1778.them in the name of their ancient master the French king.

The design of it was to recall their affection to the ancient government, and to revive all the national attachments of that people, thereby to prepare them for an invasion either from France or America, and to raise their expectation of no distant change of masters. Adm. Byron having repaired his fleet, appeared off Boston bay; but had not cruised there long before he was overtaken by a violent storm, in which the ships again suffered so much, that they were glad to get into shelter at Rhode Isand. The Somerset of 64 guns not being able to clear Cape Codd, run ashore and fell into the hands of the Bay-men, who saved her guns, and many valuable articles. When the storm ended, the wind settled in the north-west, and blew fair for carrying the French

fleet to the West Indies: Count d'Estaing seized the Nov, opportunity, and failed from Boston with his ships, tho3. roughly repaired, clean and well victualled, and with

his forces in full health and vigor. : The behaviour of the French officers and failors, the · whole time that their feet lay in port, was remarkably

good, far beyond any thing of the kind ever before, when several men of war were present. The count made a point of alway lying on board at night. The officers conducted with the greatest regularity and dem corum; but noticed a certain coolness in the gentlemen and ladies toward them, which was imputed to the want of so cordial an affection for France as what they had once entertained for Great Britain, and had not, wholly laid alide ; but it was greatly owing to the successless expedition against Rhode Inand, and to what had been related concerning them respecting that affair. The


common failors were peaceably inclined; and engaged 1778. in no quarrels, excepting what has been related, and one at night of O&tober the 5th, in no wise material; and in neither of these do they appear to have been the aggressors. They neither abused, nor injured the townspeople; nor made themselves a nuisance by their excesses and disorderly conduct. An opportunity at length offers for mentioning some detached articles. · The Raleigh frigate, capt. John Barry, failed from Boston the 25th of September, and was taken on the 29th, after bravely engaging for some time, and then being run on an island with a view to escape falling into the hands of two British men of war.

The Pigot British schooner of eight twelve pounders and forty-five men, lying near Howland's ferry on the eastern side of Rhode Island, a plan was laid for taking her. Major Talbot, with a number of troops, failed on the 25th of O&tober from Providence on board a small vefsel. It was not till the 28th at night, that he ran down through Howland's ferry; when drifting after that under bare poles, for fear that the fort on Rhode Island should fire upon him and alarm the Pigot, he passed on undiscovered ; and at half past one in the morning of the 29th got sight of the schooner. When but at a small distance from her, she hailed him; and receiving no satisfactory answer, her marines fired upon him from her quarter deck. Hè reserved his fire till he had run his jibb boom through her fore shrouds, when he fired fome cannon and threw in such a volley of musketry, loaded with bullets and buck shot, that the men on deck immediately ran below begging for quarters, and they that were below never made their appearance on deck.


[ocr errors]

1778. The consequence was, his men ran out upon the jibb

boom and boarded her, without the loss of a man. The captain of the Pigot bchaved with the greatest resolution, and defended his vefsel in his shirt and drawers for some time, without a single foul of his crew to affist him. Major Talbot's gunnel was eight feet lower than the nettings of the schooner. He carried her off with him, and ran to Stonington. Congress, as a reward of his merit, and for the encouragement of a spirit of enterprife, have presented him with the commission of lieutenant colonel.

The Massachusetts general court paffed an act in their first session to prevent the return to this state of certain perfons therein named, and others who have left the state, or either of the United States, and joined the British. · There are above 300 named in it. In case they return they are to be taken up and secured, till they can be transported to some place within the British dominions, or in the possession of the British forces. Should they return after transportation, without liberty first obtained from the general court, they are to suffer death. Among the persons thus interdicted, it is to be fupposed there are many whose greatest crime is that of having left the country, and preferred Britain for their place of residence, that so they might be exempted from the ravages and terrors of war. · The state of Virginia has passed an act for sequestering British property, and enabling those indebted to British subjects to pay off such debts by placing the money for the discharge of the fame in the loan office of the commonwealth.



General Gates arrived at Boston, having been directed 1778. forthwith to repair thither and take the command of the Toms continental forces in the eastern district. i

The present narrative of American matters shall close with part of a letter*, written from Philadelphia the 27th of August, by a gentleman of eminence to gov. Houston of Georgia Were I to unfold to you, Sir, the scenes of venality, peculation and fraud, which I have disco ; vered, the disclosure would astonish you: nor would you, Sir, be less astonished were I, by a detail which the oc: casion would require, to prove to you, that he must be a pitiful rogue who, when detected or suspected, meets not with powerful advocates among those, who, in the present corrupt time, ought to exert all their powers in defence and support of these friend-plundered, much injured, and, I was almost going to say, sinking states. Don't apprehend, Sir, that I colour "too high, or that any part of these intimations are the effect of rash judge ment or defpondency: I am warranted to say they are not: my opinion, my sentiments, are supported every day by the declaration of individuals: the difficulty lies in bringing men collectively to attack with vigor a proper object."

* This was a private letter; bạt was afterward published in Rivington's Royal Gazette, as written by the president of congress, Henry Laurens esq. It was known by several to contain a strong mark of authenticity--the truth.


. . E T T E R VỊ... : :: 1. .

Roxbury, April 14, 1779. 1798. THE présent letter shall begin with an expedition ON.

through the remote and upper parts of Perinfylvania,' on the ift of October under col. William Butler. It was directed not only againft the Indians, but several confiderable settlements belonging to the tories, become particularly obnoxious from the violence of their past hostilities. The party, which confifted of a Pennsylvania regiment, covered by riflemen and rangers, took įts departure from Schoharie, and having gained the head of the Delaware, marched down the river for two days; from whence turning off to the right, they struck across the mountains to the Susquehanna, which was the scene of action. They totally burnt and destroyed, both the Indian castles and villages in that quarter, and the other fettlements; but the inhabitants, both tories and Indians, escaped. The destruction was extended for several miles on both sides the Susquehanna. The difficulties, distresses and dangers which the party encountered, required no small share of that fortitude and hardiness of body and mind, which can scarcely be acquired by any considerable number of men without long habitude, under certain marked circumstances of situation. They were obliged to carry six days provision on their backs; and thus loaded, continually to wade through rivers and creeks, scarcely paffàble without any encumbrance to


« ForrigeFortsett »