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134

JOSEPH HABERSHAM.

by an election to a seat in Congress, under the Federal Constitution. He was a member of the House of Representatives six years, when Washington appointed him Director of the Mint, on the death of Rittenhouse. He held that position until 1805, when he retired from public life, and made his residence the remainder of his days, at Burlington, New Jersey. In 1812, he was elected a member of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, to which he made a donation of five thousand dollars; and when he was elected president of the American Bible Society, in 1816, he gave that institution ten thousand dollars. He was a trustee of the College at Princeton for many years, and there founded a cabinet of natural history, at a cost of three thousand dollars. His whole life was one of usefulness; and at his death, he bequeathed a great portion of a large fortune to institutions and trustees, for charitable purposes. The remainder of his estate he left to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, of which he was a member. He died at Burlington, on the 24th of October, 1821, at the age of eighty-one years.

JOSEPH HABERSHAM.

NEORGIA may boast of many noble patriots, but she had none, in the War

U for Independence, of truer stamp, than Joseph Habersham, the son of a merchant of Savannah, where he was born in 1750. He was one of the earliest advocates of popular rights in the Georgia capital, and, with other young men, acted, as well as spoke, against unjust royal rule. Early in the Summer of 1775, a letter from Sir James Wright, the royal governor of Georgia, to General Gage, was intercepted by the vigilant Whigs of Charleston, who had seized the mails. It contained a request for that officer to send some troops to Savannah, to suppress the rising rebellion there. The letter was sent to the committee of safety at Savannah, and aroused the fiercest indignation of the Whigs. At about that time, a British vessel arrived at the mouth of the Savannah, with many thousand pounds of powder. It was determined to seize the vessel and secure the powder, for the use of the patriots. On the night of the 10th of July, thirty volunteers under young Habersham (then holding the commission of colonel) and Commodore Bowen, captured the vessel, placed the powder, under guard, in the magazine at Savannah, and sent five thousand pounds of the ammunition, to General Washington at Boston. In January, 1776, Colonel Habersham was a member of the Georgia Assembly; and on the 18th of that month, he led a party of volunteers, to the capture of Governor Wright. They paroled him a prisoner in his own house, from which, on a stormy night in February, he escaped, made his way to the British ship, Scarborough, and went to England. Thus Colonel Habersham put an end to royal rule, in Georgia. He was active in the council and field, during the whole war, and held the commission of lieutenant-colonel in the Continental army. In 1785, he was chosen a member of Congress, to represent the Savannah district; and in 1795, President Washington appointed him Postmaster-general of the United States. He resigned that office in the year 1800, and two years afterward, was made president of the Branch Bank of the United States, at Savannah. He filled that office with distinguished ability until a short time before his death, which occurred in November, 1815, at the age of sixty-five years.

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BENEDICT ARNOLD. “ W E accept the treason, but despise the traitor," was the practical expression

W of British sentiment when Arnold, one of the bravest of the American generals, was purchased with British gold, and attempted to betray the liberties of his country. He was a native of Norwich, Connecticut, where he was born on the 3d of January, 1740. He was a descendant of Benedict Arnold, one of the early governors of Rhode Island, and was blessed with a mother who, according to her epitaph, was “A pattern of patience, piety, and virtue." But he was a wayward, disobedient, and unscrupulous boy; cruel in his tastes and wicked in his practices. He was bred to the business of an apothecary, at Norwich, under the brothers Lathrop, who were so pleased with him as a young man of genius, that they gave him two thousand dollars to commence business with. From 1763 to 1767, he combined the business of bookseller and druggist, in New Haven, when he commenced trading voyages to the West Indies, and

1. While yet a mere youth, he attempted murder. A young Frenchman was an accepted suitor of Arnold's sister. The young tyrant (for Arnold was always a despot among his play-fellows) disliked him, and when he could not persuade his sister to discard him, he declared he would shoot the Frenchman if he ever entered the house again. The opportunity soon occurred, and Arnold discharged a loaded pistol at him, as he escaped through a window. The young man left the place forever, and Hannah Arnold lived the life of a maiden. Arnold and the Frenchman afterward met at Honduras, and fought a duel. The Frenchman was severely wounded.

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horse dealing in Canada. He was in command of a volunteer company, in New Haven, when the war broke out, with whom he marched to Cambridge, and joined the army under Washington. Then commenced his career as the bravest of the brave. His first bold exploit had been in connection with Ethan Allen in the capture of Ticonderoga, in May, 1775. In September following he started from Cambridge for Quebec, by way of the Kennebeck and the wilderness beyond its head waters, in command of an expedition; and after an unsuccessful attempt to take the capital of Canada, he joined Montgomery, and participated in the disastrous siege of that walled town on the last day of the year. Thero he was severely wounded in the leg, but escaping up the St. Lawrence, held command of the broken army intil the arrival of General Wooster in April following. Arnold retired to Montreal, then to St. Johns, and left Canada altogether, in June, 1776. During tho Summer and Autumn of that year, he was active in naval command on Lake Champlain. He assisted in repelling the invasion of Connecticut, by Tryon, in April, 1777; and during the latter part of that Summer, he was with General Schuyler, in his preparations for opposing the attempt of Burgoyne to penetrate beyond Fort Edward, or Saratoga.

While the American army was encamped at the mouth of the Mohawk, Arnold marched up that stream, and relieved the beleagured garrison of Fort Schuyler (or Stanwix), on the site of the present village of Rome. He was in the battles at Stillwater; and despite the jealous efforts of Gates to cripple his movements, his intrepidity and personal example were chiefly instrumental in securing the victory over Burgoyne, for which the commanding general received the thanks of Congress and a gold medal, while Arnold was not even mentioned in the official despatches from Saratoga. This was one of the first affronts that planted seeds of treason in his mind. He was again severely wounded at Saratoga, and suffered much for many months. When, in the Spring of 1778, the British evacuated Philadelphia, Arnold was appointed military governor there, because of his incapacity for active field service, on account of his wounds. There he lived extravagantly, married the beautiful daughter of Edward Shippen, a leading Tory of Philadelphia, and commenced a system of fraud, peculation, and oppression, which caused him to be tried for sundry offences by a court-martial, ordered by Congress. He was found guilty on some of the charges, and delicately reprimanded by Washington. Indignant and deeply in debt, he brooded upon revenge on one hand, and pecuniary relief on the other. He opened a correspondence with the accomplished Major André, adjutant-general of the British army, and after procuring the command of the fortresses at West Point, on the Hudson, and vicinity, he arranged, with André, a plan for betraying them into the hands of Sir Henry Clinton, the British commander at New York. His price for his perfidy was fifty thousand dollars and a brigadier's commission in the British army. After a personal negotiation with Arnold, André was captured, the treason became known, but the traitor had fled to his new friends in New York. IIe soon afterward went on a marauding expedition into Virginia,3 and then on the New England coast, near his birth-place, everywhero exhibiting the most cruel spite toward the Americans whom he had sought to injure beyond measure. The war ended, and he went to England. There ho

1. While Burgoyne penetrated the State from the North, St. Leger, with Tories and Indians, attempted to take Fort Schuyler, and then sweep the Mohawk Valley.

2. Andre was hanged as a mpy, at Tappan, on the west side of the Hudson, in October, 1780. He had been drawn into that position by the villany of Arnold, and could the traitor have been caught, Andre would have been saved.

3. In a skirmish between Richmond and Petersburg, some Americans were made prisoners. One of them was asked by Arnold, what his countrymen would do with him, if they should catch him. The young man promptly replied, “Bury the leg that was wounded at Quebec and Saratoga, with military horors, and hang the rest of you." Great efforts were made to capture the traitor, while he was in Virginia. That was the chief object of La Fayette's expedition to that State.

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was everywhero shunned as a serpent, and he made his abode in St. Johns, New Brunswick, from 1786 until 1793. He went to the West Indies, in 1794, and from thence to England. He died in Gloucester Place, London, on the 14th of June, 1801, at the age of sixty-one years. Just three years afterward, his wifo died at the same place, aged forty-three.'

WILLIAM BARTON.

" What hath the gray-haired prisoner doce ?

Hath murder stained his hand with we?
Ah, no! his crime 's a fouler one

God made the old man poor p THUS indignantly did the gifted pen of Whittier refer to the brave Colonel 1 Barton, in his noble protest against imprisonment for debt. Barton was a worthy scion of old Rhode Island stock, and was born in Providence in 1750. Of his early life we know nothing, but when the War for Independence appealed to the patriotism and romance of the young men of America, we find him among the most daring of those who gave the British great annoyance after they had taken possession of Rhode Island, in 1776, and were encamped at Newport and vicinity. Young Barton had passed through the several grades of office, until the opening of 1777, when we find him holding the commission of lieutenantcolonel of militia, and performing good service in preparations for driving the British from Rhode Island. General Prescott, an arrogant, tyrannical man, was the commander-in-chief of the enemy there, and the people suffered much at his hands. They devised various schemes to get rid of him, but all failed until a plan, conceived by Colonel Barton, was successfully carried out. Prescott's head-quarters were at the house of a Quaker, five miles north of Newport. On a sultry night in July, 1777, Barton, with a few trusty followers, crossed Narraganset Bay from Warwick Point, in whale boats, directly through a British fleet, and landed in a sheltered cove a short distance from Prescott's quarters. They proceeded stealthily in two divisions, and secured the sentinel and the outside doors of the house. Then Barton boldly entered, with four strong men and a negro, and proceeded to Prescott's room on the second floor. It was now about midnight. The door was locked on the inside. There was no time for parley. The negro, stepping back a few paces, used his head as a batteringram, and the door flew open. Prescott, supposing the intruders to be robbers, sprang from his bed and seized his gold watch. The next moment Barton's hand was laid on his shoulder, and he was admonished that he was a prisoner, and must be silent. Without giving him time to dress, he was conveyed to one of the whale-boats, and the whole party returned to Warwick Point, undis. covered by the sentinels of the fleet. Prescott's mouth was kept shut by a pistol at each ear. The prisoner first spoke after landing, and said, “Sir, you have made a bold push to-night.” Barton coolly replied, “We have been fortunate." At sunrise the captive was in Providence, and in the course of a few days he was sent to the head-quarters of Washington, in New Jersey.3 For this brave

1. Their son, James Robertson Arnold, born at West Point, became a distingnished officer in the British army. He passed through all the grades of office, from lieutenant. On the accession of Queen Victoria, he was made one of her aids-de-camp, and rose to the rank of major-general, with the badge of a Knight of the Royal Hanoverian (uelphic Order.

2. This was the same Prescott who commanded at Montreal, in 1775, and treated Colonel Ethan Allen so cruelly when he was made prisoner.

3. Prescott's haughty demeanor was not laid aside in his captivity. On his way to New Jersey, le

138

GEORGE ROGERS CLARKE.

service, Congress presented their thanks and an elegant sword, to lieutenantcolonel Barton, and in December following, he was promoted to the rank and pay of colonel in the Continental army. He was also rewarded by a grant of land, in Vermont. In the action at Butt's Hill, near Bristol Ferry, in August, 1778, Colonel Barton was so badly wounded, that he was disabled for the remainder of the war. In after years, the land in Vermont proved to be an unfortunate gift. By the transfer of some of it he became entangled in the meshes of the law, and was imprisoned for debt, in Vermont, for many years, in his old age.

"For this he shares a felon's cell,

The fittest earthly type of hell!
For this, the boon for which he poured
His young blood on the invader's sword,
And counted light the fearful cost-
His blood gained liberty is lost."

When La Fayette was "our nation's guest," in 1825, he heard of the situation of his old companion-in-arms, paid the debt and set him at liberty! It was a significant rebuke, not only to the Shylock who demanded the “pound of flesh,” but to the American people. Colonel Barton died at Providence, in 1831, at the age of eighty-four years.

GEORGE ROGERS CLARKE.

ONE of the most interesting episodes in the history of our country, is that V which relates to the conquest of the region long known as the Northwestern Territory,' from the motley masters of the soil—English, French, and Indians. The chief actor in those events, was George Rogers Clarke, a hardy Virginia borderer, whose youth was spent in those physical pursuits which give vigor to the frame and activity to the mind. He was born in Albemarle county. Virginia, on the 19th of November, 1752, and first appeared in history as an adventurer beyond the Alleghanies, in 1772. He had been engaged in the business of land-surveyor, for some time and that year he went down the Ohio. in a canoe, as far as the mouth of the Great Kanawha, in company with Rev. David Jones, then on his way to preach the gospel to the western tribes. He was captain of a company in Dunmore's army, which marched against the Indians on the Ohio and its tributaries, in 1774.3 Ever since his trip in 1772, he ardently desired an opportunity to explore those deep wildernesses in the great vallies; and in 1775, he accompanied some armed settlers to Kentucky, as their commander. During that and the following year, he traversed a great extent of country south of the Ohio, studied the character of the Indians, and made himself master of many secrets which aided in his future success. He beheld a beautiful country, inviting immigration, but the pathway to it was made dan

and his escort dined at the tavern of Captain Alden, at Lebanon, Connecticut. The common dish of corn and beans was set before him. He supposed the act to be an intentional insult, and strewing the succotash on the floor, exclaimed, "Do you treat me with the food of hogs." Captain Alden hated the tyrant, and for this act he horsewhipped him. After Prescott was exchanged for General Charles Lee, and was again in command on Rhode Island, he treated a gentleman, who called upon him on business, with much discourtesy. He said in excuse, “He looked so much like a cursed Connecticut man that horsewhipped me, that I conld not endnre his presence."

1. It embraced the present States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsir.. 2. See sketch of David Jones.

3. The Shawnees and other tribes had committed many depredations on the Virginia frontier for several years, and in 1774, Lord Dunmore, then governor of that province, led quite a large force against them. A severe battle was fought at Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the great Kanawha ; and at Chillicothe, Dunmore made a treaty of peace and friendship with them.

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