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sisted that congress had already been explicit enough; and apprehensive that they might get themselves upon dangerous ground, he rallied the bolder members in the hope to defeat the proposal; but in the absence of John Adams even his colleagues, Cushing and Paine, sided with Wilson, who carried the vote of Massachusetts as a part of his majority. Chap. LVI.} 1776. Jan. When Cushing's constituents heard of his pusillanimous wavering, they elected Elbridge Gerry to his place; at the moment, SamCushing's constituents heard of his pusillanimous wavering, they elected Elbridge Gerry to his place; at the moment, Samuel Adams repaired for sympathy and consolation to Franklin. In a free conversation, these two great sons of Boston agreed that confederation must be speedily brought on, even though the concurrence of all the colonies could not be obtained. If none of the rest will join, said Samuel Adams to Franklin, I will endeavor to unite the New England colonies in confederating. I approve your proposal, said Franklin, and if you succeed, I will cast in my lot among you. But even in New England the
Peter Muhlenburg (search for this): chapter 16
oving with their effects, demolished in Norfolk and its suburbs all remaining houses which might be useful to their enemies, and then abandoned the scene of devastation. For the defence of the rest of Virginia the two regiments already in service were increased; and it was ordained that seven more should be raised. Of one of these, Hugh Mercer was elected colonel; the command of another, to be composed of Germans from the glades of the Blue Ridge, was given to the Lutheran minister, Peter Muhlenburg, who left the pulpit for the army, and formed out of the men of his several congregations one of the most perfect battalions in the American army. Colonial dependence had ever been identified with restraints on trade in the minds of European Chap. LVI.} 1776. Jan. statesmen, who would have regarded an invitation from the colonies to the world to share their commerce as an act of independence; the continental congress had interfered with the old restraints on foreign trade as little
Rittenhouse (search for this): chapter 16
n England where he could have learned the principles which he was now to defend, and which it seemed a part of his nature to assert. He had been in America not much more than a year, but in that time he had cultivated the society of Franklin, Rittenhouse, Clymer, and Samuel Adams; his essay, when finished, was shown to Franklin, to Rittenhouse, to Samuel Adams, and to Rush; and Rush gave it the title of common sense. The design and end of government, it was reasoned, is freedom and seRittenhouse, to Samuel Adams, and to Rush; and Rush gave it the title of common sense. The design and end of government, it was reasoned, is freedom and security. In the early ages of the world, mankind were equals in the order of creation; the heathen introduced government by kings, which the will of the Almighty, as declared by Gideon and the prophet Samuel, expressly disapproved. To the evil of monarchy we have added Chap. LVI.} 1776. Jan. that of hereditary succession; and as the first is a lessening of ourselves, so the second might put posterity under the government of a rogue or a fool. Nature disapproves it, otherwise she would not s
Thomas Paine (search for this): chapter 16
bels then the new conviction demanded utterance; and as the debates in congress were secret, it had no outlet but the press. The writer who embodied in words the vague longing of the country, mixed up with some crude notions of his own, was Thomas Paine, a literary adventurer, at that time a little under forty years of age; the son of a Quaker of Norfolk in England, brought up in the faith of George Fox and Penn, the only school in England where he could have learned the principles which he w congress had already been explicit enough; and apprehensive that they might get themselves upon dangerous ground, he rallied the bolder members in the hope to defeat the proposal; but in the absence of John Adams even his colleagues, Cushing and Paine, sided with Wilson, who carried the vote of Massachusetts as a part of his majority. Chap. LVI.} 1776. Jan. When Cushing's constituents heard of his pusillanimous wavering, they elected Elbridge Gerry to his place; at the moment, Samuel Adams r
Robert Howe (search for this): chapter 16
houses built chiefly of pine, could extend itself with irresistible fury. Who can affirm or who can deny, that mischievous persons on Chap. LVI.} 1776. Jan. shore may not have found amusement in feeding the flames? But the American commanders, Howe and Woodford, certainly made every effort to arrest them; and troops without tents would hardly in midwinter have burned down the houses that were their only shelter. When Washington learned the fate of the rich emporium of his own country, forthan his own tranquillity, he would have put every thing on the cast of a die, and forced a battle at every disadvantage. The world gave him Chap. LVI.} 1776. Jan. credit for an army of twenty thousand well armed men; and yet at the moment when Howe was receiving reenforcements, he had been left with less than half that number, including the sick, those on furlough, those on command, and those who were neither properly armed nor clothed. For more than two months past, said he, I have scarcel
George Clymer (search for this): chapter 16
xed up with some crude notions of his own, was Thomas Paine, a literary adventurer, at that time a little under forty years of age; the son of a Quaker of Norfolk in England, brought up in the faith of George Fox and Penn, the only school in England where he could have learned the principles which he was now to defend, and which it seemed a part of his nature to assert. He had been in America not much more than a year, but in that time he had cultivated the society of Franklin, Rittenhouse, Clymer, and Samuel Adams; his essay, when finished, was shown to Franklin, to Rittenhouse, to Samuel Adams, and to Rush; and Rush gave it the title of common sense. The design and end of government, it was reasoned, is freedom and security. In the early ages of the world, mankind were equals in the order of creation; the heathen introduced government by kings, which the will of the Almighty, as declared by Gideon and the prophet Samuel, expressly disapproved. To the evil of monarchy we
I.} 1776. Jan. ever broke on the women and children then in Norfolk. Warned of their danger by the commander of the squadron, there was for them no refuge. The King Fisher was stationed at the upper end of Norfolk; a little below her the Otter; Belew, in the Liverpool, anchored near the middle of the town; and next him lay Dunmore; the rest of the fleet was moored in the harbor. Between three and four in the afternoon the Liverpool opened its fire upon the borough; the other ships immediately followed his example, and a severe cannonade was begun from about sixty pieces of cannon. Dunmore then himself, as night was coming on, ordered out several boats to burn warehouses on the wharfs; and hailed to Belew to set fire to a large brig which lay in the dock. All the vessels of the fleet, to show their zeal, sent great numbers of boats on shore to assist in spreading the flames along the river; and as the buildings were Chap. LVI.} 1776. Jan. chiefly of pine wood, the conflagration
e had for six months together, without powder, maintained a post within musket-shot of more than twenty hostile British regiments; he had disbanded one army and recruited another; and was still without an adequate number of troops, or a supply of ammunition; and the arms of his soldiers were poor in quality and insufficient in number. At such a moment he received the special authority of congress to attack the troops in Boston, even though it should involve the destruction of the town; and Hancock, who individually might be the greatest sufferer, wrote to wish him success: yet the winter was so mild, that there was no ice to pass on; and for a bombardment he was in want of powder; so that he was compelled to disregard the recommendation, and to conceal the cause of his inactivity. Yet he never admitted the thought of retiring from his post, although the situation of his army gave him many a wakeful hour when all around him were wrapped in sleep; and he often considered how much happ
the ranks by the side of white men. In the beginning of the war they had entered the provincial army: the first general order, which was issued by Ward, had required a return, among other things, of the complexion of the soldiers; and black men, like others, were retained in the service after the troops were adopted by the continent. We have seen Edward Rutledge defeated in Chap. LVI} 1776. Jan. his attempt to compel their discharge; in October, the conference at the camp, with Franklin, Harrison, and Lynch, thought it proper to exclude them from the new enlistment; but Washington, at the crisis of his distress, finding that they were very much dissatisfied at being discarded, took the responsibility of reversing the decision; and referred the subject to congress. That body appointed Wythe, Samuel Adams, and Wilson, to deliberate on the question; and on the report of their able committee they voted, that the free negroes who had served faithfully in the army at Cambridge, might be
a short pause it was renewed, but with less fury, and was kept up till two the next morning. The flames, which had made their way from street to street, raged for three days, till four fifths, or, as some computed, nine tenths, of the houses were reduced to ashes and heaps of ruins. In this manner the royal governor burned and laid waste the best town in the oldest and most loyal colony of England, to which Elizabeth had given a name, and Raleigh devoted his fortune, and Shakespeare and Bacon and Herbert foretokened greatness; a colony where the people of themselves had established the church of England, and where many were still proud that their ancestors, in the day of the British commonwealth, had been faithful to the line of kings. On second thought, Dunmore feared he had done too much, and he insinuated that the great number of boats from his fleet had set fire only to the buildings nearest the water: but a fire kindled in many places along the outer row of houses built chi
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