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Chapter 47: Effect of Bunker bill battle in Europe. July 25—August, 1775. during the first weeks of July the king contem- Chap. XLVII.} 1775. July. plated America with complacency; assured that, in New York, his loyal subjects formed the majority, that in Virginia the rebels could be held in check by setting upon them savages and slaves. Ships were to be sent at once; and if they did not reduce the country, the soldiery would finish the work at the very worst in one more campaign. Alone of the ministers, Lord North was ill at ease, and when a friend said to him, The rebels may make you propositions, he replied with vivacity, Would to God they may. Neither the court, nor the ministers, nor the people at large had as yet taken a real alarm. Even Edmund Burke, who, as the agent of New York, had access to exact information and foresaw an engagement at Boston, believed that Gage, from his discipline and artillery as well as his considerable numbers, would beat the raw Amer
Lewis Morris (search for this): chapter 7
altogether pursuing selfish purposes, Gadsden, of South Carolina, said in their defence: I only wish we would imitate, instead of abusing, them. I thank God we have such a systematic body of men, as an asylum that honest men may resort to in the time of their last distress, if driven out of their own states; so far from being under any apprehensions, I bless God there is such a people in America. Harmony was maintained only by acquiescence in the policy of Dickinson. From Pittsburg, Lewis Morris of New York and James Wilson of Pennsylvania, the commissioners, recommended an expe- Chap. XLVII.} 1775. Sept. dition to take Detroit: the proposal, after a full discussion, was rejected; but the invasion of Canada, by way of the Chaudiere and of Isle aux Noix, was approved; and delegates from a convention of the several parishes of Canada would have been a welcome accession. Much time was spent in wrangling about small expenditures. The prohibition by parliament of the fisheries of
John Sullivan (search for this): chapter 7
se that remained standing were shattered by balls and shells. By the English account, the destruction was still greater. At the opening of a severe winter, the inhabitants were turned adrift in poverty and misery. The wrath of Washington was justly kindled, as he heard of these savage cruelties, this new exertion of despotic barbarity. Death and destruction mark the footsteps of the enemy, said Greene; fight or be slaves is the American motto; and the first is by far the most eligible. Sullivan was sent to fortify Portsmouth; Trumbull, of Connecticut, took thought for the defence of New London. Meantime, the congress at Philadelphia was still Chap. XLVII.} 1775. Oct. halting in the sluggishness of irresolution; and, so long as there remained the dimmest hope of favor to its petition, the lukewarm patriots had the advantage. No court as yet had power to sanction the condemnation of vessels taken from the enemy. On the third of October, one of the delegates of Rhode Island lai
ts, and then a strong south-west wind that blew incessantly for several weeks, locked them up till the afternoon of the first of November. Three days after the arrival of the news of the Chap. XLVII.} 1775. July and Aug. Charlestown battle, Rochford, the secretary of state, called the attention of De Guines, the French ambassador, to the dispute with the colonies; and remarked that many persons of both parties were thoroughly persuaded that the way to terminate the war in America, was to deion, that England now, as before the last peace, was a match for Spain and France united; that, in the event of a war with those powers, America, through fear of the recovery of Canada by France, would give up her contest and side with England. Rochford repeated these remarks to the Spanish minister, from indiscretion, or in the hope to intimidate the two courts; but as the ministry had no object so dear as that of keeping their places, it followed that if the nation should clamor for an attack
d Burke, who, as the agent of New York, had access to exact information and foresaw an engagement at Boston, believed that Gage, from his discipline and artillery as well as his considerable numbers, would beat the raw American troops, and succeed. dently over the continent of Europe, resolved at any cost to accomplish his purpose. The ministers were of opinion that Gage, at an Aug. early day, ought to have occupied the heights of Dorchester and of Charlestown; and he was recalled, though we New England colonies and Washington, to devise a method for renovating the army. While the committee were on the way, Gage, Oct. on the tenth of October, embarked for England, bearing with him the large requirements of Howe, his successor, whicnow Portland; and we have seen Linzee, in a sloop-of-war, driven with loss from Gloucester; it was one of the last acts of Gage to plan with the admiral how to wreak vengeance on the inhabitants of both those ports. The design against Gloucester was
Edmund Burke (search for this): chapter 7
the rebels could be held in check by setting upon them savages and slaves. Ships were to be sent at once; and if they did not reduce the country, the soldiery would finish the work at the very worst in one more campaign. Alone of the ministers, Lord North was ill at ease, and when a friend said to him, The rebels may make you propositions, he replied with vivacity, Would to God they may. Neither the court, nor the ministers, nor the people at large had as yet taken a real alarm. Even Edmund Burke, who, as the agent of New York, had access to exact information and foresaw an engagement at Boston, believed that Gage, from his discipline and artillery as well as his considerable numbers, would beat the raw American troops, and succeed. An hour before noon of the twenty fifth, tidings of the Bunker Chap. XLVII.} 1775. July. Hill battle reached the cabinet, and spread rapidly through the kingdom and through Europe. Two more such victories, said Vergennes, and England will have no a
rsed riotously through her veins. Her first minister was Panin, without whom no council was held, no decision taken in forPoland by stirring up Sweden and Turkey against Russia; yet Panin did not misjudge the relations of Russia to France. Nor waand autograph letters filled with delicate flatteries. But Panin was thoroughly a Russian statesman, and to win his favor Fr, but at this time he cultivated the greatest intimacy with Panin, whose opinion he professed to follow. The indifference oolness was not perceived by the British minister. One day Panin inquired of him the news; remembering his instructions, Gunajesty's infantry. On the morning of the eighth of August, Panin reported the answer of the empress. Nothing was said speciistance, in whatever manner he thought proper. She charged Panin to repeat her very words, that she found in herself an innaon the winds to other courts, was a secret to everybody but Panin and the empress. The reply to Bunker Hill from England r
Vergennes (search for this): chapter 7
l battle reached the cabinet, and spread rapidly through the kingdom and through Europe. Two more such victories, said Vergennes, and England will have no army left in America. The great loss of officers in the battle saddened the anticipations oflamor for an attack on the house of Bourbon, they would at once become belligerent. The subject was calmly revolved by Vergennes; who was unable to imagine, how sensible people could regard a war with France as a harbor of refuge; especially as her to aid insurgents; but the danger of an attack from the English was held before his eyes, and on the seventh of August Vergennes could reply to De Guines: Be assured, sir, the king very much approves sending Bonvouloir with such precaution that we r relations and events of the utmost importance. Yet all the while the means of pacifying America were so obvious that Vergennes was hardly able to persuade himself they could be missed by the English ministers. The folly imputed to them was so gr
Christopher Greene (search for this): chapter 7
ters to push the war by sea and land with the utmost vigor, removed from his mind every doubt of the necessity of independence. Such, also, was the conclusion of Greene; and the army was impatient when any of the chaplains prayed for the king. The general congress had less sagacity. It should have assembled on the fifth of Septom Britain was inevitable. His presence in the camp, within sight of his native town, was welcomed with affectionate veneration. During the whole evening, wrote Greene, I viewed that very great man with silent admiration. With Washington for the military chief, with Franklin for the leading adviser from congress, the conferencen was justly kindled, as he heard of these savage cruelties, this new exertion of despotic barbarity. Death and destruction mark the footsteps of the enemy, said Greene; fight or be slaves is the American motto; and the first is by far the most eligible. Sullivan was sent to fortify Portsmouth; Trumbull, of Connecticut, took tho
ature of Pennsylvania was organized. Chosen under a dread of independence, all of its members who were present subscribed the usual engagements of allegiance to the king. In a few days the Quakers presented an address, in favor of the most conciliatory measures, and deprecating every thing likely to widen or perpetuate the breach with their parent state. To counteract this movement, the committee for the city and liberties of Philadelphia, sixty six in number, headed by George Clymer and McKean, went two by two to Chap. XLVII.} 1775. Oct. the state-house, and delivered their remonstrance; but the spirit of the assembly, under the guidance of Dickinson, followed the bent of the quakers. Congress, for the time, was like a ship at sea without a rudder, still buoyant, but rolling on the water with every wave. One day would bring measures for the defence of New York and Hudson river, or for the invasion of Canada; the next, nothing was to be done that could further irritate Great B
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