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of the troops in and near Boston, and General Heath was appointed in his place. A commission as major-general in the continental army was now given to Benjamin Lincoln, who had been a brigadier before. Colonel Henry Knox was appointed brigadier general of artillery; and Glover, Patterson, Learned, and Nixon, brigadiers in the infantry. The public and private armed vessels captured several valuable ships, belonging to the British. From the first of July, 1775, to the last of December, 1776, it was estimated that the cargoes thus taken, were worth one and a half million sterling.

There had been a great difficulty in providing fire-arms for the men raised in Massachusetts and the other parts of the country. A large quantity arrived in March, 1777, with other valuable articles, from France. And a supply was thus obtained for the troops then preparing to join the American army.* The expenses and debts of the state were such, at this period, as to require another large emission of paper, and a tax of £100,000. The amount of bills was £125,000; but these depreciated as soon as issued, and the taxes were not easily collected. This was a time of very great distress and suffering. Every thing not absolutely necessary for the support of the people at home was furnished the army. Provisions from the western counties were sent on to the troops near Lake Champlain. For the population far from Albany was then very thin, and Vermont was just beginning to be settled. The inhabitants on the seaboard were unable to procure grain and flour from the south. Few had a competency; none could boast of abundance.

In April, the militia were ordered out again in large numbers; some to Providence and Rhode Island, and some to the army on the Hudson, above Albany. The enemy were very strong in that quarter. General Burgoyne had the command, and was threatening to push forward against the Americans. There was also a plan, this season, to drive the British from Rhode Island; and Massachusetts furnished most of the men for the enterprise and for the greater part of the summer and fall, the number of three thousand and twenty-five hundred were furnished, for a larger or shorter term. The enterprise did not succeed; for the British fleet had command of the bays and waters in that vicinity.


In June, 1777, Massachusetts sent a regiment of men, and a

The commanders of the regiments belonging to Massachusetts, were Vose, Bayley, Greaton, Shepard, Putnam, Nixon, Francis, Brewer, Alden, M. Jackson, Wesson, Marshall, Bradford, Smith, Bigelow, H. Jackson, and Crane. And soon after, Brooks and Sproat.

small naval force, for the relief of St. Johns, and other places on the Bay of Fundy, where the people were friendly to the American cause; and who, on that account, were frequently harassed by the British from Halifax. Congress gave its consent to the expedition, but afforded no assistance. Unexpected difficulties occurred, which prevented the execution of the plan; and the naval force of the British was too large to ensure success on the water, in that quarter.


A Constitution proposed and formed by General Court, but rejected by the majority of the citizens Large body of the Militia called out Northern Army - The British advance Battle near Lake George and at Saratoga British army captured, October, 1777-Affairs at the south, and in the middle states - Battle of Brandywine and of Germantown British take possession of Philadelphia, and the American army have quarters at Valley Forge, in vicinity The men suffer much for want of clothes - Heavy assessments laid on the states by CongressMore men required Loans-Appeals to the People Confederation -- John Adams Envoy to France and Holland-An able Negotiator - Delegates to Congress, and Judges of Superior Court, 1778.


AT the session of the general court, in June, 1777, it was proposed to prepare a civil constitution for the state, and a committee of twelve was appointed to present a form at the next meeting. The subject had been suggested during the preceding winter; and it had been recommended to the people, by the general court for 1776-7, to choose their representatives with a view to their forming such a constitution. Many of the towns were opposed to this mode of preparing a form of government. It was contended, that it should be done by delegates chosen for that specific purpose, and not by the general court. The committee, however, reported a constitution in January, 1778; which was submitted to the people, and rejected by a great majority. It was prepared at short notice, and not sufficiently matured. The greatest objection to it was, that there was no bill of rights; or that the natural and unalienable rights of the people were not expressly reserved and secured. The executive power was not fully and exclusively given to the governor; and yet he was to be president of the senate. But in many respects its outlines were similar to those of the form of government prepared and adopted in 1780.*

The British army from Canada made advances on the Hudson towards Albany, in August, and it was so formidable, that * See Appendix.

more of the militia were called for from Massachusetts and the adjoining states. A great number, also, at this time, were serving for the protection of Rhode Island. But the case was so urgent, that the general court ordered reinforcements from the militia in Berkshire and Hampshire; and a few weeks after from the counties of Worcester, Middlesex, Essex, and York. The feelings of the people fully responded to the address of their representatives, on this occasion; who said, "We rely on that public virtue, and that unbounded love of freedom and of country, with which the militia of Massachusetts have always been inspired." Large sums were appropriated for provisions for these troops and those previously in that quarter; and for making the roads passable through the western part of the state, and over the Green Mountains. Every seventh man in the militia was called out, at this time; and what, with the continental regular troops, and the militia at Rhode Island, and on duty at various places on the seacoasts, within the state, amounted to about every fifth able-bodied man; making in the public service, for August, September, and October, not less than twenty thousand. The American troops near Lake Champlain, and on the Hudson River, were commanded by General Gates; General Lincoln, of Massachusetts, had been designated by Washington for the command; but was not able to proceed when first selected. But he arrived in camp soon after the brilliant affair at Bennington, when the brave General Stark, with the militia of New Hampshire, surprised and captured the greater part of an advanced detachment of the British army. The British lost nearly one thousand men in this affair, in killed and taken; and the whole party under Stark scarcely amounted to that number. General Lincoln saw the exposed situation of the British army, as it had advanced south of Lake Champlain, at a distance from the fortified places, and he made a diversion in their rear, to cut off all communication with those forts; when it became necessary for General Bourgoyne to press on, where he would be opposed by General Gates with a large force, or to return to the lake, when he would be between two assailing armies. General Lincoln left a considerable force in the fort at the south part of the lake, and joined the main army under General Gates, near Saratoga. A severe action took place between the British and American forces, on the 19th of September. Almost the whole of the British army and a great part of the Americans were engaged. The attack was begun by three British regiments on a detachment of the Americans, and about a mile in advance of their main body. The British were repulsed; but soon resumed the attack with additional num

bers. The Americans were also reinforced by another division; and the whole of the enemy were soon engaged in the battle. The American army maintained its position. The British retired to the place whence they made the attack in the morning, with the loss of about one thousand, in killed, wounded, and taken; while those of the Americans did not exceed three hundred and twenty.

On the 7th of October, there was another general engagement between the British and Americans near Saratoga. The right wing of the British attempted to take post on the left of the American main army. Three regiments of the Americans advanced to oppose them, about the distance of a mile, when each party aimed for an eminence which intervened. The Americans were so fortunate as to gain possession of it. The British attacked them, with great force and spirit, but were repulsed, and pursued to their lines by the Americans; who entered one of their entrenchments sword in hand. The Americans remained for the night near the British lines; and General Bourgoyne retired to a distant position which was strongly fortified. On the 19th he surrendered to the American army. He was disappointed of the relief or support he expected, and his troops were exhausted by fatigue and want of provisions. The plan of the British had been to push on to Albany, and to join a detachment from New York on the Hudson River below that place, and thus to cut off all communication between the New England states, and those south of New York. The defeat of this plan, and the capture of a large army of the enemy, of eight thousand men, was matter of great rejoicing in America. When the British began the campaign they were said to be ten thousand. The Americans under General Gates amounted to twelve or thirteen thousand; the greater part of which were from Massachusetts. General Lincoln was wounded, and taken off from active service for several months. Colonel John Brooks, of Massachusetts, was particularly distinguished in the engagements which preceded the surrender of the British army. Colonel Francis and Colburn of Massachusetts were killed in this campaign. General Stark, of New Hampshire, made a present of some of the military articles, taken by him from the British, to the general court of Massachusetts. A letter of thanks was written to him, and he was presented with a suit of clothes and a piece of linen; which expressed their sense of his useful services, as well as a present of far greater value would have done, in more prosperous times.

While these important events were passing, at the north,

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