Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

The gene

lands as an inducement to fill up being pledged to the lenders for their arnies, was probably intend the payment both of principal and ed to counteract the effect of a interest. Gmilar measure which had some As the Gruation of their affairs time before been adopted on the became extremely critical, and the fide of the crown, large, grants preservation of Philadelphia to all of vacant lands, to be distributed appearance hopelels, at the time at the close of the troutiles, having that Lord Cornwallis had overrun been promited in its name to the the Jerseys, and that the British Highland emigrants, and some forces had taken possession of the other new troops raised in Ame. towns and posts on the Delaware, rica, as a reward for their expect the Congreis published ed zeal and loyalty in the re- an addrets to the peo

Dec. Toth, dudion of the rebellious colonies. ple in general, but more partiA mealure which tended more to cularly to those of Pensylvania and increase and excite the animoliy the adjacent ftates. of the people, than any other ral objects of this piece, were to perhaps which could have been awaken the attention of the peo. propoled in the prelent circu'n- .ple, remove their despondency, restances. For they universally con- new their hopes and spirits, and lidered the term vacant, as fig- confirm their intentions of fup. nifying forfeited, which being an porting the war, by thewing that effect of the treason laws yet un- no other means were leit for the known in America, excited the preservation of those rights and greater horror; the people being liberties for which they originally well aware from the esperience of contended. But it was particuother countries, that if the tweets larly and immediately intended of forfeiture were once cafted, it to forward the completion of the would be equally happy and un- new army, and to call out the in. usual, if any other limits, than habitants of the neighbouring coun. those which ratuie had afligned to tries to the defence of Philadel. their posielfions, couid reitrain its phia. operation.

For these purposes they enumeThe annual fupplies raised in rated the causes of the troubles, the different colonies by their re- the supposed grievances they had Speciive assemblies, being iniuli. endured, the late oppressive laws cient to provide for the extraor- which had been passed againft dinary expences of fo large an them, dwelt much upon the cona army, together with the other nu- 'tempt with whica all their petimerous contingencies, indeparable tions and applications for redress from such a war, the Congress had been treated; and to hew that found it necesary to negociate a no alternative but war, or a tame loan to antwer these purpoles. refignation of all that could be They accordingly passed a refolu- dear to mankind remained, they tion to borro.v five millions of aflerted, that even the buaited dollars, at an int reit of tour per Commissioners for giving peace to cent. the faith of the united fates America had not offered, nor did

yet

get ofer, any terms but pardon on highly exaggerated, it is, however, absolate fubmiffion. From this de- to be apprehended, that too much tail and these premises, they de- room was afforded for complaints daced the necessity of the act of of that nature. The odium beindependency, afferting, that it gan with the Heflians, and has wonld have been impoffible for fince stuck closely to them, though them to have defended their rights the British troops were far from againft fo powerful an aggreilor, escaping a share of the imputation. aided by large armies of foreign The former, naturally fierce and mercenaries, or to have obtained cruel, ignorant of any rights but that affiftance from other tates t' ose of despotism, and of any which was absolutely necessary to manners, but those established with their preservation, whilst they ac. in the narrow precinct of their own knowledged the sovereignty, and government, were incapable of confessed themselves the subjects of forming any distinction between that power, against which they had ravaging and destroying an enetaken up arms, and were engaged my's country, where no present bein fo cruel a war.

nefit was intended but plunder, They boafted of the success that nor no future advantage expected had in general attended their cause but that of weakening the foe, and exertions, contending that the and the reducing of a maleconpreient state of weakness and dan- tent people, (who, though in a ger, did not proceed from any state of rebellion, were still to be capital loss, defeat, or from any reclaimed, not destroyed) to a due de ect of valour in their troops, sense of obedience to their lawful but merely from the expiration of Sovereign. the term of those short enliftments, It has been said, that in order to which had in the beginning been reconcile them to so new and strange adopted from an attention to the an adventure, some idea had been case of the people. They assured held out to them in Germany, that them that foreign Atates had al- they lould obtain large portions ready rendered them essential ser- of the lands which they were to convices, and had given the most quer in America, and that this nopolitive assurances of further aid. tion, however absurd, made them And they excited the indignation at first consider the ancient poslefand animofity of the people, by fors as their natural enemies; but expatiating upon the unrelenting, that when they found their error, cruel

, and inhuman manner, in they considered the moveable plunwhich, they said, the war was car- der of the country, not only as a ried on, not only by the auxiliaries, matter of right, but an inadequate but even by the British forces them. recompence for undertaking luch a felves.

voyage, and engaging in such a Complaints of this kind held a diftinguished place in all the Ame- Military rapine may be easily rican publications of that time. accounted for without any recourie Some of them, indeed, contained to such a deception. It had been nothing else but details of rapes, observed from the beginning, ihac rapine, cruelty and murder. Though the most mortal antipathy fubfitted these accounts were undoubtedly between the Americans and Hel

1

fians.

war.

Sians. The former, contending hazard the success of the war, in fo themselves for freedom, and filled dittast a situation, and such preca. with the highest notions of the na. rious and critical circumstances, by tural rights of mankind, regarded quarrelling with auxiliaries who with equal contempi and abhor- were nearly as numerous and pow. rence, à people, whom they con. erful as their own forces. AllowGidered as the most sordid of all ances were necessarily to be made mercenary slaves, in thus religning for a difference of manners, opie all their faculties to the will of a pions, and even ideas of military petty despot, and becoming the rules and service. Without opening seady inftruments of a cruel iyran. any general ground of dillike or ny. They reproached them with quarrel, it required all the conthe highefi posíble degree of moral itancy, and all that admirable equaturpitude, in thus engaging in a nimity of temper which distinguish domestic quarrel, in which they General Howe's character, to see had neither intereft or concern, and ftrain the operation of those piques, quitting their homes in the old jealousies, and animofities, the efworld to butcher a people in the fects of national pride, emulation, new, from whom they never had and a difference of manners, which received the smalleť injury; but no wisdom could prevent from who, on the contrary, had for a springing up in the two armies. century pait aiforded an hospita- It was scarcely pollible that the ble asylum to their harrassed and devastation and disorders practised oppressed countrymen, who had by the Hellians, hould not operate fled in multitudes to escape from a in some degree in their example tyranny, similar to that under which upon the British croops. Is would these were now acting, and to enjoy have been difficult to have punishthe bleflings of a liberty most gene- ed enormities on the one ade, rously held out to them, of which wbich were practised without re. these mercenaries would impiously serve er apprehenfion on the other, bereave the German as well as Every succeisful deviation from orEnglish Americans.

der and discipline in war, is cerSuch sentiments, and such re- tainly and speedily followed by proaches, did not fail to increase others still greater. No relaxacion their natural ferocity and rapacious. can take place in either without the ness ; and it is said that they con- moft ruinous consequences. The tinued in a course of plundei, un- soldier, who at firk Inrinks at tritil they at length became so encum- fing excesses, will in a little time, bered and loaded with spoil, and if they pass without question, proso anxious for its preservation, that ceed, without hesitation, to the it grew to be a great impediment greatest enormities. to their military operations.

From hence sprung the clamour However disagreeable this con- raised in America of the desolation duct was, and contrary to the na. which was spread through the fure of the British conimanders, is Jerseys, and which by taking in was an evil not cably to be reme- friends and moderate men, as well died. They could not venture to as enemies, dių great injury to

the

the royal caufe, uniting the latter fioners was followed by another to more firmly, and urging to acti- the same purpose, from the free. vity, or decaching, many of the holders and inhabitants of Queen's former. Nor could the effect be County in Long Ihand. It was confined to the immediate sufferers; observed of these petitions, that the exaggerated decails which were the acknowledgment of the Con. published of these enormities, serva ftiuutional Supremacy in one, and ing to embitter the minds of men of the Constitutional Authority of exceedingly through all the colo- Great Britain in the other, were nies. These accounts being also very guardedly expressed, all mentransmitted to Europe, seemed in tion of parliament being omitred, some degree to affect our national and the great question of unconchara&er ; in France particularly, ditional submission left totally at where the people in general, thro' large. It is also remarkable, that the whole course of this contest, though the inhabitants of York have been strongly American, they Island and Queen's County, be. were readily received and wil. fides raising a considerable body of lingly credited. Among other troops for the King's service, and coormities which received the cen- establishing a strong militia for the fore of oor neighbours in that common defence, kad given every country, the deitruction of the other testimony of their loyalty pablic library ac Trenton, and of which couid be expected or wished, the college and library at Prince- yer these petitions were not attend.. town, together with a celebrated ed to, nor were they restored to Orrery made by Ritten house, said those rights which they expected in to be the best and finelt in the consequence of the declarations, as world, were brought as charges of well as of the late law for the apa Gothic barbarity, which waged pointment of Commillioners. war even with literature and the 'The critical Situation of Phila. sciences.

delphia, which a night or two's In about a month after the tak. froit would have laid open to the ing of New York, 'the inhabitants British forces, obliged the Conof that city and ifland prelented a gress, abont the clole of the year, petition to Lord and General Howe, to consult their own safety by rethe commiffioners for restoring tiring to Baltimore, in Maryland. peace to the colonies, signed by In this Mate of external danger, Daniel Horfemanden, Oliver De the diffentions which sprung up Lancy, and 946 orhers, declaring among themselves were not less their allegiance, and their acknow- alarming to the Americans. We ledgement of the Constitutional Su. have formerly shewn that the de. prematy of Great Britain over the claration of independency had met coonies; and praying, that in with a ftrong opposition in Philaporsuance of the former declara- delphia, not only from those who tions illued by the Commiflioners, were called or considered as Tories, that city and county might be re but from many, who in all other fored to his Majetty's peace and matters had been among the mott prorection.

forward in opzofing the claims of This petition to the Commiss the crown and parliament. The

carrying

midable party.

carrying of the question by a great the city. This decifive cor duct majority throughout the province, answered all its purposes, except was far from leffening the bitterness that of fortifying the city, a deof those who opposed it, amongst fign which seems to have been abanwhom were most of the Quakers, a doned as not practicable, or not great and powerful body in that necessary at that time. colony ; so that the discontented in As the season grew too severe to this buliness, forgetting in the pre. keep the field, and the frosts were sent their ancient animolity, with not yet fufficiently set in for the all its operating causes, coalesced passage of the Delaware, it became with the Tories or loyalists, whom necessary towards the middle of they had formerly persecuted, and December to put the British and considered as beirayers, and inve- auxiliary forces under cover. They terate enemies of their country, thus were accordingly thrown into great compofing all together a very for- cantonments, forming an extensive

chain from Brunswick on the Ra. In contequence of this dissention, rit n to the Delaware, occupying and of the ill success of the rebel- not only the towns, posts, and vil. Jious arms during the greater part lages, which came within a liberal of the campaign, which disposed description of that line, but those many to look to their safety, a Mr. also on the banks of the Delaware Galloway, the family of Allens, for several miles, so that the latter with other leading men, either in composed a front at the end of the Pensylvania or the Jerseys, tome line, which looked over to Pensylof whom had been members of the vania. Congress, fled to the Commillion. Things were now in such a fitua. ers at New York, to claim the be- tion, that there seemed to be as litnefits of the general pardon which tle probability of interrupting the had been offered; expecting, as designs, or endangering the secumatters then flood, to return spee. rity on the one side, as of renew. dily home in triumph. These were, ing the spirit, or retrieving the however, much less troublesoine weakness, on the other. In this and dangerous to the Americans, state of affairs, a bold and spirited than thule who kept their ground, enterprize, which thewed more of who were so numerous and pow. brilliancy than real effect in its ertul, that upon the approach of firit appearance, became capable in the British forces to the Delaware, its contequences of changing in a they prevented the order for forti- great measure the whole fortune of fyingine city of Philadelphia from the war. Such extraordinary effects being carried into execution, I his do small events produce, in that last eccentric and alarming movement and most uncertain of human de. in the seat of life and action, ub- cisions. lige i General Washington, weak as Colonel Rall, a brave and exhe was, to detach three regiments, perienced officer, was stationed with under the command of Lord Stir- a brigade of Hellians, consisting ling, effe&tually to quell the oppo. of three batralions, with a few fition of that party, and to give ef- British light-borse, and so chafficacy to the measure of fortifying seurs, amounting in the whole to

« ElőzőTovább »