« AnteriorContinuar »
There was no doubt of the culprits having designed to murder the travellers; and expecting to be sentenced to death, they had obtained their knives, and were resolved to sacrifice the judge when sentenced. From the circumstance that the design had been formed under the influence of intoxication, and that there was a strong suspicion that in the temperament of the culprits there was some admixture of insanity, Sir James determined to sentence them to the lightest punishment in his power, and to subject them to supervision after the term of their punishment. At that moment he was informed of their murderous intentions. This, however, did not induce him to alter his judgment, and the next day ad dressing the criminals he said, I was employed in considering the mildest judgment which public duty would allow me to pronounce on you, when I learned from undoubted authority, that your thoughts towards me not of the same nature. If your murderous project had been executed, I should have been the first British magistrate who ever stained with his blood the bench on which he sat to administer justice. But I could never have died better than in the discharge of my duty. When I accepted the of fice of a minister of justice, I knew that I ought to despise unpopularity and slander, and even death itself. Thank God I do despise them, and I solemnly assure you, that I feel more compassion for the gloomy and desperate state of mind which could harbor such projects, than resentment for that part of them which was directed against myself. I should consider myself as indelibly disgraced, if a thought of your pro
jects against me were to influence my judgment.'
After an impressive admonition he sentenced them to twelve months' imprisonment. Sir James sat upon the Indian bench until 1811, when his impaired health induced him to return to England, and he retired from his office with a pension of £12,000, from the East India Company.
As soon as his health would permit, he entered the House of Commons as representative from the county of Narina, in July 1813. In 1818, he was elected for Knaresbough, which he continued to represent until his death.
On all questions of foreign policy and international law, on the alien bill, on the liberty of the press, religious toleration, the slave trade, parliamentary reform, the settlement of Greece and the right of the colonies to self-government, Sir James warmly espoused the side of freedom and justice.
As Chairman of the Committee to whom. upon the death of Sir Samuel Romilly, the reform of the criminal law devolved, his labors were of great importance in awakening a full sense of the necessity of meliorating the sanguinary code of England. In 1820, he introduced six bills, pursuant to a report from this committee of the preceding year. Three of these, however, only were carried through, and in the House of Lords seven of the offences which it was intended to commute were expunged, and only four were suffered to remain.
In 1822 and 1823, Sir James Mackintosh was declared Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow; and in 1830, he was appointed one of the commissioners for India.
As a speaker he had great dis advantages to contend against. His harsh voice, provincial accent, uncouth delivery, unceasing vehemence, and refined and speculative mode of reasoning, effectually disabled him from exciting and controling an audience like that of the House of Commons. His speeches, however, told of the country. Full of knowledge and bold and masculine reasoning, he fastened the attention of the public, and a speech which was delivered to an exhausted and inattentive House, has the next day convinced an admiring nation.
As a writer, he was perspicuous, laborious, and fastidious - a clear and vigorous thinker, and his style is pure and classical.
When resident in India he commenced a history of England, which was intended as his chief legacy to posterity, but his ill health and public engagements prevented him from completing it. The volumes which were published in Lardner's Cyclopedia were originally intended as a prefatory synopsis of that portion of English History, preceding the period of which he was to treat in his more
amplified history. This he was
Gen. Sumpter was a native of Virginia. Early in life he came to South Carolina, and settled in the upper country, which at that time was much harassed by the hostility of the Indians. It would seem that he then commenced his career of valor and usefulness; for we find that at the close of the Cherokee war, he accompanied Oconostotah, or 'the Emperor,' to England; it being common at that time to induce the Indian Chiefs to visit the mother country, for the purpose of conEthi-firming their friendship to the colonists. On returning with Oconostotah to his home, in 1763, General, then Mr Sumpter, found, among the Indians, one Baron des Johnes, a French Canadian, who spoke seven of the Indian languages, and whom he suspected of being an incendiary, sent to excite the tribes to hostility against their white neighbors.
Sumpter, with his characteristic resolution, arrested this individual, taking him single handed, in spite of the opposition of the Indians, and, at much personal risk, carrying him prisoner to Fort Prince George, on the Kehowee. Des Johnes was afterwards sent to Charleston, where he was examined, and though his guilt was not positively proved, it was deemed expedient to send him to England.
From Gen. Sumpter's letter to the State Rights Association in February last, we learn that he was in Charleston during the high excitement preceding the war of the Revolution, probably in 1774 and 1775, a time to which the let ter reverts with great satisfaction, as the period when he enjoyed, with the old Whig party of Carolina, an interchange of the same sentiments which animate the Nullifiers of the present day.
We next meet with the name of Sumpter in 1780. He had been previously a colonel of one of the continental regiments, and when in that year the British had overrun the State, he would not remain to submit, but retired with other determined patriots into North Carolina. During his absence his house was burned, and his family turned out of doors by the British. The little band of exiles in North Carolina chose him their leader, and at their head he returned to face the victorious enemy. When this gallant incursion was made, the people of the State had for the most part abandoned the idea of resistance, and military operations had been suspended for nearly two months. His followers were in a great measure unfurnished with food, clothing and ammunition. Farming utensils were worked
up by common blacksmiths to supply them with arms. Household pewter was melted into bullets; and they sometimes engaged with not three rounds to a man. With a volunteer force thus equipped, he commenced hostilities, and broke the quiet of subjection into which Carolina seemed to be sinking.
On the 12th July, 1780, he attacked a British detachment on the Catawba, supported by a considerable force of Tories-and totally routed and dispersed the whole force, killing Capt. Hack, who commanded the British, and Col. Ferguson who commanded the Tories. Animated by this success, the inhabitants flocked to his standard; and being reinforced to the number of six hundred men, he made a spirited attack on the British post at Rocky Mount, but was repulsed. Marching immediately in quest of other detachments of the enemy, in eight days after, he attacked the post of the Hanging Rock, where he annihilated the Prince of Wales's Regiment, and put to flight a large body of Tories from North Carolina. When Sumpter's men went into this battle, not one of them had more than ten bullets, and towards the close of the fight, the arms and ammunition of the fallen British and Tories were used by the Americans.
While the American army, under the unfortunate Gates, were approaching Camden, Col. Sumpter was on the west bank of the Wateree, augmenting his forces and indulging the hope of intercepting the British on their way to Charleston, as their retreat or defeat was confidently expected. He here formed a plan for reducing a British redoubt at Wateree
Ferry, and intercepting a convoy on the road from Charleston to Camden, in both of which objects he fully succeeded and the news of his success reached Gates, while that officer was retreating after his defeat. Hearing of the disaster at Camden, Sumpter retreated with his prisoners and spoils up the Wateree, to Fishing Creek, where he was overtaken by Tarleton on the 18th. The Americans had been four days without provision or sleep, and their videttes being exhausted, suffered them to be surprised; the consequence was their total rout and dispersion. The loss which Sumpter sustained was, however, soon repaired, for in three days he rallied his troops, and was again at the head of a respectable force. At the head of his little band, augmented from time to time by reinforcements of volunteers, he kept the field unsupported; while, for three months, there was no regular or continental army in the State. He shifted his position frequently in the vicinity of Broad, Enoree and Tiger Rivers, maintaining a continual skirmishing with the enemy, beating up their quarters, cutting off their supplies, and harassing them by incessant incursions and alarms.
On the 12th of November he was attacked at Broad River by a corps of British infantry and dragoons under Major Weyms. He utterly defeated them and took their commander prisoner. On the 20th November, he was attacked at Black Stocks, on Tiger River, by Tarleton, whom he repulsed after a severe and obstinate action. The loss of the Americaus was trifling compared to that of the British; but General Sumpter received a wound in the
shoulder, that for several months interrupted his gallant career. He was placed we are told in a raw bullock's hide, suspended between two horses, and thus carried by a guard of his men to the mountains.
On the 13th of January, 1781, the old Congress adopted a resolution of thanks to General Sumpter for his eminent services.
After the battles fought by Gen. Greene, and the departure of Cornwallis for Virginia, Gen. Sumpter, who had just recovered from his wound, collected another force, and early in February, 1781, crossed the Congaree and destroyed the magazines of Fort Granby. On the advance of Lord Rawdon from Camden, Sumpter retreated and immediately menaced another British post. Two days after, he defeated an escort of the enemy, and captured the wagons and stores which they were conveying from Charleston to Camden. He next, with two hundred and fifty horsemen, swam across the Santee, and advanced on Fort Watson, but retreated on the approach of Lord Rawdon to its relief. On his return to Black River he was attacked by Major Fraser with a very large force. Fraser lost twenty men and retreated. Having thus cheered the spirits of the people of the centre of the State, he retired to the borders of North Carolina. In March, 1781, he raised three regiments of regulars. His previous enterprises had all been executed by militia. He subsequently took part in the military movements in the lower country, until the close of the war, and co-operating with Marion, struck many successful blows at the British, and was distinguished in the several actions
which were fought between Orangeburgh and Charleston.
After the peace, Gen. Sumpter was a distinguished member of the State Convention, in which he voted with those who opposed the adoption of the Federal Constitution, on the ground that the States were not sufficiently shielded by it against federal usurpation. He was afterwards select ed one of the five members from that State in the House of Representatives of the first Congress, under the Constitution, and continued to represent South-Carolina in the national councils until 1808. He took an active part with the other members from this State, in denouncing a petition for the abolition of slavery, which was presented from the Quakers of Pennsylvania.
For many years the veteran pa
triot has lived in retirement amid the respect and affection of his neighbors. He retained his fine spirit unbroken to the end, and at the age of nearly a hundred years exhibited the cheerfulness and fire of youth. But a few weeks before his death, he vaulted into the saddle with the activity of a young man, and the faculties of the mind retained their vigor as well as those of the body.
August 13th, 1832.-At New York, Samuel Ward, a distinguished officer in the revolutionary war, in the 76th year of his
supporters of the revolution, and, from the first collision between G. Britain and her colonies, advocates of the independence of the United States, an event which his father predicted as inevitable, as early as 1766.
Col. Ward was educated at the
Col. Ward was born at Westerly, R. Island, on the 17th of Nov. 1756, the son of Samuel Ward, Governor of that State, and Phobe Green, a sisterof Gen. Greene,
His father, and indeed all his family connexions, were ardent
University in Providence, and hostilities commencing about the time he left College, he joined the Rhode Island army of observation, of which he was appointed a captain on the 8th of May, 1775 the army being raised in the name of his majesty George III, for the preservation of His Majesty's loyal and faithful subjects of the colony of Rhode Island.' His commission (which was given by his uncle, Henry Ward, the Secretary of R. Island, the Governor and Lieut. Gov. being Tories) authorised him in case of an invasion or assault of a common enemy to infest or disturb this or any other of his Majesty's colonies in America, to alarm and gather together the company under your command,'' and therewith to the utmost of your skill and ability, you are to resist, expel, kill and destroy them in order to preserve the interest of his majesty and his good subjects in these parts.'
Like their brethren the covenanters
Who swore at first to fight For the King's safety and his right, And after marched to find him out And charged him home with horse and foot,'
the Whigs of the revolution found no inconsistency in availing themselves of the authority of the King as the constitutional head of the government, to preserve and maintain their constitutional rights. In the month of May, 1775, the father and son both left their home the one to repre