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true Jedburgh justice was more than once administered— first the punishment, then the accusation, and last of all the evidence! In reference to them, the most ordinary feelings of compassion were suspended. Even so generous and exalted a mind as Washington's does not always form an exception to this remark. Thus in the letter to his brother, from which I just now quoted, he speaks of the exiles from Boston in terms that he would never surely have applied to any other of the human race. "By all "accounts there never existed a more miserable set of
"beings than these wretched creatures are They
"chose to commit themselves to the mercy of the waves, "at a tempestuous season, rather than meet their offended
"countrymen One or two have done what a
"great many ought to have done long ago — committed "suicide!"
To the Americans the recovery of Boston, after so many struggles and so protracted a blockade, became a natural topic of triumph. The Congress voted that in commemoration of this great event there should be struck a Medal in gold and bronze; and it was struck accordingly, not indeed (since they lacked an artist) in America, but by their direction, in France.* It was ordered that in token of their gratitude the Medal should bear the effigy and the praise of Washington as Assertor of their Freedom; and this vote was accompanied by another of cordial thanks.— Washington remained a few days longer at Boston, busy in levelling the works upon the Neck and making other needful arrangements. By that time it was well understood that the next main object of British enterprise was to be New York, and to New York, therefore, Washing
on Revenge, and ascribed 10 the invention of Cosmo Duke of Florence.
* This fine medal is not in the collection of the British Museum, but I hare seen it there in the Cabinet belonging to Mr. Hawkins, and I have another in my own possession. It has often been engraved. On the one side appears the head of Washington—AdserTori Libertatis ;—on the other side a view of the American officers on Dorchester Heights with Boston in the distance and the inscription Bostonium Recuperatum ;— Hostibus Primo Fugatis; by these last words plainly renouncing all the idle vaunts of Lexington.
ton and the greater part of his army now repaired. He found time however for a rapid visit to Philadelphia, so as to concert his future measures with the leaders of the Congress.
In England meanwhile the expected reinforcements were being urged, though scarcely with the requisite vigour and celerity. The Cabinet had entertained some hopes of Russian auxiliaries, but the negotiation for that object could not be matured. Early in the year treaties were signed with the Landgrave of Hesse for taking into British pay twelve thousand of his men; with the Duke of Brunswick and other petty potentates of Germany for five thousand more. These little Princes, seeing the need of England, which did not choose to lean, as she might and should have done, on her own right arm, insisted on obtaining, and did obtain, most usurious terms. Under the name of levy-money there was to be paid to them the price of thirty crowns for every foot-soldier. Under the name of subsidy each of their Serene Highnesses was moreover to be indulged with a yearly sum, irrespective of the pay and subsistence of the troops; and on the plea that in this case no certain number of years was stipulated as the term of service, the Landgrave of Hesse claimed and was promised a double subsidy, namely 450,000 crowns a year! The men were to enter into pay before they began to march! The subsidies were to be continued for one full year at least, after the war was over and the troops had returned to their respective homes! Never yet in short was the blood of brave men sold on harder terms.
The disgrace of this transaction to the German Princes who engaged in it requires little comment. If the rude Swiss mountaineers of the middle ages have been justly reproached for their mercenary practice, how much more justly will that reproach apply to educated men of the eighteenth century! Even now the traveller, as he lingers over the delicious garden-slopes of Wilhelms-Hohe, may sigh to think at what sacrifice they were adorned—how many burghers' sons from the adjoining town of Cassel were sent forth, for no object beyond replenishing the coffers of their Sovereign, to fight and to fall in a quarrel not their own. The ablest by far of the German Princes at that time, Frederick of Prussia, was not in general a man of compassionate feelings. He had no especial love or care for the North American cause; indeed it is scarcely mentioned in his most familiar letters, unless for a sorry jest on the name of General Howe.* Yet even Frederick expressed in strong terms his contempt for the scandalous man-traffic of his neighbours. It is said that whenever any of the newly hired Brunswickers or Hessians had to pass through any portion of his territory he claimed to levy on them the usual toll as for so many head of cattle, since he said they had been sold as suchlf
Nor can the British Ministry in this transaction be considered free from blame. If men were needed was there any lack of them in England? Was it wise to inform foreign states that we deemed ourselves thus dependent on foreign aid? Was it wise to hold forth to America the first example of obtaining assistance from abroad? Above all, if conciliation was to be the object full as much as conquest, how signal the imprudence thus, in the midst of a civil strife, to thrust forward aliens to both parties, in blood, in language, and in manners! What else could be expected than that these aliens should feel themselves restrained by no ties of affinity, by no feelings of affection, from wreaking on their opponents the utmost miseries of war? Considerations such as these were warmly urged in both Houses of Parliament, but only by small minorities. In America, on the contrary, such considerations appear to have pervaded the great body of the people. Certain it is that among the various causes which at this period wrought upon our trans-Atlantic brethren to renounce their connection with us, there was none more cogent in their minds than the news that German mercenaries had been hired and were coming to fight against them.
The reinforcements from England were impatiently expected by General Howe, who felt all the danger of delay at such a juncture; but during many weeks they were
* "Nous entendons parler du General Howe dont chaque chien en "aboyant prononce le nom." (A Voltaire, le 17 Juin 1777.)
f Den iiblichen vieh-zoll. See Preuss, Lebens-Geschichte, vol. iii. p. 472.
expected in vain. Besides the main object of New York, Howe had in contemplation two smaller enterprises, one to the south for the reduction of the Carolinas, another to the north for the relief of Quebec. To the command of the first was appointed General Clinton, to the command of the second, at a later period, General Burgoyne.
With respect to North Carolina, Mr. Martin, the late Governor of that province, had endeavoured to raise a counter-revolution, through the means of the Highland emigrants and of certain unruly men known by the name of Regulators *; but his levies were quickly routed and dispersed. In South Carolina it was hoped that the Royal cause might be better supported. General Clinton arriving off Cape Fear there met a squadron of ships from England under Sir Peter Parker, having on board a detachment of troops under Earl Cornwallis. Early in June this combined force came to anchor off Charleston Bar. The first object was to reduce Sullivan's Island, which guarded the entrance of the river, and on which the Americans had constructed a new fort. A brave officer, Colonel Moultrie, commanded at this post, while General Charles Lee was near at hand with a large body of Militia, having been despatched by Congress to this district on the first rumours of its danger. Clinton disembarked his men upon a sand-bank called Long Island, from which he expected to pass over into Sullivan's by a ford. But he had been grossly deceived by erroneous soundings, and found to his great mortification the channel, which was reported to be only eighteen inches, upwards of seven feet in depth. Thus the King's forces were arrested by an impervious gulf at the very time of action, and at the very place where they had expected to pass almost dry-shod. The fort on Sullivan's Island (since from its defender called Moultrie's) was meanwhile cannonaded by the ships, but their fire was far more effectually returned, and finally, notwithstanding most signal gallantry in the conduct of Parker and his captains,
* "The Regulators had acquired this name from their attempting "to regulate the administration of justice in the remote settlements "in a summary manner subversive of the public peace." (Ramsay's History of the Revolution, vol. i. p. 253.)
one of them named Morris conspicuous above all, the attack, and indeed the whole expedition, had to be relinquished, with much damage to several of the vessels, and two hundred men killed or wounded.
In Canada, better success attended the British arms. Towards the close of winter Arnold, still before Quebec, had been superseded by the arrival of General Wooster, and had retired in disgust to Montreal. His absence was in itself a grievous loss to the Americans. Great irregularities moreover became rife among them. The Adjutant General of their own army complains, not merely of "provincial .jealousies" and "quarrelling Generals," but still more of " a most incredible waste or embezzlement of "all stores and provisions." * — On the other side reinforcements had been promised to Carleton, as soon as the season might allow; and even before the navigation of the St. Lawrence was fully cleared, three ships, forcing their way through the ice, joined him at Quebec. Hereupon— it was the 6th of May — Carleton sallied forth against the enemy at his gates; they were already retreating, but he put them to the rout with the loss of all their baggage and artillery. The campaign thus auspiciously begun was no less auspiciously pursued. One division of the Americans was captured at-the Cedars; another was defeated at the Three Rivers; the rest were driven in confusion beyond Lake Champlain; and thus before midsummer the entire province had been recovered for the King.
In several of these actions, and above all at the Cedars, the British allowed themselves to be joined by some parties of the Indians — a most cruel and, as it deserved to be, a most precarious resource in such a war. To whichever side the savages attached themselves—for both at various times invited their co-operation,—they brought with them far more discredit than support. Trained in habits of bloodshed, and little awed by the authority of American or European officers, these Red Men might be useful as foragers or as spies and scouts, but were chiefly known by the terrors which they spread among the undefended, and the barbarities which they sought to wreak upon the prisoners and the wounded.—
* Life of President Reed, vol. i. p. 210.