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which may finally prove mortalt. The fire of the fort is principally directed against the Bristol and Experiment, which suffer very much in their hulls, masts and rigging. Not less than 70 balls go through the former. The Acteon has a lieutenant'killed and six men wounded. The Solebay has eight men wounded. The loss of the garrison is only ten men killed and twentytwo wounded.
The guns at the fort were at on time so long silenced, that it was thought to have been abandoned. When the garrison had received a recruit of powder, the expenditure of their stock having obliged them to cease firing, they began it again, and did amazing execution by its excessive severity. During the long, hot and obstinate conflict between the American fort and the British men of war, the seamen looked frequently and impatientiy to the eastward, expecting to see the land forces, under general Clinton and lord Cornwallis, advance from Long-Island, and march up to second the attack; but in this they were disappointed. Though the creek between that island and Sullivan's is easily fordable in general, yet at that time, through a long series of easterly winds it was uncommonly deep, and impassable at the usual place of passage. The British troops might have crossed higher up; but then they must have been exposed so completely and so long to the American fire, that they would have run the risk of being defeated. Col. Thompson, with 300 riflemen of his regiment; col. Clark, with 200 regulars of the North-Carolina line; col. Horry with 200 South-Carolina militia, and the Raccoon company of militia riflemen, with an eighteen pounder and a field piece, were stationed at the east end of Sullivan's Island to oppose their crossing.
The British fire was kept up without intermission till near seven o'clock, when it slackened considerably. At half past nine, the firing on both sides ceased, and at eleven the shatered ships slipped their cables and withdrew from the scene of action, after an engagement which had been supported with uncommon courage and vigor on both sides for above ten hours. Next morning all the men of war, except the Acteon, had retired about two miles from the island. The garrison fired several shot at her; she at first returned them, but soon after the crew set her on fire and abandoned her, leaving the colours flying, the guns loaged, and all her ammunition and stores behind. She was in a short time boarded by a party of Americans, who brought off her colours, the ship's bell and as many sail and stores as three boats could contain. While the flames were bursting out on all sides, they fired three of her guns at the commodore, and
It at length occasioned his death.
then quitted her; and in less than half an hour after she blew -up.
There were many thousand shot fired at the fort from the shipping: but the works suffered little damage; those which struck the fort were buried in its soft wood. Hardly a hut or tree on the island escaped. Seven thousand balls have been picked up since the engagement.
When the British fleet appeared off the coast, there was so scanty a stock of lead, that to supply the musquetry with balls, it became necessary to strip the windows of the dwelling houses in Charleston of their weights. Powder also was very scarce, notwithstanding a seasonably supply received a few days before the engagement. The proportion allotted for the defence of the fort was but barely enough for slow firing. It was expended with great deliberation. The officers, in turn, pointed the guns with such exactness, that most of their shot took effect on the shipping. In the beginning of the action the flag-staff was shot away. Sergeant Jasper of the grenadiers immediately jumped on the beach, took up the flag, and fastened it on a sponge-staff. He mounted the merion with it in his hand; and though the ships were directing their incessent broad sides at the spot, deliberately fixed it. The day after the action, gov. Rutledge presented the sergeant with a sword, as a mark of respect for his distinguished valor. Seven of the wounded of the garrison lost their limbs; but not with these their spirits; for they enthusiastically encouraged their comrades, never to abandon the standard of liberty and their country. This was particularly noticed of sergeant M'Donald who being mortally wounded by a cannon ball, employed the interval between the wounding and his death in exhortations to that purpose. He expired in a few minutes, when Jasper removed the body out of sight, calling out at the same instant," revenge the brave mans death." Charleston has certainly had a narrow escape. Gen. Lee, wrote to the board of war July the second," For the want of cavalry, Charleston and its dependencies had certainly been lost, if the enemy had acted with that vigor and expedition we had reason to expect, but a most unaccountable langor and inertness on their parts have saved us." The unfinished state of the fort, the danger of its being enfiladed, and the difficulty of a retreat for want of a durable communication between the island and the main by a bridge, led the general to view the fort rather as untenable, and to incline to the abandoning of it: but when he found that col. Moultrie was determined at all adventures to
+ General Lee's letter to congrefs.
attempt its defence, he satisfied himself with advising to a seasonable evacuation, and against risking too much in its support.The colonel and his garrison have deserved the praises and thanks. of their country and will undoubtedly meet with due honor.
Some think there was a capital mistake on the part of the Bri fish commander in stopping at the fort, when Charleston was the object; and that the fleet should have passed the island, inorder to their attacking the town, which with a leading wind and tide, might have been done with a tenth part of the loss and damage that the ships have sustained. But had they passed the fort a successful attack upon the town was not a necessary consequence. The very attack of the fort would have been successful had the Acteon got safe to her station, instead of running aground.
The fate of this expedition will contribute greatly to esta blish the popular government it was intended to overset; while the news of it will fly like a meteor through the conti nent, and carry with it a most malignant influence on the royal cause. Sir Peter Parker will most probably sail soon, with the fleet and troops for the Hook, and in order the join. lord Howe.
Now let us resume the momentous business of independency.
The Pennsylvania assembly withdrew from its union with congress, in consequence of instructions to their delegates, upon the congressional resolve of May the 15th, for suppressing all autho rity derived from the crown of Great-Britain in the united colonies. The committee of the city and liberties of Philadelphia apprehended, that by this step an appeal was made to the people; and in compliance with the request of a large majority of the inhabitants, issued letters on the 20th of May (by virtue of a power given to them in the provincial convention held in January 1775) for calling a conference of the committees of the counties, in order to collect the sense of the inhabitants upon the aforesaid resolve of congress, and to bring about a re-union of the provinces with the other colonies, by calling a provincial convention, with a view to form a government for that purpose.. They intimated their belief, that the assembly had been dragged into a compliance with most of the resolutions of congress from fear of a provincial convention. Messrs. John Bayard and Daniel Roberdeau were particularly active in this business. The deputies of the people assembled [June 24.) in full provincial conference, and unanimously declared their willingness to concur in a vote of congress declaring the united colonies free and independent states. A change in their delegates followed. Mr. Dickenson opposed openly, and upon principle, the declaration of independence, and was therefore removed.
The Maryland convention had instructed their delegates, last December, to propose the question of independency. These therefore, having given their vote against it, withdrew; nof from a personal opposition, but in compliance with their public representation. Mr. Samuel Chase was strongly attached to it; and when he was returned to Maryland, procured county instructions to the members of convention, by which the last were induced to alter their own instuctions. He transmitted an account of it to his friend in congress, in the following terms"Annapolis [June 28.] Friday evening, nine o'clock. I am this moment from the house to procure an expresss to follow the post with an unanimous vote of our convention for independence, &c. See the glorious effects of county instructions. Our people have fire, if not smothered. S. Chase."
[July. 1.] Congress resolved itself into a committee of the whole upon the subject of independency; but neither colonies nor members being unanimous, it was postponed till the next day. [July 4.] They had it under further consideration, when the declaration of independence was agreed to and adopted. The title of it is,
A DECLARATION by the Representatives of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA, in Congress assembled.
The preamble follows in these words: "When, in the course "of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dis"solve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station, to which the laws of nature and "of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions "of mankind, requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident-that all men are "created equal-that they are endowed by their Creator, with "certain unalienable rights-that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness-That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers, from the consent of the governed--that whenever any "form of government becomes destructive of those ends, it is "the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute "a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, "and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seent "most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, "indeed, will dictate, that governments long established, should "not be changed for light and transient causes-and accordingly "all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed
"to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves "by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But "when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invari"ably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under "absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw "off such government, and to provide new guards for their fu"ture security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these "colonies, and such is now the necessity which constrains them "to alter their former systems of government." The declaration proceeds to give "a history of repeated injuries and usurpa
tions, all having in direct object the establishment of an ab"solute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be "submitted to a candid world." It then enters upon a specification of injuries and complaints, to the following purportAssent has been refused to laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
Governors have been forbidden to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till assented to in Britain; and when so suspended, an attention to them has been utterly neglected.
Legislative bodies have been called together at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into a compliance with favorite measures.
Houses of representatives have been dissolved repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness, invasions on the rights of the people.
For a long time after such dissolution, it has been refused to permit others to be elected; whereby the legislative power, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
Endeavors have been made to prevent the population of these states, by obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners, refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of land.
The administration of justice has been obstructed by the refusing of assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
Judges have been made dependent on the crown alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
A multitude of new offices have been erected, and swarms of officers have been sent hither to harrass the people, and eat out their substance.