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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 Gen eral 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.
WASHINGTON TO ARNOLD.
"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 a Policy respecting Tory Governors and Placemen. Rhode Island harrassed by Wallace and his Cruisers, and infested by Tories. Lee sent to its Relief. - His Vigorous Measures. — The Army Disbanding. — Washington's Perplexities. Sympathy of General Greene. His Loyalty in Time of Trouble. -- The Crisis. — Cheering News from Canada. Gloomy Opening of the New Year. - News from Colonel Knox.
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 hor
rors of a servile war.
"If this man is not crushed before spring," writes Washington, "he will become the most formidable enemy America has.
will increase as a snowball.
of resentment actuate his conduct to a degree equal to the destruction of the colony."
General Lee took the occasion to set forth his Dwn system of policy, which was particularly rigid wherever men in authority and tories were concerned. It was the old grudge against ministers and their adherents set on edge.
"Had my opinion been thought worthy of attention," would he say, " Lord Dunmore would have been disarmed of his teeth and claws." He would have seized Tryon too, " and all his tories at New York," and, having struck the stroke, would have applied to Congress for approoa
"I propose the following measures," would he add: "To seize every governor, government man, placeman, tory, and enemy to liberty on the continent, to confiscate their estates; or at least lay them under heavy contributions for the public. Their persons should be secured, in some of the interior towns, as hostages for the treatment of those of our party, whom the fortune of war shall throw into their hands; they should be allowed a reasonable pension out of their fortunes fur their maintenance." 1
Such was the policy advocated by Lee in his letters and conversation, and he soon had an opportunity of carrying it partly into operation. Rhode Island had for some time past been domineered over by Captain Wallace of the royal navy; who had stationed himself at Newport with an armed vessel, and obliged the place to furnish him with supplies. Latterly he had
1 Lee to Rich. Henry Lee. Am. Archives, 4th Series, iv.
landed in Conanicut Island, opposite to Newport with a number of sailors and marines, plundered and burnt houses, and driven off cattle for the supply of the army. In his exactions and niaraudings, he was said to have received countenance from the tory part of the inhabitants. It was now reported that a naval armament was coming from Boston against the island. In this emergency, the governor (Cooke) wrote to Washington, requesting military aid, and an efficient officer to put the island in a state of defense, suggesting the name of General Lee for the pur
Lee undertook the task with alacrity. "I sincerely wish," said Washington, "he may be able to do it with effect; as that place, in its present state, is an asylum for such as are disaffected to American liberty."
Lee set out for Rhode Island with his guard and a party of riflemen, and at Providence was joined by the cadet company of that place, and a number of minute men. Preceded by these, he entered the town of Newport on Christmas-day, in military style. While there, he summoned before him a number of persons who had supplied the enemy; some according to a convention originally made between Wallace and the authorities, others, as it was suspected, through tory feelings. All were obliged by Lee to take a test oath of his own devising, by which they religiously swore that they would neither directly, nor indirectly, assist the wicked instruments of ministerial tyranny and villainy com