The Yankee Tea-party eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 128 pages of information about The Yankee Tea-party.
upon Bettys, and seized him in such a manner that he could make no resistance.  He was then pinioned so firmly that to escape was impossible; and so the desperado, in spite of all his threats, was a tame and quiet prisoner, and no one hurt in taking him.  Bettys then asked leave to smoke, which was granted; and he took out his tobacco, with something else which he threw into the fire.  Cory saw this movement, and snatched it out, with a handful of coals.  It was a small leaden box, about an eighth of an inch in thickness, containing a paper, written in cypher, which the men could not read.  It was afterwards found to be a despatch to the British commander at New York, with an order upon the Mayor of that city for thirty pounds, if the despatch was safely delivered.  Bettys knew that this paper alone would be evidence enough to hang him, and he offered the men gold to let him burn it.  But they refused his highest offers.  He had a considerable quantity of gold about him, and he offered them not only that but much more if they would allow him to escape; but their patriotism could stand gold as well as the gold could stand fire.  They took Bettys to Albany, where he was tried as a spy and hung.  The only reward that the three men ever received was the rifle and pistols of Bettys.  The men who captured Andre were patriotic enough, but their work was easy compared with that of Cory, Fulmer and Perkins.  Yet the names of these heroes are scarcely ever mentioned, and the story of their daring exploit is not generally known.”

[Illustration:  SEIZURE OF THE BETTYS.]

“Did this affair happen before that of Andre’s?” enquired Hand.  “If so, these men only imitated the noble example of Paulding, Williams and Van Wert.”

“It did occur after the capture of Andre,” replied Davenport.  “But that takes nothing from the danger of the attempt, or the amount of the temptation resisted.”

“That’s true,” replied Hand; “but the capture of Andre, and the favour with which our countrymen regarded his captors, may have stimulated many to patriotic exertions, and thereby have made such deeds so common as not to receive special notice.  I’ve no doubt the researches of historians will yet bring to light many such deeds.”

“How the conduct of such men as Arnold and Bettys contrasts with that of Samuel Adams and his fellow-patriots!” remarked Warner.  “When the first resistance was made to quartering the British troops in Boston, Samuel Adams was the leader and mouth-piece of the patriots, and the royal rulers of Massachusetts tried every way to induce him to abandon the cause he had espoused.  In the first place, they threatened him with severe punishment.  But they couldn’t scare him from his chosen course.  Then they flattered and caressed him, but it was of no effect.  At last, Governor Gage resolved to try whether bribes wouldn’t work a change.  So, he sent Col.  Fenton to him, as a confidential messenger.  The Colonel visited Adams, and stated his business at

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The Yankee Tea-party from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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