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sary to convey them over land. General Burgoyne finding it impossible to stay here, with any safety to his army, resolved to attempt a march to Fort Edward in the night, and force the passages at the fords either above or below. That he might effect this the more easily, it was resolved that the soldiers should carry their provisions on their backs, and leave behind them their baggage and every other incumbrance. But intelligence being received that the enemy had raised strong intrenchments opposite the fords, well provided with cannon, and that they had also taken possession of the rising ground between fort George and fort Edward, it was judged impossible to succeed in the attempt.
The American army was still increasing in numbers; and reinforcements flocked in from all quarters, elated with the certain prospect of capturing the whole British army. Small parties extended all along the opposite bank of Hudson's river, and some had passed it, that they might the more exactly observe every movement of the enemy. The forces under general Gates were computed at sixteen thousand men, while the army under general Burgoyne amounted to about six thousand.
Every part of the British camp was reached by the rifle and grape shot of the Americans. In this state of extreme distress and imminent danger, the army continued with the greatest constancy and perseverance, till ‘the evening of the thirteenth of October, when an inventory of provisions being taken, it was found that no more remained than was sufficient to last three days; a council of war being called, it was unanimously determined that there was no other alternative but to treat with the enemy.
In consequence of this, a negociation was opened the next day, which terminated in a capitulation of the whole British army; the principal article of which was, “ That the troops were to have a free passage to Britain, on condition of not serving against America during the war." On this occasion general Gates generously ordered his army to keep within their camp, while the British soldiers went to a place appointed to lay down their arms, that the latter might not have the additional mortification of being made spectacles on so nielancholy an event.
The number of those who surrendered at Saratoga, amounted to five thousand seven hundred and fifty. According to the American accounts, the list of sick and wounded left in the camp when the army retreated to Sa. ratoga, amounted to five hundred and twenty-eight, and the number of those by other accounts, since the taking of Ticonderoga, to near three thousand. Thirty-five brass field pieces, seven thousand stands of arms, clothing for an equal number of soldiers, with tents, military chest, &c. constituted the booty on this occasion.
Sir Henry Clinton in the mean time, instead of taking effectual measures for the immediate relief of general Burgoyne, of whose situation he had been informed, amused himselt with destroying the two forts called Montgomery and Clinton, with fort Constitution, and another place called continental Village, where there were barracks for two thousand men ; he also carried away seventy large calnon, a number of smaller ones, and a quantity of stores and ammunition. Another attack was made by Sir J.mes Wallace with some frigates, and a body of land forces, under general Vaughan, upon Esopus, a small flourishing town on the river. But these successes oniy tended to irritate the Americans, and injurc the royal cause.
On the sixteenih of March, 1778, lord North informed the house of commons, that a paper had been laid before the king, by the French ambassador, intimating the conclusion of an alliance between the court of France, and the United States of America. It was on the sixth of February, 1778, that the articles were formally signed, to the great satisfaction of France ; by which it was hoped, that the pride of her formidable rival would be humbled, and her power lessened. For this purpose and her own aggrandizement, did France enter into an alliance with the revolta ed subjects of Great Britain ; but not till after the capture of Burgoyne's army, when the Americans had made it manifest, that they were able to defend themselves, without the interference of any foreign power. How far that interference has been beneficial to France, the dreadful features of her own revolution must decide; and to which the American revolution, undoubtedly gave birth. The articles were in substance, as follows.
1. If Great Britain should, in consequence of this freatý, proceed to hostilities against France, the two nations should mutually assist one another.
2. The main end of the treaty was, in an effectual manner to maintain the independency of America.
3. Should those places in North America, still subject to Great Britain, bé reduced by the colonies, they should be confederated with them, or subjected to their jurisdiction.
4. Should any of the West India islands, be reduced by France, they should be deemed its property.
5. No formal treaty with Great Britain should be concluded, either by France or America, without the consent of each other; and it was mutually engaged, that they should not lay down their arms, till the independency of the Sates had been formally acknowiedged.
6. The contracting parties mutually agree to invite those powers who had received injuries from Great Bri. tail, to join the common cause.
7. The United States guaranteed to France all the pos. sessions in the West Indies, which she should conquer; and France guaranteed the absolate independence of the United States, and their supreme authority over every country they possessed, or might acquire, during the war.
The house of commons looked upon this treaty as a declaration of war; and the members were unanimous in . an address to his majesty, promising to stand by him to the utmost, in the present emergency ; but it was warmly contended by the members of the opposition, that the present ministry should be removed, on account of their numerous blunders and miscarriages in every instance. Many were of opinion, that the only way to extricate the nation from its trouble, was to acknowledge at once, the independency of America, that so they might do with a good grace, what they would inevitably have to do at last. Instigated with zeal for the national honour, the ministerial party was determined to resent the arrogance of France, and prosecute the war in America, with increased vigour, should the terms about to be offered them be rejected.
The agents of the Americans, in the mean time, were assiduously en-ployed at the courts of Spain, Vienna,
Prussia, and Tuscany, in order, if possible, to conclude alliances with them; or, at least to procure an acknowledgment of their independency. As it had been reported, that Great Britain had applied for assistance to Russia, the American commissioners were enjoined to use their utmost endeavours with the German princes, to prevent such auxiliaries from marching through their territories; and also, to prevail with them to recal the German troops already sent to America.
To the Spanish court they proposed, that in case they should think proper to espouse their cause, the American States should assist in reducing Pensacola under the dominion of Spain ; provided the citizens of the United States were allowed the free navigation of the river Mississippi, and the use of the harbour of Pensacola : and they further offered, that if agreeable to Spain, they would declare war against Portugal, should that power expel the American ships from their ports.
The troops of General Burgoyne in the mean time, were preparing to embark, agreeably to the convention of Saratoga ; but Congress having received information that articles of ammunition and accoutrements, had not been surrendered as stipulated ; and alledging also, some other cause, as that they apprehended sinister designs were harboured by Great Britain, to convey these troops to join the army at Philadelphia, or New York, positively refused to let them embark without an explicit ratification of the convention, properly notified by the British court.
The season for action approaching, Congress was indefatigable in making preparations for a new campaign; which, it was confidently affirmed, would be the last. General Washington, at the same time, to remove all unnecessary incumbrances from the army, lightened the baggage as much as possible, by substituting sacks and portmanteaus, in place of chests and boxes; and using pack-horses instead of waggons. The British army on the other hand, expecting to be reinforced by twenty thousand men, thought of nothing but concluding the war according to their wishes, before the end of another campaign.
Lord North’s conciliatory bill, therefore, was received by them, with the utmost concern and indignation ; they considered it as a national disgrace ; and some even tore
the cockades from their hats, and trampled them under their feet. By the colonists it was received with indifference. The British commissioners endeavoured to make it as public as possible ; and Congress, as usual, ordered it to be printed in all the newspapers. Governor Tryon inclosed several copies of the bill in a letter to General Washington, intreating him, that he would allow them to be circulated ; to which the general returned for answer, a newspaper, in which the bill was printed, with the re solutions of Congress upon it, which were, that whosoever presumed to make a separate agreement with Great Britain, should be deemed a public enemy; that the United States could not, with any propriety, keep correspondence with the commissioners, until their independence was acknowledged, and the British fleets and armies removed from America.
The colonies were also warned not to suffer themselves to be deceived into security by any offers that might be made; but to use their utmost endeavours to send their quotas into the field. Some individuals, who conversed with the commissioners on the subject of the conciliatory bill, intimated to them that the day of reconciliation was past : that the haughtiness of Britain had extinguished all filial regard in the breasts of the Americans.
Silas Deane about this time arrived from France with two copies of the treaty of commerce and alliance, to be signed by Congress. Advices of the most flattering nature were received from various parts, representing the friendly dispositions of the European powers; all of whom it was said, wished to see the independence of America settled upon the most permanent basis.
Considering therefore, the situation of the colonies at this time, it was no wonder that the commissioners did not succeed. Their proposals were utterly rejected, and themselves threatened to be treated as spies. But before any answer could be obtained from Congress, Sir Henry Clinton had taken the resolution of evacuating Philadelphia. Accordingly on the eighteenth of June, after having made the necessary preparations, the army marched out of the city, and crossed the Delaware before noon, with all its bag. gage, and other incumbrances. General Washington, apprised of this design, had dispatched expresses into the