Page images

LETTER XIV. P. 396-417.

The American colonel Butler's expedition, p. 396. The British colonel Butler's expedition to Cherry-Valley, p. 398.-Two Quakers executed for high treason against the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, ibid. The plan for reducing Canada considered and laid aside, p. 399. The British operations against Georgia, p. 400. Mr. Silas Deane and congress, p. 403. Mr. Payne addresses him under the signature of Common Sense, p. 405. Mr. Gerard alarmed by the publications; and the resolves of congress concerning them, p. 408. The affairs of the United States in a deplorable condition, p. 408. The committee of congress report the communication of Mr. Gerard, p. 409. The count de Vergennes' policy, p. 410. Gen. Lincoln sent to South-Carolina, ibid.--proceeds to Georgia, p. 411. The South-Carolina tories routed, p. 412. General Ashe surprised and defeated. p. 414. A number of loyal refugees at New-York imbodied, p. 416.Dominica taken by the French, ibid.

LETTER XV. P. 418-426.

Admiral Keppel tried and honorably acquitted, p. 418. Sir Hugh Palliser tried and acquitted, p. 419. Admiral Barrington with a body of British troops engaged in an expedition against St. Lucie, and takes it, notwithstanding count d'Estaing's efforts to save it, p. 240. Riots at Glasgow and Edinburgh, p. 423. The British cruisers seize Dutch vessels, p. 424. Gen. Munro takes Pondicherry, p. 426.

LETTER XVI. P. 427-448.

Upon gen. Lincoln's marching far up the Savannah, general Prevost enters South-Carolina, and pushes for Charlestown, p. 427-he retreats from before the place, p. 429. Lincoln attacks a part of the British army at Stono-Ferry, p. 430. General Marthew makes a descent on Virginia, p. 431. Sir Henry Clinton takes Stoney-Point, p. 432. Colonel Clarke's expedition against lieut. gov. Hamilton of Detroit, p. 433. Gov. Tryon's expedition against New-Haven, Fairfield and Norwalk, p. 434. General Wayne re-takes Stoney-Point, p. 436. Acts of congress, p. 438. The minister of France has a conference with congress, p. 439. Major Lee's expedition against the British post at Powle's Hook, p. 446. St. Vincents taken by the French, p. 447.



LETTER XVII. P. 448-458.

The French fleet sails from Brest and joins the Spanish, p. 448. The Spanish ambassador presents a manifesto to the British secretary, p. 449. The combined fleet steer for Plymouth,

450 abandon the British coasts, p. 451. Grenada taken by the French, p. 452. Admiral Byron engages count d'Estaing, 453. Captain Paul Jones engages Captain Pearson, p. 454. Joseph Yorke presents a memorial to their High Mightinesses, p. 456. The state of Ireland, p. 457. Gibralter invested, p. 459.







Roxbury, April 26, 1776.


have been informed of the measures which the promoters of independency adopted for the ripening of that event; in the advice which congress were prevailed upon to give to the New-Hampshire, the South-Carolina, and Virginia con


[ Jan. 5, 1776.] The New-Hampshire provincial convention proceeded in their design, and voted," that this congress take up civil government in form following-We being authorised in particular to establish some form of government, provided that measure be recommended by the continental congress, and a recommendation being transmitted-the sudden departure of his excellency John Wentworth and several of the council leaving us destitute of legislation, and no executive courts being open to punish criminal offenders-therefore protesting that we never meant to throw off our dependence upon Great-Britain, and that we shall rejoice if such a reconciliation, between us and our parent state, can be effected, as shall be approved by the continental congress-do resolve, that the congress do assume the name and power of a house of representatives: that they proeeed to choose twelve persons, to be a distinct branch of the legislature, by the name of a council for this colony; and that no act shall be valid unless passed by both branches." But this procedure was not universally approved. A memorial and re


monstrance of the freeholders and inhabitants of Portsmouth was presented to the convention sitting at Exeter. [Jan. 10.] It sets forth, that "the memorialists are greatly alarmed, by the information, that they are about to dissolve their existence as a convention and assume that of a house of representatives, and to proceed to the election of twelve counsellors, who are to act as another branch of legislation for the future government of this colony." They remonstrate against the procedure from an opinion that the inhabitants will not generally approve it; and wish therefore that the minds of the people may be fully taken on such a momentuous concernment, for that it is their inherent right to know the plan, before adopted and carried into execution. They say also, "it amounts to an open declaration of independency, which we can by no means countenance." A dissent and protest was brought into convention, [Jan. 12.] by several of the representatives; the purport of it was, " We dissent and protest against the present plan of taking up government for the following reasons-the vote of the continental congress countenancing the same, was obtained by the unwearied importunity of our delegates there, as appears by their letter ;the said vote does not appear to have been unanimous, but we have reason to think otherwise ;-New-York and Virginia (which are in similar circumstances with us, and are much larger and more opulent, and we presume much wiser, and to which we would pay all due deference) have not attempted any thing of the kind, nor as we can learn have desired it;-it appears assuming for so small a colony to take the lead in a matter of so great importance our constituents never expected us to make a new form of government, but only to set the judicial and executive wheels in motion;-it appears to us, too much like setting up an independency on the mother country." The convention however proceeded in their plan; but when it was executed, and the body had assumed the form of two houses, they had the consistency to receive petitions [Jan. 18.] from the towns of Portsmouth, Dover, Newington, Rochester, Stratham, North-Hampton, Rye, New-Market, Kensington, Greenland, and part of Brentwood, against taking up government in the new established form. Both houses met in the town-house, the petitions were read, considered, and fully argued by the council for the petitioners. It was voted, [Jan. 27.] that the committee write to the continental congress, and lay the plan of government taken up by the colony before them, and let them know that a number of members of this house dissented from and protested against the same, because of its being supposed to breathe too much of the spirit of independency; and request to know the judgment of the


congress thereon. Whatever letter the committee might write was porbably forwarded under cover to one of their own delegates; and by the advice of certain members was not brought before congress as a body, till the day after they had given their sanction to the plan, by admitting upon their journals, on the 29th of February, the credentials of the delegates chosen by the house of representatives on January the 23d.

When Mr. S. Adams saw the instructions given by the capital of New-Hampshire, he was dissatisfied, and fearful, lest if that colony took a wrong step, it should wholly defeat the design, be owned, he had much at heart. He had been alarmed before in the beginning of the month, when a motion was made in congress to this purpose." Whereas we have been charged with aiming at independency, a committee shall be appointed to explain to the people at large the principles and grounds of our opposition, &c." It would not do for Mr. S. Adains evidently to interest himself in opposing the motion, though he was apprehen sive that they should get themselves on dangerous ground; but some other delegates prevailed so far as to have the matter postponed; and yet they could not prevent the assigning of a day to consider it. Some little time before, he had conversed with another gentleman, probably a Virginia delegate, about a confederation; when they agreed it must soon be brought on, and that if all the colonies would not come into it, it had better be done by those that incline to it. Mr. Adams promised, he would endeavour to unite the New-England colonies in confederation, if none of the rest would join in it; the other approved of it, and said that if Mr. S. Adams succeeded, he would cast in his lot among them. Many of the principal gentlemen in the Massachusetts have been long urging their delegates at congress to bring forward independency; the more so, for a persuasion that, resistance unto blood having been once made against the governmental measures the British spirit will never be quieted, with any thing short of those concessions and satisfactions, which Americans never make. General Washington has no wish, that the congress would declare the colonies independent: but many other officers, especially among the New-Englanders, are desirous of it; though the situation of their military affairs could of late afford them no reasonable encouragement. They have been obliged to change their army by a new enlistment under the mouths of their enemy's cannon; and while employed in this operation, had not for some time men enough to defend their lis had the British troops commenced an attack. They had to guard an extent of better than a dozen miles, with few more troops than what were in Boston. Such was the want of muskets, that

« PreviousContinue »