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*777* port of Boston to that of Rhode-Island or the Sound, contiguous to New York, which as well as Rhode-Island was possessed by the British. He wrote to gen. Washington upon the subject on the 25th of November. The American commander forwarded the letter to congress. They on the day it was received, the 17th of December, resolved, "That gen. Washington be directed to inform gen. Burgoyne, that congress will not receive, nor consider any proposition for indulgence or altering the terms of the convention of Saratoga, unless immediately directed to their own body." The next day they received gen. Gates's letter of December the 3d, enclosing a letter to him from gen. Burgoyne of November the 14th, wherein he declared, that the public saith, plighted in the convention of Saratoga, was broken on the part of the United States, in as much as the officers included in the convention had not, since their arrival in Massachusetts-bay, been accommodated with quarters agreeable to their respective ranks. Congress had now i , obtained what they wanted, a plea for detaining the convention troops. Some of the members, not attending sufficiently to dates and circumstances, imagined that Burgoyne expected to have sailed before his letter of the 14th could have reached congress time enough for them to have detained him; but it was scarce possible that such an expectation could have existed, when he did not write to gen. Washington on the subject of changing the place of embarkation before the 25th, and could not, till permission was received, possibly embark at Rhode-Island, to which port the transports were sent, and of whose arrival he was informed by letter of December the fifth. The coming
from New York through the Sound to Rhode-Island, 1777. was so much more convenient and less.hazardous, than going found by Long-Island 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. »778Biirgoyne, of a breach of public faith on the part of 2* these states, is not warranted by the just construction of any article of the convention of Saratoga; that it 'is astrong 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 fame are grounded, be re-committed."
They took into consideration afresh, the report of the. 8: committee, which fays, 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
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'77s-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 fense in which Burgoyne affects to consider it, but on the contrary was " agreed to as sar as circumstances would admit." This assertion reduces the stipulation to a mere non-entity, if it is left with the stipulating 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-fix 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-fix transports, of 250 ton each, would carry 650O men, allowing a ton for every man. In wintef time they could safely stow more closely than in warmer .weather. The voyage though long, in going frorn 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 cartotich boxes and several other articles of military
accoutrements; annexed to the persons of the non-com- »778« 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 ah alarming point of view; since a compliance could only have been prejudicial to that army in cafe 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 occasioned by it, respectively signed their parole. He even pledged himself, that his officers would^-r— -N still join with him in signing any instrument that m^hJr be thought necessary for confirming or renewing the^va-. \, <j lidity of the convention; but it was to no purposif. Cdri-i gress have been unalterable: and the detentionVcJf^j troops is now settled.
On the 9th of January, the Massachusetts general court permitted Dr. Benjamin Church, whose treachery had subjected him to a long confinement, to take passage 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 , 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 fine? sailing.
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»777*counts of several; and that the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland have been insulted by them, in a manner" never 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 , Dublin and Newry. We learn also that the General Mifflin privateer, after making repeated captures, ar'rived at Brest, and saluted the French admiral* who returned the salute in form, as to the vessel of a sovereign independent state. We are likewise told, that though lord Stormont, on his threatening to return immediately to Great Britain, unless satissaction was given, 6btained an order requiring not only all American privateers, but their prizes, to leave the French ports, the same 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, some rich prizes, and in the aggregate have been of great amount. ' But the balance of property will most certainly be in savor of the Americans. The continental 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 soip the Rainbow.
Sir George, in company with the Victor brig, discovered ,three sail in the morning of the sixth. He chased with all the sail he could crowd: but observing the next day that they steered different courses, about two in the afternoon he tacked after the 1 Iancock; which 'appeared the largest ship. She seemed at first rather