« PrejšnjaNaprej »
as they (especially the Connecticut soldiers, whom some pro. nounced the dirtiest people on the continent) are not particularly attentive to cleanliness, the owners of the houses where they are quartered, if they ever get possession of them, must be years in cleaning them, unless they get new floors, and new plaister the walls, Gov. Tryon has lost his credit with the citizens, and is now spoken of with contempt and disgust.
The governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, was no less popular than Tryon at one time; but is at length as little respected by the Virginians as the other is by the New Yorkers. The measures he has continued to pursue, have only encreased, instead of diminishing the general resentment. We left him on board a ship off Norfolk, on the 14th of December, and col. Robert Howe in possession of the town. The Liverpool frigate arrived from GreatBritain. Soon after, the captain sent a flag of truce, and demanded to be informed whether his majesty's ships of war would be supplied from the shore with provisions: the reply was in the negative; and the ships in the harbour being continually annoyed by the riflemen from behind the buildings and ware-houses on the wharfs, it was determined to dislodge them by destroying the same. Previous notice was given, that the women, children, and other innocent persons, might remove from the danger, (Jan. 1.) The entrance of the new year was signalized at four o'clock in the morning, by a violent cannonade from the Liverpool, two sloops of war, and the governor's armed ship the Dunmore; seconded by parties of sailors and marines, who landed and fired the houses next the water. Where buildings instead of being covered with tile, slate, or lead, are covered with shingles, (thiu light pieces of fir or cedar, half a yard in length, and about six inches broad) let the wind be ever so moderate, they will, upon being fired, be likely to communicate the conflagration to a distance, should the weather be dry, by the lighted burning shingles being drived by the force of the flames to the tops ofother houses. Thus it happened here ;, and most of the town was destroyed. Col. Howe, by his positive orders and presence, did all he could to extinguish the fire; but in vain. It is not improbable, that some of the soldiers and negrues, regardless of all orders, instead of extinguishing, used all their endeavours to spread the flames; and thought themselves justified, upon the principle of the property's belonging to persons inimical to the liberties of America. A part of the town escaped; the owners were mostly whigs. Their houses however, were afterward valued, and then burnt by the direction of the ruling civil authori. ty. Thus the whole town was reduced to ashes, that the enemy night have no shelter, should they be inclined to establish a post
on the spot. A few men were killed and wounded on both sides at the burning of Norfolk, the most populous and considerable town for commerce of any in the colony. It contained about 6000 inhabitants, and many in affluent circumstances. The whole loss is estimated at more than three hundred thousand pounds sterling, However urgent the necessity, it was an odious business for a governor to be himself a principal actor in burning and destroying the best town in his government. The Americans afterward cut off every possible resource from the ships, burnt and destroyed the houses and plantations within reach of the water; and obliged the people, chiefly royalists, to remove with their cattle and provisions further into the country. The horrid distresses brought upon numbers of innocent persons by these operations, must pain the feelings of all who are not hardened by a party spirit.
Governor Martin demands our next attention. Though he was obliged to take refuge on board a ship of war, he contemplated the reduction of North-Carolina to royal obedience. He had been informed, that a squadron of men of war, with seven Tegiments, under the conduct of Sir Peter Parker and lord Cornwallis, were to leave Freland on an expedition to the southern provinces in the beginning of the year, and that North-Carolina was their first, if not principal object. He knew also tliat gen. Clinton, with a small detachment, was on his way to meet them at Cape Fear. He had for some time formed a connection with the regulators, and highland-emigrants, in the western parts of the province. To these people he sent several commissions for the raising and commanding of regiments, and granted another to Mr. M'Donald to act as their general. He also commanded all persons by proclamation, to repair to the royal standard which was to be erected by the general about the middle of February. The highlanders and regulators collected and embodied at Cross Creek the beginning of the month; and by the 19th amounted to about fifteen or sixteen hundred. Gen. Moore hearing that they were assembling, marched with his own regiment, and all the militia he could collect, about 1100 in all, to an important post within seven miles of Cross Creek, which he secured on the 15th Feb.
On the 12th they marched within four miles of hins, and sent in, by a flag of truce, [Feb. 20.) the governor's proclamation, a manifesto, and a letter to the general, which he answered. That and the following night they crossed the northwest river, and took their rout to Negro Head Point. On in formation hereof gen. Moore sent an express to col. Caswell, who was upon his march with 800 men to join him, and directed him how to proceed upon the occasion. Colonels Lillington and Ashe were ordered, if possible to reinforce him; and if they could
Rot, to take possession of Moore's Creek bridge. The generaf pursued the enemy; but did not come up with them. He proposed getting to and securing the bridge, which was about ten miles from them. Want of horses occasioned a delay; but col. Lillington had taken his stand there just in time, and the next afternoon was reinforced by col. Caswell. The'colonels immediately raised a small breast-work and destroyed part of the bridge: The next morning at break of day, [Feb. 27.] an alarm gun was fired, directly after which, scarcely leaving the Aniericans a moment to prepare, the enemy with capt. M'Cleod at their head (gen. M‘Donald being ill) made their attack.' Finding a small intrenchinent next the bridge quite empty, they concluded that the Americans had abandoned their post, and in the most furious manner advanced within thirty paces of their breast-work and · artillery, where they met with a warm reception. Captains M'Cleod and Cambell fell within a few paces of it; and in a few minutes the whole army was put to flight, and shamefully abandoned their general, who was the next
day taken prisoner. They lost only about 70 killed and wounded. The Americans had only two wounded, one of them survived. The conquerors took 13 waggons, 350 guns and shot bags, about 150 swords and dirks, and 1500 excellent rifles. The joy this conquest diffused antong the North Carolinians is inconceivable, the importance of it bcing heightened by gen. Clinton and lord William Campbell's being then at Cape Fear in sanguine'expectation of being joined by the vanquished. The Americans under colonets Caswell and Lila ligton were about 1000 strong. Parties of men have been dispersed through the colony, to apprehend suspected persons, and disarm all the highlanders and regulators routed in the battle who are discharged if privates, but the officers are secured. It was but a few months since
-capt. M'Cleod and another officer took a solemn oath before the committee at New-" bern, that their business in North-Carolina was only to see their friends and relations.
In South-Carolina, when the recommendation of the continental congress for the establishment of a form of government came to be considered, a great part of the provincial congress opposed the measure ; it had so much the appearance of an eternal separation from a country, by a reconciliation with which many yet hoped for a return of ancient happiness. While thcy were suspended on this important debate, an express arrived from Savannah, with the act of parliament, passed December 21, 1775,confiscating all the American property found floating upon the water; and compelling all the crews belonging to American vessels, without distinction of persons to serve as common sailors in the
British ships of war. By this act they considered all the colonists from New Hampshire to Georgia inclusively, as thrown out of the king's protection. The timely arrival of it turned the scale, 'silenced all who were advocates for a reconciliation, and produced a majority for an independent constitution. In less than an hour after the act was read in the convention, an order was issued to scize for the public, a Jamaica vessel laden with sugar, which had put into Charlestown in her way for London; though she had the day before obtained leave to pass the forts, and meant to sail in the afternoon, Still the attachment of numbers to GreatBritain was so strong, that though they assented to the establish'ment of an independent constitution; yet it was carried after a long debate, that it is only to exist,“ till a reconciliation witla Great-Britain and the colonies shall take place*.”
The transactions in Gcorgia remain to be related. Gen. Howe, while at Boston, in order to obtain rice, sent major Grant and capt. Maitland with four transports and 200 marines to Savannah. The South-Carolina congress having timely information, com, missioned col. Stephen Bull to act in aid of the Georgians: he accordingly marched a body to their assistance. A battery was erected, which fired smartly upon the transports on their arrival in the harbour. Upon this they went round an island in the night to get at some vessels going to Great-Britain. About four o'clock in the morning of March the third, the enemy, by col. lusion with the masters and others, got on board these ships, where they attempted to conceal themselves. But knowledge of it being obtained, 300 men were immediately marched opposite the shipping, with three four pounders, and threw up a breastwork. Firing between both parties after a while ensued. At length it was determined to burn the vessels, orders were issued to fire the Inverness and cut her loose; which being executed the marines in the utmost confusion, got on shore in the marsh, while the riflemen and field pieces were incessantly galling them. The shipping were also in the utmost disorder. Some got up the river under cover of an armed sloop, while others caught the flame, and, as they passed and repassed with the tide, were the subject of gratulation and applause. Seven loaded vessels were burnt, and the intention of gen. Howe entirely frustrated.
Philadelphia will detain us for a while. Congress resolved, (Jan. 15.) “ That to express the veneration of the U. Colonies for their late general, Richard Montgomery, and thic deep sense they entertain of the many signal and important services of that gallant officer; and to transmit to future ages, as examples truly
* Dr. Ramsey's Hiftory of the Revolution of Souih Carolina, vol. 1. po &2, and onwards
worthy of imitation, his patriotisin, conduct, boldness of enterprise, insuperable perseverance, and contempt of danger and death, a monument be procured from Paris or any other part of France, with an inscription sacred to his memory, and expressive of his amiable character and heroic atchievements; and that Dr. Smith be desired to prepare and deliver a funeral oration in honor of the general, and those officers and soldiers, who so magnanimously fought and fell with him in maintaining the principles of American liberty."
They ordered gen. Thomas to take the command of the troops in Canada; endeavouring to collect gold and silver, in exchange for continental bills of credit, for the service in that quarter; and appointed [Mar. 20.] Dr. Franklin, Samuel Chase, and Charles Carroll, esqrs. commissioners to form a union between the people of the United Colonies and those of that province.--They left New-York in the beginning of April on their way thither. As the priests have been
prevailed upon to refuse the sacraments to those of the Canadians, who are deemed rebels, and as it operates powerfully against the American interests, a priest is gone from Maryland to perform all the needful services of the Romish religion. Congress came to the resolution, (Mar. 23.) “That the inhabitants of these colonies be perinitted to fit out armed vessels to cruise on the enemies of the United Colonies;" and many others which related to it. They took notice, in the declaration which preceded them, of the act of parliament passed the 21st of December. This act has made many converts to independency in all the colonies. [Mar. 25.] After reading gen. Washington's letter of the 19th, informing congress of the eva. cuation of Boston, they ordered thanks to be presented to him, in their own and in the name of the Thirteen United Colonies; and to the officers and soldiers under his command; and that a inedal of gold be struck in commemoration of the event, and presented to his excellency. They resolved (April 6.) to admit of the importation of any goods and merchandize, (if not of the growth, production and manufacture of, or brought from any country under the doininion of the king of Great-Britain) except East India tea. They on the same day determined, “That no slaves be imported into any of the colonies.” They ordered (April 10.) a speech to be delivered to capt. White Eyes, when they, no less than lord Dunınore, in compliance with the expectation of the Indian, addressed with a brother capt. IVlaite Eyes."
The disuse of tea is again fashionable through the United Colonies. It became so in the Massachusetts, soon after the East India Company's teas were destroyed on December the 16th,