« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
apartment of the vacant houses throughout the town. The officer, on his return, reported that general Putnam's army, could not consist of less than 4 or 5000 men. In the spring, he was appointed to the command of a separate army, in the highlands of New York. One Palmer, a lieutenant in the tóry new levies, was detected in the camp: governor Tryon reclaimed him as a British officer, threatening vengeance if he was not restored. General Putnam wrote the following pithy reply:
“Sir, Nathan Palmer, a lieutenant in your king's service, was taken in my camp as a spy; he was tried as a spy; he was condemned as a spy; and he shall be hanged as a spy.
"ISRAEL PUTNAM." "P. S. Afternoon. He is hanged."
After the loss of fort Montgomery, the commander-in-chief determined to build another fortification, and he directed Putnam to fix upon a spot. To lim belongs the praise of having chosen WestPoint. The campaign of 1779, which was principally spent in strengthening the works at this place, finished the military career of Putnam. A paralytic affection impaired the activity of his body, and he passed the remainder of his days in retirement, retaining lis relish for enjoyment, his love of pleasantry, his strength of memory, and all the faculties of his mind. He died at Brookline, Connecticut, May 29, 1790, aged 72 years.
REED, JOSEPII, President of the state of Pennsylvania, born in the state of New-Jersey, the 27th of August, A. D. 1741, In the year 1757, at the early age of sixteen, he graduated with considerable honour, at Princeton college. Having studied the law with Richard Stockton, Esquire, an eminent counsellor of that place, he visited England anil pursued his studies in the temple, until the disturbances which first broke out in the colonies on the passage of the stamp act. On his return to his native country, he commenced the practice of the law, and bore a distinguished part in the political commotions of the day. Having married the daughter of Dennis De Berdt, an eminent merchant of London, and before the American revolution, agent for the province of Massachusetts, he soon after returned to America and practised the law with eminent success in the city of Philadelphia. Finding that reconciliation with the mother country was not to be accomplished without the saerifice of honour as well as liberty, he became one of the most zealous advocates of independence. In 1774, he was appointed one of the committee of correspondence of Philadelphia, and afterwards president of the convention, and, subsequently, member of the continental congress. On the formation of the army he resigned a lucrative practice, which he was enjoying at Philadelphia, and repaired to the camp at Cambridge, where he was appointed aid-de-camp and secretary to general Washington, and although merely acting as a volunteer, he displayed in this campaign, on many occasions, the greatest courage and military ability. At the opening of the campaign in 1776, on the promotion of general Gates, he was advanced, at the special recommendation of general Washington, to the post of adjutant-general, and bore an active part in this campaign, his local knowledge of the country being eminently useful in the affair at Trenton, and at the battle of Princeton: in the course of these events, and the constant follower of his fortunes, he enjoyed the confidence and esteem of the commander in chief. At the end of the year he resigned the office of adjutant-general, and was immediately appointed a general officer; with a view to the command of cavalry, but owing to the difficulty of raising troops, and the very detached parties in which they were employed, bewas prevented from acting in that station. He still attended the army, and from the entrance of the British army into Pennsylvania, till the close of the campaign in 1777, he was seldom absent. He was engaged at the battle of Germantown, and at White Marsh assisted general Potter in drawing up the militia. In 1778, he was appointed a member of Congress and signed the articles of confederation. About this time the British commissioners, governor Johnstone, lord Carlisle, and Mr. Eden, invested with power to treat of peace, arrived in America, and governor Johnstone, the principal of them, addressed private letters to Henry Laurens, Joseph Reed, Francis Dana, and Robert Morris, offering them many advantages in case they would lend themselves to his views. Private information was communicated from governor Johnstone to general Reed, that, in case he would exert his abilities to promote a reconciliation, 10,000 pounds sterling and the most valuable office in the colonies, were at his disposal; to which Mr. Reed made this memorable reply: "that he was not worth purchasing, but that, such as he was, the king of Great Britain was not rich enough to do it.” These transactions caused a resolution in congress, by which they refused to hold any further communication with that commissioner. Governor Johnstone, on his return to England, denied in parliament, ever having made suchoffers, in consequence of which general Reed published a pamphlet in which the whole transaction was clearly and satisfactorily proved, and which was extensively circulated both in England and America.
In 1778, he was unanimously elected president of the supreme executive council of the state of Pennsylvania, to which office he was elected annually, with equal unanimity. for the constitutional period of
About this time there existes violent parties in the state, and several serious commotions
occurred, particularly a large armed insurrection in the city of Philadelphia, which he suppressed, and rescued a number of distinguished citizens from the most imminent danger of their lives at the risk of his own, for which he received a vote of thanks from the legislature of the state.
At the time of the defection of the Pennsylvania line, governor Reed exerted bimself strenuously to bring back the revolters, in which he ultimately succeeded. Amidst the most diflicult and trying scenes, lris administration exhibited the most disinterested zeal and firmness of decision. In the civil part of his character, his knowledge of the law was very useful in a new and unsettled
government; so that, although he found in it no small weakness and confusion, he left it at the expiration of his term of office, in as much tranquility and energy as could be expected from the time and circumstances of the war. In the year 1781. on the expiration of his term of office, he returned to the duties of his profession.
General Reed was very fortinate in his military career, for, although he was in almost every engagement in the northern and eastern section of the union, during the war, he never was wounded; he had three horses killed under him, one at the battle of Brandywine, one in the skirmish at White Marsh, and one at the battle of Monmouth. During the whole of the war he enjoyed the confidence and friendship of generals Washington, Greene, Wayne, Steuben, la Fayette, and many other of the most distinguished characters of the revolution, with whom he was in habits of the most confiilential intercourse and correspondence. The friendship that existed between general Reed and general Greene, is particularly mentioned by the biographer of general Greene. “ Among the many inestimable friends who attached themselves to him, during his military career, there was no one
whom general Greene prized more, or more justly, than the late governor Reed, of Pennsylvania. It was before this gentleman had immortalized himself by his celebrated reply to the agent of corruption, that these two distinguished patriots had begun to feel for each other, the sympathies of congenial souls. Mr. Reed had accompanied general Washington to Boston, when he first took command of the American army; there he became acquainted with Greene, and, as was almost invariably the case with those who became acquainted with him, and had hearts to acknowledge his worth, a friendship ensued which lasted with their lives." Had the life of general Reed been sufficiently prolonged, he would have discharger, in a manner worthy of the subject, the debt of national gratitude to which the efforts of the biographer of general Greene have been successfully dedicated, who had in his possession the outlines of a sketch of the life of general Greene by this friend.
In the year 1784, he again visited England for the sake of his health, but his voyage was attended with but little effect, as in the following year he fell a victim to a disease, most probably brought on by the fatigue and exposure to which he was constantly subjected. In private life, he was accomplished in Iris manners, pure in his morals, férvent and faithful in his attachments.
On the 5th of March, 1785, in the 430 year of his age too soon for his country and his friends, he departed a life, active, useful, and glorious. His remains were interred in the Presbyterian ground, in Arch street, in the city of Philadelphia, attended by the president and executive council, and the speaker and the general assembly of the state,
WARREN, JOSEPH, a major-general in the American army, during the revolutionary war, was born in Roxbury, near Boston, in 1740, and