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of the savages as auxiliaries; an enormity of rancour and desperate ambition, which drew down those blasting thunders from the genius of Chatham, that seem to be still heard, when we look at the faint image of them conveyed in the parliamentary history. Two years after the commencement of the revolution, had this prophetic and generous spirit to tell his countrymen, in an agony of shame and grief, “ It is not a wild and lawless banditti whom we oppose:—the resistance of America is the struggle of free and virtuous patriots.” The cruelty and degeneracy of associating to the British arms the tomahawk and scalping-knife-of “ trafficking at the shambles of every German despot" for the purpose of crushing that resistance; of butchering a people chiefly descended from British loins, and from whose labours Britain had reaped so rich a harvest of power and glory, might well produce the “ tified phrenzy" to which he was wrought. But he recollected, besides, how long that people had struggled with “ the merciless Indian” for the possession of the soil, on which they had reared English communities and institutions; and he felt, in seeing the same inveterate enemy led back upon them, by the country for whose benefit nearly as much as their own, they had fought so bravely, and bled so profusely, the peculiar hardship and bitterness of their lot, and the unparalleled barbarity and callousness of England. There was enough to rouse all the energies of his humanity and his patriotism, in the item which the treasury accounts presented, of 160,000l. sterling, for the purchase of warlike accoutrements for the savages; in that phrase, as ridiculous as it was ferocious, of Bourgoyne's speech to the congress of Indians at the river Bouquet (June 21st, 1777)—“ Go forth in the might of your valour and your cause; strike at the common enemies of Great Britain and America, disturbers of public order, peace, and happiness; destroyers of commerce; parricides of the state;”and in the proclamation of governor Tonyn of East Florida, offering a reward for every American scalp delivered to persons appointed to receive them.'
It is aggravation of guilt that the utmost efforts of the highest degree of human eloquence, seconded by the most mature wisdom and approved patriotism, were wholly without effect. Throughout the war, the mother country displayed as haughty and ruthless a spirit, as if she were in fact engaged in crushing “a wild and lawless banditti," or resisting an hereditary enemy and rival, alien and odious to her by every principle of estrangement and aversion. The Americans whom she made prisoners in the contest, persisting, as they did, in rejecting all temptations to enter into her service against their country, so far from conciliating kindness by their magnanimity, experienced a more rigorous treatment than the French and Spaniards in the same situation. After many hundreds of them had languished for several years in a cruel captivity, they petitioned the government in vain for an equal al
lowance of provision. The earl of Shelburne affirmed in the House of Lords, in the debate of December 5th, 1777, that “the French officers taken prisoners going to America, had been inhumanly treated; but that the American prisoners in England were treated with unprecedented barbarity.”
• The American Board of War had a conference with Mr. Boudinot, the commissary general of prisoners, at York town, on the 21st of December, 1777, and after having carefully examined the evidence produced by him, agreed upon the following report: “ That there are about 900 privates, and 300 officers prisoners in the city of New York, and about 500 privates and 50 officers in Philadelphia;—That the privates in New York have been crowd. ed all summer in sugar-houses, and the officers boarded on Long Island, except about 30, who have been confined in the provost guard, and in the most loathsome jails:- That since the beginning of October all these prisoners, both officers and privates, have been confined in prison ships, or the provost:—That the privates in Philadelphia have been kept in two public jails, and the officers in the state house;—That from the best evidence which the nature of the subject will admit of, the general allowance of prisoners, at most does not exceed four ounces of meat and as much bread (often so damaged as not to be eatable) per day, and often much less, though the professed allowance is from eight to ten ounces:- That it has been a common practice with the enemy, on a prisoner's being first captured, to keep him three, four, or even five days without a morsel of provisions of any kind, and then to tempt him to enlist to save his life:—That there are numerous instances of prisoners of war perishing in all the agonies of hunger from their severe treatment:~That being generally stript of what clothes they have when taken, they have suffered greatly for the want thereof, during their confinement."
“Mr. Burke, in one of his publications of the year 1776, sarcastically remarks “it is undoubtedly some comfort for our disappointments and burdens, to insult the few provincial officers we take, by throwing them with common men into a goal, and some triumph to hold the bold adventurer Ethan Allen, in irons in a dungeon in Cornwall.”
• This gallant American was taken prisoner, fighting with the utmost bravery, in Canada, under the banners of Montgomery. He was immediately loaded with irons, and transported to England, in that condition, on board of a man-of-war. On some observations being made in the House of Lords, by the duke of Richmond, concerning his treatment, the earl of Suffolk, one of the min. istry, made this reply-“ The noble duke says, we brought over Ethan Allen in irons to this country, but were afraid to try him, lest he should be acquitted by an English jury, or that we should not be able legally to convict him. I do assure his Grace, that he is equally mistaken in both his conjectures; we neither had a
doubt but we should be able to legally convict him, nor were we afraid that an English jury would have acquitted him; nor further was it out of any tenderness to the man, who I maintain, had justly forfeited his life to the offended laws of his country. But I will tell his Grace the true motives which induced administration to act as they did. We were aware that the rebels had lately made a considerable number of prisoners, and we accordingly avoided bringing him to his trial from considerations of prudence; from a dread of the consequences of retaliation; not from a doubt of his legal guilt, or a fear of his acquittal by an English jury.'
"* ' The conduct and temper of the ministry in the case of Ethan Allen,—which would have been the same in that of Nontgomery, had he fallen into their hands,-deserves to be visited with the contrast, which is afforded in such a trait as the following, related by general Bourgoyne in the house of commons, on the 26th of May, 1778.
cú The district of Saratoga is the property of major general Scuyler of the American troops; there were large barracks built by him which took fire, the day after the British army arrived on the ground. General Scuyler had likewise a very good dwellinghouse, exceeding large store-houses, great saw-mills, and other out buildings, to the value altogether, perhaps, of 10,0001, a few days before the negotiation with general Gates, the enemy had formed a plan to attack me; a large column of troops were approaching to pass the small river, preparatory to a general action, and were entirely covered from the fire of my artillery by those buildings. Sir, I avow that I gave the order to set them on fire; and in a very short time that whole property, I have described, was consumed. But, to show that the person most deeply concerned in that calamity, did not put the construction upon it, which it has pleased the honourable gentleman to do, I must inform the House, that one of the first persons I saw, after the convention was signed, was general Scuyler. I expressed to him my regret at the event which had happened, and the reasons which had occasioned it. He desired me to think no more of it; said the occasion justified it, according to the principles and rules of war, and that he should have done the same upon the same occasion, or words to that effect. He did more-he sent an aid-de-camp to conduct me to Albany, in order, as he expressed, to procure me better quarters than a stranger might be able to find. This gentleman conducted me to a very elegant house, and to my great surprise, presented me to Mrs. Scuyler and her family; and in this general's house I remained during my whole stay at Albany, with a table of more than twenty covers for me and my friends, and every other possible demonstration of hospitality.'»
In our next number we hope to give our readers some further account of a work for which every American, has reason to be grateful to the author. By dispelling the mists with which malevolence has sought to obscure her rising glory, Mr. Walsh has done a great service to his country. We trust he has not abandoned his original plan of giving to the public a survey of the institutions and condition of the republic. We are sure at least that the public reception of the present volume is not such as to deter him from attempting another.
ART. IX.-Binns' Engraved copy of the Declaration of Inde
pendence. SINCE the publication of our last number, Mr. Binns has been
at length enabled to publish his splendid Print of the Declaration of Independence; and a beautiful specimen it is of the present state of some of the fine arts in this country, for all the materials, and every part of the execution of this magnificent engraving, are exclusively American-It is one of the largest prints extant: and in the execution of the written part in particular, may challenge competition with any foreign performance of the kind, that has hitherto appeared. The manufacture of the paper, also, and the mechanical execution of the copy from the plate, are pronounced, by competent judges, to be excellent.
Its merits are by no means inconsiderable, as an authentic document of the Declaration of Independence. The proprietor has we understand, been indefatigable in ascertaining the precise terms of this state paper, and the print therefore may always be appealed to with perfect confidence, for the settlement of any disputes in respect to its import or phraseology.
It may also, for the future, serve as a plate of reference for the arms of all the original States, united to form the American nation in the war of the revolution. Some embellishments, it is true, have been added to the rough sketches transmitted from the different states, as the impress of their seals of office, but without superadding any thing that is not strictly within the Legislative designations of what their respective arms should be. No liberty has been taken, contrary to law. As these impressions are therefore the most classical delineations of the seals described in the several acts of assembly, they will perhaps, hereafter, become the models from which official seals will be copied. Some poetical licence in this particular, may frequently be indulged with manifest advantage. For instance, the act of Congress directs our coin to have an impression emblematic of liberty, which has been acted on at the mint by putting a head of liberty, when, certainly a graceful and classical figure would be much more attractive to the eye, than the uncomely bust which shakes its gory locks at us, on our cents.
It would seem difficult so to arrange the medallions as to produce any thing like symmetry in their appearance, without intermingling them in such a way as to encroach upon their proper geographical position. But by a singular and fortunate coincidence their geographical has proved to be their most symmetrical collocation. Thus, of the three heads, that of Washington is a front face; while those of Hancock and Jefferson, on each side look towards each other. In like manner the medallions of the state seals happen to pair together, precisely in the manner in which an artist of taste would have arranged them, had it been left to his choice. In this curious point of view the print is worth examining.
The very spirited delineation of the eagle, and the general execution of the arms of the United States, are so much more elegant than the common clumsy style in which these things are done, that it is to be hoped the improvement will be generally, if not universally, adopted.
This is not only one of the largest but the cheapest prints ever offered for sale in this country. Besides an exact and beautiful copy of the Declaration of Independence, the admirable and correct engraving of the arms, the ornamental foliage, and the fascicular bandeau, there are sixteen distinct medallions of very superior execution, highly picturesque, and the whole performance of. ficially and critically accurate.
Every friend to the principles of the Declaration of Independence (in which classification it is probable that almost every man in the United States is comprehended) must be pleased to see so much skill and taste employed, to embellish and signalize by art, a Document which will for ever be the pride, boast and standard of the politics of America.
Art. X. Remarks of the Eclectic Review on Mr. Paulding's
Backwoodsman. THIS 'HIS is certainly the most favourable specimen of transatlantic
literature that has yet fallen under our notice. It is a poem which would be its author's passport to celebrity in any country; and unless we are greatly deceived in our estimate of its merits, it will satisfy the most sceptical as to the possible existence of such an anomaly as native poetical genius in an American. Into the causes which have operated to repress hitherto the development of poetical invention in a nation which has contributed so respectable a proportion of writers on the physical sciences, this is not the place to enter. The state of society in the United States is sufficient to account in some degree for the circumstance. There is in the national stock of recollections and associations, a paucity of the elements of poetry. There is in the calculating, sceptical, self-accommodating habits of the people, something