BURGOYNE'S campaign was a helter-skelter sort of adventure, though the
conception of it was better than the execution. Handsome Jack Burgoyne was at this time about fifty-three years
old; though there seems to be a certain coquettishness as to the precise year of his birth, which he perhaps encouraged
as time went on; for a handsome man is not always willing to be known to be older than he can contrive to appear.
He had written plays, and had listened in the wings to the delicious sound of popular applause, and to more specific
homage afterward in the drawing rooms and dining rooms of his fashionable friends: to whom perhaps he would reply,
self deprecatingly, that being but a rude soldier he must be dealt leniently with in these attempts at the arts
of peace. When his summer campaign of 1777 was a thing of the past, it might occur to him that the voice of criticism
should be merciful to him on the ground that he was but a simple playwright, making his first essay in war. A man
of two trades cannot do better than make one the excuse for inefficiency in the other.
If one must make war in the woods, doubtless summer is a better season than winter, especially when the woods are
those of Canada and northern New York. One does not freeze to death, or just escape doing so (which is more painful)
; but on the other hand one has heat and mosquitoes. Still to a man of Burgoyne's poetic and romantic nature, the
great forests were no doubt magnificent enough to compensate even for the mosquitoes; besides, he was supported
by the notion that he was a great man, and was soon, at small expense, to be greater. Before he arrived in Quebec,
on the 6th of May, Carleton had innocently supposed that it was he who was to lead the triumphal march; but Burgoyne's
dispatches from Lord Germain dissipated that dream. Carleton was censured for his slackness in the former campaign,
which had not been bloody enough to suit the sanguinary coward in London; and then he had marched back to Canada
leaving Ticonderoga undestroyed. Consequently it was to Burgoyne that the leadership was intrusted; Carleton was
to remain inglorious in Quebec, and confine his activity to sending supplies and reenforcements to his more fortunate
colleague as they might be required. It was a sharp mortification and of course undeserved; but Carleton took it
like a man, and obeyed orders like a soldier. He cannot, however, be relieved from the odium of having advised
the imbecile strategy which left Howe unsupported, and attempted to bring down ten thousand men to effect a junction
with him through hundreds of miles of wild and hostile country. The consequence of such a division of forces was
soon to be seen. But Carleton underrated the ability and courage of the Americans, even in the kind of fighting
which was best suited to their training and methods. Burgoyne should have known better, for he had seen Bunker
Hill; but Burgoyne believed in his genius, or perhaps in his star. Howe might fail where he would succeed.
The plan was to march down the old St. John's route to Ticonderoga, capture that blood-stained stronghold, and
continue to Albany, and so down the Hudson to New York and Howe; a diversion being created by a simultaneous expedition
by way of Ontario, making a junction with the main force in northern New York. A feature in the scheme which was
relied upon to insure its success was the engagement of . the Indian tribes of the locality to spread terror and
death along the margins of the march. This was insisted on by King George and Germain, who wished no restraint
to be put upon the natural impulses of the red men. They agreed with the savages that war upon women and children
was legitimate; "His Majesty," Germain again and again repeated, "wishes to take advantage of every
means which Providence places in his hands. God, according to these gentlemen, approved of scaning mothers, and
dashing out the brains of their babies. Neither Burgoyne nor Carleton was so acvanced as this; and the former,
in his address to the Indians, enjoined upon them not to scalp their enimies unless they were dead. The Indians
promised, re fleeting that there need be no trouble about the kill ing. As a matter of fact, however, when they
got t work, with no red-coated officer to look after them, the; went on in the old familiar way; and it must be
adder that when Burgoyne began to find himself in danger from the despised husbandmen, he was no longer h the least
particular about asking whether the scalp brought in were living or dead ones. These children of nature, he perceived,
were better left to their own devices. When pretty Jane Maccrae, imagining her self safe under the escort of two
Indians, was on he way to join her betrothed lover at Fort Edward; the escort quarreled about her, and as the easiest
way o settling it, drove an ax into her skull. The deed, committed under such circumstances, sent a thrill of horror
through the country; but Burgoyne, when the murderers were brought before him, thought they would best be pardoned.
But Jane's innocent blood did no go entirely unavenged.
He had under him, altogether, about seventy-fiv4 hundred men, and several good subordinates, of whon the ambitious
Fraser was probably the best. Thor( were also the Germans Riedesel and Breymann (who was killed at Saratoga). St.
Leger commanded the flank expedition by Ontario. But many of the sub ordinate officers were little more than children-boy,
of sixteen and seventeen, who, dying bravely, sent home word to their mothers or uncles that they had perished
like soldiers. Probably Burgoyne had taker them along in the triumphal march with the kindly purpose of giving
them an opportunity to share a great deal of glory and very little danger.
What had the Americans to oppose against this gallant expedition? Their defense began with a bitter quarrel between
Schuyler and Gates for the leadership Schuyler was of good birth and connections, and in his opinion these were
sufficient recommendations for a general; an impression which has been held by other well-born but incompetent
persons before and since. But Schuyler was not merely incompetent; a great many American officers were that at
the beginning of the war. He was also a coward, always finding some excuse to skulk in the rear when there, was
fighting going on; or, if no excuse could be found, skulking without one. Gates knew something of war, but even
he was under a shadow as to personal gallantry; he was nowhere on the field during the battles at Saratoga. Both
of them showed that they cared more for precedence than they did for the cause, and were willing to sacrifice the
latter to the former. They sent and brought complaints of each other to Congress, as conditioned schoolboys tell
tales on one another to the master. Congress finally ended the dispute by giving Gates the command. Gates sent
to Washington for tents; Washington had none to give him; upon which the Englishman indulged in gibes and innuendoes
at his expense. He delayed for weeks at Albany, waiting for impossible supplies, and declaring he would not budge
until he "saw them before him." However, be fore Burgoyne had reached Lake George, Ticonderoga had been
filled with provisions and materials for an indefinite siege, and Gates declared it. to be invincible. St. Clair,
his second in command, was of the same opinion. According to them, Burgoyne had not the ghost of a chance; he would
march back to Canada much quicker than he had come hither. Meanwhile, the fortifications along the Lake were entirely
neglected, and Mount Defiance, regarded as the key of the region, was not even occupied. Burgoyne himself could
hardly have taken measures better calculated to insure his success than were adopted by the American leaders. He
was as boastful of the morrow as his antagonists, but with more reason. "This army must not retreat"
was his ultimatum to his men. In the sequel, it did not retreat very far; but that was not Burgoyne's fault; it
was surrounded, and it surrendered. Burgoyne would have been retreating to the present day, if hi could have got
out of the net drawn round him, and had lived long enough.
Upon the whole, it may be said that this campaign was lost by the commanders on both sides, and was won for the
Americans, in spite of their commanders by the yeomen of New England and New York. These hard-fisted fellows, in
their shirt sleeves, with their un bayoneted fowling pieces, conceived and carried out the actions which defeated
the invaders in detail Gates accomplished nothing that he deliberately under took, but fled like the horizon, from
one position to an other in the rear before Burgoyne's advance; and had he been left to himself, he would have
been driver down the Hudson until he found himself impaled upon the bayonets of Clinton, who was amusing himself
with Putnam in middle New York. But the country folk, led by captains of their own like Stark, men who meant business,
wanted to fight, and were afraid o1 nothing, inflicted losses on the British which were it the aggregate large,
which spoiled their bloom of self confidence, and which were irreparable, since there could be no reenforcements
until the triumphal march had reached its goal. St. Leger, marching on a con verging line from the westward, met
with fortune quite as bad; and the .Indians, disgusted and alarmed at the unexpected vulnerability of the soldiers
of the Great Father in England, slunk away to their villages after robbing and occasionally tomahawking the officer,
whom they had sworn to follow. Most of their own principal chiefs were slain; and it would evidently be difficult
to rely upon them in future as allies, even if, after this experience of them, the British should feel inclined
to make overtures to that end. It was a great grief to the King and Germain.
Starting on the 15th of June, Burgoyne was at Ticonderoga by the 1st of July, having met with no opposition worth
mentioning. On one day St. Clair was promising his total defeat; on the next he had abandoned Ticonderoga, with
all its painfully accumulated stores and armament, and was in full retreat. Why? He and Gates had had. all spring
and half the summer to prepare; and they had prepared to their own satisfaction; and yet, the moment the enemy
appeared, they found themselves wholly defenseless. It was comic, like an opera bouffe. Schuyler, unluckily for
himself, had not at this time been put under an extinguisher by Congress, and therefore received, very deservedly,
the larger part of the disgrace. "Burgoyne's force"-this was the burden of his wail-"keeps getting
larger every day." And the topography of the country did not, so far as he could discover, afford any means
of defense against this ever-growing horde of ogreish invaders. "You will probably hear of us falling back
still further." The best that could be said of this mode of conducting war was, that it did not involve any
serious loss of life. It was like playing checkers with the white on the white squares and the black on the black.
There is much movement, but no casualty. Alexander Hamilton, who was at this time on Washington's staff, was perplexed
by the Ticonderoga affair, for "if the post was untenable, it ought long ago to have been given up; instead
of that, we have kept a large quantity of cannon in it, and have been heaping up very valuable magazines of stores
and provisions that, in the critical moment of defense, are abandoned and lost." Inasmuch as Schuyler had
been boasting of his industry in making this accumulation, which turned out to be for the benefit of the enemy,
Congress decided that lie was too expensive to retain in his position, and Gates's opportunity came, as has been
told. As for Burgoyne, his friends in England, reading his plays and hearing of his victories, knew not whether
he were more a new Shakespeare or a new Hannibal.
Early in the morning of July 7, Fraser, pursuing the rear guard of the retreating Americans under Warner and Francis,
overtook them near Hubbardton, when Warner, to Fraser's surprise, and contrary to precedent, turned and attacked
him as if he had been looking for him; and was defeating him, when Riedesel came opportunely up and rescued him.
Francis was killed, leading a charge; otherwise the losses were about equal, and the British could not continue
the pursuit; and another British regiment was similarly turned back by the garrison of Fort Ann the next day Burgoyne
sent to Carleton for men- to hold Ticonderoga, which Carleton, acting under instructions from England, refused;
nor were provisions prompt in arriving or ample in quantity. In one way and another Burgoyne, by the time he reached
Fort Edward,' earl in August, was less formidable as to numbers than when he set out. Washington, urgently importuned
by the incompetent Schuyler, sent reenforcements, including the Morgan riflemen, whom he could ill spare and General
Lincoln, who was perhaps less indispensable. Benedict Arnold was also sent north, for he a1 least was reckless,
and might compensate for the signal industry in getting backward of the others; and an urgent appeal was made to
the New Englanders to come out and help. Such appeals were never made in vain.
But at about the time Burgoyne was at Fort Ed ward an affair occurred at Fort Stanwix, on the site of the present
town of Rome, which proved that there were still men in New York who could fight. St. Loger was apporoaching Stanwix,
with George Brant, the Mohawk chief, a body of tories, rangers, and others. The fort: was built of logs on high
ground, and way garrisoned by two New York regiments under Gansevoort and Willet. It was not, however, provisioned
for a siege; and Herkimer, a native of the Mohawk Valley; raised a company, chiefly of settlers of German ex traction,
also natives of the wilderness, and marched to relieve it. They fell into an ambuscade, and were at tacked in front
by white troops, and on either flank by Brant's Indians. The fight that ensued was Homeric; the adversaries were
struggling hand to hand, and the physical strength of the Americans was pitted against the Indians'. More were
slain by knives and hatchets than by bullets. Four hundred Americans collected on a wooded knoll, and defended
themselves until the Indians, having lost many of their best chiefs, fled; but not before Herkimer had been wounded
to death. Before the fight was over, Willet, with a few men from the fort, made a sally and swept the entire British
force before them, capturing all their camp equipage and their flags. Returning to the fort, they made an American
banner out of strips of white shirts and red coats sewed together with a square of cloth cut from a blue cloak
for the field of the stars. The captured flags were run up beneath this ensign-the first occasion during the war
when the enemy's colors had been displayed beneath the Stars and Stripes. Benedict Arnold was now sent to the garrison's
relief; Indians brought St. Leger exaggerated accounts of the American's numbers, and St. Leger abandoned his camp
and fled. It was a complicated, but complete victory, and was in no respect due to any of the American generals
who had been marching backward before Burgoyne. It was a private, unpremeditated bit of enterprise of the people's
In reply to the summons to arms, Stark of New Hampshire, the veteran hero, who had been slighted by Congress in
the late appointments of generals as being too "self-willed," and had thereupon retired to his farm,
forgot all private grievances in ardor for the cause. At his instance the New Hampshire husbandmen met him at Charlestown,
on the upper Connecticut; and disregarding Schuyler's craven order to join him in his retreat, marched toward the
camp of Baum, of Burgoyne's Brunswickers, who had been sent to capture stores supposed to exist at' Bennington,
and who was then some four miles from that town, with about seven hundred men. On the 15th of August, Stark received
reenforcements from Manchester, and from Berkshire County in Massachusetts. All these were the New England men
of whom Howe had remarked that they were "more persistent" than any others he had met within America.
There is something pathetic in the fact .that while Stark was getting his men in positions for the attack, poor
Baum, seeing men in shirt sleeves running behind his camp, supposed them to be loyal, panic stricken country folk
seeking his protection. Before the sun was an hour high, five hundred of these countrymen were in place, and at
the signal, early in the afternoon, a simultaneous attack was delivered from all sides. Stark's men did not wait
to be mowed down by cannon shot, but ran right up to the guns and shot down the cannoneers. The neat thing Baum
knew, the shirt sleeves were over his ramparts, and Baum was killed in a charge, and his troops surrendered. At
that moment up came the regiments under Breymann, who had marched over twenty miles in easy stages; but Warner
brought up his reserve of one hundred and fifty men; Stark turned the captured cannon against the foe, and the
new battle raged for an hour or two longer, when Breymann broke and ran, leaving everything behind him. They were
pursued till nightfall. In this brilliant battle seventy Americans were killed and wounded; the total loss of the
enemy, including prisoners, was more than ten times as large. Had Schuyler had his way, it would never have been
fought. It was an irreparable misfortune for Burgoyne, and it completed the disaffection of his Indian allies.
By the 19th of August, Gates, in supreme command a few miles above Albany, had an army which out numbered Burgoyne's.
Morgan's sharpshooters, Arnold's battalions, returned from the relief of Fort Stanwix, and other accessions, brought
him up to nine thousand effectives; he had artillery and muskets from France, supplies from New York, and was altogether
in better plight than any American army had yet been. If lie did not defeat himself, it was not likely that Burgoyne
could defeat him. He consumed twenty days in preparations; but when he could think of nothing else to do, he moved
forward to Bening Heights, just beyond Stillwater, with his right wing on the Hudson. Burgoyne crossed the Hudson
with six thousand men and went into camp six miles north of Gates's Position. Hereupon General Lincoln ordered
Colonel Brown to operate in his rear; and that officer, with five hundred light troops, swooped down upon the outposts
of Ticonderoga, freed a hundred American prisoners, captured three hundred men, with arms and cannon, destroyed
an. armed sloop and gunboats, and two hundred smaller boats, all with a loss of but nine men. It was now Burgoyne's
turn; if he could fight and conquer, the time to prove it had come.
But before we can behold his fate, chronological sequence demands that we inquire what Howe and Washington were
doing before Philadelphia. Washington had about eight thousand men, Howe seventeen thousand; in spite of John Adams's
assertion that he outnumbered Howe by "several thousand." We seem to be reading the history of much later
times when we are, told that "political and personal considerations controlled the nomination of officers,
and Congress had not vigor enough to drop the incapables." Until they learned that Lafayette wished to serve
without pension or allowance, they refused to receive him; but then immediately raised him to the rank of Major
General. :Meanwhile Adams was protesting that "were I in Washington's shoes, I should put more to risk; I
am sick of Fabian systems; my toast is a short war and a violent one!" There was no braver, more patriotic,
or, in his own sphere, wiser man in America than John Adams; but it is fortunate for the country that his sphere
was not in the field. Short and violent his campaign would no doubt have been; but where Adams would have been
at the end of it, and what would have become of the American army, are questions which unveil unpleasant vistas
Howe had embarked his army at New York in the first week in July, but his fleet of three hundred ships spent more
than a month in reaching Elk River, about fifty miles below Philadelphia. Sullivan, who had lost a couple of hundred
men in an ill-judged expedition against Staten Island, joined Washington at Wilmington. Howe moved like a tortoise,
but always forward. With his main force at Milltown, he sent forward a party to make a feint against the Americans
resting back of Red Clay Creek; his design was to turn their right flank the next morning. But Washington, instead
of waiting to be surprised, shifted his position during the night to a stronger one north of the Brandywine, on
the high ground above Chadd's Ford. Cannon protected the ford; the American left was shielded by a thick wood clothing
the high banks above the rocky rapids of the stream; Sullivan was ordered to guard the right flank, which was also
thickly wooded; under him were the divisions of Stirling and Stephen. Armstrong and the Pennsylvanians were on
the left. It was a strong arrangement, and should have been successful. Washington, knowing that the center of
the enemy was his weakest point, being hampered with the baggage of the entire army, resolved to strike him there.
Sullivan was directed to cross the Brandywine at an upper ford, to detain Howe and Cornwallis and menace Knyphausen's
left flank. Just as the attack was about to be made in front by Greene word came from Sullivan that he thought
there must be some mistake about the directions given him, and that he had consequently not carried them out. His
blunder was fatal. The delay gave Cornwallis time to cross the stream and threaten the American right flank.
"March to check his advance," was the order to Sullivan. At this time, the troops commanded by Stirling
and Stephen were posted on a hill on the right; Sullivan, who acted as if dazed, instead of marching beyond them
toward Cornwallis, led his men toward the American center, leaving them wholly exposed. Being informed of his error,
he marched back, but while his line was in disorder, Cornwallis attacked it and put it to flight. Stirling and
Stephen resisted until the bayonets of the British and Hessians dislodged them; Lafayette was wounded at this point.
The whole American right was thrown back upon the center, and the rear was in danger. Washington and Greene, giving
up the movement against the British center, went to Sullivan's support, and rallied them; but they were still forced
back until they made a stand on ground selected by Washington, which they were able to hold till nightfall. The
American left, under Wayne, held out till sunset, when their rear was threatened, and they fell back in good order.
Knyphausen, meantime, had been able to cross the ford with but little opposition; and the defeat of the Americans
was complete. Maxwell, guarding the retreat, nearly destroyed two British battalions from an ambush, as the latter
were pressing forward too carelessly after dark. Howe's men were too tired to pursue the Americans effectively,
and Washington reached Germantown, obtained reenforcements, and returned to confront Howe, who was still on the
Brandywine, once more. The losses of his army had been between nine hundred and a thousand; that of Howe, nearly
six hundred. The battle was fought on the 11th of September; on the 18th, Congress left Philadelphia for Lancaster.
"Heaven grant us one great soul!" exclaimed Adams "one leading mind!" Washington's incompetence
was established, in his mind. "He might have cut to pieces Howe's army in attempting to cross any of the fords."
The renewal of the battle was prevented by a heavy rain, which destroyed the American ammunition; a few days after,
Wayne, watching the British while the main American army was in retreat, was surprised and lost three hundred men.
Howe feinted toward Reading, and entered Philadelphia on September 26, establishing there his winter quarters.
But the battle and retreat, though it was a technical disaster, served the purpose of delaying Howe from reenforcing
Burgoyne until it was too late. As we shall now see, the surrender of the latter took place on the 17th of October.
Burgoyne might not have risked a battle had he not believed that Clinton was close in the American's rear. The
position of the Americans was strong, and had been fortified by the aid of Kosciusko, who was a volunteer in the
army, and had some knowledge of engineering. The line of breastworks curved from the Hudson on the right to the
hills on the left. On the 19th the British attack began; Burgoyne was in the center, Fraser on the right, and Phillips
and Riedesel (who had brought with him his wife and children to participate in the pleasures of the triumphal march)
on the left. It was Gates's plan to sit still and be attacked; but Arnold, thirsting for distinction, besought
him to do something; and he finally sent forward Dearborn and Morgan; the latter was the first to engage the enemy,
but without decided result; an interval of an hour or two occurred; for Gates bad made no offensive plans, and
seems to have contemplated retreat. But his men had no such intention. They resisted the efforts of Phillips, with
his artillery, to drive them from the wooded hills, and directed an attack against Fraser on the British right,
in the hope of getting to the rear of Burgoyne's army. Toward sunset, Learned's brigade and a Massachusetts regiment
nearly accomplished this
maneuver, but were checked by Riedesel. At dusk, the Americans withdrew to their lines; the men had fought all
day under none but subordinate officers, Gates not venturing out; had they been adequately handled they could easily
have crumpled up Burgoyne. It must be admitted, on the other hand, that Burgoyne showed himself utterly empty of
strategy, and followed up none of his opportunities. "I wish you were our General!" said General Phillips
to Madame Riedesel, as she served him with coffee after the fight. In this day's action, the Americans lost about
three hundred, the British more than twice as many; but worse was to come. During that night they lay on their
arms; in the morning their (lead were hurriedly buried, and bad Arnold's advice been followed, a sharp attack might
have finished the campaign; but Gates wanted more troops and ammunition, and the two men had a violent quarrel.
All the 20th, nothing was done; and mean time Clinton was outmaneuvering Putnam on the lower Hudson, and the latter
was sending word to Gates that he "must prepare for the worst." But on September 22 Lincoln arrived with
two thousand men. At a council of war in the British camp, Burgoyne wished to turn the American left; this was
shown to be impossible, and Riedesel gave his voice for a retreat on Fort Edward. Burgoyne could not make up his
mind to that, but knew not what else to propose; finally, on the 7th of October, after a worse than useless delay
of over a fortnight, he decided on a "grand reconnoissance." It was made in the forenoon by fifteen hundred
picked men under Fraser, Breymann, and Riedesel. Burgoyne himself accompanied them, taking the place of Breymann,
who remained on the right. They advanced to within half a mile of the Americans, and then tools up their position
in a field, with a forest on their left and a wooded hill on their right, where Fraser was in command.
Gates, with his eleven thousand men, mustered courage to attack this detachment, and at Morgan's instance descended
upon both its flanks. Poor and Ten Broeck marched against Ackland's grenadiers on the left; Morgan took a sweep
round the other wing; upon which Burgoyne, to avoid being surrounded, ordered Fraser to make a line in the rear;
but he was shot and mortally wounded at the critical moment; and at the same time Ackland was hit and his grenadiers
fled. The center, composed of the Brunswickers, finding both their flanks exposed, retreated in disorder. The artillery
was captured; the second line of defense could not hold its ground. Arnold, who had ridden on the field with out
orders and without a command (though he was the ranking officer on the field) raged hither and thither like a man
in the frenzy of intoxication; he led at tacks which had no object, and secured no result; yet his headlong daring
stimulated the men to do their utmost. Breymann, on the British right, was now at tacked by Learned and Brooks,
with some Massachusetts men; and here came likewise the wild figure of Arnold; but his career was stayed by a severe
wound. Breymann was killed; his men fled or surrendered; and with the capture of this point, Burgoyne's defeat
was assured just as night fell. Again, on this day, Gates had remained in his tent, and so had Lincoln. It was
the soldiers and their immediate officers who fought and won. Burgoyne, who never betrayed any lack of personal
courage, delayed his retreat in order to bury Fraser, who died cursing ambition, and begging Madame Riedesel's
pardon for "incommoding" her. On the night of October 8, leaving their sick and wounded behind them,
the British retreated through rain and mud to within two miles of Saratoga. The road to Fort Edward was held by
Stark with two thousand men. Burgoyne's posts at the mouth of the Fishkill, with boats and provisions, were captured
on the 11th; on the 12th lie was completely invested; and on the 13th his counsel of war unanimously voted to surrender.
Owing to Gates's fear of Clinton, the dramatic general was able to secure better terms than he should have had;
but about five thousand eight hundred men and officers capitulated, including, it is curious to note, six members
of Parliament, witnesses of the triumphal march. But eighteen hundred men had previously been captured, three hundred
had deserted, and hundreds more had been killed; so that the British loss in the cause of handsome Jack Burgoyne's
ambition was in all ten thousand men.
Just before the news of this disaster reached England the King had announced his determination to continue the
war at whatever cost till America was at his feet. Lord Chatham declared that, were he an American, he would never
lay down his arms, and advised peace with them and war with France; and the Rockingham party so far concurred as
to protest against "an unjust and cruel civil war." It was on December 2 that North received the report
from Burgoyne. It destroyed his appetite and kept him awake; he could see no way to repair the loss of the army;
but unless a decided course were at once taken, either for war or peace, there was danger of French intervention.
On all sides were heard arguments for peace, granting in dependence; not only the opposition, but the ministerial
party were of this complexion, and North himself saw no other way out of his predicament. According to Lord Amherst,
not less than forty thousand men would now be needed to prosecute the war. The feeling throughout the country was
almost unanimous; and there was only one man in England who set himself resolutely on the other side: a half crazy
man of thirty-nine years, who sat on the throne of Great Britain. He forced North to adjourn Parliament for six
or seven weeks, leaving the question unsettled; and during those weeks he reduced his unhappy minister to subjection.
There was not, he declared, any man so mad or so bold as to dare to propose to treat with America on the basis
of her independence. He appealed now to North's personal affection, now to his sense of honor; and North, to his
life-long remorse, once more gave up his convictions and his conscience to the domination of the stronger will.
He had not even the manhood to resign, but continued to occupy the position which he had disgraced, and which made
him miserable. But the King was content; for though he might degrade England and delay civilization, he had at
all events had his own way. Nothing else befitted a king.
The American cause was never hopeless; but at times it might well have seemed so to those who judged by what they
saw, instead of by what was unseen. The population was by this time large enough to give simultaneous expression
to different sentiments and to pursue different lines of action; so that the observer would be led to form one
judgment in one place, and another in another. During the autumn and winter of 1777,
however, a spirit of evil seemed to have possessed many parts of the population at once, and even to have found
temporary lodgment in men who were normally free from blame. In all the States there were numbers of torries, who
adhered to the cause of King George not from political conviction or from a principle of loyalty, but merely because
they deemed their material interests to be consulted by so doing. They thought the
English would finally subdue the country, and pictured to themselves the advantages they would enjoy as the reward
of "faithfulness." But this attitude of theirs tended to transform them from honest men into criminals.
For, dwelling as they must do amid a people the majority of whom were patriots, who were devoting their lives and
fortunes, and sacrificing their comforts, for a cause which they preferred to all else that the world could afford
them: they must needs find them selves in a position of intense antagonism, and exposed to the scorn of the community.
They would naturally requite scorn with hatred; and would be prompted to retaliate for the slights put upon them
by giving secret aid to the enemy; by acting as spies; by betraying, their fellow citizens to robbery or death.
It is a familiar truth that no animosities can compare for virulence with those between former associates. The
torries, doing evil by stealth, insensibly acquired the spirit of secret assassins; and one wickedness would lead
to another. Their hearts turned to gall; they exulted in the misery of those who had once been their friends; they
plotted mischief and treachery. This mental attitude is far more corroding and depraving than the spirit of open
war, which is consistent with entire cordiality toward the foe as individuals. 1t was degrading, also, because
it involved currying favor with the British, and heaping unnatural abuse upon the country which gave them birth.
They became ever more inflamed; until the hideous butchery of Wyoming and similar massacres and outrages in many
parts of the country, which have aroused the horror of the world, were perpetrated at the instigation not of the
British, nor even of the Indians, but of the tories; and the greatest of the barbarities committed were their work.
When the British retired from any section of the country which they had occupied, the lot of the tories was to
the last degree wretched; for they had no home; that in which they were born they had forfeited, and the English
had none to offer them; they had always despised them, though they had used them; and now they turned their backs
on them. But not all of these unhappy men were unworthy; many were honorable in their own eyes, and sincerely convinced
that their patriotic fellow countrymen were traitors, deserving of punishment. The whole subject of Toryism in
America is one of unrelieved gloom or sinister iniquity.