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T O 




X HE pain of recording that fpirit of 
fa£^ion, that weaknefs, indecifion, indolence, 
hixury, and corruption, which difgraced our pub- 
lic conduft during the courfe of the American 
war, is relieved by the contemplation of thofe 
talents and virtues that were eminently difplay- 
ed on the fide of Great Britain, in various im- 
portant, though fubordinate, ftations. 

Although the iflue of that war was unfortu- 
nate, our national character was not impaired, 
nor the conteft, while it was maintained, on the 
whole inglorious. Neither martial ardour was 
wanting among our countrymen, nor military 
enterprife, nor patriotic zeal. In that r^nk, and 
thofe circumftanees of life which are at once a 
temptation and an apology for diflipation and 
a love of pleafure, the military fpirit of Bri- 

, . % -, 

.- ' -f: 



tain ihone forth with undiminiflied luftre ; and 
. the nobleft families exhibited bright examples 
of true courage, exalted genius, and confummate 

Whilft I indulge with exultation this general 
refledlion, jiermit me to acknowledge that my 
ftttemioQ 16 wrefiftibly drftwn towaords ihelEArl 
of Moira. Accept, then, my Lord, this humble 
effort to tranfmit to pofterity the glorious adlions 
of our countrymen, as a mark of perfonflil re- 
fpe£l for your Lordihip ; for that happy union 
of enthuiiafm in the caufe of virtue, of inven- 
tion, intrepidity, a^d decifion of <^hara6ler, with 
cool reflexion and patient perTeverance, which 
dircfts the public eye to your Lordfhip, 48 the 
hope and the pride of your country. 

That your liordfliip may long ^ve ftill toftif- 
tain in a frivolous age, thetlignity "of tfue nolbi- 
lity, the virtue of chivalry tvithewt its fpirft df 
romance, is the ardent wifi and hope of. 

My Lord, 

Your Lordihip's moft obedient, 

Denham, Bu.h, And moft huittWe Servaait, 

Jan. 1, 1 79+. 




luftre; and 
t examples 








his general 
^e that my 
his humble 
ous aflions 
erfond re- 
tppy union 
of inven- 
i£ler, with 
ice, which 
iip, >a8 th^B 

flill toftif. 
yrue ndbi- 
s fptrh df 
e of. 






C H A P. L 

htfrruSim in tthode IJland^^fid in New 
Hampjhirt — Confequences cfjhutting up Bof'^ 
ton Harbour — JProvinciai Conrrefi at Cant" 
bridge, in Nettt Engldnd'-^HoJiile Dejlgns 
and military Breparatiims--Prepa%ations iiK^^ 
all the Cohiiies for holding a G/erieral Con*- . '"^ 
grefi^— Detachment of Sritjjb Troops fent M 
dejiroy military Stores hit Concord— ^harajjed ' 
by the Americans — driven back by the way 
of Lexington to Boflon—'Bofton wvefled by 
an American Army — MeafuresrefpeHing the 
State of America taken by the Efiglifh Cabi- 
net'— Reinforcement ^ Troops from Britain 
arrives at Bofion-^Batile of Bunker' sBili, izS 


Defigni ofCongrefs on Canada — Capture of Ti- 
£Onderoga and Crown Point — Fort ChambUe 





i%j*'^ *i^^y 

f^' *s. 





— tS/. JohrCs'—^nd Montreat— Siege of Qjie' 
heg. — *— — 146 


Situation of A^airs in Virginia, North and 

South Carolina, and at Bofion. 1775, 

1776. — .^ .« 161 

C H A P. IV. 

Proceedings of the Britifli government — Com- 
mijfioners arrive in London from Congrefs— 
State of Commerce'— Meeting of Parliament 
'--Ejfeff of its Rejolntions in the Colonies. 17a 


Blockade and Evacuation of Bojlon^^iege of 
Q^ebeC'—— Defeat of Loyahfls at Albore^s 
Creek—Attack of Charlejtown. — 1776. 187 

-f— ,.^.V..*--i^5E.,..-, ^ 

* V 



Proceedings of Congrefs — Declaration of Inde- 
pendence'— Arrival of Lord Howe from Eng- 
- land— 'Battle of Long Ifland — Overtures on 
the part of the Britijb Commanders for Peace. 
■ —1776. — _-, ^-^.,.^ — 212 




1 \W 

•V' *>■' 


_^..>.*/»— .*. 

\ / 







Tke Amerieans retreat, and the RngHjb Army 
takes poffeffion of New York — Ihe Ameru 
cans greatly dijbeartened — Dejign to bum 
New York partly executed-— Various Skir- ' 
mijbing — Battle of Wkitt Plains. — ^29 

CHAP. vni. 

Tranfaffions in the JerfieS' — Apparent Errors 
of the Britijh Commander — Defpondence of 
the Revolters— Vigour of Congrefs^EncoU' 
ragement to enli/fin the American Army^- 
Congrefs appeal with Effe6l to the American 
JVo//^.— 1776. — — a;49 


Proceedings of Congrefs—'They determine to re- 
nounce all Dependance on Great Britain — 
Sketch of a new American Government, 273 



■ 'i 



C H A p. X. 

Situation of Affair: in Canada — General Carle- 
ton fends an Armament againjl Crown Point 
and Ticonderoga — Force oppofed to this by 
the Americans. — — 282 

\ . 


I ■'■| 

.^m- ^ 








Inevitable NeceJJity of War in the general 
Opinion of iie Britijb Natian-^Diflrefs of 
the Wejl Ittdies-^Capture of Apipican Pri- 
'Vfiteers-^Conduff of France and Spain — 
Meeting of Parliatamt^-Debutes in both 

HouJeS. r- rrr-' ■— 288 


Proclamation ijfued by Lord and General Howe 
-^Debates upon it-— The American Laws 
propofed to be revifed by Lord John Caven- 
dijb — This Motion reje&td — The Propriety . 
of a partial SeceJJion conftdered-^Seamen 
voted — Naval Affairs — Supplies for the Mi- 
litary and Naval Service — Recefs of P^rlia- 
«j««/.-!— 1776. ■»-* — • 294 



Letters of Marque and Reprifal Bill — Bill for 
fecuring Perfons charged with High- Treafon 
—^Debates upon it— Amendment propofed by 
Mr. DunningT— Agreed to-^Tke Bill carried 
through both Houfes— Extraordinary unprOf 
vided Expences, of the War voted— Motion 
for an Addrefs to the Throne by the Earl of 
Chatham— Rejected — Prorogation of the Par^ 
liament. — 1777. — r— 300 

flV i 




k* » 4 * > 



Opening (^the Campaign-^Expedition to Peek*s 
Hill—Tq Danbury — VeJJth and Provifions 
deftroyed at Saggy Harhour-^The Command- 
er in Chief takes the Field— Endeavours to 
bring Waftfington to an ASion'^The Britifi 
Trbops relinquifli the Jerfeys^General Pre/' 
cot carried off-—Brittfl> Army proceeds to 
Chefapeak Bay—Lands at the Head of tht 
Elk — Proclamation iJfued-^General JVaJh' 
ington moves to the North Side of the Bran- 
dywine River, in order to defend Philadel^ 
phia — ASlion at the Brandywinc'^General 
Wayne defeated — Royai Army paffes the 
Schuylkill — Lord Comwallis takes PoJfeJJion 
qf Philadelphia^ r-^ -»■ ^ofil 

C H A P. XV. 

American Batteries and other Means of Den 

fence — Attacked— ^A8ion at German Town 

— At Red Bank — Mud I/land and Red Bank 

taken — American Fleet burnt — Removal of 

the royal Army to Whitemarjb^ ••r^ 33 1 


Canadian Operations — General Burgoyne in* 
vejied with the Command of the Northern 
Army — General Carleton, offended with this 
Appointment, reftgns his Government — Opi- 




nions on the Employment of the Savages—^ 

Number of Troops under General Burgoyne 

•■ — Expedition under Colonel St. Leger — Bur- 

goyne'f Manifefio — Ticonder^a and Mount 

Independence iwueJied^-The forts abandoned 

by the Americans — American Galleys de- 

Jtroyednear Skene^orough— ^Americans aban- 

don thpir Works — Their Rear overtaken — 

General St. Cldir arrives at Fort Edward 

-—Americans repulfed by Colonel Hill — Ante' 

ricans abandon Fort Anne> — Difficulties en- ' 

countered in the March of the Royal Army 

to Fort Edward — Americans retire to Sard- 

to^a, — — — . 355 

C H Al». XVII. \ 

Difficulties experienced at Fort Edward — Co- 
lonel St. Leger' s Expedition — Detachment to 
Bennington — Baum and Breyman defeated 
— Fort Stanwix invefled — Attempt to re- 
lieve it by General Harkemer — o/. Leger 
obliged to raiff tHe Sie^e of Fort Stanwix 
—General Gates takes the Command of the 
American Army in the North— 'ASion at 
Still Water — Diflreffed Situation of General 
Burgoyne — Defertion of the Indians— -Re- 
treat to Saratoga; — Royal Army nearly fur- 
rounded — Convention with General Gates. 367 


">■ T . iSSP^iy »tia:r^{^a4>» ' 




Expedition up the North River under Sir Hen- 
ry Clinton — Redu^ion of the Forts Montgo- 
mery and Clinton. — Burning of Mfopus. 399 


Expedition under the Command of Lieutenant- 
colonel Mawhood ASion at Q^intin^s 

Bridge A t Hancock* s Bridge — Ingenious 
Stratagem of an American Loyalijl-— Colonel 
Abercrombie*s Exped-Hcn againjt the Ame- 
ricans under Lacey near Crooked Billet-— 
Colonel Maitland*s Exjtedition up the Dela- 
ware — Attempt on La Fayette. — 1778. 409 


Sir William Howe rejigns the Command of th 
Army — Fejiival called Mifchianza, in ho- 
nour of Sir ' William Howe — He is fucceed- 
ed in the Command of the Army by Sir 
Henry Clinton-^Returns to England-^Com- 
plains of Defamation, andfolicits and obtains 
a Parliamentary Inquiry into his Conduff. — 
1778. ^ -. • — 424 

;— Jfe<Mii« >" ilih^ ■ 


•^-'"-i / J 





m-f ^ .,'' 




I N T R O D U C T I O N. 


SO natural is the love of liberty, and fuch the intraduc 
averiionofmankindtoreftraint, thatitfeems 
to be in the very nature of colonies, and all 
fiibordinate governments, to feize every favour- 
able opportunity of aflerting their indepen- 
dence ; and the external afped of nature, va- 
riegated and broken by mountains, favannahs, 
rivers, lakes and feas, confpires with that noble 
paflion to check the progrefs of empire, and 
to maintain an interefling diveriity among tribes 
and nations. 

But when the Britilh colonies, now the Thir- 
teen United States of North America, took up 
arms, and declared themfelves free and inde- 
pendent,, they were not encouraged by any con- 
jundlure that could juftify that meafure in point 
of policy, or by any circumftances that could 
yield any reafonable hope of fuccefs in the ar- 
duous flruggle that was to enfue. On the con- 
trary, if we take a view of the ftrength and re- 
. Vol.. I. B fourc«» 




introduc fources of Great Britain at the commencement^ 
"**" of hoftilities, and contrail thefe with the weak- 
nefs and almoii total inability of the revolting 
colonies, we fliall have reafon to conclude that 
the termination of the war in favour of the lat- 
ter, with their final reparation from the Britifh 
empire, was one of thofe extraordinary and un- 
expedled events, which in the courfe of human 
affairs rarely occur, and which bid defiance to 
all. human forefight and calcuktion. A people, 
not exceeding two millions of fouls, widely fcat- 
tered over half the weftern hemifphere, m the 
peaceable occupations of fifhing, agriculture^ 
and commerce ; divided into many diflindl go- 
vernments ; differing from each other in man- 
ners, religion, and iuterefls, nor entirely united 
in political fentiments ; this people, with very 
little money, proverbially called the finews of 
war, was yet enabled to efle£l a final feparatioA 
from Great Britain, proud from fuccefsful and 
glorious war, flourifhing in arts and arms be- 
yond the example of any former period; capa- 
ble of railing an annual revenue of iixteen mil- 
lions of pounds ; and, on the whole, the moft 
formidable nation in the world : And all this, 
although the continent of North America, deep- 
ly indented and penetrated by navigable rivers 
and lakes, prefented a fit theatre for the difplay 
of naval power, in which chiefly the flrength of 
Great Britain confiiled. It is the objed of the 
prefent Work to defcribe with fidelity the war 
that involved this great event — a wonder to 
the prefent, and an example to all future ages, 
But I ftiall firil run over the train of circum- 
fiances by which that war was produced. 
v;The colonies of New Hampfhire, MafTachu- 
fet's Bay, Rhode Ifland, ConncAicut, New York, 
Penfylvania, the three ^wer counties on the 
3 Delaware^ 


^^:" ' 



j,j^*r**^"T'i»-»*.*>>.'^'^~ »~ *(- 

A ME R I C A N W A R. 

Delaware, Maryland, Virginia^ North Carolina, introdue 
South Carolina, and Georgia^ the hiftory of *'°"' 
whofe revolt it ie propofed to relate, are fitu- 
ated on the eafkrn coaft of North Aoierica, 
where they are waftied by the Atlantic Ocean, 
ranging from north to fipiuth, in the order in. 
which they have bcdn enumerated. On the 
weft they are feparated from .,th^ imraenfe re- 
gions, not fuUy explored, of Canada and Lou- 
ifiana, by the Apalachian or Allegany moun- 
tains. The countries fituated to. the weft of 
that magnificent barrier, ^nd at fa vaft though 
unknown diftance from the Pacific Ocean, are 
watered by mediterranean feas, called the Lakes 
of Canada^ which not only cot&imunicate with 
each other, but fend forth f^ve*al great rivers, 
among which the Mifliflippi, and the St. Lau- 
rence, by the weight of their waters, and the 
length of their courfe, are particularly diftin- 

The Miflifiippi, running in a winding courfe 
near five thoufand miles from north to fouth, 
and receiving in its progrefs the Illinois, the 
Miafures, the Ohio, ' and other tributary rivers, 
fcarcely inferior to the Rhine or the Danube, 
difcharges itfelf in the Gulf of Mex:ico. The 
St. Laurence, on the contrary, ftretching in a 
north-eafterly direftion from the Lakes of Ca- 
nada, falls into, the ocean near Newfoundland. 
All thefe, with the Hudfon, Delaware, Sufque- 
hannah, Chefapeak, Potowraack, and other no- 
ble rivers' on the eaftern fide-of North America, 
being navigable, for the moft part) to their very 
heads, encourage and ftimulate comroerce in 
times of peace; but, in thofe of war, expole 
the colonies to the attacks of a fuperior riav^l 
forc^, as already mentioned. . > f ,*. 

•«*' •in^mM^r. B 2 *li lidf iji'sni^ir Thie. 

tAi ..■■-.-. , . * ^. ■.-•:. 




liistoRV OF rut 


The North American provinces lie between: 
the thirtieth :^nd fiftieth degrees of northern 
latitude, having about twelve hundred miles of 
fca-coaft. As luch a fituation would denote k 
great degree of teiriperature, it is neceffarj^ ta 
dbferve, that within thofe bounds they experi- 
ence much viciffitude of weather, and higher 
degrees of heat and cold than are to be found 
in European climates iimilarly fituated. 

The northern, commonly called the New Eng- 
land provinces, comprehending New Hampfhire, 
Maifachufet's Biiy, Rh^e Ifland, and Connec- 
ticut, are the lead fertile in point of foil ; but 
their land produces excellent timber, and theii^ 
feas abound with fifh« The inhabitants here, 

. as elfcwhere, led by the hand of nature, employ 

; thcmfelves in thole occupations which are luita* 
ble to the productions of their climate< Fifh- 
ing is the bufinefs of fome, fhiip-building of 
others ; and the bulk of the people are more 
Or lefs engaged in trade or navigation. 

The foil of the New England province of 
Connedlicut being richer than that of the others* 
its inhabitants are occupied in agriculture and 
raiiinff of cattle ; of which, and alfo of grain, 
<!onfiaerable quantities are annually exported. 

The produ^ions of the colbnies of New York, 
New Jerfey, Penfylvania^ and the three lower 
counties on the Delaware, ufually called the 
Middle Colonies, refemble thofe of ConneAicut ) 

_. and their inhabitants are engaged in fimilar oc- 
cupations. Their moft common artkles of ex- 
portation afe wheat and flour,, with furs for New 
As yon proceed from Penfylvania to the fouth- 

; ward, the heat of fummer becomes exceffive; 

.and the African alone can endure the labour 
of working in the fields. Hence it is, that in 






•.I*. , I *. >wv^ 



the fouthem colonies the number of white inha- 
bitants bears only a fmall proportion to that of the 
negroes ; whereas in the middle coloniea very 
few, and in the norjihern Scarcely any, Africans 
are to be found. 

The provinces to the fouthward of Penfylvania 
have been ufually called the Southern Colonies. 
In thofe, almofl ail the white inhabitants are pro* 
prietors of landa, which they keep in their ovrn 
poflefiion, and cultivate by means of flaves. Thefe 
land-owners* or planters, as they have been called, 
lead eafy and luxurious lives, are fond of amufe- 
ments of all forts, and to labour and fatigue utter 
Grangers. The bufinefs of tbeir plantations, and 
the manaffement of the Afriean cultivators, are 
committed to the care of perfons called Overfeera ; 
a fort of middle men, between proprietors of 
lands and the flaves who cultivate them. In the 
fouthem provinces are raifed *the moft valuable 
articles of commerce exported from North Ame- 
rica : Tobacco in Virginia, Maryland, and a great 
part of North CaroUna ; and nee and indigo in 
South Carolina and Oeprgia* 

The . philofopher, in travelling throuffh thofe 
regions which were all originally peopled fr6m 
Great Britain, the middle polonies excepted, 
will find amufement in contemplating the eifeA 
which is produced upon the human frame and 
conllitutipQ by the influence pf climate, of foil, 
and of the courfe of employment in which the 
inhabitants are engaged. 

In the provinces of New England, where na- 
ture has been lefs bountiful in the produdions of 
the earth, he will find a race of men, healthy, 
ftrong, and vigorous ; keen, penetrating, a£live, and 
enterprifing, with a degree of dexterity and ma* 
nagement in all the common affairs of life, which 
approaches to cunning and artifice, aod fuch as the 






intrpduc- habits and purfaits, not of a liberal and enlarged, 
but of a detailed and minute trade, are accuftomed 
to form. 

In the middle colonies he will fee farmers ro? 
bud, frugal, perfeveriug, and induftrious ; plaia 
andhonelUn their dealings, but of rude and un- 
pliant manners ; with little penetration and lefs 

And, in moft of the fouthern colonies, he will 
meet with a people of pallid complexion and 
fwarthy hue, of form rather tall and flender, unfit 
and unaccuftomed to labour, with an averfion to 
buHnefs, and a fondnefs for plcafure and diffipa- 
tion ; luxurious, fhewy, and cxpenfive y yet fen- 
fible, flirewd, and intelligent; of open and 
friendly difpofitions, and in their houfes hofpita^* 
ble even to extremity. But this muft be undcr- 
ftood only of the fea-coafl and interior parts of 
the fouthern colonies. For the frontiers of thefe, 
reaching far to the weft ward, extending over va- 
rious ridges of high mountains, and bordering 
upon the Indian country, are inhabited by a peo- 
ple unacquainted Avith luxury and refinement, 
aftive and vigorous, with minds fierce and in- 
tra<Slable, and, in habits, bearing fome refem- 
blance to their favage neighbouirs. . - 

The inhabitants of Maryland, Virginia, a,nd 
South Carolina, more than any others of the 
colonifts, imitated, in drefs, equipage, furniture, 
and modes and habits of life, the manners and 
cuftoms of the people of England ; - aind thefe 
circumftances will account for the vaft fums due 
li'om thence to Britain. 

The bulk of the natives of North Carolina are 
hardy and robuft. Their chief employment con- 
fjils in hunting and rearing cattle ; and their 
jprir.cipal amufement in (hooting, for wagers, with 
nfles at a mark. 






A ME R IC A N W A R:. 

The natives of Georgia^ from the influence of intniaa 
climate, were a poor, emaciated, debilitated, in- ^"^ 
dolent, and death-like people ; and like the in- 
habitants of South Carolina, ignorant, idle, and 

But thefe are not the only differences that me* 
rit attention. There are others M^hich are to be 
afcribed, not to climate, foil,, or employment^ 
but to the principles and tenets, whether civil or 
religious, of the primary fettlers, which, being 
handed down from father to fon, may maintain 
their influence for many ages. 

The colony of Virginia, which is the moft an« 
cient, was efliabliihed in the early part of the 
peaceable reign of James the Firft, about the be- 
ginning of tne feventeenth century, And, at 
the coTonifts by whom it was fettled removed 
from their native country, not from any caufe of 
uneailnefs or diflatisfad^ion with government, but 
urged merely by the fpirit of a^enture, propa- 
gated at that period from Portugal and Spain 
into other parts of Europe, it may reafonably be 
fuppofed that they carried with them the prevail* 
ing notions and opinion^ of thetijmes, which were 
peculiarly favourable to monarchy and hiigh 
church governments- So inveterate were thofe 
principle;^ amongft this people, that Virginia was 
the laft of all the Britifh dominions that yielded 
to the fuccefsful arms of Cromwell, and the firft, 
too, that renounced obedience to his ufurped 
authority by proclaiming the reftoration of King 
Charles the Second, And fo uniform were the 
inhabitants in religious matters, that, until the 
middte of the prefent century, not a Angle place 
of worfliip either for Roman Catholics or Pro- 
teftatit DifTenters w^s any- where to be found 
>vithin the colony. 

' .V The 


'-. , .- -i': '.-' y.-.' 







The northern colonies were planted about the 
end of the fame irei^n, but not till England be- 
gan to be torn with mtewaal feuds and difleofions. 
Thofe who planned and carried into execution 
the fcttlement of Maflachufet's Bay, which wa» 
the firil of the New England colonies, were men 
vho .had either fuffered, or expe£led to fuffer, 
perfecution during the intoleraut admiuiftration 
' of archbiihop Lavd ; puritans in religion, repub- 
licans in their notions of government, and of the 
fame party and principles with thofe who after- 
wards overturned the government of England in 
both' church and ftatc, and brought their fove- 
reign to the block. To thefe fettlers a charter 
was granted, empowering them to chufe whatever 
form of government fliould be moil agreeable to 
themfelves, with only one refervation, that their 
Uws fliould, not be repugnant to thofe of Great 
Britain. ,What motive could induce the king to 
grant a charter with powers fo extraordinary and 
extenfive to a people fo little favoured in that 
reign as the Puritans, it is not||QW eafy todifco- 
ver ; unlefa it was meant as an enticement to en- 
courage the emigration of thofe refllefs fpirita^ 
whofe refra£lory condud), machinations, and 
plots, had begun to give fo much difturbance to 
goveriiment. But, whatever was the motive, the 
meafure produced a greater effect than had been 
forefeen. Such numbers in a ihort time with- 
drew to New England, that government, in the 
following reign, was obliged to in terpofe, byfor-> 
bidding all perfons to emigrate, except fuqh as 
were fpecially licenfed. 

The fettlements at Maflachufet's Bay,- rein.i 
forced by fuch numbers from England, A)On began 
Xoflourifti. But fcarcely had the new inhamtants 
takfti eniire pofleffion of the country whicii they 
were to occupy, when they fell into interiill dif- 


A ME HI C AK W A R. ) 

fenfions. The majority of the colony being Pu- '"»*>«• 
ritans, th^ prefbyterian mode of woHnip waa de- 
clared to be the eftablilhed religion, to which all 
were required to conform. Having juft efcaped 
from perfecution themfelves, they, in their turn, 
became intolerant. A ftriift compliance with re- 
ligious ordinances was rigorouflv exa£ied; and 
the perfecution that foUowed, at length became fo 
intolerable as to produce frcih emisrations from 
this infantine fettlement. One dau withdrew to 
[NewHampfhire, another to Rhode Ifland, and a 
! third to ConneAicui, where they formed eftablifti- 
ments, and laid the foundations of their refpec- 
tive governments. 

The tra£^ of country which cont|j|pas the pro- 
vinces of New York, New Jerfey/with the tnree 
lower counties on the Delawan^fWas anciently 
called the New Netherlands; lor the original 
fettlers were Dutch and Swedes, in whofe poiftf- 
fion it remained until it was conquered by the 
Englifli in the reign of kin^ Charles the Second, 
towhomthefovereigntyof It was finally ceded, 
and confirmed by the treaty of Breda in 1667. 
A grant of a grtitt 'part of this traft of country, 
with full po\Vers o|( fovereignty, was made by 
Charles to his brother Jbmes duke of York, who 
afterwards fold that di^6l fmce called New Jer-< 
fey, to lord Berkley and fir George Carteret, re- 
fervingto himfelf only the province of New York; 
which province, on the acceilion of that prince, 
reverted of courfe to the crown. 

The remaining part of this ceded territory was 
granted by Charles the Second, towards the end 
of his reign, to William Penn, the celebrated 
Qjiaker, who gave it the name of Penfylvania. 
By Penn it was originally planted with a cploM^, 
confiding of perfons of his own religion, who 
fled from England to avoid the perfeculions to. 

4 1 


,•%••■■ -5.; 




I: ' 


which they, though a q(uiet and inofienfivc people, 
in common with other ledlariesj were iubjc^ed, 
For his new letilemeut he coinpofeii a code oi* 
laws, of 'fo equitable and liberal a I jiirit, and in 
all refpe^l? fo well adapted to the fituation of the 
coloniHs, that his name has deliervedly been 
tranfqiitted to pofterity with thole of the mod 
eminent legidators ; and, under the influence of 
his wife inilitutioDs, the colony profpered greatly, 
and' foon became one of the moll llouriihing of 
the Britiih fettlements. 

The counties of Newcaftle, Kent, and StiHe* , 
ufualiy called the three lower counties on I'lr Dci 
laware, forming a feparate eflablifhirri , aud 
elc£ling an aflembly for thcmfclves, are attached 
to the government of Penfylv^uia, by having the 
fame governor, 

Adjoiniqg to P^nfylvania, on the fouth, is the 
province of Maryland ; which,iike its pc'^hbour-? 
ing ftate, though at a different period, took its 
rife from religious perfecution, 

In the reign of Charles the Firft, when, in 
fConfecjM ;nce of repeated addrefles from both 
houfca of parliament, the king was obliged to en- 
force againfl the Roman Catholics the execution 
of thofe penal and fanguinary laws, which a more 
enlightened and liberal age has thought fit to re- 
peal, Charles lord Baltimore, a Roman Catholic, 
and a favourite at court, obtained a grant of that 
part of Virginia which has iince been called Ma- 
ryland, as a place of refuge for himfelf, and his 
perfecuted brethren of the Roman religion. And, 
to the everlafting difgrac. .•' . 'lar narrow-minded 
and inioierant age, it is r'X'c* J' . that v u he 
embarked for his new l^-tticiueni, he was accom- 
pMied by no fewer than two hundred popifti fa- 
miiie?, and many of thefe of diflindion, who 
chofe to encounter the dangers of the lea, the 
fury of favages, and all the multiplied inconve- 
iC: 1?'' niences. 




! people, 
code oi" 
, and in 
n of the 
lly been 
he mod 
uence of 
1 greatly, 
iAiing of 

I t)if De-i 
1 :, md 
iviDg the 

h, is the 

took its 

/hen> ill 

>ni both 

:d to en-r 


a more 

ht to rc- 


of that 

ed Ma- 

and his 

|i. And, 


u he 


pifli far 

n, who 

iea, the 



fiiences, evils, and hardfhipb of a new, unex- 

Elored, and unfhelterr ountry, zither than 
mger remain expoled to the cr^c\ oppreffion of 
their unrelenting perfec a tors. And in this man- 
ner was Maryland fettled about the year 1635. 

The firfk fettlements in the provinces of North 
and South Carolina, originally comprifcd in the 
f^me grant, under the general name of Carolioa, 
\' ere begun a few years after the redoration of 
l< ^ Charles the Second. A grant of them was 
^ niade to feveral noblemen and perfons of rank* 
Vr, who employed the celebrated Mr. Locke to form 
a fyftem of government and code of laws for their 
new colony. But, however wife in theory thofe 
inftitutions might have been, it is nevertheleft 
certain, that the fettlement did not thrive under 
them, although fupported by the wealth and in- 
fluence of its rich and powerful proprietors : Nor 
did it even begin to profper until government, 
many years afterwards, relumed the grants, took 
the colony under its own immediate prote£lion, 
laid aiide the inftitutious of Mr. Locke, and gavd 
the inhabitants a conilitution iimilar to that of 
Virginia ; and from that period its advances in 
improvement were as rapid as they had been be- 
fore flow and unpromifmg. So complicated are 
human affairs, and fo intricate the chain'that 
unites the caufe with the effe6t, that it is very un- 
fafe, in the formation of political fyftcms, to go 
far beyond the line of experience. The more ex- 
alted and refined our ideas of liberty and govern- 
ment, the wider they are apt to lead us aftray ; if, 
in oppofuion to fads and circumflances. We <Jb-» 
llinately perfevere in endeavouring to reduce 
them to praftice. 

At the end of the wav vvith 'Francej which coi^- 
eluded in i763,".theVe',was,'an.d .'there-had been 
for near a c<;nywy -palt, a ffuaU' revenue •eolJlis^Qd 
in the Aai^rican colonies, n'hich was fubjet^ io 












H I S T O R Y O r THE 



jntroduc. the difpoiition of parliament. This revenue arofe 
^^JI^IJ" from the duties impofed by two ads of parlia- 
^g ment, one in the 25th year of the reign of king 
Charles the Second, and the other in the fixth 
year of the reign of king George the Second ; in 
the iirft inftance on goods exported from, and in 
the fecond, on goods imported into, the colonies. 

By the a£l of navigation, certain enumerated 
goods, viz. fugar, tobacco, cottonwool, indigo, 
ginger, fuflic, and other dying woods, the pro> 
duce of the plantations, were redrained from be- 
ing carried from thence to any other place than to 
fome of the other 3nti& plantations, or to Great 
Britain ; and by the 25 Car. II. duties were im- 
pofed upon thefe articles when carried to any 
other place than Great Britain, and confequently 
upon i'uch of them as were exported to apy of the 
other colonies ; and thefe duties were to be paid 
before the ^oods were laden on board anyfhip 
for exportation. 

At the time when this a£l pafled, only one of 
thefe articles was produced on the continent of 
]^orth America, which was tobacco ; and upon 
the exportation of it to any of the other colonies, 
this duty was regularly paid and coUeded from 
that period down to the time of the feparation of 
the colonies from the mother country ; as was alfo 
the duty upon indigo, after it was introduced as an 
article of produce and exportation in the fouthern 
colonies. The ^ther enumerated articles upon 
which the duties were laid, were all of the pro- 
duce of the Weft India iflands ; and upon fuch 
of them as the inhabitants of the North Ameri- 
can colonies imported into their own country, the 
duties were regularly paid in the Weft Indies, be- 
fore they were jaden. on board the veffels. 

The duties impofed by :he 6 Geo. II. are thofe 
5vhich Ivcye* been .already memioijlfid payable qu 


A Me r I c a n w a r. 




the importation of foreign rum, fugar, and mo- intit>duc. 
lafles, into the colonies. To thofe the colonies 
alfo fubmitted, except fo far as they were eluded 
by clandeftine importation. 

But this illicit importation, either from the 
remiflnefs of the cuftom-houfe officers in the co- 
lonies, or their inability to prevent it, was car- 
ried on, in the courfe of time, to fuch an extent 
as not only to alarm the Weft India planters, by 
its tendency to leflen the demand for their pro- 
duce, and to lower its price, but alfo- to attria£l 
the attention of the Britilh miniftry, who, not- 
withftanding the extent to which this trade was 
carried on, found the revenue arifing from it 
very unproduAive ; and who were alfo given to 
unaeriland, that through the fame channel fome 
of the manufactures of Europe, and many of the 
produdiions and manufaAures of the £afl Indies, 
were introduced into the colonies, in breach of 
the a A of navigation, and to the manifefl injury 
of the trade of the mother-country. 

Smuggling was carried on, not only upon the 
American} but upon the Britiih and Iriih coalls 
alfo, to fuch an extent, that the parliament, in 
this year, thought fit to pafs a new a£l, for 
more effedually fuppreffing it ; and the Britifh 
miniftry, feconding the views and intentions of 
the parliament, adopted a new plan for carrying 
the Z&. into execution, and for checking the evil 
which it was intended to remedy, by calling in 
the aid of the officers of the navy. For this pur- 
pofe a number of the fmaller ftiips of war, with 
cutters and tenders, were put into commiffion, 
;^nd ftationed in different quarters of the coafts 
of Great Britain and Ireland ; and to the officers 
who commanded them limilar powers were dele- 
gated with thofe ufually granted to revenue offi- 
and they were alfo required to take an oath 



% 1 

> Hi 

f 111 






for the due performaace of this part of their 

duty. .•■>■' . '-'^n-,-.'; -^^''i^-.ti '^''ir' 

This regulation having taken place in Great 
Britain, it was alfo thought expedient to extend 
it to North America and the Weft India if- 
lands ; for, as the miniftcr had it in contem- 
plation to impofe further taxes in the colonies, 
it was undoubtedly a primary duty to endea* 
vour to make thofe taxes which had been al- 
ready impofed more produAive. And if this 
regulation was found ufeful on the Britiih fhores, 
it was thought it would be ftill more ufeful on 
the American coaft, where opportunities for 
fmuggling were more abundant, by the nume- 
rous inlets with which that coaft abounds, fome 
of them unfettled, and many others but thinly 
inhabited ; and in confequence of the great ex- 
tent of their ports, and of the very limited 
number of cuftom-houfe officers who were ap- 
pointed to do duty in thofe ports. 

The new plan for enforcing the laws of trade 
produced no murmuring or difquiet amongft 
the people of Great Britain. It was diredled 
only againft the illicit trader, a charader as dif- 
tind from the Britifli merchant as darknefs is 
from light. 

But in the northern colonies of America* 
many of their principal merchants were engaged 
in clandeftine trade, and in thofe colonies it 
was no difparagement to be fo : On the con- 
trary, whenever a feizure was made, the difplea- 
fure and refentment of the people were direfted 
againft the officer who had done his duty, and 
not againft the party who had oifended againft 
the law. And hence, the cuftom-houfe officers, 
finding it impoffible to live happily with their 
neighbours, if they exerted themfelves vigo- 
roufly in the difcharge of their duty, became 





/emifs, and feldom made feizures, except in ini^'* 
cafes of fuch palpable breaches of the law as w-^j-^ 
came fo openly under their own obfervation i^gj. 
that it was impoffible to overlook them. T;i> 
The reception which this regulation met with 
in America was fuch as might have been ex* 
peeled, from a people habituated to thofe il- 
licit pradices in trade which it was intended 
to reprefs. In. the northern colonies it produced 
univerfal alarm, difcontent, and diflatisfailion. 
As the navy officers were not ftationary, nor 
their refidence on fhore, it was forefeen that 
they would not be influenced by motives of 
friendfhip, fellowfhip, or neighbourhood ; nei- 
ther could they be overawed or intimidated from 
doing their duty. The merchants in thofe colo- 
nies could, therefore, no longer depend, or, to 
fpeak in mercantile language, they could no 
longer value themfelves, as formerly, upon the 
profits of their illicit traffic. But thefe caufe* 
of difcontent, however aggravating and morti- 
fying to themfelves, were not to be urged to 
the miniftry and parliament ; they were by no 
means calculated to procure that redrefs which 
they wiflied, becaufc, inftead of fhewing the im* 
propriety, they juftified the expediency, of the 
meafure. Their oftenfible complaints were found- 
ed on different grounds ; they complained, that 
the fair and the clandeftine trader were, equally 
expofed to the operation of this indifcriminating; 
regulation, inafmuch as the ftiips and veffels of 
both were equally liable to be fearched, and 
confequently to detention upon their voyages : 
They alio c43Je6led, that the officers of the navy 
were, of all others, the moft improper to be 
appointed to fuch a fervice, fmce, by the for- 
mer courfe and habits of their life, they could, 
not be fuppofed to be acquainted with the r«- 




• '^ '-LM 

■ .j#"* •%■ 





Introduce, vtoue Uws, and were of themfdves prone enough 
■_'T'^ to fall into irregularities, without being put into 
1^(9. fuch a flation of executive authority as to ren- 
der thofe irregularities almoft unavoidable. 

It has been already obferved that this new 
regulation to prevent fmuggling extended not 
only to the colonies upon the continent of Ame- 
rica, but to the Weft India iflands alfo ; and 
there it produced an effed which probably was 
not forefeen« otherwife fome means would have 
been devifed to prevent it. Between the Bri- 
tifh iflands and the Spanifh fettlements in Ame- 
rica a coniiderable clandeftine trade had been 
carried on for many years, which was beneficial, 
not only to thofe iflands, but to Great Britain 
alfo ; becaufe, through this channel,. Britifli ma- 
nufadlures were introduced into the Spanifli fet- 
tlements, and the returns were principally, though 
not entirely, in gold and filver ; and if any in- 
conveniences arofe, from this commerce, they 
were greatly overbalanced by the profits whicn 
were aerived from it. But this trade, beneficial 
as it was, for want of proper inftruftions to the 
officer' of the navy, fell a facrifice, for a time, 
to the new regulation. 

The enterprifing fpirit of the inhabitants of 
the northern colonies had, notwithftanding the 
remotenefs of their fituation, induced them tp 
lake a ftiare in this lucrative trade ; and when 
they found themfelves cut off from it by the new 
regulation, their chagrin, vexation, and difap- 
pointment rofe to a pitch fcarcely to be defcrib- 
ed. Neverthelefs this incidental effedl of the 
new regulation raifed up advocates for them in 
quarters where their complaints, heretofore, had 
been very little attended to. 

The inhabitants of the middle colonies were 
not themfelves engaged in, the Spanifh trade to 


Hi' - 

*-» : f ■ 




iUy great extent; but had aa iatereft in the i«*m<hn. 
continuaoce of it*. The ftock of graun and ^,^,.--,^ 
pcher providona, raiied in the Dorthern co^- ,^^ 
nies, was not ftiiiicient for the confumption of 
their inhabitants^ and the defrciency was fup«> '.' 
lulled from fonae of the fouthern and fome 4>f 
the middie colonies. The mm and fahed fiih 
of New England were received in exGhange £br 
thofe provifioikd, but fome part of the price 
was always paid in fpecie ; and by means cf 
this coafting trade carried on by the peopie ui 
New England, the gold and &lver which tfaey 
received m their traflEc with the Spaniards^ ox 
at leaift part of it, waft in t%ne circulated through 
the other colonies^ A very conliderabie trade 
was earned on from New YoKk, Philadelphia^ 
and Badtitnore, to lifbon, and che ports up the 
3tnfi», in floor, wheat, &C' The returns were 
mofi'l^ made in fpeciei half-johannes's, the re- 
niaiud^ in port wine ; and it wa^ not until after 
t^ late peace that the court of Lifbon. forbad 
£he Americans to carry away nKxre than a certaia 
ikoi in fpecie om board each ve£lel, the remaia- 
der of the barter to be in the produce of the 
country. But another very important branch of 
their illicit trade was carried on through the 
Weft India iilands, who fmuggled from the 
French and Sepanifh iflaads ; and then the Weft 
Indians bai^ered their fmuggled commodities 
with the Americans for provilions ; for Sotith 
Carolina in particular feiit great quantities of 
maize, or Indian corn, and live ftock, to the 
Britifh Weft Indies. The inhabitants, there- 
fore, of the fouthern as well as the middle co- 
lonies, faw with extreme concern one of the 
channels thrcfugh which they had been fupplied 
with gold and iilver in danger of being fhut 
upr efpecially at a time when the fcarcity of ipn* 
Vol. I. C ci« 

* Vide Chalmsrs's late publication. 


n I 






'"lul"*' ^^^ ^** ^^^^ ** * general evil throughout the 
Britiih part of the American continent j and 
they were the more readv to join in cenfuring 
the meafure by which this trade was likely to 
be fupprefledv as they thought it apparent that 
the continuance of the trade woulo not only 
be beneficial to the colonies, but alfo to the mo- 

And thus it happened, that this new regula- 
tion was the caufe of more or lefs uneafmefs 
throughout the Britifh colonies, whether on the 
continent of America, or in the Weft Indies j 
and certain it is, that it excited much more ill- 
humour amongft the people of the northern co- 
lonies than any other meafure of the Britiih 
miniftry or legiflature ever had produced. When 
their trade with the foreign iflands had been 
burthenedby the impoiitionof duties, it is true, 
a ferment arofe ; but, after the firft ebullitioti of 
refentment had fubfided, they confidered the 
operation of the a£l of parliament as unavoid- 
able, and quietly fubmitted; hoping, perhaps, 
to elude its effed by clandeftine importation. 
But thefe hopes were now either cut oil", or ren- 
dered precarious, by the new regulation; and 
as it operated by intervals, every feizure was a 
frefh caufe of difcontent, and not only kept 
alive, but added to the general mafs of ill-hu- 
mour. Their newfpapers were, for feveral fuc- 
ceflive years, filled with complaints of the de- 
tention and feizure of their veffels, and with 
abufive, contemptuous,, and provoking para- 
graphs againft the oflBcers of the navy : and 
thei'e vehicles of clamour being circulated 
through the continent, excited not only a fpirit 
of hatred and refentment againft thofe ofhcers, but 
of oppofition to the ordinances of the mother- 
country amongft the people of the colonies in 






general, which rhade a ftrong impreflion upon introduc. 
their minds, and prepared them for adopting ^^I!*!l^ 
more eafily thofe violent meafures which a few .^^, 
years afterwards ended in open revolt. 

The minifter, in purfuance of the plan which 1764. 
he had laid down for obliging the inhabitants 
of the colonies to bear a (hare in the expence 
which might be neceffary for their future pro- 
tedion, introduced a bill into the houfe of 
commons for impofmg duties on certain kinds 
of merchandize, when imported into the colo- 
nies, requiring the payment of thofe duties to 
be made in gold and filver, and containing the 
ufual claufe in the revenue bills for ordering 
them, when coUeded, to be paid into the ex- 
chequer, where they were to be fet apart as a 
feparate fund, together with the future pro- 
duce of all the former parliamentary duties 
and taxes, which had been heretofore colleded 
in America^ ^od. this fund was to be applied, 
under the difpofition of parliament, for defray- 
ing the future charges of proteding, defend- 
ing, and fecuring the colonies. The bill having 
paifed through both houfes, received the royal 
aflent on the 5th of April in this year. 

The minifter, by procuring the ad to be pafT. 
cd, had a two-fola objed in view ; the firft, to' 
regulate the commerce of the colonies ; and the 
fecond, to raife a revenue. So far as duties were 
impofed by it on the importation of foreign fu- 
gars, indigo and coffee, Eaft; India wrought filks 
and calicoes, foreign cambricks and French 
lawns, the intention feems to have been to dif- 
courage the ufe and confumption of thofe arti- 
cles, and thereby to encourage and promote the 
ufe and confumption of Britifti manufaduros, 
and of Britilh Weft India produce of the like 
kinds ; but if, notwithftaixding the impofitiou of 

C z ihe 





the duties, thofe articles of foreign manufacture 
and produce fhould flill continue to be imported 
into America, tiien the adi produced its fecon- 
dary effedl of railing a revenue. The other du- 
ties impofed by this a£l ; thofe, namely, on Ma- 
deira wine, on port and Spanish wines, and on 
coffee and pimento of the growth of the Bri- 
tiih Weft India iflands, were for the fole purpofe 
of raifing a revenue; and in fixing the rates 
and proportions of thefe, the minifter feems to 
have been abundantly cautious of avoiding any 
juft imputation of dealing hardly by the colo- 
nies. On the contrary, it would app^ that 
he wiihed to imprefs them moft flrongly with the 
idea, that although they were now to be called 
upon to bear fome part of the burthens of the 
ftate, ftill their proportion fhould be far, very 
far, below what was borne by the inhabitants 
of the mother-country. Thus the duty impof- 
ed by this a£i on Britifh cofiee imported into the 
colonies was only feven fhillings per cwt. or three 
farthings per pound; whereas the people of 
Great Britain paid an inland ezcife duty of one 
fhilling and fix-pence upon every pound of cof- 
fee which they confumed, befides a farther duty 
payable at the cuilom-houfe on importation. 

In the fame feflion of parliament an adl wa» 
pa0ed refpefling the paper currency of the co- 
lonies, the grounds and motives for the enabling 
of which it is neceflary hereto explain. During 
the late war, the colonial ailemblies had been 
in the pradice of iffuing bills of credit to an- 
fwer their prefent exigencies ; and that thefe 
bills might more efifedtually fupply the place of 
money, they were made a legal tender in the 
payment of all debts, as if they had been gold 
or lilver, and were made redeemable after a 
certain time, either by the colledion of taxes 




impofed by the aflemblies for their redemption, i"*"'"** 
or by the money allotted to the rcfpedlive colonies, 
by the votes of parliament, as a compenfation 
for their fervices. The cmiffion of fo much 
paper money, ifiued perhaps in fome of the co- 
lonies ^vith more profufion than was abfolutely 
neceffary, produced one effeft very injurioua 
to the colonies, by raifing the courfe of exchange 
between them and the mother-country; fo that 
in fome of them bills of exchange on Great Bri- 
tain could not be procured but at a lofs to th« 
purchafer of between thirty and forty per cent. ; 
and as Britifh money, and indeed every kind of 
coin which was current in the colonies, pailed on« 
ly at certain rates fixed bylaw, whatever the courfe 
of exchange might be ; it happened, that when 
the courfe of exchange rofe above thc^e rates, not 
only the Britifhmoney, but all the other current coin 
in the colonies, was either withheld by individuals 
from circulation, or remitted to the mother-country 
in lieu of bills of exchange ; and thus itithecourle 
of a few years the fcarciiy of fpecie was felt as a 
general evil in all the colonies. This fcarcity of 
ipecie was alfo very injurious to the Britifh mer- 
chants; becaufe it happened not unfrequently 
that the paper bills of credit, which their agents 
in the colonies were obliged to receive in pay- 
ment of their debts, for want of another meoi- 
um of commerce, were depreciated in value by 
the rife of exchange, even whilft they remained 
in their pofleflion, and before they could lay 
them out in the purchafe of bills of exchange, 
or any other commodity which would ferv:e as a 
remittance to Great Britain. Thib evil was more 
or lefs felt in all the colonies, but more efpecially 
in Virginia, where, from the mifconduft of the 



.,... ♦•-' 


*"tiS"*^* treafurer, the bills of credit received by him 
s„r-y->^ frt)m the collector, of the taxes were lent out 
1764. by him to individuals for his own benefit, and 
thrown back into circulation, iuftead of being 
locked up and fecured until they were burnt by 
order of the aflembly. A reprelentaiion on this 
fubjedl had been maae to the Britifh minifter by 
the merchants trading to Virginia, in which the 
evils arifmg from a fuperabundance of paper 
money had been more feverely felt than in any 
of the other colonies. But as the evil was more 
or lefs felt in all the colonies, it was neceflavy 
that the remedy to be provided ftiould be as ex- 
tenfive ; and thus the aft of parliament above 
mentioned was paffed, whereby the colonial af- 
femblies were retrained from making their bills 
of credit a lawful tender in payment of money. 

The a£l for impofing duties on merchandize 
"was only a part of the plan which the minifter 
had in contemplation. At the time when the 
refolutions upon which this aft was founded 
were moved in the houfe of commons, he alfo 
moved another, of thi"; following import : " That 
** towards further otiraying the expences of 
*• protefting and fecuring the colonies, it may 
" be proper to charge certain ftamp duties in 
" the colonies." But he did not think fit during 
this feflion to introduce any bill for carrying this 
laft refplutipn into cifeft ; leaving it thus open, 
that if the inhabitfints of ^he colonies fhpyld dis- 
like fuch a mode of levying money upon them, 
they might have an opportunity of fuggefting 
fome other which would be more agreeable ; and 
undoubtedly this manner of proceeding was not 
only a proof of the minifter's candour, but of 
his inclination to accommodate himfelf to the 
wifhcs and defires of the colonies, as far as the 
neceffiiies of the ftate would permit. The re- 






folution which was moved, was a notice to the mtrtduc. 
colonial affemblies that the Britifh treafury ftood ^J1!!I^ 
in need of a fupply ; and it alfo pointed out to ,^5^ 
them the manner in which this fupply was pro- 
pofed to be raifed ; but as the minifler declined 
bringiug in a bill to carry the refolution into ef- 
fect until the next feffion of parliament, it was 
an evidence that he did not chufe to take the co- 
lonies by furprife, or to levy money upon them 
in a mode to which they had not yet been, ac- 
cuflomed, without giving them previous and 
timely notice. 

But however tenderly the minifter had dealt 
with the colonics in the duties already impofed, 
and whatever appearance of accommodation he 
affumed in the impolition of thofe which he dif- 
played in pafling the previous refolution concern- 
ing (lamp duties, without following it up the 
fitme fefiion of parliament with a bill he medi- 
tated ; his general policy with refpe^l to America, 
which in confequence of the regulation of laft 
year had produced fevere ftri^lures in fome and 
given umbrage in all the colonies, was neverthe- 
lefs become the theme of general clamour. 

The inhabitants of New England, rendered 
uneafy by the regulation of the laft year, and ftill . 
fniarting under its effeds, were not in a fit temper 
of mind to fnbmit quietly to any farther impofi- 
tions on their commerce ; and the lefs fo, becaufe 
they faw that in confequence of the vigilance and 
aftivity of the officers of the navy in the exercife 
of their new {authority, . fuch impofitions would 
in future be more produftive, and lefs eafily 
evaded, than in times paft. They thought too, 
that they faw in the minifter's proceedings the 
appearance of a fettled plan gradually unfolding 
itfelf, but not yet fully difclofed, which in detail 
and in extent might even go beyond their prefent 


-'*{f , — 





/ • 

fMM^M, apprehenfiont : And, itidcad of waiting to com^ 
^^^TJ^^ bill f articular pans of this plan, as they (hould 
1?^ ipp«ar, they boldlv refolved to controvert at onc« 
the general princtple upon which the whole was 
founded, by qucAioning the right and authority 
of parliament to levy duties or taxes upoo the 
colonies in any form or ihape whatever ; and by 
maintaining that ihecxercife of fuch an authority 
by parliament was an Infra^lion, not only of the 
privileges of the colonics as Britifh fubjc6ts, but 
of their rights as men. Such was the import of 
a refolution entered upon the journals of the 
lower houfe of a(iembly of Mailiiehufets Bay, in 
the fall of the year 1764, and of a letter to Mr. 
Mauduit, their agent in England* ; from which it 
Appear^ that they founded their pretenfions of 
being free from taxation by the Britifli parliament 
upon the broadeft bafis that thev could aflume-— 
their rights ai; men ; a bafis wMch, if admitted 
41 a ground of argument againft parliamentary 
authority, placed them at once not in the condi- 
tion of colonies, or of fubordinate dominions, 
but of independent ftates, unconnected with the 
mother-country by political compafls, and owing 
her no other obligations than thofe which nature 
impofed. Hence alio it is manifeft, that the re- 
publican principles which diAinguifhed the ear- 
lieft fettlers of Maflachufets Bay were not forgot- 
ten, but were flill recognized and Aill ajled upon 
by their pofterity, after the lapfe of near a century 
and a half. 

By another refolution of the fame aflerably, 9 
new complaint was added to the lift of their other 
grievances, ♦' The late extenfion of the powers 
f of tJie court of adniiraUy/* on pretence that 


* Report of tli6 Committee of the Ifoufe of L»rdi, it^ 




the right of trial by jury wai violated. It is not '"JJ*"'* 
certainly known upon what late proceeding of, 
the motner-country this complaint was grounded. 
If it was upon the regulation of the preceding 
year, it wa^ altogether unfounded, for that regu- 
lation did not enlarge the powers of the admi- 
ralty courts, it only extended the power of feizing 
veflels for breaches of the laws of trade to a 
greater number of pcrfons than thole who pofTef- 
fed it before. It is true» that in confequence of 
this regulation, a vcflel feieed upon the coaft of 
New England mi^ht be carried into one of the 
other colonies, and might there be tried ; but this 
I effefl refulted not from the regulation, but from 
' the general powers incident to courts of admi-* 
I ralty, and fo ancient as to be coeral with their 
original inftitution. Whatever is done upon the 
fea is fubjefl to their jurifdiAion, and they are not 
confined in their recognizance to things which 
happen within any particular diftri^t or portion 
of tne fea, but their jurifdi^lion is as unlimited 
las the fea itfelf. 

But if the complaint was founded on the claufes 
lin the a£l of the laft feflion of parliament, di- 
jreftingthe penalties thereby inflifled on breaches 
Ipf the laws of trade, to be recoverable in the 
Icourts of vice-admiralty in America, this was no 
|ncwfubjeft of complaint ; for fimilar claufes had 
[been infertcd in former afts of parliament rcfpe^- 
ing the trade of the colonies, fome of them 
made fo long ago as the reign of William the 
[Third*. - ' 

It appears, too, to have been the determina- 
Ition of the members who compofed this aflem* 
jbly, that the other colonies fhould be invited to 


-. f . 

* 7 and 8 W. 3. c. 22. 3 Geo. a. c. 28. 6 Geo, 2. 
If- >3- 








unite with that of MafTachufets Bay, in a joint 
oppofition to the exercife of the parliamentary 
authority condemned by their above-mentioned 
refolution * ; but for the prefent they prudently 
delayed fuch an invitation, until, by diflemi- 
nating their republican notions of government, 
and difperfnig through the continent their poli- 
tical pamphlets on the rights of the colonies and 
the encroachments of the mother-country, they 
ihould in fome meafure prepare the minds of the 
inhabitants of the other colonies for acceding to 
fuch a propofal ; and, in the mean time, in be- 
half of themfelves .and their own conftituents, 
they refolved to fet forth their complaints in a 
petition to the king and parliament. 

It has been already noticed, that, in the laft 
felTion of parliament, an a£l >yas paiTed for re- 
training the paper qurj^enty of - the colonies. 
This adt, too, had the misfortiine to give offence ; 
and it was more offenfive in the fouthern than in 
the northern colonies : Neverthelefs its beneficial 
confequences were very foon experienced ; for 
within two years after it had pafied, the courfe 
of exchange between Great Britain and her colo- 
nies, which had been fo injurious to the latter, 
was reduced to its proper level. ^ 

What proportion of paper currency fhould be 
admitted in the general circulation of a country, 
to fupply the place of gold and filver, is a fubjed 
of io complicated a nature, that the mofl enlight- 
ened men have differed in their opinions about 
it, even in countries where experience could be 
brought in aid of their inveftigations. It cannot 
therefore be a matter of great furprife, that the 


* See the Report of the Committee of the Houfe of Lorda, 

I. i 




American politicians of the fouthem colonies * Jntroduc 
ihould have been miftaken in their opinions about , *"*' 
the effedl of this a£l. The want of afufiicient 
quantity of fpecie to fulfil the purpofes of circu- 
lation was obvious to all ; and they thought that 
an ad which had a tendency to hurt the credit of 
the medium which fupplied the place of gold and 
filver, muft neceflarily be injurious. They looked 
upon themfelves as the moll competent judges of 
their own neceiTities, and coniidered the inter- 
ference of the Britifh parliament, in paiTing this 
a£l, as an unnecelTary and wanton exertion of 
power, the ultimate utility of which they more 
than doubted, whilil they deprecated its prtTent 
effedls as ruinous and definitive. 

The fouthem provinces, being but very little 
engaged in trade, would not, perhaps, have 
thought themfelves fo much affedled by the aft of 
thelafl felTion of parliament for impoiing duties, 
had it not been for the claufe which required the 
payment of thofe duties to be made in fpecie, and, 
this money to be paid into the exchequer in Eng- 
land, before it was to be applied towards the ex- 
pence of protedling and defending the colonies; 
and even with this claufe, had not the a6l been 
^Ifo accompanied with the other, refpeding the 
paper currency, it is polTible that the northern 
and middle colonies might have been fuffered to 
murmur by themfelves, as on former occafions. 
But the ad for reflraining their paper currency af- 
feded all the colonies in fome degree ; ana, in 
confequence of a greater fcarcity of fpecie, it af- 
feded the fouthem colonies more than any one of 
the reft : And when different communities, how» 
ever difunited in other relpeds, confider them- 

* In New England they had fome experience on 
fubjedl, having before felt the benefit of a (imilar ad. 


i •^■ 

\<^ n 





in»^«- felvcs a& fuffering under the fame common griev- 
ance, mutual fympathy arifes, which, by a natural 
movement, gradually extends itfelf beyond the 
caufe by which it was originally excited, and, in 
time, involves as well their feparate as their com- 
mon ^aufes of complaint. At this jundure, too, 
it fo happened, that thofe meafures of the Britifh 
adminiftration which had given the greateft of- 
fence to the northern and middle colonies had 
fome relation to that by which the fouthern colo- 
nies thought themfelves principally aggrieved. 
The regulation againfl fmuggliug had put an end 
to the trade carried on with the Spanifh fcttlc- 
ments, and in confequencc deprived the inha- 
bitants of the colonies of the means of obtain- 
ing further fupplies of fpecie ; whilft the aft of 
the laft feiTion of parliament for impofing duties 
in America, which required thefe duties to be 
paid in fpecie, and to be remitted to England, 
would, it was thought, in a fliort time, drain the 
colonics of the little of the precious metals which 
they now poflfefled ; and, as the climax of their 
misfortunea, the &£t which related to their paper 
currency, had 9. tendency to deftroy the only njie- 
diurn of commerce which rcoiained. 

By this ftrange accidental connexion between 
ihefe three diflferent regulations, the complaints 
of the New England provinces, which were prin- 
cipally direfted againft the two firft of them, were 
heard with more attention, were better received, 
and made a deeper imprellion in the fouthern co- 
lonies than had been ufual. The people of New 
England were not wanting, on their part, to im- 
prove the favourable moment, for the purpofe of 
laying the foundation of a general oppofition. The 
prels was rclbrtcd to. The grievances of the 
colonies n\ ere painted in the moft inipreflive lan- 
guage ; and the Britilh rainiftry were boldly 




etlkrged with harbouring defigns againft the li« 
berty, property, and future profperity of the co- 
lonies : And thus a general murmur of dilcou« 
tent began to run through the whole exteat of the 
Britifh fettlements on the continent of America, 
which was not a Iktle iacreafed by the refolution 
of the houfe of coromoias, which maaifefted an 
intention in that houfe, at fome future period, to 
imppfe ft amp duties in the colonies. 

There were, in aU the colonial a0e«ablte8, as 
indeed there are in all public afiembltes, certain 
popular charafters to whom the great body of the 
people looked up for advice and information in 
matters of difficulty. Thefe leading men, eyen 
in the cc^onies which were the oioft fincerely at- 
tached to the mother-country, entertained, a^ut 
this time, ftrong fufpicions and appreheniioc» of 
the arbitrary defigns of the Britilh court. &ich 
fufpicions originating perhaps, at firft, in the vio- 
lence and animofity of party, with which the he- 
ginning of the prefcnt reign was fomuchdiftra^led, 
bad, a little before this time, been very generaUy 
difiufed through Great Britain itfelf, and were from 
thence probably traiUplanted into America. And 
unfortunately for the fuccefs of Mr. Grenville's 
American meafures, perhaps unhappily for the 
general intereft of the Britilh empire, and, with- 
out doubt, unfortunately for the internal peace 
and tranquillity both of Great Britain and Ame- 
rica, fuch fufpicions were countenanced by one 
of the greateft men * of that, or perhaps any 
other period, whofe recent fervices, and the un- 
paralleled fuccefs of whofe meafures, whilft he 
conduced the affairs of the nation, l^amped an 
irrefiftible authority upon whatever opinion he 
thought fit to efpoufe. If thofe fufpicions, how- 



. v\ 



* Mr. rilt. 








) \ 




ever originating, were countenanced * by this 
great man, the American patriots, placed at fuch 
a diftance, and deilitute of equal means of in- 
formation, may be eaiily excufed for adopting 
them : But certain it is, that they prevailed very 
much about this time amongil the leading men 
in all the colonies> and were, through them, in- 
filled into the minds of the people at large. 
And from thence it happened, that every aft of 
the Britilh government refpefting America was 
viewed with more than common jealoufy. 

Such was the ftate of public opinion and fen- 
timent in the North American colonies towards 
the end of the year 1764, and the beginning of 
the year 1765. But, notwithftanding the threat- 
. ening fymptoms of difcontent, uneaiinefs, and 
jealoufy, which had begun to appear, the mi- 
nifter was not deterred from profecuting the de- 
sign which he had fo long meditated, of railing 
a revenue in the colonies by means of (lamp du-* 
ties. Having previoufly inquired of the agents 
for the colonies, whether they had any inftruc- 
tions from their conflituents to propofe any other 
method of railing money in the colonies than 
that of which he had given intimation the pre-^ 
ceding year ; or whether they had authority to 
offer a compenfation for the revenue which was 
propofed to be raifed ; and receiving for an- 
swer, that they had no authority for either of 
thefe purpofes ; he now relolved to lay his plan 
before the houfe of commons, and, on the 29th 
of January, in a committee of that houfe, moved 
fifty-five refolutions for impofing flamp duties 
on certain papers and documents ufed in the 
colonies. Thefe refolutions having been agreed 
to, a bill grounded upon them was foon after- 

* » 

* Mr. Pitt's fpeech on the repeal of the llamp aift. 



wards introduced, which, although it met with ^^^^^ 
vehement oppofition, particularly from that par- s^i^-y^ 
ty which has fince diftinguiftied itfelf by the 1765. 
name of the Whig party, and at the head of 
which was the marquis of Rockingham, was 
neverthelefs carried through both houfes of par- 
liament by a confiderable majority, and received 
the royal affent on the 2 2d of March. 

By this aft, which was to take efTedl in Ame- 
rica on the I ft of November following, ftamp 
duties were impofed on fuch papers and docu- 
ments as are ufed as evidence in the common 
dealings and tranfaftions of life between man 
and man ; or on fuch as are ufed in legal pro- 
ceedings, in jmpointraents to ofhces, in admif- 
fions to profeffions, and in the entry and clear- 
ance of veflels at the cuftom-houfe ; and had 
the authority of parliament to pafs it been free 
from all objedlion, it muft be confefled that the 
fcheme of taxation propofed by this, aft, was 
perhaps one of the beft which could have been 
devifed for railing a revenue from a people fpread 
over fuch an extent of the continent, and par- 
celled out into fo many different governments, 
inafmuch as it was not only iimple and prafti- 
cable, but equitable in its operation, equally 
well adapted to all the colonies, and, in its na- 
ture, efficacious. It excluded all jealoufy and 
envy, becaufe it extended to all the colonies, 
and M'as to be raifed on papers and documents 
which were common to them alL It muft be 
efficacious, becaufe thefe papers and documents 
were declared to be invalid, unlefs they were 
ftamped ; and the ftamps could not be obtained 
without the payment of the duty. And it was 
alfo equitable, as the weight of it would fall 
chiefly upon thofe claffes of people who were 
beft ?h\e to bear it : and as it would be moft 


\ "> 





I. ; 



i«*'«Aic. produ&ive in thofc coloQies Avhich were the 
^^Ja^!^^ moft flouriflung, and in which the tranfadions 

«764. ^'^^^" 1^^° ^^^ 'Q^i^ ^^^ '^ i^^^ frequent. 
The refolutions on which the bill were found- 
ed» together with the debates which it had pro- 
duced in its pafiage through the houfe of com- 
mons» were, whhout lofs of tinie, tranfmittcd to 
America by the agents for the colonies ; fo that 
the leading men in that qoarter of the world had 
full time to deliberate on the confequences of 
the a6t, with all its attendant circumftances, 
before it took efFe£^, and to prepare the minds 
of the great body of the people for yielding to 
thole impreSions which they wifhed tnem to re- 
ceiYG. PrepoileiTed as they were with fufpicions 
of the arbitrary deiigns of the British court, 
they now thought that thode fapicions were con^- 
Terted into certaimies ; and that America^ thus 
taxed without her coixfeiat, was deflined to be 
the Erft. viiftim to arbitrary power : and they 
relkdved not to fubmit to fuch a melancholy fate 
without the mofl: firenuoas reiiftance. A gleam 
of hope arofe fircon feeing the powerful oppoii- 
tioa which bad been made to the a£l in its paf- 
fage through the faoTT& of commons. They were 
thereby encouraged to purfue the line of con- 
duU marked out by their prefent feelings ; and 
they determined to exert themfelves with vigour 
in fUrring- up Inch a ferment as might diibefs^ 
if not overturn, the adminiftration, who were 
the authors of this raeo&re, and as would cer- 
tainly defeat the effedl of the a£l for a time, 
and perhaps eventually produce its repeal : And 
this refolution feems to have been adopted by 
the leading men in all the colonies, without any 
atpparent concert except what arofe &om a gene* 
sal knowledge of one another'» fentiments, in 
"■op '- [--■'■■ confequencd: 




confequence of the tranfadions of the preced- 
ing year. 

With this view the arguments which had been 
ufed by the members of oppofitiou in the Bri- 
tifh parliament were retraced, enforced, and 
enlarged ; and in this form publilhed in pam- 
phlets or circulated in newfpapers* Thefe pub- 
lications were adapted to all capacities. It was 
contended with great ftrength and force of rea- 
foning, that as the inhabitants of the colonies 
were Britifti fubjeds as much as the inhabitants 
of Great Britain, fo were they entitled to the 
fame couftitutional rights and privileges : That 
it was the birth-right of every Britifli fubjedl tQ 
give and grant his own money for the fupport 
of government, and not to be taxed but by his 
own confent or that of his reprefentative : And 
as the people of the colonies were not repre- 
fented in the Britifli parliament, fo the Britiih 
parliament could not conftitutionally impofe taxes 
upon them. And to fuch arguments other topics 
were added, not perhaps more convincing, but 
better calculated to draw the attention, and im- 
prefs the feelings of the American colonift. 
The aft was reprefented to be oppreflive in its 
operation, by converting the plainnefs and iim- 
plicity of their former proceedings, whether le- 
gal or comnjcrcial, into labyrinths of doubt, dif- 
ficulty, and perplexity. It was faid that the a6l 
was peculiarly inapplicable to a country fo ex- 
tenfively fettled, and fo thinly inhabited, as 
America ; for it might, and frequently would 
happen (to give one example inftcad of many), 
that the planter or farmer, upon fo common a 
traufaftion as the purchafe of a horfe, might be 
obliged to ride many miles to procure a piece of 
ftamped paper, on which he could write a bill 
of fale, and even when he had performed his 

Vol. I. D journey. 




■'1. ^1 







journey, he might be in doubt what kind of 
ilamp was proper for his purpofe. In this man- 
ner the fuppofed evils and inconveniencies at- 
tending its operation were magnified and heigh-* 
tened in language fuited lo the apprehenfions of 
the mafs of the people : a dellgn in the Britiih 
miniftry to enfiave America was fuppofed to be 
difcovered ; and the fVamp a£t, it was pretended, 
was only to be regarded as the forerunner of in- 
numerable other oppreflions which were to fol- 
low. And thus the people were taught to con- 
fider the period when the aft was to take ef- 
fedl as the commencement of their flavery, un- 
lefs they manfully refifted its execution* 

Independent of all the previous means which 
ivere ufed to bring about an oppofition, it was 
tather to be expeded, that an a6t which im- 
pofed new burdens, and at the fame time ren- 
dered the tranfadions between man and man 
in the conimon affairs of life fomewhat lefs plain 
and eafy, and, above all, which was fo open 
and liable to obje6lion on conftitutional groundd^ 
would not be well received amongft fome of the 
colonies at leafl, nor acqiiiefced m without re- 
hidlanCe ; but it excited no fmall fhare of fur* 
prife when it was known that the firfl legiflative 
oppofition which it met with, took place in the 
ancient colony of Virginia, famed beyond all the 
l-efl for loyalty to the fovereign, and attachment 
to the mother-country. 

Thofe to whom this event was the canfe of 
furprife> did not reflet, that during the preced- 
ing war the importance of the colonies in the 
general fcale of the Britifh empire had been bla- 
zoned forth and magnified in various debates^ 
in both houfes of parliament, as if the exiflence 
of Great Britain as a commercial nation had de-^ 
pended upon her trade with the colonies ; that 

I it 





it had been made a favourite theme of decla- 
mation with minilkrs n "^ 'never they preffed for 
Ibpplies to fupport the war ; and that the colo- 
nies would at Icaft eftimate their confequence 
equal to what it had been reprelented. Neither 
did they reflect, that heretofore the colonies had 
been kept in fear by the vicinity of the French 
and Spaniards, whilft the former were in poflef-' 
iion of Canada, and the latter of the two Flo- 
ridas ; but that now, fince the ceffion of thefe 
provinces to Great Britain, they were relieved 
from all future apprehenfions on account of fuch 
formidable neighbours, and faw themfelves plac-, 
ed in a ftate of fecurity which they had never 
before experienced. Neither did they refleft, 
that in proportion as the protedlion of Great 
Britain had become lefs neceflary, fo it would 
be lefs valued ; and that the treaty of Paris, which 
gave fecurity to the colonies, did, at the fame 
time, weaken their dependence on the mother- 

And this proceeding in the legiflature of Vir- 
ginia will ftill lefs be the caufe of furprife, if to 
thefe confiderations we add, that foon after the 
commencement of the prefent reign, a bold and 
daring fpirit of oppofition to government had 
broken forth and fpread itfelf amongft the peo- 
ple of England ; and that it muft neceflarily hap- 
pen that Ibme portion of this predominant fpir 
rit would be imparted to the inhabitants of the 
colonies in the profecution of that clofe and con- 
ftant intercourle which fubfifled between them 
and the mother-country. Indeed fuch had been 
the violence of faflion in England, and fo bold 
and daring its partifans, that even the fplendour 
of the crown could not fhield the head which it 
adorned againft the invenomed fhafts of flan- 
der: And fuch was the perverreaefs of the peo- 

D 2 • r pie. 











pie, that punifhments inflifted by the courts of 
, juftice for the mod heinous offences againft go- 
vernment were in fome inftances converted into 
public rewards *. 

That the colony of Virginia fet the example 
in this oppofition to the ft amp a6l, was per- 
haps, after all, chiefly owing to accident. It 
happened that the general affenibly of that pro- 
vince was fitting at the time when a copy of 
the a6l arrived in that country, together with 
certain intelligence that it had palled through 
both houfes of parliament and received the royal 
aflent. The adl, it is true, was not to have 
any effedl till the month of November, but they 
knew not whether they would have another op- 
portunity of deliberating upon it as an alTem- 
bly, until after that event had taken place. The 
leading men too were anxious to fhew to their 
conftituents, that in their legiflative capacity they 
were not backward in avowing thofe fentiments 
which, as individuals, they had taken fome trou- 
ble to promulgate.r The people had been already 
prepared by reiterated publications in the news- 
papers, and it remained only for the affenibly, 
by fome expfeflion of their will, to give a fanc- 
tion to the intended oppofition.^ Indeed, with- 
out this fandlion, the refiftance which they me- 
ditated would have been incomplete. The con- 
fent of the governor and council was not to be 
expefted ; whatever therefore could be done muft 
be the a6l of the lower houfe of affenibly only ; 
* -t V i - -.i:^- ■ "\-;s^r-:;' zf-'- •^"-i'. •, - ; and 

*. The aihhor of the North Briton, aod of the Effay oo 
Woman, is a living example of the truth of this remark. 
In a valuable appointment bellowed upon him hy th« corpo> 
ration of London, he quietly enjoys the fruits of thofe flan- 
ders which filled his fovereign's breaft with anguifh, wlulft 
every good man muit execrate fo nefarious a pabiicAtion, aii4 
fb diabolical an author. 


j-**>- -. 




and the fubjeft was there introduced without lofs 
of tim'?, and gave occafion to one of the moil 
violent and intemperate debates which had ever 
been known in that country. Some idea may be 
formed of the manner in which this debate was 
condudled, by the following pafTage, extradled 
from a fpeech of one * of the members, who af- 
terwards made a confpicuous figure in the be- 
ginning of the rebellion. After declaiming with 
bitternefs againft the I'uppofed arbitrary meafures 
of the prefent reign, he added, " Csefar had his 
" Brutus, Charles the Firft an Oliver Cromwell 
" and George the Third — " But before he could 
proceed further, a cry of, Treafon ! was heard 
from one quarter of the houfe, and the fpeaker 
foon afterwards rifing up, called him to order, 
and declared that he would quit the chair, unlefs 
he was fupported by the houfe in retraining fuch 
intemperate fpeeches. 

TL'is debate was concluded by propoiing four 
refolutions of the following effeft, which were 
agreed to by the houfe, and entered upon their 
journals on the 29th day of May. The firft de- 
clared, that their anceftors brought with them 
from Englanc* and tranfmitted to their pofterity, 
all the rights, privileges, and immunities, en- 
joyed by Britifh fubjedts : The fecond, that thefe 
were confirmed and. declared by two royal char- 
ters, granted by king James the Firft : The third, 
that they have ever fmce enjoyed the right of be- 
ing governed by their own aflembly in the arti- 
cles of taxes t and internal police ; which right 


* Mr. Patrick Henry. 

t That thefe refolutions may be fully underftood, it is ne» 
ceffary to obferve, that in Virginia, and indeed in all the co- 
lonies of North America, a diftinftion was made between taxes, 
and duties oa the importation or exportation of merchandize ; 
fo that the former of thefe terms was not fuppofed to comprc' 
heqd the latter. 



'. ■'i| 





has not been forfeited or yielded up, but has been 
recognized by the king and people of Great Bri-r 
tain : And the fourth, that the general affenibly 
of Virginia, with his majefty or his fubftitute, 
have, in their reprelentative capacity, the only 
exclufive right and power to lay taxes and iinpo- 
fitions upon the inhabitants of that colony : And 
that every attempt to invert luch a power in any 
perfon or perfons whatfoever, other than the 
general affenibly aforcfaid, is illegal, unconAituti- 
onal, and unjuft, and has a nianifeft tendency to 
deftroy Britifh as well as American freedom. 

Two other refolutions were offered by the 
committee to whom this matter was referred), 
which were rejeded by the houi'e : But as they 
ferve to characterize the kind of fpirit which had 
begun to gain ground, and which poffcflcd fonie 
of the members of that afTembly, the fubllauce 
of them is here inferted. Thefirfl amounted to 
a declaration that the inhabitants of Virginia arc 
not bound to yield obedience to any law impo- 
fing taxes upon them, other than the laws of the 
general afTembly ; and the fecond denounced 
thofe to be enemies to the colony who fhould 
maintain, by fpeaking or writing, that any per- 
fon or perfons, other than the general aflembly, 
had a right to impofe taxes upon them. 

But however intemperate the debate had been, 
which preceded thele rclblutions, and whatever, 
heat and violence were difcoverable in individual 
members of this afTembly, there was neverthelefs 
amanifeft and ftrlking difference between the re- 
folutions of the Maffachufets affenibly of the pre- 
ceding year, and thofe which were now pafTcd by 
the lower houi'e of affembly in Virginia ; a differ- 
ence defcriptive both of the particular views and 
of thegeneral political charafter which diftinguifh- 
ed the inhabitants of thcl'c rcfpcdive colonics. 





The former, as if they had been already inde- 
pendent, refort at once to their rights as men — as 
a ground to exempt them from taxation by the 
Britifh parliament : The latter, venerating the 
Britiih conAitution, fenlible of its benefits, and 
happy in their connexion with the mother>coun* 
try, found their claims wholly upon their rights as 
Britifh fubjeds, which had been declared and 
confirmed by their charters. The former claim 
an unlin^itea exemption from duties as well as 
taxes, thereby undermining the whole fabric of 
the colonial fyflem : The latter, avowing the rela* 
tion in which they (land to the mother-country, 
confine their claim of legiflative jurifdidion to 
taxes and internal police, thereby tacitly con- 
ceding to the Britifh parliament the impofition of 
duties on merchandise, and theordermgandre" 
gulation of their commerce, 

The afTembly of Virginia having entered into 
thefe refolutions, was difTolved as loon as the go- 
vernor was made acquainted with them. But it 
was now too late to flop the progrefs of the flame 
which had burfl forth : Indeed the mifchief was 
already done, becaufe the refolves of the aflem- 
bly were fuppofed to laudion whatever irregula- 
rities might eniuc, in oppofing the execution of an 
a£l which, by thefe refolves, was pronounced to 
be illegal, uncouftitutiorial, and unjuft ; and th^ 
conflagration, which had been kindled was now 
deflined to fpread through the colony at large, 
by the return of the members to their refpedive 

The aflemblies of the other colonies, in the 
courfe of the year, entered into refolu.ions, fi- 
niilar to thofe of the aflembly of Virginia ; and 
whatever differences there might be between 
them in other refpefts, there was but one opi- 
niou on the fubjedt of the ftamp a6l. They all 





/ ' j 






concurred in voting it to be an aft that was 
unconftitutional, and an infringement of their 

We have feen that the aflembly of Maffachu- 
fets Bay had in the preceding year entered into 
refolutions, and tranfmitted a petition to the king 
and parliament, complaining of a variety of 
grievances, and amongft the reft, of the refolu- 
tion of parliament which announced an intention 
to impofe ftamp duties in the colonies. The fame 
aflembly now brought forward another meafure 
of much more importance in its nature and con- 
fequences, as it was the firft leading ftep towards 
that confederation amongft the colonies which uU 
timately feparated them from the mother-country. 
It was no part of the charadler of the people of 
New England to be remifs in any thing which 
concerned their intereft. They had not been in- 
attentive obfervers of the diicontent which pre- 
vailed in the other colonies on account of the 
ftamp a6l, and they feized upon the prefent as the 
critical moment for reconciling the interefts, con- 
iblidating the grievances, and aniting the com- 
plaints, of all the colonies ; a dcfign which we 
have feen they had in contemplation the pre- 
ceJing year. ^ . x. '^! u ^ 

In profecution of this intention the aflembly of 
Maflachufets Bay, on the fixth day of June, en- 
tered into a refolution, fetting forth the expedi- 
ence of holding a general congrefs, which ftiould 
confift of deputies from all the lower houl'es of 
affembly on the American continent, to confult 
together, and take into confideration the com- 
mon grievances under whi;.h the colonies la- 
boured, in confequence of t/ie late ads of parli- 
ament for impofing duties and taxes, and to 
frame and prepare a general petition and addrefs 
to the king and parliament, in behalf of all the 




^,— .^., 

^---•- <» 



colonies, fettiiig forth thefe grievances and pray- 
ing for redrefs. They alfo refolved, that letters 
figned by their fpeaker, by order of the houfe, 
fhould be fent to the affemblies of the other colo- 
nies, communicating this refolution, and requeft- 
ing fuch other affemblies, if they approved of 
the propofal, to appoint deputies to meet with 
thofe which fhould be appointed by the aflembly 
of Maffachufets Bay, in a general congrefs to be 
held at New York, on the firft day of Oftober 
following ; and they afterwards proceeded to 
nominate their own deputies, and to vote the 
fum of four hundred and fifty pounds for de- 
fraying their expences. In confequence of thefe 
relblutions letters were prepared and tranf- 
mitted ; and fuch of the other colonial affem- 
blies as were permitted to meet before the 
month of Oftober, very readily acceded to the 
meafure recommended by the ^flembly of Maffa- 
chufets Bay, and nominated deputies for the pro- 
pofed congrefs. Although the leading men ia 
fome of the colonies had not the moft fa- 
vourable opinion, either of the candour, fince- 
rity, and plain dealing of the people of New 
England, or of the general courfe and tendency 
of their politics ; yet fuch is the effed of a com- 
mon grievance in reconciling differences of opi- 
nion and allayingjealoufies, that this proceeding 
of the aifembly of Maffachufets Bay, which cer- 
tainly had fome appearance of dictating to the 
reft of the colonies, neverthelefs met with gene- 
ral approbation. »::- 

Whilft fuch meafures were purfued in America, 
an event took place in England which, more 
than all their own efforts, ferved the caufe of the 
colonifts, and promoted the fuccefs of their de- 
figns. This was a change of the miniftry. On 
the loth of July, Mr. Grenville and his adhe- 



i /( 


! )1 





' I 

y ■■' 


rents were difmiffed from their offices, to give 
place to the whig party, under the njarquis of 
Rockingham, a party which we have feen had 
exerted themfelves ftrenuoufly in oppofing the 
ftamp a£t. The vehement declamations of this 
party againft the minifter within the houfe of 
parliament, and the adive exertions of their 
friends and partifans amongft the people without ; 
the threats of the Americans to difcontinue the 
ufe of Britiih manufadures until the ftamp a6t 
fhould be repealed, and the confequent alarm 
fpread amougft the merchants, manufadurcrs, 
and fhip owners ; the murmurs and difcontents of 
the lower orders of the people, from the fear- 
city of bread and the high price of provifions, 
calamities to which they were expofed during the 
whole of this year ; all thefe caufes combined 
had excited Inch a clamour in the nation as greatly 
weakened and diftreffed the late adminjftration, 
and probably cpnduced to their removal, But 
the immediate caufe of their difmiffion is faid to 
have been an affront given to the princefs dowa- 
ger of Wales, and through her to the king, by 
negle6ling to infert her name in a bill introduced 
by the miniftry into the houfe of lords, towards 
the clofe qf the Uft feflion of parliament, for ap- 
pointing a regency in cafe of the death of the 
king, during the minority of the prince of Wales j 
an omiffion which was redified after the bill was 
i'ent to the houfe of commons, But, whatever was 
the caufe, the change which enfued, by placing the 
whig party in power, gave to the inhabitants of 
the colonies a well-grounded hope, that the aft 
for impofmg i\anip duties would be repealed in 
the next feflion of parliament. 

In America, however threatening the appear- 
ances had been, no adtual difturbances took place 
yuiil the mouth of Auguft, but in that month, 


} * 

V * 

Mi^- '^\i»-' 

•"rj-''\>* ,,^.(«^ 



about ihe time when intelligence arrived of the 
change of the miuiftry, the fpirit which had been 
fo long tumultuoufly gathering, broke forth into 
open violence, firfl at Bofton in Maffachufets Bay, 
and afterwards m feveral of the other colonies, 
At Bofton, the fury of the populace was direfted 
againft the chief juftice of the province, who was 
fuppofed to favour the rainifterial plan for taxing 
the colonies ; againft the officer appointed %o 
diftribute the ftamps, th^ comptroller of the cuf- 
toms, and thp regifter of the court of admiralty. 
Previous intelligence of what was in agitatioa 
having been conveyed to them by their friends, 
they were fortunate enough to be able to fave 
their perfons from infult, but their houfes were 
pillaged, their furniture was burnt or deftroyed, 
and the records of the admiralty, not lefs odious 
7- . . t province than the ftamp a6l itfelf, were 
r \v u'tted to the flames. The council of the 
province were ajGTembled by the governor, but 
tliey fhewed no inclination to be adive in fup- 
preiling the riots. The governor attempted lo 
mu r fome companies of militia to affift the civil 
magirtrate in the prefervation of the peace, but 
they refufed to obey his orders ; and the ftamp of- 
ficer, feeing no profpeft of protei^ion, foon af- 
terwards refigned his office. 

In the other colonies the tumults were not fo; 
violent and outrageous as thofe at Bofton ; but ii^ 
all of them they were fufficiently alarming to, 
frighten the perfons who were appointed to diftri- 
bute the ftamps into a refignation of their of-? 

A confiderable interval having been required 
for preparing the ftamped papers in England, 
none of them had yet arrived in America ; and 
the officers to whom they were to have been de- 
livered, having been obliged to refign their ap- 




). ' 

I I 




pointments, the general care of thefe papers, 
upon their arrival iu the months of September 
and Cdlober, devolved upon the governors of 
the refpedlive ] rovinces. In fome of the co- 
lonies the ftamped papers were feized and de* 
ftroyed by the populace ; in moft of them, through 
the prudent management of the governors, they 
were lodged in places of fecurity on Ihore, or 
put on board the fhips of war ; but in none of 
the thirteen colonies, after fuch riots, was any 
one found hardy enough to undertake the dil- 
tribution of them. •;..,«;; 

In the month of Odlober deputies from nine 
out of the thirteen colonies met at New York, 
to hold a general congrefs. The four colonies 
not reprefented in this congrefs were. New 
Hampfhire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Geor- 
gia. From the three laft of thefe deputies were 
not fent, becaufe the letters from Maffachufets 
Bay arrived during the recefs of their affemblies, 
which were not afterwards permitted to meet 
till the firft of Odlober had pafTed. And in 
Kew Hampfhire, the aifembly did not think fit 
to appoint deputies, although they approved of 
the holding of a general congrefs, and fignified 
an inclination to join in any petition that fliould 
be agreed upon by the deputies of the other co- 

The firft feffion of thefe deputies was held on 
the feventh day of Odober ; and twelve days 
having been fpent in debates and deliberations, 
on the nineteenth they entered into thirteen re- 
folutions, comprehending a declaration as well 
of the rights as of the grievances of all the colo- 
nies. In thefe refolutions they fet forth, that 
the inhabitants of the colonies owe the fame al- 
legiance to the king as the people of Great Bri- 
tain, Hid all due fubordination to parliament, 










n re- 


ne al- 



That they are entitled to the fame rights, pri- *"'^'J^"*" 
vileges, and immunities, as the people of Great 
Britain. That no taxes can be impofed on a 
free people but by their own confent, or that of 
their reprefentatives. That the inhabitants of 
the colonies are not, and cannot, be reprefented 
in the houfe of commons of Great Britain^ That 
the only reprefentatives of the inhabitants of 
the colonies are thofe chofen by themfelves ; 
and that no taxes have been or can be impofed 
upon them but by thofe reprefentatives* That 
all fupplics to the crown are free gifts from the 
people ; and that therefore it is unreafonable in 
the parliament of Great Britain to grant the pro- 
perty of the inhabitants of the colonies. That trial 
by jury is the right of a Britifh fubjedl. That 
the ftamp ad, by impofing taxes, and extend- 
ing the jurifdidiion of the courts of admiralty 
beyond their ancient limits, has a tendency te 
fubvert the rights and liberties of the colonifts. 
That the duties impofed by the late afts of par- 
liament are grievoas, and the payment of them 
impradicable. That, by the Britilh manufac- 
tures which they purchafe, they contribute to 
the fupplies granted to the crown. That the 
reflriftions on trade, impofed by the late ads of 
parliament, will render them unable to pur- 
chafe Britifh manufadures. That the increafc 
and profperity of the colonies depends on the 
free enjoyment of their rights and liberties. 
And laftly, that they have a right to petition the 
king, or either houfe of parliament. 

Thefe refolutions having been entered into, 
and an addrefs and petitition to the king, t me- 
morial and petition to the houfe of lords, and at 
petition to the houfe of commons, fetting forth, 
more at large, the grievances mentioned in their 
refolutions, having been prepared and agreed 


• t 

.f ■■ \ 


I .»' 


to; the congrefs diffolved their meeting on the 
twenty-fifth of OAober, having fat about eigh- 
teen aays. 

From comparing the refolutiOns of congrefs 
with thofe of the aflembly of Maflachufets Bay, 
it is evident that the leading men in the other co- 
lonies were not yet prepared to go the full length 
which the people of New England wifhed. It 
is true, the congrefs difavow the authority of 
Jiarliament to impofe taxes upon the i.ihabitants 
of the colonies, and to abridge the trial by jur^ ; 
but they complain of the other afts of parlia- 
ment, for impofing duties on merchandize, and 
reftridling their trade, rather as grievances arifing 
from an indifcreet and impolitic exercife of a 
power which they did not call in queftion, than 
as a£lual infradlions of their conftitutional rights* 

Thefe were all the proceedings of this con- 
grefs which were made public. The great tem- 
per and moderation manifefted in the papers 
which were to be tranlniitted to England, were 
probably intended lo counteraft the effeft of 
the riots and tumults which had preceded the 
meeting of the congrefs. The members of this 
body were aware that all appearance of defiance 
was carefully to be fupprefled. Profefling loy- 
alty to the king, and all due fubordination to par* 
liament, they endeavoured to exhibit themfelves 
as patient fufferers, and as dutiful, although op* 
preflcd, fubjedls, rather foliciting the compafli- 
on than braving the power of the Britifh nation. 
By the meeting of fo many deputies at New 
York, a communication was opened, an acquain- 
tance was formed, and a correfpondence efta- 
bliihed, between the leading men of all the co* 
lonies ; and a foundation was thus laid for unit- 
ing their common efforts, whenever future cir- 
cumftances, md the attempts of future admini- 



■ ;— .■ .,ajt 




ftrations, ftiould render it neceflary. One ef- iniroauc- 
i'ed of the mutual underftanding which took ^.J!^^ 
place amongft thefc leading men was indeed im- j,^^^. 
mediately difcoverable ; for, as foon as they re- 
turned to their refpeftive homes, affociations 
were fet on foot in all the colonies againft the 
importation of Brltifh manufadures, fuch im* 
portation'to ceafe after the firft of January fol- 
lowing, until the ftamp a6t fhould be repealed ; 
a meafure which was probably concerted beforfe 
they left New York. 

When the firft of November arrived, the day 
on which the ftamp aft v/as to take efl'eft, nei- 
ther ftamps were to be had nor officers to diftri- 
bute them. The former had been lodged in 
places of fecurity, to fave them from deftrufti- 
on by the populace ; and the latter had been ei- 
ther terrified into refignation, or driven away by 
ill ufage. The cdurts of law were unable to 
proceed for want of thofe papers which the aft 
had rendered n .flary; and a total ftop was 
put to the adm^uift ration of juftice, except in 
criminal cafes, in which ftamps were not requir- 
edi Commerce too was at a ftand, becaufe ftamps 
Were made neceflary in the entry and clear- 
ance of veflels at the cuftom-houles. Some of 
the merchants ventured to fend their fhips lo fea 
with certificates from the governors that ftamps 
could not be procured ; and in the province of 
Maflachufets Bay the council and afTembly were 
daring enough to enter into a formal refolution, 
declaring it to be lawful to iranfaft bufmefs, as 
formerly, without the ufe of ftamps. ■■ 

Such were the meafures purfued and the fteps 
taken in America, during the year 1765, for op- 
pofing the ftamp aft and procuring its repeal ; 
and the inhabitants of the colonies were not 
more aftive and ftrenuous in refifting, than the 

nc V 

( i 





inti««iuc- ne^ miniftry were reniifs and backward in iflu- 
ing, orders for enforcing its execution. Altho' 
the refolutions of the alfembiy of Virginia wee 
laid before them not long after they came 
into office, and although, upon the twcnty-fe- 
venth of Auguft, the board of trade reported 
thel'e refolutions to contain a daring attack upon 
the conftitution of Great Britain, and to require 
immediate attention ; and although that board 
recommended orders to be forthwith fent to the 
executive power, and to all the officers of go- 
vernment in Virginia, to exert themfelves vigo- 
roufly in fipport of the authority of parliament, 
and to exadl a due obedience to all the laws of 
the land ; yet this report of the board of trade, 
fo urgent in its nature, was not taken into con* 
fideration by the privy council until the third of 
Odlober. On that day indeed, in a very full 
council, at which lord chancellor Camden af- 
iifled, it was determined, that the fubjedl of the 
report from the board of trade was of too high 
a nature for the decifion of the king in coun- 
cil, and that it was proper only for theconfide- 
ration of parliament : As if it had not been the 
duty of the executive power to require a prompt 
obedience to all the afts of the legiflature, and 
as if that power had a right to deliberate whe- 
ther an a£l of parliament fhould be carried into 
execution or not. 

Such was the indecifion of the new miniftry 
refpeding American affairs ; and fo indefinite, 
and even inexplicable *, was the nature of their 
difpatches to the American governors, that the 
laft blow was now given to the little energy which 
remained in the executive part of the colonial go- 

* See Secretary Conwajr's letters to Governor Fauquier, 
of Virginia, dated Sept. 14, 1765. 




Ycrnmcnts. Thofe governors undoubtedly thought '"5^"*" 
that it was their duty to exad obedience to an s^^y^ 
adl of parliament which extended to America ; j<^gj. 
but being informed in their government difpatch- 
es that this was a fubje£l * under the considera- 
tion of the privy council, a doubt might arife 
where there was none before ; and with fuch in- 
formation before them, they could not be certain 
whether a ftrenuous exertion in compelling fub- 
miflion to the {lamp adl might not expofe them 
to the difpleafure of thofe who now conduced 
the affairs of government. 

In the party writings publiihed about this time, 
and in certain parliamentary fpeeches of a lat«r 
date, which, from their brilliancy, gave the tone 
to public opinion, the flamp a6l has been conii- 
dered as the introdudlion of a new fyftem in the 
government of the colonies. But whoever will 
take the trouble of examining the proceedings 
of former parliaments, and the various adls which 
they paffed, without confulting the inhabitants of 
the colonies, for confining and reftrifting their 
trade fo as to make it ferviceable to the mother- 
country ; for regulating even their domeftic con- 
cerns and purfuits, and for fubjedling both their 
exports and imports, in certain cafes, to the pay- 
ment of duties and taxes, which, when colleen 
ed, were a part of the revenue of the kingdom, 
and applicable to fuch purpofes as the parliament 
thought fit to diredl f > will fee that the llamp 

Vol. I. E aft 

* Secretary Conway's letter to Lieutenant Gcvernop Fau- 
quier, dated I4tli Sept. 1765. 

t See the following ftatutes '■— 

12 Car. II. c. 18. 
15 Car. II. c. 7. 
25 Car. II. c. 7. 

7 and 8 W. III. c. 22. 

3 and 4 Ann, c. 5. 

6 Ann, c. 30. 

9 Ann 
8 Geo. 
5 Geo. 

5 Geo. 

6 Geo. II. c 
23 Geo. U. c. 

c. 17. 

I. c. 15. 
n. c. 15. 

II. c. 22. 






a£l was not the introdudion of a new, but the 
continuation and cxtenfion of the old fyilem uii< 
der which they had always been governed. It 
was an application, not of a new, but of the old, 
principle upon which former parliaments had 
aded to the new and improved ftate of the colo- 
nies, which enabled them to contribute more 
largely than formerly towards railing a revenue 
for their own fupport, defence, and protedlion. 
1766. But whatever force there may be in thefe re- 
marks, a clamour had been now raifed in Great 
Britain as well as America ; the mercantile and 
manufadiuring interefts were alarmed ; petitions 
againfl the (lamp a6t, faid to be encouraged by 
the miniftry *, were tranfmitted from fome of 
the principal fea-port and manufacturing towns ; 
and in the next fefTion of parliament, as had 
been forefeen, a bill was introduced and fupport- 
ed by the whole weight and influence of the new 
adminiftration for repealing the (lamp adl. The 
diiturbances in America were by them fpoken of 
with fome degree of tendernefs. The inhabitants 
of the colonies were reprefented as an injured 
people ; and the adls of violence which had been 
<:ommitted, were fuppofed to proceed from their 
defpair. Mr. Grenvillc and his party ftrongly 
oppofed the bill, and charged the prefent minif- 
trv with creating the difobedience and refiftance 
wnich had arifen in America, by their intempe- 
rate and inconfiderate fpeeches whilft they were 
in oppoiition ; but it was at length carried and 
pailed through the houfe by a confiderable ma- 
jority. The miniftry feemed to have wifhed to 
give fatisfadlion to all parties, as well thofe who 
favoured, as thofe who oppofed, the ftamp ad, 
by introducing at the fame time a declaratory 
' bilL 

Mr. Grcnvillft's fpeech on the repeal of the ftamp aft. 

tA M E R I C A N WAR. 

bill, which cenfured and condemned the refolu- 
tions of the American aflemblies, and contained 
a formal declaration, that the Britifh parliament 
had authority to make laws for binding the colo- 
nies in all cafes whatfoever. Thefe two bills ac- 
companied each other through the two houfes of 
parliament, and received the royal affent on the 
eighteenth of March. 4 

In the bill for repealing the ftamp a£l, that 
ad was declared to be repealed ; not becaufe it 
was illegal, unconftitutional, or unjuft ; nor bcr 
caufe it was arbitrary or oppreflive ; but limply 
becaufe it was inexpedient : And it was repeal- 
ed abfplutely, and free from all terms or condi- 

^ The -principle of the repeal, and the pplicy 
of the miniftry in proceeding thu"^ hailily upon 
it, have been much queftioned, and not without 
a ftrong appearance of reafon. Il<l!ie objedlions 
of the colonial aflemblies were deemed of no 
force or validity, it was the duty of the Britifh 
parliament, for the prefervation of their own 
authority, inftead of repealing, to have taken 
meafurcs for inforcing th^ execution of the ftamp 
a£l : On the other hand, if thefe objeftions were 
unanfwprable and irrefiftible, it would have been 
wife, it would have been magnanimous and wor- 
thy of the reprefentatives of a great nation, not 
only to have repealed the ftamp ad, but by aa 
open declaration to have renounced for ever the 
exercife of fuch an unconftitutional authority ; 
and at the fame time to have devifed fome other 
expedient for accompUihing the end propofed 
by the ftamp ad by lefs exceptionable means. 
Such a declaration would have quieted the minds 
of the cglonifts, and removed all future appre- 
henfions. But the Britifh parliament purfued 
neither of thefe courfes. It is true they repealed 

E z the 




.i<! .Wi,,S>!f>^ 

V. -^'-^ 

7 I 




<"J^«- the fttmp ad, but they at the fame time pafled 
the declaratory a«Sl, more arbitrary and more 
alarniinff thaa the other ; and by this prepofte- 
rous policy kept alive the jealoufy which the 
(tamp a£l had excited, whiifl they abandoned 
all the benefits which it was defigned to pro* 

The inhabitants of the American colonies had 
refifted the execution of the ftamp ad, becaufe 
they thought it unconftitutional : The inexpe- 
dience of it made no part of their legiflative 
complaints. They denied the right of parlia- 
ment to impofe taxes upon them : but they ne- 
ver pretended that the taxes impofed by the 
(lamp ad were greater than they were able to 
pay. r • / ■• '.u.^ '■'"' '' ^ ■■ "..'., .„ „• . ' /■ ■ 

Here then a favourable occafion prefented it- 
felf for the exercife of minifterial wifdom, which 
tould not be better employed than in moderating 
the pretenlions of the colonial aflemblies, fettling 
the mode of their future contributions, and de- 
vifing fome permanent fyflem or arrangement for 
reconciling fuch of their claims as were admiffi- 
ble, with that general and fuperintending author 
rity which the parliament ought to poflefs for 
preferring an union of councils and of interells 
amongft all the members of an exteniive empire. 
For fuch a purpofe no interval could be more 
proper than that which paiTed between the time 
when the execution of the (lamp ad was refifted 
in Amefica, and the time of its repeal ; whilft 
the inhabitants of the colonies remained under 
the apprehenfion incident to a confcioufnefs of 
having for the firft time refufed obedience to an 
ad of the fupreme power of the mother-country 
— ^but this opportunity was negleded. It was 
now become neceffary for the miniftry, by re- 
moving the caufe, to allay, as fpeedily as poffi- 


:. / 


, V- t 



blc, the ftorni which they thetnfelvcs, when in intrpduc 
oppofuion, had afliHed to raife. Their credit as *•**• 
a party depended upon it : For after the oppofi- 
tion which they had made to the (lamp a£l, had 
they proceeded to enforce the execution of it by 
the power of the mother-country, which was now 
in their hands, the battery which they had raifed 
againd tiie former admiiiiftration might have 
been turned with double elfedl againfl them- 
fielves. The (lamp aft was therefore to be re- 
pealed at all events ; and by this premature and 
unqualified repeal it has been thought that the 
iutereft of the mother-country and th© future 
tranquillity of the colonies were both facrificed 
to the convenience of party. 

If, in the opinion of the miniilry, the flamp 
a£l was accounted to be a bold, daring, and 
ralh meafure, their opponents thought themfelves 
entitled to fay that the aft which repealed it 
was not lefs marked with the oppofite qualities. 
It is not wife wantonly to provoke a quarrel : 
But when once a quarrel is begun, from whate- 
v£r caufe of differeoce it might have originated, 
the grounds of difference on both fides fliould be 
inquired into, and fuch a fettlement (hould be 
made as might prevent future jealoufies and dif- 
agreements. To end it in fuch a manner as to 
leave the pretenfions on both fides open, is weak 
and daftardly policy ; — it is a temporary expe- 
dient pregnant with future mifchief. 

The repeal of the flamp aft occalioiied very 
general rejoicings in America. The mafs of the 
people are in all countries led by the few : 
Looking only at the outfide of things, they ea^ 
{i\y take the imprefTion which is meant to be 
given : They had been taught to confidej: the 
llamp aft as the greatefl of all evils, and upon 
receiving intelligence of its yepeal, gave them- 


-* ' ' 



\ <■ m 




ft. 'I 






I . 

introduc- ielvcs up to unbouiidcd joy. In this fenfation, 
even ihe leading men very cordially joined ; they 
law in ihe repeal of the ftanip adt, a viftory 
gained by the colonies over the mother-country, 
And in that vi£iory the firft dawn of future in- 
dependence. They had experienced ibe bene- 
fits refuUing from an union of councils, and a 
general co-operation in the fame caufe ; and con- 
fidered the declaratory ad, however formidable 
and offenfive in appearance, as a mcafure which 
was calculated to do them more fervice than 
harm. They viewed it as a weak and impolitic 
bravado on the part of the Britifh parliament, 
which would defeat its own purpofe, by continu- 
ing the alarm which had been excited, and by 
cementing the union which had taken place 
amongft the colonies. 

The courts of juftice now refumed their func- 
tions ; the aflemblies in the different provinces 
were called ; and mutual congratulations paflcd 
between them and their governors. Their late 
ill-humour gave a poignancy to their prcfent en- 
joyments ; and all paft animofities feemed for a 
time to be forgotten. 

But even during this feafon of feftivity, there 
were not wanting forae, who by publications in 
the ncwfpapers cautioned their countrymen againft 
giving way to intemperate joy ; they reminded 
them, that although the ftamp aft was repealed, 
its principle had not been given up : That the Bri- 
tifh parliament perfevered in maintaining their 
right of taxation, and by paffing the declaratory 
adt affedted to poiTefs a ftill higher and more 
arbitrary power than the authors of the ftamp 
adl had ventured to excrcife : That the repeal 
of the ftamp adl had rather bren extorted than 
freely granted, and that for thi'^ boon they were 
more indebted to their own wifdom and firitinefs, 
. " than 





than to the generofity of the Britifti nation : That '"'j^^"** 
future adminiftrations and future parliaments 
might again attempt to impofe taxes upon them ; 
and that it was therefore incumbent upon ^e in- 
habitants of the colonies to be vigilant and atten- 
tive, and not fuffer themfelves to be lulled into a 
ftate of thoughtlefs fecurity : That it was their 
duty, whilil it was in their power, to provide 
againft the worft that might happen : That with 
this view they ought to encourage the breeding of 
flieep, for the purpofe of acquiring r. ftock of 
wool, the culture of flax, hemp, and cotton, anci 
the fabrication of fuch of the coarfer Briiifh ma- 
nufadlures as are moft effentially neceffary for 
the common purpofes of life ; by which means 
they might with lefs inconvenience to themfelves, 
when future occafions ihould require it, enter 
into non-importation agreements, and abftain 
from the ufe and confumption of Britifh manu- 
fadures,^ which they faw was likely to be the moft 
effedual mode of oppofition to the illegal exerti; 
ons of power on the part of the mother-country. 
By fuch publications, attempts were made to keep 
alive and nourifli that fpirit of jealoufy and dif* 
trull, which the declaratory a<5l was fo well calcu^ 
lated to infpire. ' " ■ ;' 

The fecretary of ftate, in the difpatches fent to 
the American governors upon the repeal of the 
Aamp a6l, took occalion to fet forth the grace and 
coudefceniion of the king and parliament in liilenr 
ing to the complaints of the inhabitants of the co- 
lonies ; and their lenity, tendernefs, moderation^ 
and fort)earance, manifefted in the repeal of that 
ad, notwithftaading the provocation which they 
had received by the forcible refiflance that had been 
made to the execution of it ; and intimated that 
fuitable returns of grantude, duty, alTedion, and 
fubmiifion, would be expedled on the part of the 








H T & T O R Y O F T H E 

colonies. Thefe were held forth as themes for 
the governors to enlarge upon in their fpeeches 
to the aiTemblies. And it muft be confeffed that 
thofe aflemblies were not backward in voting ad- 
drefles of thanks, nor did they fall Ihort of the 
fecretary's expeftations in proieffions of loyalty, 
duty, and affedlion to the king ; but in what re- 
gardepl;the parliament they were far from being 
explicit : And it very foon appeared that fome of 
them, inftead of bemg eager to give fubftantial 
proofs of fubordination to the Britilh parliament, 
were ftudious to avoid even the appearance of it. 

At the time of repealing the ftamp a6l, the par- 
liatneiit alfo voted an addrefs to be prefented to 
his majefty, requefting that he would be pleafed 
to inftruft the governors in America to make re- 
quifitions to the colonial aflemblies for granting 
cotnpenfatiou to fuch individuals ashad Tufiered in 
their private property in confequence of the tu- 
mults. Thefe requifitions were accordingly made 
in fuch of the colonies where any lofs of private 
property had been fuftained, and particularly in 
the province of Maflachufets Bay, where the tu- 
mults had been the mofl M'trageous. Buttheaflem- 
bly of that province, inilc d of laying hold of this 
opportunity to fhew their refpedl to the Briiifh 
parliament, and at the fame time to do an adt ofjuf- 
tice, quarrelled with their governor, under a pre- 
tence that he had fet forth a requifition in ftronger 
and more peremptory terms thanhe was warranted 
todo by the fecretary of date's letter ; and in an ad- 
drefs prefented to him on this occafion, after cen- 
furing the manner in which he had communicated 
the requifition, they coldly tell him, " That they 
^' will embrace the firft convenient opportunity 
?* to conlider and ad upon fecretary Conway's 
f recommendation," without taking the leaft no- 
tice of the refolution of parliament. The gover- 
'' ^ no^ 





:r cen- 
t they 
I way's 


nor made repeated applications to them, but from introdu«i. 
various pretences they delayed pafTing an aft to , **""■ 
compeui'ate the I'ufTerers for more than fix months ; 
nor was it done until the iphabitants of the town, 
of Bofton inftrudled their reprefentatives to vote 
for it, and informed them that the lords of the 
treafury in. England had refufed to pay the colony 
the money voted by parliament in the year 1 763, 
until compenfation was firfl made to thefe fuffer- 
ers : And when the a£l was at laft pafTed, it con- 
tained a claufe of indemnity to the offenders in 
the riots, which ftiewed that thefe were not lefs 
the obje<^s of that affembly*8 care and attention, 
than the unfortunate fufferers. A limilar back- 
wardnefs appeared in the colonies of Rhode 
Ifland and New York; but in the province of 
Maryland the alfembly were eager to teftify theiaf 
refpeft for the recommendation of parliamjsm, 
and without delay voted compenfation to tke only 
individual who had fuffered in that province : 
And in the other colonies no lofles were fuf- 

In the fame fefiion of parliament in which the 
ilamp aft had been repealed, an aft was paiTed 
for amending the anuual. mutiny aft, which it 
had been ufual to pafs, for the government of the 
troops in America. The intention of the amend- 
ment was to provide for the more comfortable 
fubfiftence of thofe troops by fupplying them 
with fait, vinegar, and beci or cyder ; and the aft 
direfted that the expence incurred by the fupply 
of thefe articles fhould be ralfed by the affemblics 
of the refpettive colonies in which the troops were 
quartered. It fo happened, by the accidental 
march of fome troops into the province of New 
York, that the governor of that province had 
occafion, on the day after he had communicated 
to the alfembly the repeal of the ftaoip aft, to 


' )i 

t ) 






1 vl ^ 














Ifc ^ 


■i f 


spply to them for quarters for thefc troops, and 
in his melTage he fpecified the additional articles 
of fait, vinegar, beer or cyder, which were re- 
quired to be farnifhed under the amended mutiny 
',.\\ of the laft feflion of parliament. He alfo in- 
fbrmed them that the troops were upon their march, 
anr^ were daily expedled at New York. The af- 
fembly however was in no hafte to take his mef- 
fage into confideration, nor did they prefent an ad- 
drefs in anfwer to it until after the arrival of the 
troops, who in the mean time were put to fome 
inconvenience for want of quarters. In their ad- 
drefs, the aflembly avoided noticing the a6l of 
parliament : They affefted to confider the requi- 
lition as coming lolely from the king ; and agreed 
to furnifh quarters for the troops with fuch ne- 
ceflaries only as they had been formerly accuf- . 
tomcd to furniih. This anfwer not proving fatif- 
fadlory to the governor, another mefTage was feat ; 
and after various nieffages and addreffes, the af- 
fembly atlaftpofitively refnfed to fupply the troops 
with the additional articles required by the amend- 
ment made to the mutiny ad, feeming to confi- 
der it as not differing in principle from the ftamp 
a(^, fo far as it impofed a nev/ burthen upon them. 
A^ diCnieiinaiion to comply v/ith this ad of parli- 
ament appeared in feveral of the other colonies 
where troops were flationed ; and in no one of 
them was the a6l fpecifically carried into execu- 
tion. Means, it is true, were fallen upon to fa- 
tisfy the troops : But the Bridlh parliament was 
not to be gratified, even at the fmall expence of 
furnifhing the inconfidcrable articles of fait, vi- 
negar, and finall beer. '* 

Such were the returns made in America to the 
grac!' and condefcenfion of the king and parlia- 
ment in repealing the flanip ad. But the Rock- 
ingham Adminiilration did not continue long 








enough in power to receive official accounts of intredw- 
the effedt of their meafures! for reftoring peace '^ 
and tranquillity to the colonies. In the month 
of July of the prefent year, they were difmiffed 
from their employments, and a new adminillra- 
tion was formed, at the head of \yhich was the 
duke of Grafton, aided by the fplendid talents, 
the popular virtues, and energetic powers of Mr. 
Pitt, now created earl of Chatham, who accepted 
the office of lord privy feal, and with whof j ad- 
vice the new arrangements were faid to have been 

The firfl aft of this new adminiftration which 
related to America ferves to fhew, that although 
many of the members of it had voted for the re- 
peal of the flamp adl, yet in reality they differed 
not much in principle from thofe who were the 
authors of it. In the debates which that aft had 
occafioned in parliament, in fome of the poli- 
tical pamphlets publifhed in America, and in the 
refolutions of fome of the colonial aflemblies, a 
diftindion had been taken between external and 
internal taxation, that is, between railing money 
from the colonies by the impofition of duties oa 
the importation or exportation of merchandize> 
and railing it internally in the waypropofed by 
the ftamp aft : And on thefe occafions .it had 
bei r faid, that although the colonies never would 
agree to the latter, they had already fubmitted to 
the former, which was neceffary for the regula- 
tion of fade ; and ' hat the Britilh parliament 
ought to be contented with the exercife of this 
acknowledged right, leaving to the colonial af^ 
femblies the powers of internal taxation, and of 
regulating the domeftic policy of the refpeftive 
pro\'inces, which feemed to be the objcas for 
which fuch aiTemblies were originally iarftituted, 
and of the due exercife of which powers, their 



( . (. 

1 i ( 

; \ 


' li 





t f 

local mformation enabled them to be more com- 
petent iiidgcs than the Britifli parliament could 
prfitcnd to be. 

The new miniftry laying bold cf ihic diftinc- 
tiloiu and availing therafelvos or the iuppof '1 
conceffion, procured an a£t of par'JiC:* it to l* 
paffed for impofing ceriain duties on gtafs, paper, 
pafteboard, white and r<;d lead, painter's colours, 
and tea, payable upon the importation of thefe 
articles into the American colonies ; whic^ dvi 
ties, when colle6>ed, v,ere made appiicabie, in 
the firft place, to making piovilion for the admi- 
niftration of juftice, ahd the fupport u* civil go- 
vernment, in fuch of the coionJes where it Ihould 
be ncceffary, and the refidue to be paid into the 
•;;xchequer in England, and to be applicable to 
the fame ufes as the former duties impofed in the 
year 1764. The ad alfo contained a claufe for 
difcontinuing the drawback payable on the ex- 
portation of china-ware to America, and made 
fpmenew provifions for preventing the clandeftine 
running of goods in the colonies. And at the 
fame time another aft was palled for putting thefe, 
and all the other cuftoms and duties payable in 
America by any former a6l of parliament, under 
the management of commiffioners, who were to 
be refident in that country. 

In the fame feflion too, the difpatches of the 
governor of New York, which have announced 
the refufal of the aflembly of that province to 
comply with the mutiny adt, were laid before the 
parliament : And timidly indulgent as Cit mem- 
bers of this parliament had heretofore fhewed 
thenifelves, in overlooking the -ebellious out- 
rages which had been committed, and the daring 
infurre6lions which had appeared in America, in 
oppofition to fhe ftamp a61, they now feemed de- 
termiacd that the aflembly c-' New York ftiould 

.. ; feel 


ica, in 
led de- 


feel the weight of their difpleafure for this recent i*>":o<iuc- 
aft of difobedience ; and an aft was accordingly ^^^^ 
paffed for fufpending them from the exercife of i^gy. 
all their legiflative fundlions, until they fhould 
yield obedience to the adl of parliament for quar- 
tering the troops. The Rockingham party, now 
out of office, could not in decency oppofe this 
coercive meafure, the objeft of which was to en- 
force obedience to an adl of parliament which 
they, when in power, had procured to be 

Thefe a£ls were all introduced and fupported by 
the influence of the new miniftry. They, like the 
miniftry which had patronized the ftamp aft, 
were confcious that the mother-country, bending 
under the weight and preflfure of accumulated 
taxes, with the finews of her ftrength ftretched 
to the utmoft poffible extent, ftood in need of 
every affiftance. Like them too they were con- 
vinced that the American colonies were the leaft 
burthened of all the Britilh dominions ; and that 
it was the duty of thofe who were entruftcd with 
the adminiftration of government to require them 
to furnifh a due proportion towards the general 
cxpence. It was alfo thought highly probable, that 
as the colonies had been fo lately gratified with 
the repeal of the obnoxious ftamp aft, they would 
the more readily fubmit to an aft which required 
their contribution in a fhape and form accommo- 
dated in fome degree to the political fpeculations 
of the times, and to the ideas of fome of thofe 
friends of the colonies who had efpoufed their 
caufe in the Britifti parliament. Perhaps too it 
was thought that the colonies would ha<re been 
more eafily induced to yield to this mode of tax- .^ 
ation, as this would tend to 'refute the afperfions 
of their enemies, who charged them with ingra- 
titude, and reproached them with an inclination 


i . 





^j ^ , 




introducr to avail themfelves of the prote£lion of the mo- 
*^°^ ther-country, and of all the benefits which they 
enjoyed under the Britilh government, without 
contributing towards its fupport. Such, it may 
befuppofed, were fome of the motives which in- 
fluenced the Britifti miniftry about this period. 

But the leading men in the colonies, and iheix 
political writers, thought ver) differently. In 
the courfe of their fpeculations on the fubjeft of 
the {lamp aft, they had been led into a train of 
thought and confequent reafoning that were ap- 
plicable not only to the adl which was the imme- 
diate objcft of their fpeculatiou, but to all the 
other ads of the Britifti parliament which ex- 
tended to America. Some of thefe had exifted 
for more than a century, and had been fanftioned 
by tir i' ,10;! Sy conftant and uninterrupted acqui- 
cfceii u T-. y vc queftioned their validity would 
have bc'-D ui].:ring violence to public opinion, 
Thefe wrkeis therefore were prudent enough for 
the prefent to avoid pufhing their arguments to 
fuch a length ; but they were not the lefs anxious 
to guard their countrymen againft fubmitting to 
any farther extenfion of the like authority. For 
this purpofe, the paffing of the ftamp aft was to 
be held out as a new sera in their political hiftory, 
and as the commencement of a new fyftem on the 
part of Great Britain. That aft had been con- 
demned as illegal and unconllitutional. Thofe 
which preceded it, although upon other grounds 
of argument not lefs liable to objeftion, yet hav- 
ing been confecrated by time, were to be thrc *vn 
into the back ground, and the ftamp aft alone was 
to be put forward as the prominent figure, by a 
comparifon with which the legality or illegality 
of every fubfequent adt of parliament for laying 
duties or taxes on America was to be eftimated. 



J ► / 


It required no great reach of thought to per- 
ceive, that the late a6l which impofed duties on 
certain articles of merchandize imported from 
Great Britain into the col . nes, differed not in 
principle from the ftamp ad. The objefi of both 
was to raife a revenue from the colonies ; in th$ 
railing of which, and in the difpofal of it when 
raifed, the colonial aflemblies were to have no 
concern : The articles upon which the duties 
were impofed, were become fo neceffary that they 
could not be difpenfed with without great incon- 
venience to the inhabitants of the colonies ; and 
they were fuch as either could not be railed in 
America, or in the railing and manufadlure of 
which it was not the intereft of the coloniils to be 

On this ground their political writers let tQ 
work. They maintained that the new aft was a 
branch of the fame fyftem which had been intro- 
duced ia Mr. Grenville's admiuiftration for en- 
ilaving America : That it Was in every refpeft as 
UDConftitutional as the (lamp a6l : That the mo- 
ther-country, guided by fuch cor twils and pur- 
fuing fuch arbitrary meafures, v/aj rather to be 
confidered as a malignant flep-mclher than an in- 
dulgent parent : That Ihe envied che profperity of 
the colonies, and feemed determ/.ned to crufh and 
keep them down : And that in was the refore a 
duty which the inhabitants of the colonics OM'ed 
not only to themfelvcs but to their pofterity, to 
withftand fuch illegal exaftions ; becn.ule, if they 
fubmitted to one, it would afford a precedent for 
another, and that to a third ; until, by the con- 
tinued renev. al and extenfion of fuch impofitions, 
they would be drained of the little wealth they 
pofiefled, and be at laft reduced to poverty and 
diftrefs. Such were the arguments ufed to excite 
an oppofiiion to the new adl of parliament 




I >\ 

) ;(" 

■ 1! 






i ' 

""tioJ"*' ""®o^ the people of the colonies ; and meet- 
ing with no contradiction, the effcft which they 
would have upon the public mind may be eafily 

The inattention of government to thefe pub- 
lications was one great caufe of haftening the 
American revolution. For whilft the colonial 
newfpapers were filled with inflammatory pub- 
lications, tending to excite jealoufy a^d promote 
difcoutent, % hrow fufpicions on cverv aft of 
the Britilh government e'. tending to America, 
and by degrees to leiTen that veneration for the 
mother-country with which the inhabitants of, 
at leaft a part of, the Britifh colonies were once 
imprefled ; only one or two writers were em- 
ployed on the other fide to counteradi the effedls 
of fuch feditious publications, to fupport the 
caufe of the mother-country, and for a time to 
keep the couirfe of public opinion fufpended, 
until the matters in difpute could be fairly and 
difpaflionately confidered. 

It is to the province of Mallachufets Bay that 
we are henceforward to look for ihofe caulV j 
which had a more immediate influence in ? xe- 
lerating the American revolution. The foun- 
dation of this revolution was indeed laid in the 
meeting of the firft congrefs; not perhaps by 
any aftual agreement to refift the power of the 
mother-country, but by incorporating and unit- 
ing the grievances of all the colonies, and mak- 
ing them the fubjedl of common complaint. 
"VS'hence it followed, that whenever afterwards 
any finglc; colony brought upon itfelf the difplea- 
fi;re of the njother-couutry, the caufe of that 
colony was efpoufed by all the reft ; and the re- 
f raft' y ungovernable fpirit of the inhabitants 
of JV . Tachufets Bay, for ever running into ex- 
ceflTes, and breaking forth into outrages againft 


,A M E R I C / 

W A K. 

lawful authority, and thereby bringing down ^""J^""' 
upon the province the coufequent animadverfi- s.^^^^*- 
ODS and chaAifements of the mother-country, iy68. 
furuiflied to the affeniblies of the other colonies 
a never-failing fource of difquiet, uneafinefs, re- 
inonftrance and complaint ; until, by fucceilive 
altercations with government, their paflious be- 
came inflamed, refentment was kindled, and all 
refpedi for the mother-country being in time 
thrown afide, the bonds of union which con- 
nected her with the colonies were at laft violent- 
ly rent afundcr. The tranfadions in this pro- 
vince will therefore occupy a principal part in 
the following pages, down to the year 1774. 

There had been no good agreement between 
the governor* and the inhabitauis of Maflachu- 
fcts Bay from the time of the ftaijip adl. He ha4 
onthat, and indeed on every other occafion, fhewn 
hinifelf adive and zealous in maintaining the 
authority of the mother-country, as far as it was 
in his power ; aud this conduit of itfelf was fuf- 
ficient to make him unpopular. He had lived 
long enough in the province to be fully acquaint- 
ed with the charadler of the people over whom 
he prefided, and by his knowledge and experi- 
ence was enabled to penetrate into their defigns, 
which he did not fail to lay open to the Britifh 
miuirtry. The animadverfions on their conduft 
contained in fome of the government difpatches, 
which it was neceflary to lay before the alfembly, 
difcovered to them the nature of their gover- 
nor's communications ; and they, on their parv^ 
charged him with mifreprefentaiion. In the pre- 
ceding year he had exercifed the prerogative of 
putting a negative on fome of the violent men 
of the patriotic party, whom the aflembly had 

'' ' * * Sir Francis Bernard. 

Vol. I. • -r • '■ 




■■ i 

16^ ■ y 

I "' - "I •>< 








clciled as coiinfellors. The excluded members 
felt this as a grofs aflront, and becante his inve- 
terate enemies. Their influence with the people 
■was great, and they fcrupled not to ufc it in ftir- 
t'ln^ them up to thwart the governor, gratifying 
their private rcfentment at the expence of the 
public tranquillity : And to the efforts of thefe 
reAlefs and difcontented men may, in part, be 
afcribed the perturbed and unquiet ftate of this 
province dur-ngthc whole of the cnfuing year. 

The firft fymptoms of a determined oppofition 
to the a£l of the laft felTion of parliament for 
iitipofing duties in America appeared at Bolton 
in the month of Oftober of the preceding year ; 
where the inhabitants, at a meeting held in their 
town-hall, agreed to enter into aiflbciations to 
encourage manufactures amongft themfelves, to 
difcountenance luxuries of all forts, and to dif-' 
continue the importation from Great Britain of 
All fuch fuperfluous articles of drefs and clothing 
as neceflity did not abfolutely require. But the 
a6l which gave them mod uneaiinefs was that 
Hvhich eftablifhed a board of cuiloms in America. 
tJhder the infpedlion and fuperintendcnce of 
of that board they dreaded a more rigorous exe- 
cution of the laws of trade than they had been 
yet ^ccuftomed to^ Their apprehenfions were 
the greater becaufe the refidence of this board 
Was fixed to be at Bofton i and their chagrin was 
the more diftreffing, from a conviftion that this, 
of all the afts which had been gaffed, was the 
leaft liable to be afTailed by objeftions of any 
confiderable Weieht or importance. 

When the aflerably of that province met in 
month of January of the prefent year, they en- 
tered Upon a general confideration of griev- 
ances. A petition was prepared, to be prefent- 
ed to the king, complaining not only of the a^ls 


'■',.• .■.'*'; 

\f''' "*% *. *.... .... .,. 




of the laft feflion of parliament, but of every 
other aft which had been paffed for impofiug du- 
ties in America fince the year 1763. A verv 
lon|T letter was written to their agent in England, 
inftru6ling him how to controvert thefe a£ls upon 
grounds of natural right, and upon general prin-. 
ciples of equity, policv, and connnerce; and, 
letters were alfo tranfmitted to the lords of the 
treafury, the fecretirics of ftate, the marquis of. 
Rockingham, the earl of Chatham, and lord 
Camden, pleading the caufe of America, and 
ihtrcating the exertion of their influence and 
abilities in furthering the objeft of the petition. 

Thefc fteps having been taken for inducing a 
favourable hearing of their complaints in £ug- 
land, they now had recourfe to ihe fame kind of 
policy which had before been fuccefsfuUy prac- 
tifed in oppofing the ftamp a6l ; thinkmg the 
prcfent a favourable opportunity for renewing 
their correfpondence with the other colonial at 
femblies, and for flimulating them to prefer it- 
milar complaints. With this view a circular let- 
ter was addrefled to the aflemblies of all the 
other colonies, communicating the deliberations 
of the afTembly of MaiTachufets Bay, on the late 
a£ls of parliament for inipofmg duties in Ame- 
rica ; giving a full detail of the grounds of ar- 
gument which they had ufed tc^cxpofe the evil 
tendency of thefe ads, in their petition to the 
king, in the inflrudlions to their agent, and in 
their letters to the great officers of ftate in Eagr 
land ; expreffing a hope that meafures of a fmii- 
lar nature would be adopted by all the affemblies 
upon the continent ; and intimating a readinefs 
and a wifh to receive from thefe affemblies a com- 
munication of fuch other meafures as might to 
them appear neceffary to be purfued for the 
general iutereft of the whole. 

F 2 This 




\ 7 






k I S T O R Y F t ri E 

This letter bore date the i ith of February. A 
copy of it was without delay fent to England by 
the govemoi:, and gave much difpleafure to the 
Britiih adtniniilration. They viewed it as a 
wicked attempt in the aflembly of MajTachufets 
Bay to light up again the flames of difcord in 
the colonies, and as the commencement of a plan 
of regular oppofition to the authority of the mo- 
ther-country. And in order to counteract its cf- 
fefts, the fecretary of ftate for American affairs *, 
on the 22d of April, wrote an adn^onitory letter 
to the governors of the colonies, to be by them 
laid before their afTemblies, in which the circular 
letter of the aflembly of Maffachufets Bay was 
condemned as a meafure of a moft dangerous 
and fa£liou.<; tendency, calculated to inflame tne 
minds of his majefly's good fubje£is in the colo-i 
nies, to promote an unwarrantable combination, 
to excite an oppofition to the authority of par- 
liament, and to fubvert the true principles of the 
conAitution : And the colonial aflTemblies were 
admoniihed not to fuffer themfelves to be led 
away from their duty, nor to give any counte- 
nance to this mifchicvous eflbrt of the Mafla- 
chufets Bay aflfembly for exciting difcord ; but 
rather to treat it with th^ contempt it de- 

But this adminiflration did not accord with 
the fentiments d9 the leading men in the colo- 
nies. They maintained that the colonial aiTem* 
blies had a right to confult together and freely 
to communicate their obfervations to each other, 
on the fubje6l of their common grievances ; and 
they coniidered the interference of the Britiih 



• A new afrangemeht took place at tlie Btginning of the 
)>refent year, in the fecretary of ftate's office ; a third fecre- 
tary being appointed for the department of the coloniei. 



.'A M £ K I C A N WAR. 

miniftry, on the prefent occafion, as an unjufti- 
fiable attempt to difcourage and prevent the in- 
habitants of the colonies from exercifing the un- 
doubted right of Britifti fubjedls to prefer their 
united fupplications to the throne whenever they 
thought themfelves aggrieved, 

And thus the letter from the fecretary of ftate 
became the fubjeft of fevere apimadverfion, and 
gave occafion to fome new and angry refohitions 
infeveralof the colonial aflemblies : Whilftthe 
circular letter from Maffachufets Bay was well 
received and approved pf, and produced all the 
effect which was expe^ed from it. Petitions 
formed on the model of that of Mafiachufets 
Bay were tranfmitted to England from all the co- 

ThoTe ihades of difference which had origi- 
nally characterized the refolutions of the diffe- 
rent aifemblies, and which were moil confpicuous 
in thofe of Maffachufets Bay and Virginia, new 
began to difappear. The. republican notions and 
high pretcnfions cf the people of New England 
were daily gaining; ground : And the aft of the 
laft feffion of parliament for impoling duties, 
although apparently framed for the purpofe of 
coinciding with the political creed of the fouth- 
ern colonies, was now as much condemned in 
the aflembly of Virginia as it had been in that 
of Maffachufets Bay ; the aflembly of Vir'jinia 
getting rid of their former diftindion between 
internal taxes, by maintaining that the duties 
payable by this adl, although on the importation 
of merchandize, were as much internal as thofe 
of the ftatnp adl, becaufe they were impofed not 
for the purpofe of regulation, but for railing a^ 
revenue. ^-^ - - 

The letter from the fecretary of ftate to the 
governor of Maffachufets Bay inftrudle^ him to 


/■ ■■ 






■ '4 

.*, -1 


/,','■• ■■«.• 

»^o#*«r»?'*~ ■ 

\ W'' 








require the aflembly of his province to refcincj 
the refo|ution of the preceding feflion, which 
had given birth to the circular letter, as it ap- 
peared to have paffed near the end of the af- 
fembly, and in a thin houfe ; and if they Ihould 
refufe, he was diredled to diffolve them. This 
requifition was accordingly made in the mouth 
pf June J and the affepibly, having reful'ed to 
comply with it by a majority of ninety-two 
^gainft feventeen, was diiiblved by the gpver- 
Upr, in purfuauce of his inftrudtions. 

Previous tothediffolution of the afTembly, the 
ill-humpur, difcontent, chagrin, ^nd v^x^tiou of 
the inhabitants of Bodon, aggravated by fome 
new regulations introduced by the commiflioners 
of the cuftoms for checking the clandeftine praci 
tices of the former, in the landing and ftiipping i 
pf goods, broke forth into fuch an open ^nd 
violent refiftance of lawful authority, as threat- 
<?ned fpeedily to invplye th^ \vh9Je provi^.^g in 
rebellion. .' ^^ . , -:;^v..^. 

The Hoop Liberty, belonging to John Han- 
cock, one of their principal merchants, had ar- 
rived in the harbour of Bofton, laden with wine, 
3Lud a tide-waiter had been put on board to pre- 
vent the cargo from being lauded, until Ihe ftiould 
b«." entered at the cuftom-houfe and receive a per- 
mit to unlade. On the night after her arrival, 
and before ihe was entered at the cuftom-houre, 
the mafter of the veflel, having in vain tampered 
with the preventive officer to obtain his permif- 
fion, at lafi: forcibly locked him up in the cabin, 
and proceeded to difcharge the wine ; taking oil 
from the ftiore in lieu of it, with which the vef- 
fel v/as reladen before the morning. Information 
of this outrageous proceeding having been given 
at the cuftom-houfe, the colledor, on the even- 
ing of the following day, being the loth of June, 



•y">- -t.^— ,. 


/ 1 



ipade a feizure of the floop, and put her foi" introduc- 
fafety under the protedlion of the Romney fljip ^J!^!^ 
of war. The floop was accordingly removed j^^g, 
from the wharf where fbe lay, aud moored in 
the harbour under the ftern of the Romney. 
This was no fooner feen from the Ihore than n 
mob aifeipbled ; the colleftor and controller of 
the cufloms were beaten and abufed, and in mak- 
ing their efcape were pelted with ftones; The 
commiffioners of the cuftpins were threatened, 
their houfes were attacked, and they themfelvesi 
were obliged to take refuge on board the Rom- 
ney : And finally, the colledlpr's boat was car- 
ried in triumph, and burnt before the door of 
the owner of the floop. Such were the riotous 
proceedings on the evening of the feizure of the 
floop Liberty. 

On the following day the commifli.oaers of the 
cuftoms applied to the governor for prote^ion ; 
Their application was by him communicated to 
the council and affembly, whofe advice and af- 
fiftance he requefted ; but advice was not given, 
nor afiiftance offered — the commiffioners met 
with no protection : And the threats againfl theni 
being continued, they were at lafl obliged to re- 
tire for fafety to Caftle William, a fort r:h fitu- 
ated upon an ifland at the mouth of the harbour. 
In the mean time, on the 14th of June, a town 
meeting was held, and fo far were the inhabitants 
of Boflon from difcountenancing the refiflance 
w|iich had been made to lawful authority, that 
they prefented a remonflrance to the governor on 
the feizure of the floop, and the circumfVance 
of her being put under the proteciicn of a fhip 
of war ; aud accompanied it with this flrange 
rcquelt, that he would order his majefty's fhip 
the Romney out of the harbour. All this hap- 
pened during the fitting of the council and af- 


, ii 

.. 1 



' '^. 

i: ' * 









introduc fembly ; and yet no one ftep was taken by them, 
for aflifting the governor in reftoring energy to 
government, or !n protefting its officers in the 
execution of their duty. 

Reprdentations on the fnbjed of this tumult 
and infurreftion were made not only by the go- 
vernor but by the commifiioners of the cuftoms 
to the Britifh miniftry ; and troops were ordered 
to be fent to Bofton to aid the civil power. A 
rumour of the orders which had been given hav- 
ing reached Bofton before the arrival of the 
troops, filled the inhabitants with new alarms 
and apprehenfions ; and a town meeting being 
called on the 12th of September, a petition from 
the inhabitants was prefented to the governor, 
intreaiing him to convene .he general affembly. 
To this petition the governor ani'wered, that he 
had diflblved the affembly in confequence of an 
inftruftion, and that it was not in his power to 
call another until he received his majefty's or- 
ders for that purpofe. The governor's anfwer 
did not contribute to allay the ferment which the 
expe6led arrival of the troops had occafioned ; 
and the people of Bofton, goaded on by their 
fadious and difcontented leaders, conceived and 
adopted in their prefent ftate of perplexity the 
new and danng refoluiion of affenibling a con- 
venrion of the people. , For this purpofe the 
town meeting was adjourned to the following 
day, when they voted and rclblvedi that they 
were under no obligation of fubniitiing to laws 
to which they had nor given their confent, ei- 
ther by thenifelves or their reprefentaiives ; that 
the levying of money within the province for 
the ufe of the crown, without the confent of the 
general affembly, is a violation of their charter 
and of their natural rights as fubjeds, declared 
in the ftaiute of the 1 W. & M. ; that the lend-. 






ing an armed force amongft theni without their ^J^""^ 
confent, would be an infringement of thefe rights, s-.'-j-^ 
and the employing of fuch a force to aid the exc- j/^gg, .. 
cution of laws to which they had not given their 
confent, an intolerable grievance. And as the 
governor had declared himfelf unable to call a 
general alferably for the redrefs of grievances, 
they refolved it to be expedient that a conven- 
tion of the people Ihould be held. They ap- 
pointed four perfons to reprefent them in this 
convention, one of whom was the owner of the: 
Hoop, the feizure of which had occafioned the 
tumult. Theydirefted the fele6l men to write 
to the feled men of the other towns in the pro- 
vince, to inform them of thefe proceedings at 
the town meeting of Bofton, and to propofe a 
c> nvention to be held on the 2 2d of the fame 
mouth. They refolved that the inhabitants of 
Bofton (hould be requefted to provide themfelves 
with arms, purfuant to a law of the province 
which had been too much negledled, affigning 
as a reafon for this vote, a prevailing apprehen- 
fion of an approaching war with France ; and 
laftly, they requefted that the miuifters of the 
town would fet apart the following Tuefday as 
a day of faftiug ond prayer. * i- 

In purfuance of ! hefe votes, letters were writ- 
ten by the I'eled men ; and deputies were ap- 
pointed to meet in the propofed convention by 
all the townfliips in the province, that of Hat- 
field alone excepted ; the inhabitants of which 
not only refufed to appoint deputies for the coa- • 
vention, but wrote an expoftulatory letter to the 
(0 .61 men of Boflon, upbraiding the inhabitr.nts 
of that town with their riotous behaviour, charg- 
ing them with being the caufe, by their mifcon- • 
dijft, why troops were to be fent into the pro- 
vince -y admonifhing them that their future or- 

3 derly 

i ' ■ ■ 


I •# 

! I 


1 1 






iiuroduc derly behaviour was the only way to procure a 

,^^,_J,^ removal of the troops, and protelling againft the 

176$. propofed convention as a meafure that was un- 

conftitutional, illegal, and unjufti^able, fubver- 

five of government, and deftrudlive of the peace 

of fociety. 

The convention met on the twenty-fecond of 
September, and confided of deputies from nine- 
ty-eight townjs and eight diftrids. Their firft aft 
was to fend a deputation to the governor with 
a meflage, in which they difclaim ail pretence to 
authoritative or goverujental adls, allege that they 
were met, in that dark and diftrefsfiil time, only 
to confult and advife fuch meafnres as might pro- 
mote the peace of his majefly's fubjeds in that 
province, and conclude wkh intreating him to 
call an aflembly. The governor refuted to re- 
ceive their menage, and the next day ifTued a 
proclamation in which he warned them of their 
danger, if they ftiould proceed to any kind 
of buhnefs, admonifhed them to difperfe, and 
threatened, if they did not, to affert the prero- 
gative of the crown in a more public manner. 

Whether the members of this convention were 
difconcerted by the governor's firmnefs, or whe- 
ther they began to think that they had gone too 
far in aflembling not only without but agaiuft 
his confent, is uncertain ; But their proceedings 
during their fhort fcffion were uncommonly mild 
and moderate, and did not feem to correlpoud 
with the temper of mind manifefted in the votes 
of the town meeting at Bofton. Their proceed- 
ings were or.-y a petition to be prefented to the 
king againft the late afts of parliament, and a 
report ftating the caufes of their meeting, and 
the objefts which they had taken into confide- 
raiion. In this report they again difclaimed all 
pretence.?© authority, recommeodcd to the peo- 
,.■ pie 

1 J 





ii ' 


pie to pay deference to government, and wait »>atn>*>c- 
with patience the relult of his majefty's wifdom ^.J-J-^^ 
and clemency, and promifed for themfelves to jyig^ 
ailift the civil magiftrate in preferving the peace. 
Thefe papers having been prepared and difpatch- 
ed to their agent in England, their meeting was 
diffolved on the twenty-ninth of September, the 
day on which the firfl divifion of the troops ar-r 
rived at Bofton. '#vr! ^^^ 

Upon the arrival of the troops fomc difficul-? 
ties arofe about quartering them ; the council 
propofmg that they ftiould be fent to Caftle Wil- 
liam, where barracks were already erefted, iij- 
ftead of being quartered in the town, where there 
were none ; but it was neceffary that the troop? 
fliould be quartered in the place where their af- 
fiftaace was required : And all objeftions were 
at lail obviated by hiring fome empty houfes ia 
the town, which were fitted up and converted 
into barracks. The turbulence of the people 
being reftrained by the prefence of the troops, 
peace was thus for a time reftored to Bofton. 
The commiffioners and other officers of the cuf- 
toms returned from Caftle William ; and bufi- 
nefs began to be carried on in its ufual courfe. 

In the province of New Yoik the aflembly 
having made fubmiffion, and complied with the 
terms of the mutiny aft, were reftored to the 
exercile of their legillative funftions. '^^ > ••, -/-j" 

The fuccefs of the circular letter from the af- 
fembly of Maffachufets Bay in exciting the other 
colonial aflemblies to petition for a redrefs of 
grievances has been already noticed. But peti- 
tions were not the only means to which they 
trufted for relief. Affociations were again re- 
forted to for diftrefling the trade of the mother- 
country, and for influencing the mercantile and 
niauufaduring intereft m England to beftir them- 






1 \ 











felves in behalf of the colonies. To have re. 
drained all importation from Great Britain would 
at that tin: : have diftreffcd themfelves more than 
thofe whom they meant to injure : It was there-* 
fore propoied, that the importation of the more 
neceflary articles of merchandize fhould be con- 
tinued, and thofe only which were lefs neceflary 
be prohibited. The concurrence of the mer- 
chants was indifpenfable : And as the neceflary 
articles of merchandize were different in diffe- 
rent colonies, it became no eafy matter to adjuft 
their jarring interefls ; fo that although various 
attempts had been made to introduce thefe aflb- 
ciations in the beginning of the year, it was not 
till the end of it that they met with any thing 
like a general acceptance. The importation of 
the prohibited articles was to ceafe from the firft 
of January 1769: And the effedl which thefe 
combinations had upon the commerce of the mo- 
ther-country will be feen hereafter. 

Such were the principal tranfadions in Ame- 
rica during the year 1768. 

Upon the meeting of the parliament in Eng- 
land, the difordcrly and difobedient ftate of the 
province of Maflachufets Bay was mentioned in 
the fpeech from the throne, and became the fub- 
je6l of debate early in the feflion. 

The miniftry now ^'^emed determined to aft 
with more than ufual vigour in attempting to 
fubdue that daring fpirit of refiftance to the au- 
thority of parliament, Avhich had fhewn itfelf 
by this time in fome degree in all the colonies, 
but moft unjuflifiably in the province of Mafla- 
chufets Bay, in the provoking tranfaftions of the 
preceding year. Thefe tranfadlions were accord- 
ingly made the ground of fundry parliamentary 
refolutions, in which they were recited wilh every 
circumftance of aggravation, and branded with 






every epithet of difapprobatiou which could ferve n»trodnc. 
to mark the liigh difpleafure of the Britilh par- ""* 
liament. The to\vn of Bofton was declared to 
be in a ftate of diio der and difobedience to law. 
The difincliuation <f :he council and affembly 
to aflift in fuppreffing the riots was fcverely cen- 
iured ; and the neceffity of fending a military 
force to aid the civil power was fully juftified. 
Thefe refolutions having been agreed to and 
paffed^ a joint addrefs from bo'..h 'xufes of par- 
liament was prefented to his majefty, approving 
of the fteps which had been already taken for 
maintaining the authority of . 'le mother-country, 
&ud declaring their readinefs to concur in fuch 
oth; r meafures as might be thougnt neceflary fir 
that purpofe. The addrefs concluded with re- 
commending to his majefty to bring the authors 
of the difturbances to exemplary punifhment ; 
to inftrud governor Bernard of Maflachufets Bay 
to tranfmit to England full information of all 
treafonable a6ls committed w'thin his province 
during the preceding year, together with the 
names of the offenders ; to revi^^e the execution 
of the llatute of 35 Hen. VIII. for trying within 
the realm of England treafons committed beyond 
the feas j and to ifTue a fpecial cominiffion for that 
purpofe, if upon receiving governor Bernard's 
report fuch a proceeding fhould i'ppear to be ne- 

Thefe lefolutions and this addrefs, although 
finally pafTed by a great majority, were not voted 
without confiderable oppofition. The Rocking- 
ham and Grenville parties united their force to 
oppofe them, and diilrefs the miuiilry. The ir- 
regularities and extravagances of the people of 
Bofton (for in fuch gentle terms were they fpoken 
of) were either palliated or excufec It was faid 
that this fmipie and inoffeufive people had been- 


f t 








^ .*= 


driven to niadneis when they perce'n'cd that the 
taxes of which they now c .plained were not 
laid upoli them by the influe;)^f• of their enemies, 
but of their friends ; of thoie friends 100 who had 
ojppofed the (lamp a^, and had totally denied to 
tne Britifh parliament the right of impofmg taxes 
in America. And the opposition, far from Teem- 
ing to (hrink from their defence, on the contrary 
upbraided the miniftry with giving them the 
appellation of rebellious and difobedient flib- 

Such fp'^eches, whatever might be the inten- 
tion of thofe who made them, were deftrud^ive 
of the authority which the parliament wifhed to 
maintain. They often gave the tone to the fub- 
fequent meafurcs purfued by the American pa- 
triots, who exerted themfelves to verify the pre- 
dictions which their friends in parliament had 
previoufly made. They were the means of raifing 
a party m favour of America, even in Great 
Britain. And on the prefent occafion they were 
calculated to encourage the inhabitants of MafTa- 
chufets Bay to perfift in their refraftory courfe, 
when they found that even the provoking infults 
offered to government in the preceding year met 
with fuch able defenders in the Britilh parlia- 

That part of the minifterial plan which ad- 
vifed the execution of the almoft obfolete ftatute 
of the 35 Hen. VIII. for the trial of treafons com- 
mitted beyond the feas, gave the moft ferious con- 
cern to all thofe inhabitants of the colonies whofe 
attachment to the mother-country was yet un- 
Ihaken. It was a meafure of feverity which the 
miniftry probably did not intend to execute ; 
but for that reafon it ought not to have been 
threatened. To be torn from a man's family and 
friendsj tranfported acroi's an extenfive ocean, 


,, >, 



were circum^ 
^ ' I to arreft 

^nd un- 

iQ the 


Lite ui catened 

laitdcd in a (Irange country as a prifoner and cri- intnxi««- 
mina), and tried by a jury not of his vicinage but ,,^^!^!1^^ 
of ftrangcrs, unacquainted with him or his cha- ,^^^ 
rafter, and whom even the important formality 
of bringing the prifoner from luch a diflance to 
Euglana for trial would be apt to imprefs with 
an idea of extraordinary guilt — all ' hefe, wiih 
others which might be mentioneH 
ftanccsof luch hardfhip as couli 
the attention of even the moll 
thinking colonift, and incline h 
foundation of an authority liable 
in a Way fo opprelTive. In fa61, 
revival 6f this arbitrary ftatute alienated the af- 
feflion of the loyal and well-difpofed amongll 
the inhabitants of the colonies more than any 
thing which the Britifh parliament had yet at- 
tempted. Even thofe who were the moft friendly 
to government, and who on other occafions were 
accufk)med to juftify to their neighbours the 
proceedings of parliament, fhrunk from the de> 
fence of it. It was univerfally reprobated as an 
unjuftifiable meafure, from the pradical exercifc 
of which every feeling mind muft revolt with 

In the province of Maffachufets Bay, where 
the diforders chiefly prevailed which this fevere 
meafure was intended to reprefs, and where a 
military force was ready to execute the orders of 
the civil power, it produced at firft fome little ef- 
fed *. The <vriters of fedirious publications for 
a few weeks defifted from their labours ; but no 
vigorous meafures being afterwards purfued, their 
fears were foon diffipated. The afiembly of that 
province, far from being intimidated, entered 
into refolutions of an oppoUte tendency to thofe 


I 'i 



1 I 

* Governor Hutchinfon'j Letter, 27th April 1770. 

, ! U 








Ui 12.8 

|50 "^" 

US 1^ 
.1: 110 










(716) 872-4503 






^S. ^\ 







\l V 

1^, •! 

t^ M 


of the Britifh parliament, and maintained, with 
reafon and juAice on their fide, that it was the 
right of every Britifh fubjed to be tried in that 
country where his fuppofed crime was known to 
be committed ; and that the fending of perfons 
into another country for trial was tyrannical and 
oppreflive, and derogatory of the rights of free- 
men. They alfo voted charges againft their go- 
vernor for mifcondud, which, with a petition 
praying for his removal, were tranfmitted to their 
agent in England, to be laid before the privy 

In the other colonial aflemblies the addrefs of 
parliament for reviving the execution of the fta- 
tute of 35 Hen. VIII. produced fevere ilridures 
on the condudl of the Britifh adniiuiftration . who 
could propofe and carry through fuch an arbitrary 
and tyrannical meafure. Refolutions were entered 
into declarative of their rights in cafes of trials 
for treafon ; and thefe, in fome of the colonies, 
were all of fo acrimonious a nature, and fo dif> 
refpedlful to the Britifh parliament \n the opinion 
of their governors, that they occafioned the dif- 
folution of thofe aflemblies who had paffed 

So many altercations happened between the 
American governors and their affemblies during 
the preceding as well as the prefent year, that 
difTolutions were now become very frequent : 
But inftead of ferving to fupport the authority of 
the mother-country, they were in reality prejudi- 
cial to it, by diffufing more widely, upon the re- 
turn of the members to their conflituents, that 
difrefpeft to parliament, and that ill-humour, 
heat, and animofity, the appearance of which 
in the affemblies nad produced their difTolu- 




Prom the time of the arrival in America of the '"l^"*^" 

parliamentary refo'iitions of the prefent year, 
thofe who promoted the aflbciations met with very 
little farther obftruAion. Committees were ap- 
poimcd by the people in all the principal towns, 
whofe bufinefs it was to examine cargoes upon 
their arrival from Great Britain, and make re- 
ports to their conftituents how far the affaciatiqn 
had been faithfully adhered to, and in what in- 
ftances it had been infringed. Meetings of thfe 
aflbciators were regularly held for receiving thofe 
reports : And at thofe meetings votes of cenfare 
were paffed upon delinquents, and their names 
|)ublifhed in the newfpapers to expofe them to the 
hatred of the populace. In fome inilanCes goods 
imported contrary to the aflbciation were ftored 
to prevent them from being fold ; and in others, 
in order to prevent them from being deftroycd, 
they were re-lhipped to Great Britain. 

The efFe£l which fuch proceedings had on the 
commerce of the mother-country becahie vfery 
foon perceptible. It was found, that the mer- 
chandize exported to America in the year 1769 
had fallen Ihort of what had been exported* ttl 
the fame Jplace in the preceding year by th6 ffliH 
of feven hundred and forty-four thoufand poucids. 
It was found too, that the revenue arilirig* from' 
the duties payable in America was yearly d<J-' 
creafmg*: And as the aflbciations which had 
been enterfed into were not a'gainft the ufe of -the 
prohibited articles, provided they were not of 
the produce or manufafture of Great Britain nor 
imported from thencfe, it was manifefl that the 

Vol. I. ........ Q • . . . demand. 


, * The fums applied by parlisiment out of this revenue in 
the following years will fhewthe decreafe : . , ,.v.' 

In 1767 applied by parliament £ 110,000 , -n 

1768 — __^-__ 70,000 •..■■. , 

1769 ■..■..— ■■ 30,00^ 



.--^ ;. 




'.■f . ; ■■. 

« I 5 T 6 K y a F T H^ 

df mai^d for fuch articles would be transferred ta 
foj^ei^ countries ; and from them they began to 
befmuggled into America, in confiderable quan- 
tities. ' And thiK, in confequence of the ailocia' 
tions, the atfl of parliament, which was the prin- 
cipal ground of complaint, operated in the colo- 
nies, as a prohibition on Brftiili mamufadures and 
as a boti,DJty and ettcopragement, not only to thofe 
of Aioerica but thoije^ too of foreign countries. 
"^he merchants trading to America were atio 
ijbrined, and prefented a petition to parliament, 
praying fiar a repeal of the ad which had given fq 
iijuch Offience in that counti^y, fetting forth the 
Ibofs whicb the mp^her-country had already fufc 
tained in the declenilon of the colonial trade* 
tfldftating the more ruinous confequences which 
toey. ftill appreheiided if the repeal wais- loiigef i 

Influenced by fome or all of thefe confiderations^ 
ford No|rth', t^ow.fjrfl lord of the treafury *, as well 
^s; chaf^pelk>r of the exchequer, on the 5th of 
i(t^rJch.mpyed fundry refolutions in the houfe ot 
ciQimnon&fbr difcontmuing all the duties payable 
ipi, kjx^ttittL ii^er the a6i of parliament of thei 
jjp^ar 1767, the duty on tea only excepted. The 
n^tnifter^ in maving thefe refolutto' did not hc- 
f|me tp condpnm the a£^ by wl.' hefe duties 
had been, ippofed, ^s .%, me^i'ure that, was at leaft 
impolitic, becaufe the. articles on which the duties 
tv^ere p?iya-blc, l^ing chiefly Britifh maaufadurcs, 
tj^ejcpoxtation.^f th^u. to the cola];^ie$> ini^^ad 

♦ £afl^ in TanuaTjr of tliit- year lord chancellor Camden 
fl>%i$ dlfnfiifl*ed from his office, a*nd many others of (he minittry 
refigncd. Oi^ th« 28th of that month' the duke of Grafton 
Tcfi|^edhis oflkeof firft lord of the treafury^ bu«continiMd t» 
vote with the miniftfy. The earl of Chatham, from iU 
health, haiftftfigned.the office of lord privy feal in Movember 


,'i « 



iif being clogged with duiies, 6tigbt rather to have infoduc- 
beeii encouraged. He alfo adnlitted that the duty 
on tea was referved for the fole purpk^e jc^f faying 
the national honour, and maintaining the autho* 
. rity of pai'Hanient : A duty which was too infigai^ 
tant cannot be noticed by the inhabitants of the 
icolouies, unlets they were at all evems detert 
mined to quarrel with the mothei'rcountry, the' 
whole produce of it being eftimated ^t no more 
than fuct^en thoufand pounds per annum. 

The members of oppofition^ on the othet 
hand, contended that the duty on tea ought tQ. 
be taken ofif with the red ; alleging that,' uialef» 
this was donCj the difcontinuing of the other dup 
ties would be ufelefs, lince the Americaha quedir 
oned not fo much the amount of the duties as th^ 
right to iuipofe theih. To this the minister replied* 
that the Americans could have no r^dn tlo com* 
plain, becaufe, at the time when the duty of 
three-pence per pound payable in America was 
impofed, other duties upon tea payalbk in £ug« 
land, and amounting to near one ihiUing per 
pound, were taken off u^jon its exportation to 
America ; lb that the inhabitants of the colo-. 
nies, inftead of lofing, adlually faved by thia im* 
pofition nearly nine-pence per pound on all the 
tea which they ufed. The refolutions were car'- 
ried as they had been at firfl moved by the mini- 
He^ ; and a bill which was introduced in purfu- 
auce of them pafTed throt^h both houfes of par- 
liament, and received the royal aflent on the 2zd 
of April. 

Whilft the minifler Wasthus taking itieafu res 
for giving fatisfa6kion to the colonies, an unfor- 
tunate incident happened at Boftim in Maflachu- 
fetsBay, which io exafperated the turbulent and 
difcotttented inhabitants of that province, as to, 
..v.-^., G 2 . '-... i.-a-! baniih. 

. »:.,!' 




1-7 70. 

H 1 S TO R Y O F TH t 

bainiih from amongll them all prefeat thoughts of a 
cordial reconciliation with theBrttifh government. 

So long as the military force which we have 
feen was lent to Bofton in the autumn of the year 
1768, continued refpedable in point of number, 
fo long the town remained tolerably quiet ; but as 
(bon as that was weakened by thie departure of 
two out of the four regiments which had been 
Rationed there, the former ill-humbur of th e in- 
habitants returned. The troops were vilified and 
lampooned in the tiewfpapers ; the foldiers, when 
met fingly in the ftreets, were infulted ; and every 
method was taken to degrade them in the opinion^ 
and expofe them to the hatred and contempt of 
the populace. I^aily fcuffles now happened be- 
tween the lower claues of the people in the towny 
and the foldiers when not on duty : And fo mucli 
animoiity had been exerted by the virulent pub- 
lications in the newfpapers, that a defign is faid 
to have been formed of driving the troops from 
Bofton by force, in which the people from the 
(Country were to have aflifled. But if fuch a de-^ 
lign was formed, the execution of it became, un- 
neceflkry in confequencc of the incident which 
we are now to relate. 

Oi* the evcmng of the fifth of March,' the fame 
day on which the Britifh minifter moved his refo- 
lutions in the houfe of common:s for difcominuing 
the American duties, a quarrel arofe at Boflt>n be- 
tween two or three young men of the town, and 
as many foldiers, at or neat their barracks. 
From words they proceeded toblOws: And the 
foldiers havifig vanquifhcd their opponents were 
feen purfuing them through the ftrtets. The 
^larm to the populace was given by ringing the 
bells of the. churches : And the people of the 
town afiembling in great numbers at the cuftom^ 
houfe, began to crowd round the fentinel who 
•was polled there, and not only infulted him but 





threatened his life. Captain Prefton, the officer introiiuc. 
on duty for the day, who had by this time re- **""" 
ceived information of the tumuh, proceeded im- 
mediately to the main guard; and hearing that 
the feutinel placed at the cuftom-houfe had been 
threatened, fearing too that the cuftom-houfe 
might be in danger, he fent a party, under the 
command of a ferjeant, to prote6l the one and 
fecure the other; and from greater precaution 
foon afterwards followed and took the command 
of the party himfelf. He endeavoured to pre- 
vail upon the people to difperfe, but in vain. 
The mob now became more riotous, not only re- 
viling the foldiers with abuiive language, but 
throwing ftones at them, %nd whatever elfe came 
in their way. One of the foldiers received a blow 
from fomething that was thrown, and levelled his 
niulket : The officer ftretching out his arm to pre-^ 
vent the foldier from firing, was ftruck with a 
club, and the mufket was difchai^ed, The at-r 
tack from the mob became more violent, and the 
reft of the foldiers following the example of their 
comrades, difcharged their pieces fmgly and in a 
fcattered manner, by which four of the populace 
were killed, and feveral others wounded. They 
were intimidated, and for a moment fled ; but- 
Ibon afterwards coUe^ing, took th^ir ftation in, 
an adjoining ftreet. The drums beat to arms, the 
reft of the troops were affembled, and the whole 
town was in the utmoft confufion ;^—a. town meet-, , 
ing was held, and a deputation was fent to the 
governor, requeuing him to remove the troops, 
from the town. The governor called together 
the council, and the council giving it as their 
opinion, that the removal of the troops from the. 
town would be for his majefty's I'ervice, thecom-s. 
njanding officer promifed to comply with their 
advice. Captain Prefton furrendered himfelf for 

'•__;y' :/■'■' -'^ '■]■■■ ■.,<:,.' ;:»'.^.;V.,;;-i ■■.■.:-»'.. -; trial J 


■^r-- ■■■ 

. \. 








trial ; and the foHiers under his command at ^hc 
cUftcfmrhoufp wpre taken into cu|lody; the moh 
difperfed^ aqd the following day the troops w<:re 
removed to Caftle William. 

Sboie djiys afterwards the bodies of ^hofc who 
had been killed in i]ip riot were parried in pro- 
litiCion. throiiglf the town, attended by aa ini-. 
itienfe cotncourfe of people, and Interred with 
ipuch funeral pomp. In this proceflion flags 
ivere expofed to \uew wjtli emblematicijl devices, 
calculated to inflame the pafllons of tjie miihi- 
tudp, and infpire them with deadly revenue ; and 
in the newfpapers the tranfadions of the fifth ^i 
March were reprefented as a deliberate murder 
pn the part of t\\c troops, and as ^n atrocious 
^aiTaicre of the unoffending inhabitants: 

Whilft fuchunjuftifiable means wereufed to pre- 
judice and poifon ihe liiinds of thepeppl^, fortu- 
nate it was ^or the officers and fpjdiers now in culV 
tody that theii;' trials were delayed till the month of 
October, fiy that time the fermient w^ich had 
been ftirred up had in fome meafure fubfided, 
and the rancorous hatred of the populace agaiufl 
the troops was in part abated. vVhen t](ie trials 
came on, the ofllicer, after a mpft rigorous inquiry 
into his condudt and the examination of near fifty 
witneflfes, was moft honourably acquitted. The. 
four judges who attended the tr^al were unani- 
Iflous iii their opinions^ upon the fails which wejet 
given in evidence ; and the laft ^ who delivered 
his fentimeiits concluded his charge in a few em- 
phatical words which did honour to his indepcn-. 
den<^c and love of jiiflice, and at the fame time 
furhiihed the beit comment on the whole tranfac- 
tion. '* Happy t am," faid he,',* that af^er fuch 
**. z, ftrift examination the conduA of the pri- 

*/ loner 





% Judge Ljndex. 

>. ---,--t -?i 

A M E R r C A N W A R. 

" foner appears in fo fair a light ; yet I (eel mf' 
" felf at the fame time deeply afiedted, th^t tjiis 
" afiair turns out fo much to tne dilgrace o{ every 
« perfon concerned againfl him, and to much to 
*' the ihame of the town in general." Six of 
the foldiers were alfo acquitted, and two only 
convi£led of manflauffhter. 

The intelligence of the a£l of parliament for 
difcontinuing the American duties having reach- 
ed Bofton whilft the minds of the inhal^itantft 
were yet agitated with the recent recollefiipn of 
the melancholy events of the fifth of March, 
made no impreffion as a ftep towards reeoncilia- 
tion, but when viewed as a conceffion forced and 
extorted from the mother-country, yielded the 
moft pleafinjf fatisfa^ion. 

In all the colonies, and in HaiTachufet^ Bay as 
well as the reft, the embarraflments and incon- 
veniences arifing from the aiToci^tions had by 
this time become irkfome to the inhabitants : The 
want of fome things which could not ilriAly be 
called necefTaries, but which from long ufe sum! 
habit were become almoft indifpenfable, had been 
feverely felt. And the people had become fo 
weary of the engagements which they had en- 
tered into, that upon receiving the intelligence 
of even a partial repeal of the aA of parliament, 
whiclvhad been the caufe of their complaintSji 
they held the affociatious to be no longer bind- 
ing, except for the fingle article of tea, on which 
the duty was flill payable. In reality, thofe af-. 
fociations, from the tenor of them, ought to have , '. 
fubfilled in full force until the a£l for impofing. 
the duties had been wholly repealed,; and at-; 
tempts were made iu all the colonies to induce 
the people to conftrue them thus ftridlly. But 
the inconveniences already experienced were fo 
great, that all the influence of the patriots was 








if 70. 



History of THfi 

infufficient to prevail upon the people to fubmit 
to a farther continuance of them. The inter* 
courfe with the mother-country was now there- 
fore again opened for every thing but the impor- 
tation of tea : And during the remainder of thi? 
year and the whole of the next, commerce flow- 
ed into the American colonies in a tide unufually 


By the aft of thp laft feflion of parliament for 
repealing the American duties, introduced by the 
Britifh minifter, and carried through by his in- 
fluence, it muft be coufefled that he went a great 
way to meet the wifhes of the colonial inhabi- 
tants : But if entire reconciliation was his object, 
he did not go far enough. The refervation of 
the infignificant duty on tea was fufficient to give 
a fair pretence to the patriotic party t in the co- | 
lonies to urge, that although the Britifh parlia- 
ment had how been twice foiled in its attempts 
to tax the colonies, it ft ill made preienfions to 
the right, and only waited for a more convenient 
opportunity to accornplifh this favourite ,objeft, 
the duty 011 tea being referved for the fole pur- 
pofe of eftablifhing a precedent for the exercife 
6f that right. In both thefe uniuccefsful attempts 
at taxation the colonial patriots faw, or affetled 
to fee, that the Britifti parliament had relui^antly 
given way, and that the people o^ the colonies, 
by refiftance and clamour, had worked out their 
own falvation ; and they now renewed their ef- 
forts, by frefti publications, to preferve and keep 
alive aniongft the people that jealoufy and diftruft 
of the Britifli government which they had here- 
tofore been fo f jccefsful in exciting, and the con- 
tinuance of which they confidered as the beft 

ft purity 

* Perhaps by thi? time it might be called the republican 
narty, ' • ~ . 



l\ 4- 


of their intro^Mc 


I great 
ion of 
to give 
the co- 
ions to 

fecurity for the future maintenance 

But notwithftanding thefe endeavours to keep 
up the ball of contention, a general calm now 
lucceed/ed to their late agitations amongd the 
bulk of the people in the middle and fouthern 
colonies, more efpecially in the latter. If the 
Britifh parliament had not given entire fatisf^c- 
tion, nor removed all ground of apprehenfion, 
the inhabitants of thefe colonies w^re at lead wil- 
ling to give it credit for fo much as had been done, 
and Teemed difpofed to forget their remaining 
caufes of complaint, provided no new attempt 
ihould be made to increafe them. 

In the New England provinces 9, very diffe- 
rent difpofition of mind prevailed. The a£^ 
which impofed the duties formed only an incon- 
fiderable part of their complaints. The reftric- 
tions upon their commerce, the powers granted 
to the officers of the navy to check their con- 
traband pra6^ices, the eflablifhment of an Ame-r 
rlcan board of cufloms, and t|ie more fteadjr ex- 
ecution of the laws of trade, were to them fub- 
jeds of as much real concern as taxation. The 
total repeal of the a6^ of parliament of the year 
1767 would not have given them fatisfaAion ; 
and the partial repeal of it they received not as 
a favour conferred, but as a forced and ungra- 
cious compliance with only a part of what they 
had a right to demand. Far from meeting the 
mother-country in reciprocal acls of reconcilia- 
tion, they now alTumed a higher tone in confe- 
quence of her concefiions, and difcovered an in- 
clination to extend their clamour and demands 
beyond the limits which they had hitherto fet to 
themfelves. The aflembly of MaiTachufets Bay^ 
in an addrefs prefented to their governor on the 
fifth of July in the prefent year, declared " that 

« they 




♦ I- 

: 1 






'* they kuewofno commiffioners of thecuftoms. 
*' uor anv revenue which hit miyefty had a right 
** to eftablifh in North America ;*' and in an in- 
dignant drain fubjoined, '* that thev knew and 
' ** felt a tribute levied and extoned from thofc 
♦* who, if they were allowed to have property, 
" had alfo 4 right to the abfolute difpofal of it." 
In this province too the fame difpofition to ob< 
(iruQi the execution of the revenue laws mani- 
fefted itfelf amongft the populace as on former 
Dccaiions. From the time of the removal of the 
troops in the preceding year, the officers of the 
enftoms were left without proteAion ; and the 
populace, not fatisfied witii oppofing them in 
the execution of their duty, proceeded in va. 
rious indances to much greater lengths, and iu> 
fliAed upon their perfons the mod degrading pui 

Nor was this impatience under the controul of 
the laws of trade confined to MaiTachufets Bay. 
It w|s perceivable in all the New England pro- 
vinces, and was this year the caufe of a mod 
outrageous infult offered to government in the 
dedrudlion of the Gafpee fchooner, a veflel in 
his majefty's fervicc, ftationed in Providence ri- 
ver, in the colony of Rhode Ifland, to prevent 
Smuggling, and commanded by an officer * vi- 
gilant and adlive in the execution of his duty. 
The Gafpee wjis boarded at midnight of tKe 
tenth of June by two hundred armed men in 
boats, who, after wounding and abufing her conii 
mander, and forcibly carrying him and his peo- 
ple on fhore, fet her on fire, 

The caufes of difference between l\ie mother- 
country anc| the province of Maflachufeis Bay 
had now fo lon^ fqbfifte^, aiid a peryerfe fpirit 

-V -.- •• «f 

■ uf-. 

■ i 

* I^ieutenant Duddingftone of the nav/. 

1 a r^ht 
n an in- 
vew and 
>in thofe 
il of it." 
in to ob- 
vs mani- 
I former 
al of the 
rs of the 
and the 
them in 
d in ya. 
I, and in- 
»ding pu» 

jntroul of 
ifets Bay. 
land pro- 
)f a moft 
It in the 
veflel in 

dcnce ri- 
» prevetit 
cer ♦ vi- 
his duty, 
it of the 

men in 
her com-i 

his peo-. 


pf oppofition had fo intirely pofleffed the iuha- 
bitatiis of the Utter, that it would have been do 
eafy matter to effe^ a cordial reconciliation be- 
tween them vinder any circumftances, however 
favourable. Thofe which did occur were either 
of the unfavourable kind, or were wrefted by the 
j'pirit of fa^ion to ferve the infernal purpol'e of 
fanninff the torch of difcprd ; fo that in every 
fucceeding year, thp breach, ^(lead pf clofing, 
Teemed to widen. 

A regulation adopted b^ the Britifti roiniftry 
about the beginninff of this year, refpedting the 
judges and principal officers of the fuperior court 
in Maflachufets Bay, w{is fufficient to throw th^tl 
province again into a ftate of uproar and confu- 
fion. The obje^ of this declaration, held forth 
by the miniftry who framed it, was, to render 
the iudgcs, and the other officers (o -whom it eat- 
tended, mpre independent : By the republican 
party in Maflkchuiets Bay it was faid to be a 
minifterial plan for rendering them dependent 
vpon the crown. Such oppoute concluuons do 
pppofing parties deduce from the fame premifes \ 
The r^al fa^, withoiit glof^ or comment, was 
this : By the new regulation, liberal falaries were 
afligned to the judges, and to the attorney and 
folicitor general, out of the American revenue, 
by a grant from the crown, in lieu of the fcanty 
falaries annually voted to them by the aflembly. 
Such a regulation in the infancy of the colony, 
I inAead of exciting murmurs, might perhaps hi^ye 
been received with fati^faflion and gratitude ;' 
but at this time it was worked up into a caufe of 
alarm almoft equal to that which agitated the 
province in the year 1768, upon receiving the 
iirii intelligence of the ea;pe<Sled arrival of a ^li- 
jlitary force. ■-', " » . 







\- ^ 





It was laid, and jmpreffed upon the people 
with much inflammatory declamation, that the 
Britifh miniflry having in vain attempted to dra* 
goon the inhabitants of that province into a fla- 
vifh fubmilTion to the will of parliament by the 
aid of a military force, were now trying to ac- 
complifh the fame end in a way not fo open, but 
not lefs dangerous— by influencing the judges 
with grants of falaries, and thereby corrupting 
the fource of juftice : And the people were called 
upon and conjured to withftand fo infidious and 
deftrudive an innovation- 

A town meeting of the inhabitants of Boflon 
was appointed by the feleA men, and held on the 
tAventy-lifth of Odlober. , At this meeting a pe- 
tition was prepared and prefented to the gover- 
nor, fetting forth the evil tendency of the ne\V 
regulation, with the alarm which it had oecafi- 
pned amongft the people, and praying him to 
call an affembly. The governor refuf^d to com- 
ply with the prayer of the petition ; And the pe- 
titioners having appointed a committee to confi- 
der and propofe what was fit to be done in that 
feafon of danger, adjourned to a future day for 
the purpofe of receiviug their report. The com- 
mittee, having taken tin^e to deliberate, drew up 
z report containing a declaration of rights, more 
cxtenfive than any which had been y^t framed, 
gnd compiehending the rights of the colouifts 
as men, citizens, and chriftians, In this report, 
the authority of the Bfitifh parliament to legif- 
late for the colpuies, in ^ny |-efpedl whatfoever, 
was completely denied. After enumerating the 
rights of the colonifts, it fet forth that thefe had 
been violated in various inflances, but more ef- 
pecially by the declaratory a^ of the year 1 766, 
by which the Britifh parliament aflumed to it- 
fcjf the pQwer of legifla.ting for them without 
, •■■' their 


iheir confent, and under pretence .of that au- 
thority had ini|)ofed taxes in the colonies, and ap- 
pointed new officers to te refident amongft them, 
unknown to their conftitution, becaufe unautho- 
rifed by their charter, for the purpole of fuper- 
intending the eolledion of thofe taxes, and efta- 
blifhing what is called an American revenue. 
And the Britifti miniftry, by framing the new re- 
gulation for granting falaries to the judges and 
crown officers out of this odious tribute, were 
charged with defigning to complete the fyftem of 
flavery which had originated in the boufe of 
commons, affumiug a power to grant their mo- 
ney without their confent. At the adjourned 
meeting of the inhabitants of Boftin this report 
was read and agreed to ; and fix h i-^jdred copies, 
of it were ordered to be printed and difperfed 
through all the towns of the province, accompa- 
nied with a circular letter, calling upon the peo- 
ple " not to doze any longer, or lit fupinely in 
*• indifference, whilft the iron hand of opprefiion 
" was daily tearing the choiceft fruits from the 
" fair tree of liberty*'* >, . , j . 

When the afTembly of this province met in the 
month of January, the governor probably in- 
tending to give them an opportunity, if they were 
fo dil'pofed, of doing away the evil impreffions 
which might have been made by the unqualifiecj 
refolutions of the town meeting at Bofton, took 
occafion in his fpeech to infift on the fupreme le- 
giflative authority of the king and parliament. 
But if he hoped to benefit government by bring- 
ing on this difcuffion, he was entirely difappoint- 
^d. The afiembly, inftead of endeavouring to 
moderate and qualify the dodlrines contained la 
the refolutions of the towa meeting, feized the 
opportunity of the addrefs which was to be pre- 
fented, to fix them more firmly and in Hieit uf< 








' U'l 




i 1 

l< »■ 








tt t S T O R Y OF THE 

moft extent. They openly denied the authoritjr 
of parliament, not only to impofe taxes, but to 
legiflate for them in any refped): whatfoever ; ad- 
ding, " that if there had been in any cf the late 
<< inllances a fubmiiiion to a£^s of parliament,' it 
Was more from want of.confideration or a reluct 
tance to contend with the parent ftate, than a 
convidtion of the fupreme legiflative authority 
of parliament." This addrefs alfo recapitu- 
Jbited a number of new grievances which had not 
heretofore been complained of: And fuch was 
its improper tendency, even in the opinion of the 
AffemWy, upon cooler refleftion, that fix months 
after, in a letter * to the earl of Dartmouth, fe- 
dl-etary of ftate for American affairs, they thought 
it neceffary to apologize for it, imputing the blame 
<yf their intemperate proceedings to their govern' 
nor, who had uuneceffarily brought the fubje6l 
cf parliamentary authority under their confidera- 
tion. In this letter they fay, " that their an- 
fwcrs to the governor's fpeech were the effedls 
of ncceflity, and that this neccffity occafioned 
great grief to the two houfes ;" and then, in 
a ftyle truly chara6leriftic of puritannical dupli- 
city, they exclaim, " For, my lord, the people 
" of this province are true and faithful fubjedls 
" of his majefty, and think themfelves happy in 
" their connedliOn with Great Britain." 

But this was not the only caufe of complaint 
which that a^Tembly had againft their governor, f 

* Dated 29th June 1773. '•**■■ 

t Their prefent governor wai Mr. Hutchinfon, a native of 
MafTachufets Bay, a lawyer and a man of learning, who 
filled the office of chief-juftice of the province with general 
fatisfaAion, and was appointed governor on the relignation of 
fir Francis Bernard in the year' 1770. Sir FrarttiS Bernard 
went to England in the year 1 769, to defend himfelf from the 
charges tranfmitied againft himbytheaiTembly -, andaitliough 
he was honourably acquitted by the privy council, he did not 
chuf<; to return to a province where he was fo much dilliked. 



AUzKic Mt War. 



Their agent at the 3pi. h court, Dodor FjrankHn, ^*;?^ 
a man well known in the philofophical world, had , "~ 
by Tome means or other got poiTeirion of certain 
letters written by their governor in former years 
to official perfons in England, and about thi& time 
tranfmitted them to the aflembly. The fubje^ 
of this correfpondence was fo' dii'pleafing, that it 
threw the aiTembly into a violent heat. They fenc 
a deputation to mew the letters to the governor, 
without trufting thera in his hands^ and to inquire 
whether he acknowledged the fignatures to jbe; 
hiS' Thefignatnres being owned, they prepared) 
a petition and remonftrance to be prefented to the. 
ki^, charging the governor with betraying hisj 
truR^ and fiandering the people under his go^l 
Vernment, by giving private, partial, and falfe' 
information^;., declaring him an enemy to the co- 
lony, and prayiugTor bis removal from his ofKce.. 

How the letters which gav^ occafion to fb muck 
animofity in the aiTembly of MaiTachulets Ba^ 
came into the pofl^on of their agent, is not yet: 
certainly known to the public. But either tiie 
manner of his obtaining them, or the ufe whidi 
he made of them, or both, gave fo much ofSsnce 
to the Britifli miniflry, that he was difmifled from: 
his oifice of joint deputy poftmaflerpgeneral for 
Annerica, under fuch circumflances of marked, 
difapprobation as probably influenced bis fubfev 
quent condud in the American conteft. 

Whilft the patriots of Mafiachufets Bay were. 
thus adlive in difcovering new caufes oSf com*- 
plaint, and keeping the province in a flase of 
perpetual clamour and agitation ; the fbuthera^ 
and middle colonies were peaceably and quietly 
advancing in population and profperity, nothing' 
having occurred for fome years to give the repulv 
lican party amongft them (for lucba party was b^ 


I ' 



:' t 












J . 


' 1 

f \ 

H 1 S T O R Y F T H E 

this time formed in all the colonies) any new pre- 
tence for quarrelling with the mother-country. 

But an a6l of parliament which paffed this 
year was deftined to revive all the heat of con- 
tention, and to bring the difputes between Great 
Britain and her colonies to their ultimate crifis. 
This was an a61 for empowering the commifllou- 
ers of the treafury to grant licenfes to the Eaft 
India Company to export tea to all places what* 
foever free of duty. The affairs of that com- 
pany had by fome means or other run into great 
confufion : Being unable to fatisfy their engage- 
ments, they applied to parliament for relief, and 
complained that their diftrefs was in part owing 
to the American difturbances, which had lefTcued 
the demand for their tea ;. in confequence of 
"which, they had then lying in their warehoufes,' 
for want of a market, near feventeen millions of 
pounds. One of the regulations adopted for their 
relief was the a£l of parliament above-mentioned, 
for granting them leave, under the fandlion of 
the treafury, to export their teas, duty free, 
wherever they could find a market for them. 
The mbiifter, in procuring this ad to be paffed, 
had probably two obje6ls in view ; one, the re- 
lief of the Eaft India company, and the other, 
the increafe of the American revenue, by this 
new device for introducing the company's tea 
into the colonies, where it ftill lay under a prohi- 
bition in confequence of the affociations : And it 
was this laft objeA which gave offence in America. ' 
The leading men forefaw that, if the tea was once 
introduced and landed in America, it would be 
impoflible to prevent its fale and confumption, 
ajid thus the duty would be inevitably levied upon 
the inhabitants, notwiihftanding all their efforts 
to prevent it* Refiftance to taxation by the Bri^ 
tidi parliament was become in America a point of 







national honour which ihey were determined to introdu*- 
niaintain. The ailbciations againft the importa- 
tion of tea from Great Britain, which in fome of 
the colonies had begun to be difregarded, were; 
now enforced with rigour : And all thofe means . 
which, we have feen, the leading men knewfo. 
well how to ufe, were again employed by them to • 
excite oppofition amongil the people, and flir : 
them up to refid with force and violence the land- 
ing of fuch cargoes of tea as might be fent > 
amongft them. Nor were their efforts in any of. 
the coloQies ineffedlual. But the clamour and*^ 
threatenings were greateft in the New England : 
provinces ; and in them, as on all former occaii* 
ons, the iirfl forcible reiiftance to the a£t of par* . 
liament was made. 

As foon as intelligence was received in the. 
month of November, that three ihips freighted 
with tea on account of the Eaft India company 
were on their paflage to Bofton, that place be- 
came again the feat of tumult, violence, and riot, 
excited for thepurpofe of frightening the conlign- 
ers of the tea fhips from ading under their ap- 
pointments. The populace furrounded their, 
houfes and demanded their reiignation, which 
not being complied with, the windows and doors 
of their houfes were broken, and they themfelves 
narrowly efcaped the fury of the mob by flying 
from the town and taking fhelter in Caftle Wil- .. 
liam. The governor in vain ifliied a proclamation . 
commanding the civil magiftrates to fupprefs the - 
riots, and proted the peaceable and well-difpofed 
inhabitants. His proclamation was vilified and 
contemned, and the fheriff infulted for attempt- ; 
ing to read it at one of the illegal meetings. Even 
the council refufed to advife any meafures for fe- r 
curing the tea upon its arrival, or £ac psioteding : 
the confignees. 

Vo^,. I. ' ■ H Whca< 

/ i 

t 'V 


f V 


ry J 





.'I, 'i 



When the two Ihips did arrive, a meeting was 
held by the inhabitants of Bofton, and thofe of 
the neighbouring towns, and a determination was 
made that the ihips ihould be fent back without 
difcharging their cargoes. Notice of this deter- 
mination was ordered to be given to the con- 
jignees of the tea and fuch other perfons in Bof- 
ton as were intereiled in the ihips ; and the 
meeting was adjourned for the purpofe of re- 
ceiving their anl'wer. In the mean time difficul- 
ties arofe about fending away the ihips : A clear- 
a,nce fK>m the cui\om-houfe could not be ob- 
tained for them, neither could they pafs Caille 
William at the mouth of the harbour, without 
the governor's permiifion, which he refufed to 
grant. Thefe difficulties being reported to the 
adjourned meeting, it was immediately diflblved', 
"with a general cry of, A mob ! A mob ! And in 
the evening a number of armed men, difguifed 
as Mohawk Indians, boarded the ihips and dif- 
charged their cargoes into the fea ; the whole va- 
lue of the tea deftroyed being eilimated at eigh- 
teen thoufand pounds, 'f 

The outrages committed by the inhabitants of 
BoiVon had been fo many, their oppoiition to go- 
vernment fo daring, and their infults fo frequently 
repeated, that the patience of the^ritiih admi- 
niftration was now exhaufted. The intelligence 
of the deilruftion of the tea arriving in England 
during the iitting of parliament, and being com- 
municated to both houfes by a meifage from the 
king, was immediately referred to a committee, 
with the papers which accompanied it : And 
tpon receiving their report it was -determined, 
that the town of Boilon, which had always been 
the foremof^ in refiiling the authority of parlia- 
ment, ftioqld now be made an example of parlia- 
mentary vengeance. Two things were apparently 
■ ' neceifary 



neceffary to be infifted on — fatisfadion to the 
£ait India company, for the lofs which they had 
fuftained by the deftniAion of the tea ; and re- 
paration to the honour of the Britifh natipn, 
wounded by the infult. To efifedluate thefe pur- 
pofes an ad was pafled for {hutting up the port 
of Bofton, and prohibiting the lading or unlading 
of all goods or merchandize, except (lores for^ 
his majefty's fervice, and provifions and fuel for 
the ufe of the inhabitants, at any place within its 
precinds, from and after the firft of June, until 
It fhould appear to his majeAy that peace and obe- 
dience to the laws were fo far reftored in the 
town of Bofton, that trade might again be fafely 
carried on, and his majefty's cuftoms be duly col- 
\e6ked ; in which cafe his majeily might by pro- 
clamation open the harbour, hut not even then 
until it fhould appear that fatisfadlion had been 
made to the Eaft India company for the deftruc- 
tion of their tea, and alfo to thofe who had fuf- 
fered by the riots at the time of its arrival atBof- 
ton *. This ad having been paiTed, a fleet of four 
Ihips of war was ordered to be got ready to fail 
for Bofton, and as a military force might aUb be 
neceffary to reduce its diforderly inhabitants to 
obedience, general Gage, commander in chief in 
America, was appointed governor of Maffachu- 
fets Bay in the room of governor Hutchinfon, 
who had delired leave to come to England : And 
to general Gage, to whom the execution of this 
Z&. was to be entrufted, full powers were alfo 
given, by commiffion under the great feal, to 
grant pardons for treafon and all other crimes, 
and to remit all fines and forfeitures to fuch of- 
fenders as fhould appear to be fit objeds of mercy. 

H 2 To 

* This bill was introduced into the houfe of commons on 
the foarteenth of March, and received the ro7al aflent on the 










To dcvife means for preventing the comitiifH^ 
on of future enormities was at leaft as neceifary 
as to inflidl puniihment for thofe which were pail. 
From the papers laid upon the tables of the two 
houfes of parliament, and from a review of the 
diforderly proceedings in the colonv of Maffa- 
chufets Bay for many years paft, the weaknefs 
of civil government in that province, and its 
total infufiiciency for fupprefiing tumults and 
preferving the peace, were very apparent ; and 
It was alfo obvious that -this infumciency and 
that weaknefs were in part owing to radical de- 
fedis in the frame of their government. To pro- 
vide a remedy for thefe, it was now propofed to 
aflimilate their conftitution more nearly to that of 
the royal governments in America, and to their 
prototype the government of Great Britain. 
For this purpofe an a£l was pafled to deprive the 
lower houfe of aflembly in MafTachufets Bay of 
the privilege of eleding the members of the 
council, and to veil that privilege in the crown ; 
to authorife the king or his fubflitute, the gover- 
nor, to appoint the judges, magiftrates, and fhe- 
riffs, and to impower the iheriffs to fummon and 
return juries ; and for the prevention of factious 
aiTemblies, to prohibit town meetings from being 
called by the feled men, unlefs with the confent 
of the governor. a^'^^^i ori:*t 

But as it was now determined to proceed 
with more vigour than on former occasions in 
exa6ling fubmiffion to the authority of the mo- 
ther-country, and as refiftance might flill be 
made, fo it was neceflary that thofe who were 
to be employed in enforcing obedience, fhould 
meet with due protedion, and be well aflured of 
a fair trial, in cafe they fhould be queftioned for 
any thing neceflarily done in the execution of 
-■■■ . .Jkk -it-i'. .^- ; ■ , , .---. their 

l^ H,; 


their duty. The cafe of captain Prefton was re- 
membered, with the clamour then raifed, and 
the unjuftifiable methods taken to prejudice the 
people, which might have proved fatal to him 
had not his trial been delayed. To obviate fuch 
an evil in future, a third adl of parliament was 
palTed for the impartial adminillration of juftice 
in MaiTachufets Bay, impowering the governor, 
with the advice of the council, where any per- 
fon ading in his duty as an officer of revenue, 
or as a magiftrate, for the fuppreifion of riots, or 
in fupport of the laws of revenue, or where any 
perfon a6ling under the diredlion of the magif- 
trate for any of thofe purpbfes, fhould be charg- 
ed with the crime of murder, or with any other 
capital offence committed whilil he was fo add- 
ing, to fend the perfon fo charged into any other 
colony, or to Great Britain, to be tried, if it 
ihould appear to the governor and council that 
an impartial trial could not be had within the 
province of MaiTachufets Bay. 

During the fitting of parliament letters were 
received from all the thirteen colonies, now the 
United States of America, by which it appeared 
that in all of them the landing of the tea had 
been refifted. In fome it had been fent back in 
the fame (hips which brought it ; in others, fmall 
parcels of it had been deftroyed ; and in others, 
where they had confented at leafl to the unload- 
ing of the ihips, it was only upon condition that 
the tea fhould be flofed under lock and key, and 
an engagement that it fhould not be offered for 
fale. Thus it appeared that the inhabitants of 
all the colonies were involved, although in a lels 
outrageous degree than thofe of the province of 
MafTachufets Bay, in the guilt of having oppof- 
ed the authority of the mother-country. 







J m 

'— — <--a%< 






.J 3 

In this ftate of thefe provinces on the fea«coafti 
it was thought neceflary to give faiisfaflion to the 
inhabitants of the interior province of Canada, 
by pafling an a£l for the fettlement of their go- 
vernment. The objedls of this aft were, to fe- 
cure to the inhabitants of that province the free 
exercife of their religion ; and to the Roman Ca- 
tholic clergy their rights, agreeably to the arti- 
cles of capitulation at the time of the furrender 
of the province ; to reftore their ancient laws 
in civil cafes without a trial by jury, as being 
more acceptable to the French Canadians than 
the Englilh laws with the trial by jury ; and to 
eftablifli a council, holding their commiflions 
from and at the pleafure of the king, who were 
to exercife all the powers of legiflation, that of 
impofing taxes only excepted. Such a council, 
compofed principally of the Canadian noblelTe, 
it wak fuppofed would be more agreeable to the 
bulk of the people than a houfe of reprefen- 
tatives. And the laft objcft of the aft was to 
extend the limits of the province, which, reach- 
ing far to the fouthward behind the other colo- 
nies, might be made to ferve as a check upon 
them if neceflary. 

The firft of thefe afts, the Bofton port bill, 
pafled through the two houfes of parliament 
without much difficulty, as the conduft of the 
people of Bofton, in deftroying the tea, was 
generally difapproved of in England, and the 
caufe of their lofing many friends. The bill was 
introduced into the houfe of commons on the four- 
teenth of March, and received the royal allent 
on the thirty-firft of the fame month. But the 
other three afts, although finally pafTed by a 
' great majority, were not carried through their 
mtermediate ftages without much oppofition*. 


f They rcctived the king's aflent on the twentieth of May. 


In every thing that fefpef^ed America, the mem- 
bers of oppolition, and particularly the Rock- 
ingham party, hung upon the minifter, and if 
they did not prevent, certainly impeded his mea- 
fures and leuened their effefl ; and, ,bv their ill- 
timed prophetic forebodings, fpirited up the 
Americans to z&. what they foretold. 

Whilft the Britifh parliament were thus paif- 
ing a£ls for maintaining the authority of the 
mother-country over the colonies, and for pu- 
nilhing pad and preventing future tranfgrefllons 
againft it in the province of Maflachufets Bay ; 
the aflembly of that province, when they met 
in the beginning of the year, far from taking 
any fteps for averting punifhment, on the con- 
trary, employed themfelves in purfuing fuch 
meafures as had a tendency to provoke ilill more 
the Britifh miniibry and parliament. The clat- 
mour raifed in Maflachufets Bay in the year 1772, 
in confequence of the regulation for afiigning 
falaries to the judges by grants from the crown, 
has been already noticed ; and this year it was 
revived by the aflembly, who fent a meflage to 
the judges, requiring them to declare whether 
they meant to receive their falaries from the af- 
fembly as ufual, or from the crown, by virtue 
of the new grants. All the judges, except the 
chief-juftice, confented to receive their falaries 
as ufual from the aflembly. He alone declared 
his refolution to receive his falary from the crolvn, 
and him the aflembly refolveo to impeach for 
thisfuppofedunconftitutional proceeding. Charg- 
es drawn up in the form of an impeachment were 
accordingly voted, and carried to the governor 
and council, whom the aflembly judged to be 
as competent to the trial of an impeachment in 
Maflachufets Bay, as the houfe of lords is in 
Great Britain. The impeachment was however 
fent back with a meffage from the governor, im- 




■•, #»■■ 

\ • 







porting, that the governor and council had no 
authority to try impeachments. The aflembly 
now changed the mode of their accufation, con- 
verting the charges contained in the inipeadt- 
ment into a petition of complaint to be prcfent- 
cd to the governor, which concluded with a pray- 
er for the removal of the chief-juflicc. The 
governor refufed to comply with the prayer of 
the petition ; and finding the aflembly deter- 
mined to profecute their complaint againfl the 
chief-juftice in fonie form or other, he at laft 
diflblved thc-m about the end of March. 

But the attention of the people of that pro- 
vince was foon to be engrolied by a fubjedl of 
higher importance, than a difpute with their go- 
vernor or chief-juftice ; and the inhabitants of 
BoHon were at laft to feel the weight of the dif- 
pleafure of that power which they had fo long 
provoked with impunity. In the month of May 
intelligence arrived, that the a6l for fhutting up 
the port of Bofton had been paflfed by the Bri- 
tifh parliament ; and this intelligence, together 
with a copy of the acl, was immediately publifh- 
ed upon a paper with a black border, lymbolical 
of mourning, and hawked about the Areets, as 
a barbarous, cruel, bloody, and inhuman mur- 
der. The former and riotous proceedings of 
the town of Bodon had been fo often overlooked, 
that fuch an adl of feverity as the Boflon port 
bill, was totally unexpected ; and upon the firft 
publication of the intelligence, nothing was to 
be heard but frantic expreflions of rage and re- 
fentment againft the tyranny and i . -n unfy of 
the Britifh miniftr}< and parliamert ; a or! \'<»n- 
geance was loudly called for an I ','..*iat^aed. 
But unfortunately for the inhabitants of Bofton, 
the operation of this a6l of parliament, as a pu- 
^ilhmeut, unlike, in this rcfpedt, thofe which 
■""■■■ ■ :.. : •■^^■- V. ■ •■ ''had 





had preceded it, could not in their prtfcnt cir- introduc- 
cumftances be either refiftcd or el .ded. It \«4S *"*"* 
doubtful whether the other fra-porL to^'ns in 
the province might not take au . antage ui ihc 
prefent moment, to raife their own commerce 
upon the ruins of that of Boilon ; and it was 
aifo uncertain whether the other colonies would 
cordially intereft themfelves in their behalf. 
Such crajfitt -rations had undoubtedly an influ- 
ence, If ! '0 ^s they began coolly to refleft up- 
Oi he I hiution; and to the firft effervcrcencc 
of le!' I 'ment, a ftate of mind feems to have 
fucceed^d, bordering upon defpondence. A town 
meeting was held, at which a vote was pafTed, 
addrered to the inhabitants of the other colo- 
nies; importing, that if they would come into 
a joint refolution to pive up all intercourfe with 
the mother-country m the way of trade, until 
the Bofton port bill fhould be repealed, it would 
prove the falvation of America and her liberties; 
but if they did not, there was too much reafon 
to fear that fraud, power, and the mod odious 
oppreflion, would rife triumphant over right, 
jufiice, focial happinefs, and freedom. Copies 
of this vote were ordered to be fent to all the 
other colonies, and the meeting was diflblved, 
every one being bufied in arranging his affairs 
for the firft of June, the day on which the port 
of Bofton was to be deprived of its commerce. 

In this ftate of doubt and anxiety the people 
of Bofton did not long remain without receiv- 
ing feme confolatioi!. The inhabitants of the 
neighbouring towns, inftead of attempting, to 
protit by their Jiftrefs, offered them the ul'e of 
their wharfs and warehoufes for the purpofe of 
carrying on their trade : and from the other co- 
lonies they foon received the moft flattering tef- 
timonies of condolence and conunifcraiion. 


i (a 








■■ I 




In rill the colonies the landing of tea had been 
refifted, and therefore they all ftiared in the cri- 
minality for which the town of Bofton was about to 
fuffer ; and oniuch an occafion to have deferted 
their brethren » diftrcfs would have been unman- 
ly and ungenerous. The aflembly of Virginia, 
which was fitting at this time, fet the example of 
making the fufferings of the inhabitants of Bofton 
%, common caufe of complaint in all the colonies. 
In that aflembly a refolution was paffed for ap. 
pointing the firft of June, the day on which the 
Bofton port bill was to take effedt, to be fet apart 
as a day of fafting, prayer, and humiliation, " to 
*• implore the divine interpofition, to avert the 
" heavy calamity which threatened deftrudion 
" to their civil rights with the evils of a civil 
war ; and to give one heart and one mind to the 
people firmly to oppofe every injury to the 
American rights." This refolution, the gene- 
ral tendency of which to excite oppofition to the 
mother-country, was fufficiently obvious, and 
which at the fame time encroached on the royal 
prerogative by enjoining a faft, occafioned the dif- 
folution of the aflembly : But, before the mem- 
bers feparated, a private meeting was held, at 
which a declaration was drawn up and fubfcribed 
by a majority of the aflembly, fetting forth that 
the puniftiment about to be inflided on the inha- 
bitants of Bofton, in order to compel them to 
fubmit to the payment of unconftituiional taxes, 
was in truth an attack upon all the colonies, and 
would ultimately prove deftrudive to the rights 
and liberties of all, unlefs the united wifdom of 
the whole v/ar. a])plied to prevent it. They there- 
fore recommended to the commiiiee of correfpon- 
dence to propole lo the committees of the other 
colonies, that an annual congrefs Ihould be held 
for .-ill the colonies, to deliberate on fuch general 
mealures as the united intcrcfts of America might 







from time to time require. And they concluded introduo- 
with an intimation that a regard for their fellow- """ 
fubjedts, the merchants and manufadlurers of 
Great Britain, prevented them from going fur- 
ther at that time. 

The example fet by the affembly of Virginia 
was followed in the other colonies. Provincial, 
county, or town meetings were every where held^ 
at which refolutions of a limilar tendency were 
pafTed : And the firft day of June was very gene- 
rally obferved in America as a day of fafting, hu- 
miliation, and prayer. 

General Gage arrived at Boflon not many days 13th May 
after the intelligence was received of the aft for 
Ihutting up its harbour, and whilft the inhabi- 
tants, affembled at a town meeting, were yet de- 
liberating on the melancholy profpedl before them. 
Notwithilanding this inaufpicious entry into his 
governmcut, he was received with the ufual ho- 
nours. He had been many years commander in 
chief in America, was perfonally known at Bof- 
ton, and univerfally refpefted for his amiable 
chara£ler and manners. But the animofity which 
had been kindled in the province of Maffacbu- 
fcts Bay againft the Britilh government had rifen 
to too great a height to be checked by any per* 
fonal conliderations for a governor, however 
amiable or refpedable. The affembly met ac- 
cording to cuflom, foon after his arrival ; and ia 
the fpeech delivered at the opening of the feiBon, 
he gave them nbtice that they were to remove to 
Salem on the firft of June, which from that time 
was to be confidered as the feat of government. 
This information was far from being pleafmg to 
the affembly, and ihey prefented a petition to the 
governor, intreating him to appoint a day of ge- 
neral fafting and prayer. The governor declined 
complying with the petition, and foon afterwards 






• ( 

'"lim"*^' *djouraed the feflion to the fevcnth of June, theu 
to meet at Salem. 

In the interval of this adjournment, letters 
were received from moft of the other colonies ; 
and it was perceived that the caufe of the inha- 
bitants of Bofton was every- where warmly ef- 
poufed. The leading men in MaiTachufets Bay, 
cheered by this intelligence, laid afide their de- 
fpondency, and f efolved to aft with more vigour 
than ever in refifting the claims of the mother- 
country. When the aflembly met at Salem, a 
refolution was pafTed declaring the expediency 
of a general congrefs to be held for all the colo- 
nies, and fetting forth at large their reafons for 
recommending fuch a meafure. Five of their 
own members were appointed to reprefent them, 
all of them zealoufly attached to the American 
caufe, and violently hoftile to the pretenfions of 
the Britifh parliament ; and a fum of money was 
voted to defray their expences. They were fen- 
iible that after this proceeding their diflblution 
would foon follow, and they haftened to prepare 
another refolution, declarative of their fentiments 
on the prefent ftate of affairs, and recommend- 
ing to their conftituents fuch meafures as they j 
wifhed them to purfue. In this refolution they | 
lamented their prefent fituation, which obliged 
them to ftruggie againft the heavy hand of pow- 
er; they complained that their petitions to the 
king and parliament had been difregarded ; they, 
fet forth that it was apparently the defign of the 
Britifh government to deftroy the free conftitu- 
tions ot the American colonies, and to ere6l in 
their ftead the fyflems of tyranny and arbitrary 
fway, iucompaiible with liberty, and totally fub- 
verfive of their conftitutional rights : They called 
upon the people of the province to obftrud as 
far as was in their power the execution of fuch 


■ i*i 






evildefigQs; and for this purpofe recommended introduc 
to them to give up as much as poflible every kind 
of intercourfe with the mother-country, until 
their grievances ihould be completely redrefled. 
This declaratory refolution had fcarcely been 
pafled, when the governor, receiving informa- 17th June 
tion of their proceedings, put an end to the fef- 
fion by diflblving the affembly ; which was the 
laft that was held under the charter of Maffachu- 

. An attempt was now made by fome inhabi- 
tants of Bofton who weref riendly to government, 
to procure refolutions to be pafTed at one of their 
town meetings for paying to the Eaft India com- 
pany the value of their tea, and for diflblving 
the committee of correfpondence -, but in this 
attempt they were defeated by a very great ma- 

Rough draughts of the two bills already men- 
tioned for altering the conAitution, and for the 
impartial adminiftration of juftice in Maflachu- 
fets Bay, having arrived foon afterwards, the 
clamours of the leading men in all the colonies 
became louder and more vehement than ever: 
The calm ftill voice of the friends of govern- 
ment who remained in any of them was no long- 
er to be heard amidft the noife and uproar of 
tumultuous fervour : And the caufe of the in- 
habitants of Boflon grew more popular, contri- 
butions being raifed for their relief in feveral of 
the colonies. 

If thofe who direded the councils of the peo- 
ple in MaflTachufets Bay were before refolved on,, 
refiftance and oppolition, they now determined 
jto carry that refolution to the utmoft extremity. 
As a previous ftep, the recommendation of the 
aflembly was immediately aded upon, and an 
affociation was fet on foot, whereby the fubfcri- 


■ n \ 

1 (> 

', i 

-«![|. '^•sn'^'- / 

'1 •! 




lairodoo^ |,ert bound themfelv^s, under the mod folemn 
oUigation, to break off all commercial intercourfe 
with Great Britain from the lafl day of the month 
of Augufl, until the Bofton port bill and the 
other obnoxious ads of parliament fhould be 
repealed, and the colony reftored to the exercife 
ef its chartered rights ; and to renounce all deal, 
ings with thofe who Hiould refufe to enter into 
[ this agreement, or who, engaging, fhould after- 
wards break through it; and the whole was fanc- 
tioned by an agreement that the names of delin- 
quents fhould be publiihed in the newfpapers as 
enemies to their country, a penalty, in the pre- 
sent lawkfs and perturbed (late of the province;, 
of the moft dangerous tendency. In order to 
' recommend the aflbciation more powerfully tp 
the attention of the populace, it was handed to 
them under the antiquated but impreffive title 
of a folemn league and covenant, a term of the 
lail century affixed to an engagement entered into 
by the Puritans, which was flill held in great ve- 
neration by their defcendants in MafTachufets 
Bay. To counterad this affociation, a procla- 

a9thJunemation was iflTued by the governor, in which it 
was flyled an illegal and traiterous combination, 
contrary to the allegiance due to the king and 
, fubverlive of the authority of parliament ; and 
the people were cautioned againft giving any 
' countenance to it, under the penalties annexed 
to fuch heinous offences. But the proclamation 
was difregarded, and the folemn league and co- 
venant was generally fubfcribed throughout New 
' England. 

General Gage, foon after he took pofTeflion of 
his government, forefeeing the florm which was 
gathering, ordered fome regiments of foot, with 
a detachment of artillery, to be fent to Boflon i 
And thefe, upon their arrival, were encamped 







Upon the common lying between the town and introduc- 
the narrow neck of land called Boflon Neck, *'"" 
which joins it with the continent. "When troops 
were formerly ftationed at Bofton, defertion was 
much encouraged by the inhabitants ; and the 
fame pradlice being again revived, a guard was 
placed upon Bofton Neck to prevent it. This 
was magnified into an attempt to cut off the com* 
munication bet^veen the town and the country, ,, 

and to compel the inhabitants of the former, by 
famine, to fubmit to fuch terms as might be im- 
pofed upon them ; and a falfe report to this ef- 
fed being fpread about in the country, the inha- 
bitants of the county of Worcefter affembled in 
great numbers, and fent meflengers to inquire Julj* 
into the truth of the report. Thefe were charged 
to give an affurance to the people of Bofton that 
feveral thoufand armed men were ready to come 
to their affiftance, P ould it be neceflary ; but 
at the fame time to acquaint them, that if they 
fliould lofe their fortitude, fo far as to furrender 
their liberties, the people of the country would 
not hold themfelves bound by their fubmiflion. 

About this time an authentic copy of the aft Auguft. 
of parliament for altering the conftitution, and 
regulating the government of Maflachufets Bay, 
arrived at Bofton, together with commiflions from 
the. king to thofe who were to conftitute the new 
council, in the room of that eleded by the af- 
fembly. This council was intended to confift of 
thirty-fix members, but twenty-four only accept- 
ed their commiffions ; and thefe having qualified, 
writs were ilFued by the governor^ with their ad- 
vice, for the meeting of a new afifembly in the 
beginning of 06lober. But the rage of the po-- 
pulace now again buril forth, and was direded 
againft thofe who had accepted feats in the new 
council ; and the greateft number of them, to 




1 i 



■ <'■! 

-^•M- * 



i I 




I '• 





fave their perfons from being torn to pieces by 
the mob, and their property from being deflroy- 
ed, w^rc obliged to refign their appointments ; 
a few only who refided iu Boflon, and were pro- 
tected by the troops, retained their fituation«. 
"When the fuperior court fat for the admiuiflra- 
tion of juftice, the juries refufed to be fwom, 
and the inferior officers of the court, frightened 
by the threats which were denounced againft 
them, declined adding under the new regulati- 
oos ; and fo many oburudlions were met with in 
every department, that from this time civil go- 
vernment in Maffachufets Bay was entirely dif- 
fbhred^ Bofton was the only place of fecurity in 
the province ; and that in confequence of the 
ipilitary force encamped in its neighbourhood. 
By means of this force alone was protedlion af-' 
forded to fuch as diflered in fentiment from the 
popular party. Whofoever rendered himfelf 
obnoxious, by difcovering his attachment to the 
mother-couTitry, and a wifti to fubmit to her 
laws, was infulted by the populace ; and many 
were hunted from their dwellings in the country,, 
and obliged to take refuge in Boflon. Arms 
were provided for thofe who were without them:. 
Ammunition and warlike ftores began to be col- 
le6led : And the young men were employed in 
training themfelves to military difcipline. 

Unde/- fuch an appearance of hoftile intention, 
and fuch preparations going forward, general 
Gage cou)d no longer refrain from providing for 
the fecurity of the troops which he commanded, 
by fortifying Bofton Neck ; and *vith the like 
intent, he removed to Bofton the powder and 
other military ftores depofited in the magazines 
at Charleflown, Cambridge, and the Medford 
powder-houfe, left the people fhould have been 
ftirred up to if ize on them. Thefe proceedings 



r -> ■ 



<•■ *t^ 

AM £ R t C A N WAR. 



of the governor, which, in his fituation, were intwxiuc. 
apparently neceflary, gave fo much offence, and ***"" 
created fo great an alarm, that the people, whofe 
minds had oeen wojrked up to a degree of phr^n- 
zy by the machinations of the violent party 
amongft them» aflembled again from all quarters, 
and were with difficulty reftrained from march- 
ing to Bofton and attacking the troops. About 
the fame time a falfe report was fpread in Con- 
ne£licut, that an attack was begun upon the in- 
habitants of Bofton by the ihips in the harbour 
and the troops from the common, when feveral 
thoufands of the militia of that province affem- 
bled in arms, and marched a coniiderable dif- 
tance to the fuppofed relief of their brethren at 
Bolton, before they were undeceived, and'difcd- 
vered that the report was falfe. Thefe rumours 
were probably circulated by the contrivance of 
the leading men, to try the temper of the peo- 
ple. But their affairs were not yer. ripe for open 
hoftilities ; and in this ftate of tumult and com- 
motion it was thought fit to appoint a meeting of 
delegates from all the towns in the county of 
Suffolk, of which Bofton is the capital, to advife 
fuch a plan of conduft to be obferved by the 
people as the prefent pofture of affairs might re- 

This meeting was accordingly held, and the 
comple£lion of its deliberations was fuch as no 
longer left it doubtful to what lengths the leading 
men of this province were determined to go, pro- 
vided they met with fupport from the other colo- 
nies, and that the difpute between the mother-coun- 
try and the colonies was faft approaching to that 
crifis, when an appeal muft be made to the fword. 
In the refolutions. paffed on this occafion, they 
refufed all fubmiffion to the late ads of parlia- 
ment, and engaged to indemnify fuch as Ihould 
Vol. I, I be 


jr- ■' 



— •;s5«9-' 




r ' 





Sept. 9. 



be profccuted for difobcdiencc to them. They 
accufed thofe who had accepted feats in the neVir 
council, of violating the duty which they owed 
to their country, and threatened them witn being 

. treated as public enemies, unlefs they refigned 
their appointment. They recommended the 
holding of a provincial congrefs. They exhorted 
the people to perfedl themfelves in the ufe of arms, 
and for that purpofe to aflemble once every week. 
They warned them to be upon their guard againft 

, the defigns of their enemies, who had determined 
to feize upon fome of thofe amongft them, who 
had deferved well of their country by a ftrenuous 
oppofition to the arbitrary meafures of the Britifh 
miniflry ; and if fuch an attempt fhould be made, 
they were exhorted to oppofe it ; and Ihould their 

, oppofition be ineffectual, they were diredled td 
retaliate, by feizing upon every Britifh officer 
they could find : And laftly, they recommended 
to the receivers of the public revenue to keep it 
in their own hands until the conftitution of the 
province was reftored, or until it fhould be other- 
wife difpofed of by a provincial convention. 
They alfo prefented a r^monftrance to the gover- 
nor, complaining of the fortifications carrying on 
at Boflon Neck, and of the feizure of the public 
magazines ; and they tell him, that although they 
have no inclination to commence hoflilities againfl 
his majefty*s troops, they are yet determined 
never to fubmit to the late adls of parliament. 

This was the mofl open affumption of pow^r 
on the part of the people, and the mofl direct 
and daring interference with the executive au- 
thoritj^, that had yet taken place in any of the 
colonies. ; 

But the attention of all America was now di- 
re£led to the general congrefs, which had met at 
Philadelphia on the fifth of this months During 


— ^ -♦-'.. -.56.^' 

/, '--^c^s-f.. ->"■ 

- ""-'■-■ -??■'•■ \lt^ 

of-- ■ 

• A M E R I CAN W A R; 


the courfe of the fummer, preparatory meafures ^"^"** 
had been taken in all the colonies, Georgia ex- w-j-^ 
cepted, for holding this grand aflembly of colo- 1774. 
nial reprefentation ; and Philadelphia, from its 
centrical fuuaiion, was fixed upon for the place 
of meeting. In thofe colonies in which their, af- 
femblies met, delegates to the congrefs were ap- 
pointed by them, and refolutions were pafled for 
their government and diredion ; and in the others 
the people ele£led reprefentatives, as if it had 
been for an aflembly ; and thefe reprefentatives 
meeting together, chofe delegates to congrefs, and 
gave them inftruftions. 

In thofe inftruilions there was a confiderable 
variety, according to the different tempers of the 
leading men in the delegated aflemblies. From 
forae of the colonies the inftrudlions were mode- 
rate, and from others more violent ; but they all . 
agreed in condemning the Boilon port bill, and 
the other adis of the laft feflion of parliament re- 
lating to Maflachufets Bay, and in denying the 
right of the Britilh parliament to tax the colonies. 
But the mod material of all their inilrudtions, 
and what in a great n]t^ure fuperfeded the ufe of 
all others, was a pdit'er given to their delegates 
to agree to whatever meafures ftiould meet with 
the concurrence of a majority of the congrefs. 

This congrefs confifted of fifty-one delegates, 
reprefcnting twelve of the colonies lying along^tjhe 
fhore of the Atlantic, from New. Hampfhire to 
South Carolina ihclufive ; the greateft number of 
delegates from any one colony being feven, and 
the fraalleft two. But this difparity in the number 
of delegates did not affed the votes,. a$ it was 
agreed that each colony fhould have but one vote, 
whatever was the number of its delegates. The 
congrefs fat with their doors locked ; no one was 
permitted to be prefent at their deliberations, and 

I 2 all 







f I 






w / 

»n»*iw<:- all their proceedings, except thofe which they 
thought fit to publifii, were kept profoundly fc- 
cret4 AfTembled in the caufe of ireedom, they ne- 
verthelefs thought fit to obferve a form pra^ifed 
only in the mod defpotic governments. Their 
|)roceeding8 being wrapped up in myflery, and all 
the intermediate fteps, leading to a conclufion, be* 
ing hid from the public eye, their decrees, when 
promulgated* were received like the oracles of an- 
cient times, as the dictates of profound wifdom. 

The only proceedings which they publilhed, 
were» a declaration on tne ftate of anairs in Maf* 
fachufets Ba^ ; a letter to general Gage, a decla- 
ration of rights and grievances) accompr.nied 
with an aflociation ; a petition to the king ; an 
addrefs to the people of Great Britain ; another, 
to the inhabitants of the colonies ; and a third to 
the people of Canada ; all of them mailerly com- 
pofitions, and well adapted for the purpofes fot 
which they were intended. 

In their declaratory refolutions on the flate of 
affairs in MaiTachufets Bay, vMch was the firil 
of their public a61s, and bore date the feventeenth 
of September, they approved of the plan of con- 
du£l which had been hitherto purfued by the peo- 
ple of that province, and of the refolutions |>aired, 
and meafures propofed, by the delegates of the 
towns in the county of Suffolk, and advifed a 
perfeverance in the fame line of condu£^ ; and 
for the relief of the inhabitants of Bofton, whofe 
diftrefles were every day increafing, they recom- 
mended that cpntributions ihould be raifed for 
them ia all the other colonies, to continue fo long 
as their occafions might require ; and if at laft it 
ihould be found neceffary to remove the Boftoni- 
ans into the country, that their loiTes in that cafe 
Hiould be compenfated at the charg^e of all the co- 

•" With 



-V ,-,. , 




With this firft public ad of the congrefs, which imtoAmc 
was conlidered as deciflve of the opinions that 
they held, and the meafures they meant to purfue, 
the friends of government (for fuch a party, and 
a very confiderable one, there was in all the colo- 
nies), and even fome of the more moderate of the* 
patriotic party, were much chagrined and difap* 
pointed. They had hoped that the congrefs would 
have adopted only pacific means for obtaining a 
redrefs of grievances ; but in the unqualified ap- 
probation given to the very irregular condudl 
of the people of MaiTachufets Bav, and particu- 
larly to the refolutions of the delegates of the 
county of Suffolk, they thought that they faw an 
evident determination in the congrefs to oppofd 
the authoritv of the mother-country by fbrce and 
arms. And their apprehenfions were rather in- 
creafed than allayea b^ the letter from the con- 
grefs to general Gage, in which they declared it 
to be the fixed and unalterable refolution of alt 
the colonies to unite for the prefervation of their 
common rights, in oppofition to the late a£ls of 

Sarliament, and in fupport of their brethren of 
laiTachufets Bay. 

The declaration of rights contained a fummary 
of all the rights appertaining to Britifh fubjeds, 
to the free exercife of which they maintained that 
they were entitled by the immutable laws of na- 
ture, by the Britifh conflitution, and by their fc- 
veral charters. All former diilin6tions between 
legiflation and taxation, between external and in- 
ternal taxes, were now laid alide. They claimed, 
in I -half of the colonies, the fole and exclufive 
power of legiflating for themfelves in all cafes 
whatfoever : But from the mere neceflity of the 
cafe, were willing to fubmif to fuch a6ls of par- 
liament as were bomfde intended to regulate their 
foreign con^merce, excluding however every idea 










of taxation, internal or external, for raifing a re- 
venue from the people of the colonies without 
their confent. Their grievances, they laid, were 
occafionedby eleven adts of parliament palTedin 
the prefcnt reign, moft of which have been al- 
ready mentioned in the courfe of this hiftory ; and 
iu the enumerated lift they included the three adls 
of the laft ieflion of parliament, relating to the co- 
lony of MafTachufets Bay, and the a£l for extend- 
ing the limits of Canada. The repeal of allihcfe 
a6ls, they infifted, was neceflfary to give them fa- 
tisfa£lion ; and as the mofl effedual meafure which 
they could devife for obliging the mother-coun- 
try to do them juftice in tnefe refpcdls, they re- 
commended an aflbciation to be entered into by 
the inhabitants of the colonies for difcontinuing 
all importations from Great Britain, Ireland, and 
the Britifh iflands in the Weft Indies, after the 
iirft of December following, and all exportation 
from the colonies to thole countries, after the 
tenth of September 1775, and forgiving up the 
ufe of tea entirely, from the firft of March in 
that year, until the afts of parliament which con- 
ftituted their grievances fliould be repealed. A 
formal inftrument of writing to this effedl, and 
containing various other regulations for enforcing 
the execution of it, having been prepared, was 
immediately fubfcribed by all the members of 
congrcfs ; and printed copies of it were forthwith 
diftributed through all the colonies for the fub- 
fcription of the inhabitants. 

In their petition to the king, they fet forth all 
the grievances recited in the aflbciation, and to 

thefe added many more of lefs importance ; but 
at the fame time gave an aflurance that if they 

were relieved from thS firft, the harmony between 

Great Britain and the colonies, with the ufual 
ia'-crcourfcs, would be immediately reftored, and 

' '. ■ .,. ■ • in 

u, .{\ 

• }] 




in that cafe thev would truft in the magnanimity introdue. 
and juftice of his majedy and the parhament to "°"' 
grant redrefs in the red. 

The objed of their addrefs to the people of 
Great Britain was tu render the American caufe 
in that country more popular than of late it had 
been ; and to apologize for the fufpenfion of com- 
merce, a meafure which, they infided, neceffity 
alone, and a regard to felf<-prefervation> obliged 
them to adopt. 

Their adarefs to the inhabitants of the colonies 
was deiigned to explain to them in what manner 
they were all interefted in the fate of the people 
of Bofton, and to urge them to a compliance with 
thofe meafures which the congrcfs had recom- 
mended, until a general redrefs of grievances 
Ihould be obtained. 

But the ableft of their compofitions, although 
the moft malignant in its intention, was their ad- 
drefs to the people of Canada ; the objefl of 
which was to render the inhabitants pf that pro- 
vince difcontented and uneafy under their new 
form of government, to fow the feeds of difcord 
between them a|id the mother-country, and to 
induce them to joii^ wi^h the other colonies in the 
general confederacy, 

Such were the public proceedings of this con- 
grefs, which, after fitting fifty-two days, difTolved 
itfelf on the twenty-fixth of Odob^r, having firft 
recommended that another ihould be held in the 
month of May ; And its decrees, although pub- 
lifhed only in the ityle of recommendations, 
commanded greater refped^, and were more im- 
plicitly obeyed in all the colonies, than the laws 
of their own governments. 
4' But we muft how return to the province of 
Maflachufets Bay, in whofe fate, in confequence 
of the*deterniiuaiion of congrefs, all the colonies 






intr^oc felt tlienifelves deeply interefted, and upon th« 
"" trania£iions in which depended more immediately 
the doubtful iflue of peace or war. As the win- 
ter feafon apprpached, general Gage thought it 
neceffary that barracks fhould be ereded, as well 
for the greater eafe of the inhabitants of Bofton, 
as for the belter accomipodation of the troops : 
But in this neceffary arrangement he met with 
many obftrudlions, not only from the general dif- 
inclination of the inhabitants to afibrd any aiBft- 
ance to government, but alfo from the particular 
interpofition of the feleft men, by whofe infiu* 
ence and perfuafion the artificers who had been 
employed were induced to dcfift from carrying 
on the work. Nor were the barracks fini£hed till 
other artificers were procured from New Hamp- 
ihire and New York, the two colonies which had 1 
hitherto conduced themfclves with the grcateft 
moderation. Throughout the whole province of 
Maffachufets Bay every poifible impediment waa 
thrown in the way of government, and every 
method taken to prevent the troops from being 
fupplied with fuch things as were neceffary for 
their accommodation : The people had even pro^ 
teeded fo far as to burn a quantity of flraw, and 
jink a number of boats loaded with bricks com- 
ing to Bofton for their ufe. But notwithftanding 
thefe provocations no offenfive meafures were un- 
dertaken, the general having determined to ad 
with the utmou caution and circumfpedion ; fo 
that, if the fword mull at lafl be unfheathed, it 
might appear to be owing to no fault in him. 
That this muft foon happen there was now indeed 
the greateft probability, as the violence of the 
people was daily increafing and breaking out into 
the moil criminal eixcefles againfl fuch as were 
fuppofed to be unfriendly to the American caufe. 
In confequence of this violence, the coraraifli- 





ouers of the cuftoms and all the officers of go- intrwjMc-. 
vcrnment had been obliged to quit Salem, and ,^i^^ 
fly to Bofton for proteaion ; which, inftead of j'LT/ 
being, as formerly, the feat of tumult and difor- 
der, was now the only place of fafety within the "" 
province of MafTachofets Bay. 

It may be remembered that foon after the new 
council had qualified under the ad for regulating 
the government of MaiTachufets Bay, writs were 
iffued by the governor for the election of a new af- 
fembly to fit in the beginning of 0<5lober ; but the 
violence of the patriotic party in the province had 
increafed to fuch a degree, and fo many of the new 
council, either from threats or from violence adly- 
ally committed, had been obliged to re%n their 
appointments, that a fufficient number did not re- 
main to meet the aflembly as a feparate hoi^fe. Un- 
der fuch circumllances the governor thought lit by 
proclamation to countermand the execution of the 
writs of ele&ion . But this proclamation was held 
by the leading men of the province to be illegal, 
and the eledions were made in purfuance of the 
writs. The reprefentatives who were chofen met 
at Salem at the time appointed for the return of 
the writs, and having waited a day for the go- , 
vernor without his appearing, they voted them* 
felvcs into a provincial congrefs, and chofe Mr. . >. 
Hancock for their preiident. This was the fame 
perfon, the feizure of whofe iloop for contraband 
pradices had occailoned an infurredion at BoiloQ 
in the year 1768, and the confequences of which 
infurreiStion are fuppofed by many to have pre- 
cipitated the difpute between the mother-country 
and her colonies towards its prefcnt alarming cri- 
fis. So dangerous is it to provoke a popular cha-, , 
rader in a republican government ! 

This felf-conftituted congrefs having chofen ' 
their prefident, adjourned themfelves to Concord, 

■ 4'r->''-^ ■ • " -" --^ - •"■■ a town 



\ >x 






jntroduc a town about twenty miles from Boflon. One of 
their earlieil nj'oceedings was a remonftrance which 
they prefenred to the governor on the fubjeA of 
the fortifications at Bofton Neck, and on the 
alarm occafioned in the province by the military 
force coUefting at Bofton, which they alleged was 
now daily increafing by the arrival of troops from 
all parts of the continent in fuch numbers as tended 
to endanger the lives, liberties, and property, not 
only of the people of Bofton but of the province 
in general. To this remonftrance the governor, 
however avexfti to holding any correfpondence 
with an illegjil aJGTembly, thought it neceffary, in 
the prefent ftkt^ of the province, to give an an- 
fwer : And in his anfwer he indignantly told the 
provincial congrefs that the lives, liberties, an(j 
property of none but avowed enemies could ble 
in danger from Britifti foldiers, who, notwith- 
ftanding the enmity which had been ftiewn to 
them in withholding from them every thing ne- 
ceflary fojr their prefervation, had not difcovered 
' that refentment which might have been expedled 
from fuch hoftile treatment. He put them in 
mind that, whilft they were complaining of al- 
terations made in their charter, they were theni- 
felves fubverting it by their prefent illegal meet- 
ings ; and he admoniftied them to defift from fuch 
unconftitutional proceedings. 

But notwithftanding thefe admonitions from 
the governor, the provincial congrefs continued 
to fit, and the fituation of the town of Bofton, 
pofleffed as it was by the king's troops, engaged 
much of their attention. The neck of land which 
joins it with the continent being now fortified, 
the people of the town might be kept as hoftages 
for the behaviour of the inhabitants of the coun- 
try ; and whilft the inhabitants remained in the 
town, whom, diftreffed as thev were, it would 



,"* (J 



ffary, in 
le an an- 
r told the 
ties, anil 
could bfe 

ftiewn to 
thing ne- 
I expelled 

them in 
ing of al- 
/ere them- 

;gal meet- 

from fuch 



have been cruel to prevent from obtaining fuch imroduc- 
things from the country as they flood in need of, 
it was not pofllble entirely to withhold fupplies 
from the troops, an objeft which the provincial 
congrefs had much at heart. Boflon too was ca- 
pable of being made flill flronger ; and a garrifon 
placed in it, if things were brought to extremity, 
would prove a great annoyance to the reft of the 
province. Thefe confiderations gave them great 
uneafinefs ; but it was difficult to devife a proper 
remedy for the evils which they apprehended. 
Frequent exprefles pafled between them and the 
general congrefs which was then fittingj and va- 
rious plans and fchemes were propofed ; but all 
of them were liable to fuch infurmountable objec- 
tions, that, after much time fpent upon this fub- 
je£l, nothing was finally determined upon. In 
other matters they neither felt any fcruples, nor 
met with any difficulties : They pafTed refoluti- 
ons, under tne ftyle of recommendations, for rcgii- 
lating and exercifing the militia, for colledling and 
difpoiing of the public revenue, and for providing 
arms and military llores. 

Thefe were luch daring affumptions of the 
powers of government, under the maflc of ad- 
vice, that the governor thought it neceffary to 
iffue a proclamation warning the inhabitants of "*•* ^°^' 
the province againfl fuffering themfelves to be en- 
fnared by the provincial congrefs, or led by their 
influence to incur the penalties of fedition, trea- 
fon, and rebellion ; and ftridly prohibiting all 
his majefty's liege fubjefts from paying any obedi- 
ence to the recommendations or refolves of fuch 
an unlawful aflembly. But the governor's pro- 
clamation, as on former occafions, was treated 
with contempt ; and the requifitions of the pro- 
vincial congrefs were obeyed as laws. That aC- 
|embly appointed another congrefs to be held in 


' ■ >- 






the month of February, and diflblved itfelf to- 
wards the end of November. 

Previous to the meeting of the general congrefs 
no hoftile preparations had been made either ia 
the middle or fouthem colonies: But afler the 
breaking up of the congrefs* and upon the return 
of its members to their refpe^ive colonies, the 
fame fpirit which aduated the people of the New 
England colonies feems to have pervaded the 
whole continent. The militia officers ailembled 
their companies more frequently than had been 
cuftomary, and were affiduous in training tliem. 
Arms were provided by thofe who were without 
them ; and refiftance to the power of the mother- 
country by open force was made the fubje£l of 
Common converfation. Soon afterwards a copr 
of the proclamation arrived, which had been ii- 
fued in England* in the month of 0£iober, to 
prevent the exportation of warlike Aores ; and 
this prohibition ferved to make the inhabitants of 
the colonies more eager to procure fupplies. 
Mills for making gunpowder, and manufadtories 
for arms, were fet up in fe veral of the colonies ; 
and great encouragement was offered for making 


t '^ 



*». ...■'• 



_«^^, 'i.^.;. 



InfurreBion in Rhode IJland^^nd in New Hanip- 
Jhire — Confequences of Jhutting up Bojlon Har- 
bour— 'Provincial Congrefs at Cambridge, in New 
England — Ho/ii/e Dejigns and military Prepa- 
rations—Preparations in all the Colonies for 
holding a- General Congrefs— Detachment of Bri- 
ti/h Troops fent to defiroy military Stores at " 

Concord — haraffed by the Americans — driven 
back by the way of Lexington to Bojlon — Boflon 
invefled by An American Army—Meajures re- 
fpeSing the State of America taken by the Eng- 
lijk Cabinet — Reinforcement of Troops from Bri- 
tain arrives at Bojlon — Battle of Bunker's Hill. 

AS foon as the news of the proclamation reach- c H A P. 
ed Rhode Ifland, forty pieces of cannon i. 
of different fizes, belonging to the crown, which ^-nr^ 
had been mounted on batteries for the defence i774« 
of the harbour, were feized by the populace, jj^j.^^^^^. 
and removed into the country. They did not in Rhode*** 
hefitate to own that this was done to prevent the **'"™*- 
cannon from falling into the hands of the king^s 
troops, and that they meant to ufe them againft 
any power that ihould offer to moleft them. By 
the aiTembly of this province relblutions were 
alfo pafled for procuring at the public expence 
arms and military ftores wherever they could be 
obtained, and for training the militia in military 

In the province of New Hamplhire too, which -^^^ ^ 
bad been hitherto moderate, the news of this 



.—.■^Jt-^A. *'_^ . **. ■ 






CHAP, proclamation caufed an infurrcflion. A number 
L of arnied men affembled, and furprifed a fmall 

^-nn*' fort called William and Mary, garrifoned only 
I774* by an officer and five men. They took poffel'- 

iSaijlwre'!' ^10" of the orduancc, gunpowder, and other 
military ft ores that were found in it ; and thefe 
being removed, the fort was abandoned, and the 
officer, with his men, releafed. 

Of all thp colonies, that of New York ftiewed 
the greateft averfion to giving up an intercourfe 
with the mother-country in the way of trade. 
Such, of the alTemblies of the other colonies as 
had been called together fince the breaking up 

» of the general congrefs, had approved of its pro- 

ceedings and confirmed its refolutions ; but the 
aflcmbly of New York, which met in the montji 
of January of this year, refufcd to accede to 
them. That affembly neverthelefs agreed with 
the other colonial afTemblies in all the material 
points of their grievances ; and, to obtain re- 
drefs of thefe, tranfmitted, during their prefent 
fefilou, a petition to be prefented to the king, a 
memorial to the houfc of lords, and a reprefen- 
tation and a remouftrauce to the houfepf, com- 

confequen- I^ the mcan time the difficulties which the 

cet of ihut- inhabitants of Bofton had to contend with were 

totf harbour, every day increafing in confequence of the in- 
clemency of the winter feafon. Contributions 
had been raifed, and fupplies of provilions fern 
to them from the other colonies ; but thefe were 
precarious, and not equal to their wants. In a 
large trading town, fuch as Bofton, where, fo 
many of the inhabitants were entirely fupported 
by commerce and its dependencies, fcarcely any 
thing could befal them fo ruinous as mu'tting up 
ther harbour. No one was exempt from feeling 
iiseffedsiu fome lliape or other, and many were 




A M E R I C A N , W A R. 


plunged in the deepeft diftrefs. Their fufferings C HAP. 
they imputed to the Britifh miniftry and parlia- ^* . 
ment, and they felt all the refentment that the ^"^nr*^ 
ills under which they fmarted were calculated to ''"^' 
infpire. But the military force now coUedled at 
Bofton was fufficiently refpeftable to prevent 
them from breaking out into thofe violences 
which their former refradlory condud gave rea- 
fon to expeft, and which their prefent feelings 
probably didlated. Thefe feelings were the more 
grievous for being repreffed ; and the only con- 
folation which they received was in knowing that, 
throughout America, the inhabitant of Bofton 
were confidered as martyrs to the American 

When the new provincial congrefs met at Cam- Provincial 
bridge, in the month of February, they publilh- cSfd^c. 
ed an addrefs to the people calculated to alarm 
them with frefh appreheniions ; and in conclu- 
fion told them that, from the information which 
they had received, they had reafon to apprehend 
that the Britifh miniftry meant to devote to fud- 
den deftrudion that province in particular, for 
having refufed, with the other colonies, tamely 
to fubmit to the moft ignominious flavery. Hav- 
ing thus awakened their fears, they, in the moft 
perfuafive terms, exhorted the militia in general, ■ °' 
and the minute-men * in particular, to perfeft 
themfelves without delay in military difcipline. 
They afterwards pailed refolutions for the pro- Their hof. 
viding and making of arms ; and forbad, in the ai[d^£y 
^ ideft manner, the inhabitants of the province preparatu 
from fupplying the king's troops with anything*^ 
requifite for military fervice. 




* Volunteer corps from the militia, who engaged to hold 
themfelves iQ readineis for fervice at a minute's notice. 













CHAP. Such hofHle intentions being manifefted by the 
^' provincial congrcfs, whofe edicts were obeyed 
as laws ; it became neceffary fbr the governor to 
difable them, as far as was in his power, from adt. 
ing in a hoflile manner, by feizing on ftich of their 
military {lores as came within his reach. With 
this view, on the twenty-fixth of February, he 
ordered a fmall detachment of troops, under the 
command of a field officer, to proceed to Salem, 
and take poffeflion of fome brafs cannon and 
field-pieces, which had been brought there for 
the ufe of the provincial congrefs. The troops 
fent on this fervice were embarked on board a 
tranfport at Boflon, in the morning, and carried 
by water to Marble Head. Having landed there, 
they marched to Salem : But the cannon were 
removed before their arrival, and, according \o 
the beft information they could receive, only 
that morning. The officer, hoping to overtake 
them upon the road, marched on into the coun- 
tiy until he was Hopped by a fmall river, over 
which there had been a draw-bridge. Upon his 
approach, the bridge was taken up by a number 
of people aflembled upon the oppofite Ihore, who 
peremptorily refufed to let it down, alleging that 
the road was not a public one, and the bridge pri* 
vate property, over which he had no right to 
pafs without the owner's confent. The officer, 
feeing a boat in the river, was about to make ufe 
of it for tranfporting his men ; but fome couiitry 
people, who were near, perceiving hisintentioQ, 
jumped into the boat, and with axes began 
to cut holes in her bottom. Thefe people were 
interrupted by the foldiers, and a kind of 
fcuffle now enfued which of them fhould keep 
pofleflion of the boat ; when a clergyman, who 
had been a witnefs of the whole tranladlion, fee- 
ing the officer determined to force his paffage, 
jj.»»' , fl! % and 


■^.■' '.^''--^ 





and fearing the coufequences that might happen CHAP. 
if he niet with further rcliftance, prudently inter- !• 
pofed, and by his influence p- /ailed upon th^ 
people on the oppofitc fide to let down the bridge, 
'i'his was accordingly done ; and the detachment 
paiTcd over. But the day was now fo far fpent, 
in confequence of this interruption, that any fur- 
ther attempt to overtake the cannon, it was 
thought, would be fruiilefs. The officer iparched 
back his men to Marble Head uuniolelled, reim- 
barked with them on board the tranfport, and 
returned to Bofton. 

This incident is of little confcquence, except 
to fhow on the one hand the ftri^l difcipline and 
cautious condudl of the troops, and on the other, 
the boiduefs with \yhich fuch conduct infpired the 
people of the provipce to thwart their operati- 
ons, and obftru(S their movements. The obje6t 
of the detachment was defeated by previous in- 
telligence conveyed frpm Bofton. Although 
fome of the moft violent of its inhabitants had 
removed into the country, a great majority of 
thole who remained were not lefs hoftile to all 
the meafures of government. By them every 
adion of the governor and every movement of 
the troops were narrowly watched : Intelligence 
was conveyed by exprefles ; and the people in 
the country were prcvioufly prepared for inter- 
rupting, if not defeating, every military opera- 
■tion that was attempted. 

Preparations were now Qiaking in r.ll th^ co^ Preparati- 
iQniesfor holding the general congrefs, which was°"* '",^". 

r>i_"-i 1 1 t« • 1 1 f »* T "' colonies 

to meet at Philadelphia in the month of May. It for uoidirs 
hasbeen before obferved, that the inhabitants of the con*"*^"'. 
middle a,nd fouthern colonies began to arm them- 
lelves individually towards the end of the pre- 
ceding year : But the buiinefs of arming and 
putting tbQ ^Qi|nt|ry iq a ftate pf defence was now 
Vpt,. I. - , . K, taken 

. ■ I 

-ft'-^"f-:-^S » K*- "•:•" -"* 




^, ^j^i»ii^*^^^***f 



CHAP. taken up by the provincial conventions, which 



met for the purpofe of appointing delegates to 
congrefs. By them refolutions were pafled for 
difcipliuing the militia, and for inftituting corps of 
volunteers and minute-men, after the example of 
the New England provinces : And contributions 
were dire£led to be raifed from the people, to be 
employed in the purchafe of arms and ammuni- 
tion. Still however the objedl of thefe prepara- 
tions was not openly avowed in the public pro- 
ceedings and journals of thofe conventions ; and 
ftill they profefled loyalty to the king, and at- 
tachment to the mother-country. 

But the time was faft approaching, when the 
mafk was to be thrown off, and when the fubjeds of 
the fame fovereign, marfhalled in oppofing armies, 
were to imbrue their hands in each other's blood. 
In the province of Maflachufets Bay the autho- 
rity of the Britiih parliament had been firft called 
in queilion ; in the fame province the firft adual 
oppolition to that authority was made ; and there 
it was deftined that hofliiities ftiould firft com- 
mence between the mother-country and her co- 
J^bS"* Information having been brought to Boflon, 
troops fent that a coniiderable quantity of military (lores pur- 
todeiiioy chafed by the agents for the provincial congrefs, 
were depoficed at Concord, a town which, aswc 
havealready had occafion to mention, was about 
twenty miles from Bofton ; general Gage, in the 
night between the eighteenth and nineteenth of 
April, detached the grenadiers and light-infantry 
of his army, under the command of lieutenant- 
colonel Smith of the tenth regiment of foot, and 
major Pitcairne of the marines, with orders to 
proceed to Concord, and deftroy thofe ftores : 
And the following morning another detachment, 
confiding of fixtcen companies of foot, with feme. 

ftores at 




marines, was ordered to march, under the com- ^ 
mand of earl Perov, to luilain the firft. The de- 
tachment under lieutenant-colonel Smith, having 
embarked in boats, was conveyed up Charles Rit 
ver, as ^ar as a place called Phipps's Farm. Be- 
ing landed there in the night, the troops pro- 
ceeded on their march to Concord ; every pre- 
caution being taken, by lecuring fuch perlbns aa 
they met with, to prevent the people of the coun- 
try from obtaining any intelligence of their march. 
But, notwithftanding this precaution, they had 
advanced only a few miles, when it was perceiv- 
ed, by the firing of guns and the ringing of bells, 
that the country was alarmed. 

Upon this difcovery lieutenant-colonel Smith 
detached fix companies of light-infantry, to 
march on in all hafte, and fecure two bridges on 
, different roads, leading from Concord, and on 
[the other fide of it. Thefe companies reached 
Lexington, a t-^wn fifteen miles from Boilon, 
I about five in the morning ; and as they advanced, 
faw a body of men auembled under arms on a 
green adjoining to the road. Upon the near ap- 
I preach of the Britiih troops, who queflioned 
them as to the caufe of their being fo affembled, 
and ordered them to difperfe, they retired in 
Ibme confufion : But as they went off, feveral 
guns were fired upon the king's troops from be- 
hind ailone wall, and from fome adjoining hou*f 
fes, which wounded one man, and (hot major 
Pjitcairne's horle in two places. The Britiih 
troops now returned the fire, by which fome of 
the people under arms were killed, and others 
wounded, and the reft difperfed. The light-in- 
fantry having been delayed by this unexpefted 
rencounter, were now joined by the grenadiers, 
and the whole detachment marched on unmo* 
lefted to Concord. 


...^^ r^;f^«: 

K-..r '■■• : ^i^rh -ij'I tr 
« ;.^:■.'h!^ Upon 



f , 


i u>M- 


.. 4. 

;♦. «*- 

v;.V ' 





4 '! :: 

P. Upon its approach to that place, another bo- 
dy of armed men, or militia, was feen afrcmblcd 
upon a hill, near the entrance of the town ; and 
the light-infantry were ordered to difperfe ihem, 
whilft the grenadiers marched on by the direft 
road to Concord. As the light-infantry afcend- 
cd the hill, the militia retreated towards Con- 
cord, and pafled over one of the bridges on the 
other fide of it, which was immediately takeu 
poffeflionof by the light-infantry. In tne mean 
lime the grenadiers were executing the purpofe 
of the expedition, by deftroying the military 
ftores found at Concord. ' Whilft this was doing, 
the militia, who had retreated over the bridge, 
appeared again, to the number of three or four 
hundred, and advancing up to it, as if they meiam 
to pafs, were fired upon by the Britifh troops, 
'J'he fire was returned, and a fharp adlion enfued 
acrols the river, in which feveral on both fidej 
were killed and wounded. But the purpofe of 
the expedition being now accomplifhed, the light- 
infantry, pofted at the bridge, received orders 
to retire, and the whole detachment now began 
their march back to Bofton. 

The whole country was by this time alarmed; 
The minute-men, volunteers, and militia, aflera- 
bled from all quarters, and pofted themfelvci 
amongft trees, in houfes*, and behind walls, 
along the road through which the Britifh troops 
were to pafs ; whilft the militia, who had been 
engaged at the bridge, reinforced with others] 
hourly coming in from the country, were ready 
to prefs upon their rear. 


• An ofticer, on the march of the Tecond detachment to 
Ci}T)conl, obferved to the commandant, lord Perc/, that, ia 
his opinion, the oppofitlon to the king's troops would be ve. 
ry liiile, for that all the window* were fhut, and, the houfes 
ftemingly dcferted. " So much the worfe,'' lord Percy re- 
plied ; " for we ihall be fired «tt;oni tbofe very houfes." 

■ i. 





Co D«<\gQ, 

Such was the route by which the Briti(h troops C HAP. 
had to pafs, fatigued and exhauftcd as they were, ^• 
by conrtant exertion from the preceding evening. 
And as foon as they began their retreat, an in- 
cefTant though irregular fire commenced, which 
was kept up during the whole of their march 
back to Lexington, in which they were driven Driven back 
before the Americans likeiheep. At that place by_ the way 
they were met by the detacliraent und^r lord 
Percy, with two pieces of cannon. The two 
detachments rcAed on their arms, and received 
fome rcfrefhment. 

Lord Percy now formed his detachment into 
a fquare, in which he inclofed colonel Smith's 
party, who were fo much cxhaufted with fatigue, 
that they were obliged to lie down for reft on 
the ground, their tongues hanging out of their 
mouths, like thofe of dogs after a chafe. Lord 
Percy, after refrefhing the troops, moved on 
towards Bofton, harafled the whole of the way 
by the Americans, who, from behind ftone walls 
and other places of (helter, kept up on our men 
an inceffant fire, on either flank, as well as in 
front and rear. This fire it would not have ferv- 
ed any purpofe to return ; as the Americans were 
concealed, and kept runiaug from front to flank, 
and from flank to rear, loading their pieces at 
one place, and difchargiwg them at another. 

When the united detachments, arrived at Bof- 
ton river, lord Percy afked information of the 
country people concerning the mofl proper place 
for crofTing it. But, had he followed the ad- 
vice he received, his troops, in paffing the river, 
muft have been cut to pieces. Having a gene- 
ral knowledge of the country, he was led to fuf- 
peft their intelligence, and pafTed the troops at 
a different place, where the Americans could 
not with fafety follow him. 

f J 


, ' .i?! 







CHAP. In war there is nothing that fo much avails as 
I- fecrefy of defign and celerity of execution : Nor, 

"^^ir^ on the contrary, fo hurtful as unnecelTary open- 
''-'S' nefs and procrafti nation. General Gage on the 
evening of the eighteenth of April told Idrd Per- 
ry, that he intended to fend a detachment to 
feize the (lores at Concord, and to give the 
command to colonel Smith, " who knew that he 
*f was to go, but not where." He meant it to 
be afecret expedition, and begged of lord Per- 
ry to keep it a profound fecret. As this noble- 
man was paiTing from the general's quarters home 
to his own, perceiving eight or ten men con. 
cvrling together on the common, he made up to 
them ; when one of the men faid — " The Bri. 
" tifti troops have marched, but they will mifs 
*' their aim." " What aim ?" faid lord Peifcy. 
" Why," the man replied, " the cannon at Con- 
cord." Lord Percy immediately returned on his 
fteps, and acquainted General Gsge, not with- 
out marks of furprife and difapprobation, of what 
he had juft heard. The general faid that his con- 
fidence had been betrayed, for that he had com- 
municated his defign to one perfon only befides 
his lordftiip. 

As foon as the two detachments, after their 
jun^Slion, refumed their march, they were again 
annoyed by the provincials, poiled as before, 
who kept up a continued firing until the Britilli 
troops reached Bofton, about fun-let, quite fpent 

19th April, and worn down with fatigue. The detachments, 
together, amounted to fomewhat more than eigh- 
teen hundred men ; and the whole lofs fuftained, 
during this long and haraffing march, on the part 
of the Britifh, was fixty-five killed, one hundred 
and thirty-fix wounded, and forty-nine milling. 
Several of Smith's party were fcalped by the 





Americans. The lofs of the provincials, as efti-C H A P. 
mated by theuifelves, amounted to fixty men» ^^ 
two thirds of whom were killed. ,« , t, .-).■• -*> s h.: **^~"^ 

The condud of colonel Smith in this untor- ''75' 
tunate expedition was generally cenfured ; but 
lord Percy gained, on this occafion,whathe after- 
wards uniformly fuftained, great reputation as an ' 
adlive, brave, and intelligent officer. Such were 
the events of the day on which blood was firft 
flied in the conteft between Great Britain and 
her colonies : Events which ferved to fhew, that 
if the Americans were yet unacquainted with mi- 
litary difcipliue, they were not deftitute of either 
courage or condud, but knew well, and dared 
to avail themfelves of, fuch advantages as tkey 
poffeiTed. The people of the colonies are ac- 
cuftomed to the ufe of fire-arms from their ear- 
lieft youth, and are, in general, good markfmen. 
Such men, placed in a houfe, behind a wall, or 
amongft trees, are capable of doing as much ex- 
ecution as regular foldiers : And to thefe advan- 
tages, which they poffeffed during the greateft 
part of the nineteenth of April, we may yet at- 
tribute the inconfiderable lofs fuftained by them, 
compared with that of our detachments. 

The retreat of the Britifh troops to Bofton, 
which was always intended as foon as they had 
accomplifhed the purpofe of their march, was 
reprefented in the province of Maflachufets 
Bay as a defeat ; and fo much were the people 
of the province elated with their I'uppofed vic- 
tory, that nothing now was talked of but driving 
the king's troops out of Bofton. They were ir- 
ritated toD, by the fpreading of a report, that 
one objeft of the expedition to Concord was to 
feize on John Hancock and Samuel Adams, two 
very popular and leading charaders in the pro- 
vincial congrefs. The militia from all the diftant 



'\ y 

i 1 





railed, in- 
*:lls Boiloi: 

C H AT.pgrts of the province, on Tiearing what had pafl- 
^' ed, poured infofaft, that an army was foon al- 
fembled, aniouniing to twenty thonfand men, 
under the command of colonels Ward, Pribble, 
Heath, Prefcott, and Thomas ; officers who had 
ferved in the provincial regiments during the 

An Ameii-jjj^g ^^^y^ g.^^ ^yj^^ jjQ^y adlcd as gcncrals. With 

fuddeniy ' this arttiv thcv formed a line of encampment of 
thirty miles in extent, reaching from the river 
Myftic on the left to Roxburgh On their right, 
and inclofing Bofton in the center. They fixed 
their head quarters at Cambridge, and were foon 
afterwards joined by a large detachment of troops 
from Connecticut, under colonel Putnam*, an 
old provincial officer of approved experience 
and repmatioil, who had ferved in the two laft 
wars, and now took fuch a pofition with his d(^- 
tachment as to be able readily to fuccour fuch 
parts of the line of encamprtient as were neareft 
to Bofton. By this force, formidable certainly 
in point of numbers, was Bofton blockaded : 
But the works ere(5led on the neck of land which 
joins that town to the continent, were now lb 
well flrengthened and covered with cannon, that 
the provincials, numerous as they were, durft 
not attack them. 

An army being already in the field, the pro- 
vincial congrefs, which now removed to Water- 
town, a place about ten miles from Bofton, paff- 
ed regulations for arraying it, and for fixing the 
pay of the officers and foldiers. Rules and or- 
ders for the government of the army were alfo 
publifhed, and a Vote pafied for iffuing a large 
lum in paper currency to defray its expences, 
■ / . . JV' ' ' . -' for 

* Coionc', afterwaVtJs gcnerRl, Putnam, at the condufion 
nf the war in 1763, retired to a i":n«ll farm, to vhich he an- 
nexed a tnvern, .nn otconomy not iiiicomKioii in Amcric;i, par- 
ticularly ip the j..rov;nccot Nt;,v K.'^^l.^nd. 


V.J. I 




for the redemption of which the faith of the CHAP; 
province was pledged, hy the fame congrefs a I. 
ref Ju:tion was paued on the fifth day of May, "^^T""^ 
declaring that general Gage, by the late tranfac- *77fc* 
tions, had utterly difqualified himfelf from ad-! 
ing in the province as governor, or in any other 
capacity, and that no obedience was due to him j 
but, on the contrary, that he was to be confider- ' 
ed as an inveterate enemy. 

But it is now neceflary to recur to fuch toea- *J*"^^'T?^ 
fures as had been taken in England, during the cabinet, 
winter, for reducing the colonies to obedience- 
Kotwithftanding the union which appeared a- 
mongfl them, and their fixed determination not 
to fubmit to the authority of parliament in the , 
impofition of taxes, the Britiftx miniftry deter- 
mined to perfevere in their coercive plan, but 
with for difcrimination according to the de- 
merits r^ ,' refpedive colonies. The New En- 
gland ..i... inces were confidered as the mpft 
deeply reprehenfible ; and as thefe had, early in 
the preceding year, entered into an affociation 
for giving p all commerce with the mother-coun- 
try ; fo it a as thought reafonable by the Britifh 
miniftry to Interdidl them on the other hand from 
all commerce with any other country; and, as 
a farther punifhment, to prohibit them from fifli- 
ingon the Banks of Newfoundland. An a6l of 
parliament for thefe purpofes was accordingly 
pafTed. But as it icon afterwards appeared that 
moft of the other colonies were treading faft in 
the fteps of the people of New England, it was 
thought neceflary to include them in the fame 
prohibition ; and another aft of parliament was 
paffed for this purpofe, extending to all the other 
colonies except New-York, North Carolina, and 
Georgia. An addition to the land and lea forces 
Vas voted by the houfe of commons, and a large 
* rc'uiforcejnent 

? 4 


^ i.<i 





C;H A P. reinforcement ordered to Bofton, under the com- 
mand of the generals Howe, Clinton, and Bur- 
goyne ; all of them officers of reputation. 

But whilft the mini/^er was thus preparing to 
.enforce his coercive meafures, he did not altoge- 
ther lay afide the hope of reconciliation. With 
a view to this he moved a refolution in the houfe 
of commons as the bafis of a future agreement 
between the mother-country and the colonies, 
which, after fome debate and oppofition was car- 
ried. The purport of this refolution was, that 
when any of the colonies fhould propofe, accord- 
ing to their ghilities, to raife their due proportion 
towards the common defence ; fuch proportion 
to be raifed under the authority of the affembly 
of fuch province, and to be difpofable by parlia- 
ment ; and when fuch colony ftiould alfo engage 
to provide for the fupport of the civil government 
and the adminiftration of juftice within fuch pro- 
vince ; it would be proper, if fuch propofal ihould 
be approved of by his majefty in parliament, to 
forbear, in refpeft of fuch colony, to levy any 
duties or taxes, or to impofe any further duties 
or taxes, except fuch as fhould be neceflary for 
the regulation of trade. It was hoped, that the 
offer of accommodation held out by this refoluti- 
on, would be readily accepted by the colonies, in 
order to avert the calamities impending over them 
in confequence of the prohibitory adls of the pre- 
fentfeffron of parliament already mentioned : And 
had fuch an offer been made by the Rockingham 
adniiniflration previous to the repeal of the Hamp 
aft, there is fcarcely any doubt that it would have 
been then gladly accepted by at leafl a majority 
of the colonies, and prevented that union amongft 
them fo fatal to the authority of the mother-coun- 
try. But it was now too late. The feafon for re- 
couciliatioL was pafl. The minds of the colonial 





■ . ^ ^ 


inhabitants had become foured in the profecution CHAP, 
of the difpute ; and every propoiition now made ^ 
bytheBritifti miniftry was viewed withjealoufy 
and received with diftruft. A kind of military 
furor, too, had by this time feized the inhabitants 
of the colonies, and rather than make any fort of 
conceflion to the Britifh parliament, they were 
willing to rifque the confequences of oppoling in 
the field their juvenile ardour to the matured 
Arength of the parent (late ; and in this refolution 
they were encouraged to perfift by rccoUedting the 
events of the nineteenth of April, by which it 
appeared, according to their manner of reafon- 
ing, that in fuch a country as America, abounding 
vith dangerous pafies and woody defiles, the 
Britifh troops, with all their valour, difcipline, 
and military (kill, were not, when oppofed to the 
Americans, fo formidable as had been generally 

Copies of this conciliatory propofition were 
tranfmitted by the miniftry to America ; and as 
foon as thefe arrived, the different aflemblies 
were convened, befcro whom they were laid 
for their confideration. But this parliamentary 
refolution was accepted by none of them as a 
ground for reconciliation. By fome it was viewed 
only as a minifterial fcheme for dividing and dif- 
uniting the colonies : Ey others it was held not 
to be fatisfadory, becaufe the amount of the con- 
tribution was not left to the difcretion of the co- 
lonial aflemblies, but was to be determined by the 
king in parliament : And by allihe aflemblies it was 
agreed to be referred to the general coiigrefs, which, 
they held, was alone competent to decid*? upon 
it. A reference to the general congrefs was the 
fame thing as a rejedion ; for it was well known 
that the Britifh miniftry Would hold no commu- 
nication with the general congrefs on that or 







CHAP, any other fubjedl. Such was the fate of the mu 
J- nifter's conciliatory propofition for terminating 
^•"V*^ the difpute between the mother-country and the 
*775- colonies. 

May. Towards the end of May, and in the beginning 
mem^r of Junc, the expedled reinforcements arrived at 
trof, iir Bofton, with the generals appointed to command 
rirSatBof. t"^™- From the time of the expedition to Con- 
ton, cord the Britifh troops had continued blockaded 
in Bofton, the force then under general Gage b-'- 
ing too fmall for any other purpofe than defence. 
But tiiis force, now increafed by the troops lately 
arrived, was become refpedable, not fo much in- 
deed for its numbers, as the excellence of the 
troops of which it confifted. 

As a ftep preparatory to offcnfive meafure^, 
general Gage on the twelfth of June ifRied a pror 
clamation, offering, in his majefty's name, a free 
pardon to all thofe who fhould forthwith lay down 
their arms, John Hancock and Samuel Adams 
only excepted, and threatening with punifhment 
all fuch as Ihould delay to a\ ail themfelves of the 
proffered mercy. By the fame proclamation alfo, 
martial law was declared to be in force in the pro- 
vince, until peace and order fhould be fo far rc- 
ftored that juftice might be again adminiftered in 
the civil courts. But this proclamation, like 
others which had been ilFued before, produced 
no beneficial effed, and was as much difregarded 
as they had been. 

Adjacent to the peninfula of Boflon, on the 
north, is another of fimilar form, called the pen- 
infula of Charleftown. They are feparated from 
one another by Charles River, which is naviga- 
ble, and nearly the breadth of the Thames at 
London bridge : And on the northern bank of 
this river, over-againft Bolton, lies Charleftown, 
a fpacious well-built town, which gives name lo 


;* r^ 

le mi- 
nd the 

. if 



khe pcninfula. The peninfula of Charleftown.CHAP. 



bc^ng bounded en the north by the river Medford 
or Myftic, and on the eaft by Bofton harbour, is 
entirely furrounded by navigable water, except 
where it is joined to the main land by an ifthmus, 
fomewhat wider, and more acceflible than Bofton 
Neck. In the centre of the peninfula rifes an 
eminence, called Bunker's Hill, with an eafy af- 
cent from the ifthmus, but fteep on every other 
fide ; and at the bottom of this hill towards Bof- 
ton ftands Charleftown. Bunker's Hill was fuffi- 
ciently high to overlook any part of Bofton, and 
near enough to be within cannon-ftiot. 

Why a fituation, from which the town of Bofton 
was fo liable to be annoyed, was (o long neglc£led, 
it is not eafy to affign a reafon *. But, about this 
time, the provincials receiving information that 
general Gage had at laft come to a determination to 
fortify it, were refolved to defeat his intention if 
poffible, by being the 'ft to occupy it ; and their 
refolution was execu «u without delay. About nine 
in the evening of the fixteenth of June, aftrong 
detachment of provincials moved from Cambridge, 
and pafling filently over Charleftown Neck, reach- 
ed the top of Bunker's Hill unobferved. Having battle of 
previoufly provided themfelves with intrenching hui. "^ * 
tools, they immediately fet to work, and threw 
up an intrenchment, reaching from the river 
Myftic on the left, to a redoubt on their right, 
both of which they had nearly completed by the 
morning ; their works being in many places can- 
non-proof. Although the peninfula was alnoft 
furrounded with Ihips of war and tranfports, the 
provincials worked fo filently that they were not 
difcovered till the morning j when, at break of 


* It is faid that general Gage was repeatedlj advifed to 
^cuj^and fortify this commanding poft. 

\ % 




CHAP, day, the alarm was given at Bodon, by a cannoF'* 
!• ade begun upon the provincial works, from the 

^"^"ir^^ Lively ftiip of war. A battery of fix guns was foon 
*775' afterwards opened upon them from Cop's Hill, in 
Boflon ; and, about noon, a detachment from the 
army was landed upon the peninfula of Charlef- 
town, under the command of major-general Howe 
and brigadier-general Pigot, with orders to drive 
the provincials from their works. The troops 
were formed without oppofitiou as foon as they 
landed ; but the generals perceiving that the pro- 
vincials were ftrongl y pofted upon the heights, 
that they were already in great force, and that 
large columns were every moment coming in to 
their afUflance, they thought it neceflary to apply 
for a reinforcement. When the reinforcement ar- 
rived, the whole detachment confining now of 
more than two thoufaud men, formed in two lines, 
moved on towards the enemy, with the light-in- 
fantry on the right wing, commanded by general 
Howe, and the grenadiers on the left by briga- 
dier-general Pigot ; the former to attack the pro- 
vincial lines, and the latter the redoubt. The 
attack was begun by a fharp cannonade from fome 
field-pieces and howitzers, the troops advancing 
^owly, and halting at intervals to give time for 
the artillery to produce fome effeil. The left 
wing, in advancing, had to contend with a body 
of provincials, po^ed in the houfes in Charlel- 
town, and in this confliA the town was fet on fire 
and burnt to the ground. The provincials upon 
the hill, fecure behind their intrenchments, re- 
ferved their fire for the near approach of the Bri- 
tiih troops, when a clofe and unremitting dif- 
charge of niufketry took place, the provincials in 
the works, as foon as they difcharged their pieces, 
being furnifhed with others r£ady loaded. So 
inceffaiit and fo dcftrudive was this continued 
blaze of muikctry, that the Britilh line reloiled 




,» y 



A ME R I C A N W A R. 


is they 
le pro- 
id that 
g in to 

now of 
vo lines, 



and gave way in feveral parts. General Howe, it C HAP. 
is faid, was, for a few feconds, left nearly alone ; 
moft of the officers who were about him, being 
either killed or wounded : And it required the 
utmoft exertion in all the officers, from the gene- 
rals down to the fubalterng, to repair the diforder 
which this het and unexpeded fire had pro- 

At thisjundlure, general Clinton, who had ar- 
rived from Bofton during the engagement, was 
moft eminently ferviceable in rallying the troops ; 
and by a happy manoeuvre almoft inftantaneoufly 
brought them back to the charge. The Britiih 
foldiers, ftung with the refledlion of having given 
way before an enemy whom they defpifed, now 
returned with irrefiuible impetuofity, forced the 
intrenchments with fixed bayonets, and drove 
the provincials from their works. The latter, 
thus driven, fled with precipitation ; but as no 
purfuit was ordered, they were fuffered to retire 
unmolefted, except in paffing Charleftown Neck, 
which was enfiladed by the guns of the Glafgow 
floop of war, and fome floating batteries ; and 
here the provincials fuftained their greateft lofs. 

This deftrudive, although fuccefsful attack, coil 
the Britifh, in killed and wounded, nearly one-half 
of the whole detachment. The total lofs amounted 
toonf, thoufand and fifty-four, of which two hun- 
dred and twenty-fix were killed, and eight hun- 
dred and twenty-eight wounded, nineteen com- 
miffioned officers being amongft the former, and 
feventyamongft the latter. The lofs on the fide 
of the provincials, as eftimatied by themfelves, 
was four hundred and forty-nine ; of thefe one 
hundred and forty-five being killed or mifling, 
and three hundred and four wounded. Amongil 
the (lain on the fide of the Britifli, were lieute- 
nant-colonel Abercrombic, and majors Pitcairne 


■• ;> 5- 


....,9i.''' •' 


' • / , •' 



|)i r 

fl *Z 


'■ rl 

CHAP, and Williams ; all of them officers of experienced 
I* braverv aod diAiiiguiihed merit, who had figna- 

*'-nn*^ lized themielves on this fatal day, in an eminent 
>775- degree ; as alfo did major Spendlove, who died 
of his wounds fome days after. Araongil the 
provincials, fome officers of rank were alfo killed, 
but the lofs of do6\or Warren, who commanded 
in the redoubt, was moft lamented. 
. If any thing had been wanting to (how the bra- 
very and difcipline of the Britifh troops, the ac- 
tion at Bunker's Hill furnifhed an ample proof of 
both. Twice they were {topped, and twice re- 
turned to the charge. In the middle of a hot 
fummer's day, incumbered with three days pro- 
vifions, their kuapfacks on their backs, which, 
together with cartouche-box, ammunition, and 
lirelock, maybe eftimated at one hundred and 
twenty-five pounds weight, with a fleep hill to 
afccaa, covered with grafs reaching to their knees, 
and interfe£led with the walls and fences of vari- 
ous iaclofures, and in the face of a hot and well- 
direded fire, they gained a complete vidiory over 
three times their own number (for fuch was the 
Britifh general's eflimate) of provincials ftrongly 
pofted behind a breaft-work, and defended by a 
redoubt. But, whatever credit may be due to 
the valour of the troops, the plan of the attack 
, has been feverely cenfured. 

Had the Symmetry tranfport, which drew lit- 
tle water, and mounted eighteen nine-pounders, 
been towed up Myftic channel, and been brought 
IP, within mufket-lhot of the left flank, which 
•was quite naked ; or one of our covered boats, 
mufket-proof, carrying a heavy piece of cannon, 
been towed clofe in ; one charge on their uncovered 
fiank, it was faid, might have diflodged them in a 
moment. It has been alfo laid, that the Britifli 
troops might have been lauded in the rear of the 




V the bra- 
s, theac- 
proof ot" 
, twice re- 
ef a hot 
days pro- 
;8, which, 
ition, J^nd 
idred aud 
;ep hill to 
tieir kneea, 
es of vari- 
: and well- 
idlory over 
ch was the 
lis ftrongly 
jnded by a 
be due to 
the attack 

1 drew Vrt' 
een brought 
anW, which 
rered boats, 
of cannon, 
id them in a 
the Britilh 
rear of the 

Jjrovlncial intrenchment, and thereby haveCHAP 
avoided thofe difficuhies and impediments which ^• 
they had to encounter in marching up in front, "^nr"*^ 
By fuchadifpofition, too, the breaft-work of the *^'^^' 
Americans would have been rcRdcred ufelefs, and 
their whole detachment, being inclofed in the 
pcninfula, mud have either furrendered at difcre- 
tion, or attempted, in order to get back toth-^ 
main land, to cut their way through the Britifii 
line. Further ftill, it has been faid, that the fuc- 
cefs of the day was the lefs brilliant, from no 
purfuit being ordered, afte'r the pfrovincials had 
begun to take to flight. 

Few engagements are free from unfortunate 
accidents and miftakes : Aud fome which occur- 
red in the action at Bunker's Hill, are fuppofed 
to have rendered that day more difaftrous than it 
would have otherwife been to the Britifh. During 
the engagement, a iupply of ball for the artillery, 
fent from the ordnance department in BoHon, 
was found to be of larger dimenfious than fitted 
the calibres of the field-pieces that accompanied 
the detachment — an overfight which prevented 
the further ufe of the artillery : But a diladvan- 
tage, perhaps, ftill greater, was the unneceffary 
load already mentioned, under which the Britifh 
troops marched to the attack ; and by which they 
were greatly exhaufted before they came to the 
fceneof adlion. This circumftance was univer- 
fally cenfuredasunnjilitaryandabfurd. Another 
error certainly was, that, inftead of confining our 
attack to the enemy's left wing only, the alTault 
was made on the whole front. Their left was cQr 
vered with nothing more than a breaft-work oif 
rails and hay, eafy to be fcrambled over ; and 
behind it, was an open hill which commanded 
their redoubt and lines.. 
Vol. I. ' L CHAP* 

;•' i4 



1 1 * r 



CHAP. 11. 

[ill f 





Dejigns of Congrefs on Canada— -Capture of Ticon- 
deroga and Crown Point — Fort Chamblie—St^ 
*^ohtCs — and Montreal — Siege of Quebec. 

ALL the colonics, now united, vied with 
each other in profefllons of invincible at- 
tachment to the common caufe ; and the congrefs 
beheld their power acknowledged, in a very 
great degree, from Nova Scotia to Georgia. 
And as it was now evident that the mother-coun- 
try was as refolutely determined to maintain, a» 
Deflgns of thcy wcrc to refill, her authority, they began to 
Canada!* °" *^°°cert mcafurcs for fupporting a war, and, in 
the firft place, to confider where that authority 
Was molt vulnerable. With thefe fentiments 
they caft their eyes on the province of Canada. 

Canada, furrounded by rivers and lakes, and 
ftretching from Nova Scotia, in an oblong direc- 
tion, almoft to the fouthern extremity of Penf} 1- 
vania, was conveniently fituated for hoftile inva- 
iion, and would, if reduced, prove & moft im- 
portant acquifition : Nor were various moral cir- 
cumftances wanting to encourage the Americans 
to commence hodilities by an attack on that ex- 
tenfive region. They were not unacquainted 
"with that general odium that attended the Que- 
bec aO. among the Canadians, who faw that it 
iiitended, by eftablifhing the French laws, to 
introduce arbitrary power. Neither were they 
ignorant that the rejedion of the petition pre- 
sented againft that ofTenfive law, had weakened 




the attachment of the inhabitants to the mother- C H A P. 
country; by which country thev conceived that ^^* 
they had been treated with injurtice and opprefli- ^•*^*"^*^ 
on; iualhiuch as, thoui(h fubjeft to her power, *^^^" 
they were deprived of the chief bleffings refuh- 
ing from her conftitution. The fupporters of 
the American caufe failed not to place thofe ar- 
guments in as forcible a light as poflible : Nor 
were their rcprefentations without effc6l. The 
congrcfs however did not wait for the full refult 
of thole difcontents and reafonings to which 
they gave birth, but came to a rcfolution to at- 
tack our province while they might do it with ad- 

1 ieonderoga and Crown Point, the former fii- 
tuated at the north end of Lake George, and the 
latter near the fouthcrn extremity of Lake Cham- 
plain, form the gates on that quarter of Canada. 
Thcl'e ports had already been fecured in the fol- 
lowing manner : A volunteer, of the name of 3^ May. 
Ethan Allen, aflembled, of his own accord, 
about fifty men, and proceeded immediately to 
the environs of the firft-mentioned fortrefs, com- 
manded by captain De la Place of the twenty- 
fixth regiment, who had under his command 
about fixty men. Allen, who had often been at 
Ticonderoga, obferved a complete want of dif- 
cipline in the garrifon, and that they even car- 
ried their fupine negligence to the length of ne- 
ver fhutting the gates. Having difpofed his fm^>l 
force in the woods, he went to captain De ik 
Place, with whom he was well acquainted, and 
prevailed on him to lend him twenty men, for 
the pretended purpofe of aflifting him in tranf- 
porting goods acrofs the lake. Thefe men he 
contrived to make drunk; and, on the approach 
of night, drawing his own people from their 
ambufcade, he advanced to the garrifon, of which JSJ^.** 

L 2, heroga. 





and of 


CHAP, he immediately made himfelf mafter*. As there 
II- was not one perfon awake, though there was a 
fentry at the gate, they were all taken prifoners. 
On the commander's alking Allen, by what au- 
thority he required him to furrender the fort, he 
anfwered, " I demand it in the name of the 
" Great Jehovah, and the continental congrefs." 
The reduAion of Crown Point, which had nei- 
ther gtiard nor garrifon, became a matter of 
courfe. Allen alfo furprifed Skenefborough, be- 
longing to major Skene, who with his fon and 
negroes, were taken prifoners.- Abonr the fame 
time, an American officer, afterwardsr highly dif- 
tinguiftied, feized the only fhip of the royal navy 
on the Lake Champlain. BenediA Ai^nold, at 
the commencement of the difference betweefi 
Great Britain and America,- was pkced at the 
head of a company of volunteers by the inha- 
bitants of Newhaven. As foon as he received 
intelligence of the affair at Lexington, he afTem- 
bled his company, and declared his intention of 
•proceeding to Boflon^ Having obtained their 
confent, he applied to a committee, to which ge- 
neral Woofler belonged, for ammunition. After 
fome demur they fupplied him, and he marched 
off with his company to the American head-quar- 
ters, which he reached on the twenty-ninth of 


; * The (lores taken at Trconderoga were between 112 and 
120 iron cannon, from 6 to 24 pounders; 50 fwivels of dif- 
ferent fizes, 2 ten inch mortara, i howitzer, i cohorn, 10 
tons of miiflcet balls, 3 cart loads of flints, 30 ncw carriages, 
a confiderabie quantity of fhells, a ware-houfe fttU of mate- 
Tials ta carry on boat-building, 100 ftand of fmair arms, 10 
calks of very indifferent powder, 2 brafs cannons, 30 bar- 
rels of flour, and 1 8 barrels of pork. The prifoners were 
I captain, i gunner, 2 ferjeants, and 44 raiik and file, be- 
fides women and children. Captain de la Plate, not withttand- 
ing his fliameful conduft, was not brought to a court-martial, 
but was fuffered to fell out. 

^ii«^_i. - -.i."M. 

-*n,*' ■ .J^.-. 




The whole military force of Gaaada, at this CHAP, 
period, did not exceed two regiments, the fe- ^^• 
venth and the twenty-fixth, containing together 
about eight hundred men : For fo much did ge- 
neral Carleton rely on his influence with the Ca-f 
nadians, and the reprefentations of the clergy, 
that in the preceding year affu ranees were fent 
to general Gage atBoflon, that a corporal's com- ' '; 
mand was fufficient for the defence of |he pro- ' ' 
vince. Immediately however on the redudior of 
Crown Point, Ticonderoga, and the king's ftiip 
on the Lake Champlain, the two regiments were 
ordered to St. John's, a fort about twelve. miles 
from Montreal, which was ftrengthened by two 
redoubts, that were ordered to be couilruAed oa: 
their arrival. <■ (-^M^, ^ 

No fponer was intelligence of the fuccefs of 
the Americans received at Bofton, than geneir * 
ral Gage difpatched brigadier-general Prefcott, 
and two officers of inferior rank, with twofhips- 
to Montreal, where they arrived in July, About juiy. 
the fame time alfo colonel Guy Johnftone arrived 
at that place with feven hundred of the warriors 
of the Five Nations, who propofed to general • 
Carleton to retake Crown Point and Ticonderoga, 
alleging that thefe places were but weakly garri- 
fonedbythe Americans. This projedl was not 
adopted by the general. 

In purfuance of the refolutions of congrefs to . 
attack Canada, the generals Schuyler and Mont- - 
gomery were difpatched with three thoufand men 
to Lake Champlain, acrofs which flat-bottomed 
boats were to convey them down the Sorrel.i 
And, in order that their paffage. might not be ob- 
ftrufted, they took poffeflion of an ifle called thei 
lile aux Noix, commanding the entrance into the 
lake. Hence they marched to St. John's, where 
they arrived on the fixth of September. The September 


, 'v : 





* ' -» ■' ' " " " ■■! ... .> ■ ^ " " 

' V 

^i/"'-^,. «,<-»•■ 




CHAP, moment they landed they were attacked by a 
n. party of Indian?, who obliged them to retreat to 

'"^'"'i'^ their bofits, and to return to lile aux Noix. 
'775' General Schuyler having fallen into an indifpo- 
fition of body, the command of the dptachraent 
devolved of courfe on general Montgomery, who 
being joined byfeveral parties of Indianis, offended 
at their reje£lion by general Carleton, and the re- 
mainder of the troops deftined for this expedi- 
tion, refolved to advance immediately and lay 
fiegetoSt. John*s. 

The whole military force of Canada beingthus 
concentered in one point, colonel Allen, the fapde 
Allen to whom the Americans were indebted for 
the reduction of Crown Point and Ticonderoga, 
and who knew the weak ilate of Montreal, rc^- 
iblved to add, if pofiible, this important place tp 
his other conqueils. 

With a party of about one hundred and fifty 
men, compofed of Americans and Indians, he 
' marched to the banks of the river St. Laurpnce, 
-which he croiled jn the night, about three mileg 
below Montreal. IntelligcL c aowever by this 
time had been received of thci: approach j and 
the town*s-people, with about thirty-fix of the 
twenty-fixth regiment, being embodied under the 
command of majpr Campbell, attacked and bea^ 
back colonel Allen's detachment, and took the 
colonel himfelf prifoner. 

On this an order was difpatched tp colonel Ma- 
clean, a braye, indefatigaole, and experienced 
officer, then at Quebec, to procure as many re- 
cruits as he could, and haften to that part where 
the river Sorrel difcharge^ itfelf into the Gulph 
of St. Laurence. The colonel, by unwearied di- 
ligence, raife J a force of three hundred and fe* 
venty Canadians, with whom he marched to the 
poll to which he was ordered, where he was re- 




inforccd by about two hundred more of the natives. CHAP. 
Here he remained waiting for orders, and expedl- ^I- 
ing to be joined by general Carleton, who intend- '**'"''"'*^ 
ed to crofs the river at Montreal, and march to ^'^'^^' 
the relief of St, John's. 

But it unfortunately happened that at the place 
where the general attempted to land, his boats 
could not be brought nearer than within a muiket 
Ihot of the ftiore, where, too, the enemy had 
planted two pieces of cannon, which annoyed 
them feverely. It was a fubjeft of general animad- 
verfion, that he had attempted to land at the only 
place where oppofition might be expeded, and 
contrary to the advice of the molt experienced 
inhabitants. There were other places where he 
might have landed in fafety. Several of our men 
were killed : The fe:v who landed were inftantly 
taken prifoners ; and the general, with the fmall 
remainder of his detachment, was forced to re^- 
turn to Montreal. 

In the mean time, general Montgomery had capture of 
taken Fort Chamblee, a fmall fortrefs, five miles J^! ^'''"" 
above St. John's, and commanded by major Stopr 
ford, of the feventh regimert, at the head of about 
one hundred and fixty men, with a few artillery. 
The whole of the detachment headed by Mont* 
gomery did not exceed, when greatelt, two 
thoufand five hundred men ; nor the force fent 
againft Chamblee, under a lieutenant-colonel, 
three hundred. For at leaft fifteen days there 
was no breach made in the wall, nor at any time 
any impreffion made that deferved that name j 
for the enemy, who had only two fix-pounders, 
and next to no ammunition, had never formed a 
regular battery*. The garrifon did not want 

■ >' powder 

* A fmall hole was made in the wall, but not withia 
|ef;s than twenty.five feet from the ground. 





- . ,tr 







T^ov. 3, 

Capture 1 

jC I| A P. powder and other ammunition ; but they wero 
II. poorly clothed, and otherwii'e ill-provided. On 
the third of November they furrendered to the 
Americans, on the condition of being allowed to 
go put '^ith the honours of war. It was g^^ne- 
rallyand deeply regretted that this fort was not 
timecii fly reinforced, a$ it might have beec, and 
alfo that Lhe ammunition was not deftroyed ; as 
there was a fally-port through which it might 
have been thrown, even iu day-light, and with- 
out the knowledge of the enemy, into the river. 

The aiTJmunition found in Chamblee f enabled 
the American general to purfue the fiege of St. 
John's, which, for want of provifions and am- 
munition, was under the neceflity of furrender- 
,of ing unconditionally on the thirteenth of Noveni- 

tt.' John's, i^er |. xhe works of St. John's had been fuffered 

' :' • ■ ' ' ' ■ ' ' IQ 

. ]* Amounting to 80 barrels of floqr, 11 of rice, 7 of 
peafe, 6 firkins of butter, 134 barrels of pork, 124 barrels 
of gunpowder, 3bo fwivel ftiot, 1 box of muflcet fhot, 6564 
mufket cartridges, 150 Hand of French arms, 3 royal mor^ 
tars, 61 (hells, 500 hand grenades, 83 royal fufiieer's rauflcets, 
83 accoutrements, and rigging for 3 vefiels. As the afiail- 
ants were; reduced to their laft rouiid of fhot, if it had not 
been for the furrender of Chamblee, they mult haye aban- 
doned their attempt on Canada. 

t In this fort were found 17 brafs ordnance, from 2 to 24 
pounders, a eight-irith ho'.vit.7ers, 7 mortars, 23 iron ordnance 
from 3 to 9 pounderj, a co.'ifiderable quantity of fhot and 
ihells, and about 800 ilaid of fniall arms, with a few naval 
fioresi The capture of St. John's muft uuJuiibtedly be at- 
tributed to the fhameful furrender of Chamblee by major 
Stopford, and to the reprehenfible negligence of the com- 
fnanding officers at MontreaT and Qutbec. It was well 
known that St. John's poffelTed neither a firfFicienj quantity 
of Ilores nor provifions ; vet noalfiftance was aifvu'dccl them 
in either of thef; articles, though both of tlicm could have 
been procured v.iih fufficient eafe fro|Ti Chamblee; and Mon- 
treal, from th • foriner place eve.i by land carriage. The Ibrt 
however, noiwithltanding tliefc difadvnnrages, was moft gal- 
l.intly defended, and V.-as furrendered Only on account of the 
Ifvant of provifjcns and ammunition. . ■ 






And of 

to remain in bad order, and without fufficientCHAE, 
ftores, although the governor had long been in- ^^• 
formed that a defcent on Canada was in contem< 
plation. Ammunition might, in good time, have 
Ijeen thrown in from Chamblee, only twelve miles 
diftant. It is but juftice here to mention that the 
garrifon, confiding of upwards of five hundred 
regulars, and above one hundred Canadian vo- 
lunteers, behaved with great fortitude and per- 
feverance, though, from the difadvantagps juft 
mentioned, they were forced to furrender. Im- 
mediately on the furrender of St. John's, general 
Carleton quitted Montreal, as it was incapable Mon^ai. 
of making any defence. It fell of courfe inio the 
hands of the American general. 

Apprehenfions were now entertained fpr the 
fafetyof Qjiebec, and not without yeafon j for at 
this period it v/as ill provided with men, and its 
fortifications were in a ruinous condition. The 
garrifon contaioed but one captain, two fu^l* 
terns, and fifty men of the feventh regiment, one 
lieutenant-colonel, fix captains, twelv^ fubalterns, 
and three hundred ^nd fifty of colonel Ma- 
clean's corps then railing, five companies of Bri- 
tifti militia, containing aach about forty men, fi:ic 
companies of Canadiai\ militia, about fifty men 
each, a batta'ion of fe^men, under the command 
of captain Hamilton cf the Lisjard frigate, a«f 
mounting lo two hundrc^d and fifty men, and a 
few of the artillery. There were no other worksj 
than a wall, furrounding tlir? town ; the parapet^ 
were broken down in fevci.;! places, and there 
was neither glacis nor covered-way, The majo- 
rity of its inhabitants were but ill affefted to the 
Britifh caufe ; and the Quebec aft, with the re- 
jedion of their petition againft it, had in a man-r 
ner alienated their affedions from tl\e mother- 
country, as already obferved. At this period 
.1 general^ 


,_*jij3Su;,.-~ '. 




CHAP, general Carlcton was not very popular ; for when 

II- the Quebec r> St was in contemplation, he had taken 

^^■"^ '•^ an adlire part in the framing of it, and, on hia exa. 

1775' minaticn before the houfe of ccmmon^, hai: c:ift 

feme rt'tledlions on the condudl of .' e Britilh 

merchants of that province. His rwanners, be» 

fides, wtre not nnciliatiiig, ami he 'hnii Plways 

.attached himfelf toihe Cacariian i:;»;'bleffe. The 

Americans were not ignoraut of thefe circuai- 

ftances, vvhich, with good reafon, they flattered 

themfelves would operate m their favour. 

Colonel Miiclean, iu the mean lime., with hh 
detachment, which decrea- id daily by dc '.'.. -Mou, 
rtill remained in expe^atiou of receiving orders 
c Sorrel , which place, however, he was at length, 
wiihoiit waiting for orders from fir Guy Carlctou, 
dttcntiined to quit on the following account : On 
the fifth of November, an exprefs was tranfmit- 
ted to him, acquainting him that colonel Arnold 
had iinexpe6ledly arrived at a place called Point 
Levy, oppofite C^uebec, and that the city was in 
the mod imminent danger. 

At the time when the provincial army was en. 
camped before Bofton, colonel Arnold laid be- 
fore general Wafhington the following plan ; 
About one hundred and thirty miles to the north- 
ward of Bofton, a river called the Kennebeck, 
ftretches from the fea as far northward as the lake 
St. Pierre, which is at no great diftance from the city 
pf Ct^ebec. The colonel propofed to fail up the 
river with a detachment qf one thoufand five hun» 
dred men, and penetratipg through the fwamps, 
forefts, and hilly land that fcparate New England 
from Canada, beyond the fources of the Kenne- 
beck, to furprile Quebec; which being unpre- 
pared for fuch an attempt, would fiall an eafy prey. 
General Wafhington having teilifitd his appro- 
bati9n of the propofal, the coloicJ :et out on his 
,: I expedition. 











ho we 


his ar 

of the 

fick b< 

after h 




ed arri 


craft ai 

his app 




^or colli 

jiaving [ 


by fore) 

in the 

On the I 

a dark 

fide of I 









or when 
ad taken 

hi ft exa. 

e Bntilh 
Qers, bC' 
id pLways; 
re. The 
; circum- 
(T flattered 


, wUh h!c 
d( '. ^'^wu, 
ing orders 
( at length, 
r Carlctoii, 
:ount: On 
s tranfmit- 
ael Arnold 
ailed Point 
;ity was in 

■ny was en* 
[id laid be- 

ling P^aw' 
the north- 
as the lake 
roni the city, 
fail up the 
td five hunt 
le fwamps, 
;w England 
the Kenne- 
ling unpre- 
a eafy prey- 
his appro- 
|. out on his 

expedition. Extreme were the diiliculties and CHAP. 
dangers he encountered and furmountcd with the ^^^ 
moft aftoniftiing fortitude and perfeverance. The ^"^n*' 
Kennebeck is full of rocks and ihoals, which of- *'7^* 
ten obliged this galUnt detachment to carry their 
boats and rafts on their backs for miles along the 
Ihore . Nor when they h^d travcrfed the length 
of the Kennebeck were their diiiiculties dimt- 
nilhed. The fwampy grounds, added to the fa- 
tigue already endured, produced a variety of 
diforders ; provifions began to fail, and a thir(i 
part of the detachment, on fome trivial pretence, 
deferted with a cojonel at their head. Difficulties 
however feemed only to invigorate Arnold ; 
lyleither difpirited by the defertion oif a part of 
his army, por by tlie difeafes under which many 
of the remainder laboured, the Colonel left the 
fick behind him, and marched on. Six weeks 
after his departure froni Bollon he arrived on the 
plains of Canada, and immediately encamped 
oppofite to Gtjiebec, at afpot called Point Levy. 

The conftern^tion occauoned by his unexpe6l- 
ed arrival, and by the intrepidity of the atcbieve- 
ment, was uuiverfal ; and had not the fmall- 
craft and boats been fortunately removed before 
his approach, he would doubtlefs, in the general 
ponllernation, have piade himfelf matter of thc! 
city. The removal of thefe produced a delay of 
fome day§, to which Quebec owed her fafety ; 
for colonel Maclean, witfi his fmall detachment,! 
Jiaving quitted So^*rel, after having infprmed fir 
Guy Carieton by letter of his intention, advanced 
by forced marches to Quebec, where he arrived 
in the evening of the thirteentli of November. 
On the fuccecding day, Arnold, by the help of 
^ dark night, having land»^d his men on the other 
fide of the river, and being totally ignorant of 
colonel ^aclean's arrivalji attacked the city at the 
-r^ ' . gat^ 

■'•■; '^ 



.. %' 



CHAP, gate of St. Louis, but was repulfed with flaugh- 
1 1- ter ; the city being ft rengthened by fome pieces .of 

^-•nn-' cannoa that were landed from a frigate in the 
» 775- river. Arnold receiving intelligeuce from feveral 
Canadians refiding in Quebec, that it was pro- 
pofed to attack him early in the morning of the 
nineteenth, removed his men to Point au Trem- 
|)le, twenty miles diftant from G^ebec. 

On the twentieth, general Carleton, who had 
made his elcape through the enemy's craft in a 
whale-bogt, arrived in the city, ana immediately 
began to make vigorous preparations for its de- 
f/snce, At the fame time he expreffed his entire 
approbation of colonel Maclean's condufl, and 
publicly thanked him fqr his very judicious and 
gallant CO' a;', x^. 

Arnojc. v. ho had brought no artillery w^th 
him, anc v/i o ncv lifcovered the impoflibility of 
taking the C'tX' v; hi! out that advantage, contented 
hinifelf with returning to the j'ppt he had formerly 
occupied, wheye he could intercept all fupplies 
and communications, and where he refolved to 
wait the arrival of Montgomery. Moutgomery, 
after the capture of Montreal, employed hipfelf 
, in conftruding flat boats to attack the Britiili ar- 
ijiaments, which, confifting of eleven armed vef- 
fels, ou board of which were general Prefcot, and 
fome other officer^ of rank, together with a large 
quantity of military flores, was obliged to fur- 
reudgr to his vis^orious arms. Proceeding imme- 
diately to Quebec, he arrived there on the fifth 
of December, and fuipmpned the city to furren- 
der. The fummons wa^ treated with contempt, 
and general Carleton refufed all correfpondeuce 
with him. Batteries were then immediately open- 
ed, which did little damage, and were depiolifhed 
almoft as fopn a§ they. were ereded. The whole 
lartijlery and fortifications of the city were com- 
..' ',.■ ^ mined 

^.i^*.'^'*-'*^''^'^^ * 





ieces .of 
e in the 
a feveral 

wlio had 
raft in a 
or its de- 
\i\s entire 
dua, and 
cious and 

llery w\th 
>flibility of 
d formerly 
ill fupplies 
jfolved to 
^red hifnfelf 
Britiili al- 
armed vel- 
refcQt, and 
ith a large 
rqd to fur- 
ling inime- 
»n the fifth 
to furren- 

lately open- 
The whole 
were con> 

hiitted to the management of colonel Maclean CHAP, 
(whole indefatigable diligence and intrepid de- H- 
meanour during the whole of the fiege acquired **^nr^ 
him infinite honour), and ever^' poflible prepa- '^'-S- 
ration was n.'ade to defend the city to the bift ex- 

Montgomery and Arnold were now in a mod 
critical fuaation from the want of proper artil- 
lery, for they had none heavier than twelve 
pounders. They faw themfelves unable to make 
any impreirion on the fortifications of G^Jiebec ; 
and from the malcontents they had nothing now 
to expe6l, becaufe each had thought it moft pru- 
dent to join the common caufe for the preferva- 
tion of his own private property. Wintci' was 
approaching faft, and to confume it on the plains 
of Canada was a profpedl moft dreaiy and un- 
promifing ; yet, on the other hand, it was eflen- 
lially neceflary that the firft campaign fhould be 
clofed with a brilliancy that Ihould prevent the 
public ardour frpm experiencing any diminu- 
tion. ' * • 

Tlius fituated, it was refolved to ftorm t'le city. 
Forloru indeed were the hopes of fuccefs; fot for- 
lorn, at any rate, was the profpedl before them ; 
and the reiolution was not abandoned. It was 
fuppofed that Montgomery was averfe to this mea- 
fure, but he was und^ir the neceffity of givinf, 
his aifent, becaufe a l.^rge number of his men. 
whofe time of fervice had nearly expired, threat- 
ened to leave him immediately if the attempt 
were not made. The neceflary difpofitiou for ' 
ftotming the town was accordingly put in, execu- 
tion, and Montgomery refolved to lead the for- 
lorn hope. Four attacks were to be made at the 
fame time— two falfe ones, by Cape Diamond and 
St. John's gate, and two real, under Cape Diamond, 
by Drunimoud's Wharf and the Potaih. Th« 






I j 


*'. I i TO R Y Of tut 

CHAP, attacks were to be begun at break of day on the 
II. thirty-firftof December 1775, and the firing of 

^■^nr*^ rockets was to be the fignal. By fome miftake 
'775' however, the attacks on Cape Diamond and St. 
Johu Gat ? were begun firft, and the Englifh 
ai'covering them to be merely feints, ported only 
z flight force to defend thofe points, and con- 
veyed the greater part of their flrength to the 
lower town, where with good reafon they ima- 
gined the real attacks ^rere to be made. Mont- 
gomery headed cnt of thefe ttacks, Atnold the 
other. Moctgomery, ^vith nine hundred men, 
had to pafs a dangerous part, where he was be- 
tween two fires. He led his men however to the 
attack with that coolnefs and intrepidity which 
never forfook him. Captain Bairnsfeatner, the 
niafler of a franfport, who defended this pqfl, 
fuffered the enemy's detachment to advance 
within fifty yards before a gun was fired. A 
dreadful difcharge of cannon was then poured 
upon them, and almofl the firfl who fell was 
Montgomery. The Americans, deprr.vd thus of 
their gallant leader, paufed a moment, but did 
not retreat. Thcy^ marched on to the attack with 
firmnefs, and for half an hour fuftained a moil 
galling difcharge of cannon and mufquetry. Find- 
ing then that their attempts could not be attended 
with fuctcfs, they withdrew from the attack, and 

Arnold, who at the head of feven hundred 
men attacked the city at the Saut des Matelots, 
was rather more fuccefsful. The Canadian guard, 
appointed to defend it, ran away after the firft 
fire ; and of the feamen who managed the guns, 
all were either killed or wounded. Arnold hav- 
ing the misff -tune to receive a wound in the leg 
early in the agagement, was obliged to retire ; 
but the uex. m command continued the attack 


-^».jj.jai-^s<-^ '. 

V '. 

ly on the 
firing of 
i miftake 

and St. 
; Englilh 
fted only 
uid cou- 
th to the 
they ima- 
J. Mont- 
.Ynold the 
[red men, 
ne was be- 
iver to the 
lity which 
:atner, the 

this ppft, 
3 advanW 

fired. A 
icn poured 
o fell was 

,c,d thus of 
It, but did 

attack with 
led a moft 
etry. Find- 

le attended 

ittack, and 


•AMERICAN W \. -^ 

with unabated vigour. The firft and the fecond C H A p. 
barriers were taken, after an obfiinate reiiitance, ^^^ 
and againll the third a ladder was already placed 
to convey the enemy into the town, when a de- 
tachment of colonel Maclean's regiment under 
captain Nairn, and a party with colonel Caldwell 
at their head, fortunately arrived. Captain 
Nairn immediately feized the ladder, and by his 
refolute condudl drove the enemy from the houfe 
againft which they had fixed it. They were then 
driven from the barrier, after a moft defperate 
attack, and purfued to fome diftance. In thefe 
attacks the lofs on the part of the Englifh was 
but trifling, nor did the Americans lofe above fif- 
ty men. < 

Colonel Arnold, though thus difappointed in 
his endeavours againft Qjiebec, refolved not to 
withdraw from the province. He ftill remained 
encamped on the heights of Abraham, whence 
he could intercept any fupplies that might be at- 
tempted to be conveyed into the city, and where 
he hoped to increafe his fmall detachment by 
ins^ratiating himlelf with the Canadians. 

Such was the iffue of the expedition againft 
Canada, and fuch the termination of the firft 
campaign, in which the Americans had acquired 
great military' diftinftion ; yet brilliantly (though 
certainly uiiluccefsfully) as the firft campaign wa$ 
concluded, the Americans thought their military 
glory dearly purchafed with the lofs of the gal- 
lant Montgomery. 

Montgomery, at the conclufion of the laft 
war, retired to America, where he married^ 
Here his charadler was fo univerfally refpeded, 
that at the commencement of the difturbances 
he was invited by congrefs to defend their caufe^ 
and honoured with the rank of brigadier-gene- 
ral. His manners were eafy and condliatingr 

I and 


HISTORY 6 T t U i. 

CHAP. and he poflefled in a peculiar degree tlie art of 

^ ^^ acquiring the confidence of thole whom he coni- 

^^"^"^'^ manded. Iii his perfon he was tall and liciidtr, 

''75- jjut ^g|i limbed. The day after the attack his 

body was found, and upon examining it, a wound 

was dil'covered in each thigh, and one ou his 


^■'-^-,;«-v^;: ;'-.-n, 

. I r . ' ^ J . -i 


'.>'::, \..{:.), 

<. . 




^ •*• «i 



,,.1, T- 




Situation of Affairs in Virginia, North and South 
Carolina, and at Bojton. — 1775, 1776. 

THE fatal effedts of diforder and tumult wercC H A P. 
not felt, however, folely in the northern ^^^' 
provinces. In the fouth the fituation of affairs **^*'^^ 
was equally critical and alarming. The gover- sauition of 
nor of Virginia at this period was the earl of aff«ir» in 
Dunmore, a man of fufficient firmnefs and refo- ^''^*'"'''' 
lutiou, and who had been formerly very popular. 
His popularity, however, was now rapidly de-- 
dining ; for, at the commencement of the dif- 
turbances in the other colonies, he had tranf- 
mitted to the government of Great Britain an 
account of the ftate of the province of Virginia. 
The particulars of this ftatement, by fome means 
becoming known, highly incenfed the planters, 
to whom it chiefljr related. It reprefented them 
as encumbered with debts, of which they feemed 
anxious to rid themfclves by encouraging rebelli- 
on. It accufed them of impeding the operations 
of juftice, in order to procure temporary advan- 
tages by fuch delays ; and it concluded by deduc- 
ing ffom their conduct a predi£\ion that they 
would foon attach themfeves openly to thofe who 
oppofed the mother-country. 

The planters were more highly enraged on ac- 
count of the truths which this reprefentation con- 
tained. They poured upon the governor the 
fouUeft torrents of invedlive and abufe, and in- 

VoL. I. M . finuated 

.,„„,^ >-->,._.„. 




I 1 




C H A p. finuaied that his lordfhip, in conjunAion with 
III- ad mi nift ration, had formed a defign of aflaflina- 
ting the fpeaker of their aflcmbly, Mr. Ran- 
dolph. In order to add to the effedl of this in- 
fmuation, the corporation of WiUiamlburg pre- 
fented an addreft to Mr. Randolph, who return- 
ed an anfwer, not at all calculated to difappoint 
the wifhes of thofe with whom it had originated. 
While the public mind was thus flimulated, an 
event occurred which was made a pretence for 
taking up arms. ' ;' 

Lord Dunmore, forefeeing the confequences 
of this ftate of fermentation, and unwilling to 
place the means of violence within the power 
of the planters, had early in May removed the 
gunpowder from the public magazine at Willi- 
amlburg. The motives of this meafure being 
eafily penetrated, an armed force aflembled un- 
der the command of a Mr. Henry, a man poffeff- 
ed of great influence and popularity, in order 
to compel a reftitution of the powder. This de- 
tachment, however, proceeded no further than 
within -fifteen miles of Williamfburg, w here they 
were met by the magiftrates of the city, who 
prevailed on them to depart, after having enter- 
ed into an agreement that the receiver-general of 
the province fhould become fecurity for the pay- 
ment of the gunpowder. 

But the reign of temperance and moderation 
was now at an end ; public meetings and military 
aUbciations were univerfally encouraged ; and 
the affembly of the province, approving the con- 
du6l of Mr. Henry, ordered a guard to be pro- 
vided for the fafety of the magazine, without 
fubmitting this ftep to the confideration of the 

In confequence of lord Dunmore's intimations 
to the government oi" Great Britain, fevcral con- 




cillatory propofitions were tranfmittecl to his lord- CHAP 
Ihip, who, early in June, laid them before the ^^^" 
council of Virginia. The council acceded to 
them ; but the affembly unanimoufly refufed their 
acquiefcence. Scarcely had this rejedion been 
conveyed to his lordfhip, when, from a private 
channel, he received intelligence of a defign up- 
on his life. It is probable that this was only a 
falfe alarm, conveyed by the malcontents to the 
governor, in order to induce him to retire from 
the province. Whether it was or was not, his 
lordfhip certainly adopted the moft prudent line 
of conduct: For immediately on receiving this 
intimation, he abandoned his houfe and proper- 
ty, and with his lady and children retired on 
board the Fowey man of war. The motives for 
this ftep he tranfmitted to both houfes, who im- 
mediately united in addreffing his lordfhip ; af- 
furing him that his fufpicions were ill-founded, 
and befeeching him, for the fake of the public 
peace, to return to the capital. But his lordfhip, 
unwilling to commit him! ^If in a manner to their 
cuflody, declined compi)ing with the contents 
of the addrefs. Neverthelefs, he fubmitted to 
their confideration the fubfequent proportion : 
That he would either correfpond with the coun- 
cil and affembly from the Fowey, or adjourn 
them to York, about twelve miles from Williamf- 
burg, where he had no objedion to refide, and 
terminate the bufinels of the fefTion. I'his pro- 
pofal, however, was rejeded, and both houfes 
continued fitting. After having, on a trivial 
pretence, increafed the military eitablifhmcnt, 
by the addition of a company of riflemen, they 
proceeded to invefligate the condudt of the go- 
vernor. In the courfe of this inveftigation fe- 
veral propofitions and mefTages were tranfmitted 
to his Lordfhip, the purport of which was, that 

M 2 he 

/ : 


, ! 1 

1 i? 

n '1 

... J » *r ,^ jf. ."rv 

-• \t 


HiSTORV OF the: 




Chap. he fhould return to Williaralburg, to give his 
III. affent to leveral bills ; replace the powder he had 
removed from the magazine ; and depolit an ad- 
ditional quantity of military ftores for the ufe of 
the colony. To thefe propofitions his lordfhip 
returned for anfwer, that as his fufpicions rela- 
tive to his pcrfonal fafety were by no means al- 
layed, he could not return to Williamfburg, but 
that if the council and alTembly chofe to bring 
the bills to him, he would give his affent to them. 
With refpeft to the powder, the colony had no 
right to claim it, becaufe it belonged to the Rip. 
pon man of war. To the laft propofition his 
lordfhip returned no anfwer. Immediately on 
receiving this determination, the affembly enter- 
ed the following refolution on their journals ; viz. 
" That their rights and privileges had been in- 
" vaded ; that the conftitution of the colony 
" was in danger ; and that preparation ought to 
" be made accordingly." Having paffed this 
refolution, both houfes adjourned to Odlober. 

The greateft part of the members having now 
retired to their plantations, and tumult and dif. 
order having foniewhat fubfided; lord Dunmore, 
with leveral officers of the Fowey, ventured to 
a farm belonging to his lordfhip on the banks of 
York river, about two miles from Williamiburg. 
Many minutes, however, had not elapfed after 
their arrival, before intelligence was received of 
a party of riflemen being on their march to feize 
his lordfhip. He was therefore under the ne- 
ceffity of retreating immediately to the boats, 
which were ready to receive him. Several fliot 
were fired at them, but happily they were at too 
great a diflance to receive any injury. Lord 
Dunmore, now fully convinced that moderate 
mealures would be feeble and ineffedtual, dif- 
patched his lady and family in a fchooner to Eng- 
land, I 


,\. .1' 




land, and repaired immediately to Norfolk, a^HAP. 
town advantageoufly lituated at the mouth of Che- ^^^" 
fapeak Bay. In the mean time, the colony pro- 
ceeded to the eleftion of deputies, who, on their 
meeting, aflumed the appellation of the provin- 
cial convention. After juftifying their condud, 
by afferting that their liberties and poffelTions 
were endangered by the machinations of the mo- 
ther-country, they increafed the military efta- 
blilhment, and impofed taxes for the maintenance 
of it. 

At this period the refources poffefled by lord 
Dunmore were very inadequate to oppofe or 
counterad the proceedings of the convention. His 
lordfhip had ravaged thofe parts which were con- 
tiguous to the ftiore, and had made an attempt to 
burn the town of Hampton. In this however, 
though well fupported by the fhipping, he was 
unfuccefsful. A body of riflemen coming to the 
affiftance of the town, compelled him to retire with 
the lofs of one of his veflels. In order to remedy 
this infufficiency of refources, his lordftiip adopt- 
ed a meafurc which was certainly not very politic, 
and which Simulated the minds pf the Virginians 
almoft to a degree of phrenzy. He iflued a pro- 
clamation, declaring martial law to be in force 
throughout the colony, He ereded the rcy /? 
ftandard, to which he commanded his majefty s 
fubjeAs to repair, and he emancipated all the 
flaves who fhould take up arms in defence of the 
Britifti caufe. By this means his lordfhip ^^btained 
a confiderable increafe of ftrength, but far from 
adequate to his expedations. He had already fe- 
cured the pofTeflion of all the country lituated 
between Norfolk and the fea ; when the pro- 
vincial meeting, in order to prevent the defertion 
of the flaves, and to arrefl; his lordfhip in his 
career, relblved to fead a confiderable force 



k5 ■ f 




C H A F. againft him. About the beginning of November, 
^^^' a detachment, confiding of one thoufand n?en, 
was difpatched from the weftern fide of Virginia 
to Norfolk, in the neighbourhood of which they 
arrived early in December. The river Elizabeth 
running between them and the town, they were 
under the neceflity of making a circuit of ten 
miles to a village called the Great Bridge, where 
the river is fordable : Previoufly, however, to 
their arrival, the bridge had been removed, and 
fome works thrown up, which were defended 
by 3 body of provincials and negroes, in order 
to impede their crofling the river. Thus fituated, 
and convinced that the loyalifts would foon be 
obljped to abandon their poft, the Americans con- 
tented themfelves with intrenching on the oppo- 
fite fide of the river. Lord Dunmore, though 
he pofleffed a confiderable degree of military ex- 
perience, was impetuous and impatient. He re-, 
folved to adopt a fcheme which was certainly not 
defenfible on the grounds of prudence, and which 
was far from receiving the approbation of thofe 
who were under his command. The fcheme was, 
to attempt to dillodge the enemy from their en- 
trenchments on the other fide of the river. On the 
eighth of December a detachment of one hundred 
and twenty men, under the command of captain 
Fordyce of the four ceenth regiment, a brave officer, 
departed from T^orfolk at midnight, and arrived 
at the Great Bri'Ige before day-break. The 
planks of the bridge were replaced asfilentlyas 
poflible, and every proper difpofition made for 
the attack The Americans, however, apprifed 
of the fcheme, had prepared themfelves accord- 
ingly. A canfeway extended from the bridge 
through a fwampy bottom, almoft as far as the 
^nemy's works, which were fiiuated on a rifing 
ground. The right fide of this caufeway was 
iVirledby a thicket, within the diflance of mui- 



16 J 

cans con- 

it«t.ihot. At break of day captain Fordyce crof- CHAP, 
fing the bridge proceeded along the caufeway, ^l^}' 
and was fuffered to advance very near the in- '**^''~'^ 
trenchments without oppofition. A heavy fire '^'^" 
was then poured at the iame moment upon him, 
both from the thicket and the works, which did 
great execution. Difconcerted, but not daunted, 
he ftill continued to advance. A fecond difcharge 
from the enemy proved fatal to him. He fell 
within a few feet of the breaft-work of the in- 
trenchmerfts. Thirty of the hundred and twenty, 
including the leader, being now killed or wound- 
ed, the detachment retreated from the attack, and 
retired acrofs the bridge. 

On the fucceeding night, the Englifti abandon- 
ed their poft between tihe Elizabeth and Norfolk, 
which laft place it was thought prudent alfo to 
relinquifh, on account of the increafing ftrength 
of the Americans. Lord Dunmore therefore, 
with fuch of the inhabitants as were attached co 
the Britilh caufe, retired on board the ihipping 
in the river, and the Americans took pofTeffion 
of the town. 

The loyalifts were now in the mod pitiable fi- 
tuation : Provifions were fcarce, and fuch of the 
boats as ventured onfhcreto obtain afrefli fup- 
ply, were inthemoft imnjnent danger from the 
riflemen, who had taken pofTeffion of the wharfs, 
which proje6led a great way into the river. To 
remedy this inconvenience, it was refolved by 
lord Dunmore to let thefe wharfs on fire. This 
was performed accordingly, on the firft of Janu- 
ary 1776. The other parts of the town were at 
the fame time fet on fire by the Americans ; and 
thuswr-r' 'he town of Norfolk levelled with the 
duft. Norfolk, at the commencement of the 
difturbances, was one of the inoft flourifhing 
towns on the fhorcs of the Chcfapeak. It con- 
tained eight thouland inhabitants. Its proximity 


',J i 

^ yAk^L 





C H A p. to the fea, the excellence of the timber that grew 



in abundance near it, the capacioufnefs und iafeiy 
of its harbour, and the falubrity of its fituaiioD, 
had rendered it the moft deiirable place of refi- 
dence in the extenfivc province of Virginia. The 
damage computed to be done by the deftruftion 
of this place was near four hundred thoufand 

After the conflagration of Norfolk, the Ame- 
ricans, in order to prevent the Ihipping from 
procuring provifions, deftroyed all the plantati- 
ons contiguous to the river, forcing the poffeirors 
of thpm to remove with their efieds into the in- 
terior parts of the province. Experiencing now 
the greateft diftrefs, the ihips were obliged to put 
to fea, and lord Dunmore, leaving a f onfiderable 
body of the loyalifts and negroes who had joined 
the royal ftandard, proceeded vith the remains 
of his army to New York, avid joined the urmy 
under the command of general Howe, 

In ftating the lituation of affairs in Virginia at 
this period, it may not be thought anomalous to 
mention the particulars of an enlarged and daring 
fcheme that was projed^ed by a Mr. Connelly, a 
native of Penfylvania, and communicated to lord 
Dunmore while he was on the coaft of Virginia. 
The plan was, to invade that and the other fouth- 
ern colonies on their back and inland parts, where 
it was known that the people were ftrongly at- 
tached to the Briiifh government. Thefe, it was 
not doubted, would take up arms in its defence; 
and it was alfo fuppofed that feverai of the Indian 
tribes might be induced to join them. With this 
force it was intended to open a pafTage into the 
very heart of tht colonies. The projedtor, Mr. 
Connelly, was peculiarly fiited for the conduft 
of fuch an entcrprife. He was active, enterpri- 
|ing, patient of fatigue, and he poflelfed that 


^::-^l * t^--"*.:^ 





which is the foul of enterprife, unconquerable CHAP, 
perfeverance. ^^^• 

The fcheme having received the approbation 
of lord Dunmore, was immediately put into exc-' 
cution. Notwithftanding the variety of difficulties 
and dangers that furrounded him, Mr. Connelly 
traverfed the province of Virginia from Chefa- 
peak to the Ohio, a journey of between three 
and four hundred miles, negotiated a treaty with 
the Indians on that river, and brought over to 
his purpofe the white people fituated in thofe dif- 
tant fettlements. Returning to lord Dunmore, he 
was immediately difpatched to general Gage, who 
appointed him leader of the enterprife, and pro- 
mifed him his countenance and fupport. 

It was determined that Mr. Connelly, as early 
as poflible in the enfuing fpring, Ihould coUedl as 
many men as Detroit and the neighbouring forts 
could fpare, and proceed with them to Pittlburg, 
fituated beyond the Allegany mountains, where 
he was to remain until he had procured a fufficient 
number of perfons attached to the Britifh caufe. 
He was then to crofs the Allegany mountains, 
and penetrate into Virginia : Then leaving a 
ftrong garrifon at Fort Cumberland, he was to 
fail down the river Potomack, and feize upon 
Alexandria, where lord Dunmore was to join him 
with as many fhips as poffible. Strong fortifica- 
tions were immediately to be conftructed, in or- 
der that at all times the friends of government 
might declare themfelves and form a jundion, and 
that all communication might thus be cut off be- 
tween the northern and Ibuthern colonics, di- 
vided from each other by the Potomack, which 
ftretches from an arm of Chefapeak Bay 10 the 
Allegany mountains. It is broad, rapid, and not 
cafy to be forded. The only town of any confe- 
quenceon its banks was Alexandria, equidiflantly 


V •■■■ 






In Nortli 

fl < 

C HAP. fuuatcd between the fea and the Allegany moun, 
tains. But this fcheme was fruftratea by one of 
thofe caufes which, trifling as they appear, pro- 
duce often thf moft important effedls. 

Already had Mr. Connelly penetrated to the ba(ik 
fettlements of Maryland, and had congratulated 
himfelf on having fortunately efcaped almoll every 
danger, when a tradefman, who knew him, met 
him on \':i<. road, and immediately communicated 
his fufpicions to the neareft committee. In con- 
fcquence of this information, he was feized, 
thrown into prifon, his papers taken from him, 
and tranlmitted to congrels. Thefe difcovcred 
the whole fcheme, which was thus entirely over- 
thrown ; Mr. Connelly was fent prifoner to Phi- 
ladelphia, where he was put in irons, and treated 
with the moft rigorous feverity. 

While lord Dunmore was thus driven from his 
government of Virginia, the governor of North 
Carolina, Mr. Martin, was not more peaceably 
fituated. The fame complaints were advanced 
againft him as had been adduced againft his lord- 
fhip, viz. of having attempted to ftir up the ne- 
groes againft their mafters. The replication of 
Mr. Martin, couched in the form of a proclama- 
tion, was fo fpirited and fevere, that the provin- 
cial convention voted it to be a moft outrageous 
libel, and ordered it to be burnt hy the public 

Ten or twelve pieces oi old difmounted can- 
non, which had been for many years ufed only 
on joyful occafions, lay on the banks of the river 
near governor Martin's houfe at Newburn. On 
the firft of June 1775, the governor's fervants 
being employed in examining them (probably for 
the purpofe of ufing th( m on his majefty's birth- 
day), were obferved by the malcontents, who 
fpreading the alarm, the inhabitants immediately 





moft every 
J him, met 
e. In con- 
vas feized, 
L from him, 

iren from his 

or of North 

•e peaceably 

[•e advanced 

nft his lord- 

ir up the ne- 

plication of 

a proclama- 

the provin- 

^ outrageous 

the public 

ounted can- 
s ufed only 
of the river 
wburn. Oq 
or's fervaats 
probably tor 
efty's birth- 
mtents, who 




afTembled, chofe a perfon of the name of NafhCHAP. 
for their fpeaker, and went in a body to the go- ^^^• 
vernor's houfe. On licing aflctd what he meant 
to do with the guns, he replied, that thf y be- 
longed to his majefty, aiid -hat he Ihould ufe them 
in any manner he pleafed. ^. his firm reply fomc- 
what daunted th; malcontents, and they retired 
without continuing the inquiry relv.ive to the 
guns. Newburn, where Mr. Martin refided, was 
fituated in fuch a manner, that it could derive no 
afliftaiice from the navy. On this account;, and 
intelligence having been received that the mal- 
contents had embodied themfelves, the governor 
thought it moft prudent to retire on bo.*rd a Ihip 
off Cape Fe?'*. ^jimilar difturbances arof-; aboutj 
the fame tii)/ in South Carolina, the inhabitants Carolina, 
of which compelled lord William Campbell, the 
governor, to retire on board a man of war. 

As foon at) his lordfhip had departed, proper 
meafures were ufed to prevent an invafion from 
the inhabitants of the back fettlements, by con- 
cluding a treaty with them, and to put i he pro- 
vince in an adequate ftate of defence. 

At Bofton no events of importance occurred at 
[this period, except the refignation of general 
Gage, who departed for England, leaving; the 
command of the Britifh forces to general t^Iowe. 
The befiegers of Bofton, and the befieged, re- 
mained in a fituation of equal inactivity. 

' and in Sou A 

q H i^. P. 

1 ' 

' \: 

:■ *:i 






arrive in 
from Con 

Proceedings of the Briiijh government — Deputies 
arrive in London from Congrefs — State of Com- 
merce — Meeting of Parliament — Eff^e^ of its 
Refolvttiorts in the Colonies, , ., 

■-... in- 

ABOUT the latter end of Auguft, two depu- 
ties from congrefs, Meffrs. Richard Penn 
and Arthur Lee, arrived in London with a peti- 
tion, which they were ordered to prefent to his 
majefty. The petition pointed out the flou^-iih- 
ing ftate of the colonies previous to the prefent 
difturbances, and reminded his majefty of the 
affiftance they had afforded him during the con- 
tinuance of the late glorious war. As a recom- 
penfe for this affiftance, it had been expedled 
that they would have been permitted, with the 
reft of the empire, to ftiare in the bleffings of 
peace, and the emoluments of viftory and con- 
queft. How were they difappointcd, when, in 
place of this reward, a new fyftem of ftatutes 
and regulations was adopted for the adminiftra- 
tion of the colonies, equally injurious to their 
profperity, and to the welfare of the mother- 
country ? The petition then animadverted in a 
pointed manner on the conduft of his majefty': 
minifters, who, by perfevering in their obnox- 
ious fyftem, and by proceeding to open hoftilities 
in order to enforce it, had compelled them to 
arm in their own defence. But as they were not 
ignorant of the confequences of civil difcords, 
they thought themfelves required by indifpenfa- 

• -ble 




ble obligations to Almighty God, to his majefty, C H A P. 
to their feliow-fubjeds, and themfclves, to flop ^^• 
the further efluiion of blood. After expreflions 
of duty and attachment to his majefty, they fo- 
lemnly aflured him that they not only moft ar- 
defttly dcfired that the former harmony between 
Great Britain and her colonies might be rei )red, 
but that concord might be eftablifhe'^' brtween 
them upon fo firm a bafis as to perpeti 'ef- 

fiiigs, uninterrupted by any future dii * 

ucceeding generations in both couii : 

this reconciliation they did not wilh to e ' 

at the expenfe either of the dignity or welfare of 
the mother-country. In conclufion, it was car- 
neftly recommended to his majefty, to direft the 
adoption of fome mode which Ihould have for 
its tendency the repeal cf thofc ftatutes that were 
injurious to the interefts of the colonies. 

Such were the particulars of this celebrated 
petition, which was figned by John Hancock, 
prefident of the congrefs, and every one of the 
members. On the firft of September it was de- 
livered to lord Dartmouth, and on the fourth of 
the fame month, Meflrs. Penn and Lee were in- 
formed, " That no anfwer would be given to it." 
The fate of this petition, and the acrimony of 
argument ufed by thofe who fupported and thofe 
who oppofed it, revived that party diftindion of 
Whig and Tory, which had been dormant fince 
the reign of queen Anne. 

Hitherto the commercial part of the nation state of 
had experienced but trifling inconveniences from ' 
the lofs of the trade to America : For the Ame- 
ricans had tranfmitted large fums to difcharge 
the debts due to their Englifti correfpondents. 
Demands for goods to a confiderable amount 
were alfo received from Turkey and Ruffia ; and 
Great Britain herfelf, by contrails and fupplies 


, commerce. 


m .11 Alt J 




^ .^\ 



UilM |2S 

|50 "^ RHl 

1-25 i 1.4 









WEBSTER, NY. 14580 








CHAP, for the army aad navy, prevented commerce 
IV. from drooping, on account of the deprivation 
of a free intercourfe with her colonies. But m 
the middle of the year, however, the trading 
part of the nation received a fevere and unex* 
peded blow. The profits derived from the New- 
foundland fifhery are, in the knowledge of every 
one, immenfe. The ufual number of veflels were 
fent this year to the banks of Newfoundland) 
where, on their arrival, they found themfelves 
unable to proceed in their operations, on account 
of a deci'ee made by congrefs, which prevented 
their being fupplied with their former necefl'aries. 
This decree owed its origin to the a6l pailed by 
Great Britain, for depriving the people of New 
England of the benefits of the filhery at New- 
foundland. In confequence of this prohibition 
moft of the ihips, in order to avoid the miferies 
of famine, made the beft of their way home ; 
and the decreafe in the profits of this branch of 
commerce this feafon, was computed at very lit- 
tle lefs than half a million. This was a fevere 
ftroke which, while it aflforded the oppofers of 
the American war additional arguments againft 
it, increafed the anger of thofe who confidered 
the inhabitants of the colonies in no other ligU 
than that of rebels. 

On the twenty-fixth of Odober, the feffion of 
parliament was opened with a fpeech from the 
throne, in which his majefty dated that the fitu- 
ation of America was the caufe of his aflembling 
both houfes of parliament fo early. Adverting 
to the particulars of this fituation, he declared, 
that his revolted fubjedts had raifed troops ; af- 
fembled a naval armament ; feized the public re- 
venue ; affumed legiflative, executive, and judi- 
cial powers, which they exercifed in the moft de- 
fpotic manner over their fellcw-fubjedls. Till 


Meeting of 


d commerce 
nies. But in 
the trading 
i aad unex> 
om the N€w- 
;dge of every 
f veflels were 
d themfelves 
on account 
ch prevented 
ir neceffaries. 
i&. paffed by 
opie of New 
ery at New- 
s prohibition 
i the miferies 
way home; 
is branch of 
1 at very lit- 
was a fevere 
oppofers of 
nents againft 
o confidered 
o other light 

the feffion of 

ch from the 

hat the fitu- 

is aflembling 


he declared, 

troops J af- 

he public re- 

e, andjudi' 

the moft de- 

bjeas. Till 




tliey had arrived at this pofTeffion of power, they CHAP. 
had endeavoured to deceive and amufc the mo- IV. 
ther-country by vague expreffions of attachment ^■'•nr*^ 
to her, and of proteftations of loyalty to herfo- ^775' 
vereign. His ^ajefty next reminded each houfe, 
that though it was known laft feffion that a rebel- 
lion exifted within the province of Maflachufets, 
yet even that iingle province it was endeavoured 
rather to reclaim than fubdue. The fame mode 
of condud had been purfued with refpeA to the 
other revolted colonies, and though certainly 
proper meafures were taken to enforce authority, 
yet, at the fame time, conciliatory proportions 
had always preceded thofe coercive meafures. 
America, however, had rcjedled all thefe propo- 
fitions, and prepared herfelf to oppofe force by 
force. Hence it was vifible, that fhe aimed at the 
eftabliftimeut of a feparate government, and an 
independent empire. After pointing out the in- 
jurious confequences that would enlue to the pa- 
rent Aate from the fuccefs of fuch a plan, his ma- 
jefty declared that it was abfolutely neceflary to 
adopt the moft decifive meafures. Under the 
impreffion of this idea, he informed both houfes h. 
that he had increafed the naval and military efta- 
bliftiments, and that he had it in contemplation 
to engage fome foreign troops offered him. Ne- 
vcrthelefs he affured them that he fhould be rea- 
dy to receive the milled with tendernefs and 
mercy, whenever they fhould become fenfible of 
their error. In conclufion, the parliament v,as 
informed, that the proper eftimates for the ne- 
ceflary fupplies were ordered to be fubmitted to 
their confideration. 

In anfwer to this fpeech, the miniftrv propofed 
that an addrefs fhould be prefented to his majefty, 
affuring him that both houfes concurred in ad- 
mitting the neceffity gf adopting vigorous mea- 




J^ /I 










CHAP. Aires againft the colonies ; and that they would 
^^- affift him with fupplies neceflary to carry fuch 
meafures into effe&.. This propofition met with 
fevere and violent oppofition ; and inftead of fucii 
an addrefs, it was moved by a member in the mi- 
nority, that a declaration fhould be adopted, the 
purport of which fhould be, that the parliament 
were convinced that the means which had been 
adopted to allay the ferment in the colonies, had 
rather increafed it : From which they were led 
to fuppofe that thofe means were not properly 
adapted to fecure the end propofed : That they 
were fatisfied that the prefent difturbances origi. 
nated in the want of adequate information rela- 
tive to the true ftate of the colonies, which had 
been the caufe of obnoxious meafures having hi- 
therto been carried into execution. The decla- 
ration then proceeded to aflure his majefly that 
his parliament would proceed to review, in i 
moft folemn manner, the whole of the late pro- 
ceedings, in order to avoid the alarming necef- 
fity of Ihedding the blood of fellow-fubjeds, and 
the dreadful expedient of arming a Briton againft 
a Briton. The miniftry carried their point with 
refpeft to addreffing his majefly ; but the above- 
mentioned declarat occafioned long and im- 
portant debates. 

The arguments ufed by thofe who fupported 
the declaration, and oppofed the- adoption of 
coercive meafures, were copioufly anfwered by 
the fupporters of government, who aflerted that 
the reprelentations of the oppofition were un- 
founded, and only calculated to intimidate and 
reprefs the national vigour and fpirit. From the 
conduA of the Americans, it was abfurd and ri- 
diculous to infer that they aimed at lefs than un- 
conditional, unqualified, and total independence. 
In all their proceedbgs they had confidered them- 
.. felves 



felvcs as entirely feparated from Great Britain ; C H A P. 
and though their profeflions and petitions breath- ^V. 
cd peace and moderation, their, adions and pre- ^-"nr^*^ 
parations denoted war and defence. Whether it ^^JS* 
was more wife to infer intentions from words 
than from deeds, remained with the oppofition 
to determine. Every attempt that could be made 
to foften the colosifts had been put in pradice 
without effed. Their obilinacy was inflexible, 
and in proportion as the parent (late acceded to 
their wifhes, their condu^ became more infolent 
and overbeai;ing. The right of taxation had in 
a manner been given up by parliament, for they 
had allowed the Americans the right of taxing 
themfelves. Yet with this permifiion they were 
not contented, refufing to contribute any thing 
towards the expenfes of that flate which had 
nurfed them with fuch tendernefs and foftered 
them with fuch care. Every hope of accommo- 
dation was now at an end. Only two alterna- 
tives remained for the Britifh nation to adopt, 
coercion or contempt. 

To this effed were the arguments adduced in ,, 
fupport of the miniftry. A whole night was 
fpent in debating upon the royal fpeech, and it 
was not till five o'clock in the morning that a di- 
viiion took place, when the declaration propofed 
by the oppofition was rejedled by a majority of 
one hundred and feventy ; the numbers being, 
for it, one hundred and eight ; againft it, two 
hundred and feventy-eight. 

The colonies in the mean time waited with 
anxious impatience for the determination of Great 
Britain. That hoftilities were refolved die! not 
much furprife them, but the idea of having fo- 
reign troops employed againfl them flung them 
to the quick. They conlidered the adoption of 
this meafure as an avowal of the mother-country 

Vol. I. M \\ .'-''^" , having 




CHAP-having fliaken off all former confiderations, and 
itV. of her having baniihed from her memory every 

^^T^*^ idea that reminded her of both having originated 
'775* from the fame fource. 

f The confequence of this indignation in the 
colonies may be eafily conceived. Their refolu- 
tions to oppofe the meafures of the mother-coun> 
try were fortified more ftrongly. PreparatioDs 
lyere continued with additional eagernefs and im- 
petuofity ; and thofe of the Americans who had 
wiihed hitherto that moderate meafures ihould 
be adopted, felt no longer that inclination. And 
indeed, it muA be confeifed that the idea of in> 
troducii^ foreign troops was ntot reprobated fole- 
W by the Americans and the colonies : Many of 
the firm friends of the minifter conceived it to 
be derogatory to the coniVitution, and contrary 
to law. Thus, though they acquiefced in the ne- 
ceffity of decifivc and vigorous meafures, they 
abfolutely refufed their aflent to this propofition, 
and refufed him every afliftance which it was in 
their power to give, either by their eloquence or 
their votes. 

The minifter however remained firm to his 
purpofe. Hitherto, he faid. Great Britain had 
been unfuccefsful through delay. Immediate 
meafures were to be ufed, and the fupplies necef- 
fary to carry on the war ought to be t^anfmitted 
to America as early as poflible. That the intro- 
du^ipn of foreigners was illegal he denied in the 
moft pofitive manner, affirming it to have been 
adapted in times not very diffimilar to the pre- 
lent, viz. in the rebellion of 1745. Inthemidft 
of debates on this fubje6l, the miniftry received 
information from America, that the inhabitants 
increafed in ftrength daily ; that moft vigorous 
preparations were carrying on both by fea and 
land ; and that, they had made overtures to fevc» 
"'• ■' '.^i'-^ji^ ■ • - i'i, 'k .1 ral 

•< "'i' '. 



ral foreign nations, who did not feem averfe toCHA^. 
afford them every affiftance and fupport. . In .l-V. 
confequence of this information, it was propof- 
cd that the naval eflablifhment ihould be aug- 
mented, this year to twenty-eight thoufand men 
and eighty ihips ; and that the military eflablifb' 
ment in America fhould confift of twenty-five 
thoufand of the flower of the Englifh forcei. 
This propofal was condemned by the oppofition^ 
who tried their ftrength a fecond time in moving^ 
with a view to render fuch warlike operations no 
longer neceffary, . an addrefs to his raajefty, re- 
queuing him to authorife the commii&oners al- 
luded to in his fpeech from the throne, to receive 
conciliatory proportions from congreCi, or anj^ 
coUeAive body that Ihould be formed to convey 
the fentiments of one or more of the colomied,. 
without inquiring into the legality of fuch an af- 
fembly, or the forms under which they might be 
difpol'ed to treat. This condefcenfion, it wa» 
ftrongly infilled, would fmooth the way to con- 
fequences moft beneficial and advantageous t<j 
the mother-country. Nor were condelcenfions , 
of this nature uncommon. Monarchs, wifely 
confidering that formal diflin£tions fade away be- 
fore fubftantial powers, had often treated with 
their fubjedts who had affembled without any le-* 
gality of form. John offered no objedion tof 
the informality of the barons' alTembly ; and fiibi* 
fequent monarchs, deriving no claim to the crowa 
from lineal defcent, had owed it folelyto fhe 
will of a popular afTembly. Befides, it was. co4i^ 
tended, that if forms had always been attended^ 
to, none of thofe revolutions which have con* 
tributed to the happinefs of mankind^ and the 
advancement of arts and fciences, would have 
been accomplilhed. Prudent policy always tic^ 
commodated itfelf to the exigencies of events^ > 


' ■%..... <* * -J' ,^ ^vVW/^^, Jss ..*" "*i»V:!' •l'"'^ '^ " 

•'^•'•rm * T**?tt«.. ..- . . 

I to 


:HAP. The minifterial party, in replying to thefe ar. 
IV. guments, agreed that peace and reconciliation 

■"TT^ were generally preferable to war and oppofition; 

'775* but, at the fame time, that there were circum- 
ftances which rendered the former even more 
defirable than the latter. Great Britain had fuf- 
ficiently receded. It was her duty now to ad- 
vance. At all events it was totally inconfiftent 
with her dignity and her charafler to acknow- 
ledge the congrefs to be a legal aflemblv. After 
every poffible argument had been marmalled on 
each fide, the propofal made b^ oppofition was 
negatived, and the minifler earned his point. 

Indifpenfable buiinefs had hitherto prevented 
any formal notice being taken of the petition 
prefented to his majeily by the deputies from 
congrefs, in either houfe of parliament. At 
length however a copy of it haying been laid be* 
". fore the houfe of lords, a <notion was made that 

V ' Mr. Penn ihould be examined at the bar of the 
houfe relative to its contents. In order to in- 
duce the miniilry to comply with this motion, 
it was ftated that Mr. Penn, who had been for- 
merly governor of Penfylvania, was well ac- 
quainted with the real interefts of the colonies, 
and could communicate fuch information to the 
houfe as would tend, perhaps, to heal the breach 
between the contending powers : Befides, he was 
perfonally acquainted with every member of the 
congrefs. To this motion the miniftry acceded, 
and Mr. Penn was examined. In his examina- 
tion he pofitively, and in the moft explicit terms, 

.V. denied the charge brought againfl the Americans, 
viz. that they aimed at independence. Congrefs 
had not been ele£led in any other manner than 
what was warranted by the conftitution of Great 
Britain. They were chofen by the voice of their 
conftitucntsj and entrufted hy them with almoft 
"^'M-MW,- »..«*.'. unlimited 






unlimited power. With a view to determine C H A P. 
what number of men would be fufficient for ^^' 
carrying on the war, he was particularly quefti- 
onea relative to the population of Penfylvauia. 
This he reprefented to nave increafed fo much, 
during a very Ihort period, as to afford a militia 
of fucty thoufand men. Of thefe, twenty thou- 
fand, before his departure, had attached them- 
felves to the common caufe, arming themfelves 
at their own expence, and receiving no pay for 
their fervices. Congrefs had purchafed in abun- 
dance materials for iron cannon, which they had 
already call at Philadelphia, as well as fmall-arms, 
fully adequate to.prefent and future exigencies. 
He likewife dated that fanguine hopes were en- 
tertained of the fuccefs of the petition ]ie had 
brought over ; fo fanguine indeed, that it was 
called the olive-branch. The confequences of 
the rejedion of it he feared would be fatal. The 
moft vigorous preparations would be adopted ; 
and he had every reafon to fuppofe that the Ame- 
ricans would not want the afliftance of foreign 
powers poflefled of ample refources. Such was 
the effed of Mr. Penn*8 examination, and fo Ol- 
tisfied were the oppofition with the information 
it contained, that a motion was immediately made 
for declaring that the petition from the continen- 
tal congrefs to the king, afforded fufficient ground 
for reconciling the unhappy differences fublAl-ug 
between Great Britain ana her colonial poflefli- 
ons. Though the oppofition however were fa- 
tisfied with Mr. Penn's evidence, it muft be con-' 
feffed that that gentleman had overftated feveral 
circumilances. It cannot be denied that the ob- 
je€t of the Americans, from the commencement 
of the difturbances, was unqualified indepen- 
dence. It is alfo true that congrefs had not been 
chofen by more than one third of the people;, 
,^.:: . , and 







»^.ft . ^' 


Mr. Burke's 

1 ^- 

C H AP. "Jf^^ ^^i'** ^^^ militia did not amdtitit to above lialf 
IV. the number at which Mr. Pcnn had ftatcd it. In 
debating on the motion made by the oppofition, 
vaiiout arguments were adduced on each fide. 
The blood that would be fhcd, the treafurcs that 
would be wailed by proceeding to hoflilitics, were 
again infifted on and again anfwered by the mi- 
piftcrial party, with the arguments of the dupli- 
city and deceit of congrefs ; the contradiction 
that exifted between their words and their anions, 
their profeffions and their pireparations ; and the 
obftinacy with which they had rejedled every 
proppfition that Great Britain had found it con- 
^ftent with her dignity to offer. 

After a long debate the houfe divided, and the 
motion in favour of the petition was rejedled by 
a majority of fifty-three. ' 

Much about the fame period Mr. Burke, who 
conciliatory at that time patronizcd the republican prmciples, 
*"^' and maintained an intimate correfpondence with 

the prime movers of the revolution in America, 
brought forward a bill in the houfe of commonf:, 
which, on account of its tendency, was called 
the conciliatory bill. It reprobated every idea 
of a war that propofed for its ultimate objeft 
either conqueft or treaty ; and it propofed peace 
and immediate conceffion. In order that luch a 
rtieafu re might not wear the appearance of inno- 
vation, the bill was modelled on a ftatute made 
in the thirty-fifth year of Edward the Firft. The 
neceffity which occafioned that ftatute to be fram- 
ed was fimilar to the exigencies of the prefent 
times. It originated in a difpute between that 
monarch and his people relative to taxation. 
The latter were vidorious; obtaining this im- 
portant privilege, that no taxes ftiould be im- 
{)ofed on them without the confent of the par- 
iament. The prefent bill was intended to pro- 



r**t-.4« ♦..^«.*^^ 



ctire a iGmilar advantage for the Americans. On C H A p. 
this account the bill, in the Rrft place, renounc- ^^' 
ed the exercifc of taxation, waving the confide- ^''TP*^ 
ration of the queftion of riffht. Great Britain '77S* 
however referved to herfelf the power of levying 
commercial duties, which were to be applied to 
thofe purpofes that the general aflembly of each 
province Ihould judge to be mod falutary and be- 
neficial. The mother-country alfo referved to 
herfelf the power of aflembling the colonies ia 
congrefs. The bill then propofed to repeal all 
the laws complained of by the Americans, and 
to pafs an immediate a£l of amnelly. 

Againft the provifions of this bill it was ob- 
jeded, that though they gave too much away 
from Great Britain, they would not fatisfy the 
demands of America : That after what had been 
propofed by his majefty, any other conciliatory 
plan would be difrefpedlful to him; and that, 
finally, nothing now remained for Great Britain 
but coercion. After an important debate, in 
which both fides difplayed uncommon abilities 
and eloquence, the bill was rejefted, two hun- 
dred and ten dividing againft it, and one hun- 
dred and five for it. 

The rejeftion of this bill was immediately fol- The proW- 
lowed bv the introduction of a prohibitory bill, '''**>'''"*• 
to reftrain all intercourfe with the colonies. This 
paded both houfes, not however without violent 
oppofition. Notwithflanding th« fate of Mr. 
Burke's propofiiiou, another conciliatory bill 
was fubmitted to the confideratipn of the lower 
houfe by Mr. Hartley. The end propofed to be ^^ Hart- 
attained by it was the fame as that intended by iey'» concu 
Mr. Burke's bill, but the means were varied. It"**"^ '''"• 
propofed that hoftilities ihould be immediately 
fufpended, and that the colonies (hould be en- 
joined to eftabliih a trial by jury in favour of their 

I flaves 


■v;.- 'v 


y ■ g:r 




from Nova 


CHAP, (laves ia criminal cafei. If tlliey complied with 
IV' this injuD£iioD, all the obnoxious laws fince the 
year 1763 were immediately to be repealed, and 
an k€t of indemnity pafled. Subfequently to the 
adoption of thefe meafures the colonies were to 
be required to furni/h ouly tbofe fupplics which 
were neceflary for their own fupport and defence. 
The fame anfwer was given to this piopofition by 
the miniAry, as had been before given to Mr. 
Burke's bill ; and it met with the fame fate. 

In confequence of the conciliatory propofition 
agreed to laft feifion of parliament, the colony of 
Nova Scotia tranfmitted, about this period, a pe< 
tition to government, the contents of which were, 
that a revenue fhould be railed in that colony, 
under the direfiion of Great Britain : The man- 
ner in which this revenue was to be raifed, was 
by a llipulated fum in the hundred on the impor- 
tation of foreign goods. The petition was grant- 
ed, and all the other taxes and duties, except 
thofe which regarded commerce, were, in con- 
fequence, immediately repealed. 

About the latter end of February 1776, the 
minifter fubmitted to the confideration of both 
houfes that part of his majefty's fpeech which 
) related to the (engagement of foreign troops. 
"^ The meafure was oppofed with the united abili- 
ties and eloquence of oppofition ; neverthelefs, 
after feveral debates, it was carried by the mi- 
nifter, in the houfe of peers, by a majority of 
iixty-eight, and in the houfe of commons by a 
majority x)f one hundred and fifty-four. 
ST Though oppofition had hitherto been unfuc- 
the^dukeof ccfsful in cvcry conciliatory propofitiou, another 
attempt was made to put a period to the differ- 
ences between Great Britain and her colonies, 
by the duke of Grafton, on the fourteenth of 
March. This nobleman, at the commencement 




! ? 


' v^'W^*»^ v«Ki, ;i,^w**r 5 




of the diHurbances, polTeired a fiuire in the ad- ^ ^ A P. 
miniftration, which he foon after refiened in dif- 
gu(l. His ffra'ce moved that an addrefs (hould 
be prefented to his maieAy, intreating him, in 
order to put an end to tne effufion of blood and 
treafure, and to evince to the world the wiih of 
the fovereign and theparliament to reftore peace 
and tranquillity, to iflue a proclamation, declar- 
ing that, if the revolted colonies would prefent 
a petition to the commander in chief of his ma^ 
jefty's forces in America, or to the conuniffioners 
fent out with powers adequate to the purpofes of 
making peace or war, fetting forth their griev- 
ances, hoftilities ihould be immediately fufpend- 
ed, and the petition Ihould be referred to the 
parliament, by whom it (hould be confidered 
with the moft folemn and ferious attention. In 
order to ftrengthen this propofition, it was al- 
leged that the Americans would immediately be 
joined by foreign powers ; for, from undoubted 
authority, it was known that two French gentle- 
men had been difpatched to Americaj where, on 
their arrival, they had inftantly repaired to con- 
grefs. In reply to the aflertions of the oppofi* 
tion, it was alleged that no dependence could be 
placed on the aUurances of the colonics with re- 
iiped to peace : That they had never difcuffed 
any terms of pacification, and that they feemed 
to think that the mother-country either poJfTefled 
not fuflicient power to compel them to obedience* 
or that, if her abilities were adequate to fuch a 
talk, ihe was afraid to exert them. On this ac- 
count therefore it was abfolutely neceflary that 
the colonies ihould be convinced of their error ; 
and that government ihould no longer, by delay, 
furnifh them with an opportunity of accompliih- 
ing their preparations, and completing their hof- ' 
tile intentions. With regard to the intimation 


1 <» 


♦; / ■■■ 

^ ■ 0' 



H I S to kit OF THE 

CHAP. of their receiving affiftance from foreign powers, 
J[Yl that was only vague and uncertain ; for nothing 
**^*7^ had yet tranfpired relative to the bufinefs which 
''^'^' had conveyed the two French gentlemen to Ame- 
lica. But granting even that the fuggeftions held 
cut by oppofitioh, Oil this head, were true, they 
afTorded only an argument for immediate and vi- 
gorous preparations. 

The debate on the duke of Grafton's motion 
was long and violent. It was at length negatived 
by a majority of fixtv ', and thus ended all at- 
tempts to reconcile tne unhappy diiTenfions be- 
tween the two contending powers. 


\) -•.iJ-Ui-j^. '..WJi.tii-W.. 

U \in; 

. ♦» 

■ * f Mi .i 





:sa;J'5'*i ':ri 

i.;W(,' A- 

r^" .. Cj 




.■ •. .T'4. 

4!> \tv- 

■ i'Vl. 

'Wf ;,•-"*■■-. If 

i$.:Jii^^i^ -^^r--^' VLixiJ^li--fytk^ 

«. J', f'^iy. 

•so J.- 


■.»>*» 6tV; 

f;S T\ 

f^ •>'■<) 





,!»«,-«• ,„«,* 

,1 i-x,,:».^-«. *t.i 


■'iiO-ii' 'i-i»i 

.(.;.i::>AJl. iC- :^-' ^ %i:l\iJ>'- 


^^y -4::!^?^' 


'Jji? 'f 





or nothing 
nefs which 
n to Ame- 
true, they 
iate and vi- 

(n's motion 
h negatived 
ided all at- 
fenfions bc- 

^ ... ■; 

.2 ». . -•iV.Vt' 



V ii*'4 >HrJt\f>j^\iH't;^:-i^:i--'^-i'ri' 


!> 5/ 

Blockade and Evacuation of Bofion^— Siege of Q^gr 
bee — Defeat of Loyalifis at Moore* s Creek-^At" 
tack of Charlejiown. — 1776. 

WHILE Great Britain was engaged in thefe CHAP). 
parliamentary difcuffions, the Britifh troops ^• 
blockaded in Boilon fuffercd inpredible hard- ^"^^^^ 
fliips and fatigue. Thtv had been clofely in veil- ^^'^ ■ ' 
ed ever fince the affair at Lexington ; provifions Blockade ©f 
were fcarce ; and though they fent to the Weft^^^""' 
Indies for a frefh fupply, they could not obtain 
any, on account of the dearth fubfifting in that 
quarter. In addition to thefe hardfhips, general 
Waftiington began to profecute the liege with 
redoubled vigour, in order that the place might ^ 
be captured before the arrival of reinforcements 
from Great Britain. 

On the fecond of March 1776, a battery was 
opened on the weftern fide of the town, whence 
it was dreadfully annoyed by a furious difcharg? 
of cannon and bombs; and on the fifth another 
was opened on the eaftern Ihore : Neverthelefs 
the Britilh troops acquitted themfelves with the 
moft furprifing fortitude, and for fourteen days 
endured this bombardment with the moft un-' 
daunted courage. 

No alternative remained now for the befieged, 
but to diflodge the provincials from their new 
works, or evacuate the town. To fucceed in the 
former was impoflible, for the Britilh troops niuft 
have afccnded an almoft perpendicular eminence, 



\f U 

/ ' 





' %■ 


C H A P. on the top of which the Americans had prepared 
^' hogiheads chaiued together in great numbers, 
and filled with ilones, to roll down upon them 
as they marched up : A curious provifion, by 
which whole columns would have been fwept off 
at once. This fpecies of preparation will exem- 
plify* in a ftriking maimer, that fertility of ge- 
nius in expedients, which ftrongly chara£lerized 
the Americans during the war. This would ef- 
fe6lually have dedroyed all order, and have bro- 
ken the ranks. It was therefore determined to 
evacuate' the town: This meafure required a 
fortnight to carry it into execution, on account 
of the numbers to be removed, many of whom 
were fick and wounded. At length, however, 
it was effedled, and the brave garrifon, , with 
ihofe attached to the Britifh caule, in number 
about two thoufand, embarked for Halifax in 
Nova Scotia, where on account of the favour- 
ablenefs of the weather, they foon arrived *. 


* The Britiih troops left behind them at the Caftle-Ifland 
and at Bofton, 250 pieces of cannon, half of which were fer- 
viceable, 4 thirteen and a half inch mortars, 2500 chaldrons 
of fea-coal, 25,000 bufliels of wheat, 2300 buinels of barley, 
600 bufliels of oats, 100 jars of oil, and 150 horfes. Thit 
large fupply was of the utmoft importance to the enemy, who 
were labouring under the greaten want both of fiores and 
prOTifioQs. It ought not, however, to be omitted, that fir 
William Howe might have carried with him the greateft part 
of the ammunition, and all the provifions; it ma/ alfo be 
neceiTary to meritlon that the fortifications of Boflon were fo 
excellent, that it would have been extremely difficult for the 
Americans to have forced them. The Britifh troops left the 
houfes of Bollon in good condition, and in a Rate of cleanli- 
nefs, which was foon abolifhed by the refidence of the Ame- 
rican troops. The evacuation of Boflon »ffbrdfcd alfo ano- 
ther mofl important advantage to the enemy. Many flore- 
fhips from Great Britain configned to Bofton, and ignoran 
of the Britifh troops having abandoned it, entered the har- 
bour, and were of courfe captured ; of thefe, the fhip Hope 




I prepared 
ipou them 
>vifion, by 
a fwept off 
will exera- 
lity of ge- 
i would ef- 
d have bro- 
ermined to 
required a 
on account 
ff of whom 
, however, 
rifon, .with 
in number 
Halifax in 
the favour- 
a. arrived*. 
1 Thus 

le Caftle-Ifland 
which were fer- 
zeoo chaldrons 
fhels of barley, 
> horfes. Thi» 
he enemy, who 
of ftores and 
.mitted, that fit 
he greateft part 
It may alfo be 
Bofton were fo 
difficult for the 
troops left the 
tate of cleanli- 
;e of the Ame- 
,rdfcd alfo ano- 
Many ftore- 
1, and ignoran 
>ntered the har- 
thc Ihip Hope 


Thus was the capital of MaiTachufet added toCHAP. 
the American caufe. As foon as general Wafti- 
ington had taken pofTeflion of the town, he de- 
tached feveral regiments to the defence of New 
York, imagining that the Britifh troops might 
have departed for that place, on their fecefiioa 
from Bofion. 

Colonel Arnold, in the mean time, reminned 
encamped near Gtgebec : Though unable to^ cap- 
ture the town, he reduced it to great diftrefs^ on 
account of having cut off all communication be- 
tween the inhabitants and the adjacent country. 
But the feafon now approaching when reinforce- 
ments would arrive from England, he was under 
the neceffity of recommencing the fiege in due 
form. On the fhores of the river St. Laurence, 
batteries were eref^ed to burn the {hipping^ 
Thefe attempts, however, were unfuccefsful. 
While the attention of the befieged was engaged. 
in thefe endeavours on the fhipping, Arnold had 
prepared fcaling-ladders to ilorm the town : The 
fcheme was plaufible, but it failed in part : The 
Americans obtained admittance into thefuburbs, 
where they burned feveral houfes, and compelled 
the garrifon to pull down the reft, in order to 
prevent the fire from fpreading. While the Ame- 
ricans were employed in this fiege, the fmall-pox 


was the moft valuable->She had on board 1500 barrel* of 
powder, beiides carbines, bayonets, travelling carnages for 
heavy cannon, and all forts of tools neceffary for the army 
and artillery : Beiides thefe, there were other articles, thoft 
of bedding and clothing particularly, of which the enemy 
ftood greatly in need. Thefe goods fir William Howe might 
have diftributed among the army and navy, trufting to go< 
^ vernmeRt to make payment to ihe individual proprietors. At 
any rate, they fhould not have been left in Bofton, but have 
I been defiroy«i, as they were articles of which the Americans 
ftood in the greateft need ; and which enabled them to bear up 
under the feverities of that winter. 


\ [ (1 

/ r 



i 1 






CH A P.broke out among' them with great violence, and 
V- many of the foidiers deferted, in Order to fave 
tfaemfelves from the confequences of a diforder 
fo fatal, and fo much dreaded in that country. 
On this account, and certain that fuccours would 
foon arrive from England, Arncdd thought pro. 
per to retire. The Englifh fquadron, making 
its way tl;irough the ice^ arrived unexpectedly 
before G^gebec. Though, at the time when Bof- 
ton was evacuated, it was underllood that this 
fquadron, with reinforcements, were at fea, no 
care was taken to leave a fufjficient force off the 
harbour, to prevent them from running into the 
throat of the enemy : In confequence of which 
n^gle^, lieutenant-colonel Archibald Campbell, 
-with feven hundred men, ran right into Bofton 
harbour, not knowing but that place was itili m 
our hands. He was treated in a cruel and favage 
manner*. Communication between the forced 
' that 

^ Cop7 of ji lctt4^ from the late fir Archibald Campbell to 
fir William Howe. 

^ i* <J T H " ^^"'"'■^ Gaol, 

^^-"^ ** 14tl> February ITJJ. 

^' ScarCz eight days had elapied after the period of my 
firft addrefs, when I found myfelf ftripped of half 017 
** property, the very necefiaries of life ; and I have been 
" lately informed that the fide-arms of my officers have ac- 
*• tually been difpofed of, notwithftanding they were honour- 
** ably reftored to them by the captors I was, however, fent 
" upon my parole of honour to Reading, where I refided till 
" the firft of this month, during which time it was even be- 
" yond the power of malevolent afperfion to charge my con- 
" duft juftly with impropriety. 

" On the firft of February I was committed, by an order 
" of congrefs, through the council of Bofton, to the com- 
mon gaol of Concord, intimating for a reafon, that your 
excellency had refufed to exchange general Lee for fix 
field officers (of whom I happened to be one), and that 
your excellency had put that officer under cullody of the 
provoft. How f>r it ma/ be confident to ill-treat an offi- 

" ce» 



Xn«- V .A«' 




that lav oa each fide of the river was thua pre- CHAP, 
ventea, and Arnold found it impoffible tp put V. 
his intentions of the day before into execution. ^*nrV 
Onthefixth of May 1776, the reinforcement '776' 
being landed, general Carleton fallied out upon 
the provincials, who fled with the utmoft {peed> J. 

, leaving ^ 

" cer b^eaufo ^it commauder does not chufe to accept ot. 
" proffered barter of that nature, is left to reafon and ntture 
" confequences to decide, efpeciallj when it is confidered, ' - 
that there is no perfonal charge againft that officer, and 
the public faith and honour of America ivas pledged for h^-«{ 
his being treated as a gentlemfin, . 

" With rei^edt to your e:^celleqcy's treatment of general -' 

Lee, I can fcarcelj think it fimilar to mine ; but that you 
mar be able with more preciiion to decide on that point, I 
fhall briefly ftate my prefent' unmerited condition. 
"• I: am loidged in a du|)g|i9n of tw^jye or thirteen feet ' 
fq\iar,e, whofe fides are black with the greafe and litter of ' • 
fuccelfive criminals; two doors, with double locks and % 
bohs, ihut me up from the yard, with an exprefs prohibit ' /^| 
tion to enter it, either for my health or the ftecefTary calif 
of nature : Two fmaU wipdows, ftronj^y grs^ted AVith iron, 
introduce a gloomy light to the apartment, and thefe aje at 
this time without a fingle pane of glafs, although the fea- ^ | 
fon of the froft and fnow is aAualTy in the extreme. la 'I 
the corner of the cell, boxed up with the partition, iland* v 
a ftecefiary.'houfe, which does not fecm, to h^ve beea 
emptied fmce its firft appreciation to this convenience of 
malefa^brs. A loathfome b}ack-hole, decorated with » 
pair of fixed chains, is granted me for my inner apanmeo^ 
from whence a felon was but the moment before, removed^ 
to make way for your humble fervant, and in . which hif 
litter and excrement remain to this moment. The attend^ 
ance of a fiagle fervant is alio denied me, and every vifit 
from a friend pofitively refufed: In fhort, fir, was a fixt 
to happen in any chamber of the gaol, which is all of wood|i 
the chimney-ftaclu excepted, I mieht perifh in th^ ftame» 
before the giioi/er could go through the cerempny of uor 
bolting thc» doors ; although, to do him juftice in his ftar 
tion, I really thi^k him a man of humanity ; hisboufeil 
fo remote, that any call from' within, effiecially if tbf 
wind is high, might bvlong of rcacbiflg him eSeSbuiS^,. 
, i;j,; ** I have thie.)u>i»9ur to .b«, cw. 

» ARCHJBAtP CAilPiJEa*.'* 




I'Oif. ^ 





againft the 

lU' *• 

CHAP. leaving behind them all their artillery and mili- 

V. tary (lores. Their veflels were at the fame time 

*'*nr*^ attacked and taken by the light-armed veflels of 

'77^' the Engliih. Thus was the nege of Qjiebec raif- 

ed, after a duration of five months. The prifoD- 

ers taken by general Carleton were treated with 

the greateft lenity ; while, on the other hand, 

the Americans, by their mifcondu£l, entirely loft 

the affe6iions of the Canadians : A circumitance 

to which we are in fome meafure to impute the 

failure of their defigns. 

Early in the fpring of this year, an expedi- 
tion, by command of fir Guy Carleton, wasun- 
dertaken againft a place called the Cedars, by 
captain Forfler, who commanded the pod of Of- 
wagatchie. The Cedars is fituated about thiny 
miles from Montreal, to the weftward, on the 
river St. Laurence, about a mile from the Caf- 
cade. This place is naturally ftrong : On the 
fouth the land ftretches fo far into the river as 
to render the eaft and weft points inacceflible : 
The north part is the only one on which an 
attack can be made with any probability of fuc- 

nth May. On the eleventh of May captain Forfter de- 
parted from Ofwagatchie with two lieutenants, 
thirty-eight privates, ten volunteers, and about 
one hundred and twenty Indians. Arriving on 
the fourteenth at the village of St. Regis, he 
convened a council of the warrior chiefs, and 
endeavoured to prevail on them to afford him 
their affiftance in his intended expedition. The 
chiefs, who had been tampered with by the ene- 
my, at firft refufed to accompany him, but at 
length permitted their young men. On the fc- 
venteenth of May, having received intelligence 
that the Americans, to the n-umber of four hun- 
dred, were pofted at the church of the Cedars, 




_j;,<«Jiitw.s-. . 


■ s 



but that the]^ were ignorant of his expedition, he C H A P. 
embarked his troops, and landed at ten o^clock V. 
at night at Point au Diable, a place about fix miles '"^nr^^ 
from the Cedars. A party was immediately dif- *77^' 
patched to reconnoitre the fnuation of the enemy. 
On the eighteenth captain Forfter proceeded, un- 
der cover of a thick wood, within a mile of the 
fort, where he made the following difpofition : 
One company of privates, the volunteers, and 
one hundred Indians, were ordered to take pof« 
feffion of the wood, and to penetrate it as near 
as poflible to the enemy. Another body of one 
hundred Indians was at the fame time difpatched ! ? 
to the Falls at the entrance of the Cafcade, in or- 
der to cut off all communication with the ifland 
of Montreal. This body on their march fell in 
with a detachment of the garrifon, who were re- 
turning with provifions from the Cafcade. At 
fight of the Britifh troops they fled to the fdrt, 
with the lofs of one man. This was the firft cer- 
tain intelligence received by the enemy of the 
approach of captain Forfter. 

A flag of truce was then lent to the fort, orders 
ing the enemjr to furrender themfelves prifoners * 
of war. Major Butterfield, who commanded it, 
requefled four hours confideration. Conceiving 
that this requifition originated only in a wifli to 
gain time, and being informed that a colonel 
Biddel had been fent to obtain a reinforcement 
from Montreal, captain Forfter fent a fecond flag, 
frying that the Indians were at prefent perfedlly 
under his command, and that if the garrifon fur* 
rendered immediately, he had no doubt but that 
they would agree to any thing he wilhed ; but if 
the fort did not furrender, and any of the Indians 
ihould be killed, captain Forfler could not anfwer 
for the confequences. In reply to this rcquifi- 
tion, the commanding ofEcer of the garrifon 

Vol. I. O ^'" ' •" agreed 



"~9j^ :.-,■*.. 








CHAP. agreed to a furrcndcr, on condition of being al- 
V. lowed to retire to Moaireal. To this, captaJQ 

^•^^T^ Forfter would not conlent. In the evening of the 

*V7^' ei(^hteenth a redoubt was thrown up at the edge 

of the wood, within five hundred yards of the 

fort. In the morning of the nineteenth captain 

Forfter advanced within one hundred and twenty 

'• ' yards of the fort, and commenced a heavy fire 
of mulketry, which continued till twelve o'clock, 
when the fort was furrendered, on condition of 
the lives of the enemv being preferved, and their 
baggage prevented from being plundered, la 
this attack one Indian was killea on the part of 
the Ecgliih. The number of prifoners takeu 
amounted, officers included, to three hundred 
and ninety *. On the twentieth of May, captain 


" ■ . .1 

* Articles of Capitulation for furrendering the Cedars. 

. " After the matureft deliberation on the cuftoms and inaQ< 
^' ners of the favages in war, which I find fo oppoiite and 
contrary to the humane difpofition of the Britilh govern- 
ment, aiid to all civilized nations, and to avoid the inevi- 
table confequence of the lavage cuftom in former wan 
(which bj their threats and menaces I find is not changed), 
that of putting their prilbhers to death, todifencumber them- 
felves in cafe of their being attacked bj their enemy ; I 
have therefore, in compliance with the above difpofition 
in government and the diAates of humanity, thought fit to 
enter into the following anides of agreement wiih brlga- 
dier-general Arnpld, in the name of the power he is em- 

(>loyed by, and of the officers and foldiers who fhall be rc- 
eafed by this agreement, whofe rank and number fhall be 
endorfed on this cartel. 

" ifl. That there fhall be an exchange of prifoners faith- 
folly made, returning an equal number of his majefl/i 
troops of the fame rank of thofe releafed by this agreement, 
as foon as poffible, within the fpace of two months, allow- 
ing a moderate time for cafualties that may render die per- 
formance of this article impra(!ticable. 
" 2d, That the prifoners fhall be conduced vyith fafetj, 
and all poffible convenience and cUfpatch that circumlbnces 
























:: *^4:s 




being a\- 
, capta'm 
Qg of the 
the edge 
ds of the 
h captain 
ad twenty 
heavy fire 
re o'clock, 
ndition of 
, and their 
lered. la 
the part of 
lers taken 
e hundred 
ly, captaiu 

the Cedaw. 

Loms and n>a»- 

oppofite and 

iriuih govero- 

oid ike inevi* 

fonner wan 

not changed), 

Fncumber them- 

heit enemy ; I 

love difpofuion 

r thought fit to 

jni wiia briga- 

>wer he is em- 

^holhallbe rc- 

lumber ihall be 

prifoners faith- 

of his majefty^J 

this agreement, 

months, allov.- 

1 render die per- 

ted wid» faf«y. 
[at circuinrtancej 

" will 


Forfter being informed that a party of the enemy C HAP. 
were advancing from Montreal to the fort, or- V. 
dercd one hundred ladians to take pofleflion of 
the woods on both iides of the road through 

O 2 which 


" will permit, to the fouth ihore of the river St. Laurence,'! ■ 
" from which they are to reuair to St. John, and return to their 
*' own countries itninediately, without committing any wafte 
" ur fppil on their march thither, allowing ten or twelve to 
" go to Montreal, to tranfaA their private affairs. ' ''* 

3d, That the prifonerai fo returned (hall not, under any^'^ 
" precext whaifoever, either in words, writing,, or iigns, 
" give the lealt information to government enemies, or to 
" their adherents now in arms, in the leail prejudice to his 
«' majefly's fervice. 

" 4th, That the batteauf, or other conveniencies made ule 
" of to iranfport the prifon«rs to the fouth ihore of the iaid 
" river, or the neceflary people to conduA them, ihall return 
" unmolefted. 

5th, That hoftages be delivered, for the performance of ar- 
" ticks to the fiilT, according to the fenie and fpirit of the 
** agreement, without any equivocation whatfoever. 

"' 6tK, That the fecurity ot the fubicribers be given to the 
"inhabitants for all the wafte and fpoil committed by the de- 
'• tachment under colonel Biddel, on fair account atteiled and 
" figned being delivered, for which the hoilages are not to be 
" anfwerable. 

. " It being our full intention to fulfil the above articles, we 
"mutually iign and interchange them as afTurances of per- . 
" formance. ' 

" Given under our hands this 27th day of May, A. D. 1776. 

- (Signed) " GEORGE FORSTER, 

" Captain, commanding the king's troops." 

«• AtVaudreuil. 

*' Article 2d, The prifoners fhall be fent to the fouth ihore 
" of St. Laurence, within one leaeue of Caughnawaga, and 
" from thence to St; John's to their own country, except 
" twelve who have liberty to go to Montreal, for which pur> 
" pofe iix days fhall be allowed, and hoflilities to ceafe on 
" both fides.. 

4th, Four captains ihall be fent to Quebec as hoflages, 
" and remain therd until prifoners are exchanged. 

" 6th, The continental troops, from principle, have ever 
" avoided plundering. Upon proof being made of any wafte 

" conunitted 

., W^ 




! ,w"*-i.c V. „— - -■'-.'**«.,iSi,, 

■^mmmmnr-' »i"--**^ 


CHAP, which they were under the DecefTityof pafllng. 
V. This detachment foon fell in with a party of the 
enemy, which, after a ftiort conflia, in which 
one Indian was killed and three wounded, furren* 
dercd at difcretion. The Indians immediately 
returned with their prifoners to the fort. Oa 
their arrival at the outfide of the Tories they 
halted, for the purpofe of puttinjp^ them to death. 
Captain Forfter however, by his Ipirited condu^, 
prevenled them from putting this inhuman deter- 
mination into execution, and, rifking the fafety 
of his own men, depofited the prifoners in the 
fort, having fatisfied his Indians oy making theiu 
fome prefents.' On the fucceeding day he ad- 
vanced to Vaudreuil, lituated about fix miles to 
the northward of the Cedars. On the twenty- 
fourth of May, having received intelligence that 
the enemy, under colonel Arnold, had pofted 
themfelves at Lafhine, nine miles from Montreal, 
captain Forfter marched to attempt to diflodge 
him from it. He had advanced within three 
miles of Laihine, when he was informed that the 
number of the enemy amounted to fix hundred, 
which would be increafed to near treble that num- 
ber on the fucceeding day. On this account he 
thought it prudent to retire to Vaudreuil. On 
the twenty-uxth of May colonel Arnold advanced 
up the river, with feven hundred men, to attack 
him. Captain Forfter immediately formed his 
men into three divifions, which were placed on 
three points of land that ftretched a little way into 
the river. The left point was occupied by the fa- 


" committed b/ colonel BiddePs detachment, reparation ftall 

." be made. 

" Given under our hands this 27th day of M^.y 1776. 

(Signed) B. ARNOJ^D, 

•« Q* A«n>. " Brigadier-general of the continental 

5>t. Ann s. .. jjjjops." 



i..«v.i;^'>i- "'-''- ^:o'y'"^- 



-^C ^miK mii ,, t 



vages. The ground in that point was rather CHAP. 
Iwampy, and covered with wood almoft to the 
water 8 edge. The central point, which was open 
ground, was pofleiTed by captain Forfter ; and 
the right point, lituated at the head of a danger- 
ous rapid, was defended by a body of Canadians : 
Another body of Canadians was alfo fituated on 
the ifle of Perrault, oppoiite to the right point. 
The enemy firft made an attempt on the left 
point, but were repulfed. They next endcA- 
voured to land in the central point, but were pre- 
vented. An attempt againft the third point was 
attended with the fame fuccefs. The enemy 
therefore relinquifhed their intentions, and re- 
turned to St. Ann's, on the ifland of Montreal. 
Captain Forfter finding himfelf now much encuni- 
bered by the number of his prifoners, and having 
received no intelligence of general Carleton's ar- 
rival at Trois Rivieres, judged it expedient t6 
enter into an exchange of prifoners with colonel 
Arnold. This cartel was afterwards broken by 
congrefs, on a pretence that captain Forfter had 
condu6led himfelf towards the prifoners taken at 
the Cedars in a cruel and inhuman manner. This* 
pretence however, it ftiould be mentioned in 
juftice to captain Forfter, had not the fmalleft 
foundation. And in confirmation of the ailef- 
tion, und of captain F6rfter*s humanity, captain 
Sullivan, who had been taken prifoner, in a let- 
ter to his brother general Sullivan, exprei£;d his 
furprife at hearing that congrefs, inftead of re- 
deeming him and the other hoftages, according t'6 
the cartel, had demanded captain Forfter to be 
delivered up. At the fame time he declared, in 
the moft folemn manner, that no man could be- 
have with more humanity than that gentleman 



. ,f***6.'f V 

^ fi J 



"a '»'"*""■'-.«•.,•■ 



> . 



H I S 

4 o 

R y d p T M t 

CHAP, did after the furrender of the party to which he 
V. belonged*. 



* l4Ucr from £. Sullivan to niajor-t!«ncral John Sullivan, 
.>|f " member ot congreft. 

ft* • 
), " Dear Sik, Montreal, Au:;. 4, 1776. 

■•*'.•' I AM permitted by hit excellrncy, which ii a favour I 
" did not exTicA 10 obtain, to inform yoM I am well, ai 
'* are the holiageathat are with me. I am much iurprifer' 'o 
" hear that the congrels, inllead of redeeming us accjt .. g 
" to the cartel, have not only refiifed to do it, but h.tve :t- 
" manded captain Forfter to be delivered ud to laAver hit 
" ponduA for wliat they are pleafed to trrm ihr i T cres at 
** the Cedars. I would fain flatter myleif thai ii>t: tonirrefi 
*' would never have thoueht of fuch unhc.ird-of prnceedin^i, 
" had they not had a falie reprefentation of the matter. I do 
" not think that I am under any relirsint when I fay,' and 
** call that God who mull iudge of all things to witnefs, that 
** not a man living could haveufed more humanity ihan cap- 
" tain ForAer did after the furrender of the paify 1 belonged 
** to; and whoever fays to the contrary, let his it.ition in 
" life be what it will, he is an enemy io peace, and a falla- 
" cious difturber of mankind. What reafon they can give 
** fo^ IV \ redeeming us I cannot conceive ; if they are wron«;ly 
" informed that the affair of the Cedars was a maffacre, why 
" do not they rather fulfil the cartel than let their hollaget 
" remain in the hands of a mercilefs enemy ; or do they re- 
" gard their troops only while the heavens make them vide- 
" rious? 

,,\ *' Were we in the hands of <| rigorous power, as they would 
" intiinate, have thev not every colour of juflice, after fo 
" eAormous a breach of faith, laden with chains, to caft 
" us into fome horrid place, and tell us to languifh out our 
" days under a fentence pafTed by our own people? If they 
•• fay that there is fome hidden reafon far beyond the reach of 
V pplicy to find out, for coul'l th^y luppofe it policy to dil- 
" trcfs his majefty's troopt u^ j t;i'iiiiig I'uch a miuitier of 
•• mea from them, it woi\^ '\c<, <■ • ■ '•',> tlie br of their 

«• faith that would threat 'l ■ r confider the number 

" of prifoners alread)r in the hands of the Britifh army, and 
" ailfo confiderthe chance of war that may yet throw greater 
" numbers into their hands. Will people rell cvntent when 
*' they find their own rulers willing to lei ihcin remain pri- 

" fontrj 




■-^S^CVV :^-, ^^' 


A M C r f G A N WAR. m 

General Carletou, uou reinforced by an addUC HAP. 
tional number of tro >ps from ba^land, haftened ^' 
to Trois Rivieres, fuuaied half-way between 
Montreal and Q^ bee 1 iini place, however, 
the Americans had defcried, and retreated as 
far as the river Sorrel, a ilAance of one hun- 
dred and fifty miles. Here they hulled, and 
were joined by reinforcements fent by congrefs. 
On the ftrength of thefe they refolved to make 
au attempt on Trois Rivieres. On this expedi« Th« Ameru 
tion two thoufand men were difpatched under ihe^*^* ''^^.^ 
command of general Thomfon. CoaAing thev^ — 
lake St. Peter's on the fouth fide, they proceeded 





foneri in the hands of what they themfelves term (thou;;h 
uiuuftly) a mercilrfs people*, or will the/ not, fired vn \ 
re^ntment for fuch inhuman treatment, take armi to fu j- 
prefs the power that regards them no longer than Mthile 
their blood is fpilling in their fervice? If this, which ap- 
pears too probable, inould happen, confider whether thofe 
perfons will not be followed hj a number of their friends, 
which muft naturally make a prreat divifion in the colonies. 
Then take a view of Great Britain and her allies pouring 
on you, and let the moft fanguine expeAer in America', 
there judge how long the colonies, thus divided, can ftand 
the fur/ of the combat. I know /our influence has been 
great, and for that reafon have written, that you may, if 
poiRble, yet prevent America fr >m being branded with the 
name of injuftice. If you lufpe<5t I write this for the 
fake of getting my own liberty, yourfufpicions wrong me; 
it is not my confinement, but the breach of a treaty, which 
even favages have ever held facred, that caufes me to 

" Ymi will be fo kind as to convey the inclofed to my wife, 
and it' ever I had fo much of your love as to demand any 
favour of you, let this be the time 1 may implore your af- 
fiHance for my diilreiTed wife and helpiefs orphans. May 
God grant that I may once more fee them ; till when, 

•' I am 

(A true copy.) " Your affe^ionate brother, 

" To the hon. general John Sullivan, 

" in Durham county, in New Hamp- ; .< 

" Ihirt, near Fortfmouth." 

■ « J*' 

•^ / 




200 H I S T O R Y O F T HE 

CHAP. to the liver Nicolct, ^hich commences at^ "^ 
V. extremity of the lake, and difcharges itfelf into 
the river St. Laureace. The banks of the Nice- 
let are covered with a thick wood. Here they 
remained all day. At night they crofled over to 
a place called Point du Lac, where they landed, 
and immediately proceeded to Trois Rivieres. 
A Canadian peafant, however, as foon as they 
had landed, haftened before them to general Fra- 
zer at Trois Rivieres, to inform him of their ope- 
rations. General Frazer immediately landed a 
body of troops and fome iield jpieces, and pre- 
pared to receive them. General Neftit, at the 
fame time, polled his detachment in the euemy'^ 
rear, and eneAuallV cut off a retreat by the com- 
mon road, while major Grant, taking pofiefiioQ 
of the bridge, rendered their efcape over the; ri- 
ver De Loup imprafticable. 

On the arrival of the enemy at Trois Rivieres, 
a furious attack was commenced, which proved 
unfuccefsful. General Frazer repulfed them with 
great lofs ; and their commander, general Thorn- 
fon, with about two hundred of his men, were taken 
prifoneirs. A large body, under the command of 
colonel Allen, who afterwards commanded a pro- 
vincial regiment in his majefty's fervice, knowing 
that their retreat by the common road had been 
cut off, retired into a wood on their left, which 
was full of deep fwamps. Here they remained in 
great diftrefs till next day, when lir Guy Carleton, 
who had arrived from Gtnebec, ordering major 
Grant to relinquilh the poflefllon of the bridge 
over the river De Loup, they fortunately effeded 
their efcape. The enemy, however, were purfued 
by water, but for fome unknown reafon the purfuit 
was difcontinued on the arrival of the Britifh 
troops at Sorrel. It was generally believed that 
if, inflead of coming to anchor, general Carleion 
.:-''^' '■■■■' ' ■'"■'■ '■■"^ ^ '' ■ " " had 

with great 


IS at 
felf into 
he Nlco- 
ere they 
I over to 
y landed, 
L as they 
leral Fra- 
their opcr 
landed a 
, and pre- 
bit, at the 
le euemy'^ 
ythe com- 
{ pofiibi&oa 
iver th^ ri- 

is Rivieres, 
lich proved 


had coutinued thepurfuit, which he might have^^^^*' 
doae, as the wind was as favourable as it could ^^__*^- 
poflibly be, he would undoubtedly have arrived g^ 
at Chambl^c ten or twelve hours before general 
Sullivan, who was encumbered with heavy can- 
non and baggage. In this cafe Sullivan would 
have been compelled to lay down his arms ; ge- 
neral Arnold woidd have been intercepted at 
Montreal, where he remained till the fixteenth 
of Jime ; and Tici^deroga, alfo, would have , 
been taken, as no troops had been Rationed there 
for its defence. 

General Burgoyne, who had arrived with the J"»»- 
laft reinforcements from England, now proceed- 
ed, in purfuit of the continental army, up the 
river to St. John's, but under orders from general 
fir Guy Carleton, not to rifk an engagement, un^ 
til he fhould be fullained by another column on 
his right, dire^ed to proceed to Montreal. This 
great precaution of the commander in chief gave 
the Americans an opportunity of makina^ their 

The Americans had now entirely quitted Ca-TiisAm«l. 
nada, having in their retreat from Montreal and^ ^Jj 
St. John's, croiTed the lake Champlain, and fta-da. 
tioaed themfclves at Crown Point ; which poft it 
was not judged expedient by the Britiih com^ 
nianders, at prefent, to attack. 

It has already been mentioned that Mr. Mar-Cflbma* 
tin, governor of North Carolina, had been ob-!5*g^r'tiS 
liged to flee for Ihelter, like the governors of Rovemmei^ 
other provinces, to a Ihip. In this fituation,carSl 
however, he was not ina6live : He had, by means 
of his emiffaries, formed a junftion between fome 
Scotch emigrants, and a band of refolute unruly 
men, called Regulators, who had long lived in a 
wandering ftateof independence, their chief oc- 
cupation being that of bunting. The command 





... 1 '-• •« 


P* of thefe parties was given to the colonels Macdo. 
nald and Macleod, who, by the governor's di- 
redion, erefted the king's ftandard, to which he 
fummoned all perfons to repair. This force was 
intended to a6t in conjunction with a body of 
troops expected early in the fpring, which, bow- 
ever, did not arrive in time for co-operatioo. 
The Highlanders were to march down the uorth- 
ernmoft branch of Cape Fear to Wilmington, a 
town about twenty-four miles from the Fork, 
where they were to be met by the king's troops, 
and fuch veflels of war, of eafy draught of wa- 
ter, as could come up there : A plan which, if 
it had been adhered to, bid fair to fecure the alle- 
giance of the inhabitants of Cape Fear, and of 
confequence extendflig more or lef» influence 
over the other parts of this province. In the 
mean time thofe who had ufurped the govern- 
ment, direded that fix regiments of continental 
troops fhould be raifed in North Carolina ; one of 
which was to be flationed at Wilmington, under 
the command of colonel James Moore, a man of 
the moft jufl: fame in that part of the province, 
who had formerly been lieutenant-colonel of pro- 
vincials, under his majefty's government ; a man 
of an active, humane, and gallant difpofition, but 
little acquainted with military operations. On 
the other hand, the loyalifts were by no means 
inadive ; a number of the inhabitants in the coun- 
ties of Orange and Chatham, many of whom were 
formerly diftiaguifhed by the name of Regulators, 
asj^reed to ad in concert with the Highlanders: In 
coufequeuce of which, a council was formed of 
feme of the leaders of the back-country men, and 
the chiefs of the Highlanders. The governor ap- 
pointed Mr. Macdorxald to the command, with 
the rank of brigadier-general, and gave a lieute- 
nantrcoloncl's copimifiion to Mr. Macleod, who 


els Macdo- 
rernor's di- 

which he 
IS force was 

a body of 
;hich, bow- 
i the north- 
IniiiBgton, a 

1 the Fork, 
ing's troops, 
lught of wa- 
an which, if 
cure the alle- 
Fear, and of 
effj influence 
Qc:e. In the 

the govern- 
f continental 
olina } oueof 
Ington, under 
jre, a man of 
the provinte, 
>lonelof pro- 
iment ; a man 
iipofiiion, but 
orations. Oa 
. by no means 
)f whom were 
of Regulators, 
ghlanders: In 
was formed of 
intry men, and 
- governor ap- 
mmand, with 
gave a lieuie- 
acleod, who 




was to be fecond in command. The other oflfi- CHAP. 
cers were nominated by the council, fuch as V. 
were moft agreeable to their leaders : It hap- '^■^s'^^ 
peiied unfortunately, however, that general Clin- * 77^. 
ton did not arrive as foon as was expedled ; and 
in the month of January 1776, it was. neceffary 
to embody the loyaliAs, as the only chance of 
keeping them fleady in their intentions, and 
which was to take place on a certain day, at the 
town of Crofs Creek, which they had fixed upon 
as their head-quarters and place of rendezvous. 
Thefe operations, however fecretly they were in- 
tended to be carried on, did not elude the vigi- 
lance of the nopular leaders ; and as foon as it 
was known tnat the loyaliils were embodying, 
the continental regiment at Wilmington, and fuch 
of the rebel militia as. could be coiledted, were 
ordered to march under the command of colopel 
James Moore^ to intercept their progrefs from 
Crofs Creek to Wilmington. The troops col- 
leded on this occafion amounted to between eight 
and nine hundred, and they marched up the 
north-weft of Cape Fear, without meeting any of ^ 
the loyalifts, who remained embodied at Crofs 
Creek. The rebel troops croflTed Rock-Fi(h, 
which is a creek with very high banks, and there. 
i6 a bridge over its end, which is about fix miles 
from Crofs Creek ; upon the weftern fide or this ' 

bridge the rebels encamped, and remained there 
for three days, during which time nothing took 
place but meffages by flags of truce, relative to 
luch perfons as were occafionally taken priloners 
by each party. 

It unfortunately happened that there were great 
divifious in the councils of the loyalifts. That 
unanimity, neceffary to vigorous and decided 
Hieafurcs, was wanting ; and it may be prcfumed 
they did not mean to a'6l offeufively, unlefs im- 

X .'■ 

' *;■'■ 





CHAP pelled to it by neceflity ; or othcrwife the infe- 
V. cure and unfoldierly pofition that the rebels had 
taken, which was with a deep morafs and fwamp 
on their left, the north-weft river on their right, 
and the deep creek of Rock-Fifti in their rear, 
added to the dread that at that period they enter- 
tained of the broad-fword, as well as of the ufe 
the Highlanders had on former occafions made 
of it, were circumftances too inviting to be neg- 
leded by any who were in the leaft acquainted 
with military operations. 

The loyalifts had certainly nothing clfe in view 
but to fmuggle themfelves down to Wilmington, 
regardlefs of what force they left in the rear, 
provided they met none in front to oppofe their 
progrefs; and, with this view, after wafting their 
time in fruitlefs intercourfe with the rebel party 
at Rock-Fiftij they croffed the north-weft river 
at Cambleton and Gibfon's ferries, intending to 
proceed to Wilmington, through a neck of land 
thinly inhabited, which is called Black-River 
Road, and feparated by that river and the north- 
weft, and which leads to a place, iituated on the 
conflux of the north-caft and north branches of 
Cape Fear, within half a mile of Wilmington, 
and called Negro-Head Point. 

In the mean time, the embodying of the loy- 
alifts hadfpread abroad through the province; and 
as foon as colonel Moore's party had marched from 
Wilmington, a colonel Cafweli, who commanded 
one of the continental regiments in the neigh- 
bourhood of Newburp, colledled about four or 
five hundred men, and with one two-pounder 
and two fwivels marched to the^north-weft of 
Cape Fear, to aft as occafion might require. 
Colonel Cafweli, who was a fenfible difcerning 
man, and was reckoned one of the beft woodfraeu 
in the province, readily forefaw that, if an eh- 
' . ■ , gagement 



e the infe- 

rebels had 
and fwamp 
their right, 

their rear, 
they cnter- 
s 01 the ufc 
lafions made 
ig tobcneg. 


5 clfe in view 
in the rear, 

oppofe their 
•wafting their 
le rebel party 
•th-weft river 

intending to 

I neck of land 


md the north- 

tuatcd on the 

1 branches of 

ng of the by. 
province; and 
inarched from 
10 commanded 
in the neigh- 
about four or 

K two-pounder 
^north-weft of 
might require, 
ble difcerning 
beft woodfmeu 
that, if an eh- 

^agement had taken place between the loyaliftscHAP. 
aud the rebel party on the north-weft fide of Cape V. 
Fear, that their route would be by the Black Ri- '^^T'^*^ 
ver Road ; and for that purpofe he marched to *77^- 
the road leading to Negro-Head Point, and 
crofled Moore's Creek, which is about twelve 
miles from thence. 

In order to arreft theprogrefs of theloyalifts, 
at the fame time, colonel Moore, finding that the 
loyalifts had taken the other fide of the river, re- 
turned with his troops the fame way he went up, 
aud croffnig at the lower ferries, on the north- "^ 
weft, effetSled a jundlion with colonel Cafwell, 
who was at that time encamped on the north fide 
of Moore's Creek bridge. The loyalifl:s had pro- 
ceeded without interruption within half a mile of 
the rebel camp ; and the night before they in- 
tended to attack it, they fent a flag of truce, by 
way of getting intelligence of their fituation, and 
which M s nearly as hazardous a one, as that 
which colonel Moore had placed himfelf in at 
Rock-Fifh ; but the infecurity of their pofition 
did not cfcape the vigilance of Mr. Cafwell ; for ^ 
as foon as night came on, he lighted up all his 
fires, which he left burning, in order to deceive 
the loyalifts, retreated over Moore's Creek, took 
the planks off the bridge, and greafed the fieepers, 
which are only paflable by one man at a time, and 
placed his men about fifty yards from the banks 
of the creek, behind trees, and fuch little in- 
trenchmems as in the courfe of the night they 
were able to throw up. 

The loyalifts, on the other hand, fluflied with 
the accounts that their flag of truce brought them, 
determined to attack the rebels in their camp the 
next morning ; and accordingly colonel Macleod,, 
who commanded the attack, feeing the fires in thi 
rebel camp burning, and nobody therei concluded 



■ ft: 


n:\ ,•.■■ 

\r '■■■" 




UK iS 

! : 

CHAP, that the rebels had evacuated it through fear, and 
V. with about twenty-two of the Highlanders he got 
over the bridge, intending to attack them i word 
in hand. But he had no iooner reached the top 
of the bank than he received two or three bullets, 
and alraoft iuflantly expired ; the remainder of 
the advanced party were all killed and wounded, 
except colonel Thomas Rutherford and captain 
Fraler, who ei'capctd unhurt. The loyalifts, dif. 
u)ayed at feeing a leader fall in whom they had lb 
much confidence, after firing off fome of their 
firelocks (which were levelled too high to do any 
execution), broke and difperfed, every one taking 
the ncarefl way he could through the woods to 
his own home. Thofe from the back country . 
■were more luccefsful in their retreat, as being bet- 
ter woodfnien than the Highlanders, the lei^ders 
of whom were almoft all taken, together withge. 
neral Macdonald, and lent off under a guard to 
different priions at the northward. The rebels 
had one or two (lightly wounded ; the loyalifts, 
about eight killed and fourteen wounded, of whom 
the greater part died. And thus unfortunately 
ended the firA enterprife in the Carolinas in fup- 
port of his majefty's government. ;^^ :sxiW' 

Colonel Moore was afterwards a major-general 
in the rebel fervice, and colonel Cafwell was one 
of their governors ; and both behaved with great 
lenity and moderation towards the loyalifts while 
they continued in power. The army of the loy- 
aliits confided of about eighteen hundred. 

The governors of the feveral colonies, in their 
reprefentationis to the government of Great Bri- 
tain, bad adduced many reafons on which they 
founded the following fuppofitions : That on ac- 
count of the infufficiency of ftrength in the dif- 
ferent provinces, thofe who were well affefted to 
Great Britain were reilraiued from taking, an ac- 





h fear, and 
lers he got 
hem iword 
led the top 
ree bullets, 
nainder of 
1 wounded, 
and captain 
jyalifts, dif- 
they had lo 
me of their 
jh to do any 
y one taking 
le woods to 
)ack country . 
as being bet- 

the leaders 
:her withge- 
:r a guard to 

The rebels 
[the loyalifts, 


inas in fup- 

najor- general 
well was one 
ed with great 
jyalifts while 
ly of theloy- 

nies, in their 
jf Great Bri- 
Q which they 
That on ac- 
th in the dif- 
ell afFefted to 
taking an ac- 



tive part againft the Americans; but that, if the CHAP, 
ijiotber-couniry would provide a relpedabie force 
to countenance and co-operate with them, they 
would immediately attach themfelves to her caufe. 
In coufequence of thefe reprefentaiions, the fif- . 
teeuth, twenty-eighth, thirty-third, thirty-fe- 
venth, fifty-fourth, and fifty-feventh regiments, < 
with feven companies of the forty-fixth regiment, 
embarked from Cork on the twelfth of February 
1776, under the command of lord Cornwallis, in ": 
lieveral tranfports under the convoy of fir Peter > 
Parker. This is the force above alluded to, in- 
tended to co-operate with the loyalifts in North 
Carolina. After a long voyage of near three 
months, occafioned by the improper tatenefs of 
their departure from Great Britain, all the fieet, 
except fome few ihips, arrived at Cape Fear, in 
North Carolina, on the third of May. General 
Clinton, who had quitted Bofton in December, 
immediately took the command of the troops* 
and ilTued a proclamation, in which he invited 
the inhabitants of the feveral colonies to return 
to their allegiance, and to place themfelves uadei^ 
the protedion of the Britiih government. 

The effed produced by this proclamation was 
trifling, and the caufe of Great Britain acquiired 
by it but a imall addition of adherents. a« . 

The remainder of the fleet being not yet air- 
rived, general CUnton refolved to make a fmall 
diverfion, the principal objeA of which was to 
obtain a fupply of cattle, fheep, and vegetables. 
Four companies of light infantry, with the thirty- 
third and thirty-feventh regiments, embarking in 
flat-bottomed boats, proceeded to the town of 
Brunfwick, fituated on a. fmall river to the north- 
weftward of Cape Fear. On the approach of the 
troops the inhabitants abandoned their habitati- 
ons, and after lurprifing a party of the Americans, 


I 1 


'■ 1**t:'.c%, 



i . I 

CHAP, and fecuring a quantity of provifions, the detach- 
V. menl returned on board their refpeftive fhips. It 

•*"^'^^ was expedled that the troops from Ireland woukl 
•77<^ have arrived two months earlier than they did. 
General Clinton's orders were to try if any of the 
ibuthern provinces would take up arms in favour 
of Britain ; in which cafe he was to have left a body 
of troops to aflift thofe loyalifis ; but he was in. 
ftru£led to repair with the remainder of the troops 
to New York harbour, by fuch time as it was pro< 
bable that the commanaer in chief would arrive 
there, from Halifax, to begin the great operati. 
ons for that campaign. The arrival of the troops 
at Cape Fear was fo tardy, that it wa& obvioui 
that no time could be f pared fufiicient to make a 
proper trial of the affeAions of any of thofe pro. 
vinces. General Clinton, however, thought he 
might avail himfelf of the force colledled under 
his command to attempt a fecondary purpofe, 
fuggefted by the information which reached him 
during his ftay in Cape Fear river, and which it 

Attempt of was hoped might be completed within the time 

citoton'8 a- *^low**^ ^i"" ^y ^is inftrudlions. The trade car. 
gainftchar-ried on from the harbour of Charleftown was the 
leftown. great fupport of the funds for the warlike prepa- 
rations of the fouthern colonies. A fort built ou 
Sullivan's Ifland prote^ed and commanded the 
channel of the hafbour. The capture of that 
fort was the objedl of the expedition to South 
Carolina. The poireffion of that fort would give 
to the Britiih the entire dominon of the harboui 
of Charles Town. It was therefore projefted 
that, if the fort fhould be taken, a fufficien^ gar- 
rifon fhould be left for its defence ; but that ope* 
rations, for the prefent, in this quarter, fhould 
\)e carried no farther. 

General Clinton having waited till the thirtieth 
of May for the fhips he expected, refolved to 


1 1 


the detach- 
rc fhips. It 
;laad woukl 
tn they did. 
if any of the 
ms in favour 
re left a body 
at he was in- 
of the troops 
18 it was pro- 
would arrive 
^reat operati- 
of the troops 
was obvioui 
>nt to makes 
of thofe pro. 
r, thought he 
ille£ied undet 
iary purpofe, 
reached him 
and which it 
ithin the time 
rhe trade car. 
:ftown was tbe 
warlike prepa- 
\ fort built on 
mmanded the 
ipture of that 
itionto South 
ort would give 
[>f the harboui 
ore projeftcd 
fufficient gar- 
but that ope- 

ill the thirtieth 
i, refolved to 



wafle no more time, but to fet fail for South v. 
Carolina. Fortunately however thofe fhips join- 
ed him off Cape Fear, and the whole fleet now 
proceeding to Charleftown, arrived there on the 
fourth of June. The general immediately tak- 
ing poffeffion of Long Ifland, the loyaliAs of 
which had been difarmed by the Americans in 
January, encamped the troops upon it. 

Half a mile from Charleftown harbour the 
Americans had conftruifted a ftrong fortification 
on Sullivan's Ifland, which confifled of twenty- 
two thirty-two pounders, and was garrifoned by 
three hundred men. As it commanded the har- 
bour, general Clinton refolved to attempt the 
redu6lion of it. Lee, the American general, 
who had watched with the utmoft anxiety every 
operation of general Clinton, and who had fol? 
lowed him through the feverai provinces he haa 
viftted, was at this period encamped on a fpot 
northward from Sullivan's Ifland, with which he 
held a communication by a- bridge of boats. Two 
batteries of cannon and mortars, conftrudted on 
the point of Long Ifland to anfwer thofe of the 
enemy, and to co-operate with the floating batte- 
ries deftined to cover the landing of the troops 
on Sullivan's Ifland, being completed, it was de- 
termined to commence the reduftion of the fort 
on the twenty-eighth of June. At half paft ten 
o'clock in the morning Sir Peter Parker, in the 
Briftol, made the fignal for adion to the follow- 
ing fliips — the Experiment of fifty guns ; the 
Aftive, Solebay, Adlaeon, Syren, and Sphynx, 
frigates ; the Thunder bomb, and the Friend- 
Ihip armed ftiip of twenty-four guns. At a quar- 
ter paft eleven, all the fliips having got fprings 
upon their cables, began a raoft tremendous fire 
upon the fort. Three of the frigates, the Ac- 
jtceon, Syren, and Sphynx, got aground. The 
Vol. L P two 





5. ■ 5/ 






CHAP, two laft however hove oflF, but the firft ftuck faft, 
^' and was fet on fire on the fucceeding ihorning, 
in order to prevent her falling into the hands 
of the enemy. 

At, the fame time that the fleet began firing, 
the batteries on Long Ifland opened. At twelve 
o'clock the light-infantry, grenadiers, and the 
fifteenth regiment, embarked in boats, the float* 
ing and armed craft getting under way 
ftt the fame time to cover their landing on SuUU 
Van's Ifltnd. Scarcely, however, had the de. 
tachment proceeded from Long Ifland, before 
thev were ordered to difembark, and return to 
their emcampment : And it mufl be confefled 
that, if they had landed, the > would have had to 
ilruggle with difficulties almcft infurmountable. 
The ground on which t]he iort ftood was infi^lated 
by a broad and deep trench cut acrofs the ifland, 
and this canal under the immediate command of 
the guns of Fort Sullivan. 
' In the mean time the fliips continued an unrc' 
mitting fire upon the fort. Between one and 
two o'clock the f re of the enemy flackened for 
a fliort time, owing to a want of ammunitioD. 
Having, obtained however a frefti fupply, their 
fire was renewed, and ceafed not till between 
nine and ten o'clock. In this day's attack the 
Briftol and Experiment fuflered molt ; the fire 
of the enemy being principally diredted againft 
them, they were left almoft wrecks upon the wa- 
ter. Early on the morning of the twenty-ninth, 
the light-infantry, grenadiers^ and the fifteenth 
regiment, were again embarked, and almofl i'^- 
mediately afterwards ordered to difembark. m 
this inactive ftate did affairs remain till the M' 
teenth of July, when orders were iffued to the 
troops to embark on board the tranfports. Sir 
H. Clinton had been greatly deceived in his in- 



(luck faft, 
; rtiorning, 
the hands 

gan firing, 

At twelve 
8, and the 
►, the float- 
under way 
ng on Sulli- 
lad the de* 
iand, before 
id return to 
3e confeffed 

have had to 
Mvas infiplated 
jfs the ifland, 
i command of 

fiued an unrc 

een one and 

flackencd for 


fupply, t^eir 
till between 
's attack the 
.jolt ; the fire 
(iredied againft 
upon the wa- 
t thehfteemh 
tnd almofti"^' 
iifembark. ^Q 
iia till the fif- 
ilTued to the 
.anfports. Sir 
;ived in his in- 

A M E R I C A N W A R. 

formation. The paflage was not fordable in the ^ 
rear of the fort ; for fir Henry and fevcral other 
officers waded up to their fhoulders, and then, 
on finding that the depth of water increafed, re- 
turned. On putting the boats, in which were the 
artillery, into the water, it was found, that they 
let in the water fo faft that they muft fink. The 
officers and men of the artillery who were in 
them had nearly been loft. The ihips kept at 
too great a diftauce : They might have gone 
much nearer, and if they had, would have done 
great execution, bv pouring broadfides iiito the 
fort ; but their diftance was fuch that they did 
little or no damage to the fott. The Americans 
were much elated upon this fuccefs, which confi- 
derably inflamed the fpirit of revolt. ' 

On the twenty-firft, the army failed for NeW 
York, under the convoy of the Solebay frigate, 
the reft of the fleet being under the neceffity of 
remaining to, refit. Thus ended an expeditioa 
from which the friends of government had pre- 
didied the moft beneficial confequences. 


J J./ ..- »i 


■ ■ -.4 

■ . '^ .'.^%■,.,,X.f'■ 
' ' ' ' > 

• ■ ■ ■ . ,> ■ 



--*! ";..:[ i iraxfl i/^/P:i.';j 

i >■% 






A£ti of the 


Proceedings of Congrefs-^Declaration of Indepen- 
dence — Arrival y Lord Howe from England-^ 
Rattle of Long IJland^-^Overtures on the part 

. of the Britijb Commanders for Peace. — 1776. 

IT will be remembered that early in the fum* 
mer of 1775 congrefshad voted that the af- 
femblies of the feveral colonies fhould give in- 
ftru£lions to their delegates relative to the inde- 
pendence of America. However premature fuch 
a vote might be thought at that period by mode- 
rate men, the fubfequent fuccefs of the Ame- 
rican arms had entirely overcome tlieir objec- 
tions to its tendency, and had paved the way for 
another vote more open and more ample in its 

On the fifteenth of May 1776 it was refolved 
" to recommend to the various aflemblies and 
conventions in the United States of America, 
where no form of government adequate to the 
exigencies of affairs had yet been adopted, to 
eftablilh fuch a conflitution as ihould be moft con- 
ducive to the public welfare and fecurity." This 
vote was immediately publifhed in the Penfylva- 
nia Gazette, with a preamble, ftating that, a^ 
" his Britannic majefly had, with the concur- 
rence of his parliament, excluded the iuhabi* 
tants of the colonies from hi^ protedion," it was 
deemed neceflary and expedient to fupprefs and 
abolifh the power and conftitution which had been 
derived from that fource. 




The alTemblies of the colonies readily com- CHAP. 



plied with the recommendations of congrefs, ex< 
cept Maryland, whofe delegates, together with 
the Penfylvania afTembly, feceded from congrefs. 
Virgini i, however, feemed to poflefs more of the 
fpirit that animated the congrefs than the other 
provinces ; for on the day on which the above re- 
folution paifed at Philadelphia, the aflembly of 
Virginia, which was then fitting at Williamfburg, 
indru^led their delegates to propofe a refolution 
of a iimilar tendency to that of congrefs ; ap- 
pointing at the fame time a committee to pre- 
pare the plan of a new conditution. They atfo . 
publiihed the following declaration of rights : 

1. That all men are born equally free, poflef- 
iing certain natural rights, of which they can- 
not by any compadl deprive their pofterity. 

2. That all power is vefled in the people, from 
whom it is derived. 

3,. That they have an unalienable, indefeafible 
right to reform, alter, or abolifh, their form of 
government at pleafure. • , 

4. That the idea of an hereditary iirft magif-^ * . ' 
trate is unnatural and abfurd ; — and, " 

5. That no government, independent of, or •" 
fcparated from, the government of Virginia, 
ought to prevail within the limits of Virginia. 

In purfuance of the recommendation of con- Declaration 
grefs, moil of the provinces had inftru£led their 3[^.''**"' 
delegates on the fubjedl of independence. The 
cataflrophe was now at hand, and on the fourth 
of July 1776, America was fevered for ever from 
Great Britain )by a refolution, whlchi after enu- 
merating the feveral grievances already flated, 
declared, " that, on account of the king of Great 
Britain having refufed to redrefs them, the inha- 

Jjitaats of the United Colonies were thereby dif- 

■ '.'v. v.i v/- 1;, V-^ ■•■•" >> •*».* jf^'iv- ..vui^Aij<i,,' <!*■•■, -r -7 '-- charced 


"(t— ' " 

■t'^'mtiK -iser-f 





CHAP* charged and abfolved from all allegiance and obe- 
VI. ■ dience to him." :\.i;.l„, ,,,.... : i.i h' 


Previoufly to the palHng of this refolmion it 
?77^' had been difpatched to the different provincial 
aflemblies, in order that it might be ratified iin< 
pjediately after it had paifed the congrefs. No 
oppoliiion was made on this account in any of 
the provinces, except in Maryland, where the 
ratification was rejeftcd by the aflfenibly, who 
prdered their delegates to fecede from congrels. 
A body of the people however obliged them to 
return injmediately, and the aflembly were com- 
polled to ratify the important refolmion. This 
unanimity was in a great degree produced by the 
Bumeroijs publications that appeared about this 
period. Of thefe the nioft dininguifhed was a 
■ivork entitled Common Sonfe, the author, Idr. 
Thomas Paine, who has fince rendered his name 
fo famous oil the theatre of Europe, and of the 
^'orld. Such w^re the meafures which America 
had adopted previoully tq the arrival of lord 
Howe from England, ' . i,w ./f^ . ismi. 

Arrival of a The army having now fufficiently recovered 
JfrdHowe from thc fatigue and fiolsnefs produced by their 
from £ng- confined fituation in Boilon, departed from Ha- 
lifax on the eleventh of June, arid proceeded to 
Sandy Hook, to wait for the arrival of the rein- 
forcements from Europe, it may not be uniie- 
ceflary to mention here, that it was t^e general 
opinion that fir William Howefhould have gone 
to Long Ifland inftead of Halifax ; the foldiers 
might then have been fupplied from the i(lai^4 
with cattle in abundance, and if theire had been 
no tents they might hav^ been hutted, as the 
Americans were, and by that means have been 
enaWed to have opened the campaign much ear- 
lier. Thc army reached Sandy-Hook on thc 
iwenty- ninth of June. General Howe, who had 







been there for fome time, had receiired from CHAP, 
major-general Tryon, the governor of New York, ^^* 
who had been obliged to take refuge on board 
a man of war, the following account of the iltu- 
ation of the Americans in that province. 

Having obtained undoubted information that 
the Britim armaments were to be direded againfl 
New York, they were endeavouring, by ilrong 
entrenchments, both there and on Long Ifland, 
to obftruft the paiTage of the fleet up the narth 
and eaft rivers. To increafe thefe impediments, 
dhains of funken veflels were laid in various parts 
o£ the channel. They had alfo magazines of 
warlike ftores, and a large train of artillery. In 
confequence of this information, ana certain 
that fuccours from England would foon arrive, 
general Howe reiblved to wafle no more time at 
Sandy Hook, but to proceed with the army to 
Staten Ifland, fituated oppofite to Long liland, 
where he could watch the operations of the ene- 
my. Accordingly, on the third of July, he land- 
ed the tropps on the Iflwid without oppofitiot^^ 
the enemy abandoning it on his approach. The; 
troops thus landed, confifted of two battalions 
of light-infantry, two of grenadiers, the fourth, 
fifth, tenth, feventeenth, twenty-fecond, twenty- 
third, twenty-feventh, thirty-fifth, thirty-eighth, 
fortieth, fojrty-fecond, forty-third, forty-fourth, 
forty-fifth, forty-ninth, fifty-fccond, fifty-fifth, 
fixty-third, and fixty-fourth regiments of foot, 
and part of the forty-fixth and feventy-firft regi- 
ments, and the feventeenth resilient of light 
dragoons. There were befides two companies 
of volunteers raifed at New York, confifting of 
one hundred men each. Tl^ total amount was 
nine thoufand men. It had been determined to 
land on Long liland : but upon further confide- 
ration it was thought more advifeabic to wait foe 




•i'f t i 


-A*«r.- ^ 


■-V • 






CHAP.the arrival of the troops from Europe, and to 
^I* land in the mean time upon Staten Ifland. 

On the firft of July lord Howe, and the long- 
expeded fuccours from England, arrived at San- 
dy Hook, and thence proceeded to Staten If- 
land. The reinforcement brought from England 
amounted, with the troops already in America^ 
to near thirty thoufand men. The late arrival of 
this reinforcement is to be particularly lamented, 
becaufe, for fome time before this period, gene- 
ral Wafhington's army did not amount to nine 
thoufand men fit for duty ; two thoufand of whom 
were entirely deftitute of arms. It mull therefore 
be fufficiently apparent, that moft important ad- 
vantages would- have accrued to the Britifti caufe 
if the campaign had commenced two months 
earlier than it did. The American army muft 
then have been inevitably overwhelmed by the 
fuperiority of numbers and of difcipline oppofed 
to it. So well convinced, was colonel Jofeph 
Read, the American adjutant-general, of this 
fuperiority, that, in a letter to a member of con- 
grefs, he ftated the amount of the American army 
to be lefs than eight thoufand men, " all of 
*' whom, from the general to the private, were 
" exceedingly difcouraged." Lord Howe had 
been appointed to the command of the fleet de- 
ftined to co-operate with his brother general 
Howe, with the unanimous approbation of the 
people of England. Whatever may be thought 
of lord Howe as a naval commander, there was 
a certain hauteur and frigid referve in his de- 
portment that but ill-qualified him for the office 
of a foother and a mediator between two con^ 
tending parties, irritated agaiuft each other al- 
moft to a degree of maduefs. His lordfliij) 
brought with him a commiflion fandUoned by 
parliament, empowering him and his brother to 


• ... : ^-^ ,■■, ,r 



, and to 

I. -^.m 

Lhe long- 
d at San- 
itateii 11- 
arrival of 
od, gene- 
nt to nine 
d of whom 
t therefore 
)ortant ad- 
ritifti caule 
fo months 
army muft 
ued by the 
oe oppofed 
)nel Jofeph 
■al, of this 
[berof con- 

A M E R I C A N W A R. 

treat with the Americans. Their powers wereC 
ample and extenfive. They were invefted with 
the ability of making peace or of continuing the 
war — of receiving the fubmiffion of all or any 
one of the colonies — of pardoning or of punifh- 
ing delinquents, f?" V.-, ' 

At this period, the celebrated Dr. Franklin, 
who had for many years refided in England as 
agent for the colonies of Maflachufets and Pen- 
fylvania, retiring to America foon after his dif- 
mifTion from his office of joint poft-mafter-gene-, 
ral of America, was a leading member of the 
congrefs. To him lord Howe addreffed a letter 
foon after his arrival. In it he informed him of 
the nature of his commiffion ; expreffing, at the 
fame time, hopes that he would nnd in America 
the fame difpofition for peace that he brought- 
with him, and concluding with requefting his 
aid to accomplifh this defired end. Dr. Frank- 
lin, in anfwcr, informed his lordfhip, that, pre- 
paratory to any propofitions of amity or peace, 
it would be required that Great Britain Ihould 
acknowledge the independence of America, de- 
fray the expences of the war, and indemnify the 
colonies for burning their towns. This, howe- 
ver, he ftated to be only his own opinion, and 
that what he had faid was not authorifed by thofe 
in whom the Americans had invefted the power 
of peace or war. Lord Howe alfo addreffed a 
circular letter, accompanied with a declaration, 
to feveral of the late governors of the provinces, 
acquainting them with the power with which he 
I was invefted. Thefe letters and the declaratioi* 
were forwarded to congrefs, and publifhed in 
the different newfpapers : At the fame time his 
lordfhip opened a correfpondence with general 
IWalhington, which produced no beneficial con- 
jfequence to the Britifti caufe. 



I < 


\ H, 


i: w'.. . .^■*<Vt.: '^ J-.^-Ji.l**:'^?*...^^.. -"''■*' "*'*y *--"^''^'iL-Mnir"iirii|X_^'^- MIT. ■■'•*"^' 'i^f^j!"^' 


. ,( 







CHAP. Lord Howe and his brother, unwilling to ac- 
VI. cedetothofe conditions which had been flated 
by Dr. Franklin to be the only terms that would 
be accepted, and feeii^, from the declaration of 
independence, and the vigorous preparations of 
the enemy, that nothing lefs would be accepted, 
refolved to commence hoftilities immediately. 

The troops under general Clinton, from the 
fouthward, having joined the grand army, the 
campaign opened on the twenty-fecond of Au- 
guil. A diviiion of four thoufand men, under 
the command of general Clinton, landed without 
oppofition in Gravefend Bay, Long Ifland, to the 
right of the Narrows, their difembarkation being 
covered by three frigates and two bomb-ketch- 
es: This diviiion having landed without refif. 
tance, the reft of the army and artillery were 
a]fo landed. The advanced party of the enemy 
fled at the approach of the army, fetting fire, on 
their retreat, to all the houfes and gp'anaries, and 
feeking refuge in the woody heights that com- 
manded the way which the Englifh were under 
the neceffity of pafling. The Englifli poffefled 
an extent, reaching from the Narrows through 
Gravefend and Utrecht. The Americans, to the 
r^umber of fifteen thoufand, were pofted on ape- 
ninfula, between Mill Creek, a little above Red 
IJook, and an elbow of the river, called Wal- 
labach Bay. They had conflruded ftrong for- 
tifications oppoiite to New York, from which 
they were feparated by the Eaft River, at the dif- 
tance of a mile. A line of intrenchment from 
the Mill Creek enclofejd a large fpace of ground, 
on which flood the American camp. This line 
"iva§ not only fccured by abbatis, but flanked by 
flrong redoubts, and lined with fpear^ or lances 
provided againil affault. From this poll ten thou- 
*fand men, under the command of general Put- 




ing to ac- 

eea ftated 

tiat would 

laration of 

arations of 

; accepted, 


1, from the 
army, the 

ond of Au- 

men, under 

ded without 

ftand, to the 

Nation being 


vitbout refif- 

.rtillery were 

af the enemy 

«iDg fire, on 

jranaries, and 

Kts that com- 

ti were under 

,m poffefled 
rows through 
jricans, to the 
lofted on ape- 
le above Red 
, called Wal- 
ed ftrong fpr- 
L, from whicn 
rer, at the dif- 
nchmeot from 
ace of ground, 
np. Thishne 
but flanked by 
pear? or lances 
Tspoft ten thou- 

\i general Put- 

liam, were detached. Their objeA was to oc-CHAP. 
cupy the heights which obliquely interfedled the 
ifland, and to defend againft the progrefs of the 
Englifhj the defiles which led through thofe hills. 
Oppofite the centre of Putnam's line ftood, 
in the plain, the village of Flat Bufh. To this 
town the Heffians, under general De Heifler, 
were advanced, occupying entirely the attention 
of the Americans, and frequently (kirmifliing 
with their patroles. In the meaa time fir Henry 
Clinton and fir William Erfkine, having recon- 
noitred the polition of the enemy, law that it 
would not be a difficult matter to turn their left 
flank, which would either oblige them to rifk an 
engagement, or to rietire under manifeft difadvan- 
tage. This intelligence being communicated to 
fir William Howe, he confented to make the 
attempt. Accordingly the right wing of the En- 
glifh army moved, confifliug of a flrong advanc- 
ed corps, commanded by general Clinton, fijp-Augufta*. 
ported by the brigades under lord Percy. The 
commander in chief himfelf marched with this 
corps, which quitted its camp at nine o'clock at ^ 
night on the twenty-fixth of Auguflv crofling the 
country, by Flat Lands, in order to fecure a pafs 
over the heights of Guiana, on the road to Bed- 
ford. This pafs the enemy had negleded.ta fe- 
cure by detachments, on account of i|s grea|t 
diftancc. In order to watch it, however^ they 
fentout occafional patroles of cavalry: But one 
of thefe being intercepted by a Britilh advanced 
guard, the pafs was, gained without any alarm 
being communicated to the Americans. At nine J^""*.®'^ . 
o'clock in the morning the Britjfli paflTed the or^BfookiJn 
heights and reached Bedford. An attack was 
immediately begun on the enemy's left; they 
made hut a feeble refiilance, and retired from 
the woody grounds to their lines, into which 
jJr ■ they 

1 I' «T.,1 

0K **- i^A-*- 



V - .._•• 



h f 


s t 

CH A P. fhejr threw thcmfelves in evident confufion. It 
"VI. is to be hmemed that this advantage was not 
^purfued ; for in the confufion into which the ene- 
•my were thrown by the rapid march of the En- 
^hfli-army, a moit decifive vidory would have 
undoubtedly accrued to the Britilh arms. The 
,works of the enemy could not have refifted an 
attack, when it is confidered that it might have 
been made by that part of the army under fir 
'William Howe,- which had not .been engaged, 
•and which therefore pofleffed a manifeft fuperi- 
:ority over troops fatigued: by conleft, exhaufted 
by hard • labour, and dilheartened by partial de- 

'As foon as the firing on the enemy's left was 
heard, .general De Heifter, with a column of 
Heflians from Flat Bulh, attacked the centre of 
•the Americans. After a warm engagement the 
•enemy was routed and driven into the woods, 
with the lofs of three pieces of cannon. The 
';Ieft columo, led by general Grant, advancing 
from, the Narrows by the edge of the bay, in 
order to divert the attention of the enemy from 
the principal attack on the right, about mid- 
night fell in with their advanced guard, ftationed 
at a ftrong pafs, which, however, they immedi- 
ately abandoned, and retired to a very advanta- 
geous poft, where they kept their ground. On 
the advancement of the Englifh, a furious can- 
nonade commenced on both iides, which was 
continued with unceafing perfeverance till the 
enemy heard the firing at Bedford.; The Ame- 
ricans in this quarter did not attempt t^;' retire 
until they received news of the totall rout of the 
reft of their army. Apprehenfive then of bein|[ 
unable to regain their lines, they made a fudden 
movement to fecure a retreat, by croffing a 
morafs to Mill Creek, which covered the right of | 
•; M*^' ■ ■ their 



-'*'^-- T| i \ " mm^J^im 




fufion. It 
re was not 
ch the ene- 
of the En- 
jvould have 
arms. The 
refitted an 
might have 
ly under fir 
en engaged, 
lifeft fuperi- 
[l, exhaufted 
y partial de- 

ny's left was 
a column of 
the centre of 
gagement the 
,0 the woods, 
annon. The 
It, advancing 
f the bay, in 
le enemy from 
t, about mid- 
iard, ftationed 
they immedi- 
very advanta- 
• ground. Oa 
a furious can- 
is, which was 
werance till tte 
d. The Amc- 
lempt iv^ retire 
tal rout of the 
: then of bein^ 
made a fudden 
by croffmga, 
•ed the right of 
their I 


their works. But this movement was made in CHAP, 
much diforder and confufion; general Grant, VI. 
however, did not take adequate advantage of ^^""^^"^ ■ 
it, for had he moved rapidly to the edge of the ^779* 
morafs, through which, and over a mill-dam, 
the principal part of them efcaped, the greateft 
number of the detachment, as well as of thofe 
who fled from Flat Buih, muft have either been 
drowned or taken prifoners. 

Thus ended the operations of the day : Vic- 
tory was certainly on the fide of the Englifti j 
but it was not fo decifive as it might have been, 
owing to the reftridlions impofed by the com- 
mander in chief. The lofs of the Americans was 
great. Two thoufand were either killed on the 
field, drowned, or taken prifoners : And among 
the latter,, generals Sullivan, Udell, and lord 
Sterling. The Maryland regiment fuffered moft 
feverely, having loft upwards of two hundred 
and fixty men ; which was much regretted, as 
that regiment was compofed of young men of 
thebeft families in the country. The royal army 
took fix pieces of brafs ordnance. The lofs oq" 
the part of the Englifh did not exceed three hun- 
dred in killed and wounded ; of which numbei: 
between fixty and feventy were killed. Among 
the killed was lieutenant-colonel Grant, of the. 
fortieth regiment ; among the wounded, lieute- 
tenant-colonel Monckton. The Britifti troops,, 
on this occafion, difplayed great adUvity and va- 
lour: So impetuous was their courage, that it; 
was not without difficulty that they could be re- 
flrained from attacking the American lines; and 
had they been permitted to go on, in the judg- 
ment of moft men, including fir William Howe 
himfclf, they would have Carried them. " But," Auguit 
lays the general, " as it was apparent that the 
" lines muft become ours, at a very cheap rate, 




! »' 

};■ MM 

I ii 










CHAP. •< by regular approaches, I would not rifle the 
^" " lofs that might have been fuilained in the af. 
fault, and ordered them back to a hollow way, 
out of the reach of the mufquetry.*' 
On the evening of the twenty-fcventh, our 
army encamped in front of the enemy's lines 1 
and on the twenty-eighth broke ground about fix 
hundred yards from one of the redoubts on the 
left. The Americans, finding that it was im* 
poflible to maintain their poll on Long Ifland, 
evacuated their lines on the twenty-ninth, and 
made good their retreat to New York. At firft 
the wind and tide were both unfavourable to the 
Americans; nor was it thought poffible that they 
could have effe£led their retreat on the evening 
of the twenty-ninth, until about eleven o'clock, 
the wind fhifting, and the fea becoming more 
calm, the boats were enabled to pafs. Another 
remarkable circumflance was, that on Long If* 
land hung a thick fog, which prevented the Bri« 
tiih troops from dilcovering the operations of 
the enemy ; while on the fide of New York the 
atmofphere was perfedlly clear. The retreat was 
effected in thirteen hours, though nine thoufand 
men had to pafs over the river, befides field ar- 
tillery, ammunition, provifions, cattle, horfes, 
and carts. 

The circumftances of this retreat were parti- 
cularly glorious to the Americans.. They had 
been dlriven to the corner of an ifland, where 
they were hemmed in within the narrow fpace of 
two fquare miles. In their front was an encamp* 
ment of near twenty thoufand men; in their 
rear, an arm of the fea, a mile wide, which they 
could not crofsjbut in feveral embarkations. 
Notwithftanding thefe 'difficulties, they fecured 
a retreat without the lofs of a man. The pickets 
of the Englifh army arrived only in time to fire 




* .*LJ^>'.~, ^^f, , .jtiH^ _ ■ '.driw^. ■ 

■-J.: ■: .>::i;:-.J.l^f ^ 



t riik tin 
in the af* 
)Uow way, 

irenth, out 
ny's lines } 
d about fix 
ubis on the 
\i was im- 

,ong Ifla»d> 
-nmth, and 
rk. Atfirft 
rablc to the 
ble that they 

the evening 
;ven o'clock, 
doming more 
i{%. Another 

on Long If* 
jnted the Bri- 

at were parti* 

[ They had 

lifland, where 

irrow fpace of 

IS an encamp- 

Jien; in ^^^^"^ 

le, which they 

1 embarkations. 

they fecured 

The pickets 

In time to fire 



upon their rear-guard, already too far removed CHAP, 
from the (hore to receive any damage. Sir Wil- ^^' 
liam Howe had early l..ielligence fent him of the 
retreat of the Americans ; but a coniiderable time 
had elapfed before a purfuit was ordered. Sir 
William Howe at length, however, defired lord 
Percy to order a purfuit ; but it was too late. The 
cn^mv had effeded their. retreat, which was ren- 
dered lefs hazardous from the want of frigates 
in the £aft River between Long Ifland and New 
York. Had any armed fhips been (lationed 
there, it would have been unpoifible for them to 
have made their efcape. The Eaft River is deep 
enough for a feventy-four gun (hip to ride at 
anchor. Waftiington thought him^lf happy in 
getting fafe with his papers from Long lAand, hav- 
ing crofled to New York in a fmall boat. Had two 
or even one frigate moored as high up as Red- 
Hook, as the Phcenix and Rofe men of war had 
done before, the one carrying forty-four guns, 
and the other twenty-eight, the retreat of the 
Americans would have been cut off moll com-^ 
pletely ; and indeed lb decided were the Ame- ' 
ricans themfelves in this opinion, that, had only 
a fingle frigate been ftationed in the Eaft River, 
they muft have furrendered at difcretion. It is to 
be obferved, that in the very fame boats in 
which the Americans crofled from New York to 
Long Ifland, they re-crofled after their defeat 
frong Long Ifland to New York, the boats hav- 
ing lain for three days on the Long Ifland fhore 
in readinefs to carry them off* Now it is evident 
that this fmall craft, by the above precaution, 
might have been effeftually deftroyed. 

In reviewing the adlions of men, the hiftorian 
is often at a lofs to conjefture the fecret caufes 
that gave them birth. It cannot be denied but 
that the American army lay almoft eutirely at 



-■•; f 

1 t 



[,. :J 




CHAP. the will of the Englifli. That they were there« 
^^' fore fuffered to retire in fafety, has by fome been 
attributed to the reluftance of the commander 

1 776. 


in chief to fhed the blood of a people lb nearly 
allied to that fource from whence he derived all 
his authority and power. We are rather inclined 
to adopt this idea, and to fuppofe motives of mif- 
taken policy, than to leave ground for an imagi. 
nation that the efcape of the Americans refulted 
from any want of exertion on the part of fir Wij. 
Ham Howe, or deficiency in the military fcience. 
He might pofl'ibly have conceived that the late 
vidlory would produce a revolution in fentimem 
capable of terminating the war without the ex- 
tremity which it appeared to be, beyond all pof. 
fibility of doubt, in his power to enforce. 

About this time a reinforcement arrived under 
the command of fir George Collier, after a very 
long paflage, occafioned by their too late depar- 
ture from England. ^ .: " r, 

TheEnglifti army, being now in pofTeflion of 
Long Ifland, commanded New York ; and Go- 
vernor's Ifland, being of courfe no longer tena- 
ble by the enemy, was alfo evacuated on the night 
of the thirtieth of Auguft . Two brigades of Hef- 
fians, and one Britiih brigade, being left at Bed- 
ford, the reft of the army was pofted at New 
Town, Hell Gate, Bufhwick, and Flufhing. On 
that part of Long Ifland oppofite Horan's Hook, 
where the enemy had thrown up a ftrong work, 
two batteries were ereded. This work com- 
manded Hell Gate, a paflage between the iflands 
of Buchanan, Montrefor, and the Two Brothers, 
into the Sound which feparates Long Ifland from 
New York and the Connedicut fliore. The Eng- 
lifli batteries in a ftiort time not only filenced the 
fire of the enemy from the work, but broke it 





were there* 
»y I'ome been 

pic i'o nearly 

derived all 
ther inclined 
)tivesof mif" 
for animagi- 
Lcans refuUed 
rt of fir Wil. 
iitary fcience. 
that the late 
, in fentiment 
;hout the ex- 
yond all pof- 

arrived under 
r, after a very 

00 late depar- 

1 poffeffionof 
3iik ; and Go- 
o longer tena- 
;d on the night 
igades of Hef- 
ig left at Bed- 
jofted at New 
Flufhing. On 

loran's Hook, 
a ftrong work, 
lis work com- 
een the iflands 
Two Brothers, 
mg Ifland from 
»re. TheEng- 
ly filencedthe 
but broke it 

A M £ K I C A N W A R. ktg 

«p entirely, and rendered it utterly indcfenfi- C H A P. 
ble. VI. 

In the Sound are three fmall iflands, Barren, '^^TP*' 
Montrefor, and Buchanan, which are only ufeful *7?6. 
inafmuch as they can awe veflels pafling through 
the Sound. Of thefe the Englifli took pofTeflion ; 
and thus was all communication with New York 
prevented by fea. 

Whilft thefe operations were carrying on, gc- ovmurw 
neral Sullivan, who had been taken prifoner on ^ the bZ 
Long Ifland, was difmifTed on his parole, and|j|J^jj^j®™-^^j, 
difpatched to Philadelphia at his own requeft, in peace, 
order to fubmit fome propolitions to congrefs. 
In thofe propofitions lord Howe exprefied a 
vvifli to enter into conferences with feveral mo- 
derate members of congrefs, not as deputies from 
an independent (late, but as private gentlemen 
of influence in the different colonies. In thefe 
conferences preliminaries were to be fettled, on 
whi'^h an accommodation of the differences be- 
tween the two countries was to be founded. 
As an inducement to congrefs to comply with 
thefe propofitions, it was ftrongly infifted that * 
fo favourable a crifis as the prefent would not 
again occui ^ inafmuch as neither party had 
been reduced to a ftate of humiliation by com- 
pulfory means, nor to a fituation where aflfent 
or ruin was the only alternative. 

The congrefs, in reply to this meffage, ac- 
quainted hislordftiip that it was inconliftent with 
their dignity to fend any of their members to 
confer with him in a private capacity ; and re- 
quefted that they would depute a committee to 
learn whether his lordfliip had authority to treat 
with perfons commiflioned by congrefs, and that 
I they would receive what propofals he was com- 
1 manded to offer. Accordingly a committee, con- 
I filling of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, MeflTrs. John 

Vol. I. G^ Adams 

^ i 


'"t? ■ ^ .««*'^ —Vtfv, 

<^^" •'''■*''*^''f ■" 





T fe t ok Y OF T H*E 







CHAP. Adams and Edward Rtitledgc, was appointed to 
wait ou lord Howe at Statcn Ifland. No advan- 
tage could be e5cpc£i;ed to accrue to the mother- 
country from fucn a committee ; the members of 
it being men whofe principles were violent in the 
extreme, and who fought eVery opportunity of re- 
ducing the parent-Hate to humiliating ana morti- 
fying ntuations. In the outfet of the conference 
lord Howe ftlll adhered to tht contents of the 
meftage carried to congrefe by general Sullivan, 
" that thtitigh his ipoWeYs (fid not extend fo 
far as to treat with the above gentlemen, as a 
committee deputed by congrefs, yet he was 
empowered to enter into a'confultdtion on the 
means of reconciling the differences between 
Great Britain and America with any gentleman 
of influence and importance." As foon as his 
lordfhip had made this declaration, the commit- 
tee informed him that they ftiould not a6l in any 
other charadler than that with which congfefs 
liad inverted them : Ncverthelefs they wifhcd to 
"hear any propofals he might have to make. His 
lordfhip then informed them that the tnoft ardent 
wifh of the king and government of Great Bri- 
'tain, was, to put an end to the difTenfious at 
prefent exiftiug between the parent-f^ate and the 
c jlonies. To accomplifh this defire, every ad 
of parliament which had been thought obnoxious 
to the latter fhould undergo a revifal, and every 
juft caufe of complaint fhould be removed, if the 
latter would declare her vvillingnefs to fubiilit to| 
the authority of the Britilh gov^mndent. 

In reply to this otter the committee declared,! 
that au acknowledgment of the fuperiority ofl 
Great Britain could not now beexpefted. Theyf 
recalled to his lordfhip's remembrance the manyl 
petitions that had been prefented by the colonies! 
to parliament and the king, ^11 of which, panij 






ipolnted to 
No ad van- 
he nwther- 
members of 
iolent ill the 
luntty of re- 
g ana morti- 
e conference 
itents of the 
sral Sullivan, 
lot extend fo 
nilcmen, as a 
, yet he was 
iltjition on the 
nces between 
jny gentleman 
jVs foon as his 
1, the commit- 
not aft in any 
vhich congtefs 
they "wifhcdto 
to make. His 
he mnoft ardent 
of Great Bri- 
diffenfions at 
it-ftate and tk 
,efire, every ad 
mght obnoTcious 
ifal, and every 
emoved, if tb 
|efs to fubiTiit to| 
ittee declared, 
fuperiority of 
■xpefted. They 
[brance the many 
d by the colonies 
of which, partH 


cularly the lafl, had been treated with difrefpcft ^ ^^ ^' 
and contempt. They reminded him that it was 
not America that had fevered hcrfolf from Gre?it 
Britain ; but Great Britain that had fcpar;itod 
hcrfclf from America. Xhc latter had never di>- 
clarcd herfclf independent till the focnier had 
deuouuced war r\gaia(l her, and therel^y rendered 
luch a declaration indifpenfably neceflary. Be- 
fides, even if coogrefs wiflicd to replace Amcriqa 
in her former fitualion, ftie could not carry thefe 
wifhes into execution ; for the declaration of in- 
dependence had been made in confcquence of the 
congregated voice of the whole people, by whom 
alone it could be invalidated and abolished. But 
though the Americans defired not to return under 
the domination, of ^England, yet they were willing 
to enter into any treaty ^hat ihould be deemed 
advantageous to iboth countries. From this de- 
claration of the committee, it required verylittle 
penetration to difcover that America was relolved 
to enter accommodation.; but to procure 
the acknowledgment of her indepeutlepce by 
force. Immediately therefore on being furniihed 
with this anfwer, lord Howe put an end to the 

When the deputies returned to congrefs they 
inade the follow uig report : — " That it was their 
" opinion that lord Howe's commiffion did not 
" contain any other powers than thofc of grant- 
*' ing pardons, and of receiving all, or any one, 
of the colonies into the proteftion of the Bri- 
tifh goverment, upon fubmiflion. With regard 
to treating with congrefs, the comi uiioners 
were totally filent, on account of their being 
forbidden to acknowledge the authority of that 
affenibly, and empowered only to treat with 
the members of it in their private charadlers, 
as men of abilities, weight, or importance." 

Q^2 The 

If I 

k , '.I 





r { I 

■i .'/ 

CHAt. The commiflioners being therefore thus limittecl 
VI. in their powers, no firm reliance could be placed 
on any terms they might propofe or accede to *. 
Though lord Howe had been thus unfuccefsful in 
his propofitions to the congrefs committee, he 
thought it neceflary to publifh a declaration to 
the people of America, wherein, after glancing 
at the anfwer returned by that committee to his 
offers of reconciliation, he acquainted them that 
the parent-date was willing to receive into itsbo- 
fom and protedion all who might be willing to 
return to their former fubmiffion and obedience. 
His lordfhip was certainly induced to adopt this 
meafure from the convidion that a majority of the 
inhabitants of America were decidedly in favour 
of entering into an accommodation of the differ- 
ences between the two powers j and this convic- 
tion was by no means ill-founded. This declara- 
tion however produced but little effedlj forthofe 
■who refolved to accede to nothing fhort of an ac- 
knowledgment of the independence of Americi 
had acquired the fole management of affairs, and 
had concentered in themfelves all the powers and 
refources of the country. 
, .. " .., ^.,.. - -.,/._ }• - ^ CHAR 

.♦ It was confidently afferted at Philadelphia that Mr. 
Ktltledge, upon his return, declared that the whole of vbit 
had paiTed between lord Howe and the committee had not 
been made public, i. e. the whole of what had been offered bf 
lord Howe. 

.4 '.''i- 

f •' 

' ..':.'■ ■■■• •l*>-;t'-f. ■<■: 

rt .. 

• '''>.■•¥!' 



t.a r . rrT« *.. 

v^.,*— I -■» -f •^((•-y^, **-i».,^rt 

3 limitted 
be placed 
cede to*, 
cccfsful in 
nittee, he 
[aration to 
;r glancing 
ittec to his 
1 them that 
into itsbo- 
; willing to 
3 adopt this 
jority of the 
lyin favour 
f the differ- 
t this convic- 
rhis declara- 
z€ti forthofe 
ort of an ac- 
p of Americi 
: affairs, and 
e powers and 


slphia that Mr. 
B whole of whjt 
mmittee had not 





The Americans retreat, and the Englijh Army takes 
pojfejfion of New York — 7 he Americans greatly 
diJheartened'-'DeJign to burn New York partly 
executed — Various Skirmijhing — Battle of White 

CONVINCED now that all pacific meafuresCHAP. 
would be ineffedlual, lord Howe refolved to VI I. 
adopt other meafures. It has been before faid '*'*nr*^ 
that when the provincial forces retreated from *776' 
Long Idand they took ihelter in New York, 
Here they employed themfelves in ereding bat- 
teries, and throwing up intrenchments, in order 
to annoy the Britiih Ihipping. Both armies were 
divided by the Eaft River, the breadth of which, 
at this part, was about thirteen hundred yards. ^ 
After a long and fevere cannonade it was refolved 
to make a defcent on the ifland on which New 
York Hands. To prevent their intentions from 
being difcovered by the enemy, five fhip$ of war 
moved higher up the Eaft River, while, on the 
fifteenth of September, feveral flat-bottomed boats 
were employed in landino- the troops.. 

The firft divifion, conlifting of four thoufand 
men under general Clinton, landed on New Yorlf: 
ifland, at a place called Kipp's Bay, about three 
miles from the town, and took poft on a height call- 
ed the Inclenberg. The enemy were at this time 
in poffeflion of very advantageous ground and 
powerful intrenchments : Neverthelefs, they not 
only refrained from oppofing the Englilh, but abaur 



» V .,i 












CHAP, doned their works on account of the furious can- 
VII. nonade of the five men of war appointed to cover 
the difembarkation of the troops. As the diffe- 
rent divifions landed, they pofted themfelves on 
the high grounds that ftretch in an afcendiug di- 
redlion from the fea-fliore. At the fame time a 
detachment of Heflian troops advanced to New 
York, and in their way fell in with a party of the 
enemy retreating by the pafs at Blooming Dale. 
TheAmeri-A (kirmifti cniued, in which the Briiifh were 
andVhe"*'' vidorioiis, and the Americans loft a brigadier- 
Engiifh general and feveral other officers. About the 
JJflunyoffame tim2 another detachment of the Briiilh 
New vortc. troops made a mot^ement to the right, in order 
to attack a Jarge body of the; enemy, who, how- 
ever, on the approach of the Englifh, retreated 
to the main body of the American army polled 
on Morris's lieights. No attempt being made 
JO defend New i ork, it was taken pofleflion of 
by the Englifh, , General Wafhington's army, at 
this period, amounted to twenty-three thoufand 
hien, but moft of thefe, raw, undifciplined, and 
ill provided with neceflaries. 

Kew York is fituated in an ifland about fifteen 
miles in length, but not more than two in breadth; 
on which account the Englifti were enabled to 
extend their camp quite acrofs the ifland, on the 
part fanheft from the town. The enemy were 
pofted oppofite to them, and in liich an advan- 
tageous manner that any attack upon them would 
liave been dangerous and imprudent. General 
Wafliington had ftationed four thoufand five hun- 
dred men in New York, which he withdrew on 
the approach of the Britifh army ; fix thoufand 
five hundred at Haerlem ; and twelve thoufand 
at a place called King's Bridge, which he had 
fortified in order to fecure a retreat, in cafe he 
(liouid bp under the necefiity of rcliDquifhliig his 
• ' ' preleut 


,.^ .-.^•-^l-yy-'-. _. . 

4M12RICAN \\rAR. 


prefent fituation, to the continent. And indeed C ^ A ?. 
it was peculiarly fortunate for the eneray that ^^• 
they were thus, in a manner, fecure from attack, """^^^^ 
as their ardour had vifiWy declined lince their ^'^'^ • 
defeat on Long Ifland. A paufe was neceflary 
in order to enable them to recover their forcqer 

The cheek at Long Ifland, and the expulfion The Ame- 
from New York, difpirited the American troQp^.greTti^f^ 
greatly. They apprehended every thing, and,'»«"^'«'^«''' 
were in great defpair. The piilHia were inapar. 
tient to return, and tptally difpbedient tp orders,. 
They went off by half, and ii^ fpme inftances by 
whole, regiments. What \v[^& called their flying 
camp was literally fo. Ravages were committed 
not only by privates, but, among the New Eng? 
landers, by officers. " Alqioft every villany and 
" rafcaUty," a gentleman of the army * wrote 
- his. friend, " was daily pradlifed with impur 

nity. Unlefs fom^e fpeedy and e£fe£lual meaa$ 
«' of reform are adopted by congrefs, our c^ufe 
«« will be loft. As the war piuft be carried Qij 
" fyftematically, you flaufjt eftabliih your army 
' upon a permanent footing, and give your 016/ 
'* cers good pay, that they may hej and fup- 
" port the charafter of, gentlemen, and not be 
" driven, by a fcanty allowance, to the low and 
" dirty arts which many pf therai pradife, to 
" filch the public of more money tnan all the 
" amount of the difference of pay. Jt is not 
" ftrange that there fhould be a number pf bad 
" officers in the continental Icrvice, when you 
" confider that many pf them were chofen by 
" their own men, who elected them, not froqi a 
" regard to merit, but from the knowledge they 

" had 


* General Read, in a letter to a member of congrefs, dat- 
ed July 4th, 1 776. 


, 4 ■ ^'i^-at,\t^^.,^..j ! Z, " 4^^^ "< 






CHAP." had of their being ready to aflfociate with them 
VII. « on the footing of equality. It was fometime& 
^^n^^" the cafe, that, when a company was forming, ^ 
»77^' « the men voujd chufe thofe for officers who 
confented to throw their pay irtoa joint ftock 
with the privates, from which c^^tains, lieu- 
tenants, cnfjgns, ferjeants, corporals, drum: 
mers, and privates, drew equal fhares. Gaa 
" it then jje wondered at, that a captain fhould 
" be tried and broken for ftealing his foldiers 
f blankets ? or that another officer fhould be 
f found Ih^ving his men in the face of charac- 
** tefs q£ diftinftion ? With an army of force 
** before, and a fecret one behind, we (land on 
" a point of land with fix thoufand old troops, 
** if a year-s fervice can entitle them to that 
" name, and about fifteen hundred new levies 
** of this province ; many difaffefted, and more 
" doubtful. In this fituation we are. Every 
" man in the army, from the general to thepri- 
** vate (iacquainted with our true fituation) is ex- 
** ceedingly difcouraged. Had I known the true 
*' pofture of affaira, no confideration would have 
tempted me to have taken an adive part in 
this fcene: And this fentimient is univerfal. 
General Howe is fufficiently ftrong, confider- 
ing the goodnefs of his troops, to make a fuc- 
cefsful attempt on the Americans ; but bein^ 
in daily expedlation of reinforcements froih 
Europe, he will undoubtedly remain inadive 
** until their arrival." 

The greateft animofities, too, prevailed be- 
tween the northern and fouthern troops. Their 
refledions on each other were mutual and equally 
illiberal. Their variances were fo great, thaft 
the Penfylvanians and New Englauders would 
9S foon have fought each other as the enemy, 
gfficers of all ranks were indifcrirainatejy treat- 

■" ■^' .. ' • •■ ' ^ cd 







' ■<*»-^.i«*si»^J ■■-■''■^- 


filth them 
8 forming, 
ic^rs who 
joiat ftock 
:ftia8, liea- 
als, dnim- 
ares. Gaa 
tain (hould 
tiis foldiers 
fhould be 
I of charac- 
ly of force 
we ftand on 
old troops, 
lem to that 
I pew levies 
d, and more 
are. Every 
a tothepri- 
ialion) is ex- 
own the true 
1 wo aid have 
aive part in 
is univerfal. 
ng, confider- 
Lo make a fuc- 
.s ; but being 
lements from 
lain inactive 

)revailed he- 
hoops. Their 
U and equally 
fo great, thsrt 

mders would 

is the enemy. 

linately treat- 



ed with the greateft fcurrility arid abufe, for no CHAP, 
other reafon than that they were born on this or ^ 
that fide of Hudfon's River ; jufl as formerly, '"^^C*"^ 
in England, violent difputes were carried on be- ^'' 
tween the inhabitants of the fouth and thofe of 
the north fide of the Trent. 

As foon as the Engliih had taken poileffion of 
New York, general Howe, and fome other ge- 
neral officers, repaired to the houfe of a Mrs. 
Murray, with whom they remained in converfa- 
tion fo long, that general Putnam, with three 
thoufand five hundred men, was enabled to make 
good his retreat to the main body of the Ameri- 
can army. But delay is not the only error impu- 
table to the commander in chief in this tranfac- 
tion. It has been mentioned that the American 
army was pofted at Haerlem and King's Bridge : 
Its pofition at this little place was for the pur- 
pofe of fecuring a retreat to the continent, Ihould 
the preffure of affairs render fuch a meafure ne- 
ceffary. Inftead, therefore, of directing his at- 
tention to New York, fir William Howe ought 
to have throwri his army round King's Bridge, > 
by which means he would have hemuied in the 
whole American army; and fuch a ftep was not 
at all impradicable, when we confider the extent 
of the military and naval refources fubfervient to 
his will. 

On the morning of the fixteenth of September, Septmbn. 
a detachment was fent out from the maiu body of 
the Americans to a wood facing the left flank of 
the Englifh army. Three companies of our light- 
infantry were difpatched to diflodge them. The 
enemy, with a feeming intention oi retreating to 
the main body, retired into the interior parts of 
the wood, where they were reinforced by ano- 
ther detachment ; which made it nccelTary that 
fhe remainder of the light-infantry, with the 







CHAP, forty-fecond regiment, Ihould be fent ta fupport 
VII. the companies that were engaged. The a^ioQ 
was carried on by reinforcements on both udes, 
and became very warm. The enemy, however, 
pofleiled a great advantage from the circuniAance 
of engaging within half a mile of their intrench- 
ed camp, whence they could be fupplied with 
frefh troops as often as occafion required. Vic- 
tory, neverthelefs, was on the part of the loyal- 
ifts ; and the Americans retreated with the iofs 
of three hundred killed and wounded. 

The EnglijQi encampment, it has been faid, 
extended ac?ofs the ifland, on each fide of which 
were Aationed fhips of war,- in order to fecure 
the right and left flanks. The enemy faw the 
advantage of thedifpofitionof the fhipping, and 
attempted ro make fome impreffion on it by fend* 
ing down four fire-fhips, which, however, by 
the fkiifulnefs of the commanders of the £ngli(h 
velTels, were prevented from doing any damage. 
It had been refclvcd by the Americans, in cafe 
York partly the EngUfli fliould obtain poffeffion of New York, 
executed, jq fgj ^j-c to it in fcvcral places, previous to the 
evacuation of it by the enemy. The fpeed, how- 
ever, with which they were obliged to quit it, 
l?Ks.d rendered it impoffible for them to put their 
-defigns into execution : Neverthelefs, feveral per- 
fons having purpofely fecreted themfelves in the 
deferted houfes, contrived to fet iSre to the town, 
on the morning of the twenty-firft of September, 
in feveral places. One-third of the town was 
thus deftroyed ; and had not the military exerted 
themfelves in a moft extraordinary manner, the 
whole would have been levelled with the ground. 
The flames firft broke out at fome wooden ftore- 
houfes, at the fouthernmoft or windward part of j 
New- York, near the Whitehall-ftairs, juft by the 
battery, and foon became general up the Broad- 
- T^'- way,! 

bum New 

--:?V-.Vvr*' " 



ta fupport 
rhe aftioa 
both ndes, 
, however, 
tr intrench- 
ppUed with 
.ired. Vic- 
if the loyal- 
ith the lofs 
id. Miii.i 

I been faid, 
ide of which 
,er to fecure 
emyfaw the 
aipping» aud 
)a it by i"end« 
however, by 
f the EngliOi 
f any damage, 
'icans, incafe 
of New York, 
revious to the 
le fpeed, bow- 
ed to quit it, 
n to put their 
fs, feveralper- 
re to the town, 
: of September, 
the town \w 
iiilitary exerted 
•y manner, the 
nth the ground. 
e wooden ftore- 
ind ward part of 

airs, juftbytHe 
l1 ap the Broad- 
way. I 


way, &c. by the violence of the Avind blowingCH AP. 
burnt Ihingles from thehoufes on fire to others, ^^^• 
and fetting them on fire in rapid fucceffion. The 
wind was fo ftrong, that it was almoft impofiible 
to face it, for fmoke and flakes of fire. . The 
next day (Saturday) a great many cart-loads of 
bundles of pine fticks, dipped at each end for 
five or fix inches in brimftone and other eombuf- 
tible matters, were found concealed in cellars of 
houfes to which the incendiaries had not had 
time to fet fire. Between one and two hundred 
men and old women were taken up during the 
night, and fent to gaol on fufpicion, aud three 
or four men dete£led with matches and combuf- 
tibles were killed by the enraged foldiers. Mo(ft» 
if not all the men and women put into gaol, were 
releafed in a few days, after having their name^ 
taken and examined by a committee. The old 
Englifh church, and a German church, near it, 
with about eleven hundred houfes, were burnt. 
The rebels a' ?aulus Hook gave three cheer* 
when the ftc-t>le of the old Englilh church fell 
down, which, when burning, looked awfully ^ 

The American army, with ftrong ground in 
their front, and extenfive fortifications in their 
rear towards King's Bridge, leemed to think 
themfelves perfedtly fecure, and almoft invulne- 
rable. The Briiifh troops knew the ftrcngth of 
fitUation which the enemy pofiefTed, aud there- 
fore employed themfelves in throwing up a chain 
of redoubts on Macgowan's Hill to cover New 
York, and render it capable of a vi^rorous de- 
fence, even after the bulk of the army ftiould be 
engaged in more remote operations. As loon as 
the redoubts were completed ic was determined to 
attempt the enemy's rear, by the New England 
road, from which they received moft of their 


J \ ■■» ■ 





CHAP.fupplies. This arrangement would either force 
^^^* them to hasyrd a battle, or reduce them to the 
neceffity of fuffering themlelves to be furrounded 
and confined in York Ifland. It has been alTerted 
that as foon as the Engliih had taken poflefrion 
of New York, they ihould have attacked the 
Americans, as the different pofitions which they 
)»ad taken between the city aqd Fort Wafhing- 
ton, afterwards called Fort Knyphaufen, might 
have been forced without great difficulty or dan- 
ger. In confequence of the determination juft 
mentioned, three brigades of BritiHi and one of 
Heflians being left to guard New York, the reft 
of the troops embarked on the twelfth of Octo- 
ber in flat-bottomed boats and batteaux, and paf> 
fing t]irough an intricate and dangerous paflage, 
called Hell Gate, to the Sound, landed tne fame 
morning at Frog's Neck, not far from Weil Chef- 
tcrj on the continent towards Connedicut. This 
was thought to be an error on the part of the 
. commander in chief : Frog's Neck being really 
an ifland connefled with the main by a bridge, 
eafy to be broken down (as happened in fadl) by 
the enemy. The miftake, when difcovered, 
ihould have been remedied inftantly, by pufhing 
along fome other route to King's Bridge, which 
would undoubtedly have reduced the enemy to 
the neceffity either of defending the ifland or of 
forcing their way through the Englifli army, in 
order to gain the territory of New England. All 
poffibility of their retiring to the Jerfeys was cut 
off by the Britifh (hips, which had now, with 
incredible difficulty and danger, pafled Fort 
Wafliington, and taken their flations in the North 
River. Thus it is fafficiently apparent that the 
Americans could not poffibly have effefled a rt- 
treat without hazarding a battle, unlefs, indeed, 
they were to be permitted to retire to the conti- 

f force 
to the 
ed the 
ch they 
, might 
or dan- 
ion juft 
1 one of 
the reft 

of oao. 

and paf- 
i paflage, 
the fame 
eft Chef- 
at. This 
irt of the 
ing really 
a bridge, 
>y pulhing 
ge, which 
enemy to 
and or of 
army, in 
and. All 
ys was cut 
now, with 
(Ted Fort 
the North 
that the 
^aed a r€- 
5, indeed, 
the conti- 


A M £ 11 I C A N WAR. « 0f 

ticnt in as fecure and uninterrupted a manner as c H A P. 
they did from Long Ifland to New York. The VII. 
Americans themfelves began to entertain ferious 
alarms for their fafety ; for on the day the Eng- 
lifti landed, their main body moved off, in order 
to avoid being blockaded in the ifland. This 
movement originated with general Lee, who had 
recently arrived from South Carolina, and whofe 
abilities and luccefs had rendered his opinion of 
great weight and importance. But this meafure, 
to which the American army undoubtedly owed 
its fafety, was adopted contrary to the original 
plan of general Wafhington. The circumflanccs ■ 
of it are as follow : — When the Britifh army land- 
ed at Frog's Neck, Wafhington harangued his 
officers, and told them, that they muft retreat no 
farther, but decide the fate of America on that 
ground. The ground on which they were then 
entrenched, extended in front of King's Bridge. 
General Lee came up foon after, and having 
learnt what had pafTed, remonflrated againfl fo 
abfurd a determination. He reprefented that the 
Britifh would infallibly hem Wafliington's army ^ 
round with fuch a chain of works, as would re- 
duce him to the neceflity of furrendering through 
famine, without expofing them to the hazard of 
a battle. Lee*s reprefentations fucceeded ; and 
the American army immediately refolved to quit 
fo dangerous a pofition. 

On the eighteenth of Oftober, the Britifh troops 
re-embarking proceeded along the coafl to Pell's 
Point, where they ought to have landed origi- 
nally ; and difembarked there without difficulty. 
Soon after their landing a fharp fkirmifti hap- 
pened in an attempt to dillodge the enemy from 
a narrow pafs, at which they had taken port with 
a flrong corps. Notwithflanding their advanta- 
geous fituation, the Americans retired with confi- 


jM 1 


j , - 






r' ' 

E I 

CHAP, fiderable lofs. Thirty-two were killed and wound- 
^^^' on the fide of the Englifti. 

On the twenty-firft of O^ober the main ^ivi- 
fion of the Britifh army moved to New Rochclle, 
fiiuated ou the foond that divides Long Xfland 
from the continent. Here they were joined by 
fihefecond divifion of foreign troops that bad ar- 
rived from England, under the command of ge- 
neral Knyphaulen. The American army was now 
in a difagrceable fituation. The I'oldiers were 
very poorly clothed, and afcarcity of provifions 
among them had been followed by much iUnefs. 
Nor, amidft thcfe di fad vantages, "was their pofi- 
lion eithei" fecure or eligible in other refpeds. 
Their lole refource was to avoid adlion: For 
which reafon it was determined in a council of 
yvsLT that they lliould extend themfelves into a 
long line behind the Brunx, well fecure^ by 
M'orks thrown up in front, to command every 
ford. The provincial army, in confequeuce of 
this determination, Aretched ^long the ground 
parallel to tliat on which the Britifti troops were 
marching ; from ^King's Bridge on the righ^, to 
White Plains on the left. The two armies were 
feparated by a deep river called the Brunx, al- 
ready nieuiioned. The rear of the Britifh was 
covered by the Sound, not far diftant. With 
this relative arrangement the armies moved flowly 
towards the White Plains, where, on the eaftern 
fide of the Brunx, ia detachment had been forti- 
fying a camp for the Americans, which camp they 
occupied with their whole army on the twenty- 

The royal army, in two columns, marched 
from its encampment near Ward's Houfe, on the 
banks of the Brunx ; fir William Howe accom- 
^^i^.J|f"*«'>*panied the lefn column, fir Henry Clinton cora- 
piaiM. manded the right. As they approached the White 


Oft. 28. 

'■ V«'''' 




Plafins the right column fell in with feveral bodies C II kf. 
of the enemy : And thofc bodies, Iharply driven ^'^* 
back, propagated a confiderable alarm in the ene- 
my's camp. When our troops arrived within 
about three quarters of a mile of the Americana, 
they had a di(lin£i view of their whole pofition. 
They were encamped on a long ridge of hill, the 
brow of which was covered with lines hallily 
thrown up. A bend of the Brunx prote6iea 
their rigfht flank, and by another turning in its 
coui^fc enveloped alfo the rear of their right wing. 
Fartherftill, the point of the hill on the enemy's 
right, exceedingly fteep and rocky, was covered 
by a ftrong abbaus in front of the entrenchment. 
The left of the enemy was rather refufed to the 
linein which the Britilh troops approached them, 
fothat they could not judge of it with great ac- 
curacy ; but it appeared to be ported in very 
broken ground, difficult to be afl'ailed, and fur- 
nifhing a fecure retreat. The weakeft part was 
the centre. The flope of the hill was very gra- 
dual in the direction of the road by the Court 
Houfe. The lines were by no means formidable, 
not being fraized ; and the rockinefs of the foil 
prevented the ditch from being made of any 
troublefome depth. The Britifti had in the field 
thirteen thoufand effeftive men. The enemy's 
force was faid to exceed twenty thoufand, but 
was not probably above feventeen or eighteen 
thoufand : Nor was a great part of this farc€ any 
other than a loofe militia ; nor had the conti- 
nental regiments yet acquired the chara6ler which 
they afterwards aitaiiicd from coniinued and more 
fuccefsful fervice. Had an affauk been made on 
the centre of the enemy's works, defeat would 
have been deftruftlon to the Americans. The 
whole of their right wing muft have fallen into 
the power of the Britilh army ; for the Brume 


•' ) t 





I' I 

CH A P. not being paflable in that part, cut off* their re- 
VII- treat, and vidory was to be rcafonably expected, 

**''~»""*^ not only from the valour of our troops, but from 
*"7 the confufion of the enemy. This indeed was 
obvious beyond example. When our army came 
in fight their tents were (landing. The hurry of 
llriking them, and of loading tne waggons with 
the baggage, together with the movement of 
troops backward and forward, in evident uncer- 
tainty of purpofe, gave an extraordinary pifturc 
of alarm. During this time the Americans kept 
up a cannonade on our army, who returned it, 
but the diflance was fo great that there was little 
effe6k on either fide. Part of the Britiih columns 
formed behind fome rifing ground, nearly pa- 
rallel to the enemy's front ; but the right wing of 
the Britifh did not extend beyond the centre of 
the American army. That part of the enemy's 
pofition did not feem to be confidered ; all the 
attention of the Britifh commander being fixed 
on another part of the field. Four thoufand of 
the enemy were poiled on a hill in a line with the 
right of their camp, but feparatcd from it by the 
Brunx. The reaibn of their occupying this pof- 
turc is inexplicable, unlets it be that they could 
i not be contained within the works of their camp. 

The pofleflion of that hill would not enable the 
royalifts to annoy their camp, for it roi'e fo gra- 
dually from the Brunx that its creft was not within 
random cannon (hot ; as was proved by many of 
our battalions lying upon it on their arms the 
whole evening after the adion: Nor had the 
enemy to apprehend that, from that quarter, an 
attack might be made on their rear, fince the 
Brunx, deep and impradlicable, would have been 
ftill between the two armies. It feems to have 
been a blunder of general Wafhington's to have 
placed fo conlklerubie a corps entirely out of the 



■» tr 

r their re- 
, but from 
ideed was 
army came 
\e hurry of 
^gons with 
vcnient of 
deut uncer- 
lary piAurc 
:ricans kepi 
returned it, 
re was liule 
ti(h columns 
, nearly pa- 
ight wing of 
he centre of 
the enemy's 
;red ; all the 
: being fixed 
r thoufand of 
I line with the 
:om it by the 
^'ing this pol- 
it they could 
»f their camp, 
ot enable the 
it role fo gra- 
tas not withia 
id by many of 
leir arms the 
Nor had the 
at quarter, an 
ear, fuice the 
,uld have been 
eems to have 
;ton'sto have 
■ely out of the 


A M E R I C A ^ W A R; 

capability of fupporting the reft of the army ; C H AP. 
for two battalioDA and two pieces of cannoa could ^^^*' 
eflc6lually prevent thim from crofling either a 
ford or a bridge near their right flank, for the 
purpofe of annoying our troops, while they af- 
failed their camp. Poffibly this error might lead 
fir William Howe to imagine this hill to be of 
more importance than it immediately appeared to 
be from us fituation. However, againft this hill 
all the cfTorts of the Britifh army were direAed. 
A part of our left wing pafled the ford, which 
was entirely under command of ou: cannon. 
They then mounted the hill, and very gallantly 
drove the enemy from the ftrong heights on which 
they were polled. It was an attack liule lefi 
rough than what an afTault on the enemy's lines 
mignt be conceived to be : And vidlory, being 
obtained, was not followed by a fmgle advai 
tage. The Americans remained tranquil in their 

On the part of the Britifti, it became necefTary 
to fuftain the troops which had taken pofTeiTion 
of the hill ; and as this occafioned a dimculty of., 
co-operation between the left and right wing of 
our army, it was obvious, that the latter could no 
Ipnger expediently attempt any thing againft the 
enemy's main body. When, three days after, 
preparations were made for attacking the enemy's 
camp, doubts were entertained concerning the 
wifdom of carrying the meafure iotr. v • ecution ; 
as the Americans had recovered their ipirits, and 
had afTiduoufly ftrengthened their works. A rain 
of uncommon violence, during the whole night, ^ 
made the ground fo flippery thr^t it was thought 
it could not be pofTible to mount the face of the ^ 
hill : And, for that profefTed rcafou, the intended 
afTault was laid afide. , 

Vol. I. R On 


■ iK' 

^ 1 '. 




CH A]^. On the night of the twenty-eighth of Odtobcf 
VII. the Eritilh troops lay on their arms, and en- 

^■^nr^^ camped next day with the left wing in the field 
'77<5. q£ battle, and the right extending from the other 
fide 6{ the Brunx ; which pofitiori enabled them 
to make a front parallel to a certain extent with 
that of the enemy. In the mean time the Ame- 
ricans, who ftudioufly avoided being reduced to 
the neceflity of a pitched battle, employed them- 
felvesin ftfengthening their lines. On the thir- 
tieth, fdur battalions from York Ifland, and two 
from the Maroneck Poft, having reinforced the 
Britilh army, a difpofition wuo made for the at- 
tack of the enemy's lines on the fucceeding morn- 
ing. This refolution, however, was abandoned, 
on Account 6f rainy and tempeftuous weather, as 
already mentioned. On the thirty-firft, the W|ea- 
ther proved fine about noon, but the commander 
in chief did not think proper toi put his former in- 
tentions in execution. The enemy had rendered 
their lines fufficiently ftrong to refill an attack, 
but being informed by a deferter that the Britifh 
army would march againft them the next morn- 
ing, they evacuated their lines on the morning 
of the firft of September, and retired acrofs the 
Crotton river to North Caftle, fetting fire, in their 
retreat, to all the houfes on White Plains. Their 
pofition was now fo advantageous, that any at- 
tack on them muft have proved unfuccefsful, for 
the river Crotton ftretched along their front, and 
their rear was defended by woods and heights. 
Convinced that it waspiftof the enemy's fyftem 
ftudToufly to avoid an aftion, and their know- 
ledge of the country enabled them to execute this 
fyftem with advantage, general Howe refolved 
to ceafe an ineffe6lual purfuit, and employ him- 
felf in the redudion of King's Bridge and Foft 
Walhington. This laft poft was of the utmoft 





and en- 
the field 
the other 
led them 
tent with 
[he Ame- 
;duced to 
^ed them- 
L the thir- 
, and two 
■breed the 
for the at- 
,ing morn- 
aandoned, . 
veather, as 
, the W(ea- 
former in- 
d rendered 
an attack, 
the Britilh , 
lext morn- 
e morning 

acrofs the 
ire, in their 
ns. Their 
lat any at- 
icefsful, for 
• front, and 
ind heights, 
my's fyftem 
heir know- 
execute this 
tve refolved 
mploy him- 
ge and Fort 

the utmoft 

importance, inafmuch as itfecured an immediate CHAP, 
intercourfe with the Jerfey fhore, to Fort Lee, ^11- 
and eifeftually obftruded the navigation of the '"^'V^^ 
North River. It was fituated on the weftern fide ^77°' 
of New York Iflaud, at a fihaH diftancc from ' . 
King's Bridge, and almoft oppofite to Fort Lee* . 
The fortifications were in good order, but its r 
principal ftrength confifted in its fituation ; for it " 
could not be approached without expofing the be- 
fiegers to a heavy fire from the garrifon, and the 
works and lines by which it was farrounded. 
Senfible of the importance of this poll, the Amc- • 
ricans had garrifoned it with three thoufand men, 
under the command of colonel Magaw, a gen-^ . 
tleman peculiarly fitted for the trufl repofed in - 
him. He was brave, generous, and humane ; ^ 
his manners engaging, and his education liberal. - 
He was a native of Pehfylvania ; and the former . 
part of his life had been Ipentin the profeffion of ■> 
the law. As foon, however, as the difturbances . 
commenced, he offered his fervices to congrefs ; . 
whom he ferved with zeal and fidelity, that could ■ 
refult only from a convidlion that the caufe for 
which he fought was the caufe of liberty and in- ^ 
dependence. On the fifteenth of N'ovember, 
the Englifh batteries being completed, a fummons * 
was lent to the garrifon to furrender, on pain of 
being put to the fword. Before this fummons 
was lent, it was objeded to the general by an . 
Eqglifti officer of rank, that this menace would 
determine Waihington to withdraw the garrifon 
or reinforce it, which latter he did ; and returned 
for anfwer, that he would defend it to the lafl 
extremity. It was determined therefore to conf- . 
mence a vigorous attack upon it next morning. . 
The army was divided into four parts. The firft, 
I on the fide of King's B4dge, under general Knyp- 
haufen, confifted of five thoufand Heflians. The 

R 2 fecond 

It'J V 


la I 




C HAP. fecond contained the guards and light infantry, 
VII. under^general Matthews^ together with two baita- 

^•^T^^ lions of grenadiers and the thirty-third regiment, 
1776. commanded by lord Cornwallist This divifion 
, ivas to land at Haerlem Creek, in thirty flat-bot- 
tomed boatS) which, for that purpofe, had paflTed 
up the North River in the night. The third di- 
vifion, comprifing the forty-fecond regiment, was 
intended ro make a feint in batteaux upon the 
left, between the enemy's lines, towards New 
Yorki The fourth divifion,. under the command 
of lord Percy, was to attack in front of the lines 
above Haerlem Plain. Lord Howe attended the 
operations of the laft body. Soon after day-break, 
on the iixteenth, the cannonading began, and 
continued with gteat fury on both fides till noon. 
The Heflians, under the command of general 
Knyphaufen, then iiled off in two columns j One 
of which, led by colonel Ralle, afcended a hill 
circuitoufly, not without much toil. They gained 
however the fummit of it, and penetrating through 
the advanced works of the enemy, formed within 
a hundred yards of the covered way of the front. 
The fecond coli.ii;i, commanded by general 
Knyphaufen, climbeJ the hill in a diredt line. 
They had to pafs an alnioft impervious wood, 
w hich was rendered more dangerous by an abba* 
tis of brufh-wood and felled timber, covering 
both fides of the declivity : Neverthelefs, after 
great labour, they penetrated through the wood, 
and fixed themfelves on the top of the afcent* 
The fecond divifion was equally fuccefsful : The 
light-infantry made good their landing, and forced 
ther enemy from their rocks and treesupafteep 
and rugged mountain. The third divifion was 
much galled in crofling the lower part of Haerlem 
Creek. Colonel Sterling, the commander of the 
forty-fecond, had to encounter a heavy iire be- 

f ! 


. , ' T^^TTTd MjijJ o^'rytn 





fore he landed, and he had then to afcend a woody CHAP, 
promontory, the ground of which wasi very une- 
ven : Neverthelefs he fucceeded iii his attempt, 
and, though the poft was obftinately defended, 
he carried it, making two hundred of the enemy 
prifoners. The laft divifion was not lefs fortu-r 
nate in the advances they made through the 
enemy's lines. Lord Percy, with his ufual gal- 
lantry and good conduct, having furmounted in- 
credible difficulties, carried the advanced works 
of the enemy. The garrifon, finding that it was 
not poflible to defend the fort longer, furrendered 
prifoners of war. The lofs of the royal army 
in killed and wounded, amounted tp, about eight 
hundred : That of the garrifon, including killed, 
wounded, and prifoners, about three thoufand 
three hundred. It was a great error in colonel 
Magaw, tnat he fuifered his troops to crowd into 
the fort, after quitting their lines : For had they 
been polled on the brow of the hill, facing the 
north and fouth, the conteft would have been 
prolonged, and the afTailants have fuflained a 
heavier lofs : But the grand error was on the part 
of the American general; who, as if he had enter- 
tained a predilediion for a poft, no longer ufeful, 
did not withdraw the garrilon on the evening pre- 
ceding the alTault^ 

On the morning of the attack, general Wafti- 
ington had been at the fort, in order to give di-^ 
redions to colonel Magaw: He had, however, 
repafled over to the Jerfey Ihore long before the 
heat of the a6lion. On the other fide of North 
River, oppofite to Fort Wafhington, lay Fort Lee, 
which occupied next the attention of the com- 
mander in chief ; inafmuch as its redudlion would 
fecure the command of the river, and open a 
(:ommunication with the Jerfeys. 

■ On 

\; •■, 


♦ I' liiip ' i'?*'-. 



V i ■ " ■ 11 ii Tsv 

.fSrjIlf- ;v ;„*^ 






A forrp in- 
der loi ,. 
Cornv. illii 
pencti lus 
into 1.1)5 



On the eighteenth of November, lord Corn- 
wallis landed on the Jeriey fhore, eight miles 
above Fort Lee, with two battalions of Britifh 
and three of Heflian grenadiers, two of light-iu- 
fantry, the guards, the chalfeurs, the royal High- 
landers, the thirty-third regiment, and a detach- 
ment of the queen's light dragoons. The Tailors 
of the fleet were employed in dragging the artil- 
lery up a rocky road to the I'ummit of the river's 
bank, which ftretches, in an almoft perpendicu- 
lar direction, half a mile from the river. As 10011 
as the detachment had landed, lord Cornwallis 
began his march with great fecrel'y and diipatch. 
In all probability he would have furpriled the 
fort and made the enemy prifoners of war, had 
not a deferter informed them of his approach. 
In confequence of this information the gariifon 
retreated in the utmoft confufion, leaving their 
tents ftanding, and all their provifions and mili- 
tary (lores. The next day major-general Vaugh- 
an, with the dragoons, grenadiers, and light-in- 
fantry, was detached to New Bridge, on the Ha- 
kenfack river, which runs into New York Bay. 
The enemy retreated before them with evident 
confufion, leaving behind them, on the roads, a 
great quantity of ftores and artillery. 

Lord Cornwallis now penetratea into the re- 
motefl parts of Eaft and Weft Jerfey without op- 
pofition. On the twenty-fourth of November, 
being reinforced by two brigades of Britifii troops 
and a battalion of Highlanders, his lordlhip pro- 
ceeded to New Bridge, thence to Hakeniack, 
Newark, Elizabeth Town, and Brunfwick : At 
this laft town he was commanded to remain ; an 
order, which laved the panic-ftruck and fleeing 
s"my of the Americans from utter ruin.- The 
Rariton is fordable at that place in every receis 
pf the tide ; and had the noble general been left 





>**^- -r 



* *47 

to ad at his own difcretion, if we may form a CHAP. 
conjedlure from that adlivity and good fenfe Vli. 
which diftinguifh his ufual condudl, he would ^"*nr>^ 
have piirfued the weakened and alarmed enemy '77^' 
to the Delaware, over which, without falling into 
his hands, they never could have paifed. At 
Brunfwick the Britifh army halted near a week ; 
the Americans, to the number of three thoufand, 
with all their heavy cannon and baggage, at 
Prince Town, feventeen, and at Trenton, on 
the Delaware, twenty-nine miles diftant. On 
the feventeenth of December, our army marched 
from Brunfwick at four o'clock in the morning, 
and about the fame hour in the afternoon arrived 
at Prince Town. This place general Wafhing- 
ton, in perfon, with Stirling's brigade, left not 
one hour before the Britifti arrived. At Prince 
Tvwn the Britifli genei"al waited feventeen hours, 
marched at -nine o'clock in the morning of the 
eighth, and arrived at Trenton at four o'clock 
in the afternoon ; juil when the laft boat of ge- 
neral Wafhington's embarkation crofTed the rir 
ver, as if he had calculated, it is obferved, with 
great accuracy, the exad time neceflary for his 
enemy to make his efcape. a „.J 

The winter now beginning to fet in, the army 
'.vent into winter-quarters. The Britifti troops 
were placed between the Delaware and the Ha- 
kenfack, the latter of which runs near New 
York. Trenton, the moft important port and 
the barrier, wi;s occupied by a brigade of Hef- 
fians, under the command of colonel Ralle ; and 
Bordenton, which formed the angle neareft the 
enemy, was placed under the command of count 
Donopandfour battal'oiisof Heflians. The ene- 
my, in the mean time, w^re fuffered to make good 
their reixeat acrofs the Delaware. 


.s:t;r^;.5i( y. *s&?^..^.:':';' 







\ ) 



CHAP While lord CornwalHs was thus fuccefsful iii 
VI- the Jerfcys, an e:xpedition was undertaken againft 

A-nr'*' Rhode Ifland by General Cluuoa and fir Peter 
'77*5' Parker. At their approncli the prcN inci '!3 aban- 
doned the ifland, anatb«^ EL;*»;'Uhtc>ok peaceable 
poilefllon of it : An unl icky ineafurc, as r had 
no u'fe hut to keepagrtitt body of -OOp'; ;.neni- 
ployed duririij three years. 
' Oh account of the fucctfs of this expedition, 
the Anieritaji fquadron, compianded iijf coniino. 
dor6 Hopkins, was under the necffiity -y^ rv^inng 
up tVe. river Providence, where h remained 
blocke.d up and ina£^'ve. V/he? *he expedition 
was difpatched to Rhode Ifii?ncl, ill" HeruryClin- 
, ton ilrongly urged th^t he might rather be per- 
hiitted to condufl it to the Delaware. I'ofliblv, 
had that counfel been adopted, the blow niight 
have been irrecoverable to the Americans : But 
it is faid Lord Howe in lifted oj^ t^epq^cjioi^ 9f 
iRhode Ifland |br the fleet. - " • ' - .;;- - 


4 |;^«'^. 

Jit''. '.;'>: 


i_ •»-'-f,-'i ", 

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-■.■,. ^ ■' 




:. ' '-i 

4V^V ('■''■-""■' 

..f s^i 


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ir-%-<2 • 

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— :-* '■ •:) 

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X : , fi-^^Ai- ';*■! 

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i,.:.. ■.'. V ,; 


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r\r '•■'■''-. 


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I , , 

C H A P, 





^"^'^"^'•^^11 'fiiiin»i-fir 

I ) 


:efsful in 
;n againft 
fir Peter 
ic'la aban- 
as > had 
)p« i.aem- 

a commo^ 
€i*ry Clin- 
er be per- 
)low niignt 
leans: But 
;)<reffior^ 9f 




iC H A P. 


: .:..n 

. J- .. '4 ■• It- 


■\-':,. ■ 


'.^'> i' -.•«;" 

CHAP. yiii. 

• -V ft . 


TranfaSions in the Jerjies — Apparent Errors of 
the Britijh Comman^er^^Defpondence of the Re- 
volter? — Vigour of Congrefs — Encouragement to 
enlifl in the American Army — Congrefs appeal * 
with Effc^ to the American People. — 17.76. • 

FROM the fucceFs that had attended theBri-^^^^ 
tiftiarmy, very beneficial confequences were 
expe^ed to refult. And indeed, when we.con- 
(ider the comparative fituation and ilrength of 
both armies at this .period, fuch expectations 
will neither appear too fanguiue nor unreafona- 

The American army had been raifed and em- 
bodied on the following principle : — ^Each man 
enlifted only for a twelvemonth ; after which 
period, he was at liberty to quit the fervice. Con- 
grefs beggn now to be coavinced that this prin- 
; ciple was erroneous ; for the Ihortnefs of the 
I term inducisd many to inlift at firfl, but it was 
[now become necellary to form a fettled and per- 
maa<^nt military eftablifhnient : Such an eftab- 
|li(hmeiat, however, could riot at prefent be ac- 
|cornpli(hed. Tbofc; who had fulfilled the term 
I of their engagement retired from the fervice, 
jalleging, as a reafon for their condud, that it 
Iwas incumbent on their fellow-countrymen to 
ibefir an equal (hare in the defence of the com- 
Cinoii cauiie. Thus the places of thofe who had 
laoquired a degree of military experience, were 

jiUed by perfons who were totally ignorant of the 



■- 1: 

H-KR^aJW ■•-' 




C H A P. duties of their new fituation, and who were very 
^11^- inadequate to refift the attacks of the veterans, 
of which the Britilh army was conipofed. In 
confcqueuce of the fuccefs of the royalifts, fup. 
plies of men were acquired by congrefs but flow- 
\y. On the other hand, prodigious numbers re- 
tired from the fervice, aud the adual Itrengih 
was reduced from thirty thoufand, of which it 
Blunders of confided whcu general Howc landed on Staten 
tb« British inand, to fcarcely three thoufand. The Bri- 

commander. •-, 1 • '' • 1 1 r 

tiJn army, at this period, amounted from twenty 
to thirty thoufand. The men were all healthy 
and in good fpirits ; fuccefs had increafed their 
military ardour, and they pofTefled every thing 
-hat could contribute either to their comfort or 
theiv" convenience. The greateft expe6lations 
'.■'t IV. 1 cordingly formed, from fo great a degree 
•'if heauh, animation, and courage, heightened 
by fuccefs : Advantages which, if rightly ira- 
proved, would naturally lead the way to ftill 
farther fuccefs and glory. The rcduftion of Forts 
Wafhington and Lee opened to the Britifh gene- 
ral a free ingrefs into the Jerfeys. The enemy, 
panic-ftruck, flew before him, and yet he would 
not fuifcr them to be purfued ; ordering lord 
Cornwallis to proceed no further than Brunf- 
wick. By this tendcrncfs of operation, the ene- 
my were enabled to make good their retreat, and | 
to crois the Delaware in fafety. He thus negleft- 
ed the opportunity of making the remnant of the I 
American army prifoners of war : Yet, even ful>' 
fequent to this period, his condudl was equally 
inexplicable. The Americans, though they had 
thus crofled the Delaware, were far from feeliD|( 
themfelves in fecurity ; and had the qommandcr 
in chief paffed over the river after them (\vhicli| 
he might have done a little above Correll's Fer- 
ry), the confequences would have certainly beeal 
..' .tl' ' .' », ., fatal] 


■-' "*-»*-V^ - • . .\< * - 




re very 


ed. li 

fts, fup. 

ui flow- 

ibers re- 


kvhich it 

1 Staten 

'he Bri- 

n twenty 

I healthy 

ifed their 

ery thing 

(infort or 


.t a degree 


ighily inl- 
ay to ftill 

bn of Forts 

iti(h gene- 
he euemy, 

t he would 

ermg lord 
lan Brunt- 
1, theeni- 
etreat, and 
us iiegleft- 
lant of the 
, eveafub-' 
ras equally 
h they m 
•om feeling 
tern (whiclr 


fatal to the American caufe. The panic ftruck CHAP, 
by the i'^veral defeats of the Americans at Long VIII. 
Jflaiid, !>iew York, and vhe White Plains, with 
the progrel's of the army through New Jerfey 
had extended itl'elf from the military to ?!1 tlie 
civil departments of the new ftates,' and particu- 
larly in the middle colonies. The governor, 
council, affembly, and magiftracy of New Jer- 
fey had dcferted that province. The felf-created 
Hate in Philadelphia had difperfed, and the con- 
grefs itfelf, giving up all as loft, had fled with 
great precipitation into Maryland. Repeated 
attempts were made to raife the militia of Pen- 
fylvaniain vain. Ihree of the rimcipal citizens 
of Philadelphia, in behalf of the reft, waned on 
congrcfs before their flight, and boldly informed 
them, that they intended to meet fir William 
Howe, and throw themfelves on his protedion. 
The principal city of North America, and at that 
time the feat of the new government, only wait- 
ed for the arrival of the Britifh army, to fubmit 
to the mother-country. Other ytis, which had, 
from the commencement of the diiturbances, fol- 
lowed the example of Philadelphia, would have 
purfued the fame condu6l. In :his manner ad- 
vantages, which, in all probability, would have 
put a period to the war, were neglected : Nor 
were thefe the only errors of which the com- 
j mander in chief was guilty. The great and prin- 
.cipal error in lir William's Howe's condudl at 
this period, was, his dividing his army into fmall 
detachments; and thofe at fuch a diftance from 
I each other, as, in cafe of attack, not to be capa- 
ble of receiving immediate affiftance from the 
jraaiu army : And it was owing to this injudicious 
lamagement, that the Britifti army, when in the 
Ijerfeys, were, as we fliall fee hereaficr, cut up 
llii detail. The manner .u which he dlfpofed the 


•, i 

» I. 

5 I j 





CHAP. army into winter cantonments, was particuUrljr 
VIII. blamcable. In the firft place, the chain of com- 

^"■''T^' \nunication which the Britifh troops occupied 
"77^- tVom the Delaware to the tlakenfack was too ex- 
tenfive, and the cantonments too remote from 
each other ; for the fpace between the two river$ 
was not lefs than eighty miles. In the next place, 
foreign t»-oops ought not to have been ftationed 
either at 1 . vntou or Bordenton ; for they were 
the barriers to the Jerfeys, and lay neareft to the 
enemy. The light-infantry ihoula have occupied 
thefe polls, for the Heflian troops, underftand- 
ing nothing of the language of the country, were 
unable to obtain proper intelligence, and, Inftead 
of conciliating the affedions, made themfelvn 
particularly difagreeabk to the natives, by jril. 
• taging theni, and talcing from them the neceflii- 
ries of life, without making them an adequate 
compenfation. It was farther obferved, that the 
four frontier cantonments at Trenton, Borden, 
ton. White Horfe, and, liurlingtoii, were the 
■weakell, in refpedl of niJimber of troops, , x the 
whole line of cantonment. The poft at xren- 
ton, oppofit^ to which Waftiington lay with the 
rnain body of his army, and with boats prepared 
to crofs the Delaware at hia, pleafure, was de- 
fended only by twelve hundred Heflians; and 
thofe of Bordenton, White Horfe, and Burliq^* 
ton, by no more than ^wo thoufand. In tb»| 
weak ftate, the frontier pofts, the pofts of moll 
danger, weie left by the commander in chief; 
while the cither pofts were made ftronger and 
Aronger, in proportion to the decreafe of their 
Uftance from the enemy, and their confequent [ 
'anger ; nor were thefe frontier cantonments fe* 
cured from the attacks of the enemy by any worki I 
of art, but left without a finglc redoubt or iu- 
tr^enchmeut, to which, in cafe of a furprife, the| 






of com- 
s too ex- 
ote from 
wo rivers 
ext place, 
they were 
reft to the 
; occupied 
tttry, were 
id, inftead 
js, by pil- 
he neccffa- 
n adequate 
;d, that the 
)n, Borden. 
, were the 
)ops, ithc 
,ft at x'rea- 
ay with tk 
lis prepared 

re, was ^^• 
iflians; and 
and Burlia^- 
id. Iq this 
,ofts of moft 
er itt chief; 
ftronger ani 
■eafe of iheit 
r confequent 
itonments &• 
jy any worki 
idoubtor in- 
furprife, the] 


troops, until they (hould be relieved from theCHAP. 
other ports, might retreat. ^^^** 

The affairs of congrefs, in the mean time, con- 
tinued to droop daily. As foon as the Britiflt 
troops had been difperfed into winter-quarters, J^'^'^^J",^, 
the commander in chief ifTued a proclamation inrevoiten. 
the name of his brother and himfelf, in which 
pardon was offered to all perfons, who, within 
the fpace of fixty days, ftiould take the oath of 
allegiance, and fubmit to the authority of the 
Britifti government. The good effefts of this 
proclamation were foon apparent. People from 
all quarters crowded to take the benefit of it. 
Whole diftrifts threw down their arms : Nor 
was this all the diftrei's tjiat congrefs fufferedk 
In addition to their misfortunes, they incurred 
the following unfortunate lofs : — General Lee, 
t)o whom, on the departure of GeneraV Wafti- 
ington, the command of the troops at Croton's 
Ferry had devolved, receiving information of 
the perilous fituation of general Waftiiugton, and 
the defencelefs condition of the banks of the 
Delaware on the fide of Philadelphia, relolved, ^ 
notwithftanding the defertion of his army, occa- 
fioned by thofe whofe terms of fervice were ex- 
pired, to crofs the North River, and form a 
jnadlion with him. Accordingly, on the fixth 
of December, he croffed the North River at 
King's Ferry, with three thoufand men and fome 
pieces of cannon. He continued his route thro' 
Morris County, intending to crofs the Delaware 
to the northward of Trentor On the thirteentli Capture of 
of December, while his army was encamped inS'"*'"*^*** 
Morris County, he quitted the camp, in order 
to reconnoitre. In the courfe of this employ- 
ment he proceeded to the diftance of three miles 
from his army, where he ftopped at a houfe to 

In , 

' ^\ kV'^ 

1 V- 

> ; ( 

i •• • '••• 

\ I 






CHAP. In order to obtain information cf the move* 
VIAI. nicnts of tljc army under general Lcc, colonel 
Harcourt had been difpatched with a detach- 
ment of light- horle : Colleding information, as 
he advanced into tlie country, the colonel was 
induced to proceed farther. In his progrefs he 
intercepted a countryman, charged with a letter 
from general Lee, by which he underftood where 
he was, and how flightly he was guarded. He 
immedia( formed a refolution of carrying him 
off; and for that purpofe made the proper dif- 
pofitions to prevent his efcape. He then gallop- 
ed up to the houle where the general ^as at 
breakfafl, furprifed the centinels placed to guard 
it, forced open the door, and made him a pri- 
foner, as well as a French lieutenant-colonel, 
who had accompanied him. The general was 
immediately mounted, and, notwithftanding the 
extent of country through which he was to be 
carried, conveyed in fafety to New York, where 
the commander in chief then refided. 

The lofs of general Lee was a fevere blow to 
the American caufe. His military knowledge 
was great, and he had been a foldier from his in- 
fancy : He had formerly pofllfled the rank of 
lieutenant-colonel in the Briiifh fervice, and had 
ferved all the lail war in America and Portugal 
with reputation. Kis abilities were extenfive, 
and his knowledge improved by an intimate ac- 
quaintance with every nation in Europe. His 
difpofition was refllels and romantic, and the 
polfeffion of an eafy fortune enabled him to m- 
dulge it. Having received fome affront from the 
individuals who compofed the Britifh adminiff ra- 
tion, he emigrated to America on the commence- 
ment of the prefent difturbances, and offered his 
fervices to congrefs. His abilities and his pro- 
feflional reputation being well known, his offers 





ass l 

on, as 
:l was 
efs he 
I letter 
1. He 
ng him 
)cr dif-. 

Ivas at 
) guard 

a pri- 
ral was 
ling the 
5 to be 
, where 

blow to 
1 his in- 
rank of 
md had 
late ac- 
)e. His 
land the 
to ia- 
from the 
fered his 
his pro- 
lis offers 


were accepted with joy, and he was honoured CHAP. 
with the rank of major-general. He had been VIlI. 
eminently uleful in dilciplining the American 
troops, and by his afiivity and (kill had greatly 
contributed to the fucccl's of the common caul'e. 
To thele qualifications, however, the impartia- 
lity of hiftorv requires us to add, that he was a 
nuu of mofi abandoned principles ; that he 
laughed at every attribute of the Divinity, and 
turned into ridicule every tenet of religion. No 
prifoner of equal rank with general Lee being 
in the hands of the provincials, general Wafh- 
ington offered in exchange for him fix field offi- 
cers : General Howe, however, replied, that 
general Lee, having defcrted from the fervice of 
Great Britain^ could not be confidered as a pri- 
foner of war. To this general Wafhington re- 
I joined, that, having on the commencement of 
the troubles refigned his commifTiou as a Britifli 
ofUcer, general Lee could not be fuppofed to be 
I a delerter. The commander in chief, however, 
[refufcd to releafe him ; which occafioned the 
I Americans to treat feveral of their prifoners with ^ ' 
I an unufual degree of fevcrity and rigour. 

Notwithftanding the perilous fituation of their vigour of 

"flairs, ccngrefs were not difpirited. They pro- '^°"'^'^*'^'' 
keeded with the utmoft vigour and adtivity to re- 
Ipair their lofTes, and to remedy the defedl in 
liheir military fyftem. They ordered a new army 
Ito be raifed, the foldiers of which, inflead of 
Iferving one year, (hould be bound for three, or 
jdaring the continuance of the prefent diftur- 
Ibances. This army was to confifl of eighty- 
jeight battalions, to be furnifhed and maintained 
Iby the refpedlive colonies, according to the fol- 
jlowing propdrtion : Virginia and MafTachw/'er 
lucre to furnifh fifteen battalions each; Penly'- 

|\'ania, twelve — ^North Carolina, nine — South Ca- 

.1 K 



H IS TO R'Y" OF t rt E 

CHAP, rolina, fix-i-Conneaicut, eight — Maryland, eight 
VIII. — Rhbdt Ifland, tw6-^Dclawire, one- — -New 



Hamp(hire, thre'c-i-and G^rgia, oiic. New Ybtk 
and Jcrfey being -partly in the enemy's pofleffibii, 
were only aifefied at four battalions each. 

Ais an mducemeht to tnen to enlift, the folloV* 
uft?"the"' '"S liberal offcis \viere made i Each foldier was to 
Amerian havc a boijnty of- twenty' dollars, bcfides an »h 
"™"y- Jotment of lands iat the end of the war to all wlio 
fUrvived, or to the "families of thofe who ihottid 
fall in the fervice. The allotment of a common 
"' foldier was to bebne hundre^ acres— of atien* 

ii^V one hundred and fifty— of a lieutenant, two 
htiiidred— a captain, tliree hundred — a major, 
fcMir hilndr^d-i^a lieutenant-colonel, four hun> 
dred and fifly^^fiiid a colonel, five hundred. 
This iallotmettt, however, was not to extebd to 
thofe who enlifted only for three years. In ad- 
ditiodi to ' thefc offers, congrefs forbad any one 
to purchafe the' allotment of lands belonginig to 
another, in ord^r that by this prohibition each 
foldier might procurie for himfelf a decent main- 
tenance wheii the public ih6uld ho longer want 
his profelTioidil ' affiftance. In order to provide 
for the fupport' of fudi a large body as was pro- 
■^ ' pofed to be raifed, cdngrefs borrdwed a loail of 

• ■ five minions of dollars at four per cent, intercft. 
The Britifh' troops 1at this period were mailers 
of the Jerfeys, and feparated from Penfylva'Jia, 
and the capital Philadelphia, only by the Dela- 
congrefc waTe. In this critical fituatiou, cougrefs thought 
appeal with it advifable to publifh an appeal to the inbabi- 
iSiwicw!'" ^3^^s of the feveral colonies, in order to remiiid 
people. them of their afTurances of prbteftSon and fup- 
pdrti In this appeal the)^ were entreated not to 
foi-get that adlivity and unanimity Were abfolutely 
n^celTary to enfure welfare and fuccefs to the 
' common caule. They travelled over the latne 
'.^^■ grounds 

_ ...7 ■;;.;: __ , • , 







gronnds they had formerly done, with . refpedl to C H A P. 

a recapitulation of the grievances they had fuf- Vlll. 

fered, and the manner in which they had been 

treated by the mother-country. They infifted 

that nothing ihort of an abfolute fubmiflion would 

fatisfy the demands of their enemies, and they 

defired an anfwer to this queAion : Which of the 

two alternatives was preferable — refiftauce or fla- 

very ? The appeal next adverted to recent tranf- 

adions, and contended that the fuccefs of the: 

Britifh arms had been greatly exaggerated, and 

dearly purchafed. In conclufiou, congrels afTur- 

ed them of thie afliftance of foreign powers, and 

exhorted them to prepare for a vigorous defence 

of thofe objeds which mull be dear to every man. 

This appeal produced the desired effedl. The 

people of America determined to contribute every 

polfible afliftance to the common -caufe ; and for 

that purpofe exerted themfelves with aftonifhing 

aftivity in procuring reinforcements of men for 

the army under the command of general Wafii 


Winter was i: ow approaching faft. The Dela- 
ware was expected to be foon frozen, and it was 
not doubted but that the Britifh troops only 
waited for this event in order to crofs it and at- 
tack Philadelphia, The friends of congrefs, 
therefore, with good reafon, began to entertain 
appreheniions for the fafety of that body, which 
OQthis account retired- to Baltimore in Maryland. 
The city of Philadelphia by their departure was 
thrown into confufion. As long as congrefs re- 
fided there, thofe ,who were attached to Great 
Britain were under the neceffity of fubmitting to 
a power which they could not refift. The opera- 
tion of this caufe had no fooner ceafed than thi y 
avowed their attachment openly, and ufed every 
endeavour to acquire frefh adherents to the Bri- 

VoL. I. 3 lilh 


, •""•■<- 

■■i-*.'»jfe . 






caufe. Their attempts were not unfuccefs* 
Many of the inhabitants quitted Philadel* 
phia, and claimed the benefit of the proclama- 
tion recently made by the commifTioners* Others, 
who, though well afieded to Great Britain, did 
not think proper to leave the city, made ufe of 
every artifice to prevent its being put into a pro- 
per ftate of defence, according to the diredions 
of congrefs before their departure. Thefe at- 
tempts .occafioned violent animofities and dif. 
turbances ; to put an end to which, general 
Wafhington was reduced to the neceffity of dif- 
patching a confiderable detachment ot the tri- 
vial force which now remained under his com* 

The fituation of the Americans was now almoft 
defperate. General Wafhington, though 'rein- 
forced by the jundlion of general Lee's army, 
had not five thoufand men under his commana ; 
many of whom were raw and inexperienced, 
and all were difpirited by difappointment and 
defeat. An hoftile army, flulhed with conqueft 
and fuccefs, lay on the oppofite fide of the De- 
laware, within twenty miles of him. Winter 
was approaching faft. The Delaware would be 
frozen ; and the only obftacle that prevented the 
enemy from attacking him would then be remov- 
ed. Thus fituated, he refolved to adopt a def. 
perate expedient ; and indeed the neceffity of 
the cafe left him only the alternative of adopting 
fuch a meafure, or of fubmitting to the enemy. 
He knew the manner in which the Britifh army 
■was difpofed ; that it was ftationed in extenfive 
cantonments ; and therefore could not eafily be 
condenfed, in a fhort period, into one body ca- 
pable of refiftiiig the attack of the men under 
his command. Befides, he wifhed to obtain for 
. • „ .•...- - Philadelphia, 





A M ^. R I C A N WAR. 



l*hiladelphia, a temporary fecurity, by inducing C H A P. 
the enemy to quit the vicinity of the Delaware. ^^^^' 

It has been already faid that the barriers at 
Trenton and Borden ton were defended by Hef- 
fian troops under the command of colonel Rhalle 
and count Douop. Thefe pofts general Wafti- 
ington determined to attack. But in order to General 
draw colonel Donop from his poft at Bordenron, Jl^pllfSc 
and to prevent him from affording any fupport Britim 
to Colonel Rhalle, at the time of the intended *4^ntoa. 
affault, he fent a corps of four hundred and fifty 
militia, many of whom were boys picked up in 
Philadelphia, and the counties of Gloucefter and 
Salem, to Mount Holly, with orders not to fight, 
but to take to flight the moment when the effeft 
of the manoeuvre fliould take place. The plan 
lucceeded. Colonel Donop marched againfl thii t ^ 
infignificant detachment of the American force," ,' 
with the whole of his party, to the number of 
two thoufand men, with the exception of eighty, 
left at Bordenton, down to Mount Holly, twelve 
miles from his own ftation, and eighteen from 
Trenton, the pofl he ought to have been near, * 
for the purpol'e of fupporting it in cafe of dan- 
ger. The fmall American party, on his approach, 
immediately fled and difperfed ; and y Donop, 
inftead of returning ftraight to fupport colonel 
Rhalle, loitered two days in the neighbourhood 
of Burlington, without the fmalleft femblance of 
neceffity. Wafliington difcerued :be fit moment 
for enterprife, and embraced it. He divided 
his troop? into three parts, which were to aflem- 
ble on the banks of the Delaware on the night 
of the twenty-fifth of December. Two of thefe 
divifiops were led by generals Irwing and Cad- 
wallader. The third, which was the principal 
divifion, was commanded by himfelf in perfon. 
It confifted of two thoufand five hundred men, 

S 2, and 


m n 

f 1 

3e; 1 






) ;i^ 


CHAP, and was furnifhed with a few field-pieces. General 
VIII. Wafhington was attended by generals Sullivan 
and Green. The firft diviliou ^as ordered to 
pafs the river at Trenton Ferry, a mile below the 
town — the fecond near Bordenton--— and the third 
at Mackenzie's Ferry, nine miles above Trenton, 
The Delaware had already begun to be frozen, 
and the boats that carried this laft divifion found 
it difficult to make their way through the ice. 
Other inconveniencies which the men encoun- 
tered after they landed delayed their march fo 
long, that they did not arrive a,f the deftined 
place before eight o'clock on the morning of the 
twenty-fixth of December. As foon as general 
Wafhington had landed he divided his men into 
two detachments, which were ordered to pro- 
ceed to Trenton by the two roads that led.toit; 
the upper, or Pennington road ; and the lower, 
or River road. 

The Heflians, fince they had been quartered 
at Trenton, had given way to a laxity of diici- 
pline, and an inattention that proceeded from a 
knowledge of the enervated fituation of the ene- 
my, and of the improbability of their adoptiog 
any oifenfive meal u res againft them. It is not 
therefore wonderful that they ncgleded the 
mean? of fecuring themfelves from a Turpxife, nor 
that the Americans were fuffered to proceed on 
their march without raoleftation. The firft in- 
telligence that the Heffians received of their ap- 
proach was from an advanced poft in the upper 
road, and the out-guards on the lower road, belli 
of which were under the neceflity of retreating 
into the town with the utmoft celerity. Rhalle, 
with, all poflible fpeed, endeavoured to colled 
his troops during the night ; but many of his 
men were abfent on pillaging parties, and thofe 
who were on the fpot were more bulily employed 


-^.'-'- . ■':^i 







iu fecuring their plunder in v;aggons than in put- ^^^it ^* 
ting the town in a proper ftate of defence. The 
enemy took advantage of this confufioU; and 
poffefled themfelves of the different avenues, 
where they placed their field-pieces, and thence 
began to pour a heavy fire upon the difmayed and 
aftonifhed Heffians. By adlivity and diligence 
Rhalle aflembled the beft part of his three regi- 
ments, with which he charged the enemy with 
great courage, but receiving a mortal wound in 
the commencement of the engagement, his troops 
refufed to continue it, and endeavoured to re- 
treat to Prince Town. Being difappointed, how- 
ever, in this attempt, they were under the necef- 
fity of furrendering prifoners of war. The num- 
ber of killed and wounded on both fides was in- 
con. derable. The number of prifoners amounted 
to near one thoufand. The two other divifions of 
general Wafhington's army were not fo fuccefsful. 
The quantity of ice in the Delaware was fo great, 
where they attempted to crofs it, that they found 
the talk impradicable. Had this not been the 
cafe, their fuccefs would have been complete ; 
for thefe divifions would have prevented the chaf- 
feurs and light-horfe from efcaping to Bordenton, 
and alfo have made themfelves mafters of all the 
cantonments on the fide of the river. General 
Wafhington, in confequence of this failure in the 
other divifions, judged it improper to profecute 
his intentions further. He therefore repafled the 
Delaware on the evening of the tweniy-fixth, 
carrying with him his prifoners, and all the ar- 
tillery of which he had made himfelf mafter at 

The Americans had hitherto beheld the Heffi- 
ans with fear and difmay. They knew that they 
were veterans, and in the higheft fiate of difci- 
pline. This vidlory, however, gained over thofe 
ftrangers, animated them to a furprifiiig degree, 
• ^ " 2nd 

,' V - 



^1 ,;, ,M 

CHAP, and revived that fpirit which had for fome time 
VIII. been decreafing. The Hcffians were difpatched 
to Philadelphia, and carried through the different 
ftreeis of that city, in order to convince the inha- 
bitants that the liiccefs of the American arms was 
not, as many induftrioufly fuggefted, pretended 
or fictitious. The lofs of Trenton was very gd- 
nerally imputed to the mifcondu<5l of the com- 
mander in chief. It was alleged that the principal 
barrier fliould not have been committed to the care 
of foreigners ; that it was extremely reprehenfible 
to negle6l throw: ii$j up fom«? defenfible works in 
order to prevent a furprife ; and that the extent 
of the cantonments was fo enlarged, as already 
obferved, as to render every idea of conveying 
afliftance from one caatonment to another totally 
impradlicable. Rhalie, though brave, was totally 
imfit for the Nation he held. He was obftinate, 
paffionate, and incefl'antly intoxicated withftrong 
liquors. The commander in chief affeflted to 
ihrow the blame of the appointment of Rhalie 
to the command at Trenton on general de Hdfr 

Sir William Howe has been very feverely cen- 
fured for having given the command of this poft 
to a foreigner, unacquainted with the language, 
cuftoms, or manners, of the people. He was 
liable to be impofed on by the country people in 
any information he might want ; and little could 
be expeded from colonel Rhalie in the way of 
conciliation accompanying that of armed force, 
the only way in which final fuccefs was to be ex- 
pe6icd For whoever cafts his ey^ on the oiap 
of the vaft continent of America mull readily 
perceive that force of arras alone, unaccompanied 
\)y conciliatory meafures, muft be wild and cE 
merical. When the enemy had arrived in the 
^wn t^ie troops in the Britilh fervic^ were folely 



r fome time 

the different 
ce the inha- 
m arms was 
, pretended 
/as very ge. 

of the cora- 
ihe principal 
;d to the care 
ble works in 
at the extent 
I, as already 
Df conveying 
Qother totally 
't, was totally 
was obftinate, 
jd withftroDg 
f affeaed to 
ent of Rhalle 
leral de HeifT 

feverely cen- 
d of this poft 
the language, 
pie. He was 
Qtry people in 
nd little could 
in the way of 
armed force, 
was to be ex- 
y^ on theiwap 
I muft readily 
wild and chi« 
arrived in the 
rice were foleiy 




occupied in fecuring their plunder in waggons, C H A p. 
and many of them were adually made priloners ^^^^' 
while engaged in this fhameful avocation. 

Though the fuccefs of general Waftiingtpn, in 
his attack on Trenton, had fui;pafied his'^moil fan- 
guine expedatious, he yet dreaded every moment 
the approach of the troops under general Leflie, 
from Prince Town, and of colonel Donop from 
Mount Holly, and fled with the utmoft precipita- 
tion to his winter quarters on the weft fide of the 
Delaware. Of taking up quarters in New Jerfey 
he never entertained a thought: Not doubting 
but the Briti(h commander, with a force fo greatly 
fuperior to his own, would re-occupy the impor- 
tant pofts on the Delaware, and fortify them fo 
ftrongly as to put it out of his power to retake 
them. Nor was Walhington, as yet, fufficiently ac- 
quainted with the charadler of fir William Howe, 
to fuppofe it poifible that this commander might 
purfue a differe^it line of conduft. To recover 
and fortify his chain of pofts on the Delaware 
was necelTary, in order to keep alive the panic 
already diffufed throughout all the colonies, and 
fupport the fpirits of the well-affe6led to govern- 
ment. It was neceffary to the prefervation of 
Weft New Jerfey, juft conquered : It was ne-* 
cefFary, in order to convince the enemy that the 
Britifh troops, although they might be furprifed, 
were not to be intimidated or difcouraged from 
aftion : And, finally, it was pradiicable without 
danger, as thofe troops were, at that crifis, fix 
times more in number, as well as fuperior in point 
of military difcipline and experience, to the feeble 
force that oppoied them. But inftead of an im- 
mediate movement of the two neareft corps, to 
regain what had been fo ftrangely loft, colonel 
Donop abandoned his poft, and haftened to join 
general Leflie at Prince Town. Theie officers, 


> ii 

' !j 





C HAP. ^'niic'j, were much fuperior iu force to general 
VIII. Wafliingtou : Yet, though there was no euemy 
ill N( .V Jcifey to clinurb ihcm, they were pcr- 
luiitecl lo remain for fonie lime wholly ina6live. 
'I'he two niaiu barriers of the Britiih power oq 
the Delaware being left unguarded and defence- 
lefs, and the condu6l of the Britilh commander 
b.'rrayiiigmanifeft irreloluiion, if not infatuation, 
general Wafliington, after an interval of eight 
days, was encouraged again to crofs the Dela- 
ware, and march to Trenton at the hc^d of four 
thou land men. 

• The Britiih commander iu chief was now fe. 
riouily alarmed. The Britifh and auxiliary troops, 
with the forces at Bruufwiclc under general Graut, 
advanced to Prince Town ; and lord Corn- 
wallis, who was on the point of failing for 
England, was immediately ordered to leave 
Kew York, and take the command of the Jerfey 
army. A? foon as his lordfhip joined general 
Grant, he marched to attack the enemy at Tren- 
ton. General Wafhington, on his approach, re- 
tired from the town, and crofting a rivulet at the 
back of it, ported himfelf on fome high grounds, 
feemingly with a determination of defending 
them. Both armies imnicdiately commenced a 
fevere cannonade, which continued till night. 
Lord Cornwallis determined to renew the attack 
next morning, bu. general Wafhington refolvcd 
not to hazard a battie. About two in the morning 
of the third of January he retreated with pro- 
found filence, leaving his fires burning, his pickets 
advanced, and levjral fmall parties for the pur- 
pofe of guarding the pafTage of the rivulet. Qiiit- 
tiug the main road, he took a large circuit through 
YMlenfiown, and proceeded to Prince Town, 
w hich place he intended to furprife. When lord 
Cgr;^ wallis q^uitted Prince Town, he left lieute- 



J- j-Wt-.jj, 







nant-colonel Mawhood to defend it with the fe- C H A P. 
venteenth, fortieth, and fifty-fifth regiments. On ^^^^' 
the third of Jinuary however, orders were tranf- 
niitted to him to march with the feventeenth and 
fifty-fifth regin^ lis to Maidenhead, a village 
midway between Prince Town and Trenton. 
General Wafhington had ufed fach expedition in 
his march, that at fun-rife his van came up with 
colonel Mawhood's detachment, which had juft 
begun its march. The morning was fo foggy, 
that the enemy were at firll fuppofed to be Hef- 
fians : Colonel Mawhood foon difcovering that 
it was part of the Ameiic£i*i army, immediately 
c^iijectured that general W-ifhington had re- 
t . ated from lord Cornwallis, and was on his 
march to Prince Town. A brook feparated the 
two armies. By cutting away a bridge over it, 
il::'3 detachment might have avoided an engage- 
ment, and fecured their pafifage to Maiden- . 
head. The commanding officer however, con- 
ceiving that fome advantage m'ght refult from de- 
laying the enemy, refolved to hazard an adlion. 
Thefogginefs of the morning, and the woods, ^ 
prevented him from difcovering at firft the - 
number of the enemy. PoffefTing himfelf of ' 
fome high ground that led tc Prince Town, 
he ordered the waggons to retui t to that place, 
and direded the fortieth regime at to come to his 
affiftance. When the enemy advanced he poured ^ 
a heavy difcharge of artillery upcn them, which 
did confiderable execution, on account of their 
not having yet formed in a regular line. For a 
fhort fpace of time a brifk cann'^- ade was carried 
on on both fides. The van of the enemy begin- 
ning then to be ill fome diforder, the feventeenth 
regiment riilhcd forward with fixed bayonets, 
and drove tbem back to a ravine >,hich feparated 
them from their rear. Great ff^mghter enfucd 
iu the endeavour of the eueiiiy to rtpafs this line. 

. I 






J 777. 

It was faid that, had the fifty-fifth regiment fup, 
ported the fcventeenth M'ith a proper degree of 
i'pirit, and had the fonieu» regiment obeyed the 
orders tranfmilted them to march to the alUftance 
of the other two regiments, the enemy would 
have totally failed in their defigns. But thefe feem 
to have been only the excufes with which it was 
ilttcmpted to cover the want of a regular com- 
bined difpofition for the attack : A negleft natu- 
rally imputable to the unexpe^lednefs of fuch a 
meeting with the American army. The fe\ a- 
teenth regiment, fevered by their ardour from 
the reft of the Britifh detachment, cut their way 
through the enemy, and purfued their march to 
Maidenhead. This was one of the moft gallant 
exploits during the whole war. Captain Scot, 
who led that regiment, received very deferved 
applaufe for his condutSl on that occafion. The 
Englifh fuffered confiderably in killed and wound- 
cd, and the Americans much more. Among the 
killed, on the part of the latter, was a general 
Mercer, whofe lofs was extremely lamented. The 
fortieth and fifty-fifth regiments being unable to 
mr;kc good their way to Maidenhead, effeiled a 
retreat to Brunfwick, with the lofs of near one- 
half their number. The Americans at the fame 
time took poffefTion of Prince Town. As foon 
as day-light appeared, on the third of January, 
lord Cornwallis difcovered the retreat of the 
American army, and entertaining apprehenfions 
for the fafety of Brunfwick, which was in a de- 
fcncelefs fituation, refolved to march inftantly to ! 
its relief. On the approach of his lordfhip, ge- j 
neral Wa(hington retreated from' Prince Town, 
and proceeded to Brunfwick. Brigadier Mat- 
thews, the commanding officer of the garrifon, 
being informed of his approach, took the pre- 
caution to fend away the iramenfe quantity of 
.:*- , .,-..-„^.,._. .,.-.., ftorej 

'^ : .'' 



I from the town. 

was confined ia 



ai general 

jfwick, yet 

. ., of the Eng- 

10 relinquifh 


flores that had been placed there for the ufe of C HAP. 
the army, and with his fmall detachment poded VIII. 
hinifelf on fome high grounds commanding the 
town, in ending to check the progrefs of the 
enemy, in order to cover the retreat of the (lore- 
waggons, which were hurrying along the Rariton 
to a bridge about two miles difta 
The captive general Lee, wt.o 
Brunfwick, was at the fame 
the Rariton in company wii 

Notwithftanding the ex 
Waihington ufed in his mai 
his rear was hard preflcd by the . 
lifh army. He therefore refolved 
his defigns on Brunfwick, and crofTed the Millnone 
river, breaking down the bridge at King's Town 
to evade a purfuit. 

The army under lord Cornwallis, harafled and 
fatigued, declined purfuing the enemy, and pro- 
ceeded to Brunfwick. Whilft Cornwallis, for 
the neceflary refrefliment of his troops, remained 
in this town, general Wafhington over-ran both 
Eaft, and Weft Jerfey, fpreading his army over ^ 
the Rariton, and penetrating into Effex County, 
where he made hinifelf maftcr of the coaft oppofite 
to Slaten Iflaud, by feizing Newark, Elizabeth 
Town, and Woodbridge. His head-quarters he 
fixed at Morris Town. This place is fituated 
amongft hills which are difficult of accefs. A 
fine country was in his rear, whence he could • 
draw fupplies, and through which he could at any 
timefecureaneafy palTage over the Delaware. 

By fuch judicious movements did general 
Wafhington not only fave Philadelphia and Pen- 
fylvania, but recover the greateft part of the Jer- 
leys, in defiance of an army infinitely fuperior to 
his, in difcipline, refources, and numbers. Of 
all their recent extenfiye poifeffions in the Jerfey s, 







123. WIS 


m m 


^ IHL 12.0 


1.25 1 1.4 1.6 

^s II ^= ^ 

-m 6" 









(716) 872-4S03 






of tlie Bri 

CHAP, the Englifh retained now only the pofts of Brunf- 
^}^^' wick and Amboy ; the firft iituated on the banks 
^ of the Rariion ; the fecond on a point of land at 
its mouth. Both places have an open communi- 
cation with New York by fea. 

In all thefe tranfadions there was fomethiDg 
inexplicable, to the rational 'part of mankind. 
They could not, by any well-founded arguments, 
defend the manner in which the troops were can- 
toned. They could not account for lb flender an 
eftablifhment being left on the -two barriers of 
Trenton and Bordenton. At the firft place 
Rhalle had only twelve hundred Heiiians ; at 
the fecond, count Donop's forcie exceeded not 
two thoufand. The negleding to fortify thefe 
pofts neareft the enemy, and moft in danger, 
feemed to them unpardonable : The placing the 
Britifh in the greateft numbers fartheft from the 
enemy ; the not retaking the pofts on the banks 
of the Delaware, which pofts covered the whole 
province of Jerfey : All thefe circumftances were 
generally aniniiad verted on wiih much feverity 
Men of plain fenfe could not underftand why 
the commander in chief, at the head of thirty 
thoufand veteran troops, fhould fuffer an undif- 
ciplined army, not amounting to a iixth part of 
his own numbers, to remain in a province fo 
lately in his firm poffeffion ; and not only to remain 
there, but to compel him to abandon that pro- 
vince. When the adherents of adminiftration 
refleded on the dreadful confequences that rauft 
arife from this erroneous condudlj they were re- 
duced to a fituation of grief and defpair. 

General Waftiington, with his ufual fagacity, 
perceived that, during the winter of 1776, his 
iituation required enterprife and daring expedi- 
ents ; which, while they haraffed the Britifh 
army, would keep his little force in ad^on, and 



U 1 



prevent the minds of his men from yielding to c H A P. 
the fatal e£fe£ts of defpondence. Small as his VIII. 
force was, he always pofted himfelf near the Bri- v-^nr*-' 
tifti army. He was inceflantly infuhing, furpri- »777* 
fing, and cutting off their pickets and advanced 
guards; firm and undaunted amidfl want, in- 
clemency of weather, and difficulty and danger 
of every kind. Amboy and Brunfwick were in 
a manner befieged. In this unfavourable and in- 
decifive warfare it is fuppofed that more of the 
Britifh were facrificed than would have been loft 
in an attack on general Wafhington's whole force, 
which, at this period, was lefs than four thoufand 
men, mofl of them undifciplined and inexperi- 
enced, and fuch as might have been defeated and 
difperfed b^ a fifth part of the Britifh army. 

Sir William Howe fulfered fuch an enemy, fo 
greatly inferior to his own, as then oppofed him, 
to remain for fix months within twenty-five miles 
of his head-quarters, without moleftation, and 
without taking any means to revenge the infults 
that were offered daily to the army under his 

It has been alleged in defence of fir William 
Howe's inadivity and.paffive demeanour, that he 
had to attack an enemy, pofted in a country con- 
taining numberlefs inaccelTible pofts, and flrong 
natural barriers formed by the various com- 
binations of woods, mountains, rivers, lakes, 
and marfhes ; and that thefe circumftances might 
be faid to fight the battles of the inhabitants of 
fuch countries in a defeufive war. Allowing the 
validity of this argument, ftill it will neither ac- 
quit the commander in chief of the charge of 
impolicy, in not croffiug the Delaware after the 
capture of Forts Lee and Walhingrou, nor in the 
feveral other iuftances already mentioned. 









lit , 

CHAP. Thefc fuccefsful operations on the part of the 
^^^'* Americans were immediately followed by a pro- 
'*~'^~^*^ clamation, in the name of general Wafhington, 
weiutinied ^bfolving all thofe who had been induced to take 
prociamati- the oaths of allegiance tendered by the Britifh 
^,^3§J"*"commiffioners, and promifmg them protection on 
ington. condition of their fubfcribing to a form of oath 
prefcribed by congrefs. The effefts of this pro- 
clamation were almofl inftantaneous. The inha- 
bitants of the Jerfeys, who had conceived a vio- 
lent hatred to the Britifh army, on account of 
their unchecked courfe of plundering, inftantly 
renounced their allegiance to Great Britain, and 
attached themfelves to the caufe of America. Se- 
veral who were refolved to avenge their wrongs, 
joined the army under general Waftiington, while 
others rendered equal lervice to the fide to which 
they attached themfelves, by fupplying the Ame- 
rican army with provifions and fuel, and by con- 
veying intelligence of the operations of the Bri- 
tifh army at Brunfwick and Amboy. 

In confequence of their affiftance, general 
Wafhington was enabled to harafs the Englifh 
greatly. The excurfions which the garrifon of 
Brunfwick made for forage, w-'^ often attended 
with fatal confequences ; an: the American 
, army had extended their liiit of cantonments 

from Morris Town to Woodbridge, within three 
miles of Amboy, the provifions that were forced 
to be conveyed by land to Brunfwick were often 
cut off by parties of the enemy, who were always 
on the watch, and to whom intelligence was re- 
gularly conveyed by thofe perfons who inhabited 
the fpace of ground between Amboy and Brunf- 
wick. General Howe too, as has been obferved, 
had iffued proclamations, calling upon the inhk- 
wuhlhat'ofbitants to join him, in fupporting his majefly's 
mrhing. government, and promifing them protcdlion in 




the ar 
{we fa 
the ha 
even a 
the pay 
the iflu< 
oats, Int 
never 01 
the e^pt 
were raj 
to a mod 
the Jerfej 
two brig, 
Britifh fe. 
ons, difci 
good fubjl 
ers. .ButJ 
, raifed prJ 
I their pro]: 
! ftroycd ; 
were infuj 
parel ; tht 
I trufling th 
J other, recj 
J from ther 
I And it is 
her took al 
I of necefTitl 
receipts fof 

i ! 



lis pro- 
ic inha- 
da vio- 
ount of 
ain, and 
ica. Se- 
)a, while 
to which 
the Ame- 
d by con- 
f theBri- 




both perfon and property. But no fooner had CHAP- 
the army entered the Jerfeys, than the bufinefs ^^^^* 
(we fay bufinefs, for it was a perfeft trade) of 
plunder began. The friend and the foe, from 
the hand of rapine, fhared alike. The people's 
property was takenir without being paid for, or 
even a receipt given, which would have been 
evidence that fuch property was taken ; leaving 
the payment or non-payment to be determined by 
the iflue of the war, and the political merit of the 
parties. The Britiih army foraged indifcrimi- 
nately, procuring confiderable fupplies of hay, 
oats, Indian corn, cattle, and horfes ; which were 
never or but very feldom paid for. Neverthelefs 
the e^pences of the extraordinaries of the army 
were rapidly increafing, and ultimately fWelled^^- 
to a moll unparalleled and alarming amount. 

Before the difafter at Trenton, the people of 
the Jerfeys were well afFefted to his majefty's go- 
vernment. Numbersjoined the royal army ; and 
two brigades of provincials were raifed for the 
Britifh fervice, who, on many fubfequent occafi- 
ons, difcharged their duty with all the zeal of 
good fubjeds, and the bravery of veteran foldi- 
ers. .But when the people found that the pro- 
raifed proteftion was not afforded them ; that 
their property wasfeized, and moft wantonly de- 
ftroycd ; that, in many iuftances, their families 
were infulted, ftripped of their beds, with other 
furniture — nay, even of their very wearing ap- - 
parel ; they then determined to try the other fide, " 
tiufting that they would atleaft, at one period or 
j other, receive compenfation for the fupplies taken 
from them for the ufe of the , American army. 
And it is but juftice to fay that the Americans ne- ;. 
ver took any thing from their friends, but in cafes 
of neceflity, in which cafes they uniformly gave 
[receipts for what they did take, always living, as 







^(■'.i ' 



r 1. 
\ ■ 



i ' 




: H A P. long as they could, upon their enemies ; and ne< 

VIII. ver fuffering their troops to plunder their friends 

•'HP*^ with impunity. But at the fame time it is to be 

'777' noticed, that the American troops were fuffered 

to plunder the loyalifls, and to exercife with im- 

punity every ad of barbarity on that unfortunate 

clafs of people ; frequently infliding on them 

even fcourges and ftripes. 

In this manner ended the campaign of 1776; 
in the courfe Of which it has been fufiiciemly 
feen, how advantages were negleded on the one 
part, and trivial occurrences rendered highly be. 
neficial on the other ; and, what adivity and per. 
feverance can effed, even with inferiority of 
ftrength, when oppofed to negligence and inen- 

■ .. ■ ' I 


■>:, ■' * •>- 


TN t 
X coi 

not aflf 
of uni< 
ting th 
upon cc 
the pan 
were nc 
had bee 
with th( 
be fettl( 
new fori 
they no{ 
of Aniel 
I. Tl 
the refl,| 
made uj 

i 1 





'Proceedings of Congrejs — They determine to re-> 
nounce all Dependance on Great Britain—Sketch 
of a new American Government, 

TN the midft of thefe operations in the Jerfcys, CHAP. 
X congrefs were not idle. Though they could ^^* 
not afford at prefent much aiTiftance to general 
Waftiington, they refolved to ftrengthen the band 
of union between the thirteen colonies, by put- 
ting the lall hand to the famous fyflem of confe- 

Hitherto their fyftem of conduA had proceeded 
upon certain fuppofitions of a reconciliation with 
the parent ftate. Thofe fuppofitions, however, American 
were now fuperfeded by the determination that ^"^[^g tJ*" 
had been made to renounce all dependence upon renounce ail 
Great Britain, and to ereft the colonies into fo- onCrea"** 
vereign ftates. In confequence of this determi- Britain, 
nation, a permanent form of government, relin- 
quiftiing every idea of a fubordinate connexion 
with the parent ftate, was abfolutely neceflary to 
be fettled. A committee appointed to prepare a 
new form of government, in the outfet of their 
compofition, made the following alteration in the 
appellation of the colonies : Whereas they had 
hitherto ftyled themfelves the United Colonies ; 
they now affumed the name of the United States 
of America. The conftitution propofed by this 
committee, was in fubftance as follow : 

I. That each colony (hould bind itfelf to affift sketch of a 
the reft, and to repel the attacks that might be"""*^™" 
made upon them on my pretence whatever. 
Vol. I. T T a. That 

■•> -• ' 

ncan go- 

■i- A 






CHAP. 2. That each ftate ftiould poffefs the power of 
IX. regulating its own internal government, and of 

^■^nn*' making laws in all cafes j provided they did not 
*77^' interfere with the general fafety and welfare of 
the common caufe. 

3. That all negotiations, alliances, and treaties, 
fhould be fubmitted to the confideration of the 
United States aflembled in geheral congrefs ; and 
that no ftate in particular was to infringe the pro- 
viiions of this article on any pretence whatever. 

4. That it Ihould be criminal in any perfoij, 
pofleiTing authority under the United States, to 

-.\ accept prefents, gratuities, employments, or li- 
ties, from any foreign power. 

5. That no titles of nobility ihould he con- 
ferred by the general affembly of the United 
States, or the affembly of any particular ftaces. 

6. That none of the ftates were to form alli- 
ances or private treaties among themfelves, with- 

' { ■ out the confent of the United States. 

7. That no duties or impofts were to be eftab- 
' lifhed in any ftate, which might tend to infringe 

the provifions of any treaty which the general 
affembly m^ht think proper to enter into with 
any foreign power. 

9. That no particular ftate was to increafe its 
naval eftabliftiment beyond the number prefcribed 
for each ftate by the general affembly. That the 
military eftabliftiment fliould be governed by the 
fame regulation. That a well-difciplined railitia 
was to be kept up in every ftate, adequately arm- 
ed and equipped ; and that the public magazines 
ftiould always contain a fufficient number of field- 
pieces, tents, aud other neceflary implements of 
|i is^ 9. That all officers of the rank of colonel, and 
under, ftiould be appointed by the legiflative body 
V of each ftate. 
^ ' .. ' ..' , ■ '''' -T' •->•■; • 10. That 






the ftai 


dians ( 

now p] 

the inh 

every tJ 

to be fe 


12. 1 



13- ^ 

,cular fta 

14. V 
of invaf: 
fion was 
ing to 

'15. ( 
and repr 
cular ftat 

16. FJ 
on the 

17. T 
of recall! 
year, ani 

r -'^ 

;-■ -l* 


l' * ^iipj^ Id/..' 



10. That theexpences of war fhould be de-CHAP. 
frayed out of the general treafury of the United IX. 
States. ^-nn*^ 

11. That in order to conftitutea public fund, »77S' 
adequate to any particular exigencies, each oi 

the dates fhould contribute a certain fum, ia 
proportion to the number of its inhabitants (In- 
dians excepted). That this number might be 
now precifely determined, it was provided that 
the inhabitants of each (late fhould be numbered 
every three years. This enumeration was then 
to be fent to the general aflembly of the United '^ « 

12. The afTefTment determined on by this enu- 
meration was to be paid by taxes levied by the 
authority of the legiflative body of each ftate. 

13. When any queflion was fubmitted to the ' 
decifion of the general afTembly, by any parti- 
,cular flate, that decifion was to be binding. 

14. War was not to be commenced without the 
confent of the general afTembly, except in cafes 
of invalion, or where it was known that an inva- 
fion was intended, and the danger was too prefix 
ing to obtain the confent of the general aflem- 

15. Commiffions to veffels or letters of marque 
and reprifal were not to be granted by any parti- 
cular flate, till after a declaration of war by the 
general afTembly. 

16. For the general interefl of the United 
States, each flate was to nominate a certain num- 
ber of delegates, who were to meet at Philadelphia 
on the firfl Monday in November of each 
year. * 

17. To each flate was to be attached the power . 
of recalling their delegates, at any part of the 
year, and of appointing others in their room. 
The delegates of each flate were to be maintained 

.- T Z at 

■ \>> ■ 


I *. ^i-^!^^ :.*1V 


HISTORY OF THE the expcncc of that ftatc, during the fitting of 
I^' the general aflenibly, and alfo as long as they 

^'^'T^^ were members of the council of ftate. 
*776' 18. Each ftate was to have a vote for the deci. 
fion of queftions in the general aifembly. 

19. To the general afTembly alone was to be. 
long the right of deciding on peace and war ; to 
determine in all cafes of capture, whether by 
fea or land ; to conftitutc tribunals for the trial 
of piracies ; to appoint and receive ambafladors ; 

' to negotiate treaties ; to decide the differences be- 

tween each ftate ; to coin money ; to regulate 
commerce ; to treat in all matters concerning the 
I Indians ; to appoint general ofticers of the land 

and naval forces ; and to dired the operations 
of both in time of war. 

20. A council of ftate was to be appointed by 
the general aifembly; and alfo fuch committees 
and civil oHicers as fhould be necefTary to difpatch 
the public bufinefs during their fitting. The pub- 
lic affairs were to be under the diredion of the 
council of ftate, after the rifing of the general 

21. The prefident and other officers were to 
be appointed by the general alTembly, to which 
were to belong the right and power of fixing the 
fums necefTary to be raifed for the public deiience, 
and of determining the application of thofe fums; 
of borrowing money and of creating bills ; of 

' building and fitting out fleets ; of deciding on 

the number of troops necefTary to be raifed ; of 

calling upon each ftate for its proportion of mi- 

' . litary afTiftance, and of requiring it to arm and 

, equip the forces raifed in obedience to this re- 

quifition, in a proper manner. 

22. The general afTembly was to be allowed 
the power of demanding of any particular flate 
more than its juft proportion j and compliance 








\vith this power was not to be refufed, unlefs theC H A P. 
legiflative body of the ftate ftiould deem fuch In- 
compliance to be injurious to its fecurity aud ^■^Y^*^ 
fafcty. '776- 

23. The general aflcmbly was not to exercife 
any of the powers contained in the twenty-firft 
article, unlefs nine of the thirteen ftates fnould 
confent to it. On every point whatever, a deci- 
fion Ihould be made by the majority of the Uni- 
ted States. " '^ ' 

24. No delegate was to be chofen for more than 
three years out of fix. 

25. No perfon poffeffed of any employment, 
or receiving a falary, or wages, was eligible to 
the office of a delegate. 

26. The general affembly was to publifh, 
monthly, a journal of their proceedings, except 
what might relate to treaties, alli^nces^ or mili- ^ 
tary operatiQns, which it fhould be deemed ne- 
ceuary to keep fecret. 

27. The council of ftate wastoconfift of on<? 
delegate of each ftate, chofen by the other dele* 
gates of the faid ftate. 

Article 28th related to the powers of the coun- 
cil of ftate, which, during the adjournment of 
the general afTembly, were fimilar to thofe ial- 
Jowed to the general affembly. 

29. If Canada fhould be willing to accede to 
the prefent fyftem of confederation, it was to be 
allowed all the benefits of it, and to be admitted 
into the union. No other colony, however, was 
to be admitted but by the ccnicnt of nine of the 
United States. 

The foregoing articles were to be fubmitted to 
the legiflative bodies of each ftate. If they ap- 
proved of them, they were to authorife their de- 
legates to ratify them in the general aflcmbly : 
Thus ratified, the provifious of them were to 
-'i ' ■ . be .. 





a7« HfSTORY 6° F THE 

C H AP. be implicitly obeyed by all, and an eternal union 
IX. was inus to be eftablimcd. Such were the con- 
^'^nn-' ditioiis of this celebrated treaty of union. After 
*7'^' they had been prepared by the conanitiec, they 
were fubniittcd to congrefs, and loleninly dilcuf- 
• fed. Hnviug received the approbation of con- 
crefs, they were tranfmitted to the different co- 
lonies, and then ratified by all the delegates, 
oftofjtr. who figned them on the fourth of OdioUr 

Such cool, deliberate, and rcfolute conduft 
was the more remarkable, that congrefs had now 
^ to contend with an additional enemy. This ene- 
my was the Indians. — It has been ftiewn how 
,,» unfucccfsful every attempt had hitherto proved 

to detach the fouthern colonies from the fupport 
of the common caufe to their own immediate 
* , defence, by involving them in civil war through 
the means of the Regulators and Highland emi- 
grants in the Carolinas, or of the negroes in 
Virginia. It has alfo been fhewn that the pro- 
vincials adduced thefe attempts as charges againft 
their feveral governors. Unfucccfsful, however, 
as thefe endeavours had hitherto been, the con- 
fequences that would refult from fuch a plan of 
operations were too important to be negledled. 
Britifh agents were again employed in engaging 
the Indians to make adiveriiou, and to enter the 
fouthern colonies on their back and defencelefs 
parts. Accuftomed to their difpofitions and ha- 
. bits of mind, the agents found but little difficulty 
in bringing them over to their purpofe by dint 
of prefents, and hopes of fpoil and plunder 
The plan of adion that was to be adopted in con- 
fequence of this confent, on the part of the In- 
' (lians, was as follows : A large body of men was 
to be fent to Weft Florida, in order to penetrate 
^hrough the territories of the Creeks, Cherokees, 
' ' and 

til ■; 

. ^^l?rTJ»^-* 





tad Checkefaw Indians. The warriors of thcfcCHAP. 
nations were to join the body, and the Carolinas ^X. 
and Virginia were immediately to be invaded. 
At the lame time the attention of the colonics 
was to be diverted bv another formidable naval 
and military forrc, which was to make an im* 
predion on the fca-coafts. 

But this undertaking was not to depend folely 
on the Britifh army and the Indians. It was 
intended to engage the aflinance of the white 
inhabitants of the back fottlements, who were 
known to be well affe^led to the BritiHi caufe. 
Circular letters were accordingly fent to thofe 
perfons by Mr. Stuart, the principal agent for 
Indian affairs,, requiring not only the well-affe6to 
ed, but alfo thofe who wifhcd to prefcrve their 
properties from the niiferies of civil war, to re- 
pair to the reyal (landard, as foon as it fhould 
be ere^cd in the Cherokee country, with all 
their horfe^ cattle, and provifions, for which 
they Aould be liberally paid. They were like- 
wife required, in order to infure their fafety, aud 
to diftinguifti them from the king's enemies, to 
fubfcribe a written declaration of their allegi- 
ance. Thefe operations were conduced with 
fuch pkufibility, that confiderable hopes were 
entertained of their fuccefs. Already had a large 
number of the Indians declared' in favour of the 
Englilh ; and even the Six Nations, who had 
fworn to the obfervance of a llri<ft neutrality, 
violated their oaths, and committed feveralads 
of hoftility. Matters were not yet ripe for ex- 
ecution, when the Creeks, a bloody and cruel 
race, eager to partake of the expeded plunder, 
refolved- not to await the arrival of the Britilh 
troops, but to commence the infurrcftion imme- 
diately. They proceeded in the execution of 
their intentions with incredible barbarity ; but 
.^.. finding 


^^■•"■^^-^-^■^■•^^^^^^^ ^ 



IHA P. finding that they were not fupported, and be- 
^* ginning to confider that they ihould be overpow- 
ered if they afted fingly, they paufed in their 
career, and, in: a confultatiou among the chiefs, 
it was determined to defift from hoftilities, and 
to fue for a peace with the coloniils. In the 

I)rerent fituation of affairs their requeft was eafi- 
y complied with, and they returned to their na- 
tive pofTeihons. 

The Cherokees, ignorant of the determina- 
tion of the Creek Indians, fent them word, as 
foon as they had completed their p»-cparations, 
that they were going to march againfl the ene« 
my, and intreated their afliftance. The Creeks, 
however, returned for anfwer, " that the Che- 
« rokees had plucked the thorn out of their footj 
« and were welcome to keep it," The Chero* 
kees, notwithftanding this repulfe, proceeded to 
invade the back fettlements of Virginia and the 
Carolinas with inconceivable fury and barbarity ; 
but their career was foon checked. The inhabi- 
tants of the provinces of Carolina and Virginia 
immediately afiembled a large militia, which 
marched with great expedition to the relief of 
the back fettlers. The Cherokees were foon dri- 
ven from the places of which they had poflefTed 
themfelves, and purfued into their own country, 
where their towns, their habitations, and their 
fields were laid wafte, and a prodigious number 
of their warriors deftroyed. In this dreadfiil 
dilemma they were glad to accept of any terms 
the conquerors chofe to impofe on them. The 
Checkefaws, who, fortunately for them, had not 
completed their preparations, as foon as they 
heard of the ill fuccefs that had attended their 
, neighbours, the Creeks and the Cherokees, detcr- 
miued to remain quietly within their own con- 
fines. Thus, for the prefent, ended the defigns 


V .-., 



of the Englifh on the back fettleraents of Ame- C 
rica. The event was peculiarly fortunate for 
congrefs; for it made them formidable to the 
Indians, and attached feveral of the back fet- 
ders to their caufe, convincing them that they 
had now nothing to hope from a continuance of 
their attachment to the government of Great Bri- 

The congrefs, relieved from any apprehen- 
fions of an invalion on their frontier fettlements, 
and the grand fyftem of confederation being now 
ratified, were enabled to concentrate their atten- 
tion upon general Walhington, whole army th€yA«i 
laboured with uncommon ^divity and diligence 
to fupply with the neceffaries it \7anted, and 
with new levies of men, in order (bit the enfuing 
campaign might be commenced with a proper 
degree of vigour. 






-'■i- :' ri.\ ?.:■ 

\ -' 

< ' 

/> V. 

1 I 





\\ \ 

I - 

equips an 
Point and 

3iHiation 0^ Affairs in Canada — General Carleton 
fends an Armament againjl Crown Point and 
Ticonderoga — Force oppojed to this by the Amt- 

I ■ . -■: •■ 

THE Americans, though they were under the 
ncGeffity of rcUnqui(hing their defigns on 
Canada, ftill pofleffed Crown Point and Ticon- 
deroga, and were mafters of Lake Champlain. 
To difpoffefs them of thefe polls was an arduous 
and a difHcult ,tafk, inafmuch as the British had 
not a veflcl on Lake Champlain to oppofe the 
American fleet. Difficult however as it was, ge- 
neral Carleton refolved to ufe every effort to pro- 
cure a naval force adequate to the importance of 
the obje6l in view. Thirty veflcls were x^ecef- 
fary to acquire a fuperiority of force on the Lake. 
The largeft were fent from England ; but it was 
found neceflary to take them to pieces. It was 
alfo requilite to tranfport over land, and drag 
up the rapid currents of St. Therefe and St. 
John's, with thirty long boats, a number of flat 
boats of great burthen, a gondola, weighing 
thirty tons, and above four hundred batteaux. 

In fpite of the fatigue of the undertaking, and 
the complexity of difficulty that attended it, the 
tafk was completed in about three months. I 
patch indeed was rendered abfolutely neceflary; 1 
for the winter feafon was approaching, and itl 
was wiflied that the objed fhould be attained 
before the fe verities of the feafon fliould render 
«■ any 

anv att 
the folic 
two iula 
each, an 
Point am 
In add 
would no 
I force, wh 
I might be 
jver, all n 
larmy woul 
|forefts, de 
ftin in a flj 
lat Albany 
pties and 
In difpoflei 
Lakes Geo 
^ew the cit 
Opening a c< 
Iniddle col( 
Ihen invade 
on's River, 
Jo-operate ., 
Iffiftance in | 
fertaking, t\ 
F northerl 
ourfe, be u| 
f tacks of twl 
peru colouil 
puld gener/ 
bn of the 
Nelf to il 


A M E R T r N W A R. 


• •i 

under tbc 

lefigns on 

id Ticon- 


in arduous 


appofe the 

it was, ge- 

fort to pro- 

jortance of 

Arere need- 

n the Lake. 

but it was 

leg. It was 

and drag 

ele and St. 

[nber of flit 

, weighing 


taking, and 
ndedit, tlie 

onths. Dif- 
neceffary ; 

ing, audit 

be attained 

Lould render 



any attempts of the kiud impraflicable. TheCHAP. 
difficulty of the fcheme may be conceived from ^* 
the following relation : The Englifti had to pafs 
two inland leas, to fubdue an unknown force on 
each, and to make themfelves mailers of Crown 
Point and Ticonderoga. 

In addition to thefe impediments, the commu- 
nication between Lakes George and Champlaia 
would not admit the paflage of thofe veffels of 
force, which, after being fuccefsful on one lake, 
might be wanted on the other. Should, howe- 
Iver, all thefe difficulties be overcome, then the 
[army would ftill have to march through intricate 
[forefts, deep morafles, fwamps, and a country 
till in a ftate of nature, before they could arrive 
rt Albany, the firft pod fouthward. But the 
iagnitude of the objed rendered all thefe diffi- 
;ulties and dangers light : For general Carleton, 
in difpofleffing the enemy of Crown Point and 
'"iconderoga, and in fecuring the poffeflion of 
iakes George and Champlain, had not only in 
iew the clearing the frontiers of Canada, but of 
ipening a communication with the northern and 
liddle colonies, which he conceived he could 
[hen invade at will. Befides, by poflefling Hud- 
)n's River, he knew that he fhould be able to 
lo-operate with general Howe, and to afford him 
ifliftancein cafe of emergency. Added to thefe 
Idvantages, fhould fuccels attend the prefent un- 
lertaking, the fouthern would be feparated from 
le northern provinces. The latter would, of 
[ourfe, be under the necefiity of fuftaining the 
[ttacks of two armies, or of yielding to fuch terms 
Ihould be impofed upon them, leaving the fou- 
lera colonies to coutiuue the war alone. Nor 
mid general Wafhington then hold the pofTef- 
)n of the Jerleys, uiilefs he chofe to expofc 
imfelf to the dil'advantageous predicament of 


■ t 


Vt ., 

. »8+ 





CHAP. encountering a fuperior army in front, and the 
X. Canadian forces in his rear. 

About the beginning of Odober the EngliJh 
fleet was ready to oppofe the enemy on • Lake 
Cham plain. It confifted of the following vefTels ; 
The Inflexible, mounting eighteen twelve-poun- 
ders ; which veflbl had been re-conftru£led at St, 
John's in twenty-eight days after her keel had 
been laid down ; one I'chooner, mounting four, 
teen, and another twelve, fix-pounders ; a flat. 
bottomed batteau, carrying fix twenty-four, and 
the fame number of twelve-pounders, befides 
howitzers ; and a gondola, with feven nine-poufl, 
ders. Twenty fmaller vefTcls, called gun-boats, 
carried either brafs field-pieces, or howitzers. 
•Some long-boats were furniflied in the fame man- 
ner. An equal number of large boats ftrved as 
tranfports for the troops, baggage, warlike ftores, 
provifions, and all the other necelTaries for the 
army, that, under convoy of the fhipping, was 
to be conveyed acrofs the lakes. This fleet was 
commanded by captain Pringle, an adive and 
brave officer, who had under his command feven i 
hundred fcamen. The army embarked in the 
batteaux, which were ordered to keep in the rear 
as foon as they had entered Lake Champlain, in 
order that the fleet might reconnoitre the fituationj 
of the enemy. 

The force which the Americans had to oppofcj 
to this armament was in every refpedl unequal tol 
it. Their veffels were neither fo well conftriifledl 

riclns.^'"'" ^^^ furniflied with necelTaries as thofe of the Eng-f 
lifli ; befides, they were inferior in point of Dura-I 
ber, the fleet amounting only to fifteen vefrelsofl 
different kinds, confifting of two fchooners, od{| 
floop, one cutter, three gallics, and eight got 
las. Colonel Arnold, who had acquired fuclj 
fame before Qiiebec, was honoured with theco»j 
t . , ma ' 

The force 
oppofal to 
the Britifh 




md the 

in • Lake 
r veffels: 
led at St. 
keel had 
ting four- 
:s ; a flat- 
four, and 
5, beiides 
fame man- 
:s fferved as 
rlike ftorei, 
ries for tk 
tpping, was ' 
his fleet was 
aftive and 
mand feven 
•Ued in the 
p in the rear I 
the fituatioii 

1 to _ 

unequal lo 

een veffelsw 
booners, one 

:igbt gondo- 
cquired fek 
with the CO* 


ftiand of it. On the eleventh of 06lobcr the C H A P. 
Britifh fleet difcovered that of the enemy, very ^' 
advantageoufly ported off the Illand Valicour, 
with an intention of defending the paflTage be- 
tween that ifland and the weftern main. A 
fchooner and fome gun-boats, being confiderably 
a-head of the reft of the fleet, began the engage- 
ment, which was continued for fome hours on 
both fides with great intrepidity. Unfortunately 
the Inflexible, and the other fliips of force, could 
not advance near enough to take a part in the en- 
gagement, on account of the unfavourablenefs 
of the wind : For this reafon captain Pringle, 
having confulted general Carleton, thought it ad- 
vifable to order thofe that were engaged to flieer 
off, and, for the prefent, difcontinue the adion. 
Iiithis attack the largeft of the enemy's fhips was defeated, 
forced a-ftiore, and one of their gondolas funk. 
Night coming on, the enemy retired into Cum- 
berland Bay, and captain Pringle, in order to 
prevent their retreat, formed the Britifh fleet 
into a line as near the entrance of the bay as poi- 

Arnold, who was fully fenfible of the infuffi- 
ciency of his ftrength, determined to take advan- 
tage of the darknefs of the night, and retreat to 
Crown Point. This determination, notwithftand- 
ing the proximity of the Britifh fleet, he was en- 
labled to execute in part. He retired out of the 
bay undifcovered, and on the morning of the 
twelfth of Odober was out of fight. The Bri- 
tifh fleet immediately followed him, and the wind 
(roving favourable on the thirteenth, he was 
)vertaken a few leagues from Crown Point. Un- 
ible to avoid an engagement, Arnold refolved to 
:onduft it with his wonted intrepidity and relb- 
lution. About noon the engagement commenced 
mboth fides, and continued with great fury for 









CHAP, two hours. Several of Arnold's fleet then left 
■^' him, and retreated with great fpeed to Ticonde- 
roga. Arnold, however, refufed to follow their 
pufillanimous example, and, with the remnant 
of his fleet, flill continued to refift the attack of 
the Briiifh with unabated intrepidity. At length 
vidory decided againil him. His fecond largeil 
galley, called the Wafhington, commanded by 
brigadier-general Waterby, after a defperate re- 
liftance, was at length forced to ftrike her colours, 
Finding then, that all his efforts would be inef. 
fedlual, he refolved to retreat. But even in thij 
fituation he dil'played a magnanimity of courage 
that was ailonifhing. Though reauced to the j 
neceflity of bending under fuperior power, be 
refolved that neither his men nor his veffelj 
ftiould be taken. The Congrefs galley, whicli 
he commanded, and five other gondolas, were 
run a-ground by his orders, and as loon as the 
men were landed, burnt down to the water'j 
edge. He remained himfelf on board his own 
Ihip till Ihe was fet fire to in feveral places, is 
order that his fiag might not be ftruck by the 

This viftory on the Lakes was obtained with-l 
out much lofs on the fide of the Englifti, twol 
gun-boats only being loft, and not more thanj 
fifty ipen killed and wounded. On the fifteentlj 
of October the Britifh fleet anchored off Crowjl 
Point, which the enemy immediately evacuateil 
retiring to their main body at Ticonderoga. Gel 
neral Carleton difenibarking the army at Cro«i[ 
Point, remained there till the third of Novem 
ber. As the winter was advancing faft, he(li| 
not think it advifable to attempt the reduflioi 
of Ticonderoga. His opinion, however, didnd 
coincide ^with that of other officers. Ticondej 
roga is But fifteen miles from Crown Point. 



'( ■ 1 

A'M E R I C A N WAR. i||b 

was well knov'o, that the fortifications were in C H A P. 
no condition to withfland an attack ; and indeed, ^• 
general Gates, convinced of this faft, was pre- 
pared to evacuate it, as foon as any meafure ihould 
be adopted for the inveftiture of it. With re- 
fpeft to the advanced ftate of the feafon, they 
thought that to be not a very ftrong argument, 
becaufe eight days would have been fully fuffi- 
cient for the attainment of the defired objeft. 
The reduftion of it would certainly have for- 
warded the operations of the enfuing campaign, 
and would have increafed the number of loyal- 
ifts, abodyofperfons from Albany, well affedled 
to Great Britain, having prepared themfelves to 
I join the commander in chief as foon as he ihould 
I arrive at Ticonderoga. General Carleton remain- 
I cd not long at Crown Point, but returned to St. 
, John's, and placed the army in winter-quarters, 
ilfleauxNoix, being the frontier poft, and the 
cantonments extending through different parts of 
the country. 

' I 

• I 


stained wiilvl 
Englifti, uvol 
>t more ikl 

the fifteeDiil 
•d offCrowl 
jly evacuateij 
ideroga. Gel 
my atCrod 
rd of Novei4 
igfaft, hedij 

the reduftioj 
wever, didinl 
srs. Tlcoiwij 
own Point. 

■-■■!■','. ,<■>. it, , 


I -' ■, 









neceflity of 


May r4, 





Inevitahlt NcceJJity of War in the general Opinm 
. of the Britijh Nation—Diftrefs of the JVeJi In- 
■ ' dies — Capture of American Privateers — Condud 
■ of France and Spain — Meeting of Parliament-' 
: Debates in both Houjes, 

WAR, in the opinion of a great majority of 
the people of Great Britain, was now 
inevitable. There was, indeed, a kind of paf- 
fion for it that pervaded the whole nation ; nor 
could the depredations of the American cruizers, 
the capture of many richly-laden Weft India 
veflels, and the confequent failure of feveral 
large houfes in the city, retard its operation, or 
arreft its effeft. Such a difpofition could not but 
be extremely agreeable to admiiiiftration, becaufe 
it procured them a degree of ftability that feera- 
ed to defy the attacks of an oppofition ill con- 
neded, and proceeding on no regular or given! 
line of condud. In both houfes of parliament 
the force of government was fully adequate tol 
every defire that adminiftration could entertain;! 
neverthelefs, a few days before the recefs, thcj 
upper houfe received an addition of ten uenj 
peers. In every preceding debate on the Aipef 
rican war, thofe who oppoled it had always pre] 
dided that it would involve the Britifh Wellj 
India iflands in great calamity and diftrelil 
Such predidtions were then treated as chiinel 

" . Ill 

in th( 
on thi 
feu to 
ately t 
t\ity \ 
fcs, thi 
ed bef< 
Our m 
on accc 
the Air 
the poii 
a large 
pleted tJ 
event th< 
of courfi 
groes hat 
men wei 
duced th 
ricans th 
teers, an 
of our 1 
tremcly •< 
tift nati( 
year 1771 

a million! 

It was I 
and Spaij 
towards i 
were opel 
lift prize/ 




najority of 
was now 
tid of paf- 
ation ; not 
in cruizers, 
W'eft India 
of fevenl 
beration, or 
ion, becaufe | 
y that feera- 
tion ill coll- 
ar or giAfcnl 
f parliamenil 
adequate w I 
d entertain il 
e recefs, tkl 
of ten m\ 
on the Km 
\ always pK-l 
Britilh Weftl 
and diftreli 
ed as chime- 


In July, accounts were received of a fcarcityCHAP. 
in the iflands of the neceffaries of life, which, .^^' 
on that account, had, within a ftiort period, ri- ^""JIT^ 
fen to four times their ufual price. Other wants ' 

began to multiply ; but as they did not immedi-,he'Britifl[ 
ately relate to a fcarcity of ncceflary fuftenance,we'*in<'i» 
they were felt lefs fenfibly than otherwife they'"*" '" 
would have been. In adaition to thefe diftref- - 
fes, the negroes in Jamaica had meditated an 
infurreftion, which, however, was happily crufh- 
ed before it had attained any dangerous height. 
Our military ftrength in Jamaica was but weak, 
on account of the drafts that had been made for 
the American fervice. The naval force was on 
the point of being employed in convoying home 
a large fleet of merchantmen, which had com-> 
pleted their homeward-bound inveftments. Their 
departure was to be the period at which the in- 
furreftion was to commence. By fome fortunate 
event the plan was difcovered. The naval force, 
of courfe, was detained, and the merchantmen 
remained a month beyond the time fixed for their 
departure. After the mutinous fpirit of the ne- 
groes had been fufficiently quelled, the merchant- 
men were fuffered to depart ; but the delay pro- 
duced the mofl ruinous confequences. The Ame- 
ricans thereby gained jime to equip their priva- 
teers, and bad weather feparating the fleet, many 
of our merchantmen, whofe cargoes, were ex- 
tremely valuable, fell into their hands. The Bri- 
tilh nation, by thefe captures alone, during the 
year 1776, loft property to the amount of above 
a million fterling. 

It was about the middle of this year that France condua ot 
and Spain began to manifeft a hoftile difpofition spa^* *" 
towards Great Britain. Their ports in Europe 
were open to the American privateers, and Eng- 
lifli prizes were fold without any attempts to make 
Vol. I. U fuch 



1 -v 






CHAP.fuch fales fecret. Government rcmonftrated 
XI. againft fuch proceedings ; but their renjonftrances 
^■*nr*^ were attended but with little effeil : For though the 
»776 open difpofal of prizes was checked, yet the prac- 
"' * tice ftill continued in fecret. In the French Weft 
* [ ,' India Iflands, the countenance given to the Ame- 
ricans was much more avowed. French veffels 
accepted American conmiiiTions, and carried on 
hoftilities againft the commerce of Great Britain, 
even without any American feamen on board. 
Thefe doings wei-e not unknown to the admini- 
ftration of Great Britain ; but it was judged ne- 
- neflary that, for a time, the aflertion of the na- 
tional dignity and character ftiould be fufpended. 
In confequence of thefe captures by the Ame- 
rican cruizers and the French veffels with Ame- 
rican commiflions, the price of infurance was 
confiderably increafed ; but that upon veffels 
bound from the Weft Indies amounted to the 
enormous fum of twenty-three pounds per cent. 
It was now apparent to all, that Great Britain 
would not have only one enemy to contend W|ith. 
Spain and France were bufily employed in making 
warlike preparations ; the objed of which, it was 
reafonably fuppofed, was to co-operate with Ame- 
rica. iBefides, the hoftile difpofition of each of 
the two powers was fufliciently difcernible from 
their treatment of the ally of Great Britain, Por- 
tugal. Thefe circumftances were fufficient to in- 
fule into the mind of adminiftration a confidera- 
ble degree of difquiet and alarm : Neverthelefs 
tliey prepared to meet the impending ftorm with 
refolution, in which, it has been laid, and gene- 
.. rally believed, they were encouraged and con- 
' 'firmed from a very 1iigh quarter. Nor, indeed, is 

there any thing more natural than that the auguft 
perfonage, new alluded to, confcious of a jufl 
caufc, brcaihing the courage of his royal aiicef- 



A M E R I C A N W A R. ^ 

try, and animated bv the general vows of his C H A P. 
people, Ihould be willing to call forth all the re- ^'• 
Iburces, in order to maintain the glory, with the 
individuality, of the empire ; refources which, 
in fpitc of all our enemies, would have ultimately 
led to fafety and triumph, if they had been as 
prudently employed as they were liberally opened. 
About the midalc of Odlober fixteen additional 
fhips were put into commiflion, and feamen were 
invited to enter into the fervice, by^ a bounty of 
five pounds per man. A proclamation was iflued, 
commanding all Britifh feamen, who were em- 
ployed in any foreign fervice, to return to Eng- 
land : A fecond and a third were iflued, laying 
an embargo on the exportation of provifions from 
Great Britain and Ireland ; and the fourth com'- 
manded the obfcrvance of a faft. 

On the thirty-firft of Oftober 1776, both Meeting of 
houfes of parliament affembled, and the following''" '^'"*" 
is the fubftance of the fpeech delivered to them 
from the throne : It began by afluring them, that 
it would have afforded his majefty much latisfac- 
tion to have been able to inform them, that the 
difturbances in the revolted colonies were at an 
end, and that the people of America, recovering 
/rem their delufion, had returne^ to their duty ; 
bat fo mutinous and determined was the fpirit of 
thole who led them, that they had openly abjured 
and renounced all connexion and communica- 
tion with the mother-country, and had rejefied, 
with the utmoft contempt, every conciliatory pro- 
pofition that had been fubmitted to them. After 
alluding to the late declaration of congrefs, in 
which they had ere6led the colonies into fove- 
re'ign and independent ftates, it was contended 
that much mifchief would accrue, not only to the 
commerce of Great Britain, but to the general 
fyftem of Europe, if this rebellion and revolt 

U 2 were 






I ■ 



CHAP. were fuffercdto take root. Nevcrthelefa it wm 
XI. aflcrted» that this benefit would refult from the 

^••nr*^ open declaration of the rebellious colonies — that 
*'/7^' their intentions being now clearly underftood, 
would produce unanimity at home, becaufe every 
one mud be convinced of the neceflity of the 
meafures propol'ed to be adopted. The fuccefi 
of the Britifli arms in Canacla, and on the fide 
of New York, was adduced as a good reafon for 
fuppofmg that the moft beneficial confequcnces 
would arife from it. Another campaign, how* 
ever, mu{\ be prepared for, and the fupplies ne- 
ccfTary for carrying it on, procured as foon as 

The condudl of Spain towards the Britifh n!'^ 
Portugal, was next advened to ; and it wa ■ flated 
that, though a continuance of the general tran- 
quillity in Europe was hoped, yet it was thought 

• . mofl advifeable to increafe the defenfive refources 

at home. The difpofition of other European pow- 
ers was declared to be pacific. After exprefling 
a convidion of the chcerfulnefs with which the 
nccefl'ary f>ip;)lies would be granted, the fpecch 
in conclufioa alTured both houfes that his majefty 
had no other end in view, by his prefent lyftem 
of condud, than to reftore the revolted colonics 
to their former lituation of profperity and fecu- 
rity under the dominion of Great Britain. The 
addrefles in aniwer to this fpeech were couched 
in the ufual form : Amendments, however, M'cre 
propofed in both houfes. 

In the houfe of commons lord John Cavendiih 
moved an amendment to th'' fallowing efliedi : It 
included a,i enlarged view o* I'u; i ondud of ^(^^ 
miniftraiion with refpedl ' '^' >.a, and ca- 

preifed great regret at beholding the hearts of a 
large, and hitherto loyal, portion of his majefty's 
fubjeds alienated from his government. Thif 
v' event, 




event, it was contended, could not have bccncHAP. 
produced without great niilcondudt on the part XI. 
of thofc who poflclled the d: -'♦ion ot il. af- ^-nr*-' 
fairs of government ; the pnnuulais of which »77<^- 
niifcondud were ftatcd, at ga Icngih, and with 
much animation, in the houfe of lords. A fnni- 
lar amendment, propofed by the i larquis of 
RoclcinghaDi, was defended by Hmilar arguments. 
The minifter, however, as ufual, was fupported 
by v \i' gc majority. In the houfe of commons 
ihsi a tM '^ment propofed by lord John Cavendifh 
wu- rcjc .ted by two hundred and fortv-two, and 
/" i 'wrted by only eighty-feven. The original 
addrefs was then put and carried. In the upper 
houie the friends of the minifter were equally nu- 
n.evous. The marquis of Rockingham's motiou 
was negatived by nmety-one lords to twenty- fix. 
The propofed amendment, however, was entered 
in the Journals of the houfe, in form of a pro- 
teft, and (igned by fourteen peers. Yet was not 
the minifter fupported by a large majority in par* 
liament : The obftinate and unvarying oppofi- 
tion which the Americana had ftiewn towards the 
mother-country, and the arguments that had been 
adduced by the adherents of adminiftration, had, 
in a great manner, eftranged the hearts of the 
people from their brethren in the colonies. Per-- 
haps, too, from national pride, which it is no; ' 

my intention to condemn, they were induced to 
I'upport the war, from a wifh that the mother- 
country might convince the world that ftie pof- 
feffed the means of fubduingall who were hardy 
Gnoqgh to oppoie her, 

t ,, 


Vv «/ 









I'/; ■/ 



Froclaination ijpued by Lord and General Howe-^ 
Debates upon it — T/ie /American Laws propofed 
to he revifed by Lord John CavendiJh-r-'This Mo-, 
tion reje6ied — The Propriety of a partial Secejfwn 
confidered — Seamen 'voted — Naval Affairs-— 
Siippliesfor the Military and Naval Service — 
Recefs of parliament. — 1776, 

CHAP. OCARCELY had the addrefles of both houfes 
XII. O been prefented to his majefty, when the pro- 
clamation iffued by lord Howe and his brother, 
fubfequently to the capture of New York, was 
publiihtid in one of the morning papers. This 
was conceived to be ex;traordinary, becaufe, al- 
though two gazettes had been publiihed the pre- 
ceding day, no notice had beei^ taken of fuch a 
proclamation in either of them, On the day oq 
which the proclamation appeared in the morning 
paper, lord John Cavendifh fubmitted it to the 
confideration of the houl'e of commons, though 
he afteded not to confider it in any other light 
than as a forgery, and an impofition on the peO' 
pie, which required exemplary puniihnient. 

In reply to this fpeech, the minifter acknow- 
ledged that inch a proclamation had been made, 
and that the paper now produced contained aii 
authentic copy of it. Lord John Cavendifh, on 
receiving this information, immediately rofe with 
great warmth and indignation. He reprobated the 
toiidudt of admin ift ration, contending that they 
h^d grofsly inluked the houfe by withholding 


Nov. 6. 





fuch an important piece of intelligence, and CHAP, 
by fuffering it to come to the knowledge of the 
public through the medium of a common pa- 
per. But this treatment was not different from 
that which the minifler had thought proper to 
Ihew to parliament from the commencement of 
the American difturbances ; a treatment that, 
whilft the fhadow of a cojiftitution remained, and 
minifters continued to be refponfible for their 
condudl, could not be defended on any grounds 
or by any argumenis whatever. Adminiflratiou, 
on the other hand, and their adherents, con- 
tended that the promife held out in the proclama- 
tion by the commiflioners was not novel. It was 
only purfuing that mode of conduct which had 
been adopted by parliament at the commence- 
ment of the difturbances, viz. the reftoration of 
peace to America. With regard to the infulting 
treatment with which adminiftration had been 
charged in not publifhing the proclamation in the 
gazette, it was faid, that it feenied not to be of 
iufficient importance, becaufe it was neither a 
treaty, nor part of one ; it only formed a preli- 
minary, which might eventually lead to one. If, 
therefore, this preliminary were even important 
enough to be laid b'efore parliament, minifters 
were juftified in not purluing luch a meal'ure by 
precedent, The negotiation between Mr. Pitt 
and M. De Bufly was qot laid before the houfe of 
commons during its pendency. The motion for 
a committee was oppoled in the moft ftrenuous 
manner. It was contended that it would tend 
rather to impede than accelerate the iregotiations 
of the commiflioners, and to iufufe into the minds 
of the Americans improper jealoufies and appre- 
hcnfions. Belides, it would be impolitic to leeni 
too fond of conceding ; for the Aiuericaiis would 
then demand more than they might origiually in- 


i ¥ 

'1 i 



'■» »«r"Vfj 





CHAP. tend. Another, and nioft forcible, objedion to 
XII. the motion was, that it would be abfurd to confi. 
der the revifal or repeal of laws, the authority of 
which was denied in the moft unqualified man- 
ner. America had declared herfelf indepen* 
dent. The firft point therefore to be fettled, 
preliminary to any negotiation, was the queftion 
of independence. As long as (he perfiftcd in this 
indc): ndeiice, no treaty could be begun, and all 
conceliions "would be diihonourable. If (he con- 
fented to give it up, and to acknowledge the 
authority of the mother-country, then would be 
the proper feafon to revife and repeal obnoxious 
iaws, and to eftablifh regulations confonant with 
the rights of thofe who were to be bound by 
them. From the approaching campaign much 
was to be expefted. The tyranny of the congrefs 
would operate in favour of the Britifli caufe, and 
the acknowledged fuperiority of the Britifli 
troops, both in number and in difcipline, would 
produce confequences favourable to the mother- 
country, and likely to put a fpeedy termination 
to the war. After a very long and interefting de- 
bate, the motion was put, and the houfe divided : 
Forty-feven fupported the motion, and one hun- 
dred and nine voted againft it. 

The rejeftion of this motion produced an ex- 

tiieiloufeoftraordinary effeft. Several members of the mi- 
nority withdrew themfelves whenever any quef- 
tions relative to America were difcufTed. They 
did not wholly refrain from attending the houfe ; 
but as foon as the private bufinefs of the day was 
difpatched, they made their ufual obeifance to 
the fpeaker, and retired. Thus, for fome time, 
all debates upon important fubjefls were avoided, 
and vaft fupplies were granted without a fingle 
obfervation with refped to their tendency, or the 
purpofes to which they were to be applied. The 
,•' mcnibcrs 

Seceflion of 
members of 




<j '1 


members who feceded adduced the following rea- CHAP. 
fons in juflification of their condudl : As af- XII. 
fairs were at prefent fituated, all oppofition to 
the propofitions of government, with refpedl to 
American affairs, was not only fruitlefs, but con- 
temptible, on account of the numbers that fup- 
ported the minifter on every queftion. They 
were tired with oppofing reafon and argument 
to fuperior power and numbers. This conduit, 
however, of the fecediog members, did not re- 
ceive the approbation of the oppofition in ge- 
neral. Several contended that a partial feceffion 
was inconfiftent with the duties attached to the 
fituation of a member of parliament. A collec- 
tive feceffion had been fanftioned by a precedent 
in the reign of the firft Charles, but it ought al- 
ways to be general. 
The difunion occafioned by this difference of 
opinion, added greatly to the ftrength of admi- 
niftration, and contributed not a little to increafe 
the number of thofe who fupported the conti- 
nuance of the war. When the minifter, in aExtraofdi- 
committec of fupply, propofed that forty-five "^^ *"P" 
thoufand feamen Ihould be voted for the fervice 
of the enfuing year, Mr. Luttrell, a member in 
oppofition, feized the opportunity of reprobating, 
ia very fevere terms, the condudl of the peer who 
poffefled the rank of firft lord of the admiralty. 
He charged him with wilfully impofiug on the 
parliament and the nation by a fallacious account 
of the navy both with refpe6l to the fhips and the 
feamen. The minifter, in reply to thefe obferva- 
tions, vindicated the conduit of the peer alluded 
to, and contended that it was improper to attack 
a pcrfon who, from his ftation, could not defend 
himfelf in that houfe. He alfo alleged, that the 
iutrodudioQ of the accufaiion, wiihout any pr&» 






CHAP- "vious notice, was diforderly, and inconfiftent with 
XII. the rule of parliament. 

Mr. Luttrell, however, infifted that, as a mem. 
ber of parliament, he had a right to make fuch 
obfervations on the conduft of minifters as ap- 
peared to him to be well-founded. With refpeft 
to the want of a formal accufation, he would 
remove all objedions on that head when the 
houfe fhould be refumed. Accordingly he took 
theearlieft opportunity of moving for feveral re- 
turns of the navy. Thefe, he contended, would 
cftablifh the charges he had adduced againft the 
noble lord, and convince the houfe what was 
the real (late of the naval reiources of the cquu. 
try. Thefe returns, however, were refufed by 
adminiftration, and their refufal was fuppprted 
•n the following grounds : It was contended that 
a difclofure of the naval ftrength or weaktiefs 
of the country would be attended with injuri- 
ous confequences, inafmuch as, if Great Britain 
were fuperior to other powers, they would be 
induced to be more circumfpedl in their defigns, 
and if fhe were weaker than them, they would 
thereby be encouraged to take advantage of our 

defencelefs fituation - r ^3- 

The fupplies for the navy, granted this year, 
amounted to three millions two hundred and 
five thoufand five hundred and five pounds; 
including the ordinary, at four hundred thou- 
fand pounds ; and the expences of building 
and repairing fhips, at four hundred and fixty. 
two thoufand five hundred pounds. In this 
account, however, neither the fum voted to 
Greenwich hofpital, nor the million granted at 
the clofe of the feflion for the difcharge of the 
navy debt, were included. The fupplies for the 
military eftablifhment amounted to a fum little 
l^fs than the fupplies for the navy — the amount 


■J «*"«—. 



was three millions. The extraordinaries, how* c HA P. 
ever, of the preceding year, amounting to one, XII. 
million two hundred thoufand pounds, with Vnr^*^ 
frefh contracts for German forces, expences of ^n^- 
half-pay and Chelfea hofpital, were not includ- 
ed in the grofs fum. All the neceflary public Adjoum- 
bufmefs being difpatched on the thirteenth of men'ofpar- 
Dccember, both houfes adjourned to the twen- 
ty-firft of January, 

'.-■n IV- 5 



r- ' "T •' 

■ ..;^ nil ■ - • 

n wu 

f ■ i 

.'■■':,■ I 







Letters of 
marque and 
reprifal bill. 

Bin for fe. 
curing per- 
fons charged 
with high- 

Letters of Marque and Reprifal Bill-^ — Bill for ft* 
curing' Perfons charged with High-Trcafon — ht- 
bates upon it — Amendment propofed by Mr, 
Dunning — Agreed to — The Bill carried through 
both Houfes — Extroardinary unprovided Expenca 
of the War voted — Motion for an Addrefs totk 
Throne hy the Earl of Chatham — Reje^ed" 
Prorogation of the Parliament. — 1777. 

AS foon as the parliament met after the k, 
cefs, a bill was paffed, authoriiing any own. 
ers or captains of private merchant-lhips to make 
prizes of all veffels belonging to the thirteea 
American colonies. 

On the iixth of February, the minifter moved 
in the houfe of commons for leave to bring in 
a bill, to fecure and detain perfons charged with, 
or fufpedled of, the crime of high-treafon, com- 
mitted in America or on the high feas, or the | 
crime of piracy. In fupport of his motion, he 
obferved that, during the prefent difturbances, | 
prifoners had been made in the adlual commif- 
lion of the crime of high-treafon ; others, fuf- 
pe6led of the fame crime, could not be fecured, 
on account of the want of fufficient evidence.! 
Formerly, in cafes of rebellion and revolt, and 
when an invafion was apprehended, parliament j 
granted this power to the crown ; but in the pre- 
fent period, as neither rebellion at home, nor I 
invafion from abroad, were in danger of being 
experienced, he ihould not reqneft that powr 



X i 



in Its full extent. The law now did not em- CHAP. 
power government officially to apprehend the XIII* 
moft fufpeded perfon, nor could the crown con- ^•-'nr'*' 
fine rebel prifoners or pirates in any other place >777' 
than in the common gaols. To remedy thefe 
inconveniences, and to empower his majefty to 
confine fuch perfons in the fame manner as other 
prifoners of war, until criminal proceedings 
could be inftituted againft them, were the objefts 
propofed to be attained by the prefcnt bill. 
Leave was given for the introdu6lion of the bill : 
On the queftion for the fecond reading of it, it 
appeared that the enabling claufe rendered all 
perfons taken in the a6l of high treafon, or fuf- 
peded of it, liable to be committed to prifon with- 
out bail or trial, during the continuance of the 
law. When the quelUon was put, a gentleman 
of great eminence in his profefTion (Mr. Dun- 
ning) animadverted feverely on the conduft of the Debate up* 
minifter, in attempting, when the houfe was°"'^' 
thinly attended, to introduce and precipitate the 
pafTage of a bill, which was to undermine that 
bulwark of the conftitution, the Habeas Corpus 
aft. Time, he contended, ought to be given 
to the nation to confider whether they would 
furrender the foundation and corner flone of all 
the rights which they pofreffed. For thefe rea- 
fons, and in order to prevent the fecond read- 
ing of the bill, he moved that it ihould be print- 
ed ; in which the minifter was under the necef-^ 
fny of acquiefcing. The introduftion of this 
bill recalled feveral of thofe members who had 
feceded from the houfc. In every ftage through 
which the bill pafTed, it was violently oppofed by 
the minority, who contended that no reafon ex- 
ifted for invefting the crown with fo dangerous 
a power; that it would tend to widen the breach 
between the mother-country and the colonies, 



V '.#1 

/ p 

I ! 

'i J 



Vir '•HM:*;|i"'' 'i'" 





ment pro- 
pofed by 
Mr. Dun- 




agreed to. 

The bill car- 
ried throu;;!, 

nary uni)ro- 
vidfd ex- 
iwar voted. 

• and cut off all hopes of a conciliation of thedilTe' 
rences between them. Befides, it was contend- 
ed, that the power might be extended to inno- 
cent perfonis, and would thereby become an in. 
ftrument of tyranny and oppreffion. Several 
amendments were propofed, all of which were 
rejedled, except one on the third reading, pro. 
pofed by Mr. Dunning. The amendment was 
contained in the following claufe : ** Provided 
alfo, and be it hereby declared, that nothing 
herein contained is intended, or Ihall be con- 
ftrued to extend to the cafe of any other pri. 
foner or prifoners, than fuch as have been in 
fome one of the colonies before mentioned, 
" or on the high feas, at the time or times of 
** the offence or offences wherewith he or they 
" fhall be charged." The amendment^ with 
fome trifling alteration, vvas agreed to. The ac- 
ceptance of this claufe afforded great joy to the 
minority, who cpnlidered the bill as diverted 
thereby of the mofl dangerous tendency. Ne- 
verthelefs they flill continued to oppofe the prin- 
ciple of the bill with undiminifhed vigour and 
unwearied perfeverance. In this, however, they 
were unfuccefsful, and the bill was paffed with- 
out a divifion. 

In the houfe of lords, no oppolition was made 
to it, all the peers in the minority having ab- 
fented themfelves, except the earl of Abing- 

About the latter end of February, the feveral 
extraordinary unprovided expences of the war, 
to the amount of two millions one hundred and 
feventy thoufand pounds, were defrayed by the 
houfe of commons. No debates of any impor- 
tance relative to the American war occurred in 
either houfe, till the end of May. An addreis 
to the throne was then moved in the houfe of 



r H E 

ion of the diffc 
t was contend* 
ended to inno- 
J become an in* 
effion. Several 

of which were 
d reading, pro- 
amendment was 
e : " Provided 
;d, that nothing 
or ftiall be con. 
if any other pri- 
, as have been in I 
jfore mentioned, 
ime or times of 
iwith he or they 
nendment; with 
•eed to. Theac- 
I great joy to the 

bill as diverted 
I tendency. Ne. 
L oppofe the prin- 
ii(hed vigour and 
.s, however, they 

was paffed with- 

jofition was made 
nority having-ab- 
J earl of Abing- 

»i-uary, the feveral 
ences of the war, 
one hundred and 
•e defrayed by the 
tes of any impor- 
.1 war occurred in 
Vlay. An addrels 
d in tjie houfe of 



peers, by the venerable earl of Chatham. At^HAP, 
this period his lordfliip laboured under many XIII. 
bodily infirmities. Neverthelefs his intelleftual v«.«-jn«-/ 
vigour remained unimpaired, and, in his zeal J??)* 
to ferve his country, tlie enfeebled Hate of his 
body was forgotten. His lordfhip had in former 
periods repeatedly endeavoured to reconcile the 
differences between the colonies and the mother- 
country, and though his attempts were not at- 
tended with the defired cifedl, yet he refolved to 
make one effort more. .!•» it . • 

The lords being accordingly fummoned on the 
thirtieth of May, hi« lordfliip moved that an ad- j^^^.^^ j.^^ 
drefs fliould be prefented to his majefty, repre-anaddreftto 
renting that the houlb of lords were fenfible of l,^;,;,';^"^^^, 
the ruin that threatened the country from a con-ofehatham. 
tinuation of the unnatural war with the Britifh 
colonies in America, and advifing, that the moft 
fpeedy and effedtual meafures fliould be taken for 
putting a period to fuch fatal hoftilities, upon 
the only juft and folid foundation, namely, the 
removal of the accumulated grievances ; with an 
affurance, that the houfe would enter upon that 
great and necelTary work with cheerfulnefs and 
difpatch, in order to open to his majefty the 
only means of regaining the afteftions of the 
Britifh colonies, and of fecuring to Great Bri- 
tain the commercial advantages of thofe valua- 
ble poffeflions ; fully perfuaded that to heal and 
to redrefs would be' more congenial with the 
goodnels and magnanimity of his majefty, and 
more prevalent over the hearts of generous and 
freo-born fubjeds, than the rigours of chaftife- 
ment, and the horrors of civil war, which hi- 
therto had ferved only to ftiarpen refentment 
and conlblidate union, and, if continued, muft 
finally end in diffolving all ties between Great 
Britain and her colonics. 


W '^. 





CHAP. Such was the purport of the addrefs. In com. 
xni. mcnting on the neceflity of an afl'ent being given 
to it, his lordfhip declared, that under the words 
accumulated grievances, he meant to convey every 
tranfadion, with refpeft to America, fi nee 1763, 
and the redrefs of all their grievances, including 
more particularly the right of difpofing of their 
own money. This fpirit of condud would pave 
the way for treaty and negotiation ; it would 
teftify the amicable temperament of the parlia- 
ment ; and.thus the chief obftacle being removed, 
all other niaitcrs would follow as things of courle. 
The preffiug and immediate neceflity of acqui- 
elciug in the addrefs he infifted on, from the 
danger to which Great Britain was expofed from 
France.—- A few weeks, and the fate of the coun. 
try, as a nation, might be decided by a treaty be- 
tween the houfe of Bourbon and the Americans. 
His lordfhip proceeded to ftate the immenfe ad. 
vantages that the mother-country would lofe from 
the commerce of the colonies being turned into 
another channel, and iuffered to flow into the 
hands of the natural enei'i'es of Great Britain. 
Trade, he faid, was rapidly declining, inal'much 
as it was now carried on in French and other bot- 
toms ; the conqueft of America was impraflica- 
ble ; and if it were not, it would be attended 
with the moft ruinous confequences. To ufe the 
words of this great man, •* America," he de- 
clared, ** was contending with Great Britain, uu- 
" der the maflced battery of France, which would 
*' open upon this country, as foon as file per- 
** ceived that we were fufficiently weakened for 
" her purpofe, and flie found herfelf fufiiciently 
*' prepared for war." 

In reply to his lordfhip's obfervations, and to I 
thofe who rupportcd him, adminiftralion oppofed 
the addrefs 011 the old grounds that iadepeudcDce 



refs. In com* 
nt being given 
ider the words 
) convey every 
ca, fincei763, 
ices, including 
pofing of their I 
i6t would pave 
lion ; it would 
of the parlia- 
being removed, 
;hing8 ofcourle. 
ceflity of acqui- 
d on, from the 
as exf efed from 
fate of thecoun. 
;d by a treaty be- 
I the Americans. 
the immenfe ad- 
' would lofe from 
5eing turned into 
to flow into tk 
jf Great Britain. 
:lining, inafmuch 
ch and other bot- 
a was impradlica- 
Duld be attended 
nces. To ufe tk 
America," he de- 
Great Britain, un- 
mce, which would 
, foon as fhe per- 
•ntly weakened foi 
•"herfelf fufhcienily 

jfcrvations, and to 
that independence I 




was the primary object of the Americans, that CHAP, 
their prefent condudl was but the effeft of the ^^^^• 
premeditation of feveral years, and that all con- 
ccflions on the part of Great Britain would be 
equally ridiculous and impolitic. The danger 
held out from France was again denied, and it 
was contended that the affiftance afforded the 
Americans in that quarter, originated, not in the 
government, but in private individuals, and in that 
Ipirh of enterprife for which that nation had al- 
ways been remarkable. After an animated de- 
bate, the queftion was put, when there appeared, rcje^ed. 
on a divifion — for the propofed addrefs, twenty- 
eight — againft it, ninety-nine. 

The money bills *, a vote of credit, and the 
other public bufinefs being difpatched, his ma- 

VoL. I. - X jefty 

* The fncech of the fpeaker of the houfe of commons, fir 
Fletcher Norton, afterwards lord Grantley, to his majefty, 
on the feventh of May 1777, in the houfe of peers, on pre- 
fenting a bill for the better fupport of his majefty's houfehold, 
•which made a great noife at that time, and was a fubje(Sb 
of various refleftion, together with a confequent refolution ' 
and vote of the houfe ot commons, we here lay before our 

Moft Gracious Sovereign, 

THE bill, which it is now my duty to prefent to your 
majefty, is intituled, " An aft for the better fupport of his 
" majefty 's houfehold, and of the honour and dignity of the 
" crown of Great Britain ;" To which your commons hum- 
bly beg your royal affent. 

By this bill, fir, and the relpedful circumftances which 
preceded and accompanied it, your commons have given the 
iiiUeft and clearefl; proof of their zeal and affedlion for yjour 
majefl . For in a time of public diftrefs, full of difficulty 
and danger, their conftituents labouring under burthens almolt 
too heavy to be borne, your faithful commons poftponed all 
other bufinefs -, and with as much difpatch as the nature of 
their proceedings would admit, have not only granted to your 
majefty a large prefent fupply, but alfo a very great additional 


I' 'i 

|t !i 

r-*^" *>'•» -«»•.• 


-^-% ..-H*^^*^ «., 

1 ; 




C HAP. jeftv thought proper to prorogue both houfes of 
XIH. parliament on the fixth of lune. In hia fpccch 
from the throne, he declared his entire approba- 
tion of the meafures that had been adopted duriog 
the continuance of the feflion ; teftified his thank- 
fulnefs for the liberality and cheerfulnefs with 
which the extraordinary fupplies for the fervicc 
of the current year had been voted ; and finally 
exprefled his hope that, by a well-concerted and 
• ■ » • . vigorous 

revenue ; — great beyond example ; great, Veyond your ma- 
jefly'shighell expence. 

But all this, fir, they have done in a well-grounded confi- 
dence, that you will apply wifely what they have granted li. 
bcrally •, and feeling, what every good fubjeift niuft feel wiih 
the grcateft fatiifad^ion, that, under the direction of your 
majefly's wifdom, the affluence and grandeur of the fovercign 
will refleft dignity and honour upon his people. 

[Copied from the votes of the Houie of Commons, ^ih 

May 1777.] 
Ordered, Nem. Con. 

That Mr. Speaker be defired to print the fpeech by him 
made to bis majefty in the houfe of peers, this day, upon his 
prefenting to his majefty the bill for the better fupport of his 
majefty's houfehold, and of the honour and dignity of the 
crown of Great Britain, which then received the royal af. 

(yth May 1777. Some allufions having been made, intht 
debate on the latt quellion, to the fpeech of Mr. Speaker, 
delivered at the bar of the houfe of peers, on Wedncfday lail, 
Mr. Speaker, as foon as the faid quellion was determined, 
called the attention of the houfe to this fubjeft, and defired 
that a copy of the fpeech then made by him, might be read at 
the table. And the fame being read accordingly, Refolved, 
That the fpeakerof this houfe, ia his fpeech to his majefty at 
the bar of the houfe of peers on Wednefday laft, and which 
■was defired nemine contradicente, by this houfe to be primed, 
did exprefs, with juft and proper energy, the zeal of this 
houfe, for the fupport of the honour and dignity of thecrown, 
in circumftances of great public charge. 

That the thanks of this houfe be returned to Mr. Speaker, 
for his faid fpeech to his majeily. 


L- •■■ '• I ii'*"- 



vigorous exertion of ihe great force entrufted to CHAP, 
his hands, the operations of the prefent campaign ,^[;^^[^ 
would efie£lually tend to the fupprcflion of the ^*'^*"*^ 
rebellion in America, and to the re-eAablilhment '"'* 
of that conftitutiorul obedience which all the 
fubjefts of a free Hate owed to the authority of p,.o^„i^„ 
the law. The parliament was prorogued to the of pariia- 
tweuty-firft of July. . 


V t ' 

>"> « 

,.... . ••• ••• ' ' 

' I 




1 , ( , ^ 

made, in the 
VIr. Speaker, 
edncfday lall, 
18 determined, 
t, and defired 
ght be read at 
gly, Refolved, 
, his majefty at 
ift, and which 
to be printed, 
le zeal ot this 
f of the crown, 

X z 


• .fc-iUfc ■^- 



' ■ . - . ■ 1 .- " 



* »r 



Opening of the Campaign — Expedition to PeeVs 
Hill — To Danbury — Vejfels and Proviftons de- 
' . flroyed at Saggy Harbour — The Commander in 
Chief takes the Field — Endeavours to bring 
Wajhington to an A&ion — TheBriiiJh Troops re- 
:\ linqui/h the Jerfeys — General Prefcot carried off 

— Commander in Chief proceeds to Chefapeak 
Bay — Lands at the Head of the Elk — Proclama- 
tion ijpued — General Wajhington moves tq the 
North Side of the Brandywine River, in order to 
, • defend Philadelphia — Adion at the Brandy- 

wine— ^General Wayne defeated — Royal Army 
paffes the Schuylkill — Lord Cornwallis takes 
Poffeffion of Philadelphia. 

CHAP. TT has been already ihewn what hardlhips the 
^IV. X Britifh army endured at Brunfwick and Am- 
boy during the winter, and till the commence- 
ment of the fpring. The weather was particu- 
larly fevere ; the duty unremitting and hard ; the 
enemy watchful ; and provilions and forage were 
not obtained without repeated Ikirmifties. Ne- 
\-erthelefs the foldiers endured thcfe hardihips 
with a fortitude aiid a perfeverance that acquired 
them infinite honour. 

At the opening of the feafon a body of provin- 
cial troops, amounting to feveral thoufand men, 
was embodied under the diredion of the com- 
mander in chief. Thele men were difciplined 
by thofe who had been under the neceffity of 
relinquilhing their poiTeffious, and of flying from 



i ^ 'imllfj ^ 'i 


^«a*.'i:jit*'. .... 




their habitaiions, oa account of their attachment CHAP, 
to the Britifh caule. Thele troops were allowed ^^^• 
the fame pay as the regulars, with a further ad- 
vantage of receiving an allotment of lands at the 
conclufion of the diAurbances. Such a large 
body of ftrength drawn from the heart of the 
country with which the Britifh were waging war, 
was a moft fortunate circumftance. It decreafed 
the refources of the country, and it enabled the 
veteran troops to adopt more adlive operations 
than they would otherwife have been enabled to 
undertake. Thefe provincial forces, it is true, 
were inexperienced, and unacquainted with mi- 
litary difcipline, but they were extremely well 
6tted for garrifon fervice, and for the defence 
of a town. Accordingly they were immediately 
fent to New York, from which the regulars were 
drafted in order to join the grand army. Gover- 
nor Tryon, who had been very a6live in railing 
and difciplining thefe new forces, was raifed to 
the rank of major-general of the provincials, by 
which he was enabled, on any emergency, to 
unite the divided bodies of thefe troops, and to 
condenfe them into one body *. 




* About this time the royalifts in the counties of Somerfet 
and Worcefter, in the province of Maryland, became fo for- 
midable that an infurreftion was dreaded: And it was feared 
that the infurgents w^ould, in fuch a cafe, be joined by a number 
of difaifedted perfons in the county of SufTex in the Delaware 
ftate. Congrefs, to prevent this evil, recommended the ap- 
prehenfion and removal of all perfons of influence, or of 
defperate charafters, within the counties of Suffex, Worcef- 
ter, and Somerfet, who manifefted a difafieftion to the Ame- 
rican caufe, to fome remote place within their refpeftive 
itates, there to be fecured. From appearances, congrefs had 
alfo reafon to believe that the loyalifts in the New England 

iution, vol. 


ind New York ftate had lilcewife concerted an 
See Gordon's Hiftory of the American Revo- 
p. 461, 462. By the fame authority we are 


! m\ 





Opening of 
tlie cam- 

CHAP. The natural ftrength of the traft which the 
XIV. Americans pofleffed, and which has been before 
defcribed, and its fertility in refources, had in- 
duced them, notwithftanding the feverities of 
the winter, to employ themfelves in adding as 
much as poflible to this natural ftrength, by ereft. 
ing forts and building mills and magazines. Of 
this tradl of land, the moft mountainous, and of 
courfe the moft advantageous, was a place which 
bore the appellation of the Manor of Courland. 
This was in a manner couverted into a citadel, 
and large quantities of provifions, forage, and 
ftores of every kind, were depofited in it. About 
fifty miles from New York, up the North River, 
was a place called Peek's Hill, which ferved as a 
port t,o Courland Manor, and by which ftores 
and provifions were received and conveyed either 
to the army or to the numerous eredions fituated 
in the more interior parts. 

Convinced of the importance of this place, 
and the diftrefs to which the Americans would be 
driven if they ftiould be deprived of it, the com- 
mander in^ chief determined to open the cam- 
paign by an attack upon it. An attempt upon 
the Manor of Courland was deemed unadvifable, 
on account of its great natural and acquired 
ftrength, and the confequent difadvantage of a 
battle in fuch a place, Befides, even if fuch an 
attempt had not been judged improper, it would 
have been abfolutely neceflary, preliminary to it, 
Expedition to have fecurcd the pofleffion of Peek's Hill. In 
|5iu." * purfuance of this refolution, a detachment of five 
hundred men, under the command of colonel 
Bird of the fifteenth regiment, was ordered to 

;"■ ',■' : ",.^-'' '» 

informed that general Gates wrote to general Fellows for 1 
ftrong military force, for the prevention of plots and infur' 
rcdition ia the provinces of New England a. id New York. 

l\ 'i 





proceed from New York about the latter end of CHAP. 
March, on this fervice. This detachment em- Xiv. 
barked on board two tranfports, which conveyed 
them to the place of their dellination the day af- 
ter they left New York. On their approach a 
body of between feven and eight hundred men 
drew up atadiftance, under the command of a 
colonel Macdougal, with a feeming determina- 
tion of oppofing the Britifti armament. On the 
nearer advancement, however, of colonel Bird, 
they thought proper to retire from Peek's Hill, 
and being unable to remove the Ilores and provi- 
iions it contained, fet fire to the barracks and 
ftore-houfes. Unable, on this account, to brinjr 
off the different articles that were contained in 
the magazine, the Britilh thought proper to com- 
plete the conflagration ; after which they returned 
to New York. 

The confequences that had refulted from the 
fuccefs of this expedition were not fo important 
as had been expeded. The commander in chief 
had received falfe intelligence of the fituation of 
Peek's Hill, which did not contain that quantity 
of flores and provifions he had been led to ex- 
pc6t. Neverthelefs it v/as abfolutely necefTary 
that theflrength of the enemy fhouldbe impaired 
and weakened as much as pofTible, by cutting off 
their relburces, and curtailing the means by 
Avhich they were enabled to convey fupplies to 
the troops flationed in the different parts of the 
Manor of Courland. 

[ The commander in chief having received in- 
telligence of a large quantity of flores having 
been depofited on the borders of Connedlicut, 
the town of Danbury, and other parts on 

the confines of Courland Manor, refolved to un- 
dertake another expedition againfl thofe parts. And to 
Two thoufand men, drafted from different regi- °''"^"^' 




. *^-,ff-*-t*i^- 



CHAP, ments, were employed in this fervice, which waa 
XIV. entrufted to the command of major-general Try. 

^^nn*^ on, who had accepted of the rank of major-ge- 
^777- neralof provincials, and who panted for a mili- 
tary command. Sir William Howe very pru- 
dently appointed general Agnew, and fir William 
Erfkine, to accompany governor Tryon, in his 
new charadler of general on this fervice. On the 
twenty-fifth of April this detachment embarked 
from New York in tranfports, under convoy of 
two frigates. They proceeded up the Eaft Ri- 
ver, as far as Camp's Point, where they landed. 
At ten o'clock at night they began their march to 
Danbury, where, about eight o'clock the next 
day, they arrived. The enemy, entertaining no 
apprehenfion of the intentions of the Englifh, and 
unprepared to r^fift them, retired on their! ap- 
proach, and fvtffcred them to enter the town with- 
out oppofition. Convinced of the impoffibility 
of carrying off the ftores that were contained in 
the town, and indeed having brought with them 
no carriages neceflary for this purpofe, the Eng- 
lifli were under the neceifity of letting fire to the 
place *. The conflagration was not completed 
till the next morning. The detachment immedi- 
ately fet out on their return to the tranfports. The 
enemy, however, during the time occupied in the 
burning of Danbury, had aflembled from all 
quarters, and polled thcmfelves, under the com- 
mand of general Arnold, at a town called Ridge- 
field, through which it was neceflary for the Eng- 
lifh to pafs. In order to render their fituation more 
lecure, Arnold had thrown up entrenchments. 


* Tlie Britifli deftroyed at Banbury 1600 barrels of pork 
antl beef, 600 barrels of flour, upwards of 2C00 barrels of 
wheat, rye, and Indian corn, a very coniiderable quantity of 
military clothing, and 2000 tents-, a lofs which, from their 
fcarciiy, wnsfeverely felt by the Americans. The Britilh, in 
ihcir return, deftroyed about 70 barrels of flour, and lU 
hogfheads of rum. 






leiri ap- 
/n with- 
ained in 
ith them 
che Eng- 
re to the 
>rts. The 
ed in the 
from all 
the corn- 
ed Ridge- 
the Eng- 

■rels of pork 
)0 barrels of 
; quantity of 
1, from their 
le Britifti, in 
ur, and lU 


The Britifh troops did not 6xpe6l to meet with CHAP. 
any refiftanee ; neverthelefs, on their arrival at ■^'^V- 
Ridgefield, they attacked the American intrench- ~ 
ments with great fpirit, and carried them in a fnort 
fpace of time. The troops were by this time ex- 
tremely fatigued from want of reft and their late 
hard fervice. As the day was on the wane, they 
lay on their arms till morning, having firft taken 
the precaution to form themfelves into an oblong 
fquare. As foon as they began their march at 
day-break, the enemy, who, during the night, 
had received a confiderable increafe of ftrength, 
affailed them from all quarters ; and from the 
houfes and ftone walls, with which that country 
abounds, did confiderable execution on the ftiip- 
ping as the Britifh retreated. The route of the 
Britifh troops lay over a bridge, of which the 
enemy took poflfcffion, as well as fome ftrong 
ground that commanded the pafs beyond the 
bridge. They were in pofTeffion of fome field- 
artillery, which had been brought by general 
Woofter, and the front they prefentcd to the 
Englifti was extremely formidable. Fortunately, 
however, the guide whom the Englifh had en- 
gaged conduced them to a part of the river, 
[three miles above the bridge, which they forded, 
I and which the enemy had neglefled to fecure, 
having deemed the pafTage of it impraflicable. 
[This manoeuvre fomewhat difconcerted them j 
[neverthelefs they continued their fkirmifhes and 
[attacks on the Britifli troops till they had arrived 
jwithin half a mile of the Ihipping. Two dil^inft 
[bodies of the enemy now appeared, making a fhew 
jof attacking the detachment, which by this time 
Ivvas alraoft exhaufted with fatigue. The men had 
[had no rcrt for three days and nights, and feveral 
jcf them dropped on the road with fatigue. Dil'pi- 
riied hov.ever a'ld exhaufled as they were, briga- 
lier-gciicral Erfliine putting hlmfcif at the head 


' I I 





C H A P. of four hundred of the moft able of the detach. 
XIV. ment, attacked and broke the two columns, and 
put them to flight. So great was the panic among 
them, occafioned by this fpirited attack, that they 
did not attempt any further annoyance on the 
troops, though they might have done them confi. 
derable damage on account of the numerous 
rocks that fkirt the (hore. The Englifli, embark- 
ing in the tranfports, returned to New York. It 
may be realbnably doubted, whether the lofs 
which the Britiih fui^ained in this expeditiou, 
did not more than counterbalance the advantage 
derived from the complete attainment of their 

In this expedition near two hundred men, in- 
eluding ten officers, were killed and wounded on 
the part of the Britifh. The lofs of the Amcri. 
cans was much greater, and general Woofter, 
withfome field-officers, was jiumbered amongil 
the flaiQ. *•».;• 

The enemy feized every opportunity of annoy, 
ing the Englifli by flcirmifhes, and the thirty-third 
regiment, and a battalion of the feventy-firft 
Highland regiment, who were pofted at Bonham 
Town, between Amboy and Bruul'w'^k, loft a 
great many men, the enemy couftantly tackiDj 
their pickets. 

On the twelfth of April, lord Cornwalli , withj 
confiderable detachment, effedled a furprife upon 
the enemy's advanced pofls at Bondwick, feven 
miles from Brunfwick, where the American ge- 
ne rii Clinton was ftationed with about twelve! 
hunJrcd men. The furprife would have been 
iTjore complete, had not fome chafTeurs, who 
were in the van, given the alarm too foon, by 
firing on the centinels ; neverthelefs the enemy 
were routed, and retired from the town, leaving 
fome field-artillery behind them, and about one 
hundred prifoners. On the nineteenth of April,! 

' • ' • an 




au attempt was made by general Vaughan, with CHAP, 
the garrilbn at Amboy, to cut off the enemy's ad- ■^^^' 
vanced pickets at Woodbridge. His intentions, "^ 
however, were prevented, on account of the 
Americans having received intimation of his de- 

On the eighth of May, an attempt was made 
on the poll of Pifcataway, by the American ge- 
neral Stevens, who had two thoufand men under 
his command. The forty-fecond regiment, which 
was cantoned there, luftained the attack with 
great refolution, and forced the enemy to re- 
treat, after a furious engagement, with confidera- 
ble lofs. 

About the middle of this month, the Ameri- Veflehand 

1 . • 1 • 11* 1 1 proviiions 

cans having received mtelhgence that a large deftroyed at 

quantity of provilions and forage were depofited ^ssy Har- 

in Long Ifland, at a place called Saggy Harbour, 

refolved to attempt the capture of them. In this 

defign they were encouraged by the diftance of 

the place from New York, and the weaknefs of 

it, being defended only by an armed fchooner of 

twelve guns. Neverthelefs fome danger attended 

the execution of the fcheme, on account of the 

neceffity of croffing the Sound, which was full 

of Britifti cruizers. This expedition was en- 

trufted to colonel Meigs, an adive officer, who 

had been trained under Arnold, and had been 

taken prifoner in the attempt to ftorm the city of 

Quebec. The colonel, with his detachment, tra- 

verfcd the Sound in whale-boats, landed on the 

north branch of the ifland, and after carrying the 

boats over an arm of land, embarked again, and 

landed on the fouth branch of the ifland, within 

four miles of Saggy Harbour. At this place they 

arrived before break of day, and immediately 

commenced the attack. The place was vigoroufly 

defended by the crews of th^ mcrchant-vefTels 

A - . and 



I , 





CHAP, and the fchooner, which kept up a very heavy 
XIV. £re upon them ; neverthelefs they fucceeded in 
their intentions, having burnt a dozen brigs and 
floops that lay at the wharf, and deftroyed every 
article of provifion and (lores that was depofited 
on the fhore. In this attack ninety of the Eng. 
lifh were made prifoners, viz. the officer who 
commanded the harbour, and his men ; the com. 
miffarics, and the crews of the veflels which they 
had burnt. 

There is a circumftance in this, which, if it 
be true, is curious. The Americans relate, that 
colonel Meigs, with his detachment, returned to 
Guildford in Cbunedicut, within twenty-five 
hours after his departure. In this fpace of lime, 
he had pafled and repafled the Sound, and tra. 
verfed a fpace not lefs than ninety miles. , 

About the latter end of May, congrefs were 
enabled to fend fupplies of men from the diffe- 
rent provinces to general Waftiington, who, on 
receiving this large reinforcement, relinquifhed 
his encampment at Morris Town, and removed 
to a ftrong place, called Middle Brook. Hereh 
was not thought advifable to attack him, for his 
camp extended along feveral hills, and was 
ftrongly fortified by intrenchments and artillery. 
In the front the approach was difficult, on ac- 
count of the natural ftrength of the ground. 
Every movement of the Britilh on the Brunfwick 
hills was eafily difcernible ; as alfo any operation 
that might be carried on in the intermediate fpace 
betv^eeu Brunfwick and Amboy. In his rear,. 
general Wafhington had a plentiful country, from 
which he drew vaft fupplies ; and he was enabled, 
if the fituation of affairs fliould render fuch a 
ftep neceffary, to fecure a fafe retreat over the 
Hudfon and the Delaware rivers. 




The tents and other necefTaries, together with CHAP. 
a frefh fupply of troops, being at length arrived ^J^^- 
from England, in the beginning >f June the ^"^iT^ 
commander ill chief left New York, and croffed *777- 
over to the Jerfeys, with an intention of opening The Britifh 
thecampaion immediately. The BritiQi troops |=°^,^,SfeV 
were, asumal, greatly fuperiorin point of num-thefitid. 
ber to the Americans ; and perhaps it may not ' 

here be deemed improper to ftate the number 
of the troops on each fide, from the beginning 
of 1776, 10 the commencement of the campaign 
in the following year. . . 

British and Rebel Force in 1776. 
Dates. Bntlfli. Rebel troops. 

Auguft 24,000 16,000 

November 26,900 4j5oo 

December 27,700 3>30o 

In 1777. 

March — — 27,000 4j5oo 

June ■ 30,000 8,000 

Sir William Howe was thoroughly fenfible of Endeavour* 
the impradicability of making an attack on gene- '^Jj^^^gt^^ 
' ral Walhington in his prefent lituation. Hetoanaftion. 
therefore made ufe of every poffible effort to in- 
duce him to quit his pofition, and to hazard an 
engagement. The American general, however, 
leafiiy penetrated into the defigns of the com- . 
imander in chief, and eluded them by his cool, 
collefted, and prudent conduft. Finding that 
all his endeavours hitherto to provoke him to 
battle were unfuccefsful, general Hov.e refolved 
[to adopt an expedient, which in part fucceeded. • 
lOnthe nineteenth of June he fuddenly retreated 
[from his fituation in front of the enemy, with 
parks of feeming precipitation. He ordered the 
hvhole army to relinquifh BrunAvick, and retire 
Ito Amboy. This manoeuvre deceived the Ame- 
jricans, who, in fcveral large bodies, ruder the 




■ tt .*— ^•••Mst..!* .wWi%iliC*'S»3*S?^* 


I > 




) ) 



CHAP, command of generals Maxwell and Conway, and 
^^^' lord Sterling, purfued them. The commander 
^^^^""^^ in chief fuffered himfelf to be purfued to fome 
. *^^''* didance. He threw a bridge over the channel 
< that feparates Staten Ifland from the continent, 

over which he pafled his heavy baggage and a 
fmall number of men. General Waftiington, 
conceiving this retreat to be real, immediately 
relinquifhed his encampment on the hills, and 
removed to a place called G(iiibble Town, in or- 
der to be able to co-operate with that part of hij 
army which had been detached in purfuit of the \ 
Britiih. As foon as the Britifh commander ia 
chief had fucceeded in drawing the American 
general from his faftneffes, he marched theEng. 
lifh army back by different routes, in order to 
bring general Wafhington to an engagenient, to 
cut off his advanced parties, and, if both thofe 
fchemes fhould fail, to fecure fome paiTesinthe 
mountains, which would reduce the Americans 
to the neceffity of relinquifliing their former en- 
... campment on the hills. For this laft purpofe, 

lord Cornwallis was detached with a confidera- 
ble body of troops. On the twenty-fixth of l 
June, his lordfhip began his march, and about 
feven o'clock in the morning, fell in with aa | 
advanced body of the enemy, amounting inj 
number to about three thoufand, under the com- 
mand of lord Sterling and general Maxwell; 
they were ftrongly fituated, and well provided I 
with artillery. The ardour, however, of the 
Britilh troops was irrefiftible — after a furious 
' attack, the enemy gave way on all fides, and 
retreated with great precipitation. They were | 
purfued as far as Wcflfield, when, on ac- 
count of the inteufe heat of the day, and tkj 
Avoods, his lordfliip thought proper to difconti-f 
nue it. la this adion, the Americans loftt 




ay, and 
to fome 
ge and a 
hills, and 
ivn, inor- 
art of his 
•fuit of the 
d the Eng. 
a order to 
genient, to 
both ihofe 
: Americans 
former en- 
aft purpofe, 
I confidera- 
nty-fixth of 
and about 
in with aa 
nounting in 
let the com- 
1 Maxwell; 
'ell provided 
ever, of the 
ter a furious 
ill fides, and 
They were 
hen, on ac- 
day, and tk 
T to difconw- 
•icans loft twol 


The Britifli 

hundred men, killed and wounded, befides three CHAP, 
pieces of brafs cannon. Convinced of his error, in XIV. 
removing to G^jiibble Town, general Wafhington 
immediately regained his ftation on the hills, 
and at the fame time fecured thofe paffes, of 
which i was in the contemplation of lord Corn- 
wallis to have pofTefled himfelf. 

Sir William Howe being now fenfible that' 
every fcheme of bringing the Americans to an iJi^P.*^": 
engagement would be unattended with fuccefs, jcileyi. 
refolved to retire from the Jerfeys. Accord- 
ingly, on the twenty-eighth of June, he returned 
with the army to Amboy, and on the fucceeding 
day croffed over to Staten Iflaud. A (hort ceiTa- 
tion ofcourfe occurred on each fide. 

During the continuance of this, a fpirited de- General 
termination was made and executed by an Ame-P''«''<=»i,*^""- 
rican colonel of the name of Barton ; it was to ' ° ' 
carry oflf the commander of Rhode Ifland (gene- . 
ral Prefcot), and in confequence to procure the 
enlargement of general Lee, by exchanging him 
for general Prefcot. The Britifh general's head- 
quarters were on the weft fide of the ifland, near 
the Narraganfet Bay, about a quarter of a mile . 
from the fliore. He \r 1 guarded by only one / 
centinel at a time, and his quarters were above 
a mile from any body of troops. — No patroles 
were ported on the fhore, and the general de- 
pended folely on a guard-lhip that lay in the 
bay, oppofite to his quarters. Colonel Barton 
being acquainted with ihefe circumftances, fet 
out from Providence, with Ibme officers and fol- 
diers, in two boats, keeping near the ifland of 
Providence, till he came to the fouth end, which 
was not more than two miles and a half from 
the general's quarters. Here he remained till 
dark, when he proceeded acrofs the bay unper- 
ceived, and landed about midnight. The ceu- 

. tiiicl 


C>--*^^A<*~'if*"^''^^!—r'f^ u 







CHAP. ^»nel was furprifecl and properly fecurcd— two 
XIV. other foldiers ran away ; the general was taken 

^'^nr^ out of bed, and, without being fuffered even to 
»777* put on his clothes, was hurried onboard one of 
the boats. The boat paflcd under the ftern of the 
Britifh guard-fhip without being perceived, and 
conveyed the general in fafety to Providence. 
The general was much and defervedly blamed 
for his imprudence, in trufting himfelf fo far 
from the troops under his command, and for 
not adopting proper means to fecure his fafety. 
The commander in chief had hitherto Readily 
refufed to relieve general Lee on any conditions 
whatever ; neverthelefs, the capture of general 
Prefcot obliged him to relinquifti his relolutioD; 
and general Lee was, in a ihort period, reftored 
to the American caufe. 1 

Until the beginning of June, the numbers of 
general Wafhington's armv did not exceed eight 
thoufaud men, militia included ; a circumftance 
which naturally poiuted to the expediency of an 
early campaign ; but the Britifh commander con- 
ceiving it impoffible to make any confiderable 
movements till the green forage was on the 
ground *, did not take the field with the main 
army till the twelfth of June, when he affembled 
the troops at Brunfwick. General Walhington 
was encamped on a hill above Quibble Town, 
about nine miles from that place, on the north 
fide of the Rariton, with a force under fix thou- 
fand, and ihefe undifciplined and badly ap- 
pointed ; which, \\ iih a corps under general 

■ .^ Sullivan 

* Yet the country was full of grain, hay, anddryfongt, 
much to be preferred to green, which would rather fcour and 
weaken his horfcf«, than add to tlicir ftrcnjjth. This kind of 
forage he had, or might have had in his magazines, or might, 
aa in tlie lail campaign, hare procured in his march through j 
the country. 





lumbers of 
jcceed eight 
iency of an 
lander con- 
/as on the 
th the main 
le affembled 
ibble Town, 
n the nortli 
der fix ihou- 
1 badly ap- 
idcr general 

, anddryforagt) 
rather fcour and 
I. This kind o( 
azines, or might, 
lis march througli 

Sullivan of two thoufand mcQ at Prince Town,CHAP. 
conipofed his whole force. His camp was not X^v. 
inacceiilble, either through nature or art ; it was 
Aroug, and capable of defence in front , being guard- 
ed by the Raritou ; and the hill in that Quarter wat 
Aeep and difficult of accefs ; but in nis rear to- 
wards the mountains, ai)d on his right towards 
the Delaware, it was by no means impradlicable. 
There were large and good roads around it, 
leading from Brunfwick on either fide of the ri- 
ver. In this (late Wafhington remained, as if 
he had been perfeftly acquainted with the in- 
tended movements of the Britiih army. The 
Britifh commander marched his army in two co- 
lumns, to Middle Bulh and Hilllborough, two 
villages lying in a low level country, completely 
overlooked by the Americans, ana on the foutn 
fide of the Rariton, keeping that river, which 
was not at that time fordable, between his army 
and the enemy. Provifions for a few days only 
were taken from Brunfwick ; the pontoons knd 
flat-bottomed boats were left at that place, and 
the fleet lay ready at Staten Ifland to receive the 
army. General Wafhington, probably judging 
from the circumftances that fir William Howe 
did not mean to crofs t>> Delaware, remained 
in his camp, contenting; himfelf with frequently 
harafling the Britifti by his advanced parties. 

General SuUivar., oa the approach of the 
troops towards Prince Town, fled in a panic to- 
wards the Delaware. He had begun to embark 
his men, but was ftopped by an order from ge- 
neral Wafliington, and took poft at Fleming- 
town. In thel'e pofitions the two armies re- 
mained from the fourteenth to the nineteenth ot 
June; when the Britifh general returned to 
Brunlwick, and on the twenty- fecond to Amboy. 
In his march to both thefe places, his army was 
Vol. I. . „ Y infulted 


k ,^'»:,i^t»»Wi.ayeiawtf^>*f«> » i i»t. » .., . 



ft ' 



CHAP, infulted and harafled by fmall parties of the re- 
XIV. bels. On the thirtieth the troops crofled Staten 
Ifland, in order to embark for the Ch^fapeak. 
Thus the Britifh general retreated before an ene- 
niy greatly inferior in force ; and, after obtain- 
ing great advantages, altered the plan of opera- 
tion which he himfelf had propofed, and the 
Britifli minifter for war had approved *. Why 
(it was afked) did he make fuch expenfive pre- 
parations for croffing the Delaware, without mak- 
ing ufe of them ? Why did he pafs on the fouth 
fide of the Rariton, and take pofitions in which 
he could neither affail his enemy nor the eneniv 
him, if difpoled to do fo ? Why did he not marcn 
round either on the north or fouth to the rear 
of that enemy, where he might have been af- 
faulted without any other hazard than fi^ch as 
muft, in the common courfe of war, be unavoid- 
ably incurred ? If the enemy was, in his judg- 
ment, fo ftroDgly potted as to render an attack 
on his camp a meafure too bold and defperate, 
why did he not intercept his convoys, cut off 
his fupplies of provifions, and reduce him un- 
der his power by famine ; or crofs the Delaware, 
and dettroy his potts and magazines ? It could 
not be fuppofed that general Wafhington would 
fuffer the Britilh army to pafs the Delaware, and 
leize his magazines and other places of ftrength, 
without a ttruggle. Had that been attempted, 
he muft have quitted his camp and fought the 
Britifh army, or have loft his magazines, and the 
capital and moft important city in North Ame- 
rica ; a facrifice which, as was demonttrated by 
his iiibfequent condu6t, he would never make 
without mcafuriiig arms. 


* In a letter to lord George Germaine, dated the twentieth 
of January 1777, lis declared !iis intention of penetrating with 
the m-iin body cf the army into Pcnfylvaniaby the way of Jerfcr. 

-;'..,. .- * ■.■'-«»i«^""^«iW** 


American war. > • 3,3 

Notwithftanding ihefe, and many other con«CHAP. 
fiderations that, in the general opinion, ihould '^^^• 
have moved our force in another diredion, the ^■''"'"^*' 
Britifh troops, confiding of thirty-fix Hcflian aud ^^'^'^* 
Britifh battalions, including light-infantry and J,'^'„'J„^- 
grenadiers, a corps called the queen's rangers, chief pro- 
and a regiment of light-horfe, on the fifth of "iteflpeaic 
July embarked in tranfports, where both foot Bay. 
and cavalry remained pent up, in the hotteft fea- 
fon of the year, in the holds of the veffels, un- 
til the twenty-third, when they failed from San- juiy ij. 
dy Hook; but meeting with contrary winds, 
did not arrive at the Capes of the Delaware till 
the thirtieth. At New York were left feven teen 
battalions, the new provincial corps, and a re- 
giment of light-horfe, under the command of 
general Clinton, and feveral battalions were fta- 
tioned on Rhode Ifland. There were many who 
blamed the commander in chief, and with ap- 
parent reafoh, for not proceeding up the North 
River to Albany, inftead of going to Philadel- 
phia, in order to have effeded ajundion with 
general Burgoyne, and it was the general opi- 
nion that, had he adopted fuch a meafure, he 
would not only have prevented the fatal confe- 
quences that enfued, but would have effeded the 
redudion of America. Befides, the delays in- 
cident to any expedition to the fouthward at a 
fealbn of the year when the fouthcrly winds ufu- 
ally blow nineteen out of twenty days, might 
have proved exceedingly injurious to the men fo 
dofely ftowed in the tranfports, and could not 
but be ruinous to the horfes. The commander in 
chief at firft intended to have gone up the Dela- 
ware, but having received intelligence that the 
enemy had rendered the navigation of that river 
difhcult, he gave up his original intention, and 
proceeded to Chefapeak Bay. The winds proved 

Y a fo 


•'' .- • 

■\. J 





i contrary, as every one acquainted with the 
XIV. climate had predided, that the fleet did not enter 

^--nn*^ the Chefapeak till the middle of Auguft. , As 
"777- foon as they arrived in the Bay they proceeded 

Lands atthe up the Elk, the head of which river fir William 

of the-/ . 1 • /• r , ^u ^ ^ e ^i_ ^ 


tion ifliied 

Howe gained in fafety on the twenty-fourth of 

As foon as the army was landed, the com- 
mander in chief publiihed a proclamation, in 
which he offered pardon and proteftion to all 
who would furrender themfelves to the Britilh 
troops ; and at the fame time he affur^d the in- 
habitants that the ftri6left order and difcipline 
ihould be preferved by the troops in marching 
through the country. On the twenty-eighth of 
Auguft the army moved forwards to a village at 
the head of the Elk, where the head-qiiarters 
were fixed. On the third of September a farther 
progrefs was made by a part of the army, which 
moved forwards about five miles ; difperfing the 
advanced guards of the enemy, and taking poft 
on Iron Hill, a place that commanded a view of 
the Delaware. Generals Grant and Knyphau- 
fen having joined the commander in chief with 
the troops under their command on the eighth 
of September, the whole army moved onwards 
in two columns on the route to Philadelphia. 
After they had proceeded about thirteen miles 
they halted, on receiving intelligence that the 
enemy were in motion. / vi::. 

On the eleventh of September the Britifti army 
irScs"tothe moved forwards ; the enemy, to the number of 
north fide of fourteen thoufaud, retiring before them to the 
J[!f^J™"f/^" other fide of the Brandy wine river. Here the 
Americans halted, and pofted themfelves on 
fome very ftrong ground under cover of woods 
with iiuerva's of open ground between them. 
Their advanced corps was ftationed at Red Clay 



in order to 
.Icfend Phi 

A ME R I C An W a R. 


Creek. The Brandywine Creek runs into thee HAP, 
Delaware at Wihnington, and it was indifpen- XIV. 
fably neceflary for the Britilh army to pafs over ^-^"m-^ 
it in their route to Philadelphia. The enemy '777' 
therefore fecured, and refolved to defend, the 
principal fording-place. 

At Chad's Ford, the fpot where it was judged 
nioft probable that the royal army would make 
an attempt, batteries were erefted on the banks 
of the rivulet, with intrenchments that command- . 
ed the pafs. 

While the enemy were occupied at Chad's 
Ford, lord Cornwallis, with one column of the 
army, confifting of two battalions of grenadiers, 
as many of light-infantry, the Heflian grenadiers, 
part of the feventy-firft regiment, and two Bri- 
t!(h brigades, made a circuit of fome miles, and 
crofled '1. lo/ks of the Brandywine on the thir- 
teenth ! :€mber, with an intention of gain- > 
ing the enemy's rear. At the fame time gene- 
ral Knyphaufen, with the fecond divifion, con- 
fifting of two Britilh brigades, the Heflians, and 
Wemys's c ps of rangers, marched in a direft 
liiie to Chad's Ford ; and attacked a detached 
body of the enemy that had crofled the river, 
and were pofted on the fouth fide of it. This 
body, after fome refiftance, was forced to re- 
pafs the Brandywine under cover of their bat- 

Several pieces of cannon having been brought 
up and placed on the moft commanding emi- 
nences, a fharp cannonade enfued, which was 
anfwered by the enemy's batteries on the other 
fide of the river. The attention of the Ame- 
ricans was thus amiifed, in order that lord Corn- 
wallis might make his paflage good. As foon 
as this wiis known, by the firing of cannon 
in that quarter, and the evident confufion of 




i ' 


u I 


Aftion at 
the BranUy 

i» '. 

CHA P. the cneiiiy, general Knyphaufen, with his divi. 
XIV. fion, began to pal's the ford, and with great bra- 
very foon carried the batteries and intrench- 
meais ; the enjiny relinquiftiiug them, and leav- 
ing behind five pieces of cannon and an howit- 
zer. Lord Coriiwallis, on the other hand, <ts 
foon as he had crofled the two branches of the 
river, took the road to Delworth, which led 
him upon the enemy's right. 

General Wafhington being informed of lord 
Cornwallis's movement, detached general Sulli- 
van, with a confiderable force, to oppofe him. 
The general tor '< poffeffion of the heights above 
Birmingham church, his left reaching towards 
the Brandy wine, his artillery judicioully placed, 
and his flanks covered by woods. About four 
o'clock in the afternoon lord Cornwallis formed 
the line of battle, and began the attack. The 
Americans fuftained it with confiderable intrepi- 
dity, but the impetuofity of the Britifh troops 
was not to be refifted. They ruihed upon the 
enemy, and in fpite of a very fpirited oppofition, 
drove them into the woods on their rear. Ne- 
verthelcfs the enemy polled themfelves a fecond 
time in one of the woods, from which they were, 
after a defperate refiftance, diflodged ana forced 
to retire. A general rout took place, A confi- 
derable part of the Anieiican army fled with 
precipitation, in fmall and confufed parties, by 
different roads, towards Philadelphia, Lancafter, 
and Reading, while general Wafhington, and the 
corps he was able to keep together, fled with his 
cannon and baggage to Chefter ; where he re- 
mained, within eight miles of the Britifh army, 
till next morning, when he marched by Derby 
to Philadelphia. Here he flaid three days, col- 
jccting as many of his troops as he poffibly could, 
and recrujtin<y front his magazines the flores he 
- . . had 





had loft in battle. On the third day after the G H A P. 
engagement he aflemblcd his troops, and march- XIV. 
ed up the north fide of the Schuylkill, which he 
crofled at Sweed's Ford, and pafled on to the 
road to Lancafter. Meantime the Britifh army 
under fir William Howe remained on the field 
of battle. The Americans fufTcred confiderably 
in this action. Three hundred were killed, fix 
hundred wounded, and near four hundred taken 
prifoners ; they alfo loft feveral pieces of artil- 
lery. The lofs on the part of the Britifti was 
by no means in proportion to that of the enemy. 
Not above one hundred were killed, and four 
hundred wounded. 

It may not be improper to mention here fome 
circumftances that evince the opinion which fe- 
veral European nations entertained of the pre- 
fect difturbances. In the adlion at Brandywine 
the celebrated marquis de la Fayette, at tl.-at 
time a young man of fpirit and enterprife, and 
a warm partifan of the Americans, bore a com- 
mand in the American army. Infpired by en- 
thufiaftic notions of liberty, he purchafed and 
freighted a ftiip with military ftores, and pro- 
ceeding in it with feveral of his friends to Ame- 
rica, prefented it to cougrefs. His age was not 
more than nineteen, and when he departed from 
Paris he informed his wife that he was going 
to pay a vifit to his aunt in Italy. Several other 
French noblemen were officers in the American 
army, and two Polifti noblemen exhibited in the 
battle of Brandywine, great proofs of bravery 
and attachment to the caufe they had efpoufed. 
On the evening after the battle, a party of rhe 
Britifti was fent to Wilmington, who took tne 
governor of the Delaware ftate, Mr. Mackenlie, 
out of his bed, and feized a flialloop lying in the 
creek, loaded with the rich cfTcds of Ibme of 


h i 





CHAP, the inhabitants, together with the public records 
XIV. J[>f the county ; a large quantity of public and 
' private money ; all the papers and certificate* 
belonging to the loan office and treafury olfice ; 
articles of pl^te, &c. 

j^ The vidiory docs not feem to have been im- 
* roved in the degree which circumftances ap. 
peared to have admitted. When the left co- 
lumn of the Britilh had turned Waftiingtoh's 
right flank, his whole army was heinmea in; 
General Knyphaufen and the iBrandywine in 
front ; fir "William Howe and lord Cornwallia 
on his right ; the Delaware in his rear ; and the 
Chriitiana river on his left. "He was obliged to 
retreat twenty-three miles to Philadelphia, when 
the Britifh lay within eighteen miles of it. Itad 
the commander in chief detached general Knyp. 
haqfen's column in purfuit early next mOrning, 
general Washington might with eafe have been 
intercepted, either at the heights of Crum Creek, 
nine miles j at Derby, fourteen; or. at Philadel. 
phia, eighteen miles from the Britilh canm ; or 
the Schuylkill might have been paired at Gray's 
Ferry, only feventy yards over ; and Philadel- 
phia, with the American magazines, taken, had 
not the poiitoons been improvidently left it New 
York as ufelefs* Any one of thefe movements, 
it was thought, might have been attended with 
the total deftru^ion of the American army. For 
fome reafon however, which it is impoflible to 
divine, the commander in chief employed him- 
felf for feveral days in making flight movements, 
which could not by any poflibility produce any 
important benefits to the Britifli caufe. 

On the twentieth of September intelligence 
was received that general Wayne had concealed 
hinilelf in the woods on the left wing of the 
army with fifteen hundred men, with ^n inten- 



tron of harafling the rear of the Britifh atttiy' C H A P. 
Mijor-geiieral Grey was accordingly dilpatched XtV. 
at night to furprife him. The Britilh general ^-^nr*^ 
proceeded in this expedition with great fectefy ^777' 
and difpatch, and in order that the furprjife might 
be complete, he gave ft rift otde^s that bayonet is 
alone fhouM be ul'ed, and that not a gun Ihould 
be fired. This manoeuvue had the defired effeft. 
General Wayne's outpollS were ftii^rifed about Sf"""'^^ 

. ^ . iiT..»i« rt Wayne de- 

bne m the morning, and the Brrnlh t iroopa rum- feated. 
ing immediately on the eneftiy's en<oatopmeiit, • 
made a dreadful ilkughter. . Three hundred were 
killed and wounded, and one hundred taken 
prifoners. The reft contrived to makie good tbcii' 
retteat ^vith the lofs of all thdt baggiage. Oil the 
paft ^i the ferit^ifli the lofs was tdO tViffing aHmoft 
to be^mehtloffed. One officer Ai^a* killed, and 
feven privates were "kiHed and wounded. The 
{kill and energy of general Grey were very con- 
fpicuous in this enterprife» 

On the twenty-third o^ eptember, fir Wil- ^^"g" ^1™y 
liam Howe having fecured the command of the schuyikiu. 
Schuylkill, croiTed it with the whole army, ad- 
vanced, on the twenty-fixth, to German Town, 
and on the fucceeding day lord Cornwallis, atJ^g^aSa 
the head of a ftrong detachment, took peaceable pofl«flion ef 
ppfleflion of Philadelphia. phiaf 

German Town confifts in one ftreet two miles 
in length ; and is diftant from the capital of Pen- 
fylvania about fcven miles. The Britilh army, in 
their line of encampment, interfered this vil^ 
lage near the centre, and almoft at right angles. 
The Schuylkill covered the left wing; in the 
front of which were the German chanfeurs. A ) 
battalion of light-infantry and the queen's Ame- " 

rican rangers covered the right wing in front; 
and at the head of the village, the fortieth regi- 
ment with a^iother battalion of light-infantry ' 
)i. "■ ' were •' 

r :; ■ 

.V ^ -.^^ 

V ;. 

4 '.'' 

^■^ .* 




P> were ftationed. Three regiments detached un- 
der colonel Sterling, for the purpofe of convey, 
ing (lores and provifions, lay at Chefter; and 
a confiderable body of troops, as already men. 
tioned, under lord Cornwallis, at Philaaelphia. 
The pofleilion of this place was a moft import- 
ant acquifition, as it opened a communication 
between the northern and fouthern provinces ; 
and, if the Delaware were opened, between the 
army and the navy. So fenfible were the Ame- 
ricans of its importance, that they had formerly 
refolved, if ever it ihould be in real and immi- 
nent danger of falling into the hands of the Bri- 
tifh, to commit it to the flames. 

But, although German Town and Philadel- 
phia had been for fome time occupied by the Bri- 
tiih troops, the communication was not yet free 
down the river to the fleet. 

•Ptz >i •.■'■- 

5" f 

■: ( 




/^! :'■'■'•■ ■:.?.- hi^'f^S^ ■?«#>' 








■ ..;.;-• -, 

American Batteries and other Means of Defence-^ 
Attacked — A6lion at German Town — At Red 
Bank — Mud IJland and Red Bank taken — Ante- 
rican Fleet burnt-^Removal of the royal Army 
to Wkitemarjh. 

AS the Delaware is navigable to Philadelphia CHAP, 
and even beyond it, the congrefs, whofe XV. 
refidence was at that city until it was taken by ***nr*^ 
fir William Howe, very early endeavoured to *'777' , 
render it inacceflible to the Britifti fleet. In de- American 
vifing contrivances for this purpofe. Dr. Frank- ^"""ies and 
lin is faid, before his departure for France, tOofdefenc"* 
have aflifted. Three rows of chevaux de frize, 
compofed of immenfe beams of timber bolted 
and failened together, and (luck with iron pikes 
fal^eaed in every direftion, were funk acrofs the - 
channel, a little below the place where the Schuyl- . 
kill empties itfelf into the Delaware. The low- 
er line of chevaux de frize was commanded by 
fome works, eredled on the Jerfey ihore, at Bil- 
ling's Por;. ; and the upper by an incloled fort, 
mounting heavy cannon, and fituated on a marfhy 
ifland, called Mud Ifland, being formed by an 
accumulation of fand and vegetable mould, near 
the Penfylvania Ihore ; and on the oppofite Ihore, 
by a redoubt and intrenchment, at a place called 
Red Bank ; the redoubt being conftrufted on 
high and commanding ground, ferved alfo as a 
proteftion for the provincial water force, which 
might occafionally retire under the guns of that 


* / 






1) % 


CHAP, work for fafety. This water force, which was 
XV. ftationed between the two forts, confiftcd of four- 
teen row-gallies, carrying each one piece of hea- 
vy ordnance — two floating batteries, carrying 
nine guns each — and a number of fire-fhips and 

September, fafts. Towards the end of September, a cfetach- 
ment from the Briiilh army, counfting of three 
regiments under colonel Sterling, had been paf- 
fed over from Cheftcr to the Jerley fhore, for 
the purpofe of reducing the provincial works of 
BiUing's Port, which, on the approach of that 
detachment, were abandoned by the garrifon, and 
immediately difmantled. The lower line of che- 
vaux de frize being thus left without defence 
from the (ho re, an attempt was mad6 to remove 
it by captain Hammond of the Roebuck, who 
commanded the BritiHi naval force in the Dbh- 
ware ; in which he fo far fucceeded, notwiih- 
ilanding the oppoiition made by the enemy's row- 
gallies and floating batteries, as to make an open- 
ing fufficient to admit the largeft ftiips of the 
fleet ; but ftill the other two rows of chevaux 
de frize remained ; and \he forts which defend- 
ed them were yet in the poffeflion of the Ame- 
ricans. Things were in this fituatioh, when lord 
Howe arrived with the fleet from the Chefapeak. 
Lord Howe, as foon as he received intelligence 
of the fuccefs of the army at Brandywine, left 
the Elk river, and quitting the Capes of Virgi- 
nia on the twenty-third of September, fteered 
his courfe towards the Delaware, where he ar- 
rived on the eighth of O6lober. As the paflage 
to Philadelphia was yet impradlicable, the fleet 
was brought to arichor, on the weft fhore, from 
the town of Newcaftle down to Reedy Ifland. 

The voyage from the Capes to the Delaware 
was boifterous ; and the attempt to get up that 
river required great abilities, caution, and pru- 




dence ; for the obAru^lions that had deterred C H A P. 
the fleet from entering the Delaware before, had X^* 
been confiderably iucreafed. The Americans 
had almofl completed an extcnfive work— *wood> 
en piers for defending the approaches to the line 
of liinken frames that croflcd the channel of tho 
river. To remove thefe. obftrudtions, fo ds to 
open, a communication between the fleet and the 
army, was an objeft of the utmoft importance, 
but which coulci not be accomplifhed without 
previoufly reducing the forts, by which they 
were defended. Preparations for this purpole 
were accordingly made immediately after the ar- 
rival of the fleet. Some heavy cannon were land* 
ed from the ihips, and batteries were begun oi). 
Province Ifland, which was formed by the con- 
flux of the rivers Schuylkill and Delaware, and 
was oppolite to the fort on Mud Ifland ; but, 
owing to the fwampinefs of the ground, the 
works advanced flowly, and the approaches were 
made with difficulty. Major Vatap, of the tenth 
regiment, who commanded a detachment of the 
Britifti on Province Ifland, to cover the working 
parties, abandoned moft fhamefuUy his artillery, 
upon the Americans having landed a fmall body 
of men on the ifland. From the gallantry, how- 
ever, of a fubakern officer, the artillery was re- 
taken, and the enemy compelled to retire. Ma- 
jor Vatap was obliged to quit the fervice, and 
fell out below the regulated price. 

As foon as the enemy perceived the defigns 
of the Euglifli, they dilpatched two frigates and 
a fchooner, with fome row-gallies, to demolifti 
the batteries and cannonade the town. For 
fome time the veflTels kept up a heavy fire upon 
the town, but, on the falling of the tide in the 
Delaware, one of the frigates ran a-ground, and 













CHAP, was taken ; the reft of the fleet were under the 
XV. neceflity of retreating as fad as poflible. 

General Waihington, who was at this time 
encamped at Skippack Creek, on the eaftern fide 
of the Schuylkill, about feventeen miles from 
German Town, being reinforced by fifteen hun- 
dred troops from Peek's Kill, and one thoufand 
Virginians, on receiving intelligence of the large 
detachments that were fent to take poflcflion of 
Philadelphia, to cover the convoys and deftroy 
the works on the Delaware, formed the defiga 
of furprifing the camp at German Town. At 
fix in the evening of the third of Odlober, the 
enemy quitted their encampment at Skippack 
'Creek, and under cover of a thick fog, made 
an attack on the troops poAed at the head of the 
village, at dawn of day, on the fourth. Th^re, 
after a vigorous refiftance, they were driven into 
the village, and general Wafhington advancing 
"with his army, divided into five columns, en- 
deavoured to enter the north end of the village, 
in order to feparate the Britilh force, and there- 
by to cnfure luccefs to the different attacks on 
the Britifh flanks. The fortieth regiment, which 
lay at the head of the village, had been under 
the neceflity of retreating before the enemy ; no- 
verthelefs lieutenant-colonel Mufgrave, who com- 
manded this regiment, by his addrefs and afli- 
vity had contrived to keep five companies of 
the regiment together. In order to impede the 
progrefs of the enemy he threw them into a large 
ftone houfe in the village, that lay in the front 
of the enemy. This gallant condud arrefted 
the Americans in their career, and in the event 
prevented the feparation of the right and left 
■wings of the Britifli troops ; by which means 
time was afforded to the reft of the Britifh line 
to get under arnis. General Wafhington imme- 
t»«- . diately 

ing a h 
ble exe 
nued t( 
gade, J 
fourth 1 
ing the < 
they ga\ 
rifing gi 
the aaio 
treat. 1 
under cc 
cult for I 
ment. 'J 
have gre; 
of the fci 
vering ei 
On th< 
killed ani 
cers of di 
fide of tl 
to betWL 
made prii 
ber of ol 
lea of tl 
"ith the 

-•^U.t'Ari^-iV_fi. \* 






, time 

rn fide 

\ from 

n hun- 


te large 

flion of 


: defigu 

irn. At 

aer, the 


g, made 

d of the 

yen into 


mns, en- 

e village, 

id there- 
tacks on 

It, which 
en under 
imy ; "e- 
vvho com- 
and afti- 
panies of 
ipede the 
ito a large 
the front 
the event 
and left 
Ich means 
Iritiih line 
;on imme- 

diately ordered a brigade to furround the houfe. CHAP. 
Colonel Mufgravc, however, and* his brave men, XV. 
refufed to furrender, and from the windows pour- *-nr*^ 
ing a heavy fire upon the enemy, did confidera- 1777* 
ble execution. Four pieces of cannon were then 
brought againft him, the fire of which he conti- 
nued to brave till he received afUflance from 
major-general Grey, who, with the third bri- 
gade, and brigaaier-general Agnew with the 
fourth brigade, attacked the enemy with great 
fpirit. The engagement for fome time was very 
warm. At length, part of the right wing attack- . 
ing the enemy on the oppofite fide of the village, 
they gave ground, and retired with great preci- 
pitation. They attempted to rally upon fome 
riling grounds, and made a fhew of renewing 
the a£lion ; but it was only a feint to fecure a re* 
treat. This they effe^^ed, with all their artillery, 
under cover of the fog, which rendered it difn- 
cult for the Britifh troops to difcover their move- 
ment. This fog, which had at firfl been fo ad- 
vantageous to the Americans, was alleged to 
have greatly contributed to the difappointment 
of the fcheme, inafmuch as it prevented the dif- 
ferent bodies of the American army from difco- 
vering each other's operations. 

On the part of the Englilh fix hundred were 
killed and wounded. Among the former were 
brigadier-general Agnew and colonel Bird, offi- 
cers of diftinguiftied reputation. The lofs on the 
fide of the Americans was fuppofed to amount 
to between two and three hundred killed, fix 
hundred wounded, and above four hundred 
made prifoners. General Nafh and a great num- 
ber of officers were among the (lain. The neg- 
left of the commander in chief in the adiou at 
German Town was extreme. He was acquainted 
with the intentions of general Wafhiugton on the 

■ evening 

\ Ij 






CHAP, evening before the attack, and therefore could 
^V- have provided againft it. Had he adopted fuch 
a mode of condudl, the American army would 
certainly have been deftroyed. It was the gene- 
ral opinion of the officers of both armies, that, 
had the Americans advanced immediately, in- 
flead of attacking the fortieth regiment, the total 
defeat of the Britifli muft have enfued. But the 
delay occafioned by the feveral attempts to re- 
duce Chew's Houfe afforded time for the Britifli 
line to get under arms; and that circumftance 
was juftly confidered as the falvation of the royal 
army. Notwithflanding the importance of the 
capture of Philadelphia, it was feen that the army 
could not maintain itfelf during the winter, unlets 
Mud Ifland Ihould be reduced. In order to effeft 
the redudlion of this, the royal army removed 
from German Town to Philadelphia. The ene- 
my after the adlion at German Town had return- 
ed to their old camp at Skippack Creek. 

In confequence of meafures concerted between 
the commander in chief and lord Howe, a joint 
attack was refolved to be made on Mud Ifland and 
Red Bank. . 

Colonel iStirling, after deflroying the Ameri- 
can works at Billing's Port, faw the neceflity of 
forming a poll at Red Bank, not yet occupied by 
the enemy, it being of no great confequence while 
they retained pofleffion of the other poftjuft men- 
tioned. But when they had loft that ftation, it 
became of the utmoft importance, being the only 
key to the fort on Mud Ifland ; the only I'pot 
from which it could be relieved or fuppUed. 
And, had this poft been taken and occupied by 
Britilh troops, the fort and water-guard would 
have been placed in the midft of a triangle, and 
conftantly expofed to the cannon frompoftson 
each of its fides ; from Red Bank on theeaft, the 
Province Ifland on the weft fide of the Delaware, 


and i 
river 1 
but it 
ing ad 
tifled it 
\y cov< 
from tJ 
either t 
the fhij 
tiih tro< 
on the : 
one hur 
every fo 
during ti 
ry fix ho 
defence 1 
On the 
was with( 
camped i 
phia, as a 
river : / 
was made 
at Red 
brave anc 
with three 
paffed the 
«^ay in the 

inftantly .. 

daunted fi 
through a 
Vol, I. 



5 to re- 

I Britifti 
he royal 
e of the 
the army 
;r, unlets 
f to effeft 
The enc- 
td return- 


and from the men of war on the fouth in the CHAP, 
river below. Pofleffed of thefe, colonel Stirling ^^' 
defired permiffion to take pofleflion of Red Bank, 
but it was not granted him. The rebels, tak- 
ing advantage of this blunder, immediately for- 
tined it : And, under its cannon, they conflant- 
ly covered their water-guard, which fallied out 
from this advantageous poll when they wiihed, 
either to fupply or relieve the fort, or to annoy 
the fhips of war. The fubfiftence of the Bri- 
tifh troops in Philadelphia depended fo much 
on the furrender of this fort, that Wafhington 
exerted every nerve to preferve it. He offered 
one hundred pounds extraordinary bounty to 
every foldier who ftiould ferve in defending it 
during the iiege. Thefe men were relieved eve- 
ry fix hours from Red Bank, and therefore the 
defence was extremely obftinate. 

On the nineteenth of Oftober the Britifli army 
was withdrawn from German Town, and en- 
camped in the immediate vicinity of Philadel- 
phia, as a more convenient fituation, from which 
detachments might be mnde, and occafional re- 
inforcements fent to reduce the forts upon the 
river : Arid foon after this movement an attempt 
was made to carry the redoubt and Intrenchment 
at Red Bank by afTault. The execution of this 
enterprife was intruftcd to colonel Donop, a 
brave and high-fpirited German officer, who, 
with three battalions of Heffian grenadiers, the 
regiment of Mirbach, and the infantry chaffeurs, 
paffed the Delaware, from Philadelphia, on the 
iwenty-firft of Odober, and, on the following 
day in the afternoon, reached the place of his 
deftinatiou. A difpofition for the attack was 
inftantly made, and the brave Donop, with un- 
daunted firmnefs, led on his troops to the aifault, 
I through a tremendous fire, not only from the 
Vol. I. Z works 

^m lU 

, '^Am-'^ 


>^ — . -»„»^_. 





CHAP, works at Red Banl^, but from the provincial gallies 
XV. and floating batteries upon the river ; and whilft 

^"^nn*^ deftruftion every inftant thinned their ranks, the 
*777' German battalions advanced, unmoved, to the 
charge, and forced an extenfive outwork, from 
whicn the enemy were driven, and obliged to 
flee for ftielter within the redoubt. By this time 
the intrepid Donop had fallen, his thigh having 
been fractured by a mulket Ihot. And the fe- 
cond in command was alfo wounded. The re- 
doubt was found to be more than eight feet high, 
with a parapet boarded and frized, and could 
not be forced without fcaling ladders. Why the 
affailants were not furnifhed with this neceflary 
implement has not been explained ; but for want 
of it, in the moment of victory, an.d with the 
objeft of the enterprife within their grafp, they 
were obliged precipitately to retire through luca 
a fire as that under which they had advanced, 
leaving their brave commander behind them, 
who died of his wound fome few day* after, 
whilft a prifoner in the hands of the Ameri- 

But this was not the only rlsfortune that hap- 
peued at this time. It was liiv^ aded that a part 
of the fleet, by moving up the river as far as 
it could go, Ihould make a diverfion in favour 
of the attack by land. For this purpofe the 
Augufta, Roebuck, Liverpool, Pearl, and Mer- 
lin floop, were ordered to pafs through the open*- 
iiig in the lower chevaux de frize, and be iu 
readinefs. And as foon as Donop's attack com- 
iijcnced thefe fliips flipped their cables and mov- 
ed flowly up the river with the flood tide j but 
_ the natural courfe of the channel having beeu 

■ altered by the artificial obftruftions thrown 

acrofs it, and fand-bauks being coUedted where 
iheie were none before, two of thefe fliips, the 



i / 

America^ WAi: 


that hap- 
that a part 
• as far as 
1 in favour 
urpofe the 
and Mer- 
the open* 
and be in 
Lttack com- 
8 and mov- 
_ tide ; but 
,aving beeu 
,ns thrown 
aed where 
{hips, the 

Augufta and the Merlin, unfortunately got a-crtAP. 
ground a little below the fecond line of chevaux XV. 
de frize. At the next tide of flood every ex- "-•nr**' 
ertion was made to get them off, but in vain, *777' 
the flow of the tide having been jprevented from 
rifing to its ufual height by a ftrong northerly 
wind. It was not until the following morning 
that the fituation of thefe fliips was perceived . 
by the enemy, when they began to lire upon 
them from their works, gallies, and floating bat- 
teries, and fent down feveral fire-ftiips with the 
expeftation of deflroying them. The fire-lhips 
were however towed off without doing any in- 
jury, by the aftivity and dexterity of the fea- 
men ; but, unfortunately, the Augufta, by fomd 
accident, caught fire, and the flames, fpreading 
fo rapidly that they could not be got under, it 
was with the utmoft diflicdlty that the greatefl: 
part of the crew were faved. Only a few, and 
amongft thefe the fecond-lieutenant, chaplain, 
and gunner, periflied in the flames. It now be- 
came neceffary to remove with all hafte the fri- 
gates which lay near the Augufta, that they 
might not fuffer by her explofion ; and as the 
Merlin could not be got off, orders were given 
to abandon and deftroy her. Such were the un- 
fortunate confequences of the attack on Red Bank, 

In the mean time the preparations for reduc- 
ing the fort on Mud Illand were going forward 
on the weftern fliore of the Delaware ; but, from 
the difficulty of conftruding works in marftiy 
grounds, and the Jength of time required for 
tranfporting through fwamps fuch heavy ftores 
as were indifpenfably neceflfary, .the batteries 
were not opened before the tenth of Novem- 
ber. Immediately below Mud Iftand, and rang- 
ing nearly in a line with this, were two others, 

Z z called 

^ M 

I <- 







^' t 



CHAP, called Province and Hog Iflands. Between thefe 
^^' and the wcftern fhore was a narrow channel of 
fufficient depth to admit ftiips of a moderate 
draught of water. For fome days, that part of 
the fleet which was deftined to co-operate in the 
attack, Waj prevented by contrary winds from 
moving ip the river ; but on the fifteenth of 
Novembfrr, the wind proving favourable, and 
every thing being in readinefs, the Vigilant arm- 
ed fhip, followed by a hulk, both of them mount- 
ed with heavy cannon, palTed through between 
Province and Hog Ifland, and got into the chan- 
nel behind, fo as to bring their guns to bear upon 
that part of the fort which was lead provided 
with defences. At the fame time two of the 
large (hips, the Ifis and the Somerfet, with the 
Roebuck, and feveral frigates, failed up jthe 
main channel of the river, and lay as near the 
front of the fort as the fecond line of the che- 
vaux de frize would permit. The fhips being 
thus difpofed, a heavy cannonade commenced 
as well from them as from the batteries on fhore, 
which difmounted feveral of the guns in the 
fort, and otherwife fo damaged its defences, that 
the garrifon, fearful of an affault, quitted it the 
Mud iiiand eufuiug night, and were carried off by their fhip- 
Lnk takih. ping- Two days after the redoubt at Red Bank 
was alfo abandoned upon the approach of lord 
Cornwallis with a detachment from camp fcnt 
to reduce it ; and the provincial water force, 
being now no longer proteAed by the works on 
fhore, quitted its ftation, and retired up the ri- 
ver. Some few of the fmaller gallies, by keep- 
ing clofe on the Jerfey fhore, pafTed Philadel- 
phia in the night, and efcaped. The reft were 
abandoned and burnt. And thus a conjmunica- 
tion by the Delaware was at laft opened between 
the navy and army. 


fleet burnt. 





ir upon 
of ilie 
viih the 
up jthe 
[lear the 
the che- 
js being 
)n (hore, 
s in the 
ces, that 
ed it the 
leir Ihip* 
led Bank 
h of lord 
amp few 
:er force, 
works on 
ip the ri- 
by keep- 
reft were 
d between 

General Wafhington, after receiving a rein- CHAP. 



forcement of four thoufand men from the north- 
ern army, left his ftroug fituation at Skippack 
Creek, drew nearer to the Britifh lines, and en- 
camped at White Marfh, an advantageous fta- 
tion, about fourteen miles from Philadelphia. A 
valley and a rivulet were in his front ; and to the 
fouth and eaft an abbatis of trees, their top br-anch- 
es pointed and lying outwards. 

Sir William Howe hoped that, in confequence Removal of 
of this reinforcement, Wafhington might he^^^yl^^ 
tempted to rifque aij engagement in the viewwwte 
of regaining polTeflion of the capital of Pcnfyl- wheregenc- 
vania. With this expedlation he marched with fa' w.-ih- 
the army from Philadelphia on the fourth of Der en|',mpcd.* 
cember at night, and on the following morning 
took port on Chefnut Hill, in front of the right 
wing of the provincial encampment. Here the 
Britilh army rcniained for two days, offering 
battle to the provincials, but the latter conti- 
nued within their lines, except a ^jorps of about 
one thoufaud men, which being fent out to fkir- 
mifh with the light-infantry, under lieutenant- 
colonel Abercrombie, who were polled in front, 
was quickly repulfed with lofs. 

On the fixth at night the army was again put 
in motion, and the following morning took poll 
on Edge Hill, an eminence one mile in front of 
the enemy's l^ft, which was occupied by a flrong 
corps of northtrn provincials, and from whence 
they were driven by the van-guard of the army 
under lord Cornwallis. The r^^ne morning, ano- 
ther out-polt of the enemy was I jrced by a column 
of the army under major-general Grey, and fo 
nearly i'urrounded by a rapid movement of the 
light-infantry of the guards to turn their left, that^ 
the provincials in making their efcape, w-ere dri- 
ven acrofs the fire of ihc centre and left of the 





> • 

* >^'^. 


If <: S T O R Y OF THE 



p H A P. general's dvifion, and fuftained a confiderable 
^V. lols in killed and wounded. 

During all this time general Wafhington re- 
mained quiet within his lines ; and fir \\'illi;^.V!:> 
Howe, fe( iug no profpeft of being ubic to pt's 
\'oke hini o an engagement, and, afto; having 
viev'fd the right, left, and centre of his aicaipp- 
ment, judging it iinadvifabl<' to a-xzck. h'na in 
h\& prelent Orong poiition, returned on the eighth 
with the army to Philadelphia: The linemyftill 
keeping ib cloic within their lines, that the rear- 
guard of the army under lord Cornwailij, which 
did not leave its ground ' ■•! four m ihc afternoon, 
was Inffered to retire unmoleflod. It was re. 
nerally expedled that the tonunaDde* in drxi 
would have made fome farther attempts on ge- 
neral Wafhington. It is true he made fpnie 
jhcvcmeuts on the enemy's front, right, and 
ku, but none on their rear, where they were 
vulnerable without difficulty. By the fame move- 
ment he would have cut off V* afhington from 
his baggage and provifions, which lay five miles 
diftant. The American general dreaded this, 
and was prepared for flight. Our troops, not- 
withftanding, retired, to the furprife of all who 
were acquainted with the ground on which ge- 
neral Wafhington was encamped, and the vari- 
ety of excellent roads that led round to his rear. 
It was even well known that Wafhington's army 
was under the gfeateft apprehenfion, and con- 
ftantly expedling the necellity of attempting a 
hazardous movement tocfcape. ■;i:i. 

Not long after the retreat of the Britiih troops 
from White Marlh, general Wafhington quiiicd 
his camp at that place in the night, croffed the 
Schuylkill, and took pofl at Valley Foige, about 
twenty-fix miles diftant from Philadelphia. 

■ .- -. Had 






Had the American army retired to Lancafter, CHAP. 
York, and Carlifle, the neareft towns where they XV. 
could have been accommodated with winter- 
quarters, a large and fertile diftridl of country 
would have been left open for the Eritifh troops 
to forage in at pleafure, the inhabitants of which 
being left without protection might have been 
tempted to accept of thofe pardons which were 
fo liberally offered, and to fubmit themfelves 
again, and become reconciled to the authority of 
the mother-country. 

The American general, moved by thefe confi- 
derations, determined to remain during the win- 
ter in the pofition which he then occupied at Val- 
ley Forge, recommending it to hi« troops to build 
huts in the woods for Iheltering themfelves from 
the inclemency of the weather. And it is perhaps 
one of the moft ftriking traits in general Wafh- 
ington's charafter, that he poffefled the faculty 
of gaining fuch an afcendancy over his raw and 
undifciplined followers, moft of whom were def- 
titute of proper winter clothing, and otherwife 
unprovided with neceffaries, as to be able to pre- 
vail upon fo many of them to remain with him, 
during the winter, in fo diftrefsful a fituation. 
With imnienfe labour he raifed wooden huts, 
covered with ftraw and earth ; which formed 
very uncomfortable quarters. On the eaft and 
fouth an intrenchment was made ; the ditch fix 
feet wide and three in depth — the mound not four 
feet high, very narrow, and fuch as might eafily 
have been beat down by cannon. Two redoubts 
were alfo begun, but never completed. The 
Schuylkill was on his left, with a bridge acrofs. 
His rear was nioftly covered by an impaflable 
precipice formed by Valley Creek, having only 
a narrow paflage uczt the Schuylkill. On the 
right his camp v»'as acceliibls with fome difficulty, 


•f> ; 




■*A ■^. — s: 




CHAP. but the approach on his front was on graiind 
XV. nearly on a level with his camp, It is indeed dif- 

^-•nr'*^ ficult to give an adequate delcriptiou of his mi- 
'777- fery in this fiiuation, His army was deftituteof 
almoft every neceffary of clothing, nay, almoft 
naked ; and very often on fhort allowance of 
provifious ; an extreme mortality raged in his 
hofpiials, nor had he any of the moll proper me- 
dicmes to relieve the fick. There were perpetual 
defertious of parties from him of ten to fifty at a 
time. In three months he had not four thoufaud 
men, and thefe by no means to be termed ef- 
feflivc. Not lefs than five hundred horfes pe- 
rifhed from want and the feverity of the feafon. 
He had often not three days provilion in his 
camp, and at times not enough for one day. In 
this infirm ?'Vj ^-^•'ngerous ftate he continued 
from Decern i'jt m M"y, during all which time 
every perfon e-^pede'; that the commander in 
chief would have fHimed or befieged his camp, 
the fituation of which equally invited either at- 
tempt. To have polled twothoufand men on a com- 
manding ground near the bridge, on the north fide 
of the Schuylkill, would have rendered his efcape 
on the left impoflible ; two thoufand men placed 
on a like ground oppofite the narrow pal's, would 
have as effedually prevented a retreat by his 
rear ; and five or fix thoufand men, Rationed on 
the front and right of his camp, woUi.d have de- 
prived him of flight on thofe fides, The poriti- 
ons were fuch, that if afny of the corps were at- 
tacked, they could have been inilantly fupported. 
CJnder fuch propitious circumftances, what mor- 
lal could doubt of fuccefs ? But our army, neg- 
lecling all thefe opportunities, was fuifered to 
continue at Philadelphia, where the whole winter 
was fpent in difilpation. A wantof difcipline and 
proper fubordination pervaded the whole army ; 


"^/tr^'i ^,„ <' - -■'— <i->- 




[I'ls ml- 
itute of 

mce of 

in his 
per me- 
ifty at a 
med ef- 
jrfes pe- 
e feafon. 
1 in his 
day. In 
ich time 
lander in 

lorth fide 
his efcape 
m placed 
"s, would 
by his 
tioned on 
have de- 
^e poiiti- 
were at- 
what mor- 
rmy, neg- 
ufFered to 
ole winter 
ipliue and 
iole army; 


and if difeafe and ficknefs thinned the American C HAP. 
army encamped at Valley Forge, indolence and ^^• 
luxury perhaps did no lefs injury to the Britifti 
troops at Philadelphia. During the winter a very 
unfortunate inatteaiion was (hown to the feelings 
of the inhabitants of Philadelphia, whofe fatisfac- 
tion ftiould have been vigilantly confulted, both 
from gratitude and from intereft. They experi- 
enced many of the horrors of civil war. The 
foldiers infulted and plundered them ; and their 
houfes were occupied as barracks, without any 
compenfation being made to them. Some of the 
firft families were compelled to receive into their 
habitations individual officers, who were even 
indecent enough to introduce their miftreffe'j 
into the manfions of their hofpitable entertainers. 
This foured the minds of the inhabitants, many 
of whom were Qjiakers. 

But the refidence of the army at Philadelphia 
occafioned diftrefles which will probably be con- 
fidered, by the generality of mankind, as of a 
more grievous nature. It was with difficulty 
that fewcl could be got on any terms. Provif jns 
were moll exorbitantly high. Gaming of e^ ery 
fpecies was permitted, and even fandioned. This 
vice not only debauched the mind, but, bv fe- 
dentary confinement, and the want of feafonable 
repofe, enervated the body. A foreign offi- 
cer held the bank at the game of pharo, by 
which he made a very confiderable fortune; 
and but too many refpedlable families in Bri- 
tain have to lament its baneful effedls. Officers 
who might have rendered honourable fervice to 
their country, were compelled, by what was 
termed a bad run of luck, to difpofe of their 
commiffions, and return pennyleis to their friends 
in Europe. The father who thought he had 
made a provifion for his Ion by purchaiing a 
. . conimiflion 

>;,. . (1^ 

I li 

.:'■■ --'ij-^'v.-^^'. „.. ., ^.J 







CHAP, commiffion for him in the army, ultimately found 
^^' that he had put his fon to I'chool to learn the 
fcience of gambling, not the art of war. Difli. 
pation had fpread through the army, and indo. 
leLce, and .vant of fubordination, its natural 
cojicoraitanta : For if the officer be not vigilant, 
the foldier will never be alert. 

Sir William Howe, from the manners and re- 
ligious opinions of thePhiladelphians, ihould have 
been particularly cauti->rs : For this public diCH. 
lutenefsof the troop!» could n^t but be regarded 
by fuch people as a contempt of them, as well 
as an offence againft piety ; and it influenced all 
the reprefentations which they made to their 
countrymen refpeAing the Britifh. They in. 
ferred from it alfo, that the commander could 
not be fufficieutly intent on the plans of either 
conciliation or fubjugation ; fa that the opinions 
of the Philadelphians, whether erroneous or not, 
materially promoted the caufe of congrefs. 
During the whole of this long winter of riot 
and diflipation, general Waftiington \v a . fuffered 
to continue, with the remains of his army, not 
exceeding five thoufand effedive men at moft,un- 
difturbed at the Valley Forge : Confiderable ar- 
rears of pay due to them ; almoft in a ftate of na- 
ture, for want of clothing ; the Europeans in the 
American fervice difgufted, and deferting in great 
numbers, and indeed in companies, to the Bri- 
tifh army; and the natives tired of the war. 
Yet, under all thefe favourable circumftances 
for the Britifh intereft, no one ftep was taken 
to diflodge Wafhington, whofe cannon were 
frozen up, and could not be moved. If fir Wil- 
liam Howe had marched out in the night, he 
might have jrought Wafliington to aftion; or 
if he had r eated, he mufl have left his fick, 
cannon, ammuuitioa, and heavy baggage behind. 

A noc- 



) and re- 
}uld have 
blic diirr-.- 
1, as well 
lenced all 

to their 
They in- 
der could 
; of either 
; op'mioQs 
3US or not, 


ter of riot 


army, lot 

at moft, ua- 

derable ar- 

ftate of na- 

5ean3 in the 

ing in great 

to the Bri- 
)f the war. 

was taken 
nnon were 

If firWil- 
le night, he 

aftion; or 
eft his fid, 
gage behind- 
"^ A noc- 

A no£lurnal attack on the Americans would haveCH AP. 
had this further good cfte£l : It would have depreff- XV. 
cd the fpirit of revolt, confirmed the wavering, and *-nn*' 
attached them to the Britifh intereft. It would '777* 
have opened a paflage for fupplies to the city, 
which was in great want of provifions for the 
inhabitants. It would have fhaken off that le- 
thargy in which the Britilh foldiers had been 
immerged during the winter. It would have 
convinced the well-affcfted that the Britifh leader 
was in earueft. If Waftiington had retreated, 
we tould have followed. With one of the beft 
appointed, in every refpedl, and fineft armies 
(confiftiiig of at leaft fourteen thoufand effedive 
men) ever affembled in any country, a number 
of officers of approved fervice, wiming only to 
be led to adtion, this dilatory commander, fir 
Wiiliam Howe, dragged out tne winter, without 
doing any one thing to obtain the end for which 
he was commifiioned. Proclamation was iffued 
after proclamation, calling upon the people of 
America to repair to the Britiih ftandard, pro- 
mifing the rcmiflion of their political fins, and 
an ifl'urance of protedion in both perfon and 
property ; but thefe promifes were confined 
merely *o paper. The beft perfonal fecurity to 
the inhabitants was an attack by the army, and 
the beft fccuriiy of property was peace ; and this 
to be purchafed by fuccefsful war. For had fir 
William Howe led on his troops to adlion, vic- 
tory was in his power, and conqueft in his train. 
During fir William Howe's ftay at Philadelphia, a 
number of difaffeded citizens were fuiTered to 
remain in the garrifon ; thefe people were ever 
upon the watch, and communicated to Wafhington 
every intelligence he could wifti for. Sir Wil- 
liam Howe ought not to have fufi'ercd the avow- 
edly hoftile to remain in the city. A commander 



.i.- \i 



II .i 
. 1 



CHAP. in chief fhouid form his plans with Iccrcfy. 
XV. Whenever any foraging parties were fent from 

^^'Tn*^ the garrifou, the enemy were always apprized 
'W7' of it. This will account why our fupplics were 
always fo fcanty, and our rear always harafled. 
That war is ncceffary, in fome cafes, is certain ; 
but it is the duty of every commander to lefl'cu 
the horrors of war, and to abridge their period, 
Severity in the early part of the war would have 
been mercy in the end. Thoufands of lives would 
have been faved on both fides ; the enornioui 
load of the national debt would not have fweiled 
to its prefeut amount ; Americ? might have been 
taught the neceflity of peace ; and Britain, the 
juftice and policy of granting honourable terms. 
But, unfortunately for this country, the inftam 
the war Hiould be at an end, the multiplicatioa 
of pounds, fhillings, and pence, would ceafcto 
be carried on by individual charadlers, who 
wifhed to make a fund, or aggregate fum, to 
retire upon. In confirmation of the diftrefs ia 
the American army above related we fhall here 
infert a letter from the committee of congrefs, 

A LETTER from the Committee of Congrefij 
to the Prefident ; found among the Papers of 
Henry Laurens, Efq. 

" Camp at Valley Forge, Feb. 12, 1778, 

" Sir, 

** WE had flattered ourfelves, that, before this 
time, the pleafure of congrefs would be made 
• known to us, refpedjng the quarter-mafter's de- 
partment. We fear our letter upon this fubjeft 
has mifcarricd, or the confideration of it yielded 
to other bufinefs. You will therefore pardon us, 
fir, when we again folicit your attention to it, 


Lv i 


. r-x,.-. 

before this 
be made 
lafter's de- 
his fubjeft 
f it yielded 
pardon uS) 
ition to it, 




as an objcd of the laft importance; on whichcHAP. 
not only the future fuccefs of your arms, but the XV. 
prcfent exifteuce of your army, immediately de- "-"T^*^ 
pend. The influence of this office is fo diftufive '777' 
through every part of your military fyftcm, that 
neither the wifdom of arrangement, the fpirit of 
enterprife, or favourable opportunity, will be of 
any avail, if this ereat wheel in the machine 
ftops, or moves heavily. We find ourl'elvcs ' 
embarrafled in entering on this fubjeil, left a 
bare recital of fadU Ihould carry an imputatioa 
(which we do not intend) on thofe gentlcmea 
whd have lately conduilcd it. We are fenfible, 
great and juft allowances are to be made for the 
peculiarity of their fituation, and we are perhaps 
not fully acquainted with all their diificulties. It 
is our duty, fir, to inform you it is not our in- 
tention to ccnfure ; and be aflured, nothing but 
a fenfe of the obligation we are under, to poft- 
pone all other coniiderations to the public fafety, 
could induce us to perform the unpleafmg tafk. — 
We find, fir, the property of the continent dif- 
pcrfed over the whole country ; not an encamp- 
ment, route of the army, or confiderable road, 
but abounds with waggons, left to the mercy of 
the weather, and the will of the inhabitants ; 
large quantities of intrenching tools have, in 
like manner, been left in various hands, under 
no other fecurity that we can learn, than the 
honefty of thofe who have them in pofleflion. 
Not lefs than three thoufand fpadcs and fhovela, 
and the like number of tomahawks, have been 
lately .difcovered and colledled in the vicinity 
of the camp, by an order from one of the ge- 
neral officers. In the fame way, a quantity of 
tents and tent cloth, after having lain a whole 
lummer in a farmer's barn, and unknown to the 
oflicer of the department, was lately dilcovcrcd, 





A 1 


'■' fli 

4) P 









'X { 

CHAP. and brought to camp by a fpccial order from 
XV. the general. From thefe inftances, we prcfunae 
there may be many other (lores yet unknown and 
uncolleded, which require immediate care and 

" When, in compliance with the cxpeftations 
of congrefs, and the wifties of the country, the 
army was thrown into huts, inftead of retiring 
to more diftant and convenient quarters, the 
troops juftly expelled every comfort which the 
furrounding country could afford. Among thefe, 
a providential care in the article of ftraw, would 
probably have faved the lives of many of your 
brave foldiers who have now paid the great debt 
of nature. Unprovided with this, or materials 
to raife them from the cold and wet earth, fick- 
nefs and mortality have fpread through their 
quarters in an aftonifhicg degree. Notwithftana- 
ing the diligence of the phyficians and furgeons, 
of whom we hear no complaint, the fick and 
dead lift has incicafed one-third in the laft 
week's returns, which was one-third greater than 
the week preceding; and, from the prefent in- 
clement weather, will probably increafe in a much 
greater proportion. — Nothing, fir, can equal their 
fufferings, except the patience and fortitude with 
which the faithful part of the army endure thera. 
Thofe of a differerit charader dcfert in confide- 
rable numbers. 

" We muft alfo obferve, that a number of the 
troops have now fome time been prepared for 
inoculation ; but the operation muft be delayed, 
for want of this [ftraw] and other necefTaries 
within the providence of this department. We 
need not point out the fatal confequences of this 
delay in forming a new'army, or the prefervation 
of this. Almoft every day furnifhes inftances of 
the fmall-pox in the natural way. Hitherto fach 




iber of the 
epared fot 
)e delayed, 
nent. We 
ces of this 
inftances of 
itherto fuch 

vigilance and care has been ufed, that the con-' CHAP. 
tagion has not ipread ; but furely it is highly in- XV. 
cumbent upon us, if pofTible, to annihilate the "-nr*^ 
danger. ,.,,,„. i777- 

" We need not point out the effeft this cir* 
cumftance will have on the new-draughted troops, 
if not carefully guarded ; they are too obvious 
to need enymeration. In conference with the 
forage-mafler on this fubjedl (which, though in 
appearance trivial, is really important), he ac- 
quainted us, that, though out of his line, he 
would have procured it, if waggons . could have 
been furnifhed him for that purpofe. 

" The want of horfes and waggons for the 
ordinary as well as extraordinary occafions of 
the army, preJGTes upon us, if poflible, with equal 
force ; almoft every fpecies of camp tranfpo na- 
tion is now performed by men, who, without a 
murmur, patiently yoke themfelves to little car- 
riages of their own making, or load their wood 
and provifions on their backs. — Should the ene- 
my, encouraged by the growing weaknefs of 
your troops, be led to make a fuccefsful im- 
preffion upon your camp, your artillery would 
now undoubtedly fall into their hands, for want 
of horfes to remove it. — But tliefe are fmaller 
and tolerable evils, when compared with the im- 
minent danger of your troops, perifliing with 
famine, or difperfing in fearch of food. The 
comroiffaries, in addition to their fupplies of live 
cattle, which are precarious, have found a quan- 
tity of pork in New Jerfey, of which, by a 
failure of waggons, not one barrel has reached 
the camp. 

" The orders were given for that purpofe as 
early as the fourth of January. — In yeftcrday's 
conference with the general he informed us, that 
feme brigades had been four days without meat ; 


♦ r 








If . 

■; I 

n { 


CHAP, and that even the common foldiers had been at his 
^^* quarters to make known their wants. — At prefent, 
fir, there is not one gentleman of any rank in this 
department, though the duties of the office require 
a conftant and unremitting attention. In what- 
ever view, therefore, the objeft prefents itfelf, 
we truft you will difcern, that the mofl effential 
interefts are connefted with it. The feafon of 
preparation for next campaign is paffing fwiftly 
away. Be afliired, fir, that its operations will 
be iueffeftual, either for offence or protection, 
if an arrangement is not immediately made, and 
the moft vigorous exertions ufed to procure the 
neceffary fupplies. — Permit us to fay, that a mo- 
ment's time fhould not be loft in placing a 
man of approved abilities and extenfive capa- 
city at the head of the department* who will 
reftore it to fome degree of regularity and order; 
whofe provident care will immediately relieve 
the prefeut wants of the army, and extend it- 
felf to thofe which muft be fatisfied, before we 
can expeft vigour, enterprife, or fuccefs. — When 
your committee refleft upon the increafed diffi- 
culties of procuring waggons, horfes, tents, and 
the numerous train of articles dependent on this 
office, without which your army cannot even 
move ; they feel the greateft anxiety, left the 
utmoft fkill, diligence, and addrefs, will prove 
ineffedual to fatisfy the growing demand. All 
other confiderations vanifli before this objeft; 
and we moft earneftly wifti congrefs may be 
imprcffed in a proper degree with its neceflity 
and importance. 

" A report has reached us, that colonel Lut- 
terlogh is a candidate for the office of quarter- 
mafter-general ; we have therefore been led to 
make ronie inquiry into his charader and con- 
duct. \Vc iliould be far from doing injuftice to 




■i e 


his abilities and experience iii a fubordinate line ; C H A P. 
but, exclufive of the danger of entrufting fo con- XV. 
fidential an office to a ftranger, whofe attach* 
ment to this country muft be light and tranfient, 
and whofe intereft may be lb ealily diftinguifhed 
from ours, we cannot find that he pofleffes ta- 
lents or aftivity equal to this important office.— 
We find, in the courfe of the campaign, necef- 
fary tools and ftores have often been wanting ; 
important and feafonable movements of the army 
delayed; in fome inftances, wholly fruftrated ; 
and favourable opportunities loft, through the de- 
ficiencies of this department.— The rapid marches 
of our army, and unforefeen difafters which at- 
tended it during the fummer feafon, partly claim 
fome allov/ances ; but that diforder and confufion 
prevail through the department, which requires 
Jbme able hand to reform and reduce it, is a 
certain and melancholy truth. 

" Unacquainted with the refolution of con- 
grefs with refped to general Schuyler, we have 
hefitated what farther to propofe. Time is fo 
Extremely precarious, that we are unwilling to 
lofe a fingle unneceflary moment ; and have 
therefore been induced to extend our views to 
the difapprobation of this gentleman, and make 
fome provifion for that event. A chara6ler tias 
prefented itfelf, which, in a great degree, meets 
our approbation, judgment, and wifties. We 
have opened the fubje(^t to him, and it is no~v 
under his confideration. When we are at li- 
berty, we Ihall introduce him to your notice ; 
but delicacy forbids our doing it, until he has 
made up his mind on the fubjed, and given his 
confent to the nomination. — Another gentleman 
of extenfive connexions, great aftivity, and com- 
prehenfive genius, but entirely in civil life, has 
alio been propofed. As he is at a diftance, we 

Vol. I. A a have 


■*-^*s^-..-,Kim»*.::.-<>Sjif^. ■^ 






|) I 



CHAP, have not been able to confult him ; and are re» 
XV. ftrained, by fimilar motives of delicacy, from 
^^•'Tf"^*^ making his charadler and name a fubjeft of dif- 
'777' cuffion without his confent, 

" By the time we are favoured with the de- 
termination refpei^ing general Schuyler, and he 
fhould not be approved, we hope to be able to 
announqe both thefe gentlemen for your confi- 
iu " We are, 

, " ^vith the greateft regard and refpedl, 

■■',: " your moft obedient, and 

' ^ _ " very humble fervants, 

• ' . " (The Committee.) 

(Signed) Fra. Dana." 


To the Prejident of Congrefs. 

It m aft be confeffed, that, on the whole, the 
Britjfh arms under fir William Howe were at- 

. tended with fuccefg ; but this fuccefs was never 
duly followed up and improved. That commander 
' had feveral opportunities of defeating the Ame- 
rican army, and thereby of putting an end to 
the war. At Long Ifland, in the Jerfeys, at 
Brandywine, at White Marfh, and at Valley 
Forge, fortune had placed the enemy within his 
grafp, but he declined to fei2e the offered ad- 
vantage. None of his military exploits poffeffed 
either plan, objed, or decifion. And the only 
Truit derived from the feveral vi6tovies of fir 
William Howe, during the campaign of 1777, 
amounted to no more than the acquifition of 
good winter-quarters for the Britiih army at Phi- 

.*" ladelphia. 


i. /'. 

)l ,:, ,,y .^>*^'16 





vhole, ik 

J were at- 

was never 


f theAme- 

an ead to 

erfeys, at 

at Valley 

Y within ^^^ 

offered ad- 

its poffeffed 

id the only 

ovies of fc 

i'ti of mi' I 

?quifition of J 
army at V^^' 

Canadian Operations — General Burgoyne invejled 
witfi^ the Command of the Northern Army — Ge- 
neral Carleton, offended with this Appointment^ 
rejigns his Government — Opinions on the Em- 
ployment of the Savages— ^Number of Troops 
under General Burgoyne-^Expedition under Co' - , 
lonel St. Leger — Burgoyne^ s Manifejlo — Ticon- 
deroga and Mount Independence invefled—-The ^ 
Forts abandoned by the Americans'—American 
Galleys deflroy^, ' near Skenejborough — Ameri- 
cans abandon their Works — Their Rear over- 
taken — General St. Clair arrives at Fort Ed- 
ward — Americans repulfed by Colonel Hill—' , 
Americans abandon Fort Anne— Difficulties en- 
countered in the March of the Royal Army to 
Fort Edward — Americans retire to Saratoga. 

IT will be neceflary now to turn our attention CHAP. 
from the fouth to the north ; from the plains XVI, 
of Penfylvania to thofe of Canada : where in- *"*nn^ 
ftead of vidorics mixed \vith lofs, we meet with *777' , 
I nothing but difappointment, difafler, and de-operationi. ' 

The adminift ration of Great Britain refolved ^^I^^J],^ 
I to carry on the war upon the fide of Canadainvefted 
and the Lakes with adlivity and energy. The command of 
Icommand of Ms expedition was entrufted to the northern 
Igeneral Burgoyne. Sir Guy Carletoa was cer-*™^' 
Itaraly, and with much reafon, offended with this 
lappointment, which, indeed, could not be jufti- - 
jfied on any grounds of reafon or of prudence. 

A a 2 General 




: -..»*"-ttL. "J- 

'-^■- A- 4 , 


■,^y^ .. 




: ; 

I i 

CHAP. General Burgoyne, without doubt, poffefled 
XVI. bravery, and fome military knowledge; but it 

^-nr'*^ muft be allowed that general Carleton was bet- 
'777' ter qualified for the important expedition, which, 
under his diredlion, would probably have been 
attended with fuccefs. From his long refidence 
in Canada, he knew more accurately than gene- 
lal Burgoyne, the fuuation of the country, the 
Planners of the inhabitants, and the extent of 
its refources ; and he united greater authority 
with more military experience. He would have 
been more aware of the difficulties to be en- 
countered, and better prepared for furmounting 
them. But general Burgoyne wast member of 
parliament, and it w^s one of thofv^ miferable 
expedients which the minifter fubilitutcd for 
grandeur of defign, to beftov/ fomc of the mo.l 
important employments, both military and naval, 
0n men who were in the habits of oppofing the 
meafures of adminiftration. By this pitiful po- 
licy he was enabled to fecure himfelf agaii»ft par- 
Jiamentary attack, and to carry his meafures more 
eafily in the houfe of commons. 

That general Carleton was offended with the 
appointment of general Burgoyne is fufficiewly 
evident, from his immediate refignation of his 
government. Much w,as expc£led from this ex- 

Ciirkton of 
kiided at 
tiii^ .ip-. 

somnnitnt. pedition, and, to do the minifter juftice, no- 
thing was wanting on his part to render fuccefs 
probable. A large body of veteran troops was 
ient from England, well provided with every 
iieceiTary, and great quantities of warlike ftores 
were alfo tranfniitted in order to fupply thofe in- 
habitants who were cxped^ed to declare in favour 
. ' of the Britilh caufe. 

In addition to the ftrength already poffefled 
by the Englifn in Canada, feveral nations of fa- 
vages who inhabit the back i«tt,k»ients of thai | 
. . ' ' ;. province, 

^^y- , 


■f' ■ -. "■ 



province, and the borders of the weftern Lakes, CHAP, 
refolved to take up arms againft the Americans, ^^'f- 
The acceptance of their affiftance has occaii- **^'~»"^^ 
oned much difcuflion, and a variety of opinions. '''''^' 
General Burgoyne was certainly induced to adopt t^^'"j^"|J'" 
this meafure from a knowledge of their warlike ment of the 
chara^er, and from a well-grounded fuppofnion'^*^*^"' 
that, if he refufed their offers, they would inftantly 
join the Americans. But he refolved to bring 
them into adion as little as poiBble. In the 
preceding year he did not make much ufe of 
them, and he determined to purfue, as far as 
he could with prudence, the fame line of con- 
daft in the prefent year. He knew that their 
objeft in all wars was murder, defolition, and 
deftrudlion ; and though he certainly wifhed to 
conquer the revolted Americans, yet he did not 
wifti to exterminate them. His conduct howe- 
ver, in this refpedl,; did not receive general ap- 
probation ; for it was contended that partial fe- 
veritv was general mercy, and that, to put a 
fpeedy end to the rebellion, the moft vigorous 
and refolute meafures Ihould be adopted. Among 
the opponents of general Burgoyne on this fub- 
jeft was theminifter himfelf ; who, accordingly, 
tranfmittcd orders to general Carletou to ufe all 
his influence in fecuring the afliftance of the In- 
dian nations. This he did lo effedlually, that he 
became fearful at length of obtaining a larger 
number than was neceflary. 

The army under general Burgoyne coniifted Number of 
of Britifh ^nd German troops, amounting to fe- g^nTrai^Burr 
ven thoufand one hundred and feventy^three goyi^^. 
men, exclufive of the corps of artillery- Of 
thefe the foreign troops amounted to near one 
half. This body of troops accorded very nearly 
with the plan fubmitted to the minifter by general 
3urgoyiie. He had re(juircd eight thoul'aud re- 







■ S . 



CHA P. cr'ilars, rank and file, exclufive of the artillery, 
^^ a corps of watermen, two thoufand Canadians, 
including hatchet-men, with a thoufand favages. 

General Burgoyr j was furniihed with picked 
and experienced officers. The mod eminent 
of thefc were major-general Philips, brigadier- 
generals Frazer, Powel, and Hamilton; the 
Brunfwick major-general Reidefel, and brigadier- 
general Spe..:r. This large body of veteraa 
troops was to be kept together as much as poffi- 
ble. In order to produce this effeft, the inha- 
bitants of Canada were commanded to furnifti 
men fufficient to occupy the woods on the fron- 
tiers, to prevent defertion, to procure intelli- 
gence, and to intercept all communication be- 
tween the enemy and the malcontents in the 
province. They were alfo required to provide 
men for the completion of the fortifications at 
Sorel, St. John's, Chaniblee, and Ifle aux Noix, 
for the carriage of proyiiions, artillery, and ftores, 
and for making roads. In addition to this, they 
were to furnifti an adequate quantity of horfes 
and carts. 

Colonel St, Leger, with a body of light troops 
and Indians, amounting to between fcven and 
eight hundred men, having been previoufly da- 
tached by the way of Lake Ontario, and the 
Mohawk river, in order to make a diverfion in 
favour of the army, general Purgoyne let out 
from St. John's on the fixteentli ■)£ June 1777. 

The naval force, under the command of com- 
modore Lutwych, preceded the army, and open- 
ed the way for its advances, detachments of In- 
dians having been previoufly made from the river 
Bouquet, as well to aft upon the enemy's con- 
voys and communications o i the fide of Otter 
Creek, as to cover the reconnoitre of South Bay, 
through which country . it^ was probable that the 
;1 ,,.'■■ enemy 

under colO' 
nel St. Le- 



' .-r 

Jl , 



«nemy would pafs, if Ticonderoga fhouivl fall c HAP. 
into the hands of the Britifh. The heet pro- XVL 
ceeded without any oppofition, and, under its '-"T^*^ 
protcAion, the troops wort landed about the '777' 
middle of June, ana enca.ta).f^d at a fmall dif- ,„,, ' 
tance from Crown Point on t*(( north fide. The 
advanced parties k>( the enemy retired on the , 
approach of our army. 'p/ 

At this place general Burgoyne thought pro- 
per to give the Indians a war-feaft, and to make a 
fpeech to them. The purport of it was, t > in- 
duce them to refrain from cruelty, and to miti- 
gate their natural ferdcity. 

Before the royal army advanced tc "^iconde- Burgoyne's 
roga general Tiurgoyne iffued a proclamation or"»"»'fcfto- 
manifefto, ii; which, with a moft ill-judged po- 
licy, he threatened to punifti, with the utmofl; 
feverity, thofe who refufed to attach thernfelves 
to the Britifii caufe. At the fame time he mag- 
nified the ferocity of the favages, animadverting 
with peculiar emphafis of didlion on the eager- 
nefs which they difcovered to butcher tbofe who 
continued hoftile to the mother-counlry, whofe 
interefts they had efpoufed. Having remained 
at Crown Point a few days, in order to reft , 
thernfelves, and to eftablifh magazines, the whole 
army proceeded with caution to Ticonafoga, 
which place it was relblved to inveft. ^ 

Ticonderoga is fituated on the weftcrn fhore, Tkondero- 
a few miles to the northward of that narrow in- sa inverted, 
let which unites Lake George with Lake Cham- 
plain. Crown Point lies more northward than > 
Ticonderoga, and is fituated on an angle ^-f land 
waihed on t^vo fides by water flowing over rocks. 
A deep niorafs covered the third fide, except 
in a fmall part, where formerly the French had 
credcd lines, which ftill continued, and which 

I J 






iA< BB^ :.j».-*»' »»•- r—,^ 




CHAP. the Americaus had now ftrengthencd by additi- 
XVI. oual v\ ks. 

^-nn»-' Opi oiitetoTiconderoga, ou the caA "n fhore, 
•777' the Americaus had with great induO.v fmified 

fndep^n?"' a high hill called Mount Independence. Ou the 

dence. top of it, which iB flat, a ftar fort had beea 
ercdled, containing extcnfive barracks well fup- 
plied with artillery. The mountain ftretched m 
a floping diredion into the water, ftrongly en- 
trenched to its bafe, and well fuppHed with heavy 
artillery. Midway up the mountain, another 
battery wa» erefted to cover the lower works. 
With infinite labour the Americans had united 
Ticonderoga and Mount Independence by a 
ilrong bridge of communications over the inlet. 
Twenty-two fuak^n piers fupported the bridge 
at equal diftances. Between the piers floats were 
placed, fattened together with chains and rivets, 
and bound to the funken piers. On the Lake 
Chnrnplain fide of the bridge, a boom, compofed 
of very large timber, was creded, faftened toge- 
ther by rivetted bolts and double chains, made 
o( hon ?n inch and a half fquare. This bridgp 
eflec'tually prevented any attack by water from 
the northern fide. But Ticonderoga, notwith- 
llauding its apparent flrength, had one difad- 
vantage tp contend with. To the fouthward of 
the bridge of communications was a hill called 
Sugar Hill, which overlooked and commanded 
both the works at Ticonderoga and on Mount 
Independence, This place the Americans were 
unable to fortify, on account of the want of men ; 
general St. Clair, who commanded at Ticonde- 1 
roga, not having above three thoufand men. 

The royal army, when they left Crown Point, 
advanced with the greateft circumfpedion and 
prudence on both fides of the Lake, the fleet 
keeping in the centre till the army had enclofed 











^ additi- 
on (hore, 
! .>riified 
On the 
iad beeu 
well fup- 
etched m 
ongly cn- 
/ith heavy 
, another 
er works, 
ad united 
;nce by a 
the inlet. 
he bridge 
floats were 
and rivets, 
the Lake 
tened toge- 
ains, made 
:hi8 bridgp 
vater from 
I, notwith- 
oiie difad- 
uthward of 
hill called 
on Mount 
ricans were 
ant of men; 
at Ticonde- « 
d men. 
rown Point, 
)e6lion and 
e, the fleet 
ad enclofed 


the enemy on the land fide, and the fleet had CHAP. 3 
arrived juft out of canaon-fhot of their works. ^^'• 
On the approach of the right wing en the fe- 
cond of July, the enemy inftantly relinquifticd 
and let nre to their works on the fide of Lake 
George. Major-general Philips therefore imme- 
diately fecured the poflTeflion of an important 
place called Mount Hope, which commandef' th 
enemy's line, and cut off all comniunicaiioii .. 
Lake George. 

Tli'' royal army having arrived at Ticonc! 
procei dec! with great expedition and alaci 
conftruding works neceuary for the invefti 
of that place. J5y the fifth of July thefe works 
were completed, and a road made to the top of 
Sugar Hill for the conftrudion of a battery there. 
The enemy, difcovering thefe vigorous operati- . 
ons, thought proper to hold a council of war, 
in which it was refolved to evacuate Ticondc- 
roga and Mount Independence immediately. Ii^T,''!^'^^, 
confequence of this determination, their baggage, by*i»eAme, 
provifions, and ftores, were embarked in two"^""* 
hundred batteaux, and difpatched up the fouth 
river to Skeneflaorough. The army took the 
Caftle Town road, in order to reach Skenefbo- 
rough by land. The American general conceived 
that his retreat would be made without any diffi- 
culty, on account of the obftacles which the Eng- 
liQi muft neceflfarily overcome before they could 
purfue him. The dawn of the day, on thefixth 
of July, difcovered this unexpefted retreat. Com- 
modore Lutwych immediately began to prepare 
for a purfuit by removing an immenfe work of 
framed timber funk in the water, and by cutting 
away the boom that obftru6led the paflage, and 
which had cod, in the completion of it, near 
twelve months labour. As foon as thefe obftruc- J^^^"'' 
tions were removed (which talk waseffcded bydeftroyed 

. "' ncarSkenef- 

nme borough. 

I f 


■ :,.^.-.-!-«««*-9S,Sia_-». * '■ ■ ( «« _j^ 

*- " Cl^ 










us ■■■ 

m m — 

lAo 111112.0 














WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 

(716) 872-4503 







CHAP.^ip* o'clock in the morning), captain Carter of 
XYL the artillery, who commanded a brigade of gun- 
boaits, gave chafe, and ptirfued that divilion of the 
enemy which was making its retreat by water. 
So great was the fpeedwith which he executed 
the tnift repofedin him, that he ovenook them 
near the Falls of Skenefborotrgh, engaged and 
captured fome of their largeft gallies, obliging 
therp to fet the others on fire, together with a 
confiderable number of their batteaux; 

The grand divifupn bi the army under general 
Burgoyne, in gun-boats, the Royal George, and 
Inflexible frigates, approaching the Falls, were 
faluted by a ^fcbarge of cannon from the works 
at Skenelborough. On this account the general 
thdught proper to return and land his army at 
South Bay, where part of the batteaux ofAhc 
enemy had taken refuge. Thefe would certaiiily 
have been deftroyed if the day had not been 
TheAmeri-^®® far advaAccd. Immediately on the landing 
eant aban- of the Euglifh the enemy evacuated their flockade 
fort, and other works, to which, as well as to 
the mills and ftore-houfes, they fet fire previous 
to their departure. 

During thefe operations by watier, brigadier- 
general Frazer, at the heaa of the advanced 
corps of grenadiers and light infantry, preffed 
hard upon the rear of that divifion of the enemy 
which had taken the route of Hubberton, and 
which he overtook at five o'clock on the morning 
of the fixth of July. This divifion confifted erf | 
near one thoufand nve hundred of the beft markf- 
men and chofen troops, under the command of I 
colonel Francis. They were potted on ftrong 
ground, and received the attack of the Britifi 
from behind breaftworks compofed of logs and 
old trees. General Frazer's detachment was not | 
equal in point of number to the enemy ; never- 


don their 

Their rear 



'- " \. V-" 


^ m 

ler general 
corge, and 
Falls, were 
I the works 
the general 
his amy at 
aux oiAht 
lid certainly 
d not been 
the landing 
eir ftockadc 
5 vvell is to 
ire previous 

e advanced 
itry, pteffed 
f the enemy 
)berton, and 
the morning 
command of 
id on ftrong 
f the Britilh 
of logs and 
ment was not 

lemy; never- 

A M E R 1 C A N W A R. 36^ 

^elefs he commenced the engagement, becaufe CHAP. 
he expe^ed a reinforcement of troops under the ^^I- 
German general Reidefel. The Americans main- ^*'nn«-' 
tained their poll with great refolution and bra- '777- 
very. The reinforcement did not arrive fo foon 
as was expe£ted, and viAory for a long time was 
doubtful. The arrival however of general Reide- 
fel decided the fate of the day. Hearing the 
firing of guns he puihed forwards with a fmall 
number of men, and joined general Frazer with 
a full band of mufic playing. The enemy con- 
ceiving from this circuraftance that the whole 
of .the German troops had advanced into the 
field, immediately retreated with great precipi- 

The Americans loft in this a£lion their brave 
commander^ feveral other officers, and above two 
hundred men killed. The fame number were 
taken prifoners; and it was fuppofed that not 
lefs than fix hundred wounded died in the 

The lofs on the part of the Britifh did not ex- 
ceed twenty officers, none, except major Grant, 
of any rank ; and about one hundred and twenty 
men killed and wounded. During this engage- 
ment general St. Clair was at Caftle Town, about 
fix miles diftant from the field of battle. Im- 
mediately on receiving intelligence of this defeat, 
he bent his courfe to the woods on his left, fearful 
of being intercepted at Fort Anne, but yet un- 
certain whether he (hould proceed to the upper 
part of the Connedicut, or to Fort Edward. In 
the mean time a party of the enemy having taken 
the road by Wood Creek, in order to proceed 
beyond Fort Anne, after their retreat from 
Skenefborough, were purfued by colonel Hill 
and the ninth regiment, and overtaken near Fort 
Anne. A warm engagement immediately com- 

■.*' ■ ,..^- 



i V 1 


CHAP, mcnced, the enemy having infinitely theadvantage 
XVI. in point of number. But colonel Hill had pofted 
' himfelf in fuch a judicious manner, that all the 
attacks of the enemy in front were ineffediual. 
A difpofition was then made to furround him, 
which the Britiih commander, with admirable 
dexterity, avoided, by changing his iituation in 
the heat of the ad^ion. The engagement ftill con- 
tinued, with various fuccefs, for three hours, 
when the Americans were repulfed with great 
daughter, and forced to retreat, after fetting fire 
to Fort Anne, to Fort Edward. The artillery 
loft, by the evacuation of the northern pofls, and 
taken or deftroyed in the armed veflels at Skenef- 
borough, was prodigious, amounting to no lefs 
than one hundred and twenty-eight pieces, fer- 
viceabk and unferviceable. The lofs of flow, 
bifcuit, pork, and beef, was alfo very confidera- 
ble. At Fort Edward, where general Schuyler 
was joined by general St. Clair on the twelfth, af- 
ter a fatiguing march, the whole ftrength of the 
Americans did not exceed four thouiand four 
hundred men, including militia. It may not be 
improper to relate here one of thofe ftratagems 
in which the genius of the Americans, during 
the whole courfe of the vvjir, was arkably 
fertile. Schuyler took out of a can., - withi 
falfe bottom, a letter from a perfon in the intereft 
of the provincials to general Sullivan, and pre- 
pared an tnfwerto it, drawn up in fuch a ilrain 
as to perplex and diftradl Burgoyne, and leave 
him in doubt what courfe to follow. This letter, 
which fell, as was intended, into the Engliih ge- 
neral's hands, had the defired eife£l ; for he was 
completely, duped and puzzled by it for feverai 
days, and at a lofs whether to advance or rc-J 


\^ . r-^ 



rancc or rcv 


General Burgoyoe, after remaining fome time CHAP, 
at Skene(borough, left that place, with an inten- ^^^- 
tion of taking the road that leads to Hudfon's 
River, and thence to Albany, in order to open 
a communication with Lake George, on which 
he had embarked the heavy artillery and bag- 
gage. In this undertaking, the difhculties which 
the royal army had to encounter were infinite. 
Swamps and moraiies were to be pafTed. Bridges 
were to be conflruAed, not only over creeks, but 
over ravines and gullies. The roads were to be 
cleared of the foreft trees, which had been felled 
and difpofed in fuch a manner as to interfe6l each r 
other. Notwithft^nding, however, all thefe ob- 
ftacles, in a fultry feafon of the year, and in a 
clofe country, which the numerous infedls render 
s^moft intoleral^e to Europeans, the royal army 
endured this amazing fatigue with great cheer- 
fulnefs, and Oppofed themfelves to difiBculty and 
danger with untried perfeverance and unabated 
fortitude. This general has, with much reafon, 
been blamed for adopting this diflicult and tardy 
mode of condudl ; by returning ij Ticonderoga, 
and embarking again on Lake George, he might 
have eafily proceeded to Fort George, whence 
there was a wap^gon-road to the place of his defti- 
nation, Fort Edward. The reafon he gave for • 
not purfuing this line of condu6l was, that a re- 
trograde motion would have checked the vigour 
and animation of the troops. Whether the mode 
he chofe to adopt was likely to increafe them it 
is not very difficult to determine. As foon as 
the Britifti troops had fecured the poffeflion of 
Skenelborough, that adlive officer major-general 
Philips returned to Lake George, to transport 
the artillery, provifions, and baggage, over the 
lake, to Fort George, and thence by land to Fort 
Edward, on Hudfon's River, together with a 






►-«*^"- - 


m H I S T O R Y Q F T H E 

9^J^^' large number of boats and batteaux for the tfe 
' q{ the army in the intended defcent to Albany; 
General Schuyler, who at this time commanded 
the northern Ammcan army, had polled him* 
felf, immediately after tlie affair of Hubberton, 
as already obferved, at Fort Edward. On the 
advance of the royal army he retreated dowo 
Hudfon's River to Saratoga, whei<e he iiiiied a 
proclamation calculated to counterad the efieS 
intended to be produced by the manifefto pub- 
liihed by general Burgoyne. The royal army^ 
on account of the numberlefs difficulties they 
had to encounter, advanced but flowly ; and it 
was not till the thirtieth of July that they ar^ 
rived on Hudfon's River. Here their progrefs 
was checked for feme time, becavfe it wasne- 
ceflary, before they could proceed, that the proii 
viiions, ftores, and other neceflaries, which had 
been brought to Fort George from Ticonderoga^ 
by general Philips, fhould be embarked. The 
army of courfe was immediately employed in the 
prolecution of thisfervice. 

h > 




.,...■■.., '-•-- 




»> t 

C H A-% 



Difficulties experienced at Fort Edwards—Colonel " 
St. Leger's Expedition — Detachment to Benning- 
ton — Baum and Breyman defeated — Fort Stan- 
wix invejied — Attempt to relieve it by General 
Harkemer — St. Leger obliged to raif€ the Siege > 
of Fort Stanwix — General Gates takes the Com- 
mand of the American Army in the North— 
Action at Still Water— Dijlrejfed Situation of 
General Burgoyne — Defertion of the Indians-^ 
Retreat to Saratoga — Royal Army nearly fur* 
rounded — Convention, with General Gates. > 

THE delays which had been oecalioned bye HAP. 
the route which general Burgoyne thought XVII. 
proper to take, had afforded time for the Ame-^-nr^ 
;icans to recover their fortitude and to recruit »777' 
their ftrength. Where the Mohawk falls into 
Hudfon's River, about eight miles from Albany, 
is an ifland in the fhape of a half-moon, called 
Still Water. On this place general Schuyler, 
who had aflembled about two thoufand feven 
hundred men at Saratoga, on receiving a re-> 
inforcement of men and artillery, under the 
command of general Arnold, polled his army, 
in order to check the progrefs of colonel St. 
Leger, who early in June had been . detached 
from Laihene, fix miles from Montreal, by the 
way of Lake Ontario and the Mohawk River, 
in order, as already obferved, to make a di- 
verfion in favout- of tlie main army. He 
had under his command a confiderable number 

* . of 



- ■ "••■'•=»:.ii. 





C H A P. of favages, who, in fpite of ffeneral Burgoyne's 
^^VII. addrefs to them, could not be reftrained from 
^"^"V^ the commiflion of feveral adts of ferocity. Gc- 
*777' neral Burgoyiie.ftill req|;uned ia the neighbour- 
Difficuitiei ^**o^ o^ ^o**' Edward, where, on account of 
experienced the difficulty of bringing the (lores from Fort 
"ard?"* ^' George to Hudfon'a River, the army began to 
Colonel St. experience great hardlhips. At this jun&ure he 
^Ttim" received intelligence that colonel St. Leger bad 
advanced up the St. Lawrence, and bad com- 
menced his operations againft Stanwix, a ibrt fi- 
tuated on a riung ground at the upper end of the 
Mohawk River, about three hundred yards from 
its fource, and about half a mile from the fource 
of Wood Creek, which runs into Lake Qnida, 
and through the Onandigo into Lake Ontario. 
General Burgoyne faw th^ necefiity of. co-ope- 
rating with colonel St. Leger, and of immediately 
making a rapid movement forward. But this in- 
tention could not be carried into execution un- 
der the prefent circumftances. Ox-teams, car- 
riages, and other neceflaries, were indifpenfably 
necefiary ; to procure which, the commander in 
chief rc^foived to detach a body of troops to Bea- 
' mngton, a place fituated between the forks of 

the Hoiick River, and about twenty- four miles 
.J . .. to the eaft ward of Hudfon's River. The northern 
;firmy received /uppUes of cattle, provifions, and 
ftores, from the New England provinces by way 
Dftachment of thc Connecticut, Manchefter, and Arlington; 
jo^ nn«»5- ^jjj^jj fupplics wcrc depofited at Bennington. 
On this expedition the German colonel Baum 
was difpatched with about fix hundred men, 
moftly Germans, including a detachment of 
Reidefers dragoons. This number was in every 
refped too fmall. A loyaliH who was well ac- 
-. .,, quainted with the road, and had undertaken to 
i * accompany colonel Baum, ilated to general Bur- 

1^ ' goyne 





:a from 
y. Gc- 
ouat of 
om Fort 
}egan to 
i&ure he 
tad com- 
a ibrt fi- 
ad of the 
ards from 
lie fource 
He Onida, 
: Qntario. 
>f co-ope- 
lut this in- 
zution un- 

goyne that the expedition required a force of CHAP, 
not lefs than three thoufand men ; for the roads XVIi. 
were very bad, through a thick woody country, ^-^Tn*^ 
and the tardlnefs of fhe German method of ''^T* 
marching would, he knew, enable the enemy to 
prepare for their reception. The general, how- 
ever, paid no attention to the reprefentatibn of . 
this gentleman, whom he piauea on the point 
of honour. The idea of fending German troops 
on this fervice was oppofed by fome of th^ offi- 
cers of the army; but particularly by general 
Frazef, who, it is faid, not only remonHrated 
with general Burgoyne, but reduced his remon- 
ftrance into writing. The Germans were heavy 
and tardy in marching, and, as ufual, were 
loaded with accoutrements that prevented thofe 
exertions- which fuch an expedition required. In 
the whole army a corps could not have poflibly . 

been found fo unfit for afervice that required rapi- 
dity of motion as Reidefel's dragoons. Their very 
hats and fwords weighed very nearly as much 
as the whole equipment of one of our foldiers. 
The word Britifti fegimenr* in the fervice would 
with eafe have marched two miles for their one. 
Cok>nel Baum was a brave officer, but he was 
totally unacquainted with the country, with the 
people, and with the language, infomuch, it was 
reported, that he hardly knew, when he under- ' . 
ftood that they Were rinng in arms, whether to 
confider them as friends or foes. 
> Colonel Baum, accompanied by the loyalift as ' ' 

his guide, began his march. On the firft day 
Baum furprifed a large body of the enemy who 
had aflembled for the purpofe of oppofing the 
progrefs of his detachment. This body of men, 
however, were, from a too refined principle of 
generofity, on the fucceeding day liberated by 
colonel Skeene, the infpeftor-general, who joined 
the detachmejit, and fuperfeded the loyalift. This. 
Vol. I. B b mode 


.S'.>^f^ ■-' " 








CHAP. ttiocle of condud it was fuppoited would de- 
XVII. j^pji ^i^jnj fyoj^ jIjc Amtrican caufe. Unfortu- 
nately however it produced an effe£l diametri- 
cally oppofite ; for this very body of the enemy 
were afterwards the mod formidable opponeuts 
of the Engiifh at Benningtoa. 

On the l^fccond day's inarch of colonel Baum's 
detachment, they captured fome cattle, and 
routed a i'mall part of the enemy near a village 
called Caoibriqge. Here the colonel received 
intelligence that the enemy were ailembling from 
Kew Hampihire and the borders of Connei^icut, 
for the defence of Bennington. Neverthelefii he 
advanced asfar as. Walloon Creek,' about feven 
miles from Bennington, where the intelligence 
he had received at Cambridge was coufirmedi 
and no doubt remained of a formidable oppci- 
fition. In coufequence of this information he 
thought proper to halt, and to pofl his detach- 
ment in as advantageous a manner as pofTible. 
This laft meafiirc he was induced to adopt from 
tlie reprefentations of a number of loyalifls, un* 
der the command of a colonel Phifler, who 
joined him, and acquainted him that the enemy 
were ilrongly intrenched at Bennington, and 
that, as foon as they had received a reinforce* 
nient of men, it was intended to attack him. 
Colonel Baum having tranfmitted thefe particu* 
lars togeneral Burgoync, a detachment of five hun- 
dred Germans, under the command of lieutebant* 
colonel Breyman, was fent to his afiidance. Tke 
roads were bad; nor was the mode in which 
the Germans mai ched calculated to promote ex* 
peditioD. They baited ten times in an hour to 
drefs their ranks, which, through the embarraif* 
ments attending their march, were liable to b« 
broken at every turn. 

41 a ,■ 

ft ..The 



-"^;:-.^ ^r ■%■!»■-'.'' '^M 

df 01 

AMERlcAJj \i<rAK. 



Itlie Artieri<iatt general, 3tarke. with :^b6(iyCHAP. 
of 006 thdufand men from ^ew Hamplhire and XVII. 
Miit^chuiiet, wa^ At this period on his route id "-^m*^ 
Joili general Schuyler. Having deceived intetli- »777« 
gence, hOweVer, of the approach of coloii^ 
B&uAi, he siltei*ed his courle, and haliened to- 
wards Bednington, where, joiaiog the conti* 
D)iatal troops uaaer colonel Warner, he fet out 
dd tha H^tScnth of Augull, atid, by^ ten o*clock 
ill thie moraibg, furrounded ^10n<l Baum at 
St. Coieck's Mill, oii Wallooa Creek. Th«J 
tr^rihan oi!i6er, a Granger to the country, and 
td the lariguaffe of the inhabitants, was at firft 
pi^rAiaded bV tn6 loyalins who had joined him that 
they weJTe friends. G«heral Starke, however, con»- 
mdh^ing k furious attack upoa him on all lides, 
foOfi convinced him of their error. Keverthelefs 
ht i'efolVed to make a vigoi'ous defence. For up« 
wards of an hour he endured a terrible difcharge 
o^ murquetry, and during that period drove the " 
etiemy leveral times from, the high ground on' 
whicn they were Aationed, But their number in- Baum an4 
cfeafing every moment, and colonel Baum having SJJl 
loit his artillery, the German troops were under 
the iieceflity of retreating into the woods, leaving 
their commander mortally wounded on the field ot 
battle. The favages who had accompanied colonel 
Kaum behaved in a fhameful manner, retreatine 
at thecoipmencement of the engagements Flulhed 
with this vi«*lory, the enemy advancttd againfl 
the detachment under colonel Breyman, who, ig- 
ndrant of the defeat of Baum, was advancing to 
I Ms relief; but tlie tardinefs of their, method of 
marching, added io the.obftacles which the roads 
prfifehted, had retarded' their progrefs in fuch a 
manner, that twei^ty^-j^i^jiir hours were fpent ia 
ffiarchihg {iiicteen iriilss*' The confequence was, > 
jthat Breyman caihe up juft in time to join the 
jf'iigitives of Baum's detachment. The Ameri- 

B b 2 cans 



■ " /'"I 

■i.- ,. — ■ .""^"SlK-J 








CHAP. cans began a vigorous attack on Breymau, who 
^^'^* was obliged to rttreat, after having made a very 
gallant refiftance, and having expended all his 
ammunition. The lofs of men in thefe two en» 
gagemenis amounted to about fix hundred. 

This was the firft check which the northern army 
received, and indeed it muft be chiefly attributed 
to the commander in chief. The troops he dif- 
patched on the expedition to Bennington were 
too few in number, and, being foreigners, im- 
]3roper for it. The general ouffht to have rec- 
tified his miftake, when colonel Baum fent for a 
reinforcement. Had he fent Frazer*8 brigade, 
according to that general's requeft, the fatal 
confequences that enfued might in all probabi- 
lity have been prevented. Immediately after the 
defeat of colonel Baum, and the retrieat of colU 
nel Breyman, the royal army which had ad- 
vanced to Saratoga, drew back. 

In the mean time colonel St. Leger had com- 
menced his attack upon Fort Stanwix, a finill 
fquareiog fort with fourbaftions and aftockaded 
covered-way, without any other outworks. It 
was defended by colonels Ganfevert and Willet, 
and feven hundred men. The commencement 
of the fiege was attended with very favourable 
circumftauces. On the f^IUi of Auguft colonel 
St. Leger received intelligence that one thoufatid 

JjJj^J^PjJ 'by provincials, under the comma:nd of general Har- 

general Har-kemer, wcrc advancing to the relief of the fort. 

'' Sir John Johnfon therefore, with a party of re- 

gulars, and a number of favages, was difpatched i 
into the woods, where he placed his men in am- 
bulb. The enemy advanced incautioufly, and 
fell into the trap that was laid for them. A fud- 
den and une*pe6lcd fife was poured vpon them 
from behind trees and bufhes, and the favagesi 
rulhing from thfeiV concealment, made a dreadfull 

' flaughterl 

Fort Stan' 
wix inveA 


■'h :u;-r;! 


i d I 

e nTfjca. 10 


.^h'" , 


i-f-^f' — 

1 A:"^'^j;;'3s*--« 

_^;ft^pi . 


fl, ¥»ho 
a very 

i all Vis 
two enr 

:rn army 
IS he dif- 
lOQ were 
lers, im- 
^ave rec- 
feni for a 

the fatal 

y after the 
at of colo- 
i had ad- 

• had com- 
ix, a fmtll 
iworks. It 
md WUlet, 
^uft colonel 
ne thoufatid 
jreneral Har- 
'of the fort, 
party of re- 
18 dilpatched 
5 men in am- 
fltidufly, and 
lem. A fud. 
d vpon them 
I the lavages 
dc a dreadful| 



daughter with their fpears and tomahawks. The CHAP. 
eoemy, though furpriled and fomewhat difmaycd, ^^II. 
did not retreat precipitately, but recovered a 
rifin^ ground) wnich enabled them, by a kind of 
running fight, to preferve about one-third of their 
detachment. The number of killed and wounded 
on the part of the enemy amounted to near four 
hundred. The befieged being informed of the 
approach of srcneral Harkemer, made a fally un-' 
der colonel Willet, which was attended with 
I'ome fuccefs. Having received, however, in- 
telligence of the defeat of the provincials, he 
and another officer undertook a very perilous 
expedition. They penetrated at the dead of 
night through the camp of the befiegers, and 
traverfed a fpace of fifty miles, through defcrts, 
woods, and morafles, in order to bring relief to 
the fort. The enemy perceiving that the artil- 
lery of the befiegers was too light, and infuffici- 
ent to make any impreflion on the defences of 
the fort, treated every propofal for a furrender 
withderifion and contempt. On the twenty- fecond 
of Auguft a man belonging to the fort purpofely^ 
conveyed himfelf into the Britifh camp, and de- - 
clared that he had efcaped from the enemy at the 
hazard of his life, in order to inform the Britifh 
commander that general Arnold, with two thou- 
faud men and ten pieces of cannon, Avas advan- 
cing rapidly to raife the iiege. He alfo acquainted 
him that general Burgoyne had been defeated, 
and his army cut to pieces. Colonel St. Leger 
was not intimidated by this information ; nor did 
he give much credit to It ; but it produced an 
immediate effed on the lavages. The Britifh 
commander called a council of their chiefs, and 
endeavoured, by tlie influence of fir John John- 
fon, and the other fupcrintendants, colonels Claus 
and Butler, to induce them not to withdraw their 
; . afhflance. 


"".^ ^* *'*"^' *^ — --^ 



C H A £. afliift ance. Every f ffort however yv%s i qe.ife^ual j 
XV^I. a large party of the; fayages d^jpaiKd while th^ 

Vnn*^ council was fitting j apd the reft thrc^tQocd tft 
'777' foUow their example, unlefs th<e Bdti(h cp«^. 

^'j.^"" mandcr would immediately ipp4ke, a retfeat. To 

?aifc the** this mortifyina proppfitiow he was under the ne« 

J^'se^Jt^ortceflity of acceding. The tents wer^ kft ft?nd- 
ing, and tlie artillery and (lores fell intg> tj^^ 
j)oflel5o|j of the garrifon* One pf the chief ca^ufw 
of the failure of fuccefs in this ^^i^peditio^ wai 
the inadequacy of th? forc^ unider colonel $t. 
Leger, and the infufl&ciency aud foiallnefp of 
the artillery, which were inc^tpable of making 
, a,ny breach On the enemy's works. The fupe* 
riority of the fayag^s iu number ove? the Bri- 
tifh troops, was an,pther qayfe. "Xh^h fubfe- 
quent defertion,, aud the approach pf Arnold 
r'e:ndered a retreat a meafur^ of ueceffuy, though 
it certainly might h^ve been CQpd.Vifi^ed U>- ^ moi;^ 
regular mannien ^ . " ,.* w.i,.,«w. 

With refpeft to the intimation of general Af* 
lipid's approach to the relief of Fort Stviwi3f4 
it was in part true. He was advancing up the 
Mohawk River with two thoufand men,; but, 
in order to arrive more fpeedily at the place pf 
his dedination, he h^d left the main body, and 
moved rapidly forward with a body of about 
nine hundred men. He arrived at the fort two 
days after the fiege had been raifed. His affift- 

C«neral ance being now unneceflary, he returned with 
the com- his armv to reinforce general Gates, who had a 

mardof thefjjQjt jjj^g bcforc takcu the commaud of the Ame- 

American . , , , 

army .n ihe Hcau army in. the north. 

^"*»' General Burgoj ne having by unremitting in- 

duftry collefted about thirty days provifions, 
and a bridge of boats being conftru^ted in lieu 
of the bridge of rafts which had been carried 
jiway by iuceflant rains, the whole army croffcd 


.■*»f * 




Hudfon's River on the thirteenth and fourteenth 9J^ i^ ^^ 
ef September, and encamped on the heights and ^}' 
plains of Saratoga, with a vaft train of artillery. ^TZT*' 
The movements of the army were of courfe re- 
gulated by the advances of the artillery, which 
were not only retarded by the deflru&ionof the 
bridges, but by the rains, which had rendered 
the roads almoft impafTable. On the nineteenthr 
of September the army advanced in front of the ' 
enemy at Still Water iu the folbwing^ order: 
The right wing was commanded by general Bur- - 
goyne, and covered by general Frazer and colo* 
nel Breyman, with the grenadiers snd Hght in< 
fantry, who were pofled along fame high grounds 
on the right. The front and fianks were co- 
vered by Indians, Provincials, and Cariadians. 
The left wing and artillery were commanded by 
majors-general Philipi and Reidefel, who pro- 
ceeded along the great road. Tho ziatureof the 
country preventing the enemy from beholding 
the different movenvenis of the Britifli army, they 
detached a body of five thoufand men to at- 
tempt turning the right wing, amd attacking gc 
neral Burgoyne in his rear. Being checked ia 
their deiigu by general Frazer, they made «: rapid 
mo'^'^ment, which the peculiar muation of the 
country prevented from being difcovered, and 
advanced to attack the Britiih line on the rrs^ht. 
The engagement bessjan at three o'clock in thci^':^'*'"^' 

- ° ° r \ • Lfc 1. 1 Still Water. 

afternoon or the nineteenth oi Scpcenabciir, and 
continued till after fun-fet. The eneniy were 
led to the battle by general Arnold, who" dif- 
tinguifhed himfelf in an extraordinary manner. 
Unfortunately, the engagement was only partial 
on the part of the EngLilh. The chief burden 
of the battle of courfe lay on the regiments which 
were pofted in the plain. Thel'e were the twen- 
tieth, the twenty-firft, and the fixty-Iecond. They 



! ■lii 



P I 



CHAP. behaved with great gallantry and firmners, r6* 
^}^\ ceiving and returning the heavy fire of the ene^ 
my with equal coolnefs and intrepidity, for 
the fpace of four hours. Several other regi- 
ments alio diilinguilhed thenifelves. The twen- 
ty-fourth regiment, with the grenadiers and 
hght-infantry, were for Ibme time engaged with- 
great fpirit and bravery. The German troops 
were not much in the battle, on account of 
their iituation, which it was not judged advi. 
fable to relinquifti. As foon as the battle comr 
menced, major-general Philips contrived to con- 
vey through a thick part of the wood forae artil- 
lery, which was of efiential fervice. 
- The enemy, during the whole of the engage- 
mcpt, were fupplied with.frelh men by general 
Gates, who was polled at a ftar redoubt. A^ 
day-light clofed they thought proper to retire,, 
and leave the Britiih mailers of the field of bat- 
tie. ... U..,Vv- 

The lofs on each tide was nearly equal ; (\t 
.liundred being killed and wounded on the part 
of- the Britiih, and the fame number on the fide 
of the Americans: It muft be confeffed that the 
engagement would have been more decifive on 
the part of the Englilh, if general Burgoyne had 
not burdened himfelf with fuch a train of artil- 
lery as not only rendered his marching tardy, 
but made it neceffary for him to extend his lines 
more than the nature of his fituation rendered 
prudent. No folid advantages refulted to the 
Britifh troops from this encounter. The con- 
du6l of the enemy had fully convinced every 
one that they were able to luftain an attack in 
open plains with the intrepidity, the fpirir, and 
the coolnefs "of veterans. For four hours they 
hiaintiiined a cpntefl hand to hand; and when 
./■•^^ r.r i*'-.: Sii^ -'^'.tu'h . they 

■ --,>t. ii 



:-i. 1. 

k£x-9:-?"---._*5^2££iif %!??*"-•• •*■',<.. 


efs, re» 
he tx\t* 
ty, for 
ir regi- 
le twen- 
:rs and 
red with' 
1 troops 
:ount of 
ed advi- 
ttle conir 
i to con- 
)me artil- 

to retire, 
Idof bat- 

;qual ; fiit 
n the part 
)n the fide 
;d that the 
lecifive on 
goyne had 
in of artil- 
ling tardy, 
d his lines 

ted to the 

The con- 
iced every 
h attack in 

ipirit, and 
hours they 

and when 
' : . they 

A M E R I C AN *r A R. 


they retired, it was not beci.Je they were con- CHAP, 
qaered, but becaufe the approach of hight made XVII. 
a retreat to their camp ablblutely neceffary. s-^^n*/ 

The Britifli army lay all night on their arms "777* 
in the field of battle, and the next day works . , 
were eredled within cannon-fhot of the enemy, 
the right being fortified by ftrong redoubts. It . 
is faid that, had the lines of the enemy been at- 
tacked on the morning after the battle, they 
would have retreated, their baggage being load- 
ed, and every thing prepared for flight, if the 
Britiih general had thought proper to have adopt- 
ed I'uch a meafure. It muft be confefled, how- 
ever, that fuch an aflfertion is not fupported by 
circumflances or probabilities ; for the manner 
in which the enemy were polled was peculiarly 
(Irong. On the right, any approach or attack oiitreflcd 
was imprafticable ; and on the left not to be fixation of 
made without great hazard. The intrepidity of Burgoync. 
captain Jones, of the Britifh artillery, who fell 
in this adiou, was particularly diflinguifhed. 
Few adlions have been more remarkable than 
this, for both vigour of attack and obftinacy of 

Every poflible method Was now taken to in- 
form fir William Howe and general Clinton of 
the fituation of general Burgoyne, and arguments 
ufed that might induce them to make a diverfion 
ia his favour. Under the convidlion that they 
would adopt fuch a mode of condud, he had 
crofled Hudfon's river, and given up all com- 
munication with the Lakes. He had expeded 
that a diverfion would have been made before 
this period. Such a diverfion was indeed made 
about this time, and that without orders, by fir 
Henry Clinton, againft Forts Clinton and Mont- 
gomery in the lower parts of Hudlosi's River. 
t J After 







> \ 

After the battle of Still Water, the favages, 
as «(lready obferved, had difcovered a difmclina. 
tion KQ coQtinue with general Burgoync. They 
bad been difappointed m their hopes of plunder, 
and the check which the Englifh had jreceived 
at G^auingtoa and Fort Stauwix had chilled 
that ardour and enthu0arm which they had at 
firft manifeftcd. The feafoa for hunting was 
now arrived; and never do they on any pre- 
Defertten of tencc forcgo it. Ou this account they withdrew 
"*'■ their alTiiitance, and deierted general Burgoyne, 
de^ to every conlideration of honour, and un«. 
moved by any reprefeotations made to them of 
the diftrefa in which their feceffion would in- 
volve Iwni, The royal army was by this de. 
fertioa ejctreaiely weakened ; but the BritiQi ge- 
neral did n.ot think it advifabie to retreat froctt 
ibe eaemy. 

Both armies lay in fight of each other for ioxat 
tioie, each fortifying their camp in the ftrongeit 
njanner poflible. I'hia delay was extremely be- 
neficial to the Americans^ inafrnuch as it enabled 
tbeni to increafe their number of men, and to 
obtain a powerful reinforcement of ftores and 
provifions from the fouthem provinces. But the 
American generals were not folely :employed in 
fortifying their camp, or in increafing their re- 
fources. They knew the embarraffment of ge- 
neral Burgoyne's fituation, and the dilemma to 
which he was reduced* The only probable 
means of faving himfelf from deftruftion Jay 
in a retreat. An expedition was therefore 
planned by generals Gates and Arnold, to pre- 
vent the adoption of this lail fad meafure, by 
cutting off all communication with the Lakes, 
and by recovering the pofTeflion of Ticonderoga 
and Mount Independence. 

• ^ ^- ^- This 

<,J— i>.-!^ 1< lii I ii pM I r - . 



This expedition was entrufted to the commaud CHAP. 
of colonel Brown> who with great fecrefy and Xvii. 
diligence gained the rev of the royal army un- ^-'"jn-^ 
difcovereo. He arrived on the eighteenth of *777' 
September ^t the north end of Lake George, Retreat to 
where one fmall floop and the boat* employed ^*"'°^' 
in tranfporting provinons to the army were I'ljr- 
prifed and takec» with a number of Canadians 
and a few feamen. Three companies of the fif- ,, 
ty-third regiment were at the fame time made 
prifoners. Inm>ediately after they had fecured 
the pofleffiou of the armed veffels, they began 
to attack Ticonderoga with two pieces of can- 
non, which they had obtained from the captured 
floop. i. 

Brigadier-general Powel, who commanded tW 
garrifon, dei^nded it for four days ^ainft the at- 
tempts of the enemy, who, at the expiration of 
that period, vvere induced to retire, from an ap- 
prehenfion of being intercepted in their retreat 
by a detachment of troops from Canada. In 
their way back the enemy made another attempt 
upon Diamond Ifland, iituated in the foqthern 
part of the lake, which was as uniuqcefsful as 
that made againft Ticonderoga. 

General Burgoyne's difficulties began now to Royai army 
increafe daily. The enemy had augmented their J^'J^'jIgJ""* 
ftrength in luch a manner as to render him dif- 
fident of the poflibility of making good his re- 
treat. His army was reduced to little more than 
five thoufand men, who were limited to half the 
ufual allowance of provilions. The ftock of fo- 
rage was entirely exhaufled, and the horfes were 
perifliing in great numbers for the want of it. 
In addition to thefe.circumftanccs, no intelli- 
gence had yet been received of the approach of 
general Clinton, or of the diverfion which was 
to be made. Environed thus by diil^culty and 




'. I 


., -•<»-. 




'I ) , 

S 380 


^ HAP. danger, general Burgoyne refolved to try the 
^^^^- difpofiiion of the enemy, to examine the pofli- 
'"•^"T^^ bility of advancing, ana of diflodging them from 
^'''^' their pofts on the left, which would enable him 
to adopt the melancholy refource of retreating 
"■'"'■ to the lakes. Purfuant to this determination he 
detached a body of fifteen hundred men, which 
he headed himfelf, being a^tendied by generals 
/ Philips, Reidefel, and Frazer. The camp was 

defended on the high grounds by generals Ha- 
milton and Specht ; and the redoubts and parts 
adjacent to the river, by brigadier Gell. This 
detachment had fcarce formed, within lefs than 
half a mile of the enemy's intrenchments, when 
a furious attack was made on the left, where the 
g-renadiers were polled. Major Ackland, who 
commanded the grenadiers, conduced himfelf 
with great coolnefs and intrepidity. His pbl| 
was extremely difficult and dangerous, and it 
was not poflible to detach any affiilance to him 
from the German corps, becaufe the fuperiority 
in number of the enemy enabled them at the 
fame time to extend their line of attack againft 
them. The right had not yet been employed, 
but it being obferved that the enemy were mak- 
■^ ing a movement round their flank to prevent 

■ > , their retreat, the light-infantry and the twenty- 
fourth regiment inftantly formed, in order to 
fruftrate the enemy's intentions. 

The left wing in the mean time, overpowered 
by numbers, was obliged to retreat, and would 
inevitably have been cut to pieces, but for the 
intervention of the light-infantry and twenty- 
fourth regiment. The whole detachment was 
now under the neceflity of retiring, with the lofs 
of fix pieces of ariillery. Scarce had the Britifli 
troops entered the lines v.'hen they were again im- 
petuoufly attacked by the enemy, who, notwith- 


' / 





Handing a moft heavy fire, began a furious' afl^ult CHAP, 
upon their intrenchments. They were led by ^^^^• 
the gallan; general Arnold, who attacked lord 
Balcarras's light-infantry with great eagernefs. 
The refiftance was firm, and the engagement for 
a long while doubtful. A wound which Arnold 
received at length gave the vidlory to the Englifh, 
and the Americans were repulfed from this quar- 
ter. In another, however, they were more fuc- 
cefsful. The intrenchments defended by the 
German troops under colonel Breyman were car- 
ried fword in hand. The colonel was killed, 
and bis troops retreated, with the lofs of all their 
baggage, artillery, &c. Night clofed the dread- 
ful fcene. The Englifh loft, this day, general 
Frazer, colonel Breyman, and feveral other offi- 
cers of note, befides a confiderable number of 
wounded. The Americans took upwards of two 
hundred officess and privates prifoners ; befides 
nine pieces of brafs artillery, and the encamp- 
ment of a German brigade, with all their equi- 
page. But what was of the greateft confequencc, 
they obtained from the fpoils of the field a large 
fupply of ammunition, under a fcarcity of which 
they had long laboured. 

General Burgoyne was now moft critically fitu- 
ated. He could not continue in his prelent po- 
fition without a certainty of deftrudion. He 
therefore refolved to make a total and immedi- 
ate change of pofition. With great fecrel'y and 
filence the whole army removed, with all their 
baggage and artillery, to the heights above the 
holpital during the night. This movement re- 
duced the enemy to the neceffity of making a 
new difpofition. On the fiicceeding day, the 
eighth of 06lober, feveral attempts were made 
to induce the enemy to hazard a battle. They 


■r"'>.'.'!AA' f ''■' . "ii^'M-'ri'rsJo'h-/'- 




-^ If* 




ril ' 

I* V I 


CHAP. were however ineffedtual, and the whole da^ 
, XVII. was occupied ih continued (kirmifhes. 
^-nr*^ The enemy had refufed to haaard a battle be* 
. *777' caufe they were preparing to carry meafurei into 
execution which would have immediately cotn- 
, pleted the ruin of the Britifh army. Thefe were 
to turn general Burgoyne*8 right, Which, if ef* 
fefted, would have inclofed him on all fides; 
. The Britifh general, howcvet, difcovcred thefe 
Intentions before they were carried into execu* 
tion. An inftant retreat therefore to Saratogfi 
was now the only alternative left. At nine o'* 
clock on the evening of the eighth of Oftober 
the army was ordered to relittquilh their pofitlon 
on the heights above the hofpltal. The retreat 
to Saratoga was effefled without lofs, and without 
any obftrudtion on the part of the enemy ; but 
it was impoflible, encumbered as the army was 
with baggage and artillery, to carry off the fitk 
and wounded from the hofpital. General Gates, 
however, behaved with his wonted humanity, 
and the unfortunate tenants of the hofpital Wert 
treated with all imaginable tendernei^. GenC' 
ral Burgoyne having ordered the roads and the 
• bridges to be broken in their march forward, 
the movement of the afmy in their retreat was 
neceflarily tardy. The fords of Filh Kill Creek, 
which are fomewhat to the northward bf Sara* 
toga, were not paffed till ten o*clock on the 
fucceeding morning. The enemy, watching eve- 
ry motion with the moft anxious attention, had 
already arrived at this place before them ; but on 
the approach of the Britifh troops, they retired 
Over the river HudfOn, to a larger force, which 
had been detached there to^ obftruft the paflage 
of the royal troops. 

An attempt Was now made to retreat to FOft 
George. A detachment of artiBcers under a 








ftroog efcort was accordingly difpatchcd before; CHAP, 
the armv, in order to repair the bridges and open j|^ ^ 
the road to Fort Edward. The appearance of ^^"""^^ 
the enemy, however, prevented the artificers 
from effedling their purpofe^ and they were un- 
der the neceflity of making a precipitate retreat 
on account of the defertion of their efcort. The 
enemy ftretching along the farther (hore of the 
river Hudfon, annoyed the batteaux of the royal 
army in fuch a manner that they were forced to 
land the proviflons and convey them to the camp 
up a fteep hill, the enemy pouring, during the 
whole time, a moft tremendous fire on the men 
employed in this fervice. 

Surrounded in this manner by deftru£lion and 
difmay, general Burgoyne refolved to attempt t 
retreat by night to Fort Edward, each foldier car* > 
rying his provision on his back. The artillery 
was to be left behind, on account of the impo^ 
fibility, under the prefent circumdance, of con* 
veying it away. But even this fad alternative 
was rendered impradicable. While the army 
were preparing to march, intelligence was re- 
ceived that the enemy had already pofTefTed them- 
felves of the road to Fort Edward, and that they 
were well provided with artillery. In the courfe 
of the difaflrous events here enumerated, large 
quantities of baggage, provilions, boats, and 
other articles, fell into the hands of the Ameri- 
cans ; both regular troops, called continentals^ 
aad militia. The American militia were fo eager 
after plunder that they would often rob the 
provincial regulars of what booty they had fe- 
cured, and fell it on their own account. Irre- 
gularities of this kind were carried to fuch a 
height, that the American commander, in gene- 
ral orders iflfued on the twelfth of Odlober, de- 
clared " that he faw fo many fcandalous and 

" mean 










L' I 


I ■' 




XVII. a 


mean tranfadlions committed by perfons who 
I'ought more after plunder than the honour of 
doing their duty, that ic was his unalterabJe 
" relblution to have thi lirft perfon who (hould 
" thereafter be dctedled in pillaging the baggage 
" and ftores taken from the cnem^ tried and pu- 
" niflied with the utmod fevcrity." 

The fituation of general Burgoyne had now 
attained the climax of diHiculiy and danger. Iti. 
ceflant toil had enervated the whole army. Out 
of eight thoufand men, of which the army con- 
filled after the capture of Ticonderoga, not more 
than three thoufand five hundred nghting meu 
remained, one half of which only were Britifti'. 
Proviiions were almoft exhauded, and no hope 
remained of procuring a frcfti fupply. Added 
to this, an enemy four times greater in point tof 
number, and in creafing every day, almoft encir- 
cled them. An engagement was ftudioufly avoid- 
ed by the Americans, on account of their Jcnow- 
ledge of the defperate fituation of the Britifh 
troops ; and the enemy were polled in fo advan- 
tageous a manner that they could not be at- 
tacked. ' 

t;; Every hope of relief being now at an end, on 
the thirteenth of OiHober 1777, general Bur- 
goyne ordered an exa6l ftatement to be made of 
the Hock of proviiions, which was found not 
to exceed fevcn or eight days fubfiftence for the 
troops. ' 

The general inllantly called a council of war, 
at which not only field officers but every captain 
was ordered to aifift. 

After fome confultation on the emergency of 
Catej^*""""* affairs, it was unanimoufly refolved to enter into 
a convention with general Gates. The follow- 
ing were the Heps preliminary to it : 



— '^KSRSSKSfc*.^ 

, ..■ .-vo'' 








■"-- ^. 

-— ■■ ji-.'V— _■:! 

• m 

: had now 
nger. In- 
rmy. Out 
army con- 
, not more 
rhting men 
;re Britilb'. 
id no hope 
y. Added 
m point iof 
imoft encir- 
oufiy avoid- 

ihe BritiQ\ 
in fo advau- 

not be at- 


t an end, on 
eiieral Bur- 
> be made of 
IS found not 
qnce for the 

incil of war, 
every captain 

emergency of 

to enter' into 

The follow- 


r3;.7i^ J *ih iT** • iX, "'' 


No. I. 



OAobcr 13, 1777. 

Licutenant-ff«n«ral Burffoyne is defirous of 
fending a field officer with a meilage to majoN 
general Gates, upon a matter of high moment to 
both armies. He recjuefts to be informed at what 
hour general Gates wiU receive him to-morrow 

Major-gemral Gates. 


Major-gttnera) Gates will receive a field-officer 
from lieutenant-general Burgopie at the advanc* 
ed poft of the army of the United States at ten 
o'clock to-moFfow morning, from whence he will 
be conducted to head-quarters. 

Camp at Saratoga, nine o'clock P. M. thirteenth 

Lieutenant-general Burgoyne. 


No. II. 

Major Kingfton delivered the following meiTage 
to major-general Gates, Odober 14, 1777^ 

After having fought you twice, lieutenant-ge- 
neral Burgoyne has waited fome days in his pre- 
fent pofition, determined to try a third confli<ft 
againft any force you could bring againft him. 
He is apprifed of the fuperiority of your num- 
bers, and the difpofition of your troops to im- 
pede his fupplies, and render his retreat a fcene 
of carnage on both fides. In this fituation he is 
impelled by humanity, and thinks himfelf jufii- 
fied by eft^bliihed principles and precedents of 

y^L. I. C c Hate 














CHAP.ftatc and war, to fpare the lives of brave men 
XVII. upon honourable terms. Should major-gcoeral 
^•^^m^ Gates be inclined to treat upon that idea, general 
'777* Burgoyne would propoi'e a ceiTation of arms dur- 
ing the tim^ neceflary to communicate the prtlj. 
miuary terms, by which, in any extremity, he 
and his army mean to abide. 

No. III. 

' Major-general Gates's Propofals, together with 
Lieutenant-general Burgoync's Anfwers. 

1. General Burgoyne's army being exceeding- 
ly reduced by repeated defeats, by defertion, 
licknefs, &c. their provifions exhauAed, their 
military borfes, tents, and baggage taken or dc 
ftroyed, their retreat cut off, and their camp in- 
vcfted, they can only be allowed to furreuder 
prifoners of war. 

//«/ Lieutenant-general Burgoyne's army, how- 
ever reduced, will never admit that their re- 
treat is cut off while they have arms in their 

2. The officers and foldiers may keep the 
baggage belonging to them. The generals of the 
United States never permit individuals to bepll- 

3. The troops, under his excellency general 
Burgoyne will be condu(5led by the moft con- 
venient route to New England, inarching by 
eafy marches, and lufHciently provided for by the 

Jnf. This article is ^nfwered by geficral Bur- 
• goyne's firft propolal, which is heTfennt-oH. 
-44. The officers will be admit I >u,;;irole} 
may wear their fide arms, and will oe treated 
with the liberality cuflomary in Europe, fo long 
as they, by proper behaviour, continije to de- 
'•'*''^ fervc 






of b 



tK; ti 

their J 
the rv\ 

will lu 

7. A 
to recc 

m >fc 


Lieu ten] 

iieral Gj 
OQ thpiil 

■ '"•?4M«ii!*'W"^'"^'^"'''^'*^' 





fcrvc it ; but thofe who arc apprehended havingCHAP. 
broke their parole, as fome Briiifh offi< ers have ^vil. 
done, niuft expedt to be ciofe confined. %-•>-% 'te^' 

Anf. There being no officer in tlii*^ army un '777- 
der, or capable of being under the Uefcripiiou 
of breaicing parole, this anicle needs no ani'wf^r. 

5. All public (lores, artillery, arms, ammuni- 
tion, carriages, horfes, &c. muA be delivered to 
commiffaries ipr-oirted to receive them. 

Anf, All .i,i)li('ilorcs may be delivered, arms 
cxceptf !. 

6. 1 liefe lernif being agreed to, and figncd, 
tht; troopa ;nder his excellency general Bur- 
T >; ! r's command may be drawn up in their en- 
campments, where they will be ordered to ground 
their arms, and may thereupon be marched to 
the river fide to be paffed over in their way to- 
wards Bennington. ' rr« 

Anf. This article inadmiffiblc in any extre- 
mity. Sooner than this army will confent to 
ground their arms in their encampment, they 
will ruih on the enemy, determined to take no 
quarter. imi^- 'j 

7. A ceflation of arms to continue till fun-fet, 
to receive general Burgoyne's anfwer. 

(Signed) Horatio Gates.' 

Camp at Saratoga, Odober 14, 1777. 

\r.y\ty-'A.-i No. IV.' ■' 

Lieutenant-general Burgovne's Propofals, toge- 
ther with Major-general Gates's Anfwer. 

'^hc annexed anfwers being given to major-ge- 
neral Gates's propofals, it remains for lieutenant- 
general Burgoyne, and the army under his com- 
mand, to ftate the following preliminary articles 
oa th^ir part : '--^ *-? 5-, vr«fi| U , 

,■;- ,> ,. .,. ,. C c « -- , .-!i^_ ^. TI10 

•f n - 

■ f 




i' ! 










T. The troops to march out of their camp \rith 
the honours of war, and the artillery of the in- 
trenchments, which will be left as hereafter may 
be fegulated. 

1. The troops to march out of their camp with 
the honours of war, and the artillery of the in* 
trenchments to the verge of the river where the 
Old Ford flood, where their arms and anillery 
muft be left. 

2. A free paiTage to be granted to this army 
to Great Britain, upon condition of not fervingk 
again in North America during the prefent con- 
tcft, and a proper port to be affigned for the en. 
try of tranfports to receive the troops wherever 
general Howe fliall fo order. 

2. Agreed to, for the port of BofVon. - ' "• " 
5. Shouki any cartel take place, by which this 

army, or aiiy part of it, may be excnaoged, the 
foregoing article to be voia, as far as fuch ex- 
change fl^all be made. 

3. Agreed. ■ ; . .iv^^u; '^ ■■ ^,j:;v 

4. All officers to retain their carriages, btt- 
horfes, and other cattle ; and no baggage to be 
molefted or fearched, the Ueutenant-general giv- 
ing his honour that there are no public fiores fe- 
creted therein. Major-'general Gates will of 
courfe take the neceuary meafures for the lecu- 
rtty of this article. - -— / 

4. Agreed. 

5. Upon the march, the officers are not to be 
feparated from their men j and in quarters the 
officers fiiall be lodged accordinc^ to rank, ?.ud 
are not to be hindered finom auembling their 
n*eH for roll-caltii^ aad other nccefiary piirpofcs 
of regularity. 

5. Agreeat'O, as far as circumi))aBC£& will ad- 
milt. . .'■,'.-'■ ;; :;■; -. \ ' ' '•:• 

6. There are various corps in this cmy com- 
pofed of failors, batteau-nien, artificers, drivers, 


fi-' ■■■«»:. 1.~- 




indt pendent companies, and followers of the ar- C H A P. 
my; and it is expeded that thofe perfons, of XVII. 
whatever country, fhall be included in the ful- """nn*' 
left fenfe and utmofl extent of the above articles, '777- 
and comprehended in every refpe^ as Britiih 

6. Agreed to in the fulleft extent. ' 

7. All Canadians and perfons belonging to tht 
eftablifhment in Canada to be permitted to return 

7. Agreed. ' " '^'" "'■' '^''- ^ ■'- 

8. PaUports to be immediately granted for three 
officers, not exceeding the rank of captain, who 
ihall be appointed by general Burgoyne to carry 
difpatches to fir W. Howe, fir G. Carletou, and 
to Oreat Britain by the way of New York, and 
the public faith to be engaged that thefe dif* 
patches are not to be opened. - t 

8. Agreed. 

9. The foregoing article6 are to be confidercd 
only as preliminary for framing a treaty, iii 
the courfe of which others may arifc to be con* 
iidcrcd by both parties; for which purpofe it 

is propofed that two officers of each army Ihail \ 

meet and report their deliberatioDi td their re- 
fpeftive generals. 

9. This capitulation to be finiflied by two 
o'clock this day, and the troops to march from 
their encampment at five, and be in readinefs 
to move towards Bofton to-morrow morning. 

10. Lieutenant-general Burgoyne will fend his 
deputy adjutant-general to receive major-general 
Gates s anfwer to-morrow morning at ten o'- 
clock. ^ , 

10. Complied with. 

(Signed) Horatio Gates. 

Sarotoga, Odlober 15, 1777. 












If ■' 

CHAP. On the following day the fubfequent articles 
^^'^" of convention between lieutenant-general Bur- 
goyne and major-geueral Gates were fettled. , 

1. The troops under lieutenant-general Bur- 
goyne to march out of their camp with the ho., 
nours of war, and the artillery of the intrench- 
ments to the verge of the river where the Old 
Ford ftood, where the arms and artillery are 
to be left; the arms to be piled by word of 
command from their own officers. 

2. A free paflage to be granted the arniy 
under lieutenant general Burgoyue to Great Bri- 
tain, on condition of not ferving again in North 
•America during the pfefent contefl ; and the 
port of Bofton is affigned for the entry of 
tranfpons to receive the troops whenever ge- 
neral Howe Ihall fo order. 

3. Should any cartel take place by which 
the army under general Burgoyne, or any part 
of it, may be exchanged, the foregoing article 
to be void, as far as fuch exchange ihall be 

4. The army under lieutenant*general Bur- 
goyne to march to Maffachufet's Bay by the ea^ 
fieft, moft expeditious, and convenient route; 
and to be quartered in, near, or as convenient 
as poffible to Boflon, that the march of the troops 
may not be delayed wheri tranfportg arrive to 

: receive them. • r' n >^^y|i 

5. The troops to be fupplied, on their march 
and during their being in quarters, with provi- 

. iions, by major-general Gates's orders, at the 
fame rate of rations as the troops of his own 
army ; and, if poflible, the officers' horfes and 
cattle to be iupplied with forage at the ufual 

6. All officers to retain their carriages, bat- 
hcrfes, and other cattle -, and no baggage to be 




molefted or fearched, lieutenant-general Bur-CHAP. 
goyne giving his honour that there are no public XVII. 
ftores fecreted therein. Major-general Gates will ^-nr*^ 
of courfe take the neceflary meafures for a due ' 777- 
performance of this article. Should any car- 
riages be wanted during the march, for the tranf- 
portation of officers baggage, they are, if pof- 
iible, to be fupplied by the country at the ufual 

7. Upon the march, and during the time the 
army fhall remain in quarters in the Maffachufets 
Bay, the officers are not to be feparated from 
their men, as far as circumftances will admit. 
The officers are to be quartered according to 
their rank, and are not to be hindered from 
affembling their men for roll-callings, and other 
neceffary purpofes of regularity. ;3j ,: ;u,i 

8. All corps whatever of general Burgoyne's 
army, whether compofed of failors, batteau-men, 
artificers, drivers, independent companies and 
followers of the army, of whatever country, ihall 
be included in the fulleft fenfe and utmoft ex- 
tent of the above articles, and comprehended 
in every refped as Britifh fubjefts. . 

9. All Canadians and perfous belonging to the 
Canadian eflablifliraent, confifting of failors, bat- 
teau-men, &c. are to be permitted to return thei'e ; 
they are to be conduded immediately by the 
fhorteft route, to the firft Britifh port on Lake 
George, are to be fupplied with provifjons in the 
fame manner as the other troops, and are to 
be bound by the fame condition of not ferving 
during the prefent conteft in North America. 

10. PafTports to be immediately granted for 
three officers, not exceeding the rank of cap- 
tains, who fhall be appointed by lieutenant-gene- 
ral Burgoyne to carry dll'patches to fir William 

. . Howe, 



* I 

1 1 1 1 


[I i 

CHAP. Howe, fir Guy Carleton, and to Great Britain 
XVII. by the way of New York ; and major-general 
*''*nn*^ Gates engages the public faith that theie difpatch- 
*777' es are not to be opened. Thefe officers are to 
fet out immediately, after receiving their dit 
patches, and are to travel the Ihorteft route, and 
in the moft expeditious manner. :>? -.rff -'Vl;*'>,.M;'tip 
II. During the ftay of the troops in theMaf- 
fachufets Bay, the officers are to be admitted on 
parole, and are to be permitted to wear their fide- 

I z. Should the army under lieutenant-general 
Burgoyne find it neceffary to fend for their cloth- 
ing, and other baggage from Canada, they are to 
be permitted to do it in the moft expeditious man^ 
ner, and the neceffary paffports grs^uied for that 
pur^ofe. -W . , i*^;, ;w,| 

13. Thefe articles are to be mutually figncd 
and exchanged to-morrow morning at nine o'- 
clock ; and the troops under lieutenant-generiil 
Burgoyne are to march out of their intreiich« 
ments at three o'clock in the afternooik 



" '" ' Horatio Gates, Major-general 
Camp at Saratoga, Od. 16, 1777.-^ 


To prevent any doubts that might arife from 
lieutenant-general Burgoyne's name n«t being 
mentioned in the above treaty, major-general 
Gates hereby declares that he is underftood to be 
comprehended in it as fully as if his name had 
been fpecifically mentioned. 


Horatio Gates. 

General Gates's condud in this melancholy 
event was peculiarly generous and humane. It 
is faid that when the Britifti troops piled their 




armi he would not fufFer his ovm. men to he wll- CHAP. 
nefs to the ftid fpeAafcle. Xvn. * 

The nuftiber of men who furrendered, amount- *— »-Tn«*/ 
ed, including Canadians and Proviudals, to near i777- 
fix thoufand. The iick and wounded in the hof- 
pitals amounted to fix hundred ; and it was eoni<* 
puted that the lofs in killed, taken, and defened, 
fubfequent to the capture of Ticonderoga, waa 
near three thoufand men. The artillery taken, 
confifted of thirty-five pieces of different dimen- 

Such was the tnelancholy event of a campaigii 
from which the moft important benefits were 
predi£led. The tardinefs of movement, howe>* 
ver, octafioned by the large and fuperfluous train 
of artillery which general Burgoyne carried with 
him, certainly conti^uted not a little to produce 
thofe difafters and diflreffes which at length over- 
whelmed him. But tracing the failure of ^ 
expedition further back, it will be found to have 
been occalioncd alfo by other caufes, which, 
though when conlidered fingly, may be deemeid 
only remote, yet, condenfed into one general 
profpeft, they will be found to have immedi* 
ately produced that fatal confummation which 
has already been recorded. 

During the winter of 1776 no fteps whattver 
were taken in Canada to provide horfes, carts, 
or forage, for the expedition that was to ukt 
place in the enfuing year : It was not till the 
tenth of June 1777 that ^^7 coiitra£lwas faade 
for thofe articles. This tardinefs of condaft 
delayed the movement of the army for three 
weeks, and rendered every fubfequcnt opera- 
tion equally (low ; for the carriages for ^ 
tranfport fervice being conflruded in hafle, 
and of frefh unfeafoned wood, were infufficient 
for the purpofes for which they were d«fign- 


/ ■ 


i\ f 








CHAP, ed, and were almoft all deftroyed on the road 
XVn. to Fort Edward. This circumftance detained 
the army fo .long at Fort Edward, that it ul- 
timately occafioned the unfortunate, ill-conduft- 
ed expedition to Bennington. The defeat of 
colonels Baum, Breyraan, and St. Leger, ener- 
vated the Britifh caufe in an extraordinary de- 
gree. There were feveral of the inhabitants who 
were not attached to either party by principle, 
and who had refolved to join themfelves to that 
which (hould be fuccefsful. Thofe men, after 
the difafters at Bennington and Fort Stanwix, 
added afadden and powerful increafe of ftrength 
to the Americans. 'utiih^.,ii;'.itf <-.u^, 

General Burgoyne, it was generally thought, 
after his dilappointment, and the defeat at Ben- 
nington, ought not by any laeans to have croffed 
the Hudibn. Any attempt to proceed to Al- 
bany was then improper. The diftance from 
Fort Edward was fixty-four miles ; the road was 
difficult and dangerous, being commanded by 
high and ftrong grounds, where an adive ene- 
my, well acquainted with the country, had many 
advantages, even with an inferior force. Gene- 
ral Burgoyne ftiould have pofted himfelf, it was 
faid, on the heights of Fort Edward ; which 
would have fecured a communication with Ca- 
"Pada, and enabled him to advance or to retreat 
according to contingent circumftances. He was 
cenfured alfo for remaining fo long at Skenefbo- 
rough, and conluming eighteen days in making 
roads through moraffes and fwamps. Had he 
returned to Ticonderoga, and crolted Lake St. 
George, he would have reached Fort Edward at 
lead ten or twelve days fooner. He Ihould have 
detached General Frazer from Skenefborougli 
to Fort George ; by which means a quantity of 
provifions and ftores, defti^ied by the Americans 
.'/■J ■ ' ■ • • for 

the road 
; detained 
hat it ul- 
defeat of 
ger, ener- 
linary de- 
itants who 
ves to that 
ineii, after 
: Stanwix, 
of ftrength 

Y thought, 
'eat at Bea- 
lave croffed 
scd to Al- 
lance from 
e road was 
manded by 
a£live ene- 

•ce. Gene, 
nfelf, it \yas 
ird ; which 
on with Ca- 
or to retreat 
es. He was 
It Skenefbo- 
rs in making 
)s. Had he 
ed Lake St. 
irt Edward at 
fhould have 

quantity of 
le Americans 



for Ticonderoga, would have been fecured, , as C H A P. 
well as a fupply of carts, waggons, and draft XVII. 
bullocks. This condu£l would have enabled ^-nr*^ 
him to have penetrated to Albany before the i777« 
enemy were fufficiently powerful to oppofc him. 
Another caufe of the failure of the expedition 
was the want of a fyftem of co-operation be- 
tween general Burgoyne and general Carleton, 
and the negleft of fir William Howe to take any 
fteps to facilitate the operations of the northern 
army. When general Burgoyne found himfelf 
under the neceffity of relinquifhing the commu- 
nication with Canada, he wrote to general Carle- 
ton, requefting, in the moft preffing terms, that 
he would feud a regiment to garrilon Ticonde- 
roga, that he might take the regiment then on 
duty there with hi«b and thereby endeavour ftill 
10 prefervc a communication with Canada. This 
favour, however, was pofitively refufed. Gene- 
ral Burgoyne was alfo difappointed in not receiv- 
ing an increafe of ftrength by the junction of 
a body of loyalifts on his advancing beyond Ti- 
conderoga. Offended with general Carleton for 
refufing to invert Ticonderoga in the preceding 
year, they refolved to remain ina£live, and to 
afford no affiftance to the Britifh army. But in- 
deed the grand caufe was the appointment of 
general Burgoyne in preference to general Carle- 
ton. Of the former, it mufl be allowed that he 
poireffed courage, a tolerable degree of military 
knowledge, with much addrefs. The latter had 
many of thefe qualities, with the addition of a 
knowledge of the country, its refources, and its 
local ftrength and weaknefs. He was likewife 
well acquainted with the temper and difpofition 
of the inhabitants. , 

The unfortunate Burgoyne, reduced from the 
lofty language of his proclamatioQ to the ftyle of 


• 1 






L 41 



^- ) 


1 I 

CHAP. defence and recrimination, endeavoured to lay 
XVII. the blame of his mil'carriagcs upon fir William 

^^nr^*^ Howe, for not having fent a force for co-opera- 
'777- tion up the North River to Albany; on lord 
George Germaine, the Britifh fecretary of ftate, 
for having tied up his hands by orders pofitive 
and unqualified, in indanccs where latitude Ihould 
be given to a general to a£l according to circuni'' 
ftances ; and on the flownefs with which the 
Germans had marched to Bennington, the cen- 
tre and fource of his misfortunes. But it was 
urged, in anfwer to all the general's excufes, that 
the force put into his hands for the intended 
march through Canada, was nearly, if not fully, 
equal to what he himfelf had demanded : That 
he ought not, on any doubtful profpeft of a co- 
operating army from New York, to have given 
up his communication with the Lakes ; and that 
his condud^, in fending fo fmall a detachment 
to Bennington, and this conlifting of foreigners, 
and of all foreigners the Howefl in their motions, 
was an abfurdity bordering on infatuation. 

It was alfo contended, on the iflue of Bur- 
goyne's unfortunate expedition, that he had car- 
ried along with him a quantity of artillery to- 
tally incompatible with that celerity of movement 
on which his fuccefs entirely depended. If a 
jundlure afterwards arofe which fecmed to demand 
this formidable apparatus, it was the very move- 
ment of that apparatus that created the neceflity 
of employing^ it. The army was confined in 
its operations to the motions of the artillery, 
and the enormous delays, occafioned in a great 
degree by the flownefs of its progrefs, gave 
time to the provincials to recover from their 
panic, and again to colleft that army which had 
been completely difperfed. Whereas, had he 
advanced rapidly, without incumbrance or de- 


I to lay 
on lord 
of ftate, 
i pofuive 
ie Ihould 
> circum* 
hich the 
the cen- 
at it was 
ufes, that 
not fully, 
ed : That 
t of a co- 
lave given 
; and that 
ir motions, 

le of Bur- 
le had car- 
irtillery to- 
nded. If a 
i to demand 
very move- 
:he neceflity 
confined in 
he artillery, 
:d in a great 
jgrefs, gave 
■ from their 
ly which had 
eas, had he 
ranee or de- 


Uy, he woufld neither have found men to bp-CHAP^ 
pofe nor works to interrupt his progrefs through XVII. 
the country. But not only had general Bur- ^<-nr«^ 
goyne embarraiTed hinrirelf with every incumbrance »777' 
that could retard the progrefs of an army; he 
had adopted a route calculated to add to every 
delav, and to augment every difficulty. Inftead 
of the direft and common road to Hudfon's Ri- 
ver, by the way of Lake George, he had thought 
proper, at the expence of much time and la- 
bour, to cut a road through an extent of country 
the moft difficult and impradicable. If general 
Gates himfelf, it was faid, had diredled his ope- 
rations, he could not have planned meafures 
more conducive to the completion of his own 
views. The flight from Ticonderoga had made 
fuch an impreffion on the fpirits of the Ameri- 
cans, that it was impoffible immediately to col- 
left an army, or to infpire them with that con- 
fidence M'hich is neceffary to enfurc fuccefs ; but 
in time that impreffion would wear off, unlefs it 
fhould be continued or renewed by the rapid 
movements of the king's troops. When, inllead 
of fuch movements, they faw thofe troops waft- 
ing days, weeks, and months, without niaking 
the fmalleft progrefs, it is no wonder that they 
recovered their fpirits, and affembled in much 
greater force than ever. In the whole of gene- . 
ral Burgoyne's vindication, it was obferved, his 
method was to ftate a neceffity for every one of 
his meafures taken fingly, and not as links of 
one chain or fyftem of adtion, taking care to pafs 
over one material circumftance, that that necejftty 
invariably originated, on his own part, from 
fome previous omiffion or blunder. The deport- 
ment of this commander, after the furrender 
of his army, was as pitiful as his conduft 
before that melancholy event was weak and 




W ! 

';! I 





CHAP. unfortunate. He refufed, having been fet at 
XVII. liberty on his parole, to join his captive army, 

^-•nn*' threw hirnfelf, like other unfuccefsful commaii- 
'777' ders, into the hands of oppofition, railed at 
his majefty's minifters, introduced hinifelf on 
every occafion in the debates in parliament, 
demanding a public trial, complaining, even 
while a prifoner to the enemy, that he was 
denied accefs to the king, and that his merit 
and fufierings were equally unnoticed, 


rs - i 

la :i-/Jh\(f'y.'^-% "^i ■ ,'*^^V'«-f<'l '■ .A- 


(*'; Uy t 

01' i I 

//,' < *■ 


•y ;#>fri 




•>' .Y 

'» ,•-,<>,. t 


•v'- K 

•» 'Jr?^. 


v^,r ••;■,': tit. ilitt 

?.;>.< jM' ., '3' ii^,-.i: » 


iy- 'iJ 


■ Kr 

• I • ,if.j;«'.nf 


'.M-- Wv'. 1-5 

'> ;. »\!| ?;.'• ^*'l' 1, / -Ji;;- V'^'*iMj^'.i:i ^«.ii 


■ Aftyvi 


.j^. (:*:,;> ■ it. 

' ' . ■.'• ,if : 

t ■> J.- 

/•-■ .. . t 

C H A P. 

■>s *^ 


'','-:*;•■ K<»'i-'." 

:,t>; ?l! 


1 fet at 
re army, 
ailed at 
iifelf on 
ng, even 
he was 
tiis merit 

'j>;/ 'ji'i "'"^ 




41' M'.V 


' .1 






^ M'^i 

.■*f' ! 


•-n- ;■ 


... »9'l 


r.\iVJ.- M" 



Expedition up the North River under Sir Henry ■ 
Clinton — Redu^ion of the Forts Montgomery 
and Clinton .--'Burning of JEfopus. 

A BODY of recruits arrived from Europe ate HAP. 
New York about the clofe of September XVIIL 
.1777. This reinforcement enabled fir Henry Clin- *-^Tr*^ 
ton to undertalce an expedition which he could '777« 
not before have attempted, without leaving thede- Expedition 
fences of New York too feebly guarded. It may rivm Sr 
here be obferved, that the fituation of Newfif.wenry 
York, commanded in a variety of points, which '"'°"" 
were thence of cecefhty to be occupied by 
the Britifli, had a very unfavourable influence 
on the conduA of the war; for the proteftion 
of that great depofitory of our (lores required 
fo confiderable a number of men as moft ma- 
terially cramped exertion in the field. The 
objed of fir Henry Clinton's expedition was 
to take pofleflion of the forts which forbad 
the paffage of our veflels up to Albany ; and 
the ulterior view in the meafure was not fo 
much to create a diverfion in favour of general 
Burgoyne (the neceffity of which was not fuf- 
pefted), as to open a communication which 
might have been important when that command- 
er ihould have fixed himfelf at Albany. The 
enterprife was entirely fpontaneous on the part 
of fir Henry Clinton, and was conduced with 
more energy than moft of the military operati* 
ons that took place in America. A force amounts 


• 1 






CHAP. »ng nearly to three thoufand men was embarked 
Xvril. oa board craft of different kinds, convoyed by 
^'^'^v^^ fome (hips of war under the command of com- 
*777« modore Hotham. This armament proceeded up 
the Hudfon to VerpUnk's Point, on the eaft (horc 
of that river (forty miles from New York), which 
nation of the enemy Lord Rawdon had foine 
lime before been dtipatehed to reconnohve in a 
frigate. The tanding-places being defended only 
by flight breaft works with two twelve-pounders, 
and the corps ftationed there being fearful that 
their retreat might be cut off at the neck of the 
pentnfuU, the debarkation was made with Vmh 
or no refinance, and the firft troops who land- 
ed, purfuing rapiidty the flying enemy, obliged 
them to abandon oi>e of the twelvc-pouudei«. 
Sir Henry Clinton pafTed the night upon this 
peninCula. This feint had the effe£l which it 
was hoped it might produce ; for it infpired ge- 
neral Putnam, who commanded in that diflri^^, 
with the opinion that fir Henry Clinton meant 
to puih through the eaftern highlands, in order 
to co-operate with Burgoyne. Putnam, under 
this perfuafion, hadened with two thoufand 
men, principally drawn from the forts, to oc- 
cupy the paffcs on the eafltern fliorc. On the 
fixth of 06lober at day-break, two thoufand one 
hundred men, witliout any artillery, were tranf* 
ported to Stony Point, on the weftern bank 
of the river; the remainder of the troops being 
left to feeure Vcrplanks. The only road from 
Stony Point, t© the forts (at leaft the only one 
without a prodigious circuit) was a path acrofs 
the Donderberg, a very fteep mountain, which 
with its precipices overhangs the North River. 
As the paih would not admit above three men 
to march abread, and by its windings would 
have espofed the troops, during their paflage, 

, to 

,»=.ri . 

royed by 
of com- 
ecdcd up 
caft (hoic 
it), which 
tiad foine 
koUie in a 
nded only 
:arful that 
ick of the 
with Uttlc 
who land- 
y, obliged 
upon thii 
i which it 
;vfpired ge- 
lat diftrift, 
pton meant 
s, in order 
lam, under 
ms, to oc- 
c. On the 
toufand one 

were tranf' 
eftern bank 
roops being 
' road from 
»e only one 

patb acrofa 
itain, which 
lorth River, 
re three men 
iings would 
heir paffagc, 


to be deftroyed at the pleafure of any force c HAP. 
ftationcd at the top of the hill, the nioft tri- XVIII. 
tling guard would have been fufficicnt to have ^■'nr*' 
rendered the attempt ot the Britifh abortive. '777' 
The very difficulties however of the attempt 
lecured the pafFage to fir Henry Clinton ; this 
having induced the Aniericdns to fuppoie that 
it was fuperlluous to watch it; and a fmall 
advanced guard, fent forward to explore if the. 
pafs was undefended, having made a fignal 
that the coaft was clear, the main body of 
the Britifh afcended the hill with all pomble 
expedition. Having reftcd a while, they tra- 
verfed the fummit, and defcended on the op- 
pofite fide, at the bottom of which they ftuni- 
blcd upon a detachment fent too tardily for 
the defence of the pafs. The difperfion of 
this fmall corps deftroyed the hope that the 
forts might be furprifed; but the enterprife 
was not thence prol'ecnted with lefs rcfoluiion. 
The diftance from Stony Point to the fort is 
twelve miles; but the nature of the country 
rendered the march lo How and fatiguing, that 
it wanted but about an hour of funfci when 
the Britifh arrived within a mile of their defti- 
nation. They feparatcd into two columns : 
The one, confifling of nine hundred men, un- 
der lieutenant-colonel Campbell of the fifty-fe- 
cond regiment, de(\iued for the attack of 
Fort Montgomevy; whilit the remainder, under 
the immediate conmiaud of fir Henry Clinton, 
were to ftorm the ftronger poft of Fort Clinton. 
The two forts were only divided by a creek 
called Poplop's Kill, which empties iifelf into • 
the Hudfon's River, communicating by a wood- 
en bridge of confiderable lengih acrofs thnt 
flream. The aflault was made upon boih forts 
at the fame inftant. The point afiailed at Fort 
. Vol. I. D d Montgomery, 


■ r-'x^^' 


^, ni 

- a:':^ 



— »-^ **■'** -^w- 

i N 



^■' i 

CHAP. Montgomery, was not veiy ftrong, cither from 
XVIII. fituation or works, nor aid the enemy make 
^*np*' a very obflinate refiftance; fo that the fort was 
>777' carried by our i^roops with little lofs, excepting 
that the death of fo valuable an officer as lieute- 
nant-colonel Campbell muft be confidered as ma- 
terial in the balance againfl the fuccefs. Aimed 
all the garrifon, confifting of eight hundred men, 
made their efcape. r-*^' 

Againft Fort Clinton the enterprifc was more 
Icrious ; the fort was built upon a rocky eleva- 
tion, the only approach to which, for the Bri- 
tifti troops, was over a fpecies of pafs of about 
four hundred yards fquare, between a lake and 
a precipice which overhung the Hudfon's River. 
This fpot was covered with felled trees, fo 
that the approach of the alTailants could not 
be conduced with rapidity or with much re- 
gularity, and ten pieces of artillery bore upon 
that narrow pafs, whilft the Britiih had not 
a fingle cannon to cover their aflault. Their 
only chance confifted in prefling forward with 
as much velocity as the ground would admit; 
and the troops were ftriftly ordered upon no 
account to fire. The flank companies of the 
feventh and twenty-fixth regiments, with a com- 
pany of Anfpach grenadiers, led the attack upon 
one point, whilft the fixty-third regiment endea- 
voured to penetrate at another. 

In no inftance during the American war was 
more invincible refolution exhibited than in this 
attack. The Britifti and foreign troops prefled 
forward filently, under a dreadful fire, and ar- 
riving at the foot of the work, aftually puftied 
one another up into the embrafures. The garri- 
fon, confifting of four hundred men, for a lit- 
tle while longer contefted the rampart. Some 
of our men were killed in the very embrafures, 


[9^ • ' 





and feveral were wounded with bayonets in the CHAP. 
ftruggle ; fo that it muft be admitted the Ameri- XVIII. 
cans defended themfelves courageoufly. At length 
the rampart was cleared. The Americans retir- 
ing to the other fide of the efplanade, difcharged 
a laft volley, and threw down their arms. Not- 
withAanding this provocation, there was not a 
fingle man of the enemy put to death, except 
fuch as fell in the adiual ftruggle upon the ram- 
part. This fail we mention, not only as difplay- 
ing a moft generous moderation on the part of 
the vigors, contrary to what ufually happens ia 
fuch alTaults, but as refuting an impudent affer- 
tion advanced in fome of the French accounts, 
that the whole garrifon had been put to death 
by their conquerors. We are happy in refcuing 
from the fhade which the magnitude of general 
Burgoyne's misfortune at the time threw over it, 
an enterprife equally worthy of attention for its 
boldnefs and the degrte of injury that it did to 
the enemy. 

The lofs on the part of the aifailants was not 
fo fevere as might have been expeded, for it 
amounted to only one hundred and forty killed 
and wounded. About three hundred of the 
Americans were killed, wounded, and taken pri- 

The fmall lofs of the Britifh is only to be ac- 
counted for by the dufk, and by the American 
artillery being ferved with more atteniion to 
quickuefs in firing than accuracy in pointing. 
Captain Stewart, who commanded the grena- 
diers, and major Sill, who led the fixty-^hird re- 
giment, were killed upon the fpot, both pierced 
with many wounds. Count Graboufky, a Polifli 
nobleman, who had croflfed the Atlantic on pur- 
pofe to make a campaign as a volunteer with the 
Britifh, likewife fell on this occafion. But hi$ 

D d 2 death 







lirtW- «*•■««-».>,; 






CHAP.death was attended with a little circumftance 
XVIII. which ought to be mentioned in honour to his 
memory. He had advanced to the ftorm in 
company with lord Rawdon amongft the gre- 
nadiers, bat was feparated from him amongft 
the felled trees, which forced every man to 
find a path for himfelf. Arriving at the foot 
of the work he fell, after having received three 
balls : When giving his fword to a grenadier 
he conjured him, with his expiring voice, to de- 
liver it to lord Rawdon, and to affure his lordfliip 
that he died in a manner becoming one who 
had fhared the dangers of fuch gallant troops. 
It is not amifs here to corredl an error which 
has crept into former accounts, from an ex- 
preflion ufed by fir Henry Clinton, with a view 
of doing juftice to the zeal of the fquadron under 
commodore Hotham. In the Annual Regifter 
it is mentioned as one of the circumftances which 
Ihook the courage of the Americans, and flack- 
ened their refinance, that the Britifh gallies ad- 
vanced fo near as to ftrike the walls of the 
fort with their oars. The fort being on a preci- 
pice at lead one hundred and twenty feet above 
the level of the river, this reprefcntation mijft 
appear abfurd. Sir Henry Clinton, in his letter 
on the fubjedi, mentions the appearance of the 
gallies, which was not effeded without infinite 
exertion, to a diftancc whence they thought they 
might, by their fire, in fome degree diftradt the 
attention of the garrifon ; and fir Henry Clinton, 
doing juftice to this purpofed diverfion, meant 
to exprefs that feveral of the balls had adlually 
reached the fort. 

High prail'e is due to commodore, now admi- 
ral, Hotham, for his arrangements and efforts 
upon this expedition ; and the officers ferving 
under him nobly imitated his example. 

. .. Night 

a proc 

■■■•», '.< 

,~^^ .,,^:: 






Night came on immediately after the BritilhC-HAP 
had completed their conqueft ; but its obl'curity ^^^^^I- 
was not of long continuance. Two frigates, two 
gallies, and an armed floop belonging to the 
enemy, lay at anchor in the river under the guns 
of the forts. Thefe veflels were fecured from 
our fquadron by a defence which ftrongly markt 
ed the indefatigable induftry of the Americans, 
A boom, confining of vaft rafts of timber con-; 
ne£led by cables, ftretched acrofs the Hudfon's 
River (in that part fix hundred yards wide) from 
the projecting point on which Fort Montgomery 
ftands to a mountain, called St. Anthony's Nofe, 
that rifes immediately from the other margin of 
the ftream. This boom was ftrengthened by a 
chain, whix:h alone was fuppoled to have coft the 
Americans about fifty thoufand pounds. The 
chain weighed above fifty tons, and the links 
were about two inches and a half fquare. Be- 
hind this bulwark the American vefTels bid de- 
fiance to" any" attempt by water; but it was clear 
that as foon as daylight returned they mufl be 
deftroyed by the cannon of the forts, unlefs 
they furrendered themfelves to the vidors. To 
avoid this fate they filently flipped their cables, 
and fetting all their fails attempted to get up 
the river. The wind happened to be lb ad- 
verfe, that it was foon found impradicable to 
complete their efcape; upon which the crews 
quitted the veflels in their boats, previoufly 
fetting fire to the frigates and gallies. The 
flames fuddenly broke forth ; and, as every fail 
was fet, the veflels loon became magpifigent py- 
ramids of fire. The refledlion onnhe' ileep face 
of the oppofite mountain, and the long train 
of ruddy light that flione upon the water for 
a prodigious difiance, had a wonderful effedt; 
whilft the ear was awfully filled with the con- 





~?*M i i' . n i.w » » < 





CRAP.tinued echoes from the rocky fliores, as' the 
J^J^ flames gradually reached the cannon. The whole 
^-'^'^^ was fublimely terminated by the explofions, 
''^'^^' which again left all to darkiiefs. 

No fooner was the reduftion of the Forts 
Montgomery and Clinton known than Fort Coa- 
ftitution, on a rock fome miles higher up the 
• river, was demoliftied without the orders of the 
governor, and without a removal of the artillery 
and ftores*. 

Not far from the forts, thus reduced or demo- 
lllhed, lay a new fettlement called the Con- 
tiriental Village, which contained barracks for 
fifteen hundred men. Thefe, befides feveral 
fVore-houfes and loaded wagguns, of the articles 
contained in which no account could be tak^n, 
were deftroyed by a detachment undar major* 
general Tryon. 

' ?..r'i*i-v;.'j- A ier« 

* Return of Cannon, Stores, Amitiunition, &c. taken and dc. 
ftroyed upon the Expedition up the North River, QAobcr 

^» »777»v ' ■-:-:::^ 

Cannon. — ^Thirty-two pounders 6 ; eighteen pounders 3 \ 
twelve pounders 7 ; nine pounders 3 ; fix pounders 41 ; fout 
pounders 3 ; three pounders 2 ; two pounders z. Tutal 67. 

Two frigates biiilt for 30 and 36 guns were burnt by the 
Americans on the forts being taken. The guns aboard them, 
and two gallies which were likewife burnt, amounted tq above 
30. O^e floop with to guns fell into our hands. The whole 
lofs therefore is above 100 pieces. 

Powder. — 54 caflcs ; 11 t barrels i 12,236 lb. exclufiveof 
what was aboard the vefiels. 

Cartridges fitted. — 1852 cannon ; 57,396 mufquet. 

Cannon (hbt. — 9530 round ; .886 double headed ; 2483 
grape and cafe ; 36 cwt. i qr. 151b. langridge. 

Formufquets.~-i279 wt. of ball ; 116 wt. of buck-fliot; 
5400 flints- 

Every article belonging to the laboratory in the grcateft 
. perfeftion. Other ftores, fuch as port-fires, match, harnefs, 
fpave gun carriages, tools, inftrumcnts, &c. Sec. in great 

;-:-*'^/' - 


-■■'*'*''^^ ', 





A fcrvicc was now completed, which, it was P H ^ P. 
iaiagiaed, might open eflential communication ^y^^^ - 
with general Bur^oyne ; of whofe diftrefs the '*^~» '^ 
moft remote fufpicion was not then entertained. *''^^' 

Whilft the fleet was on its paflage from New 
York to the forts, an ofRcer from general Bur- 
goyne, who had made his way through the coun> 
try in di%uire, reached fir Hear)' Clinton ; but 
the obje& of his miffion was only to folicit the 
facilitation of general Burgoyne*s progrefs by fome ' 
fuch expedition as that in which the officer found 
fir Henry Clinton engaged. 

The day after the capture of the forts another 
officer from the northern army reached fir Henry 
Clinton, and his reprefentation alib amounted 
only to this point. That if general Burgoyne 
did not hear of co-operation by the tenth of Oc- ©aober. 
tober, hefhould, on that day, be conftrained, by 
the terror of wanting provifions, to return to ^ '< 
Fort Edward. The ignorance of the difficulties "- 
which at that time furrounded general Burgoyne's 
army is the lefs to be lamented, as it does not 
appear that it would have been pra£iicable for fir 
Henry Clinton to have taken any fteps which 
could at all have fuccoured that army. 

A flying fquadron under fir James Wallace 
was now fent up the river, deilroying a number 
of veffels as they failed along. Under cover of 
this naval force, general Vaughan, on the thir- 
teenth of Odlober, with a detachment from the 
little army under fir Henry Clinton, landed at 
^fopus Creek, where he found two batteries ; 
one of two, another of three guns j and an arm- - 
cd galley at the mouth of the Creek. The Ame- 
ricans made little refinance ; but, abandoning 
the batteries and row-galley, took to flight. 

From this place the general continued his 
march about five miks farther to the town of 

JElbpus ; 



ft - >' 


-ijfiti.^>-,. i„vr • 

.-. ^ f 



-- V" 







C H A P. i^fopus '; which, having been fired at by fome 
XVIII. people as he entered it, he reduced to a(hes with 
a A'aft coUedlion of ftores and provifions. A few 
of the townfmen, and fome of the country peow 
pie, aflembled ; but, after making fome Ihew of 
oppofition, drew back. 

Sir James Wallace at the fame time deftroyed 
the (hipping and fmall craft that had taken fheltex 
in the creek which leads up to the town. Our 
troops, having performed thefe fervices, re-em- 
barked for New-York. 

.-•^f#o : 

t* I 






-,:rm.\ CHAP. 


::>a^?^^j(S16r'-r>* ■■■:—■. 

™ Jmbh. 1. '. ■?» -'H*«,i*!^.^"-S 

by fome 
(hes with 
. A few 
tury peo- 
: Ihew of 

en (heher 
ivn. Our 
js, re-em- 

fi'' ■' 


C H A P. 



' 409 



f»^.»'.'/.v. •'■fe'-ir.*^!" 



Expedition under the Command of Lieutenant-ca- >\ ^' 
/o«^/ Mawhood-^A^ion at Q^intin's Bridge-^ "■- 
i^/ Hancock's Bridge — Ingenious Stratagem of ''.J. 
an American Loyaliji — Colonel Abercromhie*s ^ \^; 
Expedition againjl the Americans under Lacey •' * 
Wftfr Crooked Billet — Colonel Maitland's Expe- 

. dition up the Delaware — Attempt on La Eay- 

WHILE the Britifti army lay in winter-quar- CHAP, 
ters at Philadelphia, the efforts made for XIX. 
their own conveniency, and for annoying the *-nn*^ 
enemy, were as follow : — '778- 

In the beginning of March, lieutenant-colonel ^^p'^''^''* 
Mawhood, with a detachment from the main Uei Maw-' 
army, confiftirig of the twenty-feventh and forty- hood, 
fixth regiments, and New Jerfey volunteers, made ' 
a defcent on the coaft of Jerfey, near Salem, for 
the purpofe of procuring forage, of which the 
army Hood in great need, and of opening a com- ' 
municatlon with the loyalills of that part of the 
country, groaning under ihe tyranny of Living- 
fton the governor. Colonel Mawhood carried 
with him fpare arms to put into the hands of 
fuch as chpfe to repair to. his ftandard. This 
detachment embarked on board tranfports on 
the twelfth of March, fell down the Delaware, 
and landed >fafely at the place of their deflina- 

Colonel Mawhood, being reinforced on the 
feventeenth by the queen's rangers, confifting 

of . 



' < 



\ fc 







— .♦■- 









CHAP. of about- two hundred and fcvcnty infantry, 
^^^' rank and file, and thirty cavalry, cave diredlions 
for the forage to take place on the ci^hteemh, 
accompanied by the ftriAefl charge agamA plun- 

The town of Salem, near to which, as has juft 
been obferved, our detachment landed, lies upon 
a creek of that name, falling into the Delaware 
iicarly oppofite to Reedy luand. The Alewas 
Creek runs almoil parallel to that of Salem, and 
falls into the Delaware to the fouth of it. Over 
the Alewas Creek three bridges were extended : 
Hancock^s Bridge the lower ; Chimin's that in 
the centre ; and Thonipfon's tEe fartheft up. 
Between thefe Creeks, then, on the Delaware, 
forming a peninfula, at its greateft feven, and at 
its leaft four miles in width, the foraging was to 
commence. The provincial militia was polled 
at Hancock's and Quintin's Bridge, which they 
had defended by breal^works. Colonel Mawhood 
made detachments to maik thefe bridges, and fo< 
raged in their rear. 

The officer who commanded the detachment 
at Q^intin's having fent information that the ene> 
my were adembled in great numbers at the 
bridge, and would probably pafs over it whene- 
ver he ihould quit it, in which. cafe his party 
would be in great danger, colonel Mawhood 
inarched with the queen's rangers to his afiift' 
ance, and by a fuccefsful feint and ambufcade, 
firft drew a divifion of the enemy over the bridge, 
and then vigorouily attacked them. Kot a few 
of them were taken priibners, but the greater 
part were drowned in the Alewas Creek. Among 
the prifoners was their commanding officer, who 
proved to be a Frenchman. The rangers had 
one hnflar mortally wounded. Here we Ihall 
give place to an anccdoie, authenticated by the 











II ^^:- 





authority of colonel Simcoe, who rommaaded CHAP. 
the rangers, that aifords a fpecimen of that bafe ^^X- 
and ungenerous fpirit with which nun j indivi- "'^'r'*^ 
duals in the American armies ihewed tKcmfelves *'77'' 
in the courfe of the war to be aduated. The 
hufTar was wounded by a man whom, in the 
eagernefs of the purfuit, he had paflfed, and gi> 
ven quarters to him without difarmiog him. The , , ' 
villain was killed by another hulTar. 

The Americans, who had for a moment quit- 
ted the bridge, but who, when they perceived 
that colonel Mawhood did not think it to his 
purpofe to pafs it, returned, ftill occupied the 
polls at Gt^intin's and Hancock's Bridge, their 
numbers gradually increafing. Colonel Maw- 
hood determined to attack them at Hancock'« 
Bridge, where, fcom all reports, they were af- 
fembled to the number of four hundred men. 
This enterprife was entrufted to major Simcoe, 
who embarked with the rangers on board flat- 
bottomed boats on the twentieth at night. He At Hank 
was to be landed at an inlet feVen miles below ^5 * 
Alewas Creek, when the boats were to be imme- " ^*" 
diately returned ; and by a private road he was ' 
to reach ^Hancock's Bridge, oppofite to which ' 
major Mitchell was to co-operate with him, at 
the head of the twenty-feventh regiment. Major 
Simcoe, though the enemy were nearly doul)le 
his numbers, and his retreat was cut off by tAe , 

abfolute orders to fend back the boats, confi- 
dered that every thing depended on furprife, and 
repofed juft confidence in the iilence, attention, 
and Ipirit of the corps under his command. By 
an overfight in the naval department, when the 
boats arrived off Alewas Creek, the tide fet fo 
ftrong againft them, that, in the opinion of the 
officer of the navy, they could not reach the 
place of their deftination till mid day. Major 




— 1( -' • ' 






M I S T 0' R Y : O F T H £ 


/ =1 

CHAP. Siiiicoe determined, however, not to return, but 
XIX. to laud at the moath, of the Ale was Creek oa the 
***nn^ niarfhes. They foon found out a landiug-place, 
»77^ and, after a march, of two miles through matfhes 
up to the knees in mud and water, at Icngt)^ ar- 
rived at a wood upon dry land, where the major 
formed his men for the attack. There was no 
public road that led to Hancock's Bridge but 
that of which the rangers were now in poffeflion ; 
biit a bank or dyke, on which there was a foot- 
way, led from Hancock's to Qjiintin's Bridge. 
This dyke captain Saunders, with a party, was 
fent to ambufcade, and to take up a fmall bridge 
that was upon it, as the enemy would probably 
flee that way, and if not purfued too clofely, 
would thus be the more eafily defeated. 

There was at Hancock's Bridge a large brick 
dwelling-houfe, called Hancock's Houfe, around 
which were many ftone houfes, and fome few 
cottages. Captain Dunlop was detached to the 
rear of Hanbbbk's Houfe, in which it was pre- 
fumed the American officers were quartered, and 
diredled to force, occupy and barricade it, as it 
commanded the paffage of the bridge. Different 
detachments were allotted to the fmall houfes iu 
the rear of Hancock's, fuppofed to be the ene- 
my's quarters. Having maftered thefe, they 
were ordered to aflemble at Hancock's, which 
the light-infantry who were in rei'erve reached 
by the road, and forced the front door at the 
fame time that captain Dunlop, by a more diffi- 
cult way, entered the back door. As it Vv'as very 
dark, thefe companies were on the point of fall- 
ing on one another. The furprife was complete, 
which it would have been, even if the whole of 
the enemy's force had been prefent ; but, fortu- 
nately for thera, they had quitted it the evening 
■,:.:rr'- - .-^-.-'r^--;!' ■- •- :-•,-■.■■ j-.- ..v.^--- before, 

•1 'vl 

,•,*■•/ - - l y ■--'•';--; ^, ( ^ ii .i-irt" ^---'^f*»-- *^r-r''-*r-''-'~Ti""if''"'' ■ ."."_" "^^.'^'"f 

:urn, but 
ek oa the 
li matfhes 
ength' ar- 
the major 
e was no 
ridge but 
loffeflion ; 
as a foot- 
s Bridge, 
larty, was 
lall bridge 
I probably 
»o clofely, 

arge briclt 
fe, around 

fome few 
bed to the 
It was pre- 
tered, and 
de it, as it 

Ihoufes in 
36 theene- 
hefe, tliey 
;k's, which 
ve reached 
ioor at the 
more diffi- 
it v»'as very 
)int of fall- 
5 complete, 
he whole of 

but, foriu- 

the evening 



" '.4. . 

befbre, leaving a detachment of twenty or thirty C 
men, all of whom were killed. 

The roads that led *o the country were im- 
mediately ambufcaded, and lieutenant Whitlock 
was detached to furprife a patrole of feven men 
who had be. ii fent down the Greek, which he 
completely eifeded. On their refufal to lurren- 
der he was obliged to fjre on them, when only 
one made his eicape. It was the firing on this 
fniall party that communicated to the twenty-fe- 
venth regiment the fuccefs of. the enterprife; 
Two days after, the queen's rangers patrolled 
Thomfon's Bridge. The enemy, who had bee« 
ported there, were alarmed at the approach of a 
cow the night before, fired at it, and then fled. 
They alfo abandoned Qjiintin's Bridge, and re- 
tired to a creek fixteen miles from Alewas Creek. 

Major Simcoe continued to drive the fmall 
parties of the enemy before him, wherever he 
went for the protciftion of the foragers: And 
even the main force oi" the enemy, in thofe parts, 
aflembled at Cohaufey, might have been eafily 
furprifed ; but colonel Mawhood judged, that, 
having completed his forage with perfedl. fuc- 
cefs, his bufmefs was to retr -n to head-quarters, 
which he did accordingly. The troops reim- 
barked on board the boats, and returjaed, withr 
out any accident, to Philadelphia. •-< -i, Wt 

Though patroles were made now, as regularly 
as ever, as fpring approached the- enemy's ca- 
valry came nearer to our lines, and owed their 
eicape more than once to the fleetnefs of. their 
horfes. Some of thefe that fell into the hands 
of our parties were decorated with eggs, women's 
Ihoes, and other articles, of which they had 
plundered the country-people coming to and re- 
turning from market ; and thus accoutred, were 
paraded through the ftreets to prifon. A nnm- 
. '\» - ber 



• i. *t'>' '^ 



V ' 


A 4^4 







1 ^ J 


I J 






flratagem of 
an Ameri' 
can loyalift. 

laic's expe- 
dicion a- 
(ainft the 
under gene' 
111 Lacy 
near Crook 
Cd Billet. 


ber of loyart(\i in arms under the command of 
Mr. Thomas, their captain, with Hoveden's and 
James's troops of provincials, made excurfiODs 
mto the country, and carried off from the Ame- 
ricans, provifious, dothinr, and other articles of 
ufe to the Britiih army and their adherents. On 
fuch excurfions they were ufualiy fupported, and 
th?ir return to their friends fecured, by the 
queen's rangers. 

A ftratageni for procuring providons for our 
army at Philadelphia, equally pleafant and fuc- 
cefsful, was played off by one of the loyalifts 
againf^ the Americans. General Waihinp^tou 
drew his fupplies of fat cattle from New £ng. 
land. A drove of this kind was met about thirty 
miles from Philadelphia, between the Delaware 
and Schuylkill, by a friend of government, who 
paiTed himfelf upon the drivers for one of ge- 
neral Wafhington's commifTaries, billeted them 
at a neighbouring farm, and then immediately 
galloped to Philadelphia, from whence a party 
of dragoons were fent for the cattle, and the 
whole drove was fafely conduced to Philadel- 

About the beginning of May, a great part of 
an American brigade, not lefs than one thoufand 
men, commanded by brigadier Lacy, general of 
the Penfylvania militia, took pofl at a place called 
the Crooked Billet, about fevcnteen miles from 
Philadelphia, on one of the great roads of commu- 
nication between that town and the country. 
From this Aation the Americans, in fmall par- 
ties, overawed and impeded the country-people 
in their approaches with provifions to the Phila- 
delphia market. By the way of Crooked Billet 
lay the main road between Philadelphia and New 
York ; and, ai lefs than half a mile from it, on 
the Philadelphia fide, there was another road 




which led, by the way of Horiham Meeting, toCKAP. 
general Wafhin^on's camp. Major Simcoe, who ^^X- 
had been the nrft that gave intelligence to the ^"^T^*^ 
commander in chief of the fituation, ftrength, '778. 
and probable views of brigadier-general Lacy, 
propofed that he (hould march with the rangers, 
and, by a circuit, get to the road in the rear of 
the Crooked Billet, and that a detachment (hould 
march, and anibufcade themfelves in a wood (for ' 
according to his intelligence there was«ne adapted 
to the purpofe) on the road which led to Wafh- 
ington's camp, by the Horfbam meeting-houfe. 
This party was to remain in ambufcadc till they 
(hould hear the firing of the queen's rangers 
It was prefumed that, if the furprife (hould not 
be complete, the ambufcade would enfure fuc- 
cefs, by fupporting the rangers if they (hould 
be checked, and by intercepting the enemy if 
they (hould attempt to retreat, as they probably 
would, and that towards their main army. This 
plan being adopted, lieutenant-colonel Aber- 
crombie, on the night preceding the fourth of 
May, was detached to the place of ambufcade, 
with about four hundred light-infantry, a large 
party of light dragoons, and Ivories to mount 
part of his infantry for the greater expedition. 

Major Simcoe's march \^3n difficult, 46 he 
judged it nece(rary to make mauy circuits, in or- 
der to avoid places where the enemy had pofts or 
patroles. He was well ^'lidcd ; and fortunately 
had information about twilight that prevented 
him from committing a difaftrous error. The 
armed refugees under their leader captain Tho- 
mas, had been fent by Mr. Galloway to cCcort 
feme of his furniture into Philadelphia. Hearing 
by fome means or other of the prefent expedi» 
tion ; they were encouraged to feize the oppor- 
tunity which it afforded of effeiling their objedl 
•!*s»i " . ' with 




>.*■■. ix 


) 4' 


■ V 


H I S T O R "y O F T H E 



»' I: 

f H- 



CHAP. with the greater certainty and fafety. They 
XIX. marched up the roads which the rangers had fo 
carefully avoided, but without meeting with any 
interruption or alarm. They fortunately paffed 
a houfe at which major Simcoe called ; otherwife 
he would certainly, when he overtook them, have 
miftaken them for the enemy. This little adven- 
ture of the refugees, with the narrow efcape they 
made from a fatal onfet by their own friends, 
ferves, among many other inftances with which 
the hiftory of war is replete, to ftiew the necef- 
fity of different military operations going on at 
the fame time, being concerted and carried on 
under the diredionof one mind. The refugees 
"Were direfted to keep themfelves undifcovered, 
and the rangers marched on as fail as poflib|e. 
Although day-light appeared, major Simcoe wis 
under no apprehenfions of difcovery, nor yet of 
colonel Abercrombie's having met with any ac- 
cident, as the parties were within hearing of each 
other's fire, and none was heard. He was there- 
fore, as he had now quitted the road, iu order 
to make his lafl circuit to reach the Billet, inr 
forming his officers of his plan of attack,: when 
allof a fudden a flight, firing was heard. 

Colonel Abercrombie, although affifted by hor- 
fes, could not arrive at his pod at the appointed 
time, before day-break. But, being anxious to 
fupport major Simcoe, he detached to the place 
of ambufcade his cavalry and mounted. lighten- 
fantry. The officer who commanded this de- 
tached party patrolled as far as Lacy's out-poft, 
and being nre^ at by the centinels did not re- 
tire. Lacy, rightly judging that he was fup- 
ported by a force adequate to fuch confidence, 
colleAing his ftrength, began to retreat up the 
country. At this crifis, the rangers arrived nearly 
in his rear, upon his right flank. They flopped, 

■ v.- ' . ^^ 


'■"iSl .i,^;f!W>«"*jf^--1 



and turned fome fmailer parties who were making CH A P. 
their efcape from the light-infantry, and who X^- 
were killed ; but the main body retreated in a **^"'*7*^ 
niafs without order, and in great precipitation; *77»* 
nor could our infantry, by their utmofl efforts, 
overtake them. The huflars of the rangers were 
unfortunately left at Philadelphia, their horfes 
having been fatigued by a long courfe of duty, ' 
and a fevere patrole the day before. Thirty dra- 
goons, who were with the rangers, were fent to 
intercept the baggage- waggons, and (laid to guard ' 

them. As the enemy were pafiiug through a 
wood, major Simcoe, galloping up to the edge ■;, 
of it, fummoned them to furrender: They were 
in great conflemation, but continued to prefs 
forward. The riiajor then gave the word of com- 
mand, " make ready," " prefent," " fire,'* 
hoping that the intervening fence and thickets 
between him and them might lead them to fup- 
pofe that he was accompanied by a body of men, 
and that they might halt; in which cafe a. few 
moments would have been decifive. At the 
word *' fire," they crouched down, but ftill moved 
on, and loon got out of all reach *. 'Ur?' 
Vol. I. E e Our 



* In the Hiftory of Great Britain, from the Time of Oliver 
Cromwell to the Acceflion of George I. by Mr. Alexander 
Cunningham, the tutor and the companion of John duke of 
Argyle, in his campaigns in the Netherlands, which h gene- 
rally admitted to contain a more particular, clear and intel- 
ligible account of the conduct, ftratagems, and incidents of 
war, than any hiftory in the Englifh language, we read the 
following paiTage relating to the celebrated earl of Peterbo- 
rough, commander of the Britifli troops in Spain in the war 
of the fucceffion : 

*' The earl of Peterborough had alarmed all the country, 
" far and near, with dreadful rumours and meflages of his 
" approach ; and, carefully concealing the fmall number of 
" his troops, caufed reports to be fpread that the confede- 
" rates had a large armr. It is faid he had not above twelve 

" hundred 



r^i.iB(^- r- 






CHAP. Our troops returned to Philadelphia. The 
XIX. commauder in chief ordered the baggage to be 

'"""'^f'^ fold for their benefit, which produced a dollar 
*778- a man. 




« hundred men, who were reduced to great weaknefs, wlien 
** he thus, by ftratagcm, put to flight fcven thouland of the 
*« enemy [under the cond6 de Ua Toaes, who had laid fiege 
** to the town of San Maitheo, which had fubmitted to king 
«• Charles.] 

" After this he thought it worth his while to attempt the 
« town of Nults, which the inhabitants held out for king 
*' Philip ; but as he neither had foldiers, nor any thing in rea- 
'• dinefs neceflary for war, he himfelf rode full fpecd up to the 
" gate of the town, and calling for one of the magiftratei or 
•* priefts, demanded the town to be furrcndered to him. He 

told them that if they would yield immediately, they might 
" expeft good terms; but that if they refufed, he would inftantly 
" give orders to his army to plunder the town, allowing then 
'* only fix minutes time to confult, and return their anfwer; at 
" the fame time calling out aloud for his cannon (although he 
" had none) to be planted againft the walls. As great revolu. 
" tions are brought about by fmall accidents, the word was no 
•« fooner faid, than the town was delivered up : And other 
" places alfo he went and took with the fame celerity, all 
" which he added to the dominions of king Charles. By this 
" manner of making war, the earl of Peterborough., in a 
" (hurt fpace of time, performed fuch wonderful exploits in 
" Spain, that the Spaniards even began to give credit to all 
" the fabulous ftories of the valour and atchievements of 
" Don Quixote; and the Englifh alfo thought his praifes an 
" obfcuration of the duke of Marlborough 'i glory. He far- 
" ther pretended to be furnlfhed with horfes as it were 
" fprung out of the earth, and drew brigadier Mahoni into a 
•' conference, in which he dexteroufly operated on his mind, 
" and managed his paflions as it fuited his own purpofe. Then 
" he took Molviedro, and feized Valencia, and, by his ru- 
" mours and fpies, caufed the Spaniards to make war upon 
•* one another, and defeated the duke d'Arcas. And, laftly, 
«• he fupported the prieds by his liberality, and fuch of the 
" country people as would take up arms for king Charles." 

" In a word, the earl of Peterborough, in the hiftory of 
" his conduct, is ftyled the father of ftratagems, and Fortune 
'^ is faid always to have attended his undertakings." 

Had the chief comm. id of our army in America been 

placed in the hands of fuch a man as the earl of Peterboroughi 

':. . ,■>'*' ' whole 







a ,-> 



J 778 

a man. This excuifion, though it failed of thatCHAP. 
fuccefs ^vhich was expeded, had the full eflFed XlX. 
of intimidating the militia, who never afterwards 
appeared but in fmall parties like robbers. The 
fuccefs of the expedition would have been more 
fignal, had not our troops been too much fa- 
tigued by the very great length of the march, which 
favoured the enemy in their flight, and had our 
cavalry pufticd on when they firft difcovered the 
American centinels. 

A joint attempt was made on the feventh of ^«P«*g» 
May by fea and land to deflroy the gallies andhm^unl 
other veffels that had efcaped up the Delaware j'f."?|^'" 
after the redudion of Mud Ifland, and the (hip- 
ping that the enemy had in the river between 
Philadelphia and Trenton. This enterprife was 
effedually acomolifhed by the Ikill and aflivity 
of captain 11" ' f the navy, and Major Mait- 
land of the '.es. A confiderable quantity 

of (lores and proviftons was alfo dcftroyed ; and 
a number of the enemy, who made no great op- 
polition, were killed. Not fewer than forty-four 
American veflfe were burnt, fome of them of 
confiderable value. 

About the nineteenth of May 1778, General xttempton 
Wafhington detached the marquis de la Fayette *^^*y««* 
to take pod with nearly three thoufand men 
upon Barren Hill, a polition feven miles ad- 

£ e 2 vanced 



whofe vigilance, invention, and celerity of adlion on a fcene 
not altogether diifimilar to the divided ftate of the American 
colonics, form a direA contraft to the flownefs, and circuitous 
movements of fir William Hovre, it is extremely probable that 
the iflue of the American war would have been ceverfed. 
Neither military genius, nor alertncfs of conduct, nor promp- 
titude of adion, were wanting in the Britifli army ; nor is 
major Simcoe the only inftance in which thefe qualities were 
difplayed in a very confpicuous manner ; though not in that 
ftation in which they could produce the gretteft and moft dc- 
cifive confequences. 


; ^*- 


H^rs Y OR Y O F T H'E 



CHAP, vanced from the cartp of Valley ' Forge ; but 
"XtX. upon the oppofite or caftern fide of the riter. 

The bbjefi 6f this ftep ' ^ not very clear. 
'"^^'e pofition was ftill too diltant ' from PhiUdel- 
"^- Ilk to give ady interruption df confequence' to 
tuch' ftippfies as vi^efe carried into that city by 
the neigiibouring country. "Poffibly, as the in- 
terided evacuation of Philadelphia was now well 
known, general Wafliington mightha-ve thought 
.that it would keep up the fpitits of his party 
^f he feetfted to priefs' upOn'the Britiih in their 
Tetreat ;'. for 'he roiiV have been aware that Ms 
then force could liotallow'him' toexpcft that' he 
'ftiould make any real advantage t)f futh an at- 
tempt : And the diftante 6f Batr6n Hill from 
T'hiladelphia appeared to fectre the detachm(g|it 
from any hazard. This fuppofed fecurity proved 
illufive. On the night of May the twentieth, 
five thoufaiid of the choiceft troops in the Bri- 
tifh army fet out from Philadelphia, marching 
by" the road which keeps clofe to the Delaware, 
. and whi<Jh, therefore, diverged fron the dir6<Slion 
of 'Barren* Hill. After the detachment ' had pro- 
ceeded fome miles, it turned to the left, and paffing 
'White Marfh foon after day-break, it reached at 
"length its deftined point, without having fallen 
in with any patrole or out-poft of the enemy. 
This point was direftly in the rear of La Fayette's 
pofition, confequently -was between him and the 
camp of general Wafhington. The road here 
forked; one branch led to the camp of La Fayette, 
at the diftance of a fhort mile ; the other went to 
Matlon's ' Ford' acrofs the Schuylkill, at about the 
• fame diftance. In the courfe of the night a ftrong 
detachment, under the command of general Grey, 
l)3id marched from Philadelphia along the weftern 
teraach of the Schuylkill, and ftationed theni- 
-fclvcs at a ford two or three miles in front of La 





A ME R I C A N W A R. 

4n t. I 

Fayette's right flank, wbilft the remainder of ihe C H A P. 
Britilh army advanced to Chei'nut Hill. ^.IX, 

Theretreat'Of La Faj'ette was thus cut off from "-"^r'*' 
every paffage but Matfon's Ford j and as the line '77*; 
from La Fayette's pofition formed the bafe of an 
obtufe-angled triangle with the two roads above- 
mentioned, it was obvious, that his diftance from. ' 
it was much greater than that of, the Britift). * 

When general Grant arrivcdat the point above 
defcribed, the confufed galloping of lome of the^ 
enemy's horfemen> who advanced to reconnoitre, 
intiraaied that the approach of the Britifti was 
then firft perceived. At the fame time, the co- 
lumn was difcovered, by glaffes, from the capip 
of general Waihingtojij who, by the firinjj. of 
cannon, attempted to give his detachment no- 
tice of the danger. Confiderable time feems tQ 
ha-ve been loll in malj^ing a diipofition fcr the 
intended attack, during- which d^lay a corpsi, of 
cavalry, that had formed the advanced guard, QU 
the march, took poffelTlon of a hill between the 
two roads.. From this elevancn the corps of La 
Fayette was difcovered retreating towards lyLat- 
fon's Ford through the low W0|ody grounds which 
border the river. The d^forder and prccipita,- 
tion, apparent in the rear of that column, fufE- 
cienily indicated the terror wirh which they were 
attempting their efcape. Information of this cli:- 
cumftance is faid tp ha-ve been given to gen.ei;^! 
Grant, and his fuperior proximity to Matfon's 
Ford is reported to haye been urged to him, and 
even pointed out in the ftrongeft manner ; but 
under a perruafiou that this was only a part of 
La Fayette's troops, detached for fonie unac- 
countable realon, the general perfifted in his re- 
folution of advancing to Barren Hill, notwith- 
ftanding the ftrong remooArauces of fir William ' 

Erf^inc againft that meaiure. This pod was un- 





^'li:: '■ 

CHAP, luckily concealed from view by intervening trees, 
^^- otherwife the defertion of it by the enemy would 
have been perceived. The Briiifli having ad- 
vanced to the church, and found the camp aban- 
f'- ed, undertook the purfuit of the enemy by 
.„*i ery track which La Fayette had taken. In 
ihe mean time that officer had reached the Ford ; 
but his troops, being overcome with apprehen- 
fion, had hurried acrofs the river, leaving be- 
hind them the fix field- pieces which they had 
brought from camp to the bank of the river. La 
Fayette having formed his battalions on the other 
fide, and perceiving that the Britiih did not ap- 
proach by the road in which he apprehended 
them, fent a corps acrofs for his cannon,' order* 
ing fome fmall parties to be advanced into the 
woods to retard the progrefs of the Britifh ad-, 
vanced guard, fhoula it approach whilft the ar- 
tillery was in the river, The cannon were 
dragged over, but before the parties of obferva- 
tion could retire, ihe Britifli cavalry fell upou 
them, and killed or- took about forty^ The Bri^ 
tiih generals advancing to the Ford, perceived 
that La Fayette was fo advaptageoufly pofted on 
the other fide of the river, with his artillery on 
the high and broken grounds which arofe from 
the water's edge, that nothing further could be 
attempted againfi him. Thus unfortunately failed 
the objedl of the expedition. It is faid general 
Wafliington thought the cafe fo hopelefs, that he 
broke his bridge from Valley Forge acrofs the 
Schuylkill, left the fuccefs ihould be purfued 
agairift himfelf. It is obvious that he could not 
attempt to fuccour La Fayette ; becaufe, as he had 
but four thoul'and men remaining in his camp, 
the Britiih detachment was of itfelf equal to give 
|iim battle, could he poflibly have joined La 
Fayette ; and that was a ftake which every in- 





tcreft forbade. But as the body of the Britifh CHAP, 
army was at Chefnut Hill, at hand to give ge- ^^^• 
nerai Grant immediate fuppon, general Wafh- 
iugton could not have interfered without every 
probability of incurring ruin. 

As the time approached when the army was 
to move from Philadelphia, American patrolcs 
were pafTed over the Delaware from the Jerfeys. 
One of thefe, after a long chafe, was taken by the 
huffars belonging to the queen*s rangers. The 
quarter-mafter-general, fir William Erlkine, be- 
ing in great want of horfes, com miflariea were 
fent to procure them, efcorted by the rangers 
under major Simcoe. . The major entered on this 
office with much regret, as the horfes were to be 
taken from people whom he had hitherto uni- 
formly proteAed. 



m^-^r. ■ ■■'■ 


^i*M#5-4v,c !«*!/: >v;i/';^.#. ?»^?i| 


^rAr . f}r '<: : 

' K- - ■■ ■ ■"!• •;' ^-.v- J ■■ •' ; ' \.. 

--■--•• y--". .;.•■ 

■\ /..:...•..„'- ... y 

C H A P. 





Sir William Howe reftgns the Command of the 
Army — Fejiival called Mifchianzay in honour 
of air William Howe — He is fucceeded in the 
Command of the Army by Sir Henry Clinton — 
si Returns to England — Complains of Defamation, 
^ . and folicits and obtains a Parliamentary Inquiry 
into his Condu8. — 1778. 

C H A P. rip HESE, then, with occafional parties fent 
^^' X. out to cover the loyalifts, were the only 
movements made by the Britifh commander in 
chief while he lay m his winter-quarters, from 
Odlober 1777 to June 178O, at Philadelphia. 

It would (eem, however, that fir William 
Howe imagined that all that could be done for 
the royal caufe had been now performed : For to 
a deputy fent to the commander in chief from 
the magiftratcs, on a rumour of the intended 
€va( ition of Philadelphia, requefting his advice 
how to adl, he faid that the bell thing they could 
do would be to go over and make their peace 
with general Waftiington. And as he himfelf 
Vv'as on the eve of quitting the army, he told 
them to go to fir Henry Clinton, his deftined 
fucceflbr, for a flag of truce in order to go out 
to Wafhington for that purpofe. The deputy 
accordingly went to fir Henry Clinton, who faid 
that he could not grant a flag on fuch an occa- 
fion ; that the game was not up ; that the war 
was not over, but would ftill be vigoroufly car- 
j»- ricd 


• '-^ia**,;--- . i.-xELi'is? 






ried on ; and that they ought not by any means C H AP. 
to entertain a thought of going over to the enemy. ^^* 

Sir William Howe had formed a refolution of "^^"f^*^ 
refiguing his office fo early as the month of Oc- sir waiimi 
tober. In a letter of his of the twenty-eighth Howe re. 
of that month, he wrote to the fecrctary of Hate Jl^JimJ^d ^i* 
for the American department, lord George Ger-tii^ariTiy. 
maine, as follows : — " From the little attention, 
" my lord, given to my recommendations fince 
" the commencement of my command, I am led 
" to hope that I may be relieved from this very 
" painful fervice, wherein I have not the good 
" fortune to enjoy the neceffary confidence and 
fupport of my fuperiors, but which I conclude 
will be extended to fir Henry Clinton, my pre- 
fumptive fucceflbr. By the return of the pack- 
et I humbly requeft I may have his majefty's ,, 
" permiffion to refign." Tnat permiffion he re- 
ceived on the fourteenth of April 1778 ; but in 
the fame letter which conveyed leave to refign, 
he was ordered by his majefty, while he ftiould 
continue in command, to lay hold of every op- 
portunity of putting an end to the war, by a due 
exertion of the force under his orders. 

The commander in chief's letter, in which he 
alleges, as the ground of his refignation, the want 
of neceffary confidence and fupport on the part 
of adminiftration, was matter of equal aftonifh- 
ment and indignation to the parties agaiuft whom 
that charge was made ; while it inevitably led the 
unprejudiced and impartial fpedator to contrail 
the languor and reludlance too vifibly apparent ' 

in the whole conduft of fir William Howe with 
that alacrity and zeal with which the miniftry, 
and particularly the niinifter for American af- 
fairs, provided and furnifhed the means of car- 
rying on the war, and that difpofition which ihey 
manifefted to invite and reward the efforts of 






i' I 


; H A P. ^^^ general by all poflible encouragement. When 
XX. meafurcs for reducing the revolted colonies were 
-nr^ refolved on, and fir William Howe was appointed 
>778' to the command of the army, fuch was the difpo. 
fition of governmeat to gratify him in whatever he 
ihould defire, that the fccretary for the American 
department declared, ** the meafures of force 
" ihould be the wilhes of the general." The ge* 
neral, who was then in America, and had th( ftate 
of the war under his eye, was the beft judge of 
what force would be competent to its fuppreflion. 
On his judgment, therefore, government relied ; 
but inftead of dinting, they furpaffed his wiflies. 
In his letter to lord Germaine *, after long and 
mature deliberation, he only requires nineteen 
thoufand men ; which, he fays, will be ** adfe- 
" quate to an adive offenfive campaign on the 
" fide of New York and Rhode Iflaud." In- 
ftead of nineteen thoufand men, he was fur- 
nifhed with ihiriy-one thoufand four hundred 
and feventy-fix. And, although he expefted to 
meet a force of thirty thoufand men, the whole 
American army did not amount to eighteen thou- 
fand. With the force now fent, amounting to ele- 
ven thoul'and men more than he required, the ge- 
neral appeared to be more than fatisfied, and de- 
clared his utter adonilhment at the uncommon ex- 
ertions of government. He acknowledged, in his 
letter to government f ; that the fuctelfes of the 
army under his command had intimidated the 
leaders of rebellion, and nearly induced a ge- 
neral fubmiffion; — an admiflion which was ftridtly 
juft ; for farther oppofiiion was uuiveri'ally de- 
fpaired of by all America, except a few delperate 


* Of the 26th of November 1775. 

f Of the 30th of November 177C, anJ the 20th of Janu- 
ary 1777. 


)nie8 were 


men in general Wafhington's army; and that army CHAP. 
was reduced to a number not exceeding four XX. 
thoufandmen. And yet, at that period, we find ^^''T'"^^ 
him making a demand, firft of fifteen thoufand, ^778' 
and then of twenty thoufand rauic and file. The "^ 

general, it is true, did not make this extravagant 
demand without affigning reafons for it ; but 
thefe reafons were ill-founded. In his letter of 
the twelfth of February 1778 he informed the 
fecretary of ft ate that " the rebels had profpedls 
" of bringing into the field more than fifty ,' 

" thoufand men. They are moft fanguine in 
^* their exped^ations," fays he, *• and confcious 
*♦ that their whole ftake depends upon the fuc- 
" cefs of the next campaign, ufe everv compuU 
" fory means to thofe who do not enter volun- 
" tarily into their fervice." We know, howe- 
ver, that, inftead of fifty thoufand men, they 
were not able to bring into the field, when the 
general met their force at Hillfborough, more 
than eight thoufand men ; and even at the Bran-^ 
dywine, not more than fixteen thoufand, mi- 
litia included, after he had, contrarily to all 
policy, given them two months, by every poffi- 
ble exertion, to recruit their feeble army. It 
thus appears, that if the reinforcement required 
on this occafion fell fhort of that which was de- 
manded by the general, the expelled reinforce- 
ment of the Americans, which was the reafon 
affigned for that rcquifition, failed in a much 
greater proportion. More than one half of the 
force required was fent, and not more than one 
fifth of that of the Americans was raifed. The 
account of the armed force in i777ftood thus: 
Britifh, forty thoufand eight hundred and fe- 
veniy-four, veteran troops. American re^^ular 
army at Hillfborough, eight thoufand ; at Brau- 
idywine, eleven thoufand j and, in the fpring, 

-^ '- at 








G HA P. at Valley Forge, not four thoufand undirciplined 
troops. With what juftice, then, it was faid, 
could the general complain of his want of force? 
and how extravagant his attempt to throw the 
blame of his own mifconduft on that admini- 
ilration which had, by fuch uncommon exerti- 
ons, thus gratified him in all his wifhes. The 
longer contemplation was indulged on this fub- 
jc6l, the more were the minds of men inflamed 
with warm emotion. 

" While the friends of the colonifts," it was 
faid, " were bringing their plot to maturity in 
*' Britain ; while the natural rjpfources of thig 
*' country were cried down, to the great encou- 
" ragemcnt of our foreign enemies, and a na- 
** tional defpondency was generally effedled ; 
** while the opponents of admiuiftration were 
" advifing ana contending in both houfes of 
•* parliament for withdrawing the troops from 
•* America, and, at the fame time, oppofmg every 
" meafure which was nccefl'ary for the recovery 
" of the revolted colonies, the flownefs and pro- 
** craftination of the general accorded but too 
" well with thofe fentiments, and contributed 
" not a little to render adminiftration more and 
*' more odious to the people, whofe difguft and 
*' indignation rofe in proportion as the minifter 
" demanded more and more fupplies, and as the 
" general ncglefted to improve the great op- 
" portunities, that were at different times pre- 
" feuted, of putting an end to the war." 

The violence of oppolition on the one part, 
and the extreme tcndernefs of fir William Howe 
towards the Americans on the other, feemed to 
many obfervers to be linked together by a kind 
of conne\5lion fomewhat fimilar to that between 
caufe and effeft. He certainly fuffered the enemy, 
with lefs than four thouland men, to re-conquer 
' r ■ • 'a pro- 



a province which he had lately reduced, and toe H A P. 
lay a kind of fiege to his army in his winter-quar- XX. 
ters. He unfortunately wafted the feafon of mi- v-^y^*/ 

litary operation, giving them time to recruit their '778- 
reduced force. Though the fpirit of revolt was • 

occafionally deprefledby the valour of our troops, , 
it was uniformly revived by the mifconduft of 
the general. 

Such were the obfervations that were very ge- 
nerally made on the condudl of fir William Howe, 
when he not only refigned his office without at- 
taining, in any degree, the end for which he 
took it upon him, but endeavoured to ftiift his 
want of luccefs from his own fhoulders upon that 
of the fecretary of ftate for the American depart- 

The fame or fimilar obfervations were made, 
and re-echoed with ftill greater energy over all 
the Britifti empire, on another unfortunate oc- 
cafion, which, like the grounds alleged for the 
refignation of his office, induced and provoked 
men to compare the importance of his fcrvices 
with the merit he affumed, and the gravity with 
which he fuftained the moft exceflive praife and 
adulation. It is to the famous Mifchianza that 
we allude, or feftival given in honour of fir Wil- 
liam Howe, by feme of the Britilh officers at Phi- 
ladelphia, when he was about to give up his com- 
mand, and to return to England. This enter- 
tainment not only far exceeded any thing that 
had ever been feen in America, but rivalled the 
magnificent exhibitions of that vain-glorious mo- 
narch and conqueror, Louis XIV. of France 
All the colours of the army were placed ia aFcftivai 
grand avenue three hundred feet in length, lined ""an^^n' 
i\iih the king's troops, between two triumphal iionourot 
arches, for the two brothers, the admiral, lord howc"""" 
Howe, and the general, lir William Howe, to 




\^^^ --4 


r- ■ 




C H A P. march along in pompous proceffion, followed by 
XX. a numerous train of attendants, with feven filkea 
^-nr'^ knights of the blended rofe, and feven more of 
^778- tijg burning mountain, and fourteen damfels 
dreffed in the Turkifh fafhion, to an area of one 
' hundred and fifty yards fquare, lined alfo with 
the king's troops, for the exhibition of a tilt and 
tournament, or mock fight of old chivalry, ia 
honour of thofc two heroes. On the top of each 
triumphal arch, was a figure of Fame, befpan- 
gled with ftars, blowing from her trumpet in let- 
ters of light, Tes launers font immortels *. 

This romantic triumph, after fo many difgraces 
and difappointments, did not efcape the fevereft 
fatire, both in private converfation and in print- 
ed papers ; among which a letter add refTed to fir 
WiUiam Howe in a publication called The Ame- 
rican Crifis, by Paine, the author of the pamphlet 
flyled Common Senfe^ was moft diftinguilhed for 
Ihrewdnefs of remark, vigour of conception, and 
energy of expreflion. 

We Ihall here infert a very excellent letter, 
which corroborates many of the fadls ftated by 
us, written in 1777, by M. du Portail, minifter 
at war in France to the conftituent affembly in 
1 79 1 and 1792, but at the period of the letter 
being wrote, a colonel in the French fervice, and 
adling as abrigadier-generalin the American armyf. 

* Thy laurels are immortal. 

t (COPIE.) 

A Monfelgneur le Comte de St. Germain, Miniftre de la 
Guerre (pour vous feulement, Monfeigneur.) 

Du Camp de White Maifh, a quartre lleues 
dc Phiiadclphie, le i2meNovcinbrc 1777. 


J'Al eu riionneur devous rcndre contc dcs battaillcs 
de Brandywine et de German Town, et de vous en envoyer 
lea plana ; ainfie que celui de Philadelphie, avec fes environs, 

a cinq 

, I 

ollowed by 
;ven filkea 
:ii more of 
n damfels 
rea of one 
I alfo with 
f a tilt and 
hivalry, in 
:op of each 
le, befpan- 
mpet in let- 

ly difgraces 
the fevereft 
ad in print- 
reffed to fir 
1 The Ame- 
le pamphlet 
iguilhed for 
eption, and 

jllent letter, 
Is ftated by 
ail, minifter 

affembly in 
af the letter 

ervice, and 

Miniftre de la 

a quartre lieues 
slovcinbre 1777- 

itc dc8 battailks 
vous en envoyer 
lec fes environs, 
a cinq 



Sir William Howe, foon after receiving thee HA P. 
fplendid teftimony of efteem which has been juft XX. 


( • 


k cinq lieues, a la ronde ; afin que vous puiffiez juger de la 
fituation du general Howe. J'efpere que tout cela vous fera 
parvenu. Jufqu' a pr^fent le general Howe n'eft pas encore 
maitre des deux petits forts, qui font dans la liviere, et qui 
empSchent fes vaifleaux de remonter jufqu' a la ville ; ce qui 
le reduit a ne communiquer avec eux que par le petit chemin 
que j'ai marque fur la carte ; chemin que nous pouvons bien 
lui couper cet hiver, quand nous aurons re9U un renfort des 
troupes vidlorieufes du nord. Nous comptons aufli mettre un 
corps de deux ou trois mille hommes de I'autre c6te de la 
Schuylkill. II y a deja des troupes dans le Jerfeys ; de cette 
fa9on le general Howe fera bloque dans Philadelphie, et en 
danger de mourir de faim ; a moins qu'il ne fe rembarque ; 
mais pour dire la v^rice, nous ne I'efperons pas. II prendra 
probablement les forts, s'il les attaque bien ; et il aura alors 
une communication fure avec fes valifeaux, quoiqu' il en foit, 
Monfeigneur, vous voyez que pour des gens battus deux fois, 
nous ne fommes pas en trop mauvaife pofture. Nous devons 
cela a ce que les Anglois n'ont que tres peu de cavalerie ; de 
forte qu'ils ne peuvent pourfuivre leur vi6^oice. Nous le de- 
vons encore plus a nos bois, et aux obftacles de toute efpcce 
d'ont le pays ell defendu. Maintenant d'apres I'cviperiencc 
de cette campagne, il eft nature!, de fe faire cette queftion : 
Les Americains reuifiront-ils a f^ rendre libres, ou non i En 
France, ou I'on ne peut juger que par les faits, on jugera pour 
r affirmative. Nous, qui avons vu comment les chofes fe font 
pafli^es, ne penferons pas de m6me. A parler franchemciit, 
cen'eft pas par la bonne conduite des Americains, que la cam- 
pagne en gineral s'ell terminee alTez heureufement ; mais par 
la faute des Anglois. Ce fut une faute capitale du gouverne- 
ment Britannique, de vouloir que le general Burgoyne travcr- 
fat plus de deux cens lieues de pays, et prcfque defcit, pourfe 
joindre aux generaux Howe et Clinton. Ce plan pouvoitpa- 
roitre grand dans le cabinet de Londres; mais mifeiable aux 
yeux de ceux qui avoient une exa£le connoiflance de la nature 
du pays. Mon obfervation n'ell pas en confequence de 1' eve- 
ncment ; car vous vous rappclcrez peut-6tre, Monfeigneur, 
que j'ai eu 1' honneur de vous ecrite, il y a deux mois que j' 
6tot3 bien aife que les Anglois, ne nous oppofaOent ici que dix 
mille hommes, & que j'eTp^rois beaucoup quelajonAion des 
generaux Burgoyne et Howe n'auroit lieu que quand la cam- 
pagne ne feroit plus tenable ; et que mcme fon armee feroit 






' 5 ■ 




f f 



C H A P. defcribed, fet fail for England, leaving the com- 
^^' mand of the army to fir Henry Clinton, of whofe 

■ . ■ ' adlions 

detruite de la moiti^, par la faim, la fatigue, la defer* ion, et 
les pertes qu'ila effuycroient tous les jours par nos troupes, ct 
nos milices poftees dans les bois. L'iflue a furpafle mon at- 
tente. Si les Anglois, au l!eu de a* amufer avoint dirige leur 
attaque contre le general Wafhington, avec dix-huit ou vingt 
mille hommes, je ne fais pas trop ce que nous ferions devenus ; 
parceque fi nous avions double le nombre de nos troupes, nous 
n'aurions pas double nns forces ; mais triple nos embarras. 

Si nous jettons les yeirc fur le plan decampagne, en exatni- 
nant la conduite du general Howe ; noos verrons qu'il n'a pas 
m^me fait, tout ce qu'il ^toit en fon pouvoir de fai're : Commc 
j'ai en I'honneur de vous le mander apres labattaille de Bran- 
dy wine. Car s'ileut profite dc fes avantages, il ne feroit plus 
queftion de I'armee du gendral Wafhington ; et il a mis depiiis 
dan« toutes fes operations une lenteur ct ure timidite, (Jui 
xn'ont toujours ^tonn^. Mais il peut fe ravifcr, & 1' on pent 
envoyer un autre general de Londres ; alors nous ne pourions 
peut-etre pas fi bien nous tirer d'affaire. Aurefte puifque les 
fivenements qui dependent de I'habilite des gen^raux ne pcuvent 
fe prevoir ; ils ne doivent pas entrer dans les conjefturcs qu' 
on peut faire a 1* avenir. Faifons feulement attention au nom- 
bre de troupes ; et j'oferai dire que fi les Anglois pouvoient 
avoir ici trente mille hommes ; ils pourroi^'-t v^duire le pays. 
Une feconde caufe qui pourroit hater cette i iuu^ition, et meme 
I'op^rer feule, c'eft le manque de munition ;», guerre, et des 
chofes nece/faires a la vie. A 1* ^gard des chofes n6ceffan'es 
pour la continuation de la guerre, il leur manque prefque tout. 
11 n'ont ni drap, ni linge, ni fel, ni eau de vie, ni fucre ; et 
ces derniers articles font plus importans qu'on ne le croiroit 
d'abord. Avant la guerre, les peuples Am^ricains fans vivre 
dans le luxe, jouiffoient de tout ce qui eft n^ceflaire pour ren- 
dre la vie agr^able et heureufe. Ils paflbient une grande par- 
tie de leur terns a fuiner et a boire du thi, ou des liqueurs fpi- 
ritueu'"'3. Telles «toient les habitudes de ces peuples. line 
feroit done pas fuprenant que le changement d' une vie efF^- 
minec, transformee fubitement en celle de geurrier, qui eft 
dure et penible, leur fit prcf6;er le joug des Anglois, a une 
liberty achctee aux d6pens des douceurs de la vie. Ce queje 
vous dis ne peut que vous furprendre, Monfeigneur, mais tel 
eft ce peuple, qui, mou, fans encrgie, fans vigueur, fans paf- 
fu)U pour la caufe dans laquelle il s'eft engag^ ne la foutient 
que parcequ'il fuit V inpuUlon qu'on lui a premicrement don- 

II 6:. 

■*■*-* >r 

J v.-^ 



aftions in the courfe of the prefent war we have c 
already made mention ; but concerning whom. 
Vol. I. F f for 

nee. II y a cent fois plus d'enthoufiafme pour cctte revolution 
dans quelque caiTg de Paris que ce foit qu'il n'y en a dans les 
Provinces Unies enfemble. II eft done n^ceflaire, pour ache- 
vcr cette revolution, que le France fourniiTe a cc pcuple tout 
ce qui lui eft neeeffaire ; afin qu'il trouve la guerre moinsdure 
a foutenir. II eft vrai qu'il lui encoutera qiielques millions ; 
niais ils feront bien employes en aneantiflant le pouvoir de 
I'Angleterre qui d^pouillee de fes colonies, fans marine, et 
fans commerce, perdra fa grandeur, et taiifera la France fans 
rivale. Cependant quelques perfonnes penfent (entr' autres 
1' Abbe R^ynal) qu'il ne feroit pas de I'int^ret de la France 
donner la liberte aux colonies Angloifes, et qu'elle rifquerolt 
de perdre les fiennes. Mais pour ceux qui connoiffent ce-pays- 
ci, il eft evident, qu'il fe paiTera bieri dee ann^es avant qu'ils 
puiflei.t. ^tre en ^tat de mettre une flotte en mer, pour faire des 
conquetes. La jaloufie entrelcs provinces (dont ou voit d^ja 
le germe) les aura divifes en tant Iz difflrens int^rets, qu'au- 
cune d'elles ne fera a craindre. ^ 

On pouroit demander, fi pour op^ter plut6t la revolution 
en Amerique, il ne feroit pas plus prudent que la France fit 
un trait^ avec les Etats Uriis, et que de concert avee eux, elle 
fit paffer ici douze ou quinze mille hommes. Ce feroit la le 
moyen de tout gater. Le peuple ici, quoiqu' en guerre avec 
les Anglois (nous le voyons journellement), et malgr^ tout ce 
que la France a fait, et a intention de faire pour eux, prefere- 
roit de fe reconcilier avec les Anglois, plut6t que de rcc^voir 
des forces de ceux qu'ils ont le plus raifon de craindre : Ou 
s'ils y confentoient d'abord, bient6t apres 1' antipathic naturelle 
entre les deux nations, fe manifefteroit par les plus terribles dif 
fentions. Quiconque habite ce pays-ci doit favoir que la chofe 
eft imprafticable. 

II y a encore un projet a examiner. La France, dans 
le cas oil elle feroit de faire la guerre aux Anglois ou- 
vertement, ne pourroit-elle pas de concert avec le congr6s 
tenter de prendre le Canada ? Par I'obfervation precedente, 
il eft naturel de fuppofer que le congres ne voudroit pas acce- 
der a une telle propofition. Le voifinage des Francois les d6- 
gouteroit entierement de f ette liberte qu* ils croiroient n' ^tre 
pas capable de garder long-tems ; et d6pendance pour de- 
pendance, ils aimeroient mieux dependre des Anglois. Mais 
ff loit-il avantageux pour nous d* avoir le Canada ? Je fens 
que pour difcutcr ce point, il faudroit avoir une connoiffance 
- ■ ■ i exafte 





p. for gratifying our readers, it may be proper far- 
ther to remark, that he had in the war with France 


exafte des produciionB dti pays ; ce que jie n*ai pai. Enconfi, 
derant la chofe er. K^neral, il meparoit que ce qui fe paflie 
malntenaot en Am^<-' ^ue doit degouter les Europ^ens, d' avoir 
sncune affaire '■. d€inSler avec les colonies de ce continent. 
Car foit que les colonics fe rendent a prefent ind^pendantes on 
non il n'y a pds de doute qu'elles ne le foient dans cent ans ; et 
avec elies toutes les partier Teptentrionales. Ceil fe preparef 
a une guerre certaine, que d'avoir des ^tabliflemens ici ; il me 
paroit done plus avantageiix pour la France, d' avoir des iflet 
qu'elie puiiTe plus aif^ment.contenir fous fa domination. Par- 
mi ces ifles, je choidrois ceAe dont les produdlions Be font pat 
naturellesa la France ; etqui cependant lui font eflentiellement 
necelTaires, comme le fucre, le caffig, &c. Car d' avoir des 
.colonies qui ne produifent que dti ble, quoi de plus inutile a 
la France? Elle n'a qu' a bien cultiver fon terrain, defricher 
.celui qui a et6 laifle mculte, et elle creera chez elle-m^me dea 
colonies qui ne lui conteront rien a defendre. Je crois par 
■toutes ces raifons, que H la France declare la guerre a 1' An* 
gleterre, ce n'cft pas le Canada qu'elle doit attaquer ; mais la 
Jamaique, et les autres poiTeflions Ahglpifes de cette nature. 
8i ell«: ne declare pas la guerre, celle doit employer tous les 
moyens que la politique lui fuggerera pour emp^cher les An* 
glois d' avoir jamais plus de vingt cinq mille hommed ict. 
Nous n'avions durant toute cette campagne, que treute mille 
hommes, favoir, 1' arm^e de Mr. Wadiington qui n'a jamais 
excede quinze mille hommes, celle du general Putnam cinq ou 
ilx mille ; et celle de Mr. Gates dix mille. Si Ton trcuvoit 
qu'il filit neceflaire d'augmenter le tout d' un tiers, je ne crois 
pas que la chofe fut pofllble. 

Je fuis peut-etre Monfeigneur, entre dans un trop grand 
detail ; mais vous pardonnerez la longueur de mes ditlertationi, 
caufee feulement par I'envie que j'ai cue de fatisfaire vos d^firs, 
^t de rendrc mon fejour ici auifi utile qu'il m'eft poffible. 

J'ai r honneur d' 6tre, 



Voire tres humble et tres obSjfant Serviteur, 

Le congrcs m' a elev^ au rang de brigadier general. 




rs, je ne crott 

from 1754 to 1763, been aid-'de-camp to princeCHAP, 
Ferdinand of Brunfwick, by whom he waa held XX. 

F f 2 in ^^TT-N/ 

,■■■*, '■. ---I 


.. •-■,»>•:. 

Xq (be Counp de St. Oermain, MInifter of War (for you 

only, Sir). 

Camp- at White Marfli, four Leagues front 
SIR, Philadelphia, 12th November 1777. 

J HAD the honour to fend you an account of the battled of 
Brandywine and German Town, together with the plans, as 
well as that of Philadelphia and its environs to rhe extent of five 
leagues, that you might be enabled to judge of the fituation 
of general Howe. I hope they have come to hand. Hi- 
therto general Howe ia not mafter of two fmall forts in 
the river, which prevent his veflels frorn coming up to the 
city, and his conimunicat*.>a with them, except by means 
of a by-way I have marked on the map, and from which 
we fliall cut him off in the winter, when we have received 
a reinforcement of victorious troops from the north. We 
purpcfe, likewife, to poft a body of two or three thoufand 
men on the other fide of the Schuylkill. There are already 
troops in the Jerfeys, fo that general Howe will be blockc.d. 
up in Philadelphia, and in danger of dying with hunger, 
Unlefs he reimbar]c8. But, to fpeak the truth, we do not ex- 
ped quite that. He probably will take the forts, if he 
attacks them properly, and will then have a communication 
with his (hipping, te that as it day, you fee. Sir, for 
people who have been twice beaten we are not in fo very 
bad plight; for t)'^ we are indebted to the fmall number 
of rnglifli cavalry, which prevented the enemy from following 
up ♦heir viftory, and ftill n^ore to the woods and other 
obltaclcn by which the country is defended. Now after 
the experience nf this c;.tipaign, it u -natural to put this 
quellion. Will the Americans fucceed :.i obtaining their li- 
berty, or no ? In France, where you can only form your j,udg- 
nent from the faifls, you will anfwer in the affirmative ; we, 
on the fpot, who have feen how things have gone, think dif- 
ferently. To fpeak plain, it has not been owing '.a the good 
conduft of the Americans that the campaign, upon the whole, 
has terminate'' rather fortunate»7, but to the fault of the tnjjr 
lift. It WIS an egregious error in the Britifh government, to 
dired general Burgoyne to traverfe about two hundred leagues, 






C H A P. in the higheft eftimation. Thus he was undoubt- 
XX. gjjiy ]3j.g^ Jq Qijg Qf ijje £rfl; military fchoolsin En- 

■^jr ^ - , . rope. 

of a wretched and idmoft defert country, to join the g'lu'ali 
Howe an I Clinton. The plan might app^nr grand in the !» 
binct of London, hut milerable iu the opinion o' th<>k \\\,o 
paid attention to thf; nature oit^^ the country. The obfervation 
is not in confequenc ; of the event ; for you v-'Ill probr) iy. Sir, 
call to recoUedtion th«t, two monilis ago, I had the honour 
to wrrite you word, I w^:, well pleaud the Eiiglifh opoofed ui 
here with only ten thoufand men ; and that I was in great 
hopes that general Burgoyne would Mot tf eft n junfllon with 
general Howt, till it would be no longer poPitsle to kef j; th: 
field, and evr.n then with his army half defi royi i by fan^irie, fa 
tiuiie, and dcfertion, and the daily lofs he wouUhieceflaiivfuf. 
.-11! fniiu our troop*, and the militia pofted in the woods. The 
tve.u «!54 .i.tvled my c- peftations. Had the £agli(h, inftead of 
maU'^iw- (o nvduy divetfions, direfted their attack againft gendral 
Waih?ii,:ton with eighteen or twenty thoufand men, 1 do not 
very well know what would have become of us ; becaufe, in 
doubling the number of our troops, we fliould not have added 
double ftrength to our army, and our cmbann'Tmeiits would 
have been increafed threefold. 

In looking over the plans of the campaign, if we examine 
the condu6\ of general Howe, we (hall, find he h.ns not even 
done that which he had it in his power to do, as I had the 
honour" to write you word after the biittle of Brandy wine ; 
for, had he followed up the advantages which thi^t gave him, 
there had been an end of general Wafliington's army j and, 
ffnce that, all his operations have been carried on fo (lowly, 
and 'with fo much timidity, they have become the objed of 
my aftoniftiment : But, perhaps, he may recolleft himfclf } 
perhaps another general may be fent from London, and then 
polFibly we may not extricate ourfelves fo well. However, 
lince the events which depend on the (kill of generals cannot 
be forefeen, they (hould make no part of the conjeftures we 
may form for the future ; let tis pay attention folcly to the 
number of troops, and I would hazard my opinion, that, if 
the En^lijb could have here thirty thoufand men, they ought to re- 
duct ' the country. A feCond caufe, which might haft "n that 
reduflion, and even operate aloue, is the wiiint of warlike 
(lores and the necefTaries of life. With refpeft to the requifitet 
for carrying on war, the Americans want aln::0il e 'ery thing; 
and as to other matters,, linen, fait, brandy, fvgrr, &c. are 
wanting ; and thefe laft articles are of moie i:-;^ >rtaricc than 



I E 

as undoubt* 
:hools in Eu- 

iln the gciioiali 
rant! in the rri 
tn o' Uxife '>V.o 
riie obfervation 
Iprobrliy, Sir, 
:iid the honour 
liHi opoofed ui 

I was in great 
s junflion with 
Pible to kepp tlur 
•I by fanrJne, fa 
Id neceflai iy fuf. 
:hc' woods. The 
glifli, inftcad of 
k agalnft gendral 
d men, I do not 

us; becaufe, in 
d. not have added 
I'yffoients would 

I, if we examine 

he has not even 
lo, zs I had the 
of Brandywine ; 
ii thst gave him, 
)n'8 army ; and, 
ied on fo flowly, 
ime the objed of 
ecolleft himfelfj 
^ondon, and then 

well. However, 
F generals cannot 
he conjeflures we 
ion folely to the 
r opinion, that, if 
t, they ought to «- 
might haft ^n that 

want of warlike 
ft to the requifitej 
n;Oil e 'ery thing ; 
^, fi'ff'r, &c. are 

is';^ rftance than 



rope. With futh perfonal merit, the advantage of C HAP. 
being of the family of Newcaftle, and alfo the next XX. 



f. is at firft aware. Before the war, the American people, 
tn,'i,'rh they did not live in luxury, enjoyed in abundance every 
«(!' tfite to make life comfortable and hsippy ; they pafled great 
j..'iit of their time either in fmoking, drinking tea or fpiritu- 
ous liquors. Such was the difpofition of thefe people. Sore 
againft their grain then, as it mutt be of a fudden, the tranf- 
form-into foldiers, reduced to lead a life of hardfhips and 
frijality, it would not be furprifing that they fliould prefer 
the yoke of the! Englifh to a liberty purchnfed at the expence 
of the comforts of life. 

You will be aftonifhed. Sir, at this language ; but fuch arc 
thefe- people, that they move without fpring or energy, with- 
out vigour, and without paiiion for a caufe in which they 
are engaged, and which they follow only as the impulfe of 
the hand that iirft put them in motion dirc(fls. There is an 
hundred times more enthufiafm for this revolution in any one 
coffee-houfe at Paris, than in all the Thirteen Provinces united. 
It is neceffary then that France, to accomplilh this revolution, 
fhould furniih thefe people with e^ery requilite to leffen the 
hardfhips of war. True, it will coft fome millions ; but they 
will be well laid out in annihilating the power of England, 
which, when bereft of her colonies, without a navy and with- 
out commerce, will lofe her confequence in the world, and 
leave France without a rival. 

Neverthclefs, there are fome, and amoiigft them the Abb^ 
Raynal in his publication, who think France would not find 
her account in liberating the Englifti colonies, that (he would 
run a rilk of lofmg her own ; but, to any one acqunimted with 
this country, it is evident that ages muit pafs before (he would 
be in a condition to fend out a fleet to make conquefts. The 
iealoufies between the Provi^•oe8 (the feeds of which are al- 
ready fown) will have divided them into fo many different in- 
terefts and ftatcs, that no one of them will be to be feared. 

It may be aflced, whether to bring a^out the revolution in 
America, it would not be advifeable for France to make a 
treaty with the United States, and, in concert with them, 
crofs over twelve or fifteen thoufand n:cn ? That would be >the 
way to mar all. The people here, though at war with the 
Englifh (we fee it every dsy), and, in fpite of all that France 
has done and means to do for tbeni, would prefer a reconci- 
liation with thf Englifh rather than receive in force the men 
in the world they moll fear; or, if tliey (hould- confent at 






CHAP. in command to fir William Howe, fir Henry 

XX. Clinton was naturally a|)pointed, on the refigna- 

^-nr*^ ; tion 

fii-ft, it would not be long ere the natural antipathy between thit 
two uations would break out into the mofl: terrible diflieni}* 
ons *. Whoever inhabits this country mud know the thing 
to be abfolutely impracticable. 

There is yet another project to ekamine. In the event 6t 
France being obliged to carry or. the war openly againft the 
£ngli(h, might not (he, in concert with cpngreft, attempt 
Canada i From the prbceditig obfervation, it is natural to 
fuppofe rongrefs would not accede to luch an arrangement. 
*rhe French neighbuurhuod alonr woxiid give them a difgu^ 
■to that liberty Which they would apprehend themielves not 
long alle to preferve, aod dependence for dependancct tbcf 
had rather be dependant on the £ngU(h. 

But, would it be • advantageous for us to haVe Canada.' 
1 am fenfible, to di v'C! thi'i rtoint^ a moft minute and accu* 
l^te knowledge of \\ic pvo.' jc of the country is necefiiufy, 
which I have not ; yti, to 'jti. der the thing in general, it 

.tppears to me, that wl 

rx IS 

(;<>iw going on in America ought 

■to difguft every European power from having any concern 
with colonics on this continent. For, whether the Englifli 
Colonies become independent or not at prefent* a century 
hence, no doubt, they will j and, with theffij aU the northern 
^ts of this continent. It is kying the foundation of certain 
War to have eftablifliments here. It appears to me, then, more 
advantageous fur France to have iflands, which (he can eaftly 
defend from this contagion of independence ; and, amongft 
the iflands, I (hould chufe that whofe produ^ions were not 
tiatural to Ft^nce, and which, neverthelefs, are become ef- 
fentially necrffary t fuch as fugar, coffee, &c. 3r -.. ; for tp 
have colonies producing only corn, what could be of lefs ufe 
to France? She has nothing to do hut well till her own 
lands, to put under the plough thofe which have hitherto 
Iain uncultivated, and (he will create at home colonies which 
wiU coft her nothing to defend. 


* In conflmMtioh of What M. du Pottail hu httt advanced, we rf. 
Colleft having heard, whilH we were in America during the war, and from 
good authority, " tliac, upon fome dilagreement with the French, the 
Americans difliking; the manner in which they conduced themfelves, the 
people were clamorous for putting arms into the hands of general Bur^ 

fsyne's foidiers, and making- a caufe common with them to drive ths 
rench put of the country." 

r,r-jr •" — --i 


tioa of fir William, to the chief command of theCH AP. 



Pritiih army. 

Sir William Howe, upon his arrival in Eng- 
land, found that hia condudl was gene ^lly con- 
demned, and threw himfelf for protedion and 
expulpation into the arms of a party, the oppo- 
fition to government in parliament, who re- 
ceived him with gladnefs, and jaoldly vindicated 
his conduct both in and out of the (e{:^ate. Ano- 
nymous charges againft the general were carried 
into parliament, that thereby the >vay might be 
prepared for a parliamentary inquiry into his 
conduct. He complained, in the houfe of cpm- 
mons, that many fevere cenfures had been thrown complain* 
put againil: him, and that minifters had been ^i-"^*)'''^*'""'' 
lent. He alleged, amongft other charges againft "" * 
adminiftration, that he had not the cordial con- 
fidence and fupport of miniftry ; that his or- 
ders from government had not been clear, but 
ambiguous, and luch as might be eafily explained 

• .■j>'fi ,"!!>»» t'f;«'-f;*»j.'ir»!i^ -J'jri'j , '^"?f. 


For al) thefe reafons, I think, fliould France declar- ivar 
againft Englanil, it is not to Canada, but Jamaica ana ocher 
F.nglifh poffeflions of that fort, fhe fhould dircft her attacks. 
If flie does not declare war, flie (hould employ the bcil means 
which policy may fuggeft to prevent the Engliib fror.'. ever 
having more than twenty-five thoufand men here. We had.- 
no more than thirty thoufand the whsle of this campaign, 
to wit, the army of Mr. Wafhington never exceeded fifteer. 
thoufand, that of general Putnam five or fix thoufand, and 
that of Mr. Gates ten thoufand. Should it be found necef- 
fary to increafe the whole a third, I do not know tji^t it 
could be done. I h?ive perhaps. Sir, in uny letter cxccede.d 
what you required ; but pardou the length of the diflertations 
I have gone into, from a defire to fatisfy your wifhes, and 
render my ftay here as uftful as in my power to make it. 
'» . , - , With the mod profound rcfpeft, .-^ .. , 

\. ^' I am, S IR, 

j' . ., "i ■ Your moft humble and 

>•'.'/ * /i' '• , , . Moft obedient fervant, 

Congrcfs has promoted me to the rank 0' j.!gadier-general. 

«~ . ^ ; . - •»■».- 

TTr*- -^■»~ yti^-~~^-j^ 

^.t^tr-- ^i^.*'' 


?^ -^i^' 



CHAP, away in cafe of any adverfe accident arifing from 
XX. their execution ; and that they had concealed 
^-'np*^ from parliament the true ftate of our affairs in 
''/78« America. piXaiirin^fuccefs when they knew there 
was no realbn toexpeft it. Lord George Ger- 
mairfi had faid, that he had learned from his 
intelligence the difficulties the Americans were 
nrder in raifing troops ; that he hoped that he 
(Wr -William) fhould be ab'e to get a fufficient 
lorce in Penfylvauia for th?'!- fence of that pro- 
vince ; and that he ftill hoped that this campaign 
would be the laft, " fo that, in fplte of my po- 
" fitive aflurrnces," faid the general, " from the 
" fpot, the minifter's delufive hopes and con- 
** jefcures were to influence him in oppofition 
" to my certain knowledge." In the animation 
of debate, the allegations of the general were 
placed in a flronger point of view. Minifters 
M'eie charged with having " treacheroufly and 
*' traitoroufly deceived this country ; inafmuch 
as they had declared to the houfe of rorn- 
mons, that th^y had reafon to expeft a luc- 
cefsful campaign, when they had it in their 
pockets, under the general's own hand, that 
" nothing was to be expedied." 

With regard to the firft of thefe charges, re- 
fpefling conlid ^nce and fupport, the vaft exer- 
tions of the minifler for the American depart- 
ment were recapitulated, and the letters of fir 
William Howe acknowledging them. With re- 
gard to the fecond, it was proved, by the cor- 
refpondcnce between the geoerf.l and the fecre- 
tary for American affairs, that every plan pro- 
pofed by the former was fure to meet with the 
approbation of the I itter ; and that flronger proof 
of confidence in .' general could not be given 
by ihofe who cmpi j; f>d him, than that he fhould 
be left iinconftrjired by particular inflrudlions, 









uncontrolled by fuperior power, at entire liberty CHAP, 
to follow his own plans, and profccute a war ^^* 
according to his own ideas ; nor was it ever ^-^tt'*' 
before made a matter of ferious complaint againft ^"^^ 
a minifter, that he did not furnifh military plans 
iu detail to a commander in chief, efpecially 
when repeated proofs were given of a fincere 
difpofition to co-operate with the military, com- 
mander, and furnifh the means of Executing 
whatever plan he might judge to be themofl ex- 
pedient for the public fervice. The fecretaryof 
Hate for the American department, in a letter of 
the twenty-fecond of Oftober 1776, exprefsly 
fays, " His majefty does not intend ihat the ge- 
•' neral, in his plans of operation, fhould be 
" confined to any particular province : His 
" choice of fituation muft in that refpeft be go- 
" verned by his own judgment." How many 
times, it was farther urged on this fubjedl, did 
fir William Howe alter his plan for the cam- 
paign of 1777 in the courfe of a few months? 
JJetwecn the months of November and April no 
lefs If an four plans, eflentially different from 
eac' . other, werv" propofed, and yet, by the ge- 
neral's own account, each of them, in its turn, 
was approved oi. The minifler for American 
affairs, in a lettei to the general of the third of 
March 1777, fays, " lam now commanded to 
" acquaint you that the king entirely approves 
" of your deviation from the plan which you 
" formerly fuggefted." And again, May the 
eighteenth, " As you mu{\, from your fituation 
*' and mihtary (kill, be a competent judge of 
" the propriety of every plan, his majefly does , 
" not hefitate to approve the alterations which 
" you propofe." The nature of the American 
fervice, indeed, required that the general fhould 
be at liberty to vary his plan of operations ac- 





CHAP, cording to the varying circumftances of the war: 
XX. And accordingly, as appears from the whole of 

''^nr^ the official correfpondence on the fubjeft of the 
>778. American war, the fulled confidence was placed 
in fir William Howe from the time of hisap. 
pointment to the chief command to that of his 
aflcing leave to return to Britain. Not only was 
he fupported by the whole weight of govccn* 
ment, but was indulged in all his wi^es for 
himfelf and his friends. On this head therefore, 
they who faw more matter of accufation in the in- 
activity and blunders of lir William Howe, than in 
the condu^ of lord George Germaine, which 
fecmed, on the whole, to be well dcfigncd, and 
towards the general full of confidence and ge- 
nerofity, enjoyed a complete triumph. It was 
with greater plaufibility that fir William and his 
friends infilled on the third charge, jufl men- 
tioned, againft the minifier ; that his hopes and 
conjediures, refpedting the (late of America and 
the iil'ue of the war, were more fanguine and 
favourable than the general's correfpondence 
warranted him to entertain. Yet, even here, it 
was (hewn from their correfpondence, that the 
miniiler's intelligence was not materially different 
from that of the general, nor his hopes of fuc- 
cefs on the whole much lefs lively. 

Still, however, the friends of fir William Howe, 
the members of parliament in oppofition to ad- 
miniftration, with his concurrence, infilled on a 
public inquiry into the condud of the American 
war, that our national dil'graces and misfortunes 
might be traced to their real fource. Lord Howe, 
in a fpeech in the houfe of commons, April the 
twenty-ninth, 1779, demanded an inquiry into his 
own and his brother's conduft for the following 
reafons : They had been arraigned in pamphlets 
and in newfpapers, written by perfons in high cre- 



(jit and confidence with miniAera, by feveralcHAPb 
members of that houfe, in that houl'e, iu the face XX. 
of the nation ; bv fome of great credit and rcfpcdl '^"^r^ 
in their public charadiers, known to be countc- '778. 
oanced by adminiAration ; and that oneof them*udobuil!'i 
iu particular, governor JohnAone, had made the * p»'><»- 
moft diredl and fpecific charges. Their charac- qu?r"mto"" 
ters, therefore, fo publicly attacked, and in fuch ^» '•«*»''*• 
a place, were to be vindicated iu the great couu- 
cils of the (late, and no-wbere elfe. 

In vain did the miniders of the crown, who 
had employed him, declare, that they had no 
accufations againft either the general or admiral. 
They, with their friends, infixed on a public 
examination, which was obtained, and in which 
they, for fome time, took the lead. But at lengt}^ 
it plainly appeared that, under pretence of vin- 
dicating the general, their real defign was to con-* 
demu the conduct of adniini (I ration. The parli- 
amentary inquiry that had been inftjituted, the 
miniftry and their adherents confidered as a fac- 
tious intrigue. 

It was, perhaps, imagined^ that his majefty, 
alarmed at the dangers that began, by this time, 
to threaten Great Britain, not only in America, 
but in other quarters, would change his confi- 
dential fervants, and commit the condudl of go- 
vernment to thofe very hands that had hitherto 
been employed in various attempts to baffle its 
defigns, ana fruftrate all the mealures that had 
been taken for carrying them into execution. 
But the king, amidft multiplying diftreflcs, with 
proper firmnefs withftood their machinations* 
determined to continue his countenance to thofe 
who wifhed not to fruftrate nor procraftinate the 



■<'■ •■ ^ V. 





CHAP, war*, but to bring it, as foon as poffible, to a 
XX. fafe and honourable conclufion. The oppofi* 
tion, therefore, difappointed in their expeftations 
from the higheft quarter in the ftate, ferioufly in- 
tended, what they loudly threatened, to impeach 
the fervants of the crown, and by that means 
to drive them from their places by a kind of 

Adminiflration, eafily penetrating this defign, 
rcfolved no longer to permit their opponents to 
run in the race of examination alone, but to 
vindicate the meafures they had taken. Many 
gentlemen of undoubted reputation, perfeAly 
acquainted with the condu6t of the war, and 
the ftate of America, were fummoned to give 
evidence refpeding thofe fubjedis. Of this the 
movers of the inquiry were apprized, and they 
foon began to lofe courage. Only two witneffes 
were examined, on what may be called, in the 
language of judicial trials, the fide of admini- 
ftration : Major-general Roibertfon, who had 
ferved twenty-four years in America as quarter- 
mafter-general, brigadier and major-general ; and 
Mr. Galloway, a gentleman of Penfylvania, of 
fortune and confequence, as well as good abili- 
ties, who was bred to the law, and had been a 
member of congrefs, but who had come over to 
the royal army in December 1776. But fuch 
was the circumftantiality, credibility, and weight 
of their evidence, that the movers and managers 
fhrunk from the inquiry : as, the more it was 
carried on, the more parliament, as well as the 
nation at large,^ feemed to be convinced that the 


* It is hclifvcd that the king on fome occafions went fc 
far as to fiiggeil his idciis of the proper plan for carrying on 
the war, which were very judicious, and which, had they 
been adopted by the general, might probably have been pro- 
dudive of good eifeds. 


(Tible, to a 
he oppofi* 
irioufly in- 
to impeach 
that means 
a kind of 

this defign, 
pponents to 
)ne, but to 
ien. Many 
n, perfeftly 
e war, and 
lied to give 

Of this the 
;d, and they 
wo witnefTes 
called, in the 
e of adniini- 
[1, who had 
:a as quarter- 
-general; and 
jnfylvania, of 
as good abili- 
id had been a 

come over to 
6. But fuch 
ty, and weight 
i and managers 
I more it was 
as well as the 
iriuced that the 
. conduft 

occafions went fc 
)lan for carrying on 
I which, had they 
ibly have been pro- 

A M E R I C A ^^^ WAR. 


conduft of adminiftration, in refpeft to the Ame- C H A P. 
rican war, was on the whole juftified. The ^^• 
friends of the general and admiral, therefore, '"""T^^ 
moved to difJblvethe committee which they had ^^VS* 
been fo ftudious to obtain ; and it was difllolved 

But although fir William Howe, as well as his 
friends, was difappointed in his hopes of fotne- 
thing more than exculpation, from an indulgent 
houfe of commons, he neither wanted a fufficient 
number of partilaus to keep him in countenance 
amidft all that cenfure that was poured on his 
conduct, nor political friends of fufficient con- 
fequence to compenfate for that cenfure by an 
honourable and lucrative ftation which he now 
holds under government : Nor is this the only 
inftance in the hiftory of Britain at this period, 
of great inequality in the public retribution of 
rewards and punifhments. When we refledl on 
the different and even oppofite reception given 
to fuccefsful genius actuated by the pureft patri- 
otiim on the one hand, and to monotonous me- 
diocrity, not only unfuccefsful, if fuccefs is to 
be meafured by etfedls conducive to the public 
good, but even of ambiguous intentions ; what 
are v,'e to think of the fpirit which influences and 
direfts the public councils "r 

In the decline of free governments we ever 
obierve the influence of faction to predominate 
over ideas of patriotiim, juftice, and duty, oa 
which alone liberty is founded, and a propenfity 
in the citizens to range themfelves under the 
banners of a Marius or a Sylla, a Pompey or a 
Caefar. Hence the i'ervants of the ftate are apt 
to become lefs and lefs fenfible to honour, £nd 
the voice of fame, the great incentives to glo- 
rious adlions, well knowing that their condud, 
however meri'orious, may ftill be condemned, 










H I S T It y O I^ t H E, Vc, 

Cl^AP. or however exceptionable, fiill be palliated, add 

XX. even applauded, to advance the views of fa£liott 

""""nr^ and adtbition ; while the great body of the peo- 

1^7^' pie, diftra^ed and confounded by theoppofite 

Opinions and declarations of their mperiors, who 

lire fuppofed tp have the beft means of informa* 

fion, know ixot where to place their hopes, their 

confidence, or their fears. 

It is the province of the hiftorian to corre^ 
thefe errors ai^d to animate the patriot, the face, 
kAd the hero, under temporal^ negledi o^ de- 
tradlion, by earthing an iappeal in thdr behalf 
to a tribunal more candid than their mifguided 
it Cotemporaries, and that, raifed on a theatre nipr? 
extended than their native country. 






ited, add 
|of h&ioti 
the peo> 
[e opix)fite 
iors, Avho 
|>pes« their 

to corre^ 
, the fage, 
a Qi de- 
hdr behalf 
icatrc mpr? 





.-^.__,_.. ...■,»«.