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Reading 15 Ethan Allen A NARRATIVE OF COLONEL ETHAN ALLENS CAPTIVITY_

VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 21

									Reading 1 5                                                                                               AE16181



Ethan Allen
         A NARRATIVE OF
   COLONEL ETHAN ALLEN’S
            CA PTIV ITY,
 From t he Time of his being taken by the British,
  near Montr eal on the 25th Day of September,
  in the Y ear 1 775, to the Time of his Exchange,
           on the 6th Day of May, 1778:
CO NTAINING HIS VO YA GES AND TRA VELS,
W it h t he m ost r emar kab le O ccur r ences r espectin g h im self,
and many other Continental Prisoners of different Ranks
and Characters, which fell under his Observation, in the
Course of the same; particularly the Destruction of the
Pr isoners at New -Yor k, by G eneral S ir W illiam H ow e, in
the Years 1776 and 1777.
Inter spersed with some POLITICA L OBSERVA TIONS. W rit ten by
himself, and now published for the Information of the Curious in all
Nat ions.
               When God from Chaos gave this World TO BE,
              Man then he form’d. and form’d him TO BE FREE.
                    Am e r i c a n I n d e p e n d e n c e , a Po e m , b y FR EN EA U .
PHILA DELPH IA : PRIN TED, BO STO N: Re-printed B Y D R A P E R A N D
F O L S O M , A T T H EI R Printing-Office, A T TH E C O R NER O F Winter-Street.
M ,D C C , LX X IX .

       The oldest of eig ht childr en, Ethan Alphon so Allen w as born 21 January 1738 to Joseph
and Mary Allen in Litchfield, Conn ecticut; shortly thereafter, the fam ily m ov ed to
Corn w all. Recogn izing his son’s intellectu al precoc iousne ss and lo v e of read ing , Joseph Allen
arrang ed for Ethan to be tutor ed by the Rev . Jon athan Lee of Salisbury, Conn ecticut,
preparator y for adm ission to Yale. In 1755, how ev er, just after Ethan tu rne d seve ntee n, his
fathe r di ed; an d Ethan w as left w ith th e re spon sibility of r un ni ng his fam ily’s farm . Tw o
years later, at the height of the Fren ch-Indian W ar, Ethan en listed as a militiam an, hopin g
to see action on the fron tier. Althoug h he w as nev er en gaged in battle, he learn ed cr ucial
le sson s of le ad er shi p an d m il it ar y str at eg y th at w ou ld ser v e h im w el l in lat er ye ar s.
       In Ju n e, 1 76 2, at the ag e o f 24 , Al len m ar r ied Ma r y Br o w n so n [o r Br o n so n ] o f
Woo dbur y, Con nec ticut; she w as the daughter of a m iller than Allen hau led gr ain for and
w as si x y ea r s All en ’s se n io r . T he y ha d fi v e c hi ld r en : La r ai n e (b . 17 63), Mar y An n (b. 176 5),
Jose ph Ethan (b. 1766 ), Luc y Ca ro li n e (b . 1765), an d P am el ia (b. 1771 ). Allen ’s fi rst w if e
died in 1783; the follow ing Februar y, he m arried France s Buchan an, w ho w as 22 years
you ng er than him self. They had three ch ildren : Franc es [Fann y] (b. Nov em ber, 1784), Ethan
Vol ta ir e (b . 17 86), an d Ha n n ib al (b. 178 7).
          Durin g the 1760s Allen an d his brother s becam e inv olv ed in land specu lation ,
p a r t i c u l a r l y i n w h a t b e c a m e k n o wn as th e “New Hamps h i re G rants” —                         land i n th e G re e n
Mountain r egion betw een New York and New Ham pshire and ev entually claim ed by bo th
states. The Allen br others becam e leaders of the settlers w ho resisted—som etim es
v i o l e n t l y —a t t e m p t s b y Ne w Y o r k o r by th e “Yo rke rs” (G re e n M o untai n s e ttle rs unde r Ne w
Y o r k pa t e n t s ) t o c o n t r o l t h e r e gi o n. One o f th e fo un de rs o f th e G re e n Mo untai n Bo ys , Alle n
q u i c k ly e m e r ge d a s t h e ir l e a d e r i n de fyi ng an d h arass i ng th e Yo rke rs and th e g o ve rn m e nt
su pp o r ti n g th em . (In d ee d , t he r e w as f o r a t im e a r ew ar d o ff er ed fo r All en ’s b o d y by New
Yor k’s Gov er n or Try on .)
          Allen tu rne d the Gre en Moun tain Boy s into an inde pend ent patr iot m ilitia follow ing
the on set of the Rev olutio nary War; the Gre en Moun tain Boy s assisted in capturin g Fort
Ticon dero ga in May, 1775, and Allen im m ediately g ained prom inen ce as a folk hero. Later
tha t sam e y ear , du rin g t he i n v asio n of Can ada , Allen w as taken pri son er . A N arrative of
Colonel Ethan Allen’s C aptivity (1779) is a reco rd of his experienc es as a prisoner of the
B r i t is h ; a c e n t r a l p u r p o s e o f h i s n arrati ve i s to re ve al th e i nh um ane tre atme n t o f pri so ne rs
b y t h e B r i t is h d u r i n g t h e w a r . B u t th e Narr ative is also intended to em phasize the
intelligen ce, civ ility, wit, and sophistication o f Am erican s like him self, Am erican s who set a
standard so high that the British themselve s frequently fail to m easure up to it.
          Fo l l o w i n g Al l en ’ s r e l e as e, he r e t u r n e d to h i s h o m e a n d f a m i l y . Ve r m o n t h ad si n c e
declare d itself a separate state ind epend ent fr om both New York and New Hampshire, but it
w ould take another d ecade fo r this declaratio n to be reco gn ized by the C on tinen tal
Con gress. Follow ing his second m arriage in 1784, Allen w ithdrew from politics and dev oted
him self to his family an d to w riting . The mo st impo rtant w ork to em erge fr om this period of
hi s lif e w as Reason, the Only Oracle of Man; or a C ompenduous System of Natu ral
Religion (1 78 4). D e tr a c t o r s t h e n and fo r ye ars fo llo w i ng h i s de ath accus e d Alle n o f ath e i sm
a n d o f d e l i n e a t i n g a n a t h e is t p o s it i o n i n t h e b o o k . Su c h a c c u s at i o n s a r e n o t t r u e : t h e bo o k
establishes instead a Deist position den ying the div inity o f Christ, but establishing God as the
cr ea to r a n d p ro v id er of hu m an kin d. T he bo ok a lso ar gu es f or th e i m m or ta li ty of th e so ul
an d fo r t he i m po rt an ce of m or al b eha v io r:
               Morality is . . . of more impo rtance to us than any or all other attain me nts; it is a habit of
               mind, w hich, from a retrospective consciousness of our agency in this life, we should carry
               wi th us into our succeedin g state of existence , as an acquired appendag e of our r ational
               natu re, and as the nec essary m eans o f our m enta l happin ess. Virtue and v ice ar e the o nly
               things in this world, w hich, with our souls, are capable of surviv ing death; the form er is
               the rational and only procuring cause of all intellectual happiness, and the latter of
               co nsc io us g ui lt a nd m iser y; a nd the re fo re , ou r i nd ispe nsa ble du ty an d u lti m ate in ter est i s,
               to lov e, cultivate an d im prov e the on e, as the means of ou r greatest goo d, and to hate an d
               abst ain fro m the ot her , as pr od uc tiv e o f o ur gr eat est e v il. (473)
       Al le n d i d n o t l iv e t o se e Ve r m o n t b e c o m e a st a te , b u t di e d q u ie t ly o n 1 2 Fe b r u ar y 17 89 ,
less than tw o year s after the birth of his yo un gest son. As ev iden ce that Allen’s contr ov ersial
reputatio n succ eeded him , the Rev . Nathan Perkins w rote in his diary som e years follow ing
Al l en ’ s d e a th : “Ar r i v e d a t O n i o n R i v e r f al l s a n d p a ss ed b y Et h an A ll y n ’ s g r a v e . An a w f u l
infide l, one o f the w ickedest Men that e v er w alked this guilty glo be. I stopped an d loo ked at
his grave w ith a pious horror.” Today, in co ntrast, Allen is rev ered by Verm on ters as the
prim ary dr iv ing force behin d Vermo nt’s eve ntu al auton om y an d ind epend enc e; he is
adm ired by Americ ans gen erally fo r his integ rity, passionate cou rage an d keen m oral v ision.
INTRODU CTION.

INDU CED by a sense of duty to my country, and by the application of many of
my worthy friends, some of whom are of the first characters, I have concluded to
publi sh the follow ing narr ative of the extraor dinary scenes of my captivity , and
th e di scov eri es w hi ch I m ade i n t he c ou rse o f th e sam e, o f th e cru el an d re len tle ss
disposition and behaviour of the enemy, towards the prisoners in their power;
f r om w h i c h t h e st a t e p o l i ti c ia n , an d e ve r y g r a da t i on o f ch a r a ct e r am o n g t h e
people to the worthy tiller of the soil, may deduce such inferences as they shall
th in k pr op er t o ca rr y in to pr act ice. Som e m en a re a pp oi nt ed i nt o o ffice, in th ese
Sta tes, w ho rea d th e hi sto ry of th e cru elt ies o f th is w ar w ith th e sam e car eless
indi fference, as they do th e pages of the R om an hi story ; nay , som e are preferr ed
to pl aces of trust an d pro fit by the T ory influ ence. T hese instan ces are (I hope)
but rare; an d it stan ds all freem en in hand , to p reven t thei r furt her in fluence,
wh ich, of all other t hings, w ould be th e most baneful t o the libert ies and
happiness of this country; and so far as such influence takes place, robs us of the
victo ry w e have o btain ed, at th e expen ce of so mu ch blo od and treasur e.
      I should have exhibited to the pub lic a history o f the facts herein contained,
soon after my exchange, had not the urgency of my private affairs, together with
more urgent public business, demanded my attention, ‘till a few weeks before the
date hereof. The reader will readily discern, that a narrative of this sort could not
have b een w ritt en w hen I w as a prison er: M y tru nk and w riti ngs w ere often
searched u nder v ariou s preten ces; so that I nev er w rote a sy llabl e, or m ade even a
rough minute, whereon I might predicate this narration, but trusted solely to my
memory for the whole. I have, however, taken the greatest care and pains to
recollect the facts, and arrange them , but as they touch a var iety of characters and
opposite interests, I am sensible that all will not be pleased with the relation of
them : Be thi s as it wi ll, I hav e mad e tru th m y inva riabl e guide, and stak e my
honour o n the truth of the facts. I have been very generous with the British, in
giving them full and ample credit for all their good usage of any considerable
consequence, w hich I met w ith am ong them , durin g my captivity ; wh ich w as
easily done, as I met with but little, in comparison of the bad, which by reason of
the great plurality of it, could not be contained in so concise a narrative; so that I
am certain that I have m ore fully enum erated the favours w hich I received, than
the abuses I suffered. The critic will be pleased to excuse any inaccuracies in the
performance itself, as the author has unfortunately m issed of a liberal education.
ET H A N A LL EN .
Ben n in gto n , Marc h 25th . 1779.



A NA RRA TIVE OF CO LONEL ETHAN A LLEN’S
OBSERVATIONS DU RING HIS C A PTIVITY.

EVER since I arrived to a state of manhood, and acquainted myself with the
general history of mankind, I have felt a sincere passion for liberty. The history of
nations doomed to perpetual slavery, in consequence of yielding up to tyrants
their natural-born liberties, I read with a sort of philosophical horror: so that the
first systematical and b loody attempt at Lexingt on, to en slave Am erica,
t h o r o u gh l y e l e ct r i fi e d m y m i n d , a nd fu l l y d e t er m i n e d m e t o t ak e p a r t w i t h m y
country: A nd while I was wishing for an opportunity to signalize myself in its
behalf, directions were privately sent to me from the then colony (now state) of
Con necticut, to raise the Green Mountain Boys: (and if possible) with them to
surprise and take the fortress Ticonderoga. This enterprise I cheerfully undertook;
and, after first guarding all the several passes that led thither, to cut off all
intelligence between the garrison and the country, m ade a forced march from
Bennington, and arrived at the lake opposite to Ticonderoga, on the evening of
the 9th day of May, 1775, with 230 valiant Green Mou ntain Boys; and it was with
the utm ost difficulty t hat I procur ed boats to cross the lake: H ow ever, I landed 83
men near the garrison, and sent the boats back for the rear guard commanded by
C olon el Seth W arner ; but the day began t o daw n, an d I found my self under a
necessity to attack the fort, before the rear cou ld cross the lake; and, as it w as
view ed hazardo us, I harangu ed the officers and soldier s in the m anner fol low ing:
“Friends and fello w soldiers, y ou h ave, for a nu mb er of y ears past, been a scour ge
a n d te r r o r t o a r bi t r ar y p o w e r . Y o u r v a l ou r h a s b e en f am e d a br o a d , a n d
ackno wl edged, as appears by the advi ce and orders to m e (from the G eneral
Assembly of Connecticut) to surprise and take the garrison now before us. I now
pro pose to ad vance b efore y ou, and in person condu ct y ou t hro ugh the w ick et
gat e; fo r w e m ust th is m or ni ng e ith er q ui t o ur pr eten sion s to v alo ur , or po ssess
ourselves of this fortress in a few min utes; and, in as much as it is a desperate
attempt (which none but the bravest of men dare undertake), I do not urge it on
a n y c o n tr a r y t o h is w i l l. Y o u t h at w i l l u n de r ta k e v ol u n t ar i l y , p oi se y o u r
firelocks.”
       Th e men being (at this ti me) dr aw n up in th ree ran ks, each poised h is firelock .
I ordered t hem to face to t he rig ht; an d, at th e head of th e center-file, m arched
them im mediately to the w icket gate aforesaid, wh ere I found a sentry posted,
wh o instantly snapped his fusee at me: I run imm ediately tow ard him , and he
retreat ed thr ough the cov ered w ay into the pa rade w ithi n th e garriso n, gav e a
halloo, and ran under a bomb proof. My party w ho followed me into th e fort, I
form ed on t he par ade in su ch m anner as to face the tw o bar rack s wh ich faced each
oth er. T he garr ison b eing asleep (ex cept th e sentries), w e gave th ree hu zzas w hich
greatly surprised them. One of the sentries made a pass at one of my officers with
a charged bayonet, and slightly w ounded him. M y first thought w as to kill him
with m y sword; but, in an instant, altered the design and fury of the blow to a
slight cu t on the side of th e head; u pon w hich he dro pped h is gun, and ask ed
q u a r t er , w h i c h I r e ad i l y g r an t e d h i m , a n d d e m a n de d o f h i m t h e p la c e w h e r e t h e
com man ding o fficer kep t; he shew ed me a p air of stair s in th e front of a barr ack,
on the west part of the garrison, which led up to a second story in said barrack, to
which I imm ediately repaired, and ordered the commander (Capt. Delaplace) to
come forth instantly, or I w ould sacrifice the whole garrison; at which the C aptain
came imm ediately to the door w ith his breeches in his hand, when I ordered him
to deli ver to me t he fort instan tly , w ho ask ed me b y w hat au tho rity I deman ded
it. I answered hi m, “In the nam e of the Great Jehov ah, and th e Co ntinen tal
Con gress” (the authority of the Congress being very little k now n at that time). He
began to speak again; but I interrupted him, and w ith my drawn sw ord over his
head, aga in dem anded an im med iate sur render of the gar rison : to w hich he th en
complied, and or dered his, men to be forthw ith paraded w ithout arm s, as and he
had giv en u p t he g arr ison . In th e m ean tim e som e of m y offic ers h ad gi ven or der s,
and in con sequence thereof, sundry of the barrack doors w ere beat dow n, and
about one third of the garrison imprisoned, which consisted of the said com-
man der, a Lieut. F eltham , a conductor of artillery , a gunner , tw o sergeants, and 44
rank and file; about 100 pieces of cannon, one 13-inch mortar, and a number of
swivels. This surprise was carried into execution in the gray of the morning of the
10th day of May , 1775. The sun seemed to rise that morning with a superior
lustr e, and T icond eroga an d its depen dencies sm iled on its conq uero rs, w ho t ossed
about th e flowin g-bowl, and wi shed success to Co ngress, and the liberty and
freedom of Am erica. H appy it w as for me (at that t im e) that t he th en futu re pages
of the Book of Fate—which afterwards unfolded a miserable scene of two years
and eigh t m ont hs im prison men t—w as hid from my view .

[A b o u t 4 ½ m o n t h s l a t e r , o n S e p t e m b e r 2 5 , A ll e n a n d h i s m e n w e r e e n g a g e d n e a r
Montreal in a difficult struggle w ith “local” British forces and their Nativ e Amer ican
a l l i e s. R e a l iz i n g t h a t h e a n d h i s m e n w e r e g r o s s ly o u t n u m b e r e d —a n d p e r c e i v i n g t h a t h e
h a d b e e n o u t m a n e u v e r e d i n t o th e barg ai n—A lle n s o u nd e d a re tre at.]

       . . . I ordered a retreat, but found that those of the enemy , who w ere of the
country , and their Indians, could run as fast as my m en, though the regulars could
not: Thus I retreated near a mile, and some of the enemy, w ith the savages, kept
flanking me, and others crowded hard in the rear: In fine I expected in a very
short tim e to tr y the w orld of spirit s: for I w as appreh ensive th at no quar ter
w ou ld b e giv en t o m e, an d th ere for e ha d de ter m in ed t o sel l m y life as dea r as I
coul d. O ne of th e enem y ’s officers bold ly pressing in the rear , dischar ged his fusee
at me: the ball whistled near me, as did many oth ers that day. I returned the
salute, an d m issed him as run nin g had p ut u s both out of breath ; for I concl ude w e
w e r e n o t f r ig h t en e d . I th e n sa l u t ed h i m w i t h m y t o n g u e i n a h a r sh m a r i n er , a n d
told him that inasmu ch as his num bers were so far superior to mine, I would
surren der, pr ovid ed I could b e treated w ith h ono r, an d be assured o f good qu arter
for m y self and the m en w ho w ere w ith m e; and h e answ ered I shou ld; an oth er
officer coming up directly after, confirmed the treaty; upon which I agreed to
surrender w ith m y party ; wh ich then con sisted of thirty -one effective men, an d
seven woun ded. I ordered them to groun d their arm s, which th ey did.
       Th e officer I capitu lated w ith, then directed me an d m y party to adv ance
tow ards him , w hich w as done; I ha nded h im my swo rd, an d in h alf a mi nut e after
a savage, part of whose head was shaved, being almost naked and painted, with
feathers intermixed with the hair of the other side of his head, came running to me
w ith an incred ible sw iftness; he seem ed to adv ance w ith m ore th an m orta l speed
(as he appr oached n ear m e, his hel lish vi sage was bey ond al l descript ion; snak es
eyes appear innocent in comparison of his; his features extorted; malice, death,
mur der, and the wrath of devils and damned spirits were the emblems of his
countenance); and in less than twelve feet of me, presented his firelock. At the
instan t of his pr esent, I tw itched the officer t o w hom I gave my swo rd, b etw een
me and the savage; but he flew round w ith great fury , trying to single me out to
shoot me w itho ut k illin g the officer; but by this ti me I w as near as nim ble as he,
k eepi ng t he o fficer in such a po siti on th at h is da nge r w as m y defen ce: b ut in less
than half a min ute, I was attacked by just such another imp of hell. Then I made
the officer fly rou nd w ith i ncredi ble vel ocity for a few seconds of’ ti me, w hen I
perceived a C anadian (wh o had lo st one ey e, as appeared afterw ards) takin g my
part against the savages; and in an instant an Irishman came to my assistance with
a fixed bayonet, and drove away the fiends, swearing by “Jasus” he wou ld kill
them. This tragic scene composed my mind. Th e escaping from so awful a death,
made even imprisonment h appy; th e more so as my conquerors on the field
tr eat ed m e w ith gre at ci vi lit y and po lit ene ss.

[S h o r t l y a f t e r b e i n g t a k e n c a p t i v e , Al l e n a n d h i s m e n c o n s p i r e w i t h c e r t a i n C a n a d i a n s
t o r i se a g a i n s t t h e B r it i sh h o l d i n g A l le n a n d h i s m e n c a p t i v e . T h e p la n i s a fa i l u r e ;
A ll e n a n d h i s c o -c o n s p ir a t o r s a r e qu i c k l y d i s ar m e d a n d s u b d u e d ; a n d A l le n i s b r o u g h t
b e f o r e G e n . P r e sc o t t t o a n s w e r f o r h i s b e h av i o r . ]

       . . . I m et Gen . Prescot t, w ho ask ed me m y nam e, w hich I told h im : H e then
asked me. w hether I w as that C ol. A llen w ho too k T iconderoga. I told h im I w as
the very man: Then he shook his cane over my head, calling me many hard
names, among wh ich he frequently used the word Rebel, and put himself into a
great r age. I told h im he w oul d do w ell no t to can e me, for I was no t accusto med
to it, and shook m y fist at him, telling him that that was the beetle of mortality
for hi m, if he offered to strik e, upo n w hich C apt. M cC lou d of the Br itish, pul led
him by the skirt, and whispered to him (as he afterwards told me) to this import;
that it w as inconsistent w ith his hono ur to strik e a prisoner. He then ordered a
sergeant’ s comm and w ith fix ed bay onets to com e forw ard an d ki ll th irteen
Can adians, which w ere included in the treaty aforesaid.
       It cut me to the heart to see the Canadians in so hard a case, in consequence of
their having been true to me; they were wringing their hands, saying their prayers
(as I concluded), and expected immediate death. I therefore stepped between the
executioners and the Canadians, opened my clothes, and told Gen. Prescott to
thrust his bayonet into m y br east, for I was the sole cause of the Canadians’ taking
u p ar m s.
       Th e guard in th e mean tim e, rolling th eir ey e balls from the G eneral to m e, as
t h o u g h im p a t i en t l y w a i t i n g h is dr e ad c o m m a n d t o sh e a th t h e ir b a y o n e t s i n m y
heart; I could however plainly discern, that he was in a suspence and quandary
about th e matter. T his gave me additio nal hop es of succeeding; for m y design was
not to die, but to save th e C anadia ns by a finesse. Th e Gener al stood a mi nut e,
wh en he made me the following reply , “I will n ot execu te yo u n ow , but yo u shall
gr ac e a hal te r a t Ty bu rn , Go d d am n ye .” . . .

[Fo r h i s a l l e g e d l y t r e a c h e r o u s a c t i o n s , A ll e n i s p u t i n t o i r o n s a n d , f o r t h e m o s t p a r t , ke p t
i s o l a t e d f r o m a l l o t h e r p r i s o n e r s . A ll e n i n s i st s t h a t b o t h p u n i s h m e n t s —e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e
t h e y a f fe c t a n o f f i c e r —a r e c o n t r a r y t o i n t e r n a t i o n a l m i l i ta r y l a w . H e a n d h i s m e n a r e
t h e n p l a c e d a b o a r d t h e sc h o o n e r Gaspoe a n d a r e t o l d t o p r e p a r e t h e m s e l v e s fo r t h e
v oy ag e t o En gl an d, w he re th ey w ill be tr ie d f or th ei r c ri m es. ]

     . . . The reader is now invited back to the time I was put into iron s. I
requested the privilege to write to General Prescott, which was granted. I
rem in ded hi m of th e k in d an d gen ero us m ann er o f m y tr eat m ent to th e pr ison ers I
took at Ticon deroga, and of the in justice and ungent leman-lik e usage, which I had
met w ith fro m h im ; and d eman ded gent lem an-lik e usage, bu t receiv ed no an swer
fro m hi m . I so on afte r w ro te t o G en era l C ar lt on , w hi ch m et t he sam e su ccess. In
the m ean w hile m any of those w ho w ere perm itted to see me, w ere very insulti ng.
     I was confined in the manner I have related, on board the schooner G a sp o e,
about six weeks; during which time I was obliged to throw out plenty of
extravagant l anguage w hich answ ered certain pur poses (at that time), better th an
to grace a history.
     To give an instance upon being insulted, in a fit of anger I twisted off a nail
w ith m y teet h, w hi ch I t oo k to be a ten -pen ny nai l; i t w ent th ro ug h t he m or tise
of the m ar of m y hand cuff, and at the sam e tim e I swaggered over t hose w ho
abused m e; part icular ly a Doct or D ace, w ho t old m e that I w as outl aw ed by N ew -
York , and deserved death for several years past; was at last fully ripened for the
halter, and in a fair way to obtain it: W hen I challenged him, he excused himself in
consequence, as he said, of my being a criminal; but I flung such a flood of
language at him that it shocked him and the spectators, for my anger was very
great. I heard one say , damn him , can he eat iron ? After that a small padlock was
fixed to the hand cuff, instead of the nail, and as they w ere mean-spirited in their
t r e at m e n t o f m e ; so i t ap p e ar e d to m e , t h at t h ey w e r e e q u al l y t i m o r o u s a n d
cowardly .
        . . . A sm all pl ace in th e vessel, enclosed w ith w hite-oak plan k, w as assigned
for the prisoners, and for me among the rest. I should imagine that it was not
mo re tha n tw enty feet one w ay , and t w enty -two the ot her: i nto this pl ace w e
were all, to the number of thirty-four, thrust and hand-cuffed (two prisoners more
being added to our number), and w ere provided with tw o excrement tubs; in this
circumference we were obliged to eat and perform the office of evacuation, during
the voyage to England; and were insulted by every black guard sailor and Tory on
board, in the cruellest manner: but what is the most surprising is, that not one of
us died in the pa ssage. Wh en I w as first order ed to go into the filt hy enclosu re,
through a small sort of door, I positively refused, and endeavoured to reason with
the before-named Brook Watson out of a conduct so derogatory to every
sentim ent of h ono ur an d hu man ity , but all to no p urp ose, m y men being fo rced
in th e den alr eady ; and t he rascal w ho h ad the ch arge of th e prison ers, com man ded
me to go imm ediately in am ong the rest. H e further added, th at the place w as
good enough for a rebel; that is was impertinent for a capital offender to talk of
hono ur or hum anity ; that any thing shor t of a halter, w as too good for m e: and
that t h a t w ou ld b e m y po rt io n so on after I lan ded in Eng lan d; fo r w hi ch p ur po se
only I was sent thither.
        A b o u t t h e sa m e t im e a L i eu t e n an t a m o n g th e T o r i es , i n su l t e d m e i n a
grievous manner, saving that I ought to have been executed for my rebellion
again st N ew -Yor k, and spi t in my face; up on w hich (tho ugh I was h and-cuffed) I
sprang at him w ith b oth hand s, and k nock ed him partl y dow n, bu t he scram bled
along into the cabin, and I after him; there he got under the protection of some
m e n w i t h f ix e d ba y o n e t s, w h o w e r e o r de r ed t o m a k e re a dy t o d r i v e m e i n t o th e
place afore mentioned. I challenged him to fight, notwithstanding the
imp ediment s that w ere on m y hands, and had t he exalted pleasure to see the rascal
tremble for fear: his name I have forgot, but Watson ordered his guard to get me
into the place with the other prisoners, dead or alive: and I had almost as leave die
a s d o i t , s ta n d in g i t o u t t i ll t h ey e n v i r o n ed m e r o u n d w i t h b a y o n e t s; a n d b r u t i sh ,
prejudiced, abandoned wretches they w ere, from w hom I could expect nothing
bu t de ath or w ou nd s.
         How ever, I told them that they were good honest fellows; that I could not
blame them; that I was only in a dispute with a calico merchant, who knew not
how to behave towards a gentleman of the military establishment. This was spoke
rather to appease them for my own preservation, as well as to treat Watson with
c o n t em p t ; b u t st i l l I fo u n d t h at t h ey w e r e d e te r m i n ed t o fo r c e m e i n t o th e
w retched circum stances, w hich their preju diced and deprav ed mi nds had prepa red
for m e. Th erefore ra ther than die, I subm itted t o th eir in digni ties, bein g driv en
with bay onets into the filthy dungeon, with the other prisoners, where we were
denied fresh water, except a small allowance which was very inadequate to our
w ants; an d in co nsequen ce of the stench of the pl ace, each of u s was soon follow ed
w ith a d iarrh oea and fever, w hich occasion ed an in toler able th irst. W hen w e asked
for water, w e were m ost comm only (instead of obtaining it) insulted and derided;
and to add to al l the h orr ors of th e place, it w as so dark , that w e could not see
each ot her , an d w ere ov ersp rea d w ith bo dy lic e. W e ha d (n ot w ith stan din g th ese
severities) full allowance of salt provisions, and a gill of rum per day; the latter of
wh ich was of the utmost service to us, and (probably) was the means of saving
sever al o f ou r l iv es.
       Ab out forty day s we existed in th is mann er, w hen the lan d’s end of England
w as discovered fr om the m ast head; soo n after w hich the pr isoner s wer e tak en
from their gloomy abode, being permitted to see the light of the sun, and breathe
fresh air, wh ich to us w as very r efreshing. The day follow ing w e landed at
Falmouth.
       A f e w d a y s b e fo r e I w a s t ak e n p r i so n e r , I sh i ft e d m y c l o th e s, b y w h i c h I
happened to be taken in a Canadian dress, viz. a short fawn skin jacket, double
breasted, an undervest and breeches of sagathy, w orsted stockings, a decent pair of
shoes, two plain shirts, and a red worsted cap: This was all the clothing I had, in
wh ich I made my appearance in England.
       Wh en the prisoners were landed, multitudes of the citizens of Falmouth
(excited by curiosity) crowded together to see us, which was equally gratifying to
us. I saw n um bers of people on the tops of houses, and the rising adjacent grounds
were covered with them of both sexes: The throng was so great, that the king’s
officers w ere obl iged to d raw their swo rds, and force a passage to P enden nis castle,
wh ich was near a mile from the tow n w here we w ere closely confined, in
consequence of orders from G en. C arlton, wh o then com man ded in C anada.
       The rascally Brook W atson then set out for London in great haste, expecting
the rew ard of h is zeal; bu t the m inistr y received h im (as I have been sin ce
i n fo r m e d ) r a t h er c o o ly ; f o r t h e m i n o r i t y i n P a rl i a m en t t o o k a dv a n t ag e , a r gu i n g
that the op position o f Am erica to Great-Britain, w as not a rebellion : If it is (say
they), wh y do y ou not execute Col. Allen, according to law? but the majority
a r g u ed , t h at I o u g h t to b e ex e cu t e d, a n d t h a t th e o p po s it i o n w a s r e al l y a r e be l li o n ;
bu t th at p ol icy ob lig ed t hem no t to do i t, i nasm uch as th e C on gre ss had th en m ost
prisoners in their power; so that my being sent to England, for the purpose of
being executed, and necessity restrainin g them, was rath er a soil on their laws and
authority, and they consequently disapproved of my being sent thither. But I
never had heard the least hint of those debates (in Parliament) or of the work ing
of their policy , ‘till some tim e after I left England.
       Con sequently the reader will readily conceive I was anxious about my
preservation (know ing that I was in the power of a haughty and cruel nation,
considered as such). Therefore the first proposition which I determined in my
o w n m i n d w a s , t ha t h u m a n i ty a n d m o r a l su a si o n w o u l d n o t b e co n s u lt e d i n t h e
determining of my fate: And those that daily came in great numbers, out of
curiosity to see me, both gentle and simple un ited in this, that I wou ld be hanged.
A gentleman from Am erica, by the nam e of Temple (and who w as friendly to
me), just w hispered me in the ear, and tol d me, th at bets were laid in Londo n, that
I would be executed; he likewise privately gave me a guinea, but durst say but
littl e to m e.
       Ho wever, agreeable to my first negative proposition, that moral virtue wo uld
not influence my destiny, I had recourse to stratagem, w hich I was in hopes would
move in the circle of their polity. I requested of the comm ander of the castle the
privilege of writing to Con gress, who , after consulting with an officer that lived in
town, of a superior rank, permitted me to write. I wrote, in the fore part of the
letter, a short n arrative of m y ill treatm ent; but wi thal let them kno w, that
tho ugh I was tr eated as a crim inal i n Engla nd, an d cont inu ed in ir ons, to gether
with those taken with m e, yet it was in consequence of the orders which the
com man der of th e castle received from Gen. C arlto n; an d ther efore desired
Congress to desist from matters of retaliation, ‘till they should know the result of
t h e go v e r n m en t a t En g l an d , r es p ec t in g t h ei r t r ea t m e n t t o w a r d s m e , a n d t h e
prisoners with m e, and govern themselves accordingly, w ith a particular request,
that if retaliation should be found necessary, that it might be exercised not
according to the smallness of my character in America, but in proportion to the
im por tance o f the cause for w hich I suffered. — Th at is, accor ding t o m y present
recoll ection , the su bstance o f the lett er subscri bed T o t h e i l l u s t r i o u s C o n t i n e n t a l
C o n g r e s s. This letter was written with a view that it should be sent to the ministry
at London, rather than to Congress, with a design to intimidate the haughty
English government, and screen my neck from the halter.
       Th e next day the officer (fro m w hom I obtain ed licence t o w rite) cam e to see
me, and fro w ned on me o n accou nt o f the im pud ence of th e letter (as h e phr ased
it), and further added, “Do you th ink that w e are fools in England, and would
send y our letter t o C ongr ess, wit h in struct ions to retali ate on our ow n peo ple? I
have sent y our letter to Lord N orth .” —Th is gave me in w ard satisfaction (th ough
I carefully concealed it w ith a p retend ed resentm ent), for I found I had com e
Yank ee over him, and that the letter had gone to the identical person I designed it
for. N or do I kn ow (to this day ) but that i t had the desired effect, though I have
not heard a ny thin g of the let ter since.
       My personal treatm ent by Lieut. H amilt on, w ho com man ded the castle, was
very generous. He sent me every day a fine breakfast and dinner from his own
table, and a bottle of good wine. Another aged gentleman, whose name I cannot
recollect, sent me a good supper: But there was no distinction in public support
between me and the privates; we all lodged on a sort of Dutch bunks, in one
com mo n apar tm ent, an d w ere allo w ed straw . Th e priv ates w ere w ell supp lied
with fresh provision, and (with me) took effectual measures to rid ourselves of
lice.

[A ll e n i s m a d e t o r e a l i z e t h a t h e a n d h i s m e n f a c e t h e v e r y r e a l t h r e a t o f e x e c u t i o n .
Fo l l o w i n g a r e h i s r u m i n a t i o n s o n t h e m a t t e r :]

      . . . I now clearly recollect that my mind w as so resolved, that I would not
have t rem bled or shew n th e least fear, as I was sensib le it cou ld no t alter my fate,
nor do more than reproach my m emory, m ake my last act despicable to my
enemies, and eclipse the other actions of my life. For I reasoned thus, that nothing
w a s m o r e c o m m o n t h a n fo r m e n t o di e , w i t h t h e ir f ri e n ds r ou n d t h em , w e e p i n g
and lamenting over them, but not able to help them which was in reality not
different in the consequence of it from such a death as I was apprehensive of. And
as death was the natural consequence of animal life, to which the laws of nature
subject mank ind, to b e timor ous and un easy as to the event o r man ner of it, w as
inconsistent w ith the char acter of a philosopher or soldier. T he cause I was
eng aged in , I ev er v iew ed w or th y haz ard in g m y life for , n or w as I (at th e m ost
critical moments of trouble) sorry that I engaged in it; and as to the world of
spir its, th ou gh I k new no th in g of t he m ode or m ann er o f it, exp ecte d n ever th eless,
w hen I shou ld arr ive at su ch a w orld , that I should be as w ell trea ted as oth er
gentlemen of my merit.
       A m o n g t h e g re a t n u m b e r s o f pe o p le , w h o c am e t o t h e c a st l e t o se e t h e
prisoners, some gentlemen told me, that they had come fifty m iles on purpose to
see me. and desired to ask me a num ber of questions, and to make free with m e in
conversation. I gave for answer, th at I chose freedom in every sense of the word.
Then on e of them asked me what m y occupation in life had been? I answered him,
that in my y ounger days I had studied divinity, but was a conjurer by profession.
H e rep lie d, t hat I con ju red w ro ng a t th e ti m e th at I w as ta k en: and I w as ob lig ed
to own, that I mistook a figure at that time, but that I had conjured them out of
Ticonderoga. This was a place of great notoriety in England, so that the joke
seemed to go in my favour.
       It was a common thing for me to be taken out of close confinement, into a
spacious green in the castle, or rath er parade, w here num bers of gentlemen and
ladies were ready to see and hear me. I often entertained such audiences, with
haran gues on t he im practi cabili ty of Great -Britain ’s conq ueri ng th e (then) co loni es
of Am erica. At one of these times I asked a gentleman for a bow l of punch, and he
ordered his servant to bring it, which he did, and offered it me, but I refused to
take it from t he hand of his servant; he then gave it to me w ith his ow n hand,
refusing to drink with m e in consequence of my being a state criminal: H owever, I
took the pun ch and dran k it all dow n at one drau ght, and h anded the gentlem an
the bowl. This made the spectators as well as myself merry.
       I expatiated on American freedom: This gained the resentment of a young
beardless gentleman of the comp any , wh o gave himself very great airs, and replied,
that he “kn ew th e Am ericans very well, and w as certain that they could no t bear
the smell of powder.” I replied, that I accepted it as a challenge, and was ready to
convin ce him o n the spot, th at an A merican could bear th e smell of pow der: at
w hich he answ ered th at he sho uld n ot pu t him self on a par t w ith m e. I then
demanded of him to treat the character of the Am ericans with due respect: He
answered th at I was an Irishman ; but I assured him , that I w as a f u l l b lo o d e d
Y a n k e e, and in fine, bantered him so much, that he left me in possession of the
g r o u n d, a n d t h e la u g h w e n t a g ai n st h i m . T w o c l er g y m e n c a m e t o se e m e , a n d
inasm uch as th ey behav ed w ith ci vilit y , I retur ned th em t he sam e: W e discour sed
on several parts of moral philosophy and Christianity; and they seemed to be
surprised, that I should be acquainted with such topics, or that I should
und erstand a syl logism or regu lar m ood o f argum entati on. I am appr ehensiv e my
Canadian dress contributed not a little to the surprize, and excitement of
curiosity : To see a gentleman in England, regularly dressed and well beh aved,
wou ld be no sight at all; but such a rebel, as they w ere pleased to call me, it
probably was never before seen in England.

[A l le n i s m o v e d a g a i n —a n d o n ce ag ai n (h e i ns i s ts) th e acti o n i s abs o lute ly co ntrar y to
i n t e r n a t i o n a l m i l i t a r y l a w . T h i s t i m e h e i s t a ke n a b o a r d t h e B r i t i s h m a n - o f - w a r
(c o m m a n d e d b y a m a n t h a t Al l e n l a b e ls ar b i t r a r y a n d t y r a n n i c a l ) w h i c h w i l l r e tu r n
Al l e n a n d h i s m e n t o N o r t h Am e r i c a , s ti l l pr i s o n e r s.]

     . . . Prior to this I had tak en cold, by wh ich I was in an i ll state of health, and
did no t say mu ch to t he officer; b ut stay ed ther e that n ight, consul ted m y poli cy ,
and found I was in an evil case, that a Captain of a man of war w as more arbitrary
than a King, a s he coul d view his terr itor y w ith a l ook of his ey e, and a m ovem ent
of his finger comm anded obedience. — I felt my self more desponding th an I had
done at any time before; for I concluded it to be a governmental scheme, to do
that clandesti nely , w hich poli cy forbid to be do ne un der sancti on o f publ ic justice
and law .
        H o w e v er , t w o d a y s a ft e r , I sh a v ed a n d c l ea n se d m y s el f a s w e l l a s I co u l d , a n d
w ent on deck: Th e C aptain spok e to m e in a gr eat rage, an d said, “Did I not or der
yo u not to com e on deck?” I answered him, that at the same time he said, “That, it
w as the pla ce for gent lem en to w alk :” Th at I w as Co l. A llen, but had n ot been
properly introduced to him. H e replied, “G–d damn y ou, Sir, be careful not to
w alk the sam e side of the deck that I do .” Th is gave m e encou ragem ent, an d ever
after th at I w alk ed in t he m anner he had directed , except w hen h e (at certain tim es
afterwards) ordered me off in a passion, and then would directly afterwards go on
again, tell ing hi m to comm and hi s slaves, that I was a gentlem an, and had a righ t
to walk th e deck; y et when he expressly ordered me off, I obeyed, not out of
obedi ence to h im , but to set an ex amp le to h is ship’s crew , w ho o ugh t to o bey
him. —
        . . . The reader will doubtless recollect the seven guineas I received at the cove
of Cork: T hese enabled me to purchase of the purser what I wanted, had not the
C aptain strictly forbid it, th ough I m ade sundry application s to him for that
purpose; but his answer to me, when I was sick, was, that it was no matter how
soo n I w as dea d, a nd th at h e w as no w ay s anx io us t o p reser ve t he l iv es of r ebel s,
but wished them all dead; and indeed that was the language of most of the ship’s
crew. I expostulated not only with the Captain but with other gentlemen on
board, on the unreasonableness of such usage; inferring, that inasmuch as the
gover nm ent in Englan d did n ot pr oceed again st me as a capi tal offender , they
shou ld no t; for t hat th ey w ere by no m eans emp ow ered by any auth orit y , eith er
civil or military, to do so: for the English government had acquitted me by
sending me back a prisoner of w ar to A merica, an d that th ey shou ld treat m e as
such. I further drew an inference of impolicy on them, provided they should, by
hard usage, destroy m y life, inasmuch as I might, if living, redeem one of their
officers; but the Captain replied, that he needed no directions of mine how to
t r e at a r eb e l ; t h a t th e B ri t i sh w o u l d c o n qu e r t h e A m e r i c a n r e b el s, h a n g t h e
Con gress, and such as promoted the rebellion (me in particular), and retake their
own prisoners, so that my life was of no consequence in the scale of their policy. I
gave hi m for answ er, th at if they stay ed ‘til l they conqu ered A mer ica, befor e they
hanged me, I sh o u l d d ie o f o ld a g e, a n d d e si r e d t h a t ‘t i l l s u ch a n ev e n t to o k p l a ce . h e
w oul d at least all ow me t o pu rchase of th e pur ser, for m y ow n m oney , such
articles as I greatly needed; but he would n ot permit it, and w hen I reminded him
of the gen erou s and civi l usage th at thei r pr isoner s in capti vity in A mer ica m et
with, he said that it was not owing to their goodness, but to their timidity; for,
said he, th ey exp ect t o b e con qu ere d, a nd th ere for e dar e no t m isu se ou r p ri son ers,
and in fact this w as the language of the British officers ‘till Gen Bu rgoy ne w as
taken (happy event), and not only of the officers, but of the whole British army. I
appeal to all my brother prisoners, that have been with the British in the southern
department, for a confirmation of what I have advanced on this subject.

[After the v oy age ac ross the Pacific , the m an-of-w ar do cks in Halifax, wh ere Allen and
his m en are im prison ed in a cram ped m akeshift jail cell.]

    . . . I h a d n o w b u t th i r t ee n w i t h m e o f t h o se t h at w e r e ta k e n i n C a n ad a , a n d
remained in gaol (with me) in Halifax, who in addition to those that were
imprisoned before, made our numb er about thirty -four, w ho w ere all locked up in
one co mm on la rge ro om , w itho ut r egard to rank , educat ion, or an y oth er
accomplishm ent, w here w e continu ed from th e setting to the rising sun ; and as
sundry of them were infected with the gaol and other distempers, the furniture of
this spacio us roo m co nsisted m ost pri ncipa lly of excrem ent tu bs. W e petiti oned
for a rem oval o f the sick into the h ospital s, but w ere deni ed. W e rem onstr ated
against the ungenerous usage of being confined with th e privates, as being
contr ary to th e law s and custo ms of n ation s, and par ticul arly ungr ateful in them ,
in consequence of the gentlemen-like usage which the British imprisoned officers
m e t w i t h i n A m e r i ca ; an d t h u s w e w e a r i ed o u r se l v es , p e t it i o n i n g a n d
remo nstrating, bu t to no p urpo se at all; for Gen. M assey , wh o comm anded at
H ali fax, w as as in flex ib le as t he D evi l h im self . . . .
        . . . A doctor visited the sick, and did the best (as I suppose) he could for
them , to no ap parent pu rpose. I grew w eaker and w eaker, as did the rest. Several
of them cou ld not h elp them selves. At last I reasoned in my ow n m ind, that raw
onion w ould be good: I made use of it, and found imm ediate relief by it, as did the
s ic k i n g en e r al , p ar t i cu l a r ly S e r g ea n t M o o r e, w h o i t r ec o v er e d al m o s t f r om t h e
shades; though I had met with a little revival, still I found the malignant hand of
Britain had greatly reduced my constitution with stroke upon stroke. Esquire
Lov el and m y self, used every argum ent an d entr eaty that co uld b e w ell con ceived
of, in order to obtain gent lemen-like u sage, to no pur pose. I then w rote Gener al
M a s se y a s s ev e r e a l et t e r a s I p os si b l y c o u l d, w i t h m y f r i e n d L o v e l’ s as si st a n ce : T h e
contents of it was to give the British, as a nation, and him as an individual, their
true character. This roused the rascal, for he could not bear to see his and the
nation’s deformity in that transparent letter, which I sent him; he therefore put
hi m self i n a g rea t r age a bo ut it, and shew ed t he l ett er t o a n um ber of Br iti sh
officers, particularly to Capt. Sm ith of the Lark frigate, who instead of joining
wi th him in disapprob ation, com mended th e spirit of it; upo n w hich Gen eral
Massey said to him do y ou take the part of a rebel against me? Capt. Smith
answered, that he rather spoke his sentiments, and there was a dissension in
opinion between them. Some officers took the part of the General, and others of
the Captain: This I was informed of by a gentleman who had it from C apt. Smith.
        In a few days after this the prisoners were ordered to go on board of a man of
war, wh ich was bound for New-York; but tw o of them w ere not able to go on
board, and were left at Halifax; one died, and the other recovered. This about the
12th of October [1776], and soon after we had got on board, the Captain sent for
me in p articular t o come o n the qu arter deck: I w ent, not kno wi ng that it w as
C a p t . Sm i t h , o r h i s s h ip a t t h a t t i m e , a n d ex p e ct e d t o m e et t h e s am e r i go r o u s
u s ag e I h a d co m m o n l y m e t w i t h , a n d p re p ar e d m y m i n d a cc o r di n g l y ; b u t w h e n I
came on deck, the Captain met me with his hand, welcomed me to his ship,
in vi ted m e to din e w ith hi m th at d ay , an d assu red m e th at I sh ou ld b e tr eat ed as a
gentleman, and that he had given orders, that I should be treated with respect by
the ship’s crew. This was so unexpected and sudden a transition, that it drew tears
from my eyes (which all the ill usage I had before met with, was not able to
produ ce), nor could I at first hardly speak, but soon recovered m y self, and
expressed my gratitude for so unexpected a favour: and let him k now , that I felt
anxiety of mind in reflecting that his situation and mine were such, that it was not
probable that it would ever be in my power to return the favour. Capt. Smith
r e p li e d, t h a t h e h ad n o r ew a r d i n v i ew , b u t o n l y t o t r ea t m e as a g e nt l em a n o u g h t
to be treated; he said this is a mutable world, and one gentleman never knows but
that it m ay b e in his pow er to help an other. Soo n after I found this to be th e same
C a p t . S m i th w h o t o o k m y p a r t ag a in s t G e n . M a ss ey ; b u t h e n ev e r m e n ti o n e d a n y
t h i n g o f it t o m e , a n d I t h o u g h t i t i m p o l it i c i n m e t o in t e r ro g a te h i m , as to a n y
disputes wh ich mi ght have arisen betw een him and the Gen eral on m y account, as
I was a prisoner, an d that it w as at his option to mak e free with m e on that
subject, if he pleased; and if he did not, I might take it for granted that it would be
unpleasing for me to query him about it, though I had a strong propensity to
converse with him on the subject.

[D u r i n g t h e v o y a g e f r o m H a l i f a x t o N e w Y o r k , o n e o f S m i t h ’ s p e t t y o f f i c e r s , a c e r t a i n
C a p t a i n B u r k , a p p r o a c h e s A l l e n a n d h i s f e l lo w p r i s o n e r s t o a s k f o r a s si s t a n c e i n
c a r r y i n g o u t a m u t i n y a g a i n s t Sm i t h .]

       . . . Captain Burk, w ith an under officer of the ship . . . proposed to kill Capt.
Smith and the pri ncipal officers of the frigate and take it; addin g that there w as
£35,000 sterling in the same. Capt. Burk likewise averred that a strong party out
of the ship’s crew, was in th e conspiracy , and urged m e and the gentlem en that
w e r e w i t h m e t o u s e o u r i n fl u e n ce w i t h t h e p r i v at e p ri so n e r s, t o ex e cu t e t h e
desi gn, and tak e th e shi p, w ith th e cash , in to on e of o ur ow n p or ts.
U pon w hich I replied, th at w e had been too w ell used an board to mu rder the
officers; that I could by n o means reconcile it to my conscience, and that in fact it
shou ld no t be don e; and w hile I w as yet speaki ng, m y friend L ovel co nfirm ed
wh at I had said, and further pointed out the ungratefulness of such an act; that it
did no t fall shor t of m urd er, and in fin e all th e gentlem en in the ber th, o pposed
C apt. Bu rk and h is colleagu e. But t hey strenu ously urged that t he con spiracy
would be found out, and that it would cost them their lives, provided they did not
execut e their design. I th en in terpo sed spirited ly , and p ut an end to furth er
arguments on the subject, and told them that they might depend upon it, upon
my honour, th at I would faithfully guard C apt. Smith’s life. If they should
attemp t the assault, I wou ld assist him (for they desired me to rem ain neut er), and
that the sam e honou r that gu arded C apt. Smi th’s life, wo uld also guard th eirs; and
it was agreed by those present not to reveal the conspiracy, to the intent that no
m a n s h ou l d b e p u t t o de a th , i n co n s eq u e n ce o f w h a t h a d be en p r o j ec t ed ; an d
C apt . Bu rk and hi s col leag ue w ent to stifl e th e m att er a m on g th eir associ ate s.

[I n c l u d e d i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e v o y a g e a r e m o m e n t s o f p h i l o s o p h i z i n g . T h e f o l l o w i n g
i s a r e p r e se n t a t i v e s a m p l e :]

        . . . It w as custom ary for a gua rd to attend the pr isoner s, wh ich w as often
changed. One was composed of Tories from C onnecticut, in the vicinity of
Fairfield and Green Farms. The sergeant’s name was Holt. They were very full of
their in vectives against the countr y , swaggered of their lo y alty to their k ing, and
exclaimed bitterly against the “cowardly Yank ees” (as they w ere pleased to term
them ), but finally contented th emselves with saying, t hat w hen the cou ntry was
overcome, they should be well rewarded for their loyalty , out of the estates of the
Wh igs, which would be confiscated. This I found to be the general language of
Tories, after I arrived from England on the Am erican coast. I heard sundry of
them relate, that the British Generals had engaged them an amp le reward for all
their losses, disappointments and expenditures, out of the forfeited rebels estates.—
T hi s lan gu age ea rl y tau ght m e w hat to do w ith T or ies’ estat es, as fa r as m y
i n fl u e n ce ca n g o. F o r it i s r e al l y a g am e o f h a z ar d b et w e e n W h i g an d T o r y : t h e
W hi gs m ust in evi tab ly hav e lo st al l, i n co nseq uen ce of t he a bi lit ies o f th e T or ies,
and their good friends the British; and it is no mor e than right the Tories should
run the same risque, in consequence of the abilities of the Wh igs . . . .

[Thi s is th e a cc ou n t o f Alle n ’s arr iv al a t New Yo rk, an d o f th e e v en ts w hi ch fo llo w ed . It
also in cl ud es a de scr ip tio n of th e b eh av io r o f o n e o f th e m ost n ot or io us o f al l Br iti sh
m i l i ta r y c o m m a n d e r s , Si r W i l l i am H o w e .]

       . . . Som e of the last d ay s of No vem ber, t he pr isoner s wer e landed a t N ew -
York , and I was admitted to parole w ith the other o fficers, viz. Procter, H ow land,
and Taylor. T he privates were put into the filthy churches in New-York, w ith the
distressed prisoners that were taken at Fort W ashingon; and the second night,
Sergeant Roger M oore (who w as bold and enterprising) found m eans to make his
escape with every of the remaining prisoners that were taken with me, except
three who w ere soon after exchanged: So that out of thirty -one prisoners, who
w ent w ith m e the ro und exhi bited i n th ese sheets, tw o on ly died w ith t he enem y ,
and three only exchanged; one of them died after he came within our lines; all the
rest at differen t tim es, made t heir escap e from the en emy .
       . . . I nextly invite the reader to a retrospective sight and consideration of the
d o l ef u l s ce n e o f in h u m a n i t y e x er c i se d b y G e n er a l Si r W i l l i am H o w e , a n d t h e
army under his command, towards the prisoners taken on Long-Island, on the
27th day of August, 1776; sundry of whom were in an inhuman and barbarous
man ner, m urdered after they had surrender ed their arm s: Particularly a General
O del (of W oodfall ) of the m iliti a, w ho w as hack ed to pi eces wit h cut lasses (when
alive) by the light-horsemen, and a Captain Fellows, of the Continental army,
wh o was thrust through w ith a bayon et, of which wo und he died instantly.
       S u n d r y o t h er s w e r e h a n g ed u p b y t h e n ec k ‘ t i ll t h ey w e r e d e ad ; fi v e on t h e
limb of a white oak tree, and without any reason assigned (except that they w ere
fightin g in defence o f the on ly blessing w orth preservi ng): A nd in deed tho se wh o
had the misfortune to fall into their hands at Fort Washington, in the month of
November following, met with but very little better usage, except that they w ere
reserved from immediate death to famish and die with hunger; in fine the word
r e b el a p pl i ed t o an y v a n q u i sh e d pe r so n s , w i t h o u t r e ga r d to r a n k , w h o w e r e in t h e
conti nent al service, o n th e 27th o f Au gust aforesaid , w as thou ght (by the en emy )
sufficient to sanctify w hatever cruelties they w ere pleased to inflict, death itself
not excepted . . . .
       The private soldiers who were brought to New -York, were crowded into
chur ches, and env iron ed w ith slavish H essian guards, a peop le of a strange
language. w ho w ere sent to Am erica for no oth er design but cru elty and
desolation; and at others, by m erciless Britons, whose mode of communicating
ideas being intelligible in this country, served only to tantalize and insult the
helpl ess and perish ing: b ut ab ove all the h ellish del ight a nd tr ium ph o f the T ories
over them , as they w ere dy ing by hun dreds: This w as too mu ch for me to bear as
a spectator ; for I saw the T ories exu ltin g over the dead bodi es of their m urd ered
country men. I have gone into the churches, and seen sundry of the prisoners in
the agonies of death, in con sequence of very h unger, an d others speechless and
near death, biting pieces of chips; others pleading for God’s sake, for something to
eat , an d at th e sam e ti m e shi ver in g w ith th e col d. H ol lo w gro ans sa lu ted m y ear s,
and despair seemed to be imprinted on every of their countenances. The filth in
these churches (in consequence of the fluxes) was almost beyond description. The
flo or s w ere cov ere d w ith exc rem ent s. I ha ve ca refu lly sou ght to dir ect m y step s so
as to avoid it, but could not. They w ould beg for God’s sake for one copper, or
mo rsel of bread . I have seen in one o f these chur ches seven dead at the sam e tim e,
ly in g am on g th e ex cre m ent s of th eir bo die s.
       It w as a co m m on pr act ice w ith th e en em y , to con vey th e dea d fro m th ese
filthy places, in carts, to be slight ly bur ied, an d I have seen w hole ga ngs of T ories
make derision, and exulting over the dead, saying, there goes another load of
damned rebels. I have observed the British soldiers to be full of their blackguard
jokes, and vau nting on those occasions, but they appeared to m e less malign ant
th an T or ies.
       The provision dealt out to the prisoners was by no m eans sufficient for the
support of life: It was deficient in quantity , and much m ore so in quality. T he
prisoners often presented m e wit h a sample of their bread, w hich I certify w as
damaged to that degree, that it was loathsome and unfit to be eaten, and I am bold
to ave r i t (as m y op in io n), th at i t h ad b een con dem ned , an d w as of t he v ery w or st
sort. I have seen and b een fed u pon dam aged br ead (in the co urse o f my capti vity ),
and ob served th e qual ity of such br ead as has been co ndem ned by the en emy ,
am on g w hi ch w as ve ry lit tle so effec tu all y spo ile d as w hat w as dea lt o ut to th ese
prisoners.—Their allowance of meat (as they told m e) was quite trifling, and of the
basest sort. I never saw any of it. but w as informed (bad as it w as) it was
swallow ed almost as quick as they got hold of it. . . .
       . . . Th e integrity of these suffering prison ers is hardly credible. M any
hu nd red s, I am con fide nt , su bm itt ed t o de ath , ra th er t han enl ist i n t he B ri tish
service, wh ich (I am inform ed) they most generally wer e pressed to do. I was
astoni shed at th e resolu tion of the tw o bro ther s particu larly : it seem s that th ey
could not be stimulated to such exertions of heroism from ambition, as they w ere
but obscur e soldiers; str ong i ndeed m ust th e inter nal p rin ciple o f virtu e be, w hich
supported th em to b rave death, and o ne of them w ent thro ugh th e operation , as
did m any hun dred ot hers. I readi ly grant that i nstances of pu blic v irtu e are no
excitement to the sordid and vicious, nor on the other hand, will all the barbarity
of Britain and Heshland awaken them to a sense of their duty to the public; but
these things will have their proper effect on the generous and brave. . . .
       M ean tim e m or tal ity rag ed t o su ch a n i nt ol era bl e deg ree am on g th e pr ison ers,
that the very school boys in the streets knew the mental design of it in some
measu res; at least th ey kn ew that t hey w ere starved to death . Som e poor w om en
contributed to their necessity, ‘till th eir children were almost stai,vpcj, ]rid all
per son s of co m m on un der stan din g k new th at t hey w ere dev ot ed t o t he c ru elest
and w or st of d eat hs.
       . . . In t he m ean tim e a C ol on el H uffec k er, of th e C on tin ent al A rm y (as h e
then repo rted), w as taken prison er, and bro ught to New -York , wh o gave out th at
the coun try was m ost univer sally subm itting to the English k ing’s autho rity , and
th at t her e w ou ld b e li ttl e or no m or e op po siti on to Gr eat -Brit ain : T hi s at fi rst
gave the officers a little shock, but in a few day s they recovered themselves; for
this Colonel H uffecker being a German, w as feasting with General DeHeister, his
countr y man , and from his conduct th ey w ere apprehensive th at he w as a knave; at
least he was esteemed so by most of the officers. It was nevertheless a day of
 trou ble. T he enem y blasph emed. Ou r lit tle arm y w as retreati ng in N ew -Jersey,
 a n d o u r y o u n g m e n m u r d e r ed b y h u n d r e ds in N e w Y o r k . T h e a rm y o f Br i t ai n a n d
 H eshland preva iled for a littl e season, as tho ugh it w as ordered by H eaven t o shew
 to the latest posterity , wh at the British w ould h ave done if they could, and w hat
t h e ge n er a l ca l am i t y m u s t h a v e b e en , i n co n s eq u e n ce o f t h e ir c o n qu e r i n g t h e
country, and to excite every h onest man to stand forth in the defence of liberty,
and to establish the independency of the United States of America forever.
        But this scene of adverse fortune did not discourage a Washington: The
illustrious American hero rem ained immov able. In liberty ’s cause he took up his
sword: Th is reflection was his support and consolation in the day of his
humiliation, w hen he retreated before the enemy , through New -Jersey into
Pen nsy lv ani a. T hei r t ri um ph on ly ro ut ed h is in dig nat io n, and th e im po rt ant cau se
of his country , which lay near his heart, moved him to cross the Delaware again,
and take ample satisfaction on his pursuers. No sooner had he circumvallated his
h a u g h ty f o e s a n d ap p e ar e d in t e r r i b l e a r r a y but the host of Heshland fell. This
taught America the intrinsic worth of perseverance, and the generous sons of
freedom flew t o th e standar d of thei r com mo n safeguard and defence; from w hich
time the arm of Am erican liberty hath prevailed.
        . . . U pon th e best calculation I have been able to m ake from personal
kn ow ledge, and the m any evidences I have collected in support o f the facts, I learn
that of the pr isoner s taken on L ong Island , For t W ashingt on, a nd som e few
others, at different tim es and places, about 2000 perished w ith hu nger, cold and
sickn ess (occasioned by the filt h of th eir pr isons) at N ew Yo rk , and a n um ber
mo re on their passage to th e conti nent al lin es; mo st of the resid ue w ho r eached
t h e ir f ri e n ds , h a v i n g r e ce i v ed t h ei r d ea t h w o u n d , co u l d n o t b e r es t or e d by t h e
assistance of phy sicians and friends: b ut li ke t heir b roth er pri soners, fell a sacri fice
to th e rel ent less an d sci ent ific bar bar ity of’ Bri tai n. I too k as m uch pai ns as m y
circumstances would admit of, to inform my self not only of matters of fact, but
lik ew ise of the ver y design an d aim s of Genera l H ow e and h is coun cil: T he latt er
of w hich I predicated on th e form er, and subm it it t o th e candid p ubl ic.
        And lastly, the aforesaid success of the Am erican arms, had a happy effect on
th e con tin ent al o fficer s, w ho w ere on par ol e at N ew Y or k : A nu m ber of u s
assembl ed (but not in a pub lic man ner), and w ith full bo wl s and glasses, drank
General Washington’s health, and were not unmindful of Congress and our
w or th y frie nd s on th e con tin ent , an d al m ost for got th at w e w ere pr ison ers.
        A few day s after this recreation, a British officer of rank and importance in
th eir arm y , (w ho se na m e I sha ll n ot m ent io n i n t hi s nar rat iv e, fo r cer tai n r easo ns,
though I have mentioned it to some of my close friends and confidants) sent for
me to h is lodgings, and told m e, “That faithfuln ess (thou gh in a w rong cause) had
nevertheless recommended me to General Sir William H owe, w ho was minded to
mak e me a C olon el of a regim ent of n ew levies (alias T ories) in the Br itish serv ice,
and proposed that I should go with h im and some other officers, to England, who
would embark for that purpose in a few days, and there be introduced to Lord
George Germaine, and probably to the King; and that previously I should be
clothed equal to such an introduction, and instead of paper rags, be paid in hard
guineas; after this I should embark with G eneral Burgoyn e, and assist in the
reduction of the countr y , wh ich infallibly wo uld be conq uered, and w hen that
shou ld be do ne, I shou ld hav e a large tr act of lan d, w heth er on the N ew -
Ham pshire grants, or in Connecticut, it would make no odds, as the country
wo uld be forfeited to the cro wn .” I then replied, “That if by faithfulness I had
recommended my self to General How e, I should be loth, by unfaithfulness, to
lose the General’s good opinions, besides that I viewed the offer of land to be
similar to that wh ich the devil offered Jesus Christ, To gi v e h im all th e ki n gd om s of
t h e w o r l d , i f h e w o u l d f a l l d o w n a n d w o r s h i p h i m ; w h e n a t th e sa m e t im e t h a t t h e
damned soul had not one foot of land upon earth.” This closed the conversation,
and th e gen tle m an t ur ned fro m m e w ith an a ir of di slik e, say in g, “T hat I w as a
bi got ”; u po n w hi ch I r eti red to m y lod gin gs.
       . . . The 25th day of A ugust I was apprehended, and under pretext of artful,
mean and pitiful pretences (that I had infringed on my parole), taken from a
tavern , w here th ere w ere m ore th an a do zen officers pr esent, an d in t he ver y place
where those officers and myself were directed to be quartered, put under a strong
guard, and taken to Now-York , where I expected to make my defence before the
comm anding officer; but contrary to m y expectations, and withou t the least solid
preten ce of justice or a trial , w as again enci rcled w ith a str ong gu ard w ith fix ed
b a y o n e t s, a n d c o n du c t ed t o t h e p r o v o st -g a o l i n a lo n e l y a p ar t m e n t , n e x t ab o v e th e
dungeon, and was denied all manner of subsistence either by purchase or
allow ance. T he second d ay I offered a guin ea for a m eal of vict uals, bu t w as denied
it; and th e third day I offered eight Spanish m illed dollars for a lik e favor, but w as
denied; and all that I could get out of the sergeant’s mou th, w as, “That by God he
wou ld obey his orders.”
       I now perceived my self to be again in substantial trouble. In this condition I
formed an oblique acquaintance with a C apt. Travis, of Virginia (who w as in the
dungeo n below me), th rou gh a litt le hole w hich w as cut w ith a pen -knife, thr ough
the floor of my apartm ent which com mun icated with the dungeon: it w as a small
crevice, t hro ugh w hich I could di scern bu t a very small part o f his face at once,
w hen h e plied i t to t he ho le: bu t from the di scovery of him in th e situati on w hich
we w ere both then in, I could not have know n him (which I found to be true by
an after acquaintan ce), I could n evertheless hold a conversation wi th him ; and
soon perceived him to be a gentleman of high spirits, who had a high sense of
honor, and felt as big as though he had been in a palace, and had treasures of
wr ath in store again st the British. In fine I was charm ed wit h the spirt o f the man;
he h ad b een nea r o r q ui te fo ur m on th s in th at d un geo n, w ith m ur der ers, th iev es,
and every species of criminals, and all for the sole crime of unshaken fidelity to his
country ; but his spirits were above dejections, and his mind unconqu erable. I
engaged to do him every service in my power; and in a few weeks afterwards, with
the united petitions of the officers in the provost, procured his dismission from
th e dar k m ansi on of fie nd s to t he a par tm ent s of h is pe tit io ner s.
       An d it came to p ass on the third day , at the going do wn of the sun, that I w as
presented with a piece of boiled pork, and some biscuit, which the sergeant gave
me t o un derstand w as my allow ance, an d I fed sweetly on th e same; b ut I in dulged
my appetite by degrees, and in a few days more w as taken from that apartment,
and condu cted to the next loft or story , wh ere there w as about tw enty continen tal
and some militia officers who had been taken and imprisoned there, besides some
private gentlemen who h ad been dragged from their own hom es to that filthy
place, by T ories. Several of every denomination mentioned died there, some
before, an d oth ers after I w as put t here.
Th e history of the proceedings relative to t he prov ost only , to w hich I w as
particular, wou ld swell a volume larger than this whole narrative! . . .

     . . . The British have made so extensive an improvement of the provost during
the present revolution ‘till of late, that a very short definition will be sufficient for
the dullest apprehensions. It may be w ith propriety called the British inquisition,
and calculated to support their oppressive measures and designs, by suppressing
the spirit of liberty; as also a place to confine the criminals, and most infamous
w r e t c h es o f t h e ir o w n a r m y , w h e r e m a n y g e n t l em e n o f t h e A m e r i ca n a rm y , a n d
citizens thereof, were promiscuously confined, with every species of criminals; but
they divided into different apartmen ts, and kept at as great a remove as
circumstances permitted, but it was nevertheless at the option of a villainous
sergeant wh o had the charge of the provost, to take any gentleman from their
roo m, and pu t them into the du ngeon , w hich w as often th e case. At tw o different
tim es I was tak en dow n stair s for that pur pose. by a file of soldier s wit h fixed
bayon ets . . . .
       . . . C unn ingham , their pr ovost m arshal, and Keef, his deputy , wer e as great
rascals as their army could boast of, except one Joshua Loring, an infamous Tory,
wh o was comm issary of prisoners, nor can any of these be supposed to be equally
crim inal w ith G en. Sir W m. H ow e and h is associates, w ho p rescribed and di rected
th e m ur der s and cru elt ies, w hi ch w ere by th em per pet rat ed. T hi s Lo ri ng i s a
m o n s t er ! --- T h e r e is n o t h i s l i k e in h u m a n s h ap e . H e ex h i b i t s a sm i l i n g
countenance, seems to wear a phiz of hum anity, bu t has been instrum entally
capable o f the m ost con sum mat e acts of w ick edness (wh ich w ere firstly proj ected
by an ab ando ned Br itish coun cil, cl oth ed w ith the au tho rit y of a H ow e),
m ur der in g pr em edi tat iv ely (in col d bl oo d) n ear or qu ite 2000 hel pl ess pr ison ers,
and that in the most clandestine, mean and shameful manner (at New -York). He is
the most mean spirited, cowardly, deceitful, and destructive animal in God’s
cre ati on bel ow ; an d le gio ns o f in fern al d evi ls, w ith all th eir tr em end ou s ho rr or s,
are impatiently r eady to receive How e and him, w ith all their detestable
accomplices, into the most exquisite agonies of the hottest region of hell fire.

                                a
[O n 4 Ju l y 1 7 7 7 — d a t e q u i t e d e l i b e r a t e l y c h o s e n —a “ P r o c l a m a t i o n ” f r o m G e n e r a l
J o h n B u r g o y n e w a s r e a d t o g a t h e r i n g s th r o u g h o u t t h e n e w n a t i o n , e s pe c i a l ly w h e r e
a u d i t o r s w e r e s y m p a t h e ti c t o t h e T o r y c a u se —o r w h e r e t h e r e w a s , a s i n t h e c a se o f Al l e n
a n d h i s f e ll o w s , a “c a p t i v e a u d i e n c e ” w h o s e m o r a l e m i g h t f u r t h er b e b r o k e n b y
B u r g o y n e ’ s w o r d s . Al l e n t r a n s c r i b e s t h e “P r o c l a m a t i o n , ” a p o r t i o n o f w h i c h f o l l o w s ; h e
t h e n d e s c r i b e s t h e r e a c t io n o f T o r i e s a n d R e b e l s t o i t s r e a d i n g . Fi n a l l y , b e f o r e
c o n c l u d i n g h i s e xp e r i e n c e s a s a B r i t is h c a p ti v e a n d d r a w i n g h i s n a r r a t i v e t o a c l o s e , h e
s u m m a r i z e s h i s o w n m u s i n g s on th e “ Pro c lam ati o n ,” i ts i m pli cati o n s , and i ts
ev en tu all y ir on ic hi sto ri ca l sta tu s.]

                    . . . Arbitrary imprisonment, confiscation of property, persecution
               and torture, unprecedented in the inquisitions of the Romish church, are
               among the palpable enormities that verify the affirmative [whether the
               present unnatural rebellion has not been made a foundation for the
               com pleatest sy stem o f ty rann y that ev er Go d in h is displeasur e, suffered
               for a ti m e to be ex erc ised ov er a fro w ard and stu bb or n ge ner ati on ]. T hese
               are in flic ted by assem bl ies an d co m m itt ees, w ho dar e to pr ofess
               themselves friends to liberty, upon the most quiet subjects, without
               distinction of age or sex, for the sole crime, often for the sole suspicion,
               of having adhered in principle to the government under which they w ere
               bor n, an d to w hich by every tie, div ine an d hu man , they ow e allegian ce.
               To consum mate these shocking proceedings, the profanation of religion is
               added to the most profligate prostitution of common reason; the
               consciences of men are set at nought; and multitudes are compelled not
               only to bear arm s, but a lso to sw ear subj ection to an usur patio n th ey
               abhor.
                  Anim ated by these considerations; at the head of troops in the full
            powers of health, discipline, and valor; determined to strike where
            necessary, and anxious to spare where possible, I by these presents invite
            and exho rt all persons, in all places where th e progress of this army may
            poin t,—and by the bl essing of God I wil l exten d it far,—to m ainta in such
            a conduct as may justify m e in prot ecting their lan ds, habitation s, and
            families. The intention of this address is to hold forth security, not
            depredation of the country .— . . .
      Gen. Burgoyne was still the toast, and the severities towards the prisoners
were in great measure increased or diminished, in proportion to the expectation of
conquest. His very ostentatious “Proclamation” was in the hand and mouth of
most of the soldiery, especially the Tories, and from it, their faith was raised to
assurance. — I wish my coun trym en in general could but have an idea of the
assumi ng ty rann y , and h augh ty , m alevol ent, an d insol ent beh avior of the en emy
at that time; and from thence discern the intolerable calamities which this country
have extricated themselves from by their public spiritedness and bravery.—The
down fall of Gen. Burgoy ne, & surrender of his whole arm y, dashed the aspiring
hopes and expectatio ns of the enemy , and brou ght low their im perious spirit o f an
opulent, puissant and haughty nation, and made the Tories bite the ground with
anguish, exalting the valour of the free-born sons of America, and raised their
f am e a n d th a t o f t h e ir b r a v e c o m m a n d er s to t h e cl o u d s, a n d i m m o r t a l i ze d G en .
Gates with laurels of eternal duration. —
      N o soon er had t he k now ledge of th is inter esting an d m ighty event r eached
His Most Christian Majesty, w ho in Europe shines with a superior l u s tr e in good
poli cy and ar ms, b ut th e illu striou s poten tate, au spiciou sly influ enced by H eaven
to promote the reciprocal interest and happiness of the ancient kingdom of
France, and the new and rising States of Am erica, passed the great and decisive
decree, that the Un ited States of Am erica, should be free and independent.—
      Vaunt no more Old-England! consider you are but an island! and that your
power has been continued longer than the exercise of your hu manity. O rder your
broken and vanquished battalions to retire from America, the scene of your
cru elt ies. Go ho m e an d re pen t in du st an d sack clo th for y ou r ag gra vat ed cr im es.
The cries of bereaved parents, widows, and orphans, reach the Heavens, and you
are abominated by every friend to America. Take you r friends the Tories with
y ou , an d be gon e, an d dr in k deep of th e cu p o f hu m ili ati on . M ak e pea ce w ith th e
princes of the house of Bourbon, for you are in no condition to wage war w ith
them . You r veteran soldiers are fallen in A merica, an d y our glo ry is departed. Be
quiet and pa y y our debts, especial ly for th e hire o f the H essians. Th ere is no o ther
w ay for y ou t o get in to cred it again , but by reform ation and pl ain h onesty , w hich
y ou hav e desp ised ; for y ou r p ow er i s by no m ean s suffi cien t to sup po rt y ou r
van ity . I ha ve h ad o pp or tu ni ty to see a gr eat deal of it , an d fel t it s sever e effect s,
and learned lessons of wisdom and policy , wh en I wor e yo ur heavy irons, and
bore your bitter revilings and reproaches. I have something of a smattering of
philosoph y , and un derstand hum an natu re in all its stages tolerably well; am
thoroughly acquainted with y our national crimes, and assure you that they not
only cry aloud for Heaven’s vengeance, but excite mankind to rise up against you.
Virtue, wisdom and policy, are in a national sense always connected with power,
or in other words, power is their offspring, and such power as is not directed by
virtue, wisdom and policy, never fails finally to destroy itself as yours has done.—
      It is so in the nature of things, and unfit that it should be otherwise; for if it
was not so, vanity, in justice, and oppression, might reign trium phant for ever. I
know you have individuals, who still retain their virtue, and consequently their
honor and hum anity. T hose I really pity, as they m ust more or less suffer in the
calamity , in w hich th e nation is plu nged headlong; b ut as a nation I hate and
d e sp i se y o u .
       M y a ff ec t io n s a r e F r e nc h i fi e d. — I gl o r y i n L o u is th e si x t ee n t h, t h e g en e r ou s
and po w erful al ly of these States: am fond of a con nectio n w ith so l earned, poli te,
courteou s, and comm ercial a nation , and am sure that I express the sentiments and
feelings of all t he frien ds to th e present R evolu tion . I begin t o learn the Fr ench
tongue, and recommend it to m y coun try men before Hebrew , Greek or Latin
(prov ided bu t on e of them only are to b e attend ed to), for the tr ade and co mm erce
of these States in futur e mu st inevi tably shift its chan nel fro m En gland t o Fra nce,
Spain , and P ortu gal; an d ther efore th e statesman , pol itician , and m erchan t, need
be acqu ainted w ith t heir sever al lang uages, par ticul arly the Fr ench, w hich is mu ch
in vogue in most parts of Europe. Nothing could have served so effectually to
illum inate, poli sh, and enrich t hese States as the present R evolutio n, as well as
preserve their liberty.— Mankind are naturally too national, even to the degree of
bigotry; and commercial intercourse with foreign nations has a great and necessary
tendency, to improve mank ind, and erase the superstition of the mind by
acquainting them that hum an nature, policy, and interest are the same in all
natio ns; and at the sam e tim e they are bar terin g com mo dities for t he con venien ce
and happiness of each nation, they may reciprocally exchange such part of their
customs and manners as may be beneficial, and learn to extend charity and good
will to th e whole w orld of mankin d! —
       I w as co nfi ned in th e pr ov ost gao l at N ew -Yo rk th e 26t h d ay of A ug ust
[1777], and continued there to the third day of May, 1778, when I was taken out
u n d e r gu a r d , a n d co n d u c te d to a sl o o p in t h e h ar b o u r a t N e w - Y o r k , i n w h i c h I
w as guarded to Stat en-Island, to G en. C amp bell’ s quart ers, w here I w as admi tted
to eat and drin k w ith the G en. and several other of the British field officers, and
treated for two days in a polite manner. As I was drinking wine with them one
evening, I made an observation on my transition from the provost-criminals to
the company of gentlemen, adding that I was the same man still, and should give
the Br itish cr edit by him (speakin g to th e Gener al), for tw o day s’ good u sage.
       The next day C ol. Archibald Cam pbell (who was exchanged for me) came to
this place (conducted by Mr. Boudinot, the then American commissary of
prisoners), and saluted me in a handsome manner, saying that he never was more
glad to see any gent leman i n his life, and I gave him t o under stand that I w as
equal ly glad to see him and w as appreh ensive th at it w as from the sam e mo tive.
The gentlemen present laughed at the fancy, and conjectured that sweet liberty
w as the foun datio n of ou r gladn ess; so we to ok a glass of wi ne tog ether, and th en I
w as acco m pan ied by Gen . C am pb ell , M r. Bou din ot , an d a n um ber of Br iti sh
officers, to the boat, which was ready to sail to Elizabethtown-Point. Mean w hile
I entertained them with a rehearsal of the cruelties exercised towards our
prisoners; and assured them that I should use my influence, that their prisoners
sho ul d be tr eat ed i n fu tu re i n t he sa m e m ann er, as th ey sho ul d in fut ur e tr eat ou rs;
that I thought it was right in such extreme cases, that their example should be
applied to their own prisoners; then we exchanged the decent ceremonies of
complim ent, and parted.
      I sailed to the Point aforesaid, and in a transport of joy, landed on liberty
gro un d, a nd as I adv anc ed i nt o t he c ou nt ry , re ceiv ed t he a ccla m ati on s of a g rat eful
peopl e.
      I soon fell into company with Col. Shelden (of the light-horse), who in a
poli te and o bligi ng m anner , accom pani ed me t o head-qu arters, V alley Forg e,
wh ere I was courteously received by Gen. W ashington, with peculiar m arks of his
approbation and esteem; and was introduced to most of the generals and many of
the principal officers of the army, w ho treated me with r espect, and after having
offered Gen. W ashington m y further service, in b ehalf of my countr y , as soon as
m y h e a lt h ( w h i ch w a s v er y m u c h i m p a i r e d) w o u l d ad m i t , an d a ft e r h av i n g
obtained his license to return home, I took my leave of his excellency, and set out
from Vall ey Forg e w ith G en. G ates and h is suit for F ish-Kill, w here w e arriv ed
the latter end of May. In this tour the General was pleased to treat me with the
familiarity of a companion, and generosity of a lord, and to him I made known
some striking circumstances wh ich occurred in the course of my captivity.—
      l t h en b i d fa r ew e l l t o m y n o b l e G en e r al a n d t h e ge n t le m e n o f h i s r e t in u e , an d
set out fo r Benn ingto n, th e capital of the G reen-M oun tain B oy s, wh ere I arriv ed
th e eve ni ng o f th e last day of M ay to th eir gre at su rp ri se; fo r I w as to th em as on e
rose from the dead and now both their joy and mine w as complete. Three cannon
were fired that evening, and next morning Col. Herrick gave orders, and 14 more
were discharged, welcoming me to Bennington, my usual place of abode; 13 for
the United States, and one for you ng Vermont.
      After this ceremony w as ended we moved the flowing bowl, and rural felicity,
sweetened with friendship, glowed in each countenance, and with loyal healths to
the rising States of Am erica, concluded th at evening, and wi th the same r oy al
spirit , I now conclu de my N arrat ive.

								
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