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THE CONTINENTAL SOLDIERS.
give them confidence, and lead them to sympathize with CHAP:
. each other.
Congress voted thanks to Washington, to the Counts 1781. De Rochambeau and De Grasse, and to the army generally. Eulogies were showered upon the Commander-inchief ;—the spontaneous outpourings of a grateful people, who, during the darkest hours of the contest, had in him unbounded confidence.
Yorktown was now a name to be honored even beyond those of Bunker Hill and Saratoga. How much was involved in that surrender! The long struggle was virtually ended. It had been a contest not for power, not for aggrandizement, but for a great truth and principle, which had been overshadowed by authority and pressed down by arbitrary rule. Said Lafayette to Napoleon, when he sneered at the smallness of the armies engaged in the American Revolution: “It was the grandest of causes, won by the skirmishes of sentinels and outposts." It is true that the number who fell on the battle-fields was comparatively small. The names of but few of these have come down to us; they were written only on the hearts of friends and relatives who mourned their loss. Scarcely was there a family but had a precious record ; the cherished memory of some one who had thus sacrificed his life.
NOTE.—The number of soldiers furnished by each State to the Continental army, during the war, may be seen by the following table : Massachusetts, 67,907 | North Carolina,
7,263 Connecticut, 31,939 South Carolina,
6,417 Virginis, 26,678 Rhode Island,
5,908 Pennsylvania, 25,678 Georgia,
2,679 New York, 17,781 Delaware,
13,912 New Hampshire, 12,497
231,791 Now Jersey,
CLOSING EVENTS OF THE WAR—FORMATION OF THE CONSTI.
British Efforts Paralyzed.—The States form Independent Governments.
Indian Wars.--Massacre of the Christian Delawares.- Battle of the Blue Lick.-Carleton supersedes Clinton.—Commissioners of Peace.-The common Distress.—Dissatisfaction in the Army.—The “Anonymous Address.”—Peace concluded.-British Prisoners; the Tories.- Disbandment of the American Army.-Washington takes leave of his Officers. -Resigns his Commission.-Shay's Rebellion.-Interests of the States clash.—The Constitutional Convention.—The Constitution ratified by the States.—The Territory North-west of the Ohio.—Ecclesiastical Organizations.
CHAP: On the very day that Cornwallis surrendered, Clinton XXXVIII.
sailed to his aid with seven thousand men. When off the 1781. entrance to the Chesapeake, he learned, to his astonish
ment, that all was lost. As the British fleet was much inferior to that of the French, he hastily returned to New York.
Washington requested Count de Grasse to coöperate with General Greene in an attack upon Charleston, but De Grasse pleaded the necessity of his presence in the West Indies, and excused himself. The Americans now returned to their old quarters on the Hudson. The French army wintered at Williamsburg in Virginia, while the British prisoners were marched to Winchester.
The capture of Cornwallis paralyzed the efforts of the
THE STATE GOVERNMENTS-BORDER WARFARE.
British and Tories. In the South they evacuated all the CHAP:
XXXVII. posts in their possession, except Savannah and Charleston ; before the latter place Greene soon appeared, and disposed 1781. his forces so as to confine them closely to the town. In the North, the only place held by the enemy was New York.
Washington never for a moment relaxed his watchfulness, but urged upon Congress and the States to prepare for a vigorous campaign the next year. But so impoverished had the country become, that to raise men and money seemed almost impossible, while the prospect of peace furnished excuses for delay.
The several States now took measures to form independent governments, or to strengthen or modify those already in existence. Some of these had been hastily formed, and, consequently, were more or less defective. The custom was introduced of sending delegates to conventions called for the purpose of framing constitutions, which were submitted to the people for their approval or rejection. The common law of England was adopted, and made the basis in the administration of justice in the courts.
A cruel border warfare was still continued by incursions of Indians against the back settlements of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and against the frontiers of New York, by Indians and Tories.
Many of the Delaware Indians, under the influence of Moravian teachers, had become Christian, and so far imbibed the principles of their instructors as to be opposed
Some of these, nearly twenty years before, had emigrated from the banks of the Susquehanna and settled on the Muskingum, where they had three flourishing villages, surrounded by corn-fields. The hostile Indians from the lakes, in their incursions against the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia, robbed these Delawares of
CHAP: their provisions. The Delawares became objects of susXXXVIII.
picion to both the hostile Indians and the whites. The 1781. former accused them of revealing their plans, the latter of
conniving at the incursions of their enemies, and the hostile Indians compelled them to emigrate to the vicinity of Sandusky.
In the mean time, murders had been committed by tbe Shawanese in the vicinity of Pittsburg. A company of eighty or ninety backwoodsmen volunteered, under a Colonel Williamson, to take revenge on the supposed murderers -the Christian Delawares-a portion of whom had returned to their old home to gather their corn. dition reached the villages on the Muskingum, collected the victims, it would seem, under the pretence of friend
ship, then barbarously and in cold blood murdered about 1782 ninety of these inoffensive creatures,-men, women, and
This success excited to other invasions, and four hundred and eighty men, under Colonels Williamson and Crawford, marched from Western Pennsylvania to surprise the remnants of the Christian Indians at Sandusky, and
also to attack the village of the hostile Wyandottes. The June
Indians learned of their approach, waited for them in am6. bush, and defeated them ; took many prisoners, among
whom were Crawford, his son, and son-in-law. These three they burned at the stake.
About the same time, a large body of the Indians north of the Ohio, led by the infamous Simon Girty, a tory refugee, invaded Kentucky. They were met by the Kentuckians, under Colonels Boone, Todd, and Triggs, at the Big Blue Lick, when a bloody and desperate encounter ensued.
But overwhelmed by numbers, nearly one-half the Kentuckians were either killed or taken prisoners.
After the capture at Yorktown no battle occurred be
tween the main armies, and but one or two skirmishes. Aug.
In one of these, in the vicinity of Charleston, the younger
PEOPLE OF ENGLAND DESIRE TO CLOSE THE WAR.
Laurens was slain--a young man of great promise, who CHAP. was universally lamented.
Among the English people at large the desire to close 1782. the war had greatly increased. With them it had ever been unpopular ; they were unwilling that their brethren beyond the Atlantic should be deprived of the rights which they themselves so much valued. The intelligence of the surrender of Cornwallis created among them stronger opposition than ever to the harsh measures of the Government. Yet the war party—the King and Ministry, and the majority of the aristocracy--were unwilling to yield to the pressure of public opinion. They were thunderstruck at this unexpected disaster. Says a British writer: "Lord North received the intelligence of the capture of Cornwallis as he would have done a cannon-ball in his breast; he paced the room, and throwing his arms wildly about, kept exclaiming,
O God ! it is all over; it is all over !"" For twelve years he had been prime minister. The pliant servant of the King, he had ever been in favor of prosecuting the war, but now the voice of the English people compelled him to resign.
Sir Guy Carleton, whom we have seen winning the respect of the Americans, by his upright and honorable conduct when Governor of Canada, was appointed to succeed Sir Henry Clinton. In the following May he arrived at New York, empowered to make propositions for peace.
He immediately addressed a letter to Washington, proposing a cessation of hostilities, and also issued orders, in which he forbåde the marauding incursions of the Indians and Tories on the frontiers of Western New York.
Congress appointed five commissioners to conclude a treaty with Great Britain. These were : John Adams, Doctor Franklin, John Jay, Henry Laurens, who, lately released from his confinement in the Tower, was yet in London, and Thomas Jefferson ;—the latter, however, declined to serve.
They met at Paris two British Commissioners, who had been authorized to treat with “certain