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The alterations, which took place at the last general meeting, have quieted the clamors, which in many of the States were rising to a great height.


That charity is all that remains of the original institution, none, who will be at the trouble of examining it, can deny.


I must beg the liberty, to suggest to Congress, an idea, which has been hinted to me, and which has affected my mind, very forcibly. That is, that, at the discharge of the men for the war, Congress should suffer those men, non-commissioned Officers and Soldiers, to take with them, as their own property, and as a gratuity, the Arms and Accoutrements they now hold.

This act would raise pleasing sensations in the minds of those worthy and faithful men, who, from their early engaging in the war at moderate bounties, and from their patient continuance under innumerable distresses, have not only deserved nobly of their country, but have obtained an honorable distinction over those, who, with shorter times, have gained large pecuniary rewards.

This, at a comparatively small expense, would be deemed an honorable testimonial from Congress, of

the regard they bear to those distinguished worthies, and the sense they have had of their sufferings, virtucs, and services, which have been so happily instrumental, towards the establishment and security of the rights, liberties, and independence of this rising empire.

These constant companions of their toils, preserved with sacred attention, would be handed down from the present possessors to their children, as HONORARY BADGES OF BRAVERY AND MILITARY MERIT; and would probably be brought forth, on some future occasion, with pride and exultation, to be improved with the same military ardor and emulation, in the hands of posterity, as they have been used by their forefathers, in the present establishment and foundation of our national independence.



I am persuaded, and as fully convinced as I am of any one fact that has happened, that our liberties must of necessity be hazarded, if not entirely lost, if their defence is left to any but a permanent Standing Army: I mean, one to exist during the war. 1776.

It becomes evident to me, that, as this contest is not likely to be the work of a day, as the war must be carried on systematically, (and to do it you must have good officers,) there are no other possible means

to obtain them, but by establishing an army upon a permanent footing, and giving the officers good pay.

This will induce gentlemen, and men of character, to engage; and, till the bulk of the officers is composed of such persons as are actuated by principles of honor and a spirit of enterprise, you have little to expect from them. They ought to have such allowances, as will enable them to live like, and support the character of, gentlemen, and not be driven, by a scanty pittance, to the low and dirty arts which many of them practise, to filch from the public more than the difference of pay would amount to, upon an ample allowance.

Besides, something is due to the man who puts his life in your hands, hazards his health, and forsakes the sweets of domestic enjoyment. Why a Captain, in the Continental Service, should receive no more than five shillings currency per day, for performing the same duties that an officer of the same rank in the British service receives ten shillings sterling for, I never could conceive; especially when the latter is provided with every necessary he requires, upon the best terms, and the former can scarce procure them, at any rate.

There is nothing that gives a man consequence, and renders him fit to command, like a support that renders him independent of every body but the State he serves.


Had we kept a permanent army on foot, the en

emy could have had nothing to hope for, and would, in all probability, have listened to terms, long since.



I most firmly believe, the independence of the United States never will be established, till there is an army on foot for the war; and that, if we are to rely on occasional or annual levies, we must sink under the expense, and ruin must follow.


The commonly received opinion, under proper limitations is certainly true, that Standing Armies are dangerous to the State.

The prejudices, in other countries, have only gone to them in time of peace; and these, from their not having, in general cases, any of the ties, the concerns, or interests, of citizens, or any other dependence than what flowed from their military employ; in short, from their being mercenary hirelings.

It is our policy, to be prejudiced against them, in time of war; though they are citizens, having all the ties and interests of citizens, and, in most cases, property totally unconnected with the military line.

If we would pursue a right system of policy, in my opinion, there should be none of these distinctions.

We should all, Congress and army, be considered as one people, embarked in one cause, in one interest ; acting on the same principle, and to the same end.


From long experience and the fullest conviction, I have been, and now am, decidedly in favor of a Permanent Force. But, knowing the jealousies which have been entertained on this head, (Heaven knows how unjustly, and the cause of which could never be apprehended, were a due regard had to our local and other circumstances, even if ambitious views could be supposed to exist,) and that our political helm was in another direction, I forbore to express my sentiments, for a time; but, at a moment when we are tottering on the brink of a precipice, silence would have been criminal.


To suppose, that this great Revolution can be accomplished by a temporary army, that this army will be subsisted by State supplies, and that taxation alone is adequate to our wants, is, in my opinion, absurd, and as unreasonable as to expect an inversion in the order of nature to accommodate itself to our views.

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