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view, was disastrous to the British forces. The continental is troops were inspirited by the proofs of courage, and capacity
to cope with the regulars, which had been shown by a raw and undisciplined militia, and drew up a line of force, which completely hemmed the British army within the town of Boston. On the 3d of July, General Washington arrived at Cambridge from Philadelphia, to take command. On his way, he had been received everywhere with honors and congratulations, to which he gave replies, expressing his earnest desire to bring the controversy with Great Britain to a speedy and amicable conclusion.
The force which he found amounted to about fourteen thousand men, which was soon after augmented to about fifteen thousand five hundred, by the arrival of some rifle regiments from the south. They were re-arranged, and divided into three commands; the right under General Ward, at Roxbury; the left under General Lee, at Prospect Hill; and the centre at Cambridge, under the commanderin-chief. The lines of communication by posts extended oyer a space of more than ten miles, and parties were stationed in small towns in the neighborhood. Commissions, granted by Congress, to eight brigadiers, were issued. They were Pomeroy, Heath, and John Thomas, of Massachusetts; Montgomery, of New York; Wooster and Spencer, of Connecticut; Sullivan, of New Hampshire; and Greene, of Rhode Island.
The army thus organized, had little else to rely upon for success than the enthusiasm which brought them together. The task of bringing them into the forms of discipline was one of great difficulty, and occupied the whole time and anxious attention of the commander-in-chief. Their zeal, and independence of habits, rendered them better fitted to partizan expeditions, requiring gallantry and enterprise, than to the orderly and obedient duties of regular forces, engaged in one common object, under a single commander. They were, moreover insufficiently armed, and without the necessary tools and experience to erect properly the necessary fortifications. Their powder was very deficient in quantity so much so, that at one time there was not enough in the whole camp to have enabled them to repel an assault. This immediate want was soon supplied by a quantity sent from Elizabethtown, in New Jersey. Add to these embarrassments the total want of preparation, both
with regard to money, provisions, and clothing, and the undefined and conflicting nature of the powers exercised under colonial authority, and by the direction of Congress, and it will readily be seen that the position of the commander-in-chief, as well as that of his army, was by no means encouraging, When the heat of immediate excitement passed off, and all the privations and difficulties growing out of these deficiencies pressed upon them fully; the effects were, for a while, dispiriting, particularly as they had looked for a short campaign, and a speedy settlement of the controversy. For a season, however, keen resentment, and a resolute determination to expel the British army from the province, kept these raw, undisciplined, and unprovided soldiers together, so strongly, as to overawe the forces of General Gage. Those forces amounted to about eight thousand men; which, with the aid of the shipping, might be concentred at any point of the American lines. The attempt, however, was not made; and, during the autumn, the blockading forces continued to make approaches nearer to the British line. Arms and ammunition were provided, with great industry and perseverance, and voyages, made for that purpose, with great success, even to the coast of Africa. Privateers were commissioned, and Captain Manly, the first naval officer created by Congress, in the privateer Lee, captured a British ordnance ship, laden with military stores, singularly adapted to the precise wants of the American army. Other ships similarly laden, soon after fell into the hands of the colonial privateers.
Following the advice of Congress, the colonies had assumed a practical independence of British authority, and either formed provisional conventions for administering their political affairs; or, as in the cases of Connecticut and Rhode Island, acted on the same principles under their ancient forms and charters.
Everywhere the tidings of the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill, stirred up a like determination to resist and annoy where they could not expel the British authorities.The militia were enrolled and armed in Maryland, Virginia, and the two Carolinas. In July, Georgia had finally acceded to the confederation, which then took the name of the Thirteen United Colonies," and resistance became popular there. The south proper, sent several companies of rifemen, at once, to the army at Boston, and Pennsylvania and New
Jersey contributed numerous recruits. In New York, a party of patriots seized and carried away the cannon from the battery, notwithstanding repeated broadsides fired upon them by the Asia, a seventy-four gun ship, and soon after broke into the printing-office of the notorious tory newspaper, published by Rivington, and destroyed the press. A volunteer party of twelve men fitted out a vessel from Charleston, South Carolina, to obtain a supply of powder, and near St. Augustine, in Florida, met with a British vessel, manned by twelve grenadiers, which they captured, and found in it fifteen thousand pounds of powder, which they landed safely at Beaufort. In Virginia, such were the manifestations of public excitement, that the governor, Lord Dunmore, took refuge, with his family, on board the Fowey man-of-war, near Yorktown. He summoned the House of Burgesses to attend him there ; but instead of obeying, they considered his movements as an abdication of the government, appointed committees of safety, made ordinances for regulating the militia, raised a force of two regiments, and appointed Patrick Henry commander-in-chief. A predatory Warfare was thereupon commenced by Lord Dunmore, with the ships and boats under his command, along the James and York rivers. In one of these, a tender of the Otter sloop-of-war was burned by the provincials, in revenge for which Lord Dunmore proclaimed martial law, and declared all the slaves who should join his majesty's standard to be free. Collecting a force of regulars, and runaway slaves, to the number of about seven hundred, he ordered an attempt to surprise the Virginia forces, collected for defence, at Great Bridge, under the command of Colonel Woodford. The governor's party was routed in the conflict, and hastily retired to their shipping. At the close of the year, Lord Dunmore finished his barbarous career there by burning the town of Norfolk. The people of Delaware sunk Chevaux de Frize, in their river, to obstruct the approach of an enemy.
At Gloucester, in New England, the militia seized upon thrée boats and their crews, belonging to the Falcon sloopof-war, which had been sent out to capture an American schooner. * The town was bombarded, in retaliation, by the frigate, and in company with another frigate, the Rose, anda two armed schooners, she ravaged the whole coast, cannonading unprotected villages, and wantonly destroying the houses and property of the inhabitantscu Bristol, in Rhode.
Island, and Falmouth, (now Portland) in Maine, were totally burnt.
Thus, in a few weeks after the battle of Bunker Hill, the resentments, upon both sides, had broken out into open hostilities; war, in fact, existed in most of the colonies, and blood had been shed in many conflicts. The design of complete independence was, however, not yet avowed in any place of authority or influence. Public meetings, and provincial conventions, congresses and committees, continued to profess attachment to the British constitution, and deny all intention of dissolving their political connexion with Great Britain. They avowed only a desire to be restored to the same state, in regard to the mother country, in which they were before the year 1763. The people of Mecklenburg county, in North Carolina, were a remarkable exception to this general accordance on a topic which could not, even at that day, have been absent from the thoughts of many of the public men in the colonies. Delegates from the militia companies in that county met in May, 1775, before the battle of Bunker Hill; and after reciting the 'inhuman' shedding of 'innocent blood' of American patriots at Lexington, voted to absolve themselves from all allegiance to the British crown, and abjure all political connexion, contract, or association with a nation which had wantonly trampled on their rights and liberties. The following was the concluding resolution :
Resolved, That we do hereby declare ourselves a free and independent people, are and of right ought to be a sovereign and self-governing association, under the control of no power other than that of God and the General Congress ; to the maintenance of which independence we solemnly pledge to each other, our mutual co-operation, our lives, our fortunes, and our most sacred honor.
This bold declaration met with no general response at that period, and the people gerferally, while they were determined to resist, by arms, the execution of the tyrannical acts, looked forward to a final repeal of them by the British parliament, and a disavowal of the power.
These were popular movements, and occurred at different periods, within the summer and autumn of 1775. The Continental Congress, in the mean time, was efficiently engaged, in endeavoring to combine the forces and senti. ments of all into a united resistance to Great Britain in the
execution of her acts, and a united effort to get them recalled. In addition to the peaceful measures already mentioned, they resolved that "exportation to all parts of British America which had not adopted their association, should immediately cease;" that "no bill of exchange, draught, or order," of any British officer should be received or negotiated, no money supplied them, and no vessel be permitted to carry any military stores for British use, to any part of North America.
These resolutions were retaliatory for the British acts restraining American trade.
They established a General Post Office Department, and appointed Dr. Franklin postmaster-general, an office which he had held under the crown. Finally, on the 6th of July they adopted a de
July 1775. claration, setting forth, in the form of a manifesto, the causes of their taking up arms, the extent of their demands, their own injuries, and the tyrannical and unconstitutional methods taken by the ministry to reduce them to obedience. It was a paper drawn up with signal moderation, firmness, and ability. After giving a historical account of the successive pretensions set up by the parliament to supremacy over the colonies, after the peace of 1763, the declaration alleges" Parliament, assuming a new power over them, have in the course of eleven years, given such decisive specimens of the spirit and consequences attending this power, as to leave no doubts concerning the effects of acquiescence under it. They have undertaken to give and grant our money without our consent, though we have ever exercised an exclusive right to dispose of our own property: Statutes have been passed for extending the jurisdiction of Courts of Admiralty and Vice-Admiralty beyond their ancient limits, for depriving us of the accustomed and ines. timable privilege of trial by jury, in cases affecting both life and property; for suspending the legislature of one of the colonies; for interdicting all commerce of another; and for altering fundamentally the form of government established by charter, and secured by acts of its own legislature, solemnly confirmed by the crown ; for exempting the 'murderers of colonists from legal trial, and in effect, from punishment; for erecting in a neighboring province, acquired by the joint arms of Great Britain and America, a despotism dangerous to our very existence; and for quartering soldieta