« PreviousContinue »
and back of Green, whilst the southern army pushed him in front; a few weeks must have decided his fate, and lie would have been fortunate if he could capitulatobis was what be dreaded; and therefore a niost substantial reason why it was not done : at that time near 6 or 7000 men wereunder parole, their internal government diftra&ted, their governor a prisoner, and Wilmington open as an asylum and protection for the loyalists; the greatest difficulty attended supplies getting to Green, either men or stores. The subject, was I to continue it, would swell too large for a letter ; I shall, therefore, briefly give you my opinion upon what ought to be done, and what can be done, if Great-Britain has only virtue enough left to hang, and substitute honesty, activity, and plan-instead of supineness, confusion, &c. &c. The force that Great-Britain has now in America is fully fufficient for the plan I propose, which is to bring all their force to the southward, and reduce the whole as far to the northward as James River : this is not visionary, like all the schemes our country has been pursuing these feven years, but is real and substantial. How, evacuate New-York, and leave the loyalists to the mercy of the rebels? My ansiver shall be Mort: If you don't do this, you must evacuare all America. What is then to become of the loyalists? Can any man in his senses think, that holding New-York with 14 or 15,000 troops in its garrison, will prevent the independence of America ? The way to prevent it, is to conquer that country that is accessible to our arms; to keep their internal government in confusion by the operations of war; to prevent the cultivation of their lands; to increase their distress by the continual drafts of men for their army; and the extreme burthen their taxes must be. Now their paper currency is annihilated, if Wallington comes to the fouibward, so much the better ; he greater must the ex
pense be to the Americans, the better opportunity to bring him to a decisive action, and the sooner will the country be exhausted of its resources; which I am sure you need not be told is every day growing less and less, notwithstanding all the pompous harangues of the patriots and republicans. What I purpose can be compleated in twelve months, if a man of courage and wisdom is placed to conduet it. It would be wiser in the nation to vote a few thousand pounds as a compensation for lofles to such loyalists as may incline to follow the British standard from New-York, ihan idly to waste millions on what I will be bold to pronounce she will never effect, if the present measures are re-adopted and pursued. If a post is wanted to the northward, why not take Rhode Inand, a much less garrison is necessary? But why will not Tybee and Beaufort answer for our shipping ? and, if fortune should ever give us a superior advantage over the French by sea (and, if you had honest and wise men to direct your naval officers, you would have done it long ago), what is to prevent our taking poffeflion of the Chesapeak again?
If Great Britain gains the provinces of Georgia, South and North-Carolina, and Virginia, the will have the only places worth her contending-for: and that she can gain them”. is indisputable. Let her whole force be brought to this point : deterniine to extirpate rebellion by instantly punishing those who lhall oppose them either by
or any oiher way. Court and reward those who join you, and let your address and money be applied for this purpose; prevent plundering either foes or friends ; exact the strictcst discipline; establish a civil and moderate code of government, till the country is prepared for the reception of its fornier civil government; endeavour and invite the principal persons in each province into a share of its government; avoid the least shadow of
disrespect to such persons (a contrary behaviour bas prevented, in a great measure, that confidence); direct your arms with unremitting vigour against all partizans; never parole, without the limits of your garrisons, persons of any influence; punilh, in the most exemplary inanner, all persons, without distinction of rank, who Thall be guilty of murdering loyalists otherwise than in open action; be Steady and uniform in your measures; let honefly guide all transactions both public and private; convince the people by this conduct that you are determined to establish the British civil government, and then let them see as much vigour and enterprize in your management, as they have discovered and received from your enemies, and success will crown our endeavours with an honourable peace, and the restoration of the blellings of British government.
A defensive war on this extensive continent will have all the bad effects of a truce to Great-Britain. If America is permitted to establish and execute their civil government, and to recover from the distress and difficulties they at present labour under, to furnish their quota of men and stores necessary for active service, she will be Independant in Spite of every effort afterwards. Many obvious reasons must appear to you, to see the matter in the same light that I do. A naval war is proper and necessary, because you distress their commerce, render foreign fupplies dear and precarious, and at the same time keep them in constant dread of predatory expeditions, which ought often to be set on foot.
I am now come to speak of another subject of great confequence, I feel the weight of it upon my mind, but I am certain of its good effects if properly conducted; that is, arming the blacks. In addition to the forces already on this continent, near 8 or 10,000 strong hearty black males may be found proper for the field ; if they were put under
proper white officers, regularly trained, and clothed and fed in the same manner as the King's troops, great services would be performed by them in this southern country ; although they may not be equal to the attack of white regular troops, numberless services are to be expected from them, equally useful in a war like this. The squeamish may raise objections, but they ought all to vanish in the eyes of a true friend to his country, when the contest is become so serions as to threaten its very existence. The French employ in the West Indies a great number; they brought their black troops against Savannah; the Rebels had a company or two against Burgoyne, and would have raised two regiments in South-Carolina, if the fear of leading the British into so wise a measure had not prevailed against Mr. Laurens, the advocate of the measure. Besides, the Mock it gives to property will alarm your enemies in a most material manner. The caution and wil. dom in executing this matter are the only things wanted to ensure it every possible success.
Let the creditors in this country receive some indemnifi. cation by other means for the hazard they run in this property, and let the loyalists be exempted from parting with their slaves, or be paid their full value.
In short, I am so poslessed with the idea of the possibility of possessing the country I have described, that I am cera tain if it is properly attempted, your country will yet rejoice in victory. But what is to be expected from men and measures like the present; an assembly fat within thirty or forty miles of an army superior to the enemy, entered into a full discullion of their affairs, arranged their civil and military business, confiscated the property of a very considerable number of the loyalists, filled up their army lifts, laid taxes for the support of their measures, and although they were upwards of fix wecks on this business,
not a single attempt was made to interrupt them, except in a truly ridiculous proclamation, which the British General (in honour of his country) thought proper to continuc under publication, before and after they had done all the mischief they could devise.
The four provinces I have named contain every article tbat is valuable in the commerce of Great-Britain, and she must be lost indeed, if sbe gives-up what it is still in ber power to regain. Though the loyalists have reason to be greatly diffatisfied with men and measures, if there are changed, and a proper force and active measures are adopted, they will readily lend a helping hand to the mother country: but be assured all I have recommended must be speedily taken in hand; otherwise it will be, like every former matter, a day after the fair. What can be more fortunate for Great-Britain, than the annihilation of the paper-currency; in South Carolina they have voted near 400,000 filver dollars for the continental quota for the present year; this is exclufive of their state contingencies. How much this will accumulate in an unsuccessful war need not be pointed-out to you. In South-Carolina they are collecting a number of confiscated negroes, and others, and are sending them off to North-Carolina, to be given as bounties for continental foldiers for the states of SouthCarolina and Georgia; 800 are already (it is said) sent-off, and 400 more are to follow,
With respe& to terms of peace, surely the possession of a country is far more likely to procure an advantageous one than the possession of garrisons, in which you only more evidently show your weakness, by not daring to venture out of them.
As a proof of the good effects of activity. In NorthCarolina the whole force collected to take their Governor, and prevent the excursion of the garrison from Wilmington,