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M<mhwfr April B, St»4„
ADVICE being sent by express to Philadelphia from Lancaster, 67 miles distant, that about 80-of the Pennsylvania lew vies stationed there, were marching to the city in defiance of their officers, to seek a redress of grievances from the executive council of the state, the same was communicated to congress; who appointed a committee to confer with the council on the 19th of; June. The committee urged the calling out a detachment of ipilitia to intercept the mutineers on their march, and suggested the danger of their being suffered to join the troops in the barracks, who a few days before had sent an insolent and threatening message to congress, in the name of a board of sergeants. The council showing a reiuttanee to,eomply,from an opinion that the militia would not be willing to act till some outrage was committed' by the troops, the assistant secretary at war was sent by the cornjoittee to meet the mutineers, and endeavor to engage them to return to Lancaster. They however persisted, and arrived on the morning of the 20th at Philadelphia. They proceeded to the barxaeks, where were quartered about 150 veterans, lately arrived from Carolina, the corps of artillery, and others of different corps, amounting to upward of 30»in the whole. The day following [June 21.] the troops, with fixed bayonets, and drums beating, inarched, to the state-house, the seat of congress and of the supreme executive council of Pennsylvania. They placed guards t»t every door, sent in a written message to the president and council, and threatened to let loose an enraged soldiery upon them if they were not gratified as to their demand within twenty minutes, l^a address was made to congress; butfos some: hours their situation wras not very agreeable, while they were surrounded by about 300 men, with guards placed at their doors, and the soldiers from every appearance seemingly prepared for theworst purposes. Before the opportunity presented (after being about three hours under duresse) of retiring without any other insult offered to their* collectively or individually, they, resolved, that the authority of the United States bad been grossly iosuU.ed by the armed, soldiers— that the committee confer with the executive council, and that in «ase it should appear to the committee, that there was no tatisfactory ground for expecting adequate exertions by the Pennsylvaniastate for supporting the dignity of the foederal government, the president, on the advice of the committee, should summon the members of congress to meet on Thursday the 26th at Trentan or Prineeton—and that the secretary at war should comnuu nicate to the commander in chief, the state and disposition of tiie troops in Philadelphia, that so he might take immediate measures to dispatch to the city such force as he should judge expedient for suppressing any future disturbances. The c0Bimitt£» conferred with the council, without receiving satisfaction*v?hi|e/ the mutinous disposition of the soldiery continued : they therefor* advised to the summoning of congress to Trenton or Princeton-, When the inhabitants of Princeton and.its vicinity knew that they were to be honored with the presence of congress,, they resolved to support order and good government, and exerted themselves to accommodate the representatives of the United' States*.
The moment general Washington was informed by express of the mutiny at Philadelphia, he ordered a detachment of \$QQ men to be put in motion immediately ; and gave the command of them to general Robert Howe. Upon their arrival, the disturbances were soon quieted, without bloodshed, and several of the mutineers were taken up, tried and condemned, two to suffer death, and four to receive corporal punishment; but were afterward pardoned by congress,, as they did not appear to have been principals in the mutiny, and as no lives were lost, nor any destruction of property committed. Congress were sensible to what it was partly owing, that they had been obliged tp change their residence; they therefore directed on the 11th of July,, the superintendant of finance to report to them, the reasons why the troops lately furloughed, did not receive part of their pay pre* vious thereto, agreeably to the intentions of congress. The financier's notes with which such payment was at length made, soon passed at a considerable discount, notwithstanding the receivers in the several states were instructed to take them in payment of taxes; as also to take them up whenever tendered, if they had public money in their ha-uds: thus the soldiery had experience af a fresh hardship.
On the !3th of August, the representatives of theUflited State* *' resolved, (unanimously.ten states being present) That an eques+ trian statue of general Washington* be erected at the place whera the residence of congress shaM be established :—That the status he of bronze—the general to be represented in a Roman dress, holding a truncheon in hi's right hand,. and bis head encircled wijr.h a laurel wreath. The statue to be,-supported by a marble pedestal, on whith ate to he represented, in ba*so relievo, the iollewiflg priaeipaleveais. of. the wiu> ia which general Wash-.
Ingtoh commanded in person, viz. The evacuation of Boston— the capture of the Hessians at Trenton—the battle of Princeton: ■—the action of Monmouth— and the surrender of York. On: the upper part of the front of the pedestal, to be en-graved ay follows: The United States in congress assembled, ordered this statue to be erected in the year of our Lord 1783, in honor of George Washington, the illustrious commander in chief of the armies of the United States of America, during the war which vindicated and secured their liberty, sovereignty and independence."
Toward the end of July the general made a tour to the northward, as far as Crown-Point. When returned he waited upon congress agreeable to invitation. He was introduced by two members, when the president addressed him with—" Sir, Congress feel particular pleasure in seeing yourexcellency, and in congratulating you on the success of a war in which yoa have acted so conspicuous a part." After some further affectionate and commendatory expressions, he closed with saying—"Hostilities have now ceased, but your country still needs your services.— She wishes to avail herself of your talents in forming the arrangements which will be necessary for her in the time of peace. For this reason your attendance at congress has been requested. A committee is appointed to confer with your excellency, and to receive your assistance in preparing and digesting plans relative to those important objects." The commander in chief made a reply that was highly acceptable- He also removed, with his family, to Rocky-hill, near Princeton, that he might the more conveniently confer with the committee.
[Sept. 25.] Congress in a proclamation published to the United States, the treaty of amity and commerce concluded on the 3d of April, 1783, between the kingof Sweden and the United States of North-America, for the space of fifteen years, by the hon. Benjamin Franklin, commissioned by the United States, and a minister plenipotentiary named for the purpose by the said king. By the 7th article, the resident subjects of each party are permitted safely to nav'igdte their vessels, without any regard to those to whom the merchandises and cargoes may belong; and to frequent the places and ports of powers, enemies to the contracting parties, without being in any way molested, and to carry on a commerce not only directly from the ports of an enemy to a neutral port, but even from-one port of an enemy to another port of an enemy, whether it be under the jurisdiction of the same, or of different princes. Free ships are to make merchandises free; and every thing (contraband goods always excepted) on board of ships belonging to subjects of the one or the other of the contracting parties, is to be considered as free, even though the cargo, or a part of it, belongs to the enemies of one or both. Persons on board a free ship, though enemies to both or either of the parties, are not to be taken out of the free ship,, unless they are soldiers in tlieactiial service of the said enemies. Article the 9th specifies arms, great guns, and various warlike instruments,, under the name of contraband or prohibited goods, and then, closes with—" and ail other like kinds of. arms and instrumentsof war for the use of troops." By the 10th article no goods are to be considered ascontraband„which have not been worked, into the form of any instrument or thing for the purpose of war byland or sea, much less such as have been prepared or wrought up for any other use, all which are to be reckoned free goods; as also all those which are not comprehended and particularly mentioned in the foregoing article. Such goods may be freely transported by the subjects of either party* even to places belonging to an enemy, such only excepted as are besieged, blocked or invested; and these places only are to be considered as .such,, which are nearly surrounded by one of the. belligerent powers.
The 8th of October was marked by the attendance of a depu-. tation from the yearly meeting.of the people called quakers, who* being admitted* delivered their address to congress, and withdrew. By such act that American body of people acknowledged the independent sovereignty of the United States, and implicitly professed their own allegiance- The meeting was held in Philadelphia, for Pennsylvania, New-Jersey, Delaware, and the "western parts of Maryland and Virginia. The address was dated the 4th of the 10th month, and was signed by more than live hundred members. It related to the slave trade. That respectable body had at length proceeded so far in the cause of general* liberty, without regarding country or complexion, as to enjoin the members of their society to liberate all such as they held in bondage; which injunction was generally complied with, and the African thereby restored to his natural and just right. They feared however, that some, forgetful of the days of distress,, •were prompted by avaricious motives to renew the trade for slaves to the African coasts, contrary to every humane and righteous consideration, and in opposition to the solemn declarations often repeated in favor of universal liberty. They therefore earnestly solicited the christian interposition of congress, for the discouragement and prevention of so obvious an evil.
Ten days after the delivery (of their address [Oct. 18.] congress by proclamation directed that the 11th of December should
be set apart as a day of public thanksgiving. On the same day they *'resolved, That two pieces of the field ordnance taken, from the British army at the CoWpens, Augusta, or Eutaw, be presented by the commander in chief of the armies of the United States, to major-general Greene, as a public testimonial of the wisdom, fortitude, and military skill which distinguished his command in the southern department, and of the eminent services which, amidst complicated difficulties and dangers; arid against an enemy greatly superior in numbers, he has successfully performed for his country; and that a memorandum be engraved on the said pieces of ordnance, expressive of the Substance of this resolution." The commander in chief was also to be informed, that gen. Greene had the permission of congress to visit his family at Rhode-Island. They closed the business of the day by issuing a proclamation. In that the armies of the United States were applauded for having displayed in the progress of an, arduous and difficult war, every military and patriotic virtue—for their fortitue and magnanimity in the most trying Scenes of distress-*—and for a series of heroic and illustrious atohievenienfs, exalting them to a high rank among the most zealous arid successful defenders of the rights and liberties of mankind. After giving them the thanks of their country, for their long, eminent and faithful services, congress declared it to be their pleasure, that such part of the foederal armies as stood engaged to serve during the war, should from and after the third day of November next, be absolutely discharged from the said service. On. the 29th the commander in chief was directed by them to discharge all the troops in the service of the United States, wh? were in Pennsylvania, Or to the southward thereof, except fh^ garrison of Fort Pitt.
• On the 31st of October, the honorable Peter John Van Berckel, minister plenipotentiary from their high mightinesses States General of the United Netherlands, Was admitted by congress to an audience. The chevalier de la Luzerne, gen. Washington, the Superintendant of finance, many other gentlemen q£ eminence, together with a number of ladies of the first charaijteij. assembled in the chapel of Princeton college, to participate' ot the joys the audience should afford; and for which their spirits were put into proper tone by the arrival, a little before Mr. Van, Berckel entered, of an authentic account that the definitive} treaty between Great-Britain arid the United States wis concfuck ed. Mr. Van Berckel, upon beirig introduced, addressed congress in a speech, which Was so gracefully pronounced as to please those who Could not understand' It, because of its riot being"