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Entered according to an Act of Congress, in the year 1845,
BY THADDEUS ALLEN,
in the Clerk's Ofice of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Regard for the welfare of the present and future citizens of these United States, and a sense of justice due to the Master-Patriots of Revolutionary time, have prompt. ed this attempi to bring to the knowledge of our people generally, the best available evidences of ihe prevalent views and ruling principles in the incipient stages of our Union and Government; throngh these evidences to investigate the true characters and agencies of the LEADING MEN in the vast plans and labors of that momentous period, and trace their influences on the people and on the people's great interests, Through that and through succeeding periods to the present time.
If enough has been already done in this direction, or if the improvement in know. ledge and practice of the present age supersede the importance of those impressive lessons of experience, then the labor bestowed is vain, and the expense and labor of the reader will be also vain.
But if the only authentic sources of such knowledge come now to the sight of but few, and to the understanding of a still less number, then, space, whether or not occasion, yet remains for something more than has been hitherto done, to facilitate its extension. And if heirs, who have passively received a rich inheri ance which they imperfectly know how to improve, enjoy, or even preserve, act unwisely in presumptuously rejecting or disregarding the examples, maxims, and counsels of their ances. tors, by w ose skill and persevering labor it was acquired, and carefully husbanded for them, then may not be wholly useless an attempt to revive the principles of those PROVIDENT and FAR-SIGHTED FATHERS, — Men, by whose comprehensive intellects our Union was planned; by whose matchless wisdom, unparalleled patience, and unequalled labors, our Independence was gained; and by the energies of whose lumi. nous minds, stored with the great lessons of their long and rugged experience, our Government was formed and put into motion.
The following pages will, however, be profitless to such readers as now well understand, and can readily explain, all the changes, and the causes and authors of all the changes and influences, declared or alluded to in the following extracts - extracts given in the language of thoSE BENEFACTORS who claim, and who ever will claim, something more than ordinary attention and respect, from the present and from future generations.
• IN CONGRESS. June 17, 1775. — Resolved unanimously, Whereas, the delegates of all the Colonies, from Nova Scotia to Georgia, in Congress assembled, have unaniinously chosen George Washington, Esq., 10 be General and Commander-in-Chief of such forces as are, or shall be, raised for th maintenance and preservation of American liberty; this Congress doch now declare that they will maintain and assist him, and a there to him, the said George Washington, with their lives and fortunes, in the same cause.'
'July 6. We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as slavery.
• Our cause is just. Our union is perfect.'
Gen. Washington to the President of Congress, July 10. 'I know nothing, in a speculative view, more trivial, yet which, if put in practice, would have a happier tendency to unite the men, and abolish those Provincial distinctions that lead to jealousy and dissatisfaction.'
To Richard Henry Lee, in Congress, August 29. *I submit, therefore, to your consideration, whether there is, or is not, a propriety in that Resolution of the Congress, which leaves the ultimate appointment of all officers below the rank of Generals, to the governments where the regiments originated, now the army is become Continental. To me it appears improper; it is giving that power and weight to an individual Colony, which ought of right to belong only to the whole.'
Thomas Lynch,* in Congress, to Gen. Washington, November, 1775.
With grief and shame it must be confessed, that the whole blame lies not with the army. You will find your hands straitened, instead of strengthened. What the event will be it is impossible to foresee.'
Gen. Washington to Joseph Reed, Nov. 28. Could I have foreseen what I have experienced, and am likely to experience, no consideration upon earth should have induced me to accept this command. A regiment, or any subordinate department, would have been accompanied with ten times the satisfaction, and perhaps the honor.'
* IN CONGRESS. Nov. 30.-- Resolved, That no bounty be allowed to the army, on reënlistment.'
Gen. Greene to Gov. Ward, in Congress, Dec. 31. • You entreat the general officers to recommend to the Congress the giving of a bounty. But His Excellency, General Washington, has often assured us, that the Congress would not give a bounty. Can you think we should hesitate a moment to recommend a bounty, if we thought ourselves at liberty to do so ?
• If we had given a good bounty, and raised the troops speedily, it would have struck the Ministry with astonishment. They could not expect to conquer a people so united, firm, and absolutely determined.'
1776. Gen. Washington to Joseph Reed, Jan. 14. • The reflection on my situation, and that of this army, produces many an unhappy hour, when all around me are wrapped in sleep.
I have often thought how much happier I should have been, if, instead of accepting the command under such circumstances, I had taken my musket on my shoulder, and entered the ranks ; or, if I could have justified the measure to posterity and my own conscience, had retired to the back country, and lived in a wiguam.'
Gen. Greene to · The policy of Congress has been the most absurd and ridiculous * Mr. Lynch had been absent from Congress about the whole of October, as a member of their Committee, to the camp at Cambridge, where they passed several days in conference with the General.
, Sept. 28.
imaginable, pouring in their militia-men, who come and go every month.'
Gen. Washington to the President of Congress, Oct. 4. • I see such a distrust and jealousy of military power, that the Commander-in-Chief has not the opportunity, even by recommendation, to give the least assurances of reward, for the most essential services.'
To John Augustine Washington, Nov. 19. • In short, it is impossible for me, in the compass of a letter, to give you any idea of our situation.
* 'I am wearied almost to death with the retrograde motion of things, and solemnly protest, that a pecuniary reward of twenty thousand pounds a year would not induce me to undergo what I do.
Gen. Washington to the President of Congress, Dec. 20. • I have labored, ever since I have been in the service, to discourage all kinds of local attachments and distinctions of country, by denominating the whole by the greater name of AMERICAN; but I have found it impossible to overcome prejudices; and, under the new establishment, I conceive it best to stir up an emulation.'
To Joseph Reed, Esq., or John Cadwallader, Esq., only, at Bristol, Dec. 23.
Christmas day, at night, one hour before day, is the time fixed upon for our attempt on Trenton ;
our numbers, sorry am I to say, being less than I had any conception of; but necessity, dire necessity, will, nay, must, justify an attack.”
Robert Morris, a member of Congress, to Gen. Washington, Dec. 23. • It is useless, at this period, to examine into the causes of our pres. ent unhappy situation, unless that examination would be productive of & cure for the evils which surround us. In fact, they have long been known to such as would open their eyes.
To criminate the authors of errors would not avail, but we cannot see ruio staring us in the face, without thinking of them.'
Gen. Washington to Robert Morris, Dec. 26. I agree
you that it is in vain to ruminate upon, or even reflect upon, the authors or causes of our present misfortunes; we should rather exert ourselves, and look forward with hopes that some lucky chance may yet turn up in our favor.'
R. Morris to Gen. Washington, Feb. 27. • And, were I sure of such being received in the same light, I should lament to you, the absence of many great, good and valuable men
Gen. Washington to R. Morris, March 2. . Indeed, sir, your observations on the want of many capital characters in that Senate, are but too just. However, our cause is good, and I hope Providence will support it.'
To the President of Congress, March 14. Could I accomplish the important objects so eagerly wished by Congress, “confining the enemy within their present quarters, preventing their getting supplies from the country, and totally subduing