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that the declaration was adopted he was elected a third time to the Continental Congress, and continued to serve in that body the two next ensuing years.
A short time previous to the glorious fourth of July, Mr. Chase discovered that a Judas was among them in the person of the Rev. Dr. Zubly of Georgia, who was clandestinely corresponding with the enemy. So suddenly did this ardent patriot proclaim the name of the traitor upon the floor of Congress, that "the gentleman from Georgia" admitted the truth of the charge and immediately retired from the house. His arrest was ordered, but when the officers went to his cage the bird had flown and was never "bagged." No member but the accuser and the accused knew the fact before it fell upon their ears from Mr. Chase, like a thunder clap without a cloud in view. No one served upon more committees during his time in Congress, and no one performed his duty more cheerfully and faithfully than Mr. Chase. In every branch of legislation he was found fully competent to act well his part. In forming the articles of confederation he was all life and industry; he considered their adoption indispensably necessary to insure the completion of the good work already begun. The manner of representation, the mode of voting and the claims to the south sea, were the three points that elicited the most discussion. They were finally concluded and carried the colonies safely through their long and bloody struggle.
In the fall of 1776 Messrs. Chase, Wilson, Clymer, Stockton and Smith, were appointed a committee to take charge of the war department, the duties of which involved the great business of the nation. This power was subsequently delegated to Washington, which relieved these gentlemen from a most onerous burden. They cheerfully commenced their labours and as cheerfully resigned their task to him, in whose discretion and ability they had full confidence.
About this time Mr. Chase gave another example of his bold and fearless disposition. It was ascertained that many of the members of the society of Friends, in and about Philadelphia and New Jersey, inimical to the American cause, were circulating papers calculated to impede its progress, were acting in concert with the tories, and were in communication with the enemy; a report of which, with documents substantiating the charges, was submitted to Congress by the committee for suppressing internal enemies, of which he was the prominent member.
The exposure resulted in the confinement of several leading Quakers, a suppression of the seditious papers, and a course of more respectful neutrality by the society. The measure was then deemed harsh by some, and, at first view, will appear more so now; but on examination, taking into consideration all the circumstances of war, it will be found to be in accordance with the rules of epic law. Agreeably to the martial code of other nations, then the precedent guide for Congress, the punishment might have been much more severe. By the religious tenets of the society of Friends it can never be sanctioned, and by every friend of liberty, the necessity of such a case, imposed by the rules of war, is always regretted. Every social
compact and nation must be subject to its own laws, and minor parts of a community must submit to the ruling majority or superior power, or government cannot be maintained in any form. In 1777, Mr. Chase proposed a resolution to make loan office certificates a legal tender from whigs to tories for the payment of debts due. In 1778, the British parliament attempted a stratagem by which they hoped to create a division among the patriots by disseminating conciliatory propositions among the people, and by appointing commissioners, who, when they arrived, proposed conditions of inglorious peace. These promissory and flattering papers were widely circulated, and to counteract their influence it was necessary that Congress should prepare an answer. This task was imposed upon a committee and by that committee upon Mr. Chase. Most ably did he perform his duty. He unmasked the hypocrisy of the ministers, exposed their delusive gull trap to derision and scorn, and left them without a loop to hang upon. So well was it received by Congress that an unusually large number was ordered to be printed, and a resolution passed recommending the clergy throughout the country to read it to their congregations after service on Sundays. Like all the other plans of the British cabinet then devised for enslaving the colonies, it recoiled upon their own heads with all the force of re-action. The following is a copy of the answer written by Mr. Chase.
"Three years have now passed away since the commencement of the present war. A war without parallel in the annals of mankind. It hath displayed a spectacle the most solemn that can possibly be exhibited. On one side, we behold fraud and violence labouring in the service of despotism; on the other, virtue and fortitude supporting and establishing the rights of human nature.
"You cannot but remember how reluctantly we were dragged into this arduous contest, and how repeatedly, with the earnestness of humble entreaty, we supplicated a redress of our grievances from him who ought to have been the father of his people. In vain did we implore his protection; in vain appeal to the justice, the generosity of Englishmen; of men who had been the guardians, the asserters and vindicators of liberty through a succession of ages; men, who, with their swords had established the firm barrier of freedom, and cemented it with the blood of heroes. Every effort was vain; for even whilst we were prostrated at the foot of the throne, that fatal blow was struck which hath separated us forever. Thus spurned, contemned and insulted; thus driven by our enemies into measures which our souls abhorred, we made a solemn appeal to the tribunal of unerring wisdom and justice. To that Almighty ruler of princes whose kingdom is over all.
"We were then quite defenceless. Without arms, without ammunition, without clothing, without ships, without money, without officers skilled in war; with no other reliance but the bravery of our people and the justice of our cause. We had to contend with a nation great in arts and in arms, whose fleets covered the ocean, whose banners had waved in triumph through every quarter of the globe. How
ever unequal this contest, our weakness was still farther increased by the enemies which America had nourished in her bosom. Thus exposed on the one hand to external force and internal divisions; on the other to be compelled to drink of the bitter cup of slavery and to go sorrowing all our lives long-in this sad alternative we chose the former. To this alternative we were reduced by men, who, had they been animated by one spark of generosity, would have disdained to take such mean advantage of our situation, or had they paid the least regard to the rules of justice would have considered with abhorrence a proposition to injure those who had faithfully fought their battles, and industriously contributed to rear the edifice of their glory.
"But however great the injustice of our foes in commencing this war, it is by no means equal to that cruelty with which they have conducted it. The course of their armies is marked by rapine and devastation. Thousands, without distinction of age or sex, have been driven from their peaceful abodes to encounter the rigours of inclement seasons, and the face of heaven hath been insulted by the wanton conflagration of defenceless towns. Their victories have been followed by the cool murder of men no longer able to resist, and those who escaped from the first act of carnage have been exposed by cold, hunger and nakedness-to wear out a miserable existence in the tedious hours of confinement, or to become the destroyers of their countrymen, of their friends, perhaps, dreadful idea! of their parents or children. Nor was this the outrageous barbarity of an individual, but a system of deliberate malice, stamped with the concurrence of the British legislature, and sanctioned with all the formalities of law. Nay, determined to dissolve the closest bonds of society, they have stimulated servants to slay their masters in the peaceful hour of domestic security. And, as if all this were insufficient to slake their thirst of blood, the blood of brothers, of unoffending brothers, they have excited the Indians against us; and a general, who calls himself a christian, a follower of the merciful Jesus, hath dared to proclaim to all the world his intention of letting loose against us whole hosts of savages, whose rule of warfare is promiscuous carnage-who rejoice to murder the infant smiling in its mother's arms-to inflict on their prisoners the most excruciating torments, and exhibit scenes of horror from which nature recoils.
"Were it possible, they would have added to this terrible system: for they have offered the inhabitants of these states to be exported by their merchants to the sickly, baneful climes of India, there to perish: an offer not accepted, merely from the impracticability of carrying it
"Notwithstanding these great provocations we have treated such of them as fell into our hands with tenderness, and studiously endeavoured to alleviate the afflictions of their captivity. This conduct we have pursued so far as to be by them stigmatized with cowardice, and by our friends with folly. But our dependance was not upon man. It was upon Him who hath commanded us to love our enemies and to render good for evil. And what can be more wonderful than the manner of our deliverance? How often have we been reduced to dis
tress, and yet been raised up? When the means to prosecute the war have been wanting to us, have not our foes themselves been rendered instrumental in providing them? This hath been done in such a variety of instances so peculiarly marked almost by the direct interposition of Providence, that not to feel and acknowledge his protection, would be the height of impious ingratitude.
"At length that God of battles, in whom was our trust, hath conducted us through the paths of danger and distress to the thresholds of security. It hath now become morally certain, that if we have courage to persevere we shall establish our liberties and independence. The haughty prince who spurned us from his feet with contumely and disdain; and the parliament which proscribed us, now descend to offer terms of accommodation. Whilst in the full career of victory, they pulled off the mask and avowed their intended despotism. But having lavished in vain the blood and treasure of their subjects in pursuit of this execrable purpose, they now endeavour to ensnare us with the insidious offers of peace. They would seduce you into a dependance which, necessarily, inevitably leads to the most humiliating slavery. And do they believe that you will accept these fatal terms? Because you have suffered the distresses of war, do they suppose that you will basely lick the dust before the feet of your destroyers? Can there be an American so lost to the feelings which adorn human nature-to the generous pride, the elevation, the dignity of freedom? Is there a man who would not abhor a dependance upon those who have deluged his country in the blood of its inhabitants? We cannot suppose this, neither is it possible that they themselves can expect to make many converts. What then is their intention? Is it not to lull you with the fallacious hopes of peace, until they can assemble new armies to prosecute their nefarious designs? If this is not the case, why do they strain every nerve to levy men throughout their islands? Why do they meanly court every little tyrant of Europe to sell them his unhappy slaves? Why do they continue to embitter the minds of the savages against you? Surely this is not the way to conciliate the affections of America. Be not therefore deceived. You have still to expect one severe conflict. Your foreign alliances, though they secure your independence, cannot secure your country from desolation, your habitations from plunder, your wives from insult or violation, nor your children from butchery. Foiled in their principal design, you must expect to feel the rage of disappointed ambition. Arise then! to your tents! and gird you for battle. It is time to turn the headlong current of vengeance upon the heads of the destroyers. They have filled up the measure of their abominations, and like ripe fruit must soon drop from the tree. Although much is done, yet much remains to do. Expect not peace whilst any corner of America is in possession of your foes. You must drive them away from the land of promise, a land flowing indeed with milk and honey. Your brethren at the extremities of the continent already implore your friendship and protection. It is your duty to grant their request. They hunger and thirst after liberty. Be it yours to dispense the heavenly gift. And what is there now to prevent it?
"After the unremitted efforts of our enemies we are stronger than before. Nor can the wicked emissaries who so assiduously labour to promote their cause, point out any one reason to suppose that we shall not receive daily accessions of strength. They tell you, it is true, that your money is of no value; and your debts so enormous that they can never be paid. But we tell you that if Britain presecutes the war another campaign, that single campaign will cost her more than we have hitherto expended; and yet these men would prevail upon you to take up that immense load, and for it to sacrifice your dearest rights; for surely there is no man so absurd as to suppose that the least shadow of liberty can be preserved in a dependant connexion with Great Britain. From the nature of the thing it is evident that the only security you could obtain, would be the justice and moderation of a parliament who have sold the rights of their own constituents. And this slender security is still farther weakened by the consideration that it was pledged to rebels, (as they unjustly call the good people of these states,) with whom they think they are not bound to keep faith by any law whatsoever. Thus would you be cast bound among men whose minds, by your virtuous resistance, have been sharpened to the keenest edge of revenge. Thus would your children and your children's children, be by you forced to a participation of all their debts, their wars, their luxuries and their crimes; and this mad and this impious system they would lead you to adopt because of the derangement of your finances.
"It becomes you deeply to reflect on this subject. Is there a country upon earth which hath such resources for the payment of her debts as America? Such an extensive territory; so fertile, so blessed in its climate and productions. Surely there is none. Neither is there any to which the wise Europeans will sooner confide their property. What then are the reasons that your money hath depreciated? Because no taxes have been imposed to carry on the war; because your commerce hath been interrupted by your enemies' fleets; because their armies have ravaged and desolated a part of your country; because their agents have villanously counterfeited your bills; because extortioners among you, inflamed with the lust of gain, have added to the price of every article of life; and because weak men have been artfully led to believe that it is of no value. How is this dangerous disease to be remedied? Let those among you who have leisure and opportunity collect the monies which individuals in their neighbourhood are desirous of placing in the public funds. Let the several legislatures sink their respective emissions, that so there being but one kind of bills there may be less danger of counterfeits. Refrain a little from purchasing those things which are not absolutely necessary, that so those who have engrossed commodities may suffer, (as they deservedly will,) the loss of their ill gotten hoards, by reason of the commerce with foreign nations, which the fleets will protect. Above all, bring forward your armies into the field. Trust not to appearances of peace or safety. Be assured that unless you persevere you will be exposed to every species of barbarity. But if you exert the means of defence which God and nature have given you, the time will