網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

WILLIAM FRANKLIN.'

129

remained in jail until the following October, when he was conveyed to New York, then the British head-quarters. There he was kept, part of the time on parole on Long Island, and part of the time in the Provost and other prisons in New York, until May, 1778, when he was exchanged for Colonel Campbell of the British army. His health had suffered much during his imprisonment, yet he repaired to head-quarters, and offered his services to Washington, when his strength should be restored. He arrived at Bennington, his place of residence, on the evening of the last day of May, and he was welcomed by booming cannons and the huzzas of the people. The civil authorities of the now independent State of Vermont commissioned him major-general of the State militia, but an opportunitr for the exercise of his bravery and military skill did not again occur. He was active, with Governor Chittenden and others, in the adroit political game played by Vermont with the authorities of the United States and of Canada; and his patriotism ever burned pure, even at a time when General Clinton wrote to Lord George Germain, “ There is every reason to suppose that Ethan Allen has quitted the rebel cause.” General Allen continued active in public affairs after the war, until his death, which occurred suddenly at Colchester, on the 13th of February, 1789, when he was about sixty years of age. Colonel Allen was the author of several political pamphlets; a theological work, entitled Oracles of Reason, and a Narrative of his Observations during his captivity:

WILLIAM FRANKLIN.

TT is worthy of note, that one of the most distinguished Loyalists during the 1 War for Independence, was the only son of one of the noblest Patriots in that struggle. That Loyalist was William, the first-born child of Benjamin Franklin. He was born in Philadelphia, in 1731, and was carefully educated by his father, for professional life. He was postmaster of the city of Philadel. phia; clerk of the Assembly for awhile; and entered the provincial army as captain, early in the French and Indian war. He was warmly commended for his services at Ticonderoga. After the war, he went to England with his father, and in Scotland he became acquainted with the Earl of Bute, who, for almost ten years, had great influence in the councils of George the Third. In 1763, William Franklin was appointed governor of New Jersey, and was very popular for a time. Like all other royal governors, he soon assumed undue personal dignity, and quarrelled with the legislature. He was a thorough monarchist in principle, and when the disputes between the colonists and the imperial government commenced in earnest, he did not hesitate in taking sides with the crown, in opposition to his distinguished father. At the beginning of 1774, all intercourse between father and son was suspended, and as the political troubles thickened, the breach widened. Month after month the breach between the governor and the New Jersey Assembly also widened; and finally a Provincial Congress at Trenton assumed political authority, and royal government ceased in that province. A State Constitution was adopted in July, 1776, and William Livingston became

nd truthfulnes note for sixthim to pay it enuineness stern inte merit the payment inconvenienatter, denied Allen was in the

1. The stern integrity and truthfulness of Colonel Allen were well illustrated on one occasion, when he was prosecuted for the payment of a note for sixty pounds, given to a man in Boston. It was sent to Vermont for collection, but it was inconvenient for him to pay it then, and he was sued. The trial came on, and his lawyer, in order to postpone the matter, denied the genuineness of the signature. To prove it, it would be necessary to send to Boston for a witness. Allen was in a remote part of the court-room, when the lawyer denied the signature. With long strides Allen rushed through the crowd, and, standing before his advocate, he said, in angry tone, "Mr I did not hire you to come here and lie. That is a true note -I signed it --I'll swear to it and I'll pay it. I want no shufiling-I want time. What I emploved you for was to get this business put over to the next court, not to come here and lie and juggle about it." The time was given, and Allen paid the note.

[blocks in formation]

Franklin's successor, by the choice of the people. The Whigs went still further. Franklin was declared to be an enemy of his country, and was sent, a prisoner, to East Windsor, Connecticut. He was kept under the eye of Governor Trumbull, until 1778, when he was exchanged, released, and took refuge with the British army in New York. There he was secretly active in fomenting discontents among the people, wherever he could make an impression. He was president of the Board of Loyalists, who had their head-quarters near Oyster Bay, Long Island, but went to England before the close of the contest. In the picture of the Reception of the American Loyalists by Great Britain, in 1783, painted by Benjamin West, Governor Franklin appears at the head of a group of figures. After an estrangement of ten years, he solicited and obtained a reconciliation with his father. Although Dr. Franklin accepted the olive branch thus filially held out, and proposed “mutually to forget" the past, he seems to have remembered the estrangement, when he made his will, for, after making a comparatively small bequest to William, he remarks, “The part he acted against me in the late war, which is of public notoriety, will account for my leaving him no more of an estate he endeavored to deprive me of.” Governor Franklin continued in England until his death, and enjoyed a pension, from the British government, of four thousand dollars a year. He died in November, 1813, at the age of about eighty-two years. His wife died of grief, while he was a prisoner, in 1778, and a monumental tablet was erected to her memory in St. Paul's church, New York city.

JOSEPH GREEN.

IN the same year when Dr. Franklin first saw the light, a genuine wit and poet I was born in the same city of Boston. His name was Joseph Green. He was first instructed in the South Grammar School, and then entered Harvard College, where he was graduated in 1726. He became an accomplished scholar, and man of business; and by successful mercantile life, for a few years, he acquired a competent fortune. Generous, polite, elegant in deportment, and exceedingly popular with all classes, Mr. Green might have acquired almost any mark of public distinction, but he loved private life, and could never be prevailed upon to accept office. He took very little part in politics, yet when Hutchinson left the government of Massachusetts, he was one of those who signed a complimentary address to that functionary. This act offended the republicans, and the royal party claimed him; but when, in 1774, Massachusetts was deprived of her charter, and a number of counsellors were appointed by mandamus, Green refused to serve, and sent his resignation to General Gage. Yet the tendencies of Mr. Green were so decidedly loyal, that he was included in the act of banishment, of 1778. He had been absent from Boston about three years already, and he never returned to his native country. He died in London, on the 11th of December, 1780, at the age of seventy-four years. Mr. Green's poetry was generally humorous. He wrote a burlesque on a psalm written by his fellow wit, Doctor Byles. Also a burlesque on the Free Masons, and a “Lamentation on Mr. Old Tenor" (paper money), which gained him great applause. He was a member of a club of sentimentalists, who published several pamphlets; and he attacked the administration of Governor Belcher, exposed its anti-republican tendencies, and ridiculed the chief magistrate by putting his speeches into rhyme. Mr. Green was a Loyalist of the milder stamp, and was governed by a pure heart and clear head in his choice of government.

[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

JAMES JACKSON. W HEN the British army was about to leave Savannah, in July, 1782, General

Wayne, then in command in Georgia, chose an accomplished young man of twenty-five, whose valor was the theme for praise in the Southern army, to receive the keys of the city from a committee of British officers. That young officer was Major James Jackson, a native of Devonshire, England, where he was born on the 21st of September, 1757. He came to America, with his father, in 1772, and studied law in Savannah. He loved his adopted country, and in 1776, shouldered his musket, and was active in repelling an invading force that menaced Savannah, In 1778, he was appointed brigade major of the Georgia militia, and was wounded in a skirmish on the Ogeechee, in which General Scriven was killed. At the close of that year he participated in the unsuccessfiul defence of Savannah; and when it fell into the hands of Colonel Campbell, he was among those who fled into South Carolina and joined Moultrie's brigade. His appearance was so wretched and suspicious, during that flight, that he was arrested by some Whigs, and tried and condemned as a spy. They were about to hang him, when a gentleman of reputation, from Georgia, recognized him, and saved his life. He was active in the siege of Savannah by Lincoln and D'Estaing, in October, 1779, and in 1780, he was in the battle at Black

[blocks in formation]

stocks under Colonel Elijah Clarke, of Georgia. General Andrew Pickens made him his brigade major, in 1781, and his fluent speech expressing his ardent patriotism, infused new zeal into that corps. He was at the siege of Augusta, in June, 1781, and when the Americans took possession, Jackson was left in command of the garrison. Subsequently he performed more active and arduous services, as commander of a legionary corps; and at Ebenezer, on the Savannah, he joined General Wayne, and was the right arm of his force until the evacuation of the Georgia capital, in 1782. As some reward for his patriotic services during the war, the legislature gåve him a house and lot in Savannah. Ho married in 1785, and the next year was commissioned brigadier-general of the State militia. In 1788, he was elected governor of Georgia, but modestly declined the honor on account of his youth and inexperience, being then only little more than thirty years of age. He was one of the first representatives of Georgia in Congress, after the organization of the Federal Government; and from 1792 to 1795, was a member of the United States Senate. In the meanwhile he was promoted to major-general, and never failed in the faithful performance of his duties, civil and military. The State Constitution of Georgia, framed in 1798, was chiefly the work of his brain and hand. From that year until 1801, ho was governor of the State, when he was again chosen United States' senator. He held that office until his death, which occurred at Washington city, on the 19th of March, 1806, at the age of forty-nino years. His mortal remains lio beneath a neat monument in the Congressional burial-ground, upon which is an inscription, written by his personal friend and admirer, John Randolph, of Roanoke. Governor Jackson made many powerful enemies in the South, bccause of his successful exposures of stupendous land frauds, but his course increased the zeal and number of his friends. There never lived a truer patriot or more honest man, than General James Jackson.

ELI WHITNEY.

TVERY labor-saving machine is a gain to humanity; and every inventor of

such machine is a public benefactor. High on the list of such worthies is the name of Eli Whitney, the inventor of a machine for cleaning cotton to prepare it for the bale, known by the technical term of gin. He was born at Westborough, Massachusetts, on the 8th of December, 1763. His mechanical genius was early manifested; and while yet a mere child, he constructed many things with great skill. He entered Yale College in 1789, and was graduated in 1792. He then engaged to go to Georgia as a private tutor in a family, and on his way, he fell in with the widow of General Greene, who was returning to Savannah, with her family. On his arrival, he found himself without occupation and with very little money, for the person with whom he had made an engagement had hired another preceptor. Mrs. Greene had become much interested in young Whitney, and at once invited him to make her house his home, to pursue what studies he pleased. He commenced the study of law, but his mind was much on mechanics. Several distinguished visitors at the house of Mrs. Greene, from the interior, on one occasion, expressed their regret that there was not some machine for cleaning the green seed cotton,' as its culture, with such aid, would

1. This labor was then performed chiefly by female servants. To separate one pound of clean staple cotton from the seeds was considered a good day's work for one person,

[blocks in formation]

be very profitable at the South. The great mechanical genius of young Whitney was known to Mrs. Greene, and she said, “Apply to my young friend here, he can make anything." Although he had never yet looked upon a cotton seed, his mind began to plan. He procured a small quantity of uncleaned cotton, and with such rude tools as a plantation afforded, he went to work and constructed a machine, under the kind auspices of Mrs. Greene and Phineas Miller, who became her husband. The machine was examined with delight, for it would do the work of months in a single day. With it, one man could do the work of a thousand. It opened a way to immense wealth to the Southern planters. Great excitement prevailed; and when the people found that they could not see the great invention until it was patented, they broke open the building in which it stood, carried it away, and soon many similar machines were in use. Whitney went to his native State, patented his invention, and in partnership with Mr. Miller, commenced the manufacture of machines for Georgia. Before he could secure a patent, it was in common use;' and to complete his misfortunes, his shop with all its contents, and his papers, were consumed. He was made a bankrupt; and the inventor of the cotton gin, which has been worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the people of the South, never received a sufficient amount of money from it, to reimburse his actual outlays and losses. He was treated with the utmost unfairness by some southern legislatures, as well as by individuals; and everywhere among those who were profiting immensely by the invention, his rights were denied. Even Congress denied his application to extend his patent. Disappointed, and disgusted with the injustice of his fellow-men, Mr. Whitney turned his attention to other pursuits. He commenced the manufacture of fire-arms, in 1798, for the United States. But misfortune seemed to be uniformly his lot in life, except in his choice of the excellent Henrietta, daughter of Pierpont Edwards, for his wife. After great sufferings from disease, he died near New Haven, on the 8th of January, 1825, at the age of fifty-nine years.

ELIAS BOUDINOT.

THE American Bible Society, whose labors have accomplished a vast amount 1 of good, in the dissemination of the Holy Scriptures, was established in 1816; and Elias Boudinot, one of its founders, and a warm patriot of the Revolution, was its first president. He was born in Philadelphia, on the 2d of May, 1740. He inherited a love of freedom and religious devotion from his Huguenot ancestors, and when the colonists began to question the right of Great Britain to tax them without their consent, he took a stand for his countrymen. He had received a classical education, studied law with Richard Stockton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and married that patriot's sister. Boudinot practiced his profession in New Jersey, and soon rose to distinction. In 1777, he was appointed commissary-general of prisoners, by Congress, and the same year he was elected to a seat in the Continental Congress. In November, 1782, he was elected president of that body, and in that capacity he signed the preliminary treaty of peace with Great Britain. At the close of the war he resumed the profession of the law, but was again called into public life in 1789,

1. On one occasion, when suits for the infringement of the patent in Georgia were commenced, W'Miller wrote, " The jurymen at Augusta have come to an understanding among themselves, that they will never give a cause in our favor, let the merits of the case be as they may."

« 上一頁繼續 »