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dollars. With a happy unanimity they appointed George Washington commander-in-chief of their forces.* Soon after he received his commission, the general repaired to the head-quarters at Cambridge, in the vicinity of Boston, where he arrived on the 3d of July, and was received with joyful acclamations by the troops. The army consisted of 14,500 men, and occupied cantonments so disposed as closely to beleagur the enemy within Boston. The soldiers were hardy, active, and zealous. But still, when the gen
* “Artemas Ward, Charles Lee, Philip Schuyler, and Israel Putnam, were then chosen major-generals, and Horatio Gates adjutant-general. Lee had lately held the office of colonel, and Gates that of major, in the British army. A solemn and dignified declaration, setting forth the causes and necessity of taking up arms, was prepared to be published to the army in orders, and to the people from the pulpit. After particularizing the aggressions of Great Britain, with the energy of men feeling unmerited injury, they exclaim:
“But why should we enumerate our injuries in detail? By one statute it is declared that parliament can of right make laws to bind us in all cases whatsoever. What is to defend us against so enormous, so unlimited a power? Not a single man of those who assume it, was chosen by us, or is subject to our control or influence; but, on the contrary, they are all of them exempt from the operation of such laws, and an American revenue, if not diverted from the ostensible purpose for which it is raised, would actually lighten their own burdens, in proportion as it increases ours. We saw the misery to which such despotism would reduce us. We, for ten years, incessantly and ineffectually besieged the throne as supplicants; we reasoned, we remostrated with parliament in the most mild and decent langnage. "We are now reduced to the alternative of choosing an unconditional subinission to the will of irritated ministers, or resistance by force. The latter is our choice. We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery. Honor, justice, and humanity forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage upon them. “Our cause is just; our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great; and, if necessary, foreign assistance
Who was chosen commander-in-chief?
eral had minutely inspected the state of affairs, he found ample matter for serious reflection. He was destitute of a responsible commissariat to procure and dispense the necessary supplies. Many of the soldiers were ill-provided with arms. On the 4th of August, he was apprised of the alarming fact that his whole stock of powder would afford little more than nine rounds a man. On the settling of the rank of officers, also, he had to encounter the ill-humor of the ambitious, who conceived that they were not promoted according to their merits. With his characteristic patience and assiduity, however, he overcame these difficulties. By the influence of the respect which his character inspired, he reduced these jarring elements to some degree of order. His encampments were regularly supplied with provisions. By extraordinary exertions he procured a sufficient stock of ammunition and military stores; and though the well-dressed scouting parties of the British who approached his lines could not repress a smile on seeing his soldiers equipped in hunting-shirts, the affair at Breed's Hill had taught them that a handsome uniform is by no means essential to bravery in battle.
On the 10th of October, General Gage resigned the com
is undoubtedly attainable. We greatfully acknowledge, as a signal instance of the divine favor towards us, that his providence would not permit us to be called into this severe controversy, until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised in war-like operations, and possessed the means of defending ourselves. “With hearts fortified by these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, DECLARE, that exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ for the pre. servation of our liberties, being, with one mind, resolved to die freeman rather than to live slaves."
What was General Washington apprised of on the 4th August?
mand of the British army to General Howe, and sailed for England in a vessel of war.
Had he made the voyage
in a transport, he would have run some risk of being taken prisoner; for towards the close of this year, (1775) Congress fitted out several privateers, which were eminently successful in capturing the store-ships which had been sent from Great Britain with supplies for the royal army.These captures at once crippled the enemy and furnished the Americans with important requisites for carrying on the war.
INVASION OF CANADA.-DEATH OF MONTGOMERY.
Nor were the offensive operations of the provincials confined to the sea. Having, as has been before related, obtained possession of Ticonderoga, which is the key of Canada, the Congress determined to invade that province, in the hope that its inhabitants would welcome the forces which they might send against it, as their deliverers from the yoke of oppression. They accordingly gave the command of 1000 men to Generals Schuyler and Montgomery, with directions to march into Canada.
When the expedition had advanced to the town of St. John's, Schuyler, in consequence of the bad state of his health, resigned the command to his associate, and returned home. In attacking St. John's, the commander of which made a brave defence, Montgomery experienced considerable difficulties in consequence of his want of the chief requisites for conducting a siege; but
On the 10th of October what occurred? What had congress done?
he vanquished them all, and compelled the garrison, consisting of 500 regulars and 100 Canadians, to surrender. During the progress of the seige, Sir Guy Carleton, the governor of Canada, had collected 800 men at Montreal, for the purpose of attacking the besieging army; but he was driven back by a body of the Vermont militia, commanded by General Warner. Montgomery, therefore, proceeded to Montreal, the garrison of which attempted to escape down the river, but were intercepted and captured by the American Colonel Easton: and Governor Carleton himself was so hard pressed, that he was glad to escape to Trois Rivieres, whence he proceeded to Quebec. To this place he was pursued by Montgomery, who in the course of his march, adopted the wisest measures to gain over the inhabitants of the province. With the peasants he succeeded; but upon priests and the seigneurs, or feudal lords, who foresaw that a revolution would be detrimental to their interests, he made little impression.
Whilst Montgomery was penetrating into Canada by the St. Lawrence, General Arnold, who afterwards rendered himself infamous by his treachery, was advancing to cooperate with him by the way of the Kennebeck river and the Chaudiere. This route appears upon the map to be a very
direct one; but it was beset with formidable difficulties. In their voyage up the Kennebeck, Arnold and his comrades had to pull against a powerful stream interrupted by rapids, over which they were obliged to haul their boats with excessive labor. The space which intervenes between the mouth of the Kennebeck and that of the Chaudiere was a wild and pathless forest, through a great part of which they were compelled to cut their way with hatchets;
Describe the expedition, &c., and the attack on St. John's, and Montreal &c.
and so scantily were they furnished with provisions, that when they had eaten their last morsel they had thirty miles to travel before they could expect any farther supplies. In spite of these obstructions, Arnold persevered in his bold enterprise; and on the 8th of November he arrived at Point Levi, opposite Quebec; and had he possessed the means of immediately passing the St. Lawrence, such was the panic occasioned by his unexpected appearance, that it is probable that the city, in the absence of the Governor, would have surrendered to him. But whilst he was collecting craft to effect his passage, the inhabitants recovered from their consternation, the Governor arrived, and the place was put in a posture of defence. On the 1st of December, Montgomery, having effected a junction with Arnold, broke ground before Quebec. But he labore der insuperable disadvantages. His forces were inferior in number to those of the garrison. He was destitute of a proper battering train. His soldiers were daily sinking under the hardships of a Canadian winter; and their term of enlistment was soon to expire. Seeing that no hopes were left, but that of the success of a desperate effort, he attempted to carry the city by assault, and had penetrated to the second barrier, when he fell by a musket shot, leaving behind him the character of a brave soldier, an accomplished gentleman, and an ardent friend of liberty Arnold was carried wounded from the field; but on the death of his friend he took the command of the remnant of his forces, which he encamped at the short distance of three miles from the city.
What affect had the arrival of Arnold, on the 8th of Nov., on the inhabi
tants of Quebec? On the 1st of December what took place? What was the situation of Montgomery's army? How did he attempt to
carry the city? With what success did he meet?