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situation. He had regarded the men of New Hampshire, and the Green Mountains, with contempt. But the battle of Bennington taught him both to fear and respect them. ' In a letter addressed about this time to Lord Germaine, he remarks : “ The New Hampshire Grants, till of late but little known, hang like a cloud on my left."
The ill bodings of Burgoyne were realised too soon, for his own reputation. The militia from the neighbouring states hastened to reinforce the army of General Gates, which was now looking forward to an engagement with that of General Burgoyne. This engagement soon after took place, as already noticed, at Saratoga, and ended in the surrender of the royal army to the American troops. In this desperate battle, General Whipple commanded the troops of New Hampshire. On that occasion, his meritorious conduct was rewarded by his being jointly appointed with Colonel Wilkinson, as the representative of General Gates, to meet two officers from General Burgoyne, and settle the articles of capitulation. He was also selected as one of the officers, who were appointed to conduct the surrendered army to their destined encampment, on Winter Hill, in the vicinity of Boston. On this expedition, General Whipple was attended by a faithful negro servant, named Prince, a native of Africa, and whom the general had imported several years before. “Prince,” said the general, one day, as they were proceeding to their place of destination, " be called into action, in which case, I trust you will behave like a man of courage, and fight bravely for the country.” “Sir," replied Prince, in a manly tone, “ I have no wish to fight, and no inducement; but had I my liberty, I would fight in defence of the country to the last drop of my blood.” “Well," said the general, “ Prince, from this moment you are free.”
In 1778, General Whipple, with a detachment of NewHampshire militia, was engaged, under General Sullivan, in executing a plan which had for its object the retaking of Rhode Island from the British. By some misunderstanding, the French fleet, under Count D'Estaing, which was destined to co-operate with General Sullivan, failed of rendering the
expected assistance, in consequence of which General Sulli. van was obliged to retreat. General Sullivan, with his troops, occupied a position on the north end of the island One morning, while a number of officers were breakfasting in the general's quarters, a detachment of British troops were perceived on an eminence, at the distance of about three quarters of a mile. A field piece was soon after discharged by the cnemy, the ball of which, after killing one of the horses at the door, passed through the side of the house, into the room where the officers were sitting, and so shattered the leg of the brigade major of General Whipple, that immediate amputation became necessary.
During the remaining years of Mr. Whipple's life, he filled several important offices. In 1780, he was elected a representative to the general assembly of New-Hampshire, the duties of which office he continued to discharge during several re-elections, with much honour to himself, and to the general acceptance of his constituents.
In 1782, he received the appointment of receiver of public moneys for the state of New Hampshire, from Mr. Morris, the superintendant of finance. The appointment was accepted by Mr. Whipple, but the duties devolving upon him were both arduous and unpopular. The collection of money was, at that time, extremely difficult. Mr. Whipple experienced many vexations in the exercise of his commission; and at length, in 1784, found it necessary, on account of the infirm state of his health, to relinquish his office. About the same time that he received the above appointment, he was created a judge of the superior court of judicature. He began now, however, to be afflicted with strictures in the breast, which prevented him from engaging in the more active scenes of life. He was able, however, to ride the circuits of the court for two or three years, but owing to an affection of the heart, he was unable to sum up the arguments of council, or state a cause to the jury.
In the fall of 1785, while riding the circuit, his disorder so rapidly increased, that he was obliged to return home. From this time he was confined to his room, until the 28th
day of November, when he expired, in the 55th year of his age.
The mind of Mr. Whipple was naturally strong, and his power of discrimination quick. In his manners, he was easy and unassuming; in his habits correct, and in his friendships constant. Although his early education was limited, his subsequent intercourse with the world, united to his natural good sense, enabled him to fill with ability the various offices to which he was appointed.
Few men have exhibited a more honest and persevering ambition to act a worthy part in the community, and few, with his advantages, have been more successful in obtaining the object of their ambition.
MATTHEW THORNTON was the son of James Thornton, a native of Ireland, and was born in that country, about the year 1714. When he was two or three years old, his father emigrated to America, and after a residence of a few years at Wiscasset, in Maine, he removed to Worcester, in Massachusetts.
Here young Thornton received a respectable academical education, and subsequently pursued his medical studies, under the direction of Doctor Grout, of Leicester. Soon after completing his preparatory course, he removed to Londonderry, in New Hampshire, where he commenced the practice of medicine, and soon became distinguished, both as a physician and a surgeon.
In 1745, the well known expedition against Cape Breton was planned by Governor Shirley. The co-operation of New
Hampshire being solicited, a corps of five hundred men was raised in the latter province. Dr. Thornton was selected to accompany the New Hampshire troops, as a surgeon
The chief command of this expedition was entrusted to Colonel William Pepperell. On the 1st of May, he invested the city of Louisburg. Lieutenant Colonel Vaughan con. ducted the first column, through the woods, within sight of Louisburg, and saluted the city with three cheers. At the head of a detachment, chiefly of New-Hampshire troops, he marched in the night, to the northeast part of the harbour, where they burned the warehouses, containing the naval stores, and staved a large quantity of wine and brandy. The smoke of this fire, being driven by the wind into the grand battery, so terrified the French, that, spiking the guns, they retired into the city.
The next morning, as Colonel Vaughan, with his men, consisting of only thirteen, was retiring, he accidentally discovered that the battery was deserted. Upon this, he hired a Cape Cod indian to creep into an embrasure and open the gate. Thus he obtained possession of the place, and immediately dispatched a messenger to the commanding general, with the following note : “ May it please your honour to be informed, that, by the grace of God, and the courage of thirteen men, I entered the royal battery about nine o'clock, and am waiting for a reinforcement and a flag."
In the mean time, the news of Vaughan's capture of the battery being communicated to the French, a hundred men were dispatched to retake it; but the gallant colonel succeeded in preventing their design, until reinforcements arrived.
The capture of Louisburg followed after a long and perilous siege. It was here that cannons were drawn by men, for fourteen nights, with straps over their shoulders, from the landing place through a deep morass, into which they sunk, at every step, up to their knees in mud.
Few expeditions in the annals of American history, will compare with this. Louisburg was the “ Dunkirk” of America; yet it surrendered to the valour of our troops. It is recorded to the praise of Dr. Thornton, and as an evidence of his professional abilities, that of the corps of five hundred men, of whom he had charge as a physician, only six died of
sickness, previous to the surrender of the city, although they were among those who assisted in dragging the cannon over the abovementioned morass.
Under the royal government, he was invested with the office of justice of the peace, and commissioned as colonel of the militia. But when the political crisis arrived, when that government in America was dissolved, Colonel Thornton abjured the British interest, and, with a patriotic spirit, adhered to the glorious cause of liberty. In 1775, the royal governor was obliged to flee from the province of New
Hampshire. A provincial convention was at this time in session at Exeter, for temporary purposes, of which Colonel Thornton was president. In this capacity we find him addressing the inhabitants of the colony of New Hampshire in the following manner:
“ Friends and brethren, you must all be sensible that the affairs of America have, at length, come to a very affecting and alarming crisis. The horrors and distresses of a civil war, which, till of late, we only had in contemplation, we now find ourselves obliged to realize. Painful beyond expression, have been those scenes of blood and devastation, which the barbarous cruelty of British troops have placed before our eyes. Duty to God, to ourselves, to posterity, enforced by the cries of slaughtered innocents, have urged us to take up arms in our own defence. Such a day as this was never before known, either to us or to our fathers. You will give us leave, therefore, in whom you have reposed special confidence, as your representative body, to suggest a few things, which call for the serious attention of every one, who has the true interest of America at heart. We would, there fore, recommend to the colony at large, to cultivate that christian union, harmony, and tender affection, which is the only foundation upon which our invaluable privileges can rest with any security, or our public measures be pursued with the least prospect of success.”
After enjoining an inviolable observance of the measures recommended by the congress of 1774, lest they should croce the general plan, he proceeds to recommend, “ that the