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deed, if the former took up that idea from the provincials, he will consider an army, formed out of the dregs of the people, as a very different thing from the yeomen of the country, acting voluntarily in the immediate defence of their liberty and property.
I enclose a newspaper, to show the temper of the people of Maryland, as a specimen of that which prevails in all the colonies. In short, I think you may venture to pronounce that America, though most sincerely attached to England and desirous of a perpetual union, will, by force only, be brought to admit of domination; and they may learn from the case of Corsica what force to apply to America, how it is to be sent here, and how supported when it is. Indeed, the notion is ridiculous and absurd.
These middle colonies were suspected of great lukewarmness, but since we have been here, a great alteration is visible in that matter.
I . . . enclosed you the proceedings of our Congress...
. . It gives me much pleasure to hear that those proceedings are approved by the world. We have, indeed, the same accounts from several quarters. America, we hear, is looked up to as the last resource of liberty and the conimon rights of mankind. Brave and generous, we fight for mankind, and they say, “to it, brave boys,” but afford us not one necessary of warnot a musket or bayonet, not a grain of powder. England has cut off our usual supply. Holland and France, follow the noble example. They say the Americans are cowards, poltroons, dare not fight; yet these doughty heroes take care to deprive us of the means of defence. If we are so fearful, why disarm us? But they know the contrary. In the first of General Gage's attempts against the people, his regulars were put to flight by half their number of militia without officers or commanders.
This account comes through men of character on the spot, and may be depended on; it is confirmed by most undoubted letters, and you may say so.
There are now marching to the camp, a thousand riflemen. They are, at 'listing, rejected, unless they can hit a playing-card, without a rest, at one hundred and twenty yards distance. Almost every fencible man, in all the colonies, is trained, and ready to supply any loss. The regulars have, in any case, never appeared equal to our troops, man for man. What, then, have we to fear? loss of money, alone; and may the wretch perish, who puts that in competition. Will Lord Effingham come to us? he would be almost adored.
Dear sir, can the friends of old England find no way to stop this fatal war going on-to the certain destruction of that once great state? All America pants for reconciliation; they dread, what may be easily prevented by government, a total separation. Should war go on another
year, a government must be formed here—it is unavoidable; and when once that is done, it will be, I fear, impossible to restore the connection. When America acts unitedly, she will feel herself too strong to submit to such restrictions as she now does. In short, the time will be past.
The people of New-York, are now fixed on the side of liberty. Georgia is near coming in.
Thomas Lynch, Correspondence of Mr. Ralph Izard (N. Y., 1844), I. 99-101 passim.
4. "Put Not Off the Harness”
A Boston merchant and President of Congress. This is from his Boston Massacre oration.
But since standing armies are so hurtful to a state, perhaps, my countrymen may demand some substitute, some other means of rendering us secure against the incursions of a foreign enemy. But can you be one
moment at a loss? Will not a well-disciplined militia afford you ample security against foreign foes? We want not courage; it is discipline alone in which we are exceeded by the most formidable troops that ever trod the earth. Surely our hearts flutter no more at the sound of war, than did those of the immortal band of Persia, the Macedonian Phalanx, the invincible Roman Legions, the Turkish Janissaries, the Gens des Armes of France, or the well known grenadiers of Britain. A well disciplin'd militia is a safe, an honourable guard to a community like this, whose inhabitants are by nature brave, and are laudably tenacious of that freedom in which they were born. From a well-regulated militia, we have nothing to fear; their interest is the same with that of the state. When a country is invaded, the militia are ready to appear in its defence; they march into the field with that fortitude which a consciousness of the justice of their cause inspires; they do not jeopard their lives for a master who considers them only as the instruments of his ambition, and whom they regard only as the daily dispenser of the scanty pittance of bread and water. No, they fight for their houses, their lands, for their wives, their children; for all who claim the tenderest names, and are held dearest in their hearts; they fight pro aris et focis, for their liberty, and for themselves, and for their God. And let it not offend, if I say, that no militia ever appeared in more flourishing condition, than that of this province now doth ; and pardon me if I say, of this town in particular.-I mean not to boast; I would not excite envy, but manly emulation. We have all one common cause; let it, therefore, be our only contest, who shall most contribute to the security of the liberties of America. .
Yet while we rejoice that the adversary has not hitherto prevailed against us, let us by no means put off the harness. Restless malice and disappointed anıbition will still suggest new measures to our inveterate Enemies. Therefore, let Us also be ready to take the field whenever danger calls; let us be united and strengthen the hands of each other by promoting a general union among us. Much has been done by the Committees of Correspondence, for this and the other towns of this province, towards uniting the inhabitants; let them still go on and prosper. Much has been done by the Committees of Correspondence for the Houses of Assembly, in this and our Sister Colonies, for uniting the Inhabitants of the whole Continent, for the security of their common interest. May success ever attend their generous endeavors. But permit me here to suggest a general Congress of Deputies, from the several Houses of Assembly on the Continent, as the most effectual method of establishing such an Union as the present posture of our affairs require. At such a Congress, a firm foundation may be laid for the security of our Rights and Liberties; a system may be formed for our common safety, by a strict adherence to which, we shall be able to frustrate any attempts to overthrow our constitution; restore peace and har
A.P.S. Vol. I