xt7h707wmg27 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7h707wmg27/data/mets.xml Burnet, Jacob, 1770-1853. 1847  books b92977b9342009 English D. Appleton & Co. : New York Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Northwest, Old --History. Ohio --History --1787-1865. Notes on the early settlement of the North-western Territory. text Notes on the early settlement of the North-western Territory. 1847 2009 true xt7h707wmg27 section xt7h707wmg27 

on the


of the



   Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847, by derby, bradley & co. In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Ohio.

CINCINNATI: Morgan S, Overend, Printers. 

About ten years ago, the writer of the following chapters was requested by a friend, to commit to paper, a biographical sketch of himself, accompanied by a statement of such facts and incidents relating to the early settlement of the North-Western. Territory, as were within his recollection, and might be considered worth preserving.

It was foreseen that the execution of such a request, would necessarily be attended with delicacy and difficulty. Many of the matters embraced in it, related, more or less, to himself, and he did not believe that they could be of much interest, even to friends ; and certainly, of much less to the public generally. Besides, many occurrences in the early settlement of the country, which were of some importance at the time, had escaped his recollection, or were imperfectly remembered.

The request, however, was complied with, in a series of letters, written in 1837, which were laid before the Historical Society of Ohio, by the gentleman to whom they were addressed, and ordered to be published among the transactions of the institution. 


That book being out of print, the writer has been urged, by many of his personal friends, and by others, to revise, enlarge, and put them in a more convenient form for publication. He consented to do so, and the result is now submitted to the public. The work claims for itself, nothing more of merit, than belongs to a collection of authentic, detached, facts; set down with more regard to truth, than to polish of style, or chronological arrangement; from which the historian may select materials for future use.

The writer does not suppose, that any of the occurrences recited in the work, derive additional consequence from the fact, that he has been in any way connected with them. His name is mentioned, because the omission of it might render the narrative obscure, and less intelligible. The facts are equally interesting, be the adventurer who he may.   " Mutato nomine, de te fabula narratur." 



The Grandfather and Father of the author.   Where born and educated.    The latter, Dr. Wm. Burnet, engaged in the revolutionary struggle in 1774.   Was chairman of the Committee of Public Safety.   Treatment of the Tories.   Dr. B. elected to Congress.   Appointed Physician and Surgeon General of the eastern department, April, 1777.   Stationed at West Point when the treason of Arnold was discovered.   Capture of Major Andre.   Measures to procure his liberation.   Threats used.    Offer to exchange him for Arnold.   Firmness of Washington.   Delicate treatment of Andre.   Tried, convicted and hung.   Note.   Military movements on Long Island.   York Island.   Retreat to the Delaware.   Battle of Trenton.   Battle of Princeton.   American army put

in winter quarters.   Attempts to injure the character of Washington__

His character defended. 17


Population of the Territory in 1795-6.   Description of Cincinnati at that time.   Progress of settlement from 1788 to 1800.   Public buildings.    Social influence of the garrison.   Ordinance of 1787.   Its provisions.    Appointment of officers under it.   Treaty of Fort Harmar.   Re-organi- pi zation of the Territorial Government.   Legislation of the Governor and Judges.   The Maxwell Code. 31 



Western Pioneers chiefly Revolutionary characters.   Colony from New England in 1787.   Formed by Cutler, Sargent & Co.   Arrive at the Yoghigany in the fall of 1787.   Encamp for the winter.   Reach Marietta in April 1788.   Block-house erected.    A school and a church established.   Gen. R. Putnam leader of the party.   His character.   His appointment to office.   Poverty of Revolutionary officers drove them to emigrate.   Their sufferings.   Settlement under Major Stites, at Columbia.   Under Denman & Co. at Cincinnati.   Under Judge Symmes, at North Bend.   Losanteville, intended name of a town never laid out.    Troops sent by Gen. Harmar, to the Miami settlements.   Where stationed.   Their behavior.   Attacked by the Indians at North Bend.    Major Mills severely wounded.    Villages laid out.    Donation lots.    Interview of Symmes with the Indians.   Settlement at Columbia plundered.   Captain Flinn taken prisoner.   Made his escape.   Comparative strength of the settlements at the Miamies.   Fort Washington built by Major Doughty.   Judicial Courts first established.   Anterior arrangements for administering Justice.   Indian hostilities.    Complaints of Judge Symmes against General Harmar for withholding protection.    Temerity of the Pioneers and the Troops.


Counties in the Territory.   Their Seats of Justice and Courts.   The General Court.   Its powers.   Its usurpations as Legislators.   Fatigue and exposure of the Bar.   Extent of their circuit.   A game of Indian football.   Journey from Cincinnati to Vincennes, in December, 1799.    Gen. George Rogers Clark.   His achievements and victories.   His conquests the chief ground of the American claim to the North-western Territory.   Embarrassments of his situation.   His expedients to support his troops.   Ingratitude of the Government.


Indian depredations and murders.   Alarm in the Frontier Settlements.    Letter of Judge Innes to the President.   Other letters of a similar character.   Strong hold of the Indians on the Ohio, near the Scioto river.    


Inattention of the Government complained of.   Expedition of General Scott.   Indian depredations continued.   Communication from Gov. St. Clair to the commandant at Detroit.   Unsuccessful embassy of M. Gameline, to the Indians.   Increase of the military force.   Arrival of troops at Fort Washington.   Inefficient character of the Militia.   Har-mar's campaign.   Its success.   And subsequent disasters, denominated a defeat.   Acquitted by Report of Board of Inquiry.   Murder of Hardin and Trueman.   Observations on the Campaign.   List of officers killed. 83


The early adventurers to the Miami Purchase.   Stations erected.   Attacked by the Indians.   Communications of President Washington to Congress.    Statement showing the weakness of the Ohio Company's settlement.   Gen. Scott's expedition against the Wabash Indians.   Its celerity and success.   Colonel Wilkinson's expedition against the same tribes.   Conducted with skill and success.   Organization of Gen. St.

Clair's army.   Encamped at Ludlow's Station.-Its number.   The

campaign.   The cause of the defeat.   Court of Inquiry.   The General acquitted of all censure. 108


Situation of affairs on the Frontier.   General Wayne appointed to the command.   Gallant engagement of Major Adair with the Indians.    Commissioners appointed to treat with tho North-western tribes.    Their instructions.    Their negotiations.    Improper interference of British officers and agents.   Failure of the negotiation. 132


Condition of the Western Army in 1793.   Encampment at Hobson's Choice.   Discipline of the army.   Order of march.   Fortifications at Greenville.   Indians attack Fort Recovery.   Repulsed with very heavy loss.   Proofs of British influence over the Indians.   Lieutenant Lowery attacked.   Defeated.   Killed. 155 



Gen. Wayne's campaign of 1794.   Battle of the 20th of August, at tho foot of the Rapids.   Gen. Wayne's correspondence with the commandant of the British Fort.   Army return to Fort Defiance.   From thence to the Miami villages.   Fort Wayne built.   Kentucky volunteers discharged.   Residue of the army proceed to Greenville.   Note.   The number and tribes of the Indians engaged in the battle of the 20th of August.   Aid furnished them by the British.   Influence of British agents ascertained.


Weakness of the American army.   Intrigues of the English agents with the Indians.   Communications to Gen. Wayne from Chiefs of different tribes.   His answers.   Proposals for a conference at Greenville.   The Shawanese propose to remove west of the Mississippi. 183


State of the American army and of the Indians, in 1794-5.   Indians begin to collect at Greenville.   Preliminary conferences. 192


Commencement of the negotiations in full council.   Introductory speech of General Wayne.   Speeches of the Chiefs of the different tribes.    Progress of the negotiations. 206


Treaty of Greenville concluded, signed and ratified.   Numbers of the different tribes of Indians parties to the treaty.   Proclamation of Gen. Wayne. 236


Surrender of the North-western posts by the British, in 1796.   Made to General Wayne, appointed for that purpose.   Death of General Wayne. 


   Sketch of his life.   Detroit.   Its Commerce and Society.   Their hospitality.   Celebration of the king's birth-day at Sandwich.   General invitation to the Americans at Detroit, including the General Court and the Bar.   Note.   Gen. Wilkinson's charges against Gen. Wayne.    Unfounded.   Contrast between the two men.   Their controversies.    Their effect on the army.   The officers take sides.   Two parties formed.   Note.   Canadian French at and near Detroit.   Their character.    Their habits.   Their objections to free government.   Delays in administering justice.   Judicial decisions of the military commandants   Acceptable to the French inhabitants.   Pawnee Indians bought and sold as slaves. 275


Five thousand white males in the Territory.   Proclamation of the Governor   Delegates to the Assembly elected.   Second grade of Territorial Government organized.   Members of the first Territorial Legislature.    Their Character   Talents   Employments.   Movements of Colonel Burr.   Mr. Smith implicated.   Probably without cause.   Burr's visit to Cincinnati.   Notice taken of him.   War with Spain contemplated.    May account, probably, for Burr's movements.   Principles of the Federal party.   Their agency in forming and adopting the Federal Constitution.   Condition and character of the country improved by their measures.   Origin of their name.   Have long ceased to exist as a party. 288


Legislature assemble at Cincinnati.   Their proceedings.   Harrison elected Delegate to Congress.   His instructions.   His course in Congress approved   Territory divided.   Harrison appointed Governor.   The Ordinance of 1787.   Its provisions.   Liberty, civil and religious, secured.    Territorial code defective.   Remedied by the Legislature.   French inhabitants.   Their common fields.   Burning of Prairies.   Injury resulting.   Regulated.   Jurisdiction on the Ohio River.   Claims of Kentucky.   Inconveniences.   Act of the Legislature touching it.   Compact between Virginia and Kentucky.   Legislation of the Governor and Judges.   Of the General Assembly.   Education encouraged.   Protection of the Indians.   Vetoes of the Governor.    Property qualification.   Limited slavery.   Attempt to introduce it.   Auditor's Certificates.   Address of the General Assembly, complimentary to President Adams. 300 



Congress remove the Seat of Government to Chillicothe.   Considered an usurpation of power.   Meeting of the Assembly.   Governor's address.   Replies of the two Houses.   Proceedings of the Assembly.    Law to protect the Indians.   Connecticut Reserve.   Controversy settled.   Governor and Assembly differ in opinion.   His term of office about to expire.   Power of the Secretary to act, in that case, denied.    Assembly prorogued.


Meeting of the General Assembly.   Their proceedings.   Mob in Chillicothe.   Its object.   Omission of the police to interfere.   Seat of Government removed. 328


Population of the Eastern Division in 1802.   Steps to obtain a State Government.   Application to Congress for permission to call a Convention.   Permission given on conditions.   Their oppressive character.   Opposition to the measure.   On what grounds.   Right to tax public lands relinquished.   Loss sustained by it.    State of parties.   Note.    Excitement at Detroit.   Opposition to the law for erecting a new State.   Correspondence on the subject.    Note.   The friends of a State Government become tho majority.   The harmony formerly existing broken up.   Causes of the change.   Origin of party spirit.   Ambitious aspirants.   Their misrepresentations. 335


Details of the State Convention.   Its members.   The formation of the Constitution.   The question of Slavery.   The Northern boundary.    Refusal to submit the Constitution to the people.   Reflections. 350 



Sketch of the life of Gov. St. Clair.   His military services in Canada and the United States.   Governor of the North-western Territory.   Disagreement with the Legislature.   His general character.   His embarrassments and poverty.   Annuity granted by Pennsylvania.   His death. 370


Character of the North-western Indians.   Misrepresentations refuted.    Their intercourse with the white people.   Its contaminating influence.    Their degeneracy.   Their final expulsion from the land of their nativity. 384


Early land laws injudicious.   Sold in very large tracts.   Few purchasers.   Settlement of the country retarded.   Laws modified.   Sales in small tracts.   Population multiplied.   State improvements advanced.    Commerce of little value for want of a market.   Produce of the country consumed in the expense of transportation.   Miami Exporting Company got up.   Its objects.   Introduction of barges.   Schemes to improve the navigation of the Falls.   Canal attempted on the Indiana side.   Operations of the Branch Bank of the United States at Cincinnati.   Tyrannical proceedings of the Agent of the parent Board.   Immense sacrifice of private property. 394


Contract of Judge Symmes with the Board of Treasury.   His proposition to purchase two millions of acres, entitling him to College lands.    Deposite of money on account.   Misunderstanding with Congress.    Contract closed by agents for one million of acres.    College lands thereby relinquished.   Terms of sale and settlement established.   Published at Trenton.   Progress of the Miami settlements.   History of the College township. 412 



Ancient artificial structures in Cincinnati.   Articles found in them.    Perpetuation of vegetable productions.   Alluvial deposit at Cincinnati.    How produced.   Note.   Reflections on the Mosaic account of creation.   Probable change in the course of the Big Miami.   How produced.    Navigation of the Mississippi river.   Intrigues with the Spanish officers.   The territory of Mississippi established.   Introduction of American Courts.   Suits at law multiply.   Practice profitable. 434


Sale of public lands on credit.   Debts due to Government from purchasers.   Exceeding twenty millions of dollars.   Embarrassments in the Western Country.   Purchasers unable to pay.   Lands on the eve of forfeiture.   Resistance to the execution of the land laws apprehended.   A plan for relief concerted at Cincinnati.   Memorial to Congress drawn.   Printed, and circulated through the entire West.   The law of 1821 passed, in conformity with the memorial.   Grant of lands to Ohio, for Canal purposes.   Conditions annexed.   Not assented to.   Grant lost.   In 1829-30, the conditions repealed, and a further grant made.    Miami Extension completed.   Simon Kenton.   Biographical sketches of him. 450


Mr. John Reily.   Serves in the Army of the South during the Revolution.   His claim to the gratitude of the country.   Removes to the North-western Territory.   View of the Territory.   Pioneer life.    Sketch of the services of Mr. Reily in the West.   His uprightness and integrity.   Neglect of the pioneers to preserve accurate records.   The ill consequences. 469 


The grandfather and father of the author.   Where born and educated.   The latter, engaged in the Revolutionary struggle in 1774.   Was chairman of the Committee of Public Safety.   Treatment of the Tories.   Dr. B. elected to Congress.   Appointed Physician and Surgeon General of the eastern department, April, 1777.   Stationed at West Point when the treason of Arnold was discovered.   Capture of Major Andre.   Measures to procure his liberation.   Threats used.    Offer to exchange him for Arnold.   Firmness of Washington.   Delicate treatment of Andre.   Tried, convicted and hung.    Military movements on Long Island.   York Island.   Retreat to the Delaware.   Battle of Trenton.   Battle of Princeton.   American army put in winter quarters.   Attempts to injure the character of Washington.   His character defended.

The writer of the following chapters is the son of Dr. William Burnet, the elder, of Newark, New Jersey; and the grandson of Dr. Ichabod Burnet, a native of Scotland, who was educated at Edinburgh   removed to America soon after his education was finished, and settled at Eliza-bethtown, in the province of New Jersey; where he practiced his profession with great success, as a physician and surgeon, till 1773, when he died at the advanced age of eighty years.

His only son, William, was born in 1730     educated at Nassau Hall, during the presidency of the Reverend Aaron Burr   and graduated in 1749, before the institution was removed to Princeton.

He studied medicine under Dr. Staats, of New York, and practiced it with assiduity and success, till the difficulties 2 


with the Mother Country became alarmingly serious. Being a high-toned Whig, he took an active part in the measures of resistance which were resorted to, against the oppressive proceedings of the British government.

When the judicial courts of the province were closed and the regular administration of justice suspended, by a ministerial order, he relinquished the practice of his profession, which was extensive and lucrative, and took part in the political movements of the day, with great activity and zeal.

The protection of law having been withdrawn, by closing the judicial tribunals of the colony, the people assumed the reins of government from necessity, and administered law and justice as well as they could, circumstanced as they were.

In some places it was done by county arrangements, and in others by township committees. In Newark, as a temporary expedient, the power was vested in a " Committee of Public Safety," appointed by the people of the township.

Similar measures of precaution were necessarily resorted to throughout the province; each county, town or neighborhood, devising and pursuing its own plan. The powers confided to these committees were dictatorial; and the entire whig population stood pledged to enforce their decisions. The tories were numerous, and had full confidence that the British troops would overrun the country, and reduce it to obedience, without encountering any serious resistance. They were therefore bold and insolent, and by their movements the public peace was constantly endangered, and was preserved only by the vigorous action of those conservative bodies.

The committee appointed at Newark, of which Dr. Burnet was chairman, was in session almost daily, hearing and deciding complaints, and adjudicating on the various matters referred to them. Some of the most obnoxious of the tories they banished: on others they imposed fines 


and imprisonment, and in some instances inflicted stripes. By this bold proceeding the disaffected were kept in check; the whigs were pacified, and restrained from personal violence on the loyalists, who ridiculed the attempt to resist the Mother Country, and openly justified her tyrannical proceedings.

The Newark committee, which consisted of three members, Dr. Burnet, Judge J. Hedden, and Major S. Hays, continued in the discharge of their duty till the retreat to the American army from York Island, through the Jerseys to the Delaware, closely pressed by the enemy, who overran that state.   See note on page 22.

Dr. Burnet was in the medical service of the country, from the commencement of the contest, and was the superintendent of a Military Hospital, established on his own responsibility, in Newark, in the year 1775. In the winter of 1776-7, the Legislature of New Jersey elected him a member of the Continental Congress. Soon after he took his seat, the subject of the medical department of the army was taken up in Congress, and a new arrangement adopted. The thirteen states were divided into three districts   the southern, middle, and eastern; and provision was made for a Physician-general and a Surgeon-general, in each; but in consideration of the strong claims of Dr. Burnet, on the score of past services as well as of qualificatian, they provided for a Physician and Surgeon-general, in the eastern district, and conferred the appointment on him. He then resigned his seat in Congress, accepted the appointment, and continued in the discharge of its arduous duties, till the peace of 1783.

He was stationed at West Point when General Arnold conceived and matured his plan to surrender that post to the enemy, and it so happened that he, with a party of the officers of the garrison, were dining with the General, Avhen the officer of the day entered, and reported that a spy had been taken below, who called liimself John Anderson. It 


was remarked by the persons who were at the table, that this intelligence, interesting to the General as it must have been, produced no visible change in his countenance or behaviour   that he continued in his seat for some minutes, conversing as before   after which he arose, saying to his guests, that business required him to be absent for a short time, and desiring them to remain and enjoy themselves till his return. The next intelligence they had of him was, that he was in his barge, moving rapidly to a British ship of war, the Vulture, which was lying at anchor a short distance below the Point.

The sequel of that treasonable conspiracy, is as familiar to the American ear, as "household words." All know that it terminated in the execution of Major Andre, the Adjutant-general of the British army, and an Aid-de-camp of Sir Henry Clinton. Very great and strenuous efforts were made, both in Great Britain and France, as well as by the Commander-in-chief of the British army, to save the life of that gifted and highly accomplished officer, who was connected with the most distinguished families in England.

In reply to those applications, General Washington proposed to exchange Andre for Arnold. That offer was manifestly unexpected, and embarrassing; and gave rise to a protracted and animated correspondence between the commanders of the two armies. Sir Henry Clinton denied that Andre was a spy, as he entered the American lines, under the protection of a pass, from the General who commanded in the District; and intimated, that he should feel bound to retaliate, if Washington persisted in his purpose. The American commander maintained, by fact and argument, that, according to the understanding and practice of all nations, Andre was a spy, and that nothing would save him from the penal consequences of his crime, but the surrender of Arnold   on that condition he would release him, and on no other. That proposition not being accepted, the Commander in-chief of the American Army ordered a 


board of general officers for the trial of the prisoner, of which Major General Greene was designated as1 the President. That board, after a careful investigation of the facts, reported, that Major Andre was a spy, and ought to suffer death. In pursuance of that finding, he was sentenced to be hung on the succeeding day. Two officers were designated by the president of the board, to communicate the intelligence to the unfortunate Andre, and to attend him to the place of execution. One of them was Major Burnet, one of the Aides-de-camp of General Greene, and the second son of Dr. Burnet. When the sentence of the court was communicated to the prisoner, he wrote to General Washington, requesting a change of the sentence, and praying that he might be shot; adding that if that indulgence were granted, he could meet his fate without a murmur; but the circumstances of the case were of a character, to convince the Commander-in-chief that he could not commute the punishment, consistently with the established rules of martial law, and without subjecting himself to the charge of instability, or want of nerve. Major Andre heard the failure of his application, with calmness, and when the fatal hour came, he walked with a firm step, and composed countenance, to the platform of the gallows, arm-in-arm between the American officers designated to attend him. The multitude, who witnessed the execution, unitedly testified, that the unfortunate sufferer met his destiny with a calmness and composure, indicative of a brave, accomplished soldier.

That West Point, the Gibraltar of the United States, might be made a cheap conquest to the enemy, the traitor had caused some of the heavy cannon to be dismounted, and portions of the masonry to be taken down, to be rebuilt, as he pretended, with additional strength. After the arrival of the Commander-in-chief at the post, he caused those treasonable dilapidations to be repaired, without delay. 


At the close of the war, Dr. Burnet returned to his family, and devoted himself to agricultural pursuits. He was soon after appointed presiding judge of the court of common pleas, by the state legislature. He was also chosen President of the State Medical Society, of which he had formerly been an active member. Being a fine classical scholar, and desirous of reviving the practice pf delivering the annual address in the Latin language, which had fallen into disuse; on taking the chair, he read an elaborate essay, in Latin, on the proper use of the lancet in pleuritic cases.

While in the enjoyment of his usual health, a violent attack of erysipelas in the face and head, suddenly terminated his life, on the 7th of October, 1791, in the sixty-first year of his age.

His sixth son, the writer of these notes, was born on the 22d of February, 1770   was educated at Nassau Hall, under the presidency of Dr. Witherspoon, and graduated in September, 1791. Before he had finished his collegiate course, he determined to settle himself in the Miami country, where his father had made a considerable investment. In the mean time he completed his professional studies    was admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court of the State, in the spring of 1796   and proceeded without delay to Cincinnati, with a full determination of making it his permanent residence, and of rising or falling with it.

Whatever there may be of interest in his professional, or political life, will be sufficiently developed, by the facts connected with the settlement and improvement of the North-western Territory, in which he bore an early, and an active part; and in which he endured a full share of the exposure, privation and suffering, which necessarily attend such an enterprise.

Note.   The losses of the American army on Long Island and York Island, succeeded by the disastrous battle of the 


White Plains, and the surrender of Forts Washington and Lee, with their numerous garrisons, of about a thousand each, compelled General Washington, late in the fall of 1776, to cross the Hudson, followed by a victorious enemy; and, after a rapid retreat, place his exhausted army in a situation of temporary safety, on the west bank of the Delaware. That retrograde movement, with the losses which preceded it, produced a general opinion, that the war was at an end. Despondency took the place of hope, and, under its influence, multitudes, both in East and West Jersey, submitted to their fate   renewed their oaths of allegiance, and took protections from the British commander, as the only expedient to save their lives and secure their property.

But the despair which those events were fast spreading over the country, was of short duration. The American commander, who had adopted the maxim, nil desperandum, and had carried it into practice through life, did not yield to the alarm which was paralizing the hopes of the bravest of his officers. When their lengthened visages indicated the feelings which harassed their minds, after they had pitched their tents on the frozen banks of the Delaware, he very pleasantly remarked, that "the darkest part of the night was just before the dawn of day." At the time he uttered that sentiment, he was projecting a plan to resume offensive operations, by a simultaneous attack on the enemy at Trenton and at Bordentown.

Although the attempt against the latter place failed, in consequence of the floating ice in the river, yet the main attack on Trenton, which was led by Washington, in person, was signally successful.

The courage, and military talents, indicated by that brilliant enterprise, attracted universal attention; as did the more hazardous movement which speedily followed, when he crossed the Delaware a second time   eluded the vigilance of the enemy at Trenton, and by a midnight march, 


took the enemy by surprise at Princeton, broke through their line, captured many prisoners and much baggage, and placed the remnant of his army in secure and comfortable quarters in the high lands of Jersey.

Those masterly movements changed the aspect of the war, and verified the adage, that " all is not lost that is in danger." They convinced the commander of the British troops, that he had at least, an equal to contend with; and that the conquest of the colonies, which but a few days before, he believed to be on the point of consummation, was more remote than he had supposed, at the beginning of the contest.

Those desperate and successful achievements, confirmed the confidence of Congress and the people, in the prudence, bravery and skill of the American commander, and gave fresh hope and energy to the friends of liberty, in every part of the country. A short time before, they were in a state of despondency, and almost prepared to desist from further effort to oppose the oppressions of the mother country, and to establish the independence of their own.

Notwithstanding these brilliant achievements, individuals were found, ready to depreciate the character of the Commander-in-chief. A very formidable effort of that nature was made by some of the officers, under the influence of General Gates, immediately after the capture of Burgoyne. A little band of conspirators was then formed, who concerted a plan to supplant General Washington, and elevate Gates to the chief command in the army.

Although that attempt proved to be a miserable failure, yet the persons engaged in it, became the inveterate, irreconcilable enemies of Washington, and never afterwards permitted an opportunity, to question his talents or injure his military fame, to pass unimproved. The achievements at Trenton and Princeton, in the winter of 1776-7, were as distinguished for military skill, as for personal bravery; and were devised by himself, while his associates in arms, en- 


camped on the banks of the Delaware, were indulging in hopeless despair. At that time, not a pen nor a tongue had ventured to question his wisdom or prudence, nor was any attempt of that nature made, prior to the conspiracy in the military family of General Gates. That plot soon exploded, and was put down; yet the persons engaged in it,