sities of the government. General Howe shows no disposition to leave
Boston, nor does General Washington feel secure enough in the strength of
his army \o attempt to drive him away just yet. One of our officers from
General Putnam's division, speaking of the January thaw, expresses the
universal want of the soldiers : " The bay is open ; everything thaws here
except Old Put. He is still as hard as ever, crying out for powder, powder,
ā ye gods, give us powder ! " Congress has resolved " That if General
Washington and his council of war should be of opinion that a successful
attack may be made on the troops in Boston, he do it in any manner he
may think expedient, notwithstanding the town and property in it may be
destroyed." President Hancock, in communicating this resolve, wrote :
"You will notice the resolution relative to an attack upon Boston. This
passed after a most serious debate in a committee of the whole house, and the
execution was referred to you. May God crown your attempt with success.
I most heartily wish it, though individually I may be the greatest sufferer."
January ^th. ā His Majesty's " most gracious " speech'has been received.
It breathes the tenderest compas-
sion for his deluded American sub-
jects. Yet there is an under-current
of revenge and threatening of de-
struction, if continued rebellion is
persisted in. It seems that the day
of the flag-raising on Prospect Hill,
the speech was sent to General
Washington from Boston, and the
British, hearing the noise of the
shouting soldiers, misinterpreted it
as a signal of submission to the
King, and are daily looking for a
formal surrender of our lines. How
very different is the case from that
of their anticipations ! The colo-
nists are more united than ever in
their resistance. They have burnt
the speech, and in every way in their power sought to express their indig-
nation. General Greene says : " America must raise an empire of perma-
nent duration, supported upon the grand pillars of truth, freedom, and
religion, based upon justice, and defended by her own patriotic sons. From
the sincerity of my heart, ready at all times to bleed in my country's cause,
I recommend a declaration of independence, and call upon the world, and
the great God who governs it, to witness the necessity, propriety, and recti-
tude thereof." Great Britain is to hire Hessians to crush our rebellious
Colonies. All their efforts will but encounter the most spirited opposition,
and we firmly believe will result in nothing but disaster to themselves.
Boston Buildings desecrated. 53
January \6th. ā How our Boston buildings are desecrated by the British
soldiers ! Faneuil Hall, which has rung with the eloquence of patriots, is
used as a theatre, where ridiculous plays are performed and our army and
its commanders turned into sport. Sometimes the playbills are sent to our
officers in camp. A few evenings ago, while they were amusing themselves
with a performance called " The Blockade of Boston," in wliich General
Washington was represented as an uncouth countryman, dressed shabbily,
with large wig and long rusty sword, suddenly a sergeant appeared and cried
out, " The Yankees are attacking our works on Bunker Hill." Immediately
General Howe gave the order, " Officers to your alarm posts ! " and there
was a hasty breaking up of the assembly. The alarm was caused by an at-
tempt of our soldiers to burn the remaining houses in Charlestown, ā those
that had escaped the general conflagration last June, and which are used for
fuel by the British. The flames aroused the enemy on Bunker Hill, and
there was some firing on both sides, though only one life was lost on the
enemy's side. None of our men were hurt.
Jamiary 22^. ā A most curious delegation of Indians is in town, of the
Caghnawaga tribe ; come to visit our army and pay their respects to its
Commander-in-chief. General Washington treats them with great attention,
and will exert himself to make their stay one of enjoyment, that they may
go away feeling the greatness and strength of our government, and our
friendship toward their nation.
January i\th. ā Have been honored by an introduction to several sachems
and warriors of the Caghnawaga Indians. Major Mifflin made a large din-
ner company, to-day, in their honor and I was invited. The Redmen are
very courteous in Indian fashion, and the profound bows and scrapes they
made to those favored with presentation are truly remarkable. One of the
sachems is of English birth, a native of Massachusetts, carried away in in-
fancy by the savages and brought up as one of their own children. Another
has French blood in his veins. They go to-morrow, I believe, to Roxbury,
to view the lines under General Thomas's command, and will be laden with
presents of clothing and trinkets of various kinds when they return to their
own people. Mr. John Adams, our member of Congress, was at Major Mif-
flin's to-day. He came from Roxbury this morning, and to-morrow continues
his journey to Philadelphia to join the Continental Congress. The Indians,
when told his relations to government, showed signs of curiosity and regarded
him with great attention. Mr. Adams is a fine looking man, with a broad,
capacious head, seemingly equal to a large amount of brainwork, pleasant
though serious expression, a figure a little below the medium in height, and
inclining to be stout. He stands among the foremost men in Congress, and
his ability to weigh the important matters of state is undoubted. He it is
who nominated General Washington for commander-in-chief, and the clear-
ness of his judgment in making that motion is acknowledged by every one.
January 28///. -. ā There is a pamphlet going the rounds which awakens
Extracts from the Diary of DorotJiy Dudley.
universal interest, and tlie sentiments are much admired for their boldness
and patriotism. The writer is one Thomas Paine, an English Quaker who
has been in America a little over a year, but has made acquaintance with
Franklin, Samuel Adams, Rush, and other prominent public men. This
book was shown to them for criticism, and called by Rush by the tide of
" Common Sense." It says : ā
"The sun never shone on a cause of greater worth. 'T is not the affair of
a city, a county, a province, or a kingdom, but of a continent, of at least one
eight part of the habitable globe. 'T is not the concern of a day, a year, or
an age ; posterity are virtually involved in it even to the end of time. All
Second Harvard, built 1766.
men, whether in England or America, confess that a separation between the
countries will take place one time or other. To find out the very time, we
need not go far, for the time hath found us. The present, likewise, is that
peculiar time which never happens to a nation but once, the time of forming
itself into a government. Until we consent that the seat of government in
America be legally and authoritatively occupied, where will be our freedom ?
Where our property ? Nothing can settle our affairs so expeditiously as
an open and determined declaration of independence. The blood of the
slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, 't is time to part. A government of
our own is our natural right. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe ;
The Attack on Quebec. 55
Europe regards her as a stranger ; and England hath given her warning to
depart. Oh ! receive the fugitive and prepare an asylum for mankind."
Jamimy zc)th. ā The expedition which left Cambridge last autumn for
Canada under command of Benedict Arnold, encountered terrible trials,
and many, frightened at the hardships of the march, returned. Those
who remained endured almost incredible sufferings ; cold, hunger, exhaus-
tion, combined to render them wretched and incapable of service. Their
clothes were torn by the forest bushes, their bodies scratched by numberless
thorns, and their shoes worn by constant walking over the rough ground, so
that many were forced to go barefoot, their food so scarce that many a meal
was furnished by the faithful dogs of the party. Here and there a man was
left behind to die on the road, as it was impossible to be burdened with
helpless invalids.. The middle of November the expedition ā that part which
survived the horrors of the march, reached Quebec, and the third day of last
month was joined by General Montgomery, who left the conquered city of
Montreal with a subordinate officer, and came to attempt the conquest of
the strongest fortified city in America. For several weeks the besieging
army surrounded the city, and on the last day of December an assault was
made, headed by the brave general. He compelled none to follow him in.
the attack ; he wanted with him " no persons who went with reluctance."
To his own soldiers he said : " Men of New York, you will not fear to
follow where your general leads. Push on, brave boys ; Quebec is ours ! "
Pressing forward directly in front of the cannon, he was greeted with a vol-
ley of grapeshot which laid him dead, and with him his young aid-de-camp,
McPherson, and eleven others. Consternation seized the expedition at the
fall of its commander, and an immediate retreat was ordered. General
Montgomery was an experienced soldier and a valued officer. His loss is
mourned all over the country. At news of his death " the whole city of
Philadelphia was in tears ; every person seemed to have lost his nearest rel-
ative or heart friend." Congress publicly expressed for him " their grateful
remembrance, profound respect, and high veneration ; and desiring to trans-
mit to future ages a truly worthy example of patriotism, conduct, boldness of
enterprise, insuperable perseverance, and contempt of danger and death, re-
solve to rear a marble monument to the glory of Richard Montgomery."
Not in public life alone was he beloved and honored ; in all the relations of
home he was faithful, ā ^kind, upright, modest, every one held him in high
esteem. He and his aid-de-camp were buried with military honors by the
governor and council of Quebec.
Jatuiary 30//?. ā Madame Washington has enlivened the monotony of her
winter among us by a reception, on the seventeenth anniversary of her wed-
ding day. The fine old Vassall mansion was in gala dress, and the coming
and going of guests brightened the sober aspect of the General's head-quar-
ters. The General and his wife stood in the drawing-room at the left of the
front entrance, and there received the company. General Washington's
56 Extracts fjvm the Diary of Dorothy Dudley.
study is the room opposite, and opening out of this, the one set apart for liis
mihtary family. These of course were all thrown open for the accommoda-
tion of the guests. There was much chatting and walking to and fro, and
easy and social manners were the rule. The General does not talk much,
but is gracious and courteous to all. His lady is very unceremonious and
easy like other Virginia ladies, though there is no lack of dignity in her
manner. Of course simplicity of dress was noticeable, ā no jewels or costly
ornaments, ā though tasteful gowns, daintly trimmed by tlieir owner's fin-
gers, were numerous. The occasion was a most enjoyable one.
February yt. ā How very exact General Washington is, in all the little de-
tails of his business ! I have a letter, that he wrote to General Sullivan
this week, giving directions about the pay of soldiers under his command,
which illustrates this : ā . '
' "Cambridge, 28/A Jan., 1776.
" Dr Sir I quite forgot to enquire last night (when you were shewing
me the Militia Pay Roll) at what rates the officers pay was charged ā I am
willing to allow them the same pay as the Troops have had and have ā that
is, to the first of Jany agreeable to the old establishment ā (more I cannot)
ā & For the month of Jany according to the present pay. This is put-
ting of them in all respects up on a footing with the continental army. ā You
will consider therefore how far this alteration will square with your mode of
making up the Pay Rolls, as the manner of charging & extending the
sums shd appear clear upon the face of tlie accts ā I must again desire
you to request the Captains to be very correct in making up their ace's
not only because they are to svVear to them, but because I must for
my own Justification have all the extensions & additions tryed. ā Should
any of them therefore prove wrong, they will not only give themselves a
good deal of trouble & delay for nothing but me also, and I must again
desire that they may be cautioned against Including men that have Inlisted
into the Continental service, as I will take a good deal of pains to prevent,
and if not prevented, to detect an evil, which I am apprehensive will be
practiced. If I recollect the Roll you showed me last night men of the
same Company and as I suppose from the same Town are charged a differ-
ent number of days, whereas I think the Ingagement is, that they are to be
paid from the time of their marching from the Town ā however as I was
engaged in reading letters & news papers at the time, I might have mis-
taken the matter. As I understand the muster Rolls of these Companies
(from New Hampshire) are lodged with you I should be glad to receive
them with your acct. of the money expended. ā If the mileage is drawn for
in the manner propos'd by you, the Comy should be apprised of it, as he
told me some of the militia capt"s with out distinguishing of which Govern-
ment were applying to settle with him. I am D"" Sir
" Yr most obed' serv*-
" Gc Washington.
Preparations for the Attack of Boston. 57
" P. S. If you are not Ingaged I should be glad of your company at din-
ner at 2 o'clock."
February \th, Stcnday. ā Dr. Langdon preached this morning from Micah
iv. 5 ; " For all people will walk every one in the name of his God, and we
will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever."
His sermon in the afternoon was from the text : " Lord, when thy hand
is lifted up, they will not see : but they shall see, and be ashamed for their
envy at the people ; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them."
They were warm, earnest discourses, burning with patriotism and loyalty to
God. It is a pleasure to listen to the words of our good President, whenever
he visits the camp and occupies Dr. Appleton's pulpit.
Febriiary lUJi. ā To-day the pulpit was filled by Rev. Mr. Noble of New-
buryport, who preached a good sermon from Revelation xix. 5: "And a
voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God all ye his servants, and
ye that fear Him, both small and great." The meeting-house was well
filled, in spite of the intense cold which crept through the doors and win-
dows, and did its best to turn us all into icicles. The wind whistled its
loudest, and blew its heaviest, so that the good minister's voice was often
lost in the tumult. Having no cellar under the building, cold feet are the
order of the day these wintry Sabbaths, for all who are not provided with
a foot-stove, to send its pleasant warmth through the whole body. I won-
der when the time will come that the meeting-house will be allowed the
comfort of a stove !
February z-]th. ā General Washington has issued orders, that " all offi-
cers, non-commissioned ofiicers, and soldiers, are positively forbid playing at
cards and other games of chance. At this time of public distress, men may
find enough to do in the service of their God and their country, without
abandoning themselves to vice and inmiorality. As the season is now fast
approaching when every man must expect to be drawn into the field of ac-
tion, it is highly important that he should prepare his mind as well as every-
thing necessary for it. It is a noble cause we are engaged in ; it is the
cause of virtue and mankind ; ev^ery temporal advantage and comfort to us
and our posterity, depends upon the vigor of our exertions ; in short, free-
dom or slavery must be the result of our conduct ; there can therefore be no
greater inducement to men to behave well. But it may not be amiss for
the troops to know that if any man in action shall presume to skulk, hide
himself, or retreat from the enemy without the orders of his commanding
officer, he will be instantly shot down as an example of cowardice ; cowards
having too frequently disconcerted the best formed troops by their das-
tardly behavior." There has been a good deal of card playing and gam-
bhng of various kinds. The enforced quiet of the soldiers has been irksome,
and they enlivened the monotony in any way they could devise. Many
have had opportunity to work at their trades of shoemaking, tailoring, and
58 Extracts from the Diary of Dorothy Dudley.
the like, or to add to their income by selHng such things as nuts, apples,
and cider, -which make a little variety in the daily rations. They are well
fed, having a good supply of substantial food ā corned beef and pork four
days in a week, salt fish one day, and fresh beef two days. As milk is out
of the question in the winter, they are allowed one pound and a half of beef,
or eighteen ounces of pork every day. A half pint of rice, or a pint of
Indian meal, is given them for a week, a quart of spruce beer daily, or nine
gallons of molasses to one hundred men per week. Every man has one
pound of flour every day except one, in a week, when hard bread takes its
place. Butter is given out at the rate of six ounces a week, to each man.
Pease, beans, or other vegetables, such as potatoes, turnips, onions, are dealt
out in weekly portions. These short winter days, candles are quite a neces-
sary article, and are given every week to the soldiers, six pounds for one
hundred men. I have made this schedule of the soldiers' rations, because
everything that concerns their comfort has a special interest for me. We
seem to be quartered right in the midst of the army, and all the minutias of
their daily life are an open book before us.
Afarch 2d. ā General Washington has been as anxious as any one of the
soldiers to attack Boston and dislodge the British troops, but not till now
has he felt that he could safely undertake it. Under many difficulties,
owing to the hard, frozen ground, works have been thrown up on Lech-
mere's Point and heavy ordnance placed there. Strong guards are mounted
on the works, and everything ready for an attack. I saw some mortars car-
ried over to the Point to-day. The camp begins to look as if battle was
resolved upon. Militia from the neighboring towns is pouring in, in re-
sponse to General Washington's order. Large quantities of fagots and
screwed haj* are collected for entrenching purposes, and what tells a plainer
story than all other preparations, two thousand bandages are in readiness
for the wounds which it is expected will need them. About a fortnight ago
we had some very severe weather which made strong ice between Dorches-
ter and Boston Neck and also between Roxbury and the Common. Gen-
eral Washington wished to take that opportunity to make the long antici-
pated assault upon the troops in Boston, by marching our forces over the ice.
But the other generals of the council of war thought it hazardous, so the
attack has been waiting for a more fa-vorable time.
March ^ih, Monday. ā ^ Saturday evening the house shook with the roar
of cannon which our troops were firing upon poor Boston from Lechmere's
Point 1 and Cobble Hill "^ and Roxbury. The British returned tlie fire, and a
shell from tlieir batteries fell on Prospect Hill. Five of our mortars were
burst during the bombardment, a great misfortune to us. Yesterday it re-
mained quiet during the day, but the firing began again toward night. Three
regiments went from here to Roxbury yesterday and carried some field
pieces with them, and cannon also went to Lechmere's Point.
' Lechmere's Point, now East Cambridge. ā Ed.
* Cobble Hill, now Somerville. ā Ed.
Dorchester Heights occupied. 59
March ^th. ā Last night about seVen o'clock firing began again, and im-
mediately a detachment of two thousand men under command of General
Thomas marched to Dorchester Heights and took possession. They moved
very quietly and worked so rapidly at the entrenchments, that before day-
break this morning they had raised them high enough to cover themselves
from the enemy's shot. These works command Boston, and it is expected
that General Howe will think it best to evacuate the town very soon, or else
come out to meet our soldiers in battle. To-day is the sixth anniversary
of the Boston Massacre, and Washington has inflamed the desire of our
men for a contest by saying : " Remember, it is the fifth of March, a day
never to be forgotten ; avenge the death of your brethren." The hills
around Boston are covered with eager and anxious spectators waiting for
the conflict. As many as four thousand men are under parade near Fort
Number Two, commanded by Old Put, and this afternoon they are to embark
in boats near the mouth of the river and attack Boston.
March 6th. ā A most furious gale of wind yesterday afternoon prevented
the anticipated engagement. To-day the rain pours in torrents, and the
wind is very rough. The situation of General Howe and his troops is not
enviable. Their fleet cannot ride safely in such a turbulent sea, exposed,
besides, to the fire of our batteries on Dorchester Heights. These batter-
ies are a source of wonder to the British, who say " they were raised with
an expedition equal to that of the genii belonging to Aladdin's Wonderful
Lamp." General Howe thinks '"the rebels have done more in one night
than his whole army would have done in a month," and believes " it must
have been the employment of at least twelve thousand men."
March jth. ā Fast Day. General Washington has issued this order : ā
Head-quarters, Cambridge, March 6, 1776.
Countersign : Putnam. Pai'ole : Lechmere.
Thursday, the 7th instant, being set apart by the honourable the Legisla-
ture of this Province, as a Day of fasting, prayer, and humiliation, " to im-
plore the Lord and Giver of all victory, to pardon our manifold sins and
wickednesses and that it would please him to bless the Continental arms
with his divine favour and protection," all officers and soldiers are strictly en-
joined to pay all due reverence and attention on that day to the sacred
duties to the Lord of hosts for his mercies already received and for those
blessings which our holiness and uprightness of life can alone encourage us
to hope through his mercy to obtain." Our meeting-house was well filled,
and Dr. Appleton preached a sermon full of earnestness and devotion, set-
ting before us our manifold causes for humiliation before God.
March \%th. ā Boston is free at last. Yesterday General Howe and his
entire force sailed away from the wharves in a great number of boats. Im-
mediately General Putnam witii several regiments crossed the river and
landed at Sewall's Point. Sentinels were apparently standing at their posts
6o Extracts from the Diary of Dorothy Dudley.
on Bunker Hill, but on closer view \vere found to be wooden men left by
the retreating troops to mislead us. When the hoax was discovered a great
shout of joy arose, and the cry went out, " Boston is ours ! Boston is ours ! "
The evacuation was looked for several days ago, and was probably hastened
by the erection of a battery on Nook's Hill, the part of Dorchester nearest
Boston, specially dreaded by General Howe since it completely commands
the town. A terrible cannonade was kept up a great part of the time
from. the first occupation of Dorchester Heights till the departure of the
King's troops. To-day General Washington entered the town, accompanied
by Mrs. Washington. He has ordered General Heath to assume the com-
mand of five regiments and a portion of artillery and march immediately to
New York, as it is thought that town will be the next object of British in-
vestment. The fleet is still in Nantasket Roads, much to our annoyance.
March igth. ā Boston is not much injured outwardly, I believe. Most of
of the houses remain as they were, a few old wooden buildings only having
been pulled down for fuel. General Washington will not allow any person
to enter the town without a pass, owing to the prevalence of small-pox, and
has issued order that "as soon as the selectmen report the town to be
cleansed from infection, liberty will be given to those who have business
there to go in. The inhabitants belonging to the town will be permitted to
return to their habitations, proper persons being appointed at the Neck and
at Charlestown Ferry, to grant them passes."