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CHAP. XVII.

1780.

stances, and the future profpects of America; for a part of which the reader is referred to the Appendix. The baron Capellen observes on the above letter of this gentleman, that "it was "to be regretted that fo handfome, fo energetic "a defence of the American cause, should be "shut up in the port-folio of an individual: "that he had communicated it with discretion "in Amfterdam; and that it had made a very "ftrong impreffion on all who had read it."

These favorable difpofitions among many perfons of high confideration in the United Netherlands, whofe ancestors had fuffered fo much to fecure their own liberties, led congrefs to expect their aid and support, in a contest so interefting to republican opinion, and the general freedom of mankind. It forbade any farther delay in the councils of America. Congress were convinced no time was to be loft; but that a minifter with proper credentials, fhould immediately appear in a public character at the Hague; or if that should be found inadmiffible, that he should have inftructions to regulate any private negociations, according to the dic tates of judgment, difcretion, or neceffity.

Accordingly, early in the present year, the honorable Henry Laurens of South Carolina, late prefident of the continental congrefs, was

* See Appendix, Note No. IX.

vefted with this important commiffion. Perhaps a more judicious choice of a public minifter could not have been made throughout the ftates. From his prudence, probity, politeness, and knowledge of the world, Mr. Laurens was competent to the truft, and well qualified for the execution thereof: but he was unfortunately captured on his way by admiral Edwards, carried to Newfoundland, and from thence fent to England, where he experienced all the rigors of feverity usually inflicted on state criminals.

Before Mr. Laurens left the foggy atmofphere of Newfoundland, an apparent instance of the deep-rooted jealoufy harbored in the breafts of the British officers, against all Americans who fell into their hands, was difcovered by the refufal of admiral Edwards to permit, at Mr. Laurens's request, Mr. Winflow Warren to accompany him to Europe, in the frigate in which he failed.

This youth was the fon of a gentleman who had been vefted with some of the first and most refpectable offices of truft and importance in America; he was captured on his way to Europe, a few weeks before Mr. Laurens, to whom he had introductory letters from fome of the first characters in America, to be delivered on his arrival at the Hague: their unfortunate. meeting as prisoners on this dreary spot, gave him an early opportunity to present them. No cartel had yet been fettled for the exchange of

1780.

CHAP. XVII.

1780.

prifoners; and fenfibly touched with compaffion for their fufferings, Mr. Warren voluntarily engaged to remain as an hostage till that arrangement might take place. The admiral confented to fend a great number of Americans to Boston, on Mr. Warren's word of honor, that an equal number of British prisoners would be returned.

Mr. Laurens wifhed to anticipate his release, from the generous feelings of his own mind, as well as from the delicacy of fentiment and the accomplished manners of Mr. Warren; and though they were both treated with the utmost politeness by admiral Edwards, he refused to gratify these gentlemen in their mutual wishes to be fellow-paffengers, as they were fellowprifoners: but the admiral permitted Mr. Warren, within three or four days after Mr. Laurens's departure, to take paffage in another frigate, bound directly to England.

Mr. Laurens took an affectionate leave of Mr. Warren, and requested him to write his friends, or to tell them if he reached America before him, that "though he was an old man, "who had recently lost all his estates in Charles"ton by the capture of that city, and had now "loft his liberty, that he was ftill the fame; "firm, cheerful, and unruffled by the shocks of "fortune."

1780.

When Mr. Laurens arrived in England, he CHAP. Xvil was committed to the tower, confined to very narrow apartments, and denied all intercourfe with his friends. There Mr. Warren faw him when he arrived in England, near enough to exchange a falute, but they were not permitted to speak to each other.

It is obfervable that the defection of general Arnold, and the capture of Mr. Laurens, took place within a few days of each other. Thefe two circumstances operated on the paffions of men in a contrafted point of view. The treachery of Arnold was beheld with irritation and difdain, by his former military affociates, and with the utmost disgust and abhorrence through all America. The fate of Mr. Laurens awakened the better feelings of the human heart. As an individual of the highest refpectability, all who knew him were pained with apprehenfions, left he should be fubjected to personal danger or fufferings. As a diplomatic officer, the first public character that had been sent to the Batavian provinces, it was feared, his captivity and detention might have an unfavorable effect on the foreign relations of America, and particularly on their connexion with Holland. Indeed a variety of circumftances that took place through the fummer and autumn of this, did not augur the most propitious promises, relative to the operations of the next

year.

CHAP. XVIII.

1780.

CHAPTER XVIII.

Revolt of the Pennsylvania Line-Difcontents in other Parts of the Army.-Paper Medium funk.-Some active Movements of Don Bernard de Galvez in America.War between Great Britain and Spain opened in Europe by the Siege of Gibraltar.-Short View of Diplomatic Tranfactions between America and feveral European Powers.-Emprefs of Ruffia refufes to treat with the American States.

WE have already seen the double disappointment experienced by the United States, occafioned by the capture of one army in South Carolina under general Lincoln, and the defeat of another commanded by general Gates in North Carolina, who was fent forward with the highest expectations of retrieving affairs in that quarter.....We have seen the complicated embarrassments of the United States, relative to raising, paying, and fupporting a permanent army..... We have feen the pernicious effects of a depreciating currency, and the beginning of a spirit of peculation and regard to private intereft, that was not expected from the former habits and profeffions of Americans..... We have seen the disappointments and delay relative to foreign negociations..... We have feen both the patient fufferings of the American army under the greatest neceffity, and the rifing reftleffness

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