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uly, it had met in provincial congress; and on the sixth had adhered to all the measures of resistance. It had also resolved neither to purchase, nor to employ, any slave imported from Africa after that day. Lord North's proposal had already been declared inadequate; but as it was founded on joint resolves of parliament, officially recommended by Lord Dartmouth, and referred by Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, to the decision of congress, Franklin, Jefferson, John Adams, and Richard Henry Lee, were constituted a committee to report on its conditions as a basis for the desired accommodation. Meantime congress remembered the friendly interposition of Jamaica, whose peculiar situation as an island of planters forbade active assistance, but whose good wishes ministered consolation. America and Ireland also came nearer to each other. In July the merchants of Dublin applauded the earl of Effingham for refusing to draw his sword against the lives and liberties of his fellow-su
roper arms, he was yet expected to organize victory and drive the British from Boston. By the fourth of August the army was already formed into three grand divisions, at Roxbury, Cambridge, and Winter Hill, under the respective command of Ward, Lee, and Putnam. Each division consisted of two brigades, each brigade of about six regiments; but Washington was still unable to return the fire of the enemy, or do more than exchange a few shot by scouting parties; for when, with considerable diffihe captive; your prisoners, whose lives by the laws of the land are destined to the cord, have hitherto been treated with care and kindness; indiscriminately it is true, for I acknowledge no rank that is not derived from the king. Consulting with Lee, Washington, who knew Gage from the day when his want of presence of mind lost the battle on the Monongahela, rejoined: I shall not stoop to retort and invective. You affect, Sir, to despise all rank not derived from the same source with your own
was believed to be the object; at the same time Lee, whose claim to the character of a military genady adopted, gave his consent to the request of Lee, expressly charging him to keep always in view Ward. Chap. LVIII.} 1776. Jan. In this manner Lee, who had never commanded so much as one regimenity of each colony, as well as of the congress; Lee scoffed at the thought of being rigidly bound bthe cause of America, despatched a messenger to Lee to request that the troops of Connecticut might of the continental congress. On the fourth, Lee entered the city of New York, just two hours afhe old fort which faced Broadway was torn down; Lee and Lord Stirling, crossing to Long Island, mary, with a happier fate. Elated by such homage, Lee indulged his natural propensities, and made bolst at stake, on the motion of Edward Rutledge, Lee was invested with the com- Chap. LVIII.} 1776. at Philadelphia, till, on the fifteenth,Richard Henry Lee and Franklin were directed to request hi[7 more...]
himself in a minority in the committee; and when, on the twenty second, he presented their report, he moved an amendment, charging the king himself with their grievances, inasmuch as he had rejected their petitions with scorn and contempt. This was new ground: hitherto congress had disclaimed the authority of parliament, not allegiance to the crown. Jay, Wilson, and Johnson opposed the amendment, as 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. The question of opening the ports, after having been for months the chief subject of deliberation, was Chap. LX.} 1776. Apr. discussed through all the next fortnight. One kind of traffic which the European maritime powers still encouraged, was absolutely forbid
in order still to petition and negotiate; with full knowledge of the importance of the movement, it was now resisted through two successive days, but on the tenth of May triumphed over all procrastinators. John Adams, Edward Rutledge, and Richard Henry Lee were then appointed to prepare a preamble to the resolution. Lee and Adams were of one mind; and on the following Monday they made their report. Recalling the act of parliament which excluded the Americans from the protection of the crownLee and Adams were of one mind; and on the following Monday they made their report. Recalling the act of parliament which excluded the Americans from the protection of the crown, the king's neglect to return any answer whatever to their petition, the employment of the whole force of the kingdom, aided by foreign mercenaries, for their destruction, they declared that it was absolutely irreconcilable with reason and good conscience for the people of these colonies now to take the oaths and affirmations necessary for the support of any government Chap. LXIII.} 1776. May. under the crown of Great Britain, and that it was necessary that the exercise of every kind of aut
ietary chief-justice of the province, and to the whole house, that he and the majority of the delegates would continue to vote against independence. On that same day, and perhaps while Dickinson was speaking in the Pennsylvania assembly, Richard Henry Lee, in the name and with the special authority of Virginia, proposed: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all politicatically and practically; at once conceding the impossibility of reconciliation, and, by their indecision, entailing on Pennsylvania years of distraction and bitter strife. At ten on the same day congress entered into the consideration of Richard Henry Lee's resolve, and the long debate which ensued was the most copious and the most animated ever held on the subject. The argument on the part of its opponents was sustained by Robert Livingston of New York, by Wilson, Dickinson, and Edward Rut
rights of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the Carolinas, and the limit set by the peace of 1763; otherwise it claimed jurisdiction over all the region, granted by the second charter of King James the First. The privilege of purchasing Indian titles was reserved to the public; but by resolves of the convention, a right of pre-emption was secured to actual settlers on unappropriated lands. In framing the constitution George Mason had a principal part, aided by the active participation of Richard Henry Lee and of George Wythe; a form of government, sent by Jefferson, arrived too late; but his draft of a preamble was adopted; and he was looked to by Wythe to become the author of further reform. The institutions of Virginia then established, like every thing else which is the work of man's hands, were marked by imperfection; yet they called into CHAP. Lxviii} 1776. June. being a republic, of which the ideal sovereignty, representing the unity of all public functions, resided in the col
the militia Chap. LXIX.} 1776. July 1. who had been called for, only about a thousand had joined the camp; and with this force the general was to defend extensive lines against an army, near at hand, of thirty thousand veterans. An express from Lee made known, that fifty three ships with Clinton had arrived before Charleston, of which the safety was involved in doubt. A more cheering letter which Chase had forwarded by express fiom Annapolis, brought the first news of the unanimity of thetails of the debate which I have been able to find. Others spoke; among them probably Paca of Maryland, Mackean of Delaware, and undoubtedly Edward Rutledge of South Carolina; but I have not met with any authentic record of their remarks. Richard Henry Lee and Wythe were both on that day attendants on the Virginia convention in Williamsburgh. Before the vote was taken, the delegates from New York, of whom all but Alsop were personally ready to vote for independence and were confident of the