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1775.] DEPARTURE FROM PHILADELPHIA. 339
a patriot brave and generous, but rough and ready, who thought not of himself in time of danger, but was ready to serve in any way, and to sacrifice official rank and selfglorification to the good of the cause. He was eminently a soldier for the occasion. His name has long been a favourite one with young and old; one of the talismanic names of the Eevolution, the very mention of which is like the sound of a trumpet. Such names are the precious jewels of our history, to be garnered up among the treasures of the nation, and kept immaculate from the tarnishing breath of the cynic and the doubter.
Departure from Philadelphia—Anecdotes of General Schuyler—of Lee —Tidings of Bunker Hill—Military Councils—Population of New York—The Johnson Family—Governor Tryon—Arrival at New York—Military Instructions to Schuyler—Arrival at the Camp.
In a preceding chapter we left Washington preparing to depart from Philadelphia for the army before Boston. He set out on horseback on the 21st of June, having for military companions of his journey Major-generals Lee and Schuyler, and being accompanied for a distance by several private friends. As an escort he had a " gentleman troop" of Philadelphia, commanded by Captain Markoe, the whole formed a brilliant cavalcade.
General Schuyler was a man eminently calculated to sympathize with Washington in all his patriotic views and feelings, and became one of his most faithful coadjutors. Sprung from one of the earliest and most respectable Dutch families which colonized New York, all his interests and affections were identified with the country. He ha<* received a good education; applied himself at an early age to the exact sciences, and became versed in finance, military engineering, and political economy. He was one of those native-born soldiers who had acquired experience in that American school of arms, the old French war. When but twenty-two years of age he commanded a company of New York levies under Sir William Johnson, of Mohawk renown, which gave him an early opportunity of becoming acquainted with the Indian tribes, their country and their policy. In 1758 he was in Abercrombie's expedition against Ticonderoga, accompanying Lord Viscount Howe as chief of the commissariat department; a post well qualified to give him experience in the business! part of war. When that gallant young nobleman fell on the banks of Lake George, Schuyler conveyed his corpse back to Albany and attended to his honourable obsequies. Since the close of the French war he had served his country in various civil stations, and been one of the most zealous and eloquent vindicators of colonial rights. He was one of the "glorious minority" of the New York General Assembly; George Clinton, Colonel Woodhull, Colonel Philip Livingston, and others; who, when that body was timid and wavering, battled nobly against British influence and oppression. His last stand had been recently as a delegate to Congress, where he had served with Washington on the committee to prepare rules and regulations for the army, and where the latter had witnessed his judgment, activity, practical science, and sincere devotion to the cause.
Many things concurred to produce perfect harmony of operation between these distinguished men. They were nearly of the same age, Schuyler being one year the youngest. Both were men of agricultural, as well as military tastes. Both were men of property, living at their ease in little rural paradises; Washington on the grove-clad heights of Mount Vernon, Schuyler on the pastoral banks of the upper Hudson, where he had a noble estate at Saratoga, inherited from an uncle; and the old family mansion, near the city of Albany, half hid among ancestral trees. Yet both were exiling themselves from these happy abodes, and putting life and fortune at hazard in the service of their country.
Schuyler and Lee had early military recollections to draw them together. Both had served under Abercrombie in the expedition against Ticonderoga. There was some part of Lee's conduct in that expedition which both he and Schuyler might deem it expedient at this moment to forget. Lee was at that time a young captain, naturally presumptuous, and flushed with the arrogance of military power. On his march along the banks of the Hudson, he
acted as if in a conquered country; impressing horses and oxen, and seizing upon supplies, without exhibiting any proper warrant. It was enough for him, "they were necessary for the service of his troops." Should any one question his right, the reply was a volley of execrations.
Among those who experienced this soldierly treatment was Mrs. Schuyler, the aunt of the general; a lady of aristocratical station, revered throughout her neighbourhood. Her cattle were impressed, herself insulted. She had her revenge. After the unfortunate affair at Ticonderoga, a number of the wounded were brought down along the Hudson to the Schuyler mansion. Lee was among the number. The high-minded mistress of the house never alluded to his past conduct. He was received like his brother officers with the kindest sympathy. Sheets, and table-cloths were torn up to serve as bandages. Every thing was done to alleviate their sufferings. Lee's cynic heart was conquered. "He swore in his vehement manner that he was sure there would be a place reserved for Mrs. Schuyler in heaven, though no other woman should be there, and that he should wish for nothing better than to share her final destiny.'"
Seventeen years had since elapsed, and Lee and the nephew of Mrs. Schuyler were again allied in military service, but under a different banner; and recollections of past times must have given peculiar interest to their present intercourse. In fact, the journey of Washington with his associate generals, experienced like him in the wild expeditions of the old French war, was a revival of early campaigning feelings.
They had scarcely proceeded twenty miles from Philadelphia when they were met by a courier, spurring with all speed, bearing despatches from the army to Congress, communicating tidings of the battle of Bunker's Hill. Washington eagerly inquired particulars; above all, how acted the militia? When told that they stood their ground bravely; sustained the enemy's fire—reserved their own until at close quarters, and then delivered it with deadly effect; it seemed as if a weight of doubt and solicitude were
1 Memoirs of an American Lady (Mrs. Grant, of Laggan,) vol. ii, chap. ix.
lifted from his heart. "The liberties of the country are safe!" exclaimed he.
The news of the battle of Bunker's Hill had startled the whole country; and this clattering cavalcade, escorting the commander-in-chief to the army, was the gaze and wonder of every town and village.
The journey may be said to have been a continual council of war between Washington and the two generals. Even the contrast in character of the two latter made them regard questions from different points of view. Schuyler, a warm-hearted patriot, with everything staked on the cause; Lee, a soldier of fortune, indifferent to the ties of home and country, drawing his sword without enthusiasm; more through resentment against a government which had disappointed him, than zeal for liberty or for colonial rights.
One of the most frequent subjects of conversation was the province of New York. Its power and position rendered it the great link of the confederacy; what measures were necessary for its defence, and most calculated to secure its adherence to the cause? A lingering attachment to the crown, kept up by the influence of British merchants, and military and civil functionaries in royal pay, had rendered it slow in coming into the colonial compact; and it was only on the contemptuous dismissal of their statement of grievances, unheard, that its people had thrown off their allegiance, as much in sorrow as in anger.
No person was better fitted to give an account of the interior of New York than General Schuyler; and the hawk-eyed Lee during a recent sojourn had made its capital somewhat of a study; but there was much yet for both of them to learn.
The population of New York was more varied in its elements than that of almost any other of the provinces, and had to be cautiously studied. The New Yorkers were of a mixed origin, and stamped with the peculiarities of their respective ancestors. The descendants of the old Dutch and Huguenot families, the earliest settlers, were still among the soundest and best of the population. They inherited the love of liberty, civil and religious, of their forefathers, and were those who stood foremost in the present struggle for popular rights. Such were the Jays,
the Bensons, the Beekmans, the Hoffmans, the Van Hornes, the Eoosevelts, the Duyckinks, the Pintards, the Yateses, and others whose names figure in the patriotic documents of the day. Some of them, doubtless, cherished a remembrance of the time when their forefathers were lords of the land, and felt an innate propensity to join in resistance to the government by which their supremacy had been overturned. A great proportion of the more modern families, dating from the downfall of the Dutch government in 1664, were English and Scotch, and among these were many loyal adherents to the crown. Then there was a mixture of the whole, produced by the intermarriages of upwards of a century, which partook of every shade of
merce, and the regular communications with the mother country through packets and ships of war, kept these elements in constant action, and contributed to produce that mercurial temperament, that fondness for excitement, and proneness to pleasure, which distinguished them from their neighbours on either side—the austere Puritans of New England, and the quiet "Friends" of Pennsylvania.
There was a power, too, of a formidable kind within the interior of the province, which was an object of much solicitude. This was the "Johnson Family." We have repeatedly had occasion to speak of Sir William Johnson, his majesty's general agent for Indian affairs, of his great wealth, and his almost sovereign sway over the Six Nations. He had originally received that appointment through the influence of the Schuyler family. Both Generals Schuyler and Lee, when young men, had campaigned with him; and it was among the Mohawk warriors, who rallied under his standard, that Lee had beheld his vaunted models of good-breeding.
In the recent difiSculties between the crown and colonies, Sir William had naturally been in favour of the government which had enriched and honoured him, but he had viewed with deep concern the acts of Parliament which were goading the colonists to armed resistance. In the height of his solicitude, he received despatches ordering him, in case of hostilities, to enlist the Indians in the cause of government. To the agitation of feelings produced by
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