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danger from France, and asserted, that "the BOOK assistance given to the Americans proceeded neither from the court nor the ministers, but 1777. from the spirit of military enterprise and com mercial adventure; and finally, that the motion arraigned in the most improper terms measures which had received the sanction of parliament." On a division, the numbers were 99 to 28 peers who supported the question.

On the 7th of June, 1777, the session was terminated, and his majesty expressed in his speech his entire approbation of the conduct of parliament, lavishing upon them high and flattering compliments for the unquestionable proofs they had given of their CLEAR DISCERNMENT of the TRUE INTERESTS of their COUNTRY. The pride and presumption of the court seemed at this period to have no bounds or limits. The American government having a very considerable number of British prisoners in their possession, applied during the spring of the present year, through the medium of Dr. Franklin, resident of the United States at Paris, to lord Stormont, ambassador from the king of England, to exchange them for an equal number of Americans. To which his lordship made this memorable answer: "The king's ambassador receives no application from rebels, unless they come to im plore his majesty's mercy." Thus wantonly and

BOOK wickedly were the horrors of war deepened, and XVII. thus the eternal principles of justice and mercy

1777. sacrificed to the barbarous and wretched etiquette of a court.

During the session a memorial in a very unusual style had been delivered by sir Joseph Yorke, ambassador at the Hague, to the States General, in which his excellency declared, "That the king, his master, had hitherto borne with unexampled patience the irregular conduct of the subjects of their high mightinesses, in their interested commerce at St. Eustatia, as also in America. If, said the ambassador, the measures which your high mightinesses have thought proper to take, had been as efficacious as your assurances have been amicable, the undersigned would not now have been under the necessity of bringing to the cognizance of your high mightinesses facts of the most serious nature. His excellency then proceeds to state, that M. Van Graaf, governor of St. Eustatia, had permitted the seizure of an English vessel, by an American pirate, within cannon shot of the island; and that he had returned from the fortress of his government the salute of a rebel flag and the ambassador concludes with demanding, in his majesty's name, and by his express order, from their high mightinesses, a formal disavowal of the salute by Fort Orange at


St. Eustatia to the rebel ship, and the dismission BOOK and immediate recall of the governor Van Graaf; declaring farther, that until such satisfaction is 1777. given they are not to expect that his majesty will suffer himself to be amused by mere assurances, or that he will delay one instant to take such measures as he shall think due to the interest and dignity of his crown.

The States, highly offended at the imperious language of this memorial, would give no answer whatever to the ambassador, but ordered count Welderen, their resident in London, to deliver into the king of England's own hand a counter-memorial, in which they complain of the menacing tone that reigns throughout that of the English court, such as ought not to take place between sovereign and independent powers; adding, however, "that from the sole motive of demonstrating their regard to his majesty, they have actually dispatched orders to M. de Graaf to render himself within the republic without delay, in order to give the necessary information respecting his conduct; nor do they scruple to disavow, in the most express manner, any act or mark of honour which may have been given by their officers to any vessels belonging to the colonies of America, so far as it may imply a recognition of American independence." The King thought proper to declare

BOOK were quickly overtaken and entirely defeated XVIII. by general Frazer; and their remaining naval 1777. force, which had rendezvoused at Skenesborough, was destroyed by general Burgoyne. The fugitive Americans retreated with the utmost precipitation to Fort Edward, on the North or Hudson's River, where general Schuyler, commander in chief of the American northern army, had fixed his head-quarters.

The British army, highly elated at the rapid series of successes which had hitherto attended them, now exerted indefatigable industry in clearing the Wood Creek, which is a continuation of Lake Champlain, from the obstacles which impeded the passage of the batteaux ; and in conveying gun-boats, provision-vessels, and batteaux, over land into Lake George. From Fort Anné, at the extremity of the Wood Creek, where the batteaux-navigation ends, to Fort Edward, a distance scarcely exceeding twenty miles, the difficulties attending the march of the army were inconceivably great. In this short space they had no less than forty bridges to construct, one of which was over a morass two miles in extent, and the roads were every where obstructed by large timber trees laid across with their branches interwoven. The heavy train of artillery which accompanied the army was also found a great incumbrance, and it was not


without infinite labor and perseverance that on BOOK the 30th of July general Burgoyne fixed his headquarters at Fort Edward-the Americans having 1777. now retired to Saratoga. The joy with which the sight of the North River, so long the object of their hopes and wishes, inspired the army, seemed to be considered as an ample compensation for all their labors; and with unremitted ardor they now bent all their efforts to bring forward provisions and stores from Fort George, at the extremity of the lake of that name, sufficient to form a magazine for the subsistence of the troops in their march through the wild and uncultivated country they had yet to traverse. So ineffectual, however, were their utmost exertions, that on the 15th of August they had only four days' provisions in store; and the general understanding that a large magazine was collected at Bennington, twenty miles to the eastward of Hudson's River, for the use of the enemy, he detached colonel Baum at the head of about five hundred men to surprise the place: at the same time moving with the whole army up the eastern shore of Hudson's River, he encamped nearly opposite to Saratoga. The colonel, finding his destination discovered, and his force wholly insufficient to the purpose, took post at a small distance from Bennington, whence he communicated intelligence of his situation to

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