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Title: Great Events in the History of North and South America
Author: Goodrich, Charles A.
Language: English
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Libraries.)



[Illustration]

[Illustration]



                              GREAT EVENTS

                                   IN

                              THE HISTORY

                                   OF

                        NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA;

                            FROM THE ALLEGED

                      DISCOVERY OF THE CONTINENT,

                 BY THE NORTHMEN, IN THE TENTH CENTURY,

                                   TO

                           THE PRESENT TIME;

        WITH BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF EMINENT MEN CONNECTED WITH
                           AMERICAN HISTORY.

                        BY CHARLES A. GOODRICH,

    AUTHOR OF "UNITED STATES' HISTORY," "LIVES OF THE SIGNERS OF THE
            DECLARATION OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE," &c., &c.

          ILLUSTRATED WITH UPWARDS OF TWO HUNDRED ENGRAVINGS,

           CHIEFLY FROM ORIGINAL DESIGNS, BY EMINENT ARTISTS.

                               HARTFORD:
                       PUBLISHED BY HOUSE & BROWN

                                 1851.



      ENTERED, ACCORDING TO ACT OF CONGRESS, IN THE YEAR 1849, BY
                          CHARLES A. GOODRICH,
      IN THE CLERK'S OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF CONNECTICUT.

                               FOUNDRY OF
                           S. ANDRUS AND SON,
                               HARTFORD.

                                PRESS OF
                          WALTER S. WILLIAMS,
                               HARTFORD.



                                PREFACE.


The plan of the following work, whatever may be thought of its
execution, will commend itself, it is believed, to the taste and
judgment of the public. It proceeds upon the principle of _selection_,
being chiefly confined to the _Great Events_ of American History, and
which are treated of as _distinct subjects_. In these respects, the
work differs from other historical works on the same subject.

The advantages of a work thus constructed, are too obvious to need
specification. Yet, it may be remarked, that great events in history
are like great objects in nature and art. It is the bolder features of
a country--the more costly and imposing edifices of the city--the
higher and more elaborate achievements of art--upon which we delight
to dwell. In like manner, great events attract our attention and
interest our minds, because of their relations--because of the higher
qualities of mind which, perhaps, gave them birth, and the striking
and lasting changes which grow out of them. They serve as landmarks in
our drift down the stream of time. We date from them. We refer to
them. We measure between them. We compare them one with another--their
causes, progress, influences; and, in so doing, our knowledge of men
and things is advanced--our false opinions are corrected--our topics
for interesting and profitable speculation and reflection greatly
multiplied. A thorough perusal of a work thus constructed will secure,
it is believed, a more competent and permanent knowledge of the
history of a country, than some half-dozen readings of that history,
written on the ordinary plan.

The principle of selection will render the work the more valuable to
certain classes of persons--to those who, desirous of a competent
knowledge of the history of their country, have but a limited time to
devote to the study of it; to the young, whose minds are apt to become
wearied and perplexed with the number and details of minor events; and
to those who wish to refresh their recollections, without the labor
and loss of time incident to the perusal of works constructed on the
common plan. Each of these classes will find their interests consulted
in the work before them, while the general reader may profitably
proceed from the perusal of such a volume to those which describe
events and details more minutely.

In regard to what constitute the 'Great Events of American History,'
there may be some diversity of opinion. As to _his_ selection, the
author has not the vanity to suppose that it is the best that could be
made. The journey has been a long one; and surely, it were not strange,
if some events had been magnified into an undue importance; while those
of perhaps even higher consideration were neglected, either for want of
a better judgment, or for want of more serious reflection.

In the progress of the work, the author has endeavored to do justice
to the original settlers of the United States, and their immediate
descendants, by bringing into view their constant sense of their
dependence upon God. It will be seen that our forefathers were men who
feared God--who sought his blessing in all their great enterprises;
and when success crowned those enterprises, that they were ready to
acknowledge His good hand which had been with them. In seasons of
darkness, they fasted and prayed: in seasons of prosperity, they
rejoiced and gave thanks.

In these respects, our ancestors did, indeed, only their duty; but, it
may well be urged upon the rising generation, which will soon take the
management of the affairs of this already-mighty nation--and which is
growing in population, wealth, and importance, every year--to imitate
an example so just! so beautiful! so impressive!

The author has briefly to add, that the work was begun some years since;
but, until now, he has found no opportunity to complete it; nor should
he, even at this date, have had that pleasure, but for the important aid
of a highly valued literary friend, long favorably known to the public,
Rev. ROYAL ROBBINS, of Berlin, Ct., to whom, in this place, he is happy
to make his acknowledgments for valuable portions of the volume.

[Illustration]



                               CONTENTS.


                     NORTH AMERICA.--UNITED STATES.

                                                                   PAGE.

  INTRODUCTION,                                                       13


                         I.--EARLY DISCOVERIES.

    I. _Northmen._--Claims for the Northmen; Voyages of Biarne, Leif,
        Thorwald, Thorfinn, Helge, and Finnboge,                      19

    II. _Columbus._--Birth and Education of Columbus; Unsuccessful
        application to several European Courts; Patronized by
        Isabella; Sails from Palos; Early Discontent of his Crew;
        Expedients by which they are quieted; Discovery of Land; First
        appearance of the Natives; Cuba and Hispaniola discovered;
        Columbus sets sail on his Return; Incidents of the Voyage;
        Marks of consideration bestowed upon him; Second Voyage;
        Further Discoveries; Complaints against him; Third Voyage;
        Discovery of the Continent; Persecuted by Enemies; Sent home
        in Chains; Kindness of Isabella; Fourth Voyage; Return and
        Death,                                                        26

    III. _Sebastian Cabot._--Discovery of the North American Continent
        by Sebastian Cabot,                                           45

                        II.--EARLY SETTLEMENTS.

                    I. VIRGINIA, OR SOUTHERN COLONY.

    Unsuccessful Attempts to settle America; Expeditions of Sir
        Humphrey Gilbert; Sir Walter Raleigh; Sir Richard Grenville;
        Sir John White; First Permanent Settlement at Jamestown;
        Colonists early in Want; Dissensions in their Councils;
        Hostility of the Indians; Capture of Captain Smith; Generous
        Conduct of Pocahontas; Gloomy Condition of the Colony; Timely
        arrival of Assistance; Returning Prosperity; Establishment of
        a Provisional Government; Introduction of Negro Slavery; Cruel
        Massacre of the Colonists,                                    48

               II. NEW ENGLAND, OR NORTHERN SETTLEMENTS.

    Plymouth; Massachusetts; Connecticut; New Haven; New Hampshire;
        Rhode Island; Maine; Vermont--Character of the Early
        Settlers,                                                     61

                 III. MIDDLE AND SOUTHERN SETTLEMENTS.

    New York; New Jersey; Delaware; Maryland; N. Carolina; S.
        Carolina; Georgia; Pennsylvania,                              96

                 III.--INDIANS: THEIR TRIBES AND WARS.

                           I. INDIAN TRIBES.

    General Division; Tribes in the Central and Southern parts of New
        England; Tribes in the Northern parts; East of Lake Erie and
        South of Lake Ontario; Southern Tribes,                      104

                  II. ORIGIN OF THE AMERICAN INDIANS.

    Various Speculations on the subject; Opinions of Voltaire, of Rev.
        Thos. Thorowgood, Dr. Boudinot, Roger Williams, Hubbard, Thos.
        Morton, John Josselin, Cotton Mather, Dr. Mitchell, Dr.
        Swinton,                                                     109

                       III. VIRGINIA INDIAN WARS.

    Early Troubles of the English with the Indians; Power and Cruelty
        of Powhatan; his apparent Friendship for the Colonists;
        Treacherous Conduct; Kindness of Pocahontas; Inhuman Conduct
        of Lord De la War; Captivity of Pocahontas; Cruel Massacre of
        the Whites; Opecancanough; Troubles with Totopotomoi; Anecdote
        of Jack-of-the-feather,                                      113

                  IV. PLYMOUTH COLONY AND THE INDIANS.

    Early Rencontre at Plymouth; Friendly Intercourse established by
        means of Samoset; Kindness of Squanto; Intercourse with
        Massasoit; Contemplated Massacre defeated; Caunbitant;
        Hobomok,                                                     125

                      V. ENGLISH AND NARRAGANSETS.

    Territory of the Narragansets; Canonicus their Sachem; his mode of
        Challenging the English to War; Union proposed between the
        Pequods and Narragansets; how Defeated; Haughty Bearing of
        Miantonimoh; Accused of a Conspiracy against the English;
        Accusations repelled; Peace concluded between him and
        Massachusetts; War between Uncas and Miantonimoh; the latter
        captured, and delivered to the English; how disposed of;
        Character of Uncas; Troubles with the Narragansets under
        Ninigret; Expedition against him; its Issue,                 142

                            VI. PEQUOD WAR.

    Territory of the Pequods; their Character; Sassacus; his Hatred of
        the English; Cruelties practiced towards them; War declared by
        Connecticut; Expedition of Captain Mason; Surprise and
        Destruction of the Fort; Further Prosecution of the War;
        Consequences resulting from it,                              153

                           VII. PHILIP'S WAR.

    Causes of Philip's War; Character of Philip; General Spirit of
        Hostility among the Indians; Outbreak at Swansey; Expedition
        under General Savage; Expedition under Captain Church;
        Perilous Situation of this latter party; Timely Arrival of
        Captain Hutchinson; Second Expedition of Captain Church;
        Critical Situation of Philip; Effects his Escape; Annoys the
        Back Settlements of Massachusetts; Treachery of the Nipmucks;
        Attack on Brookfield; Bloody Affair at Muddy Brook; Attack on
        Springfield; Attack on Hatfield; Outrages at Northampton;
        Large Force raised by Massachusetts, Plymouth, and
        Connecticut, against the Narragansets; Philip's Fortress at
        Kingston, Rhode Island; Destruction of it; Lancaster
        destroyed; other Towns burned; Fatal Affair at Pawtuxet river,
        Rhode Island; Stratagem of Cape Cod Indians; Attacks on
        Rehoboth, Chelmsford, Sudbury, &c.; Expedition of Connecticut
        troops; Conanchet captured; Long Meadow attacked; Hadley;
        Fortunes of Philip on the wane; Successful Expedition at
        Connecticut-river Falls; Attack on Hatfield; on Hadley;
        Remarkable Interposition of a Stranger at Hadley, supposed to
        be Goffe; Decline of Philip's Power; Pursued by Captain
        Church; Death of Philip; Disastrous Effects of the War;
        Philip's Warriors; Annawon; Reflections,                     161

                       VIII. WAR OF WILLIAM III.

    Combination of French and Indians against the Americans; Burning
        of Schenectady; Cause of it; Horrors attending it; Attack upon
        Salmon Falls and upon Casco; Results of Expeditions fitted out
        by New York and New England; Reduction of Port Royal;
        Atrocities which marked the War; Attack on Haverhill,
        Massachusetts; Heroic Conduct of Mrs. Dustan; Peace,         190

                         IX. QUEEN ANNE'S WAR.

    Principal Scenes of this War in America; Attack upon Deerfield;
        Captivity and Sufferings of Rev. Mr. Williams; Other Disasters
        of the War; Peace; Death of Queen Anne; Accession of George
        I.; Continued Sufferings of the Colonies of Massachusetts and
        New Hampshire; Peace concluded with the Indians at Boston,   200

                          X. WAR OF GEORGE II.

    War between England and France, 1744; French take Casco; Effect of
        this Declaration of War upon the Indians; Attack upon the
        Great Meadows (now Putney); also, upon Ashuelot (now Keene);
        Expedition against Louisburg; Particulars of it; Surrender of
        it; Continuance of the War; Various places assaulted; Savage
        Barbarities following the surrender of Fort Massachusetts;
        Peace declared,                                              208

                       XI. FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR.

    Declaration of War between England and France; Causes of the War;
        Mode of conducting it; Various Expeditions planned; Nova
        Scotia taken from the French; General Braddock's Signal
        Defeat; Failure of Expeditions against Niagara and Fort
        Frontenac; Expedition against Crown Point; Battle of Lake
        George; Campaign of 1756; Inefficiency of Lord Loudon; Loss of
        Fort Oswego; Indian Atrocities in Pennsylvania; Campaign of
        1757; Massacre at Fort William Henry; Exploits of Colonel
        Trye; Captain John Burke and others; Campaign of 1758; Capture
        of Louisburg; Unsuccessful Expedition against Ticonderoga;
        Capture of Fort Frontenac; Fort du Quesne taken; Campaign of
        1759; Ticonderoga and Crown Point taken; Niagara captured;
        Siege and Capture of Quebec; Death of Wolfe and Montcalm;
        Final Surrender of the French Possessions in Canada to the
        English; Peace of Paris,                                     214

                            IV.--REVOLUTION.

                      I. CAUSES OF THE REVOLUTION.

    Objects proposed in the Settlement of America; Forms of Government
        conducive to Independence; Influence of Expenses; Colonies
        obliged to defend themselves, and to defray the Expenses of
        their own Wars and those of the Mother-country; British system
        of Taxation commenced; Writs of Assistance; Stamp Act;
        Formidable Opposition to it; Non-importation Act; Arrival of
        British Forces; Boston Massacre; Destruction of the Gaspee;
        Destruction of Tea; Boston Port Bill; Arrival of General Gage;
        his Obnoxious Measures; Meeting of Congress; Preparations for
        War; Obstinacy of the King and Parliament; Crisis arrives;
        Determination of the Colonists,                              238

                     II. EVENTS OF THE REVOLUTION.

    I. _Battle of Lexington._--Cause or Occasion of the Battle;
        British Detachment proceeds towards Concord; Reaches
        Lexington; First Blood shed; Hancock and Adams; Captain
        Wheeler and the British Officer; Stores destroyed; the British
        harassed by the Americans; Retreat from Concord; Effect of
        this affair upon the Country; Proceedings of the Massachusetts
        Provincial Congress,                                         266

    II. _Battle of Bunker's Hill._--American Patriotism; American and
        British Forces; Fortification of Bunker's Hill; Attacked by
        British Ships; Asa Pollard, the First Martyr; Preparations of
        the British; Warren; Prescott's Injunction to his Troops;
        British repulsed with terrible slaughter; Second Attack;
        Charlestown set on fire at the same time; Second Repulse;
        Putnam and Major Small; Death of Colonel Gardiner; Thrilling
        Incident; Third Advance of the British; Death of Major
        Pitcairn; Americans in want of Ammunition; Retreat; Death of
        Warren; Respective Losses; Results of the Battle,            274

    III. _Washington, Commander-in-Chief._--Effects of the Battle of
        Bunker's Hill; Meeting of Congress; Appointment of a
        Commander-in-Chief proposed; Difficulties in regard to a
        Selection; Claims of Individuals; Interview between John and
        Samuel Adams; Speech of the former; Washington Nominated;
        Unanimously Confirmed; Manifesto of Congress; Public Fast,   291

    IV. _Evacuation of Boston._--General Officers appointed;
        Washington repairs to Cambridge; State of the Army; Great Want
        of Gunpowder; Sickness in the Camp; Dorchester Heights
        fortified; Proposal of the British General to attack the
        American Intrenchments; Alters his plan, and evacuates Boston;
        Embarkation of the British; Washington enters the city,      299

    V. _Independence Declared._--Independence begun to be
        contemplated; Causes which increased a desire for such an
        event; Question of a Declaration of Independence enters the
        Colonial Assemblies; Introduced to Congress by Richard Henry
        Lee; Debated; State of Parties in respect to it; Measures
        adopted to secure a favorable vote; Question taken, and
        Declaration adopted; Signed; the Great Act of the Revolution;
        its Influence immediately perceptible; Character of the
        Signers; the Fourth of July, a time-honored and glorious day;
        How it should be celebrated,                                 310

    VI. _Attack on Sullivan's Island._--Invasion of Southern Colonies
        proposed; Expedition dispatched; Charleston its first Object;
        Proceedings of its Citizens; Sullivan's island Fortified;
        Arrival of General Lee; his Opinion of Fort Moultrie; British
        Fleet arrives; Preliminary Movements; Fort Moultrie attacked;
        Remarkable Defence; Action described; Heroic Conduct of
        Sergeant Jasper; Repulse of the British; Respective Losses;
        Liberality of Governor Rutledge; Standards presented by Mrs.
        Elliot; Death of Jasper,                                     322

    VII. _Military Reverses: Loss of New York._--British take
        possession of Staten Island; Strongly reinforced; State of the
        American Army; New York and Brooklyn occupied; Battle of
        Brooklyn; Americans repulsed; Long Island abandoned;
        Remarkable retreat; Gloomy State of the American Army;
        Washington retreats to Harlem; Movements of the British;
        Washington retires to White Plains; Loss of Fort Washington;
        American Army pursued; Retreats successively to New Brunswick,
        Princeton, and Trenton; thence to the Pennsylvania side of the
        Delaware; British go into Winter-quarters; Capture of General
        Lee; Prevalent Spirit of Despondency,                        338

    VIII. _Returning Prosperity: Battles of Trenton and
        Princeton._--Reliance of the Patriots upon God for Success;
        Public Fast recommended by Congress; Offensive Operations
        decided upon; Battle of Trenton; Washington victorious; Battle
        of Princeton; British repulsed; American Army at Morristown;
        British at Brunswick; Prospects brightening,                 344

    IX. _Occupation of Philadelphia._--Position of the Armies; British
        remove to New York; Sail for the Chesapeake; Advance towards
        Philadelphia; American Army also move towards the same place;
        Meet at Brandywine; Battle; Americans repulsed; British enter
        Philadelphia; Congress retire to Lancaster; Battle of
        Germantown; Americans retreat; Ineffectual Attempts to force
        the British to evacuate Philadelphia,                        353

    X. _Surrender of Burgoyne._--British Project for securing the
        command of the Hudson between New York and Albany; Intrusted
        to Generals Howe and Burgoyne; the latter leaves Canada with a
        strong Force; Invests and takes Crown Point and Ticonderoga;
        Affair of Skenesborough; Fort Edward abandoned; Retreat of
        Americans to Stillwater; Battle of Bennington; General Gates
        supersedes General Schuyler; Critical position of Burgoyne; he
        advances upon Saratoga; Battle; Battle of Stillwater; Burgoyne
        retreats, pursued by Gates; Capitulates; Public
        Rejoicings,                                                  360

    XI. _Progress of the War._--State of affairs in England; Treaty
        with France; Movements in the British Parliament; Overtures to
        Congress; Rejection of them; Battle of Monmouth; Disastrous
        Retreat of General Lee; Fortunate Interposition of Washington;
        his Rebuke of Lee; Tremendous Battle; Sufferings of the
        Armies; Renewal of the Contest; Midnight Retreat of the
        British army; Subsequent Trial and Dismission of General
        Lee,                                                         378

    XII. _Treachery of Arnold._--The Vulture in the Hudson; Midnight
        Adventure; Benedict Arnold; Repairs to Cambridge; Expedition
        to Canada; Created a Brigadier-general; Grounds of Complaint;
        Honorable Conduct in Connecticut; Appointed to the command at
        Philadelphia; Charges preferred against him; Reprimanded by
        Washington; Plots against his Country; Correspondence with Sir
        H. Clinton; Appointed to the command of West Point; Interview
        with Andre; Capture of Andre; Arrival of Washington; Escape of
        Arnold; Developments of his Traitorous Intentions; Trial and
        Condemnation of Andre; Subsequent Incidents in the life of
        Arnold,                                                      391

    XIII. _Concluding Scenes of the Revolution._--Theatre of War
        changed to the South; Siege of Savannah; Battle of Camden;
        Battle of Cowpens; Retreat; Subsequent Movements; Battles of
        Guilford, Kohkirk's Hill, Ninety-Six, and Eutaw Springs;
        Yorktown; Treaty of Peace; Cessation of Hostilities; Army
        disbanded; Departure of the British; Final Interview between
        Washington and his Officers; Resigns his Commission; Retires
        to Mount Vernon,                                             415

    XIV. _Naval Operations._--State of the Naval Affairs of the
        Colonies at the commencement of the Revolution; First Naval
        Engagement; Measures adopted by Congress to provide a Naval
        Armament; Naval Officers appointed; Vessels built; Flag
        adopted; Success of American Privateering; Distinguished Naval
        Officers; Character of Naval Commanders; Particular
        Engagements:--Randolph and Yarmouth; Raleigh and Druid;
        Sub-marine Warfare, Le Bon Homme Richard and Serapis; Trumbull
        and Watt; Alliance, Atalanta, and Trepassey; Congress and
        Savage,                                                      450

    XV. _Eminent Foreigners connected with the Revolution._--George
        III. King of England; General Burgoyne, Sir Henry Clinton,
        Colonel Barre, Charles Townshend, Lord Cornwallis, William
        Pitt, Marquis of Bute, George Grenville, Duke of Grafton, Lord
        North, Colonel Tarleton, Sir Peter Parker, Sir William
        Meadows, Sir Guy Carlton, General Gage, Marquis of Rockingham,
        Edmund Burke, Kosciusko, Pulaski, Baron de Kalb, Baron
        Steuben, Count Rochambeau, Count D'Estaing,                  488

                       V.--FEDERAL CONSTITUTION.

    Original Governments of the Colonies; Union between them; Plan
        proposed by Dr. Franklin; First Congress; Congress of '74;
        Confederation; Defects of it; Convention of States proposed by
        Virginia; Commissioners from five States meet at Annapolis;
        Powers too limited to act; Recommend a General Convention of
        States; Delegates appointed; Convention meets at Philadelphia;
        Decides to form a new Constitution; Draft prepared, discussed,
        and adopted; Speech of Doctor Franklin; Constitution signed;
        Adopted by the several States; Amendments; States admitted
        since the adoption; Remarks on the Constitution,             520

                   VI.--GEORGE WASHINGTON, PRESIDENT.

    A System of Revenue; Regulation of Departments; Amendments of the
        Constitution; Establishment of a Judiciary; Assumption of
        Debts; Removal of the Seat of Government; National Bank;
        Indian War; Re-election of Washington; Difficulties with
        France; Insurrection in Pennsylvania; Jay's Treaty; Election
        of Mr. Adams; Farewell Address,                              542

                      VII.--JOHN ADAMS, PRESIDENT.

    Difficulties with France; Treaty with that Power; Death of
        Washington; Removal of the Seat of Government; Election of Mr.
        Jefferson,                                                   571

                  VIII.--THOMAS JEFFERSON, PRESIDENT.

    Purchase of Louisiana; War with Tripoli; Murder of Hamilton;
        Re-election of Jefferson; Conspiracy and Trial of Burr; Attack
        on the Chesapeake; British Orders in Council; Milan Decree;
        Embargo; Election of Mr. Madison; Difficulties between France
        and England,                                                 590

                     IX.--JAMES MADISON, PRESIDENT.

    Battle of Tippecanoe; Early Session of Congress; Declaration of
        War; Surrender of Hull; Capture of the Gurriere; Battle of
        Queenstown; Capture of the Frolic; of the Macedonian; of the
        Java; Battle of Frenchtown; Capture of the Peacock;
        Re-election of Mr. Madison; Capture of York; Siege of Fort
        Meigs; Capture of the Argus; Perry's Victory; Battle of the
        Thames; Creek War; Battle of Chippewa and Bridgewater; Capture
        of Washington City; Engagement on Lake Champlain; Battle of
        New Orleans; Treaty of Ghent; Close of Mr. Madison's
        Administration,                                              611

                      X.--JAMES MONROE, PRESIDENT.

    Tour of the President; Admission of Missouri; Provision for
        Indigent Officers, &c.; Re-election of Mr. Monroe; Seminole
        War; Revision of the Tariff; Visit of Lafayette; Review of Mr.
        Monroe's Administration; Election of Mr. Adams,              658

                   XI.--JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, PRESIDENT.

    Controversy respecting the Creeks; Proposed Mission to Panama;
        Internal Improvements; Fiftieth Anniversary of Independence;
        "American System;" Election of General Jackson,              673

                    XII.--ANDREW JACKSON, PRESIDENT.

    Condition of the Country; Georgia and the Cherokees; Public Lands;
        National Bank; Internal Improvements; Indian Hostilities;
        Discontents in South Carolina; Re-election of Andrew Jackson;
        Removal of the Deposites; Death of Lafayette; Deposite Act;
        Seminole War; Treasury Circular; Election of Mr. Van Buren;
        Character of Jackson's Administration,                       683

                  XIII.--MARTIN VAN BUREN, PRESIDENT.

    Measures respecting Banks; Treasury Circular; Continuance of
        Florida War; Internal Improvements; Public Expenses;
        Difficulties in Maine; Border Troubles; Changes of Public
        Opinion; Character of the Administration; Election of William
        H. Harrison,                                                 701

                XIV.--WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, PRESIDENT,             713

                      XV.--JOHN TYLER, PRESIDENT.

    Extra Session of Congress; Relations with Great Britain;
        Settlement of the North-eastern Boundary; Difficulties in
        Rhode Island; Modification of the Tariff; Bunker's Hill
        Monument; Treaties; Annexation of Texas; Presidential Canvass;
        Character of Mr. Tyler's Administration,                     715

                    XVI.--JAMES K. POLK, PRESIDENT.

    Decease of General Jackson; Admission of Texas; Division of
        Oregon; Mexican War; Siege of Fort Brown; Battle of Palo Alto;
        Battle of Resaca de la Palma; Fall of Monterey; Battle of
        Buena Vista; Capture of Vera Cruz; Cerro Gordo; Progress of
        the Army; Occupation of Mexico; Treaty; California and its
        Gold; Election of General Taylor,                            725

                   XVII.--ZACHARY TAYLOR, PRESIDENT.                 755


                            BRITISH AMERICA,                         757

                               I. CANADA.

    Discovery; Settlement; Capture of Quebec; Death of Champlain;
        Religious Enterprises; War made by the Iroquois; Accessions to
        the Colony; Progress of the Colony; Attempts of the English to
        Conquer Canada; Condition of Canada in 1721 and 1722; General
        Prosperity of the Colony; Refusal to join in the War of
        American Independence; Consequences of American Independence
        to Canada; Territorial Divisions and Constitution; Dissensions
        after the close of the War of 1812; Disturbances and
        Insurrections,                                               759

                            II. NOVA SCOTIA.

    Limits; Conquest by the English; Settlement; Annexation to the
        British Crown; Policy of England in relation to the Country;
        Situation of the English Settlers; English Treatment of the
        Acadians; State of the Province during the Wars of the United
        States; Results of the War of 1812,                          781

                          III. NEW BRUNSWICK.

    Extent; Physical Aspect and Soil; Settlement and Progress; Signal
        Calamity,                                                    787

                      IV. PRINCE EDWARD'S ISLAND.

    Location, Surface, and Climate; Early Settlers; Change of
        Possession; Plans of Colonization; Character of late
        Governors; Inhabitants,                                      790

                            V. NEWFOUNDLAND.

    Location and Importance; Discovery and Settlement; French
        Hostilities; Renewal of War; Change of Administration; Present
        Condition,                                                   793

                      VI. HUDSON'S BAY TERRITORY.

    Extent; Discovery; Settlement; Contests with France; Present
        State,                                                       797


                            RUSSIAN AMERICA,                         800

                                MEXICO.

    Discovery; Condition, anterior to the Spanish Conquest; Invasion
        by Cortez; Arrival of Cortez in the Mexican Capital;
        Abdication of Montezuma; Retreat of Cortez, and Return; Fall
        of the City and Empire; Fate of Cortez; Extent of New Spain;
        Introduction of the Catholic Religion; Native Spanish
        Population, under the Colonial Government; Classes of the
        Inhabitants; Causes of the First Mexican Revolution;
        Commencement of the Revolution; Continuation of the War by the
        Patriot Chiefs; Decline of the Revolution; Invasion by Mina;
        Revolution under Iturbide; Adoption of the Federal
        Constitution; Prosperity of the years 1825 and 1826; Election
        of President in 1828; Usurpation of Bustamente; Defence of the
        Federal Constitution; Santa Anna's Proceedings; Establishment
        of a Central Republic; Attempts against the Central
        Government; Revolution of 1841; Overthrow of Santa Anna's
        Government,                                                  802

                               GUATEMALA.

    Locality; Extent; Physical Character; Discovery and Conquest;
        Independence of the Country,                                 830

                             SOUTH AMERICA.

                            I. NEW GRENADA.

    Extent and Physical Features; Revolution of 1811; Formation of a
        Constitution; Liberation of Quito; Crisis of 1828; Separation
        of New Grenada, Venezuela, and Equator; State of the
        Government since the Separation,                             833

                             II. VENEZUELA.

    Name, Physical Features, &c.; Discovery; State of the Country
        under the Spanish Dominion; Termination of the Spanish
        Dominion; Condition since,                                   837

                             III. EQUATOR.

    Name, Extent, and Physical Character; Classes of the Inhabitants;
        Subversion of the Spanish Authority; Condition since the
        Spanish Rule,                                                841

                               IV. PERU.

    Locality, Extent, and Physical Character; Condition at the time of
        its Invasion by the Spaniards; Conquest by Pizarro; Condition
        of the Country after the Conquest; Insurrection; Revolutionary
        Movement; Declaration of Independence; Condition after the
        Expulsion of the Spaniards,                                  845

                              V. BOLIVIA.

    Name, Extent, and Physical Character; Overthrow of the Spanish
        Power; Proclamation of Independence; Choice of Rulers under
        the New Constitution; Present Condition,                     855

                               VI. CHILI.

    Extent, Physical Features, and Climate; Conquest by Almagro;
        Revolution in the beginning of the Present Century; Final
        Establishment of Independence; Subsequent Condition,         858

                           VII. BUENOS AYRES.

    Name, &c.; Inhabitants, or Classes of People; Discovery and
        Settlement; First Insurrection against the Government of
        Spain; Progress and Changes of the New Government; Present
        Condition of the Government,                                 863

                             VIII. URUGUAY.

    Locality and Extent; Name and History; Constitution,             868

                              IX. BRAZIL.

    Situation, Extent, &c.; Discovery and Settlement; Policy of the
        Portuguese Government; Removal of the Portuguese Court to
        Brazil; Constitution and Government,                         870

                              X. PARAGUAY.

    Situation, Extent, &c.; Insurrection and attempt at Revolution in
        the latter part of the Eighteenth Century; Establishment of
        Independence, and Despotic Government,                       875

                              WEST INDIES.

    Situation, Extent, &c.; Inhabitants; Political Divisions,        879

                        I.  BRITISH WEST INDIES.

    Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbadoes, Bahamas, St. Christopher, Bermudas,
        and St. Vincent,                                             881

                       II.  SPANISH WEST INDIES.

    Cuba and Porto Rico,                                             885

                       III.  FRENCH WEST INDIES.

    Martinique and Guadaloupe,                                       887

                        IV.  DUTCH WEST INDIES.

    Curacoa, St. Eustatius, St. Martin, and Saba,                    888

                        V.  DANISH WEST INDIES.

    St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas,                             888

                    VI. INDEPENDENT ISLAND OF HAYTI.

    Formerly called St. Domingo and Hispaniola,                      888


                               APPENDIX.

           XVII. ZACHARY TAYLOR. (_Continued from page_ 756.)

    Proceedings in Congress; Death of Mr. Calhoun; Invasion of Cuba;
        Convention with Great Britain; Death of Gen. Taylor,         902

                  XVIII. MILLARD FILLMORE, PRESIDENT.

    Assumes the Government; Compromise Bill; Adjournment of
        Congress,                                                    911



                             ILLUSTRATIONS.


                                                    PAGE.

  Time stopping in his Course, &c.                     13

  Tailpiece--Discovery of Newfoundland,                18

  Columbus and Cabot,                                  19

  Northmen leaving Iceland,                            21

  Discovery of Labrador,                               22

  Incident in the Camp of the Northmen,                24

  Columbus,                                            26

  Columbus before Ferdinand and Isabella,              30

  Columbus sets sail,                                  32

  First Sight of Land,                                 36

  Columbus and Natives of Cuba,                        38

  Columbus casting a Barrel into the Sea,              39

  Tailpiece--Prairie Scene,                            44

  Tailpiece--Columbus at Hispaniola,                   47

  Early Settlements,                                   48

  Early Settlers trading with the Natives,             50

  Captain Smith saved from death,                      55

  Landing of the Pilgrims,                             66

  Visit of Samoset to the English,                     67

  Interview with Massasoit,                            68

  Boston founded,                                      73

  Settlers emigrating to Connecticut,                  76

  Hooker addressing the Soldiers,                      79

  Gallup finds Oldham murdered,                        80

  Portsmouth founded,                                  84

  Tailpiece--Indian Council,                           95

  Surrendering of New Amsterdam,                       97

  Charles II. signing Charter for Penn,               101

  Tailpiece--The Maple,                               103

  Indian Wars,                                        104

  Tailpiece--Indian War Dance,                        108

  Tailpiece--Savage Barbarities,                      112

  Smith selling Blue Beads to Powhatan,               115

  Pocahontas disclosing a Plot,                       118

  Opecancanough borne to a Massacre,                  121

  Tailpiece--Ship before the wind,                    124

  New England Indian Wars,                            125

  Governor Winslow's Visit to Massasoit,              134

  Governor Bradford and the Snake-skin,               143

  Captain Atherton threatens Ninigret,                149

  Captain Mason attacking the Pequod Fort,            156

  Tailpiece--Camanche Wigwam,                         160

  Philip's War,                                       161

  Flight of Philip from Mount Hope,                   163

  Captain Church and his Men hemmed in,               164

  Attack on Brookfield,                               166

  Battle of Muddy Brook,                              168

  Swamp Fight,                                        172

  Indian Stratagem,                                   176

  Fight near Sudbury,                                 177

  Indians attacked at Connecticut-river Falls,        180

  Defence of Hadley,                                  182

  Philip's Escape,                                    184

  Death of Philip,                                    185

  Capture of Anawon,                                  188

  Burning of Schenectady,                             191

  Mrs. Dustan saving her Children,                    196

  Escape of Mrs. Dustan,                              197

  Tailpiece--Round Tower at Rhode Island,             199

  Capture of Mr. Williams,                            202

  Reduction of Louisburg,                             211

  Tailpiece--Boston Harbor discovered,                213

  Braddock's Defeat,                                  219

  Battle of Lake George,                              222

  Destruction of Kittaning,                           224

  Destruction of the village of St. Francis,          230

  View of Quebec,                                     231

  Death of Wolfe,                                     235

  Tailpiece--Peruvian Canoe, &c.                      237

  The Revolution,                                     238

  Otis in the Council-chamber,                        246

  Procession at Boston,                               249

  Attack on the Governor's House,                     250

  Burning of the Effigy of Governor Colden,           251

  Arrival of the First Man-of-war at Boston,          253

  Boston Massacre,                                    255

  Burning of the Gaspee,                              257

  Destruction of Tea,                                 259

  Patrick Henry,                                      262

  Tailpiece--Falls of St. Anthony,                    265

  Events of the Revolution,                           266

  Battle of Lexington,                                268

  Captain Wheeler and the British Officer,            269

  Retreat of the British from Concord,                271

  Tailpiece--Source of the Passaic,                   273

  President Langdon at Prayer,                        276

  Death of Pollard,                                   277

  General Putnam,                                     278

  Interview between Warren and Putnam,                279

  Putnam saves the life of Major Small,               284

  Death of Colonel Gardiner,                          286

  Tailpiece--View of Boston,                          290

  Messengers spreading news, &c.                      291

  Tailpiece--Penn laying out Philadelphia,            298

  Evacuation of Boston,                               299

  House at Cambridge occupied by Washington,          300

  Fortifying Dorchester Heights,                      305

  Putnam reading Declaration of Independence,         310

  John Hancock,                                       317

  Sergeant Jasper re-planting the Flag,               328

  Tailpiece--The Cotton-plant,                        332

  Battle of Trenton,                                  347

  Tailpiece--Cortez landing at St. Juan d'Ulloa,      352

  General Wayne,                                      355

  Marquis Lafayette,                                  356

  Tailpiece--Franklin in Council,                     359

  Destruction of Gallies,                             363

  Burgoyne's Advance,                                 366

  Burgoyne's Retreat,                                 372

  Tailpiece--View on the Hudson,                      377

  American Commissioners and Louis XVI.               379

  Tailpiece--The Genius of Liberty, &c.               390

  The Sloop-of-war Vulture,                           391

  Arnold's Expedition through the Wilderness,         393

  General Lincoln,                                    394

  Death of General Wooster,                           396

  Arnold and the British Soldier,                     397

  General Arnold,                                     398

  Major Andre,                                        401

  Interview of Arnold and Wife,                       409

  Tailpiece--Capture of Major Andre,                  414

  Jasper on the Ramparts,                             419

  Death of De Kalb,                                   425

  Charge of Colonel Washington,                       428

  Battle of Yorktown,                                 440

  Washington taking leave of the Army,                444

  Washington embarking at Whitehall,                  446

  Tailpiece--American Flag,                           449

  Naval Operations,                                   450

  First Naval Engagement of the Revolution,           452

  Silas Deane,                                        454

  Randolph and Yarmouth,                              463

  Raleigh and Druid,                                  465

  Jones setting fire to Ships at Whitehaven,          470

  Paul Jones,                                         472

  Le Bon Homme Richard and Serapis,                   473

  Sinking of the Bon Homme Richard,                   479

  Tailpiece--Ship on her Beam-ends,                   487

  Sir Henry Clinton,                                  494

  Colonel Barre,                                      495

  Lord Chatham,                                       500

  Charles James Fox,                                  503

  George Grenville,                                   506

  Sir Guy Carlton,                                    511

  Edmund Burke,                                       513

  Tailpiece--Lugger near Shore,                       519

  Governments,                                        520

  Franklin,                                           534

  Tailpiece--Natural Bridge,                          541

  George Washington,                                  542

  Inauguration of Washington,                         547

  John Adams,                                         571

  Tailpiece--New York, from the East river,           589

  Thomas Jefferson,                                   590

  Tailpiece--Basket of Flowers,                       610

  James Madison,                                      611

  Tippecanoe,                                         615

  Constitution and Java,                              629

  Perry's Victory,                                    638

  Battle of the Thames,                               639

  Creek Chiefs surrendering to Gen. Jackson,          641

  Battle of New Orleans,                              652

  James Monroe,                                       656

  Reception of Monroe,                                658

  Attack on Lieutenant Scott's Boats,                 663

  Taking the Fort at Pensacola,                       665

  Landing of Lafayette at New York,                   668

  Lafayette laying Corner-stone, &c.                  669

  Lafayette at Washington's Tomb,                     670

  John Q. Adams,                                      673

  Removal of the Creek Indians,                       676

  Tailpiece--Agricultural Emblem,                     682

  Andrew Jackson,                                     683

  Martin Van Buren,                                   701

  Burning of the Caroline,                            709

  William Henry Harrison,                             713

  John Tyler,                                         715

  James K. Polk,                                      725

  Surprise of Captain Thornton and his Party,         732

  Charge of Captain May,                              736

  American Army in Vera Cruz,                         744

  Colonel Harney at Cerro Gordo,                      746

  Battle of Churubusco,                               748

  Army crossing the National Bridge,                  751

  Zachary Taylor,                                     755

  British America,                                    757

  Tailpiece--Indians Hunting in Skins,                758

  Champlain's Interview with the Algonquins,          760

  Extermination of the Hurons,                        764

  Death of Wolfe,                                     771

  Tailpiece--Tampico,                                 780

  Nova Scotia,                                        781

  Destruction of the Acadians,                        785

  Newfoundland,                                       793

  Tailpiece--Vessels in the Offing,                   796

  Tailpiece--Icebergs,                                799

  Tailpiece--Winter in Lapland,                       801

  Mexico,                                             802

  Marina acting as Interpreter,                       805

  Cortez burning his Ships,                           806

  Meeting of Cortez and Montezuma,                    807

  Montezuma on his Throne,                            808

  Death of Montezuma,                                 809

  Noche Triste,                                       811

  Texans flying to Arms,                              827

  Guatemala,                                          830

  Alvarado marching on Guatemala,                     832

  New Grenada,                                        833

  Venezuela,                                          837

  Equator,                                            841

  Tailpiece--Peruvian Peasants,                       844

  Peru,                                               845

  Hualpa discovers the Mine of Potosi,                846

  Manco Capac and his Wife,                           847

  Valverde addressing Atahualpa,                      848

  Pizarro in Cusco,                                   850

  Bolivia,                                            855

  Tailpiece--Mexican Women making Bread,              857

  Chili,                                              858

  Almagro marching against Chili,                     859

  Tailpiece--Araucanian Men and Women,                862

  Buenos Ayres,                                       863

  Uruguay,                                            868

  Brazil,                                             870

  Alvarez Cabral discovers Brazil,                    872

  Paraguay,                                           875

  West Indies,                                        879

  Millard Fillmore,                                   911

[Illustration]



                              INTRODUCTION


[Illustration: Time stopping in his course to read the Inscription
carved by the Muse of History.]

If it be remarkable that the Western Continent should have remained
unknown for so many centuries to civilized man, it is, perhaps, still
more remarkable that since its discovery and settlement, it should
have become the theatre of so many signal transactions, and have
advanced so rapidly to its present civil, religious, and political
importance. The history of every portion of it is interesting and
instructive; but more especially that portion occupied by the people
of the United States. A great work is in progress throughout the
entire continent; but the importance of the American Republic, with
which our fortunes are more immediately connected, is becoming
apparent with each revolving year. While, therefore, we propose to
make an historical survey of the several countries both of North and
South America, we shall dwell with greater particularity upon the
events which have signalized our own republican America. If not from
her present population, which, though increasing by a wonderful
progression, is still, in point of numbers, inferior to many other
nations; yet, from her wealth, her enterprise, her commercial and
political relations, she is entitled to rank among the most powerful
and influential nations on the globe. The eyes of the civilized world
are upon her; and with wonder, if not with jealousy, do they mark her
rapid and surprising advancement.

The _history_ of such a people must be full of interest. By what means
has her national elevation been maintained? But a little more than two
centuries have elapsed, since the first settlers planted themselves at
Jamestown, in Virginia, and the Pilgrim Fathers landed on Plymouth
Rock. They were then a feeble band. Before them lay a howling
wilderness. An inhospitable and intractable race rose up to oppose and
harass them. The means of living were stinted and uncertain. Famine
pressed upon them, and weakened them. The winters were cold and
piercing. Their habitations were rude and unprotective. Disease added
its sufferings and sorrows, and death hurried many of the few to an
untimely grave. Yet, amidst accumulated calamity, they gathered
strength and courage. Accessions from the mother-country were made to
their numbers. Other and distant stations were occupied. The forest
fell before them. Towns and villages rose in the wilderness, and
solitary places became glad. Savage tribes--after years of terror,
massacre, and bloodshed--retired, leaving the colonists to the
peaceful occupancy of the land, in all its length and breadth.

But they were still a dependant people--subject to the laws,
exactions, and oppressions of a proud and arbitrary foreign
government. That government, jealous of their growing importance,
adopted measures to check their aspirations, and to extend and
perpetuate the prerogatives of the crown. But it was impossible that a
people, sprung from the loins of fathers whose courage and enterprise
had been matured by years of conflict, should be either crushed, or
long thwarted in their plans. Oppressions served rather to strengthen
them; threats prompted to resolution, and served to inspire
confidence. And, at length, they arose to the assertion and
maintenance of their rights. They entered the field; and for years,
with all the fortunes of war apparently against them, they grappled
successfully with the colossal power of the British empire--thwarted
her counsels--conquered her armies--established their independence.

But a little more than seventy years has America been free from the
British yoke; yet, in that brief period, her advancement has
outstripped all the predictions of the most sanguine statesmen. With
but three millions of people, she entered the Revolutionary contest;
she now numbers more than twenty millions. Instead of thirteen
colonies, she embraces thirty free and independent states. Meanwhile,
she has continued to gather national strength and national importance.
Her wealth is rolling up, while her moral power is becoming the
admiration of the world.

These attainments, too, she has made amid convulsions and revolutions,
which have shaken the proudest empires, and spread desolation over
some of the fairest portions of the globe. On every side are the
evidences of her advancement. Genius and industry are creating and
rolling forward with amazing power and rapidity the means of national
wealth and aggrandizement. An enterprising, ardent, restless
population are spreading over our western wilds, and our cities are
now the creations almost of a day.

But by what means has this national elevation and prosperity been
attained? Shall we ascribe them to the wise, sagacious, and patriotic
men, who guided our councils and led our armies? Shall we offer our
homage and gratitude to WASHINGTON, FRANKLIN, ADAMS, OTIS, HENRY,
JEFFERSON, and a multitude of others, who periled fortune, liberty,
life itself, to achieve our independence, and lay the foundation of
our country's glory?

Let us do them honor; and a nation's honor and gratitude will be
accorded to them, so long as the recorded history of their noble
achievements shall last.

            Theirs is no vulgar sepulchre: green sods
          Are all their monument; and, yet, it tells
          A nobler history than pillar'd pile,
          Or the eternal pyramid. They need
          No statue, nor inscription, to reveal
          Their greatness.

But, while merited honor is paid to the sages and heroes of the
Revolution, and to the Pilgrim Fathers of an earlier age, let not the
hand of Providence be overlooked or disregarded.

On this point, the Puritans have left a noble example to their
posterity. The supplication of the smiles and blessings of a
superintending Providence preceded and accompanied all their plans and
all their enterprises. "God was their king; and they regarded him as
truly and literally so, as if he had dwelt in a visible palace in the
midst of their state. They were his devoted, resolute, humble
subjects; they undertook nothing which they did not beg of him to
prosper; they accomplished nothing without rendering to him the
praise; they suffered nothing without carrying up their sorrows to his
throne; they ate nothing which they did not implore him to bless." Nor
were the actors in the Revolutionary struggle insensible to the
necessity of the Divine blessing upon their counsels and efforts.
Washington, as well at the head of his army as in the retirement of
his closet, or amid some secluded spot in the field, looked up for the
blessing of the God of battles. That also was a beautiful recognition
of a superintending Providence, which Franklin made in the Convention,
which, subsequent to the Revolution, framed the Constitution. "I have
lived, sir, a long time," said he; "and the longer I live, the more
convincing proof I see of this truth, that _God governs in the affairs
of men_. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his
notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?"

Let it be remembered by the American people--by men who fill her
councils--by historians who write her history--by the young, who are
coming up to the possession of the rich inheritance, that whatever human
agencies were employed in the discovery, settlement, independence, and
prosperity of these states, the "good hand of God has been over and
around us," and has given to us this goodly land, with its religious
institutions--its free government--its unwonted prosperity.

Let not the historian, who writes--especially if he writes for the
_young_--be thought to travel out of his appropriate sphere, in an
effort to imbue the rising generation with somewhat of the religious
spirit of the fathers--to lead them to recognise the Divine government,
in respect to nations as well as individuals--to impress upon them that
sentiment of the "Father of his country," as just as impressive, viz:
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity,
religion and morality are indispensable supports."

"When the children of the Pilgrims forget that Being who was the
Pilgrims guide and deliverer"--should they ever be so faulty and
unfortunate--when the descendants of the Puritans cease to
acknowledge, and obey, and love that Being, for whose service the
Puritans forsook all that men chiefly love, enduring scorn and
reproach, exile and poverty, and finding at last a superabundant
reward; when the sons of a religious and holy ancestry fall away from
its high communion, and join themselves to the assemblies of the
profane, they have forfeited the dear blessings of their inheritance;
and they deserve to be cast out from this fair land, without even a
wilderness for their refuge. No! let us still keep the ark of God in
the midst of us; let us adopt the prayer of the wise monarch of
Israel: "The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers; let
him not leave us nor forsake us; that he may incline our hearts unto
him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments and his
statutes and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers."

Such a regard for God--his laws--his institutions, and his service, is
obligatory upon the present generation, aside from those blessings which
may be justly anticipated as the reward of such reverence and obedience.
It is due to the memory of the Pilgrim Fathers. Never can we so worthily
and appropriately honor them, as to cherish the pious sentiments which
they cherished, and perpetuate the civil and religious institutions
which they founded.--It is due to the generation of our Revolutionary
era, which, impressed with a sense of the value of the inheritance
transmitted to them, periled life and fortune that they might transmit
that inheritance in all its fullness and in all its richness to their
posterity. We are the children of patriot heroes, who prayed and then
fought, and fought and then prayed.--It is due to ourselves, as we would
secure the admiration and gratitude of the generations which are to
follow us.--It is due to those generations which, by the blessing of
God, are to spread over and occupy the vast territory which now
constitutes the American republic.

Those generations! I see them rising and spreading abroad, as future
years roll on! What shall be their character--their regard for civil
and religious liberty--their peace, order, happiness, and prosperity,
may depend upon the example which we set, and the principles which we
inculcate. We are living and acting not only for the present, but for
the future. We are making impressions for all time to come. If, then,
our history for the future shall be as our history past--filled up
with divine blessings, and signal providential interpositions--if the
noble work begun, centuries since, is to go on--if the "fullest
liberty and the purest religion" are to prevail as time rolls on--if
this vast continent is to be inhabited by enlightened and happy
millions--we, who are now on the stage of action, must imitate the
example of that pilgrim band, which first landed on Plymouth Rock.

Under the influence of such an example transmitted from generation to
generation, we may hope that our beloved country will ultimately
become, if she is not already,

          "The queen of the world, and the child of the skies."

Impressed with the importance of such sentiments himself, the author
will make no apology for offering them as, in his own view, an
appropriate introduction to a work chiefly designed for the benefit of
the rising generation.

[Illustration]



                                PART I.

                             UNITED STATES.



                         I.--EARLY DISCOVERIES.

[Illustration]

    I. NORTHMEN. Claims for the Northmen--Voyage of
        Biarné--Leif--Thorwald--Thorfinn--Helge and Finnboge.

    II. COLUMBUS. Birth and Education of Columbus--Unsuccessful
        application to several European Courts--Patronized by
        Isabella--Sails from Palos--Early Discontent of his
        crew--Expedients by which they are quieted--Discovery of
        Land--First appearance of the Natives--Cuba and Hispaniola
        discovered--Columbus sets sail on his return--Incidents of the
        voyage--Marks of consideration bestowed upon him--Second
        Voyage--Further Discoveries--Complaints against him--Third
        Voyage--Discovery of the Continent--Persecuted by
        Enemies--sent home in Chains--Kindness of Isabella--Fourth
        Voyage--Return and Death.

    III. SEBASTIAN CABOT. Discovery of the North American Continent by
        Sebastian Cabot.



                              I. NORTHMEN.


No event, in the history of modern ages, surpasses in interest the
discovery of the American Continent. It has scarcely any parallel,
indeed, in the annals of the world; whether we consider the difficulty
of the undertaking or the magnitude of its consequences. Without any
serious question, the honor of the discovery belongs solely to
CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS. Mankind, hitherto, have so awarded it, and
posterity will doubtless confirm the judgment. As, however, a claim to
a prior discovery by the _Northmen_ has been brought forward in recent
times, it becomes the impartiality of history to notice it, and to
give such an account of the circumstances on which the claim is
founded, as they may appear to deserve. Whether or not, at the
distance of some four or five centuries, the trans-Atlantic continent
had been discovered by the Scandinavian voyagers, the merits of the
great Italian are far from being affected by the fact.

[Illustration: Northmen leaving Iceland.]

The prominent incidents in this alleged ante-Columbian discovery, it
seems, are given on the authority of certain Icelandic manuscripts, the
genuineness, and even the existence of which, have formerly been doubted
by many; but which, there is now reason to suppose, are entitled to
credence. The general story may be received as probable. In the details,
there is often something too vague, if not too extraordinary, to entitle
it to any historical importance. The adventurous spirit, and even the
naval skill of the Northmen, are not a matter of doubt with any who are
acquainted with the history of the times to which reference is here
made. The seas and the coasts of Europe were the scenes of their
exploits--their piracies, their battles, or their colonization.
According to the Icelandic statements, Eric the Red, in 986, emigrated
from Iceland to Greenland, and formed there a settlement. Among his
companions was Herjulf Bardson, who fixed his residence at a place which
was called after him, Herjulfsness. Herjulf had a son, whose name was
Biarné, who, with his father, was engaged in trading between Iceland and
Norway. Biarné was absent on a trading voyage, when his father
accompanied Eric, on the emigration of the latter to Greenland. The son
returning to Iceland in a few months, and finding that Herjulf was
absent, sailed in pursuit of him. In the course of the sail, having been
enveloped in the fogs, he was carried to some unknown distance; but
after the fogs were dispersed, land was seen. As, however, it did not
answer the description given respecting Greenland, the party did not
steer for it. During a sail of several days, they came in sight of land
at two different times in succession; and at last, tacking about, and
carried by brisk and favorable winds in a north-west direction, they
reached the coast of Greenland. This tradition of Biarné's voyage,
allowing it to be authentic, would seem to indicate that he was carried
far down on the coast of America, and passed on his return the shores of
_Newfoundland_ and _Labrador_.

[Illustration: Discovery of Labrador.]

In consequence of this adventure, and the interest which the account
of it excited, a voyage of exploration was projected, and at length
put into effect. It was conducted by Leif, a son of Eric the Red, an
adventurous rover, who selected a company as adventurous as himself,
among whom was a German named Tyrker. It was in the year 1000 that the
voyage was made. After finding a shore in a direction similar to that
in which Biarné took, they landed, calling the region _Helluland_,
which was most probably _Labrador_. It was an iceberg-lined shore,
without grass or verdure. From this spot they put out to sea, and,
steering south, they came to another coast, low like the first, but
covered with thick wood, except the portion immediately skirting the
sea, which consisted of white sand. It was probably _Nova Scotia_,
named by them, however, _Markland_, or _Woodland_. They pursued their
voyage for two days, under the favor of a north-east wind, when they
discovered land for the third time. Here they disembarked on a part of
the coast, which was sheltered by an island. The face of the country
was found to be undulating, covered with wood, and bearing a growth of
fine fruits and berries. Taking to their vessel again, they proceeded
west in search of a harbor, which they were so fortunate as to find.
It was at the mouth of a river proceeding from a lake. They first made
the river and then the lake; in the latter they cast anchor. In this
spot they erected huts in which to pass the winter. When thus
established, Leif made a division of his company into two parties, for
the purpose, on the one hand, of watching the settlement, and, on the
other, of exploring the country.

In performing the latter service it happened, on one occasion, that the
German Tyrker, above named, failed to return at night. After much
anxiety and search, he was discovered, having found during his
wanderings a region which afforded an abundance of grapes. The country,
from this incident, was named _Vinland_ or _Wineland_. From the mention
which they made of the rising and the setting of the sun, at the
shortest day, it has been inferred that the island was _Nantucket_, and
the region called Vinland embraced the coast of _Massachusetts_ and
_Rhode Island_. They returned to Greenland the following season.

Thorwald, a brother of Leif, next undertook to make a voyage, to the
newly discovered land beyond the ocean. This was in 1002. We need not
mention the particulars, but may state generally that the adventurers
continued in Vinland till the year 1004, and that the expedition
terminated unfortunately in the death of Thorwald. He was killed in a
skirmish with certain Esquimaux, with whom the party came in contact in
three several boats. Before breathing his last, he gave directions as to
the spot where they should inter him. The rest returned to Greenland.

Following this adventure, the third son of Eric, named Thornstein,
embarked with his wife Gudrida, in search of the body of Thorwald. But
he never reached the country. He was eventually driven back to
Greenland, where he died.

The next expedition seems to have been a project to colonize the
country. The vessels were three in number, on board of which one hundred
and forty men embarked, who took with them all kinds of live stock. The
leaders on this occasion were Thorfinn, who married the widow of
Thornstein, Biarné Grimolfson, and Thorhall Gamlason. The enterprise
appears to have been attended with a measure of success. They erected
their tents, and fortified them in the best manner they were able, as a
protection against the natives. An incident of some interest is
mentioned as having occurred in their trade with the latter. These were
eager for arms, but as they were not suffered to become an article of
barter, one of the natives seized an axe, and, in order to test its
efficacy, struck a companion with it, who was killed on the spot. The
affair shocked them exceedingly; but in the midst of the confusion, the
axe having been seized by one who appeared to be a chief, was critically
inspected for a while, and then violently cast into the sea.

[Illustration: An Incident in the Camp of the Northmen.]

The period of their continuance in Vinland was three years. They found
it a beautiful country, while residing in it. Thorfinn had a son born to
him, whom he named Snorre, the first child of European descent born on
this continent, the ancestor of many distinguished personages now
living. Among them is the noted sculptor Thorwaldsen. Thorfinn and a
part of his company returned at length to Iceland. The remainder still
continued in Vinland, where they were afterwards joined by an expedition
led by two brothers, Helge and Finnboge, from Greenland. But this latter
enterprise ended tragically, a large number of the colonists having been
killed in a quarrel, which a wicked female adventurer in the expedition
had excited. A few other voyages to Vinland, either accidental or
designed, were made by the Northmen during the eleventh and twelfth
centuries, some of them connected with attempts to propagate
Christianity among the natives, but no interesting results are spoken
of, and the whole project of colonizing the new region seems to have
been not only abandoned, but to have passed from the minds of men. On
the supposition that the records are true, which in general may be
admitted, the colony could not have had a long continuance, and it is
certain that no remains of it have ever appeared, unless some
questionable accounts of the Jesuists, or the more questionable
inscriptions on Dighton-rock. It was not until the era of Columbus that
the world was awakened to the enterprise, or even to the thought of
discovering land beyond the Western ocean. Whether he knew or did not
know, respecting the adventures of the Scandinavians in those northern
seas, it is hardly to be supposed that he could have the remotest
conception that the country they called Vinland was the same as the
Indies, which he proposed to reach by sailing due west. The honor, first
of his theory, and then of his achievement, is therefore, in no degree
diminished, by the facts above narrated, so far as they may be believed
to be facts. He after all stands prëeminent among men, as the discoverer
of the new world. It was certainly, at that period, new to European
knowledge and adventure.



                             II. COLUMBUS.


[Illustration: Columbus.]

It is not ascertained in what year the birth of this illustrious
individual occurred. Some authorities have placed it in 1446, others
have removed it back eight or ten years farther. As he died in 1506,
and was said by Bernaldez, one of his cotemporaries and intimates, to
have departed "in a good old age of seventy, a little more or
less,"[1] it would seem, abating the vagueness of the expression, that
about 1436 was the period. The place of his birth also has been a
subject of controversy, but the evidence is decidedly in favor of
Genoa. His parentage was humble, though probably of honorable descent.
It is generally believed that his father exercised the craft of a
wool-carder or weaver. Christopher was the eldest of four children,
having two brothers, Bartholomew and Diego, and one sister, who was
obscurely connected in life. In his early youth he was instructed at
Pavia, a place then celebrated for education, and is said there to
have acquired that taste for mathematical studies in which he
afterwards excelled. Of geographical science he was particularly
enamored, as it became also to be the favorite study of an adventurous
age. It doubtless gave a direction, in some measure, to the course
which Columbus pursued in life. At the early age of fourteen years, he
began to follow the seas, and after continuing this profession for
more than sixteen years, he proceeded to Portugal, the country of
maritime enterprise at that era. Hither the adventurous spirits of
Europe repaired, where they sought their fortunes in this department
of business. Columbus mingled in the exciting scenes of the country
and the times. Sailing from thence, he continued to make voyages to
the various then known parts of the world, and while on shore, he
occupied his time in the construction and sale of maps and charts.
Thus furnished with all the nautical science of the times, and with a
large fund of experience, he was prepared to enter upon those
speculations, respecting the possibility of lands lying beyond the
western waters, the result of which, when put into practice, proved to
be so auspicious to the interests of mankind. What will not a single
thought, when pursued as it may be, sometimes effect! In our hero, it
brought to light the existence of a new world. His single object
appeared to be, to find the eastern shores of Asia, or some unknown
tract, by sailing due west.

How far that idea was original with him, it is not very material to
ascertain. If not the first individual to conceive it, he was the
first to carry it into execution. That land existed beyond the
Atlantic, was a conjecture merely of the ancients. Seneca comes the
nearest to a direct intimation, though as a poetic fancy it claims no
serious consideration. As the idea is given by Frenau, he says:

          "The time shall come when numerous years are past,
           The ocean shall dissolve the band of things,
           And an extended region rise at last:
           And Typhis shall disclose the mighty land,
           Far, far away, where none have roamed before:
           Nor shall the world's remotest region be
           Gibraltar's rock, or Thule's savage shore,"

Ferdinand Columbus informs us, that his father's conviction of the
existence of land in the west was founded on--1, natural reason, or
the deductions of science; 2, authority of writers, amounting,
however, to vague surmises; 3, testimony of sea-faring persons, or
rather popular rumors of land, described in western voyages, embracing
such relics as appeared to be wafted from over the Atlantic to Europe.
What particular intimations he may have received, either from authors
or sailors, do not appear; since, in his voyage to Iceland, no mention
is made of his having learned the story of the Scandinavian voyages to
the northern portion of America. It is possible, however, that he may
have been informed of them; and the reason why no mention was made by
him was, as M. Humboldt conjectures, that he had no conception that
the land discovered by the Northmen had any connection with the region
of which he was in pursuit. The traditions which he may have met with,
and the speculations of the times, were realized in his view. So
strong was the conviction which had been wrought in his mind, from
whatever cause, he was willing to jeopard life and fortune to put it
to the test of experiment.

With this grand object before him, he first submitted his theory of a
western route to the Indies, to John the Second, king of Portugal. He
met with no countenance from this quarter. His project, in its
vastness, was in advance of the comprehension of the age. John was not
unwilling clandestinely to avail himself of information communicated
to him by Columbus, but he would enter into no stipulation to aid him
in the enterprise. Leaving the court of Lisbon in disgust, in the
latter part of 1484, Columbus repaired to the Spanish sovereigns,
Ferdinand and Isabella. The time of the application was peculiarly
unfavorable, as the nation was then in the midst of the Moorish war,
and needed for its prosecution all the pecuniary resources of the
state. The persons of influence also in the court, were destitute of
those enlarged views, which are essential to a just appreciation of
the scheme that fired the great mind of Columbus. With these causes of
discouragement, and the submission of his proposal on the part of the
sovereigns to a council chiefly of ecclesiastics, he had little reason
to expect a favorable issue. After waiting years in the most agitating
suspense and doubt (for the council would come to no decision), he was
preparing to abandon the suit. Pressing the court for a definite
answer at that juncture, they at last gave him to understand, that his
scheme was "vain, impracticable, and resting on grounds too weak to
merit the support of the government." In deep despondency he quitted
the court, and took his way to the south, as if in desperation, to
seek other patronage in other quarters.

From the period of his application to the Spanish court, to that at
which we are now arrived in his history, it would seem that he made
several attempts to interest other distinguished personages in his
scheme, particularly the citizens of his native Genoa; but the early
authorities so disagree among themselves, that the chronology of his
movements, previously to his first voyage, cannot be determined with
precision. It is certain, however, that while in the act of leaving
Spain, probably for the court of the French king, from whom he had
received a letter of encouragement, he was purposely detained by a
friend, Juan Perez, (who had formerly been a confessor of Isabella,)
for the purpose of trying the effect of another application to the
Spanish sovereigns. This measure, seconded by the influence of several
distinguished individuals, and occurring just at the triumphant
termination of the Moorish war, had well nigh proved successful at
once; but Columbus was again doomed to disappointment. The single
obstacle in the way now, was not the disinclination of Ferdinand and
Isabella, but what were deemed the extravagant demands of Columbus
himself. He would not consent to engage in the undertaking, except on
the condition that he and his heirs should receive the title of
admiral and viceroy over all lands discovered by him, with one-tenth
of the profits. This demand was the means of breaking up the
negotiations, and that at the moment when he seemed to be on the point
of realizing the visions which he had fondly indulged, through long
years of vexation, trouble, and disappointment. That he would consent
to dash those bright visions, rather than surrender one of the rewards
due to his service, is, in the language of our Prescott, "the most
remarkable exhibition in his whole life, of that proud, unyielding
spirit which sustained him through so many years of trial, and enabled
him to achieve his great enterprise, in the face of every obstacle
which man and nature had opposed to it."

[Illustration: Columbus before Ferdinand and Isabella.]

Columbus again having turned his back from the scene of the
negotiations, had proceeded only a few leagues distant, when he was
recalled by the royal message. The queen in the meanwhile had yielded
to the dictates of her own noble and generous nature, having been
convinced of the importance of the enterprise, by the powerful
representations of the friends of our hero. She said at once in
answer, "I will assume the undertaking for my own crown of Castile,
and will pledge my private jewels to raise the necessary funds, if the
means in the treasury should be found inadequate." The money, however,
was furnished by the receiver of the revenues of Arragon, and
subsequently refunded at the instance of Ferdinand.[2] The conditions
on which Columbus had insisted, in the event of discovery, were
finally granted. He was constituted by the united sovereigns, their
admiral, viceroy, and governor-general, of all such countries as he
should discover in the Western ocean. He was to be entitled to
one-tenth of the products and profits, within the limits of his
discoveries. These, with other privileges of a like kind, not
necessary to name here, were settled on him and his heirs for ever.
Thus possessing the royal sanction, Columbus immediately entered upon
the arrangements required to prosecute the voyage. Isabella urged it
forward to the extent of her power. Delay, however, unavoidably
occurred, on account of the opposition or indifference of the local
magistrates and the people where the equipment was to be made. This
obstacle was at length removed, by stern edicts on the part of the
government and by the energy of Columbus. The fleet consisted of three
vessels, one furnished by himself, through the assistance of his
friends, and was to sail from the little port of Palos in Andalusia.
Two of the vessels were caravels--that is, light vessels without
decks--the other was of a larger burden, though not amounting even to
an hundred tons. How such craft could survive the waves and storms of
the Atlantic, is one of the marvelous circumstances of the
undertaking. The number of men received on board amounted to one
hundred and twenty. The preparations having been finished, the
undaunted navigator set sail on the morning of the 3d of August, 1492,
having first with his whole crew partaken of the sacrament.

[Illustration: Columbus sets sail.]

He soon directed his course to the Canary islands, in consequence of the
condition of one of the vessels, called the Pinta, whose rudder had been
found to be unfit for service. This, after a detention of more than
three weeks, was repaired, and they then, on the 6th of September,
proceeded on their voyage. On the fourth day, land ceased to be in
sight, and now the fearful reality of their condition pressed upon the
minds of the sailors with overpowering weight. They had been pressed
into the service, and from the beginning were averse to the enterprise.
Columbus had reason, therefore, to expect the open manifestation of
discontent, if not insubordination and mutiny. The first exhibition of
their feelings, upon losing sight of land, was that of alarm and terror.
Many of them shed tears, and broke out into loud lamentations--all
before them seemed to be mystery, danger, and death. It was by no means
easy to quell their fears, and it required all the address of the
admiral to effect it. Their minds were, in a degree, soothed for that
time by the promises of land and riches, which he addressed to their
wants or their cupidity. Every unusual incident, however, on the
voyage, was calculated to awaken their gloomy and distressing
apprehensions, such as the sight of a part of a mast, when they had
sailed some one hundred and fifty leagues, and the variation of the
needles. The former presented to their imagination the probable wreck of
their own frail barks. The variation of the needle created surprise even
in the mind of the admiral, but to his crew the circumstance seemed
perfectly terrific. They felt as if the very laws of nature were
undergoing a change, and the compass was about to lose its virtues and
its power, as a guide over the waste of waters. Columbus, however, by
ascribing the variation of the needle to the change of the polar-star
itself, satisfied the minds of his pilots, inasmuch as they entertained
a high opinion of his knowledge of astronomy. The distance at which they
were every day carried from their homes, was a source of accumulating
uneasiness. Every sort of superstitious fear was indulged in. One while,
the prevalence of winds from the east, excited their apprehensions that
a return to Spain was impracticable. At another time, the slight
south-west breezes and frequent calms, causing the ocean to seem like a
lake of dead water, made them feel that they were in strange regions,
where nature was out of course, and all was different from that to which
they had been accustomed. Here they thought they might be left to
perish, on stagnant and boundless waters. Now, they seemed to themselves
to be in danger of falling on concealed rocks and treacherous
quicksands--then, of being inextricably entangled in vast masses of
seaweed which lay in their path. Although Columbus had contrived to keep
his men ignorant of the real distance they had come, yet the length of
time could but tell them that they must be far, very far from country
and home, and that their ever going on to the west, would at length
place the east too remote from them to hope ever reaching it. They had
been occasionally cheered with what were deemed indications of their
proximity to land, such as the flying of birds about their fleet, the
patches of weeds and herbs covering the surface of the water, and a
certain cloudiness in the distant horizon, such as hangs over land; but
these had proved fallacious; and the higher hope was raised by such
appearances, the deeper was its fall when the appearances passed away.

This state of things led to murmurs and discontent, and at one time, the
crew were on the point of combining in open and desperate rebellion. The
power which the great admiral possessed over the minds of men, was never
more signalized, than in putting down this spirit of insubordination and
mutiny. He was perfectly aware of their intentions, but preserved a
serene and steady countenance. He seemed intuitively to understand in
what way to address himself to the different portions of his company.
Some, he soothed with gentle words. Of others, he stimulated the pride
or avarice, by the offers of honors and rewards. The most refractory he
openly menaced with condign punishment, should they make the slightest
attempt at impeding the voyage.

After the experience of long-continued calms, the wind sprang up in a
favorable direction, and they were enabled efficiently to prosecute
their voyage. This was on the 25th of September, and the vessels
sailing quite near to each other, a frequent interchange of
conversation took place on the subject most interesting to them--their
probable position as to land. In the midst of it, a shout from the
Pinta was heard on board the Santa Maria, the admiral's ship, "Land,
land!"--the signal pointing to the south-west. Columbus, who had found
cause on other occasions to dissent from the opinions of his men, gave
way, in this instance, to the joyful feelings which were at once
excited in their bosoms: but it proved, at length, that what appeared
to be land, was nothing more than an evening cloud of a peculiar kind.
Thus were their hopes dashed, and nothing remained for them but to
press onward. Fain would the crew have turned back upon their course,
but the commander was sternly resolute on realizing his magnificent
project, and pressed forward still deeper into mid-ocean.

It is a necessary explanation of the character of this extraordinary
man, that he appeared all along to view himself under the immediate
guardianship of Heaven, in this solemn enterprise. He consequently
felt few or none of the misgivings which so strongly affected his
associates. For several days longer they continued on, till on the 1st
of October, they had advanced more than seven hundred leagues since
the Canary islands were left behind. Again the murmurs of the crew
were renewed, but, in this instance, became soon hushed by increasing
tokens of their nearness to land. Indeed, so sanguine were they on the
subject, that on the 7th of October, on board of the Nina, land was
again announced. But it proved a delusion, and all except Columbus
were ready to abandon hope. At the end of three days more, they saw
the sun, after renewed appearances betokening their neighborhood to
land, go down upon a shoreless horizon. At this time the turbulence of
the crew became clamorous--they insisted upon turning homeward, and
abandoning the voyage as a forlorn hope. The commander now, after
trying to pacify them by kind words and large promises, and trying in
vain, arose in the majesty of his undaunted heart, and gave them to
understand that all murmuring would be fruitless, and that, with God's
blessing, he would accomplish the purpose for which his sovereigns had
sent him on a voyage of discovery. Fortunately, at this juncture, when
the conduct of Columbus had become nearly desperate, the indications
of neighboring land could not be mistaken. Besides fresh weed, the
limb of a tree, a reed, and a small board, they picked up an
artificially carved staff. Soon despondency and rebellion gave way to
hope, and, throughout the day, every person on board of the little
fleet was on the watch for the long-wished-for land.

[Illustration: First sight of land from Columbus' ship.]

The following evening was a time of intense anxiety to Columbus. He
could but infer that he was near to the goal of his adventures and his
hopes. But was it so indeed? That was the question, and it must now be
soon decided. Would the night reveal it to him? Would its discoveries
settle for ever the truth of his theory, and bring to him the immortal
honor which he sought, as the end of all his toil and suffering? Taking
his station in a conspicuous part of his vessel, he maintained an
intense and unremitting watch. A few hours only had transpired, when
suddenly he thought he beheld a light glimmering at a great distance.
One and another was called to examine the appearance, in order to
confirm the commander in his impression, if indeed it was correct. They
gave their opinion in the affirmative. Soon, however, the light
disappeared, and few attached any importance to it, except Columbus.
They pursued their course until two in the morning, when from the Pinta,
which generally sailed ahead, the thundering signal was heard, the order
being that a gun should be fired as soon as land hove in sight. It was
indeed land at this time. It lay before them, now dimly seen, about two
leagues distant. The joy which Columbus and his crew felt at the sight,
surpasses the power of description. It is difficult, even for the
imagination, to conceive the emotions of such a man, in whose
temperament a wonderful enthusiasm and unbounded aspiration prevailed,
at the moment of so sublime a discovery. Utterance was given to his
intense feelings by tears, and prayers, and thanksgivings.

It was on the morning of Friday, 12th of October, 1492, that Columbus
first saw the new world. A beautiful, fragrant, verdure-crowned island
lay before him, and evidently populous, for the inhabitants were seen
darting, in great numbers, through the woods to the shore. That
greenhouse appearance, which the regions within the tropics are known
generally to assume, together with the purity and blandness of the
atmosphere, struck the senses of the voyagers, as though it had been
Eden itself. They could give vent to their feelings only in tears of
gratitude--in prayers and praises to God, who had conducted them to
such happy destinies. Having made the necessary preparations, Columbus
landed with his crew on the delightful shore, in an ecstasy of joy and
devotion, taking possession of the whole region in the name of his
sovereigns, and calling the island _San Salvador_. It proved to be one
of what has since been known as the Bahama islands.

The conduct and appearance of the natives were such as to show that
the Spaniards had no reason to fear their hostility or treachery.
Simple, harmless, naked, and unarmed, they seemed rather to be at the
mercy of their visitors. Equally timid and curious, they were at first
shy; but being encouraged to approach the strangers, they at length
became entirely familiar with them, and received presents with
expressions of the highest delight. The new comers to their shores
were thought to have dropped from the skies, and the articles bestowed
were received as celestial presents. All was a scene of wonder and
amazement indeed to both parties.

As Columbus supposed himself to have landed on an island at the
extremity of India, he gave to the natives the general appellation of
Indians, by which, as a distinct race, they have ever since been known.

[Illustration: Interview of Columbus with the Natives of Cuba.]

After having noticed the features of the new-found island
sufficiently, and learned what he was able from the natives in respect
to other lands or islands, and particularly in respect to the gold
they might contain, he explored the archipelago around, touched at
several of the groups, and finally discovered the larger and more
distant islands of Cuba and Hispaniola. Many interesting adventures
occurred during his sojourn among these islands, in his intercourse
with the natives, upon which we cannot enlarge. Suffice it to say,
that he succeeded according to his wishes in conciliating the
affections of the people, and in the extent of his discoveries for the
first voyage, but found a less amount of gold than he expected, and
was unfortunate in the shipwreck of the Santa Maria, the principal
vessel. His trials, also, with several of his subordinates in office,
were severe; as, on more than one occasion, they proved unfaithful to
his interests and disobedient to his commands.

[Illustration: Columbus casting a barrel into the sea.]

It was on the 4th of January, 1493, that Columbus set sail for Spain.
He left a part of his men in the island of Hispaniola (Hayti, in the
language of the original inhabitants), to occupy a fort he had built
near a harbor, which he had named _La Navidad_. While coasting on the
eastern side of the island, he met the Pinta, which had for a time,
under its disaffected captain, deserted from him. Joined by this
vessel again, they proceeded homeward on their voyage; but they met
with tempests, which their frail barks were little able to encounter.
The Pinta, being separated from the Nina, was supposed to have been
lost; but this proved to have be a mistake, as she reached Spain
nearly at the same time with the other caravel. At the time of their
greatest extremity, when all hope of safety had departed, Columbus,
anxious that the knowledge of his discovery might be communicated to
the world, wrote a brief account of his voyage; and having properly
secured it in a barrel, committed the latter to the ocean, in the hope
that it might afterwards be found, should he and his crew never see
land again.[3] But they were mercifully preserved, as the storm at
length subsided, and, within a few days, they reached the island of
St. Mary's, one of the Azores.

While he was at that island, where he had sought a refuge for his
wearied men and his own over-tasked body and mind, he encountered a
species of persecution most disgraceful to civilized society. It was
the result of the mean malignity of the Portuguese, who were piqued
that the honor of the discovery should not have been secured for
themselves, and was manifested by the imprisonment of a portion of his
crew, and other vexatious treatment. At length, regaining his men, he
set sail for home; but, meeting with tempestuous weather, he was
forced to take shelter in the Tagus. Here astonishment and envy seemed
to be equally excited by the knowledge of his discoveries; and, could
certain courtiers of the monarch have had their own way, the great
adventurer would have been stricken down by the hand of the assassin.
So black a deed of treacherous villany had been advised. The king,
however, treated him with generosity, and Columbus being dismissed
with safety, soon found himself entering the harbor of Palos, just
seven months and eleven days since his departure from that port.

His arrival in Spain excited the most lively feelings of astonishment,
joy, and gratitude. The nation was swayed by one common sentiment of
admiration of the man and his exploits. Ferdinand and Isabella, who
seemed to derive so much glory from his success, most of all
participated in this sentiment. He was the universal theme, and most
amply was he indemnified by the honors now bestowed upon him, and the
enthusiasm with which he was every where welcomed, for all the neglect
and contumely he had previously suffered, as a supposed insane or
fanatical projector. His progress through Spain was like the triumphal
march of a conqueror. But it is impossible, within the limited compass
of this narrative, to present any thing like an adequate idea of the
sensation which was produced throughout the nation and Europe at
large, by the events that had thus transpired, or to enumerate the
hundredth part of the marks of consideration, which "the observed of
all observers" received from prince and peasant--from the learned and
ignorant. The government confirmed anew to him all the dignities,
privileges, and emoluments for which he had before stipulated, and
others were added to them. But to Columbus, the most satisfactory
consideration accorded to him by his sovereigns at this time, was the
request to attempt a second voyage of discovery. For this, the
preparations were on a scale commensurate to the object in view.

The complement of the fleet amounted to fifteen hundred souls. Among
these were many who enlisted from love of adventure or glory, including
several persons of rank, hidalgos, and members of the royal household.
The squadron consisted of seventeen vessels, three of which were of one
hundred tons burden each. With a navy of this size, so strongly
contrasting with that of his former voyage, he took his departure from
the Bay of Cadiz on the 25th of September, 1493. He sailed on a course
somewhat south of west, instead of due west as before, and after being
upon the sea one month and seven days, he came to a lofty island, to
which he gave the name of Dominica, from having discovered it on Sunday.
The liveliest joy was felt by the numerous company, and devout thanks
were returned to God for their prosperous voyage.

Sad reverses, however, awaited the great commander during this voyage
of discovery. The garrison which he had left on the island of
Hispaniola had disappeared, and the natives seemed less favorably
disposed towards the white man than at first--a change which probably
accounts for the fate of the garrison. Columbus, indeed, added other
islands to the list of those before known, planted stations here and
there on the principal island above named, and showed his usual
unequaled energy and skill in the conduct of the expedition. But, as
he could not be every where at once, his absence from a place was the
sure signal of misrule and insubordination among that class of
adventurers who had never been accustomed to subjection or labor. His
cautious and conciliating policy in the treatment of the natives was
abandoned, where he could not be present to enforce it, and, the
consequence was, that they were aroused to resentment, on account of
the injuries inflicted upon them. The treatment of the female natives,
on the part of the colonists, was of that scandalous character
calculated to produce continual broils and collisions. Eventually, a
fierce warlike spirit was excited among portions of this naturally
gentle and timid people; but they proved to be unequal to the
civilized man, with the superior arms and discipline of the latter, in
hostile encounter, and were driven before him as the leaves of autumn
before a storm. There was such a war of extermination, that, in less
than four years after the Spaniards had set foot on the island of
Hispaniola, one-third of its population, amounting probably to
several hundred thousand, was destroyed.

Complaints were made by the colonists against the administration of
Columbus, so that eventually he felt the necessity of returning home
to vindicate his proceedings. Ferdinand and Isabella, however, took no
part with the malcontents against him. They treated him with marked
distinction; but it was evident that with the novelty of his
discoveries, the enthusiasm of the nation had passed away. It was
generally felt to be a losing concern. The actual returns of gold and
other products of the new world were so scanty, as to bear no
proportion to the outlays.

A third expedition was projected, and after various hindrances, arising
from the difficulty of meeting the expense, and the apathy of the
public, Columbus took his departure from the port of St. Lucas, May 30,
1498. Proceeding in a still more southerly direction than before, on the
1st of August following, he succeeded in reaching _terra firma_. He thus
entitled himself to the glory of discovering the great southern
continent, for which he had before prepared the way.

It is not necessary to detail the events of this expedition, except to
say, that it proved a source of untold evil and suffering to the
veteran navigator. After his arrival at Hispaniola, he was involved in
inextricable difficulties with the colonists, the final result of
which was, that he was sent home in chains. This shocking indignity
was the unauthorized act of a commissioner, named Boadilla, sent out
by the government to adjust the differences that had taken place. The
king and queen of Spain thus became unwittingly the cause of his
disgrace. This was too much for the kind and generous feelings of the
queen in particular. Columbus was soothed by the assurances of her
sympathy and sorrow for his trials. "When he beheld the emotion of his
royal mistress, and listened to her consolatory language, it was too
much for his loyal and generous heart; and, throwing himself on his
knees, he gave vent to his feelings, and sobbed aloud."[4] As an
indication of the continued confidence of the king and queen in his
fidelity, wisdom, and nautical skill, they proposed to him a fourth
voyage. To this he assented, with some reluctance at first; but,
cheered by their assurances, he quitted the port of Cadiz on the 9th
of March, 1502, with a small squadron of four caravels. This was his
last voyage, and more disastrous than any which preceded it. Among
other misfortunes, he was wrecked on the island of Jamaica, where he
was permitted to linger more than a year, through the malice of
Ovando, the new governor of St. Domingo. On his return, the 7th of
November, 1504, after a most perilous and tedious voyage, he was
destined to feel the heaviest stroke of all, in the death of his most
constant and liberal supporter, the queen; and, with her death, to
fail of that public justice which he had looked for as the crown of
all his labors, hardships, and sacrifices. The king, always wary and
distrustful, though he treated Columbus with high public
consideration, seems to have regarded him "in the unwelcome light of a
creditor, whose demands were never to be disavowed, and too large to
be satisfied." The great discoverer lived only a year and a half after
his return; and, though poorly compensated by the king in his last
days, he bore his trials with patience, and died on the 5th of May,
1506, in the most Christian spirit of resignation.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTES:

[1] History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, by Wm. H. Prescott.

[2] History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, by
Washington Irving.

[3] It gives an interesting view of the depth of Columbus' solicitude
and grief, as well as of the peculiar spirit by which he was actuated in
his great enterprise, to learn the following from his own pen, in a
letter to his sovereign: "I could have supported this evil fortune with
less grief, had my person alone been in jeopardy, since I am debtor for
my life to the Supreme Creator, and have at other times been within a
step of death. But it was a cause of infinite sorrow and trouble to
think, that after having been illuminated from on high with faith and
certainty to undertake this enterprise; after having victoriously
achieved it, and when on the point of convincing my opponents and
securing to your highness great glory and vast increase of dominion, it
should please the Divine Majesty to defeat all by my death. It would
have been more supportable also, had I not been accompanied by others,
who had been drawn on by my persuasions, and who in their distress
cursed not only the hour of their coming, but the fear inspired by my
words, which prevented their turning back as they had at various times
determined. Above all, my grief was doubled when I thought of my two
sons, whom I had left in school at Cordova, destitute in a strange land,
without any testimony of the services rendered by their father, which,
if known, might have inclined your highness to befriend them. And
although, on the one hand, I was comforted by a faith, that the Deity
would not permit a work of such great exaltation to his church, wrought
through so many troubles and contradictions, to remain imperfect; yet,
on the other hand, I reflected on my sins, for which he might intend, as
a punishment, that I should be deprived of the glory which would redound
to me in this world." It is ever to be kept in mind, that Columbus had
the most exalted ideas of the effect of his discoveries on the extension
of Christianity. Connected with this pious motive, was the questionable
one of consecrating the wealth hence to be derived to the rescue of the
holy sepulchre, a project which he had contemplated. This faith or
enthusiasm runs through the whole tissue of his strange and chequered
life.

[4] Prescott's History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella.



                         III. SEBASTIAN CABOT.


Although the evidence of history establishes the claim of Columbus, as
the first discoverer of the new world, including in that term the West
Indian archipelago, yet there were other meritorious voyagers, who
extended the knowledge of these new regions, thus laid open to mankind.
Others there were, who, stimulated by his success, and following his
steps, enlarged the boundaries of geographical science even beyond the
actual discoveries of Columbus. Among these voyagers was the admirable
Sebastian Cabot, whose merits have never been fully acknowledged as they
deserved to be, having been overlooked, in a measure, through the
greater admiration bestowed on his predecessor. He belonged to a family
distinguished for their spirit of adventure, as his father before him
was an eminent navigator, and he was associated with two brothers,
apparently possessing the same love of a sea-faring life. The father of
Sebastian was an Italian, but the son was born in Bristol, England, in
1477. The family was fitted out with five ships, for the purpose of
discovery, by the English government, who granted a patent, under date
of March 6th, 1496, to John Cabot, the father, as leader of the
expedition. He was, however, rather the overseer or adviser of the
concern, than the leader. The real conductor of it was Sebastian, who,
through his modesty, failed to secure for himself that consideration
from the world which was his due.

His object, like that of Columbus, was to find a passage to India; but
not in the direction which the latter took. The idea which possessed the
mind of Cabot was, that India might be reached by sailing _north-west_.
He left Bristol in the spring of 1497, and on the 24th of June, in
pursuing his course, he came unexpectedly, and to his disappointment, in
sight of land, and was thus impeded as to his progress in that
direction. It was the North American continent which he had approached.
The land seen was the coast of Labrador, as also an island that
received the name of St. John's island, from the day on which it was
discovered. Cabot has recorded, in all simplicity, how the affair
happened. He supposed himself to be on the direct route to India, "but,
after certayne dayes," said he, "I found that the land ranne towards the
north, which was to mee a great displeasure." St. John's island he
describes as "full of white bears, and stagges far greater than the
English." From this point he steered his course towards the bay since
called Hudson's bay; but, after several days' sailing, he yielded to the
discontent of the crew, and returned to England.

Cabot conducted a second expedition, which sailed from Bristol in
1498. He reached Labrador again, where he left a portion of his crew,
in order to commence a colony, while he proceeded on his voyage. But
success did not reward his attempt, and, on his return to Labrador, he
found the colonists, from the sufferings they had experienced in that
cold and sterile region, clamorous for a return. He accordingly
submitted to their demands, and, laying his course to the south as far
as the Cape of Florida, he rëcrossed the ocean. The notes which he
took of his voyage have unhappily been lost.

In 1517 he was again employed, in an expedition from England; but though
he penetrated to about the sixty-seventh degree of north latitude, and
entered Hudson's bay, giving names to various places in the vicinity, he
was compelled to return, through the cowardice of an officer high in
command, Sir Thomas Pert, and the disaffection of the crew. They had not
the spirit to encounter the rigor and privations of the climate.

Notwithstanding these and his subsequent services for his country, he
was suffered in the end to fall into poverty and neglect. His life was
filled with adventures and changes. For several years he was employed
in the service of the king of Spain, and during one of the expeditions
on which he was sent from that country, he made the important
discovery of the Rio de la Plata. He occasionally returned to
England, and at length made it his resting-place. Gloom overshadowed
his latter days. His pension, at the accession of Mary, was suspended
for two years, and, though restored, it was diminished the one-half.
He survived to a great age, being over eighty years, dying as is
supposed in London, but _when_ no record shows. Not the slightest
memorial points out the place of his sepulture.

It is quite certain that the date of Cabot's discovery of the Western
continent is more than one year anterior to that of Columbus, the
latter having reached the southern portion of it August 1st, 1498,
while Cabot reached the northern portion June 24th, 1497. Amerigo
Vespucci, who has carried away the honor of giving name to the
continent, did not reach it until nearly two years after the English
adventurer. But Columbus, in his first voyage, having ascertained the
existence of regions beyond the Atlantic, became in effect the
earliest and real discoverer. Except for his sublime theory and
adventurous experiment, the age, probably, would not have furnished a
Sebastian Cabot or an Amerigo Vespucci.

[Illustration]



                        II.--EARLY SETTLEMENTS.


[Illustration]



                    I. VIRGINIA, OR SOUTHERN COLONY.


    UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS TO SETTLE AMERICA--Expeditions of Sir Humphrey
        Gilbert--Sir Walter Raleigh--Sir Richard Grenville--Sir John
        White-First permanent settlement at Jamestown--Colonists early
        in want--Dissensions in their Councils--Hostility of the
        Indians--Capture of Captain Smith--Generous conduct of
        Pocahontas--Gloomy condition of the Colony--Timely arrival of
        assistance--Returning prosperity--Establishment of a Provisional
        government--Introduction of Negro Slavery--Cruel Massacre of the
        Colonists.

When the new world, as America has since been familiarly called, was
opened to the enterprise and cupidity of Europeans, it became an
object to effect settlements in it from time to time. Accordingly,
during a period of more than one hundred years from the discovery of
San Salvador by Columbus, attempts were made for this purpose, either
by adventurers in search of other discoveries, or by expeditions
fitted out to occupy regions already known. So far, however, as the
northern portion of the continent was concerned, these attempts proved
entirely without success. There was no want of excitement and effort
at this remarkable era, on the part of _individuals_. The strange
story of the voyages of Columbus awakened the spirit of adventure in
Europe, as it was never felt before. Vessel after vessel, and fleet
after fleet, were despatched to the new-discovered continent, but the
object in view was rather to find gold than a home; and even where the
latter was sought, the preparations were either inadequate, or the
undertaking was indifferently contrived and managed. Sebastian Cabot,
who discovered Newfoundland; James Cartier, who first entered the Gulf
of St. Lawrence; Ferdinand de Soto, who first ascertained the
existence of the Mississippi; Sir Walter Raleigh, among the earliest
adventurers to Virginia, and Bartholomew Gosnold, to whom Cape Cod was
first known, and all of whom attempted settlements for a longer or
shorter period, were unsuccessful, and disappointed in the end. The
English were not thoroughly engaged in the business of colonizing
America, until the latter part of the sixteenth century, when several
successive attempts were made to settle Virginia. The first expedition
was conducted by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who failed in his object,
having never reached Virginia; and being shipwrecked, perished with
all his crew on the return voyage to England. In 1584, the enterprise
was confided to the auspices of Sir Walter Raleigh, who, in the spring
of that year, despatched two small barks, under the command severally
of Amidas and Barlow. After going much farther south than was
necessary, and experiencing the sickness incident to the season, they
proceeded northerly till they made a harbor, taking possession of the
adjoining land, "for the queen's most excellent majestie," and in a
short time afterward came to the island of Roanoke. Nothing was
effected by this voyage, except a little trafficking with the natives,
and the favorable account which was given of the country, upon the
return of the expedition. In the third expedition, which was conducted
by Sir Richard Grenville, under Sir Walter, in 1585, a company was
landed on Roanoke, consisting of one hundred and eight persons, who,
upon the return of the ship, were left to settle the country. But
being reduced to extremities for want of sustenance, and by the
hostility of the Indians, they all returned to England the next year
with Sir Francis Drake. In the mean while, 1585, Sir Walter Raleigh
and his associates made a voyage to Virginia, taking supplies for the
colony; but after spending some time in the country, and not finding
the colonists, they returned to England.

[Illustration: Early Settlers trading with the Natives.]

In the earlier attempts at settlement, after the spirit of conquest and
adventure had been somewhat satiated, the object in view, so far as the
English were engaged in it, was the acquisition of tributary provinces,
and the wealth which they would bring to the parent states. In this line
of policy, England but followed the example of Spain and Portugal, yet
with far less energy, and with no manner of success. The signal failures
that were experienced turned attention, at length, to more sober and
rational projects--to regular colonization and commerce. But the
success, even here, was quite indifferent for several years. Mercenary
views obtained the precedence. That moral heroism, which submits to any
extremity of toil and self-denial for the objects of religious faith,
could not be summoned to the support of these merely secular adventures.
So far as colonization was calculated upon as a source of wealth
directly, it did not feel the influence of a self-sustaining motive. It
needed, as will soon be seen, other views of colonization, to render the
scheme completely successful, in regions remote from tropical riches and
luxuries. What more might have been done to insure success, had the
kings and princes of Europe been at leisure to prosecute the object with
the means in their power, is not now to be ascertained. It is clear,
from the history of the times, that they could ill afford the necessary
leisure, in consequence of the multiplicity and weight of their own
individual concerns. Wars, negociations, schemes of policy, and the
adjustment of ecclesiastical relations, occupied the rulers of England
and France, as also Germany and nearly all the continent, almost
exclusively through the sixteenth century. Of that which was achieved in
the way of discovery and temporary settlement, in the northern portion
of the American continent, much was left to individual enterprise and
resources; and the universal failure of permanent colonization was
almost the unavoidable result, connected, indeed, with the mercenary
motive and bad management with which it was prosecuted.

The first settlement of a permanent character, effected by the English
in North America, was at _Jamestown_, in Virginia, in 1607. To that
portion of the continent, as has been just detailed, more numerous and
vigorous efforts at settlement had been directed than to any other on
the coast, and with what results has also appeared. No one can read
the account of these early and unfortunate attempts to settle our
country, without deeply lamenting the fate of those brave adventurers
who were engaged in them. In the Virginia enterprise, religion and its
blessings were not the direct moving influences on the minds of the
adventurers; but they were a gallant and public spirited class of the
English people, and many of them of the better orders of society.

Their failure, however, did not check the spirit of enterprise; a
settlement was determined on, and it was providentially effected.
Under the sanction of a grant from King James, of the southern equal
half of the territory lying between the thirty-fourth and forty-fifth
degrees of latitude, an association was constituted, called the London
Company, who undertook the colonization of their portion of the
country. This was called the _Southern Colony_. The expedition
consisted of three small vessels, under the command of Captain
Christopher Newport, a man of great nautical experience. Neither they
who were designed for the magistracy, nor the code of laws, could be
known until the arrival of the fleet in Virginia, when the sealed
orders, committed to the commander, might be broken. It would seem,
from the early accounts, that a portion of the emigrants were but
little influenced by the considerations of religion or propriety, from
the disorders that occurred during the voyage; but their pious
preacher, Mr. Hunt, at length, "with the water of patience and his
godly exhortations (but chiefly by his true-devoted examples) quenched
these flames of envy and dissension."

In searching for Roanoke, they were driven by a storm to a different
part of the coast; the first land they made being a cape, which they
called Cape Henry. Thus discovering and sailing up the Chesapeake bay,
they came, at length, to a place suited to their purpose. Here they
commenced in earnest their great work of settlement, calling the place
_Jamestown_, in honor of King James. According to directions, the box
containing the orders was opened, and the names of Bartholomew
Gosnold, John Smith, Edward Wingfield, Christopher Newport, John
Radcliffe, John Martin, and George Kendall, were found as constituting
the council. These were to choose a president from among themselves,
for a year, who, with the council, should conduct and govern the
colony. Mr. Wingfield was elected president, while one of the most
distinguished of them, Captain John Smith, on account of suspicions
entertained respecting his ambitious views, was excluded, for a time,
from the council. The plan of government was, that matters of moment
were to be examined by a jury, but determined by the major part of the
council, in which the president had two votes.

While erecting accommodations for themselves, and during the absence of
a portion of the men on discoveries in the country, they were molested
by the savages, with some small loss, and were in danger of total
extirpation, "had it not chanced that a crosse-barre, shot from the
ships, stroke down a bough from a tree amongst them (the savages), that
caused them to retire." These, it seems, on other occasions, after
troubling the planters, "by the nimbleness of their heeles, escaped."
What with labor by day, and watching by night--with felling trees, and
planting the ground--with resisting hostile attacks, rëloading ships,
and effecting governmental business--the settlers found their hands and
their hearts fully, and often painfully, occupied. Several weeks were
spent in this manner, and after adjusting their disputes, and receiving
Smith into the council, with a handsome remuneration for the wrong he
had received, they all partook of the Holy Communion, the savages at the
same time desiring peace with them. On the 15th of June, 1607, Captain
Newport returned to England with the intelligence of their success,
leaving in Virginia one hundred emigrants.

The departure of Newport was the signal for want, and an increase of
their difficulties. While the vessels were with them, provisions, at
some rate, were to be had; but after they left, "there remained
neither taverne, beere-house, nor place of reliefe, but the common
kettell. Had we beene as free from all shine as gluttony and
drunkenness, we might have been cannonized for saints--we might truly
call it (the damaged grain) so much bran than corne, our drink was
water, our lodgings castles in the air: with this lodging and diet,
our extreme toil, in bearing and planting pallisadoes, so strained and
bruised us, and our continual labor, in the extremity of the heat, had
so weakened us, as were cause sufficient to have made us miserable in
our native country, or any other place in the world."[5] This was
truly a hard lot--through the summer they lived on the products of the
sea. During that time, they buried fifty of their number. At the
point, however, of their greatest scarcity, they were happily supplied
with fruit and provisions by the Indians.

Their difficulties were greatly increased by the perverseness or
incapacity of several of their council. In this body, changes and
deposals took place from time to time, until the management of every
thing abroad, fell into the hands of Captain Smith. Of this
extraordinary man, much might be related, were there space; but we can
pursue only the course of events as they occurred in the settlement of
this country. In the mean while, by his energy and example in labor,
"himselfe alwayes bearing the greatest taske for his own share," he
set the men effectually to work in providing for themselves
comfortable lodgings. This done, the necessity of procuring a more
permanent supply of provisions, and of receiving the friendship of the
natives, or subjecting them to the power of the colonists, engaged him
for a period in the most daring projects. In this, he passed through a
wonderful vicissitude of fortune--the colony in the mean while
sustaining a precarious existence, by means of the dissensions that
prevailed, the hostility of the Indians, and the sickness that wasted
the whites. On one occasion, while exploring the country, after he
left his boat, and was proceeding in company with two Englishmen, and
a savage for his guide, he was beset with two hundred savages. The
Englishmen were killed; the savage he tied to his arm with his garter,
using him as a buckler. Smith was soon wounded and taken prisoner; but
not until he had killed three of the Indians. The fear inspired by his
bravery checked their advance, till he sunk to the middle in a miry
spot which was in his way, as he retreated backward. Even then they
dared not come near him, till, being nearly dead with cold, he threw
away his arms. Upon being taken, he presented to their king a round
ivory compass, which was the means of saving him from instant death.
Just as they were preparing to pierce him with their arrows, the
chief, lifting the compass, they all laid down their bows and arrows,
at the same time releasing him from his pitiable situation.

[Illustration: Smith saved from Death.]

At length he was brought to Powhatan, their emperor. It soon became
evident that they were preparing to put him to death after their
peculiarly fantastic and barbarous ceremonies. A long consultation was
held, and the conclusion was, "two great stones were brought before
Powhatan, then as many as could lay hands on him dragged him to them,
and thereon laid his head; and being ready with their clubs to beate
out his brains, _Pocahontas_, the king's dearest daughter, when no
entreaty could prevail, got his head into her armes, and laid her owne
upon his, to save him from death: whereat the emperor was contented he
should live."

Friendship with the whites soon followed this event. Smith was taken
to Jamestown by his guides, and contracts were made with the Indians
by means of presents, which secured a portion of their territory to
the English. Every few days, Pocahontas with her attendants brought to
Captain Smith provisions in such quantity as to save the lives of the
colonists.

This condition of things could not always last: the support thus
received could be but precarious at the best; and it happened favorably
that, for a period, the spirits and courage of the small band of
emigrants were sustained by the arrival of two ships from England, laden
with supplies, and bringing a complement of men. They arrived indeed at
different times, having been separated by stormy weather. In consequence
of these arrivals, and one other before the end of the year 1608, the
number of colonists amounted to nearly three hundred.

In 1609, a new charter was granted to the London company, with enlarged
privileges, as well as more definite limits, and with the addition of
five hundred adventurers. Sir Thomas West, Lord De la War, was now
appointed governor for life; Sir Thomas Gates, his lieutenant; Sir
George Somers, admiral; and other high officers were appointed for life.
By the new charter, the right of absolute property was vested in the
company; the crown to receive one-fifth of all ore of gold and silver
found there for all manner of services. The governor, though unable
himself immediately to leave England, lost no time in fitting out a
fleet for Virginia. Of the nine ships constituting the expedition, eight
arrived in season at Jamestown. The other, having Sir Thomas, the
admiral, on board, was wrecked on the Bermudas; and it was not until
they could fit up craft to convey them to Virginia, that they reached
Jamestown, which was in the spring of the following year. This disaster
and delay seemed to be highly providential in the end, as the colonists
were rëunited with one hundred and fifty men, and a full supply of
provisions, at a time when they had been reduced to the greatest
extremities. Captain Smith, disabled by a severe accidental wound, had
returned to England. In consequence of his departure, the settlement had
been thrown into great confusion. Complaints, disputes, and
insubordination ensued; the savages became hostile, and often imbrued
their hands in the blood of the whites; and finally, starvation followed
in the train of the other calamities. Roots, herbs, acorns, walnuts,
starch, the skins of horses, and even human flesh, were devoured in
order to support life. In a few days more, had not relief been brought
to them, the whole colony would probably have perished.

On the arrival of Sir Thomas, the affairs of the settlement seemed so
desperate, that it was determined to return with the miserable remnant
to England. In putting the plan into execution, and just as they were
leaving the mouth of the river, the long-boat of Lord De la War was
descried. As he had three ships well furnished with provisions, the
colonists were persuaded to return, and renew their efforts to settle
the country. This was on the 9th of June, 1610, and proved to be the
crisis of the colony. It was now, in the providence of God, destined
to live. Improvements began to be made--forts were erected--and the
former idleness and misrule of the people in a great measure
disappeared. In the spring of the succeeding year, however, the health
of Lord De la War became seriously affected, and he consequently
returned to England. The administration was then committed to Sir
Thomas Dale for a short period. He acquitted himself well in it,
though he had some difficulty with the colonists, who had not all been
reduced to the requisite order and submission. The government passed
into the hands of Sir Thomas Gates, upon his arrival at Jamestown, in
August, 1611. He came over with a fleet of six ships, and three
hundred men, bringing with him kine and other cattle, munitions of
war, and a large supply of provisions.

Being thus strengthened, the English extended their domain from time
to time. In the course of the present year, they built a town, which
they called Henrico, in honor of Prince Henry, and in the subsequent
year, they seized a place called Apamatuck, on account of some injury
they had received from its inhabitants. Here they built a town, which
they called the _New Bermudas_. About this period, a Captain Argal,
sailing up the Patawomeakee, secured Pocahontas by stratagem; the
consequence of which was, her acquaintance with an English gentleman,
named John Rolfe, and her marriage to him, together with peace between
the whites and Powhatan.

The plan of providing for the colony was now changed. Instead of
feeding out of the common store, and laboring jointly together, the
people were allowed to hold each a lot of his own, with a sufficient
time to cultivate it. This change produced the most beneficial
results, as it prevented the idleness and inefficiency which are apt
to attend a common-stock social establishment, and multiplied, in a
ten-fold degree, the amount of their provisions. The experiment having
been so propitious, the original plan of a community of labor and
supply was finally abandoned. The government of the colony at this
time was again in the hands of Sir Thomas Dale; the former governor,
Sir Thomas Gates, having returned to England in the spring of 1614.
Governor Dale continued about two years, superintending satisfactorily
the affairs of the colony, and, having chosen Captain George Yeardley
to be deputy-governor, he returned to England, accompanied by
Pocahontas and her husband. Pocahontas became a Christian and a
mother; and it may be added, that her descendants, in a subsequent
age, inherited her lands in Virginia, and that some of the first
families of that state trace from her their lineage.

Yeardley applied himself to the cultivation of tobacco, and was highly
successful in an attack on the savages, who refused to pay their annual
tribute of corn. He continued in the colony about a year, when, by an
appointment made in England, the government devolved on Captain Argal,
before named. Argal found Jamestown in a bad condition; the dwellings,
which were slight structures, had mostly disappeared, and the public
works neglected or in decay, and "the colonie dispersed all about,
planting _Tobacco_." A reformation to some extent was effected. At this
period, 1617, more colonists arrived; but it would seem, from a remark
in a narrative of that date, that the number of the higher classes of
society exceeded their wants; "for, in Virginia, a plaine souldier, that
can use a pickaxe and spade, is better than five knights, although they
were knights that could break a lance; for men of great place, not
inured to those encounters, when they finde things not suitable, grow
many times so discontented, they forget themselves, and oft become so
carelesse, that a discontented melancholy brings them to much sorrow,
and to others, much miserie." When it was ascertained that great
multitudes were preparing, in England, to be sent, the colonists, in a
communication to the council, entreated that provisions might be
forwarded as well as people, and gave the company to understand, "what
they did suffer for want of skilful husbandmen and meanes to set their
plough on worke, having as good land as any man can desire."

In the year 1619, the settlements of Virginia were favored with the
establishment of a provincial legislature, which was constituted of
delegates chosen by themselves, as they were divided into eleven
corporations. The first meeting of the legislature was on the 19th of
June, having been convoked by the governor-general of the colony. This
was a great and desirable change from the sort of vassalage in which
they had previously lived. This general assembly debated and decided
all matters that were deemed essential to the welfare of the colony. A
great addition was made to the number of the colonists the two
following years, among whom were one hundred and fifty young women, of
good character, designed as the future wives of the colonists. During
the summer of 1620, a Dutch armed ship arrived at the colony, and sold
them twenty negroes, at which period the system of slave holding, with
its attendant crimes and evils, commenced in this country.

The year 1621 was rendered memorable by the arrival of Sir Francis
Wyatt, who brought with him, from the London company, a more perfect
constitution and form of government, than the colony had previously
enjoyed, although the general representative character of its
government had been established in 1619. The following year was
rendered still more memorable by the massacre of a large number of
whites, through the treachery of the Indians. The instigator and
executor of this tragedy was the successor of Powhatan, named
Opecancanough. He had enlisted the savages in all the vicinity in the
infernal plot. The colonists, in the security of friendship and good
understanding, which had existed between them and that people, were
wholly off their guard, and unprepared for the blow. It was inflicted
simultaneously, at a time agreed upon, and three hundred and
forty-seven men, women, and children, were at once butchered, in
several and separate places. It had been universal, but for the
providence of God. A converted Indian, coming to the knowledge of the
plot the night before its execution, disclosed it to the whites in
season to save the greater number of settlements. The Indians, in
their turn, now suffered the vengeance of the colonists, who felt
authorized to procure the means of future security against similar
acts of treachery. The emigrations had been so numerous, through the
few preceding years, that the colonists, at this time, amounted to
several thousands. Thus the people, with various fortune, and after
incredible hardships, had placed their colony on a firm basis, having
learned many useful lessons from their own errors, imprudence, or
sufferings. And such was the beginning of the American republic in its
southern portion, nearly two hundred and fifty years ago.

FOOTNOTE:

[5] Smith's History of Virginia.



               II. NEW ENGLAND, OR NORTHERN SETTLEMENTS.


    PLYMOUTH--Massachusetts--Connecticut--New Haven--New
        Hampshire--Rhode Island--Maine--Vermont--Character of the
        Early Settlers.

The settlement of _New England_ commenced at Plymouth in 1620. This
part of the continent between Penobscot and Cape Cod, had been
carefully explored in 1614, by Captain Smith. He says, respecting it:
"Of all the foure parts of the world I have yet seen not inhabited,
could I have but means to transport a colony, I would rather live here
than any where; and if it did not maintaine itselfe, were we but once
indifferently well fitted, let us starve." Such was the opinion early
formed of the desirableness of this region for colonization. Charles,
Prince of Wales, was pleased to call it New England, on account of the
favorable impression he received respecting it, from Smith's chart and
description. This country was settled by a class of people very
different, in many respects, from that which emigrated to the southern
colony. The latter, for the most part, as has been seen, were mere
adventurers, having in view the improvement of their secular
interests, or the _eclat_ of successful enterprise. The colonists of
New England sought chiefly the boon of religious freedom for
themselves and their descendants, and through it the advancement of
the Christian church in the world--a boon of which they had been
deprived in their native land. The ground of this disfranchisement,
was their non-conformity to the established English church, or
separation from it. Having, while members of that church, devised and
sought a greater purity in its worship without success, they at length
separated themselves from it, and formed a distinct worshiping
community. For thus professing to follow the _pure_ word of God, in
opposition to traditions and human devices, they were in derision
termed _Puritans_. In the progress of their religious views, and of
the persecuting spirit of the government, they passed from mere
puritanism, or efforts at greater purity in worship and in manners,
to non-conformity, and from non-conformity to dissent. From
difficulties in regard to the ritual of the church, they proceeded to
doctrines. The Puritans and the universities denied a portion of the
Apostles' Creed, so called: "advocated the sanctity of the Sabbath and
the opinions of Calvin; his institutions being read in their schools,
while the Episcopal party took the opposite side, and espoused the
system of Arminius." Both under Elizabeth and James, conformity was
insisted on. The latter declared, "I will have one doctrine, one
discipline, one religion, in substance and ceremony. I will make them
conform, or I will hurry them out of the land, or else worse." And he
did hurry out of the land many of those who had become obnoxious to
him; while the others were more cruelly hindered from leaving the
country, to suffer from contempt, poverty, or a lingering death in
imprisonment. Their attempts to escape were frequently frustrated, and
it was not without great vexation and loss, that portions of this
persecuted people exiled themselves from their native country. Their
first place of refuge was Holland, where religious toleration had been
established by law. The leader of the emigrants, on this occasion, was
the able and pious Mr. John Robinson, who has since been considered as
the father of that portion of the Puritans who were the founders of
New England. They successively left England, as many as found it in
their power, in the year 1606, and the two following years. Their
first place of residence was Amsterdam; but in 1609 they removed to
Leyden, with a view to avoid some difficulties that were felt or
foreseen in the former place. Here they were received with kindness,
and continued several years in a flourishing condition, under the
faithful labors of their pastor. In the mean while, notwithstanding
their general prospects, there were causes in operation which rendered
a change of location, in their case, extremely desirable. These were
the unhealthiness of the low countries where they lived; the hard
labors to which they were subjected; the dissipated manners of the
Hollanders, especially their lax observance of the Lord's day; the
apprehension of war at the conclusion of the truce between Spain and
Holland, which was then near at hand; the fear lest their young men
would enter into the military and naval service; the tendency of their
little community to become absorbed and lost in a foreign nation; the
natural and pious desire of perpetuating a church, which they believed
to be constituted after the simple and pure model of the primitive
church of Christ, and a commendable zeal to propagate the Gospel in
the regions of the new world.[6]

In this situation, they turned their attention towards America. Here
they hoped to engage in their original occupation of agriculture, and
not merely to enjoy toleration, but to form a society founded on their
favorite plan of ecclesiastical order. With this object in view, they
first applied to the Virginia company for a patent, who zealously
espoused their cause, but who were unable to obtain from the king a
toleration, under his seal, in religious liberty, though he promised
to wink at their heresy, provided they should conduct themselves
peaceably. The company granted them permission to make a settlement
near the mouth of the Hudson river. They had previously, in the want
of adequate capital of their own for the founding of a plantation,
been enabled to interest several London merchants in their scheme.
These agreed to advance the necessary sums, to be rëpaid out of the
avails of their industry. In this way, the emigrants were enabled to
purchase the Speedwell, a ship of sixty tons, and to hire in England
the Mayflower, a ship of one hundred and eighty tons, for the intended
expedition. The Mayflower alone came, as the smaller vessel proved to
be in a leaky condition, and, after two several trials, she was
dismissed, as unfit for the service. The Mayflower took her departure
on the 6th of September, and, after a boisterous passage, they
discovered the land of Cape Cod on the 9th of November, at the break
of day. The number of pilgrims, who had embarked, was one hundred and
one, not all who had proposed to come; for the disasters that attended
their setting out, had "winowed their number of the cowardly and the
lukewarm." Their pastor, Mr. Robinson, did not leave Leyden, according
to an original agreement, that only a part of their company should go
to America to make provision for the rest.

The pilgrim voyagers found themselves on a bleak and inhospitable coast,
and much farther to the northward than they intended to go. In agreement
with their wishes, an attempt was made, by the master of the ship, to
proceed to the Hudson. But either finding, or affecting to believe the
passage to be dangerous, he readily seized on the fears which had been
excited, probably by himself, to return to the cape, with a view to make
a landing there. It afterwards appeared that he had been bribed by the
Dutch, who intended to keep possession of the Hudson river, to carry the
adventurers quite to the northward of their place of destination. They
arrived in Cape Cod harbor on the 11th of November, "and, being brought
safe to land, they fell upon their knees, and blessed the God of heaven,
who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them
from many perils and miseries." At this time, "it was thought meet for
their more orderly carrying on their affairs, and accordingly by mutual
consent they entered into a solemn combination, as a body politic, to
submit to such government and governors, laws and ordinances, as should
by general consent from time to time be made choice of and assented
unto."[7] Forty-one persons signed this compact. It contained the
essential principles of a free government, such as have since been
embodied in the institutions of republican America. John Carver was
immediately chosen their governor, "a man godly and well-approved among
them."

Severe were the trials which awaited this small and lone band of
pilgrims. The necessity of selecting a more commodious place for
living was obvious, and, in the efforts which were made for this
purpose, several of them well nigh perished. The excursions of an
adventurous band of men, on several occasions, were extremely
hazardous; and, though generally at the places where they landed, no
Indians were found, yet, in one instance, they came in contact with
the latter, and a hostile collision took place between them. By the
kind providence of God, however, they were preserved. During one of
their excursions into the country, they found a quantity of corn,
which they took, with the intention of remunerating the owners, which
intention they were afterwards happily enabled to fulfil. This was a
providential discovery, which supplied their present wants, and served
as seed for a future harvest. An entire month was occupied with these
explorations. At last, they found a tract where they concluded to
consummate their enterprise. Having sounded the harbor in front, they
ascertained it to be fit for shipping. Going on shore, they explored
the adjacent land, where they saw various corn-fields and brooks. They
then returned to the ship, with the agreeable intelligence that they
had found a place convenient for settlement. This was on Monday, the
11th of December, answering to the 22nd day, new style, the day now
celebrated in commemoration of the landing of the pilgrims at
_Plymouth_. The company had kept the Christian Sabbath, the day
before, on an island in the harbor. The ship arrived at the
newly-discovered port on the 16th. Several days were spent in
disembarking, and it was not until the 25th that they began to build
the first house. This was a structure for common use, to receive them
and their goods. The undertaking, however, was preceded by united
prayer for Divine guidance. The building having been completed, they
began to erect "some cottages for habitation, as time would admit, and
also consulted of laws and order, both for their civil and military
government, as the necessity of their present condition did require.
But that which was sad and lamentable, in two or three months half
their company died, especially in January and February, being the
depth of winter, wanting houses and other comforts, being infected
with the scurvy and other diseases, which their long voyage and their
incommodate condition brought upon them."[8] Their reduction, by
sickness, would have rendered them an easy prey to the Indians; but
the providence of God had so ordered it, that but few of this fierce
people existed, at that period, in the neighborhood of the settlers,
and those few were kept back from inflicting any injury, by the dread
which had almost supernaturally, so to speak, been inspired in their
hearts. The paucity of the Indians has been accounted for, from a
wasting sickness, of an extraordinary character, which had visited the
region some few years before.

[Illustration: Landing of the Pilgrims.]

Some time in March of 1621, an agreeable and unexpected occurrence took
place at the rendezvous of the whites. It was a visit of an Indian
sagamore, named Samoset, with professions of friendship for them, and
satisfaction at their arrival in the country. His kind greeting to them
was, "Welcome, Englishmen! Welcome, Englishmen!" He spoke in broken
English, which he had learned from English fishermen on the eastern
coast. This was an event of great consequence to the settlers, as they
learned from him many things in respect to the region around, and the
Indians that inhabited it. He came to the English settlement again, with
some other natives, and advised the emigrants of the coming of the great
sachem, named Massasoit. In a short time this chief made his appearance,
in company with his principal associates, particularly an Indian named
Squanto, who proved to be of signal service to the whites. He had
learned the English language, in consequence of having been carried to
England by an English adventurer. Mutual fear and distrust took place
between the parties, as Massasoit came in sight on the hill which
overlooked the place. After they each had taken proper precautions
against surprise, through the agency of Squanto they came together, and
the result of the interview was a league of peace, which was kept
inviolate more than fifty years.

[Illustration: Visit of Samoset to the English.]

The visit was not much prolonged. "Samoset and Squanto stayed all
night with us, and the king and all his men lay all night in the wood,
not above half an English mile from us, and all their wives and women
with them. They said that within eight or nine days they would come
and set corn on the other side of the brook, and dwell there all
summer, which is hard by us. That night we kept good watch, but there
was no appearance of danger."[9] The plantation at Plymouth enjoyed
the benefit of Squanto's presence with them, after the departure of
the others. He was a native or resident of the place, and almost the
only one that was left; and being acquainted with every part of it,
his information was made highly useful to the colonists. They learned
from him the method of cultivating corn, and where to take their fish,
and procure their commodities. He continued among them until the day
of his death. In the spring of 1621, Mr. Carver was confirmed as
governor for the succeeding year, but his death occurred soon
afterwards. Mr. William Bradford was chosen his successor, and Mr.
Israel Allerton his assistant. The intercourse of the colonists with
the Indians continued to be of a friendly character, the former
having, during the summer, made several excursions into the country
around, particularly one to Shawmut (Boston), where they had an
interview with Obbatinnua, one of the parties to the submission signed
a short time before at Plymouth. He renewed his submission, receiving,
at the same time, a promise of defence against his enemies.

[Illustration: Interview with Massasoit.]

The small number of the colonists was increased before the end of the
year by an accession of thirty-five persons, among whom was a very
active and pious agent, Mr. Robert Cushman. He became eminently useful
to the plantation. Upon the departure of the ship conveying this
latter company, the colony received a threatening token from the
Narraganset tribe of Indians--a circumstance which induced them to
fortify their little settlement as well as they were able, and to keep
a constant guard by day and by night. Happily, no attempts at that
time were made to disturb their peace. This event occurred in the year
1622. In the following year, a vigorous and successful attempt, under
the brave Captain Miles Standish, was made to defeat a conspiracy
formed by the Massachusetts tribe, with several others, against a
recent English settlement at Wessagusset (Weymouth). This settlement
had been formed under Mr. Thos. Weston on his own account, and
consisted of sixty men. The slaughter of several of the conspirators
so terrified the Indian tribes concerned in the conspiracy, that they
fled from their homes into swamps and desert places, where many of
them perished. This generous service, on the part of the Plymouth
colony, towards a neighboring plantation, redounded greatly to their
credit, especially as the latter were merely a company of
adventurers, and had been guilty of injustice towards the Indians.

The present year proved to be a year of suffering, in consequence of
the scarcity of food. The following affecting account is given by
Bradford: "But by the time our corn is planted, our victuals are
spent, not knowing at night where to have a bit in the morning; we
have neither bread nor corn for three or four months together, yet
bear our wants with cheerfulness, and rest on Providence. Having but
one boat left, we divide the men into several companies, six or seven
in each, who take their turns to go out with a net, and fish, and
return not till they get some, though they be five or six days out;
knowing there is nothing at home, and to return empty would be a great
discouragement. When they stay long, or get but little, the rest go a
digging shellfish, and thus we live the summer; only sending one or
two to range the woods for deer, they get now and then one, which we
divide among the company; and in the winter are helped with fowl and
ground-nuts."[10] It is recorded that, after a drought of six weeks,
the government set apart a solemn day of humiliation and prayer, which
was almost immediately followed by a copious supply of rain. In the
language of the chronicles of the times, it is thus spoken of: "Though
in the morning, when we assembled together, the heavens were as clear,
and the drought as like to continue as it ever was, yet (our exercise
continuing some eight or nine hours) before our departure, the weather
was overcast, the clouds gathered together on all sides, and, in the
morning, distilled such soft, sweet, and moderate showers of rain,
continuing some fourteen days, and mixed with such seasonable weather,
as it was hard to say, whether our withered corn or drooping
affections were most quickened or revived, such was the bounty and
goodness of our God." Soon after, in grateful acknowledgment of the
blessing, a day of public thanksgiving was observed. This, by a
judicious historian, (Thomas Robbins, D. D.) is believed to be the
origin of the annual thanksgiving of New England.

Towards the close of the summer, two ships arrived at Plymouth,
bringing sixty emigrants, some of them the wives and children of such
as were already in the colony. Those who came in the first three
ships--the Mayflower, the Fortune, and the Ann--are distinctively
called the old comers, or the _forefathers_. In 1624, Plymouth
contained thirty-two dwellings and about one hundred and eighty
inhabitants. Bradford was rëelected governor, and four assistants to
him were also chosen. To each person and his family an acre of land
was given in perpetuity. The first neat cattle in New England were
brought over this year by Edward Winslow. The colonists had at that
time no small trouble with several of the new comers, particularly
with one John Lyford, a minister, and another by the name of Oldham,
who were disposed to act in opposition to the laws and order of the
colony. The persons above mentioned, however, soon perished, Oldham
having first become apparently a penitent.

The congregation of the Puritans at Leyden was broken up on the death
of their pastor, Mr. Robinson, in 1627. They desired to remove to New
England, but only a part of them were enabled to come. The others
settled in Amsterdam. Mr. Robinson had hoped to emigrate, but the
expense of the undertaking could not well be met, and his death now
preventing, only his wife and children came with the portion of the
congregation that crossed the water. His place in the colony was
supplied by Mr. William Brewster, a ruling elder in the church, and a
man every way qualified as a spiritual guide of the people.

The foundation of the colony of MASSACHUSETTS was laid in the year
1628. It was styled the _Colony of Massachusetts bay_, the territory
of which had been purchased by the Plymouth company--by Sir Henry
Roswell, Sir John Young, and several others. The patent included all
that part of New England lying between three miles to the northward
of Merrimack river, and three miles to the southward of Charles river,
extending in length from the Atlantic ocean to the South sea. The
leader of the expedition was Mr. John Endicot, whose character may be
summed up by saying, that he was a fit person to found that noble
commonwealth. He came with one hundred emigrants, and was appointed
governor of the colony. Mr. White, an eminent minister, was one of the
company. Three years previously, a small company of adventurers had
emigrated to a place in the Massachusetts bay, afterwards called Mount
Wollaston, after the name of their leader; but, having no religious
object in view, they fell into shameful irregularities. Upon the
arrival of Endicot, however, a check was put on these proceedings, and
their leader, Morton, was finally sent to England. These pious
non-conformists under Endicot, like the Plymouth colonists, sought a
refuge from oppression in their religious concerns, and desired to
build up a community on the true principles of Christianity. They
located themselves at Numkeag, (Salem,) where the first permanent town
in Massachusetts was constituted. In the following year, they were
joined by about two hundred others from England, making in the whole
three hundred; of which number one hundred removed the same year, and
settled themselves, with the consent of Governor Endicot, at Mishawam,
now Charlestown. At this period, on the petition of the Massachusetts
company, King Charles by charter confirmed the patent of the
Massachusetts colony. By this instrument, they were empowered to elect
a governor, deputy governor, and eighteen assistants, out of the
freemen of said company, by the greater part of the company. The first
governor, under this renewed charter, was Matthew Cradock. The company
being desirous of establishing their plantation in the order of the
Gospel, engaged two eminent divines, Mr. Higginson and Mr. Skelton, to
go out for the spiritual service of the colony. Soon after their
arrival at Salem, they were placed over the church there with all due
solemnity, the one as teacher, the other as pastor. These excellent
men, however, lived but a short period, sharing largely, as they did,
in the sickness and suffering that diminished the strength and
shortened the lives of a large number of their people.

[Illustration: Boston founded.]

Among the many persons of distinction who left England the ensuing
year, on account of the stringent measures of the government in regard
to affairs both of church and state, are found the names of Isaac
Johnson, John Winthrop, Thomas Dudley, and Sir Richard Saltonstall.
These gentlemen, by their persuasions, were the means of having the
charter and government of the company transferred to New England. They
left with fifteen hundred other persons, in a fleet of seventeen sail,
Winthrop having been chosen governor under the new order of things.
They arrived in safety, eleven ships at one time, and six at another;
and before the conclusion of the season, commenced settlements in
several places; which, at present, constitute some of the fairest
towns of New England. Governor Winthrop, and a portion of the company,
laid the foundation of Boston. Several most highly esteemed ministers
accompanied the expedition just spoken of; Mr. Wilson, Mr. Warham, and
others. These were placed over the several churches that soon began to
be formed in this vicinity. The first general court of Massachusetts,
was held in Boston this year, on the 19th of October, at which time
many of the planters attended, and were made freemen of the colony.
The winters of 1630 and 1631, were very fatal to the Massachusetts
colony. Frost and sickness carried off a number, and famine at length
threatened the suffering survivors. They were, however, providentially
relieved by the arrival of a ship from England with provisions, the
day previously to a public fast, which had been appointed on account
of the alarming state of things. This circumstance turned the intended
fast into a general thanksgiving. The colony continued to increase by
fresh accessions of emigrants till the year 1640, up to which time, it
is computed that four thousand families had arrived in New England.
From this small beginning have arisen the population, power, wealth,
piety, and freedom of the New England states.

In the year 1633, the Plymouth colony suffered from a pestilential
disease, which not only thinned their number, but, extending to the
neighboring territory, swept off many of the Indians. In the same
year, arrived those lights of the New England church, Mr. John Cotton,
Mr. Thomas Hooker, and Mr. Samuel Stone, and that model of a
magistrate, Mr. William Collier, whose services, to the Plymouth
colony, were so considerable. Generally, the emigrants of this period
were actuated by the same spirit of opposition to tyranny in church
and state, and of love to the institutions of Christianity, which had
characterized their predecessors. The men placed at the head of the
new colonies were, universally, men of sterling worth of character.

The first settlers of CONNECTICUT came from the eastern shore of
Massachusetts. They were a portion of the emigrants who constituted
the colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts bay. The emigration from
England continuing to be large, and likely to increase from year to
year, more room was wanted, and especially locations where the soil
was rich and could be easily cultivated, became an object of desire.
This consideration, and, probably, others pertaining to their
tranquillity and increase as churches, had influence on the resolution
to seat themselves again in the wilderness. It had happened, as early
as the year 1631, that their attention was directed to the beautiful
and rich tract of land, on the Connecticut river, by Wahcuimacut, a
sachem living upon the river. He made a journey to Plymouth and
Boston, with a view to enlist the governors of those colonies in the
project of making settlements in his country. The proposition was not
formally accepted, but the governor of Plymouth was sufficiently
interested in it to make a voyage to the coast, in which excursion he
discovered the river and the adjacent territory; thus precluding the
title of the Dutch to any part of it, as they had neither
"trading-house, nor any pretence to a foot of land there."[11] The
subject of settling Connecticut was not lost sight of during one or
two subsequent years; but, occasionally, vessels were sent from
Plymouth to the river, for the purposes of trade, and, in one
instance, several men, from Dorchester, traveled through the
wilderness thither for the same object, as also to view the country.

[Illustration: The Settlers emigrating to Connecticut.]

In 1633, when the Plymouth colony had determined to commence the work
of settlement, they commissioned William Holmes, and a chosen company
with him, to proceed to Connecticut. They took with them the frame of
a house, which they set up in Windsor. They achieved their object,
notwithstanding the threatened opposition of the Dutch at Hartford,
where the latter, after learning that the Plymouth people intended to
settle on the river, had erected a slight fort. The Plymouth people,
also, were successful in defending their trading-house subsequently,
both against the Dutch and the Indians. The Dutch erected a
trading-house at Hartford the same year, the house at Windsor having
preceded it, perhaps, by a few months. The actual settlement of the
region, however, was deferred for a time, from the fact of divided
opinions on the subject in the Massachusetts court. No vote could be
obtained in favor of the project. In the mean time, individuals were
determined to prosecute the enterprise, and a number of the people of
Watertown came, in 1634, to Connecticut. They erected a few huts at
Pyquag (Wethersfield), in which they contrived to pass the winter. In
the spring of 1635, the general court of Massachusetts bay assented to
the plan of emigration to Connecticut, and, accordingly, preparations
were made in several places. The Watertown people gradually removed,
and added to their settlement at Wethersfield. Mr. Warham, one of the
ministers of Dorchester, accompanied by a great part of the church,
settled at Mattaneang (Windsor). A company from Newtown began a
plantation, between those two settlements, at Suchiang (Hartford). In
the course of the year, a large body of settlers, sixty in number,
came together--men, women, and children, with their horses, cattle,
and swine. It being somewhat late in the season, and their journey
proving to be long and difficult, winter came upon them before they
were prepared. They were but indifferently sheltered, and their food
was scanty--a large portion of their furniture and provisions, having
been put on board of several small vessels, never reached them. The
vessels were lost, and some lives with them. A part of their domestic
animals they were obliged to leave on the other side of the river.
Famine and its fearful effects were now to be encountered. It was
impossible for all to stay where they were. Some, attempted to return
to the east through the wilderness; others, went down to the mouth of
the river, in order to meet their provisions, and, being disappointed,
were obliged, finally, to embark on board of a vessel for Boston. In
both instances they suffered greatly, but were providentially
preserved to arrive at their former home. The portion of the settlers
who remained were subjected to much distress. The resources of hunting
and food from the Indians being exhausted, they had recourse to
acorns, malt, and grains for subsistence. Large numbers of their
cattle perished. Their condition was indeed most trying and perilous,
in their solitude and separation from others, at the mercy alike of
the elements of nature, and the power of savage foes. But their God,
in whom they trusted, carried them through in safety.

The Connecticut planters held courts of their own, though they were
settled under the general government of the Massachusetts. These
courts consisted of two principal men from each town, joined sometimes
by committees of three additional persons, as occasion might require.
The first court was held at Hartford, April 26th, 1636. At this season
of the year, both those who had left Connecticut in the winter and
many others proceeded to take up their residence on the river. At
length, about the beginning of June, a company of an hundred men,
women, and children, under Messrs. Hooker and Stone, took their
departure from Cambridge, and traveled to Hartford through the
pathless wilderness that lay between the two places. Over mountains,
through ravines, swamps, thickets, and rivers, they made their way,
submitting to incredible fatigue and many privations. These trials, to
a portion of the new comers, must have been peculiarly severe, as they
were a class of society who, having enjoyed all the comforts and
elegancies of life, knew little of hardship and danger.

The year preceding, a fort was erected at the mouth of the river,
called Saybrook fort, in honor of Lords Say and Brooks, to whom, with
several others, a commission had been given to begin a plantation at
Connecticut. This was effected under the auspices of John Winthrop, a
son of the governor of Massachusetts. Winthrop's commission interfered
with the settlement commenced by the Massachusetts colonists, but the
latter were left in the quiet enjoyment of their possessions. The
number of persons in the three towns of Hartford, Windsor, and
Wethersfield, was about eight hundred at the close of the year 1636.

The succeeding year was signalized for the critical condition of the
settlement. There was a great want of provisions and of the implements
of husbandry, and every article bore a high price. The year was also
filled with the incidents of warfare. In the feebleness of its
infancy, the little colony was called to contend with one of the most
warlike tribes of Indians that ever inhabited New England. And never
were heroism and fortitude displayed in a more marked degree, or
animated by a loftier spirit of patriotism and piety. The particulars
need not be here rehearsed. Suffice it to say, they completely
triumphed over their savage foe, the Pequots, under their brave
leader, Captain John Mason. They went forth to battle, under the
sanction and rites of religion, to save themselves, their wives, and
children, and the Church of Christ in the wilderness, from utter
extinction. The holy ardor of Hooker, in his incomparable address to
the soldiers, filled their minds with an unwavering confidence in God.
Seventy-seven brave men saved Connecticut, and destroyed the most
terrible Indian nation in New England.

[Illustration: Hooker addressing the Soldiers.]

This necessity of warfare they would gladly have avoided, for the
condition of the settlement required all their energies and efforts at
home. They could neither hunt, fish, nor cultivate their fields, nor
travel the shortest distance, while an insidious and cruel foe was
hovering around them. They felt that he must be crippled or destroyed,
or that their entire settlement would be cut off by piecemeal. The
natives embraced every opportunity of committing depredations on the
lives and property of the whites. A picture of the kind of life which
was passed in those times of savage treachery and English daring, is
given in the following detail of incidents, which occurred on the
water immediately previous to the Pequot war:

[Illustration: Gallop finds Oldham murdered.]

"John Oldham, who had been fairly trading at Connecticut, was murdered
near Block island. He had with him only two boys and two Narraganset
Indians. These were taken and carried off. One John Gallop, as he was
going from Connecticut to Boston, discovered Mr. Oldham's vessel full
of Indians, and he saw a canoe full of Indians on board, go from her
laden with goods. Suspecting that they had murdered Mr. Oldham, he
hailed them, but received no answer. Gallop was a bold man, and though
he had with him but one man and two boys, he immediately bore down
upon them, and fired duck-shot so thick among them, that he soon
cleared the deck. The Indians all got under the hatches. He then stood
off; and, running down upon her quarter with a brisk gale, nearly
overset them, and so frighted the Indians, that six of them leaped
into the sea, and were drowned. He then steered off again; and,
running down upon her a second time, bored her with his anchor, and
raked her fore and aft with his shot. But the Indians kept themselves
so close, he got loose from her; and, running down a third time upon
the vessel, he gave her such a shock, that five more leaped overboard,
and perished, as the former had done. He then boarded the vessel, and
took two of the Indians, and bound them. Two or three others, armed
with swords, in a little room below, could not be driven from their
retreat. Mr. Oldham's corse was found on board, the head split and
the body mangled in a barbarous manner. He was a Dorchester man, one
of Mr. Warham's congregation. In these circumstances, Gallop, fearing
that the Indians whom he had taken might get loose, especially if they
were kept together, and having no place where he could keep them
apart, threw one of them overboard. Gallop and his company then, as
decently as circumstances would permit, put the corse into the sea.
They stripped the vessel, and took the rigging and the goods which had
not been carried off on board their own. She was taken in tow, with a
view to carry her in; but the night coming on and the wind rising,
Gallop was obliged to let her go adrift, and she was lost."

At the termination of the Pequot war, there was a great scarcity of
provisions in Connecticut, and fearful apprehensions were felt on the
part of the settlers. With all their efforts, they had not been able
to raise a sufficiency of provisions, and these became at length very
costly. Corn rose to the extraordinary price of twelve shillings by
the bushel. The debt contracted by the war was paid with difficulty.
Nothing saved the colony from a famine but a providential supply of
corn, which they were enabled to purchase from the natives, at an
Indian settlement called Pocomptock (Deerfield).

The first constitution of Connecticut was adopted January 15, 1639, by
the free planters of the three towns of Windsor, Hartford, and
Wethersfield, who convened at Hartford for the purpose. It was an
admirably contrived instrument, providing for the freedom and
liberties of themselves and their posterity. Some fifty years ago,
Doctor Trumbull remarked, respecting it, that it was "one of the most
free and happy institutions of civil government which has ever been
formed. The formation of it at so early a period, when the light of
liberty was wholly darkened in most parts of the earth, and the rights
of men so little understood in others, does great honor to their
ability, integrity, and love to mankind. To posterity, indeed, it
exhibited a most benevolent regard. It has continued with little
alteration to the present time."

The NEW HAVEN colony was settled in the spirit that influenced the
comers to the other parts of New England, and eminently so. The
establishment of the Church of God on its true basis, and the
enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, was the object of the
emigrants; and they proceeded to secure the fair inheritance by the
wisest counsels and the most efficient action. The company who first
constituted the settlement, was a rare assemblage of choice spirits.
Among them were John Davenport, a distinguished minister in London,
and Theophilus Eaton and Edward Hopkins, wealthy merchants of the same
city, and eminent for their abilities and integrity. They with their
associates arrived at Boston in the summer of 1637, and would have
been gladly retained in the Massachusetts colony, had they consented.
Strong inducements were held out to them to fix their residence there,
but they wanted more room than they could find in the vicinity of
Boston for themselves and the large number of friends whom they
expected to follow them. Their principal reason, however, for
migrating elsewhere, as suggested by the historian of Connecticut, was
probably "the desire of being at the head of a new government,
modeled, both in civil and religious matters, agreeably to their own
apprehensions. It had been an observation of Mr. Davenport, that
whenever a reformation had been effected in the church, in any part of
the world, it had rested where it had been left by the reformers: it
could not be advanced another step. He was embarked in a design of
forming a civil and religious constitution, as near as possible to
scripture precept and example." Their strict views, it seems, could
not be fully met elsewhere.

Mr. Davenport and his company, on the 30th of March, 1638, sailed from
Boston to Quinnipiac (New Haven), and arrived at the desired spot at
about the middle of April. A portion of their company, with Eaton at
their head, had made a journey to Connecticut during the preceding
autumn, to explore the lands and harbors on the sea-coast; and having
fixed upon Quinnipiac as the best place for a settlement, erected a hut
there, in which a few men passed the winter. The first Sabbath which Mr.
Davenport spent in the wilderness, was on the 18th of April, 1638, when
he preached a discourse on the _Temptations of the Wilderness_. In a
short time, at the close of a day of fasting and prayer, they entered
into what they called a plantation covenant, in which they solemnly
engaged, in their civil ordinances as well as religion, they would be
governed by the rules of scripture. At different times, and in separate
contracts, they purchased their lands of the Indians, by the payment of
such articles as were satisfactory to the latter. As the New Haven
adventurers were the most opulent company which came into New England,
they were disposed and able to lay the foundation of a first-rate
colony--the proofs of which are visible, in part, in the elegant city
which became its capital. The foundations of the civil and religious
polity of the colony were laid on the 4th of June, 1639, with every due
solemnity. The act was not consummated until the 25th of October of the
same year, as a term of trial was required for the seven men who were to
constitute the seven pillars of the church. The number of subscribers to
the compact, on the 4th of June, was sixty-three; to which there were
soon after added about fifty other names. This colony enjoyed great
comparative order and tranquillity, as well from the extreme care with
which it was constituted at the beginning, the superior wealth and
character of its founders, and their wise and prudent intercourse with
their neighbors, the Indians.

The New Haven colony was distinguished among the sister-colonies for its
zeal in behalf of education, for its great strictness in the
administration of the laws, for its scrupulous justice towards the
Indians, and for the absence of a frivolous or extravagant legislation,
which in some instances had been thought to characterize the other
colonies.[12] The colony, however, was not exempt from occasional
providential calamities, particularly in its commercial pursuits. For a
period, the colonists did not succeed in their principal secular object.
Their plans may not have been the most judicious; but their greatest
misfortune in this concern was the loss of a large ship, which contained
a valuable cargo of about five thousand pounds. The ship, with its
precious burden, and more precious navigators, was never heard of more
after it left the harbor. Several other settlements in the vicinity were
nearly coëval with that of New Haven. Milford and Guilford were settled
in 1639, as also Stratford and Fairfield the same year; Stamford in
1641, and soon after the town of Brandford.

[Illustration: Portsmouth founded.]

A settlement, at an early period, was made in NEW HAMPSHIRE, but it
did not, until some time afterwards, constitute a distinct colony. In
the spring of the year 1623, two members of the council of Plymouth
(Gorges and Mason) having obtained a grant of a tract of country, sent
over a few persons for the purpose of establishing a colony and
fishing at the river Piscataqua. This was the beginning of the town of
Portsmouth; but, for several years, together with the town of Dover,
which had a fish-house erected about the same time, it was a small and
scarcely permanent settlement. In 1629, some of the settlers about the
Massachusetts bay, purchased a tract of country of the Indians, with a
view to unite with the settlement at Piscataqua. After this purchase,
the latter settlement was favored with a small increase; but no other
settlements were made till the year 1638, when the towns of Exeter and
Hampton commenced. Exeter was settled by people chiefly from Boston,
who had been regularly dismissed from their church relations, and were
constituted at once into a church in their new locality. Like the
settlers of the other New England colonies, those of New Hampshire
were desirous of enjoying the ministrations and ordinances of the
Gospel, and were able to obtain excellent ministers.

These several plantations continued, for many years, to live on good
terms with the natives, and were generally well supplied with
provisions, in consequence of their advantages for fishery. They
constituted distinct civil communities, after the most perfect model of
freedom, but were unable to preserve their peculiar organization, on
account of the intrusion of disaffected individuals, from the colonies
of Massachusetts and Plymouth, and the constant influx of other
emigrants. They were too weak thus to stand alone, and, after suitable
negociations on the subject, they came under the jurisdiction of
Massachusetts, in 1641, on the condition of enjoying equal privileges
with the people of that colony, and having a court of justice maintained
among themselves. This union continued nearly forty years, and was
followed by the greater increase and security of the colony.[13]

The rise of the colony of RHODE ISLAND commenced in the expulsion of
Roger Williams from Massachusetts. He was a minister of the Gospel at
Salem; but, holding tenets that were obnoxious to the people there, and
being unwilling to renounce them, after friendly remonstrance and
dealing, he was ordered to quit the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. He
accordingly took his exile thence, and traveling, with his few
followers, as far as the present town of Rehoboth, he sat down there;
but, being within the jurisdiction of Plymouth, Governor Winslow, out of
courtesy to the government of Massachusetts, desired Mr. Williams to
leave that place. The latter, then crossing the Pawtucket river, came to
the spot which, in acknowledgment of God's merciful providence to him in
his distress, he called 'Providence.' He purchased the lands of his
plantation of the Indian owners, became the father of the colony, and,
for a period, appeared to have combined, in his person, the principal
powers of government. Times of scarcity occurred in the Providence
plantation, as in most of the other colonies in North America, and the
followers of Mr. Williams were saved from famine only by the products of
their forests and rivers. No personal resentment seems to have arisen
between Mr. Williams and Governor Winthrop, from the proceedings which
led to the founding of the new settlement. All the several colonies
remained at peace, and cultivated friendship with each other.

The religious difficulties in Massachusetts, arising out of the case
of the fanatical Mrs. Hutchinson, were the occasion of the origin of
the Rhode Island plantation, south of Providence. Several gentlemen
differed in principle from the prevailing belief of the churches, and
chose to leave the colony. Among them were William Coddington, John
Clark, and others, who came to Providence in search of a place where
they might enjoy their own sentiments unmolested. Through the
assistance of Mr. Williams, they purchased Aquetnec of the Indian
sachems. The adventurers, eighteen in number, incorporated themselves
into a body politic, and chose Mr. Coddington to be their judge, or
chief magistrate. The character of the climate and soil, soon brought
many adventurers to their settlement. The territory was RHODE ISLAND,
according to its subsequent name. The two settlements of Mr. Williams
and Mr. Coddington, being destitute of any charter from the
mother-country, the former went to England with a view to procure one.
He succeeded in the object, and returned with a liberal charter of
incorporation of Providence and Rhode Island plantations.

The district, now state, of MAINE, though the first permanent
settlement commenced in 1630, was for a long time in an unhappy
condition, from the number and hostility of the Indians within its
borders. The early settlers, after the death of their proprietary, Sir
Fernando Gorges, formed some kind of voluntary compacts, and chose
their own rulers; but the difficulties under which they labored
induced them, in 1650, to unite with the government of Massachusetts,
and to become an integral part of that colony. Their civil and
religious institutions generally resembled those of the other colonies
of New England. In the first settlements, churches were early
established, which enjoyed the labors of some of the worthiest
ministers of their time.[14]

A project of great importance was consummated, in 1643, in the _union_
formed by the New England colonists. It had been proposed, by the
colonies of Connecticut and New Haven, as early as 1638, but was not
brought to a conclusion until five years after. The confederacy
consisted of Massachusetts, New Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven.
The plan of it evidently reminds one of the great confederacy,
afterwards formed between the thirteen United States, with similar
provisions and principles. It was a powerful means of defence, and of
the subsequent strength and prosperity of the colonies. It maintained
their internal peace, awed the savage tribes, and caused their
neighbors, the Dutch, and the French in Canada, to respect them. By
the articles of confederation, they entered into a firm and perpetual
league of friendship and amity, for offence and defence, mutual advice
and assistance upon all just occasions, both for preserving and
propagating the truth and liberties of the Gospel, and for their own
mutual safety and welfare. Each colony was to continue its separate
organization, as to courts and laws, but to be considered as one, in
regard to their public transactions. This union subsisted, with some
alterations, more than forty years, and was dissolved when the
charters of all the colonies were rescinded by James II. It was known
under the style of _The United Colonies of New England_.

The state of VERMONT was not settled until long after the other New
England states. It was as late as the year 1724, before any settlement
was made in that territory. This was on a spot, within the present
town of Brattleborough, where, at the same time, during a severe
Indian war, the government of Massachusetts had erected a fort. It was
then supposed that the settlement was within the limits of that state,
but it afterwards appeared not to be the case. Subsequently it was
believed that the territory belonged to New Hampshire. Grants were
accordingly made from time to time, by the latter colony, of tracts
within the territory of Vermont. As it was the scene of warfare,
during the middle part of the century, the country became well known
to many individuals, and not a few openings were made in the
wilderness, towards the cessation of hostilities, on the northern
borders. During the revolutionary war, the Green-mountain Boys, as
they were familiarly called, distinguished themselves by their
bravery, and rendered important service to the cause. In 1777, the
inhabitants constituted themselves an independent state. As Vermont
was settled mostly by emigrants from Connecticut, the character of the
people was similar to that of the inhabitants of the latter state, and
of New England in general. They were careful to establish their civil
and religious institutions in accordance with those of the
sister-states, and have been highly distinguished by their stability
in the principles and usages of the fathers.

The _character_ of the early settlers of New England deserves a
distinct notice, beyond that which has incidentally appeared in
narrating the history of their achievements. A brief sketch can only
be presented, and scarcely commensurate with the importance of the
topic; but it is all that the limits of this work will admit. The
greatness of the results, though affected extensively by the direct
providence of God, manifests the peculiarity of the dispositions and
motives of the agents who were concerned in producing them.

The planters of New England were men of whom their descendants need
not be ashamed. So far as the pride of ancestry may be lawfully
indulged, New Englanders, of the present race, may indulge it to the
full, in view of the character and deeds of their forefathers. They
were _inferior_ men in _no sense of the word_, however apt we may be
to connect the idea of adventurers with that of a roving, restless,
dissipated, loose-living class of men, loving savage nature, or
freedom from the restraints of civilized life. They became
adventurers, not from love of adventure, but from high and noble
impulses--the impulses of religion. To advance that precious interest
was, indeed, their commanding object. This was indicated by their
circumstances and manner of life in Holland before they removed
thence, and by the desire they felt to leave that country. Could their
favorite views, in respect to religion, have been carried out there,
they would, probably, never have come to this western wilderness.
Their declarations and professions, through their leading men, also
show that the establishment and enjoyment of a free Gospel was their
great object. Their laws and institutions, moreover, evince that this
was their principal concern, in connection with the diffusion of
education and knowledge. These all had reference, more or less
directly, to the moral and religious welfare of the community. The
cause of God and righteousness was guarded by the wisest and most
decided legal provisions. The concurrent declarations of all the early
writers among them, likewise indicate the spirit and purposes which
distinguished the fathers of New England above, perhaps, all other
settlers of new countries, in proposing and carrying forward the
interests of religion. Indeed, no object but religion and its
enjoyment, could have borne them through their almost unprecedented
trials and privations. To these they voluntarily submitted, on account
of their religion. They were not otherwise compelled to leave their
native land and the homes of their childhood--the seats of ease and
plenty. To hardships, of any kind, many of them had never been exposed
before; but the love of God's word, and freedom of worship, according
to the light of their own minds, were motives, with them, sufficient
to brave every peril and earthly woe.

They were not inferior men, in respect to their _civil standing in the
community_. They did not proceed, generally, from the lower orders of
society--the poorer artisans and the laborers. They belonged, mostly,
to the middle and respectable ranks of English society. A few were
classed with the higher orders, but not to the same extent as was the
fact with the settlers of Virginia, if we may judge from the list of
names and titles of several emigrants of the different colonies. In
respect to a worldly, chivalrous bearing and spirit of adventure, New
England and Virginia differed--the latter were eminent in this
respect, but never were men more truly brave than the fathers of New
England; in moral courage, they were unrivalled. Like other
adventurers, they manifested their undaunted spirit in relinquishing
their comfortable homes, in braving the dangers of the deep, in
encountering the horrors of a wilderness, in incurring the risk of
famine and pestilence, and in frequently combatting a fierce savage
foe. There were as extraordinary traits of martial heroism displayed
among the pilgrims of New England, when called forth by the necessity
of circumstances, as can be found in the history of any of the
American colonists, though this was not a characteristic in which they
gloried. The exploits of Miles Standish, of Plymouth, and John Mason,
of Connecticut, might be ranked among the most striking exhibitions
of courage on record. Of Standish, it is remarked, by an old
historian, that "he was allied to the noble house of Standish, in
Lancashire, and inherited some of the virtues of that honorable
family, as well as the name." But the high bearing and courage of the
planters was eminently of a moral kind. Unlike their Virginian
neighbors, they suffered no misrule in their settlements. If any
threatened for a time, they promptly put it down. Their courage was
seen in resisting evil among themselves. They feared not to put their
laws into execution. They were characterized by a healthful, vigorous
public spirit, consenting to sacrifice their own individual interest
for the general good. They thus manifested a noble nature, the product
of principle, if not of birth.

The fathers of New England were not _ignorant_ men, and unversed in the
concerns of the world. Their clergymen and leading men in civil life,
were among the ripe scholars of the age. They had been educated at the
English universities, and numbers of them had occupied important
stations in church and state. As authors and men of influence, in their
native land, they could not have sunk their high character by
emigration; and though in a wilderness, and under the pressure of mighty
cares, they could not so advantageously pursue their studies as in the
shades of academic retirement, they still did not neglect to add to
their intellectual stores. In several instances, they brought large and
valuable libraries with them. The writings of Colton, Hooker, Davenport,
Winthrop, Bradford, Prince, and others, show that they were eminently
men of mind and masters of language--that they were well versed in the
science and literature which adorned the age; and their universal
learning, sanctified by grace, we know, was devoted to the most noble
and beneficent purposes. There were among the merchants and men of
business, who had figured in the world's affairs before they came to
these solitudes--men of large experience and cultivated taste, not
wanting in any accomplishment deemed essential in refined and honorable
society. The mass of the people, who came over to this country as its
settlers, must evidently, from the nature of the case, have been of that
thinking, intellectual, practical class, who understood their rights and
duties as human beings, as also the principles of government; and could
not, therefore, with their good sense and honesty, submit to the
exactions and wrongs of tyranny. This, of all others, is the most
valuable body of the community.

The estimate which the fathers placed upon education, is seen in the
immediate establishment of literary institutions, both of the higher
and lower grades. Scarcely had the venerable men felled the trees of
the forest, than they erected the common school-house, the academy,
and the college. In the midst of their untold personal pressing cares
and troubles, they exercised a far-reaching sagacity and benevolent
regard towards the common good, and towards posterity, in laying
broadly the foundations of order, intelligence, and virtue. They
conceived the highest idea of the importance of sound education to
their rising republic. They wisely judged that solid learning and true
religion were the firmest pillars of the commonwealth and of the
church. Within ten years from the settlement of Massachusetts, a
college, with good endowments, was founded for the use of the colony.

The planters of New England were not _poor_ men--needy adventurers.
Had they been such, whence could the funds have been derived that were
necessary to sustain the enterprise? It is evident that large sums of
money were expended in the transportation of themselves, their cattle,
and their effects to this country, and in their various removals when
here, as well as in the continued sustentation of their families in
times of scarcity and famine. These we know, from their history, were
of frequent occurrence. Governors Winthrop, Haynes, Eaton, and
Hopkins, were men of wealth; so also were Mr. Johnson, Mr. Colton, and
Mr. Hooker--the last two uncommonly rich for ministers. Mr. Johnson
was reputed to be the wealthiest of all the original emigrants. The
mass of the early comers must also have possessed no inconsiderable
means, to enable them to bear the heavy expenses of their voyage and
settlement. With such a basis of property, it is not a matter of
surprise that, notwithstanding the drain and exhaustion of the few
first years, they should have increased greatly in their worldly
substance in the end, inasmuch as they settled on a virgin soil,
possessed abundance of land, and carried on a lucrative trade in the
products of the country. Their habits of sobriety and industry were
essentially favorable to their advancement in wealth.

The New England planters were not _wanting in any moral virtues_,
_piety_, _wisdom_, _or magnanimity_. There never lived on earth, if we
may credit history, a more disinterested, upright, conscientious,
prudent, and holy body of men. Their souls were imbued with the
loftiest principles of patriotism and piety. They gave undoubted
proofs of the possession of this spirit in their exertions, toils, and
sacrifices for the best welfare of their descendants and the cause of
Christianity--in their spirituality, prayerfulness, purity, and
well-ordered lives. They wished, above all things, to serve God and to
do good--to transmit to posterity a pure church and free form of
government. They received the Word of God as their sole guide in
religious concerns and moral conduct--they regulated their individual
life, their families, their local societies, their churches, and their
state, by its rules, so far as the latter could be consistently
applied. They were sound in the faith, receiving the doctrines of
grace as the real system of divine truth--were strict in preserving
the order and carrying out the discipline of the churches--and were
rigid in the administration of law and justice. Their zeal and
liberality in supporting the institutions of the Gospel among
themselves, and in efforts to Christianize the Indians, were marked
traits in their character. They considered it one of the great objects
of their mission to this continent, to become the means of the
salvation of its aboriginal inhabitants, and thus to extend Christ's
kingdom in the world. In a most commendable degree, they carried their
religion into the various every-day concerns of life, and consulted,
especially on every occasion of interest and importance, the
particular guidance and blessing of God.

Such was the character of New England's fathers: they were not perfect
men; they did not claim for themselves the attributes of perfection;
neither can others, their warmest panegyrists, claim it for them with
any consistency. They had their errors--the errors of the age. All
darkness had not passed away from their understandings, nor all
obliquity from their hearts. There was an austerity, a preciseness in
some points, an unaccommodating temper, which perhaps is not well suited
to all times, or every state of society, but which better agreed with
their circumstances as the founders of a nation, and as an example for
others to follow. In the natural course of imitation from age to age,
there will be apt to be a feebler resemblance of the original; so that
where the conduct in the beginning was over-strict, in the lapse of
years it will be apt to fall quite too far below the true standard of
virtue. The founders of a nation, if they fail at all in firmness of
temper or rigidness of discipline, will be very apt to bring on the
sooner a dissolute state of the body politic. Our fathers, on this
account, were not so much at fault as many suppose. They were fitted, by
the guidance and grace of God, for the times in which they lived--for
the work which they were called to perform. If some few spots or shades
could have been effaced from their characters, they would have been
still more fitting instruments of good to the Church and to posterity;
but as the case is, no other founders of an empire probably ever
possessed so large a portion of wisdom and goodness.

In respect to charges made against the fathers of New England,
pertaining to superstition, enthusiasm, injustice towards the Indians,
treatment of supposed witches, bigotry, persecution, and the
incorporation of church and state, they are capable of a satisfactory
refutation in all the material points, and have often received that
refutation. While something, however, is to be laid to human
imperfection in their case, yet, even in these matters, more is due to
the grace of God, which preserved them so comparatively free from
evils to which their natural dispositions, or their circumstances,
might be supposed to lead them.

It was indeed a new order of things which was introduced by the
pilgrim fathers, in their removal to America. The Mayflower came to
these shores freighted with great moral principles, as well as with a
precious cargo of godly men and women. Of those principles, some were
the following, viz: The right of private judgment in the examination
of divine truth, is to be held sacred--Conscience, enlightened by the
Word of God, is a sufficient guide as to truth and duty--a majority
governs in church and state--universal education is the basis of free
government--the observation of the Sabbath is a moral virtue, and
essential to the safety of a people. From these principles, others
have been deduced; or to them others, of scarcely less importance,
have been added in more recent times.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTES:

[6] Holmes' Annals.

[7] New England Memorial, by Nathaniel Morton.

[8] New England Memorial.

[9] New England's Memorial--Appendix.

[10] Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims.

[11] Trumbull's History of Connecticut.

[12] Bacon's Historical Discourses.

[13] T. Robbins.

[14] T. Robbins.



                III. MIDDLE AND SOUTHERN SETTLEMENTS.[15]


    NEW YORK--New Jersey--Delaware--Maryland--North Carolina--South
        Carolina--Georgia--Pennsylvania.

The settlement of the state of NEW YORK commenced in 1613, so far as
the erection of a fort, near the present city of Albany, and a few
trading-houses on the island of Manhattan (New York), may be said to
constitute a settlement. The Dutch founded their claim to the soil
from the discovery of the Hudson by an Englishman of that name, who
was then in the employ of the Dutch; but the British king disputed the
claim, from the fact of the previous discovery of the country by the
Cabots. The Dutch were forced, for a short time, to yield to the
demands of the English; but, the colony having increased in the course
of a year, the English were required, in their turn, to yield their
authority to the original occupants. For a series of years, the latter
continued in peaceful possession, and, by characteristic toil and
perseverance, secured the blessings of a growing settlement.

The territory on both sides of the Hudson, occupied by the settlers,
was called New Netherlands. In defence of their colony, in 1623, they
built several forts, one on the east side of Delaware bay, which they
named Nassau, and another, one hundred and fifty miles up the river,
which they called Aurania. At the mouth of the river they built a
town, to which they gave the name of New Amsterdam, afterwards New
York. Near fort Nassau, the Swedes had a settlement, and, from the
interfering claims of the two people, quarrels arose, which in a few
years ended in the subjugation of the Swedes. In consequence of the
Dutch claims so far to the eastward, difficulties frequently arose
between them and the Connecticut and New Haven colonies; but these
never amounted to another rupture, and the Dutch were occasionally
assisted in the Indian warfare by their more courageous neighbors.

At the ascension of Charles II. to the British throne, the province of
New Netherlands passed into the hands of the English. As the king, by a
charter, had conveyed the whole territory to his brother, the Duke of
York and Albany, he undertook to effect his object by force, and
accordingly despatched an armament, under the command of Colonel
Nichols, who was also appointed governor of the province. The exhibition
of force was the means of effecting a treaty of capitulation on the part
of Stuyvesant the Dutch governor. From this time, New Amsterdam and the
whole conquered province received the name of New York, the original
settlers choosing, for the most part, to remain, and being permitted to
adopt many of their own forms of government.

[Illustration: The Dutch Governor surrendering New Amsterdam.]

NEW JERSEY was settled by the Dutch, not long after they had fixed
themselves on the Hudson river. The Danes, also, commenced a
settlement at a place to which they gave the name Bergen. This was
about the year 1624. In 1626, a company of Swedes and Finns purchased
land on both sides of Delaware river, and commenced a settlement on
the western bank. The Dutch, however, considering themselves as the
original settlers, laid claim to the country. They had built a fort,
as early as 1623, on the east bank of the South river, as the Delaware
was then called. It was not until the year 1640, that the English made
any attempt to colonize the territory in question, and then they were
resisted and expelled by the Swedes and Dutch. A few years afterwards,
however, the Duke of York granted New Jersey to John, Lord Berkley,
and Sir George Carteret, the territory receiving that name in
compliment to Sir George, who had been governor of the island of
Jersey in the English channel. Carteret soon after arrived at
Elizabethtown, which he made the seat of government.

The state of DELAWARE was originally settled by the Dutch and Swedes,
the former as early as 1629, having purchased a tract of land near
Cape Henlopen. The enterprise of planting a colony, on the Delaware,
was entrusted to an experienced navigator, De Vriez; and, in 1630, an
association was formed for this purpose, in pursuance of which, a
settlement was made, the next spring, on the west side of the river,
at a place since called Lewiston. The Swedes, also, made considerable
settlements on the same side of the river; but, whether these preceded
that of the Dutch, is considered doubtful, the more recent authorities
leaning rather to the Dutch claim. The Swedes, however, whatever their
pretensions may have been, were conquered by the Dutch, in whose
possession the country remained until the surrender of New York, in
1664. It was immediately after taken possession of, for the Duke of
York, by Sir Robert Carr. A portion of its subsequent history is
included in that of Pennsylvania, as Delaware had not even an
assembly, separate from that of Pennsylvania, for several years.

Settlements commenced in MARYLAND as early as 1634. Two or three years
previously, Lord Baltimore had visited the colony of Virginia, and,
observing that the Virginians had formed no settlement to the northward
of the river Potomac, he determined to procure a grant of territory in
that region; but he died before the necessary authority by charter,
which Charles had promised, could be given him. The patent, however, was
filled up for his son, Cornelius Calvert, who had then become Lord
Baltimore. The king gave to the new province the name of Maryland, in
honor of his queen, Henrietta Maria. It was originally included in the
patent of the south Virginia company, a circumstance which gave rise,
for a time, to disputes and difficulties between these communities. Lord
Baltimore pursued a wise course in forming his colony. He established a
basis of security to property and of freedom to religion, bestowing, in
absolute fee, fifty acres of land on every emigrant, and allowing
toleration to the various sects of the Christian faith. George Calvert,
the brother of the governor, arrived with the first colony, consisting
of about two hundred Roman Catholics, from England. Calvert, by kindness
and liberality, obtained possession of an Indian town of importance, to
which he gave the name of St. Mary's. Lord Baltimore was constituted the
proprietor of the province; and he and his descendants, with some years
of interruption, continued to enjoy the rights of jurisdiction and
property until the time of the Revolution. Then the people, having
adopted a constitution, refused to admit the claims of the
representatives of Lord Baltimore.

The charter, embracing what is now NORTH CAROLINA, SOUTH CAROLINA, and
GEORGIA, was granted by Charles II., in 1662, to Edward, Earl of
Clarendon; George, Duke of Albemarle; William, Lord Craven, and several
others. This country was called Florida, and claimed by the Spaniards.
The claim, nevertheless, was supposed to be relinquished by the
stipulations of a treaty between Great Britain and Spain, in 1667. The
previous efforts to colonize this portion of the American continent had
been unsuccessful, and grants that had been given to different
individuals were now pronounced by the privy council to be null and
void. A government was organized over the few settlers that were
scattered in different parts, Mr. Drummond having been appointed
governor. The settlers on Albemarle sound were allowed, on certain
conditions, to retain their lands. The proprietors of the Carolinas did
not make serious effort towards adding to the number of the colonists
until 1667. Two ships carried out a number of adventurers, with
provisions, arms, and utensils, necessary for building and cultivation.
Sayle was appointed governor in 1669. In what place he first landed is
uncertain; but not being pleased with his situation, he moved to the
southward, and took possession of a neck of land between Ashley and
Cooper rivers. Here he laid out a town, which, in honor of the British
king, he called Charleston. This was the origin of South Carolina, as
distinguished from North Carolina. The distance between Albemarle and
the new location, induced the proprietors to establish two separate
governments, the settlements on the sound constituting North Carolina.
The early existence of the northern colony is said to have been marked,
in a sad degree, by confusion and misrule, owing mainly to the
exceptionable nature of its fundamental constitutions.

GEORGIA, though the last of the English colonies established in North
America, may be mentioned here, since it was included in the original
grant with the Carolinas. The charter of Georgia, as a district, was
granted in 1732, and embraced the country on the south of the Carolinas,
between the rivers Savannah and Altamaha, and extended westward from the
heads of these rivers to the South sea. It was given to twenty-one
persons, who were wealthy and influential individuals, as trustees, who
were incorporated for the purpose of settling and establishing the
colony. In pursuance of this design, in 1733, James Oglethorpe embarked
for the province, with one hundred and sixteen persons destined for
settlement. He selected the present site of Savannah, as the most
desirable spot for this object. Here he built a fort, and put the colony
in a proper state of defence, not neglecting, in the mean time, to
cultivate friendly relations with the Indians. Though the objects of the
settlement of Georgia were in a great measure benevolent--as they
contemplated, among other things, an asylum for the poor and wretched in
England and Ireland--yet the hopes of prosperity, entertained by the
trustees, were not a little disappointed. The expenditures necessary for
the support of the colony, became, at length, very onerous. The colony,
also, was disturbed by the hostility of the Spaniards on the south, and
nothing, under Divine Providence, but the wise counsels and determined
valor of General Oglethorpe, saved it from destruction in the early part
of its existence.

[Illustration: Charles II. signing the Charter of Pennsylvania.]

The tract of country west of the Delaware was, in 1681, granted to
William Penn, son of the distinguished Admiral Penn, as a reward for
the services of his father. The boundaries of the tract are definitely
given us in the charter, but are too minute to be here specified. The
whole region was afterwards called PENNSYLVANIA, constituting a state
of very large and regular dimensions. The origin of the name is
beautifully and ingeniously accounted for, in a letter written by
William Penn: "This day (January 5, 1681)," says he, "after many
waitings, watchings, solicitings, and disputes in the council, my
country was confirmed to me under the great seal of England, with
large powers and privileges, by the name of Pennsylvania; a name the
king would give it in honor of my father. I chose New Wales, being a
hilly country; and when the secretary, a Welshman, refused to call it
New Wales, I proposed Sylvania, and they added Penn to it, though I
much opposed it, and went to the king to have it struck out. He said
'twas past, and he would take it upon him; nor could twenty guineas
move the under secretary to vary the name; for I feared it would be
looked on as a vanity in me, and not as a respect in the king to my
father, as it really was. Thou mayst communicate my grant to friends,
and expect shortly my proposals. 'Tis a dear and just thing, and my
God, that has given it to me through many difficulties, will, I
believe, bless and make it the seed of a nation. I shall have a tender
care to the government, that it be well laid at first." And it was
_well laid_. The territory was peaceably, and by fair purchase,
procured of the natives, and though difficulties occasionally existed
in the government, which gave the proprietor considerable concern, yet
the colony enjoyed a career of prosperity for several successive
years. The effects of his magnanimity and justice were especially
visible in the early history of the colony.

Such, as briefly reviewed, is the history of the original settlements
of the _old thirteen United States_. The character of the settlers, as
well as their circumstances, were various. They were from different
nations in the old world, though the great majority were of direct
English descent. But amidst the variety, there is a degree of
uniformity, a similar basis of institutions and principles has
obtained, and they have admirably coalesced in forming and sustaining
one and a general government, amid their several distinct state
organizations--a government admirable for its simplicity, freedom,
exact equipoise, and liberal compromises. The number of states is now
more than doubled, and ere long will probably be three-fold. Through
the Divine blessing, let it be perpetual!

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTE:

[15] Except Virginia.



                 III.--INDIANS, THEIR TRIBES AND WARS.


[Illustration]



                           I. INDIAN TRIBES.


    GENERAL DIVISION--Tribes in the Central and Southern parts of New
        England--Tribes in the Northern parts--East of Lake Erie and
        south of Lake Ontario--Southern tribes.

At the period of the settlement of the English colonies in America,
savage tribes of Indians were scattered over the country. In many
respects, they possessed a similar character, usages, and
institutions--a bond of affinity running through their several
communities and tribes. As a race of men, they were distinct from all
the races found in the old world. Their history was unknown, and to
us, in these times, dates no farther back than to the period of
European discovery here. They had, indeed, their traditions; but
these, like the traditions of all other nations, are no farther
entitled to credit than they are confirmed by appearance or probable
conjecture. If the hypothesis be correct of the Asiatic origin of the
Aborigines of America, by the way of Bherings straits, there would
seem to be a probability in the general account given of their
migration towards the east, and of their conquest of a more civilized
race, then occupying the country. Such a race seems to have been once
in existence, judging from the monuments and relics that have been
occasionally found among us. They were called the Allegewi, and their
more rude conquerors styled themselves the Lenape and the Mengwe, or
the Iroquois. These seem chiefly to have divided the country between
them, after they had expelled the Allegewi. The general name of the
Delawares has since been given to the former, and their language,
called by the French, the _Algonquin_. The Iroquois inhabited more the
upper parts of the country, along the lakes and the St. Lawrence. The
Lenape, or Delawares, extended themselves to the south and east.

When our fathers came to these shores, they found here the descendants
of these savage conquerors. They were entirely uncivilized, having,
probably, undergone no process of civilization, from the time of the
migration of their ancestors to the Mississippi and the Atlantic
slope. As distributed through the various parts of the thirteen
original states, they may be mentioned, as to their confederacies or
tribes, in the following order:

In the central and southern parts of New England there were five
principal tribes: the Wampanoags or Pokanokets, the Pawtuckets, the
Massachusetts, the Narragansets, and the Pequods. The Pokanokets were
the first known to the English settlers. The territory inhabited by
this tribe, was that which now constitutes the south-eastern part of
Massachusetts and the eastern portion of Rhode Island. To the chief of
this tribe, who was Massasoit, at the time of the English emigration,
other smaller tribes were subject, dwelling principally on the
adjacent islands. His residence, as also afterwards that of Philip his
son, was at Montaup, now Mount Hope, in Bristol, Rhode Island.

The tribe of Pawtuckets occupied the land upon the Merrimack near its
mouth, as their principal seat, though they extended themselves south
until they came in contact with the Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts were found about the bay which bears the name of the
tribe. They were bounded by the Pawtuckets on the north, and the
Pokanokets on the south. Their head sachem held under his rule several
smaller tribes, some of which were known by the name of the
Neponsetts, the Nashuas, and the Pocumtucks. The acknowledged
sovereign of the confederacy, at the time of the English settlement,
was the widow of a powerful chief, styled sometimes the
"Massachusett's queen." They were situated in a delightful region,
where now stands the metropolis of New England, with its cluster of
noble towns in the vicinity.

The tribe of the Narragansets held their chief seat on the island of
the Canonicut, in the bay called after their name. Here, also, their
grand sachem resided. They extended west of the Pawcatuck river, where
they came into the neighborhood of the Pequods. The Pokanokets
bordered them on the east. They occupied a beautiful country, and
happily adapted to their mode of life, which was fishing and hunting.
Their disposition was more mild and peaceable than usually appeared in
the Indian character. When the English arrived in that region, they
found there Canonicus, the grand sachem of the tribe, who proved a
benefactor of Rhode Island.

The tribe of Pequods were seated in the eastern part of Connecticut,
having the Narragansets on their eastern border. They were a fierce
and warlike race. Their grand sachem, Sassacus, resided on the heights
of Groton, near the river called by their name, now the Thames.
Sassacus held the Mohegans subject to his authority. These were a
tribe occupying the place where Norwich now stands. Uncas, the leader
of the latter, joined the whites in their war with the Pequods. These
several tribes, at the period referred to, were singularly diminished
in number and power, on account of a wasting sickness, which had been
sent among them a few years before.

In the northern portion of New England, roved the Indians whose
general name was that of Tarenteens, or Abenakis. They inhabited the
coast of Maine throughout, and extended into New Hampshire. Their
character was ferocious, and the settlers suffered severely from their
wars, murders, and depredations. Stealing in, at the dead of night,
upon the villages or dwellings, they burned and plundered,
indiscriminately, whatever came in their way--butchering men, women,
and children, without mercy.

The five tribes, or nations, that spread out east of Lake Erie, and
south of Lake Ontario, were the Iroquois, or Mengwe, who had become thus
divided, in consequence of being pressed by the Hurons, and one or two
other tribes, inhabiting the St. Lawrence. They were called the Senecas,
Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas, and Mohawks. They at length became a
powerful race in their new abodes, and not only overcame the Hurons, but
made war upon the Delawares, and were objects of dread far and near. The
most warlike community of the whole was said to be the Mohawks. Their
power and exactions reached east and south, to a great distance.

The Indians, in the southerly portion of the country, were of course
earlier known to the English, than those already mentioned--this was
true of the tribes at least that inhabited Virginia, of which there
were more than forty in number, in 1607. The nucleus of an entire
confederacy, inhabiting the territory from the sea-coast to the falls
of the rivers, was the Powhatan nation. This confederacy included no
less than thirty tribes, and the number of warriors was estimated at
eight thousand. The chief of the same name, who figures so much in the
history of Virginia, was the great sachem of the confederacy. The seat
of the hereditary dominions was near the present site of the city of
Richmond. Here the noble Pocahontas was born, and passed her early,
uncultivated life.

The Indians who dwelt on the highlands, between the falls of the rivers
and the mountains, were divided into two confederacies, not long after
the arrival of the English. One division consisted of the Monahoaks, in
the eight tribes, on the north. The other consisted of the Monacans, in
five tribes, stretching on the south into Carolina. The latter went
under the name of Tuscaroras, and connected with the Iroquois.

Of the Indians in the southern extremity of the country, the principal
confederacies were the Creeks, whose locality was mostly in
Georgia--the Cherokees, who inhabited the mountainous back
country--and the Choctaws and Chickasaws, who dwelt in the region
between the mountains and the Mississippi. Two or three other tribes
occupied particular localities, which need not be indicated.[16]

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTE:

[16] Mrs. Willard's Republic of America.



                  II. ORIGIN OF THE AMERICAN INDIANS.


    VARIOUS SPECULATIONS ON THE SUBJECT--Opinions of Voltaire--Of Rev.
        Thomas Thorowgood--Dr. Boudinot--Roger
        Williams--Hubbard--Thomas Morton--John Josselin--Cotton
        Mather--Dr. Mitchell--Dr. Swinton.

Although not in precise accordance with the plan of this work, yet, on
account of the interest which attaches to the subject, we devote a few
pages to an exposition of the various theories advanced in relation to
the _origin_ of the Indian tribes existing at the time the English
settled the country. These theories have been various, according to
the whims or predilections of the authors. Some have seen in them an
original species of the human race, unconnected with any of the
nations or tribes of the old world. Others have fancied their
resemblance to this or the other people, ancient or modern, of the
eastern continent--as Hebrews, Trojans, Tartars, and the like.

Voltaire, and other skeptical writers, have accounted for their origin,
according to the first-named theory. They have considered the Indian
placed in America by the hand of the Creator, or by nature--just as the
buffalo, or the tortoise, or any other animal, was placed there--or just
as trees and other products of vegetation, that are indigenous to the
soil. Thus they make no account of the apparent scriptural doctrine of
the unity of the human race--the common descent from Adam.

The identity of the Indian with the Hebrew or the Israelite has been
conjectured by many. Rev. Thomas Thorowgood, an author of the
seventeenth century, held that opinion, and endeavored to prove that
the Indians were the Jews, who had been lost in the world for the
space of near two thousand years. Adair, who claims to have resided
forty years among the southern Indians, published a large quarto upon
their origin, history, &c. He endeavors to prove their identity with
the Jews, by showing the similarity of their customs, usages, and
language to those of the latter. The author of the Star in the West,
Dr. Boudinot, has followed the same thing, and thinks assuredly that
the Indians are the long-lost ten tribes of Israel.

Roger Williams, at one time, expressed the same opinion. He writes, in
a letter to friends in Salem, that the Indians did not come into
America from the north-east, as some had imagined, for the following
reasons: 1, Their ancestors affirm that they came from the south-west,
and return thence when they die; 2, Because they separate their women,
in a little wigwam by themselves, at _certain seasons_; and 3, Beside
their god Kuttand, to the south-west, they hold that Nanawitnawit (a
God overhead) made the heavens and the earth; and he avers, also, that
he (the writer) had found "some taste of affinity with the Hebrew."

The similarity of practices, or even of a number of terms in a
language, can, however, be no conclusive proof of sameness of origin.
It may be merely accidental, or in respect to customs more
particularly, may be owing to similarity of circumstances. "Who will
pretend that different people, when placed under similar
circumstances, will not have similar wants, and hence similar actions?
that like wants will not prompt like exertions? and like causes
produce not like effects?" The slight resemblances existing, or
fancied to exist, between the Indians and the Israelites, may be owing
to a cause like the one pointed out. As to the language of the
Indians, Mr. William Wood, an old writer, says: "Some have thought
that they might be of the dispersed Jews, because some of their words
be near unto the Hebrew; but, by the same rule, they may conclude them
to be of the gleanings of all nations, because they have words after
the Greek, Latin, French, and other tongues."

Hubbard, an American historian, who wrote about 1680, has this among
other passages on the subject: "If any observation be made of their
manners and dispositions, it is easier to say from what nations they
did not, than from whom they did derive their original. Doubtless
their conjecture, who fancy them to be descended from the ten tribes
of the Israelites, carried captive by the Salamaneser and Esarhaddon,
hath the least show of reason of any other, there being no footsteps
to be observed of their propinquity to them more than to any other of
the tribes of the earth, either as to their language or manners."

Thomas Morton, an early New England historian, refers their origin to
the scattered Trojans, observing, "for after that Brutus, who was the
fourth from Æneas, left Latium, upon the conflict held with the
Latins, where, although he gave them a great overthrow to the
slaughter of their grand captain, and many others of the heroes of
Latium, yet he held it more safely to depart unto some other place and
people, than by staying to run the hazard of an unquiet life or
doubtful conquest; which, as history maketh mention, he performed.
This people was dispersed there is no question, but the people that
lived with him, by reason of their conversation with the Grecians and
Latins, had a mixed language that participated of both." Morton
maintains the great similarity of the languages of the Indians to the
Greek and Roman, as an instance of which, he fancied he heard among
their words Pasco-pan, and hence thinks without doubt their ancestors
were acquainted with the god _Pan_!

A writer, Mr. John Josselin, who resided some time in New England,
towards the middle part of the seventeenth century, pronounces the
speech of the Mohawks to be a dialect of the Tartars. He says "the
north-east people of America, that is, New England, &c., are judged to
be Tartars, called Samoades, being alike in complexion, shape, habit
and manners."

That the Indians were Scythians, is an opinion expressed in a decided
manner by Cotton Mather. He was confirmed in it, on meeting with this
passage of Julius Cæsar: "Difficilis invenire quam interficere,"
rendered by him, "It is harder to find them than to foil them." Cæsar
was speaking of the Scythians, and the aptness of the language, as
expressing one peculiarity of the Indians in their warfare--their
sudden attacks and retreats--is noticeable.

Dr. S. L. Mitchell, of New York, a voluminous writer in his day, thought
that he had settled the question of the origin of the Indians. They
came, in his opinion, from the north-east of Asia, and that is now,
perhaps, the more common belief. He thinks that they possessed
originally the same color, as that of the north-eastern nations of Asia.

Dr. Swinton, author of many parts of the Universal History, after
stating the different opinions of various authors, who have advocated
in favor of "the dispersed people," the Phœnicians and other eastern
nations, observes, "that, therefore, the Americans in general were
descended from a people who inhabited a country not so far distant
from them as Egypt and Phœnicia, one will, as we apprehend, readily
admit. Now, no country can be pitched upon so proper and convenient
for this purpose, as the north-eastern part of Asia, particularly
Great Tartary, Siberia, and more especially the peninsula of
Kamschatka. That probably was the tract through which many Tartarian
colonies passed into America, and peopled the most considerable part
of the new world."[17]

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTE:

[17] Book of the Indians.



                       III. VIRGINIA INDIAN WARS.


    EARLY troubles of the English with the Indians--Power and cruelty
        of Powhatan--His apparent friendship for the
        Colonists--Treacherous conduct--Kindness of
        Pocahontas--Inhuman conduct of Lord De la War--Captivity of
        Pocahontas--Cruel Massacre of the
        Whites--Opecancanough--Troubles with Totopotomoi--Anecdote of
        Jack-of-the-feather.

The intercourse of the colonists in VIRGINIA with the Indians, was not
altogether such as to secure their friendship. Difficulties arose,
which were settled only by a resort to wars and massacres. The earlier
colonists either returned to their native land, were destroyed by
famine, or were cut off by violence. The whole scheme of colonizing
was, at first, a series of mismanagement or misfortune. The earliest
attempt at settlement, under the Captains Amidas and Barlow, in 1684,
was abortive. It is related that the English, after landing on an
island, called by the Indians Wokokon, saw none of the natives until
the third day, when three were observed in a canoe. One of them came
on shore, and the English went to him. He was not at all intimidated,
but spoke much to them, and then went fearlessly on board the vessels.
The whites, after making him some presents, received some food in
return. Wingina, chief of the Indians in that place, never had much
faith in the good intentions of the English, and to him was mainly
attributed the breaking up of the colony. They were disposed to return
home, having made no serious attempt at settlement.

The next colony which proceeded to Virginia was conducted by Sir
Richard Grenville, in 1685. He had the imprudence to commit an outrage
upon the natives, which occasioned at length the breaking up of the
colony of one hundred and eight men whom he left behind him. He burned
an Indian town, in revenge of a petty theft, which some native
committed upon him. Ralf Lane, who was governor, became justly
chargeable with very reprehensible conduct. He put to death some of
the natives on the most frivolous charges, and it is no wonder that
the animosity of the Indians was aroused, and that the small band of
adventurers were so discomfited as to seek a return to England.

No attempt to settle Virginia had succeeded up to the year 1607. The
ill-advised schemes of the company or their controversies, and the
suspicions and hatred of the Indians, had defeated every enterprise
hitherto. But one man, Captain Smith, by his sagacity and heroism, at
length accomplished the object. Of his adventures, no particular account
needs to be given here, as these have been narrated in another part of
this work. But his connection with Powhatan affords the occasion of
bringing the latter more especially into view in this place. This chief
is described as being tall and well-proportioned, wearing an aspect of
sadness--exceedingly vigorous, and possessing a body fitted to endure
great hardships. At the time of the settlement of Jamestown, he was
about sixty years of age, and rendered the more majestic by the grayness
of his hair. He inspired the awe of beholders as he was seated on his
wooden form, and adorned with his robe of racoon skins, and his
headdress of various feathers having the appearance of a crown. He
governed many nations, and many of them by the right of conquest. The
place of his residence, at first, was at Powhatan, near the falls of
James river; but, afterwards, when he had extended his conquests north,
it was at a place called Werowocomoco. His dominion included the country
upon James river, from its mouth to the falls, and all its tributary
streams. This was the boundary of his country southerly, and thus across
the territory, "nearly as high as the falls of all the great rivers over
the Potowmack, even to Patuxet in Maryland."

[Illustration: SMITH SELLING BLUE BEADS TO POWHATAN.]

He usually kept a guard, consisting of forty or fifty of his bravest
men, especially when he slept, but this number was four-fold after the
arrival of the English. His wives were numerous, and taken or
dismissed at his pleasure. When he slept, one sat at his head and
another at his feet. His places for temporary residence, or at certain
seasons of the year, were numerous. At these places he had victuals
provided against his coming, in spacious wigwams thirty or forty yards
in extent. His manner of attack upon his neighbors, was stealthy and
fiercely cruel. An instance is given, in his surprisal, on one
occasion, of the people of Payankatank, who were his neighbors and
subjects. To effect his barbarous purpose, he sent several of his men
to lodge with them the night on which he designed an attack; then,
secretly surrounding them in their wigwams, commenced a horrid
massacre. Many of the men were killed, their scalps taken, and the
women and children made prisoners. The scalps were exhibited upon a
line between two trees as a trophy, and the chief of Payankatank and
his wife Powhatan became servants to the emperor.

Through Captain Smith's address, this prince was now brought completely
into the English interest; although eventually, through the imprudent
conduct of Newport, who soon after arrived from England, he was induced
to practice deception upon his new friends, in the way of trade. Smith,
however, in his turn, took advantage of the emperor, to the no great
credit of his moral principles. The revenge was complete, as the
following example shows; Smith gained his end fully, by pretending to
set a great value on a few blue beads, which he had exposed to Powhatan
as if by accident, and which he professed to be very unwilling to part
with, as they were worn, according to his account, only by great kings.
This fired the emperor with the wish to secure them, at whatever
sacrifice on his part. In the infatuation produced, he parted with two
or three hundred bushels of corn, for a pound or two of beads. Thus the
intercourse of the whites with these simple children of nature, in the
early period of our history, was not always marked with that delicate
regard of right and veracity, with which every transaction of this
nature should be attended. The consequences very naturally appeared in
the many plots and counter-plots which were contrived to embarrass one
another, or to effect unlawful objects.

On one occasion Powhatan became offended with Smith, because he could
not procure swords from him in the manner in which he procured them from
Newport. When the latter was about leaving the country, Powhatan sent
him twenty turkeys, for which he demanded and obtained twenty swords in
return. He supposed that he could do the same with Smith, but was
disappointed; and, accordingly he ordered his men to seize the English
wherever they could find them. The consequence was, that many of the
latter, in the vicinity of the forts, were robbed of their swords. These
depredations were continued until Smith surprised a number of the
Indians, from whom he learned that Powhatan was endeavoring to get all
the arms in his power, with a view to massacre the whites. When the
chief found that his plot was discovered, he sent Pocahontas, his
daughter, with gifts, in order to apologize for his conduct, and
pretended that the mischief was done by some of his chiefs. He directed
her to use her influence in effecting the release of his men, in which
she succeeded, and thus the parties became at peace again.

The friendship which Powhatan manifested towards the English at any
time, was short-lived, and seems not to have been at all sincere.
Constant deceptions were practised by him to gain his ends; and, so long
as he lived, difficulties existed between him and the English. The noble
Pocahontas was a sort of mediator between them, and often brought
important intelligence, as seasonable aid, to the latter. On one
occasion, after a long conference, in regard to a trade in provisions,
in which deceptions were employed on both sides, and in which Powhatan
endeavored to persuade Captain Smith and his men to treat with him in a
friendly manner, and to throw aside their arms, Smith was about to
resort to force in order to effect his object. Powhatan, however,
succeeded in escaping from the conference, and in conveying his women,
children, and effects into the woods. Even then he attempted to allure
Smith into his presence unarmed, if possible, by sending him a present.
Finding, at last, all artifices without effect, Powhatan resolved to
fall upon the English in their cabins on the following night. But here
Pocahontas interposed her kind offices, and was the means, most
probably, of saving the life of Smith and his attendants. She came
alone, in a dark night, through the woods, and apprised Smith of her
father's design. For such a favor, Smith offered her whatever articles
she would please to accept; but she declined taking any thing, and, with
tears in her eyes, remarked, that if her father should see her with any
thing, he would suspect what she had done, and instantly kill her. She
then retired as she came, through the dismal forest.

[Illustration: Pocahontas coming in the night to tell Smith of the
intended Massacre.]

After Smith's final departure from Virginia, the emperor's animosity
against the whites was confirmed, as the English successor in the
government, Lord De la War, was much less cautious and moderate in his
measures with the Indians, severe as Smith's treatment of them was at
times. The new governor, finding Powhatan not disposed to yield to his
demands, proceeded to an act of horrid barbarity. Having got into his
power an Indian prisoner, his lordship caused his right hand to be
cut off. In this shocking condition he sent the poor creature to
Powhatan. At the same time he gave the sachem to understand, that he
would serve all the Indians in that manner, if they refused obedience
any longer, and that he would destroy all the corn, which was then
near to the harvest. Powhatan, consequently, could not but feel the
most burning indignation against the Englishman.

Two years after Smith left Virginia, that is, in 1611, Captain Argal
treacherously took the king's daughter prisoner, with a view to
prevent him from doing injury to the English, as also to extort a
large ransom from him, and such terms of peace as they should
prescribe. On being informed of the captivity of Pocahontas, connected
with the demand that he should restore to the English their men, guns,
and tools, taken at different times by the Indians, the stern and wary
chief became greatly embarrassed, and knew not what to do. They did
not hear from him until at the expiration of three months, when he
complied with their demand only in part. This did not satisfy Argal;
the demand in full was reiterated; but Powhatan was again, for a long
time, silent. The result was, that, in a year or two, Sir Thomas Dale
took Pocahontas to the residence of her father, in hopes to effect an
exchange, and bring about a peace. Powhatan was absent from home, and
the party met with no kindly reception from the Indians, who seemed to
take the presence of the English in dudgeon. The latter burned many of
their Indian habitations, and gave out threats of other vengeance.
This had the effect of inducing some of the Indians to come and make
peace, as they called it. Pocahontas had then an opportunity of seeing
two of her brothers, which gave her unbounded joy. After the marriage
of this excellent Indian woman to Mr. Rolfe, the whites experienced
less trouble from Powhatan; though it is believed that they were never
entirely exempt from the effects of his policy or his power.

The successors of Powhatan were, first, Opitchapan, and, next,
Opecancanough, both brothers of the emperor. Such was the law of the
succession. The first-named chief seems never to have been noted for
any distinguishing quality, but is spoken of as being feeble and
decrepid. He compared unfavorably with his brother, who, in the
council and in the field, was the most conspicuous personage among the
Powhatans. He had, during the life-time of the late emperor, procured
from the free tribe of the Chickahominies the title of their king.

It was Opecancanough who figured so disastrously in the great massacre
of the whites, on the 22d March, 1622, which has been narrated in
another place. It was kept a profound secret during four years, and
burst upon the settlement like a bolt from heaven. In the vengeance,
with which the English followed this act of treachery and blood, it was
for some time supposed that Opecancanough was among the killed; but if
history does not misguide us, the same sachem, twenty-two years
afterwards, executed a still greater massacre upon the English. It is
not known how long he had been plotting the extirpation of the whites,
but in 1644, all the Indians over the space of country six hundred miles
in extent, were joined in the enterprise. The governor and council had
appointed a fast-day to be kept through the country upon Good-Friday for
the success of the king. On the day before the intended fast,
Opecancanough, borne in a litter, led his warriors forward, and
commenced the work of death. He was supposed to be near one hundred
years old at this time. The massacre commenced in the out-parts of the
circumjacent country, and continued two days. The Indians fell suddenly
upon the inhabitants, and killed all indiscriminately, to the number of
three hundred. Their progress was checked by the arrival of Sir William
Berkley, at the head of an armed force.

[Illustration: Opecancanough borne in a litter to the Massacre of the
Whites.]

Subsequently to this massacre (the date has not been ascertained),
this bloody chief was taken prisoner. Sir William intended to send him
as a present to the king of England. He was, however, prevented from
doing it, by the assassination of Opecancanough. The soldier who was
appointed to guard him, fired upon him, and inflicted a mortal wound,
it having been, as was supposed, an act of private revenge. Just
before the old chief expired, hearing a great noise and crowd around
him, he ordered an attendant to lift up his eye-lids, as from age and
fatigue the elasticity of his muscles was in a great degree impaired,
when he discovered a multitude pressing around him, to gratify the
morbid desire of beholding a dying sachem. Aroused with indignation,
and little fearing death, he seemed to disregard the crowd; but
raising himself from the ground in the spirit of his wonted authority,
commanded that the governor should be called to him. When the latter
came, the chief uttered in his hearing the impassioned remark: "Had it
been my fortune to have taken Sir William Berkley prisoner, I would
not meanly have exposed him as a show to my people," and soon after
expired. An Indian, whom they afterwards had seized as prisoner,
confessed that they attempted this destruction of the English,
because they saw the latter "took up all their lands from them, and
would drive them out of the country, and they took this season, for
that they understood that they were at war in England, and began to go
to war among themselves." These intrusions upon the Indian territory
were, however, conformable to the grants of the proprietors, the
Indians. Opecancanough could hardly have expected an entire conquest,
as his people had already begun to melt away, and the villages of the
English planters were springing up over an extent of country of over
five hundred miles, with a comparatively large population.

Nickotawance succeeded Opecancanough as a tributary to the English. In
1648, he came to Jamestown in company with several other chiefs, and
brought a number of beaver-skins to be sent to the English king. He
delivered a prolonged address, which he concluded with the protestation,
"that the sun and moon should first lose their glorious lights and
shining, before he or his people should ever more wrong the English."

The successor of this chief is supposed to have been Totopotomoi, as
he was king of Pamunkey in 1656. In that year, a body of western or
inland Indians, to the number of six or seven hundred, came down from
the mountainous country, and took possession of the territory about
the falls of James river. This fact coming to the knowledge of the
legislature of Virginia, which was then in session, it was resolved to
dislodge the Indians from their new location, as their situation and
proximity were considered dangerous to the whites. The war seems not
to have been attended with any success on the part of the colony. The
English leader, with one hundred men, and Totopotomoi with one hundred
of his warriors, suffered extremely in an engagement. It appears,
however, that a peace was not long after concluded with the Indians.

A renowned warrior, Nemattanow, not having been mentioned in the proper
order of time, may be introduced here. He was supposed to have had an
agency in bringing about the great massacre of 1622. He was, however,
an object of jealousy to Opecancanough, the leader in that tragedy, on
account of his popularity among his countrymen. He is said to have been
an eccentric and vain person, being wont "to dress himself up in a
strange attire and barbaric fashion with feathers," on which account he
obtained the name of Jack-of-the-feather. As he had been engaged in many
fights with the English, and, though particularly exposed, had never
received a wound, he was considered by the Indians to be invulnerable.
The cause and manner of his fate were the following: "Only about
fourteen days before the massacre, Jack-of-the-feather went to the house
of one Morgan, where he saw many such articles exhibited as were
calculated to excite admiration in such people. Jack, perhaps, had not
the means to purchase, but it seems he was resolved some how or other to
possess them. He therefore told Morgan that if he would take his
commodities to Pamunkey, the Indians would give him a great price for
them. Not in the least mistrusting the design of Nemattanow, the simple
Englishman set out for Pamunkey, in company with this Indian. This was
the last the English ever heard of Morgan. However strange it may seem,
Jack's ill-directing fate sent him to the same place again; and, what
was still more strange, he had the cap of the murdered Morgan upon his
head. Morgan's servants asked him where their master was, who very
deliberately answered that he was dead. This satisfied them that he had
murdered him. They therefore seized him, in order to take him before a
magistrate at Berkley; but he made a good deal of resistance, which
caused one of the captors to shoot him down. The singular part of the
tragedy is yet to be related. Though mortally wounded, Nemattanow was
not killed outright, and his captors, which were two stout young men,
got him into a boat to proceed to Mr. Thorp's, the magistrate. As they
were going, the warrior became satisfied that he must die, and with the
most extraordinary earnestness, besought that two things might be
granted him. One was, that it should never be told to his countrymen
that he was killed by a bullet; and the other, that he should be buried
among the English, so that it should never be discovered that he had
died, or was subject to death like other men. Such was the pride and
vanity exhibited by an Indian at his death."[18]

From the preceding brief notices of the hostile bearing of the savage
tribes towards the early Southern planters, it will be apparent that
the colonization of that portion of America was no easy matter. The
jealousy of the Indians towards their new neighbors was soon excited;
nor did the conduct of the colonists serve to allay, but rather to
increase it. The cruelty and vindictiveness of the Indians cannot be
justified; but in their circumstances may be found, perhaps, some
small apology. This was their country: they were proprietors of the
soil. Here they lived: here were their altars: here their fathers'
sepulchres; and they regarded them with the veneration and love of
which they were capable. Who can blame them? Who censure those
feelings--that patriotism--that love of liberty, which, when found
among civilized nations, are highly extolled? Among the Indian chiefs,
there were men of no small sagacity; who, foreseeing the consequences
to themselves and people of the thrift and extension of the
English--can it be deemed strange that their anticipations were most
sad? or that they should adopt every expedient which seemed likely to
avert calamities to them most fearful?

[Illustration]

[Illustration: N.E. INDIAN WARS.]

FOOTNOTE:

[18] Book of the Indians.



                  IV. PLYMOUTH COLONY AND THE INDIANS.


    EARLY Rencontre at Plymouth--Friendly intercourse established by
        means of Samoset--Kindness of Squanto--Intercourse with
        Massasoit--Contemplated Massacre defeated--Jealousy of
        Caunbitant--Notice of Hobomok.

In the early period of the settlements of New England, the
difficulties with the Indians were of less frequent occurrence, than
those which took place in the Virginia colony. The providence of God
had prepared the way for the pilgrims to enter upon their wilderness
inheritance. The power of the Indians had been weakened by sickness,
or their dispositions softened, perhaps, in some cases, by their
adversities. There were instances, certainly, of singular friendship
toward the whites, on the part of these children of nature, as was
manifested in Samoset, Massasoit, and others. But the character,
objects, and policy of the pilgrims will account, in part, for the
comparative freedom from Indian hostility which marked the early era
of their settlement in this land. As they came to enjoy and
disseminate their religion, they had no motive to irritate or disturb
the aboriginal inhabitants. Wealth was not sought from them, nor any
greater portion of the soil than would suffice for their wants, at the
same time leaving to the Indian behind the boundless wilderness, which
alone he cared for. They would have reclaimed him from heathenism, and
taught him religion, science, and the arts of civilised life, had he
been pleased to learn them. This was attempted, in some instances, but
the success, though a matter of gratitude, was not at any time very
considerable. The policy of the fathers was to cultivate peace with
all the Indian tribes; and during many years, so far as the settlement
of the eastern shore was concerned, the object generally was effected.
Still occasionally difficulties would occur, and at length, under a
new set of chiefs, the notes of savage warfare rung loud and long over
the hills and vales of New England. But we will here speak more
particularly of the earliest colony, Plymouth.

The first encounter had with the Indians, preceded the disembarkation
of the company of adventurers. It was a select party of some fifteen
or sixteen, who had landed with a view to explore the country.
Overtaken by night, they set their watch, hoping doubtless to pass the
night unmolested; but about midnight they heard a hideous cry. The cry
then ceased, and it was then supposed that it had been the noise only
of wolves and foxes. About five o'clock, however, they again heard a
sudden and strange noise, which they knew to be the same voices,
though they varied their notes. One of the company being abroad, came
running in, and cried, "They are men, Indians! Indians!" and with this
announcement came a shower of arrows. The whites ran out with all
speed to recover their arms. The cry of the enemy was terrific,
especially when they perceived what the whites were about to do. Their
arms being secured, the Indians were ready to make an assault. One,
who appeared to be the leader of the latter, a stout athletic man,
stood behind a tree within a musket-shot, and there let his arrows fly
at the English. Three several shots were poured in upon him without
touching him--at length, one seemed to take effect, as he bounded off,
and his company with him, yelling most hideously. It is not known that
any blood was shed in this encounter, though the probability is, that
the chief was wounded. Of the arrows that were left on the field,
several were picked up, and sent as a curiosity to friends in England.
Some of them were ingeniously headed with brass, some with harts'
horn, and some with the claws of eagles.

An intercourse of an agreeable character between the pilgrims and the
natives soon commenced, by means of _Samoset_, whose manner of
introducing himself to the settlement has been mentioned in another
portion of this work. The hospitality with which he was treated, secured
his friendship and confidence, and he communicated to the settlers, in
answer to their inquiries, whatever information he possessed respecting
the Indians and the country. He is described by an early historian as
having been a tall, strait man, the hair of his head black, long behind,
and short before, none at all on his face. He ate and drank freely of
that which was offered him; and, although they wished his absence at
night, yet he was unwilling to leave, and they could not do otherwise
than keep and watch him. This visit of the kind Samoset was an augury of
good to the colony. It seemed purely a providential event.

The visit continued only until the next morning, but was repeated in the
course of a day or two. His return then brought to the acquaintance of
the colony other Indians who accompanied him. They were some of
Massasoit's men, whose object was to trade with the English. As Samoset
was charged not to let any who came with him bring their arms, these,
therefore, left their bows and arrows at a distance from the place. They
were entertained in a fitting manner; they ate liberally of the English
victuals, and appeared very friendly; "sang and danced after their
manner like antics." They were dismissed as soon as it could be done
conveniently, without effecting any trade. Samoset, either being sick,
or feigning himself so, would not depart, and contrived to continue
several days longer. In this visit, some stolen articles were returned
by the Indians, through Samoset's influence.

At the next visit he made, he was accompanied by Squanto, as once
before related. The latter was said to be the only native of Patuxet
(the Indian name of Plymouth) living there at that period. His
captivity and residence in England had prepared him, by understanding
the English language, to render service to the colony. Squanto, it
appears, was the only person that escaped the great sickness at
Patuxet. The extent of its ravages, as near as can be judged, was from
Narraganset bay to Kennebec, or, perhaps, Penobscot, and is supposed
to have commenced about 1617, and its continuance between two and
three years, as it was nearly abated in 1619. According to the account
of the Indians, it was a terrific scene, the deaths occurring with
such frequency, that the living were not able to bury the dead. In the
language of an author of the time, "they died in heaps as they laid in
their houses, and the living, that were able to shift for themselves,
would runne away, and would let them dy, and let their carcasses ly
above the ground without buriall. For in a place where many inhabited,
there had been but one (referring to Squanto) left alive to tell what
became of the rest." When the pilgrims arrived in this country, their
bones were thick upon the ground in many places. Squanto, with another
Indian and several Englishmen, was employed, on one occasion, to go in
search of an English boy, who had been lost in the woods. Having been
informed of some Indians that the boy was at Nauset, they proceeded in
a vessel to that place, joined also by Iyanough, the sachem of
Cummaquid, and two of his men. Aspinet, the chief at Nauset, being
informed by Squanto that his English friends had come for the boy, he
came with a great train, and brought the boy with him, one carrying
him through the water. Not less than an hundred Indians appeared on
this occasion, half of whom attending the boy to the boat, the rest
standing aloof, with their bows and arrows, looking on. The child was
delivered up in a formal manner, covered with beads, and Aspinet
embraced the opportunity of making peace with the English, the latter
giving him a knife, as also one to the kind Indian who first
entertained the lost boy, and brought him to Nauset.

Squanto had shown his early attachment to the English, in his conduct
towards Captain Dermer, who visited the country the year before the
pilgrims arrived here. When the Indians would have killed him on some
occasion, Squanto successfully pleaded in his behalf. They had in view
the avenging of some murders, which a foreigner, an Englishman, had a
while before inflicted on their people. These two Indians, Samoset and
Squanto, remained with the English, instructing them how to live in
their country. Squanto became an important personage in the Indian
politics. He was in the main friendly to the English; but his devices
to enhance himself in the eyes of his new friends, or to make himself
great in the eyes of his countrymen, were not always wise, and were
not, unfrequently, mischievous. In 1622 he forfeited his life by
plotting to destroy that of Massasoit. On that occasion, the latter
went to Plymouth, burning with rage against Squanto, but the governor
succeeded in quieting him for that time. Soon after, he sent a
messenger to entreat the governor's consent to his being put to death;
but the latter would not be persuaded to yield to his request. Squanto
denied all knowledge of the plot. The English, however, seemed well
satisfied that Squanto had laid this shallow scheme to set them
against Massasoit, thinking they would destroy him, by which means he
expected to become chief sachem himself; and this seems the more
probable, as Massasoit was, for some time, irreconcilable, because
they withheld Squanto from him. When the English understood his
object, they assured the Indians that they did not concur in the plot,
and that they would do no injury to them, unless the Indians began
with the whites. Squanto was sharply reproved by the governor, but he
was so necessary to the welfare of the colony, in respect to its
intercourse with the Indians, that he was retained there.

The following instance is related of his manœuvres to possess his
countrymen with great fear of the English: He told them that the
English kept the plague buried in one of their store-houses, and that
they could send it at any time to any place, to destroy whatever
persons or people they would, though they themselves stirred not out
of doors. This piece of information was of course calculated to
inspire them with great terror. Some sagacious Indians at length
discovered the trick, by inquiring of the English respecting it.

Squanto died during an expedition or trading voyage, which was
undertaken among the Indians of Cape Cod, to buy corn in a time of
scarcity. He was pilot on this occasion. He was seized with sickness in
the midst of the undertaking, his disorder being a fever, and he
bleeding much at the nose, which the Indians reckon a fatal symptom, the
disease soon overpowered him. He desired the governor would pray for
him, that he might go to the Englishman's God. He bequeathed his effects
to sundry of his English friends, as remembrances of his affection.

"Thus died the famous Squanto, or Tisquantum, in December, 1622. To
him the pilgrims were greatly indebted, although he often, through
extreme folly and short-sightedness, gave them, as well as himself and
others, a great deal of trouble."

One of the most interesting personages of Indian history is Massasoit,
already spoken of incidentally. His visit to the pilgrims had been
previously announced through Samoset and Squanto. He was chief of the
Wampanoags, and resided at a place called Pokanet by the Indians,
which is now included in the town of Bristol, Rhode Island. He was a
friend to the English, and persevered in his friendship to the last.
His renown was more in peace than in war, and is for that reason more
precious in the memory of the wise and virtuous.

"It has often been thought strange that so mild a sachem as Massasoit
should have possessed so great a country, and our wonder has been
increased, when we consider that Indian possessions are generally
obtained by prowess and great personal courage. We know of none who
could boast of such extensive dominions, where all were contented to
consider themselves his friends and children. Powhatan, Pontiac, Little
Turtle, Tecumseh, and many more that we could name, have swayed numerous
tribes; but theirs was a temporary union in an emergency of war. That
Massasoit should be able to hold so many tribes together, without
constant war, required qualities belonging only to a few. That he was
not a warrior, no one will allow, when the testimony of Annawon is so
direct to the point; for that great chief gave Captain Church an account
of what mighty success he had formerly in the wars against many nations
of Indians, when he served Asuhmequin (Massasoit), Philip's father."

The limits of his country cannot be exactly pointed out, as
occasionally the Nipmucks, or inland Indians, owned his sway, and at
other times that of the Narraganset sachem. He possessed at least Cape
Cod, and all that part of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, between
Massachusetts and Narraganset bays, extending into the interior to
some distance between Pawtucket and Charles rivers. The distance is
not accurately known. This chief had several places of residence, but
the favorite one would appear to have been Mount Hope. It has always
been deemed a picturesque and beautiful locality. The Indian name,
Pokanoket, signifies the wood or land on the other side of the water.
There was a place in Middleborough, and another in Raynham, where
Massasoit spent some parts of the year, probably the summer.

It was of course in Massasoit's country that the pilgrim fathers had
arrived. With their object, and the nature of their movement, he
could not be supposed to be acquainted. These points he made some
attempts to ascertain, by sending occasionally some of his men to the
settlement at Plymouth. It was in this way that his introduction to
the English was brought about, the visit of Samoset and Squanto being
the preparation for the event. It was on the 22d of March, 1621, that
the great sagamore, with Quadequina, his brother, made his appearance
before them. Much caution was observed by each party in respect to the
meeting, as they were uncertain of one another's views. But presents
were made to the Indians, and much good will was expressed. The
following description of the scene has been given: "As Massasoit
proceeded to meet the English, they met him with six soldiers, who
saluted each other. Several of his men were with him, but all left
their bows and arrows behind. They were conducted to a new house which
was partly finished, and a green rug was spread on the floor, and
several cushions for Massasoit and his chiefs to sit down upon. Then
came the English governor, followed by a drummer and trumpeter, and a
few soldiers, and, after kissing one another, all sat down. Some
strong water being brought, the governor drank to Massasoit, who in
his turn drank a great draught, that made him sweat all the while
after. They now proceeded to make a treaty, which stipulated that
neither Massasoit nor any of his people should do hurt to the English,
and that if they did, they should be given up to be punished by them;
and that if the English did any harm to him or any of his people, they
(the English) would do the like to them." Massasoit is represented as
having trembled much on the occasion, through his fear of the English.
This was his first visit to the infant colony, and its consequences
seem to have been of the most propitious character. He ever afterwards
treated the English with kindness, and the compact was followed by a
long period of peace.

The only exception to his feelings of friendship for the new comers,
arose from the affair of Squanto, as has been already detailed.
Massasoit could not but feel aggrieved; but a sort of necessity seemed
to be laid upon them to secure the good offices of Squanto, and they
could not know, perhaps, how far he was implicated in wrong. Indeed,
it is stated that at one time they were about to deliver up Squanto to
Massasoit's men, but that the latter, in their impatience at the
delay, went off in a rage.

Sometime during the next summer, Massasoit was visited by several of the
English, among whom were Mr. Edward Winslow, Mr. Stephen Hopkins, and
Squanto, their interpreter. The object they had in view was to ascertain
his place of residence, in the event of having to call on him for
assistance, to cement and continue their begun friendship, and
particularly to induce him to restrain his men in regard to their visits
to the colony, as it was a time of scarcity, and they could not afford
to support such vagabonds. They took presents with them, in order to
render their visit agreeable to the sagamore, and such was the effect
produced. Massasoit was absent at the time, but, being immediately sent
for, he soon returned to meet his guests. The report of their guns, upon
hearing he was on the way, frightened the Indian women and children to
such a degree, that they all fled; but their salutation in the same
manner to Massasoit as he drew near, very greatly elated him. He
welcomed his guests with kindness, and took them into his house; but
they had sorry accommodations and scanty fare. Except tobacco for
smoking, their entertainment for the first night was only a supperless
bed, as he had no victuals to give them. Their bed, if it might be so
called, consisted only of planks, raised a foot from the ground, with a
thin mat upon them, with a mixed company to occupy it, so that they were
"worse weary of" their "lodgings, than of" their "journey." After
fasting two nights and one day, they partook of a scanty, but "timely"
meal of boiled fish. In the language of the times, it is related: "Very
importunate was he to have us stay with them longer. But we desired to
keep the Sabbath at home, and feared we should either be light-headed
for the want of sleep--for what with bad lodging, the savages' barbarous
singing (for they used to sing themselves to sleep), lice, and fleas,
within doors, and musketoes without, we could hardly sleep all the time
of our being there--we much fearing that if we should stay any longer,
we should not be able to recover home for want of strength. So that on
Friday morning, before the sun rising, we took our leave and departed,
Massasoit being both grieved and ashamed that he could no better
entertain us."

[Illustration: Governor Winslow's visit to Massasoit during his
sickness.]

A sickness with which this sachem was seized, in 1623, occasioned
another visit on the part of Mr. Winslow. He had been sent for by the
chief to visit him in his distress, accompanied by "one Master John
Hampden," then on a visit to the colony, and he took with him medicines
and cordials, such as were deemed necessary. As it was a custom, among
the Indians, for all the friends of a chief to attend on such occasions,
Mr. Winslow found on his arrival that the house was filled with people.
They were noisily engaged in practicing their charms or powows, and all
was confusion and uproar--a poor sedative, surely, for a sick man. To
keep heat in him, some half dozen women were busily employed in chafing
his arms, legs, and thighs. When they had made an end of their
incantations, the chief was told that his friends, the English, were
come to see him. Unable to see, but learning who it was, he desired to
speak with Mr. Winslow. The interview was touching in no small degree,
and especially as Massasoit said: "O, Winsow, I shall never see thee
again." Like other Indians, he could not articulate the liquid _l._ By
Winslow's kind exertions, however, his sickness began to abate, and the
sachem finally recovered, contrary to the expectations of himself and
all his friends.

For this attention of the whites, he ever felt grateful, viewing it as
the means of his recovery. He gave a striking proof of his
appreciation of the favor shown him, even before the departure of
Winslow, by informing Hobomok of a plot laid by some of his
subordinate chiefs for the purpose of destroying the two English
plantations. This he charged him to make known to the English, which
was done. Massasoit mentioned, at the same time, that he had been
urged to join in it, or give his consent to the plan; but that he had
steadily opposed it. The evils which that plot brought upon its
authors, will be seen in another place.

Massasoit manifested a great desire for the welfare of his people, as
appeared from his inducing Mr. Winslow to go among them, in the midst
of a prevailing sickness, and administer to them the medicines and
cordials which had proved so efficacious in his own case. This, his
paternal regard for his people, raised him still higher in the
estimation of the English. Many Indians, before Mr. Winslow left, came
to see their chief; some probably from a distance of an hundred miles.

A war, which commenced in 1632, between Massasoit and Canonicus, the
sachem of the Narragansets, was speedily terminated by the
interference of the English in behalf of their benefactor. Captain
Miles Standish led the force, and accomplished the object with little
bloodshed, although the Indians expected a serious contest.

Massasoit showed his kind feeling towards Mr. Williams, in giving up
the lands in dispute between him and the Narraganset sachem, since Mr.
Williams had bought and paid for all he possessed of the latter. His
title was precarious so long as Massasoit laid claim to the territory,
as it would then be considered as being within the jurisdiction of
Plymouth. The land thus given up, included that which is the island
called Rhode Island, Prudence island, and perhaps some others,
together with Providence. Agreeably to Massasoit's advice, in regard
to the Indian plot for the massacre of the whites, already referred
to, that a bold stroke should be struck, and the heads of the plot
destroyed, the daring Standish, with a party of only eight men, went
into the hostile country to effect the object. The party intended
secresy, but the Indians in some way obtained knowledge of it, or
mistrusted Standish's design. Accordingly, they began to prepare for
the conflict. One of them, Pecksuot, a man of great courage, called a
_paniese_, told Hobomok, _he understood the captain was there to kill
him and the rest of the Indians there_. "Tell him," said Pecksuot, "we
know it, but fear him not, neither will we shun him." By their conduct
before the English, in sharpening their knives and in their insulting
gestures and speeches, they showed how little apprehension they
entertained, especially as the English were so inconsiderable in
number. Pecksuot even told Standish, that though he were a great
captain, yet he was but a little man, and that he himself, though he
was no sachem, yet was a man of great strength and courage. Standish
little heeded what was said, but watched his opportunity, as the
parties were in a house together. After considerable manœuvring, he
could get advantage over but a few of the Indians. At length, having
got Pecksuot and Wittuwamat, a bloody Massachusetts' chief, both
together, with another man and a youth, brother to Wittuwamat, and
like him in character; and having about as many of his own company in
the same room, he gave the word to his men to commence the work. The
door was at once made fast, and Standish himself began the terrible
contest. Snatching from Pecksuot his own knife from his neck, though
with a desperate struggle, he pierced with it the athletic Indian, and
brought him to the floor. The rest killed Wittuwamat and the other
man, and took the youth, whom the captain caused to be hanged. After
this, other encounters were had with the scattered Indians, and some
three more were also killed.

In justice to the savages, it is worthy of remark, that they were
provoked to the conspiracy for which they were so severely dealt with,
by the unauthorized aggressions of Weston's men, a colony of sixty
Englishmen, who had come over a year or two before, under the
direction of Thomas Weston. He was at first a friend of the pilgrims,
but became at length their traducer. This company, after living upon
the ill-supplied settlers at Plymouth through the winter of 1621-22,
had made at Weymouth an inexpedient settlement. The pilgrims
prosecuted this bloody enterprise, under the excitement produced by
the horrible intelligence from Virginia of the great Indian massacre
in that colony. In view of this bloody tale, we cannot but regret the
necessity which our fathers felt for engaging in such a work; and we
cannot but be touched with the piety and humanity of the godly Mr.
Robinson, the father of the Plymouth church, in consequence of the
present affair, that "it would have been happy if they had converted
some before they had killed any."

Between the years 1649 and 1657, Massasoit sold to the English, at
different times, various tracts of land for a valuable consideration.
Indeed, being entirely subservient to the English, he claimed to hold
little or nothing of his own at length, and ceased to act in his own
name. He therefore scarcely appears in the records of the colony, during
the three or four last years of his life. He died, it is believed, in
1662, his son Alexander dying also the same year. Another son, the
celebrated Philip, succeeded him. Even Massasoit could be guilty of an
Indian trick, as the following instance, related by Governor Winthrop,
evinces: Mr. Winslow, on returning from a trading voyage southward, left
his vessel, and, traveling by land, called on his old friend Massasoit,
who agreed to accompany him during the remainder of the journey. While
they were on the way, Massasoit sent on one of his men forward to
Plymouth, for the purpose of surprising the people, by the announcement
of Winslow's death. As the declaration was believed at Plymouth, from
the manner in which the account was given, it produced unmingled grief
at the settlement. But shortly, what was their astonishment at seeing
him alive, in company with his Indian friend. When it was known that the
sachem had caused the sad news to be conveyed to them, they demanded the
reason of his conduct in practising such a deception. He gave as a
reply, that he might be more welcome when he did return, and that such
things were customary with his people.

Of Caunbitant, as one of the Indian chiefs in that region, something
deserves to be said. He was one of the most renowned captains within the
dominions of Massasoit. The place of his residence was Mettapoiset, in
the present town of Swansey. He ever looked upon the English with a
jealous eye, considering them as enemies and intruders on the soil, and
his plans appeared to be shaped for the destruction of the strangers, as
soon as he could find a fitting occasion. In the summer of 1621, he was
supposed to be in the interests of the Narragansets, and plotting with
them to overthrow Massasoit. He had much also to say against the
English, and the peace concluded between Nauset, Cummaquid, and the
latter. Against Squanto and Hobomok he indulged a deadly enmity.
Discovering, on one occasion, the house where Squanto was, he set a
guard around it, and secured him. Hobomok, seeing that Squanto was
taken, and Caunbitant holding a knife to his throat, being a strong man
broke away from them, and came to Plymouth, with the news of Squanto's
probable death. Upon this, the people sent an expedition of fourteen
men, under Standish, to rectify matters. After much toil, this small
handful of men arrived at the place where they expected to find
Caunbitant. They beset the house, and demanded of the chief if he were
there. The savages seemed to be struck dumb with fear. Upon being
assured that they sought only Caunbitant, and that every Indian was safe
who would be still, they at length, though a few of them endeavored to
escape, told the assailants that Caunbitant was returned home with his
whole train, and that Squanto was yet living, and in the town. The
attack being made in the night, carried terror to the hearts of the
Indians, as in the affray a couple of guns were discharged, some of them
never having heard the report of fire-arms before. While the English
were searching the house, Hobomok got on the top of it, and called
Squanto and another Indian, Tokamahamon, whom they sought. They both
appeared in a short time, together with several others, some armed and
others naked. The captured wigwam was held until daylight, when the
prisoners were released, and the little army marched into the town of
the Namaskets. Here it seems Squanto had a house to which they went, and
where they took breakfast. The issue of the whole was, the giving out of
a decree from the court that they held, in which they warned Caunbitant
of the consequences of offering violence to Tisquantum, Hobomok, or any
of Massasoit's subjects. Caunbitant seemed from this time to lay aside
his enmity to the English, or at least his open opposition, as on the
13th of September following he went to Plymouth, and signed a treaty of
amity, together with others. The English nevertheless always doubted his
sincerity.

What became of this sachem is not known to history. His name appears
no more on record after 1623, and it is supposed that he either fled
his country, or died about that time.

Hobomok, already spoken of occasionally in the story of others,
deserves a more particular notice. He was a notable warrior, who came
to Plymouth about the end of July, 1621, and remained with the English
to the close of his life. He was the principal means of the lasting
friendship of Massasoit, which he took much pains to promote. Esteemed
by his own countrymen for his prowess and valor, he was extremely
serviceable to the colonists, by teaching them how to cultivate the
fruits and grains peculiar to the country. The latter had no reason to
apprehend treachery on his part, as Hobomok was a favorite of
Massasoit, and one of his principal captains, and was entirely in
their interest. The following incident strengthened them in their
opinion: The Massachusetts Indians had, for some time, been inviting
the settlers into their country to trade for furs. When in March,
1622, they began to make ready for the voyage, Hobomok told the people
that he feared the Massachusetts were joined in confederacy with the
Narragansets, and that they therefore would seize upon this occasion
to cut off Captain Standish and his company abroad; and also, in the
mean while, it was to be feared that the Narragansets would attack the
town at home, giving reasons for his apprehensions, declaring also
that Tisquantum was in the confederacy. He intimated that the latter
would use many persuasions to draw the people from their shallops,
that the Indians might take advantage of their situation.

They, however, proceeded on their voyage, but had not reached a great
distance before a false messenger came running into Plymouth, apparently
in great agitation. He informed them that Caunbitant, with many of the
Narragansets, and he believed Massasoit with them, were on their way in
order to cut off the English. The story was unhesitatingly believed, and
their instant purpose was to bring back Captain Standish, who had just
left in the boat with Hobomok. The discharge of a cannon from the town
brought the company back. They had no sooner arrived than Hobomok
assured them there was no truth in the report, and said it was a plot
of Squanto's, who was then in one of the boats. He knew that as to
Massasoit, that chief would not engage in such an enterprise without
consulting him. Although there was reason to believe this, or at least
to confide in the sincerity of Hobomok, yet, as related in another
place, the English saw fit to connive at Squanto's practices. "Hobomok
was greatly beloved by Massasoit, notwithstanding he became a professed
Christian, and Massasoit was always opposed to the English religion
himself. He was the pilot of the English when they visited Massasoit in
his sickness, whom before their arrival they considered dead, which
caused great manifestations of grief in Hobomok. He often exclaimed, as
they were on the way, 'My loving sachem! my loving sachem! many have I
known, but never any like thee.' Then turning to Mr. Winslow, said:
'While you live, you will never see his like among the Indians, that he
was no liar, nor bloody and cruel, like other Indians. In anger and
passion, he was soon reclaimed, easy to be reconciled towards such as
had offended him; that his reason was such as to cause him to receive
advice of mean men; and that he governed his people better with few
blows than others did with many.' In the division of the land at
Plymouth, among the inhabitants, Hobomok received a lot as his share, on
which he resided after the English manner, and died a Christian among
them. The year of his death does not appear, but was previous to
1642."[19]

FOOTNOTE:

[19] Book of the Indians.



                      V. ENGLISH AND NARRAGANSETS.


    TERRITORY OF THE NARRAGANSETS--Canonicus their sachem--His mode of
        challenging the English to War--Union proposed between the
        Pequods and Narragansets--How defeated--Haughty bearing of
        Miantonimoh--Accused of a conspiracy against the
        English--Accusations repelled--Peace concluded between him and
        Massachusetts--War between Uncas and Miantonimoh--The latter
        captured and delivered to the English--How disposed
        of--Troubles with the Narragansets under Ninigret--Expedition
        against him--Issue of it.

The Narragansets were considered a great nation among the Indians. The
territory of their sachem extended about thirty or forty miles from
Sekunk river and Narraganset bay, including Rhode Island and other
islands in that bay. Pawcatuck river separated it from the Pequods.
Under the rule of Canonicus, in 1642, this nation was at the height of
its greatness, and was supposed to embrace a population of thirty
thousand inhabitants. He was sachem of the tribe at the time of the
landing of the fathers on the shores of New England, and continued in
this capacity to the time of his death, in 1647. He died, it is
believed, at a very advanced age. At the period of the settlement of
Plymouth, the Wampanoags were in great fear of the Narragansets, and
at one time war actually existed. During its continuance, Massasoit
fled before Canonicus, and sought the protection of the English.

The Narragansets, at an early period, were not disinclined to seek a
quarrel with the English. In view of the weakness of the latter, they
began to utter threats, although the summer preceding they had desired
and obtained peace. They deemed it a favorable opportunity for their
purpose, as the English had just received an addition to their
numbers, but not to their arms or provisions--a circumstance of which
the Indians were advised. Their desire, or intention, was definitely
made known by the following significant circumstance: In February,
1622, Canonicus sent a man, accompanied by one Tokamahamon, a
friendly Indian, into Plymouth, bringing with him a bundle of arrows,
bound with a rattle-snake's skin, and, leaving them there, immediately
left the place. When Squanto was made acquainted with the incident, he
informed the English that it was a challenge for war. The governor
(Bradford) taking the rattle-snake's skin, and filling it with powder
and shot, returned it to Canonicus. At the same time, he instructed
the messenger to bid him defiance, and dare him to the combat. This
had the desired effect upon the Indian sachem. He refused to receive
the skin, as also the other chiefs, until it was at last returned to
Plymouth. Canonicus was evidently awed by the hostile bearing and
threat of the English.

[Illustration: Governor Bradford and the Snake-skin.]

Not long after this affair, the Pequods proposed to the Narragansets
to join them in rooting out the English: on the ground that if the
Pequods were once destroyed, the ruin of the Narragansets was sure to
follow. The English would want their lands. They were spreading fast.
But a timely combination would save both tribes and their
inheritance. On these politic representations, the historian Hubbard
cleverly remarks that, "Machiavel himself, if he had sat in council
with them, could not have insinuated stronger reasons to have
persuaded them to a peace." It is said that the Narragansets felt the
force of them, and were almost persuaded to accede to the proposal,
and to join with the others against the English; but when they
considered what an advantage they had put in their hands, by the power
and favor of the English, to take full revenge of all their former
injuries upon their inveterate enemies, the thought of that was so
sweet, that it decided their hesitating minds.

The governor of Massachusetts, in order to prevent a union between
these savage nations, and to strengthen the bands of peace between the
Narraganset Indians and the colony, sent for Miantonimoh, who was
their sachem in connection with Canonicus, inviting him to come to
Boston. Upon this, Miantonimoh, together with two of the sons of
Canonicus, another sachem, and a number of their men, went to Boston,
and entered into a treaty to the following effect: That there should
be a firm peace between them and the English and their posterity--that
neither party should make peace with the Pequods without the consent
of the other--that they should not harbor the Pequods--and that they
should return all fugitive servants, and deliver over to the English,
or put to death, all murderers. The English were to give them notice
when they went out against the Pequods, and they were to furnish them
with guides. It was also stipulated that a free trade should be
maintained between the parties.

These articles were indifferently well observed by the Narragansets
till their enemies, the Pequods, were totally subdued; but after that
event, they began to grow insolent and treacherous, especially
Miantonimoh himself. The English seem always to have been more
favorably disposed towards other tribes than to the Narragansets, as
appears from the interest they took in the wars between them and their
enemies. As long as the other tribes succeeded against them, the
English took no part in the contests; but whenever the Narragansets
prevailed, they were ready to intercede.

After the period of the Pequod war, in 1637, the Narragansets were the
most numerous and powerful of the Indian tribes in this part of the
country. Conscious of their power, and discontented that the whole
sovereignty over the rest of the Indians was not adjudged to belong to
them, or envious that Uncas, the chief sachem of the Mohegans, had
gained the favor of the English more than themselves, they constantly
sought occasions of disagreement with the Mohegans. This was in
contravention of an agreement made between the English and the
Narragansets, in the year 1637, when they had helped to destroy the
Pequods, and also the triple league between the English, Mohegans, and
Narragansets, entered into at Hartford in 1638. The Narragansets
seemed to owe a special spite against Uncas and the Mohegans, from the
time of the distribution of the Pequods after the termination of the
war. They had probably expected the whole management of that affair
for themselves. They therefore found occasions of quarrel with Uncas,
and were hardly kept from making open war with him, when they saw all
other attempts to destroy him by treachery, poison, and sorcery had
failed. The Mohegans, though a less numerous and powerful people than
the Narragansets, were yet more warlike in character and more politic
in their intercourse with the whites.

The disposition of Miantonimoh was haughty and aspiring, and he seemed
to infuse the same spirit into the minds of his people. He possessed a
fine figure, was tall of stature, and was a master of cunning and
subtlely. It was strongly suspected that, in the year 1642, he had
contrived to draw all the Indians throughout the country into a
general conspiracy against the English. Letters from Connecticut,
received at Boston, had announced the existence of such a conspiracy,
and even the details of it were given. The time appointed for the
assault was said to be after harvest--the manner, to be by several
companies entering into the houses of the principal men, professedly
for the purposes of trade, and then to kill them there; one company
seizing their arms, and others being at hand to prosecute the
massacre. It was urged on the part of Connecticut, that war should be
begun with them, and that if Massachusetts would send one hundred and
twenty men to Saybrook, at the mouth of the river, they would meet
them with a proportionable number. Though there was a probability in
the stories afloat, respecting the Narragansets, yet the general court
of Massachusetts did not think the information to be a sufficient
ground for commencing a war. The court, however, ordered that the
Indians within their jurisdiction should be disarmed, and to this they
willingly assented. The sachem of the Narragansets was, moreover, sent
for to Boston, and, by his readiness to appear, confirmed the English
in the opinion that nothing had as yet occurred which could be
construed into a justifiable cause of war. The sachem's quarrel with
the Mohegans would very naturally render them a subject of such a
report, whether there was a foundation for it or not.

Miantonimoh very consistently urged before the court, that his
accusers should be confronted to him, and their allegations sifted, so
that the truth might be ascertained--that if they could not prove
their charges, they might receive the punishment which was their due,
and which would have been inflicted on himself if found guilty, that
is, death--and that as the English must have believed the report,
because they ordered the disarming of the Indians, so equity required
that they who accused him, should be punished according to the offence
charged upon his own person. He, moreover, engaged to prove that the
report was raised by Uncas himself, or some of his people. On the part
of English, the disarming of the Indians was excused on the ground
that Englishmen's houses had been robbed in several instances by the
Indians, which was a consideration that somewhat satisfied the chief.
The Connecticut people yielded, though with reluctance, to the
decision of the Massachusetts court.

They spent two days in making a treaty of peace, the delay being
occasioned by the difficulty of obtaining Miantonimoh's consent to a
portion of the stipulations. It was, however, effected to the
satisfaction of the English. Indian hostages were given for its
performance, and, excepting a company stationed in the Mohegan country
for the protection of Uncas, the whites laid aside warlike preparations.

In the year 1643, Miantonimoh invaded the Mohegans with nine hundred
of his warriors; Uncas met him at the head of five hundred of his men,
on a large plain; both prepared for action, and advanced within
bow-shot. Before the conflict commenced, Uncas advanced singly, and
thus addressed his antagonist: "You have a number of men with you, and
so have I with me. It is a pity that such brave warriors should be
killed in a private quarrel between us. Come like a man, as you
profess to be, and let us fight it out. If you kill me, my men shall
be yours; but if I kill you, your men shall be mine." Miantonimoh
replied: "My men came to fight, and they shall fight." Uncas had
before told his men, that if his enemy should refuse to fight with him
personally, he would fall down, and then they were to discharge their
missiles on the Narragansets, and fall upon them as fast as they
could. This was accordingly done. Uncas instantly fell upon the
ground, and his men poured a shower of arrows upon Miantonimoh's army,
and with a horrible yell advanced rapidly upon them, and put them to
flight. Uncas and his men pressed on, driving them down ledges of
rock, and scattering them in every direction. Miantonimoh was
overtaken and seized by Uncas, who, by a shout, called back his
furious warriors. About thirty Narragansets were slain, among whom
were several noted chiefs. Finding himself in the hands of his
implacable enemy, Miantonimoh remained silent, nor could Uncas, by any
art, force him to break his sullen mood. "Had you taken me," said the
conqueror, "I should have asked you for my life." No reply was made by
the indignant chief, and he submitted without a murmur to his
humiliating condition. He was afterwards conducted to Hartford, by his
conqueror, and delivered to the English, by whom he was held in duress
until his fate should be determined by the commissioners of the
colonies. After an examination of his case, the commissioners
resolved, "that as it was evident that Uncas could not be safe while
Miantonimoh lived, but either by secret treachery or open force his
life would be constantly in danger, he might justly put such a false
and blood-thirsty enemy to death; but this was to be done out of the
English jurisdiction, and without cruelty or torture." Miantonimoh was
delivered to Uncas, and by a number of his trusty men was marched to
the spot where he was captured, attended by two Englishmen to see that
no torture was inflicted, and the moment he arrived at the fatal
place, one of Uncas' men came up behind, and with his hatchet split
the skull of the unfortunate chief. The body was buried on the spot,
and a heap of stones piled upon the grave. The place since that time
has been known by the name of _Sachem's plain_, and is situated in the
town of Norwich, in Connecticut.[20]

The Narragansets, as was to be expected, ever afterwards bore an
implacable malice against Uncas and all the Mohegans, and also for their
sakes secretly against the English, so far as they dared to discover it.
But the death of Miantonimoh, and the preparation for the invasion of
the Narraganset country by the English which had been made, put an end
to hostilities for a period in the eastern part of Connecticut.

In continuing the Narraganset history, _Ninigret_ now properly comes
into view. As already mentioned, he was sachem of the Nianticks, a
tribe of the Narragansets. In 1644, the Narragansets and Ninigret's
men united against the Mohegans, and for some time obliged Uncas to
confine himself and men to his fort. The Indians, however, afraid of
the English, abandoned the siege, and came in to Boston to sue for
peace. This was granted; but a short time after, it became necessary
to again terrify them. With twenty men, Captain Atherton marched to
the wigwam of Ninigret, entering which, he seized the chief, and
threatened his life. This step had the desired effect. The Indians
begged for life, and promised submission.

[Illustration: Captain Atherton in the Wigwam of Ninigret.]

Some time after this occurrence, Ninigret again grew troublesome, and
again had to be quieted by an armed force sent against him. In the
panic with which he was affected, he submitted to the demands that
were laid upon him. Ninigret passed the winter of 1652-53 among the
Dutch of New York. This circumstance awakened the suspicions of the
English, especially as hostile feelings existed at that time between
the Dutch and English. The report from several sagamores was, that the
Dutch governor had attempted to hire them to cut off the English. The
consequence was, a special meeting of the English commissioners of the
several New England colonies, to consult in reference to this subject.
Their object was to ascertain the truth of the rumor, that the
Narragansets had leagued with the Dutch, to break up the English
settlements. Several of the chiefs of the Narragansets were
accordingly questioned by a letter, through an agent living at the
Narraganset, in regard to this plot; but their answers were altogether
exculpatory. As to any positive testimony that Ninigret was plotting
against the English, there appears to be none.

In the year 1652, a war having commenced between England and Holland,
it was apprehended that hostilities would take place between the
colonies of the two nations in America. A threatening attitude was
indeed held for some time by the Dutch of New Netherlands, and forces
were raised by the four New England colonies; but no collision
occurred. In the event of hostilities, it was believed that the
sachem, Ninigret, would lead the Narragansets to the aid of the Dutch,
and that he had held a conference with them at Manhattan, in the
winter of 1652. Whether that was the case or not, he refused for some
time after to treat with the English for a continuance of the peace.
Under these threatening appearances, the commissioners of the colonies
met, and resolved to raise two hundred and seventy infantry, and forty
cavalry, for the purpose of chastising Ninigret's haughtiness, and
bringing the Narragansets to terms. The forces were duly apportioned
among the colonies. Massachusetts had been at first reluctant, but
finally assented to the measure. The commissioners nominated Major
Gibbons, Major Denison, or Captain Atherton, to the chief command;
leaving it, in complaisance, to the general court of Massachusetts to
appoint which one of the three they should please. But, rejecting
these, who were men of known courage and enterprise, they appointed
Major Simon Willard. The commissioners instructed him to proceed, with
such troops as should be found at the place of general rendezvous, by
the 13th of October, directly to Ninigret's quarters, and demand of
him the Pequods who had been put under him, and the tribute which was
due. If Ninigret should not deliver them, and pay the tribute, he was
required to take them by force. He was instructed to demand of the
sachem a cessation from all further hostilities against the Long
Island Indians. Receiving these and some other instructions, he
proceeded into the Narraganset country. When he arrived at the place
of rendezvous, he found that Ninigret had fled into a swamp about
fifteen miles distant. The latter had left his country, corn, and
wigwams, without defence, and they might have been laid waste without
danger or loss. He, however, returned without ever advancing from his
head-quarters, or doing the enemy the least damage. About a hundred
Pequods took this opportunity to renounce the government of Ninigret,
and come off with the English army, putting themselves under the
control of the whites.

The commissioners in favor of the expedition, were dissatisfied with
the conduct of Major Willard, and charged him with having neglected a
fair opportunity of chastising the Indians, by the destruction of
their dwellings, and their fields of corn. He, however, pleaded in
excuse, that his instructions were equivocal, and the season for
marching unfavorable. By many people in Connecticut and New Haven, it
was believed that the commander was secretly instructed by the
government of Massachusetts to avoid depredations on the property of
the Indians, and thereby prevent a war, which the latter colony
considered to be of doubtful policy. However this may be, it is
certain that Major Willard received no censure from the Massachusetts
court, and no one doubted his firmness as an officer.

After the return of the English troops from the Narraganset country,
Ninigret assumed his former spirit of defiance, and continued the war
against the Indians upon Long Island. Both the Indians and the English
there were soon thrown into great distress. It became apparent that
these Indians could not hold out much longer, but that they must
submit themselves and their country to the Narragansets, unless they
should receive speedy aid. In consequence of this state of things, and
as these Indians were in alliance with the colonies, measures were
taken to aid them against Ninigret. An armed vessel was stationed off
Montauk to watch his movements, and forces were held in readiness at
Saybrook and New London, to move on the shortest notice, should the
hostile chief again attempt to invade the island. Hostilities,
however, continued some time, and the tribes in various directions
exhibited a strange, changeable conduct. Uncas, in this exigency, was
so pressed by the Narragansets, that Connecticut was obliged to send
men to his fortress to assist in defending himself against them. The
Narragansets, in several instances, threatened and plundered the
inhabitants of Connecticut.

In 1657, some mischief was done at Farmington, in which the Norwootuck
and Pocomotuck Indians were supposed to be accomplices. Even the
Mohegans under Uncas also partook of the hostile spirit, and an
assault was made by them upon the Podunk Indians at Windsor. At length
the Long Island Indians turned against their friends on the island,
and Major Mason was ordered with a force for the protection of the
English in that quarter. At last the war, and the difficulties in
regard to the Narragansets, having ceased for a period, the English
were once more left to pursue the arts of peace, and consummate their
labors for colonizing the country.[21]

FOOTNOTES:

[20] Hoyt's Antiquarian Researches.

[21] Book of the Indians.



                            VI. PEQUOD WAR.


    TERRITORY OF THE PEQUODS--Their Character--Sassacus--His hatred of
        the English--Cruelties practised towards them--War declared by
        Connecticut--Expedition of Captain Mason--Surprise and
        destruction of the fort--Further prosecution of the war--Happy
        consequences resulting from it.

The Pequods are supposed to have emigrated from the interior parts of
the country, towards the sea-shore of Connecticut. They inhabited more
or less of the territory now constituting that state, as well as a
part of Rhode Island, and New York as far west as the Hudson river. At
what time this emigration took place, is not known. Being a fierce,
cruel, and warlike people, they made all the other tribes stand in awe
of them, though they were fewer in number than their neighbors, the
Narragansets. The principal seat of the Pequod sagamores was near the
mouth of the Pequod river, now the Thames, where New London is built.
There was said to be one principal sagamore, or sachem, over the rest.
He who sustained this distinction, at the time of the English
settlements in Connecticut, was Sassacus. His name alone was a terror
to all the neighboring tribes of Indians. At the height of his power,
he had twenty sachems under him.

Sassacus ever regarded the English with feelings of jealousy and
hatred. As he considered them, intruders on his domains, he was
determined to expel them, if possible. Fired with rage, he breathed
nothing but war and revenge. The utmost effort and art were employed
by him to produce a combination of Indian power against them. The
Narragansets, as related in another place, barely escaped the snare.
But though unable to effect any extensive union, Sassacus was firm in
himself, and inspired all the Indians under his influence with the
resentment that burned in his own bosom.

Finding war with this powerful and exasperated chief unavoidable, the
Connecticut people prepared for it with such means and resources as
they could command. A court was summoned to meet at Hartford on the 1st
day of May, 1637, at which it was resolved, that an offensive war should
be immediately commenced against the Pequods. Ninety men were ordered to
be raised from the three towns on Connecticut river, and Captain John
Mason was appointed to command an expedition into the heart of the
Pequod country. At the same time, the report of the slaughter and horrid
cruelties, committed by this savage tribe against the people of
Connecticut, roused the other colonies to exertions against the common
enemy. Massachusetts resolved to send two hundred men, and Plymouth
forty, to assist the sister-colony in prosecuting the war. Captains
Stoughton, Trask, and Patrick, were appointed their commanders.

The troops embarked at Hartford on the 10th of May, and sailed down
the river to Saybrook. They consisted of ninety Englishmen, and about
seventy Mohegans and river Indians. While at Saybrook, forty of the
Indians under Mason, being out at some distance from the place, fell
in with about forty of the enemy, killed seven and captured one, who
was brought to the fort, and executed by the English. Here the little
army was joined by Captain Underhill with nineteen men, who had some
months before been sent by the governor of Massachusetts to strengthen
the garrison at Saybrook. This accession to his forces permitted Mason
to send back twenty of his original number for the protection of the
infant settlements on the river, which were peculiarly exposed at this
crisis. The whole force, including the Indians, was embodied and
directed by Mason. After remaining several days at Saybrook to
complete his arrangements, he sailed, with his Connecticut forces, for
Narraganset bay, where he arrived on the 19th of May. At this place,
two hundred of Miantonimoh's warriors were engaged to accompany the
English forces on the expedition. Information was now received from
Captain Patrick, that he had arrived at Providence with forty
Massachusetts' men, under orders to join the troops of Connecticut.
For various reasons, but chiefly from an apprehension that the Pequods
might gain intelligence of the expedition, Mason commenced his march,
without waiting for Patrick's company, and soon reached Nehantick, the
seat of the Narraganset sachems. Here he was joined by an additional
company of Indians--the whole army, including the English, amounting
to more than five hundred.

Here they staid over night, and learning that the Pequods held two
forts, one at Mystic river and the other about three miles west of
that, they resolved, contrary to their original plan of attacking both
together, to make a united attack on the Mystic fort, and accordingly
commenced their march. After a march of twelve miles, through forests
and over hills and morasses, Mason reached the Pawcatuck. The day was
very hot, and the men, through the great heat and a scarcity of
provisions, began to faint. Here he halted for some time, and
refreshed the troops. In the meanwhile, the Indians, who had
previously boasted how they would fight, when they learned that the
forts were to be actually attacked, and the dreaded Sassacus to be
met, were overcome by their fears, and many of them returned home to
Narraganset. But the intrepid Mason, resolving to advance, despatched
a faithful Indian to reconnoitre the fort, who soon returned with
information that the Pequods were unapprised of their danger, and
appeared to be resting in entire security. The march was immediately
rëcommenced towards Mystic river, and on the night of the 26th, the
whole body encamped about three miles from the fort.

"The important crisis was now come when the very existence of
Connecticut, under Providence, was to be determined by the sword in a
single action, by the good conduct of less than eighty men." They
proved themselves, as the event shows, worthy of the occasion, and
properly conscious of the interest at stake. To God they looked for
aid and courage, at an hour when the decision was to be made, whether
all that they held dear in life should be secured, or wrenched from
them for ever.

[Illustration: Captain Mason and his Party attacking the Pequod Fort
in the Swamp.]

Two hours before day, the troops were in motion for the assault. At this
juncture, Mason's Indians entirely lost their resolution, and began to
fall back. The captain bid them not to fly, but to surround the fort at
any distance they pleased, and there remain witnesses of the courage of
the English. Without delay, the fort was approached on two opposite
sides, the Pequods having just before been aroused from sleep by the cry
of one of their number, "Owanux, Owanux!"--Englishmen, Englishmen! He
had, at that instant, been awakened by the barking of a dog. While the
Pequods were rallying, Mason's troops advanced, and poured in a fire
through the openings of the palisades, and wheeling off to a side
barricaded only with brush, rushed into the fort, sword in hand.
Notwithstanding the suddenness of the attack, and their great confusion,
the enemy made a desperate resistance. Concealing themselves in and
behind their wigwams, they maintained their ground stoutly against the
English, who, advancing in different directions, cut down every Indian
they met. But the victory was not certain--it had not been achieved.
Mason felt it to be an awful moment. Happily it occurred to him to burn
the Indian wigwams. The shout was immediately uttered, "We must burn
them!" It was done. In a few moments the mats, with which their
dwellings were covered, were in a blaze, and the flames spread in every
direction. As the fire increased, the English retired without the fort,
and environed it on every side. The Indians now recovering courage,
formed another circle exterior to that of the English.

The amazed Pequods, driven from their covert by fire, climbed the
palisades, and presenting themselves in full view, more than one
hundred were shot down. Others, sallying forth from their burning
cells, were shot, or cut in pieces with the sword. In the mean time,
many perished in the flames within the fort. The battle, in this
locality, continued about an hour, and the scene of terror and blood
is hardly to be described. Seventy wigwams were consumed, and between
five and six hundred of the enemy, of all descriptions, strewed the
ground, or were involved in the burning pile. This victory was
achieved with the loss only of two men killed and twenty wounded.

In the course of the attack, in the interior of the fort, Captain
Mason's life was in immediate danger. As he was entering a wigwam to
procure a firebrand, a Pequod, perceiving him, drew his arrow to the
head, with a view to pierce the captain's body. At this critical
moment, a resolute sergeant entering in, rescued his commander from
imminent peril by cutting the bow-string with his cutlass.

Although the result of the engagement was the complete overthrow of the
Pequod camp, yet the situation of the Connecticut army was extremely
dangerous and distressing. Two of their troops were killed, and at least
one-fourth wounded; the remainder were faint with fatigue and want of
food; they were in the midst of an enemy's country, many miles from
their vessels, and their ammunition was nearly expended. The principal
fortress of their enemy was but three miles distant, where there was a
fresh army, which they knew would be filled with rage, on learning the
fate of their comrades. In this perilous condition, while they were
consulting on the course to be pursued, their vessels, as if guided by
the visible hand of Providence, appeared in sight, steering with a fair
wind into the harbor. The little band, however, were not permitted to
reach Pequod harbor without additional fighting. For no sooner had the
vessels been discovered, than three hundred Indians came from the other
fort, and were disposed to attack Captain Mason's party. He, however, so
disposed of his few available men, assisted by the Indians with him, who
carried the wounded English, that the Pequods were prevented from coming
so near as to do any mischief. But the balls of the English muskets took
effect on several of their number; and though, when the enemy came in
sight of the demolished fort, they raved, and tore their hair from their
heads, and rushed forward with the utmost fury to demolish the English,
they were taught to repent their rashness. Finding all attempts in vain,
to break in upon the little army, they left the victors to pursue the
remainder of their way to Pequod harbor unmolested. They entered it with
their colors flying, and were received on board the vessels with every
demonstration of joy and gratitude.

The troops employed on this expedition, reached their homes in about
three weeks from the time they embarked at Hartford. They were
received with the greatest exultation. Benisons were poured forth on
them from all lips. But to God, especially, as the helper of his
people in their fearful trial, did the anthem of praise ascend from
the domestic altar and the solemn assembly.

The Pequods, on the departure of Captain Mason, burned their wigwams,
destroyed their principal fort, and were with difficulty restrained
from putting their own chief, Sassacus, to death, as they looked upon
him as the author of their calamity. They scattered themselves
throughout the country, Sassacus, Mononotto, and seventy or eighty of
their chief counsellors and warriors, taking their route over Hudson
river. In the mean time, Massachusetts, hearing of the success of
Mason, despatched a body of one hundred and twenty men under Captain
Stoughton, to follow up the victory. Arriving in the enemy's country,
the Massachusetts army, finding a body of that tribe in a swamp, made
an assault upon them, with the aid of the Narragansets. Some
twenty-eight were killed and a larger number taken prisoners.

The court at Connecticut ordered that forty men should be raised
forthwith, for the further prosecution of the war, under the same
commander. These troops formed a junction with the party under command
of Stoughton at Pequod, and the conclusion was immediately to march in
pursuit of Sassacus. They proceeded on their way as far as Quinnipiac
(New Haven), where, after staying several days, they received
intelligence that the enemy was at a considerable distance, in a great
swamp to the westward. Here the Indians were met, and an engagement
took place, under circumstances of great difficulty to the English,
many of whom were nearly mired, but it was nevertheless attended with
success. The fighting was of a most desperate character, the
assailants finding it nearly impossible to master or dislodge the foe.
Under the cover of a fog, after having been watched through the night,
Sassacus and sixty or seventy of his bravest warriors broke through
the English ranks, and escaped. About twenty Indians were killed, and
one hundred and eighty were taken prisoners. The Pequods, who remained
in the territory, amounting to some two hundred, besides women and
children, were at length divided among the Narragansets and Mohegans,
and the nation became extinct.

The character of this war, from the boldness and vigor with which it
had been prosecuted, seemed to belong to the age of romance. It is
replete with thrilling incident and daring adventure. Yet the sober,
religious spirit and convictions of duty, which accompanied the
pilgrims to battle, turn its chivalrous aspect into the features of
stern reality and unavoidable necessity. It involved the fate of an
infant republic and the interests of posterity. The conquest of the
Pequods, while it was so fatal to one party, was productive of the
most happy consequences to the other. It struck the Indians throughout
New England with such a salutary terror, that they were contented to
remain at peace nearly forty years.

[Illustration]


[Illustration: PHILIP'S WAR]



                           VII. PHILIP'S WAR.


    CAUSES of Philip's War--Character of Philip--General spirit of
        hostility among the Indians--Outbreak at Swansey--Expedition
        under General Savage--Expedition under Captain
        Church--Perilous situation of this latter party--Timely
        arrival of Captain Hutchinson--Second expedition of Captain
        Church--Critical situation of Philip--Effects his
        escape--Annoys the back settlements of
        Massachusetts--Treachery of the Nipmucks--Attack on
        Brookfield--Bloody affair at Muddy Brook--Attack on
        Springfield--Attack on Hatfield--Outrages at
        Northampton--Large force raised by Massachusetts, Plymouth,
        and Connecticut, against the Narragansets--Philip's fortress
        at Kingston, Rhode Island--Destruction of it--Lancaster
        destroyed--Other towns burned--Fatal affair at Pawtuxet river,
        Rhode Island--Stratagem of Cape Cod Indians--Attacks on
        Rehoboth, Chelmsford, Sudbury, &c.--Expedition of Connecticut
        troops--Conanchet captured--Long Meadow
        attacked--Hadley--Fortunes of Philip on the wane--Successful
        expedition against the Indians at Connecticut river
        falls--Attack on Hatfield--On Hadley--Remarkable interposition
        of a stranger at Hadley, supposed to be Goffe--Decline of
        Philip's power--Pursued by Captain Church--Death of
        Philip--Disastrous effects of the war--Philip's
        warriors--Annawon--Reflections.

To communities and nations, crises arrive, in which, through danger and
sufferings, they are either overcome and extirpated, or spring forward
to an improved condition after the first hurtful effect of the trial is
passed away. The war with Philip constituted such a crisis to the New
England colonies. Their danger was imminent--their sufferings were
fearful, and the immediate consequences were lamentation, and weakness,
and indebtedness. But their recuperative energies soon rëappeared, and a
wide door thus became open to extended settlement and population.

The causes of the war lay partly in the condition of the colonies, and
partly in the character of Philip. The English settlements were
extending far into the wilderness, the home of the Indian, and were
rapidly increasing in strength. The natives viewed them as intruders,
and considered the probability that, at no distant day, they would be
dispossessed of the heritage of their fathers. They were jealous of
the designs of the English, and impatient under the encroachments
already made. They viewed themselves as the proper lords of the
forest, and they now saw that their hunting grounds were abridged, and
the wild animals on which they depended for subsistence, were
disappearing, as the white man felled the trees, and cultivated the
soil, and reared his dwellings.

In view of this progress of the whites, nothing seemed to remain to
the native savage but to be forced from his loved haunts, and to lose
his cherished possessions, or to arouse, and by a desperate effort of
strength and valor to regain all that he once owned.

The individual among the Indians whose foresight most clearly
discerned the state of things, and whose spirit was equal to the
emergency of attempting to resist it, was _Pometacom._ He was styled
_Philip_ by the English, a nickname given him on account of his
ambitious and haughty temper, and by this name he is chiefly known in
history. He was the sachem of the Wampanoags, residing at Mount Hope,
a younger son of the famous Massasoit, the friend of the whites.

Philip had not spared any pains for a long time to effect a conspiracy,
and to unite the Indians in a general war against the colonists; but it
happened that before his plan was matured, his intentions, and those of
the Indians generally, were revealed to the English. The Indian who
betrayed him was Sausaman, one of Eliot's converts. For this he was
murdered by Philip's men; three of whom were seized, tried, and
executed. This was the signal for blood. The first attack of the Indians
was upon Swansey, several of whose inhabitants were killed.

[Illustration: Flight of Philip from Mount Hope.]

Philip soon after suddenly left his place of residence and his
territory to the English. The occasion of his precipitate retreat, was
the following: Additional assistance being needed, the authorities of
Boston sent out Major General Savage from that place, with sixty horse
and as many foot. They scoured the country on the march to Mount Hope,
where Philip and his wife were supposed to be at that time. They came
into his neighborhood unawares, so that he was forced to rise from
dinner, and he and all with him fled farther up into the country. They
pursued him as far as they could go for swamps; and killed fifteen or
sixteen in that expedition.

[Illustration: Captain Church and his men hemmed in by Indians.]

At the solicitation of Benjamin Church, a company of thirty-six men
were put under him and Captain Fuller, who on the 8th of July marched
down into Pocasset Neck. This force, small as it was, afterwards
divided--Church taking nineteen men, and Fuller the remaining
seventeen. The party under Church proceeded into a point of land
called Punkateeset, now the southerly extremity of Tiverton, where
they were attacked by a body of three hundred Indians. After a few
moments' fight, the English retreated to the sea-shore, and thus saved
themselves from destruction; for Church perceived that it was the
intention of the Indians to surround them. They could expect little
more than to perish, but they knew they were in a situation to sell
their lives at the dearest rate. Thus hemmed in, Church had a double
duty to perform--that of preserving the spirit of his followers,
several of whom viewed their situation as desperate, and erecting
piles of stone to defend them.

As boats had been appointed to attend upon the English in this
expedition, the heroic party looked for relief from this quarter; but
though the boats appeared, they were kept off by the fire of the
Indians, and Church, in a moment of vexation, bid them be gone. The
Indians, now encouraged, fired thicker and faster than before. The
situation of the English was now most forlorn, although as yet,
providentially, not one of them had been wounded. Night was coming on,
their ammunition nearly spent, and the Indians had possessed
themselves of a stone house that overlooked them; but, just in season
to save them, a sloop was discovered bearing down towards the shore.
It was commanded by a resolute man, Captain Golding, who effected the
embarkation of the company, taking only two at a time in a canoe.
During all this time, the Indians plied their fire-arms; and Church,
who was the last to embark, narrowly escaped the balls of the enemy,
one grazing the hair of his head, and another lodging in a stake,
which happened to stand just before the centre of his breast. The band
under Captain Fuller met with a similar fortune, but escaped by
getting possession of an old house, close upon the water's edge, and
were early taken off by boats. He had two of his party wounded.

Church soon after joined a body of English forces, and again
penetrated Pocasset, and renewed his skirmishes with the enemy. The
main body of the English, not long after, arrived at the place; on
which, Philip retired into the recesses of a large swamp. Here his
situation, for a time, was exceedingly critical; but at length he
contrived to elude his besiegers; and, effecting his escape, fled to
the Nipmucks, by whom he was readily received.

Soon after the war began, an effort had been made by the governor of
Massachusetts to dissuade the Nipmucks from espousing the cause of
Philip. But at the time, not agreeing among themselves, they would
only consent to meet the English commissioners at a place three miles
from Brookfield on a specified day. The English authorities deputed
Captains Hutchinson and Wheeler to proceed to the appointed place.
They took with them twenty mounted men, and three Christian Indians as
guides and interpreters. On reaching the place agreed upon, no Indians
were to be seen; upon this, the party proceeded still further; when,
on reaching a narrow defile, they were suddenly attacked. Eight men
were killed outright, and three mortally wounded; among the latter,
was Captain Hutchinson. With the above loss, a retreat was effected;
and, under the guidance of the three Christian Indians, the remnant
made their way to Brookfield.

[Illustration: Attack on Brookfield.]

They were, however, immediately followed by the Indian foe. Luckily,
there was barely time to alarm the inhabitants, who, to the number of
seventy or eighty, flocked into a garrison-house. It was slightly
fortified about the exterior side, by a few logs hastily thrown up,
and in the interior by a few feather beds suspended to deaden the
force of the bullets. The house was soon surrounded by the enemy, and
shot poured upon it in all directions. But the fire of the besieged
kept the Indians from a very near approach. By persevering exertions,
the English were enabled to maintain themselves, until a force under
Major Willard came to their relief. He was in the vicinity of
Lancaster with forty-eight dragoons, when he learned the critical
condition of Brookfield. With a forced march of thirty miles, he
reached the place the following night.

At the very time Major Willard arrived at Brookfield, the Indians were
contriving some machinery to set the garrison on fire. They first
endeavored to effect their purpose by fire-arrows, and rags dipped in
brimstone tied to long poles spliced together. But this method was
without effect, while it exposed them to the deadly fire of those within
the building. They next filled a cart with hemp, flax, and other
combustible materials; and this, after they set it on fire, they thrust
backward with their long poles. But no sooner had the flame began to
take effect, than it was extinguished by an unexpected shower of rain.

Major Willard soon left the region of Brookfield, and marched the
principal part of his forces to Hadley, for the protection of the
settlements in that quarter. When he had completed his business, he
returned to Boston, leaving Lathrop and Beers at Hadley. A
considerable number of christianized Indians, belonging to the
neighborhood of Hadley, occupied a small fort about a mile above
Hatfield. On the occurrence of the difficulties in that region, these,
as all other Indians, were watched and suspected of conniving with
Philip. To put their fidelity to a test, Captains Lathrop and Beers,
with a force of one hundred and eighty men, ordered these Indians to
surrender their arms. They hesitated to do so then, but promised a
speedy compliance. Yet, on the following night, August 25th, they left
their fort, and fled up the river towards Deerfield to join Philip.
The English captains commenced a pursuit early the next morning, and
came up with them at a swamp, opposite to the present town of
Sunderland, where a warm contest ensued. The Indians fought bravely,
but were finally routed, with a loss of twenty-six of their number.
The whites lost ten men. The Indians, who escaped, joined Philip's
forces, and Lathrop and Beers returned to their station in Hadley.

[Illustration: Battle of Muddy Brook.]

Near the middle of September, Captain Lathrop was sent from Hadley, with
eighty-eight men, to bring away some corn, grain, and other valuable
articles from Deerfield. It was at that very time that the company under
Captain Mosely, then quartered at Deerfield, intended to pursue the
enemy. But upon the 10th of the month, "that most fatal day, the saddest
that ever befel New England," Lathrop's company was attacked by the
Indians, who had selected a place very advantageous to their purpose,
knowing that the English with their teams would pass the road at the
spot. The place was at the village now called Muddy Brook, in the
southerly part of Deerfield, where the road crossed a small stream (as
it now does), bordered by a narrow morass. Here the Indians, in great
force, had planted themselves in ambuscade; and no sooner had Lathrop
arrived at the spot, than the Indians poured a heavy and destructive
fire upon the columns, and then rushed furiously to close engagement.
The English ranks were broken, and the scattered troops were every where
attacked. Those who survived, after the first onset, met the foe
individually, and endeavored to sell their lives as dearly as possible.
Seeking the covert of a tree, each one selected an object of attack, and
the awful conflict now became a trial of skill in sharp shooting, on the
issues of which life or death was suspended. But the overwhelming
superiority of the Indians, as to numbers, left no room for hope on the
part of the English. They were cut down every instant from behind their
retreats, until nearly the whole number were destroyed. The dead, the
dying, the wounded, strewed the ground in every direction. Out of nearly
one hundred, including the teamsters, only seven or eight escaped from
the bloody spot. The wounded were indiscriminately massacred. This
company consisted of choice young men, "the very flower of Essex county,
none of whom were ashamed to speak with the enemy in the gate." Eighteen
of the men belonged to Deerfield.

Captain Mosely, being only four or five miles distant, heard the sound
of musketry, and reasonably concluded what was the cause of the
report. By a rapid march for the relief of Lathrop, he arrived at the
close of the struggle, when he found the Indians stripping and
mangling the dead. At once he rushed on in compact order, and broke
through the enemy, charging back and forth, and cutting down all
within range of his shot. After several hours of gallant fighting, he
compelled the Indians to flee into the more distant parts of the
forest. His loss amounted to two killed and eleven wounded.

Until this period, the Indians near Springfield remained friendly, and
refused the appeals of Philip, to cöoperate with him against the white
population. But now that he held the northern towns, they were closely
watched by the English, who supposed that the Indians might take sides
with him, as his cause seemed likely to prevail. The suspicions
entertained concerning them were confirmed. On the night of the 4th of
October, they admitted about three hundred of Philip's men into their
fort, which was situated at a place called Longhill, about a mile
below the village of Springfield, and a plan was concerted for the
destruction of the place. The plot, however, was revealed by an Indian
at Windsor, and the inhabitants of Springfield had time barely to
escape into their garrisons. Here they resisted the attacks of the
Indians until they received relief from abroad. The unfortified
houses, thirty-two in number, together with twenty-five barns, were
burned by the savages. The people were reduced to great distress, and
had very inadequate means of support through the ensuing winter.

The confidence of Philip and his Indians was now greatly increased by
their successes. The next blow which they aimed, was at the
head-quarters of the whites, hoping to destroy Hatfield, Hadley, and
Northampton, as they had Springfield. But by the providence of God,
and the good conduct of the whites, they were effectually foiled. At
this time, Captain Appleton, with one company, lay at Hadley, and
Captains Mosely and Poole, with two companies, at Hatfield, and Major
Treat was just returned to Northampton for the security of that
settlement. Against such commanders, it was in vain for the untutored
Indian to contend in regular battle. Philip's men, however, made a
bold attempt, and seven or eight hundred strong fell upon Hatfield, on
the 19th of October, attacking it on all sides at once. They had
previously cut off several parties, which were scouring the woods in
the vicinity. While Poole bravely defended one extremity, Mosely, with
no less vigor, protected the centre, and Appleton, coming on with his
troops, maintained the other extremity. After a severe struggle, the
Indians were repulsed at every point.

After leaving the western frontier of Massachusetts, Philip was known
next to be in the country of his allies, the Narragansets. They had
not heartily engaged in the war; but their inclination to do so was
not doubted, and it was the design of Philip to incite them to
activity. An army of fifteen hundred English was therefore raised by
the three colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, and Connecticut, for
the purpose of breaking down the power of Philip among the
Narragansets. It was believed that the next spring, that nation would
come with all their power upon the whites. Conanchet, their sachem, in
violation of the treaty, had not only received Philip's warriors, but
aided their operations against the English. These were the grounds of
the great expedition against the Narragansets, in the winter of 1675.

Philip had strongly fortified himself in South Kingston, Rhode Island,
on an elevated portion of an immense swamp. Here his men had erected
about five hundred wigwams, of a superior construction, in which was
deposited an abundant store of provisions. Baskets and tubs of corn
(hollow trees cut off about the length of a barrel), were piled one
upon another, about the inside of the dwellings, which rendered them
bullet-proof. Here about three thousand persons, as is supposed, had
taken up their residence for the winter, among whom were Philip's best
warriors.

[Illustration: THE SWAMP FIGHT.]

The forces destined to the attack of this great rendezvous of Philip
and his men, were under command of Governor Winslow, of Plymouth. By
reasons of a great body of snow, and the prevalence of intense cold,
much time was consumed in reaching the fort. On the 19th of December,
they arrived before it; and, by reason of a want of provisions, found
an immediate attack indispensable. No Englishman, however, was
acquainted with its situation, and, but for an Indian, who betrayed
his countrymen, there is little probability that the assailants could
have effected any thing against it. The hour of their arrival was one
o'clock on that short day of the year. There was but one point where
the place could be assailed with the least probability of success, and
this was fortified by a kind of blockhouse, directly in front of the
entrance, and had also flankers to cover a cross-fire. The place was
protected by high palisades, and an immense hedge of fallen trees
surrounding it on all sides. Between the fort and the main land was a
body of water, which could be crossed only on a large tree lying over
it. Such was the formidable aspect of the place--such the difficulty
of gaining access to the interior of it.

On coming to the spot, the English soldiers, attempting to pass upon
the tree in single file, the only possible mode, were instantly swept
off by the fire of the enemy. Still, others, led by their captains,
supplied the places of the slain. These also met the same fearful
fire, with the same fatal effect. The attempts were repeated, until
six captains and a large number of men had fallen. And now was a
partial, but momentary, recoil from the face of death.

At length, however, Captain Mosely got within the fort, with a small
band of men. Then commenced a terrible struggle, at fearful odds.
While these were contending hand to hand with the Indians, the cry was
heard, "They run! they run!" and immediately a considerable body of
their fellow-soldiers rushed in. The slaughter of the foe became
immense, as the assailants were insufficient in strength to drive them
from the main breast-work. Captain Church, who was acting as aid to
Winslow, at the head of a volunteer party, about this time dashed
through the fort, and reached the swamp in the rear, where he poured a
destructive fire on the rear of a party of the enemy. Thus attacked in
different directions, the warriors were at length compelled to
relinquish their ground, and flee into the wilderness.

The Indian cabins, (contrary to the advice of some of the officers, who
thought it best that the wearied and wounded soldiers should rest there
for a time,) "were now set on fire; in a few moments every thing in the
interior of the fort was involved in a blaze; and a scene of horror was
now exhibited. Several hundred of the Indians strewed the ground on all
sides: about three hundred miserable women and children with lamentable
shrieks were running in every direction to escape the flames, in which
many of the wounded, as well as the helpless old men, were seen broiling
and roasting, and adding to the terrors of the scene by their agonizing
yells. The most callous heart must have been melted to pity at so awful
a spectacle. By information afterwards obtained from a Narraganset
chief, it was ascertained that they lost about seven hundred warriors at
the fort, and three hundred who died of their wounds. After the
destruction of the place, Winslow, about sunset, commenced his march for
Pettyquamscott, in a snow storm, carrying most of his dead and wounded,
where he arrived a little after midnight. Several wounded, probably not
mortally, were overcome with cold, and died on their march; and the next
day thirty-four were buried in one grave. Many were severely frozen, and
about four hundred so disabled that they were unfit for duty. The whole
number killed and wounded, was about two hundred." The sufferings of the
English, after the fight, were well pronounced to be almost without a
parallel in history.

The spirit of Philip animated the Indians even where he was not
present, for he was now by some supposed to be beyond the frontier. On
the 19th of February, they surprised Lancaster with complete success,
falling upon it with a force of several hundred warriors. It contained
at that time fifty families, of whom forty-two persons were killed and
captured. Most of the buildings were set on fire. Among the captives
were Mrs. Rowlandson and her children, the family of the minister of
that place, who were afterwards happily redeemed. The town was saved
from entire ruin by the arrival of Captain Wadsworth with forty men
from Marlborough.

Not far from this time a fatal affair occurred at Pawtuxet river, in
Rhode Island. Captain Pierce, of Scituate, with fifty men, and twenty
Cape Cod Indians, having passed the river, unexpectedly met with a
large body of Indians. Perceiving that their numbers rendered an
attack upon them hopeless, he fell back, and took a position so as to
be sheltered by the bank. In this situation, the company was not long
secure. Part of the Indians crossed the river, and attacked them from
the opposite bank, while the remainder encircled them on the side of
the river, where they had sought protection, and poured in upon them a
most destructive fire. Hemmed in so effectually, there was no
possibility of escape, and nothing was left them but to sell their
lives as dearly as possible. This was accordingly done, and before the
unfortunate men were nearly all cut off, more than a hundred of the
enemy are said to have fallen by the desperate valor of the English.

The Christian Cape Cod Indians showed their faithfulness and courage
in this melancholy affair, as also their dexterity and foresight. Four
of them effected their escape, and one of these aided the escape of
the only Englishman that survived the encounter. One of them, whose
name was Amos, after Captain Pierce was disabled by a wound, would not
leave him, so long as there was a prospect of rendering him service,
but loaded and fired his piece several times. At length, to save
himself, he adroitly adopted the plan of painting his face black, as
he perceived the enemy had done to their faces. In this disguise he
ran among them, and pretended to join them in the fight; but watching
his opportunity, he soon escaped into the woods. Of another it is
reported, that being pursued by one of the enemy, he sought the
shelter of a large rock. While in that situation, he perceived that
his foe lay ready with his gun on the opposite side, to fire upon him
as soon as he stirred. A stratagem only saved his life. Raising
carefully his hat upon a pole, he seemed to the person lying in wait,
to have exposed himself to a shot. A ball was instantly sent through
the hat, but one was returned in earnest against the head of the
enemy. Thus the Christian Indian, through his address, found the means
of escape from his singular peril. A similar subtle device was used by
another of these Indians, who was pursued as he attempted to cross
the river. Hiding himself behind a mass of earth turned up with the
roots of a tree, he was watched by the enemy, in the expectation that
he would soon be obliged to change his position. But, instead of doing
this, the Cape Cod Indian, perforating his breastwork, made a
convenient loophole, and shot his enemy before he had time to notice
the artifice. The fourth Cape Cod Indian who escaped, effected his
object by affecting to be in pursuit of an Englishman with his
upraised hatchet. This ingenious feint, of course, was the means of
saving the white man at the same time.

[Illustration: Indian Stratagem.]

The work of destruction continued among the towns of New England at
this period. To a greater or less extent Rehoboth and Providence
suffered--also, Plymouth, Chelmsford, and Andover--either men were
killed, or dwelling-houses and barns were burned. But the most signal
disaster, at this time, fell upon the English in the vicinity of
Sudbury. On the morning of the 20th of April, the largest body of
Indians which had at any time appeared, attacked the place, and,
before a force could be brought against them, set fire to several
buildings, which were consumed. The inhabitants rallied, and bravely
defended their homes; and, being soon joined by some soldiers from
Watertown, they forced the Indians to retreat without effecting
further mischief against the town that day. On hearing the news of the
attack on Sudbury, some of the people of Concord flew for its
protection. As they approached a garrison-house, a few Indians were
discovered, and a pursuit was given them. The flight of the latter
proved to be only a decoy, and the Concord people, eleven in number,
found themselves ambushed on every side. Fighting with the utmost
desperation, they were all cut off except one. The Indians, who
remained in the adjoining woods for further depredations, found
another opportunity to glut their vengeance against the whites.
Captain Wadsworth, hearing of the transactions at Sudbury, marched
with several men, joined by Captain Brocklebank and ten others,
towards the place. At a mile and a half from the town, five hundred
Indians lay in ambush behind the hills. When Wadsworth arrived at the
spot, the Indians sent out a few of their party, who crossed the track
of the English, and, being discovered by the latter, affected to fly
through fear. Wadsworth, with great want of caution, immediately
commenced a pursuit, and was consequently drawn into the ambush. The
Indians began the attack with great boldness. For some time, the
English maintained good order, and retreated with small loss to an
adjacent hill. After fighting four hours, and losing many men, the
Indians became doubly enraged, and resolved to try the effect of
another stratagem. In this they completely succeeded. They immediately
set the woods on fire to the windward of the English, which, owing to
the wind, and the dryness of grass and other combustibles, spread with
great and fatal rapidity. The English were driven, by the fury of the
flames, from their favorable position, and were thus exposed to the
tomahawks of the Indians. Nearly all the English fell--some accounts
say that they sold their lives, to the last man.

[Illustration: Fight near Sudbury.]

Several towns in the colony of Plymouth, as Scituate, Bridgewater,
Middleborough, and Plymouth, were in turn attacked and injured, though
not many of their inhabitants were destroyed. They probably betook
themselves to the fortified houses, which now became common in the
exposed villages.

Connecticut, not being exposed to the incursions of the natives, sent
out several volunteer companies in aid of her sister colonies, in
addition to the troops required as her quota in the present war. These
volunteer forces were raised principally from New London, Norwich, and
Stonington, joined by a body of friendly Indians. On the 27th of
March, a body of these troops, under Captains Dennison and Avery,
penetrated the country of the hostile Narragansets. In the course of
their excursion, they struck the trail of a large body of Indians, and
commenced pursuit. The latter, upon the approach of the English,
scattered in all directions. It proved to be a force commanded by
Conanchet. He took a route by himself and, being swift of foot, hoped
to outstrip his pursuers. In crossing a river, however, he
accidentally plunged under water, and wet his gun. On this occurrence,
he was soon overtaken by a fast-running Pequod, to whom he surrendered
himself at once. A young Englishman, coming up, began to put various
questions to the chief, who, little liking to be catechised in that
manner, replied to him, with a look of contempt: "You much child--no
understand matters of war; let your captain come: him I will answer."
Conanchet was conveyed to Stonington, and, after a sort of trial, was
condemned to be shot by the Mohegan and Pequod sachems. The
alternative of life was, however, presented to him, if he would make
peace with the English. The chieftain indignantly refused it, and gave
utterance to the feelings of his untamed spirit, when his sentence was
pronounced, in the sentiment, that "he liked it well that he should
die before his heart was soft, or he had said any thing unworthy of
himself." Conanchet was the son of the famous Miantonimoh, who was put
to death by Uncas, as related in another portion of this work.[22]

When success no longer attended Philip in Massachusetts, those of his
allies whom he had seduced into this war began to accuse him as the
author of all their calamities. Many of the tribes, therefore,
scattered themselves in different directions. The Deerfield Indians
were among the first who abandoned his cause, and many of the Nipmucks
and Narragansets soon followed their example. Still, Philip, though he
had not been much seen during the winter--and it is doubtful, even,
where he had spent the most of it--had no intention of abating his
efforts against the English. In the month of May, 1676, he was found
at the head of a powerful force, in the northern part of
Massachusetts, extending many miles on its frontier from east to west.
Considerable numbers of his people were also still in and about
Narraganset, ravaging and annoying the adjacent English settlements.

Large bodies of the Indians, about this time, anxious to secure the
advantages of fishing in Connecticut river, took up positions at the
falls, between the present towns of Gill and Montague. This was in the
vicinity of the line of country occupied by Philip's forces. They felt
the more secure here, as the English forces at Hadley and the adjacent
towns were not at this time at all numerous. Two captive lads, who had
escaped from the Indians, informed the English of their situation, and
the little pains they had taken to guard themselves. The intelligence
thus brought induced the people of Hatfield, Hadley, and Northampton,
to raise a force, for the purpose of attacking the enemy at so
favorable a point. About one hundred and sixty troops were raised, and
placed under the command of Captain Turner. They marched silently in
the dead of the night, and came upon the Indians a little before the
dawn of day, whom they found almost in a dead sleep, and without any
scouts abroad, or watching around their wigwams at home.

[Illustration: Indians attacked at Connecticut River Falls.]

When the Indians were first awakened by the thunder of their guns,
they cried out, "Mohawks! Mohawks!" as if their own native enemies had
been upon them; but the dawning of the light soon rectified their
error, though it could not prevent their danger. The loss of the
Indians was great: one hundred men were left dead on the ground, and
one hundred and forty were seen to pass down the cataract, but one of
whom escaped drowning.

The march of the English forces back was, however, attended with no
small disaster. The Indians, learning the inconsiderable numbers that
had attacked them, rallied in their turn, and hung upon the rear of the
English. Their captain, just then enfeebled by sickness, was unable to
arrange or conduct his forces as they should have been; and the
consequence was a degree of confusion, and their separation into small
parties. In this manner, they suffered the loss of thirty-eight men,
though the Indians paid dearly for it by the loss of more than a hundred
of their warriors on the way. Captain Turner perished in the expedition.

By the destruction at the falls, Philip's forces were seriously
diminished; yet his spirit continued unsubdued and undaunted, and he
was resolved to retort upon the English the injuries he had sustained.
Accordingly, on the 30th of May, six hundred of his warriors appeared
at Hatfield, and rushed suddenly into the town. They immediately set
fire to twelve unfortified buildings, and attacked several palisaded
dwelling-houses. These were bravely defended by the people. In the
midst of the fight, as the inhabitants were attacked, whether in their
dwellings or at their labors, a party of twenty-five resolute young
men crossed the river from Hadley, and came with such animation upon
the Indians, and with so deadly a fire, that the latter were driven
back. Eventually, the whole body of the enemy was obliged to return,
without effecting, as was intended, the complete destruction of the
place. They, however, drove off a large number of sheep and cattle.

Massachusetts and Connecticut now increased their forces in this
quarter, as it appeared that the foe was determined on devastating
the settlements upon the river. Hadley became next the object of
attack, in which about seven hundred Indians were engaged. The assault
was made on the 12th of June, the Indians having laid an ambuscade at
the southern extremity, and advanced the main body towards the other
the preceding night. Though the Indians exhibited their usual
fierceness, they were met and repulsed at the palisades. Renewing
their attacks upon other points, they seemed resolved to carry the
place. Still, they were held in check until assistance arrived from
Northampton, when the foe was driven into the woods.

[Illustration: Defence of Hadley.]

It was during this attack, as is supposed, that the assistance was
afforded to the whites which has generally been ascribed to Goffe, one
of the fugitive judges from England, which at the time was believed to
have been rendered by the guardian angel of the place. In the midst of
the confusion and distress of the battle, a gray-headed,
venerable-looking man, whose costume differed from that of the
inhabitants, appeared, and assumed the direction of the defence. He
arrayed the people in the best manner, showing that he well understood
military tactics, led in the battle, and, by his exhortations and
efforts, rendered essential aid on the occasion. After the departure
of the Indians, he was not observed, and nothing was heard of him
afterwards. As it is known that, at that time, Goffe and Whalley were
concealed in the house of Mr. Russel in Hadley, it is inferred that
one of these men, Goffe (for Whalley was superanuated) left his
concealment, in the danger which existed, and put forth the effort
here recorded, in order to save the town.

Philip was now secure in no place, but his haughty spirit was untamed
by adversity. Although meeting with constant losses, and among them
some of his most experienced warriors, he, nevertheless, seemed as
hostile and determined as ever. In August, the intrepid Church made a
descent upon his head-quarters, at Matapoiset, where he killed and
took prisoners about one hundred and thirty of his men. Even Philip
escaped with difficulty. So great was his precipitation, that he was
obliged to leave his wampum behind, which, with his wife and son, fell
into the hands of the victors. That son, it was afterwards
ascertained, was sold into slavery, as it was also the mournful fact,
with a number of Philip's captured followers. Philip, as stated above,
escaped with difficulty. The particulars, as related by Church, are as
follow: Church's guide had brought him to a place where a large tree,
which the enemy had fallen across a river, lay. Church had come to the
top end of the tree when he happened to spy an Indian upon the stump
of it, on the other side of the stream. He immediately leveled his gun
against the Indian, and had doubtless despatched him, had not one of
his own Indians called hastily to him not to fire, for he believed it
was one of his own men. Hearing this, in all probability the Indian
upon the stump looked about, and Church's Indian, then seeing his
face, perceived his mistake, for he knew him to be Philip. Church's
Indian then fired himself, but it was too late. Philip immediately
threw himself off the stump, leaped down a bank on the other side of
the river, and was out of sight. Church at once gave chase for him,
but was unable to discover his course, and only took some of his
friends and followers, as has been related.

[Illustration: Philip's Escape.]

But from this time, Philip was too closely watched and hotly pursued
to escape destruction. His end was rapidly drawing near, his followers
mostly deserted him, and he was driven from place to place, until he
found himself in his ancient seat near Pokanoket. The immediate
occasion of his death is thus narrated: He having put to death one of
his own men, for advising him to make peace, this man's brother, whose
name was Alderman, fearing the same fate, deserted him, and gave
Captain Church an account of his situation, and offered to lead him to
his camp. Early on Saturday morning, 12th August, Church came to the
swamp where Philip was encamped, and, before he was discovered, had
placed a guard about it so as to encompass it, except at a small
place. He then ordered Captain Golding to rush into the swamp, and
fall upon Philip in his camp, which he immediately did, but was
discovered as he approached, and, as usual, Philip was the first to
fly. Having but just awaked from sleep, and having put on part of his
clothes, he fled with all his might. Coming directly upon an
Englishman and Indian, who composed a part of the ambush at the edge
of the swamp, the Englishman's gun missed fire, but Alderman, the
Indian, whose gun was loaded with two balls, sent one through his
heart and another not above two inches from it. "He fell upon his face
in the mud and water, with his gun under him."

[Illustration: Death of Philip.]

This important news was immediately communicated to Captain Church, by
the man who performed the exploit; but the captain suffered nothing to
be said concerning it, as he wished to dislodge the enemy from his
retreat. Philip's great captain, Annawon, had, however, led out about
sixty of his followers from their dangerous situation, and, when the
English scoured the swamp, they found not many Indians left. These were
killed and captured. After the affair was over, Church communicated to
his troops the gratifying intelligence of Philip's death, upon which the
whole army gave three loud huzzas. Philip's body was drawn from the spot
where he fell, the head taken off, and the body left unburied, to be
devoured by wild beasts. With the great chief fell five of his most
trusty followers; one of whom was his chief captain's son, and the
Indian who fired the first gun in this bloody war. Thus fell this
chieftain, who, though an untutored savage, was doubtless a great
man--considered in reference to his intellectual resources and the
influence he wielded among his compatriots. Had his lot fallen among a
civilized race, and fighting as he did for his native country, he had
been as illustrious as any hero of any age or clime.

Philip's war proved a most serious concern to the infant colonies. It
cost them half a million of dollars, and the lives of above six
hundred inhabitants, who were either killed in battle, or otherwise
destroyed by the enemy. Thirteen towns and six hundred houses were
burned, and there was scarcely a family in the United Colonies that
had not occasion to mourn the death of a relative. Dr. Trumbull thinks
the loss exceeds the common estimate. He concludes that about one
fencible man in eleven was killed, and every eleventh family burned
out. But the war was still more disastrous to the Indians. Great
numbers of them fell in battle; their lodges were destroyed, and,
indeed, their country conquered. Scarcely a hundred warriors remained
of the great leading tribe of the Narragansets.[23]

Of Philip's warriors, several were remarkable men.--Among these were
Nanunteno, or Cononchet; Annawon, Quinnapin, Tuspaquin, and Tatoson.
We can briefly notice but one--the mighty Annawon. We have seen that
at the time of Philip's death, he escaped with a number of his men.
The place of his retreat was not long after disclosed by an Indian and
his daughter, who had been captured. It was in a swamp in the
south-east part of Rehoboth. Captain Church, upon this information,
adopted a most daring stratagem to secure Annawon. At the head of a
small party, conducted by his informers, Church cautiously approached
in the evening the edge of a rocky precipice, under which the chief
was encamped, and critically examined the position. The Indians, their
arms, their employments, (for they were preparing for a meal,) and
other defences, were all noticed by Captain Church; and particularly
the fact, that Annawon and his son were reposing near the arms. As he
learned from his guide that no one was allowed to go out or come into
the camp, except by the precipice, he determined to seek his object in
that direction. The Indian and his daughter, according to a concerted
plan, with baskets upon their backs, as if bringing in provisions,
preceded Church and his men, by their shadows concealing the latter,
and descended the rock. In this way, although with great difficulty,
they all reached the bottom without alarming the Indians. It happened,
singularly enough, that their descent was accomplished without
discovery, on account of the noise made by the pounding of a mortar; a
squaw being engaged in that work in preparing green dried corn for
their supper. Under favor of the noise thus made, the rustling sound
proceeding from their leaps from crag to crag was not noticed. Church,
with his hatchet in his hand, stepped over the young man's head to the
arms. The young Annawon threw his blanket suddenly over his head, and
shrunk up in a heap. The old chief started upon end, and cried out
_Howah!_ meaning Welcome! Finding that there was no escape, he
resigned himself to his fate, and fell back on his couch; while his
captors secured the rest of the company. English and Indian amicably
ate their supper together, and Church afterwards laid down to rest, as
he had not slept during the thirty-six previous hours; but his mind
was too full of cares to admit of repose, and after lying a short
time, he got up. On one occasion, during the night, he felt
suspicious of Annawon's intentions, as the latter, after attempting
in vain to sleep, arose, and left the spot a short time. Returning
with something in his hands, (Church having in the mean time prepared
himself for the worst,) he placed it on the ground, and, falling on
his knees before his captor, said: "Great Captain, you have killed
Philip and conquered his country, for I believe that I and my company
are the last that war against the English. I suppose the war is ended
by your means." His pack consisted of presents, being principally
several belts of wampum, curiously wrought, and a red cloth blanket,
the royal dress of Philip. These he gave to Church, expressing his
gratification in having an opportunity of delivering them to him.

[Illustration: Capture of Annawon.]

The remainder of the night they spent in discourse, in which Annawon
gave an account of his success and exploits in former wars with the
Indians when he served Asuhmequin, Philip's father. Annawon, it is
said, had confessed that he had put to death several of the captive
English, and could not deny but that some of them had been tortured.
Under these circumstances, and considering the exasperation which the
English naturally felt, it was hardly to be expected that mercy should
be shown him. Church, however, did not intend that he should be put to
death, and had earnestly entreated for him; but in his absence from
Plymouth, not long after, the old chief was executed.

It is not uncommon with historians and others, to denounce and
execrate the conduct of Philip and his warriors, as wanton and savage.
They were doubtless cruel--they were savage. The writer would not
become their panegyrist. But let it be remembered, that if they cannot
be exculpated, there are mitigating circumstances which should always
be mentioned in connection with their most inhuman barbarities. The
influences of Christianity never bore upon them. They inflicted no
greater tortures upon the English than they often inflicted upon other
prisoners of their own complexion. But in addition, they were fighting
for their own country. They were patriots--and they saw in the
progress and prosperity of the English, the downfall of Indian
power--the annihilation of Indian title. They were fathers, husbands,
and full well did they know that soon their family relations would be
broken up--and the inheritance of their children for ever fail. Who
can blame them for wishing to perpetuate their hold on their native
hunting grounds--or leaving to their posterity an inheritance dear to
them as ours is to us?--We cannot justify their treachery--their
indiscriminate and wholesale butcheries--but surely we may admire
their bravery--their endurance--their patriotism.

FOOTNOTES:

[22] Hoyt's Antiquarian Researches.

[23] Book of the Indians.



                       VIII. WAR OF WILLIAM III.


    COMBINATION of French and Indians against the Americans--Burning
        of Schenectady--Cause of it--Horrors attending it--Attack upon
        Salmon Falls--Upon Casco--Results of Expeditions fitted out by
        New York and New England--Reduction of Port Royal--Atrocities
        which marked the war--Attack on Haverhill, Mass.--Heroic
        Conduct of Mrs. Dustan--Peace.

During the three wars of King William, Queen Anne, and George II., the
sufferings of the northern colonies were severe and protracted, or
were intermitted only at short intervals. The hostility of the Indians
was kept alive, and often kindled into a fresh flame, through the
agency of European settlers on their northern border. These took up
the quarrel of France and England, and sought occasions to molest the
subjects of the English sovereign in America.

In _King William's War_, the French combined with the Indians in
bringing fire and sword upon the inhabitants of New England and New
York. A connected account need not be given of the disastrous
occurrences that took place, during this sanguinary war; but only
particular instances of hostilities, and their effects, will be
narrated in this portion of the present work.

We commence with the attack on _Schenectady_. This was made in pursuance
of a plan adopted by Count Frontenac, then the governor of Canada, in
revenging on the English colonies the treatment which King James had
received from the English government, and which had inflamed the
resentment of Frontenac's master, Louis XIV. The governor fitted out
three expeditions against the American colonies in the midst of winter,
of which one was against New York. The attack on Schenectady was the
fruit of this expedition. It was made by a party, consisting of about
two hundred French and, perhaps, fifty Caughnewaga Indians, under the
command of two French officers, Maulet and St. Helene, in 1689-90.

[Illustration: Burning of Schenectady.]

Schenectady was then in the form of an oblong square, having a gate at
each extremity. But as one of the gates only could be found, they all
entered at that one. The gate was not only open, but was also unguarded.
Although the town was impaled, and might have been protected, no one
deemed it necessary to close the gate at night, presuming that the
severity of the season was a sufficient security. The enemy divided
themselves into several parties, and waylaid every portal, and then
raised the war-whoop. It was between eleven and twelve o'clock on
Saturday night, the 8th of February, when the fearful tragedy commenced.
Maulet attacked a garrison, where the only resistance of any account was
made. He soon forced the gate, and all the English were slaughtered, and
the garrison burned. One of the French officers was wounded, in forcing
a house, and thereby wholly disabled; but St. Helene having come to his
assistance, the house was taken and all who had shut themselves in it
were put to the sword. Nothing was now to be seen but massacre and
pillage on every side. The most shocking barbarities were committed on
the inhabitants. "Sixty-three houses and the church were immediately in
a blaze. _Enciente_ women, in their expiring agonies, saw their infants
cast into the flames, being first delivered by the knife of the midnight
assassin. Sixty-three persons were murdered and twenty-seven were
carried into captivity."

A few persons were enabled to escape, but being without sufficient
clothing, they lost their limbs from the severity of the cold, as they
traveled towards Albany.

About noon, the next day, the enemy left the desolated place, taking
such plunder as they could carry with them, and destroying the
remainder. It was designed, it seems, to spare the minister of the
place, as Maulet wanted him as his own prisoner; but he was found
among the mangled dead, and his papers burned. The houses of two or
three individuals were spared, for particular reasons, while the rest
were consigned to the flames.

Owing to the state of the traveling, news of the massacre did not reach
the great Mohawk castle, seventeen miles distant, until at the
expiration of two days. On the reception of the news, a party commenced
a pursuit of the foe. After a tedious route, they fell upon their rear,
killed and took twenty-five of them, and effected some other damage.

The second party of French and Indians was sent against the delightful
settlement at _Salmon Falls_, on the Piscataqua. At Three Rivers,
Frontenac had fitted out an expedition of fifty-two men and
twenty-five Indians. They had an officer at their head in whom the
greatest confidence could be reposed--Sieur Hertel. In his small band
he had three sons and two nephews. After a long and rugged march,
Hertel reached the place on the 27th of March, 1690. His spies having
reconnoitered it, he divided his men into three companies, the largest
portion of which he led himself. The attack was made at the break of
day. The English made a stout resistance, but were unable to withstand
the well-directed fire of the assailants. Thirty of the bravest of
the inhabitants were cut to pieces; the remainder, amounting to
fifty-four, were made prisoners. The English had twenty-seven houses
reduced to ashes, and two thousand domestic animals perished in the
barns that had been burned.

The third party, which was fitted out from Quebec by the directions of
Frontenac, made an attack upon _Casco_, in Maine. This was commanded
by M. de Portneuf. Hertel, on his return to Canada, met with this
expedition, and, joining it with the force under his command, came
back to the scene of warfare in which he had been so unhappily
successful. As the hostile company marched through the country of the
Abenakis, numbers of them joined it. Portneuf, with his forces thus
augmented, came into the neighborhood of Casco, according to the
French account, on the 25th of May, 1690. On the following night,
having prepared an ambush, he succeeded in taking and killing an
Englishman who fell into it. Upon this occurrence, the Indians raised
the war-whoop, and about fifty English soldiers, leaving the garrison
to learn the occasion of it, had nearly reached the ambush, when they
were fired upon. Before they could make resistance, they were fallen
upon by the French and Indians, who, with their swords and tomahawks,
made such a slaughter, that but four of them escaped, and those with
severe wounds. "The English, seeing now that they must stand a siege,
abandoned four garrisons, and all retired into one which was provided
with cannon. Before these were abandoned, an attack was made upon one
of them, in which the French were repulsed with the loss of one Indian
killed, and one Frenchman wounded. Portneuf began now to doubt of his
ability to take Casco, fearing the issue; for his commission only
ordered him to lay waste the English settlements, and not to attempt
fortified places. But, in this dilemma, Hertel and Hopehood (a
celebrated chief of the tribe of the Kennebecks), arrived. It was now
determined to press the siege. In the deserted forts they found all
the necessary tools for carrying on the work, and they began a mine
within fifty feet of the fort, under a steep bank, which entirely
protected them from its guns. The English became discouraged, and, on
the 28th of May, surrendered themselves prisoners of war. There were
seventy men, and probably a much greater number of women and children;
all of whom, except Captain Davis, who commanded the garrison, and
three or four others, were given up to the Indians, who murdered most
of them in their most cruel manner; and, if the accounts be true,
Hopehood excelled all other savages in acts of cruelty."

These barbarous transactions, producing alike terror and indignation,
aroused New England and New York to attempt a formidable demonstration
against the enemy. The general court of Massachusetts sent letters of
request to the several executives of the provinces, pursuant to which
they convened at New York, May 1st, 1691. Two important measures were
adopted, as the result of the deliberations, on this
occasion--Connecticut sent General Winthrop, with troops, to march
through Albany, there to receive supplies, and to be joined by a body of
men from New York. The expedition was to proceed up Lake Champlain, and
was destined for the destruction of Montreal. There was a failure,
however, of the supplies, and thus the project was defeated.
Massachusetts sent forth a fleet of thirty-four sail, under Sir William
Phipps. He proceeded to Port Royal, took it, reduced Acadia, and thence
sailed up the St. Lawrence, with the design of capturing Quebec. The
troops landed, with some difficulty, and the place was boldly summoned
to surrender. A proud defiance was returned by Frontenac. The position
of the latter happened to be strengthened, just at this time, by a
rëinforcement from Montreal. Phipps, learning this, and finding also
that the party of Winthrop, which he expected from Montreal, had failed,
gave up the attempt, and returned to Boston, with the loss of several
vessels and a considerable number of troops. A part of his fleet had
been wrecked by a storm.

During the progress of King William's War, the atrocities committed upon
the colonists, by the French and Indians, were equal to any recorded in
the annals of the most barbarous age. Connected with these, were
instances of heroic valor on the part of the sufferers, which are not
surpassed by any on the historic page. A specimen will here be related:
On the 15th of March, 1697, the last year of King William's War, an
attack was suddenly made on _Haverhill_, in Massachusetts, by a party of
about twenty Indians. It was a rapid, but fatal onset, and a fitting
_finale_ of so dreadful a ten years' war. Eight houses were destroyed,
twenty-seven persons killed, and thirteen carried away prisoners. One of
these houses belonged to a Mr. Dustan, in the skirts of the town. Mr.
Dustan was engaged in work at some distance from home, but, by some
means, he learned what was passing at the place.

Before the Indians had reached his house, he had arrived there, and
been able to make some arrangements for the removal of his wife and
children. The latter he bid to run. His wife, who had but only a few
days before become the mother of an infant, was in no condition to
leave her bed. He undertook, however, to remove her, but it was too
late. The Indians were rushing on. No time could be lost; and Mr.
Dustan turned with despair from the mother of his children, to the
children themselves. It became necessary at once to hasten their
flight--they were seven in number, besides the infant left with its
mother, the eldest being seventeen years, and the youngest two years
old. The Indians were upon them, and what could the agonized father
do? With his gun he mounted his horse, and riding in the direction of
his children, overtook them only about forty rods from the house. His
first intention was to take up the child that he could least spare,
and escape with that. But, alas! that point he was unable to
decide--they were all equally dear to him. He, therefore, determined
to resist the enemy, who was on a pursuit, and, if possible, save all.
Facing the savages, he fired, and they returned the fire. The
Indians, however, did not choose to follow up the pursuit, either from
fear of the resolute father, who continued to fire as he retreated, or
from an apprehension of arousing the neighboring English, before they
could finish their depredations in the town, and hence this part of
the family soon effected their escape.

[Illustration: Mr. Dustan saving his children.]

We now return to the house. There was living in it a nurse, Mrs. Neff,
who heroically shared the fate of her mistress, when escape was in her
power. The Indians entered the house, and, having ordered the sick
woman to rise and sit quietly in the corner of the fire-place, they
commenced the pillage of the dwelling, and concluded by setting it on
fire. At the approach of night, Mrs. Dustan was forced to march into
the wilderness, and seek repose upon the hard, cold ground. Mrs. Neff,
in attempting to elude the Indians with the infant, was intercepted.
The babe was taken from her, and its brains beat out against a
neighboring tree. The captives, when collected, amounted to thirteen
in number. That same day they were marched twelve miles before
encamping, although it was nearly night before they set out.
Succeeding this, for several days, they were obliged to keep up with
their savage comrades, over an extent of country of not less than one
hundred and forty or fifty miles. Mrs. Dustan, feeble as she had been,
wonderfully supported the fatigue incident to her situation.

[Illustration: Escape of Mrs. Dustan.]

After this, the Indians, according to their custom, divided their
prisoners. Mrs. Dustan, Mrs. Neff, and a captive lad from Worcester,
fell to the share of an Indian family consisting of twelve persons.
These now took charge of the captives, and appear to have treated them
with no unkindness, save that of forcing them to extend their journey
still farther towards an Indian settlement. They, however, gave the
prisoners to understand that there was one ceremony to which they must
submit, after they had arrived at their place of destination, and that
was to run the gauntlet between two files of Indians. This announcement
filled Mrs. Dustan and her two companions with so much dread, that they
mutually decided to attempt an escape. Accordingly, after obtaining
information from the Indians themselves, as to the way of killing and
scalping their enemies, who gave the information without suspecting
their object, they laid their plans for taking the lives of the savages.
One night, "when the Indians were in the most sound sleep, these three
captives arose, and, softly arming themselves with the tomahawks of
their masters, allotted the number each should kill; and so truly did
they direct their blows, that but two, a boy and a woman, made their
escape, the latter having been seriously wounded. Having finished their
fearful work, they hastily left the place. As the scene of the exploit
was a small island, in the mouth of a stream that falls into the
Merrimack, they made use of a boat of the Indians to effect their
escape; the others being scuttled to prevent the use of them in pursuit,
should the Indians be near; and thus, with what provisions and arms the
Indian camp afforded, they embarked, and slowly took the course of the
river for their homes, which they reached without accident."

The whole country was startled at the relation of the heroic deed, the
truth of which was never questioned. The palpable proofs of their feat
they brought with them, and the general court of Massachusetts gave
them fifty pounds as a reward, and they received from individuals
likewise substantial tokens, expressing the admiration in which the
exploit was held. The governor of Maryland, hearing of the
transaction, sent them also a generous present.

This is a case where individuals may, perhaps, differ in opinion as to
the strict moral propriety of the deed. The necessity of such an act,
for relief from suffering, may be estimated differently, according to
the different theories which men have adopted. Yet it seems to have
been generally, if not universally approved by those who lived
contemporaneously with the transaction; and who, from the stern
integrity of their character, and from their acquaintance with the
circumstances of the country, were peculiarly well fitted to judge.

Such were some of the striking events during the period of King
William's War; a war which continued nearly ten years, and brought
incalculable distress upon the colonies. The peace of Ryswick, in
1697, put an end to it; but this peace proved to be of short duration.

[Illustration]



                         IX. QUEEN ANNE'S WAR.


    PRINCIPAL Scenes of this War in America--Attack upon
        Deerfield--Captivity and Sufferings of Rev. Mr.
        Williams--Other Disasters of the War--Peace--Death of Queen
        Anne--Accession of George I.--Continued Sufferings of the
        Colonies of Massachusetts and New Hampshire--Peace concluded
        with the Indians at Boston.

King William having deceased in 1702, Queen Anne was seated on the
British throne, and war soon began again to rage throughout Europe.
England and France, including Spain also, drew the sword, to settle
some unadjusted claims between them, and the contest of the parent
countries, as usual, soon involved their American colonies. The states
of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, became the principal scenes of the
war in America, the colony of New York being secured from aggression
through the neutrality of the Five Nations on her borders. The war,
which lasted more than ten years, is generally denominated _Queen
Anne's War_, and was attended with the usual barbarous and distressing
results incident to savage warfare.

The drama opened at _Deerfield_, on the Connecticut river, on the 19th
of February, 1704. The preliminaries to it had occurred a little
before in the destruction of several small settlements from Casco to
Wells in Maine, and the killing and capture of one hundred and thirty
people in the aggregate. This was in contravention to the solemn
assurance given by the eastern Indians, of peace with New England. As
Deerfield was a frontier town, the enemy had watched it for the
purpose of capture from an early period. Indeed, it had been
constantly exposed to inroads, during King William's War, but had
resolutely maintained its ground, and increased in size and
population, especially from the termination of that war. It was
palisaded, though imperfectly; several detached houses were protected
by slight fortifications, and twenty soldiers had been placed within
it. They had, however, been quartered about in different houses, and,
forgetting their duty as soldiers, were surprised with the rest of
the inhabitants. There was a great depth of snow upon the ground, a
circumstance which gave the enemy an easy entrance over the pickets.
The commander of the French was Hertel de Rouville.

The assailants, in approaching the place, used every precaution to
avoid disturbing the soldiery or the inhabitants by noise in walking
over the crusted snow, stopping occasionally, that the sound of their
feet might appear like the fitful gusts of the wind. But the
precaution was unnecessary, for the guard within the fort had retired,
and fallen asleep. None, of all who were in the village, awaked,
except to be put immediately into the sleep of death; to be doomed to
a a horrible captivity, or to effect a difficult and hazardous escape
into the adjacent woods amidst the snows of winter. The houses were
assaulted by parties detached in different directions; the doors were
broken open, the astonished people dragged from their beds, and
pillage and personal violence in all its forms ensued. They who
attempted resistance, were felled by the tomahawk or musket.

[Illustration: Capture of Mr. Williams.]

Some of the separate features of this work of destruction and scene of
agony, deserve particular notice, and will ever call up the painful
sympathies of the reader of history. The minister of the place, the
Rev. John Williams, who subsequently wrote a narrative of the affair,
and of his own captivity, was a conspicuous actor and sufferer in the
sad tragedy. Early in the assault, which was not long before the break
of day, about twenty Indians attacked his house. Instantly leaping
from his bed, he ran towards the door, and perceived a party making
their entrance into the house. He called to awaken two soldiers who
were sleeping in the chamber, and had only returned to the bedside for
his arms, when the enemy rushed into the room. Upon this, as he says,
"I reached my hands up to the bed-tester for my pistol, uttering a
short petition to God, expecting a present passage through the _valley
of the shadow of death_." He levelled it at the breast of the foremost
Indian, but it missed fire: he was immediately seized by three
Indians, who secured his pistol, and, binding him fast, kept him
naked in the cold, nearly the space of an hour. One of these captors
was a leader or captain, who soon met the fate he merited. Says Mr.
Williams, "the judgment of God did not long slumber, for by sun-rising
he received a mortal shot from my next neighbor's house." This house
was not a garrison, but being defended by seven resolute men, and as
many resolute women, withstood the efforts of three hundred French and
Indians. They attacked it repeatedly, and tried various methods to set
it on fire, but without success; in the mean while suffering from the
fire which was poured upon them from the windows and loop-holes of the
building. The enemy gave up the attempt in despair. Mrs. Williams
having been confined but a few weeks previously, was feeble--a
circumstance which rendered her case hopeless; but her agony was
intensely increased by witnessing the murder of two of her little
ones, who were dragged to the door, and butchered, as was also a black
woman belonging to the family. Rifling the house with the utmost
rudeness, the enemy seized Mrs. Williams, ill as she was, and five
remaining children, with a view to carry them into captivity.

While these transactions were in progress, a lodger in the house,
Captain Stoddard, seized his cloak, and leaped from a chamber window. He
escaped across Deerfield river, and finding it necessary to secure his
feet from injury, he tore the cloak into pieces, and wrapped them up in
it, and was thus enabled, though in great exhaustion, to reach Hatfield.
An assault was made upon the house of Captain John Sheldon, but the door
was so strong and so firmly bolted, that the enemy found it difficult to
break or penetrate it. Their only resort, therefore, was to perforate it
with their tomahawks. Through the aperture thus made, they thrust a
musket, fired, and killed Mrs. Sheldon, a ball striking her as she was
rising from her bed in an adjoining room. The mark of the ball was long
to be seen in a timber near the bed, the house having been carefully
preserved, bearing upon the front door the marks of the Indian hatchet.
In the mean time, the son and son's wife of Captain Sheldon, sprang from
a chamber window at the east end of the building; but unfortunately for
the lady, her ankle became sprained by the fall, and being unable to
walk, she was seized by the Indians. The husband escaped into the
adjoining forest, and reached Hatfield. The enemy at length gaining
possession of the house, reserved it on account of its size as a dépôt
for the prisoners taken in the village.

At the expiration of about two hours, the enemy having collected the
prisoners, and plundered and set fire to the buildings, took up their
march from the place. Forty-seven persons had been put to death,
including those killed in making the defence. "We were carried over
the river to the foot of the mountain, about a mile from my house,"
says Mr. Williams, "where we found a great number of our Christian
neighbors--men, women, and children--to the number of one hundred,
nineteen of whom were afterwards murdered in the way, and two starved
to death near Coos in a time of great scarcity and famine the savages
underwent there. When we came to the foot of the mountain, they took
away our shoes, and gave us Indian shoes, to prepare us for our
journey."

At this spot, a portion of the enemy was overtaken by a party of the
English, consisting of the few who had escaped, together with the men
who had defended the two houses, and a small number from Hatfield, and a
brisk fight ensued. The little band, however, was in danger of being
surrounded by the main body of the enemy's troops, as they came into the
action, and, accordingly, they were compelled to retreat. They left nine
of their number slain. The attack on the enemy, under such
circumstances, indicated the resolute and sympathizing spirit of the
people, but it had well nigh proved fatal to the prisoners. Rouville,
fearing, at one time, a defeat, had ordered the latter to be put to
death, but, providentially, the bearer of the message was killed before
he executed his orders. They were, nevertheless, held in readiness to be
sacrificed in the event of disasters happening to the enemy.

Soon after the termination of the skirmish, Rouville commenced his
march for Canada. Three hundred miles of a trackless wilderness were
to be traversed, and that too at a very inclement season of the year.
The prospects of the captives were gloomy beyond description. Many
were women, at that time under circumstances requiring the most tender
treatment. Some were young children, not sufficiently strong to endure
the fatigues of traveling. Infants there were, who must be carried in
their parents' arms, or left behind to be butchered by the savage or
frozen on the snow; and, of the adult males, several were suffering
from severe wounds.

The first day's journey was but four miles, and was signalized by the
murder of an infant. The Indians, however, seemed disposed generally
to favor the captives, by carrying on their backs such children as
were incapable of traveling. From mercenary motives, they wished to
keep all alive that they could, as the captives would bring a price,
or be serviceable to them in some way, in Canada. It was no sentiment
of compassion that moved them; for, as soon as their patience failed
them, the miserable captive, whether man, woman, or child, was knocked
on the head. At night, they encamped in a meadow, in what is now
Greenfield, where they cleared away the snow, spread boughs of trees,
and made slight cabins of brush, for the accommodation of the
prisoners. The strongest of the latter were bound after the Indian
manner that night, and every subsequent night, in order to prevent
escape. In the very first night, one man broke away and escaped, and,
at the same time, Mr. Williams, who was considered the principal of
the captives, was informed by the commander-in-chief, that if any more
attempted to escape, the rest should be put to death.

In the second day's march occurred the death of Mrs. Williams. In the
course of the route, it became necessary to cross Creek river, at the
upper part of Deerfield meadow. From some change of conductors, Mr.
Williams, who had before been forbidden to speak to his
fellow-captives, was now permitted to do it, and even to assist his
distressed wife, who had begun to be exhausted. But it was their last
meeting, and most affecting was the scene. She very calmly told him
that her strength was fast failing, and that he would soon lose her.
At the same time, she did not utter the language of discouragement or
of complaint, in view of the hardness of her fortune. When the company
halted, Mr. Williams' former conductor resumed his place, and ordered
him into the front, and his wife was obliged to travel unaided. They
had now arrived at the margin of Green river. This they passed by
wading through the water, which was about two feet in depth, and
running with great rapidity. They now came to a steep mountain, which
it was necessary to ascend. The narrative of Mr. Williams says, here:
"No sooner had I overcome the difficulty of that ascent, but I was
permitted to sit down, and to be unburthened of my pack. I sat
pitying those who were behind, and entreated my master to let me go
down and help my wife, but he refused. I asked each of the prisoners,
as they passed by me, after her, and heard that, passing through the
above said river, she fell down, and was plunged all over in the
water; after which, she traveled not far; for, at the foot of the
mountain, the cruel and blood-thirsty savage who took her, slew her
with his hatchet, at one stroke." The same day, a young woman and
child were killed and scalped.

After some days, they reached the mouth of White river, where Rouville
divided his force into several parties, who took different routes to the
St. Lawrence. Mr. Williams belonged to a party which reached the Indian
village St. Francis, on the St. Lawrence, by the way of Lake Champlain.
After a short residence at that village, he was sent to Montreal, where
he was treated with kindness by the governor, Vaudreuil.

In the year 1706, fifty-seven of these captives were conveyed to
Boston in a flag-ship, among whom were Mr. Williams and all his
remaining children (two having been ransomed and sent home before),
except his daughter Eunice, whom, notwithstanding all his exertions,
he was never able to redeem, and whom, at the tender age of ten years,
he was obliged to leave among the Indians. As she grew up under Indian
influence, having no other home, and no other friends who could
counsel and guide her, she adopted the manners and customs of the
Indians, settled with them in a domestic state, and, by her husband,
had several children. She became also, it is said, a Catholic, and
ever afterwards firmly attached to that religion. This, perhaps, is
scarcely a matter of surprise, as the sentiment was, the more easily
instilled into her mind, from her age and the circumstances in which
she was placed. Some time after the war, she visited her relations at
Deerfield, in company with her husband. She was habited in the Indian
costume, and, strange as it may seem, though every persuasive was used
to induce her to abandon the savages, and to remain among her
connections, all was in vain. She continued to lead the life of a
savage, and, though she repeated her visits to her friends in New
England, she uniformly persisted in wearing her blanket and counting
her beads. Two of the children of Mr. Williams, after their return,
became worthy and respectable ministers; one at Waltham, the other at
Long Meadow, in Springfield.

The captive Mr. Williams, upon his return to the colony, was desired,
by the remnant of his Deerfield friends, to resume the duties of his
pastoral office in that place. He complied with their request, and,
having rëmarried, reared another family of children, and died in 1729.

During Queen Anne's War, no other single tragedy occurred like that of
Deerfield; but, at all times, the enemy were prowling about the
frontier settlements, watching, in concealment, for an opportunity to
strike a sudden blow, and, having done irreparable mischief, to escape
with safety. The women and children retired into garrisons; the men
left their fields uncultivated, or labored with arms at their sides,
and having sentinels posted at every point whence an attack could be
apprehended. Yet, notwithstanding these precautions, the Indians were
often successful, killing sometimes an individual, sometimes a whole
family, sometimes a band of laborers, ten or twelve in number; and, so
alert were they in their movements, that but few of them fell into the
hands of the whites.

Queen Anne died in 1714, and George I., of the house of Brunswick,
ascended the throne of England. During the reign of the latter, a
state of warfare existed between the enemy and the colony of
Massachusetts and New Hampshire for several years, distressing to the
former, but attended by few signal conflicts, disasters, or victories.
At length, however, it was discovered that the Indians, although
instigated still by the French, were not averse to peace. Accordingly,
towards the latter part of the year 1725, a treaty was concluded at
Boston, and the next spring was ratified at Falmouth. A period of
tranquillity succeeded this event in the northern colonies.



                          X. WAR OF GEORGE II.


    WAR between England and France, 1744--French take Canso--Effect of
        this Declaration of War upon the Indians--Attack upon Great
        Meadows (now Putney)--Also, upon Ashuelot (now
        Keene)--Expedition against Louisburg--Particulars of
        it--Surrender of it--Continuance of the War--Various places
        assaulted--Savage Barbarities following the surrender of Fort
        Massachusetts--Peace declared.

The attempts to maintain peace with the Indians were successful
through a number of years. The most happy expedient which the English
adopted for that purpose, was the erection of _trading-houses_, where
goods were furnished by government to be exchanged for furs, which the
Indians brought to them. This had the effect of conciliating the
Indians, and, as it stimulated their industry, it was more serviceable
to them than direct gifts. In the course of time, however, they began
to be restive. Their intercourse with the whites, for trading
purposes, renewed reminiscences of the attacks and cruelties committed
upon the exterior settlements. The Indians were wont to boast of their
feats, and of the tortures inflicted upon the captured English; in
some instances, the friends of those with whom they were now holding
intercourse. They were disposed frequently, when provoked or
intoxicated, to threaten to come again, with the war-whoop and the
tomahawk. Hence, individual acts of violence occasionally took place,
at or near the trading-towns, and it was evident that, whenever war
between the English and French should commence, there would be a
reiteration of the former scenes and acts of atrocity.

The day of blood at length arrived. It was in the year 1744, that
England and France again commenced hostilities. The intelligence no
sooner crossed the Atlantic, than the frontiers of the colonies became
the area of the conflict, and the blood-thirsty savage took up his
hatchet, with the intention of giving vent to his long pent-up
vengeance. George II. had been on the throne several years.

Before the proclamation of war was known at Boston, the French governor
of Cape Breton sent a party to take Canso, which was effected, and the
captives were conveyed to Louisburg. The proclamation of war seems to
have had a singular effect on the Indians, who had manifested a degree
of attachment to the whites. It awakened the naturally ferocious
feelings of the savage--feelings that had been for some time suspended;
and, forgetting the many ties of acquaintance and friendly intercourse,
he easily fell back upon those habits of carnage and plunder, in which
he was originally nurtured. The effect of the proclamation of war, on
all the other Indians, was to have been expected, as gratifying their
long-indulged desires of mingling in the scenes of murder and pillage.
It was an unhappy circumstance, in regard to the Indians who had been
indulged with so intimate an intercourse with the whites, that they were
perfectly acquainted with all the routes from Canada to the various
English settlements, thus serving as guides for others, or facilitating
their predatory irruptions.

With a wise foresight, upon the first intimation of war, several new
forts were ordered to be built in exposed parts of the country, the
western regiments of militia in Massachusetts were called on for their
quotas of men to defend the frontiers in that quarter, and scouting
parties were employed in various places for the purpose of discovering
the incursions of the enemy, and ferreting out their trails. But
happily, during the first year, they remained quiet, or were secretly
making their preparations for the part they intended hereafter to enact.

The Indians commenced operations in July, 1745, at the _Great Meadow_,
now Putney, on the Connecticut, and a few days after at upper Ashuelot
(Keene), killing at each place an individual. Somewhat later in the
year, the Great Meadow was the scene of another attack, with a small
loss to the whites, as also to the Indians. The vigilance of the
colonists, however, was so unceasing, that but little opportunity at
this time was afforded for the gratification of their malignity.

The eyes of the New England colonists were now fixed on one great
enterprise, the reduction of _Louisburg_, on the island of Cape
Breton, a place of incredible strength, which had been twenty-five
years in building. Accordingly, four thousand troops from the several
colonies, as far as Pennsylvania, were raised, the command of which
was assigned to William Pepperell. On the 4th of April, 1745, the
expedition had arrived at Canso. Here they were detained three weeks
on account of the ice. At length Commodore Warren, according to orders
from England, arrived at Canso in a ship of sixty guns, with three
other ships of forty guns each. After a consultation with Pepperell,
the commodore proceeded to cruise before Louisburg. Soon after, the
general sailed with the whole fleet. On the 30th of April, landing his
troops, he invested the city. A portion of the troops on the
north-east part of the harbor, meeting with the warehouses containing
the naval stores, set them on fire. The smoke, driven by the wind into
the grand battery, so terrified the French, that they abandoned it.
After spiking the guns, they returned to the city. Colonel Vaughan,
who conducted the first column, took possession of the deserted
battery. With extreme difficulty, cannon were drawn up for fourteen
nights successively, from the landing-place, through a morass to the
camp. It was done by men with straps over their shoulders, and sinking
to their knees in the mud; a service which oxen or horses on such
ground could not have performed. The cannon of the forsaken battery
were drilled, and turned with good effect on the city.

On the 7th of May, a summons was sent to the commanding officer of
Louisburg, but he refused to surrender the place. The efforts of the
assailants were then renewed, and put forth to the utmost, both by the
commodore's fleet and the land forces. Their efforts were at length
crowned with success. Discouraged by the whole aspect of affairs,
Duchambon, the French commander, felt under the necessity of
surrendering; and, accordingly, on the 16th of June, articles of
capitulation were signed.

[Illustration: Reduction of Louisburg.]

This expedition, and its success, are one of the most striking events
in American warfare. It established the New England character for a
daring and enterprising spirit, and it became equally the boast and
the fear of Britain. The daring and the prowess that effected such an
achievement, might one day be arrayed against the integrity of the
British empire in America. Pious people considered that this victory
was wrought out by a special guiding and cöoperating Providence.

After the loss of Louisburg, the conflicts on the borders became more
frequent and fatal. The enemy was exasperated, and determined to give
the colonists no rest. Various places on the Connecticut were
accordingly attacked, but chiefly settlements in New Hampshire, the
results of which were very distressing to individual families.
Charlestown, Keene, New Hopkinton, Contoocook, Rochester, and many other
places whose situations exposed them to the enemy were attacked, and a
greater or less number of individuals were killed, wounded, or captured.

One attack may be stated in detail; it followed the surrender of Fort
Massachusetts to Vaudreuil's French and Indian forces, an honourable
capitulation, which took place in the summer of 1746, the fort having
defended itself as long as its ammunition lasted. The narrative is
given in the language of another: "Immediately after the surrender of
Fort Massachusetts, about fifty of Vaudreuil's Indians passed Hoosack
mountain, for the purpose of making depredations at Deerfield, about
forty miles eastward. Arriving near the village on Sunday, they
reconnoitered the north meadow, for the purpose of selecting a place
of attack upon the people, as they should commence their labor the
next morning. Not finding a point of attack suited to their design,
which seems to have been rather to capture than to secure scalps, they
proceeded about two miles south, to a place called the _Bars_, where
were a couple of houses, owned by the families of Arnsden and Allen,
but now deserted; and early in the morning formed an ambuscade on the
margin of a meadow, under the cover of a thicket of alders, near which
was a quantity of mown hay. The laborers of the two families,
accompanied by several children, then residing in Deerfield village,
proceeded to their work in the early part of the day, and commenced
their business very near the Indians, who now considered their prey as
certain. But a little before they commenced their attack, Mr. Eleazer
Hawks, one of the neighboring inhabitants, went out for fowling; and,
approaching near the ambuscade, was shot down and scalped. Alarmed at
the fire, the persons fled down a creek towards a mill, fiercely
pursued by the Indians. Simeon Arnsden, a lad, was seized, killed and
scalped; Samuel Allen, John Sadler, and Adonijah Gillet, made a stand
under the bank of Deerfield river, near the mouth of the mill creek,
whence they opened a fire on the Indians. Soon overpowered, Allen and
Gillet fell; but Sadler escaped to an island, and thence across the
river, under a shower of balls. In the mean time, others, making for
the road leading to the town, were closely pursued, and Oliver
Arnsden, after a vigorous struggle for his life, was barbarously
butchered. Eunice, a daughter, and two sons of Allen (Samuel and
Caleb) were in the field; Eunice was knocked down by a tomahawk, and
her skull fractured, but, in the hurry, was left unscalped. Samuel was
made prisoner, and Caleb effected his escape by running through a
piece of corn, though the Indians passed very near him.
Notwithstanding the severity of her wounds, Eunice recovered, and
lived to an advanced age."[24]

Although the war between England and France was terminated by the
treaty of peace at Aix-la-Chapelle, on the 18th of October, 1743, yet
tranquillity did not immediately follow. The frontiers continued to be
ravaged, and the comfort and progress of the settlers were seriously
interrupted, for a time, beyond the general pacification. The basis of
the peace, as settled at Aix-la-Chapelle, was the mutual restoration
of all places taken during the war: Louisburg, the pride and glory of
the war, reverted to the French, to the grief and mortification of New
England.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTE:

[24] Hoyt.



                       XI. FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR.


    DECLARATION of War between England and France--Causes of the
        War--Mode of conducting it--Various Expeditions planned--Nova
        Scotia taken from the French--General Braddock's signal
        defeat--Failure of Expeditions against Niagara and Fort
        Frontenac--Expedition against Crown Point--Battle of Lake
        George--Campaign of 1756--Inefficiency of Lord Loudon--Loss of
        Fort Oswego--Indian Atrocities in Pennsylvania--Campaign of
        1757--Massacre at Fort William Henry--Campaign of
        1758--Capture of Louisburg--Unsuccessful Expedition against
        Ticonderoga--Capture of Fort Frontenac--Fort du Quesne
        taken--Campaign of 1759--Ticonderoga and Crown Point
        taken--Niagara Captured--Siege and Capture of Quebec--Death of
        Wolfe and Montcalm--Final Surrender of the French Possessions
        in Canada to the English--Peace of Paris.

After a few years of peace, during which the colonies had somewhat
repaired their wasted strength and resources, a declaration of war was
made between Great Britain and France in the summer of 1756. There had
been an actual state of warfare for two previous years, causing no
small grief and annoyance to the colonies, who had fondly hoped longer
to enjoy the blessings of tranquillity, and prosecute their schemes of
improvement. An invaluable blessing, however, ultimately flowed from
the renewed conflict of arms--as, from this time, that federation took
place among the separated provinces, which was consummated afterwards
in their independence as a nation. The prosecution of a common object,
such as was presented in the French and Indian War, naturally
concentrated and united their energies, and evolved, at length, the
idea of a more perfect political association.

The _causes_ of the war grew out of the encroachments of the French
upon the frontier of the English colonies in America. Such, at least,
was the allegation on the part of England. France had established
settlements on the St. Lawrence, and at the mouth of the Mississippi,
and commenced the gigantic plan of uniting these points by a chain of
forts, extending across the continent, and designed to confine the
English colonists to the eastern slope of the Alleghanies. The French
possessed considerable military strength in their northern colonies.
They had strongly fortified Quebec and Montreal, and, at other points,
the frontiers were defended by Louisburg, Cape Breton, and the forts
of Lake Champlain, Niagara, Crown Point, Frontenac, and Ticonderoga.
And they had, also, a fort of some strength at Du Quesne, now the spot
on which Pittsburg is built.

The establishment of French posts on the Ohio, and the attack on
Colonel Washington, were declared, by the British government, as the
commencement of hostilities. The French, however, allege the intrusion
of the Ohio Company upon their territory, as the immediate cause of
the war. General Braddock, at the head of fifteen hundred troops, had
been despatched to America. On his arrival in Virginia, he requested a
convention of colonial governors to meet him there, to confer on the
plan of the ensuing campaign. They accordingly met, and three
expeditions were resolved upon--one against Du Quesne, to be conducted
by General Braddock; one against forts Niagara and Frontenac, to be
commanded by Governor Shirley; and one against Crown Point, to be led
by General Johnson. The last-named expedition was a measure proposed
by Massachusetts, and was to be executed by troops raised in New
England and New York. In the mean time, a fourth expedition, which had
been previously concerted, was carried on against the French forts in
Nova Scotia. This province, it seems, after its cession to the
English, by the treaty of Utrecht, was still retained, in part, by the
French, as its boundaries were not defined. They had built forts on a
portion of it which the English claimed. To gain possession of these,
was the object of the expedition. About two thousand militia, under
Monckton and Winslow, embarked at Boston, on the 20th of May, 1755;
and, having been joined by three hundred regulars, when they had
arrived at Chignecto, on the Bay of Fundy, they proceeded against
Beau Sejour, now the principal post of the French in that country.

This place they invested and took possession of, after a bombardment
of a few days. Other forts were afterwards attacked and taken, and the
whole province was secured to the British, according to their idea of
its proper boundaries.

The military operations at the South, during this time, proved to be
disastrous in the extreme. One of the most signal defeats took place
in Virginia, that the annals of American history have recorded. It had
been a total loss of a large army (large for the colonial warfare),
but for the prudence and valor of our youthful Fabius, George
Washington. He saved a portion of it, while the whole was exposed to
utter annihilation, through the pride and ill-calculating policy of
its leader. General Braddock was not wanting in valor, or in the
knowledge of European tactics; but he little understood the proper
mode of meeting Indian warfare, and had the greater misfortune of
unwillingness to receive advice from subordinates in office.

The object of the expedition under Braddock, was the reduction of Fort
du Quesne. At the head of two thousand men, he commenced his march;
but, as it was deemed an object of great importance to reach the fort
before it could be rëinforced, he marched forward with twelve hundred
men, selected from the different corps, with ten pieces of cannon, and
the necessary ammunition and provisions. The remainder of the army was
left under the command of Colonel Dunbar, to follow with the heavy
artillery, by moderate and easy marches.

Washington, who was his aid, and well acquainted with the
peculiarities of Indian warfare, foresaw the danger which was
impending, and ventured to suggest the propriety of employing a body
of Indians, who had offered their services. These, had the commander
seen fit to accept the advice, would have proved serviceable to him as
scouting and advanced parties. Or had he, as was also suggested to
him, as a matter of safety, placed the provincial troops in his army
in front, he would have avoided the danger. These troops, consisting
of independent and ranging companies, accustomed to such services,
would have scoured the woods and morasses, and guarded against an
ambuscade. Despising the enemy, undervaluing the colonial troops, and
confiding only in his own valor and the splendid array of his
well-drilled British regulars, he fearlessly pursued his way. The
natural and necessary impediments were many, and he did not reach the
Monongahela until the 8th of July. The next day he expected to invest
the fort, and in the morning he made a disposition of his forces, in
accordance with that expectation. His van, consisting of three hundred
British regulars, was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Gage, and he
followed, at some distance, with the artillery and main body of his
men, divided into small columns.

"Washington had the day before rëjoined the army, from which he had
been a short time detained by severe illness. It was noon on the 9th
of July, when, from the height above the right bank of the
Monongahela, he looked upon the ascending army, which, ten miles from
Fort Du Quesne, had just crossed the stream for the second time. Every
thing looked more bright and beautiful than aught he had ever
witnessed before. The companies in their crimson uniform, with
burnished arms and floating banners, were marching gayly to cheerful
music as they entered the forest."

But soon and suddenly, how changed the scene! How many exulting
soldiers that entered the forest, were destined never to emerge from
it, into the light of day! How many hearts that were throbbing with
hope at the prospect of an easy victory, were to be hushed for ever!
Heedless of danger, Braddock pressed forward, the distance of seven
miles only still intervening between his army and the contemplated
place of action. Suddenly, in an open wood, thick set with high grass,
there burst upon them the Indian war-whoop and a fierce fire from an
unseen enemy on every side. A momentary confusion and panic
ensued--many fell, and, the ranks being broken, there was danger of an
ignominious flight. None could at first tell who might be or where
lurked the foe that was dealing death at so fearful a rate. Braddock,
however, rallied his forces, but mistakingly deemed it necessary to
fight, even under these circumstances, according to European tactics,
and to preserve a regular order of battle. Thus he kept his soldiers
in compact masses, as fair marks for the Indian bullet or arrow,
without the possibility of effectually meeting the foe. At this
critical moment, personal valor was of no avail. Discipline and art,
combined action, and orderly movement, brought not the enemy where he
could be foiled. There was, indeed, a momentary suspension of the
fight, resulting from the fall of the commanding officer of the foe,
but the attack was quickly renewed with increased fury--the van fell
back on the main army, and the whole body was again thrown into
confusion. Had an instant retreat, or a rapid charge without
observance of orderly military movements been commanded, the result
might have been very different. But Braddock, too ignorant of the
right course, or too bigoted to the European method of battle, refused
to adopt either expedient. Continually fired upon, and losing his
brave men by scores, he still made efforts to form his broken and
wasting troops on the very spot where they were first attacked, thus
bringing the living to supply the places of the dead, and offering
needlessly, and without any countervailing advantage, successive
holocausts to the demon of battle.

The enemy was small in numbers, and hardly calculated on the
possibility of defeating the English army. Annoyance and delay, seemed
to be all that they expected to accomplish; but permitted securely, in
the two ravines on each side of the road where they were concealed, to
fire upon the English, they could but triumph. The Indians, taking
leisurely aim at the officers, swept them from the field, and all but
Washington were either killed or wounded. He, as aid to Braddock, was
peculiarly exposed, as he rode over every part of the field to carry
the general's orders. Indeed, the sharp-shooters endeavored to take
him off, as well as the rest, but he was providentially preserved. No
instrument of death might be wielded with effect upon him. The
superstitious Indians were struck by the phenomenon of his escape, and
concluded that he was not to be killed. One of them afterwards averred
that he shot at him seventeen times in succession, and was forced to
yield to the conviction that he was invulnerable. At the close of the
battle, four bullets were found in his coat, and it was known that two
horses had been killed under him.

[Illustration: Braddock's Defeat.]

After an action of three hours, General Braddock, who had fearlessly
breasted the vollies of the enemy, and had lost successively three
horses from under him, received a mortal wound. His troops no longer
maintained their position, but fled in terror and dismay. The
provincials remained last on the field, and effected an orderly
retreat, protecting, at the same time, the regulars in their flight.
The defeat was most signal, and the loss of life appalling. The proud
army, at the close of the contest, counted but one-half of its entire
number. Sixty-four officers were killed and wounded. The remains of
the English forces sought their companions under Dunbar, forty miles
distant. Braddock could proceed no farther, and there expired. The
army, with Dunbar for its leader, was soon after marched to
Philadelphia, where it found its winter-quarters. Thus, in the fatal
results of that expedition, the whole frontier of Virginia was left
exposed to the French and Indians.

Of the enterprise against _Niagara_ and _Fort Frontenac_, it may
suffice to say, that it utterly failed. We proceed, therefore, to that
against _Crown Point_, the rendezvous for which was at Albany. On the
last of June (1755), four thousand troops arrived at Albany, under the
command of General William Johnson and General Lyman. Here the sachem
Hendrick joined them with a body of his Mohawks. As a portion of the
troops, together with the artillery, batteaux, provisions, and other
necessaries for the attempt on Crown Point, could not be immediately
got ready, General Lyman advanced with the main body, and erected Fort
Edward, on the Hudson, for the security of the apparatus above named,
which was to be forwarded by Johnson.

Towards the end of August, General Johnson moved his forces forward
more northerly, and pitched his camp at the south end of Lake George.
Here he learned that two thousand French and Indians, under the
command of Baron Dieskau, had landed at South bay, now Whitehall, and
were marching toward Fort Edward for the purpose of destroying the
English transports and munitions of war. It was resolved the next
morning, in a council of war, to send out a large detachment of men to
intercept Dieskau's army on its way. To perform this service, Colonel
Ephraim Williams, of Deerfield, was appointed, at the head of twelve
hundred troops, two hundred of whom were Indians. Dieskau, who was an
able commander, had made an advantageous disposition to receive the
English. While he kept the main body of his regulars with him in the
center, he ordered the Canadians and Indians to advance on the right
and left in the woods, with a view to surround their opponents. When
the American troops had arrived considerably within the ambuscade, the
Mohawk sachem, Hendrick, who had been sent out too late with his band,
was hailed by a hostile Indian, and instantly there commenced a sharp
fire. This brought on the action sooner than was intended by Dieskau,
who had ordered his flanking parties to reserve their fire till the
firing should proceed from the center. It was his design to let the
English troops get completely inclosed before the firing commenced, in
which case there would have been an entire defeat of the English. The
discharge of arms necessarily became general, after the flanking
parties had begun; but the advantage was altogether on the side of the
ambuscaders. The provincials fought bravely, but finding that they
were in danger of being hemmed in from every quarter, they were
obliged to retreat. The loss of the Americans was considerable.
Colonel Williams was killed. Hendrick and a number of his Indians, who
fought with great intrepidity, were left dead on the field. The
retreating troops joined the main body, and waited the approach of
their now exulting assailants.[25]

It was nearly noon when the enemy appeared in sight of Johnson's army.
The battle of _Lake George_, which was the consequence of their meeting,
occurred on the 8th of September. The American army was encamped on the
banks of that lake, and covered each side of a low thick morass. To form
a sort of breastwork, trees had been felled, and this was his only cover
against an attack. It happened most favorably that, two days before,
General Johnson had received several cannon from Fort Edward. The enemy
marched up in front of the breastwork within the distance of one hundred
and fifty yards. Soon the grand and central attack was commenced, while
the English flanks were beset by the Canadians and Indians. The distant
platoon fire of the French did but little execution; and the English,
summoning resolution, entered with increased spirit upon the defence of
their position. Working their artillery with vigor, they compelled the
Indians and Canadian militia to flee into the swamps. Dieskau, under
these circumstances, was forced to order a retreat. It was not effected
with much success, as his troops were thrown into irrecoverable
disorder, and their flight was hastened by a party pursuing them from
the English camp. The baron met the frequent fate of war--he received
his death-wound from a soldier, who, meeting him alone, mistook a
movement on the part of the general, which was intended as propitiatory,
for an attempt at self-defence, and discharged his piece at him. He was
feeling for his watch to give to the soldier. His wound proved fatal,
but not until he had reached England.

[Illustration: Battle of Lake George.]

When the baron's army halted, after its retreat or flight, it happened,
just as they were about to take refreshment, that two hundred men of
the New Hampshire forces, which had been detached from Fort Edward to
the aid of the main body, fell upon the French, and put many of them to
the sword. Their dead bodies were thrown into a small lake, which, from
this circumstance, was afterwards called "the bloody pond."

The spirits of the colonists, which had been so depressed by
Braddock's defeat, were greatly revived, but the issue of the battle
of Lake George was not otherwise beneficial. The success was by no
means followed up according to the expectations of the country. No
further effort at this time was made to reduce Crown Point; but the
remainder of the campaign was employed by Johnson only in
strengthening the works at Fort Edward, and erecting on the site of
the battle a fort, which he called William Henry.

Johnson, in his official letter respecting the engagement, makes no
mention of General Lyman, although the latter held the command most of
the day, as Johnson was wounded early in the action. This was an
instance of ingratitude and selfishness highly unbecoming a soldier,
especially as the consideration bestowed on himself was a baronetcy
and five thousand pounds sterling.

The campaign of 1756, the year in which the public declaration of war
was made, makes but an indifferent figure in American history.
Expeditions against Niagara, Crown Point, Fort Du Quesne, and other
places, were projected; but they severally failed. On the other hand,
before the close of the summer, the Marquis de Montcalm, an efficient
officer, who succeeded Dieskau, with a large force of regulars,
Canadians, and Indians, took the important fort of Oswego, on the
south side of Lake Ontario, which gave him the command of the lakes
Ontario and Erie, and of the entire country of the Five Nations.
Sixteen hundred men were taken prisoners; Colonel Mercer, the
commanding officer, was killed, and the loss in cannon, mortars,
batteaux, and other military resources, was great.

[Illustration: Destruction of Kittaning.]

During this unfortunate year, a single military adventure on the
confines of Pennsylvania, shows that the colonists were not insensible
to the Indian depredations, and to the duty of attempting to repress
them. Fort Granby, in that state, was surprised by a party of French
and Indians, who made the garrison prisoners. Departing, in this
instance, from their usual custom of killing and scalping the
captives, they loaded them with flour, and thus drove them into the
wilderness. In another quarter, the Indians on the Ohio barbarously
killed, in their incursions, above a thousand inhabitants of the
western frontiers. To avenge this outrageous conduct, Colonel
Armstrong, with a party of two hundred and eighty provincials, marched
from Fort Shirley, on the Juniata river, about one hundred and fifty
miles west of Philadelphia, to Kittaning, an Indian town, the
rendezvous of these murdering savages, and destroyed it. An Indian
chief, called Captain Jacobs, defended himself through loop-holes of
his log cabin. As the Indians refused the quarter which was offered
them, Colonel Armstrong gave orders to set their houses on fire. This
was at once executed, and many of the Indians perished by the flames
and suffocation. Numbers were shot in attempting to reach the river.
Jacobs, his squaw, and a boy called the king's son, were fired upon as
they were attempting to escape out of the window, and were all killed
and scalped. It is computed that between thirty and forty Indians were
destroyed in this attack. Eleven English prisoners were also released.

On this occasion, a Captain Mercer was wounded, and conveyed away by
his ensign and eleven men. He afterwards returned safe with
twenty-three men, and four released prisoners. He is believed to be
the distinguished General Mercer of the United States army, who died
of wounds received in the battle of Princeton in 1776.[26]

The campaign of the succeeding year, 1757, is chiefly memorable in our
annals for the dreadful massacre of the English at Fort William Henry,
on the 9th of August, and which deserves a particular recital. Fort
William Henry was commanded at this time by Colonel Monroe, a British
officer. Being vigorously pressed, and unable to obtain assistance
from General Webb, who was at Fort Edward with the main army, and
having burst many of his guns and mortars, and expended most of his
ammunition, he had no alternative but to surrender. By the
capitulation which was signed, the troops were allowed to retain their
arms, and as a protection against the Indians, were to receive an
escort for their march to Fort Edward. Soon after, a detachment of the
French army took possession of the fort. At the same time, the
Indians, impatient for plunder and blood, rushed over the parapets,
and were ready for operations. Colonel Monroe, perceiving their
object, and dreading to remain within the camp exposed to their
cupidity and vengeance, gave orders for marching about midnight.
Preparations accordingly were made, but it was found that a large body
of Indians was on the road with a view to intercept his march.
Safety, therefore, did not permit them to leave the camp.

Early in the morning they began their march, but their situation was
worse now than it had been before, with the savages threatening and
prowling around them. Armed with tomahawks or other instruments of
death, they filled the woods, and commenced their work of plunder and
butchery upon the retreating British. Monroe complained to the French
commander, and demanded the promised escort. This was not furnished,
probably, as the French themselves feared the Indians; but the British
were advised to yield to the former their private property, as the
means of appeasing the foe, and saving life. This was very generally
done, but it produced no effect, except to increase their rapacity.
Whatever was withheld, they seized, and many were stripped almost
entirely of their clothing, and some even to nudity. They rushed upon
the sick and wounded, whom they killed and scalped; the negroes,
mulattoes, and friendly Indians, were then dragged from the ranks, and
shared the same fate. The English troops, under these circumstances,
did as they could, until they reached a French guard on the way. They
were followed by the insulting, robbing, and murdering savages. "The
women accompanying the troops, unable to resist, were seized, their
throats cut, their bodies ripped open, and their bowels torn out, and
thrown in their faces; the children were taken by the heels, and their
brains dashed out against the rocks and trees; and it is stated that
many of the savages drank the heart's blood of their victims, as it
flowed reeking from the horrid wounds."

General Webb, on receiving intelligence of the capitulation, ordered
five hundred men to meet the captured troops, and conduct them to his
camp; but, to his surprise, instead of meeting the escort, he found
the captives flying, through the woods singly, or in small groups,
some distracted, and many bleeding with dreadful wounds, faint, and in
a state of exhaustion. The whole number massacred and carried off,
was probably not far from three hundred.

The ill successes and losses of several campaigns now roused the
people, both in the parent-country and in the provinces, to the
consideration of more vigorous measures, under more able men.
Accordingly, William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, the greatest statesman of
modern ages, was brought forward at the present crisis, and infused
his own ardent and decisive spirit into the national counsels. He
sympathized with his trans-Atlantic brethren, and assured them, in a
circular which he addressed to the governors of the provinces, that an
effectual force should be sent against the French the next year, to
operate both by sea and land. In connection with such a force, they
were expected to raise their full quotas of troops, according to the
number of the inhabitants. Animated by the favorable change in the
parent-country, the government of Massachusetts voted seven thousand
men, Connecticut five thousand, and New Hampshire three thousand, and
the troops were ready for service in the early part of the year
(1758). An armament of twelve thousand troops having been sent out
from England, commanded by General Amherst, and the British forces
already in America, added to the number of soldiers raised by the
colonies, constituted an army far greater than had been before seen on
this side of the ocean.

The expeditions proposed for the year were three--the first against
_Louisburg_, the second against _Ticonderoga_, and _Crown Point_, and
the third against _Fort Du Quesne_. The feelings of resentment against
the enemy were strong, and the colonists engaged heartily in the
movements; for Canada was filled, so to speak, "with prisoners and
scalps, private plunder, and public stores and provisions, which our
people, as beasts of burden, had conveyed to them." The enterprise
against Louisburg was conducted by the land and naval commanders,
Amherst and Boscawen, with twenty ships of the line, and fourteen
thousand men. As the British minister had in view the absolute
extinction of the French power in America, it was of the highest
importance to take Louisburg, as a key to the possession of the
capital of Canada.

The armament arrived before the place on the 2d of June. The commander
of the garrison, the Chevalier de Drucourt, was an officer of experience
and courage. His force, however, was not large, consisting of
twenty-five hundred regulars, and six hundred militia. But the harbor
was so strongly secured, that it was found necessary to land the English
forces at some distance from the town. The landing was effected with
difficulty, though with little loss. General James Wolfe, who then
commenced his distinguished military career, was detached with two
thousand men to seize a post occupied by the enemy at the Light-house
point, from which the ships in the harbor and the fortifications in the
town might be greatly harassed. The post was abandoned on the approach
of Wolfe, and very strong batteries were erected there. Approaches were
also made on the opposite side of the town, and the siege was urged with
skill and vigor. The cannonade kept up against the town and the ships in
the harbor was so effective, that there seemed to be little prospect of
defending the place, and the government offered to capitulate Louisburg,
with all its artillery, (two hundred and twenty-one pieces of cannon and
eighteen mortars,) and a very large quantity of stores and ammunition;
as also the Island Royal, St. John's, and their dependencies, were
surrendered to the English. The speedy result was also the entire
possession of the island of Cape Breton. The loss to the garrison was
upwards of fifteen hundred men--to the assailants, about four hundred
killed and wounded. In England, the trophies of the victory were
publicly exhibited, and the event was religiously noticed in all the
churches. In New England the joy was great, and the victory there also
commemorated with public thanksgivings.[27]

Of the second expedition, under General Abercrombie, against
Ticonderoga, it may suffice to say, that, notwithstanding its
strength, numbering fifteen thousand troops, with a formidable train
of artillery and the usual appliances, it utterly failed, through the
unskilfulness and rashness of Abercrombie himself. Fort Frontenac,
however, on the return of the army from their dépôt, was besieged and
captured. The success of this last enterprise prepared the way for the
reduction of Fort Du Quesne, the third object of the campaign of 1758.
This expedition was entrusted to General Forbes. The fort, however,
was found to have been abandoned by the French and Indians. It was now
taken possession of by the English, who named it Pittsburg, in
compliment to the British minister. Upon this event, the Indian tribes
on the Ohio submitted to the English. The gloom which spread over the
colonies by the defeat at Ticonderoga, was, in a measure, dissipated
by the successes of Amherst and Forbes.

For the campaign of 1759, three expeditions were proposed--one against
_Ticonderoga_ and _Crown Point_, to be conducted by Amherst--a second
against _Niagara_, under Prideaux--and a third against _Quebec_, to be
conducted by General Wolfe.

On the 22d of July, Amherst, in accordance with the above plan,
invested _Ticonderoga_ with twelve thousand provincials and regulars,
and soon succeeded in capturing that important fortress. Following
this, the village of St. Francis, situated at the mouth of the river
of that name was destroyed.

[Illustration: Destruction of the village of St. Francis.]

It had been the resort of Indian robbers and murderers, where were
deposited the scalps and plundered goods of hundreds of hapless
Englishmen. It was taken and destroyed by a party under Major Rogers,
after a series of adventures and hair-breadth escapes, which have more
the appearance of romance than reality. There was a general
conflagration of the cabins, and out of three hundred inhabitants, two
hundred were killed, twenty women and children captured, and five
English prisoners in the village set free.

The army destined against _Niagara_, was composed principally of
provincials, rëinforced by a strong body of friendly Indians. It was
placed under the command of General Prideaux, who commenced the siege
of the place on the 6th of July. While directing the operations of the
place, he was killed by the bursting of a shell. The command of the
army then fell upon Sir William Johnson, who prosecuted the enterprise
with judgment and vigor. The French, alarmed at the prospect of losing
a post which formed the communication between Canada and Louisiana, in
the mean while, made a strenuous effort to raise the siege, by
collecting a large body of troops from several neighboring garrisons.
These were brought, on the morning of the 24th, in battle array
against the besiegers, ushered in by the horrible sound of the Indian
war-whoop. The French charged with great impetuosity, but the English
maintained their ground, and eventually repulsed them with signal
slaughter. The fate of Niagara was now decided. The next day a
capitulation was signed, and this portion of the country fell into the
hands of the English.

The grand enterprise for the reduction of _Quebec_ was entrusted, as
already noticed, to the gallant and accomplished Wolfe, who sailed
from Halifax early in the season, and near the last of June landed the
whole army on the island of Orleans, a few miles below Quebec. Here
the sight presented to him of the formidable position and works of the
enemy by no means served to encourage expectations of success. But his
resolution and desire of victory overcame every other sentiment.

[Illustration: Quebec.]

"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 the shore; thus presenting a wall which it seemed
impossible to scale. From the north-west came down the St. Charles,
entering the St. Lawrence just below the town, its banks high and
uneven, and cut by deep ravines; while armed vessels were borne upon
its waters, and floating batteries obstructed its entrance. A few
miles below, the Montmorenci leaped down the cataract into the St.
Lawrence; and strongly posted along the sloping banks of that river,
and between these two tributaries, the French army, commanded by
Montcalm, displayed its formidable lines."

We necessarily pass over several ineffectual attempts of Wolfe to draw
Montcalm from his strong intrenchments into a general engagement, during
which, and in consequence of excitement under their repeated failure, he
fell sick. When, however, he had so far recovered as to assume the
command, a plan was proposed to him by his generals for getting
possession of the heights in the rear of the city, where it was but
slightly fortified. Could the steep acclivity of rocks be surmounted,
they would be able to reach the level plain above, called the Heights of
Abraham. The plan was altogether congenial to the feelings of the
commander-in-chief, and was put into execution with judgment and vigor.

In pursuance of this plan, Wolfe broke up his camp at Montmorenci, near
the falls of that name, and returned to the island of Orleans, where he
first disembarked. From that spot he determined to push his daring
enterprise. Embarking himself and army on board of the fleet, he
directed Admiral Holmes to sail up the river several miles higher than
the intended point of debarkation, making occasional demonstrations of a
design to land troops. That being accomplished, during the night a
strong detachment in flat-bottomed boats fell down with the tide, to a
point about a mile above the city. The shelving beach, the high
precipitous banks, and the only path by which the place could be scaled,
being defended by a captain's guard and a battery of four guns, all
rendered the landing and ascent of the heights, on the part of the
English, a work of amazing difficulty; yet it was effected, Wolfe
himself being one of the first who leaped on shore.

The whole plan had well nigh been defeated at the water's edge, for
one of the sentinels hailed. But being answered by a captain in
Frazier's regiment, who fully understood the French language, and had
been expressly instructed for the purpose, the latter was suffered to
pass. The sentinel, from the answers given, (for the English were
twice interrogated,) concluded at once that this was a French convoy
of provisions, which was expected to pass down the river to Quebec.
This the English had learned from some deserters. Escaping this
difficulty, they commenced their arduous and perilous task. The
Highlanders and light infantry, under the command of General Howe, led
the way up the fearful precipice, which was one hundred and fifty or
two hundred feet high, an almost perpendicular ascent. They clambered
up by the aid of the projection of rocks, and the limbs of trees and
shrubs growing on the cliffs. They first drove away the guard, and
seized the battery. The rest of the troops pressed on in the difficult
and confined path, and, by day-break, the whole army was planted
firmly on the plains of Abraham.

Montcalm, taken by surprise at this unexpected scaling of the heights,
was forced to abandon his strong position, and come to an engagement.
For this purpose, he crossed the St. Charles, and drew up his army in
battle array. This being perceived by Wolfe, a corresponding movement
was made on the part of the English, and the disposition of the troops
was such as to meet the masterly arrangements of Montcalm. The battle
was commenced by the French, a portion of whose army, consisting of
fifteen hundred Indians and Canadians, who were excellent marksmen,
advanced in front for this purpose. Screened by surrounding thickets,
they aimed with fatal effect at many of the British officers, but this
lasted only a short time. The main body of the French now advancing,
the principal struggle came on in all its fury. The English, reserving
their fire until within forty yards of the enemy's line, then made
terrible havoc among them by a general discharge. This fire was
vigorously maintained until the French yielded to it. General Wolfe
exposed himself in front of his battalion, as also did Montcalm before
his, and both officers paid the price of their bravery. They were in
the sections of the two armies, where the battle was most severe, and
both fell mortally wounded, not far from the same time. There was
another striking coincidence--they who succeeded them in command in
either army, also fell wounded--the Frenchman mortally. When Wolfe
fell, he was pressing on at the head of his grenadiers with fixed
bayonets. It was the third time that he had received a wound; a ball
had now pierced his breast. The respective armies continued in their
strife, as if nothing had happened. After Wolfe and Monckton had been
laid aside, Townsend assumed the command, and the British grenadiers
pressed on with their bayonets. The center of the French army was soon
broken by the brisk advance of General Murray. The Highlanders with
their broad-swords completed the confusion of the enemy, driving them
with great slaughter in different directions. A portion of the French
army fled into Quebec. The enemy was signally defeated, having lost a
thousand men, besides an equal number of prisoners. The loss of the
English, in killed and wounded, was less than six hundred.

The necessary preparations were now made by Townsend for the siege of
the city; but at the expiration of five days, it was surrendered to
the English fleet and army. The capital of Canada, at the time of its
capitulation, contained about ten thousand inhabitants, and thus
having passed under the dominion of Great Britain, was protected by a
garrison of five thousand men, under the command of General Murray.

Wolfe died of his wounds on the field of battle. He manifested "the
ruling passion strong in death." As a touching incident in the annals
of warfare, scarcely any thing can equal it, unless it may be that
which also marked the death of his opponent. He was removed into the
rear almost against his consent, that he might be attended to; but
while others were expressing their sympathy in his behalf, he was
watching the terrific contest with intense anxiety. At length, he
could no longer sustain himself, but, faint with the loss of blood,
he leaned on the shoulder of an officer, who kneeled down to support
him. The agony of death was now upon him. A cry was heard, "They fly,
they fly!" "Who fly?" asked the expiring hero. "The French!" replied
his supporter. "Then I die happy!" he said.

[Illustration: Death of Wolfe.]

Montcalm, too, died in a few hours after, having been first conveyed
into the city. On being told that his wound was mortal, he expressed
his satisfaction at the fact. When further informed that he could
survive but a few hours, he replied, "So much the better: I shall not
live to see the surrender of Quebec."

The French continued in possession of Canada for a time,
notwithstanding the capture of Quebec. Indeed, a second, and more
mortal struggle, was soon to be again witnessed on the Heights of
Abraham. The main body of the French army, which, after its defeat,
retired to Montreal, and which was still formidable, had been
rëinforced by six thousand Canadian militia and a body of Indians.
With these forces, M. de Levi, the successor of Montcalm, appeared
before Quebec, with the design of besieging the fortress. Murray,
whose force had been reduced by the severities of the winter, the want
of proper food, from five thousand to three thousand, left his works,
and met the French near Sillery, and a severe action took place, in
which the advantage was on the side of the French, the English being
obliged to retire within the fortress. The loss on both sides was very
great, being nearly one thousand each; but the battle was productive
of no special results. Levi found it impossible to reduce the place;
and the English, receiving rëinforcements after being closely invested
for a time, it was concluded by the French commander to abandon the
project, and he accordingly returned to Montreal.

As it seemed necessary to try the fortune of another campaign against
the enemy, since, notwithstanding the capture of the French posts in
1759, the province still held out against the British arms, General
Amherst had made arrangements for assembling before Montreal all the
British troops from Lake Ontario, Lake Champlain, and Quebec. The
several armies were early in motion, and so accurately had their
operations been concerted, that Amherst and Murray reached the
vicinity of Montreal on the same day; when Haviland, who commanded a
small force from Crown Point, joined them: the next day, Vaudreuil,
the governor, finding further resistance vain, demanded a
capitulation; and on the 18th of September, 1760, the whole French
possessions in Canada, were surrendered to the British power.

The war still continued in Europe, and a few provincial troops were
raised in 1761 and 1762; but New England remained exempted from all
border hostilities. On the 10th of February, 1763, a general peace was
signed at Paris, and soon after ratified by Great Britain and France.
This was an era of joy to the colonies. They had experienced no such
relief since the commencement of King William's War, in 1689. A few
short intervals of peace had indeed been enjoyed, but during nearly
eighty years, they were generally doomed in every exposed point to
pillage, captivity, and slaughter. Relieved from their miseries and
dangers, they reoccupied their plantations, and new ones were
commenced, and population began to spread with rapidity.

It may be added, and it is due to the colonist to add, that they were
not unmindful of their obligations to that Being by whose fostering
care they had been preserved during so many and so severe trials and
privations. They had put their trust in Him, and he had saved them
from the hands of their foes. Many had indeed fallen--many had
suffered; but now, relieved from foreign invasion and savage butchery,
they united in giving God thanks on a day set apart for the purpose,
and went on their way rejoicing.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTES:

[25] Holmes' Annals.

[26] Holmes.

[27] Holmes.



                            IV.--REVOLUTION.


[Illustration: THE REVOLUTION]



                      I. CAUSES OF THE REVOLUTION.


    OBJECTS proposed in the Settlement of America--Forms of Government
    conducive to Independence--Influence of Expenses--Colonies obliged
    to defend themselves, and to defray the Expense of their own Wars
    and those of the Mother-country--British system of Taxation
    commenced--Writs of Assistance--Stamp Act--Formidable Opposition to
    it--Non-importation Act--Arrival of British forces--Boston
    Massacre--Destruction of the Gaspee--Destruction of Tea--Boston Port
    Bill--Arrival of General Gage--His obnoxious Measures--Meeting of
    Congress--Preparations for War--Obstinacy of the King and
    Parliament--Crisis arrives--Determination of the Colonists.

The Revolution of America was an extraordinary event; and at the time
of its occurrence was unlooked for, both by the government and nation
of Great Britain. That the colonies had long been dissatisfied with
the measures adopted towards them by the parent-country, and that this
dissatisfaction was gradually increasing, was well known; but the
statesmen on the other side designed, and doubtless supposed, that
they should be able to secure the submission of the colonies to
whatever line of policy they might please to adopt.

But they little understood the American character. Had they reflected
upon the circumstances in which the colonies originated, and their
steady progress in wealth and population, they might well have
anticipated the final result. Certain it was, that oppressive and
coercive measures would only tend to weaken their affection for the
parent-country. Kindness and conciliation might have preserved the
bond of union--indeed, it was possible to have confirmed the colonies
in their regard for the land of their birth; but the line of policy
which could alone have effected that object, was overlooked or
disregarded by British statesmen; and through their infatuated
counsels, they hastened the very event which they so much deplored.

Let us advert to some of the remote and proximate causes, which
brought about this Revolution:

       *       *       *       *       *

1. Objects proposed by the colonies in their settlement of America.--

At the era of the Revolution, thirteen colonies had been planted.
These were Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode
Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North
and South Carolina, and Georgia. Virginia, the first, was settled in
1607, and Georgia, the last, in 1732. Different objects were proposed
in the establishment of the different colonies. The leading object of
some was pecuniary profit. They were induced, either by associated or
individual proprietors, who themselves remained in England, to come to
America, with the hope of profitable returns for the advance of their
capital. But the more northern colonies came on their own concern, at
their own expense, and with reference to the enjoyment of freedom and
peace in religion, which they could not find at home.

Now, was it to be expected that those who had left home, and all its
endearments, for the sake of enjoying a larger liberty, would consent
to have that liberty abridged, especially after having tasted its
blessings for years? If the Pilgrim Fathers had such notions themselves,
was it to be supposed that their children would cherish less manly and
patriotic sentiments? The spirit of liberty does not easily die, where
there is aliment to keep it alive. The blood of freemen, or those who
aspire to freedom, instead of becoming weaker, as it flows down in
successive generations, usually becomes more pure and more excitable.
This was verified in the history of the colonies, anterior to the
Revolution. They were men of whom the principles of liberty had taken
strong hold. Their distance from the mother-country--her neglect of
them--the exercise of civil and religious freedom for a number of
years--all served to excite and strengthen a desire for independence.
Such an event was the natural result of the principles with which the
colonies began their career. It was the natural result of the physical
courage and strength acquired in felling forests, resisting savages, and
in carrying out those plans and enterprises in which a young, ardent,
and ambitious people are likely to engage.

2. Their forms of government were conducive to independence.

In the settlement of the colonies, three forms of government were
established. These were usually denominated Charter, Proprietary, and
Royal governments. The difference arose from the different
circumstances under which the colonies were settled, as well as the
different objects of the first emigrants. The Charter governments were
confined to New England. The Proprietary governments were those of
Maryland, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, and the Jerseys. The others
were royal governments, or those which were immediately under the
British crown.[28]

As early as 1619, only twelve years from its settlement, a provincial
legislature, in which the colonists were represented, was introduced
into Virginia. In Plymouth and in Massachusetts, the colonies
organized their body, politic and social, upon principles of perfect
equality. And, as the Puritans spread themselves over New England,
they gave to the distinct communities which they established,
constitutions still more democratic. In January, 1639, three years
from the commencement of the Connecticut colony, the planters on
Connecticut river convened at Hartford, and formed a system of
government which continued, with scarcely any alterations, to the year
1818. Of this system, Dr. Trumbull observes: "With such wisdom did our
venerable ancestors provide for the freedom and liberties of
themselves and their posterity. Thus happily did they guard against
every encroachment on the rights of the subject. This, probably, is
one of the most free and happy constitutions of civil government ever
formed. The formation of it, at so early a period, when the light of
liberty was wholly darkened in most parts of the world, and the rights
of man were so little understood in others, does great honor to their
ability, integrity, and love of freedom."

In Maryland and Pennsylvania, the first assemblies established a
popular representation, and in all their political regulations
proceeded upon broad views of civil freedom. The same remark, says Mr.
Walsh, may be extended to the Carolinas and New York.

The very first principles, then, of the colonists in relation to
government were anti-monarchical. In their incipient colonial state,
they had the feelings of freemen; and all their institutions, as far
as they were allowed to carry them, spoke of liberty and equality.

This spirit was never lost to the colonies. In the variety of fortune
which they subsequently encountered--in every change of monarch
abroad--in every shift of rulers at home--through royal smiles and
royal frowns--in times of war and in times of peace--their love of
liberty continued unabated, and even increased. Thus early began
those sentiments of freedom and independence which, uniting in their
course with other streams, ended at length in a deep, broad,
irresistible current against British oppression.

3. Influence of the expenses incurred by the colonies in their
settlements, and in their several wars and those of the mother-country.

"All the thirteen colonies," says Mr. Walsh, "with the exception of
Georgia, were established, and had attained to considerable strength,
without the _slightest aid_ from the treasury of the mother-country."

Neither the crown nor the parliament paid a dollar towards purchasing
the soil of the Indians--the original masters of that soil. These
purchases were made by the colonists themselves. The settlement of the
province of Massachusetts Bay alone cost two hundred thousand pounds--an
enormous sum at the era at which it was effected. Lord Baltimore
expended forty thousand pounds in his establishment of the colony of
Maryland. On that of Virginia, immense wealth was lavished by the first
settlers. The first planters of Connecticut consumed great estates in
purchasing lands of the Indians and in making settlements.

In like manner, when assailed by fierce and warlike tribes, the
mother-country furnished no aid whatever--neither troops nor money.
She erected no fortifications; entered into no negotiations, and
manifested no sympathy, or even interest, in the fate of her
offspring. Some of the most considerable Indian wars in which the
colonies were involved, were the immediate result of the rashness and
cupidity of the royal governors. That, for instance, which is styled
'King William's War'--memorable in the annals of New Hampshire
particularly--was owing to a wanton predatory expedition of Andros, in
1688, against the possessions of a French individual, situate between
Penobscot and Nova Scotia.

The testimony of Lord Brougham on this subject is worthy of special
notice. In his work on 'Colonial Policy,' he observes:

"The old colonies of North America, besides defraying the whole
expenses of their internal administration, were enabled from their
situation to render very active assistance to the mother-country upon
several occasions, not peculiarly interesting to themselves. They
uniformly asserted, that they _would_ never refuse contributions, even
for purposes strictly imperial, provided these were constitutionally
demanded. Nor did they stop at mere professions of zeal.

"The whole expense of civil government in the British North American
colonies, previous to the Revolution, did not amount to eighty
thousand pounds sterling, which was paid by the produce of their
taxes. The military establishments, the garrisons and the forts in the
old colonies, cost the mother-country nothing."

From the foregoing facts, nothing is clearer than that the colonies were
obliged, from their earliest existence, to take care of themselves. At
first, Great Britain thought little of them, and cared, if possible,
still less. They were obliged to repel hostile tribes without aid, and
defend themselves against the aggressions of more civilized powers. And,
moreover, they were compelled to carry on not only their own wars, but
those of the mother-country, and then pay the expenses.

It may well be asked, what was the natural and almost necessary
consequence of such treatment? Keep a child in leading-strings, and it
will be long ere it walks. Teach him to walk early, and he will soon
decline your aid. Let a father send forth his son to take care of
himself, and perchance the next he hears of him, he will learn that
his fortune is made, and no longer will he wish for parental
assistance; and fortunate will it be if the son, under a sense of
former parental indifference and unkindness, does not, at length, feel
a correspondent alienation from the parent.

But whether these illustrations are apposite or not, certain it is,
that the colonists at length learned the important fact, that they
could take care of themselves. To this they had been driven. The next
natural feeling to this superiority over the difficulties and trials
which they encountered in their early settlement of the country, was a
willingness, and even _wish_, to be independent of the parent by whom
they had been so unkindly neglected. Great Britain might, therefore,
thank herself for the spirit of independence which at length appeared
among the colonies; her line of policy engendered and matured it.

4. Measures of oppression.

"Within little more than a generation from the commencement of the
plantations," says Mr. Walsh, "the royal government began those formal
inquiries into their population and manufactures, which were so often
renewed, until the period of our revolution." The object or occasion
of these inquiries was twofold--a jealousy, lest the colonies should
grow too fast; and, secondly, a desire to monopolize, for the benefit
of Great Britain, all their trade, and the proceeds of their
manufacturing industry.

The various acts of monopoly which passed parliament during a series of
years, it is not necessary to particularize. They uniformly bore heavily
on the commercial and manufacturing enterprise of the colonies, and were
designed "to keep them in a firmer dependence upon England"--"to render
them more beneficial and advantageous"--"to employ and increase the
English shipping"--"to make a vent for English manufactures."

After the peace of 1763, a still more grinding policy was proposed--that
of _taxing_ the colonies, with the avowed purpose of drawing a revenue
into the royal exchequer, and on the plausible, yet unwarrantable
ground, that Great Britain had contracted a debt in their defence.

Hitherto, when money was wanted in the colonies, the parliament of
England had been content to ask for it by a formal requisition upon
the _colonial legislatures_, and they had supplied it with a willing
hand. But now, it was thought that a shorter method of obtaining it
might be resorted to with better effect.

Before proceeding to notice the measures adopted with reference to the
foregoing object, it is necessary to advert to what were denominated
_writs of assistance_, which were orders issued by the superior court
of the province, requiring the sheriffs and other civil officers to
assist the person to whom it was granted, in breaking open and
searching every place, even private dwellings, if suspected of
containing prohibited goods.

The first application for a writ of this kind was made by the deputy
collector at Salem in November, 1760. Doubts being expressed by the
court as to the legality of the writ, or the power of the court to
grant it, the application was deferred to the next term, when the
question was to be argued.

At the appointed time, Mr. Gridley, a distinguished lawyer, appeared
for the crown; Mr. Thatcher and Mr. Otis for the merchants. The trial
took place in the council chamber of the old Town-house in Boston. The
judges were five in number, including Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson,
who presided as chief justice; and the room was filled with all the
officers of government and the principal citizens, to hear the
arguments in a cause that inspired the deepest solicitude. The case
was opened by Mr. Gridley, who argued it with much learning,
ingenuity, and dignity; making all his reason depend upon this
consideration, "That the parliament of Great Britain was the sovereign
legislator of the British empire." He was followed by Mr. Thatcher on
the opposite side, whose reasoning was ingenious and able, delivered
in a tone of great mildness and moderation. "But," in the language of
President Adams, "Otis was a flame of fire; with a promptitude of
classical allusion, a depth of research, a rapid summary of historical
events and dates, a profusion of legal authorities, a prophetic glance
into futurity, and a rapid torrent of impetuous eloquence, he hurried
away all before him."

"I will to my dying day," said Otis, among other things--"I will to my
dying day oppose, with all the power and faculties God has given me,
all such instruments of slavery on the one hand and villany on the
other. It appears to me the worst instrument of arbitrary power, the
most destructive of English liberty, and the fundamental principles of
law, that was ever found in an English law-book."

[Illustration: Otis in the Council chamber.]

The occasion was intensely exciting--the liberties of the people were in
danger--their dwellings, those sanctuaries where every man should feel
himself safe, and his effects--all were in jeopardy. And the vast throng
gathered on the occasion so thought--especially as their excited
feelings became more intense under the thrilling appeals of the eloquent
Otis. "Every man of an immensely crowded audience," says President
Adams, "appeared to me to go away, as I did, ready to take arms against
writs of assistance. _Then and there was the first scene of the first
act of opposition to the arbitrary claims of Great Britain._"

The court postponed a decision of the question until the following term;
and in the mean time wrote to Great Britain for information on the
subject. Writs were afterwards granted, but were extremely unpopular. In
Connecticut writs of assistance, it is said, were never granted.

The next measure of oppression was the passage of the famous _stamp
act_. Such a project had been suggested during the administrations of
Lord Walpole and Mr. Pitt; but they were too sagacious to venture upon
a measure at once so odious and unjust. Said Walpole, "I will leave
the taxation of America to some of my successors, who may have more
_courage_ than I have." And said Pitt, "I will never burn my fingers
with an American stamp act." To the successor of Mr. Pitt, Lord
Grenville, was reserved the honor, or rather the infamy, of such a
project.

When the bill was ushered into the House of Commons, petitions from
Virginia, Connecticut, and South Carolina, in every way respectful,
but in tone firm and decided, were offered in opposition to it. But
the house refused even to receive them, on the ground that the _right_
of parliament to tax the colonies was denied; and, secondly, that it
was contrary to a rule of the house "_to receive any petition against
a money-bill_."

The debate therefore proceeded. The chief advocates of the bill were
the prime minister and Charles Townshend. In the opposition were Mr.
Pitt--who, however, was absent by reason of sickness--General Conway,
Alderman Beckford, Colonel Barre, Mr. Jackson, Sir William Meredith,
&c. Conway and Beckford opposed the bill on the ground of its
_injustice_; Colonel Barre and others on the ground of its
_inexpediency_. The purpose of the minister, however, was fixed; and,
rallying his surprised and half-hesitating troops, he took the
question--a large majority expressed in favor of the bill--two hundred
and fifty for, and fifty against it. On its coming into the House of
Lords, it received the entire concurrence of that body, and on the 22d
of March obtained the royal assent.

This act, so celebrated in the annals of American history, both as an
act of flagrant injustice, on the part of the British parliament, and
one of the _proximate causes_ of the Revolution, consisted of fifty-five
specific duties, laid on as many different species of instruments, in
which paper was used; such as notes, bonds, mortgages, deeds, university
degrees, licenses, advertisements in newspapers, and even almanacs;
varying from _one half-penny_ up to _six pounds_. As an illustration of
the heavy burdens designed to be put upon the colonies by this act, it
may be stated, that previous to the passage of the act, a ream of common
printed bailbonds cost fifteen pounds--_stamped_, one hundred. A ream of
_stamped_ policies of insurance amounted to one hundred and ninety
pounds--of common ones, without stamps, twenty. A piece of paper, or
parchment, used as a diploma, or certificate of a degree taken in any
university, academy, or college, was taxed _two pounds_. For a piece of
paper for a license for retailing spirituous liquors, _twenty shillings_
were demanded. For one for a license for selling wine only, _four
pounds_; for wine and spirituous liquors, _three pounds_. For letters of
probate, administration, or guardianship, _ten shillings_. For a common
deed, conveying not exceeding one hundred acres of land, _one shilling
and sixpence_. For a newspaper, containing half a sheet or less, _one
half-penny_; one sheet, _one penny_. Pamphlets, _one shilling_ per
sheet. Advertisements, _two shillings_ each. Almanacs, _fourpence_.

This act was ordered to take effect on the following 1st of November.
Meanwhile, the people in various parts of the country were anxious to
express their detestation of the measure, which the lapse of a few
months was to bring into operation. One day in the month of August, the
effigy of Andrew Oliver, the proposed distributor of stamps in
Massachusetts, was found hanging on a tree, afterwards well known by the
name of _Liberty-tree_, in the main street of Boston. At night it was
taken down, and carried on a bier amidst the acclamations of an immense
collection of people through the court-house, down King street, to a
small brick building, supposed to have been erected for the reception of
the detested stamps. This building being soon levelled with the ground,
the rioters next attacked Mr. Oliver's house; and having broken the
windows, entered it, and destroyed part of the furniture.

[Illustration: Procession with an Effigy and Stamp-master at Boston.]

The house of Benjamin Hallowell, jun., comptroller of the customs, was
next entered; and, elevated and emboldened by liquors found in his
cellar, the mob, with inflamed rage, directed their course to the
house of Lieutenant-Governor Hutchinson, who, after vainly attempting
resistance, was constrained to depart, to save his life. By four in
the morning, one of the best houses in the province was completely in
ruins, nothing remaining but the bare walls and floors. The plate,
family pictures, most of the furniture, the wearing apparel, about
nine hundred pounds sterling, and the manuscripts and books which Mr.
Hutchinson had been thirty years collecting, besides many public
papers in his custody, were either carried off or destroyed. The whole
damage was estimated at two thousand five hundred pounds.

[Illustration: Attack, on the Governor's House.]

On the arrival of the 1st of November, on which the stamp act was to
go into effect, the day was ushered in at Boston by the tolling of the
bells; many shops and stores were shut, and effigies of the authors
and friends of that act were carried about the streets, and afterwards
torn in pieces by the populace.

Nor was Massachusetts alone; the obnoxious act received similar
treatment in the other colonies. On the 24th of August, a gazette was
published at Providence, with _vox Populi, vox Dei_, for a motto;
effigies were exhibited, and in the evening cut down and burned. In
Portsmouth, New Castle, and other places, the bells were tolled to
denote the decease of Liberty. In Connecticut, Mr. Ingersoll, the
stamp-master, was compelled to resign. The spirit manifested in New
York produced a similar resignation. Offended with the conduct of
Lieutenant-Governor Colden, in relation to the stamp act, many of the
inhabitants assembled one evening, and breaking open his coach-house,
took out his coach, which, with his effigy, they burned, amid the
acclamations of several thousand spectators.

[Illustration: Burning of the Coach and Effigy of Governor Colden.]

In Philadelphia, on the appearance of the ships having the stamps on
board, all the ships in the harbor hoisted their colors half-mast high;
the bells were muffled, and continued to toll till evening. Similar
demonstrations of dissatisfaction were made in numerous other places.

The opposition to the stamp act was so universal and so formidable, as
to prevent all hope of its successful operation; had this measure been
persisted in, the Revolution in America would doubtless have dated at
an earlier day.

Fortunately for the American colonies, the administration of Lord
Grenville terminated in July, 1765--that minister being succeeded by
the Marquis of Rockingham, while the Duke of Grafton and General
Conway were made secretaries of state.

To this new ministry it early became apparent that, in respect to the
colonies, a crisis was now at hand; either existing measures must be
relaxed, or a resort must be had to arms. The former being deemed the
wiser plan, a repeal of the stamp act was moved in parliament, and, on
the 18th of March, passed the House by a majority of two hundred and
seventy-five to one hundred and sixty-seven. In the House of Lords,
the majority was one hundred and five to seventy-one.

In America, the intelligence of the repeal was received with
acclamations of the most sincere and heart-felt gratitude, by all
classes of people. Public thanksgivings were offered up in all the
churches. The resolutions, which had been passed on the subject of
importations, were rescinded, and their trade with the mother-country
was immediately renewed with increased vigor. The home-spun dresses
were given to the poor, and once more the colonists appeared clad in
the produce of British looms.

In July, 1766, the Marquis of Rockingham retired from the cabinet, and
a new ministry was formed under the direction of William Pitt--the
Duke of Grafton being placed at the head of the treasury, and Charles
Townshend made chancellor of the exchequer. In May, 1767, the latter
revived the scheme of taxing America, proposing to impose duties on
glass, paper, tea, &c., imported into the colonies. The bill passed
both houses without much opposition, the Earl of Chatham being
confined at that time by sickness.

The news of this measure, on reaching America, produced the greatest
possible excitement. Counter-measures were immediately proposed.
Resort was had, as at a former day, to non-importation, the effects of
which had been so severely felt by the traders in England, under the
stamp act. Boston, as before, took the lead. At a town-meeting, held
in October, it was voted that measures should be immediately taken to
promote the establishment of domestic manufactories, by encouraging
the consumption of all articles of American manufacture. They also
agreed to purchase no articles of foreign growth or manufacture, but
such as were absolutely indispensable. New York and Philadelphia soon
followed the example of Boston; and, in a short time, the merchants
themselves entered into associations to import nothing from Great
Britain but articles that necessity required.

Several events, about this time, served to increase the excitement of
the colonies, especially in Boston. Among these may be mentioned the
arrival, at the latter place, of a man-of-war and transports, from
Halifax, with nine hundred troops on board.

[Illustration: Arrival of the first Man-of-war at Boston.]

Such a proceeding, on the part of the British ministry, was eminently
calculated to excite the jealousy and indignation of the colonists.
They felt disgusted and injured; and the more so, from the haughty and
imperious bearing of the officers and troops. In a few weeks, this
force was augmented by the arrival of several more transports from
Cork, with the sixty-fourth and sixty-fifth regiments, under Colonels
Mackay and Pomeroy.

Another measure, adopted about this time by the British ministry, and
one which perhaps struck more vitally at the liberty of the colonists
than any which preceded, was an order to the provincial governors to
procure information touching all treasons, &c., and to transmit the
same, with the names of the suspected persons, to England, in order
that they might be ordered thither for trial. The design of it was to
terrify the patriotic party into submission; but well might it have
been foreseen that such an offensive measure would only serve to rouse
opposition, and confirm the whole civilized world in the righteousness
of the common cause.

Parliament again convened, January 9, 1770, soon after which (28th)
the Duke of Grafton resigned his office of first lord of the treasury.
Lord Chatham, having recovered from his late illness, had now returned
to parliament, and, with his wonted vigor, attacked the system and
measures of the administration.

Lord North, chancellor of the exchequer, succeeded the Duke of
Grafton; "and from this time commences an administration which forms a
momentous era in the history of Great Britain. During his
administration, which lasted to the close of the Revolution, Great
Britain lost more territory and accumulated more debt than at any
former period of her history."

The first measure of North's administration was in part
conciliatory--being a motion to repeal the port duties of 1767, with
the exception of the duty on tea. This his lordship, in spite of the
friends of the colonies, determined to retain.

To this partial repeal, Governor Pownall strongly objected. It would
produce nothing but civil discord and interminable contention. Repeal
all, or none. Why retain this single duty, as a pepper-corn rent, to
show the tenor by which the colonists hold their rights, and, by so
doing, jeopardize his majesty's entire interest in the American
colonies? "I have lived in America," said he; "I know the character of
the people. Depend upon it, with their views, they will never solicit
the favor of this house; never more will they wish to bring before
parliament the grievances under which they conceive themselves to
labor."

While high and angry debate was thus in progress on the other side of
the water, on this side, events were transpiring which were giving
increasing irritation to already excited feelings, and adding to the
force of the gathering storm. Collisions and quarrels, between the
soldiers quartered in Boston and the citizens, were not unfrequent; and
at length, on the evening of the 5th of March, 1770, resulted in an
effusion of blood, called, by way of eminence, "The Boston Massacre."

[Illustration: Boston Massacre.]

Three men were killed and two mortally wounded, who died soon after.
Mutual exasperations preceded. Neither citizens nor soldiers were exempt
from the charge of insult and provocation. But a sentinel, who had been
brought to the ground by a blow, on rising, fired, as did, at the same
time, a sergeant and six men who were with him. Their fire resulted as
already stated. Great excitement followed. The murderers were arrested.
Captain Preston, to whose company the soldiers belonged, and who was
present, was also arrested, and committed to prison.

The following morning the authorities of Boston, urged on by an
exasperated people, required the troops to be withdrawn from the town.
The lieutenant-governor, for a time, resisted the demand; but on
learning that no other course would satisfy or restrain the people, he
expressed his willingness that they should be withdrawn to the castle,
which was accordingly done.

The funeral of the victims was attended with extraordinary pomp. Most of
the shops were closed, all the bells of the town tolled on the occasion,
and the corpses were followed to the grave by an immense concourse of
people, arranged six abreast, the procession being closed by a long
train of carriages, belonging to the principal gentry of the town.
Captain Preston and the party of soldiers were afterwards tried. The
captain and six of the men were acquitted, and two were brought in
guilty of manslaughter; a result which reflected great honor on John
Adams and Josiah Quincy, the counsel for the prisoners, and on the jury.

The month of June, '72, furnished a new source of disquietude and
animosity. On the 9th of that month, the Providence packet, while
sailing into the harbor of Newport, was required, by his majesty's
revenue-cutter, the Gaspee, Lieutenant Doddington, to lower her
colors. This the captain of the packet deemed repugnant to his
patriotic feelings, and the Gaspee fired at the packet, to bring her
to; the American, however, still persisted in holding on her course,
and, by keeping in shoal water, dexterously contrived to run the
schooner aground in the chase. As the tide was upon the ebb, the
Gaspee was set fast for the night, and afforded a tempting opportunity
for retaliation; and a number of fishermen, aided and encouraged by
some of the most respectable inhabitants of Providence, being
determined to rid themselves of so uncivil an inspector, in the middle
of the night manned several boats, and boarded the Gaspee. The
lieutenant was wounded in the affray; but, with every thing belonging
to him, he was carefully conveyed on shore, as were all his crew. The
vessel, with her stores, was then burned; and the party returned
unmolested to their homes. When the governor became acquainted with
this event, he offered a reward of five hundred pounds for the
discovery of the offenders.

[Illustration: Burning of the Gaspee.]

Another fruitful source of mutual ill-feeling between the British
ministry and the colonists was the determination of the former to
introduce _tea_ into America, and to impose a tax thereon, in
opposition to the wishes of the latter. Accordingly, cargoes of tea
were sent to New York, Philadelphia, Charleston, and Boston. The fate
of these cargoes, thus sent, was different. Those destined for New
York and Philadelphia, were sent back by the inhabitants. The citizens
of Charleston unloaded the cargo sent thither, and stored it in
cellars, where it perished.

On the arrival of the vessel with the tea, in the harbor of Boston, a
meeting of the citizens was immediately called. "The hour of
destruction," it was said, "or of manly opposition, had now come:" and
all who were friends to their country were invited to attend, "to make
an united and successful resistance to this last and worst measure of
administration." A great number of people assembled, from the adjoining
towns, as well as from the capital, in the celebrated Faneuil Hall, but
the meeting was soon adjourned to one of the largest churches in town.
Here it was voted, that they would use all lawful means to prevent its
being landed, and to have it returned immediately to England.

On the following day, when the citizens assembled to receive the final
answer of the factors, as to the course they would pursue in disposing
of the tea, a communication was made to the meeting, in which the
factors informed them that they must decline sending back the tea; but
were ready to have it stored, and remain, until they could hear from
the company in England. The citizens continued dissatisfied with the
conduct and proposal of the consignees, and again ordered a watch to
guard the vessels. It was also again voted, that whoever should import
tea into the province, should be considered an enemy to the country.

When it was found that nothing could be effected in a regular way, the
meeting was broken up, and a number of men, in disguise, proceeded,
late in the evening, to the vessels, then lying at the wharf, which
had the tea on board; and, in a short time, every chest was taken out,
and the contents thrown into the sea; but no injury was done to any
other part of the cargoes.

The inhabitants of the town, generally, had no knowledge of the event
until the next day. It is supposed the number concerned in the affair
was about fifty; but who they were no one pretended to know. A few of
them became known in after years, when it was no longer liable to
involve them in trouble.

When intelligence of the destruction of the tea reached Great Britain,
and the determined spirit manifested in the colonies, in opposition to
all revenue laws, was made known to the ministers, a majority at once
resolved on more energetic measures, and found themselves supported
by parliament in their plans of coercion, regardless alike of the
great principles of the constitution, and of the permanent peace and
prosperity of the kingdom. Lord North, it is said, declared "that he
would not listen to any complaints or petitions from America, till
_she was at his feet_."

[Illustration: Destruction of Tea.]

In a few days, a bill was introduced "for the immediate removal of the
officers concerned in the collection of customs from Boston, and to
discontinue the landing and discharging, lading and shipping goods,
wares, and merchandise, at Boston, or within the harbor thereof." The
bill, also, levied a fine upon the town, as a compensation to the East
India Company for the destruction of their teas, and was to continue in
force during the pleasure of the king. The opposition to this measure
was very slight, and it was carried, in both Houses, without a division.

The 1st of June was fixed for the Boston port-bill to go into operation,
and the blockade was consequently to commence on that day. On the 13th
of May, at a meeting of the inhabitants of Boston, it was resolved to
invite the other colonies to unite in refusing all importations from
Great Britain, and to withhold all commercial intercourse with her. To
secure their cöoperation, a special messenger was dispatched to New
York, Philadelphia, and other places; in every place he was received
with great cordiality, and resolutions were immediately adopted,
corresponding to the wishes of the people of Boston.

Such was the state of affairs in the colonies generally, in May, when
General Gage arrived in Boston, as the successor to Governor
Hutchinson, who had been rëcalled. At a former period, he had been,
for several years, commander-in-chief of the British military forces
in America. Notwithstanding the prejudices of the people to the
appointment of a military man, he was received with due honor, and
even great ceremony, by the council and citizens, all of whom
expressed a hope that his administration would conduce to the peace
and welfare of the province.

A short time, however, served to develope the character of General Gage,
and his servility to an arbitrary ministry in the mother-country. He
threatened to remove the general assembly to Salem--gave his negative to
thirteen of the council chosen by the assembly--refused to appoint a day
for special prayer, at the request of that body--and, finally, sent a
proclamation, by his secretary, to dissolve them.

At this period of increasing turmoil and agitation, the second general
congress assembled (September 5, 1774), at Philadelphia, in which all
the colonies were represented, excepting Georgia. Peyton Randolph, of
Virginia, was elected president, and Charles Thompson, of
Philadelphia, secretary.

The most eminent men of the various colonies were now, for the first
time, brought together. They were known to each other by fame, but
they were, personally, strangers. The meeting was solemn. The object
which had called them together, was of incalculable magnitude. The
liberties of no less than three millions of people, with that of all
their posterity, were staked on the wisdom and energy of their
councils. No wonder, then, at the long and deep silence, which is said
to have followed upon their organization; at the anxiety with which
the members looked round upon each other; and at the reluctance which
every individual felt to open a business so fearfully momentous. In
the midst of this deep and death-like silence, and just when it was
becoming painfully embarrassing, Mr. Henry arose slowly, as if borne
down by the weight of the subject. "After faltering, according to his
habit, through a most expressive exordium, in which he merely echoed
back the consciousness of every other heart, in deploring his
inability to do justice to the occasion, he launched gradually into a
recital of the colonial wrongs. Rising, as he advanced, with the
grandeur of his subject, and glowing, at length, with all the majesty
of the occasion, his speech seemed more than that of mortal man. Mr.
Henry was followed by Mr. Richard Henry Lee, in a speech scarcely less
powerful, and still more replete with classic eloquence. One spirit of
ardent love of liberty pervaded every breast, and produced a
unanimity, as advantageous to the cause they advocated, as it was
unexpected and appalling to their adversaries."[29]

The congress proceeded with great deliberation; its debates were held
with closed doors, and the honor of each member was solemnly engaged not
to disclose any of the discussions, till such disclosure was declared
advisable by the majority. On the 14th of October, a series of
resolutions, regarding the rights and grievances of the colonies, was
passed and promulgated. They were couched in strong and undisguised
language, and set forth to the world what were considered, by this noble
body of men, to be the rights and privileges of the people of America,
in defence of which they were ready to peril life, liberty, and fortune.

"A majority of the members of this congress," says Mr. Pitkin, "had
little doubt, that the measures taken by them, if supported by the
American people, would produce a redress of grievances.

"Richard Henry Lee said to Mr. Adams: 'We shall undoubtedly carry all
our points. You will be completely relieved; all the offensive acts
will be repealed, the army and fleet will be rëcalled, and Britain
will give up her foolish projects.'

[Illustration: Patrick Henry.]

"George Washington was of opinion that, with the aid of both the
non-importation and non-exportation system, America would prevail.
Patrick Henry concurred in opinion with Mr. Adams, that the contest
must ultimately be decided by force. The proceedings of congress met
with the almost unanimous approbation of the people of America. The
non-importation agreement, entered into by their delegates, was
adopted as their own. Committees of vigilance were appointed in all
the towns and districts, and the names of those who disregarded it,
were published as the enemies of public liberty."

Before the close of the year, the busy note of preparation resounded
through almost every colony. The Massachusetts committee were
indefatigable in providing for the most vigorous defence in the spring.
They had procured all sorts of military supplies for the service of
twelve thousand men, and had engaged the assistance of the three
neighboring provinces of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

While the notes of warlike preparation were thus sounding louder and
louder through the country, the British parliament assembled on the
other side of the waters. In January, 1775, Lord Chatham having taken
his seat, moved "That an humble address be presented his majesty, most
humbly to advise and beseech his majesty, that, in order to open the
way towards our happy settlement of the dangerous troubles in America,
by beginning to allay ferments and soften animosities there; and above
all, for preventing, in the mean time, any sudden and fatal
catastrophe at Boston, now suffering under daily irritation of an army
before their eyes, posted in their town; it may graciously please his
majesty, that immediate orders may be dispatched to General Gage, for
removing his majesty's forces from the town of Boston, as soon as the
season and other circumstances, indispensable to the safety and
accommodation of the said troops, may render the same practicable."

Notwithstanding this motion was persuasively urged by Lord Chatham,
and ably supported by Lord Camden, Lord Shelburne, and the Marquis of
Rockingham, it was rejected by a large majority.

Immediately following its rejection, the minister proposed, in the House
of Commons, a joint address to the king, on American affairs. In this
address, which was carried by large majorities, parliament declared that
Massachusetts was in a state of rebellion; and that this colony had been
supported by unlawful combinations, and engagements entered into by
several of the other colonies, to the great injury and oppression of his
majesty's subjects in Great Britain. Assuring his majesty of their
determination never to relinquish the sovereign authority of the king
and parliament over the colonies, they requested him to take the most
effectual measures to enforce obedience to that authority, and promised
him their support, at the hazard of their lives and property. Opposition
to the address was made in both houses, but in vain. The king, in his
answer, declared his firm determination, in compliance with their
request, to enforce obedience to the laws and authority of the supreme
legislature of the empire. His answer was followed by a message
requesting an increase of his forces by sea and land.

Thus the determination of king and parliament was formed. Left of God
to follow the counsels of a proud, overbearing, and obstinate
ministry, they had now made declarations and taken positions, from
which there was no retreat but by concessions, which were not to be
expected. In due time, "the news"--and, such intelligence had not
before been borne across the waters of the Atlantic--so exciting--so
appalling--so maddening--"the news arrived of the king's speech at the
opening of parliament; of the resolutions adopted by that body; and,
finally, of the act by which the inhabitants of Massachusetts were
proclaimed rebels. All the province flew to arms; indignation became
fury,--obstinacy, desperation.

"'We must look back no more!' said the colonies--'we must conquer or
die! We are placed between altars smoking with the most grateful
incense of glory and gratitude, on the one part, and blocks and
dungeons on the other. Let each then rise, and gird himself for the
combat. The dearest interests of this world command it; our most holy
religion enjoins it; that God, who eternally rewards the virtuous and
punishes the wicked, ordains it. Let us accept these happy auguries;
for already the mercenary satellites, sent by wicked ministers to
reduce this innocent people to extremity, are imprisoned within the
walls of a single city, where hunger emaciates them, rage devours
them, death consumes them. Let us banish every fear, every alarm;
fortune smiles upon the efforts of the brave!' By similar discourses,
they excited one another, and prepared themselves for defence. 'The
fatal moment is arrived! the signal of civil war is given!'"[30]

Thus was the way prepared for a contest which king and parliament might,
at one time, have easily avoided. Had they listened to the warning voice
of Chatham, descending to his grave, or had they regarded the dictates
of common political wisdom, America might have been retained, and with
all her loyalty and affection, as a dependency. But God designed a
better portion for her; and hence he allowed the monarch and the
statesmen of England to adopt measures the most impolitic and
oppressive--the result of which was--as we shall see--the independence
of America, and the loss to the British crown of its brightest jewel.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTES:

[28] Pitkin.

[29] Wirt's Life of Henry.

[30] Botta's History.



                     II. EVENTS OF THE REVOLUTION.


[Illustration: EVENTS OF THE REVOLUTION]



                        I:--BATTLE OF LEXINGTON


    CAUSE or Occasion of the Battle--British Detachment proceeds
        towards Concord--Reaches Lexington--First Blood shed--Hancock
        and Adams--Captain Wheeler and the British Officer--Stores
        destroyed--The British harassed by the Americans--Retreat from
        Concord--Effect of this affair upon the Country--Proceedings
        of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress.

The immediate cause of the battle, or, more properly, rencontre at
Lexington, was an attempt of a detachment of British troops to execute
an order of General Gage to destroy certain military stores, which the
provincials had collected at Concord, a town situated some eighteen
miles from Boston. In anticipation of an approaching contest, the
provincial assembly of Massachusetts had passed a resolution for the
purchase of all the gunpowder that could be found, and of every sort
of arms and ammunition requisite for an army of fifteen thousand men.
As these objects abounded principally in Boston, the inhabitants
employed all their address to procure and transport them to places of
safety in the country. Cannon-balls and other instruments of war were
therefore collected and transported in carts, apparently loaded with
manure; powder in the baskets and panniers of those who came from
Boston market, and cartridges were concealed even in candle-boxes. By
these means, and through other channels, a considerable quantity of
arms and ammunition had been collected at Concord.

Excited by the loyalists, General Gage resolved to send a few
companies to Concord, for the purpose already stated. It was said,
also, that he had it in view, by this sudden expedition, to get
possession of _John Hancock_ and _Samuel Adams_, two of the most
ardent patriot chiefs, and the principal directors of the provincial
congress, then assembled in the town of Concord.

In pursuance of the above purpose, on the evening of the 18th of April,
several British officers dispersed themselves here and there upon the
road and passages, to intercept the couriers that might have been
dispatched to give notice of the movements of the troops. The governor
gave orders that no person should be allowed to leave the city;
nevertheless, Dr. Warren, one of the most active patriots, had timely
intimation of the scheme, and immediately dispatched confidential
messengers; some of whom found the roads interdicted by the officers who
guarded them; but others made their way unperceived to Lexington, a town
upon the road leading to Concord. The intelligence was soon divulged;
the people flocked together; the bells in all parts were rung to give
the alarm; and the continual firing of cannon spread the agitation
through all the neighboring country. In the midst of this tumultuous
scene, at eleven in the evening, a strong detachment of grenadiers and
of light infantry was embarked at Boston, to land at a place called
Phipps' Farm, whence they marched to Concord.

The British troops were under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith
and Major Pitcairn, who led the van-guard. The militia of Lexington,
as the intelligence of the movement of this detachment was uncertain,
had separated in the course of the night. Finally, at five in the
morning of the 19th, advice was received of the near approach of the
royal troops. The provincials that happened to be near, assembled--to
the number, however, of only seventy. The English appeared; and Major
Pitcairn, galloping up to them, in a loud voice cried, "Disperse,
rebels! lay down your arms, and disperse!"

The provincials did not obey; upon which, advancing nearer, he
discharged a pistol, and, brandishing his sword, ordered his soldiers
to fire. Eight Americans were killed, three or four of them by the
first fire of the British; the others, after they had left the parade.
Several were also wounded. A handsome monument has been erected to the
memory of the killed, on the green where the first of them fell.

[Illustration: Battle of Lexington.]

Meanwhile, Hancock and Adams retired from danger; and it is related
that, while on the march, the latter, enraptured with joy, exclaimed,
"Oh, what an ever-glorious morning is this!"--considering this first
effusion of blood as the prelude of events which must secure the
happiness of his country. The soldiers advanced towards Concord, where
the inhabitants assembled; but seeing the numbers of the enemy, they
fell back, and posted themselves on a bridge, north of the town. The
light infantry assailed them with fury, routed them, and occupied the
bridge, while the others entered Concord, and proceeded to the
execution of their orders. They disabled two twenty-four pounders,
threw five hundred pounds of ball into the river and wells, and broke
in pieces about sixty barrels of flour.

[Illustration: Captain Wheeler and the British Officer.]

During the search of the British for military stores, a British officer
demanded entrance into the barn of Captain Wheeler. This was readily
granted. In it was stored a large quantity of provincial flour. The
officer expressed his pleasure at the discovery. But Captain Wheeler,
with much affected simplicity, said to him, putting his hand on a
barrel, "This is my flour. I am a miller, sir; yonder stands my mill; I
get my living by it. In the winter, I grind a great deal of grain, and
get it ready for market in the spring. This," (pointing to one barrel,)
"is the flour of wheat; this," (pointing to another,) "is the flour of
corn; this is the flour of rye; this," (putting his hand on his own
cask,) "is _my_ flour; this is _my_ wheat; this is _my_ rye; this is
_mine._" "Well," said the officer, "we do not injure _private_
property," and withdrew, leaving this important depository untouched.

The militia being rëinforced, Major Buttrick, of Concord, who had
gallantly offered to command them, advanced towards the bridge; but,
not knowing of the transaction at Lexington, ordered the men not to
give the first fire, that the provincials might not be the aggressors.
As he advanced, the light infantry retired to the Concord side of the
river, and began to pull up the bridge; and on his nearer approach,
they fired, and killed a captain and one of the privates. The
provincials returned the fire; a skirmish ensued, and the regulars
were forced to retreat, with some loss. They were soon joined by the
main body, which now retreated with precipitancy. Meanwhile, the
people of the adjacent country flocked in, and attacked them in every
direction. Some fired from behind stone walls and other coverts; while
others pressed on their rear during their retreat to Lexington.

General Gage, apprehensive for the fate of the English, had dispatched
nine hundred men and two field-pieces, under command of Lord Percy.
This corps arrived very opportunely at Lexington, at the moment when
the royal troops entered the town from the other side, pursued with
fury by the provincial militia.

It appears highly probable that, without this rëinforcement, they would
have all been cut to pieces or made prisoners; their strength was
exhausted, as well as their ammunition. After making a considerable halt
at Lexington, they renewed their march towards Boston, the number of the
provincials increasing, although the rear-guard of the English was less
molested, on account of the two field-pieces, which repressed the
impetuosity of the Americans. But the flanks of the columns remained
exposed to a destructive fire, from every point adapted to serve as
coverts. The royalists were also annoyed by the heat, which was
excessive, and by a violent wind, which blew a thick dust in their eyes.
Finally, after a march of incredible fatigue, and considerable loss of
men, the English, overwhelmed with lassitude, arrived at sunset in
Charlestown. Independently of the combat they had sustained, the
distance they had that day traveled was above five-and-thirty miles. The
day following, they crossed over to Boston.[31]

[Illustration: Retreat of the British from Concord.]

The rencontre at Lexington was, in itself, an inconsiderable affair.
But, in its relation and influence, its importance can scarcely be
estimated. It was the first outbreak of indignant feeling, which, for
months and years, had been acquiring strength, but which, until now,
had been suppressed. It was a solution of the problem, whether the
wrongs of America could be redressed without a resort to arms. It
developed the spirit and determination, as well of the king and
parliament, as of the Americans themselves. It shut the door for
further negotiation; it cut off hope for the colonies, but through an
appeal to arms. In fact, it was a signal for war--_it was war itself_.

The affair had two results. The _first_ was to demonstrate how false
and ridiculous were the vaunts of those Gascons who, within parliament
as well as without, had spoken in such unworthy terms of American
courage; from this moment, the English nation, and especially its
soldiers, persuaded themselves that the struggle would be far more
severe and sanguinary than had been at first believed. The _second_
effect of the combat was, greatly to increase the confidence of the
colonists, and their resolution to defend their rights. It should be
added, also, that the reports of the cruelties of the British troops
produced an incredible excitement in the minds of the inhabitants,
which was still further increased by the public honors which were paid
to those who had fallen in the opening contest. Their eulogies were
pronounced, and they were styled martyrs of liberty, while their
families were the objects of unusual veneration. They were cited as
the models to be imitated in the approaching conflict.

The provincial congress of Massachusetts was in session at Watertown,
ten miles distant from Boston. On receiving intelligence of the
battle, it took immediate measures to raise thirteen thousand and six
hundred men, and chose for their general Colonel Ward, an officer of
much reputation. This militia was designed to form the contingent of
Massachusetts; the provinces of New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode
Island were invited to furnish theirs, in order to complete an army of
thirty thousand men, to be commanded by General John Thomas, an
officer of great experience. Connecticut dispatched, immediately, a
considerable corps, under the command of Colonel Putnam, an old
officer, who, in the two late wars, had often given proof of courage
and intelligence. The other provinces were not slow in causing their
standards to move; and, in a short time, an army of thirty thousand
men was found assembled under the walls of Boston. So great and so
universal was the ardor produced among the inhabitants by the battle
of Lexington, that the American generals were obliged to send back to
their homes many thousand volunteers. Putnam took his station at
Cambridge, and Thomas at Roxbury, upon the right wing of the army, to
cut off entirely the communication of the garrison, by the isthmus,
with the adjacent country. Thus, in a few days after the affair of
Lexington, the capital of the province of Massachusetts was closely
besieged; thus a multitude assembled in haste, of men, declared rebels
and mean-spirited cowards, held in strict confinement, not daring to
sally forth even to procure food, many thousands of veteran troops,
commanded by an able general, and combating under the royal standard.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTE:

[31] Botta's War of the Independence.



                      II. BATTLE OF BUNKER'S HILL.


    AMERICAN Patriotism--American and British Forces--Fortification of
        Bunker's hill--Attacked by British Ships--Asa Pollard, the
        first Martyr--Preparations of the British--Warren--Prescott's
        Injunction to his Troops--British repulsed with terrible
        slaughter--Second Attack--Charlestown set on fire at the same
        time--Second Repulse--Putnam and Major Small--Death of Colonel
        Gardiner--Thrilling Incident--Third Advance of the
        British--Death of Major Pitcairn--Americans in want of
        Ammunition--Retreat--Death of Warren--Respective
        Losses--Results of the Battle.

Boston, which for a considerable time had been the point of greatest
interest in the American colonies, was not less so immediately following
the battle of Lexington. That engagement served to quicken the already
excited pulse of thousands. The fires of patriotism burned brighter.
Sires and sons, mothers and daughters, rejoiced that the crisis had
come, and were ready to make every needful sacrifice for their country's
good. In a few weeks, the metropolis of the province of Massachusetts
was environed by an American army, fifteen thousand strong--ten thousand
of which was furnished by Massachusetts, and three thousand by
Connecticut; the rest were supplied by the other New England colonies.
Of these troops, General Ward was commander-in-chief. His head-quarters
were at Cambridge. The right-wing was stationed at Roxbury, the left at
Medford and Chelsea.

Towards the end of May, a considerable rëinforcement arrived at Boston
from England, which, with the garrison, formed an army of from ten to
twelve thousand men--all veteran troops. At the head of this
rëinforcement were three distinguished and practical generals--Howe,
Clinton, and Burgoyne.

The difference in numbers was on the side of the Americans--not so,
however, their military science, arms, or ammunition. They had, in
all, but sixteen field-pieces, six of which, at the very utmost, were
in a condition for service. Their brass pieces, which were few, were
of the smallest caliber. They had, however, some heavy iron cannon,
with three or four mortars and howitzers, and some scanty provision of
balls and bombs. But of powder, they were almost totally destitute.

The situation of the English was now daily becoming more perplexing
and critical, and the necessity was increasingly apparent, if they
intended to retain their position, of fortifying certain points in the
neighborhood. The two regarded of greatest importance were the heights
of Dorchester and Charlestown. The former presenting superior
inducements, it was determined to occupy and fortify that first, and,
afterwards, the latter.

The Americans having learned the intentions of the British general, it
became a serious question what course was most prudent for them to
adopt. For a time, a difference of opinion prevailed among the
American patriots; but, at length, the committee of safety recommended
to the council of war to occupy and fortify Bunker's hill at once, and
Dorchester heights (now South Boston), as early after as practicable.

In conformity with this suggestion, on the following day (16th June),
General Ward issued orders to Colonel Prescott to proceed to
Charlestown, and occupy and fortify Bunker's hill.

The troops detached for this service, amounted to about one thousand
men. They were ordered to take provisions but for a single day. In the
early part of the evening of the 16th, they were mustered on Cambridge
common, near the colleges. They were commended to the protection and
guidance of Almighty God, in a prayer by President Langdon; after which,
led by the valiant Prescott, attired in a _calico frock_, and himself
preceded by two sergeants with dark lanterns, and accompanied by Colonel
Gridley and Judge Winthrop of Cambridge, they took their destined path.

Having reached the ground, a question arose which of the two hills was
intended as Bunker's hill. The northern eminence was more generally
spoken of under that name, while the southern, commonly called Breed's
hill, was evidently the one best fitted for the purpose. After long
deliberation, it was decided to construct the principal work on
Breed's hill, and to erect an additional and subsidiary one on
Bunker's hill. Accordingly, Captain Gridley proceeded to lay out the
principal work. Midnight arrived, however, before a spade entered the
ground; there remained therefore less than four hours before
day-light, when the operations would, of course, be seen by the
British. The men, however, now began, and they _worked_.

[Illustration: President Langdon at Prayer.]

Meanwhile, a strong guard, under Captain Manners, was stationed on the
Charlestown shore, to watch the enemy. The day had been fair, and it
was a clear, star-light night. Colonel Prescott, accompanied by Major
Brooks, went down twice to the shore to reconnoitre, and distinctly
heard the British sentries relieving guard, and uttering, as they
walked their rounds, the customary, but, in this instance deceptive,
cry, "All's well!"[32]

The night, on the part of the patriot band, was one of sleepless
vigilance and incessant toil. Shovels, pickaxes, and spades, were in
incessant motion; and, by four o'clock in the morning, they had thrown
up a redoubt, eight rods square and four feet high. At this time, the
captain of a British ship, called the _Lively_, discovered the work, and
opened a fire upon it. The alarm was given to the British in Boston, and
to the men-of-war in the river, and a heavy cannonade was commenced. The
fire from a battery of six guns, on Copp's hill, proved most annoying;
but the Americans, regardless of bombs and balls, continued their labors
with unshaken constancy. The first martyr who had the honor of shedding
his blood, on that ever-memorable hill, was a private soldier by the
name of _Asa Pollard_, of Billerica, and the shot which killed him was
the only one which took fatal effect during the forenoon.

[Illustration: Death of Pollard.]

While various movements were in progress, the Americans in the
neighborhood of the redoubt were by no means idle. About two hundred
yards in the rear of the breastwork was a stone fence surmounted with
rails. In front of this, another fence was constructed, and the space
between the two filled with hay, which happened to be on the field. A
subsidiary work was also hastily thrown up on Bunker's hill, properly
so called, by General Putnam.

[Illustration: General Putnam.]

From the moment the British discovered the operations of the
Americans, they well knew the importance of dislodging them from their
position. They had expected to attain this object by a cannonade from
their batteries and ships of war; but it was soon apparent that other
and more effective measures would be necessary. Accordingly, after
mature consultation in a council of war, summoned by General Gage, it
was resolved to transport a competent force across the river, and
attack the works in front.

It was "a day without clouds," and intensely hot. Between mid-day and
one o'clock, twenty-eight barges were seen moving from the end of Long
wharf towards Morton's point. On board of these were four battalions
of infantry and ten of grenadiers. They had six pieces of artillery,
one of which was placed in each of the six leading boats.

About two o'clock, a second detachment left Winnisimmett ferry, and
joined the first at Morton's point. These were soon after followed by
rëinforcements, which landed at Madlin's ship-yard, now the navy-yard
near the east end of Breed's hill. These several detachments,
amounting to about four thousand men, were under command of General
Howe, subordinate to whom were General Pigot, and Colonels Nesbit,
Abercrombie, and Clark.

[Illustration: Interview between Putnam and Warren.]

A short time before the action commenced, a horseman was perceived
advancing rapidly from Charlestown, towards the American redoubt. It
proved to be General Warren, the president of the provincial congress.
"Ah!" said Putnam, as the former came up, "is it you, General? I am
glad to see you, and yet I regret your presence. Your life is too
precious to be thus exposed; but since you are here, let me receive
your orders." "No," replied the gallant soldier; "I give no orders! I
come as a volunteer; and now say where I can be the most useful."
"Go, then," said Putnam, "to the redoubt; you will there be less
exposed." "Tell me," rejoined Warren, "where will be the point of
greatest danger." "The redoubt will be the enemy's first and principal
object," said Putnam; "if we can defend that, the day is ours." Warren
passed on, and, as he passed, the troops recognised him, and loud and
long were their acclamations. Every bosom felt the impulse of his
presence. At the redoubt, Prescott received him, and begged him to
receive the command. "Give me a musket," said Warren; "to-day I take a
lesson from the veteran soldier in the art of war." Warren could not
content himself away from the dangers which were thickening around the
patriotic cause. The day previous, he had presided in the congress in
session at Watertown, and had spent the entire night in transacting
business growing out of his official station. On reaching Cambridge,
early in the morning, he received intelligence of the expected battle.
He attended a meeting of the committee of safety, of which he was
chairman. Here he made known his intention of taking part in the
approaching contest. "Your ardent temper," said Gerry, "will carry you
forward in the midst of peril, and you will probably fall." "I know
that I may fall," replied Warren, "but I should die with shame, were I
to remain at home in safety, while my friends and fellow-citizens are
shedding their blood, and hazarding their lives in the cause." The
honor of Warren is greatly enhanced by the consideration that he was
originally opposed to the plan of fortifying the heights of
Charlestown, but no sooner had the council of war decided upon that
measure, than he gave it his hearty cöoperation. And here we see this
brave and patriotic man in the field of battle, and in the midst of
danger, having adopted the beautiful sentiment of the Roman poet,

          "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori."

The action opened at about three o'clock in the afternoon, at which
time a general discharge of artillery was ordered along the whole
British line. At the same time, the troops advanced in two divisions.
General Howe led the right towards the rail-fence; General Pigot with
the left end towards the redoubt.

The march of the British troops was slow, but steady. They wore the
aspect of strong confidence and strong determination. Meanwhile, the
American drums beat to arms. Quitting his intrenchment, where he was
still at work on Bunker's hill, Putnam led his equally determined, but
far less disciplined, troops into action. Said this veteran general,
in his usual pointed and laconic style, "Fellow-soldiers! powder is
scarce, and must not be wasted. Reserve your fire till you see the
whites of their eyes. Then take aim at the officers."

This injunction, however, having been disobeyed by a few of the more
restless and impetuous, Prescott, proceeding along the lines, said, in
a tone of thunder: "The next man that fires before the order is given,
shall be instantly shot." It was apparently cruel thus to require
troops, whose bosoms were now glowing with burning zeal, to withhold
their fire, while the enemy was pouring in his at every step of his
progress. It was, however, a wise delay. At length, the British had
advanced within eight rods of the redoubt. "Now, men," said Prescott,
"now is your time! Make ready! Take aim! Fire!"

And such a deadly fire, perhaps, was never before made; and, when the
smoke rolled off, such a sight was perhaps never before seen. The
hill-side was covered with the slain. The ranks of the British were
broken, and confusion appeared on every side. The British officers
attempted to rally their troops. In this, they succeeded so far as to
induce them to fire; but, evidently appalled at the fearful and
unexpected carnage, they turned, and fled down the hill.

"Following this repulse, there was an ominous pause," says a writer,
"like the lull that sometimes interrupts the wildest tempest, only
broken by the occasional discharge of artillery from the ships and
batteries." It was not, however, of long duration. A second attack was
decided upon, and orders issued again to advance. Meanwhile, a deep
silence brooded over the American lines, all being intent upon the
devastation which had been made, and watching for the future movements
of the enemy which had been so signally repulsed. Their success had
greatly exceeded their own expectations, and served to inspire them with
still more confidence in a second rencontre which they might now
momently expect. In the first attack, they had been directed to reserve
their fire until the enemy had approached within eight rods; now they
must wait until the enemy should approach within six rods.

While the British troops were advancing, suddenly a new spectacle burst
upon the eyes of the tens of thousands who were looking on from every
neighboring eminence, which greatly added to the sublimity of the scene.

Annoyed in his first attack upon the American redoubt, by the fire of
a detachment stationed at Charlestown, General Howe had given
directions to fire that town, both by way of revenging the injury he
had sustained, and, also, the more to distract the Americans during
his second attack, to which he was now advancing. In furtherance of
this object, a large quantity of combustibles had been conveyed from
Boston, and a detachment of marines, from the Somerset, been landed to
set them on fire. The work of conflagration was now commenced. Dense
and dark clouds of smoke rose over the town, and at length enveloped
the whole peninsula; through this smoke, columns of flame shot up, and
flashed in every direction. The fire spread with fearful rapidity from
house to house, and from street to street. At length, the flames
reached the church, and, climbing its lofty steeple, converted it into
a blazing pyramid. The beams, supporting the bell, were burned in
sunder, upon which it fell, and while falling, its pealing sounds were
distinctly heard by hundreds, uniting with crackling flames and
crashing edifices in enhancing the dreadful magnificence of the day.

It was in the midst of a scene of desolation like this--by which
property to the amount of one hundred and twenty thousand pounds
sterling was destroyed, six hundred buildings consumed, and two
thousand people rendered houseless--the two opposing forces were
preparing for another sanguinary rencontre. The British general was
leading on his troops, as cool and undisturbed as if they had met with
no repulse. They opened their fire by platoons, and apparently at
random, yet not entirely without effect. Colonels Nixon and Brewer
were borne wounded from the works. A ball through his shoulder
rendered Colonel Backminster a cripple for life. Major Moore received
a shot through the thigh; soon after which, a second ball pierced his
body, which subsequently proved mortal.

The Americans had been charged to reserve their fire till the enemy were
within six rods. The success which had attended their former delay, now
enabled them the more cheerfully to yield obedience to orders, a
compliance with which had, in the first instance, seemed nearly
impossible. At length, the enemy reached the prescribed distance, when
the anticipated words, "Make ready! Take aim! Fire!" were heard in a
voice like thunder--and, in an instant, hundreds of men, including a
surprising number of principal officers, were seen prostrated in the
dust. The fire proved even more destructive than in the first attack.
General Howe was left nearly alone, almost every officer of his staff
being either killed or wounded. So sweeping had been the destruction,
that the ranks were fatally broken, and a second time orders were issued
for the British army to make good their retreat.

An interesting incident is related, as having occurred immediately
following the fire of the Americans. Among the British officers who
escaped the terrible destruction, was Major Small; but, so fatal had
been the fire, that scarcely was there a man left near him.
Consequently, his superior dress rendered him a more conspicuous object.
Several riflemen had marked him--had indeed raised their guns, and were
in the act of levelling them, when Putnam recognised Major Small, and
perceived the imminent danger he was in. A moment longer, and his early
friend, with whom he had served in the French war, and for whom he
cherished an unfeigned regard, would be in the agonies of death. He
sprang upon the parapet, and rushed immediately before the levelled
rifles, exclaiming: "My gallant comrades! spare, spare that officer! we
are friends; we are brothers. Do you not remember how we rushed into
each others' arms, at the meeting for the exchange of prisoners?" The
appeal, it needs scarcely be added, was successful. Every rifle was
instantly lowered; every bosom glowed with the generous emotions which
filled that of the high-souled Putnam; nor was one feeling of regret
indulged, as the gallant British officer retired unharmed.

[Illustration: Putnam saves the life of Major Small.]

Although repulsed in a second attack, and with losses as signal as
unexpected, Howe immediately decided upon renewing the contest. Upon
the issue of that day, and the results of this single conflict, he
well knew, might hang the fortunes of the British cause in America. If
successful, the patriots would become disheartened; if defeated, they
would take courage, and continue the controversy with greater
animation. With more wisdom, he decided to concentrate his whole force
upon the redoubt--and, that his troops might act with greater energy,
he directed them to lay aside their cumbersome knapsacks, and, in
imitation of the Americans, to reserve their fire, or, if
circumstances allowed, to rely upon the bayonet.

Meanwhile, the situation of the Americans had become critical and
alarming. They had, indeed, lost comparatively few of their number;
but it was discovered, we might almost say to their dismay, that their
ammunition was nearly exhausted. They had little prospect of any
further supply; they had few, if any bayonets, and, as to
rëinforcements, though extremely desirable, and now necessary, they
could indulge only slight hopes. They were, however, cheered by the
prospect of a rëinforcement of three hundred men at this critical
juncture. The regiment of Colonel Gardiner, stationed at Charlestown,
although they had received no orders to that effect, that gallant
officer volunteered to bring to their assistance. Most unfortunately,
however, just as he was descending to the lines, a musket-ball struck
him, which soon after proved mortal. In consequence of this untoward
event, his regiment became disordered, and but a single company that
marched from Charlestown, under command of Captain Harris,
participated in the action. It was, however, and well does it attest
their patriotic courage, the very last to leave the field.

The history of the American war furnishes many an incident of
thrilling interest, and many an instance of heroic bravery and
devotion to the cause of liberty: the last moments of Colonel Gardiner
may be ranked among the number. On receiving his wound, he was borne
from the field by some of his men; when his son, a youth of only
nineteen, and a second lieutenant in Trevett's artillery company,
rushed forward to his father's aid. On beholding him, said the father:
"Think not of me, my son. I am well. Go to your duty!" And the son
obeyed, and hastened to his post, while the father was borne from the
field to die. Is it a matter of marvel that people should succeed in a
struggle where such lofty patriotism fired their bosoms, and, in
pursuing which, some of the tenderest and strongest ties of our nature
were sacrificed for their country's good?

[Illustration: Death of Colonel Gardiner.]

The British troops, as we said, were again advancing. Without
bayonets, with a few charges of powder remaining, the Americans waited
in silence to receive them as they were able. Stones and the stocks of
their muskets supplied the place of powder and ball. Richardson, a
private in the Royal Irish regiment, was the first to mount the
parapet; but he fell the next moment. Nearly at the same time, Major
Pitcairn, whose insolence and inhumanity at Lexington will not soon be
forgotten, appeared upon the parapet, and, as if actuated by a
similar spirit now as then, he exultingly exclaimed: "The day is
ours!" But here he met a deserved fate; for, while the words still
lingered on his lies, a bullet from a musket, fired by a colored man
named Salem, pierced his body, and he fell and expired.

While these events were occurring in one quarter, the enemy were more
successful in another, the south-east corner of the redoubt. Here a tree
had been left standing, and by means of this, General Pigot succeeded in
mounting the works; his men followed him; and here, for a brief space,
the contest was spirited and sanguinary. Several American officers
suffered severely. Colonel Bridge was twice wounded by a broad-sword.
Major Gridley received a ball through the leg, and was borne from the
field. Lieutenant Prescott, nephew to the colonel, had his arm so
broken, as to hang useless by his side; but, nothing deterred by his
wound, he continued to load his musket, and was in the act of pointing
his gun through the sally-port at the enemy, when he was cut in sunder
by a cannon-ball. But now, the sacrifice of life which was being offered
upon the shrine of liberty, was accomplishing no good. The Americans
could no longer contend with hope, as their ammunition was fairly
expended. Prescott was reluctant to yield; but it was wise--it was best.
An honorable retreat was still practicable, and he chose this
alternative. The Americans retired in order from the hill.

A retreat bore more heavily upon one patriotic spirit than, if possible,
upon all others--that one was Warren's. He lingered to the very latest
moment--beyond the moment of safety. Nor had he quitted the works, or
proceeded but a few rods, when the British were in full possession.
Major Small, the British officer whose life Putnam had saved only a few
hours before, saw him--surmised his reluctance--perceived his
danger--and would have saved him. Addressing him by name, he besought
him to surrender, as the only means of security; at the same time
ordering his men to suspend their firing. Warren, it is supposed, heard
the voice of Small; but whether he would have taken advantage of the
proffered safety, cannot be known. He turned his head towards the sound,
and at that instant a ball sunk deep in his forehead, and produced
instant death.

The day following, the body of this patriot, statesman, and hero, was
discovered and identified by Isaac Winslow, (then a youth, afterwards
general,) and by several others, who were familiar with his person. The
bullet which terminated his life was extracted by Mr. Savage, an officer
in the custom-house. Subsequently, he carried it to England; but, years
afterwards, it was presented at London to Rev. Mr. Montague, of Dedham,
Mass., in whose family it still remains. The remains of Warren were
buried on the spot where he fell; but the following year they were
temporarily removed to a tomb in the Tremont cemetery. They now repose
in the family vault, under St. Paul's church, Boston.

The loss of Warren was among the saddest and bitterest incidents of
the day. Few had such aspirations after liberty--few so well
understood the true interests of the country, or were better able to
suggest measures calculated to secure the triumph of her cause. To the
British, the intelligence of his fall was as grateful (considering him
in the light of an enemy) as it was unexpected. It is recorded that
when on the following morning the news of the event was brought to
General Howe, who remained on the field during the night, he would
scarcely credit it; and when, at length, it was verified, he declared
that "his death was a full offset for the loss of five hundred men."

The battle of Bunker's hill, which we have thus described as minutely
as our limits will allow, was of about two hours' continuance, having
commenced at three o'clock. The Americans engaged were estimated at
about three thousand five hundred. The number killed and missing was
one hundred and fifteen; three hundred and five were wounded, and
thirty taken prisoners. Of the several regiments, Prescott's suffered
the most severely, losing forty-two killed and twenty-eight wounded.
Several officers were killed--Colonel Gardiner, Lieutenant-Colonel
Parker, Major Moore, and Major Maclary.

The British force engaged in this battle was four thousand. Their loss
General Gage, in his official account, acknowledged to be one thousand
and fifty-four--two hundred and twenty-six killed; eight hundred and
twenty-eight wounded, including nineteen officers killed and
twenty-eight wounded. Their loss, according to the official account of
the action by the Massachusetts congress, was fifteen hundred.

Charlestown was entirely destroyed. On the retreat of the Americans,
the British took possession of Bunker's hill, from which they kept up
a fire of artillery during the night. The Americans occupied Prospect
and Winter hills.

It was a bold attempt on the part of General Howe to carry the
American redoubt by an attack in _front_; in consequence of this, his
troops were exposed to the direct and galling fire of men who were
each able to take deliberate aim. A censure was indeed cast upon him
for so doing; but a too vain confidence in the bravery and discipline
of his soldiers, and an equally mistaken estimate of American valor,
led him to reject a plan proposed by General Clinton, and the adoption
of one which, had it succeeded, would have secured more honor, but
which obviously was so hazardous and doubtful in its issue, as might
well have gained for the other the preference.

The night of the 17th of June was one of more sadness to the British
than to the Americans, notwithstanding that the latter had been driven
from their position, and the colors of the former were waving over
Bunker's hill. To the British belonged the field--to the Americans,
_in effect_, the victory. What the former had gained, was of no use to
them, as their forces were not sufficiently numerous to hold
possession of so extended a line. Their loss in numbers was grievous;
but this was small in comparison to the mortification experienced in
view of their repeated repulses. Nor was that mortification lessened
when it became known that the retreat of the Americans was caused by a
want of ammunition. Had the _materiel_ of battle not failed, who can
say that the Americans would not have maintained their position?[33]

Such an issue, however, might have drawn after it consequences which,
in the sequel, would have been disastrous to the patriotic cause. A
vain confidence might have been engendered, leading to the neglect of
needful, and even essential preparation, to cope with a foe more
formidable at that era, than any other on the globe. It was well
doubtless, and Providence in kindness so ordered, it, that ammunition
should fail. God gave to the Americans just that success which was
calculated to animate and encourage them: and permitted them to suffer
just in that way, and to that extent, as to teach them humility, and
to trust in Him. Theirs was a just and glorious cause. It was the
cause of liberty and of God. It was right that they should succeed;
but it was equally befitting that they should feel and acknowledge
that their success was from the God of their fathers.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTES:

[32] Sparks' Life of Warren.

[33] Sparks' Life of Warren.



                  III. WASHINGTON, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF.


    EFFECTS of the Battle of Bunker hill--Meeting of
        Congress--Appointment of a Commander-in-Chief
        proposed--Difficulties in regard to a Selection--Claims of
        Individuals--Interview between John and Samuel Adams--Speech
        of the former--Washington Nominated--Unanimously
        Confirmed--Manifesto of Congress--Public Fast.

If, previous to the battle of Bunker's hill, doubts existed in the minds
of any, whether the contest between Great Britain and America would be
settled without a struggle, the sanguinary scene on that hill must have
dispelled them. Both parties had received a wound not likely soon to be
healed. If the British had won the field, they had gained but little, if
any, honor--and in the repulse, which the Americans had met with, while
they had lost no honor, they had acquired self-confidence, and added to
their already high-wrought valor and determination.

[Illustration: Messengers spreading news of the Battle of Bunker's
hill.]

"The battle was fought on Saturday afternoon. Before Sunday night, the
intelligence was spread more than a hundred miles distant from the scene
of action. All were roused to the highest pitch of resentment, and set
about preparing themselves for a long and bloody struggle. Companies
were raised and equipped with the utmost dispatch; all hopes of
reconciliation were lost. Squads of armed men flocked to head-quarters,
some of them having traveled eighty miles in twenty-four hours."

While events of so much importance were occurring in and around
Boston, the more immediate theatre of the war, the second general
congress were in session in Philadelphia, in deep consultation as to
measures which the cause and exigencies of the country required.

Their session had commenced on the 10th day of May preceding. Various
matters of interest engaged their attention, and required all their
wisdom and firmness. As the war had commenced, it was essential to
keep up the zeal of the people--to prevent revolt to the royal
standard--to introduce discipline into an army which had been
collected in haste--to provide for the growing expenses of a war, the
end of which could not be predicted--to prevent, in the conduct of the
war, the revival of jealousies which had existed between the different
colonies--and, finally, to place the army in the hands of some
commander-in-chief, in whom the country could confide, and whose
commands the army would cheerfully obey.

The importance of this last duty magnified, the more it was
contemplated--and difficulties presented themselves which occasioned
no small anxiety and embarrassment. A mistake here might prove fatal
to the liberties of the country, for an indefinite period to come.

Upon whom, then, should their choice fall? Gates and Lee were held in
high estimation as military men. The first, for his experience; the
second, because to experience he joined a very active genius. But they
were both born in England, and, in case of misfortune, it would be
difficult, however upright and faithful they might have been, to
persuade the people that they had not been guilty of treason, or at
least of negligence in the accomplishment of their duties. Besides,
Lee had an impetuosity of temper, which, in some hour of excitement,
might spur him to the adoption of measures inconsistent with the
safety of the army, and prejudicial to the interests of the patriot
cause. There were also Ward and Putnam, who were already in the field,
and who had demonstrated the most signal valor and ability in all the
actions which had taken place in the vicinity of Boston. Putnam had
seen much service, and, for energy and promptitude, had few equals;
but he had declared himself too openly in favor of independence; this,
congress devoutly wished to procure, but withal in a propitious time.
As to General Ward, New England, it was well known, entertained an
exalted opinion of him, and many were strongly wishing and
anticipating that the lot would fall on him. He had served in the
French war, in which he had acquired an honorable distinction. In
addition, he was both a scholar and a gentleman, and the army itself
was uncommonly prepossessed in his favor. But besides that he also had
openly expressed himself in favor of independence, it was well known
that the provinces of the middle, and more so of the south, were in a
measure jealous of New England, in which the physical force of the
country confessedly predominated, and they would naturally be
reluctant to have the cause of America confided to the hands of an
individual who might allow himself to be influenced by certain local
prepossessions, at a time in which all desires and all interests ought
to be common. Nor was it a small desideratum with some of the sages of
that era, that the commander-in-chief should himself possess an estate
of such value as to offer a guaranty of his fidelity, and elevate him
above the sordid and selfish motives of personal gain.

Surrounded by such difficulties, and embarrassed by such opposite
considerations, what was to be done? One point was clear,--_union must
be preserved_, at any sacrifice. Union was strength. If in harmonious
concert the colonies could not proceed, their doom was sealed. The
country, and the whole country, must come in. The pulsation must beat
through all hearts. The cause was one, and how many soever bore a part
in sustaining and defending it, they must act as impelled but by one
motive--and using but a single arm.

To the final question, it had been foreseen for some time, the
congress must come. Out of doors, the subject had been considered and
debated, but, as yet, no settled opinion had been formed, and no
decisive action had been had.

In this anxious and inquiring period, the Father of mercies--that
Almighty Being by whose care the colonies had been planted, and
hitherto sustained--whose blessing was daily sought by thousands of
families, morning and evening--whose guidance the public councils,
whether provincial or continental, were never ashamed to implore--that
good and gracious Benefactor was not slow in pointing to the man who
should lead the armies of his American Israel!

One morning, the elder President Adams was walking in Congress hall,
apparently absorbed in thought, when Samuel Adams, a kinsman and a
member of congress, approaching him, inquired the subject of his deep
cogitation. "The army," he replied; "I am determined what to do about
the army at Cambridge." "What is that?" asked his kinsman. "I am
determined to enter on a full detail of the state of the colonies,
before the house this morning. My object will be to induce congress to
name a day for adopting the army, as the legal army of the United
Colonies of North America; and, having done this, I shall offer a few
hints on my election of a commander-in-chief." "I like your plan,
Cousin John," said Samuel Adams; "but on whom have you fixed as this
commander?" "George Washington, of Virginia, a member of this house."
"That will never do, never, never." "It _must_ do," said John Adams,
"and for these reasons: the southern and middle states are loath to
enter heartily into the cause, and their arguments are potent; they
see that New England holds the physical power in her hands, and they
fear the result. A New England army, a New England commander, with
New England perseverance, all united, appal them. For this cause, they
hang back. The only way to allay their fears, and silence their
complaints, is by appointing a southern chief over the army. This
policy will blend us in one mass, and that mass will be resistless."

Mr. Adams now went in, and, taking the floor, put forth his strength
in the delineations he had prepared, all aiming at the adoption of the
army. _He_ was ready to own the army, appoint a commander, and vote
supplies. His speech was patriotic, eloquent, and thrilling; but some
doubted, some objected, some feared. To all these doubts and
hesitations, he replied: "Gentlemen, if this congress do not adopt
this army, before ten moons have set, New England will have a congress
of her own, which _will_ adopt it, and she will undertake the struggle
_alone_--with a strong arm and a clear conscience." This had the
desired effect, and they agreed to appoint a day.

The day was fixed, and came, and the army was adopted. And now
followed the question as to a commander. Mr. Adams again rose. He
proceeded to a minute delineation of the character of General Ward,
according to him merits and honors, which then belonged to no one
else; but, at the end of this eulogy, he said: "This is not the man I
have chosen." The peculiar situation of the colonies required another
and a different man--and one from a different quarter. These
qualifications were now set forth in strong, bold, and eloquent terms;
and, in the sequel, he said: "Gentlemen, I know these qualifications
are high, but we all know they are needful at this crisis, in this
chief. Does any one say that they are not to be obtained in the
country? I reply, they are; they reside in one of our own body, and he
is the person whom I now nominate: GEORGE WASHINGTON, of Virginia."

At the moment, Washington was intently gazing, as were others, upon
Mr. Adams, wrought up by an eager curiosity for the annunciation of
the name. Without a _suspicion_ that it would be his own, as it
transpired from the lips of the speaker, he sprang from his seat, and
rushed from the hall.

Samuel Adams, already in the secret, immediately moved an adjournment
of the house, in order that the members might have time to deliberate
on a nomination so unexpected and so surprising.

On the 15th of June, two days only before the battle of Bunker's hill,
congress convened in the hall to decide the important question. As
individuals, they had given to the subject a deep and solemn
deliberation, commensurate with its vital importance to the country.
Until the annunciation of Washington's name by John Adams, probably no
one had even thought of him--but _now_, but one sentiment prevailed.
He was _the_ man, and their ballots _unanimously_ confirmed the
choice. The delegates of Massachusetts had other predilections; but,
nobly relinquishing sectional claims, and even partialities, they
united with the others, and rendered the choice unanimous. That was a
happy day--that a fortunate selection for America. And who can doubt
that the God by whose providence nations rise and fall, guided that
choice, with the same benign influence which was exerted upon the
prophet in a prior age of the world, when from among his brethren he
selected David as the successor of Saul?

In a few days, following the appointment of Washington, congress
published a _manifesto_, setting forth to the world the causes which
had led them to take up arms. After enumerating these causes, in a
tone of manly assurance, and yet of humble dependence upon Almighty
God, they said:

"Our cause is just--our union is perfect--our internal resources are
great--and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable.
We gratefully acknowledge, as signal instances of Divine favor towards
us, that His providence would not permit us to be called into this
severe controversy, until we were grown to our present strength, had
been previously exercised in warlike operations, and possessed of the
means of defending ourselves. With hearts, fortified with these
animating reflections, we must most solemnly, before God and the world,
declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which the
beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have
been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every
hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ for the
preservation of our liberties; being, with one mind, resolved to die
freemen, rather than to live slaves." Finally, they added: "With an
humble confidence in the mercies of the supreme and impartial Judge and
Ruler of the universe, we most devoutly implore His divine goodness, to
protect us happily through this great conflict, to dispose our
adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby relieve
the empire from the calamities of civil war."

The above manifesto was sent into every part of the country, and read
from the pulpits by the ministers of religion, with suitable
exhortations. In the camps of Boston, it was read with particular
solemnity. Major-General Putnam assembled his division, upon the heights
of Prospect hill, to hear it. It was followed by a prayer, analogous to
the occasion; the general having given the signal, all the troops cried,
three times, _amen_! and, at the same instant, the artillery of the fort
fired a general salute; the colors, recently sent to General Putnam,
were seen waving with the usual motto "_An appeal to Heaven_;" and this
other, "_Qui transulit sustinet_." The same ceremony was observed in the
other divisions. The joy and enthusiasm were universal.

It may be added, in this connexion, as an evidence of the piety of our
fathers--of the belief of a superintending providence, which
characterized that generation, that congress recommended a public fast
to be observed in all the colonies, on the 20th of July. The soldiers,
they recommended to be "humane and merciful;" and all classes of
citizens, "to humble themselves, to fast, to pray, and to implore the
Divine assistance, in this day of trouble and of peril."

Congress, in a body, attended divine services on that day, in one of
the churches of Philadelphia. Just as they were about to enter the
temple, important intelligence was received from Georgia. It was, that
that province, which had hitherto held itself aloof from the common
cause, had joined the confederation, and had appointed five delegates
for its representation in Congress. While humbling themselves, God was
blessing and exalting them. No news scarcely could have occasioned
more joy; and this was heightened, in consideration of the moment at
which the government and people were apprised of it.

[Illustration]


[Illustration]



                       IV. EVACUATION OF BOSTON.


    GENERAL OFFICERS appointed--Washington repairs to Cambridge--State
        of the Army--Great want of Gunpowder--Sickness in the
        Camp--Dorchester heights fortified--Proposal of the British
        General to attack the American Intrenchments--Alters his plan,
        and evacuates Boston--Embarkation of the British--Washington
        enters the city.

Having elected a commander-in-chief, congress proceeded to the
selection of other experienced officers.--Artimas Ward, Charles Lee,
and Philip Schuyler, were appointed major-generals, and Horatio Gates
adjutant-general. These appointments were followed, a few days after,
by that of eight brigadier-generals: Seth Pomeroy, William Heath, and
John Thomas, of Massachusetts; Richard Montgomery, of New York; David
Wooster and Joseph Spencer, of Connecticut; John Sullivan, of New
Hampshire; and Nathaniel Greene, of Rhode Island.

In July, Washington, accompanied by General Lee, repaired to the camp
near Boston; receiving, on his journey thither, the highest honors
from the most distinguished citizens. On making a review of the army,
soon after his arrival, he found an immense multitude, of whom only
fourteen thousand five hundred were in a condition fit for service.
But even these, in respect to uniform, equipment, and discipline,
exhibited a variety most disheartening and painful to a commander. As
to discipline, it scarcely existed. The subordinate officers were
without emulation; and the privates, having been unaccustomed to the
rules and regulations of a camp, were impatient of all subordination.

[Illustration: House at Cambridge where Washington resided.]

Fortunately, the newly-appointed generals soon arrived, and with great
alacrity betook themselves to the task of reform. General Gates, who
was versed in the details of military organization, exerted a powerful
influence in this salutary work. In a short period, the camp presented
an improved aspect. The soldiers became accustomed to obedience;
regulations were observed; each began to know his duty; and, at
length, instead of a mass of irregular militia, the camp presented the
spectacle of a properly-disciplined army. It was divided into three
corps: the right, under the command of Ward, occupied Roxbury; the
left, conducted by Lee, defended Prospect hill; and the center, which
comprehended a select corps, destined for reserve, was stationed at
Cambridge, where Washington himself had established his
head-quarters. The circumvallation was fortified by so great a number
of redoubts, and supplied with so formidable an artillery, that it had
become impossible for the besieged to assault Cambridge, and spread
themselves in the open country. It was believed, also, that they had
lost a great many men, as well upon the field of battle as in
consequence of wounds and disease.

Another material deficiency was the want of gunpowder. In the
depositories at Roxbury, Cambridge, and other places, there were found
to be only ninety-six barrels; the magazines of Massachusetts
contained but thirty-six more; and, after adding to this quantity all
that New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut could furnish, the
amount fell short of ten thousand pounds, which allowed only nine
charges to a man. In this scarcity and danger, the army remained more
than fifteen days; during which time, had the English attacked them,
they might easily have forced the lines, and raised the siege. At
length, by the exertions of the committee of New Jersey, a few tons of
powder arrived at the camp, which supplied for the moment the
necessities of the army, and averted the evils that were feared.

The providing of gunpowder had now become an important, and even an
essential consideration. Accordingly, it was recommended, by a
resolution of congress, that all the colonies should put themselves,
in a state of defence, and provide themselves with the greatest
possible number of men, of arms, and of munitions; and, especially,
that they should make diligent search for saltpetre and sulphur. An
exact scrutiny was therefore commenced, in the cellars and in the
stables, in pursuit of materials so essential to modern war. In every
part, manufactories of gunpowder and foundries of cannon, were seen
rising; every place resounded with the preparations of war. The
provincial assemblies and conventions seconded admirably the
operations of congress; and the people obeyed, with incredible
promptitude, the orders of these various authorities. In addition to
these measures, several fast-sailing vessels were despatched to the
coast of Guinea, where they procured immense quantities, having
purchased it of European ships, employed in the trade. The assembly of
Massachusetts even prohibited the use of powder in shooting at game,
or its expenditure in public rejoicing.

In the autumn of 1775, General Gage obtained leave to repair to
England; or, according to some authorities, was rëcalled by the king.
During his administration, he had rendered himself odious to the
Americans, and now they heard of his retirement without regret. He was
succeeded in command by General William Howe, a gentleman much
esteemed for his talents, and, withal, less vindictive in his temper.

Towards the close of the year, Washington was environed with
difficulties. Great responsibilities were resting upon him, with which
his means were far from being commensurate. The organization of the
army, notwithstanding his greatest efforts, was very imperfect. The
ardor of the troops, having little excitement beyond an occasional
skirmish, was evidently abating. In not a few instances, a spirit of
rapacity had been manifested, by portions of the troops, and
depredations were made upon private as well as public property.
Several generals, dissatisfied with the promotions made by congress,
resigned their commissions, and returned home. Sickness, especially
the dysentery, appeared in the camp, and proved a distressing
visitant. The cold weather set in, and occasioned great suffering to
the soldiers, who were destitute of barracks and other conveniences.

While these and other troubles were in a degree disturbing the calmness
of Washington, other considerations did not serve to allay his anxiety.
"He knew that congress anxiously contemplated more decisive steps, and
that the country looked for events of greater magnitude. The public was
ignorant of his actual situation, and conceived his means, for offensive
operations, to be much greater than they were; and they expected from
him the capture or expulsion of the British army, in Boston. He felt
the importance of securing the confidence of his countrymen, by some
brilliant action, and was fully sensible that his own reputation was
liable to suffer, if he confined himself solely to measures of defence."
To publish to his anxious country the state of his army, would be to
acquaint the enemy with his weakness, and to hazard his destruction. The
firmness and patriotism of General Washington were displayed, in making
the good of his country an object of higher consideration, than the
applause of those who were incapable of forming a correct opinion of the
propriety of his measures. On this, and on many other occasions during
the war, he withstood the voice of the populace, rejected the entreaties
of the sanguine, and refused to adopt the plans of the rash, that he
might ultimately secure the great object of contention. While he
resolutely rejected every measure which, in his calm and deliberate
judgment he did not approve, he daily pondered the practicability of a
successful attack upon Boston. As a preparatory step, he took possession
of Plowed hill, Cobble hill, and Lechmere's point, and erected
fortifications upon them. These posts brought him within half a mile of
the enemy's works on Bunker's hill, and, by his artillery, he drove the
British floating-batteries from their stations in Charles' river. He
erected floating-batteries to watch the movements of his enemy, and to
aid in any offensive operations that circumstances might warrant. In
these circumstances, he took the opinion of his general officers,
respecting an attack upon Boston; but they unanimously gave their
opinion in opposition to the measure, and this opinion was immediately
communicated to congress. Congress appeared, however, to favor the
attempt; and, that an apprehension of danger to the town of Boston might
not have an undue influence upon the operations of the army, resolved,
'That if General Washington and his council of war should be of opinion
that a successful attack might be made on the troops in Boston, he
should make it in any manner he might think it expedient,
notwithstanding the town and the property therein might thereby be
destroyed.'[34]

Towards the close of February, the stock of powder having been
considerably increased, and the regular army, which amounted to
fourteen thousand men, being rëinforced by six thousand of the militia
of Massachusetts, Washington himself was disposed to carry the war
against the British into Boston; but his general officers dissenting,
he reluctantly acquiesced, and turned his attention to the taking
possession of Dorchester heights, by which he would be able to command
the city.

The announcement of this intention, diffused joy throughout the
American army, and each one prepared himself to obey the summons in
case his service was required. The night of the 4th of March, was
selected for the enterprise, in hope that a recollection of the tragic
scenes of the 5th of March, 1770, would rouse the spirit of the
soldiers to a degree commensurate with the daring exploit proposed.

Accordingly, on the evening of the 4th, the necessary arrangements
having been made, the Americans proceeded in profound silence towards
the peninsula of Dorchester. The obscurity of the night was
propitious, and the wind favorable, since it could not bear to the
enemy the little noise which it was impossible to avoid. The frost had
rendered the roads easy. The batteries of Phipps' farm, and those of
Roxbury, incessantly fulminated with a stupendous roar.

Eight hundred men composed the van-guard; it was followed by
carriages, filled with utensils of intrenchment, and twelve hundred
pioneers led by General Thomas. In the rear-guard were three hundred
carts of fascines, of gabions, and bundles of hay, destined to cover
the flank of the troops, in the passage of the isthmus of Dorchester,
which, being very low, was exposed to be raked on both sides by the
artillery of the English vessels.

"All succeeded perfectly; the Americans arrived upon the heights, not
only without being molested, but even without being perceived by the
enemy.

[Illustration: Fortifying Dorchester heights.]

"They set themselves to work with an activity so prodigious, that by
ten o'clock at night, they had already constructed two forts, in
condition to shelter them from small arms and grape-shot; one upon the
height nearest to the city, and the other upon that which looks
towards Castle island. The day appeared, but it prevented not the
provincials from continuing their works, without any movement being
made on the part of the garrison. When the latter discovered these
deeds of the Americans, nothing could exceed their astonishment. Their
only alternative, it was at once apparent, was either to dislodge the
Americans, or abandon the town.

"The first intention of Howe was to attempt the former, and
preparations were made accordingly; but he was compelled to defer the
attack till the following morning. During the night a storm arose, and
when the day dawned, the sea was still excessively agitated. A violent
rain came to increase the obstacles; the English general kept himself
quiet. But the Americans made proper use of this delay; they erected a
third redoubt, and completed the other works. Colonel Mifflin had
prepared a great number of hogsheads full of stones and sand, in order
to roll them upon the enemy when he should march up to the assault, to
break his ranks, and throw him into a confusion that might smooth the
way to his defeat."

On more mature reflection, General Howe was convinced of the impolicy
of attempting to dislodge the Americans. If success should crown such
an enterprise, it would, indeed, be highly auspicious to the British
cause, but a failure would be fatal. The other alternative, therefore,
was the only choice left.

Having taken this resolution, General Howe notified the selectmen of
Boston, that the city being no longer of any use to the king, he was
resolved to abandon it; but, if opposed, he should fire it, and for this
purpose ample materials had been provided. To these conditions it
appears, from what followed, that Washington consented; but the articles
of the truce were never written. The Americans remained quiet spectators
of the retreat of the English. But the city presented a melancholy
spectacle; notwithstanding the orders of General Howe, all was havoc and
confusion. Fifteen hundred loyalists, with their families and their most
valuable effects, hastened, with infinite dejection of mind, to abandon
a residence which had been so dear to them, and where they had so long
enjoyed felicity. The fathers carrying burdens, and the mothers their
children, went weeping towards the ships; the last salutations, the
farewell embraces of those who departed and of those who remained; the
sick, the wounded, the aged, the infants, would have moved with
compassion the witnesses of their distress, if the care of their own
safety had not absorbed the attention of all.

"The carts and beasts of burden were become the occasion of sharp
disputes between the inhabitants, who had retained them, and the
soldiers, who wished to employ them. The disorder was also increased
by the animosity that prevailed between the soldiers of the garrison
and those of the fleet; they reproached each other mutually, as the
authors of their common misfortune. With one accord, however, they
complained of the coldness and ingratitude of their country, which
seemed to have abandoned, or rather forgotten them upon these distant
shores, a prey to so much misery, and to so many dangers. For, since
the month of October, General Howe had not received from England any
order or intelligence whatever, which testified that the government
still existed, and had not lost sight of the army of Boston.

"Meanwhile, a desperate band of soldiers and sailors took advantage of
the confusion to force doors, and pillage the houses and shops. They
destroyed what they could not carry away. The entire city was devoted
to devastation, and it was feared every moment that the flames would
break out to consummate its destruction.

"The 15th of March, General Howe issued a proclamation, forbidding any
inhabitant to go out of his house before eleven o'clock in the
morning, in order not to disturb the embarkation of the troops, which
was to have taken place on that day. But an east wind prevented their
departure. Meanwhile, the Americans had constructed a redoubt upon the
point of Nook's hill, on the peninsula of Dorchester; and having
furnished it with artillery, they entirely commanded the isthmus of
Boston, and all the southern part of the town. It was even to be
feared that they would occupy Noddle's island, and establish
batteries, which, sweeping the surface of the water across the harbor,
would have entirely interdicted the passage to the ships, and reduced
the garrison to the necessity of yielding at discretion. All delay
became dangerous; consequently, the British troops and the loyalists
began to embark the 17th of March, at four in the morning, and by ten,
all were on board.

"The vessels were overladen with men and baggage; provisions were
scanty, confusion was every where. The rear-guard was scarcely out of
the city, when Washington entered it on the other side, with colors
displayed, drums beating, and all the forms of victory and triumph. He
was received by the inhabitants with every demonstration of gratitude
and respect due to a deliverer. Their joy broke forth with the more
vivacity, as their sufferings had been long and cruel. For more than
sixteen months they had endured hunger, thirst, cold, and the outrages
of an insolent soldiery, who deemed them rebels. The most necessary
articles of food were risen to exorbitant prices.

"Horse flesh was not refused by those who could procure it. For want of
fuel, the pews and benches of churches were taken up for this purpose;
the counters and partitions of warehouses were applied to the same uses,
and even houses, not inhabited, were demolished for the sake of the
wood. The English left a great quantity of artillery and munitions. Two
hundred and fifty pieces of cannon, of different caliber, were found in
Boston, in Castle island, and in the intrenchments of Bunker's hill, and
the Neck. The English had attempted, but with little success, in their
haste, to destroy or to spike these last pieces; others had been thrown
into the sea, but they were recovered. There were found besides, four
mortars, a considerable quantity of coal, of wheat, and of other grains,
and one hundred and fifty horses."[35]

Dr. Thatcher in his 'Military Journal,' thus describes a visit which
he made to the Old South church, a few days after the evacuation:

"March 23d.--I went to view the Old South church, a spacious brick
building, near the centre of the town. It had been for more than a
century consecrated to the service of religion, and many eminent divines
have in its pulpit labored in teaching the ways of righteousness and
truth. But, during the late siege, the inside of it was entirely
destroyed by the British, and the sacred building occupied as a riding
school for Burgoyne's regiment of dragoons. The pulpit and pews were
removed, the floor covered with earth, and used for the purpose of
training and exercising their horses. A beautiful pew, ornamented with
carved work and silk furniture, was demolished; and by order of an
officer, the carved work, it is said, was used as a fence for a hog-sty.
The North church, a very valuable building, was entirely demolished, and
consumed for fuel. Thus are our houses, devoted to religious worship,
profaned and destroyed by the subjects of his royal majesty. His
excellency, the commander-in-chief, has been received by the inhabitants
with every mark of respect and gratitude; and a public dinner has been
provided for him. He requested the Rev. Dr. Elliot, at the renewal of
his customary Thursday lecture, to preach a thanksgiving sermon, adapted
to the joyful occasion. Accordingly, on the 28th, this pious divine
preached an appropriate discourse from Isaiah xxxiii. 20, in presence of
his excellency and a respectable audience."

The recovery of Boston was an important event, and as such was hailed
with joyful triumph throughout the colonies. A golden medal,
commemorative of the occasion, was struck by order of congress, and a
vote of thanks was passed to Washington and the army "for their wise
and spirited conduct in the siege and acquisition of Boston."


[Illustration: DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

General Putnam reading the Declaration to the Connecticut Troops.]

FOOTNOTES:

[34] Hinton.

[35] Botta's History of the American War.



                       V. INDEPENDENCE DECLARED.


    INDEPENDENCE begun to be contemplated--Causes which increased a
        desire for such an event--Question of a Declaration of
        Independence enters the Colonial Assemblies--Introduced to
        Congress by Richard Henry Lee--Debated--State of Parties in
        respect to it--Measures adopted to secure a favorable
        vote--Question taken--Declaration adopted--Signed--The great
        Act of the Revolution--Influence of it immediately
        perceived--Character and merits of the Signers of that
        Instrument--The 4th of July, a time-honored and glorious
        day!--How it should be celebrated.

For some time previous to the winter of 1775-6, the ultimate
separation of the colonies from Great Britain must have occurred to
the leading men of America as a possible event. But the people at
large had, at that time, not only not contemplated such an event, but
would have been startled by the proposal. The proceedings of the
British parliament, however, at length became so unjust, and even
monstrous, as to array most of the Americans against the
parent-country, and to excite a wish in the bosoms of thousands that
the colonies were free from her dominion.

The news of the battle of Bunker's hill not only roused to indignation
the king and his ministers, but convinced them that "a flock of
Yankees" were not so despisable objects as they had supposed; and that
if the arms of the Americans were not so brightly burnished as those
of his majesty's disciplined troops, nevertheless, in the firm hands
and under the practised eye of "country boors," they could make sad
havoc among them.

A large augmentation of the forces in America, contrary to all previous
opinion, was now deemed essential. Accordingly, an act was introduced
into parliament, authorizing the employment of sixteen thousand German
troops, which, with the British regiments in, and about to be sent to
America, would constitute a force of nearly fifty thousand men. The
minority in parliament reprobated the employment of mercenary troops, in
strong and unmeasured terms. But little did the friends of America in
parliament feel, in view of such a step, compared with the Americans
themselves. "Arm foreigners against us!" they exclaimed; "let us treat
the English themselves as foreigners. Better for us to be eternally
separated from them, than to be exposed to such cruelty." But the
indignation of the Americans was, if possible, still more increased by
another act of parliament, passed at the same session, viz: "prohibiting
all _trade_ and _commerce_ with the colonies; and authorizing the
_capture_ and _condemnation_, not only of all American vessels with
their cargoes, but all other vessels _found trading_, in any port or
place in the colonies, as if the same were the vessels and effects of
_open enemies_; and the vessels and property thus taken were vested in
the captors, and the crews were to be treated, not as prisoners, but as
_slaves_." By another clause, British subjects were authorized to compel
men taken on board of American vessels, whether crews or _other
persons_, to fight against _their own countrymen_!

By such measures, cruel and impolitic, did the British authorities
_compel_ the Americans, not only to take up arms against the
mother-country, but to desire a lasting separation from her.

Thus the leaven commenced, and by degrees diffused itself through the
mass. Shortly after, the gazettes began to speak out. These were
followed by the issue of several pamphlets; among which, that entitled
_Common Sense_, by Thomas Paine, "produced a wonderful effect in the
different colonies in favor of independence." Influential individuals
in every colony urged it as a step absolutely necessary, to preserve
the rights and liberties, as well as to secure the happiness and
prosperity of America. Reconciliation, they said, on any terms
compatible with the preservation and security of these great and
important objects, was now impossible. These sentiments were
disseminated among the people by distinguished individuals, in a
variety of ways. The chief justice of South Carolina, William Henry
Dayton, appointed under the new form of government, just adopted, in
his charge to the grand jurors, in April, after justifying the
proceedings of that colony, in forming a new government, on the
principles of the revolution in England, in 1688, thus concludes: "The
Almighty created America to be independent of Great Britain: let us
beware of the impiety of being backward to act as instruments in the
Almighty's hand, now extended to accomplish his purpose; and by the
completion of which alone, America, in the nature of human affairs,
can be secure against the crafty and insidious designs of her enemies,
who think her power and prosperity already far too great. In a word,
our piety and political safety are so blended, that to refuse our
labors in this divine work, is to refuse to be a great, a free, a
pious, and a happy people." This was bold language for one so
prominent to utter. In the view of royalists, it was treasonable; but
in the estimation of the true friends of American liberty, if bold, it
was just and patriotic.

At length, the question of independence entered some of the colonial
assemblies and conventions, and expressions in favor of such a measure
were made. North Carolina, it is believed, has the honor of taking the
lead, as a _province_, having by her convention, as early as April
22d, empowered their delegates in congress, "to concur with those in
the other colonies in declaring independency."[36]

On the 15th of May the convention of Virginia went still further, and
unanimously _instructed_ their delegates in the general congress, "to
propose to that respectable body, to declare the united colonies free
and independent states, absolved from all allegiance or dependence
upon the crown or parliament of Great Britain; and to give the
_assent_ of that colony to such declaration." During the same month,
Massachusetts and Rhode Island virtually adopted similar resolutions.
In short, public sentiment appeared to be setting strongly in favor of
action, on this great and momentous question.

Meanwhile, congress were not idle or uninterested spectators of
events. They had been watching with no small solicitude the "signs of
the times." Personally, they had counted the cost. Most of the members
had come to the conclusion that rather than be slaves, as they had
been, they would sacrifice fortune and life itself. These, therefore,
they were willing to peril, by any act or declaration which might seem
to contribute to their country's cause.

But a sacred regard to that cause, required the utmost prudence.
Premature action might injure a cause which they wished, above all
others, to benefit. The popular feelings must have become duly
interested--the popular will must _precede_ and _direct_.

At length, the propitious time was believed to have arrived, and in
humble dependence upon the guidance and protection of Almighty God, it
was determined to go forward with this great and solemn work.

On the 7th of June, therefore, the great question of independence was
brought directly before congress, by Richard Henry Lee, one of the
delegates from Virginia. He submitted a resolution, 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 all political connection between them and Great Britain is, and
ought to be, dissolved." The resolution was postponed until the next
day, and every member enjoined to attend, to take the same into
consideration. On the 8th, it was debated in committee of the whole.

No question of greater magnitude was ever presented to the
consideration of a deliberative body, or debated with more eloquence,
energy, and ability. Every member seemed duly impressed with the
important bearing that their decision would have upon the future
destiny of the country.

Mr. Lee, the mover, and Mr. John Adams were particularly distinguished
in supporting, and Mr. John Dickinson in opposing the resolution. On the
10th, it was adopted in committee, by a bare majority of the colonies.
The delegates from Pennsylvania and Maryland, were instructed to oppose
it; and the delegates from some of the other colonies were without
special instructions on the subject. To give time for greater unanimity,
the resolution was postponed in the house, until the first of July. In
the mean time, a committee, consisting of Mr. Jefferson, John Adams, Dr.
Franklin, Mr. Sherman, and R. R. Livingston, was appointed to prepare a
declaration of independence. During this interval, measures were taken
to procure the assent of all the colonies.[37]

A portion of the colonies had not given specific instructions to their
delegates, while others had, and in opposition to the measure. On a
question of such magnitude, it was deemed of the utmost importance that
entire unanimity, if possible, should be had. The delegates of New York
dispatched an express to the convention of that colony, then in session,
for advice; but the convention, not considering themselves or their
delegates authorized to declare the colony independent, recommended that
the people, who were then about to elect new members to the convention,
should give instructions on the subject. June 15th, New Hampshire
instructed her delegates to join the other colonies on this question. On
the 14th, Connecticut gave similar instructions. New Jersey followed on
the 21st. Pennsylvania, the same month, removed restrictions which in
the previous November, had been laid upon their delegates, and now
authorized them to unite in the measure. Maryland had also instructed
her delegates to vote against independence; but on the 28th of June,
following the example of Pennsylvania, the members of this convention
rëcalled their former instructions, and empowered their delegates to
concur. These new instructions were immediately dispatched by express to
Philadelphia, and, on 1st of July, were laid before congress.

On the same day, the resolution of Mr. Lee, relating to independence,
was resumed in that body, referred to a committee of the whole, and
was assented to by all the colonies, except Pennsylvania and Delaware.

The delegates from the former, then present, were seven, and four
voted against it. The number present from Delaware, was only
two--Thomas McKean and George Read--and they were divided; McKean in
favor, and Read against the resolution. Being reported to the house,
at the request of a colony, the proposition was postponed until the
next day, when it passed, and was entered on the journals. The
declaration of independence was reported by the special committee on
the 28th of June, and on the 4th of July, came before congress for
final decision, and received the vote of every colony.

Two of the members from Pennsylvania, Morris and Dickinson, were
absent; of the five who were present, Franklin, Wilson, and Morton,
were in favor, and Willing and Humphrey against. Mr. McKean, to secure
the vote of Delaware, sent an express for Mr. Rodney, the other
delegate from that colony; who, although at the distance of eighty
miles from Philadelphia, arrived in time on the 4th to unite with him
in the vote, and thus complete the union of the colonies on this
momentous question. The committee appointed to prepare a declaration
of independence, selected Mr. Adams and Mr. Jefferson a sub-committee;
and the original draft was made by Mr. Jefferson.

This draft, without any amendment by the committee, was reported to
congress, and after undergoing several amendments, received their
sanction.

It now only remained to affix their signatures to the declaration, and
to publish it to the world, and their duty, in respect to this
important measure, was done. Having been engrossed on parchment, it
was brought out, and laid on the table. This was on the 2d of August.
Meanwhile, some who had voted for the declaration, had left congress,
and others had taken their places. The latter signed the instrument.

John Hancock, as president of the congress, led the way. Taking a pen,
he recorded his name. He wrote with great power, and on the original
parchment, no signature is so bold and full-faced as his. The others
followed by states--fifty-six in number.

The declaration of independence, was the great act of the Revolution.
It was the hinge on which turned the important events which followed.
Yet, at the period the plan was brought forward, it appeared to many
to partake of the wildness and extravagance of some measure of the
knight of la Mancha. At that day, the colonies were few and feeble.
They had no political character--no bond of union but common
sufferings, common necessities, and common danger. The inhabitants did
not exceed three millions--they had no veteran army--no arsenals but
barns--no munitions of war--few fortifications--no public treasury, no
power to lay taxes, and no credit on which to obtain a loan.

[Illustration: John Hancock.]

No wonder that the hearts of some trembled. No wonder that many
doubted the expediency of such a bold and adventurous step. Who was
the nation with which the colonies had to contend?--the mistress of
the world--a nation whose navy far exceeded that of any other nation
on the globe. Her armies were numerous and veteran--her officers were
skilful and practised--her statesmen subtle and sagacious, and were
now fired with indignation.

All these circumstances were well known to the patriots who composed
the congress of '76. They were aware that they put in peril life,
liberty, and country.

Yet, they well knew the importance of the measure proposed, and not
only its importance, but its necessity. The country needed some great
object distinctly before them. The colonies required a bond of
union--a common cause--one expressed--recorded--recognised--some one
great plan, the object of which they could pledge their lives,
fortunes, and sacred honor, to secure. That plan was independence.

The influence of the declaration was immediately perceived--it roused
the nation to a higher tone of feeling, and gave impulse and
concentration to the national energies. It helped on the tide of
Revolution, and mightily aided in driving back the waves of British
oppression. But the full influence of that measure is not yet felt--is
not yet seen. That belongs to distant time. Some day, hereafter, it
will stand out in the great picture of human liberty, in all its
grandeur and importance. More will be thought of it than of the
splendid and long-lauded achievements of Marathon and Salamis--of
Waterloo and Trafalgar!

Nor can we yet estimate the greatness of the _men_. We are still too
near them. But they are rising higher and higher, every year that
passes. As we retire into the distance from the date and scene of
their actions, their magnitude and worth acquire their true and proper
dimensions. In stern and self-denying virtue, they will compare with
Regulus, and in a pure and lofty patriotism, will be placed on the
same roll with William Tell and Robert the Bruce.

The signers of the declaration of American independence, and their
compatriots in toil, and trial, and blood, will never be forgotten. They
_need_ no monument, but they _deserve_ one; and, for myself, I wish
there was one--a _Revolutionary monument_--erected by the nation--worthy
of the empire whose liberties, civil and religious, they secured--one
which should stand--if God pleased--through all time, to serve as a
consecrated offering to their patriotism, and the evidence of their
imperishable glory:--a monument to which we might conduct our sons in
future days; and, as they pondered the deeply engraved names of these
heroes and martyrs to liberty--we, the fathers, might say, "_Look upon
your ancestry, and scorn to be slaves_!"

What a day is the 4th of July, as it yearly recurs! The cannon on that
day thunders from our hills--but it speaks of liberty. The bell from
every spire sends forth its peal, but in sounds which impart a joyous
impulse to the blood of the sire, and awaken a thrill of delight in
the bosom of the stripling.

No other nation ever celebrated such a day. Days of joy and jubilee
they have had; but they were days which, while they removed one
usurper from the throne, made way for another; or celebrated some
ambitious hero's victories, achieved at the expense of slaughtered
thousands. Is it the spirit of an unholy triumph, which prompts the
Americans to dwell with delight upon the day? Patriotic sympathy would
hail with joy such a day, for any nation on the globe. And such a day,
we trust, will come for all; when the sun of liberty, which warms and
refreshes us, will fill with joy even the vassals of the Russian
autocrat, and spread his heart-cheering beams over the tyrannized
millions of the misnamed "celestial empire."

It has sometimes been cast upon us as a reproach, that we exalt the
day too much. Exalt it too much! It has indeed sometimes been abused.
The spirit of liberty has grown wanton, and excess has sullied the
irreproachable propriety, which should ever characterize the
demonstrations of joy on such a day as this. But those days are
chiefly passed. No--whence the charge of exalting the day too
highly?--Not by those who have tasted the sweets of American liberty,
nor by those who have drawn long and deep draughts from the refreshing
fountains of western freedom. Oh, no--not by such; but by the
hirelings of some eastern usurper--by the myrmidons of crowned heads,
who hate a day which speaks so loudly of rational liberty to the rest
of the world in bondage.

What monarch in Europe would think his throne safe, were his subjects
to witness an American celebration of the 4th of July? It would open
visions before them upon which they would gaze with intense emotions.
It would excite pantings after liberty, which, if unresisted, would
convulse every nation, and demolish every despotic throne. What would
the Russian serf say, were he to look in upon the smiling faces which
course the streets of a New England village, on a bright and balmy 4th
of July? What would the subjects of Algerine or Turkish despotism say?

Yet we exalt the day too much! But for that day, what would have been
our present condition? Where would have been that constitution, under
which our political voyage of more than sixty years has been made with
so much prosperity to the nation? Where were that enterprise which has
levelled our forests, and spread a smiling and happy population over our
western wilds? Where that inventive genius, which, in its creations, has
rivalled, and in some respects excelled, the inventions of Europe? Look
at our ships--our manufactures--our printing establishments--our
cities--our canals--our railroads--our thousand and ten thousand sources
of wealth and happiness--where had these been, but for the 4th of July,
1776, connected as it was, and must ever be, with the achievement of our
national independence? Would Great Britain have suffered these? Would
she have seen such thrift--such expansion--such accumulation of national
power, and not have repressed it--when she could not bear, without
passing prohibitory laws, that our forefather's should make a hat to
cover their heads--or manufacture a sheet of paper on which to write a
letter to a friend! Had the mother-country had her will, where had been
the genius of Fulton, Whitney, and Clinton? On the other side of the
waters--not on this. Our halls of legislature would have failed in the
manly eloquence of rival orators, and our temples of worship would have
been devoted to God _and_ the aggrandizement of a phalanx of spiritual
lords.

Said a patriarch and apostle of liberty, just after the vote on the
question of independence had been taken--"Let the day be commemorated as
the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God. Let it be
solemnized with pomp, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one
end of the continent to the other, from this time forward for ever."

The patriarch uttered noble and patriotic sentiments. Be the day
remembered now and for ever. Remember it, _fathers_, as connected with
the civil and religious blessings, which have been your portion in
your earthly pilgrimage. Remember it, _mothers_, for it has made you
the wives and companions of freemen. Remember it _sons_ and
_daughters_, as the birth-day of liberty, but for which you might be
shedding your blood in the service of a tyrant, or staining your
virtue in the embraces of a bachanalian.

Be it remembered--and as it recurs--and may it recur with every year
while time shall last--first and foremost let the tribute of a devout
homage ascend to the GOD of our fathers--to HIM, who imparted wisdom
to their counsel and success to their arms--who, when darkness
encircled them, dispelled it--when stores failed, supplied them--who
was a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night--to Him be
glory for a land like that which the patriarch saw from Pisgah--and
whose hills are like those of Lebanon and Carmel.

The day is becoming a _religious festival_. This is right. Let the
sanctuary be opened, and homage be offered there. Let our
Sabbath-schools assemble, and fill our groves with divine song. But
never should we dispense with other innocent demonstrations of joy.
Let the cannon thunder from our hills--let the bells peal through our
villages and through our vallies. In every appropriate way, let the
future generations celebrate that glad era in our history when British
cohorts were obliged to retire, and "God save the king" on the rolling
drum, died upon our shores.

FOOTNOTES:

[36] It has long been claimed that the first declaration of
independence was made by the people in Charlotte town, Mecklenburg
county, North Carolina, in May, 1775. All doubt on this subject is now
dispelled, and the honor of such declaration must be accorded to them.
In a letter from Mr. Bancroft, American minister at London, to
Governor Swain, of North Carolina, dated London, July 4th, 1848, he
says: "You may be sure that I have spared no pains to discover in the
British state paper office a copy of the resolves of the committee of
Mecklenburg, and _with entire success_. The first account of 'the
extraordinary resolves of the people in Charlotte town, Mecklenburg
county,' was sent over to England by Sir James Wright, then governor
of Georgia, (to whom they had found their way) in a letter of the 20th
of June, 1775. The newspaper thus transmitted is still preserved, and
is the number 498 of the South Carolina Gazette and County Journal,
Tuesday, June 13, 1775."--"It is identically the same with the paper
which you enclosed to me."--The letter of Sir James Wright, referred
to by Mr. Bancroft, closes as follows: "By the enclosed paper, your
lordship will see the extraordinary resolves of the people of
Charlotte town, in Mecklenburg county: I should not be surprised if
the same should be done every where else"

[37] Pitkin.



                    VI. ATTACK ON SULLIVAN'S ISLAND.


    INVASION of Southern Colonies proposed--Expedition
        dispatched--Charleston its first Object--Proceedings of its
        Citizens--Sullivan's island Fortified--Arrival of General
        Lee--His opinion of Fort Moultrie--British Fleet
        arrives--Preliminary movements--Fort Moultrie
        attacked--Remarkable Defence of it--Action described--Heroic
        conduct of Sergeant Jasper--British repulsed--Respective
        losses--Liberal conduct of Governor Rutledge--Mrs.
        Elliot--Death of Jasper.

The successful defence of Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan's island, is
justly considered one of the noblest achievements recorded in the
annals of the Revolution.

The reduction of the southern colonies to obedience, was deemed a
measure of prime importance by the British government, nor was it
considered a project of difficult achievement. Hitherto the principal
theatre of the war had been in the north; and, hence, it was
calculated that preparations for the defence of the southern colonies
had been so much neglected, that little more than a demonstration in
that quarter would be necessary to bring the people to terms.

Early in 1776, an expedition having the above object in view was
devised, the command of which was entrusted to Sir Peter Parker and
Earl Cornwallis. Accordingly, on the 3d of May, Admiral Parker, with
twenty sail, arrived at Cape Fear, with Generals Cornwallis, Vaughan,
and several others.

General Clinton was expected from New York, with another considerable
corps, to cöoperate in the attack. With his troops he had arrived at the
point of destination, even anterior to the naval armament; and, being
the senior general, on the junction of the forces, assumed the command.
The immediate object was the reduction and possession of Charleston, the
capital of South Carolina; on the fall of which, the subjugation of that
and the other southern provinces would be an easy achievement.

The meditated invasion was not unknown to the Carolinians, who, being
a high-minded and chivalrous people, determined that if their capital
fell, it should be at an expense of a treasure of British blood.

With great activity and energy, therefore, they betook themselves to the
fortification of every assailable point. With patriotic
disinterestedness, the citizens demolished their valuable store-houses
on the wharves to supply materials for defence. Streets were barricaded,
and intrenchments erected along the shore. Even windows were stripped of
their weights, to supply the demand for bullets. The inhabitants
generally came to the work of defence, and scarcely a man on the ground
could be discovered without a spade, a pickaxe, or other implement of
work. Even the blacks from the city, and for miles in the country, were
employed, and seemed animated with the enthusiasm and zeal of their
masters. The commanding general was Major-general Lee, who, having been
appointed by congress to the command of the southern forces, and
possessing the entire confidence of the troops and of the people, was
enabled to carry to completion the various works of defence, which his
knowledge and skill had decided to be important. Governor Rutledge, also
a man of great influence in the province, cöoperated with General Lee,
in all his measures of defence, and by his example and exhortations
essentially contributed to the happy results which followed.

At the distance of six miles from the point of land formed by the
confluence of the two rivers, Ashley and Cooper, and on which
Charleston is built, lies _Sullivan's island_. It commands the channel
which leads to the port. The due fortification of this point was a
matter of great moment. The outline of a fort had already been marked
out, to complete which, Colonel William Moultrie, a singularly brave
and accomplished officer, was dispatched early in March. Palmetto
trees, which from their soft and spongy texture, were admirably
calculated to deprive a ball of its impetus without causing splinters,
had been cut in the forest, and the logs in huge rafts lay moored to
the beach. "Ignorant of gunnery, but confident in their own resources,
and nerved with resolute courage, Moultrie and his coadjutors, hardy
sons of the soil, heaved those huge logs from the water, and began the
work. A square pen was built, with bastions from each angle, capable
of covering a thousand men. The logs were laid in two parallel rows,
and sixteen feet apart; bound together with cross-timbers dove-tailed
and bolted into logs, and the wide space filled with sand. When
completed, it presented the appearance of a solid wall, sixteen feet
wide; but its strength was yet to be tested. Behind this, Moultrie
placed four hundred and thirty-five men, and thirty-one cannon, some
of them twenty-sixes, some eighteens, and the rest of smaller
caliber--throwing in all five hundred and thirteen pounds.

"It was at this juncture that Lee arrived from the north, and took
command of the troops. When his eye, accustomed to the scientific
structures of Europe, fell on this rudely-built affair, he smiled in
derision, calling it a '_slaughter-pen_,' and requested Governor
Rutledge to have it immediately evacuated. But that noble patriot was
made of sterner stuff, and replied, 'that while a soldier remained
alive, he would never give his sanction to such an order.'"

The naval force of the British, consisted of the Bristol and
Experiment, of fifty guns; four frigates, the Active, the Acteon, the
Solebay, and the Syren, of twenty-eight; the Sphynx, of twenty, the
Friendship, of twenty-two, two smaller vessels of eight, and the
Thunder, a bomb-ketch. On reaching the bar, at the entrance of the
channels of Charleston, it was found that the fifty-gun ships could
not pass without being lightened. The removal and rëplacement of their
guns was attended with incredible labor; and although thus lightened,
they struck, and for a time were in danger of bilging.

Meanwhile, General Clinton issued his proclamation, which he
dispatched to the city with a flag, demanding the citizens to lay down
their arms, and to return to their allegiance, on pain of an immediate
attack, and an utter overthrow. To this demand, not even the civility
of a reply was accorded, and the threatened attack, on the morning of
the 28th of June, was commenced.

To the citizens of Charleston those were anxious hours. There was
hope, but more of fear. They filled the wharves, the roofs, and the
steeples--in short, every eminence was black with spectators, gazing
on the exciting scene and the approaching conflict.

It was a calm, bright, beautiful day. The wind being fair, the British
fleet came steadily, proudly, towards the "slaughter-pen," and one
after another took the positions assigned them. The Americans watched
them with intense interest--"Moultrie's eye flashed with delight."
Every gun was loaded--every one was manned--and all were now anxiously
waiting the order to fire. At length, a portion of the fleet had
reached point-blank-shot distance, when Moultrie, who, like Prescott
at the battle of Bunker's hill, had restrained his anxiously-waiting
men, now gave the word of command "_Fire!_"--And they did fire--and
"the shores shook with the tremendous explosion."

The fleet continued to advance, a little abreast of the fort, when
letting go their anchors, and clewing up their sails, they opened upon
the fort. More than a hundred cannon!--their blaze, their smoke, their
roar--all in the same instant--it was a terrible commencement--the
stoutest heart palpitated! every one unconsciously held his breath!

"The battle had now fairly commenced, and the guns were worked with
fearful rapidity. It was one constant peal of thunder, and to the
spectators in Charleston, that low spot, across the bay, looked like a
volcano breaking forth from the sea. Lee stood on Haddrell's point,
watching the effect of the first fire. When the smoke lifted, like the
folds of a vast curtain, he expected to see that 'slaughter-pen' in
fragments; but there still floated the flag of freedom, and beneath it
beat brave hearts, to whom that awful cannonade was but 'a symphony to
the grand march of independence.' When the fight had fairly begun,
they thought no more of those heavy guns than they did of their
rifles. Their coats were hastily flung one side, and their hats with
them--and in their shirt-sleeves, with handkerchiefs about their
heads, they toiled away under the sweltering sun with the coolness and
courage of old soldiers. The fire from those nine vessels, with their
cannon all trained upon that pile of logs, was terrific, and it
trembled like a frightened thing under the shock; but the good
palmettoes closed silently over the balls, as they buried themselves
in the timber and sand, and the work went bravely on. Thus, hour after
hour, did it blaze, and flame, and thunder there on the sea, while the
shots of the Americans told with murderous effect. At every discharge,
those vessels shook as if smitten by a rock--the planks were ripped
up, the splinters hurled through the air, and the decks strewed with
mangled forms. Amid the smoke, bombs were seen traversing the air, and
dropping, in an incessant shower, within the fort--but a morass in the
middle swallowed them up as fast as they fell. At length, riddled
through and through, her beds of mortar broken up, the bomb-vessel
ceased firing. Leaving the smaller vessels, as unworthy of his
attention, Moultrie trained his guns upon the larger ones, and 'Look
to the Commodore! look to the fifty-gun ship!' passed along the lines,
and they _did_ look to the Commodore in good earnest, sweeping her
decks at every discharge with such fatal fire, that at one time there
was scarcely a man left upon the quarter-deck. The Experiment, too,
came in for her share of consideration--her decks were slippery with
blood, and nearly a hundred of her men were borne below, either killed
or wounded. Nor were the enemy idle, but rained back a perfect tempest
of balls; but that brave garrison had got used to the music of cannon,
and the men, begrimed with powder and smoke, shot with the precision
and steadiness they would have done in firing at a target. As a heavy
ball, in full sweep, touched the top of the works, it took one of the
coats, lying upon the logs, and lodged it in a tree. 'See that coat!
see that coat!' burst in a laugh on every side, as if it had been a
mere plaything that had whistled past their heads. Moultrie, after a
while, took out his pipe, and lighting it, leaned against the logs,
and smoked away with his officers, as if they were out there sunning
themselves, instead of standing within the blaze, and smoke, and
uproar of nearly two hundred cannon. Now and then he would take the
pipe from his mouth to shout '_fire!_' or give some order, and then
commence puffing and talking--thus presenting a strange mixture of the
droll and heroic. The hearts of the spectators in the distance, many
of whom had husbands and brothers in the fight, were far more agitated
than they against whom that fearful iron storm was hailing.

"After the fight had continued for several hours, Lee, seeing that the
'slaughter pen' held out so well, passed over to it in a boat, and
remained for a short time. Accustomed as he was to battle, and to the
disciplined valor of European troops, he still was struck with
astonishment at the scene that presented itself as he approached.
There stood Moultrie, quietly smoking his pipe, while the heavy and
rapid explosions kept up a deafening roar; and there, stooping over
their pieces, were those raw gunners firing with the deadly precision
of practised artillerists. Amazed to find an English fleet, carrying
two hundred and sixty guns, kept at bay by thirty cannon and four
hundred men, he left the fort to its brave commander, and returned to
his old station."[38]

Among the Americans, who were that day in the "slaughter-pen," and who
were dealing death and destruction without stint, was a Sergeant
Jasper, whose name has since been given to one of the counties in
Georgia, for this and other heroic deeds. In the warmest of the
contest, the flag-staff of the fort was shot away by a cannon-ball,
and fell to the outside of the ramparts on the beach. The spectators
at Charleston saw it fall, and supposing that the fort had yielded,
were filled with consternation and dismay. In the surrender of the
fort, they read the destiny of themselves and city. But what was their
joy to perceive that columns of smoke, from the fort, still continued
to roll up--the blaze and thunder of its cannon continued to be seen
and heard; and presently the folds of the flag again fluttered in the
breeze. Sergeant Jasper was the hero of the occasion. He had witnessed
the fall of the flag--and he saw it "stretched in dishonor on the
sand." It was a perilous attempt, but he did not hesitate. Leaping the
ramparts, he proceeded, amidst a shower of balls, the entire length of
the fort, and, picking up the flag, tied it to a post, and rëplaced it
on a parapet, and there, too, he himself supported it till another
flag-staff could be procured. Here, once more, it proudly waved--amid
the shouts and congratulations of the now still more courageous in the
fort, and to the joy of still more distant and equally anxious
spectators of the scene.

[Illustration: Sergeant Jasper replanting the Flag at Fort Moultrie.]

About this time, another circumstance sent a momentary panic through
the stern hearts of the defenders of the fort. The ammunition was
failing, and a large force, which had effected a landing, was in rapid
march to storm the works. Moultrie instantly dispatched Marion to a
sloop-of-war for a supply, and another message to Governor Rutledge at
Charleston. Both were successful--both in season. Said the governor,
in a note accompanying five hundred pounds of powder, "Do not make too
free with your cannon--_cool, and do mischief_."

With this fresh supply of ammunition, the fire, which had been
relaxed, was redoubled. The British were astounded. They had
congratulated themselves, upon the partial suspension of firing, that
the fort was about to yield. But the new fury of the firing, on the
part of the Americans, soon served to convince them of their error.
They also redoubled their efforts, and, for a time, the contest was
more terrible than ever. "Once," it is said, "the broadsides of four
vessels exploded together, and when the balls struck the fort, it
trembled in every timber and throughout its entire extent, and shook
as if about to fall in pieces."

The day was now wearing away, and still the contest was undecided. The
British, reluctant to relinquish an object which in the morning they
imagined so easily won, still continued the heavy cannonade; while the
Americans, gathering strength and courage by what they had already
accomplished, stood firm and undaunted. At length, the sun went down
behind the distant shore, and darkness threw its ample folds on every
object of nature. But now, through the darkness, flames shot forth and
thunders rolled, presenting a scene of solemn and indescribable
grandeur. The inhabitants of Charleston still lingered on their
watchtowers, gazing out through the gloom towards the spot where the
battle was still raging in its fiercest intensity.

But they were not destined to hope and pray in vain. At about half-past
nine, the fire from the English fleet suddenly ceased. They had fought
long--fought with all the ardor and enthusiasm of friends to their king
and his cause. But they had fought in vain. Victory decided for
Moultrie and his patriot band, and it only remained for the English to
withdraw, as well as they were able, their ships, which had been nearly
disabled, and their crews, which had been dreadfully reduced.

"The loss of the Americans, in this gallant action," says the writer
whom we have already quoted, "was slight, amounting to only thirty-six,
both killed and wounded, while that of the British, according to their
own accounts, was a hundred and sixty. Double the number would probably
be nearer the truth. The commander had his arm carried away. One is
surprised that so few of the garrison were killed, when it is remembered
that nearly ten thousand shots and shells were fired by the enemy that
day. The Acteon, during the action, went aground, and the next morning a
few shots were fired at her, when a party was sent to take possession of
her. The crew, however, setting fire to her, pushed off. When the
Americans got on board, they turned two or three of the guns on the
fugitives, but, finding the flames approaching the magazine, abandoned
the vessel. For a short time, she stood a noble spectacle, with her tall
masts wreathed in flame, and black hull crackling and blazing below. But
when the fire reached the powder, there suddenly shot up a huge column
of smoke, spreading like a tree at the top, under the pressure of the
atmosphere--and then the ill-fated vessel lifted heavily from the water,
and fell back in fragments, with an explosion that was heard for miles
around."

A few days following the battle, the fort was visited by Governor
Rutledge and many of the distinguished ladies and gentlemen of
Charleston. They came to see the old "slaughter-pen," which had so
nobly withstood the attack under such long-practiced and accomplished
officers as Parker, Clinton, and Cornwallis. Ample praises were
bestowed upon the "rough-and-ready" soldiers, while mutual
congratulations were exchanged with Moultrie and his brave associates
in command. Nor was the gallant Jasper forgotten. Taking from his
side his sword, Governor Rutledge buckled it on the daring soldier, as
a reward for his noble exploit. Following this, the accomplished Mrs.
Elliot presented a pair of elegant colors to the regiment under
Moultrie and Motte, with the following brief, but beautiful address:
"The gallant behavior in defence of liberty and your country, entitle
you to the highest honor; accept, then, two standards, as a reward
justly due to your regiment; and I make not the least doubt, under
Heaven's protection, you will stand by them as long as they can wave
in the air of liberty."

The colors thus presented to Colonel Moultrie were, at a subsequent
date, carried by him to _Savannah_, and were displayed during the
assault against that place. Two officers were killed, while attempting
to place them upon the enemy's parapet at the Spring-hill redoubt.
Just before the retreat, Jasper, while endeavoring to rëplace them
upon the works, received a mortal wound. When a retreat was ordered,
he recollected the honorable condition upon which the donor presented
them to his regiment, and among the last acts of his life, he
succeeded in bringing them off.

To Major Horry, who called to see him a little while before his death,
he said: "Major, I have got my furlough. That sword was presented to
me by Governor Rutledge, for my services in defence of Fort Moultrie;
give it to my father, and tell him I have worn it with honor. If he
should weep, tell him his son died in hope of a better life. Tell Mrs.
Elliot that I lost my life supporting the colors which she presented
to our regiment."

Such was the affair at Fort Moultrie--such the patriotic and
chivalrous conduct of men fighting for their altars, their homes,
their wives, their children. Was it strange that, in a good cause,
Heaven should smile on such high and heroic conduct? Was it strange
that a people, so intent on the enjoyment of their just rights, should
accomplish their object?

This repulse of the British, it may be added, was unexpected to them;
and the more so, as they well knew that no systematic measure of
defence had been adopted at the South. The contest had hitherto been
in a different quarter, and no intimations had transpired of a
contemplated change. In addition to this, the British were profoundly
ignorant of the true southern character. They had learned some lessons
in regard to the "Yankees;" and, especially, that if they were made of
"stuff," it was "stern stuff;" but they had yet to learn, that the
same kind of ore abounded south of the Potomac. The old
"slaughter-pen" on Sullivan's Island, _enlightened_ them, and
_impressed_ them as to the fact so fully, that the influence of the
lesson lasted for two years and a half--that being the respite of the
Southern states from the calamities of war, consequent upon the
repulse of the British at Fort Moultrie.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTE:

[38] Headley's Washington and his Generals.



               VII. MILITARY REVERSES--LOSS OF NEW YORK.


    BRITISH take possession of Staten Island--Strongly
        rëinforced--State of the American Army--Occupation of New York
        and Brooklyn--Battle of Brooklyn--Americans repulsed--Long
        Island abandoned--Remarkable retreat--Gloomy state of the
        American Army--Washington retreats to Harlem--Movements of the
        British--Washington retires to White Plains--Loss of Fort
        Washington--American Army pursued--Retreats successively to
        Brunswick, Princeton, and Trenton--Thence to the Pennsylvania
        side of the Delaware--British go into Winter-quarters between
        the Delaware and Hackensack--Capture of General Lee--Prevalent
        Spirit of Despondency.

From the commencement of hostilities to the evacuation of Boston by the
British, the cause of the Americans had appeared to be specially favored
by Heaven. In their several engagements, if they had not achieved
decided victories, the _effect_ of them was such as to inspire
confidence, to diffuse through the colonies an unabated ardor, and the
most lively anticipations of ultimate and not far-distant triumph. A
season of sad reverse, and consequent dejection, however, was appointed
for them, perhaps to teach them more entire dependence upon Divine
Providence, and to enhance the value of a final conquest, when it should
arrive, and which, though distant, was still in reserve for them.

On the retirement of the British fleet from Boston, Washington was
left to conjecture its destination. Apprehending, however, a hostile
attempt upon New York, he had, before their departure, detached a
considerable force for the protection of that important post. The main
army soon followed, and, on the 14th of April, entered the city.
Measures were immediately adopted to place it in a state of defence.

Contrary to the expectations of Washington, the British fleet, on
leaving the waters of Boston, directed its course to Halifax, at which
place rëinforcements from England were expected by Sir William Howe.
Disappointed, however, in this latter respect, and finding provisions
for his troops scarce, he resolved on sailing for New York.

On the 2d of July, he took possession of Staten Island. The
inhabitants of the island received the English general with great
demonstrations of joy. The soldiers being quartered about in the
villages, found, in abundance, the refreshments of which they were in
the greatest need. Here General Howe was visited by Governor Tryon,
who gave him precise information with respect to the state of the
province, as also with regard to the forces and preparations of the
enemy. Many inhabitants of New Jersey came to offer themselves to be
enrolled for the royal service; even those of Staten Island were
forward to enlist under the English standard; every thing announced
that the army had only to show itself in the provinces to be assured
of a prompt victory. Admiral Howe, after touching at Halifax, where he
found dispatches from his brother, who urged him to come and join him
at New York, made sail again immediately, and landed, without
accident, at Staten Island, the 12th of July. General Clinton arrived
about the same time, with the troops he rëconducted from the
unfortunate expedition against Charleston. Commodore Hotham also
appeared, with the rëinforcements under his escort; so that in a short
time the army amounted to about twenty-four thousand men--English,
Hessians, and Waldekers. Several regiments of Hessian infantry were
expected to arrive shortly, when the army would be carried to the
number of thirty-five thousand combatants, of the best troops of
Europe. America had never seen such a display of forces.[39]

The Americans, on their part, meanwhile, had made every effort in their
power to resist the danger to their cause, menaced by so formidable a
force. The militia of the neighboring provinces, and a few regular
regiments from Maryland, from Pennsylvania, and New England, had been
called in, by which several augmentations the American force had been
nominally raised to twenty-seven thousand. One-fourth part of these,
however, were disabled by sickness, and nearly an equal number were
destitute of arms, leaving but about fourteen thousand and five hundred
effective men. Among so heterogeneous a force, collected in a time of
danger and excitement, there existed little opportunity to introduce
order and discipline. To the discerning eye of Washington, grounds of
serious apprehension existed; but, nevertheless, with his usual calmness
and energy, he adopted every measure within his means to sustain his
position, and inspire his soldiers with hope and confidence. In his
energetic proclamations addressed to the army, he exhorted them "to
animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a
freeman, contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any
slavish mercenary on earth."

As Washington was necessarily ignorant by what route the British would
choose to approach the city, he was reluctantly compelled to divide
his forces. A part were stationed in the city, a part at Brooklyn,
Long Island, and detachments at various other assailable points.

Thus the armies, more numerous than had hitherto been collected, were
fairly arranged, and every succeeding day was bringing nearer a
contest which might decide the fate of the new republic.

At length, from various indications, the American general was
convinced that the first attack would be upon the forces at Brooklyn.
Accordingly, he rëinforced that point, by a detachment of six
regiments, and placed General Putnam in command.

"On the 22d of August, the British forces were landed on the opposite
side of Long Island. The two armies were now about four miles asunder,
and were separated by a range of hills, over which passed three main
roads. Various circumstances led General Putnam to suspect that the
enemy intended to approach him by the road leading to his right, which
he therefore guarded with most care.

"Very early in the morning of the 26th, his suspicions were
strengthened by the approach upon that road, of a column of British
troops, and upon the center road, of a column of Hessians. To oppose
these, the American troops were mostly drawn from the camp, and in the
engagements which took place, evinced considerable bravery.

"These movements of the enemy were but feints to divert the attention
of Putnam from the road which led to his left, along which General
Clinton was silently advancing with the main body of the British army.
The report of cannon in that direction, gave the first intimation of
the danger which was approaching. The Americans endeavored to escape
it, by returning with the utmost celerity to their camp. They were not
able to arrive there in time, but were intercepted by General Clinton,
who drove them back upon the Hessians.

"Attacked thus in front and rear, they fought a succession of
skirmishes, in the course of which many were killed, many were made
prisoners; and several parties, seeing favorable opportunities, forced
their way through the enemy, and regained the camp. A bold and
vigorous charge, made by the American general, Lord Sterling, at the
head of a Maryland regiment, enabled a large body to escape in this
manner. This regiment, fighting with desperate bravery, kept a force
greatly superior engaged, until their comrades had passed by, when the
few who survived, ceasing to resist, surrendered to the enemy.

"The loss of the Americans in killed, wounded, and taken prisoners,
considerably exceeded a thousand. Among the latter, were Generals
Sullivan, Sterling, and Woodhull. The total loss of the enemy was less
than four hundred."[40]

In the height of the engagement, Washington crossed over to Brooklyn,
and seeing some of his best troops slaughtered or taken, he uttered, it
is said, an exclamation of anguish. He could, if he saw fit, draw out of
their encampment all the troops, and send them to succor the corps that
were engaged with the enemy; he might also call over all the forces he
had in New York, and order them to take part in the battle. But all
these rëinforcements would by no means have sufficed to render his army
equal to that of the English. Victory having already declared in their
favor, the courage with which it inspired them, and the superiority of
their discipline, cut off all hope of being able to restore the battle.
If Washington had engaged all his troops in the action, it is probable
that the entire army would have been destroyed on this fatal day, and
America reduced to subjection. Great praise, therefore, is due to him
for not having allowed himself, in so grave circumstances, to be
transported into an inconsiderate resolution, and for having preserved
himself and his army for a happier future.

The English were so elated with victory, that eager to profit by their
advantages, they would fain have immediately assaulted the American
camp. But their general manifested more prudence; whether he believed
the intrenchments of the enemy stronger than they really were, or
whether he considered himself already sure of entering New York,
without encountering new perils, he repressed the ardor of his troops.
Afterwards, encamping, in front of the enemy's lines, in the night of
the 28th, he broke ground within six hundred paces of a bastion upon
the left. His intention was to approach by means of trenches, and to
wait till the fleet could cöoperate with the troops.

The situation of the Americans in their camp became extremely
critical. They had, in front, an enemy superior in number, and who
could attack them at any moment with a new advantage. Their
intrenchments were of little moment, and the English, pushing their
works with ardor, had every possibility of success in their favor.[41]

Added to these unfavorable circumstances, the arms and ammunition of
the soldiers had suffered from a powerful and long-continued rain.
Besides, they were worn out with fatigue, and discouraged by defeat.
Thus environed with difficulty and danger, a council of war decided
that to evacuate their position, and retire to New York, was the part
of wisdom and safety.

The accomplishment of this project, however, was a movement attended
with difficulty, but was effected with great skill and judgment, and
with complete success. The commencement of the retreat was appointed
for eight o'clock on the night of the 29th; but a strong north-east
wind and a rapid tide, caused a delay of several hours. In this
extremity, Heaven remarkably favored the fugitive army. A south-east
wind springing up at eleven, essentially facilitated its passage from
the island to the city; and a thick fog hanging over Long Island from
about two in the morning, concealed its movements from the enemy, who
were so near, that the sound of their pickaxes and shovels was heard.
In about half an hour after, the fog cleared away, and the enemy were
seen taking possession of the American lines. General Washington, as
far as possible, inspected every thing. From the commencement of the
action on the morning of the 27th, until the troops were safely across
the East river, he never closed his eyes, and was almost constantly on
horseback. His wisdom and vigilance, with the interposing favor of
Divine Providence, saved the army from destruction.[42]

The defeat experienced by the Americans at Brooklyn, spread a deep
gloom through the army; and excited, on that account, no little
anxiety in the bosom of Washington. It was the first serious loss
which they had sustained--the first reverse which essentially shook
their confidence and weakened their courage.

To Washington and his officers, the great defect in the American army
was apparent. It was twofold--first, the employment of by far too large
a proportion of militia, and secondly, the utter impracticability of
introducing among them that discipline and subordination which could
place them on equal footing with the practised and veteran troops of
the enemy. At length, convinced of the justness of the views of
Washington on these points, congress decided that a regular army should
be formed, in which the soldiers should be enlisted to serve during the
present war; and that it should consist of eighty-eight battalions, to
be raised in all the provinces, according to their respective abilities.
A bounty of twenty dollars, and a grant of land, were offered. At a
subsequent date, soldiers were allowed to enlist for three years; in
which case, however, they were not entitled to the grant of land. Had
congress, at an earlier day, taken this measure to furnish an adequate
army for Washington, both he and the country might have been saved great
anxiety, and a succession of mortifying defeats. And but for the
adoption of the above resolution, it is scarcely possible to predict
what would have been the ultimate fate of the new republic.

Fortunate would it have been for the Americans, had their ill-fortune
terminated in the defeat experienced on Long Island. To other and not
much less mortifying reverses they were destined, ere the deepest
point of depression should be reached.

It was the ardent wish of Washington to retain possession of New York;
but, finding, as he said, in a communication to congress, the militia
"dismayed and intractable," and "leaving the camp in some instances
almost by regiments, by half-ones, and by companies at a time;" he was
compelled to relinquish the place to his enemies, and to abandon,
which he still more regretted, all the heavy artillery, and a large
portion of the baggage, provisions, and military stores. On leaving
the city, the American army took post on Harlem heights.

Here Washington had time to ponder upon his situation, and form his
plan. His army had become seriously reduced, and from the despondency
and dismay which were visible among them, it might become at anytime
still more reduced. On the other hand, the forces of the enemy were
numerous, and withal consisted of regular and well-disciplined
troops. It was futile, therefore, to attempt to maintain offensive
operations against them. Far better in his judgment to risk no general
engagement; but by retiring gradually before them, to lead them as far
as possible from their resources; and in the mean while to inspire his
own troops with courage, by engaging them in skirmishes, where success
was probable. Having adopted this cautious system, he prepared to put
it in practice.

The British army did not long entertain its position on York Island.
The British frigates, having passed up the North river, under a fire
from Fort Washington and the post opposite to it on the Jersey shore,
General Howe embarked a great part of his army in flat-bottomed boats,
and passing through Hurl Gate into the sound, landed at Frog's neck.
The object of the British general was, either to force Washington out
of his present lines, or to inclose him in them. Aware of this design,
General Washington moved a part of his troops from York island to join
those at King's bridge, and detached some regiments to Westchester. A
council of war was now called, and the system of evacuation and
retreating was adopted, with the exception of Fort Washington, for the
defence of which nearly three thousand men were assigned. After a halt
of six days, the royal army advanced, not without considerable
opposition, along the coast of Long Island sound, by New Rochelle, to
White Plains, where the Americans took a strong position behind
intrenchments. This post was maintained for several days, till the
British, having received considerable rëinforcements, General
Washington withdrew to the heights of North Castle, about five miles
from White Plains, where, whether from the strength of his position,
or from the British general having other objects in view, no attempt
at attack was made.

Immediately on leaving White Plains, General Howe directed his
attention to Fort Washington and Fort Lee, as their possession would
secure the navigation of the Hudson, and facilitate the invasion of
New Jersey. On the 15th of November, General Howe, being in readiness
for the assault, summoned the garrison to surrender. Colonel Magaw the
commanding officer, in spirited language, replied, that he should
defend his works to extremity. On the succeeding morning, the British
made the assault in four separate divisions; and, after a brave and
obstinate resistance, surmounted the outworks, and again summoned the
garrison to surrender. His ammunition being nearly expended, and his
force incompetent to repel the numbers which were ready on every side
to assail him, Colonel Magaw surrendered himself and his garrison,
consisting of two thousand men, prisoners of war. The enemy lost in
the assault nearly eight hundred men, mostly Germans. The conquest of
Fort Washington made the evacuation of Fort Lee necessary. Orders
were, therefore, issued to remove the ammunition and stores in it;
but, before much progress had been made in this business, Lord
Cornwallis crossed the Hudson, with a number of battalions, with the
intention to inclose the garrison between the Hackensack and North
rivers. This movement made a precipitate retreat indispensable, which
was happily effected with little loss of men; but the greater part of
the artillery, stores, and baggage, was left for the enemy. The loss
at Fort Washington was heavy. The regiments captured in it were some
of the best troops in the army. The tents, camp-kettles, and stores,
lost at this place and at Fort Lee, could not, during the campaign, be
rëplaced, and for the want of them the men suffered extremely. This
loss was unnecessarily sustained, as those posts ought,
unquestionably, to have been evacuated before General Howe was in a
situation to invest them; and this event was the more to be deplored,
as the American force was daily diminished by the expiration of the
soldiers' term of enlistment, and by the desertion of the militia.

These successes encouraged the British to pursue the remaining American
force, with the prospect of annihilating it. General Washington, who had
taken post at Newark, on the south side of the Passaic, finding himself
unable to make any real opposition, withdrew from that place, as the
enemy crossed the Passaic, and retreated to Brunswick, on the Raritan;
and Lord Cornwallis, on the same day, entered Newark. The retreat was
still continued from Brunswick to Princeton; from Princeton to Trenton;
and from Trenton to the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware. The pursuit
was urged with so much rapidity, that the rear of one army was often
within shot of the van of the other.

The winter being now set in, the British army went into quarters,
between the Delaware and the Hackensack. Trenton, the most important
post and barrier, was occupied by a brigade of Hessians, under Colonel
Rawle. General Howe now issued a proclamation, in the name of his
brother and himself, in which pardon was offered to all persons who,
within the space of sixty days, should take the oath of allegiance,
and submit to the authority of the British government. The effects of
this proclamation were soon apparent. People from several quarters
availed themselves of it, and threw down their arms. No city or town,
indeed, in its corporate capacity, submitted to the British
government, but most of the families of fortune and influence
discovered an inclination to return to their allegiance. Many of the
yeomanry claimed the benefit of the commissioner's proclamation; and
the great body of them were too much taken up with the security of
their families and their property to make any exertion in the public
cause.[43] Another source of mortification to the Americans, was the
capture of General Lee, who had imprudently ventured to lodge at a
house three miles distant from his corps.[44]

"This was the most gloomy period of the revolutionary war. It was the
crisis of the struggle of the United States for independence. The
American army, reduced in numbers, depressed by defeat, and exhausted
by fatigue, naked, barefoot, and destitute of tents, and even of
utensils with which to dress their scanty provisions, was fleeing
before a triumphant enemy, well-appointed and abundantly supplied. A
general spirit of despondency through New Jersey was the consequence
of this disastrous state of public affairs. But, in this worst of
times, congress stood unmoved; their measures exhibited no symptoms of
confusion or dismay; the public danger only roused them to more
vigorous exertions, that they might give a firmer tone to the public
mind, and animate the citizens of the United America to a manly
defence of their independence. Beneath this cloud of adversity, too,
General Washington shone with a brighter lustre than in the day of his
highest prosperity. Not dismayed by all the difficulties which
encompassed him, he accommodated his measures to his situation, and
still made the good of his country the object of his unwearied
pursuit. He ever wore the countenance of composure and confidence, and
inspired, by his own example, his little band with firmness to
struggle with adverse fortune."[45]

FOOTNOTES:

[39] Botta.

[40] Hale's History of the United States.

[41] Botta.

[42] Holmes' Annals.

[43] Nor was it only in New Jersey, and in the midst of the victorious
royal troops, that these abrupt changes of party were observed; the
inhabitants of Pennsylvania flocked, in like manner, to humble
themselves at the feet of the English commissioners, and to promise them
fealty and obedience. Among others, were Mr. Gallaway and Mr. Allen,
both of whom had been members of the continental congress. Their example
became pernicious, and the most prejudicial effects were to be
apprehended from it. Every day ushered in some new calamity; the cause
of America seemed hastening to irrecoverable ruin. The most ardent no
longer dissembled that the term of the war was at hand, and that the
hour was come in which the colonies were about to resume the yoke.

[44] General Lee had been a British officer, and had engaged in the
American service before the acceptance of the resignation of his
commission. Sir William Howe, for this reason, pretended to view him
as a traitor, and at first refused to admit him on his parole, or to
consider him as a subject of exchange. Congress directed Washington to
propose to General Howe to give six Hessian officers in exchange for
him; but Howe still persisting in his refusal, Congress ordered that
Lieutenant-colonel Campbell and five Hessian officers should be
imprisoned, and treated as General Lee. This order was executed even
with more rigor than it prescribed. The lieutenant-colonel, being then
at Boston, was thrown into a dungeon destined for malefactors.
Washington blamed this excess; he knew that Lee was detained, but not
ill-treated. Lieutenant-colonel Campbell and the Hessians were not
liberated until General Howe had consented to consider Lee as a
prisoner of war.

[45] Hinton.



                      VIII. RETURNING PROSPERITY.

                   BATTLES OF TRENTON AND PRINCETON.


    RELIANCE of the patriots for success upon God--Public Fast
        recommended by Congress--Offensive Operations decided
        upon--Battle of Trenton--Washington victorious--Battle of
        Princeton--British repulsed--American Army at
        Morristown--British at Brunswick--Prospects brightening.

Irrespective of the special blessing of Heaven, the colonies of America
entered upon the revolutionary war with fearful chances against them.
That they well knew, and hence that blessing was more universally sought
than by any other people, in similar circumstances, since the founding
of empires. The cause was remembered by those who offered the incense of
prayer morning and evening on the family altar. Scarcely a Sabbath
occurred, on which the embassadors of God did not make public mention,
in their addresses to a Throne of grace, of the American cause; and
fervent supplications for Divine aid in supporting that cause, and,
carrying it to a prosperous issue, were to be heard in every church. Nor
were colonial assemblies--nor, after its organization, the continental
congress--backward in recognising the necessity of propitiating the
Divine favor. Not a single instance, it is believed, is on record, and
probably never occurred, in which a legislator in a provincial assembly
attached to the patriotic cause, or a member of congress, opposed the
adoption of any resolution which had for its object the humiliation of
the people in the season of national adversity, or the rendering of due
thanks to God in the day of prosperity. There were men concerned in
conducting the military operations of the Revolution, and in guiding the
counsels of the nation, who were far from being personally religious;
but such was the pervading influence of piety in the land, that they
would have manifested no open opposition, had they felt it; nor is it to
be credited, in the absence of positive evidence, that such feelings
ever existed.

The reverses sustained by the Americans, detailed in the preceding
pages, were most sensibly felt in every portion of the land.
Notwithstanding the knowledge of the superiority of the British, in
regard to numerical force, but much more in respect to munitions of
war, and the disciplined character of their soldiery, the Americans
had cherished the expectation of success. Their confidence at the
commencement of the struggle had been raised, and strengthened by the
issue of the affairs at Lexington, and Bunker's hill, and the
evacuation of Boston. Success thus early was positively essential to
success in the sequel. Had they early met with reverses, such as were
experienced from the discomfiture at Brooklyn to the battle of
Trenton, it is doubtful whether that resolution would not have failed,
and with the failure of that, the contest have been relinquished.

Those reverses, though painful and mortifying, were perhaps even
salutary. A firmer reliance upon Providence was felt to be needful,
and a holier tide of supplication ascended to the Arbiter of the fate
of nations.

The connexion between an acknowledgment of God in his providence, and
his blessing on the common cause, was recognised by no body with more
readiness than by the continental congress. Although in May, 1776, that
body had recommended a public fast, in view of the gloomy reverses which
had attended the American arms, on the 11th of December, in a
resolution, which for the tone of its piety cannot be too much admired,
and which might serve as a model to future ages, they recommended the
observance of a day of fasting and humiliation: "Whereas the war in
which the United States are engaged with Great Britain, has not only
been prolonged, but is likely to be carried to the greatest extremity;
and whereas it becomes all public bodies, as well as private persons, to
reverence the providence of God, and look up to him as the Supreme
Disposer of all events, and the Arbiter of the fate of nations;
therefore _Resolved_, that it be recommended to all the United States,
as soon as possible, to appoint a day of solemn fasting and
humiliation; to implore of Almighty God the forgiveness of the many sins
prevailing among all ranks, and to beg the countenance and assistance of
his providence in the prosecution of the present just and necessary war.
The congress do also, in the most solemn manner, recommend to all the
members of the United States, and particularly the officers, civil and
military, under them, the exercise of repentance and reformation; and,
further, require of them the strict observation of the articles of war,
and particularly that part of the said articles which forbids profane
swearing and all immorality, of which all such officers are desired to
take notice."[46]

We left Washington on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware--his army
greatly reduced by the return of numbers to their homes, and depressed
by a long and disheartening retreat before an exulting foe. Nor would
the Americans have now been permitted to pause in safety, had the
British commander succeeded in procuring the means necessary to make
the passage of the river. Finding his efforts for this purpose,
however, fruitless, he began his preparations for retiring into
winter-quarters. The main body of the army was therefore cantoned
between the Delaware and the Hackensack: about four thousand men
occupied positions between Trenton and Mount Holly, and strong
detachments lay at Princeton, Brunswick, and Elizabethtown. The object
of this dispersion over so wide an extent of country, was to
intimidate the people, and thus prevent the possibility of recruiting
for the continental service; while in the spring these forces could be
immediately concentrated, and it was then proposed to put an easy
conclusion to all rebellious contumacy.

The desperate condition of his country's fortunes now pressed with
saddening weight upon the mind of Washington, and he resolved, if
possible, to retrieve misfortune by some daring enterprise. To such an
enterprise he was the more inclined, since, with the exception of about
fifteen hundred effectives, his whole force would be entitled in a few
days to its discharge. Having formed his plan--an attack upon the
British posts on the Delaware--he proceeded to put it in execution.

[Illustration: Battle of Trenton.]

Early in the morning of the 26th of December, 1776, the main body of
the American army, twenty-four hundred strong, and headed by
Washington in person, crossed the river at M'Konkey's ferry, about
nine miles above Trenton. The night was tempestuous with rain and
sleet, and the river encumbered with quantities of floating ice, so
that the passage, although begun soon after midnight, was not fully
effected until three o'clock, and one hour more elapsed before the
march could be commenced. The Americans moved in two divisions along
the roads leading to the town, and their operations were so well
combined, and executed with such precision, that the two attacks on
the British outposts were made within three minutes of each other.
The pickets attempted resistance, but were almost immediately driven
in upon the main body, which was forming hurriedly in line. Colonel
Rawle, their commander, soon after fell, mortally wounded; the
confusion of the soldiery became irremediable; and, after a loss of
about twenty killed, one thousand men laid down their arms, and
surrendered their munitions and artillery. On the American side, the
loss in battle amounted to only two killed and four wounded; among the
latter, James Monroe, afterwards president of the United States.

The other parts of this brilliant enterprise were not, however, executed
with the same success. General Irvine had been instructed to cross at
Trenton ferry, and, by securing a bridge below the town, to cut off the
enemy's march along the Bordentown road. Notwithstanding all his
exertions, it was found that the ice had rendered the passage
impracticable; and five hundred fugitives from the disastrous field of
Trenton were thus enabled to escape by a speedy and well-timed retreat.
General Cadwallader was to have crossed at Drink's ferry, and carried
the post at Mount Holly; but the same impediment prevented this movement
also, and he was compelled to return with a part of his infantry which
had effected the passage. Deprived of this important and expected
cöoperation, Washington had, nevertheless, achieved a most critical and
important triumph; he returned to his former position, charged with the
spoils and trophies of his foes; and from that moment, though reverses
frequently dimmed the brilliancy of the prospect, hope never again
deserted the cause of American independence.

Having secured the Hessian prisoners on the Pennsylvania side of the
Delaware, Washington rëcrossed the river two days after the action, and
took possession of Trenton. Generals Mifflin and Cadwallader, who lay at
Bordentown and Crosswix with three thousand six hundred militia, were
ordered to march up in the night of the 1st of January, to join the
commander-in-chief, whose whole effective force, including this
accession, did not exceed five thousand men. The detachments of the
British army, which had been distributed over New Jersey, now assembled
at Princeton, and were joined by the army from Brunswick, under Lord
Cornwallis. From this position, the enemy advanced towards Trenton in
great force, on the morning of the 2d of January; and, after some slight
skirmishing with troops detached to harass and delay their march, the
van of their army reached Trenton about four in the afternoon. On their
approach, General Washington retired across the Assumpinck, a rivulet
that runs through the town; and by some field-pieces, posted on its
opposite banks, compelled them, after attempting to cross in several
places, to fall back out of the reach of his guns. The two armies,
kindling their fires, retained their positions on opposite sides of the
rivulet, and kept up a cannonade till night.

The situation of the American general at this moment was extremely
critical. Nothing but a stream, fordable in many places, separated his
army from an enemy, in every respect his superior. If he remained in
his present position, he was certain of being attacked the next
morning, at the hazard of the entire destruction of his little army.
If he should retreat over the Delaware, the ice in that river not
being firm enough to admit a passage upon it, there was danger of
great loss--perhaps of a total defeat: the Jerseys would be in full
possession of the enemy; the public mind would be depressed;
recruiting would be discouraged; and Philadelphia would be within the
reach of General Howe. In this extremity, he boldly determined to
abandon the Delaware; and, by a circuitous march along the left flank
of the enemy, fall into their rear at Princeton, which was known to be
occupied by three British regiments.[47]

About sunrise, at a short distance from the town, they encountered two
of these regiments, marching forward in order to cöoperate in the
expected battle, and a warm engagement immediately commenced. The
American general was well aware that the existence of his country hung
suspended in the scale of victory; and he exerted himself as one who
knew the importance of the object, and felt that success depended on
his efforts. Wherever the fire was hottest, or the press of battle
most fearful, Washington was sure to be found, guiding the thunders of
war, and animating all by his language and example. At length, the
British line was broken, and the two regiments separated. Colonel
Mawhood, with the division in the van, pushed rapidly forward for the
main army; while the fifty-fifth, cut off from this point of support,
fled in confusion across the fields to Brunswick. The Americans now
pressed the remaining regiment, which at first attempted a defence in
the college; but this was soon abandoned, and those who were not
captured, escaped only by precipitate flight. The British loss
amounted to one hundred killed and three hundred prisoners; the
conquerors had to lament the death of General Mercer, an experienced
officer, much respected by the commander-in-chief.

"The battles of Trenton and Princeton, though similar in their
outlines, were very different in point of conception and execution.
The attack upon Trenton was a blow struck against an enemy in
position, which admitted, therefore, of every advantage of preparation
on the part of the assailants. The battle of Princeton belonged to a
higher and more elaborate order of tactics. The American forces were
already engaged with a superior army, commanded by an officer of
eminent reputation; and the change of plan was wholly contrived and
executed with the enemy in front. It was entirely due to the prompt
genius, and fertile resources of Washington, that his army was
extricated from so perilous an exposure, and enabled to attack the
enemy's rear with such advantage, as to leave it no choice but
surrender or flight. A military critic, contemplating these
inspirations with a soldier's eye, can easily appreciate the feelings
of the great Frederick, when he sent a sword to the American
commander, 'as a gift from the world's oldest general to its _best_.'"

As a natural result of these unexpected manœuvres, the British
officers were thrown into a state of uncertainty, which gave to their
subsequent operations an unusual character of timidity. The distant
roll of the American artillery at Princeton, first announced to Lord
Cornwallis the danger of his rear, and the escape of his active
adversary. Alarmed for the safety of his magazines, the British
commander instantly broke up from the Assumpinck, and commenced a
forced march upon New Brunswick; moving with such celerity as nearly
to overtake the American rear at Princeton. On the other hand, Sir
William Howe drew in all his forces, by concentration in the
neighborhood of Amboy and Brunswick, and abandoned all hope of
preventing the recruiting service by overawing the whole extent of the
country. Washington, finding the surprise of the stores impossible,
moved northward into the highlands of Jersey, in order to afford some
relief to the fatigues of his troops; for long and severe exposure to
the inclemencies of the winter, without the usual protections, had
produced sickness, and even complaint. It was finally considered
necessary to abandon offensive operations, and to put the army under
cover at Morristown. Among other prudent precautions adopted, during
this temporary respite, the commander-in-chief caused the whole army
to be innoculated; an operation then very uncommon in America, but
which enabled him thereafter to defy a disease, which had proved more
fatal than the sword of the enemy.

The situation of American affairs--though far from brilliant--was much
improved by the late successes. The people of Jersey rose with fresh
spirit, and in a number of small skirmishes inflicted loss upon the
enemy, both in men and stores: new hope was made to animate the public
mind; while congress fanned the flame by judicious and well-timed
incitements to vigorous action. Washington was authorized to raise
sixteen regiments, and in further testimony of the public confidence,
he was invested for six months with almost dictatorial powers in the
conduct of the war. It was, however, found to be impossible to collect
a sufficient force for active operations upon any considerable scale
during the winter. All the hopes of the commander-in-chief were
therefore turned to the next campaign; and in the mean time an active
warfare was carried on with small posts and foraging parties, which
greatly annoyed the British army; while the frequent reports of fresh
successes excited the spirit of the American people. The most earnest
applications were made to the several states, for rëinforcements
enlisted upon longer terms; for, as Washington strongly observed, "to
the short engagements of our troops may be fairly and justly ascribed
almost every misfortune that we have experienced." These
representations produced at last their due impression; and the hope
was abandoned of defending the country by hasty assemblages of
militia, and of carrying on a protracted warfare upon the impulse and
mere foundation of disinterested patriotism.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTES:

[46] Journals of Congress.

[47] Holmes' Annals.



                    IX. OCCUPATION OF PHILADELPHIA.


    POSITION of the Armies--British remove to New York--Sail for the
        Chesapeake--Advance towards Philadelphia--American Army also
        move towards the same place--Meet at
        Brandywine--Battle--Americans repulsed--British enter
        Philadelphia--Congress retire to Lancaster--Battle of
        Germantown--Americans retreat--Ineffectual attempts to force
        the British to evacuate Philadelphia.

During the winter of 1776-7, the American army encamped, as already
noticed, at Morristown. The royal army occupied Brunswick. Towards the
close of May, the former, which had been augmented by recruits to
almost ten thousand men, removed from Morristown to a fortified
position at Middlebrook. The British soon after left their encampment,
General Howe endeavoring, by various movements, to induce Washington
to quit his stronghold and meet him on equal ground. But the latter,
too prudent and sagacious to risk an engagement with a force so
decidedly superior, determined to remain in his present secure
position, until the designs of the British were more fully developed.

At length, the British commander, wearied with an unprofitable contest
with an enemy which had the decided advantage as to position, and
satisfied that his adversary would, on no consideration, hazard a
general engagement, resolved to abandon New Jersey, and direct his
attention to the occupation of Philadelphia.

In pursuance of this plan, the British forces fell back upon Amboy,
and soon after passed over to Staten Island. Leaving Sir Henry Clinton
in command at New York, General Howe, on the 26th of July, put out to
sea with sixteen thousand troops. His destination was carefully
concealed. Unfavorable winds delayed his voyage beyond his wishes;
but, on the 20th of August, he entered Chesapeake bay, and thus
rendered it certain that an attack upon Philadelphia was intended. On
the 25th, the troops were landed at Elk ferry, in Maryland, fifty
miles south of the city.

Washington, penetrating the designs of his adversary, and yielding to
the wishes of a great portion of the people in that section of the
country, that a general engagement should be hazarded for the defence
of Philadelphia, moved with his army across the Delaware, and
hastening his march, passed through and took a position on the eastern
bank of Brandywine creek, with the hope of giving a check to the
advancing foe. The force of Washington, including irregulars, was now
about eleven thousand men.

Meanwhile, the British army was advancing towards Philadelphia. "At
day-break, on the morning of the 11th, (Washington having crossed the
Brandywine, and taken position on a height behind that river,) it was
ascertained, that Sir William Howe in person had crossed the
Brandywine at the forks, and was rapidly marching down the north side
of the river to attack the American army. The commander-in-chief now
ordered General Sullivan to form the right wing to oppose the column
of Sir William. General Wayne was directed to remain at Chadd's ford
with the left wing, to dispute the passage of the river with
Knyphausen. General Green, with his division, was posted as a reserve
in the center, between Sullivan and Wayne, to rëinforce either, as
circumstances might require. General Sullivan marched up the river,
until he found favorable ground on which to form his men; his left was
near the Brandywine, and both flanks were covered with thick wood. At
half-past four o'clock, when his line was scarcely formed, the
British, under Lord Cornwallis, commenced a spirited attack. The
action was for some time severe; but the American right, which was not
properly in order when the assault began, at length gave way, and
exposed the flank of the troops, that maintained their ground, to a
destructive fire, and, continuing to break from the right, the whole
line finally gave way. As soon as the firing began, General
Washington, with General Greene's division, hastened towards the
scene of action, but, before his arrival, Sullivan was routed, and the
commander-in-chief could only check the pursuit of the enemy, and
cover the retreat of the beaten troops. During these transactions,
General Knyphausen assaulted the works erected for the defence of
Chadd's ford, and soon carried them. General Wayne, by this time
learning the fate of the other divisions, drew off his troops. General
Washington retreated with his whole force that night to Chester. The
American loss in this battle was about three hundred killed and six
hundred wounded. Four hundred were made prisoners, but these chiefly
of the wounded." Among the latter were two general officers; the
Marquis de la Fayette and General Woodford. Count Pulaski, a Polish
nobleman, fought also with the Americans in this battle.

[Illustration: General Wayne.]

"Perceiving that the enemy were moving into the Lancaster road towards
the city, General Washington took possession of ground near the Warren
tavern, on the left of the British, and twenty-three miles from
Philadelphia. The protection of his stores at Reading was one object
of this movement. The next morning, he was informed of the approach of
the British army. He immediately put his troops in motion to engage
the enemy. The advance of the two hostile armies met, and began to
skirmish, when a violent storm came on, which prevented a general
engagement, and rendered the retreat of the Americans absolutely
necessary. The inferiority of the muskets in the hands of the American
soldiery, which had been verified in every action, was strikingly
illustrated in this retreat. The gun-locks being badly made, and the
cartridge-boxes imperfectly constructed, this storm rendered most of
the arms unfit for use, and all the ammunition was damaged. The army
was, in consequence, extremely exposed, and their danger became the
greater, as many of the soldiers were destitute of bayonets.
Fortunately the tempest, which produced such serious mischief to the
Americans, prevented the pursuit of the British. Washington still
continued to make every effort to save the capitol; but Sir William
Howe, having secured the command of the Schuylkill, on the 23d of
September, crossed it with his whole army; on the 26th, he advanced to
Germantown, and, on the succeeding day, Lord Cornwallis, at the head
of a strong detachment, entered Philadelphia in triumph." Congress
removed from the city, and immediately rëassembled at Lancaster.
Fortunately, through the precautions of Washington, the military
stores and deposits at Philadelphia, had been removed up the Delaware,
and were thus prevented from falling into the hands of the enemy.

[Illustration: Marquis de la Fayette.]

Passing over some unimportant events, we arrive at the 4th of October,
on the morning of which day, the American army made a spirited attack
upon a strong body of British forces encamped at Germantown, a village
of a single street, beginning about five miles from Philadelphia, and
extending along the road about two miles more. Lord Cornwallis
occupied the city with another division, and a numerous detachment had
marched to Chester, as an escort for a convoy of provisions. A fair
opportunity for assailing the enemy in detail was thus offered to the
enterprise of the American commander, and he was not slow in
perceiving its advantages. He accordingly chose, for his point of
assault, the advanced camp at Germantown, and made masterly
arrangements for surrounding and destroying that exposed division of
the enemy, before rëinforcements could arrive from Philadelphia.

Never was an attack more auspiciously begun, or the prospect of a
decisive victory, for a time, more flattering. But the British army,
at length, recovering from its first surprise, rallied the fugitives,
and prepared vigorously to assume the offensive. The fortunes of the
day, in consequence, changed, and Washington became convinced of the
necessity of withdrawing his troops from the contest. The disputed
town was therefore evacuated by the Americans. According to the
official returns of the English general, his loss in the battle of
Germantown scarcely exceeded five hundred men. On the side of the
Americans, two hundred were killed, more than five hundred wounded,
and four hundred made prisoners. Congress passed a resolution highly
commending the plan of the battle, and thanking the commander and the
army for their courage and conduct.

The main object of the American commander was now to compel the
evacuation of Philadelphia, by cutting off the supplies of the British
army. The fleet was effectually prevented from cöoperation by the
obstructions fixed in the channel of the Delaware, and by two small
forts--one called Fort Mifflin, on Mud Island, near the confluence of
the Delaware and Schuylkill, and the other at Red Bank, on the
opposite Jersey shore. Strong parties of militia scoured the whole
country in the neighborhood of the city, for the purpose of enforcing
the resolution of congress, which subjected to martial law all persons
supplying provisions to the enemy.

Sir William Howe soon felt the increasing difficulties of his
situation, and began to prepare his plans for their forcible removal.
Works were erected against Fort Mifflin, which produced severe
conflicts with Colonel Samuel Smith, who commanded the station. Lord
Howe came up the river, with his ships of war and transports, and
anchored from New Castle to Reedy Island; some frigates being
detached, in advance, to remove the _chevaux de frise_ that encumbered
the channel. Considerable difficulties were encountered in effecting
this object, so that the obstructions below Mud Island were not
cleared until the middle of October, while those, covered by the
American guns, were yet untouched. The capture of the forts was,
therefore, the next object, and it was accordingly attempted by a
combined attack on land and water.

The importance to the British of effecting the reduction of these
forts, brought into requisition every possible means. On the other
hand, the most determined resistance was made for their defence; but,
at length, the Americans were obliged to yield them up to superior
force; in consequence of which, Sir William Howe was fully secured in
his conquest of Philadelphia, and in the possession of an
uninterrupted communication between his army and fleet.

The occupation of Philadelphia by the British, was to them an important
movement. Washington deeply regretted the success of the enterprise by
which it fell into their hands; but he had no occasion to reproach
himself in view of the event. He had taken every precaution, and made
every effort to prevent the loss of so important a place. But the
benefits anticipated by the British, were scarcely realized. The
prospects of the Americans were, after all, growing brighter, and events
were hastening on, which were to make those prospects brighter still.

[Illustration]



                       X. SURRENDER OF BURGOYNE.


    BRITISH project for securing the command of the Hudson, between
        New York and Albany--Intrusted to Generals Howe and
        Burgoyne--The latter leaves Canada with a strong
        Force--Invests and takes Crown Point and Ticonderoga--Affair
        of Skenesborough--Fort Edward abandoned--Retreat of Americans
        to Stillwater--Battle of Bennington--General Gates supersedes
        General Schuyler--Critical condition of Burgoyne--Burgoyne
        advances upon Saratoga--Battle of Saratoga--Battle of
        Stillwater--Burgoyne retreats--Pursued by the
        Americans--Capitulates--Public rejoicings.

Events of deep interest transpiring in the north, must divert our
attention for a time, from the military operations of the middle states.

At an earlier day, a scheme had been formed by the British ministers,
of opening a way to New York, by means of their army, which should
descend from the lakes to the banks of the Hudson, and unite in the
vicinity of Albany with the whole, or a part of that commanded by
General Howe, from the south. By means of such a manœuvre, the eastern
and western provinces would be separated from each other; and thus,
being prevented from furnishing mutual succor, would become an easy
prey to the royal forces.

Obstacles had prevented the execution of this plan in the latter part
of 1776, as originally intended, but now (the early part of 1777) it
was designed to be prosecuted with a vigor and resolution
corresponding to its importance.

To General Burgoyne, an officer distinguished for his ability, and
possessed of a competent knowledge of the country, and, moreover,
animated with an ardent thirst for military glory, the expedition from
the north was confided; while General Howe was expected to lead up the
royal forces from the south.

General Burgoyne arrived at Quebec in the beginning of May; and being
seconded by General Carleton, immediately prepared himself to push
forward the business of his mission. The regular force of General
Burgoyne consisted of upwards of seven thousand British and German
troops, exclusive of a corps of artillery of five hundred. Seven
hundred rangers, under Colonel St. Leger, were added, designed to make
an incursion into the country of the Mohawks, and to seize Fort
Stanwix, otherwise called Fort Schuyler. It was expected, also, that
two thousand Canadians, including hatchmen and other workmen, would
join the army. And, finally, one thousand Indians were induced to
unite in the expedition. A train of artillery seldom equalled, either
in numbers, or in the skill of those who managed it, also accompanied
the army. Able and experienced officers had been selected to direct
its movements. The principal were, Major-general Philips, of the
artillery, who had distinguished himself in the wars of Germany; the
Brigadier-generals Frazer, Powel, and Hamilton, with the Brunswick
Major-general Baron Reidesel, and Brigadier-general Specht. The whole
army shared in the ardor and hopes of its chiefs; not a doubt was
entertained of an approaching triumph, and the conquest of America.

Thus prepared, General Burgoyne proceeded to encamp near the little
river Bouquet, upon the west bank of Lake Champlain, at no great
distance to the north of Crown Point. Here having addressed his army
in a speech calculated to excite their highest ardor, and issued a
proclamation warning the Americans against any attempt to resist his
progress, upon pain of savage fury, devastation, famine, and kindred
calamities--he moved upon Crown Point, whence soon after he proceeded
with all his force to invest Ticonderoga.

This fortress at the time was under command of General St. Clair.
Believing his garrison, only three thousand men, one-third of which
were militia, inadequate to resist the attack of so formidable a force
as was making its approach, he ordered its evacuation and the retreat
of his army, having first burned or destroyed every thing which might
prove important to the invading foe.

The night of the 5th of July was appointed for the evacuation. The
British army was near, and peculiar caution was to be observed, in
order to effect their retreat in safety. General St. Clair led the
van-guard, and Colonel Francis the rear. The soldiers had received
orders to proceed with silence. St. Clair drew out the van-guard at
two in the morning; Francis with the rear left at four. The baggage,
furniture, military stores, and provisions, had been embarked on board
of two hundred batteaux, and five armed gallies. The general
rendezvous was appointed at Skenesborough; the batteaux proceeding up
Wood creek, and the main army taking its route by way of Castleton.

Under the animating prospect of affecting their retreat in safety, the
army and batteaux were proceeding on their respective routes, when
suddenly flames burst forth from a house which had taken fire on Mount
Independence, and discovered by their glare, to the surprise of the
royalists, the retreating patriots.

Immediate orders were issued to the English to pursue. General Frazer,
at the head of a strong detachment of grenadiers and light troops,
proceeded by land along the right bank of Wood creek. General Reidesel
rapidly followed with his Germans, to aid him if required. General
Burgoyne embarked on board of several vessels, and gave chase by water.

"By three in the afternoon, the van of the British squadron, composed
of gun-boats, came up with, and attacked the American gallies, near
Skenesborough falls. In the mean time, three regiments which had been
landed at South bay, ascended and passed a mountain with great
expedition, in order to turn the enemy above Wood creek, to destroy
his works at the falls of Skenesborough, and thus to cut off his
retreat to Fort Anne. But the Americans eluded this stroke by the
rapidity of their flight. The British frigates having joined the van,
the gallies, already hard pressed by the gun-boats, were completely
overpowered. Two of them surrendered, three were blown up. The
Americans now despaired; having set fire to their works, mills, and
batteaux, and otherwise destroyed what they were unable to burn, they
escaped as well as they could up Wood creek, without halting till they
reached Fort Anne. Their loss was considerable; for the batteaux they
burned were loaded with baggage, provisions, and munitions, as
necessary to their sustenance as to military operations. The corps
which had set out by land was in no better situation. The van-guard,
conducted by St. Clair, had arrived at Castleton, thirty miles distant
from Ticonderoga, and twelve from Skenesborough; the rear, commanded
by Colonels Francis and Warner, had rested the night of the 6th, at
Hubbardston, six miles below Castleton, towards Ticonderoga.

[Illustration: Destruction of Gallies.]

"At five o'clock in the morning of the 7th, the English column, under
General Frazer, made its appearance. The Americans were strongly posted,
and appeared disposed to defend themselves. Frazer, though inferior in
point of numbers, had great confidence in the valor of his troops. He
also expected every moment to be joined by General Reidesel; and being
apprehensive that the enemy might escape if he delayed, he ordered the
attack immediately. The battle was long and sanguinary. The Americans,
being commanded by valiant officers, behaved with great spirit and
firmness; but the English displayed an equal obstinacy. After several
shocks, with alternate success, the latter began to fall back in
disorder; but their leaders rallied them anew, and led them to a furious
charge with the bayonet; the Americans were shaken by its impetuosity.
At this critical moment, General Reidesel arrived at the head of his
column, composed of light troops and some grenadiers. He immediately
took part in the action. The Americans, overpowered by numbers, fled on
all sides, leaving their brave commander, with many other officers, and
upwards of two hundred soldiers, dead on the field. About the same
number, besides Colonel Hale, and seventeen officers of inferior rank,
were made prisoners. Above six hundred were supposed to be wounded; many
of whom, deprived of all succor, perished miserably in the woods. The
loss of the royal troops, in dead and wounded, amounted to about one
hundred and eighty."[48]

Upon receiving intelligence of the foregoing disasters, St. Clair
proceeded by a circuitous route to Fort Edward, in order to strengthen
General Schuyler, in anticipation of an attack upon that fortress.
With the accessions thus made, the troops at Fort Edward amounted to
but little more than four thousand, including the militia. The losses
of the Americans had been great, and were severely felt. No less than
one hundred and twenty-eight pieces of artillery, besides a great
quantity of warlike stores--baggage, provisions, particularly
flour--had either fallen into the hands of the enemy, or had been
destroyed. Added to these losses, a general panic had seized upon the
inhabitants, especially on account of the Indians attached to the
British army, and against whose merciless and savage spirit there was
felt to be no security.

While General Burgoyne was detained at Skenesborough, General
Schuyler was actively engaged in increasing his means of defence.
Trenches were opened, and the roads leading to the fort were in every
possible way obstructed. The militia from various quarters were
summoned to the American standard, and artillery and warlike stores
were forwarded from various points.

At length, General Burgoyne moved towards Fort Edward; but such were
the obstacles which impeded his movements, that he did not reach the
banks of the Hudson, near Fort Edward, till the 30th of July.

In the mean while, under a conviction that, after all the efforts made
to render that fort defensible, it could not be maintained against so
formidable a force as was approaching, General Schuyler abandoned it,
and returned lower down to Stillwater, where intrenchments were thrown
up.

Unexpectedly, General Burgoyne now found himself nearly destitute of
provisions, and from the 30th of July to the 15th of August, the time
was spent in procuring the means of supporting the army, which were
obliged to be brought from Ticonderoga, at the expense of vast toil
and labor. This, it was afterwards alleged, was the great mistake of
General Burgoyne, that he suffered himself, after the occupation of
Skenesborough, and the discomfiture of the enemy's army, to have
attempted the reduction of Fort Edward. Had he then made his way
directly to Albany, he might have secured the possession of that
important place to himself, before the Americans could have rallied.

While thus posted at Fort Edward, General Burgoyne received intelligence
that large stores of live cattle, corn, and other necessaries belonging
to the Americans, had been deposited at Bennington, a village situated
about twenty miles from the Hudson, in Vermont. Impelled by necessity,
as well as desirous of adding to his military fame, he resolved to
attempt their seizure, the accomplishment of which plan, he entrusted to
Colonel Baum, a German officer of great bravery, and well versed in this
sort of partisan war.

[Illustration: BURGOYNE'S ADVANCE.]

Accordingly, with a force of five hundred men and two light
field-pieces, Baum set forth, in proud anticipation of success. The
roads, however, were so heavy, that the detachment was fatally retarded.
The intelligence of their approach preceded them in time to allow
Colonel Stark--a brave, active man, who was in command at Bennington,
with a corps of New Hampshire militia--to assemble a considerable
rëinforcement of Green-mountain Boys from the neighboring towns. Before
Baum made his appearance, the number of Americans had swelled to about
two thousand. On learning the numbers of the enemy, Baum dispatched an
express to Colonel Breyman, who had been detached to support him if
necessary, to urge his march. In the mean while, Baum took post on the
banks of the Walloon creek, to await the arrival of his auxiliaries.

Stark, however, was not disposed to accommodate his foe by any such
delay; but, taking up his line of march, on the morning of the 6th of
August, advanced towards the place of Baum's encampment. Dividing his
forces into several corps, he gave orders to attack the British on all
sides at once. On their approach, Baum strangely mistaking them for
loyalists coming to his aid, held still. Judge his surprise when they
poured in from all sides a deadly fire upon him! Rallying his men in
the best possible manner, for a time he made a brave resistance; but
before the impetuous charge of the Americans, the English were obliged
to yield.

The fortune of the day had already been decided, when Colonel Breyman
appeared. He was, in fact, perfectly ignorant of the engagement, and
the fate of his pioneers. What was his consternation, on reaching the
intrenchments of Baum, to find, instead of friends ready to receive
him, the place in possession of an enemy ready to give him battle!
Perceiving his mistake, his troops, though greatly fatigued, were
ordered to the combat; and bravely for a time they fought, and not
without some prospect of success, a part of the Americans being
employed in pillaging. But the momentary advantage which he seemed to
have gained was soon lost; and, leaving all their baggage and one
thousand muskets in the hands of the conquerors, they made a rapid
retreat. The loss of the British in the two engagements, was about two
hundred killed, and five hundred wounded and prisoners. The loss of
the Americans did not much exceed one hundred.

The exploit of Bennington redounded not only to the credit of General
Stark and his brave troops, but to the good of the country at large.
It roused the drooping spirits of the Americans, it inspired the
troops with confidence, and presented an earnest of still nobler
conquests. In consequence of this defeat, the situation of General
Burgoyne was still more perplexing. The hope of supplying his army
with provisions from the stores of Bennington, was annihilated, and to
other quarters he must look for supplies, without a considerable stock
of which, it would be presumption to attempt offensive operations.

While these events were transpiring, congress appointed General Gates
to take command of the Northern army, in place of General Schuyler.
The latter was a soldier of great bravery, but was not universally
acceptable to the troops, especially to those from Massachusetts and
other provinces of New England. The former enjoyed a high military
reputation, and his appointment was hailed by the army with joy. Gates
made his appearance at Stillwater on the 21st of August, and took the
command.

"Meanwhile," says Botta, "General Burgoyne continued in his camp, on
the left bank of the Hudson, where he used the most unremitting
industry and perseverance in bringing stores and provisions forward
from Fort George. Having at length, by strenuous efforts, obtained
about thirty days' provisions, he took a resolution of passing the
river with his army, in order to engage the enemy, and force a passage
to Albany. As a swell of water, occasioned by great rains, had carried
away his bridge of rafts, he threw another, of boats, over the river
at the same place. Towards the middle of September, he crossed with
his army to the right bank of the Hudson, and encamped on the heights
and in the plain of Saratoga, Gates being then in the neighborhood of
Stillwater, about three miles below. The two armies of course faced
each other, and a battle was expected soon to follow."

On the morning of the 19th, it was reported by Colonel Colburn, who
was watching the enemy, that they were beginning to ascend the hill
towards the American left. General Gates sent Colonel Morgan to oppose
them, and the firing began about noon. The action extended, and, in
three hours, was general, and continued without interruption till
dark. The American troops engaged amounted to three thousand; the
British to three thousand five hundred.

"For four hours," says General Wilkinson, "the battle fluctuated, like
the waves of a stormy sea, with alternate advantage, without one
moment's intermission. It was truly a gallant conflict, in which
death, by its familiarity, lost its terrors, and certainly a drawn
battle, as night alone terminated it." The British army kept
possession of the field; but they had nothing of which to boast. Their
loss was more than five hundred men, and, among others, Captain Jones,
of the artillery, an officer of great merit; the loss of the
Americans, in killed and wounded, was from three to four hundred;
among the former, were Colonels Adams and Colburn.

From September 19th to October 7th, was devoted, by the English, to
strengthening their fortifications. The army of Gates, in the mean
while, was continually increasing, and, on a single occasion, was
added to by the arrival of General Lincoln with two thousand men, well
trained and disciplined, from the New England provinces. Attacks on
the British pickets took place almost every night.

For some time, General Burgoyne had been daily and ardently waiting
for news from General Howe, as to the cöoperation he intended. On the
20th of September, he received a letter from that general, informing
him that, about the 20th of the month, he should attempt the
reduction of Fort Montgomery, situated on the right bank of the
Hudson, and near the Highlands.

The situation of Burgoyne was now becoming so critical, that he
immediately despatched an express to General Howe, entreating him to
hasten his attack on the fort, if there was any prospect of delay, as he
was provided with necessaries for his army only to the 12th of October,
at which time he would be obliged to move from his present position.

Near the 1st of October, General Burgoyne found it necessary to lessen
the rations of his soldiers--a measure to which they cheerfully
submitted. The 7th arrived, and no further tidings had reached him of
the movements of General Howe.

In this situation, General Burgoyne resolved, as the last resort, to
make a bold and, if possible, a decisive attack.

The battle occurred on the 7th, and a most severe and sanguinary contest
it proved; we have space only for the results. The loss of the British,
in killed, wounded, and prisoners, was about six hundred; that of the
Americans, three hundred and nineteen. Of the British, Brigadier-general
Frazer, a gallant officer, was mortally wounded, and Colonel Breyman
killed. General Arnold, of the Americans, was badly wounded, in the same
leg which had already been shattered under the walls of Quebec.

Many pieces of artillery, all the baggage of the Germans, and many
warlike stores, fell into the hands of the republicans, who needed them
greatly. They were impatient for the return of day, to renew the battle.
But deplorable and perilous, beyond expression, was the situation of the
British troops; they bore it, however, with admirable temper and
firmness. It was evidently impossible to continue in their present
position, without submitting to a certainty of destruction on the
ensuing day. The Americans, invigorated and encouraged, would take
advantage of the access they had already opened to themselves on the
right, and of other untenable points, to carry every part of the camp,
and completely surround the British army. Burgoyne, therefore,
determined to operate a total change of ground. He executed this
movement with admirable order, and without any loss. The artillery, the
camp, and its appurtenances, were all removed, before morning, to the
heights above the hospital. The British army, in this position, had the
river in its rear, and its two wings displayed along the hills, upon the
right bank. The English expected to be attacked the following day. But
Gates would not expose to the risk of another battle, that victory of
which he was already certain. He intended that time, famine, and
necessity, should complete the work which his arms had so fortunately
commenced. There were frequent skirmishes, however, occurring in the
course of the day, but of little importance. Towards night, the
obsequies of General Frazer were celebrated in the British camp; a
ceremony mournful of itself, and rendered even terrible by the sense of
recent losses, of future dangers, and of regret for the deceased. The
darkness and silence of the night aided the effect of the blaze and roar
of the American artillery; while, at every moment, the balls spattered
the earth upon the face of the officiating chaplain.[49]

[Illustration: BURGOYNE'S RETREAT]

The situation of General Burgoyne, after the battle, was gloomy and
critical in the extreme. The fortunes of war were obviously against
him, and no safe alternative presented itself but in retreat. Orders
were accordingly issued for the army to return to Saratoga, six miles
up the river. "The retreat began at nine o'clock; but such was the
badness of the roads, rendered still more difficult by a heavy rain,
which fell that night, and such was the weakness of the teams, for
want of forage, that the English did not reach Saratoga till the
evening of the ensuing day; the soldiers were harassed with fatigue
and hunger. The hospital, with three hundred sick and wounded, and a
great number of wheel-carriages, were abandoned to the enemy. The
English, as they retired, burned the houses, and destroyed whatever
they could use no longer."

From the moment that General Gates learned the movements of the enemy,
his plan was formed--to follow up his success by a vigorous pursuit,
pushing the contest until they should surrender their arms as a
conquered foe.

Accordingly, putting his army in motion, as early as was practicable,
he followed. The only hope which now inspired Burgoyne was, that he
might effect a passage to Fort Edward, and in that fastness sustain
himself till succor could arrive from the south. But when the
intelligence arrived, as it did at the moment of his deepest
perplexity, that that fortress was in possession of the Americans, he
saw he must relinquish all hope of saving himself by his own efforts.

The condition of the British army was indeed deplorable. "The troops,
worn down by a series of hard toil, incessant effort, and stubborn
action, abandoned by Indians and Canadians, the whole army reduced by
repeated and heavy losses of many of their best men and most
distinguished officers, from ten thousand combatants to less than five
thousand fighting men, of whom little more than three thousand were
English. In these circumstances, and in this state of weakness,
without a possibility of retreat, they were invested by an army of
four times their own number, whose position extended three parts in
four of a circle round them--who refused to fight from a knowledge of
their own condition--and who, from the nature of the ground, could not
be attacked in any part. In this helpless situation, obliged to be
constantly on their arms, while a continued cannonade pervaded all the
camp, and even rifle and grape-shot fell in every part of their lines,
the troops of Burgoyne retained their ordinary constancy, and, while
sinking under a hard necessity, they showed themselves worthy of a
better fate. Nor could they be reproached with any action or word,
which betrayed a want of temper or fortitude.

"At length, no succor appearing, and no rational ground of hope of any
kind remaining, an exact account of the provisions was taken on the
morning of the thirteenth, when it was found that the whole stock
would afford no more than three days' bare subsistence for the army.
In such a state, it was alike impossible to advance or to remain as
they were; and the longer they delayed to take a definite resolution,
the more desperate became their situation. Burgoyne, therefore,
immediately called a council of war, at which not only the generals
and field-officers, but all the captains of companies were invited to
assist. While they deliberated, the bullets of the Americans whistled
around them, and frequently pierced even the tent, where the council
was convened. It was determined, unanimously, to open a treaty, and
enter into a convention with the American general."

On the night of the 15th, the articles of capitulation were settled.
The morning of the 17th was appointed as the time on which they were
to be signed.

That night (15th) intelligence, by a special messenger, reached the
English camp, that General Clinton had reduced Fort Montgomery, and was
then rapidly marching to their relief. This added to the suffering of
the conquered Burgoyne. Forthwith, he summoned a council of war, and to
his discredit--the only apology for which is to be found in the deep
mortification felt by a proud and ambitious soldier to
surrender--proposed to retreat, and once more try the fortunes of
combat, in the hope that Clinton might arrive in season to their relief.
But his officers, with stricter notions of propriety, were of the
opinion that, as their faith had been pledged, the honor of the English
character required a fulfillment of the articles of capitulation.

Meanwhile, Gates, apprised of the nature of the intelligence
received, calmly waited for the arrival of the 17th, on the morning of
which he proceeded to form his troops in the order of battle; which
done, he dispatched a messenger to General Burgoyne, to inform him
that the appointed hour had arrived, and he must either sign the
articles, or prepare himself for battle.

Deeply as the latter regretted submission, he was fully sensible that
circumstances demanded it, and therefore proceeded to sign the
articles, which, in substance, were as follows:

"That the army should march out of the camp with all the honors of war
and its camp artillery, to a fixed place, where they were to deposit
their arms and leave the artillery; to be allowed a free embarkation
and passage to Europe, from Boston, upon condition of their not
serving again in America during the present war; the army not to be
separated, particularly the men from the officers; roll-calling, and
other duties of regularity, to be permitted; the officers to be
admitted on parole, and to wear their sidearms; all private property
to be retained, and the public delivered upon honor; no baggage to be
searched or molested; all persons, of whatever country, appertaining
to, or following the camp, to be fully comprehended in the terms of
capitulation, and the Canadians to be returned to their own country,
liable to its conditions."

On the day on which the capitulation took place, the American army
numbered nearly fifteen thousand men, ten thousand of whom were regular
troops; the English troops amounted to five thousand seven hundred and
ninety-one, of whom two thousand four hundred and twelve were Germans,
and three thousand three hundred and seventy-nine were English.

The munitions of war, which by the capitulation came into possession
of the Americans, were, besides being numerically great, exceedingly
valuable. They consisted of a fine train of brass artillery, amounting
to forty-two pieces, of different sorts and sizes, four thousand six
hundred muskets, and an immense quantity of bombs, balls, and other
implements of war.

Such was the result of this expedition of the British, on the banks of
the Hudson. To the English, it was most unexpected and disastrous; to
the Americans, joyous and fortunate. It had been planned with ability,
and had General Howe fulfilled the part expected of him, the result
might have been reversed. But his failure to cöoperate, as contemplated
in the plan, left General Burgoyne but little chance of success.

The victory won, General Gates forthwith dispatched Colonel Wilkinson
to convey the happy tidings to congress. On entering the hall of
session, he approached the speaker, and said: "The whole British army
has laid down arms at Saratoga; our own, full of vigor and courage,
expect your orders; it is for your wisdom to decide where the country
may still have need of their services."

"To General Gates and his army, congress, by resolution, expressed their
thanks. To the former, in addition, they voted a gold medal, in
commemoration of the proud achievement. On one side of it, was the bust
of the general, with these words around: _Horatio Gates, Duci strenuo_;
and in the middle, _Comita Americana_. On the reverse, Burgoyne was
represented in the attitude of delivering his sword; and, in the back
ground, on the one side and on the other, were seen the two armies of
England and America. At the top were these words: _Salum regionum
septentrion_; and at the foot, _Hoste ad Saratogam in deditione
accepto_. Die XVII. Oct. MDCCLXXVII. It would be difficult to describe
the transports of joy which the news of this event excited among the
Americans. They began to flatter themselves with a still more happy
future; no one any longer entertained a doubt of independence. All
hoped, and not without reason, that a success of this kind would at
length determine France, and the other European powers that waited for
her example, to declare themselves in favor of America."

To the American people at large, the news of the victory conveyed the
most heartfelt joy. The cloud, which had long rested upon their hopes,
seemed to be breaking away, and to presage the dawn of a day for which
for years they had prayed and struggled; but which, with all their
efforts, hopes, and prayers, had, until now, appeared distant and
doubtful.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTES:

[48] Botta.

[49] General Frazer was wounded about four o'clock in the afternoon,
and died the following morning at eight. At six in the evening he was
buried--all the generals attending his funeral, and marching to an
eminence where his remains were deposited. The Americans, entirely
ignorant of the nature of the collection, directed their artillery
towards the British. Fortunately, no lives were lost, and no one was
wounded. General Gates, on learning the object of the assemblage,
expressed his deep regret at the firing.



                        XI. PROGRESS OF THE WAR.


    STATE of affairs in England--Treaty with France--Movements in the
        British Parliament--Overtures to Congress--Rejection of
        them--Battle of Monmouth--Disastrous Retreat of General
        Lee--Fortunate interposition of Washington--His rebuke of
        Lee--Tremendous Battle--Sufferings of the Armies--Renewal of
        the Contest--Midnight Retreat of the British army--Subsequent
        Trial and Dismission of General Lee.

                    1. STATE OF AFFAIRS IN ENGLAND.

The effect produced by the surrender of General Burgoyne, upon the
British cabinet and the nation at large, was as grievous and
depressing, as it had been joyous and animating to congress and the
American people. The most brilliant success had been anticipated by
the former; the most ignominious result had occurred. The pride of the
nation was humbled, and those who had disapproved of the war, were now
loud in their censures of ministers.

Already had the war cost England twenty thousand men and thirty
millions of money. But more of both were now needed. Reluctant to ask
parliament for a fresh levy, the ministers, during the recess of that
body, near the beginning of the year 1778, dispatched agents into the
different provinces of the kingdom, to spur the inhabitants to enlist,
and to furnish voluntary contributions to carry on the war.

The success of this plan was only partial--far less than anticipated,
or the exigencies of the case required. The citizens of Liverpool and
Manchester, however, responded to the call, and agreed to raise and
equip a regiment of one thousand each. Edinburgh and Glasgow followed
their example. London, as a city, peremptorily refused to raise
troops--but the friends of the government raised the sum of twenty
thousand pounds.


                         2. TREATY WITH FRANCE.

Not long after the declaration of independence, commissioners were
authorized to bring the subject of a recognition before the court of
Versailles, and to urge the measure by such considerations as existed
in the case. This they had done, and continued to do, so long as any
prospect of success existed. At length, despairing of obtaining their
object, they were about to abandon further effort, when the joyful
intimation was communicated to Dr. Franklin, that a treaty, involving
the desired recognition, had been determined upon by the king and his
ministers. On the 6th of February, 1778, this measure, most auspicious
to American interests, was concluded at Paris. It was signed on behalf
of the king by M. Gerard; and for the United States by Benjamin
Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee. The treaty stipulated--a thing
until then unheard of on the part of a king--that the essential and
express object of the alliance was to maintain effectually the
_liberty_, _sovereignty_, and _independence of the United States_.

[Illustration: American Commissioners before the Court of Louis XVI.]

On the 21st of March, the American commissioners were with great pomp
and ceremony, introduced by Count de Vergennes before the throne,
whereon was seated the king, Louis XVI., in the midst of the grandees of
his court. The honor was one which was conferred only when the king
gave audience to the ambassadors of sovereigns and independent states.

On the 2d of May, the French frigate _La Sensible_, having on board
the important treaty, reached the American shores. Congress was
forthwith convened, and the treaty was ratified. The most heartfelt
joy pervaded the country. The army, drawn up in the order of battle,
received the intelligence with exultation not to be described.


                3. MOVEMENTS IN THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT.

Before the treaty between France and the United States was made
public, the British ministry had knowledge of its existence. Justly
alarmed, they felt the necessity of adopting some measures by which to
bring the war to a close, without a collision with France. What those
measures should be, was a question on which a diversity of opinion
existed in the cabinet. It is asserted, that some of the members, in
secret session, proposed at once to acknowledge the independence of
the United States, and to conclude a treaty with them. But on the 19th
of February, Lord North introduced a resolution into parliament,
admitting that the parliament could not in future impose any tax or
duty on the colonies of North America, except such only as should be
deemed beneficial to commerce, and the product even of those to be
collected under the authority of the respective colonies, and to be
employed for their use and advantage. He proposed, besides, that five
commissioners should be appointed, empowered to adjust with any
assembly or individual whatsoever, the differences existing between
Great Britain and her colonies; it being understood, however, that the
compacts were not to take effect till ratified by the parliament.

To the surprise and indignation of the friends of the war, the bill
passed; and, shortly after, the king appointed for commissioners the
Earl of Carlisle, William Eden, George Johnstone, and the
commander-in-chief of the English army in America. The three first
sailed from St. Helena for America on the 21st, on board the ship
Trident.

In the beginning of June, the commissioners arrived, and on the 9th,
repaired to Philadelphia. Soon after, they made a communication to
congress, explanatory of their object, and requested the privilege of
opening a conference with that body, or with some of its members,
either at New York, or some other place which congress should please
to appoint.

The serious consideration of congress was given to the overture, and
on the 17th of June, their answer was returned. In substance it was,
that they would be ready to enter upon the consideration of peace and
commerce, not inconsistent with treaties already subsisting, when the
king of Great Britain should demonstrate a sincere disposition for
that purpose; of which no other proof could be admitted but that of an
explicit acknowledgment of the independence of the United States, or
the withdrawal of his fleets and armies.

Thus terminated the negotiation. America, steady to her purpose, would
not listen to any proposal which did not involve the recognition of her
independence. Great Britain was yet too proud to accede to such terms,
and consequently, the idea of accommodation was abandoned, and the most
vigorous measures were adopted to wage war against her ancient ally and
her disobedient child, whose fortunes had now become linked together.

It may be added in this place, that, subsequent to the failure of the
commissioners in effecting the object of their mission, commenced a
system of intrigue with several distinguished persons, and especially
with members of congress, to whom one at least addressed confidential
letters, with the hope of winning them to the royal cause. Some of
these letters and propositions at length were made public. General
Reed, a member of congress, stated that a proposition had been made to
him by Johnstone, through a _lady_, that if he would promote the
rëunion of the two countries, he should have any office in the
colonies which he might name. His reply was worthy of a Christian and
a patriot: "_I am not worth purchasing; but such as I am, the king of
Great Britain is not rich enough to do it_."


                         4. BATTLE OF MONMOUTH.

During the winter of 1777-8, the British army had occupied
Philadelphia; the winter-quarters of the American army were at Valley
Forge. On the opening of the spring, in consequence of the alliance of
France and America, orders were issued to the British general to
evacuate Philadelphia, and concentrate the royal force in the city and
harbor of New York. In pursuance of this resolution, the royal army,
now under command of Sir Henry Clinton--General Howe having returned
to England--left Philadelphia, and on the 18th of June, passed the
Delaware into New Jersey.

Washington immediately quitted his camp, and hung upon the British
army, watching a favorable opportunity to offer battle. On the 27th,
the British army encamped on some high grounds in the neighborhood of
Freehold court-house, in the county of Monmouth.

On the morning of the 28th, General Lee was ordered to take command of
five thousand men, and commence the attack.

At first, he declined the honor; but judging, on reflection, that such
a procedure would redound to his discredit, he now sought the command
at the hands of Lafayette, to whom, on his declining it, it had been
tendered.

Lee immediately put his troops in motion for the plain of Monmouth,
some four or five miles distant. On approaching it, the British were
already in motion. The army was in advance of the baggage-train, which
covered miles in extent. The morning was clear, and the sun poured
down his heat so fervidly, as seemingly to cause all nature to faint.
Before noon, the mercury of the thermometer reached ninety-six. Man
and beast panted for breath. The sand-plain became parched as an
oven, and water was needed at almost every step. The sufferings of men
and horses early became nearly insupportable.

Moreover, it was the _Sabbath_--that day when the hum of life is
ordinarily hushed, and when men are commonly with their families in
the house of God. We may pause, we trust, to say, that that Sabbath,
and the God of that Sabbath, would have been more honored--nor do we
believe that the patriot cause would have suffered in the sequel--had
Washington, instead of sending out a hostile corps--had he and his
troops spent it in paying divine honors to the God of our fathers. It
had been still better, could hostile armies have that day grounded
their arms, and of that plain made a sanctuary, and there, in the
exercise of that friendship and love which the gospel enjoins,
worshiped together at a common altar, and before a common Father. But
the latter was not to be expected--perhaps, not the former. Other
thoughts were occupying those bosoms, and a far different spectacle
was that day to be witnessed. Let us not judge severely. We will hope
that the honor of God did animate those sons of the Pilgrims. We know
that they were true patriots, and that they were fighting for their
altars and their firesides. Nor is it to be doubted that they would
have preferred the calm and delightful worship of God, with their
families, in the sanctuaries of their own quiet villages. But they
were summoned to the field of battle, and here, now, we find them soon
employed amid scenes of carnage and death.

Wayne was that day in command under Lee. On seeing the British
train--horses and waggons, miles in extent--following the army in
advance, the former, with his detachment, hastened rapidly forward,
with the intent to cut off and capture the train. Meanwhile, Lee, with
the rest of his division, took a more circuitous route, designing to
attack the corps which had the train in charge. Most unexpectedly,
however, just as he was ready to commence the charge, intelligence was
received that the entire British army--which was on the retreat, but
which had had intimation of Lee's advance--had wheeled about, and were
in full march to protect its rear.

Lee had reluctantly taken the command; he was in ill-humor, and,
moreover, was probably now appalled at the prospect before him. At all
adventures, greatly to his discredit, for as yet he had not commenced
action, he ordered a retreat. This movement fell upon Wayne like a
thunderbolt, who was himself compelled, by reason of it, to fall back,
at the hazard of his entire command.

Washington was still at a distance with the remainder of the army; but
was rapidly approaching the theatre of the contest. The distant
cannonade impelled him forward. The troops, partaking of his own
enthusiasm, if not of his anxiety, laid aside knapsacks--coats--all
that encumbered, and amidst dust and heat pressed on to the encounter.
At this moment, a horseman was seen approaching from the immediate
battle-field. He pressed his horse, and made announcement to
Washington that Lee's division, in utter disorder, was in full
retreat. For a moment, the latter seemed petrified with astonishment;
and the next moment--for it seems he had for some reason
dismounted--vaulting upon his saddle, he sprang forward, and like a
winged arrow directed his way to the scene of confusion and flight.
The instant he was seen by the troops in retreat, "The brave
fellows"--we use the stirring language of Headley--"the brave fellows,
who had not been half beaten, sent up a shout that was heard the whole
length of the line, and '_Long live Washington!_' rent the air.
Flinging a hasty inquiry to Osgood, as to the reason, who replied,
'_Sir, we are fleeing from a shadow;_' he galloped to the rear, and,
reining up his horse beside Lee, bent on him a face of fearful
expression, and thundered in his ear, as he leaned over his
saddle-bow, '_Sir, I desire to know what is the reason, and whence
arises this disorder and confusion!_' It was not the words, but the
smothered tone of passion in which they were uttered, and the manner,
which was severe as a blow, that made this rebuke so terrible.
Wheeling his steed, he spurred up to Oswald's and Stewart's regiments,
saying, 'On you I depend to check this pursuit;' and riding along the
ranks, he roused their courage to the highest pitch by his stirring
appeals; while that glorious shout of '_Long live Washington!_' again
shook the field. The sudden gust of passion had swept by; but the
storm that ever slumbered in his bosom was now fairly up; and,
galloping about on his splendid charger, his tall and commanding form
towering above all about him, and his countenance lit up with
enthusiasm, he was the impersonation of all that is great and heroic
in man. In a moment, the aspect of the field was changed--the
retreating mass halted--officers were seen hurrying about in every
direction, their shouts and orders ringing above the roar of the
enemy's guns. The ranks opened--and, under the galling fire of the
British, wheeled, and formed in splendid order. Washington then rode
back to Lee, and, pointing to the firm front he had arrayed against
the enemy, exclaimed, 'Will you, sir, command in that place?' He
replied, 'Yes.'--'Well,' then said he, 'I expect you to check the
enemy immediately.' 'Your orders shall be obeyed,' replied the stung
commander, 'and I will not be the first to leave the field.' The
battle then opened with renewed fury, and Washington hurried back, to
bring his own division into the field."

This took time, as the division was still at a distance. Meanwhile,
however, the retreat was partially staid. The troops once more
rallied. They stood--they fought--fought with unwonted desperation.
But the overpowering legions of the enemy pressed hard. Their shouts
were deafening--their cannonade appalling and destructive. Lee now
attempted to his utmost power to withstand the impetuous shock--but it
was entirely beyond the compass of his troops. They were again giving
way. A few moments longer, and all would be lost. At this critical
juncture, Hamilton appeared, seemingly sent as a messenger from
above--crossing the field--his charger covered with foam, and his
hair streaming in the wind--Hamilton appeared, and riding up to Lee,
said to him: "_My dear general, let us die here rather than retreat._"

What would have been the effect of this soul-stirring and patriotic
address of Hamilton, had no succor been at hand, we pretend not to say.
They were words of comfort and assurance; and, if necessary to prevent a
dishonorable retreat, there doubtless Hamilton, and perhaps now Lee
himself, would have surrendered up life. But succor was at hand.
Washington with his division had arrived. No time was lost. He issued
his orders, and they were obeyed. Sterling, Knox, Wayne, brought up
their several commands, and soon the battle was raging, and the whole
plains shook under the clangor of arms and the thunder of artillery. For
a time, few such spectacles were seen during the Revolutionary war. The
heat of the day, we have already said, was intense. Water was not to be
had, or rather there was no time to quench parched lips, had there been
any. Their thirst added to the sufferings of the troops immeasurably.
The tongues of the soldiers became so inflamed and swollen, as not to be
retained in their mouths. Yet they fought, and fought with a desperation
increased by the very sufferings they endured. The British suffered from
the same causes, and fought with the same desperation. And for a time,
it was indeed doubtful whose cause would triumph. But the batteries of
Knox and Sterling, like volcanoes, hurled death and destruction on every
side; while the impetuous Wayne with his columns, torrent-like, spread
confusion and dismay in every step of their progress. There was a
concentration of effort--and that effort, doubtless the more earnest and
effective, for the reason of the previous unwarranted and pusillanimous
retreat.

In turn, the British themselves now retreated, and encamped on the
spot which Lee's division had occupied in the morning. They had fought
with unwonted zeal. Officers and soldiers were exhausted. They coveted
rest. They needed repose. It was so with the Americans. "Even
Washington's powerful frame was overcome by the heat and toil he had
passed through; and as he stood begrimed with the dust and the smoke
of the battle, and wiped his brow, the perspiration fell in streams
from his horse, which looked as if it had been dragged through a muddy
stream, rather than rode by a living man."

Yet, wearied as he was--wearied and worn down as were his officers and
men--Washington could not consent so to terminate the day. A further
duty remained ere he slept. That duty was to dislodge the enemy from
the position which he had taken. His officers--his army sympathized
with him; they were willing to put forth one more effort to secure all
that they had promised themselves, and which in the morning had seemed
so practicable.

Two brigades were therefore ordered to attack the British at their
post--on the right and left. The battle was now renewed, and renewed
with all the spirit and determination of an earlier hour. It
continued, however, but for a brief period. The sun was fast
descending when the second battle began, and had set ere the several
corps had really attained their proposed positions. It was fortunate,
probably, that the contest was interrupted. Both armies had done
enough. Had Washington succeeded in dislodging the enemy, his troops
were too much spent to have followed up the victory.

There they now paused. Darkness soon set in. Too much overcome even to
administer to the wants of nature, the troops of both armies flung
themselves upon the parched ground, and slept. They slept in sight of
each other, and they slept strong and deep. With the morning light,
Washington had decided to renew the battle. He, therefore, instead of
retiring to his marquee, wrapped himself in his cloak, and sunk upon
the earth in the midst of his soldiers.

At the dawn of morning, Washington rose, and with his recruited
followers was about to follow up the advantages of the preceding day.
But the enemy had retired. Aware of the peril of his condition, the
British commander had roused his army at midnight, and ordered a
retreat. And so silently was that retreat effected, and so soundly had
the American army slept, officers and men, that no one of the thousands
which composed it, had any suspicion of the retreat, till the light of
day revealed it. Washington was indeed disappointed; but the departure
of the enemy, if it was not in all respects equal to a victory, gave
practical assurance that Washington had suffered no defeat.

There were doubtless other engagements during the Revolutionary struggle
more brilliant, and of greater influence, as to the final result, than
the battle of Monmouth. But it is doubtful whether there was a single
other one in which there was a higher exhibition of firmness, or the
practice of greater self-denial, or the endurance of greater suffering.

Never did commander appear more nobly than did Washington. But for his
presence at the critical moment--his quick perception of the danger,
and the means of averting it--his celerity in issuing his orders--his
manly but terrific rebuke of Lee--and perhaps more than all, his
undaunted bravery, and his firm stand when all were flying from a
pursuing foe--all would indeed have been lost.

For twelve long hours were the respective armies that day engaged.
They numbered about twenty thousand men. They were on a plain where
little or no water could be obtained, and with a thermometer standing
the whole day at nearly one hundred degrees. Not a few died from
sun-stroke--and still more from excessive fatigue. The cry for
"_water! water!_" from the wounded and the dying, was sufficient to
overcome the stoutest heart.

It is not necessary to dwell longer on the particulars of this
remarkable battle. The British troops, as already intimated, left
Washington in occupation of the field. On the following day, finding
his foe gone, he took up his line of march, and by easy stages moved
towards the Hudson.

It does not belong to the plan of our work to pursue the history of
the difficulty which that day arose between Washington and Lee,
growing out of the retreat of the latter. That retreat was most
unexpected, dishonorable, and needless. So Washington evidently deemed
it, and this was the occasion of his severe rebuke of that officer in
the field. It has been said that Washington was profane. That he was
greatly excited, calm as he usually was, admits of no question. That
he was profane, is without proof. Weems says, as quoted by Headley,
that as he rode up, he exclaimed, "For God's sake! General Lee, what
is the cause of this ill-timed prudence?"--to which the latter
replied, "No man can boast a larger share of that rascally virtue than
your excellency." What reliance, if any, is to be placed upon the
above authority, the writer pretends not to say. To an inquiry once
made of Lafayette, at La Grange, by Dr. Sparks, what the precise
expression of Washington was, he replied, that although near him at
the moment, he could not have told an hour subsequently. He thought,
however, that it was not so much the expression itself, as the manner
in which it was uttered, that stung the retreating general. That
manner was terrible. The wrath of Washington was without disguise.

But the results of the day served to meliorate the feelings of
Washington towards Lee, whatever opinion he might have continued to
entertain of his unworthy conduct. It is said that he rëinstated him
in his old command; and had Lee reciprocated the feelings and kindness
of Washington, the unpleasant occurrence might have passed, and have
been forgotten. But Lee was hot-tempered; and, under the smart of
rebuke, addressed a most ill-judged and "saucy" letter to Washington,
in which he demanded a trial by court-martial. Washington, in his
reply, accused Lee of a breach of orders, in not attacking the enemy;
and a breach of good behavior, unbecoming an officer of his rank, in
so hasty and cowardly a retreat. Lee rejoined, and in a manner
entirely in accordance with his previous communication. "You cannot,"
he wrote, "afford me greater pleasure, sir, than in giving me an
opportunity of showing to America the efficiency of her respective
servants. I trust that the temporary power of office, and the trivial
dignity attending it, will not be able, by all the mists they can
raise, to effusate the bright rays of truth. In the mean time, your
excellency can have no objection to my retiring from the army."

In whatever light Lee's previous conduct deserved to be regarded, no
doubt could exist as to the intended insult of Washington conveyed in
the above letter. Suffice it to say, that he was put under immediate
arrest; and in August was tried before a court-martial on three
separate charges, viz: "for disobeying orders, in not attacking the
enemy;" "for making an unnecessary and disorderly retreat;" and "for
disrespect to the commander-in-chief, in two letters."

Of these charges, with a slight modification of one of them, he was
found guilty, and suspended from the army for twelve months. The
decision was most unexpected and distasteful, as might be supposed, to a
man of Lee's ardent and self-complacential feelings. Washington he never
forgave. Stung by the decision of the court-martial, against that
body--against congress itself--he launched his bitter invectives. At the
expiration of his suspension, and while congress was contemplating his
restoration, he addressed an insulting letter to that body, which
hastened his dismission. We add, only, that he retired to Virginia,
where on a farm he passed the residue of his days.

[Illustration]



                       XII. TREACHERY OF ARNOLD.


    THE Vulture in the Hudson--Midnight Adventure--Benedict
        Arnold--Repairs to Cambridge--Expedition to Canada--Created a
        Brigadier-general--Grounds of Complaint--Honorable Conduct in
        Connecticut--Appointed to the command at Philadelphia--Charges
        preferred against him--Reprimanded by Washington--Plots against
        his Country--Correspondence with Sir H. Clinton--Appointed to
        the command of West Point--Interview with Andre--Capture of
        Andre--Arrival of Washington--Escape of Arnold--Developments of
        Arnold's traitorous intentions--Trial and Condemnation of
        Andre--Subsequent incidents in the life of Arnold.

[Illustration: The Vulture.]

On the night of the 21st of September, 1780, there was lying at anchor
on the Hudson, a few miles below West Point, a British sloop-of-war,
called the _Vulture_. A little before midnight, a boat, with muffled
oars, and rowed by two men, put off from the American shore, and
proceeded with great caution towards the sloop. In the stern of the boat
sat a third man, of more consequence than the oarsmen, and the leader of
the secret expedition. It was a tranquil night; the stars peered out
with unwonted lustre, and the waters moved slowly down the channel.
What object was proposed by this cautious midnight adventure? Was
intelligence sought from the enemy, or was it to be imparted to them?
Was it a patriotic or a traitorous expedition?--The sequel will tell.

Among the brave and chivalrous men who early engaged in the defence of
American rights, was _Benedict Arnold_. On the occurrence of the
battle of Lexington, he was residing at New Haven, and was commandant
of a company of militia, called the Governor's Guards.

On the arrival of the news of the above battle at New Haven, citizens
and soldiers, as if moved by a common impulse, assembled on the green.
Fired with indignation, as were others, Arnold proposed to head such
as would volunteer under him, and lead them to the more immediate
scene of action.

Such was the dispatch of preparation, that the following day, at the
head of sixty volunteers, he was ready to march.

After reaching Cambridge, for a time Arnold was employed in an
expedition against Ticonderoga. About the time of his return, congress
was contemplating a still more important and hazardous movement against
Canada, under General Schuyler. Believing that essential aid might be
rendered by the way of the Kennebec river, a detachment of troops was
made at Cambridge, the command of which was tendered to Arnold.

The troops detached for this service amounted to eleven hundred
men--ten companies of musket-men from New England, and three companies
of rifle-men from Virginia and Pennsylvania. The field officers were
Colonel Arnold, Lieutenant-colonels Greene and Enos, and Majors
Bigelow and Meigs. The afterwards-celebrated Daniel Morgan commanded
the riflemen. On the 18th of September, the troops sailed from
Newburyport, and rendezvoused at Fort Western, on the Kennebec,
opposite the present town of Augusta.

From this point they started, and their hardships and trials began.
No body of troops during the Revolutionary war, if indeed in the
annals of warfare, encountered greater obstacles, or endured more
suffering, than this. The distance traversed was about two hundred
miles, and nearly the whole of it was a howling wilderness.

[Illustration: Arnold's Expedition through the Wilderness.]

On the night of the 14th, Arnold with his men crossed the St. Lawrence;
and, ascending the same abrupt precipice which Wolfe had climbed before
him, formed his small corps on the heights, near the memorable Plains of
Abraham. But he soon discovered that neither the number nor condition of
his men would justify him in hazarding an action. Having spent a few
days on the heights, and summoned the town to surrender, without even a
response, he retired twenty miles above Quebec, to wait the arrival of
the troops which were to proceed by the western route, which were now
led by General Montgomery, who had succeeded General Schuyler, in
consequence of the illness of the latter.

On the 1st of December, Montgomery joined Arnold; and on the morning
of the 31st occurred the memorable assault upon Quebec, in which the
gallant and lamented Montgomery fell. Arnold, not less bold and
intrepid, had his leg-bone severely fractured, and was obliged to be
carried from the ground. The issue was disastrous to the Americans, as
is well known; about sixty being killed, and between three and four
hundred taken prisoners. Notwithstanding his wound and the serious
diminution of his force, Arnold maintained a blockade of the city
during a long and severe Canadian winter.

As a reward for his persevering efforts in conducting his troops
through the wilderness, and for his gallant conduct in the assault of
Quebec, congress promoted Arnold to the rank of brigadier-general.

[Illustration: General Lincoln.]

In February, 1777, congress appointed five additional major-generals.
According to the usual practice in reference to promotions, Arnold
would have been entitled to this honor; but those thus promoted were
all his juniors, and one of them, General Lincoln, was taken from the
militia. To a man like Arnold, ambitious of military glory, such a
neglect could not be otherwise than deeply wounding. In anticipation
of his mortified feelings, Washington addressed a kind and soothing
letter to him, virtually expressing his disapproval of the course of
procedure, and advising Arnold to demean himself with the magnanimity
of a soldier, in the hope that justice would still be done him, and
others, who were similarly neglected.

Meanwhile, Washington addressed to friends in congress a letter of
inquiry on the subject. To this it was replied, that as each state
claimed a number of general officers, proportioned to the troops it
furnished, and as Connecticut already had two, there existed no
vacancy for another. There was at least plausibility in the reason,
but it seems not to have satisfied Washington; much less could it be
expected to satisfy so sensitive and ambitious a man as Arnold. This
disappointment was probably among the causes which soured the mind of
the latter, and laid the foundation of those corrodings of the heart,
which in after-times led to the utter ruin of his reputation, and came
near effecting the ruin of his country.

But this was by no means the only ground of Arnold's complaint.
Construing the neglect of congress as an implied censure of his
military conduct in past times--and perhaps the inference was not
entirely without foundation--Arnold resolved to demand of congress an
examination into his conduct. With this object in view, he proceeded
to head-quarters, to solicit of Washington permission to proceed to
Philadelphia.

Just at the time he was passing through Connecticut, a British force,
consisting of two thousand troops, under the infamous General Tryon,
had landed at Compo, between Fairfield and Norwalk, for the purpose of
penetrating to Danbury, to destroy some public stores, which the
Americans had lodged there.

Arnold heard of this invasion; and, for the time, honorably foregoing
the object of his journey, and roused by that high military spirit
which in no small degree characterized him, he immediately turned his
course northward, for the purpose of aiding in repelling the foe.

A militia force of five hundred had been hastily collected by Generals
Wooster and Silliman. These, together with about one hundred
continental troops, Arnold overtook near Reading, on their march
towards Danbury. At Bethel, information was obtained that the town had
been fired, and the public stores destroyed. The next morning, the
generals divided their forces--General Wooster, with two hundred men,
falling in the rear of the enemy, while Arnold and Silliman, with five
hundred (their original force having been augmented), by a rapid
movement, took post in their front at Ridgefield.

[Illustration: Death of General Wooster.]

About eleven o'clock, General Wooster overtook the enemy, and attacked
them with great gallantry. Riding to the front of his troops, with a
design of inspiring them with appropriate courage, he cried: "Come on,
my boys! never mind such random shot." But scarcely had he uttered
the words, when a fatal ball pierced his side, and this gallant
general fell.

Meanwhile, Arnold having reached the north part of the long street at
Ridgefield, barricaded the road with carts, logs, hay, and earth,
presenting a formidable obstruction to the approaching enemy, and no
mean protection to the resisting force.

[Illustration: Arnold and the British Soldier.]

"At three o'clock the enemy appeared, marching in a solid column, and
they commenced a heavy fire as they advanced towards the breastwork: it
was briskly returned. For nearly a quarter of an hour, the action was
warm, and the Americans maintained their ground, by the aid of their
barricade, against four times their number, until the British column
began to extend itself, and to stretch around their flanks. This was a
signal for retreat. Arnold was the last man that remained behind. While
alone in this situation, a platoon of British troops, who had clambered
up the rocks on the left flank, discharged their muskets at him. His
horse dropped lifeless; and when it was perceived that the rider did
not fall, one of the soldiers rushed forward with a fixed bayonet,
intending to run him through. Arnold sat unmoved on his struggling
horse, watched the soldier's approach till he was near enough to make
sure his aim, then drew a pistol from his holsters, and shot him dead.
Seizing this critical opportunity, he sprang upon his feet, and escaped
unharmed. So remarkable an exhibition of cool and steady courage, in a
moment of extreme danger, has rarely been witnessed.

"He rallied his men, and continued to annoy the enemy in their progress.
Being rëinforced the next day, he hung upon their flanks and rear
throughout the whole march to their ships, attacking them at every
assailable point. In a skirmish near Compo, just before the British
embarked, the horse which he rode was shot through the neck, and on all
occasions he exposed himself with his accustomed intrepidity."

[Illustration: General Arnold.]

The heroic conduct of Arnold--periling life as a volunteer, and while
smarting under a sense of wrong--was duly appreciated wherever the
exploit was told. Congress, sensible of the merit of the achievement,
immediately promoted him to the rank of major-general; but instead of
ante-dating his commission, that he might take rank with those who
had been raised above him, they left him still _subordinate_ to them.
This was unfortunate, and even inconsistent. Arnold felt the neglect
with still deeper sensibility, and saw in it, as he imagined, an
undeniable proof that the charge of ingratitude which he had brought
against his country was well founded.

At length, his complaints were referred to the Board of War, and the
charges of his accusers were examined. The board reported that they
were satisfied with the character and conduct of General Arnold. This
report congress confirmed. Indeed, they went further, and presented
him with a horse properly caparisoned, in token of their approbation
of his gallant conduct in resisting the troops under General Tryon.
Had they added to this an equality of rank with the generals who had
been raised over him, Arnold would have been satisfied; but neglecting
this--and the cause was doubtless to be ascribed to the personal
influence of bitter enemies, who could not forget his arrogance and
presumption--he was chagrined, rather than flattered, by the tokens of
approbation he had received--and soured rather than pacified.

Added to this, Arnold was mortified and exasperated that his accounts
were not fully and promptly allowed by a committee appointed to audit
them. This they could not justly do without much qualification. They
were numerous and large, many debts incurred were without authority,
and vouchers were wanting. The consequence was a general suspicion
that Arnold intended to enrich himself, or meet his private
extravagant expenditures at the public expense.

Passing over several intervening events, especially the signal success
of General Gates in resisting the progress of General Burgoyne, during
which Arnold acted a part so heroic, as to be honored by Washington with
one of the three sets of epaulettes and sword-knots which had been
presented to him by a gentleman of France, we reach a signal event in
the life of this remarkable man--his appointment by Washington, in
consideration of his disabled condition, to the command of Philadelphia,
following the evacuation of that city by the British. The station was
honorable, and the duties, though delicate, were not severe.

Several circumstances, about this time, served to weaken his
affections for the patriotic cause. One was the report of specific
charges against him by a committee of congress, for acts oppressive
and unworthy his rank and station, on which he was tried, and ordered
to be reprimanded by the commander-in-chief.

In performing this duty, Washington exhibited as much mildness as the
case permitted. "Our profession," said he, "is the chastest of all.
The shadow of a fault tarnishes our most brilliant actions. The least
inadvertence may cause us to lose that public favor, which is so hard
to be gained. I reprimand you for having forgotten that, in proportion
as you had rendered your name formidable to our enemies, you should
have shown moderation towards our citizens. Exhibit again those
splendid qualities which have placed you in the rank of our most
distinguished generals. As far as it shall be in my power, I will
myself furnish you with opportunities for regaining the esteem which
you have formerly enjoyed."

The decision of the court, and the reprimand of Washington, mild and
delicate as it was, fell heavy on the excitable spirit of Arnold. A
burning revenge rankled in his bosom, and from this time--if his
traitorous purposes had not before been formed--he sought
opportunities to gratify his malice, and at the same time the sordid
passion of avarice, which had long held sway in his bosom.

Another circumstance, besides contributing to his expenses, operated
to separate his affections from the patriotic cause. He had married a
beautiful and accomplished lady, during his residence in Philadelphia,
a daughter of Mr. Edward Shippen, a family of distinguished rank; and
which, like others of a similar stamp in that city, was intimate with
Sir William Howe, Major Andre, and other British officers, during
their occupation of Philadelphia. This alliance brought Arnold, as a
matter of course, into associations with persons who were attached to
the royal cause, and who were ready to foster his prejudices, and
justify his complaints of ingratitude and persecution.

At length, he matured a plan--confined for a time to his own
bosom--dark, base, and traitorous--as it were the offspring of the
nether world.

To the accomplishment of this plan, it was necessary that he should be
appointed to the command of West Point, a fortress on the Hudson. With
consummate art, he accomplished his purpose; and, at the hands of
Washington, to whom he had been indebted more than to any other, for
standing by him as a shelter during his stormy life, he received the
appointment; soon after which, he repaired to the Highlands, and
established his head-quarters at Robinson's house, two or three miles
below West Point, on the opposite, or eastern bank of the river.

[Illustration: Major Andre.]

Previous to her marriage, Mrs. Arnold had been acquainted with Major
Andre, and had corresponded with him after that event, and after his
removal with the British forces to New York. Acquainted with this
correspondence, Arnold took the opportunity presented by it to
address, unknown to his wife, letters to Sir Henry Clinton, through
Andre, under the signature of _Gustavus_, and Andre replied under the
assumed name of _John Anderson_. This correspondence had been carried
on for months before Arnold's appointment to West Point. For a time,
Clinton was at a loss to imagine the real character behind the
curtain; but, at length, he became convinced that it could be no other
than Arnold himself. Hitherto, that general had treated _Gustavus_
with cautious indifference, but no sooner was Arnold promoted to the
command of West Point, than Clinton was ready to enter into
negotiation with him to surrender that fortress into the hands of the
British, and almost at any price which Arnold might choose to name.

The first plan devised for bringing about an interview between Arnold
and Andre failed, but a second proved more successful. The Vulture, a
sloop-of-war, with Colonel Robinson on board, came up the river about
the 16th of September. On their arrival at Teller's Point, Robinson,
who was a tory, and whose property had been confiscated by the state
of New York, addressed a letter to _General Putnam_, relating to the
recovery of his property, and forwarded it under cover of a letter to
Arnold by a flag-boat. Putnam was known not to be in that quarter, but
the letter to him served as a pretext to enable Robinson to
communicate a plan, by which an interview could be effected.

Arnold, by means of consummate art and duplicity, had engaged a Mr.
Smith, a man of respectable standing, to go on board the Vulture, and
convey a gentleman there to the American shore, who would impart
intelligence to him of the greatest importance to the American cause.
Smith had been employed in procuring intelligence from time to time
from New York for Arnold's predecessor at West Point, and at length
consented to perform the service solicited by Arnold; and, that his
family might not be privy to the transaction, they were removed to
Fishkill, under pretence of a visit to some friends.

Thus matters were arranged; and on the night of the 21st, Smith, with
two oarsmen, bribed to secresy by the promise of fifty pounds each,
left the American shore, and proceeded, as related in the commencement
of this account, to the Vulture.

Andre was expecting Arnold himself. Not finding him on board, but
receiving a letter putting him on his guard, and inviting him to return
in the boat, for a time he hesitated. Robinson was still firmer in the
opinion that he should not go. But, at length, the adventurous spirit of
Andre decided the point; and having cautiously concealed his uniform in
a great-coat, he stepped on board the boat, which immediately proceeded
towards the American shore. They landed at the foot of a mountain,
called Long Clove, about six miles below Stony Point.

Arnold was in the bushes, ready to receive the stranger. Smith had
expected to be present at the interview, and was not only
disappointed, but exasperated, in being refused. What a spot! what a
conference! what a deep and traitorous planning in midnight darkness!

The interview was long, and the patience of Smith was exhausted, but
more his fears were roused. The night was far spent, and the dawning
of the day was at hand. He now made known his apprehensions to the
midnight traitors; but as they had not perfected their business, Smith
and his oarsmen were allowed to retire.

No sooner were they gone, than Arnold proposed that Andre should
proceed with him to Smith's house, and leave the manner of his return
to future deliberation. This plan was replete with hazard; but no
alternative presenting itself, Andre reluctantly followed. Judge his
surprise, when, on approaching the American lines, a sentinel hailed
them, and demanded the countersign. Andre shuddered. Arnold gave the
sign, and they passed on. Andre was now, contrary to all his
determinations, within the American lines, on dangerous ground, where
his life and fortunes hung, as it were, upon the cast of a die.

Arnold and Andre reached Smith's about the dawn of day. Soon after, the
latter made his appearance. An incident now occurred, which added to the
anxiety of Andre. The sound of cannon broke upon them, which, on
proceeding to a window overlooking the river, was ascertained to be from
the American shore; and from the movements of the Vulture soon after
down the stream, it was inferred that the fire was against her. So it
proved. Believing her to lie in the river for no good purpose, Colonel
Livingston had directed a fire to be opened upon her, which caused the
movement observed. Andre now felt the delicacy of his situation still
more, and the difficulty of his return to the sloop to be still greater.

But the duties of his mission required attention, and to its
completion the plotters betook themselves. It was finally settled. The
British, on a given day, were to dispatch a fleet up the river with
the requisite troops: and Arnold, in order to render the seizure of
the fortress easy, was previously to withdraw the garrison, and
station them at different points in the neighborhood, in small
detachments. In consideration of the surrender, the traitor was to
receive a large amount of "British gold."

Having completed these nefarious negotiations, the manner in which
Andre should return, next engrossed their deliberations. This was a
question of difficult solution. Andre insisted on being put on board
the Vulture; Smith was unwilling to run the hazard. Before the
question was decided, Arnold left for West Point, giving to Andre
passports accommodated to the manner in which it might finally be
decided that he should return.

Andre spent the day in an upper room at Smith's--a long and anxious
day. Towards its close, he urged Smith to take him on board the
Vulture; but to his surprise and distress, the former peremptorily
refused, but offered to accompany him on horseback to some point of
safety. No other alternative presenting itself, Andre consented; and,
having changed his military coat for a citizen's dress, over which
throwing his great-coat, they departed.

Between eight and nine o'clock, they were startled by the hail of a
sentinel, who ordered them to stop. "Who commands here?" inquired
Smith, dismounting, and approaching the sentinel. The commander,
Captain Boyd, being himself within hearing distance, approached, and
demanded who the stranger was, and whither bound. Smith, ignorant of
the real character of Andre, answered as Arnold had dictated; and,
moreover, added that he had a pass from the general. Boyd required a
sight of the pass, on perusing which, his curiosity was still more
excited, and he now in private questioned Smith with still greater
particularity. Smith explained the matter as well as he was able; and,
by several adroit fabrications, finally induced Boyd to consent to
their continuing their journey; not, however, until morning, for fear,
as he pretended, they might be waylaid by the Cow-boys.[50] Andre
would have purchased a release from tarrying in the neighborhood that
night at any price, had he had the means; but such an overture would
have been fraught with danger, and therefore, bending to necessity,
they repaired to one Miller's, where they passed the night--a night of
dread and fearful anticipation.

At early dawn, in order to escape the further scrutiny of Boyd, they
were on their journey. At the distance of about a couple of miles from
Pine's bridge, they halted, took breakfast, and separated--Smith
setting out on his return, and Andre continuing his journey. Andre had
now nearly thirty miles to traverse ere he was on safe ground. He had
been recommended to proceed by the way of White Plains; but, on
crossing the above bridge, deeming the Tarrytown road more safe, he
took that, and for a time passed on without molestation.

Two plundering parties were abroad that morning from the "neutral
ground;" one of which, consisting of John Paulding, Daniel Williams,
and Isaac Van Wart, had concealed themselves in some bushes near the
road which Andre was passing, watching there for some valuable prey.

Andre approached the spot; upon which, Paulding rose, and presenting
his firelock to his breast, bid him stand. "Gentlemen," said Andre, "I
hope you belong to our party." "I asked him"--we follow the testimony
of Paulding on the trial of Smith--"what party? He said, 'The lower
party.' Upon that I told him I did. Then he said, 'I am a British
officer out of the country on particular business, and I hope you will
not detain me a minute;' and to show that he was a British officer, he
pulled out his watch. Upon which, I told him to dismount. He then
said, 'My God! I must do any thing to get along;' and seemed to make a
kind of laugh of it, and pulled out General Arnold's pass, which was
to John Anderson, to pass all guards to White Plains and below. Upon
that, he dismounted. Said he, 'Gentlemen, you had better let me go, or
you will bring yourselves into trouble, for your stopping me will
detain the general's business;' and said he was going to Dobb's ferry,
to meet a person there, and get intelligence for General Arnold. Upon
that, I told him I hoped he would not be offended, that we did not
mean to take any thing from him; and I told him there were many bad
people who were going along the road, and I did not know but perhaps
he might be one."

Williams testified as follows: "We took him into the bushes, and ordered
him to pull off his clothes, which he did; but on searching him
narrowly, we could not find any sort of writings. We told him to pull
off his boots, which he seemed to be indifferent about; but we got one
boot off, and searched in that boot, and could find nothing. But we
found there were some papers in the bottom of his stocking next to his
foot; on which we made him pull his stocking off, and found three papers
wrapped up. Mr. Paulding looked at the contents, and said he was a spy.
We then made him pull off his other boot, and there we found three more
papers at the bottom of his foot within his stocking."

After consultation, it was decided to take the prisoner to North
Castle, where Lieutenant-colonel Jameson commanded a detachment of
dragoons. Having surrendered him to Jameson, the latter for a time
hesitated what disposition to make of him. The papers found upon Andre
were important--in the hand-writing of Arnold, and endorsed by him.

Most men would have suspected treason--nor would Arnold himself have
escaped suspicion. Yet Jameson, at length, decided to forward the papers
to Washington by express, and the prisoner to Arnold. These measures had
been taken, when Major Talmadge, next in command to Jameson, returned
from an excursion to White Plains. On learning the incidents of the day,
he expressed his surprise, and begged Jameson to dispatch a
counter-order, if possible, to bring back the prisoner and the papers.

To the foregoing, Jameson finally consented, but the papers were left
to be conveyed to Washington. Andre was overtaken and brought back.
Talmadge, being a sagacious observer, marked Andre--his walk--his
military air--his dignified bearing--and decided that the prisoner was
no ordinary man. Shortly after, under escort of Talmadge, Andre was
removed to Lower Salem, to await the developments of time and the
orders of Washington.

The morning after their arrival at Salem, Andre requested paper and
ink, and soon presented to Talmadge an open letter addressed to
Washington, with a request that he would himself read and forward it.

This letter, couched in most respectful language, communicated to
Washington his name, and rank in the British army, and his object in
coming within the American lines.

It so happened--a wonderful interposition of Divine Providence, who
can doubt?--it so happened, that on the very day that Andre wrote his
letter, Washington, on his return from Hartford, arrived at Fishkill,
eighteen miles from Arnold's head-quarters. Contrary to his previous
intentions, he was induced to remain there during the night. In the
morning, an express was dispatched early to give notice to General
Arnold, that the party would reach his quarters to breakfast.

Washington and his suite followed soon after, and on coming to the
road which led off to Robinson's house--Arnold's residence--Washington
was proceeding towards the river. Being informed of his mistake, he
observed that as he must inspect the redoubts on this side the river,
he himself would forego Mrs. Arnold's breakfast, but his suite might
pass on, and enjoy it. They would not, however, leave their general;
and all, excepting his aids, who were sent forward to make his excuse,
proceeded towards the river.

On learning that General Washington would not be there to breakfast,
General Arnold and family, with the aids, proceeded to the
breakfast-table.

That was the last peaceful meal Arnold was to enjoy in this world--and
even the peace of that was invaded, before they were ready to leave
the table. A messenger entered with a letter from Jameson--the letter
which first announced the capture of Andre.

It fell as a thunderbolt upon the traitor. Yet he so far concealed his
agitation before the aids, as to prevent serious suspicion that any
thing uncommon had occurred. A sudden emergency called him to West
Point, he said, and he begged to be excused. Having ordered a horse, he
requested Mrs. Arnold's presence in her chamber, and here in few words
informed her of the necessity of his fleeing for his life. He left her
fainting on the floor; and, mounting, put spurs to his horse, directing
his course to the river, on reaching which, he entered a boat, and
fabricating a story to his purpose, ordered the men to proceed to the
Vulture. The promise of reward gave impulse to their energies, and
Arnold was soon safely on board of the royal sloop.

[Illustration: Interview of Arnold and his Wife.]

Washington having completed his inspection of the redoubts, reached
Arnold's soon after his departure. Understanding that he had gone to
West Point, after a hasty breakfast, Washington and suite followed. But
what was his surprise to learn that Arnold had not been there. After a
cursory view of the fortress, the party returned to Arnold's. Meanwhile,
the messenger from Colonel Jameson, with Andre's papers, had arrived.

Light was now shed upon the mystery. Arnold was a traitor, and had
fled to the enemy. Measures were immediately taken to secure the
fortress. An express was dispatched to Salem, with orders to have
Andre conveyed to Arnold's house.

Let us hasten to the conclusion. On the 29th of September, Washington
ordered a Board of Inquiry, consisting of six major and eight
brigadier generals. After a full hearing of the facts, the Board
reported that Major Andre ought to be considered as a spy, and,
according to the laws and usages of nations, to suffer death.

The decision, though just, was painful--painful to Washington--to the
Board--to the officers of the American army--but more painful, if
possible, to Sir Henry Clinton and the companions of Andre in arms.

Efforts, and such as did honor to Clinton, were made to reverse the
doom of Andre. _Intimations_ were given from Washington, that upon one
condition--the surrender of Arnold--Andre might be released; but to
this, Clinton thought he could not in honor yield--while in the scale
of affection, Andre would have outweighed a thousand traitors like
Arnold. A deputation from Clinton repaired to Robinson's house under a
flag, to urge the release of Andre, but no change could be effected in
the mind of Washington.

Sentence of execution issued, and five o'clock, of the 1st day of
October, was appointed for carrying it into effect. On the morning of
that day, Andre addressed a letter to Washington, requesting that he
might be allowed a soldier's death.

                                    "_Tappan_, 1_st October_, 1780.

"SIR: Buoyed above the terror of death, by the consciousness of a life
devoted to honorable pursuits, and stained with no action that can
give me remorse, I trust that the request I make to your excellency,
at this serious period, and which is to soften my last moments, will
not be rejected.

"Sympathy towards a soldier will surely induce your excellency, and a
military tribunal, to adapt the mode of my death to the feelings of a
man of honor.

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

"I have the honor to be your excellency's most obedient and most
humble servant,

                                                      "JOHN ANDRE."

To this request, Washington could not consistently accede, but to
avoid needless pain, he omitted to make a reply.

The execution finally took place October 2d, at twelve o'clock--a
delay having been occasioned by pending negotiations, which could not
be terminated in season the previous day.

Dr. Thatcher, in his 'Military Journal,' has given the closing
particulars of this tragic scene. It follows:

"The principal guard-officer, who was constantly in the room with the
prisoner, relates, that when the hour of his execution was announced
to him in the morning, he received it without emotion; and while all
present were affected with silent gloom, he retained a firm
countenance, with calmness and composure of mind. Observing his
servant enter the room in tears, he exclaimed, 'Leave me till you can
show yourself more manly.' His breakfast being sent to him from the
table of General Washington, which had been done every day of his
confinement, he partook of it as usual; and having shaved and dressed
himself, he placed his hat on the table, and cheerfully said to the
guard-officers, 'I am ready at any moment, gentlemen, to wait on you.'
The fatal hour having arrived, a large detachment of troops was
paraded, and an immense concourse of people assembled; almost all our
general and field officers, excepting his excellency and his staff,
were present on horseback; melancholy and gloom pervaded all ranks;
the scene was affecting and awful.

"I was so near during the solemn march to the fatal spot, as to observe
every movement, and participate in every emotion which the melancholy
scene was calculated to produce. Major Andre walked from the stone
house, in which he had been confined, between two of our subaltern
officers, arm in arm; the eyes of the immense multitude were fixed on
him, who, rising superior to the fear of death, appeared as if conscious
of the dignified deportment which he displayed. He betrayed no want of
fortitude, but retained a complacent smile on his countenance, and
politely bowed to several gentlemen whom he knew, which was respectfully
returned. It was his earnest desire to be shot, as being the mode of
death most conformable to the feelings of a military man, and he had
indulged the hope that his request would be granted. At the moment,
therefore, when suddenly he came in view of the gallows, he
involuntarily started backward, and made a pause. 'Why this emotion,
sir?' said an officer by his side. Instantly recovering his composure,
he said, 'I am reconciled to my death, but I detest the mode.'

"While waiting, and standing near the gallows, I observed some degree
of trepidation; placing his foot on a stone, and rolling it over, and
choking in his throat, as if attempting to swallow. So soon, however,
as he perceived that things were in readiness, he stepped quickly into
the wagon, and at this moment he appeared to shrink; but instantly
elevating his head with firmness, he said, 'It will be but a momentary
pang;' and taking from his pocket two white handkerchiefs, the
provost-marshal with one loosely pinioned his arms, and with the
other, the victim, after taking off his hat and stock, bandaged his
own eyes with perfect firmness, which melted the hearts, and moistened
the cheeks, not only of his servant, but of the throng of spectators.
The rope being appended to the gallows, he slipped the noose over his
head, and adjusted it to his neck, without the assistance of the
executioner. Colonel Scammell now informed him that he had opportunity
to speak, if he desired it. He raised the handkerchief from his eyes,
and said: 'I pray you to bear me witness, that I meet my fate like a
brave man.' The wagon being now removed from under him, he was
suspended, and instantly expired."

Thus was cut off in the morning of life a man full of promise and
expectation--one to whose personal attractions were added
accomplishments, rich, varied, and brilliant--destined, but for an
untimely sacrifice of himself, under the impulse of a forbidden
ambition, to have reached the goal of his wishes--honor and renown. His
death at the hands of the Americans, according to the usage of war, was
just; but to Arnold, the pioneer in the base transaction, the news of
his execution must, it would seem, have been as the bitterness of death.

But no:--Arnold had no such feelings. Conscience was seared; the
generous sympathies of our nature were extinct; even the honor of a
soldier, dearer to him than life itself, had expired. The
long-cherished, deep-rooted, sordid passion of his
soul--_avarice_--alone lived; and now, while Andre, who might almost be
said to be the victim of that nether spirit, was mouldering in an
untimely and dishonored grave, he demanded his _pay_. What must
Clinton--the friend and patron of the high-souled and magnanimous
Andre--have felt when he told out to Arnold _six thousand three hundred
and fifteen pounds_, as the reward of his treachery!

In addition to this pecuniary reward, Arnold received the commission
of brigadier-general in the British army. But, after his infamous
attack on New London, and his inhuman conduct to the brave Ledyard and
his garrison in Fort Trumbull, finding himself neglected by the
British officers, he obtained permission to retire to England, for
which he sailed in 1781 with his family.

The life of Arnold was prolonged twenty years beyond this date. But
although the king and a few others in office felt compelled to notice
him for a time, yet they, at length, were willing to forget him, while
others despised and shunned him. Colonel Gardiner says, that when a
petition for a bill authorizing a negotiation of peace was presented
to the king, Arnold was standing near the throne. Lauderdale is
reported to have declared, on his return to the House of Commons,
that, however gracious the language he had heard from the throne, his
indignation could not but be highly excited at beholding, as he had
done, his majesty supported by a traitor. And on another occasion,
Lord Surrey, rising to speak in the House of Commons, and perceiving
Arnold in the gallery, immediately sat down, exclaiming: "I will not
speak while that man (pointing to him) is in the house."

Not long after the war, Arnold removed to St. John's, in New
Brunswick, where he engaged for a time in the West India trade.
Subsequently, he returned to England, where he resided to the time of
his death, which occurred in London, June 14th, 1804.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTE:

[50] The term _Cow-boys_ was given to Americans attached to the
British cause, who resided within their lines, but who frequently
plundered the Americans on the other side of their cattle, which they
drove to New York. _Skinners_ were those who lived within the American
lines, and professed attachment to their cause; but they were even
more unprincipled than the former, often committing their depredations
on friends as well as foes.



               XIII. CONCLUDING SCENES OF THE REVOLUTION.


    THEATRE of War changed to the South--Siege of Savannah--Siege of
        Charleston--Battle of Camden--Battle of
        Cowpens--Retreat--Subsequent Movements--Battles of Guilford,
        Kobkirk's hill, Ninety-Six, and Eutaw Springs--Battle of
        Yorktown--Treaty of Peace--Cessation of Hostilities--Army
        disbanded--Departure of the British Army--Final Interview
        between Washington and his Officers--Resigns his
        Commission--Retires to Mount Vernon.

We must hasten to the closing scenes of the long and sanguinary
contest between Great Britain and America.

The capture of Burgoyne, in 1777, was hailed, by a portion of the
American people, as indicative of a speedy termination of the war.
But, in these anticipations, they were destined to be disappointed.
For several years following, although the contest was still continued,
but little advance was made towards the termination. Battles were
indeed fought, naval engagements occurred, and predatory enterprises
were planned, and executed with various success; but neither power
could be said at any one period to be decidedly in the ascendant. In
1779, the theatre of war was changed from the northern to the southern
section of the confederacy. To this change, the British were invited
by the prospect of an easier victory. That portion of the country was
rendered weak by its scattered population, by the multitude of slaves,
and by the number of tories intermingled with the citizens.

Partial success to the British arms was the consequence. Savannah was
taken possession of, which gave the enemy, for a time, the power in
Georgia. In like manner, Charleston fell into their hands, and with
it, a considerable portion of the state of South Carolina. In the
progress of this southern warfare, battles occurred at Camden--at the
Cowpens--at Guilford Court-house--and at Eutaw Springs.


                         1. SIEGE OF SAVANNAH.

In the autumn of 1778, Savannah fell into the hands of the British. At
that time, Colonel Campbell, with a force of two thousand men, was
dispatched by Governor Clinton from New York against that city. The
American garrison, under General Howe, consisting of but six hundred
continental troops and a small body of militia, was inadequate to
resist so formidable a force; and at the expiration of a spirited
action, in which the Americans suffered severely, the latter
surrendered, and with that surrender, the British took military
occupation of the capital itself.

The succeeding year, D'Estaing, with a French fleet, destined to
cöoperate with the Americans for the recovery of Savannah, arrived on
the coast of Georgia. This intelligence having been communicated to
General Lincoln, who was in the vicinity of Charleston with a small
force, he immediately broke up his camp, and marched to assist in the
disembarkation of the French troops.

Before the arrival of Lincoln, D'Estaing had sent a "haughty summons"
to Prevost, the English commander, to surrender. The safety of the
former depended upon rëinforcements, which he was daily expecting;
and, in order to attain a delay, he required twenty-four hours to
consider the question of a capitulation. Unfortunately, D'Estaing
acceded to this demand. This proved fatal to the expedition; for,
meanwhile, Prevost was not idle. He succeeded in mounting nearly one
hundred cannon, and, moreover, the expected rëinforcement arrived,
swelling his force to three thousand men; upon which, he replied to
the French commander, that he was resolved to hold out to the last.

The original plan of attempting the place by storm was now prudently
abandoned, and the slow process of its reduction by siege was resolved
upon. The combined forces numbered between six and seven thousand men.
The siege was commenced. Trenches were opened, and, by the 4th of
September, a sap had been pushed to within three hundred yards of the
abbatis. In the course of a another month, batteries had been erected,
and other preparations were ready.

On the evening of October 4th, the tragical scene commenced, and a
heavy cannonade was kept up during the night. In the morning, that
scene became terrific. Thirty-seven cannon and nine mortars were
opened upon the city, while sixteen heavy guns from the fleet added
their uproar to the thunder of the former. The response to these was
still louder and more appalling. Nearly one hundred guns, which had
been mounted by Prevost, as we have said, gave back their tremendous
explosions. Carcasses, filled with all manner of combustibles, were
hurled into the town, setting on fire the houses, and spreading
consternation among the inhabitants. Shells came down from the sky,
bursting like meteors, and scattering their death-dealing fragments in
every street and in the neighborhood of every dwelling. All that day,
and, indeed, for four succeeding days and nights, this mutual
tremendous firing was maintained. Savannah and its neighborhood became
covered with a dense, dark cloud of smoke, through which the rays of
the sun could scarcely penetrate by day, and which, as that set,
served as a pall to increase the gloom and darkness of the night.

If the besiegers were steady to their purpose, the besieged were no
less resolute and successful in their resistance. Little or no
impression had hitherto been made upon the enemy's works, and how long
they would continue to hold out, the Americans had no means of
judging. They had reason, indeed, to believe that a reduction might at
no distant day be effected, as the supplies were cut off, and the
inhabitants must be suffering intensely. But D'Estaing began to fear
for the safety of his fleet, exposed, as it was, on an open coast. In
this posture, he proposed to Lincoln to attempt the place as
originally contemplated--by storm. This the latter deemed extremely
hazardous; but submitting to the higher authority of the count, an
assault was fixed for the 9th of October.

At one o'clock of the morning of that day, the Americans were up, and
ready for the fearful contest. The French unwisely delayed for some
two or three hours; but at length, led on by D'Estaing and Lincoln,
the combined forces--the French in three columns and the Americans in
one--proceeded to the attack.

Taking a position at the head of the first column, D'Estaing led them
forward to the very walls of the English works. It was a fatal
approach. Of a sudden, and when the French commander was
congratulating himself that he was taking the enemy by surprise, the
blaze of a hundred cannon filled him and his troops with amazement,
while the balls and grape-shot mowed down their ranks, as did the fire
of the Americans at Bunker's hill. Still, D'Estaing ordered the
remainder to advance, he himself heroically leading the way. But it
was only to death and defeat. Soon wounded, D'Estaing was borne from
the spot, while his brave troops remained to meet a still severer
destiny. They were mowed as grass by a new-ground scythe. The few who
survived, now made good their retreat to an adjoining wood, leaving
room for the second column, pressing forward, to supply their place.

[Illustration: Jasper on the Ramparts.]

These, passing over the fallen bodies of their brave companions,
succeeded in mounting the walls; and there they stood--and there, with
almost superhuman strength and determination, they fought. But it was
not even for such bravery and such perseverance to succeed. If the
struggle was now fearful, the carnage was still more so. One after
another, and by tens and twenties, they fell side by side, companions in
death of their brave precursors. A remnant only was left; and as that
remnant succeeded in securing a retreat, the third and last column of
the French troops came into action. A similar contest awaited them,
which they entered into with even greater ardor and more excited
passion; but it was followed by a similar, and perhaps still more fatal,
result. The chivalrous Laurens, at the head of the Americans, now made
his appearance; and directing his entire force against the Spring-hill
redoubt, attempted to scale its ramparts. But it was a vain attempt. The
parapets were too high to be reached, and the assailants fell as they
appeared, shot down with equal certainty and rapidity. Among the
Americans, at this memorable contest, was that Carolina regiment which,
at the siege of Fort Moultrie, had so distinguished itself, and which,
as a reward for its valor, Mrs. Elliott had presented two standards, as
we had occasion to notice, when describing the noble defence of the old
"slaughter pen." Nothing daunted by the fate of their companions, this
regiment pressed furiously forward; and now, for a brief period, was
witnessed a spectacle, which lighted up gladness in every eye: two
American standards--the very standards which we have named--were seen
waving on the English ramparts. And there, too, was the noble-hearted
Jasper himself, with those standards, which he loved better than life
itself. But it was a momentary floating to the breeze, and these
standards had for ever done their duty. They soon fell, and with them
fell the brave and patriotic Jasper. He grasped his standard as he fell
into the ditch, and there the flag covered him as a winding-sheet of
glory. He had told Mrs. Elliott that he would surrender his flag only
with his life, and he was true to his word. Jasper's
name--heroism--patriotism--will descend with the lapse of years; nor
will they be remembered but to be honored, while the records of American
valor shall have an existence.

The issue may be told in few words. The Americans failed, and retired.
Many a noble heart had shed its blood; many an arm, which had that day

          Shed fast atonement for its first delay,

was folded on the breast in death. And among those who fell nobly,
there was one--a high-souled Polander--the chivalric Pulaski--a
volunteer in the American service; he fell at the head of two hundred
horsemen, urging on their way amid fire and smoke, until a swivel-shot
struck the gallant soldier to the earth.

The contest lasted a little more than an hour; and yet, in that brief
space, six hundred and thirty-seven French, and four hundred and fifty
Americans, were mangled--bleeding corpses on the ground--more than one
thousand! Rapid work! It should seem that Moloch might have been
satisfied with the victims offered on that day's altar.

D'Estaing retired soon after with his fleet. He had gained no praise:
on the contrary, he was censured for his haste in demanding the
surrender of Savannah before the arrival of Lincoln; and then, by
allowing Prevost so long a time to deliberate, in truth giving him
ample opportunity to prepare for defence. The result was inglorious,
and served to perpetuate, and even strengthen, the cause of the
English at the South.


                        2. SIEGE OF CHARLESTON.

Charleston had long been an object of cupidity on the part of the
British. We have already had occasion to speak of an expedition under
Sir Peter Parker and Generals Cornwallis and Howe, destined against
that city, and the summary check they received at Fort Moultrie--that
"old slaughter-pen"--every one of whose garrison was a hero, and the
record of whose combined resistance can never be remembered but to the
honor and praise of American valor. That repulse was not forgotten by
the British, and, when next an attempt should be made, it was to be
expected that preparations would be commensurate with the magnitude
and difficulties of the enterprise.

It proved so. In the spring following the siege of Savannah, General
Clinton left New York with ten thousand men, intent on the capture of
Charleston. Lincoln was still at the head of the American troops in the
South. But they were altogether inadequate to defend the city against so
numerous and formidable a force as now appeared against him. For his own
credit, as well as for the honor of the American arms, clearly he should
have avoided a collision. But, over-persuaded by Governor Rutledge and
other prominent citizens, and, moreover, reluctant to abandon a place
which contained large public stores, or seem to yield where there was
hope of success, he consented to remain, and accomplish whatever human
wisdom, combined with American valor, could do.

On the 30th of March, General Clinton commenced the siege. He proceeded
with a caution, to be explained only by the lesson taught the British at
the siege of Fort Moultrie, and a determination not to be under the
necessity of meeting with another such disastrous result. In another
place, it should have been noted, that Fort Moultrie, in the present
invasion, made no resistance, the contest, it being intended, should be
on the mainland, and in the immediate vicinity of the city, where such
defences had been erected as the authorities were able to provide.

On the 10th of April, the first parallel was completed, and Lincoln was
summoned to surrender. To this summons, he replied: "that he felt it to
be his duty, and it was also his instruction, to defend the place to the
last extremity." Ten days elapsed, during which a second parallel was
finished, and a second summons made and declined. A heavy and formidable
cannonade was now opened by Clinton, which was kept up, with scarcely
any remission, for several days. Meanwhile, Lincoln was almost
constantly on duty--straining every muscle to resist the steady, but
apparently fatal, advance of his foe. It is related of him, that "one
day he was ten hours in the saddle, without once dismounting--riding
hither and thither, with his great heart filled with anxious foreboding;
and, the last fortnight, he never took off his clothes to rest. Flinging
himself, in his uniform, on a couch, he would snatch a few moments'
repose, and then again be seen riding along the lines."

Meanwhile, his defences became weakened, and his troops exhausted with
labor and fatigue. They had little time to sleep, and even the supply
of provisions was limited. Yet, Lincoln continued, day after day, to
inspire them with courage and hope. All that a brave commander could
do, he did--concealing the apprehensions which harrowed his inmost
soul, and for which there were reasons; all that men could do, his
noble few did--suffering privations seldom experienced during the
revolutionary contest. It was a brave defence! It was a long,
protracted, painful struggle! But it was in vain. At length, the
batteries of the enemy had reached within eighty yards of the American
defences, and preparations were making for a general storm. Thus
environed by a formidable force, both by sea and land,

          ----"Nec spes opis ulla dabatur"--

it was the dictate of humanity, both in respect to the inhabitants of
the city, and the brave, but exhausted, remnant of his devoted army, to
capitulate. Accordingly, overtures were made to General Clinton, which
were at length accepted. Charleston fell, and the entire army laid down
arms. By the terms of capitulation, the garrison were to march out, and
deposit their arms in front of the works; but, as a mark of humiliation,
the drums were not to beat an American march, nor their colors to be
displayed. This was severe; but the humiliation was remembered, when,
eighteen months afterwards, Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown,
and "waters of a full cup were wrung out" to him.


                          3. BATTLE OF CAMDEN.

The fall of Charleston opened the south to Cornwallis, nor was he slow
to take advantage of the opportunity of strengthening the royal cause.
Baron de Kalb had been sent from the main army to the assistance of
Lincoln; but the latter having surrendered before his arrival, the
former assumed the command of the forces opposed to Cornwallis.
Shortly after, however, Gates, the "hero of Saratoga," arrived, having
been appointed to occupy the place of General Lincoln.

The reputation which Gates had acquired in his contest with Burgoyne,
had preceded him, and served to stay the despondency and gloom which
was extensively pervading the South. The militia responded to his
call, and came flocking to his standard. Thus rëinforced, he proceeded
towards Camden, the rendezvous of Lord Rawdon. But his haste was
ill-judged. Besides, by reason of a serious lack of provisions for his
troops, which he had neglected to provide, they were compelled to
subsist for several days on green apples, corn, and other vegetables;
their strength, also, was still more diminished for want of needful
rest. On reaching the vicinity of Rawdon, instead of an immediate
attack, before the latter could receive rëinforcements, and when he
was more on an equal footing with the enemy, he wasted several days in
skirmishes, which served to darken rather than brighten his chance of
success. In this interval, Cornwallis arrived with the troops under
his command, thus adding to the strength of the enemy, and greatly
increasing their confidence and courage.

Indeed, Cornwallis was not slow in deciding to hazard an engagement,
although he knew that the contest would still be unequal. Gates had
superior numbers. But a retreat would be to abandon all that he had
gained in South Carolina and Georgia; and in effect would be the ruin
of the royal cause.

The American army occupied a post at Rugely's mills. On the 11th of
August, at ten o'clock in the night, the English began their march.
Ignorant of this movement, Gates had put his army in motion at the same
time, and with similar intent. What was their mutual surprise, when at
two o'clock in the morning, the advanced-guard of the British suddenly
came in contact with the head column of the Americans! A brief skirmish
ensued--but soon ended, as if by mutual consent--neither commander being
willing to hazard a nocturnal rencounter.

At a council of war summoned by Gates, the Baron de Kalb advised a
retreat to their former encampment, as in their present position they
were between two marshes, while at Rugely's mills they would have the
decided advantage as to position. In this, however, he was overruled by
Gates, who decided to wait the approach of the enemy where they were.

We shall not enter into the details of this unfortunate battle. It was
sad and sanguinary. General Gates misjudged as to position; but still
greater was his error in attempting to change the order of battle
almost at the moment when the battle began. Of this latter mistake,
Cornwallis was not slow to take advantage, but at once ordered his
troops to charge. Unprepared for an attack so sudden and so furious,
the American column gave way--the Virginians actually betaking
themselves to flight. All was soon confusion and uproar. De Kalb threw
himself at the head of the regular troops, and, infusing into them the
fire and indignation which animated his own bosom, led them on. They
advanced firm--calm--determined. But the contest was now unequal. They
could not resist the impetuous torrent which came thundering upon
them. They could not save the battle. And at this time--their ranks
thinned--their path obstructed--the cavalry of Tarleton came bearing
down upon them with the impetuosity of a whirlwind. "Shot after shot
had struck the Baron de Kalb, and the blood was pouring from his side
in streams; yet, animated by that spirit which has made the hero in
every age, he rallied his men for a last charge, and led them at the
point of the bayonet on the dense ranks. Striking a bayonet from his
breast, and laying the grenadier that held it dead at his feet, he
pressed forward, and, in the very act of cheering on his men, fell
with the blood gushing from eleven wounds. His aids immediately
covered him with their bodies, exclaiming, 'Save the Baron de Kalb!
save the Baron de Kalb!'"

[Illustration: Death of De Kalb.]

But their efforts to save him were unavailing. He was taken prisoner,
and his troops fled. Gates, meanwhile, was pursuing his fugitive army.
Their arrest and recall were, however, beyond his power. The rout was
entire; the defeat complete; owing, as was thought by men of competent
judgment, to the mismanagement of Gates.

De Kalb survived his wounds but a short time. He was able, however, to
dictate a brief letter to the patriotic band of soldiers at whose head
he had planted himself, and who nobly sustained him up to the moment
of his fall. He died in the cause of liberty--regretted by all who
knew his worth as a man and a soldier--and honored by congress, which
directed a monument to be erected to his memory at Annapolis.

The battle at Camden was sanguinary, and had the effect to spread a
gloom over the face of American affairs. The loss of the patriots
exceeded six hundred in killed; the wounded and prisoners thirteen
hundred. The British stated their loss to be only three hundred in
killed and wounded.

Cornwallis was the victor--but the British cause had now reached its
culminating point. Elated at their successes, the conquerors grew
insolent and rapacious; the Americans, resolute and determined.


                         4. BATTLE OF COWPENS.

Never did a service require an able and efficient commander more than
the American service at the South, following the disastrous defeat of
Gates at the battle of Camden. Fortunately, the precise man was found
in General Greene, "who, next to Washington, was the ablest commander
in the Revolutionary army"--an officer of large experience, and
distinguished for two qualities, which were more important, at this
juncture, than all others--"great caution and great rapidity." To
these were added a wonderful fortitude and as wonderful perseverance.

On assuming the command, Greene found the army reduced to two thousand
men, of whom not more than eight hundred were fit for service. The
officers, however, had few equals--and no superiors. There were
Morgan, Lee, Marion, Sumpter, and Washington (Lieutenant-colonel),
men, whose heroic achievements have justly placed them high on the
rolls of military fame. Had the army borne any comparison to its
officers, either in point of numbers or in discipline, energy, and
enthusiasm, the royal cause, in the South, would have met a still
earlier doom than it did. But the army was not only greatly reduced
in numbers, but so destitute was it of arms, ammunition, food, and
clothing, that it seemed a matter of presumption to attempt entering
the list with Cornwallis, who, to a well-disciplined and powerful
army, added every desirable materiel of war. But it often occurred
during the Revolutionary struggle, that "the race was not to the
swift, nor the battle to the strong."

The first measure adopted by Greene was unusual--he separated his
forces, small as they were, into several divisions, and stationed them
at different points. For this he has been censured, as contrary to
military rule; but the sequel proved the wisdom of the measure. It
served greatly to dismay Cornwallis, who scarcely knew in what
direction to proceed, or which one to attack--whether Morgan, Marion,
or Lee, who, with their respective detachments, were threatening him
from different points.

At length, however, he decided to begin with Morgan, who was stationed
at Cowpens, with an available force of less than a thousand men. The
plan proposed by Cornwallis was, that Tarleton, with eleven hundred
men, should assail him in front, while he himself, with the main army,
would attempt to prevent his retreat. On the appearance of Tarleton,
Morgan retired; but being, at length, hotly pressed, a contest became
inevitable. The first onset of Tarleton was terrible--the Americans
gave way, and the victorious British were anticipating the utter rout
of their foes. But, at a critical moment of the action, Colonel
Washington, who had been watching the various movements of the
respective armies, gave orders to his bugler to sound a charge. It was
nobly done! Nothing could withstand the impetuosity, the fire, the
fury of the assailants. The infantry, which was pressing on to
victory, were, as in a moment, borne down, and scattered like chaff
before the whirlwind. Morgan had time to rally his repulsed force;
and, with such an example as had been set them, they now sped their
way to victory. It was a brief, but a stirring, sanguinary scene.
Tarleton lost of his eleven hundred, seven hundred--besides two
cannon, eight hundred muskets, and a hundred dragoons.

[Illustration: Charge of Colonel Washington.]

The battle over, Morgan hastily retired, in order to escape
Cornwallis, who was bearing down upon him. In this he was successful;
but it was only at the sacrifice of the baggage, and a large part of
the stores of the army. Cornwallis pursued a similar policy--never was
man more determined to make sure of the enemy than he was; and never
was man more determined to escape than Morgan. His object was to reach
the head-quarters of Greene; but, at the distance of fifty miles, it
was his good fortune to meet his general, who, with a small force, was
hastening to his assistance.


                   5. RETREAT--SUBSEQUENT MOVEMENTS.

Immediately following the battle of Cowpens, Greene directed his course
towards Guilford, which he had appointed as the rendezvous of his army.
This was a perilous undertaking; and the more so, as his route lay
across the Catawba, the Yadkin, and the Dan--each of which was liable
to be suddenly swelled, and thus prevent his passage; and at a time,
perhaps, when Cornwallis would be pressing upon him. Besides, the winter
was a most unpropitious season for such an enterprise. The soldiers were
poorly clad; many of them were barefoot; blankets were greatly needed,
and even provisions were scarce. But there was no safe alternative.
Greene's force was inadequate to maintain a position against so
formidable a force as Cornwallis had under his command. It was not
indeed certain that a retreat so distant, and so fraught with
difficulties, could be effected in safety. But it was decided to run the
hazard, and towards the accomplishment of his plans, Greene now put
forth all his energy and skill.

We shall not follow him minutely in the various steps of his remarkable
and successful enterprise. Often did the English advance columns press
upon his rear; and so determined were the former--with such rapidity did
they urge their pursuit--that the fugitives were able in some instances
to rest but three hours out of the twenty-four, and to secure but one
meal a-day. Their fatigue--their deprivations--their sufferings,
penetrated the very heart of their sympathizing leader. His own anxiety
was deep and wasting; yet he had a smile and a word of encouragement as
he rode up, and hurried forward his exhausted columns.

At length they approached the Dan; that passed, they were safe; but
this was the point of their greatest danger. Cornwallis was near at
hand, and, like Pharaoh of old, pressing upon the children of Israel
at the banks of the Red sea, was confident of their utter
extermination--he had resolved to overwhelm and annihilate the
American army on the banks of the Dan.

They reached those banks. In the rear, covering their embarkation,
and, if possible, keeping in check the advance of the now infuriated
enemy, were stationed Lee's legion and Washington's horsemen. It was a
noble but perilous enterprise which they had undertaken. Had the
forces of Cornwallis reached them, it is impossible to conjecture the
issue. They had decided to succeed or perish.

But about noon, a messenger made his appearance upon a swift charger,
making the joyful announcement that the army had safely made the
passage. The guard now themselves urged their way to the ferry. Greene
had not yet crossed. He had delayed through his anxiety for the safety
of Lee and Washington, and their brave comrades. Who can describe his
exultation as they came dashing on their proud steeds! That was a
moment of intense joy; but that joy reached its climax when all were
safely on the opposite shore, and the deep waters of the Dan were
rolling between his army and their pursuers. The last boat that left,
bore the intrepid Lee, and, as it grounded upon the opposite shore,
the British van had reached the banks. This was the climax of their
disappointment. At the end of a pursuit of two hundred and fifty
miles, and during which they had destroyed all their baggage to
accelerate their progress, it was their destiny to behold their prey
exulting beyond their reach. Of this retreat, it has been well
remarked, that "for the skill with which it was planned, the
resolution and energy with which it was carried through, and the
distance traveled, it stands alone in the annals of our country, and
will bear a comparison with the most renowned feats of ancient or
modern times. It covered Greene with more glory than a victory could
have done, and stamped him at once the great commander."

Soon after the events now recited, the army of General Greene was
augmented by the arrival of rëinforcements from Virginia, to five
thousand five hundred men. Numerically, his force was larger than that
of Cornwallis, but most of the troops were for the first time in a
camp. Thus strengthened, Greene decided to hazard an engagement as
early as circumstances allowed. With this object in view, after giving
his troops some little opportunity to rest, he proceeded, and took
post at Guilford.

Here, on the 15th of March, occurred the battle of _Guilford
Court-house_, which on the part of Greene had been so wisely planned as
must have issued in the utter discomfiture of Cornwallis, had all the
Americans behaved with their accustomed bravery. But, most
unfortunately, the terrible aspect of the British army, on its near
approach, spread consternation and dismay among the Carolina militia;
and, throwing down their guns, knapsacks, and canteens, they
precipitately left the scene of action. These were followed by a portion
of the Marylanders. It was impossible to rally them, or even to stay
their progress. But the Virginians fought nobly, as did the second
regiment of the Marylanders. Upon these and the continental troops, the
entire force of the battle fell. For a time, even with the loss of the
aid of those who so ignobly fled, victory seemed to decide for the
Americans. But at length Cornwallis, at a great sacrifice of men,
succeeded in getting the ascendancy, and no alternative was left to
Greene but to order a retreat, while it could safely be made. The loss
of the Americans was about four hundred, in killed and wounded; that of
the British reached nearly six hundred. The British claimed the victory,
but it was a victory which caused Fox to exclaim, when announced in the
British House of Commons, "_Another such will ruin the British army._"

Following the battle above described, Cornwallis retreated to such a
distance from Greene, as to present little inducement to the latter to
follow, even had his force been able to cope with that under his
lordship's command. It remained, therefore, for him to adopt some new
plan, and to look in another direction for some field of usefulness to
his country's cause. After much consideration, he decided to lead back
his forces into South Carolina, and to fall on the line of the British
posts between Ninety-Six and Charleston. It was a bold, original, and
hazardous experiment; and the more so, as Cornwallis _might_ also
return, and press him with his superior force. But the decision was
made; and, taking up his line of march, in twelve days he reached
Camden, where Lord Rawdon was strongly intrenched.

Taking a position on Hobkirk's hill, two miles north of Camden, Rawdon
in a few days drew out his forces, and appeared in battle array against
him. At the time the approach of the enemy was announced, the Americans
were deeply engaged in cooking food, of which, for twenty-four hours,
they had been destitute. For a moment, there was confusion; but,
abandoning their meal, as did Greene his coffee, they soon stood in
order of battle. The action opened with promise to the Americans. Greene
himself, at the head of a single regiment, fought as a common soldier.
His troops appeared firm, and even enthusiastic. Judge his surprise,
when, at this critical moment, he perceived the regiment of Gunby, the
one upon which, more perhaps than all others, he depended--the one which
at Guilford had displayed such bravery--that regiment was giving
way--was in the very act of retreating. Greene sped his charger among
them--headed them--rallied them; but it was too late: the battle was
lost. There was, indeed, more fighting, and every effort was made to
recover from the shock caused by the retreat of Gunby's veteran
regiment. But it was fruitless, and Greene retreated, in rather a
creditable manner, considering the circumstances.

But the regiment, it is recorded--the cause of such deep mortification
and utter failure--was after all not to blame. At least, the apology
was made for them, that they mistook the order of Gunby, their leader,
who had directed them only to halt, for an order to retreat. In the
din of arms, his command was not understood, and the consequence was
the disastrous result we have named.

The situation of Rawdon, notwithstanding his success, was critical;
Greene's was still more critical. For the first time, it is said, the
latter became vacillating and despondent. On the one hand, he was in
danger from Rawdon; and on the other, it was reported that Cornwallis
was marching rapidly against him. His army was
small--destitute--discouraged. But it was not Greene's nature long to
despond. He rose above the difficulties and perils of his position, and
decided to occupy the place which God and his country had assigned him.

At this juncture, more certain intelligence was received that
Cornwallis was on his march to Virginia. This left him at liberty to
follow out his original plan.

Meanwhile, Rawdon broke up his encampment at Camden, and moved towards
Fort Motte, against which Marion and Lee were pursuing a siege. Before
Rawdon could reach it, it had surrendered to the Americans.

There remained now in the hands of the British but one fortress more
of importance. This was Ninety-Six, situated one hundred and
forty-seven miles north-west from Charleston, and garrisoned by five
hundred and sixty men. To the reduction of this, Greene turned his
attention. On the 22d of May, he appeared before it, and commenced a
siege. While successfully pursuing his design, and daily advancing
towards the consummation of his wishes, news arrived of the rapid
approach of Rawdon. Indeed, he appeared even earlier than had been
anticipated, and Greene had no alternative but to retreat. But,
listening to his army, who were intent on a demonstration against the
enemy, he consented thereto: but, although they made the assault with
admirable firmness, and even enthusiastic zeal, they failed, and
orders to retreat were given.

Rawdon followed Greene some fifteen or twenty miles on his retreat;
when, returning to Ninety-Six, he ordered its evacuation, and himself
took up his march for Charleston.

As the sickly season had now commenced, Greene withdrew his army to a
cool and salubrious position on the high hills of Santee. Here, having
remained until the 22d of August--his troops resting and recruiting,
as much they needed both--he broke up his encampment, and began his
march; and on the 7th of September, arrived within seven miles of
Eutaw Springs, where the British lay encamped in an open field, under
command of General Stewart.

On the following day, putting his army in motion, he proceeded towards
the field, where occurred--


                    6. THE BATTLE OF EUTAW SPRINGS.

Greene took the British commander somewhat by surprise, but he was not
slow to put his army in the order of battle. The Americans were the
first to commence the contest, and that commencement was auspicious.
The militia did themselves greater credit than on some former
occasions. Both armies were soon engaged; both contended with a
seriousness, a determination, a perseverance, commensurate with the
prize at stake. It is not necessary to descend to particulars. Each
cause was apparently more than once in the ascendant, but in the
sequel neither could claim a decided victory. Yet, the advantage
rested with Greene. The English had lost one-quarter of their number
in killed, and another quarter were made prisoners. Moreover, he had
driven them from the field; but he could not pursue them, on account
of his prisoners and wounded, and the exhausted state of his army.

At the close of the contest, the belligerent armies united in burying
their dead. What a contrast to the spectacle which had been exhibited
a few hours before!

The battle of Eutaw Springs was the last general engagement in the
South. Soon after, the British concentrated themselves at Charleston;
and here they were for months hemmed in, and watched by the faithful
and persevering Greene. But their situation, at length, became so
distressing, that they determined to evacuate the city. This was
carried into effect on the 13th of December, 1781. At three o'clock of
the same day, Greene entered in triumph, to the exultation of its
emancipated citizens, and with all the honors which a grateful people
could shed upon him. "_God bless you! God bless you!_" was uttered by
hundreds, as he passed along; nor was it a thoughtless, unmeaning
prayer, but the warm and ardent desire of warm and ardent hearts.
Greene merited it all: he loved his country with an affection which no
circumstances could weaken, and served her with a fidelity which no
temptation could interrupt. Truthfully, most truthfully, did
Washington say of him: "Could he but promote the interests of his
country in the character of a corporal, he would exchange, without a
murmur, his epaulettes for the knot."


                         7. BATTLE OF YORKTOWN.

The campaign for the year 1781, as arranged between Washington and the
Count de Rochambeau at Wethersfield, Connecticut, had for its object
the recovery of New York, still in possession of the British. A French
fleet, to arrive in August, was expected to cöoperate. In pursuance of
this plan, the allied forces were concentrated at Kingsbridge, fifteen
miles above New York.

While these movements were in progress, it was unexpectedly announced
that the destination of the French fleet was the Chesapeake, instead
of New York; and here the Count de Grasse, at length, arrived with
twenty-eight ships of the line, several frigates, and three thousand
troops.

This intelligence manifested the necessity of a change of purpose.
Without the cöoperation of a fleet, it would be impossible to succeed
in the reduction of New York. Besides, there now opened an equally, if
not a more important enterprise, in a different quarter.

Lord Cornwallis, who had for some time conducted the military
operations of the British at the South, as we have had occasion to
notice, had concentrated his forces at Yorktown, in Virginia, which,
together with Gloucester Point, he had strongly fortified. His army
consisted of ten thousand effective men.

Washington was not long in deciding the course which the interests of
his country required him to pursue. He was now ready to follow the
indications of Providence: and it was now apparent that a victory over
Cornwallis must necessarily forward the triumph of the patriot cause.
It was happily ordered that the French fleet should have the
Chesapeake for its destination. In that vicinity, the final conflict
was to be waged; there, the pride of Britain was to be humbled;
there, the last act in the drama was to transpire.

Pursuant to his altered purposes, Washington put his army in motion,
and on the 25th of August, the passage of the Hudson was effected.

It being a point of great moment to conceal the real object of this
movement, the march of the army was continued until the 31st, in such
a direction as to keep up fears for New York; and a considerable
degree of address was used to countenance the opinion that the real
design was against that place. The letters which had been intercepted
by Sir Henry Clinton favored this deception; and so strong was the
impression made, that after it became necessary for the combined army
to leave the route leading down the Hudson, he is stated to have
retained his fears for New York, and not to have suspected the real
object of his adversary, until he had approached the Delaware, and it
had become too late to obstruct the progress of the allied army
towards Virginia. He then resolved to make every exertion in his power
to relieve Lord Cornwallis, and, in the mean time, to act offensively
in the North. An expedition was planned against New London, in
Connecticut; and a strong detachment, under the command of General
Arnold, was embarked on board a fleet of transports, which landed
early in the morning of the 6th of September on both sides of the
harbor, about three miles from the town. The result of this
expedition--so infamous to Arnold--so inhuman--so contrary to all the
laws governing modern warfare--is too well known to need recital here.

The progress of Washington could not consistently be arrested by such an
incursion, ready, as in other circumstances he would have been, to have
hastened to the defence of his fellow-citizens, against so vindictive a
monster as that traitor had shown himself to be. Momentous results were
now depending upon accelerated movements; and, accordingly, he urged his
troops forward to the extent of their power.

Having made the necessary arrangements for the conveyance of his army
down the Chesapeake, Washington, accompanied by several distinguished
officers, French and American, hastened forward to Williamsburg,
where, in an interview with the Count de Grasse, a system of
operations for the contemplated siege was devised.

On the 25th of September, the last division of the allied troops
arrived in James' river, and were disembarked at the landing near
Williamsburg. On the 30th, the combined armies, twelve thousand in
number, moved upon Yorktown and Gloucester, at which time the fleet of
Count de Grasse proceeded up York river, with the double object of
preventing the retreat of Cornwallis, and intercepting his supplies.

The village of Yorktown lies on the south side of York river. Its
southern banks are high. In its waters a ship-of-the-line could ride
with safety. Gloucester Point projects far into the river on the
opposite shore. Both these posts were occupied by Cornwallis--the main
body of the army being at York, under the immediate command of his
lordship; Lieutenant-colonel Tarleton was stationed at Gloucester with
a detachment of about six hundred men. Every possible effort had been
made to fortify these posts. The interests involved were of
incalculable magnitude. A failure now, Cornwallis could not but
perceive, would put to hazard the royal cause. Every expedient,
therefore, was adopted, which was calculated to secure his success,
and give victory to the British arms.

Washington was equally impressed with the greatness of the enterprise
in which he had embarked. The eyes of his countrymen were turned with
intense interest to the issues of the impending contest. Nor can it be
doubted that supplications went up from thousands of family altars,
and from private closets, that the God of the Pilgrim Fathers would
interpose for the salvation of a people, who, from their first landing
on these shores, had regarded his honor as their highest object, and
the enjoyment of rational liberty as their greatest privilege.

The preparations having now been completed, Yorktown was invested,
upon which Cornwallis, abandoning all his advanced works, retired
behind his principal fortifications. The former were immediately
occupied by the besiegers.

It is not important to detail the events of each succeeding day, as
this siege progressed. Washington, calm and collected, continued to
extend his batteries towards the principal works of the enemy. The
cannonade from the British line of defences was furious and incessant.
On the 16th, a fierce sortie was made by the British, an American
battery was stormed--the artillerists were overpowered, and seven
cannon spiked; but the Americans rallied, and succeeded in recovering
all that was lost.

Finding his situation extremely critical, Cornwallis now decided on
abandoning his sick, together with his baggage, and, crossing to
Gloucester, to attempt an escape to New York. In pursuance of this
plan, boats, prepared under various pretexts, were held in readiness
to receive the troops at ten in the evening, and convey them over the
river. The arrangements were made with such secresy, that the first
embarkation arrived at the Point unperceived, and part of the troops
were landed, when a sudden and violent storm interrupted the execution
of this hazardous plan, and drove the boats down the river. The storm
continued till near daylight, when the boats returned. But the plan
was necessarily abandoned, and the boats were sent to bring back the
soldiers, who were rëlanded on the southern shore in the course of the
forenoon without much loss.

On the morning of the 17th, several new batteries which had been
completed were opened, and a more appalling, and, if possible,
destructive fire, was commenced upon the British works. It could no
longer be withstood. Cornwallis became convinced of the folly of
protracting a contest which was only weakening his forces, and
sacrificing the lives of his troops. It was a most unwelcome and
humiliating necessity, but that necessity existed, and at ten o'clock he
ordered the British lines to beat a parley. This was immediately
followed by a proposed cessation of hostilities for twenty-four hours,
with reference to a settlement of terms of capitulation. Washington, in
his reply, expressed his desire to stay the effusion of blood, but not
one moment could he lose in fruitless negotiations. His lordship might
transmit his proposals, and two hours would be given to consider them.
These were transmitted, but they proved unsatisfactory. Washington now
himself dictated the terms; and they were the same as given to Lincoln
at the fall of Charleston. At the appointed time, the conquered army,
with colors cased, and drums silent, marched out, and laid down their
arms. Lincoln was appointed to receive the sword of Cornwallis--an honor
which he deserved--and a service doubtless the more grateful from the
circumstance that, eighteen months before, he had been compelled to
surrender his sword to an English commander. It was an imposing
spectacle. To the British, the more humiliating, as it cast a shade over
all their prospects of success in the land of rebellion--to the
Americans, the more grateful, as it was a presage of an end to their
toils and hardships. The conduct of Cornwallis, on the occasion of
surrender, was unbecoming the firm and high-minded officer. He was not
present, but appointed another to tender his sword in his place. There
are men who can participate in the honors of victory, and claim their
full portion--but who are too proud to share with their fellow-officers
and soldiers the mortification of defeat. Cornwallis was one.

To Washington and his army the issue of this contest was most joyful;
and in token of that joy, orders were issued that all under arrest,
should forthwith be set at liberty. But this was not enough. A public
recognition of the Divine goodness seemed befitting; accordingly, in
his public orders, in terms most solemn and impressive, he directed
that divine service should be performed in the different brigades and
divisions. All the troops not on duty were recommended to be present,
and to assist in the solemn and grateful homage paid to the Benefactor
of the nation.

[Illustration: BATTLE OF YORKTOWN]


                          8. TREATY OF PEACE.

The first intelligence received in America from England, after the
news of the battle of Yorktown had reached that country, was different
in its tenor from what had been expected. The Americans regarded it as
the finishing stroke of the war, and anticipated a similar estimation
of the battle in England. But on the assembling of parliament in
November, 1781, the speech from the throne breathed a settled purpose
to continue the war; and the addresses from both houses, which were
carried by large majorities, echoed the sentiment.

But when the first excitement had passed, and men began to contemplate
the posture of things with calm and enlightened reason, they saw the
folly of persisting in the contest. To conquer America by force, was
impracticable, and the further waste of treasure and blood, was both
impolitic and inhuman.

Pursuant to these corrected views, on the 22d of February, 1782, General
Conway moved an address to the king, praying that the war on the
continent of North America might no longer be pursued, for the
impracticable purpose of reducing that country to obedience by force;
and expressing their hope, that the earnest desire and diligent exertion
to restore the public tranquillity, of which they had received his
majesty's most gracious assurances, might, by a happy reconciliation
with the revolted colonies, be forwarded and made effectual; to which
great end his majesty's faithful Commons would be ready to give their
utmost assistance. This motion being lost by a single vote only, was,
five days after, renewed by the same gentleman, in a form somewhat
different, and was carried; and an address, in pursuance of it,
presented to the king. Not yet satisfied with the triumph obtained over
the ministry, and considering the answer of the king not sufficiently
explicit, the House of Commons, on the 4th of March, on the motion of
General Conway, declared, that all those who should advise, or by any
means attempt, the further prosecution of offensive war in America,
should be considered as enemies to their king and country. In this state
of things, it was impossible for the ministry longer to continue in
power, and on the 19th, they relinquished their places. A new
administration was soon after formed--the Marquis of Rockingham was
placed at the head of the treasury, and the Earl of Shelburne and Mr.
Fox held the important places of secretaries.

Measures were immediately adopted by the new ministry with a view to
peace. As the basis of peace, it was the wish of the Marquis of
Rockingham to offer America unlimited, unconditional independence. To
this, the Earl of Shelburne was opposed; and, moreover, it was one of
the last measures to which the king himself would give his assent. In
July, the Marquis of Rockingham died, and Lord Shelburne was appointed
first lord of the treasury. This produced an open rupture in the
cabinet, and the resignation of Lord John Cavendish, Mr. Fox, and
others; in consequence of which, William Pitt was made chancellor of
the exchequer, and Thomas Townshend and Lord Grantham, secretaries of
state. On the 11th of July, parliament adjourned. Among their last
acts, was one authorizing the king to conclude a peace or truce with
the Americans.

On the 30th of November, 1782, a provisional treaty was agreed on at
Paris, by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and Henry Laurens,
on the part of America, and by Mr. Fitzherbert and Mr. Oswald, on the
part of Great Britain.

It may be added, in this connection, that the definitive treaty of peace
was signed at Paris, on the 3d of September, by David Hartley, Esq., on
the part of his Britannic majesty, and by John Jay, Benjamin Franklin,
and John Adams, on the part of the United States. The provisions of the
treaty attest the zeal and ability of the American negotiation, as well
as the liberal feelings which actuated the British minority. The
independence of the United States was fully acknowledged. The right of
fishing on the banks of Newfoundland, and certain facilities in the
enjoyment of that right, were secured to them for ever.


                      9. CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES.

On the 18th of April, 1783, Gen. Washington announced the cessation of
hostilities between the two countries, in the following general order:

"The commander-in-chief orders the cessation of hostilities between the
United States of America and the King of Great Britain, to be publicly
proclaimed to-morrow, at twelve o'clock, at the New Building; and the
proclamation, which will be communicated herewith, be read to-morrow
evening, at the head of every regiment and corps of the army; after
which, the chaplains, with the several brigades, will render thanks to
Almighty God for all his mercies, particularly for his overruling the
wrath of man to his own glory, and causing the rage of war to cease
among the nations."--It is worthy of notice that this order was read to
the army just eight years after the battle of Lexington.


                        10. THE ARMY DISBANDED.

On the 2d of November, Washington issued his farewell orders to the
army. In conclusion, he said:

"Being now to conclude these his last public orders, to take his
ultimate leave, in a short time, of the military character, and to bid
adieu to the armies he has so long had the honor to command, he can
only again offer in their behalf his recommendations to their grateful
country, and his prayers to the God of armies. May ample justice be
done them here, and may the choicest of Heaven's favors, both here and
hereafter, attend those who, under the Divine auspices, have secured
innumerable blessings for others! With these wishes, and this
benediction, the commander-in-chief is about to retire from service.
The curtain of separation will soon be drawn, and the military scene
to him will be for ever closed."

What more tender!--what more touching! While to Washington himself, and
to his army, it must have been most grateful that years of toil,
privation, and suffering were ended, and the glorious object for which
that toil, privation, and suffering had been endured, was achieved, the
hour of separation must have been most painful. They were to part to
meet no more. Well did his soldiers know that their brave and beloved
chief would bear them in his heart. But there were circumstances which,
at this final interview, bore heavily upon them. They were poor; and, in
rags and destitution, they were returning to their homes. Washington's
sympathies were enlisted for them; and while he could not justify the
course they had pursued--for they had passed resolutions in their
encampment reflecting on the justice of their country, and especially
upon congress, and had used terms of harshness and threatening--yet
Washington expressed his pity, and his ardent hope that ample justice
would be done them by a grateful country for the services they had
rendered, and for the toils and trials they had sustained.

[Illustration: Washington taking leave of the Army--The Troops
defiling before him.]

The parting moment now arrived. Column after column marched by him,
receiving as they passed his tender and affectionate salutation--the
several bands of music playing the mournful, yet, on this parting
occasion, appropriate dirge of "Roslin Castle."


                   11. DEPARTURE OF THE BRITISH ARMY.

The 25th of November had been fixed for the final retirement from the
American shores of the British officers and troops. The place of
departure was New York; and on that day they went on board the British
fleet--the American troops, under General Knox, at the same time
entering and taking possession of the city.

Guards being posted for the security of the citizens, General
Washington, accompanied by Governor Clinton, and attended by many
civil and military officers, and a large number of respectable
inhabitants on horseback, made his public entry into the city. What a
triumph! What a glorious issue of the toils, anxieties, and hardships,
growing out of an eight years' contest! It was an occasion of joy,
such as the sun had not beamed upon since the day he was lighted up in
the firmament. Public dinners followed, and magnificent fireworks
attested the general joy.


          12. FINAL INTERVIEW OF WASHINGTON AND HIS OFFICERS.

One other painful, yet pleasing scene, awaited the
commander-in-chief--the parting with the officers of the army, the
companions of his toils and triumph. The affecting interview took
place on the 4th of December. "At noon, the principal officers of the
army assembled at Francis's tavern; soon after which, their beloved
commander entered the room. His emotions were too strong to be
concealed. Filling a glass, he turned to them, and said: 'With a heart
full of love and gratitude, I now take leave of you; I most devoutly
wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy, as your
former ones have been glorious and honorable.' Having drunk, he added:
'I cannot come to each of you to take my leave, but shall be obliged
if each of you will come and take me by the hand.' General Knox, being
nearest, turned to him. Washington, incapable of utterance, grasped
his hand, and embraced him. In the same affectionate manner, he took
leave of each succeeding officer. The tear of manly sensibility was in
every eye; and not a word was articulated to interrupt the dignified
silence and the tenderness of the scene. Leaving the room, he passed
through the corps of light infantry, and walked to Whitehall, where a
barge waited to convey him to Powles' Hook. The whole company followed
in mute and solemn procession, with dejected countenances, testifying
feelings of delicious melancholy, which no language can describe.
Having entered the barge, he turned to the company, and, waving his
hat, bade them a silent adieu. They paid him the same affectionate
compliment; and after the barge had left them, returned in the same
solemn manner to the place where they had assembled."

[Illustration: Washington taking leave of his Officers, and embarking
at Whitehall.]


                 13. WASHINGTON RESIGNS HIS COMMISSION.

And there was still one further duty obligatory upon Washington--one
act more, and his earthly glory was consummated--to give back the
commission which for eight years he had held, and which, had he been
actuated by the ambition of Alexander, Cæsar, or Napoleon, he might
have employed to ascend a throne. To the fulfillment of this last and
highest duty he now addressed himself. Leaving New York, he repaired
to Annapolis, in Maryland, where congress was in session, and, on the
20th of December, informed that body of his intention, and requested a
day to be assigned for the performance of the duty.

"To give the more dignity to the act, they determined that it should
be offered at a public audience on the following Tuesday at twelve
o'clock.

"When the hour arrived for performing a ceremony so well calculated to
recall the various interesting scenes which had passed, since the
commission now to be returned was granted, the gallery was crowded
with spectators, and several persons of distinction were admitted on
the floor of congress. The members remained seated and covered. The
spectators were standing and uncovered. The general was introduced by
the secretary, and conducted to a chair. After a short pause, the
president informed him that 'The United States, in congress assembled,
were prepared to receive his communications.' With native dignity,
improved by the solemnity of the occasion, the general rose, and
delivered the following address:

"'_Mr. President_: The great events on which my resignation depended,
having at length taken place, I have now the honor of offering my
sincere congratulations to congress, and of presenting myself before
them, to surrender into their hands the trust committed to me, and to
claim the indulgence of retiring from the service of my country.

"'Happy in the confirmation of our independence and sovereignty, and
pleased with the opportunity afforded the United States of becoming a
respectable nation, I resign with satisfaction the appointment I
accepted with diffidence; a diffidence in my abilities to accomplish
so arduous a task, which, however, was superseded by a confidence in
the rectitude of our cause, the support of the supreme power of the
union, and the patronage of Heaven.

"'The successful termination of the war, has verified the most
sanguine expectations; and my gratitude for the interposition of
Providence, and the assistance I have received from my countrymen,
increases with every review of the momentous contest.

"'While I repeat my obligations to the army in general, I should do
injustice to my own feelings not to acknowledge, in this place, the
peculiar services and distinguished merits of the gentlemen who have
been attached to my person during the war. It was impossible that the
choice of confidential officers to compose my family, should have been
more fortunate. Permit me, sir, to recommend, in particular, those who
have continued in the service to the present moment, as worthy of the
favorable notice and patronage of congress.

"'I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last act of my
official life, by commending the interests of our dearest country to
the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence
of them to his holy keeping.

"'Having now finished the work assigned me, I 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.'"

Here, advancing to the chair, he delivered his commission to the
president, who in turn addressed him, and in conclusion said:

"We join you in commending the interests of our dearest country to the
protection of Almighty God, beseeching him to dispose the hearts and
minds of its citizens to improve the opportunity afforded them of
becoming a happy and respectable nation. And for you, we address to him
our earnest prayers, that a life so beloved may be fostered with all his
care; that your days may be happy as they have been illustrious; and
that he will finally give you that reward which this world cannot give."

The great act was now accomplished: Washington retired, greater,
nobler in the estimation of his countrymen than ever; and followed by
their love, esteem, and admiration, he once more took up his abode in
the quiet and peaceful shades of Mount Vernon, happier in the
consciousness of a disinterested patriotism, than if, as the reward of
his toils, he had attained the proudest diadem on earth.

[Illustration]

[Illustration: NAVAL OPERATIONS.]



                         XIV. NAVAL OPERATIONS.


    STATE of Naval Affairs of the Colonies at the commencement of the
    Revolution--First Naval Engagement--Measures adopted by Congress
    to provide a Naval Armament--Naval Officers appointed--Vessels
    built--Flag adopted--Success of American
    Privateering--Distinguished Naval Officers--General character of
    Naval Commanders--Particular Engagements--Randolph and
    Yarmouth--Raleigh and Druid--Submarine Warfare--Le Bon Homme
    Richard and Serapis--Trumbull and Watt--Alliance, Atalanta, and
    Trepassey--Congress and Savage.

Having given some account of the military land operations, during the
Revolutionary struggle, it belongs to this place to speak of the
operations of the American marine, during the same period.

The colonies were poorly prepared, in respect to the organization of
an army, or the supply of munitions of war, at the commencement of the
contest. The preparations for the struggle on the ocean were, as might
be believed, still more limited. But few, even of the maritime
colonies, had turned their attention to a naval force as among the
means of defence. Indeed, although the storm had for some years been
gathering, and, to men of forecast, the day of open rupture was
likely to arrive, yet, at length, it broke upon the country suddenly.
Besides, maritime preparations for such a contest long beforehand
would have been difficult, if not impossible. Every measure having
such an object in view would have been regarded with jealousy, and
have brought down the wrath of the mother-country at a still earlier
period than it came. Moreover, the colonies had no general congress
till 1774, and when first convened, and until hostilities had actually
commenced, the object of that body was rather to obtain a redress of
grievances, and thus prevent war, than by strong and threatening
measures, to hasten an event which all regarded as a general calamity.
In addition to these considerations, in view of the magnitude and
power of the British navy, it was not probably seriously contemplated,
in case of hostilities, that the scene of successful action could be
on the ocean, but only on the land.

No sooner, however, had the struggle actually commenced, than many of
the brave and enterprising commercial and sea-faring men, began to
look with wishful eyes towards an element which promised, if not honor
in competing with the navy of Great Britain, at least wealth by
cruising against her commerce. At this early period, the seamen of the
the colonies were at home on the deep. They were then, as now, bold,
hardy, and adventurous; and had orders of capture been issued at an
earlier day, it is probable that the commerce of England would have
suffered a signal interruption and loss.

While the limits of this work forbid a _minute_ history of the rise,
progress, and success of the American navy, provincial and
continental, during the Revolutionary contest, such notices are
subjoined in relation thereto, as will give the reader an impression
of the efforts and prowess of the Americans, in despite of the
obstacles against which they had to contend.

The news of the battle of Lexington reached Machias, in Maine, on
Saturday, the 9th of May, 1775, and there, as well as in other parts
of the country, roused the indignation of the inhabitants. At this
time, there was lying in that port a British armed schooner, called
the _Margaretta_, convoy to two sloops which were loading with lumber
in behalf of his majesty's government. Immediately a plan was devised
to seize the officers of the schooner, while in church the next day.
The scheme, however, failed; Captain Moore and his officers being
enabled to escape through the windows of the church, and effecting
their retreat to the schooner. Immediately she was got under way, and,
dropping down the river, cast anchor in the bay.

The next morning possession was taken of one of the sloops, and with a
volunteer corps of thirty men on board, sail was made upon her, in
quest of the fugitive schooner.

[Illustration: First Naval Engagement of the Revolution.]

At this time, Captain Moore was ignorant of the commencement of
hostilities, and wishing therefore to avoid a collision, weighed
anchor on the appearance of the sloop, and stood out to sea. Chase was
given, and the sloop being the better sailer, at length came up with
the schooner. The latter was armed with four light guns, and fourteen
swivels. With these a fire was opened, and a man killed on board the
sloop. The latter returned the fire from a wall piece, which, besides
clearing the quarter-deck, killed the helmsman of the schooner. A
further short conflict ensued, when, by the broaching to of the
schooner, the vessels came in contact; upon which, the Americans
boarded her, and took her into port. Twenty men on both sides were
killed and wounded. Among the former was Captain Moore. Such was the
_first naval engagement in the war of the Revolution_. It was wholly a
private adventure--an enterprise on the part of a party banded
together in a moment of excitement, and successful with fearful
chances against them, only through their superior bravery.

Before the subject of a naval armament was entertained by congress,
three of the colonies--Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and
Connecticut--had provided each two vessels, fitted, armed, and
equipped, without the orders or advice of congress. The precise time
when these vessels were ordered by these colonies cannot, perhaps, be
satisfactorily fixed at this distant period.

Mr. Austin, in his life of the late vice-president Gerry, accords to
that gentleman the honor of having first made the proposal in the
provincial assembly of Massachusetts for appointing a committee to
prepare a law to encourage the fitting out of armed vessels, and to
establish a court for the trial and condemnation of prizes. "The law
reported by this committee," remarks the biographer, "was passed by
the provincial congress November 10th, 1775, and is the first actual
avowal of offensive hostility against the mother-country, which is to
be found in the annals of the Revolution. It is not the less worthy of
consideration as the first effort to establish an American naval
armament."

It is certain, however, that previous to the above action of the
Massachusetts provincial assembly, but in no respect derogating from
her honor, congress had had the subject of armed vessels before them,
and had adopted resolutions ordering vessels of a certain description
to be provided.

The following extracts from the journal of congress for 1775, exhibit
the first action of that body on the subject of a navy: Friday,
September 22, 1775, congress appointed a committee to take into
consideration the state of the trade of America. Thursday, October 5,
1775, Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed, to prepare a
plan for intercepting two vessels which are on their way to Canada,
laden with arms and powder; and that the committee proceed on this
business immediately.

[Illustration: Silas Deane.]

Pursuant to this resolve, the committee, consisting of Silas Deane,
John Langdon, and John Adams, reported that a letter be sent to
General Washington, advising him of the sailing of two brigs from
England to Quebec, with military stores; and authorizing him to
request of the council of Massachusetts any two armed vessels in their
service, and dispatch the same to intercept said brigs and cargoes.
Also, that the governors of Rhode Island and Connecticut be requested
to dispatch, the former one or both of the armed vessels belonging to
that colony, and the latter the largest vessel in the service of the
colony of Connecticut, on the same enterprise. This report was
accepted, and the resolution was adopted.

The preceding measures in respect to a naval movement, were soon
followed by others on a more enlarged scale, and looking still further
into the future. Several vessels were ordered, by sundry resolves, to
be fitted out at the expense of congress--and among them was one able
to carry fourteen guns, one twenty, and a third not to exceed
thirty-six guns. In November, privateering was authorized, and rules
adopted for the navy. In the following month, a resolve was adopted
for the building of thirteen ships--five of thirty-two guns, five of
twenty-eight, and three of twenty-four.

Thus it appears that in 1775, congress authorized a regular marine,
consisting of seventeen cruisers, varying in force from ten to
thirty-six guns. These vessels were to be built in the four colonies
of New England, in New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The following
is a list of their names and respective rates, as well as of the
colony where each was to be built, viz:

  WASHINGTON,  32 guns   Pennsylvania.
  RALEIGH,     32 ----   New Hampshire.
  HANCOCK,     32 ----   Massachusetts.
  RANDOLPH,    32 ----   Pennsylvania.
  WARREN,      32 ----   Rhode Island.
  MARYLAND,    28 ----   Virginia.
  TRUMBULL,    28 ----   Connecticut
  EFFINGHAM,   28 ----   Pennsylvania.
  CONGRESS,    28 ----   New York.
  PROVIDENCE,  28 ----   Rhode Island.
  BOSTON,      24 ----   Massachusetts.
  MONTGOMERY,  24 ----   New York.
  DELAWARE,    24 ----   Pennsylvania.

Such was the commencement of the American navy.

Ezekiel Hopkins was placed at the head of the navy, with the title of
"commander-in-chief," thus giving him, in respect to the navy, a rank
corresponding to the rank of Washington in the army. Among the seamen,
his usual appellation was "commodore;" but not unfrequently he was
styled "admiral." His pay was one hundred and twenty-five dollars
a-month. Other officers for the navy were appointed from time to time,
as the exigencies of the service required. Originally, congress left
the rank of the several officers to be regulated by those who were
actually in command; but this gave rise to discontent and dispute;
whereupon, in 1776, congress decided the rank of the several captains.
They ranked as follows:

  1. James Nicholson,
  2. John Manly,
  3. Hector McNiel,
  4. Dudley Saltonstall,
  5. Nicholas Biddle,
  6. Thomas Thompson,
  7. John Barry,
  8. Thomas Read,
  9. Thomas Grennall,
  10. Charles Alexander,
  11. Lambert Wickes,
  12. Abraham Whipple,
  13. John B. Hopkins,
  14. John Hodge,
  15. William Hallock,
  16. Hoysted Hacker,
  17. Isaiah Robinson,
  18. John Paul Jones,
  19. James Josiah,
  20. Elisha Hinman,
  21. Joseph Olney,
  22. James Robinson,
  23. John Young,
  24. Elisha Warner.

The arrangement of rank of inferior officers was assigned to the
marine committee.

Commodore Hopkins continued to act as commander-in-chief till January
2d, 1777, when, by a vote of congress, he was dismissed from the
service, for not performing the duties on which he had been sent with
a fleet to the South. From this date, Captain Nicholson became the
senior officer of the navy, though only with the rank of captain.

The foregoing general view of the proceedings of congress in relation
to the provision and equipment of a naval armament for the
Revolutionary contest, must suffice. Had their various resolutions
been fully carried into effect, more important results might have been
expected from this source of opposition to Great Britain. But the want
of funds, but much more the want of materials for the final equipment
of vessels which had been launched--such as guns, anchors, rigging,
&c.--in some instances retarded, and in others prevented the
completion of vessels which had been ordered, and which the exigencies
of the country so much required.

By the act of October, 1775, thirteen frigates were ordered to be
built. Of these, the Raleigh was laid down in New Hampshire, and in
sixty days was launched. But the want of materials for equipment for
some time delayed her completion.

The Hancock and Boston were built in Massachusetts, and entered the
service.

The Warren and Providence were constructed in Rhode Island, but were
the most indifferent of the thirteen.

The Congress and Montgomery, ordered to be built in New York, never
reached the mouth of the Hudson, being obliged to be burned in 1777,
to prevent their falling into the hands of the British.

The Maryland, constructed in Virginia, was completed, and took her
place in the service.

The Randolph, the Washington, the Delaware, and the Effingham were
allotted to Pennsylvania. The first of these was launched in 1776, and
sailed on her first cruise early in 1777. The Delaware was equipped,
but is supposed to have fallen into the hands of the British at the
time they took possession of Philadelphia. The Washington and the
Effingham were burned by the British in 1778.

"Thus, of the thirteen vessels from which so much was expected, but
six got to sea at all in the service in which they were built. To
these were added, in the course of the war, a few other frigates, some
permanently and some only for single cruises. Of the former class,
were the Deane, (Hague,) Alliance, Confederacy, and Queen of France.
It is believed that these four ships, added to the thirteen ordered by
the law of 1775, and the Alfred and Columbus, will comprise all the
frigate-built vessels that properly belonged to the marine of the
country during the war of the Revolution. The French vessels that
composed most of the squadron of Paul Jones were lent for the
occasion, and we hear no more of the Pallas after the cruise had
ended. She reverted to her original owners."

During the progress of the war, quite a number of sloops of war and
other vessels were employed by congress, and some by the commissioners
in France. But a complete catalogue of these, it is now impossible to
give.

At the commencement of the Revolution, the flag used on board of some
ships, bore a device, representing a pine-tree with a rattle-snake
coiled at the root, and ready to strike, with the appropriate motto,
"_Don't tread on me._" Some privateers showed flags with devices upon
them after the fancy of their captains or owners; others adopted the
arms of the colony from which they sailed, or by whose authority they
cruised. In 1777, congress adopted the present national colors.

Many of the officers of the navy were high-spirited and intelligent
men. Not a few of the commanders of privateers--and the ocean soon
swarmed with them--were distinguished for their nautical skill, and
were possessed of as noble and generous impulses as ever actuated the
human bosom. None at the present day can adequately realize the
obstacles which, at that early period, were to be overcome. Vessels of
war were not in existence; even vessels originally adapted for
cruising were not numerous. Besides, not only was the government poor,
but the fortunes of individuals bore no comparison to some at the
present day. And, moreover, the principal theatre of the war was
designed from the beginning to be on the land. But the maritime spirit
was by no means to be restrained. A writer somewhere remarks, that the
conflict between Great Britain and her oppressed and despised colonies
had not continued a twelvemonth, when the coasts of the former country
were harassed and agitated by the audacity and enterprise of the
American cruisers. Insurance in England rose to an unprecedented
height. Ship-owners were afraid to trust their vessels abroad; and few
indeed did venture, unless they were protected by a convoy. England
was made to feel, few and ill-equipped as were the American vessels,
compared with her numerous and well-furnished navy, that a nation
thoroughly imbued with the love of maritime adventure, was not to be
despised, though she were distant and poor.

It is remarked by Mr. Hinton that, "in the course of three years, the
Americans had taken more than double the number of their own guns from
the enemy, besides a great number of merchantmen of value. More than
eight hundred guns had been taken from the enemy during this time by the
marine which congress had fitted out; while that of Massachusetts and of
the other states were equally successful. The vessels taken by the
public and private armed vessels, from the battle of Lexington to the
17th of March, 1776, when the British evacuated Boston, amounted to
thirty-four, of considerable size and value, with excellent cargoes. The
tonnage of these captured vessels amounted to three thousand six hundred
and forty-five tons. In 1776, the British vessels captured by the
private armed vessels alone, amounted to the great number of three
hundred and forty-two, of which forty-four were rëtaken, eighteen
released, and five burned. In the following year, 1777, the success of
our privateers was still greater. Vessels were captured to the amount of
four hundred and twenty-one. The success continued without any great
diminution until 1780. At this time, the British merchants made so
strong an appeal to their government, that they provided a convoy for
every fleet of merchant vessels to every part of the globe. Out of the
fleet sailing from England to the West Indies, consisting of two hundred
in number, in the year 1777, one hundred and thirty-seven were taken by
our privateers; and from a fleet from Ireland to the West Indies of
sixty sail, thirty-five were taken. Taking the years 1775, 6, 7, 8, and
9, say for the first year, thirty-four; second, three hundred and
forty-two; third, four hundred and twenty-one; and for the fourth, which
has not been accurately given, I believe, in any work, say, and this
within bounds, two hundred; and, for the fifth, the same, two hundred;
and allowing but one hundred for the balance of the time during the war,
will make twelve hundred and ninety-seven, without including those
taken by public vessels from 1776 to the close of the war; and this
latter number, if it could be precisely given, would add greatly to the
list of captures."

The naval names, that have descended to us from this war with the
greatest reputation, are those of Manly, Mugford, Jones, Barry, Barney,
Waters, Young, Tucker, Talbot, Nicholson, Williams, Biddle, Hopkins,
Robinson, Wickes, Rathburne, and Hacket. Besides these, there were many
others, either in the service of one of the state sovereignties, at that
time, or of congress, who were equally worthy of notice, but who have
been neglected, because they were only commanders of privateers.

It cannot be doubted that, considering the great number of privateers
that swarmed upon the ocean during the war, there were sometimes
cruelties practiced, and scenes enacted, disgraceful to the
perpetrators. The contrary was not to be expected. But generally, the
commanders of these privateers were men of principle and humanity.
Indeed, instances of the most magnanimous conduct among them might be
given. In several cases of capture, when they understood that the
owners were friendly to the cause of America, both the vessel and the
crew were suffered to depart without losing a particle of property.
And still further, the officers of vessels, captured by privateers, as
well as by public armed ships, were never deprived of their baggage,
and often not of their _adventures_, when they had any.

From the preceding account of the capture of British vessels, during
the Revolution, by American privateers and regular ships of war, it
can easily be credited that the ocean must have been the scene of many
thrilling and adventurous exploits. The American seamen were fired
with a patriotism, not less pure and impulsive than the soldiers on
the land. But the story of their bravery, the hardships they endured,
the zeal and courage with which they fought, unlike that of their
compatriots, were left in a great measure unrecorded; or, if noticed
in the papers of the day, were told without those circumstantial
details, from which the chief interest of a naval engagement often
arises. Some privateersmen probably had not the ability to draw up
such accounts, and others who had, not being obliged to report to the
government an account of their engagements, lacked the inclination,
amid the stirring scenes in which they were engaged. Hence, but few
well-authenticated and circumstantial accounts of the operations of
this species of force have descended to the present time.

The records of engagements by the regular marine are more abundant,
but far from being as copious and circumstantial as those of the
American navy, during the late war with Great Britain. Enough of
interest, however, exists and more than sufficient for the space which
we can allow to the subject. Indeed, we must leave unnoticed several
as full of interest and as evincive of prowess, as those which find a
place in this volume.


                        1. RANDOLPH AND YARMOUTH

The Randolph, a frigate of thirty-two guns, was launched at
Philadelphia in 1776, and sailed on her first cruise in 1777, being
one of the first, if not the very first, of the new vessels built
under the resolution of congress of October, 1775, that proceeded to
sea. She was commanded by Nicholas Biddle, a man combining all the
distinguishing qualifications of a great naval commander.

After having been at sea a few days, a defect in his masts, and a
disposition to mutiny discovered in his crew, induced him to put into
Charleston. On again sailing, he soon fell in with and captured four
Jamaica-men, one of which, the True-Briton, had an armament of
twenty-guns. With these prizes, he returned to Charleston. The
citizens of that place, pleased with the character and enterprise of
Captain Biddle, placed four small vessels of their own under his care;
with these and the Randolph he proceeded to sea, in search of several
British vessels which had been seen cruising off Charleston for some
time. No traces of them, however, were discovered.

Nothing more was heard from this squadron for some time. But, at
length, intelligence was received of the most distressing nature. It
was contained in a letter of Captain Vincent, of his Britannic
majesty's ship Yarmouth, sixty-four, dated March 17th, 1778.

On the 7th of that month, the Yarmouth, while cruising to the east of
Barbadoes, discovered six sail bearing south-east, and standing on a
wind. On getting nearer, they were discovered to be two ships, three
brigs, and a schooner. At nine o'clock P. M., the Yarmouth succeeded
in ranging up on the weather-quarter of the largest and leading
vessel--the ship, next in size, being astern to leeward. Here,
displaying her colors, the Yarmouth ordered the Randolph (for so she
proved to be) to show her ensign. At this moment the American flag was
run up, and a whole broadside poured in upon the Yarmouth. A spirited
action immediately ensued, and for twenty minutes was maintained by
both ships with great energy--when on a sudden the Randolph blew up.
So near were the ships at the time, that portions of the flying wreck
struck the Yarmouth, and even the American ensign fell upon her
forecastle. It was rolled up, and not even singed.

Immediately following this catastrophe, the Yarmouth went in pursuit of
the other vessels, which, meanwhile, were attempting to escape. But he
was unable to come up with them, his own sails having been so injured
during the short action had with the Randolph. The chase, therefore, was
relinquished, and the Yarmouth continued to cruise in the neighborhood.
She was still ignorant of the name of the ill-fated vessel, which she
had engaged, nor was there now any prospect of her ever learning it.

But at length, on the 12th, while passing near to the theatre of the
engagement, signals of distress were discovered proceeding from persons
at a short distance. On reaching them, they proved to be four men, on a
piece of wreck. On being taken on board of the Yarmouth, they reported
themselves as having belonged to the Randolph, thirty-two, Captain
Biddle, blown up in an action with an English frigate on the night of
the 7th. They had been floating on the wreck on which they were
discovered, without sustenance, since the time of explosion.

[Illustration: The Randolph and Yarmouth.]

These men reported, that, soon after the action commenced, Captain
Biddle was severely wounded in the thigh. Being taken below, and
seated in a chair, the surgeon was proceeding to examine his wound,
when the explosion occurred, by which the vessel was blown into
fragments, and the whole crew, officers and men, with the exception of
the four named, were in a moment killed. The Yarmouth, in the brief
time the action lasted, lost five killed and twelve wounded.

What would have been the result, had not this catastrophe occurred, no
one can say. Captain Biddle was fighting at fearful odds. But he was
young, ardent, ambitious; and, while we can scarcely refrain from
thinking him presumptuous, it is quite apparent, from his actually
entering the lists, that he contemplated a victory over his powerful
antagonist as an achievement quite possible. He was only twenty-seven
years of age. His untimely fate caused a deep sensation in all
quarters; the navy was felt to have lost a true friend, and the
country a zealous patriot.


                         2. RALEIGH AND DRUID.

Under the law of 1775, the Raleigh was constructed in New Hampshire.
She was a fine twelve-pounder frigate, commanded by Captain Thompson.
In the latter part of August, 1777, for the first time, she went to
sea. She was accompanied by the Alfred, twenty-four, Captain Hinman.
Both vessels were bound to France for military stores.

During the first few days, while running off the coast, they captured
several small vessels; and, on the 2d of September, fell in with and
captured a scow, called the Nancy, belonging to the outward-bound
windward fleet. Learning the direction of this fleet, which was in the
advance of the Nancy, Captain Thompson went in chase. On the 3d, the
convoy of the fleet was descried. It consisted of the Camel, Druid,
Weasel, and Grasshopper, which had under their protection sixty
merchantmen. At sunset, Captain Thompson spoke the Alfred, and
signified his intention of running in among the fleet, and, if
possible, engaging the commodore.

By means of the officers of the Nancy, he had obtained the signals of
the fleet, and by means of these he was able to pass for one of the
convoy. The Alfred proving unable to carry the requisite sail, Captain
Thompson left her, and passed on into the midst of the fleet. His guns
being housed and his ports lowered, she showed no signs of preparation
for an attack. Added to this, making use of the commodore's signals,
he was able to give several of the merchantmen direction how to steer.
Thus he avoided suspicion, and was able to run the Raleigh alongside
of the vessel of war, and "when within pistol-shot, she hauled up her
courses, run out her guns, set her ensign, and commanded the enemy to
strike." This was a bold movement. Taken by surprise, the British
commander was at an utter loss how to act. The confusion was general.
The sails got aback. Taking advantage of the perturbation on board the
Druid, (for so she proved,) Captain Thompson poured in upon her a
broadside. This was followed by a second, third--twelve broadsides in
twenty minutes, scarcely receiving a shot in return.

[Illustration: The Raleigh and Druid.]

While thus engaged, a sudden and violent squall came on, which, in a
measure, slackened the engagement, and rendered the aim uncertain. As
the squall ceased, it was discovered that the convoy had scattered in
all directions, and were doing their utmost to escape. The other armed
vessels now hastened to the assistance of their crippled companion.
Yet the Raleigh continued to deal out her thunder, nor did she haul
off until the other vessels were almost within gun-shot of her. Thus
compelled, she ran to leeward, and joined the Alfred. Hoping, however,
that the commodore might be induced to renew the engagement, she
shortened sail, thus giving her antagonist an opportunity to restore
his wounded honor; but, instead of this, he hauled in among his
convoy. For several following days the American ships continued to
follow the fleet, but they were not so fortunate as to receive the
respects of any of the vessels of war.

The Druid, which was of twenty guns, was so much disabled as to be
obliged immediately to return to England. Her loss was six killed and
twenty-six wounded; among the latter, was her commander, Captain
Carteret. Five of the wounded subsequently died. The Raleigh had three
men killed and wounded.


                         3. SUB-MARINE WARFARE

During the year 1777, David Bushnell, a native of Connecticut, made
several attempts to blow up the ships of the enemy by means of
_torpedoes_. This mode of warfare had employed his thoughts during his
collegiate course, so that on graduating in 1775, his plans were in a
good degree matured. An account of some of his early plans he gave to
the world himself. The following is a description of his celebrated
torpedo: "It bore a resemblance to two upper tortoise shells of equal
sizes, placed in contact, leaving, at that part which represents the
head of the animal, a flue or opening sufficiently capacious to
contain the operator, and air to support him thirty minutes. At the
bottom, opposite to the entrance, was placed a quantity of lead for
ballast. The operator sat upright, and held an oar for rowing forward
or backward, and was furnished with a rudder for steering. An aperture
at the bottom with its valves admitted water for the purpose of
descending, and two brass forcing-pumps served to eject the water
within, when necessary for ascending. The vessel was made completely
water-tight, furnished with glass windows for the admission of light,
with ventilators and air-pipes, and was so ballasted with lead fixed
on the bottom as to render it solid, and obviate all danger of
oversetting. Behind the sub-marine vessel was a place above the rudder
for carrying a large powder magazine; this was made of two pieces of
oak timber, large enough, when hollowed out, to contain one hundred
and fifty pounds of powder, with the apparatus used for firing it, and
was secured in its place by a screw turned by the operator. It was
lighter than water, so that he might rise against the object to which
it was intended to be fastened.

"Within the magazine was an apparatus constructed to run any proposed
period under twelve hours; when it had run out its time, it unpinioned
a strong lock, resembling a gun-lock, which gave fire to the powder.
This apparatus was so pinioned, that it could not possibly move,
until, by casting off the magazine from the vessel, it was set in
motion. The skillful operator could swim so low on the surface of the
water, as to approach very near the ship in the night, without fear of
being discovered, and might, if he chose, approach the stem or stern
above water, with very little danger. He could sink very quickly, keep
at any necessary depth, and row a great distance in any direction he
desired, without coming to the surface. When he rose to the top, he
could soon obtain a fresh supply of air, and, if necessary, descend
again and pursue his course."

With a torpedo of the above construction, Bushnell made an experiment
on the Eagle, a sixty-gun ship, then lying in the harbor of New York,
and under command of Lord Howe. A sergeant of one of the Connecticut
regiments conducted the operation. General Putnam, standing on the
wharf, was a witness of the proceeding.

The sergeant, having under cover of night proceeded to the ship,
attempted to fasten the torpedo to her bottom by means of a screw. But
in this he failed, striking, as he supposed, a bar or bolt of iron,
which resisted the screw. In attempting to move to another place, he
passed from under the ship, and soon rose to the surface. By this
time, daylight had so far advanced as to make any further experiments
hazardous. He therefore concluded to return to New York. On passing
Governor's island, supposing himself discovered by the British
stationed there, he cast off his magazine, and proceeded without it.
The internal apparatus was set to run one hour; at the expiration of
which, it blew up, in a tremendous explosion, throwing a vast column
of water to a great height, to the no small wonder of the enemy.

This experiment was followed in the course of the year by an attempt
from a whaling-boat against the frigate Cerebus, off New London. The
expedient adopted in this case was to draw a machine, loaded with
powder, against her side by means of a line, to be exploded by a
gun-lock. But failing to attach itself as intended, against the
frigate, it became attached to a schooner, at anchor astern of the
frigate, which, on exploding, it demolished.

In a letter addressed to Sir Peter Parker, by Commodore Simmons, at the
time of the explosion on board the Cerebus, he gave an account of this
singular disaster. Being at anchor to the westward of the town with a
schooner which he had taken, about eleven o'clock in the evening he
discovered a line towing astern from the bows. He believed some person
had been veered away by it, and immediately began to haul in. A sailor
belonging to the schooner taking it for a fishing-line, laid hold of it,
and drew it in about fifteen fathoms. It was buoyed up by small pieces
tied to it at regular distances. At the end of the rope a machine was
fastened, too heavy for one man to pull up, for it exceeded one hundred
pounds in weight. The other people of the schooner coming to his
assistance, they drew it upon deck. While the men, to gratify their
curiosity, were examining the machine, it exploded, blew the vessel into
pieces, and set her on fire. Three men were killed, and a fourth blown
into the water, very much injured. On subsequent examination, the other
part of the line was discovered buoyed up in the same manner; this the
commodore ordered to be instantly cut away, for fear (as he termed it)
of hauling up another of the "_infernals_!"

The above mode of warfare cannot but be considered too shocking and
inhuman to be encouraged by civilized nations, and we do not regret
that the experiment of Bushnell, and the more recent experiments of
Fulton, failed. But it is said that the failure of his efforts cast a
deep and permanent gloom over the mind of Bushnell.


                  4. LE BON HOMME RICHARD AND SERAPIS.

On the 10th of April, 1778, the celebrated John Paul Jones sailed on a
cruise from France, having the Ranger placed under his command by the
American commissioners, Franklin, Deane, and Lee. In consideration of
his previous valuable services, he was allowed to cruise wherever he
pleased. Accordingly, he directed his course along the British coast,
and for a time kept the people of the maritime part of Scotland, and
part of England, in a state of great alarm and excitement.

Among his exploits on this cruise, previous to that in which he
engaged the Serapis, his descent upon Whitehaven was of the boldest
character. Two forts, with thirty pieces of cannon, guarded this port,
in which, at the time, were a hundred vessels at anchor.

"Two parties landed in the night; the forts were seized and the guns
spiked; the few look-outs that were in the works being confined. In
effecting this duty, Captain Jones was foremost in person; for, having
once sailed out of that port, he was familiar with the situation of the
place. An accident, common to both the parties into which the expedition
had been divided, came near defeating the enterprise in the outset. They
had brought candles in lanterns, for the double purpose of lights and
torches, and, now that they were about to be used as the latter, it was
found that they were all consumed. As the day was appearing, the party
under Mr. Wallingford, one of the lieutenants, took to its boat without
effecting any thing, while Captain Jones sent to a detached building,
and obtained a candle. He boarded a large ship, kindled a fire in her
steerage, and by placing a barrel of tar over the spot, soon had the
vessel in flames. This ship lay in the midst of more than a hundred
others, high and dry, the tide being out; Captain Jones took to his
boats, and pulled towards his ship. Some guns were fired on the retiring
boats without effect; but the people of the place succeeded in
extinguishing the flames before the mischief became very extensive."

[Illustration: Jones setting Fire to the Ships at Whitehaven.]

During this cruise, another bold enterprise was undertaken. This was an
attempt to seize the Earl of Selkirk, who had a seat on St. Mary's Isle,
near the point, where the Dee flows into the channel. Jones was well
acquainted with the place, his father having been gardener to the earl,
but he was not himself immediately engaged in the attempt, that being
entrusted to a subordinate officer. The party landed, demanded and took
possession of the house, but, to their great disappointment, the duke
himself was absent. One unauthorized act of the party, Captain Jones
condemned, viz: the seizure of about one hundred pounds value of plate.
This, however, he afterwards purchased of the crew, and returned to
Lady Selkirk, with a letter expressive of his regrets at the occurrence.

He next steered towards the coast of Ireland, where he encountered the
Drake, twenty, a ship which he had a sincere desire to meet. On
approaching the Ranger, the Drake hailed, and received the name of her
antagonist, by way of challenge, with a request to come on. As the two
ships were standing on in this manner, the Drake a little to leeward
and astern, the Ranger put her helm up, a manœuvre that the enemy
imitated, and the former gave the first broadside. The wind admitted
of but few changes, but the battle was fought running fire, under easy
canvas. It lasted an hour and four minutes, when the Drake called for
quarter, her ensign being already cut down.

The English ship was much cut up, both in her hull and aloft, and
Captain Jones computed her loss at about forty men. Her captain and
lieutenant were both desperately wounded, and died shortly after the
engagement. The Ranger suffered much less, having Lieutenant
Wallingford and one man killed, and six wounded. The Drake was not
only a heavier ship, but she had a much stronger crew than her
antagonist. She had also two guns the most.

With this prize, Jones returned to Brest, where for a time he remained
in hope of receiving a more important command, and which had brought
him to Europe.

After many delays, the king of France purchased for him the Duras, an
old Indiaman, which name Jones exchanged for Le Bon Homme Richard.[51]
To this were, added by order of the French ministry, the Pallas,
Cerf, and Vengeance, and, by Dr. Franklin, commissioner, the Alliance,
thirty-two, then in France. The Cerf and Alliance were the only
vessels of the squadron fitted for war.

[Illustration: Paul Jones.]

With this squadron, Commodore Jones, on the 19th of June, 1779, sailed
from the anchorage under the Isle of Groix, off l'Orient, bound
southward; but, finding it necessary to return, he left the anchorage
a second time, on the 14th of August. About the 23d of September, he
fell in with a fleet of merchantmen, of more than forty sail, under
convoy of the Serapis, forty-four, Captain Richard Pearson, and the
Countess of Seaborough, twenty-two.

The Serapis was a new ship, mounting on her lower gun-deck, twenty
eighteen-pound guns, on her upper gun deck, twenty nine-pound guns,
and on her quarter-deck and forecastle, ten six-pound guns; making an
armament of fifty guns in the whole. Her crew consisted of three
hundred and twenty men. The Bon Homme Richard was a single-decked
ship, with six old eighteen-pounders mounted in the gun-room below,
and twenty-eight twelve-pounders on her main or proper gun-deck, with
eight nines on her quarter-deck forecastle, and six in the gangways,
making in all a mixed, or rather light amount of forty-two guns. Her
crew consisted of three hundred and eighty men, of whom one hundred
and thirty-seven were marines or soldiers.

Our narrative will be confined to the action between the Richard and
the Serapis, which proved one of the most terrible and hotly-contested
engagements recorded in the annals of naval warfare.

[Illustration: Le Bon Homme Richard and Serapis.]

About half-past seven in the evening, the Richard came up with the
Serapis. Captain Pearson hailed. The answer of Commodore Jones was
designedly equivocal, and, in a moment after, both ships delivered their
entire broadsides. A sad and destructive catastrophe befel the Richard.
Two of her eighteen guns burst, blowing up the deck above, and killing
or wounding a large proportion of the people stationed below. This
disaster caused all the heavy guns to be deserted, the men having no
longer sufficient confidence in them to use them. The loss of these
reduced the Richard one-third below that of her rival; in short, it
became a contest between a twelve-pounder and an eighteen pounder, a
species of contest in which it has been said the former has never been
known to prevail. Captain Jones, however, more than most men, was fitted
for desperate circumstances, and in a moment determined to make up in
rëdoubled activity what was wanting in power of metal.

Nearly an hour was consumed in different manœuvres--shifting,
firing--each endeavoring to obtain the advantage of position; till, at
length, the vessels came close together, but not in a manner which
permitted either party to board. The firing ceased for a few minutes.
Captain Pearson, imagining the enemy had surrendered, demanded, "Have
you struck your colors?" "I have not yet begun to fight!" vociferated
the intrepid Jones.

The ships again separated, and the firing was renewed. Again they fell
upon each other, and in the moment of collision, Captain Jones, with his
own hands, lashed the enemy's head-gear to his mizen-mast. This brought
them more entirely side by side, and it being desirable on the part of
Captain Jones to retain the enemy in that position, additional lashings
were employed to effect that object. This was a disappointment to
Captain Pearson, but he determined to be first in boarding, and now made
a vigorous attempt with that object in view, but was repulsed.

"All this time, the battle raged. The lower ports of the Serapis
having been closed, as the vessels swung, to prevent boarding, they
were now blown off, in order to allow the guns to be run out; and
cases actually occurred in which the rammers had to be thrust into the
ports of the opposite ship, in order to be entered into the muzzles of
their proper guns. It is evident that such a conflict must have been
of short duration. In effect, the heavy metal of the Serapis, in one
or two discharges, cleared all before it, and the main guns of the
Richard were in a great measure abandoned. Most of the people went on
the upper deck, and a great number collected on the forecastle, where
they were safe from the fire of the enemy, continuing to fight by
throwing grenades and using muskets.

"In this stage of the combat, the Serapis was tearing her antagonist to
pieces below, almost without resistance from her enemy's batteries, only
two guns on the quarter-deck, and three or four of the twelves, being
worked at all. To the former, by shifting a gun from the larboard side,
Commodore Jones succeeded in adding a third, all of which were used with
effect, under his immediate inspection, to the close of the action. He
could not muster force enough to get over a second gun. But the combat
would now have soon terminated, had it not been for the courage and
activity of the people aloft. Strong parties had been placed in the
tops; at the end of a short contest, the Americans had driven every man
belonging to the enemy below; after which, they kept up so animated a
fire, on the quarter-deck of the Serapis in particular, as to drive
nearly every man off it, that was not shot down.

"Thus, while the English had the battle nearly all to themselves
below, their enemies had the control above the upper-deck. Having
cleared the tops of the Serapis, some American seamen lay out on the
Richard's main-yard, and began to throw hand-grenades upon the two
upper-decks of the English ship; the men on the forecastle of their
own vessel seconding these efforts, by casting the same combustibles
through the ports of the Serapis. At length, one man in particular
became so hardy, as to take his post on the extreme end of the yard,
whence, provided with a bucket filled with combustibles and a match,
he dropped the grenades with so much precision, that one passed
through the main-hatchway. The powder-boys of the Serapis, had got
more cartridges up than were wanted, and, in their hurry, they had
carelessly laid a row of them on the main-deck, in a line with the
guns. The grenade just mentioned, set fire to some loose powder that
was lying near, and the flash passed from cartridge to cartridge
beginning abreast the main-mast, and running quite aft.

"The effect of this explosion was awful. More than twenty men were
instantly killed, many of them being left with nothing on them but the
collars and wristbands of their shirts, and the waistbands of their
duck trowsers; while the official returns of the ship, a week after
the action, show that there were no less than thirty-eight wounded on
board still alive, who had been injured in this manner, and of whom
thirty were said to have been then in great danger. Captain Pearson
describes this explosion as having destroyed nearly all the men at the
five or six aftermost guns. On the whole, nearly sixty must have been
disabled by this sudden blow.

"The advantage thus obtained by the coolness and intrepidity of the
topmen, in a great measure restored the chances of the combat; and, by
lessening the fire of the enemy, enabled Commodore Jones to increase
his. In the same degree that it encouraged the crew of the Richard, it
diminished the hopes of the people of the Serapis. One of the guns,
under the immediate inspection of Commodore Jones, had been pointed
some time against the main-mast of his enemy, while the two others had
seconded the fire of the tops, with grape and cannister. Kept below
decks by this double attack, where a scene of frightful horror was
present in the agonies of the wounded, and the effects of the
explosion, the spirits of the English began to droop, and there was a
moment when a trifle would have induced them to submit. From this
despondency, they were temporarily raised, by one of those
unlooked-for events that ever accompany the vicissitudes of battle.

"After exchanging an ineffective and distant broadside with the
Scarborough, the Alliance kept standing off and on, to leeward of the
two principal ships, out of the direction of their shot, when, about
half-past eight, she appeared crossing the stern of the Serapis and the
bow of the Richard, firing at such a distance as to render it impossible
to say which vessel would suffer the most. As soon as she had drawn out
of the range of her own guns, her helm was put up, and she ran down
nearly a mile to leeward, hovering about, until the firing had ceased
between the Pallas and Scarborough, when she came within hail, and spoke
both of these vessels. Captain Cottineau, of the Pallas, earnestly
entreated Captain Landais to take possession of his prize, and allow him
to go to the assistance of the Richard, or to stretch up to windward in
the Alliance himself, and succor the commodore."[52]

At length, Captain Landais determined to go to the assistance of the
Richard, but on reaching the scene of engagement, he opened a fire
which did as much damage to friend as foe. He was hailed, and informed
that he was firing into the wrong ship. At the time, it was supposed
to be a mistake; but afterwards it was more than conjectured to have
been a wanton and cruel act of revenge on the part of Landais, who had
for some time exhibited strong feelings of hostility to Captain Jones,
and had neglected on several occasions to follow out his orders.

"Let the injuries have been received," continues Mr. Cooper, "from
what quarter they might, soon after the Alliance had run to leeward,
an alarm was spread in the Richard that the ship was sinking. Both
vessels had been on fire several times, and some difficulty had been
experienced in extinguishing the flames; but here was a new enemy to
contend with, and as the information came from the carpenter, whose
duty it was to sound the pump-wells, it produced a great deal of
consternation. The Richard had more than a hundred English prisoners
on board, and the master-at-arms, in the hurry of the moment, let them
all up below, in order to save their lives. In the confusion of such a
scene at night, the master of a letter-of-marque, that had been taken
off the north of Scotland, passed through a port of the Richard into
one of the Serapis, when he reported to Captain Pearson, that a few
minutes would probably decide the battle in his favor, or carry his
enemy down, he himself having been liberated in order to save his
life. Just at this instant, the gunner, who had little to occupy him
at his quarters, came on deck, and not perceiving Commodore Jones, or
Mr. Dale, both of whom were occupied with the liberated prisoners, and
believing the master, the only other superior he had in the ship, to
be dead, he ran up the poop to haul down the colors. Fortunately, the
flag-staff had been shot away, and, the ensign already hanging in the
water, he had no other means of letting his intention to submit be
known than by calling out for quarters. Captain Pearson now hailed to
inquire if the Richard demanded quarter, and was answered by Commodore
Jones himself in the negative. It is probable that the reply was not
heard, or if heard, supposed to come from an unauthorized source; for
encouraged by what he learned from the escaped prisoner, by the cry,
and by the confusion that prevailed in the Richard, the English
captain directed his boarders to be called away, and, as soon as
mustered, they were ordered to take possession of the prize. Some of
the men actually got on the gunwale of the latter ship, but finding
boarders ready to repel boarders, they made a precipitate retreat. All
this time the topmen were not idle, and the enemy were soon driven
below again with loss.

"In the mean while, Mr. Dale, who no longer had a gun that could be
fought, mustered the prisoners at the pumps, turning their
consternation to account, and probably keeping the Richard afloat by
the very blunder that had come so near losing her. The ships were now
on fire again, and both parties, with the exception of a few guns on
each side, ceased fighting, in order to subdue this dangerous enemy.
In the course of the combat, the Serapis is said to have been set on
fire no less than twelve times, while towards its close, as will be
seen in the sequel, the Richard was burning all the while.

"As soon as order was restored in the Richard, after the call for
quarter, her chances for success began to increase, while the English,
driven under cover almost to a man, appear to have lost, in a great
degree, the hope of victory. Their fire materially slackened, while the
Richard again brought a few more guns to bear; the main-mast of the
Serapis began to totter, and her resistance, in general, to lessen.
About an hour after the explosion, or between three hours and three
hours and a half after the first gun was fired, and between two hours
and two hours and a half after the ships were lashed together, Captain
Pearson hauled down the colors of the Serapis with his own hands, the
men refusing to expose themselves to the fire of the Richard's tops."

[Illustration: Sinking of the Bon Homme Richard.]

Thus ended a conflict as murderous and sanguinary as the annals of
naval warfare have recorded. Each ship lost about one hundred and
fifty men, or nearly one-half of the whole number engaged.

At the time of the surrender, the Richard was on fire, and apparently
sinking. So imminent was the danger, that the powder was hastily
removed from the magazine, and placed on the deck, to prevent
explosion. Men from the other ships were sent on board, and the pumps
were kept in motion, and water raised and dashed around until ten
o'clock the next day, before the fire was got under. An examination of
the ship followed, the result of which was, that it was necessary to
abandon her. The wounded were consequently ordered to be removed, and
on the following day, about ten o'clock, this gallant ship settled
slowly into the sea.

The squadron now left the scene of mortal combat, with the Serapis and
Scarborough, the latter having struck to the Pallas. The former having
lost her main-mast, jury masts were obliged to be rigged; after driving
about in the rough sea until the 6th of October, the squadron and prizes
entered the Texel, the port to which they had been ordered to repair.


          5. AMERICAN FRIGATE TRUMBULL AND ENGLISH SHIP WATT.

The action between these two vessels, next to that of the Richard and
Serapis, is supposed to have been the most severe during the war of
the Revolution.

The Trumbull, of thirty-two guns, was commanded by Captain James
Nicholson, a spirited and skillful officer. During a cruise in June,
1780, a large ship was perceived bearing down upon the Trumbull's
quarter. At half-past eleven, she hauled a point more to stern of her.
The Trumbull now made sail, hauling upon a wind towards her, upon
which she came down upon the Trumbull's beams. The latter then took in
all her small sails, hauled her courses up, hove the main-topsail to
the mast, cleared for action, end waited the approach of the enemy.

After several manœuvres on the part of each vessel, Captain Nicholson
discovered that his adversary had thirteen ports on each side, and
eight or ten on her quarter-deck and forecastle, and of course mounted
thirty-six guns. At twelve, the Trumbull, finding her great
superiority as to sailing, and having gotten to windward, determined
to avail herself of the advantage to commence the engagement.

The stranger, observing the design of Captain Nicholson, fired three
shots, and hoisted British colors as a challenge. The Trumbull wore
after her, hoisting British colors, with an intention of getting
alongside. A private signal was made in turn by the British ship,
which not being answered she opened a broadside at a hundred yards
distance. The Trumbull, upon this, run up the continental colors, and
returned the fire.

Such was the commencement of an action of three hours' continuance.
There was bravery, determination, on both sides. During the greater
part of the action, the vessels were not fifty yards apart, and at one
time, they were nearly enlocked.

Twice was the Trumbull set on fire by means of wads from the other
vessel. Her masts and rigging were greatly injured. Observing, at
length, that her masts were in imminent danger of going by the board,
the first lieutenant informed Captain Nicholson of the danger, and
begged him to abandon further attempt to take the enemy's ship, as
without masts they should be at his mercy.

It was with great reluctance that Captain Nicholson adopted the course
suggested. He was confident that with one half-hour more, he should
have been able to have achieved the victory. But yielding to stern
necessity, and the dictates of humanity, he gave up the contest. He
lost his main and mizen-top-mast, when only musket-shot distant from
the other vessel. At length, only her fore-mast was left, and that was
badly wounded and sprung. She had eight men killed, and twenty-one
wounded, nine of whom died after the action. Her crew consisted of one
hundred and ninety-nine men. The English ship proved to be the Watt,
letter-of-marque. She had upwards of ninety men killed and wounded.
Not less than one hundred balls struck her hull.


                 6. ALLIANCE, ATALANTA, AND TREPASSEY.

In February, 1781, Captain Barry, of the frigate Alliance, of
thirty-two guns, sailed from Boston for l'Orient, having on board
Colonel Lawrence, destined to France on an important embassy to the
French court. Having landed Mr. Lawrence, he sailed on a cruise.

On the 28th of May, two sail were discovered on the weather-bow of the
Alliance, standing towards her. After having approached sufficiently
near to be discovered by Captain Barry, they hauled to wind, and stood
on the same course with the Alliance. On the 29th, at day-break, the
wind lulled. At sunrise, the Alliance displayed the American colors,
and preparations were made for action. The men look their stations.

The vessels with which the Alliance was now to contend were a ship and a
brig, displaying English colors--the Atalanta, Captain Edwards, carrying
twenty guns and one hundred and thirty men, and the Trepassey, of
fourteen guns and eighty men, under command of Captain Smith.

The advantage was, both as to men and guns, on the side of the
British; but more than this, as the Alliance must necessarily engage
both at the same time. But Captain Barry, no way daunted, determined
to do his duty as an officer and a patriot. He, therefore, summoned
them to strike their colors. To such a summons they had, of course, no
inclination to accede, and the engagement opened with a spirit
corresponding to the interest at stake. Unfortunately for the
Alliance, a perfect calm prevailed--and on the bosom of the water she
lay, in respect to motion, as a thing devoid of life. The opposing
vessels had sweeps, and were therefore able to choose their positions.
And the most advantageous positions they did choose--they lay on the
quarters, and athwart the stern of the Alliance. Consequently, but few
of her guns could be brought to bear.

Added to these untoward circumstances, there soon occurred, on board
the Alliance, a still greater misfortune. A grape-shot struck the
shoulder of Captain Barry, inflicting a severe and dangerous wound.
But he neither heeded its pain nor its danger, but continued on the
quarter-deck, marking the progress of the action, and giving his
orders as occasion required. At length, however, by reason of loss of
blood, he was obliged to be borne below. At this time, the American
flag was shot away, and fell. There was a momentary pause on board the
Alliance, which the enemy construing into a surrender, they filled the
air with loud rejoicings.

But they mistook. The flag had been shot down, not hauled down. The
supposed pause was only the needful interval occupied in rëloading.
The colors were soon rëinstalled, and again floated as proudly as
before; and a full broadside from the Alliance showed to her foes how
the interval had been occupied. That broadside rëcalled them to their
quarters. Fortunately, about this time, a welcome breeze, though still
light, sprung up. The sails of the Alliance, which had scarcely served
any purpose during the engagement, and seemed destined to acquire no
honor in the coming victory--the sails were no longer idle. They soon
brought the vessel into a more favorable position. This circumstance
added to the confidence and rëdoubled the efforts of the seamen.
Broadside followed broadside in quick succession, and did all
desirable execution. At three o'clock in the afternoon the action
terminated: the Alliance was the victor.

On being ushered into the presence of Barry, Captain Edwards presented
his sword; which, however, the former declined taking, observing,
"that he richly merited it, and that his king ought to give him a
better ship."

The importance of firmness and perseverance, in a commander, was well
illustrated during the above engagement. Soon after Barry received his
wound, and had been obliged to go below, one of his lieutenants,
disheartened by the misfortune which had befallen his commander, and
appalled by the fearful devastation which seemed to be making by the
enemy with the ship's spars and rigging, repaired to him, and proposed
that the colors should be struck.

Barry started. The colors be struck! no such thought had entered his
mind. The colors be struck! "No!" said he; "if the ship can't be fought
without me, carry me at once on deck." The lieutenant, if ashamed, was
also rëanimated. He repaired on deck, went round among the crew, and
made known Barry's courage and determination. There was but one response
among the brave tars. They decided to "stick to him manfully." And they
did. From that moment "the ship _was fought_"--and fought without the
presence of Barry. But no sooner was his wound dressed, than he insisted
on being aided in ascending to the deck; before reaching it, however,
the enemy had struck. Brave seamen! brave commander!

The Alliance had eleven killed during the action, and twenty-one
wounded. Among the latter, were several officers. She had suffered
terribly in her spars and rigging. The loss of the enemy was eleven
killed and thirty wounded.


                        7. CONGRESS AND SAVAGE.

The Savage was a British sloop, carrying twenty guns and about one
hundred and fifty men. In September, 1781, while on a cruise along the
Southern coast of the United States, she entered the Potomac, and
plundered the estate of Washington, then in another quarter,
commanding the American army. It was an expedition unworthy a
high-minded and honorable officer, and a well-merited rebuke was soon
after meted out to him.

On leaving the Potomac, the Savage fell in with the American privateer
Congress, Captain Geddes, off Charleston. The vessels were of the same
force. On board the Congress, at the time, was Major McLane, a
distinguished American officer, who with a part of his command had
volunteered to serve as marines. As the crew of the Savage were all
seamen, she had decidedly the advantage, in respect to the Congress,
whose crew, in part, were landsmen, unacquainted with marine warfare.

The vessels were now within cannon distance. The Congress commenced by
firing her bow-chasers. This was at half-past ten in the morning. At
eleven, they had approximated so near each other, that the landsmen
employed their musketry, and with effect. A sharp and destructive
cannonade followed on both sides.

At the commencement of the engagement, the advantage lay with the
Savage. Her position being on the Congress' bows, was favorable for
raking. But a closer engagement followed, and the tide turned in favor
of the privateer. So well did she manœuvre, so promptly, so
dextrously, that she soon disabled her enemy. At the expiration of an
hour, the braces and bowlines of the Savage were shot away. Not a rope
was left by which to trim the sails. The musketry of the Americans had
cleared her decks. In this situation, it was deemed impossible that
she could much longer continue the contest. Indeed, she was already
nearly a wreck--her sails, rigging, and yards were so shattered as to
forbid her changing her position, but with the greatest difficulty.
She would not, however, surrender, but rëcommenced a vigorous
cannonade. Again her quarter-deck and forecastle were cleared by the
fatal musketry of the American landsmen. Three guns on her main deck
were rendered useless. The vessels were now so near each other, that
the fire from the guns scorched the men opposed to them in the other.
At length, the mizen-mast of the Savage was shot away. At this
instant, the boatswain of the Savage appeared forward, with his hat
off, calling for quarter. But it was half an hour before the crew of
the Congress could board her, by reason of the loss of their boats.
But, on reaching her, she was found to be scarcely more than a wreck.
Her decks were covered with blood, and killed and wounded men.

The Congress had thirty men killed and wounded. The Savage had
twenty-three killed and thirty-one wounded. Among the latter, was her
commander, Captain Sterling.

The marine service often furnished examples of great heroism and most
patriotic endurance. Such an instance occurred on board the Congress.
After the action terminated, Major McLane went forward to ascertain
what had become of his sergeant, Thomas. He found the poor fellow
lying on his back in the netting, near the foot of the bowsprit, with
his musket loaded, but both legs broken. "Poor fellow!" thought the
major, as he beheld him; "poor fellow!" But the _poor fellow_ began
huzzaing lustily for the victory achieved; and followed his exulting
and even vociferous huzzas by a corresponding exclamation addressed to
his major: "Well, major, if they have broken my legs, my hands and my
heart are still whole."

Sergeant Thomas was terribly wounded, but the kind-hearted major did
not neglect him. The best care was taken of him; ultimately, he
recovered; and, nothing deterred by the painful experience he had had
of the sometimes ill-fortune of war, he entered on board the Hyder
Ali, commanded by Captain Barney.

It is ever delightful to record instances of high-minded and magnanimous
conduct on the part of victors towards the vanquished. This engagement
furnishes one most honorable to the American character. The officers and
crew of the Savage were treated with the greatest kindness and
attention. Major McLane even accompanied Captain Sterling into
Pennsylvania, to secure him from insult, his treatment of American
prisoners having rendered him highly obnoxious to the patriots.

Such is a brief account of some of the exploits of the American marine
during the war of the Revolution. There were others perhaps equally
honorable to the skill and enterprise of our naval officers, but which
our limits forbid us to notice. On the breaking out of the war, the
country was poorly prepared to enter the lists with the mistress of
the ocean. Indeed, it was not until 1776, that the forbearing policy
of congress was abandoned, and the nautical enterprise of the country
was let loose upon British commerce. From that time, however, American
valor was exhibited in its true and persevering spirit, and
contributed, as far as it had scope, in inducing the mother-country to
acknowledge the independence of her wayward child--which she did on
the 20th of January, 1783.

Upon this most desirable event, orders of recall were issued to all
naval commanders; and the commissions of privateers and letters of
marque were annulled. On the 11th of April following, a proclamation
from the proper authorities announced the cessation of hostilities.
From this time, as the glad intelligence spread, the helms of our
warlike ships were turned towards our home ports, leaving the
merchantmen again to the peaceful possession of that element, which
for years they had traversed, if at all, at the greatest hazard.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTES:

[51] Jones was an ardent man, and bore disappointment and delay with
no good grace. Chance one day threw into his hands an old almanac,
containing _Poor Richard's Maxims_, by Dr. Franklin. In that curious
assemblage of useful instructions, a man is advised, "if he wishes to
have any business faithfully and expeditiously performed, to go and do
it himself--otherwise, to send." Jones was immediately struck, upon
reading this maxim, with the impropriety of his past conduct, in only
sending letters and messages to court, when he ought to have gone in
person. He instantly set out, and, by dint of personal representation,
procured the immediate equipment of the squadron, which afterwards
spread terror along the Eastern coasts of England, and with which he
so gloriously captured the Serapis, and the British ships of war
returning from the Baltic. In gratitude to Dr. Franklin's maxim, he
named the principal ship of his squadron after the name of the
pretended almanac-maker, _Le Bon Homme Richard_, the Good Man Richard.

[52] Cooper's Naval History.



                        XV. EMINENT FOREIGNERS,

                     CONNECTED WITH THE REVOLUTION.


    George III. King of England--General Burgoyne--Sir Henry
    Clinton--Colonel Barre--Charles Townshend--Lord
    Cornwallis--William Pitt--Marquis of Bute--George Grenville--Duke
    of Grafton--Lord North--Colonel Tarleton--Sir Peter Parker--Sir
    William Meadows--Sir Guy Carlton--General Gage--Marquis of
    Rockingham--Edmund Burke--Kosciusko--Count Pulaski--Baron de
    Kalb--Baron Steuben--Count Rochambeau--Count D'Estaing.

In the preceding pages, we have had occasion to trace the causes and
events of that struggle which resulted in the independence of the
United States; and, in so doing, incidental mention has been made of
some of the leading men of England, who figured in the cabinet, in the
field, and on the ocean; with the part they acted either in favor of,
or in opposition to the grand object of the colonies in their contest
with the mother-country. Judging from his own early desires, the
author persuades himself that he will be conferring a favor upon his
readers by giving some brief sketches, in this place, of those
distinguished men, and of others, who contributed to retard or
accelerate the final result. Such notices of the most prominent, we
proceed to give, beginning with the monarch, the great fountain of
power and law, then on the throne of Great Britain.


                              GEORGE III.

George III. was born in 1738, and succeeded to the throne on the death
of his grandfather, George II., October 25, 1760, about the time the
troubles with America began. At this period, principally through the
lofty spirit and political sagacity of Pitt, afterwards Earl of
Chatham, who was, and for some time had been, at the head of the
administration, the affairs of the nation were in a most prosperous
state. The army and navy were highly efficient, and flushed with
recent conquests; the revenue flourished; commerce was increasing; the
people were loyal; and, perhaps, no prince had ascended the throne of
his ancestors with more flattering prospects than George the Third.

Soon after ascending the throne, the king evinced a determination to
procure a general peace. In this measure he differed from his great
minister, Pitt, who, on that account, retired from office, October 5,
1761. Peace, however, contrary to the wishes and designs of the king
could not be obtained on a just basis, and the war proceeded.

In May, 1762, Lord Bute, a particular favorite of the king, who had
contrived to gain a remarkable ascendancy over him, succeeded the Duke
of Newcastle, as first lord of the treasury. Preliminaries of peace
between England, France, and Spain, were signed on the 3d of November,
and the definite treaty followed, February 10th, 1763. The people,
however, were by no means pacifically inclined, or contented with the
political ascendancy of Lord Bute, whose administration was attacked
with unsparing severity by several popular writers, particularly by the
celebrated John Wilkes, in his periodical paper, called the North
Briton. The arrest of Wilkes, and the seizure of his papers under a
general warrant, issued by the secretary of state for the home
department, increased the indignation and clamors of the people; Lord
Bute was execrated throughout the country, and the king himself became
exceedingly unpopular. The removal of the favorite, and the appointment
of George Grenville to the head of the treasury, having failed to allay
the national irritation, Pitt, it is asserted, was at length summoned to
court, and requested to make arrangements for forming a new ministry;
but he presumed, it is added, to dictate such arrogant terms, that,
rather than submit to them, the king said he would place the crown on
Pitt's head, and submit his own neck to the axe.

In 1764, the king suggested to Grenville the taxation of America, as a
grand financial measure for relieving the mother-country from the heavy
war expenses, which, it was unjustly claimed, had chiefly been incurred
for the security of the colonies. The minister was startled, and raised
objections to the proposal, which, however, were overruled by the king,
who plainly told him that, if he were afraid to adopt such a measure,
others might easily be found who possessed more political courage. At
length, Grenville reluctantly brought the subject before parliament;
and, in spite of a violent opposition, the stamp act, so important in
its consequences, was passed in the following year. The most alarming
irritation prevailed among the colonists of America.

The Rockingham party, which now came into power, procured the repeal
of the stamp act; but, notwithstanding this and some other popular
measures of the new cabinet, it was dissolved in the summer of 1766.
The Duke of Grafton succeeded Lord Rockingham, as first lord of the
treasury, and Pitt (then Earl of Chatham) took office as lord privy
seal. In the following year, Charles Townshend, chancellor of the
exchequer, proposed the taxation of certain articles imported by the
American colonists; and, early in 1768, Lord Chatham retired in deep
disgust from the administration, which, during the preceding autumn,
had been weakened by the succession of Lord North to Charles
Townshend, as chancellor of the exchequer. Some other official changes
took place; one of the most important of which, perhaps, was the
appointment of Lord Hillsborough to the new colonial secretaryship.

The aspect of affairs in America grew more serious every hour: the
deputies of Massachusetts declared taxation by the British parliament
to be illegal; a scheme for a general congress of the different states
was proposed, and an open rupture with the mother-country was
evidently approaching. Blind to the consequences of their fatal
policy, the king and his ministers, however, persisted in those
measures, with regard to the trans-Atlantic colonies, which eventually
produced a dismemberment of the empire.

In January, 1770, the Duke of Grafton resigned all his employments;
but, unfortunately for America, he was succeeded by Lord North, who
increased rather than alleviated the national calamities, and was
decidedly with the king in his determination never to yield to the
demands of the colonists, but to coerce them to submission, however
unjustly, by the arm of power.

In 1782, Lord North was compelled to resign, and the Rockingham party,
friendly to the independence of America, came into office; but the new
administration soon afterwards broke up, on account of the sudden
death of the premier. Lord Shelburne was now placed at the head of the
treasury, and Pitt, son of the great Earl of Chatham, became
chancellor of the exchequer.

In 1783, a general peace was concluded, and the United States procured a
formal acknowledgment of their independence. When Adams, the first
American envoy, attended at the levee, the king, to whom he was
personally disagreeable, received him with dignified composure, and
said, "I was the last man in England to acknowledge the independence of
America, but having done so, I shall also be the last to violate it."
This was highly honorable to the king. America was a jewel in the
British crown which was increasing in lustre, to part with which was
truly painful to royal ambition. Nor did George III. consent to any acts
which tended to this relinquishment, only as he was compelled to it by
the ill success of his armies in America, and the clamorous demands for
peace by his subjects at home. But having, at length, parted with this
jewel, and having acknowledged the independence of America, he nobly
declared his intention to live in peace with this newborn empire.


                             JOHN BURGOYNE.

General Burgoyne was the natural son of Lord Bingley. At an early age
he entered the army; and while quartered with his regiment at Preston,
married Lady Charlotte Stanley, whose father, the Earl of Derby, was
so incensed at the match, that he threatened utterly to discard her;
but a reconciliation at length took place, and the earl allowed her
three hundred pounds a-year during his life, and, by his will,
bequeathed her a legacy of twenty-five thousand pounds. The influence
of the family to which Burgoyne had thus become allied, tended
materially to accelerate his professional advance. In 1762, he acted
as brigadier-general of the British forces which were sent out for the
defence of Portugal against France and Spain.

In 1775, he was appointed to a command in America; whence he returned
in the following year, and held a long conference with the king on
colonial affairs. Resuming his post in 1777, he addressed a
proclamation to the native Indians, in which he invited them to his
standard, but deprecated, with due severity, the cruel practice of
scalping. The pompous turgidity of style, in which this address was
couched, excited the ridicule of the Americans, and procured for
General Burgoyne the soubriquet of "_Chrononhotonthologos_." His first
operations were successful: he dislodged the enemy from Ticonderoga
and Mount Independence, and took a large number of cannon, all their
armed vessels and batteries, as well as a considerable part of their
baggage, ammunition, provisions, and military stores. But his
subsequent career was truly disastrous; his troops suffered much from
bad roads, inclement weather, and a scarcity of provisions; the
Indians, who had previously assisted him, deserted; and the Americans,
under General Gates, surrounded him with a superior force, to which,
although victorious in two engagements, he was, at length, compelled
to capitulate at Saratoga, with the whole of his army. This event,
which rendered him equally odious to ministers and the people, was,
for some time, the leading topic of the press; and numberless lampoons
appeared, in which the general's conduct was most severely satirized.
The punsters of the day, taking advantage of the American general's
name, amused themselves unmercifully at Burgoyne's expense; but of all
their effusions, which, for the most part, were virulent rather than
pointed, the following harmless epigram, poor as it is, appears to
have been one of the best:

          "Burgoyne, unconscious of impending fates,
           Could cut his way through woods, but not through GATES."

In May, 1778, he returned to England, on his parole, but the king
refused to see him. Burgoyne solicited a court-martial, but in vain.
In 1779, he was dismissed the service for refusing to return to
America. Three years after, however, he was restored to his rank in
the army, appointed commander-in-chief in Ireland, and sworn in one of
the privy-council of that kingdom. He died suddenly of a fit of the
gout, at his house in Hertford street, on the 4th of August, 1792; and
his remains were interred in the cloisters of Westminster abbey.

It would, perhaps, be rash to pronounce a positive opinion of the merits
of Burgoyne, as a commander. He boldly courted a scrutiny into the
causes which led to his surrender at Saratoga, which ministers refused,
because, as it has been insinuated, such a proceeding might expose the
absurd imprudence and inefficiency of their own measures with regard to
the American war. Prior to the capitulation, his military career, as
well in America as Portugal, had been rather brilliant; his misfortune
was precisely that which befel Cornwallis; but, unlike the latter,
Burgoyne was not allowed an opportunity of redeeming his reputation.

In parliament, he was a frequent and fluent, but neither a sound nor
an impressive speaker. While in employment, he appears to have been a
staunch advocate for the American war; which, however, he severely
reprobated, from the time that he ceased to hold a command. He was a
writer, chiefly dramatic, of considerable merit.


                           SIR HENRY CLINTON.

This distinguished general was a grandson of the Earl of Clinton, and
was born about the year 1738. After having received a liberal education,
he entered the army, and served for some time in Hanover. In the early
part of the revolutionary struggle he came to America, and was present
at the battle of Bunker's hill; from which time to the close of the
American war, he continued to aid the British cause. In 1777, he was
made a Knight of the Bath, and in January, 1778, commander-in-chief of
the British forces in America. On his return to England, a pamphlet war
took place between him and Cornwallis, as to the surrender of the
latter, the entire blame of which each party attributed to the other. In
1793, he obtained the governorship of Gibraltar, in possession of which
he died on the 23d of December, 1795.

[Illustration: Sir Henry Clinton.]

The merits of Sir Henry Clinton, as a commander, have been variously
estimated; and, as is usually the case, the truth seems to be
intermediate between the panegyric of his friends and the censure of
his enemies. That he was endowed with bravery, and possessed a
considerable share of military skill, cannot, in fairness, be denied;
but he was decidedly unequal to the great difficulties of his
situation and unfit to contend against so lofty a genius as
Washington, supported by a people resolved on obtaining their
independence, and fighting on their native soil.


                              ISAAC BARRE.

[Illustration: Colonel Barre.]

Colonel Barre was born in Ireland, about the year 1726. He served at
Quebec, under Wolfe, in the picture of whose death, by Benjamin West,
his figure is conspicuous. The Earl of Shelburne procured him a seat
in parliament, where, acting in opposition to government, he was not
only deprived of his offices of adjutant-general and governor of
Stirling castle, which he had received as a reward for his services in
America, but dismissed from the service. During the Rockingham
administration, he was compensated for the loss which he had
sustained, by being voted a pension of three thousand two hundred
pounds per annum; which he subsequently relinquished, pursuant to an
arrangement with Pitt, on obtaining a lucrative, but not distinguished
office. He usually took office when his party predominated; and was,
in the course of his career, a privy counsellor, vice treasurer of
Ireland, paymaster of the forces, and treasurer of the navy. His best
speeches were delivered during North's administration, on the American
war, to which he appears to have been inflexibly opposed. His oratory
was powerful, but coarse; his manner, rugged; his countenance, stern;
and his stature, athletic. He was suspected, but apparently without
reason, of having assisted in writing the letters of Junius. For the
last twenty years of his life, he was afflicted with blindness, which,
however, he is said to have borne with cheerful resignation. His death
took place on the 20th of July, 1792.


                           CHARLES TOWNSHEND.

Charles Townshend, son of Viscount Townshend, was born 1725. From his
youth, he was distinguished for great quickness of conception and
extraordinary curiosity. In 1747, he went into parliament, and
continued a member till he died. He held various offices in the
government. In 1765, he was paymaster general, and chancellor of the
exchequer; and a lord of the treasury in August, 1766, from which
period he remained in office until his decease, which took place on
the 4th of September, 1767.

In person, Charles Townshend was tall and beautifully proportioned;
his countenance was manly, handsome, expressive, and prepossessing. He
was much beloved in private life, and enjoyed an unusual share of
domestic happiness.

Burke, in his speech on American taxation, thus admirably depicted the
general character of Charles Townshend: "Before this splendid orb
(alluding to the great Lord Chatham) had entirely set, and while the
western horizon was in a blaze with his descending glory, on the
opposite quarter of the heavens arose another luminary, and for his
hour he became lord of the ascendant. This light, too, is passed, and
set for ever! I speak of Charles Townshend, officially the rëproducer
of this fatal scheme (American taxation); whom I cannot even now
remember, without some degree of sensibility. In truth, he was the
delight and ornament of this house, and the charm of every private
society which he honored with his presence. Perhaps there never arose
in this country, nor in any country, a man of more pointed and
finished wit, and (where his passions were not concerned) of a more
refined, exquisite, and penetrating judgment. If he had not so great a
stock, as some have had who flourished formerly, of knowledge long
treasured up, he knew better by far, than any man I ever was
acquainted with, how to bring together, within a short time, all that
was necessary to establish, to illustrate, and to decorate that side
of the question he supported. He stated his matter skillfully and
powerfully; he particularly excelled in a most luminous explanation
and display of his subject."


                      CHARLES CORNWALLIS, MARQUIS.

Lord Cornwallis, eldest son of the fifth lord, and first Earl
Cornwallis, was born 1738. At the age of twenty, he entered the army,
and obtained a captaincy. In 1762, on the death of his brother, he
took his seat in the house of lords. In 1770, he and three other young
peers, having protested, with Lord Camden, against the taxation of
America, Mansfield, the chief justice, is said to have sneeringly
observed, "Poor Camden could only get four boys to join him!"

Although he had opposed the measures of the government with regard to
the disaffected colonies, yet when hostilities commenced, he did not
scruple to accept of active employment against the Americans. His
history, during the war, will be found in the preceding pages. He was
a proud man, and most humiliating was it when he was obliged to
surrender to Washington at Yorktown.

But his failure in America did not impair his reputation. On his return
to England, he was made governor of the Tower. In 1786, he was sent to
Calcutta, as governor-general and commander-in-chief. Having
terminated, successfully, a war in that country, he returned to England.
In 1799, he became lord-lieutenant of Ireland. Soon after the expiration
of his vice-regency, he was sent to France as plenipotentiary for Great
Britain, in which capacity he signed the treaty of Amiens. In 1804, he
succeeded the Marquis Wellesley, as governor-general of India. On his
arrival at Calcutta, he proceeded, by water, to take the command in the
upper provinces. The confinement of the boat, the want of exercise, and
the heat of the weather, had a most serious effect on his health.
Feeling, soon after he had landed, that his dissolution was at hand, he
prepared some valuable instructions for his successor; and the last
hours of his life were passed in taking measures to lessen the
difficulties which his decease would produce. He expired at Ghazepoore,
in Benares, on the 5th of October, 1805.

Lord Cornwallis was not endowed with any brilliancy of talent. He had to
contend with no difficulties, on his entrance into life: high birth
procured him a military station, which his connexions enabled him to
retain, after he had committed an error, or, at least, met with a
mischance, that would have utterly ruined a less influential commander.
Although ambitious, he appears to have possessed but little ardor. He
manifested no extraordinary spirit of enterprise; he hazarded no untried
manœuvres; and yet, few of his contemporaries passed through life with
more personal credit or public advantage. He had the wisdom never to
depute to others what he could perform himself. His perseverance,
alacrity, and caution, procured him success as a general, while his
strong common sense rendered him eminent as a governor. He always
evinced a most anxious desire to promote the welfare of those who were
placed under his administration; Ireland and Hindostan still venerate
his memory. His honor was unimpeachable; his manners, devoid of
ostentation; and his private character, altogether amiable.

Napoleon Buonaparte, in his conversations with Barry O'Meara, declared
that Lord Cornwallis, by his integrity, fidelity, frankness, and the
nobility of his sentiments, was the first who had impressed upon him a
favorable opinion of Englishmen. "I do not believe," said the
ex-emperor, "that he was a man of first-rate abilities; but he had
talent, great probity, sincerity, and never broke his word. Something
having prevented him from attending at the Hôtel de Dieu, to sign the
treaty of Amiens, pursuant to appointment, he sent word to the French
ministers that they might consider it completed, and that he would
certainly execute it the next morning. During the night, he received
instructions to object to some of the articles; disregarding which, he
signed the treaty as it stood, observing that his government, if
dissatisfied, might refuse to ratify it, but that, having once pledged
his word, he felt bound to abide by it. There was a man of honor!"
added Napoleon; "a true Englishman."


                             LORD CHATHAM.

William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, was born November 15, 1708. His father
was Robert Pitt, of Boconnock, in the county of Cornwall. He received
his education at Trinity college, Cambridge. He took a seat in
parliament as early as 1735, as a member for Old Sarum. His exalted
talents, his lofty spirit, and commanding eloquence, soon rendered him
singularly conspicuous. Under George II., in 1757, he became premier
of that celebrated war administration, which raised England to a proud
prëeminence over the other nations of Europe. His energy was
unbounded. "It must be done," was the reply he often made, when told
that his orders could not be executed. After which, no excuse was
admitted. Under his auspices, England triumphed in every quarter of
the globe. In America, the French lost Quebec; in Africa, their chief
settlements fell; in the East Indies, their power was abridged; in
Europe, their armies suffered defeat; while their navy was nearly
annihilated, and their commerce almost reduced to ruin.

On the accession of George the Third, Pitt, who felt strongly
impressed with the policy of declaring war against Spain, was thwarted
in his wishes by the influence of Lord Bute; and, disdaining to be
nominally at the head of a cabinet which he could not direct, he
resigned his office in October, 1761.

[Illustration: Lord Chatham.]

In 1764, he greatly distinguished himself by his opposition to general
warrants, which, with all his accustomed energy and eloquence, he
stigmatized as being atrociously illegal. A search for papers, or a
seizure of the person, without some specific charge, was, he contended,
repugnant to every principle of true liberty. "By the British
constitution," said he, "every man's house is his castle! not that it is
surrounded by walls and battlements; it may be a straw-built shed; every
wind of heaven may whistle round it; all the elements of nature may
enter it; but _the king cannot; the king dare not_."

He invariably opposed, with the whole force of his eloquence, the
measures which led to the American war: and long after his retirement
from office, he exerted himself most zealously to bring about a
reconciliation between the mother-country and her colonies; But when
the Duke of Portland, in 1778, moved an address to the crown, on the
necessity of acknowledging the independence of America, Lord Chatham,
although he had but just left a sick bed, opposed the motion with all
the ardent eloquence of his younger days. "My lords," said he, "I
lament that my infirmities have so long prevented my attendance here,
at so awful a crisis. I have made an effort almost beyond my strength
to come down to the house on this day, (_and perhaps it will be the
last time I shall be able to enter its walls_,) to express my
indignation at an idea which has gone forth of yielding up America. My
lords: I rejoice that the grave has not yet closed upon me; that I am
still alive to lift up my voice against the dismemberment of this
ancient and most noble monarchy. Pressed down, as I am, by the hand of
infirmity, I am little able to assist my country in this most perilous
conjuncture; but, my lords, while I have sense and memory, I will
never consent to deprive the royal offspring of the house of Brunswick
of their fairest inheritance."

The Duke of Richmond having replied to this speech, Lord Chatham
attempted to rise again, but fainted, and fell into the arms of those
who were near him. The house instantly adjourned, and the earl was
conveyed home in a state of exhaustion, from which he never recovered.
His death took place at Hayes, early in the following month, namely,
on the 11th of May, 1778. The House of Commons voted the departed
patriot, who had thus died gloriously at his post, a public funeral,
and a monument in Westminster abbey at the national expense. An income
of four thousand pounds per annum was annexed to the earldom of
Chatham, and the sum of twenty thousand pounds cheerfully granted to
liquidate his debts: for, instead of profiting by his public
employments, he had wasted his property in sustaining their dignity,
and died in embarrassed circumstances.

In figure, Lord Chatham was eminently dignified and commanding. "There
was a grandeur in his personal appearance," says a writer, who speaks
of him when in his decline, "which produced awe and mute attention;
and, though bowed by infirmity and age, his mind shone through the
ruins of his body, armed his eye with lightning, and clothed his lips
with thunder." Bodily pain never subdued the lofty daring, or the
extraordinary activity of his mind. He even used his crutch as a
figure of rhetoric. "You talk, my lords," said he, on one occasion,
"of conquering America--of your numerous friends there--and your
powerful forces to disperse her army. I might as well talk of driving
them before me with this crutch."


                           CHARLES JAMES FOX.

Charles James Fox was the third son of Henry Fox, Lord Holland, and
was born January 24th, 1749. His mother was a daughter of the Duke of
Richmond, and his sister the wife of Lord Cornwallis. Lord Holland
made it a rule, in the tuition of his children, to follow and
regulate, but not to restrain nature. This indulgence was a sad error,
as it always is on the part of parents. On arriving to maturity,
Charles used to boast that he was, when young, never thwarted in any
thing. Two instances are related of this indulgence of the father,
before the son was six years old. One day, standing by his father,
while he was winding up a watch--"I have a great mind to break that
watch, papa," said the boy. "No, Charles; that would be foolish."
"Indeed, papa," said he, "I _must_ do it." "Nay," answered the father,
"if you have such a violent inclination, I won't baulk it." Upon
which, he delivered the watch into the hands of the youngster, who
instantly dashed it on the floor.

At another time, while Lord Holland was secretary of state, having
just finished a long dispatch which he was going to send, Mr.
Charles, who stood near him, with his hand on the inkstand, said,
"Papa, I have a good mind to throw this ink over the paper." "Do, my
dear," said the secretary, "if it will give you any pleasure." The
young gentleman immediately threw on the ink, and his father sat down
very composedly to write the dispatch over again.

Such a course of education, we should anticipate, would work the moral
ruin of a child. Its baleful influence was seen in after years, in
gambling, horse-racing, drinking, and kindred vices, carried to a
fearful extent on the part of this son, whose training was so
inauspiciously begun and persevered in.

[Illustration: Fox.]

But, despite of these most degrading and ruinous practices, Fox proved
to be one of the most accomplished and effective orators, and perhaps
we may add, statesman of his times. He was the rival of Pitt; and,
though not so finished in his elocution, he not unfrequently equalled
him in the effect produced.

By what means he attained to such eminence, it scarcely appears; for
the younger part of his life seems to have been so exclusively devoted
to his pleasures, as scarcely to have time left for the cultivation of
his intellect. His genius, however, was brilliant; and from his
earliest years he was in the society of men distinguished for their
cultivated intellect, and the eminent part they took in the
government of the country. It is related of Fox, that he would not
unfrequently spend the entire night at his favorite amusement,
gambling, and thence proceed to the House of Commons, when he would
electrify the whole assembly with some cogent and brilliant speech.

Fox was a firm, steadfast friend to the Americans and their
independence. At the time the measures which led to the American war
had come to a crisis, a formidable party existed in England, opposed
to the unjust and illiberal policy of the government. To this party,
Fox united himself; and, from his conspicuous talents, soon acquired
the authority of a leader. In 1773, he opposed the Boston port bill,
and apologized for the conduct of the colonies. In his speech on that
occasion, he arraigned the measures of the ministers in bold and
energetic language, and explained the principles of the constitution
with masculine eloquence. The session of 1775, opened with a speech
from the king, declaring the necessity of _coercion_. On this
occasion, Fox poured forth a torrent of his powerful eloquence. In
that plain, forcible language, which formed one of the many
excellencies of his speeches, he showed what ought to have been done,
what ministers had promised to do, and what they had not done. He
affirmed that Lord Chatham, the king of Prussia--nay, even Alexander
the Great--never gained more in one campaign than Lord North had lost.

When the news of the disastrous defeat of Burgoyne reached England, Fox
loudly insisted upon an inquiry into the causes of his failure. And in
like manner, when the fate of Cornwallis' army at Yorktown was made
known, the oppositionists were loud in their denunciations of the
proceedings of ministers in regard to the war. Mr. Fox designed to make
a motion for an investigation into the conduct of Lord Sandwich, who was
at the head of the admiralty. But he was, for a time, too much
indisposed to make the attempt. It was on this occasion, that Burke is
reported to have said, "that if Fox died, it would be no bad use of his
skin, if, like John Ziska's, it should be converted into a drum, and
used for the purpose of sounding an alarm to the people of England."

The death of Mr. Fox occurred 13th of August, 1806.

Walpole thus compares the two great orators of England: "Mr. Fox, as a
speaker, might be compared to the rough, but masterly specimen of the
sculptor's art; Mr. Pitt, to the exquisitely finished statue. The former
would need a polish to render him perfect; the latter possessed, in a
transcendent degree, every requisite of an accomplished orator. The
force of Mr. Fox's reasoning flashed like lightning upon the mind of the
hearer: the thunder of Mr. Pitt's eloquence gave irresistible effect to
his powerful and convincing arguments."

The sympathy and support of such men as Fox, during our Revolutionary
struggle, served to sustain and animate our patriotic fathers. They
felt that while they were in the field, engaged in defeating the
armies of England, they had friends in the House of Commons, who were
making every possible effort to defeat the impolitic and oppressive
measures of the king and his ministers.


                              JOHN STUART.

John Stuart, Marquis of Bute, was born in 1715. In the ninth year of
his age, he succeeded his father as Marquis of Bute. On the accession
of George the Third, the highest dignities in the state were supposed
to be within the grasp of Lord Bute; but, however he might have swayed
the king's mind in private, he took no public part in the direction of
public affairs until 1761, when he accepted the secretaryship resigned
in that year by Lord Holderness. At length, he became prime minister;
and, immediately on coming into power, determined, if possible, to
effect a peace, which had for some time been negotiating. He
accomplished his object, but his success rendered him exceedingly
unpopular. He was accused, by some weak-minded persons, of having been
bribed by the enemies of his country; and it was added, that the
princess dowager had shared with him in the price at which peace had
been purchased by the French government.

He quitted office in April, 1763, but continued to exert a powerful
influence over the mind of the king, especially in relation to
America. Several measures, the object of which was to humble the
colonies, and continue them in subjection to the crown, are said to
have been suggested by this nobleman. He died in 1792.


                           GEORGE GRENVILLE.

[Illustration: Grenville.]

George Grenville was born 1712. In 1741, he was returned to parliament
for the town of Buckingham, for which place he served during the
remainder of his life. He held several important offices. In April,
1763, he became first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the
exchequer. He resigned his office in July, 1765, and died in November,
1770. During his premiership, the project of imposing internal taxes
in America was carried into effect. The project was first named to
him by the king, and urged upon him. At first, the minister was
opposed to the idea, but after having adopted it as a measure of his
administration, which he was compelled to do by royal authority, he
urged and supported it by all the means in his power.


                            DUKE OF GRAFTON.

Henry Augustus Fitzroy, Duke of Grafton, was born 1735. He was
educated at Cambridge, where he was notoriously profligate. In July,
1766, the Rockingham administration was dissolved, and the Duke of
Grafton was made first lord commissioner of the treasury, which office
he held until January, 1770. He has received an unenviable notoriety
from the strictures of Junius. His administration was composed of men
of different political principles and parties. Junius, in a letter
addressed to the duke, thus narrates, and severely animadverts upon,
the circumstances of his grace's appointment to the premiership: "The
spirit of the favorite (Lord Bute) had some apparent influence upon
every administration; and every set of ministers preserved an
appearance of duration as long as they submitted to that influence;
but there were certain services to be performed for the favorite's
security, or to gratify his resentments, which your predecessors in
office had the wisdom, or the virtue, not to undertake. A submissive
administration was, at last, gradually collected from the deserters of
all parties, interests, and connexions; and nothing remained but to
find a leader for these gallant, well-disciplined troops. Stand forth,
my lord, for thou art the man! Lord Bute found no resource of
dependence or security in the proud, imposing superiority of Lord
Chatham's abilities; the shrewd, inflexible judgment of Mr. Grenville;
nor in the mild, but determined integrity of Lord Rockingham. His
views and situation required a creature void of all these properties;
and he was forced to go through all his division, resolution,
composition, and refinement of political chemistry, before he happily
arrived at the _caput mortuum_ of vitriol in your grace. Flat and
insipid in your retired state, but brought into action, you become
vitriol again. Such are the extremes of alternate indolence or fury,
which have governed your whole administration!"


                   FREDERICK NORTH, EARL OF GUILFORD.

This nobleman, better known as Lord North, was the minister of George
III., under whose administration England lost her American colonies.
He succeeded Charles Townshend, as chancellor of the exchequer; and,
in 1770, the Duke of Grafton, as first lord of the treasury, and
continued in that high, but laborious office, till the conclusion of
the war. As a public character, Lord North was a flowing and
persuasive orator, well skilled in argumentation, and master of great
presence and coolness of mind; and, in private life, he was very
amiable, cheerful, and jocose in conversation, the friend of learned
men, and correct in conduct. In his policy towards America, he was
stern and uncompromising. On first coming into power, he was inclined
to be conciliatory; but soon he adopted restrictive and oppressive
measures, more so than his predecessors, and, at length, declared that
he would omit no means but that he would bring America in humility at
his feet. The faithful warnings of Pitt, Burke, Fox, and others, had
no restraining influence, and the consequence was, that America was
lost to the British crown. Lord North, in the latter years of his
life, was afflicted with blindness. He died July, 1792, aged sixty.


                          BARRASTRE TARLETON.

Colonel Tarleton was born in Liverpool, on the 21st of August, 1754, and
at first commenced studying law, but, on the breaking out of war in
America, he entered the army, and, having arrived in that country, he
was permitted to raise a body of troops called the "British Legion,"
which he commanded in several successful excursions against the enemy.
Such was the daring intrepidity, energy, and skill, with which he
conducted his corps, that he may be said to have greatly accelerated, if
not secured, some of the most important victories under Lord Cornwallis.
On his return to England, he was made a colonel, and became so popular
that, in 1790, he was returned, free of expense, as a member for
Liverpool, which he represented in three subsequent parliaments.

In 1818, previously to which he had been raised to the rank of
general, he was created a baronet, and, on the coronation of George
the Fourth, was made a K. C. B. He was one of the bravest officers of
his time, and is described as having been to the British, in the
American war, what Arnold, in his early career, was to the Americans.


                           SIR PETER PARKER.

Sir Peter Parker, son of Rear-admiral Christopher Parker, was born in
1723, and entered the navy under the auspices of his father. Having
served with great reputation on several occasions, in 1775 he hoisted
his broad pendant on board the Bristol, of fifty guns, in which he
proceeded, with a squadron under his command, to the American station.
On account of bad weather and other impediments, he did not reach Cape
Fear until May, 1776. In the following month, he made an unsuccessful
attack on Charleston, in South Carolina. Shortly afterwards, he joined
Lord Howe, the commander-in-chief, at New York, whence he was
dispatched, with the Asia, Renown, and Preston, to distract the
attention of the enemy, while the army attacked the lines on Long
Island. Towards the close of the same year, he proceeded, in command
of a small squadron, to make an attempt on Rhode Island, of which he
obtained possession without loss. He was now advanced to the rank of
rear-admiral of the blue; and, a few months after, appointed to the
chief command on the Jamaica station, where he served with signal
success until 1782, in which year he returned with a convoy to
England. Before his death, which occurred in 1811, he became admiral
of the blue and admiral of the white.


                          SIR WILLIAM MEADOWS.

Sir William Meadows was born in 1738. In 1775, he repaired with his
regiment to America, where he distinguished himself, particularly at
the battle of Brandywine, during which he was wounded.

In 1792, he served under Cornwallis in India. On returning to England,
he was appointed governor of the Isle of Wight, and, afterwards,
governor of Hull. He died at Bath, 1813.

As a military man, he was highly distinguished. He was invariably
cheerful, during an engagement; and his troops, by whom he was much
beloved, are said, on more than one occasion, to have mounted the
breach, laughing at their general's last joke. His hilarity scarcely
ever deserted him; one day, while on a reconnoitering party, he
observed a twenty-four-pound shot strike the ground, on his right, in
such a direction that, had he proceeded, it would, in all probability,
have destroyed him; he, therefore, stopped his horse, and, as the ball
dashed across the road in front of him, gracefully took off his hat,
and said: "I beg, sir, that you will continue your promenade; I never
take the precedence of any gentleman of your family."


                             GENERAL GAGE.

General Thomas Gage, second son of Viscount Gage, was born about the
year 1721, and entered the army at an early age. Having served with
considerable credit, he was commissioned as lieutenant-general; soon
after which, (April, 1774,) he was appointed to succeed Mr.
Hutchinson, as governor of Massachusetts Bay. In May, he sailed for
Boston with four regiments, where, contrary to his expectations, he
was received with great ceremony and outward respect.

About this time, serious troubles of the colonies with England began.
General Gage took strong and decided measures, and hastened, rather
than retarded, an open contest. By his order it was that the military
stores at Concord were destroyed, which led to the skirmish at
Lexington, and which opened the war.

On the 10th of October, 1775, he resigned his command to Sir William
Howe, and departed for England. At the time of his death, which took
place on the 2d of April, 1788, he was a general in the army. His
talents for command are said to have been respectable.


                            SIR GUY CARLTON.

[Illustration: Sir Guy Carlton.]

Guy Carlton, Lord Dorchester, was born in Ireland, in 1722. In 1748,
he became lieutenant-colonel. In 1758, he served at the siege of
Louisburg under Amherst, and the following year under Wolfe, at the
siege of Quebec. Ultimately he became governor of Quebec, and, during
his administration, defeated the American flotilla under Arnold. In
1790, having been created Baron Dorchester, he was appointed governor
of all the British possessions, except Newfoundland, in North America.
The close of his life was passed in retirement. He died in 1808. As a
soldier, Lord Dorchester appears to have deservedly obtained a high
reputation for courage and skill.


                         MARQUIS OF ROCKINGHAM.

Charles Watson Wentworth, Marquis of Rockingham, was born 1730. In 1763,
disgusted with the proceedings of Lord Bute, then the reigning favorite
at court, he resigned the situation of a lord of the bed-chamber, which
he had for some time before held, and also his lord-lieutenancy of
Yorkshire. Two years had scarcely elapsed, however, when the whole
system of government having undergone a change, he was appointed, in
July, 1765, first lord of the treasury, in the room of George Grenville.
He seems to have brought to his exalted station an anxious desire to
advance the prosperity of his country; and had his talents been equal to
his good intentions, his administration might have proved fortunate. But
the crisis in which he took office was important and even dangerous, and
he had to struggle against the intrigues of an opposition, powerful both
in numbers and talent. He soon became convinced of the impracticability
of remaining at the helm of affairs, and resigned the premiership on the
1st of August, 1766.

During the long administration of Lord North, the marquis was
considered, in the House of Lords, as the head of the aristocratic part
of the opposition; but his conduct was entirely free from that political
rancor which has too often disgraced the parliamentary behavior of the
greatest statesmen in England. At length, Lord North felt compelled to
succumb beneath the force and continued attacks of his powerful rival,
Fox; and George the Third offered the premiership to Lord Shelburne,
who, however, declared that, in his judgment, no one was so well fitted
to take the lead in administration as the Marquis of Rockingham.
Accordingly, in March, 1782, the marquis was again elevated to the
chief direction of affairs, having for his principal colleagues, the
Earl of Shelburne and Mr. Fox. The ministry thus formed, seemed likely
to be permanent; for it united much of the wealth and talent of the
country. The hopes of the nation were, however, doomed to be miserably
disappointed. On the 1st of July, the marquis was seized with a violent
spasmodic affection, and almost instantly expired. He had long
anticipated his approaching death, and is said to have expressed but one
motive for wishing a continuance of life, which was, that he might see
his country extricated from her troubles.


                             EDMUND BURKE.

[Illustration: Edmund Burke.]

The history of this distinguished statesman and eloquent orator is
exceedingly interesting, but it belongs to these pages to notice him
only as he was a friend to American rights, and often lifted up his
voice in parliament in defence of them. He was born in Dublin, 1730.
His father was a respectable attorney. Burke received his education
at Trinity college; on the completion of which, he studied law, but
devoted himself chiefly to literature. He conducted Dodley's
celebrated Annual Register for many years. In 1765, he entered into
public life, being made private secretary to the Marquis of Rockingham
at the time that nobleman was called to the head of the treasury. Soon
after, he was elected to parliament. In 1766, he took a prominent part
in a debate relative to the affairs of America, and often, afterwards,
raised his voice in opposition to the arbitrary measures of the
government. For a time, the affairs of America are said to have
engrossed almost all his attention.

During one of the debates on American affairs, a member from Hull, by
the name of Hartley, after having driven four-fifths of a very full
house from the benches, by an unusually dull speech, at length requested
that the riot act might be read, for the purpose of elucidating one of
his propositions. Burke, who was impatient to address the house himself,
immediately started up, and exclaimed: "The riot act! My dearest friend,
why, in the name of every thing sacred, have the riot act read? The mob,
you see, is already dispersed!" Peals of laughter followed the utterance
of this comic appeal, which Lord North frequently declared to be one of
the happiest instances of wit he ever heard.[53]

Burke died in 1797. Unlike many of the statesmen of his day, "his
character, in private life, was almost unimpeachable." As a public
speaker, his manner was bold and forcible; his delivery, vehement and
unembarrassed; but, though easy, he was inelegant. His head
continually oscillated, and his gesticulations were frequently
violent. To the last hour of his life, his pronunciation was
Hibernian. Although a great orator, he was not a skillful debater. Few
men ever possessed greater strength of imagination, or a more
admirable choice of words. His mind was richly stored, and he had the
most perfect mastery over its treasures. Johnson said he was not only
the first man in the House of Commons, but the first man every where;
and, on being asked if he did not think Burke resembled Cicero,
replied, "No, sir; Cicero resembled Burke."


                          THADDEUS KOSCIUSKO.

Thaddeus Kosciusko, a Polish officer in the American revolutionary
war, was born in Lithuania, in 1756, of an ancient and noble family,
and educated at the military school at Warsaw. He afterwards studied
in France. He came to America, recommended, by Franklin, to General
Washington, by whom he was appointed his aid. He was also appointed
his engineer, with the rank of colonel, in October 1776. At the
unsuccessful siege of Ninety-Six, in 1781, he very judiciously
directed the operations. It was, in 1774, that he left this country,
and, in 1786, he returned to Poland. In 1789, the diet gave him the
appointment of major-general. In the campaign of 1792, he
distinguished himself against the Russians. In 1794, the Poles again
took arms, and were headed by Kosciusko; but, after several splendid
battles, he was taken and thrown into prison by Catharine, but was
released by Paul I. When the emperor presented him with his own sword,
he declined it, saying: "I no longer need a sword, since I have no
longer a country." Never afterwards did he wear a sword. In August,
1797, he visited America, and was received with honor. For his
revolutionary services, he received a pension. In 1798, he went to
France. Having purchased an estate near Fontainebleau, he lived there
till 1814. In 1816, he settled at Soleure, in Switzerland. In 1817, he
abolished slavery on his estate in Poland. He died at Soleure, in
consequence of a fall with his horse from a precipice near Vevay,
October 16, 1817, aged sixty-one. He was never married.


                             COUNT PULASKI.

Count Pulaski was a Polander by birth, who, with a few men, in 1771,
carried off King Stanislaus from the middle of his capital, though
surrounded with a numerous body of guards and a Russian army. The king
soon escaped, and declared Pulaski an outlaw. After his arrival in
this country, he offered his services to congress, and was honored
with the rank of brigadier-general. He discovered the greatest
intrepidity in an engagement with a party of the British near
Charleston, in May, 1779. In the assault upon Savannah, October 9th,
by General Lincoln and Count D'Estaing, Pulaski was wounded, at the
head of two hundred horsemen, as he was galloping into the town, with
the intention of charging in the rear. He died on the 11th, and
congress resolved that a monument should be erected to his memory.


                             BARON DE KALB.

Baron de Kalb was a native of Germany, but had been long employed in
the service of France, previous to the commencement of the American
revolution. He arrived in this country in 1777; and being an officer
of great experience, he early received from congress the commission of
major-general. In the battle near Camden, August, 1780, he fell, after
receiving eleven wounds, in his vigorous exertions to prevent the
defeat of the Americans. He died August 19th, aged forty-seven, having
served three years with high reputation. His last moments were spent
in dictating a letter, which expressed his warm affection for the men
and officers of his division, and his admiration of their firmness and
courage in withstanding a superior force. An ornamental tree was
planted at the head of his grave in the neighborhood of Camden, and
congress resolved that a monument should be erected to his memory at
Annapolis, with a very honorable inscription.


                             BARON STEUBEN.

Frederick William, Baron de Steuben, was a Prussian officer,
aid-de-camp to Frederick the Great, and lieutenant-general in the army
of that distinguished commander. He arrived in America in 1777; soon
after which, he was made inspector-general, with the rank of
major-general. He established a uniform system of manœuvres; and, by
his skill and persevering industry, effected, during the continuance
of the troops at Valley Forge, a most decided improvement in all ranks
of the army. He was a volunteer in the action at Monmouth, and
commanded in the trenches at Yorktown on the day which concluded the
struggle with Great Britain. He died at Steubenville, New York,
November 28th, 1794, aged sixty-one years.

"When the army was disbanded, and the old soldiers shook hands in
farewell, Lieutenant-colonel Cochran, a Green-mountain veteran, said:
'For myself, I could stand it; but my wife and daughters are in the
garret of that wretched tavern, and I have no means of removing them,'
'Come,' said the baron, 'I will pay my respects to Mrs. C. and her
daughters.' And when he left them, their countenances were brightened;
for he gave them all he had to give. This was at Newburg. On the wharf,
he saw a poor wounded black man, who wanted a dollar to pay for his
passage home. Of whom the baron borrowed the dollar, it is not known;
but he soon returned; when the negro hailed the sloop, and cried: 'God
bless you, master baron!' The state of New Jersey gave him a small farm.
New York gave him sixteen thousand acres in Oneida county; a pension of
twenty-five hundred dollars was also given him. He built him a log
house at Steubenville, gave a tenth-part of his land to his aids and
servants, and parceled out the rest to twenty or thirty tenants. His
library was his chief solace. Having but little exercise, he died of
apoplexy. Agreeably to his request, he was wrapped in his cloak, and
buried in a plain coffin, without a stone. He was a believer in Jesus
Christ, and a member of the Reformed Dutch Church, New York."


                           COUNT ROCHAMBEAU.

Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, marshal of
France, was born at Vendome in 1725. At the age of sixteen he entered
the army, and served in Germany, under Marshal Broglio. In 1746, he
became aid to Louis Philip, Duke of Orleans. In 1780, having been made
lieutenant-general, he was sent with an army of six thousand men to
the assistance of the United States of America. On reaching the place
of his destination, he landed in Rhode Island, and soon after acted in
concert with Washington, first against Clinton in New York, and then
against Cornwallis, rendering important services at the siege of
Yorktown, which were rewarded by a present of two cannon taken from
Lord Cornwallis. After the Revolution, Rochambeau was raised to the
rank of a marshal by Louis XVI., and received the command of the army
of the north. He was soon superseded by more active officers, and
being calumniated by the popular journalists, he addressed to the
legislative assembly a vindication of his conduct. A decree of
approbation was consequently passed in May, 1792, and he retired to
his estate near Vendome, with a determination to interfere no more
with public affairs. He was subsequently arrested, and narrowly
escaped suffering death under the tyranny of Robespiere. In 1803, he
was presented to Buonaparte, who in the following year gave him a
pension and the cross of grand officer of the legion of honor. His
death took place in 1809.--_Encyclopedia Americana_.


                            COUNT D'ESTAING.

Charles Henry, Count d'Estaing, admiral and lieutenant-general of the
armies of France, before the Revolution, was a native of Ravel, in
Auvergne, and was descended from an ancient family in that province.
Count d'Estaing commenced his career by serving in the East Indies,
under Lally, when he was taken prisoner, and sent home on his parole.
Having engaged in hostilities again before he was regularly exchanged,
he was taken a second time, and imprisoned at Portsmouth. During the
American war, he was employed as vice-admiral.

At the capture of the isle of Grenada, he distinguished himself; but on
every occasion he showed more courage than conduct or professional
skill. He promoted the Revolution, and in 1789, he was appointed a
commander of the National Guards at Versailles. In 1791, he addressed to
the national assembly a letter full of protestations of attachment to
the constitution, on the occasion of the approaching trial of the king.
He suffered under the guillotine in 1793, as a counter-revolutionist, at
the age of sixty-five.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTE:

[53] Hartley was considered a tedious speaker on account of his
prolixity. But he was a friend to America, and often told the ministers
some very unwelcome truths. The following good story is told of him: One
afternoon, Jenkinson, the first Lord Liverpool, left the house when the
member from Hull rose to speak; and presuming that the honorable
gentleman would, as usual, deliver a very long, dull speech, he walked
home, mounted his horse, and rode to his country-house, where he dined;
and, after strolling for some time about his grounds, returned at a
gentle pace to town. On his arrival at home, he sent a messenger to the
house to ascertain what had been done, and how soon the division might
be expected to take place. The reply he received was, that Mr. Hartley
had not yet done speaking; and when Jenkinson, at length, thought it
advisable, in order to be in time for voting, to go down to Westminster,
he found the long-winded orator still on his legs!



                        V. FEDERAL CONSTITUTION.


[Illustration: GOVERNMENTS]

    ORIGINAL Governments of the Colonies--Union between them--Plan
    proposed by Dr. Franklin--First Congress--Congress of
    '74--Confederation--Defects of it--Convention of States proposed
    by Virginia--Commissioners from five States meet at
    Annapolis--Powers too limited to act--Recommend a General
    Convention of States--Delegates appointed--Convention meets at
    Philadelphia--Decides to form a new Constitution--Draft
    prepared--Discussed--Adopted--Speech of Dr. Franklin--Constitution
    signed--Adopted by the several States--Amendments--States admitted
    since the adoption--Remarks on the Constitution.

The several colonies established in America had governments which varied
according as they were charter, proprietary, or royal, which were the
three forms of government existing in America prior to the Revolution.
In certain particulars, they differed from each other as classes, and
the classes differed as individuals. But for a series of years there
existed no general political association, or bond of union among them.
As early, however, as 1643, the New England colonies, Massachusetts,
Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven, entered into a perpetual alliance,
offensive and defensive, for mutual protection against the claims of
their Dutch neighbors, and the assaults of their Indian foes. By the
articles of this confederation, the jurisdiction of each colony within
its own borders was to be exclusive; on the occurrence of war, each one
was to furnish its quota of men and provisions, according to its
population; and two commissioners from each colony were to hold an
annual meeting to decide on all matters of general interest. With some
alterations, this confederacy existed more than forty years; it was
dissolved only in 1686, when the charters of the New England colonies
were vacated by a commissioner from James II. This union was productive
of many advantages to the colonies. Besides preserving a mutual good
understanding among them, and thus preventing encroachments upon one
another's rights, assistance was rendered in their wars with the
Indians; without which, it is probable that the more feeble would have
been broken up.

In 1754, an attempt at union was made on a more extensive scale. The
plan originated in a call from the lords commissioners for trade and
the plantations, and consisted of deputies from the New England
provinces, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The congress met at
Albany. The object proposed by the commissioners was to consider the
best means of defence in case of a war with France, and particularly
to form an alliance with the Six Nations. Governor Shirley, of
Massachusetts, availing himself of the occasion, proposed to the
several governors that the delegates should be instructed on the
subject of a _general union_ or _confederation_. This meeting with
general approbation, the delegates were so instructed. A plan of
union, prepared by Dr. Franklin, was discussed, and substantially
adopted--the delegates from Connecticut dissenting.[54] But it
received the approbation neither of the colonies nor of the king's
council; not by the first, because it was supposed to give too much
power to the president-general, who was to be the king's
representative; nor by the latter, because too much power was supposed
to be given to the representatives of the people.

The foregoing plan having failed, no other attempt at union was made
for several years. At length, in 1765, in consequence of the passing
of the stamp act by parliament, and other grievances, the assembly of
Massachusetts in June of that year adopted the following resolution:
"That it is highly expedient there should be a meeting, as soon as may
be, of committees from the houses of representatives or burgesses, in
the several colonies, to consult on the present circumstances of the
colonies, and the difficulties to which they are and must be reduced,
and to consider of a general congress, to be held at New York, the
first Tuesday of October. A letter was prepared, to be sent to the
several speakers, and a committee was chosen for Massachusetts."

In consequence of the proceedings under this recommendation, "on the
7th of October, a congress, consisting of twenty-eight delegates from
the assemblies of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the
Delaware counties, Maryland, and South Carolina, convened in the city
of New York, and Timothy Ruggles, of Massachusetts, was chosen
president. The first measure of the congress was a declaration of the
rights and grievances of the colonists. They were declared to be
entitled to all the rights and liberties of natural-born subjects
within the kingdom of Great Britain; among the most essential of which
are, the exclusive power to tax themselves, and the privileges of a
trial by jury. The grievance chiefly complained of was the act
granting certain stamp duties and other duties in the British
colonies, which, by taxing the colonies without their consent, and by
extending the jurisdiction of courts of admiralty, was declared to
have a direct tendency to subvert their rights and liberties. A
petition to the king, and a memorial to each house of parliament,
were also agreed on; and it was recommended to the several colonies to
appoint special agents, who should unite their utmost endeavors in
soliciting redress of grievances. The assemblies of Virginia, North
Carolina, and Georgia, were prevented, by their governors, from
sending representatives to the congress; but they forwarded petitions
to England, similar to those appointed by that body."[55]

In 1774, the grievances of the colonies still continuing, and having
been increased by the open assertion of Great Britain of the justice of
her pretensions, another congress was assembled at Philadelphia, which
consisted of delegates from eleven colonies. In this congress, each
colony had one vote. Their principal acts consisted of a declaration of
rights, and in spirited addresses to the people of British America and
Great Britain, together with a recommendation to the colonies to adopt
resolutions of non-importation, non-exportation, and non-consumption.

The resolutions of this congress received the general sanction of the
provincial congress and of the colonial assemblies. Their power was
merely advisory; "yet their recommendations," says Dr. Holmes, "were
more generally and more effectually carried into execution by the
colonies than the laws of the best-regulated state."

But the dissuasive measures adopted by this congress having no effect on
the king and his ministers, another congress followed in 1775, "whose
pacific efforts to bring about a change in the views of the other party
being equally unavailing, and the commencement of actual hostilities
having, at length, put an end to all hope of reconciliation, the
congress finding, moreover, that the popular voice began to call for an
entire and perpetual dissolution of the political ties which had
connected them with Great Britain, proceeded on the memorable 4th of
July, 1776, to declare the thirteen colonies _independent states_.

"During the discussions of this solemn act, a committee, consisting
of a member from each colony, had been appointed to prepare and digest
a form of confederation for the future management of the common
interest, which had, hitherto, been left to the discretion of
congress, guided by the exigencies of the contest, and by the known
intentions, or occasional instructions of the colonial legislatures.

"It appears that as early as the 21st of July, 1775, a plan, entitled
'Articles of Confederation and _perpetual_ union of the Colonies,' had
been sketched by Dr. Franklin, the plan being on that day submitted by
him to congress; and though not copied into their journals, remaining
on their files in his hand-writing. But, notwithstanding the term
'perpetual,' observed in the title, the articles provided expressly
for the event of a return of the colonies to a connection with Great
Britain.

"This sketch became a basis for the plan reported by the committee on
the 12th of July, now also remaining on the files of congress, in the
hand-writing of Mr. Dickinson. The plan, though dated after the
Declaration of Independence, was probably drawn up before that event;
since the name of colonies, not states, is used throughout the
draught. The plan reported was debated and amended from time to time,
till the 17th of November, 1777, when it was agreed to by congress,
and proposed to the legislatures of the states, with an explanatory
and recommendatory letter. The ratifications of these, by their
delegates in congress, duly authorized, took place at successive
dates; but were not completed till the 1st of March, 1781; when
Maryland, who had made it a prërequisite that the vacant lands
acquired from the British crown should be a common fund, yielded to
the persuasion that a final and formal establishment of the federal
union and government would make a favorable impression, not only on
other foreign nations, but on Great Britain herself."[56]

Under this confederation, the country went through the war. Fortunate
it was, however, that the war terminated when it did, as the "rope of
sand," as the confederation was called, would probably have served as
a bond of union but a few years longer. Indeed, it had received the
cordial approbation of none of the colonies--while some of them had,
at length, acceded to it rather from necessity than choice.

"The principal difficulties which embarrassed the progress and
retarded the completion of the plan of confederation," says Mr.
Madison, "may be traced to--first, the natural repugnance of the
parties to a relinquishment of power; secondly, a natural jealousy of
its abuse in other than hands their own; thirdly, the rule of suffrage
among parties whose inequality in size did not correspond with that of
their wealth, or of their military or free population; fourthly, the
selection and definition of the powers, at once necessary to the
federal head, and safe to the several members.

"To these sources of difficulty, incident to the formation of all such
confederacies, were added two others, one of a temporary, the other of
a permanent nature. The first, was the case of the crown-lands, so
called, because they had been held by the British crown; and being
ungranted to individuals, when its authority ceased, were considered
by the states within whose charters or asserted limits they lay, as
devolving on them; while it was contended by the others, that, being
wrested from the dethroned authority by the equal exertions of all,
they resulted of right and in equity to the benefit of all. The lands,
being of vast extent, and of growing value, were the occasion of much
discussion and heart-burning, and proved the most obstinate of the
impediments to an earlier consummation of the plan of the federal
government. The state of Maryland, the last that acceded to it, firmly
withheld her assent, till the 1st of March, 1781; and then yielded
only in the hope that, by giving a stable and authoritative character
to the confederation, a successful termination of the contest might
be accelerated. The dispute was happily compromised, by successive
surrenders of portions of the territory by the states having exclusive
claims to it, and acceptances of them by congress.

"The other source of dissatisfaction was the peculiar situation of
some of the states, which, having no convenient ports for foreign
commerce, were subject to be taxed by their neighbors, through whose
ports their commerce was carried on. New Jersey, placed between
Philadelphia and New York, was likened to a cask tapped at both ends;
and North Carolina, between Virginia and South Carolina, to a patient
bleeding at both arms. The Articles of Confederation provided no
remedy for the complaint; which produced a strong protest on the part
of New Jersey, and never ceased to be a source of discord, until the
new constitution superseded the old.

"But the radical infirmity of the Articles of Confederation was the
dependence of congress on the voluntary and simultaneous compliance with
its requisitions by so many independent communities, each consulting,
more or less, its particular interests and convenience, and distrusting
the compliance of the others. While the paper emissions of congress
continued to circulate, they were employed as a sinew of war, like gold
and silver. When that ceased to be the case, and the fatal defect of the
political system was felt in its alarming force, the war was merely kept
alive, and brought to a successful conclusion, by such foreign aids and
temporary expedients as could be applied; a hope prevailing with many,
and a wish with all, that a state of peace, and the sources of
prosperity opened by it, would give to the confederacy, in practice, the
efficiency which had been inferred in theory."

The close of the war brought no adequate relief. The wealth of the
country was exhausted. Congress had no funds, and no means of raising
money for the discharge of arrears of pay due to the soldiers of the
Revolution, but by an appeal to the legislative assemblies of the
several states. Even for their own maintenance, they were dependent
upon the assemblies. The legislatures themselves often knew not what
to do.

"The distress of the inhabitants was continually on the increase; and
in Massachusetts, where it was most felt, an insurrection of a serious
character was the consequence. Near the close of the year 1786, the
populace assembled, to the number of two thousand, in the
north-western part of the state, and, choosing Daniel Shays their
leader, demanded that the collection of debts should be suspended, and
that the legislature should authorize the emission of paper money for
general circulation. Two bodies of militia, drawn from those parts
where dissatisfaction did not prevail, were immediately dispatched
against them, one under command of General Lincoln, the other of
General Shepard. The disaffected were dispersed with less difficulty
than had been apprehended, and, abandoning their seditious purposes,
adopted the proffered indemnity of the government.

"The time, at length, came, when the public mind gave tokens of being
prepared for a change in the constitution of the general
government--an occurrence, the necessity of which had long been
foreseen by Washington and most of the distinguished patriots of that
period. Evil had accumulated upon evil, till the mass became too
oppressive to be endured, and the voice of the nation cried out for
relief. The first decisive measures proceeded from the merchants, who
came forward almost simultaneously in all parts of the country, with
representations of the utter prostration of the mercantile interests,
and petitions for a speedy and efficient remedy. It was shown, that
the advantages of this most important source of national prosperity
were flowing into the hands of foreigners, and that the native
merchants were suffering for the want of a just protection and a
uniform system of trade. The wise and reflecting were convinced that
some decided efforts were necessary to strengthen the general
government, or that a dissolution of the union, and perhaps a
devastating anarchy, would be inevitable."[57]

The first step, which led to the convention of 1787, was taken by
Virginia, in a proposition of her legislature, in January, 1786, for a
convention of delegates to establish such a system of commercial
relations as would promote general harmony and prosperity. The above
proposal was cordially approved by Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
and New York, and delegates were accordingly appointed by them, in
addition to Virginia. These convened at Annapolis, September, 1786;
but they had scarcely entered into a discussion of topics, which
naturally forced themselves into view, before they discovered the
powers with which they were intrusted to be so limited, as to tie up
their hands from effecting any purpose that could be of essential
utility. On this account, as well as from the circumstance that so few
states were represented, they wisely declined deciding on any
important measures in reference to the particular subject for which
they had come together. This convention is memorable, however, as
having been the prelude to the one which followed. Before the
commissioners adjourned, a report was agreed upon, in which the
necessity of a revision and reform of the articles of the old federal
compact was strongly urged, and which contained a recommendation to
all the state legislatures "for the appointment of deputies, to meet
at Philadelphia, with more ample powers and instructions." This report
was sent to congress, as well as to the several states.

In the appointment of delegates, agreeably to the foregoing
recommendation, Virginia took the lead. February, 1787, the subject
claimed the attention of congress, and the following preamble and
resolution were adopted:

"Whereas, there is provision, in the articles of confederation and
perpetual union, for making alterations therein, by the assent of a
congress of the United States, and of the legislatures of the several
states; and whereas experience hath evinced that there are defects in
the present confederation, as a means to remedy which, several of the
states, and particularly the state of New York, by express instruction
to their delegates in congress, have suggested a convention for the
purpose expressed in the following resolution, and such convention
appearing to be the most probable means of establishing in these
states a firm national government--

"_Resolved_, That, in the opinion of congress, it is expedient, that, on
the second Monday in May next, a convention of delegates, who shall have
been appointed by the several states, be held at Philadelphia, for the
sole and express purpose of revising the articles of confederation, and
reporting to congress and the several legislatures such alterations and
provisions therein, as shall, when agreed to in congress, and confirmed
by the states, render the federal constitution adequate to the
exigencies of government, and the preservation of the union."

In consequence of this recommendation, all the states appointed
delegates to the convention, excepting Rhode Island.

On the day fixed for the meeting of the deputies in convention,
Monday, May 14th, 1787, a small number only had assembled. May 25th,
seven states were represented. The deputation from Pennsylvania,
proposed George Washington, Esq., late commander-in-chief, for
president of the convention,[58] and he was unanimously elected.

Tuesday, March 29th, the convention entered upon the solemn duties of
their commission. A question of serious magnitude early engrossed
their attention, viz: whether they should amend the old system, or
form a new one. For the former object, they had been appointed,
congress having limited their power to a revision of the articles of
the confederation. But the defects of the old system were so many,
and of such magnitude, that, at the session of the convention the
above day, Edmund Randolph, of Virginia, submitted fifteen
resolutions, as the basis of a new constitution. These resolutions,
denominated the _Virginia plan_, were debated and amended until the
15th of June, when Mr. Patterson, of New Jersey, presented a project
for revising the articles of confederation. This was called the
_Jersey plan_,[59] and, on motion of Mr. Patterson, was taken up--the
Virginia plan, meanwhile, being postponed.

On the 18th, Mr. Dickinson moved, in committee of the whole, to
"postpone the first resolution in Mr. Patterson's plan, in order to
take up the following, viz: 'that the Articles of Confederation ought
to be revised and amended, so as to render the government of the
United States adequate to the exigencies, the preservation, and the
prosperity of the union'--the postponement was agreed to by ten
states; Pennsylvania, divided." The following day, this substitute was
rejected by a vote of six states to four, and one divided. Mr.
Patterson's plan was again at large before the committee. Towards the
close of the session of the same day, the question was taken upon
postponing this latter plan, and carried by a vote of seven states to
three, and one divided. Mr. Randolph's, or the Virginia plan, came
again under consideration. This was now further discussed to the 23d
of June, when, on motion of Mr. Gerry, the proceedings of the
convention for the establishment of a national government, except the
part relating to an executive, were referred to a committee, to
prepare and report a constitution conformable thereto. This committee
consisted of Mr. Rutledge, Mr. Randolph, Mr. Gorham, Mr. Ellsworth,
and Mr. Wilson. "On the 26th of the same month, those relating to the
executive having been adopted, they, with various other propositions
submitted by individuals, were referred to the same committee, and the
committee adjourned to the 6th of August, when the committee reported
a draft of a constitution. This was under debate until the 9th of
September, and underwent many material alterations. A committee,
consisting of Mr. Johnson, Mr. Hamilton, G. Morris, Mr. Madison, and
Mr. King, was then selected 'to revise the style and arrange the
articles.' The manner in which these eminent scholars and statesmen
performed the duty assigned them, appears from the great precision and
accuracy of the language of the constitution, as well as the happy
arrangement of its various articles."

The report of this committee was made on the 12th of September, and
further debated till the 16th, when the constitution as amended was
agreed to by all states, and ordered to be engrossed.

On the following day, September 17th, after the reading of the
constitution as engrossed, the venerable Franklin rose, and putting a
written speech into the hands of Mr. Wilson, requested him to read it:

"_Mr. President_: I confess that there are several parts of this
constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I
shall never approve them; for having lived long, I have experienced
many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller
consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I
once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that,
the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to
pay more respect to the judgment of others. Most men, indeed, as well
as most sects in religion, think themselves in possession of all
truth, and that wherever others differ from them, it is so far error.
Steele, a protestant, in a dedication, tells the pope, that the only
difference between our churches, in their opinions of the certainty of
their doctrines, is, 'the church of Rome is infallible, and the church
of England is never in the wrong.' But though many private persons
think almost as highly of their own infallibility as of that of their
sect, few express it so naturally as a certain French lady, who, in a
dispute with her sister, said, 'I don't know how it happens, sister,
but I meet with nobody but myself that is always in the right.'

"In these sentiments, sir, I agree to this constitution, with all its
faults, if they are such, because I think a general government
necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a
blessing to the people, if well administered; and I believe further,
that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and
can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when
the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government,
being incapable of any other. I doubt, too, whether any other
convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better constitution.
For when you assemble a number of men, to have the advantage of their
joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble, with those men, all their
prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local
interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly, can a
perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, sir, to
find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I
think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to
hear that our councils are confounded, like those of the builders of
Babel; and that our states are on the point of separation, only to
meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another's throats. Thus
I consent, sir, to this constitution, because I expect no better, and
because I am not sure that it is not the best. The opinions I have
had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good. I have never
whispered a syllable of them abroad. Within these walls they were
born, and here they shall die. If every one of us, in returning to our
constituents, were to report the objections he has had to it, and
endeavor to gain partisans in support of them, we might prevent its
being generally received, and thereby lose all its salutary effects
and great advantages, resulting naturally in our favor among foreign
nations, as well as among ourselves, from our real or apparent
unanimity. Much of the strength and efficiency of any government in
procuring and securing happiness to the people, depends on opinion--on
the general opinion of the goodness of the government, as well as of
the wisdom and integrity of its governors. I hope, therefore, that for
our own sakes, as a part of the people, and for the sake of posterity,
we shall act heartily and unanimously in recommending this
constitution (if approved by congress and confirmed by the
conventions) wherever our influence may extend, and turn our future
thoughts and endeavors to the means of having it well administered.

"On the whole, sir, I cannot help expressing a wish that every member
of the convention, who may still have objections to it, would with me,
on this occasion, doubt a little of his own infallibility, and to make
manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument." He then
moved that the constitution be signed by the members, and offered the
following as a convenient form, viz: "Done in convention, by the
unanimous consent of the _states_ present, the 17th of September, &c.
In witness whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our names."

The motion of Dr. Franklin to sign by _states_ was objected to by
several of the members, but was agreed to--all the _states_ answering
"_ay_."

While the last members were signing their names, Dr. Franklin, looking
towards the president's chair, at the back of which a rising sun
happened to be painted, observed to a few members near him, that
painters had found it difficult to distinguish, in their art, a
rising from a setting sun. I have, said he, often and often, in the
course of the session, and the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as
to its issue, looked at that behind the president, without being able
to tell whether it was rising or setting; but now, at length, I have
the happiness to know that it is a rising, and not a setting sun.[60]

[Illustration: Franklin.]

During the deliberations of the convention, several questions of deep
interest arose; but none, perhaps, more exciting than that which related
to the relative weight of the states in the two branches of the national
legislature. The small states, at length, consented that the right of
suffrage in the house should be in proportion to the whole number of
white or other free citizens in each, including those bound to service
for a term of years, and three-fifths of all other persons. While they
yielded this point, they insisted on an equal vote in the senate.

To this, the larger states objected; and, on this question, they
remained for a time about equally divided. "On the first trial, in
committee of the whole, six states against five decided that the right
of suffrage in the senate should be the same as in the house; the
states of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South
Carolina, and Georgia, being in the affirmative, and Connecticut, New
York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland in the negative.

"On the 29th of June, the question was again presented to the
consideration of the convention, in a motion made by Mr. Ellsworth,
"that in the second branch, each state should have an equal vote." We
cannot pretend to give even an outline of the arguments in favor and
against this motion. The debate was warm and exciting. For several
days, the powers of mighty minds were in animated collision; and from
the strong ramparts behind which the respective parties had apparently
entrenched themselves, there was, for a time, little prospect of union
on the question.

"On the 23d of July, the question was taken, on the motion of Mr.
Ellsworth, that in the senate each state should have one vote; and
five states were in favor of it, five against it, and one divided; and
the motion was lost. This equal division on a subject of such
importance, accompanied with so much warmth on both sides, seemed to
present an insurmountable obstacle to further proceedings of the
convention, without some compromise. To effect this, Charles C.
Pinckney, of South Carolina, moved for the appointment of a committee,
to take into consideration the subject of both branches of the
legislature. This motion prevailed, though not without opposition.
Some of the members were in favor of appointing a committee, though
they had little expectation of a favorable result. Mr. Martin, of
Maryland, declared that each state must have an equal vote, or the
business of the convention was at an end.

"Mr. Sherman said, we have got to a point that we cannot move one way or
the other; a committee is necessary to set us right. Mr. Gerry
observed, that the world expected something from them: if we do nothing,
we must have war and confusion--the old confederation would be at an
end. Let us see if concessions cannot be made--accommodation is
absolutely necessary, and defects may be amended by a future convention.

"Thus the convention was at a stand. Hopes were indeed entertained
that unanimity of views might on some basis prevail; but the longer
continuance of the debate, in the then existing state of the
convention, it was apparent, was engendering no good."

Fully sensible that nothing could be effected but upon a principle of
compromise, the convention proceeded to elect, by ballot, a
committee[61] of one from each state, to report on this exciting
subject, and adjourned for three days. The interval was one of great
anxiety; neither party appeared inclined to recede from the position
it had taken, and the great objects for which the convention had
assembled were apparently to be lost. And who could foresee the
result? But at this most critical juncture, God did not forsake the
nation. He had borne her forward, and now his spirit was felt in his
becalming influence upon the convention. On rëassembling, the above
committee made a report, which being accepted, the deliberations of
the convention proceeded with greater unanimity, until, at length, a
constitution was agreed upon.

The convention recommended that the constitution should be submitted
to state conventions, and that as soon as the same should have been
ratified by a constitutional majority, congress should take measures
for the election of a president, and fix the time for commencing
proceedings under it. Among the states, great diversity of opinion
prevailed respecting this constitution; and, for a time, it was
doubtful whether it would receive the approbation of a majority. But,
at length, not only this number was obtained, but all gave their
assent, and in the following order:

  By convention of Delaware,          December  7, 1787
   "      "        Pennsylvania,      December 12, 1787
   "      "        New Jersey,        December 18, 1787
   "      "        Georgia,           January   2, 1788
   "      "        Connecticut,       January   9, 1788
   "      "        Massachusetts,     February  6, 1788
   "      "        Maryland,          April    28, 1788
   "      "        South Carolina,    May      23, 1788
   "      "        New Hampshire,     June     21, 1788
   "      "        Virginia,          June     26, 1788
   "      "        New York,          July     26, 1788
   "      "        North Carolina,    November 21, 1789
   "      "        Rhode Island,      May      29, 1790

"At the first session of the first congress, the senate and house of
representatives, two-thirds concurring, recommended to the states the
adoption of twelve amendments to the constitution, chiefly relating to
the freedom of speech and of the press--the right of petition--trial
by jury--bail--election of president, &c. Ten of these amendments were
adopted by three-fourths of the legislatures of the states, and became
a part of the constitution. Subsequently, two other amendments were
added."

"The peaceable adoption of this government," says Chancellor Kent,
"under all the circumstances which attended it, presented the case of
an effort of deliberation, combined with a spirit of amity and mutual
concession, which was without example. It must be a source of just
pride, and of the most grateful recollection to every American who
reflects seriously on the difficulty of the experiment, the manner in
which it was conducted, the felicity of its issue, and the fate of
similar trials in other nations of the earth."

The opinions which prevailed in the convention of 1787, as to the
addition of new states, are worthy of notice. On one occasion, Mr.
Sherman said, "there is no probability that the number of future
states will exceed that of the existing states. If the event should
ever happen, it is too remote to be taken into consideration at this
time." But little more than half a century has elapsed, and the
original number has more than doubled, as may be seen by the following
account of the states admitted:

  Vermont,     March 4, 1791.
  Kentucky,    June 1, 1791.
  Tennessee,   June 1, 1796.
  Ohio,        November 29, 1802.
  Louisiana,   April 8, 1812.
  Indiana,     December 11, 1816.
  Mississippi, December 10, 1817.
  Illinois,    December 3, 1818.
  Alabama,     December 14, 1819.
  Maine,       March 15, 1820.
  Missouri,    August 10, 1821.
  Arkansas,    June 15, 1836.
  Michigan,    January 26, 1837.
  Florida,     March 3, 1845.
  Texas,       December 29, 1845.
  Iowa,        December 28, 1846.
  Wisconsin,   May 29, 1848.

  Congress assumed jurisdiction over the District of Columbia,
  Feb. 27, 1801.

The constitution, of the formation and adoption of which we have thus
given an account, has been in existence more than sixty years.
Meanwhile, what changes in empires and governments have been effected in
other portions of the globe! Monarchs have been hurled from their
thrones--or have waged war, and expended millions to retain them. Their
subjects, degraded and oppressed, have sighed and struggled for liberty,
but only to find the chains of servitude drawn more closely around them.
Not until recently, have the nations of Europe seemed to realize that an
improvement in their political condition was possible. They are, indeed,
just now making an effort to throw off the yoke and fetters; but what
will be the result of their experiments, no sagacity can well foresee.

The American people may well congratulate themselves upon the
realization of so many of their early hopes. God has helped them; and
never should his kind and protecting care be overlooked; nor his
interpositions in days of darkness and perplexity be forgotten. That was
a glorious struggle, through which they passed, and which resulted in
their emancipation from British oppression. But I know not whether the
intervening hand of Providence was more conspicuous in that contest,
than in leading our statesmen to the formation of the constitution, or
so many independent states, whose interests were apparently so
conflictive, or whose minds were so diverse, to its unanimous adoption.

And why has it lasted? Why have we not presented to the world, the
same feverish and changeful disposition, which has characterized our
sister republics of the South? Not one of the latter, scarcely, has
passed a single ten years, without intestine commotions--or some
change of their constitutions--or some radical alteration of their
political principles. And their people--what portions of them have
dwelt securely--or experienced a moiety of the advantages and
prosperity that have blessed this Northern confederacy?

The constitution of the United States has been, and is, the wonder and
admiration of the civilized world. How is such a national sovereignty
as that constitution contemplates and creates, compatible with so many
independent state sovereignties! Who could imagine that there could
exist such efficiency in the one, and yet such harmony among the
others! To the friends of monarchy, the mystery is nearly
inexplicable; and it seems quite impossible for the statesmen of other
countries, however desirous they may be, so to understand the theory
and practice of our national and state governments, as to conform them
to the circumstances of any other people on the globe.

If it be inquired how the framers of our constitution should have
devised such a government, and shaped it to meet the wants of a people
in some respects one, and in other respects so diverse, the most
intelligent and truthful answer is--God superintended and guided them;
not by immediate inspiration, but they served a long training; from
the very settlement of the country, and in the circumstances which led
our fathers to these shores, there was a work of preparation. And when
the time came, there was the patriotism--the self-denial--the
intelligence--the political wisdom--which were necessary to devise and
perfect our glorious constitution.

But will it last?--Last! Should an American citizen ever indulge a
thought to the contrary? But such thoughts will crowd in, and cause
anxiety to the patriot. When he looks over the pages of past history,
and reads the rise and fall of ancient republics--and by what means they
perished--by their own hands--and by means of their prosperity--and then
casts his eyes over his own country, and witnesses the thrift, the
wealth, the expanding strength and glory of that country--he will ask,
will our constitution stand?--will it continue to unite a people
separated into so many and so distant states? Especially will he have
reason for solicitude and doubt, when he dwells upon the great and grave
questions which are rising up, and are dividing the North and the
South--the East and the West. Our congress is already nearly a
battle-field. Our presses, in different sections, are waging war upon
one another, fierce and vindictive; our whole people are divided up into
parties--with sectional interests and sectional jealousies.

Will the constitution, then, stand? We cannot say that there is no
danger; but there is ground of hope and courage. Let the religion and
patriotism of our fathers, be cultivated--let our unquenchable love of
liberty, and a profound reverence for the constitution and the union,
be instilled into the minds of our children from their earliest days
of thought and reflection, and that noble instrument, and that
glorious union, will continue for generations to come.

I cannot better close these observations than by citing some forcible
and eloquent remarks of the late Judge Story, addressed to the
American youth.--"Let the American youth," says he, "never forget that
they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings,
and blood of our ancestors; and capable, if wisely improved, and
safely guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the
substantial blessings of life--the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, of
property, of religion, and of independence. The structure has been
erected by architects of consummate skill and fidelity; its
foundations are solid; its compartments are beautiful, as well as
useful; its arrangements are full of wisdom and order; and its
defences are impregnable from without. It has been reared for
immortality, if the work of man may justly aspire to such a title. It
may, nevertheless, perish in an hour, by the folly, or corruption, or
negligence of its only keepers, THE PEOPLE. Republics are created by
the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall
when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare
to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the
people, in order to betray them."

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTES:

[54] For a more particular account of this plan of union, the reader
is referred to Pitkin's History of the United States, vol. i. p. 142,
or Holmes' Annals, vol. ii. p. 55.

[55] Holmes' Annals.

[56] Madison Papers, vol. ii. p. 687-9.

[57] Hinton.

[58] "The nomination came with particular grace from Pennsylvania, as
Dr. Franklin alone could have been thought of as a competitor. The
doctor was himself to have made the nomination of General Washington,
but the state of the weather and of his health confined him to his
house."--_Madison Papers._

[59] "This plan had been concerted among the deputation, or members
thereof, from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and perhaps
Mr. Martin, from Maryland, who made with them a common cause, though
on different principles. Connecticut and New York were against a
departure from the principles of the confederation, wishing rather to
add a few new powers to congress, than to substitute a national
government. The states of New Jersey and Delaware were opposed to a
national government, because its patrons considered a proportional
representation of the states as the basis of it. The eagerness
displayed by the members opposed to a national government, from these
different motives, began now to produce serious anxiety for the result
of the convention. Mr. Dickinson said to Mr. Madison: 'You see the
consequence of pushing things too far. Some of the members from the
small states wish for two branches in the general legislature, and are
friends to a good national government; but we would sooner submit to
foreign power, than submit to be deprived, in both branches of the
legislature, of an equality of suffrage, and thereby be thrown under
the dominion of the larger states.'"--_Madison Papers._

[60] Madison Papers.

[61] This committee consisted of Mr. Gerry, Mr. Ellsworth, Mr. Yates,
Mr. Patterson, Dr. Franklin, Mr. Bedford, Mr. Martin, Mr. Mason, Mr.
Davy, Mr. Rutledge, and Mr. Baldwin.



                   VI. GEORGE WASHINGTON, PRESIDENT.


[Illustration]

                INAUGURATED AT NEW YORK, APRIL 30, 1789.

                      JOHN ADAMS, VICE-PRESIDENT.

                       HEADS OF THE DEPARTMENTS.

  Thomas Jefferson,   Virginia,       September 26, 1789,} Secretaries
  Edmund Randolph,    Virginia,       January 2, 1794,   } of State.
  Timothy Pickering,  Pennsylvania,   December 10, 1795  }

  Alexander Hamilton, New York,       September 11, 1789,} Secretaries
  Oliver Wolcott,     Connecticut,    February 3, 1795   } of Treasury.

  Henry Knox,         Massachusetts,  September 12, 1789,} Secretaries
  Timothy Pickering,  Pennsylvania,   January 2, 1795,   } of War.
  James M'Henry,      Maryland,       January 27, 1796   }

  Samuel Osgood,      Massachusetts,  September 26, 1789,} Postmasters
  Timothy Pickering,  Pennsylvania,   November 7, 1791,  } General.
  Joseph Habersham,   Georgia,        February 25, 1795, }

  Edmund Randolph,    Virginia,       September 26, 1789,} Attorneys
  William Bradford,   Pennsylvania,   January 27, 1794,  } General.
  Charles Lee,        Virginia,       December 10, 1795  }

               SPEAKERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

  Frederick A. Muhlenberg,   Pennsylvania,   First Congress,   1789.
  Jonathan Trumbull,         Connecticut,    Second   do.      1791.
  Frederick A. Muhlenberg,   Pennsylvania,   Third    do.      1793.
  Jonathan Dayton,           New Jersey,     Fourth   do.      1795.

To the traveller whose lot has led him to traverse inhospitable
deserts--encounter fierce storms, and stem angry floods--it is
delightful, at length, to enter a region where such obstacles no
longer impede his progress--where he breathes with freedom--where he
pauses to repose and refresh himself, without the anticipation of
similar immediate toil and fatigue. It may not, indeed, be the end of
his journey--and he may not know with certainty the future issue of
that journey; but the aspect is less forbidding--the prospect is even
inviting--and he passes on, animated with the hope of still better
things to come.

Some such change we realize at the point at which we have arrived, in
following down the great events of American history. Casting an eye
upon the scenes of the past, little besides toil, agitation, and
conflict, are to be seen.

The Pilgrim Fathers land on these western shores. Immediately, a
wide-spread wilderness is before them, and the task of clearing it is
begun; savage foes--subtle, secret, and sanguinary--prowl about their
habitations, and for years agitate and distress them. The mother-country
becomes involved in continental wars--America is the theatre of the
contest, and American soldiers must fight her battles. But, like the
palm-tree, the colonists rise under the burdens imposed on them. As they
prosper and expand, England becomes jealous, and bears herself lordly
towards them, in measures of oppression--in prohibitions and exactions.
War ensues--a long and exhausting war; their fields lie neglected; their
cities are captured; their families are impoverished, and their sons are
slain; but they conquer, and are free. But, as a nation, they have no
sufficient bond of union--no efficient government to guide their future
destiny in safety. National and state debts rest as an incubus upon
their efforts, and no adequate power exists by which to provide for
their liquidation. A convention meets: different plans are
proposed--different constitutions are discussed. Obstacles to the
adoption of any arise, which appear insurmountable, and the convention
is on the eve of dissolving--leaving the problem still unsolved, whether
human wisdom is adequate to devise a constitution which shall harmonize
the conflicting interests of thirteen free and independent states.

Once more Providence rallies to our aid--moving upon untractable
spirits, as in days of yore the spirit had moved upon the troubled
waters, and now, as then, there "is a calm." Deliberations are
resumed--asperities wear away--harmony succeeds--the final vote is
taken--a constitution is adopted, and sent abroad among the people of
the states.

But again the waters become tumultuous--angry conflict is waged in
almost every state-house in the land--hundreds and thousands lift up
their voices against this constitution, and refuse to sanction
it--ill-boding doubts swell up like clouds gathering from the sea, and
for a time exclude all hope of a constitutional ratification.

But another becalming influence from on high moves upon the mental
mass; jarring strifes are suspended--angry discord ceases--harmonious
action succeeds--the constitution is ratified, _and George Washington
is elected president of the United States_!

On the ratification of the constitution, the attention of the people
was at once directed to General Washington, as the first president of
the United States. Communications, expressive of this general desire,
were made to him. "We cannot," said Mr. Johnson, of Maryland, "do
without you, and I and thousands more can explain to any body but
yourself, why we cannot do without you." "I have ever thought," said
Governeur Morris, "and have said, that you must be president; no other
man can fill that office." In a letter on the subject, addressed to
Washington by Colonel Hamilton, the latter said, "You will permit me
to say, that it is indispensable you should lend yourself to its [the
government's] first operations."

Washington had serious objections to becoming a candidate. He
sincerely wished for retirement. "It is my great and sole desire"--so
he expressed himself to a friend, who had written him--"to live and
die in peace and retirement on my own farm."

But the voice of the nation demanded a further sacrifice from the
noble and disinterested patriot. He alone was believed to fill so
prëeminent a station in public opinion, that he might be placed at the
head of the nation without exciting envy. He alone possessed the
requisite confidence of the nation.

By the constitution, the new government was to commence its operations
on the 4th of March, 1789; but a quorum of representatives did not
appear till the 1st, nor of senators till Monday, the 6th day of April.

On this latter day, the president of the senate, elected for the
purpose of counting the votes, declared to the senate, that the senate
and house of representatives had met, and that he, in their presence,
had opened and counted the votes for the electors for president and
vice-president of the United States; whereby it appeared that GEORGE
WASHINGTON was unanimously elected president. The following table
exhibits the votes of the several electoral colleges:

           ELECTORAL VOTES FOR PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT.

                      ELECTION FOR THE FIRST TERM,
        COMMENCING MARCH 4, 1789, AND TERMINATING MARCH 3, 1793.

  Key:  A.  George Washington, of Virginia.
        B.  John Adams, of Massachusetts.
        C.  Samuel Huntington, of Connecticut.
        D.  John Jay, of New York.
        E.  John Hancock, of Massachusetts.
        F.  R. H. Harrison, of Maryland.
        G.  George Clinton, of New York.
        H.  John Rutledge, of South Carolina.
        I.  John Milton, of Georgia.
        J.  James Armstrong, of Georgia.
        K.  Edward Telfair, of Georgia.
        L.  Benjamin Lincoln, of Massachusetts.

  ----------+----------------+---+---+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
  Number of |                |   |   |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  Electors  |    STATES.     |   |   |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  from each |                | A.| B.|C.|D.|E.|F.|G.|H.|I.|J.|K.|L.|
  State.    |                |   |   |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  ----------+----------------+---+---+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
      5     |New Hampshire,  |  5|  5|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
     10     |Massachusetts,  | 10| 10|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
      7     |Connecticut,    |  7|  5| 2|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
      6     |New Jersey,     |  6|  1| 5|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
     10     |Pennsylvania,   | 10|  8| 2|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
      3     |Delaware,       |  3|  3|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
      6     |Maryland,       |  6|  6|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
     10     |Virginia,       | 10|  5| 1| 1| 3|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
      7     |South Carolina, |  7|  1| 6|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
      5     |Georgia,        |  5|  2| 1| 1| 1|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  ----------+----------------+---+---+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
     69     |Whole No.       |   |   |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
            |of electors,    | 69| 34| 2| 9| 4| 6| 3| 6| 2| 1| 1| 1|
            |Majority,    35 |   |   |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  ----------+----------------+---+---+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+

Whereupon, a certificate and letter--the one prepared by a committee
of the senate, the other by its president--were communicated to
General Washington, setting forth his election, and expressing the
cordial wish, that so auspicious a mark of public confidence would
meet his approbation.

This certificate and letter were received by Washington, at Mount
Vernon, on the 4th of April. He doubtless appreciated the honor done
him, and was grateful to the people for the confidence reposed in him;
but he would have declined the office, had the convictions of duty
allowed. That, however, was not permitted; and, yielding to the wishes
of the nation, he took leave of Mount Vernon on the second day after
receiving notice of his appointment, and proceeded to New York, at that
time the seat of government--"bidding adieu," as he wrote in his diary,
"to private life and domestic felicity; and, with a mind oppressed with
more anxious and painful sensations than I have words to express."

The state of the public business required his immediate presence at
the seat of government; but the desire to see the first president of
the United States--the zeal and enthusiasm which were kindled up along
the whole route he was to take, rendered it impossible to proceed with
haste. Crowds flocked around him, wherever he stopped; and corps of
militia, and companies of the most respectable citizens, escorted him
through their respective streets.

On reaching New York, April 23d, he was received with due ceremony by
the governor of that state, and conducted with military honors through
an immense concourse of people, to the apartments provided for him.
Here he received the salutations of foreign ministers, public bodies,
political characters, and private citizens of distinction, who pressed
around him to offer their congratulations, and to express their joy at
seeing the man, who had the confidence of all, at the head of the
American republic.

[Illustration: INAUGURATION OF WASHINGTON.]

On Thursday, the 30th of April, the new president was inaugurated. The
oath of office was administered by the chancellor of the state of New
York, in the presence of the senate and house of representatives, and an
immense concourse of people, who attested their joy by loud and
repeated acclamations. From the open gallery adjoining the
senate-chamber, which had been the scene of this new but imposing scene,
the assembly returned to the senate-chamber, where the president
delivered an inaugural address; in which, after alluding to the
"anxieties" occasioned by his election to the chief magistracy, and the
fond hope he had indulged of spending the remainder of his days in the
"retreat" to which he had retired, after years of military toil and
strife, he proceeded in terms alike honorable to himself as a Christian
and a patriot: "It would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first
official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules
over the universe--who presides in the councils of nations--and whose
providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction
may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the
United States, a government instituted by themselves for these essential
purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration
to execute, with success, the functions allotted to his charge. In
tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private
good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my
own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No
people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which
conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States.
Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an
independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of
providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished
in the system of their united government, the tranquil deliberations,
and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the
event has resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most
governments have been established, without some return of pious
gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings
which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the
present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be
suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are
none, under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free
government can more auspiciously commence."

Such were the sentiments of the patriot--the sage--the Christian
statesman, as he was about to enter upon the duties of an office, upon
the faithful or unfaithful discharge of which, was to depend the
perpetuity or speedy annihilation of a constitution of government,
which had cost thousands of lives and millions of revenue--besides
involving the happiness of unborn millions. Washington had surveyed
the wide field of responsibility. He came to the high and sacred
office reluctantly indeed, but in reliance upon that Divine arm which
had been his stay in the dark and stormy days of the Revolution.
Having put his hand to the plough, he was not the man to look back.
Having passed the Rubicon, his march was forward. Immediately
following the delivery of the above address, the president, with the
members of both houses, attended divine service at St. Paul's chapel.
Thus did Washington, and thus did the national assembly, commence the
government with a _devout recognition of its dependence upon Divine
Providence for success_. Happy for the country, if the same spirit of
piety, and the same acknowledgments to the Divine Author of all good,
had descended to after years.

The acts and events which signalized the administration of Washington
relate to--

  A System of Revenue.                  Indian War.
  Regulation of Departments.            Rëelection of Washington.
  Amendments of the Constitution.       Difficulties with France.
  Establishment of a Judiciary.         Insurrection in Pennsylvania.
  Assumption of Debts.                  Jay's Treaty.
  Removal of the Seat of Government.    Election of Mr. Adams.
  National Bank.                        Farewell Address.

_System of Revenue._--The first duty, under the federal constitution,
to which congress was called, was to provide a revenue for the support
of the government. For this purpose duties were laid on imported
merchandize and on the tonnage of vessels; thus drawing into the
national treasury funds, which had before been collected and
appropriated by the individual states. To counteract the commercial
regulations of foreign nations, and encourage American shipping,
higher tonnage duties were imposed on foreign than on American
vessels, and ten per cent. less duty on goods imported in vessels
belonging to the citizens of the United States than the same goods
brought in those owned by foreigners.

_Regulation of Departments._--Three executive departments were
created, designed to aid the president in the management of the
government. These were styled departments of _war_, of _foreign
affairs_, and of the _treasury_. The heads of these departments were
to be called _secretaries_, and to receive a salary of three thousand
five hundred dollars. They were intended to constitute a council, to
be consulted by the president at his pleasure; and their opinions, on
all important questions, he was authorized to require in writing.

In framing the acts establishing these departments, a question arose
of serious magnitude, viz: "In what manner, and by whom, these
important officers could be _removed from office_?" The constitution
was explicit in regard to their appointment, giving the power of
nominating to the president, and that of confirming or rejecting the
nomination to the senate; but it was silent as to removal. Some few
maintained that they could be removed only by impeachment; but the
principal question was, "whether they were removable by the president
alone, or by the president with the concurrence of the senate?"

The debate on this question was long and animated. It was claimed, by
one portion of the members, that as the senate had a voice in the
appointment of these officers, they should have a voice in case of
their removal; that such power entrusted to one man might be
abused--if not by Washington, by some of his successors.

On the other hand, it was contended that, as it was made the duty of
the president to see the laws faithfully executed, he ought to have
the power of dismissing those agents who were unfaithful; otherwise,
how, in many supposable cases, could he secure a faithful execution of
the laws? It was further urged, that the mal-conduct of an officer
might require his immediate dismission, before the senate--a body
scattered over the states--could be convened. True, the power might be
abused, and, in the hands of an ambitious man, perhaps would be; but
such abuse would, in due time, be rebuked by the people, and the
abuser of this delegated power, be displaced with dishonor. "The
danger," said Mr. Madison, "consists in this: the president can
displace from office a man whose merits require that he should be
continued in it. What will be the motives which the president can feel
for such abuse of his power, and the restraints to operate to prevent
it? In the first place, he will be impeachable by this house, before
the senate, for such an act of mal-administration; for I contend, that
the wanton removal of meritorious officers, would subject him to
impeachment, and removal from his own high trust."

The difference of opinion on this great question, gave rise to warm
and protracted debates. A majority of both houses, however, at length
decided, that _the power of removal is in the president alone_.
Several who had been members of the convention which framed the
constitution, were, at this time, members of the house of
representatives. They were equally divided on the question--Mr.
Madison and Mr. Baldwin, supporting the construction finally adopted
by congress: Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Gerry, opposing it.

_Amendments of the Constitution._--The states of New York and
Virginia, although they ratified the constitution, were solicitous to
have certain amendments adopted, which, in separate memorials, they
presented to congress, and urged that body to call another convention
for their adoption. Congress, however, had no authority to call a
convention. Mr. Madison submitted to the house several amendments,
which, together with those presented by several of the states, were
referred to a committee, consisting of one member from each state.
This committee, at length, reported several amendments; twelve of
which, after various alterations, were agreed to by both branches of
congress, and sent to the states. These amendments related to
religion--keeping or bearing arms in time of war--quartering soldiers,
citizens, &c., &c. Ten of these articles were at length ratified by
the state legislatures, and became a part of the constitution.

_Establishment of a Judiciary._--"A national judiciary was also
established during this session, consisting of a supreme court,
circuit, and district courts. The bill for carrying this part of the
constitution into effect, originated in the senate, and was drawn up
by a committee, of which Mr. Ellsworth was chairman. The district
courts were to consist of one judge in each state. The states were
divided into circuits, in each of which, one of the judges of the
supreme court, and the district judge of the state in which the court
was held, constituted the circuit courts. In certain cases, this court
had original jurisdiction, and also took cognizance of appeals from
the district courts. The supreme court was composed of a chief justice
and five associate judges, and was to hold two sessions annually, at
the seat of government. This court had exclusive jurisdiction in
certain cases, and appellative jurisdiction from the circuit courts,
and also from the state courts, in cases where the validity of
treaties, and the laws of the United States were drawn in question.
This organization of the federal judiciary, has remained nearly the
same to the present time, except for a short period, when a different
system, relative to the circuit courts, was established, but which was
soon abolished, and the old system restored."[62] John Jay was
appointed chief justice; John Rutledge, James Wilson, William
Cushing, Robert H. Harrison, and John Blair, associate judges of the
supreme court, and Edmund Randolph, attorney general.[63]

_Assumption of Debts._--The second session of the first congress
began on the 6th of January, 1790. At the close of the preceding
session, the secretary of the treasury had been directed to prepare a
plan for providing for the adequate support of the public credit, and
to report the same at the next meeting of congress. On the 15th, in
obedience to the foregoing requisition, Mr. Hamilton submitted his
report. Having dwelt with great ability upon the importance of a
nation maintaining the public credit, he proposed, as the means of
supporting that of the United States, a system of assuming or funding
not only the public debt, but also the state debts, and of making
provision for the payment of the interest by taxes imposed on certain
articles of luxury, and on spirits distilled within the United States.

The debates on this report were exciting beyond precedent. While not
much difference existed as to funding the foreign debt, a strong
opposition arose, on the part of the democratic party, against
discharging, in full, the domestic debt, and the assumption of the
state debts. The federalists advocated the measure. The contest
between the two rival parties was strong, spirited, and even virulent.
The very foundations of the government were shaken; and a writer has
justly remarked, that to the differences which were then created, and
the excitement which sprung up during the debates, may be ascribed
"the origin of that violent spirit which for years arrayed one part of
the American community against the other."

The division of sentiment among the members of congress in relation to
the full, or only a partial payment of the domestic debt, arose from
this. A considerable proportion of the original holders of public
securities had been compelled to sell them at greatly reduced
prices--even as low as two or three shillings on the pound. These
securities had been purchased by speculators, with the expectation of
ultimately receiving the full amount. "The federalists were with
Hamilton, in favor of making no difference between the present and
original holders of the continental bills, maintaining that the
government ought not to interfere with transfers. The republican party
advocated the discrimination; contending that it was unjust to the
veterans of the Revolution, who had been obliged to receive this paper
in lieu of gold and silver, and were afterwards compelled to part with
it at a small part of its nominal value, now to be condemned to
poverty, while the speculator was receiving the reward of their blood
and service."

The assumption of the state debts was also violently opposed. The
advocates of assumption claimed that the debts incurred by the state,
were not for their own benefit, but for the promotion of the common
cause, and that therefore it was right that the whole nation should be
responsible. The debts of the states most active in the war, were the
greatest: those of Massachusetts and Carolina amounted to ten millions
and a half, while those of all the other states were not more than
fifteen millions. Was it just to impose such a burden on the people of
these two states? They had already been great sufferers in the
privations they had endured and in the blood they had lost.

On taking the vote in the house of representatives, these two plans of
Mr. Hamilton were lost by a majority of two; and, for a season, there
was little prospect that a just financial system would be adopted, or
that the respective parties could on any basis coalesce. But,
fortunately, at this juncture, a question was exciting a deep
interest, and with reference to which there was a wide difference, and
deep feelings, between the northern and southern members, viz:

_The Removal of the Seat of Government._--The debates on this subject
were almost as exciting as on the fiscal project of Hamilton. A
compromise, however, was at length effected in regard to the permanent
location of the seat of government--the more important, as it led to a
further compromise in relation to the assumption of the state debts.
It was understood that should the seat of government be fixed for ten
years at Philadelphia, and afterwards at a place to be selected on
the Potomac, some of the members of the house of representatives, from
the Potomac, would withdraw their opposition to Mr. Hamilton. This was
accordingly done, and his plans were adopted. The debt funded amounted
to a little more than seventy-five millions of dollars, upon a part of
which an interest of three per cent. was paid, and upon the remainder
six per cent.

_National Bank._--During the third session of congress, Mr. Hamilton
recommended the establishment of a national bank. To such an
institution, the republican party were bitterly opposed, as
aristocratical and unconstitutional. Besides, they considered banking
institutions useless; the present bill, in several particulars,
defective; but, more than all, it was maintained that the constitution
had not vested the power in congress to charter a bank. The supporters
of the measure, of course, held opposite doctrines, and were not less
strenuous in maintaining them. The bill, however, at length passed both
branches of the national legislature; but the different opinions
entertained, and the asperity with which they had been expressed, led
the president to give to the subject, as a constitutional question, more
than ordinary attention. To aid him in his decision, he required
opinions of his cabinet in writing. Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Randolph
opposed--Mr. Hamilton and General Knox sanctioned the bill. After mature
deliberation, the president became satisfied of the constitutionality
and utility of the bill; upon which, he gave it his signature.

The capital stock of the bank was ten millions of dollars, two
millions to be subscribed for the benefit of the United States, and
the residue by individuals. One-fourth of the sums subscribed by
individuals was to be paid in gold and silver, and three-fourths in
the public debt. By the act of incorporation, it was to be a bank of
discount as well as deposit; and its bills, which were payable in gold
and silver on demand, were made receivable in all payments to the
United States. The bank was located at Philadelphia, with power in
the directors to establish offices of discount and deposit only
wherever they should think fit within the United States.

The duration of the charter was limited to the 4th of May, 1811; and
the faith of the United States was pledged that, during that period,
no other bank should be established under their authority. One of the
fundamental articles of the incorporation was, that no loan should be
made to the United States for more than one hundred thousand dollars;
or to any particular state for more than fifty thousand; or to any
foreign prince or state, unless previously authorized by a law of the
United States. The books were opened for subscription in July, 1791,
and a much larger sum subscribed than was allowed by the charter; and
the bank went into successful operation.[64]

The establishment of a national bank, in connexion with the assumption
of the state debts, contributed to the more complete organization of
two great parties, which had their origin in difference of views
regarding the constitution at the time of its adoption.

Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Jefferson, both eminent for their talents, and each
with his adherents, were now openly opposed on points which, as matters
of policy, were deemed of vital importance. The former was viewed, not
only as the author of the funding system, the bank, and other measures,
deemed either unconstitutional, or highly injurious to the public
interest, but was charged with hostility to republican principles and to
state rights. Mr. Jefferson, on the other hand, was considered hostile
to the constitution, and was accused of being opposed to the
administration of which he was a member, and of taking measures to
reduce the powers of the general government within too narrow limits. To
Washington, this determined hostility of his two principal secretaries
was truly afflicting; and the more so, when he found it so deep-rooted,
as in no degree to yield to his affectionate remonstrance.

_Indian War._--While the public councils were engaged thus in matters of
great national importance, the hostile movements of the Indian tribes on
the frontier began to excite the anxious solicitude of all reflecting
minds, especially that of Washington himself. The Creeks at the South
had been at war with Georgia; but in 1790, their chief, M'Gillivray, the
son of a white man, had been induced to go to New York, and conclude a
treaty. This terminated the war in that quarter; but pacific
arrangements, which had been attempted by the president with the tribes
on the north-western frontier, had proved ineffectual. The use of other
means for their pacification, therefore, became indispensably necessary.

In 1790, congress, at the solicitation of Washington, authorized the
raising of about fifteen hundred men, of whom three hundred were
regulars, and the remainder Pennsylvania and Kentucky militia. The
command of these was given to General Harmar, a veteran officer of the
Revolution, whose instructions required him to penetrate to the Indian
settlements on the Scioto and Wabash, and destroy them.

In the execution of his commission, in October, General Harmar
detached Colonel Harden with six hundred militia to reconnoitre the
Indian settlements, and, if possible, to bring them to an engagement;
but the Indians, on the approach of the Americans, fired their
principal villages, and fled to the woods. Thus foiled in his attempt
to bring the Indians to action, Colonel Harden was a second time
directed, with one hundred and eighty militia and thirty regulars, to
spy out the position and intentions of the foe. Ten miles west of
Chillicothe, sight was obtained of a considerable body of Indians; at
which, the Kentucky militia suddenly became so alarmed as to flee.
This evil example was soon after followed by the Pennsylvanians--thus
leaving the thirty regulars to sustain an engagement with a greatly
superior force. They displayed the greatest heroism; and maintained
the action, until all but seven being overpowered, the latter
effected their escape, and rëjoined the army at Chillicothe.

The Indian settlements bordering on the Scioto were now destroyed;
which having been accomplished, Colonel Harden was a third time
detached with three hundred and sixty men, of whom sixty were
regulars, under command of Major Wyllys. This force was attacked by a
large body of Indians at the junction of the St. Joseph with the St.
Mary. It was a most desperate contest. Here the militia retrieved
their character; nor did they attempt to retreat till one hundred and
nine men and officers lay dead on the field. Of the sixty regulars,
only ten survived, and among the killed was their brave commander,
Major Wyllys. Following this reverse, the survivors of the detachments
joined the army, and retired to Fort Washington.

On the failure of General Harmar, Major General Arthur St. Clair,
governor of the North-west territory, was appointed to succeed him. In
1791, at the head of two thousand men, the latter entered upon an
expedition which had for its object the destruction of the Indian
villages on the Miami. On the 3d of November, the army had proceeded
within twelve or fifteen miles of the Indian villages, at which point
the General formed his forces in two lines--the first, under command
of General Butler, composed the right wing, and lay with a creek
immediately in front of them. The left wing, under command of Colonel
Drake, formed the second, and lay with an interval of some seventy
yards between them and the first line. The militia occupied a post
across the creek, a quarter of a mile in front.

On the following day, before sunrise, just after the troops had been
dismissed from the parade, an unexpected attack was made on the militia,
who fled in the utmost confusion, and, in their flight, deranged the
continental troops, who were in the act of forming. The officers exerted
themselves to the utmost to restore order; but were not entirely
successful. The Indians fell upon them with savage impetuosity. The
action instantly became extremely warm. The continental troops fought
with spirit and determination; the Indians, with fearful desperation,
advancing to the very mouth of the field-pieces.

At length, perceiving that the only hope of victory lay in the use of
the bayonet, an impetuous charge was made under Lieutenant-colonel
Drake, and the enemy driven several hundred yards. But not being able
to pursue the advantage gained, the Indians turned, and renewed the
attack. Meanwhile, General Butler was mortally wounded, and the right
wing broken, the artillerists killed, the guns seized, and the camp
penetrated by the enemy. At this critical moment, Major Drake was
ordered to charge with the bayonet. This order he executed with great
intrepidity and momentary success.

But the American troops, failing to keep their ranks, and flocking
together in crowds, were, in several cases, shot down with but feeble
resistance. At length, perceiving that his officers had suffered
greatly, and the remnant of his army became more and more confused,
General St. Clair ordered a retreat. For some miles, the Indians
followed; but, fortunately for the surviving Americans, they at length
turned back, to plunder the camp of such articles as the former had
been obliged to abandon. The routed troops now continued their flight
to Fort Jefferson, a distance of about thirty miles, throwing away
their arms on the road. At this place, leaving their wounded, the army
continued its retreat to Fort Washington.

The loss of the Americans was severe, amounting to thirty-eight
commissioned officers killed, and five hundred and ninety-three
non-commissioned officers and privates slain and missing. The wounded
amounted to between two and three hundred officers and men, many of
whom subsequently died. The loss of the Indians bore no comparison, it
is thought, to that of the Americans. This reverse was as unexpected
as unfortunate; yet want of neither ability, zeal, nor intrepidity was
ascribed to the commander of the expedition, by a committee of
congress, appointed to examine into the causes of its failure.

The subsequent history of this war is brief. In consequence of an
anticipated adjustment of existing difficulties with the Indians, they
having consented to a conference in the spring of 1794, hostilities
were for a time suspended. But the proposed negotiations failing,
General Wayne, with nearly one thousand men, was sent into their
country, to reduce them to subjection. He engaged them in a sanguinary
battle on the 20th of August, 1794, on the banks of the Miami, which
resulted in their utter rout, and which was followed by laying waste
their whole country. By means of this victory over the Miamies, a
general Indian war was doubtless prevented. On the 3d of August, a
treaty was concluded at Greenville, which established peace between
the United States and the Indian tribes, and restored peace and
tranquillity to the frontier settl