Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

But in the summer of 1780, the French help began to amount to something. Rochambeau with six thousand

Frenchmen landed at Newport in Rhode Island, and joined Washington and his soldiers at Peekskill in New York. In 1781, the Count de Grasse sailed into Chesapeake Bay with more ships and soldiers; Washington and Rochambeau hurried to Virginia and, almost before the British knew what was happening, Lord Cornwallis and a British army of nine thousand men were penned up in Yorktown in Virginia.

The British general was brave and able; he tried to get away, but could not; Washington set his soldiers

to digging earthworks, and (In Madison Square, New York.) soon had the British camp surrounded, and after three weeks of firing and fighting, the British general gave in, and on the ninteenth of October, 1781, he surrendered to General Washington.

This ended the Revolution. The king of England could

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

BARTHOLDI'S STATUE OF LAFAYETTE.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small]

not get men to serve in America; the people and parliament were tired of war; the Americans were really taking care of themselves and had done so for five years; they were determined not to give in; France and other nations had helped, or were ready to help them, and so, on the thirtieth of November, 1782, Great Britain acknowledged the independence of the United States; on the le third of September, 1783, the paper that and Soldiers. did this, and was called a treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States of America, was signed at Versailles in France, and on the twenty-fifth of November, 1783, the last red-coated soldiers of the king left the country they had failed to conquer, and America was free.

And who do you think could have felt more thankful or more joyful over the way things had turned out than George Washington ? Although many things had not gone as he desired, still the end he had worked for had come about, and America was free. He thanked the French who had helped him, he wrote to Congress congratulating the country on the success that had come at the ending of seven years of war, and set about trying to so finish things up as to avoid the troubles that he felt must come if everything was not done “decently and in order.” To get the very thing we want is sometimes the worst thing for us, and the results of victory have often been the most serious problem for men to . face. For it is hard to be modest and patient and obliging when we have, at last, obtained what we have worked and fought for. America's most serious problem was now to come, and none knew this better than did George Washington — the man whose hand and head had made his country free.

CHAPTER VIII.

WHY THE GENERAL LOST HIS TEMPER.

HAVE said that although the war ended with the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, none knew better than did Washington, that the trouble was by no means over. He understood, indeed, what many could not see, that one struggle could only lead to another, and that peace with England did not mean

peace in America, so long as things remained unsettled and uncertain.

You remember, of course, the fable of the frogs who overthrew King Log only to get in his place King Stork, a much worse tyrant. America had achieved independence; she was a free nation; but you must remember she was made up of thirteen states, which, as colonies, were selfish, and

[graphic]
« ZurückWeiter »