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CHAP. XIII.

1778.

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the truth of an observation made by a gentleman afterwards, "that the white favages were generally more favage than the copper"colored; and that nine times out of ten, the "fettlers on the borders were the aggreffors: "that he had feen many of the natives who "were prisoners at fort Washington; that they "appeared to be poffeffed of much sensibility "and gratitude: that he had discovered fome " fingular instances of this among them, very "honorable to the human character, before the "advantages or the examples of civilized nations had reached their borders."

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In short, no arguments are neceffary to adduce the truth, or imprefs on the minds either of the philofopher or the politician, that it will be the indifpenfable duty of the American government, when quietly established by the reftoration of peace, to endeavour to foften and civilize, instead of exterminating the rude nations of the interior. This will undoubtedly be attempted in fome future period, when uncultivated reafon may be affifted; when arts, agriculture, fcience, and true religion, may enlighten the dark corners which have been obfcured by ignorance and ferocity, for countlefs ages. The embrowned, dusky wilderness,

* A young American officer of great fenfibility and penetration, who fell at the battle at the Miamis, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-one.

has exhibited multitudes of men, little diftinguished from the fierce animals they hunted, except in their external form. Yet, in a few inftances, the dignity of human nature has been discovered by traits of reafon and humanity, which wanted only the advantages of education, to display genius and ability equal to any among the nations, that have hunted millions of those unhappy people out of existence, fince the discovery of America by Europeans. But it is a pleasing anticipation, that the American revolution may be a means in the hands of Providence, of diffusing universal knowledge over a quarter of the globe, that for ages had been enveloped in darkness, ignorance, and barbarifm.

CHAP. XIII.

1778.

CHAP XIV.

1778.

CHAPTER XIV.

Foreign Negociations.-Diffenfions among the American Commiffioners.-Deane recalled.-Mr. Adams appointed. Mr. Lee and Mr. Adams recalled.—Spain declares War against England.—Mr. Jay fent to the Court of Madrid.-Sir George Collier's Expedition to Virginia—His sudden Recal-Ravages on the North River. Depredations in the State of Connecticut, in aid of Governor Tryon and his Partizans.-General Washington feizes Stoney Point-Recovered by the British.--Penobscot Expedition.-Deftruction of the American Navy.

IT has already been obferved, that in an early ftage of the American conteft, fome gentlement were deputed to negociate, and to endeavour to fecure the affiftance of feveral European nations. This had had fuch an effect, that at the period we are now upon, the United States were in ftrict alliance with France, and were confidered in a partial and refpectful light by fome of the first powers in Europe. Yet difficulties both at home and abroad, which had scarcely been viewed in theory, were now realized and felt with poignancy, by the true friends of their country.

The objects that employed the abilities of congrefs at this period, were of fuch magnitude,

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as required the experience of ancient ftatef men, the coolnefs of long practised politicians, and the energies of virtue.

The articles of confederation offered to the confideration of each legislative in the several states, in one thousand seven hundred and feventy-fix, had been rejected by fome, and fufpended by others. It is true they were now recently ratified by all of them, but were scarcely yet established on a permanent basis.*

They had to arrange, harmonize, and fupport the new permanent army, collected from every part of the union, and now interwoven with foreign volunteers from different European nations: and in the rear of every other difficulty at home, they had to guard with all poffible difcretion, against the innumerable moral and political evils, ever the inevitable consequence of a depreciating currency.

Abroad they had a tafk of equal difficulty, to heal the animofities that exifted, and to con ciliate the differences that had arisen among the American minifters at the court of France, or to prevent the fatal confequences of their virulence towards each other. This was ex

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CHAP. XIV.

1778.

CHAP. XIV.

1778.

preffed in ftrong language in their letters to congrefs, nor was it a fecret in the courts of England or France, and in fome inftances, perhaps it was fomented by both.

In the infancy of congrefs, in the magnitude of the new scenes that were opening before them, and in the critical emergencies that fprung up on untrodden ground, they, through hurry or inexperience, had not in all inftances, felected men of the moft impeccable characters, to negociate with foreign powers. Perhaps in fome of their appointments, they did not always look fo much at the integrity of the heart, as at the capacity of the man for the arts of intrigue, the ready addrefs, and the fupple accomplishments neceflary for the courtier, both to insure his own reception with princes, and to complete the wishes of his employers, in his negociations with practised statesmen.

Silas Deane, efquire, a delegate to congrefs from the ftate of Connecticut, was the firft perfon who had been vefted with a foreign commiffion. He embarked as a commercial agent in behalf of the United States, in one thousand feven hundred and seventy-fix; and was afterwards named in the honorable commiffion for a treaty of alliance with the court of France, in conjunction with doctor Franklin and Arthur Lee, efquire.

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