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226

SERGEANT CHAMPE'S ADVENTURE.

and constant pursuit, was sure of execution, and did not dissemble the joy such conviction produced. He was chagrined at the issue, and apprehended that his faithful sergeant must have been detected in the last scene of his tedious and difficult enterprise.

In a few days, Lee received an anonymous letter from Champe's patron and friend, informing him, that on the day preceding the night fixed for the execution of the plot, Arnold had removed his quarters to another part of the town, to superintend the embarkation of troops, preparing, as was rumored, for an expedition to be directed

himself; and that the American legion, consisting chiefly of American deserters, had been transferred from their barracks to one of the transports; it being apprehended, that if left on shore, till the expedition was ready, many of them might desert. Thus it happened, that John Champe, instead of crossing the Hudson that night, was safely deposited on board one of the fleet of transports, whence he never departed, till the troops under Arnold, landed in Virginia ! nor was he able to escape from the British army, till after the junction of Lord Cornwallis, at Petersburg, when he deserted, and proceeding high up into Virginia, he passed into North Carolina, near the Sama towns, and, keeping in the friendly districts of that state, safely joined the army soon

after it had passed the Congaree, in pursuit of Lord Rawdon.

His appearance excited extreme surprise among his former comrades, which was not a little in. creased when they saw the cordial reception he met with from the late Major, now LieutenantColonel Lee. His whole story soon became known to the corps, which reproduced the love and respect of both officer and soldier, heretofore invariably entertained for the sergeant, heightened by universal admiration of his late daring and arduous attempt.

Champe was introduced to General Greene, who very cheerfully complied with the promises made by the commander-in-chief, so far as in his power; and having provided the sergeant with a good horse and money for his journey, sent him to General Washington, who munificently anticipated every desire of the sergeant, and presented him with his discharge from further service, * lest he might in the vicissitudes of war fall into the enemy's hands; when, if recognized, he was sure to die on the gibbet.

* When General Washington was called by President Adams to the command of the army prepared to defend the country from French hostility, he sent to Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, to inquire for Champe ; being determined to bring him into the field at the head of a company of infantry. Lee sent to Loudon county, where Champe settled after his discharge from the army; when he learned that the gallant soldier removed to Kentucky, where he soon after died.

CHAPTER XXIX.

1781.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: FINANCIAL DEPRESSION CAUSES MUTINY,

Jay's futile efforts to obtain aid from Spain — British attack neutral commerce The Armed Neutrality –

Adams negotiates treaty with Holland - Diplomatic agents unsuccessful in other countries — Alarming condition of affairs in colonies — Notes of credit worthless — States requisitioned for more money – The domestic debt and interest - Money continues to depreciate - Robert Morris appointed superintendent of finances -- He establishes a bank — Loans from foreign countries — Revolt of the Pennsylvannia LineWayne's attempt to pacify mutineers — Revolt of the New Jersey Brigade. Appendix to Chapter XXIX Treaty of Armed Neutrality.

The conclusion of the treaties of armed neutrality of the nations of commerce and alliance with France northern Europe, and the treaty conwas followed by three events which cluded between Holland and the had an important influence upon the

United States. At this time, Spain, fortunes of the colonies. These though not as powerful as she had events were the declaration of war been during preceding centuries, was against Great Britain by Spain, the still formidable, and her possessions

NEGOTIATIONS WITH SPAIN.

227

cause.

in America made it important that induced to recognize the independContinental Congress should estab- ence of the American colonies, nor lish friendly relations with her. to give any great substantial aid in Franklin had early made efforts promoting the American through the French court and by cor- Hence all the efforts of the French respondence to secure united action statesmen to secure the adhesion of between France and Spain, and to Spain to the treaty of 1778 were of no the treaty of 1778 a secret clause was avail. Count de Aranda, the Spanish appended providing for the adhesion ambassador, wrote to his government of Spain to the alliance. In 1779 as follows:

“ The independence of John Jay was appointed United the English colonies has been there States minister at Madrid, but for two recognized. It is for me a subject of years his labors had been fruitless.* grief and fear. France has but few So anxious had been Congress to se- possessions in America; but she was cure an alliance with Spain that Jay bound to consider that Spain, her was authorized to surrender the right most intimate ally, had many, and of navigation of the Mississippi, and that she now stands exposed to territo renounce all claims or designs ble reverses. From the beginning, upon Spanish territory in America, France has acted against her true inas its price. Fortunately for the terests in encouraging and supportfuture of the country, Jay's mission ing this independence, and so I have was a failure. He himself said, " The often declared to the ministers of this cession of the navigation [of the Mis- nation." sissippi) will in my opinion render a The vast naval power of Great future war with Spain unavoidable, Britan had rendered her haughty and and I shall look upon my subscribing overbearing, and she not only claimed to the one as fixing the certainty of the right to search vessels and seize the other." However, Spain was soon the property of an enemy wherever led into war with England, and the found at sea, but also exercised this United States thereby reaped the ad- right with rigorous severity. She did vantages of an alliance without its not stop at capturing the vessels of necessary burdens. The declaration the enemy, but also boarded neutral of war between these two countries vessels and confiscated whatever of was much better for the United Staies their cargoes was supposed to be the than if the treaty had been concluded property of the enemy. The neutral upon the terms which Jay was au

powers had become sorely vexed at thorized to offer.

the arrogant attitude of the British in Nevertheless, Spain could not be

this respect and complained at the in

terference with commerce by British * See Pellew, John Jay, chap. vi.

ships of war. This was particularly

228

THE ARMED NEUTRALITY.

the case with the Dutch, whose com- be considered as in a state of blockade merce was not only very extensive unless there should be a sufficient but also profitable, their ships carry- force before it to render such a blocking ship timber and other military ade absolutely effectual.* The other stores into the ports of France. At European powers were requested to first Great Britain only remonstrated; join this confederacy and France and then threatened, and finally resorted Spain agreed to do so at once. to force by attacking a convoy bound Portugal, however, declined and the for the Mediterranean, which insult United Provinces delayed their provoked the Dutch and finally in- answer.f

While this confederation volved the nation in a war with the outwardly assumed an attitude of British.* Ostensibly for the purpose neutrality coupled with armed enof protecting their neutral commerce forcement of its terms against the from the belligerents in the war then belligerents without favor, it was inbeing carried on between Great tended and accepted as an act unBritain and her colonies, France and friendly to Great Britain, and Spain, a confederacy was entered into indicated to her that she was without in 1780 between Russia, Denmark, a friend among the powers of Europe, Sweden and Holland, known as the and must fight her battles alone and Armed Neutrality, which was the idea unaided of Catharine II., of Russia.t This Meanwhile, Henry Laurens, when confederation defined contraband on his way to Holland to solicit a loan goods, declared that free ships made for the United States, I was capfree goods, and stipulated also for tured,ll and the papers taken from the joint protection of their commerce him disclosed to the British ministry by armed convoys, etc. It was re- that Continental Congress was nesolved that neutral ships should gotiating with Holland for a treaty. enjoy a free navigation, even from Toward the close of 1780, therefore, port to port, and on the coasts of the

England resolved upon a war with belligerent powers; that all effects

the States-General. belonging to the subjects of the

The third event, probably next in powers at war should be regarded as free on board neutral ships, except * Freeman Snow, Treaties and Topics in Amerisuch goods as were stipulated to be

can Diplomacy, pp. 7-11. See also Appendix at

end of present chapter. contraband; and that no port should † Schuyler, American Diplomacy, pp. 371–374.

$ See the Secret Jo'ırnals of Congress, vol. ii., * On the diplomatic events leading up to this pp. 282–318, and especially for October, 21-26–30, and on the causes which brought about the armed November 1, 5, and 8, 1779, and June 20, 1780. neutrality see Bancroft, vol. V., chaps. xxii.- ll Moore, American Diplomacy, p 16. xxiii.; Fiske, American Revolution, vol. ii., pp. Hildreth, vol. iii., p. 334; Fiske, American 138-156.

Rerolution, vol. ii., pp. 155–157; John Adams, † Schuyler, American Diplomacy, p. 369.

Works, vol. vii., pp. 346–347, 348.

TREATY WITH HOLLAND; OTHER AGENTS FAIL.

229

con

importance to the French alliance, in that can possibly be hurtful to the foreign relations of the colonies America or offensive to our allies, or was the treaty with Holland, the to any other nation, except Great negotiations for which were Britan, to whom it is indeed, without ducted by John Adams.* As before a speedy peace, a mortal blow."' * stated, Henry Laurens was captured The other diplomatic agents who by the British, and Adams, then in had been sent by Congress to solicit Paris, was substituted. Before his recognition from European powers departure for Holland, he offended were not so successful. Arthur Lee Vergennes so greatly that he refused had made an ineffectual attempt to to correspond further with him,f enter upon negotiations at Madrid, Upon his arrival in Holland he en- but had been turned back by the Spantered upon the task before him with nish government, and the treatment the zeal and devotion which were accorded him at Berlin was no more so characteristic of him, and after civil. William Lee, who had been two years of effort his labors were accredited to Vienna and Berlin, had crowned by a treaty of amity and been kept away from both places and commerce, which was especially valu- had not reached a point nearer either able as recognizing the independence capital than Frankfort. Ralph of the United States and rendering Izard, who was appointed to Tusmore easy the procuring of the

cany, was refused permission to go greatly needed loans. Mr. Adams to Italy and remained in Paris. At was highly elated at his success in

St. Petersburg, Francis Dana spent Holland, as is shown by his dis- two years in obscurity and experipatches to America, and he ranked

enced nothing but humiliation and the result of his labors as

failure.f Paris seemed to be the only greatest triumph of his life.|| He place where American representasaid also, “ I think the treaty is con- tives were welcome, and there they formable to the principles of perfect all congregated to await a reciprocity, and contains nothing favorable turn of events. The idle

ministers and their secretaries were The resolutions and commission authorizing not only a drain upon the scanty Adams to conduct the negotiations in Holland in

treasury, but were also a continued place of Laurens are in Secret Journals of Congress, vol. ii., pp. 314-317.

source of trouble to Franklin, not † For details see Foster, A Century of Ameri- only because of disputes among can Diplomacy, pp. 43-47;, John Adams, Works, vol. i., p. 315 et seq., vol. iii., pp. 187, 190–191,

themselves and jealousy of him, but vol. vii., p. 243.

also because of actual interference I John Adams, Works, vol. i., p. 329 et seq., vol. vii., passim.

|| 1bid, vol. i., p. 353. See also vol. vii., pp. * Ibid, vol. vii., p. 648. 581-582, 587–591.

† Moore, American Diplomacy, p. 19 et seq.

16 the

more 230

THE EUROPEAN WAR; CONDITIONS IN AMERICA.

between him and the court. The two determined to dispatch a larger fleet Lees and Izard were extremely under the Count de Grasse, which, envious of Franklin and lost no after completing certain operations opportunity to manifest their enmity, in the West Indies, was to repair to but Franklin had too much serious the United States and aid Rochamwork on his hands to pay attention to beau and Washington in any manner the disputes among his countrymen possible. The English also spared and in every way ignored their in- no effort to increase their army in sidious attacks upon him. These the colonies, in the hope that she attacks and insinuations against his might make a change for the better. usefulness and integrity of character in her affairs there and still further did little harm to his reputation in extend the progress of the British America, for the great body of the arms. American people and

a large At this time the position of affairs majority of the members of Congress in the colonies was such that the had the utmost faith in him, and sub- friends of the American cause were sequent events proved that this faith in a state of great alarm. While was not misplaced.

temporary relief had been afforded, It is not necessary that we enter no permanent system of supplying into the details of the struggle which the needs of the army had been estook place between Great Britain and tablished and the country appeared her European antagonists in various to be on the verge of ruin.* The conparts of the globe. Their operations

* Madison described the situation in a letter to were of astounding magnitude, and

his father as follows: “Our army threatened with victory rested first with one and then an immediate alternative of disbanding or liv. with the other. Great naval battles

ing at free quarters; the public treasury empty;

public credit exhausted, nay the private credit were fought with varied success, and

of purchasing agents employed, I am told, as far large fleets of merchantmen were as it can bear; Congress complaining of the extor.

tion of the people; the people of the improvidence captured alternately by the English

of Congress; and the army of both; our affairs and by their foes, though upon the requiring the most mature and systematic mea. whole the English were the most suc

sures, and the urgency of the occasion admitting

only of temporary expedients, and these expedients cessful. Several of the West India

generating new difficulties; Congress recommendIslands changed hands a number of ing plans to the several States for execution, and times during the war. The Span

the States separately rejudging the expediency

of such plans, whereby the same distrust of con. iards captured Pensacola and ex- current exertions that has dampened the ardour tended their authority over the whole of patriotic individuals must produce the same

effect among the States themselves; an old sysprovince of Florida, but neither

tem of finance discarded as incompetent to our France nor Great Britain lost sight of necessities, an untried and precarious one subthe war in America. In addition to

stituted and a total stagnation in prospect be

tween the end of the former and the operation of the force under Rochambeau, France the latter. These are the outlines of the picture

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