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causes contributed to produce the revolt of the Penn- 1781. fylvania line. The officers, when they inlifted the men, imagined that the war would not continue more than three years; and thought, at their inliftment, of holding them no longer than for that term at furtheft, though they were to be discharged fooner was the war ended: the men understood the agreement in the fame manner. The officers finding the war did not close as was expected, and recruiting difficult; the foldiers alfo being well trained by the three years fervice; they were unwilling to part with them, and impofed a new fenfe upon the original agreement, viz. that the men were 'eld to ferve the whole war, though it lafted beyond the three years. This the men refented as an impofition, and fubmitted to only from neceffity, and till the moment fhould offer for the redrefs of fuch an iniquitous grievance. The officers, to footh the foldiers, relaxed in their discipline, which made the men feel their own importance. Major M'Pherfon having quitted the British service in an honorable way, and attached himself to the Americans, gen. Washington, when occafion required his forming a particular corps, gave the còmmand of it to the major in token of respect, and by way of encouragement. Upon that the Pennfylvania officers formed themselves into parties; combined in an oppofition to the appointment; and offered to refign their commiffions upon the occafion. They also countenanced the non-commiffioned officers of their line to unite in applying to head quarters for certain favors. Such conduct contributed to ftrengthen and ripen that difpofition which produced the revolt. The language which the officers of rank talked upon thefe occafions, VOL. IV. C within

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1781. within the hearing of the injured foldiers, was not unnoticed; but was applied to direct the conduct of the latter, while it cherished their difcontent: fo that the revolt would have taken place before, had the opportunity and profpect of fuccefs been equally favorable. To the capital grievance abovementioned muft be added -the total want of pay for near twelve months-the want of clothing-and not unfrequently the want of provifion beyond defcription. A further aggravation was produced by the arrival in camp of a deputation from the Pennsylvania ftate with 600 half joes, to be given, three, to each man, as a bounty to each of the fix months levies (whofe time was then expiring) that would inlift again for the war. This was too much for the veterans. The commencement of the new year was to be celebrated, which occafioned the men's being charged with more than a common allowance of spirit. The operation of this upon the animal frame, and the other circumftances confpiring, the Pennfylvania line mutinied. The whole, except three regiments, upon a fignal for the purpofe, turned out under arms without their officers, and declared for a redrefs of grievances. Gen. Wayne and the other officers did every thing in their power to quell the tumult. But the troops faid— "We neither can, nor will be any longer amufed. We are determined, at every hazard, to march in a body to congrefs and obtain redrefs." On Wayne's cocking his piftols, there were a hundred bayonets at his breaft with-"We love you, we refpect you, but you are a dead man if you fire. Do not mistake us, we are not going to the enemy: on the contrary, were they now to come out, you should fee us fight under

your orders

Jan.

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with as much refolution and alacrity as ever." Several 1781. officers were wounded and a captain killed in vainly attempting to reduce them. The three regiments paraded under their officers; but being called upon by the others to join them, and threatened with death in cafe of refufal, and actually fired on, they complied. They then feized upon fix field pieces, and forcing the artillery men who had not joined them, to do it inftantly, under penalty of being every man bayonetted, the mutiny became general. They were about 1300, and began their march at night: the next day Wayne forwarded provifions after them, to prevent the otherwise inevitable depredation which would be made on private property. He and three principal officers, fuppofed higheft in their efteem, concluded upon following and mixing with them, that they might affift with their advice, and prevent outrages. They were civilly received, and acquired much of the confidence of the mutineers. Thefe however elected temporary officers from their own body; and appointed a fergeant major, who had formerly deferted from the British army, to be their commander. They marched through the country with greater regularity and good conduct, and did lefs damage, than could have been expected. By the third day they were at Princeton.

When the news of their revolt reached gen. Washington, the Pennsylvania government, and the congress, they were all much alarmed, left the example fhould prove infectious. The commander in chief concluded upon fending off immediately a proper perfon to the eaftern states, to enforcé upon them the doing of fomething without delay for the relief and comfort of their respective lines. Hard money was to be found in the C 2

hands

1781. hands of but one officer, fufficient for the expences of
the journey, which could not be otherwise performed
with a speed answerable to the emergency. Gen. Knox
had obtained a small quantity, which was deftined for
the procurement of those family fupplies which he must
otherwise have wanted. This annexed to his other qua-
lifications, made him the beft and the only agent that
gen. Washington could employ. He readily engaged
in the fervice, notwithstanding its being the depth of
winter, and carried with him a letter of January the 5th,
wherein his excellency faid-" It is vain to think an
army can be kept together much longer, under fuch a
variety of fufferings as ours have experienced; and un-
lefs fome immediate and fpeedy measures are adopted
to furnish at least three months pay to the troops, in

money which will be of fome value to them; and at the
fame time ways and means are devised to clothe and
feed them better (more regularly I mean) the worst that
can befall us may be expected. I refer you to gen.
Knox, &c." His fuccefs was fuch, that Washington
wrote to him about a month after-" The states whofe
determinations you report, have done themselves honor
by their liberality, and by their ready attention to the
object of your mission.”

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When Sir Henry Clinton received intelligence of the revolt, he left no means untried that could turn it to the advantage of the British. He fent two fpies by way of Amboy, and two of Elizabeth town (all Americans) to treat as agents from himself with the mutineers. The last two were counter-fpies; who gave information of the others upon being defignedly taken up; and had the propofals with which they were intrufted taken from

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them. The two that got fafe to Princeton carried fimi- 1781.
lar ones to the revolters, viz. "to be taken under the
protection of the British government-to have a free
pardon for all paft offences-to have the pay due to them.
from congrefs faithfully paid, without any expectation of
military fervice in return, although it would be received
if voluntarily offered-and to lay down their arms, and
return to their allegiance." It was recommended to
them to move behind the South river, when a body of
British troops fhould be in readinefs for their protec-
tion as foon as defired. They were requested to fend
perfons to Amboy, to meet others who would be ap-
pointed by Sir Henry, to difcufs and fettle the treaty,
and bring matters to a final conclufion. Mean while,
the British general paffed over to Staten Ifland, with a
large body of troops, and took the neceffary measures
for moving them to the continent, whenever circum-
stances might require their acting. Clinton's propofals
were rejected, and his meffengers feized and delivered
up to gen. Wayne, who put them under guard. Soon
after, a committee of the Pennfylvania council repaired
to Princeton to meet the foldiery. They agreed to the
difmiffion of all whofe terms of inliftment were com-
pleted; and precipitately admitted as proof the oath of
the party to be benefitted; fo that a great number frau-
dulently procured difcharges, and about one half of the
line was difmiffed before the whole business was con-
cluded, which happened not for fome days. A com-
mittee of congrefs came as far as Trenton, and there
remained. The revolters marched from Princeton to
that place on the 9th. The next day the two fpies were Jan.
tried and executed. By the 15th matters were fo ad-
jufted,

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