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y Dorchester heights which overlook the town. He took his troops in midwinter to the bleak, remote, and then scarcely inhabited Halifax, instead of sailing to Rhode Island, or some convenient nook on Long Island within the Chap. IV.} 1778. sound, where he would have found a milder climate, greater resources, and nearness to theas roused from slumber after sunrise. When with his undivided force he might have reached Philadelphia, he detached four brigades and eleven ships of war to Rhode Island, where the troops remained for three years in idle uselessness. Failing to cross the Delaware, he occupied New Jersey with insulated detachments which Washingrch, 1778. such as a consciousness of weakness might inspire in a cruel and revengeful mind. Clinton was ordered to abandon Philadelphia; to hold New York and Rhode Island; to curtail the boundaries of the thirteen states on the north-east and on the south; to lay waste Virginia by means of ships of war; and to attack Providence,
a, the British held no post except the island of Rhode Island and New York city with a small circle around its war, recommended the evacuation of New York and Rhode Island and the employment of the troops against the Free temporary superiority at sea in the capture of Rhode Island and its garrison of six thousand men. He had in advance summoned Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island to send quotas of their militia for the expedition. The council of war of Rhode Island, exceeding his requirement, called out one half of the effective forceared one brigade from Massachusetts and one from Rhode Island, of one thousand each, and they were followed byng Sullivan, who was placed over the district of Rhode Island, to throw the American troops into two divisionsces to one in favor of capturing the garrison on Rhode Island, and thus ending British pretensions to sovereigcould not keep at sea. The same storm flooded Rhode Island with rain, damaged the ammunition of the America
ent. August—December, 1778. early in the year George the Third had been Chap. VII.} 1778. advised by Lord Amherst to withdraw the troops from Philadelphia, and, in the event of the junction of America with France, to evacuate New York and Rhode Island; George III. to Lord North, 17 March, 1778. Letter 467. but the depreciation of the currency, consequent on the helplessness of a people that had no government, revived the hope of subjugating them. The United States closed the campaign to assure his most Christian majesty, they hoped protection from his power and magnanimity. There Chap. VII.} 1778. were those in congress who would not place their country under protection; but the word was retained by eight states against Rhode Island and Maryland. Samuel Adams and Lovell, of Massachusetts, voted for it, but were balanced by Gerry and Holten; Sherman, of Connecticut, opposed it, but his vote was neutralized by that of Ellsworth. The people of the United States, in proport
a balance of power in which England should hold the post of danger, wished her to retain possession of Canada and Nova Scotia; for it would prove a perennial source of quarrels between the British and the Americans. On our side, wrote Vergennes simultaneously, there will be no difficulty in guaranteeing to England Canada and all other American possessions which may remain to her at the peace. Vergennes to Montmorin, 17 Oct., 1778. Spain desired that England after the peace might hold Rhode Island, New York, and other places along the sea; but Vergennes inflexibly answered: To this the king cannot consent without violating the engagement contracted with the thirteen provinces, which he has recognised as free and independent states; Ibid., and 2 Nov., 1778. for them only we ask independence, without comprehending other English possessions. We are very far from desiring that the nascent republic should remain the exclusive mistress of all Chap. VIII.} 1778. that immense contine
r political connection with Great Britain. He was in part supported by Sherman; Secret Journals of Congress, II. 162. but New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island alone sustained a right to the fisheries on the coasts of British provinces; and, though Pennsylvania came to their aid, the Gallican party, by a vote of sevene Gallicans congratulated themselves that the long struggle was ended in their favor; and Dickinson of Delaware, Gouverneur Morris of New York, and Marchant of Rhode Island, two of whom were of that party, were appointed to prepare the commission for the American minister who should be selected to negotiate a peace. Suddenly, oe proposition to stipulate a right to them in the treaty of peace was indefinitely postponed by the votes of eight states against New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania; Georgia alone being absent. The French minister desired to persuade congress to be willing to end the war by a truce, after the precedent
Collier arrived in a sixty-four gun ship, attended by five frigates. Two vessels of war fell into his hands; the rest and all the transports fled up the river, and were burned by the Americans themselves who escaped through the woods. The British were left masters of the country east of the Penobscot. Yet, notwithstanding this signal disaster, the main result of the campaign at the north promised success to America. For want of re-enforcements, Clinton had evacuated Stony Point and Rhode Island. All New England, west of the Penobscot, was free from an enemy. In western New York the Senecas had learned that the alliance with the English secured them gifts, but not protection. On the Hudson river the Americans had recovered the use of King's ferry, and held all the country above it. The condition of Chap. X.} 1779. the American army was indeed more deplorable than ever. The winter set in early and with unwonted severity. Before the middle of December, and long before log hu
ir own heroic courage and self-devotion, having suffered more, and dared more, and achieved more than the men of any other state. Sir Henry Clinton, in whose mind his failure be- Chap. XIV.} 1779. fore Charleston in 1776 still rankled, resolved in person to carry out the order for its reduction. In August, an English fleet commanded by Arbuthnot, an old and inefficient admiral, brought him reenforce-ments and stores; in September, fifteen hundred men arrived from Ireland; in October, Rhode Island was evacuated, and the troops which had so long been stationed there in inactivity were incorporated into his army. It had been the intention of Clinton to embark in time to acquire Charleston before the end of the year. The appearance of the superior fleet of d'estaing and the uncertainty of its destination held him at bay, till he became assured that the French had sailed for Europe. Leaving the command in New York to the veteran Knyphausen, Clinton, in the extreme cold of the seve
ernay with a squadron of ten Chap. XVIII.} 1780. July 10. ships of war, three of them ships of the line, convoyed the detachment of about six thousand men with Rochambeau into the harbor of Newport. To an address from the general assembly of Rhode Island, then sitting in Newport, the count answered: The French troops are restrained by the strictest discipline; and, acting under General Washington, will live with the Americans as their brethren. I assure the general assembly that, as brethren, symbol of affection for their allies. The British fleet at New York having received a large re-enforcement, so that it had now a great superiority, Sir Henry Clinton embarked about eight thousand men for an expedition against the French in Rhode Island. Supported by militia from Massachusetts and Connecticut, the French longed for the threatened attack; but the expedition proceeded no further than Huntington Bay in Long Island, where it idled away several days, and then returned to New York
he votes of New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, with Madison dissenting, North and South Carolina, and Georgia, seven states: single delegates from Rhode Island and Connecticut answered Chap. XXVIII.} 1782. ay; but their votes were not counted, because their states were insufficiently represented. Pennsylvania was eq each, the mutual jealousies which begin already to appear among them will assuredly defraud both our foreign and domestic creditors of their just claims. But Rhode Island obstinately resisted the grant. The legislature of Massachusetts after long delays gave its consent, but its act received the veto of Hancock. The legislaturhe quotas distributed among the states only four hundred and twenty-two thousand dollars were collected. Delaware and the three southern states paid nothing. Rhode Island, which paid thirty-eight thousand dollars, or a little more than a sixth of its quota, was proportionately the largest contributor. Morris wished to establish