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This declaration was iminediately communicated to the armies, where it was received with enthusiasın. It was also proclaimed throughout the United States, and gave to the people yery general joy. Some individuals, however, who had been very zealous supporters for all measures which had for their object only a redress of grievances, and ina whose bosoms the hope of accommodation still ling. ered, either too timid to meet the arduous conflict which this measure rendered, in their estimation, certain and inevitable, or sincerely believing that the happiness of America would be best consulted by preserving their political connexion with Great Britain, viewed the dissolution of that connexion with anxious regret; and others, who afterwards deserted the American cause, which they had at first embraced, attributed their defection to this measure. It was also an unfortunate truth, that in the whole country, between New England and the Potomac, which was now to become the great theatre of action, although the majority was in favour of independence, yet there existed a formida- , ble minority, who not only refused to act with their countrymen, but were ready to give the enemy every aid in their power.
South Carolina 3 Arthur Middleton
(W lliam Hooper South Carolina S Thomas Lynch, jun. North Carolina Joseph Hewes (John Penn
(Button Gwinnett SEdward Rutiege South Carolina 3 Thos. Heyward, jun. I
Georgia 3 Lyman Hall
It cannot, however, be questioned, that the declaration of independence was wise, and well timed; and that, since the continuance of the war was inevitable, every principle of sound policy required that the avowed characters of the parties should be changed; and that it should no longer he denominated, or considered, a war between a sovereign and his acknowledged subjects.
CHAPTER VII. Lord and Sir William Howe arrive before New
York-Circular Letter of Lord Howe-State of
the American Army-The British land in force - on Long Island-Battle of Brooklyn-Evacu*ation of Long Island-Fruitless Negotiations : -New York evacuated.
ON evacuating Boston, General Howe had re
tired to Halifax. He seems to have intended there to wait the large reinforcements expected from England, and not to approach his adversary till he should be in a condition to act offensively, and with such success as would make a very serious impression. But the situation of his army in that place was so uncomfortable, and the delays in the arrival of the troops from Europe were so great, that he at length resolved, with the forces already under his command, to sail for New York, in some of the islands on the sea coast of which, it would be in his power to take a station of perfect security, till he should be strong enough to commence the great plan of operations which was contemplated. • This measure was recommended by several considerations. His troops would there receive plentitul supplies of fresh provisions; he would be snabled to ascertain, with more precision, the
dependence to be placed on the inhabitants; and, in the meantime, to make those preparations which would facilitate his plan for opening the campaign with vigour, so soon as his whole army should be collected.
In the latter end of June he arrived off Sandy Hook, in the Greyhound; and, on the twentyninth of that month, the first division of the feet from Halifax reached the same place. The rear division soon followed, and, having passed the Narows, landed the troops on Staten Island, where General Washington had placed only a small military force, for the purpose of colleeting and driving off such stock as might otherwise supply the invading army with fresh provisions. Here they were received with great demonstrations of jny by the inhabitants, who took the oaths of allegiance to the British crown, and embodied themselves under the authority of the late Goverpor Tryon, for the defence of the island. Strong assurances were also received from Long Island, and the neighbouring parts of New Jersey, of the favourable dispositions of a great proportion of the people to the royal cause. On Staten Island, General Howe resolved to wait till his army should be in full force, unless circumstances should require a change of system,
Foreseeing the distress which would be oc'casioned to the enemy, by cutting off those supe
plies of fresh provisions which would be particularly useful on their first landing, General Washington had urged the different committees to co-operate with him in removing the stock and grain in the small islands near the coast; which, if permitted to remain, would inevitably fall into their hands; but this wise precaution had been only in part executed, and General Howe soon obtained partial supplies for himself and army, .. The effect with which the British arms had been opposed in New England, had demonstrated to administration the very serious complexion of the war, and the necessity of employing in it a force. „vastly more considerable than they had originally supposed could possibly be required. In addition, therefore, to the national troops, they had subsidized about thirteen thousand Hessians and Wal:deckers; and it was also determined to employ a powerful fleet in this important service *. ;
As had been foreseen by General Washington, , the great effort was now to be made on the Hud- son. A variety of considerations suggested the policy of transferring the seat of war to this part of the continent. Such is the formation of the country on the sea coast, being divided into islands assailable in every direction by a maritime force, that it requires for defence, against a con