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paper one twentieth of that sum, under the guarantee of the several states. Four tenths of these new bills were to be subject to the order of Congress, and the remaining six tenths to that of the several states ; to be redeemable in specie within six years, and to bear an interest of 5 per cent. They were to be made receiv- able in the payment of taxes, at the rate of specie, whereas the old bills in circulation were only receiv. able at the rate of forty for one, notwithstanding the assurances of Congress, only a few months before, and the boasted honour and good faith of republicks.
Congress expected by these resolutions, to cancel the old bills, and give a fixed value to the currency ; besides supplying the several states with the means of furnishing the army supplies required of them, and themselves with money for carrying on the war. But none of these good effects were produced ; only a few of the states complied with the requisitions, and the small amount of new paper issued, (for its emission was made to depend on the proportions of the old, that came in forty to one,) added but little to the means which their exigencies demanded.
On the 20th of March they fixed the value of loan certificates from September 1777 to this time, giving such a rate to their paper, as to secure to the lender the return of his money, and to free the publick from a debt for which they had recieved no value. They recommended also to the several states a revision of their laws concerning the tender of continental bills in the discharge of debts, with a view to such. an amendment of them as should be thought just in the present state of the currency.
T'he beginning of the present year found the army of Washington hutted at Morristown, and suffering all the hardships, privations and wants, which had once before attended them in their winter quarters at Valley Forge. The cold was more intense than it had ever been known to be before in this climate, within the memory of the oldest inhabitant. A few days after Sir Henry Clinton had sailed for the south, the navigation was entirely closed, and the communication to New-York and to its adjacent islands, across the ice was as safe, as if they had formed a part of the main land. Carriages and wagons of the heaviest weight could be every where transported across the North River, and the eastern channels, as upon a solid bridge; and by the middle of January, shows had fallen to the depth of several feet. So unusual indeed was the severity of this winter, that it has to this day borne the distinctive epithet of the hard winter. The force which Sir Henry Clinton had left in New-York, of regulars, was so small, that the royal Generals became alarmed at the facility thus opened to an attack, and every means were speedily taken to embody corps of defence, from all orders and classes of people in the city; the whole, however, did not amount to more than 6000 men-a force
inadequate to the protection of the city and its dependencies, if Washington had been in a situation to profit by the advantages which nature offered to bim. But his army was reduced almost to dissolution. He had neither provision of any kind, nor money to
purchase them; and the credit of Congress was so far exhausted, that it would procure him nothing. For many days, the soldiers were compelled to share the scanty food of the horses.
In this situation, Washington found himself compelled to declare to the civil authorities of Jersey,
that unless the inhabitants would afford their aid, he should be reduced to the alternative of disbanding his army, or of granting them permission to supply themselves with food wherever they could find it. The magistracy, with a promptitude which does them infinite credit, adopted the necessary measures to comply with the General's requisitions ; and the proportions of bread stuffs and cattle, allotted to each county were furnished with a punctuality and readiness that does equal honour to the people. But to the disgrace of the soldiers, this generous and patriotick ef. fort to relieve them, when despair stared them in the face, was so soon forgotten, that before the end of January, we find the following reproach inserted in general orders. “The General is astonished and mortified, that notwithstanding the last order, the inhabitants in the vicinity of the camp, are absolutely a prey to the plundering and licentious spirit of the soldiery. From daily complaints and a formal representation of the magistrates, a night scarcely passes, without gangs of soldiers going out of camp, and committing every species of robbery, depredation, and the greatest personal insult. . These violences are committed on the persons and property of those, who, on a late alarming occasion for the want of provision, manifested the warmest attachment to the army, by affording it the most generous and plentiful relief."
This licentious spirit of the soldiery, which no efforts of Washington could restrain, and which occasionally broke out in the perpetration of enormities which no degree of privation could excuse, was at once the cause of their repeated sufferings, and the apology of the people for the reluctance so often manifested in affording the means of relief within their
power. It sufficiently accounts for, if it does not wholly excuse, that general appearance of unfriendliness to the cause of independence, even among those whose all was at hazard in the issue of our struggle. No discrimination was made by the soldiers in their depredations, between those who were ready to divide with them their last loaf, and those who from avarice or disaffection withheld their plentiful stores. It cannot be wonderful, then, that our armies were so often without bread in the midst of a country where it abounded.
Thus were the two northern armies situated during the first months of the year 1780, the large detachments sent from both to the south, having reduced them to the necessity of confining their operations to the defence of their respective stations. Lord Stirling, indeed, attempted an expedition to Staten Island, with the troops of his division about the middle of January; but it resulted in disappointment, for the ice, which had afforded bim the easy means of invasion, gave to the enemy also such facilities of drawing reinforcements from New York, that his lordship was glad to take the advantage of the night, and retreat without having effected any thing.
Towards the beginning of April, the situation of the commander in chief assumed a much more alarming appearance, than it had worn under all the calamities of the winter. A dissatisfaction began to manifest itself among the troops, which threatened a general mutiny. They had suffered without complaint, all the hardships which could arise from want of food and want of clothing, through the severest winter ever experienced ; and now when their distresses from these causes were at an end, and when the most they could suffer would be a temporary want of money, their complaints became loud and uncontrollable. On the 25th of May, two of the regiments broke out into open mutiny ; but fortunately the officers were enabled by their active exertions, by alternate entreaty and expostulation, to convince them of the folly and absurdity of resorting to such means for redress, where nothing but time and patience could bring a remedy to their grievances. After a few hours of murmuring, they retired quietly to their huts.
A few days before this occurrence took place, the Marquis de la Fayette arrived from France, and presented himself at head quarters, much to the joy and consolation of Washington, who had conceived an af. fection for him, little short of paternal. The absence of the Marquis had not diminished the ardour which first brought him to our shores, nor lessened his zeal in the cause of American independence. His stay in France had been wholly occupied in endeavours to promote the interests of the United States ; nor had they been without success, for he was the bearer of the welcome tidings from the French court, that a fleet and army would soon follow him to America, which his most Christian Majesty had with great prudence and propriety placed entirely under the control of Washington, by making him Lieutenant General of his forces, and Vice-Admiral of the White Flag. The Marquis was received by Congress with the most marked satisfaction, and by the people every where with affectionate respect. On the 19th of May, a committee of Congress, who had been directed personally to inquire into the grievances and distresses of the American army, having reported that the pay