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debtors to those who bought in the continental paper, and be answerable to pay them at a future day, charging the same to account of the United States; or provide a new emission of bills, to the amount of one twentieth part of the sum called in of the bills then in circulation.

It was hoped, by having a new emission, and that only to the amount of a twentieth part of the bills in circulation, the paper would be kept from depreciation; especially as congress engaged to redeem it at the nominal value; pledged the faith of the country for such redemption; and at the same time called on the several states to provide for the payment, by instalments within six years. The old paper money was soon taken out of circulation, and the new emission was substituted in its place. But this soon depreciated also: and as the country was unable to redeem it by specie, and had a very great debt to provide for, it could not be otherwise justly expected. After this period, specie was gradually introduced into circulation; and the new bills were almost as much opposed as the old.

Besides the share of the continental debt, for which Massachusetts had to provide, the separate debt of the state, though chiefly incurred for the common defence of the country, was nominally $200,000,000. But, on the calculation of forty for one, only $5,000,000; which was probably more than a third part of the whole property of the state, according to the valuation of that period. It was believed, that Massachusetts had made such great advances, in course of the war, that it would have a large balance due from the continent: and that its debt, on a final adjustment of accounts with congress, would be much less than appeared by the above estimate.

In the spring of 1780, a tax was laid by the general court, of nearly a million of dollars; to be paid in specie, or in the new bills, then just issued; with a view to call in 36,000,000 of the old paper. A part of the new emission was ordered to be retained for the use of the state, but the greater portion of it was appropriated for the public service of the country, as congress should require. At the same session, it was voted to raise $240,000 annually, for seven years, to enable the state to meet its engagements to the officers and soldiers of the army, and other public creditors.

The debt of the commonwealth was now very great, and

* Probably the valuation was too low, and that one fourth part would be a more correct estimate. Real estate was then sold and purchased at a very low rate.

was the cause of complaints among the people, generally. The legislature did not escape blame, on pretence of inattention, or want of economy in making purchases for the public service. Perhaps, in some cases, the agents were not altogether so careful as they might have been. But there were very few defaulters. And it is rather matter of surprise, when the immense disbursements are considered, and the services rendered, for five years, that the debt and the taxes were not still greater. The expenses of the British, for supporting their army for five years, amounted to £37,500,000 sterling. An agent was sent to Europe, at this time, by Massachusetts, to obtain loans and goods on the credit of the state.*

The inhabitants of Maine suffered much from the enemy at Penobscot, and a detachment of the militia, amounting to seven hundred and fifty, under General Wadsworth, was ordered to the western shores of that bay for their protection. These men were mostly residents in Maine. Some armed vessels were also ordered for the defence of that part of the state. Two companies were stationed at Machias, to prevent the depredations of the British, who had often before that time plundered the people to a large amount.

Amidst the great anxiety for the safety of the country, and unremitting efforts made for military preparations, the interests of science and of letters were not disregarded. The "Academy of Arts and Sciences" was this year instituted in Massachusetts, composed of a number of the clergy and laity, who were distinguished for their philosophical taste and pursuits. James Bowdoin was the first president of the society; a man equally celebrated for patriotism, for private worth, and for literary attainments. During the same year, a high school or academy was estabished at Andover, with the design of preparing young men for admission into the university, and for the business of the merchants' counting-houses.

General Washington called again for men, in the fall of 1780. The enlistments of the preceding year had not been effected to the number required. The regiments were incomplete; and he wished to have a more efficient army. He was expecting troops from France; but he proposed also to congress to raise an additional number, with the view of obliging the enemy to leave the country and sue for peace. Congress immediately called for four thousand men from Massachusetts, for six months. And shortly after, General Washington made a request for four thousand seven hundred, to be marched

* Jonathan L. Austin, Esq., an eminent merchant of Boston.

immediately to head quarters, near New York. A portion of the continental troops was then in the southern department, under General Greene. In attempts to comply with these requests, the general court was subject to heavy complaints from the people, who charged them with demanding more than they were able to perform or endure. This led to an application of Massachusetts to the other states, to invest congress with the sole power of providing men and the other expenses for prosecuting the war. Some of the states received the proposition with favor, but it was never fully adopted,

CHAPTER XXIII.

Session of General Court, October, 1780-Recommendations of the Gov ernor-Sale of Refugees' estates-Loans-Appeals to the people-Massachusetts regiments reduced-State of the debt of the CommonwealthLaws revised-Impost duties-Duty on sales at public auction-Troops sent to Rhode Island, and Executive authorized to call out more-Treachery of Arnold-General Washington called on Massachusetts for six thousand of the militia-Capture of Lord Cornwallis, in Virginia-Great expenses-British offer to negotiate-Terms not acceptable to CongressMore men called for in 1782-Additional sums required by CongressPeople complain of heavy taxes-Negotiations for peace-Cod FisheryMassachusetts' proportion of Continental debt-The people ready to despair-Population-Members of Congress.

THE first session of the general court, under the constitution, was holden in October, 1780, and the house consisted of two hundred members. In his address, at the opening of the session, Governor Hancock recommended a speedy enlistment of the men requested by General Washington; to make efforts to maintain the credit of the state; to cherish the means of education, and the observance of sabbatical institutions, which, in a time of war, were too much disregarded.

Various methods were proposed to raise money; particularly by the sale of the estates of refugees, and by loans. A large committee was appointed to obtain loans, to the amount of £400,000.* The efforts were not very successful; only a small portion of that sum was procured

At this period of complaints and distress, the general court published an address to the people; in which they said "We conjure you, in the name of honor and patriotism, to give up every consideration of private advantage, and to assist in supplying the public treasury; as it is impossible to maintain an army if the people withhold their taxes and money. Let it be evident, that the citizens of Massachusetts are animated with

*Of this committee were William Phillips, Edward Payne, Stephen Higginson, George Cabot, E. H. Derby, Jonathan Jackson, and E. Gerry.

the same principles which inspired them in the early stages of the contest, and that the salvation of the country absorbs every other concern. Thus shall we dash the last hope of the enemy, founded, as it may be, on the inattention or avarice of any part of the community."

In 1780, a new arrangement of the continental army was made, by which the regiments belonging to Massachusetts were reduced from sixteen to twelve. The older officers were allowed to retire on half pay. At this time, also, the term for which many of the soldiers had enlisted expired, and the number of four thousand two hundred were necessary to fill up the twelve regiments. A great part of these were induced, by the offer of large bounties, to engage during the war.*

The complaints of the people continuing and increasing, the general court was induced to make a statement of the debt of the commonwealth, and of the sums requisite for the year 1781; at the same time exhorting the people to bear the burdens of the occasion, and contribute to the means of supporting the war in every possible manner. They stated that £950,000 would be required: a part of it for the common expenses of the government, a part for an instalment of the public debt, and for interest on the residue; for clothing for the soldiers; and for meeting the demands of congress, as a portion of continental expenses. For this, it was proposed to provide, by the tax of the preceding year, uncollected, by the sale of absentees' estates, by loans, and a tax of £320,000. Loans were effected to such an amount, as to afford some relief. To raise the whole sum required would be utterly impracticable, without borrowing; and yet it was highly important to maintain the credit of the state. It was also considered just to require of another gener

* The treachery of General Benedict Arnold, of Rhode Island, who had the command of the military post at West Point, fall of 1780, created a great sensation through the country. The main body of the American army was then posted at that place and vicinity. General Washington was absent for a few days, to meet the French admiral at Hartford. Arnold found means to correspond with the enemy, who were at New York, and whose armed ships had command of the Hudson, almost up to West Point. Major Andre, who came out from New York as a spy, to confer with Arnold, was taken on his return, and the treachery was discovered. Arnold immediately fled to a British frigate, in the river below, a few hours before the report was circulated. The British officer was executed as a spy; but the traitor escaped. The people were surprised at such an instance of perfidy in one who generally had the reputation of a brave and meritorious officer. Afterwards, however, it was known, that his moral character was stained by former acts of dishonesty and oppression. It was just cause of gratitude, that his treachery was seasonably discovered, and the country saved. It was a proud reflection also, that scarcely an instance of perfidy, except this, occurred during the war; especially when it was known, that others had been assailed by the tender of bribes from the enemy.

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