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ence of his family, for they were generally in opposition to the administration; but by the force of merit, developing itself in the progress of time, and by the entire confidence justly reposed in his integrity, courage, and skill.
In the war of 1756, commonly denominated the French war, he encountered, with cheerfulness, the fatigues and dangers of a military life. He was a captain under colonel Bradstreet, at the capture of fort Frontenac, and he rendered essential service in that expedition in many respects, and particularly by the capture of a sloop of war on lake Ontario, which impeded the progress of the ármy. His company was placed in row-galleys, and, favoured by a calm, compelled the French vessel to strike after an obstinate resistance. His designation as captain commandant of the four companies, raised for the protection of the western frontiers of the counties of Orange and Ulster, was a post of great responsibility and hazard, and demonstrated the confidence of the government. The safety of a line of settlements, extending at least fifty miles, was intrusted to his vigilance and intrepidity. The ascendancy of the French, over the ruthless savages, was always predominant, and the inhabitant of the frontiers was compelled to hold the plough with one hand, for his sustenance, and to grasp his gun with the other for his defence; and he was constantly in danger of being awakened, in the hour of darkness, by the war-whoop of the savages, to witness the conflagration of his xlwelling and the murder of his family,
After the termination of the French war, Mr. Clinton married Mary De Witt, a young lady of extraordinary merit, whose ancestors emigrated from Holland, and whose name proclaims their respectability; and he retired from the camp to enjoy the repose of domestic life. When the American Revolution was on the evo
of its commencement, he was appointed on the 30th June, 1775, by the continental congress, colonel of the 3d regiment of New York forces. On the 25th of October following, he was appointed by the provincial congress of New York, colonel of the regiment of foot in Ulster county; on the 8th of March, 1776, by the continental Congress, colonel of the second battalion of New York troops ; and on the 9th of August, 1776, a Brigadier General in the army of the United States; in which station he continued during the greater part of the war, having the command of the New York line, or the troops of that state; and at its close he was constituted a Major General.
In 1775, his regiment composed part of the army under General Montgomery, which invaded Canada; and he participated in all the fatigues, dangers and privations, of that celebrated but unfortunate expedition.
In October, 1777, he commanded at fort Clinton, which, together with its neighbour fort Montgomery, constituted the defence of the Hudson river, against the ascent of an enemy.
His brother, the governor, commanded in chief at both forts. Sir Henry Clinton, with a view to create a diversion in favour of general Burgoyne, moved up the Hudson with an army of 4000 men, and attacked those works, which were very imperfectly fortified, and only defended by 500 men, composed principally of militia. After a most gallant resistance, the forts were carried by storm. General Clinton was the last man who left the works, and not until he was severely wounded by the thrust of a bayonet; pursued and fired at by the enemy, and his attending servant killed. He bled profusely, and when he dismounted from his war horse, in order to effect, his escape from the enemy, who were close on him, it occurred to him that he must either perish on the mountains or be captured, up: less he could supply himself with another horse ; an animal which sometimes roamed at large in that wild region. In this emergency he took the bridle from his horse and slid down a precipice of one hundred feet to the rayine of the creek which separated the forts, and feeling cautiously his way along its precipitous banks, he reached the mountain at a distance from the enemy, after having fallen into the stream, the cold water of which arrested a copious effusion of blood. The return of light furnished him with the sight of a horse, which conveyed him to his house, about sixteen iniles from the fort, where he arrived about noon, covered with blood and labouring under a severe fever. In his helpless condition the British passed up the Hudson, within a few miles of his house, and destroyed the town of Kingston.
The cruel ravages and horrible irruptions of the Iroquois, or six nations of Indians, on our frontier settlements, rendered it necessary to inflict a terrible chastisement, which would prevent a repetition of their airocities. An expedition was accordingly planned, and the principal command was committed to general Sullivan, who was to proceed up the Susquehanna, with the main body of the army, while general Clinton was to join him by the way of the Mohawk.
The Iroquois inhabited, or occasionally occupied, that immense and fertile region which composes the western parts of New York and Pennsylvania, and besides their own ravages, from tho vicinity of their settlements to the inhabited parts of the United States, they facilitated the inroads of the more remote Indians. When general Sullivan was on his way to the Indian country, he was joined by general Clinton with upwards of sixteen hundred men. The latter had gone up the Mohawk in batteaux, from Schenectady, and after ascending that river about fifty-four miles, he conveyed his batteaux from Canajoharie to the head of Otsego lake, one of the sources of the Susquehanna. Finding the stream of water, in that river, too low to float his boats, he erected a dam across the mouth of the lake, which soon rose to the altitude of the dam. Having got his batteaux ready, he opened a passage through the dam for the water to flow. This raised the river so high, that he was enabled to embark all his troops: to float them down to Tioga, and to join general Sullivan in good season. The Indians collected their strength at Newtown; took possession of proper ground and fortified it with judgment, and on the 29th August, 1779, an attack was made on them; their works were forced, and their consternation was so great, that they abandoned all further resistance; for, as the Americans advanced into their settlements, they retreated before them without throwing any obstructions in their way. The army passed between the Cayuga and Seneca lakes, by Geneva and Canandaigua, and as far west as the Genessee river, destroying large settlements and villages, and fields of corn; orchards of fruit trees, and gardens abounding with esculent vegetables. The progress of the Indians in agriculture, struck the Americans with astonishment. Many of their ears of corn measured 22 inches in length. They had horses, cows, and hogs, in abundance. They manufactured salt and sugar, and raised the best of apples and peaches, and their dwellings were farge and commodious. The desolation of their settlements, the destruction of their provisions, and the conflagration of their houses, drove them to the British fortress of Niagara for subsistence, where, living on salt provisions, to which they were unaccustomed, they died in great numbers, and the effect of this expedition, was to diminish their population; to damp their ardour; to check their arrogance; to restrain their cruelty, and
to inflict an irrecoverable blow on their resources of extensive aggression,
For a considerable portion of the war, general Clinton was stationed at Albany, where he commanded, in the northern department of the union, à place of high responsibility and requiring uncoinmon vigilance and continual exertion. An incident occurred, when on this command, which strongly illustrates his character. A regiment, which had been ordered to march, mutinied under arms, and peremptorily refused obedience. The general, on being apprised of this, immediately repaired with his pistols to the ground: he went up to the head of the regiment and ordered it to march: a silence ensued and the order was not complied with. He then presented a pistol to the breast of a sergeant, who was the ringleader, and commanded him to proceed on pain of death; and so on in succession along the line, and his command was, in every instance, obeyed, and the regiment restored' to entire and complete subordination and submission.
General Clinton was at the siege of Yorktown and the capture of Cornwallis, where he distinguished himself by his usual intrepidity.
His last appearance, in arms, was on the evacuation of the city of New York, by the British. He then bid the commander in chief a final and affectionate adieu, and retired to his ample estates, where he enjoyed that repose which was required by a long period of fatigue and privation.
He was, however, frequently called from his retirenzent by the unsolicited voice of his fellow-citizens, to perform civic duties. He was appointed a commissioner to adjust the boundary line between Pennsylvania and New York, which important measure was amicably and successfully accomplished. He was also selected by the legislature for an interesting mission to settle controversies