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from their justice, what you could no longer expect froni their favour? How have you been answered ? Let the letter which you are called to consider to-mor row reply.
“If this, then, be your treatment while the swords you wear are necessary for the defence of America, what have you to expect from peace, when your voice shall sink, and your strength dissipate by divi. sion? When those very swords, the instruments and companions of your glory shall be taken from your sides, and no remaining mark of military distinction loft but your wants, infirmities, and scars? Can you then consent to be the only sufferers by this revolution, and retiring from the field, grow old in poverty, wretchedness, and contempt? Can you consent to wade through the vile mire of dependency, and owe the miserable remnant of that life to charity, which has hitherto been spent in honour ? If you can-go
the jest of tories and the scorn of whigs—the ridicule, and what is worse, the pity of the world. Go, starve, and be forgotten! But if your spirit should revolt. at this; if you have sense enough to discover, and spirit enough to oppose tyranny, un. der whatever garb it may assume ; whether it be the plain coat of republicanism, or the splendid robe of royalty ; if you have not yet learned to discriminate between a people and a cause, between men and principles—awake ; attend to your situation, and redress yourselves. If the present moment be lost, every future effort is in vain ; and your threats then, will be as empty as your entreaties now.
“ I would advise you, therefore, to come to some final opinion upon what you can bear, and what you will suffer. If your determination be in any proportion to your wrongs, carry your appeal from the justice to the fears of government. Change the milk and water style of your last memorial; assume a bolder tone-decent, but lively, spirited, and determined, and suspect the man
who would advise to more moderation and longer forbearance Let two or three men who can feel as well as write, be appointed to draw up your last remonstrance ; for I would no longer give it the sueing, soft, unsuccessful epithet of memorial. Let it be represented in language that will neither dishonour you by its rudeness, nor betray you by its fears, what has been proinised by Congress, and what has been performed-how long, and how patiently you have suffer. ed-how little you have asked, and how much of that little has been denied. Tell them that though you were the first, and would wish to be the last to encounter danger, though despair itself can never drive you into dishonour, it may drive you from the field; that the wound often irritated, and never healed, may at length become incurable; and that the slightest mark of indignity from Congress now must operate like tho grave, and part you for ever : that in any political event, the army has its alternative. If peace, that nothing shall separate you from your arms but death : if war, that courting the auspices, and inviting the direction of your illustrious leader, you will retire to some unsettled country, smile in your turn, and mock when their fear cometh on. But let it represent also, that should they comply with the request of your late mcmorial, it would make you more happy, and them more respectable. That while war should continue, you would follow their standard into the field, and when it came to an end you would withdraw into the shade of private life, and give the world another subject of wonder and applause ; an army victorious over its enemies-victorious over itself.”
The reluctance which Congress manifested to compensate the army for seven years' glcrious service, excited a temper too favourable to the purposes of the writer of this intemperate address. Probably the in fluence of General WASHINGTON alone could have ar ested the rising temnest : and his firmness and pru
donce were equal to the occasion. Silence in him would have encouraged the desperate to the prosecution of the most rash design; and strong and violent measures would have enkindled the smothered spark into a destructive flame. Noticing in general orders the anonymous publication, he expressed his confidence that the judginent and patriotism of the army would for. bid their " attention to such an irregular invitation, but his own duty,” he added, “ as well as the reputation and the true interest of the army required his disapprobation of such disorderly proceedings. At the same time, he requested the general and field officers, with one officer from each company, and a proper re presentation from the staff of the army, to assemble at twelve on Saturday the 15th, at the new building, to hear the report of the committee deputed by the army to Congress. After mature deliberation, they will devise what further measures ought to be adopted as most rational and best calculated to obtain the just and important object in view.” The senior officer in rank was directed to preside, and to report the result of their deliberations to the Commander in Chief.
The next day a second anonymous address was published. . The writer affected to consider the orders of the General as countenancing the convention, recommended in the first publication.
On the 15th the officers met agreeably to orders, and General Gates took the chair. The Commander in Chief then addressed them.
" By an anonymous summons an attempt has been made to convene you together. How inconsistent with the rules of propriety, how unmilitary, and how subversive of all order and discipline, let the good sense of the army decide.
" In the moment of this summons, another anony. all'us production was sent into circulation, addressed more to the feelings and passions than to the judge
ment of the army. The author of the piece is entitled to much credit for the goodness of his pen; and I could wish he had as much credit for the rectitude of his heart; for, as men see through different opticks, and are induced by the reflecting faculties of the mind, to use different means to attain the same end, the author of the address should have had more charity than to mark for suspicion the man who should recommend moderation and longer forbearance ; or in other words, who should not think as he thinks, and act as he ad. vises. But he had another plan in view, in which candour and liberality of sentiment, regard to justice and love of country, have no part; and he was right to insinuate the darkest suspicion to effect the blackest design. That the address was drawn with great art, and is designed to answer the most insidious purposes ; hat it is calculated to impress the mind with an idea of premeditated injustice in the sovereign power of he United States, and rouse all those resentments which must unavoidably flow from such a belief; that the secret mover of this scheme, whoever he may be, intended to take advantage of 'he passions, while they were warmed by the recollection of past distresses, without giving time for cool, deliberative thinking, and that composure of mind which is so necessary to give dignity and stability to measures, is rendered too obvious, by the mode of conducting the business, to noed other proof than a reference to the proceedings,
“ Thus much, gentlemen, I have thought it incumbent on me to observe to you, to show upon what prin. ciples I opposed the irregular and hasty meeting which was proposed to have been held on Tuesday last, and not because I wanted a disposition to give you every opportunity, consistent with your own honour, and the dignity of the army, to make known your grievances. If my conduct heretofore has not evinced to you, that I have been a faithful friend to the army, my declaration of it at this time would be equally unavailing and
improper. But as I was among the first who embark. ed in the cause of our common country; as I have never left your side one moment, but when called from you on publick duty; as I have been the constant companion and witness of your distresses, and not among the last to feel and acknowledge your merits ; as I have ever considered my own military reputation as inseparably connected with that of the army ; as my heart has ever expanded with joy when I have hard its praises, and my indignation has arisen when the mouth of detraction has been opened against it ; it can scarcely be supposed at this last stage of the war, that I am indifferent to its interests. But how are they to be promoted ? The way is plain, says the anonymous addresser ! If war continue, remove into the unsettled country; there establish yourselves, and leave an ungrateful country to defend itself;—but who are they to defend ? Our wives, our children, our farms and other property which we leave behind us? Or in this state of hostile separation, are we to take the two first, (the latter cannot be removed) to perish in a wilderness with hunger, cold, and nakedness ?
peace takes place, never sheath your swords," says he,“ until you ha' e obtained full and ample justice.” This dreadful alternative of either deserting our country in the extremest hour of her distress, or turning our arms against it, which is the apparent object, unless Congress can be compelled into instant compliance, has something so shocking in it, that humanity revolts at the idea. My God! What can this writer have in view, by recommending such measures : Can he be a friend to the army? Can he be a friend to this country ? Rather is he not an insidious foe; some emissary, perhaps, from New-York, plotting the ruin of both, by sowing the seeds of discord and separation between the civil and military powers of the continent? And what a compliment does he pay to our understandings, when he recommends measures, in ei. Vol II.