« AnteriorContinuar »
port the common law of the commonwealth, they have an exten- 1782. sive operation, and are easily understood. Our ancestors, when they came into this new world, claimed the common law as their birthright, and brought it with them, except such parts as were judged inapplicable to their new state and condition. The common law, thus claimed, was the common law of their native country, as it was amended or altered by English statutes in force at the time of their emigration. The statutes were never re-enacted in this country, but were considered as incorporated into the common law.” A medical institution was established in the University in Cam- Medical In
and stitution in bridge, consisting of three professorships; one, of Anatomy and Ha Surgery ; one, of the Theory and Practice of Physic; and one,
ConnectiThe number of inhabitants in Connecticut was 208,870.3 cut.
Washington College was instituted at Chesterton in Maryland. College. Dummer Academy in Newbury, Massachusetts, was incorpo- Academy. rated.4
An edition of the Bible was printed at Philadelphia by Robert Bible. Aitken; and recommended to the public by congress.5
McFingal, a Modern Epic Poem by John Trumbull, was pub- Poem. lished at Hartford.
Charles Lee, late a major general in the American army, died Death of at Philadelphia.?
The mistry and Materiheory and Praips; one, of A
1783. On the 20th of January, an agreement was entered into be- Cessation tween the ministers plenipotentiary of the United States of of
ties agreed America, and the minister plenipotentiary of his Britannic majes- on. ty, relative to a cessation of hostilities. On the 24th of March,
1 Griffith, Law Register of the United States, iï. 491. The court of sessions, in criminal cases, was succeeded in its jurisdiction by the court of common pleas, by a statute in 1804. Ib.
2 The three first professors were John Warren, M. D. Benjamin Waterhouse, M. D. and Aaron Dexter, M. D.
3 « Return” February 1, 1782: Whites, 202,597; Indians and Negroes, 6273.
4 It was founded in 1756, and opened in 1763. Morse. See 1761, Art. DUMMER.
5 Thomas, ii. 76. See ib. i. 305; and 1791.
6 The two first Cantos of this original Poem were written in the autumn of 1775, and published in January, 1776.
7 General Lee had been a lieutenant colonel in the British army, but was residing in Virginia at the commencement of the American war; and, taking an early part on the side of America, congress appointed him a major general in their army. After the battle of Monmouth, he was tried on several charges of misconduct in that action ; found guilty ; and suspended for one year. See 1778. In January, 1780, he was dismissed from the service of congress. He was ex. cellently versed in the military art; and, though eccentric, united solid judge ment with undaunted bravery. See his Life and Memoirs, N. York, 1813.
1783. a letter was received from the marquis de la Fayette, announcing
a general peace. This intelligence, though not official, was indubitable; and orders were immediately issued recalling all armed vessels cruising under the authority of the United States. Congress soon after received official intelligence of the agreement between the ministers of the United States and Great Britain, and of the exchange of ratifications of the preliminary
articles between Great Britain and France; and, on the 11th of Proclama- April, issued a Proclamation, declaring the Cessation of arms,
one as well by sea as by land, agreed upon between the United
States and his Britannic majesty, and enjoining its observance. The proclamation refers to the provisional articles signed at Paris on the 30th of the preceding November, and to preliminaries for restoring peace between the kings of France and of Great Britain, and the kings of Spain and of Great Britain, signed at Versailles on the 20th of January last, by which it had been agreed, that as soon as the same were ratified, hostilities between the said kings, their kingdoms, states, and subjects, should cease in all parts of the world. The proclamation farther states, that “it was declared by the minister plenipotentiary of the king of Great Britain, in the name and by the express order of the king his master, on the said 20th of January last, that the United States of America, their subjects and their possessions, shall be comprised in the abovementioned suspension of arms, upon condition, that on the part and in the name of the United States of America, a similar declaration shall be delivered, expressly declaring their assent to the said suspension of arms;" and that " the ministers plenipotentiary of these United States did, on the same 20th of January, in the name and by the authority of the United States, accept the said declaration, and declare that the said States should cause all hostilities to cease against his Britannic majesty, his subjects, and his possessions, at the terms and epochs agreed upon between those three crowns ;" and that “the ratifications” of those preliminary articles between those kings had been “exchanged by their ministers.” The Proclamation then proceeds : “ And whereas it is our will and pleasure, that the cessation of hostilities between the United States of America and his Britannic majesty should be conformable to the epochs fixed upon between their Most Christian and Britannic majesties; we have thought fit to make known the same to the citizens of these States; and we hereby strictly charge and command all our officers, both by sea and land, and other subjects of these United States, to forbear all acts of hostility, either by sea or by land, against his Britannic majesty or his subjects, from and after the respective times agreed upon between their Most Christian and Britannic majesties, as aforesaid. And we
do further require all governors and others, the executive powers 1783. of these United States respectively, to cause this our proclamation to be made public, to the end that the same may be duly observed within their several jurisdictions." This Proclamation was agreed to “ By the United States of America in Congress assembled," on the 11th of April.
The Independence of the United States of America was ac- Independknowledged by Sweden, on the 5th of February ; by Denmark,
" knowedged on the 25th of February ; by Spain, on the 24th of March ; by foreign and by Russia, in July. The United States, at or near these nations.
times respectively, concluded a treaty of amity and commerce · with each of those powers.
On the 22d of March, congress passed a resolution, com- Commuta. muting the half pay that had been promised to the officers of the American army for life, for five years full pay.
On the 15th of April, congress took into consideration the Resolves of articles agreed upon at Paris on the 30th of November last; congress. and resolved, “That the agent of marine cause all the naval prisoners to be set at liberty; and, That the commander in chief be, and he is hereby instructed to make the proper arrangements with the commander in chief of the British forces, for receiving possession of the posts in the United States occupied by the troops of his Britannic majesty ; and for obtaining the delivery of all negroes and other property of the inhabitants of the United States in the possession of the British forces, or any subjects of, or adherents to his said Britannic majesty; and that the secretary at war, in conjunction with the commander in chief, take proper arrangements for setting at liberty all land prisoners.” On the 19th of April, Peace was proclaimed in the American Peace pro
claimed in army by the commander in chief, precisely eight years from the the day of the first effusion of blood at Lexington.
On the Sth of June, general Washington addressed a letter to Gen. Washeach of the governors of the several States in the Union, on the 1 present situation, and what appeared to him the wisest policy, of governors the United States. In this paternal and affectionate letter he stated four things which he humbly conceived to be essential to their well being, he might even venture to say, to their existence, as an independent power : “ An indissoluble union of the States under one general head; a sacred regard to public justice; the adoption of a proper peace establishment; and the prevalence of that pacific and friendly disposition, among the people of the United States, which will induce them to forget their local prejudices and politics, to make those mutual concessions which are requisite to the general prosperity, and, in some instances, to sacrifice their individual advantages to the interest of the community. These," he added, " are the pillars on which the VOL. II.
of the U. States.
1783. glorious fabrick of our independency and national character must
be supported.” Having requested that each governor would communicate these sentiments to his legislature at their next meeting, and that they might be considered “as the legacy of one who has ardently wished, on all occasions, to be useful to his country; and who, even in the shade of retirement, will not fail to implore the divine benediction upon it;" he concluded his letter, in language becoming a Christian patriot, and worthy of perpetual remembrance : "I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the field; and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the divine characteristicks of the Divine Author of our blessed religion ; without an humble imitation of whose example
in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.” J. Adams to About the same time, Mr. John Adams, then one of the miniscongress.
ters of the United States in Europe, observed, in a letter to congress : “ The union requires additional support from its members; and if the United States become respectable, it must be by more energy in the government; for as some of the nations of Europe do not yet perceive this important truth, that the sphere of their own commerce will be eventually enlarged by the growth of America, but on the contrary manifest a jealousy of our future prosperity ; it becomes the United States seriously to consider their own interests, and to devise such general systems and arrangements, commercial or political, as our own peculiar circumstances may from time to time require."
The honourable Francis Dana, who had been appointed envoy envoy at
from the United States to Russia, and had resided for a considerable time at St. Petersburg, had not yet been received in his public character. His presence, however, appears to have been of conciliatory and favourable influence. His reception was suspended upon the result of the negotiations for peace among the powers at war; the empress having been chosen mediatrix by the courts of Versailles, Madrid, and London, in conjunction with the emperor of Germany, her Imperial majesty gave him assurance, that, in the mean time, not only himself, but such citizens of the United States, as affairs of Commerce, or other concerns, may bring into her empire, shall enjoy the most favourable reception, and the protection of the Laws of Nations. The
flag of the United States was soon after displayed at Riga, upon 1783. a ship of 500 tons, which arrived there on the 1st of June, m commanded by captain M'Neal, belonging to Massachusetts. American “ This is the first and only arrival of an American vessel in any i
vessel in port in Russia.” 1
The Definitive Treaty of Peace between Great Britain and Definitive the United States of America was signed at Paris on the third treaty of
peace. day of September, by David Hartley, esquire, member of the parliament of Great Britain, on the part of his Britannic majesty, and by John Adams, esquire, late a commissioner of the United States, at the court of Versailles, late a delegate in congress from the state of Massachusetts, and chief justice of the said state, and minister plenipotentiary of the United States to their high mightinesses the States General of the United Netherlands, Benjamin Franklin, esquire, late delegate in congress from the state of Pennsylvania, president of the convention of said state, and minister plenipotentiary from the United States to the court of Versailles, and John Jay, esquire, late President of Congress, and chief justice of the state of New York, and minister plenipotentiary from the United States at the court of Madrid.
By the first Article of this Treaty, bis Britannic majesty ac- Independknowledges the United States, viz. New Hampshire, Massachu- ente ac.
knowledgsetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, ed. New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to be free, sovereign, and independent states ; that he treats with them as such, and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same, and every part thereof. By the second Article, the boun- Boundaries daries of the United States are declared and described from St. Croix in Nova Scotia to Canada, by the lakes and the river Mississippi to East Florida. By the third Article, it is agreed, Fisheries, that the people of the United States shall continue to enjoy unmolested the right to take fish of every kind on the Grand bank, and on all the other banks of Newfoundland; also in the gulf of St. Lawrence, and at all other places in the sea, where the
1 Letter Book of F. Dana, who writes, “The impression it has made here is favourable.” The letters containing the above account, are addressed to Count Ostermann, the Vice Chancellor, Mr. Dumas, Charge d'Affaires of the United States, and to Robert R. Livingston, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and are dated at“ St. Petersbourg," June 5th, 9th, and 13th. Mr. Dana had just before observed to the Vice Chancellor, to whom he had stated his arguments for the reception of the American envoy in his proper character: "I shall conform with the utmost satisfaction to her Imperial Majesty's manner of thinking respecting the present mediation, and wait the Conclusion of the Definitive Treaty of Peace.” See NOTE IX.
% See NOTE X. for an entire description of the boundaries.