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penalties in case of non-compliance. They were also directed to draught and procure men. But notwithstanding these promising exertions, the general court will not have furnished gen. Washington by the beginning of August with men sufficient to make good the state deficiency; forby his returns of the 230,5117 were wanting to complete the Massachusetts battalions. That they might furnish the provisions required by congress, they de. termined (June 19.] to borrow hard money upon the estates, or the parts of estates of absentees, wherewith to make the pur chases; and on the same day resolved, that in case the monthly supplies of beef and grain agreed upon, could not be procured by purchase, the same should be impressed. It was high tinie for something effectual to be done for the Massachusetts and New Hampshire lines at and about West-Point, though but a handful of men, had at times been many days without bread, on others without meat, and a long while on half-allowance, and the officers in the same condition with the privates, having no money to purchase necessariese New-York, though con: suming at both ends, and bleeding at every pore, had her compliment of continental troops in the field, beside having raised in the month of May, 800 new levies to guard the frontiers. On On the 21st of that month, Sir John Johnston niade his appear. ance at Johnston-hall. He and his party the next day burnt about 33 houses and out-houses, together with a mill; destroyed cattle and sheep, and killed about a dozen persons. After digging up his plate he marched off. 'While New-York was thus suffering, and still exerting herself, several of her sister states that were in full and peaceable possésion of their territories, seemingly slept in security, and had not a third of their quota of men in the field.
The American cruizers have been sending in occasionally, valuable prizes to different ports; and the people of Boston parti. cularly have been lately in high spirits, having heard within this fortnight, that nineteen ships of a very rich outward bound Quebec fleet were captured, and that the privateers were in pursuit of the remainder. Several of them will undoubtedly be brought safe into one or other of the states. *
About fourteen were brought in...!
*..;:: L E T T E R II. osno .. ..ii i Rotterdam, Aug. 26, 1780. *
TITIS British majesty (Nov. 25, 1779.) went to the house of I peers, and opened the session of parliament. The royal speech was totally silent with respect to America and the WestIndies; but stiled the present, one of the niost dangerous confederacies that ever was formed against the crown and people of Great-Britaiit. It reconimended to the lords and commons the consideration of what further advantage's might be extended to the kingdom of Ireland, by such regulations as may effectually promote the interests of ail the British dominions. The necessity of the recommendation was evident from what had already happened upon the meeting of the Irish parliament in October. The further proceedings of the people of Ireland discovered a determination to secure to themselves substantial benefits from a crisis so peculiarly favorable to the views of the patriotic party. The associators being jealous, that if the supplies were granted as usual fortwo years, a sudden prorogation of parliament would put an end to all hope of amicable redress for the present, called out for a short money-bill of six months only, and it became the general cry of Ireland. The representatives at length found, that it was indispensably requisite for them to comply, and the short money-bill was accordingly passed. A necessity equally convincang, secured the passage of that humiliating and mortifying act in Great-Britain on the 17th of December. Six days after, the king gave his assent to a bill for granting a free Trade to freland. The golden opportunity admitting of it, the people of that kingdom have proceeded so far as absolutely to deny the right of the British parliament to bind that country in any case whatever.
Government received advice on the 18th of December, that the fort of St. Ferdinando de Omoa, the key to the bay of Honduras, had been taken about the 20th of October, by the troops under the command of captain William Dalrymple, who had been sent by the governor of Jamaica to the Musqueto shore. The men, by the help of ladders, scaled the walls, though 28 feet high, and thus inade themselves masters of the fort. Two register ships, with the cargoes of other vessels of note, worth three millions of dollars, were also taken. All was gained with the only loss of about 20 killed and wounded on the British side, and very few more on the side of the Spaniards.
Intelligence having been transmitted to the British administration (by some, it is thought, whose duty bound them to keep the secrets of the Dutch councils] that a number of Dutch ships laden with timber and naval stores for the French service, in order to escape the danger of British cruisers, accompanied count. Byland, who was to escort a convoy to the Mediterranean, capt. Fielding was sent out with a proper force to examine the convoy, and to seize any vessels containing those articles which the ". British deemed contraband. On the meeting of the flects, capie, Fielding desired permission to visit the merchant ships; being refused, he dispatched his boats for that purpose, which were fired at; the captain then fired a shot a-head of the Dutch admi. xal, who answered it by a broadside. Count Byland having received another in return, and being in no condition to pursue the contest further, immediately struck luis calours. Most of the ships which occcasioned the contest, had already, through the length and darkness of the night, and by keeping in with the shore, escaped the danger, and proceeded without interruption to the French ports. The few that remained with naval stores. on board, were stopped; and the Dutch adiniral was then in, formed that he might hoist his colours and prosecute his voyage : he did the first, but declined the other, and accompanied the Brie tish squadron to Spithead tle , fourth of January, where he remained till he received fresh instructions from his masters. •The right (whether supported by actual treaties or not) whicha, the British claimed and exercised over the vessels of foreign powers, though not at war with them, when they suspected or found that they were laden either with naval stores, and bound, to the ports of their enemies, or with the property of the latter suggested the idea of an armed neutrality. One of the diplo.. matic body assured my friend at Paris, that the sagacious king of Sweden communicated the first hint of it. to count Panin, with whom it slept some time before, it was communicated to the emp. ress of Russia. At length it. was matured; and on the 26th of February, the court of Petersburgh issued a manifesto or declaration, which has been the mean of forming, under the name of arz. armed neutrality, a navaland military alliance and confederacy bem tween Russia and other neutral powers. The great principle of the piece, and of the confederacy, to which it has given birth, is, that free bottoms make free gooels: and is thus particularized “ Neutral ships shall enjoy a free navigation even from port.to port, and on the coasts of the belligerent powers; all effects: belonging to the subjects of the said belligerent powers shall be Looked upon as free, on board such neutral ships, except only
such goods as are stipulated contraband. In order to determine what characterizes a port blocked up [into which neutral ships are not to have free ingress] that denomination shall not be granted but to such places before which there are actually a num ber of eneniy's ships stationed near enough, so as to make its entry dangerous.” “Great-Britain is not in a situation directly to contravene this grand principle, so that it will probably be henceforth settled as a part of the law of nations, in many respects essentially differing from what has, for several hundred years, been established among commercial kingdoing.
The courts of France and Spain have expressed the utmost ap. probation of the Russian system contained in the empress's de. claration, so exactly calculated and immediately suited to their own views. The court of London being obliged to suppress her indignation at an injury which she was neither able to resent nor remedy, worded the answer to the declaration sent to the British envoy at Petersburgh, on the 13th of April, with the greatest caution, and promised to "redress every hardship that may happen, in so equitable a manner that her imperial majesty shall be perfectly satisfied, and acknowledge a like spirit of justice whichi she herself possesses.” On the 3d of April prince Gallitzin, ihe Russian envoy extraordinary at the Hague, remitted to the president of the states-general a memorial, with the copy of the declaration, inviting their high mightinesses to accede to an armed neutrality, and acquainting them that the like invitation had been given to the courts of Copenhagen, Stockholm and Lisbon.. But the court of London determined upon adopting special measures in order to prevent the accession of the republic to the confederacy, and to induce her to afford the succours that had been demanded; an order of the king in council was therefore published on the 17th. It relates, that though their high mightinesses had been strongly called upon by a memorial of the 24th of March, to grant the succours stipulated by treaty, they had not signified any intention of compiying. The non-performance of the stipulated engagement is pronounced a desertion of the alliance subsisting between the two countries; and it is thence declared, that upon every principle of wisdom and justice, the republic must be considered on the same footing with other neu. tral states not privileged by treaty. The order therefore sus. pends provisionally, and till further orders, all the particular stis pulations respecting the subjects of the states-general, contained in the several treaties now subsisting. The publication did not produce the desired effects. The different provinces, after cone tinued deliberations, were unanimously of opinion, that it was
necessary for their high-mightinesses to excuse themselves from furnishing the succours claimed by Great Britain ; that convoys should be granted to protect effectually all trading ships bearing the flag of the republic, whatever may be their cargots, excepta ing only such goods as are properly expressed in the treaties to be contraband, and that the invitation of the empress of Russia should be accepted with gratitude. They highly resent in gene. ral the violence.committed upon their convoy by capt. Fielding, in the execution of his orders, and the condemnation of the ships and cargoes carried by him into the British ports."
Different transactions now demand our notice. : - A convey of about 26 ships sailed from Marseilles forthe Westo Ladies under the care of the Aurora. Between 8 and 9 in the morning on the 18th of December, they were discovered by the Preston, being between Martinico and St. Lucia : upon her making the signal for a fleet, the British ships in Gross-İslet Bay slippeu their cables by order of Sir Hyde Parker and chased. Before four in the afternoon about ten of the convoy run themselves on shore, and were seton fire by the men of war's boats. The next morning the Bureas was engaged with the French frigate in Fort Royal bay. On that, Mr. de la Motte Piquet suddenly slipped his cables, put out to sea with three ships, bore down upon and obliged the Boreas to sheer off. By this dexterous manoeuvre he saved the Aurora and some of the merchant ships. The French adıniral then hauled his wind in good time, and kept plying for the road, which he gained. The British, however, had captured nine said, beside those they burnt. Within a few days after they took three French frigates of 42, 36, and 28 guns, on their passage from St. Vincent's to Martinico. On the 20th of March, as the French admiral was convoying a number of merchant ships, with four ships of the line and a frigate, he fell in witiz capt. Corowallis off Monti Christi, whom he chiased and came up with in the evening. He maintained a running fight with the British ships, of 64, 50, and 44 guns during the whole night. The next inorning a general engagement took place, which lasted between two and thiee lours. The French suffered so that they were obliged to lie by and repair. They then renewed the chase, and continued it during the night. But the appearance of the Ruby man or war of 64 guns, with two British frigates, the following day, changed the face of affairs. The French were now .chased in turn for several hourse, as they declined coming to action. They were superior in the sizeof their ships and the weight and number of their guns, but as the British bad a shipmore, the .. Vol . 3. i b . I.. '' ! admirab*** *