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The marquis de la Fayette, the brave and generous nobleman, whose services command the gratitude of every American, had been dispatched with about two thousand light infantry, from the main army, to watch the motions of Lord Cornwallis in Virginia. He prosecuted this expedition with the greatest military ability. Although his force was much inferior to that of the enemy, he obliged them to leave Richmond, and Williamsburgh, and to seek protection under their shipping.
About the lait of August, count de Grasse arrived with a large fleet in the Chesapeck, and blocked up the Britifh troops at York town. Admiral Greaves, with a British Heet, appeared off the Capes, and an action succeeded; but it was not decisive.
General Washington had before this time moved the main body of his army, together with the French troops, to the southward; and as soon as he heard of the arrival of the French fleet in the Chesapeek, he made rapid marches to the head of Elk, where embarking, the troops rived at York town.
A close fiege immediately commenced, and was carried on with such vigour, by the combined forces of America and France, that Lord Cornwallis was obliged to surrender. This glorious event, which took place on the 19th of Detober, 1781, decided the conteft in favour of America; and laid the foundation of a general peace.
A few months after the surrender of Cornwallis, the British evacuated all their posts in South Carolina and Georgia, and retired to the main army in New-York.
Cn the night of the 3d of March, 1783, Major William Crane, Captain Thomas Quigley, and fix others, embarked from Elizabeth-Town point in a whale boat, and proceeded for New-York, where they boarded and took poffeffion of a twenty-four gun fhip, called the Eagle, then. lying under the old battery. This expedition was conducted with so much gallantry and address, that no opposition was attempted by the crew; on the contrary, every individual fought a place of security; bat their endeavours for that purpose were rendered abortive by the unprecedented valour and vigilance of those heroic men, who conducted the enterprize.-After having captured three naval captains, and eighteen men, they fecured them on board the floop, which then lay along lide the Eagle; and which was laden with one hundred and nineteen puncheons of Jamaica spirits, most of the ships fails, with twelve nine pounders, loaded and mounted, besides musquets, &c.—The floop they brought off, and passed through the Kills, without molestation for Elizabeth-Town point; where, having lightened the vessel, they conducted her in triumph to the landing
The next spring (1782) Sir Guy Carleton arrived in New-York, and took the command of the British army in America. Immediately on his arrival, he acquainted General Washington and Congress, that negociations for a peace had been commenced at Paris.
On the 30th of November, 1782, the provisional articles of peace were signed at Paris ; by which Great-Britain acknowledged the independence and sovereignty of the United States of America, and these articles were ratified by a definitive treaty.
Thus ended a long and arduous conflict, in which Great-Britain expanded near an hundred millions of money, with an hundred thousand
Note (A) for Page 104
that General Washington was a native of England, certain it is his ancestors came from thence to this country so long ago as the year 1657. He, in the third descent after their migration, was born on the rith of February, (old ftile) 1732, at the parish of Washington, in Westmoreland county, in Virginia. His father's family was numerous, and he was the first fruit of a second marriage. His education having been principally conducted by a private tutor, at fifteen years old he was entered a midshipman on board of a British vessel of war stationed on the coast of Virginia, and his baggage prepared for embarkation : but the plan was abandoned on account of the reluctance his mother expresied to his engaging in that profeffion,
Previous to this transaction, when he was but ten years of age, his father died, and the charge of the family devolved on his eldett brother, His eldest brother, a young man of the most promising talents, had a command in the colonial troops employed against Carthagena, and on his return from the expedition, named his new patrimonial mansion MOUNT VERNON, in honour of the admiral of that name, from whom he had received many civilities. He was afterwards made adjutant-general of the militia of Virginia, but did not long survive. At his decease (notwithstanding there are heirs of an elder branch who possess a large moiety of the paternal inheritance) the eldest son by the second marriage inherited this seat and a considerable landed property. In consequence of the extensive limits of the colony, the vacant office of adjutant-general was divided into three districts, and the future Hero of America, before he attained his twentieth year, began his military service by a principal appointment in that department, with the rank of major.
When he was little more than twenty-one years of age, an event occurred which called his abilities into public notice. In 753,
while the government of the colony was administered by lieutenant-governor Dinwiddie, encroachments were reported to have been made by the French, froin Canada, on the territories of the British colonies, at the westward. Young Mr. Washington, who was sent with plenary powers to ascertain the facts, treat with the favages, and warn the French'to defift from their aggressions, performed the duties of his mission with fingular industry, intelligence
and address. His journal, and report to Governor Dinwiddie, which were published, announced to the world that correctness of mind, manli. ness in ftile, and accuracy in the mode of doing business, which have since characterised him in the conduct of more arduous affairs. But it was deemed, by some, an extraordinary circumstance that so juvenile and inexperienced a person should have been employed on a negociation, with which subjects of the greatest importance were involved : subjects which fhortly after became the origin of a war between England and France, that raged for many years throughout every part of the globe.
As the troubles still subfifted on the frontiers, the colony of Virginia raised the next year a regiment of troops for their defence. Of this corps, Mr. Fry, one of the profeffors of the college, was appointed Colonel, and Major Washington received the commilion of Lieutenant-Colonel. But Colonel Fry died the fame summer, without ever having joined; and of course left his regiment and rank to the second in command. Colonel Washington made indefatigable efforts to form the regiment, establish magazines, and open roads fo as to pre-occupy the advantageous poft at the confluence of the Allegany and Mouongahela rivers, which he had recommended for that purpose in his report the preceding year. He was to have been joined by a detachment of independent regulars from the fouthern colonies, together with some companies of provincials from North Carolina and Maryland, But he perceived the necessity of expedition, and without waiting for their arrival, commenced his march in the month of May. Notwithstanding his precipitated advance, on his afcending the Laurel-hill, fifty miles Mort of liis object, he was advised that a body of French had already taken poflellion and erected a forritication, which they named Fort du Quelue. He then fell back to a place known by the appellation of the Great Mcadoavs, for the sake of forage and supplies. Here he built a temporary stockade, merely to corer his fores; it was from its fate called Fort Mediiy. His force, when joined by Captain M.Kay's regulars, did not amount to four hundred effectives. l'pon receiving information from his fcouts that a considerable party was approaching to reconnoitre his poit, he fallied and defeated them.' But in return lie was attacked by an army, computed to have been fifteen hundred ftrong, and after a gallant defence, in which more than onethird of his men were killed and wounded, was forced to capitulate. The garrison marched out with the honours of war, but were plundered by the Indians, in violation of the articles of capitulation. After this dilater, the remains of the Virginia regiment returned to Alexandria, to be recruited and furnished with neceflary supplies.
In the year 1755, the British government sent to this country General Braddock, who, by the junction of two veteran regiments from Ireland, with the independent and provincial corps in America, was to repel the French from the confines of the English fettlements. Upon a royal are rangement of rank, by which “ no officer who did not in:ediately derive his commission from the king, could command one who did," Col, Washington relinquished his reginent, and went as an extra aid-de-camy into the family of General Braddock. In this capacity, at the battle of Monongahela he attended that general, whole life was gallantly facrificed in arcompting to extricate his troops from the fatal ambuscade into
which his over-weening confidence had conducted them. Braddock had several horses Thot under him, before he fell himself; and there was not an officer, whose duty obliged him to be on horseback that day, excepting Colonel Washington, who was not either killed or wounded. This circumstance enabled him to display greater abilities in covering the retreat, and saving the wreck of the army, than he could otherwise have done. As soon as he had secured their passage over the ford of the Monongahela, and found they were not pursued, he haftened to concert measures for their further security with Colonel Dunbar, who had remained with the second division and heavy baggage at some distance in the rear. To effect this, he travelled with two guides all night, through an almost impervious wilderness, notwithstanding the fatigues he had undergone in the day, and notwithstanding he had so imperfectly recovered from fickness, that he was obliged in the morning to be supported with cushions on his horse. The public accounts in England and America were not parfimonious of applause for the essential service he had rendered on so trying an occasion.
Not long after this time, the regulation of rank, which had been so injurious to the colonial officers, was changed to their satisfaction, in consequence of the discontent of the officers and the remonftrance of Colonel Washington; and the supreme authority of Virginia, impressed with a due sense of his merits, gave him, in a new and extensive commission, the command of all the troops raised and to be raised in that colony.
It would not comport with the intended brevity of this sketch, to mention in detail the plans he suggested, or the system he pursued for defending the frontiers, till the year 1758, when he commanded the van brigade of General Forbes's army in the capture of Fort Du Quesne. A similar reason will preclude the recital of the personal hazards and atchievments which happened in the course of his service. The tranquillity on the frontiers of the middle colonies having been restored by the success of this campaign, and the health of Colonel Washington having become extremely debilitated by an inveterate pulmonary complaint, in 1759 he resigned his military appointment. Authentic documents are not wanting to thew the tender regret which the Virginia line expressed at parting with their commander, and the affectionate regard which he entertained for them.
His health was gradually re-established. He married Mrs. Cuftis a handsome and amiable young widow, possessed of an ample jointure, and settled as a planter and farmer on the eftate where he now resides in Fairfax county. After some ycars he gave up planting tobacco, and went altogether into the farming business. He has raised seven thousand bushels of wheat, and ten thousand of Indian corn in one year. Although he has confined his own cultivation to this domestic tract of about nine thousand acres, yet he possesses excellent lands, in large quantities, in several other counties. His judgment in the quality of soils, his command of money to avail himself of purchases, and his occafional employment in early life as a surveyor, gave him opportunities of making advantageous locations, many of which are much improved.
After he left the army, until the year 1775, he thus cultivated the arts of peace. He was constantly a member of assembly, a magistrate of his # General and Mrs. Washington were both born in the same year. K
county, and a judge of the court. He was elected a delegate to the first congress in 1774, as well as to that which assembled in the year following. Soon after the war broke out, he was appointed by Congress com. mander in chief of the forces of the United Colonies.
It is the less necessary to particularize, in this place, his transactions in the course of the late war, because the impression which they made is yet fresh in every mind. But it is hoped posterity will be taught in what manner he transformed an undisciplined body of peasantry into a regular army of soldiers. Commentaries on his campaigns would undoubtedly be highly interesting and instructive to future generations. The conduct of the first campaign, in compelling the British troops to abandon Bofton by a bloodless victory, will merit a minute narration. But a volume would scarcely contain the mortifications he experienced, and the hazards to which he was exposed in 1776 and 1777, in contending against the prowess of Britain, with an inadequate force. His good destiny and consummate prudence prevented want of success from producing want of confidence on the part of the public; for want of success is apt to lead to the adoption of pernicious counsels, through the levity of the people or the ambition of their demagogues. Shortly after this period, sprang up the only cabal that ever existed during his public life, to rob him of his reputation and command. It proved as impotent in effect, as it was audacious in design. In the three succeeding years the germ of discipline unfolded; and the resources of America having been called into co-operation with the land and naval armies of France, produced the glorious conclufion of the campaign in 1781. From this time the gloom began to disappear from our political horizon, and the affairs of the union proceeded in a meliorating train, until a peace was most ably negociated by our ambassadors in Europe, in 1783.
No person, who had not the advantage of being present when General Wathington received the intelligence of peace, and who did not accompany him to his doinestic retirement, can describe the relief which that joyful event brought to his labouring inind, or the supreme satisfaction with which he withdrew to private life. From his triumphal entry into New-York, upon the evacuation of that city by the British army, to his arrival at Mount Vernon, after the resignation of his commission to congress, festive crouds impeded his pallage through all the populous towns, the devotion of a whole people pursued him with prayers to heaven for bleflings on his head, while their gratitude fought the most expressive language of manifesting itself to him, as their common father and benefactor. When he became a private citizen, he had the unusual felicity to find that his native state was among the most zealous in doing justice to his merits; and that stronger demonitrations of affectionate esteem (if pofiible) were given by the citizens of his neighbourhood, than by any other description of inen on the continent. But he has constantly declined accepting any compensation for liis services, or provision for the augmented expences which have been incurred by him in consequence of his public employment, although proposals have been made in the most delicate manner, particularly by the states of Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The virtuous fimplicity which distinguishes the private life of General Washington, though less known than the dazzling splendor of his mili