Benson John Lossing.

Harper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) online

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Congress. He was very active in Con- of his mission. So began the diplomatic
gress, in 1775, in fitting out a naval relations between France and the United
force for the colonies, and in the spring States which resulted in the negotiation
of 1770 was sent to France as a secret of a treaty of amity and alliance between
political and financial agent, with au- the two nations.

thority to operate in Holland and else- To him were intrusted the receipts and
where. He was to ascertain the feeling expenditures of money by the commission-
of the French government towards the re- ers to Europe. Dr. Franklin had de-
volted colonies and Great Britain, and served confidence in his ability and
to obtain military supplies. Mr. Deane honesty. The jealous, querulous ARTHUR
went in the character of a Bermuda mer- LEE (q. v.) , who became associated with
chant ; and, the better to cover his de- him and Franklin, soon made trouble. He
signs, he did not take any considerable* wrote letters to his brother in Congress
sum of money or bills of exchange with (Richard Henry Lee), in which he made
him for his support. The secret com- many insinuations against the probity of
mittee was to send them after him by both his colleagues. Ralph Izard. corn-
way of London, to arrive in Paris nearly missioner to the Tuscan Court, offended
as soon as himself, lest a capture should because he was not consulted about the
betray his secret. On his arrival in Paris treaty with France, had written home
lie sought an interview with the Count de similar letters; and William Carmichael.
Vergennes, the minister for foreign affairs, a secretary of the commissioners, who had
but no notice was taken of him. He re- returned to America, insinuated in Con-
peated his application in vain. His re- gress that Deane had appropriated the
mittances were all captured or lost. He public money to his own use. Deane was
soon expended the cash he took with him, recalled, by order of Congress, Nov. 21,




1777; arrived at Philadelphia Aug. 10,
1778; and on the 13th reported to Con
gress. In that body he found false re
ports operating against him; and finally,
exasperated by the treatment which he re
ceived at their hands, he engaged in a
controversy with influential members.
Out of this affair sprang two violent par
ties, Robert Morris and other members of
Congress who were commercial experts
taking the side of Deane, and Richard
Henry Lee, then chairman of the com
mittee on foreign affairs, being against

Deane published in the Philadelphia
Gazette an " Address to the People of
the United States," in which he referred
to the brothers Lee with much severity,
and claimed for himself the credit of ob
taining supplies from France through
Beaumarchais. THOMAS PAINE (q. v.) ,
then secretary of the committee on for
eign affairs, replied to Deane (Jan. 2,
177D), availing himself of public docu
ments in his charge. Tn that reply he
declared that the arrangement had been
made by Arthur Lee, in London, and re
vealed the secret that the supplies,
though nominally furnished by a com
mercial house, really came from the
French government. This statement
called out loud complaints from the
French minister (Gerard), for it exposed
the duplicity of his government, and to
soothe the feelings of their allies, Con
gress, by resolution, expressly denied that
any gratuity had been received from the
French Court previous to the treaty of
alliance. This resolution gave Beau
marchais a valid claim upon Congress for
payment for supplies which he, Tinder the
firm name of Hortales & Co., had sent
AUGUSTIN). Paine s indiscretion cost
him his place. He was compelled to re
sign his secretaryship. The discussion
among the diplomatic agents soon led to
the recall of all of them excepting Dr.
Franklin, who remained sole minister at
the French Court. Deane, who was un
doubtedly an able, honest man, preferred
claims for services and private expen
ditures abroad, but, under the malign in
fluence of the Lees, he was treated with
neglect and fairly driven into poverty
and exile, and died in Deal, England.

Aug. 23, 1789. In 1842 Deane s long-
disputed claim was adjusted by Congress,
a large sum being paid over to his heirs.

Dearborn, FORT. See CHICAGO.

Dearborn, HENRY, military officer ;
born in Northampton, N. H., Feb. 23,
1751; became a physician, and employed
his leisure time in the study of military
science. At the head of sixty volunteers
he hastened to Cambridge on the day after
the affair at Lexington, a distance of 65
miles. He was appointed a captain in
Stark s regiment, participated in the bat
tle of Bunker Hill, and in September fol
lowing (1775) accompanied Arnold in his
expedition to Quebec. He participated in
the siege of Quebec, and was made
prisoner, but was paroled in May, 1776,
when he became major of ScammePs New
Hampshire regiment. He was in the bat
tles of Stillwater and Saratoga in the
fall of 1777, and led the troops in
those engagements in the latter as
lieutenant-colonel. He was in the bat
tle of Monmouth, was in Sulli
van s campaign against the Indians in
1779, and in 1781 was attached to Wash
ington s staff as deputy quartermaster-
general, with the rank of colonel. In
that capacity he served in the siege of
Yorktown. In 1784 he settled in Maine,
and became general of militia. He was
marshal of Maine, by the appointment of
Washington, in 1789, member of Congress
from 1793 to 1797, and was Secretary of
War under Jefferson from 1801 to 1809.
From 1809 till 1812 he was collector of
the port of Boston, when he was appointed
senior major-general in the United States
army, and commander-in-chief of the
Northern Department. On Sept. 1, 1812,
General Bloomfield had collected about
8,000 men regulars, volunteers, and mili
tia at Plattsburg, on Lake Champlain,
besides some small advanced parties at
Chazy and Champlain. On the arrival
of General Dearborn, he assumed direct
command of all the troops, and on Nov.
16 he moved towards the Canada line
with 3,000 regulars and 2,000 militia.
He moved on to the La Colic, a small
tributary of the Sorel, where he was met
by a considerable force of mixed British
and Canadian troops and Indians, under
Lieutenant-Colonel De Salaherry, an ac
tive British commander. Just at dawn,



on the morning of the 20th, Col. Zebulon Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen in
M. Pike crossed the La Colle and sur- 1880-93; president of the American Kail-
rounded a block-house. Some New York way Union in 1893-97 ; and in June of
militia approaching were mistaken, in the the latter year was made chairman of the
dim light, for British soldiers. Pike s men notional council of the Social Democracy
opened fire upon them, and for nearly of America. When president of the Amor-
half an hour a sharp conflict was main- ican Railway Union he conducted a strike
tained. When they discovered their mis- on the Great Northern Railway, and in
take, they found De Salaberry approach- 1894 directed another on the Western rai.l-
ing with an overwhelming force. These roads, for which he was charged with eon-
were fiercely attacked, but the Americans spiracy, but was acquitted, and subse-
were soon forced to retreat so precipi- quently, in 1895, served a sentence of six
tately that they left five of their number months imprisonment for contempt of
dead and five wounded on the field. The court in violating its injunction. In 189(5
army, disheartened, returned to Platts- he lectured on The Relations of the Church
burg. Dearborn was superseded July 6, to Labor, and in 1900 and 1904 was the
1813, in consequence of being charged with candidate of the Social Democratic Na-
political intrigue. He asked in vain for tional party for President,
a court of inquiry. In 1822-24 he was Debt, NATIONAL. The tables on pages
the American minister in Portugal. He 30 and 31 show the amount and details of
died in Roxbury, near Boston, June 6, the public debt of the United States on
1829. July 1, 1902, according to the official re-

Dearing, JAMES, soldier ; born in Camp- port of the Secretary of the Treasury,

bell county, Va., April 25, 1840; gradu- See ASSUMPTION; NATIONAL DEBT.
ated at Hanover Academy; became a Debtors. In the United States even as

cadet at West Point, but at the outbreak late as 1829 it was estimated that there

of the Civil War resigned to join the Con- were 3,000 debtors in prison in Massa-

federate army, in which he gained the chusetts; 10,000 in New York; 7.000 in

rank of brigadier-general. He took part Pennsylvania ; and a like proportion in

in the principal engagements between the the other States. Imprisonment for debt

Army of the Potomac and the Army of was abolished in the United States by an

Northern Virginia, and was mortally act of Congress in 1833, though not fully

wounded in an encounter with Brig.-Gen. enforced until 1839. Kentucky abolished

Theodore Read, of the National army. The the law in 1821 ; Ohio in 1828 ; M-iryland

two generals met on opposite sides of the in 1830; New York in 1831; Connecticut

Appomattox in April, 1805, and in a pis- in 1837; Alabama in 1848.
tol fight Read was shot dead and Dearing In 1828 there were 1.088 debtors ini-

was so severely wounded that he died soon prisoned in Philadelphia : the sum total

afterwards in Lynchburg, Va. of their debts was only $25,409, and the

Death Penalty. See LIVINGSTON, ED- expense of keeping them $302,070, which

WARD. was paid by the city, and the total amount

Deatonsville, Va. See SAILOR S CREEK, recovered from prisoners by this process

De Bow, JAMES DUNWOODY BROWNSON, was only $295.

journalist; born in Charleston, S. C., Debts, BRITISH. When the Revolution

July 10, 1820 ; became editor of the South- broke out many American citizens owed

ern Quarterly Review in 1844, but with- money to British creditors. These debts

drew the next year and established De were generally repudiated, but the treaty

Bow s Commercial Review in New Orleans, of 1783 provided for their payment. Some

which was successful until the Civil War. of the State governments permitted the

After the war it was resumed in New payment of such debts into the State

York City, subsequently in Nashville, Treasuries, and then refused to entertain

Tenn. He died in Elizabeth, N. J., Feb. suits on the part of the creditors. The

22, 1867. United States Supreme Court, in the case

Debs, EUGENE VICTOR, labor leader; of Ware vs. Hylton. decided that such

born in Terre Haute, Ind., Nov. 5, 1855; debts should be paid, but payments wire

prand secretary and treasurer of the evaded in various ways.




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Decatur, STEPHEN, naval officer; born The Philadelphia had chased a Tripolitan
in Sinnepuxent, Md., Jan. 5, 1779; died ship into the harbor in front of that town,
near Washington, D. C., March 22, 1820; and struck upon a rock not laid down on
entered the United States navy as a the charts. Fast bound, she was captured
midshipman April 30, 1798, and rose to by the Tripolitans, and Captain Bain-
bridge and his officers were made
prisoners of war, and the crew
were made slaves.

Decatur caught a Tripolitan
ketch laden with maidens, whom
the Bashaw was sending to the
Sultan at Constantinople as a

The captured ketch was taken
into the United States service and
renamed the Intrepid. In her
Decatur and seventy - four brave
young men sailed for Tripoli, ac
companied by the Siren, under
Lieutenant (afterwards Commo
dore ) Stewart.

On a bright moonlit evening
they sailed boldly into the harbor,
warped alongside the Philadelphia,
sprang on board, and after a fierce
struggle all the Tripolitans were
killed or driven into the sea, the
Philadelphia was set on fire, and
the Intrepid was towed out of the
harbor by the boats of the Siren.
The Bashaw was greatly alarm
ed by this display of American
energy and boldness, and acted
with more caution in the future.

Decatur commanded a division
of gunboats in the attack on Trip
oli, Aug. 3, 1804. In this action
Decatur commanded a gunboat,
which he laid alongside of a large
Tripolitan war-ship, which he
captured after a brief struggle.
Immediately boarding another ves
sel, Decatur had a desperate per-
sonal struggle with the command-
er - The fight was brief but deadly.
Decatur slew his antagonist,
and the vessel was captured. The
Americans withdrew, but four
days later renewed the conflict,
which was indecisive, but on Aug.
24 and .28, and Sept. 3, Preble re-
captain in 1804. His first notable ex- peated the attack, and on the night of
ploit was the destruction of the Phila- Sept. 4 the Intrepid, under Captain Som-
delphia in the harbor of Tripoli, in the ers as a fire-ship, was lost in the attack,
Preble Expedition, for which Congress with all on board.

gave him thanks, a sword, and promotion. In command of the frigate United




ALG1KKS IX 18i 2.

States, Decatur
captured the
frigate Mace
donian, Oct. 25.

1812, for which
Congress gave
him a gold med
al. The Mace
donian was a
new ship, rated
at thirty - six,
b u t carrying
forty-nine guns.
She was badly
cut in the fight,
and Decatur
thought best to
order his prize
to Newport,
while he return
ed in the United
States to New
London. Both
vessels sailed

into New York harbor on New Year s Day, and a few months later he was sent to the

1813. The Corporation gave Decatur the Mediterranean, and compelled the govern-
" freedom of the city," and requested his ment of Algiers to relinquish its barbarous
portrait for the picture-gallery in the City conduct towards other powers and to pay
Hall, where it still hangs. In January, 1815, for American property destroyed (see AL-
after a running fight, the President, his flag- GIERS). He was appointed a navy coin-
ship, was captured by a British squadron; missioner in November, 1815, and made

his residence in the
fine mansion of Kal-
orama, about a mile
from Georgetown,
built by Joel Bar
low. Decatur had
opposed the rein
statement of Barron
to his former posi
tion in the navy, and
a duel was the con
sequence. They
fought at tho famous
duelling-ground near
Bladensburg, when
Decatur was mortal
ly wounded, and was
taken to Washing-
Ion. Gen. Solomon
Van Rensselaer
wrote to his wife
from that city, on
March 20, 1820, ai
followi: "I have
only time, after



writing to several, to say that an affair to Philadelphia and reinterred, with ap-
of honor took place this morning between propriate ceremonies, in St. Peter s ceme-
Commodores Decatur and Barren, in which tery. Over them a beautiful monument,
both fell at the first fire. The ball en- delineated in the accompanying engraving,
tered Decatur s body two inches above the was erected.

hip and lodged against the opposite side. Decimal System. In 1782, Gouverneur
I just came from his house. He yet lives, Morris, assistant fiscal agent of the Conti-
but will never see another sun. Barren s nental Congress, reported a decimal cur-
wound is severe, but not dangerous. The rency system, designed to harmonize the

moneys of the States. He ascer
tained that the 1,440th part of a
Spanish dollar was a common di
visor for the various currencies.
With this as a unit he proposed
the following table of moneys: 10
units to be equal to 1 penny, 10
pence to 1 bill, 10 bills 1 dollar
(about 75 cents of the present
currency), 10 dollars 1 crown. In
1784, Mr. Jefferson, as chairman
of a committee of Congress, pro
posed to strike four coins upon the
basis of the Spanish dollar, as fol
lows: A gold piece worth 10 dol
lars, a dollar in silver, a 10th of
a dollar in silver, a 100th of a
dollar in copper. Congress adopt
ed his proposition, hence the cent,
dime, dollar, and eagle of the Unit
ed States currency. See METRIC

Declaration of Colonial Bights.
In the first Continental Congress
(1774) a committee of two from
each colony framed and reported,
in the form of a series of ten re
solves, a declaration of the rights
of the colonies: 1. Their natural

ball struck the upper part of his hip and rights; 2. That from their ancestry they
turned to the rear. He is ruined in pub- were entitled to all the rights, liberties,
lie estimation. The excitement is very and immunities of free and natural-born
great." Decatur died March 22, and his subjects of England; 3. That by the emi-
remains were taken from the house in gration to America by their ancestors they
Washington to Kalorama by the following never lost any of those rights, and that
officers: Commodores Tingey, Macdonough, their descendants were entitled to the
Rodgers, and Porter, Captains Cassin, Bal- exercise of those rights; 4. That the foun-
lard, and Chauncey, Generals Brown and dation of all free governments is in the
Jesup, and Lieutenant McPherson. The right of the people to participate in their
funeral was attended by nearly all the legislative council; and as the American
public functionaries in Washington, Amer- colonists could not exercise such right in
ican and foreign, and a great number of the British Parliament, they were entitled
citizens. While the procession was mov- to a free and exclusive power of legisla-
ing minute-guns w r ere fired at the navy- tion in their several provincial legislat-
yard. His remains were deposited in Joel ures, where the right of representation
Barlow s vault at Kalorama, where they could alone be preserved. (They conceded
remained until 1846, when they were taken the right of Parliament to regulate ex-




ternal commerce, but denied its right to That the exercise of legislative powpr in
tax them in any way, without their con- several colonies by a council appointed
sent, for raising an internal or external during pleasure by the crown was uncon-
revenue.) 5. That they were entitled to stitutional, dangerous, and destructive to
the common law of England, and more the freedom of American legislation. The
especially the great privilege of being report of the committee designated the
tried by their peers of the vicinage ac- various acts of Parliament which were
cording to the course of law; 6. That they infringements and violations of the rights
were entitled to the benefit of English of the colonists, and declared that the re-
statutes at the time of the emigration of peal of them was essentially necessary in
their ancestors; 7. That they were en- order to restore harmony between Great
titled to all the immunities and privi- Britain and the American colonies. The
leges conferred upon them by royal char- acts enumerated were eleven in number
ters or secured to them by provincial laws; namely, Sugar act, stamp act, two quar-
8. That they had a right peaceably to as- tering acts, tea act, act suspending the
semble, state their grievances, and peti- New York legislature, two acts for the
tion the King without interference of trial in Great Britain of offences commit-
ministers; 9. That the keeping of a stand- ted in America, Boston Port bill, the act
ing army in any colony, without the con- for regulating [subverting] the govern-
sent of the legislature, was unlawful; 10. ment of Massachusetts, and the Quebec act.


Declaration of Independence. It was ish armament, under the brothers Howe,

very important to have Lee s resolution at Sandy Hook. Immediate and united

for independence, offered June 7, 1776, action was essential. McKean, one of the

prefaced by a preamble that should clear- two representatives of Delaware present,

ly declare the causes which impelled the burning with a desire to have the vote

representatives of the people to adopt it. of his colony recorded in the affirmative.

To avoid loss of time, a committee was sent an express after the third delegate,

appointed (June 11) to prepare such Caesar Rodney. He was 80 miles from

declaration. The committee was composed Philadelphia. Ten minutes after receiving

of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benja- McKean s message Rodney \vas in the sad-

min Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Rob- die, and, riding all night, he reached the

ert R. Livingston. Mr. Lee having been floor of Congress (July 4) just in time

called home before the appointment of the to secure the vote of Delaware in favor

committee, Mr. Jefferson was put in his of independence. All three of the delegates

place. He was requested by the com- from Delaware voted for the declaration,

mittee, after discussing the topics, to The vote of Pennsylvania was also secured,

make a draft of a declaration of inde- a majority of its seven delegates being in

pendence. It was discussed in committee, favor of the measure; and on the 4th of

amended very slightly, and finally report- July, 1776, the Declaration of Indepen-

ed. Debates upon it were long and ani- dence was adopted by the unanimous vote

mated. There was some opposition to of the Congress. See WTXTTIROP, R. C.
voting for independence at all, and it was On Thursday, July 4, 1776, agreeable

Online LibraryBenson John LossingHarper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) → online text (page 5 of 76)