season almost uninhabitable, through snow and
Chap. LXVII.} 1776. Jan. to Mar.
over frozen lakes, without tents, or any shelter from the inclemency of the weather.
Their unanimity, their zeal for liberty, their steady perseverance, called to forth the most confident predictions of their success; but reflection showed insurmountable obstacles.
Since congress for eight months had not been able to furnish Washington
, who was encamped in the most thickly peopled part of the country, with the men, clothes, blankets, money, and powder required for the recovery of Boston
, how could they hope to keep up the siege of Quebec
To maintain a foothold in Canada
, there was need, in the first place, of the good — will and confidence of its people.
had from his birth been familiar with Catholics
; but Wooster
, a New England
Calvinist from a country town in Connecticut
, cradled in the hatred of popery, irritated the jealousies of the Canadian
clergy, who refused absolution to the friends of the Americans
, and threatened them from the pulpit with eternal woe. Nor were his manners and frugal style of living suited to win the friendship of the Canadian
But without the support of their priests or their feudal superiors, the fickle and uncertain common people were incapable of being solidly organized, unless the Americans
should prove themselves to be the strongest party.
It would therefore be necessary to send into Canada
a numerous, well disciplined, and well appointed army, with trains of artillery for a siege.
But congress, in its dread of a standing force, had no troops at all except on short enlistments; among the New England
men who were the first to move, there was little aptness