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1773]

THE BOSTON PORT BILL.

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window, the admiral cried, “Well, boys, you've had a fine night for your Indian caper. But, mind, you've got to pay the fiddler yet.” “Oh! never mind,” replied one of the leaders, “never mind, squire ! just come out here, if you please, and we'll settle the bill in two minutes !” The admiral preferred letting the bill stand, and quickly shut down the window.

278. This bold act provoked Parliament to pass the “Boston Port Bill”, which forbade the masters of vessels to take in or discharge cargoes in that harbor. The Virginia House of Burgesses was in session when the news of this retaliatory measure was received; a protest against it was at once entered on their journal. Governor Dunmore, to show his disapproval of their action, the next day dissolved the House. They separated, but only to meet elsewhere and pass strong resolutions, declaring an attack on one colony an attack on all, and recommending a general congress for the purpose of deciding on some common course.

Similar resolutions were passed in Massachusetts, and by common consent it was ordered that a congress of delegates from all the colonies should meet at Philadelphia in September.

279. Meanwhile, General Gage (unfavorably known in connection with Braddock's defeat) had been appointed governor of Massachusetts. His rash measures hastened the approaching crisis. He tried to weaken the cause of freedom by buying over Samuel Adams with a high office. But this true-hearted man, justly regarded as the leader of the patriotic movements in Boston, whom Jefferson afterwards pronounced "wise in council, fertile in resources, and immovable in his purposes," was as incorruptible as he was brave. “I trust," replied he to Gage's messenger, “I have long since made my peace with the King of kings, and no personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the rightplace, December 16th, 1773? Give an account of the destruction of the tea. What story is told of Admiral Montague ? 278. How did Parliament punish Boston for this bold proceeding? What did the Boston Port Bill provide ? When the news of its passage reached Virginia, what action was taken by the House of Burgesses ? How did Gov. Dunmore show his disapproval? What did the assembly do after their dissolution? What was ordered by common consent ? 279. Meanwhile, who had been appointed governor of Massachusetts ? What course did Gage pursue ?

eous cause of my country. Tell Governor Gage, it is the advice of Samuel Adams to him, no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people.”

280. On the 5th of September, 1774, the Continental Congress met at Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia. Fifty-three delegates appeared, the ablest men of America, representing every colony but Georgia. It was a solemn meeting, for it involved the destiny of America. Adams was there, and Washington, Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, and Patrick Henry, never deaf to his country's call. There was but one voice in the assembly, one feeling-never to submit. A petition was addressed to the obstinate king, whose infatuated course was flinging the brightest jewel from his crown; an appeal was made to the people of Great Britain; but preparations for the worst were not forgotten.

281. Despite the efforts of Gage, the Assembly of Massachusetts met in October, 1774. John Hancock, a graduate of Harvard and one of the ablest statesmen of the Revolution, was elected president. Active preparations were made for the war, which it now required little sagacity to foresee. Measures were taken for organizing the militia. Officers were appointed, and a committee of safety was empowered to call the citizens together whenever circumstances required. The people, too, did their part. There was no shrinking from the impending struggle. The anniversary of "the Boston massacre was solemnly celebrated in that city; on which occasion Dr. Joseph Warren, afterwards a martyr to liberty at Bunker Hill, setting the threats of British officials at defiance, stirred the deepest sympathies and strongest passions of an immense audience.

282. Even the boys of Boston caught the spirit of their sires. They were wont to amuse themselves in winter by building snow-houses, and skating on a pond in the Common. What passed between him and Samuel Adams ? 280. Where did the first Continental Congress meet ? When? How many delegates attended ? What colonies were represented ? Name some who were present. What was the unanimous feeling of the assembly? What action did they take ? 281. When did the next assembly meet in Massachusetts ? Who was elected president? What steps were taken ? How was the anniversary of “the Boston massacre" observed ? 282. What injuries did the boys of Boston receive from the soldiers ? To whom

17751

GENERAL GAGE AND THE BOSTON BOYS.

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The soldiers wantonly interfered with their sports, and their complaints to the inferior officers were disregarded, and even ridiculed. A number of the largest boys at last waited on General Gage, and informed him that they had come for satisfaction. “What!” said Gage; “have your fathers been

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teaching you rebellion, and sent you here to exhibit it?" “Nobody sent us,” answered the leader, with flashing eye. “We have never injured your troops; but they have trampled down our snow-hills, and broken the ice of our skating pond. We complained, and they called us young rebels, and told us to help ourselves if we could. We told the captain, and he laughed at us. Yesterday our works were destroyed for the third time, and we will bear it no longer." The British general could not restrain his admiration. “The very children here,” he exclaimed, “ draw in a love of lih erty with the air they breathe. Go, my brave boys, and be assured if my troops trouble you again they shall be punished.”

283. In March, 1775, the Virginia legislature again assembled. Patrick Henry, the great orator of the Revolution, was a member. Believing war inevitable, he introduced resolutions providing for the organization of a republican army, and in their support delivered a memorable speech whose electrical effect can now hardly be imagined, though it will never be read without emotion. “I know not what course others may take," said he, after kindling the spirits of those who listened with his burning eloquence, “but for me, give me liberty or give me death."

did they complain ? Relate what passed between them and Gen. Gage. 283. When did the Virginia legislature again assemble? What resolutions were introduced by Patrick Henry? What is said of the speech he delivered in their support? 284. How was Louisiana affected by the treaty of Paris ? How was this change liked by the people? What increased their aversion to it? What bold step did they take? Wbat was the fate of the movement and its leaders ?

The struggle was at hand. An appeal to the God of battles alone was left.

284. Before entering on the history of the contest, it is necessary to glance at an important event in the southwest. The treaty of Paris had transferred Louisiana from France to Spain, contrary to the wishes of its people. Their repugnance to the change was heightened in 1768, by the arrival of a Spanish governor of haughty manners and arbitrary principles, who enforced the restrictive system of his country, to the great injury of their commerce. Attached to the French crown, and feeling that they ought not to be transferred from one king to another without their own consent, the people of New Orleans, supported by those of the country parishes, established an independent republic; and the Spanish governor, unable to exercise his authority, retired to Havana. The new government lasted not long. General O'Reilly [ri'-le], sent over with an army for that purpose, restored Spanish authority, and the leaders of the liberal movement expiated their offence in dungeons or on the gallows.

PART III.

REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD,

EXTENDING FROM THE BREAKING OUT OF THE REVOLUTION, A. D. 1775, TO THE ORGANIZATION OF A GOVERNMENT

UNDER THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION, 1789.

CHAPTER I.

BATTLE OF LEXINGTON.

285. An act of Parliament, passed in February, 1775, declared that a rebellion existed in Massachusetts, and that an additional force should be sent over to Boston. About 3,000 British troops were already there. Boston Neck, which connected the peninsula on which the rebellious town was built with the main-land, had been fortified by Gage, and a line of sentinels stationed there cut off the inhabitants from communication with the surrounding country. The patriots, however, had secretly conveyed their cannon, as well as a quantity of powder and cartridges, out of the city, concealing them in loads of manure with which they passed the guard unsuspected. Their principal depot was at Concord, about eighteen miles northwest of Boston. Of this Gage was aware; and he resolved to send a strong detachment thither, to destroy their stores and secure the persons of Hancock and Samuel Adams, whom he supposed to be in that vicinity. Arrangements were made with the greatest secrecy; and on the 18th of April, 1775, an hour before mid

285. What was declared by act of Parliament, February, 1775? How many British troops were already in Boston? What precautions had been taken by Gage? How had the patriots evaded them? Where was the principal depot or the Americans ?

What did Gage resolve to do? For what purposes ? took place April 18th, 1775? Who had penetrated the designs of Gage? What

What

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