A new story from American Revolution Podcast
Hello thank you for joining the American Revolution Today. Episode One twenty the American crisis last week. Okay covered a few side events in Rhode Island in Canada that took place in late. Seventeen seventy six but we all know. The main event was along the Delaware River over the last few episodes I addressed the British push to take New Jersey and the continental retreat toward Pennsylvania. Continental soldiers were leaving in droves oops as their enlistment ended or just plain deserting general Washington had another very large enlistment expiration at the end of December. Leaving him with little more than a few regiments to command. Very few soldiers saw any chance victory and were eager to go home. One of the soldiers were treating with the continentals was Thomas Paine. The author of common sense had enlisted in the Pennsylvania militia sometime. I'm after reading his famous pamphlet. He ended up in Fort Lee where he volunteered to serve. As General Nathaniel Greens a decamp. Pain and marched with the rest of the army from Fort Lee as the British under Cornwallis pursued them. According to legend pain marched with the army during the day and penned his new work the American crisis number one during the evenings as the army marched from Newark to the Delaware River. It's hard to imagine. Imagine though having time to do anything during that March perhaps he had time to scratch out a few notes. There is no good record as to exactly a how much of the crisis he wrote during the march but years later paint said that he wrote the crisis in Philadelphia after his arrival in the city on December eighth eighth. The purpose of pains essay was not to inspire the troops. It was an attempt to rally the public to the cause and encourage more for men to enlist although it is a bit lengthy for this podcast. I'm going to read it here in full since it is such a powerful work with that. Let's begin these are the Times that try men's souls the summer soldier and the sunshine. Patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of their country but he that stands at now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman tyranny like hell is not easily conquered yet. We have this consolation with us that the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph what we obtain too cheap we esteem too lightly. It is dearness. Only that gives everything. Winging Value Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods and it would be strange indeed if so celestial article his freedom should not be highly rated Britain with an army to enforce her tyranny has declared that she has a right not not only to tax to bind us in all cases whatsoever. If being bound in that manner is not slavery then there is is not such a thing as slavery upon the earth even the expressionism pious for so unlimited power can be long only to God whether the independence of the continent was declared too soon or delayed too long I will not now enter into as an argument. My own simple opinion is that had it been eight months earlier it would have been much better. We did not make the proper use of last winter. Neither could we while we were in a dependent state however the fault if it were one was all our own. The present isn't winter is worth an age if rightly employed but if lost or neglected the whole continent whoa partake of the evil and there is no punishment punishment that man does not deserve Fi. Who or what or where he will? That may be the means of sacrificing a season so precious and unuseful. We have none to blame but ourselves but no great deal is lost yet all that how has been doing for this month. Pass is rather a ravage than conquest. which the spirit of the jerseys a year ago would have quickly repulsed and which time and a little resolution resolution will soon recover? I have as little superstition in me as any man living but my secret opinion has ever been and still is is that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction or leave them unsupported Lee to perish who have so earnestly and so repeatedly piddly sought to avoid the calamities of war by every decent method which wisdom could invent neither have I so much of the infidel in me as to suppose that he has relinquished the government of the world and has given us up to the care of devils and as I do not I cannot suit on what grounds the king of Britain can look up to heaven for help against us. A common murderer highwaymen or a house. Breaker has as good a pretense as he. tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through country. All nations and the ages have been subject to them. Britain has trembled like an egg. You at the report of a French fleet of flat bottom boats and in the fourteenth century the whole English army after ravaging the Kingdom of France was driven back like men petrified with fear and this brave exploit by a few broken forces collected and headed by a woman. Joan of ARC. Would it have in. Might Inspire some Jersey made to spirit up her countrymen and save her fair fellow sufferers from ravage and ravished -ment yet panics in some cases have their uses they produce as as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short. Then the mind soon grows through them and acquires a firmer habit than before but their peculiar advantage is that they are touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy and bring things and men to light which might otherwise. He's have lain forever undiscovered in fact they have the same effect on secret traders which an imaginary apparition would have upon I private murderer. They sift out the hidden thoughts of man and hold them up in public to the world. Many a disguised Tori has is lately shown his head that Shell penitently solemnize with curses the day on which how arrived upon the Delaware as I was with the troops at Fort Lee and marched with them to the edge of Pennsylvania. I am well acquainted with many circumstances. which those who live at a distance no but what little or nothing of our situation? There was exceedingly cramped. The place being narrow neck of land between the North River. And the Hackensack Zac. Our force was inconsiderable being not one fourth so great as how could bring against us. We had no army to have relieved. The garrison had we shot ourselves up and stood on our defense our amunition late artillery and the best part of our stores had been removed removed on the apprehension that how would endeavour to penetrate the Jerseys in which case Fort Lee could be of no use to us for it must occur to every thinking he man whether in the army or not that these kinds of field forts are only for temporary purposes and last in use no longer than the enemy it directs his force against the particular object. Which such forts are raised to defend? Such was our situation and condition at Fort Lee on the morning of the twentieth of November when an officer arrived with information that the enemy with two hundred boats had landed about seven miles above above major general greene who commanded the garrison immediately ordered them underarms and sent express to General Washington at at the town of hackensack by way of the ferry about six miles are i. Object was to secure the bridge over the hackensack which laid up the river between the enemy and us about six miles from us and three from them. General Washington arrived in about three recorders of an hour and marched at the head of the troops toward the bridge which place I expected. We should have a brush for however they did not choose to dispute it with us and the greatest part of our troops went over the bridge the rest over the ferry except some which passed at a the mill creek between the bridge and the ferry and made their way through some marshy grounds up to the town of Hackensack and there passed the river. We brought off as baggage as the wagons could contain. The rest was lost. The simple object was to bring off the garrison and marched them till they could be strengthened by Jersey or Pennsylvania militia. So as to be able to make a stand we stayed four days at Newark collected did our outpost and some of the New Jersey Militia and marched out twice to meet the enemy on being informed that they were advocating though our the numbers were greatly inferior to theirs. How in my little opinion committed a great error in general ship and not throwing the body of his forces off from from Staten Island through and boy by which means he might have seized all our stores at Brunswick and intercepted our march into Pennsylvania? But if we believe the power of how to be limited we must likewise believe that their agents are under some providential control I shall not now attempt to give all the particulars of our retreat to the Delaware. Suffice it for the president to say that both officers and men though greatly harassed and fatigue frequently early without rest covering or provision the inevitable consequences of a long retreat for it with a manly and martial spirit all their wishes centered in one. which was that the country would turn out and help them to drive the enemy back? Voltaire has remarked that King William Liam never appeared to full advantage. But in difficulties and inaction the same remark may be made on General Washington for the character fits him. There is a natural firmness in some minds which cannot be unlocked by trifles but which when unlocked discovers a cabinet of a fortitude and I reckon it among those kind of public blessings which we do not immediately see that God hath blessed him with uninterrupted interrupted health and given him a mind that can flourish upon care I shall conclude this paper with miscellaneous remarks on the state of affairs and shall begin with asking the following question. Why is it that the enemy has left the England provinces and made these middle ones the seat of war? The answer is easy. New England is not infested with Tori's and we are. I have been tender in raising the cry against these men and used numberless arguments to show them from their danger but it will not do to sacrifice a world either to their folly or their baseness baseness the period is now arrived in which either they must or we must change our sentiments one or both must fall and what is a Tory. Good God what is he. I should not be afraid to go with a hundred gigs against a thousand Tories. Were they to were tempt. To get into harm's every Tori.