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Prevalence of tbe Small-por
of fidelity to Great Britain, or taken an oath of allegiance, to repair within thirty days to headquarters, or the quarters to the nearest general officer of the continental army or of the militia, and there take the oath of allegiance to the United States of America, and give up any protection, certificate, or passport he might have received from the enemy; at the same time granting full liberty to all such as preferred the interest and protection of Great Britain to the freedom and happiness of their country, forthwith to withdraw themselves and families within the enemy's lines. All who should neglect or refuse to comply with this order were to be considered adherents to the crown, and treated as common enemies.
This measure met with objections at the time, some of the timid or over-cautious thinking it inexpedient; others, jealous of the extraordinary powers vested in Washington, questioning whether he had not transcended these powers and exercised a degree of despotism.
The small-pox, which had been fatally prevalent in the preceding year, had again broken out, and Washington feared it might spread through the whole army. He took advantage of the interval of comparative quiet to have his troops inoculated. Houses were set apart
in various places as hospitals for inoculation, and a church was appropriated for the use of those who had taken the malady in the natural way. Among these the ravages were frightful. The traditions of the place and neighborhood give lamentable pictures of the distress caused by this loathsome disease in the camp and in the villages, wherever it had not been parried by inoculation.
“Washington,” we are told, "was not an unmoved spectator of the griefs around him, and might be seen in Hanover and in Lowantica Valley, cheering the faith and inspiring the courage of his suffering men.”*
»* It was this paternal care and sympathy which attached his troops personally to him. They saw that he regarded them, not with the eye of a general, but of a patriot, whose heart yearned towards them as countrymen suffering in one common cause.
A striking contrast was offered throughout the winter and spring, between the rival commanders, Howe at New York, and Washington at Morristown. Howe was a soldier by profession. War, with him, was a career. The camp was, for the time, country and home. Easy and indolent by nature, of convivial and luxurious habits, and somewhat addicted to
* Notes of the Rev. Joseph F. Tuttle, MS.
Tbe Armies contrasted
gaming, he found himself in good quarters at New York, and was in no hurry to leave them. The tories rallied around him. The British merchants residing there regarded him with profound devotion. His officers, too, many of them young men of rank and fortune, gave a gayety and brilliancy to the place; and the wealthy royalists forgot in a round of dinners, balls, and assemblies, the hysterical alarms they had once experienced under the military sway of Lee.
Washington, on the contrary, was a patriot soldier, grave, earnest, thoughtful, self-sacrificing. War, to him, was a painful remedy, hateful in itself, but adopted for a great national good. To the prosecution of it all his pleasures, his comforts, his natural inclinations and private interests were sacrificed ; and his chosen officers were earnest and anxious like himself, with their whole thoughts directed to the success of the magnanimous struggle in which they were engaged.
So, too, the armies were contrasted. The British troops, many of them, perchance, slightly metamorphosed from vagabonds into soldiers, all mere men of the sword, were well clad, well housed, and surrounded by all the conveniences of a thoroughly appointed army with a “rebel country” to forage. The Ameri
can troops for the most part were mere yeomanry, taken from their rural homes ; ill sheltered, ill clad, ill fed, and ill paid, with nothing to reconcile them to their hardships but love for the soil they were defending, and the inspiring thought that it was their country. Washington, with paternal care, endeavored to protect them from the depraving influences of
“Let vice and immorality of every kind be discouraged as much as possible in your brigade," writes he in a circular to his brigadier-generals; “and, as a chaplain is allowed to each regiment, see that the men regularly attend divine worship. Gaming of every kind is expressly forbidden, as being the foundation of evil, and the cause of many a brave and gallant officer's ruin.”
Negotiations for Exchange of Prisoners--Case of Colo
nel Ethan Allen-Of General Lee-Correspondence of Washington with Sir William Howe about the Exchanges of Prisoners—Referees AppointedLetters of Lee from New York-Case of Colonel Campbell—Washington's Advice to Congress on the Subject of Retaliation-His Correspondence with Lord Howe about the Treatment of Prisoners—The Horrors of the Jersey Prison-Ship and the SugarHouse.
CARTEL for the exchange of prisoners had been a subject of negotiation previous to the affair of Trenton, without
being adjusted. The British commandwere slow to recognize the claims to equality of those they considered rebels ; Washington was tenacious in holding them up as patriots ennobled by their cause.
Among the cases which came up for attention was that of Ethan Allen, the brave but eccentric captor of Ticonderoga. His daring attempts