, which being considered much more
favourable than had before been offered, were accepted by Mr. Lear, the
authorised agent of government.”

Sixty thousand dollars were given as a ransom for the unfortunate
American prisoners, together with an agreement to withdraw all support
from Hamet.

In July, 1804, General Hamilton, the present head of the federalist
party, fell in a duel fought with the vice-president, Aaron Burr, who
having lost the confidence of the republicans, and despairing of
re-election either as president or vice-president, had offered himself
as candidate for the office of governor of New York. He was not elected,
and attributing his unsuccess to the influence of Hamilton with his
party, sent him a challenge, and Hamilton’s death was the result.

This autumn closed Jefferson’s first presidential term, and the general
prosperity which prevailed gained for him the national favour. Summing
up in short the events of his administration, we find that, by a steady
course of economy, although he had considerably reduced the taxes, the
public debt was lessened 12,000,000 of dollars; the area of the United
States about doubled, and the danger of war with both France and Spain
averted; the Tripolitans chastised, and a large and valuable tract of
Indian land acquired.[71]

Jefferson was re-elected president, and George Clinton, late governor of
New York, vice-president.

The wars which raged in Europe in consequence of the French revolution
began now to be seriously felt even in America. Napoleon was emperor of
France, triumphant and powerful, with most of the European nations under
his feet, while England, alone remaining untouched and undaunted,
carried on the war against him with more determined resolution than
ever. America, profiting by the destruction of the commerce of other
nations, entered with her neutral ships into every port, thus
maintaining her commercial relations with every country, however hostile
to each other. English and American ships were at this time almost the
only ones on the ocean.

Already, early in the war, American ships conveying the produce of the
French colonies to Europe, were seized and condemned by British
cruisers; and now still greater difficulties and impediments were thrown
in the way of the neutral trader. In May, 1806, England declared every
European port under the control of France, from Brest to the Elbe, in a
state of blockade, and every American vessel attempting to enter any of
them was captured and condemned. In return, Napoleon declared the
British Islands in a state of blockade, by which means the neutral
American vessels, trading to any of the British ports, were liable to be
seized and condemned by the French. These measures so detrimental to the
commerce of the United States, caused loud complaints from the
merchants, who demanded from the government redress and protection.

But this was only a portion of the grievance to which this great
European war gave birth in America. England assumed “the right of
search,” which had long been offensive to the Americans, and by this
means citizens of the United States, on the plea of their being British
subjects, that is, born Britons though naturalised Americans, were
seized under the barbarous law of impressment, dragged from their
friends, and compelled to serve as British marines, and fight against
nations at peace with their own. The three presidents had, each in his
turn, remonstrated against this iniquitous law, but in vain; every year
added to its enormity; and at length, in June 1807, an event occurred
which brimmed the cup of popular indignation against Great Britain. The
frigate Chesapeake being ordered on a cruise to the Mediterranean, when
at only a few leagues’ distance from the Virginia coast, was come up
with by the Leopard, a British ship of war, commanded by Vice-Admiral
Berkeley; and an officer came on board with an order to search her for
four deserters from the Melampus, and supposed to be serving among her
crew. Commodore Barron, who commanded the Chesapeake, politely replied
that he was not aware of such persons being in his crew; that he wished
to preserve harmony with the British commander, but that he never
allowed the crew of any ship under his command to be mustered by any
officers but his own.

The Leopard, on this manly reply, ranged alongside of the Chesapeake,
and commenced firing upon her. The Chesapeake was unprepared for action,
and lost three of her men, and eighteen more being wounded, Commodore
Barron ordered his colours to be struck. The commander of the Leopard
sent an officer on board, mustered the crew, found the men whom he
wanted, and then abandoned the ship.

The Chesapeake returned immediately to Hampton Roads, whence she had
sailed, and carried with her intelligence which set the whole United
States in a flame, more especially as it was proved that three of the
men thus seized were American citizens, who had been impressed for the
British service and afterwards escaped. The president, on this
information, interdicted by proclamation the entrance of any armed
British vessel within the harbours or waters of the United States; and
an envoy was sent to London to demand satisfaction for this outrage, and
security against any further aggression. Vice-Admiral Berkeley was in
consequence recalled; two of the men who had been taken as deserters
were sent back to America, and a proclamation issued forbidding any
further search in national ships of neutral nations for deserters. But
this did little, as the celebrated orders in council were published by
the British government in November, which prohibited neutrals, except on
humiliating terms, from trading with France or her allies; which, in
fact, was equivalent to excluding them from almost every port in Europe.
Napoleon retaliated, of course, by his Milan decree, which rendered
every vessel trading with Britain, or submitting to search by her,
liable to confiscation if found near his ports or by his cruisers. Thus
were the neutral ships of America still endangered by both belligerent

In return for these vexatious measures, congress, in December, passed a
bill laying an embargo; “so that all American vessels were prohibited
from sailing to foreign ports, all foreign vessels from taking out
cargoes, and all coasting vessels were required to give bond to land
their cargoes in the United States. This embargo was strongly opposed by
the federalist party, and great were the complaints of a total stop
being thus put to foreign commerce. All, however, hoped for a favourable
result from a measure which, if it were seriously felt by the United
States, would, it was believed, be still more seriously felt by their

This embargo failed to obtain any concession from France and England,
and being in itself so injurious to the commercial interests of the
United States, was repealed in 1809, at which time, however, congress
interdicted all commercial intercourse with France and England.

Such was the situation of the country when Jefferson, having been eight
years in office, and following the example of Washington, refused to
accept of re-election, prepared to retire from the administration. But
before we speak of this event, we must briefly return to a cause of
anxiety and agitation, originating in the designs of the late
vice-president, Aaron Burr.

Burr, while in office, offended both prevailing parties. The federalists
by his fatal encounter with Hamilton, who was the idol of that party;
and the republicans by his supposed intrigues against Jefferson. Under
these circumstances, finding himself everywhere unpopular, he retired as
a private citizen to the newer western states. Here, restless, scheming
and ambitious, he engaged in an enterprise the full scope and intention
of which seems never to have been completely fathomed. With the
ostensible design of forming a large agricultural settlement on the
banks of the Washita in Louisiana, he put himself at the head of a great
number of people, who were armed and organised, and for whose use boats
were purchased and built on the Ohio. The nature of his preparations,
which had a warlike rather than a peaceful character, and the
disclosures of some of his associates, led to the supposition that his
real object was of a very different character—was, in fact, no less than
to separate the western states from the Union, to add Mexico to them,
and place himself at their head. “Nothing,” says the President
Jefferson, writing on this subject to La Fayette, “has more strongly
proved the innate force of our form of government than this conspiracy.
Burr had probably engaged 1,000 men to follow his fortunes, without
letting them know his projects, otherwise than by assuring them that the
government approved of them. The moment a proclamation was issued,
undeceiving them, he found himself left with about thirty desperadoes
only. The people rose in a mass wherever he went, and by their own
energy the thing was crushed in an instant, without its having been
necessary to employ the military excepting to take care of their
respective stations. His first enterprise would have been to seize New
Orleans, which he supposed would powerfully bridle the upper country,
and place him at the door of Mexico.”

“Burr was arrested in the Mississippi territory, in January 1807, and
brought before the highest court in the territory. Here making a
favourable impression on the grand jury, he moved to be discharged, but
this being refused, he made his escape with a single companion, and was
again taken on his way to Florida. Carried now to Richmond, in Virginia,
for trial, the whole United States waited with intense interest for the
result. The former character and station of the accused, the novelty and
boldness of his enterprise, the air of mystery in which it was involved,
all contributed to the excitement. Nor was party-spirit inactive, the
federalists, spite of his offences against them, wishing to prove him
innocent, for the sake of thwarting the executive and proving the
president vindictive and tyrannical.”[73]

The trial commenced in May, and on the 23rd of June the grand jury found
him and several of his associates guilty of treason. He was then
committed to prison, but on the plea of such close confinement being
likely to affect his health, he was removed to a publichouse with a
guard over him. On the 3rd of August, the court having adjourned so
long, he was put on his trial, and on the last day of that month was
discharged, on the plea that there was not sufficient evidence to prove
his guilt. The republican party attributed this result to the interest
of the faction which chose to support him for political purposes, and
the case probably might not have ended here, had not the public mind
been at that very time diverted by subjects of yet greater interest.
These were the British interference with American commerce and shipping,
and the affair of the Chesapeake, which electrified the nation to its
remotest extremities, and fused all party animosities for the moment
into one general indignation; and Burr, taking advantage of this removal
of public attention from himself, sailed for England, where he was
afterwards suspected of being an agent of mischief to the United

                              CHAPTER XIX.

On March 4th, 1809, James Madison was elected president, and George
Clinton re-elected vice-president. The embargo, as we have said, was
repealed, though commercial intercourse with France and England was
still prohibited. It was, however, provided that if either nation
revoked her hostile edicts, the prohibition should cease by proclamation
from the president to that effect. Soon after the accession of the new
president, therefore, Mr. Erskine, the British minister plenipotentiary
to the United States, having informed him that the British orders in
council should be repealed by the 10th of June, the renewal of
commercial intercourse with Britain was proclaimed for the same day. But
the British government disavowed the acts of its representative; the
orders in council remained unrepealed, and non-intercourse was again

In March, 1810, Napoleon retaliated the act of congress forbidding the
vessels of the United States to enter the ports either of France or her
allies, by the decree of Berlin, which ordered all American vessels and
cargoes arriving in any of the ports of France, or the countries
occupied by French troops, to be seized and condemned. In November,
however, of the same year, these hostile decrees were revoked by France,
and commercial intercourse was renewed with that country.

But England would revoke nothing, and the feeling between the two
countries grew daily more and more hostile, although the ultra-Whigs in
England, as the federalists in America, used their utmost to bring about
amicable relationships between the two countries. In March, 1811,
Pinckney, the American minister, was suddenly recalled from London; and
British ships being stationed before the principal harbours of the
United States for the purpose of enforcing the British authority, open
acts of hostility took place in May of the same year. The British
frigate Guerrière, exercising the assumed right of search, carried off
three or four natives of the States from some American vessels,
whereupon orders came down from Washington to Commodore Rodgers to
pursue the British ship and demand their own men. Rodgers sailed from
the Chesapeake on the 12th of May, in the President frigate, and not
meeting with the offending Guerrière, fell in with a smaller vessel, the
Little Belt, towards evening of the 16th of May. The President was a
large ship, the Little Belt a small one; the President hailed, and in
return, the Americans declared, a shot was fired. The British, on the
other hand, declared that the President fired first; however that might
be, a severe engagement took place, the guns of the little Belt were
silenced, and thirty-two of her men killed and wounded. Through the
night the two ships lay at a little distance from each other to repair
their damages, the British ship being almost disabled.

This was the muttering of the thunder before the storm; an earnest of
that which was approaching. But before we proceed to the actual breaking
out of the war, we must turn for a moment to the West, where a hostile
confederacy and formidable preparations were discovered among the
Indians, fomented by the British in Canada. At the head of this alarming
confederacy was the great Shawanese chief, Tecumseh, and his twin
brother, Laulewasikaw, who, in order to give to their undertaking a
solemn and mysterious character, had assumed the name of the Prophet,
and who, pretending to direct communication with the Great Spirit,
acquired a powerful influence over the awestruck Indians, who implicitly
obeyed his commands.

Tecumseh, who had been always hostile to the whites, and active in the
later efforts against them, was a man of powerful mind, and possessed of
all those stoic qualities which give a grandeur even to the most savage
nature. He was in the battles of the confederated tribes in the late
war, and one of those who, in opposition to the advice of the Little
Turtle, rejected peace; and when finally peace was made at Greenville,
he retired with the Prophet to the Pottawattamies, Wyandots, and other
tribes, over whom the two, and especially the latter, gained a powerful
ascendency, even to the extent of causing to be put to death some of the
oldest and most powerful chiefs of various tribes. Tecumseh and his
brother, as we have said, were enemies of the white intruders, and the
object of all their endeavours was to be rid of these troublesome
guests. For several years, therefore, the frontier inhabitants in the
vicinity of the sources of the Mississippi had suffered grievously. At
length, in the autumn of 1811, Indian hostilities having assumed an
alarming and frightful character, Governor Harrison, of the Indiana
territory, was directed by congress to march towards the residence of
the prophet on the Wabash, and put a stop to their barbarities. On the
7th of November, having reached the vicinity of the prophet’s town, he
was met by a deputation of chiefs, who, in the name of the prophet,
offered peace and submission, requesting him to encamp for the night.
Suspecting treachery, General Harrison ordered his men to sleep on their
arms, and long before dawn the faithless Indians made their attack. A
bloody battle ensued, but the Indians were routed; and after totally
destroying the prophet’s town, and establishing a strong fort, the
American general retired to Vincennes. Tecumseh was not in this fight,
but at that time engaged in inciting the more distant tribes. This
victory produced peace for a season.

Erskine, the British minister, was replaced by Mr. Foster, who was
empowered to make restoration for the damage done to the Chesapeake, to
restore the men forcibly taken from her, and offer pecuniary
compensation to the families of those seamen who had fallen in the
action. Admiral Berkeley had been deprived of command in consequence of
his majesty’s displeasure; and, in fact, every possible concession was
made, excepting that which America required, viz. to give up the
impressment, and to revoke the orders in council. America had just
reason to complain; for these orders, now that a free commerce was
restored with France, were enforced with greater rigour than ever, and a
great number of richly-laden American ships destined for the ports of
France had fallen into the hands of British cruisers.

In November, the president recommended that the United States should be
put in an attitude of defence, and congress agreeing thereto, provision
was made for the increase of the regular army to 35,000, and also for
the enlargement of the navy. The president was empowered to borrow
eleven millions of dollars; the duties on imported goods were doubled,
and taxes laid on domestic manufactures and nearly all descriptions of
property. Early in April, 1812, congress passed an act laying an embargo
of ninety days on all ships and vessels of the United States. This was
intended to lessen the number of trading vessels that would otherwise be
at the mercy of England when war was declared, and which, in fact, were
comparatively useless in any case, for commercial intercourse had now
been so long suspended or intercepted that grass grew on the deserted
wharfs of New York and Philadelphia. By the end of May, most of the
fast-sailing ships, brigs, and schooners of their merchant service, were
fitted out as privateers or men of war. On the 4th of June a bill passed
the house of representatives declaring war against Great Britain, and on
the 17th the senate, and two days afterwards the president, issued a
proclamation of war. This decisive act did not, however, meet with
universal approbation. The federalist party, occupying generally the
northern and eastern states, and strongly attached to Britain, put forth
their solemn protest against the war; and when the news reached Boston,
many citizens appeared in mourning, and the church bells were tolled.

Exertions were immediately made to enlist 25,000 men; to raise 50,000
volunteers, and to call out 100,000 militia for the defence of the
sea-coast and frontiers. Henry Dearborn, one of the few surviving
officers of the revolutionary war, was appointed major-general and
commander-in-chief, and his head-quarters were at Greenbush, near
Albany, on the Hudson.

At the time of the declaration of war, General Hull, governor of
Michigan, was at the head of 2,500 men, well supplied with artillery and
ready to march, but waiting then at Detroit, the capital of Michigan,
for orders; the intention being to invade Canada. The English were,
however, on the alert; and Major-General Brocke, knowing of the
gathering of Hull’s forces at Detroit, and believing that war was
inevitable, sent discretionary orders to the British officer in charge
of Fort St. Joseph to act against the enemy as should appear advisable.
Hull, also, had received discretionary orders to invade Canada, “if
consistent with the Safety of his own posts.” On the 12th of July,
therefore, he crossed the river Detroit and encamped at Sandwich,
intending to march upon the British post at Maldon, or Amherstburgh, a
stronghold of the British and their Indian allies. From Sandwich, Hull
issued a bold proclamation inviting the _oppressed_ citizens of Canada
to throw off their allegiance to the British and become citizens of the
Republic. Brocke also began to move, and on the 27th of July surprised
the American post at Mackinaw, which Hull had left singularly unaware of
present circumstances, and the commandant of which received the first
knowledge of the declaration of war by being summoned to surrender to a
combined British and Indian force, and who not being prepared to defend
the place, having but fifty-seven men, surrendered, thinking himself
fortunate to obtain for his little band the honours of war. Thus was one
of the strongest positions in the United States placed at once in the
hands of the British. Nor was this all; Major van Horne, who had been
sent by Hull to convey a party bringing up provisions to his camp, was
attacked by a united force of British and Indians, headed by Tecumseh,
and defeated.

Hull lay inactive for a month in Canada, Amherstburgh in the meantime
being reinforced, and then suddenly re-crossed the Detroit on the night
of the 7th of August, to the bitter vexation and disappointment of his
troops, and encamped under the walls of Detroit. Colonel Procter was
despatched after him by Major-General Brocke, and advanced to Sandwich,
where batteries were raised, and where he was presently joined by Brocke
with reinforcements. On the very day after Hull reached Detroit, having
sent 600 of his best troops again to convey provisions, they were
attacked in the woods by a British and Indian force, again under the
terrible Tecumseh, and a severe fight took place upon the very ground
where Van Horne had before been defeated.

On the 16th of August, Major-General Brocke crossed the river a few
miles above Detroit without interruption, and immediately marched
against the American works with about 700 British troops and 600
Indians. The American troops, advantageously posted and outnumbering the
enemy, anxiously awaited the order to fire, when, to their unspeakable
astonishment and indignation, they were suddenly ordered to retire
within the fort, on the walls of which they beheld a white flag in token
of submission. The indignation of the army was so great, that, crowding
into the fort without any orders, many it is said wept; others, in
stacking their arms, dashed them violently on the ground.

Not only the army at Detroit, but the whole territory, with all its
forts and garrisons, were surrendered to the British. The British were
as much astonished at this surrender as the Americans themselves.
General Hull, being exchanged for thirty British prisoners, was
arraigned before a court-martial. He was acquitted of treason, but
convicted of cowardice and unsoldierlike conduct, and sentenced to
death, but was afterwards pardoned by the president in consideration of
his revolutionary services. His name, however, was struck from the rolls
of the army.

Leaving Colonel Proctor to hold possession of the Detroit frontier,
Brocke moved off rapidly along the Niagara frontier, from which quarter,
also, arrangements had been made, during the summer, for the invasion of
Canada, and where a body of troops was collected, under command of
Stephen van Rensselaer. Early in the morning of Oct. 13th, a detachment,
under Colonel Solomon van Rensselaer, crossed the river and gained
possession of the heights of Queenstown, on which was a small battery.
At the moment of success the enemy received a reinforcement, under
General Brocke, and a long and obstinate engagement ensued, in which the
gallant Brocke was killed; and spite of all the exertions General van
Rensselaer could make the republicans retired with great loss. A
singular circumstance occurred on this disastrous day. General van
Rensselaer commanded the militia of New York, in the ranks of which
federalist principles were very prevalent; when, therefore, they were
needed to support their failing brethren on the other side of the river,
they refused to embark, on the plea that they had scruples of conscience
against carrying offensive war into the British territories.

Soon after the battle of Queenstown, General van Rensselaer retired from
the service, and General Alexander Smyth, of Virginia, assumed the
command; and issuing an address, announcing that he would retrieve the
honour of his country by another attack on Canada, he invited the young
men of the country to share in the glory of the enterprise. Between
4,000 and 5,000 responded to his call; but after storming a battery on
Black Rock and thus opening a way for the much-vaunted undertaking, it
was suddenly abandoned; the troops, to their great astonishment, were
recalled, and sent into winter-quarters.

In the meantime, Ohio and Kentucky had collected forces for the support
of Hull, which were on their march to Detroit when the news of the
surrender of that post met them. Harrison, governor of the Indiana
territory, who possessed the entire confidence of the West, and
brigadier-general in the army, was appointed by congress to the command
of these forces, amounting to nearly 10,000. With these he marched to
the north-western parts of Ohio, to protect the country against the
incursions of the Indians, which were becoming more and more terrible
every day.

On the 2nd October, 2,000 mounted volunteers from the territories of
Indiana and Illinois assembled at Vincennes, under the command of
General Hopkins, and on the 10th, set out on an expedition against the
Kickapoo and Peoria towns. On the fourth day, alarming masses of smoke
and flame, advancing with the wind, were seen in the distance, by which
they perceived that the Indians had set fire to the long thick grass of
the prairie over which they had to pass. The troops became mutinous, and
demanded to return. Hopkins called a council of his officers, and agreed
to take the sense of the army. The majority were for returning. The
general, mortified at this result, commanded the army to follow him
onward; but they turned their horses’ heads and rode off almost to a
man. Hopkins could do no less than follow. With better success, the same
officer, in the month of November, marched from Fort Harrison against
the Prophet’s town and a Kickapoo village, which were both destroyed.

Nor were the achievements of the republican forces under Dearborn
calculated to retrieve the honour of the American arms. A detachment
marched from Plattsburgh, on Lake Champlain, a short distance into
Canada, where they surprised a small body of combined British and
Indians, and destroyed a considerable quantity of stores. That was the
extent of their operations. After the misfortunes of Detroit and
Niagara, the army in all its branches seemed paralysed.

While defeat and disgrace, however, attended the arms of the republic by
land, the most brilliant success crowned their efforts on sea.

On August 19th, Captain Isaac Hull, commanding the Constitution of
forty-four guns, engaged the British frigate Guerrière of thirty-eight
guns, that very frigate which had been the great cause of quarrel about
the English deserters, and after an action of half an hour, nearly every
mast and spar being shot away, Captain Dacres, who commanded the
Guerrière, struck his flag. One-third of the crew were either killed or
wounded, while the American vessel lost only seven, and eight men
wounded. The Guerrière was so shattered that it was impossible to get
her into port, and she was burned. Again, on the 18th of October, the
American sloop Wasp, of eighteen guns, commanded by Captain Jacob Jones,
had an encounter with the British frigate Frolic, of twenty-two guns,
which after a bloody fight of three-quarters of an hour, was boarded by
the Americans, when only three officers and one seaman were found on the
forecastle, while the decks, slippery with blood, were covered with the
dead and dying. The Frolic lost eighty men, the Wasp only ten. The Wasp,
with her prize, was captured the same day by a British seventy-four. A
few days after, the frigate United States, commanded by Captain Decatur,
engaged the British frigate Macedonian. The action lasted nearly two
hours, when the Macedonian struck her colours, being nearly disabled,
and her loss amounting to upwards of 100 men, while the Americans lost
but five, and eight wounded. This engagement took place near the Canary
Islands, and the prize was brought safely into New York harbour.
Finally, in December, the Constitution, now commanded by Commodore
Bainbridge, achieved a second victory, after a most desperate encounter
with the Java, of forty-nine guns and four hundred men. The combat took
place off the coast of Brazil; nor did the Java strike her flag until
she was a mere wreck, with 161 killed and wounded. Like the Guerrière,
she was burned. These naval victories were peculiarly gratifying to the
Americans, especially as being gained on an element where the American
citizens had suffered so much. Many British merchantmen were also
captured by American privateers, which now issued from every port. Above
300 prizes was taken in the first seven months of the war.

As regards this extraordinary series of naval successes, the English
naval historian records, that “the Java, for instance, was perhaps the
worst-manned ship that we ever had afloat. Our Admiralty, obliged to
keep at sea in all parts of the world such an immense number of men of
war, straitened in their finances, and finding it difficult to obtain at
short notice crews for all their ships, had certainly sent to sea a
great many vessels exceedingly ill-manned. The Java had been patched up
and commissioned only on the 17th of August of the present year. The
greatest difficulty was to provide her with any crew; sixty-nine
Irishmen were on board who had never been to sea before. She appears to
have had but eight tried and excellent seamen; and including officers,
not fifty on board had ever been in action before. The Constitution, on
the other hand, had a crew consisting entirely of able-bodied and
practised sailors, there being the usual proportion of deserters from
English ships, and of other subjects of Great Britain, _whose treason
and dread of the gallows disposed them to fight desperately_.” Such was
the consolation which England took to herself in this hour of

Very soon after declaration of war, the United States communicated to
Great Britain her willingness to pacificate on condition that the orders
in council should be repealed, the impressment of American seamen
discontinued, and those already impressed restored. These conditions,
however, were rejected by Lord Castlereagh, then Secretary of Foreign
Affairs, although negotiation was entered upon and an armistice
proposed. The arbitrary conduct of the British government towards
America met with strong opposition even in England. On June 16th, Mr.
(now Lord) Brougham, who had always strenuously advocated the revocation
of these orders in council, moved an address to the Prince Regent,
beseeching him to recall or suspend the orders, and to adopt such other
measures as might tend to conciliate neutral powers. Lord Castlereagh
opposed the motion, but stated that government intended to make a
conciliatory proposition to the United States; and accordingly on the
23rd of June the orders in council were revoked as far as regarded
America. Great Britain still, however, reserved to herself the right of
impressment, and the United States, rejecting negotiation on these
terms, prepared to prosecute the war.

As regarded pacification with Great Britain, the Emperor Alexander of
Russia offered himself as mediator between the two countries; and the
United States sent over three commissioners, one of whom was John Quincy
Adams, empowered to negotiate with deputies clothed with similar
authority on the part of Great Britain; they were also authorised to
conclude a treaty of commerce with Russia, and to strengthen the
amicable relationships between the two countries.

On the 4th of March, 1813, James Madison was re-elected president, and
Elbridge Gerry was elected vice-president.

In June, bills passed congress authorising the construction of four
ships, carrying each seventy-four guns, and six frigates each of
forty-four guns. The military service was also to be increased; a loan
of 16,000,000 of dollars for the present was also authorised, with the
issue of treasury notes to the amount of 5,000,000 more.

The scene of military operations in 1813 comprehended the extensive
northern frontier. At the opening of the campaign, the army of the west,
under General Harrison, lay near the head of Lake Erie; the army of the
centre, under General Dearborn, between lakes Erie and Ontario; and that
of the north, under General Hampton, occupied the shores of Lake
Champlain. The invasion of Canada was still the object of the American

Sir George Prevost, governor of Canada, and commander-in-chief, could
not bring any great force into the field, but his numbers were
formidably increased by a vast number of Indian auxiliaries. The defence
of Upper Canada was committed to Colonels Proctor and Vincent, and that
of Lower Canada to General Sheafe.

The head-quarters of Harrison were Franklinton, in Ohio, and thence
Brigadier-General Winchester, an old revolutionary officer, marched in
advance to attack a party of the British stationed at Frenchtown,
twenty-six miles from Detroit. The British were routed, and Winchester
encamped in the open field outside the town; and here on the morning of
the 22nd of January, they were suddenly attacked by Colonel Proctor,
who, with about 500 British and an equal number of Indians, had marched
from Amherstburgh. The surprise was complete; and though the Americans
rallied and made a desperate defence, their generals, Lewis and old
Winchester, were taken prisoners; the latter by Round-head, a famous
Indian chief, who, before surrendering his prisoner to the British
colonel, stripped him of his hat and uniform, which he himself assumed.
A more disastrous fight, or one characterised by more horrible detail,
never occurred. It is said that Proctor assured his prisoner Winchester
that if his men would surrender they should be preserved from the savage
barbarities of the Indians, on which he ordered his men to give up their
arms. Proctor, however, did not keep faith, and the promised protection
was not afforded. The town was burned, and the savages held a carnival
of blood and horror. Five hundred were killed, and the same number made
prisoners. The victory and the account of spoils obtained at Frenchtown
brought down the warlike tribes from the Wabash, and even the
Mississippi, to join the British arms, whose honour was tarnished by
suffering these savage barbarities to be enacted under their banner. In
July the Six Nations declared war against the Canadas, and the United
States, following the example of the British, accepted the services of
the Indians. General Harrison was so dismayed at the fate of Winchester,
that leaving Franklinton he erected Fort Meigs, near the rapids of the
Miama River, which falls into Lake Erie; and here, on the 1st of May, he
was besieged by Colonel Proctor, with a force of 1,000 British and 1,200
Indians. On the 5th of May, General Clay advanced with 1,200 Kentuckians
to his relief, and although with considerable loss, attacked and
dispersed the besiegers, on which a great number of the British Indian
allies, notwithstanding the entreaties of Tecumseh, who was faithful to
the cause he espoused, deserted; and the Canadian militia-men, greatly
to the disgust of Colonel Proctor, retired to their farms, after which
he returned with but few followers to Amherstburgh.

Pursuant to the law passed by congress, efforts were made to build and
equip fleets upon the lakes. The preceding year the Americans possessed
but one brig of sixteen guns on Lake Ontario; but by April of the
present year, Commodore Channing, the naval commander on that station,
had built and equipped a squadron sufficiently powerful to contend with
that of the British. On the 25th of April, 17,000 troops were conveyed
in the new flotilla across the lake, from Sackett’s Harbour, for the
attack on York, the capital of Upper Canada, the depository of British
military stores. On the 27th the troops landed, headed by General Pike,
and, though opposed by a strong force of British and Indians, who were
soon driven back to the garrison, a mile and a half, carried one battery
by assault, and were still advancing, when the powder-magazine blew up,
hurling immense quantities of stone and timber upon the advancing
troops, and killed many. Pike received a mortal wound; but his troops,
after a moment’s halt, pressed forward, and soon gained possession of
the town. Sir George Prevost, who seems to have been a man of great
indecision, if not of cowardice, is blamed severely by the British
historians for having ordered a retreat before their own case was
hopeless. York being gained, the squadron and troops returned to
Sackett’s Harbour, after which they attacked Fort George, situated at
the head of the lake, which, after a warm engagement, was abandoned by
the British, who, headed by General Vincent, retreated to a good
position on Burlington Bay.

While the American army was thus employed, Sir George Prevost having
learned that General Dearborn had left Sackett’s Harbour with but a
small garrison, despatched Commodore Yeo, commander of the British fleet
on Lake Ontario, to gain possession. On the morning of the 29th, about
1000 British troops landed, but were repulsed by General Brown, and
re-embarked so hastily, as to leave their wounded behind.

In the latter part of July, about 4,000 British and Indians, the former
under General Proctor, the latter under Tecumseh, again appeared before
Fort Meigs, now commanded by General Clay. After waiting a few days, and
not succeeding in drawing out the garrison as he hoped, Proctor withdrew
his forces and proceeded to Fort Stephenson, at Sandusky, which was
garrison by 120 men, under Major Coghan, a young man of one-and-twenty.
The defence of this place was one of the bravest on record. The British
were repulsed with great loss, and fled so precipitately that they left
behind them a quantity of clothes and military stores.

While all this was going forward on land and on the inland seas, the
coast was harassed by predatory warfare carried on by large detachments
from the British navy. One squadron stationed in Delaware Bay captured
and burned every merchant ship they could seize, while another burned
the farms and houses along the Chesapeake Bay; several towns also were
burned. Various naval actions took place. On the 23rd of February,
Captain Lawrence, in the Hornet sloop-of-war, encountered the Peacock
sloop-of-war, which was, after an engagement of fifteen minutes, so much
damaged that she sank, and spite of every effort of the captors to save
the lives of those whom they had just attacked, she went down with
thirteen men on board. On his return to shore, Captain Lawrence was
appointed to the command of the Chesapeake frigate, then in harbour at
Boston. For several weeks the British frigate Shannon, of equal force,
commanded by Captain Broke, had been cruising before the port,
challenging to combat any American frigate. It had already been
triumphantly sung in England,

                  And as the war they did provoke,
                    We’ll pay them with our cannon
                  The first to do it will be Broke,
                    In the gallant ship, the Shannon.

This challenge was accepted by Captain Lawrence, and on the 1st of June,
the Chesapeake sailed to meet her rival. Towards evening of the same day
they met, and instantly engaged with unexampled fury. In a very few
minutes the challenge was decided against the Chesapeake; every officer
capable of taking command was killed or wounded; Captain Lawrence
received a mortal wound, and the rigging was so cut to pieces, that she
fell on board the Shannon. Lawrence received a second wound and was
carried below. At the moment when Broke boarded her, Lawrence was asked
if her colours should be struck. “No,” replied he, “they shall wave
while I live!” But her colours were struck already, and the gallant and
brave young man, delirious with suffering, cried continually for four
days while life lasted, “Don’t give up the ship!” an expression which
became consecrated to his countrymen. The Shannon carried her prize into
Halifax, and there poor Lawrence died, and was buried, his pall being
borne by the oldest captains in the British navy, who mourned for him
with generous sympathy. War makes such men enemies, and their _duty_ it
is to kill each other!

The next encounter at sea was disastrous likewise to the Americans, the
sloop Argus being taken in St. George’s Channel by the British sloop
Pelican. The commander of the Argus was mortally wounded, and was buried
with honour in England; and soon after the brig Enterprise, commanded by
Lieutenant Burrows, captured the British brig Boxer, commanded by
Captain Blyth. Both commanders were killed in the action, which took
place off the coast of Maine, and were interred side by side with
military honours at Portland, their bodies being rowed to land by
masters of vessels, with the funeral stroke of the oar, while
minute-guns were fired by the vessels in harbour.

From sea-fights we now pass on to an encounter between the British and
American squadrons on Lake Erie. The American squadron was commanded by
Commodore Perry, a young inexperienced man, that of the British by
Captain Barclay, a veteran who had lost, like Nelson, one arm while
serving under that commander. On the 10th of September, the British
commander not having a single barrel of flour left, and no alternative
but attempting to clear the lake or starvation, accepted the offer of
battle. The wind changed immediately after he had sailed, giving the
Americans the advantage. Perry, forming his line of battle, hoisted his
flag, and the words of the dying Lawrence, “Don’t give up the ship,” met
the eyes of all and were hailed with universal acclamations. Since that
day they have become the motto of the American navy. The firing
commenced about noon, and being directed principally against the
Lawrence, the flag-ship, she soon became unmanageable, having all her
crew, with the exception of four or five, killed or wounded. Commodore
Perry then left her in an open boat, and transferred his flag to the
Niagara, which, passing through the British, poured broadsides into five
of the vessels at half pistol-shot. Towards four o’clock every vessel
had surrendered. The day, however, was not lost to the British until the
first or second in every vessel had been killed or dangerously wounded.
Poor Barclay’s one arm was shattered before he left the deck. Commodore
Perry gave intelligence of the victory to General Harrison thus
laconically: “We have met the enemy, and they are ours. Two ships, two
brigs, one schooner, and one sloop.”

This defeat rendered the rapid retreat of General Proctor and the Indian
chiefs who were with him inevitable. They therefore began to dismantle
the forts, and to abandon all the positions on the Detroit, thus leaving
the Michigan territory again in the possession of the Americans. But
they could no longer retreat without fighting. General Harrison passed
over between 5,000 and 6,000 men, and interposed between Proctor and the
country to which he was directing his steps. On the 5th of October, a
severe battle was fought at the river Thames, when the British army was
taken by the Americans. On this day the famous Tecumseh was slain,
bravely fighting in the thick of the battle. Six hundred of the British
were made prisoners. Proctor escaped with 200 cavalry. Among the
trophies of the victory were six brass field-pieces, which had been
given up by Hull, on two of which were inscribed the words, “Surrendered
by Burgoyne at Saratoga.”

By this victory was broken up the great Indian confederacy, in which,
though 3,000 warriors still remained, the bond of union was gone with
Tecumseh. The Ottawas, Chippewas, Miamis, and Pottawattamies, now sent
deputies to General Harrison and made treaties of alliance with the

But before this confederacy was broken, in the month of August, the
Creeks and Seminoles, who had been visited by Tecumseh, and into whom he
had breathed his hatred of the whites, had commenced a cruel war against
the frontier inhabitants of Georgia, in which nearly 300 white
inhabitants had been fearfully massacred. On this, General Jackson, at
the head of 2,500 volunteers of Tennessee, marched into the Creek
country, while Georgia and Mississippi sent upwards of 1,000 more.
Battles were fought at divers places with their wild sonorous Indian
names—Tallushatchea, Talladega, Autosse, Emuefau, and others—in all of
which the Indians were defeated. The last stand of the Creeks was at the
great bend of the Tallapoosa, called by the Indians Tohopeka, and by the
whites Horse-shoe-bend. Here about 1,000 of their warriors had assembled
in a strong fort, which was soon compassed by a detachment under General
Coffee to prevent escape. The main body advanced under General Jackson;
the outworks were carried, and the Indians seeing no chance of escape,
and scorning to surrender, fought till nearly all were slain. Only two
or three Indian warriors were taken. This was the last effort of the
Creeks; their power was broken, and the few remaining chiefs gave in
their submission.[75]

                              CHAPTER XX.

During the year 1814 the Americans again prepared for the invasion of
Canada, but no ground was gained. Without going into minute details, we
will content ourselves with giving the principal warlike events of the
year, whether in the North or the South.

Early in the season, General Brown was detached from the army of General
Wilkinson at Sackett’s Harbour, where he had been assiduously
disciplining his army, to the Niagara frontier. At the beginning of July
he crossed the Niagara, took Fort Erie, and advanced into Canada. When
he reached the British lines of Chippawa, he found General Riall
strongly entrenched there. A sanguinary conflict took place, the
advantage remaining on the side of the Americans. Riall retreated to a
better position at Fort Niagara, where he was reinforced by General
Drummond, with part of Wellington’s veterans; for the pressure of the
war having abated in Europe, the British army in America was reinforced
by these able soldiers.

The Americans encamped near the Falls of Niagara, on the morning of the
25th of July, and towards four o’clock in the afternoon the British army
appeared in sight. The two armies engaged in what was called Lundy’s
Lane, at a short distance from the Falls, and here was fought one of the
most obstinate battles that took place during the war. They fought till
midnight, close to the great cataract, the roar and din of which was
silenced by the firing of twenty-four pieces of ordnance and 8,000
muskets, and which was heard distinctly lifting up its eternal voice
amid the momentary pauses of the battle. Wonderful bravery was displayed
on both sides, and the loss of life was about equal. The Indians fled
early in the battle. General Drummond was wounded on the British side;
Generals Brown and Scott on the American, the command devolving now on
General Ripley, who remained in quiet possession of the field, and who,
after collecting his wounded, retired to Fort Erie, whither he was
pursued by Drummond, at the head of 5,000 men, and who, having made an
assault upon the fort, was repulsed with the loss of 1,000. Two days
later, Brown having again resumed command, a successful sortie was made
from the fort, and the besiegers were driven back with great loss. There
was great loss of life on both sides, and though reinforced from
Plattsburgh, Fort Erie was abandoned and destroyed; and the American
army, recrossing the Niagara, went into winter-quarters.

No sooner had the detachment left Plattsburgh, than Sir George Prevost,
now so well supplied with Wellington’s veterans, thought it a good
opportunity to destroy the American flotilla on Lake Champlain and
advance into New York. On the 6th of September he reached Plattsburgh,
which is situated on Lake Champlain, on the northern bank of the little
river Saranac. No movement of the British during the war had roused in
an equal degree the American patriotism, and volunteers poured in from
the northern parts of New York and the Green Mountains of Vermont. For
four days the American troops opposed every attempt of the British to
force the passage of the stream. About eight o’clock on the morning of
the 11th, the British fleet, under Captain Downie, bore down and engaged
that of Commodore Mac Donough, which lay at anchor prepared for battle,
and the most desperate encounter ensued which had taken place on any of
the lakes. During the conflict on water, the British on land began a
heavy cannonade upon the American lines, and attempted again and again
to cross the Saranac, but only to be driven back by the American
militia. The utmost blame attaches to Sir George Prevost for his
inefficient command and his many blunders on this occasion;
nevertheless, great valour was shown by the British, but to little
effect; and in the afternoon the British fleet was captured, Captain
Downie having been killed soon after the contest began; and towards
evening the British commenced a precipitate retreat, leaving behind them
immense quantities of stores, ammunition, and provisions; about 200 were
slain, and strange to say, 800 deserted to the American side.

On the 15th of August, the very day on which the British general,
Drummond, was repulsed from Fort Erie, ruin was approaching the city of
Washington, the federal capital of the United States. The British, on
the return of spring, had renewed their predatory inroads on the banks
of the Chesapeake, in pursuance of governmental orders to destroy and
lay waste such towns and districts of the coast as might be found
assailable; and now, about the middle of August, Admiral Sir Alexander
Cockburn, having on board the land troops of Major-General Ross, another
Peninsula hero, entered the Potomac, on which river Washington stands,
and which empties itself into the Chesapeake. The British general landed
his forces, 5,000 in number, and commenced his march to Washington,
distant twenty-seven miles; Admiral Cockburn proceeding at the same time
up the river in a flotilla of launches and armed boats. Washington was
not defenceless, although her defenders, neither by land nor water,
appear to have been very efficient. On the 22nd, the expedition reached
Pig Point, and descried the flag of the American flotilla. It was
naturally supposed that it was the intention of Barney, the American
commodore, to dispute the passage of the river; but, to the surprise of
the British, the shipping was found to be on fire. Sixteen out of
seventeen vessels were blown up to prevent their falling into the hands
of the British. On the 20th, General Winder, who commanded the land
forces, being joined by the marines of Commodore Barney, marched out to
meet the advancing enemy, and encamped at Marlborough, where they were
inspected by the president, by General Armstrong, secretary of war, and
by various heads of other departments, who, appearing to despair at the
first glance, at once dispersed. On the 24th, General Ross and his
troops reached Bladensberg, a village five miles from the capital, where
a stand was made, principally by seamen and marines, the commodore being
wounded and taken prisoner. The example of President Madison had been
followed; the American army retreated across the Potomac. Nothing was
easier than the task which Ross had undertaken. At the head of 1,600
men, after a skirmish which did not last half an hour, he took
possession of Washington. The work of destruction began immediately. The
capitol, or senate-house, the president’s house and public offices, the
arsenal, the navy yard, and the bridge over the Potomac, all were
destroyed. On the following night a leisurely retreat was commenced, and
the British troops, meeting with no resistence on their return,
re-embarked on the 30th.

Little as had been the spirit shown in the defence of Washington, the
ruthless destruction of its public buildings and records aroused a
spirit of indignation which more than anything else during the war
united the Republic in one general sentiment of hostility against the

In the meantime, another portion of the British fleet had ascended the
Potomac, and on the 29th appeared before the town of Alexandria, which
fearing pillage and destruction, surrendered all its merchandise and
shipping. Elated with this success, the British admiral, on the 11th of
September, made his appearance at the mouth of the Patapsco, fourteen
miles from Baltimore, which was strongly fortified. On the 12th the
British landed at North Point, and commenced their march towards the
city, when they were met by a large force, who resisted them bravely.
Although the Americans were obliged to retreat, this enterprise cost the
life of General Ross and a great number of others. The day following,
the British abandoned the attempt and retired to their shipping.

On the ocean the fortune of the combatants was about equal. The Essex,
commanded by Captain Porter, struck to a British frigate and
sloop-of-war. The American sloop Peacock captured the Epervier. The
sloop Wasp, commanded by Captain Blakeley, captured the English brig
Reindeer in St. George’s Channel, and afterwards, in the same cruise,
sank the Avon. She made several other prizes, but never returned into
port, and was supposed to have foundered at sea.

The last great land action of the American war was at the city of New
Orleans. Not contented with ruining the trade of all the towns on the
Mississippi, by blockading that river, the British commanders resolved
upon attacking New Orleans. The operations of the British in Louisiana
commenced by a small expedition, which, being aided by the Spaniards,
took possession of Pensacola, in the middle of August. The British
commander, Colonel Nicholls, brought with him a great quantity of arms,
which were intended for the Indians, who were invited to flock to the
British banner. But they refused the invitation, as did also Lafitte,
the chief of the pirates of Barataria, though he received liberal offers
to enlist in their cause. Lafitte and his followers had been outlawed by
the American government; but such was the patriotism of these otherwise
lawless men, that while they deluded the British commander with the hope
of joining him, it was merely to gain a knowledge of his intended
movements, which were communicated to Claiborne, governor of Louisiana,
who in return pardoned the whole band, and invited them to come forward
in defence of their country. They did so, and rendered essential

General Jackson, who after the peace with the Creeks had taken up his
quarters at Mobile, the capital of the Alabama territory, as commander
in the South, remonstrated with the Spanish governor of Pensacola on
affording shelter to the enemies of the United States. But no regard
being paid to his remonstrances, he marched against the place, stormed
the town, and compelled the British to evacuate Florida. Returning to
Mobile, he learnt that preparations were making for the invasion of
Louisiana, and accordingly hastened to New Orleans, which he found in
great alarm and confusion. By his exertions order and confidence were
restored, the militia organised, and fortifications erected. His command
was supreme, and his energy unabating. Every man who could carry a
musket or wield a spade was set to work on the fortifications or drilled
as a soldier.

New Orleans stands upon the eastern bank of the Mississippi, at about
110 miles from the sea. It is built upon a narrow tract of land,
confined on one side by the river, and on the other by almost impassable
morasses. Even though unfortified, it presented the greatest obstacles
to an invader. Below the town, however, were some strong forts which
commanded the navigation of the river, so that the approach to the town
either by land or water was equally difficult.

The British expedition ascended the river as high as possible, and then
landed about eight miles below the city. This was on the 23rd of
December, and on the following evening General Jackson made a sudden and
furious attack on their camp; but though the loss of life was
considerable, this was merely a check. On Christmas-day, Sir Edward
Pakenham, the chief in command, took up a strong position about six
miles from the city, between which and himself the American army was
drawn up. Fighting went on day after day, the utmost bravery being shown
by both parties, and the English advanced still nearer to the city,
finding it necessary with every advance to assault and take the
formidable field-works which the indefatigable republicans had thrown
up, as though they had been regular fortifications. “At length,” says
the writer of “Knight’s Pictorial History of England,” “on the night of
the 31st of December, having procured the material, one-half of the
English army was ordered out to throw up a chain of works; the men
halted at about 300 yards from the enemy’s line, and here, the greater
part of them laying down their muskets, applied themselves vigorously to
their task, while the rest stood armed in case of an attack. The night
was dark; the English maintained a profound silence, and the Americans
kept a bad watch, for it was the last night of the year, and
conviviality abounded in the republican camp. In this manner six
batteries were completed before the dawn of New-year’s-day, and thirty
pieces of heavy cannon mounted. There had not been much digging and
trenching, for every storehouse and barn in the country was filled with
hogsheads of sugar and molasses, and these being rolled to the front
were placed upright to serve as parapets to the batteries. The morning
of New-year’s-day, 1815, was very dark and foggy amid those swamps and
bogs of New Orleans, and the day was considerably advanced before the
Americans discovered how near the British had approached to them, or the
novel use they had made of their molasses and sugar-hogsheads.”

The Americans made several vigorous but unsuccessful attacks, seeming to
produce no other effect than to knock in pieces the hogsheads and
scatter their contents. Several days went on, and both parties received
strong reinforcements. Sir Edward Pakenham resolved now on a combined
attack on both sides of the river, for which purpose he caused a canal
to be dug across the entire neck of land, so as to convey his troops to
the other side. It was a most arduous undertaking, and for two nights
consecutively not a man in the British army closed an eye. On the 8th of
January the great attack was to take place. The British forces amounted
to upwards of 10,000, the attacking columns being provided with ladders
and facines.

Behind their breastworks of cotton-bales, which no balls could
penetrate, 6,000 Americans, mostly militia, all good marksmen, and
principally from Tennessee and Kentucky, silently waited the attack. As
the advancing columns came within reach of the batteries, they were met
by an incessant and destructive cannonade; but closing their ranks as
fast as they were opened, they continued steadily to advance, until
within reach of the American musketry and rifles. The extended American
line now presented one vivid stream of fire, throwing the enemy into
confusion and covering the plain with the wounded and the dead. In an
attempt to rally his troops, Sir Edward Pakenham was killed; General
Gibbs, the second in command, was mortally wounded, and General Keane
severely so. The British now fled in dismay from the certain death which
seemed to await them; General Lambert, on whom the command had devolved,
being unable to check their flight. Seven hundred dead were left on the
field, and upwards of 1,000 wounded.[76] The loss of the Americans was
seven killed and six wounded.

The Americans on the west side of the river did not, however, behave
with much bravery; they fled on the first onset, and were closely
pursued by the British, until the latter, receiving intelligence of the
total discomfiture of the main army, re-crossed the river and returned
to their intrenchments.

No further attempt was made; and on the 18th, Lambert, with his wounded
and stores, was on his way to the fleet. Nothing was abandoned but ten
pieces of artillery. The success of General Jackson, afterwards
president of the United States, caused him to be regarded with great
honour by his countrymen, and won for him the appellation of “the
conqueror of the conquerors of Napoleon;” whence probably comes the
Yankee boast, “the Britishers licked all the world, and we licked the

From New Orleans General Lambert sailed to Mobile, and on the 7th of
February invested that place, which surrendered to him on the 11th.

On the 17th of February, whilst New Orleans was yet rejoicing over her
victory, a special messenger arrived from Europe, bringing a treaty of
peace, which had been signed at Ghent, in the month of December, before
the terrible battle was fought at New Orleans. This treaty, which was
immediately ratified by the president and the Senate, stipulated for the
restoration of all places taken during the war, and for the revision of
the boundary of the American and British dominions; it engaged that each
nation should put an end to all subsisting hostilities between them and
the Indian tribes, and both parties likewise covenanted to continue
their efforts for the total abolition of the slave-trade. The whole
northern and eastern states, to whom the war had been very
unsatisfactory, and who were continually and violently opposed to all
measures of the administration regarding it, rejoiced extremely in this
peace. The Englishman who took out the ratification of the treaty was
carried by the citizens and people through the streets of New York in
triumph and jubilee.[77]

America, however, had not even yet quite done with war. From the treaty
of 1795 peace had been preserved with Algiers by the annual payment of a
tribute. In July of 1812, the Dey, believing America, then engaged in
war with England, would not be able to defend her shipping, extorted a
large sum of money from the American consul at Algiers, to purchase the
freedom of himself and other citizens of the United States, and
commenced a piratical warfare against every American vessel that came in
the way of his cruisers, and many American citizens were in this manner
condemned to slavery.

Two squadrons were therefore fitted out, under Commodores Decatur and
Bainbridge. The former sailed from New York in May, 1815, and proceeding
up the Mediterranean, captured, in June, two Algerine brigs; after
which, sailing to Algiers, the Dey was so much alarmed, that he
cheerfully signed a treaty very advantageous to the Americans.
Proceeding then to Tunis and Tripoli, Decatur also obtained satisfaction
for various aggressions, after which he joined Bainbridge at Gibraltar,
and resigning to him the command, the latter visited the three piratical
cities, whose submission was complete.

In order to secure the tranquillity of the western and north-western
frontiers, measures were taken to form treaties of peace with all the
various tribes which had lately been in hostility with the United
States. A congress of chiefs met for this purpose at Detroit, in the
month of September, when alliances of friendship were made, by means of
which extensive portions of territory were ceded, and the tribes
acknowledged to be under the protection of the republic.

The charter of the former National Bank having expired since 1811, a
second National Bank, called the Bank of the United States, was
incorporated by charter for twenty-four years, with a capital of
35,000,000 dollars.

In December, the territory of Indiana was admitted into the Union as a
state, and the territory of Mississippi divided, and the western portion
admitted into the Union as the State of Mississippi, while the eastern
portion became the territory of Alabama. During the same month two
piratical establishments—the refuge also of runaway negroes, the one on
Amelia Island, on the coast of Florida, the other at Galveston, on the
coast of Texas—were broken up.

The time for the election of president being now come, James Monroe was
chosen, and Daniel D. Tomkins vice-president.

About the year 1790, establishments for the home manufacture of coarse
cotton fabrics were commenced in the state of Rhode Island. The
embarrassments to which commerce was subjected increased the demand for
these goods, and large capitals were invested in manufacturing
establishments. At the close of the war, however, when British goods
were again imported, it was found that, owing to the great improvements
in machinery, merchants were able to afford their goods at a much lower
price than the American manufacturer. In order, therefore, to enable the
manufacturer to withstand this formidable competition, a new tariff was
formed in 1816, by which the double imposts which had been laid during
the war were removed, and an increased duty imposed on various
manufactured goods. The return of peace, however, though it embarrassed
the mercantile interests, gave a stimulus to agriculture, and thousands
of citizens who found themselves impoverished, removed westward, where
lands were cheaper and more fertile than in the eastern states.
Emigration from England also set in like a spring-tide, and so great was
the increase of an active and valuable population, that within two years
of the establishment of peace, six new states had sprung up in the
recent wilderness.[78]

The African Colonisation Society for Free Blacks originated in this
year, not under the auspices of government, but that of private
individuals. It is questionable, however, whether this scheme is one of
pure benevolence, although much is said of Africa being civilised and
christianised by this means; and the slave born in America, perhaps of
the second or third generation, is expatriated when shipped over to
Africa. Is not the true benevolence and the true Christianity rather to
gradually, wisely and justly abolish slavery—to prepare the black man to
be a good and useful citizen of a great and free country, and more
productive to his master as a servant than as a slave?

Madison’s second term of office expiring, he declined, as his
predecessors had done, a third re-election; and on March 4th, 1817,
James Monroe was elected president, and Daniel D. Tomkins re-elected

Peace and prosperity go hand-in-hand, and with prosperity a wise nation
seeks to promote by every possible means the improvement and comfort of
the people. Hence great public works were now undertaken by the American
States governments; roads and canals were constructed in every part of
the Union, the wealthy and enterprising state of New York, at the head
of which was De Witt Clinton, taking the lead. The great western canal,
connecting Lake Erie with the Hudson, and the northern canal, connecting
that river with the waters of Lake Champlain, were completed. A great
road was also constructed by order of congress, which, passing through
the seat of government, connected the eastern with the western states.
Military posts were established for the security of the frontiers at the
mouth of St. Peter’s on the Mississippi, and at the mouth of the Yellow
Stone River on the Missouri, above 1,800 miles above its junction with
the Mississippi. Thus was the influence of civilisation radiating like
light into the far wilderness.

Towards the close of 1817, the Seminole Indians and the remnant of the
Creeks commenced depredations on the frontiers of Georgia and Alabama.
The hostile spirit of the Indians was further incited by another Indian
prophet and two English traders, Arbuthnot and Ambrister, who had taken
up their residence among the Indians. General Gaines was sent against
them, but his force being insufficient for the purpose, General Jackson
was ordered to take the field and to demand aid from the governors of
the adjacent states. Jackson knew where he was most likely to find the
aid he needed; and inviting volunteers from Western Tennessee, soon saw
himself at the head of 1,000 men. With these he marched into the Indian
territory, which he presently overran, meeting with no opposition from
the Seminoles, who had fled into Florida. Once in Florida, Jackson
seemed to think it as well, in the words of a homely proverb, to kill
two birds with one stone; accordingly he attacked and took possession of
St. Mark’s, a feeble Spanish post, and removed, in a very summary
manner, the Spanish authorities to Pensacola; where meeting with
Arbuthnot and Ambrister, had them tried by court-martial and executed,
after which he took possession of Pensacola and shipped off the
authorities to Havanna.

There was a bold energy in this unprincipled proceeding which won for it
public approbation, although it called down much animadversion, and
congress discussed it for two years, endeavouring to pass a vote of
censure, which the majority would not allow. In February, 1819, however,
a treaty was negotiated at Washington, by which Spain ceded to the
United States Florida and the adjacent islands. The king of Spain was
dissatisfied with the treaty, and endeavoured to set it aside, but the
United States, like General Jackson, had their way, and in 1820 the
treaty was ratified.

In 1819 the southern portion of Missouri territory was formed into a
territorial government, under the name of Arkansas, and in December of
the same year, Alabama was admitted as a state into the Union. Early in
1820 also the province of Maine, which since 1652 had been attached to
Massachusetts, was separated from it and became an independent state.

A violent controversy arose in congress on the subject of slavery, when
Missouri first applied for authority to form a State government, which
arrayed the South against the North, the slaveholding against the
non-slaveholding states. Missouri, having been considered a portion of
Louisiana, had derived from her connexion with the French and the
Spaniards the custom of holding slaves, which she considered as her
right. It was proposed, however, that in “admitting the territory to the
privileges of a state, slavery, or involuntary servitude, should be
prohibited, except for the punishment of crimes of which the party
should have been duly convicted; and that all children born within the
said state after its admission into the Union should be free at the age
of twenty-five.” This clause divided congress into two parties: the
non-slaveholding states demanded the restriction; the southern and slave
states rejected it. The contest of opinion was violent in the extreme.
Two principles seemed involved in this question; not only resistance to
slavery, but resistance to the interference of congress in the internal
government of individual states; and hence many advocates of sound
liberty and friends to the emancipation and elevation of the slave
opposed the restrictive clause.

After much violent discussion, the Missouri question was settled by a
compromise, which, while it allowed slavery in Missouri, prohibited it
in all the territory of the United States north and west of the northern
limits of Arkansas; and in August, 1821, Missouri became the
twenty-fourth state in the Union.

In 1821 Monroe entered upon his second presidential term, having been
re-elected, as was also Daniel Tomkins as vice-president.

The fourth census, taken in the year 1820, showed the population of the
United States to be 9,625,734; about a million and a half of whom were

On the 7th of March in this year, General Jackson was appointed governor
of Florida and Elijeus Fromentin chief-justice. The Spanish officers,
very unwilling to give up their posts, threw many impediments in the way
of the new government, and refused to give up the archives which had
been stipulated for; and even when they were obtained, certain documents
were kept back by Don Cavalla, the Spanish governor. But Jackson, who
very well understood how to exercise authority, sent an armed force to
bring Cavalla before him; and as he still refused, had him carried from
his bed to prison, when he took possession of the papers, after which he
was discharged. Again these summary measures were severely commented
upon; but they were only according to Jackson’s mode of action—prompt,
overbearing, and successful. Florida was divided into two counties, St.
John’s, on the east of the Suwaney river, and Escambia on the west.
Jackson’s term of office expired with the rising of congress, and he
declined a re-appointment.

In 1822 a convention of navigation and commerce was concluded on terms
of reciprocal and equal advantage between France and the United States.
In the same year the ports of the West India Islands were opened to the
American Republic by act of the British parliament.

The American commerce having for many years suffered greatly from the
depredations of pirates in the West Indies, a small naval force was sent
against them, which recaptured five American vessels in the vicinity of
Matanzas in Cuba, and destroyed upwards of twenty piratical vessels. But
depredations still continuing, a larger force was sent out the following
year, under Commodore Porter, which broke up their retreats in these
seas, and sent them to other hiding-places, whence they reappeared after
a time.

In 1823 congress recognised the independence of the South American
republics, and ministers were sent to Mexico, Buenos Ayres, and Chili.
The same year, articles of convention for the suppression of the African
slave-trade were signed in London by agents sent for that purpose from
the United States, and officers were commissioned by each nation to
capture and condemn such ships as should be concerned in this illicit

During the summer of 1824 the venerable La Fayette, now seventy years of
age, visited America, by express invitation from congress, after the
lapse of nearly half a century. He was received at New York with every
demonstration of respect, and made a tour through all the states of the
Union, upwards of 5,000 miles, which was in fact a triumphal progress,
state vying with state as to which should show him most affection and
honour. Finally he sailed from Washington, in September, in an American
frigate prepared for his accommodation, and called the Brandywine, from
the battle in which he was wounded.

In the year 1825, John Quincy Adams was inaugurated as president, and J.
C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, vice-president. The administration of the
ex-president had been marked by singular prosperity. Sixty millions of
dollars of the national debt had been paid off, and party-feeling had so
much abated that this period is signalised as “the era of good-feeling.”
The new president, taking a review of the past in his inaugural speech,
remarked: “The year of jubilee since the first formation of our Union is
past, that of our Declaration of Independence is at hand. Since that
period a population of 4,000,000 has multiplied to 12,000,000. A
territory bounded by the Mississippi had been extended from sea to sea.
New states have been admitted to the Union in numbers almost equal to
those of the first confederation. Treaties of peace, amity, and commerce
have been concluded with the principal dominions of the earth. The
people of other nations, inhabitants of regions acquired not by conquest
but by compact, have been united to us in the participation of our
rights and duties, our burdens and our blessings.”

On the 4th of July, 1825—that jubilee of the Declaration of Independence
of which the president had just spoken, and which was celebrated
throughout the Union as a great national festival—died two venerable
ex-presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both members of the
early colonial congresses; the former of whom nominated Washington as
commander-in-chief of the army, the latter drew up the celebrated
Declaration of Independence.

                              CHAPTER XXI.
                        EVENTS OF TWENTY YEARS.

We must now rapidly pass over the remaining quarter of a century, and in
so doing merely pause upon such events as give a marked character to the
progress of the years.

The first which we shall notice is of a moral rather than a political
character; one calculated to produce infinite results for the happiness
of humanity. It was in the year 1826 when temperance societies took
their first organised form. At that time one of the besetting sins of
the Americans was the use of ardent spirits; and so widely-spread was
this pernicious habit of dram-drinking, that the statistics of that
period present a calculation that, out of a white population of
10,000,000, between 3,000,000 and 4,000,000 were habitual
spirit-drinkers, of whom 375,000 drank daily on an average three gills
of ardent spirits, while an equal number consumed more than twice the
quantity, and of course were drunkards—a disgrace to themselves and
their country, and a perpetual source of discomfort to their relatives
and friends. In this situation of things, continues Hinton, in his
History, from which we have taken the above calculations, a few
individuals in the state of Massachusetts undertook the gigantic and
seemingly impracticable task of bringing about a reformation. The means
which they proposed was the establishment of temperance societies, the
members of which bound themselves to total abstinence from spirituous
liquors. The scheme was considered as ridiculous; and even many who
beheld drunkenness with disgust smiled at the inadequate weapon with
which it seemed to them this monster vice was about to be attacked. But
God crowned their grain-of-mustard-seed-effort with gigantic success.
Societies on the plan of the parent-institution, and zealously
co-operating with it, sprang up in all parts of the Union. In September,
1832, there were in the state of New York alone, about 4,000 temperance
societies, of which one-thirtieth of the whole population were members.
And since that time the cause has progressed immensely. In 1841 there
were 2,000,000 pledged teetotallers, 15,000 whom were reformed
drunkards; and in 1846 about 5,000,000. In Maine, Massachusetts, New
York, Vermont, Maryland, Wisconsin and Michigan, legislative enactments
have first restrained, then prohibited, under pains and penalties, the
traffic in intoxicating liquors.

One other event, which occurred during the presidentship of John Quincy
Adams, and in which he took a very lively interest, must be
mentioned—the formation of the anti-masonic societies. The cause was
this: One William Morgan, a quiet, inoffensive man, a citizen of
Batavia, in Genesee County, New York, was about to publish a book,
disclosing, as was said, the secrets of Freemasonry. On the 11th of
September, 1826, it being then Sunday, this man was taken from his home,
his wife, and children, under colour of a criminal process, into Ontario
County, examined and discharged. The very same day, however, instead of
being allowed to return home, he was again arrested and thrown into jail
by the persons who brought the first charge against him. Again these
same people paid his debt, and immediately upon his issuing from prison,
which was then in the darkness of night, he was again seized, gagged,
and forced into a carriage, which was rapidly driven 150 miles, relays
of horses and carriages being prepared along the whole line of road, and
in this manner conveyed, as after inquiry showed, to the Canadian
frontier, lodged in solitary confinement within the walls of an old
fortress, and after five days was supposed to be transported, at the
dead of night, “to the wide channel of the Niagara river, by four royal
archcompanions and sunk to the bottom. Nine days were occupied in the
execution of this masonic sentence; and at least 300 worthy brethren and
companions of the order were engaged as principals or accessories in the
guilt of this cluster of crimes.”[79]

It was in vain that the legislature of New York passed an act ordering a
strict investigation of the subject. Although numerous persons were
proved to be implicated in the abduction, it was impossible to procure
any evidence of the manner in which the unfortunate man had been
destroyed. All that could be learnt was, that a body, said to be that of
Morgan, was found below Fort Niagara. It being impossible, therefore, to
bring forward testimony which would warrant a charge of murder, it was
resolved to prosecute on that of abduction. But here again insuperable
difficulties were thrown in the way by the masonic fraternity. Many
witnesses were removed out of reach, grand juries were packed,
intimidation exercised, and every art put in practice to insure impunity
to the criminals. And although in some instances convictions were
obtained, and the conspirators punished, all the chief actors managed to
set the law at defiance.

Morgan’s abduction, and the formidable influence which the masonic
fraternity was found to possess, in the attempt to convict for that
crime, excited extreme indignation and disgust against these secret and
powerful societies in the minds of the citizens of New York, who argued
that secret societies were not only dangerous, but incompatible with the
institutions of a republican government, that their oaths and mysteries
were illegal and immoral, and that the use of them must disqualify for
offices of public trust. A political party, called Anti-Masonic, soon
rose in the western part of the state, which acquired such great
influence that its leaders became members of the legislative body. The
example of New York was followed by the states of Vermont,
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey,
Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, and the territory of Michigan. But freemasonry
existed through it all.

About the time that the anti-masonic party began to decline, the
anti-slavery party arose. It still has its work to do; to battle with
oppression and crime a thousand times greater than that of freemasonry.
May God help the right!

The presidential election of 1828 was decided in favour of General
Jackson of Tennessee, with whose arbitrary and decisive military
movements we are already acquainted; and John Calhoun, of South
Carolina, was chosen vice-president. When, on the 4th of March, 1829,
Jackson assumed the reins of government, he found the country rich and
prosperous, at perfect peace with all nations, and having in the
national treasury a surplus of more than 5,000,000 dollars.

During the year 1828, congress enacted a tariff law, laying protective
duties on such imported articles as competed with certain manufactured
goods and agricultural products of the United States, by means of which
additional duties were laid on wool and woollen goods, iron, hemp and
its fabrics, distilled spirits, silk-stuffs, window-glass and cottons.
The manufacturing states were well pleased with this law, which,
however, was highly unsatisfactory to cotton-planters of the southern
states. This tariff law was the fertile source of agitation, and almost
revolution, during the presidentship of General Jackson.

In April of 1832, the Winnebagoes, Sacs, and Foxes, Indian tribes
inhabiting the upper Mississippi, commenced hostilities under their
celebrated chief, Black Hawk, re-entering the lands which had been sold
to the United States, and which were now occupied by the citizens of
Illinois. The so-called sale of Indian lands was frequently anything but
with the free-will of the red man, and, as in this very instance, the
Sac Indians were extremely unwilling to vacate their lands; but American
generals, of the same character as the president, unscrupulous and
resolute, not troubled either with too much conscience or too much
sensibility, were ever at hand ready to pledge themselves “within
fifteen days to remove the Indians, dead or alive, over to the west side
of the Mississippi.” The conduct of Black Hawk on this occasion is
worthy to be related. Gaines, the American general, rose in the council
of the chiefs, and said that the president was displeased with the
refusal of the Sacs to go to the west of the great river. Black Hawk
replied that the Sacs, of which he was the chief, had never sold their
lands, and were determined to hold them.

“Who is this Black Hawk? Is he a chief?” inquired the general. “What
right has he in the council?”

Black Hawk rose, and gathering his blanket round him, walked out of the
assembly. The next morning he was again in the council, and rising
slowly, said, addressing the American general: “My father, you inquired
yesterday, ‘Who is this Black Hawk? Why does he sit among the chiefs?’ I
will tell you who I am. I am a Sac; my father was a Sac; I am a warrior,
and so was my father. Ask those young men who have followed me to
battle, and they will tell you who Black Hawk is; provoke our people to
war, and you will learn who Black Hawk is.”

The people _were_ provoked to war, and the Americans learned to know
Black Hawk. He and his warriors came mounted and armed into the country
which they still claimed as their own, and broke up the settlements of
the white intruders, killing whole families and destroying their
dwellings. Generals Scott and Atkinson were sent out against them. But
an enemy more formidable than the red man went with them, and thinned
their ranks more remorselessly than the hatchet of the savage. This was
the cholera. The troops embarked in steamboats at Buffalo, and the
disease made its first appearance on board. Great numbers died; great
numbers also deserted on landing, and fled to the woods, where they
perished either from the disease or starvation. Scott was not able to
reach the scene of action. Atkinson, by forced marches, came up with
Black Hawk’s party on the 2nd of August, near the mouth of the Upper
Iowa. The Indians were routed and dispersed, and Black Hawk and his two
sons and several great warriors made prisoners. Nothing in the history
of humanity is much sadder than the putting down and destroying the last
remnants of these once powerful tribes. Driven out from their fertile
lands, thousands literally died of starvation; and if, as in the case of
the Sacs, they were headed by a chief of superior intellect, who could
not patiently submit to be uprooted like a weed from the soil of his
fathers, and who clung to it with a love as intense as that of the Swiss
for his mountains, then fire and sword swept him and his followers from
the land, and they were killed as traitors. God sees these things, and
permits them; nevertheless they are great iniquities. Black Hawk and his
sons were sent to Fort Jefferson, and put in irons; they were taken to
Washington, and had an interview with President Jackson, when a treaty
was concluded, and the captives relinquished all claim to their
territory, and consented to remove west of the Mississippi. After this
they were taken through several of the eastern cities, that they might
see the power and greatness of the whites, and how hopeless it was to
contend against them. Black Hawk ended his days on the Des Moines river,
where his people had settled. He had a bark cabin, which he furnished,
in imitation of the whites, with chairs, a table, a mirror, and
mattresses. He was no longer the great warrior; in the summer he is said
to have cultivated a few acres of land, on which he grew corn, melons,
and other vegetables. His last speech was at Fort Madison, on the 4th of
July, a festival to which he had been invited, and thus he spoke: “It
has pleased the Great Spirit that I am here to-day. I have eaten with my
white friends. The earth is our mother; we are now on it, with the Great
Spirit above us. It is good. I hope we are all friends here. A few
winters ago I was fighting against you. Perhaps I did wrong—but that is
past; it is buried—let it be forgotten. Rock River was a beautiful
country; I loved my towns, my corn-fields, and the home of my people. I
fought for it. It is now yours; keep it as we did; it will produce you
beautiful crops.”

Such was the spirit of the old, exiled Indian chief; he was a Christian
in practice, though not in name.

As the last chief of a once great and powerful people, we must be
allowed to say a few more words respecting Black Hawk, which we give
from the pen of one who knew him personally. “A deep-seated melancholy,”
says he, “was apparent in his countenance and conversation, and he spoke
occasionally of his former greatness with an inexpressible sadness,
representing himself as at one time master of the country north-east and
south of us. In the autumn of 1838 he set out for the frontier, where
payment was to be made to the tribe of a portion of their annuity. The
weather was both hot and wet, and he appears to have imbibed on his
journey the seeds of the disease which terminated his life. In October
the commission was to meet the tribes at Rock Island, but Black Hawk was
then too ill to accompany them. On the 3rd of October he died, after an
illness of seven days. His only medical attendant was one of the tribe
who knew something of vegetable antidotes. His wife, who was devotedly
attached to him, mourned deeply for him during his illness. She seemed
to have a presentiment of his approaching death, and said, ‘He is
getting old—he must die; Monotah is calling him home!’

“After his death, he was dressed in the uniform presented to him at
Washington, and placed upon a rude bier with bark laid across, on which
he was carried by four of his braves to the place of interment, followed
by his family and about fifty of the tribe, the chiefs being all absent.
They seemed deeply affected and mourned in their usual way, shaking
hands and muttering in gutteral tones prayers to Monotah for his safe
passage to the land prepared for the reception of all Indians. The grave
was six feet deep and of the usual length, situated upon a little
eminence about fifty yards from his wigwam. The body was placed in the
middle of the grave in a sitting posture, upon a seat constructed for
that purpose. On his left, the cane given him by Henry Clay was placed
upright, with his right hand resting upon it. Many of his old trophies,
his favourite weapons and some Indian garments were placed in the grave.
The whole was then covered with plank, and a mound of several feet in
height thrown over, and the whole enclosed with pickets twelve feet in
height. At the head of the grave was placed the American flag, and a
post was raised at the foot, on which, in Indian characters was
inscribed his age, which was about seventy-two.”

As an instance of the rapid growth of civilization in the wilderness of
the West, we will give a few sentences from the graphic pen of Judge
Hall, when speaking of this very region in the year of Black Hawk’s
death. “The country,” says he, “over which Black Hawk, with a handful of
followers, badly mounted and destitute of stores or munitions of war,
roamed for hundreds of miles, driving off the scattered inhabitants, is
now covered with flourishing settlements, with substantial houses and
large farms—not with the cabins and clearings of border-men, but with
the comfortable dwellings and the well-tilled fields of independent
farmers. Organised counties and all the subordination of social life are
there; and there are the noisy school-house, the decent church, the
mill, the country store, the fat ox and the sleek plough-horse. The
Yankee is there with his notions and his patent-rights, and the
travelling agent with his subscription book; there are merchandise from
India and from England, and in short all the luxuries of life. And all
this within six years. Six years ago the Indian warrior ranged over that
fertile region which is now covered with an industrious population,
while the territories of Wisconsin and Iowa and vast settlements in
Missouri have since grown up, beyond the regions which was then the
frontier and the seat of war.”

Such was the state of the West in 1832. Now in twenty years from that
time the white population has advanced still farther and farther
westward, removing at every step the Indian frontier. Iowa, Missouri and
Wisconsin have now taken their position as states of the Union, and
religion and education are establishing true civilization in the former
wilderness, and may atone to heaven for the wrongs done to the Indian on
this very soil.

But we must now return to the events of our general history.

The tariff bill, which passed into operation at the close of the session
of 1832, caused, as we have said, great excitement in the southern
states. South Carolina was the head-quarters of the opposition; and the
party adverse to the bill called themselves the State-rights party,
afterwards “nullifiers,” because having in November held a convention at
Columbia, they issued an ordinance in the name of the people, declaring
that congress had exceeded its powers in laying on protective duties,
and that all such acts should from that time be utterly _null_ and
_void_. And finally they declared, that should congress attempt by force
to bring their act into operation, the people would not submit; and that
any act of congress authorising the employment of a naval or military
force against the state, should be _null_ and _void_; and that in such
case the people would hold themselves absolved from any political
connexion with the other states, and would forthwith proceed to organise
a separate government, and do all other acts and deeds which a sovereign
and independent state has a right to do.

Further still; the legislature of South Carolina met on the 27th of
November, when Governor Hamilton gave in his concurrence to the
ordinance, and recommended that the authorities of the state and of the
city of Charleston should request the withdrawal of the United States
troops, which had been stationed there to guard against a slave
insurrection; that the militia should be called out, and provision made
for obtaining heavy ordnance and other munitions of war.

This novel doctrine, says Willson, of the right of a state to declare a
law of congress unconstitutional and void, and to withdraw from the
Union, was promptly met by a proclamation of the president, in which he
seriously warned the ultra-advocates of “States-rights” of the
consequences that must ensue if they persisted in their course of
treason to the government. He declared that, as chief-magistrate of the
Union, he could not, if he would, avoid the performance of his duty;
that the laws must be executed, and that any opposition to their
execution must be repelled if necessary by force.

This proclamation was extremely popular, and was supported even in South
Carolina, where there existed a strong party called “Friends of the
Union.” Party animosities were for the moment forgotten throughout the
States, and all united in agreeing to support the president in asserting
the supremacy of the laws. Nor did the president talk only; with his
usual prompt decision he caused Castle Pinckney, a fortress which
commands the inner harbour of Charleston, as well as the town, to be put
in complete order of defence; strongly garrisoned Fort Moultrie, and
ordered several ships of war to be stationed in the bay. Every one saw
that he was in earnest, and even the most violent nullifiers shrunk back
from a contest against the whole nation with a man like General Jackson
at its head.

Fortunately for the peace of the nation, the cause of discord and
discontent was in great measure removed by a compromise bill, introduced
into congress by Henry Clay. This bill was for modifying the tariff, and
ultimately reducing the duties to a proper standard. It was strongly
opposed by the supporters of the manufacturing interests, but
nevertheless, having passed both the House of Representatives and the
Senate, received the president’s signature early in March, 1833. It was,
however, accompanied by an act which provided for the collection of
duties on imports, and was called the Enforcing Bill, which was strongly
objected to as giving the president an almost unlimited power over
commerce. On the 4th of March, 1833, General Jackson entered his second
presidential term, Martin Van Buren, of New York, being elected
vice-president. Very soon after the re-election of President Jackson, a
great excitement was occasioned on account of the removal from the Bank
of the United States of the government funds deposited there, and their
transfer to certain state banks. The opponents of the administration
censured this measure as an unauthorised and dangerous assumption of
power by the executive; and the public confidence in the moneyed
institutions of the country being shaken, the pecuniary distresses of
1836 and 1837 were charged upon the hostility of the president to the
Bank of the United States; while, on the other hand, these very
distresses were ascribed to the management of the bank, which the
president declared to have become “the scourge of the country.”[80]

Again the pent-up and out-driven Indian tribes making, as it were, a
dying effort to save themselves, rose into rebellion, and the story
again is very sad. The Chickasaws and the Choctaws had, during the last
few years, quietly emigrated west of the Mississippi, into the territory
bordering on Arkansas, which had been allotted to them instead of their
own lands, and as an inducement to remove voluntarily, the United States
had paid the expenses of their journey, and supplied them with a year’s
provisions. Other tribes there were, however, who were not so easily
managed, and it is of their struggles to maintain a footing on their own
lands that we have now to speak. The Cherokees were the most civilised
of the Indian tribes; they had an established government, a national
legislature, and written laws. Their rights had been protected during
the administration of John Quincy Adams, against the claims of Georgia.
Under the administration, however, of the unscrupulous and aggressive
General Jackson, the legislature of Georgia, which acted very much in
the spirit of the president, extended its laws over the Indian territory
comprised within their boundaries, and among other severe enactments it
was declared, that “no Indian nor the descendants of an Indian, residing
within the Creek or Cherokee nation of Indians, should be deemed a
competent witness or party to any suit, in any court where a white man
is a defendant.” It was in vain that the Supreme Court of the United
States protested against these acts as unconstitutional. Georgia
persisted in its hard enactments, and President Jackson informed the
alarmed and anxious Cherokees that “he had no power to oppose the
sovereignty of any state over all who may be within its limits.” Their
case was precisely as if a fly, caught in a spider’s web, had appealed
for deliverance to another spider, when the advice would have been that
of President Jackson to the Cherokees—“they must abide the issue,
without any hope that he would interfere.”

They did abide the issue, until, worn out by oppressions and vexations,
some of their chiefs were induced to sign a treaty of evacuation. In
vain the Cherokees as a nation protested against it; lived quietly and
inoffensively; availed themselves of the civilisation of the whites, and
wished to profit by it; they were still the red men, the aborigines of
the forest, and they must become once more dwellers in the wilderness.
There was no help for them. Their general emigration was decided upon in
1835, but it was not effected until three years later.

The same year in which the removal of the Cherokees was decided, the
Seminole Indians of Florida began to resist the settlement of the whites
in their vicinity, the immediate cause of their hostility being again an
attempt to remove them west of the Mississippi. In September, 1823, soon
after the purchase of Florida by the United States, a treaty had been
made with the Seminoles, by which they relinquished their claims to
large tracts, reserving certain portions to themselves for residence.
The terms of this treaty being disputed, a second was made at Payne’s
Landing, in Florida, in 1832, when it was stipulated that the Seminoles
should relinquish their reservation, and remove west of the Mississippi,
a delegation of their chiefs being sent out at the expense of the United
States to examine the country assigned to them, whither the Creeks were
already gone; and, according to the treaty, if it were found that they,
the Creeks, would live amicably with them, and that the country was
agreeable to them, then the treaty should be binding. The report of the
delegates was not satisfactory. The country which was assigned to them
was of a stern character, unlike that of their native Florida; it
produced no light-wood for fuel, which was easy to fell, and to which
the Seminoles were accustomed. The savage wilderness of Nebraska did not
allure them; and the Indians, they reported, were bad; they preferred to
remain in Florida, and they accordingly maintained that the treaty was
not binding. Macanopy, their king, opposed their removal, and Osceola,
their most celebrated chief, said that he “wished to rest in the land of
his fathers, and for his children to sleep by his side.”

But the wishes of Macanopy and Osceola were as nothing beside the will
of President Jackson; and General Wiley Thompson was sent as the
government agent to Florida, to arrange the removal of the Seminoles.
Thompson reported that the Seminoles were unwilling to emigrate, and
received for reply that they must go; that his military force should be
increased, and that the annuities which the Seminoles received under the
treaty of 1823 should not be paid until they consented to leave the
country. The Seminoles took council together and promised to go the
following spring; and Thomson, writing to the president, said, “I
believe that the whole nation will come into this measure, but it is
impossible not to feel a deep interest and much sympathy for this

But when the spring came, and government measures began to be put in
operation for their removal, the heart of the whole people was roused as
one man, and they declared that they “could not leave their homes and
the graves of their fathers.” This persistance in opposition was
attributed to Osceola, whose bearing was proud and gloomy, and by order
of General Thompson he was put in irons. Dissembling his wrath, Osceola
obtained his liberty, and not only gave his consent to the removal of
the whole nation, but so completely won the confidence of the government
agent as to be entrusted with various commissions in different parts of
the country, which he executed faithfully. In the meantime, however, he
was concerting with the Indians a plan of deep revenge, which in the
month of December began to take effect.

The remainder of this mournful history we will briefly relate from
Marcius Willson. “At this time General Clinch was stationed at Fort
Orange in Florida. Being supposed to be in danger from the Indians, and
also in want of supplies, Major Dade was despatched from Fort Brooke, at
the head of Tampa Bay, with upwards of 100 men, to his assistance. He
had proceeded about half that distance, when he was suddenly attacked by
the enemy, and he and all but four of his men were killed; and those
four, horribly mangled, afterwards died of their wounds. At the time of
Dade’s massacre, Osceola with a small band of warriors was prowling in
the vicinity of Fort King. While General Thompson and a few friends were
dining at a store only 250 yards from the fort, they were surprised by a
sudden discharge of musketry, and five out of nine were killed. The body
of General Thompson was found pierced with fifteen bullets. Osceola and
his party rushed in, scalped the dead, and retreated before they could
be fired upon by the garrison.

“Two days later, General Clinch engaged the Indians on the banks of the
Withlacoochee, and in February of the following year, General Gaines,
the commander of the north-western division, was attacked near the same
place. In May, several of the Creek towns and tribes joined the
Seminoles in the war. Murders and devastations were frequent; the
Indians obtained possession of many of the southern mail-routes in
Georgia and Alabama, attacked steamboats, destroyed stages, burned
several towns, and compelled thousands of the whites, who had settled in
their territory, to flee for their lives. A strong force, however,
joined by many friendly Indians, being sent against them, and several of
the hostile chiefs having being taken, the Creeks submitted; though such
was their desperation, that many Indian mothers killed their children
rather than that they should become prisoners to the pale-faces. During
this summer great numbers were transported west of the Mississippi.

“In October, Governor Call took command of the forces in Florida, and
with nearly 2,000 men marched into the interior, when several
engagements took place.”

The time for the election of president being now come, Martin Van Buren
was chosen, and Richard M. Johnson, of Kentucky, vice-president. The war
in Florida, though it still raged, was for the time disregarded, owing
to the monetary and mercantile distresses of the country, which reached
their crises almost immediately after the accession of Van Buren. And
yet so prosperous had the country been, only in the preceding June, that
a large amount of surplus revenue had accumulated, which was given up to
the people, and distributed in three instalments among the several
states in proportion to their respective representations in congress.
While this extraordinary prosperity lasted, there was a perfect frenzy
of speculation; hundreds made immense fortunes, and tens of thousands
were reduced to want. During the months of March and April of 1837, the
failures in the city of New York alone amounted to nearly 100,000,000
dollars. The great extent of the business operations of the country, and
their intimate connexion with each other, caused the evil to extend into
all channels of trade. It was felt from the highest to the lowest. The
third instalment of the surplus revenue, which we have already
mentioned, having not yet been paid to the different states, was now
applied to the necessities of government; but no means of relief were
attempted for the people, it being contended that the case did not call
for governmental interference, but a reformation in individual
extravagance and a return to the old neglected ways of industry. A
destructive fire in New York, which occurred at the close of 1835, and
the loss by which was estimated at 17,000,000 dollars, added to the
present distress.

Nevertheless _growth_, which is the principle of American life, went on.
In September, 1835, Wisconsin was erected into a territory, and Arkansas
into a state; and now, in the midst of the general distress, Michigan
was admitted into the Union, making the twenty-sixth state; the original
number of thirteen being doubled.

We must now resume and conclude our account of the Seminole war, which
at this critical moment added to the expenses of the nation; while the
climate of a country abounding in swamps and marshes, amid which the war
was carried on, proved more fatal to the whites than even the Indians
themselves. After several encounters early in the season, a number of
chiefs came to the camp of General Jessup, and signed a treaty, by which
hostilities were to cease, and the Seminoles engaged to remove beyond
the Mississippi. But again the war broke out, and Osceola being
suspected as the cause, was seized in the month of October, when, with
several other chiefs and about seventy warriors, he arrived under the
protection of a flag of truce at the American camp. This was the
finishing stroke to the misfortunes of the Seminoles. It was a base
action; but the treachery of Osceola was pleaded in its palliation. The
Indian chief was now in the safe custody of the pale-faces, but the
strength of the Seminoles was not yet broken. He was confined in Fort
Moultrie, on Sullivan’s Island, opposite Charleston. Though a captive,
he was not treated with unkindness. He was visited by the principal
people of Charleston, and all was done for him which could render him
comfortable, but his spirit was broken. It is related by one gentleman
who visited him frequently, that the expression of his countenance was
the most melancholy that could be conceived. He, however, is said never
to have uttered any lamentation, although he often spoke with bitterness
of the manner in which he had been taken prisoner, and of the injustice
which had been done to his people. His person was handsome, his voice
melodious, and his eyes filled with a gloomy fire.

Although his bearing and his fate awoke, as we have said, a universal
interest for him, and Mr. Edin in particular, who felt an enthusiasm for
the handsome and unhappy Seminole chief, brought him presents, he was
indifferent to all; he grew more and more silent, and from the moment
when he was put in prison his health declined, though he did not appear
to be ill. He ate very little and refused all medicine. The captive
eagle could not live when deprived of the free life and air of his

Osceola was a captive, but his people were not quelled. They, however,
after they lost his leadership, strove not so much to maintain a hold on
their country as to fight out the quarrel with their enemies.
Accordingly, for three years more the war went on. In 1839, General
Macomb, who had assumed the chief command of the army, induced a number
of chiefs in the southern part of the peninsula again to sign a treaty
of peace. By this treaty they were permitted to remain in the country
until they could be assured of the prosperity of their friends, who had
already emigrated. Again the treaty was broken, and in June of that year
the territorial government offered 200 dollars for every Indian, dead or
alive; and thus a war of extermination having begun, was continued till
the year 1842.

In 1837, a patent was granted to S. F. B. Morse, for the Electric

The census of 1840 gave the population of the United States as

The Democratic or Whig party succeeded, in the following election, in
returning William Henry Harrison, “the hero of the Thames and the
Tippacanoe,” as president, in opposition to Van Buren, and John Tyler,
of Virginia, as vice-president. On March 4th, 1841, Harrison was
inaugurated, and exactly one month afterwards, his health being feeble,
he expired; when the vice-president, according to the Constitution,
became president.

Monetary affairs were at this time engrossing public attention, and so
great were the present pecuniary difficulties, involving many mercantile
houses in ruin, that congress adopted the extraordinary expedient of
passing a bankrupt law, which operated throughout all the states. And
not only did this law become available for individuals, but was taken
advantage of by various states themselves, and a great obloquy for the
time was cast on the nation—this was called _repudiation_. With
returning prosperity, however, most of the states resumed payment, and
little, if any state repudiation of debt has remained.

In 1842, a long existing dispute between the United States and England,
regarding the north-eastern boundary, was adjusted. Lord Ashburton was
sent from England as a special envoy, and Daniel Webster and he arranged
the terms of a treaty by which this important question of north-eastern
boundary, which had even threatened war, was amicably and finally

In 1844, serious disturbances occurred in the state of New York, called
the Anti-Rent Disturbances, of which a few words must be permitted us,
and which we will give principally from Mrs. Willard.

“In the early history of the state, we have seen, that under the Dutch
government certain settlers received patents of considerable portions of
land, that of Van Renssalaer being the most extensive, comprehending the
greater part of Albany and Renssalaer counties. These lands were divided
into farms, containing from one hundred to one hundred and sixty acres,
and leased in perpetuity on the following conditions. The tenant must
each year pay to the landlord or ‘patron,’ a quantity of wheat, from
twenty-two-and-a-half bushels to ten, with four fat fowls, and a day’s
service with wagon and horses. If the tenant sold his lease, the
landlord was entitled to one-quarter of the purchase money. The landlord
was also entitled to certain privileges on all water power, and a right
to all mines. In process of time the tenants began to consider these
legal conditions as anti-republican, as a relic of feudal tyranny.
Stephen Van Renssalaer, who came into possession of his patent in 1780,
had in the kindness of his nature omitted to exact his legal right until
200,000 dollars of back rent was owing, which, on his death in 1840, was
found appropriated by will. The enforcement of these long-neglected
demands gave rise to much dissatisfaction, and finally they were
forcibly resisted, when the States’ government called out the military,
but still to no purpose.

“In the summer of 1844, the anti-rent disturbances broke out with great
violence in the eastern towns of Renssalaer, and in the Livingston Manor
in Columbia County. The anti-renters formed themselves into associations
to resist the law, and armed and trained bands, disguised as Indians,
scoured the country, compelling every person whom they met to give in
their allegiance to this revolt, by saying ‘Down with the Rent!’ Not
contented with this, they proceeded to violence, and tarring and
feathering, and other outrages of the most fearful kind took place.
Sometimes a thousand of these pretended Indians, more fearful even than
the real ones, assembled in a body. Similar disturbances occurred at the
same time in Delaware, where Steele, the deputy sheriff, was murdered in
the execution of his official duties.

“In 1846, Silas Wright was chosen governor of the state, and by his
wisdom and firmness the public order was restored. On the 27th of
August, he proclaimed the county of Delaware in a state of insurrection;
resolute men were made sheriffs, military aid was given, and the leading
anti-renters taken and brought to trial. The murderers of Steele were
condemned to death, but their punishment commuted to perpetual

March 3rd, 1845, the two former territories of Iowa and Florida were
admitted as states into the Union.

                             CHAPTER XXII.

We have already related how the adventurous La Salle, when endeavouring
to establish a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi, mistook his
reckoning, and entered the bay of Matagorda instead. This gave the
French nation a claim to Texas. The fort built by the unfortunate La
Salle was soon demolished by the Indians, and the Spaniards from their
neighbouring Mexico disputed also the French right of possession, they
claiming the whole of this coast as a portion of their own territory.

The first permanent settlement of the whites in Texas was by the
Spaniards, in 1684, when, under San Antonio de Bexar, the fort of that
name was established. In 1719 also a colony settled there from the
Canary Isles. Various missionary stations and military posts were also
established at different places, so that the Spaniards became the
assured possessors of the country, with an increasing population. The
missionary stations, unlike the simple log-huts and chapels of the early
French jesuits, were massive fortresses of stone, the churches decorated
with images of saints and paintings, and surmounted by enormous towers.
The ruins of several of these vast erections still remain in various
parts of Texas, and produce a very striking effect, especially in a
country where the traces of civilised life are so scanty. The Spanish
population of Texas was, however, inconsiderable at the time of the
Mexican revolution in 1810, owing to the incursions of the savage
Comanches and other Indian tribes, and to the police regulations of the
Spanish government. As regards the relative positions and feelings of
the Mexican government and that of the United States, we will give a few
remarks from an American writer.[82] “The Mexican authorities were not
so desirous of occupying Texas as of keeping her a desolate waste; that
she might present an impassable barrier between themselves and their
Anglo-American neighbours. The cause of this is not of difficult
solution, and is derived from the old mother-country. At the time when
Mexico was first colonised, Spain was at the head of the Roman Catholic
countries, and all heretics were held in abhorrence by her, and
exterminated by the inquisition and the sword. The changes which
knowledge and general enlightenment have produced in the Protestant
world universally, and even in the Catholic when it has been forced into
closer contact with progressive opinion, have not reached Mexico, which
has been shut up as it were, and which has jealously retained all her
native aversions, prejudices and jealousies. Besides which, Mexico as a
colony belonged less to the Spanish nation than to the Spanish kings,
and was governed by their viceroys, regardless of the well-being of the
people, merely as an estate to produce a revenue. No possible rivalry
with the mother-country was permitted; meanwhile the mines were
industriously worked, no commerce was permitted to the Mexicans, nor
might they rear the silkworm or plant the olive or the vine.

“When, however, the English colonies asserted and established their own
independence, Spain, fearing a similar revolt in her own colony,
somewhat relaxed her laws regarding their trade with foreign nations,
but only under severe restrictions and enormous duties, so that the
freedom on the one hand might be nullified by the restrictions on the
other. Very little change took place in Mexico.

“At length, in 1810, when the Spanish nation fell under the arm of
Napoleon, the Mexicans revolted. But the people were not united, and
after a war of eight years the Royalist party prevailed. A second
revolution took place in 1821, under Iturbide, when the Mexicans
succeeded in throwing off the Spanish yoke. Iturbide proclaimed himself
king, and the people, wishing for a republic, deposed him; he was
banished, and returning was executed. A new leader arose in the person
of Santa Anna, under whose auspices Mexico was divided into States, with
each a legislature, and over the whole a general government with a
federal constitution similar to that of the United States. But Santa
Anna was not a second Washington; the constitution became subverted, and
he the military tyrant of the country.”

Having given this brief sketch of the condition and government of
Mexico, we now return to Texas. When, in 1803, the United States
purchased Louisiana from France, the disputed claim to Texas became
transferred to them, and in 1819, when Florida was granted to them by
Spain, they ceded to that country their claims to Texas as a portion of
Mexico. But although they had resigned their claim to Texas, the United
States could not resist their natural impulse at extension and
colonisation, and, in 1821, favoured by the Mexican authorities, who
hoped that the bold and determined Anglo-American settler would be a
good defence against the hostile Comanches, the first attempt at the
colonisation of Texas was successfully made. The intended leader of this
movement was Moses Austen, of Durham, in Connecticut, who obtained a
grant of land from the Mexican authorities for the settlement of a
colony between the rivers Brazas and Colorado. Death prevented Moses
Austen from carrying out his plans, which, however, were fully and most
successfully executed by his son, Steven F. Austen. The success of
Austen’s colony soon alarmed the Mexican authorities; and well it might,
for these sturdy republicans once planted there would soon take such
firm root as to displace any other possessor. Nor was it long before
evidences of their intentions were apparent. In 1827, a movement was
attempted by the settlers of Nacogdoches to throw off the Mexican yoke
and to establish a republic under the name of Fredonia. The attempt was
unsuccessful, but the Mexican authorities were alarmed, more especially
as soon after some overtures were made on the part of the United States
government to purchase Texas.

In 1833, there were about 10,000 American settlers in Texas; and at that
time dissatisfaction and discontent were prevailing largely among them.
The Spanish Mexicans of the province carried against them every measure
in the government, and when Steven Austen was sent to the city of Mexico
to petition for redress, he was first neglected, and then thrown into a
dungeon. In 1835 Austen was once more in Texas. The usurpations of Santa
Anna had in the meantime increased the public discontent, and the
Texians generally prepared to throw off the yoke of his despotism.
Adventurers from the American states hastened to take part in the
approaching contest, which sooner or later was sure to be advantageous
to their nation. A provisional government was appointed, and Samuel
Houston placed at the head of the army in Texas.

In December the Texian forces, under General Burleton, besieged the
strong fortress of Alamo and the city of Bexar, which was garrisoned by
General Cos and 1,300 Spaniards and Mexicans. In a few days the fortress
was taken, and the Mexicans obtained permission to retire; so that
within a very short time not a single Mexican soldier remained east of
the Rio Grande.

Santa Anna, who understood too well the spirit of the people, no sooner
saw the stronghold of Bezar taken by a party whose purposes were so
adverse to his own, than he entered Texas in person, and with 4,000 men
invested Goliad and Bezar, which had unfortunately been left in the
hands of a very inadequate force. The attack commenced and continued for
several days, the fortress of the Alamo in Bezar being defended by its
little band with a courage, says Samuel Goodrich, worthy of Leonidas and
his Spartans. After having held out for a considerable time they
sustained a general assault on the night of the 6th of May. They fought
until Travis, their commander, fell, and seven only of the garrison were
left when the place was taken, and the little remnant was torn to
pieces. Two human beings only were left, a woman and a negro servant.
Among those who fell on this terrible occasion was the celebrated David
Crockett of Tennessee, a man well known from the eccentricity of his
mind and the independence of his character; he was found surrounded by a
heap of dead whom he had slain.

Colonel Fanning, who commanded at Goliad, by direction of the Texian
authorities evacuated this place on the 17th of March, but had scarcely
reached the open country when they were surrounded by the Mexicans with
a troop of Indian allies. They defended themselves all day, and killed a
great number of the enemy; during the night, however, the Mexicans being
reinforced, they were obliged to surrender, on condition of being
treated as prisoners of war: good faith, however, was unknown to Santa
Anna, and no sooner were they in his power than he ordered them to be
drawn out and shot. Four hundred men were thus murdered in cold blood;
one of the soldiers saying to his fellows, when the inhuman order was
given, “They are going to shoot us; let us face about and not be shot in
the back.” This bloody tragedy, which stamped the name of Santa Anna
with infamy, took place on the 27th of March, 1836.

These direful tidings aroused, at the same time, the American hatred and
sympathy. After this they would not permit Texas to remain in the hands
of so cruel and false an enemy.

Santa Anna, encouraged by his victory and confident of success, pursued
the Texian army, now under the command of General Houston, as far as San
Jacinto, where Houston resolved to risk a battle, although his force was
less than 1,000 and the enemy double his number. This was on the 21st of
April. The Texians commenced the attack, rushing furiously forward to
within half-rifle distance, with the ominous battle-cry of “Remember the
Alamo!” The fury with which they assailed the enemy was irresistible,
and in less than half an hour they were masters of the camp, the whole
Mexican army being killed, wounded, or prisoners. The following day
Santa Anna himself was taken, without arms and in disguise.

The plausibility of this artful leader induced his captors to believe
him favourable to the independence of Texas. At his request he was sent
to the United States, and had an interview with President Jackson, whom
he succeeded also in winning, and by whom he was permitted to return to
Mexico. No sooner in Mexico than he disclaimed his late proceedings and
again commenced war on Texas. In the meantime the United States, England
and France recognised the independence of that country. But her struggle
was not at an end; and gaining strength by the contest, the Texians, in
1841, assisted by a body of American adventurers, proceeded to take
possession of Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, lying on the eastern
side of the Rio Grande. This attempt was unsuccessful, but it opened, as
it were, a door into New Mexico, and the American foot being once
planted there, as elsewhere, was but the forerunner of possession.

In 1844 Texas made application to be received into the American Union.
Great discussion followed; both President Jackson and his successor, Van
Buren, opposed it, on the ground of the existing peaceful relations with
Mexico, but the great body of the American people were favourable to it.
The question of annexation was made the great test question of the
following election, and James Polk and George M. Dallas owed their
elections to its support. Accordingly, on the 4th of March, 1844, they
were inaugurated, and Texas already in February had been admitted into
the Union. The annexation of Texas was of course resented by Mexico, her
minister at Washington declaring it to be “the most unfair act ever
recorded in history.”

The conditions of annexation required from the authorities and people of
Texas were as follows: 1st. That all questions of boundary should be
settled by the United States; 2nd. That Texas should give up her
harbours, magazines, etc., but retain her funds and her debts, and,
until their discharge, her unappropriated lands; 3rd. That additional
new states, not exceeding four, might be formed _with slavery_ if south
of lat. 36½°, but if north, _without_.

The annexation of Texas led to war with Mexico. In July an armed force
under Colonel Zachery Taylor, was sent out to protect the new territory
against the threatened invasion of Mexico, besides which negotiations
were opened for the adjustment of the quarrel, the United States being
desirous of purchasing a peaceful boundary on the Rio Grande and the
cession of California.

Whilst these negotiations were pending with but little hope of a
successful termination, a difficulty arose between the United States and
England respecting the northern boundary of Oregon. The brief history of
this north-western state is as follows. In the spring of 1792, Captain
Robert Gray, of Boston, discovered a river to which he gave the name of
his vessel, the Columbia. This was the first knowledge which the
Americans had of this river. In 1804–5, Messrs. Lewis and Clarke, under
the commission of the American government, explored this river from its
mouth to its source. After the year 1808, the country was occupied by
various fur companies. These are the circumstances upon which the United
States based her claims to the territory as far as 54° 40′. But English
merchants being settled in the country, England also asserted her claim,
and a discussion of rights and claims ensued, which became so hot on
both sides as even to threaten war between the two countries.
Fortunately, however, the question was amicably adjusted by the treaty
of 1846, by which the 49th degree became the frontier of the United
States to the north, Vancouver’s Island was wholly relinquished to the
British, to whom also the right of navigation in the Columbia was

War with Mexico continued through the whole of 1846–47, and in May of
the following year, left the Americans in quiet possession of the
northern provinces of Mexico proper, a vast and important territory
including New Mexico, Utah, and California. The incidents of the war
were of an adventurous and romantic character. The wonderfully varied
and tropical character of the country, and the wild and guerilla kind of
warfare amid scenes rendered memorable in the old chivalrous days of
Spanish glory and enterprise, gave an extraordinary charm to a war which
perhaps cannot be justified on strict principles of Christian morality.
Young adventurers flocked to the armies of Generals Wool, Kearney, and
Taylor, impatient to take part in a enterprise which was dangerous and
exciting in the highest degree. It is said that when the news of the
imminent danger of the army on the Rio Grande reached the United States,
that everywhere young men hastened westward to defend their brethren,
fight the Mexicans, and push forward for the Halls of the Montezumas;
and that Prescott’s work, the “History of the Conquest of Mexico,” being
just then published and universally read, greatly increased the

In April, 1847, Peubla, the second city in Mexico, was taken by the
Americans under General Scott, and in the following September, the grand
city of Mexico itself. “Three hours before noon,” says Mrs. Willard, who
seems to have the strongest sympathy with this war, “General Scott made
his entrance, with escort of cavalry and flourish of trumpets, into the
conquered city of the Aztecs. The troops for four-and-twenty hours now
suffered from the anarchy of Mexico more than her prowess had been able
to inflict. Two thousand convicts let loose from the prisons attacked
them from the house-tops, at the same time entering houses and
committing robberies. The Mexicans assisting, these fellows were quelled
by the morning of the 15th.

“General Scott gave to his army, on the day of their entrance into
Mexico, memorable orders concerning their discipline and behaviour.
After directing that companies and regiments be kept together, he says,
‘Let there be no disorders, no straggling, no drunkenness. Marauders
shall be punished by court-martial. All the rules so honourably observed
by the glorious army in Peubla must be observed here. The honour of our
country, the honour of our army, call for the best behaviour from all.
The valiant must, to win the approbation of God and their country, be
sober, orderly, and merciful. His noble brethren in arms will not be
deaf to this hasty appeal from their commander and friend.’

“On the 16th, he called the army to return public and private thanks to
God for victory; and on the 19th, for the better preservation of order
and suppression of crime, he proclaimed martial law. Thus protected by
the American army, the citizens of Mexico were more secure from
violence, and from the fear of robbery and murder, than they had ever
been under their own flag.”

Nor does this statement appear to be overdrawn. An English writer[83] on
Mexico, who was in the country the two years following the war, dates
the commencement of an improvement in this degraded people from the
American invasion. “Nothing,” says he, “could exceed the jealous
suspicions with which the Mexicans formerly regarded other nations, more
particularly perhaps the people of the United States. The hatred and
rancour with which the very name of American was mentioned while
hostilities were in progress, were immeasurable. But at the present time
kindly feelings are being fostered with a large proportion which will
lead to happy results for both countries.

“In respect of the broad principles of commerce, productions and
restrictions, the intercourse of Mexico with other nations has at
present led to but few salutary results. Exclusiveness and shortsighted
suspicion still remain the governing features of their commercial
policy; liberality, innovation, and improvement, being carefully guarded
against. Foreign productions of importance are excluded as ruinous, and
the country is effectually protected against honourable traffic, though
left open to the lawless proceedings of swindlers and smugglers of every

“When the Americans marched upon the interior of the country,” after
gaining every battle on the outskirts, said an intelligent Mexican, who
had been seized upon by the American army and compelled to serve as a
guide, “the most horrible ideas of their cruelty and rapacity were set
afloat. As they drew near the capital, we were given to understand that
there was no torture nor disgrace to which they would not subject the
inhabitants, if they conquered us. The priests made themselves
particularly busy in influencing the minds of the people in every part
of the city against them, and members of the secular clergy went from
house to house of the wealthier classes, to arouse their zeal against
the invaders, and to procure sums of money for the benefit of the cause.
It was generally believed that our enemies were neither more nor less
than a kind of monsters, permitted by heaven to visit us as a judgment
upon our crimes and neglect of the holy church.

“‘For my own part such a dreadful idea of our enemies had taken
possession of me, that I could neither eat nor sleep; I was like one
bereft of his senses; every avenue of my mind seemed closed but that of
fear. Sleeping or waking, I was haunted by the image of our invaders,
and I was in the act of making a precipitate retreat at the moment I was
surrounded by several hostile soldiers. But, above all, was a popular
horror associated with the American generals. The people were taught to
believe them the most atrocious impersonations of cruelty and rapacity
which it was possible to imagine. It was reported that they had sworn to
hang every Mexican who should fall into their hands, and that they had
approached the capital with the most malicious determination to wreak
their vengeance upon it.’ The Mexican prisoner related, therefore, that
when he found himself in the hands of such dreaded foes he was in
momentary expectation of being shot or hanged, and could not at first
understand why his execution was delayed. Still more was he astonished
when he beheld the American generals themselves. Instead of fierce
tyrants with bloodthirsty visages, as he had been taught to regard them,
he beheld, he said, two agreeable-looking, fair men, with paternal
countenances and amiable manners. General Scott made a good impression;
but General Taylor attracted by his unassuming dignity and awed by his

“‘I am sure,’ continued this narrator, ‘that many of my countrymen have
a great respect for the people of the United States; they have reason
for it. Their officers were kind instead of cruel to us; they spared our
houses and our property; they were just to our storekeepers. Indeed, in
many respects, our city has had cause to regret the period when they
went away.’ The cruelties of the Mexicans in this struggle were of the
most unsparing character; every American or Texian who was captured was
killed in some ruthless manner, their dead and mangled bodies being left
to be recognised by their friends. It was their practice,” says Mr.
Mason, “to extort by the most brutal threats and unlicensed conduct, the
money and property of individuals unfortunate enough to be in their
vicinity, or failing this to outrage their families, or sacrifice them
to their mean revenge. They exhibited the utmost baseness and duplicity
in all attempts at compromise and interchange of prisoners; and they
stripped and plundered the bodies of the American dead left on the field
of battle, burning and disfiguring them in the most brutal manner.

“The generosity of the American general shines in happy contrast with
these deeds of their enemies. A large party of wounded Mexicans were
left in the hospital totally unprovided for on the retreat of Santa
Anna’s army from Buena Vista, where the Americans gained a signal
victory in February, 1847, and which in fact made them masters of the
northern provinces of Mexico Proper. In the disastrous flight which
followed this defeat, hundreds of the wounded were left by the wayside
to be drowned by the waters, even before death, and numbers who had
escaped unscathed in the battle, perished on the march in the agonies of
thirst and hunger. On General Taylor becoming acquainted with the fact,
he despatched such medical assistance as he could spare, together with
between thirty and forty mules laden with provisions, to their
assistance. This, it is said, being only one instance out of many that
might be recorded to the credit of the Americans.” And no more than what
is right; for the Americans, though chargeable with an aggressive spirit
in many cases, with a greed of territory and a lust of colonisation,
like their old Anglo-Norman ancestors, were yet Christians, and it is by
this Christianity alone, which the conqueror must never forego, that the
citizens of the United States will in process of time extend themselves
over the whole of the western hemisphere.

We have heard above the testimony of a Mexican to the character of the
American invaders. And as regards the moral state of Mexico, we will
give an average statement of the amount of crime for one year in the
city of Mexico, the population of which is but little above 130,000:

                                     MALES. FEMALES. TOTAL.
            Robbery                   1,800      590  2,390
            Quarrelling and Wounding  2,937    1,805  4,742
            Bigamy, etc.                421      203    624
            Homicide                    180       42    222
            Incontinence, etc.           75       37    112
            Forgery                      11        3     14
            Throwing Vitriol             41       17     58
            Lesser Crimes               734      341  1,075

Besides which, about 900 dead bodies are found in the streets and
suburbs annually, the cause of which is never known and rarely inquired
into. In the above list of crimes is found vitriol throwing, which
probably is new to some of our readers, but is so common in Mexico, as
the above author assures us, that its appalling evidences are frequently
visible in the streets; and not only among the lower classes, but among
the wealthy, who have fallen victims to the demoniac vengeance of these
ignorant and brutal people.

The taking of Mexico was the crisis of the war. But though the enemy’s
capital was in the hands of the Americans, they made use of their
conquest for no other purpose than to establish peace. In vain Santa
Anna endeavoured to carry on the war; his power was gone for the
present, and in October, being abandoned by his troops, he once more
became a fugitive. In the following February a treaty was laid before
congress, and on the 29th of May, the treaty being signed between the
two nations, peace was declared to the American army in Mexico.

The stipulations of the treaty were, that Mexico should be evacuated
within three months, prisoners on each side released, and Mexican
captures made by the Indians within the limits of the United States were
to be restored. These limits, as they affect Mexico, begin at the mouth
of the Rio Grande, and proceed thence along the deepest channel of that
river to the southern boundary of New Mexico. From thence to the Pacific
they follow the river Gela and the southern boundary of Upper
California. The United States might, however, navigate the Colorado
below the entrance of its affluent the Gela. If it were found
practicable and judged expedient to construct a canal, road, or railway
along the Gela, both nations were to unite in its construction and
afterwards to participate in its advantages. The navigation of the river
to be obstructed by neither nation. Mexican citizens within the limits
of the relinquished territories of New Mexico and Upper California to be
allowed a year to make their selection whether they would continue
Mexican citizens and remove their property, for which every facility was
to be furnished, or whether they would remain and become citizens of the
United States. The United States stipulated to restrain the incursions
of all the Indian tribes within its limits against the Mexicans, and to
return all Mexican captives hereafter made by the Indians. In
consideration of territory gained, the United States government agreed
to pay to Mexico 15,000,000 dollars, and also to assume her debts to
American citizens to the amount of 3,500,000 more. Three millions were
paid down to Mexico at once, congress having the preceding winter placed
that sum in the hands of the president in anticipation of this

Thus was the contest ended, to the incalculable advantage of America,
and of Mexico likewise, though her benefit will lie in the nearer
proximity of a more enlightened government, free institutions, and an
advancing people.

The territory of Wisconsin was admitted into the American Union as a
state, in May, 1850.

A vast extent of country, as we have already said, fell into the hands
of the United States government, in consequence of its Mexican
conquests. An important portion of this was Utah, so called from the
tribe of Indians inhabiting it, and which was formed into a territorial
government as early as 1850. But this remarkable country, with its vast
mountain chains, its deserts, its affluent valleys, and its great Salt
Lake, together with its extraordinary people, the Mormons, deserve more
than a mere summary mention. The Rocky Mountains on the east and the
Sierra Nevada on the west, form the boundaries of Utah; besides these,
two lofty chains intersect the country from north-east to south-west.
The Great Basin, a considerable portion of which is sandy desert, is an
elevated valley, composing the western portion of Utah; it is in circuit
about 12,000 miles, and lies about 5,000 feet above the level of the
sea. The great valley of the Colorado, on the east, although not fully
explored, is said to be wonderfully fertile, abounding in wood, and
admirably fitted for the purposes of agriculture. Its northern portion,
and the whole district of the Great Salt Lake, are full of natural
beauties, and abundantly repay cultivation.

The Great Salt Lake is perhaps the most singular feature of Utah. Its
form is irregular, in extent it is about seventy miles, and contains
many islands. It is extremely salty, and so shallow as not to be
available for the purposes of navigation. Its western banks, intersected
by rivulets impregnated with salt and sulphur, are totally devoid of
vegetation, excepting such small shrubs as spring up among the
glittering saline particles, and here the mirage frequently displays its
fantastic show, as in the deserts of the East. Fresh water and green
turf are unknown through an extent of one hundred miles, while a coating
of solid salt incrusts the earth, upon which the mules pass as upon ice.
This lake never freezes. The river Utah, or the Jordan as it is called
by the Mormons, is a small river of fresh water which unites Lake Utah
to the Great Salt Lake. Lake Utah, thirty-five miles long, receives the
waters of a great number of fresh-water streams which descend from the
mountains, and keep the waters of this lesser lake fresh, although on
its southern limits a considerable vein of salt has been found imbedded
in the clay.

These lakes are about 4,000 feet above the level of the sea.

Lake Utah, as well as the rivers which flow into it, abounds with
excellent fish, which with the chase furnish a subsistence to the
Indians of this district.[84]

Into this singular region, with its snow-capped mountains, its elevated
valleys, its sandy deserts, and salt and sulphurous waters, came, in the
year 1848, a people whose social and religious system forms as singular
an anomaly in the midst of modern civilisation as the country itself
which they chose amid the more ordinary aspects of nature. These, as is
well known, are the Mormons.

The commencement of this sect was only eighteen years previous to the
great emigration westward, and has become an historical event. Joseph
Smith, the Mormon prophet, a man of low origin, a native of Palmyra in
the state of New York, pretended to have found written plates of gold,
which he also pretended to translate by miraculous inspiration, and gave
forth as the book of Mormon, representing himself to be a great prophet
of the latter day, a new Moses or Mahomet. The character of Smith
appears from his youth upwards to have been that of a religious
enthusiast, if not impostor. When only fourteen, during one of those
periods of religious excitement called revivals, he declared that he had
been favoured with a heavenly vision, in which two angelic personages
freed him from the power of the Enemy and forbade him to join himself to
any Christian sect. As he approached manhood he pretended to a knowledge
of the occult sciences, and used the divining rod in the discovery of
gold, at which period he was known as “Joe the Money-Digger.” The
greatest treasure, however, which came into his hand, whether by occult
knowledge or by angelic revelation, was, he said, the Book of Mormon,
though no one ever saw the golden plates on which he asserted that it
was written. As regards this so-called Book of Mormon, it is now
generally supposed to have been the production of one Solomon Spalding,
a Presbyterian minister, who, after various unsuccesses, wrote a tedious
work of fiction on the History of the North American Indians, as the
descendants of the patriarch Joseph, from the reign of Zedekiah to the
fifth century of the Christian era, and which purported to have been
buried by Mormon, its original compiler. This work, which never found a
publisher, some years after its author’s death fell by some means into
the hands of Sidney Higdon, an associate of Smith’s. The Book of Mormon
was published, and Joe Smith was impudently announced by it to be a
second Prophet and Saviour of mankind, who should establish a great Zion
in America. Ill-founded and absurd as his pretensions were, he soon
obtained an immense influence over the ignorant, not only in America but
in England, and his sect increased not by hundreds but thousands. The
principles of this sect are as yet but imperfectly understood. If,
however, they are to be inferred from their bible, they will be found
based on Christianity, whatever extravagances and impurities they may
have engrafted upon it. This book is said to contain, in the first
place, the whole of the Christian Bible, to which are added the writings
of later prophets, of whom Meroni and Mormon are asserted to be the
last. These give a more definite prophecy of Christ, but still adhere to
the details of his life as related by the Evangelists, but in no
instances propound any new religious doctrines or theory. The sect
asserts, however, that Joe Smith, being directly descended from these
later prophets, not only inherited their divine gifts, but was endowed
with the spiritual privilege of divine communication, which he had the
power of imparting to others; and that by means of these divine and
miraculous gifts he and his followers are brought into closer
communication with Christ than any other body of Christians.

While we must believe that these high pretensions of Joe Smith’s are
delusions if not imposture of the most daring kind, it is still an
interesting question what was the secret of the wonderful influence
which he possessed over such thousands in the present age, and by which
he was able not only to form them into a vast organised society, but
even after his death to leave them so firmly knit together that no sign
of dissolution appears amongst them. No doubt, however, but that Joe
Smith was an extraordinary man, however unprincipled, gifted with a
measure of that far-seeing power which assumes to be prophetic, and
possessed of that subtle influence which subdues to its dominion the
minds of all who are brought within its sphere, besides which he had
great knowledge of human nature, and framed his government upon a
hierarchical basis so as to enslave the multitude to a powerful
priesthood. As regards the prophetic gifts of their first leader, the
Mormons declare that Joe Smith distinctly foretold the time and manner
of his own death, so that when it occurred the sect, instead of being
disheartened and broken up, only regarded it as the accomplishment of a
divine ordination, as a testimony to the truth of their faith, and other
men of a like spirit with Smith took his place.

The Mormons, in the year 1838, established themselves and built a temple
at Kirtland in Ohio; they then removed into Michigan, afterwards into
Missouri, whence they were expelled on the charge of an attempt to
assassinate the governor. From Missouri they removed into Illinois,
whence they were again driven out by the inhabitants. In this last
state, however, they remained long enough to found a city called Nauvoo,
in which they built, upon the fine slope of a hill, a vast and
magnificent temple in a barbaric style of architecture, according as
they asserted, to directions laid down in the book of Mormon, the
effect, however, of which was extremely imposing. Mormonism was now
flourishing. The wealth and population of the community increased
greatly. Smith was not only Prophet and High Priest but Mayor of Nauvoo,
and even, it is said, offered himself as candidate for the Presidentship
of the Union. At Nauvoo also it was that the grossest feature of
Mormonism first revealed itself—Smith pretended that he had received a
revelation allowing him to have many wives. This and other things roused
the public indignation, and Joe Smith and his brother, on the charge of
having been concerned in robbery and murder, were lodged in prison at
the town of Carthage; and while in prison were themselves murdered by a
band of a hundred men who forcibly entered in disguise for that purpose.
Although this outrage was as great as that for which the Mormon leader
was incarcerated, the public indignation continued to be so unabating
against them, that the following year they sold all their possessions in
Illinois, deserted their city and temple, and again, like the children
of Israel of old, commenced their wanderings in the wilderness, their
chosen head and prophet on the death of Smith being Brigham Young, the
son of an Eastern States’ farmer. After a long and arduous march of
3,000 miles, amid difficulties and dangers and the endurance of many
sufferings, and having crossed the Rocky Mountains they reached the
Great Salt Lake, on the fertile shores of which they settled down as in
a land of Goshen. Here a great prosperity has again commenced for them;
their numbers increase annually, and even so early as 1846 they were
able to furnish 500 volunteers for the Mexican war.

At the present time the Mormons number about 30,000. They are building a
vast city, twelve miles in circumference, the houses of which are of
brick, and their new temple, on a scale still more magnificent than the
former, is of stone, the plan it is said having been revealed to Brigham
Young in a miraculous vision. About 13,000 inhabitants reside in the
city, the remainder having established themselves on the banks of the
Jordan, which river, as we have said, connects Lake Utah with the Great
Salt Lake. They have already commenced the cultivation of the soil,
which is found to produce seventy-five bushels of wheat per acre, and
which is favourable to the growth of the potato, though the climate is
too severe for the Indian corn. Rain is rare in the country, and
irrigation is therefore indispensable. They have erected corn and
saw-mills on the streams of water which descend from the mountains, wood
being abundant for this purpose, besides which they have iron-works and
coal-mines, and various factories. They have dug canals and built
bridges. They have established regular mails with San Francisco on the
Pacific and New York on the Atlantic. Public baths, supplied from the
hot springs of that volcanic region are erected in the city, and they
have founded also a university, where lectures on the sciences,
conformable to Mormon views, are delivered. The climate is extremely

The Mormon government is a hierarchy; and the one great doctrine which
is impressed upon the people is submission in all things to the
priesthood; but all sects and opinions are tolerated amongst them. If
all is true which is said of their social life, morality amongst them is
at a very low ebb. Nevertheless, accounts are so contrary, that Miss
Bremer, for instance, states on what she considered good authority,
“that the habits and organisation of the community were according to the
Christian moral code, and extremely severe.” Whatever it may be however,
whether it ministers to the evil or the good in human nature, there
seems to be a very popular element in Mormonism, for it reckons about
100,000 members within its pale, both in Europe and America, and those
in Europe seem to be rapidly removing themselves to this New Jerusalem
on the banks of the Great Salt Lake. One cause of their success,
doubtless, is the wonderful system of organisation which prevails
amongst them. They do not undertake the task of establishing their
settlements according to the usually independent mode of individual and
ordinary squatters, but all is the result of organised industry, and the
result astonishes all. Captain Stansbury, in his Survey of Utah, thus
describes the mode which they adopt for the founding of a new town. “An
expedition is sent out to explore the country, with a view to the
selection of the best site. An elder of the church is then appointed to
preside over the band designated to make the first improvement. This
company is composed partly of volunteers and partly of such as are
selected by the Presidency, due regard being had to a proper
intermixture of mechanical artizans, to render the expedition
independent of all without.” And still further to illustrate this
system, we will extract a letter given by the author of a very
comprehensive article on Mormonism in the “Edinburgh Review,” and to
which we are already indebted. “In company of upwards of 100 wagons I
was sent on a mission with G. A. Smith, one of the Twelve, to Iron
County, 270 miles south of Salt Lake, in the depth of winter, to form a
settlement in the valley of Little Salt Lake, now Parowan, as a
preparatory step to the manufacturing of iron. After some difficulty in
getting through the snow, we arrived safe and sound in the valley. After
looking out a location, we formed our wagons into two parallel lines,
some seventy paces apart; we then took the boxes from the wheels and
planted them about a couple of paces from each other, so securing
ourselves that we could not easily be taken advantage of by any unknown
foe. This done, we next ran a road up the ravine, opening it to a
distance of some eight miles, bridging the creek in some five or six
places, making the timber and poles, of which there is an immense
quantity, of easy access. We next built a large meeting-house, two
stories high, of large pine-trees, all neatly joined together. We next
built a square fort with a commodious cattle-yard inside the enclosure.
The houses were some of hewn logs, others of dried bricks, all neat and
comfortable. We next inclosed a field, five by three miles square, with
a good ditch and pole-fence. We dug canals and water-ditches to the
distance of thirty or forty miles. One canal to turn the water of
another creek upon the field for irrigating purposes, was seven miles
long. We built a saw-mill and grist-mill the same season. I have not
time to tell you half the labours we performed in one season. Suffice it
to say, that when the governor came along in the spring, he pronounced
it the greatest work done in the mountains by the same amount of men.”

This system of judicious organisation, by which his proper place is
appointed to every man, has been carried throughout the Mormon
movements, and much of their success may be attributed to this cause.
The march from Missouri to the Great Salt Lake was conducted on this
system. Captain Kane, who was an eye-witness, describes 3,000 persons,
among whom were many women and children, journeying across an unknown
and wilderness country with all the discipline of a veteran army. “Every
ten of their wagons was under the care of a captain; this captain of ten
obeyed a captain of fifty; who in his turn obeyed a member of the High
Council of the Church.”

The great route to the western states of Oregon and California by the
South Pass, runs about sixty miles north of this city of the Mormons,
and one still nearer may be taken. The inhabitants supply the travellers
with fresh mules, oxen, and provisions for the journey. The road of
Independence west of the Rocky Mountains is good, and the number of
travellers which frequent it immense. The Mormons have established
ferry-boats on the Platte and Green Rivers.[85]

Such is the history and the present position of the Mormon settlement of
Utah. Already in 1850 they petitioned congress for admission into the
Union, under the designation of the State of Deseret, a name taken from
their Book of Mormon, but as yet they rank only as a territorial

                             CHAPTER XXIII.

The American state of California, a portion of the Mexican Upper
California, came, as we have already said, into the possession of the
United States through their Mexican conquests, and, as the event has
proved, has supplied an important epoch not only in the history of the
United States, but of the world itself.

The first discoverer of Upper California was Sir Francis Drake, in the
year 1579, when, having doubled Cape Horn, he coasted the Pacific shore
in the vain hope of discovering a passage to the Atlantic Ocean, and
took possession of the country, to which he gave the name of New Albion,
in the name of his sovereign, Queen Elizabeth. This discovery, however,
not being followed up by colonisation, the English lost the right of
possession, which was claimed by the Spaniards as a portion of the
conquests of Cortez, which were prior to the discovery of Sir Francis

In 1603, Philip III. of Spain sent out Sebastian Viscaino to examine the
coast of Upper California in search of suitable harbours for the Spanish
East India ships. He discovered and took possession of San Diego and
Monterey, giving on his return glowing descriptions of the beauty and
fertility of the country. The Spaniards, however, made but little
progress in colonisation, owing in part to the hostility of the natives.
Their principal, and in fact first permanent settlement was at San
Diego, but the coast, nevertheless, was frequented by their ships on
account of its valuable pearl-fisheries. Although the Spanish government
did not consider the colonisation of Upper California worth the expense,
priests of the Franciscan order established several missionary stations,
in the hope of converting the natives. Twenty-one stations were thus
formed on the most fertile lands, each occupying about fifteen square
miles. The buildings of those stations were contained in an enclosure of
adobe or sun-dried brick. To the principal missions was attached a
presidio, where was a quadrangular fort, in which was placed a company
of soldiers for the protection of the missionaries, and to assist them
also in bringing the refractory natives under their influence. The
result was, that about half the Indians in the missionary district
became nominal Christians and menial labourers at the same time. The
very constitution of these missions, however, was calculated to prevent
any effectual colonisation of the country by the whites, inasmuch as,
while the missionaries themselves were monks and nuns, the soldiers at
the presidios were not permitted to bring their wives with them; so that
_homes_ did not immediately spring up there as among the wiser
colonists, who understood by this means how to attach the settler at
once to the soil. Neither was money allowed to be in circulation, and
the _Padre_ of the mission held everything under his control. As might
be expected, therefore, these missions never took deep root in the
country, and only the few places where families were allowed to settle,
are those in which towns sprung up, of which Ciudad de Los Angeles, San
Diego and San Francisco were the principal, no one of which, in the year
1840, contained 1,000 inhabitants. Of the general population of Upper
California, Humboldt states, that in 1802 it consisted of 15,562
converted Indians and 1,300 of other classes; in 1840 it is estimated
that the number of whites was 5,000, of mistigoes or mixed 2,000, and of
natives about 18,000. From this time, when the American exploring
parties, of which we shall speak presently, had opened as it were a door
into these hitherto unknown regions, and the advancing tide of western
emigration reached its threshold, population began rapidly to increase;
so that the Hon. Butler King states, in his official report, that “in
1846 Colonel Fremont had little difficulty in calling to his standard
some 500 fighting men, and that, at the close of the war with Mexico,
from 10,000 to 15,000 Americans and Californians, exclusive of converted
Indians, were then in the territory. The immigration of American
citizens in 1849, the year following the cession of California to the
United States, was estimated at 80,000, that of foreigners at 20,000.”

We are indebted to Mrs. Willard for the greater portion of the following
rapid sketch:—

“This country during the Spanish rule constituted a part of the
viceroyalty of Mexico or New Spain. When Mexico became a federal
republic, not finding California sufficiently populous to form a state,
she established over it a territorial government. The Californians, like
the Mexicans, sometimes had their revolutions, and declared themselves
independent; but they always returned again to their allegiance, and
till the opening of the war between the republics of America and Mexico,
they were governed as a territory of the latter. Los Angeles was the
seat of the territorial government; a member of the eminent family of
Pico was at its head, and General Castro, the military chief, made
Monterey his residence.

“A few years since the country between the Rocky Mountains and the
Pacific was as little known as the centre of Africa. In the years 1803
and 1804, Messrs. Lewis and Clarke, sent out by President Jackson,
explored the Missouri to its sources, crossed the Rocky Mountains in
latitude 47°, then struck upon the head waters of the Columbia, and
followed its source to the Pacific Ocean. Settlements succeeded these
discoveries and those subsequently of Captain Grey. The purchase of
Louisiana from France, in 1803, carried the American dominion from the
Mississippi to the heights of the Rocky Mountains. All the country
beyond those mountains and south of Oregon was, previous to the late war
with Mexico, in the possession of that country, and in 1840 its place on
the map of the world was a blank.

“The American government in 1838, sent out, chiefly for the benefit of
trade and commerce, a naval exploring expedition under Captain Charles
Wilkes, to coast the American continent to the south and west, and to
explore the islands of the Pacific. Captain Wilkes was directed to make
surveys and examinations of the coast of Oregon and the Columbia River,
and afterwards along the coast of California, with especial reference to
the Bay of San Francisco. After executing this order in August and
September, 1841, he pronounced the harbour of San Francisco to be ‘one
of the finest, if not the very best in the world.’ The town, then called
_Yerba Buono_, he said, consisted of one large frame building, occupied
by the Hudson Bay Company; the store of an American merchant, a
billiard-room and a bar; the cabin of a ship occupied as a dwelling;
besides out-houses, few and far between. The most prominent man in the
region was Captain Sutter, a Swiss by birth, and once a lieutenant in
the Swiss guards of Charles X. of France, but who had immigrated from
Missouri to California. Having obtained from Mexico a grant of land
thirty leagues square, he located his residence within it and near the
confluence of the American river with the Sacremento; here he built a
fort at the junction of the rivers and laid out a town, to which he gave
the name of New Helvetia, but which has since been called Sacremento
City. Captain Wilkes reported favourably of the soil and productions of
the country.

“In 1842, John C. Fremont, at that time a lieutenant of topographical
engineers, being ordered on an exploring tour, left the mouth of the
Kansas in the month of June with a party of about twenty. He travelled
along the fertile valley of this river; struck off upon the sterile
banks of the Platte River, followed its South Fork to St. Vrain’s Fort,
and thence northerly to Fort Laramie, on the North Fork of the same
stream. Following up, from this point, the North Fork and then its
affluent the Sweet Water River, he was conducted by a gentle ascent to
that wonderful gateway in the Rocky Mountains called the South Pass. He
had found on his lonely way a few straggling emigrants bound to Oregon,
but not one to California. Having explored the vicinity of the South
Pass, his orders were executed, and he returned.

“The next year, again under the auspices of government, and with a party
of thirty-nine, he set out earlier in the season, with special orders to
examine and report upon the country between the Rocky Mountains and the
line of Captain Wilkes’s explorations on the Pacific coast. He now
crossed the Rocky Mountains further south, and where they were 8,000
feet in height. He then examined and laid open, by his report, the
region of the Salt Lake, having reached that extraordinary expanse of
salt water by following its beautiful affluent, the Bear River.

“Fremont, now brevet captain, was, on September 19th, at Fort Hall, on
his way to Oregon. Here he met a Mr. Chiles, the only emigrant he had
yet seen to California. Having, in the manner dictated by his orders,
explored Oregon, he turned south and commenced his route to California,
by traversing in winter the terrible and dangerous snows of the Sierra
Nevada. From this seemingly interminable way, the lost and famished
wanderers emerged upon the waters of the Sacremento, and they followed
its affluent, the American Fork, to Sutter’s Fort, ignorant of the
golden treasures beneath their feet, soon to set in motion a rapidly
concentrating population from every corner of the world. After their
wants had been kindly supplied by Captain Sutter, the party travelled
south and beheld and enjoyed the vernal beauties of the flowery valley
of the San Joaquin. Turning then to the southern extremity of the Sierra
Nevada, they next passed the arid waste of the Great Desert Basin.

“They had discovered and named on their way new rivers and mountain
passes; and had laid open regions which had heretofore, except to the
hunter and the savage, been but the hidden recesses of nature. They had
explored California and made known an overland route.”

Mr. Polk entered upon the presidential office resolved to carry out the
Mexican war, as well as to make its results advantageous to his country
by putting her in possession not only of New Mexico but of California
also, the importance of which he fully estimated as opening up a great
commercial state on the Pacific, even before its almost fabulous wealth
of gold had become known.

The Mexican war went on, the American interests being advanced at every
step, and finally the treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo established peace
between the two republics, and gave the United States government
possession of that vast territory which she coveted with a prescient
wisdom, and which it assuredly was the will of God that she should
people with her industrious and enterprising sons.

This treaty, which put the Americans in possession of California, was
signed in February, 1848, and by a coincidence so extraordinary, that
had it been imagined by a writer of fiction, it would have been
considered improbable, if not impossible, the discovery of the gold was
made within one month from that time. The first gold was found in the
lands of that Captain Sutter whom we have already mentioned, on the
American Fork of the Sacremento, and almost immediately afterwards in
various other localities. The possession of the vast extent of what was
so lately Mexican territory, with its framework of society so different
to that of the United States, had caused considerable anxiety in the
minds of many thoughtful men as to the result. It was feared that many
years must pass before a sufficient number of American citizens had
settled in these new lands to fuse the old elements into a congruous
mass, and that before this should take place bloodshed and disruption
might have made the acquired territory a dear purchase. But Providence,
who overrules human events for the wisest and best purposes, signally
set at rest all these doubts, by permitting the discovery of the gold,
which would act as the most tempting lure to call away, not only from
the older states, but from the very ends of the earth, a population
which would at once sweep away the old influences and begin all anew.
Gold, which in so many instances had been a dire curse, was here
converted into a blessing.

The tide of emigration set in. In the following year, 1849, 30,000 souls
from the United States alone emigrated to California. No outpouring of
people in the Middle Ages ever equalled this. We will give a little
sketch of this great movement from the graphic and elegant pen of Bayard
Taylor, who saw with his own eyes what he describes:—

“Sacremento city was the goal of the emigration by the northern routes.
From the beginning of August to the last of December, scarcely a day
passed without the arrival of some man or company of men and families,
from the mountains, to pitch their tents for a few days on the banks of
the river, and rest from their months of hardship. The vicissitudes
through which these people had passed, the perils which they had
encountered, and the toils they had endured, seem to me without
precedent in history. The story of 30,000 souls accomplishing a journey
of more than 2,000 miles through a savage and but partially explored
wilderness, crossing on their way two mountains equal to the Alps in
height and asperity, besides broad tracts of burning desert and plains
of nearly equal desolation, where a few patches of stunted shrubs and
springs of brackish water was their only stay, has in it so much
heroism, daring and sublime endurance, that we may vainly question the
records of any age for its equal. Standing as I was at the closing stage
of that grand pilgrimage, the sight of those adventurers, as they came
in day by day, and the hearing of their stories, had a more fascinating,
because more real interest, than the tales of the old travellers which
so impress us in childhood.

“It would be impossible to give, in a general description of the
emigration, viewed as one great movement, a complete idea of its
wonderful phases. The experience of any single man, which a few years
ago would have made him a hero for life, becomes mere common-place when
it is but one of thousands; yet the spectacle of a great continent,
through a region of 1,000 miles from north to south, being overrun with
these adventurous bands, cannot be pictured without the relation of many
episodes of individual bravery and suffering. Without giving an account
of the emigration generally, I will content myself with a sketch of what
was encountered by those who took the northern route, the great overland
highway of the continent, that very route which we have described
Captain Fremont as having opened.

“The great starting-point for this route was Independence, where
thousands were encamped through the month of April, waiting until the
grass should be sufficiently high for their cattle, before they ventured
on the broad ocean of the plains. From the 1st of May to the 1st of
June, company after company took its departure from the frontier of
civilisation, till the emigrant trail from Fort Leavensworth on the
Missouri, to Fort Laramie at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, was one
long line of mule-trains and wagons. The rich meadows of the Nebraske,
or Platte, were settled for the time, and a single traveller could have
journeyed for the space of 1,000 miles, as certain of his lodgings and
regular meals as if he were riding through the agricultural districts of
the middle states. The wandering tribes of Indians on the plains, the
Pawnees, Sioux, and Arapahoes, were alarmed and bewildered by this
strange apparition. They believed that they were about to be swept away
for ever from their hunting-grounds and graves. As the season advanced,
and the great body of the emigrants got under way, they gradually
withdrew from the vicinity of the trail, and betook themselves to
grounds which the former did not reach. All conflicts with them were
thus avoided.

“Another and more terrible scourge, however, was doomed to fall upon
them. The cholera, ascending the Mississippi from New Orleans, reached
St. Louis about the time of their departure from Independence, and
overtook them before they were fairly embarked on the wilderness. The
frequent rains of the early spring, added to the hardships and exposure
of their travel, prepared the way for its ravages, and the first 300 or
400 miles of the trail were marked by graves. It is estimated that about
4,000 persons perished from this cause.

“By the time the companies reached Fort Laramie the epidemic had
expended its violence, and in the pure air of the elevated region they
were safe from further attack. But then the real hardships of their
journey began. Up and down the mountains that arise in the Sweet Water
Valley; over the spurs of the Wind River chain; through the Devil’s
Gate, and past the stupendous mass of Rock Independence, they toiled
slowly up to the South Pass, descended to the tributaries of the
Colorado, and plunged into the rugged defiles of the Tampanozu
Mountains. Here the pasturage became scarce, and the companies were
obliged to take separate trails in order to find sufficient grass for
their teams. Great numbers also suffered immensely for want of food, and
were compelled to kill their horses and mules to keep themselves from
starvation. Nor was it unusual for a mess, by way of variety to the
tough mule-steaks, to kill a quantity of rattlesnakes, with which the
mountains abounded, and have a dish of them fried for supper.”

We have already spoken of the assistance rendered to these vast trains
of adventurers by the Mormons, then lately settled at their new city on
the Great Salt Lake. “Remarkable,” says Bayard Taylor, “must have been
the scene which was presented during the summer. There a community of
religious enthusiasts, having established themselves beside an inland
sea, in a grand valley shut in by snow-capped mountains, 1,000 miles
from any other civilised spot, and dreaming only of rebuilding the
Temple and creating a new Jerusalem, were aroused by the advance of
these vast pilgrim-bands. And indeed, without this resting-place in
mid-journey, the sufferings of the emigrants must have been much
aggravated. The Mormons, however, whose rich grain lands in the valley
of the Utah River had produced them abundance of supplies, were able to
spare sufficient for those whose supplies were exhausted. Two or three
thousand who arrived late in the season remained in the valley all

“Those who set out for California had the worst yet in store for them.
Crossing the alternate sandy wastes and rugged mountain chains of the
Great Basin to the Valley of Humboldt’s River, they were obliged to
trust entirely to their worn and weary animals for reaching the Sierra
Nevada before the winter snows. The grass was scarce and now fast drying
up in the scorching heat of midsummer. The progress of the emigrants
along the valley of Humboldt’s River was slow and toilsome in the
extreme. This river, which lies entirely within the Great Basin, and has
no connexion with the sea, shrinks away towards the end of summer and
finally loses itself in the sand at a place called the Sink. Here the
single trail across the desert divided into three branches, many
companies stopping at this place to recruit their exhausted animals,
though exposed to the danger of being detained there the whole winter by
the snows of the Sierra Nevada. Another large body took the upper route
through Lawson’s Pass, which leads to the head of the Sacremento Valley;
while the greater number fortunately chose the old and travelled trails
leading to Bear Creek and the Yuba, by way of Truckee River, and to the
head waters of the Rio Americano.

“After leaving the Sink of Humboldt’s River, and crossing a desert of
about fifty miles in breadth, the emigrants reached the streams which
are fed from the Sierra Nevada, where they found good grass and plenty
of game. The passes, however, were terribly rugged and precipitous,
leading directly up the face of the great snowy ridge. As, however,
these mountains are not quite 8,000 feet above the level of the sea, and
are reached from a plateau of more than 4,000 feet, the ascent is
comparatively short, while on the western side more than 100 miles of
mountain country must be passed before reaching the level of the
Sacremento Valley. Many passes in the Sierra Nevada were never crossed
before the summer of 1849. All the emigrants concurred in representing
this western slope of the mountains as an abrupt and broken region, the
higher peaks of barren granite, the valleys deep and narrow, yet in many
places timbered with pine and cedar of immense growth.”

The advance parties arriving at San Francisco, brought the news of the
thousands who remained behind, and who, but for help, would probably
perish either among the terrible passes of the mountains or in the great
desert of the Sink. Relief companies were, therefore, despatched into
the Great Basin to succour the emigrants remaining there, and who for
want of provisions could not proceed. Not only did the authorities of
San Francisco exert themselves for this purpose, but private individuals
also. Major Rucker despatched a party with supplies and fresh animals by
way of the Truckee River to the Sink of Humboldt’s River, while he
himself took the command of the expedition to Pitt River and Lawson’s
Pass. The first party, after furnishing provisions on the road to all
whom they found in need, reached the Sink, and started the families who
were still encamped there, returning with them, and bringing in the last
of the emigration only a day or two before the heavy snows came on,
which entirely blocked up the passes. Major Rucker also brought in his
company of emigrants after immense labour, and Mr. Peoples, an auxiliary
whom he had found it necessary to send out in another direction,
accomplished also his work of mercy. A violent storm, relates this
gentleman, came on as they were passing the mountains of Deer Creek, and
the mules, unaccustomed to the severe cold, sank down and died one after
another. The people, whose spirit of enterprise and power of endurance
seemed in many deadened by their sufferings, were forcibly compelled to
hurry forward with the remaining animals. The women, who seemed to have
much more energy and endurance than the men, were mounted on mules, and
the whole party pushed on through the bleak passes of the mountains in
the face of the storm. By extraordinary exertions, they were all finally
brought into the Sacremento Valley, with the loss of many wagons and

“The greater part of those who came in by the lower routes,” continues
Bayard Taylor, “started after a season of rest for the mining region,
where many of them arrived in time to build themselves log-huts for the
winter. Some pitched their tents along the river, to wait for the genial
spring season, while others took their axes and commenced the business
of wood-cutting in the timber on its banks, and which wood, when shipped
to San Francisco, paid them well.”

“By the end of December, the last man of the overland companies was safe
on the western side of the Sierra Nevada, and the great interior
wilderness resumed its ancient silence and solitude until the next
spring; when again it would become populous with these modern

Nor was the emigration to California confined alone to those who reached
it by land. Ships thronged the beautiful harbour of San Francisco,
bringing in their thousands likewise. So great was the concourse, that
between the 7th of December, 1848, and the 20th of January, 1849,
ninety-nine vessels left the ports of the United States alone for
California, and from Oct. 1849, to Oct. 1850, nearly 49,000 emigrants
arrived by sea at San Francisco, and about 20,000 by land.

At the presidential election of 1848, General Zachary Taylor, the hero
of the Mexican war, was chosen president, and Millard Fillmore, of New
York, vice-president. The following year, Minnesota, adjacent to the
head waters of the Mississippi, was admitted into the Union.

The vast growth of the national territory, and the consequent increase
of states governments which would sooner or later take place, gave rise
to the most violent contests between the slavery and the non-slavery
parties which as yet had been known. The north and the south were again
arrayed against each other, and the secession from the Union was the
threat to which South Carolina again resorted. Whilst this great
political battle was being fought in congress during the sessions of
1849–50, California, which had so suddenly acquired a population far
exceeding that required by the Constitution for the establishment of a
territorial government, could obtain no guidance or aid from congress,
excepting merely a law regarding the revenue. Amid this perplexing and
difficult state of affairs, however, the sagacity and prudence of the
Californians themselves saved them from anarchy and ruin, and proved how
true is the assertion that the American citizen is gifted with the
innate power of self-government. The wisest senate that ever sat could
not have reduced a social and political chaos into a state of more
perfect harmony and order, than did these legislators of the far west by
their simple and constitutional laws.

Again we turn to Bayard Taylor, whose work on California possesses all
the merits and intrinsic value of the early annalists of the Puritan
states. We will briefly follow him in his account of the state
organisation of California.

“In the neglect of congress,” says he, “to provide for the establishment
of a territorial, it was suggested that a convention should be called
for the framing of a state constitution, and that California should be
admitted at once into the Union, without passing through the territorial
stage, leaping with one bound, as it were, from a state of
semi-civilisation to be the thirty-first sovereign state of the American

“On the 4th of September, the convention met at Monterey, when Dr.
Robert Semple, of the Sonoma district, was chosen president, and
conducted to his seat by Captain Sutter and General Vallijo. Captain
William G. Marey, of the New York volunteer regiment, was elected
secretary, after which the various posts of clerks, assistant
secretaries, translators, doorkeepers, sergeant-at-arms, etc., were
filled. The day after their complete organisation they were sworn to
support the Constitution of the United States.

“The building in which the convention met was probably the only one in
California suited for the purpose. It is a handsome two-story edifice of
yellow sandstone, situated on a gentle slope above the town. It is
called Colton Hall, on account of its having been built by Don Walter
Colton, former Alcade of Monterey, from the proceeds of a sale of city
lots. The stone of which it is built is found near Monterey; it is of a
fine mellow colour, easily cut, and will last for centuries in that mild
climate. The upper story, in which the convention sat, formed a single
hall about sixty feet in length by twenty-five in breadth. A railing
running across the middle divided the members from the spectators. The
former were seated at four long tables, the president occupying a
rostrum at the further end, over which were suspended two American flags
and an extraordinary picture of Washington, evidently the work of a
native artist. The appearance of the whole body was exceedingly
dignified and intellectual, and parliamentary decorum was strictly

“The Declaration of Rights, which was the first subject before the
convention, occasioned little discussion. Its sections being general in
their character, and of a liberal republican cast, were nearly all
adopted by a nearly unanimous vote. The clause prohibiting slavery was
met by no word of dissent; it was the universal sentiment of the
convention. Without capitulating the various provisions of the
constitution, it is enough to say that they combined with few exceptions
the most enlightened features of the constitutions of the older states.
The election of judges by the people; the rights of married women to
property; the establishment of a liberal system of education, and other
reforms of late introduced into the States Governments east of the Rocky
Mountains, were all transplanted to the new soil of the Pacific coast.

“The adoption of a system of pay for the officers and members of the
convention occasioned some discussion. The Californian members, and a
few of the Americans, demanded that the convention should work for
nothing, the glory being sufficient. The majority overruled this, and it
was finally decided that all should be paid, the members receiving
sixteen dollars per day, and the different officers on a higher scale,
in proportion to their duties. The expenses of the convention were paid
out of the civil fund, an accumulation of the duties received at the
ports. The funds were principally silver, and at the close of their
labours, it was amusing to see the various members carrying away their
pay tied up in handkerchiefs or slung in bags over their shoulders. The
little Irish boy who acted as page was nearly pressed down by the weight
of his wages.

“One of the most exciting questions was a clause which had been crammed
through the convention on its first reading, prohibiting the entrance of
free people of colour into the state. On the second reading it was
rejected by a large majority; several attempts to introduce it in a
modified form also signally failed.

“The boundary too, which came up towards the close of the convention,
assumed a character of real interest and importance. The great point in
dispute was the eastern boundary, the Pacific being the natural boundary
on the west, the meridian of 42° on the north, and the Mexican line on
the south. After many attempts to extend this eastern boundary,
variously from the Sierra Nevada Chain, to the banks of the Colorado
River, it was settled by following the old Mexican boundary, which after
all appeared to satisfy every body. The state had thus 800 miles of sea
coast, and an average of 250 miles in breadth, including both sides of
the Sierra Nevada, and some of the best rivers of the Great Basin. As to
the question of slavery, the character of the country will settle that.
The whole central region, extending to the Sierra Madre of New Mexico,
can never sustain a slave population. The greater part of it resembles
in climate and general features the mountain Steppes of Tartary, and is
better adapted for grazing than agriculture.”

Among other creditable facts of this convention, it is worthy of mention
that various native Californians, with their chivalric Spanish names,
sat among the members, and were even elected to offices under the new

On October the 12th, the convention brought its labours to an end, and a
ball was given by the members of the convention to the citizens of
Monterey, in the hall where they had sat, on the following evening.

Of the ball we need say nothing, but merely close our account with the
signing of the convention, which might not unworthily take its place, as
an historical picture, near that of the scene in the cabin of the
Mayflower, when the Puritan Fathers solemnly put their names to the
compact of good government before landing in the New World. Again we
turn to our agreeable eye-witness.

“The morning after the ball, the members met at the usual hour to
perform the last duty that remained to them, that of signing the
constitution. They were all in the happiest humour, and the morning was
so bright and balmy that no one seemed disposed to call an organisation.
At length, Mr. Semple being sick, Captain Sutter, the old California
pioneer, was appointed to his place. The chair was taken, and the
members seated themselves round the sides of the hall, which still
retained the pine-trees and banners left from last night’s decorations.
The doors and windows were open, and a delightful breeze came in from
the bay whose blue waters sparkled in the distance. The view of the
balcony in front was bright and inspiring. The town below, the shipping
in the harbour, the pine-covered hills behind, were mellowed by the blue
October haze, but there was no cloud in the sky, and the mountains of
Santa Cruz and the Sierra de Gavilan might be clearly seen on the
northern horizon.

“An address to the people of California, which had been drawn up by
committee, was first read and adopted without a dissenting voice. A
resolution was then passed to pay Lieutenant Hamilton the sum of 500
dollars for engrossing the constitution on parchment, a higher amount
than was ever paid before for similar services, but on a par with
payment in California. Before the convention for the signature of their
names, an adjournment of half an hour took place, during which I amused
myself by walking through the town. Everybody knew that the convention
was about closing, and it was generally understood that Captain Benton
had loaded the guns at the fort, and would fire at the proper moment a
salute of thirty-one guns, such, including California, being the number
of the United States. The citizens therefore, as well as the members,
were in an excited mood. Monterey never before looked so bright, so
happy, so full of pleasant expectation.

“About one o’clock the convention met again. Mr. Semple was now present.
First, salaries were voted; 10,000 dollars annually, and General Riley
as governor of California, and 5,000 to Mr. Halleck as secretary of
state, after which they affixed their names to the completed
constitution. At this moment a signal was given; the American colours
run up the flag-staff in front of the government buildings and streamed
out on the air. The next moment the first gun boomed from the fort, and
its stirring echoes came back from one hill after another till they were
lost in the distance.

“All the native enthusiasm of Captain Sutter’s Swiss blood was aroused;
he was the old soldier again. He sprang from his seat, and waving his
hand round his head, as if swinging his sword, exclaimed, ‘Gentlemen,
this the happiest day of my life. It makes me glad to hear those cannon;
they remind me of the time when I was a soldier. Yes, I am glad to hear
them! This is a great day for California!’ Then recollecting himself, he
sat down, the tears streaming from his eyes. The members, with one
accord, gave three tumultuous cheers, which were heard from one end of
the town to the other. As the signing went on, gun followed gun from the
fort, the echoes reverberating grandly around the bay, till finally, as
the loud peal of the _thirty-first_ was heard, there was a shout,
‘That’s for California!’ And everyone joined in giving three times three
for the new star added to our Constitution.”

Thus was California, as was represented on her great seal of state, born
full-grown, like Minerva, into the national confederacy.

The first Californian senators to congress were John C. Fremont and
William M. Gwin. On February 13th, 1850, the constitution of California,
together with her petition to be admitted into the Union, were sent to
congress by the president.

The clause excluding slavery from the new state awoke all the old
animosity of the slavery question, especially as the southern boundary
of California lay south of the line of the Missouri compromise. Nor was
this the only subject which agitated congress at this time. Texas
claimed the whole country as far as the Rio Grande, thus embracing a
portion of New Mexico, which the New Mexicans, of Santa Fe violently
resisted, being determined not to come under the rule of Texas. Colonel
Monroe was at this time American commandant of Santa Fe, and having
received private instructions from Washington, a convention was called
and a state constitution was framed, and while Texas was preparing to
seize the disputed territory by force, New Mexico petitioned to be
admitted into the Union. Again, on this very subject of disputed
territory, the north and south came to issue, the southern states
advocating the claim of Texas, which if established would extend the
area of slavery, and the north opposing it for the very same cause.

At length, after the two hostile parties had waged war for some time
without either gaining ground, Henry Clay brought in his Compromise
Bill, the object of which he stated to be, “to settle and adjust
amicably all existing questions of controversy between them, arising out
of the institution of slavery, upon a fair, equitable and just basis.”
The Compromise Bill was, in May, referred to a committee of thirteen,
and in September its measures passed as mutual concessions and
compromises for the sake of union, viz.: 1. California was admitted into
the Union as a state, with her constitution excluding slavery, and her
boundaries extending from Oregon to the Mexican possessions. 2. The
Great Basin, east of California, containing the Mormon settlement near
the Great Salt Lake, was erected, without mention of slavery, into a
territory, by the Indian name of Utah. 3. New Mexico, with a boundary
which satisfied her inhabitants, was also erected into a state without
mention of slavery; congress giving to Texas, in relinquishment of her
claims, ten millions of dollars, with which Texas was to pay former
debts for which the United States had been in honour bound. 4. A law was
passed abolishing the slave-trade, but not slavery, in the district of
Columbia; and 5. The Fugitive Slave Law was passed, a law so cruel in
its operations as to call forth, as it were, a universal groan from the
non-slavery states, and to fan up afresh the otherwise cooling embers of

The census of 1850 reported the population of the United States to be
23,267,498, of which 3,197,589 were slaves. In the same year the amount
of emigration from Europe to America exceeded 300,000.

We have thus brought down the history of the United States to the middle
of the present century, and the reader cannot fail of having been
impressed with a sense of the vitality which has ever marked the
progress and development of the Anglo-American States, and which, from
the smallest beginnings on the Atlantic shore, have now extended with an
irresistible force to the far Pacific.

Politically and morally the Republic of the United States has been a
grand, successful experiment. While the nation has grown with an
unexampled rapidity, it has not overlooked the essential foundations of
national greatness—the religious and social advancement of the people.
The school-house and the place of worship have sprung up simultaneously
with human dwellings in the wilderness. And though anomalies exist in
the characters of her institutions, though the blot of slavery darkens
the page of her history, and her abundant harvest fields have been
watered by the blood of the Indian, still, even for the slave is there
hope of the amelioration of his condition, and it may be of his
redemption, through the growing enlightenment of the South. And as
regards the Indian, missionary-labour is increasing among his people,
and where they are capable of receiving the instruction and civilisation
of the whites, it is given. In 1850, there were 570 missionaries, more
than half of whom were women, labouring earnestly in the wilderness,
together with 2,000 preachers and helpers among the natives themselves.
A thousand churches, of various Christian denominations, have been
erected, and the number of professing Christian Indians amounts at this
time to 40,537. A great number of schools have been established, and are
increasing daily, where the Indian children, to the number of 30,000,
receive instruction in reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as in
handicraft trades. The women easily acquire these latter. Printing
presses have been introduced among them, and works in thirty different
languages produced.[86]

While these facilities are given for education among the Indians, those
which are afforded for society at large are on the most ample and
liberal scale. Education is indispensable to the man and woman of the
New World, and a system of school education is being universally
established there, which shall make the enlightenment of the moral and
intellectual being common to all, irrespective of creeds and parties,
open alike to man and woman.

We will conclude with a few facts drawn from the report of Messrs.
Whitworth and Wallis on the Industry of the United States in 1850. “The
energetic character of the American people,” say these gentlemen, “is
nowhere more strikingly displayed than in the young manufacturing
settlements that are so rapidly springing up in the northern states. A
retired valley and its stream of water become in a few months the seat
of manufactures; and the dam and water-wheel are the means of giving
employment to busy thousands, where before nothing more than a solitary
farm-house was found.

“Great facilities are afforded in many of these states for the formation
of manufacturing companies. The liabilities of partners not actively
engaged in the management are limited to the proportion of the capital
subscribed by each, and its amount is published in the official
statement of the company. In the case of the introduction of a new
invention, or a new manufacture, the principle of limited liability
produces most beneficial results.

“The cost of obtaining an act of incorporation is very trifling. In one
case, where the capital of the company amounted to 600,000 dollars
(£120,000), the total cost of obtaining an incorporation was fifty
cents—two shillings and one penny!

“In America, where labour is more expensive than with us, great
ingenuity has been used in the making of labour-saving machines. Timber
is sawn up for all kinds of purposes in building, laths are cut, boards
for flooring prepared and planed, doors, window-frames, or staircases
made, planed, tenoned, mortised and joined by machinery, at a much
cheaper rate than by hand-labour. Wood is sawn up at railroad stations,
and other places where a great consumption of fuel is required, by
sawing-machines, driven by horse-power. Boxes are made by the same
means, being tongued and grooved properly and put together by machinery.
These labour-saving machines are applied also to the making of furniture
and agricultural implements, mowing and reaping machines, and
self-acting churns, in the making of all of which labour-saving tools
are again used. Among machines of this class must not be omitted the
sewing-machine, the use of which is carried to great extent in the New
England states. One large manufactory at Waterbury is occupied
exclusively in the manufacture of under-vests and drawers, the cloth
waistbands of the latter being stitched by the sewing-machine at the
rate of 430 stitches per minute. In a shirt manufactory of New Haven,
entire shirts, excepting only the gussets, are made by sewing-machines.
By the aid of these machines one woman can do as much work as from
twelve to twenty hand-sewers. The workwomen work by the piece, and are
frequently able to finish their estimated day’s work by two o’clock, and
when busy work overtime. When will the older countries be able to give
sufficient remunerative employment to their women, so as, like these
happier New England states, to dispense with the starvation-drudgery of
the poor needlewoman, and make the “Song of the Shirt” applicable no

“The railroads of America are constructed on a much less expensive scale
than with us. Economy and speedy completion are the points which are
especially considered in that country. A single line of rails nailed
down to transverse logs, and a train at rare intervals, are deemed to be
sufficient as a commencement, and as traffic increases additional
improvements are made.

“As regards either a railroad or a telegraphic line, if a company or a
private individual should propose or construct them, or could show that
they would be beneficial to the public, an act may be obtained
authorising him to proceed, as a matter of course; no private interests
can oppose the passage of the line through any property; there are no
committees, no counsel, no long array of witnesses and expensive
hearings; compensation is made simply for damage done, the amount being
assessed by a jury, and generally on a most moderate estimate. With a
celerity that is surprising a company is incorporated, the line is
built, and operations are commenced.

“As may be well conceived, the advantages derivable from the Electric
Telegraph were at once appreciated by the United States, and that
wonderful discovery, which opened a system of communication annihilating
distance, received immediate encouragement both from the federal
government in Washington and the governments of the different states. In
1844 congress made a liberal grant to put in operation the first
telegraphic line that was erected in the states—that between Washington
and Baltimore; and before seven years had elapsed, the committee on
Post-offices and Post-roads presented to the senate their report on the
route which they had selected for a gigantic telegraph line, nearly
2,500 miles in length, connecting San Francisco with Natchez on the
Mississippi, and thence with the vast network of lines that by that time
had covered the Atlantic states. Such was the rapid development of this
system of communication, supported by the federal government and
fostered by that of the states, which passed general laws authorising
the immediate construction of telegraph lines whenever they could be
conducive to the public interest, and affording every facility for
companies for that purpose.

“The aggregate length of the telegraphic lines in the United States
exceeded, in 1852, 15,000 miles, and this number is continually
increasing. The average cost of constructing a line is estimated at £37
per mile. So moderate is the scale of charges by the telegraphic wires,
that the electric telegraph is used by all classes of society as an
ordinary means of transmitting intelligence; government dispatches and
communications taking the precedence. Newspapers make great use of it,
as well as commercial houses.

“The most distant points connected by electric telegraph are Quebec and
New Orleans, which are 3,000 miles apart; while a network of lines
extends to the west as far as Missouri, about 500 towns and villages in
those remote wildernesses being provided with stations.

“The cotton manufactures of the United States are principally
centralized in New England and Pennsylvania, but out of the thirty-one
states of the Union there are seven only in which the spinning or
manufacture of cotton is not carried on, viz., Louisiana, Texas,
Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and California. The census of 1850
returns 1,054 establishments for the manufacture of cotton goods,
consuming 641,240 bales of cotton, and manufacturing goods to the value
of £1,000,000 sterling. The number of persons employed in these mills
are 33,150 males and 59,136 females. In Alabama slave labour is said to
be largely employed, with whites as overseers and instructors. The mills
at Lowell, in Massachusetts, on the falls of Powtucket on the Merrimack
river, are the most celebrated in the United States, as having been the
first where advantage was taken of great natural advantages, with a
large and well directed capital, resulting in extensive and systematic
operations for the realisation of a legitimate profit; whilst the social
position of the operative classes was sedulously cared for, and their
moral and intellectual elevation promoted and secured. These works at
Lowell were commenced about thirty years ago, and the town now contains
35,000 inhabitants. The example of the Lowell manufacturers has been
followed throughout the Union, and in every case with the same
favourable results. The number of operatives in the Lowell mills is
6,920 females and 2,378 males.

“By the census returns of 1850, twenty-four of the thirty-one states of
the Union, and the district of Columbia, had establishments engaged in
some department of the woollen manufacture. The seven states in which
this branch of industry had not been commenced, were South Carolina,
Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and California. The
New England States had not so many establishments in operation as the
two states of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and only five more than those
of New York and Ohio. Thus it will be seen that, whilst the cotton
manufacture is located more exclusively in the Eastern States, the
woollen manufacture is extended in almost equal proportions over the
whole of the Middle States, and extends itself into the western regions
and towards the south. The extent of the woollen manufactures of
Massachusetts, however, is seen in the fact, that whilst in the 380
mills of Pennsylvania the consumption of wool is 7,560,379 lbs.,
employing 3,490 males and 2,236 females, producing 10,099,234 yards of
cloth and 1,941,621 lbs. of yarn, of the annual value of 5,321,866
dollars, about £1,300,000 sterling; 119 establishments in the
first-named state consume 22,229,952 lbs. of wool, employ 6,167 males
and 4,963 females, and produce 25,865,658 yards of cloth and 749,550
lbs. of yarn, of the annual value of 12,770,565 dollars, about
£3,000,000 sterling. The difference of the modes of manufacture in the
two states above-named, as illustrated by the cotton trade, is here
shown again in the fact, that a very large proportion of the woollen
mills of Pennsylvania is yarn only, a large amount of this being
consumed in home manufacture for domestic use, or in the weaving of
mixed goods and carpets by hand, and this, too, in addition to the
home-spun woollen yarns mentioned as being worked up with the cotton
yarns produced for that purpose. The 130 establishments in Ohio, as well
as 121 in Virginia, 25 in Kentucky, and 33 in Indiana, would appear to
manufacture the greater portion of the yarns spun therein; it is
probable, therefore, that the yarns of Pennsylvania are largely used for
the supply of the west in the materials for home weaving. After all,
however, this department of industry is becoming daily more and more
exceptional; but it is interesting as illustrating the early condition
of a new country in its efforts to supply its own wants, in the absence
of that larger development of manufacturing means and appliances which
capital, skill, and a large and ever-increasing demand can alone
establish on a firm and enduring basis.

“The total number of persons employed in the various establishments for
the manufacture of woollen goods in the United States in 1850 was 22,678
males and 16,574 females.

“The state of Massachusetts is largely engaged in the manufacture of
paper. At Lee, Berkshire County, there are 19 paper mills employing a
capital of about 200,000 dollars (about £50,000 sterling). In Norfolk
County, Massachusetts, there are 17 mills, and in Worcester County 15
mills, employing a capital of £100,000 sterling in this manufacture. In
1845, up to which date the last general statistical information on the
state of Massachusetts is published, there were 89 paper mills consuming
12,886 tons of materials, and making 4,763 tons, giving 607,175 reams of
paper per annum, the value of which was 1,750,373 dollars (about
£430,000 sterling), and employing 1,369 operatives; and this certainly
gives no exaggerated view of the general position of the paper trade in
nearly all the New England states,—New York, New Jersey, and
Pennsylvania,—at the present date.

“The materials used are chiefly raw cotton and mill waste. Linen rags
are imported from Europe, but the principal consumption appears to be
cotton, either as above-named or in rags. The general character of the
printing paper is of a low quality, with a very small amount of dressing
or size. In writing papers the make is quite equal to the general run of
European papers, but the finish is not always so perfect. It is stated,
however, that whilst the Americans try to imitate the English finish,
the latter are trying to imitate that of makers of the United States.

“The printing operations are extensive and well conducted, particularly
in book-work. The printing of newspapers alone forms a large item in the
industry of the country. In the New England states, according to the
Abstract of the Census of 1850, there were 424 newspapers; in the Middle
states, 876; in the Southern states, 716, and in the Western states,
784; and the following table shows the daily, weekly, and monthly
issues, and aggregate circulation, as given by the above authority:—

        │              │            │            │ Number of  │
        │              │            │            │   copies   │
        │              │            │            │  printed   │
        │              │  Number.   │Circulation.│ annually.  │
        │Dailies       │         350│     750,000│ 235,000,000│
        │Tri-weeklies  │         150│      75,000│  11,700,000│
        │Semi-weeklies │         125│      80,000│   8,320,000│
        │Weeklies      │       2,000│   2,875,000│ 149,500,000│
        │Semi-monthlies│          50│     300,000│   7,200,000│
        │Monthlies     │         100│     900,000│  10,800,000│
        │Quarterlies   │          25│      29,000│      80,000│
        │              │       2,800│   5,000,000│ 422,600,000│

“With an educated people, taking a vital interest in all public
questions, the newspaper press is likely to increase even in a greater
ratio than it has done during the past decade. The number of German
emigrants has caused the establishment of newspapers for their use; and
at Cincinnati alone there are four daily newspapers published in the
German language.

“Typefounding is carried on to a great extent at Boston, New York, and
Philadelphia, and there are single establishments in several other of
the large cities. The whole of the type used in the United States,
besides a large quantity exported to the British provinces and the
various states of South America, is produced in these foundries.

“The boot and shoe trade of the United States is of a very extensive
character, and the systematic manner in which it is carried on worthy of
being understood and adopted elsewhere. A scale or series of sizes is
adopted, say in women’s and children’s shoes from one to six, and even
higher numbers, the half constituting a size between each. The various
portions of the boots and shoes are cut out to these sizes and
half-sizes. These are put up with all the requisite trimmings necessary
to complete the articles, in sets of 60 pairs for the common kinds, and
24 pairs for the finer qualities.

“Being cut out and made up into sets, they are sent to be ‘fitted’ for
the maker—that is, the various parts of the upper leathers are stitched
together. Much of this is now done by one of the various kinds of sewing
machines. The neatness, accuracy and strength of stitch is superior to
hand work. The upper leathers thus ‘fitted’ are then sent to the
‘binder,’ who finally prepares them for the ‘maker,’ by whom they are
soled and heeled. Being complete in make they then go to the ‘trimmer,’
whose work consists in punching the string-holes, stringing and putting
on buttons, and in ladies’ shoes, bows and rosettes.

“Soles are cut out by machinery. A knife with a curvilinear edge is set
in a frame and worked with a treadle, after the manner of a lathe. By a
lateral motion in the machine, it can be adapted to the cutting of any
requisite width of sole, and being once fixed to a given width, the
process of cutting is very rapid, and material is saved by the leather
being cut at right angles to the surface, instead of diagonally, as by
the ordinary knife.

“When finished, the goods are made up in boxes containing one dozen of
assorted sizes. They are then sent in cases to the wholesale dealer, who
supplies the retailer. A case contains five boxes making up the 60 pairs
of assorted sizes of which a set of the commoner kind consists as
manufactured. These manufactures are found in all parts of the New
England states, but chiefly in the states of Massachusetts, Maine,
Vermont, and New Hampshire. The finer quality of hoots for gentlemen are
chiefly made at Randolph and Abington, Massachusetts; the heavier kind
of shoes, and the coarsest kind, usually called ‘brogans,’ at Danvers in
the same state. These ‘brogans’ are chiefly manufactured for the
Southern markets, for the use of slaves, and are similar to the shoes
worn by the miners of South Staffordshire.

“The following table, compiled from the ‘Statistics of the Condition and
Products of certain branches of industry in Massachusetts for the year
ending April 1st, 1845,’ will show the extent of the boot and shoe trade
in the six above-named towns at that date:—

          │ Towns.  │Kinds.│Number of │          │          │
          │         │      │  Pairs   │  Males   │ Females  │
          │         │      │  made.   │employed. │employed. │
          │Randolph │{Boots│ 227,131 }│          │          │
          │         │{Shoes│ 332,281 }│       815│       649│
          │Danvers  │Both  │ 1,150,300│     1,586│       980│
          │Lynn     │{Boots│   2,000 }│          │          │
          │         │{Shoes│ 2,404,722│          │          │
          │         │      │         }│     2,719│     3,209│
          │Reading  │Shoes │   274,000│       358│       385│
          │Woburn   │{Boots│     909 }│          │          │
          │         │{Shoes│ 350,920 }│       425│       484│
          │Haverhill│Shoes │ 1,860,915│     2,042│     1,680│

“Pennsylvania is the largest iron-producing state in the Union, although
by the census of 1850, twenty-one states are returned as producing pig
iron, and only two, Florida and Arkansas, as not having establishments
for the manufacture of iron castings; whilst in nineteen states wrought
iron is made.

“In the production of pig iron 377 establishments were in operation in
1850; and of these 180 were in Pennsylvania, 35 in Ohio, and 29 in

“The capital invested amounted to 17,346,425 dollars (about £4,500,000
sterling), the produce being 564,755 tons per annum, employing 20,291
males and 150 females.

“In the manufacture of iron castings, 1,391 establishments were engaged.
Of these 643 were in the states of New York and Pennsylvania,—323 in the
former and 330 in the latter; 183 others being in the state of Ohio. The
capital invested amounted to 17,416,361 dollars, being about the same as
in pig iron. 322,745 tons of castings are produced per annum, giving
employment to 23,541 males and 48 females; the value of the castings,
and other products, being estimated at about £6,250,000 sterling.

“Wrought iron is manufactured at 422 establishments in 19 states.
Pennsylvania has 131, New York 60, New Jersey 53, Tennessee 42, and
Virginia 39; the remaining 97 being situated in 14 other states. The
capital invested was 14,495,220 dollars, or about £3,500,000 sterling;
13,178 males and 79 females being employed. The quantity manufactured
amounted to 278,044 tons, the value of which, with other products, was
16,747,074 dollars, or about £4,100,000 sterling.

“In nearly all the large cities, iron foundries are to be found,
cast-iron being largely employed in the construction of buildings both
of wood and brick; and in Philadelphia, as also to some extent in other
cities, whole elevations of houses, used as retail shops in the
principal streets, are of cast-iron. In these cases, the construction of
the building is usually modified to suit the material of the front, and,
in some instances, an approximation is made towards adapting the
decorative part of the elevation to the material and the construction.
In general, however, the ordinary forms, as used in stone and wood, are
followed, and the whole painted and sanded in imitation of Connecticut
red sandstone. The construction of some of these elevations is at once
simple and effective, alike for strength as architectural effect, and
there appears to be very little difficulty in taking out an old front
and substituting a new one, as the whole is well braced together by ties
and screws—the side walls sustaining the structure in all essential
points. This use of cast-iron may eventually produce a style of street
architecture of a different character to that which now prevails, and
which is in imitation of European modes of construction and decoration.”

We have merely given above the slightest idea of the vast industrial
operations of the United States, which embrace every branch of arts and
manufactures; but that little is enough to show how great are their
resources, and what an immense field is opened to their enterprise, to
their skill and inventive genius.

As we have already said, education is one feature of the American
national character, and art-education, as applied to manufactures, is
now beginning necessarily to attract serious attention in the United
States. Hence schools of design have been established in Philadelphia,
New York, Boston, Baltimore and other cities; most of these being,
however, intended for the art-education of women.

From art-education, which can only be available for a portion of the
public, we pass to that which is made indispensable by the wise
legislation of the United States.

“The compulsory educational clauses adopted in the laws of most of the
states, and especially those of New England, by which some three months
of every year must be spent at school by the young factory operative
under fourteen or fifteen years of age, secure every child from the
cupidity of the parent, or the neglect of the manufacturer; since to
profit by the child’s labour during _three-fourths_ of the year, he or
she must be regularly in attendance in some public or private school
conducted by some authorised teacher during the other fourth.

“This lays the foundation for that wide-spread intelligence which
prevails amongst the factory operatives of the United States; and though
at first sight the manufacturer may appear to be restricted in the free
use of the labour offered to him, the system re-acts to the permanent
advantage of both employer and employed.

“The skill of hand which comes of experience is, notwithstanding present
defects, rapidly following the perceptive power so keenly awakened by
early intellectual training. Quickly learning from the skilful European
artizans thrown amongst them by emigration, or imported as instructors,
with minds, as already stated, prepared by sound practical education,
the Americans have laid the foundation of a wide-spread system of
manufacturing operations, the influence of which cannot be calculated
upon, and are daily improving upon the lessons obtained from their older
and more experienced compeers of Europe.

“Commercially, advantages of no ordinary kind are presented to the
manufacturing states of the American Union. The immense development of
its resources in the west, the demands of a population increasing daily
by emigration from Europe, as also by the results of a healthy natural
process of inter-emigration, which tends to spread over an enlarged
surface the population of the Atlantic States; the facilities of
communication by lakes, rivers, and railways; and the cultivation of
European tastes and consequently of European wants; all tend to the
encouragement of those arts and manufactures which it is the interest of
the citizens of the older states to cultivate, and in which they have so
far succeeded that their markets may be said to be secured to them as
much as manufacturers, as they have hitherto been, and will doubtless
continue to be, as merchants. For whether the supply is derived from the
home or foreign manufacturer, the demand cannot fail to be greater than
the industry of both can supply. This once fairly recognised, those
jealousies which have ever tended to retard the progress of nations in
the peaceful arts, will be no longer suffered to interfere, by taking
the form of restrictions on commerce and the free intercourse of

                                THE END.


Footnote 1:


Footnote 2:


Footnote 3:


Footnote 4:


Footnote 5:


Footnote 6:


Footnote 7:


Footnote 8:


Footnote 9:


Footnote 10:


Footnote 11:


Footnote 12:


Footnote 13:


Footnote 14:


Footnote 15:


Footnote 16:


Footnote 17:


Footnote 18:


Footnote 19:


Footnote 20:


Footnote 21:


Footnote 22:


Footnote 23:


Footnote 24:


Footnote 25:

  Annual Register, 1779.

Footnote 26:

  Annual Register, 1779.

Footnote 27:


Footnote 28:

  Knight’s “Pictorial History of England.”

Footnote 29:


Footnote 30:


Footnote 31:

  Annual Register.

Footnote 32:


Footnote 33:


Footnote 34:


Footnote 35:


Footnote 36:

  Annual Register, 1781.

Footnote 37:

  Hildreth and Marcius Willson.

Footnote 38:

  Mrs. Willard.

Footnote 39:


Footnote 40:


Footnote 41:

  Annual Register and Hildreth.

Footnote 42:


Footnote 43:

  Annual Register.

Footnote 44:


Footnote 45:


Footnote 46:

  Annual Register.

Footnote 47:

  Annual Register.

Footnote 48:

  Annual Register.

Footnote 49:


Footnote 50:


Footnote 51:

  Wraxall’s Memoirs.

Footnote 52:

  Knight’s “Pictorial History of England.”

Footnote 53:

  Knight’s “Pictorial History of England.”

Footnote 54:


Footnote 55:


Footnote 56:


Footnote 57:


Footnote 58:


Footnote 59:


Footnote 60:


Footnote 61:


Footnote 62:


Footnote 63:

  That is to say, slaves.

Footnote 64:


Footnote 65:

  Jared Sparkes.

Footnote 66:

  There are very few national American ballads: so few, indeed, that
  whenever an historical event has become a portion of popular
  literature, we may be sure that it took an unusually strong hold on
  the popular mind, and as having done so it is additionally worthy of
  the historian’s notice. The Ballad SAINCLAIRE’S DEFEAT is a sort of
  “Chevy Chase” of the Western Territory, and abounds with deep pathos:—

  ’Twas November the fourth, in the year of ninety-one,
  We had a sore engagement, near to Fort Jefferson;
  Sainclaire was our commander, which may remembered be,
  For there we left nine hundred men, in t’West’n Ter’tory.

  At Bunker’s Hill and Quebeck, where many a hero fell,
  Likewise at Long Island—it is the truth I tell,—
  But such a dreadful carnage, may I never see again,
  As happened at St. Mary’s, upon the river plain.

  Our army was attacked, just as the day did dawn,
  And soon was overpowered and driven from the lawn,
  They killed Major Ouldham, Levin, and Briggs likewise,
  And horrid yells of sav’ges, resounded through the skies.

  Major Butler, he was wounded by the very second fire;
  His manly bosom swelled with rage, when forced to retire;
  And as he lay in anguish, and scarcely could he see,
  Exclaimed, “Ye hounds of hell! Oh! revenged will I be.”

  We had not been long broken, when General Butler found,
  Himself so badly wounded, was forced to quit the ground.
  “My God!” says he, “what shall we do? we’re wounded every man;
  Go charge them, valiant heroes, and beat them if you can.”

  He leaned his back against a tree, and there resigned his breath,
  And like a valiant soldier, sank in the arms of death,
  When blessed angels did await, his spirit to convey,
  And unto the celestial fields he quickly bent his way.

  We charged again with courage firm, but soon again gave ground,
  The war-whoop then redoubled, as foes did us surround;
  They killed good Major Ferguson, which caused his men to cry,
  “Our only safety is in flight, or fighting here we die!”

  “Stand to your guns,” says valiant Ford, “let’s die upon them here,
  Before we let the sav’ges know, we ever harboured fear!”
  Our cannon-balls exhausted, and artill’ry men all slain,
  Obliged were our musket-men, the en’my to sustain.

  Yet three hours more we fought them, and then were forced to yield,
  Three hundred bloody warriors lay stretched upon the field.
  Says Colonel Gibson to his men, “My boys, be not dismayed,
  I am sure that true Virginians were never yet afraid;

  “Ten thousand deaths I’d rather die, than they should gain the field;”
  With that he got a fatal shot, which caused him to yield.
  Says Major Clarke, “My heroes, I can no longer stand;
  We’ll try to form in order, and retreat the best we can.”

  The word “retreat” being passed around, there was a dismal cry,
  Then helter-skelter through the woods, like wolves and sheep they fly.
  This well-appointed army, which but the day before,
  Defied and braved all danger, had like a cloud passed o’er.

  Alas! the dying and wounded, how dreadful was the thought,
  To the tomahawk and scalping knife, in misery are brought.
  Some had an arm and some a thigh broke on the field that day,
  Who writhed in torments at the stake, to close the dire affray.

  To mention our brave officers is what I wish to do;
  No sons of Mars e’er fought more brave, or with more courage true.
  To Captain Bradford I belonged, in his artillery;
  He fell that day among the slain, and a valiant man was he.

Footnote 67:


Footnote 68:


Footnote 69:


Footnote 70:

  Tucker’s “Life of Jefferson.”

Footnote 71:

  Life of Jefferson.

Footnote 72:

  Life of Jefferson.

Footnote 73:

  Life of Jefferson.

Footnote 74:


Footnote 75:


Footnote 76:


Footnote 77:

  Knight’s Pictorial History.

Footnote 78:


Footnote 79:

  “Letters on Freemasonry,” by J. Q. Adams.

Footnote 80:


Footnote 81:

  Miss Bremer’s “Homes of the New World.”

Footnote 82:

  Mrs. Willard.

Footnote 83:

  R. H. Mason.

Footnote 84:

  Goodrich’s United States.

Footnote 85:

  Goodrich’s United States.

Footnote 86:

  Miss Bremer’s “Homes of the New World.”


“They do honor to American Literature, and would do honor to the
Literature of any Country in the World.”

                              THE RISE OF

                          THE DUTCH REPUBLIC.

                               A history.

                        BY JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY.

  New Edition. With a Portrait of WILLIAM OF ORANGE. 3 vols. 8vo,
    Muslin, $6 00; Sheep, $6 75; Half Calf antique, $9 00; Half Calf,
    extra gilt, $10 50.

We regard this work as the best contribution to modern history that has
yet been made by an American.—_Methodist Quarterly Review._

The “History of the Dutch Republic” is a great gift to us; but the heart
and earnestness that beat through all its pages are greater, for they
give us most timely inspiration to vindicate the true ideas of our
country, and to compose an able history of our own.—_Christian Examiner_

This work bears on its face the evidences of scholarship and research.
The arrangement is clear and effective; the style energetic, lively, and
often brilliant. * * * Mr. Motley’s instructive volumes will, we trust,
have a circulation commensurate with their interest and
value.—_Protestant Episcopal Quarterly Review._

To the illustration of this most interesting period Mr. Motley has
brought the matured powers of a vigorous and brilliant mind, and the
abundant fruits of patient and judicious study and deep reflection. The
result is, one of the most important contributions to historical
literature that have been made in this country.—_North American Review._

We would conclude this notice by earnestly recommending our readers to
procure for themselves this truly great and admirable work, by the
production of which the author has conferred no less honor upon his
country than he has won praise and fame for himself, and than which, we
can assure them, they can find nothing more attractive or interesting
within the compass of modern literature.—_Evangelical Review._

It is not often that we have the pleasure of commending to the attention
of the lover of books a work of such extraordinary and unexceptionable
excellence as this one.—_Universalist Quarterly Review._

There are an elevation and a classic polish in these volumes, and a
felicity of grouping and of portraiture, which invest the subject with
the attractions of a living and stirring episode in the grand historic
drama.—_Southern Methodist Quarterly Review._

The author writes with a genial glow and love of his
subject.—_Presbyterian Quarterly Review._

Mr. Motley is a sturdy Republican and a hearty Protestant. His style is
lively and picturesque, and his work is an honor and an important
accession to our national literature.—_Church Review._

Mr. Motley’s work is an important one, the result of profound research,
sincere convictions, sound principles, and manly sentiments; and even
those who are most familiar with the history of the period will find in
it a fresh and vivid addition to their previous knowledge. It does honor
to American literature, and would do honor to the literature of any
country in the world.—_Edinburgh Review._

A serious chasm in English historical literature has been (by this book)
very remarkably filled. * * * A history as complete as industry and
genius can make it now lies before us, of the first twenty years of the
revolt of the United Provinces. * * * All the essentials of a great
writer Mr. Motley eminently possesses. His mind is broad, his industry
unwearied. In power of dramatic description no modern historian, except,
perhaps, Mr. Carlyle, surpasses him, and in analysis of character he is
elaborate and distinct.—_Westminster Review._

It is a work of real historical value, the result of accurate criticism,
written in a liberal spirit, and from first to last deeply

The style is excellent, clear, vivid, eloquent; and the industry with
which original sources have been investigated, and through which new
light has been shed over perplexed incidents and characters, entitles
Mr. Motley to a high rank in the literature of an age peculiarly rich in
history.—_North British Review._

It abounds in new information, and, as a first work, commands a very
cordial recognition, not merely of the promise it gives, but of the
extent and importance of the labor actually performed on it.—_London

Mr. Motley’s “History” is a work of which any country might be
proud.—_Press_ (London).

Mr. Motley’s History will be a standard book of reference in historical
literature.—_London Literary Gazette._

Mr. Motley has searched the whole range of historical documents
necessary to the composition of his work.—_London Leader._

This is really a great work. It belongs to the class of books in
which we range our Grotes, Milmans, Merivales, and Macaulays, as the
glories of English literature in the department of history. * * *
Mr. Motley’s gifts as a historical writer are among the highest and
rarest.—_Nonconformist_ (London).

Mr. Motley’s volumes will well repay perusal. * * * For his learning,
his liberal tone, and his generous enthusiasm, we heartily commend him,
and bid him good speed for the remainder of his interesting and heroic
narrative.—_Saturday Review._

The story is a noble one, and is worthily treated. * * * Mr. Motley has
had the patience to unravel, with unfailing perseverance, the thousand
intricate plots of the adversaries of the Prince of Orange; but the
details and the literal extracts which he has derived from original
documents, and transferred to his pages, give a truthful color and a
picturesque effect, which are especially charming.—_London Daily News._

M. Lothrop Motley dans son magnifique tableau de la formation de notre

Our accomplished countryman, Mr. J. Lothrop Motley, who, during the last
five years, for the better prosecution of his labors, has established
his residence in the neighborhood of the scenes of his narrative. No one
acquainted with the fine powers of mind possessed by this scholar, and
the earnestness with which he has devoted himself to the task, can doubt
that he will do full justice to his important but difficult subject—W.

The production of such a work as this astonishes, while it gratifies the
pride of the American reader.—_N. Y. Observer._

The “Rise of the Dutch Republic” at once, and by acclamation, takes its
place by the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” as a work which,
whether for research, substance, or style, will never be superseded.—_N.
Y. Albion._

A work upon which all who read the English language may congratulate
themselves.—_New Yorker Handels Zeitung._

Mr. Motley’s place is now (alluding to this book) with Hallam and Lord
Mahon, Alison and Macaulay in the Old Country, and with Washington
Irving, Prescott, and Bancroft in this.—_N. Y. Times._

The authority, in the English tongue, for the history of the period and
people to which it refers.—_N. Y. Courier and Enquirer._

This work at once places the author on the list of American historians
which has been so signally illustrated by the names of Irving, Prescott,
Bancroft, and Hildreth.—_Boston Times._

The work is a noble one, and a most desirable acquisition to our
historical literature.—_Mobile Advertiser._

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 _Published by HARPER & BROTHERS,
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                              THE OLD REGIME


                             THE REVOLUTION.


                          ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE,


                            JOHN BONNER, ESQ.

                           12mo, Muslin, $1 00.

A calm, philosophical inquiry into the causes of the French Revolution,
and the working of the Old Regime. In this work, M. de Tocqueville has
daguerreotyped French political society under the old monarchy; shown us
where the real power lay, and how it affected individual Frenchmen in
the daily avocations of life; what was the real condition of the
nobility, of the clergy, of the middle classes, of the “people,” of the
peasantry; wherein France differed from all other countries in Europe;
why a Revolution was inevitable. The information derived under these
various heads, it may safely be said, is now first printed. It has been
obtained, as M. de Tocqueville informs us, mainly from the manuscript
records of the old intendants’ offices and the Council of State. Of the
labor devoted to the task, an idea may be formed from the author’s
statement, that more than one of the thirty odd chapters contained in
the volume, alone cost him a year’s researches.

“I trust,” says M. de Tocqueville in his Preface, “that I have written
this work without prejudice; but I can not say I have written without
feeling. It would be scarcely proper for a Frenchman to be calm when he
speaks of his country, and thinks of the times in which we live. I
acknowledge, therefore, that in studying the society of the Old Regime
in all its details, I have never lost sight of the society of our own

The work abounds with allusions to the Empire and the Emperor. It need
hardly be added, that these allusions are not eulogistic of the powers
that be. Napoleon has seldom been assailed with more pungent satire or
more cogent logic.


                           A HISTORY OF GREECE,
                        WITH ALEXANDER THE GREAT.

                          BY GEORGE GROTE, ESQ.

 Vol. XII. contains Portrait, Maps, and Index. Complete in 12 vols. 12mo,
             Muslin, $9 00; Sheep, $12 00; Half Calf, $15 00.

It is not often that a work of such magnitude is undertaken; more seldom
still is such a work so perseveringly carried on, and so soon and yet so
worthily accomplished. Mr. Grote has illustrated and invested with an
entirely new significance a portion of the past history of humanity,
which he, perhaps, thinks the most splendid that has been, and which all
allow to have been very splendid. He has made great Greeks live again
before us, and has enabled us to realize Greek modes of thinking. He has
added a great historical work to the language, taking its place with
other great histories, and yet not like any of them in the special
combination of merits which it exhibits: scholarship and learning such
as we have been accustomed to demand only in Germans; an art of grouping
and narration different from that of Hume, different from that of
Gibbon, and yet producing the effect of sustained charm and pleasure; a
peculiarly keen interest in events of the political order, and a wide
knowledge of the business of politics; and, finally, harmonizing all, a
spirit of sober philosophical generalization always tending to view
facts collectively in their speculative bearing as well as to record
them individually. It is at once an ample and detailed narrative of the
history of Greece, and a lucid philosophy of Grecian history.—_London
Athenæum, March 8, 1856._

Mr. Grote will be emphatically the historian of the people of
Greece.—_Dublin University Magazine._

The acute intelligence, the discipline, faculty of intellect, and the
excellent erudition every one would look for from Mr. Grote; but they
will here also find the element which harmonizes these, and without
which, on such a theme, an orderly and solid work could not have been

A work second to that of Gibbon alone in English historical literature.
Mr. Grote gives the philosophy as well as the facts of history, and it
would be difficult to find an author combining in the same degree the
accurate learning of the scholar with the experience of a practical
statesman. The completion of this great work may well be hailed with
some degree of national pride and satisfaction.—_Literary Gazette, March
8, 1856._

The better acquainted any one is with Grecian history, and with the
manner in which that history has heretofore been written, the higher
will be his estimation of this work. Mr. Grote’s familiarity both with
the great highways and the obscurest by-paths of Grecian literature and
antiquity has seldom been equaled, and not often approached, in
unlearned England; while those Germans who have rivaled it have seldom
possessed the quality which eminently characterizes Mr. Grote, of
keeping historical imagination severely under the restraints of
evidence. The great charm of Mr. Grote’s history has been throughout the
cordial admiration he feels for the people whose acts and fortunes he
has to relate. * * We bid Mr. Grote farewell; heartily congratulating
him on the conclusion of a work which is a monument of English learning,
of English clear-sightedness, and of English love of freedom and the
characters it produces.—_Spectator._

Endeavor to become acquainted with Mr. Grote, who is engaged on a Greek
History. I expect a great deal from this production.—NIEBUHR, _the
Historian, to Professor_ LIEBER.

The author has now incontestably won for himself the title, not merely
of a historian, but of _the_ historian of Greece.—_Quarterly Review._

Mr. Grote is, beyond all question, _the_ historian of Greece, unrivaled,
so far as we know, in the erudition and genius with which he has revived
the picture of a distant past, and brought home every part and feature
of its history to our intellects and our hearts.—_London Times._

For becoming dignity of style, unforced adaptation of results to
principles, careful verification of theory by fact, and impregnation of
fact by theory—for extensive and well-weighed learning, employed with
intelligence and taste, we have seen no historical work of modern times
which we would place above Mr. Grote’s history.—_Morning Chronicle._


                            CURTIS’S HISTORY

                                 OF THE


    8vo, Muslin, $4 00; Law Sheep, $5 00; Half Calf, $6 00.

A book so thorough as this in the comprehension of its subject, so
impartial in the summing up of its judgments, so well considered in its
method, and so truthful in its matter, may safely challenge the most
exhaustive criticism. The Constitutional History of our country has not
before been made the subject of a special treatise. We may congratulate
ourselves that an author has been found so capable to do full justice to
it; for that the work will take its rank among the received text-books
of our political literature will be questioned by no one who has given
it a careful perusal.—_National Intelligencer._

We know of no person who is better qualified (now that the late Daniel
Webster is no more), to undertake this important history.—_Boston

It will take its place among the classics of American
literature.—_Boston Courier._

The author has given years to the preliminary studies, and nothing has
escaped him in the patient and conscientious researches to which he has
devoted so ample a portion of time. Indeed, the work has been so
thoroughly performed that it will never need to be done over again; for
the sources have been exhausted, and the materials put together with so
much judgment and artistic skill that taste and the sense of
completeness are entirely satisfied.—_N. Y. Daily Times._

A most important and valuable contribution to the historical and
political literature of the United States. All publicists and students
of public law will be grateful to Mr. Curtis for the diligence and
assiduity with which he has wrought out the great mine of diplomatic
lore in which the foundations of the American Constitution are laid, and
for the light he has thrown on his wide and arduous subject.—_London
Morning Chronicle._

To trace the history of the formation of the Constitution, and explain
the circumstances of the time and country out of which its various
provisions grew, is a task worthy of the highest talent. To have
performed that task in a satisfactory manner is an achievement with
which an honorable ambition may well be gratified. We can honestly say
that in our opinion Mr. Curtis has fairly won this distinction.—_N. Y.
Courier and Enquirer._

We have seen no history which surpasses it in the essential qualities of
a standard work destined to hold a permanent place in the impartial
judgment of future generations.—_Boston Traveler._

Should the second volume sustain the character of the first, we hazard
nothing in claiming for the entire publication the character of a
standard work. It will furnish the only sure guide to the interpretation
of the Constitution, by unfolding historically the wants it was intended
to supply, and the evils which it was intended to remedy.—_Boston Daily

This volume is an important contribution to our constitutional and
historical literature. * * * Every true friend of the Constitution will
gladly welcome it. The author has presented a narrative clear and
interesting. It evinces careful research, skillful handling of material,
lucid statement, and a desire to write in a tone and manner worthy of
the great theme.—_Boston Post._

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                        Works by Thomas Carlyle.

History of Friedrich the Second,

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HARPER & BROTHERS will send either of the following Works by Mail,
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                          DICKENS AND BONNER’S

                           CHILD’S HISTORIES.

                          LIBRARY. COMPRISING

=A Child’s History of England.= By CHARLES DICKENS. 2 vols. 16mo,
Muslin, 60 cents.

=A Child’s History of the United States.= By JOHN BONNER. Illustrated. 2
vols. 16mo, Muslin, $1 00.

=A Child’s History of Rome.= By JOHN BONNER. Illustrated. 2 vols. 16mo,
Muslin, $1 00.

=A Child’s History of Greece.= By JOHN BONNER. Illustrated. 2 vols.
16mo, Muslin, $1 00.

  These works present the leading facts of history in the form of
  stories, which children will read for the pleasure they afford. The
  histories of Rome and Greece are written from an American point of

  Capital little volumes. Though written in a simple and artless style
  to captivate juvenile students of history, they are not devoid of a
  philosophical spirit to prompt reflection.—_Christian Register._

  For writings intended for juvenile readers Mr. Bonner’s style is a
  model—sweet, flowing, animated, with a liberal use of colloquial
  expressions.—_N. Y. Tribune._

  Good books for the school and family library.—_N. Y. Observer._

  History presented in such a shape as to possess all the charms of a
  romance.—_New Orleans Crescent._

  Bonner’s Child’s History of Rome is the best in the market for young
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  A remarkably successful effort at adapting a historical narrative to
  the tastes of youthful readers.—_Presbyterian._

  Mr. Bonner writes with freedom and force, avoiding verbosity and
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  Written with simplicity, and in a manner to engage the attention of
  youthful readers.—_N. Y. Evening Post._

  We welcome these volumes with most sincere pleasure. They have a
  permanent value, and are fitting companions for that beautiful Child’s
  History of England, by Dickens.—_St. Louis Republican._

  The press can not teem with too many just such books.—_Savannah

  Mr. Bonner excels as a historian for the young. His simple, vigorous
  style, absence of profound reflections, and power of condensing, by
  grasping the prominent points and leaving out minor incidents,
  admirably fit him for a task like the present.—_Boston Journal._

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                          Harper’s Catalogue.

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The attention of gentlemen, in town or country, designing to form
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                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. Silently corrected obvious typographical errors and variations in
 2. Retained archaic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings as printed.
 3. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.
 4. Enclosed bold font in =equals=.

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