Montcalm and Wolfe eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 931 pages of information about Montcalm and Wolfe.

Chapter 20



In the last year London called on the colonists for four thousand men.  This year Pitt asked them for twenty thousand, and promised that the King would supply arms, ammunition, tents, and provisions, leaving to the provinces only the raising, clothing, and pay of their soldiers; and he added the assurance that Parliament would be asked to make some compensation even for these.[597] Thus encouraged, cheered by the removal of Loudon, and animated by the unwonted vigor of British military preparation, the several provincial assemblies voted men in abundance, though the usual vexatious delays took place in raising, equipping, and sending them to the field.  In this connection, an able English writer has brought against the colonies, and especially against Massachusetts, charges which deserve attention.  Viscount Bury says:  “Of all the colonies, Massachusetts was the first which discovered the designs of the French and remonstrated against their aggressions; of all the colonies she most zealously promoted measures of union for the common defence, and made the greatest exertions in furtherance of her views.”  But he adds that there is a reverse to the picture, and that “this colony, so high-spirited, so warlike, and apparently so loyal, would never move hand or foot in her own defence till certain of repayment by the mother country."[598] The groundlessness of this charge is shown by abundant proofs, one of which will be enough.  The Englishman Pownall, who had succeeded Shirley as royal governor of the province, made this year a report of its condition to Pitt.  Massachusetts, he says, “has been the frontier and advanced guard of all the colonies against the enemy in Canada,” and has always taken the lead in military affairs.  In the three past years she has spent on the expeditions of Johnson, Winslow, and Loudon L242,356, besides about L45,000 a year to support the provincial government, at the same time maintaining a number of forts and garrisons, keeping up scouting-parties, and building, equipping, and manning a ship of twenty guns for the service of the King.  In the first two months of the present year, 1758, she made a further military outlay of L172,239.  Of all these sums she has received from Parliament a reimbursement of only L70,117, and hence she is deep in debt; yet, in addition, she has this year raised, paid, maintained, and clothed seven thousand soldiers placed under the command of General Abercromby, besides above twenty-five hundred more serving the King by land or sea; amounting in all to about one in four of her able-bodied men.

[Footnote 597:  Pitt to the Colonial Governors, 30 Dec. 1757.]

[Footnote 598:  Bury, Exodus of the Western Nations, II, 250, 251.]

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Montcalm and Wolfe from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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