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advanced with fixed bayonets from opposite sides, heedless of grapeshot and musketry, and gained the center of the fort at the same time. One of the most brilliant victories of the war had been won without a shot by the victors. The Americans lost fifteen killed and eighty-three were wounded; the British loss was sixtythree killed and five hundred and fifty-three taken prisoners. At daybreak Fort Lafayette was bombarded but not taken. Stony Point was destroyed and its cannon and stores removed to West Point, "the guardian fortress of the river" (July 18).






JULY 15.1779








Arnold's Treason. "If we could capture West Point," said Clinton, "we would soon end the rebellion." It united New England to the rest of the Union and guarded the water communication between New York City and Canada. In a short time it looked as if the prize would fall into Sir Henry's hands without fighting. General Arnold, smarting under a reprimand for breach of trust, asked Washington to give him the command at West Point, since the wounds he received at Saratoga unfitted him for more active service. His











request was granted. At once he planned to surrender West Point to Clinton, and Major André was sent up the Hudson to arrange the details of the plot.

The Treason Discovered.-Arnold and André met about six miles below West Point and drew up an agree

ment. André expected to return to New York in the sloop Vulture, but instead was rowed across the river. With a passport from Arnold he started for New York on horseback. Near Tarrytown he was stopped by three patriots, John Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac Van Wert, members of a band of volunteers who were looking for British freebooters.

André was searched

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

and his treasonable mission exposed (Sept. 23, 1780). He was taken to the nearest American post, and Arnold was informed of the capture. Thus warned, the traitor escaped to the Vulture and safely reached New York. André was tried by court-martial and hanged as a spy (Oct. 2).

Peace of Paris.-The subsequent events of the war took place in the south. At Yorktown, October 19,

1781, Cornwallis surrendered his army. After that the sword was exchanged for the pen and the contest was transferred to Paris, where, September 3, 1783, a treaty of peace was concluded. John Jay, with Dr. Franklin and John Adams, played a prominent part in the negotiations.


Articles of Confederation.-Seven months previous to the surrender of Cornwallis, Congress met for the first time under the new powers conferred by the Articles of Confederation. During four years these articles had been before the states for approval. New York was among the first to ratify them, but Maryland refused to do so until the claims of the states to western lands were adjusted. New York's claim rested on the treaties with the Six Nations. The claims of Virginia, Connecticut, and Massachusetts were based on old charters long annulled and replaced by new charters. A committee of five members appointed by Congress to examine these claims reported that "the sole title to the western lands was in New York." Congress adopted

the report. "With a magnanimity unparalleled,"

New York made a free gift of this vast estate to the Union. Congress accepted the gift. The other states followed New York's example. Maryland at once approved of the articles, and the Confederation was complete (March 1, 1781).

Washington Refuses a Crown.-While Jay and his companions were at Paris concluding terms of peace,

Washington and his army were at Newburg. It was while there that his officers wished him to take "the title of king." Washington rejected the suggestion with scorn. Thus the Father of his Country opened the way for the great Republic.

Evacuation of New York.-In April, 1782, Sir Guy Carleton replaced Clinton at New York. Hostilities. had already ceased. Sir Guy wrote to Washington that he was preparing to evacuate the city. In the early months of 1783, Loyalists began to sail for Canada and Nova Scotia. It is estimated that 100,000 souls left New York" with all their cattle, hogs, sheep, poultry, grain, household furniture, and utensils of husbandry." The last of the British troops embarked on November 25, since known as "Evacuation Day.'

Washington's Farewell.-Washington and Governor George Clinton, followed by a large procession of soldiers and citizens, took possession of the metropolis. Clinton had been chosen governor in 1777, again in 1780, and was now serving the first year of his third term. Four more times he served as chief executive, thus holding the office twenty-one years. Nine days after Sir Guy's departure Washington, “with a heart full of love and gratitude," bade farewell to his companions in arms, and on December 22 resigned his commission to Congress.

Treatment of Loyalists. The treaty of peace protected the Loyalists and stated that no such person should "suffer any further loss in his person, liberty, or property." New York refused to observe the terms of the treaty because everywhere the patriots protested. In a mass-meeting at Fort Plain in May, 1783, they re


solved that their Tory neighbors should not be permitted to live in the district "on any pretense whatever." In New York City the Sons of Liberty declared in a meeting held in March, 1784, that no Tories ought to be permitted to live in the state. The legislature disfranchised all objectionable Loyalists and passed the Trespass Act, which allowed patriots to collect damages from Tories who occupied their properties. Large sums were realized by the state from the sale of property forfeited by Loyalists.

Harsh Acts Repealed.-Many thoughtful persons, among them Hamilton and Jay, said that these laws violated the treaty of peace, the laws of nations, and public morals. Through Hamilton's influence in a test case, the Supreme Court declared the Trespass Act void. In 1787 the disfranchising act was repealed. Thousands of Loyalists became good citizens of the new state, but still other thousands emigrated to various parts of the British empire.

At the Close of the Revolution only two or three streets in the city of New York were paved. Street lamps were few and owned by private persons. Dutch customs prevailed and most business was transacted in Dutch. Albany was still more Dutch than New York, and remained so for years. There no streets were paved. The war had killed the fur-trade. In 1797 Albany became the capital of the state. "Troy was not much more than a collection of houses" of the Van Rensselaers. A few houses clustered around an inn formed Newburg.

Western New York.-The country north and west of Schenectady was almost an unbroken wilderness. When

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