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gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from ris. Our cause is just; our union is perfect; our internal resources are great; and it necessary foreign assistance is undoubtably attainable. We fight not for glory or conquest; we exibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by unprovoked enenies. They boast of their privileges and civilization, and yet proffer no milder conditions than servitude or death. In our native land, in defence of the freedo'n that is our birthright, for the protection of our property, acquired by the honest industry of our forefathers, and our own, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms; we shall lay them down when hostilities shail cease on the part of our aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shail be removed.....aod not before."
These are some of the most striking passages in the declaration of congress on taking up aruis against Great Britain. Without inquiring whether the principles on which it is founded are right or wroug, the determined spirit which it shows, ought to have convinced the ministry that the conquest of America was an event not reasonably to be expected. In every other respect an equal spirit was shown; and the rulers of the British nation had the mortifi. cation to see those whom they styled rebels and traitors, succeed in negociations in which they themselves were utterly foiled. In the passing the Quebec bill the ministry had flattered themselves that the Canadians would be so much attached to them on account of restoring the French laws, that they would readily join in any attempt against the colonists, who had reprobated that bill in such strong terms; but in this, as in every thing else, they found themselves mich mistaken.
The Canadians having been subject to the British government for a period of fifteen years, and being thus made sensible of the superior advaniages of the laws of that country, received the bill with evident marks of disapprobation; so far that they reprobated it as tyrannical and oppi essive.
A scheme had been formed for general Carleton, governor of the province, to raise an army of Canadians, wherewith to act against the Americans; and so sanguine were the hopes of administration, in this respect, that they had sent twenty thousand stands of arms and a great quantity of military stores to Quebec, for that purpose.
But the ople, though they did not join the Americans, yet were found inimovable in their purpose to remain neuter. Application was made to the bishop; but he declined to use his influence, as contrary to the rules of the popish clergy; so that the utmost efforts of government in this province were found abortive.
The British administration next tried to engage the Indians in their cause. But though agents were dispersed among them with large presents to the chiefs, they universally replied, that they did not understand the nature of the quarrel, nor could they distinguish whether those who dwelt in America, or those on the other side of the ocean, were in fault; but they were surprised to see Englishmen ask their assistance against one another, and advised them to be reconciled, and not to think of shedding the blood of their brethren.
To the representations of congress they paid more attention. These informed them that the English on the other side of the ocean, had taken up arms to enslave, not only their countrymen in America, but the Indians also; and if they overcame the colonists, themselves would soon be reduced to slavery also. The savages, upon maturely weighing the subject, concluded to remain neuter; and thus the colonists were freed from a most dangerous enemy:
On this occasion congress held a solemn conference with the different tribes of Indians. A speech was proposed, which exhibits a specimen of the manner in which Europeans always address the savage inhabiiants of America.
“ Brothers, Sachems, and Warriors!
“We, the delegates from the twelve united provinces, not “sitting in general congress at Philadelphia, send our talk to you, our brothers.
“ Brothers and Friends now attend! “When our fathers crossed the great water, and came over to this land, the king of England gave them a talk, promising their 6 that they and their children should be his children, and if they or would leave their native country, and make settlements, and cí live here, and buy and sell, and trade with their brethren be“yond the great water, they should still keep hold of the same sí covenant chain, and enjoy peace; and it was covenanted, that “the fields, houses, goods and possessions, which our fathers 6 should acquire, should remain to them as their own, and be “their children's forever, and at their sole disposal..
66 Brothers and Friends open an ear!
“We will now tell you of the quarrel betwixt the counsellors 5 of king George and the inhabitants of the colonies of America.
6 Many of his counsellors have persuaded him to break the of covenant chain, and not to send us any more good talks. They “have prevailed on him to enter into a covenant against us, and 6 have torn assunder, and cast behind their backs, the good old “covenant which their ancestors and ours entered into, and took
strong hold of. They now tell us they will put their hands into
our pockets without asking, as though it were their own; andat " their will and pleasure, they will take from us our charter, or
< written civil constitution, which we love as our lives; also our s plantations, our houses, and our goods, whenever they please, « without asking our leave. They tell us also, that our vessels may
go to that or this island in the sea, but to this or that particular 6 island we shall not trade any more; and in case of our non-com. pliance with these new orders, they shut up our harbours. - Brothers, we live on the same ground with you;
the same 6 island is our common birth-place. We desire to sit down under “ the same tree of peace with you: let us water its roots, and “ cherish the growth, till the large leaves and flourishing branches " shall extend to the setting sun, and reach the skies. If any «; thing disagreeable should ever fall out between us, the twelve 66 United Colonies, and you, the Six nations, to wound our peaceg. "let us immediately seek measures for healing the breach. 'From
the present situation of our affairs, we judge it expedient to kin6 dle up a small fire at Albany, where we may hear each other's, 6i voice, and disclose our minds fully to one another.”'
The other remarkable transactions of this congress, were the ultimate refusal of the conciliatory proposal made by lord North, of which such sanguine expectations had been formed by the English ministry; and the appointment of a generalissimo to come mand their armies which were now very numerous. The person chosen for this purpose, was George Washington, a man universally beloved; he was raised to the high station of Commander in Chief, by the unanimous voice of Congress, in 1775: and his subsequent conduct shewed him every way worthy of it. Horatio Gales, and Charles Lee, two English officers of considerable reputation, were also chosen; the former adjutant-general, the latter major-general. Artemas Ward, Philip Schuyler, and Israel Putnam, were likewise nominated major-generals. Seth Pomeroy, Richard Montgomery, David Wooster, William Heath, John Thomas, John Sullivan, and Nathaniel Green, were chosen brigadier-generals at the same time:
About this period Georgia sent deputies to congress, expressing their desire to join the confederacy: The reasons they gave for their renouncing their allegiance to Britain, was, that the conduct of parliament towards the other colonies had been oppressive; add though the obnoxious acts had not been extended to them, they could view this only as an omission, because of the seeming little consequence of their colony; and therefore look. ed upon it rather as a slight than a favour. At the same time, they framed a petition to the king, similar to that sent by the other colonies, aod which met a similar reception.
The success which had hitherto attended the Americans, now emboldened them to act offensively against Great Britain. The conquest of Canada appeared to be practicable, and which would bę atteuded with many advantages, and as Crown Point and Tj.
conderoga was already in their hands, the invasion that way might be easily effected, and supposed that Quebec might be reduced during the winter, before the fleets and armies, which they were well assured would sail thither from Britain, should arrive.
Congress therefore ordered three thousand men under the command of generals Montgomery and Schuyler to proceed to Lake Champlain, from whence they were to be conveyed in flat-bottomed boats to the mouth of the river Sorel, a branch of the river St. Lawrence, and on which is situated a fort of the same name with the river. On the other hand they were opposed by general Carleton, governor of Canada, a man of great activity and experience in war; who, with a small number of troops, had been able to keep in awe the disaffected people in Canada, notwithstanding all the representations of the colonists. He had now augmented his army with a number of Indians, and promised, even in his present situation, to make a formidable resistance.
When General Montgomery arrived at Crown Point, he received information that several armed vessels were stationed at St. Johns, a strong fort on the Sorel, with a view to prevent his crossing the lake: on which he took possession of an island which commands the mouth of the Sorel, and by which he could prevent them from entering the lake. In conjunction with general Schuy. ler, he next proceeded to St. Johns; but finding that place tou strong, it was agreed in a council of war, to retire to Isle aux Noix, where general Schuyler being taken ill, Montgomery was left to command alone. His first step was to gain over the Indians, whom General Carleton had employed, and this he in part accomplished; after which, on receiving the full number of troops appointed for the expedition, he determined to lay siege to St. Johns; in this he was the more encouraged by the reduction of Chamblee, a small fort in the neighbourhood, where he found a large supply of powder. An attempt was made by General Carle. ton to relieve the place; for which purpose, he collected one thousand Canadians, while colonel Maclean proposed to raise a l'egiment of the Highlanders, who had emigrated from their own country to America.
But while General Carleton was on his niarch with these new levies, he was attacked by the provincials, and defeated; which being made known to Macdonald's party, they abandoned him
thout striking a blow, and he was obliged to retreat to Quebec. The defeat of General Carleton was considered as a sufficient recompense for that of colonel Ethan Allen, which had happened a short time previous to this.
The success of colonel Allen against Crown Point and Ticonderoga had emboldened him to make a similar attempt on Montreal; but the militia of that place, supported by a detachment of regulars, entirely defeated him, and he was taken prisoner,
The garrison of St Johns, being informed of the defeat of general Carleton, and seeing no hope of relief, surrendered themselves prisoners of war. They were in number five hundred regulars and two hundred Canadians, among whom were many of the French nobility, who had been very active in promoting the cause of Britain, among their countrymen. General Montgomery next took measures to prevent the British shipping from passing down the river from Montreal to Quebec. This he accomplished so eflectually, that the whole were taken. The town surrendered at discretion; and it was with the utmost difficulty that general Carleton escaped in an open boat, favoured by a dark night. No obstacle now remained to impede their progress to the capital, except what arose from the nature of the country; and these in: deed were very considerable.
But it seems that nothing could damp the ardour of the provincials. Although it was the middle of November, and the depth of winter at hand, colonel Arnold formed the design of penetrating through the woods and morasses, from New England to Canada, by a nearer route than that which Montgomery had chosen; and this he accomplished in spite of every difficulty, to the astonishment of all who saw or heard of the attempt. Å third part of his men, under another colonel, had been obliged to leave him by the way, for want of provisions; the total want of artillery, rendered his presence insignificant before a place so strongly fortified; and the sallness of his army rendered it doubtful whether lie could take the town by surprise.
The Canadians were amazed at the exploit; but none of them as yet took up arms in behalf of America. The consternation into which the town of Quebec was thrown, was detrimental to the Americans, as it doubled the vigilance of the inhabitants to prevent any surprise: and the appearance of common danger, united all parties, who, before the arrival of Arnold, were violently contending with each other. He was, therefore, obliged to content himself with blocking up the avenues of the town, with hopes of distressing the inhabitants for want of provisions; and even this he was not able effectually to accomplish, with such a small number of men.
The arrival of general Montgomery, although it raised the spi. rits of the party, yet the small force he had with him, when joined to that of Arnold, was too weak to reduce a place so strongly fortified; they having only a few mortars and field pieces which were not to be depended upon.
The siege having continued through the month of December, general Montgomery, still finding he could not accomplish his end any
other way than by surprise, resolved to make the attempt on the last day of the year 1775. He advanced by break of day, in the midst of a heavy fall of snow, which covered his men from