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ARNOLD ON THE HEIGHTS OF ABRAHAM.
'The formidable aspect of the place, however, awed Arnold's associates in council. They considered that their whole force was but between seven and eight hundred men; that nearly one third of their fire-arms had been rendered useless, and much of their ammunition damaged in their march through the wilderness; they had no artillery, and the fortress looked too strong to be carried by a coup de main. Cautious counsel is often fatal to a daring enterprise. While the council of war deliberated, the favorable moment passed away. The lieutenant-governor received the tardy message. He hastily assembled the merchants, officers of militia, and captains of merchant vessels. All promised to stand by him; he had strong distrust, however, of the French part of the population and the Canadian militia ; his main reliance was on Colonel Maclean and his Royal Highland Emigrants.
The din of arms now resounded through the streets. The cry was up—“The enemy are on the Heights of Abraham! The gate of St. John's is open !" There was an attempt to shut it. The keys were not to be found. It was hastily secured by ropes and handspikes, and the walls looking upon the heights were soon manned by the military, and thronged by the populace.
Arnold paraded his men within a hundred yards of the walls, and caused them to give three hearty cheers; hoping to excite a revolt in the place, or to provoke the scanty garrison to a sally. There were a few scattered cheerings in return; but the taunting bravo failed to produce a sortie ; the governor dared not venture beyond the walls with part of his garrison, having too little confidence in the loyalty of those who would remain behind. There was some firing on the part of the Americans, but merely as an additional taunt; they were too far off for their musketry to have effect. A large cannon on the ramparts was brought to bear on them, and matches were procured from the Lizard, with which to fire it off. A few shots obliged the Americans to retire and encamp.
In the evening Arnold sent a flag, demanding in the name of the United Colonies the surrender of the place. Some of the disaffected and the faint-hearted were inclined to open the gate, but were held in check by the mastiff loyalty of Maclean. The veteran guarded the gate with his Highlanders; forbade all communication with the besiegers, and fired upon their flag as an ensign of rebellion. : Several days elapsed. Arnold's flags of truce were repeatedly insulted, but he saw the futility of resenting it, and attacking the place with his present means. The inhabitants gradually recovered from their alarm, and armed themselves to defend their property. The sailors and marines proved a valuable addition to the garrison, which now really meditated a sortie.
Arnold received information of all this from friends within the walls ; he heard about the same time of the capture of Montreal, and that General Carleton, having escaped from that place, was on his way down to Quebec.
WASHINGTON TO ARNOLD.
He thought at present, therefore, to draw off on the 19th to Point aux Trembles (Aspen-tree Point), twenty miles above Quebec, there to await the arrival of General Montgomery with troops and artillery. As his little army wended its way along the high bank of the river towards its destined encampment, a vessel passed below, which had just touched at Point aux Trembles. On board of it was General Carleton, hurrying on to Quebec.
It was not long before the distant booming of artillery told of his arrival at his post, where he resumed a stern command. He was unpopular among the inhabitants; even the British merchants and other men of business were offended by the coldness of his manners, and his confining his intimacy to the military and the Canadian noblesse.
He was aware of his unpopularity, and looked round him with distrust; his first measure was to turn out of the place all suspected persons, and all who refused to aid in its defense. This caused a great “ trooping out of town," but what was lost in numbers was gained in strength. With the loyally disposed who remained, he busied himself in improving the defenses.
Of the constant anxiety, yet enduring hope, with which Washington watched this hazardous enterprise, we have evidence in his various letters. To Arnold, when at Point Levi, baffled in the expectation of finding the means of making a dash upon Quebec, he writes: “It is not in the power of any man to command success, but you have
done more, you have deserved it; and before this time (Dec. 5th), I hope you have met with the laurels which are due to your toils, in the possession of Quebec.
“I have no doubt but a junction of your detachment with the army under General Montgomery, is effected before this. If so, you will put yourself under his command, and will, I am persuaded, give him all the assistance in your power, to finish the glorious work you have begun."
LORD DUNMORE.-HIS PLANS OF HARASSING VIRGINIA, LEE'S POLICY RE
SPECTING TORY GOVERNORS
AND PLACEMEN.-RHODE ISLAND HARASSED
BY WALLACE AND HIS CRUISERS, AND INFESTED BY TORIES.--LEE SENT
N the month of December a vessel had been captured, bearing supplies from Lord Dunmore, to the army at Boston.
A letter on board from his lordship to General Howe, invited him to transfer the war to the southern colonies; or, at all events, to send reinforcements thither; intimating at the same time his plan of proclaiming liberty to indentured servants, negroes, and others appertaining to rebels, and inviting them to join His Majesty's troops. In a word,—to inflict upon Virginia the horrors of a servile
"If this man is not crushed before spring,” writes Washington," he will become the most formidable enemy America has. His strength will increase as a snowball.