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h the enemy in Boston: the extent of his indiscretion or complicity was uncertain; after an imprisonment for some months, he was allowed to pass to the West Indies; but the ship in which he sailed was never again heard of. Franklin was still at the camp, when news from Chap. XLVII.} 1775. Oct. Maine confirmed his interpretation of the purposes of the British. In the previous May, Mowat, a naval officer, had been held prisoner for a few hours, at Falmouth, now 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 never carried out; but Mowat, in a ship of sixteen guns, attended by three other vessels, went up the harbor of Portland, and after a short parley, at half-past 9, on the morning of the sixteenth of October, he began to fire upon the town. In five minutes, several houses were in a
Trumbull Washington (search for this): chapter 7
ongly supported by many of the southern delegates; but the opposition was so powerful and so determined that he lost his point. At length, came a letter from Washington, implying his sense that the neglect of congress had brought Chap. XLVII.} 1775. Sept. matters in his army to a crisis. Not powder and artillery only were wa 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 conference with the New England commissioners, notwithstanding all difficultieshus to establish a perfect understanding between him and the civil power. On this occasion Franklin confirmed that affection, confidence, and veneration, which Washington bore him to the last moment of his life. The committee were uncertain how to deal with Church, formerly an active member of the Boston committee, lately the di
George Clymer (search for this): chapter 7
the new legislature 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 i
Barrington (search for this): chapter 7
t time believed, that the contest would end in their independence: but difficulties only animated the king; no one equalled him in ease, composure, and even gayety. He would have twenty thousand regular soldiers in America by the next spring. Barrington, the secretary at war, was of opinion, that no such number could be procured; he therefore entreated the secretary of state to give no expectation of the kind in the despatches going out to the colonies; and he wrote plainly to his sovereign: TFor the time, the command in America was divided; and assigned in Canada to Carleton, in the old colonies to Howe. Ten thousand pounds and an additional supply of three thousand arms were forwarded to Quebec, and notwithstanding the caution of Barrington, word was sent to Carleton, that he might depend upon a re- Chap. XLVII.} 1775. Aug. enforcement of regular troops, that it was hoped the next spring to have in North America an army of twenty thousand men, exclusive of the Canadians and Indi
John Adams (search for this): chapter 7
tressing situation of Washington demanded instant and earnest attention; but the bias of the continental congress was to inactivity. The intercepted letters of John Adams, in which he had freely unbosomed his complaints of its tardiness, and had justly thrown blame on the piddling genius, as he phrased it, of Dickinson, were apprving; wounded in his self-love and vexed by the ridicule thrown on his system, from this time he resisted independence with a morbid fixedness. He brushed past John Adams in the street without returning his salutation; and the New England statesman encountered also the hostility of the proprietary party and of social opinion in Ps to use their whole influence for building, equipping, and employing an American fleet. It was the origin of our navy. The proposal met great opposition; but John Adams engaged in it heartily, and pursued it unremittingly, though for a long time against wind and tide. On the fifth, Washington was authorized to employ two armed
Alexis Orloff (search for this): chapter 7
the contingency of a war with the Ottoman Porte, and as that condition could not be obtained, he always declined her alliance. His weak side was vanity, and Frederic of Prussia was said to have chained him to his interests by frequent presents of small value, and autograph letters filled with delicate flatteries. But Panin was thoroughly a Russian statesman, and to win his favor Frederic submitted to promise subsidies against Turkey. The British minister relied on the good — will of Alexis Orloff, who had been a principal person in raising Catharine to the throne; but his influence was on the wane, and his brother, who remained for about ten years her favorite concubine, had been recently superseded and dismissed from the court. His successor was Potemkin, who, to the person of a Titan joined a resolute ambition, and a commanding will, that became terrible to the empress herself; so that when she dismissed him from her bed, she found herself more and more subject to his contro
ing to act. The prospect of financial ruin led De Hart, of New Jersey, to propose to do away with issuing paper money by the provincial conventions and assemblies; but no one seconded him. The boundary line between Virginia and Pennsylvania was debated; as well as the right of Connecticut to hold possession of Wyoming. The roll of the army at Cambridge had, from its first formation, borne the names of men of color; but as yet without the distinct sanction of legislative approval. On the twenty sixth, Edward Rutledge, of South Carolina, moved the discharge of all the negroes in the army, and he was strongly supported by many of the southern delegates; but the opposition was so powerful and so determined that he lost his point. At length, came a letter from Washington, implying his sense that the neglect of congress had brought Chap. XLVII.} 1775. Sept. matters in his army to a crisis. Not powder and artillery only were wanting, but fuel, shelter, clothing, provisions, and the so
n 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 army left in America. The great loss of officers in the battle saddened the anticipations of future triumphs; the ministry confessed the unexampled intrepidity of the rebels; many persons from that time believed, that the contest would end in their independence: but difficulties onl
November 1st (search for this): chapter 7
er with the express design of tempting them to desert; for they were supposed to have an aversion for the sea. The port of Ritzebuttell, near the mouth of the Elbe, in the territory of Hamburg, was selected as the place of their embarkation, which was courteously promoted by the senate of that republic. It was the fifth of October before they got on board the transports, 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 declare war against France. De Guines suppressed every sign of indignation or of surprise; and encouraged the secretary's communi
August 7th (search for this): chapter 7
cans; and he reported that in America every man was turned soldier; that all the world crowded to the camp of liberty. The proposition to send him back to America was submitted by the ambassador at London through Vergennes to Louis the Sixteenth, who consented. Here is the beginning of his intervention in the American revolution. Neither his principles nor his sentiments inclined him 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 can in no event be compromised by his mission. His instructions should be verbal and confined to the two most essential objects; the one, to make to you a faithful report of events and of the prevailing disposition of the public mind; the other, to secure the Americans against that jealousy of us, with which so much pains will be taken to inspire them. Cana
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