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in the private soldiers ; and they from thence argued, that it was
exactly such as he and his council had devised. After general
Washington's success in the Jerseys, the obduracy and malevoi dence of the royalists subsided in some measure. The surviving to prisoners were ordered to be sent out for an exchange; but se
eral of them fell down dead in the streets, while attempting to spalk to the vessels. ***
Gen. Washington wrotetogen. Howe in the beginning of April, 1*** It is a fact not to be questioned, that the usage of our prison
ers while in your possession, the privates at least, was such as I could not be justified. This was proclaimed by the concurrenti
testimony of all who came out. Their appearance sanctified the assertion, and melancholy experience, in the speedy deatle
of a large part of them, stamped it with infallible certainty." & The cruel treatınent of the prisoners being the subject of con
versation among some officers captured by Sir Guy Carleton, gen. Parsons, who was of the company, said, “I am very glad of it.", They expressed their astonishment, and desired him to explain himself. He thus addressed then. 6 You have been taken by gen. Carleton, and he has used you with great hunia. nitys; would you be inclined to fight against hiin?". The an. swer was No. *So,” added Parsons, would it have been,
had the troops taken by Howe been treated in like manner; buc j now, through his eruelty, we shall get another arnıy." The hon.
William Smith, esot now at Hüverstraw, learning how the British- used the prisoners, and concluding it would operate te that end by enraging the Americans, applied to the committee of the New-York state, for leave to go into the city, and remonstate with the British upon such cruel treatment, which he doubtled not but that he should put a stop to. The committee, however, either from knowing what effect the cruelties would have
in strengthening the opposition to Britain, or trom jealousies of į leis being in some other way of disservice to the American cause,
or from these united, would not grant his request. Gen. Gates i has been repeatedly heard to say to the following purpure
"Had gen. Howe seen to it, that the prisoners and cisty inda
bitants, when subdued, were treated with as much humaniir į and kindness as Sir Guy Carleton exercised toward his prison. ers, it would have been all up with the Americans."
The congress commissioners for treating with the Indians of į the Six Nations, and their brethren on the Susquehanna, lavo
* Sce cel. Allen's pamphlets; and also the hon. William Henry Drayton's ń publication at Philadelphia, Oct. 24, 1778, addie lu she culasifioincity Carlifle; Clinton and Eden.. † Since appointed chief. judice of Canada.
m. They ha oghua he India
had repeated mectings with them. They had one the last Al gust at the German Flats; when Adam, an Oghuaga Sachein, made mention of the line that was scttled between the Indians and whites at the treaty at Fort Stanwix; and observed, that bi the agreement the whites were not io encroach upon their lands; but that of late some of the white people had made encroachia ments, by surveving their hunting grounds, close up to their has bitations. He desired the commissioners to consider it, and hoped for redress. They assured the Indians, that the great colacil at Philadelphia would effectually put a stop to such wicked practices, and punish every person that should offend against their orders. “If any persons (say they) shail come upon your lands, we desire you will immediately bring them to the minister, that he may write down their names, and inform us of it, and then we shall immediately proceed against them. Brothers, you may all rest assured, that no white peopie will be suffered to pass the line settled at Fort Stanwix; for although that agreement was made with th: king, yet as you are satished with it, we shall take care that it is complied with.” Since then, some of the Indians have complained of a number of people who have gone over the line, and settled on the west branch of the Susquehanna, contrary to the Fort Stanwix treaty, and threatened they would not suffer them to stay. The people have not any legal claim to the ground in the opinion of the conmissioners; who suppose that col. Butler, upon coming to Niagara, seized upon this affair as a fit instrument to foment a difference. But the difference, it is hoped, will be prevented by a late treaty at Easton, which ended February the sixth, to mutual satisfaction. The commis. sioners say, “We remember the agreement at Fort Stanwix. Our people ought not to have bought, and your people not tə have sold lands contrary to the former agreement. We blame both. We will tell this matter to congress, who will enquire, and not suffer the old agreement to be broken by any of their people. They will call the intruders back, and do strict justice to both sides.” The Indians seemingly mean to adhere steadily to their engagements of neutrality; and absolutely protest against either the enemy marching through their country by way of Niagara, to attack the United States, or the army of the latter marching that way to attack their enemy.
The Americans were not in readiness to begin their naval bos. tilities at a distance from their own coasts till late in the last year. That circumstance however, was of no great disadvantage, by reason of an unexpected occurrence. The discovery of an intended conspiracy ainong the negroes of Jamaica, detained the fleet till after the customary time of sailing. Through this deten
tion, it sailed at a season that was accompanied with much tem. pestuous weather, which scattered the ships, and exposed them 10 such American cruisers, as lay in wait for them in the latitudes through which they were to pass in their voyage homeward. The consequence was, that many of them were taken by the American privateers. The trade from the other islands suffered proportionably ; so that by the close of the year, the Britishi loss in captures, exclusive of transports and government store-ships, was considerable higher than a million sterling. The privateers were at no difficulty as to the disposal of their prizes. The ports of France and Spain especially the first, were open to them, both in Europe, and in their American dominions. In the last the captors sold them openly, without any colours of disguise. On reinonstrances from the British court, a little more decorum was observed in Europe, and a check given to the avowed sale of them; for a while they were obliged to quit the harbours, and were purchased at the entrance orin'the offing. But in the WestIndia islands the real inclinations of the French were uodisguised. They not only purchased the prizes as fast as they could be brought into port, they moreover fitted our privateers, under American colours and commissions, and with a few Anerican seamen on board (at times probably not any) carried on a war upon the British commerce.
Though many have been the captures made by the ships and armed vessels of the British navy, they have not counterbalanced, either in number or value those taken by the Americans from Great-Britain. Several of them indeed were laden with four, and other articles for the trade in the West-Indies; and so proved a timely relief to the British islands, which were suffering much, through the depravation they lay under, of those various supplies with which they had been before furnished from the American continent.
The ministerialists at New-York will undoubtedly amuse the nation with accounts of the thousands, who have formed theimselves into military corps under the auspices of gen. Sir William Howe, as he is now to be stiled from the honor conferred upon hing, for his success on Long Island. But when the campaign comes to be opened by Sir William, you will find that they are reduced to hundreds; and that the acquisition of strength derived from the country, whatever flattering appearance it may liave upon paper, is no wise answerable.to the report. Governor Tryon made á parade in black and white before lord George Germain, with his two thuosand nine hundred and seventy inhabitants of New-York, who have qualified by taking an oath of allegience and fidelity to his majesty. By the aid of the mayor, he may ina Vol. II.
crease them to three thousand and twenty. He may add those at tested on Staten-island and elsewhere, and make the whole ne mount to five thousand six hundred men. He may also tell of the foyal inhabitants of Queen's county, who have received, eight hundred stand of arins, with demonstrations of joy, and with a professed resolution to use them in defence of the island*, But the service they will be of to government, in the great American contest, will be next to nought.
The Georgia representatives, inet in convention, unanimously agreed in a constitution for that state, on the 5th of Februrayke
M R. Sayre sued ford Rochford, in the court of Common
V Pleas, about this time twelvemonth, for illegal imprison ment; the jury granted him a thousand pounds damages, subject to the opinion of the court upon a point of law. Thus ended an affair, which in the commencement occasioned a great bustle among the people. I
An unaccountable indifference possessed the nation, through the last summer. When at length the Ainerican cruisers; not only scoured the Atlantic, but spreading over the European seas, brought alarm and hostility to our doors when the de. struction which befel the homeward bound richly laden WestIndia fleets, poured equal ruin upon the planters in the islands, and the merchants at hronie--even in that state of public loss and private distress, an unusual phlegm prevailed, and the same tran quil countenance was preserved, by those who had not yet partaken of the calamity.
Administration had acquired such an appearance of stability, · as seemed to render them, for some considerable time to come,
superior to the frowns of fortune. Supported by an irresistible majority in parliament, they were already armed with every :- * See his letter published in the Gazette, and in the Remembrary cer, vol. V. p. 101, i ron. . ... .
power which they were capable of desiring forthe establishment of their American system. But the conduct of the French and Spaniards gave them just cause of aları:----The French and Spanish ministry not only connived at the encouragement given to the American privateers, but filled the ports of both kingdams with such indications as denoted that objects of far higher and more dangerous importance were in contemplation. The naval preparations carried on by the house of Bourbon, became at length so formidable, that sixteen British ships of the line were suddenly put into commission; [Oct. 25.] and the unusual methods taken for manning them by a very hot unexpected press, and the opening houses of rendezvous for such seamen, as would enter voluntarily upon the proffered bounty. Some days after a proclaination was issued for a general fast through England and Wales, to be observed the 13th of December fola lowing.
The news of gen. Howe's success on Long-island, gave the highest satisfaction to administration, and the strongest hopes of the most decisive good consequences. The messenger of the operations had been but two days in London, befcre a title and badge of honor was bestowed upon the general... · On the last of October, the session of parliament was opened. The royal speech seemed to breathe indignation and resentment against the people of America; and the receipt of assurences of anty from the several courts of Europe was still acknowledged. When the address of the house.of commons in answer to it was produced, an amendment was moved for by lord. John Cavendish, and supported by a speech perhaps the most remarkable of any that had heen delivered since the commencement of the trou. blesfor the freedom and pointedness with which it was expressed. Itentered into a comprehensive view of the conduct of the British ministry respecting America ; and approached them with the pursuits of schemes formed for the reduction and chastisement of a party, supposed to consist of some inconsiderate and factious men, but which had in the issue, driven thirteen large colonies into an open and armed resistance. Every act of parliament, it -said, proposed as a mean of procuring peace and submission, had proved, on the contrary, a new cause of opposition and hostili-. ty. The nation was now almost inextricably involved in a bloody and expensive civil war, which threatened to exhaust the strength of the British dominions, and to lay them open to the most deplorable calamities. No hearing had been given to the reiterated petitions of the colonies, nor any ground laid for a reconciliation, the commissioners nominated for the purpose of restoring peace, not being furnished with sufficient powers to bring about so desirable an end. It observed, that it must have