« PreviousContinue »
the expedition so numerous, and many of them unknown in practice, that it was no wonder that it did not succeed. In all its parts it appeared to be the offspring of folly and the creature of madness. Carle. ton did all in his power to give it birth, and though he was not its parent he acted the part of a good nurse, and withheld no assistance that was in his power to render it effe&tual.
The ministers at home and especially the lord at the head of the American department were deeply interested in the success of this expedition ; they had founded the most fanguine expectations concerning it, and had in idea anticipated the glorious advantages that would be derived from it. Nothing was left updone on their fide, as far as their penetration could reach, to render it effe&tual. All things were prepared according to the number of troops that could be spared for that particular service, which were thought conducive to give efficacy to their operations. Canada was expected to afford a warlike though undisciplined militia, well calculated for and acquainted with the nature and service of the country. To Itrengthen and increase this irregular force, arms and accoutrements were amply provided to supply those numerous loyalists, who were expected to join the royal army as soon as it approached the frontiers of these provinces. A powerful artillery was provided to drive the rebels from all their posts and thickets ; and it was considered as a thing impoflible that any number of irregular troops could stand before such a well appointed army of veterans.
In this particular the ministry reasoned falaciously; for though the colonists were not such old troops as some of the regiinents which were sent against them, they were far
from being irregular. They knew discipline and obeyed command, with great exactness, and were determined to venture their lives for the cause they were engaged in. And it was found upon trial ihat they were not so easily combated as Lord George Gera maine and General Burgoyne had imagined.
Besides these forces already mentioned, several na. tions of savages had been induced to come into the field; a measure which will fix an everlasting disgrace upon the authors, and leave a blot upon the present reign, that nothing but the death of time itself will be able to wipe away. This measure was defended by ministerial advocates upon the supposed necessity of the case : as if from the character of the Indians it were manifest that they could not be still, and if not engaged in the king's service, would join the Americans. This was a vain and false apprehenfion; for the colonists had already refused their service, and they had agreed to stand neuter, and live quietly. It was only the presents given them by ministerial agents, who wanted them to attend the army for the purposes of fcalping and murder, that induced them to take up the hatchet. General Carleton wonld not employ them, but in the preceding year civilly dismissed them; his humanity would not permit him to make use of such illicit instruments of war, and as his order's were not so particularly express on that head, he made na use of their service. But now a more high and peremptory authority positively enjoined the making use of them, and it was supposed to be one of the favorite and most enchanting schemes of that authority, to bring forth those barbarians to the field, for the Take of glutting its revenge upon the refractory colonifts. It will hardly be credited in after ages, that
in a reign marked fo often with the epithet pious, that an order should ever have come forth with the royal fanction, to let loose favage barbarians upon helpless old men, women, and children. Whatever were the reasons why General Carleton did not employ the favages in a more early and effectual manner, they were far from giving fatisfaction to ministry, and their friends at home. It was insisted that every appearance of lenity was actual cruelty in the effect, because it operated as an incentive to disobedience, and increased the objects of punishment. That on the contrary, partial severity was general mercy; as timely exertions of justice, and strict înflictions of punihments, were at all times the fure means of preventing crimes. · That the only method of speedily crushing the rebellion, was to render the situation of the actors in it, so intolerable, that a cessation from danger and blessings of repose, should become the only objects of their contemplation and hope. That the means were but little to be attended to, when they led to the accomplishment of so great and happy a purpose as the destruction of rebellion, and the restoration of order and legal government. And in all convulsions of states the innocent were but two frequently involved in the calamities which were intended for the guilty ; but such was the lot and condition of mankind, and this evil however much deplored, could not in numberless instances be prevented. This doc
trine was supported by the avowed friends of the ministry, whether out of office, or in the subordinate departments of the state ; and it was undoubtedly agreeable to the opinions of the ministers, and shewed that General Carleton's fcruples with regard to employing the favages, were in no respect acceptable to them.
The arguments made use of to support this doctrine, were all founded in the first instance, upon the most palpable fallhoods ; for they all take for granted what never was nor can be proved, namely, that the colonists were in a state of rebellion according to the fundamental laws of the British constitution. There were no laws existing at the time the controversy began, that determined an opposition to unconstitution. al acts of parliament, rebellion. It could not therefore be an exertion of justice, to employ savages to inforce new arbitrary statutes, which were contrary to the very genius of the constitution. According 'to these court advocates, it would have been equally just to have employed barbarians to have prevented the revolution, or -it is still just to emply them to overturn its principles. Before they had endeavoured to crush a rebellion with all the cruelty of sayage barbarity, they ought first to have enquired whether it existed, and whether, what they so called, was not 'created by themselves. Legal government contists in observing the constitutional laws of the empire, and not in pursuing modern statutes, which are diametrically opposite to the first principles of our fundamental laws. To make acts of power through the influence of corruption in the legislature, that infringe the liberties and the natural rights of the subjects, and then to determine it rebellion to refilt them, is the same thing as to declare the whole code of fundamental statutes, rebellious acts, and the framers of them traitors. It would require no more to prove this point, than only to place the old laws of the land and some modern statutes in opposite columns. But it was no wonder, that the promoters of this war were not very nice concerning the means
they made use of, seeing they had adopted the popilh maxims, that the end fanctifies the means. After generations, when they read the history of this war, will be equally astonished, both at the end and the means made use of to attain it. It is a very curious maxim, that partial severity is general mercy, espeçially when it is considered that both the guilt and the misery proceed from those that now pretended to have a right to punish. It was such mercy as it would be 10 take away the lives of so many innocent people thare ^
may be fitter to be made flares, How Tech Sir Guy Carleton disapproved of making uit of the facages, he was now obliged by a special authority to use his influence to bring them over to the meafurez oi government: accordingly presents were liberally distributed among them, which answered the purpose intended. The regular force appointed to this expedition, conducted by General Burgoyne, consisted of British and German troops, to the pumber of near 8000; of these 3217 were Brunswickers; watermen and artillery made a corps of about 2000, and the favages about 1200.
Canada was largely rated, and the inhabitants greviously oppressed: they felt sensibly the proportion which they were appointed to furnish towards this campaign. In the proposals laid before the minister, besides the militia and various other kinds of workmen, supposed necessary to be immediately at. tached to the army, and to accompany it on the ex. pedition, chains of the militia, patroles, and posts, were expected to occupy the woods in the frontiers in the rear of the army, partly to intercept the communication between the enemy and the ill-affected in Canada, partly to prevent desertion, and to procure