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the sight of the enemy. Two real attacks were made by himself and colonel Arnold; at the same time, two feigned attacks were made in other places, hoping thereby to distract the garrison, and divide their forces. One of the real attacks was made by the New York
troops, and the other by those of New England under Arnold. By a nistake in the signal for the attack being given too soon, their hopes of surprising the town were defeated.
General Montgomery bimself had the most dangerous place, being obliged to pass between the river and some bigh rocks on which the upper own stands; so that he made all the haste he could to close with the enemy. His fate was soon decided. Har. ing forced the first barrier, a violent discharge of musquetry and grape shot from the second, killed him, the principal officers and the most of the party he commanded: those who remained, immediately retreated. Colonel Arnold, in the mean time, made a desperate attack on the lower town, and carried one of the barriers, after an obstinate resistance for an hour; but in the action he was himself wounded, which obliged him to withdray. The attack, however, was continued by the officers whom he had left; and another barrier was forced: but the garrison, now perceiving that nothing was to be feared but from that quarter, collected their whole force against it: and after a desperate engagement for three hours, overpowered the provincials and obliged them to surrender. Such a terrible disaster left no hope remaining of the accomplishment of their purpose; as general Arnold could not muster more than eight bundred men under his command.
He did not, however, abandon the province, but removed about three miles from Quebec, where he found means to annoy the: garrison, by intercepting their provisions.
The Canadians still continued friendly, notwithstanding the bad success of the American arms; which enabled him to sustain the hardships of a winter encampment in that most severe climate.
Congress, far from passing any censure on his conduct, created him a brigadier-general.
While hostilities were thus carried on in the north, the flame of contention was gradually extending itself to the south. Lord Dunmore, the governor of Virginia, was involved in disputes similar to those which had taken place in the other colonies. lle dissolved the assembly, which, in this province, was attended with a consequence unknown to the rest. The slaves in Virginia were numerous, it was necessary that a militia should be kept constantly in readiness to keep them in awe. During the dissolution of the assembly, the militia laws expired, and the people, after conplaining of the danger they were in from the negroes, formed a convention, which enacted, that each county should raise a quota for the defence of the province. Dunmore, upon this, removed the powder from Williamsburg; which created such discontent,
that an immediate quarrel would have ensued, had not the merchants of the town undertaken to obtain satisfaction for the supposed injury done to the community,
This tranquility was soon interrupted; the people were alarmed by a report, that an armed party were on their way from the man of
to where the powder had been deposited, they assembled in arms, determined to oppose any further removals.
In some of the conferences that passed at this time, the governor let fall some unguarded expressions, such as threatening them with setting up the royal standard, proclaiming liberty to the negroes, and destroying the town of Williamsburgh; which were afterwards made public, and exaggerated in such a manner, as greatly to increase the public ferment.
Assemblies of the people were frequently held. Some of them took up arms, with an intention to force the governor to restore the powder, and to take the public money into their own possession: but on their way to Williamsburgh, for this purpose, they were met by the receiver-general, who became security for the payment of the gunpowder; and the inhabitants promised to take care of the magazine and public revenue.
The governor was so much intimidated by this insurrection, that he sent his family on board a man of war. He issued a proclamation, in which he declared the behaviour of the person who provoked the tumult, treasonable; accused the people of disaffeciion, &c. The people recriminated : and some letters of his to Britain, being about the same time discovered, consequences en. sued nearly similar to those which had been occasioned by the letters of governor Hutchinson, of Boston.
The governor, in this state of confusion, thought it necessary to fortify his palace and procured a party of marines to guard it. About this time lord North's conciliatory proposal arrived; and the governor used his utmost endeavours to cause the people to comply with it. The arguments were plausible; and, had not matters already gone to such a length, it is highly probable that some attention would have been paid to them. is 'The view (he said) in which the colonies ought to behold this conciliatory proposal, was no more than an earnest adnionition from Great Britain, to relieve their wants; that the utmost condescension had been used in the mode of application, no determinate sum having been fixed; as it was thought most worthy of British generosity, to take what they thought could be conveniently spared; and, likewise, to leave the mode of raising it to themselves," &c. But the clamour and dissatisfaction had now become so universal, that no offers, however favourable, from government, would be attended to.
The governor had called an assembly, for the purpose of lay. ing this conciliatory proposal before them: but it was little ata tended to. The assembly began their session by an inquiry into the state of the magazine. It had been bruken into by some of the townsmen; for which reason, spring-guns had been placed there by the governor, which discharged themselves upon the of. fenders, at their entrauce. These circumstances, wiih others ufa similar nature, raised such a violent uproar, that as soon as the preliminary business of the session was over, the
governor retired on board a man of war; informing the assembly, that he durst no longer trust himself on shore. This produced a long course of disputation, which ended in a positive refusal of the governor to trust himselt again at Williamsburgh, even to give his assent to the bills, which could not be passed, without it, although the as. sembly offered 10 bind themselves for bis personal safety. In his turn, he requested them to meet him on board the man of war, where he then was; but his proposal was rejected, and all further correspondence, contaming the least appearance of friendship, was discontinued.
Lord Dunmore, having thus abandoned his government, attempted to reduce by force those whom he could no longer govern. Some of the most zealous royalists, who had rendered themselves obnoxious at home, now repaired to him, he was also joined by numbers of negro slaves. With these, and with the assistance of the British shipping, he was for some time enabled to carry one i predatory war, sufficient to burt and exasperate, but not to subdue. After some considerable attempts on land, proclaiming liberty to the slaves, and setting up the royal standard, he took up his residence in Norfuik, a maritime town of some consequence, where the people were better atřected to Britain than in most other places.
A considerable force, however, was collected against him, and the natural impetuosity of his temper prompted hiin to art against them with more courage than caution: he was entirely defeated, and obliged to re ire to his shipping, which was now crowded with numbers of those who had, by joining him, incurred the resentment of the provincials. In the meantime, a scheme was formed by colonel Conolly, a Pennsylvanian, attached to the cause of Britain; the first step of this plan, was to enter into a league with the Ohio Indlalls. This he communicated to lord Dunmore, and it received his approbation, upon which Conolly set out and actually succeeded in his design. On his return, he was despatch ed to general Gage, from whom he received a colonel's commission, and set out to accomplish the remainder of his scheme. The general plan was, that he should return to the Ohio, where, by the assistance of the British and Indians in these parts, he was to penetrate through the back settlements into Virginia, and join lord Dunmore, at Alexandria. But an accident, very naturally to be expected, happened: he was discovered, taken prisoner,
and confined. After the retreat of lord Dunmore from Norfolk, that place was taken possession of by the provincials, who greatly distressed those ou board lord Dunmore's fleet, by refusing to supply them with necessaries. This proceeding drew from his lordship a remonstrance; in which he insisted that the fleet should be furnished with necessaries; but this request being denied, a resolution was taken to set fire to the town: after giving the inhabitants proper warning, a party landed, under the cover of the men of war, and set fire to that part which lay nearest the shore; but the flames were observed at the same time to break forth in every other part of the town, and the whole was soon reduced to ashes.
This destruction occasioned a loss of more than three hundred thousand pounds sterling; and was extremely impolitic, as a great part of the property belonged to those who had manifested a warm attachment to the cause of Britain. In the southern colonies of Carolina, the governors were expelled and obliged to take refuge on board of men of war, as lord Dunmore had been; governor Martin, of North Carolina, on a charge of attempting to raise the back settlers, chiefly Scots-highlanders, against the colony. But having secured themselves from any attempt of these enemies, they proceeded to regulate their internal concerns, in the same manner as the rest of the colonies, and by the end of the year 1775, the wbole of America was united against Great Britain, in the most determined opposition: and of all her vast pos. sessions of that tract of land, since known by the name of the thir. teen united provinces, she possessed only the single town of Boston, in which her forces were besieged by an enemy with whom, on account of their numbers, they were not able to cope, and by whom they must of course expect in a short time to be expelled.
The situation of the inhabitants of Boston, was peculiarly unhappy. After having failed in their attempts to leave the town general Gage had consented to allow them to retire with their effects, but afterwards refused to fulfil his promise. When he resigned his place to general Howe, in October, 1775, the latter, apprehensive that they might give intelligence of the situation of the British troops, strictly prohibited any person from leaving the place, under pain of military execution. Thus matters continued until the Month of March, 1776, when the town was evacuated. On the second of that month, general Washington opened a batery on the west side of the town, from whence it was bombarded, with a heavy fire of cannon at the same time; and three days after, it was attacked by another battery froin the eastern shore ; this continued for fourteen days without intermission. When general Howe, finding the place no longer tenable, determined, if possible, to drive the enemy from their works. Preparations were therefore made for a most vigorous attack, on a hill called Doro chester-neck, which the Americans had fortified in such a manner as would, in all probability, have rendered the enterprise next to desperate. No difficulties, however, were sufficient to daunt the spirit of the general; and every thing was in readiness, when a sudden storm prevented an exertion, which must have been productive of a dreadful waste of blood. Next day, upon a more close examination of the works, it was thought adviseable to desist from the attack altogether. The fortifications were very strong, and well provided with artillery; and upwards of one hundred hogsheads filled with stones, were provided, to roll down upon the enemy as they came up; which, as the assent was very steep, must have done great execution.
Nothing, therefore, now remained for the British, but to retreat; and to effect this, there appeared great difficulty and danger, But the Americans, koowing that it was in the power of the enemy to reduce the town to ashes, which could not have been repaired in many years, did not think proper to give the least mojestation; and for the space of a fortnight, the troops were em. ployed in the evacuation of the place, from whence they carried along with them two thousand of the inhabitants, who durst not stay on account of their attachment to the British cause.
From Boston they sailed to Halifax, but all their vigilance could not prevent a number of valuable ships from falling into the hands of the provincials. A considerable quantity of cannon and ammu. nition had also been left at Bunker's hill and Boston neck; and in the town an immense variety of goods, principally of woollen and linen, of which the provincials stood very much in need. The estates of those who fled to Halifax were confiscated; as also of those who had remained in the town, and who had shewa a decided attachment to the British government.
As an attack was expected as soon as the British forces should arrive, every method was employed to render the fortifications impregnable. For this purpose, some foreign engineers were employed, who had arrived at Boston; and so eager were the people of all ranks to accomplish this business, that every able-bodied man in the place, without distinction of rank, set apart two days in the week to complete it the sooner.
The Americans, exasperated by the proceedings of parliament, which placed them out of the royal protection, and engaged foreign mercenaries in the plan for subduing them, now formally renounced all connexion with Britain, and declared themselves in. dependent. This celebrated declaration was published on the fourth of July, 1776, as follows:
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among
powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of na