The Yankee Tea-party eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about The Yankee Tea-party.
threats and offers of better treatment, endeavoured to put an end to the revolt.  The men all idolized Wayne; they would have followed him almost anywhere, but they would not listen to his remonstrances on this occasion.  Wayne then cocked his pistol as if he meant to frighten them back to duty; but they placed their bayonets to his breast, and told him that, although they loved and respected him, if he fired his pistols or attempted to enforce his commands, they would put him to death.  General Wayne then saw their determination, and didn’t fire; but he appealed to their patriotism, and they spoke of the impositions of Congress.  He told them that their conduct would strengthen the enemy.  But ragged clothes and skeleton forms were arguments much stronger than any Wayne could bring against them.  The men declared their intention to march to Congress at Philadelphia, and demand a redress of grievances.  Wayne then changed his policy and resolved to go with the current and guide it.  He supplied the men with provisions to prevent them from committing depredations on the people of the country, and marched with them to Princeton, where a committee of serjeants drew up a list of demands.  They wanted those men to be discharged whose term of service had expired, and the whole line to receive their pay and clothing.  General Wayne had no power to agree to these demands, and he referred further negociation to the government of Pennsylvania, and a committee to be appointed by Congress.  But the cream of the matter is to come.  The news of the revolt reached General Washington and Sir Henry Clinton on the same day.  Washington ordered a thousand men to be ready to march from the Highlands of the Hudson to quell the revolt, and called a council of war to decide on further measures.  This council sanctioned general Wayne’s course, and decided to leave the matter to the settlement of the government of Pennsylvania and Congress.  You see, General Washington had long been worried by the sleepy way Congress did business, and he thought this affair would wake them up to go to work in earnest.  The British commander-in-chief thought he could gain great advantage by the revolt, and so he very promptly sent two emissaries—­one a British serjeant and the other a Tory named Ogden—­to the mutineers, offering them pardon for past offences, full pay for their past service, and the protection of the British government, if they would lay down their arms and march to New York.  So certain was Clinton that his offers would be accepted, that he crossed over to Staten Island with a large body of troops, to act as circumstances might require.  But he was as ignorant of the character of our men as King George himself.  They wanted to be fed and clothed, and wanted their families provided for; but they were not soldiers fighting merely for pay.  Every man of them knew what freedom was, and had taken the field to secure it for his country.  You may judge how such men received Clinton’s proposals. 
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The Yankee Tea-party from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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