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Amazed and dejected at heart, Tryon masked his designs under an air of unconcern, and overflowed with bland professions. Washington, who instantly penetrated his insincerity, and had no scruple about the propriety of seizing him, directed Schuyler to keep a watchful eye on his movements, and wrote a warning to congress; but Schuyler, lulled by words of mildness which concealed the most wary and malignant activity, soon reported confidently, that Tryon would create no trouble. On the twenty-sixth, the provincial congress of New York, in their address to Washington, from whose abilities and virtue they were taught to expect security and peace, declared an accommodation with the mother country to be the fondest wish of each American soul, in the fullest assurance that, upon such an accommodation, he would cheerfully resign his trust, and become once more a citizen. When we Chap. XLI.} 1775. June. assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen, answered Washington for hims
ing to act. The prospect of financial ruin led De Hart, of New Jersey, to propose to do away with issuing paper money by the provincial conventions and assemblies; but no one seconded him. The boundary line between Virginia and Pennsylvania was debated; as well as the right of Connecticut to hold possession of Wyoming. The roll of the army at Cambridge had, from its first formation, borne the names of men of color; but as yet without the distinct sanction of legislative approval. On the twenty sixth, Edward Rutledge, of South Carolina, moved the discharge of all the negroes in the army, and he was strongly supported by many of the southern delegates; but the opposition was so powerful and so determined that he lost his point. At length, came a letter from Washington, implying his sense that the neglect of congress had brought Chap. XLVII.} 1775. Sept. matters in his army to a crisis. Not powder and artillery only were wanting, but fuel, shelter, clothing, provisions, and the so
as taken and winter was come, homesickness so prevailed among them that he was left with no more than eight hundred men to garrison his conquests, and to go down against Quebec. He was deserted even by most of the Green Mountain Boys, who at first were disposed to share his winter campaign. The continental congress, which was eager Chap. LIV.} 1775. Nov. for the occupation of Canada, took no seasonable care to supply the places of his men as their time of enlistment expired. On the twenty sixth, leaving St. John's under the command of Marinus Willett of New York, and entrusting the government of Montreal to Wooster of Connecticut, and in the spirit of a lawgiver who was to regenerate the province, making a declaration that on his return he would call a convention of the Canadian people, Montgomery embarked on board three armed schooners with artillery and provisions and three hundred troops; and on the third day of De- Dec. cember, at Point aux Trembles, made a junction with Ar
age at the end of the isthmus between York and James Rivers. An armed sloop had been driven on its shore in a very violent gale; its people took out of her six swivels and other stores, made some of her men prisoners, and then set her on fire. Dunmore blockaded the port; they called to their assistance a company of shirt men, as the British called the Virginia regulars from the hunting shirt which was their uniform, and another company of minute men, besides a body of militia. On the twenty sixth Dunmore sent some of the tenders close into Hampton Roads to destroy the town. The guard marched out to repel them, and the moment they came within gunshot, George Nicholas, who commanded the Virginians, fired his musket at one of the tenders. It was the first gun fired in Virginia against the British: his example was followed by his party. Retarded by boats which had been sunk across the channel, the British on that day vainly attempted to land. In the following night the Culpepper r
reme danger; but at a point six miles higher up the Black River a negro succeeded in raising for their use a broad shallow boat; and while Maclean and Fraser, with a few men, a drum and a pipe, were left to amuse Caswell, the main body of the loyalists crossed Black River near what is now Newkirk Bridge. On the twenty fifth Lillington, who had not as yet been able to join Caswell, took post with his small party on the east side of the bridge over Moore's Creek. On the afternoon of the twenty sixth, Caswell reached its west side, and raising a small breastwork and destroying a part of the bridge, awaited the enemy, who on that day advanced within six miles of him. A messenger from the loyalists, sent to his camp under the pretext of summoning him to return to his allegiance, brought back word that he had halted upon the same side of the river with themselves, and could be attacked with advantage; but the wise Carolina commander, who was one of the best woodmen in the province, as we
ess, under the lead of Rawlins Lowndes, endeavored to postpone the consideration of the form of government reported by the committee; but the nearness of danger would not admit of delay; and the clauses that were most resisted, were adopted by a vote of about four to three. But when, on the twenty first of March, they received the act of parliament of the preceding December, which authorized the capture of American vessels and property, they gave up the hope of reconciliation; and on the twenty sixth, professing a desire of accommodation with Great Britain, even though traduced and treated as rebels, asserting the good of the people to be the origin and end of all government, and enumerating with clearness and fulness the unwarrantable acts of the British parliament, the implacability of the king, and the violence of the officers bearing his commission, they established a constitution for South Carolina. The executive power was intrusted to a president, who was endowed with a veto on
s presumption was justified by the judgment of Lee. That general, coming down to the island, took Moultrie aside and said: Do you think you can maintain this post? Moultrie answered: Yes, I think I can. But Lee had no faith in a spirited defence, fretted at Moultrie's too easy disposition, and wished, up to the last moment, to remove him from the command. On the twenty fifth the squadron was increased by the arrival of the Experiment, a ship of sixty guns, which passed the bar on the twenty sixth. Letters of encouragement came also from Tonyn, then governor of East Florida, who was impatient for an attack on Georgia; he would have had a body of Indians raised on the back of South Carolina; and a Chap. LXVI.} 1776 June. body of royalists to terrify and distract, so that the assault at Charleston would have struck an astonishing terror and affright. He reported South Carolina to be in a mutinous state that delighted him; the men would certainly rise on their officers; the batter