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Had not the weather been mild, they must have perished; but the courage and confidence of Clark and his troop never flagged. All this time Hamilton was planning murderous expeditions. He wrote: Next year there will be the greatest number of savages on the frontier that has ever been known, as the Six Nations have sent Chap. VIII.} 1779. Feb. 23. belts around to encourage their allies, who have made a general alliance. Hamilton to the commandant at Natchez, 13 Jan., 1779. On the twenty-third, a British gang returning with two prisoners reported to him, that they had seen the remains of fifteen fires; and at five o'clock in the afternoon he sent out one of his captains with twenty men in pursuit of a party that was supposed to have come from Pittsburgh. Two hours after their departure, Clark and his companions got on dry land, and making no delay, with drum beating and a white flag flying, they entered Vincennes at the lower end of the village. The town surrendered immediate
ain and England might make common cause against America. Ibid. Two days after this private interview, congress re- 17. ferred the subject of the terms of peace to a special committee of five, composed of Gouverneur Morris, of New York; Burke, of North Carolina; Witherspoon, of New Jersey; Samuel Adams, of Massachusetts; and Smith, of Virginia. Of these, Samuel Adams demanded the most territory; while Morris would rather have had no increase than more lands at the south. On the twenty-third the committee reported their Chap. IX.} 1779. Feb. 23. opinion, that the king of Spain was disposed to enter into an alliance with the United States, and that consequently independence must be finally acknowledged by Great Britain. This being effected, they proposed as their ultimatum that their territory should extend from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, from the Floridas to Canada and Nova Scotia; that the right of fishing and curing fish on the banks and coasts of Newfoundland shoul
military manoeuvre. Troops sent up the Hudson river as if to take the Americans in the rear induced Washington to move his camp to Rockaway bridge, confiding the post at Short Hills to two brigades under the command of Greene. Early on the twenty-third, the British Chap. XVIII.} 1780. June 23. advanced in two compact divisions from Elizabethtown Point to Springfield. The column on the right had to ford the river before they could drive Major Lee from one of the bridges over the Passaic. At King's ferry. It was already dark before they passed the American post at Verplanck's point under the excuse that they were going up the river, and to keep up that pretence they turned in for the night near Crompond. Very 23. early on the twenty-third, they were in the saddle. Two miles and a half north of Pine's Bridge, over the Croton, Smith, assuring Andre that the rest of the way he would meet only British parties, or cow boys as they were called, and having charged him to take the in
l mob, wrote Yorke from the Hague, receive the deputies of Amsterdam when they next come here, the affair will be soon decided. But how promise for work with the tools I have. Yorke to Fraser, 14 Nov., 1780. The die is thrown, wrote Stormont to Yorke on the fourteenth, as he asked him for the best informa- 14. tion respecting all the vulnerable parts of the republic. Stormont to Yorke, 14 Nov., 1780. At that time there still reigned among the Dutch confidence in peace. On the twenty-third, 23. the states of Holland, acting on a communication from the stadholder, entirely disavowed and disapproved all and whatever had been done by or on the part of the burgomasters and regents of the town of Amsterdam respecting negotiations with congress. Resolution of the States of Holland, 23 Nov., 1780. The disavowal of Van Berckel was, in itself, a very severe punishment. Before further proceeding, inquiry needed to be made as to the nature of his offence and the tribunal before w
icate more fully your lordship's mind on the principal points to be settled, I think it may contribute much to the blessed work our hearts are engaged in. Another great step was taken by Franklin. He excluded Spain altogether from the American negotiation. Entreating Jay to come to Paris, he wrote: Spain has taken four years to consider whether she Chap. XXVII.} 1782. April 23. should treat with us or not. Give her forty, and let us in the mean time mind our own business. On the twenty-third, shortly after the return of Oswald to London, the cabinet on his report agreed to send him again to Franklin to acquaint him of their readiness to treat for a general peace, and at Paris, conceding American independence, but otherwise maintaining the treaties of 1763. On the twenty-eighth, Shelburne, who was in earnest, gave 28. to his agent the verbal instruction: If America is independent, she must be so of the whole world, with no ostensible, tacit, or secret connection with France.