صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

ately raised in the New-England colonies; the others refusing. Sir William Pepperell was appointed commander of the expedition.

Of the forces, Massachusetts raised three thousand two hundred and fifty, exclusive of commissioned officers: Connecticut raised five hundred and sixteen: and Rhode-Island and New-Hampshire, each three hundred. The whole naval force consisted of twelve ships and smaller vessels. In two months the army was enlisted and fit for service. On the 24th of March they set sail from Boston.

Application had been made to Commodore Warren, then in the West Indies, commanding a considerable squadron, for assistance. Considering it a colonial affair, and having no authority from England, he declined engaging.

This unexpected news reached Governor Shirley before the troops sailed. He kept it a secret, lest the information should dampen the ardour of the troops. Soon after, however, Commodore Warren received orders from England to go to Boston and consult with Shirley, with regard to his majesty's general service in America; and he arrived in season to aid in the enterprise.

Before the last of April the troops all arrived: nor were the French apprised of the intended approach of an enemy til! alarmed by the sight of them. Soon after their arrival, Commodore Warren appeared in the Superb of sixty guns, and in a short time others of his squadron; so that a formidable fleet soon was seen cruising off Louisburg.

The troops were landed, though not without some loss; a party of one hundred and fifty having been sent to oppose them. Four hundred men marched to the north-east harbour, burning all the stores and houses, till they were within a mile of the grand battery.

The smoke made it impossible for the French to discern the number of their opposers: they therefore, under the belief that the whole army were coming upon them, threw their powder into the well, and fled to the C

town. The battery was immediately possessed by the English, and the guns that were left, forty-two pounders, were turned upon the town.

For fourteen nights the army continued drawing their mortars, cannon, shot, &c. over a deep morass two miles in length; as the morass was such that horses or oxen would be buried in mud. This service was performed principally by the stoutest of the militia of Massachu setts, who had been accustomed to drawing pine logs. The night, or a foggy day only, could be had for this purpose, as they were all the time within the random shot of the cannon of the town.

Meanwhile the vessels cruising off the harbour made prize of the Vigilant, a French seventy-four gun ship, having on board five hundred and sixty men, and all kinds of military stores. This capture, with that of several vessels from the West Indies, depriving the French of all hope of further assistance, tended much to hasten the capitulation.

The attack continued till the fifteenth of June: when, several batteries being damaged or silenced, and perceiving that preparations were making by the vessels of war for a grand attack, the French commander requested a cessation of hostilities; and on the seventeenth the city of Louisburg and the Island of Cape Breton, were surrendered to the British, after a siege of forty-nine days.

The capitulation at this time was extremely fortunate for notwithstanding the capture of the Vigilant, the besiegers were almost destitute of powder; and the next day incessant rains commenced, which continued ten days.

Thus was surrendered a place so strongly fortified, that it had been called the Gibraltar of America; which had been twenty-five years in building, and at an expense of five and a half millions of dollars. Success, however, has by many been attributed rather to a concurrence of fortunate circumstances, than to the wisdom of the undertaking.

The French court were resolved to be revenged on

the English colonists; and sent (1746) the Duke D'Anville, with forty ships of war and fifty-six transports, with three thousand five hundred land forces, and forty thousand stand of small arms, for the use of the Canadians and Indians. A storm scattered this formidable fleet some of the ships were lost; others returned to France or bore away for the West Indies.

D'Anville arrived at Chebucto, with two ships of the line and three or four transports only, and waited till he despaired of the arrival of the rest; when he was so affected with chagrin and mortification, that he suddenly died of an apoplexy; or, as the English assert, by poison and the Vice-Admiral, who arrived the next day, with four ships of the line, in despair ran himself through the body.

The intention of invading New-England was then relinquished but the fleet sailed from Chebucto to attack Annapolis, (Nova-Scotia.) This fleet was overtaken by a storm, scattered, and wrecked.

Thus was New-England saved from a bloody contest and probable defeat. The maritime towns had been put in the best state of defence possible. Half of the militia of Massachusetts were at Boston. But to resist the powerful naval armament of the French was considered almost hopeless. "Never was a disappointment more severe on the part of the French, nor a deliverance more complete, without human aid, in favour of this country.

[ocr errors]

Most of the affairs of this state from this time will, with more propriety, come under a sketch of the history of the United States. In 1780 was formed, by convention, the present constitution of the state and in the same year was incorporated the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Debts due among individuals from one to another, which they were unable to pay, were the principal, among many other causes, which occasioned an insurrection in this state, in the autumn of 1786. In consequence of a convention of delegates held in August, about fifteen hundred insurgents, with arms, took pos

session of the court house in Northampton, and forcibly prevented the sitting of the courts of common pleas and general sessions of the peace. Similar proceedings took place in the counties of Worcester, Middlesex, Berkshire, and Bristol.

January, 1787. No prospect appearing of suppress-ing the insurgents but by force, four thousand troops were ordered out to quell the insurrectio:; and the command of them given to General Lincoln. There being a continental arsenal at Springfield, Gen. Shephard was ordered to take possession of it, lest it should fall into the hands of the malcontents.

A person by the name of Daniel Shays, heading about twelve hundred of the insurgents, marched within one hundred yards of the barracks; when Gen. Shephard, who had twice assured them of his determination, should they attempt an attack, ordered two shots to be fired over their heads, which rather encouraged than deterred their march. He then levelled at the centre of their column. Three men were killed and one wounded; and the insurgents, retreating with the cry of murder, fled to Ludlow, a distance of about ten miles.

The main body of the insurgents were posted at Petersham in the beginning of February. Gen. Lincoln, having received information of their situation, marched, most of a Saturday night, in one of the most severe snow storms ever known, and suddenly fell upon them. They, little expecting the possibility of a march of thirty miles, in such an inclement night, and totally unprepared, fled in every direction. About one hundred and fifty were taken :* the rest fled, mostly to their own homes. Fourteen of the principal offenders, who had not escaped, were condemned to be hung, but were afterwards pardoned: and thus this disgraceful insurrection was quelled.

VERMONT.

Fort Dummer was built by Massachusetts, on Connecticut river, in 1724, and in 1731 a fort was built at

Crown Point, by the French from Canada, within the present limits of Vermont. In 1741, a boundary line was run between Massachusetts and New-Hampshire. In 1749, Benning Wentworth, governor of New-Hampshire, concluding that the boundary of that colony extended as far west as that of Massachusetts; that is, to within twenty miles of the Hudson; made a grant of a township of land of six miles square, which from his own first name was called Bennington. Other grants were subsequently made, and several towns planted on the west side of Connecticut river.

The British king, in the year 1764, annexed the territory west of Connecticut river to the colony of NewYork; the government of which demanded new grants from the settlers.

This was refused: and the next year the quarrel arose so high, that in attempting to execute the judgments of the courts of New-York, several of the officers were resisted and wounded. At the head of this opposition were the famous Ethan Allen, and Col. Warner, men of stability, coolness, and resolution.

head

In 1774, the government of New-York passed a law demanding the surrender of all offenders under severe penalties, and offering a bounty of fifty pounds per on the apprehension of eight of the principal and most obnoxious settlers. While preparing for civil war, the revolution commenced, the importance of which absorbed all minor considerations.

In 1777, the declaration of independence having left the settlers in an awkward situation, a convention of representatives from the towns on both sides of the mountains, was held at Westminster, and the District was declared to be a free and independent state. It received its name, Vermont, from the French words, verd mont, or green mountain, which name had been conferred by Ethan Allen on the mountains, and was now transferred to the state.

Admission to the Union was requested; but Congress dismissed the petition. New-York demanded the interference of Congress to, support her claims. Little

« السابقةمتابعة »