Page images
PDF
EPUB

VERMONT AND ETHAN

ALLEN.

189

opposite Ticonderoga, May 9. They found some difficulty in obtaining boats. At length they procured enough of these to carry eightythree men, who landed near the garrison, just at dawn of day, undiscovered.

5. After a short contention who should go in first, the two colonels agreed to enter at the same time, abreast of each other. A sentinel snapped his gun at them as they entered, and then retreated to alarm his sleeping comrades. The American troops having followed their officers, they formed themselves into a hollow square and gave three

huzzas.

6. The garrison being now roused, a slight skirmish took place. The British commander was required to surrender the fort. "By what authority?" he asked. "I demand it," said Allen, "in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress." The garrison was immediately given up, and with it forty-nine prisoners, one hundred and twenty cannon, and many valuable stores. Thus Allen and his enterprising companions, acting by no orders but their own, became complete masters of Lake Champlain.

7. The fort at Crown Point was taken without difficulty, it being garrisoned by only thirteen men. A sloop of war and several pieces of cannon were also seized at the same time, together with a schooner fitted out for service on the lake. All this was accomplished too without the loss of a single man.

CHAPTER LXXXIX.

PERIOD OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, CONTINUED.-Vermont and Ethan Allen.

1. COLONEL ALLEN, though a brave man, was not always exemplary in his language. Like many other brave men, not only of the American army, but of almost all armies, he had great defects of character. His declaration to the British officer, which we have just mentioned savored strongly both of profanity and untruth.

2. He had emigrated to Vermont, or the Green Mountains, as it was then called, while quite young. This part of New England did not begin to be settled till 1731, and, even for a long time after was considered as a part of New Hampshire. A contest at length arose

4 How many men marched against Ticonderoga? What lake did they cross? How many men went to the garrison? 5. How did the colonels enter? What did the troops What were do? 6. Describe the surrender of the garrison. 7. What of Crown Point? seized by the Americans?

CHAP. LXXXIX.-1. What can you say of Colonel Allen? 2. What of Vermont? What contest arose between New Hampshire and New York?

about it between New Hampshire and New York, as we have already stated, which was adjusted by the king in a way which greatly displeased the settlers.

3. The consequence was, that a quarrel took place between Vermont and New York, or, more properly, between Vermont and the crown, in which the Green Mountain Boys, headed by Colonel Allen, resisted the officers of justice, as well as the New York militia, who were called out to sustain them.

4. At the period of the capture of Ticonderoga, and even somewhat later, Vermont had not so much as even a territorial form of government. In 1777, however, a convention of delegates met at Westminster, and declared themselves an independent state, by the name of New Connecticut, though it was afterward changed to Vermont. They remained independent till some time after the end of the revolutionary war, though they did good service in the cause of independence.

5. Allen was employed for a time, after the capture of Ticonderoga, in Canada, in trying to persuade the people of that province to join the colonies. Failing in this, he formed a plan, in the fall of 1775, in concert with Colonel Brown, to take Montreal, but was himself taken prisoner, put in irons, and sent to England.

6. On the passage, both he and his companions experienced the most cruel treatment. They were all, to the number or thirty-four, handcuffed and crowded into a small place in the vessel, not more than twenty-two feet long and twenty wide. After an imprisonment of six months, in England and Hal'-i-fax, he was sent to a prison-ship in New York. He remained a prisoner there about a year and a half.

7. Allen, though very daring and eccentric, was a man of humane and tender feelings. While being carried from Halifax to New York, a plan was laid by one of the American prisoners to kill the captain, but when it was proposed to him, he refused to join in it. In another instance, the British, knowing him to be a man of great energy, attempted to bribe him to unite Vermont, an independent colony, with Canada. But money could not buy him.

8. And yet it must be confessed that he was an open unbeliever in Christianity. He not only published the first formal attack on the Christian religion which was ever written in America, but he adopted the notion that the soul of man, after death, would live again in beasts, birds, fishes, etc., with many other notions still more singular.

9. It is said that though his wife was a pious woman, and taught

3. What quarrel arose between Vermont and New York? What of the Green Mountain Boys? 4. What can you say of Vermont? What was it first called? 5. How was Allen employed for a time? What plan did he form in 1775? 6. How were he and his companions treated? What afterward happened to Allen? 7. What can you say in proof of Allen's kindness and integrity? 8. What was his religious belief?

BATTLE OF BUNKER'S HILL.

191

her children the truths of Christianity, one daughter inclined to the same strange opinions with her father. When about to die, she sent word to her father that she wished to converse with him. The father accordingly came to her bedside.

10. "I am about to die," said she; "shall I believe in the principles you have taught me, or shall I believe in what my mother has taught me?" The father became agitated, his chin quivered, his whole fram shook, and, after waiting a few moments, he replied, "Believe wha your mother has taught you!" Allen died suddenly in 1789.

CHAPTER XC.

PERIOD OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, CONTINUED.-Battle of Bunker's Hill.

. WE have seen that soon after the battle of Lexington and Con

BATTLE OF BUNKER'S HILL. DEATH OF WARKEN.

cord, Boston was as it were, invested with American troops. Their number, at one time, is said to have been about thirty thousand. Their principal head-quarters

were at Cambridge and Roxbury. Colonel Putnam commanded at the former place, and General Thomas at the latter.

2. Some time in

generals, arrived in Governor Gage now

[graphic]

May, Howe, Clinton, and Bur-goyne', three British Boston, with a reinforcement of British troops. offered a pardon to all the rebels, as he still called them, except John Hancock and Samuel Adams, who had been very active in rousing the people to resistance, if they would lay down their arms and be peaceable subjects. But as no attention was paid to the offer, he actively prepared for war.

10. Relate what passed between Allen and his daughter. When did he die? CHAP. XC.-1. What of the American troops after the battle of Lexington? 2. What was one in May, 1775? What of Governor or General Gage?

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

PLAN OF THE BATTLE OF BUNKER'S HILL.

3. There now began to be skirmishing between the two armies most every day. The Americans concluded at length to fortify Dor hes-ter Neck, now South Boston, and occupy Bun'-ker's Hill, in Charlestown. In order to effect the latter purpose, Colonel Pres'-cott was sent, on the 16th of June, to Charlestown, with one thousand

8. What did the Americans conclude to do? What of Colonel Prescott?

The teacher wi I put such questions here as he deems necessary, and explain to the pupil that the obelisk in the engraving represents the BUNKER HILL MONUMENT. LATELY REARED ON THE SITE OF THE BATTLE,

BATTLE OF BUNKER'S HILL.

193

men. He left Cambridge with his troops about nine o'clock in the evening.

4. His movements were so silent that the British did not discover him. He, however, mistook Breed's Hill for Bunker's Hill,* and, with his troops, ascended and began to fortify it. At daybreak, on the morning of the 17th, they had thrown up an embankment, or redoubt, about eight rods square and four feet high, on a spot which overlooked and, as it were, commanded nearly the whole of Boston.

5. As soon as day dawned, the British saw what was going on, and Degan to fire on them, both from their batteries in the town and from their vessels. They also established and put in operation a formidable battery on Copp's Hill, on the northern part of the town, which threw in among the Americans showers of bomb-shells.

6. But all their ships and batteries combined did not batter down the works of the Americans. They even labored all the forenoon in the midst of the shot and the bomb-shells, and by noon had completed a breast work from the redoubt to the bottom of the hill toward Mystic River, and, strange to relate, had lost all this while but a single

man!

7. Finding he could not dislodge the Americans in this way, Governor Gage, about noon, sent over some of his best troops, under Generals Howe and Pigot, to drive them from the hill. Having landed, they waited for a reinforcement, and to mature their plan: for they were not wholly without fears that the Americans might be a little too strong for them. At length, they had collected together about · three thousand men.

8. The Americans, in the mean time, were also reinforced by a body of troops, and by Generals Warren, Pomeroy, and Putnam. The latter, who had just been made a brigadier-general, was commander-in-chief for the day. The Americans now amounted to about fifteen hundred, though most of them were only armed with muskets without bayonets.

9. At three o'clock in the afternoon, the British began to ascend the hill, in face of the Americans. The Charlestown militia opposed them at first, but soon retreated. The British now set fire to Charlestown, containing from four to five hundred wooden buildings. As the wind vas high, the fire raged terribly; and the sight, though fearful, w ublin.e.

4. What did he do? What mistake was made? How large was the redoubt erected by the Americans? 5. What was done by the British? 6. What did the Americans do in the mean time? 7. What stops were now taken by Governor Gage? 8. What was the number and condition of the American forces? 9. What was the first move. "nent of the British in the attack?

*What was called Breed's Hill, and is thus named in the plan at p. 192, is now called Bunker's Hill, and the battle is historically known as the "Battle of Bunker's Hill."

« PreviousContinue »