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The befiegers immediately quitted their camp, 1775. and retired about three miles from the city, where they strengthened their quarters in the beft manner Provinthey were able, being apprehenfive of a pursuit and cials reattack from the garrison. The latter, however, tire from though now fuperior in number, were unfit for a fer- before the vice of that nature, and their able Governor, with a degree of wisdom and fobriety equal to his intre pidity and firmnefs, contented himself with the unexpected advantage and fecurity he had gained, without hazarding the fate of the province, and perhaps of America, in any rash enterprize. The city was now completely out of danger, and the great fuccours which were expected, could not fail to relieve the whole province.
By the death of Montgomery, the command of the American army devolved upon Arnold, whose wound rendered him, for the prefent, unequal to fo arduous a task. Their perfeverance was, however, aftonishing in their circumftances. They had loft befides their General, (in whom it might be faid all their hopes and confidence refided) the best of their officers, and the bravest of their fellows, with a part of their small artillery. The hope of affiftance was diftant, and at beft, the arrival of fuccours must be flow. It was well known that the Canadians, befides being naturally quick and fickle in their refolutions, were peculiarly difpofed to be biaffed by fuccefs, fo that their affiftance now grew extremely precarious. The feverity of a Canada winter, was alfo far beyond any thing they were acquainted
* It is unneceffary here to trouble the reader with any detached account of this gentlemen. His character as a foldier, (if not fufficiently delineated in this wonderful expedition of his to Canada to ftamp his fame,) fully opens itself in the fuc ceeding campaigns of these unhappy troubles, where we fee this brave American, animated with the love of his country, and in fupport of what he calls her rights and liberties, always foremost in every perilous attempt to her rescue.
CHAP. IX. 1775. quainted with, and the fnow lay above four feet deep upon a level. In thefe circumftances, it required no fmall fhare of activity, as well as addrefs, to keep them in any manner together. Arnold, who had hitherto difplayed uncommon talents in his march into Canada, (which may be compared to the greatest things done in that kind) difcovered on this occafion the utmost vigour of a determined mind, and a genius full of refources. Defeated and wounded as he was, he put his troops into fuch a fituation as to keep them ftill formidable. He difpatched an exprefs to Woofter, who was at Montreal, to bring fuccours, and to affume the command; but as this could not be done immediately, he bore up with the force he had against the difficulties with which he was furrounded. From that time, the fiege was for fome months converted into a block. ade, and Arnold found means effectually to obstruct the arrival of any fupplies of provifions or neceffaries in the town.
Tranfactions in the provinces of Virginia, the North and South Carolinas, with the general occurrences of other colonies in the year 1775.
URING thefe proceedings in Canada, a long 1775. Course of jealoufy, diftruft, fufpicion, and al- n tercation, between the Governor, and the major part of the governed, in the colony of Virginia, Virginia. finally terminated in open hoftility, and a ruinous, inteftinal, and predatory war. These unhappy effects arofe (as is too frequently the cafe) from a cause apparently unimportant; but as the heat of controverfy nourished the quarrel, fo mutual dif truft and apprehenfion fupplied the place of an object.
The people of that colony, as we have formerly fhewn, had been at least as forward as any other, in all the common acts, of fending Delegates to the General Congress, acceding to its decrees, under whatever form or title they iffued, and in the inftituting of committees, and the entering into affociations, among themfelves. They were also among the freeft in expreffing their refolution, and the readiest in fhewing their determination, to fupport at all rifques and events, what they deemed, or termed, the rights of America. But in other respects, the greatest order and quiet was preferved in that province; and notwithstanding the uneafinefs excited by the prorogation or diffolution of their affemblies, and the confequent expiration of their militia laws, (which, in a country where a great majority of the people are in a ftate of flavery, was a circumftance of the most alarming nature, and which might have been attended with the most fatal confequences) yet with these caufes of complaint, the people feemed to pay a
CHAP. X. 1775. more than common degree of attention and perfonal regard to the Earl of Dunmore, their Gover
In this ftate of things, however, the want of a legal affembly, feemed to give fome fanction to the holding of a convention, a Provincial Congrefs was affembled in the month of March, 1775, who imMar. 6th mediately (under the cover of an old law of the year 1738, which they laid to be still effective) took mea. Militia fures for arraying the militia; but to supply in fome embodi- degree thofe defects in that law, to remedy which, as they pretended, all. fubfequent ones had been paffed, they recommended to each county to raise a volunteer company, for the better defence and protection of the country.
This interference in the militia, probably alarmed the Governor, and feems to have been the cause, removed that rendered the public magazine belonging to the from the colony in the capital city of Williamsburgh, an object of his apprehenfion. However that was, he foon afterwards employed the Captain of an armed veffel, which lay at a few miles diftance in James River, with a detachment of marines, to convey the powder, by night, from the magazine on board his fhip.
maga, zine at William
Though this measure was conducted with great quences privacy, it was by fome means difcovered the enfuing morning, when the apparent fecrecy, and feeming myfteriousness, of the act, increafed the confternation and alarm among the inhabitants, who immediately aflembled with fuch arms as they had at hand, with an intention of demanding, or, perhaps, obtaining, reftitution of the gun-powder. The Mayor and corporation, however, prevented their proceeding to any extremities, whilft they prefented an addrefs to the Governor, ftating the injury, reclaiming the powder as a matter of right, and fhew
ing the dangers to which they were peculiarly lia- 1775. ble from the infurrection of their flaves; a calamity, which had for fome time been particularly apprehended, and which the removal of their only means of defence, would at any time have accelerated.
His Lordship acknowledged, that the gun-powder had been removed by his order; faid, that as he had heard of an infurrection in a neighbouring country, and did not think it fecure in the magazine, he had it conveyed to a place of perfect security; but gaye his word, that whenever an occafion rendered it neceffary, it should be immediately returned. He also faid, that it had been removed in the night to prevent giving alarm; expreffed great furprize at the people's affembling in arms; and obferved that he could not think it prudent to put powder into their hands in fuch a fituation.
Whatever fatisfaction this answer might have afforded to the magistrates, they prevailed on the people to retire quietly to their houses, without any remarkable outrage, that we can learn, having been committed; indeed it appeared, from depolitions afterwards taken by order of the affembly, that the officers of the men of war on that ftation, and particularly the gentleman who might be fuppofed to have rendered himself obnoxious by removing the powder, appeared publicly in the fireets during the time of the greatest commotion, without their receiving the fmalleft infult. A report, being, however, fpread in the evening, that detachments from the men of war were upon their march to the city, the people again took to their arms, and continued all night upon the watch, as if in expectation of an attack from an enemy. They alfo from this time increased their night patroles, and fhewed an evident defign to protect the magazine from any further attempts.