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than justice, that gratitude would blaze forth upon those hands which had upheld her in the darkest stages of her passage, from impending servitude to acknowledged independence. But faith has its limits as well as temper, and there are points beyond which neither can be stretched, without sinking into cowardice, or plunging into credulity—This, my friends, I conceive to be your situation-hurried to the very verge of both, another step would ruin you for everto be tame and unprovoked when injuries press hard upon you, is more than weakness; but to look up for kinder usage, without one manly effort of your own, would fix your character, and show the world how richly you deserve those chains you broke. To guard against this evil, let us take a review of the ground upon which we now stand, and from thence carry our thoughts forward for a moment, into the unexplored field of expedient.
“After a pursuit of seven long years, the object for which we set out is at length brought within our reach ---yes, my friends, that suffering courage of yours was active onee--it has conducted the United States of America through a doubtful and a bloody war. It has placed her in the chair of independency, and peace returns again to bless--whom? A country willing to redress your wrongs, cherish your worth, and reward your services ? A country courting your return to private life, with tears of gratitude, and smiles of admiration, longing to divide with you that independen. cy which your gallantry has given, and those riches which your wounds have preserved ? Is this the case ? Or is it rather a country that tramples upon your rights, disdains your cries, and insults your distresses ? Have you not more than once suggested your wishes, and made known your wants to Congress ? Wants and wishes which gratitude and policy should have anticipated rather than evaded; and have you not lately in the meek language of entreating memorials, begged
from their justice, what you could no longer expect from their favour? How have you been answered ? Let the letter which you are called to consider to-morrow reply.
“If this, then, be your treatment while the swords you wear are necessary for the defence of America, what have you to expect from peace, when your voice shall sink, and your strength dissipate hy division ? When those very swords, the instruments and companions of your glory shall be taken from your sides, and no remaining mark of military distinction left but your wants, infirmities, and scars? Can you then consent to be the only sufferers by this revolution, and retiring from the field, grow old in poverty, wretchedness, and contempt? Can you consent to wade through the vile mire of dependency, and owe the miserablc remnant of that life to charity, which has hitherto been spent in honour ? If you can go -and carry with you the jest of tories and the scorn of whigs the ridicule, and what is worse, the pity of the world. Go, starve, and be forgotten! But if your spirit should revolt at this; if you have sense enough to discover, and spirit enough to oppose tyranny, under whatever garb it may assume ; whether it be the plain coat of républicanism, or the splendid robe of royalty ; if you have not yet learned to discriminate between a people and a cause, between men and principles—awake; attend to your situation, and redress yourselves. If the present moment be lost, every future effort is in vain ; and your threats then, will be as empty as your entreaties now.
“I would advise you, therefore, to come to some final opinion upon what you can bear, and what you will suffer. If your determination be in any proportion to your wrongs, carry your appeal from the justice to the fears of government. Change the milk and water style of your last memorial ; assume a bolder tone-decent, but lively, spirited, and determined, and suspectthe man
who would advise to more moderation and longer forbearance. Let two or three men who can feel as well as write, be appointed to draw up your
last monstrance ; for I would no longer give it the sueing, soft, unsuccessful epithet of memorial. Let it be represented in language that will neither dishonour you by its rudeness, nor betray you by its fears, what has been promised by Congress, and what has been performed-how long, and how patiently you have suffered-how little you have asked, and how much of that little has been denied. Tell them that though you were the first, and would wish to be the last to encounter danger, though despair itself can never drive you into dishonour, it may drive you from the field ; that the wound often irritated, and never healed, may at length become incurable; and that the slightest mark of indignity from Congress now must operate like the grave, and part you for ever : that in any political event, the army has its alternative. If peace, that nothing shall separate you from your arms but death : if war, that courting the auspices, and inviting the direction of your illustrious leader, you will retire to some unsettled country, smile in your turn, and mock when their fear cometh on. But let it represent also, that should they comply with the request of your late memorial, it would make you more happy, and them more respectable. That while war should continue, you would follow their standard into the field, and when it came to an end you would withdraw into the shade of private life, and give the world another subject of wonder and applause ; an army victorious over its enemies-victorious over itself.”
The reluctance which Congress manifested to compensate the army for seven years' glorious service, excited a temper too favourable to the purposes of the writer of this intemperate address. Probably the influence of General WASHINGTON alone could have ar. rested the rising tempest : and his firmness and pru
dence were equal to the occasion. Silence in him would have encouraged the desperate to the prosecution of the most rash design; and strong and violent measures would have enkindled the smothered spark into a destructive flame. Noticing in general orders the anonymous publication, he expressed his confidence that the judgment and patriotism of the army would forbid their “attention to such an irregular invitation, but his own duty,” he added," as well as the reputation and the true interest of the army required his disapprobation of such disorderly proceedings. At the same time, he requested the general and field officers, with one officer from each company, and a proper re presentation from the staff of the army, to assemble at twelve on Saturday the 15th, at the new building, to hear the report of the committee deputed by the army to Congress. After mature deliberation, they will devise what further measures ought to be adopted as most rational and best calculated to obtain the just and important object in view.” The senior officer in rank was directed to preside, and to report the result of their deliberations to the Commander in Chief.
The next day a second anonymous address was published. The writer affected to consider the orders of the General as countenancing the convention, recommended in the first publication.
On the 15th the officers inet agreeably to orders, and General Gates took the chair. The Commander in Chief then addressed them.
“ GENTLEMEN, “ By an anonymous summons an attempt has boon made to convene you together. How inconsistent with the rules of propriety, how unmilitary, and how subversive of all order and discipline, let the good sense of the army decido.
- In the moment of this summons, another anony. mous production was sent into circulation, addressed more to the fcelings and passions than to the judg
ment of the army. The author of the piece is entitled to much credit for the goodness of his pen; and I could wish he had as much credit for the rectitude of his heart; for, as men see through different opticks, and are induced by the reflecting faculties of the mind, to use different means to attain the same end, the author of the address should have had more charity than to mark for suspicion the man who should recommend moderation and longer forbearance ; or in other words, who should not think as he thinks, and act as he advises. But he had another plan in view, in which candour and liberality of sentiment, regard to justice and love of country, have no part; and he was right to insinuate the darkest suspicion to effect thọ blackest design. That the address was drawn with great art, and is designed to answer the most insidious purposes; that it is calculated to impress the mind with an idea of premeditated injustice in the sovereign power of he United States, and rouse all those resentments which must unavoidably flow from such a belief; that the secret mover of this scheme, whoever he may be, intended to take advantage of the passions, while they were warmed by the recollection of past distress." es, without giving time for cool, deliberative thinking, and that composure of mind which is so necessary to give dignity and stability to measures, is rendered too obvious, by the mode of conducting the business, to noed other proof than a reference to the proceedings.
“ Thus much, gentlemen, I have thought it incumbent on me to observe to you, to show upon what principles I opposed the irregular and hasty meeting which was proposed to have been held on Tuesday last, and not because I wanted a disposition to give you every opportunity, consistent with your own honour, and the dignity of the army, to make "known your grievances. If my conduct heretofore has not evinced to you, that I have been a faithful friend to the army, my declaration of it at this time would be equally unavailing and