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As he has been at the expense of furnishing himself with a proper apparatus for the successful application of this mechanical power, both in a perpendicular and horizontal direction, your Honour, with the rest of the Committee, can better judge whether he may not be useful in the Continental Army, in handling heavy cannon, placing them in or removing them from their carriages, as there may be occasion, or in relieving ships from any of those distresses the violence of storms, or the superior force of the British Navy, may unhappily force them into upon our shores.
As he has served two years in the Army last war, and has acquired a general knowledge of the operations of war and military exercises; is also a man of peculiar activity and observation, and is desirous of being serviceable to these United Colonies in some proper and useful sphere; we presume to recommend him to such appointment or direction as, in your superior wisdom, may appear most likely to introduce him into the publick service of these Colonies, in a capacity you may judge him most likely to be serviceable in. As to particular instances of his successful use and application of the screw, &c., he is able, and doubtless will himself give you a just and more circumstantial account, if it be desired.
We subscribe, your Honours most obedient and humble servants,
Killingsworth, April, 1776.
GOVERNOUR TRUMBULL TO GENERAL WASHINGTON.
Lebanon, April 29, 1776.
SIR: David Waterbury, Jun., of Stamford, Esquire, Colonel of a regiment from this Colony in the Northern Department the last year, and at the taking of St. Johns and Montreal, and lately in service at New-York, with Major-General Lee; at all times behaved with bravery and honour.
When you have a vacancy in the Army answerable to his rank, do heartily recommend him to your kind notice and regard.
I am, with great esteem and regard, sir, your obedient, humble servant,
To His Excellency General Washington.
SUBMISSION, RECONCILIATION, OR INDEPENDENCE?
Had the spirit of prophecy directed the birth of a pub-lication, it could not have fallen upon a more fortunate period than the time in which Common Sense made its appearance. The minds of men are now swallowed up in attention to an object the most momentous and important that ever yet employed the deliberations of a People.
There are but three methods we can take: either to submit unconditionally, that is, to the mercy of Parliament; to be again dependant on the footing of 1763; or to set up a Government of our own. Common Sense, like a ray of revelation, has come in seasonably to clear our doubts, and to fix our choice.
As to absolute submission, it would be an insult to my countrymen to show its inexpediency.
The second is more specious; but would prove not much less destructive. Should we revert to our former dependance, that power, which has attempted to conquer us by open force, will doubtless employ her policy to divide us, though a reconciliation were made, the most perfect of its kind; because it is her interest to keep us divided. Disputes about our boundaries will be excited and fomented, and every artifice employed to render a future union impracticable: but if Great Britain should use no endeavours to divide us, Colony will naturally be jealous of Colony, while we have no Continental Supreme Legislature to connect our separate interests, and while every dispute between the Provinces must be carried to that inimical Court, whose interest it is to foment, not to decide the quarrel. That spirit of union in which we are so happy at present, once broken, cannot be easily re-established. Reason tells us, that thirteen powerful States as these Colonies will, separately, be fifty years hence, unconnected of each other nay, worse, jealous of each other never yet were, and probably never will be united. This is built on a supposition that a reconciliation can last fifty years; I am persuaded it would not last half the time. I am firmly persuaded, if a reconciliation was effected, and at the end of fifty years we should declare Independence, we should be very little united nay, not united at all; our property being increased we should be more timid in risking it.
History shows us, that the noblest and most successful stands for liberty have been made by the weakest, poorest, and least populous States: witness Sparta, Athens, Rome in its infancy, Holland, and Corsica the unfortunate. History hardly affords an instance of a Nations recovering their liberty when they were ancient, numerous, rich, and powerful.
Tis next to a miracle to bring over the inveterate in an ancient, the interested in a rich, and the parties in a numerous people, to an entire and solid union; the solid union of many distinct Provinces is a phenomenon of the cometary kind so remarkable, it does not happen for ages; and so fortunate when it does, it would be a wilful murder of posterity not to improve it.
It is acknowledged on all hands, if a reconciliation were to take place that it would be a temporary one. Whigs and Tories confess the Colonies will one day fall off from Great Britain. If this should happen fifty years hence, and the Colonies be disunited, what will be the consequence? Several distinct Empires will be set up. The Southern Provinces may form one, the Northern another, and Canada a third. Perpetual discord, obstinate rivalry, and ambitious contests for dominion, like those of Carthage and Rome, will follow; till the standard of absolute Government is established by the victorious Empire over the rest; and thus, if we neglect the present union, this land of freedom may become as tyrannical as Siam or Bengal.
I appeal to you, O! Philanthropists! who are breathing for peace, and to you, ye Tories! who are preaching dependance, whether the most prudent method for ourselves, and the most peaceful for posterity, is not to set up Independence, and to continue the war till that Independence is established and acknowledged. Those who cannot subscribe to these opinions had better see them at large in that excellent pamphlet, Common Sense, from which they are for the most part taken. It is unnecessary to add, that if we reject the two first, viz: Submission and Dependance, we must of consequence be Independent.
Boston, April 29, 1776.
C. W. F. DUMAS TO DOCTOR FRANKLIN.
Utrecht, April 30, 1776.
SIR: I received on the 6th instant at the Hague, from Mr. Thomas Story, the despatches of the 19th December, 1775, of which he was the bearer.
I am deeply penetrated by the honour done me, and the confidence reposed in me by the Committee appointed by the General Congress to maintain the correspondence between the American United Provinces and Europe, and of which you, sir, are one of the worthy members. I shall die content if the remainder of my life can be devoted to the service of so glorious and just a cause. I accept, therefore, joyfully, the commission you have bestowed, and whatever you may think fit to give me in future; and I promise a hearty good will and an untiring zeal. I hope my ability will justify the favourable opinion you entertain of me. This promise on my part is, in fact, an oath of allegiance, which I spontaneously take to Congress; receive it as such.
When I remarked in my last letter to you, that all Europe wishes you the most happy issue in your defence of your liberty, I meant the unprejudiced, equitable, humane, European publick; in a word, the citizens of universal society men in general. You must except from this number the holders of English funds, and those Courts of Europe who have an understanding with England. These, far from