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In the month of May, the Duke of Cumberland advanced with the
army into the Highlands, as far as Fort Augustus, where he encamped; and
sent off detachments on all hands, to hunt down the fugitives, and
lay waste the country with fire and sword. The castles of Glengary and
Lochiel were plundered and burned; every house, hut, or habitation,
met with the same fate, without distinction; and all the cattle and
provision were carried off; the men were either shot upon the mountains,
like wild beasts, or put to death in cold blood, without form of trial;
the women, after having seen their husbands and fathers murdered, were
subjected to brutal violation, and then turned out naked, with their
children, to starve on the barren heaths. One whole family was enclosed
in a barn, and consumed to ashes. Those ministers of vengeance were so
alert in the execution of their office, that in a few days there was
neither house, cottage, man, nor beast, to be seen within the compass of
fifty miles; all was ruin, silence, and desolation."

I have here presented the reader with one of the most shocking instances
of cruelty ever practised, and I leave it, to rest on his mind, that he
may be fully impressed with a sense of the destruction he has escaped,
in case Britain had conquered America; and likewise, that he may see
and feel the necessity, as well for his own personal safety, as for the
honor, the interest, and happiness of the whole community, to omit or
delay no one preparation necessary to secure the ground which we so
happily stand upon.


TO THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA

On the expenses, arrangements and disbursements for
carrying on the war, and finishing it with honor
and advantage

WHEN any necessity or occasion has pointed out the convenience of
addressing the public, I have never made it a consideration whether the
subject was popular or unpopular, but whether it was right or wrong; for
that which is right will become popular, and that which is wrong, though
by mistake it may obtain the cry or fashion of the day, will soon lose
the power of delusion, and sink into disesteem.

A remarkable instance of this happened in the case of Silas Deane; and
I mention this circumstance with the greater ease, because the poison
of his hypocrisy spread over the whole country, and every man, almost
without exception, thought me wrong in opposing him. The best friends
I then had, except Mr. [Henry] Laurens, stood at a distance, and this
tribute, which is due to his constancy, I pay to him with respect, and
that the readier, because he is not here to hear it. If it reaches him
in his imprisonment, it will afford him an agreeable reflection.

"As he rose like a rocket, he would fall like a stick," is a metaphor
which I applied to Mr. Deane, in the first piece which I published
respecting him, and he has exactly fulfilled the description. The credit
he so unjustly obtained from the public, he lost in almost as short a
time. The delusion perished as it fell, and he soon saw himself stripped
of popular support. His more intimate acquaintances began to doubt, and
to desert him long before he left America, and at his departure, he saw
himself the object of general suspicion. When he arrived in France,
he endeavored to effect by treason what he had failed to accomplish by
fraud. His plans, schemes and projects, together with his expectation of
being sent to Holland to negotiate a loan of money, had all miscarried.
He then began traducing and accusing America of every crime, which could
injure her reputation. "That she was a ruined country; that she only
meant to make a tool of France, to get what money she could out of her,
and then to leave her and accommodate with Britain." Of all which and
much more, Colonel Laurens and myself, when in France, informed Dr.
Franklin, who had not before heard of it. And to complete the character
of traitor, he has, by letters to his country since, some of which, in
his own handwriting, are now in the possession of Congress, used every
expression and argument in his power, to injure the reputation of
France, and to advise America to renounce her alliance, and surrender up
her independence.* Thus in France he abuses America, and in his letters
to America he abuses France; and is endeavoring to create disunion
between two countries, by the same arts of double-dealing by which he
caused dissensions among the commissioners in Paris, and distractions in
America. But his life has been fraud, and his character has been that of
a plodding, plotting, cringing mercenary, capable of any disguise that
suited his purpose. His final detection has very happily cleared up
those mistakes, and removed that uneasiness, which his unprincipled
conduct occasioned. Every one now sees him in the same light; for
towards friends or enemies he acted with the same deception and
injustice, and his name, like that of Arnold, ought now to be forgotten
among us. As this is the first time that I have mentioned him since my
return from France, it is my intention that it shall be the last. From
this digression, which for several reasons I thought necessary to give,
I now proceed to the purport of my address.


* Mr. William Marshall, of this city [Philadelphia], formerly a
pilot, who had been taken at sea and carried to England, and got from
thence to France, brought over letters from Mr. Deane to America, one of
which was directed to "Robert Morris, Esq." Mr. Morris sent it unopened
to Congress, and advised Mr. Marshall to deliver the others there, which
he did. The letters were of the same purport with those which have been
already published under the signature of S. Deane, to which they had
frequent reference.

I consider the war of America against Britain as the country's war,
the public's war, or the war of the people in their own behalf, for
the security of their natural rights, and the protection of their own
property. It is not the war of Congress, the war of the assemblies, or
the war of government in any line whatever. The country first, by
mutual compact, resolved to defend their rights and maintain their
independence, at the hazard of their lives and fortunes; they elected
their representatives, by whom they appointed their members of Congress,
and said, act you for us, and we will support you. This is the
true ground and principle of the war on the part of America, and,
consequently, there remains nothing to do, but for every one to fulfil
his obligation.

It was next to impossible that a new country, engaged in a new
undertaking, could set off systematically right at first. She saw not
the extent of the struggle that she was involved in, neither could she
avoid the beginning. She supposed every step that she took, and every
resolution which she formed, would bring her enemy to reason and close
the contest. Those failing, she was forced into new measures; and these,
like the former, being fitted to her expectations, and failing in their
turn, left her continually unprovided, and without system. The
enemy, likewise, was induced to prosecute the war, from the temporary
expedients we adopted for carrying it on. We were continually expecting
to see their credit exhausted, and they were looking to see our currency
fail; and thus, between their watching us, and we them, the hopes of
both have been deceived, and the childishness of the expectation has
served to increase the expense.

Yet who, through this wilderness of error, has been to blame? Where is
the man who can say the fault, in part, has not been his? They were the
natural, unavoidable errors of the day. They were the errors of a whole
country, which nothing but experience could detect and time remove.
Neither could the circumstances of America admit of system, till either
the paper currency was fixed or laid aside. No calculation of a finance
could be made on a medium failing without reason, and fluctuating
without rule.

But there is one error which might have been prevented and was not; and
as it is not my custom to flatter, but to serve mankind, I will speak it
freely. It certainly was the duty of every assembly on the continent to
have known, at all times, what was the condition of its treasury, and
to have ascertained at every period of depreciation, how much the real
worth of the taxes fell short of their nominal value. This knowledge,
which might have been easily gained, in the time of it, would have
enabled them to have kept their constituents well informed, and this is
one of the greatest duties of representation. They ought to have studied
and calculated the expenses of the war, the quota of each state, and
the consequent proportion that would fall on each man's property for
his defence; and this must have easily shown to them, that a tax of one
hundred pounds could not be paid by a bushel of apples or an hundred of
flour, which was often the case two or three years ago. But instead of
this, which would have been plain and upright dealing, the little line
of temporary popularity, the feather of an hour's duration, was too much
pursued; and in this involved condition of things, every state, for the
want of a little thinking, or a little information, supposed that it
supported the whole expenses of the war, when in fact it fell, by the
time the tax was levied and collected, above three-fourths short of its
own quota.

Impressed with a sense of the danger to which the country was exposed by
this lax method of doing business, and the prevailing errors of the day,
I published, last October was a twelvemonth, the Crisis Extraordinary,
on the revenues of America, and the yearly expense of carrying on
the war. My estimation of the latter, together with the civil list of
Congress, and the civil list of the several states, was two million
pounds sterling, which is very nearly nine millions of dollars.

Since that time, Congress have gone into a calculation, and have
estimated the expenses of the War Department and the civil list of
Congress (exclusive of the civil list of the several governments) at
eight millions of dollars; and as the remaining million will be
fully sufficient for the civil list of the several states, the two
calculations are exceedingly near each other.

The sum of eight millions of dollars have called upon the states to
furnish, and their quotas are as follows, which I shall preface with the
resolution itself.



"By the United States in Congress assembled.

"October 30, 1781.

"Resolved, That the respective states be called upon to furnish the
treasury of the United States with their quotas of eight millions of
dollars, for the War Department and civil list for the ensuing year, to
be paid quarterly, in equal proportions, the first payment to be made on
the first day of April next.

"Resolved, That a committee, consisting of a member from each state, be
appointed to apportion to the several states the quota of the above sum.

"November 2d.



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