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Canada. Not having any accounts wherein the name of Allen is mentioned, I cannot give you the smallest satisfaction upon the subject of your letter. But trusting Major-general Carleton's conduct will never incur censure upon any occasion, I am to conclude in the instance of your inquiry, that he has not forfeited his past pretensions to decency and humanity.

"It is with regret, considering the character you have always maintained among your friends, as a gentleman of the strictest honor and delicacy, that I find cause to resent a sentence in the conclusion of your letter, big with invective against my superiors, and insulting to myself, which should obstruct any further intercourse between us. I am, sir, etc."

In transmitting a copy of his letter to the President of Congress, Washington observed: "My reason for pointing out Brigadier-general Prescott as the object who is to suffer for Mr. Allen's fate, is, that by letters from General Schuyler and copies of letters from General Montgomery to Schuyler, I am given to understand that Prescott is the cause of Allen's sufferings. I thought it best to be decisive on the occasion, as did the generals whom I consulted thereon."

For the sake of continuity we will anticipate a few facts connected with the story of Ethan Allen. Within a few weeks after the preceding correspondence, Washington received a letter from Levi Allen, a brother to the colonel, and of like enterprising and enthusiastic character. It was dated

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from Salisbury in Connecticut; and inclosed affidavits of the harsh treatment his brother had experienced, and of his being confined on board of the Gaspee, "with a bar of iron fixed to one of his legs and iron to his hands." Levi was bent upon effecting his deliverance, and the mode proposed was in unison with the bold, but wild schemes of the colonel. We quote his crude, but characteristic letter.

"Have some thoughts of going to England incognito, after my brother; but am not positively certain he is sent there, though believe he is. Beg your Excellency will favor me with a line, and acquaint me if any intelligence concerning him, and if your Excellency please, your opinion of the expediency of going after him, and whether your Excellency would think proper to advance any money for that purpose, as my brother was a man blessed with more fortitude than fortune. Your Excellency may think, at first thought, I can do nothing by going to England; I feel as if I could do a great deal, by raising a mob in London, bribing the jailer, or by getting into some servile employment with the jailer, and over-faithfulness make myself master of the key, or at least be able to lay my hand on it some night. I beg your Excellency will countenance my going; can muster more than one hundred pounds, my own property; shall regard spending that no more

than one copper. Your Excellency must know Allen was not only a brother, but a real friend that sticketh closer than a brother."

In a postscript he adds, "cannot live without going to England, if my brother is sent there."

In reply, Washington intimated a belief that the colonel had been sent to England, but discountenanced Levi's wild project of following him thither; as there was no probability of its success, and he would be running himself into danger without a prospect of rendering service to his brother.

The measure of retaliation mentioned in Washington's letter to Howe, was actually meted out by Congress on the arrival of General Prescott in Philadelphia. He was ordered into close confinement in the jail; though not put in irous. He was subsequently released from confinement, on account of ill health, and was treated by some Philadelphia families with unmerited hospitality.1

At the time of the foregoing correspondence with Howe, Washington was earnestly occupied preparing works for the bombardment of Boston, should that measure be resolved upon by Congress. General Putnam, in the preceding month, had

1 Thomas Walker, a merchant of Montreal, who, accused of traitorous dealings with the Americans, had been thrown into prison during Prescott's sway, and his country-house burnt down, undertook a journey to Philadelphia in the depth of winter, when he understood the general was a captive there, trusting to obtain satisfaction for his ill-treatment. To his great surprise, he found Mr. Prescott lodged in the best tavern of the place, walking or riding at large through Philadelphia and Bucks counties, feasting with gentlemen of the first rank m the province, and keeping a levee for the reception of the grandees. In consequence of which unaccc untable phenomena, and the little prospect of his obtaining any adequate redress in the present unsettled state of public affairs, Mr. Walker has returned to Montreal. - Am. Archives, 4th Series vol. iv

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PUTNAM CONSTRUCTS BATTERIES. 123

taken possession in the night of Cobble Hill without molestation from the enemy, though a commanding eminence; and ir two days had constructed a work, which, from its strength, was named Putnam's impregnable fortress.

He was now engaged on another work on Lechmere Point, to be connected with the works at Cobble Hill by a bridge thrown across Willis' Creek, and a covered way. Lechmere Point is immediately opposite the west part of Boston; and the Scarborough ship-of-war was anchored near

it.

Putnam availed himself of a dark and foggy day (Dec. 17), to commence operations, and broke ground with four hundred men, at ten o'clock in the morning, on a hill at the Point. "The mist," says a contemporary account, "was so great as to prevent the enemy from discovering what he was about until near twelve o'clock, when it cleared up, and opened to their view our whole party at the Point, and another at the causeway throwing a bridge over the creek. The Scarborough, anchored off the Point, poured in a broadside. The enemy from Boston threw shells. The garrison at Cobble Hill returned fire. Our men were obliged to decamp from the Point, but the work was resumed by the brave old general at night."

On the next morning, a cannonade from Cobble Hill obliged the Scarborough to weigh anchor and drop down below the ferry; and General Heath was detached with a party of men to carry on the work which Putnam had commenced. The enemy resumed their fire. Sentinels were placed

to give notice of a shot or shell; the men would crouch down or dodge it, and continue on with their work. The fire ceased in the afternoon. and Washington visited the hill accompanied by several officers, and inspected the progress of the work. It was to consist of two redoubts, on one of which was to be a mortar battery. There was, as yet, a deficiency of ordnance; but the prize mortar was to be mounted which Putnam had recently christened, "The Congress." From the spirit with which the work was carried on, Washington trusted that it would soon be completed, "and then," said he, "if we have powder to sport with, and Congress gives the word, Boston can be bombarded from this point."

For several days the labor at the works was Continued; the redoubts were thrown up, and a covered way was constructed leading down to the bridge. All this was done notwithstanding the continual fire of the enemy. The letter of a British officer gives his idea of the efficiency of the work.

"The rebels for some days have been erecting a battery on Phipps' Farm. The new constructed mortar taken on board the ordnance brig, we are told, will be mounted upon it, and we expect a warm salute from the shells, another part of that vessel's cargo; so that, in spite of her capture, we are likely to be complimented with the contents of her lading."

"If the rebels can complete their battery, this town will be on fire about our ears a few hours after; all our buildings being of wood, or a mix

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