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CHAPTER I.

Burke on the State of Affairs in America. - New Jersey roused to Arms. - Washington grants Safe Conduct to Hessian. Convoys. Morristown. Encampment at - Putnam at Princeton. His Stratagem to conceal the Weakness of his Camp. -Exploit of General Dickinson near Somerset Courthouse. Washington's Counter Proclamation. Prevalence of the Small-pox. - Inoculation of the Army. - Contrast of the British and American Commanders and their Camps.

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HE news of Washington's recrossing the Delaware, and of his subsequent achievements in the Jerseys, had not reached London on the 9th of January. "The affairs of America seem to be drawing to a crisis," writes Edmund Burke. "The Howes are at this time in possession of, or able to awe the whole middle coast of America, from Delaware to the western boundary of Massachusetts Bay; the naval barrier on the side of Canada is broken. A great tract is open for the supply of the troops; the river Hudson opens a way into the heart of the provinces, and nothing can, in all probability, prevent an early and offensive campaign. What the

VOL. III.

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NEW JERSEY ROUSED TO ARMS.

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when he had to inquire by letter of Washington, whether money and stores could be sent to the Hessians captured at Trenton, and a surgeon and medicines to the wounded at Princeton; and Washington's reply must have conveyed a reproof still more mortifying: No molestation, he assure i his lordship, would be offered to the convoy by any part of the regular army under his command; but "he could not answer for the militia, who were resorting to arms in most parts of the State, and were excessively exasperated at the treatment they had met with from both Hessian and British troops."

In fact, the conduct of the enemy had roused the whole country against them. The proclamations and printed protections of the British commanders, on the faith of which the inhabitants in general had stayed at home, and forbore to take up arms, had proved of no avail. The Hessians could not or would not understand them, but plundered friend and foe alike.1 The British soldiery often followed their example, and the plunderings of both were at times attended by those brutal outrages on the weaker sex, which inflame the dullest spirits to revenge. The whole State was thus roused against its invaders. In Washington's retreat of more than a hundred miles through the Jerseys, he had never been joined by more than

1 "These rascals plunder all anything they like, they say, 'Rebel and seize upon it for their own use. the distinctions between whig and tory.". the Postmaster.

discriminately. If they see good for Hesse-mans,' They have no idea of

- Letter of Hazard

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