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America j but to no purpose. For particular reasons178* that court declines making the treaty with France, the basis of one with them. Congress was much overseen in drawing bills upon him. The importance of Spain to America should not have been brought forward, at least should not have been placed in such a glaring point of view. The measure of drawing, in expectation that the Spaniards would supply the cash,- was considered by them as desperate, and as what congress were prompted to by their imbecility. It was in the power of the Spanish court to have made the loan that was asked: whereas, instead of furnishing Mr. Jay with 30 or 40,000 L sterling, the sum requested for immediate service, be was supplied with only about 42001.
On the 29th of September died Maria Theresa, empress of Germany, queen of Hungary and Bohemia, and archduchess of Austria, and natural sovereign of all the widely extended dominions appertaining to that great house. Her death has occasioned no convulsions in the European system of politics.
Lord George Germain, in his letter to lord Cornwallis of November the 9th, commended Cornwallis's "determination to inflict exemplary punishment on those traitors, who had repeated the violation of their oaths of allegiance, or broken their parole, and taken arms against the king, as wife and promotive of the great object of the war." He added, "I have not the least doubt, from your lordship's vigorous and akrt movements, the whole country, south of the Delaware, will be restored to the king's obedience in die course of the [next] campaign."
o. The French king this year dignified and for ever rendered his name-day memorable, by a present to his subjects, worthy the humanity and magnificence of a great and enlightened monarch. It was no less than abolishing for ever, that relic of barbarism, so long the opprobium of the christian name, and a standing disgrace to the most civilized and learned quarter of the world— the inhuman custom of putting the question, as it was called, by torture. It had been so long established and rivetted, that it seemed to be an original and indivisible part of the constitution of their courts of justice. The French king did also, in order to lessen the burdens of his people, make a prodigious reform in his houstiold. In pursuance of the new plan adopted in his court, no less than 406 offices in that department were abolished.
The torture having been mentioned, let it be remarked that no one is capitally condemned in Holland, till he acknowledges himself guilty; and that the torture is practised, when needful, to produce such acknowledgment. But then it must observed, that no one is put to the torture without that evidence, which would hang him in Great Britain. If the accused has firmness of body and mind to support under the rack through the whole process, he is discharged though guilty; but though innocent, if (overcome by excruciating pain) he pronounces himself guilty, to obtain momentary ease, execution follows.
The bounty and kindness extended by the bishop of Lugo to the British prisoners, deserves every degree of praise and gratitude. Although some of their commanders behaved otherwise, the Spanish nobility and merchants, in general, showed extraordinary marks of
friendship, and even of affection, to those British gen- ,78o# tlemen who fell in their way, while national hostilities were carrying on. The Spaniards labored hard in pushing on their works against Gibraltar, but had often the mortification of seeing them when. nearly completed, destroyed in a few hours by the weight of fire from the batteries. Gen. Elliot would let them proceed to a certain point, and then at once throw all their hopes to the ground. . Some judicious and successful sallies were likewise made occasionally, though sparingly, by the garrison. The vexation of being so bafHed by a handful of men, has at length whetted the invention of the Spaniards to a project, that may afford much trouble to the garrison when perfected, and infinitely increase the difficulties and dangers of the defence.
The conduct of the duke of Modena, in abolishing the inquisition in his dominions, must be enumerated among the remarkable circumstances, that have distin- . . • guished the year 1780. It affords a fresh instance of the progress, which liberal ideas, with respect to toleration and _ the rights of conscience, are now making throughout Europe. Upon the death of the grand inquisitor at Reggio, the prince immediately ordered that tribunal to be for ever abolished; its revenues to be applied to laudable purposes; and the prisons and other buildings, which could. preserve any memorial of its having ever existed, to be demolished.
In the course of this year a considerable number of well-fought and desperate actions. have taken place be-' tween British and French frigates; in which, though the former had almost continually the advantage when upon equal terms, and the latter were frequently taken * yet
1780. there were such instances of professional skill, courag« and dexterity, constantly displayed on the part of the / French, as were before unknown in their marine.
The present letter will be kept ready to send off instantly, whenever the opportunity of a safe conveyance offers.
Roxbury, April 2 r, 17 S r.
Mv Good Sir,
i!38l. f M -1H E Massachusetts government was greatly alarmed .*. on the 14th of January, by the unexpected arrival of gen. Knox with an account of the Pennsylvania line's having revolted, and marched off from Morristown. Gov. Hancock had been prepared to expect an event of that kind, though in a different quarter: for gen. Glover wrote to him on the 1 ith of the preceding month—" It is now four days since your line of the army has eaten one mouthful of bread. We have no money: nor will any body trust us. The best of wheac is at this moment selling in the state of New York for three fourths of a dollar [3s. 4<1. \ sterling] per bushel, and your army is starving for want. On the 1st of January something will turn up if not speedily prevented, which your officers cannot be answerable for." Several 2 causes causes contributed to produce the revolt of the Penn-1/81* sylvania line. The officers, when they insisted the men, imagined that the war would not continue more than three years; and thought, at their inlistment, of holding them no longer than for that term at furthest, though they were to be discharged sooner was the war ended: the men understood the agreement in the fame manner. The officers finding the war did not close as was expected, and recruiting difficult; the soldiers also being j well trained by the three years service; they were unwilling to part with them; and imposed a new sense upon the original agreement, viz. that the men were - -*ld to serve the whole war, though it lasted beyond the three years. This the men resented as an imposition, and submitted to only from necessity, and till the moment should offer for the redress of such an iniquitous grievance. The officers, to sooth the soldiers, relaxed in their discipline, which made the men feel their own importance. Major M'Pherson having quitted the British service in an honorable way, and attached himself to the Americans, gen. Washington, when occasion required his forming a particular corps, gave the command of it to the major in token of respect, and by way of encouragement. Upon that the Pennsylvania officers formed themselves into parties; combined in an opposition to the appointment; and offered to resign their commissions upon the occasion. They also countenanced the non-commissioned officers of their line to unite in applying to head quarters for certain favors. Such conduct contributed to strengthen and ripen that disposition which produced the revolt. The language which the officers of rank talked upon these occasions, Vol. IV. C within