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novations. Parliament was influenced to adopt the pernicious project; and assuming a new power over them, has, in the course of eleven years, given such decisive specimens of the spirit and consequences attending this power, as to leave no doubt of the effects of acquiescence under it.

209. “ They have undertaken to give and grant our money without our consent, though we have ever exercised an exclu. sive right to dispose of our own property. Statutes have been passed for extending the jurisdiction of the courts of admiralty and vice-admiralty beyond their ancient limits : for depriving us of the accustomed and inestimable rights of trial by jury, in cases affecting both life and property : for suspending the legislature of one of our colonies; for interdicting all commerce to the capital of another; and for altering fundamentally the form of government established by charter, and secured by acts of its own legislature, and solemnly confirmed by the crown; for exempting murderers from legal trial, and in effect from punishment; for erecting in a neighboring province, acquired by the joint arms of Great Britain and America, a disposition dangerous to our very existence; and for quartering soldiers upon

the colonists in time of profound peace. 210. “ It has also been resolved in parliament, that colonists, charged with committing certain offences, shall be transported to England to be tried. But why should we enumerate our injuries in detail ? By one statute it was declared that parliament can, of right, make laws to bind us in all cases whatever. What is to defend us against so enormous, so unlimited a power? Not a single person who assumes it, is chosen by us, or is subject to our control or influence; but on the contrary, they are all of them exempt from the operation of such laws; and an American revenue, if not diverted from the ostensible purposes for which it is raised, would actually lighten their own burdens in proportion as it increases ours.

211. “We saw the misery to which such despotism would reduce us. We, for ten years, incessantly and ineffectually besieged the throne as supplicants; we reasoned, we remonstrated with parliament, in the most mild and decent language; but administration, sensible that we should regard these measures as freemen ought to do, sent over fleets and armies to enforce them.

212. “We have pursued every temperate, every respectful measure; we have even proceeded to break off all commercial intercourse with our fellow-subjects, as our last peaceable admonition, that our attachment to no nation on earth would sup

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plant our liberty; this we fattered ourselves was the ultimate step of the controversy; but subsequent events have shown how vain was this hope of finding moderation in our enemies.

213. “ The lords and commons, in their address in the month of February, 1775, said that a rebellion, at that time, actually existed in the province of Massachusetts Bay; and that those concerned in it had been countenanced and encouraged by un. lawful combinations, and engagements entered into by his majesty's subjects in several of the colonies; and therefore they besought his majesty that he would take the most effectual measures to enforce due obedience to the laws and authority of the supreme legislature.

214. “Soon after, the commercial intercourse of these colonies with foreign countries was cut off by an act of parliament; by another, several of them were entirely prohibited from the fisheries in the seas near their coasts, on which they always depended for their subsistence; and large reinforcements of ships and troops were immediately sent over to general Gage. Fruitless were all the entreaties, arguments, and eloquence of an illustrious band of the most distinguished peers and commoners, who nobly and strenuously asserted the justice of our cause, to stay, or even to mitigate the heedless fury with which these accumulated outrages were hurried on. Equally fruitless was the interference of the city of London, of Bristol, and of many other respectable towns in our favor.”

215. After having reproached parliament, general Gage, and the British government, in general, they proceed thus: “We are reduced to the alternative of choosing an unconditional submission to tyranny, or resistance by force. The latter is our choice. We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery. Honor, justice, and humanity forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. Our cause is just : our union is perfect : our internal resources are great: and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable.

216. “We fight not for glory or conquest; we exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by un. provoked enemies. They boast of their privileges and civilization, and yet proffer no milder conditions than servitude or death. In our native land, in defence of the freedom that is our birthright, for the protection of our property, acquired by the honest industry of our forefathers, and our own, against vio, lence actually offered, we have taken up arms; we shall lay

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them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of our aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed and not before.”

217. These are some of the most striking passages in the declaration of Congress on taking up arms against Great Britain. Without inquiring whether the principles on which it is founded be right or wrong, the determined spirit which it shows, ought to have convinced the ministry that the conquest of America was an event not reasonably to be expected. In every other respect an equal spirit was shown; and the rulers of the British nation had the mortification to see those whom they styled rebels and traitors, succeed in negotiations in which they themselves were utterly foiled.

218. In passing the Quebec bill, the ministry had flattered themselves that the Canadians would be so much attached to them on account of restoring the French laws, that they would readily join in any attempt against the colonists, who had reprobated that bill in such strong terms; but in this, as in every thing else, they found themselves much mistaken.

219. The Canadians having been subject to the British gov.. ernment for a period of fifteen years, and being thus made sensible of the superior advantages of the laws of that country, received the bill with evident marks of disapprobation; so far that they reprobated it as tyrannical and oppressive.

220. A scheme had been formed by general Carleton, gor. ernor of the province, to raise an army of Canadians wherewith to act against the Americans; and so sanguine were the hopes of administration, in this respect, that they had sent twenty thousand stands of arms and a great quantity of military stores to Quebec, for that purpose. But the people, though they did not join the Americans, yet were found immovable in their purpose to remain neuter. Application was made to the bishop; but he declined to use his influence, as contrary to the rules of the Catholic clergy; so that the utmost efforts of government in this province were found abortive.

221. The British administration next tried to engage the Indians in their cause. But though agents were dispersed among them with large presents to the chiefs, they universally replied, that they did not understand the nature of the quarrel, nor could they distinguish whether those who dwelt in America, or those on the other side of the ocean, were in fault; but they were surprised to see Englishmen ask their assistance against one another, and advised them to be reconciled, and not to think of shedding the blood of their brethren.

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222. To representations of Congress they paid more atten. tion. These informed them that the English, on the other side of the ocean, had taken up arms to enslave, not only their countrymen in America, but the aborigines also; and if they overcame the colonists, themselves would soon be reduced to slavery also. The savages, upon maturely weighing the subject, concluded to remain neuter; and thus the colonists were freed from a most dangerous enemy.

223. On this occasion congress held a solemn conference with the different tribes of Indians. A speech was proposed, which exhibits a specimen of the manner in which Europeans always address the aborigines of America.

“ Brothers, Sachems, and Warriors ! We, the delegates from the twelve united provinces now sitting in general congress at Philadelphia, send our talk to you our brothers.

“ Brothers and Friends, now attend ! “When our fathers crossed the great water, and came over to this land, the king of England gave them a talk, promising them that they and their children should be his children, and if they would leave their native country, and make settlements, and live here, and buy, and sell, and trade with their brethren beyond the great water, they should still keep hold of the same covenant chain, and enjoy peace; and it was covenanted, that the fields, houses, goods and possessions, which our fathers should acquire, should remain to them as their own, and be their children's for ever, and at their sole disposal.

“ Brothers and Friends open an ear! “We will now tell you of the quarrel betwixt the counsellors of king George and the inhabitants of the colonies of America.

“Many of his counsellors have persuaded him to break the covenant chain, and not to send us any more good talks. They have prevailed upon him to enter into a covenant against us, and have torn asunder, and cast behind their backs, the good old covenant which their ancestors and ours entered into, and took strong hold of. They now tell us, they will put their hands into our pockets without asking, as though they were their own; and at their will and pleasure, they will take from us our charter, or written civil constitution, which we love as our lives; also our plantations, our houses, and our goods, whenever they please, without asking our leave. They tell us also, that our vessels may go to that or this island in the sea, but to this or that particular island we shall not trade any more; and in case of our non-compliance with these new orders, they shut up our bar. bors. Brothers, we live on the same ground with you; the same land is our common birth-place. We desire to sit down under the same tree of peace with you: let us water its roots, and cherish the growth, till the large leaves and flourishing branches shall extend to the setting sun, and reach the skies. If any thing disagreeable should ever fall out between us, the twelve United Colonies, and you, the Six Nations, to wound our peace, let us immediately seek measures for healing the breach. From the present situation of our affairs, we judge it expedient to kindle up a small fire at Albany, where we may hear each other's voice, and disclose our minds fully to one another.”

224. The other remarkable transactions of this Congress, were the ultimate refusal of the conciliatory proposal made by lord North, of which such sanguine expectations had been formed by the English ministry, and the appointment of a generalissimo to command our armies, which were now very numerous. The person selected for this dignified station was George Washington, a man universally beloved; he was elected Commander in Chief, by the unanimous voice of Congress, in 1775: and his subsequent conduct showed him every way worthy of it. Horatio Gates and Charles Lee, two English officers of considerable reputation, were also chosen; the former adjutant-general, the latter major-general. Artemas Ward, Philip Schuyler, and Israel Putnam, were likewise nom. inated major-generals. Seth Pomeroy, Richard Montgomery, David Wooster, William Heath, John Thomas, John Sullivan, and Nathaniel Green, were chosen brigadier-generals at the same time.

225. About this period Georgia sent deputies to congress expressing their desire to join the confederacy. The reasons they gave for renouncing their allegiance to Britain was, that the conduct of parliament towards the other colonies had been oppressive; and though the obnoxious acts had not been extended to them, they could view this orly as an omission because of the seeming little consequence of their colony; and looked

upon it rather as a slight than a favor. At the same time, they framed a petition to the king, similar to that sent by the other colonies, which met a similar reception.

226. The success which had hitherto attended the Americans now emboldened them to act offensively against Great Britain. The conquest of Canada appeared to be practicable, and would be attended with many advantages; and as Crown-Point and Ticonderoga were already in their hands, the invasion might be easily effected; they also supposed that Quebec might be reduced during the winter, before the fleets and armies should arrive, which they were well assured would sail thither from Britain.

227. Congress, therefore, ordered three thousand men under the command of generals Montgomery and Schuyler to proceed to Lake Champlain, from whence they were to be conveyed in flat-bottomed boats to the mouth of the river Sorrel, a branch of the river St. Lawrence, and on which is situated a fort of the same name with the river. On the other hand they were opposed by general Carleton, governor of Canada, a man of great activity and experience in war; who, with a small number


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