Page images
PDF
EPUB

and independent. When those instructions (1748,] represented the county of King and were received at Philadelphia, the Virginia Queen, being colleague of John, (known as delegation appointed Mr. Lee to bring for-speaker,) Robinson. Carter Braxton was ward resolutions to that effect. He accord- educated at the college of William & Mary. ingly, June 7th, made that motion, which was Inheriting in his youth, upon his father's seconded by John Adams. June 10th, Mr. death, a large estate, at the age of nineteen Lee received, by express from Virginia, intel- he married Judith, daughter of Christopher ligence of the dangerous illness of his wife. Robinson, of Middlesex. She dying, (1757,] He therefore left Philadelphia on the 11th, Mr. Braxton visited England, where he rethe day on which a committee was appointed mained for several years* and returned (1760.] to draught a Declaration of independence. [1761.] He married Elizabeth, eldest daughHad he remained he would have been chair- ter of Richard Corbin, of Laneville. During man of that committee, and would have been his first marriage, he built an elegant manthe author of the Declaration of Indepen- sion at Elsin Green, on the Pamunkey, and dence. Shortly after the adoption of the afterwards another at Chericoke, on the same Declaration, (July 8th,] Mr. Jefferson en- river. He lived in a style of generous and closed to Mr. Lee, in Virginia, the original costly hospitality, according to the fashion of draught, and also a copy of the Declaration that day. [1761.] He was a member of the as adopted by Congress. In August Mr. Lee House of Burgesses from the county of King resumed his seat in congress. Richard Henry William, and took an active part in the sesLee was in person tall and well proportioned, sion of 1765.4 [1769.] He was a delehis features bold and expressive, nose aqui- gate in the assembly from the same county line, the contour of his face noble. He had and was a signer of the non-importation lost, by an accident, the use of one of his agreement. He was a member of the Virhands, and was sometimes styled “the gen- ginia convention, (1774.] [1775.) When tleman of the silver hand;" this hand he Patrick Henry, at the head of 150 volunkept covered with a black silk bandage, but teers, had advanced to Doncastle's, within leaving his thumb free. Notwithstanding 16 miles of Williamsburg, for the purpose of this disadvantage his gesture was pre-emi- recovering the gunpowder, removed by Lord nently graceful. His voice was melodious, Dunmore, Mr. Braxton repaired to Henry's his elocution Ciceronian, his diction elegant, head-quarters and interposed his efforts to copious, easy. His eloquence flowed on in prevent extremities. Finding that Henry tranquil magnificence like the stream of his would not disband without receiving the powown Potomac, reflecting in its course the der or compensation for it, Mr. Braxton rebeautiful forms of nature. Mr. Lee was a turned to Williamsburg and procured from member of the Episcopal church.

his father-in-law, Corbin, the deputy receiver Francis Lightfoot Lee, brother of Richard general, the amount demanded, and deliverHenry, was born, (October 14, 1734.] He ing it to Henry, succeeded in warding off was educated under a private tutor and in- the threatened blow. In this pacific course herited an independent fortune. (1765.] He Mr. Braxton coincided with the moderate became a member of the Virginia house of councils of Pendleton, Nicholas and Peyton burgesses, and continued in that body until Randolph. In this year Mr. Braxton was an 1775, when the convention of Virginia re- active member of the assembly and of the conturned him a member of Congress, in which vention that met at Richmond. He was one of he remained until 1779, when he re-entered the committee of safety. [Dec. 15.) He was the Assembly of Virginia.

elected a delegate to congress in the place of Carter Braxton was born at Newington, on Peyton Randolph, and he was a signer of the the Matapony, in King and Queen county, Declaration of Independence. [June 1776.] Va., (Sept. 10th, 1736.] His father, George The convention having reduced the number Braxton, a wealthy planter, married Mary, of delegates in Congress from seven to five, daughter of Robert Carter, of the council, and,

* A diary which he kept during this period is still pre• Wirt's Life of Patrick Henry, p. 68. Life of R. H. served by his descendants. Lee, vol. 1, pp. 249 250.

+ His colleayue was Bernard Moore of Chelsea, son-in| Encyclopædia Americana.

law of Gov. Spotswood.

Mr. Harrison and Mr. Braxton were not re-command of the American

army,

consisting elected. According to Girardin, # “Mr. of 14,500 men, encamped near Boston, and Braxton's Address on Government was not uni- made his head-quarters at Cambridge. The versally relished and his popularity had been British army, blocked up on the land side rein some degree impaired by persons whose po- mained inactive in Boston until March, when litical indiscretions, though beyond his con- Sir William Howe, who had succeeded Gentrol, fatally re-acted against him.” He was, eral Gage, evacuated that city and sailed for however, about this time returned by the Halifax. In the meantime Canada being incounty of King William a member of the vaded and Montgomery having reduced St. convention, and if he had fallen under a cloud Johns, Fort Chamblee and Montreal, united of suspicion, it appears to have been soon his force with that under Aruold and fell in dispersed, for, (Oct. 12th, 1776,) the thanks a gallant but unsuccessful attack upon Queof the convention were unanimously return-bec. Reinforcements of American troops ed to Thomas Jefferson and Carter Braxton, were sent to Canada, but owing to their infor their ability, diligence, and integrity, as sufficiency in number and in discipline, the delegates in Congress.

rigor of the climate and the activity of General Carleton, the British commander, the ex. pedition proved fruitless, and it was found ne.

cessary to evacuate that country. CHAPTER XXXIV.

Upon the evacuation of Boston the Ameri

can army proceeded to New York. Early in 1776—1781.

July, 1776, Sir William Howe with his army

landed on Staten Island. The command of Dunmore ; Miscellaneois Affairs; Clarke Captures St. the fleet was under Lord Howe, brother of Vincennes; The Convention Troops ; Arrival of British

Sir William, and these two were constituted Squadron in Hampton Roads; Suffolk Burnt; Battle of

commissioners for restoring peace.

The King's Mountain ; Arnold Invades Virginia ; Arrival of Phillips ; Petersburg taken; Devastations of the Enemy; British army being re-inforced, in August Phillips proceeds down James River; Returns to Pe. amounted to 24,000 men. The American tersburg ; His Deathi; Succeeded by Arnold ; Siincoe. army numbered 27,000, of whom, however,

many were undisciplined and a fourth part Dunmore, pressed for provisions, burnt his sick. [August 27.] In the battle of Long intrenchments near the ruins of Norfolk and Island, the American army, inferior in numsought refuge on board of his fleet. Major ber to the British, and without cavalry, was General Charles Lee took energetic measures defeated with a heavy loss, variously estifor curbing the disaffected in the lower coun- mated. Among the prisoners was General try. His orders were carried into effect by Sullivan. The British loss was not incousidCol. Woodford, who, in this affair, displayed erable. From the commencement of the vigor tempered with humanity. Dunmore, battle on the morning of the 27th till the with his fleet left Hampton Roads about the morning of the 29th Washington nerer slept, first of June and intrenched himself on and was almost constantly on horseback. Gwynn's island, in the Chesapeake Bay, to the disastrous result of this action cast a the East of Matthews county. (July 9th, he gloom over the cause of independence and was attacked by a party of Virginians under damped the ardor of the American troops. Brigadier General Andrew Lewis and forced The militia, in large numbers, quit the camp to abandon the island. Shortly afterwards and went home, insubordination prevailed despatching the remnant of his followers to and Washington was obliged to confess his Florida and the West Indies, he retired to the “ want of confidence in the generality of the North and thence returned to England, where troops.” He urged upon Congress the nehe continued to exhibit himself an active, un- cessity of a permanent army. (September tiring opponent of America.

15, 1776.] Washington was compelled to [July 3, 1775.] Washington assumed the evacuate New York with the loss of all his

heavy artillery and a large part of his stores. • See Burk's History of Virginia.

General Howe took possession of the city.* + Biography of Signers of Declaration of Independence. Vol. vi, pp. 177-207.

* 1. Marshall's Life of Washington, pp. 81-103.

In a skirmish, on Haerlem Heights, a de-ja finished education, and of indefatigable tachment of the third Virginia regiment, habits of application. Thoroughly versed in (which had arrived on the preceding day,) the charters, laws and history of the colony, formed the advanced party in the attack. he was styled the Virginia Antiquary. He Major Leitch, while intrepidly leading them was a politician of the first rank, a profound on, fell mortally wounded. In accordance logician and the first writer in the colony. with Washington's solicitation, congress took His letter to the clergy of Virginia, published some measures to put the army on a better 1760, and that on the rights of the colonies, footing. Washington to obviate the move- published 1766, are monuments of his patments of the enemy, moved his army up the riotism, his learning, and of the vigor of his North River. (October 25, 1776,) occurred understanding. In debate he was an unthe battle of White Plains, warmly contested graceful speaker. * It is said that he was with equal loss and without conclusive re- pronounced by Mr. Jefferson “the wisest sult. [Nov. 16th.] Fort Washington was man south of the James river.” He resided stormed by the British, and the garrison, con- at Jordan's Point, his seat on James river, in sisting of upwards of 2,600 men, were made the county of Prince George. His portrait prisoners. The loss of the enemy was 800. and that of his wife were mutilated by British Early in December, Washington finding his soldiers during the revolutionary war. army reduced to 4000 men, retreated across The Cherokees, instigated by the English, Jersey. Upon reaching the Delaware, his having made bloody incursions on the fronnumber was reduced to 3000, badly armed, tier of Virginia, Col. Christian marching half naked and destitute of supplies. They with a body of troops burnt their towns and were followed by a British army, numerous, compelled them to sue for peace. [October well-appointed, and victorious. Gen. Charles 7th, 1776,) the Assembly of Virginia met for Lee was surprised and made prisoner. The the first time since the commencement of the spirit of disaffection, prevailing in the coun- Revolution. Edmund Pendleton was chosen try, was added to render the American cause Speaker of the house of delegates an 1 Arstill more hopeless. This was a dark period chibald Carey of the Senate. The Presbyof the Revolution. (Dec. 20, 1776.) Wash-tery of Hanover presented to the Assembly ington's army, on the west bank of the Dela- a Memorial praying that religious freedom ware, increased by re-inforcements, amount- should be secured to dissenters. The Meed to 7000 effectives. In a few days, how- morialists pledged themselves that nothing ever, all of them, except about 1,500 men, in their power should be wanting to give were about to be dissolved. In the gloom that success to the common cause. In the fronoverspread the country, Washington became tier counties, containing one fifth of the inconvinced that some bold enterprise was ne- habitants of Virginia, the dissenters, who cessary, and he resolved to strike at the posts constituted almost the entire population, of the enemy, who had retired into winter were yet obliged to contribute to the supquarters. Crossing the Delaware in a night of extreme cold, he surprised a body of Hes

+ Wirt's Life of Patrick Henry, p. 64. The Blands of Va.

derive their name froin Bland a place in Westmoreland or sians at Trenton, on the morning of the 26th, Cumberland, England. William de Bland flourished in the and made 1,000 prisoners. Lieut. Monroe, reign of Edward III., and did good service in the wars, afterwards President of the United States, which that king carried on in France, in company of John,

of Gaunt, Earl of Richmond Thomas de Bland obtained was wounded in this affair. Lieut. Colonel

a pardon from Richard II., for the death of a person slain Baylor, of Virginia, Washington's aid, car- in a duel, by the intercession of his friend, the Duke of rying the intelligence of this success to Con- Guyenne and Lancaster. Giles Bland, collector of the gress, was presented with a horse caparisoned during the rebellion. Edmund Bland, a merchant in Spain,

custoins for James river, a partisan of Bacon, was executed for service and was recommended for promo- (1613,] removed to Virginia, and settled at Kimages, tion. At Princeton, another corps was routed in Charles City county. Theodorick Bland, who settled at with heavy loss, but the joy of the Ameri- Westover, (1651.) and Giles Bland, who was executed in

The lime of Bacon's Rebellion, have been mentioned in a cans was mingled with grief for the loss of preceding part of this work. This Theodorick left three the brave and virtuous General Mercer. sons, of whom the second was born at Berkley, (1665.] During this year died Richard Bland, a liam Randolph, of Turkey Island, and their eldest son was

His second wise was Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel Wil. man of extraordinary intellectual calibre, of Richard, afterwards member of the all congress.

VOL. XIII-83

port of the church as established. A con- Joath of allegiance was prescribed, a loan siderable portion of the inhabitants of the office established and acts passed to support other parts of the colony labored under the the credit of the continental and state paper same disadvantage. “Certain it is, (say the currency. Benjamin Harrison, George MaMemorialists,] that every argument for civil son, Joseph Jones, Francis Lightfoot Lee liberty gains additional strength when ap- and John Harrison were elected delegates to plied to liberty in the concerns of religion; Congress, Richard Henry Lee being left out. and there is no argument in favor of estab- [June 5th.] On account of his health and lishing the Christian religion, but what may for the purpose of meeting certain charges be pleaded with equal propriety for estab- circulated against his character as a patriot, lishing the tenets of Mahomed, by those Mr. Lee returned home. Having recently who believe the Alcoran; or if this be not been elected to the Assembly from Westtrue, it is at least impossible for the magis- moreland, he repaired to Richmond and detrate to adjudge the right of preference manded an enquiry into his public conduct. among the various sects that profess the After a full investigation and a defence so Christian faith, without erecting a chair of graceful and so eloquent as to extort admiinfallibility, which would lead us back to ration even from his enemies, he was honthe church of Rome.” Religious establish-orably acquitted and the thanks of the legisments, (they contended,) are injurious to the lature were returned to him for his fidelity, temporal interests of any community. The zeal and patriotism, by the venerable Speakmore early settlement of Virginia and her er George Wythe. * natural advantages would have attracted hith (July, 1777.] Sir William Howe sailed er multitudes of industrious and useful mem- from New York and entering the Chesabers of society, but they had either remained peake Bay, proceeded up Elk river, where, in their place of nativity, or preferred worse [August 25th,] he landed his army consistcivil governments and a more barren soil, ing of 18,000 men. The American Army, where they might enjoy the rights of con- numbering nearly 15,000 men, of whom, science more fully. Nor did religion need however, there were not more than 11,000 the aid of an establishment. On the con- effectives, marched about the same time trary, as her weapons are spiritual, Christi- towards the Brandywine. In the Battle of anity would flourish in the greatest purity Brandywine, which took place (September when left to her native excellence, and the 11th, 1777,] Sir William Howe proved vicduty which we owe our Creator can only be torious. The action was sanguinary and directed by reason and conviction. The As- the loss on both sides heavy. The Virginia sembly passed an act exempting Dissenters brigades under Wayne and Weedon were from contributions for the support of the es- among the troops that particularly distintablished church and submitting to the peo- guished themselves. The 3rd Virginia regiple the question whether a general assess- ment under command of the brave Colonel ment should be levied for the support of re- Marshall, (father of the Chief Justice,) sufligion.

fered terribly. t Among the wounded were Thomas Jefferson, Edmund Pendleton, the Marquis de la Fayette and General WoodGeorge Wythe, George Mason and Thomas ford. The enemy passed the night on the Ludwell Lee were appointed a committee to field of battle. September 26th the British revise the State Laws. By the resignation

* Life of Richard Henry Lce, pp. 192.196. 1 Bland paof Mr. Mason and the death of Mr. Lee, the

pers, pp. 57-58. duty devolved on the other three. An act + This regiment, which had performed extremely serer of great consequence, framed by Mr. Jeffer- duty in the campaign of 1776, was placed in a wood on the

right and in front of Woodford's brigade and Stephen's di. son, for docking entails, was passed. The vision. Though attacked by much superior numbers, the Virginia Assembly met, [May 5th, 1777.] 3rd Virginia regiment waintained its position without losing George Wythe, pupil and friend of Jefferson, an inch of ground, until both its flanks were turned, its

ammunition nearly expended and more than half of the was made Speaker of the lower house. The officers and one-third of the soldiers were killed and wound

ed. Col. Marshall, whose horse had received two balls, * Evan, and Lit. Mag., vol. 9, pp. 30-33. The Hanover then retired to resume his position on the right of bis di* Presbytery in 1777 presented a Memorial against the As.vision; but it had already relreated. 1 Marshall's Wash

ington, p. 158.

sessinent.

army entered Philadelphia. October 4th oc- New York. The arrival of a French fleet curred the battle of Germantown. Here under Count D'Estaing reanimated the hopes again after a bloody conflict, Washington of the Americans. Washington took up a was compelled to retreat. The 9th Virginia position at White Plains on the Hudson. regiment and part of the 6th were made pris- About this time Col. Baylor's regiment of oners. Col. Matthews, after penetrating to cavalry was surprised in the night by a Britthe centre of the town with his regiment, ish corps under General Gray. Of 104 priwas made prisoner. In December the Amer- vates 40 were made prisoners, 27 killed or ican army encamped at Valley Forge. wounded. Col. Baylor was dangerously

In the meantime, General Burgoyne, with wounded and taken. During this year Vira well appointed British army of 7,000 men, ginia sent Gen. George Rogers Clarke in an had advanced from Canada in order to open expedition to the Northwest. Alter endua communication between that country and ring extreme sufferings in marching through New York and to cut off New England from a wilderness, Clarke and his hardy followers the rest of the States. After capturing Ti- captured Kaskaskias and its governor Rocheconderoga, he moved slowly towards the blave. [December 15, 1778.) Hamilton, British Hudson river, encountering continual ob- Lieut. Governor of Detroit, under Sir Guy structions in his route through a wilderness Carleton, governor-in-chief, took possession country and harassed by the American of the post of St. Vincennes. Here he troops. A strong detachment was over- fortified himself, intending in the ensuing whelmed by Starke and his brave country- spring to rally his Indian confederates-to men near Bennington. After a series of attack Kaskaskias, then in possession of Col. engagements in which he suffered a terrible Clarke, and to proceed up the Ohio to Fort loss, Burgoyne was at length, (17th October, Pitt, sweeping Kentucky in his way, and 1777,] forced to surrender his army to Gates finally overrunning all West Augusta. This at Saratoga. In consequence of Bur- expedition was ordered by Sir Guy Carleton. goyne's s urrender and of the treaty by which Clarke's position was too remote for succor, the Americans had secured the alliance of and his force too small to withstand a siege. the French, the British army (under com- Nevertheless he prepared to make the best mand of Sir Henry Clinton, who had relie- possible defence. At this juncture, however, ved Sir William Howe,) evacuated Phil-a Spanish merchant brought intelligence, adelphia, (June 18, 1778.) Crossing the Del-that Hamilton had, by detaching his Indian aware, they marched through Jersey for New allies, reduced the strength of his garrison to York. [June 28th, 1778,) occurred the bat- 80 men with a few cannon. Clarke imme· tle of Monmouth. The result was not de- diately despatched a small armed galley with cisive, but the Americans remained masters orders to force her way, and station herself of the field. f Sir Henry Clinton occupied a few miles below the enemy. In the mean

time, (Feb. 7th, 1779,) he marched with 130 + 1. Marshall's Washington, p. 207.

St. Vincennes. † During his march + Col. Richard Kulder Meade, father of Bishop Meade, many of the inhabitants of the country joined of Virginia, was one of Washington's aides-de-camp du. the expedition ; the rest garrisoned the towns. ring the revolutionary war. The following anecdote rela: tive to him, is taken froin Auburey's Travels, vol. 2, pp. 402. Impeded by rain and high waters, Clarke's 404. Anburey was a lieutenant in the British army and at this time a prisoner of war in Virginia and visiting the lower country on parole. • On my way to this place. I stapt and slept al Tuckahoe, where I met with Colonel been the person that Sir Henry Clinton's Aid.de Camp Mead, Colonel Laurens, and another officer of General had fired at, and requesting to know the particular color of Washington's suite. More than once did I express a wisho his horse, he inforned me it was black, which convinced the General hinself had been of the party, to have seen ine it was hin; when I related the circumstance of his and conversed with a characler, of whom in all iny trave's ineering Sir Henry Clinum, he replied, he recollected in through the various provinces I never heard any one speak the course of that day to have met several British officers disrespectfully as an individual and whose public charac- and one of thern wore a star. L'pon my mentioning the fey has been the admiration and astonishinent of all Eu observation Sir Henry Clinton had inade to his Ald-derope." • * "the Colonel attributed the safety of his Camp, the Colonel largired and replied, “Had he hnown persoy to the swisiness of this horse, at the battle of Mon. it had been the Corpınander-in-chief, he shonld have made mouth, having been fired at and pursued by some British a desperate effort to have taken him prisoner.” officers, as he was reconnoitering. Upon the Colonel's men. # Now Vincennes in Indiana. tioning this circumstance, it occurred to me he inust have t 1. Marshall's Washington, p. 281.

men upon

« PreviousContinue »