June 19, 1878
The One Hundredth Anniversary of the Departure of the
Army of the Revolution from Winter Quarters at that Place
HENRY ARMITT BROWN
WITH BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
AND EXPLANATORY NOTES
A. J. DEMAREST, A. M.,
Superintendent of Public Schools, Hoboken, N. J.
CHRISTOPHER SOWER COMPANY
124 N. Eighteenth Street
Copyright, 1911, by
Christopher Sower Company
Prefatory Note to the Teacher 5
Valley Forge : An Oration 11
The Introduction 11
The Occupation of Philadelphia 20
The March to Valley Forge 30
The Encampment 34
The Sufferings of the Soldiers 42
Holy Ground 55
The Troops and their Leaders 56
Washington at Valley Forge 65
Steuben and Franklin 67
The Dawn at Last 73
The Glory of Valley Forge 79
Valley Forge and Waterloo 82
The Spirit of Liberty 86
The New Century 90
Biographical Sketch 97
I. The Man — Henry Armitt Brown 97
His Childhood and Early Youth 98
His College Life 99
A Public Discovery 100
As an Orator 102
His Methods 102
His Style 102
A Man Among Men " 103
II. The Place— Valley Forge 103
HI. The Occasion — The Valley Forge Centennial
Suggestive Questions 114
PREFATORY NOTE TO THE TEACHER
Before the reading of this oration is taken up for class work,
the teacher should make a careful study of that period of our
history known as the ''Formation of the Nation," which includes
the controversy with England, resistance leading to independence,
and the struggle for independence, in order to give a correct
interpretation of this great masterpiece. While this oration
will appeal to the ordinary reader, yet for a study of it, such as
may be required for the class-room, some preliminary work is
essential. This critical study should be of a two-fold character:
first, the historical foundations upon which the orator built his
framework; second, references to orations of others, similar in
character, with which portions of this oration may be compared
Outline for Class Reading
The appreciation of a classic improves with each reading, and
this oration should be read by the class at least three times.
The first step in the reading of any classic is to read it as a
whole, for the purpose of permitting the student to get the thread
of the discourse. This can best be done by a single rapid reading.
In no sense should this reading be used as a formal reading lesson.
We shall make an inevitable failure if we attempt to teach reading
in connection with literary appreciation of a classic. The first
lessons, then, should require merely an intelligent reading.
It should be read aloud in a pleasing manner, to get a good under-
6 PREFATORY NOTE TO THE TEACHER
standing of the discourse. Do not stop to look up words or to
refer to the notes. Each day's reading should be so planned that
it will stop at some interesting place, in order to keep up sus-
tained interest on the part of the class. When we have read
and have grasped the oration as a whole, we are ready for the
In reading this oration a second time, we should aim to study
the mechanical means by which the orator secured his effects.
In this detailed study the teacher should do all the reading,
planning each day's lesson so that it will stop at some logical
place in the discourse. During the second reading the student
should form clear conceptions of —
(a) The Characters. — Are the descriptions of the characters
vivid? Can you see them? Can you call up a clear mental
picture of them? Does Mr. Brown succeed in presenting a
complete picture of the various men — are they real to you?
How and why came Washington and his army to Valley Forge?
Did he come flushed with the triumph of victory? Did he
bring with him a conquered army? Where was Howe at this
time? Contrast the Revolutionary army at Valley Forge —
poverty and patriotism, rags and resolution, bold, determined
men writing upon the snows and ice of winter as their parchment
in their own blood, their deeds of valor and renown — with the
British army in Philadelphia, flushed with victory, fearless of
defeat, wearing the winter away with feasting and revelry.
Call the roll of the heroes of Valley Forge, and comment
upon the services rendered by each — George Washington,
Marquis de Lafayette, Baron Steuben, Baron de Kalb, Count
Pulaski, General Knox, Light Horse Harry Lee, Generals Sullivan,
Wayne, Greene, Armstrong, Warren, and Hamilton. Emphasize
the fact that there is another class of heroes, worthy of all honor
and praise — not the men who bore commissions and wore epau-
lets — the private soldiers, the rank and file, the noble men who
PREFATORY NOTE TO THE TEACHER 7
died unknown to fame, who sleep in unmarked graves. Does
the author reveal himself in his work? Can you infer his likes
and dislikes? his favorite study? his favorite books?
(b) The Setting.— Where is the scene laid? At what time of
the year? Is the encampment vividly portrayed? Is there
enough description to give a clear idea of the situation? Select
the best descriptive passages. Can you see the encamped sol-
diers, the fortifications, the entrenchments, the log huts the
shoeless soldiers, the hospitals, the frozen ground, the cheerless
campfires, blood stains upon the frozen ground, and the graves
of the unknown dead? Lay stress upon the fact that, notwith-
standmg the sufferings and privations endured by these devoted
troops, month after month, harassed by the storms of one of the
severest winters ever known in that region, the love of country
the hope of victory, and an abiding confidence in their great
leader sustamed them in the darkest period of their struggle for
liberty. Do the descriptions of nature surpass the delineations
of personal portraits?
(c) The Structure of the Oration.— Every well-constructed
oration has an introduction. Is the introduction of this oration
clearly marked? Where does it end? What is the purpose
of the mtroduction? Does it properly introduce the subject?
Does It arouse an interest in the subject? The body or framework
of an oration is called the discourse or discussion. What is the
central theme of the discussion? State it clearly in a sentence.
Is there more than one theme? If so, are they closely related?
Does the oration possess unity? Are there any digressions?
Do these digressions violate the unity of the oration? Does
Mr. Brown appeal to the intellect or to the emotional nature of
his audience or to both? The conclusion of an essay or oration is
called the peroration. The purpose of the peroration is to sum up
the mam pomts of the discussion; to restate some points with em-
phasis; or to make a favorable impression at the conclusion.
Where does the peroration begin? Does it serve the purpose or
purposes of a peroration? Is the style different from the intro-
duction or the discussion?
8 PREFATORY NOTE TO THE TEACHER
(d) The Style. — Select words that are strong and terse: ex-
pressions that are highly polished or ornamental. Read the best
passages aloud and note the rhythm of the sentences. Does
it possess individuality? Is the work characterized by accuracy
of statement? sincerity? sympathetic appreciation? keen analysis?
Of the three chief qualities of style — clearness, force, and beauty —
which is most marked here? Are the sentences clear, short,
long, or of average length? Are the paragraphs short, medium, or
long? Does he use words precisely? Which of the following
words best describe his diction: clear, simple, polished, ornate,
terse, polished, idiomatic, obscure, colloquial, verbose?
(e) Memory Gems. — The pupils should be encouraged to select
choice passages for memorization and to state their reasons for
(f) Collateral Reading. — Select another oration and compare it
with this one in the chief points of the outline. Note particularly
points in which there is a marked difference. To what is this
difference due — the time, the subject, or to the men themselves?
The number of great orators whose orations survive as literature
is very limited. Burke, Pitt, Sheridan, Fox, Calhoun, Clay,
Webster, Everett, Lincoln, Sumner, Phillips, and Grady are
among the most distinguished.
(g) Composition and Outline Work. — Brief compositions may
be written upon selected topics. The following list of composition
subjects may be profitably used in connection with the study of
a. Lafayette, the Lover of Liberty.
b. The French AlUance.
c. First Steps toward Independence.
d. The Battlefields of Pennsylvania.
e. The Glory of Valley Forge.
f. Valley Forge vs. Waterloo.
g. The Military Services of Baron Steuben.
h. George Washington at Valley Forge.
i. The Many-sided Franklin.
j. Alexander Hamilton vs. Aaron Burr.
PREFATORY NOTE TO THE TEACHER 9
k. America One Hundred Years Ago.
1. Was the Execution of Major Andre justifiable?
This reading should be free from all criticism, and should be
given for the purpose of permitting the student to enjoy the
revealed beauty of the oration.
An Oration Delivered on the Hundredth Anni=
versary of the Departure of the Army of the
Revolution from that Place.
BY HENRY ARMITT BROWN i
It is an honor to be here to-day. It is a privilege
to behold this anniversary. This unusual spectacle,
these solemn services, these flags and decorations, this
tuneful choir, this military array, this distinguished
company, this multitude darkening all the hill-side,
proclaim the general interest and attest its magnitude.
And it is proper to commemorate this time. One
hundred years ago this country was the scene of extra-
ordinary events and very honorable actions. We feel
the influence of them in our institutions and our daily
lives, and it is both natural and right for us to seek, by
some means, to mark their hundredth anniversaries.
Why is it an honor to be here to-day? Why a privilege?
Why should this event be commemorated? In what way do we
feel the influence of these extraordinary events in our institutions
and in our daily lives? Why preserve the memory of other years?
Why should these battles be named and more highly honored?
^ See sketch, page 97.
12 VALLEY FORGE
Those moments are passing quickly. Lexington,
Bunker Hill, Germantown, Saratoga, have gone by
already. Monmouth, Stony Point, Eutaw, and York-
town are close at hand. It is eminently fit that we
should gather here.
I cannot add to what has already been said about
this place. The deeds which have made it famous
have passed into history. The page on which they are
recorded is written. We can neither add to it nor take
away. The heroic dead who suffered here are far
beyond our reach. No human eulogy can make their
glory greater, no failure to do them justice make it less.
Theirs is a perfect fame, — safe, certain, and complete.
Their trials here secured the happiness of a continent;
their labors have borne fruit in the free institutions
of a powerful nation; their examples give hope to every
race and clime ; their names live on the lips of a grateful
The battle of Lexington was fought April 19, 1775; Bunker
Hill, June 17, 1775; Germantown, October 4, 1777; Saratoga
(surrender), October 17, 1777; Monmouth, June 28, 1778; Stony
Point, July 16, 1779; Eutaw, September 8, 1781; Yorktown,
October 19, 1781.
Why cannot the orator add to what has already been said
about Valley Forge? Name the deeds that have made this place
famous. In this connection, emphasize the fact that "the path
of glory leads but to the grave." Why can no human eulogy
make their glory greater? In what respect is theirs a perfect
fame? Recount what has been accomplished by their trials,
their labors, and their examples. Why should their names
live on the lips of a grateful people? Why should their memories
be cherished? What is the purpose of this anniversary? What
is the spirit appropriate to the hour?
14 VALLEY FORGE
people; their memory is cherished in their children's
hearts, and shall endure forever. It is not for their
sakes, then, but for our own, that we have assembled
here to-day. This anniversary, if I understand it
right, has a purpose of its own. It is duty that has
brought us here. The spirit appropriate to this hour
is one of humility rather than of pride, of reverence
rather than of exultation. We come, it is true, the
representatives of forty millions of free men by ways our
fathers never dreamed of, from regions of which they
never heard. We come in the midst of plenty, under
a sky of peace, power in our right hand and the keys of
knowledge in our left. But we are here to learn rather
What does Mr. Brown mean by the following expressions:
"by ways our fathers never dreamed of ," " in the midst of plenty,"
"under a sky of peace," "power in our right hand," "the keys of
knowledge in our left"? In the judgment of Mr. Brown, what
are the purposes of the celebration? What are the sources of
our country's greatness? What is the meaning of this anni-
versary? To what olden time does the orator refer? What is
an inspiration? Why cannot the orator do justice to his theme?
Name the lessons to be pointed out to future generations.
Name the introduction to this oration. Compare this intro-
duction with the introduction to Webster's Bunker Hill Monu-
ment Oration; Lincoln's Gettysburg Oration.
Does this introduction prepare the way for the discussion?
Does it serve to arouse an interest in the subject? Does it
indicate the manner in which the subject is to be treated? What
purpose or purposes does the introduction accomplish? On
what subjects are orations usually delivered? An orator always
has some definite aim: what is the aim in this oration? State
in your own language the purpose of an introduction or exordium.
VALLEY FORGE 15
than to teach; to worship, not to glorify. We come to
contemplate the sources of our country's greatness;
to commune with the honored past; to remind ourselves
and show our children that joy can come out of sorrow,
happiness out of suffering, light out of darkness, life
out of death.
Such is the meaning of this anniversary. I cannot
do it justice. Would that there could come to some one
in this multitude a tongue of fire, — an inspiration born
of the time itself, that, standing in this place and speak-
ing with the voice of olden time, he might tell us in
fitting language of our fathers! But it cannot be.
Not even now. Not even here. Perhaps we do not
need it. Some of us bear their blood, and all alike
enjoy the happiness their valor and endurance won.
And if my voice be feeble, we have but to look around.
The hills that saw them suffer look down on us; the
ground that thrilled beneath their feet we tread to-day;
their unmarked graves still lie in yonder field; the breast-
works which they built to shelter them surround us
here! Dumb witnesses of the heroic past, ye need no
tongues! Face to face with you we see it all; — this soft
breeze changes to an icy blast; these trees drop the
glory of the summer, and the earth beneath our feet
is wrapped in snow. Beside us is a village of log huts;
The dimensions of each hut were fourteen by sixteen feet, with
chimney, fireplace, and door, facing upon company streets.
Quarters for field and staff officers were erected in rear of the line
of troops. The hills were made bare of timber in completing the
shelter necessary for men and animals.
16 VALLEY FORGE
along that ridge smoulder the fires of the camp. The
sun has sunk, the stars glitter in the inky sky, the camp
is hushed, the fires are out, the night is still. All are
in slumber save when a lamp glimmers in a cottage
window, and a passing shadow shows a tall figure pacing
to and fro. The cold silence is unbroken, save when
on yonder rampart, crunching the crisp snow with
wounded feet, a ragged sentinel keeps watch for Liberty !
The close of 1777 marked the gloomiest period of the
Revolution. The early enthusiasm of the struggle had
passed away. The doubts which the first excitements
banished had returned. The novelty of war had gone,
and its terrors become awfully familiar. Fire and sword
had devastated some of the best parts of the country,
its cities were half ruined, its fields laid waste, its re-
in which line does the author foreshadow the general trend of
his oration? State in your own language why the close of 1777
marked the gloomiest period of the Revolution.
"At no period of the war," writes Chief- justice Marshall,
"had the American army been reduced to a situation of greater
peril than during the winter at Valley Forge. More .than once
they were absolutely without food. Even while their condition
was less desperate in this respect, their stock of provisions was
so scanty that there was seldom at any time in the stores a quan-
tity sufficient for the use of the troops for a week. The returns
on the first of February exhibit the astonishing number of three
thousand nine hundred and eighty-nine men in camp unfit for
duty for want of clothes. Of this number, scarcely a man had a
pair of shoes. Although the total of the army exceeded seven-
teen thousand men, the present effective rank and file amounted
to only five thousand and twelve."
VALLEY FORGE 17
sources drained, its best blood poured out in sacrifice.
The struggle now had become one of endurance, and
while liberty and independence seemed as far off as
ever, men began to appreciate the tremendous cost at
which they were to be purchased. The capture ol
Burgoyne had, after all, been only a temporary check
to a powerful and still unexhausted enemy. Nor was
its effect on the Americans themselves wholly beneficial.
It had caused the North to relax, in a great measure,
its activity and vigilance, and, combined with the
immunity from invasion which the South had enjoyed,
The capture of Burgoyne and his army of 6000 men was the
most substantial triumph that the patriots had thus far gained
in the war. It spread dismay in England. France acknowledged
the independence of the United States, and the two nations pledged
themselves to make a common cause against Great Britain. In
addition, France agreed to send to our assistance a fleet of 16
war vessels and an army of 4000 men.
"A friend to whom Mr. Brown read this oration pointed out
the fact that the capture of Burgoyne's army had been considered
by all the latest and most accurate historians as the undoubted
turning-point of the war, and that Creasy had included the battle
of Bemus's Heights in the Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World.
Mr. Brown said that, although it had undoubtedly proved to be
so, he felt that in picturing the feeling of the day he was justified
in using the impression left on the mind of so distinguished an
actor as Lafayette; but that, when the oration was printed, he
would add a note that would protect him from any criticism
prompted by the supposition that, biased by local prejudice, he
had spoken lightly of a brilliant event which occurred in a neigh-
boring state in order to give prominence to the trials of Valley
Forge." — J. M. Hoppin.
18 VALLEY FORGE
*'to lull asleep two-thirds of the continent." While a
few hundred ill-armed, half-clad Americans guarded
the Highlands of the Hudson, a well-equipped garrison,
several thousand strong, lived in luxury in the city of
New York. The British fleet watched with the eyes
of Argus the rebel coast. Rhode Island lay undisputed
in their hands; Georgia, Virginia, and the CaroKnas were
open to their invasion, and as incapable of defence as
Maryland had been when they landed in the Chesa-
peake. Drawn upon for the army, the sparse popula-
tion could not half till the soil, and the savings of labor-
ious years had all been spent. While the miserable
paper currency which Congress, with a fatal folly never
to be absent from the counsels of men, continued to
issue and call money, obeyed natural rather than arti-
ficial laws, and fell four hundred per cent., coin flowed
to Philadelphia and New York, and in spite of military
orders and civil edicts, the scanty produce of the country
followed it. Nor could the threatened penalty of
death restrain the evil. Want began to be widely
Argus: In the Greek legend Argus was the guardian of lo,
slain by Hermes, and is said to have had a hundred eyes.
The summer of 1780 was the gloomiest time in the whole course
of the war. Because Congress could not tax the people, and could
not get enough money from the states by asking for it, there was
great difficulty in carrying on the war . Some money was borrowed
from France and Holland, but Congress was obliged to issue its
notes or promises to pay. Such notes, when issued by a govern-
ment, are commonly called paper money. In the summer of 1780
this money became worthless. It took $2000 in Continental cur-
rency to buy an ordinary suit of clothes.
VALLEY FORGE 19
felt, and the frequent proclamations of the British,
accompanied with Tory intrigue and abundant gold,
to have effect. To some, even of the wisest, the case
was desperate. Even the elements seemed to combine
against the cause. A deluge prevented a battle at the
Warren Tavern, a fog robbed Washington of victory at
Germantown, and at last, while the fate of America'
hung on the courage, the fortitude, and the patriotism
of el even tho usand iiall-clothed, half-armed, hungry
Contmentals.,. w ho . discomforted l3ut not discouraged,
b,gaiiSIL..bu.t not disheartened, suffering but steadfast
stilljjay on their firelocks on the frozen ridges of White-
'. m arsh, a^ ritish army nineteen thousand five hundred
Warren Tavern: A hamlet of Chester County, Pennsylvania,
twelve miles W. S. W. of Norristown, where the two armies had
an engagement September 16, 1777, with an American loss of
about one hundred men.
Germantown: When Washington learned that Howe had
sent a detachment down the river to seize Forts Mercer and
Mifflin he determined to crush the British at Germantown. In
the early morning, October 4th, his army, in two columns, ad-
vanced upon the village. The central column drove in the British
outposts and was forcing back the British hne opposite. Greene
was also the right flank, when an accident happened to destroy
the whole plan. Stephen, who was upon the right of Greene's
division, came on through the heavy fog, and, mistaking the
American left-center for the enemy, charged upon them. This at
once caused a panic, and the Americans retreated, Wayne pro-
tecting the rear.
Whitemarsh: A post-township of Montgomery County,
Pennsylvania, about eleven miles northwest of Philadelphia.
A battle occurred here between the main armies December 3, 1777.
20 VALLEY FORGE
f strong, of veteran troops, perfectly equipped, freshly
recriiited^om Europe and flushed with recent victory,
marched into winter-quarters in the ,chief city of the
THE OCCUPATION OF PHILADELPHIA
Philadelphia surely had never seen such gloomy days
as those which preceded the entry of the British.
On the 24th of August the American army marched
through the length of Front Street; on the 25th the
British landed at the head of Elk. Days of quiet
anxiety ensued. On the 11th of September, as Tom
Paine was writing a letter to Dr. Franklin, the sound of
cannon in the southwest interrupted him. From
Thomas Paine, generally styled ''Tom Paine," was secretary
to the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs. His
services in the Revolution were of undoubted value. His pam-
phlet, "Common Sense," is thought to have brought about the
Declaration of Independence, and in his "Crisis" he wrote
"These are the times that try men's souls."
Benjamin Franklin at this time was in Europe. He was in
London as agent for several of the colonies when the Revolution
broke out, but he immediately returned to America. He was
one of the committee of five to draft the Declaration of Inde-
pendence. He went to France in 1776 as ambassador, and it
was his skilful hand that negotiated the treaty with that coun-
try, without which the Revolution could hardly have succeeded.
He assisted in making the treaty of peace with England in 1782,
and took part in preparing the Constitution of the United States
in 1787. He died in Philadelphia in 1790, aged eighty-four years.
It was said of him that "he wrested the thunder from the sky
and the scepter from tyrants."
VALLEY FORGE 21
morning until late in the afternoon people in the streets
listened to the dull sound like distant thunder. About
six o'clock it died away, and the straining ear could
catch nothing but the soughing of the wind. With
what anxiety men awaited, — with what suspense!
The sun sank in the west, and the shadows crept over
the little city. It was the universal hour for the evening
meal, but who could go home to eat? Men gathered
about the State House to talk, to conjecture, to con-
sult together, and the women whispered in little groups
at the doorsteps and craned their necks out of the
darkened windows to look nervously up and down the
street. About eight o'clock there was a little tumult
near the Coffee House. The story spread that Wash-
ington had gained a victory, and a few lads set up a
cheer. But it was not traced to good authority, and
disappointment followed. By nine in the evening the
suspense was painful. Suddenly, far up Chestnut
Street was heard the clatter of horses' feet. Some one
was galloping hard. Down Chestnut, like an arrow,
came at full speed a single horseman. He had ridden
Name several historical events associated with the city of
Philadelphia. Give reasons why Philadelphia had never seen
such gloomy days as those which preceded the entry of the
The battle of Brandy wine was fought September 11, 1777.
On Howe's advance upon Philadelphia from the head of Chesa-
peake Bay Washington took up a strong position at Brandywine
Creek, though he had but 11,000 to oppose Howe's 18,000. The
British were masters of the day. Washington retreated to
22 VALLEY FORGE
fast and his horse was splashed with foam. Hearts
beat quickly as he dashed by; past Sixth Street, past
the State House, past Fifth, and round the corner into
Fourth. The crowd followed, and instantly packed
around him as he drew rein at the Indian Queen. He
threw a glance at the earnest faces that were turned
toward his and spoke : '' A battle has been fought at the
Birmingham Meeting-house, on the Brandywine; the
army has been beaten; the French Marquis Lafayette
shot through the leg. His Excellency has fallen back
Marquis de (Marie Jean Paul, Joseph Roche Yves
Gilbert du Motier) Lafayette, the distinguished soldier and
statesman, was born at Chavagnac, France, in 1757. He died in
Paris, at the age of seventy-seven years. As a boy he was page to
the queen. He was but nineteen years old when he embraced the
cause of liberty in America. Against the command of the King
of France, he freighted a ship at his own expense and landed in
America in 1777, to offer his services as a simple volunteer. He
quickly won the favor of Congress and the life-long friendship of
Washington. He was made a major-general, and showed consid-
erable ability as a commander. He was wounded at Brandywine
while rallying the retreating Americans. He was engaged in
various battles during the Revolution, and it was largely through
his efforts that the army of Rochambeau was sent to America
in 1780. He assisted materially in cutting off the retreat of
the British at Yorktown, and was present at the surrender of
Cornwallis. For his services he was publicly thanked by
Washington on the day after the surrender. He was one of the
board of judges that tried Major Andre. He visited America in
1784, and was everywhere received with great affection and res-
pect. He again visited the United States in 1824 as the guest of
the nation. Congress voted him $200,000 and a township of
land for his losses and expenses in the Revolution.
VALLEY FORGE 23
to Chester; the road below is full of stragglers." And
then the crowd scattered, each one to his home, but not
to sleep. A few days followed, full of contradictory
stories. The armies are manoeuvring on the Lancaster
Road. Surely Washington will fight another battle. And
then the news came and spread hke lightning, — Wayne
has been surprised, and his brigade massacred at the
Paoli, and the enemy are in full march for Philadelphia;
the Whigs are leaving by hundreds ; the authorities are
Chester, the oldest town in the state of Pennsylvania, was
settled by the Swedes in 1643. The provincial assembly of
William Penn's government was held here in 1682.
Paoli, Pennsylvania: Here the British, under Major-general
Grey, made a night attack upon Wayne's detachment September
20,. 1777. Wayne held his position for an hour, saved his artil-
lery, but lost 150 men.
Anthony Wayne was one of the most active and conspicuous
characters of the war. He was born in Chester County, Penn-
sylvania, in 1745. His bravery gained him the sobriquet of
"Mad Anthony," but he was discreet and cautious, quick in
decision, and prompt in execution. His most notable exploit
was the storming of Stony Point on the Hudson. This formid-
able work he carried at midnight by a bayonet charge, the soldiers'
guns being empty. For his brilliant achievement at Stony Point
Congress gave him a vote of thanks and a gold medal. In his
eventful life he was a farmer and land surveyor. He served in
the Pennsylvania legislature, and was a member of the convention
of his state that ratified the Constitution of the United States.
He died in 1796, less than fifty-two years of age.
Whigs : The name taken by the party in the colonies which
furthered the Revolution, because their principles were but
the application to America of those principles which the Whigs
of England had secured through the Revolution of 1688.
24 VALLEY FORGE
going; the Congress have gone; the British have
arrived at Germantown. Who can forget the day that
A sense of something dreadful about to happen hangs
over the town. A third of the houses are shut and
empty. Shops are unopened, and busy rumor flies
about the streets. Early in the morning the sidewalks
are filled with a quiet, anxious crowd. The women
watch behind bowed windows with half-curious, half-
frightened looks. The men, solemn and subdued,
whisper in groups, " Will they come to-day?" " Are
they here already? ' ' ' Will they treat us like a conquered
people?" It was inevitable since the hot-bloods would
have war. Sometimes the Tory can be detected by
an exultant look, but the general sentiment is gloomy.
The morning drags along. By ten o'clock Second
Street, from Callowhill to Chestnut, is filled with old
men and boys. There is hardly a young man to be
seen. About eleven is heard the sound of approaching
cavalry, and a squadron of dragoons comes galloping
down the street, scattering the boys right and left.
The crowd parts to let them by and melts together
again. In a few minutes far up the street there is the
faint sound of martial music and something moving
that gutters in the sunlight. The crowd thickens and
is full of hushed expectation. Presently one can see
a red mass swaying to and fro. It becomes more and
Explain the meaning of the following expressions: "hot-
bloods," "hushed expectation," "red mass,^ "waves of scarlet,
tipped with steel."
VALLEY FORGE 25
more distinct. Louder grows the music and the tramp
of marching men as waves of scarlet, tipped with steel,
come moving down the street. They are now but a
square off, — their bayonets glancing in perfect line and
steadily advancing to the music of " God save the
These are the famous grenadiers. Their pointed
caps of red, fronted with silver, their white leather
leggings and short scarlet coats, trimmed with blue,
make a magnificent display. They are perfectly
equipped, and look well fed and hearty. Behind
them are more cavalry. No, these must be officers.
The first one is splendidly mounted and wears the
uniform of a general. He is a stout man, with gray
hair and a pleasant countenance, in spite of the squint
of an eye which disfigures it. A whisper goes through
the bystanders: '' It is Lord CornwalHs himself."
A brilliant staff in various uniforms follows him and
five men in civilian's dress. A glance of recognition
follows these last like a wave along the street, for they
What is a grenadier?
Lord Cornwallis served in the Seven Years' War. He was
sent to America in 1776, and fought in the battle of Long Island
and pursued Washington's army through New Jersey. He was
defeated at Princeton, decided the victory at Brandy wine, and
served at Germantown and Monmouth, Having been appointed
to the command of the southern army, he overwhelmed Gates
at Camden. Then followed his campaign in Virginia against
Lafayette, the seige of his army at Yorktown, and its surrender
to the Franco- American troops on October 17, 1781. He was
the ablest of the British generals.
26 VALLEY FORGE
are Joseph Galloway, Enoch Story, Tench Coxe, and
the two Aliens, — father and son, — Tories, who have
only dared to return home behind British bayonets.
Long lines of red coats follow till the Fourth, the
Fortieth, and the Fifty-fifth Regiments have passed by.
But who are these in dark blue that come behind the
grenadiers? Breeches of yellow leather, leggings of
black, and tall, pointed hats of brass complete their
uniform. They wear moustaches, and have a fierce,
foreign look, and their unfamiliar music seems to a
child in that crowd to cry '^ Plunder! plunder! plunder!"
as it times their rapid march. These are the Hessian
mercenaries whom Washington surprised and thrashed
so well at Christmas in 76. And now grenadiers and
yagers, horse, foot, and artillery that rumbles along
making the windows rattle, have all passed by. The
Fifteenth Regiment is drawn up on High Street,
"It has been said that, with others, Tench Coxe went out to
meet Howe to ask him to protect the city. His conduct, however,
was such that he was attainted of treason, and it is also true that
he surrendered himself and was acquitted." — J. M. Hoppin.
Hessians: Early in 1776 the British government made treat-
ies with various German petty principalities by which it obtained
mercenaries for the war in America. Under this treaty the
Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel sent 17,000 troops, the Duke of Bruns-
wick 6000, the Count of Hesse-Hanau 2400, the Margrave of
Anspach 2400, the Prince of Waldeck and the Prince of Anhalt-
Zerbst about 1000 each. In all, England paid the princes about
nine milHon dollars. The Hessians, on the whole, fought well.
Some of them settled in this country and Nova Scotia. About
17,000 returned to Germany.
VALLEY FORGE 27
near Fifth; the Forty-second Highlanders in Chestnut
below Third; and the artillery is parked in the State
House yard. All the afternoon the streets are full, —
wagons with luggage lumbering along, officers in scarlet
riding to and fro, aides and orderlies seeking quarters
for their different officers. Yonder swarthy, haughty-
looking man dismounting at Norris's door is my Lord
Rawdon. Lord Cornwallis is quartered at Peter
Reeves's in Second, near Spruce, and Knyphausen at
Henry Lisle's, nearer to Dock Street, on the east.
The younger officers are well bestowed, for Dr.Franklin's
house has been taken by a certain clever Captain
Andre. The time for the evening parade comes, and
the well-equipped regiments are drawn up in line,
while slowly to the strains of martial music the sun
Lord Rawdon came to America as a British soldier in 1773.
He was a captain at Bunker Hill. As an aide to Sir Henry Clinton
he fought at Long Island, White Plains, Fort Washington, and
at Monmouth. He incurred much obloquy for the execution
of Colonel Isaac Hayne. He was afterward made Governor-
general of India.
Baron Wilhelm Knyphausen came to America as second in
command of the Hessians in 1776. In 1777 he was placed in
command of the German auxiliaries. He fought at Long Island,
White Plains, Fort Washington, and Monmouth. During the
absence of Sir Henry CHnton he was in command of New York
Major John Andre (1751-1780) was the Adjutant-general
of the British army. He was sent by Clinton to arrange with
Arnold the details of the latter 's projected treachery. The two
had a secret conference near Stony Point. On his way back he
28 VALLEY FORQE
sinks in autumnal splendor in the west. The streets
are soon in shadow, but still noisy with the tramping of
soldiers and the clatter of arms. In High Street, and
on the commons, fires are lit for the troops to do their
cooking, and the noises of the camp mingle with the
city's hum. Most of the houses are shut, but here and
there one stands wide open, while brilliantly dressed
officers lounge at the windows or pass and repass in the
doorway. The sound of laughter and music is heard,
and the brightly lit windows of the London Coffee
House and the Indian Queen tell of the parties that are
celebrating there the event they think so glorious, and
thus, amid sounds of revelry, the night falls on the
Quaker City. In spite of Trenton, and Princeton, and
Brandy wine; in spite of the wisdom of Congress, and
the courage and skill of the Commander-in-Chief; in
spite of the bravery and fortitude of the Continental
army, the forces of the king are in the Rebel capital,
and the " all's well " of hostile sentinels keeping guard
was stopped by three men, who refused all the rewards which he
offered them, and delivered him and all his papers, which were in
Arnold's handwriting, to the nearest American officer. A military
court condemned him to death as a spy, and he was hanged at
Tappan on October 2, 1780. He was buried in Westminster
Abbey, and a monument was many years afterward erected at
Tappan in memory of the affair.
In 1683 Philadelphia was chosen as the capital of the colony,
and continued to be such for 117 years. During the earlier
part of the Revolution the city was the capital of the colonies.
The occupation of the city at this time necessitated the removal of
VALLEY FORGE 29
by her northern border passes unchallenged from the
Schuylkill to the Delaware.
What matters it to Sir WiUiam Howe and his vic-
torious army if rebels be starving and their ragged
currency be almost worthless? Here is gold and plenty
of good cheer. What whether they threaten to attack
the British lines or disperse through the impoverished
country in search of food? The ten redoubts that
stretch from Fairmount to Cohocksink Creek are stout
and strongly manned, the river is open, and supplies
and reinforcements are on the way from England.
What if the earth be wrinkled with frost? The houses
of Philadelphia are snug and warm. What if the
rigorous winter have begun and snow be whitening the
hills? Here are mirth and music, and dancing and wine,
and women and play, and the pageants of a riotous
the Continental Congress to Lancaster, and subsequently to York,
Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia the preliminary Congress of 1774
met; the Continental Congress sat; the Declaration of Inde-
pendence and the Constitution of the United States were adopted, .
and from 1790 to 1800 it was the capital of the nation.
Sir William Howe served under General Wolfe at Quebec
in 1759. In 1775 he succeeded General Gage as commander-in-
chief of the British forces in America. He commanded the
British troops at Bunker Hill; was victorious in the battles of
Long Island and White Plains. He defeated Washington at
Brandywine and then entered Philadelphia. After repulsing the
American attack at Germantown, he went into winter quarters
in Philadelphia. He was removed from his command in 1778 and
superseded by Sir Henry Clmton. He was a well-educated and
successful general, but was indolent or perhaps indifferent.
30 VALLEY FORGE
capital! And so with feasting and with revelry let
the winter wear away!
THE MARCH TO VALLEY FORGE
The wind is cold and piercing on the old Gulf Road,
and the snow-flakes have begun to fall. Who is this that
toils up yonder hill, his footsteps stained with blood?
'' His bare feet peep through his worn-out shoes, his
legs nearly naked from the tattered remains of an only
pair of stockings, his breeches not enough to cover his
nakedness, his shirt hanging in strings, his hair dis-
hevelled, his face wan and thin, his look hungry, his
whole appearance that of a man forsaken and neglected."
On his shoulder he carries a rusty gun, and the hand that
grasps the stock is blue with cold. His comrade is no
better off, nor he who follows, for both are barefoot,
and the ruts of the rough country road are deep and
frozen hard. A fourth comes into view, and still
another. A dozen are in sight. Twenty have reached
the ridge and there are more to come. See them as they
mount the hill that slopes eastward into the great valley.
A thousand are in sight, but they are but the vanguard
of the motley company that winds down the road until
it is lost in the cloud of snow-flakes that have hidden the
Gulf hills. Yonder are horsemen in tattered uniforms,
and behind them cannon lumbering slowly over the
frozen road, half dragged, half pushed by men. They
who appear to be in authority have coats of every make
and color. Here is one in a faded blue, faced with
buckskin that has once been buff; there is another on
VALLEY FORGE 31
a tall, gaunt horse, wrapped '' in a sort of dressing-gown
made of an old blanket or woolen bed-cover." A few of
the men wear long linen hunting-shirts reaching to the
knee, but of the rest no two are dressed ahke, — not
half have shirts, a third are barefoot, many are in rags.
Nor are their arms the same. Cow-horns and tin
boxes they carry for want of pouches. A few have
swords, fewer still bayonets. Muskets, carbines,
fowling-pieces, and rijfles are to be seen together side by
Are these soldiers that huddle together and bow their
heads as they face the biting wind? Is this an army
that comes straggling through the valley in the blinding
snow? No martial music leads them in triumph into
a captured capital; no city full of good cheer and
warm and comfortable homes awaits their coming; no
sound keeps time to their steps save the icy wind rat-
tling the leafless branches and the dull tread of their
weary feet on the frozen ground. In yonder forest must
they find their shelter, and on the northern slope of
these inhospitable hills their place of refuge. Perils
shall soon assault them more threatening than any they
encountered under the windows of Chew's house or
by the banks of Brandy wine. Trials that rarely have
failed to break the fortitude of men await them here.
False friends shall endeavor to undermine their virtue
and secret enemies to shake their faith; the Congress
whom they serve shall prove helpless to protect them,
and their country herself seen unmindful of their suf-
ferings; Cold shall share their habitations and Hunger
32 VALLEY FORGE
enter in and be their constant guest; Disease shall infest
their huts by day and Famine stand guard with them
through the night; Frost shall lock their camp with
icy fetters and the snows cover it as with a garment;
the storms of winter shall be pitiless, — but all in vain.
Danger shall not frighten nor temptation have power
to seduce them. Doubt shall not shake their love of
country nor suffering overcome their fortitude. The
powers of evil shall not prevail against them, for they
are the Continental Army, and these are the hills of
Valley Forge !
It is not easy to-day to imagine this country as it
appeared a century ago. Yonder city, which now con-
tains one-fourth as many inhabitants as were found
in those days between Maine and Georgia, was a town
of but thirty thousand men, and at the same time the
chief city of the continent. The richness of the soil
around it had early attracted settlers, and the farmers
of the great valley had begun to make that country
the garden which it is to-day; but from the top of this
hill one could still behold the wilderness under cover of
which, but twenty years before, the Indian had spread
havoc through the back settlements on the Lehigh and
the Susquehanna. The most important place between
the latter river and the site of Fort Pitt, '^ at the junc-
FoRT Pitt : A large fortification, erected in 1759 by the British
upon the site of Fort Duquesne at the junction of the Mononga-
hela and Allegheny rivers. Fort Pitt was so called in honor of
the British minister. Its site is now in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
VALLEY FORGE 33
tion of the Ohio," was the frontier village of York, where
Congress had taken refuge. The single road which
connected Philadelphia with the western country had
been cut through the forest to Harris's Block-House
but forty years before. It was half a century only
since its iron ore had led to the settlement of Lancaster,
and little more than a quarter since a single house had
marked the site of Reading. The ruins of Colonel
Bull's plantation — burned by the British on their march
— lay in solitude on the hills which are covered to-day
with the roofs and spires of Norristown, and where
yonder cloud hangs over the furnaces and foundries of
Phoenixville a man named Gordon, living in a cave, gave
his name to a crossing of the river. Nor was this spot
itself the same. A few small houses clustered about
Harris's Block-House: The site of Harrisburg, the capital
of the state.
John Bull was colonel of a Pennsylvania Regiment and
member of the Board of War.
The proposition to retire the army for the winter gave rise to
well-marked differences of opinion. Within army circles the
only question was that of location. Whether it should fortify
and remain where it was at Whitemarsh, or to retire to the Per-
kiomen hills, or move south and occupy the vicinity of Wilming-
ton, was canvassed by the leading officers of the army and whose
opinions were sought by the commander-in-chief. In selecting
Valley Forge for his winter quarters, it was the purpose of
Washington to give the greatest measure of protection possible
to the state of Pennsylvania, and circumscribe the operations of
General Howe within limits that would seriously affect his source
34 VALLEY FORGE
Potts' Forge, where the creek turabled into the Schuyl-
kill, and two or three near the river-bank marked the
beginning of a little farm. The axe had cleared much
of the bottom-lands and fertile fields of the great valley,
but these hills were still wrapped in forest that covered
their sides far as the eye could reach. The roads that
ascended their ridge on the south and east plunged into
densest woods as they climbed the hill and met beneath
its shadow at the same spot where to-day a school-
house stands in the midst of smiling fields. It is no
wonder that Baron de Kalb, as he gazed on the forest
of oak and chestnut that covered the sides and summit
of Mount Joy, should have described the place bitterly
as '' a wilderness."
But nevertheless it was well chosen. There was no
town that would answer. Wilmington and Trenton
would have afforded shelter, but in the one the army
would have been useless, and in the other in constant
danger. Reading and Lancaster were so distant that
the choice of either would have left a large district
open to the enemy, and both, in which were valuable
stores, could be better covered by an army here.
Equally distant with Philadelphia from the fords of
Brandywine and the ferry into Jersey, the army could
"Potts' Forge" was erected by Daniel Walker and sold to
John Potts in 1757. It was called Mount Joy Forge and later
Valley Forge, giving its name to the camp.
VALLEY FORGE 35
move to either point as rapidly as the British themselves,
and while distant enough from the city to be safe from
surprise or sudden attack itself, it could protect the
country that lay between and at the same time be a
constant menace to the capital. Strategically, then,
the General could not have chosen better. And the
place was well adapted for the purpose. The Schuyl-
kill, flowing from the Blue Hills, bent here toward the
eastward. Its current was rapid and its banks precip-
itous. The Valley Creek, cutting its way through a
deep defile at right angles to the river, formed a natural
boundary on the west. The hill called Mount Joy, at
the entrance of that defile, threw out a spur which,
running parallel to the river about a mile, turned at
length northward and met its banks. On the one side
this ridge enclosed a rolhng table-land; on the other
it sloped sharply to the Great Valley. The engineers
under Du Portail marked out a line of intrenchments four
feet high, protected by a ditch six feet wide, from the
entrance of the Valley Creek defile along the crest of this
ridge until it joined the bank of the Schuylkill, where
a redoubt marked the eastern angle of the encampment.
High on the shoulder of Mount Joy a second line
girdled the mountain and then ran northward to the
river, broken only by the hollow through which the
Gulf Road descended to the Forge. This hollow place
Louis Zebeque Du Portail, a French officer who served with
distinction under Lafayette. During the Reign of Terror he
escaped death by exile to America.
36 VALLEY FORGE
was later defended by an abattis and a triangular earth-
A redoubt on the east side of Mount Joy commanded
the Valley road, and another behind the left flank of the
abatis that which came from the river, while a star
redoubt on a hill at the bank acted as a tete-de-pont for
the bridge that was thrown across the Schuylkill.
Behind the front and before the second line the troops
were ordered to build huts for winterquarters. Four-
teen feet by sixteen, of logs plastered with clay, these
huts began to rise on every side. Placed in rows, each
brigade by itself, they soon gave the camp the appear-
ance of a little city. All day long the axe resounded
among the hills, and the place was filled with the noise
of hammering and the crash of falhng trees. " I was
there when the army first began to build huts," wrote
Paine to Frankhn. " They appeared to me hke a family
of beavers, every one busy: some carrying logs, others
plastering them together. The whole was raised in a
few days, and it is a curious collection of buildings in the
true rustic order." The weather soon became intensely
cold. The Schuylkill froze over and the roads were
blocked with snow, but it was not until nearly the
middle of January that the last hut was built and the
army settled down into winter quarters on the bare hill-
sides. Long before that its sufferings had begun.
The trials which have made this place so famous arose
chiefly from the incapacity of Congress. It is true that
Tete-de-pont, head of the bridge.
38 VALLEY FORGE
the country in the neighborhood of Philadelphia was
wellnigh exhausted. An active campaign over a small
extent of territory had drawn heavily on the resources
of this part of Pennsylvania and the adjacent Jersey.
Both forces had fed upon the country, and it was not
so much disaffection (of which Washington wrote) as
utter exhaustion, which made the farmers of the de-
vastated region furnish so Uttle to the army. Nor
would it have been human nature in them to have pre-
ferred the badly printed, often counterfeited, depreciated
promise to pay of the Americans for the gold which the
British had to offer. In spite of the efforts of McLa^^e's
and Lee's Light-Horse and the activity of Lacey, of the
militia, the few supplies that were left went steadily
to Philadelphia, and the patriot army remained in want.
But the more distant States, North and South, could
easily have fed and clothed a much more numerous
army. That they did not was the fault of Congress.
That body no longer contained the men who had made it
- famous in the years gone by. Frankhn was in Paris,
Allan McLane joined the army under Washington in 1776;
discovered weakness of Stony Point and promoted its capture;
also discovered weakness of Paulus Hook and took part in its
John Lacey joined the army before he was twenty-three years
old; head of a brigade of militia.
Henry Lee, a member of the distinguished Lee family of
Virginia. He attained distinction in the Revolutionary war as
major of a corps called ''Lee's Legion," whence he derived his
epithet of "Light Horse Harry."
VALLEY FORGE 39
where John Adams was about to join him. Jay,
Jefferson, Rutledge, Livingston, and Henry were em-
ployed at home. Hancock had resigned. Samuel
Adams was absent in New England. Men much their
inferiors had taken their places.
The period, inevitable in the history of revolutions,
had arrived when men of the second rank came to the
front. With the early leaders in the struggle had dis-
appeared the foresight, the breadth of view, the lofti-
ness of purpose, and the self-sacrificing spirit belonging
only to great minds which had marked and honored the
coxnmencement of the struggle. A smaller mind had
begun to rule, a narrower view to influence, a personal
feeling to animate the members. Driven from Phila-
delphia, they were in a measure disheartened, and their
pride touched in a tender spot. Incapable of the loftier
John Adams, second president of the United States. He was
one of the five that drew up the Declaration of Independence.
After a brief mission to France in 1778, he was again sent out, in
1779, as one of the commissioners to negotiate a treaty of peace
with Great Britain.
John Jay, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In 1780 he
became minister to Spain, and was soon associated with Adams
and Frankhn in negotiating peace. Jay's services in this treaty
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States,
was born in Virginia. He became active in the Revolutionary-
agitation, but his activity was as a writer, rather than a speaker.
He is remembered for his draft of the Declaration of Independence.
His political theories have had great influence upon the public life
40 VALLEY FORGE
sentiments which had moved their predecessors, they
could not overcome a sense of their own importance, and
the desire to magnify their office. Petty rivalries had
sprung up among them, and sectional feeling, smothered
in 74, 75, and 76, had taken breath again, and asserted
itself with renewed vigor in the recent debates on the
confederation. But if divided among themselves by
petty jealousies, they were united in a greater jealousy
of Washington and the army. They cannot be wholly
blamed for this. Taught by history no less than by their
own experience of the dangers of standing armies in a
free state, and wanting in modern history the single
example which we have in Washington of a successful
military chief retiring voluntarily into private life, they
judged the leader of their forces by themselves and the
ordinary rules of human nature. Their distrust was
not unnatural nor wholly selfish, and must find some
Edward Rutledge, who signed the Declaration of Independ-
ence, was a South Carolinian ; he was a member of the committee
that drew up the articles of Confederation; commanded a com-
pany of artillery at Charleston; at one time Governor of South
Robert Livingston was a delegate to the Continental Cong-
ress; served on committee that drafted Declaration of Independ-
ence; was secretary of foreign affairs from 1781-1783; was chan-
cellor of state of New York, and in this position administered the
oath of office to Washington in 1789.
Patrick Henry, noted for his famous arraignment of the
Stamp Act. In 1775 occurred his "liberty or death" speech.
He was noted for his eloquence, but did not, in constructive
statesmanship, compare with some of the other great Virginians.
VALLEY FORGE 41
justification in the exceptional greatness of his char-
It was in vain that he called on them to dismiss their
doubts and trust an army which had proved faithful.
In vain he urged them to let their patriotism embrace,
as his had learned to do, the whole country with an equal
fervor. In vain he pointed out that want of organiza-
tion in the army was due to want of union among them.
They continued distrustful and unconvinced. In vain
he asked for a single army, one and homogeneous.
Congres,sinsisted_on thirteen distinct armies, each under
the control of itsparticular State. The effect was dis-
astrous! The personnel of the army was continually
changmg. Each State had its own rules, its own sys-
tem of organization, its own plan of making enlistments.
No two worked together, — the men's terms even expir-
ing at the most dehcate and critical times. Pro-
motion was irregular and uncertain, and the sense of
duty was impaired as that of responsibility grew
less. Instead of an organized army, Washington com-
manded a disorganized mob. The extraordinary vir-
JoHN Hancock, of Massachussetts, was the first to sign the
Declaration of Independence. He was President of the Conti-
nental Congress from 1775 to 1777. He was a man of strong
and popular character.
Samuel Adams was one of the leaders of the Revolutionary
patriots. His influence in shaping public sentiment for absolute
independence of Great Britain was, doubtless, second to that of
no one. He was one of the first to oppose taxation by Parlia-
ment, When General Gage offered pardon to the Americans, he
excepted Samuel Adams and John Hancock.
42 VALLEY FORGE
tues of that great man might keep the men together,
but there were some things which they could not do.
Without an organized quartermaster's department
the men could not be clothed or fed. At first mis-
managed, this department became neglected. The
warnings of Washington were disregarded, his appeals
in vain. The troops began to want clothing soon after
Brandy wine. By November it was evident that they
must keep the field without blankets, overcoats, or
tents. At Whitemarsh they lay, half clad, on frozen
ground. By the middle of December they were in
want of the necessaries of life.
THE SUFFERINGS OF THE SOLDIERS
'' We are ordered to march over the river," writes
Dr. Waldo, of Colonel Prentice's Connecticut Regiment,
at Swedes' Ford, on December 12. " It snows — I'm
sick — eat nothing — no whiskey — no baggage — Lord —
Lord — Lord! Till sunrise crossing the river, cold and
uncomfortable." '' I'm sick," he goes on two days after,
in his diary, " discontented, and out of humor. Poor
The situation of the camp was so eminently critical on the
14th of February that General Varnum wrote to General Greene
that "in all human probability the army must dissolve." On the
16th of the same month Washington wrote to Governor Clinton,
''For some days there has been httle less than a famine in camp.
A part of the army has been a week without any kind of flesh and
the rest three or four days. Naked and starved as they are,
we cannot enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity
of the soldiery that they have not been ere this excited by their
sufferings to general mutiny and desertion."
VALLEY FOBOE 43
food — hard lodging — cold weather — fatigued — nasty
clothes — nasty cookery — smoked out of my senses — I
can't endure it. Here comes a bowl of soup, sickish
enough to make a Hector ill. Away with it, boy —
I'll live like the chameleon, on air." On the 19th of
December they reached Valley Forge. By the 21st
even such a bowl of soup had become a luxury. " A
general cry," notes Waldo again, "through the camp~
this evening: ' No meat, no meat.' The distant vales
echoed back the melancholy sound: 'No meat, no
meat.' " It was literally true. On the next day Wash-
ington wrote to the President of Congress: '' I do not
know from what cause this alarming deficiency, or rather
total failure of supplies, arises, but unless more vigorous
exertions and better regulations take place in that line
immediately this army must dissolve. I have done all
in my power by remonstrating, by writing, by ordering
the commissaries on this head from time to time, but
without any good effect or obtaining more than a
present scanty relief. Owing to this the march of the
army has been delayed on more than one interesting
occasion in the course of the present campaign; and
had a body of the enemy crossed the Schuylkill this
morning (as I had reason to expect from the intelligence
I received at four o'clock last night), the divisions which
I ordered to be in readiness to march and meet them
could not have moved." Hardly was this written
when the news did come that the enemy had come out
to Darby, and the troops were ordered under arms.
/' Fighting," responded General Huntington when he
44 VALLEY FORGE
got the order, " will be far preferable to starving. My
brigade is out of provisions, nor can the commissary
obtain any meat." '' Three days successively," added
Varnum, of Rhode Island, '^we have been destitute of
bread, two days we have been entirely without meat."
It was impossible to stir. '' And this," wrote Wash-
ington, in indignation, " brought forth the only com-
missary in camp, and with him this melancholy and
alarming truth, that he had not a single hoof to
slaughter and not more than twenty-five barrels of
flour." " I ainnjaw convinced beyond a doubt that
unless some great .and .^capital change suddenly takes
place in that line this army must inevitably be re-_
duced to one or other of these three things, — starve^-
dissolve, or disperse in order to obtain subsistence."
But no change was destined to take place for many
suffering weeks to come. The cold grew more and more
intense, and provisions scarcer every day. Soon all
were alike in want. " The colonels were often reduced
to two rations, and sometimes even to one. The army
frequently remained whole days without provisions,"
is the testimony of Lafayette. " We have lately been
in an alarming state for want of provisions," says
Jedediah Huntington, a Harvard graduate; joined Conti-
nental army near Philadelphia in fall of 1777; was on the court
martial that tried General Lee; was a member of the first board
of foreign missions ; died at New London, Connecticut, September
James M. Varnum commanded a regiment at White Plains;
led the troops at Red Bank; served under Lafayette; represented
Rhode Island in the Continental Congress.
VALLEY FORGE _ 45
Colonel Laurens, on the 17th of February. " The army
has been in great distress since you left," wrote Greene
to Knox nine days afterwards; ''the troops are getting
naked. They were seven days without meat, and
several days without bread. . . We are still in danger
of starving. Hundreds of horses have already starved
to death." The painful testimony is full and uncon-
tradicted. " Several brigades," wrote Adjutant-Gen-
eral Scammel to Timothy Pickering, early in February,
*' have been without their allowance of meat. This
is the third day." " In yesterday's conference with
the General," said the committee of Congress sent to
report, writing on the 12th of February, " he informed
John Laurens became an aide to Washington at the outbreak
of the Revolution. He fought at Brandywine, Monmouth, Ger-
mantown, Charleston, and Savannah. He also fought at York-
town, and while serving under Greene, was killed in a skirmish.
Timothy Pickering, of Massachusetts, was made attorney-
general of the army in 1776 and member of the board of war,
and in 1780 became quartermaster-general, materially aiding
Washington's final movements. In 1791 he negotiated treaty
with the Six Nations. In 1795 be became secretary of war, and
a few months later took charge of the State Department. He was
a radical Federalist, and his vigorous opposition to the Embargo
made him at one time extremely unpopular.
Adjutant-general Alexander Scammel was born in
Massachusetts in 1747. In 1775 he was studying law with
General Sullivan, when he left his law books and joined the army
at Cambridge as Sullivan's brigade-major. He was with him in
the battles of Long Island, Trenton, and Princeton, and was espe-
cially distinguished at Saratoga. From 1778 to 1781 he was adju-
tant-general of the army. He was mortally wounded at Yorktown.
46 VALLEY FORGE
us that some brigades had been four days without meat,
and that even the common soldiers had been at his
quarters to make known their wants. Should the
enemy attack the camp successfully, your artillery
would undoubtedly fall into their hands for want of
horses to remove it. But these are smaller and toler-
able evils when compared with the imminent danger
of your troops perishing with famine or dispersing in
search of food." " For some days past there has been
little less than a famine in the camp," writes Washing-
ton to Clinton; " a part of the army has been a week
without any kind of flesh, and the rest three or four
Famished for want of food, they were no better off for
clothes. The unfortunate soldiers were in want of
everything. " They had neither coats, hats, shirts,
Alexander Hamilton was one of the most efficient states-
men and founders of the Republic. As a leader of the Federal-
ist party, and with a firm conviction in a strong government,
he made use of his opportunity as Secretary of the Treasury
to place the finances of the young nation on a firm basis. To
him, more than to any other, is due the stability of the govern-
ment, its honorable dealings with its creditors, and the busi-
ness-like methods of conducting its finances. In 1774, while
the Revolutionary fever was at its height, he made a speech
in behalf of the colonists which was marvelous for a lad of
seventeen. He followed this up by a vigorous war of pam-
phlets. When hostilities began, he organized a cavalry com-
pany, and so distinguished himself at White Plains that Wash-
ington made him an aide-de-camp on his staff. After the
surrender at Yorktown he studied law and rose to eminence at
the New York bar. He was a member of the Federal Conven-
VALLEY FORGE 47
nor shoes," wrote the Marquis de Lafayette. " The
men," said Baron Steuben, " were Uterally naked,
some of them in the fullest extent of the word." " 'Tis
a melancholy consideration," were the words of Pick-
ering, '' that hundreds of our men are unfit for duty
only for want of clothes and shoes." Hear Washington
himself on the 23d of December: " We have (besides
a number of men confined to hospitals for want of
shoes, and others in farm-houses on the same account),
by a field return, this day made, no less than two
thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight men now in
camp unfit for duty, because they are barefoot and
tion in 1787, and his great work lay in his efforts to persuade the
American people to adopt the Federal Constitution. As First
Secretary of the Treasury, he held congress firmly to the duty of
paying every dollar of the national debt at its face value. He also
prevailed upon Congress to assume the debts incurred by the
States in carrying on the war, and thus he established the credit
of the nation. He was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr, then
vice-president, and died July 12, 1804. (See page 65.)
Baron Steuben, the disciplinarian of the American Revo-
lutionary army, was born at Magdeberg. He had fought in the
War of the Austrian Succession and also through the Seven
Years' War. He became an aide-de-camp to Frederick the
Great. Congress appointed him inspector-general, and his
services in drilling the troops were invaluable. He commanded
the left wing at the battle of Monmouth, and took part in the
siege of Yorktown. He was a member of the board that de-
cided the fate of Andre. He identified himself even more than
Lafayette with the country to which he had given his aid, settling
in New York, and receiving from Congress in his last years a grant
of land near Utica, New York.
VALLEY FORGE 49
otherwise naked. Our numbers since the 4th instant,
from the hardships and exposures they have undergone
(many having been obUged for want of blankets to sit
up all night by fires instead of taking rest in a natural
and common way), have decreased two thousand men."
By the 1st of February that number had grown to
four thousand, and there were fit for duty but five
thousand and twelve, or one-half the men in camp.
" So," in the words of the Hebrew prophet, " they
labored in the work, and half of them held the spears
from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared."
Naked and starving in an unusually rigorous winter,
they fell sick by hundreds. " From want of clothes
" their feet and legs froze till they became black, and it
was often necessary to amputate them." Through a
want of straw or materials to raise them from the wet
earth (I quote again from the committee of Congress)
" sickness and mortality have spread through their
quarters to an astonishing degree. The small-pox has
broken out. Notwithstanding the diligence of the
physicians and surgeons, of whom we hear no com-
plaint, the sick and dead hst has increased one-third
in the last week's return, which was one-third greater
than the week preceding, and from the present in-
clement weather will probably increase in a much
greater proportion." Well might Washington ex-
claim: " Our sick naked and well naked, our unfor-
tunate men in captivity naked! Our difficulties and
distresses are certainly great, and such as wound the feel-
ings of humanity." Nor was this all. What many had
50 VALLEY FORGE
to endure beside, let Dr. Waldo tell: '' When the officer
has been fatiguing through wet and cold, and returns
to his tent to find a letter from his wife filled with the
most heart-aching complaints a woman is capable of
writing, acquainting him with the incredible difficulty
with which she procures a httle bread for herself and
children; that her money is of very little consequence
to her, — concluding with expressions bordering on
despair of getting sufficient food to keep soul and boc'y
together through the winter, and begging him to con-
sider that charity begins at home, and not suffer his
family to perish with want in the midst of plenty, —
what man is there whose soul would not shrink within
him? Who would not be disheartened from persevering
in the best of causes— the cause of his country — when
such discouragements as these lie in his way which his
country might remedy if it would?"
Listen to his description of the common soldier: '' See
the poor soldier when in health. With what cheerful-
ness he meets his foes and encounters every hardship.
If barefoot, he labors thro' the mud and cold with a
song in his mouth, extolhng war and Washington. If
his food be bad he eats it notwithstanding with seeming
content, blesses God for a good stomach, and whistles
Dr. Albigence Waldo was born at Pomfret, Connecticut,
February 27, 1750. At outbreak of Revolutionary War he was
made a surgeon's mate in the army, but on account of feeble
health was soon discharged. He won distinction at Valley Forge
through his services in inoculating the troops against small-pox,
He died January 29, 1794.
VALLEY FORGE 51
it into digestion. But harkee! Patience a moment!
There comes a soldier, and cries with an air of wretched-
ness and despair, ' I'm sick; my feet lame; my legs are
sore; my body covered with this tormenting itch; my
clothes are worn out; my constitution is broken; my
former activity is exhausted by fatigue, hunger, and
cold; I fail fast; I shall soon be no more! And ah the
reward I shall get will be, ' Poor Will is dead! ' " And
in the midst of this they persevered! Freezing, starving,
dying, rather than desert their flag they saw their loved
ones suffer, but kept the faith. And the American yeo-
man of the Revolution remaining faithful through that
winter is as splendid an example of devotion to duty as
that which the pitying ashes of Vesuvius have pre-
served through eighteen centuries in the figure of the
Roman soldier standing at his post, unmoved amid all
the horrors of Pompeii. '' The Guard die, but never
surrender," was the phrase invented for Cambronne.
" My comrades freeze and starve, but they never for-
sake me," might be put into the mouth of Washington.
A thousand years after an eruption of Vesuvius had buried
Pompeii beneath its burning lava explorers laid bare the ruins of
the ill-fated city. There the unfortunate inhabitants were found,
just as they were overtaken by the stream of fire. The Roman
sentinel was found standing at his post, his skeleton hand still,
grasping the hilt of his sword, his attitude that of a faithful officer.
Count Pierre Jacques Etienne Cambronne, a celebrated
French general who accompanied Napoleon to Elba. He is the
reputed author of the expression, "The guard dies, but never
surrenders," incorrectly said to have been used by him at Waterloo
when asked to surrender.
52 VALLEY FORGE
" Naked and starving as they are," writes one of
their officers, " we cannot sufficiently admire the incom-
parable patience and fidehty of the soldiery that they
have not been ere this excited by their sufferings to a
general mutiny and desertion." '' Nothing can equal
their sufferings," says the committee, '^ except the
patience and fortitude with which they bear them."
Greene's account to Knox is touching: " Such patience
and moderation as they manifested under their suffer-
ings does the highest honor to the magnanimity of the
American soldiers. The seventh day they came before
their superior officers and told their sufferings as if
they had been humble petitioners for special favors.
Henry Knox gave up his trade as a bookseller and became an
artillery officer; fought at Bunker Hill; was made brigadier-
general of artillery; and fought with distinction at Trenton,
Brandywine, Monmouth, and Yorktown. Washington ap-
pointed him as Secretary of War in his first cabinet.
Nathaniel Greene, a native of Rhode Island, was a farmer
and blacksmith. He educated himself while working at the
forge. He studied Euclid, Caesar's Commentaries, Marshal
Turenne's works. Sharp's Military Guide, Blackstone's Com-
mentaries, etc. He was commissioned brigadier-general in 1775.
He fought at Trenton, Princeton, and saved the army from
defeat at Brandywine by a rapid march and skilful management.
He presided at the trial of Major Andre. He succeeded Gates
in command of the southern forces. His celebrated retreat from
South Carolina across North Carolina into Virginia won for him
a high rank in the estimation of military men. Congress pre-
sented him with two pieces of ordnance taken from the British
as a public testimony of his skill in managing the southern
department. By his skill in military movements he proved
himself one of the most brilliant generals of that time.
EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR OF OLD SCHOOL-HOUSE ON VALLEY
FORGE CAMP GROUND
Built by Letitia Aubrey, daughter of William Penn, in 1705.
Restored by Valley Forge Park Commission in 1907.
Used as a hospital in winter of 1777-1778.
54 VALLEY FORGE
They added that it would be impossible to continue
/ in^camp any longer without support." In March,
/ /Thomas Wharton writes in the name of Pennsylvania : ^
^ \/' The unparalleled patience and magnanimity withy
which the army under your Excellency's command
_ have endured the hardships attending their situation,
unsupplied as they have been through an uncommonly
severe winter, is an honor which posterity will consider
as more illustrious than could have been derived to
them by a victory obtained by any sudden and vigorous
\ exertion. '^^ '' I would cherish these dear, ragged
Continentals, whose patience will be the admiration
of future ages, and glory in bleeding with them,"
cried John Laurens in the enthusiasm of youth. ^' The
patience and endurance of both soldiers and officers
was a miracle which each moment served to renew,"
said Lafayette in his old a^e. But the noblest tribute
comes from the pen of ;b^ who kAew "them best:
/t Without arrogance or the smallest deviation from
/ truth, it may be said that no history now extant can
/ furnish an instance of an army's suffering such uncom-
^ mon hardships as ours has done, and bearing them with
' the same patience and fortitude. To see men without
clothes to cover their nakedness, without blankets to lie
on, without shoes (for the want of which their marches
Thomas Wharton was a zealous opponent of the oppressive
measures of England toward the colonies. He was chosen a
member of the Philadelphia Committee of Safety, and became
president one year later. He was president of Pennsylvania from
1777 to 1778.
VALLEY FORGE 55
might be traced by the blood from their feet) , and almost
as often without provisions as with them, marching
through the frost and snow, and at Christmas taking
up their winter-quarters within a day's march of the
enemy without a house or a hut to cover them till they
could be built, and submitting without a murmur, is a
proof of patience and obedience which in my opinion
can scarce be paralleled.'^ Such was Washington's
opini©Be-ef-4he-so-ldi^r& of Galley Forge.
J>--- HOLY GROUND
Americans, who have gathered on the broad bosom
of these hills to-day, if heroic deeds can consecrate a
spot of earth, if the living be still sensible of the example
of the dead, if courage -be yet a common virtue and
patience in suffering be still honorable in your sight, if
freedom be any longer precious and faith in humanity
be not banished from among you, if love of country still
What was Washington's opinion of his soldiers? Compare
the condition of the American soldiers at Valley Forge with the
British soldiers in Philadelphia.
Compare the present condition of our country with what it was
at the time when Washington's army encamped at Valley Forge.
How does this Christmas compare with the Christmas cele-
bration at Trenton?
Name the heroic deeds that consecrated Valley Forge.
What is the meaning of the expression, ''If the living be still
sensible of the example of the dead"?
Is patriotism a virtue? In what does love of country consist?
Distinguish between partisanship and patriotism. What is
heroism? In what respect were the soldiers at Valley Forge
heroes? What are the lessons of this place?
66 VALLEY FORGE
find a refuge among the hearts of men, " take your
shoes from off your feet, for the place on which you
stand is holy ground."
THE TROOPS AND THEIR LEADERS
And who are the leaders of the men whose heroism
can sanctify a place like this? Descend the hill and
wander through the camp. The weather is intensely
cold and the smoke hangs above the huts. On the
plain behind the front line a few general officers are
grouped about a squad whom the new inspector, the
German Baron, is teaching some manoeuvre. Bodies
of men here and there are dragging wagons up-hill
(for the horses have starved to death) or carrying fuel
for fires, without which the troops would freeze. The
huts are deserted save by the sick or naked, and as
you pass along the street a poor fellow peeps out at
the door of one and cries, " No bread, no soldier!"
These are the huts of Huntington's brigade, of the
Connecticut line; next to it those of Pennsylvanians
under Conway. This is the Irish-Frenchman soon to
disappear in a disgraceful intrigue. Here in camp there
are many who whisper that he is a mere adventurer,
but in Congress they still think him " a great military
character." Down^ t owards headquarters are the
Thomas Conway came to the United States in 1777 and was
made a brigadier-general. He was leader of the conspiracy
against Washington known as the ''Conway Cabal," on account
of which he was wounded in a duel with General John Cadwalader.
VALLEY FORGE 57
Southerners, commanded by Lachlin Mcintosh, in
his youth ''the handsomest man in Georgia." Beyond
Conway, on the hill, is Maxwell, a gallant Irishman,
commissioned by New Jersey. Woodford, of Virginia,
commands on the right of the second hne, and in front
of him the Virginian Scott. The next brigade in order
are Pennsylvanians, — many of them men whose homes
are in this neighborhood, — Chester County boys and
Quakers from the Valley turned soldier for their coun-
try's sake. They are the children of three races : the hot
Lachlin McIntosh was born near Inverness, Scotland, in
1727; emigrated to Georgia; rose to the rank of brigadier-general
in the Continental army.
William Maxwell of New Jersey was made colonel of Second
New Jersey regiment in 1775; appointed brigadier-general in
1776; fought in battles of Brandy wine, Germantown, and Mon-
mouth; participated in Sullivan's campaigns in 1779; died
November 12, 1798.
William Woodford, of Virginia, was born in 1735. In 1775
was appointed colonel Second Virginia regiment, and afterward
became head of First Virginia Brigade; wounded at battle of
Brandywine; died November 13, 1780.
The Virginian Scott (Charles Scott) was born in Virginia
in 1733; was made a corporal of a Virginia company in the battle
of Monongahela when Bradford was defeated in 1755. When the
Revolution broke out, he raised the first organized regiment
south of the James River for the Continental service. On August
12, 1776, he was appointed colonel, and was distinguished at
Trenton and Princeton; just a year later was promoted to
brigadier-general. He was the last officer to leave the field at
Monmouth in 1778; took a prominent part in the storming of
Stony Point, and the next year was with Lincoln at Charleston,
when he was made a prisoner; moved to Kentucky, and was
5S VALLEY FORGE
Irish blood mixes with the colder Dutch in their calm
English veins, and some of them — their chief, for in-
stance — are splendid fighters. There he is at this
moment riding up the hill from his quarters in the valley.
A man of medium height and strong frame, he sits his
horse well and with a dashing air. His nose is promi-
nent, his eye piercing, his complexion ruddy, his whole
appearance that of a man in splendid health and flowing
spirits. He is just the fellow to win by his headlong
valor the nickname of " The Mad." But he is more
than a mere fighter. Skilful, energetic, full of resources
and presence of mind, quick to comprehend and prompt
to act, of sound judgment and extraordinary courage,
he has in him the qualities of a great general, as he shall
show many a time in his short life of one-and-fifty years.
Pennsylvania, after her quiet fashion, may not make as
much of his fame as it deserves, but impartial history
will allow her none the less the honor of having given
its most brilliant soldier to the Revolution in her
Anthony Wayne. Poor, of New Hampshire, is en-
camped next, and then Glover, whose regiment of
elected Governor in 1808. His education was limited; was blunt
in manners and decidedly eccentric.
Anthony Wayne: For biographical sketch, see page 23.
Enoch Poor, of New Hampshire, accompanied Schuyler's
expedition to Canada in 1776; led the attack at Saratoga; served
under Lafayette at Monmouth, and led a brigade against the
Six Nations in 1779; in 1780 was placed in command of two
brigades; was killed in a duel with a French officer near Hacken-
sack. New Jersey, September 8, 1780.
John Glover was born, in Salem, Massachusetts, November
WAYNE MONUMENT AT VALLEY FORGE
60 VALLEY FORGE
Marblehead sailors and fishermen manned the boats
that saved the army on the night of the retreat from
Long Island. Learned, Patterson, and Weedon follow,
and then at the corner of the intrenchments by the
river is the Virginian brigade of Muhlenberg. Born
at the Trappe, close by, and educated abroad, Muhlen-
berg was a clergyman in Virginia when the war came on,
but he has doffed his parson's gown forever for the
5, 1732. At the beginning of the Revolution he raised 1000 men
at Marblehead, and joined the army at Cambridge. His regi-
ment, being composed of fishermen, was called the "Amphibious
Regiment," and in retreat from Long Island manned the boats.
It also manned the boats at the crossing of the Delaware. He
was made a brigadier-general in 1777, and joined the northern
army under General Schuyler. He led Burgoyne's captives to
Cambridge. Died June 30, 1797.
John Patterson was an active patriot in Massachusetts at
the outbreak of the Revolution; member of Provincial Con-
gress; after the affair at Lexington went with a regiment of
militia to Cambridge; in battles of Trenton, Princeton, and
Monmouth; remained in service to close of war; member of
Congress 1803-1805; died in Lisle, New York, July, 19, 1808.
George Weedon, born at Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1730,
was a tavern keeper before the Revolution; had a brigade in
battle of Brandy wine and' Germantown; dissatisfied with his
rank and resigned service at Valley Forge; resumed his command
in 1780; was in siege of Yorktown; died in 1790. His orderly
book at Valley Forge has been published.
John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, born at Trappe, Pa.,
October 1, 1746; died near Philadelphia October 1, 1807. At the
outbreak of the Revolution he was pastor of a church at Wood-
stock, Virginia. He enlisted as a colonel in 1775' "He won distinc-
tion at Brandywine, Monmouth, Stony Point, and Yorktown.
VALLEY FORGE 61
buff and blue of a brigadier. His stalwart form and
swarthy face are already as familiar to the enemy as
they are to his own men, for the Hessians are said to
have cried, " Hier kommt teufel Pete!" as they saw
him lead a charge at Brandy wine. The last brigade
is stationed on the river-bank, where Varnum and his
Rhode Islanders, in sympathy with young Laurens, of
Carolina, are busy with a scheme to raise and enlist
regiments of negro troops. These are the commanders
of brigades. The major-generals are seven, — portly
Wilham Alexander, of New Jersey, who claims to be the
Earl of Stirhng, but can fight for a republic bravely
nevertheless; swarthy John Sulhvan, of New Hampshire,
a little headstrong but brave as a lion; Steuben, the
Prussian martinet, who has just come to teach the
Name the brigade commanders. The major-generals.
"Hier kommt teufel Pete!" — Here comes devil Pete.
William Alexander, of New York, called Lord Stirling, was
born in New York City. In 1757, he laid claim before the House
of Lords to the earldom of Stirhng, but in vain. In 1775 he
became a colonel in the Revolutionary army, a brigadier-general
in 1776, and a major-general in 1777. He distinguished himself
at Brandy wine, Germantown, and Monmouth.
John Sullivan, of New Hampshire, was a delegate to the
First Continental Congress; was appointed a brigadier-general in
1775; a major-general in 1776. He led the right wing at Brandy-
wine and Germantown,
Martinet, said to be so called from General Martinet, who
regulated the French infantry in the reign of Louis XIV; it has
come to mean a rigid disciplinarian, especially in the army or
62 VALLEY FORGE
army; DeKalb, — self-sacrificing and generous DeKalb,
— whose honest breast shall soon bear eleven mortal
wounds received in the service of America; Lafayette,
tall, with auburn hair, — the French boy of twenty
with an old man's head, — just recovering from the
wounds of Brandy wine; and last and greatest of them
all, Nathaniel Greene, the Quaker blacksmith from
Rhode Island, in all great qualities second only to the
Chief himself. Yonder is Henry Knox, of the artillery,
as brave and faithful as he is big and burly, and the
Pole, Pulaski, a man " of hardly middle stature, of sharp
countenance and lively air." Here are the Frenchmen,
Du Portail, Dubryson, Duplessis, and Duponceau.
Here are Timothy Pickering and Light-Horse Harry
Lee, destined to be famous in Senate, Cabinet, and
field. Here are Henry Dearborn and Wilham Hull,
Baron Johann DeKalb was born in Bavaria in 1721, and died
near Camden, South Carolina, 1780. He entered the French
service in 1743 and the American service in 1777, and was mortally
wounded at Camden, 1780. He was a peasant by birth.
Nathaniel Greene and Henry Knox: For sketches, see p. 52.
Kazimierz Pulaski was outlawed for leading the insurgents
in Poland, and came to America in 1777. He was placed on
Washington's staff, and rendered valuable assistance at Brandy-
wine and Germantown. He was given command of a body of
foreigners, deserters, and prisoners of war which became famous
as " Pulaski's Legion." At Savannah he was mortally wounded.
DupoRTAiL, Dubryson, Duplessis, and Duponceau, French-
men who came to America and espoused the cause of the colonies.
Henry Dearborn, captain at Bunker Hill; distinguished
himself at the battles of Stillwater, Saratoga, and Monmouth.
He was Secretary of War in Jefferson's cabinet.
VALLEY FORGE 63
whose paths in life shall one day cross again, and John
Laurens and Tench Tilghman, those models of accom-
phshed manhood, destined so soon to die!
Does that silent boy of twenty, who has just ridden
by with a message from Lord Stirling, imagine that one
day the doctrine which shall keep the American conti-
nent free from the touch of European pohtics shall be
forever associated with the name of James Monroe?
Does yonder tall, awkward youth, in the Third Virginia,
William Hull, for distinguished service, attained the rank of
major. In 1812 he was placed in command of the army of the
Northwest, with headquarters at Detroit. He surrendered
Detroit to the British and was sentenced to death for this
act, but was reprieved by Madison.
Tench Tilghman, born in Baltimore, 1744; in 1776 became
an aide to Washington; also became his confidential secretary
until the close of the war. He served without pay for five years,
and was in every action in which the main army was concerned;
sent by Washington to announce to Congress the surrender of
Cornwallis; was highly commended to Congress as worthy of
great consideration. He died April 18, 1786.
James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States, at
the outbreak of the Revolution left William and Mary College
and entered the Revolutionary army at the early age of eighteen.
He distinguished himself in several battles. He was minister to
France and England and was Secretary of State under Madison.
As minister, his most important work was the negotiation with
R. R. Livingston for the purchase of the province of Louisiana.
President Monroe sent a message to Congress in which he an-
nounced what has always since been known as "The Monroe
Doctrine." In substance this doctrine was a declaration of
independence for the whole of America.
64 VALLEY FORGE
who bore a musket so gallantly at Brandywine, dream,
as he lies there shivering in his little hut on the slopes of
Mount Joy, that in the not distant future it is he that
shall build up the jurisprudence of a people, and after a
Hfe of usefulness and honor bequeath to them, in the
fame of John Marshall, the precious example of a great
and upright Judge? Two other youths are here, —
both of small stature and hthe, active frame, — of the
same rank and almost the same age, whose ambitious
eyes alike look forward already to fame and power in
law and politics. But not even his own aspiring
spirit can foretell the splendid rise, the dizzy elevation,
and the sudden fall of Aaron Burr — nor can the other
John Marshall, the great American Jurist, was born in
Germantown, Virginia. He spent five years in the Revolutionary
arm3^ After the war he applied himself to the study of law and
rose rapidly in his profession. In 1801 President Adams ap-
pointed him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, which position
he held till his death. Six men occupied the presidential chair,
and eighteen congresses met during his term as Chief Justice.
Aaron Burr, the grandson of Jonathan Edwards, joined the
army at the outbreak of the Revolution, and served in Arnold's
famous expedition through Maine to Canada, and afterward
rose to the rank of colonel. He was one of the leading lawyers at
the New York bar. In the presidential contest of 1800-01
Colonel Burr and Thomas Jefferson each received 73 electoral
votes, and the House of Representatives chose Jefferson for
president and Burr for vice-president. A bitter political contro-
versy between Burr and Hamilton led to a duel between the two
at Weehawken, July 11, 1804, in which Hamilton was mortally
wounded. He spent many years in exile, and when he returned
to America, he was shunned by his neighbors.
VALLEY FORGE 65
foresee that the time will never come when his country-
men will cease to admire the genius and lament the fate
of Alexander Hamilton!
WASHINGTON AT VALLEY FORGE
And what shall I say of him who bears on his heart
the weight of all? Who can measure the anxieties that
afflict his mind? Who weigh the burdens that he has
to bear? Who but himself can ever know the respon-
sibilities that rest upon his soul? Behold him in yonder
cottage, his lamp burning steadily through half the
winter night, his brain never at rest, his hand always
busy, his pen ever at work ; now counselling with Greene
how to clothe and feed the troops, or with Steuben how
to reorganize the service; now writing to Howe about
exchanges, or to Livingston about the relief of prisoners,
or to CHnton about suppHes, or to Congress about
enlistments or promotions or finances or the French
AlHance; opposing foolish and rash councils to-day,
urging prompt and rigorous policies to-morrow; now
calming the jealousy of Congress, now soothing the
wounded pride of ill-used officers; now answering the
Alexander Hamilton : For biographical sketch, see page 46.
Enumerate some of the many arduous duties of Washington.
Name officers of the Revolutionary army that were ill used by
Congress. How did one of the officers show his resentment for
his ill treatment? What complaints did the civil authorities
have to make? Name some of the intrigues of Congress; in
camp. How did Washington bear criticism? calumny? Char-
acterize Washington as a general and as a stateman.
6Q VALLEY FORGE
complaints of the civil authority, and now those of the
starving soldiers, whose sufferings he shares, and by his
cheerful courage keeping up the hearts of both ; repress-
ing the zeal of friends to-day, and overcoming with
steadfast rectitude the intrigues of enemies in Congress
and in camp to-morrow; bearing criticism with patience
and calumny with fortitude, and, lest his country
should suffer, answering both only with plans for her
defence of which others are to reap the glory; guarding
the long coast with ceaseless vigilance, and watching
with sleepless eye a chance to strike the enemy in front
a blow; a soldier subordinating the military to the civil
power; a dictator as mindful of the rights of Tories as
of the wrongs of Whigs; a statesman, commanding a
Revolutionary army; a patriot, forgetful of nothing
but himself; this is he whose extraordinary virtues only
have kept the army from disbanding and saved his
country's cause. Modest in the midst of pride, wise
in the midst of folly, calm in the midst of passion,
cheerful in the midst of gloom, steadfast among the
wavering, hopeful among the despondent, bold among
the timid, prudent among the rash, generous among the
Intrigues in camp: The Conway Cabal was an intrigue by
Gates, Lee, Mifflin, Wilkinson, and others of Washington's
officers in 1777 for the promotion of brigadier-general Conway
contrary to Washington's judgment. Washington was accused of
incompetence and partiality, and finally Congress was prevailed
upon to promote Conway to major-general and inspector-general.
In 1778 Conway was wounded in a duel. He afterward apolo-
gized to Washington, confessing his wrong.
VALLEY FOROE 67
selfish, true among the faithless, greatest among good
men and best among the great, — such was George
Washington at Valley Forge.
But the darkest hour of night is just before the day.
In the middle of February Washington described the
dreadful situation of the army and " the miserable
prospects before it " as '' more alarming " than can
possibly be conceived, and as occasioning him more
distress " than he had felt " since the commencement
of the war. On the 23d of February he whom we call
Baron Steuben rode into camp; on the 6th, Franklin
signed the Treaty of Alliance at Versailles.
STEUBEN AND FRANKLIN
Frederick William Augustus, Baron Von Steuben, was
a native of Magdeburg, in Prussia. Trained from early
hfe to arms, he had been Aide to the Great Frederick,
Lieutenant-General to the Prince of Baden, Grand
Marshal at the Court of one of the Hohenzollerns, and
a Canon of the Church. A skilful soldier, a thorough
disciplinarian, a gentleman of polished manners, a man
of warm and generous heart, he had come in the prime
of life and vigor to offer his services to the American
people. None could have been more needed or more
valuable at the time. Congress sent him to the camp,
Characterize Washington as a man, showing the many qualities
that go to make up his character.
In your own language, writ(i a sketch of George Washington
at Valley Forge.
VALLEY FORGE 69
Washington quickly discerned his worth, and in a Httle
time he was made Major-General and Inspector of the
army. In an instant there was a change in that depart-
ment. A disciphne unknown before took possession of
the camp. Beginning with a picked company of one hun-
dred and twenty men, the Baron drilled them carefully
himself on foot and musket in hand. These when they
became proficient he made a model for others, and
presently the whole camp had become a military school.
Rising at three in the morning, he smoked a single
pipe while his servant dressed his hair, drank one cup
of coffee, and with his star of knighthood gleaming on
his breast was on horseback at sunrise, and with or
without his suite galloped to the parade. There all
day he drilled the men, and at nightfall galloped back
to the hut in which he had made his quarters, to draw
up regulations and draft instructions for the inspectors
under him. And thus day after day, patient, careful,
laborious, and persevering, in a few months he trans-
formed this untrained yeomanry into a disciplined and
effective army. There have been more brilliant services
rendered to America than these, but few perhaps more
valuable and worthier of remembrance. Knight of
the Order of Fidelity, there have been more illustrious
names than thine upon our lips to-day. Like many
another who labored for us, our busy age has seemed to
pass thee by. But here, at last, when after a century,
Americans gather to review their country's history,
shall they recall thy unselfish services with gratitude,
and thy memory with honor !
70 VALLEY FORGE
And surely at Valley Forge we must not forget what
Franklin is doing for his country's cause in France. It
was a happy thing for the Republican Idea that it had
a distant continent for the place of its experiment. It
was a fortunate thing for America that between her and
her nearest European neighbor lay a thousand leagues
of sea. That distance — a very different matter from
what it is to-day — made it at the same time difficult for
England to overcome us, and safe for France to lend us
aid. From an early period this alliance seemed to have
been considered by the Cabinet of France. For several
years secret negotiations had been going on, and in the
fall of 1777 they became open and distinct, and the rep-
resentatives of both nations came face to face. There
was no sympathy between weak and feeble Louis and
his crafty Ministers on the one side and the repre-
sentatives of Democracy and Rebellion on the other
— nor had France any hopes of regaining her foot-
hold on this continent. The desire of her rulers was
Louis XVI succeeded to the throne in 1774. He gave the
American Colonies considerable aid during the Revolutionary
war, and burdened France with a big debt in their behalf.
''It was in this particular juncture of affairs and condition
of opinion and policy that the genius of Dr. Franklin shone with
peculiar lustre. At the gay court of Louis XVI he appeared as the
representative of his country. His gigantic intellect, his reputa-
tion in science, and his personal manners soon won for him at
the French capital an immense reputation. His wit and genial
humor made him admired; his humanity and courteous bearing
commanded universal respect; his patience and perseverance gave
VALLEY FORGE 71
simply to humiliate and injure England, and the
revolution in America seemed to offer the chance.
Doubtless they were influenced by the fact that the
cause of America had become very popular with all
classes of the French people, impressed to a remarkable
degree with the character of Dr. Franklin, and stirred
by the contagious and generous example of Lafayette.
Nor was this popular feehng merely temporary or
without foundation. Long familiar as he had been with
despotism in both politics and religion, the Frenchman
still retained within him a certain spirit of Liberty which
was stronger than he knew. His sympathies naturally
went out toward a distant people engaged in a gallant
struggle against his hereditary enemies, — the English;
but besides all that, there was in his heart something,
he hardly knew what, that vibrated at the thought of
a freedom for others which he had hardly dreamed of
and never known. Little did he or any of his rulers
foresee what that something was. Little did France
him final success. He became at length the idol of the French
people. During the whole of 1777 he remained at Paris and
Versailles, leaving nothing undone that might conduce to the
cause of his country. At last came the news of Burgoyne's
surrender. A powerful British army had been conquered and
captured without aid from abroad. This marked success of
the American arms afforded the excuse for which the French king
had been waiting. One-third of the British forces in America
had either been killed or captured, and France hesitated no longer
to recognize our independence. The treaty was signed February
6, 1778. The event was of vast moment, as it presaged the final
success of the American cause."
72 VALLEY FORGE
imagine, as she blew into a flame the spark of Liberty
beyond the sea, that there was that within her own
dominions which in eleven years, catching the divine
fire from the glowing West, would set herself and Europe
in a blaze. Accordingly, after much doubt, delay, and
intrigue, during which Franklin bore himself with rare
ability and tact, treaties of amity, commerce, and al-
liance were prepared and signed. The Independence
of America was acknowledged and made the basis of
alliance, and it was mutually agreed that neither nation
should lay down its arms until England had conceded it.
A fleet, an army, and munitions were promised by the
The French Revolution began with the meeting of the States
General in May, 1789, and continued until 1799. At first Ameri-
cans were favorable to it, as to a natural consequence of the Ameri-
can Revolution, and a movement in favor of humanity, liberty,
and progress . But the execu tion of the king and the ensuing Reign
of Terror turned the feeling against it. It was one of the main
questions upon which our first political parties were divided, the
Federalists opposing it, the Republicans favoring it. Because
Washington's administration assumed a neutral position, it was
attacked with great vigor.
Within forty-eight hours after signing the alliance between
France and America, British spies carried the portentous news
to their sovereign, whose ministers at once sought, by well-marked
measures of conciliation, to paralyze the inevitable result contem-
plated by the alliance. As an inducement Great Britain offered
to give everything that she had refused three years before, in-
cluding freedom from taxation, and according representation in
parliament; but the offer was too late. The Americans were
firmly resolved on independence and snubbed the English
commissioners sent to this country.
VALLEY FORGE 73
King, and, as a consequence, war was at once declared
against Great Britain.
THE DAWN AT LAST
We are accustomed to regard this as the turning- )
point in the Revolutionary struggle. And so it y!i:asr^
But neither the fleet of France nor her armies, gallant
as they were, nor the supplies and means with which
she furnished us, were as valuable to the cause of the
struggling country as the moral effect^atjiimie.asja£elt-a&-
abroaji^_x£.ihe--all4a^ce._ Mopes Th^ were built upon
the skill of French sailors were soon dispelled, the ex-
pectations of large contingent armies were not to be
fulfilled, but the news of the French alliance carried
into every patriotic heart an assurance that never left it
afterward, and kept aroused a spirit that henceforward
grew stronger every year. Says the historian Bancroft :
" The benefit then conferred on the United States was
priceless. And so the flags of France and the United
States went together into the field against Great Britain
unsupported by any other government, yet with the good
wishes of all the peoples of Europe." And thus illustri-
ous Franklin, the Philadelphia printer, earned the magnif-
icent compliment that was paid him in the French Acad-
emy: " Eripuit fulmen ccelo, sceptrumque tyrannis."
Why was this the turning-point in the Revolutionary struggle?
What was the effect of the French alliance?
Eripuit fulmen ccelo, sceptrumque tyrannis — He wrested the
thunder from the sky and the scepter from tyrants.
74 VALLEY FORGE
And all the while, unconscious of the event, the winter
days at Valley Forge dragged by, one after another, with
sleet and slush and snow, with storms of wind, and ice
and beating rain. The light-horse scoured the country,
the pickets watched, the sentinels paced up and down,
the men drilled and practised and starved and froze
and suffered, and at last the spring-time came, and with
it stirring news. Greene wasapp^oinled Quarter-
master-General on the ^3d oi''"March, and under his
skilful management relief and succor came. The
Concihatory Bills, offering all but independence, were
received in April, and instantly rejected by Congress,
under the stirring influence of a letter from Washington,
declaring with earnestness that " nothing short of
independence would do," and at last, on the 4th of May,
at eleven o'clock at night, the news of the French treaty
reached the headquarters.
On the 6th, by general orders, the army, after ap-
propriate religious services, was drawn up under arms,
salutes were fired with cannon and musketry, cheers
given by the soldiers for the King of France and the
American States, and a banquet by the General-in-
Chief to all the officers in the open air completed a
day devoted to rejoicing. " And all the while," says
''On the 7th of May, 1778, at 9 o'clock a. m., the American
Army was on parade. Drums beat and cannon were fired, as if
for some victory. It was a day of jubilee, a rare occurrence for
the time and place. The brigades were steady, but not brilliant
in their formation. Uniforms were scarce. Many feet were bare.
Many had no coats. Some wore coats made of the remnants of
VALLEY FORGE 75
the English satirist, '' Howe left the famous camp of
Valley Forge untouched, whilst his great, brave, and
perfectly appointed army fiddled and gambled and
feasted in Philadelphia. And by Byng's countrymen
triumphal arches were erected, tournaments were held
in pleasant mockery of the Middle Ages, and wreaths
and garlands offered by beautiful ladies to this clement
chief, with fantastical mottoes and poesies announcing
that his laurels should be immortal." On the 18th
of May (the day of that famous festivity) Lafayette
took post at Barren Hill, from which he escaped so
brilliantly two days afterwards. At last, on the 18th
of June, George Roberts, of Philadelphia, came gallop-
their winter blankets. The pomp and circumstances of war was
wanting. There was no review by general officers, with a well-
appointed staff. Few matrons and few maidens looked on.
There stood before each brigade its chaplain, God's ambassador
was made the voice to explain this occasion of expenditure of
greatly needed powder. The Treaty of Alliance was read and in
solemn silence the American Army at Valley Forge united in
thanksgiving to Almighty God that He had given them one friend
on earth. One theme was universal, and it flutters yet in the
breasts of millions, 'Praise God from whom all blessings flow.'
Huzzas for the king of France, for Washington and the Republic,
with caps tossed high in air and a rattling fire through the whole
line terminated the humble pageant." — From Carrington's
"Battles of the American Revolution."
Byng's Countrymen. — For a description of these tourna-
ments read Thackeray's Virginian, Chap. xci.
George Roberts, read Spark's Writings of Washington, vol.
V, p. 409.
VALLEY FORGE 77
ing up the Gulf Road, covered with dust and sweat, with
the news that the British had evacuated Philadelphia.
Six brigades were at once in motion, — the rest of the
army prepared to follow with all possible despatch early
on the 19th. The bridge across the Schuylkill was laden
with tramping troops. Cannon rumbled rapidly down
the road to the river. The scanty baggage was packed,
the flag at headquarters taken down, the last brigade
descended the river-bank, the huts were empty, the
breast-works deserted, the army was off for Monmouth,
and the hills of Valley Forge were left alone with their
glory and their dead. The last foreign foe had left the
soil of Pennsylvania forever. Yes, the last foreign foe!
Who could foretell the mysteries of the future? Who
foresee the trials that were yet to come? Little did
the sons of New England and the South, who starved
Washington, feeling assured of the evacuation of Philadelphia,
prepared for the event, and on the 18th of May directed General
Lafayette, with a corps of 2500 picked men, to occupy Barren Hill,
observe the movements of the enemy, and in the event of their
retreat across New Jersey, to fall upon their left and rear while he
would follow as rapidly as possible with the main army. The
assignment of this youthful officer to the command of an inde-
pendent expedition composed of the flower of the army, charged
with duties certain to expose him to trials and perils of the most
extraordinary character, illustrates the boundless confidence in
him; and the manner in which he acquitted himself in discon-
certing the plans laid by Howe, Clinton, Grant, and Sir William
Erskine to destroy or capture him and his command marks him
as an officer of quick and brilliant perceptions upon the field of
battle and brave to a fault.
78 VALLEY FORGE
and froze and died here in the snow together, think, as
their eyes beheld for the last time the Uttle flag that
meant for them a common country, that the time would
come when, amid sound of cannon, their children, met
again on Pennsylvania soil, would confront each other
in the splendid agony of battle! Sorrow was their
portion, but it was not given them to suffer this. It
was theirs to die in the gloomiest period of their coun-
try's history, but certain that her salvation was assured.
It was theirs to go down into the grave rejoicing in the
belief that their lives were sacrifice enough, blessedly
unconscious that the liberty for which they struggled
demanded that three hundred thousand of their children
should with equal courage and devotion lay down their
lives in its defence. Happy alike they who died before
that time and we who have survived it! And, thank God
this day, that its shadow has passed away forever.
The sins of the fathers visited upon the children have
been washed away in blood, — the sacrifice has been
accepted, — the expiation has been complete. The men
of North and South whose bones moulder on these
historic hill-sides did not die in vain. The institutions
which they gave us we preserve, — the Freedom for which
Pennsylvania ^oiL refers to the battle of Gettysburg, which
occurred July 1-3, 1863. The forces engaged during this three
days' battle numbered between 70,000 and 80,000 on each side.
The Federal loss was 2834 killed, 13,709 wounded, and 6643
missing, making a total of 23,186. The total Confederate loss
VALLEY FORGE 79
they fought is still our birthright, — the flag under
which they died floats above our heads on this anni-
versary, the emblem of a redeemed, regenerate, re-
united country. The union of those States still stands
secure. Enemies within and foes without have failed
to break it, and the spirit of faction, from whatever
quarter or in whatever cause, can no more burst its holy
bonds asunder than can we separate in this sacred soil
the dust of Massachusetts and that of Carolina from
that Pennsylvania dust in whose embrace it has slum-
bered for a century, and with which it must forever be
THE GLORY OF VALLEY FORGE
Such, then, is the history of this famous place. To
my mind it has a glory all its own. The actions which
have made it famous stand by themselves. It is not
simply because they were heroic. Brave deeds have
sanctified innumerable places in every land. The men
of our revolution were not more brave than their
French allies, or their German cousins, or their English
brethren. Courage belongs alike to all men. Nor were
they the only men in history who suffered. Others
Give the history of this famous place. In what respect has
it a glory of its own? Give instances where brave deeds have
sanctified innumerable places in every land. In what did the
heroism of Valley Forge consist? What momentous things were
intrusted to the keeping of the heroes of Valley Forge? Show
how courage belongs alike to all men.
80 \ VALLEY FORGE
have borne trial as bravely, endured with the same
patience, died with as perfect a devotion. But it is
not given to all men to die in the best of causes or win
the greatest victories. It was the rare fortune of those
who were assembled here ,a hundred years ago that,
having in their keeping the most momentous things
that were ever intrusted to a people, they were at once
both faithful and victorious. The army that was
encamped here was but a handful, but what host ever
defended so much? And what spot of Earth has had
a farther reaching and happier influence on the human
race than this?
Is it that which the traveller beholds when from
Pentelicus he looks down on Marathon? The life of
Athens was short, and the liberty which was saved on
that immortal field she gave up ingloriously more than
Marathon, a small plain near the shore of the Gulf of Mara-
thon, about 20 miles northeast of Athens. On the plain of Mara-
thon, Miltiades, the Athenian general, defeated the Persian king
and saved Greece, 490 B. C.
Pentelicus, a mountain in Greece, ten miles northeast of
Athens, rises to 3640 feet above the sea.
Why was the life of Athens short? Why is the battlefield of
Marathon regarded a-s immortal? Tell how liberty was saved on
that immortal field. Did Athens profit by her great victory?
Describe the Athenian civilization. What is meant by the ex-
pression, "the boundaries of her tiny state were larger than her
heart"? Why was Athens a prodigy of short lived splendor?
Why should Athens be held up as a warning rather than an
example? What are the "forest cantons"? What is meant by
a "sterile independence"?
VALLEY FOROE 81
twenty centuries ago. The tyranny she resisted so
gallantly from without she practised cruelly at home.
The sword which she wielded so well in her own defence
she turned as readily against her children. Her civil-
ization, brilliant as it was, was narrow, and her spirit
selfish. The boundaries of her tiny state were larger
than her heart, whose sympathy could not include more
than a part of her own kindred. Her aspirations were
pent up in herself, and she stands in history to-day a
prodigy of short-lived splendor, — a warning rather
than example. Is it any one of those, where the men of
the forest cantons fell on the invader like an avalanche
from their native Alps and crushed him out of existence?
The bravery of the Swiss achieved only a sterile inde-
pendence, which his native mountains defended as well
as he, and he tarnished his glory forever when the sword
of Morgarten was hawked about the courts of Europe,
and the victor of Grandson and Morat sold himself to
the foreign shambles of the highest bidder.
Morgarten, a narrow pass in central Switzerland, between
Morgarten Hill and Lake Egeri, noted for a victory of the Swiss
over the Austrians, November 16, 1315. The Swiss were fighting
for freedom from the Austrian rule. They attacked the Austrians
while they were marching through the pass, hurling down great
rocks from the hills, and then charging so fiercely that nearly all
of their enemies were killed.
Grandson, a decayed town in Switzerland, on shore of Lake
Neuchatel. It is memorable for the victory achieved in its
vicinity in 1476 by the Swiss over Charles the Bold.
Morat, a town of Switzerland. Charles the Bold was de-
feated here by the Swiss confederates in 1476.
82 VALLEY FORGE
Or is it that still more famous field, where the Belgian
Hon keeps guard over the dead of three great nations?
There, three-and-sixty years ago yesterday, the armies
of Europe met in conflict. It was the war of giants.
VALLEY FORGE AND WATERLOO
On the one side England, the first power of the age,
flushed with victory, of inexhaustible resources, re-
doubtable by land and invincible by sea, and Prussia,
vigorous by nature, stronger by adversity, hardened by
suffering, full of bitter memories and hungry for revenge,
and on the other France, once mistress of the Continent,
the arbiter of nations, the conqueror of Wagram and
Marengo and Friedland and Austerlitz, — spent at
last in her own service, crushed rather by the weight of
her victories than by the power of her enemies' arms, —
turning in her bloody footsteps, like a wounded lion, to
When was the battle of Waterloo fought? Name the opposing
generals. Locate this battlefield. Why does Mr. Brown call
it a war of giants? What nations were engaged in this conflict?
What is the modern interpretation of the term "Waterloo"?
What is meant by the expression "redoubtable by land and
invincible by sea"? Why did he characterize the Prussians
as "vigorous by nature"? "strong by adversity"? "hardened
by suffering"? "full of bitter memories" ? When was France
mistress of the Continent? What is meant by "the arbiter of
nations"? Who was the hero of Wagram, Marengo, Friedland,
and Austerlitz? Locate these battlefields.
Wagram, a village of lower Austria, eleven miles northeast of
Vienna. It is famous for the victory of Napoleon over the
Austrians, gained here on July 6, 1809.
VALLEY FORGE 83
spring with redoubled fury at the throat of her pursuers.
Behold the conflict as it raged through the long June
day, while all the world listened and held its breath!
The long lines of red, the advancing columns of blue,
the glitter of burnished steel, the roll of drums, the
clangor of trumpets, the cheering of men, the fierce
attack, the stubborn resistance, the slow recoil, the rattle
of musketry, the renewed assault, the crash of arms, the
roar of cannons, the clatter of the charging cavalry, the
cries of the combatants, the clash of sabres, the shrieks
of the dying, the confused retreat, the gallant rally, the
final charge, the sickening repulse, the last struggle, the
shouts of the victors, the screams of the vanquished, the
wild confusion, the blinding smoke, the awful uproar, the
unspeakable rout, the furious pursuit, the sounds dying
in the distance, the groans of the wounded, the falling
of the summer rain, the sighing of the evening breeze,
the solemn silence of the night. Climb the steps that
lead to the summit of the mound that marks that place
to-day. There is no spot in Europe more famous than
Belgian Lion, the Mont du Lion, is 200 feet high and about
1700 feet in circumference, on the summit of which stands, on a
lofty pedestal, an immense bronze lion, 48,000 pounds in weight.
Marengo, a locality in Piedmont, Italy. It is memorable for
the battle of June 14, 1800, between Napoleon and the Austrians,
in which the latter were defeated.
Friedland, a town of East Prussia. Here the French defeated
the allied Russians and Prussians, June 14, 1807.
AusTERLiTZ, a town of Moravia, twelve miles southeast of
Brunn. It is celebrated for the victory gained by Napoleon over
the emperors of Austria and Russia, December 2, 1805
84 VALLEY FORGE
the field beneath your feet. In outward aspect it
is not unHke this which we behold here. The hills
are not so high nor the valleys so deep, but the general
effect of field and farm, of ripening grain and emerald
woodland, is much the same. It has not been changed.
There is the chateau of Houguomont on the west, and
the forest through which the Prussians came on the east ;
on yonder hill the Emperor watched the battle; beneath
you, Ney made the last of many charges,^ — the world
knows it all by heart. The traveller of every race
turns toward it his footsteps. It is the most celebrated
battle-field of Europe and of modern times.
But what did that great victory accomplish? It
broke the power of one nation and asserted the independ-
HouGUOMONT : For a graphic description of Houguomont, read
" Les Miserables " by Victor Hugo.
Who commanded the Prussians? In what respect did Napo-
leon's defeat revenge the memory of Jena and Corunna? How
did it break the spell that made the fated name of Napoleon the
bond of an empire almost universal.
Marshall Ney, a famous French General. Napoleon called
him the bravest of the brave, and for his valor at Elchingen gave
him the title of Duke of Elchingen. At Waterloo he had five
horses shot under him. When Napoleon was finally conquered,
he was tried for desertion and condemned to be shot.
Why should the whole world be interested in the battle of
Waterloo? Why is it the most famous battlefield in Europe? Is
the introduction and description of the battle of Waterloo a
digression from the main discourse? Can you justify this digres-
sion? Does the digression violate the unity of the oration?
Is the description of this battle vivid? Have you a clear mental
picture of it?
VALLEY FORGE 85
ence of the rest. It took from France an Emperor and
gave her back a King, a ruler whom she had rejected
in place of one whom she had chosen, a Bourbon for a
Bonaparte, a King by Divine right for an Emperor by
the people's will. It revenged the memory of Jena and
Corunna, and broke the spell that made the fated name
Napoleon the bond of an empire almost universal; it
struck down one great man and fixed a dozen small ones
on the neck of Europe. But what did it bequeath
to us besides the ever-precious example of heroic deeds?
Nothing. What did they who conquered there achieve?
Fame for themselves, woe for the vanquished, glory for
England, revenge for Prussia, shame for France, noth-
ing for Humanity, nothing for Liberty, nothing for Civil-
ization, nothing for the Rights of Man. One of the great
Englishmen of that day declared that it had turned
Bourbon, a member of a family which has occupied European
Napoleon, general of the French army in Italy; commander in
Egypt; First Consul of France, Emperor of the French; an exile in
the island of St. Helena.
Jena, a town of Germany, twelve miles southeast of Weimar.
Here, on October 14, 1806, Napoleon totally defeated the Prus-
Corunna, a fortified city of Spain in Galicia.
What was achieved by the conquerors of Waterloo? What
great principles were involved in the war of the American Revo-
lution? What great document enunciated a new principle to the
world in regard to the rights of man? State that principle.
What great Englishman declared that the battle of Waterloo
had turned back the hands of the dial of the world's progress for
fifty years? What did he mean by that expression? What
86 VALLEY FORGE
back the hands of the dial of the world's progress for
fifty years. And, said an Enghsh poetess, —
The Kings crept out again to feel the sun,
The Kings crept out — the peoples sat at home,
And finding the long-invocated peace,
A pall embroidered with worn images
Of rights divine, too scant to cover doom
Such as they suffered^curst the corn that grew
Rankly to bitter bread on Waterloo.
THE SPIRIT OF LIBERTY
My countrymen: — For a century the eyes of strug-
gling nations have turned towards this spot, and lips
in every language have blessed the memory of Valley
Forge! The tide of battle never ebbed and flowed upon
these banks; these hills never trembled beneath the
tread of charging squadrons nor echoed the thunders of
contending cannon. The blood that stained this ground
did not rush forth in the joyous frenzy of the fight; it
English poetess is quoted in the text? Why have struggling
nations turned their eyes toward Valley Forge? Why is the
memory of Valley Forge blessed to every liberty-loving patriot?
If history has its lessons, what is the lesson of Valley Forge?
Why is Valley Forge one of the altars erected by our forefathers
to Liberty and to Humanity? In what respect was this encamp-
ment a factor in the great work of civilization in its onward sweep
of progress and development? Is patriotism a sentiment? Is
it a principle born in our nature and part of our humanity?
For what did the soldiers of the Revolution fight? What did
they defend? What did they have in their keeping? In what
were the heroes of Valley Forge distinguished from the heroes
VALLEY FORGE 87
fell drop by drop from the heart of a suffering people.
They who once encamped here in the snow fought not
for conquest, not for power, not for glory, not for their
country only, not for themselves alone. They served
here for posterity ; they suffered here for the human race;
they bore here the cross of all the peoples; they died
here that Freedom might be the heritage of all. Tt was
Humanity which they defended; it was Liberty herself
that they had in keeping, — she that was sought in the
wilderness and mourned for by the waters of Babylon, —
that was saved at Salamis and thrown away at Chser-
onea, — that was fought for at Cannae and lost forever
at Pharsalia and Philippi, — she who confronted the
Armada on the deck with Howard and rode beside
Cromwell on the field of Worcester, — for whom the,
Swiss gathered into his breast the sheaf of spears at
Babylon, the ancient capital of the Babylonio-Chaldean
Salamis, an island of Greece in the Gulf of Aegina. On the
eastern shore the Greeks under Thermistodes gained a memor-
able naval victory over the Persians, 480 B. C.
Chaeronea, an ancient city of Greece, famous for a victory
gained by Philip of Macedon over the Athenians and Thebans,
338 B. C, and for Sulla's victory over the general of Mithridates,
Cannae, an ancient town of Italy, memorable for the victory
which Hannibal gained over the Romans in its vicinity in 216 B. C.
Pharsalia, a town of Greece in Thessaly. It was on the
Pharsalian Plain that Caesar overwhelmed Pompey in 48 B. C.
Philippi, an ancient town of Macedonia. In the plain west of
it, the battles took place in which Octavius and Anthony defeated
Brutus and Cassius.
88 VALLEY FORGE
Sempach and the Dutchman broke the dykes of Holland
and welcomed in the sea, — she of whom Socrates spoke
and Plato wrote and Brutus dreamed and Homer sung,
— for whom Eliot pleaded and Sydney suffered and Mil-
ton prayed and Hampden fell! Driven by the persecu-
tion of centuries from the older world, she had come
with Pilgrim and Puritan and Cavalier and Quaker to
seek a shelter in the new. Attacked once more by her
Armada, a great fleet sent by Philip II of Spain against
England in 1588. It was met and defeated by the English fleet
of about 180 vessels, under Lord Howard, in English Channel in
Oliver Cromwell, on the field of Worcester, September 3,
1651, overwhelmed the army of Charles II.
Sempach, a town of Switzerland. In its vicinity, in 1386, a
body of Swiss routed a greatly superior force of Austrians. The
story of Arnold of Winkelried is associated with this battle.
Socrates, a famous Greek philosopher, born near Athens,
about 470 B. C.
Plato, a famous Greek philosopher and teacher of Aristotle;
the founder of the Academic School.
Brutus, a Roman politician and scholar.
Homer, the poet to whom is assigned by very ancient tradi-
tion the authorship of the Iliad and the Odyssey.
John Eliot was one of the few men who treated the Indians
kindly. He spent his life in earnest efforts to Christianize them.
Sir Philip Sidney, a famous English author, soldier, and
courtier. He came to his death on the field of Zutphen, whither
he had been sent by the queen to aid those provinces in their
struggle with Philip II. While being carried from the field,
wounded and faint, he called for a drink; but as he was about
to put the bottle to his lips, he saw a poor soldier looking long-
ingly at the bottle. Sir Philip, before he had tasted a drop, at
VALLEY FORGE 89
old enemies, she had taken refuge here. Nor she alone.
The dream of the Greek, the Hebrew's prophecy, the
desire of the Roman, the Italian's prayer, the longing
of the German mind, the hope of the French heart, the
glory and honor of Old England herself, the yearning of
all the centuries, the aspiration of every age, the promise
once handed it to the man with the words, "Thy necessity is yet
greater than mine."
John Milton, a famous English poet, author of Paradise
John Hampden, a celebrated English statesman who, when
twenty-seven years old, was elected to Parliament and soon showed
himself a strong lover of liberty. He became the most popiilar
man in England. When civil war broke out, he raised a regiment
and marched against the king.
The Pilgrims came to America in 1620 to escape religious
persecution. They did not like the ceremonies of the Estab-
lished Church, and went so far as to separate themselves from it ;
hence they were called Separatists.
The Puritans were so called from their desire to purify the
ceremonies of the Church of England. They did not separate
themselves from the church as did the Pilgrims, but desired to
purify it from within. The settlers of Massachusetts Bay came
from this sect.
Cavalier, the name given, from their gay dress and de-
meanor, to the supporters of Charles I. during the great civil war
in England. The execution of Charles L, in 1649, had driven
great numbers of his friends to Virginia. It was the promised
land of "distressed Cavaliers," as the old narratives called
them, and they flowed to Virginia in a stately stream during
the Commonwealth period.
The Quakers; the religious sect most severely persecuted in
England after the restoration of the king was the Society of
Friends, whose members were sometimes called Quakers.
90 OA- " VALLEY FORGE ,
of the past, the fulfilment of the future, the seed of the
old time, the harvest of the new, — all these were with
her. And h«f-€, in the heart of America, they were
safe. The last of many struggles was almost won; the
best of many centuries was about to break ; the time was
already come when from these shores the light of a new
civilization should flash across the sea, and from this
place a voice of triumph make the Old World tremble,
when, from her chosen refuge in the West, the Spirit of
Liberty should go forth to meet the rising sun and set
the people free!
THE NEW CENTURY
Americans: — A hundred years have passed away, and
that civihzation and that liberty are still your heritage.
But think not that such an inheritance can be kept safe
without exertion. It is the burden of your happiness
that with it Privilege and Duty go hand-in-hand to-
gether. You cannot shirk the present and enjoy in
the future the blessings of the past. • Y'esterday begot
to-day, and to-day is the parent of to-morrow. The
old time may be secure, but the new time is uncertain.
The dead are safe; it is the privilege of the hving to be
What is the heritage of the American people? How was it
secured? How may it be safeguarded? What is our civic duty
in regard to the future? Why is the pohtical future uncertain?
What is the privilege of the living? How is a country benefited
by great actions? In what way may we convert the honor of
Valley Forge into an eternal shame? In what way may we make
the glory of Valley Forge ours? Why is it in the interest of our
country to keep the anniversaries of great events?
VALLEY FORGE 91
in peril. A country is benefited by great actions only
so long as her children are able to repeat them. The
memory of this-spet shall be an everlasting honor for our
fathers, but we can make it an eternal shame for our-
selves if we choose to do so. The glory of Lexington
and Bunker Hill and Saratoga and Valley Forge be-
longs not to you and me, but we can make it ours if we
will. ^ It is well for us to keep these anniversaries of
great events; it is well for us to meet by thousands on
these historic spots ; it is well to walk by those unknown
graves or follow the windings of the breastworks that
encircle yonder hill ; it is well for us to gather beneath
yon little fort, which the storms of so many winters have
tenderly spared to look down on us to-day; it is well to
commemorate the past with song and eulogy and pleas-
ant festival, — but it is not enough.
If they could return whose forms have been passing in
imagination before our eyes; if in the presence of this
holy hour the dead could rise and lips dumb for a century
find again a tongue, might they not say to us: You do
well, countrymen, to commemorate this time; you do
well to Jionor those who yielded up their lives in glory
here. Theirs was a perfect sacrifice, and the debt you
Why is it not enough to commemorate the past with song and
eulogy and pleasant festival?
If the heroic dead of Valley Forge could rise and speak, what
message would they communicate to their countrymen? Com-
pare and contrast your country of 1777-1778 with your country
of to-day, as to territory, population, wealth, natural resources,
blessings, privileges, opportunities, and power.
92 VALLEY FORGE
owe them you can never pay. Your lines have fallen
in a happier time. The boundaries of your Union
stretch from sea to sea. You enjoy all the blessings
which Providence can bestow, — a peace we never
knew, a wealth we never hoped for, a power of which
we never dreamed. Yet think not that these things
only can make a nation great. We laid the foundations
of your happiness in a time of trouble, in days of sorrow
and perplexity, of doubt, distress, and danger, of cold
and hunger, of suffering and want. We built it up by
virtue, by courage, by self-sacrifice, by unfailing patrio-
tism, by unceasing vigilance. By those things alone
did we win your liberties; by them only can you hope to
keep them. Do you revere our names? Then follow
our example. Are you proud of our achievements?
Then try to imitate them . Do you honor our memories?
Then do as we have done. You yourselves owe some-
thing to America better than all those things which
you spread before her with such lavish hand, — some-
thing which she needs as much in her prosperity to-
day as ever in the sharpest crisis of her fate. For you
What makes a nation great? Under what condition was the
foundation of our nation laid?
How was the greatness of our nation built up? How were our
liberties won? What is liberty? How can we expect to keep our
liberties? What is the great need of America to-day? What
duties have we to perform? What should be the aim and ambi-
tion of every American patriot? Name some lofty examples
that should guide us in our civic duty. Name the elements of
VALLEY FORGE 93
have duties to perform as well as we. It was ours to
create; it is yours to preserve. It was ours to found; it
is yours to perpetuate. It was ours to organize; it is
yours to purify! And what nobler spectacle can you
present to mankind to-day than that of a people honest,
steadfast, and secure, — mindful of the lessons of exper-
ience, — true to the teachings of history,- — led by the
loftiest examples, and bound together - to prot ect- their
institutions-at-th^elose -of -the- -century,- as their fathers
were-tO' win them at the beginning, by the ties of
" Virtue, Honor, and Love of Country," — by that
Virtue which makes perfect the happiness of a people,
— by that Honor which constitutes the chief greatness
of a State, — by that Patriotism which survives all
things, braves all things, endures all things, achieves all
things, and which, though it find a refuge nowhere else,
should live in the heart of every true American? ^
My countrymen : — The century that has gone by has
changed the face of nature and wrought a revolution in
the habits of mankind. We to-day behold the da^vn
How does virtue contribute to the perfect happiness of a
people? How does honor constitute the chief greatness of
a state? Name some instances in American history of dishonor?
What is the test of true patriotism? In what way has the face
of nature been changed? In what respect has the past century-
wrought a revolution in the habits of mankind? Why do we
stand at the dawn of an extraordinary century? In what way
has man robbed the earth of her secrets and has sought to solve
the mysteries of heaven?
94 VALLEY FORGE
of an extraordinary age. Freed from the chains of
ancient thought and superstition, man has begun to
win the most extraordinary victories in the domain of
science. One by one he has dispelled the doubts ct
the ancient world. Nothing is too difficult for his hana
to attempt, — no region too remote, — no place too sacred
for his daring eye to penetrate. He has robbed the
Earth of her secrets, and sought to solve the mysteries
of the Heavens! He has secured and chained to his
service the elemental forces of nature; he has made the
fire his steed; the winds his ministers; the seas his
pathway; the hghtning his messenger. He has descended
into the bowels of the earth, and walked in safety on
the bottom of the sea. He has raised his head above
the clouds, and made the impalpable air his resting-
place. He has tried to analyze the stars, count the
constellations, and weigh the sun. He has advanced
with such astounding speed that, breathless, we have
reached a moment when it seems as if distance had been
annihilated, time made as naught, the invisible seen,
the inaudible heard, the unspeakable spoken, the in-
tangible felt, the impossible accomplished. And al-
ready we knock at the door of a new century which
promises to be infinitely brighter and more enlightened
and happier than this. But in all this blaze of light
which illuminates the present and casts its reflection
In what way do you think the twentieth century to be infinitely
brighter, more enlightened, and happier than the nineteenth
VALLEY FORGE 95
into the distant recesses of the past, there is not a
single ray that shoots into the future. Not one step
have we taken toward the solution of the mystery of
.e. That remains to-day as dark and unfathomable as
it was ten thousand years ago.
We know that we are more fortunate than our
fathers. We believe that our children shall be happier
than we. We know that this century is more enlight-
ened than the last. We hope that the time to come
will be better and more glorious than this. We think,
we beheve, we hope, but we do not know. Across that
threshold we may not pass; behind that veil we may
not penetrate. Into that country it may not be for us
to go. It may be vouchsafed to us to behold it, wonder-
ingly, from afar, but never to enter in. It matters not.
The age in which we live is but a link in the endless and
eternal chain. Our lives are like the sands upon the
shore; our voices like the breath of this summer breeze
that stirs the leaf for a moment and is forgotten.
Whence we have come and whither we shall go not one
Have we solved the mystery of life? Why are we more for-
tunate than our fathers? Why should our children be happier
The peroration serves to sum up the main points in the dis-
cussion; to make certain points more emphatic; or to make a
pleasing and favorable impression upon the audience. What
purpose does this peroration serve? Does it restate the main
themes of the discussion? if so, what are they? Does the per-
oration match the discussion? Is the style different from the
treatment of the theme? If so, in what respect?
96 VALLEY FORGE
of US can tell. And the last survivor of this mighty
multitude shall stay but a little while.
But in the impenetrable To Be, the endless genera-
tions are advancing to take our places as we fall. For
them as for us shall the Earth roll on, and the seasons
come and go, the snowflakes fall, the flowers bloom, and
the harvests be gathered in. For them as for us shall
the sun, like the life of man, rise out of darkness in the
morning and sink into darkness in the night. For them
as for us shall the years march by in the sublime pro-
cession of the ages. And here, in this place of Sacrifice,
in this vale of Humiliation, in this valley of the Shadow
of that Death out of which the Life of America rose
regenerate and free, let us believe with an abiding faith
that to them Union will seem as dear, and Liberty as
sweet, and Progress as glorious as they were to our
fathers, and are to you and me, and that the Institu-
tions which have made us happy, preserved by the vir-
tue of our children, shall bless the remotest generations
of the time to come. And unto Him who holds in the
hollow of His hand the fate of nations, and yet marks
the sparrow's fall, let us lift up our hearts this day, and
into His eternal care commend ourselves, our children,
and our country.
I. THE MAN— HENRY ARMITT BROWN
One of the greatest orators that this country has produced
was once asked, what are the elements that go to make up a
great oration? He replied, ^Hhe man, the place, and the occasion."
Judged by this standard, Henry Armitt Brown's oration at Valley
Forge, June 19, 1878, demonstrates the fact that as an orator he
was the peer of Sumner and Phillips; reaching up to the plane
of Everett; and, like the great French orators, his speech was
finished, classic, evenly sustained, and with an elegance of style.
He had four qualities of an orator — a masterful will, personal
magnetism, a flexible and musical voice, and an exquisitely
finished elocution. At a little over thirty years of age he held,
as it were, entranced thousands by his great reasoning and
eloquence. Looking around among the orators of the day, we
see but a few who have not gained a good ripe age before they
have attained that great sublimity of mind and character which
seemed bound up in him.
"The young men of our country should make his life a study;
no more perfect model can be found, for in him they see what a
young man has done, and what other young men can do.
His example should serve to stimulate the young and noble-
minded to exalted aims.
"The young men in our American colleges should, we think,
ever look forward to becoming public men, the recognized ser-
vants of the republic; and they should act upon the principle
that, from the very talents intrusted to them, they are expected
to become the strong stays and helpers of the commonwealth.
98 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
By so doing they will follow in his footsteps, whose life is im-
perfectly set forth in these pages, and who fell on the 'high
places of the field' to make room for them to follow."
His Childhood and Early Youth
Henry Armitt Brown was born in the city of Philadelphia,
December 1, 1844. His father was a representative business
man; his mother was Charlotte Augusta Hoppin, from whom he
inherited his literary tastes.
"Harry was a sweet-tempered child, delicately strung arl
extremely sensitive to the touch and sight of harsh things, as if
unfit to be stretched on this rough world, imaginative, curious
in his questionings, sympathetic and affectionate, but stubborn
of will, and apt to see things in a very independent and ludicrously
"When an older boy, his favorite pastime was studying the
histories of great battles, especially those of Napoleon, and in
arranging and moving companies of tin soldiers and parks of
artillery according to the changing plans of the battles. This
play was carried on so large a scale as to attract the attention
of the neighbors and of older people to the extent of the combina-
tions. One whole portion of the garden thus employed would
become the scene of a wide and hurrying conflict, platoons of
soldiers shifting across the field, forts blowing up, dwellings in
flames, rivers crossed, and discharge of artillery from the flying
He became so absorbed in his military plans that, until
he was fourteen years of age, his one great ambition was to be-
come a great captain. He was so bent upon a military career
that he importuned his father, time and time again, to be per-
mitted to go to West Point Military Academy, but was each time
refused. As his biographer has said, "This throws some light
upon his character, which, as it sometimes happens, beneath an
almost feminine delicacy of organization, hid a nature of sinewy
ambition fitted to leadership." He was prepared for college at
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 99
the Burlington Academy and at Dr. Lyons School in Haverford,
His College Life
He entered Yale college in 1861, and it was not long before
he cast himself into the current of student life with all his youth-
ful enthusiasm. Here he found a congenial field for his varied
talents, identifying himself with every social and Hterary effort.
In resolutions drafted by class committees, in speeches delivered
at class suppers; in Delta Kappa, Alpha Sigma Phi, and Psi
Upsilon lyrics; in debates and war songs of \.xie Brothers in
Unity; in the organization and carrying out the Thanksgiving
Jubilees of sophomore, junior and senior years, his pen and
voice were foremost. He was soon recognized as a ready and
acceptable speaker and was in constant demand. During his
college career he not only developed a talent for acting, but the
college songs from his pen are sufficient evidence of his talent
in this line. Honors were being constantly heaped upon him,
but, it must be remembered, that they were won by the sheer
force of his intellect. He read much, but not along any definite
lines. He was passionately fond of the classics, especially the
Latin poets. His independent reading included history, political
economy, and philosophy.
Harry Brown was chosen to be class-poet, a deserved tribute
to his popularity and abihty. "His class-mates were satisfied
that a great poet had spoken and what more could be asked?"
His college life was irreproachable and his sense of honor ex-
quisite. It was at Yale that he acquired the power to think,
to reason, to write, and to speak — four great acquisitions for any
man. What college education could do more?
Settling Down to Work
Soon after graduation he entered Columbia Law School in
New York city, and in the following July, 1866, he sailed for
the Continent, where he spent sixteen months visiting all
the countries of Europe, with the exception of Russia, Sweden,
100 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Norway, and Spain. Upon his return from Europe he resumed
his study of law in the office of Daniel Dougherty, Esq., of
Philadelphia, and was admitted to the bar as an attorney,
December 18, 1869. He devoted himself faithfully to his legal
business, but in April, 1870, he sailed once more for Europe.
Upon his return home he settled down to his professional studies.
''He shook off the slight dilettantism which was the mingled
product of a fondness for society and the cherishing, in a time of
life betwixt the ideal and the actual, of something of a Hamlet-
like spirit of thoughtful inaction. He was a dreamer, though an
earnest one. As in college, while ever pondering it, he had not
found his work. He had not heard the bugle call. The asso-
ciations of early years clung about him, and he was more of a
loiterer in those green imaginative meads than a laborer in the
real field. He had begun to appreciate the sensible words of
another, "Of all the work that produces results, nine-tenths
must be drudgery."
Mr. Brown became an active member of the Philadelphia
Shakespeare Society, and his friends claim that the influence
of his study of Shakespeare is perceptible in its power upon
his oratory, giving it elegant finish, condensation, and tactical
dexterity in dealing with mind.
A Public Discovery
On the 19th of December, 1872, a complimentary dinner was
given to the Hon. Ex-Chief Justice Thompson. The best legal
talent of the city was present. The eighth and last toast of
the evening was "The Juniors of the Bar." This toast was as-
signed to Henry Armitt Brown. This announcement caused
some surprise, due to the fact that he was so recent a member
of the bar. But these feelings were soon dispelled as his exquis-
itely finished elocution fell upon the ear. "The PubHc Ledger"
characterized the effort as "one of the marked orations of the
evening." And so it was discovered that Harry Brown could
speak. From now on his oratorical career was onward and
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 101
upward. Ever and anon he was called to the lecture field and
the political stump. He had every qualification for the public
lecture field, and would have rivalled the most shining names
upon the public y ,atform if he had folk-^^ed out this career.
In the mean time he was married, I ccember 7, 1871, to Miss
Josephine Lea, of Philadelphia — a union of rare happiness and
congeniality of mind.
A new field presented itself to his claims and oratorical powers.
It was the Centennial Epoch of memoralizing the great events
of the country's history. Harry Brown had not yet won his
greatest triumph. He was invited to deliver the oration in
Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia, on the one hundredth anniversary
of the meeting of Congress of 1774. Of this address the "Phila-
delphia Press" said, "As the exercises continued, and the ora-
tion of the day was being delivered, the whole aspect of the
assembly changed. Those there seated were no longer men of
business, but sons of liberty, who had suddenly realized the
grandeur of their birthright. The thrilling oration fanned into
a white-heat the long-smothered embers of patriotism, until the
air seemed heavy with the magnetic influence of deep emotion
and mental excitement. The scene was one never to be for-
gotten. Old men whose years overlapped the nineties stood
erect with a renewed youth, and waved their hats in the air, and
the young men, to whom the word liberty had long been so
familiar as to have become an empty sound, seemed suddenly
to realize the deep significance of the term, and to long for some
way of proving their devotion to a government which had cost
such precious blood to gain."
His next oratorical triumph was won at the old Quaker town
of Burlington, New Jersey, December 6, 1877, on the occasion
of its two hundredth anniversary of its formation. The style
of this oration, while finished, was not highly rhetorical. It was
in quaint good taste, as befitting the peaceful old Quaker town
about which its loving memories linger.
Near the beginning of the last year of his life Mr. Brown had
been asked to deliver an oration on the anniversary of the evac-
102 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
uation of Valley Forge. The delivery of this oration on June
19, 1878, was the last and most brilliant of Mr. Brown's public
efforts. From this celebration Mr. Brown went home, it might
be hterally said, to die. Low in strength, and using up all his
physical energy he had in speaking, he contracted a fever at or
about the time of the celebration. For eight weeks there was a
succession of hopes and fears. He died August 21, 1878, at the
age of thirty-three years.
As AN Orator
''Henry Armitt Brown, though a man of uncommonly varied
gifts was a born orator."
"With the exception of Patrick Henry, Henry Clay, and Daniel
Webster, no speaker in the land ever had moments of completer
triumphs than he over the mind and feelings of his hearers."
"He was not unlike Edmund Burke, ever espousing the cause
of justice, and had he lived he would have ranked with that
eminent essayist and statesman."
"He always read in advance of his writing, and would search
indefatigably in any direction for matter bearing upon the
subject. He went to first causes. He spared himself no pains.
The result was something of rare and permanent value. He
liked to read what he had collected to his wife or to a friend, and
their interest would stimulate him, and, while talking it over,
his mind would become thoroughly aroused. The committing
to memory never seemed to give him the least uneasiness, and
one day usually sufficed for that, no matter how much matter
there was. He thus filled his mind with the subject and spoke,
though from memory, with the inspiration of the theme."
"Not in a massive style, like Bright's oratory, nor in cumula-
tive epithet, like Sumner's, nor in epigrammatic brilliancy, like
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 103
Beaconsfield's, nor in broad philosophic discussion, Hke Glad-
stone's, nor in the magnificent marshalling of fact and phrase,
like Macaulay's, nor in the coarse, passionate vigor, like O'Con-
nell's. He did not have all forces combined — who does? His
speech was more like that of the great French orators, finished
and classic, w't>.out display of violence or undisciplined imagina-
tion. He hL-^ an elegance of style not incompatible with the
highest vigor. He won by a forceful but steady pressure."
As A Man Among Men
"Young, gifted, vigorous, above all, pure, such was Henry
''Whatever he undertook he did to some purpose. As a
politician, he was of the highest stamp; as an orator, he had al-
ready ranked among the greatest; as a writer, he was forceful,
graceful, and scholarly; as a private gentleman, he was modest
and unassuming, courteous and chivalric — ever forgetful of self
and thoughtful of others."
"Though he labored in different fields, like Burns and Byron,
his young life ended ere it had scarcely begun, but, to his per-
petual glory be it said, the sun of his life set without a cloud
"Politics did not lower in him the standard of high moij,lity
and honor. His ambition was founded upon his patriotism.
Nothing could have tempted his integrity, and no partisanship
could have made him subservient to mean or narrow purposes.
How safe would be the Republic, and how glorious its destiny,
were all its sons like him!"
II. THE PLACE— VALLEY FORGE ^
"The characteristic event of the day and hour, which wit-
nessed the occupation of these hills by the Continental army,
presents the immortal Washington as conspicuously devoted to
^ Selections from an Historical Address by Col. Theo. W. Bean.
104 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
the claims of humanity as he was to the more imperative de-
mands of country.
''Historians have uniformly signalized the arrival of the
army on this ground as coincident with the famous order of the
Commander-in-Chief, dated 'Headquarters on the Schuylkill,
Dec. 17, 1777,' congratulating his troops upon the close of cam-
paign, the results accomplished, the heroic conduct of officers
and the endurance of men, counseling them to continue in
fortitude and patience, assuring his followers that, 'while in
some instances he had unfortunately failed, that, upon the whole,
heaven had smiled upon their army and crowned them with
success; that the end of their warfare was Independence, Liberty,
and Peace, and the hope of securing these blessings for them-
selves and their posterity demanded a continuance of the struggle
at every hazard.'
"This was the pleasing side of the picture set in the gilded
framework of war's seducing blandishments and panoplied with
its field-day glories. But there was another — the shoeless
soldiers, the frozen ground, the cheerless hills, the lowering
leaden sky that arched them ove: with gloom. These were the
sorrowing and mute witnesses to the true scene of the arrival,
and which the artist has thus far failed to place upon canvas.
We are not, however, wanting the pen picture. I give it in the
language of Mr. George Washington Parke Custis. The brigades
had gone into position upon the line of defence indicated by the
skilful officer who drew it. The pitiless winter winds swept the
hills and valley with unceasing fury, as the December sun sank
into banks of snow-clouds, presaging the coming storm. The
poverty of supplies in food and raiment was bitterly and pro-
fanely bewailed by shivering unpaid officers and half-naked
men, as they crowded around the comfortless camp-fire of the
bivouac, when suddenly the appearance of the Horse Guard
announced the approach of the Commander-in-Chief. The
officer commanding the detachment, choosing the most favorable
ground, paraded his men to pay their General the honors of a
passing salute. As Washington rode slowly up, he was observed
BIOGRAPHICAL 8KETCK i05
to be eyeing very earnestly something that attracted his atten-
tion on the frozen surface of the road. Having returned the
salute with that native grace and dignified manner that won the
admiration of the soldiers of the Revolution, the Chief reined in
his charger, and ordering the commanding officer to his side,
addressed him as follows: /'How comes it, sir, that I have
tracked the march of your troops by the blood-stains of their
feet upon the frozen ground?y Were there no shoes in the com-
missary's stores that this sad spectacle is to be seen along the
public highway?' The officer replied : ' Your Excellency may rest
assured that this sight is as painful to my feelings as it can be
to yours, but there is no remedy within our reach. When shoes
were issued, the different regiments were served in turn; it was our
misfortune to be among the last to be served, and the stores be-
came exhausted before we could obtain even the smallest supply.'
"The General was observed to be deeply affected by his
officer's description of the soldiers' privations and sufferings.
His compressed lips, the heaving of his manly chest, betokened
the powerful emotions that were struggling in his bosom, when,
turning toward the troops, with a voice tremulous, yet kindly,
he exclaimed,/ 'poor fellows!'^/ Then giving rein to his horse he
rode rapidly away.
"The purpose of the Commander-in-Chief in taking position
at Valley Forge was to give the greatest measure of protection
possible to the state, and to circumscribe the operations of
General Howe within limits that would seriously affect his
source of supply. To this end, his line was admirably drawn.
On the west side of the Schuylkill he extended his right flank to
Wilmington, at which point he stationed General Smallwood, with
his brigade of infantry, covering the long interval with Morgan's
rifle corps and the squadron of cavalry under Major Harry Lee.
"On the east side of the river he occupied as far as White-
marsh, placing General Armstrong with a brigade of Pennsyl-
vania militia, so as to cover the principal roads converging
at that point; the cavalry, under Major Jameson and Captain
McClane, guarded the highways in the direction of Barren and
106 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Chestnut Hills; and, to still further prevent incursions of the
enemy northward from Philadelphia, he directed General Pulaski,
who was in command of the brigade of cavalry, to go into camp
at Trenton, New Jersey.
''The line of defence from the west shore of the Schuylkill
River to the base of Mount Joy, at the angle of Valley Creek,
occupied commanding ground, and the earthworks and fortifica-
tions erected under the direction of General Du Portail were ex-
tensive in character and skilfully constructed. The interior
line of works and abatis were semicircular in form, crossing from
north to south, with one star and two square forts, from which
the army could have successfully covered a retreat westward
had such a movement become necessary. The interior lines,
with the remains of the two square forts, are still discernible, and
constitute the only landmarks which the crumbling hand of time
has left to guide the pilgrim over these hills. Fortunately for
the living of to-day, who have joined us in these commemora-
tive services, and thousands of our countrymen who, though
absent, have manifested great interest in the occasion, we are
not without reliable data by which we may indicate with accur-
acy the position of the fourteen brigades of Continental troops
encamped wuhin the fortified linesj representing a maximum of
seventeen thousand men, but reduced by sickness and the paucity
of supplies to the pitiable number of five thousand and twelve
"The extreme right of the line, commanding the approaches
from the southwest, was held by Brigadier-General Charles
Scott, of Virginia, upon whose left Brigadier-General Anthony
Wayne, commanding the Pennsylvania line, was placed; then in
succession from right to left came the brigades of General Enoch
Poor, of Massachusetts, General John Glover, of Massachusetts,
General Ebenezer Lamed, General John Patterson, of Massa-
chusetts, General George Weedon, of Virginia, who connected
with General Peter Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania, holding the
extreme left of the line, resting on the Schuylkill at a point
where the village of Port Kennedy is now located.
108 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
"The second or supporting line of troops were encamped im-
mediately in front of the interior line of earthworks, still dis-
cernible. Brigadier-General William Woodford, of Virginia,
held the right, covering the corps of Major-General Henry Knox's
artillery, located a short distance to the left and rear; to the
left of Woodford, successively, the brigades of General William
Maxwell, of New Jersey, General Thomas Conway, of Irish birth,
General Jedediah Huntington, of Connecticut, connecting with
the brigade of General James Varnum, of Massachusetts; on
the extreme left, covering the bridge over the Schuylkill River,
built by General Sullivan, Brigadier-General Lachlan Mcintosh,
of Scottish birth, a Georgian by adoption, with the remaining
brigade, was encamped in the rear of the second line of intrench-
ments, a short distance east of the Potts Mansion, occupied by
the Commander-in-Chief; near by and to the left of Mcintosh,
Washington's body-guard, commanded by Major Gibbs, of Rhode
Island, was encamped; still farther to the west, and on the op-
posite side of the Valley Creek, the artificers of the army were
quartered in huts with large log buildings for workshops.
''The bake-house, used for the double purpose of furnishing
food for the army, and as a place for holding courts-martial,
was located within a few yards of these workshops. By the
20th of December the army was in position as indicated, and the
order to construct huts for the winter was issued. Soldiers
became axemen from necessity; before them fell the forest, and
hundreds of log houses grew as by magic.
Major-Generals Lafayette, DeKalb, and Sterling estabhshed
their headquarters for the winter with the army, and were al-
ternately assigned to important field and detached duty during
the winter. Major-General Charles Lee, at the time a prisoner of
war, was subsequently ' ^changed for General Prescott and re-
turned to this camp, together with Vlajor-General Thomas
Mifflin, of Pennsylvania, who had been. Absent some months.
"The following staff officers established their headquarters
near the Potts Mansion: Major-General Nathaniel Greene, of
Rhode Island, Quartermaster-General of the Army; Major-
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 109
General Baron Steuben, Inspector-General; Brigadier-General
Du Portail, Chief Engineer ; Colonel Timothy Pickering, Adjutant-
General, and Colonel Alexander Hamilton, Aide-de-Camp.
Long before the works for defence were completed or the huts
that were to shelter the army were finished, the bitter cry of
hunger, from thousands of brave and heroic men, reached the
ears and heart of Washington. He appealed in vain to the
Government for supplies. The hasty removal of Congress from
Philadelphia to Lancaster, thence to York, had its disorganizing
effects upon all the departments, especially upon those of the
Quartermaster and Commissary.
"To overcome in some measure the pressing necessity which
threatened the dissolution of his army, as early as the 20th of
December, 1777, Washington issued the following order: 'By
virtue of the power and direction especially given, I hereby enjoin
and require all persons residing within seventy miles of my
headquarters to thresh one-half of their grain by the first day of
M-arch next ensuing, on pain in case of failure, of having all, that
shall remain in sheaves, after the period above mentioned, seized
by the Commissaries and Quartermaster of the army and paid
for as straw.' In the absence of blankets, the want of straw, as
well as grain, was sorely felt by the army; farmers in the imme-
diate vicinity had suffered great loss by the presence of both
armies in their midst. Under these circumstances it was not
surprising that those who had stowed away the grain and hay
that was relied upon to keep body and soul together for another
year were tardy in threshing it out. The order of the Com-
mander-in-Chief went direct to the vital point. Tradition says
that, throughout the length and breadth of Washington's seventy
miles, could be heard from morn till night two or three threshers
on every barn-floor."
Dr. Thatcher, in his private journal, states, that ''it was with
the greatest difficulty that men enough could be found in a fit
condition to discharge the military camp duties from aay to day,
and for this purpose those who were naked borrowed of those
more fortunate in having covering for their bodies and shoes for
110 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
their feet. Yet amidst the sufferings and privations endured
by these devoted troops week after week and month after month,
pelted by the storms of one of the severest winters ever known
in this region, the love of country, the hope of victory, and an
abiding confidence in their great leader sustained them until, in
the Providence of God, the cause found an ally, whose offices
of friendship, long and ardently hoped for by the chivalrous
Lafayette, was finally assured by the diplomacy of our own
Passing from the gloom of the command we are met with the
perils of the Commander.
The surrender of Burgoyne on the Hudson, due primarily to
the comprehensive direction of Washington, successfully carried
into execution by Major-General Philip Schuyler, who, in an evil
hour, was superseded by Major-General Horatio Gates, giving to
the latter officer easy honors and bringing to his standard the
disaffected spirits of the army, as it did the impatient and fawn-
ing politicians of the period. The victory of Gates at Saratoga
was the inevitable result of conditions precedent to his assuming
command in that department, a fact well understood by his
contemporaries at the time; and it would seem that a proper
respect for the properties of his profession, a due regard for
the troops that served him and the superior officers in merit and
rank, who made his triumph a possibility, should have induced
subsequent conduct upon his part consistent with the highest
interest of his country. But it was not so. Assuming honors
he never merited and powers never conferred upon him, he
covertly sought to destroy personal attachments and inspire
public distrust in his Commander-in-Chief.
"Generals Conway and Mifflin, with others of less importance,
served his base purpose only too well, and for a time the cabal
worked unseen mischief in the attempted alienation of friends
and disorganization of the army, which ultimately recoiled upon
those most conspicuously connected with the movement, leaving
the character of him they thought to asperse brighter and purer
and nobler than ever before.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 111
"When Washington was apprised of faction by his personal
friend, Mr. Laurens, then President of Congress, he repUed with
a frankness which, while it disclosed a wounded spirit, breathed
in every line and sentence his unqualified attachment to the cause
and his unselfish love of country.
"The secret intrigues within the army, the violent criticism
of partisans in the civil service, the hasty appointment of a new
Board of War, consisting first of Major-General Thomas Mifflin,
Col. Timothy Pickering, and Col. Robert H. Harrison enlarged,
on the 17th of November, 1777, by the addition of Mr. Francis
Dana and J. B. Smith, and again on the 27th by the further
appointment of General Gates, Joseph Trumbull, and Richard
Peters, Gates being chosen chairman, and as thus constituted,
evidently in sympathy with the cabal, these circumstances
promptly induced a correspondence by Washington with Congress
which resulted in the appointment of a committee from that
body, consisting of Mr. Francis Dana, General Joseph Reed,
Nathan Folsom, Charles Carroll, and Gouverneur M. Morris,
to visit the camp at Valley Forge. This committee remained in
camp for several weeks and finally drafted a report embodying
suggestions generally accredited to the foresight, sagacity, and
wisdom of Washington. Their labor was productive of the best
results. They restored public confidence and hastened the work of
the future by conceding to the Commander-in-Chief the exercise of
those powers originally contemplated by the terms of his com-
"With the explosion of the Conway Cabal, the restoration of
public confidence by the patriotic committee of Congress, the
induction of Greene into the department of supplies, the assign-
ment of Steuben to the task of organizing and disciplining the
army, a burden was lifted from the shoulders of Washington, who,
as he calmly surveyed the future, supported by the presence and
fidelity of Knox and Sterling, of Hamilton and Pickering and
Lafayette, felt that the crisis of his life and country had been
reached and passed, and the midnight gloom of the Revolution
112 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
III. THE OCCASION— THE VALLEY FORGE CEN-
On the 19th of December, 1777, at the close of an unsuccess-
ful campaign, the patriot army of the Revolution, foot-sore and
weary, encamped upon the hills at Valley Forge. In the rude
huts of the dreary encampment was born the unconquerable
will, the courage never to submit or yield, that proved to England
and the world that, although the country might be overrun
with British soldiers, the people could not be subdued. During
those weary months the Continental army received the training
and discipline which afterward enabled it to meet the soldiers
and mercenaries of Great Britain in equal fight, without ever
suffering a defeat. Therefore, on that holy ground, hallowed by
hunger and cold, disease and destitution, on the 19th day of
June, 1878, which marked the one hundredth anniversary of the
departure of the army of the Revolution from winter quarters
from Valley Forge, fifty thousand people met in gratitude to
commemorate a fortitude in camp superior to courage in battle,
a steadfastness more powerful than enthusiasm, and a devotion
to a cause and chieftain utterly forgetful of self.
Let us indulge the hope that Valley Forge will ever remain a
monument to the loyalty and devotion of this brave band of
patriots who, in cold and hunger, watched from those sacred hills
for the coming of the dawn of a better day, and to which the
people of our beloved land may ever turn to learn the lesson of
loyalty and devotion to country.
1. What is an oration?
2. Name the parts of an oration and the purposes of each.
3. Name five American orators in the order of their standing.
4. What did the great English victory at Waterloo accom-
5. Why was Washington called the American Fabius?
SUGGESTIVE QUESTIONS 113
6. What was the turning point in the Revolutionary struggle?
7. Enumerate the services of Franklin for his country's
8. Name the soldiers of Valley Forge who were destined to
become presidents of the United States.
9. Which soldier at Valley Forge was destined to become the
most illustrious judge of the Supreme Court of the United States?
to announce a doctrine that has kept the American continent
free from touch of European politics? to debase his talents and
afterward to be tried for treason?
10. Name some of the burdens that Washington was called
upon to bear while at Valley Forge.
11. Give reasons why Valley Forge should be regarded as
12. Who said that "fighting will be preferable to starving"?
13. Why was Valley Forge chosen for the winter e'^campment
in preference to Trenton or Wilmington?
14. Who characterized Valley Forge as a ''wilderness"?
15. Why was the close of 1777 the gloomiest period of the
16. Who was President of the Continental Congress while
Washington's army was at Valley Forge?
17. Give an account of the "Conway Cabal."
18. What was Washington's opinion of the soldiers of Valley
19. Whom did Mr. Brown characterize as the "Knight of the
Order of Fidelity"?
20. What was the state of feeling in Europe about the war in
21. Why was France interested in the American struggle?
22. Did the American Revolution have any bearing on the
23. What were the results with the treaty with France?
24. Why was it a fortunate thing for the Americans that
between her and her nearest European neighbor lay a thousand
leagues of sea?
114 SUG GESTI VE Q UESTIONS
25. Who was the Virginian Scott?
26. Who doffed his parson's gown for the uniform of a brig-
adier-general in the Continental army?
27. Locate the following places: Swedes' Ford, Whitemarsh,
York, Chester, Monmouth, Eutaw, Paoli, Phoenixville, and the
28. Who was Dr. Waldo?
29. Name the fifteen decisive battles of the world.
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