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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 profecuted 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 Will'amsburgh, 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 Britith 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 igth 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, Cap. tain Thomas Quigley, and fix others, embarked from Elizabeth-Town point in a whale boat, and proceeded for New-York, where they boarded and took pofleffion 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; 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 sloop, which then lay along side the Eagle; and which was laden with one hundred and nineteen puncheons of Jamaica fpirits, most of the ships fails, with twelve nine pounders, loaded and mounted, besides musquets, &c.—The floop they brought off, and pafled 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 expended near an hundred millions of money, with an hundred thousand
TOTWITHSTANDING it has often been asserted with confidence, IV 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 tile) 1732, at the parish of Washington, in Westmoreland county, in Virginia. His father's fainily was numerous, and he was the firft 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 ftationed on the coast of Virginia, and his baggage prepared for embarkation : but the plan was abandoned on account of the reluctance his mother expressed to his engaging in that profession,
Previous to this transaction, when he was but ten vears of age, his father died, and the charge of the family devolved on his eldest 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, che 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 colonics, at the westward. Young Mr. Washington, who was sent with plenary powers to ascertain the facts, treat with the savages, and warn the French to defift from their aggressions, performed the ducies 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, manliness in ftile, and accuracy in the mode of doing business, which liave since characterised him in the conduct of more arduous affairs. But it was deemed, by fome, an extraordinary circumitance that so juvenile and inexperienced a person should hare been employed on a negociation, with which subjects of the greatest importance were involved : subjects which shortly 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 professors of the college, was appointed Colonel, and Major Washington received the commition 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 so as to pre-occupy the advantageous poft at the confluence of the Allegany and Monongahela 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 southern colonies, together with foine companies of provincials from North-Carolina and Maryland, But he perceived the necefiity of expedition, and without waiting for their arrival, commenced his march'in the month of May. Notwithstanding his precipitated advance, on his ascending the Laurel-hill, fifty miles hort of his object, he was advised tliat a body of French had already taken pofleflion and erected a fcriification, which they named Fort du Quefire. He then fell back to a place known by the appellation of the Great Meadows, for the sake of forage and supplies. Here he built a temporary ftockade, merely to cover his tiores; it was from iis fate called Fort Nearbity. His force, when joined by Captain V.Kay's regulars, did not amount to four hundred effectives. Upon receiving information from his fcouts that a considerable party was approaching to reconnoitre his pott, he fallied and «eleated them. But in return he was attacked by an army, computed to have been fifteen hundred strong, and after a gallant defence, in which more than one. third 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 difafter, the remains of the Virginia regiment returned to Alexandria, to be recruited and furnished with necellary 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 contines of the Engliin Teidements. Upon a royal are rangement of rank, by which « no officer who did not immediately desive his commission from the king, could command one who did,” Col. Washington relinquished his regindent, and went as an extra aid-de-camp into the family of General Braddock. In this capacity, at the battle of Monongahela he attended that general, whole life was gallantly facrificed in a compting to extricale his troops froam the fatal ambuscade in:o