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trouble in Virginia. Towards the close of 1775, he attacked a body of provincials near Norfolk, but was defeated. A royal vessel having arrived soon after, he gratified his revenge by reducing the place to ashes. Famine, sickness, and storms, finally compelled him to retire with his fleet to the West Indies.

307. Winter passed without hostilities between the two armies at Boston. The country was

BOSTON impatient to hear

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Heights dent to act on the offensive. Gen. Thomas was sent by night to throw up intrenchments on Dorchester Heights, which commanded the city and harbor. Though the ground was frozen, the work progressed rapidly. On discovering the movement of the Americans in the morning, Howe resolved to drive them from their position. A storm prevented him from making the attempt till they were too strongly fortified to be dis

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his efforts ? Give an account of Lord Dunmore's movements. 307. What was the state of things in the American camp before Boston ? What did Congress urge Washington to do? When did he commence the attack? What was his first offensive movement ? [See Map.-Where are Dorchester Heights? Who commanded the American right wing? The centre? The left wing ?] What

lodged. Unable to hold the city in the face of the battery on the heights, Howe was obliged to evacuate Boston; and; on the 17th of March, the whole land and naval force of Britain, with about 1,500 loyalists, left the harbor. This event was hailed with joy by the defenders of America, particularly by those patriots who had been shut up in the besieged city. They had hardly been able to obtain the necessaries of life. Provisions had risen to four times their usual value. Wood had become so scarce that the pews of churches, the counters of stores, and the timber of unoccupied buildings, had been used for fuel. The thanks of Congress were voted to the besieging army, and a gold medal was struck in commemoration of the event.

CHAPTER VI.

BRITISH ATTACK ON CHARLESTON.-DECLARATION OF INDE

PENDENCE.

308. THE British directed their first active operations in 1776 against the south. On the 4th of June, Admiral Parker appeared off Charleston with a strong fleet direct from England, conveying 2,500 troops, of which Gen. Clinton took the command. The people of Carolina, having received intelligence of the intended attack, were not unprepared for it. Six thousand men had collected in and about the city. A fort of palmetto-wood and earth, hastily erected on Sullivan's Island, and defended by 26 cannon and 500 brave men under Col. Moultrie, commanded the channel. Another fort on the opposite side of the island was held by Col. Thompson. Gen. Lee had hastened from the north, to conduct the defence.

On the 28th of June, the British commenced a heavy canwas Howe's first determination? What changed it? What was he finally compelled to do? When did he evacuate Boston ? Describe the condition of those within the city during the siege. How did Congress show their gratitude for this success?

308. Against what place was the first offensive movement of the British in 1776 directed? Who conducted the attack ? What preparations had been made by the people of Carolina? Who commanded them? Describe the attack and de

1776]

DEFENCE OF FORT MOULTRIE.

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nonade on Fort Sullivan (afterwards called Moultrie in honor of its gallant defender). The wood of which it was built was so soft, that, instead of splitting, it closed over the balls that struck it, without receiving any injury. Not so, however, with the British ships, on which the patriots poured a destructive fire. At one time, the quarter-deck of Parker's flag-ship was cleared of every man except the admiral himself. Gen. Clinton landed 2,500 men on Long Island, and attempted to cross to Sullivan's Island, but Thompson's riflemen drove him back.

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Many heroic deeds that will live in history, were performed that day. The first republican flag unfurled in the fence on the 28th of June. [See Map, p. 269.--In what direction was Fort Moultrie from Charleston ? What islands in Charleston harbor ?] What is said of Admiral Parker's flag-ship? What attempt was made by Clinton? Give an account of Jasper's exploit. How did Gen. Rutledge reward the hero? What

south waved over the palmetto fort. Early in the action it was cut down by a cannon-ball, and fell upon the beach. Sergeant Jasper leaped over the parapet, recovered the flag, fastened it to a staff, and again set it up, amid a shower of balls from the British fleet. Gov. Rutledge rewarded the hero by presenting him his own sword and a lieutenant's commission. The former he accepted, but modestly declined the latter, saying that,

since he could neither read nor write, he was not fit to be an officer.

Late in the action, Admiral Parker ordered the crew of one of his vessels, which was disabled, to set her on fire and abandon her. The ship was left with guns loaded and colors flying. No sooner had her crew departed than she was boarded by the Americans, who carried off her fags and bells, fired her guns at Parker's ship, and bore away three boatloads of stores.

For more than nine hours the British kept up the attack, but without making any impression on the fort. Only ten Americans were killed, and 22 wounded. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded amounted to 225. After lying to a few days to refit, the fleet sailed for the north.

309. On the evacuation of Boston by the British, Washington set out with most of his army for New York, now threatened by the enemy. He arrived there April 14th, 1776. Feeling that nothing could be done with men whose terms of service were constantly expiring, he prevailed on Congress to provide for a three years' enlistment, and to offer a bounty of $10 to each recruit. The army at New York was thus in a few months increased to 27,000 men; but nearly half of them were unfit for duty from sickness or a lack of arms.

Even had this whole force consisted of effective men,

it would have been insufficient for the defence of a line 15 miles long, any point of which was liable to attack. Fortifications commenced by Gen. Lee before the arrival of

other achievement was performed ? How long did the British keep up the attack ? What was the result? Mention the loss on both sides. 309. On the evacuation of Boston, where did Washington go? When did he arrive in New York? What did he induce Congress to do? How large an army was thus raised ? What was its condition? How long a line had to be defended? What was done at Brook

1776]

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.

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Washington, were completed and extended. A detachment was stationed at Brooklyn, on the western extremity of Long Island, opposite New York, and there also defensive works were constructed.

310. The Virginia Legislature had recommended Congress to declare the colonies absolved from their allegiance to the crown; and similar requests were made from various quarters. On the 7th of June, 1776, Richard Henry Lee, of Va., moved that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states. Thomas Jefferson, of Va., John Adams, of Mass., Benjamin Franklin, of Penn., Roger Sherman, of Conn., and Robert R. Livingston, of New York, were appointed a committee to draft a Declaration of Independence. Jefferson, as chairman, prepared the important document. It was reported to Congress, and, after being discussed several days and slightly amended, was adopted at two o'clock on the 4th of July, 1776.

On this eventful day, the streets of Philadelphia were crowded with excited citizens, anxious to learn the decision of Congress. The bell-ringer of the old state-house had taken his post in the steeple at an early hour, that he might lose no time in announcing to the people that their independence was formally declared. The old man had grown impatient at the delay, when suddenly he heard the joyful shout, “Ring ! Ring!” from his boy, whom he had stationed to give him notice of the anticipated event. Loudly pealed the old bell, and as loudly were its tones greeted by the delighted citizens. The glorious Declaration was signed by all the members present, and the thirteen colonies were thenceforth known as “the Thirteen United States of America”.

The news was everywhere hailed with joy. Washington, on receiving a copy of the document, caused the troops to be paraded, and the Declaration to be read to each brigade. The citizens of New York pulled down the leaden statue of

lyn? 310. What was Congress now importuned to do? Who made the first motion on this subject ? Mention the names of the committee appointed to draft a Declaration. Who prepared the document? How was it received by Congress ? What is said of the people of Philadelphia ? What, of the bell-ringer of the statehouse! By whom was the Declaration signed? What were the thirteen colonies

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