History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution/Chapter XV
From the concise mode of narration hitherto observed in these annals, a particular detail of naval operations will not be expected. Yet it is necessary to look a little back, and observe that an insular war had raged between the British and French in the West Indies, during the winter of 1778, though they had not yet received any intelligence that a formal declaration of hostilities between those two potent nations had taken place.
The island of Dominca was seized by the Marquis de Bouille, governor of Martinico, as early as September, 1778; but the terms imposed on the inhabitants by the conqueror, were so mild that they scarcely felt the change of sovereignty. No licentious rudeness or avaricious pillage was permitted by the humane and honorable commander, who, through all his conduct in the West Indies, exhibited a specimen of that generous compassion always honorary to the conqueror and to human nature.
The loss of the island of Dominca was peculiarly mortifying to the Court of St. James, as it had been ceded to Great Britain on the last peace, as a kind of balance of accounts, after a very expensive war, with the House of Bourbon.
Admiral Barrington with a considerable force lay at this time at Barbadoes, in a very anxious and inactive state. He had yet no orders for hostile operations; but he was soon after relieved by the arrival of 5000 men commander by General Grant, conveyed by six ships of the line and a number of frigates, under the direction of commodore Hotham. The want of instructions, and even of intelligence that might be depended on, had exceedingly embarrassed the British admiral; but on Hotham's arrival, an expedition to the island of St. Lucia was prosecuted with celerity and success.
The chevalier de Micaud, the commandant, took all the precaution of a brave and judicious officer. The main point as to prevent the completion of the British success until he should be relieved by the arrival of the French squadron from Boston, which he had the highest reason every moment to expect. The Count of Estaing had formed the design and was in force sufficient to have swept all the leeward islands, before the junction of Admiral Barrington and Commodore Hotham. But interrupted in his military progress by a second violent gale in the American seas, and seldom a favorite of fortune, he did not appear in sight of St. Lucia until the last French flag was struck. He, however, made some spirited, but successless efforts for the recovery of the islands. The vigilance and valor of the British commander defeated this design; to which was added the mortification of repeated disappointment in several valiant rencounters with the bold and resolute English.
Though the Count de Estaing's ships were equal in force and experience had shown that neither his officers nor seamen were deficient in courage, yet after he quitted St. Lucia, he apparently declined a general engagement and within 10 days withdrew to Port Royal. He was frequently insulted while there by the appearance of challenge from the British flag; but he still adhered to his own system of inaction, determined to undertake no capital stroke before the arrival of fresh reinforcements from Europe. It was not until the month of June, 1779 that this event took place when the arrival of Monsieur de la Motte, with everything necessary for the most vigorous naval operations excited the Count de Estaing to immediate enterprise.
The first object of attack was the valuable island of St. Vincents, which had formerly cost much British blood to arrest and secure by the cruel attempt to exterminate the unfortunate and innocent Caraibs. After the easy acquisition of this island, the Count proceeded to the Grenades. He there landed 2000 or 3000 men under the command of Count Dillon, a brave Irish officer in the French service. He also headed a strong column himself and attempted to carry the most defensible fortress by storm. His superiority of strength insured his success; and Lord Macartney was obliged to offer a surrender, on the proposals of capitulation he had at first rejected; but the Count received and treated the governor's flag with an unbecoming hauteur. He made new and severe proposals in such a tone of defiance and contempt that both the governor and the inhabitants chose rather to surrender at discretion than to bind themselves to such hard conditions as neither the customers of nations nor the justice of courts had usually required.
There is much reason to believe that the Count de Estaing did not exercise all the lenity that ought to be expected from a brave and generous conqueror. On the contrary, after this new acquisition, the inhabitants were plundered and distressed; an unbounded license raged among the soldiery, until their excesses were checked by the humanity of Count Dillon, who paid every attention to the miseries of the people; and supported by his own regiment, he rendered the condition of the conquered island less deplorable.
The capture of St. Lucia was in a degree fatal to the conquerors. The noxious air of an unhealthy island in a burning climate did more than the sword of France to waste the veterans of Britain. Sickness and mortality raged and cut down the troops; and the squadron weakened by the departure of Admiral Byron, to convoy the homeward bound fleet of merchantmen, nothing of consequence was attempted in his absence.
When he returned, both St. Vincents and the Grenades were in the hands of the French; but so uncertain were the accounts at first received of the wretched situation of the Grenades, that the British commander determined to hazard an attempt for their relief. This brought on a general, though not a decisive action. It was supported on both sides with laudable spirit and bravery; but they finally separated without victory on either. Yet the proud and gallant Britons, whose island has long assumed the haughty style of mistress of the seas, who have justly boasted their superiority in naval engagements, could not forebear to claim the advantage in this doubtful conflict. But it is certain the wounded fleets under the Admirals Barrington and Byron found some difficulty in reaching St. Christophers, without some of their ships falling into the hands of their enemy.
The Count de Estaing returned to Grenada; and the lilies of France waved for a short time in the West Indies; and the English admirals were insulted in their turn by the parade of the French fleet before St. Christophers, in the same manner Lord Barrington had before maneuvered in vain at Martinico, without provoking the Frenchmen to engage. After these partial successes, the Count de Estaing soon left the tropical seas and repaired again to the American continent, where the assistance of a naval force was by this time exceedingly wanted to aid the operations of the Americans.
The southern campaign had been opened the preceding year by the seizure of the capital of Georgia. Sir Henry Clinton, late in the autumn of 1778 had ordered a large detachment of Hessian, British, and provincial troops, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Campbell, to Savannah, to assist Major General Prevost in further prosecuting some unexpected advantages he had already gained. They were escorted by a small squadron under the command of Commodore Parker, and arrive din the Savannah December 27.
The state of Georgia was at this time in a very weak and defenseless situation. Their frontiers were exposed to the depredations of the savages; and the rude incursions of the wild borders who mixed with them had often been so troublesome as to require the call of the southern militia to check their outrages. Colonel Campbell landed his troops immediately on his arrival in the river, and by several spirited and judicious movements, possessed himself of the town of Savannah, the capital of the state, with little or no loss, and obliged General Robert Howe, a gentleman of North Carolina, who commanded a party of about 800 militia, to retreat with precipitation.
Orders had been previously given by Sir Henry Clinton to Major General Prevost, the commander in chief in East Florida, to repair with all possible expedition to aid the invasion and reduction of Georgia. This active officer immediately collected his remote cantonments, and with dispatch and perseverance, pushed his march through a hot and barren country of great extent. Surmounting innumerable difficulties and fatigue, he reached Sunbury, and took possession of the town and garrison, before Campbell had possess himself of Savannah.
Both military skill and a great degree of humanity marked this first important enterprise in the south. The British commander forbid that the inhabitants not in arms should be either molested or plundered; and by promises and proclamations encouraged them to submit quietly to the authority of the parent state. Some acquiesced by inclination, and many impelled by necessity, appeared ready to enlist under the British standard; others, of more bold and independent sentiments, made their escape across the river with the hope of an asylum in South Carolina.
These successes again encouraged the disaffected and disorderly people who had long infested the back parts of North Carolina, to renew their incursions. Those insurgents had been apparently subdued, their leaders cut off, and their spirits broken in the beginning of the American convulsions; but their aversion to the reigning powers in that state still rankled in their breasts. They had impatiently waited an opportunity of displaying it in all the fierce and cruel modes of savage war, in conjunction with the neighboring Indians, to whom they had attached themselves.
They considered this a favorable crisis, and again left their rural occupations. They united with some scattering parties of the same description on the borders of South Carolina and Georgia, embodied themselves, and in their progress committed ever outrage that might be expected from an armed banditti. But on an attempt to join General Prevost, their main body was attacked by the provincial militia, many of them cut off, and others taken prisoners. The remainder fled to the frontiers of Georgia, where, with their old associates of the wilderness, and all others who could be collected in the back settlements, they untied to aid General Prevost in his future operations.
The hazardous situation of Georgia, and the imminent danger of the wealthy sate of South Carolina had spread an alarm that awakened to immediate exertion for the recovery of the one and the security of the other. General Lincoln had seasonably been sent forward to take the command in the southern department. He reached Savannah a short time after Colonel Campbell's arrival there; but he found himself not in so eligible a situation as might have been wished. The number of troops under his command fell far short of expectation. The artillery and stores were insufficient. And every difficulty was enhanced by the want of order and discipline in the militia, who refused to submit to the necessary subordination of armies. They left their posts and retired at pleasure.
General Lincoln, however, consistent with his usual disposition on all occasions, endeavored to make the best of his situation. He continued himself at Purisburgh, with the main body of his army and ordered General Ashe, with a detachment of 2000 men, to take a strong post at a place called Briar Creek. His design was to secure the upper part of the country against the loyalists, who were everywhere collecting their strength.
Soon after General Ashe had taken possession of the advantageous post that in the opinion of principal officers promised perfect security, General Prevost formed and executed the design of surprising him there. To facilitate this judicious measure, he made such arrangements on the banks of the Savannah as took off the attention of General Lincoln. At the same time, he ordered his brother, Colonel Prevost, by a circuitous march of 50 miles, to fall unexpectedly on Ashe's party at the creek. The success of the enterprise justified the design. The whole detachment was routed, many of them killed or captured; and thus the way was opened for the loyalists and their copper-colored allies in the back country, to join Prevost without molestation. After this action, which took place on March 3, the two parties separated by the river, continued quietly in their own posts until the later end of the month of April 1779. Savannah, Sunbury, and some other towns were in the hands of the British, and the state by proclamation laid under military government. Yet the people in general considered themselves as belonging to the union.
General Lincoln, zealous to procure an election of delegates to Congress from Georgia, which he expected would be impeded by violence, felt his advantageous situation on the lower part of the river and moved towards Augusta. This was rather an unfortunate movement, as, had he continued his first station, he might have secured Charleston for a time. Indeed, there was then little reason to apprehend any immediate danger in that quarter. Yet he had the precaution to leave General Moultrie, with 1500 men, to guard the passes of the river.
The campaign in Georgia, however, did not redound much to the advantage of the American arms, or to the honor of General Lincoln. It was thought by some he did not discover himself a judicious and experienced commander, who had penetration to calculate on fortuitous events or resources at hand to extricate himself, when they unexpectedly took place. Yet he supported a character, cool and brave, under a variety of disappointments. He was, however, led a circuitous dance from place to place, by the rapid movements of General Prevost through the state of Georgia, until he was obliged to move with more serious prospects towards Charleston.
The loss of his party at Briar Creek was no more than might have been expected from the activity and vigor of such an officer as Prevost, attending more to his military renown than to the political maneuvers of the state. While General Lincoln was canvassing for the election of a delegate to congress, the commander of the forces of his antagonist was intent only on winning success in the field.
The active Prevost seized the moment of advantage; suddenly cross the river in different parts, and penetrated into South Carolina, with little or no opposition. The party under Moultrie consisting chiefly of militia, on seeing themselves surrounded on all sides by British troops, retreated hastily and secured themselves within the city of Charleston.
General Prevost having thus succeeded, even beyond his most sanguine expectations, in several enterprises of considerable moment, inspired by his own wishes, and prompted by the importunities of the loyalists, he formed the bolder resolution of pushing directly for Charleston. He arrived at the River Ashley on May 11, crossed it, and within a few days summoned the city to surrender. Nor had he any reason for some time to regret the determination. He had every assurance from the disaffected Americans that Charleston would surrender without resistance and that they had the best authority for this decided opinion; nor did they in this instance so totally disappoint the expectations of their British friends, as they frequently had done, and continued to do in the subsequent informations. It is true General Prevost did not immediately succeed to the full completion of his hopes; but on the first summons to surrender, the citizens assured him that no opposition should be made, provided they might be permitted to continue in the state of neutrality to the conclusion of the war.
This was the only instance in America of an offer made so derogatory to the honor of the union. No single state, whatever might be their distresses, ever expressed a wish during the war to be bound to a neutral repose while their sister states were bleeding at every pore, in support of the general cause. The conduct of the citizens of Charleston cannot be accounted for, but from the momentary panic which to which the human mind is liable, when sudden danger presses before it has time to collect its own fortitude and to act with decision and dignity consistent with previous principles.
South Carolina had been distinguished for the bold and active part taken by that state against the measures of Britain. This was the first southern colony, after Virginia, who adopted the proposal of a general Congress; nor was there now any reason to suspect any defection in the bulk of the inhabitants, thought there were numbers in the city of Charleston attached to the royal cause. Her patriots were unshaken, her officers brave; and the subsequent conduct of the people at large, and the sufferings of individuals effaced the unfavorable impressions this proposal might have left, had it not have been wiped off by the vigorous opposition afterwards made to a successful foe, both in their councils and in the field, amid the extremes of peril, personal danger, and public misery.
General Prevost, encouraged by success, and animated by his own personal bravery, united with the hope of subduing Charleston, rejected the offer of neutrality, and all further negotiations ceased. The city immediately recovered its former spirit, and preparation was made on both sides for the most vigorous attack and defense.
General Lincoln had been rather slow in his movements, having been deceived into an opinion that Prevost had no farther design in crossing the River Savannah than to procure forage and provisions. But soon finding more serious consequences were to be expected, he hastened on with his whole force, and made his arrangements with so much judgment and alacrity that General Prevost thought it prudent to withdraw from before the city, lest his retreat be cut off. He encamped his troops on the islands before the harbor, where he continued for some time, in anxious expectation of reinforcements from New York This being delayed until the advance of the intense heats, and the sickly season of that country came on, which rendered it in some measure necessary to suspend all vigorous operations in that quarter, little else was done there this year, except the indiscriminate plunder of the wealthy inhabitants of the state, who were out of the reach of the protection of their friends.
Affairs in Georgia requiring his presence, General Prevost repaired there soon after the siege of Charleston was raised. He left a force sufficient in Port Royal to encourage his friends by keeping up the appearance of some permanent establishment in that province, where he meant soon to return. But early in the autumn, the unexpected arrival of the squadron commanded by the Count de Estaing, on the southern coast, gave the flattering promise of a new face to the affairs of Georgia and the Carolinas.
The admiral, on his arrival in Savannah, landed his troops with all possible expedition, and in conjunction with the Americans, laid siege to the capital of Georgia. On September 16, he demanded a surrender of the town to the arms of the King of France. The summons was in language that rather excited terror than allurement, and would have determined an officer of less courage an resolution than General Prevost to defend the town to the last. The situation of Savannah was indeed scarcely defensible; but resolved not to yield but in the last extremity, Prevost returned a polite, but evasive answer to the French commander; and had the address to obtain a truce of 24 hours to deliberate.
In this fortunate interval, the arrival of Colonel Maitland, with a body of troops from Port Royal, put an end to deliberation. All thoughts of surrender were laid aside and a most gallant defense made. The town was bombarded for five days, to the great terror and distress of the inhabitants. In this predicament General Prevost wrote and requested the Count de Estaing that the women and children with his own wife and family might be sent down the river and placed under the protection of one of the French ships. After some delay, he had the mortification to receive an impolite and cruel refusal.
As this answer was signed by both the French and American commanders, censure for want to humanity fell equally on each. It is not improbable the severe language it contained might be designed to intimidate and hasten a surrender and thereby prevent the further effusion of blood. Yet there appeared a want of generosity unbecoming the politeness of the Frenchman and inconsistent with the well-known humanity of the American commander. Of this they seemed to be sensible within a few days, when fortune began to change her face. Apologies were made both by General Lincoln and the Count for this indelicate refusal. Great tenderness was therein expressed for the inhabitants and every civility offered, particularly to the General's lady and family, and a ship assigned as an asylum for herself and friends. General Prevost replied to this offer of kindness, extorted by apprehension if not by fear, that "what had been once refused in terms of insult, could in no circumstances be deemed worth the acceptance."
The little time gained by this short parley for the purposes of civility was improved by General Prevost to great advantage in every view. With indefatigable industry he strengthened his old works; and, assisted by the spirit and capacity of Mr. Moncrief, the chief engineer, he erected new ones with celerity and judgment, very honorable to his military talents and consistent with his zeal and alacrity on all occasions.
The arrival of an officer of Colonel Maitland's abilities, accompanies by a considerable reinforcement, was indeed a very fortunate circumstance at this period for the commander at Savannah Stimulated by a recent affront, and urged on by a constitutional activity and thirst of military applause, General Prevost seemed to bid defiance to the combined forces of Franc and America, and repulsed them in every quarter.
On October 11, the besiegers attempted to storm the town, but were defeated with great slaughter. They, however, kept up the appearance of a blockade until the 16th, when they requested a truce to bury their dead, and take care of their wounded. This was readily granted by Prevost. The conflict had been bloody indeed, and both sides equally wished for time to perform this charitable and necessary business. Soon after the melancholy work of interring many of their comrades, the French and Americans took the advantage of a dark and foggy night, and retreated with all possible precipitation, breaking down the bridges as they passed, to impede the pursuit of their enemies, if they should be disposed to follow them.
The Count of Estaing had now an opportunity to survey the condition of his fleet, when he found the sailors sickly and dispirited, nor was the army less so, from the unhealthiness of the climate, and the failure of their late enterprise. The Count himself had been wounded in the course of the siege, and several of his best officers were either killed or wounded. The loss of very many of his men in this decided repulse, with the disgrace that every commander thinks he incurs when the expectation of success from great designs is defeated, deeply affected the mind of the French commander. Thus unfortunately disappointed in the spirited attack on the town of Savannah, he found it necessary, form a combination of untoward circumstances, to abandon the design of recovering Georgia. In a short time after this, the French commander bade adieu to the American seas.
He had never been disgraced by any deficiency in military ability, knowledge, or spirit, while acting in behalf of the United States. Yet a series of disappointments had prevented his reaping the laurels, the just reward of bravery, or rendering much service to his allies, who had received him with the highest marks of cordiality and expectation. [The count de Estaing was some years afterwards one of the proscribed victims who fell by the guillotine, amid the distractions and misery of his own country, in the infuriated reign of Robespierre.]
The summons of the Count de Estaing to the British commander to surrender the capital of one of the states to the arms of his most Christian Majesty as neither pleasing, prudent, or productive of harmony and confidence between the French under his command and the Americans. It occasioned some discontent at the time; and perhaps some jealous Americans did not regret that the recovery of Georgia was left to an officer of merit in their own corps, sent forward afterwards by General Greene, who had been the favorite of fortune, of the people, and of the commander in chief.
This was done at a period of complicated difficulties, when General Greene could not leave the state of South Carolina himself, but in the abilities of General Wayne he had the utmost confidence. The even showed that this confidence was not misplaced. We shall see hereafter General Wayne was sent on and had the honor of finished the war in Georgia, and the pleasure of witnessing the evacuation of the troops from their strongholds in that state, annihilating the last remains of British authority there, and recovering again the youngest of the sister states to their former union.
In the repulse before Savannah, many valorous officers fell. Among this number was the Count Pulaski, a Polish nobleman of great consideration. Hi bravery and enterprising spirit was celebrated not only in America, but in his own country. He had once, amid the fierce contests of the miserable Polanders, in the height of his zeal for the recovery and support of the liberties of that nation, seized on the person of the King of Poland, and for a time held him his prisoner; and though he had with him only two or three, whom he deemed trusty associates, one of them relented and betrayed him. The kind of saved, and the Count obliged to fly. A few years after, he repaired to America, where he found a field ample enough for the exercise of his soldierly talents to cherish his love of freedom and to support the military character of his ancestors and his family, many of whom survived this heroic officer.
The Count Pulaski was not the only officer of his nation who distinguished himself in the American war; but the Count Kosciusko, for his firmness, his valor, and his sufferings, merits particular notice. He was amiable and virtuous, as well as brave, and supported a character that will seldom be passed over silence, in a history of either Poland or America.
The Kingdom of Poland had for years exhibited a most striking monument of human misery. Their struggles for liberty, the pride of the nobles, the ignorance and barbarism of the peasantry, their unstable confederacies, the usurpation of princes and the interference of neighboring monarchs rendered it a scene of carnage for several ages previous to the expulsion of Stanislaus Augustus, their ruin as a nation, and the partition of their country among the crowned despots that surrounded them. The sovereign of Poland was dethroned; the kingdom partitioned among the trio combined for that purpose: Frederick, Catherine, and Maria Theresa. Many of the inhabitants were sent to plant colonies in the cold and distant regions of Siberia, and other parts of the Russian domains. Some of the nobility survived under the heavy yoke of their victorious neighbors; others had fled, and lent their valorous arms to England, France, and America.
This melancholy termination of efforts grounded in nature and reason, fight for a time smother the spark of freedom implanted in very human breast, which yet almost every man, when ascending the pedestal of power endeavors to extinguish in the bosom of all but himself. But the misfortunes of their country or their own personal sufferings could not deaden the flame of liberty and independence that burnt in the bosoms of many noble-minded Polanders. Though the distractions of their native country obliged them to abandon it, their enthusiasm was cherished amid strangers, and they lent their veteran abilities to aid the emancipation of others from the degrading yoke of servitude.
The character of no one of this distinguished band became more conspicuous than that of the Count Kosciusko, who survived the fierce conflicts to which his bravery exposed him through the revolutionary war in America. [see more of the Count Kosciuskoin Note 7 at the end of this chapter] His subsequent transactions in his native country, his valor, his misfortunes, and his renown are too well known and too replete with extraordinary events to record in this place.
While we admire the patriotism, bravery, and other virtues that adorned the characters of some individuals among the heroes of that ill-fated country, the deplorable situation of Poland should forever stand as a memento to all other nations who claim or maintain any degree of freedom. By their private animosities, jealousies and dissensions, all confidence was destroyed and all patriotism annihilated, except in the bosoms of a few, until their king was dethroned, and nobility laid prostrate, the country drenched in blood, and the people driven into banishment by thousands, and obliged to wear out a miserable existence, under the authority of the arbitrary sovereigns who had completed the ruin of their liberty, their government, and their country.
The history of Poland is indeed an awful lesson to every republic where the seeds of dissension begin to spring up among the people. Those symptoms, when nurtured by faction, and strengthened by jealousies among themselves, render the people an easy prey to foreign invaders, and too generally terminate in a tragic catastrophe, similar to that of the Poles; who no longer continued a distinct nation, after the era which has stained the annals of Europe by the shameful partition treaty preconcerted in the cabinets of Russia, Prussia, and Germany, and announced by the joint declaration of their sovereigns, in 1773.
The inhabitants of Poland were now the subjects and slaves of those usurping princes, who had seized and divided the kingdom; transplanted the inhabitants of the territory to distant regions, and repeopled the depopulated country with the soldiers of Prussia, Germany, and the northern potentates, who had long trained their own subjects to bend in silence, under the yoke of servility.
The partition of Poland was a singular event in the history of Europe, where the great powers, inattentive to the balance about which they had for many years expressed so much solicitude, viewed this extraordinary circumstance with little or no emotion. Whatever may be the effect on the general state of Europe, it is yet uncertain whether the Poles lost so much by the change as had been apprehended.
It is difficult to say in what period of the history of Poland they had proper claim to the honor of a free, republican form of government. The people had long groaned under the unbridled oppression and power of a proud domestic aristocracy. The absurd veto, designed as a check, only increased their discontents, jealousies, rancor, and confusion. They had indeed a nominal king, more the subject of a foreign power than the sovereign of his own country. They are now under the iron hand of foreign despotism. Whether that, or the scourge of aristocracy is the most productive of vassalage and misery is a problem yet undecided. We leave deeper politicians to determine if they can which is the most abhorrent to the feelings of humanity. But the discussion of the constitution of the Poles is not a part of the business of the present work. Yet the ruin of Poland may be viewed as an example and a warning to other nations, particularly to those who enjoy a free, elective, representative government.
The Count Kosciusko was a gentleman of family without the advantages of high fortune. His education, person, and talents recommended him to the King of Poland, by whom he was patronized and employed in a military line.
Early in life, he became attached to a lady of great beauty, belonging to one of the first families in the kingdom. The inequality o fortune prevented his obtaining consent from her parents to a union, though the affections of the lady were equally strong with his own. The lovers agreed on an elopement, and made an attempt to retire to France; pursued and overtaken by the father of the lady, a fierce rencounter ensued. When Kosciusko found he must either surrender the object of his affection or take the life of her parent, humanity prevailed over his passion, he returned the sword to its scabbard, and generously relinquished the beautiful daughter to her distressed father, rather than become the murderer of the person who gave being to so much elegance and beauty, now plunged in terror and despair from the tumult of contending passions of the most soft and amiable nature.
This unfortunate termination of his hopes was one means of lending this celebrated hero to the assistance of America. Wounded by the disappointment, and his delicacy hurt by becoming the topic of general conversation on an affair of gallantry, he obtained leave from his sovereign to retire from Poland. He soon after repaired to America, and offered himself a volunteer to General Washington, was honorably appointed, and by his bravery and humanity rendered essential services to the United States. After the peace took place between Great Britain and America, he returned to his own distressed country. [It was a question in a literary society afterwards in London which was the greatest character, Lord Chatham, General Washington, or Count Kosciusko.]
His sufferings and his bravery in his struggles to rescue his native country from the usurpations of neighboring tyrants, until the ruin of the Kingdom of Poland and the surrender of Warsaw are amply detailed in European history. Wounded, imprisoned, and cruelly used, his distresses were in some degree ameliorated by the compassion of a Russian lady, the wife of General Chracozazow, who had been a prisoner and set at liberty by the Count. This lady could not prevent his being sent to Petersburg, where he was confined in a fortress near the city; but he surmounted imprisonment, sickness, misery, and poverty, and afterwards revisited America, where he was relieved and rewarded, as justice, honor, and gratitude required.