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the conquerors) exhorting them to fortitude, and repeatedly ene treating them never to suffer family attachments to interfere with the duty they owed to their country. Such exemplary patriotism excited in several British officers a mean resentment, which put them upon employing the negroes in rude insults on those distin. guished heroines. When the successes of general Greene afford. ed the latter an epportunity, they adopted a genteel retaliation by dressing in green and ornamenting their persons with green feathers and ribbons, and thus parading the streets in triumph.' : The gentlemen, who had been removed from Charleston to St. Angestine as has been already related, obtained their release by the general exchange, and were deliverrd at Philadelphia. They had suffered-greatly since they were sent off. Lieut. gov. Gadsden, to express his indignation at the ungenerous treatment he had met with, refused to accept an offered parole in St. Augustine, and with the greatest fortitude, bore a close confinement in the castle for forty-two weeks, rather than give a second parole to a power which he .cosidered as having plainly violated the engagement contained in the first. The other gentlemen renewed their paroles and had the liberty of the town, but were treated with much indignity. As if no dependence could be placed on their honor, they were ordered every day to appear on the public parade, and to answer to their names at roll-calling.-For upward of ten months they were debarred from correspond. ing with their wives and families, unless they would subject every letter to examination. Destitute of gold and silver, they could scarcely support themselves; and were less able to provide for their connections, who were left in want and in the power of the conquerors. The earliest alleviation of their sorrows, after the cartel had been settled, was denied to them. Though their wives and children, who had been left in Charleston, were ora dered to Philadelphia at the same time with themselves, Balfour gave express direction that they should not be suffered to touch at Charleston. More than a thousand persons 'were, by the measures of the commandant, exiled from their honies, and thrown on the charity of strangers for their support. Husbands and wives, parents and children, some of whom had been for several months separated from each other, were doomed to have their fust interview in a distant land. To alleviate the distresses of these and similar sufferers, congress passed the preceding resolu. tion. The propriety of it was still more apparent some time afger, when what had been transacted at Charleston was known. Several of the exchanged persons were owners of landed property in that:town; and by the capitulation had an undoubted right
to dispose of it for their own advantage. They were however debarred that liberty by the following order, issued on the 11th of July -" The commandant is pleased to direct, that no person liv. ing under the rebel government, shall have liberty, or grant pow er to other for so doing, to let or lease any house within this town without a special licence for so doing, as it is intended to take all such houses as may be wanted for the public service, paying tg. the owners or those secured by the capitulation a reasonable rent for the same, as by this means government will be able to re: instate its firm friends in possession of their own houses within a short space of time.” In consequence of this mandate, the ex changed sufferers could make no present advantage of their pro. perty in Charleston, and were subjected to the pleasure of the British for any future compensation.
When the general exchange took place in June, out of 1900 prisoners taken at the surrender of Charleston, on the 12th of May, 1780, and several hundreds more taken afterward at Camden and Fishing Creek, on the 16th and 18th of August, only. 740 were restored to the service of their country. The unfortu, nate men were crowded on board the prison ships in such.num: bers, that several were obliged to stand up for want of room to lie down. Congress could not command hard money for their relief. Wine, and such like comforts, particularly necessary for the sick in southern climates, could not be obtained from the Brie. tish hospitals. Many died. But it was not by deaths alone that, the Americans were deprived of their soldiers. Lord Charles Greville Montague inlisted 530 of them for the British service in Jamaica.
The exchange brought relief to the continental officers taken at Charleston. They were confined at Haddrell's Point and its vicinity. Far from friends and destitute of hard money, they were reduced to the greatest straits. Many of them, though born, in affluence and habituated to attendance, were compelled to do: not only the most menial offices for themselves, but could scarceg ly procure the plainest necessaries of life. During a captivity of thirteen months, they received no more from their country than nine days pay, They were debarred the liberty of fishing for their , support, though their great leisure and many wants made it an-obay ject not only as an amusement, but as a mean of suppying theita necessities. After bearing these eyils with fortitude, they were: informed in March, by lieutenant-colonel balfour, that by por sitive orders froin lord Cornwallis, he was to send them to some one of the West-India islands, Preparations were made for the
exection' of the mandate ; but the general exchange of prisoners rendered them abortive.
It appearing to congress from the representation of the American gov. Clinton and other information, that commissions had been granted by the gov. of Connecticut, authorizing the persons to whom they were given, among other things, to go on Long Island, and other islands adjacent, and seize the goods and merç chandise they should there find, the property of British subjects; and that the said commissions were attended with many abuses dangerous to the public, as wellas distressing to the citizens and friends of these United States, inhabiting the said islands, some of whom under pretext of the powers contained in such commissions, had been plundered of their property, and otherwise badly treated : and that the further continuance of the said commissions would impede the public service in that quarter--they, “ Therefore resolved (August 7.] that the gov. of Connecticut be, and he is hereby, desired immediately to revoke such commissions, as far as they authorise the seizure of goods on Long-Island, or elsewhere, on land not within the state of Connecticut.” It was high time to revoke then, for under their cover a set of unprincipled plun, derers committed greater ravages upon many of the fast friends of America, than the words of Congress fully express,
In consequence of instructions of August the 3d gen. Wash. ington wrote on the 21st-" The almost daily complaints of the severities exercised towards the American marine prisoners in “ New-York, have induced the congress to direct me to remona, strate to the commanding officer of his British majesty's ships upon the subject. The principal complaint now is, the inadequacy of the room in the prison ships, to the number of prisoners confined on board them, which occasions the death of many, and is the occasion of most intolerable inconveniences and distresses to those who survive.” He had written early in the spring to Sir H. Clinton. "The very healthy condition, in which all prisoners have been returned by us since the commencement of the war, carries with it a conviction, that they have been unifornily and comfortably accommodated and fed on wholesome provisions. So conscious have I been, that the situation in which we always kept prisoners of war would bear inspection, that I have never been averse to having them visited by an officer of your own, who miglit be a witness to the propriety of their treatinent. A request of this nature was a very little time ago refused to us by the officer commanding the British navy in the harbor of New-York.”
On August the 21st, congress authorised gen. Washington to go into a full exchange of gen, Burgoyne, and all the remaining
officers of the Saratoga convention; and resolved that the priso: ners taken by the British at thc Cedars, should be considered as subjects of exchange. That day week they ordered the board of war to make a sale of certain cannon and stores in the state of Rhode Island, for specie only. This may be considered as a declarative act on their part against the further circulation of a paper currency. It has indeed ceased by conrmon consent. Without it the Americans could not have carried on the war to the present period. The public benefit it has been of in this instance, will compensate in the estimation of patriotic politicians, for the imnense evils of which it has otherwise been the occasion. The tender laws on one hand, and depreciation on the other, rendered it the bane of society. All classes were infected. It produced a rage for speculating. The mechanic, the farmer, the lawyer, the physician, the member of congress, and even a few of the clers gy, in some places, were contaminated, and commenced inerchiants and speculators. The morals of the people were corrupted beyond any thing that could have been believed prior to the event. All ties of honor, blood, gratitude, humanity and justice were dissolved. Old debts were paid in several states when the paper money was more than 70 for one in hard cash; and in Virginia when at 300 for one. Brothers defrauded brothers, children parents and parents children. Widows, orphans and others, who had lived happily on their annual interest, were impoverished by being obliged to take depreciated paper for the specie principal that had been lent; creditors were frequently compelled to receive their debts in that currency, fron men who confessed before wita nesses, that the cash they borrowed saved them and their families from ruin. A person who had been supplied with specie in the jail at Philadelphia, while the British had possession of the city, repaid it in paper afterward at a tenth part of its value.No class of people suffered more by the depreciation than salarymen, and especially the clergy, particularly in the New-England states. They were reduced to the greatest difficulties, and were much injured, by having their annual incomes paid thene in paper, without having the badness of its quality compensated in the quantity allowed them. When in the beginning of the year, some compensation was voted to them in certain places, the increased depreciation, before the salary was paid, destroyed in a great measure the efficacy of the vote. It has been observed by some, that the quakers and methodists in Pennsylvania, were faithful to their old engageinents, and were not corrupted by handling paper money. Though these denominations exceiled, there were many individuals in all religious societies thro' the United States, that preserved their integrity. As a striking instance of the nature and defects of a depreciating paper currency, the following is related out of many. A merchant of Boston sold a hogshead of rum for twenty pounds, cask included. The purchaser did not settle for it till after the seller applied to him for an emptv hogshead, for which he was charged thirty pounds. When they came to settle, the merchant found upon examining, that he had to pay a balance of ten pounds on that very cask which, with the run it contained, he had sold for twenty. ? The extinction of the paper has occasioned.no.convulsions ; and the specie which the French army and navy have already introduced, which the trade now opening with the Spanish and French West-India islands will furnish, and which the loan from France will supply; this joint quantity, added to what will now be brought into use by those whose precaution led them to store up their hard money, will prevent the mischiefs that must otherwise have ensued from a total want of a circulating medium.
The extraordinary change of this medium, without shaking the United States to the very foundation, intimates a peculiarity in the circumstances and disposition of the Americans, distinguishing them from the inhabitants of old countries.
A few detached particulars remain to be related before the present letter is forwarded.
On the 11th of August 3000 German troops arrived at News York from Europe. The same day the American frigate Trunbull was carried in by one of the king's ships.. This capture has reduced the naval force of the United States to two frigates, the Alliance and the Deane. A number of fine privateers have also been taken by the royal. navy; but there are still a great many from the different states, which have been very successful.
By various channels, and particularly the arrival of a French frigate from Brest. on the 15th of August, certain advice has been receiyed of the French having captured a number of ships from Statia. It seems that France, determining to profit fron; the absence of the British grand fleet, equipped. 7.or 8 ships of the line at Brest, which were sent out in the beginning of May, under M. de la Motte Piquet, in order to intercept the Statia convoy, freighted with the most valuable commodities taken at that isiand, as well as a rich fleet on its way home from Jamaica. Mr. Piquetsaccceded in the first part of the design. Commodore Hotham had only four ships for the protection of the Statia convoy. Fourteen of the merchantmen were taken; but the men of war, with the remainder of the convoy, sheltered themselves in some of the wošicro, ports of Ireland. The French cominander, considering the nuna