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because it was hardly worth while, they said, for France to waste her energies in aiding a fight that seemed sure to be lost. After Burgoyne's surrender, however, the outlook was more hopeful, and in 1778 France signed a treaty by which she recognized the United States as an independent nation, and agreed to lend her troops and money."
180. England offers peace. Great Britain was much alarmed at this turn of affairs, and at once declared war
against our ally, for interfering in her “family quarrel.” At the same time Parliament offered us peace, and said that we might now, if we wished, send representatives to sit in that body; moreover, it promptly repealed all of the tax
1 There were two parts to this treaty: by the first, France declared her friendship for the United States; by the second, France offered to aid us in case Great Britain declared war against her.
2 The flag on the left is the British ensign. The union jack in the corner is a combination of the English red cross of St.
George with the Scottish white cross of St. Andrew, upon a blue ground.
The flag on the right is the one used by General Washington, at Cambridge, in January, 1776, and for a year or more afterward. It is like the British ensign except that thirteen red and white stripes (representing the thirteen revolting colonies) are substituted for the solid red of the former.
The flag at the top was adopted by Congress June 14, 1777. A union of thirteen white stars in a circle on a blue ground is substituted for the British union. The present American flag differs from this in the number and arrangement of stars; one has been added for each new State, so that there are now forty-eight. June 14 of each year is now called “Flag Day,"and this anniversary is celebrated in many of the States.
laws and other regulations that had so offended the Americans. But it was now too late for any other offer than complete independence. The United States had become a nation; and, having tasted freedom, wished no longer to be tied to the apron strings of the motherland; moreover, it would not be fair to make peace without the consent of her ally, France. Accordingly, Congress rejected the overtures from London, and the war continued.
181. Battle of Monmouth. There were at that time fifteen thousand British soldiers in Philadelphia. But having heard that a French fleet was on its way across the Atlantic to bombard them, they left that city hurriedly, crossed the Delaware River, and started to march eastward across New Jersey to New York. Washington was quickly upon their trail, with his now fairly well-organized army of about the same size. He fell upon their rear guard at Monmouth, June 28, and would have annihilated them had he been properly supported by General Charles Lee. But that officer was so obstinate and disobedient that Washington sharply rebuked him and ordered him to the rear. The battle was severe, but owing to Lee's conduct was indecisive.1 Later, Lee was tried by court martial and dismissed from the army in disgrace.
182. Watching the British. The British troops, who had suffered great losses, now continued on their way to New York, which they held until the war closed; but Washington, who once more occupied the highlands of the Hudson, a short distance above the city, watched them closely, to see that they did not penetrate too far into the interior of the country.
After two years fighting in the Middle States the prospects for the patriots had much improved. The victory
1 It was a very hot day, 96° in the shade, and many men on both sides died simply from overwork in the fierce sun. The fighting spirit of the Americans is shown in the case of a brave woman who was called “Moll Pitcher," although her real name was Mary Hays. Her husband was a cannoneer, and she assisted him as best she could. When he fell dead, she took up his work, and amid the cheers of her comrades served in his place through the rest of the battle.
over Burgoyne had brightened their hopes, the French alliance added greatly to their strength, and Washington's army was now much better trained and equipped than before.
QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS 1. Why did the British leave New England and transfer the war to the
Middle States? 2. State how Washington was aided by Robert Morris, Lafayette, and
Baron Steuben. 3. Why was the battle near Saratoga called a "decisive battle"? What
other decisive battle occurred in North America nearly twenty years
before? 4. Give a brief history of the American flag and tell what each part
of it signifies. 5. On a sketch map of the Middle Atlantic States indicate American
victories with blue crosses; defeats with red ones. 6. Explain the many American successes in spite of their inferior equip
ment. 7. Relate important events of Washington's career as a general, mentioned
in this chapter. 8. Prepare a chronological table of important Revolutionary events in the Middle States, thus:
The Middle States in the Revolution
Names of Leaders
Effect on the Colonists
9. Make an outline of the chapter.
COMPOSITION SUBJECTS 1. Write what purports to be a translation of three entries in the diary
of a Hessian officer. Let the dates be December 24, December 25,
and December 26, 1776. 2. Write out a conversation between Robert Morris and a patriot at
whose house he begged for money; another one with a man who was doubtful about joining the army because uncertain as to the possibility
of success 3. Washington at Valley Forge, as described by the poet Lowell:
“Dumb for himself, unless it were to God,
CLOSING YEARS OF THE REVOLUTION
183. Indian depredations. Throughout the war the American settlers along our northern and western borders suffered severely from Indian raids, which were often led by Loyalists. The most cruel of these were in 1778, when the people of Wyoming, in Pennsylvania, and Cherry Valley, in New York, were horribly massacred by the savage allies of the British.
The settlers of Kentucky were so often troubled by the Indian war parties which were sent out by the British commandants of Detroit and other posts north of the Ohio River that for several years their little towns needed the constant protection of blockhouse forts. Through this long practice in defending their homes the Kentuckians became expert riflemen, and were the most successful Indian fighters in the country.
184. The brilliant services of George Rogers Clark. George Rogers Clark, a tall, hardy, and fearless young Kentucky surveyor, determined in 1778 to put a stop to these savage assaults, by driving out all of the British garrisons lying north of the Ohio River. He enlisted a hundred and fifty of the most daring backwoodsmen he could find, and with this little army soon captured Kaskaskia and Cahokia in western Illinois. In order to take Vincennes, in western Indiana, he was obliged to make a long journey overland; and in doing so he had a thrilling experience. This was early in 1779, when the Wabash and other rivers in that region were swollen by spring floods and the marsh
1 The best-known Kentuckian was Daniel Boone, a hunter and land surveyor. He first visited Kentucky (from North Carolina) in 1769, and much of his life thereafter was filled with perilous adventures.
lands were overflowed. The patriots were obliged, with little food and almost no rest, to march for long distances through ice-cold water that often reached the shoulders of tall men, and they suffered all manner of hardships. But although exhausted from fatigue and exposure, they at last reached their goal, surprised the British, and after a sharp fight captured Vincennes.
This splendid victory put Clark in possession of nearly all the country north of the Ohio River, and east of the
Harrodsburg Mississippi; and now that the British were driven out,
THE CAMPAIGN OF GEORGE Kentucky had little more trouble from Indians.
185. The storming of Stony Point. During the summer of 1779 the British remained well fortified in New York, and at the same time captured two American forts on the Hudson River, Stony Point and Verplancks Point. But Washington, who was then encamped in the highlands, resolved to regain the bold promontory of Stony Point, and for this difficult feat chose the impetuous and daring General Anthony Wayne. At the head of twelve hundred picked men, who carried no ammunition but had their bayonets set, Wayne made his assault on July 15, and swept everything before him.
186. The treason of Benedict Arnold. General Benedict Arnold had been one of our most courageous and experienced officers. He had won laurels at the battles of Quebec and Saratoga, and was much beloved by Washington. But he was disappointed because some of his political enemies in Congress prevented him from being promoted. On being placed in command of West Point, then the most important fortress in the United States, he determined to revenge himself on Congress and surrender the fort to the British.