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from New York through the Sound to Rhode Island, 1777. was so much more convenient and less hazardous, than going round by Long-Inand and Cape Cod to Boston, especially at such a season, that the application for changing the place of embarkation was natural.
Congress resolved, “That the charge made by gen. 1778. Burgoyné, of a breach of public faith on the part of '. tħese states, is not warranted by the just construction 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 such pretended breach of the convention, in order to disengage himself and the army under him, of the obligations they are under to these United States; and that the security which these states have had in his personal honor is hereby destroyed.” The next day they resolved therefore That the embarkation of gen. Burgoyne and the troops under his command, be suspended till a distinct and explicit ratification of the convention of Saratoga shall be properly notified by the court of Great Britain.” It' was then ordered, “ That the resolutions, and the report on which the same are grounded, be re-committed.”
They took into consideration afresh, the report of the, 8. committee, which says, 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 considers Burgoyne's refusal to . give the descriptive lists, which congress had directed to be taken, in an alarming point of view, more especially as nine days previous to the refusal, he had in his letter to Gates declared, that the public faith was broken. It insists upon this charge of a breach of faith, being a · VOL. III.
3778. deliberate act of judgment, and so of a most serious
nature, pregnant with alarming consequences. It attempts to invalidate the charge, and asserts, that by an examination of the articles it will appear, that the stipulation for quartering the officers was not to be construed in that rigorous sense in which Burgoyne affects to consider it, but on the contrary was “ agreed to as far as circumstances would admit.” This assertion reduces the stipulation to a mere non-entity, if it is left with the ftipulating party wholly to judge of these circumstances. The committee who made the report mentioned, but forbore " to lay any stress on the seemingly inadequate number of vessels (being only twenty-six transports) for an army consisting of 5642 men, in a winter's voyage to Europe ; or on the improbability of the enemy's being able, on so short a notice, to victual such a fleet and army for a voyage of such length.” It is happy that they did not lay any stress upon it, as it would have manifested how much they were biassed by an eagerness to vindicate the measures they were desirous of adopting. The committee was a committee of the whole. Twenty-six transports, of 250 ton each, would carry 6500 men, allowing a ton for every man. In winter time they could safely stow more closely than in warmer weather. The voyage though long, in going from America to Europe, is performed generally much sooner in that than any other season, by reason of the prevalency of the north-west winds ; so that less provision is required for the passage
The former resolves were passed the second time, but not till congress had resolved, « That as many of the cartouch boxes and several other articles of military
accoutrements, annexed to the persons of the non-com- 1778. missioned officers and soldiers, included in the convention of Saratoga; have not been delivered up, the convention on the part of the British army has not been strictly complied with :--That the refusal of gen. Burgoyne to give descriptive lists of the non-commissioned officers and privates belonging to his army, subsequent to his declaration that the public faith was broke, is considered by congress in an alarming point of view; since a compliance could only have been prejudicial to that army in case of an infraction of the convention on their part.” It was in vain that the general explained the intention and construction of the passage objected to in his letter; or that his officers, in order to remove the difficulty occafioned by it, respectively signed their parole. He even pledged himself, that his officers would still join with him in signing any instrument that might be thought necessary for confirming or renewing the va lidity of the convention ; but it was to no purpose. Con gress have been unalterable: and the detention of the troops is now settled.
On the oth of January, the Massachusetts general court permitted Dr. Benjamin Church, whose treachery had subjected him to a long confinement, to take paffage on board a brigantine bound to Martinico *.
The American privateers and continental shipping, have taken a large number of vessels belonging to Great Britain, and sent them into their own harbours. They 14
ney 1777 have undoubtedly taken many others upon the European coasts, that we have not heard of. We have had ac
* She never reached her port, and has never been heard of fince failing
E2 . counts
1777. counts of several; and that the coasts of Great Britain
and Ireland have been insulted by them, in a mannernever before ventured upon by your hardiest enemies; so as to produce the appointment of a convoy (for the
first time ever known) to protect the linen ships from i Dublin and Newry. We learn also that the General i Mimin privateer, after making repeated captures, ar
rived at Brest, and faluted the French admiral, who · returned the salute in form, as to the vessel of a fove.
reign independent state. We are likewise told, that though lord Stormont, on his threatening to return immediately to Great Britain, unless satisfaction was given, obtained an order requiring not only all American privateers, but their prizes, to leave the French ports, the faine is evaded. However, his majesty's vessels on the American station, have not been idle ; for they have captured very considerably on these coasts and the West Indies. Their captures, indeed, are generally not of much value singly, yet they have furnished, at times; fome rich prizes, and in the aggregate have been of great amount. But the balance of property will most certainly be in favor of the Americans. The continencal frigate Hancock, of thirty-two guns, mostly twelve pounders, commanded by capt. Manley, was taken, on the 8th of July, by Sir George Collier; of his majesty's Ship the Rainbow.
Sir George, in company with the Victor brig, ditcovered three fail in the morning of the sixth. He chased with all the fail he could crowd: but observing the next day that they steered different courses, about two in the afternoon he tacked after the lIancock, which appeared the largest ship. She seemed at first rather
to outsail the Rainbow; but Manley endeavouring to 1777. inake his ship l'ail better, started all his water forward, and so put her out of trim. At half past eight the next morning, Sir George hailed her, and let the men know, that if they expected quarter, they must strike immediately. Manley endeavoured to avail himself of a fresh breeze just springing up, Sir George therefore fired into him, on which he struck after a chace of thirty-ninę hours. He had lately taken the Fox of twenty-eight guns on the banks of Newfoundland; which was one of the three fail, and being discovered by the Flora on the 7th, was chaced till re-taken. The third was the Bofton continental frigate of thirty guns, commanded by capt. M'Neal, which escaped. The public are not satisfied with the conduct of the latter, imagining that if he had not left his confort, and that if both had be- . haved well, neither would have been captured. The Hancock's compliment was 290 men, near as many as the Rainbow's. . On the first of December, the ship Flamand, capt. Landais, arrived at Portsmouth from Marseilles. Mr. John Baptiste Lazarus Theveneau de Francey is come supercargo and agent for the house of Roderique Hortales and company, alias Mr. Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais. The ship has brought 48 pieces of brass cannon, four pounders, with carriages complete -19 nine inch mortars-2500 bombs, nine inches--2000 four pound balls—a quantity of intrenching tools---3000 fufees-1110 of another quality for dragoons--about 18,000 pounds of gunpowder-and 61,051 of brimstone.
The continent is looking out for important news from France.
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