« PreviousContinue »
ratters. By the middle of October genera! Sullivan reached} Easton in Pennsylvania on his return to join the main army. He brought back only 3O0 horses out of the 14-00 lie took witr*« him. During this expedition, there were eleven Indians killed , two old squaw*;, a negro,- and a white man taken ;—•—1» towns* destroyed, and 150,000 bushels of corn, beside apple and peach-trees. By groundless complaints, he displtased the commander in chief, and gave great umbrage to the board of ■war and the quarter-master-general. The pompous accountf of his military peregrination, which he sent to congress, made him the laugh of the officers in the army remaining, undet general Washington; one declared it was a little mischievous to print the whole account ; another when he had read of elegant Indian houses, was ready to question, from the abuse of the epithet, whether he understood the true meaning of the word. He soon felt himself so dissatisfied, that on the 9th ofT November he begged leave of congress to resign,, upon the plea of bad health; they on the last of the month, accepted his resignation.
The carrying on of this expedition did not, however, prevent the offensive operations of the Indians and their associates. On the 23d of July, a party of 60 Indians, and 21 white men under Joseph Brandt, fell upon the Minisink settlements and burnt 10 houses, 12 barns, a fort and two mills, killed and carried off several people with considerable plunder. The mi-' litia from Goshen and parts adjacent, to the amount of 149V collected, and pursued them but without sufficient caution and necessaries, so that they were surprised and totally defeated; no more than 30 returned* Many were killed, a number made prisoners; the rest dispersed and were missing longafter the action. Five days after, captain M'Donald, at the head of 259men, a third British, the rest Indians, took Freland's fort, on the west branch of the Susquehanna; in which were 30 mera, and 50 women and children ; the captain consented that the last should be set at liberty, but the men were made prisoners of war. The party, on their way to it, had burnt houses and mills, had killed and captivated several of the inhabitants. On
* Sullivan in his account says 40; but if a few old houfes which had h«n deserted for feveral years, were met with and burnt, they were put down for a town- Siables and wood-hovels, and lodges in the field, when theladians were called to work there, were all reckoned as hout'c»«
■f See the Remembrancer, vol. ix. p. 1^8.
jbe other side, General Williamson, with Colonel Pickens, entered the Indian country about the 22d of August, burnt and destroyed the corn of eight towns, amounting to more than £0,000 bushels. He would hearken to, no proposals from the Indians, nor accept of their friendship, but insisted on their removing immediately, with their remaining property, into- the settled towns of the creeks, and residing among their 'countrymen, to whichthey agreed. Colonel Broadhead also engagf d in a successful expedition against the Mingo and .Munsey Indians, and the Senecas on the Allegany-river. He left Pittsburg August the 1 lth, with. 605 rank and iile, including militia and volunteers, and did not return till the 14th of September. They went about 20O miles from the fort, destroyed ..a number .of tows, and cornfields to the amount of 500 acres, and made a great deal of plunder in skins and other articles. .., The active part which the Spaniards have now taken in the present contest, must issue in favor of the American States. The Spanish Governor of Louisiana, Don Bcrnado de GaSvcz, has acknowledged his being apprized of the commencement of hostilities between the courts of Madrid and London, on the -9th p.f August, The easiest way of accounting for this extraordinary circumsUncerconsidering that the Spanish manifesto was. put delivered tilL the 16th of June, may be by supposing-that the Spanish admiral had orders immediately upon his joining: Count d'Orvilliers, to dispatch a vessel to inform the Spanish governors in America, that hostilities were then commencing; and that the said vessel had so good a passage as to admit of Don Calvez receiving the dispatches on the 9th of August within forty-six days after the junction of the combined fleet. The 'Governor proceeded to collect the whole force of his province at New-Orleans, [August 19th.] and then .publicly recognized the independency of the American States by beat ctt" drum. Every tiring being in readiness for the purpose, he immediately marched against the British settlements on the Missisippi. The whole force, British and German, stationed for their protection, did not amount to 500 men: and had no tpfher cover than a newly constructed fort, or rather field redoubt. Here, however, Lieutenant Colonel Dickson stood a .siege of nine days, and then obtained conditions honourable to the garrison, [September 11.] and favourable to the inhabitants. Nothing could exceed the good faith with which the; Spanish Governor observed the prescribed conditions; nor tl>e hiunanity and kindness with which he treated his prisoners.
A Spanish gentleman, Don Juan de Mirailiies, lias resided at Philadelphia for some considerable time : he appears to be empowered by the court of Madrid to act as their agent, and transacts his business with Congress through the medium of the French Ambassador. Being thus led to mention Congress, let us quit the operations of the field to the determinations of the grand council of the American States.
"Congress having at length concluded upon an ultimatum, after much deliberation and debate, [Aug. 14.] they agreed upon instructions to the commissioner to be appointed to negotiate a treaty of peace with Great-Britain, and to the minister plenipo. tentiary at the court of France. They pointed out to the first the boundaries he was to insist upon, and further said—" As the great object of the present defensive war, on the part of the allies, is to establish the independency of the United States, and as any treaty whereby this end cannot be obtained must be onJy ostensible and illusory, you are therefore to make it a preliminary article to any ncgociation, that Great-Britain shall agree to treat with the United States as sovereign, free and independent :—You shall take special care also, that the independence of the said states be effectually assured and confirmed by the treaty or treaties of peace, according to the form and effect of the treaty of alliance with his Most Christian Majesty; and you shall not agree to such treaty or treaties, unless the same be thereby assured and confirmed :—Although it is of the ut« most importance to the peace and commerce of the United States, that Canada and Nova-Scotia should be ceded, and more particularly that their equal common right to the fisheries should be guaranteed to them, yet, a desire of terminating the vvarhath induced us not to make the acquisition of these'objects an ultimatum on the present occasion :—You are empowered to agree to a cessation of hostilities during the negociation, provided our ally shall consent to the same, and provided ic shall be stipulated that all the forces of the enemy shall be immediately withdrawn from the United States :—In all other matters not above-mentioned, you are to govern yourself by the alliance between his Most Christian Majesty and those states, by the advice of our allies, by your knowledge of our interests, and by your own discretion, in which we repose the fullest confidence."
To Dr. Franklin the congress wrote—" Sir,—Having determined that we would not insist on a direct acknowledgment by Great-Britain, of our rights in the fisheries, this important
•.matter is liable to an incertitude, which may be dangerous -to the political and commercial interests of the United States, ;/we have therefore agreed and resolved—that the common right <of fishing shall in no case be given up ;—and that if after a treaty of peace with Great Britain, she shall molest the citizens or in•habitants of any of the United States, in taking fish on the banks of Newfoundland and other fisheries of the American seas, any where excepting within the distance of three-leagues of the shore of the territories remaining to Great Britain at the close of the
• -"war, such molestation (being in the opiniomof Congress a direct -violation and breach at the peace) shall be a common cause of fthe said states, and the force of the union be exerted to obtain -redress for the parties injured; But notwithstanding these precautions, as Great Britain may again light up the flames of war, •and use our exercise of the fisheries as her pretext: and since tome doubts may arise, whether this object is so effectually guarded by the treaty of alliance with his most christian majesty, that «ny molestation therein on the part of Great Britain, is to be
^considered as a casus foederis; you are to endeavour to obtain of -v-iiis majesty an explanation on that subject,"upon the principle that "notwithstanding the high confidence reposed in his wisdom and ■ Jostice, yet considering the uncertainty of human affans. and how «s*k>ubts may be afterwards raised in the breasts of his roval successors, the great importance of the fisheries renders the citizens of these states very solicitous to obtain his majesty's sense v -iwith relation to them, as the best security against the ambition
• jof the British court. For this purpose you shah propose the fol•-lowing articles, in which nevertheless such alterations may be
.made as tire circumstances and situation of affairs shall render convenient and proper. Should the same be agreed to and executed, you are immediately to trasmit a copy thereof to our ^minister at the court of Spain." •^riff Whereas by the treaty of alliance between the most christian •king and the United States of North America, the two parties ■guarantee mutually from that time and forever against all other ^powers, to wit, the United States to his most christian majesty w'ihe possession then appertaining to the crown of France in Ame«'<*ica> as well as those which it may acquire by a future treaty of - .peace; and his most christian majesty guarantees on his part t» the United States, all their liberty, sovereignty and independence absolute and unlimited, as well in matters of government as commerce, and also their possessions and the additions or conquests ■that their confederation may obtain'dtfsing the war, according to the said treaty ;—And whereas the said parties did further agree Vvol. III. B and
and declare that in case of a rupture between France and England^. the said reciprocal guarantee should have its full force and effect the moment such a war should break out :■—And shereatt doubts may hereafter arise how far the said guarantee extends to this case, to wit, that should Great Britain molest or disturb the subjects or inhabitants of France, or of the said states, in taking lish on the banks of Newfoundland, and other the fishing bank* and seas of North America, formerly and usually frequented by the subjects and inhabitants respectfully:—And whereas the said king and the United States have thought proper to deter* mine with precision the true intent and meaning of the said gua» rantee in this respect, now therefore as a further demonstration of their mutual good will and affection, it is hereby agreed, con«» eluded and determined as follows, to wit, That if after the conselusion of the treaty or treaties which shall terminate the pre* sent war, Great Britain shall molest or disturb the subjects or inhabitants of the United States, hi taking fish on the banks^ seas and places, formerly used and frequented by them so as not to encroach on the territorial rights, which may remain to he* after the termination of the present war as aforesaid, and war should thereupon break out between the United States and Great Britain : Of if Great Britain shall molest or disturb the subjects and inhabitants of France,, in taking fish on the banks? seas and plaoes formerly used and frequented by them, so as not to encroach ori the territorial rights of Great Britain as aforesaid^ and war should thereupon break owtbetween France and Great .Britain ; in either of these eases of war as aforesaid, his most christian majesty and the said United States shall make it a convtnun case, and aid each other mutually with their good offices,, their councils and- their forces, according to the exigence of «onjectures, as. becomes good and faithful allies—'Pivvided al» way that nothing herein contained shall be taken or understoody as contrary to or inconsistent with the true intent and meaning of the treaties already subsisting between his most christian ma* jesty and the said states, but the same shall be takent and understood as explanatory of and conformable to those treaties."
The honorable Sieur Gerard, minister plenipotentiary of France,, had a private audience of Congress [Sept. 11.] in order to his taking leave of them ^ when he mentioned in his speech hi» majesty's having sent a new minister plenipotentiary to America* that there might be no interruption in his care to cultivate amutual friendship, and that Mons. the chevalier de la Luzerne would explain to them his majesty's sentiments. The complisaental answer which followed of course need not be related.