Abbildungen der Seite

and whenever the case shall alter, then in proportion to 1?7W the depreciation will be the loss of the public in what they borrow, to say nothing of the enormous burdens for which they must pay interest in specie, or what is equal to it, if so much as what hath been emitted could be borrowed, as to render the remainder equally valuable with silver.—The last method is by very consider- _. able loans or subsidies in Europe, and is the only mode at once equal to the effect: desired, and free from the foregoing exceptions; for if such a sum is drawn for, at the advanced exchange, as by taking up the greatest part of our paper to reduce the exchange to par, the paper then remaining will be fully appreciated, and the sum due will not nominally, and therefore in the event not actually exceed its real value.—But to this mode there are objections: i. subsidies by any means equal to our necessities can hardly be expected, while our allies, being engaged in a war, will want all the money they can procure; and 2. loans cannot probably be obtained without good guarantee, or other security which America may not perhaps be able to procure or give.—But until our finances can be in a better situation, the Wa* cannot possibly be prosecuted with vigor; and the efforts made, feeble as they must be, will be attended with an oppressive weight of expence, rendering still more weak the confederated states.—This will appear from the foregoing observations, and also from hence, that the present, and in all probability the future seat of the war; (that is, the middle states) is so exhausted, that unless by the strenuous voluntary exertions of the inhabitants, no great number of men can possibly be subsisted; and

N 4 such

»778- such exertions cannot be expected without the temptation of money more valued than ours is at present."

Five days before the date of the instructions above related, congress upon the application of the marquis dela Fayette granted him leave to return to France, and directed the president to wr,ite him a letter of thanks for that disinterested zeal which led him to America, and for the services he had rendered to the United States by the exertion of his courage and abilities on many signal occasions. They also ordered Dr. Franklin to cause an elegant sword, with proper devices, to be made and presented to him in the name of the United States: and crowned the whole with a letter recommending him to his most christian majesty. The marquis took Jeave of congress by letter of the a6th of October. The next day when it was received, a letter from the marquis was read, giving an account of the brave conduct of capt. Tonzar, in taking possession of a piece of artillery from the enemy, in which action he lost his right arm; whereupon congress promoted him to the rank of lieut. col. in the service of the United States, by brevet, and appointed him a pension for Use of thirty dollars per month.

Let us resume our narration of military operations.

So early as the 8th of February, gen. Schuyler wrote to congress—" There is too much reason to believe, that an expedition will be formed (by the Indians) against the western frontiers of this state (New York) Virginia and Pennsylvania." The next month he informed them—" A number of Mohawks, and many of the Onondagoes, Cayugas, and Senecas will commence hostilities against us as soon as they can; it would be prudent therefore early to take measures to carry the war into their country; it would

require require no greater body of troops to destroy their towns 1778' than to protect the frontier inhabitants." No effectual measures being taken to repress the hostile spirit of the Indians, numbers joined the tory refugees, and with these commenced their horrid depredations and hostilities upon I the back settlers, being headed by col. Butler and Brandt, j an half blooded Indian, of desperate courage, ferocious and cruel beyond example. Their expeditions were carried on to great advantage, by the exact knowledge which the refugees possessed of every object of their enterprise, and the immediate intelligence they received from their friends on the spot. The weight of their hostilities fell upon the fine, new and flourishing settlement of Wyoming, situated on the eastern branch of the Susquehanna, in a most beautiful country and delightful climate. It was settled and cultivated with great ardor by a number of people from Connecticut, which claims the territory as included in its original grant from Charles II. The settlement consisted of eight town ships, each five miles square, beautifully placed on each side of the river. It had increased so by a rapid population, that the settlers sent a thousand men to serve in the continental army. To provide against the dangers of their remote situation, four forts were constructed to cover them from the irruptions of the Indians. But it was their unhappiness, to have a consider- | able mixture of royalists among them; and the two \ parties were actuated by sentiments of the most violent animosity, which was not confined to particular families or places; but creeping within the roofs and to the hearths and floors where it was least to be expected, served equally to poison the sources of domestic security


177ft, anc^ happiness, and to cancel the laws of nature and j humanity.

They had frequent and timely warnings of the danger to which they were exposed by sending their best men to so great a distance. Their quiet had been interrupted by the Indians, joined by marauding parties of their own countrymen, in the preceding year; and ic was only by a vigorous opposition, in a course of sue-, cessful skirmishes, that they had been driven off. Several tories, and others not before suspected, had then and since abandoned the setdement; and beside a perfect knowledge of all their particular circumstances, carried along with them such a stock of private resentmenty as could not fail of directing the fury, and even giving an edge to the cruelty of their Indian and other inveterate enemies. An unusual number of strangers had come among them under various pretences, whose behaviour became so suspicious, that upon being taken up and examined, such evidence appeared against several of them, of their acting in concert with the enemy, on a scheme for the destruction of the settlements, thao about twenty were sent off to Connecticut to be there imprisoned and tried for their lives, while the remainder were expelled. These measures excited the rage of the tories in general to the most extreme degree; and the threats formerly denounced against the settlers, were now renewed with aggravated vengeance.;

As the time approached for the final catastrophe, the Indians practised unusual treachery. For several weeks previous to the intended attack, they repeatedly sent small parties to the settlement, charged with the strongest professions of friendship. These parties, beside attempt- , , , ing ing to lull the people in security, answered the purposes 177?* of communicating with their friends, and of observing the present state of affairs. The settlers however were not insensible to the danger. They had taken the alarm, and col. Zebulon Butler had several times written letters to congress and gen. Washington, acquainting them with the danger the settlement was in, and requesting assistance; but the letters were never received, having been intercepted by the Pennsylvania tories. A little before the main attack, some small parties made sudden irruptions, and committed several robberies and murders; and from ignorance or a contempt of all ties whatever, massacred the wife and five children of one of the persons sent for trial to Connecticut in their own cause.

At length, in the beginning of July, the enemy sud- JuIy denly appeared in full force on the Susquehanna, headed by col. John Butler, a Connecticut tory, and cousin to col. Zeb. Butler, the second in command in the settlement. He was assisted by most of those leaders, who had rendered themselves terrible in the present frontier war. Their force was about 1600 men, near a fourth Indians, led by their own chiefs: the others were so disguised and painted as not to be distinguished from the Indians, excepting their officers, who being dressed in regimentals, carried the appearance of regulars. One of the smaller forts, garrisoned chiefly by tories, was given up or rather betrayed. Another was taken by storm, and all but the women and children massacred in the most inhuman manner.

Colonel Zeb. Butler, leaving a small number to guard 3. fort Wilkesborough, crossed the river with about 400 men, and marched into Kingston fort, whither the women,

« ZurückWeiter »