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s any of your majesty's colonies may be repealed. The colonies, by refusing to treat separately and offering to treat jointly, announced their union, which thus preceded their independence. Yet as the king would not receive a document from congress, the petition was signed by the members individually Dickinson, confident of success, was proud of his work. There is but one word in it which I wish altered, said he, and that is—congress. It is the only word I wish should remain, answered Harrison, of Virginia. Having thus owned the continuing sovereignty of the king, before whom they presented themselves as beadsmen, the United Colonies, as a nation dealing with a nation, a people speaking to a people, addressed the inhabitants of Great Britain. From English institutions they had derived the principles for which they had taken up arms, and their visions of future greatness were blended with their pride as men of English descent. They spoke, therefore, to Englishmen as to countr
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 soldiers' pay; and, while a great part of the troops were not free from mutiny, by the terms of their enlistment all of them, except the riflemen, were to be disbanded in December. For this state of things, congress could provide no adequate remedy. On the thirtieth of September, they therefore appointed Franklin, Lynch, and Harrison, a committee to repair to the camp, and, with the New England colonies and Washington, to devise a method for renovating the army. While the committee were on the way, Gage, Oct. on the tenth of October, embarked for England, bearing with him the large requirements of Howe, his successor, which he warmly seconded. The king, the ministers, public opinion in England had made very free with his reputation; but, on his arrival, he was allowed to wear a bolder front than he had shown in Mas
colonies to seize all ships employed as carriers for the British fleet or army; and sanctioned tribunals instituted in the separate colonies to confiscate their cargoes. The captures already made under the authority of Washington they confirmed. To meet the further expenses of the war, they voted bills of credit to the amount of three millions more. A motion by Chase of Maryland to send envoys to France with conditional instructions did not prevail; but on the twenty ninth of November Harrison, Franklin, Johnson, Dickinson, and Jay were appointed a secret committee for the sole purpose of corresponding with friends in Great Britain, Ireland, and other parts of the world; and funds were set aside for the payment of such agents as they might send on this service. It is an immense misfortune to the whole empire, wrote Jefferson to a Chap. XLIX.} 1775. Nov. refugee, to have a king of such a disposition at such a time. We are told, and every thing proves it true, that he is the bi
the ranks by the side of white men. In the beginning of the war they had entered the provincial army: the first general order, which was issued by Ward, had required a return, among other things, of the complexion of the soldiers; and black men, like others, were retained in the service after the troops were adopted by the continent. We have seen Edward Rutledge defeated in Chap. LVI} 1776. Jan. his attempt to compel their discharge; in October, the conference at the camp, with Franklin, Harrison, and Lynch, thought it proper to exclude them from the new enlistment; but Washington, at the crisis of his distress, finding that they were very much dissatisfied at being discarded, took the responsibility of reversing the decision; and referred the subject to congress. That body appointed Wythe, Samuel Adams, and Wilson, to deliberate on the question; and on the report of their able committee they voted, that the free negroes who had served faithfully in the army at Cambridge, might be
of the letter, as wofully hysterical. He treated it as a sign of fear; and in his reply, he declared that if the ships of war should make a pretext of his presence to fire on the town, the first house set in flames by their guns should be the funeral pile of some of their best friends; and added, in his rant, that he would chain one hundred Chap. LVIII.} 1776. Feb. of them together by the neck. Both parties appealed to the general congress; and on motion of Edward Rutledge and Duane, Harrison, Lynch, and Allen, were sent from that body with powers of direction. On the first day of February the three envoys met the committee of New York, when John Morin Scott said for himself and his colleagues: Our duty to our constituents and their dignity forbid the introduction of troops without our consent; but we will always obey the orders of congress; and they were satisfied with the assurance, that the troops would be under the control of the committee of the continental congress. On
re all abroad; and unless we open our ports, will not return. Sherman wished first to secure a pro- Chap. LX} 1776. Feb. tective treaty with a foreign power. Harrison said more explicitly: We have hobbled on under a fatal attachment to Great Britain; I felt that attachment as much as any man, but I feel a stronger one to my cohe north differed from those of the south; John Adams thought the democratic tendency in New England less dangerous than the aristocratic tendency elsewhere; and Harrison seemed to insinuate that the war was a New England war. But it was becoming Mar. plain that danger hung over every part of the country; on the twenty seventh, ts effectually severing the king from the thirteen colonies forever; it was supported by Richard Henry Lee, who seconded it, by Chase, Sergeant of New Jersey, and Harrison. At the end of four hours Maryland interposed its veto, and thus put off the decision for a day; but on the twenty third the language of Wythe was accepted.
e names of Samuel Adams, Dickinson, and Edward Rutledge: it could have been wished that the two Adamses had changed places, though probably the result would at that time have been the same; no one man had done Chap LXV.} 1776 June. so much to bring about independence as the elder Adams; but his skill in constructing governments, not his knowledge of the principles of freedom, was less remarkable than that of his younger kinsman. In the committee, Dickinson, who, as an opponent of independence, could promote only a temporary constitution, assumed the task of drafting the great charter of union. The preparation of a plan of treaties with foreign powers, was intrusted by ballot to Dickinson, Franklin, John Adams, Harrison, and Robert Morris; and between John Adams and Dickinson there was no difference of opinion that the scheme to be proposed should be confined to commerce, without any grant of exclusive privileges and without any entanglement of a political connection or alliance.
independence was then sustained by nine colonies, two thirds of the whole number; the vote of South Carolina, unanimously, it would seem, was in the negative; so was that of Pennsylvania, by the vote of Dickinson, Morris, Humphreys, and Willing, against Franklin, Morton, and Wilson; owing to the absence of Rodney, Delaware was divided, each member voting under the new instruction according to his former known opinion, Mackean for independence and Read against it. The committee rose, and Harrison reported the resolution; but at the request of Edward Rutledge, on behalf of South Carolina, the determination upon it was put off till the next day. A letter from Washington of the twenty ninth of June, was then read, from which it appeared that Chap. LXIX.} 1776. July 1. Howe and forty five ships or more, laden with troops, had arrived at Sandy Hook, and that the whole fleet was expected in a day or two. I am hopeful, wrote the general, that I shall get some reenforcements before the