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place, and on the arrival of his successor, Mr. Jefferson, he immediately sailed for Philadelphia, where he arrived in September, 1785. received with universal applause, and was soon appointed president of the supreme executive council. In 1787, he was a delegate to the grand convention, which formed the constitution of the United States. In this convention he had differed in some points from the majority; but when the articles were ultimately decreed, he said to his colleagues, “We ought to have but one opinion; the good of our country requires that the resolution should be unanimous;" and he signed.
On the 17th of April, 1790, in the eighty-fourth year of his age, he expired in the city of Philadelphia; encountering this last solemn conflict, with the same philosophical tranquility and pious resignation to the will of Heaven, which had distinguished him through all the various events of his life.
He was interred, on the 21st of April, and congress ordered a general mourning for him throughout America, of one month. In France, the expression of public grief, was scarcely less enthusiastic. There the event was solemnized, under the direction of the municipality of Paris, by funeral orations; and the national assembly, his death being announced in a very eloquent and pathetic discourse, decreed that each of the members should wear mourning for three days, “in commemoration of the event;" and that a letter of condolence, for the irreparable loss they had sustained, should be directed to the American congress. Honours extremely glorious to his memory, and such, it has been remarked, as were never before paid by any public body of one nation, to the citizen of another.
He lies buried in the north-west corner of Christ Church-yard; distinguished from the surrounding
dead, by the humility of his sepulchre. He is covered by a small marble slab, on a level with the surface of the earth, and bearing the single inscription of his name, with that of his wife. A monument sufficiently corresponding to the plainness of his manners, little suitable to the splendor of his virtues.
He had two children, a son and a daughter, and several grand-children who survived him. The son, who had been governor of New Jersey, under the British government, adhered, during the revolution, to the royal party, and spent the remainder of his life in England. The daughter married Mr Bache, of Philadelphia, whose descendants yet reside in that city.
Franklin enjoyed, during the greater part of his life, a healthy constitution, and excelled in exercises of strength and activity. In stature he was above the middle size; manly, athletic, and well proportioned. His countenance, as it is represented in his portrait, is distinguished by an air of serenity and satisfaction; the natural consequences of a vigorous temperament, of strength of mind, and conscious integrity: It is also marked, in visible characters, by deep thought and inflexible resolution.
The whole life of Franklin, his meditations and his labours, have all been directed to public utility; but the grand object that he had always in view, did not shut his heart against private friendship; he loved his family, and his friends, and was extremely beneficent. In society he was sententious, but not fluent; a listener rather than a talker; an informing rather than a pleasing companion: impatient of interruption, he often mentioned the custom of the Indians, who always remain silent some time before they give an answer to a question, which they have heard attentively; unlike some of the politest societies in Europe, where a sentence general Schuyler, had deprived Burgoyne of all those resources which the neighbouring country might have afforded him. After a fortnight's labour, he had been able to collect only twelve boats, and five day's provision for his army. An attempt to obtain possession of a depository of provisions at Bennington, had failed, and two detachments, sent on that service had been defeated. The militia of the eastern and lower country were rapidly collecting, and threatened to raise obstacles still more formidable than those of nature.
Gates was now appointed to succeed-Schuyler, and arrived at the scene of action on the 21st of August, 1777.
It was fortunate for general Gates, that the retreat from Ticonderoga had been conducted under other auspices than his, and that he took the command when the indefatigable but unrequited labors of Schuyler, and the courage of Starke and his mountaineers, had already insured the ultimate defeat of Burgoyne, who, notwithstanding his unfavourable prospects, would not think of saving his army by a timely retreat, was highly propitious to the new American commander.
After collecting thirty days provision, Burgoyne passed the Hudson and encamped at Saratoga. Gates, with numbers already equal, and daily increasing, began to advance towards him with a resolution to oppose his progress at the risk of a battle. He encamped at Stillwater, and Burgoyne hastened forward to open the way with his sword. On the 17th of September, the two armies were within four miles of each other. Two days after, skirmishes between advanced parties terminated in an engagement almost generah in which the utmost efforts of the British merely enabled them to maintain the footing of the preceding day.
Burgoyne, unassisted by the Bristish forces urcler Clinton at New York, found himself unable to
pursue his march down the river, and in the hope of this assistance, was content to remain in his camp, and stand on the defensive.
His army was likewise diminished by the desertion of the Indians and Canadian militia, to less than one half of its original number. Gates, finding his forces largely increasing, being plentifully supplied with provisions, and knowing that Burgoyne had only a limited store, which was rapidly lessening, and could not be recruited, was not without hopes that victory would come, in time, even without a battle.His troops were so numerous, and his fortified
position so strong, that he was able to take measures for preventing the retreat of the enemy, by occupying the strong posts in his rear. Accordingly, nineteen days passed without any further operations, a delay as ruinous to one party, as it was advantageous to the other. At the end of this period, the British general found his prospects of assistance as remote as ever, and the consumption of his stores so alarming, that retreat or victory became unavoidable alternatives.
On the 8th of October, a warm action ensued, in which the British were every where repulsed, and a part of their lines occupied by their enemies. Burgoyne's loss was very considerable in killed, wounded and prisoners, while the favourable situation of Gates's army made its losses in the battle of no moment.
Burgoyne retired in the night to a stronger camp, but the measures immediately taken by Gates to cut off his retreat, compelled him without delay to regain his former camp at Saratoga. There he arrived with little molestation from his adversary. His provisions being now reduced to the supply of a few days, the transport of artillery and baggage, towards Canada, being rendered impracticable by the judicious measures of his adversary, the British general resolved upon a rapid retreat, merely with what the goldiers could carry.
On a careful scrutiny, however, it was found that they were deprived even of this resource, as the passes through which their route lay, were so strongly guarded, that nothing but artillery could clear them. In this desperate situation a parley took place, and on the 16th of October the whole army surrendered to Gates. The prize obtained consisted of more than five thousand prisoners, some fine artillery, seven thousand muskets, clothing for 7000 men, with a great quantity of tents, and other military stores. All the frontier fortresses were immediately abandoned to the victors. It is not easy to overrate the importance of this
It may be considered as deciding the war of the revolution, as from that period the British cause began rapidly to decline. The capture of Cornwallis was hardly of equal importance to that of Burgoyne, and was, in itself, an event of much less splendour, and productive of less exultation.
How far the misfortunes of Burgoyne were owing to the accidents beyond human controul, and how far they are ascribed to the individual conduct and courage of the American commander, would be a useless and invidious inquiry. Reasoning on the erdinary ground, his merits were exceedingly great, and this event entitled him to a high rank among the deliverers of his country. The memory of all former misfortunes were effacel by the magnitude of this victory, and the government and people vied with each other in expressing their admiration of the conquering general. Besides the thanks of congress, the general received from the president a gold medal, as a memorial of their gratitude.
Every war abounds with cases of private suffring and distress, very few of which become public, though sympathy and curiosity are powerfully excited by narratives of that kind; and the feel