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bout four miles of gen. Parsons' guards. They effected it with circumstances of barbarity, stripping the clothing off the women and children and turning them almost naked into the streets in a most severely cold night. The men were made prisoners, and led with halters about their necks, with no other clothes than their shilts and breeches in triumph to the British lines. As few days after Parsons wrote to Tryon upon the occasion, expostulating with him upon the business, and told him, That he could destroy the houses and buildings of col. Philips and those belonging to the Delancey family, each as near their lines as the building destroyed were to his guards; that notwithstanding all their vigilence, the destruction could not be prevented and that it was not fear or want of opportunity, but a sense of the injustice and savageness of such a line of conduct, that had hitherto saved the buildings. Tryon answered from Kingsbridge on the 23d, and said among other things, “Sir, could I possibly conceive myself accountable to any revolted subjects of the king of Great-Britain, I might answer your letter of yesterday respect: ing the conduct of capt. Emmerick’s party upon the taking of Peter and Cornelius Vantassel. As much as I abhor every principle of inhumanity or ungenerous conduct, I should, were I in more authority, burn every committee-man's house within my reach, as I deem them the wicked instruments of the continued calamities of this country; and in order the sooner to purge the colony of them, I am willing to give twenty silver dollars for every acting committee-man who shall be delivered up to the king's troops.” The stinging repartee made to this letter was contained in an expedition undertaken immediately after to Greenwich, about three miles from New-York, where a small party arrived in the evening, advanced to Mr. Oliver Delancy's house securcd the sentry, dismissed a few ladies in peace, though rather hastily, made a few men prisoners, burnt the house, occasioned the firing of the alarm guns in New-York, then crossed the river and got safe off. - New-York reminds me of the American prisoners confined in that city, and Philadelphia. In the course of letters that passed between generals Howe and Washington, the former alluded to the cases of royal prisoners of war being injuriously and unjustifiably loaded with irons. The latter, in one of November the 14th, says—“If there is a single instance of a prisoner of war being in irons, I am ignorant of it, nor can I find on the most minute inquiry, that there is the least foundation for the charge: I wish you to particularize the cases you allude to, that relief may: be had, if the complaints are well-founded. Now we are upés. the subject of grievances, I am constrained to observe that f - - have
a variety of accounts, not only from prisoners who have inade their escape, but from persons who have left Philadelphia, that our private soldiers in your hands, ate treated in a manner shocking to humanity, and that many of them must have perished ■through hunger had it not been for the charitable contributions of •the inhabitants. It is added in aggravation, that this treatment is to oblige them to inlist in the corps you are raising. I must also reiponstrate against the cruel treatment and confinementpf our officers. This I am informed is not only the case of those, i n Philadelphia but of many in New-York. Many of the cruelties exercised .toward prisoners are said to proceed from inhumanity of Mr, Cunningham, provost marshal!, wifhout your knowledge or approbation. I transmit the depositions of two persons of reputation who are come from Philadelphia, respecting the treatment they received. I will not comment upon the subject. It is too painfu,l." Howe particularized by saying—" Major Stockdon, and oilier officers of the New-Jersey volunteers, were put in irons at Princeton. The major and captain of that regiment were marched out of that place, under guard and hand-cuffed together." "Washington rejoined—" When major Stockdon was fu st capered, I believe that he and one or two officers taken with him, Suffered the treatment which you mention. This was without jny privity or consent; as soon as I was apprised of it, relief was ordered.—But surely this event, which happened so long ago, ■jsill not authorise the charges in your letter of the 6th." f On the 10th of December, all the American officers were reTrioved from the ships back to Long-Island, from whence they irad been taken and carried onboard. The inhabitants received tliem in again, upon Mr. Lewis Pintard's engaging to pay for ihem at the rate of two hard dollars per week. There was 250 of them. He acted for Mr. Boudinot. Had he not engaged, their former board not having been paid for, they would have been returned to the ships. All the privates there have been clothed by him. He observed, when informing his principal of these particulars—" The privates should have a little fresh beef, especially the convalescents, who on leavings the hospitals are put to salt meat, and relapse immediately; the consequence of which is, they are dying very fast. I advise sending in weekly ^quantity of fresh provision for their consumption."
Hie board of war had a conference with Mr. Boudinot, the commissary general of prisoners, at York-town on the 21st of December, and after having carefully examined the evidences produced.by him, agreed upon reporting, beside other matters That there are about 900 privates, and 300 officers in thq <Mty of New-York, and about 500 privates and 50 officers ia "Yqif II. • N n '• Philadel
Philadelphia —That the privates in New-York have been erowded all summer in sugar-houses, and the officers boarded on Long-Island, except about 30, who have been confined in the provost guard and in the most loathsome jails:–That since the beginning of October all these prisoners, both officers and pris vates, have been confined in prison-ships, or the provost:-That the privates in Philadelphia have been kept in two public jails, and the officers in the state-house:—That, from the best evidence which the nature of the subject will admit of, the general allowance of prisoners at most does not exceed four ounces of meat, and as much bread (often so damaged as not to be eatable) per day, and often much less, though the professed allowance is from eight to ten ounces:–That it has been a common practice with the enemy, on a prisoner's being first captured, to keep him three, four, or even five days without a morsel of provisions of any kind, and then to tempt him to inlist to save his life :That there are numerous instances of prisoners of war perishing in all the agonies of hunger from their severe treatment:—That being generally stript of what clothes they have when taken, they have suffered greatly for the want thereof during their confinement.” This ill-treatment of the American prisoners, though it shortens the lives of numbers, tends only to lengthen the war, by irritating the people at large, among whom it is quickly reported. . Let us now quit the military for the civil department, though with respect to dates we must be retrograde. - - On Wednesday, October the 29th, Mr. President Hancock closed the business of the morning by taking leave of congress in the following speech—“ Gentlemen, Friday last completed two years and five months since you did me the honor of electing me to fill this chair. As I could never flatter myself your choice proceeded from any idea of my abilities, but rather from a partial opinion of my attachment to the liberties of America, Ł felt myself under the strongest obligations to discharge the duties of the office, and I accepted the appointment with the firmest resolution to go through the business annexed to it in the best manner I was able. Every argument conspired to make me exert myself, and I endeavored by industry and attention to make up for every other deficiency. As to my conduct both in and out of congress in the execution of your business, it is impropen for me to say any thing. You are the best judges. But I think I shall be forgiven, if I say I have spared no pains, expence, or labour, to gratify your wishes, and to accomplish the views of congress.-My health being much impaired, I find some relaxation absolutely necessary, after such constant application : E must therefore request your indulgence for leave of absence for two months. But I cannot take my departure, gentlemen, with: out expressing my thanks for the civility and politeness I have experienced from you. It is impossible to mention this without a heart felt pleasure.—If in the course of so long a period as I have had the honor to fill this chair, any expressions may have dropped from me that may have given the seast offence to any member, as it was not intentional, so I hope his candor will pass it over. May every happiness, gentlemen, attend you, both as members of this house and as individuals; and I pray Heaven, that unanimity and perseverance, may go hand in hand i this house; and that every thing which may tend to distract of divide your councils, may be for ever banished.” . . . The congress in the afternoon, ordered, “That the secretary wait on the president, and request him to furnish the house with a copy of the speech, with which he took leave of congress.” When the secrétary laid it before them, the Friday following, one of the New-York delegates introduced an answer he had prepared, which breathed too much the soothing air of servility, and possessed too small a portion of republican independency, and was therefore rejected. But it was moved, “That the thanks of congress be presented to John H: esq. for the unremitted attention and steady impartiality which he has manifested in discharge of the various duties of his office as president, since his election to the chair, on the 24th day of May, 1775.” Previous to the determination of this motion, it was moved “to resolve, as the opinion of congress, that it is improper to thank any president for the discharge of the duties of that of fice.” The South-Carolina delegates being divided, and the New Jersey delegate not voting, the states were equally divided, four and four- The question being put on the first motion, and these delegates voting in the affirmative, it was accordingly carFied, six against four- - -*. When Mr. Hancock was first elected, in consequence of Mr. £eyton Randolph’s being under a necessity of returning to Virginia, it was expected that as soon as the latter repaired again to $ongress, the former would resign. Of this he was reminded *y one of his Massachusetts brethren, when Mr. Randolph got ‘back; but the charms of presidency made him deaf to the private -advice of his colleague, and no oie could with propriety move 'for his removal that the other might be restored. In the early *tage of his presidency, he acted upon republican principles; but afterward he inclined to the aristocracy of the New-York dele-gates, connected himself with them, and became their favorite: ki: at length fell in so fully with their plans, that a Rhode-island * , - - - - - delegate .
delegate lectured him upon it, and told him that he had forgotten the errand on which he was sent to congress, and advised him to return to his constituents. This versatility in politicas sentiments, though it chagrined, did not surprise his Massachusetts brethren; for they remembered, that at a certain period: he was upon the point of joining the tory club at Boston (as it was called) whereby he alarmed the liberty party most amazingly, and obliged them to exert all their influence to prevent so dangerous and mortifying an event. ... * In the chair he so acquitted himself, that a member of congress wrote in May, when it was thought he would return to the Massachusetts—“This letter will go by president Hancock, for whose absence from congress I am much concerned, though his great fatigue and long attendance entitle him to some relaxation. How we shall do without him I know not, for we have mever yet put in a chairman on a committee of the whole house, that could in any measure fill his place. He has not only dignity and impartiality, which are the great requisites of a president of such a body, but has an alertness, attention and readiness to conceive of any motion and its tendency, and of every alteration proposed in the course of debate, which greatly tends to facilitate and expedite business.” The chair is known to be his fort. As chairman of a committcc, or any other body, he presides with much advantage to himself; but it has been and is observed, that the number at the head of whom he is, whether many or few, makes a wide difference in him; when great, he appears to be in his own element, and is all animation ; if simal! it is otherwise. This is common to public characters, especial#y where there is a fondness for popularity. [Nov. 1.] “Congress proceeded to the election of a president; and the ballots being taken the honorable Henry Laurens was elected.” He is a South-Carolina deiegate, a gentleman of a large estate, and of an approved character. He was in England when the troubles were coming forward, and upon learning the intentions of ministry, returned with a fixed determination to risk all in the cause of his country and liberty. Gen. Washington has pointed out to him gen. Greene, as the most suitable person in his judgment, to succeed in the chief command of the American army, in case he himself should be taken of by death or in any other way. [Nov. 3..] Colonel Wilkinson, who brought the dispatches from gen. Gates, attended and delivered a message from him to congress, in the following words, “I have it in charge from major gen. Gates, to represent to the honorable congress, that lieut. gen. Burgoyne, at the time he capitulated, was strongly entrenched - - Oil