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I have no notion of yielding the palm of
the United States to any Grecians or Romans that were ever born. We
have equalled the bravest in times of danger, and excelled the wisest in
construction of civil governments.

From this agreeable eminence let us take a review of present affairs.
The spirit of corruption is so inseparably interwoven with British
politics, that their ministry suppose all mankind are governed by the
same motives. They have no idea of a people submitting even to temporary
inconvenience from an attachment to rights and privileges. Their plans
of business are calculated by the hour and for the hour, and are uniform
in nothing but the corruption which gives them birth. They never had,
neither have they at this time, any regular plan for the conquest of
America by arms. They know not how to go about it, neither have they
power to effect it if they did know. The thing is not within the compass
of human practicability, for America is too extensive either to be fully
conquered or passively defended. But she may be actively defended by
defeating or making prisoners of the army that invades her. And this is
the only system of defence that can be effectual in a large country.

There is something in a war carried on by invasion which makes it differ
in circumstances from any other mode of war, because he who conducts it
cannot tell whether the ground he gains be for him, or against him, when
he first obtains it. In the winter of 1776, General Howe marched with
an air of victory through the Jerseys, the consequence of which was his
defeat; and General Burgoyne at Saratoga experienced the same fate from
the same cause. The Spaniards, about two years ago, were defeated by
the Algerines in the same manner, that is, their first triumphs became
a trap in which they were totally routed. And whoever will attend to
the circumstances and events of a war carried on by invasion, will find,
that any invader, in order to be finally conquered must first begin to
conquer.

I confess myself one of those who believe the loss of Philadelphia to
be attended with more advantages than injuries. The case stood thus:
The enemy imagined Philadelphia to be of more importance to us than it
really was; for we all know that it had long ceased to be a port: not a
cargo of goods had been brought into it for near a twelvemonth, nor any
fixed manufactories, nor even ship-building, carried on in it; yet as
the enemy believed the conquest of it to be practicable, and to that
belief added the absurd idea that the soul of all America was centred
there, and would be conquered there, it naturally follows that their
possession of it, by not answering the end proposed, must break up the
plans they had so foolishly gone upon, and either oblige them to form a
new one, for which their present strength is not sufficient, or to give
over the attempt.

We never had so small an army to fight against, nor so fair an
opportunity of final success as now. The death wound is already given.
The day is ours if we follow it up. The enemy, by his situation, is
within our reach, and by his reduced strength is within our power. The
ministers of Britain may rage as they please, but our part is to conquer
their armies. Let them wrangle and welcome, but let, it not draw our
attention from the one thing needful. Here, in this spot is our own
business to be accomplished, our felicity secured. What we have now to
do is as clear as light, and the way to do it is as straight as a
line. It needs not to be commented upon, yet, in order to be perfectly
understood I will put a case that cannot admit of a mistake.

Had the armies under Generals Howe and Burgoyne been united, and taken
post at Germantown, and had the northern army under General Gates been
joined to that under General Washington, at Whitemarsh, the consequence
would have been a general action; and if in that action we had killed
and taken the same number of officers and men, that is, between nine and
ten thousand, with the same quantity of artillery, arms, stores, etc.,
as have been taken at the northward, and obliged General Howe with the
remains of his army, that is, with the same number he now commands, to
take shelter in Philadelphia, we should certainly have thought ourselves
the greatest heroes in the world; and should, as soon as the season
permitted, have collected together all the force of the continent and
laid siege to the city, for it requires a much greater force to besiege
an enemy in a town than to defeat him in the field. The case now is just
the same as if it had been produced by the means I have here supposed.
Between nine and ten thousand have been killed and taken, all their
stores are in our possession, and General Howe, in consequence of that
victory, has thrown himself for shelter into Philadelphia. He, or his
trifling friend Galloway, may form what pretences they please, yet no
just reason can be given for their going into winter quarters so early
as the 19th of October, but their apprehensions of a defeat if they
continued out, or their conscious inability of keeping the field with
safety. I see no advantage which can arise to America by hunting the
enemy from state to state. It is a triumph without a prize, and wholly
unworthy the attention of a people determined to conquer. Neither can
any state promise itself security while the enemy remains in a condition
to transport themselves from one part of the continent to another. Howe,
likewise, cannot conquer where we have no army to oppose, therefore any
such removals in him are mean and cowardly, and reduces Britain to a
common pilferer. If he retreats from Philadelphia, he will be despised;
if he stays, he may be shut up and starved out, and the country, if he
advances into it, may become his Saratoga. He has his choice of evils
and we of opportunities. If he moves early, it is not only a sign but a
proof that he expects no reinforcement, and his delay will prove that he
either waits for the arrival of a plan to go upon, or force to execute
it, or both; in which case our strength will increase more than his,
therefore in any case we cannot be wrong if we do but proceed.

The particular condition of Pennsylvania deserves the attention of all
the other States. Her military strength must not be estimated by
the number of inhabitants. Here are men of all nations, characters,
professions and interests. Here are the firmest Whigs, surviving,
like sparks in the ocean, unquenched and uncooled in the midst of
discouragement and disaffection. Here are men losing their all with
cheerfulness, and collecting fire and fortitude from the flames of their
own estates. Here are others skulking in secret, many making a market
of the times, and numbers who are changing to Whig or Tory with the
circumstances of every day.

It is by a mere dint of fortitude and perseverance that the Whigs of
this State have been able to maintain so good a countenance, and do even
what they have done. We want help, and the sooner it can arrive the more
effectual it will be. The invaded State, be it which it may, will always
feel an additional burden upon its back, and be hard set to support its
civil power with sufficient authority; and this difficulty will rise or
fall, in proportion as the other states throw in their assistance to the
common cause.

The enemy will most probably make many manoeuvres at the opening of this
campaign, to amuse and draw off the attention of the several States from
the one thing needful. We may expect to hear of alarms and pretended
expeditions to this place and that place, to the southward, the
eastward, and the northward, all intended to prevent our forming
into one formidable body. The less the enemy's strength is, the more
subtleties of this kind will they make use of. Their existence depends
upon it, because the force of America, when collected, is sufficient
to swallow their present army up. It is therefore our business to make
short work of it, by bending our whole attention to this one principal
point, for the instant that the main body under General Howe is
defeated, all the inferior alarms throughout the continent, like so many
shadows, will follow his downfall.

The only way to finish a war with the least possible bloodshed, or
perhaps without any, is to collect an army, against the power of which
the enemy shall have no chance. By not doing this, we prolong the war,
and double both the calamities and expenses of it. What a rich and happy
country would America be, were she, by a vigorous exertion, to reduce
Howe as she has reduced Burgoyne. Her currency would rise to millions
beyond its present value. Every man would be rich, and every man would
have it in his power to be happy. And why not do these things? What
is there to hinder? America is her own mistress and can do what she
pleases.

If we had not at this time a man in the field, we could, nevertheless,
raise an army in a few weeks sufficient to overwhelm all the force
which General Howe at present commands. Vigor and determination will do
anything and everything. We began the war with this kind of spirit, why
not end it with the same? Here, gentlemen, is the enemy. Here is the
army. The interest, the happiness of all America, is centred in this
half ruined spot. Come and help us. Here are laurels, come and share
them. Here are Tories, come and help us to expel them. Here are Whigs
that will make you welcome, and enemies that dread your coming.

The worst of all policies is that of doing things by halves. Penny-wise
and pound-foolish, has been the ruin of thousands. The present spring,
if rightly improved, will free us from our troubles, and save us
the expense of millions. We have now only one army to cope with. No
opportunity can be fairer; no prospect more promising. I shall conclude
this paper with a few outlines of a plan, either for filling up the
battalions with expedition, or for raising an additional force, for any
limited time, on any sudden emergency.

That in which every man is interested, is every man's duty to support.
And any burden which falls equally on all men, and from which every
man is to receive an equal benefit, is consistent with the most perfect
ideas of liberty.



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