Benson John Lossing.

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

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ernment of these countries with our ap- the privy council, and all other chancel-
probation, we command and order all lors, presidents, and lords of the provin-
justiciaries, officers, and all whom it may cial council, and all presidents, account-
concern, not to make use of the name, ant-general, and to others in all the
titles, great or privy seal of the King of chambers of accounts respectively in these
Spain from henceforward; but in lieu of said countries, and likewise to all other
them, as long as his highness the Duke judges and officers, as we hold them dis-
of Anjou is absent upon urgent affairs re- charged from henceforth of their oath
lating to the welfare of these countries, made to the King of Spain, pursuant to
having so agreed with his highness or the tenor of their commission, that they
otherwise, they shall provisionally use shall take a new oath to the States of
the name an^ title of the president and that country on whose jurisdiction they



depend, or to commissaries appointed by comprised a number of resolutions
them, to be true to us against the King adopted at a meeting of the citizens of
of Spain and all his adherents, according Mecklenburg county, N. C., in May, 1775,
to the formula of words prepared by the thus antedating by more than a year that
States General for that purpose. And which is now universally recognized as
we shall give to the said counsellors, the American Declaration of Indepen-
justiciaries, and officers employed in these dence. The Mecklenburg Declaration has
provinces, who have contracted in our been a subject of historical controversy
name with his highness the Serenisme, from the time that it was first made pub-
Duke of Anjou, an act to continue them lie, and this controversy has given birth
in their respective offices, instead of new to a literature which sharply questions
commissions, a clause annulling the for- the authenticity of the declaration. The
mer provisionally till the arrival of his circumstances alleged under which this
highness. Moreover to all such counsel- declaration was made known are, in brief,
lors, accomptants, justiciaries, -and officers as follows: In the spring of 1775, Col.
in these provinces, who have not contract- Adam Alexander called upon the people of
ed with his highness aforesaid, we shall Mecklenburg county to appoint delegates
grant new commissions under our hands to a convention to devise ways and means
and seals, unless any of the said officers to assist their brethren in Boston. The
are accused and convicted of having acted delegates met in Charlotte on May 19, al-
under their former commissions against most immediately after the receipt of
the liberties and privileges of this coun- news of the battle of Lexington. Colone^
try or of other the like maladministra- Alexander was elected chairman, and Jphn
tion. We further command the president McKnitt Alexander clerk of the "conven-
and members of the privy council, chan- tion. After a free~nnd full discussion of
cellor of the Duchy of Brabant, also the ihe various objects for which the conven-
chancellor of the Duchy of Gueldres, and tion had been called, it was unanimously
county of Zutphen, to the president and ordained:
members of the council of Holland, to the

receivers of great officers of Beooster- 1. Resolved, that whosoever directly or

Scheldt and Bewesterscheldt in Zealand, to indirectly abetted, or in any way, form,

the president and council of Frise, and to or manner, countenanced the unchartered

the Escoulet of Mechelen, to the president and dangerous invasions of our rights, as

and members of the council of Utrecht, claimed by Great Britain, is an enemy

and to all other justiciaries and officers to this country, to American, and to the

whom it may concern, to the lieutenants inherent and inalienable rights of man.

all and every of them, to cause this our 2. Resolved, that we, the citizens of

ordinance to be published and proclaimed Mecklenburg county, do hereby dissolve

throughout their respective jurisdictions, the political bands which have connected

in the usual places appointed for that pur- us to the mother - country, and hereby

pose, that none may plead ignorance. And absolve ourselves from allegiance to the

to cause our said ordinance to be observed British crown, and abjure all political

inviolably, punishing the offenders im- connection, contract, or association with

partially and without delay; for so tis that nation, who have wantonly trampled

found expedient for the public good. And, on our rights arid liberties, and in-

for better maintaining, all and every arti- humanly shed the innocent blood of

cle hereof, we give to all and every of American patriots at Lexington,

you, by express command, full power and 3. Resolved, that we do hereby declare

authority. In witness wherof we have ourselves a free and independent people;

hereunto set our hands and seals, dated are, and of right ought to be, a sovereign

in our assembly at the Hague, the six and and self-governing association, under the

twentieth day of July, 1581, indorsed by control of no power other than that of

the orders of the States General, and our God and the general government of

signed J. DE ASSELIERS. the Congress ; to the maintenance of

Declaration of Independence, MECK- which independence we solemnly pledge

LENBTJRG, a document alleged to have to each other our mutual co-operation,



our lives, our fortunes, and our most the crown of Great Britain never can be

sacred honor. considered as holding rights, privileges,

4. Resolved, that, as we acknowledge immunities, or authority therein,
the existence and control of no law or 5. Resolved, that it is also further de-
legal officer, civil or military, within this creed that all, each, and every military
county, we do hereby ordain and adopt, officer in this county is hereby rein-
as a rule of life, all, each, and every of stated to his former command and au-
our former laws; wherein, nevertheless, thority, he acting conformably to these




regulations, and that every member pres- mere day of the month on the ground that
ent of this delegation shall henceforth be this discrepancy was explainable by the
a civil officer viz., a justice of the peace use of the old style and the new style of
in the character of a " committee-man," to calendars; but they ignored the facts that
issue process, hear and determine all the two sets of resolutions were dissimi-
matter of controversy, according to said lar, that the latter were comparatively
adopted laws, and to preserve peace, and mild, and that the former contained ex-
union, and harmony in said county, and pressions almost identical with the ac-
to use every exertion to spread the love cepted Declaration of Independence of
of country and fire of freedom through- 1776. It is to be further stated that an
out America, until a more general and attempt was made to reconcile these dis
organized government be established in, crepancics and similarities on the ground
this province. that as the book alleged to have contained

These resolutions were supplemented by the original text had been destroyed by
a number of minor provisions to insure fire, some one, years afterwards, had pre-
the safety of the citizens, and at 2 A.M. pared from recollection the draft of the
on May 20, the resolutions were unani- resolutions which were published in the
mously adopted. A few days afterwards Raleigh Register. The fact has been es-
Capt. James Jack, of Charlotte, was ap- tablished by acceptable evidence that the
pointed messenger to convey a draft of the document taken to Philadelphia by Cap-
resolutions to the Congress then in session tain Jack contained the twenty resolutions
in Philadelphia, and on the return of of May 31, and not the declaration of
Captain Jack, the Charlotte convention May 20. The foregoing are the principal
was informed that their proceedings had facts touching this historical controversy;
been individually approved by the mem- and while Bancroft accepts the declaration
bers of Congress, but that it was deemed as an authentic document, equally emi-
premature to lay them before the House, ncnt historians have agreed that it was

On April 30, 1818, a copy of the alleged not entitled to the standing of a verified
Declaration of Independence was first document.

made public in the Raleigh Register, and Declaration of Paris. See CUBA: Mo-
following the text was a certificate Kinley s Message.

signed " James McKnitt," tending to show Declaration of Rights by Virginia,
that the text was a true copy of the papers George Mason drafted for Virginia a
left in his hands by John Matthew Alex- declaration of rights, and on May 27, 177G,
ander, deceased; and that the original Archibald Carey presented it to the Vir-
book was burned in April, 1800. When ginia convention. On June 12 it was
the Raleigh Register published this state- adopted. It declared that all men are
ment there was a general demand for the by nature equally free, and are invested
proof concerning such an important event, with inalienable rights namely, the en-
that had been allowed to slumber for joyment of life, liberty, property, and the 1
more than forty years. All the questions pursuit of happiness and safety; that all
involved were investigated by a committee power is vested in, and consequently de-
of the North Carolina legislature in 1831, rived from, the people; that government
and its report so far satisfied the people is, or ought to be, instituted for the com-
of that State that May 20 was made a mon benefit and security of the people.
State holiday. In 1838. Peter Force, a nation, or community, and that when gov-
well-known scholar, announced the dis- eminent shall fail to perform its required
covery of another set of resolutions, en- functions, a majority of the people have
dorsed as having been adopted by the peo- an inalienable right to reform or abolish
pie of Mecklenburg county on May 31, or it; that, public services not being de-
eleven days after the resolutions above scendible, the office of magistrate, legis-
quoted. The last set of resolutions num- lator, or judge ought not to be hereditary;
bered twenty, and made no declaration that the legislative and executive powers
of independence. Some parties who do- of the state should be distinct from the
fended the resolutions of May 20 claimed judicature, and that the members of the
that there should be no question as to the first two should, at fixed periods, return



unto the body from which they were and vehemently declared that " taxation
originally taken, and the vacancies be sup- and representation are inseparable." The
plied by frequent elections; that elections declaratory act became a law, but it was
ought to be free; that all men having a distasteful to thinking Americans, for it
permanent interest in and attachment to involved the kernel of royal prerogative,
the country have the right of suffrage, which the colonists rejected. But it was
and cannot be taxed or deprived of their overlooked. Pitt had the honor of the
property for public uses without their own repeal. The London merchants lauded
consent or that of their representatives him as a benefactor, and there was a
freely elected, nor bound by any law to burst of gratitude towards him in Amer-
which they have not, in like manner, as- ica. New York voted a statue to Pitt and
sented; that there ought to be no arbi- the King; Virginia voted a statue to thv
trary power for suspending laws, for re- monarch; Maryland passed a similar vote,
quiring excessive bail, or for granting of and ordered a portrait of Lord Camden;
general warrants ; that no man ought to and the authorities of Boston ordered full-
be deprived of liberty except by the law length portraits of Barr6 and Conway,
of the land or the judgment of his peers, friends of the Americans, for Faneuil Hall,
holding sacred the ancient trial by jury; Decoration Day. See MEMORIAL DAY.
that the freedom of the press is one of De Costa, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, clergy -
the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and can man; born in Charlestown, Mass., July
never be restrained but by despotic gov- 10, 1831; graduated at the Concord
ernments; that a well-regulated militia, Biblical Institute in 1856; was a chaplain
composed of the body of the people, trained in the National army in 1861-63; and is
to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe the author of The Pre-ColumUan Dis-
defence of a free state; that standing covery of America by the Northmen; The
armies in times of peace should be avoided Northmen in Maine, etc.
as dangerous to liberty, and in all cases Deep Bottom, VA. In Grant s Virginia
the military should be under strict subor- campaign in 1864 this place, then held by
dination to the civil power ; that the General Foster, was attacked by a part of
people have a right to uniform govern- Lee s army without success, June 21. A
ment; that no free government can be counter attack by the Nationals was order-
preserved but by a firm adherence to jus- ed July 26 and 27, which was partly suc-
tice, moderation, temperance, frugality, cessful. The Confederates retired to Cha-
and virtue, and by frequent recurrences to pin s Bluff, which they continued to hold,
fundamental principles; and that religion Deerfield, a town on the west bank of
can be directed only by reason and con- the Connecticut River, in Franklin
viction, not by force or violence ; there- county, Mass. ; notable as having been
fore all men are equally entitled to the twice the victim of a foray by French and
free exercise of it according to the die- Indians. During King Philip s War a
tates of conscience. The unanimous voice terrible slaughter occurred a mile from the
of the convention approved of this dec- town, Sept. 18 (0. S.), 1675. The Ind-
laration. ians had burned Deerfield and murdered

Declaratory Act, THE. Pitt concluded some of the inhabitants. The survivors
his speech in the British House of Com- fled, leaving about 3,000 bushels of wheat
mons against the Stamp- Act by a propo- in stacks in the field. Capt. Thomas Lo-
sition for its absolute and immediate re- throp, commanding part of a force at Had-
peal, at the same time recommending an ley, was sent with eighty men to secure
act, to accompany the repeal, declaring, this grain. As they approached Deerfield
in the most unqualified terms, the sov- they fell into an Indian ambush, and the
ereign authority of Great Britain over her captain and seventy-six men were slain,
colonies. This was intended as a salve In 1704, a party of French and Indians,
for the national honor, necessary, as Pitt under Maj. Hertel de RouVille, who had
knew, to secure the repeal of the act. But travelled on snoAV-shoes from Canada, ap-
Lord Camden, who was the principal sup- preached Deerfield. The chief object of
porter of the repeal bill in the Upper the expedition was to procure a little bell
House, was opposed to the declaratory act, hung over the meeting-house in that vil-



lage. It had been bought in France for
the church in the Indian village of
Caughnawaga, 10 miles above Montreal.
The vessel that bore it to America was
captured by a New England privateer and
taken into Boston Harbor. The bell was
sold to the Deerfield congregation. Father
Nicolas, the priest at Caughnawaga, per
suaded the Indians to accompany him,
under De Rouville, to get the bell. When
the invaders approached Deerfield, the
snow lay 4 feet deep in that region, and
was covered by a hard crust that bore the
men. Upon drifts that lay by the pali
sades they were able to crawl over these
defences in the gloom of night, while the
inhabitants were slumbering. The first
intimation the villagers had of danger was
the bursting in of the doors before the
dawn (March 1, 1704), and the terrible
sound of the war-whoop. The people were
dragged from their beds and murdered,
without regard to age or sex, or carried
into captivity. The village was set on
fire, and every building, excepting the
chapel and one dwelling-house, was laid in
ashes. Forty-seven of the inhabitants
were killed, and 120 were captives on their
way through the wilderness towards
Canada an hour after sunrise. Under the
direction of Father Nicolas, the bell was
carried away, and finally found its des
tined place in the belfry of the church
at Caughnawaga, where it still hangs.
Among the victims of this foray were
REV. JOHN WILLIAMS (q. v.), pastor of
the church at Deerfield, and his family,
who were carried into captivity, except
ing two children, who were murdered.

Deerhound, the name of an English
yacht, which, while conveying arms to the
Carlists, \ras seized by the Spanish gov
ernment vessel Buenaventura, off Biarritz,
and captain and crew imprisoned, Aug. 13,
1873; and released about Sept. 18. This
yacht rescued Captain Semmes and part
of his crew from the Alabama after her
destruction by the Kearsarge, June 10,

Defective Classes. In no country on
earth has there been such a general and
liberal provision by national and local
authorities, societies, and individuals for
the education of defective youth as in the
United States. For details of this grand


De Forest, JOHN WILLIAM, military
officer; born in Humphreysville (now
Seymour), Conn., March 31, 182G; entered
the National army as captain at the be
ginning of the Civil War; served con
tinuously till January, 18(55; and was ad
jutant-general of the Veteran Reserve
Corps in 1865-G8. His publications in
clude The History of the Indians of Con
necticut, from the Earliest -known Period
to 1850, etc.


De Haas, JOHN PHILIP, military offi
cer; born in Holland about 1735; was de
scended from an ancient family in north
ern France; came to America in 1750;
was an ensign in the French and Indian
War; participated in a sharp conflict
with Indians near Pittsburg; and was
colonel of the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment
in 1776. He served in the American
army in Canada, and afterwards at Ticon-
deroga. He led his regiment from Lake
Champlain to New York, and partici
pated in the battle on Long Island in
August, 1770. In February, 1777, he was
promoted to brigadier-general. General
De Haas was a good disciplinarian, and
served in various capacities during the
entire war with credit to himself and
benefit to his adopted country. The lat
ter years of his life were passed in Phila
delphia, where he died June 3, 1780.

De Haven, EDWIN J., explorer; born
in Philadelphia in 1819; entered the navy
as midshipman, rose to lieutenant in 1841,
and resigned in 1857. He was with
Wilkes in his great exploring expedition
in 1838-42, and commanded the first ex
ploring expedition fitted out at New York
to search for Sir John Franklin in the
Arctic seas. The expedition consisted of
the Advance, 140 tons, and the Rescue, 90
tons. Dr. Kane, who accompanied the ex
pedition, published a full account of it.
After his return Lieutenant De Haven
was employed on coast survey duty and
in the Naval Observatory. He died in
Philadelphia Oct. 2, 1805.


Delafleld, RICHARD, military engineer;



born in New York City, Sept. 1, 1798; Portuguese engineers certified was the bor-
graduated at the United States Mili- der of the Transvaal. In 1889 the Portu-
tary Academy in 1818, and entered the guese government served notice on Colonel
corps of engineers; was engaged in build- McMurdo that the real frontier was 6
ing the defences of Hampton Roads, the miles further inland, and that if the road
fortifications in the district of the Mis- was not built to that point within four
sissippi, and those within the vicinity months it would be seized by Portugal,
of Delaware River and Bay in 1819-38; Before McMurdo s side of the contro-
superintendent of West Point in 1838-45 versy could be heard, Portugal confiscated
and in 185G-G1; and became chief of en- the entire property (June, 1889). The
gineers in 1864. At the close of the Civil United States, in behalf of the McMurdo
War he was brevetted major-general, U. interests, united with England to compel
S. A., " for faithful, meritorious, and dis- Portugal to make proper reparation, and
languished services in the engineer depart- Portugal consented to have the dispute
ment during the rebellion." He was re- settled by arbitration. The tribunal was
tired in 1866. He died in Washington, organized in Berne, Switzerland, in 1890,
D. C., Nov. 5, 1873. but it was not till March 29, 1900, that a
Delagoa Bay, a large bay, the estuary conclusion was reached. The total award
of several rivers, on the southeast coast to the claimants was $3,202,800, with in-
of Africa, situated between lat. 25 40 terest from 1889, and by a compromise
and 26 20 S. It extends 60 miles from the fieirs of Colonel McMurdo were award-
north to south, and 20 miles from east to ed $500,000 towards the close of 1900.
west. It was discovered by the Portu- De Lancey, EDWARD FLOYD, historian;
guese in 1498, and for nearly 400 years born at Mamaroneck, N. ., April 3,
was in dispute between England and Por- 1821; graduated at Hobart College in
tugal, the Boers also putting in a claim 1843; is a member and officer of many
to it in 1835. It is the only seaport avail- historical organizations, and the author
able for the Transvaal, but it is not in of biographies of James De Lancey, James
that territory. The contention between W. Beekman, William Allen; Documcnt-
England and Portugal w::s referred to ary History of New York; Capture of Fort
President Thiers, and settled by President Washington, and many other historical
MacMahon, his successor, in 1875, in works. ^

favor of Portugal. By an agreement Eng- De Lancey, ETTENNE ( STEPHEN ) ; mer-
land received the right of pre-emption, chant; born in Caen, France, Oct. 24,
It was understood in the early part of the 1663; fled to Holland on the revocation
war between the British and the Boers of the Edict of Nantes; and went thence
(1899-1900) that Great Britain had to England and became a British subject,
either purchased the bay and its imme- He landed in New York, June 7, 1686;
diate surroundings outright or had nego- became a merchant and amassed a large
tiated an arrangement with Portugal by fortune; and was at all times a public-
which the bay could not be used for any spirited citizen. In 1700 he built the De
purpose hostile to British interest. In Lancey house, which subsequently became
1883 Col. Edward McMurdo, a civil engi- known as the "Queen s Head" and
neer of Kentucky, received from the King " Fraunce s Tavern." In the large room,
of Portugal an extremely liberal conces- originally Mrs. De Lancey s drawing-room,
sion for the construction of a railroad Washington bade farewell to the officers
from Lorenzo Marques to the Transvaal of the Army of the Revolution. He died
frontier, a distance of 57 miles. This in New York City, Nov. 18, 1741.
concession also included the grant of large De Lancey, JAMES, jurist ; born in
tracts of land along the projected route, NewJYork City, Nov. 27, 1703; eldest son
the territory upon which much of the of Etienne De Lancey; graduated at
town of Lorenzo Marques now stands, an the University of Cambridge, England,
island in Delagoa Bay, and certain com- and soon after his return to New York
mercial privileges along the shore. By (1729) was made a justice of the Su-
ihe aid of British capital the road was preme Court of that province, and chief-
completed in November, 1887, to what the justice in 1733. For two years, as lieu-



tenant-governor, he was acting governor
(1753-55), after the death of Governor
Osborn. Judge De Lancey was for many
years the most influential man in the
politics and legislation of the colony, and
was one of the founders of King s Col
lege (now Columbia University). He
wrote a Review of the Military Opera
tions from 1753 to 1756. He died in New
York City, July 30, 1760.

De Lancey, OLIVER, military officer;
born in New York City, Sept. 16, 1708;
brother of Judge De Lancey; for many
years a member of the Assembly and
Council, also a colonel of .the pro
vincial troops, and when the Revolution
broke out he organized and equipped,

Online LibraryBenson John LossingHarper's encyclopdia of United States history from 458 A.D. to 1905 (Volume 3) → online text (page 9 of 76)