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commands the mouth of the Sorel, and by which he could prevent them from entering the lake. In conjunction with General Schuyler, he next proceeeded to St. Johns ; but finding that place too strong, it was agreed in a council of war, to retire to Isle aux Noix, where general Schuyler being taken ill, Montgomery was left to command alone. His first step was to gain over the Indi. ans, whom General Carleton had employed, and this he in part accomplished ; after which, on receiving the full number of troops appointed for the expedition, he determined to lay siege to St. Johns; in this he was the more encouraged by the reduction of Chamblee, a small fort in the neighourhood, where he found a large supply of powder. An attempt was made by General Carleton to relieve the place; for which purpose, he collected about one thousand Canadians, while colonel Maclean proposed to raise a regiment of the Highlanders, who had emigrated from their own country to America.
But while General Carleton was on his march with these new levies, he was attacked by the provincials, and defeated ; which being made known to Macdonald's party they abandoned him without striking a blow, and he was obliged to retreat to Quebec, The defeat of General Carleton was considered as a sufficient recompense for that of colonel Ethan Allen, which had happened ą, short time previous to this,
The success of colonel Allen against Crown point and Ticonde. roga had emboldened him to make a similar attempt on Montreal; but the militia of the place supported by a detachment of regulars, entirely defeated him, and he was taken prisoner.
The garrison of St. Johns being informed of the defeat of ge. neral Carleton, and seeing no hope of relief, surrendered themselves prisoners of war. They were in number five hundred rea gulars and two hundred Canadians, among whom were many of the French nobility, who had been very active in promoting the cause of Britain, among their countrymen, General Montgomery, next took measures to prevent the British shipping from passing down the river from Montreal to Quebec, This he accomplished so effectually, that the whole were taken. The town surrendered at discretion; and it was with the utmost difficulty that genera) Carleton escaped in an open boat, favoured by a dark vight. No obstacle now remained to impede their progress to the capital, ex. cept what arose from the nature of the country; and these in: deed were very considerable.
But it seems that nothing could damp the ardour of the prc vincials. Although it was the middle of November, and the depth of winter at hand, colonel Arnold formed the design of penetrating through the woods, and morasses, from New England to Canada, by a nearer route, than that which Montgomery had chosen ; and this he accomplished in spite of every difficulty, to the astonish. ment of all who saw or heard of the attempt. A third part of his men, under another colonel, had been obliged to leave him by the way, for want of provisions, the total want of artillery, ren
ered his presence insignificant before a place so strongly fortied; and the smallness of his army, rendered it doubtful whener he could take the town by surprise.
Thie Canadians were amazed at the exploit; but none of them ; yet took up arms in behalf of America. The consternation into hich the town of Quebec was thrown was detrimental to the mericans, as it doubled the vigilance of the inhabitants to preent any surprise ; and the appearance of common danger, united El parties, who, before the arrival of Arnold, were violently conending with one another. He was, therefore, obliged to content imself with blocking up the avenues of the town, with hopes of istressing the inhabitants for want of provisions; and even this e was not able effectually to accomplish, with such a small num. er of men.
The arrival of gerteral Montgomery, although it raised the spis its of the party, yet the small force he had with him, when joind to that of Arnold, was too weak to reduce a place so strongly ortified; they having only a few mortars and field pieces, which were not to be depended upon.
The siege having continued through the month of December, reneral Montgomery, still finding he could not accomplish his end ny other way than by surprise, resolved to make the attempt on he last day of the year 1775. He advanced by break of day, in he midst of a heavy fall of snow, which covered his men from the sight of the enemy. Two real attacks were made by himself and colonel Arnold ; at the same time two feigned attacks were made in other places, hoping thereby to distract the garrison, and divide their forces. One of the real attacks was made by the New York troops, and the other by those of New England under Arnold. By a mistake in the signal for the attack being given too soon, their hopes of surprising the town were defeated.
General Montgomery himself had the most dangerous place, being obliged to pass between the river and some high rocks on which the upper town stands; so that he made all the haste he could to close with the enemy. His fate was soon decided, Having forced the first barrier, a violent discharge of musquetry and grape shot from the second, killed him," the principal officers and the most of the party he commanded : those who remained, immediately retreated Colonel Arnold, in the mean time, made a desperate attack on the lower town, and carried one of the barriers, after an obstinate resistance for an hour ; but in the action he was himself wounded, which obliged him to withdraw. The attack, however, was continued by the officers whom he had left, and another barrier was forced : but the garrison, now perceiving that nothing was to be feared but from that quarter, collected their whole force against it; and after a desperate engagement for three hours, overpowered the provincials and obliged them to surrender. Such a terrible disaster left no hope remaining of the accomplishment of their purpose ; as, general Arnold could not muster more than eight hundred men under his command.
He did not, however, abandon the province, but removed about three miles from Quebec, where he found means to annoy the garrison by intercepting their provisions.
The Canadians still continued friendly, notwithstanding the bad 'success of the American arms; which enabled him to sustain the hardships of a winter encampment in that most severe climate.
Congress, far from passing any censure on his conduct, created him a brigadier-general.
While hostilities were thus carried on in the north, the flame of contention was gradually extending itself to the south. Lord Dunmore, the governor of Virginia, was involved in disputes similar to those which had taken place in the other colonies. He dissolved the assembly, which in this province was attended with a consequence unknown to the rest. · The slaves in Virginia were numerous, it was necessary that a militia should be kept constant, ly in readiness to keep them in awe. During the dissolution of the assembly, the militia laws expired, and the people, after complaining of the danger they were in from the negroes, formed a convention, which enacted, that each county should raise a quota for the defence of the province. Dunmore, upon this, removed the powder from Williamsburgh; which created such discontents, that an immediate quarrel would have ensued, had not the merchants of the town undertaken to obtain satisfaction for the supposed injury done to the community.
This tranquility was soon interrupted; the people were alarmed by a report, that an armed party were on their way from the man of war, to where the powder had been deposited, they assembled in arms, determined to oppose any further removals.
In some of the conferences that passed at this time, the governor let fall some unguarded expressions, such as threatening them with setting up the royal standard, proclaiming liberty to the ne. groes, and destroying the town of Williamsburgh ; which were afterwards made public, and exaggerated in such a manner, as greatly to increase the public ferment.
Assemblies of the people were frequently held. Some of them took up arms, with an intention to force the governor to restore the powder, and to take the public money into their own possession ; but, on their way to Williamsburgh, 'for this purpose, they were met by the receiver-general, who became security for the payment of the gun-powder; and the inhabitants promised to take care of the magazine and public revenue.
The governor was so much intimidated by this insurrection, that he sent his family on board a man of war. He issued a proclamation, in which he declared the behaviour of the person who provoked the tumult, treasonable ; accused the people of disaffection, &c. The people recriminated; and some lefters of his to Britain, being about the same time discovered, consequences ensued nearly similar to those which had been occasioned by the let. ters of governor Hutchison, of Boston.
The governor, in this state of confusion, thought it necessary to fortify his palace : and procured a party of marines to guard it. About this time lord North's conciliatory proposal arrived ; and the governor used his utmost endeavours to cause the people to comply with it. The arguments were plausible ; and, had not matters already gone to such a length, it is highly probable that some attention would have been paid to them. « The view (he said) in which the colonies ought to behold this conciliatory proposal, was no more than an earnest admonition from Great Bri. tain, to relieve their wants; that the utmost condescension had been used in the mode of application, no determinate sum having been fixed ; as it was thought most worthy of British generosity, to take what they thought could be conveniently spared; and likewise, to leave the mode of raising it to themselves,” &c. But the clamour and dissatisfaction had now become so universal, that no offers, however favourable from government, would be attended to.
The governor had called an assembly, for the purpose of laying this conciliatory proposal before them ; but it was little attended to. The assembly began their session by an inquiry into the state of the magazine. It had been broken into by some of the townsmen ; for which reason, spring-guns had been placed there by the governor, which discharged themselves upon the of fenders, at their entrance. These circumstances, with others of a similar nature, raised such a violent uproar, that as soon as the preliminary business of the session was over, the governor retired on board a man of war ; informing the assembly, that he durst no longer trust himself on shore. This produced a long course of disputation, which ended in a positive refusal of the governor to trust himself again at Williamsburgh, even to give his assent to the bills, which could not be passed without it, although the assembly offered to bind themselves for his personal safety. In his turn, he requested them to meet him on board the man of war, where he then was ; but his proposal was rejected, and all further correspondence containing the least appearance of friendship was discontinued.
Lord Dunmore having thus abandoned his government, attempted to reduce by force those whom he could no longer govern. Some of the most zealous royalists, who had rendered themselves obnoxious at home, now repaired to him; he was also joined by numbers of negro slaves. With these, and with the assistance of the British shipping, he was for some time enabled to carry on a predatory war, sufficient to hurt and exasperate, but not to subdue. After some considerable attempts on land, proclaiming liberty to the slaves and setting up the royal standard, he took up his residence in Norfolk, a maritime town of some consequence, where the people were better affected to Bri tain than in most other places.
A considerable force, however, was collected against him ni the natural impetuosity of his temper prompted him, to act against VOL. II.
them with more courage than caution: he was entirely defeated, and obliged to retire to his shipping, which was now crowded with numbers of those who had, by joining him, incurred the resentment of the provincials. In the mean time, a scheme was formed by colonel Conolly, a Pennsylvanian, attached to the cause of Britain ; the first step of this plan, was to enter into a league with the Ohio Indians. This he communicated to lord Dupmore, and it received his approbation, upon which Conolly set out and actually succeeded in his design. On his return he was despatched to general Gage, from whom he received a colonel's commission, and set out to accomplish the remainder of his scheme. The general plan was, that he should return to the Ohio, where, by the assistance of the British and Indians in these parts, he was to penetrate through the back settlements into Virginia, and join lord Dunmore, at Alexandria. But an accident very paturally to be expected, happened ; he was discovered, taken prisoner and confined. After the retreat of lord Dunmore, from Norfolk, that place was taken possession of by the provincials, who greatly distressed those on board lord Dunmore's fleet, by refusing to supply them with necessaries. This proceeding drew from his lordship a remonstrance; in which he insisted that the feet should be furnished with necessaries; but this request being denied, a resolution was taken to set fire to the town: after giving the inhabitants proper warning, a party landed, under the cover of the men of war, and set fire to that part which lay nearest the shore'; but the flames were observed at the same time to break forth in every other part of the town, and the whole was soon reduced to ashes.
This destruction, occasioned a loss of more than three hundred thousand pounds sterling ; and was extremely impolitic, as a great part of the property belonged to those who had manifested a warm attachment to the cause of Britain. In the southern colonies of Carolina, the governors were expelled and obliged to take refuge on board of men of war, as lord Dunmore had been ; governor Martin of North Carolina, on a charge of attempting to raise the back settlers, chiefly Scots-highlanders against the colony. But having secured themselves from any attempt of these enemies, they proceeded to regulate their internal concerns, in the same manner as the rest of the colonies, and by the end of the year 1775, the whole of America was united against Great Britain, in the most determined opposition; and of all her vast pos. sessions of that tract of land since known by the name of the thirteen united provinces, she possessed only the single town of Boston, in which her forces were besieged by an enemy with whom, on account of their numbers, they were not able to cope, and by whom they must of course expect in a short time to be expelled.
The situation of the inhabitants of Boston, was peculiarly unhappy. After having failed in their attempts to leave the town, general Gage had consented to allow them to retire with their