The Yankee Tea-party eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 128 pages of information about The Yankee Tea-party.
the fleets which occurred in the latter part of 1776, he rendered more service than any other man except Arnold himself.  He fought until every commissioned officer on board of his vessel was either killed or wounded, then took command himself, and fought with such reckless and desperate spirit, that General Waterbury seeing the vessel was about to sink, ordered Bettys and the remnant of his crew to come on board his vessel.  Waterbury then stationed Bettys on his quarter-deck, and gave orders through him until his vessel was crippled, and the crew mostly killed or wounded, when the colours were struck to the enemy.  After that action Bettys went to Canada, and, turning traitor, received an ensign’s commission in the British army.  He then became a spy, and one of the most subtle enemies of our cause.  But our men were wide awake.  Bettys was arrested, tried and condemned to be hung at West Point.  His old parents and many influential Whigs entreated that he should be pardoned, promising that he would mend his life.  General Washington, you know, never took life where it could be spared, and so he granted the pardon.  But it was generosity thrown away; Bettys hated the Americans the more because they had it in their power to pardon him, and resolved to make them feel he could not be humbled and led in that way.  The Whigs regretted the mercy that had spared the traitor.  Bettys recruited soldiers for the enemy in the very heart of the country; captured and carried of the most zealous patriots, and subjected them to great suffering.  Those against whom he had the most hatred, had their houses burned, and often lost their lives.  The British commander paid him well, for he was one of the best spies and most faithful messenger that could be found.  His courage and determination overcame every obstacle and encountered every danger that would have appalled weaker men.  He proclaimed himself to be a man who carried his life in his hand, and was as reckless of it as he would be of that of any who should attempt to catch him.  It was well understood that Bettys meant precisely what he said, and that he always had a band of refugees ready to support him in any rascality he might conceive.  Still, there were some bold men, who had suffered from Bettys’ depredations, and who determined to catch him at every hazard.  Many attempts were made, but he eluded his pursuers by his stratagems and knowledge of the country, until early in January, 1782, when he was seen in the neighbourhood of Ballston, armed, and with snow-shoes on.  Three men, named Cory, Fulmer, and Perkins, armed themselves and proceeded in pursuit.  They traced Bettys by a round-about track to the house of a well-known Tory.  They consulted a few minutes, and one of them reconnoitred to see the exact position of Bettys.  The traitor was at his meal, with his pistols lying on the table and his rifle resting on his arm, prepared for an attack though not suspecting foes were near.  The three men, by a sudden effort, burst open the door, rushed
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The Yankee Tea-party from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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