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alfo pilfered by our own people. The very guards themselves fupplied their wants from the piles. Many of the scabbards for the bayonets were difpofed of in the like manner. I believe there was no deftruction of military stores after the convention, by or with the privity of gen. Burgoyne or his officers. It is fo extraordinary for a British army to furrender their arms, that we ought not to wonder at the violent and disappointed for committing fome irregularities; but I do not conceive, that any thing of fufficient confequence was done, to justify our charge of their having violated the convention. On the day gen. Burgoyne furrendered, I received repeated expreffes to inform me, that the enemy's fleet had advanced up to within a few hours failing of Albany. The removal of the army was therefore immediately neceffary to cover that city and fecure our magazines. My principal attention was of courfe directed towards that object. Gens. Glover and Whipple gave me their affistance and entire approbation in the fettlement of the convention.. When things of fuch importance must be done in a hurry, fome articles of feeming importance never fail to be omitted. The arms were piled up agreeable to the letter of the convention, and their condition as good as can be expected upon fuch occafions. Their being wholly unfit for fervice, is partly owing to the land and water carriages, but chiefly to the want of proper packages to fecure them. Our own men have changed them; but here I think we fhould not imprudently expose the infant state of our military difcipline."

General Burgoyne was defirous of altering the place for the embarkation of the convention troops from the


1777. port

port of Bofton to that of Rhode-Island or the Sound,
contiguous to New York, which as well as Rhode-Island
was poffeffed by the British. He wrote to gen. Wash-
ington upon the subject on the 25th of November. The
American commander forwarded the letter to congrefs.
They on the day it was received, the 17th of Decem-
ber, resolved, "That gen. Washington be directed to
inform gen. Burgoyne, that congrefs will not receive,
nor confider any propofition for indulgence or altering
the terms of the convention of Saratoga, unless imme-
diately directed to their own body." The next day they
received gen. Gates's letter of December the 3d, en-
closing a letter to him from gen. Burgoyne of Novem-
ber the 14th, wherein he declared, that the public faith,
plighted in the convention of Saratoga, was broken on
the part of the United States, in as much as the officers
included in the convention had not, fince their arrival
in Maffachusetts-bay, been accommodated with quarters
agreeable to their refpective ranks. Congrefs had now
obtained what they wanted, a plea for detaining the
convention troops.
Some of the members, not at-
tending fufficiently to dates and circumstances, ima-
gined that Burgoyne expected to have failed before
his letter of the 14th could have reached congrefs
time enough for them to have detained him; but it
was scarce poffible that fuch an expectation could have
existed, when he did not write to gen. Washington on
the fubject of changing the place of embarkation be-
fore the 25th, and could not, till permiffion was receiv-
ed, poffibly embark at Rhode-Island, to which
port the
transports were fent, and of whose arrival he was in-
formed by letter of December the fifth. The coming

from New York through the Sound to Rhode-Island, 1777. was fo much more convenient and lefs hazardous, than going round by Long-Ifland and Cape Cod to Boston, efpecially at fuch a season, that the application for changing the place of embarkation was natural.

of Jan.


Congrefs refolved, "That the charge made by gen. 1778. Burgoyné, of a breach of public faith on the part thefe ftates, is not warranted by the just conftruction of any article of the convention of Saratoga; that it is a strong indication of his intention, and affords just grounds of fear that he will avail himself of fuch pretended breach of the convention, in order to difengage himself and the army under him, of the obligations they are under to thefe United States; and that the fecurity which thefe ftates have had in his perfonal honor is hereby deftroyed." The next day they refolved therefore-" That the embarkation of gen. Burgoyne and the troops under his command, be fufpended till a diftinct and explicit ratification of the convention of Saratoga fhall be properly notified by the court of Great Britain." It was then ordered, "That the refolutions, and the report on which the fame are grounded, be re-committed."

They took into confideration afresh, the report of the, 8: committee, which fays, that the cartouch boxes, &c. agreeable to the spirit of the convention, and the technical interpretation of the word arms, ought to have been delivered up. It confiders Burgoyne's refusal to give the defcriptive lifts, which congress had directed to be taken, in an alarming point of view, more efpecially as nine days previous to the refufal, he had in his letter to Gates declared, that the public faith was broken. It infifts upon this charge of a breach of faith, being a VOL. III.

1778. deliberate act of judgment, and fo of a most serious nature, pregnant with alarming confequences. It attempts to invalidate the charge, and afferts, that by an examination of the articles it will appear, that the stipulation for quartering the officers was not to be conftrued in that rigorous fenfe in which Burgoyne affects to confider it, but on the contrary was "agreed to as far as circumftances would admit." This affertion reduces the ftipulation to a mere non-entity, if it is left with the ftipulating party wholly to judge of thefe circumftances. The committee who made the report mentioned, but forbore to lay any ftrefs on the feemingly inadequate number of veffels (being only twenty-fix tranfports) for an army confisting of 5642 men, in a winter's voyage to Europe; or on the improbability of the enemy's being able, on fo fhort a notice, to victual fuch a fleet and army for a voyage of fuch length." It is happy that they did not lay any stress upon it, as it would have manifefted how much they were biaffed by an eagerness to vindicate the measures they were defirous of adopting. The committee was a committee of the whole. Twenty-fix tranfports, of 250 ton each, would carry 6500 men, allowing a ton for every man. In winter time they could fafely ftow more clofely than in warmer weather. The voyage though long, in going from America to Europe, is performed generally much fooner in that than any other feafon, by reafon of the prevalency of the north-west winds; so that lefs provifion is required for the paffage.

The former refolves were paffed the fecond time, but not till congrefs had refolved, "That as many of the cartouch boxes and feveral other articles of military

accoutrements, annexed to the perfons of the non-com- 1778. miffioned officers and foldiers, included in the convention of Saratoga, have not been delivered up, the convention on the part of the British army has not been ftrictly complied with:-That the refufal of gen. Burgoyne to give defcriptive lifts of the non-commiffioned officers and privates belonging to his army, fubfequent to his declaration that the public faith was broke, is confidered by congrefs in an alarming point of view; fince a compliance could only have been prejudicial to that army in cafe of an infraction of the convention on their part." It was in vain that the general explained the intention and conftruction of the paffage objected to in his letter; or that his officers, in order to remove the difficulty occafioned by it, refpectively figned their parole. He even pledged himself, that his officers would ftill join with him in figning any inftrument that might be thought neceffary for confirming or renewing the validity of the convention; but it was to no purpose. Congress have been unalterable: and the detention of the troops is now fettled.

On the 9th of January, the Maffachusetts general court permitted Dr. Benjamin Church, whofe treachery had fubjected him to a long confinement, to take paffage on board a brigantine bound to Martinico *.

The American privateers and continental fhipping, have taken a large number of veffels belonging to Great Britain, and fent them into their own harbours. They 1777 have undoubtedly taken many others upon the European coafts, that we have not heard of. We have had ac

* She never reached her port, and has never been heard of finco failing.

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