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inhabitants of the United States of America." In it1778, they recapitulate in a masterly and affecting manner the occurrences and state of the three preceding years. Their j. language is calculated to seize and lead the passions captive at pleasure. When they come to the French trea-' •ties, they fay—" You have still to expect one severe . conflict. Your foreign alliances, though they secure your independence, cannot secure your country from desolation, your habitations from plunder, your wives from insult or violation, nor your children from butchery. Foiled in the principal design, you must expect to feel the rage of disappointed ambition. Arise then! to your tents! and gird you for battle. If is time to turn the headlong current of vengeance upon the head of the destroyer. They have filled up the measure of their abo-' minations, and like fruit must soon drop from the tree. Although much is done, yet much remains to do. Expect not peace, while any corner of America is in possession of your foes, You must drive them away from; • this land of promise, a lartd flowing indeed with' milk and honey. Your brethren at the extremities of the continent, already implore your friendship and protection. It is your duty to grant their request. They hunger and thirst after liberty. Be it yours to dispense to them the heavenly gift. And what is there now to. preventit?" They afterward hold up to their view—the sweets of a free-commerce with every part of the earth, soon to .reimburse them for all the losses they have sustained ;—the full tide of wealth to flow in upon their shores, free from the arbitrary impositions of those, whose interest and whose declared policy it is to check their growth ;—arid, the nourishing and fostering of their in-'
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'77s.terests by governments, whose power will be derived from their grant; and that will therefore be obliged, by the influence of cogent necessity, to exert it in their savor. They close with—" It is to obtain these things that we call for your strenuous, unremitted exertions. Yet do not believe that you have been, or can be saved, merely by your own strength. No! it is by the assistance of Heaven ; and this you must assiduously cultivate by acts which Heaven approves. Thus shall the power and happiness of these sovereign, free, and independent states, founded on the virtue of their citizens, increase, extend and endure, until the Almighty shall blot out all , the empires of the earth." That this animated, but in some instances, extravagant address, might have its full operation; and to the utmost extent, they recommended to ministers of the gospel, of all denominations, the reading or the causing of it to be read, immediately after divine service, to the inhabitants of the United States, in their respective churches and chapels, and other ,. places of religious worship. A week after, they resumed 15. the subject of making an allowance to officers after the war* and then resolved unanimously, "That all military officers commissioned by congress, who now are or hereafter may be in the service of the United States, and shall continue therein during the war, and not hold any office of prosit tinder these states or any of them, shall, after the conclusion of the war, be entitled to receive an^ nually for the term of seven years, if they live so long, one half of the present pay of such officers; provided that no general officer of the cavalry, artillery or insantry, shall be entitled to receive more than the one half part of the pay of a colonel os such corps; and provided that this resolution shall not extend to any officer, unless hei^l, shall have taken an oath of allegiance to and shall actually reside within some one of the United States." . All later proceedings of congress must be deferred tiJJ another opportunity.
On April the twenty-fifth, the Massachusetts assembly sent a letter to congress giving the reasons why they refrained from passing the regulating act, viz. their ap- \ prehensions that it could not be carried into execution, and that it would be attended with the most fatal consequences. They have passed an act for prescribing and establishing an oath of fidelity and allegiance. Persons refusing it, .are to be sent off by order of council, within forty days after such refusal, to some port in the dominions of the king of Great Britain.
The declaration of independence made it necessary for the South Carolinians to new model their temporary form of government. The inhabitants, instead of choosing delegates to meet in convention for that business, intrusted their representatives with it; and the elections in every part of the state were conducted on the idea, that the members chosen, over and above the ordinary powers of legislators, should have that of framing a new constitution. Thus authorized, in January 1777, they entered upon the business.. They did not proceed to give a final sanction to their deliberations; but the model they had agreed to was printed in the form of a bill, and submitted to the examination of the people at large for the space of a year. Such was the prevailing approbation, ' that when it came before the legislature, the general assembly and legislative-council proceeded iff 'G 3 March;
1778, March 1778, to give it a final-sanction in the form of a law; and presented it to president Rutledge for his assent., He refused passing it, and gave his reasons in a speech addressed to both houses. He urged the oath he had taken to preside according to the constitution agreed to by the representatives in 1776; that the bill offered to him annihilated one branch of the legislature, and transferred the right of electing another branch from the general assembly to the people, and that nothing appeared clearer to him than that they had not lawful power so to do. He observed, that the good of the people being the end of government, that is the best form under which they are happiest; and that they are the fittest judges of what wist be most productive of their happiness. He surmised that "The people preferred .a compounded or mixed government to a simple democracy, or one verging toward it, perhaps because, however unexceptionable democratic power may appear at the first view, its effects have been found arbitrary, fevercand destructive, "Certain it is," said he, " that systems which, in theory have been much admired, on trial have not succeeded; and that projects and expert, ments relative to government are of all schemes the jnost dangerous and fatal," He concluded his address with resigning the office of president and commander in chief into their hands, and requesting them to accept it and elect some person in his stead. A majority of their suffrages were in'savor of the honorable Arthur -Middlefon: but he had his difficulties as to passing the bilL and declined the office. The honorable Jiawlins J^owndes was soon after elected, and on the 19th-qf
March gave his assent to' the bill containing the new '?78* constitution *.
Some weeks before this law was passed, the Randolph frigate of 36 guns and 305 men, commanded by capt. Biddte, sailed oh a cruise from Charlestown. The Yar^ mouth of 64 guns discovered her and five other vessels, in the evening of the 7 th of March, and came up with her by nine o'clock at night. Capt. Vincent hailed her to hoist colours, or he would fire into her, on which she hoisted American, and immediately gave the Yarmouth her broadside, which was returned, and in about a quarter of an hour she blew up. Four men were saved upon a piece of her wreck, and subsisted for five days' upon nothing more than rain water, which they sucked, from a piece of blanket they had picked up. On the fifth, the Yarmouth being in chace of a ship, happily, discovered them waving; the captain -humanely suspended the chace, hauled up to the wreck, got a boat out, and brought them on board j\ Three days before this, the Alfred frigate of 20 nine pounders was taken by the Ariadne and Ceres. The Americans have also lost the Virginia frigate.
The crew of an American privateer, in the night of the 27th of January, took the fort of New Providence, being, joined by a number of Americans in the place. They continued two days in possession' of it, during which time they. . made themselves masters of a ship of 16 guns, that was repairingfome damage sustained by running on a reef of rocks. They likewise possessed themselves of five prizes that had been sent in by a letter of marque. The letter of marque
* Dr. Ramsay's History, vol. i. p. 129—138. f Captain Vin* cent's letter of March the 17 th. Remembrancer, vol. vi. p. 143.
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