- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 841MB
THE PRIESTLEY RIOTS AT BIRMINGHAM (see p. 384)
Another favourable circumstance would have been found in the fact that in Hutchinson, Massachusetts had a native Governor, a man of courteous manners and moderate counsels. But even out of Hutchinson's position arose offence. His brothers-in-law, Andrew and Peter Oliver, were appointed Lieutenant-Governor and Chief Justice of the province. Lord North thought that the payment of these officers should be in the hands of Government, to render them independent of the colonists; but this the colonists resented as an attempt to destroy the Charter and establish arbitrary power. The Massachusetts House of Assembly declared on this occasion, in their address to the Crown:"We know of no commissioners of his Majesty's Customs, nor of any revenue that his Majesty has a right to establish in North America." They denounced the Declaratory Act passed at the suggestion of Chatham, and the attempt to make the governors and judges independent of the people, and the arbitrary instruments of the Crown. In Virginia the same spirit was conspicuous.
Before these discussions took place, an attempt had been made by similar means to lead the people of Scotland into insurrection. Emissaries appeared in the towns and villages informing the people that there were preparations made for a general rising, and they were ordered to cease all work and betake themselves to certain places of rendezvous. On the morning of Sunday, the 2nd of April, the walls of Glasgow were found placarded everywhere by a proclamation, ordering all persons to cease labour and turn out for a general revolution. The next morning the magistrates called out the military, and they were drawn up in the streets in readiness for the appearance of an insurrection, but none took place. The people were all in wonder, and assembled to see what would happen; but there appeared not the slightest disposition to make any disorder, and some of the cotton mills were at work as though nothing was expected to take place. But still, the mischief had not altogether failed. Some fifty poor ignorant men had been decoyed out of Glasgow to near Kilsyth, on the assurance that four or five thousand men would there join them, and proceed to take the Carron Ironworks and thus supply themselves with artillery. These poor dupes were met on the road, on some high ground on Bonnymuir, by a detachment of armed men sent out against them, and, after some resistance, during which some of them were wounded, nineteen were made prisoners and the rest fled. Other arrests were made in different parts of Scotland, and they were tried in the following July and August; but so little interest was felt in this attempt, or in the details of what was called "the Battle of Bonnymuir," that three only were punished and the rest discharged.At first victory seemed to attend the French. Lefebvre defeated the Spaniards in Aragon, on the 9th of June, and General Bessires beat the insurgents, in several partial actions, in Navarre and Biscay. But his great success was over the united forces of Generals Cuesta and Blake, on the 14th of June, at Medina de Rio Seco, a few leagues from the city of Valladolid. Duchesne thought he should be able to send reinforcements to assist in reducing Valencia and Aragon; but he soon found that he had enough to do in his own district. Marshal Moncey, all this time expecting the co-operation of Duchesne, had advanced into Valencia. For a time the country seemed deserted; but as he advanced he found the hills and rocks swarming with armed people, and he had to force his march by continual fighting. There were Swiss troops mingled amongst the Spanish ones opposed to him, and whilst they attacked him in front, the Spaniards assaulted his flanks and rear. When he arrived before the city of Valencia, on the 27th of June, he found the place well defended. On the 29th Moncey retired from before the walls, despairing of the arrival of Duchesne. Moncey, like Bessires, now found himself called to Madrid to defend the new king, who, it was clear, could not long remain there; and already the British were landing on the shores of the Peninsula, to bring formidable aid to the exasperated inhabitants.
The new British Parliament met on November 26, and Ministers were seen to have a powerful majority. The king announced, in his speech from the throne, that hostilities had broken out in India with Tippoo, and that a peace had been effected between Russia and Sweden, and he mentioned the endeavours that were in progress for restoring amity between the Emperor of Austria and his subjects in the Netherlands. In the debate on the Address in the Commons, Fox appeared inclined still to laud France, and to condemn our interference in the Netherlands. His eyes were not yet opened to the real danger from France, whose example was indeed exciting popular disturbances in the Netherlands and in Poland. Already the doctrines of Liberty and Equality had reached the ears of the negroes in St. Domingo, who had risen to claim the rights of man so amiably proclaimed by France, and the troops of France were on their way thither to endeavour to put them down, in direct contradiction of their own boasted political philosophy. In the Lords, Earl Greythe father of the Whig statesmanon the 13th of December, called for the production of papers relating to Nootka Sound. The motion was negatived by two hundred and fifty-eight against one hundred and thirty-four votes. But the Marquis of Lansdowne contended that Spain had a right to the whole of the North American coast on which Nootka Sound is situated, and had had it since the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He asserted that we had insulted the weakness of Spain; and that Mr. Mears and the other projectors of the trading settlement of Nootka Sound were a set of young men of letters, seeking for novelties. He completely overlooked the provocations which Spain had lately given us, and her endeavours to enter into a conjunction with France against us. He condemned Ministers for having alienated France, Spain, Russia, Denmark, and Sweden, overlooking the fact that they had made alliances with Prussia, Austria, Holland, and the Netherlands. Pitt's cousin, Lord Grenville, replied to this one-sided view of things, and proudly contrasted the position of Britain at this moment to what it was at the conclusion of the American War, when Lord Lansdowne himself, as Lord Shelburne, had been in the Ministry. Pitt, on the 15th of December, stated that the expenses of the late armament, and the sums necessary to keep up the increased number of soldiers and sailors for another year, before which they could not be well disbanded, owing to certain aspects of things abroad, would amount to something more than three millions, which he proposed to raise by increasing the taxes on sugar, on British and foreign spirits, malt, and game licences, as well as raising the assessed taxes, except the commutation and land taxes. He stated that there was a standing balance of six hundred thousand pounds to the credit of the Government in the Bank of England, which he proposed to appropriate to the discharge of part of the amount. He, moreover, introduced a variety of regulations to check the frauds practised in the taxes upon receipts and bills of exchange, which he calculated at three hundred thousand pounds per annum. With this, Parliament adjourned for the Christmas recess, and thus closed the eventful year of 1790.Mack, who was advancing rashly out of reach of any supporting bodies of troops, expected to encounter the French in front. He therefore took possession of Ulm and Memmingen, and threw his advanced posts out along the line of the Iller and the Upper Danube, looking for the French advancing by way of the Black Forest. But Buonaparte's plan was very different. He divided his army into six grand divisions. That commanded by Bernadotte issued from Hanover, and, crossing Hesse, appeared to be aiming at a junction with the main army, which had already reached the Rhine. But at once he diverged to the left, ascended the Main, and joined the Elector of Bavaria at Würzburg. Had Mack had a hundredth part of the strategic talent attributed to him, he would have concentrated his forces into one powerful body, and cut through the cordon which Buonaparte was drawing around him, and, under good generalship, such soldiers as the Hungarians would have done wonders; but he suffered his different detachments to be attacked and beaten in detail, never being ready with fresh troops to support those which were engaged, whilst the French were always prepared for this object. Accordingly, Soult managed to surround and take one entire Austrian division at Memmingen, under General Spangenberg, and Dupont and Ney defeated the Archduke Ferdinand at Günzburg, who had advanced from Ulm to defend the bridges there. Ferdinand lost many guns and nearly three thousand men. This induced Mack to concentrate his forces in Ulm, where, however, he had taken no measures for supplying his troops with provisions during a siege. He was completely surrounded, and compelled to capitulate on the 19th of October, 1805.
He had been able to borrow a hundred and eighty thousand livres from two of his adherents, had made serious exertions to raise arms, and though he had kept his project profoundly secret from the French King and Ministry, lest they might forcibly detain him, he had managed to engage a French man-of-war called the Elizabeth, carrying sixty-seven guns, and a brig of eighteen guns called the Doutelle, an excellent sailer. On the 2nd of July the Doutelle left St. Nazaire, at the mouth of the Loire, and waited at Belleisle for the Elizabeth, when they put forward to sea in good earnest. Unfortunately, only four days after leaving Belleisle, they fell in with the British man-of-war the Lion, of fifty-eight guns, commanded by the brave Captain Butt, who in Anson's expedition had stormed Paita. There was no avoiding an engagement, which continued warmly for five or six hours, when both vessels were so disabled that they were compelled to put back respectively to England and France.At sea he was somewhat more fortunate. He took care to have his war-ships, such as they were, in readiness for sea at the very instant that war was proclaimed. The declaration took place on the 18th of June, and on the 21st Commodore Rogers was already clear of the harbour of New York in his flag-ship, the President, which was called a frigate, but was equal to a seventy-four-gun ship, and attended by a thirty-six-gun frigate, a sloop of war, and a brig-sloop. His hope was to intercept the sugar fleet from the West Indies, which was only convoyed by a single frigate and a brig-sloop. Instead of the West India merchantmen, about one hundred sail in number, he fell in with the British frigate, the Belvedere, commanded by Captain Richard Byron. Though the two other vessels of war were in sight, Byron did not flinch. He commenced a vigorous fight with the President, and held on for two hours, pouring three hundred round shot into her from his two cabin guns alone. By the explosion of a gun, Commodore Rogers and fifteen of his men were severely wounded. About half-past six in the evening the President was joined by the Congress frigate, and then Captain Byron cut away several of his anchors, started fourteen tons of water, and otherwise lightening his ship, sailed away, and left the President to repair her damages. By thus detaining Rogers for fifteen hours the West India fleet was out of all danger. Rogers then continued a cruising sail towards Madeira and the Azores, and captured a few small merchantmen, and regained an American one, and he then returned home without having secured a single British armed vessel, but having been in great trepidation lest he should fall in with some of our ships of the line.
This all-important question was adjourned to the next day, the 8th of June, when it was debated in a committee of the whole House. As the discussion, however, took place with closed doors, as all great debates of Congress did, to hide the real state of opinion, and to give to the ultimate decision an air of unanimity, the reports of it are meagre and unsatisfactory. We know, however, that Lee, the original mover, was supported by his colleague Wythe, and most energetically by John Adams; that it was as vigorously opposed by John Dickinson and his colleagues, Wilson, of Pennsylvania, Robert Livingstone, of New York, and John Rutledge, of South Carolina. Moreover, a considerable number of members from different States opposed the motion, on the ground, not of its being improper in itself, but, as yet, premature. Six colonies declared for it, including Virginia. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland were at present against it. New York, Delaware, and South Carolina, were not decided to move yet; and it was proposed to give them time to make up their minds. Dr. Zubly, of Georgia, protested against it, and quitted the Congress. To give time for greater unanimity, the subject was postponed till the 1st of July; but, meanwhile, a committee was appointed to draw up a Declaration of Independence. The members of this committee were only five, namely, Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia; John Adams, of Massachusetts; Roger Sherman, of Connecticut; Richard R. Livingstone, of New York; and Benjamin Franklin, of Pennsylvania.