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not eafy to steer a safe course of history, through the rage of civil conteft, and amidst the animofity and malignity of contending factions. Under thefe circumstances, we are obliged to as much caution as will not be injurious to truth. And whilst publick affairs continue of fuch extent and importance, and that materials of all kinds both political and military grow upon us in the manner they do at prefent, we fhall be much more folicitous to fulfil our duty, and preferve our reputation with the Publick, by a due attention to the matter which we lay before them, than at all concerned as to the inconfequential circumftance of a later or earlier publication.
Our Publisher has made an obfervation to us, which he fays efcapes moft readers, who have not fome acquaintance with what is technically termed the business of the prefs. He fays, that the Historical Article is at prefent fwelled to fuch an extent, that if it were printed feparately, and in the common mode of publication, it would fill a volume of nearly the fame fize, with that in which it is now included; whilft from the circumftance of clofe printing, and its being confidered only as a comparatively fmall part of a diffufe and large work, the dimenfions which it would acquire in its natural growth, are not perceived in its prefent contracted ftate. Under this confideration, the quantity of matter, independent of any merit in the arrangement or compofition, may account, if it does not atone, for the latenefs of our publication this year.
CHA P. I.
Retrospective view of American affairs in the year 1776. Preparation in Canada for the armament on Lake Champlain. State of the American force. Engagement near the ifle Valicour. Arnold retires; purfuit; vertaken; burns his veffels. Crown Point deftroyed and abandoned. General Carleton lands there with the army. Motives for not attacking Ticonderoga. General Carleton returns with the army to Canada. Situation of affairs to the fouthward. General Lee taken. Perfeverance of the Congres, Measures for renewing their armies. Lands allottea for ferving during the war. Money borrowed. Addrefs to the people. Petitions from the inhabitants of New-York, and from those of Queen's county in Long Island, to the Commissioners. Critical State of Philadelphia. Congress retire to Baltimore. Divifions in Penfylvania. Defertions. Surprize at Trenton. Lord Cornwallis returns to the Jerfeys. Prevented from attacking the enemy at Trenton by impediments of fituation. General Washington quits his camp, and attacks Colonel Marbood, near Princetown. Lord Cornwallis retures from the Delaware to Brunswick. Americans over-run the Jerfeys. British and Auxiliary forces keep poffeffion of Brunswick and Amboy, during the remainder of the winter. Indian war. Articles of confederation and perpetual union
between the thirteen revolted Colonies.
fummer of 1776, were equal to the importance of the objects in view, and the greatnefs of the difficulties which were to be furmounted.
The weight and execution of the naval equipment, fell of course upon the officers and men of that department, whofe ability, zeal, and perfeverance in the performance, can never be too much applauded. The talk was indeed arduous. A fleet of above thirty fighting veffels, of different kinds and fizes, all furnished with cannon, was to be little lefs than created; for though a few of the largeft were re-constructions, the advantage derived from thence depended more upon the ufe of materials which the country did not afford, than upon any faving as to time, or leffening of labour. When to this is added, the tranfporting over land, and afterwards dragging up the rapids of St. Therefe and St. John's, 30 long boats, a number of flat boats of confiderable burthen, a gondola, weighing 30 tons, with above 400 battoes, the whole prefented a complexity of labour and difficulty, which feemed fufficient to appal even the fpirit of British feamen. However it must be allowed that the labour did not fall folely on them. The foldiers had their part; and what is to be lamented, the peasants and farmers of Canada were taken from their ploughs, and compelled by power to bear a fhare in toils, from whence they could derive no ho nour or advantage.
Though the equipment was compleated in about three months, the nature of the fervice, as well as the eagerness of the commanders and army, required, if it had been poffible, a ftill greater dispatch. The winter was faft approaching, two inland feas to be paffed, the unknown force of the enemy on each to be fubdued,
and the ftrong pofts of Crown Point and Ticonderoga, defended and fupported by an army, to be encountered fword in hand. To add to thefe impediments, the communication between the Lakes Champlain and George, did not admit the paffage of thofe veffels of force, which, after being fuc cefsful on the one, might be equally wanted on the other. And if all thofe difficulties were furmounted, and Lake George passed, there ftill remained a long and dangerous march through intricate forefts, extenfive moraffes, and an uncleared country, ftill in a flate of nature, before they could reach Albany, which was the firft poft to the fouthward that could af ford them reft and accommodation.
The fpirit of the commanders rofe in proportion to the difficulties which were to be encountered. The objects in view were great, the glory to be acquired tempting, and the defire of their attainment feemed to leffen or remove obftacles, which to a cold or lukewarm fpeculation would have appeared infuperable. If the Lakes could be recovered, and Albany poffeffed, before the feverity of the winter fet in, the northern army would hold a principal share in the honour of bringing the war to a speedy conclufion. It was conceived that they could then pour destruction at will, into the heart either of the middle or the northern colonies, each of which would be expofed to them in its moft tender and defenceless part. Whilft the poffeffion of Hudfon's river would eftablifh and fecure their communication with General Howe, it would equally fever and difconnect the fouthern and northern
long-boats were furnished in the fame manner. About an equal. number of large boats acted as tenders. Thofe we have taken notice of, were all intended for, or appertaining to battle; we omit the vast number destined for the transportation of the army, with its ftores, artillery, baggage, and provisions.
thern provinces, leaving thereby the latter to fink under the joint weight of both armies, or to accept of fuch terms as they could obtain, without the participation of the others. Nor could General Washington attempt to hold any post in New York or the Jerfeys, with fuch a fuperiority of force as already oppreffed him in front, and General Carleton's army at hs back. The fucceffes of their fellows on the fide of New York, increafed the impatience, and excited the jealousy of this army, every one apprehending that the war would be brought to an end, before he could have an opportunity of fharing in the honour of that happy
With all this ardour, and the moft unremitting industry, it was not until the month of October, that the fleet was in a condition to feek the enemy on Lake Champlain. The force was very confiderable with respect to the place and fervice, extraordinary in regard to the little time spent in its formation, and fuch as, a very few ages ago, would have been deemed formidable even upon the European feas. The thip Inflexible, which may be confidered as Admiral, had been re-contructed at St. John's, from whence the failed in 28 days after laying her keel, and mounted 18 twelve pounders. One schooner mounted 14, and another 12, fix pounders. A flatbottomed radeau carried fix 24, and fix 12 pounders, befides how itzers; and a gondola, 7 nine pounders. Twenty fmaller veffels, ander the denomination of gunboats, carried brass field pieces from 9 to 24 pounders, or were armed with howitzers, Some
The armament was conducted by Captain Pringle, and the fleet navigated by above 7c0 prime seamen, of whom zoo were volunteers from the tranfports, who after having rivalled thole belonging to the thips of war in all the toil of preparation, now boldly and freely partook with them in the danger of the expedition. The guns were ferved by detachments of men and officers belonging to the corps of artillery. In a word, no equipment of the fort was ever better appointed, or more amply furnifhed with every kind of provision neceffary for the intended fervice.
The enemy's force was in no degree equal, either with respect to the goodness of the veff Is, the number of guns, furniture of war, or weight of metal. Senfible, though they were, of the neceffity of preferving the dominion of the Lakes, and aided in that defign by the original force in their hands, with a great advantage in point of time for its increafe, their intentions in that refpect were counteracted by many effential, and fome irremediable deficiencies. They wanted timber, artillery, fhip builders, and all the materials neceffary for fuch an equipment. Carpenters, and all others concerned in the business of shipping, were fully engaged at the fea-ports  2 in
in the conftruction and fitting out of privateers, whilft the remoteness, and difficulty of communication, rendered the fupply of bulky materials extremely tedious. When we confider the difficulties on their part, we think it not juft to deny the Americans the praife, of having combated, and in part overcome them, with an affiduity, perfeverance, and fpirit, which did not in the leaft fall fhort of what had been employed against them. For their fleet amounted to 15 veffels of different kinds, confifting of two fchooners, one floop, one cutter, three gallies, and eight gondolas. The principal fchooner mounted 12 fix and four pounders. They were commanded by Benedict Arnold, who was now to fupport upon a new element, that renown which he had acquired on land in the Canada expedition.
General Carleton was too full of zeal, and too anxious for the event, not to head the British armament, and having proceeded up the Lake, difcovered O&. 11. the enemy's fleet drawn 1776. up with great judgment, being very advantageo fly pofted, and forming a trong line, to defend the paffage between the island of Valicour and the western main. Indeed they had at the beginning placed themselves with fo much kill behind the island, that an accident only discovered their pofition. The King's fquadron, without this feasonable difcovery, would have left them behind; an event, which if it had happened, might have been attended with the moft ferious confequences. It is faid, that the unexpected fight of a three matted hip of fuch Force, upon the Lake, threw the
enemy into the utmost, and moft visible confternation. It does not feem, however, probable, that a matter of fuch public notoriety in Canada, fhould have been fo long withheld from them.
A warm action eníued, and was vigorously fupported on both fides for fome hours; but the wind being unfavourable, so that the thip Inflexible, and fome other veffels of force could not be worked up ta the enemy, the weight of the action fell upon the schooner Carleton and the gun-boats, which they fuftained with the greatest firmness, fuch extraordinary efforts of refolution being difplayed both by men and officers, as merited and received the highest applause from their commanders. It is to be prefumed, that when so much praife was due and given to the conduct and valour of a fuperior force on our fide, the enemy must not have acted their part amifs.
The detachment belonging to the corps of artillery, were highly diftinguifhed, and did moft effential fervice in the gun-boats. But the fame impediments fill continuing, which prevented their being feconded by the other veffels, Captain Pringle, with the approbation of the General, thought it neceffary for the prefent, to withdraw thofe that were engaged from the action. At the approach of night, he brought the whole fleet to anchor in a line, and as near as poffible to the enemy, in order to prevent their retreat.
In this engagement the best fchooner belonging to the enemy was burnt, and a gondola carrying three or four guns funk, from whence we may form fome reasonable conjecture of the execution done