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this power has been entirely given up, and they are now as dependent on the States as the King of England is on the Parliament. They can neither enlist, pay nor feed a single soldier, nor execute any other purpose, but as the means are first put into their bands. Unless the legislatures are sufficiently attentive to this change of circumstances, and act in conformity to it, every thing must necessarily go wrong, or rather must come to a total stop. All that Congress can do in future will be to administer public affairs with prudence, vigor and economy. In order to do which they have sent a committee to HeadQuarters with ample powers, in concert with the Commander-in-Chief and the heads of the Departo, ments, to reform the various abuses which prevail, and to make such arrangements as will best guard against a relapse into them.
TO THOMAS JEFFERSON.
Philadelphia, June 2, 1780.
New York and other Northern States, that the savages are making the most distressing incursions, under the direction of British agents, and that a considerable force is assembling at Montreal for the purpose of wresting from us Fort Schuyler, which covers the northwestern frontier of New York. It is probable the enemy will be but too successful this campaign in exciting their vindictive spirit against Us, throughout the whole frontier of the United
States. The expedition of General Sullivan against the Six Nations, seems by its effects rather to have exasperated than to have terrified or disabled theni. And the example of those nations will add great weight to the exhortations addressed to the more southern tribes.
Rivington has published a positive and particular account of the surrender of Charleston on the twelfth ultimo, said to be brought to New York by the Iris which left Charleston five days after. There are, notwithstanding, some circumstances attending it which, added to the notorious character for lying of the author, leave some hope that it is fictitious. The true state of the matter will probably be known at Richmond before this reaches you.
We have yet heard nothing further of the auxiliary armament from France. However anxiously its arrival may be wished for, it is much to be feared we shall continue to be so unprepared to co-operate with them, as to disappoint their views, and to add to our distress and disgrace. Scarce a week, and sometimes scarce a day, but brings us a most lamentable picture from Head-Quarters. The army are a great part of their time on short allowance, and sometimes without any at all, and constantly depending on the precarious fruits of momentary expedients. General Washington has found it of the utmost difficulty to repress the mutinous spirit engendered by hunger and want of pay: and all his endeavours could not prevent an actual eruption of it in two Connecticut regiments, who assembled on the parade with their arms, and resolved to return home or satisfy their hunger by the power of the bayonet. We have no
permanent resource, and scarce even a momentary one left, but in the prompt and vigorous supplies of the States. The State of Pennsylvania has it in her power to give great relief in the present crisis, and a recent act of her legislature shows, they are determined to make the most of it. I understand they have invested the Executive with a dictatorial authority from which nothing but the lives of their citizens are exempted. I hope the good resulting from it will be such as to compensate for the risk of the precedent.
TO THOMAS JEFFERSON.
Philadelphia, June 23, 1780. · Dear Sir,
The fact is confirmed that Clinton has returned to New York with part of the Southern army, and has joined Kniphausen. They are at present maneuvering for purposes not absolutely known, but most probably in order to draw General Washington to an action, in which they suppose he might be disabled from giving the necessary co-operation to the French armament. Could they succeed in drawing him froin his strong position, the result indeed ought to be exceedingly feared. He is weak in numbers beyond all suspicion, and under as great apprehension from famine as from the enemy. Unless very speedy and extensive reinforcements are received from the Eastern States, which I believe are exerting themselves, the issue of the campaign must be equally disgraceful to our councils and disgustful to our allies. Our
greatest hopes of being able to feed them are founded on a patriotic scheme of the opulent merchants of this city, who have already subscribed nearly £ and will very soon complete that sum, the immediate object of which is to procure and transport to the army
rations, and three hundred hogsheads of rum. Congress, for the support of this bank, and for the security and indemnification of the subscribers, have pledged the faith of the United States, and agreed to deposit bills of exchange in Europe to the amount of £150,000 sterling, which are not, however, to be made use of, unless other means of discharging this debt should be inadequate.
TO EDMUND PENDLETON.
Philadelphia, September 12, 1780. Dear Sir,
Congress have at length entered seriously on a plan for finally ratifying the Confederation. Convinced of the necessity of such a measure, to repress the hopes with which the probable issue of the campaign will inspire our enemy, as well as to give greater authority and vigor to our public councils, they have recommended, in the most pressing terms, to the States claiming unappropriated back lands, to cede a liberal portion of them for the general benefit. As these exclusive claims formed the only obstacle with Maryland, there is no doubt that a compliance with this recommendation will bring her into the Confederation. How far the States holding the back lands may be disposed to give them up, cannot be so
easily determined. From the sentiments of the most intelligent persons which have come to my knowledge, I own I am pretty sanguine that they will see the necessity of closing the Union, in too strong a light to oppose the only expedient that can accomplish it.
Another circumstance, that ought greatly to encourage us under disappointed expectations from the campaign, is the combination of the maritime
powers in support of their neutral rights, and particularly the late insolent and provoking violation of those rights by the English ships at St. Martin's. It is not probable that the injured will be satisfied without reparations and acknowledgments which the pride of Britain will not submit to; and if she can once be embroiled in an altercation with so formidable a league, the result must necessarily be decisive in our favor. Indeed it is not to be supposed, after the amazing resources which have been seen in Great Britain, when not only deprived of, but opposed by, her ancient Colonies, and the success of the latter in resisting for so long a time the utmost exertion of these resources against her, that the maritime powers,
appear to be so jealous of their rights, will ever suffer an event to take place which must very soon expose them to be trampled on at the pleasure of Great Britain.
Yesterday was employed by Congress in discussing the resolutions you left with them. The first and