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Erents of 1780 continued.-Proceedings of Congress—their re
ply to the communications of the French minister.-Second communication from the Minister.-Congress resolve to issue a new species of paper bills. They fix the value of loan certificates.Situation of the American army at Morristown—Their distresses relieved by the people of Jersey.-Severity of the winter.-Lord Stirling makes an unsuccesssful attempt on Staten Island.Mutiny in the American army.-Expedition of the royal army into Jersey.-Destruction committed at Connecticut Farms.-Murder of Mrs. Caldwell. The enemy move towards Springfield-but retire to Elizabeth Town without an attack Sir Henry Clinton arrives from Charleston, sends over reinforcements, and the army a second time move upon Springfield, which they destroy.-Brave conduct of the American troops The
enemy evacuate New Jersey, and return to Staten Island Arrival of the Count De Rochambeau, and a French fleet at Newport.-Joy of the citizens.-Washington orders the white and black cockade to be united.-Admiral Graves arrives at New-York with reinforcements to the fleet and army. The enemy project an attack against Rhode Island. General Wayne is detached to Bergen Neck-Washington's situation at Orange town his letters to Governour Reed.--Treachery of Arnold Capture, trial and execution of Major Andre, a British spy. Arnold arrives at Nero-York, and recieves the reward of his treachery.Makes an insolent address to the Americans.Resolution of Congress in favour of the three New-York militia men.- Proposition of Washington for an exchange of prisoners.-Congress resolve to erect a monument to the memory of the Baron de Kalb-Sir Henry Clinton sends reinforcements to the south.-Congress order a Court Martial on General Gates.-General Greene appointed to the command of the south. -Death of the Chevalier de Ternay.
After what we have seen, the following answer of Congress to the communications of the Chevalier
de la Luzerne, will appear somewhat extraordinary. It was resolved on the 31st of January, “ that Congress entertain the most grateful sense of the unremitting attention given to the interests of the United States by their illustrious ally, and consider the communications made to them by his minister, as equally wise and interesting—that the confidence which they repose in his Majesty, in consequence of his so generously interesting himself in the affairs of these United States, and of the wisdom and magnanimity of his councils, determines them to give the most perfect information in their power, of their resources, views, and expectations—that to this end they state as follows: that the United States have expectations on which they can rely with confidence, of bringing into the field next campaign, an army of 25,000 effective men, exclusive of commissioned officers; that this army can be reinforced by militia, so as to be in force sufficient for any enterprise against the posts occupied by the enemy within the United States; that supplies of provision for the army in its greatest number, can certainly be obtained within the United States, and the Congress with the cooperation of the several states, can take effectual measures for procuring them in such manner, as that no operation will be impeded; that provisions also for such of the forces of his most Christian Majesty, as may be employed in conjunction or cooperation with those of the United States, can be procured under the direction of Congress, and such provisions shall be laid up in magazines, agreeably to such instructions as his Majesty's Minister Plenipotentiary shall give, and the magazines shall be put under the direction of the agent of the marine of France; that Congress rely on the
contributions of the states by taxes, and on monies to be raised by internal loans for the pay of the army; that supplies of clothing, tents, arms and warlike stores, must be principally obtained from foreign nátions; and the United States must rely principally on the assistance of their ally for them; but every other mean for procuring them is already taken, and will be prosecuted with the greatest diligence; that the United States with the assistance of a competent naval force would willingly, during the next campaign, carry on the most vigorous offensive operations against the enemy, in all the posts occupied by them within the United States—that without such naval force, little more can be attempted by them than straightening the quarters of the enemy, and covering the interiour parts of the country; that their forces must be disposed in such manner as to oppose the enemy with the greatest effect, wherever their most considerable operations may be directed ; that at present the southern states seem to be their object, and their design to establish themselves in one or more of them but their superiority at sea over the United States, enables them to change their object and operations with great facility, while those of the United States are rendered difficult by the great extent of country they have to defend. That Congress are happy to find that his most Christian Majesty gives no credit to the suggestions of the British cabinet, relative to the dispositions of the United States, or any of them, to enter into treaties of accommodation with Great Britain, and wish his Majesty and all the powers of Europe to be assured, that such suggestions are insidious and without foundation. That it will appear by the constitutions and other publick acts of the seVOL. II.
veral states, that the citizens of the United States, possessed of arms, possessed of freedom, possessed of political power to create and direct their magistrates as they think proper, are united in their determinations to secure to themselves and their posterity the blessings of liberty, by supporting the independence of their government, and observing their treaties and publick engagements, with immoveable firmness and fidelity; and the Congress assure his Majesty, that should any individual in America be found base enough to show the least disposition for persuading the people to the contrary, such individual would instantly lose all power of effecting his purpose, by forfeiting the confidence and esteem of the people.”
A second communication was made by his Excellency to Congress, through their committee on the 2d February, to the following effect. That his Majesty had heard with great satisfaction of the appointment of a Minister Plenipotentiary to Spain, and most earnestly wished for the alliance, to render which more certain, his Majesty bad commanded him to communicate certain articles to Congress, on which it was essential that they should explain themselves with precision, as they were deemed of importance to the interests of his Catholick Majesty. These articles were : 1st. A precise and invariable boundary to the United States. 2d. The exclusive navigation of the river Mississippi. 3d. The possession of the Floridas. 4th. The lands on the eastern side of the Mississippi. That his Catholick Majesty believed the United States would extend their western boundaries no further than the limits prescribed in 1763—that it was his idea, that the United States would not contend
for the right of navigating the Mississippi, inasmnch as they hold no territory on that river--that as his Majesty would probably conquer the Floridas during the present war, he trusted there would be no cause of dispute left' concerning them, between Spain and the United States—and that on the 4th article, his Catholick majesty considered, that as the lands lying on the east side of the Mississippi, whereon settlements were prohibited by the proclamation of 1763, were possessions of the crown of Great Britain, and therefore proper objects of conquest by Spain, and might probably be conquered during the present war, and that as the United States held no possession of these territories before the war, and had no foundation for a claim in the right of their former sovereign, it would be adviseable to restrain the southern states from making any settlements or conquests therein. The Minister added that the king bis master, united by blood to his Catholick Majesty, and by treaties of alliance to the United States, was extremely desirous of seeing a lasting friendship between the two parties; and that he cannot consider the independence of the United States as secure, until this friendship shall be established.
The dificulty of obtaining money from the several states for carrying on the war, forced Congress to the expedient of calling upon them for supplies of provision and forage in lieu of it; but this species of taxation was found to be so partial in its operation, so difficult of execution, and so inconvenient, that it was abandoned before any effect was produced from it, and another experiment adopted. This was to call in hy taxes, all the old emission of paper, to the amount of 200 millions of dollars, and issue in new