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ef the 11th, of the anonymous invitations, he requested the general and field officers, with one officer from each company, and a proper representation from the staffof the army,- to assemble on the following Saturday, the 15th. This he did, "in order to rescue the foot that stood wavering on the precipice of despair, from taking,- while the passions were inflamed, those steps which would have led to the abyss of misery- He acted upon the principle, that it is easier to divert from a wrong to a right path, than it is to recall the hasty and fatal steps which have been, already taken."' The period previous to the officers assembling, was improved by the general for softening, them down. The treatment they had met with,.the suspicions they had entertained of a design to trick them, the strong indications that had appeared of an inclination so to do,, and other occurrances, had imbirtered their spirits , so that it was with the utmost.difficulty, that he could calm and bring them to a temper which promised an -happy issue to the meeting he had proposed.. He sent for one officer after another and talked to them privately, setting before them the ill consequences of violent measures, and the loss of character that would follow; and brought several, to their tears. Numbers were prevailed upon to relinquish their intentions, and agreed to pursue moderate measures. A second address appeared on the k2th, wherein the author artfully insinuated, that the •general approved of their discussing the subject^ which had beea proposed by himself in the first.
When the officers were convened on the 15th, those who were for moderate, measures contrived that general Gates, who wasthought to be too much in favor of the reverse,, should be chosen president. After that, the commander in chief addressed the meeting. The first and largest part of the speech was employed in counteracting the effects produced by the anonymous papers. His excellency thus expressed himself—" The author of the address is entitled to much credit for the goodness.of his pen ; and 1 could wish he had as much credit for the rectitude of his heart —He was right to insinuate the darkest suspicion, to effect the blackest design.—My God! what can this writer have in view by recommending.such measures? Can he be a friend to the army? Can he be a friend to this country ? Rather is he not an insidious foe? Some emissary perhaps, from New-York, plotting the ruin of both, by sowing the seeds of discoid and separation between the civil and military powers of the continent?" He afterwards pledged himself in the most unequivocal manner to exart allhis abilities in their favor; requested them to rely on tht
faith of their country, and to place a full confidence in the purity of the intentions of congress: and conjured them, in the name of their common country, as they valued their honor, as they, ■respected the rights of humanity, and as they regarded the military and national character of America, to express their utmost detestation of the man, who wishes, under any specious pretences, to overturn .the liberties of their country; and. who wickedly attempts to open the flood-gates of civil discord, and deluge their rising empire in blood.
It was happy for the army and country, that, when his excellency had finished aod withdrawn, no one rose and observed— "that general Washington was about to quit the military line laden with honor, and that he had a considerable estate to support him with dignity, but that their case was very different. Had such ideas been thrown out, and properly enlarged upon, the meeting would probably have concluded very differently. But no counterpoise being offered to the speech, the business of the day was finished to the wishes of his excellency. The meeting of officers unanimously thanked him for his address. They also resolved unanimously, That no circumstance of distress or danger should Induce a conduct that might tend to sully the reputation and glory they had acquired—That the army continued to have an unshaken confidence in the justice of congress and their country—That his excellency be requested to write to the President of congress, earnestly intreating their speedy decision upon the subjects of the officers' address—That they view with abhorrence, and reject with disdain, the infamous propositions contained in a late anonymous address to the officers of the army.
General Washington, in a letter of the 18thT transmitted to congress an account of what had passed at the meeting of the officers, and urged in the strongest manner their being gratified in what they had before applied for. On the 22d of March, congress resolved that the officers should be entitled to receive to the amount of five years full pay in money, or securities on interest at six per cent, per ann. instead of half pay for life. Though this commutation was granted, the fears of the army were still alive, lest they should be disbanded or the lines be separated, before their accounts were liquidated. The commander in chief was for their being disbanded as soon as possible; but then lie thought their wishes should be consulted, which he pronounced moderate in their mode, and perfectly compatible with the hojnor, dignity and justice due from the country ; as they only involved complete settlement and partial payment, previous to any dispersion. Three months pay at least was universally expected.
By the 24th of March, congress received a letter of February 5th, from the marquis de Ja Fayette, announcing a general peace;, and a copy of orders given by count d'Estaing, for the purpose cf putting a stop to all. hostilities- by sea ; hereupon they directed the marine agent immediately to recall-all, armed vessels cruising under commissions from the UnitedStates of America.. The mar^ ejuis's letter was dated from Cadiz: in it he wrote—"fcrty-nin* ships-and twenty thousand men are now here,, whom count d-'Estaing was to join with the combined forces in the West-Indies;. and during the Summer they were to co-operate with our American army. Nay, it had. lately been granted,, that while count d'Estaing was elsewhere,. I should enter St. Lawrence river, at the head of a French corps.. It is known that I ever was bent opon the addition of Canada to the United States." On the 4th of April, captain J.olm Derby,, commanding the Astrea, arrived at Sakm from Nantz in 22 days, and brought with him a printed copy of a declaratioaof the American ministers,, given at Palis the 20th of February,, and signed John Adams, B. Franklin* John Jay. It mentions,- that the ratiheations-of the preliminary articles of peace signed the 20th of January, between his most Christian majesty and the king of Great-Britain,, were in due form exchanged by their ministers on the third of February; from which day the several terms specified for the cessation of hostilities are to be computed relative to all British and American vessels and effects.. Thus the same captain, who carried to Great* Britain the first news of actual hostilities at Lexington, brought to the Massachusetts the first news of the ratifications of the articles of peace being exchanged..
• A copy of the articles for concluding a general peaGe between. Great-Britain and America, being received from Philadelphia, were published together with the declaration in the Boston pa* pers of the 10th of April.. The people at large are now fullv gratified with the knowledge of all. the particulars, expressed ia the following words
Articles agreed upon, by end between Richard Oswald, esquirer
• the commissioner of his Britannic nujtsty for treating of peace with the commissioners of the United States of America, in behalf of his said majesty, on the one part;; and John sJdamsr Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and Henry Laurens, four of the said commissioners of the said states for treating of peace with
■ the commissioner of his said majesty, o-n their behalf,on the other
■ part; to be inserted in, and to constitute the treaty of peace pro
■ ■ posed to be concluded between the crown of Great-Britain, and
the said United States; but which treaty is net to be concluded until terms of a peace shall be agreed upon between Great-Bri-i tain and France, and his Britannic majesty shall be ready t$ conclude such treaty accordingly..
WHEREAS rtcipitocal advantages and mutual conveniens* are found by experience to form the Only permanent foundation «ff peace and friendship between states; it is-agreed to form fh# articles of the proposed treaty on such principles of liberal equity and reciprocity, as that partial advantage's (those seeds ofdifcord)' being excluded, such a beneficial and satisfactory intercom^ between the two countries may be established, as to promise and secure to both perpetual peace and harmony.
Article L Bis Britannic majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz. New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay, RhodeIsland and Providence Plantations,, Connecticut, New-Yorky New-Jersey,. Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina and Georgia, to be free, sovereign and independent states; that he treats with them as such; and for himself, his heirs and. successors, relinquishes all claim* to the government, propriety and territorial rights to the same, and every part thereof; and that all disputes which might arise irt future, on the subject of die boundaries of the said United States may be prevented, it is hereby agreed and declared, that the fol* lowing are, and shall.be their boundaries, viz*
Article 11. From the north-west angle of Nora-Scotia, viz. that angle which is formed by a line drawn due north, from the Source of St. Croix^river to the Highlands, along the said Highlands which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the; river Saint Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the north-western most head of Connecticut-river; thence down along, the middle of that river to the forty-fifth degree of north latitude : from thence by a line due west on said latitude until it strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraquy ; thence along the middle of said river into lake Ontario: through the middle of said lake until it strikes the communication by water between that lake and lake Eric ; thence along the middle of said communication into lake Erie ; through the middle of said lake* until it arrives at the water communication between thatlake'and lake Huron ; thence along the middle of said water communication into the lake Huron ; thence through the middle of said lake to the water communication between that lake and lake Superior ; thence through lake Superior, northward of the isles Royal iuid Phelipeux, to the Long lake, thence through the middle of
said Long Lake, and the water communication between it and tbe Lake of the Woods, to the said lake of the Woods ; thence tho' the said lake to the most north-western point thereof, and from thence on a due west course to the river Missisippi; thence by a line to be drawn along the middle of the said river Missisippi, until it shall intersect the northernmost part ofthe3lst degree of north latitude:—south by a line to be drawn due east from the determination of the line last mentioned, in the latitude of the 31 degrees north of the equator, to the middle of the river Apalachicola or Catahouche j thence along the middle thereof to its junction with the Flint-river; thence streight to the head of St. Mary's-river, and thence down along the middle of St. Mary'sriver, to the Atlantic Ocean ; east by a line to be drawn along the middle of the river St. Croix from its mouth in the bay of Fundy to its source ; and from its source directly north to the aforesaid Highlands, which divide the rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean, from those which fall into the river St. Lawrence; comprehending all islands within twenty leagues of any part of the shores of the United States, and lying between lines to be drawn due east from the points where the aforesaid boundaries between Nova-Scotia on the one part, and East-Florida on the other, shall respectively touch the bay of Fundy, and the Atlantic Ocean ; excepting such islands as now are, or heretofore have been, within tbe limits of the said province of Nova-Scotia.
Article III. It is agreed, that the people of the United States shall continue to enjoy, unmolested, the right to take fish of every kind on the Grand Bank ; and on all other banks of Newfoundland; also in the gulph of St. Lawrence, and at all other places in the sea, where the inhabitants of both countries used at any time heretofore to fish. And also that the inhabitants of the United States shall have liberty to take fish of every kind on such part of the coast of Newfoundland, as British fishermen shall use (but not to dry or cure the same on that island) and also on the coasts, bays and creeks of all other of his Britannic majesty's dominions in America; and that the American fishermen shall have liberty to dry and cure fish in any of the unsettled bays, harbours, and creeks of Nova-Scotia, Magdelan islands and Labrador, so long as the same shall remain unsettled : but so soon as the same, or either of them, shall be settled, it shall not be lawful for the said fishermen to dry or cure fish at such settlement, without a previous agreement for that purpose with the inhabitants, proprietors or prossessors of the ground.
Article IV. It is agreed, that creditors on either side shall meet with no lawful impediment to the recovery of the full value in sterling money of all bonejide debts heretofore contracted.