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The winds in fair weather in the spring, and in warm
BATTLE OF TRENTON. weather in the summer, blow from the south west and Extract from a History of the American Revolution, from from west north west. The raw air before mentioned, comes from the north east. The south west winds like
The Pennsylvania Journal, of 1781. wise usually bring with them those showers of rain in
"The affairs of America now wore a serious aspect. the spring and summer, which refresh the earth. They New York, with several posts in the neighbourhood, moreover moderate the heat of the weather, provided and a considerable part of New Jersey, were in posses. they are succeeded by a north west wind. Noir and
sion of the enemy. The American army had lost during then showers of rain come from the west north west.
the campaign near five thousand men by captivity and There is a common fact connected with the account the sword; and the few remaining regular troops, of the usual winds in Pennsylvania, which it may not be amounting only to 2000 men, were upon the eve of improper to mention in this place. While the clouds being disbanded; for as yet the enlistments were for the are seen flying from the south west, the scud, as it is short term of only one year. General Howe had cancalled, or a light vapour, is seen at the same time Aying toned his troops in several villages on the Delaware, in below the clouds from the north east.
New Jersey. "His strongest post was at Trenton. It The moisture of the air is much greater than formerly, consisted of 1200 Hessians under the command of Col. occasioned probably by the exhalations, which in former Roll. General Washington occupied the heights on the years fell in the form of snow, now descending in the Pennsylvania side of the river, in full view of the enemy. form of rain. The depth of the snow is sometimes be. A few cannon shot were now and then exchanged tween two and three feet, þut in general it seldom ex. either side. The two armies lay in these positions for
across the river, but without doing much execution on ceeds between six and nine inches.
Hail frequently descends with snow in winter. Once several weeks. In the mean while the spirit of liberty, in four or five years large and heavy showers of hail fall infamed by the recital of the ravages committed in New in the spring and summer. They generally run in nar- Jersey by the British army, began to revive in every row veins (as they are called) of thirty or forty miles part of the continent! Fifteen hundred associators, for in length, and two or three miles in breadth. The hea as yet most of the states were without militia laws, viest shower of hail that is remembered in Philadelphia, marched from the city of Philadelphia to reinforce the did not extend in breadth more than half a mile north expiring army of Gen. Washington. This body of men and south. Some of the stones weighed half an ounce. consisted chiefly of citizens of the first rank and character The windows of many houses were broken by them. -- in the state. They had been accustomed to live in all the This shower fell in May 1783.
softness that is peculiar to the inhabitants of large cities. From sudden changes in the air, rain and snow often fall together, forming
what is commonly called sleet. the falls which occur near the mouth of the river. The In the uncultivated parts of the state, the snow some ice in many places, especially where there were falls, times lies on the ground till the first week in April. The formed a kind of dam, of a most stupendous height.backwardness of the spring has been ascribed to the About the middle of March, our weather moderated, passage of the air over the undissolved beds of snow and a thaw became general. The effects of it were reand ice which usually remain, after the winter months markable in all our rivers; but in none so much as in are past, on the north west grounds and waters of the the river I have mentioned. I shall therefore endeavor state, and of the adjacent country.
in a few words to describe them. Unfortunately the The dissolution of the ice and snow in the spring, is dams of ice did not give way all at once, nor those which sometimes so sudden as to swell the creeks and rivers in lay nearest to the mouth of the river, first. While the every part of the state to such a degree, as not only to upper dams were set afloat by the warm weather, the lay waste the hopes of the husbandman from the pro- lower ones, which were the largest, and in which, of dúce of his lands, but in some instances to sweep his course, the ice was most impacted, remained fixed. In barns, stables, and even his dwelling house into their consequence of this, the river rose in a few bours, in currents. The wind, during a general thaw, comes many places, above thirty feet; rolling upon its surface from the south west or south east.
large lumps of ice, from ten to forty cubic feet in size.
The effects of this sudden inundation were terrible.The following account of the thaw of the river Whole farms were laid under water. Barns stables Susquehanna, in the spring of 1784, was published by horses_cattle-fences--mills of every kind, and in one the author in the Columbian Magazine for November, instance, a large stone house, forty by thirty feet, were 1786. It may serve to illustrate a fact related formerly carried down the stream. Large trees were torn up by in the history of the winters in Pennsylvania, as well as the roots-several small islands covered with woods, to exhibit an extraordinary instance of the destructive were swept away, and not a vestige of them was left be effects of a sudden thaw.
hind. On the barns which preserved their shape, in "The winter of 1783-4, was uncommonly cold, inso- some instances, for many miles were to be seen living much that the mercury in Farenheit's thermometer stood fowls; and, in one dwelling, a candle was seen to bera several times at 5° below o. The snows were frequent; for some time, after it was swept from its foundation and, in many places, from two to three feet deep, dur- Where the shore was level, the lumps of ice, and the ing the greatest part of the winter. All the rivers in ruins of houses and farms, were thrown a quarter of a Pennsylvania were frozen, so as to bear waggons and mile from the ordinary height of the river. In some sleds with immense weights. In the month of January stances, farms were ruined by the mould being svept a thaw came on suddenly, which opened our rivers so from them by the cakes of ice, or by depositions of sand, as to set the ice a-driving, to use the phrase of the coun- while others were enriched by large depositions of med try. In the course of one night, during the tbaw, the The damage, upon the whole, done to the state of Pess wind shifted suddenly to the north west, and the wea- sylvania by this fresh, was very great. In most places ther became intensely cold. The ice, which had float. it happened in the day time, or the consequence must ed the day before, was suddenly obstructed; and in the bave been fatal to many thousands. river Susquehanna, the obstructions were formed in "I know of but one use that can be derived from i those places where the water was most shallow, or where cording the history of this inundation. In case of s it had been accustomed to fall. This river is several milar obstructions of rivers, from causes such as bare hundred miles in length, and from half a mile to a mile been described, the terrible effects of their being set i and a half in breadth, and winds through a billy, and in motion by means of a general thaw, may in part be ob many places a fertile and highly cultivated country. It viated, by removing such things out of the course of the has as yet a most difficult communication with our bays water and ice, as are within our power; particularly at and the sea, occasioned by the number and height of tle, hay, grain, fences, and farming utensils of all kinds." But neither the hardships of a military lite, nor the se. mean while victory declared itself every where in favour verity of the winter checked their ardor in the cause of of the American arms, and General Washington retheir country. The wealthy merchant and the journey. ceived the submission of the main body of the enemy by man tradesman, were seen marching side by side, and means of a flag. The joy of the American troops can often exchanged the contents of their canteens with more easily be conceived than described. This was the each other. This body of troops was stationed at Bris first important advantage they had gained over the enetol under the command of General Cadwalader. On the my in the course of the campaign, and its consequences evening of the 25th of December, General Washington were at once foreseen upon the affairs of America. marched from his quarters with his little army of regu- Great praise was given to the behaviour of both officers lar troops to M‘Konkie's ferry with the design of sur- and soldiers by General Washington, after the battle, in prising the enemy's post at Trenton. He had previous- his letter to Congress. The Philadelphia light horse iy given orders to General Ewing, who commanded a distinguished themselves upon this occasion, by their small body of the militia of the Flying camp, to cross the bravery and attention to duty. They were the more Delaware below Trenton, so as to cut off the retreat of admired for their conduct, as it was the first time they the enemy towards Bordentown. He had likewise ad. had ever been in action.* The loss of the enemy vised General Cadwalader of his intended enterprise, amounted tu near one hundred in killed and wounded; and recommended it to him at the same time to cross among the former was their commander, Colonel Rollthe river at Dunk's ferry, three miles below Bristol, in | Above one thousand prisoners were taken, together order to surprise the enemy's post at Mount Holly. Un with six field pieces, and a considerable quantity of fortunately the extreme coldness of the night increased camp furniture of all kinds. Private baggage was immethe ice in the river to that degree that it was impossible diately rendered sacred by a general order. About one for the militia to cross it either in boats or on foot. After hundred of the enemy escaped by the lower road to struggling with the season, till near day-light, they re- Bordentown. The American army had several privates luctantly abandoned the shores of the Delaware and re- and only one officer wounded. After having refreshed turned to their quarters. General Washington, from themselves, and rested a few hours in Trenton, they rethe peculiar nature of that part of the river to which he turned with their prisoners and other trophies of victory directed his march, met with fewer obstacles from the to the Pennsylvania side of the river by the same way ice, and happily crossed the river about day light. He they came, with the loss of only three men, who perishimmediately divided his little army, and marched them ed with the cold in re-crossing the river, an event not to through two roads towards Trenton. The distance was be wondered at, when we consider that many of them six miles. About eight o'clock an attack was made on were half naked, and most of them bare-footed.” the picket guard of the enemy: It was commanded by a youth of eighteen, who fell in his retreat to the main “Both the friends and enemies of America dwell upon body. At half an hour after eight o'clock the town was the events of the winter of 1776-7, as forming a kind of nearly surrounded, and all the avenues to it were seized, crisis in the affairs of this country. It has been said on except the one which was left for General Ewing to oc- the one side, that the indolence and avarice of General cupy. An accident here bad like to have deprived the Howe, and on the other side, that the river Delaware American army of the object of their enterprise. The by checking his march to Philadelphia, proved the commanding officer of one of the divisions sent word to means of protracting the war, and finally of establishing General Washington just before they reached the town, the independence of America. But I cannot admit this that his ammunition had been wetted by a shower of idea. I confess that a panic had seized the inhabitants rain that had fallen in the morning, and desired to know of several of the states. But the people of New Engwhat he must do. The Commander-in-Chief with the land shared no part of it. The spirit of New York was coolness and intrepidity that are natural to him in action, high, in consequence of the retreat of General Burgoyne sent him word to “ advance with fixed bayonets." This from 'Ticonderoga. The back counties of Pennsylvania laconic answer inspired the division with the firmness inbabited by a race of bardy republicans, were put in and courage of their leader. The whole body now motion by the spirited harangues of General Mifflin; who moved onwards in sight of the enemy. An awful si- was sent among them for that purpose by the Congress, lence reigned through every platoon. Each soldier Volunteers daily crowded to the American standard stepped as if he carried the liberty of his country from Delaware, Maryland, and the most remote parts of upon his single musket. The moment was a critical Virginia. Even the upper counties of New Jersey still one. The attack was begun with artillery under the held their arms in their hands. A body of six hundred command of Colonel afterwards General Knox. The choice spirits assembled at Morristown, under the cominfantry supported the artillery with spirit and firmness. mand of Colonel Ford, a militia officer, and effectually It was now the tears and prayers of the sons and daugh- checked the progress of the enemy in that part of the ters of liberty found acceptance in the sight of heaven. state. Added to this, the Congress was composed of The enemy were thrown into confusion in every quar- men of the first rank for abilities and fortune in the ter. One regiment attempted to form in an orchard, country, and possessed in the highest degree the confibut were soon forced to fall back upon their main body. dence and even the affections of the people. The paA company of them took sanctuary in a stone house per money continued to circulate with very little depre. which they defended with a field piece judiciously post- ciation. No associations were formed any where to ase ed in the entry of the house. Captain, afterwards Colonel Washington, (a relation of the General's) was or- An anecdote is mentioned of Samuel Morris, Esq. dered to dislodge them. He advanced with a field the captain of the troop of horse in this action, which piece, but finding his men exposed to a close and though it discovers his inexperience of war, does singusteady fire--he suddenly leaped from them, and rushing lar honour to bis humanity. In advancing towards the into the house seized the officer by the collar who bad town he came up to the Hessian lieutenant who com, the command of the gun, and claimed him as his prison. manded the picket guard. He lay mortally wounded, and er. His men followed him, and the whole company weltering in his blood, in the great road. The captain were immediately made prisoners of war. The captain was touched with the sight, and called to Gen. Greene received a ball in his hand in entering the house. In the to know if nothing could be done for him. The general
bid him push on, and take no notice of him. The capIt is remarkable that out of these fifteen hundred tain was as much agitated with the order, as he was afcitizens of Philadelphia, there died with sickness only fected with the scene before him, and it was not till after one man during a six weeks tour of duty. Few veteran the fortunate events of the morning were over, that he troops perhaps ever endured more from cold, hunger, was convinced that his sympathy for a bleeding enemy watching, and fatigue, than this corps of city militia. was ill timed.
sist the enemy, and not a defection was heard of to them in the charter of liberties, upon consideration of the except of Joseph Galloway and a few others, who were premises; and that the proprietary and governor may driven rather by fear, from the rising spirit of their coun- testify his great willingness to comply with that which trymen, than allured by the power or progress of the may be most easy and pleasing, he is willing that it be British arms. Had General Howe taken i’hiladelphia enacted: in December 1776, I believe it would have precipitated And be it enacted, by the proprietary and governor, his destruction. We are to distinguish in the political by and with the unanimous advice and consent of the as well as in the natural body between the strength of a freemen of this province, and territories thereunto beconstitution being exhausted, and only oppressed. Ame- longing, in provincial council and general assembly met, rica experienced only a fainty fit. Her resources were that the numbers desired by the inhabitants in their sestill unimpaired. Her manners were still simple; and veral petitions, and expressed to be their desires by the her virtųe truly republican. It is true, the brilliant affair sheriff's returns to the proprietary and governor, to serve of Trenton had an amazing effect upon the counsels as the provincial council and general assembly, be aland arms of America, as well as upon the spirits of the lowed and taken, to all intents and purposes, to be the people; but similar exertions were produced by the un provincial council and general assembly of this province: fortunate catastrophe of Charleston in the year 1780. I and that the quorum shall be proportionably settled, accannot believe that the liberties and independence of cording to the method expressed in the fifth article; the United States have ever been in danger from the that is to say, two thirds to make a quorum in extraorpower of Britain. The contrary opinion is degrading to dinary cases, and one third in ordinary cases, as is provithe understandings of the friends and leaders of the Re- ded in the said fifth article: which said provincial coun: volution, and justifies all the prejudices and fears of the cil and general assembly, so already chosen, are and disaffected. A republic can only be conquered by it- shall be held and reputed the legal provincial council self.”
and general assembly of the province and territories
thereof, for this present year, and that from and after ACT OF SETTLEMENT MADE AT CHESTER, the expiration of this present year, the provincial coun1682.
cil shall consist of three persons out of each county, as
aforesaid; and the Assembly shall consist of six persons Whereas, William Penn, Proprietary and Gorernor of out of each county, which said provincial council and the Province of Pennsylvania & 'i'erritories thereunto be- general assembly may be hereafter enlarged, as the golonging,hath out of his great kindness and goodness to the vernor and provincial council and assembly shall see inhabitants thereof, been favourably pleased to give and cause, so as the said number do not, at any time, exgrant unto them a charter of liberties & privileges, dated ceed the limitations expressed in the third and sixteenth theiwenty fifth day of the second month, one thousand six article of the charter, any thing in this act, or any other hundred and eighty two: by which charter it is said, the act, charter, or law, to the contrary in any wise notwithgovernment shall consist of the governor and freemen standing. of the said province, in the form of a provincial coun. And because the freemen of this province and terricil and general assembly; and that the provincial coun- tories thereof are deeply sensible of the kind and good cil shall consist of seventy two members, to be chosen intentions of the proprietary and governor in this charter, by the freemen; and that the general assembly may, the and of the singular benefit that redounds to them therefirst year, consist of the whole body of the freeholders, by, and are desirous that it may in all things best answer and ever after of an elected number, not excecding two the design of the public good, the freemen of the said hundred persons, without the consent of the provincial provincial council and general assembly met, having council and general assembly: and such assembly to sit unanimously requested some variations, explanations and yearly on the twentieth day of the third month, as in additions, in and to the said charter, be the proprietary the first, second, third, sixth, fourteenth and sixteenth and governor, hath therefore yielded that it be enacted. articles of the charter, reference being thereunto had, And it is hereby enacted, That the time for the doth more at large appear,
meeting of the Freemen of this province and territoAnd forasmuch as this charter was the first of those ries thereof, to choose their delegates to represent and probationary laws, that were agreed to and made by and serve them in Provincial Council and General Assembly, between the proprietary, and governor, and freemen in shall be yearly hereafter, on the tenth day of the first England, that were purchasers in this province, which month, which members so chosen for the provincial said laws, in the whole and in every part thereof were council, shall make their appearance and give their atto be submitted to the explanation and confirmation of tendance, in provincial council, within twenty days after the first provincial council and general assembly that their election, and the said members elected to serve in wes to be held in this province, as by the title and first general assembly, shall yearly meet and assemble on the law of the said agreement doth plainly appear. tenth day of the said third month, to the end and pur
And whereas, the proprietary and governor hath, ac poses declared in the charter, and in such place as is cording to that charter, issued out writs to the respec- limited in the said charter, unless the governor and protive sheriffs of the six counties of this province, to sum-vincial council shall, at any time, see cause to the conmon the frecmen thereof, to choose in each county trary. twelve personş of most note for their sobriety, wisdom, And whereas it is expressed in the said Charter, That and integrity, to serve in provincial council: and also to the governor and provincial council shall prepare and inform the freemen that they might come, for this time, propose to the general assembly all bills which they in their own persons, to make up a general assembly ac- shall think fit to pass into laws, within the said province: cording to charter. And that the said respective sheriffs Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the goverby their returns, have plainly declared, that tiie fewness nor and provincial council shall have the power of preof the people, their inability in estate, and unskilfulness paring and proposing to the general assembly, all bills in matters of government, will not permit them to serve that they shall jointly assent to and think fit to have in so large a council and assembly, as by the charter iş passed into laws, in the said province and territories expressed; and therefore do desire, that the members | thereof, that are not inconsistent with, but according to now chosen to be their deputies and representatives, the powers granted by the king's letters patents to the may serve both for provincial council and general as- Proprietary and Governor aforesaid: which bills shall sembly; that is to say, three out of each county for the be published in the most noted towns and places in the provincial council
, and the remaining nine for the gene- said province and territories thereof, twenty days before Fal assembly, according to act, as fully and amply as if the meeting of the general assembly aforesaid. the said provincial council and general assembly had And for the better decision and determination of all consisted of the said numbers of members mentioned matters and questions upon elections of representativcs and debates in provincial council, and general assembly, As they were members of one great Empire, united It is hereby declared and enacted, &c. That all ques under one head or crown, they tacitly acquiesced in the tions upon elections of representatives, and debates in superintending authority of the parliament of Great Briprovincial council and general assembly, in personal tian, and admitted a power in it, to make regulations to matters, shall be decided by the ballot; and all questions preserve the connexion of the whole entire. Though about preparing and enacting laws, shall be deter under colour of this, sundry regulations were made that mined by the vote.
bore hard on the colonies; yet, with filial respect and And that so united an interest may have an united regard for Great Britian their mother Country, the coterm, and style to be expressed by, It is hereby declared lonies submitted to them. and enacted, That the general assembly shall be hence- It will be sufficient here just to enumerate some of forth termed or called The Assembly; and the meeting the most grievous. of the governor, provincial council, and assembly, and 1. The law against making steel, or erecting steel their acts and proceedings, shall be styled and called furnaces, though there are not above five or six persons The meetings, sessions, acts or procedings of the General in England engaged in that branch of business, who are Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania, and the Terri- so far from being able to supply what is wanted, that tories thereunto belonging. And that the freemen of this great quantities of steel are yearly imported from GerProyince and the Territories thereof may not on their many. part, seem unmindful or ungrateful to their proprietary 2. Against plating and slitting mills and tilt hainmers; and governor, for the testimony he hath been pleased to though iron is the produce of our country, and from our give of his great good will towards them and theirs, nor manner of building, planting, and living, we are under be wanting of that duty they owe to him and themselves, a necessity of using vast quantities of nails and plated they have prayed leave hereby to declare their most iron, as hoes, stove pipes, plates, &c. all which are load. hearty acceptance of the said charter, and their humble ed with double freight, commissions, &c. acknowledgments for the same, solemnly promising, 3. The restraint laid on batters, and the prohibition ttha they will inviolably observe and keep the same, of exporting hats. except as is herein excepted, and will neither direct- 4. The prohibition of carrying wool or any kind of ly nor indirectly contrive, propose, enact, or do any woollen goods manufactured here, from one colony to thing or things whatsoever, by virtue of the power another. A single fleece of wool or a dozen of homethereby granted unto them, that shall or may redound made hose carried from one colony to another is not only to the prejudice or disadvantage of the proprietary and forfeited, but subjects the vessel, if conveyed by water, governor, his heirs and successors, in their just rights, or the waggon and horses, if carried by land, to a scia properties, and privileges, granted to him and them by zure, and the owner to a heavy fine. the king's letters patents, and deeds of release and 5. Though the Spaniards may cut and carry logwood feoffinent made to him by James, Duke of York and Al- directly to what market they please, yet the Americans bany, &c. and whom they desire may be hereby acknow- cannot send to any foreign market, even what the deledged and recognized the true and rightful proprieta- mand in England cannot take off, without first carrying ries and governors of the province of Pennsylvania and it to some British port, and there landing and re-shipping territories annexed according to the king's letters it at a great expense and loss of time. patents and deeds of release and feoff'ment from James, 6. Obliging us to carry Portugal and Spanish wines, Duke of York and Albany, unto the said proprietary and fruit, &c. to England, there to unload, pay a heavy duty governor, his heirs and successors, any thing in this act and re-ship it, thus subjecting us to a great expense, or any other act, grant, charter, or law, to the contrary and our vessels to an unnecessary voyage of 1000 miles of these things herein and hereby explained, altered, li- in a dangerous sea. mited, promised, declared, and enacted, in any wise, not- 7. Imposing a duty on Madeira wines, which, if re. withstanding
shipped to England, are subjected to the payment of the
full duties there without any drawback for what was paid Address read at a numerous Meeting of the Merchants here. in Philadelphia on the 25th of April, 1768.
8. The emptying their jails upon us and making the Written by Mr. Dickinson, Author of the Farmer's Letters. insult and indignity not to be thought of
, much less
colonies a receptacle for their rogues and villains; an Gentlemen, Friends, and Fellow Citizens,
borne without indignation and resentment. You are called together to give your Advice and Not to mention the restrictions attempted in the fish, Opinion, what answer shall be returned to our Breth- eries, the duties laid on foreign sugar, molasses, &c. I ren of Boston and New-York, who desire to know, whe- will just mention the necessity they have laid us under ther we will unite with them, in stopping the Importa- of supplying ourselves wholly from Great Britain with tion of Goods from Great Britain; until certain Acts of European and East India goods, at an advance of 20, Parliament are repealed, which are thought to be inju- and as to some articles even of 40 per cent. higher than rious to our Rights, as Freemen and British Subjects. we might be supplied with them from other places.
Before you come to any Resolution, it may be neces. But as if all these were not enough, a party has lately sary to explain the Matter more fully.
arisen in England, who, under colour of the superinWhen our forefathers came into this country, they tending authority of parliament, are labouring to erect considered themselves as freemen, and that their com- a new sovereignty over the colonies, with power inconing and settling these colonies did not divest them of sistent with liberty or freedom. any of the rights inherent in freemen; that, therefore, The first exertion of this power was displayed in the what they possessed, and what they or their posterity odious stamp act. As the authors and promoters of this should acquire, was and would be so much their own, act were sensible of the opposition it must necessarily that no power on earth could lawfully, or of right, de- meet with, from men, who had the least spark of liber. prive them of it without their consent. The govern- ty remaining, they accompanied it with a bill still more ments, which they, with the consent of the crown, es- odious, wherein they attempted to empower officers to tablished in the respective colonies, they considered as quarter soldiers in private houses, with a view, no doubt, political governments, “where (as Mr. Locke express to dragoon us into a compliance with the former act. es it) Men have property in their own disposal.” And By the interposition of the American agents, and of therefore (according to the conclusion drawn by the the London merchants who traded to the colonies, this same author in another place) “No taxes ought or could clause was dropt, but the act was carried, wherein the be raised on their property without their consent given assemblies of the respective colonies were ordered, at by themselves or their deputies," or chosen represen- the expense of the several provinces, to furnish the tatives.
troops with a number of articles, some of them never
allowed in Britain. Besides, a power is therein granted submit to the tyranny of the nobles. And even in the to every officer, upon obtaining a warrant from any jus- midst of war, the parliament of England has denied to tice, (which warrantithe justice is thereby empowered grant supplies, until their grievances were redressed; and ordered to grant, without any previous oath) to well knowing that no present loss, suffering or inconvebreak into any house by day or by night, under pretence nience, could equal that of tyranny or the loss of pub(these are the words of the act) of searching for de- lic liberty. To cite an example, which our own counserters.
try furnishes; you all remember that in the height of By the spirited opposition of the colonies, the first the late terrible Indian war, our assembly and that of act was repealed; but the latter continued, which, in its Maryland chose rather to let the country suffer great inspirit, differs nothing from the other. For thereby the convenience, than immediately grant supplies on terms liberty of the colonies is invaded, and their property injurious to the public privilege and to justice. disposed of without their consent, no less than by the As then we cannot enjoy liberty without property, stamp act. It was rather the more dangerous of the both in our lives and estates; as we can have no propertwo, as the appearance of the constitution was preserv- ty in that which another may of right take and dispose ed while the spirit of it was destroyed, and thus a ty- of as he pleases, without our consent; and as the late ranny introduced under the forms of liberty. The as- acts of parliament assert this right to be in them, we semblies were not at liberty to refuse their assent, but cannot enjoy freedom until this claim is given up, and were to be forced to a literal compliance with the act. until acts made in consequence of it be repealed.Thus, because the assembly of New York hesitated to For, so long as these acts continue, and the claim is kept comply, their legislative power was immediately sus- up, our property is at their disposal, and our lives at pended by another act of parliament.
their mercy. That the repeal of the stamp act might not invalidate To conclude, as liberty is the great and only security the claims of sovereignty now set up, an act was passed, of property; as the security of property is the chief asserting the power of parliament to bind us with their spur to industry, (it being vain to acquire what we have laws in every respect whatever. And to ascertain the not a prospect to enjoy;) and as the stopping the imporextent of this power, in the very next session they pro- tation of goods is the only probable means of preserv, cceded to a direct taxation; and in the very words in ing to us and our posterity this liberty and security, I which they dispose of their own property, they gave hope, my brethren, there is not a man among us, who and granted that of the colonists, imposing duties on win not cheerfully join in the measure proposed, and, paper, glass, &c. imported into America, to be paid by with our brethren of Boston and New York, freely forethe colonists for the purpose of raising a revenue. go a present advantage, nay, even submit to a present
This revenue, when raised, they ordered to be dispo- inconvenience for the sake of liberty, on which onr hapsed of in such a manner as to render our assemblies or piness, lives, and properties depend. Let us never forlegislative bodies altogether useless, and to make go- get that our strength depends on our union, and our livernors, and judges, who hold their commissions during berty on our strength. pleasure, and the whole executive powers of govern- "United we conquer-Divided we die." ment, nay, the defence of the country, independent of
[9m. Gazette. the people, as bas been fully explained in the Farmer's REVOLT OF THE PENNSYLVANIA LINE. Letters.
Thus with a consistency of conduct having divested The following documents are copied from the origius of property, they are proceeding to erect over us a despotic government, and to rule us as slaves. For canals, among du Simitiere's MSS. in the Philadelphia Li. despotical power, says Mr. Locke, is over such as have brary. They are interesting as exhibiting many circumno property at all.” If, indeed, to be subject in our lives stances not contained in the account we lately publishand property to the arbitrary will of others, whom we ed, and as showing the reasons and extent of the defechave never chosen, nor ever entrusted with such a pow. tion, and the progressive steps which were taken by the er, be not slavery, I wish any person would tell me what slavery is.
state officers, under their difficult and delicate situation, Such then being the state of the case, you are now, to restore order among the soldiers. my fellow citizens, to deliberate, not, whether you will copy of General Wayne's propositions the day after the tamely submit to this system of government. That I
meeting. am sure your love of freedom and regard for yourselves and your posterity, will never suffer you to think of; but
“ Mount Kemble, 2d January, 1781. by what means you may defend your rights and liberties,
" Agreeable to the proposition of a very great proand obtain a repeal of these acts.
portion of the worthy soldiery last evening, General In England, when the prerogative has been strained Wayne hereby desires the non-commissioned officers too high, or the people oppressed by the executive pow. and
privates, to appoint one man from each regiment, to er, the parliament, who are the guardians, and protect- represent their grievances to the General – who on the ors of the people's liberties, always petition for redress sacred honour of a gentleman and a soldier, does hereby of grievances, and enforce their petitions, by withhold- solemnly promise, to exert every power to obtain an ing supplies until they are granted.
immediate redress of those grievances: And he further Our assembly, I am told, has applied for relief from plights that honour, that no man shall receive the least these Acts of Parliament. But having nothing left to injury, on account of the part they have taken
on the give, they could not enforce their application by with occasion. And that the persons of those who may be holding any thing:
appointed to settle the affair, shall be held sacred and It is, however, in our power, in a peaceable and con, inviolate. stitutional way, to add weights to the remonstrance and
The General hopes soon to return to camp with all his petition of our representatives, by stopping the impor. brother soldiers, who took a little tour last evening. iation of goods from Britain, until we obtain relief and
(Signed) ANTHONY WAYNE, Brig. Gen. redress by a repeal of these unconstitutional acts.
A Copy-W. STEWART, Col. But this, it may be said, is subjecting ourselves to present loss and inconvenience.
In pursuance of the within order, a sergeant from each I would beg leave to ask, whether any people in any regiment met General Wayne, Colonels Butler and age or country ever defended and preserved their liber. Stewart, and mentioned the following grievances, viz. ty from the encroachments of power, without suffering 1. Many men continued in the service, after the cr. present inconveniences. The Roman people suffered piration of the enlistments. themselves to be defeated by their enemies, rather than 2. The arrearages of pay, and the depreciation not