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the king's birthday, his loyal sons set up a liberty pole to commemorate the joyful event and also his great clemency in repealing the Act; but some way the soldiers did not see it quite in this light and they pulled it down. Again and again it was raised, and again and again it was levelled; until, to save time in future, the "Sons" braced it with iron to the height of seventy-three feet from the ground, and after that it was "let live."
When the news of Boston's tea party reached New York, the "Sons" met together and formed a resolution that no tea should land at the wharves of the city. The mayor tried to induce them to allow it to land and remain until it could be placed, but they decidedly refused it hospitality, not allowing it to remain for even one night in the fort, after which the meeting adjourned until the tea should arrive.
After a long delay the "Nancy," that was supposed to have the tea, hove in sight in a most pitiable condition: one mast was gone, an anchor had been lost, and she had met with various other mishaps. But the hearts of the "Sons" were not touched by her plight: they bade her remain at the length of the harbor, and a committee was appointed to watch her until she should be sufficiently repaired to make a return trip with her tea. The sailors were not allowed to land, lest they might not be ready when wanted; but her captain was escorted to the city and advised to make preparations for an early return, but was forbidden. to enter the Custom House.
As soon as the "Nancy" was ready, the Committee of Safety, of which Morin Scott was a member, waited upon the captain at his lodgings, and a procession was formed to escort him to the sloop that was to bear him to his "Nancy," and he marched to the sound of martial music and the ringing of bells.
1 The tea in reality was in another ship.
It was a veritable sight for the American small boy. Every ship in the harbor ran up its colors, and the liberty pole was graced with bunting; and with the roar of artillery the captain sailed away, and he and his "Nancy" were heard of no more.
About noon of Sunday, the twenty-third of April in the year 1775, four days after the Battle of Lexington, Scott, along with other members of the Committee of Safety, were assembled in the committee room on Broadway, when a rider hastily drew up and, dismounting, handed them a paper. It was to apprise them of the fact of the mother country having been the first to shed the blood of her children, and that all that was left for them was to defend themselves; therefore the Massachusetts Committee of Safety had resolved to enlist eight thousand men. After reading it the Committee endorsed it, and the rider started on his way southward.
The news was speedily made public, and there was a popular outbreak in the city. The keys of the arsenal were not to be found, but the door was forced open by the excited populace, and six hundred muskets and accoutrements were distributed amongst the citizens. The fort and magazines were seized and the citizens assumed the government of the city. They proceeded at once to elect a committee of one hundred of the most influential inhabitants, to take charge of the government; amongst these was Scott. It was called the "Committee of One Hundred."
The soldiery had been ordered to Boston to reinforce Gage, and the Committee permitted them to depart. They marched to the wharf at the foot of Broad Street, where lay the " Asia" ready to receive them. Six carts laden with arms and ammunition preceded them. At the foot of the street a member of the "One Hundred" stepped forward and said that the Committee requested them to leave the arms and
ammunition behind, as they belonged to the colony and could not be taken out of it; then taking the bridle of the first horse he turned it off towards Beaver Street, and the other five followed. The soldiers were permitted to embark.
During the remainder of seventy-five and until the spring of seventy-six the state of affairs was sad enough. In a letter written by Morin Scott, dated November fifteenth, seventy-five, he describes the general feeling. He says:
"Every office shut up almost but Sam Jones', who will work for six a day and live accordingly. All business stagnated; the city half deserted for fear of a bombardment. A new Congress elected. Those for New York you will see by the papers, changed for the better. All staunch Whigs now. . . . Nothing from t' other side of the water but a fearful looking for of wrath. Our Continental petition most probably condemned-the bulk of the nation, it is said are against us and a bloody campaign next summer. But let us be prepared for the worst. Who can prize life without liberty it is a bauble only fit to be thrown away."
The spring and summer of seventy-six were spent in equipping and drilling the hastily formed troops and in fortifying the city. On the ninth of May the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, in which a last appeal was made to the king; and he was informed. that the colonists had chosen war instead of slavery. John Adams, in an address to the assembled patriots, spoke of the necessity of having a commander for the army, and proposed George Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the American army. Congress confirmed the nomination on the fifteenth of June, and Washington at once repaired to New York and met the new Provincial Congress, of which Scott was a member, and which was then sitting in the city. The Continental Congress had put the quota for New
York at three thousand men, and the new commander conferred with the New York Congress upon their equipment and officering, also upon other military
Four regiments were immediately raised, and Scott's old companion tribune, and also fellow-member of the Committee of One Hundred, Alexander McDougall, was appointed to command one. Another old fellowtribune, John Lamb, was ordered by the Provincial Congress to remove some of the guns from Fort George to the passes by the Hudson. While fulfilling the order on the night of August twenty-third, a launch belonging to the "Asia," a British ship, fired upon his men. Lamb returned fire, and killed one man and wounded several other men; the "Asia" then opened a broadside into the city, and some of Lamb's men were wounded, and most of the inhabitants fled. The Committee of One Hundred ordered that as the ship had fired upon New York she should have no more communication with it, and that in future all communications should be with Governor's Island.
After the British had evacuated Boston and Washington had formally taken possession, the latter brought his army to New York, where he was met by Lee with his Connecticut forces, who had come just in time to baffle the plans of Sir Henry Clinton, who had arrived off Sandy Hook for a descent upon the city, but instead sailed southward.
The mother country now levied twenty-five thousand English troops and seventeen thousand Hessians, and ordered an immense squadron to attempt the reduction of her colonies; and they, seeing no more hope of an amicable settlement, urged their general assemblies to take some definite step toward their independence of Great Britain. Morin Scott, being a member of assembly, met with the other members in council, and they urged Congress to declare formally
the independence of the United Colonies. Congress responded by recommending the different colonies to adopt such government as might best conduce to the safety and welfare of the people; and the result, after much deliberation, was the Declaration of Independence, which was adopted by Congress July fourth, seventy-six.
On the ninth of the month, at six o'clock in the evening, the troops assembled in the Fields, and formed in a hollow square at the lower end, the Commander-in-Chief on horseback being in the centre, and the Declaration of Independence was read aloud by one of his aids. At the conclusion three hearty cheers were given. The following morning it was read at White Plains, and after it the Provincial Congress pledged themselves to "sustain it at the risk of their lives and fortunes." The Provincial Congress then despatched a messenger to their delegates in the Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia, empowering them to vote in the name of the New York colony for its adoption, and ordered it to be proclaimed in the city of New York by beat of drum, and to be read publicly from the City Hall in Wall Street.
All efforts were now directed to preparing for war. Scott was appointed to assist in sustaining Washington, with the rank of brigadier-general, and was appointed to hold and fortify Long Island. Powerful works were constructed on Brooklyn Heights to command New York, this point being the key of the whole position. The army was divided into five divisions under Generals Putnam, Sullivan, Greene, Knox, and Stirling. Aaron Burr, then aged twenty years, was on Putnam's staff, and Alexander Hamilton, a youth of nineteen, held the position of captain of battery.
I find by comparison of dates that Morin Scott held several positions at the same time, one overlapping two or more others; but as I have the facts from public