« AnteriorContinuar »
Lexington and the heights of Charlestown, cemented with their blood the foundation of American liberty.
He was endowed with a clear and vigorous understanding, a disposition humane and generous; qualities which, graced by manners affable and engaging, rendered him the idol of the army and of his friends. His powers of speech and reasoning commanded respect. His professional as well as political abilities were of the highest order. He had been an active volunteer in several skirmishes which had occurred since the commencement of hostilities, in all of which he gave strong presages of capacity and distinction in the profession of arms. But the fond hopes of his country were to be closed in death; not, however, until he had sealed with his blood the charter of our liberties; not until he had secured that permanence of glory with which we encircle the memory, whilst we cherish the name, of WARREN.
The battle of Bunker Hill was, in many respects, one of the most remarkable conflicts that has moistened the earth with human blood. No spirit of prophesy is required to foretel, that from the consequences with which it is connected, and which it may be said to have guaranteed, after ages will consider it one of the most interesting of all battles, and that it will be hallowed by the gratitude of mankind, as among the most precious and beneficent contests ever waged in behalf of human rights and human happiness.
Dr. Warren published an oration in 1772, and another in 1775, commemorative of the 5th of March, 1770.
WASHINGTON, GEORGE, commander in chief of the American army, during the revolutionary war with Great Britain, and first president of the United States, was the third son of Mr. Augustine Washington, and was born at Bridges creek, in the county of Westmoreland, Virginia, February 22, 1732. His great grandfather had emigrated to that place from the north of England, about the year 1657. At the age of ten years, he lost his father, and the patrimonial estate descended to his elder brother, Mr. Lawrence Washington, who, in the year 1740, had been engaged in the expedition against Carthagena. In honour of the British admiral, who commanded the fleet employed in that enterprise, the estate was called Mount Vernon. At the age of fifteen, agreeably to the wishes of his brother, as well as to his own argent request to enter into the British navy, the place of a midshipman in a vessel of war, then stationed on the coast of Virginia, was obtained for him. Every thing was in readiness for his departure, when the fears of a timid and affectionate mother prevailed upon him to abandon his proposed career on the ocean, and were the means of retaining him upon the land, to be the future vindicator of his country's rights. All the advantages of education which he enjoyed, were derived from a private tutor, who instructed him in English literature and the general principles of science, as well as in morality and religion. After his disappointment, with regard to entering the navy, he devoted much, of his time to the study of the mathematics; and in the practice of his profession as a surveyor, he had an opportunity of acquiring that information, respecting the value of vacant lands, which, afterwards, greatly contributed to the increase of his private fortune. At the age of nineteen, when the inilitia of Virginia were to be trained for actual service, he was appointed an adjutant-general with the rank of major. It was for a very short time, that he discharged the duties of that office. In the year 1753, the plan formed by France, for connecting Canada with Louisiana by a line of posts, and thus of enclosing the British colonies, and of establishing her influence over the numerous tribes of .. received for settling the rank of the officers, and those who were commissioned by the king being directed to take rank of the provincial officers, Colonel Washington indignantly resigned his commission. He now retired to Mount Vernon, that estate by the death of his brother, having devolved upon him. But in the spring of 1755, he accepted an invitation from general Braddock to enter bis family as a volunteer aid-de-camp in his expedition to the Ohio. He proceeded with him to Will's creek, afterwards called fort Cumberland, in April. After the troops had marched a few miles from this place, he was seized with a raging fever; but refusing to remain behind, he was conveyed in a covered waggon. By bis advice twelve hundred men were detached in order to reach fort du Quesne before an expected reinforcement should be received at that place. These disencumbered troops were commanded by Braddock himself, and colonel Washington, though still extremely ill, insisted upon proceeding with them. After they arrived upon the Monongahela he advised the general to employ the ranging companies of Virginia to scour the woods and prevent ambuscades; but his advice was not followed. On the ninth of July, when the army was within seven miles of the fort du Quesne, the enemy commenced a sudden and furious attack, being concealed by the wood and grass. Washington was the only aid, that was unwounded, and on him devolved the whole duty of carrying the orders of the commander in chief. He was cool and fearless. Though he had two horses shot under him, and four balls through his coat, he escaped unhurt, while every officer on horseback was either killed or wounded. Doctor Craik, the physician, who attended him on his last sickness, was present in this battle, and says, “I expected every moment to see him fall. Nothing but the superintending care of Providence could have saved him
Indians on the frontiers, began to be developed. In the prosecution of this design possession had been taken of a tract of land, then believed to be within the province of Virginia. Mr. Dinwiddie, the lieutenant governor, being determined to remonstrate against the proposed encroachment, and violation of the treaties between the two countries, dispatched major Washington, through the wilderness to the Ohio, to deliver a letter to the commanding officer of the French, and also to explore the country. This trust of danger and fatigue he executed with great ability. He left Williamsburg, October 31, 1753, the very day on which he received his commission, and at the frontier settlement of the English, engaged guides to conduct him over the Alleghany mountains..
At a place upon the Alleghany, called Murdering town, they fell in with a hostile Indian who was one of the party then lying in wait, and who fired upon them not ten steps distant. They took him into custody and kept him until nine o'clock, and then let him go. To avoid the pursuit which they presumed would be commenced in the morning, they travelled all night. On reaching the Monongahela, they had a hard day's work to make a raft with a hatchet. In attempting to cross the river to reach a trader's house, they were enclosed by masses of ice. In order to stop the raft, major Washington put down his setting pole, but the ice came with such force against it, as to jerk him into the water. He saved himself by seizing one of the raft logs. With difficulty they landed on an island, where they passed the night. The cold was so severe, that the pilot's hands and feet were frozen. The next day they crossed the river upon the ice. Washington arrived at Williamsburg, January 16, 1754. His journal, which evinced the solidity of his judgment and his fortitude, was published.
As the French seemed disposed to remain on the Ohio, it was determined to raise a regiment of about 300 men to maintain the claims of the British crown. The command was given to Mr. Fry; and major Washington, who was appointed lieutenant colonel, marched with two companies early in April, 1754, in advance of the other troops. A few miles west of the Great Meadows, he surprised a French encampment in a dark rainy night, and only one man escaped. Before the arrival of the two remaining companies, Mr. Fry died, and the command devolved on colonel Washington. Being joined by two other companies of regular troops from South Carolina and New York, after erecting a small stockade at the Great Meadows, he proceeded towards fort du Quesne, which had been built but a short time, with the intention of dislonging the French. He had marched only thirteen miles to the western-most foot of Laurel hill, before he received information of the approach of the enemy with superior numbers, and was induced to return to his stockaile. He began a ditch around it, and called it Fort Necessity; but the next day, July 3, he was attacked by fifteen hundred men. His own troops were only about four hundred in number. The action commenced at ten in the morning and lasted until dark. A part of the Americans fought within the fort, and a part in the ditch filled with mud and water. Colonel Washington was himself on the outside of the fort during the whole day. The enemy fought under cover of the trees and high grass. In the course of the night articles of capitulation were agreed upon. The garrison were allowed to retain their arms and baggage, and to march unmolested to the inhabited parts of Virginia. The loss of the Americans in killed and wounded was supposed to be about a hundred, and that of the enemy about two hundred. In a few months afterwards orders were