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right to resume or again to exercise that power until such events take place as will amount to a dissolution of their State government:-And it is an established principle, that a dissolution or alteration of a federal government doth not dissolve the State governments which compose it. It was also my opinion, that upon principles of sound policy, the agreement or disagreement to the proposed system, ought to have been by the State legislatures, in which case, let the event have been what it would, there would have been but little prospect of the public peace being disturbed thereby-Whereas, the attempt to force down this system, although Congress and the respective State legislatures should disapprove, by appealing to the people, and to procure its establishment in a manner totally unconstitutional, has a tendency to set the State governments and their subjects at variance with each other-to lessen the obligations of government—to weaken the bands of society—to introduce anarchy and confusion-and to light the torch of discord and civil war throughout this continent. All these considerations weighed with me most forcibly against giving my assent to the mode by which it is resolved that this system is to be ratified, and were urged by me in opposition to the measure.
I have now, sir, in discharge of the duty I owe to this House, given such information as hath occurred to me, which I consider most material for them to know; and you will easily perceive from this detail, that a great portion of that time, which ought to have been devoted calmly and impartially to consider what alterations in our federal government would be most likely to procure and preserve the happiness of the Union, was employed in a violent struggle on the one side to obtain all
power and dominion in their own hands, and on the other to prevent it; and that the aggrandizement of particular States, and particular in. dividuals, appears to have been much more the subject sought after than the welfare of our country.
The interest of this State, not confined merely to itself, abstracted from all others, but considered relatively, as far as was consistent with the common interest of the other States, I thought it my duty to pursue according to the best opinion I could form of it.
When I took my seat in the convention, I found them attempting to bring forward a system, which I was sure never had entered into the contemplation of those I had the honor to represent, and which, upon the fullest consideration, I considered not only injurious to the interest and rights of this State, but also incompatible with the political happi. ness and freedom of the States in general; from that time until my business compelled me to leave the convention, I gave it every possible opposition in every stage of its progression. I opposed the system there with the same explicit frankness with which I have here given you a
history of our proceedings, and an account of my own conduct, which in a particular manner I consider you as having a right to know—while there I endeavored to act as became a freeman, and the delegate of a free State. Should my conduct obtain the approbation of those who appointed me, I will not deny it would afford me satisfaction; but to me that approbation was at most no more than a secondary considerationmy first was to deserve it; left to myself to act according to the best of my discretion, my conduct should have been the same, had I been even sure your censure would have been my only reward, since I hold it sacredly my duty to dash the cup of poison, if possible, from the hand of a State, or an individual, however anxious the one or the other might be to swallow it
BORN in Boston, Mass., 1744. DIED there, 1798
THE SIEGE OF LOUISBOURG.
[The History of New Hampshire. 1793.] THE harbor of Louisbourg lies in latitude 45° 55'; its entrance is
about four hundred yards wide. The anchorage is uniformly safe, and ships may run ashore on a soft muddy bottom. The depth of water at the entrance is from nine to twelve fathoms. The harbor lies open to the south-east. Upon a neck of land on the south side of the harbor was built the town, two miles and a quarter in circumference; fortified in every accessible part with a rampart of stone, from thirty to thirty-six feet high, and a ditch eighty feet wide. A space of about two hundred yards was left without a rampart, on the side next to the sea; it was enclosed by a simple dike and a line of pickets. The sea was so shallow in this place that it made only a narrow channel, inaccessible from its numerous reefs to any shipping whatever.
The side fire from the bastions secured this spot from an attack. There were six bastions and three batteries, containing embrasures for one hundred and forty-eight cannon, of which sixty-five only were mounted, and sixteen mortars. On an island at the entrance of the harbor was planted a battery of thirty cannon, carrying twenty-eight pounds shot; and at the bottom of the harbor, directly opposite to the entrance, was the grand or royal battery of twenty-eight cannon, forty-two pounders, and two eighteen pounders. On a high cliff, opposite to the island battery, stood a lighthouse; and within this point, at the north-east part of the harbor,
was a careening wharf secure from all winds, and a magazine of naval stores.
The town was regularly laid out in squares. The streets were broad; the houses mostly of wood, but some of stone. On the west side, near the rampart, was a spacious citadel, and a large parade; on one side of which were the Governor's apartments. Under the rampart were casemates to receive the women and children during a siege. The entrance of the town on the land side was at the west gate, over a draw-bridge, near to which was a circular battery, mounțing sixteen guns of twentyfour pounds shot.
These works had been twenty-five years in building; and though not finished, had cost the Crown not less than thirty millions of livres. The place was so strong as to be called "the Dunkirk of America.” It was, in peace, a safe retreat for the ships of France bound homeward from the East and West Indies; and in war, a source of distress to the northern English Colonies; its situation being extremely favorable for privateers to ruin their fishery and interrupt their coasting and foreign trade; for which reasons, the reduction of it was an object as desirable to them, as that of Carthage was to the Romans.
It has been said that a plan of this famous enterprise was first suggested by William Vaughan, a son of Lieutenant-Governor Vaughan of New Hampshire. Several other persons have claimed the like merit. How far each one's information or advice contributed toward forming the design, cannot now be determined. Vaughan was largely concerned in the fishery on the eastern coast of Massachusetts. He was a man of good understanding, but of a daring, enterprising and tenacious mind, and one who thought of no obstacles to the accomplishment of his views. An instance of his temerity is still remembered. He had equipped, Portsmouth, a number of boats to carry on his fishery at Montinicus. On the day appointed for sailing, in the month of March, though the wind was so boisterous that experienced mariners deemed it impossible for such vessels to carry sail, he went on board one, and ordered the others to follow. One was lost at the mouth of the river, the rest arrived with much difficulty, but in a short time, at the place of their destination. Vaughan had not been at Louisburg; but had learned from fishermen and others something of the strength and situation of the place; and nothing being in his view impracticable, which he had a mind to accomplish, he conceived a design to take the city by surprise; and even proposed going over the walls in the winter on the drifts of snow. This idea of a surprisal forcibly struck the mind of Shirley, and prevailed with him to hasten his preparations, before he could have any answer or orders from England.
The person appointed to command the expedition was William Pep
perell, Esq. of Kittery, Colonel of a regiment of militia; a merchant of unblemished reputation and engaging manners, extensively known both in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and very popular. These qualities were absolutely necessary in the Commander of an army of volunteers, his own countrymen, who were to quit their domestic connections and employments, and engage in a hazardous enterprise, which none of them, from the highest to the lowest, knew how to conduct. Professional skill and experience were entirely out of the question; had these qualities been necessary, the expedition must have been laid aside; for there was no person in New England, in these respects qualified for the command. Fidelity, resolution and popularity must supply the place of military talents; and Pepperell was possessed of these. It was necessary that the men should know and love their General, or they would not enlist under him.
Before Pepperell accepted the command, he asked the opinion of the famous George Whitefield, who was then itinerating and preaching in New England. Whitefield told him, that he did not think the scheme very promising; that the eyes of all would be on him ; that if it should not succeed, the widows and orphans of the slain would reproach him; and if it should succeed, many would regard him with envy, and endeavor to eclipse his glory; that he ought therefore to go with "a single eye,” and then he would find his strength proportioned to his necessity. Henry Sherburne, the Commissary of New Hampshire, another of Whitefield's friends, pressed him to favor the expedition and give a motto for the flag; to which, after some hesitation, he consented. The motto was, “ Nil desperandum Christo duce.” This gave the expedition the air of a crusade, and many of his followers enlisted. One of them, a Chaplain, carried on his shoulder a hatchet, with which he intended to destroy the images in the French churches.
There are certain latent sparks in human nature, which, by a collision of causes, are sometimes brought to ligh; and when once excited, their operations are not easily controlled. In undertaking anything hazardous, there is a necessity for extraordinary vigor of mind, and a degree of confidence and fortitude, which shall raise us above the dread of danger, and dispose us to run a risk which the cold maxims of prudence would forbid. The people of New England have at various times shown such an enthusiastic ardor, which has been excited by the example of their ancestors and their own exposed situation. It was never more apparent, and perhaps never more necessary, than on occasion of this expedition.
The instructions which Pepperell received from Shirley, were conformed to the plan which he had communicated to Wentworth, but much more particular and circumstantial. He was ordered to proceed to
Canseau, there to build a block-house and battery, and leave two com. panies in garrison, and to deposit the stores which might not immediately be wanted by the army. Thence he was to send a detachment to the village of St. Peters, on the island of Cape Breton, and destroy it; to prevent any intelligence which might be carried to Louisbourg; for which purpose also, the armed vessels were to cruise before the harbor. The whole fleet was to sail from Canseau, so as to arrive in Chappeaurouge bay about nine o'clock in the evening. The troops were to land in four divisions, and proceed to the assault before morning. If the plan for the surprisal should fail, he had particular directions where and how to land, march, encamp, attack and defend; to hold councils and keep records; and to send intelligence to Boston by certain vessels retained for the purpose, which vessels were to stop at Castle William, and there receive the Governor's orders. Several other vessels were appointed to cruise between Canseau and the camp, to convey orders, transport stores, and catch fish for the army. To close these instructions, after the most minute detail of duty, the General was finally “left to act upon unforeseen emergencies according to his discretion;" which, in the opinion of military gentlemen, is accounted the most rational part of the whole. Such was the plan, for the reduction of a regularly constructed fortress, drawn by a lawyer, to be executed by a merchant at the head of a body of husbandmen and mechanics; animated indeed by ardent patriotism, but destitude of professional skill and experience. After they had embarked, the hearts of many began to fail. Some repented that they had voted for the expedition, or promoted it; and the most thoughtful were in the greatest perplexity.
The troops were detained at Canseau, three weeks, waiting for the ice which environed the island of Cape Breton to be dissolved. They were all this time within view of St. Peters, but were not discovered. Their provisions became short; but they were supplied by prizes taken by the cruisers. Among others, the New Hampshire sloop took a ship from Martinico, and retook one of the transports, which she had taken the day before. At length, to their great joy, Commodore Warren, in the Superbe, of sixty guns, with three other ships of forty guns each, arrived at Canseau, and having held a consultation with the General, proceeded to cruise before Louisbourg. The General, having sent the New Hampshire sloop to cover a detachment which destroyed the village of St. Peters, and scattered the inhabitants, sailed with the whole fleet; but instead of making Chappeau-rouge point in the evening, the wind falling short, they made it at the dawn of the next morning; and their appearance in the bay gave the first notice to the French of a design formed against them.
The intended surprisal being thus unhappily frustrated, the next