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major Fay undertook the delivery by express of Sherwood's despatch. In the evening there was another interview between Allen and Sherwood. On the following morning, Sherwood informed Allen that he had brought secret proposals, and that they could be produced. Allen desired that they should remain in the safe custody where they were. Sherwood was also informed that he would be visited by Ira Allen and major Fay. He was recommended to open the business to them with great care, and not communicate the previous conversation with Ethan Allen. Sherwood was to propose nothing to them but neutrality, and that to take place only when the course had been forced upon them by the tyranny of congress, and an obstinate refusal on her part to grant Vermont her rights.

Sherwood summed up the result of the conference that general Allen declared that he was surrounded by enemies, the most inveterate being in New York. He was weary of war, and was desirous of prosecuting his philosophical studies. His attachment to the liberties of America was strong, and only treatment similar to that of which congress complained as having suffered from Great Britain could lead him to abandon the cause in which he had been so long engaged. Were he to make a declaration of any such intention, his people would cut off his head. Vermont was not now in a position to defend herself, and Haldimand was unable to send a force sufficient to protect her. Thirty thousand men might be upon them in thirty days. Shortly a manifesto would be published, in which Vermont would declare herself a neutral power. So soon as any force was directed against Vermont, he would march with his brigade to Albany and invite the friends of the liberties of America to join him. He would be reinforced by thousands. The county of Berkshire, with a militia of 4,000 men, was anxious to be incorporated with Vermont. Rather than be ruined by congress they would ask help from Canada. Should this event take place, he would recommend Haldimand to operate with force sufficient to be able to establish a post at Albany, and another at 1780]



Bennington. For in this attempt 20,000 men would be required, and it would be the best means of bringing the contest to a speedy decision. He advanced these views on the theory that Great Britain should command the seas, otherwise he had no confidence in any protection that Haldimand could offer.

Allen entered into an explanation of what Vermont, in such conditions, would require, and what he himself would expect. It may be briefly said here that the conditions were those which Haldimand was prepared to grant. It was Allen's view that a revolution of this character could only be the work of time, and that it could not be hurried on too fast. It would be dangerous for him personally to wait upon Haldimand, or to receive letters from Canada. The negotiations could only be kept open by flags, and Allen recommended that Haldimand's flag should always include some negotiation with New York, as well as with Vermont. Above all, it was necessary to be careful of spies, who were busy everywhere. Allen clearly gave it to be understood, that should Vermont be recognised as a separate state, the negotiations would be at an end.

On the 30th Allen left for Bennington. Shortly after his departure it was reported that the scouts had learned that major Carleton had returned with a detachment to Ticonderoga, that he was drawing boats over the landing and had sent a detachment to the east of lake Champlain. The intelligence was most threatening to Sherwood, and for a time his life was in danger. He was placed under close arrest with a sentry at his door. There was likewise a report that Indians were on the scout. Sherwood asserts that the whole matter was an invention, a farce on the part of Allen to alarm the country. On the following day, the 31st, Sherwood and his small party were marched off prisoners, with an escort of twenty men. The distance was 28 miles to a place called Pallet. In consequence of an express from Allen the roads were full of militia. All the people were greatly exasperated, so that Sherwood was subjected to continual insults. The same treatment was continued for the following two days, the march on the ist of November being made in a heavy snow-storm. On the evening of the 2nd a message was received from Chittenden condemnatory of the treatment to which Sherwood had been subjected, and he was ordered to be left without restraint.

A flag with major Clark had in the meantime been sent to major Carleton. Carleton's name had been brought into prominence in the negotiation, and any movement such as that attributed to him would have been a glaring act of bad faith. Clark returned with the intelligence that the report was groundless. The popular effervescence of feeling became calmed, and an order was sent for Sherwood's release.

He started on the 6th of November for Castleton, but, owing to snow-storms, arrived there only on the 8th. On the gth Ira Allen and major Fay joined him, to arrange the details of the cartel. Sherwood was forbidden to leave until the uth, and at night of that day he arrived at East-bay to find the ice two inches thick.

The delay was unfavourable to the movements of Sherwood, for he had to descend lake Champlain in the craft in which he had arrived. The winter had already set in, accompanied with snow and unusually severe weather. In Canada the seasons vary considerably. On some occasions there is open navigation of the rivers and lakes to December; a period of after-summer, the perfection of weather, with bright skies, a warm sun, an enjoyable temperature with the absence of Aies. In spite of the leafless trees the fancy can easily suggest that the days are those of mid-September. On other occasions on All Saints' day, the ist of November, severe snow-storms are experienced, and the shallow water of the lakes curtaining the banks are frozen. Ice is formed two and three inches in thickness, and the navigation of the smaller streams is almost impeded. Such was the winter of 1780.

Allen and Fay, on leaving Sherwood, undertook to proceed to Saint John's as soon as the ice would take. Sherwood's journal reads as if they had originally designed to accom1780]



pany him. They went with him to East-bay, and, on leaving him, engaged to join him “as quickly as possible.” Some further conversation took place, and Sherwood shewed them the propositions of Haldimand, after which the papers were burned. They gave Sherwood some pamphlets of Allen's, he so describes them, with instructions to secure them by night on shore, to avoid all chance of their being taken by parties from New York, and they engaged when they met him to shew their authority to treat. On taking their departure they placed with him ten days' bread and meat. Sherwood's journey homewards was by no means an easy matter. The incidents connected with it may be mentioned, as shewing the risks of travelling in those days before winter regularly set in, that were encountered in even the well settled parts of Canada for half a century later. It was the ordinary experience, more or less, of all whose business led them to travel between the cities. It has long been a matter of the past. We may, however, cast our minds back to other days when these hardships were met, and it may be said, regarded as an unavoidable consequence. Sherwood began with breaking three miles of ice to form a channel to reach open water. He was again stopped and forced to cut his way, on one day through two miles, on the following day through three miles of ice. Between the 17th and 19th of November the cutter was forced through eleven miles, in addition to his previous efforts, before he was in the lake. He ordered the cutter to proceed to Ticonderoga, and, with some men, returned to Skeenesborough for bread and meat. Obtaining what they were able, they carried it three miles on their backs till they found a skiff, which Sherwood appropriated, leaving a message that necessity obliged him to take it, and that in the spring he would replace it.

On the 21st, he reached Chimney Point, where he took in captain Macdonald's family. Shortly after, in descending the lake, he met an officer, Marsh, with a flag for Allen. Sherwood advised him to turn back ; Marsh replied he could not

At Miller's bay, Sherwood found waiting for him two men, four women and four children. They had been four days without provisions. Sherwood's own stock of food was short, and his men were on half-rations; nevertheless, he gave them a place in his cutter and fed them as he was able. He describes himself as having thirty rations of bread and meat to divide between thirty-five hungry persons, with a pint of Indian corn for each one. Head-winds and snow-storms impeded them on the following day. On the 23rd the wind was favourable, and they reached Tea-kettle island ; on the 24th they arrived at Point-au-fer, where they found shelter and food. Sherwood took a skiff and rowed on to île-auxNoix. On the 26th he arrived at Saint John's, where he saw major Carleton. The two on the following day started for Quebec, to arrive there on the 30th, when Sherwood made his report to Haldimand.

do so.

On the 1st of November a special report was laid before the assembly of Vermont, to the effect that no provisions should be furnished to colonel Hay, the continental commissarygeneral, a large supply having been given. If the legislature assisted Hay in the purchase, it pledged its faith for payment, “a contradiction to the grand American principle that taxation without representation is inadmissible :" but there was no law to prevent colonel Hay purchasing such provisions as he required. During the period when this correspondence was being carried on with Quebec, Chittenden had forwarded copies of the letters addressed by him to Huntingdon, president of congress, to which allusion has been made,* and to Clinton, Turnbull and Hancock, the governors of the states of New York, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, in which he demanded the relinquishment of all claim of jurisdiction over Vermont, and proposed a union for defence against the British forces.

In February, Beverley Robinson again wrote to Allen, informing him that having sent two copies of his letter, and having received no reply, he was afraid that they had miscarried. In the belief that Allen was still inclined to join the

Ante., p. 77.

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