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"We had not lain long, when a rebel officer, remarkable by a hussar dress
, pressed toward our army, within a hundred yards of my right flank, not perceiving us. He was followed by another, dressed in dark green and blue, mounted on a bay horse, with a remarkable high cocked hat . I ordered three good shots to steal near
and fire at them; but the idea disgusting me, I recalled the order. The hussar, in returning, made a circuit, but the other passed within a hundred yards of us ; upon which, I advanced from the woods towards him. Upon my calling, he stopped; but after looking at me, proceeded. I again drew his attention, and made signs to him to stop, levelling my piece at him; but he slowly gantered away. By quick firing, I could have lodged half a dozen balls in, or about him, before he was out of my reach. I had only to determine; but it was not pleasant to fire at the back of an unoffending individual
, who was very coolly acquitting himself of his duty; so I let him alone.
“The next day the surgeon told me that the wounded rebel officers informed him that General Washington was all the morning with the light troops, and only attended by a French officer in a hussar dress, he himself dressed and mounted as I have above described. I am not sorry that I did not know who it was at the time."
li is now settled as a fact beyond dispute, that General Gates was connected with General Lee in a conspiracy to supersede the illustrious Washington. The commander-in-chief was well aware of the means they used to deprive him of the affections of the army, and the confidence of the people. How he sought revenge, is shown in the following anecdote :
"I found General Gates traversing the apartment under the influence of high excitement. His agitation was excessive-every feature of his countenance, every gesture, betrayed it. He had been charged with unskilful
management at the battle of Camden, and he had just received official despatches, informing him that the command was transferred to General Greene. His countenance betrayed no resentment, however ; it was sensibility alone that caused his emotion. He held an open letter in his hand, which he often raised to his lips, and kissed with devotion, while he repeatedly exclaimed— Great man! Noble, generous procedure! When the tumult of his mind had a little subsided, with strong expressions of feeling, he said, 'I have this day received a communication from the commander-in-chief, which has conveyed more consolation to my busom, more ineffable delight to my heart, than I believed it possible for it ever to have felt again. With affectionate tenderness, he sympathizes with me in my domestic misfortunes, and condoles with me on the loss I have sustained in the recent death of my only son; and then, with peculiar delicacy, lamenting my misfortune in battle, assures me that his confidence in my zeal and capacity is so little impaired, that the command of the right wing of the army will be bestowed on me, as soon as I can make it convenient to join him.'
Washington entertained a very deep respect and friendship for General Knox, and always kept him near his own person. After the defeat of Gates' army, at Čamden, General Greene was offered the arduous command of the southern department. The quaker General, with his usual modesty, replied, “Knox is the man for that difficult undertaking; all obstacles vanish before him; his resources are infinite." " True," answered Washington, “and therefore I cannot part with him.”
While the American army, under the command of Washington, lay encamped in the environs of Morristown, New-Jersey, it occurred that the service of the communion (there observed semi-annually only,) was to be administered in the Presbyterian Church of the village. In a morning of the previous week, the General, after his accustomed inspection of the camp, visited the house of the Rev. Dr. Jones, then pastor of that church, and after the usual preliminaries, thus accosted him. “Doctor, I understand that the Lord's supper is to be celebrated with you next Sunday; I would learn if it accords with the canons of your church to admit communicants of another denomination ?" The Doctor rejoined
“ Most certainly: ours is not the Presbyterian table, General, but the Lord's table; and we hence give the Lord's invitation to all his followers, of whatever name.” The General replied, “I am glad of it: that is as it ought to be; but as I was not quite sure of the fact, I thought I would ascertain it from yourself, as I propose to join with you on that occasion. Though a member of the Church of England, I have no exclusive partialities.” The Doctor reassured him of a cordial welcome, and the General was found seated with the communicants the next Sabbath.
Shortly after his election to the Presidency of the United States, General Washington, his lady, and secretary, Major Jackson, on their way from the seat of government to Mount Vernon, stopped for the night at Chester. The President had scarcely arrived, and expressed a wish not to be disturbed, when a message was brought that an old gentleman, once honored with his favor and protection, requested permission to pay his respects, adding, that his name was Lydick. “Let him enter, by all means," said the President; "he is the man, Major Jackson, who, at the hazard of his life, entered New-York, while in possession of the enemy, for the purpose of distributing among the German troops, proclamations, inviting them to our standard ; and who, afterwards, superintended, for many years, our baking establishment with zeal and diligence." As the old man entered, the General, taking him kindly by the hand, said—“My worthy friend, I am rejoiced to see you, and truly happy to express my thanks to a man to whom I feel myself under great obligation. You ever served your country with exemplary fidelity, and her warmest gratitude is richly your due” “Such praise from my beloved commander," replied Lydick, “is high reward. I shall now go to my grave
in peace, since it has been my happiness once again to meet and pay my duty to your Excellency."
The person of Washington was unusually tall, erect, and well proportioned. His muscular strength was very great. His features were of a beautiful symmetry. He commanded respect without any appearance of haughtiness, and was ever serious without being sullen or dull. “ It is natural,” says Dr. Thacher, " to view with keen attention the countenance of an illustrious man, with a secret hope of discovering in his features some peculiar traces of the excellence which distinguishes him from and elevates him above his fellow mortals. These expectations are realized, in a peculiar manner, in viewing the person of General Washington. His
tall and noble stature and just proportions, his fine, cheerful, open countenance, simple and modest deportment, are all calculated to interest every beholder in his favor, and to command veneration and respect. He is feared even when silent, and beloved even while we are unconscious of the motive."
Of the character of Washington it is impossible to speak but in terins of the highest respect and admiration. The more that we see of the operations of our government, and the more deeply we feel the difficulty of uniting all opinions in a common interest, the more highly we must estimate the force of the talent and character which have been able to challenge the reverence of all parties, and principles, and nations, and to win a fame as extended as the limit of the globe, and which we cannot but believe will be as lasting as the existence of man.
John Adams was born at Quincy, in Massachusetts, on the nineteenth day of October, (Old Style,) 1735, of John and Susannah Boylston Adams. He was the fourth in descent from Henry Adams, who, to quote the inscription upon his tombstone, "took his flight from the dragon persecution, in Devonshire, England, and alighted with eight sons near Mount Wollaston." He early gave proof of superior abilities, and he enjoyed the best advantages for their cultivation, which the country afforded. He entered Harvard College in 1751, and was graduated in four years afterwards. His course in the University was creditable to his character and talents, and after completing it, he, like most of the distinguished men in New-England, from the earliest times to the present day, engaged for a time in the employment of teaching. He instructed in the grammar school in Worcester, and at the same time studied law with Mr. Putnam, a lawyer of considerable eminence in that town. In 1758, he was admitted to the bar, and commenced the practice of his profession in Braintree, his native town, and his success was soon made certain by the ability with which he argued a criminal cause before a jury in Plymouth. In 1759, he was admitted into the bar of Suffolk, at the request of Jeremy Gridley, the Attorney General of the province, and of the highest eminence in his profession. Mr. Gridley was the active friend and patron of Adams, and had also been the instructer in law of the celebrated James Otis; and, proud of these highly promising young men, he was wont to say, “ that he had raised two young eagles, who were, one day or other, to peck out his eyes.” In compliance with his advice, Mr. Adams applied himself diligently to the study of the civil law, which was not much known to the lawyers at that time. In 1761, he was admitted to the degree of barrister of law, and succeeded, by the death of his father, to a small landed estate. The same year was made memorable by an event, pregnant with the most important results to the country, and which awakened the most enthusiastic Rame of patriotism in the breast of Mr. Adams.
For many years the feelings between the mother country and the colonies, particularly that of Massachusetts, had been any other than those of good-will and mutual confidence. The Parliament viewed with a jealous eye their rapidly increasing wealth and population, and began to iuterfere with their external and internal relations, in a manner that roused the old puritan spirit of resistance. The colonies regarded themselves as under the immediate protection and patronage of the King, and denied the power of the Parliament, a body in which they were not represented, to violate their charters, or to impose any restraints upon the employment of their industry and capital. These feelings of ill-will,