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expedient to vest them with : provided that no power be delegated to the said committee, for the exercise of which, by the articles of confederation, the voice of nine States in the Congress of the United States assembled, is requisite.
Article 11. Canada acceding to this confederation, and joining in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this union; but no other Colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine States.
Article 12. All bills of credit emitted, monies borrowed, and debts contracted by or under the authori. ty of Congress, before the assembling of the United States, in pursuance of the present confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the United States, for payment and satisfaction whereof the United States and the publick faith, are hereby solemnly pledged.
Article 13. Every State shall abide by the determination of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the articles of this confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them, unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the Legislature of every State.”
Erents of 1777 continued-March of Burgoyne's troops-His re
ception by General Schuyler-Conduct of his troops on the march.-Their reception at Cambridge.-General Burgoyne complains that the publick faith is broken.-Congress resolve to delay the embarkation of the troops-Correspondence between Washington and Howe on the subject of prisoners.--Report of the Board of War thereon.-Conduct of a party of the enemy under Captain Emmerick.-Contemplated expedition of General Spencer against Newport.-Sarage inroads on the western frontiers.- Proceedings of Congress-General Lincoln sends an expedition against Lake George and Ticonderoga. Surprise of General St. Clair-Extra pay given to Washington's army.
The delicacy which General Gates evinced towards the unfortunate British commander, at the convention of Saratoga, was such as to lighten the sense of degradation which such a reverse of fortune was well calculated to inspire in a proud and haughty foe, and such as to do honour to the feelings of an American victor. So scrupulous was General Gates to exact nothing which should unnecessarily wound the military pride of his adversary, that he would not permit his troops to witness the novel and humiliating ceremony which the terms of the convention imposed upon the captured army, of piling their arms: nor did he suffer them to enter their forsaken entrenchments, until the disarmed prisoners were no longer in sight to witness the triumph. Thousands of Americans lined the hills as the British troops crossed the river, but to their immortal honour, not a man seemed by look or gesture to insult their fallen state.
General Burgoyne himself, on the day the convention was signed, was introduced to his conquerour. 66 The fortune of war, General Gates, (said he) has made me your prisoner.” General Gates, with a politeness intended at once to place his prisoner at ease with himself, replied, “I shall always be ready to bear testimony that it has not been through any fault of your Excellency.” The generals dined and spent the day together in all the familiarity of equal and long acquaintance. In a day or two after this, Burgoyne with several of his Generals visited Albany, where they were received by General Schuyler, whose elegant house the former had reduced to ashes. Struck with the kindness of his reception, and perhaps a little ashamed of the devastations he had committed or authorised, Burgoyne said to him, “You show me great kindness, although I have done you much injury”?–6 That was the fate of war,” said this American, “ let us say no more about it." These little anecdotes are worth volumes of eulogy on the American character. They speak the simple truth, and speak to the hearts of their enemies.
How different from this was the spirit which actuated the British soldiers. Their march from the Hudson to Cambridge was marked by insolence and pil. lage; the return which they made for the civil, humane and delicate deportment of the inhabitants, was insult and robbery. The Germans, particularly, plundered every house they passed of every thing that could be conveniently taken with them.
The spectacle of five thousand British troops, marching as prisoners of war, under the guidance of two or three American officers, through a tract of country three hundred miles in extent, was novel and interest
ing; nor was it without its attendant advantages to the American cause. The militia no longer believed their enemy invincible; and this enemy was made to feel, even while they refused to acknowledge, that those against whom they had to contend were not a despicable rabble. The conduct of the British troops too on their march, served to confirm the wavering in their fidelity to the cause of independence; they contrasted the conduct of the conquerours and conquered, and drew an appalling inference of what their fate would be in the latter predicament. When arrived at Cambridge, so near to the scene of their earliest cruelties and devastations, these prisoners began to experience a change in their treatment. This town was inhabited by many who had lost their all in the conflagration of Charlestown; they were still smarting with the sense of their wrongs, still suffering under the privations which Burgoyne himself had so largely contributed to bring upon them. With their wounds still bleeding, the flames of their houses still blazing in their mental vision, it was not possible for them, suddenly to bury their animosities, and load their captive enemies with kindness. The consequence was, that Burgoyne and his generals could scarcely obtain admittance into any of their houses. The troops had been lodged in the barracks near the town, and the officers quartered wherever accommodations could be procured for them. They soon became discontented with their situations, and drew up a formal remon. strance to their general, upon which a complaint was founded, that they were not treated according to the terms of the convention. That the officers were not all lodged, agreeably to their respective rank, is true; but their accommodations were the best which the place afforded, and better than victorious troops are sometimes compelled to put up with.
The complaint made by Burgoyne, which was soon followed by a request that the place agreed upon for the embarkation of his troops should be changed from Boston to Rhode Island or New York, (both of which places were in possession of the British) induced a suspicion, that it was not his design to comply with the terms of the convention; and Congress made it a pretext for detaining them altogether. This was doing injustice to the good faith of the British commander. He was certainly bound to attend to the remonstrance of his officers, and to lay it before General Gates; and his desire to embark at Rhode Island or at New York rather than at Boston, arose from the circumstance of the transports having actually arrived at the former place, from which to Boston the passage at such a season was difficult and hazardous. These circumstances, however, were unfortunately overlooked by Congress. They had erroneously and hastily admitted the suspicion that Burgoyne did not mean to act honestly, and they were determined to find sufficient pleas for their own violation of the convention. They accused him of withholding his standards, and military chests, of permitting the destruction of his ammunition, muskets and accoutrements; and notwithıstanding the explicit declaration of General Gates that nothing was done to justify the charge of a violation of the convention, in the surrender, they persisted in declaring their security in the personal honour of Burgoyne to be destroyed, and therefore suspending the embarkation of his troops, until the convention should be ratified by his Court.