Page images

tary atchivements, is not lefs edifying in example, or worthy the attention of his countrymen. The confpicuous character he has acted on the theatre of human affairs, the uniform dignity with which he sustained his part amidft difficulties of the most difcouraging nature, and the glory of having arrived through them at the hour of triumph, have made many official and literary perfons, on both fides of the ocean, ambitious of a correfpondence with him. These correspondencies unavoidably engrofs a great portion of his time; and the communications contained in them, combined with the numerous periodical publications and newspapers which he peruses, render him, as it were, the focus of political intelligence for the new world. Nor are his conversations with well-informed men lefs conducive to bring him acquainted with the various events which happen in different countries of the globe. Every foreigner of diftinction, who travels in America, makes it a point to vifit him. Members of Congress, and other dignified perfons, do not pafs his houfe, without calling to pay their respects. As another fource of information it may be mentioned, that many literary productions are fent to him annually by their authors in Europe; and that there is fcarcely one work written in America on any art, fcience, or fubject, which does not feek his protection, or which is not offered to him as a token of gratitude. Mechanical inventions are frequently fubmitted to him for his approbation, and natural curiofities prefented for his investigation. But the multiplicity of epiftolary applications, often on the remains of fome bufinefs which happened when he was commander in chief, fometimes on fubjects foreign to his fituation, frivolous in their nature, and intended merely to gratify the vanity of the writers by drawing anfwers from him, is truly diftreffing, and almoft incredible. His benignity in answering, perhaps, increafes the number. Did he not husband every moment to the best advantage, it would not be in his power to notice the vaft variety of fubjects that claim his attention. Here a minuter description of his domeftic life may be expected.

To apply a life, at beft but short, to the moft ufeful purposes, he lives, as he ever has done, in the unvarying habits of regularity, temperance and industry. He rifes, in winter as well as fummer, at the dawn of day; and generally reads or writes fome time before breakfast. He breakfasts about feven o'clock, on three fmall Indian hoe-cakes and as many dishes of tea. He rides immediately to his different farms, and remains with his labourers until a little paft two o'clock, when he returns and dreffes. At three he dines, commonly on a fingle dish, and drinks from half a pint to a pint of Madeira wine. This, with one fmall glafs of punch, a draught of beer, and two difhes of tea (which he takes half an hour before fun-fetting) conftitutes his whole fuftenance until the next day. Whether there be company or not, the table is always prepared by its elegance and exuberance for their reception; and the general remains at it for an hour after dinner, in familiar converfation and convivial hilarity. It is then that every one present is called upon to give fome abfent friend as a toaft; the name not unfrequently awakens a pleafing remembrance of paft events, and gives a new turn to the animated colloquy. General Washington is more chearful than he was in the army. Although his temper is rather of a serious caft, and his countenance commonly carries the impreflion of thoughtfulneis, yet

he perfectly relishes a pleafant ftory, an unaffected fally of wit, or a bur lefque defcription which furprises by its fuddennefs and incongruity with the ordinary appearance of the object defcribed. After this fociable and innocent relaxation, he applies himself to bufinefs, and about nine o'clock retires to reft. This is the rotine, and this the hour he observes, when no one but his family is prefent; at other times he attends politely upon his company until they wish to withdraw. Notwithstanding he has no offfpring, his actual family confifts of eight perfons *. It is feldom alone. He keeps a pack of hounds, and in the feafon indulges himself with hunting once a week; at which diverfion the gentlemen of Alexandria often affift.

AGRICULTURE is the favourite employment of General Washington, in which he wishes to pafs the remainder of his days. To acquire and communicate practical knowledge, he correfponds with Mr. Arthur Young, who has written fo fenfibly on the fubject, and alfo with many agricultural gentlemen in America. As improvement is known to be his paffion, he receives envoys with rare feeds and refults of new projects from every quarter. He likewife makes copious notes, relative to his own experiments, the state of the feafons, the nature of foils, the effects of different kinds of manure, and fuch other topics as may throw light on the farming bufinefs.

On Saturday in the afternoon, every week, reports are made by all his overfeers, and registered in books kept for the purpose: fo that at the end of the year, the quantity of labour and produce may be accurately known. Order and œconomy are established in all the departments within and without doors. His lands are inclofed in lots of equal dimenfions, and crops are affigned to each for many years. Every thing is undertaken on a great fcale; but with a view to introduce or augment the culture of fuch articles as he conceives will become moft beneficial in their confequence to the country. He has, the last year, raifed two hundred lambs, fowed twenty-feven bushels of flax-feed, and planted more than feven hundred bufhels of potatoes. In the mean time, the public may reft perfuaded that there is manufactured, under his roof, linen and woollen cloth, nearly or quite fufficient for the use of his numerous houshold.

NOTE (B) for Page 105.

ENERAL Montgomery defcended from a refpectable family in the north of Ireland, and was born in the year 1737. His attachment to liberty was innate, and matured by a fine education and an excellent understanding. Having married a wife, and purchafed an eftate in New-York, he was from thefe circumftances, as well as from his natural

*The family of General Washington, in addition to the General, and his Lady, confifts of Major George Washington, (Nephew to the General and late Aid de Camp to the Marquis de la Fayette) with his wife, who is a niece to the General's Lady-Col. Humphreys, formerly Aid de Camp to the General-Mr. Lear, a gentleman of liberal education, private fecretary to the General-and trvo Grandchildren of Mrs. Washington.

love of freedom, and from a conviction of the juftnefs of her caufe, induced to confider himfelf as an American. From principle, he early embarked in her caufe, and quitted the fweets of eafy fortune, the enjoyment of a loved and philofophical rural life, with the higheft domeftic felicity, to take an active share in all the hardships and dangers that attend the foldier's life.

Before he came over to America, he had been an officer in the fervice of England, and had fuccefsfully fought her battles with the immortal Wolfe at Quebec, in the war of 1756, on the very fpot, where, when fighting under the standard of freedom, he was doomed to fall in arms againit her. No one who fell a martyr to freedom in this unnatural conteft, was more fincerely, or more univerfally lamented. And what is extraordinary, the moft eminent fpeakers in the British parliament, forgetting for the moment, that he had died in oppofing their cruel and oppreflive meafures, difplayed all their eloquence in praifing his virtues, and lamenting his fate. A great orator, and a veteran fellow-foldier of his in the French war of 1756, fhed abundance of tears, while he expatiated on their faft friendfhip and mutual exchange of tender fervices in that feafon of enterprize and glory.

All enmity to this veteran foldier expired with his life; and respect to his private character prevailed over all other confiderations. By the orders of General Carleton, his dead body received every poffible mark of diftinction from the victors, and was interred in Quebec, on the first day of January 1776, with all the honors due to a brave foldier.

Congrefs were not unmindful of the merit of this amiable and brave officer, nor remifs in manifefting the esteem and refpect they entertained for his memory. Confidering it not only as a tribute of gratitude juftly due to the memory of those who have peculiarly diftinguifhed themfelves in the glorious caufe of liberty, to perpetuate their names by the most durable monuments erected to their honor, but greatly conducive to infpire pofterity with emulation of their illustrious actions, that honourable body


Refolved, That to exprefs the veneration of the United Colonies for their late General, RICHARD MONTGOMERY, and the deep fenfe they entertain of the many fignal and important fervices of that gallant officer, who, after a feries of fucceffes, amidst the most discouraging difficulties, fell at length in a gallant attack upon Quebec, the capital of Canada; and to tranfmit to future ages, as examples truly worthy of imitation, his patriotifm, conduct, boldnefs of enterprize, infuperable perfeverance, and contempt of danger and death; a monument be procured from Paris, or other part of France, with an infcription facred to his memory, and expreffive of his amiable character, and heroic atchievements, and that the continental treasurers be directed to advance a fum not exceeding 300l. fterling, to Dr. Benjamin Franklin, who is defired to fee this refolution properly executed, for defraying the expence thereof."

This refolve was carried into execution at Paris, by that ingenious artist, Mr. Caffiers, fculptor to the king of France, under the direction of Dr. Franklin. The monument is of white marble, of the most beautiful fimplicity, and inexpreffible elegance, with emblematical devices, and the following truly claffical infcription, worthy of the modeft, but great mind of a Franklin.


RICHARD MONTGOMERY, Major-General of the armies of the United States of America, Slain at the fiege of Quebec,

the 31ft of December, 1775, aged 38 years.

This elegant monument has lately been erected in front of St. Paul's church in New-York.

There is a remarkable circumftance connected with the fall of this brave officer, that merits to be recorded, because the fact is of a very interefting nature, and will ferve to perpetuate the memory of a very amiable and deferving character, who was alfo a martyr in the cause of his country. The circumftance is this:

One of General Montgomery's Aides de Camp, was Mr. Macpherson, a moft promifing young man, whofe father refided at Philadelphia, and was greatly diftinguifhed in privateering in the war of 1756. This gentleman had a brother in the 16th regiment, in the British fervice, at the time of Montgomery's expedition into Canada, and who was as violent in favour of the English government, as this General's Aid de Camp was enthufiaftic in the caufe of America; the latter had accompanied his General a day or two previous to the attack in which they both loft their lives, to view and meditate on the fpot where Wolfe had fallen; on his return he found a letter from his brother, the English officer, full of the bittereft reproaches against him, for having entered into the American fervice, and containing a pretty direct with, that if he would not abandon it, he might meet with the deferved fate of a rebel. The Aid de Camp immediately returned him an answer, full of ftrong reafoning in defence of his conduct, but by no means attempting to shake the oppofite principles of his brother, and not only free from acrimony, but full of expreffions of tendernefs and affection; this letter he dated, "from the spot where Wolfe loft his life, in fighting the caufe of England, in friendship with America." This letter had fcarcely reached the officer at New-York, before it was followed by the news of his brother's death. The effect was inftantaneous, nature, and perhaps reafon prevailed; a thoufand, not unworthy fentiments, rufhed upon his diftreffed mind; he quitted the Englifh fervice, entered into that of America, and fought every occafion of diftinguishing himself in her fervice!

NOTE (C) for Page 111.

was born at Warwick in the fate Ifland, about the year 1741, of reputable parents, belonging to the Society of Friends. He was endowed with an uncommon degree of judgment and penetration, his difpofition was benevolent, and his manners affable. At an early period of life, he was chofen a member of the affembly, and he discharged his truft to the entire fatisfaction of his confti


After the battle of Lexington, three regiments of troops were raised in Rhode-Ifland, and the command of them given to Mr. Greene, who was


nominated a Brigadier General, His merit and abilities both in council and in the field, were foon noticed by General Wafhington, and in August 1776, he was appointed Major-General. In the furprife at Trenton, and the battle of Princeton, General Greene diftinguifhed himself; and in the action of Germantown, in 1777, he commanded the left wing of the American army, where he exerted himself to retrieve the fortune of the day.

At the battle of Brandywine, General Greene diftinguished himself by fupporting the right wing of the American army, when it gave way, and judiciously covering the whole, when routed and retreating in confufion; and their fafety from utter ruin, was generally afcribed to his skill and exertions, which were feconded by the troops under his command.

In March, 1778, he was appointed Quarter-mafter General, an office he accepted on condition of not lofing his rank in the line, and his right to command in action according to his feniority. In the execution of this office, he fully anfwered the expectations formed of his abilities; and enabled the army to move with additional celerity and vigour.

At the battle of Monmouth, the commander in chief, difgufted with the behaviour of General Lee, depofed him in the field of battle, and appointed General Greene to command the right wing, where he greatly contributed to retrieve the errors of his predeceffor, and to the fubfequent event of the day.

He ferved under General Sullivan in the attack on the British Garrifon at Rhode-Ifland, where his prudence and abilities were displayed in fecuring the retreating army.

In 1780 he was appointed to the command of the fouthern army, which was much reduced by a feries of ill fortune. By his amazing diligence, addrefs and fortitude, he foon collected a refpectable force, and revived the hopes of our fouthern brethren.

Under his management, General Morgan gained a complete victory over Colonel Tarleton. He attacked Lord Cornwallis at Guilford, in North-Carolina, and although defeated, he checked the progrefs, and difabled the army of the British General. A fimilar fate attended Lord Rawdon, who gained an advantage over him at Cumden.

His action with the British troops at Eutaw Springs was one of the best conducted, and moft fuccefsful engagements that took place during the war. For this General Greene was honored by Congrefs with a British standard and a gold medal. As a reward for his particular fervices in the fouthern department, the ftate of Georgia prefented him with a large and valuable tract of land on an ifland near Savannah.

After the war, he returned to his native ftate; the contentions and bad policy of that ftate, induced him to leave it, and retire to his eftate in Georgia.

He removed his family in October 1785; but in June the next fummer, the extreme heat, and the fatigue of a walk, brought on a diforder that put a period to his life, on the 19th of the fame month. He lived univerfally loved and respected, and his death was univerfally lamented. His body was interred in Savannah, and the funeral proceffion attended by the Cincinnati.

K 4


« PreviousContinue »