A Brief History of the United States
Barnes & Co.

Part 3 out of 8

and the Continental Congress!" shouted Allen. No resistance was
attempted. Large stores of cannon and ammunition, just then so much
needed by the troops at Boston, fell into the hands of the
Americans, without the loss of a single man. Crown Point was soon
after as easily taken. (Map opp p. 120.)

[Footnote: Ethan Allen was a native of Connecticut. With several of
his brothers he emigrated to what is now known as Vermont. At that
time a dispute had arisen between the colony of New York, on the
one hand, and the colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and
Connecticut, on the other, with reference to the territory. The
governor of New Hampshire, regardless of the claims of New York,
issued grants of land so extensively that the region became known
as the _New Hampshire grants_. New York having obtained a
favorable decision of the courts, endeavored to eject the occupants
of the land. Ethan Allen became conspicuous in the resistance that
ensued. The "Green Mountain Boys" made him their colonel, and he
kept a watchful eye on the officers from New York, who sought by
form of law to dispossess the settlers of farms which had been
bought and made valuable by their own labor. The Revolutionary War
caused a lull in these hostilities, and the Green Mountain Boys
turned their arms upon the common enemy. Allen afterward aided
Montgomery in his Canadian expedition, but, in a fool-hardy attempt
upon Montreal, was taken prisoner and sent to England. After a long
captivity he was released, and returned home. Generous and frank, a
vigorous writer, loyal to his country and true to his friends, he
exerted a powerful influence on the early history of Vermont.]

THE SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS (May 10) met at Philadelphia in the
midst of these stirring events. It voted to raise twenty thousand
men, and appointed General Washington commander-in-chief. A
petition to the king was also prepared, which he refused to
receive. This destroyed all hope of reconciliation.


CONDITION OF THE ARMY--On Washington's arrival before Boston, he
found the army to number but fourteen thousand men. Few of them
were drilled; many were unfit for service; some had left their
farms at the first impulse, and were already weary of the hardships
of war; all were badly clothed and poorly armed, and there were
less than nine cartridges to each soldier. Washington at once made
every exertion to relieve their wants, and in the meantime kept
Gage penned up in Boston.

EXPEDITION AGAINST CANADA--Late in the summer General Montgomery,
leading an army by way of Lake Champlain, captured St. John's and
Montreal, and then appeared before Quebec. Here he was joined by
Colonel Arnold with a crowd of half-famished men, who had ascended
the Kennebec and then struck across the wilderness.

_Attack upon Quebec_.--Their united force was less than one
thousand effective men. Having besieged the city for three weeks it
was at last decided to hazard an assault. In the midst of a
terrible snow-storm they led their forces to the attack. Montgomery
advancing along the river, lifting with his own hands at the huge
blocks of ice, and struggling through the drifts, cheered on his
men. As they rushed forward a rude blockhouse appeared through the
blinding snow. Charging upon it, Montgomery fell at the first fire,
and his followers, disheartened, fled. Arnold, mean while,
approached the opposite side of the city. While bravely fighting he
was severely wounded and borne to the rear. Morgan, his successor,
pressed on the attack, but at last, unable either to retreat or
advance against the tremendous odds, was forced to surrender. The
remnant of the army, crouching behind mounds of snow and ice,
maintained a blockade of the city until spring. At the approach of
British reinforcements the Americans were glad to escape, leaving
all Canada in the hands of England.

* * * * *


EVACUATION OF BOSTON (March 17).--Washington, in order to force the
British to fight or run, sent a force to fortify Dorchester Heights
by night. In the morning the English were once more astonished by
seeing intrenchments which overlooked the city. A storm prevented
an immediate attack; a delay which was well improved by the
provincials. General Howe, who was then in command, remembering the
lesson of Bunker Hill, decided to leave, and accordingly set sail
for Halifax with his army, fleet, and many loyalists. The next day
Washington entered Boston amid great rejoicing. For eleven months
the inhabitants had endured the horrors of a siege and the
insolence of the enemy. Their houses had been pillaged, their shops
rifled, and their churches profaned.

[Footnote: The boys of Boston were wont to amuse themselves in
winter by building snow-houses and by skating on a pond in the
Common. The soldiers having disturbed them in their sports,
complaints were made to the inferior officers, who only ridiculed
their petition. At last a number of the largest boys waited on
General Gage. "What!" said Gage, "have your fathers sent you here
to exhibit the rebellion they have been teaching you?" "Nobody sent
us," answered the leader, with flashing eye; "we have never injured
your troops, but they have trampled down our snow-hills and broken
the ice of our skating-pond. We complained, and they called us
young rebels, and told us to help ourselves if we could. We told
the captain, and he laughed at us. Yesterday our works were
destroyed for the third time, and we will bear it no longer." The
British commander could not restrain his admiration. "The very
children," said he, "draw in a love of liberty with the air they
breathe. Go, my brave boys, and be assured, if my troops trouble
you again, they shall be punished."]

ATTACK ON FORT MOULTRIE (June 28).--Early in the summer an English
fleet appeared off Charleston, and opened fire on Fort Moultrie.

[Footnote: This fort was built of palmetto logs, which are so soft
that balls sink into them without splitting the wood. Here floated
the first republican flag in the South. In the early part of the
action the staff was struck by a ball, and the flag fell outside
the fort. Sergeant Jasper leaped over the breastwork, caught up the
flag, and springing back, tied it to a sponge-staff (an instrument
for cleaning cannon after a discharge), and hoisted it again to its
place. The next day Governor Rutledge offered him a sword and a
lieutenant's commission. He refused, saying, "I am not fit for the
company of officers; I am only a sergeant."]

So fearful was the response from Moultrie's guns, that at one time
every man but Admiral Parker was swept from the deck of his vessel.
General Clinton, who commanded the British land troops, tried to
attack the fort in the rear, but the fire of the southern riflemen
was too severe. The fleet was at last so badly shattered that it
withdrew and sailed for New York. This victory gave the colonists
great delight, as it was their first encounter with the boasted
"Mistress of the Seas."

The simple-hearted Sergeant Jasper died grasping the banner
presented to his regiment at Fort Moultrie. D'Estaing refused to
give further aid; thus again deserting the Americans when help was
most needed.

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (July 4, 1776).--During the session of
Congress this summer, Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, moved that
"_The United Colonies are, and ought to be, free and independent
states._" This was passed by a majority of one colony. A
committee was appointed to draw up a DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
At two o'clock on the fourth of July, its report was adopted.

[Footnote: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger
Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston, composed this committee.]

[Footnote: During the day the streets of Philadelphia were crowded
with people anxious to learn the decision. In the steeple of the
old State House was a bell on which, by a happy coincidence, was
inscribed, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the
inhabitants thereof." In the morning, when Congress assembled, the
bell-ringer went to his post, having placed his boy below to
announce when the Declaration was adopted, that his bell might be
the first to peal forth the glad tidings. Long he waited, while the
deliberations went on. Impatiently the old man shook his head and
repeated, "They will never do it! They will never do it!" Suddenly
he heard his boy clapping his hands and shouting, "Ring! Ring!"
Grasping the iron tongue, he swung it to and fro, proclaiming the
glad news of liberty to all the land. The crowded streets caught up
the sound. Every steeple re-echoed it. All that night, by shouts,
and illuminations, and booming of cannon, the people declared their

CAMPAIGN NEAR NEW YORK.--General Howe, after evacuating Boston,
went to Halifax, but soon set sail for New York. Thither also came
Admiral Howe, his brother, with reinforcements from England, and
General Clinton from the defeat at Fort Moultrie. The British army
was thirty thousand strong. Washington, divining Howe's plans, now
gathered all his forces at New York to protect that city. He had,
however, only about seven thousand men fit for duty.

[Footnote: Parliament authorized the Howes to treat with the
insurgents. By proclamation they offered pardon to all who would
return to their allegiance. This document was published by
direction of Congress, that the people might see what England
demanded. An officer was then sent to the American camp with a
letter addressed to "George Washington, Esq." Washington refused to
receive it. The address was afterward changed to "George
Washington, &c., &c." The messenger endeavored to show that this
bore any meaning which might be desired. But Washington understood
the sophistry and refused any communication which did not
distinctly recognize his position as commander of the American

BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND (Aug. 27).--The British army landed on the
southwest shore of Long Island. General Putnam, with about nine
thousand men, held a fort at Brooklyn and defences on a range of
hills south of the city. The English advanced in three divisions.
Two of these attacked the defences in front, while General Clinton,
by a circuitous route, gained the rear. The patriots were fighting
gallantly, when, to their dismay, they heard firing behind them.
They attempted to escape, but it was too late. Out of five thousand
Americans engaged, two thousand were lost.

[Footnote: Many of the captives were consigned to the Sugar House
on Liberty Street, and the prison-ships in Wallabout Bay. Their
hard lot made the fate of those who perished in battle to be
envied. During the course of the war, over 11,000 American
prisoners died in these loathsome hulks. Their bodies were buried
in the beach, whence, for years after, they were washed out from
the sand by every tide. In 1808, the remains of these martyrs were
interred with suitable ceremonies near the Navy Yard, Brooklyn;
and, in 1878, they were finally placed in a vault at Washington

(Map opposite p. 120.)

Had Howe attacked the fort at Brooklyn immediately, the Americans
would have been destroyed. Fortunately he delayed for the fleet to
arrive. For two days the patriots lay helpless, awaiting the
assault. On the second night after the battle, there was a dense
fog on the Brooklyn side, while in New York the weather was clear.
At midnight the Americans moved silently down to the shore and
crossed the river. In the morning, when the sun scattered the fog,
Howe was chagrined to find his prey escaped.

[Footnote: The Americans embarked at a place near the present
Fulton Ferry. A woman sent her negro servant to the British to
inform them of the movements of the Americans. He was captured by
the _Hessians_, who were Germans from Hesse Cassel, hired to
fight by the British government. These, not being able to
understand a word of English, detained him until the morning. His
message was then too late.]

WASHINGTON'S RETREAT.--The British, crossing to New York, moved to
attack Washington, who had taken post on _Harlem Heights_. Finding the
American position too strong, Howe moved up the Sound in order to gain
the rear. Washington then withdrew to _White Plains_. Here Howe came
up and defeated a part of his army. Washington next retired into a
fortified camp at _North Castle_. Howe, not daring to attack him,
returned to New York and sent the Hessians to take _Fort Washington_,
which they captured after a fierce resistance (Nov. 16).

[Footnote: Washington desiring to gain some knowledge of Howe's
movements, sent Captain Nathan Hale to visit the English camps on
Long Island. He passed the lines safely, but on his way back was
recognized by a tory relative, who arrested him. He was taken to
Howe's headquarters, tried, and executed as a spy. No clergyman was
allowed to visit him; even a Bible was denied him, and his farewell
letters to his mother and sister were destroyed. The brutality of
his enemies did not, however, crush his noble spirit, for his last
words were, "I regret only that I have but one life to give to my

FLIGHT THROUGH NEW JERSEY.--Washington had now retired into New
Jersey in order to prevent the British from marching against
Philadelphia. Cornwallis, with six thousand men, hurried after him,
and for three weeks pursued the flying Americans. Many of the
patriots had no shoes, and left their blood-stained foot-prints on
the frozen ground. Oftentimes the van of the pursuing army was in
sight of the American rear-guard. At last Washington reached the
Delaware, and all the boats having been secured, crossed into
Pennsylvania. Howe resolved to wait until the river should freeze
over, and then capture Philadelphia, meanwhile quartering his
troops in the neighboring villages.

[Footnote: During this retreat, Washington repeatedly sent orders
to General Lee, who was then at North Castle, to join him. Lee
hesitated, and at last moved very slowly. Five days after this,
while quartered in a small tavern at Baskingridge, remote from his
troops, he was taken prisoner by the English cavalry. His capture
was considered a great misfortune by the Americans, who thought him
the best officer in the army. The British were greatly rejoiced,
and declared they had taken the "American Palladium."]

CONDITION OF THE COUNTRY.--It was a time of deep despondency. The
patriot army was a mere handful of ragged, disheartened fugitives.
Many people of wealth and influence went over to the enemy. New
York and Newport--the second city in size in New England--were
already in the hands of the British, and they were likely soon to
seize Philadelphia.

BATTLE OF TRENTON.--Washington thought it time to strike a daring
blow. On Christmas night, in a driving storm of sleet, amid
drifting ice, that threatened every moment to crush the boats, he
crossed the Delaware with twenty-four hundred picked men, fell upon
the Hessians at Trenton, in the midst of their festivities,
captured one thousand prisoners, slew their leader, and safely
escaped back to camp, with the loss of only four men--two killed
and two frozen to death. (Map opposite p. 120.)


[Footnote: Hunt, a trader with friends and foes, a neutral, had
invited Rall, the Hessian commander, to a Christmas supper.
Card-playing and wine-drinking were kept up all night long. A
messenger came in haste, at early dawn, with a note to the colonel.
It was sent by a tory to give warning of the approach of the
American forces. The negro servant refused admittance to the
bearer. Knowing its importance, he bade the negro to take the note
directly to the officer. The servant obeyed, but the colonel,
excited by wine and the play, thrust it unopened into his pocket.
Soon the roll of drums was heard, and before the pleasure-loving
officer could reach his quarters the Americans were in pursuit of
his fleeing soldiers.]

[Footnote: Before leaving Trenton, Washington and Greene visited
the dying Hessian. It had been a time of splendid triumph to the
American commander, but as he stood by the bedside, the soldier was
lost in the Christian, and the victorious general showed himself in
that hour only a sympathizing friend.]

_The effect_ of this brilliant feat was electrical. The fires
of patriotism were kindled afresh. New recruits were received, and
the troops whose term of enlistment was expiring, agreed to remain.
Howe was alarmed, and ordered Cornwallis, who was just setting sail
for England, to return and prepare for a winter's campaign.

* * * * *


BATTLE OF PRINCETON (Jan. 3).--Washington soon crossed the Delaware
again, and took post at Trenton. Just before sunset Cornwallis came
up. His first onset being repulsed, he decided to wait till
morning. Washington's situation was now most critical. Before him
was a powerful army, and behind, a river full of floating ice. That
night, leaving his camp-fires burning to deceive the enemy, he
swept by country roads around the British, fell upon the troops
near Princeton, routed them, took three hundred prisoners, and by
rapid marches reached Morristown Heights in safety. Cornwallis
heard the firing and hurried to the rescue, but he was too late.
The victory was gained, and the victors were beyond pursuit.

These exploits won for Washington universal praise, and he was
declared to be the saver of his country.

[Footnote: Washington had forty cannon. At night-fall the ground
was so soft that he could not move them; but, while the council was
in session, the wind changed, and in two hours the roads were as
hard as pavement. Erskine urged Cornwallis to attack the Americans
that night, but he said he could "catch the fox in the morning." On
the morrow the fires were still burning, but the army was gone.
None knew whither the patriots had fled. But at sunrise there was a
sound of firing in the direction of Princeton. The report of the
cannon through the keen frosty air could be distinctly heard, but
Cornwallis believed it to be distant thunder. Erskine, however,
exclaimed, "To arms, general! Washington has outgeneraled us. Let
us fly to the rescue at Princeton!"]

[Footnote: Frederick the Great of Prussia is said to have declared
that the achievements of Washington and his little band, during the
six weeks following Christmas, were the most brilliant recorded on
the pages of military history.]

CAMPAIGN IN PENNSYLVANIA--Howe, having spent the next summer at New
York, where he was closely watched by Washington, finally took the
field, and manoeuvred to force the patriot army to a general fight.
Finding the "American Fabius" too wary for him, he suddenly
embarked eighteen thousand men on his brother's fleet, and set
sail. Washington hurried south to meet him. The patriot army
numbered only 11,000, but when Washington learned that the British
had arrived in the Chesapeake, he resolved to hazard a battle for
the defence of Philadelphia.

[Illustration: MARQUIS DE LA FAYETTE.]

BATTLE OF BRANDYWINE (Sept. ll).--The Americans took position at
Chad's Ford, on the Brandywine. Here they were attacked in front
while Cornwallis stole around in the rear, as Clinton did in the
battle of Long Island. Sullivan, Sterling, La Fayette, Wayne, and
Count Pulaski, in vain performed prodigies of valor. The patriots
were routed, Philadelphia was taken, and the British army went into
quarters there and at Germantown.

[Footnote: La Fayette's full name was Marie Jean Paul Roch Yves
Gilbert Motier, Marquis de la Fayette. At a banquet in honor of the
brother of the English king, he first heard the Declaration of
Independence. He was won by its arguments, and from that time
joined his hopes and sympathies to the American cause. Yet, how was
he to aid it? The French nobility, though disliking England, did
not endorse the action of her colonies. He was not yet twenty years
of age, he had just married a woman whom he tenderly loved, his
prospects at home for honor and happiness were bright, to join the
patriot army would take him from his native land, his wife, and all
his coveted ambitions, and lead him into a struggle that seemed as
hopeless as its cause was just. Yet his zeal for America overcame
all these obstacles. Other difficulties now arose. His family
objected, the British minister protested, the French king withheld
his permission. Still undaunted, he purchased a vessel fitted it
out at his own expense, and, escaping the officers sent to detain
him, crossed the ocean. As soon as he landed at Charleston, he
hastened to Philadelphia, and offering himself to Congress asked
permission to serve as a volunteer without pay. A few days after,
his acquaintance with Washington began, and it soon ripened into a
tender and intimate friendship. His valor won for him a commission
as major-general before he was twenty-one.]

[Footnote: The British army was sadly demoralized by the
festivities of their winter quarters. Franklin wittily said, "Howe
has not taken Philadelphia so much as Philadelphia has taken Howe."]

BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN (Oct. 4)--Washington would not let the enemies
of his country rest in peace. A few weeks after they had settled
down for the winter, he made a night march, and at sunrise fell
upon their troops at Germantown. At first the attack was
successful, but a few companies of British desperately defending a
stone house caused delay. The co-operation of the different
divisions was prevented by a dense fog, which also hid the
confusion of the enemy, so that the Americans retreated just at the
moment of victory.

[Footnote: One thousand of his men were barefoot at this time.]

Howe turned his attention to the forts on the Delaware, which
prevented his bringing supplies up to Philadelphia. The gallant
defenders were soon forced by a severe bombardment to evacuate.
Washington now retired to Valley Forge for winter quarters.

CAMPAIGN AT THE NORTH.--While the British had been thus successful
in Pennsylvania, their victories were more than counterbalanced by
defeats at the North. An attempt to cut off New England from New
York by an expedition along the old traveled French and Indian war
route up Lake Champlain, ended in disaster.

[Footnote: Besides the capture of Burgoyne's army, of which we
shall now speak, several minor events occurred during the year,
which, though of little importance in themselves, served to
encourage the people.--(1.) Howe sent General Tryon with two
thousand men to destroy the American stores at Danbury, Conn. He
accomplished his work, and then set fire to the town. The next day
he began his retreat, plundering the people and devastating the
country on his way. But the militiamen under Wooster, Arnold, and
Silliman, handled his forces so roughly that they were glad to
reach their boats. General Wooster, who was mortally wounded in the
pursuit, was nearly seventy years of age, but fought with the vigor
of youth. Two horses were shot under Arnold, and he received the
fire of a whole platoon at a distance of thirty yards, yet escaped
uninjured.--(2.) Colonel Meigs avenged the burning of Danbury. With
about two hundred men he crossed in whale-boats to Long Island,
destroyed a great quantity of stores, including twelve ships at Sag
Harbor, took ninety prisoners, and escaped without losing a man.
--(3.) The Americans were extremely anxious to offset the capture
of General Lee, especially as they had no prisoner of equal rank to
exchange for him. At this time, General Prescott, who held command
in Rhode Island, finding himself surrounded by ships and a superior
British force, became very negligent. Accordingly Colonel Barton
formed a plan to capture him. Dexterously avoiding the enemy's
vessels, he rowed ten miles in whale-boats and with about forty
militia landed near Prescott's quarters. Seizing the astonished
sentinel who guarded his door, they hurried off the half-dressed
general. A soldier escaping from the house gave the alarm, but the
laughing guard assured him he had seen a ghost. They soon, however,
found it to be no jesting matter, and vainly pursued the exultant
Barton. This capture was very annoying to Prescott, as he had just
offered a price for Arnold's head, and his tyrannical conduct had
made him obnoxious to the people. General Howe readily parted with
Lee in exchange for Prescott. ]



BURGOYNE'S INVASION.--In June, Burgoyne marched south from Canada
with an army of ten thousand British and Indians. Forts Crown
Point, Ticonderoga, and Edward, and the supplies at Whitehall,
successively fell into his hands. General Schuyler, with the small
force at his command, could only obstruct his path through the
wilderness by felling trees across the road, and breaking down
bridges. The loss of so many strongholds caused general alarm.
Lincoln--with the Massachusetts troops, Arnold--noted for his
headlong valor, and Morgan--with his famous riflemen, were sent to
check Burgoyne's advance. Militiamen gathered from the neighboring
States, and an army was rapidly collected and drilled. So much
dissatisfaction, however, arose with Schuyler that he was
superseded by Gates just as he was ready to reap the results of his
well-laid schemes. With noble-minded patriotism he made known to
Gates all his plans, and generously assisted him in their
execution. The army was now stationed at Bemis's Heights, where
fortifications were thrown up under the direction of Kosciusko

[Footnote: This general was a Pole of noble birth. While in France
he formed the acquaintance of Franklin, who recommended him to
Washington. He came to America and offered himself "to fight as a
volunteer for American independence." "What can you do?" asked the
commander. "Try me," was Kosciusko's laconic reply. Washington was
greatly pleased with him, and made him his aid. He became a colonel
in the engineer corps, and superintended the construction of the
works at West Point. After the war he returned home and led the
Poles in their struggles for independence. At Cracow is a mound of
earth, 150 feet high, raised in his memory. It is composed of earth
brought from the battle-fields on which the Poles fought for
liberty. In the new world, his name is perpetuated by a monument at
West Point.]

[Footnote: The outrages of the Indians along the route led many to
join the army. None of their bloody acts caused more general
execration than the murder of Jane McCrea. This young lady was the
betrothed of a Captain Jones of the British army. She lived near
Fort Edward in the family of her brother, who, being a whig,
started for Albany on Burgoyne's approach. But she, hoping to meet
her lover, lingered at the house of a Mrs. McNeil, a staunch
loyalist, and a cousin of the British general, Fraser. Early one
morning the house was surprised by Indians, who dragged out the
inmates and hurried them away toward Burgoyne's camp. Mrs. McNeil
arrived there in safety. A short time after, another party came in
with fresh scalps, among which she recognized the long glossy hair
of her friend. The savages, on being charged with her murder,
declared that she had been killed by a chance shot from a pursuing
party; whereupon they had scalped her to secure the bounty. The
precise truth has never been known. Captain Jones possessed himself
of the sad memento of his betrothed, and resigned. The government
refusing his resignation, he deserted, and for more than fifty
years lived remote from society, a heart-broken man.]

BURGOYNE'S DIFFICULTIES.--In the meantime, before Gates took
command, two events occurred which materially deranged the plans of

1. St. Leger had been sent to take Fort Schuyler, thence to ravage
the Mohawk Valley and join Burgoyne's army at Albany. General
Arnold being dispatched to relieve that fort, accomplished it by a
stratagem. A half-witted tory boy who had been taken prisoner, was
promised his freedom, if he would spread the report among St.
Leger's troops that a large body of Americans was close at hand.
The boy, having cut holes in his clothes, ran breathless into the
camp of the besiegers, showing the bullet-holes and describing his
narrow escape from the enemy. When asked their number, he
mysteriously pointed upward to the leaves on the trees. The Indians
and British were so frightened that they fled precipitately,
leaving their tents and artillery behind them.

[Footnote: Fort Stanwix, on the site of Rome, N. Y., in 1776 was
named after Gen. Schuyler.]


2. Burgoyne sent a detachment under Colonel Baum to seize the
supplies the Americans had collected at Bennington, Vt. General
Stark with the militia met him there. As Stark saw the British
lines forming for the attack, he exclaimed, "There are the
red-coats; we must beat them today, or Molly Stark is a widow." His
patriotism and bravery so inspired his raw troops that they
defeated the British regulars and took about six hundred prisoners.

[Footnote: One old man had five sons in the patriot army at
Bennington. A neighbor, just from the field, told him that one had
been unfortunate. "Has he proved a coward or a traitor?" asked the
father. "Worse than that," was the answer, "he has fallen, but
while bravely fighting" "Ah," said the father, "then I am

THE TWO BATTLES OF SARATOGA (Sept. 19 and Oct. 7).--Disappointed in
his expectation of supplies and reinforcements from both these
directions, Burgoyne now moved southward and attacked Gates's army
at Bemis's Heights near Saratoga. The armies surged to and fro
through the day, like the ebbing and flowing of the tide. The
strife did not cease until darkness closed over the battle-field.
For two weeks afterward, both armies lay in camp fortifying their
positions, and each watching for an opportunity to take the other
at a disadvantage.

[Footnote: The British camp was kept in continual alarm. Officers
and soldiers were constantly dressed and ready for action. One
night, twenty young farmers residing near the camp, resolved to
capture the enemy's advance picket-guard. Armed with
fowling-pieces, they marched silently through the woods until they
were within a few yards of the picket. They then rushed out from
the bushes, the captain blowing an old horse-trumpet and the men
yelling. There was no time for the sentinel's hail. "Ground your
arms, or you are all dead men!" cried the patriot captain. Thinking
that a large force had fallen upon them, the picket obeyed. The
young farmers led to the American camp, with all the parade of
regulars, over thirty British soldiers.]

Burgoyne, finding that his provisions were low and that he must
either fight or fly, again moved out to attack the Americans.
Arnold, who had been unjustly deprived of his command since the
last battle, maddened by the sight of the conflict, rushed into the
thickest of the fight. Gates, fearing that he might win fresh
laurels, ordered Major Armstrong to recall him, but he was already
out of reach. He had no authority to fight, much less to direct;
but, dashing to the head of his old command, where he was received
with cheers, he ordered a charge on the British line. Urging on the
fight, leading every onset, delivering his orders in person where
the bullets flew thickest, he forced the British to their camp.
Here the Hessians, dismayed by these terrific attacks, fired one
volley and fled. Arnold, having forced an entrance, was wounded in
the same leg as at Quebec (p. 112), and borne from the field, but
not until he had won a victory while Gates stayed in his tent. . .

[Footnote: So fierce was the battle, that a single cannon was taken
and retaken five times. Finally, Colonel Cilly leaped upon it, waved
his sword, and "dedicating the gun to the American cause," opened
it upon the enemy with their own ammunition.]

[Footnote: General Fraser was the mind and soul of the British
army. Morgan soon saw that this brave man alone stood between the
Americans and victory. Calling to him some of his best men, he
said, "That gallant officer is General Fraser. I admire and honor
him; but he must die. Stand among those bushes and do your duty."
In five minutes Fraser fell, mortally wounded.]

_Effects of these Battles_.--Burgoyne now fell back to Saratoga.
Hemmed in on all sides, there was no hope of escape. Indians and
tories were constantly deserting. Provisions were low and water was
scarce, as no one, except the women, dared to go to the river for it.
The American batteries commanded the British camp. While a council of
war, held in Burgoyne's tent, was considering the question of
surrender, an 18-lb. cannon-ball passed over the table around which
the officers sat. Under these circumstances the decision was quickly
made. The entire army, nearly six thousand strong, laid down their
arms, and an American detachment marched into their camp to the tune
of Yankee Doodle. General Burgoyne handed his sword to General Gates,
who promptly returned it.

A shout of joy went up all over the land at the news of this
victory. From the despair caused by the defeats of Brandywine and
Germantown, the nation now rose to the highest pitch of confidence.


WINTER IN VALLEY FORGE.--The winter passed in Valley Forge was the
gloomiest period of the war. The continental paper money was so
depreciated in value that an officer's pay would not keep him in
clothes. Many, having spent their entire fortune in the war, were
now compelled to resign, in order to get a living. The men were
encamped in cold, comfortless huts, with little food or clothing.
Barefooted, they left on the frozen ground their tracks in blood.
Few had blankets, and straw could not be obtained. Soldiers, who
were enfeebled by hunger and benumbed by cold, slept on the bare
earth. Sickness followed. With no change of clothing, no suitable
food, and no medicines, death was the only relief. Amid this
terrible suffering the fires of patriotism burned brightly.
Washington felt that his cause was just, and inspired all around
him with his sublime faith.

[Footnote: During this winter Washington was quartered at the house
of Isaac Potts. One day, while Potts was on his way up the creek
near by, he heard a voice of prayer. Softly following its
direction, be soon discovered the General upon his knees, his
cheeks wet with tears. Narrating the incident to his wife, he added
with much emotion, "If there is any one to whom the Lord will
listen, it is George Washington, and under such a commander, our
independence is certain."--Besides all the perils of want and
famine which he shared with his soldiers, Washington was called
upon to suffer from envy and calumny. General Conway, a cunning,
restless intriguer, formed a cabal of officers against Washington.
Their plan was to wound his feelings so that he would resign. In
that event Gates, whose reputation was very high, would succeed to
the command. Pennsylvania sent to Congress a remonstrance censuring
Washington. The same was done by members from Massachusetts.
Fortunately, the army and the best citizens knew the inspiration of
the movement to be jealousy, and their indignation was unbounded.
Neither Conway nor Adams dared show himself among the soldiers, and
the attack recoiled on the heads of its instigators--Soon after
this, England sent commissioners with liberal proposals, which,
before the war commenced, would have been accepted; but that day
was now past. Next bribery was tried. Among those approached was
General Reed of Pennsylvania. He was offered ten thousand guineas
and distinguished honors if he would exert his influence to effect
a reconciliation. "I am not worth purchasing," said the honest
patriot, "but such as I am, the king of Great Britain is not rich
enough to buy me."]


AID FROM FRANCE.--In the spring the hearts of all were gladdened by
the news that, through the efforts of Franklin, France had
acknowledged the Independence of the United States, and that a
fleet was on its way to help them in their struggle for

[Footnote: Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, 1706, N S; died in
Philadelphia, 1790. His father was a soap and candle maker, with
small means, and Benjamin, being the youngest of seventeen
children, had little opportunity to gratify his desire for
knowledge. By abstaining from meat for two years, he managed to buy
a few books, which he diligently studied. At seventeen years of age
he landed in Philadelphia with a silver dollar and a shilling in
copper. As, with his extra shirts and stockings stuffed in his
pockets, he walked along the streets, eating the roll of bread
which served for his breakfast, his future wife stood at her
father's door and smiled at his awkward appearance, little dreaming
of his brilliant future, or of its interest to her. He soon
obtained employment as a printer. Being induced by false
representations to go to England, he found himself almost penniless
in a strange land. With his usual industry he went to work, and
soon made friends and a good living. Returning to Philadelphia he
established a newspaper, and in 1732 commenced to publish "Poor
Richard's Almanac," which for twenty years was quite as popular in
Europe as in America. Its common-sense proverbs and useful hints
are household words to this day. Retiring from business with a fine
fortune, he devoted himself chiefly to science. His discoveries in
electricity are world-renowned. (See Steele's New Physics, pp. 228,
251.) Franklin was an unflinching patriot. While in England he
defended the cause of liberty with great zeal and ability. He
helped to draft the Declaration of Independence, and was one of its
signers. Having been appointed ambassador to France, he first
invested all his ready money, $15,000, in the continental loan, a
practical proof of his patriotism, since its repayment was
extremely improbable. His influence at the French court was
unbounded. He was revered for his wit, his genius, his dignity, and
his charming conversation. He became to the American cause in the
old world what Washington was in the new. On his return he was
elected president of Pennsylvania for three successive years. He
gave the whole of his salary, $30,000, to benevolent objects. In
his eighty-second year, he was a member of the Constitutional
Convetion. At his death twenty thousand persons assembled to do
honor to his memory.]


BATTLE OF MONMOUTH (June 28).--Howe having returned to England,
Clinton succeeded him. The British government, alarmed by the
sending of the French fleet, ordered Clinton to concentrate his
forces at New York. Washington rapidly followed the English across
New Jersey and overtook them at Monmouth. General Lee, who
conducted the attack, ordered a retreat. The men, entangled in a
swamp, were becoming demoralized as they retired from the field,
when Washington, riding up, bitterly rebuked Lee, by his personal
presence rallied the men, and sent them back against the enemy. The
fight lasted all that long sultry day. In the darkness of night
Clinton stole away with his men to New York.

[Footnote: Charles Lee, for his conduct at Monmouth, and his
disrespectful letters to Washington, and afterward to Congress, was
dismissed from the army. He retired to his estate in Virginia,
where he lived in a rude house whose only partitions were chalk
marks on the floor--an improvement upon walls on which he prided
himself--surrounded by his dogs, his only intimate companions.]

[Footnote: During the day an artilleryman was shot at his post. His
wife, Mary Pitcher, while bringing water to her husband from a
spring, saw him fall and heard the commander order the piece to be
removed from the field. Instantly dropping the pail, she hastened
to the cannon, seized the rammer, and with great skill and courage
performed her husband's duty. The soldiers gave her the nickname of
Major Molly. Congress voted her a sergeant's commission with
half-pay through life.]

CAMPAIGN IN RHODE ISLAND.--A combined attack on Newport was
arranged to be made by the French fleet under D'Estaing
(da-es-tang), and the American army under General Sullivan. Soon
after the French entered Narraganset Bay, Howe arrived off the
harbor with the English fleet. D'Estaing went out to meet him. A
storm came on, which so shattered both fleets that they were
compelled to put back for repairs. General Sullivan, being thus
deserted, retreated just in time to escape Clinton, who came up
from New York with reinforcements. The French gave no further aid
during the year.

THE WYOMING MASSACRE.--In July, a band of tories and Indians under
Butler, entered the beautiful valley of the Wyoming. Most of the
able-bodied men had gone to the war. The old men and the boys armed
for the defence. The women and children fled for refuge to a fort
near the present site of Wilkesbarre. Taking counsel of their
courage, and their helpless mothers, wives, and children, a handful
of men sallied out to meet the invaders, but were quickly defeated.
All that night the Indians tortured their prisoners in every way
that savage cruelty could devise. The fort having been surrendered
on promise of safety, Butler did his best to restrain his savage
allies, but in vain. By night the whole valley was ablaze with
burning dwellings, while the people fled for their lives through
the wilderness.

* * * * *


CAMPAIGN AT THE SOUTH.--At the close of the preceding autumn the
scene of conflict was transferred to Georgia. Savannah and Augusta
were captured, and soon the entire State was conquered (map opp. p.
121). The British governor being restored, England could once more
boast of a royal province among the colonies. Prevost now led the
British against Charleston, S.C. He had scarcely summoned the city
when he heard that Lincoln, his dreaded foe, was after him with the
militia, and he was glad to escape back to Savannah. In September,
D'Estaing joined Lincoln in an attack upon that city. After a
severe bombardment an unsuccessful assault was made, in which a
thousand lives were lost. Count Pulaski was mortally wounded.

[Footnote: Count Pulaski was a Polish patriot who, having lost his
father and brothers in the hopeless defence of his country, and
being himself outlawed, had come to fight for the freedom of
America. At first he served as a volunteer. He fought valiantly at
the battle of Brandywine. During the second year he commanded an
independent corps of cavalry, lancers, and light infantry, called
"Pulaski's Legion," with which he did effectual service. He was
buried in the Savannah River. The corner-stone of a monument raised
to his memory in Savannah, was laid by La Fayette while visiting
that city during his triumphal progress through the United States.]

[Footnote: The British, discouraged by their failure to subdue the
eastern and middle States, during the remainder of the war put
forth their principal strength at the South.]

CAMPAIGN AT THE NORTH.--Clinton did little except to send out
predatory parties. Norwalk, Fairfield, and New Haven, Conn., were
either burned or plundered. Tryon, who commanded the Connecticut
expedition, boasted of his clemency in leaving a single house
standing on the New England coast.

[Footnote: General Putnam was at Horse Neck when Tryon was in the
vicinity. Hastily gathering a few militia, he annoyed the British
as long as possible, and then, compelled to flee before the enemy's
overwhelming force, his men hid themselves in the adjacent swamp,
while he, spurring his spirited horse over a precipice, descended a
zigzag path, where the British dragoons did not dare to follow.]

THE CAPTURE OF STONY POINT by General Wayne, with only eight
hundred men, was one of the most brilliant exploits of the war. The
countersign, which, curiously enough, was "The fort is ours," was
obtained from a negro who was in the habit of selling strawberries
at the fort. He guided them in the darkness to the causeway leading
over the flooded marsh around the foot of the hill, on which the
fort was situated. The unsuspicious sentinel, having received the
countersign, was chatting with the negro, when he was suddenly
seized and gagged. Wayne's men passed over the causeway and reached
the base of the hill undiscovered. Forming in two divisions, with
unloaded muskets and fixed bayonets, they commenced the ascent of
the steep and narrow path which led to the top. They had nearly
reached the picket before they were discovered. Fire was at once
opened upon them. Wayne was wounded, but commanded his aids to
carry him that he might die at the head of the column. The rush of
his men was irresistible. An instant more, and a deafening shout
told that the fort was won. The British lost in killed, wounded,
and prisoners, six hundred men.


GENERAL SULLIVAN'S EXPEDITION.--The atrocities of the Indians had
kept the inhabitants of the Wyoming and Mohawk valleys in continued
terror. In the summer, General Sullivan led an expedition into the
Genesee country. Near Elmira, N. Y., he fought a fierce battle with
the Indians and their tory allies. The latter being defeated, fled
in dismay, while Sullivan marched to and fro through that beautiful
region, laying waste their corn-fields, felling their orchards, and
burning their houses.

[Footnote: The Indians, in the fertile country of the Cayugas and
Senecas, had towns and villages regularly laid out, framed houses,
some of them well finished, painted, and having chimneys, and broad
and productive fields, with orchards of apple, pear, and peach

NAVAL EXPLOITS.--No American successes caused more annoyance to the
British than those of the navy. In 1775, Washington fitted out
several vessels to cruise along the New England coast as
privateers. In the same year Congress established a naval
department. Swift sailing vessels, manned by bold seamen, infested
every avenue of commerce. Within three years they captured five
hundred ships. They even cruised among the British isles, and,
entering harbors, seized and burned ships lying at English wharves.

Paul Jones is the most famous of these naval heroes. While cruising
with a squadron of five vessels off the northeast coast of England,
he met the Serapis and the Countess of Scarborough convoying a
fleet of merchantmen. At half-past seven in the evening of
September 23, he laid his own vessel, the Bon Homme Richard,
alongside the Serapis, and a desperate struggle ensued. In the
midst of the engagement he lashed the ships together.

[Footnote: Jones had given this name (Goodman Richard) to his ship
in honor of Dr. Franklin, whose sayings as "Poor Richard" he warmly

[Footnote: At this point the contest had been raging an hour, and
the ships had twice fallen foul of each other. The first time, the
Serapis hailed the Richard, asking if she had "struck her colors."
"I have not yet begun to fight," was the reply of Jones.]

The crews then fought hand to hand. The Richard was old and rotten.
Water poured into the hold. Three times both vessels were on fire.
At ten o'clock the Serapis surrendered. Meanwhile the Pallas, one
of his companions, captured the Countess of Scarborough, but the
other ships rendered him no aid. Indeed, the Alliance, Captain
Landis, repeatedly fired into the Richard, hoping to force Jones to
surrender, that Landis might then capture the Serapis and retake
the Richard. As Jones's vessel was already in a sinking condition,
he transferred his crew to the captured frigate, and sailed for the


CAMPAIGN AT THE SOUTH.--Georgia having been subdued, the war was
now renewed in South Carolina. Charleston was attacked by land and
sea. General Lincoln, after enduring a siege of forty days and a
terrible bombardment, was forced to surrender. Marauding
expeditions were sent out which soon overran the whole State.
Clinton returned to New York, leaving Cornwallis in command.

[Footnote: One of these, under the command of the brutal Tarleton,
at _Waxhaw Creek_, over took a body of four hundred Continental troops
and a small party of cavalry under Colonel Buford. The British gave no
quarter, and after the Americans surrendered, mercilessly maimed and
butchered the larger portion of them.]

BATTLE AT CAMDEN (Aug. 16).--General Gates, "the conqueror of
Burgoyne," now taking command of the troops at the South, marched
to meet the enemy under Cornwallis near Camden. Singularly, both
generals had appointed the same time to make a night attack. While
marching for this purpose, the advance guards of the two armies
unexpectedly encountered each other in the woods. After some sharp
skirmishing, the armies waited for day. At dawn Cornwallis ordered
a charge. The militia, demoralized by the fighting in the night,
fled at the first fire, but De Kalb, with the continental regulars,
stood firm. At last he fell, pierced with eleven wounds. His brave
comrades for a time fought desperately over his body, but were
overwhelmed by numbers. The army was so scattered that it could not
be collected. A few of the officers met Gates eighty miles in the
rear with no soldiers. All organized resistance to British rule now
ceased in the South.

[Footnote: Lee met Gates on his way to join the southern army. His
well-worded caution, "Beware your northern laurels do not turn to
southern willows," seems almost prophetic of the Camden disaster.]

PARTISAN CORPS.--The Carolinas were full of tories. Many of them
joined the British army; others organized companies that
mercilessly robbed and murdered their whig neighbors. On the other
hand there were patriot bands which rendezvoused (ren-da-vood) in
swamps, and sallied out as occasion offered. These partisan corps
kept the country in continual terror. Marion, Sumter, Pickens, and
Lee, were noted patriot leaders. Their bands were strong enough to
cut off British detachments, and even successfully attack small
garrisons. The cruel treatment which the whigs received from the
British drove many to this partisan warfare. The issue of the
contest at the South was mainly decided by these bold citizen

[Footnote: A British officer sent to negotiate concerning an
exchange of prisoners, dined with Marion. The dinner consisted of
roasted potatoes. Surprised at this meagre diet, he made some
inquiries, when he found that this was their customary fare, and
that the patriot general served without pay. This devotion to the
cause of liberty so affected the officer that he resigned his
commission, thinking it folly to fight such men.]

[Footnote: At _Hanging Rock_ (Aug. 6) Sumter gained a victory
over a strong body of British and tories. He began the action with
only two rounds of ammunition, but soon supplied himself from the
fleeing tories. Frequently, in these contests, a portion of the
bands would go into a battle without guns, arming themselves with
the muskets of their comrades as they fell. At _King's Mountain_ (Oct.
7) a large body of independent riflemen, each company under its own
leader, attacked Ferguson, who had been sent out to rally the tories
of the neighborhood. Ferguson and one hundred and fifty of his men
were killed, and the rest taken prisoners.]

[Footnote: An event which occurred in Charleston aroused the
bitterest resentment. When that city was captured by the British,
Colonel Isaac Hayne, with others, was paroled, but was afterwards
ordered into the British ranks. At this time his wife and several
of his children lay at the point of death with small-pox. The
choice was given him to become a British subject or to be placed in
close confinement. Agonized by thoughts of his dying family, he
signed a pledge of allegiance to England, with the assurance that
he should never be required to fight against his countrymen. Being
afterward summoned by Lord Rawdon to join the British army, he
considered the pledge annulled, and raised a partisan band. He was
captured, and without being allowed a trial, was condemned to
death. The citizens of Charleston vainly implored pardon for him.
Lord Rawdon allowed him forty-eight hours in which to take leave of
his orphan children, at the end of which time he was hanged.]

[Illustration: SUMTER.]

CONTINENTAL MONEY had now been issued by Congress to the amount of
$200,000,000. At this time it was so much depreciated that $40 in
bills were worth only $1 in specie. A pair of boots cost $600 in
continental currency. A soldier's pay for a month would hardly buy
him a dinner. To make the matter worse, the British had flooded the
country with counterfeits, which could not be told from the
genuine. Many persons refused to take continental money. The
sufferings of the soldiers and the difficulty of procuring supplies
may be readily imagined.

[Footnote: In this crisis, Robert Morris, of Philadelphia, sent
three million rations. Soldiers' relief associations were organized
by the women of that city. They made twenty-two hundred shirts,
each inscribed with the name of the lady who sewed it.]

The Pennsylvania regiments in camp at Morristown, claiming that
their time had expired, demanded their discharge. At last, 1,300
strong, they set out for Princeton to secure redress at the point
of the bayonet, but a committee of Congress succeeded in satisfying

[Footnote: Clinton's agents went among the troops offering large
rewards for desertion. The emissaries mistook their men, for the
soldiers gave them up as spies.]

[Illustration: CONTINENTAL MONEY.]

ARNOLD'S TREASON.--The English did little at the North, and the
condition of Washington's army prevented his making any movement.
Meanwhile the cause of liberty suffered a terrible blow from one
who had been its gallant defender. General Arnold, whose bravery at
Quebec and Saratoga had awakened universal admiration, was
stationed at Philadelphia while his wound was healing. He there
married a tory lady and lived in great extravagance. By various
acts of oppression, he rendered himself so odious that on one
occasion he was publicly mobbed. Charges being preferred against
him, he was convicted and sentenced to be reprimanded by the
commander-in-chief. Washington performed the duty very gently and
considerately; but Arnold, stung by the disgrace, and desperate in
fortune, resolved to gratify both his revenge and love of money by
betraying his country. He accordingly secured from Washington the
command of West Point, at that time the most important post in
America. He then proposed to Clinton, with whom he had previously
corresponded, to surrender it to the British. The offer was
accepted, and Major Andre appointed to confer with him. Andre
ascended the Hudson, and, on the night of September 21, went ashore
from the English ship Vulture to meet the traitor. Morning dawned
before they had completed their plans. In the meantime, fire having
been opened on the Vulture, she had dropped down the river. Andre,
now left within the American lines, was obliged to make his way
back to New York by land. He had reached Tarrytown in safety, when,
at a sudden turn in the road, his horse's reins were seized, and
three men sprang before him. His manner awakening suspicion, they
searched him, and finding papers which seemed to prove him a spy,
they carried him to the nearest American post. Arnold was at
breakfast, when he received a note announcing Andre's capture. He
called aside his wife and told her of his peril. Terrified by his
words, she fainted. Kissing his boy, who lay asleep in the cradle,
Arnold darted out of the house, mounted a horse, by an unfrequented
path reached the river, jumped into his boat, and was rowed to the
Vulture. He received, as the reward of his treachery, 6,315 pounds,
a colonelcy in the English army, and the contempt of everybody. The
very name, "Arnold the Traitor," will always declare his infamy.
Andre was tried and hung as a spy. Every effort was made to save
him, and his fate awakened universal sympathy.

[Footnote: The names of these men were Paulding, Van Wart, and
Williams. Andre offered them his horse, watch, purse, and any sum
they might name, if they would release him. The incorruptible
patriots declared that they would not let him go for ten thousand
guineas. Congress voted to each of them a silver medal and a
pension for life.]

[Footnote: Arnold was thoroughly despised by the British officers,
and often insulted. Many stories are told illustrative of English
sentiment toward him. A member of Parliament, about to address the
House of Commons, happening, as he rose, to see Arnold in the
gallery, said, pointing to the traitor, "Mr. Speaker, I will not
speak while that man is in the House." George the Third introduced
Arnold to Earl Barcarras, one of Burgoyne's officers at Bemis's
Heights. "Sire," said the proud old Earl as he turned from Arnold,
refusing his hand, "I know General Arnold, and abominate traitors."
When Talleyrand was about to come to America, he sought letters of
introduction from Arnold, but received the reply, "I was born in
America; I lived there to the prime of my life; but, alas! I can
call no man in America my friend."]


THE WAR AT THE SOUTH.--General Greene, who was appointed to succeed
General Gates, found the army to consist of only two thousand
half-clothed, half-starved men. A part of his force, under Morgan,
was attacked (January 17) at _Cowpens_ by Tarleton. The militia
fleeing, the continentals fell back to secure a better position. The
British mistook this for a retreat and were rushing on in confusion,
when the continentals suddenly faced about, poured in a deadly fire at
only thirty yards distance, and drove them in utter rout. Tarleton
fled to Cornwallis, who set out in hot haste, eager to punish the
victors and recapture the prisoners. Morgan started for Virginia, and
crossed the Catawba just before Cornwallis appeared in sight. Night
came on, and with it rain, which raised the river so high as to keep
the impatient Cornwallis waiting three days.

[Footnote: Colonel William A. Washington, in a personal combat in
this battle, wounded Tarleton. Months afterward, the British
officer while conversing with Mrs. Jones, a witty American lady,
sneeringly said, "That Colonel Washington is very illiterate. I am
told that he cannot write his name." "Ah, Colonel," replied she,
"you bear evidence that he can make his mark." Tarleton expressing,
at another time, his desire to see Colonel Washington, the lady
replied, "Had you looked behind you at Cowpens, you might have had
that pleasure."]

GREENE'S RETREAT.--General Greene now joined Morgan, and conducted
the retreat. At the Yadkin, just as the Americans had reached the
other side, it began to rain. When Cornwallis came up, the river
was so swollen that he could not cross. He, however, marched up the
stream, effected a passage, and was soon in full pursuit again. Now
came a race, on parallel roads, thirty miles per day, for the fords
of the Dan. Greene reached them first, and Cornwallis gave up the
chase. This signal deliverance of Greene's exhausted army awoke
every pious feeling of the American heart, and was a cause for
general thanksgiving.

[Footnote: During this retreat, General Greene, after a hard day's
ride in the rain, alighted at the door of Mrs. Elizabeth Steele, in
Salisbury, N. C., announcing himself as, "fatigued, hungry, cold,
and penniless." Quickly providing the honored guest with a warm
supper before a cheerful fire, this patriotic woman brought forth
two small bags of specie, her earnings for years. "Take these," she
said; "you will want them, and I can do without them." "Never,"
says his biographer, "did relief come at a more needy moment; the
hero resumed his dangerous journey that night with a lightened
heart." Another story illustrative of the patriotism of the
Southern women is told of Mrs. Motte. The British had taken
possession of her house, fortified and garrisoned it. On Colonel
Lee's advance, she furnished him a bow and arrows, by means of
which fire was thrown upon the shingled roof. Her mansion was soon
in flames. The occupants, to save their lives, surrendered.]

CAMPAIGN CLOSED.--Having rested his men, Greene again took the
field, harassing the enemy by a fierce partisan warfare. At
_Guilford Court-House_ (March 15) he hazarded a battle. The
militia fled again at the first fire, but the continental regulars
fought as in the time of De Kalb. The Americans at last retired,
but the British had bought their victory so dearly that Cornwallis
also retreated. Greene again pursuing, Cornwallis shut himself up
in Wilmington. Thereupon Greene turned his course to South
Carolina, and with the aid of Marion, Sumter, Lee, and Pickens,
nearly delivered this State and Georgia from the English. In the
battle of _Eutaw Springs_ (Sept. 8) the forces of the enemy
were so crippled that they retired toward Charleston. Cornwallis,
refusing to follow Greene into South Carolina, had already gone
north into Virginia, and though a fierce partisan warfare still
distracted the country, this engagement closed the long and
fiercely fought contest at the South.

[Footnote: Congress voted the highest honors to General Greene,
who, by his prudence, wisdom, and valor, had, with such
insignificant forces and miserable equipments, achieved so much for
the cause of liberty. He never gained a decided victory, yet his
defeats bad all the effect of successes, and his very retreats
strengthened the confidence of his men and weakened that of the

[Footnote: At the battle of Eutaw, Manning, a noted soldier of
Lee's legion, was in hot pursuit of the flying British, when he
suddenly found himself surrounded by the enemy and not an American
within forty rods. He did not hesitate, but seizing an officer by
the collar, and wresting his sword from him by main force, kept his
body as a shield while he rapidly backed off under a heavy fire
from the perilous neighborhood. The frightened British officer when
thus summarily captured, began immediately to enumerate his titles:
"I am Sir Henry Barry, deputy adjutant-general, captain in 52d
regiment," &c., &c. "Enough," interrupted his captor; "you are just
the man I was looking for."]

THE WAR AT THE NORTH.--The traitor Arnold, burning with hatred, led
an expedition into Virginia. He conducted the war with great
brutality, burning private as well as public property. La Fayette
was sent to check him, but with his small force could accomplish
little. Cornwallis, arriving from the South, now took Arnold's
place, and continued this marauding tour through the country.
Clinton, however, fearing Washington, who seemed to threaten New
York, directed Cornwallis to keep near the sea-coast so as to be
ready to help him. Cornwallis, accordingly, after having destroyed
ten million dollars worth of property, fortified himself at

[Footnote: Many of La Fayette's men having deserted, he set forth
the baseness of such conduct, and then offered to all who desired
it, a permit to go home. Not a man accepted, nor was there after
this a single case of desertion. One soldier, not being able to
walk, hired a cart that he might keep up with his comrades. Shoes,
linen, and many other necessaries were provided at La Fayette's
expense. The generosity of this general and the devotion of his
soldiery seemed to vie with each other.]

SIEGE OF YORKTOWN.--It was arranged to attack Cornwallis at this
place by the combined American and French forces. Washington, by a
feint on New York, kept Clinton in the dark regarding his plans
until he was far on his way south with the continental army.

[Footnote: During the preceding winter Robert Morris sent to the
starving army several thousand barrels of flour. He now furnished
nearly everything required for this expedition, issuing his own
notes to the amount of $1,400,000. It is sad to know that this
patriot, so often the resource of Washington, lost his fortune in
his old age, and was confined in prison for debt.]

[Footnote: Washington, at this time, visited Mount Vernon which he
had not seen since he left it to attend the Continental Congress in
1775. Six years and a half had nearly elapsed, yet he remained only
long enough to fulfill a military engagement.]

[Footnote: Clinton sent Arnold on a pillaging tour into Connecticut
in order to force Washington to return. He, however, was not to be
diverted from his great enterprise, and left New England to take
care of herself. New London was pillaged and burned, Arnold
watching the fire from a church steeple. At Fort Griswold, the
commander and half the garrison were butchered. After this fort had
been taken, a British officer entering asked, "Who commands here?"
"I did," said Colonel Ledyard, as he advanced to surrender his
sword, "but you do now." With fiendish malignity, the officer
seized the weapon and thrust it into the bosom of the brave

On the 28th of September, the joint forces, twelve thousand strong,
took up their position before Yorktown. Batteries were opened upon
the city, and the vessels in the harbor fired by red-hot shells.
Two redoubts were carried; one by the Americans, the other by the
French. The most hearty good-will prevailed. The patriots slept in
the open air that their allies might use their tents. Breaches
having been made in the walls, Cornwallis saw no hope of escape and
capitulated (Oct. 19).

[Footnote: Governor Nelson commanded the battery that fired first
upon the British. Cornwallis and his staff were at that time
occupying the governor's fine stone mansion. The patriot pointed
one of his heaviest guns directly toward his house, and ordered the
gunner to fire upon it with vigor. The British could not make even
the home of the noble Nelson a shield against his patriotic
efforts. The house still bears the scars of the bombardment.]

THE SCENE OF THE SURRENDER was most imposing. The army was drawn up
in two lines, extending over a mile--the Americans on one side with
General Washington at the head, and the French on the other with
Count Rochambeau (ro-shong-bo). The captive army, about seven
thousand in number, with slow step, shouldered arms, and cased
colors, marched between them. A prodigious crowd, anxious to see
Cornwallis, had assembled, but the haughty general, vexed and
mortified at his defeat, feigned illness, and sent his sword by
General O'Hara.

[Footnote: With a fine delicacy of feeling, Washington directed the
sword to be delivered to General Lincoln, who, eighteen months
before, had surrendered at Charleston.]


_The Effect_.--Both parties felt that this surrender virtually
ended the war. Joy pervaded every patriot heart. All the hardships
of the past were forgotten in the thought that America was free.
The news reached Philadelphia at two o'clock A.M. The people were
awakened by the watchman's cry, "Past two o'clock and Cornwallis is
taken." Lights flashed through the houses, and soon the streets
were thronged with crowds eager to learn the glad news. Some were
speechless with delight. Many wept, and the old door-keeper of
Congress died of joy. Congress met at an early hour, and that
afternoon marched in solemn procession to the Lutheran church to
return thanks to Almighty God.

All hope of subduing America was now abandoned by the people of
England, and they loudly demanded the removal of the ministers who
still counselled war. The House of Commons voted that whoever
advised the king to continue hostilities should be considered a
public enemy.

[Footnote: On Sunday noon, November 25, 1781, the British Cabinet
received intelligence of the defeat. When Lord North, the prime
minister of Great Britain, heard the disastrous news, he was
greatly excited. With looks and actions indicating the deepest
distress, he again and again exclaimed, "O God! it is all over."]

DIFFICULTIES OF THE COUNTRY AND ARMY.--The situation of the United
States at this time was perilous. Commerce had been destroyed by
the war. The currency was worthless. War had been the main business
of the country for eight years, and trade, manufactures, and
agriculture, had been neglected. Villages had been burned, ships
destroyed, and crops laid waste. The British held Charleston over a
year, and Savannah and New York about two years after the surrender
at Yorktown. George III was obstinate, and war might be resumed.
Yet the American army was in almost open rebellion. The soldiers,
afraid they should be disbanded and sent home without pay,
petitioned Congress, but received no satisfaction. The treasury was
empty. At this crisis Washington was invited to become king. The
noble patriot was shocked at the proposal, and indignantly spurned
it. A paper having been circulated advising violent measures,
Washington addressed a meeting of the officers, and besought them
not to mar their fair record of patriotic service by any rash
proceedings. His influence prevailed, both with the army and with
Congress, and the difficulties were amicably settled.

[Footnote: As he rose he took off his spectacles to wipe them,
saying, "My eyes have grown dim in the service of my country, but I
have never doubted her justice."]

PEACE DECLARED.--A treaty was signed at Paris (September 3, 1783)
acknowledging the independence of the United States. Soon after,
the army was disbanded. Washington bade his officers an affecting
farewell, and retired to Mount Vernon, followed by the thanksgiving
of a grateful people.

WEAKNESS OF THE GOVERNMENT.--During the war the thirteen States had
agreed upon Articles of Confederation, but they conferred little
power on Congress. It could recommend, but not enforce; it could
only advise action, leaving the States to do as they pleased.
Bitter jealousy existed among the several States, both with regard
to one another and to a general government. The popular desire was
to let each State remain independent, and haye no national
authority. A heavy debt had been incurred by the war. Congress had
no money and could not levy taxes. It advised the States to pay,
but they were too jealous of Congress to heed its requests. "We
are," said Washington, "one nation to-day, and thirteen to-morrow."
In New England, large bodies of men assembled, refusing to pay
their taxes and openly threatening to overturn the government. This
insurrection, known as _Shays's Rebellion_, from the name of
its leader, was put down by the militia under General Lincoln.

CONSTITUTION ADOPTED.--Under these circumstances, many of the best
men of the land felt the need of a stronger national government. A
convention was called in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of
Confederation. Washington was chosen president. After much

[Footnote: The new constitution met with the most violent
opposition. The people were divided into two parties--the
_Federalists_ and the _anti-Federalists_. The former
favored the constitution and sought to increase the powers of the
national government, and thus strengthen the Union at home and
abroad. The latter wished the authority to rest with the States,
opposed the constitution, were jealous of Congress, and feared too
much national power lest a monarchy might be established. The
nation was agitated by the most earnest and thoughtful as well as
the most virulent speeches on both sides. Within the year (1788)
nine States had ratified the constitution. This was the number
necessary to make it binding. Rhode Inland was not represented in
the convention, and did not accept the constitution until 1790.]

During the next Epoch we shall notice the growth of the country
under the wise provisions of this constitution.

Summary of the History of the Third Epoch,
arranged in Chronological Order.

1765. The Stamp Act passed, March 8,
1766. The Stamp Act repealed by Parliament, March 18,
1767. A tax imposed on tea, &c., June 29,
1768. The British troops arrived at Boston, September 27,
1770. Boston Massacre, March 5,
All duties except on tea repealed, April 12,
1773. The tea thrown overboard in Boston Harbor, Dec. 16,
1774. "Boston Port Bill" passed, March 31,
First Continental Congress met at Philadelphia, Sept. 5,
1775. Battle of Lexington, April 19,
Ticonderoga taken by Allen and Arnold, May 10,
Crown Point taken, May 12,
Washington elected commander-in-chief, June 15,
Battle of Bunker Hill, June 17,
Washington took command of the troops before Boston,
July 2,
Montreal surrendered to Montgomery, November 13,
Battle of Quebec--Montgomery killed, December 31,
1776. Boston evacuated by the British troops under Lord Howe,
March 17,
Attack on Fort Moultrie, June 28,
Declaration of Independence, July 4,
Battle of Long Island, August 27,
Battle of White Plains, October 28,
Fort Washington taken, November 16,
Washington's retreat through New Jersey, November
and December,
Battle of Trenton, December 26,
1777. Battle of Princeton, January 3,
Murder of Miss McCrea, July 27,
Battle of Bennington, August 16,
Battle of Brandywine, September 11,
First battle of Saratoga, September 19,
Philadelphia captured by the British, September 25,
Battle of Germantown, October 4,
Second battle of Saratoga, October 7,
Surrender of Burgoyne, October 17,
1778. American Independence acknowledged by France, Feb. 6
Battle of Monmouth, June 28
Massacre of Wyoming, July 3
French fleet arrived in Narraganset Bay, July 29
British captured Savannah, Ga., December 29
1779. Stony Point captured by General Wayne, July 15
Sullivan defeated the tories and Indians near Elmira,
N. Y., August 29
Paul Jones's victory, September 23
Savannah besieged by the Americans and the French,
September and October
D'Estaing and Lincoln repulsed at Savannah, October 9
1780. Charleston surrendered to the British, May 12
Battle of Hanging Rock, S. C., August 6
Battle of Camden, August 16
Andre executed, October 2
Battle of King's Mountain, October 7
1781. Richmond burned by Arnold, January 5
Battle of the Cowpens, January 17
Greene's celebrated retreat, January and February
Battle of Guilford Court House, March 15
Battle of Eutaw Springs, September 8
Surrender of Cornwallis, October 19
1783. Savannah evacuated by the British, July 11
Treaty of Peace signed at Paris, September 3
New York evacuated by the British, November 25
Washington resigned his commission, December 23
1787. Shays's Rebellion in Massachusetts
Constitution of the United States adopted in Convention,
September 17
1788. Constitution adopted by nine States

* * * * *


Lossing's Field Book of the Revolution.--Spencer's History of
the United States--Garden's Anecdotes of the Revolution.--Grace
Greenwood's Forest Tragedy.--Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming (Poem).
--Halleck's Wyoming (Poem).--Simms's Life of Marion; also his
Series of Historical Tales.--Bryant's Song of Marion's Men and
Seventy-Six (Poems).--Magoon's Orators of American Revolution.
--Headley's Washington and his Generals.--Wirt's Life of Patrick
Henry.--G. W. Greene's Historical View of American Revolution and
Life of General Greene.--Parton's Life of Benjamin
Franklin--Longfellow's Paul Revere's Ride and Pulaski's
Banner (Poems).--Headley's Life of La Fayette--Hawthorne's
Ticonderoga (Twice Told Tales)--Mrs Ellet's Women of the American
Revolution--Watson's Camp Fires of the Revolution--Raymonds Women
of the South--Sabine's Loyalists of the American Revolution--Lee's
War in the Southern Department--Drake's American Flag
(Poem)--Streets Concord, Bennington, and American Independence
(Poems)--Dwight's Columbia (Poem)--Washington's Farewell
Address--The Declaration of Independence (see Appendix)--Sears's
History of the American Revolution--Freneau's Poems--Life of
General Joseph Reed, by Wm. B. Reed--Cooper's novels (The Spy, The
Pilot and Lionel Lincoln)--Motley's Horton's Hope and Paulding's
Old Continental (novel)--Winthrop Sargent's Life of Andre and
Loyalist Poetry of the Revolution--Moore's Songs and Ballads and
Diary of the Revolution--Whittier's Rangers (Poem)--Hawthorne's
Septimius Felton (Fiction)--Winthrop's Edwin Brothertoft
(fiction)--Barnes's Brief History of France--Barnes's Popular
History of United States--Harper's Magazine, vol 50, p 777, Art The
Concord Fight, vol 51, p 230, Art, Echoes of Bunker Hill vol 53 p
1, Art, Virginia in the Revolution vol 55, 511 Art, Battle of
Benmngton--Atlantic Monthly, vol 37, p. 466, Art, The Siege of
Boston--Martin's Civil Government

Epoch)--The Treaty with Great Britain (Sept 3, 1783) fixed the
boundaries of the United States as the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of
Mexico the Mississippi River, and the Great Lakes From this
however, was to be excluded Florida, which belonged to Spain and
the part of Louisiana east of the Mississippi. The Thirteen
Colonies occupied only a narrow strip along the Atlantic sea-board.
Pennsylvania was a frontier State, with Pittsburg as an advanced
military post. The interior of the continent as far as the
Mississippi was called the Wilderness. These broad lands belonged
to the States individually, since the original English grants
extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific (See second note, p 40)
They were finally generously given up to the general government of
the young confederacy (See second note, p 194, and article on
Public Lands, _Harper's Magazine_ vol 42, p 219) In 1787, the
great legion north of the Ohio was organized into the Northwestern
Territory (See notes, p 201) This was slowly settled. As late as
1819 even the Terntory of Michigan was thought to be a "worthless
waste" The Province of Louisiana was purchased of France in 1803 (p
156) Little was known of the country thus acquired, and that same
year it was said "The Missouri has been navigated for 2500 miles,
there appears a probability of a communication by this channel with
the Western Ocean" The famous expedition under the command of
Captains Lewis and Clarke (see Barnes's Popular History of United
States, p 360) in 1804-5 gave the first accurate information
concerning this vast territory. Florida was purchased of Spain (p
173) by a treaty proposed Feb 22, 1819 though not signed by the
King of Spam until Oct 20,1820, while the United States did not
obtain full possession before July 17,1821. (These facts account
for the different dates assigned to this purchase in the various
histories.) The treaty with Spain which secured Florida, _also
relinquished all Spanish authority over the region west of the
Rocky Mountain, claimed by the United States as belonging to the
Louisiana purchase, but not previously acknowledged by Spain._
This is of special importance since many maps giving the Spanish
version, extend Louisiana only to the Rocky Mountains (the map of
the VIth Epoch is based on the one in the United States Census of
1870). In the beginning of the war of 1812, a strip of coast about
fifty miles wide lying between Florida and Louisiana, considered by
Spain as a part of Florida had been taken by the United States
under the claim that it also belonged to the Louisiana purchase.
Texas was annexed in 1845 (p 205, and also _Scribner's Magazine_, vol
16 p 868). The Mexican cession of 1848 gave the United States
California and several other States (p 206-8). Alaska, the latest
acquisition, was purchased in 1867.



* * * * *

From 1787--the Adoption of the Constitution,
To 1861--the Breaking Out of the Civil War.

* * * * *


WASHINGTON'S INAUGURATION (April 30, 1789).--In the choice of the
first President of the United States, all hearts turned
instinctively to Washington. With deep regret, he left his quiet
home at Mount Vernon for the tumults of political life. His journey
to New York was a continual ovation. Crowds of gayly-dressed people
bearing baskets and garlands of flowers, and hailing his appearance
with shouts of joy, met him at every village. On the balcony of old
Federal Hall, New York City, he took the oath to support the
Constitution of the United States. Difficulties beset the new
government on every hand. The treasury was empty, and the United
States had no credit. The Indians were hostile. Pirates from the
Barbary States attacked our ships, and American citizens were
languishing in Algerine dungeons. Spain refused us the navigation
of the Mississippi. England had not yet condescended to send a
minister to our government, and had made no treaty of commerce with
us. We shall see how wisely Washington and his cabinet met these

[Footnote: New York was only temporarily the capital. At the second
session of Congress the seat of government was transferred to
Philadelphia, where it was to remain for ten years, and then (1800)
be removed to the District of Columbia, a tract of land ten miles
square ceded for this purpose by Maryland and Virginia. Here a city
was laid out in the midst of a wilderness, containing only here and
there a small cottage. In 1800 it had eight thousand inhahitants.
The "Father of his country" laid the cornerstone of the capitol
(1793). The part of this District on the Virginia side of the
Potomac was (1846) ceded hack to that State.]

[Footnote: George Washington was born February 22, 1732; died
December 14, 1799. Left fatherless at eleven years of age, his
education was directed by his mother, a woman of strong character,
who kindly, but firmly, exacted the most implicit obedience. Of
her, Washington learned his first lessons in self-command. Although
bashful and hesitating in his speech, his language was clear and
manly. Having compiled a code of morals and good manners for his
own use, he rigidly observed all its quaint and formal rules.
Before his thirteenth year he had copied forms for all kinds of
legal and mercantile papers. His manuscript school-books, which
still exist, are models of neatness and accuracy. His favorite
amusements were of a military character; he made soldiers of his
playmates, and officered all the mock parades. Grave, diffident,
thoughtful, methodical, and strictly honorable, such was Washington
in his youth. He inherited great wealth, and the antiquity of his
family gave him high social rank. On his Potomac farms he had
hundreds of slaves, and at his Mount Vernon home he was like the
prince of a wide domain, free from dependence or restraint. He was
fond of equipage and the appurtenances of high life, and although
he always rode on horseback, his family had a "chariot and four,"
with "black postilions in scarlet and white livery." This generous
style of living, added perhaps to his native reserve, exposed him
to the charge of aristocratic feeling. While at his home, he spent
much of his time in riding and hunting. He rose early, ate his
breakfast of corn-cake, honey, and tea, and then rode about his
estates; his evenings he passed with his family around the blazing
hearth, retiring between nine and ten. He loved to linger at the
table, cracking nuts and relating his adventures. In personal
appearance, Washington was over six feet in height, robust,
graceful, and perfectly erect. His manner was formal and dignified.
He was more solid than brilliant, and had more judgment than
genius. He had great dread of public life, cared little for books,
and possessed no library. A consistent Christian, he was a regular
attendant and communicant of the Episcopal Church. A firm advocate
of free institutions, he still believed in a strong government and
strictly enforced laws. As President, he carefully weighed his
decisions, but, his policy once settled, pursued it with steadiness
and dignity, however great the opposition. As an officer, he was
brave, enterprising, and cautious. His campaigns were rarely
startling, but always judicious. He was capable of great endurance.
Calm in defeat, sober in victory, commanding at all times, and
irresistible when aroused, he exercised equal authority over
himself and his army. His last illness was brief, and his closing
hours were marked by his usual calmness and dignity. "I die hard,"
said he, "but I am not afraid to go." Europe and America vied in
tributes to his memory. Said Lord Brougham, "Until time shall be no
more, a test of the progress which our race has made in wisdom and
virtue will be derived from the veneration paid to the immortal
name of Washington." Washington left no children. It has been
beautifully said, "Providence left him childless that his country
might call him Father."]


[Footnote: Three executive departments were now established--the
Department of Foreign Affairs (now the Department of State), the
Department of War, and the Department of the Treasury. The heads of
these departments were called Secretaries, and, with the
Attorney-General, formed the President's cabinet.]

[Footnote: _Questions on the Geography of the Fourth Epoch_--Names of
places in italic letter may be found on map, Epoch VI. Locate New York
Philadelphia Baltimore _Boston Washington_ Detroit York St Johns
Montreal Plattsburg Fort Schlosser Sackett's Harbor Frenchtown
Chappewa _Stonington_ New Orleans _Charleston_ Sacramento San
Francisco _Palmyra_ Santa Fe _Nauvoo Mount Vernon_ Queenstown
Heights Chrysler's Field Horseshoe Bend Lundy's Lane

Locate Fort Malden Fort Erie Fort Meigs Fort Stephenson Fort Mimms
(Mims) Fort McHenry _Fort King_ Fort Brown

Describe the Maumee River Hudson River Tippecanoe River Niagara
River St Lawrence River Raisin River Thames River _Columbia
River_ Rio Grande River Nueces River Locate Sandusky Bay Lake
Champlain _Tampa Bay_

Locate Palo Alto Point Isabel Resaca de la Palma Matamoras Monterey
Buena Vista Vera Cruz Puebla Cerro Gordo The Cordilleias Contieras
Mexico _Cuba Havana_]

DOMESTIC AFFAIRS.--Finances.-By the advice of Alexander Hamilton,
secretary of the treasury, Congress agreed to assume the debts
contracted by the States during the Revolution, and to pay the
national debt in full. To provide funds, taxes were levied on
imported goods and the distillation of spirits. A mint and a
national bank were established at Philadelphia. By these measures
the credit of the United States was put upon a firm basis.

[Footnote: The credit of these plans belongs to Hamilton. Daniel
Webster has eloquently said of him, "He smote the rock of the
national resources, and abundant streams of revenue burst forth. He
touched the dead corpse of public credit, and it sprang upon its

_Whisky Rebellion_ (1794).--Great opposition was made to raising money
by taxation. In western Pennsylvania it was agreed that no tax should
be paid on whisky. The rioters were so numerous and so thoroughly
organized that fifteen thousand of the militia were ordered out to
subdue them. Finding the government in earnest, the malcontents laid
down their arms.


_Indian Wars_.--Two armies sent against the Indians of the
northwest were defeated. At last General Wayne--"Mad Anthony"--was
put in command. Little Turtle, the Indian chief, now advised peace,
declaring that the Americans had "a leader who never slept." But
his counsel was rejected, and a desperate battle was fought on the
Maumee (Aug. 20, 1794). Wayne routed the Indians, chased them a
great distance, laid waste their towns for fifty miles, and at last
compelled them to make a treaty whereby they gave up all of what is
now Ohio and part of Indiana.

[Footnote: He told them, it is said, that if they ever violated
this agreement he would rise from his grave to fight them. He was
long remembered by the western Indians.]

FOREIGN AFFAIRS.--_England_.--Hardly had the war closed when
complaints were made in England that debts could not be collected
in America. On the other hand the Americans charged that the
British armies had carried off their negroes, that posts were still
held on the frontier, and that our seamen were impressed. Chief
Justice Jay was sent as envoy extraordinary to England. He
negotiated a treaty, which was ratified by the Senate (1795), after
violent opposition.

[Footnote: This treaty enforced the payment of the English debts,
but did not in turn forbid the impressment of American seamen. Its
advocates were threatened with personal violence by angry mobs.
Hamilton was stoned at a public meeting. Insults were offered to
the British minister, and Jay was burned in effigy. The more quiet
people expressed their indignation by passing resolutions
condemning the action of the Senate.]

_Spain and Algiers_.--The same year a treaty was made with Spain,
securing to the United States the free navigation of the Mississippi,
and fixing the boundary of Florida, still held by that nation. Just
before this, a treaty had been concluded with Algiers, by which our
captives were released and the Mediterranean commerce was opened to
American vessels.

_France_.--The Americans warmly sympathized with France, and
when war broke out between that country and England, Washington had
great difficulty in preserving neutrality. He saw that the true
American policy was to keep free from all European alliances. Genet
(je-nay), the French minister, relying on the popular feeling, went
so far as to fit out, in the ports of the United States, privateers
to prey on British commerce. He also tried to arouse the people
against the government. At length, at Washington's request, Genet
was recalled. But, as we shall see, the difficulty did not end.

POLITICAL PARTIES.--During the discussion of these various
questions two parties had arisen. Jefferson, Madison, and Randolph
became leaders of the republican party, which opposed the United
States Bank, the English treaty, and the assumption of the State
debts. Hamilton and Adams were the leaders of the federalist party,
which supported the administration.

[Footnote: John Randolph of Roanoke was not prominent in the
republican party until a later administration, being elected
representative in 1799. He was a descendant of Pocahontas, of which
fact he often boasted, and was noted for his keen retorts, reckless
wit, and skill in debate. His tall, slender, and cadaverous form,
his shrill and piping voice, and his long, skinny fingers--pointing
toward the object of his invective--made him a conspicuous speaker.
For thirty years, says Benton, he was the "political meteor" of

[Footnote: The federalists favored the granting of power to the
general government, which they thought should be made strong. The
republicans, fearing lest the republic should become a monarchy and
the President a king, opposed this idea and advocated State rights.
In this election the republicans were accused of being friends of
France, and the federalists of being attached to Great Britain and
its institutions. The republicans declared themselves to be the
only true friends of the people, and stigmatized all others as
aristocrats and monarchists.]

Washington having declined to serve a third term, now issued his
famous farewell address. So close was the contest between the rival
parties that Adams, the federalist candidate, was elected President
by a majority of only two electoral votes over Jefferson, the
republican nominee.

* * * * *


[Footnote: John Adams was born 1735; died 1826. He was a member of
the first and the second Congress, and nominated Washington as
commander-in-chief. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of
Independence, but Adams secured its adoption in a three-days
debate. He was a tireless worker, and had the reputation of having
the clearest head and firmest heart of any man in Congress. In his
position as President he lost the reputation he had gained as
Congressman. His enemies accused him of being a bad judge of men,
of clinging to old unpopular notions, and of having little control
over his temper. They also ridiculed his egotism, which they
declared to be inordinate. He lived, however, to see the prejudice
against his administration give place to a juster estimate of his
great worth and exalted integrity. As a delegate to the
Constitutional Convention he was honored as one of the fathers of
the republic. Adams and Jefferson were firm friends during the
Revolution, but political strife alienated them. On their return to
private life they became reconciled. They died on the same day--the
fiftieth anniversary of American independence. Adams's last words
were, "Thomas Jefferson still survives." Jefferson was, however,
already lying dead in his Virginia home. Thus, by the passing away
of these two remarkable men, was made memorable the 4th of July,


Domestic Affairs.--_Alien and Sedition Laws._--Owing to the violent
denunciations of the government by the friends and emissaries of
France, the _alien and sedition_ laws were passed. Under the former,
the President could expel from the country any foreigner whom he
deemed injurious to the United States; under the latter, any one
libelling Congress, the President, or the government, could be fined
or imprisoned. This was a most unpopular measure, and excited the
bitterest feeling.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS.--_France_.--French affairs early assumed a
serious aspect. Our flag was insulted, our vessels were captured,
and our envoys were refused audience by the French Directory unless
a bribe should be paid. The news of this insult aroused the nation,
and the friends of France were silenced. Orders were issued to
raise an army, of which Washington was appointed
commander-in-chief. Hostilities had commenced on the sea, when
Napoleon became the First Consul of France and the war was happily

[Footnote: Charles C. Pinckney--our envoy to France--is reported to
have indignantly replied, "Millions for defence, but not one cent
for tribute."]

POLITICAL PARTIES.--An intense party feeling prevailed during the
entire administration. The unpopularity of the alien and sedition
laws, especially, reduced the vote for Adams, the federal candidate
for re-election, and the republican nominee, Jefferson, became the
next President.

* * * * *


[Footnote: Thomas Jefferson was born 1743; died 1826. "Of all the
public men who have figured in the United States," says Parton, "he
was incomparably the best scholar and the most variously
accomplished man." He was a bold horseman, a skilful hunter, an
elegant penman, a fine violinist, a brilliant talker, a superior
classical scholar, and a proficient in the modern languages. On
account of his talents he was styled "The Sage of Monticello." That
immortal document, the Declaration of Independence, was, with the
exception of a few words, entirely his work. He was an ardent
supporter of the doctrine of State rights, and led the opposition
to the federalists. After he became President, however, he found
the difficulty of administering the government upon that theory.
"The executive authority had to be stretched until it cracked, to
cover the purchase of Louisiana;" and he became convinced on other
occasions that the federal government, to use his own expression,
must "show its teeth." Like Washington, he was of aristocratic
birth, but his principles were intensely democratic. He hated
ceremonies and titles; even "Mr" was distasteful to him. These
traits were the more remarkable in one of his superior birth and
education, and peculiarly endeared him to the common people. Coming
into power on a wave of popularity, he studiously sought to retain
this favor. There were no more brilliant levees or courtly
ceremonies as in the days of Washington and Adams. On his
inauguration day he dressed in plain clothes, rode unattended down
to Congress, dismounted, hitched his horse, and went into the
chamber to read his fifteen-minutes inaugural. Some of the
sentences of that short but memorable address have passed into
proverbs. The unostentatious example thus set by the nation's
President was wise in its effects. Soon the public debt was
diminished, the treasury was replenished, and the army and navy
were reduced. A man of such marked character necessarily made
bitter enemies, but Jefferson commanded the respect of even his
opponents, while the admiration of his friends was unbounded. The
last seventeen years of his life were passed at Monticello, near
the place of his birth. By his profuse hospitality, he had, long
before his death, spent his vast estates. He died poor in money,
but rich in honor. His last words were, "This is the fourth day of


DOMESTIC AFFAIRS.--_Purchase of Louisiana_ (1803).--The most
important event of Jefferson's administration was the purchase of
Louisiana from Napoleon. Over one million square miles of land and
the full possession of the Mississippi were obtained for $15,000,
000 (see map, VIth Epoch).

[Footnote: This territory (p. 90) was ceded back to France in 1800.
From it we have since carved five States, four Territories, and
parts of three States and three Territories.]

_Aaron Burr_, the Vice-President, was Alexander Hamilton's
bitter rival, both in law and in politics, and at last challenged
him to a duel. Hamilton accepted. The affair took place at
Weehawken (July 11, 1804). Hamilton fell at the first fire, on the
very spot where his eldest son had been killed shortly before, in
the same manner. His death produced the most profound sensation.
Burr afterward went west and organized an expedition with the
avowed object of forming a settlement in northern Mexico. Being
suspected, however, of a design to break up the Union and found a
separate confederacy beyond the Alleghanies, he was arrested and
tried (1807) on a charge of treason. Although acquitted for want of
proof, he yet remained an outcast.

[Footnote: While awaiting his trial, Burr was committed to the
common jail. There, among its wretched inmates, stripped of all his
honors, lay the man who once lacked but a single vote to make him
President of the United States.]

[Footnote: Closely connected with Burr's conspiracy is the romantic
story of Blennerhassett. He and his beautiful wife. Having settled
on an island in the Ohio Kiver, they had transformed the wilderness
into a garden of beauty, and every luxury and refinement which
wealth or culture could procure clustered about their homes. Into
this paradise came Burr, winning their confidence, and engaging
them in his plans. On his downfall, Biennerhassett as arrested.
When finally acquitted everything had been sold, the grounds turned
into a hemp field, and the mansion into a store-house.]

_Fulton's Steamboat_.--The year 1807 was made memorable by the
voyage from New York to Albany of Robert Fulton's steamboat, the
Clermont. For years the Hudson could boast of having the only
steamboat in the world.



_War with Tripoli_.--The Barbary States, of which Tripoli is
one, for many years sent out cruisers which captured vessels of all
Christian nations, and held their crews as slaves until ransomed.
The United States, like the European nations, was accustomed to pay
annual tribute to these pirates to secure exemption from their
attacks. The Bashaw of Tripoli became so haughty that he declared
war (1801) against the United States. Jefferson sent a fleet which
blockaded the port and repeatedly bombarded the city of Tripoli.
The frightened Bashaw was at last glad to make peace.

[Footnote: During this blockade a valiant exploit was performed by
Lieutenant Decatur. The frigate Philadelphia had unfortunately
grounded and fallen into the enemy's hands. Concealing his men
below he entered the harbor with a small vessel which he warped
alongside the Philadelphia, in the character of a ship in distress.
As the two vessels struck, the pirates first suspected his design.
Instantly he leaped aboard with his men, swept the affrighted crew
into the sea, set the ship on fire, and amid a tremendous cannonade
from the shore escaped without losing a man.]

_England and France_.--During this time England and France
were engaged in a desperate struggle. England tried to prevent
trade with France, and, in turn, Napoleon forbade all commerce with
England. As the United States were neutral, they did most of the
carrying trade of Europe. Our vessels thus became the prey of both
the hostile nations. Besides, England claimed the right of stopping
American vessels on the high seas, to search for seamen of English
birth, and press them into the British navy. The feeling, already
deep, was intensified when the British frigate Leopard fired into
the American frigate Chesapeake, off the coast of Virginia.

The American vessel, being wholly unprepared for battle, soon
struck her colors. Four of the crew, three being Americans by
birth, were taken, on the pretence that they were deserters.
Jefferson immediately ordered all British vessels of war to quit
the waters of the United States. Though England disavowed the act,
no reparation was made. An embargo was then laid by Congress on
American vessels, forbidding them to leave port. This was so
injurious to our commerce that it was removed, but all intercourse
either with England or France was forbidden.

[Footnote: The American doctrine was that a foreigner naturalized
became an American citizen; the British, Once an Englishman always
an Englishman]


POLITICAL PARTIES.--While the country was in this feverish state,
Jefferson's second term expired. James Madison, the republican
candidate, who was closely in sympathy with his views, was elected
as his successor by a large majority. The republicans were
generally in favor of a war with England. The federalists, however,
were a strong minority, and throughout this administration bitterly
opposed the war policy of the republicans.

* * * * *


[Footnote: James Madison was born in Virginia in 1751; died 1836.
Entering Congress in 1789, he became one of the strongest advocates
of the Constitution, and did much to secure its adoption. From his
political principles he was obliged, though reluctantly, to oppose
Washington's administration, which he did in a courteous and
temperate manner. He led his party in Congress, where he remained
till 1797. The next year he drafted the famous "1798-99
Resolutions," enunciating the doctrine of State rights, which, with
the accompanying "Report" in their defence, have been the great
text-book of the democratic party. He was Secretary of State to
Jefferson. After his Presidential services, he retired from public
station. Madison's success was not so much the result of a great
national ability as of intense application and severe accuracy. His
mind was strong, clear, and well-balanced, and his memory was
wonderful. Like John Quincy Adams, he had laid up a great store of
learning, which he used in the most skilful manner. He always
exhausted the subject upon which he spoke. "When he had finished,
nothing remained to be said." His private character was spotless.
His manner was simple, modest, and uniformly courteous to his
opponents. He enjoyed wit and humor, and told a story admirably.
His sunny temper remained with him to the last. Some friends coming
to visit him during his final illness, he sank smilingly back on
his couch, saying: "I always talk better when I _lie_." It
has been said of him: "It was his rare good fortune to have a whole
nation for his friends."]


DOMESTIC AFFAIRS.--_Battle of Tippecanoe_ (November 7, 1811).
--British emissaries had been busy arousing the Indians to war.
Tecumseh, a famous chief, seized the opportunity to form a
confederacy of the northwestern tribes. General Harrison having
been sent against them with a strong force, was treacherously
attacked by night near the Tippecanoe. The Indians, however, were
routed with great slaughter.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS.--_England_.--This war greatly aroused the
people of the West against England. The impressment of our seamen
and the capture of our ships continued. The British government went
so far as to send war vessels into our waters to seize our ships as
prizes. The American frigate President having hailed the British
sloop-of-war Little Belt, received a cannon-shot in reply. The fire
was returned, and the sloop soon disabled; a civil answer was then
returned. The British government refusing to relinquish its
offensive course, all hope of peace was abandoned. Finally (June
19th, 1812), war was formally declared against Great Britain.

[Footnote: Madison, whose disposition was very pacific, hesitated
so long, that one of the federalists declared in Congress that "he
could not be kicked into a fight." This expression passed into a


SURRENDER OF DETROIT (August 16).--As in the previous wars, it was
determined to invade Canada. General William Hull accordingly
crossed over from Detroit and encamped on Canadian soil. While
preparing to attack Fort Malden (mahl-den), he learned that the
enemy were gathering in great force, and had already captured Fort
Mackinaw. He, therefore, retreated to Detroit. The British under
General Brock and the Indians under Tecumseh followed thither, and
landing, advanced at once to assault the fort at that place. The
garrison was in line, and the gunners were standing with lighted


Back to Full Books