« ПредишнаНапред »
price of goods, and to injure the character of the American officers; and I believe laid the foundation for Arnold's desertion to the enemy. M'Lane got possession of a copy of the contract entered into by Arnold, Maise, and West, which was in the following words:
'WHEREAS, by the purchasing goods and necessaries for the use of the public, sundry articles not wanted for that purpose may be obtained, it is agreed by the subscribers that all such goods and merchandise, which are or may be bought by the Clothier General, or persons appointed by him, shall be sold for the joint benefit of the subscribers, and be purchased at their risk.
'Witness our hands this 20th day of June, 1778.
'M'Lane crossed the Delaware at Cooper's Ferry in the night; closed in upon the enemy's line of march, to give protection to deserters, and before the battle of Monmouth, he had passed three hundred Hessian deserters from the British army. He joined Gen. Morgan's corps, and remained with them on the British lines till they embarked at Sandy Hook. In September, he joined Gen. Scott's Light Infantry, on the British lines, near New-York Island. There he commanded a party of Indians and infantry, till the American army re-crossed the North River, and went into winter quarters. In January, 1779, his company was ordered to join Gen. Sullivan's expedition against the Indians, near Wyoming. On this expedition, he lost his Lieut. Jones; on the 9th June, he was ordered to join Major H. Lee, near the Clove, and to command the infantry on the lines near Stoney Point. He succeeded in his observations; discovered the weak side of the British works on Stoney Point, by accompanying Mrs. Smith to the garrison on the 12th July, which led to a visit (on the 17th, before day-break, 1779,) from Gen. Wayne. We entered the works sword in hand; secured all in it; dismantled it, and retired, in the course of forty-eight hours! M'Lane was then ordered to Bergen Point, near Powles' Hook, where he was joined by one of his old soldiers, (Caleb Levick,) whom he had lost at the battle of Brandywine. The British had starved Caleb, till he had enlisted with them. This soldier discovered to M'Lane how the garrison at Powles' Hook might be surprised. He proved Levick's information, and communicated with Lee; formed an expedition against the Hook, and carried it in the night of 18th August, 1779, sword in hand, without any loss; turned the enemy's guns on the North River, on New-York, and amused ourselves with firing into the town; then spiked the guns, and moved off with the prisoners, eighteen commissioned officers, and one hundred and eighty non-commissioned officers and privates!
'In September, M'Lane was ordered to the British lines, near Sandy Hook, Monmouth county. In October, he drove the British and refugees out of the pines, on the road leading to the sea shore, where they had taken post to intercept the country people going after salt. M'Lane's party killed this fall the noted Fenton, and the Governor of Jersey presented five hundred dollars for his head, which was hung in chains at the Freehold Cross-Roads. Remained on the lines, near Sandy Hook, till January, 1780, and before the
winter set in, drove the enemy out of the South River. The dragoons went into winter quarters at Burlington; the infantry attacked the garrison at Sandy Hook, took it by surprise, and brought off the prisoners, with a large quantity of continental bills to the amount of one million of dollars, and so well executed, that Mr. Smith, the loan officer at Philadelphia, could not discover the difference between them and the genuine bills. In April, 1780, M'Lane moved from Jersey, at the head of his dismounted troops, to Portsmouth in Virginia, to act on the British lines. In July, he was ordered to return to Jersey. He embarked his sick and baggage on board of a pilot-boat, at his own expense; the Governor of Virginia, (Mr. Jefferson,) refusing to risk any vessel on the bay, the refugees being there in their barges, in considerable force. The infantry able to march, moved by land under the command of Capt. Armstrong. On his passage to the head of the Elk, M'Lane was attacked by Capt. Thompson, in a refugee barge, but beat him, and made him and his crew prisoners. He joined the army in Jersey in August. Very active service till December. Lee, with the assistance of M'Lane, had the legion augmented by a resolution of Congress. Lee, the commanding officer, and M'Lane the next, of course. Lee prevailed on the legislature of Maryland to vote him sixty horses, and named M'Lane to purchase them. This was a trick of Lee's, to get rid of M'Lane, to make room for his friend Peyton. In January, 1781, Lee moved on with the legion to the Carolinas, leaving M'Lane in Philadelphia, purchasing horses, and recruiting the legion. The Pennsylvania and Jersey line mutinied in this month. A critical winter for America! An officer who had a family, was hard run to maintain it. It took a year's pay of a captain to purchase a cow, to give his family milk. In February, Lee organized his legion, and returned M'Lane to the Board of War as a retiring officer, under the resolution of October, 1780. M'Lane addressed Gen. Washington, and complained of Lee's trick. The General was at this time organizing the infantry under Lafayette, to move to Portsmouth, Virginia, to act with the detachment of the French fleet, expected from Rhode-Island, to act against Arnold, and M'Lane was provided for, brevetted a Major, and was ordered to join the Baron Steuben, which he did on the 6th March, in Williamsburg, Virginia. The Marquis's infantry was to follow in craft down the Chesapeake.
'On the 9th March, the Baron Steuben detached M'Lane with the charge of the signals at the light-house on Cape James. The British fleet appeared before the French, and a sloop-of-war in disguise, under French colors, stood up the bay, to intercept the Marquis's infantry coming down. Lieut. a naval officer of the French fleet, took Capt. Middleton's pilot-boat, and boarded the British fleet for the French, by mistake! Middleton was taken to England a prisoner. He refused to pilot the English fleet. Middleton was a good whig. Major M'Lane pulled ahead of the sloop-of-war, in a barge, and met the fleet in time to apprize them of their danger, for which he received the Marquis's thanks. On the 17th March, he joined Major M'Pherson, on the south side of James River, and acted with the light army under the command of the Marquis, till Arnold left Virginia. Then he was ordered by the Board of War to repair to Gen.
Washington's head-quarters in Jersey; from thence to the South River, near Shrewsbury, with instructions to watch the enemy's movements near Sandy Hook. During this tour of duty, M'Lane crossed in a barge to Long-Island, and there received the signals of the British fleet then assembling at Sandy Hook, to relieve Cornwallis. He returned to Gen. Washington, then on the lines near York, during the siege; and on the arrival of the British fleet off the Chesapeake, M'Lane proceeded to sea, to prove the signals, and reported to Gen. Washington. The General wished the Count De Grace to slip his cables, and pursue the British fleet. The Count excused himself; at the same time, they were five ships of the line inferior to that of De Grace's. M'Lane was disappointed. He expected to see an action between the fleets. After Cornwallis's troops had marched from York, as prisoners, to the interior of Virginia, Col. Laurens proposed to M'Lane to accompany him to South Carolina, to act with a regiment of blacks, which he would engage to raise as soon as he arrived there. M'Lane would have freely accepted the offer; but as the war appeared to be near a close, and his family required his attention, he requested Col. Laurens to mention his situation to Gen. Washington, which he did. The General wished Major M'Lane to attend to the embarkation of the troops, then about to pass up the bay in bay craft, and keep in the rear, in an armed boat, to prevent any of the refugees' boats from intercepting them, which he did. On the arrival of the army at Philadelphia, M'Lane was ordered into Delaware, to reconnoitre the British refugee cruisers as high as Port Penn, who were committing depredations on the shore, as well as in the bay. The Major was in Dover on the 31st January, 1782, when Gen. Dickinson was alarmed at the appearance of the Fox schooner of ten guns from New-York, said to be landing near Little Creek, within ten miles of the state-house. He reconnoitred the enemy, by direction of Gov. Dickinson; found the schooner was ashore, pressed on by the ice; closed on her with his friend Mr. Johu Vining, a gentleman of great spirit. Vining offered to board the schooner with the Major's flag. The captain, a refugee, immediately on Vining's presenting his flag, consulted his officers, and gave up the vessel a prize to the Major, on condition that the officers and crew should be escorted to New-York as prisoners of war to the army of the United States, and there remain till exchanged. The Major sent off Vining in the night to obtain the Governor's flag, and the militia guard. The Major had, before he closed on the schooner, ordered fires to be kindled in the woods, which had the appearance of an encampment. Vining did not return until the morning of the 1st of February, 1782-too late! The vessel floated, and the wind favoring her, she was presently in deep water; and the Major had to abandon his prize, and was in danger of being made prisoner himself. He returned to head-quarters, then in Philadelphia. Gen. Washington permitted him to retire on half pay for life, under the resolution of Congress, October 21, 1780.
Col. M'Lane commenced the commission business at Smyrna, (Delaware,) not having a dollar left of his patrimony and fortune. In March, 1783, he had two shallops laden with wheat, on the waters of Duck creek, Capt. Brooks, of the refugee barge Hookumsnivy,'
had, on the night of the 15th, taken both vessels, and was towing them down to his rendezvous at Bombay Hook. On the morning of the 17th, before day-break, Col. M'Lane attacked Brooks, at the head of a few of his neighbors and old soldiers, beat him, retook his shallops, and captured Brooks' barge. And thus ended an eight years' war, commenced as a volunteer militia-man, and ended as such.'
"To sleep-perchance to dream! Thus I say, when, forgetting the toil and carking cares of the day, I lay my head upon my pillow, and presently journey free, in the land of visions.'
EMBASSY TO THE EASTERN COURTS OF COCHIN-CHINA, SIAM, AND MUSCAT, in the United States' Sloop-of-war Peacock, DAVID GEISINGER, Commander, during the years 1832-3-4. By EDMUND ROBERTS. In one volume. pp. 432. New-York: HARPER AND BROTHERS.
MR. ROBERTS has given us, in this work, the result of his observations during a visit to three oriental governments, in the capacity of commercial envoy from the United States. The special object of his mission was to establish such new relations with Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat, as should place our commerce with those countries on a more equitable footing; and to obtain the repeal of a certain arbitrary law, under which the property and even the lives of our citizens were, in some instances, liable to be sacrificed at the caprice of the native merchant. With the courts of Siam and Muscat, our envoy entered into treaties, the provisions of which were highly favorable to our mercantile intercourse in those quarters. He obtained a reduction of fifteen per cent. on the import and export duties, at Muscat; and at Siam, the abrogation, so far as regarded his countrymen, of a tyrannical decree, which placed the life and estate of the foreign debtor at the absolute disposal of the native claimant. His attempts to negociate with the court of Cochin-China proved, however, abortive; for, declining to observe the foolish but degrading etiquette prescribed by the ministers of the emperor, he was refused an audience, and ordered to quit the celestial empire.
Our author appears to have been an accurate and minute observer; and he certainly possesses the faculty of recording the facts he collected, and the impressions he received, in a pleasing, though simple, style. There is nothing like effort in his diction; no attempt at 'fine writing,' as it is called. He has given us a vast fund of new and important information, enlivened by a variety of amusing anecdotes, illustrative of the character, manners, and habits of the people he visited; and he has done so in the plain, but by no means coarse language, which is best adapted to such a subject. It is the province of fiction to elaborate and embellish; but simplicity is usually the characteristic of truth; and there is an innate evidence of veracity, as well as careful investigation and research, in the volume before us. The details are, it is true, in some cases somewhat too minute. The descriptions too particular and formal, to suite the taste of the general reader; but this only renders the book more valuable as a guide to those who may hereafter visit the same regions. Mr. Roberts gives us a curious account of a race of barbarians called Semangs, inhabiting a portion of the Malay peninsula, but apparently distinct from the rest of its inhabitants. They reside principally in the interior, and subsist chiefly by hunting. Our author seems to have bestowed much pains in the endeavor to trace their origin, and has quoted specimens of their language, which bears but a slight generic resemblance to the common Malay.
The descriptions given by our author of the manners and customs of the Siamese, are extremely entertaining. The abject and disgusting homage offered to the King