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viii Intoduction of England said as much when the treaty was made. If, then, the States were to return to England as colonies, the more territory they might bring with them the better, and hence a large grant was acknowledged in the treaty of peace. The acts of England toward the United States after acknowledging their independence indicate that the fixing of the western boundary on the Mississippi had as much selfishness as liberality, if indeed it was not entirely selfish. The ink was scarcely dry upon the parchment which bore evidence of the ratified treaty of I783 when the mother country began acts of hostility and meanness against her children who had separated from her and begun a political life for themselves. When the English ships of war, which had blockaded New York for seven long years, sailed out of the harbor and took their course toward the British Isles, instead of hauling down their colors from the flagstaff of Fort George, they left them flying over the fortification, and tried to prevent them from being removed by chopping down all the cleats for ascent, and greasing the pole so that no one could climb to the top and pull down the British flag or replace it by the colors of the United States. An agile sailor boy, named Van Arsdale, who had probably ascended many trees in search of bird's nests, and clambered up the masts