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wearied endeavours to conciliate to his “ I humbly laid myself at his Majesty's Majesty so serviceable à body of allies.” feet for such active employment as he This is a letter from colonel Butler to sir might think me worthy of. This was the Guy Carleton, dated “ Camp before Fort substance of my audience on my part. I Stanwix, Aug. 15, 1777." Burgoyne's undertook it, and I now report to your barbarous proclamation appears to be only lordship, in the hope of your patronage a consequence of his sanguinary instruc- in this pursuit; a hope, my lord, founded tions.
not only upon a just sense of the honour General Gates's letters have informed your lordship's friendship must reflect upon the world with what savage ferocity and me, but also upon a feeling that I deserve cruelty the Indians carried on a war, to it, in as much as a solid respect, and sinwhich they were so strongly invited. An cere personal attachment can constitute Indian campaign is known to be produc- such a claim.” In his letter of June 22, tive of every species of torture, to which | 1777, he seems to have fully entered into the human frame is subject. In the last the ideas of his principal ; for he says, campaign scarcely fewer women and chil “ that he met the Indians yesterday in dren in some parts where the war raged congress, and gave them a war-feast acwith the greatest fury, expired under the cording to their custom," of which wartorture of the tomahawk and scalping feast we know the most solemn ceremony knife, than were killed by the sword or 1 to be drinking human blood out of the bayonet among those who bore arms. skulls of their enemies. In the same conColonel Butler's letter to sir Guy Carle- ference he consents to the mangling of ton of July 28th says, “ many of the pri the dead, for he says that he " allowed the soners were, conformable to the Indian Indians to take the scalps of the dead." custom, afterwards killed.” Has the Se. Surely, Sir, an enquiry into those horrors, cretary at War, lord Barrington), yet and the failure of an expedition which has thanked the savages in the King's name not only disgraced our arms, but degraded for their alacrity? I have not had time | the name of Englishmen, and fixed a foul. fully to examine the numerous papers on | stain on our national character, is still our table, and therefore I am ignorant more worthy of our enquiry than even the whether we have any letter from his waste of public treasure, although we are, lordship similar to that from the War-of. I fear, if the war continues, too near the fice of the 12th of May, 1768, « that brink of a general bankruptcy. having had the honour of mentioning to I observe, Sir, that gentlemen have this the King the behaviour of the detach- day been very fond of giving advice to ments from the several tribes of Indians, ministers. I am not fond at any time of which have lately been employed in scalp giving advice, but I will for once follow ing and tomahawking his American sub the example. My advice then, Sir, to jects, he has great pleasure in informing administration is, to supplicate his Majesty the general, that his Majesty highly ap. to order an immediate cessation of arms in proves of the conduct both of the Indian North America, and to recall his forces. chiefs and the men, and means that his Humanity and justice call aloud for this royal approbation should be communicated measure. The minister has at last conto them through the general. Employing | fessed, we cannot conquer America. To Indians in such a service gives him the what purpose then are more torrents of Secretary at War] pain, but it is neces. blood to be shed? The Americans will sary. He hopes they will continue to accept, or they will reject, your propoperform their duty with alacrity. Every sitions. If they are accepted, the war is possible regard shall be shewn to their at an end by concession. If they are rezeal, and they shall have the protection of jected, the end of the war, conquest, has the law, and this office, under every disa | been found, and is now acknowledged to greeable circumstance."
be, impracticable. The shedding of the Mr. Burgoyne held himself out as an blood therefore of a single man for an obactive agent on this occasion, not by the ject, which confessedly cannot be obtained, slightest mention of any supposed military is not only unjustifiable, but highly crimi. talents, but by such abject flattery of the nal. Many of the measures of opposition American Secretary, as I hope no other have been at length adopted by ministers. man in Europe could commit. He de- I hope this, the most important of all, will clares in a letter to lord George Germaine, have the same success. An immediate dated from Hertford-street, Jan. 1, 1777, cessation of arms was proposed the very
first day of this session, by an excellent young nobleman on this side the House (the marquis of Granby). It will do more than all vour commissioners can without it. †. it may save Howe from the fate of Burgoyne. It will give time for cooling on both sides, and at least shew that you are relenting towards your brethren, and eager for that peace and reconciliation, which alone can form the solid happiness of both countries, and must be joy wished by every friend to their mutual prosperity. It may save the fragments of this dismembered empire, for I own I shall tremble for the fate of Canada, nearly lost three years ago, as well as for Nova Scotia, the Two Floridas, and even the West Indian islands, if the powerful confederacy of the Thirteen United Colonies continues.
Sir, I heartily wish success to these Conciliatory Bills, and that we may regain by treaty what we have lost by tyranny and arms. I would agree to almost any treaty rather than continue this ruinous war, which has cost already above thirty millions sterling, and the loss of 20,000 men. I entirely approve the effort, although I have my fears that it is made too late. Still, sat bene, si sat cità. Let the experiment however be tried, and may both Britain and America again form one lo empire on the principles of equ iberty, just, mild, commercial, and tolerant . We shall then be able to stand the shock of all the adverse powers of the world, again feared and respected abroad, and at home a great, united, and happy
The Bill was then passed.
Debate in the Lords on a Motion for the Attendance of the Surveyor of the Navy.] Feb. 25. The Duke of Bolton moved, “That the Surveyor of his Majes: ty's Navy do attend this House on the 2d of March.” The Earl of Sandwich said, that the enquiry into the State of the Nation had already been pushed further than was warranted either by prudence or policy; that with regard to the State of the Navy, for his own part, he cared not how closely the subject was investigated; but viewing the matter as a statesman, he could not withhold his objections to the present motion. It was not possible for it to answer any good purpose, and if carried, might do much mischief. - • The Duke of Bolton replied that, from
what the first lord of the Admiralty had so often said respecting the flourishing state of the navy, he little expected to see him rise and impede that inquiry which tended to prove what the noble earl declared he wished all the world knew. All he aimed at was to obtain authentic information, and at this critical period to convince the nation of the real state of the navy. No erson was, surely, so proper to throw ight upon the subject as the Surveyor of the Navy; the propriety or impropriety of the questions might be determined at the time of putting them. He meant not to inquire into the state of the ordinary, or to press upon any tenderground; but merely to interrogate as to the condition of the ships in commission, which he conceived to be a fair object of inquiry. The Lord Chancellor said, that to examine the Surveyor of the Navy, who, of course, was in every secret respecting the state of the ships in actual service, or preparing for service, was, in his opinion, highly impolitic. The first lord of the Admiralty had repeatedly declared the navy to be in a flourishing condition, and he did not doubt but it was so. To what end, then, examine an officer at the bar, whose examination, most probably, would tend to divulge matters which ought to be kept secret 2 Two hundred questions or more might be put to him, for nobody could foretell either their number or their nature. It was no justification, therefore, of the present motion, for the noble duke singly to declare, that he would not press upon tender ground, much less was it a justification of it for his grace to remind their lordships that it was in their power to prevent any improper questions bein put; such a prevention or refusal would have a worse effect than a compliance with every question that could be proposed; for men without doors would naturally imagine, that the answer must necessarily have been more alarming than possibly it would have turned out. The Duke of Richmond said, he hardly knew in what manner to reply to thestrange objection which he had just heard made to the noble duke’s motion ; the lords in office were determined to preclude parliament from reaping any benefit from the enquiry. There had not been a single proposition, tending to obtain information as to the real state of the nation, which had not been objected to, and denied since the enquiry was begun. To what end, then, pursue the enquiry’ Let their
lordships recollect, that it was not now the moment to debate or refuse what was urged by the noble duke in his motion. The House had resolved to enquire into the state and condition of the navy previous to the recess. Before that resolution was come into, was the hour to object, and not the present. Parliament had resolved to enquire, parliament now wished to enquire, and the lords in office were endeavouring to prevent them from so doing. The noble duke moved for the Surveyor of the Navy to attend at the bar, and the learned lord who had left the woolsack objected. Why? Because the Surveyor of the Navy knew every thing relative to the real state and condition of the navy | The very reason why the Surveyor, of all other men, was the most fit erson to be examined. With regard to what had fallen from the first lord of the Admiralty, how was his declaration of that day to be reconciled with his language on the first day of the session, when, in repl to the speech of a noble earl, (of Chatham) he had said, the navy was in so flourishing a condition, that he cared not who knew it; that he wished foreign powers were acquainted with it, as he was sure it would effectually tend to preserve us from any so of a war; that he cared not ow, soon the enquiry was begun, and would assist as far as he could 2 The Earl of Sandwich said, that the noble duke who made the motion, knew that in every country there were ships upon aper which were not fit for service. That It Was o always to put the best face upon the state of the navy, and it never had been deemed wise to pry too minutely into particulars, which if generally known, could do no good, but might be the cause of injury to the nation: É. repeated that the navy was in a most flourishing condition, and advised the noble duke to withdraw his motion. The Duke of Bolton said, that he was far from wishing to expose the weakness of the navy, and that from what the first lord of the Admiralty had so often said about its fine condition, he could not but be greatly surprized at his present language. Lord Dudley said, it was a custom in all countries to keep the state of the navy as secret as possible. Earl Gower said, that the present motion was improper. Cui bono at this time, when we were probably on the eve of a war with France, to expose the weak parts [VOL. XIX.]
of the navy, and teach foreign powers how they might best attack us? The Earl of Effingham produced two extracts; one from the Journals of the Lords, and the other from the Commons, shewing that in 1707, on a similar enquiry, the quantity and value of the naval stores then in the yards, were given in to each House, and other matters, to the full as delicate as the object of the present motion, were fully entered upon. He wished the noble earl who said we were on the eve of a war with France, would have spoken more fully to so important a point; in order that the #: might judge of the propriety of immediately advising his Majesty to call out the militia, and of taking other measures to put the kingdom in a better state of defence. Earl Gowersaid, that he had only mentioned a war with France as a probable event; that as affairs stood, it was not at all unlikely, and therefore it was natural for him to have his apprehensions of its taking place soon. He knew nothing of a treaty having been signed between the court of France and America, as had been reported, and he would venture to say, the rest of the King's ministers were equally unapprised of any such circumstance. The Earl of Radnor declared, if the motion were rejected for the reasons which had been assigned, their lordships would treat the present first lord of the Admiralty with more respect than their ancestors had treated the husband of the queen of England on a former occasion. The question was called for and put: Contents 11 ; Non-contents 23.
Debate in the Lords on the Duke of Bolton’s Motion respecting the State of the Navy.] March 2. fhe House having resolved itself into a Committee on the State of the Nation,
The Duke of Bolton rose. He acknowledged his own insufficiency to take a part in an enquiry which had been hitherto conducted with so much ability by the noble duke (of Richmond) near him; and after passing several compliments to the candour and ability of his grace, observed, that the most arduous parts of it had been already finished, which was one motive with him to undertake, with more confidence, the part of it which was to furnish the particular .# of this day. His grace then proceeded to recapitulate the leading heads which had come out in proof during the previous part of the en
quiry, as properly introductive of what he / information contained in the papers on the whs about to submit to their lordships' | table; it was no more, therefore, than a consideration. They all equally related mere evasion, not to shield the nation to the state of the nation, and as such, from danger, but ministers from blame, must be taken together and connected. which he should prove, from documents Those, he observed, related to the state of not to be doubted, from their lordships our military defence; of our commerce ; Journals; and that not on the eve of an of our loss in men and money; of our abi- expected war, but in the very height of lity to pursue the war; and of our real si- one of the greatest this country ever tuation respecting foreign powers, parti waged ; and accompanied, too, with cir. cularly our natural enemies, the several cumstances of a very critical nature, both branches of the House of Bourbon. He foreign and domestic. His grace then observed, that our whole military defence, moved, that a Resolution reported from a instead of 17,000, amounted to little more committee, and entered in the Journals of than 10,000 effective men; that the actual 1707 and of 1741, might be read; by force in Ireland, which should be 12,000 which it appeared, that similar committees in times of profound tranquillity, now at had been formed; that they had come to the eve of an approaching war was short several important resolutions, tending, in of that number in an equal proportion; the language of the noble lords in office, that we had suffered by captures nearly | to expose our national weakness, and to 3 millions of property; had already lost disclose secrets of a nature not so much as 20,000 men by the land war alone, and thought of in the present enquiry. The expended 23 million of money; that, in state and condition of the several ships, consequence of those captures, our Afri. | the number of guns and men, their stacan trade was entirely ruined, because the tions, &c. The Journals being accord. tract from Africa to the West India ing read, his grace proceeded to state his islands, the mart for the produce of the intended resolutions, which he classed former, had beeen entirely neglected. On under three heads; the state of our fleet the windward side of Barbadoes, from serving in America under lord Howe; every part of Africa within the line, all the state of the line of battle ships for the vessels must pass that island. All its vi home defence; and that of our frigates cinities, and the tract alluded to, had been for home service. On the first head, he left without a single ship to protect that observed, that our fleet serving under lord invaluable branch of our commerce, the Howe, consisted of 83 ships and vessels of consequence of which was, that those seas force, of all sizes; that their complements, swarmed with American privateers. Our if full, would be 22,000; but out of that own coasts were no less shamefully neg. number 4,300 were lost by death, capJected ; and, what was still, if possible, in- / tivity, or sickness; that consequently the finitely more mischievous, a great part of ships must be badly manned and foul, be. the stores sent from hence, was not only ing now nearly two years out of dock, lost for want of convoys or defence, but which, if it should become necessary to fell into the hands of the Americans, continue them longer in actual service, which, above any other circumstance, con- the deficiency in men must be made up duced mostly to all our subsequent disas. from hence, and the ships replaced by ters, as the colonies were thereby enabled others, clean and better equipped. He to procure what it was not possible to ob- could not help mentioning a very alarmtain in sufficient quantities, in any other ing circumstance, which was, that of the manner. After having recapitulated all deficiency of the number of seamen shipthe leading facts, which had hitherto come ped, nearly one half was occasioned by deout in the course of the enquiry, he said, / sertion. he thought it his duty, before he proceed. His grace then proceeded to the state ed farther, to obviate the only semblance of the line of batile ships for the home of an objection, which had been made to defence. He lamented, that he was prethe committee, namely, that resolving vented from giving that information to matters of fact, would go to the exposure the committee he wished, by having his of our national weakness. This, he said, two motions negatived; one for the state was fallacious and ridiculous. If foreign of the ships in ordinary, before the recess, powers wanted information, they might, and a recent one, for the attendance of for a trifling sum of money, obtain much the surveyor of the navy at their lordships -more important intelligence, than all the bar. The latter would inform their lord.
ships of the real state of the ships intended for actual service; and the former, in case of a war, would shew our state of preparation. The apology made was, that it would disclose our weakness. This, he believed, was too true: but, in his opinion, that was the very reason why the motion should have been agreed to; because if the fact was as acknowledged, it would evince the immediate necessity of his concluding motion, that of addressing his Majesty, to put his navy upon a rei. footing. . As to men of war of the line for home defence, they had been stated at 35 fit for actual service, seven more in commission, and those put into commission since the noble lord at the head of the Admiralty had informed their lordships on that head. He had examined the papers on the table, and found that the 74's had been set down at 600 men, as a full war complement. This, he contended, was fallacious; the complement of a 74 was 700. If, then, what the noble earl in office acknowledged, on a former occasion, that he was upwards of 2,000 men short of this complement, having but 19,000 instead of 21,000, it would appear, that even allowing for the supernumeraries, the deficiency would, on the 35 ships, amount to upwards of 3,000 men; so that, instead of having 35 ships fit for actual service, we should not have more than 28 or 29, including the marines on shore, part of which would be wanted to be stationed at our three great dock-yards, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Chatham. If this was the actual force we had to defend ourselves, it would be necessary to know what we had to contend with, in case of a rupture with France and Spain. He had good information, that the French had 20 men of war of the line at Brest, 8 at Rochfort, and 15 at Toulon; and the Spaniards at Ferrol, Cadiz, and Carthagena, 40; the whole amounting to 83 ships of the line: from which he drew this inference, that we should, in order to secure a complete national defence, in the event of a rupture, have 100 ships of the line; and we ought to have, besides that force, a proportionate number of frigates; for, since the present noble lord came to preside at the head of the Admiralty, no less than three millions and a half of money had been granted for buildings and repairs, which, suppos. ing our navy had been intirely annihilated, was sufficient to build 100 ships of the line, and as many frigates of thirtysix guns each, and to provide for all *
their necessary equipments. He said, it had been affirmed in that House, and was generally received without doors as true, that if we were equal in number of ships of the line, and in every thing dependent upon that circumstance, victory must declare in our favour. He was most willing to hope so; but when, perhaps, the very existence of this country, as an independent nation, was to depend on the truth or fallacy of such an opinion, he held it as an indispensible part of his duty to deliver his sentiments impartially, and without any degree of national prejudice; if he was, therefore, freely to declare his mind, he must say, that numbers almost always ensured victory. He should not speak of the conflicts in the early part of our naval history, nor even in the reign of Charles the 2nd, when the scene of action was confined to the narrow seas; when a Van Trump, a De Ruyter, a Blake, a Monk, and a Sandwich, exhibited such amazin instances of skill in their profession .# personal resolution. The mode of making naval war, which prevailed at that period, differed much from every subsequent one: they made use of fire-ships, not so much to accelerate victory, as to destroy the human species. Like the cruel mode adopted in America, of employing savages wantonly to destroy their enemies, when the victory no longer depended on the carnage; when a ship was disabled, they sent a fire-ship to distress a disabled antagonist, and to blow up the crew in the air. A very different mode of naval warfare began to prevail at the Revolution, and has continued since to be adhered to ; by which means, hostilities at sea, like those on land, have been conducted more conformably to the dictates of humanity, and the laws of war established and acknowledged by the civilized nations of Europe. His grace entered into an investigation of the language of the noble lords in administration, relative to the presumed invincibility of the British navy, from whose assertions and opinions he begged leave entirely to dissent; and wished to impress this very important truth on the House; that be the courage of the British seamen ever so great, it was numbers and not skill or prowess that had made victory decide in our favour, unless in a very few instances indeed. His grace then entered into a long detail of proofs. In 1688, admiral lord Dartmouth, with a superior fleet, permitted the prince of Orange to pass by the Gunfleet, because he wished well to the