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sion to the other colonies, thus completing the thirA fourteenth offered itself in Transylvania, plete. the present Kentucky, where one or two small settlements had just been made. But Congress could not admit the delegate of a territory which Virginia claimed as under her jurisdiction. The nation and the government remained as the Thirteen United Colonies.
Military Military operations, apart from the siege of Bosoperations. ton, were numerous, if not extensive. The landing of a British party at Gloucester was repelled. The fort near Charleston was seized by the Americans, who also drove the British ships out of the harbor. Norfolk, for some time in the hands of the British, was recovered after a gallant action. On the other hand, Stonington, Bristol, and Falmouth were not saved from bombardment, Falmouth (now Portland) being nearly annihilated. The Americans, in return, sent out their privateers; those commissioned by Washington, especially his "famous Manly," as he called one of his captains, doing great execution in Massachusetts Bay. Offensive operations were pursued on land. A projected expedition against Nova Scotia was given up, chiefly on account of the friendly feeling of that province. But a twofold force, partly from the New York and partly from the Maine side, marched against Canada. St. John's and Montreal were taken by the Americans under General Montgomery, who fell in an assault on Quebec the last day of the year. Arnold, the same who had gone against Crown Point and Ticonderoga, kept up the show of besieging Quebec through the winter, but in the spring the Americans retreated within their own borders. One of the most successful operations of the period was towards the close of winter, when fifteen hundred Highlanders and Regulators, who had enlisted under the royal banner in North Carolina, were defeated by two thirds their number of
Americans, under Colonel Moore. It saved the province
to the country.
The mention of those enlisted in the royal cause suggests the increasing divisions amongst the Americans. A large number, who had looked on or even joined in the proceedings of former days, drew off, if they did not take a hostile position, in these days of war. Companies and regiments of royal or loyal Americans began to abound. Some of these loyalists, as they were styled, were roughly handled by their indignant neighbors, who spared neither person nor property. One of the New York Sons of Liberty, Isaac Sears, impatient at the moderate course pursued by the committee of safety, brought in an armed band from Connecticut, to destroy the press of Rivington's Gazetteer, a journal in the British interest. Such doings were more likely to introduce dissensions amongst the patriots than to subdue the loyalists. But when did riot fail to go hand in hand with war?
Great Britain determined.
Great Britain, on her part, was united. Few and faint were the voices raised in defence of the Americans, since the news of Lexington and Bunker Hill. Edmund Burke and one or two of the same spirit continued to plead for the American cause, but all unavailingly. The last petition of Congress to the king was rejected. A bill of confiscation, as it may be called, was passed against the trade, the merchandise, and the shipping of the colonies; whatever crews might be captured were to be impressed into the British navy. The army in America was augmented to forty thousand, partly by British and partly by German troops. In fine, the reduction of the colonies was the one great object with the larger part of the people, as with the rulers of Great Britain.
All the while, Washington was before Boston. attention was not wholly concentrated there. On the con
trary, his voice was to be heard in all directions, on ton before the march to Canada, in the posts of New York, on Boston. board the national cruisers, at the meetings of committees and assemblies, in the provincial legislatures, within Congress itself, every where pointing out what was to be done, and the spirit in which it was to be done. They who doubt his military ability or his intellectual greatness will do well to follow him through these first months of the war; if they do it faithfully, they will doubt no more. The activity, the judgment, the executive power, and above all the moral power of the great general and the great man are nowhere in history more conspicuous than in those rude lines before Boston.
To add to the difficulties of the siege, the army of the went through a complete process of disbanding and recruiting, on account of the general unwillingness to serve for any length of time. Without men and without munitions, Washington sublimely kept his post, until, after months of disappointment, he obtained the means to take possession of Dorchester Heights, whence the town was completely commanded. The enemy, under General Howe, had long meditated the evacuation of the place; and they now the more readily agreed to leave it on condition that they should be unmolested. The 17th of March, 1776, eight months and a half from the time that Washington undertook the siege, his generalship and his constancy were rewarded with success.
It was certainly an amazing victory. "I have tory. been here months together," he wrote to his brother, "with what will scarcely be believed, not thirty rounds of musket cartridges to a man. We have maintained our ground against the enemy under this want of powder, and we have disbanded one army, and recruited another, within musket shot of two and twenty regiments, the flower
of the British army, whilst our force has been but little, if any, superior to theirs; and, at last, have beaten them into a shameful and precipitate retreat out of a place the strongest by nature on this continent, and strengthened and fortified at an enormous expense." Such being the result of the only operation in which the Americans and the British met each other as actual armies, there was reason for Washington and his true-hearted countrymen to exult and to hope.
But the country was in danger. An attack was ing perils. feared at New York; another at Charleston: the whole coast, indeed, lay open and defenceless. The year of warfare ended in greater apprehensions and in greater perils than those in which it began.
mation of colonies to states.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
THE colonies were fighting at a disadvantage. Not only were their resources, in a military point of view, inferior to those of their great antagonist; this was but a minor consideration with them. They were taxed with rebellion; they were branded with the name of rebels by their enemies, nay, by those of their own people who opposed the war. On many, these epithets made no impression; they were rather acceptable than otherwise to the more ardent and the more violent. to the moderate and to the calm, it was intolerable to be charged with mere sedition. They to whom the nation owed all that was prudent, as well as valiant in its present situation, were men of law and order in a peculiar degree. The earliest care with those of Massachusetts, after the affair of Lexington, had been to prove that the British troops were the first to fire; in other words, that the people were defending, and not transgressing, their rights. So now it became a matter of the highest interest to set the war in its true light, by raising the Americans from the position of subjects to that of a nation. There was but one way, and this the transformation of the colonies into
The idea of independence, however, was of slow independ- growth. The Mecklenburg declaration, as we have read, found no favor. The general, if not the