« ZurückWeiter »
no less than 84 shot in her hull. It was said, that the French sent a thousand wounded to Statia. The loss of the British in all the attacks is stated at 72 killed and 244 wounded. From that time the count kept at a distance but continued constantly in sight, appearing one day with 32 two-decked ships, and another with only 29..
,/The success of Sir Samuel Hood'9 bold adventure produced very flattering prospects. The admiral had no doubt, but that Brimstone-hill would hold oat, till the marquis de Bouille and count de Grasse would be glad to retire. But therein he was mistaken. The inhabitants of the island, on the first arrival of the French, adopted a seeming neutrality. Governor Shirley indeed proceeded with 350 militia to reinforce gen. Fiaser's-. smalt garrison, and continued bravely to encounter all the dangersrand patiently to endure all the hardships of the siege. The French closely invested the hill on all sides, on the night of their landing and the following morning. The artillery destined to serve in the attack on Barbadoes was attempted to be disembarked. But the vessel which conveyed the most heavy and effective part of it, struck on the rocksandsunk. The enemy however were not discouraged by this loss, or the subsequent one of the frigate from Martinico. By persevering industry they fished up no small part of the artillery, shells and stores which had been sunk ^ and the men of war brought a fresh quantity of heavy ordnance from Martinico. Moreover, the very means provided for the defence of the garrison, were unhappily for them employed in their destruction. Eight brass 24 pounders, with G000 balls, together with two 13 inch brass mortars and 1500 shells, which had been sent, out by government to furnish the fortress, instead of having been removed up to the works, were all found by the French at the foot of the hill and proved a most seasonable and necessary supply. The hill was naturally strong, but the works at the top were not answerable to its strength ; and were little calculated to* withstand the batteries, which the possession of the adjoining country, and the weakness of the garrison enabled the enemy t<» erect in the most advantageous positions. The British were moreover totally destitute of intrenching tools.
The marquis de Bouille commenced and carried on a regular siege -r but was incommoded during the whole of it, by a most vigorous fire from the garrison. The toil and fatigue of the French • was excessive in such a climate, as they had no substitute for hitman labor in removing their artillery and heavy stores.. The trenches however were opened in the night between the lGth #nd nth of January. Sit Samuel Hood took the easiest opportunity,
tunity, on his arrival off the island, of sending an officer to Brimstonchill, accompanied by one from general Prescott, who iA an answer to the offer sent to general Fraser, brought back, the following message—" That as he had taken the trouble to come with troops to his assistance, he should doubtless be glad of the honor of seeing him ; but that he was in no want either of hirft or his troops." Prescott being very desirous notwithstanding, to be put on shore with his Antigua troops, they were accordingly landed on the 28th of Jan. together with the 69th regiment, and immediately got into action, and drove the enemy with a considerable loss to the latter; but as no solid purpose could be answered by the continuance of the troops on shore, they were taken off in the evening of the 29th, without the loss of a man. All communication now being cut off with Brimstone-hill, the general with his troops sailed back for Antigua on the 1st of Fe* bruary. .'. '•
The French prosecuted theit works and attack with unremiti ting industry. During the last three weeks of the siege, they were constantly, night and day, cannonading and bombarding the garrison ; who though continually thinned by the numbers killed and wounded, bore the incessant fatigue of being alway under arms, and the increasing danger, with admirable patience and fortitude! At length, the works on one side being so destroyed as to form an entire and complete breach, and there being not more than 500 irien left able to go through duty, and Sir Samuel Hood not having itin his power to afford the least relief, both the governor and gen. Fraser [Feb. 12.] concluded upon proposingacapitulation : which the marquis de Bouille eagerly embraced, as the acquisition of time for further operations was important, and a security from interruption by the arrival of a British admiral to reinforce Sir Samuel was of the first consequence. Every condition they proposed was agreed to, whether in favor of the garrison or island. The former were allowed all the honorsof warin the fullest sense; and the island was upon the best footing it could be, under a capitulation. The marquis de Bouille, with his usual elevation of soul, by the last article discharged gov. Shirley and gen. Fraser from being considered as prisoners of war, out of respect to theii courage and determined conduct; and declared that the first might return to his government of Antigua, and the latter continue in the service of his country.
The surrender of Brimstone-hill, and the capitulation of the island, rendered the longer stay of Sir Samuel Hood in Basseterre road equally useless and dangerous. Beside, the French had been joined by two ships of the line from Europe; so that edunf
de Grasse possessed the superiority of 34 to 22 ships of the line. The count anchored ofF Nevis on the 14th, the day on whichthat island followed the fate of St. Kitts and surrendered. Sir Samuel left Basseterre-road the same night, unpereeived as he imagined, for not one of the French ships was to be seen in the morning; though when his fleet slipped their cables, the other tay within five miles, and- with their lights full in view. The, Surrender of Montsenat on the 2'2d, necessarily succeeded tha loss of the two before mentioned; so that of all the former numerous British possessions in the West-Indies, there remain only Jamaica, Barbadocs and Antigua. Notwithstanding the reduction of Brimstone-hill might cost the French 1000 soldiers, and count deGrasse might lose full 1000 sailors by engagingthe British fleet, their remaining strength was so great, that the design against Jamaica must have been revived, especially as the Spaniards had a powerful fleet and a great body of land forces in the islands of Hispaniola and Cuba, ready to join de Grasse in an attack upon it.
• After mentioning, en passant, that the marquis de la Fayette and viscount deNoaille arrived at Paris on the 20th of January, From America, and that commodore Johnstone returned, to Portsmouth from the neighborhood of the Cape of Good Hope on the 28th of February, I shall relate what has passed in the United Provinces of Holland, and in the dominions of the emperor of Germany. • . .t You will recollect the circumstances of Mr. John Adams's resenting a memorial to the States General in April, 1781. The rench minister would have hindered his presenting it, but could not prevail. Mr. Adams was determined at alt hazards, to fallow his own judgment; which he did in the most independent manner, in opposition to resistance, remonstrance and other emdcavors to produce a different conduct. You must understand* that the gentlemen at the Hague, who are called their high.migh> tinesses, are not the sovereign. They are only deputies of the States General, who compose the sovereignty. These joint de» puties form a diplomatic body, not a legislative nor executive one. The States General are the regencies ot cities and bodie* of nobles. The regencies of cities, are the burgomaster, schepens or judges and counsellors, composing in the whole a number of four orfive hundred men, scattered all over the republic. Mr. J. Adams had noway to Come at them but bythe press. He therefore employed it, and by his publications, succeeded. .' The quarter of Oostergo, in the province of Friesland, was the first public body that proposed a connection with the United Vut. HI. Mm States
State? of America, in December last. On the 9th of January, Mr. Adams waited on the president Van Den Sandheuvel, and demanded a categorical answer, that he might be able to transmit it to his sovereign. On the 26th of February, Friesland preceded the other confederates, by a resolution for opening negociations with America, and admitting Mr. J. Adams forthwith as the minister of congress. The new ministers of the coilrt of London attempted to bring forward a negociation for a separate peace with the state of Holland. Propositions for a particular peace, with an offer of an immediate suspension of hostilities on the part of Great-Britain, were made to that state by the mediation of the Russian ambassador. The merchants had the greatest aversion to such offers, as artful and dangerous. Holland and West-Friesland agreed to admit Mr. Adams, on Thursday March 28th—Zealand the same on the 4th of April—Ovetyssel on the 5th—Groningen on the 9th—Utrecht on the ]Oth--« and Guildeiland on the 27th of April. On Friday the 19th, it was resolved by the deputies of the States General, that ML Adams b« admitted and acknowledged. The next day he waited on Mr. Boreel, who presided that week, and presented to him a letter from congress, dated Jan. 1, 1781, containing a credence. On Monday the 22d of April it was resolved, "lhat the said Mr. Adams is agreeable to their high mightinesses; that he shall fee acknowledged in quality of minister plenipotentiary; and that there shall be granted to him an audience, assigning commissioners, when he shall demand it."
« "Do not you think that the Dutchmen have behaved bravely at last? It is a great deal for them, after so long a neglect of ail enterprise, and such-a settled devotion to gain, to aspire at being the second power in Europe to acknowledge American independence, which they have done with great eclat. They never did any thing with more good will. .They think it, with reasoti, one of the brightest periods of their history. It was the naval battle of Dogger's Bank, that raised their courage. Whenv they found that the fingers of their marine warriors had not forgotten to fight, they began to think that they might venture upon a political manoeuvre."*
The Dutch are chagrined with the intelligence from Bassora, contained in the London Gazette of April the 13th, and are apprehensive that their settlements of Sadras, Hulicat and Bimlipatam, with some other places to the northward of Madras, atid Chinsura in Bengal, together with Negjpatam, their principal sets*
* A letter from the U)gw*
tlement on the coast of Coromandel, are actually in the possession of the British. They had some weeks before heard of die successful expedition which had been carried on against Padang and theiv other .factories on the west coast of Sumatra.. But they conclude from the British publications, that the French.had recovered Demarara and Issequibo for them about the end of January.* The same gazette mentions, that Hyder Ally had been so repeatedly and totally defeated, as to be obliged to retreat to disown territories. >
What follows will, afford you peculiar pleasure, as favoring _the rights of conscience, and militating against ecclesiastic ty*. ^janny,
A circular letter was sent the last year through all the different districts of Bohemia, with the following notice—" That his- Imperial majesty was resolved to grant to all the protestants in his .hereditary dominions,, liberty of conscience •*. and that all the natives of his hereditary dominions,, who had become, voluntary exiles on account of religion, might return in the fullest conviction, that they never should be disturbed in future on the score of religion." The emperor has likewise caused an edict of the 23th of last November, to be published at Brussels, absolving the religious orders in the Low Countries from all foreigndepend■ ence whatsoever. On the L9th of January the following notification appeared in the Vienna Gazette—" Notice is hereby given to all those who have hitherto kept out of their country oa.agcount of the religion they profess, that his majesty pardons them on. condition that they return in the course of the year 1782, promising that they shall enjoy the same benefits as those who, on account of religion, had quitted the place of their birth, and taken uptheirabode inother provincesbelongingto his said majesty." His majesty has moreover abolished several religious orders. His edict for the abolition of various convents has taken place at Prague, Brunn,. Omultz, See. and tSe nuns and friars are freed from their vows. The possessions of the already abolished monasteries exceed what could be imagined. It-is said to he the intention of his majesty to appropriate all the money he jnay obtain by the abolitions, to charitable uses..
The emperor has caused a rescript to be circulated throughout his dominions, containing the reasons and principles which have induced him to disclaim all subordination, to the pope in secular affairs. They are in short these—" That it is the highest absurdity to pretend that the successors of. the apostles had a divine
* They furrendered to the French by capitulation, Feb. 3, 1781.