In America, during this time, various encounters had taken place between the English and American forces. Washington, in spite of the severity of the winter weather, was pressing the blockade of Boston. But the difficulties with which he had to contend were so enormous, that, had General Howe had any real notion of them, as he ought to have had, he might have beaten off the American troops over and over again. His troops, it is true, only amounted to about seven thousand, and Washington’s to about fifteen thousand; but besides the deficiency of powder in Washington’s camp, the terms on which his troops served were such as kept him in constant uncertainty. This was the condition of things when, early in March, Washington commenced acting on the offensive. He threw up entrenchments on Dorchester Heights, overlooking and commanding both Boston town and harbour. Taking advantage of a dark night, on the 4th of March he sent a strong detachment to the Heights, who, before mining, threw up a redoubt, which made it necessary for General Howe to dislodge them, or evacuate the place. It seems amazing, after the affair of Bunker’s Hill, that Howe had not seen the necessity of occupying the post himself. He now, however, prepared to attack the redoubt, and the soldiers were eager for the enterprise. The vanguard fell down to Castle William, at which place the ascent was to be made; and on the morrow, the 5th of March, the anniversary of what was termed the Massacre of Boston, the fight was to take place. A violent storm, however, arose, rendering the crossing of the water impracticable. By the time that it ceased, the Americans had so strengthened their works, that it was deemed a useless waste of life to attempt to carry them. The only alternative was the evacuation of Boston. Howe had long been persuaded that it would be much better to make the British headquarters at New York, where there were few American troops, and where the king’s friends were numerous; and this certainly was true, unless he had mustered resolution and sought to disperse his enemies when they were in a state of disorder and deficiency of ammunition that insured his certain success. As it was, he was now most ignominiously cooped up, and in hourly jeopardy of being shelled out of the place. He had obtained the permission of his Government for this movement, and he now set about it in earnest. When, however, he came to embark, another example was given of that shameful neglect which pervaded the whole of the British civil department of the military service. When the transports were examined, they were found totally destitute of provisions and forage. No direct compact was made between Howe and Washington regarding the evacuation; but an indirect communication and understanding on the subject was entered into—through the “select Men” of Boston—that no injury should be done to the town during it, provided the troops were unmolested in embarking. Before departing, however, the English totally dismantled and partly demolished Castle William. On the 17th, the last of the British troops were on board; and that afternoon Boston was entered in triumph by General Putnam, at the head of the vanguard.
Howe, who, with seven thousand soldiers and more than one thousand sailors, did not feel himself safe at New York till the new reinforcements should arrive, sailed away to Halifax—a circumstance which gave the appearance of a retreat to his change of locality, and had thus a bad effect in more ways than one. Washington, who was informed of his final destination, immediately marched with the greater part of his army to New York, and thence went himself to Philadelphia to concert future measures with the Congress. This body, in commemoration of the surrender of Boston, ordered a medal to be struck in honour of it, and that it should bear the effigy of Washington, with the title of the Asserter of the Liberties of his Country. The medal was cast in France.
In Canada the management of the war was more successful. To maintain the war in that quarter, Congress had ordered nine regiments to be raised. One of these was to be raised in Canada itself, and for this purpose a commission was given to Moses Hazen, who had formerly been a captain of rangers, under Wolfe. He was not, however, very successful. The Canadians were not to any extent disaffected to the British Government, and by no means well affected to the New Englanders, who were bitterly bigoted against Catholics, which the Canadians chiefly were. When Hazen and Arnold saw that the Canadians would neither enlist nor bring provisions to their camps, without cash payment, they commenced plundering for all that they wanted, and thus confirmed that people in their hatred of the Americans. They, moreover, insulted the Canadians by ridiculing their rites of worship.
Miserably as Arnold had passed the winter in his camp, as spring approached he again planted his batteries above Quebec, but produced so little effect that Carleton lay still in expectation of his reinforcements on the breaking up of the river. On the 1st of April General Wooster arrived, and took the command, much to the disgust of Arnold, who was sent to command a detachment at Montreal. On the 1st of May, General Thomas, who was to be supreme in command, arrived, and found the forces amounting to about two thousand men. The river was now opening; and on the 6th of May three English ships had made their way up to Quebec, full of troops. Two companies of the 29th Regiment and one hundred marines were immediately landed amid the rejoicings of the inhabitants; and General Carleton gave instant orders to issue forth and attack the American lines. But General Thomas, conscious that, so far from being able to take Quebec, he should be himself taken, unless he decamped with all haste, was already on the move. General Carleton pursued him vigorously, and the retreat of the Americans became a regular rout. They threw themselves into boats at the Three Rivers, leaving behind them all their artillery and stores, as well as the sick, who were numerous, the smallpox having broken out amongst them. Thomas managed to reach Fort Chambly and St. John’s on the Sorel; but there he died, having taken the smallpox.
Carleton being, by the beginning of June, reinforced by still more troops from England, determined to follow the Americans. They had reached the Three Rivers, about midway between Quebec and Montreal, and about thirty miles from the American headquarters on the Sorel, when General Sullivan, who had succeeded Thomas, sent two thousand men under General Thompson. They got across the river and hoped to surprise the English; but it was daylight before they drew near the Three Rivers. Landing with confusion, they sought a place where they could form and defend themselves; but they found themselves entangled in a labyrinth of streams and morasses. Then they were attacked, front and rear, by Generals Fraser and Nesbit. In the suddenness of the surprise, no precaution had been taken to secure or destroy their boats; the remainder of the Americans, therefore, getting into them, pulled away and crossed. Sullivan, who had hastened to support them, now, accompanied by St. Clair, made the best of his way back to Fort Chambly. Carleton pursued, but coming to the Sorel, instead of sailing up it, by which he might have reached Chambly nearly a day earlier than Sullivan, with a strange neglect he continued lying at the mouth of the river for a couple of days. Had he not done this, Arnold would have been intercepted at Montreal, and Ticonderoga, now defenceless, would have fallen into his hands. By this false step much damage to the king’s cause ensued. Carleton, however, determined to seek out Arnold himself, and sent on General Burgoyne in pursuit of Sullivan. Burgoyne made quick pursuit; but the Americans were too nimble for both himself and Carleton. Arnold hastily evacuated Montreal, and, crossing the river, joined Sullivan at St. John’s, on the Sorel. There Sullivan proposed to make a stand, but his troops would not support him, for the whole army was in a state of insubordination. Burgoyne marched rapidly after them; but, on reaching the head of the Sorel, he found they had escaped him by embarking on the lake. Sullivan and Arnold had encamped on the Isle aux Noix, a swampy place, where their men perished, many of them, of fever, and Burgoyne was obliged to satisfy himself with the thought that they were driven out of Canada.
In the south, affairs had been as ill conducted by the English commanders as in the north they had been carried on well. Governor Martin had made an effort to recover North Carolina. He had collected a number of Highlanders, recently emigrated to America, and a number of back-woodsmen, called Regulators, and sent them, under the command of Colonels Macdonald and Macleod, to compel the inhabitants to submission. They were to be supported by regular troops to be landed at Wilmington, and General Clinton was daily expected with the reinforcements from England. But Clinton did not appear, and the impatient Highlanders and Regulators, in marching from Cross Creek to Wilmington, were decoyed into a swamp, and there attacked and beaten. Macleod and most of the Highlanders were taken prisoners, and the Regulators, such as escaped, made again for the woods.
On the 3rd of May Lord Cornwallis arrived on the coast with a squadron of transports, convoyed by Sir Peter Parker, with several ships of war. General Clinton arrived soon after, and took the command of the troops; and, in concert with Parker, he determined to attack Charleston, the capital of South Carolina. On the 4th of June they appeared off Charleston, and landed on Long Island. They found the mouth of the harbour strongly defended by fortifications on Sullivan’s Island, and by others on Hadrell’s Point on its north. On the point lay encamped the American General Lee. Clinton threw up two batteries on Long Island to command those on Sullivan island, whilst Parker, from the ships, was to assist in covering the landing of the troops on that Island. Clinton was informed that he could easily cross from one island to the other by a ford; and consequently, on the morning of the 28th of June, Sir Peter Parker drew up his men-of-war—three vessels of fifty guns each, and six frigates of twenty-eight guns each, besides another of twenty-four guns and the Thunder bomb. But he had been deceived; what was called a ford, he found
impassable. He was compelled to reimbark his troops, and meanwhile Parker’s vessels, also unacquainted with their ground, ran upon a shoal, where one of them struck. In these unfortunate circumstances, the Americans, from the island and from Hadrell’s Point, poured a tremendous fire into the ships, doing dreadful execution. Clinton sailed away, after this ignominious attempt to join General Howe, but some of the vessels were compelled to remain some time at Long Island to refit.
SIGNATURES TO THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
[See larger version]
But whilst these conflicts were taking place, the Revolution was marching on at full speed, and had reached its height—the Declaration of Independence. The Continental Congress, on the 15th of May, passed a resolution that it was necessary for such of the States as had not framed for themselves such constitutions as were required by the altered circumstances of the country, to forthwith frame such as should be conducive to their safety and welfare. This was published in all the newspapers, accompanied by a statement that, as the King of England, in concurrence with his Parliament, had excluded the people of those colonies from his protection, it became indispensable to abolish the constitution established by that power, and frame one for themselves. Here was a plain declaration; there was no longer any mistake.
There was no man in the colonies, nevertheless, who contributed so much to bring the open Declaration of Independence to a crisis as Thomas Paine, the celebrated author of “The Rights of Man” and of “The Age of Reason.” Paine was originally a Quaker and staymaker at Thetford, in Norfolk. He renounced his Quakerism and his staymaking, became an exciseman, and then an usher in a school, reverting again to the gauging of ale firkins. In 1772 he wrote a pamphlet on the mischiefs arising from the inadequate payment of the excise officers, laying them open to bribes, etc. This pamphlet having been sent to Franklin, induced him to recommend the poor author to emigrate to America. Paine adopted the advice, and settled at Philadelphia in 1774. He there devoted himself to political literature, wrote for the papers and journals, finally edited the Philadelphia Magazine, and, imbibing all the ardour of revolution, wrote, in January of the year 1776, a pamphlet called “Common Sense.” This pamphlet was the spark that was needed to fire the train of independence. It at once seized on the imagination of the public, cast other writers into the shade, and flew, in thousands and tens of thousands of copies, throughout the colonies. It ridiculed the idea of a small island, three thousand miles off, ruling that immense continent, and threatening, by its insolent assumption, the expanding energies of three millions of men, more vigorous, virtuous, and free, than those who sought to enslave them.
Amongst the provinces employing themselves to carry out the recommendation of the Congress, by framing new constitutions, that of New York was emboldened by the presence of Washington and his army to disregard the Royalists, and to frame a perfectly independent system. Gouverneur Morris took the lead in the ultra party, and declared that the time was now come for asserting entire independence. On the 27th of May a resolution to that effect was passed. The delegates of the Assembly were instructed to support these principles in Congress.
The Assembly of Virginia, meeting in convention at Williamsburg on the 6th of May, drew up a Declaration of Rights, a document which afterwards became the model for the celebrated “Rights of Man” with the French Revolutionists. In this Declaration it was asserted that the rights of the people cannot exist with hereditary monarchy; and in the fourth article it was affirmed, that the idea of “a man being born a magistrate, a legislator, or a judge, is unnatural and absurd.” Accordingly, Richard Henry Lee, as one of their delegates, on the 7th of June, moved in General Congress, that “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; that measures should immediately be taken for procuring the assistance of foreign Powers, and a confederation be formed to bind the colonies more closely together.”
This all-important question was adjourned to the next day, the 8th of June, when it was debated in a committee of the whole House. As the discussion, however, took place with closed doors, as all great debates of Congress did, to hide the real state of opinion, and to give to the ultimate decision an air of unanimity, the reports of it are meagre and unsatisfactory. We know, however, that Lee, the original mover, was supported by his colleague Wythe, and most energetically by John Adams; that it was as vigorously opposed by John Dickinson and his colleagues, Wilson, of Pennsylvania, Robert Livingstone, of New York, and John Rutledge, of South Carolina. Moreover, a considerable number of members from different States opposed the motion, on the ground, not of its being improper in itself, but, as yet, premature. Six colonies declared for it, including Virginia. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland were at present against it. New York, Delaware, and South Carolina, were not decided to move yet; and it was proposed to give them time to make up their minds. Dr. Zubly, of Georgia, protested against it, and quitted the Congress. To give time for greater unanimity, the subject was postponed till the 1st of July; but, meanwhile, a committee was appointed to draw up a Declaration of Independence. The members of this committee were only five, namely, Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia; John Adams, of Massachusetts; Roger Sherman, of Connecticut; Richard R. Livingstone, of New York; and Benjamin Franklin, of Pennsylvania.
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, JULY 4th, 1776.
From the Painting by J. Trumbull.
[See larger version]
On the 1st of July the report of the committee was read, together with the form of declaration as drawn up by Jefferson, but afterwards remodelled by Franklin and the committee. Nine states now voted for independence. Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted against it. Delaware and South Carolina requested an adjournment to the next day, in order to make up their minds, when they voted for it, a new delegate having arrived from Delaware with firmer instructions. New York held out against independence, General Howe having now arrived at Sandy Hook, and the Provincial Congress having retired from New York to White Plains. Jay and Gouverneur Morris, from that State, were, however, vehement for independence, asserting that the Congress of New York ought to be dissolved, and delegates sent up to a new and more popular Congress.
The revolutionary party in New York determined to carry them, and the revolutionary party 杭州spa哪里好 in Pennsylvania the same, right or wrong. In Pennsylvania delegates insisted that those of their colleagues who were averse from the Declaration should absent themselves, and those favourable to it should attend and vote. From Delaware, one single delegate, C?sar Rodney, voted and decided the question in that province. The New York Assembly only nominally reconstructed its Provincial Congress. Instead of calling the electors together, as recommended by the report of the 28th of May, some of the freeholders and voters declared such of the old members as were willing to vote for the Declaration re-elected; and this irregular and clearly unconstitutional body attended and voted for the Declaration. Finally the moderate party, headed by John Dickinson, withdrew, and the Declaration was carried by one vote.
By these violent and 杭州按摩精油 arbitrary means was passed on the 4th July, 1776, the famous Declaration of Independence. The original motion for such a Declaration, on the 8th of June, had been supported by a bare majority of seven States to six; and now the whole thirteen States were said to have assented, though it is perfectly well known that several signatures were not supplied till months afterwards by newly chosen delegates. The Declaration contained the following assertions of freedom:—1. That all men are born equally free, possessing certain natural rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive their posterity; 2. That all power is vested in the people, from whom it is derived [but it was voted in Congress that the blacks made no part of the people]; 3. That they have an inalienable, indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish their form of government at pleasure; 4. That the idea of an 杭州有口的足浴 hereditary first magistrate is unnatural and absurd.
The Americans did not make their Declaration of Independence till they had communicated with France. The British Government, as Lord North publicly declared in Parliament, had long heard of American emissaries at Paris seeking aid there. A secret committee, which had Thomas Paine for its secretary, was appointed to correspond with the friends of America in Great Britain, Ireland, and other parts of the world. Encouraged by the assurances of France, the secret committee was soon converted into a public one, and agents were sent off to almost every court of Europe to invite aid of one kind or another against the mother country, not omitting even Spain, Naples, Holland and Russia. Silas Deane was dispatched to Paris in March of this year, to announce the growing certainty of a total separation of the colonies from Great Britain, 杭州足浴油压 and to solicit the promised co-operation.
Lord Howe arrived from England, and cast anchor off Sandy Hook, a few hours after the Declaration of Independence had been read to the army by Washington. He had been expected by his brother, General Howe, who had arrived at the same point on the 29th of June, supposing he should find the admiral there. General Howe found Washington already in New York, and actively engaged in throwing up entrenchments, both there and on Long Island, to close the Hudson against the British fleet. Washington’s headquarters were at New York; those of General Sullivan, at the western extremity of Long Island, opposite to New York; and Governor’s Island, Paulus Hook, New Rochelle, and other points, were strongly defended to protect the rear of the city. At the time of Admiral Howe’s arrival, the army of Washington did not amount to more than seventeen thousand men, of whom three thousand were sick, 杭州夜生活一条街 and but about ten thousand men fit for duty. From his letters to Congress, it is clear that he entertained very little hope of maintaining his ground in case of attack, for the fresh forces brought by Howe from England, being joined by the shattered remains of Sir Peter Parker’s squadron, amounted to twenty thousand men. A few days afterwards, however, he was joined by two regiments from Philadelphia, and by large bodies of New York and New England Militia, raising his army to twenty-seven thousand men, but of these a large number were sick. He now posted strong reinforcements in Brooklyn. On this General Howe quitted Sandy Hook, and advanced to Staten Island, where he could watch the operations of the enemy. The Americans abandoned Staten Island, on his approach, without firing a gun.
Things being in this position on the arrival of Admiral Lord Howe, he determined still, notwithstanding the Proclamation of Independence, to make every effort to procure a last chance of peace. He deeply regretted the delays which had attended his 杭州水疗中心 fleet, and lost no time in sending on shore an intimation that he brought conciliatory overtures. His first act was to dispatch a letter to Franklin, who, in England, had expressed so earnest a desire for accommodation of all differences, informing him of his commission to seek reconciliation, and of his powers for the purpose. But the Declaration being now made, Franklin had no longer a motive to conceal his real 杭州养生会馆 sentiments, and he replied in terms which greatly astonished Howe, filling his letters only with complaints of “atrocious injuries,” and of what America had endured from “your proud and uninformed nation.” Howe next turned to Washington, to whom he dispatched a flag of truce, bearing a letter to the Commander-in-Chief. But as Washington could only be regarded as an insurgent leader, Lord Howe thought he could not officially recognise a title conferred only by the American Congress, and therefore did not address him as “General,” but simply as “George Washington, Esquire.” Washington refused to treat in any other character than that of Commander-in-Chief of the American forces. He instantly returned Howe’s letter, and forwarded the other papers to Congress. One of these was a circular declaration to the late royal Governors, 杭州桑拿排行榜 enclosing a copy of Lord Howe’s commission, and stating that all who should submit would be pardoned; that any town or province which declared its adhesion to the Crown should at once be exempt from the provisions of all the late Acts of Parliament, especially as regarded their trade; and that, moreover, all such persons as were active in promoting the settlement of their districts should be duly rewarded. The moment Congress received this document they ordered it to be published in the newspapers, that “the people might see how the insidious Court of Great Britain had endeavoured to disarm and amuse them,” and that “the few whom hopes of moderation and justice on the part of the British Government had still kept in suspense, might now at length be convinced that the valour alone of their country is to save its liberties.” Lord 杭州油压好的地方 Howe, undeterred by this spirited proceeding of Congress, on the 20th of July sent the Adjutant-General once more to Washington, with another letter, still addressed to “George Washington, Esquire,” but adding a number of etceteras. Washington was not to be caught by so shallow an artifice. The proposed interview, like the last, therefore, came to nothing, except that Congress took advantage of these repeated efforts to insinuate that the British were afraid of fighting.
Lord Howe now prepared to attack New York, where Washington had about thirty thousand men. But the latter’s troops were ill-equipped, and deficient in discipline. Washington expected that Howe would attack New York by the way of Long Island, and so he had posted nine thousand men at Brooklyn, nearly opposite to it, behind entrenchments thrown up by General Greene. Greene had been attacked by fever; and General Putnam, who had taken his post, was but indifferently acquainted with the position of the forces and the nature of the ground they would have to defend with a rabble of most insubordinate troops. In these circumstances General Howe, on the morning of the 22nd of August, threw over from Staten Island into Long Island four thousand men, under the command of General Clinton. They landed in Gravesend Bay, under cover of the artillery of three frigates and two bombs. The rest of the army followed with the artillery. Washington hastened over from New York to strengthen General Sullivan, who was in command on the island. He posted no less than fifteen thousand men along a peninsula at that end of the island facing New York.