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He determined to take revenge ; and for this purpose, he entered into a negociation with Sir Henry Clinton, to deliver Westpoint, and the army, into the hands of the British. While General Washington was absent, he dismounted the cannon in fome of the forts, and took other iteps to render the taking of the poft easy for the enemy.

But by a providential discovery, the whole plan was defeated. Major Andre, aid to general Clinton, a brave officer, who had been sent up the river as a spy, to concert the plan of operations with Arnold, was taken, condemned by a court martial, and executed. Arnold made his escape, by getting on board the Vulture, a British vessel, which lay in the river. His conduct has stamped him with infamy; and, like all traitors, he is defpised by all mankind. General Washington arrived in camp just after Arnold had made his escape, and restored order in the garrison.

After the defeat of general Gates in Carolina, General Greene was appointed to the command in the southern department*. From this period, things in that quarter wore a more favourabe aspect. Colonel Tarleton, the active commander of the British legion, was defeated by General Morgan, the intrepid commander of the rifle men.

After a variety of movements, the two armies met at Guilford, in Carolina. Here was one of the best fought actions during the war. Gineral Greene and Lord Cornwallis exerted themselves at the head of their respective armies ; and although the Americans were obliged to retire from the field of battle, yet the British army suffered an immense loss, and could not pursue the victory. This action happened on the 15th March, 1781.

In the spring, Arnold, the traitor, who was made a brigadier-general in the British service, with a small number of troops, failed for Virginia, and plundered the country. This called the attention of the French fleet to that quarter; and a naval engagement took place between the English and French, in which some of the English fhips were much damaged, and one entirely disabled

After the battle of Guilford, General Greene moved towards South-Carolina, to drive the British from their posts in that state. Here Lord Rawdon obtained an inconsiderable advantage over the Americans, near Camden. But General Greene more than recovered this disadvantage, by the brilliant and successful action at the Eutaw Springs; where General Marian distinguished himself, and the brave Colonel Washington was wounded and taken prisoner.

Lord Cornwallis, finding General Greene successful in Carolina, marched to Virginia, collected his forces, and fortified himself in York town. In the mean time Arnold made an incursion into Connecticut, burnt a part of New London, took Fort Griswold by storm, and put the garrison to the sword. The garrison confifted chiefly of men suddenly collected from the little town of Groton, which, by the favare cruelty of the British officer who commanded the attack, loit, in one hour, almost all its heads of families. The brave Colonel Ledyard, who commanded the fort, was lain with his own sword, after he surrendered.

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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 Williamshurgh, and to seek protection under their shipping..

About the last of August, count de Graffe arrived with a large fleet in the Chesapeek, and blocked up the British troops at York town, Admiral Greaves, with a British feet 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 soon arrived 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 October, 1781, decided the contest 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.

On 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 poffefsion of a twenty-four gun ship, called the Eagle, then lying under the cold 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; but 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 secured them on board the floop, which then lay along fide the Eagle, and which was laden with one hundred and nineteen puncheons of Jamaica {pirits, 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 moleftation 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


had been commenced at Paris. On the 30th of November, 1782, the provisional articles of peace were figned at Paris ; by which Great-Britain acknowledged the independence and fovereignty 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 expended near an hundred millions of money, with an hundred thousand

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lives, and won nothing. America endured every cruelty and distress from her enemies ; loft many lives and much treasure ; but delivered herself from a foreign dominion, and gained a rank among the nations of the earth.

Holland acknowledged the independence of the United States on the 19th of April, 1782 ; Sweden, February 5th, 1783; Denmark, the 25th of February; Spain in March, and Russia in July, 1783.

No sooner was peace restored by the definitive treaty, and the British troops withdrawn from the country, than the United States began to experience the defects of their general government. While an enemy was in the country, fear, which had first impelled the colonifts to associate in mutual defence, continued to operate as a band of political union. It gave to the resolutions and recommendations of congress the force of laws, and generally commanded a ready acquiefcence on the part of the state legislatures. Articles of confederation and perpetual union had been framed in congress, and submitted to the confideration of the states, in the year 1778. Some of the states immediately acceded to them ; but others, which had not unappropriated lands, hesitated to subscribe a compact, which would give an advantage to the states which poffeffed large tracts of unlocated lands, and were thus capable of a great fuperiority in wealth and population. All objections however had been overcome, and by the accession of Maryland in March 1781, the articles of confederation were ratified, as the frame of government for the United States.

These articles however were framed during the rage of war, when a principle of common safety supplied the place of a coercive power in government ; by men who could have had no experience in the art of governing an extenfive country, and under circumstances the most critical and embarrassing. To have offered to the people, at that time, a system of government armed with the powers necessary to regulate and controul the contending interests of thirteen states, and the poffeffions of millions of people, might have raised a jealousy between the states, or in the minds of the people at large, that would have weakened the operations of war, and perhaps have rendered a union impracticable. Hence the numerous defects of the confederation.

On the conclusion of peace, these defects began to be felt. Each state assumed the right of disputing the propriety of the resolutions of Congress, and the interest of an individual state was placed in opposition to the common interest of the union. In addition to this source of division, a jealousy of the powers of Congress began to be excited in the minds of people.

This jealousy of the privileges of freemen, had been roused by the oppreffive acts of the British parliament, and no sooner had the danger from this quarter ceased, than the fears of people changed their object, and were turned against their own rulers.

In this situation, there were not wanting men of industry and talents, who had been enemies to the revolution, and who embraced the opportunity to multiply the apprehensions of people, and increase the popular discontents. A remarkable instance of this happened in Conne&icut. As soon as the tumults of war had fubfided, an attempt was made to convince the people, that the act of Congress passed in 1778, granting to the officers


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five years

of the army half pay for life, was highly unjuft and tyrannical ; and that
it was but the first step towards the establishment of pensions, and an un-
controlable despotism. The act of Congress, passed in 1783, commuting

for life for five years full pay, was designed to appease the apprehenfions of people, and to convince them that this gratuity was intended merely to indemnify the officers for their loffes Ly the depreciation of the paper currency; and not to establish a precedent for the granting of penfions. This act however did not satisfy the people, who supposed that the officers had been generally indemnified for the loss of their pay, by the grants made them from time to time by the legislatures of the several ftates. Besides the act, while it gave


pay to the officers, allowed but one year's pay to the privates ; a distinction which had great influence in exciting and continuing the popular ferment, and one that turned a large share of the public rage against the officers themselves.

The moment an alarm was raised respecting this act of Congress, the enemies of our independence became active in blowing up the fame, by 'spreading reports unfavourable to the general government, and tending to create public diffenfions. Newspapers, in some parts of the country, were filled with inflammatory publications ; while false reports and groundless infinuations were industriously circulated to the prejudice of Congress and the officers of the late army. Among a people feelingly alive to every thing that could affect the rights for which they had been contending, these reports could not fail of having a powerful effect; the clamour foon became general ; the officers of the army, it was believed, had attempted to raise their fortunes on the distreffes of their fellow-citizens, and Congress become the tyrants of their country.

Connecticut was the seat of this uneasiness; although other states were much agitated on the occasion. But the inhabitants of that state, accuftomed to order and a due subordination to the laws, did not proceed to outrages ; they took their usual mode of collecting the sense of the stateaffembled in town-meetings-appointed committees to meet in convention, and consult what measures should be adopted to procure a redress of their grievances. In this convention, which was held at Middletown, fome nugatory resolves were passed, expressing a disapprobation of the half-pay act, and the subsequent commutation of the grant for five years


pay. T'he same spirit also discovered itself in the assembly at their O&tober ferfion in 1783. A remonstrance against the acts in favour of the officers, was framed in the house of representatives, and notwithstanding the upper house refused to concur in the measure, it was sent to Congress.

During this situation of affairs, the public odium against the officers was augmented by another circumstance. The officers, just before the disbanding of the army, had formed a society, called by the name of the Cincinnati, after the Roman Dictator, Cincinnatus, which, it was said, was intended to perpetuate the memory of the revolution, the friendship of the officers, and the union of the states; and also to raise a fund for the relief of poor widows and orphans, whose husbands and fathers had fallen during the war, and for their descendants. The society was die vided into state societies, which were to meet on the 4th of July, and with other business, depute a number of their members to convene annually in general meeting. The members of the institution were to be diftin


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guished by wearing a medal, emblematical of the design of the society, and the honors and advantages were to be hereditary in the eldest male heirs, and in default of male issue, in the collateral male heirs. Honorary members were to be admitted, but without the hereditary advantages of the society, and provided their number should never exceed the ratio of one to four of the officers or their descendants.

Whatever were the real views of the framers of this institution, its de. fign was generally understood to be harmless and honorable. The often. fible views of the society could not however skreen it from popular jealousy. A spirited pamphlet appeared in South Carolina, the avowed production of Mr. Burke, one of the Judges of the supreme court in that state, in which the author attempted to prove, that the principles on which the society was formed, would, in process of time, originate and establish an order of nobility in this country, which would be repugnant to the genius of our republican governments and dangerous to liberty. This pamphlet appeared in Connecticut, during the commotions raised by the half

pay and commutation acts, and contributed not a little to spread the fame of opposition. Nothing could exceed the odium which prevailed at this time, against the men who had hazarded their persons and properties in the revolution.

Notwithstanding the discontents of the people were general, and ready to burst forth in fedition, yet men of information, viz. the officers of government, the clergy, and persons of liberal education, were mostly opposed to the unconftitutional steps taken by the committees and convention at Middletown. They supported the propriety of the measures of Congress, both by conversation and writing, proved that such grants to the army were necessary to keep the troops together, and that the expence would not be enormous nor oppressive. During the close of the year 1783, every possible exertion was made to enlighten the people, and such was the effect of the arguments used by the minority, that in the beginning of the following year, the opposition fubfided, the committees were dismiffed, and tranquillity restored to the state. In May, the legislature were able to carry several measures which had before been extremely unpopular. An act was passed granting the impost of five per cent. to Congress; another giving great encouragement to commerce, and several towns were incorcorporated with extensive privileges, for the purpose of regulating the exports of the state, and facilitating the collection of debts.

The opposition to the congressional acts in favor of the officers, and to the order of the Cincinnati, did not rise to the fame pitch in the other states as in Connecticut; yet it produced much disturbance in Massachusetts, and some others. Jealousy of power had been universally spread among the people of the United States. The destruction of the old forms of government, and the licentiousness of war had, in a great measure, broken their habits of obedience; their passions had been inflamed by the cry of despotism; and like centinels, who have been suddenly surprized by the approach of an enemy, the ruftling of a leaf was sufficient to give them an alarm. This spirit of jealousy, which has not yet subsided, and which will probably continue visible during the present generation, operated with other causes to relax the energy of our federal operations.


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