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seemed to hover over the Virginia back settlers. Col. »779. Clarke hearing that Hamilton (who had taken post at Sr. Vincent on the 15th of last December, and had fortified the fame to be ready for, and favor the expedition) had weakened himself by sending away his Indians against the frontiers, formed the desperate resolution of attacking him, as the only probable expedient for saving the peb. country. After, many difficulties he arrived unexpect- 23, edly to the enemy, and made an assault. The town immediately surrendered, and assisted in the siege of the fort. The next day Hamilton in the evening, agreed to surrender the garrison prisoners of war, in all 79, with considerable stores. Clarke had marched across the country with only 130 men, being all he could raise. He was 16 days on his route, through the inclemency, of the season, drowned lands, &c. While engaged with Hamilton, an Indian party, who had been to war, returned, knowing nothing of him and his men; Clarke sent a number to give them battle, took nine of them, and released two prisoners. Hearing of a convoy of provisions and goods on their way from Detroit, he detached a party of 60 men in armed boats, which met them before they got intelligence of their danger 40 leagues up the river, and made a prize of the whole, taking 40 prisoners, and about 10,0001. worth of goods and provisions. By Clarke's attacking Hamilton, the intended expedition of the enemy was ruined. The colonel, on his return, transmitted to the Virginia council, letters and papers relating to lieut. gov. Hamilton, Philip Dejain, justice of peace for Detroit, and William Lamothe, capt. of volunteers, whom he had made prisoners of war in the Illinois country.
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J7|9» The hoard proceeded to-consider them; and found, j6. that Hamilton had incited the Indians to perpetrate their accustomed cruelties on the citizens of the United States -p-had at.the time of his captivity, sent considerable detachments .of Indians against the frontiers, and had actually appointed a great council of them to meet hjm, and concert the operations of the present campaign .-t-an.d that he gave standing rewards for scalps. It also appeared to them, that Dejain was, on all occasions, the willing and cordial instrument of Hamilton; and that Laraothe was a captain of the volunteer scalping parties of Indians and whites. They therefore resolved to advise the governor, that they should be put in irons, confined in the dungeon of the public jail, debarred the use of pen, ink and paper, and excluded all converse, except with their keeper, being considered as fit subjects on which to begin the work of retaliation. The governor gave orders accordingly. April Colonel Goose Van Schaick marched from Fort 9" Scbuyler toward Onondaga on Lake Ontario, which he destroyed with a large quantity of grain, cattle, horses, arms and ammunition, except such as he could conveniently bring off. Twelve Indians, mostly warriors, were killed, arid 34 made prisoners, the rest fled to the woods. This expedition was performed in about five days and a half, (the distance going and returning 180 miles) and. without, ,the soss of a single man.
The British generals were divided upon the subject,
j whether or no to carry on a predatory war against the
; Americans.; They sent home, and submitted it to the
/ ministry, who determined in savor of waste and rapine.
After which, Mr. Arthur. Lee forwarded to gov.Trum
bull bull and to the committee for foreign affairs, letters J#79dated .Paris, April 6, 1779, mentioning—" I have received intelligence, that it is just determined in the British cabinet, to send over immediate orders to New York for an expedition through the Sound up Connecticut river. The enemy are to land at Weathersfield, and proceed by land to New Haven bay, where they are to embark, after having plundered, burnt and destroyed all in their way." A member of the committee wrote to his correspondent, on the 16th of July, "Arthur Lee had intelligence, on the 6th of April, of the design upon Fairfield, but contrary winds and captures of his originals, have, prevented our getting seasonable warning." Sir H. Clinton having received the ministerial instructions, proceeded in conformity to the spirit of them, only varying circumstances so far as that required. Sir George Collier, with the necessary ships of War and transports, and gov. Tryon at the head of 2600 land forces, seconded by gen. Garth, were appointed to the predatory expedition. While in the Sound, the commanders joined in an address to the inhabitants of Connecticut, which they signed on the 4th of July. In' that they invited and urged them to return to their duty and allegiance; and promised all, remaining peaceably in their usual place of residence, protection in person and property, excepting the civil and military officers of the government; but threatened those who flighted the warning. The address was merely farcical, for instead of leaving them to consult each other upon the invitation, as they stated it, they employed force before the people had time to consul; each other after the invita? tion was received.*
i779t The troops were landed early on Monday morning, J y those under Tryon at East-Haven, and those under Garth zt West-Haven. The last marched for New-Haven, which they entered between twelve and one, after being much harassed and galled on their way by the militia, and others who joined them. The town was delivered up to promiscuous plunder, a few instances of protection excepted. Whigs and tories, indiscriminately though not universally, had their money, plate, rings and other articles taken from theiru and much of their furniture, which could not be carried off, was wantonly destroyed —all the West India goods and provisions were served the same. In such scenes os confusion, individuals could not escape personal abuse. The militia were collecting in such a manner, and the soldiers had got so disordered by liquor; that the next morning the troops made a sudden retreat, without tarrying either to execute the original design of burning the town, or even to fire a single house in it. When they had provided for their own safety, they ventured to burn some stores on the long wharf. At East-Haven, where Tryon commanded in person, several dwelling houses were burnt, the cattle also were wantonly killed in the adjoining fields. By the afternoon, the militia became so numerous, and crowded so close upon him, that he retreated on board jaj_ the fleet, which in the evening sailed for Fairfield. There »• the troops landed about three o'clock on Wednesday afternoon. As they anchored off the town in the morning the militia had some little time for collecting. Gov. Tryon sent by a flag to col. Whiting, who commanded them, the address; and gave him an hour's time to consider, and to answer so as to save the town. The
colonel replied in behalf of the Connecticut inhabitants, 1773. ** The flames have now preceded their answer to your flag, and they will persist to oppose to the utmost, that power which is exerted against injured innocence;" dated 7th July, fun-set. That night and the next morning, they plundered and laid the town in ashes, burning the meeting-house, episcopal church, and the buildings in general, to the compass of two miles round, so as to reach Green-farms, though not Greenfield. On the Thursday they retreated to their shipping, the militia becoming more numerous than at New-Haven. They crossed the Sound to the shore of Long Island; and from thence sailed afterward to Norwalk, whose fate was similar to that of Fairfield. The numbers killed and wounded on each side during these ravages were inconsiderable. But the conflagration list stands thus burnt
at Norwalk 2 houses of public worship, 80 dwelling houses, 87 barns, 22 stores, 17 shops, 4 mills and 5 vessels—at Fairfield 2 houses of public worship, 82 dwelling houses, 55 barns, 15 stores and 15 shops—ac Green-farms 1 house of worship, 15 dwelling houses, 11 barns and several stores—beside the stores burnt at New-Haven and the houses at East-Haven. The prevailing humanity of my countrymen, will not relish these depredations in their genuine appearance, the accounts therefore transmitted or published, must be dressed up so as to make them palatable with the public: but be assured, that the burnings were designed, and without sufficient provocation, both as to private and public buildings; some of the latter, and many of the former, were to my knowledge not near to, but even at a considerable distance from other edifices.—That gen, Tryon