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cieties for a few years, his mind became so far illumined that he was led to read and strictly examine some of the most authentic histories of the rise and fall of the most prominent kingdoms and republics that the histories and annals of the world present to the calm and reflecting minds of rational and intelligent beings. The foregoing reflections finally led him to read and strictly search the Holy Scriptures; from whence it was said that the rulers and princes of the earth derive their doctrine and claims of the divine rights of the kings and princes of the earth. Mr. Hewson became somewhat astonished in reading in the writings of Moses, of the first Lord's anointed, which the Jewish lawgiver condescends to notice in his sublime history of the creation of the world. Moses introduces to our view the first mighty monarch over the human family, under a very repulsive appellation to every true lover of the liberties of mankind; namely, that of a mighty ruler before the Lord. So that it appears that the Supreme Being has not justified the Jewish legislator in giving to mankind any confirmation that the assumed claims of the kings and princes of the earth derive their crowns directly from Heaven; a doctrine which is no where established in holy writ. See the case of Saul, the first king over the children of Israel: “And Samuel called the people together unto the Lord to Mizpeh; and said unto the children of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed you: and ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us.” 1 Sam. x. 17, 18, 19. Thus we see from holy writ that the doctrine of the divine rights of kings is based on a sandy foundation in their lust after princely power, by the entire disapprobation of the Almighty himself. Mr. Hewson was led to glance his eye askancely over the almost nameless successors of this princely father, or mighty hunter before the God of nations. As he continued the examination of all the subsequent rulers of mankind from the days of Nimrod down to the reign of George the Third, the then reigning prince on the British throne, and found that the annals of the world and the historic page, as it were, almost inundated the earth with flowing rivers and seas of blood, in the days of battle and war; and after he had read of the many unjust wars of these wonderful successors of the Lord's anointed ones, after the foregoing reflections had in quick succession passed through his mind, he was again led to take a view of some of the republics of ancient times, when he more clearly saw that in consequence of their not basing their governments on the sovereignty of the people, the ancient republics all lost the heaven-born blessings of free government, by the swords of such designing and artful characters as Philip and Alexander of ancient Greece, and the Cæsars of the once mighty republic of Rome, with many others of less notoriety. This consideration of all the gone-by republics of ancient times led him the more intensely to look into and impartially weigh the just causes of the complaints of the then thirteen colonies of North America, against the Stamp Act, and all the other obnoxious measures that were daily more or less germinating in the houses of the British Parliament. After this he spent some time in more diligently searching the sacred oracles of heaven, and there clearly saw in the Holy Scriptures of truth, wherein the Supreme Being most solemnly declares that in his kind and infinite love and unlimited philanthropy towards mankind, that he hath made of one blood all the nations and tribes of the children of men, for to dwell on the face of the earth; and hath also in his infinite wisdom determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitations, when the divine Majesty of men and angels again most solemnly confirms his former declaration, and solemnly declares, As I live, saith the God of nations, I am no respecter of persons, nor nations. After this the Most High fully clears and justifies his divine character from all false imputations of weak and childish partiality in the administration of his government and providence over men and angels: however characterized to the contrary, by short-sighted, ignorant, and sinful beings. And it came to pass, after these reflections had revolved through Captain Hewson's mind, he became fully convinced that the thirteen colonies of the then British North America were fully justified in the sight of Heaven, in their refusing to be taxed to the support of the king's government, without their being fairly and legally represented in the British Houses of Parliament. And it came to pass, after these views of the apparent justice of the opposition of the colonies, against the unrighteous demands of an arbitrary administration, that was more or less excited by the choler and national pride of that modern Nimrodical hunter over the nations of the earth, (which national pride led the British government to lay aside the eternal laws and principles of national justice, he was led to take a view also of the local situation of the rising colonies of North America; when he saw that in consequence of their being more than three thousand miles distant from most of the old governments of the European world, if there were left any vacant or unoccupied spots on the outer surface of the earth, where the sacred trees of civil and religious liberty would be most likely to take a firm and solid root in the earth, it certainly must be the arable soil and redolent air of the young colonies of North America: that in consequence of its being in a geographical view the most eminent position on the outer surface of the earth, to look for the bursting forth of the bright and morning star, as portentous of the rising of the bright and glorious sun of the civil and religious liberty of the human race, whose refulgent rays will soon reflect its light over all the enslaved nations of the earth, and shall finally disperse all the lowering clouds of kingly and priestly tyranny, which for so many ages have spread themselves over the true felicity and happiness of the human family during all the dark ages that mighty Nimrod and all his arbitrary satellites have for four thousand years been revolving round this primary orb of despotic power, and who have in their turn more or less enslaved the children of men. So that Captain Hewson, after the foregoing examination of the vassalaged condition of the past ages of mankind, and at the same time viewing the almost countless
millions of his fellow beings that are still in an enslaved condition, made up his mind to emigrate to North America; in consequence of which resolve, in July, 1772, he waited on Dr. Franklin, being then in the city of London, with a view of ascertaining whether the Doctor thought there was any probability of his meeting with encouragement among the people in the British colonies in his line of business, when the Doctor observed, that he had no doubt but that he would be encouraged by the good people of the British colonies; and desired Captain Hewson, if he made up his mind to emigrate to North America, to call on him, and he would give him letters of address to his friends in Philadelphia and New York. After this interview with Dr. Franklin, he went to work day and night at his occupation, which was that of a calico printer, being at that time almost one of the best trades for journeymen in the city of London. And when he had accumulated about five hundred guineas, he sold off his household goods and other small effects, and in 1773 the lowering clouds that were passing over the seas of the national atmosphere that lay between the old Prince and his thirteen rising colonies of North America, about this time began to wear rather a portentous aspect, so that it appeared very likely that a heavy squall might very soon come down on the political seas, that lay between the thirteen colonies and the British empire. So that if Captain Hewson had any intention of going to North America, it was high time to be off, while the door of emigration remained open. A was already done with his secular concerns, in July, 1773, he waited on Dr. Benjamin Franklin the second time, who kindly gave him letters of address to General Roberdeau and several other gentlemen of Philadelphia and New York, when he took his passage on board a ship under the command of one Captain Sutton, bound to Philadelphia; for himself, a young wife, and four small children, and in about eight weeks landed, in September, 1773, at the city of Philadelphia, and there remained through the winter of 1773 and 1774. In the spring of 1774, after looking for a location to commence the first calico printing in America, he found a place on the Delaware, about iwo miles from the city, and having all his works and apparatus in readiness to commence his business, he went to the city of New York in September, 1774, where he met with considerable encouragement among some of the merchants of that city. But while there, it pleased the All-wise Ruler of this sublunary world to remove his wife, the mother of his four children, (whom he brought from London,) to that undiscovered shore, from which sable bourne no solitary traveller has yet been privileged to return. Captain Hewson had received no information of this distressing occurrence until his return home, when he found Mrs. Hewson was deceased, and her motherless children billeted on some kind friends in the city of Philadelphia. So that this unexpected dispensation of an All-wise Providence, just as he was about to commence his business in America, spread for the time being a dark shade over his future prospects. But, notwithstanding this afflicting occurrence that passed over his family and domestic concerns, and the warlike attitude which was daily manifesting itself in the British Houses of Parliament, Captain Hewson still experienced an increasing devotion to the cause of liberty, and the final prosperity of the rising colonies of North America, over the unjust assumption of arbitrary power by the British government. In the spring of 1775, he enrolled himself in the first republican grenadier company, raised in Philadelphia. But after drilling a few times, they became convinced that the tall flaming caps, such as the British grenadiers wore, were too obvious a mark for British bullets, when the company soon laid them aside for American hats, and soon after this the company dissolved. In the summer of 1775, he was presented with a commission as an officer in the county militia of Philadelphia. Having four small children to take care of, in the fall of 1775 he took a second wife. She was a young person from Burlington county, state of New Jersey, by the name of Zebiah Smallwood, a niece of Richard Cheesman, who was father of Captain Cheesman, who went with Major General Montgomery, and fell a martyr to the cause of freedom and his country at the walls of Quebec, on the 31st of December, 1775. In this year, on June 15th, Mr. George Washington was appointed by the continental Congress as commander-in-chief of the American troops during the war with the British empire. Soon after his appointment, he left Philadelphia to take the command of the militia and other troops in the vicinity of Boston, which was then in the possession of the British army and fleet, under the command of Sir William Howe. Mrs. Washington, who had accompanied the General as far as Philadelphia, and tarried in the city with Mrs. Hancock and some persons of distinction, after the departure of the General for Boston, and while in the city, hearing of Captain Hewson's calico printing establishment, it being a new thing in America, it elicited their curiosity to see the same. Captain Hewson showed them as much of the process of the art as their time would admit of, when Mrs. Washington inquired of Captain Hewson whether a representation of the General on horseback could be made so as to occupy the centre of a handkerchief. He informed Mrs. Washington that if he could obtain the General's likeness, he would have the handkerchief soon executed, when Mrs. Washington observed that she had the General's likeness in miniature with her, and if it would facilitate the execution of the work, she would leave it with him for ten or twelve days, as she expected to remain in the city about two weeks, and from which miniature likeness, Captain Hewson had his excellency General George Washington represented in his full military dress on horseback, with a truncheon in his left hand. Some of the first of the handkerchiefs were sent to Mrs. Washington in Virginia. The handkerchiefs took a great run until the British army got possession of Philadelphia and destroyed his works; and finally in the spring of 1778, made Captain Hewson a prisoner in the State of New Jersey. But to return to the incidents of the war of the American Revolution: General Washington, soon after he was appointed by the continental Congress to be the commander-in-chief of the armies of the Republic, proceeded to Boston, where he took command of the American army, and raised some additional works on the hills that command both the city and harbour of Boston. As soon as the British admiral saw the danger the royal fleet would be exposed to when Washington had his works finished, he instantly communicated the same to Sir William Howe, who immediately summoned a council of war, who all
their decided voice for the immediate re-embarkation of the royal troops, when Boston was soon evacuated, and Sir William Howe with his fleet and army sailed for Halifax.
On the 10th of May, 1776, the continental Congress, assembled at Philadelphia, unanimously appointed George Washington commander-in-chief of all the continental troops that were or should be raised in the defence of the rights and liberties of the then thirteen states of North America, when he proceeded to Boston and took command of the American army.
Soon after Sir William Howe left Boston, Washington began to revolve in his mind where would be the most probable place that Sir William Howe would make his next descent upon, when it most forcibly struck the American commander that the city of New York would be the place he wished to get the possession of: on which Washington concluded that the great martial object the British general had in view would be the possession of the city of New York, in consequence of a number of warlike considerations that would almost involuntarily present themselves to Sir William Howe; and the first was from the proximity of the city to the main western ocean; so that in time of war it would afford a very convenient ingress or egress to the British ships of war of the largest class at all times, the depth of water from the light-house on Sandy Hook up to the city, being sufficient for the largest vessels that sail on the ocean: and