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to be, totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts, and things, that independent states may do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honours."

The above declaration of independence was, by order of Congress, engrossed and signed by the following members, according to the order of the states-John Hancock President.

New-Hampshire, Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton.

Massachusetts-Bay, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert T. Paine, Elbridge Gerry.

Rhode Island, and Providence Plantations, Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery.

Connecticut, Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott.

New-York, William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris.

New-Jersey, Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark.

Pennsylvania, Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross.

Delaware, Cesar Rodney, George Reed.

Maryland, Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carrol.

Virginia, George Wythe, Richard H. Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr. Francis L. Lee, Carter Baxton.

North-Carolina, William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn.

South-Carolina, Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr. Thomas Lynch, Jr. Arthur Middleton.

Georgia, Button Gunnet, Lyman Hall, George Waton.

This is one of the most memorable state papers that the whole historic page can boast, and the worthies whose names stand recorded in support of this masterly production, and who were the authors of this glorious epoch, are enrolled in the temple of eternal fame, and their names can never die.

On the 8th of July the Declaration was publicly proclaimed in the city of Philadelphia, amidst the loud accla mations of the people. From thence the sons of liberty caught the sacred fire, and proclaimed it with loud accla mations of joy throughout the nation. Never was a people better prepared for such an event, and never was there a measure in which all hearts were more cordially united. This was the epoch of permanent liberty, and the death blow to British power, and British influence in America.

The sons of those venerable sires have watched with care the sacred fire; resolved to transmit it, in its purity, to their posterity; that generations yet unborn may fan the sacred flame, and bid it burn to time's remotest bounds.

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GENERAL HOwe arrived with his fleet and armament, at Sandy-Hook, from Halifax, on the 25th of June, and Lord Howe, (his brother,) arrived with a fleet and armament from England, by the way of Halifax, and joined the general, on the 12th of July. Lord Howe brought out a commission from the British government, which clothed himself and General Howe, with full powers, as commissioners, to treat with the United Colonies collectively, or separately, or with individuals; to grant pardons, &c. Lord Howe, upon his first arrival at the Hook, dispatched a flag to Amboy, with a circular letter, announcing his commission, and the readiness of the commissioners to receive proposals of reconciliation, &c.

General Washington, who had retired with his army from Boston to New-York, to co-operate with General Lee, in the defence of that city, ordered this circular to be transmitted to Congress.

Lord Howe addressed a letter at the same time, by a flag, to George Washington, Esq. which the general returned, as not being properly directed. Congress supported this dignified measure, by the following resolution -"That no letter, or message be received on any occasion whatever from the enemy, by the commander in chief, or others, the commanders of the American army; but such as shall be directed to them, in the characters they respectively sustain."

General Howe next forwarded a letter by Colonel Patterson, adjutant-general of the British army, directed to "George Washington," &c. Although Colonel Patterson executed his commission with great address, and in the most respectful terms, assured his "excellency," that

General Howe did not mean to derogate from his rank, or the respect due to him; but that he held his character in the highest estimation, and hoped his excellency would enter cordially into the correspondence.

Colonel Patterson was as politely received; but the letter was returned. Colonel Patterson then opened the business in a conversation, in which he disclosed the coinmission of Lord, and General Howe, and assured his excellency of their anxious solicitude to effect a reconciliation, if possible. To which General Washington replied-" that he had no powers to treat upon this subject. That, as from his statement, it appeared, that the powers of the commissioners extended only to the granting of pardons, it could be of no use, because the Americans were defending only what they considered as their indubitable rights, and therefore having committed no fault, they wanted no pardon." Colonel Patterson expressed his regret that the negociation should have failed; took leave of his excellency, and withdrew.

General Washington meditated an attack upon General Howe, at Staten Island, before the whole force should have arrived from Europe; but the attempt was deferred on account of tempestuous weather, and in the mean time the whole force of General Howe arrived, excepting the last divisions of the Germans, amounting to about 24,000 men. This was one of the best appointed armaments, in proportion to its number, that Great-Britain had ever fitted out, and from which the British government entertained the highest expectations.

It was doubtless well known in England, that the colonies had entered into the war with great zeal, and spirit; but at the same time that they were destitute of all the other resources, essential to successful war; and when we take into consideration the fluctuating state of the American armies, in consequence of short enlistments, their want of

military stores, and also of money on which they might rely with confidence, well might the British government have high expectations from such an armament, conducted by two such able commanders, as Lord, and General Howe.

General Washington had under his command, at this time, about seventeen thousand men, three or four thousand of whom were sick, and the remainder were stationed in New-York, upon Long-Island, Governor's-Island, and Paulus Hook. Some of these posts were ten or fifteen miles distant from each other, and separated by waters, navigable by the fleet of the enemy, and the whole exposed to an immediate attack by a superior force.

The following extract of a letter from Colonel Joseph Reed, Adjutant-General of the American army, to a member of Congress, will give a more forcible idea of the perilous situation of the army.

"With an army of force before, and a secret one behind, we stand on a point of land, with 6000 old troops, (if a year's service of about half can entitle them to that name,) and about 1500 new levies of this province ; many disaffected, and more doubtful. In this situation we are; every man in the army, from the general to the private, (acquainted with our true situation,) is exceedingly discouraged. Had I known the true posture of affairs, no consideration would have tempted me to take an active part in this scene; and this sentiment is univer


Thus posted, under such circumstances, and in the presence of such a force, the American commander in chief attempted to cover New-York, by risking a battle on Long-Island.

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