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conduct, halt between two opinions, where there is no middle path. In God's name, if it be absolutely necessary to declare either for peace or war, and the former cannot be preserved with honour, why is not the latter commenced without hesitation ? I am not, I confess, well informed of the resources of this kingdom; but I trust it has still sufficient to maintain its just rights, though I know them not. But, my lords, any state is better than despair. Let us at least make one effort; and if we must fall, let us fall like men!”
After the defeat and surrender of Burgoyne, the main body of the British troops took up their quarters in Philadelphia, and the Americans in Valley Forge.
The treaties of alliance between America and France were published at Philadelphia in May, and caused great public rejoicings. Sir William Howe returned to England, and sir Henry Clinton took the command of the British army.
The commissioners arrived soon after from England with concessions, which however came too late to be accepted. The British troops removed to New York, and on the way were much harassed and distressed by detachments from the Americans, and the advanced corps under general Lee, who had recently been exchanged. At last they reached Sandy Hook on the 10th of June, whither lord Howe had repaired with his fleet from the Delaware. At the latter place a combined French and American force were, according to a plan furnished by Franklin, to have at tempted to surprise his lordship; and the count d'Estaing was placed in command of eleven ships of the line, six frigates, and a considerable number of troops, for that purpose. He sailed from Toulon, 13th April 1778; adverse winds however protracted the voyage ; and on arriving at the Delaware, he found his whole plan disconcerted. He now therefore sailed to Rhode Island, intending to attack the British fleet on its coming out of harbour. Lord Howe followed, and made several efforts to bring the French to action; but the fleets were parted by a storm. The French admiral now took refuge in the bay of Boston, and on the whole much disappointed the Americans by his conduct at this season. The day he sailed from Newport harbour, the American Sullivan had landed on Rhode Island, and began an attack on the British works; but the departure of the French, and the appearance of the British Aleet, disconcerted his plan, and he found it necessary to retreat. Lord Howe, finding the French protected by strong land batteries in Boston, now retired in his turn to Rhode Island, and shortly afterwards at New York resigned his . command. The only thing the French accomplished this year in favour of America, was the capture of the island of Dominica.
About this time the American royalists, and some Indians under the command of colonel Butler, appeared upon the Susquehannah, attacked Wyoming, took the garrison of the principal fort, and committed the most shocking cruelties throughout all the settlement. The provincials, on the other hand, invaded the Canadian territories on the Mississippi, and exacted from the people oaths of allegiance to the United States.
Colonel Campbell, in the close of the year, detached with a force by sir Henry Clinton, invaded the province of Georgia, defeated the Americans, took Savannah, with the fort, garrison, town, and shipping, and reduced finally the whole province, while the American general withdrew into South Carolina.
The war was attended in the year 1779 with no very remarkable occurrences. The arrival of the count d'Estaing on the coast of Georgia is the most worthy of observation. He took St Vincent, Granada, and Rhode Island, and attempted Savannah, but was repulsed with loss. He then repaired with part of his ships to France, and sent the remainder to the West Indies.
In addition to fleets and armies, France liberally supplied both stores and money to the Ameri,
can cause, by which means Dr Franklin was em powered to uphold the credit of the new republic in Europe, to provide assistance for American prisoners in England, &c.
In the year 1778, our plenipotentiary also endea, voured to complete an alliance between the United States and Spain; for which especial purpose Mr Jay was sent to him by Congress as a colleague ; and lord North had the mortification, in the close of the ensuing session of parliament, to apprize the house of intended hostilities from that quarter.
Dr Franklin, during the whole of his residence in Paris, was considered as amongst the most important personages of the court. When the emperor Joseph II, brother to the queen, arrived in that capital on a visit to his sister, he endeavoured, through the abbé Niccoli, to obtain an interview with Dr Franklin which should appear accidental. An appointment was accordingly made at the abbé's house; but the affair, it is supposed, becoming known, numbers of other persons continued to call on that minister at the same time, which prevented the emperor's attendance ; he afterwards went, understanding they were gone ; but Franklin was then gone also.
His station at this time had also its difficulties. Mr Silas Deane had been for some time recalled by Congress, for having made improper contracts with officers and others desirous of serving in the American army i and Franklin had numerous applications of the same kind. He declares that such applications were multiplied to his perpetual torment; every post brought him numerous written solicitations, and every day numerous visitants ; so that his general wish to oblige was put severely to the test, and his ingenuity frequently taxed to dispose of them. “If I could gratify all," he says, “or even the most of them, it would be a pleasure; but,” he adds, “ you can have no conception how I am harassed. All my friends are sought out, and teased to tease me, Officers of all ranks, in all
departments, ladies great and small, besides professed visiters, weary me from morning till night. If therefore you have the least remaining kindness for me, my dear friend, let this your twenty-third application be your last.”
"No person however,” as Dr Stuber says, “ could have been found so capable of rendering effective service to the United States at the court of France as Dr Franklin. He was well known as a philosopher ; and he never wholly discontinued either his experiments, or his correspondence upon philosophical subjects. His character was held in the highest estimation, and his enemies could not prevail upon him to forfeit it. He was received with the greatest marks of respect by the literary characters; and this respect was extended amongst all classes of men. His personal influence was hence very considerable. To the effects of this were added those of various performances which he published, tending to establish the credit and character of the United States. To his exertions in this way may in no small degree be ascribed the success of the loans negotiated in Holland and France, which greatly contributed to bringing the war to a happy conclusion.”
One ingenious piece of this kind is entitled, “ Comparison of Great Britain and America as to credit in 1777," and opens with these observations :-" In borrowing money, a man's credit depends on some or all of the following particulars:
« First, his known conduct respecting former loans, and his punctuality in discharging them.
6 Secondly, his industry.
" Thirdly, his frugality. • « Fourthly, the amount and the certainty of his income, and the freedom of his estate from the incumbrances of prior debts.
“ Fifthly, his well-founded prospects of greater futurę ability, by the improvement of his estate in value, and by aids from others.
: "Sixthly, his known prudence in managing his general affairs, and the advantage they will probably receive from the loan which he desires. .. “Seventhly, his known probity, and honest character, manifested by his voluntary discharge of debts which he could not have been legally compelled to pay. The. circumstances which give credit to an individual ought to have, and will have, their weight upon the lenders of money to public bodies or nations. If then we consider and compare Britain and America, in these seVeral particulars, upon the question, To which is it safest to lend money?' " &c.
He then discusses the facts relating to the credit of the two countries, under these heads. Respecting frugality he says smartly~" A British minister lately computed, that the whole expense of the Americans, in their civil government over three millions of people amounted to but 70,000l. sterling, and drew from thence a conclusion, that they ought to be taxed until their expense was equal in proportion to that which it costs Britain to govern eight millions. He had no idea of a contrary conclusion, that if three millions may be well governed for 70,000l. eight millions may be as well governed for three times that sum, and that therefore the expense of his own government should be diminished. In that corrupted nation no man is ashamed of being concerned in lucrative government jobs, in which the public money is egregiously misapplied and squandered, the treasury pillaged, and more numerous and heavy taxes accumulated, to the great oppression of the people. But the prospect of a greater number of such jobs by a war is an inducement with many to cry out for war upon all occasions, and to oppose every proposition of peace. Hence the constant increase of the national debt, and the absolute improbability of its ever being discharged.” • We now resume our sketch of American operations. In the summer of 1780, the combined fleets of France and Spain fell in with a fleet of English merchant