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General Gates arrived at Boston, having been directed i778* forthwith to repair thither and take the comrri&nd of the V continental forces in the eastern district.
The present narrative of American matters shall close with part of a letter*, written from Philadelphia the 27th of August, by a gentleman of eminence to gov. Houston of Georgia—-" Were I to unfold to you, Sir, the scenes of venality, peculation and fraud," which I have disco- .. i vered, the disclosure would astonish you: nor would you, , , Sir, be less astonished were I, by a detail which the occasion would require, to prove to you, that he must be a pitiful rogue who, when detected or suspected, meets not with powerful advocates among those, who, in the present corrupt time, ought to exert all their powers in defence and support of these friend-plundered, much injured, and, I was almost going to say, sinking states. Don't apprehend, Sir, that I colour too high, or that any part of these intimations are the effect of rash judgment or despondency: I am warranted to say they are hot: my opinion, my sentiments, are supported every day by the declaration of individuals: the difficulty lies in bringing men collectively to attack with vigor a proper object."
* This was a private letter; bnt was afterward published in Riving
^on's Royal Gazette, as written by the president of congress, Henry
Laurens efq. It was known by several to contain a strong mark of
Roxbufy, Jpril 14, 1779.
^HPHE present letter shall begin with an expedition -*• through the remote and upper parts of Pennsyl
x. * vania, on the 1st of October under col. William Butler. It was directed not only against the Indians, but several considerable settlements belonging to the tories, become particularly obnokious from the violence of their past hostilities. The party, which consisted of a Pennsylvania regiment, covered by riflemen and rangers, took its departure from Schoharie, and having gained the head ef the Delaware, marched down the river for two days; from whence turning off to the right, they struck across the mountains to the Susquehanna, which was the scene of action. They totally burnt and destroyed, both the Indian castles and villages in that quarter, and the other settlements; but the inhabitants, both tories and Indians, escaped. The destruction was extended for several miles en both sides the Susquehanna. The difficulties, distresses and dangers which the party encountered, required no frnall ihare of that fortitude and hardiness of body and mind, which can scarcely be acquired by any considerabl e number of men without long habitude, under certain marked circumstances of situation. They were obliged to carry six days provision on their backs; and thus loaded, continually to wade through rivers and creeks, scarcely paflable without any encumbrance to
men men unused to such service. In these circumstances, m& after the toil of a hard march, they were obliged to endure chilly nights and heavy rains, without any mean for keeping even their arms dry. But these were small matters compared with the danger awaiting their return, 1and which they hardly escaped. This was the sudden risings of the creeks and the Susquehanna, occasioned by continual heavy rains, while they were still in the enemy's country* and with their provisions nearly expended. The last circumstance rendered their cafe desperate, so that though* on any other occasion, the crossing of the Susquehanna, when so high, would have been deemed impracticable, it was successfully attempted by mounting the men on horses, which in some places were obliged to swim; and thus all the troops were safeljr transported, and by crossing the mountains evaded two other dangerous places. They returned to Schoharie on the 16th, after having, with the greatest fortitude, '& surmounted every difficulty, and were, by order of the. colonel, complimented with the firing of thirteen rounds ©f cannon, and a feu de joie.
Mr. governeur Morris having acquainted congress, that he had received application from a person in New York, to know whether he may, with safety to his person and property, continue in that city upon the evacuatioa thereof; and having further informed them, that the said person is in a capacity to give useful intelligence, and probably will do it, if he receive assurances that it will be recommended to the state of New York to afford him protection, they resolved, that the said G. Morris 2. be empowered to give him such assurances, on condition that he shall give intelligence, of whatever may come to
-*778* his knowledge relating to the numbers, movements and ^ designs of the enemy. Henry Laurens esq; having filled the station of president for one year on the 31st of October, made his resignation of the presidency, lest any example taken from his continuance might hereafter become inconvenient. He was replaced by a unanimous vote.
Accounts have been received, that commodore Evans, being dispatched by adm. Montague, arrived on the 34th of September in St. Peter's road, and sent to the governor of the small islands of St' Pierre and Miquelon, acquainting him that the French had committed hostilities in America, and that therefore he demanded a surrender of the islands: which was complied with, as there was no force to make an effectual resistance. The governor and his suite, and the principal inhabitants, women and children, amounting to 932, were embarked on board the vessels found at St. Pierre's, and sent to France.
The French alliance has proved the occasion of the British ministry's having ordered away a considerable part of their force from New York. The same day that
Nov* count d'Estaing sailed from Boston, commodore Hotham with two 64 gun ships, and three of 50, beside frigate* and a bomb ketch, having under convoy transports containing 5000 British troops, commanded by gen. Grant, left Sandy Hook and steered for the West Indies, whither the count went.
The chevalier de Maduit du Plessis, lieut. col. of artillery in the continental army, having expressed an apprehension that the war is near a conclusion in this
5. country, and a desire of returning to France to offer 3 , . his his service tb his prince, congress ordered that a written *71%. testimonial of the high fense they entertained of his zeal, bravery and good conduct, should be given him. The committee upon the business, had resolved that a brevet commission of colonel should be granted him, which the congress negatived two days before, as it was high time to cease lavishing away promotions on foreigners. The ambition of the natives of France and of foreigners in common was unbounded; and the singular instances of rank which had been conferred upon them, in too many instances, occasioned general dissatisfaction and complaint. Fewer promotions in the foreign line would have been productive of more harmony among the continental officers. It is certain, that the army has a full proportion of foreign officers in their councils.
Some hundreds of Indians, a large number of tories, u. and about 50 regulars, all under col. Butler, entered .Cherry-Valley within New York state, by an old Indian path, which col. Alden, who commanded the American troops there stationed had neglected. The colonel was shot in attempting to reach the fort, called after him Alden: on which the enemy commenced a heavy fire that lasted more than three hours, when they withdrew, having no further hope of carrying it. The next day they left the place after having killed, scalped, and barbarously murdered 32 inhabitants, chiefly women and children, beside col. Alden and ten soldiers. They took prisoners the lieut. colonel, two or three other officers, 13 privates, and a number of inhabitants. The greatest inhumanities were practised on most of the dead.
John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle, of the quaker « persuasion, were executed at Philadelphia, being con. , victed