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his rank, his accomplishments, his manly firmness in dying, and the somewhat ostentatious display of rhetoric in his letters to Washington, fades into insignificance when compared with the noble spectacle of honest poverty resisting temptations, to which one of the most distinguished warriors of his country had just yielded. The moral lesson afforded by these almost boys, when they had no army to witness their honesty, and no world looking on to admire their self-denial, is one that cannot too deeply be impressed on the minds of my young readers ; and it is for this reason I have dwelt on it with less brevity than the nature of the work otherwise requires. All who read these details may imitate the example, for there is no situation in life that precludes a man from doing his duty to his country. This is a call made on all mankind, from the highest to the lowest, and none can refuse to answer promptly, without violating one of the highest obligations of nature.
Washington honoured these young men with testimonies of his approbation; Congress bestowed on them a silver medal, an annuity, and a unanimous vote of thanks; the state of New-York gave them each a farm; and the names of John Paulding, Isaac Van Wart, and David Williams, have ever since been quoted by their countrymen as synonymous with incorruptible integrity and honest patriotism. The example they afford cannot but be useful to the youth of my country, by showing that no station in life precludes them from the exercise of the highest virtues, or from receiving from their country both gratitude and honours, when they deserve them.
Opening of the Year 1781—Mutinies-Conduct of Washington, and his Motives—Commences a Journal-Extracts-Reprimand to his Overseer-Disputes between New-York and Vermont-Washington interposes his good offices effectually -Ruinous State of the Finances-Colonel Laurens sent to France-Letter of Washington-French and Dutch LoanPromise of effectual co-operation on the part of FrancePreparations for besieging New-York-Abandoned, but the appearance kept up-Sir Henry Clinton deceived-Washington departs for the South--Incursion of Arnold into Connecticut-Yorktown-Cornwallis invested-Surrenders-Joy of the People at the News.
1781 commenced with events more ominous of the total destruction of all the hopes of our country, than any that had preceded them. The patience and fortitude of the soldiers of the Revolution had been too sorely tried, and could endure no more. The army was now in winter-quarters in New-Jersey, and among the Highlands of the Hudson, suffering many hardships and privations; stinted of food, deficient in clothing, and without pay. The soldiers considered themselves, in some measure, abandoned by their country, which they, perhaps justly, accused of ingratitude ; and a portion of them resolved no longer to fight for that freedom which promised nothing but poverty, debts, and a jail.
On the night of the first of January, a period usually devoted to festivity, the Pennsylvania line, amounting to thirteen hundred men, turned out under arms in their quarters, near Morristown, in New-Jersey, announcing their determination to march to where Congress was sitting, and demand a redress of grievances. They declared they would throw down their arms and return home, unless this was promptly granted; and neither the influence of their commander, General Wayne, nor of other distinguished officers, could deter them from their purpose. Their demands were, an immediate discharge to all who had served three years, an immediate payment of all arrearages, and pay in hard money to all who should choose to return to their duty. The whole body took up its line of march towards Princeton. The influence of their officers, the representations of Congress, and of the executive authorities of Pennsylvania, all proved ineffectual. They had received promises more than enough, and they now demanded their immediate perform
However reprehensible may have been the conduct of these men, their subsequent course sufficiently proved that it did not originate in any unworthy motive. It was the consequence of personal hardships and suffering, not of disaffection or cowardice. When the fiery-spirited Wayne, their commander, threatened them with a cocked pistol, they. exclaimed, with one voice,
General, we love you, we respect you, but if you fire you are a dead man.
We are not going to desert to the enemy. Were he in sight at this moment, you would see us fight under your orders in defence of our country. We love liberty, but we cannot starve." Their after conduct proved the truth of these professions. When Sir Henry Clinton, hearing of these proceedings, despatched emissaries to tempt them to his side, by a promise of great rewards, they spurned the proposal, seized the tempters, and delivered them up to their general. Such behaviour as this, in some measure