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and a greater force of men (probably about one thousand men). The battle now raged for over two hours, when the British fleet surrendered. It had been one of the hottest naval battles ever fought; and at its close not a mast upon which a sail could be hoisted was standing on either squadron.
The British lost in killed and wounded one-fifth of their number, among whom was Captain Downie; the Americans lost one-eighth. The sloops, Chub and Finch, which had the year before been taken by the British, were recaptured ; but the British gunboats escaped because the Americans had no means of pursuit.
The opening of the naval battle was the signal for the attack of the British land force. On the instant a furious fire began from the batteries upon the American works. The British at the same time tried to cross the river with a view to assault the works, but were everywhere met with determined resistance. The British kept up a fire from their batteries till sundown; and then they began a hasty retreat, leaving vast quantities of their stores and ammunition. In both engagements the British had lost in killed and wounded about 2,500 men, the Americans not more than 150. Three days later the Vermont volunteers were discharged.
Duration and Outcome of the War.-The defeated British at once withdrew to Canada, and did not again invade the territory of the United States. The Vermonters had acquitted themselves with distinction wherever they had served, their most effective work being of a defensive rather than of an aggressive nature. They had done their full part in repelling the enemy.
The war had now lasted about two years, and in a few
months came to an end. Although the treaty of peace made no mention of the chief cause of the war (the impressment of American seamen), it was thereafter tacitly understood by all English men that our ships were not to be meddled with ; and since that time they never have been.
1. What was the chief cause of the War of 1812 ? 2. On declaration of war, what action was taken by the Vermont
Legislature ? 3. What precautions were taken by some of the northern towns ? 4. What preparations for service were made in the vicinity of the
Green Mountain State ? 5. Tell the story of the loss of the two sloops, Growler and Eagle. 6. What subsequently became of these two sloops ? 7. Why was the work of the University of Vermont suspended dur
ing this war ? 8. Give an account of the building of the American fleet. 9. What attempt was made to destroy it, and with what result ? 10. Describe the battle of Plattsburg, 11. What had been the Vermonters' part in the War of 1812 ? 12. How had they acquitted themselves ? 13. What was the outcome of the war ? 14. Locate Troy, Canaan, Derby, Plattsburg, Burlington, Vergennes.
SOCIAL, INDUSTRIAL, AND COMMERCIAL CHANGES
Lasting Effects of the War; Nature of this Period. The war closed, the State again entered upon an era of peace and prosperity ; but the war had left its impress. Vermont could never thereafter be considered a purely agricultural State. The interruption of its trade with foreign countries called its attention to the subject of manufacturing to supply the need of such goods as were formerly imported into the State; and, as a result, manufacturing received an impulse at that time which was lasting in its effects. Another change which was the direct outcome of the war was in regard to the commerce of the State, both of which subjects will be considered in their order.
We have called this period the period of transitions ; and such it was indeed. In the half century which it included, the changes came slowly, to be sure; but they were manifold and included not only those of an industrial and commercial nature, but of a social as well. It was an era of internal improvement and progress along many lines. Goveri ors Galusha and Skinner, who served the State for the next eight years following the war, greatly encouraged manufacturing; and the Legislature of the State gave the subject special thought, a report of the committee on manufacturing declaring that “Vermont can raise as fine wool as any quarter of the globe, and her mountains roll down her thousand streams to aid us in its manufacture. It also abounds in ores and minerals, and forests upon which the industry and ingenuity of our citi. zens might operate with great advantage, could sufficient capital be allured to those objects by the patronage of our laws.”
Poverty Year-The land was generally productive and yielded bountiful harvests; but the year 1816 proved an exception, and was, indeed, a trying one for Vermont farmers. There was frost every month in the year; and in June snow fell to the depth of several inches throughout the State. This caused a general failure of the crops and a corresponding scarcity of provisions. For this reason the year 1816 is known in the annals of Vermont as “ Poverty Year."
The making of potash was still a prominent industry; and, as this product could always be sold for cash, it was the main reliance of the people, during this year, in some parts of the State.
None of the crops came to maturity ; and in the town of Coventry wheat was harvested while yet in the milk. This, after being dried in the oven, was mashed into dough, and baked or boiled like rice.
Abijah Knight of that town found his stock of provision reduced to less than a loaf of bread for a family of seven. A neighbor, Mathias Gorham, with a family of equal size, had no bread at all. Sharing his loaf with his more destitute neighbor, Mr. Knight, accompanied by Mr. Gorham, went to Barton with a load of salts. This he exchanged for corn, fish, rice, and the like, which they carried home on their backs, a distance of twelve miles. To make amends for a day of fasting, the two families no doubt enjoyed a hearty supper.
This was but one of many similar cases of hardship experienced during that year.
Commerce by Navigation.—The people of the Champlain Valley had, previous to the war, carried on most of their trade with Canada ; but the Non-Intercourse Act put an end to this trade for a time, and forced the people to look elsewhere for a market for their surplus products. They now opened a trade with Troy, Albany, and New York, carrying their goods by water to Whitehall, thence by land to Albany, and on to New York by means of the Hudson River. The boats on their return trips brought merchandise from those cities to supply Vermont merchants. Trade was resumed with Canada on the restoration of peace, but it was much less in amount than previously. The tide of commerce had been turned southward, and so it has continued to flow ever since.
The lumber trade continued to be mostly with Canada until 1823, when the Champlain Canal was opened between Whitehall and Troy; it was then divided, and much of the trade thereafter went southward. The first boat to pass through this canal was the Gleaner, loaded with wheat and potash from the vicinity of St. Albans. Burlington, with its excellent harbor, naturally became the center of trade for northwestern Vermont. The shipping increased rapidly, and by the middle of this period there were over