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lance of the inhabitants to prevent any surprize ; and the appearance of common danger, united all parties, who, before the arrival of Arnold, were violently contending with one another. He was, therefore, obliged to content himself with blocking up the avenues of the town, with hopes of distressing the inhabitants for want of provisions; and even this he was not able effectually to accomplish, with such a small number of men.
The arrival of general Montgomery, although it raised the spirits of the party, yet the small force he had with him, when joined to that of Arnold, was too weak to reduce a place so strongly fortified ; they having only a few mortars and field pieces, which were not to be depended upon. . . . . . .
. Tlie siege, having continued through the nionth of De. cember, general Montgomery, still finding he could not accomplish his end any other way than by surprize, resolved to make the attempt on the last day of the year 1775. He advanced by break of day, in the midst of a heavy fall of snow, which covered his men from the sight of the enemy. Two real attacks were made by himself and colonel Arnold ; at the same time two feigned attacks were made in other places, hoping thereby to distract the garri. son, and divide their forces. One of the real attacks was made by the New York troops, and the other by those of New England under Arnold. By a mistake in the signal for the attack being given too soon, their hopes of surprizing the town were defeated. .
General Montgomery himself had the most dangerous place, being obliged to pass between the river and some high rocks on which the upper town stands; so that he made all the haste he could to close with the enemy.. His fate was soon decided. Having forced the first barrier, a violent discharge of musquetry and grape shot from the second, killed him, the principal officers and the most of the party he commanded : those who remained, imniediately retreated. Colonel Arnold, in the mean time, made a desperate attack on the lower town, and carried one of the barriers, after an obstinate resistance for an hour : but in the action he was himself wounded, which obliged him to withdraw. The attack, however, was continued by the officers whom he had left, and another barrier was forced : but the garrison, now perceiving that nothing was to be feared but from that quarter, collected their whole force against it ; and after a desperate engagenient for three hours, overpowered the provincials and obliged them to surrender. Such a terrible clisaster lefi no hopu remining of the accomplishment of their purpose ; as general Arnold could not muster more than eight liundred mca under his command.
He did not, however, abandon the province, but removed about three miles from Quebec, where he found means to annoy the garrison bs intercepting their provisions.. ' .
The Canadians still continued friendly, notwithstanding the bad success of the American arms; which enabled him to sustain the hardships of a winter encampment in that most severe climate.
Congress, far from passing any censure on his conduct, created him a brigadier-general.
While hostilities were thus carried on in the north, the flame of contention was gradually extending itself to the south. Lord Dunmore, the governor of Virginia, was involved ini disputes similar to those which had taken place in the other colonies. He dissolved the assembly, which in this province was attended with a consequence unknown to the rest. · The slaves in Virginia were numerous, it was necessary that a militia should be kept constantly in readiness to keep them in awe. During the dissolution of the assembly, the militia laws expired, and the people, after complaining of the danger they were in from the negroes, formed a convention, which enacted, that each county shoald raise a quota for the defence of the province. Dunmore, upon this, removed the powder from Williamsburgh; which created such discontents, that an immediate quarrel would have ensued, had not the merchants of the town undertaken to obtain satisfaction for the supposed in
jury done to the community. , * This tranquillity was soon interrupted: the people were
alarmed by a report, that an armed party were on their way from the man of war, to where the powder had been deposited, they assembled in arms, determined to oppose any further removals. . "i i .
In some of the conferences that passed at this time, the governor let fall some reguarded expressions, such as threatening them with setting up the royal standard, pro. claiming liberty to the negroes, and destroying the town of Williamsburgh ; which were afterwards made public, and exaggerated in such a manner, as greatly to increase the pablic ferment.
Assemblies of the people were frequently held: 'Some of them took up arms, with an intention to force the goyernor to restore the powder, and to take the public money into their own possession : but, on their way to Williams. burgh, for this purpose, they were met by the receivergeneral, who became security for the payment of the gunpowder ; and the inhabitants promised to take care of the magazine and public revenue.
The governor was so much intimidated by this insurrection, that he sent his family on board a man of war. He issued a proclamation, in which he declared the beha- ! viour of the person who provoked the tumult, treasonable ; accused the people of disaffection, &c. The people recri. zninated ; and some letters of his to Britain, being about the same time discovered, consequences ensued nearly sj. milar to those which had been occasioned by the letters of governor Hutchison, of Bostan.
The governor, in this state of confusion, thought it necessary to fortify his palace ; and procured a party of marines to guard it. About this time lord North's conci. liatory proposal arrived ; and the governor used his utmost endeavoars to cause the people to comply with it. The arguments were plausible; and, had not matters already gone to such a length, it is highly probable that some at. tention would have been paid to them, “ The view (he said) in which the colonies ought to behold this conciliata. ry proposal, was no more than an earnest admonition from Great Britain, to relieve their wants ; that the utmost condescension had been used in the mode of application, no determinate sum having been fixed; as it was thought most worthy of British generosity, to take what they thought could be conveniently spared ; and likewise, to leave the mode of raising it to themselves,' &c. But the clamour and dissatisfaction had now become so universal,
that no offers, however favourable from government, would be attended to.
The governor had called an assembly, for the purpose of laying this conciliatory proposal before them : but it was little attended to. The assembly began their session by an inquiry into the state of the magazine. It had been broken into by some of the townsmen ; for which reason, spring-guns had been placed there by the governor, which discharged themselves upon the offenders, at their entrance. These circumstances, with others of a similar nature, raised such a violent uproar, that as soon as the preliminary business of the session was over, the governor retired on board a man of war ; informing the assembly, that he durst no longer trust himself on shore. This produced a long course of disputation, which ended in a positive refusal of the governor to trust himseif again at Williamsburgh, even to give his assent to the bills, which could not be passed without it, although the assembly of. fered to bind themselves for his personal safety. In his turn, he requested them to meet hiin on board the man of war, where he then was ; but his proposal was rejected, and all further correspondence containing the least appearar.ce of friendship was discontinued. .
Lord Dunmore having thus abandoned his government, attempted to reduce by force those whom he could no longer govern. Some of the most zealous royalists, who had rendered themselves obnoxious at home, now repaired to him ; he was also joined by numbers of negro slaves. With these, and with the assistance of the British shipping, he was for some time enabled to carry on a predatory war, sufficient to hurt and exasperate, but not to suba due. After some considerable attempts on land, proclaim. ing liberty to the slaves, and setting up the royal standard, he took up his residence in Norfolk, a maratime town of some consequence, where the people were better affccted to Britain than in most other places.
A considerable force, however, was collected against him and the natural impetuosity of his temper prompted him, to act against them with more courage thian caution : he was entirely defeated, and obliged to retire to his ships ping, which was now crowded with numbers of those wło had, by joining hiin, incurred the reseniment of the pior
vincials. In the mean time, a scheme was formed by colonel Conolly, a Pennsylvanian, attached to the cause of Britain ; the first step of this plan, was to enter into a league with the Ohio Indians. This he communicated to lord Dunmore, and it received his approbation, upon which Conolly set out and actually succeeded in his design. On his return he was dispatched to general Gage, from whom he received a colonel's commission, and set out to accomplish the remainder of his scheme. The general plan was, that he should return to the Ohio, where," by the assistance of the British and Indians in these parts, he was to penetrate through the back settlements into Virginia, and join lord Dunmore, at Alexandria. But an accident very naturally to be expected, happened; he was discovered, taken prisoner and confined. After the retreat of lord Dunmore, from Norfolk, that place was taken possession of by the provincials, who greatly distressed those on board lord Dunmore's fleet, by refusing to supply them with necessaries. This proceeding drew from his lordship a remonstrance ; in which he insisted that the fleet should be furnished with necessaries; but this request being denied, a resolution was taken to set fue to the town : after giving the inhabitants proper warning, a party landed, un. der the cover of the men of war, and set fire to that part which lay nearest the shore ; but the flames were observed at the same time to break forth in every other part of the town, and the whole was soon reduced to ashes.
This destruction, occasioned a loss of more than three hundred thousand pounds sterling; and was extremely impolitic, as a great part of the property belonged to those who bad manifested a warm attachment to the cause of Britain. In the southern colonies of Carolina, the governors were expelled, and obliged to take refuge on board of men of war, as lord Dunmore had been ; governor Martin of North Carolina, on a charge of attempting to raise the back settlers, chiefly Scots-highlanders against the colony. But having secured themselves from any attempt of these enemies, they proceeded to regulate their internal con. cerns, in tbe same manner as the rest of the colonies, and by the end of the year 1775, the whole of America was - united against Great Britain, in the most determined opposition ; and of all her vast possessions of that tract of