« ZurückWeiter »
joice in victory and glory, the most honorable office a ministeroF" the altars can fill, is to be the organ by which public gratitude is conveyed to the Omnipotent. Those miracles which he once wrought for his chosen people are renewed in our favor; and it 'would be equally ungrateful and impious not to acknowledge, that the event which lately confounded bur enemies and frustrated their designs, was the wonderful workof that God who guards your liberties? And who but He could so combine the circumstances which led to success? We have seen our enemies push forward amid perils almost innumerable, amid objects almost.insurmountable, to the spot which was designed to witness their dis • race: yet they eagerly-sought it as their theatre of triumph'? lind as they were, they bore hunger, thirst and inclement skies, oured out their blood in battle against brave republicans, and rossed immense regions to confine themselves in another Jeri:ho, whose walls were fated to fall before another Joshua. It is , whose voice commands the winds, the seas, and the seasons*
0 formed a junction on the same day, in the same hour, be. veen a formidable fleet from the south; and an army rushing from the north, like an impetuous torrent. Who but He, in whose hands are the hearts of men, could inspire the allied troops with "the friendships, the confidence,.the tenderness of brothers? How is it that two riations once divided, jealous, inimical,, and nursed in reciprocal prejudices, are now become so cordially united, as to
m but one? Worldlings will sayy-it is the wisdom, the vir, and moderation of their chiefs ; it is a great national interest . -ich has performed this prodigy. They will say, that to the skill of the generals, to the courage of the troops, to the activity of the whole army, we must attribute this splendid success. Ah i they are ignorant, that the combining of so many fortunate circumstances, is an emanation from the All-perfect Mind ; that courage, that skill, that activity, bear the sacred impression of Him "who is divine. For how many favors have we not to thank Him during the course of the present year. Your union, which was at first supported by justice alone, has been consolidated by your •courage, and the knot which ties you together is become-indis.soluble, by the accession of all the states, and the unanimous voics of all the confederates. Youpresentto the universe the noble sight "of a society,which founded m equality and j ustice,secure to the individuals who compose it, the utmosthappiness which can be derived from human institutions. This advantage, which so many other Rations have been unable to procure, even after ages of effort d misery, is granted by Divine Providence to the United States:
1 his adorable decrees have marked the Wesefrt-moment forthe
■ completion of that memorable happy revolution, which has taker*place in this extensive continent. While your councils were thus acquiringnew energy,rapid multiplied successeshaye crown-; ed your arms in the southern states.-^-We have seen the iinfotsrtunate citizens of these states forced from theii; peaceful abodes -r —after a long and cruel captivity, old men, women and children, ■ thrown witlrout mercy into a foreign country. Master of thouslands and their slaves, amid his temporary affluence, a superb victor rejoiced in their distresses, Bu,t Philadelphia has witnessed their patience and fortitude ; they have found here another home, and though driven from their native soil, they have blessed Gods ..:, that he has delivered them from the presence of their enemies, and conducted them to a country, where every just and feeling .man has stretched out the helping hand of benevolence. Heavea rewards their virtue. Three large states are at once wrested from the foe. The rapacious soldier has been compelled to takeae-*... fuge behind his ramparts, and oppression has vanished like those phantoms which are dissipated by the morning ray.—On this solemn occasion, we might renew our thanks to the God of battles, for the success he has granted to the arms of your- allies and youp friends, by land and by sea, through the other parts of the globe. But let us not recal those events which too clearly prove hoMt, much the hearts of our enemies have been obdurated. Let us prostrate ourselves at tire altar, and implore the God of mercy to suspend his vengeance, to spare them.in his wrath, to inspire them with sentiments of justice and moderation, to terminate th.eir obstinacy and error, and to ordain thaty our victories be followed by peace and tranquility. Let us beseech him to continue to shed
tice, and of courage, which has rendered his reign so glorious...
Let us entreat him to maintain in each of the states that intelli^l,*
gence by which the United States are inspired. Let us return bin*...'
Jhanksj that a faction whose rebellion he has corrected, now doiiitt
prived of support, is annihilated. Let us offer him pure heartsy ,
unsoiled by private hatred or public dissention; and let us with.-
one will and one voice, pour forth to the Lord the hymn-off
praise, by which christians celebrate their gratitude and his glory.5'
The most important books and papers of Congress engagedafi. *
length the attention of the enemy. A scheme was concerted for -i
curryingthem off. Lieut. Moody, who.had been so successfulii* 1
taking the American mails, was employed. He remained on U»«/r-j>
Jersey side of the Delaware, while his-brother John Moody, and ■
another or two repaired to Philadelphia. Before they,coid*fr <?;
execute the business intrusted to them, a discovery took plarv-p : •
and: some of them were seized. Parties were sent across the Delaware to secure the lieutenant; but he eluded all their exertions, and escaped in an extraordinary manner. His brother; and a fellow-soldier were brought before a board of officers, at which the marquis de la Fayette presided, and were indulged: with a candid and full hearing. An opinion of the officers being reported to the board of war, and approved, they; were sentenced to die. John Moody was executed on the 13th\ of November; the other was respited. The care of congress will be engaged the more by this fruitless project, to guard against any future attempts of a similar nature.
On the 23d of November they resolved, "That major gen. the marquis de la Fayette, have permission to go to France, and that he return at such a time as shall be most convenient to him— that he be informed, that on a view of his conduct throughout the past campaign, and particularly during- the period in which he had the chief command in Virginia, the many new proofs which present themselves of his zealous attachment to the cause he has espoused, and of his judgment, vigilance, gallantry and address in its defence, have greatly added to the high opinion entertained by congress of his merits and military talents—that he make known to the officers and troops whom he commanded during that period, that the brave and enterprising services with wtrich they seconded his zeal and efforts, and which enabled him to defeat the attempts of an enemy far superior in numbers, have been beheld by congress with particular satisfaction and approbation—-that the secretary of foreign affairs acquaint the ministew plenipotentiary of the United States, that it is the desire of congress that they confer with the marquis de la Fayette, and avail themselves of his information relative to the situation of public affairs in the United States—that the secretary for foreign affairs further acquaint the minister plenipotentiary at the court of Versailles, that he will conform to the intention of congress, by consulting with and employing the assistance of the marquis de la Fayette in accelerating the supplies which may be afforded by his most Christian majesty for the use of the United States— that the superintendant of finance, the secretary for foreign affairs, and the board of war, make such communications to the marquis de la Fayette, touching the affairs of their respective departments, as will best enable him to fulfil the purpose of the two resolutions immediately preceding—that the superintendant of finance take order for discharging the engagement entered into, by the marquis de la Fayette with the merchants of Baltimore," when he borrowed money of them on his own credit, for supplying his troops with necessaries.
Gen. Washington attended congress according fo orJeT^arf feeing introduced [Nov. 28.] by two members, the president aft. Pressed him as follows—"Sir, congress, at all times happy irtsS& ingyour excellency, feel particular pleasure in your presence^* this time, after the glorious success of the allied arms in Virginia! It is their fixed purpose to draw every advantage from it, by $j£ horting the states in the strongest terms, to the most vigorous ar/d timely exertions. A committee has accordingly been appoint to state the requisitions necessary to bemadefor the establishment ef the army, and they are instructed to confer with you upon thai subject. It is therefore the expectation of congress that your excellency would remain for some time in Philadelphia, tliatChSr may avail themselves of your aid in this important busine&Lliwi that you may enjoy a respite from the fatigues of war, as far «£ consistent with the service." To which hisexcellency made n$ following reply—" Mr. president, I feel very sensibly the fayjifc. ■able declaration of congress expressed by your excellency^jHIifs fresh proof of their approbation cannot fail of making a dcep^tftf pression-upon me, and my-study shall be to deserve a continti ance of it. It is with peculiar pleasure I hear that it is the fa' purpose of congress to exhort the states to the most vigorous., timely exertions; a compliance on their parts will, I persuj^, myself, be productive of the most happy consequences. I shall yield a ready obedience to the expectation of congress, and gM every assistance in my power to their committee. I am obliged by the goodness of congress, in making my personal case anjl convenience a part of their concern, Should the service re^mc my attendance with the army upon the North-River or ciscvijfeoE I shall repair to whatever place my duty calls, with thesatn| pleasure that I remain in this city." On the List day of the yea,r, congress agreed to An ordinance to incorporate the subscribe the Bank of North-America.
A few days before, gen. Washington wrote—" The wt business of prisoners of war brought under one regulation, mig probably put a stop to those mutual complaints of iil treaUn which are frequently urged on either part. For it is a faciei for above two years we have had no reason to complain of \ treatment of the continental land prisoners in New-York, nel|[ have we been charged with any improper conduct toward U in our hands. I consider the sufferings of the seamen for's time past, as arising in a great measure from the want of/J general regulation, and without which there will be constant! great number remaining in the hands of the enemy. I kno?0? rio method so likely to put an end to the mutual cotnplaints or both sides, as that of having all prisoners given up to the commissary-general, to be by him exchanged." la
. In this letter there, is an. allusion to an improper conduct toward tK| British prisoners in the hands of the Americans, which lead* rile to mention tlie case of the convention troops. While in Virginia they were often but badly served with. meat. The chief of what the American contractor had procured for their supply was Such as they could not eat. The British commanding officer at Jength made his complaint, and obtained leave to have it surveyed, when it was condemned in general. The American quarter masters were, upon that, obliged to go ail. over Virginia in jearcliof salt provisions, the want of which was such,.at.one time, that the prisoners had six weeks meat due to them. On this ah addition of one half more was made to the allowance of Indian meal, and the troops lived upon meal and water. When. afterward moved to Frederick-town, in Maryland, they com— jSlafneJ of meeting with much ill usage, and of being badly supplied with provisions and almost half starved. This treatment'made the men desert in great numbers. Instances of improper conduct toward, other prisoners undoubtedly existed. But the general treatment of thera was good; and wherein it was-otherwise", fell so short of what the British practised toward the Americans, that the former frequently declared of the JattSr^ that notwithstanding all their threats they were afraid ti retaliate.
^the British power in Georgia being too weak to prevent ft, ihere has been a complete re-establishment of American gov^ ernment. The general assembly was convened at Augusta on) the 16th of Aug. Gen. Greene's success in South-Carolina havr inig opened the way for gov. Rutledge's safe aeturfi to that state. h'e exercised his authority afresh, and on the 2'lth of September, issued a proclamation,, offering those inhabitants of the state whohaa 'joined the British, pardon on condition of their doing si>; months militia duty, with the exception of such as-had taken-commissions, signed congratulatory addresses on British victories, oc who had been otherwise active in sappart-of their government fn'a1 few weeks, several hundreds came out of the British lines,. and greatly reinforced the American militia. Many were now as assiduous in framing excuses for having arranged themselves under the British standard, as they had been the year before to ap,or<jgi?e for their involuntary'support of rebellion. Several casjt tiaemselves on the public mercy, though excepted by the ptocia^ iliatibn. The governor afterward issued writs for a new election bJ* representatives, by virtue of the extraordinary power delegated to him before the surrender of Charleston. The elections8fer&"£6 "be held in the usual places where it was practicable, "an^
-n*<i-> '..'.•...• - . . ... ••■' 'v*r«