« ZurückWeiter »
delegate lectured him upon it, and told him that he had forgotten the errand on which he was sent to congress, and advised him to return to his constituents. This versatility in political sentiments, though it chagrined, did not surprise his Massachus setts brethren; for they remembered, that at a certain period he was upon the point of joining the tory club at Boston (as it was called) whereby he alarmed the liberty party most amazingly, and obliged them to exert all their influence to prevent so dangerous and mortifying an event.
In the chair he so 'acquitted himself, that a member of congress wrote in May, when it was thought he would return to the Massachusetts-“This letter will go by president Hancock, for whose absence from congress I am much concerned, though his great fatigue and long attendance entitle him to some relaxation. How we shall do without him I know not, for we have never yet put in a chairman on a committee of the whole house, that could in any measure fill his place. He has not only dignity and impartiality, which are the great requisites of a president of such a body, but has an alertness, attention and readiness to conceive of any motion and its tendency, and of every alteration proposed in the course of debate, which greatly tends to facilitate and expedite business.” The chair is known to be his fort. As chairman of a committee, or any other body, he presides with much advantage to himself; but it has been and is observed, that the number at the head of whom he is, whether many or few, makes a wide difference in him ; when great, he appears to be in his own element, and is all animation; if small it is otherwise. This is common to public characters, especial. ly where there is a fondness for popularity.
(Nov. 1.) “ Congress proceeded to the election of a president; and the ballots being taken the honorable Henry Laurens was elected." He is a South-Carolina delegate, a gentleman of a large estate, and of an approved character. He was in England when the troubles were coming forward, and upon learning the intentions of ministry, returned with a fixed determination to risk all in the cause of his country and liberty. Gen. Washington has pointed out to him gen. Grecne, as the inost suitable person in his judgment, to succeed in the chief command of the American army, in case he hiinself should be taken off by death or in any other way.
[Nov. 3.] Colonel Wilkinson, who brought the dispatches from gen. Gates, attended and delivered a message from him to congress, in the following words, “ I have it in charge from major gen. Gates, to represent to the honorable congress, that lieut. gen. Burgoyne, at the tiine le capitulated, was strongly entrenched
on a formidable post with twelve days provision : that the reduction of fort Montgomery and the enemy's consequent progress up the Hudson's-River endangered our arsenal at Albany, a reflection which left gen. Gates no time to contest the capitu. lation with lieut. gen. Burgoyne, but -induced the necessity of immediately closing with his proposals, hazarding a disadvantageous attack, or retiring from his position for the security of our magazine ; this delicate situation abridged our conquests, and procured licut. gen. Burgoyne the terms he enjoys. Had our attack been carried against lieut. gen. Burgoyne the dismemberment of our army must necessarily have been such as would have incapacitated it from further action. With an army in health, vigor and spitits, major gen. Gates now waits the commands of the honorable congress.” Beside thanking Gates, Lincoin, Arnold, and the rest of the officers and troops under his command the congress resolved the next day, that a medal of gold should be struck in commemoration of the convention, and in the name of the United States presented by the president to major gen. Gates.
[Nov. 7.1 Congress resolved, That major gen. Mifilin's resignation of the office of quarter-master-general be accepted, but that his rank and commission of major general be continued to him, without the pay annexed to that office, until further order of congress:" In October they resolved, " That a board of war be established, to consist of three persons not members of congress.” They now took up that business and proceeded to the election of the board, when major gen. Mimin, col. Timothy Pickering and col. Bobert H. Harrison were elected. A fortnight after, in consequence of a conference between some of the members and Mimin, they resolved, “That two additional commissioners be appointed to execute the department of the war office ;" and Harrison declining to serve, they on the 27th proceeded to the election of three commissioners, when major gen. Gates, Joseph Trumbull, and Richard Peters, esq’rs, were elected; it was then resolved, “ That major gen. Gates be appointed president of the board of war.” Gates was to retain his rank as major general in the army, and to officiate at the board or in the fieid as occasion might require.
The great business of the CONFEDERATION calls for our next attention. It was on the lith of June, 1776, that is was resolved to appoint a committee to prepare and digest the form of one. By the 12th of July they brought in a draught, which was read and ordered to be printed for the consideration of con"gress alone ; and no member was to furnish any person with his copy, or take any steps by which the said confedrat.on might be re-printed. After having been before congress nine and thirty times, on different days; a copy of the confederation being made out, and sundry amendınents made in the diction, without altering the sense, the same was agreed to on the 15th of last November, and is as follows:
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION AND PERPETUAL
UNION between the states of New Hampshire, Massachu. setts-bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carotina, South Carolinia and Georgia.
Article 1. The stile of this confederacy shall be “ Th: United States of America."
Article 2. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United State in congress assembled.
Article 3. The said states hereby severally enter into a firma Jeague of friendship with each other, for their common de: fence, the security of their liberties and their mutual and general welfare : binding themselves to assist each other against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them or any of them on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pre. tence whatever.
Article 4. The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friend, ship and intercourse among the people of the different states ia this union, the free inhabitants of each of these states (paupers, vagabonds and fugitives from justice excepted) shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states, and the people of each state shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other state, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties im. positions and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively, provided that such restrictions shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any state to any 03 ther state, of which the owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties or restriction, shall be laid by any state on the property of the United States or either of them.
If any person guilty of or charged with treason, felony or other high misdemeanor in any state, shall flee from justice and be found in any of the United States, he shall upon demand of the governor or executive power of the state from which he fied, be delivered up and removed to the state having jurisdiction of his offence.
Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these states to the records, acts and judicial proceedings of the courts and magis. trates of every other state.
Article 5. For the more convenient management of the generas interests of the United States, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of cach state shall direct, to meet in congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with a power reserved to each state to recal its delegates or any of them, at any time within the year, and to send others in their stead, for the remainder of the year. * No state shall be represented in congress by less than two por by more than seven members; and no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years ; nor shall any, person being a delegate, be capable of holding any office under the United States, for which he or any other for his benefit, receives any salary, fees or emolument of any kind.
Each state shall maintain its own delegates in any meeting of the states, and while they act as members of the committee of the states.. * In determining questions in the United States in congress asa sembled, cach state shall have one votc. · Freedom of specch and debate in congress shall not be ima peached or questioned in any court or place out of congress ; and the members of congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests and imprisonments, during the time of their going to and from and attendance on congress, except for treason, felony or breach of the peace. . . · Article 6. No state, without the consent of the United States in congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance or treaty with any king, prince or state ; nor shall any person hoiding any office of profit or trust under the United States, or any of them, accept of any present, emolument, office or title of any kind whatever from any king, prince or foreign state ; nor shail the United States in congress assembled, or any of thcm, grant any title of nobility. . No two or more states shall enter into any treaty, confedera tion or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the United States in congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue. • No state shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with any stipulations in treaties entered into by the United States ia congress assembled with any king, prince or state, in pursuin
ance of any treaties already proposed by congress to the courts of France and Spain.
No vessels of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any state, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the United States in congress assembled for the defence of such state or its trade : nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any state, in time of peace, except such number only as, in the judgment of the United States in congress assembled, shall be deemed, requi. site to garrison the forts necessary for the defence of such state; but every state shall always keep up a well regulated, and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutred, and shall provide and have constantly ready for use, in public stores, a due nume ber of field-pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, anmunition and camp equipage.
No state shall engage in any war without the consent of the U. pited States in congress assembled, unless such state be actually invaded by enemies, or shall have certain advice of a resolution being formed by some nation of Indians to invade such state, and the danger is so inminent as not to admit of a delay till the United States in congress assembled can be consulted; nor shall any state grant commissions to any ships or vessel of war, nor letters of marquc or reprisal, except it be after a declaration of war by the United States in congress assembled, and then only against the kingdom or state and the subjects thereof against which war has been so declared, and under such regulations as shall be éstablished by the United States in congress assembled, unless such state be invested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be fitted out for that occasion and kept so long as the danger shall continue, or until the United States in congress assembled shall determine otherwise.
Article 7. When land forces are raised by any state for the common defence, all officers of or under the rank of colonel shall be appointed by the legislature of each state respectively by whom such forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such state shall direct ; and all vacancies shall be filled up by the state which first made the appointment.
Article 8. All charges of war and all other expences that shall be incurred for the common defence 'or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several states in proportion to the value of all land within each state, granted to or surveyed for any person, as such land and the buildings and improvements thereon shall be estimated, accord. ing to such mode as the United States ir congress assembled shall from time to time direct and appoint.