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On Oct. 4 the battle of Germantown followed, with no
better success to the American arms.

The high-tide of the reyolutioii, 1777-78.— It

is impossible to over-estimate the importance of the
events of the year, 1777. The British had maintained
their hold on New York. They had even extended
their field of operations to the north of the city.
They had taken Philadelphia after the battle of Brandy-
wine Creek, and they had won a small success at Ger-
mantown. But their chief campaign, designed to
reduce our own State, had failed in every particular.
In these operations their losses had greatly exceeded

1777] High-tide of the Revolution^ 277

their small gains in other directions, while the moral
effect of the surrender of an entire army of invasion
was incalculable. It broke up the English plan of the
war, which was to sever the eastern colonies from the
southern by obtaining control of the Hudson. It saved
Xew York to the patriot cause, and it rendered French
intervention an absolute certainty. It created a strong
peace party in England, powerless as it was in the
hands of the king and his ministry. Better than all
these was the courage which had made Kew York able,
in the midst of alarms, to establish an enduring State

This was to be followed by Valley Forge and a win-
ter of deepest gloom; but, out of sight, eternal de-
crees were surely preparing the way for American


1. Burgoyne's invasion, 1777; object of campaign
and its parts.

2. Composition of Burgoyne's army.

3. General Schuyler and his plans.

4. King George and Ticonderoga.

5. Schuyler and Gates.

6. Fort Stanwix; St. Leger; General Herkimer.

7. Battle of Oriskany.

8. General Arnold; his ruse.

9. The " stars and stripes ".

10. Burgoyne's advance.

11. Schuyler superseded.

12. Battle of Bennington, or Hoosic.



[Period VII

13. Battles of Saratoga, or Bemis Heights and Still-
water, and surrender of Burgoyne.

14. Scenes in battles ; General Arnold's courage.

15. Sir Henry Clinton on the Hudson.

16. Burning of Kingston; Mrs. Livingston.

17. Pitt's last appeal.

18. Battles of Brandywine and Germantown.

19. The high-tide of the revolution.





Saratoga Battlefield Monument

A Year of Trial, 1777-8

The winter of 1777-8.— The American army of
the north, now under General Israel Putnam, win-
tered among the Highlands. The residents of Kings-
ton who could do so sought shelter among friends in
neighboring settlements, while others shivered in such
hovels as their ingenuity could provide.

The legislature met at Hurley, a little hamlet four
miles from Kingston, while the petty tyrant, Tryon,
sent out burning and pillaging expeditions among all
the settlements wherever a single faithful patriot
family remained.

West Point fortified. — It was during this winter
that under General Putnam's direction, with two feet
of snow on the ground, the fortifications at West
Point were erected to take the place of Forts Mont-
gomery and Clinton, now abandoned.

Treaty with France^ 1778. — When the news of
Saratoga reached England, Lord Chatham once more
plead for a treaty with the American colonies. " Do it
before you sleep! " he said. The treaty between
America and France was signed February (3, 1778. On
March 13 the fact was announced in parliament. The
next day the ministry resigned, and again the earl of
Chatham was asked to organize the government. Lean-
ing upon the arm of his son, he once more entered


280 Fkance gives hek Aid [Period VII

the house of lords. But now, with France in alliance
with America, he refused to listen to further talk of
reconciliation. Henceforth, in the few days that re-
mained to him, he urged the vigorous prosecution of
the war*.

New York's first supreme courts 1777. — While
Bennington and Saratoga and Brandy wine were im-
pending, on Sept. 9, 1777, New York's first chief jus-
tice, John Jay, had opened his first court at Kingston.

In charging the jury he used these memorable words :
*' You will know no power but such as you create, no
laws but such as acquire their force by your consent.
The rights of conscience and a private judgment are
by nature subject to no control but that of Deity,
and in that free situation they are now left."

New York's first legislature. — On Oct. 15 Gov-
ernor Clinton met the first legislature at the same
place, leaving his command in the army only long
enough to attend to necessary State business. Only
a few days later Kingston was burned by General
Vaughn. Strangely enough the court house in wdiich
the legislature met was spared and is now the property
of the State.

Battle of Moumoutli. — With the opening of
spring the British army, now under command of Sir
Henry Clinton, evacuated Philadelphia and began its
movement toward New York, followed closely by

* It is a common mistake to suppose that the treaty
with France was the result of her friendship for the
American colonies. So far as France was concerned,
it was only a blow at her traditional enemy, Great

1778] Cherry Valley Massacre 281

Washington. On June 28 the battle of Monmouth
took place with advantage to the Americans.

The English armies were now all concentrated in and
about Xew York, while the Ainerican forces were en-
camped at different points from Xew Brunswick, X.
J., to White Plains, X. Y., and operations were for a
time transferred to Rhode Island.

Indian tronbles^ 177(S. — Xew York having been
overrun by foreigti soldiery, was again to experience the
horrors of savage warfare. Xiagara was a regular
English post, but it was also the gathering place for
refugee tories, hostile Indian tribes and every species
of vagabond.

Thither, after St. Leger's defeat, had gone chief
Brant (see page 175), the notorious Butler, and other
dependents of the Johnsons ; and there were organized
those expeditions destined to desolate the State with
fire and pillage and murder. The Indians were cruel;
the tories were pitiless.

The settlers in the interior were warned, but not too
soon. In May, Brant desolated Springfield, at the
head of Otsego lake. Every house was burned. In
June he was on the Cobleskill with torch and scalping-

The Cherry Valley massacre. — At Cherry Valley
was a small fort about a church. This was garrisoned
by a party of continental troops under command of
Colonel Alden. He was warned, but did not take
heed. In the early morning of Xovember 11, Butler*

* This was Walter X. Butler, a tory, — more savage
than Brant, who often tried to save the lives of women
and children.

282 AVyoming Massacre [Period VII

and his savage followers burst upon the settlement.
Thirty of the inhabitants and sixteen soldiers were
murdered, and forty men, women, and children taken
away into a captivity wo^'se than death.

The Wyoming massacre. — Fn the same year But-
ler led the party that perpetrated the terrible Wyoming
massacre, — one of the most cruel and blood-thirsty
tragedies of history*.

Against such a foe, lurking in the dense forests and
stealing in the night-time upon defenceless settlements,
there was no protection. There was enough that was
sad about the War of the Revolution, but the greatest
crime of it all was the fact that these atrocities were
sanctioned and encouraged by King George III, a
christian monarch.

As a result of these barbarities the interior settle-
ments were practically abandoned, and the remaining
population concentrated in and about the valley of
the Hudson.

Results of 1778. — As the year 1778 drew to its
close, little could be seen to encourage the hearts of
the patriots. As yet, no real advantage had been
gained from the French alliance. The internal affiairs
of the colonies had not improved. Xew York in par-
ticular was prostrate, for upon her had fallen all the
disastrous consequences of war.

* It is claimed that Butler with his Iroquois Indians
went from Niagara to the headwaters of the Chemung
river, near the present village of Arkport in Steuben
county, where they built boats, and floating down the
Canisteo to the Chemung, entered the Susquehanna
at Waverly.

1777] A Gloomy Outlook 283

On the other hand, England with all her outlay had
gained only a few insignificant conquests in the south.
With the coming of the winter of 1778 and 1779, to
the human eye, the end seemed as distant as it had
at the beginning. The main body of the American
army lay at Middlebrook, X. J., still unpaid, and
suffering from lack of both food and clothing.


1. West Point.

2. Treaty with France, 1778; note.

3. New York's first supreme court and first legisla-

4. Indian troubles of 1778; Springfield, the Cobles-
kill, Cherry Valley, Wyoming.

5. Results of campaigns of 1778.



The Years of Massacres akd of Treason,

Capture of Stony Point, 1779. — In the beginning
of spring a small garrison was at work constructing
fortifications at Stony Point. It was a position of
great importance to the American army, for it com-
manded the principal crossing of the Hudson on the
only route now open between the eastern States and
the south, and it was depended on to prevent the passage
of British ships up the Hudson. Against this post,

Sir Henry Clinton sailed
with an armament in the
« latter part of May. H i s

ships, aided by a strong land
force, were soon able to re-
duce the half-finished de-
fences, which he garrisoned
and at once proceeded to
enlarge and complete. It was
necessary that the position
should be retaken. For this
purpose General Anthony Wayne was selected.

Having perfected his plans and secured Washington's
approval of them, he prepared, on the 15th of July,
to make the attack.

At 8 o'clock in the evening he was within a mile of
the fort and undiscovered. He then divided his force


Anthony Wayne. 1745-1796


into two columns, leading one himself and placing the
other in charge of Colonel De Fleury, a Frenchman.
Muskets were unloaded and bayonets affixed, that in
the darkness the two parties might not fire on each
other. From opposite directions the two bands ap-
proached and were within pistol shot before they were
discovered. Then there was a cry "To arms!", fol-
lowed by a rattle of musketry, and a roar of artillery.
Xot one instant did the columns waver. Over the
ramparts they poured, through a storm of bullets, and
in a few minutes the fort was won. Of the enemy 60
fell and 550 surrendered.

Wayne had not troops sufficient to garrison the
place, so, removing all the stores and ordnance, he de-
stroyed the fort and marched away'-^.

Expedition against the Onondagas. — Early in
the year 1779 it was determined to punish and,- if pos-
sible, humble the Iroquois. AVith the memories of all
they had suffered from these savages still fresh in their
minds, the people willingly joined in the expedition
against them.

The first movement was against the Onondagas. In
April, a force left Fort Stanwix and invaded their
country. The Indians retired westward, and their vil-
lages in the vicinity of the present site of Syracuse
were destroyed. This action only served to rouse the
warriors to still greater resentment. Almost immedi-
ately 300 braves were on the war-path. They spread
desolation to the borders of Ulster county and the

'•"^ Wayne sent to Washington only this brief dispatch:
" The fort is ours. Officers and privates behaved like
men determined to be free."


StTLLivAN^'s Campaign [Period VII

settlements on the Xeversink river. A small expedi-
tion sent out against them was defeated and all but 30

Sulliyan's eaiiipaii;!!, 1779. — It now became evi-
dent that more vigorous
measures must be used, and
General John Sullivan was
placed in command of 5,000
continental soldiers. He en-
tered upon this campaign in
August, and on the 29th
encountered the Indians
near the present site of El-
mi ra. The savages were de-
feated and pursued up the
valley, and past the site of the present village of
Horseheads *. On Sept. 2 Sullivan burned their vil-
lage at Catherine's Townf, destroying crops and or-
chards, A detachment of soldiers was sent up the
Canisteo and Cohocton valleys to devastate the Indian
settlements in those localities.

The Genesee valley devastated. — So energetic
had been the pursuit that by the middle of Septem-
ber, General Sullivan and his troops had reached the
beautiful Genesee valley, then not occupied by a single

HN Sullivan, 1740-1795

* Some thirty or forty of General Sullivan's worn-
out horses were shot at this place. The Indians
gathered the heads and arranged them at the sides of
the path; hence the name.

t Captain Montour, son of Queen Catherine, died of
wounds during this raid, hence the present name
'' Montour Falls".

1780] A Year of Massacres 287

white settler. This was a very paradise to the red
man. Here were orchards and corn-fields such as the
Indian had never been supposed to possess. From
this valley all their supplies were drawn. Under the
teaching of the French they had acquired a knowledge
of agriculture almost incredible, and their dwellings
seemed the homes of civilized men.

Everything was destroyed. Villages and standing
corn were burned, orchards were cut down, and the
Indians were hunted like wild beasts through the
forests. It was a terrible retribution, and for a time
the savages were completely subdued; but after recov-
ering from their first terror they were even more
ferocious than before.

Sullivan's campaign through the dense forests of
southern and western Xew York must rank among the
greatest enterprises of the revolutionary period.

The Johnstown raid. — The Iroquois were not de-
stroyed. Sir John Johnson used the chastisement they
had received to stir them up to fiercer barbarities. In
May, 1780, under his leadership and with the aid of a
few regulars and a band of tories, they again pene-
trated the region about Johnstown, fell upon the set-
tlements in the night-time, destroyed every house not
the home of a tory, and escaped to Canada.

Canajoharie and Fort Plain. — Other raids fol-
lowed. In August of this year, 1780, Brant appeared
once more with 500 Indians and tories. The settle-
ments at Canajoharie and Fort Plain were ruined.
Many people were murdered and more than fifty taken
away as prisoners.

288 Sir John JoExsoi^r [Period VII

Invasion of the Schoharie valley. — Late in the
autumn a more extensive expedition was led by Sir
John Johnson, Joseph Brant, and a Seneca chief
called Cornplanter. This expedition fell upon the val-
ley of the Schoharie, the scene of so many massacres.

It was the middle of October. A bountiful harvest
had been gathered and the barns were filled. Sir
John's orders were to sweep the valley to the Mohawk *.
A small force of continentals under General Robert
Van Rensselaer was sent in pursuit. On reaching
Caughnawaga they found it in flames. Colonel Brown,
with a small detachment met Johnson at Palatine
Bridge, was defeated, and, with forty of his men, slain.

The pursuit was continued, but so tardily that once
more Sir John escaped to Canada with many prisoners
and a great quantity of plunder.

Sir John Johnson. — The leading spirit in all these
cruelties, as we have seen, was Sir John Johnson. His
association with savage warfare has brought great odi-
um upon his name. His property and person had been
respected by General Schuyler in 1776, when he had
given his solemn promise not to engage in any furthe'r
enterprises against the people of New York. This
promise he had broken. Returning from Canada, he
had led the savages in their raids against the settlers.
A petty lord among the Indians, he could not briug
himself to regard the interests of the commonwealth
in which he had been a voluntary citizen.

* This, of course, did not include the property of
tories. Their buildings were spared, but not long after
they were destroyed by the patriots, in retaliation.

1780] Treason of Benedict Arnold 289

Another invasion from Canada^ 1780.— While
the interior of the State had been desolated by these
raids, Carleton, from Canada, had again invaded the
region of Lake Champlain. He captured and destroyed
Fort George, and sent out marauding parties into all
that portion of the State. Then, proceeding to Crown
Point, he landed and took his course toward Schenec-
tady. He reached Ballston, which he destroyed, but
from that place he was obliged to turn back.

Arnold's treason, 1780.— From the beginning of
the revolution, there had not
been in the American armies
another man of a character
so contradictory as Benedict
Arnold's. Brave to the point
of rashness, haughty, often
insubordinate, insensible to
the claims of gratitude or
the rules of honor, from
childhood cruel and revenge-

BENEDicT ARNOLD. 1741-1801 ^^j^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ability to

inspire the loftiest patriotism in others, and at times
exhibited emotions of deepest sympathy for the un-

Apparently insensible to fatigue and hunger and
wounds in the cause of his country, he was still capa-
ble of trading on all these for a chance of promotion.
We have seen Arnold at Ticonderoga, at Quebec, Oris-
kany, Bemis Heights, and Saratoga,— the very incarna-
tion of fine soldierly qualities. His is the sad story of
the fall of a brave soldier, a brilliant leader, a trusted

290 Treason of Benedict Arnold [Period VII

general. His character was a strange combination of
high ambitions and base motives.

Trusted by Washington, defended when a hot tem-
per had brought him into disgrace, Arnold was willing
to involve his best friend in the ruin and fall of the
country he professed to love.

On the field at Bemis Heights he had been reproved
by General Gates for disobedience. He then became
insubordinate; he was deprived of his command and
afterward court-martialed.

His reprimand by Washingtou. — His sentence
was that he should be reprimanded by Washington.
That reprimand, still preserved, shows a deep affec-
tion for the unhappy recipient, and should have won
the most obdurate heart. It is worth repeating for
the insight it gives to the character of Washington:

" Our profession is the chastest of all. The shadow
of a fault tarnishes our most brilliant actions. The
least inadvertence may cause us to lose that public
favor which is so hard to be regained. I reprimand
you for having forgotten that in proportion as you
have rendered yourself formidable to our enemies, you
should have shown moderation toward our citizens.
Exhibit again those splendid qualities which have
placed you in the rank of our most distinguished
generals. As far as it shall be in my power, I will my-
self furnish you with opportunities for regaining the
esteem which you have formerly enjoyed."

Treason long meditated. — Even at that time
Arnold was, under an assumed name, in secret cor-
respondence with Sir Henry Clinton; every step he


Capture of Major Andre


took thereafter had reference to the treason which he
so nearly consummated. He was already a lost man.
Complaining that his wounds rendered him unfit for
active field-service, he asked for and obtained com-
mand of the small force which took possession of Phila-
delphia after its evacuation by the English army.
Here he allied himself by marriage with a tory family,
and plunged into the most extravagant manner of liv-
ing; thus to his other troubles adding financial em-

Plan of betrayal. — Then it w^as that he conceived
the plan of obtaining command at West Point, and
surrendering that gateway of the Hudson to the
enemy. To obtain this he reported to subterfuges
which deceived Washington. No sooner was he in
command than he pushed his treasonable plans with
an art that would have done credit to Satan.

Interview with Ma;jor Andre.— Soon Arnold and
Major Andre of the English
army were in consultation
within the American lines.
The exact price of his trea-
son in cash and titles was
agreed upon. It was planned
that under the pretence of
an anticipated attack, he
should scatter his garrison
among the many ravines
which surround West Point,

while the precise routes by which the English forces

were to advance were also marked out.

John Andre, 1751-1780

1780] Capture of Major Andre 293

Writers have often remarked on the shrewdness of the
plan by which Arnold carried on his correspondence
with Sir Henry Clinton for a year and a half, while he
was at the same time employed and trusted in the ser-
vice of his country. It seemed impossible for the plan
to miscarry. It was, indeed, worthy of the mind that
conceived it.

Strange chain of circumstances. — But the chain
of circumstances by which it was undone was still
more remarkable, for the actors in the different parts
had no connection with or knowledge of each other.

The ship ' ' Vulture " , in which Andre had come up
the river, was driven down stream by a volunteer bat-
tery on shore, which on that particular morning was in
the immediate vicinity. This made it necessary for
Andre to return by land. On the day that he was
making this return trip, five men had of their own
free will, agreed to watch the road to prevent theii*
neighbors from driving cattle to the Xew York mar-
kets to feed the English army, and they took the par-
ticular road by which Andre was quietly journeying
toward the English lines. Just as they were about to
dismiss him, after their self -instituted search, one of
their number bethought himself to examine Andre's
stockings, and found the papers. In the general pov-
erty of those times, it is remarkable that these men
were in no way influenced by Andre's liberal offers of
British gold.

The next strange link in the chain is that when they
had turned their prisoner over to the nearest conti-
nental officer, he should have been too stolid to com-

294 Major Andre AND Nathan Hale [Period VII

prehend the case and should have sent Andre back to

More remarkable still is the fact that Andre had been
gone but an hour, when a younger but brighter officer
chanced to stop at that place and learn the story just
in time to pursue and bring Andre back. And,
strangest of all, on that same eventful morning, Wash-
ington himself reached West Point, on his return from
Hartford, and soon knew the whole affair.

Who shall say how much of what men call " chance "
in this world is a part of those deep designs of Provi-
dence which guide the affairs of men and of nations.

Fates of Arnold and Andre. — Arnold escaped —
if we may call that an escape when a man fails of the
punishment of his crimes — to live dishonored and die
at last, detested by all honest men of every nation.

Andre was tried and sentenced to be hanged as a spy.
He was a brave man and died as a soldier should. In
the last hours of his life, he was the recipient of every
kindness that it was in the power of his captors to

Quite too much sentiment has been wasted on the
fate of this unhappy man, whose case has often been
compared to that of Nathan Hale (see page 248).

Hale took his life in his hands and went out as a spy,
penetrating the lines of the enemy to obtain needed
information for his commanding general.

Andre entered the American lines to negotiate for
and purchase treason, — a crime against nature. He
was no ordinary spy. Hale's burial place is unknown,
but within recent years an American has erected a

1780] Summary 295

monument to the memory of Major Andre, whose re-
mains rest under a handsome monument in Westmins-
ter Abbey.

In the chapel at West Point the visitor sees a series
of mural tablets in memory of the general officers of
the revolution. One of these is blank. It stands for
Benedict Arnold, — a suggestion of what he might have
been, — a type of what he became.

The contemplated fruits of treason. — It is

now known why Sir Henry Clinton with his army
lingered all summer in New York. During those
months the correspondence with Arnold was going on..
He hoped by means of it to retrieve at one stroke all
Burgoyne's disasters and give the death-blow to Ameri-
can independence.


1. Stony Point and General Wayne, 1779. "^"^

2. Punishment of Onondagas; effect of.

3. Sullivan's campaign, 1779.

4. Year of Indian massacres, 1780; Johnstown,
Canajoharie, Schoharie Valley and the Mohawk.

5. Sir John Johnson.

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