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24, the usually quiet streets of Philadelphia rang with the clatter of a galloping horse, bearing the messenger whom Washington had sent to carry the splendid news to Congress. Soon the night watchman, pacing sleepily upon his rounds, was crying in drawling tone, “Past three o'clock, and Cornwallis is taken!" Windows and doors were quickly thrown open, men shouted to each other to wake up the town,
Painting by Trumbull in the Capitol THE SURRENDER OF CORNWALLIS The painting represents the moment when officers of the British army, conducted by General Lincoln,
are passing between the lines of the French on one side and the Americans on the other
bells clanged noisily, and until dawn the streets were filled with a joyous people, now eager to shout the praises of the brave and energetic Washington.
The report spread quickly to other cities and towns, where bonfires soon blazed on the greens, residences were alight with candles in the windows, processions of people marched and sang, and orators gave voice to patriotic sentiments.
193. The effect in England. A month later, November
27, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Lord North, received the sorrowful news. Shaken with excitement, he cried, wildly, “ It is all over! It is all over!” King George blustered, and talked of abdicating, but later said that he was glad enough to be rid of these troublesome Americans. On the other hand, the many English sympathizers with our country openly rejoiced; and Paris itself was never gayer, for the French fleet had enabled the Americans to win a brilliant victory in behalf of human liberty.
In time the Revolution brought greater freedom to Englishmen as well as to Americans, and in all parts of Europe it encouraged the friends of democracy. Thus was the contest a turning-point in the history of European as well as American liberty.
194. The treaty of peace, and evacuation of New York. When Parliament met, in 1782, King George declared to its members, with tears in his eyes, that he was at last willing to have his American colonies form an independent nation; but he generously hoped that“ religion, interest, and affection might prove a bond of permanent union between the two countries."
The treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States was signed at Paris on September 3, 1783. To our nation was granted the whole region lying east of the Mississippi River, south of Canada, and north of Florida — which latter country, then including parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, Great Britain had returned to Spain.
When the news of the signing of the treaty reached New York, the British army, which had continued to occupy Manhattan Island, returned to England. Thereupon Washington and his troops marched into the city (November 25, 1783), and the day and night were given up to bonfires, fireworks, and a farewell dinner to those of the American
1 During the last two years of the Revolution, Spain, which was engaged in the same general European war as was France, aided the United States by capturing Natchez, Mobile, Pensacola, and other British settlements in the far South.
officers who were anxious to leave for their homes as soon as possible. 1
195. Washington's farewell. After affectionately bidding his fellow officers good-bye at New York, 2 Washington went in December to Annapolis, where Congress was then sit
1 Failure to get their pay had made many of the soldiers discontented and mutinous.
In the spring of 1782, some of the officers attempted to make Washington the king of the new nation, but he severely reprimanded them.
In March, 1783, he nipped in the bud another military scheme to seize the government until the army should be paid. In June following, several hundred drunken soldiers, shouting for their wages, drove Congress from Philadelphia to Princeton. Later in the year, Washington's influence alone prevented the army rising in rebellion. The fault lay not in Congress, however, but in the weak form of federal government, which did not allow Congress to raise money from the States by taxes.
2 It was a very impressive scene. As his faithful officers and comrades clustered around him, their eyes moistened with tears, he said with stately dignity, but voice shaking with emotion:“With heart full of love and gratitude, I now take leave of you, most devoutly wishing that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable. I cannot come to each of you to take my leave, but shall be obliged if you will come and take me by the hand.” They did so; and Washington affectionately embraced each one; then, in silence, he turned and entered his barge at Whitehall Ferry, and waved his hat in farewell greeting.
ting, and to that body tendered his resignation as commander-in-chief of the Continental army. The great general was received by the statesmen with a warmth of love and admiration that much affected him; but modestly hurrying from the scene where he was the lion of the hour, he quietly proceeded to his beautiful home at Mount Vernon, on the Potomac River. He refused any pay whatsoever for his services, and asked only that his own expenses and the money he had spent in paying and feeding his comrades in arms ? might, when convenient, be repaid by the young Republic.
QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS 1. What great services did George Rogers Clark render to his country? 2. Find, in a larger history, the details of Arnold's grievances, and report
to the class. 3. Sketch from memory a map showing the situation of Cornwallis at
Yorktown. 4. Contrast present methods of transmission of news with the slow
methods which prevailed at the close of the Revolution. 5. Name the acts of Washington, at the close of the war, which show his
high character. 6. Draw or trace on a map the boundaries of the new nation. 7. Name the thirteen original States. 8. The following are objects of great historic interest to all Americans;
tell where each is, and why it is historically interesting: — Independence Hall, Lexington Green, Plymouth Rock, Jamestown, Mount
Vernon. 9. Name two Americans who by speeches and letters greatly influenced
the Americans to resist the British Government; name two others (not soldiers or generals) who contributed greatly to the American cause. Name a great English statesman who was the steadfast friend of Amer
ica. 10. Relate any incident of the war in which you are particularly interested. 11. Explain why there was rejoicing by many people in England at the
outcome of the war. 1 Briefly addressing the president of Congress, Washington said: “The great events on which my resignation depended having at length taken place, I have now the honor
to claim the indulgence of retiring from the service of my country. I here offer my commission, and take leave of all the employments of public life.
2 It amounted to nearly $75,000, which in that day was thought to be a goodsized fortune.
12. State the date and place of the beginning and of the end of the war. 13. What is the feeling between the United States and England to-day? 14. Make an outline of the chapter. 15. Important dates:
1777 Surrender of Burgoyne. 1781 — Surrender of Cornwallis. 1783 - Treaty of Peace.
COMPOSITION SUBJECTS 1. Apply to the life of Benedict Arnold this quotation from Scott:
“The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living shall forfeit fair renown,
Unwept, unhonored, and unsung.' 2. After reading the account in Alice of Old Vincennes, by Thompson,
or The Crossing, by Churchill, tell of the capture of Vincennes from
the British. 3. Read the first four stanzas of Whittier's poem Yorktown, and then write
a prose description of the scene. 4. Describe Washington's parting with Lafayette when the latter started
for Europe at the close of the war. This may be dramatized.
REVIEW OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR
The French and Indian War had shown the colonies that they were stronger when they acted together, and that they had military power. The colonists were proud, however, to be called Englishmen and were loyal subjects of the throne. They considered that they had all the rights of Englishmen in England, a fundamental one being that which depended on the ancient principle, "No taxation without representation." They were willing to pay all taxes voted by their colonial assemblies, but no others.
Great Britain, through her Parliament, violated this principle by the Stamp Act and by laying additional duties on imported goods. She also sent over an army to enforce the old Navigation and Manufacturing Acts.
Parliament was forced to withdraw the Stamp Act by a colonial boycott of goods imported from her shores, but she foolishly levied new duties
among them, an import tax on tea. The colonists responded by destroying the tea brought to their harbors. The mother country retaliated with the “Intolerable Acts," which still further angered the colonists. The colonists organized committees of correspondence, and, in 1774, the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia.