Still more inglorious were the proceedings of our fleet on the coasts of the Spanish-American colonies. Sir Chaloner Ogle joined Vernon in Jamaica on the 9th of January, 1741, and no time was to be lost, for the wet season set in at the end of April, which, besides the deluges of rain, is attended by a most unhealthy state of the climate. Vernon, however, did not move till towards the end of the month, and then, instead of directing his course towards the Havannah, which lay to the leeward, and could have been reached in three days, he beat up against the wind to Hispaniola, in order to watch the motions of the French fleet under D'Antin. It was the 15th of February before he learned distinctly that the French had sailed for Europe in great distress for men and provisions. Now was the time to make his way to Cuba; but, instead of that, he called a council of war—the resource of a weak commander,—which was followed by its almost invariable result, a contrariety of advice. It was at length concluded that, as Admiral Torres had now sailed for the Havannah, and thus closed the opportunity for its attack, the fleet should take in wood and water at Hispaniola, and make for the continent of New Spain. On the 4th of March the fleet came to anchor in Playa Grande, to the windward of Carthagena.The Americans did not make their Declaration of Independence till they had communicated with France. The British Government, as Lord North publicly declared in Parliament, had long heard of American emissaries at Paris seeking aid there. A secret committee, which had Thomas Paine for its secretary, was appointed to correspond with the friends of America in Great Britain, Ireland, and other parts of the world. Encouraged by the assurances of France, the secret committee was soon converted into a public one, and agents were sent off to almost every court of Europe to invite aid of one kind or another against the mother country, not omitting even Spain, Naples, Holland and Russia. Silas Deane was dispatched to Paris in March of this year, to announce the growing certainty of a total separation of the colonies from Great Britain, and to solicit the promised co-operation.
Clive, a young clerk of the Company's, at Madras, had deserted his desk, taken a commission, and, as early as 1748, had distinguished himself by baffling the French commanders Dupleix and Bussy, at Pondicherry. In 1751 he had taken Arcot from Chunda Sahib, the Viceroy of the Carnatic, and, aided by the Mahrattas, defeated Rajah Sahib, the son of Chunda, in a splendid victory at Arnee. In 1752 he raised the siege of Trichinopoly, where the Nabob of Arcot was besieged by the French. In 1755, landing at Bombay from England, he, with Admiral Watson, made an expedition to Gheriah, the stronghold of the celebrated pirate Angria, demolished it, and seized the spoils, valued at one hundred and twenty thousand pounds. In 1757 he took Calcutta from the Nabob Surajah Dowlah, the ally of the French, who had captured it, and shut up the English prisoners in the memorable Black Hole, where, in one night (June 20, 1756), out of one hundred and forty-six persons, one hundred and twenty-three perished. Clive also captured the city of Hooghly, defeated Dowlah, and compelled him to cede the town and vicinity. He then drove the French from their factory of Chandernagore; marched forward on Moorshedabad, defeated Surajah Dowlah in a battle extraordinary for the rout of an immense army by a mere handful of men, at Plassey (1757); deposed him, and seated on his throne Meer Jaffier. From this day dates British supremacy in India.
MARSHAL BERESFORD. (From the Portrait by Sir W. Beechey, R.A.)[See larger version]
On the opening of the Session, the king called the attention of Parliament to the state of Canada. That colony had flourished since it had come into the possession of Britain, especially since the passing of the Bill of 1774, which had given freedom to the Roman Catholic church there, the church of the French inhabitants. But one part of the colony was still inhabited by the descendants of the French, and another by those of the English and Americans. It was, therefore, found desirable to put an end to the competition which still existed, from differences of faith and of national sentiments and customs, between the two races, by dividing the colony into two provinces, the one inhabited by the French to be called Lower Canada, and the other, inhabited by the British, to be called Upper Canada. On the 25th of February the king sent a message to Parliament, proposing to carry out this division; and on the 4th of March Pitt moved to bring in a Bill for that purpose, and stated the intended plan of arrangement. Besides an elective assembly, each province was to have a Council, the members of which were to be appointed for life, with hereditary succession to the descendants of such as should be honoured with hereditary titles, which titles were to confer on an inhabitant of either province the dignity of a member of the Council. Landed property was to be held according to English law, in soccage tenure; the Habeas Corpus was to be established in both provinces. An allotment of lands was to be made for the Protestant clergy; but, as the majority of the inhabitants in the Lower Province would be Catholic, the Council and Assembly were empowered to allot lands also to their clergy, which allotment, on sanction of the Crown, was to be valid without intervention of Parliament. No taxes were to be imposed by the British Government except such as were necessary for the regulation of commerce, and these were to be levied by the provincial legislature to prevent any heartburnings like those which had occurred in the American States.
In Parliament, business was brought almost to a stand by the neutralising influences of the partisans of "All the Talents." Excepting on one or two points, no great majority could be obtained on any question. There was an attempt to censure the introduction of Lord Ellenborough, as Chief Justice of the King's Bench, into the Cabinet. It was contended that it was contrary to the principle, if not the letter, of the Constitution; that, besides a judge having enough to do on the Bench, he would have to sit as a judge on such appeals to the Privy Council which might be made thither against his own decisions; that, moreover, Lord Ellenborough had suddenly changed the whole principles of his life for the sake of advancement, and in the practice of his court had, by the most rude and insolent language, never hesitated to carry causes in favour of the Government and against the popular liberties. On the part of Government it was argued that, both in Queen Anne's reign and in that of George II., the Chief Justices had had a place in the Cabinet; and the subject was evaded by carrying the previous question.The Duke of Wellington was informed, at Brussels, on the same day, of this attack of Napoleon on the Prussians at Ligny, and of the British advance, under the Prince of Orange, at Quatre Bras. It has been said that he was taken by surprise. Quite the contrary. He was waiting in the most suitable position for the movement of Buonaparte. This was announced to him by a Prussian officer of high rank, said to be Baron Müffling, who arrived at half-past one at his hotel in Brussels. Wellington immediately dispatched orders to all the cantonments of his army to break up and concentrate on Quatre Bras, his intention being that his whole force should be there by eleven o'clock the next night, Friday, the 16th. At three o'clock his Grace sat down to dinner, and it was at first proposed that notice should be sent to the Duchess of Richmond to put off a ball which she was going to give at her hotel that evening; but, on further consideration, it was concluded to let the ball proceed, and that the Duke and his officers should attend it, as though nothing was about to occur, by which the great inconvenience of having the whole city in confusion during their preparations for departure would be avoided. Accordingly, every officer received orders to quit the ball-room, and as quietly as possible, at ten o'clock, and proceed to his respective division en route. This arrangement was carried out, and the Duke himself remained at the ball till twelve o'clock, and left Brussels the next morning (April 16) at six o'clock for Quatre Bras. Such were the facts which gave rise to the widespread report that the Duke knew nothing of the attack of Napoleon till the thunder of his cannon was heard by the Duke of Brunswick in the ball-room.
The Congress of Vienna, interrupted by the last razzia of Buonaparte, now resumed its sittings, and the conditions between France and the Allies were finally settled, and treaties embodying them were signed at Paris by Louis XVIII. on the 20th of November. France was rigorously confined to the frontier of 1790, losing the additions conferred on it by the first Treaty of Paris; and to prevent any danger of a recurrence of the calamities which had called the Allies thus a second time to Paris, they were to retain in their hands seventeen of the principal frontier fortresses, and one hundred and fifty thousand of their soldiers were to be quartered, and maintained by France, in different parts of the kingdom. The term of their stay was not to exceed five years, and that term might be curtailed should the aspect of Europe warrant it. The Allied sovereigns also insisted on the payment of the enormous expenses which had been occasioned by this campaign of the Hundred Days—the amount of which was estimated at seven hundred millions of francs. This sum, however, was not to be exacted at once, but to be paid by easy instalments.
Gage attempts to seize American Arms—Skirmish at Lexington—Blockade of Boston—The Second Congress at Philadelphia—Washington chosen Commander-in-Chief—Fall of Ticonderoga and Crown Point—Washington at Boston—Battle of Bunker's Hill—The Olive Branch Petition—Condition of the American Army—Expedition against Canada—Capture of Montreal—Arnold's Expedition—His Junction with Montgomery—Failure of the Attack on Quebec—The Employment of German Mercenaries—Washington seizes Dorchester Heights—Evacuation of Boston—Howe retires to Halifax—The War in Canada—Thomas's Retreat—Sullivan evacuates Canada—The War in the South—Attack on Charleston—Paine's Pamphlet, "Common Sense"—New York and Virginia decide for Independence—Debate in Congress—Report of the Committee—Arbitrary Proceedings—The Declaration—Overtures to France—Arrival of Lord Howe—Position of Washington—Howe's Overtures—Battle of Brooklyn—Washington's Retreat—His Desperate Position—Howe receives a Deputation from Congress—Washington retires Step by Step—Cornwallis's Pursuit—Close of the Campaign—The Articles of Confederation published by Congress—Fresh Overtures to France—Parliament votes large Sums of Money—John the Painter—Chatham demands a Cessation of Hostilities—Washington's Change of Tactics—Surprise of Trenton—Washington outman?uvres Cornwallis—He recovers New Jersey—Difficulties of Congress—Howe advances against Washington—Alteration of Howe's Plans—Battle of the Brandywine—Howe crosses the Schuylkill—Cornwallis enters Philadelphia—Battle of Germantown—Washington at Valley Forge—Burgoyne's Plan of Campaign—His Advance—St. Clair's Defeat—Burgoyne on the Hudson—The Beginning of his Misfortunes—Battle of Bemus's Heights—Burgoyne's Message to Clinton—He is Surrounded—He attempts to cut his Way through—The Surrender of Saratoga—Clinton's Failure to relieve Burgoyne—Close of the Campaign.
[See larger version]During the year 1796 strong forces were sent to the West Indies, and the Island of Grenada was recovered by General Nichols; St. Lucia, by General Abercromby, whilst General Whyte conquered the Dutch settlements of Demerara, Berbice, and Essequibo; but some of these possessions were dearly purchased by the number of the troops who perished from the unhealthiness of their climate. The Dutch made an effort to recover the Cape of Good Hope. They were to have been assisted by the French in this enterprise, but their allies not keeping their engagement, they sailed alone, and reached Saldanha Bay on the 3rd of August, when Rear-Admiral Sir George Elphinstone surprised and captured the whole of their vessels, consisting of two sixty-four-gun ships, one fifty-four, five frigates and sloops, and a store-ship. A squadron then proceeded from the Cape to Madagascar, and destroyed a French settlement there, seizing five merchant vessels.On the 1st of July the report of the committee was read, together with the form of declaration as drawn up by Jefferson, but afterwards remodelled by Franklin and the committee. Nine states now voted for independence. Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted against it. Delaware and South Carolina requested an adjournment to the next day, in order to make up their minds, when they voted for it, a new delegate having arrived from Delaware with firmer instructions. New York held out against independence, General Howe having now arrived at Sandy Hook, and the Provincial Congress having retired from New York to White Plains. Jay and Gouverneur Morris, from that State, were, however, vehement for independence, asserting that the Congress of New York ought to be dissolved, and delegates sent up to a new and more popular Congress.
FROM THE PAINTING BY P. JAZET.Soon after, a resolute attack was made on the right of the British centre by a great body of cavalry, which rode impetuously into the front of the squares and of thirty pieces of artillery. Though cut down in heaps, they drove the artillerymen from their guns, but these only retreated amongst the infantry, carrying with them the implements for serving the guns, and, the moment the infantry repelled their assailants a little, the men were at their guns again, and renewed the firing. The cuirassiers fought most undauntedly; they rode along the very front of the squares, firing their pistols into them, or cutting at them with their swords. Again and again they dashed forward to break the squares, but in every instance were met with such a destructive fire that they were compelled to draw off, only a mere fragment of this fine cavalry surviving this heroic but fatal attempt. From that time the French continued the battle chiefly by an incessant fire of artillery along the whole line, which the British avoided in great part by lying on their faces.Events in England—The Budgets of 1848—Repeal of the Navigation Act—The Jewish Disabilities Bill—Election of Baron Rothschild by the City of London—He is refused the Oath—Election of Alderman Salomons—He takes his Seat in Spite of the Speaker—Action in the Court of the Exchequer—The Bill finally passed—Colonial Self-Government—Lord Palmerston's Foreign Policy censured by the House of Lords—The Don Pacifico Debate—Testimonial to Lord Palmerston—Peel's last Speech—His Death—Testimony as to his Worth—Honours to his Memory.详情
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