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[240] Webb, who should have relieved the place, went
chap. X.} 1756.
tardily to the Oneida portage, and, after felling trees to obstruct the passage to the Onondaga, fled in terror to Albany.

Loudoun approved placing obstacles between his army and the enemy; for he also ‘was extremely anxious about an attack’ from the French, while ‘flushed with success.’ ‘If it had been made on the provincials alone, it would,’ he complacently asserted, ‘have been followed with very fatal consequences.’ Provincials had, it was true, saved the remnant of Braddock's army; provincials had conquered Acadia; provincials had defeated Dieskau; but Abercrombie and his chief sheltered their own imbecility under complaints of America. After wasting a few more weeks in busy inactivity, Loudoun, whose forces could have penetrated to the heart of Canada, left the French to construct a fort at Ticonderoga, and dismissed the provincials to their homes, the regulars to winter quarters. Of the latter, a thousand were sent to New York, where free quarters for the officers were demanded of the city. The demand was resisted by the mayor, as contrary to the laws of England and the liberties of America. ‘Free quarters are everywhere usual,’ answered the commanderin-chief; ‘I assert it on my honor, which is the highest evidence you can require;’ and he resolved to make New York an example for the other colonies and towns. The citizens pleaded in reply their privileges as Englishmen, by the common law, by the petition of right, and by acts of parliament. ‘God damn my blood,’ was the official answer of the ‘viceroy’ to the mayor; “if you do not billet my officers upon ”

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