Abbildungen der Seite

tary force ; they appointed a committee to write to the different governments, requiring them to fill up the continental army and forward supplies, in order to a readiness for co-operating with the expected assistance. The commander in chief and other por pular officers, joined in stimulating them by every motive to fure nish speedily their respective quotas. The disgrace of appearing contemptible in the eyes of their greatally, and the mischiefwhich must be the consequence, were strongly urged. The people were passionately called upon, not to suffer the curse of another cam. paign to rest upon America. They were told that the eyes of all Europe were upon them; and that their future independence, for: tune and happiness depended upon their present exertion. Not withstanding these joint efforts, general Washington had to com. plain-" It is with infinite chagrin and mortification I find that at this day, the fourth of July, more than six weeks since the firsi application to the states for the succour necessary for the intended co-operation, not more than thirty levies have, to my knowledge joined any part of the army ; nor have I any information whaá has been effected in this respect by any one of the states. Some of them have not even informed ine what they intend to do.'" The Massachusetts general court had indeed ordered, by their rei solves of June the 5th and 23d, a reinforcement to be sent on, but it had not arrived. A voluntary subscription was likewise begur about the beginning of the same month in Philadelphia, for the raising of a fund of hard money, to be given as bounties to fill up the full quota of the Pennsylvania line. The general assembly of that state had, on the first of June, provided for those exigencies in war that might require sudden and extraordinary exertions, by resolving unanimously, that during the recess of the house, should it be necessary, the prisident (Joseph Reed, esq, whose name has often occurred) or vice-president in council, be empowered to de: clare martial law for the public security, and the safety of the eiti+ zens of that commonwealth. A bank was also established for supa. plying the army with provisions; and a number of gentlemen engaged to support it with 189,000l. sterling, payable in gold and silver, according to the sum against which cach subscribed his name on the 17th. But the American daughters.of liberty in Philadelphia, were desirous of sharing with the gentlemen in the splendors of patriotism. They had long aspired to the honor of giving the continental army some public mark of the esteem they entertained of their virtue; they therefore concluded upon forina ing an association. To this end," The sentiments of an American Womanwere published in the gazette of the 12th, and the dai following several ladies assembled. It was proposed to divide the

city into ten districts, nearly equal in extent, and to invite three or four ladies in each to go to every house in their ward, and to · present to each woman and girl, without any distinction, a sub

scription paper, meant to procure donations. Forty ladies were invited, who undertook the task assigned them with pleasure, considering it as a great honor. The day following the invitation, they set out on foot, observing to keep exactly to their own ward. As the cause of their visit was known, they were receive ed with all the respect due to their commission; in the mean time the offering intended for the soldiers was presented to thein, They did not omit a single house ; the collection they made was considerable; but has been inuch increased by donations front ladies in the country. It is expected that their example will be more or less followed in other states.

For the honor of the Pennsylvania state, you must be furnished with the preamble and parts of an act passed the Istof last March, in the following words"When we contemplate our abhorrence of the condition to which the arms and tyranny of Great Britair were exerted to reduce us--when we look back on the variety of dangers to which we have been exposed, and how miraculously our wants in many instances have been supplied, and our dem liverances wrought, when even hope and human fortitude have become unequal to the conflict-we are unavoidably led to a serious and grateful sense of the manifold blessings which we have undeservedly received from the hand of that Being from whom every good and perfect gift cometh. Impressed with these ideas, we conceive that it is our duty, and we rejoice that it is in our power to extend a portion of that freedom to others, which hath been extended to us; and a release from that state of thraldom, to which we ourselves were tyrannically doomed, and from which we have now every prospect of being delivered. It. is not for us to enquire why, in the creation of mankind, the inhabitants of the several parts of the earth were distinguished by a difference in feature or complexion. It is sufficient to know that all are the work of an almighty hand. We find in the distribu. tion of the human species, that the inost fertile as well as the most barren parts of the earth, are inhabited by inen of complex, ions different from ours and from each other; from whence we may reasonably as well as religiously infer, that he who placed them in their various situations, hath extended equally his care: and protection to all, and that it becometh not us to counteract his mercies. We esteem it a peculiar blessing granted to us, tiret we are enabled in this day to add one more step to universal civilization, by removing, as much as possible, the sorrows of


those who have lived in undeserved bondage, and from which, by the assumed authority of the kings of Great-Britain, no effectual legal relief could be obtained. Weaned by a long course of experience from those rarrow prejudices and partialities we haye imbibed, we find our hearts enlarged with kindness and benevolence toward men of all conditions and nations, and we conceive ourselves at this particular period, extravrdinarily called upon, by the blessings which we have received, to manifest the sincerity of our profession, and to give a substantial proof of our gratitude.” · * And whereas the condition of those persons who have here. tofore been denominated negro and nulatto slaves, has been at. tended with circumstances which not only deprived them of the common blessings that they were by nature entitled to, but has cast them into the deepest afflictions, by an unnatural separation and sale of husband and wife from each other, and from their children,--an injury, the greatness of which can only be conceived by supposing that we were in the same unhappy case :-In justice, therefore, to persons so unhappily circumstanced, and who, having no prospect before them whereon they may rest their sorrows and hopes, have no reasonable inducement to render their service to society, which otherwise might; and also in grateful conmemoration of our own happy deliverance from that state of unconditional submission, to which we were doomed by the tyranny of Britain Be it enacted, that no child born hereafter shall be a slave--that negro and mulatto children shall be servants only till twenty-eight years of age that all slaves shall be registered before the 1st of November Dext--that negroes, &c. shall be tried like other inhabitant--that none shall be deemed slaves but those registered that slaves carried away, &c. from this state, may be brought back and registered and that no negroes or mulattoes, other than infants, shall be bound for longer than seven years." • The expected succour from France arrived atlength in the evening' of Monday, July the 10th, at Rhode Island. The chevalier de Ternay commands the fileet, consisting of two ships of 80 guns, one of 74, four of 64, two frigates of 40, a cutter of 20, an hospital ship, pierced for 64, a bomb-ship and 32 transports. The land forces consist of four old regiments, beside the legion de Lauzun, and a battalion of artillery,* amounting to about 6000

* The lift is given from the Providence paper of July, publifaed the week after their arrival at Newport; and differs from the English publications, which mention in the lin one 84 and two 74. guo Ships, Sve frigates and two armed Chipse


men, under the command of lieutenant-general count de Ro. chambeau. The inhabitants of Newport illuminated the town upon the occasion. General Heath was present to receive the troops upon their landing, and to put thein into possession of the forts and batteries upon the island. On the 24th, a committee from the general assembly of the state, then sitting in the town, waited on the count with a complimentary address. Rocham. beau declared in his answer, that he only brought over the van guard of a much greater force destined for their aid; and that he was ordered by the king to assure theni, that his whole power should be exerted for their support. “The French troops,”?, he said, "are under the strictest discipline; and, acting under the orders of general Washington, will live with the Americans as their brethren. I am higlily sensible of the marks of respect shown me by the general assembly, and beg leave to assure then, that as brethren, not only my life, but the lives of the troops under my command, are entirely devoted to their service.” The French admiTat was complimented in like manner. Four days before, the American commander in chief strongly recommended to the offičers of the continental army, in general orders, the wearing of black and white cockades (the ground being of the first colour, and the relief of the second) as a compliment to, and a symbol of

friendship and affection for their allies. The marquis de la FayCette arrived at Newport from head-quarters, the same day that the addresses were presented to the French commanders; and undoubtedly carried with him the sentiments of gen. Washington on the movements then making on the part of the British. Though admiral Arbuthnot had only four sail of the line at New York, on the 10th July, he was within a very few days so strengthened by the arrival of admiral Greaves, with six ships of the line from Great-Britain, that he had no longer any apprehensions of an attack from the French squadron. The British commanders had indeed so decided a seperiority of force, that they lost no time in preparing to act offensively, both by sea and land. Sir H. Clinton embarked about 8000 men, and proceeded to Huntington-Bay in Long-Island, mean while the militia from Massachusetts and Connecticut were ordered to Rhode Island; so that the French regretted his stopping short, and declined to pay them a visit, as they were well prepared to give hini a warm reception. At the same time general Washington designed availing himself of Sir Henry's absence, by attacking New-York. He had received considerable reinforcements, and suddenly crossed the North-River and marched toward King's-bridge. Sir Henry perceiving what was intended, dropped his expedition to Rhode Island, and sailed VOL. III.


for New-York on the 31st, after having lain several days in Huntington-Bay. General Washington proposed to general Arnold his having a command in the designed attack on New-York. The proposal threw him into no small confusion ; but Washington had no suspicions raised by it, for though he thought him mercenary, he had not the least idea of his being wanting in fidelity. Arnold afterward made his objections to some of Washington's suit, and urged his being lame as disqualifying him for activity in field duty. The objections being reported to the commander in chief, Arnold was ordered to proceed to West-Point, and take the command of that post and its dependencies. • We must now attend to an event, which could not be related in chronologicalorder without disturbing the preceding narrative. General Washington being informed, that there was a considerable number of cattle and horses on Bergen-Neck, detached gen. Wayne, on the 20th of July, with the ist and 2d Pennsylvania brigade, four pieces of artillery, and col. Moyland's regiment of dragoons to bring them off. He contemplated also the destruction of a block-house, which gave security to a body of refugees, who committed depredations on the well affected inhabitants for miles .round. Wayne having provided against the enemy's entercepting his retreat, and sent down the cavalry to drive off the stock, proceeded to the block-house, which was sure rounded with an abbatis and stockade. He tried the effects of his field-pieces, but found them too light to penetrate the logs. The troops being galled the mean while, by a constant fire from the loop holes of the house, and seeing nochance of making a breach with the cannon, two regiments rushed through the abbatis to the foot of the stockage, with a view of forcing an entrance, which was impracticable. This intemperate valor occasioned the loss of 3 officers: Wounded, 15 non-commissioned and privates killed, and 46 non-commissioned and privates wounded. The stock in the mean time was driveni off..

Let us now turn our eyes to South Carolina and its neighborhood : where the British troops spread themselves, and plundered by system, forming a general stock, and appointing commissaties of captures.. Spoil thus collected was disposed of for the benefit of the royal army. The quantity brought to market was so great, that though it sold uncommonly low, yet the dividend of a major-general was upward of 4000 British guineas. The private plunder of individuals, on their separate account, was of ten more than their proportion of the public stock. Over and aia bove what was sold in Carolina, several vessels were sent abroad to market,loaded with rich spoil taken from the inhabitants. Upx

· · Ward.

« ZurückWeiter »