Benjamin Lincoln was an American army officer. He served as a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Lincoln is notable for being involved in three major surrenders during the war: his participation in the Battles of Saratoga contributed to John Burgoyne's surrender of a British army, he oversaw the largest American surrender of the war at the 1780 Siege of Charleston, and, as George Washington's second in command, he formally accepted the British surrender at Yorktown. After the war Lincoln was active in politics in his native Massachusetts, running several times for lieutenant governor but only winning one term in that office, he served from 1781 to 1783 as the United States Secretary of War. In 1787, Lincoln led a militia army in the suppression of Shays' Rebellion, was a strong supporter of the new United States Constitution, he was for many of his years the politically influential customs collector of the Port of Boston. Benjamin Lincoln was born on January 24, 1733, in Hingham, Province of Massachusetts Bay, the sixth child and first son of Colonel Benjamin Lincoln and his second wife Elizabeth Thaxter Lincoln.
Lincoln's ancestors were among those who first settled in Hingham, beginning with Thomas Lincoln'the cooper,', among several Lincolns who settled in Hingham when it was part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Lincoln's father, one of the wealthiest men in Suffolk County, served as a member of the governor's council from 1753 until 1770, occupied many other civic posts before his death in 1771. Lincoln's maternal grandfather, Col. Samuel Thaxter, one of the most prominent and influential citizens in Hingham, became Colonel in a regiment and one of those commissioned to settle the boundary between Massachusetts and Rhode Island in 1719. In his early life, Lincoln worked on the family farm, attended the local school, he followed his father into government, becoming town constable at 21, in 1755 he joined the 3rd Regiment of the Suffolk County militia as an adjutant. In 1756, at the age of 23, Lincoln married Mary Cushing, daughter of Elijah Cushing of Pembroke, whose ancestors were among the founders of Hingham.
They had eleven children. In 1757, he was elected the town clerk of a post he held for twenty years, he continued to be active in the militia during the French and Indian War, but saw no action, was promoted to major by the end of the conflict in 1763. Lincoln was elected a Hingham town selectman in a post to which he held for six years. During this tenure political opposition rose in the province to Parliamentary tax measures, polarizing the political landscape of the colony. Lincoln sided with the opposition becoming a leading force among Hingham's Patriots. In 1770, in a list of resolutions passed by the inhabitants of Hingham, Lincoln outlined the measures urged by residents towards the non-importation of British goods, he condemned the Boston massacre. In 1772, Lincoln was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 3rd Regiment of the Suffolk militia; that same year he won election as a representative of the town to the provincial assembly. With the arrival of General Thomas Gage as governor of the colony in 1774, the provincial assembly was dissolved, but reformed itself into the Massachusetts Provincial Congress.
Lincoln continued to win election to this body, was placed on committees overseeing militia organization and supply, a position that came to be of utmost importance when the American Revolutionary War broke out with the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775. He was appointed to the congress' committee of safety, was elected to its executive council, which exercised executive authority over the province outside besieged Boston, he was involved in ensuring that supplies of all sorts reached the nascent Continental Army outside Boston, procuring supplies from blankets to gunpowder. In January 1776, Lincoln was promoted to major general of the Massachusetts militia, overseeing the coastal defenses of the state. After the British evacuated Boston, he and Continental Army General Artemas Ward oversaw attempts to improve the state's coastal fortifications, he was ordered to hold the state's militia brigades in readiness in case the British returned. In May 1776 he directed the state forces that drove the last Royal Navy ships from Boston Harbor.
Despite his lack of combat experience, Lincoln began lobbying state representatives to the Continental Congress for a Continental Army officers commission, anticipating that the aging and ill General Ward might soon step down. The idea was well received, with one representative writing that Lincoln was "a good man for a Brigadier General" and "a man of abilities" though he had not "had much experience". While a Continental commission was not forthcoming, Lincoln was placed in command of a brigade of militia the state sent to join General George Washington at New York Town in September 1776; when Lincoln reached southwestern Connecticut, Washington first ordered him to prepare an expedition across Long Island Sound to raid British positions on Long Island. The expedition was aborted when Washington began to retreat from New York after the Battle of Long Island in August 1776, Lincoln was ordered to bring two regiments to join Washington's army as it retreated northward from New York Town. Lincoln's troops secured the Continental retreat to White Plains, New York, were in the main Continental formation during the subsequent Battle of White Plains in October 1776.
Valley Forge functioned as the third of eight military encampments for the Continental Army's main body, commanded by General George Washington. In September 1777, British forces had captured the American capital of Philadelphia. After failing to retake the city, Washington led his 12,000-man army into winter quarters at Valley Forge, located 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia, they remained there for six months, from December 19, 1777 to June 19, 1778. At Valley Forge, the Continentals struggled to manage a disastrous supply crisis while retraining and reorganizing their units. About 1,700 to 2,000 soldiers died due to disease exacerbated by malnutrition. Today, Valley Forge National Historical Park preserves and protects over 3,500 acres of the original encampment site. In 1777, Valley Forge consisted of a small proto-industrial community located at the juncture of the Valley Creek and the Schuylkill River. In 1742, Quaker industrialists established the Mount Joy Iron Forge. Thanks to capital improvements made by John Potts and his family over the following decades, the small community expanded the ironworks, established mills, constructed new dwellings for residents.
Surrounding the valley was a rich farmland, where Welsh-Quaker farmers grew wheat, hay, Indian corn, among other crops, raised livestock including cattle, sheep and barnyard fowl. Settlers of German and Swedish descent lived nearby. In the summer of 1777 the Continental Army's quartermaster general, Thomas Mifflin, decided to station a portion of his army's supplies in outbuildings around the forges, due to its variety of structures and secluded location between two prominent hills. Fearing such a concentration of military supplies would undoubtedly attract the British, the forge-ironmaster, William Dewees Jr. expressed concerns about the army's proposal. Mifflin established a magazine at Valley Forge anyway. After the British landing at Head of Elk, Maryland on August 25, 1777, the British Army maneuvered out of the Chesapeake basin and towards Valley Forge. Following the Battle of Brandywine and the abortive Battle of the Clouds, on September 18 several hundred soldiers under General Wilhelm von Knyphausen raided the supply magazine at Valley Forge.
Despite the best efforts of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton and Captain Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, the two Continental army officers selected to evacuate the supplies from Valley Forge, Crown soldiers captured supplies, destroyed others, burned down the forges and other buildings. Political and environmental factors all influenced the Continental Army's decision to establish their encampment near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in the winter of 1777-1778. Washington conferred with his officers to select the site that would be most advantageous to his army. Washington first asked his generals where to quarter the Continental Army in the winter of 1777–1778 on October 29, 1777. In addition to suggestions from his officers, Washington had to contend with the recommendations of politicians. Pennsylvania state legislators and the Continental Congress expected the Continental Army to select an encampment site that could protect the countryside around Philadelphia; some members of the Continental Congress believed that the army might be able to launch a winter campaign.
Interested parties suggested other sites for an encampment, including Lancaster and Wilmington, Delaware. However, following the inconclusive Battle of Whitemarsh from December 5–8, increasing numbers of officers and politicians began to appreciate the need to defend the greater Philadelphia region from British incursions. Considering these questions, an encampment at Valley Forge had notable advantages. Valley Forge's high terrain meant, its location allowed for soldiers to be detached to protect the countryside. Proximity to the Schuylkill River could facilitate supply movements down the river. Wide, open areas provided space for training. On December 19, Washington conducted his 12,000-man army to Valley Forge to establish the encampment; the encampment was situated along the high, flat ground east of Mount Joy and south of the Schuylkill River. In addition to a concentration of soldiers at Valley Forge, Washington ordered nearly 2,000 soldiers to encamp at Wilmington, Delaware, he posted the army's mounted troops at Trenton, New Jersey, additional outposts at Downingtown and Radnor, among other places.
In the two winter encampments prior to Valley Forge, the Continental army had sheltered themselves in a combination of tents, constructed huts, civilian barns and other buildings. Valley Forge would mark the first time Washington ordered the army concentrated into a more permanent post where they constructed their own shelters; this strategic shift encouraged a whole new host of problems for the American Patriots. The Valley Forge encampment became the Continental Army's first large-scale construction of living quarters. While no accurate account exists for the exact number of log huts built, experts estimate a range between 1,300-1,600 structures. Brigadier General Louis Lebègue de Presle Duportail selected grounds for the brigade encampments and planned the defenses. Afterwards, brigadier generals appointed officers from each regiment to mark out the precise spot for every officer and all enlisted men's huts. Despite commanders' attempts at standardization, the huts varied in terms of size and construction techniques.
Military historian John B. B. Trussell Jr. writes that many squads "dug their floors two feet below ground level," to reduce
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus. It is an odd-toed ungulate mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae; the horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature, into the large, single-toed animal of today. Humans began domesticating horses around 4000 BC, their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BC. Horses in the subspecies caballus are domesticated, although some domesticated populations live in the wild as feral horses; these feral populations are not true wild horses, as this term is used to describe horses that have never been domesticated, such as the endangered Przewalski's horse, a separate subspecies, the only remaining true wild horse. There is an extensive, specialized vocabulary used to describe equine-related concepts, covering everything from anatomy to life stages, colors, breeds and behavior. Horses' anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well-developed sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight response.
Related to this need to flee from predators in the wild is an unusual trait: horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down, with younger horses tending to sleep more than adults. Female horses, called mares, carry their young for 11 months, a young horse, called a foal, can stand and run shortly following birth. Most domesticated horses begin training in harness between the ages of two and four, they reach full adult development by age five, have an average lifespan of between 25 and 30 years. Horse breeds are loosely divided into three categories based on general temperament: spirited "hot bloods" with speed and endurance. There are more than 300 breeds of horse in the world today, developed for many different uses. Horses and humans interact in a wide variety of sport competitions and non-competitive recreational pursuits, as well as in working activities such as police work, agriculture and therapy. Horses were used in warfare, from which a wide variety of riding and driving techniques developed, using many different styles of equipment and methods of control.
Many products are derived from horses, including meat, hide, hair and pharmaceuticals extracted from the urine of pregnant mares. Humans provide domesticated horses with food and shelter, as well as attention from specialists such as veterinarians and farriers. Specific terms and specialized language are used to describe equine anatomy, different life stages and breeds. Depending on breed and environment, the modern domestic horse has a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years. Uncommonly, a few animals live into their 40s and beyond; the oldest verifiable record was "Old Billy", a 19th-century horse that lived to the age of 62. In modern times, Sugar Puff, listed in Guinness World Records as the world's oldest living pony, died in 2007 at age 56. Regardless of a horse or pony's actual birth date, for most competition purposes a year is added to its age each January 1 of each year in the Northern Hemisphere and each August 1 in the Southern Hemisphere; the exception is in endurance riding, where the minimum age to compete is based on the animal's actual calendar age.
The following terminology is used to describe horses of various ages: Foal: A foal of either sex less than one year old. A nursing foal is sometimes called a suckling and a foal, weaned is called a weanling. Most domesticated foals are weaned at five to seven months of age, although foals can be weaned at four months with no adverse physical effects. Yearling: A horse of either sex, between one and two years old. Colt: A male horse under the age of four. A common terminology error is to call any young horse a "colt", when the term only refers to young male horses. Filly: A female horse under the age of four. Mare: A female horse four years old and older. Stallion: A non-castrated male horse four years old and older; the term "horse" is sometimes used colloquially to refer to a stallion. Gelding: A castrated male horse of any age. In horse racing, these definitions may differ: For example, in the British Isles, Thoroughbred horse racing defines colts and fillies as less than five years old. However, Australian Thoroughbred racing defines fillies as less than four years old.
The height of horses is measured at the highest point of the withers. This point is used because it is a stable point of the anatomy, unlike the head or neck, which move up and down in relation to the body of the horse. In English-speaking countries, the height of horses is stated in units of hands and inches: one hand is equal to 4 inches; the height is expressed as the number of full hands, followed by a point the number of additional inches, ending with the abbreviation "h" or "hh". Thus, a horse described; the size of horses varies by breed, but is influenced by nutrition. Light riding horses range in height from 14 to 16 hands and can weigh from 380 to 550 kilograms. Larger riding horses start at about 15.2 hands and are as tall as 17 hands, weighing from 500 to 600 kilograms. Heavy or draft horses are at least 16 hands (64 inches, 16
Gray or grey is a coat color of horses characterized by progressive silvering of the colored hairs of the coat. Most gray horses have black dark eyes, their adult hair coat is dappled, or white intermingled with hairs of other colors. Gray horses may be born any base color, depending on other color genes present. White hairs begin to appear at or shortly after birth and become progressively lighter as the horse ages. Graying can occur at different rates—very on one horse and slowly on another. Gray horses appear in many breeds, though the color is most seen in breeds descended from Arabian ancestors; some breeds that have large numbers of gray-colored horses include the Thoroughbred, the Arabian, the American Quarter Horse, the Percheron, the Andalusian, the Welsh pony, the most famous of all gray horse breeds, the Lipizzaner. People who are unfamiliar with horses may refer to gray horses as "white". However, a gray horse whose hair coat is "white" will still have black skin and dark eyes; this is.
White horses have pink skin and sometimes have blue eyes. Young horses with hair coats consisting of a mixture of colored and gray or white hairs are sometimes confused with roan; some horses that carry dilution genes may be confused with white or gray. While gray is called a coat color by breed registries, genetically it may be more correct to call it a depigmentation pattern, it is a dominant allele, thus a horse needs only one copy of the gray allele, that is, heterozygous, to be gray in color. A homozygous gray horse, one carrying two gray alleles, will always produce gray foals. Gray is common in many breeds. Today, about one horse in 10 carries the mutation for graying with age; the vast majority of Lipizzaners are gray. Many breeds of French draft horse such as the Percheron and Boulonnais are gray as well. Gray is found among Welsh Ponies and American Quarter Horses. All of these breeds have common ancestry in the Arabian horse. In particular, all gray Thoroughbreds descend from a horse named Alcock's Arabian, a gray born in 1700.
The gray coat color makes up about 3% of Thoroughbreds. Gray occurs in spotted horses such as pintos or Appaloosas, but its effects wash out the contrast of the markings of these patterns. For this reason, some color breed registries cancel registration of gray horses. A gray foal may be born any color. However, chestnut, or black base colors are most seen; as the horse matures, white hairs begin to replace the birth color. White hairs are first seen by the muzzle and flanks at birth, by the age of one year. Over time, white hairs replace the birth color and the horse changes to either a rose gray and pepper, or dapple gray; as the horse ages, the coat continues to lighten to a pure fleabitten gray hair coat. Thus, the many variations of gray coloring in horses are intermediate steps that a young horse takes while graying out from a birth color to a hair coat, "white." Different breeds, individuals within each breed, take differing amounts of time to gray out. Thus, graying cannot be used to approximate the age of a horse except in the broadest of terms: a young horse will never have a white coat, while a horse in its teens is grayed out.
One must be careful not to confuse the small amount of gray hairs that may appear on some older horses in their late teens or twenties, which do not reflect the gray gene and never cause a complete graying of the horse. This change in hair color can be confusing. Many new horse owners, not understanding the workings of the gray gene, are disappointed to discover that their dapple gray horse turns white a few years later. Other times, people traveling with gray horses who have a pure white hair coat have encountered problems with non-horse-oriented officials such as police officers or border guards who are unclear about a horse who has papers saying it is "gray" when the horse in front of them appears white. To further complicate matters, the skin and eyes may be other colors if influenced by other factors such as white markings, certain white spotting patterns or dilution genes. An intermediate stage in young horses that are in the early stages of turning gray is sometimes called "salt and pepper," "iron gray," or "steel gray."
This coloring occurs when white and black hairs are intermingled on the body seen in horses that are born black or dark bay. This is the most common intermediate form of gray. "Rose gray" is a term used to describe this intermediate stage for a horse born a chestnut or lighter bay color. While these colors are "graying out," both red and white hairs are mixed on the body, thus rose gray horses have a slight pinkish tinge to their graying coat. These horses are sometimes confused with roans, but a gray continues to lighten with age, while a roan does not. Roaning causes fewer white hairs on the legs and head, giving the horse the appearance of dark points, not true of gray. "Dapple gray" is an intermediate stage not seen on all grays, but considered attractive. It consists of a dark hair coat with "dapples," which are dark rings with lighter hairs on the inside of the ring, scattered over the entire body of the animal, it is another possible intermediate step in the graying process of the horse.
Dappled grays should not be confused with the slight dappling "bloom" seen on horse
Battle of Germantown
The Battle of Germantown was a major engagement in the Philadelphia campaign of the American Revolutionary War. It was fought on October 4, 1777, at Germantown, between the British Army led by Sir William Howe, the American Continental Army, with the 2nd Canadian Regiment, under George Washington. After defeating the Continental Army at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, the Battle of Paoli on September 20, Howe outmaneuvered Washington, seizing Philadelphia, the capital of the United States, on September 26. Howe left a garrison of some 3,000 troops in Philadelphia, while moving the bulk of his force to Germantown an outlying community to the city. Learning of the division, Washington determined to engage the British, his plan called for four separate columns to converge on the British position at Germantown. The two flanking columns were composed of 3,000 militia, while the centre-left, under Nathanael Greene, the centre-right under John Sullivan, the reserve under Lord Stirling were made up of regular troops.
The ambition behind the plan was to surprise and destroy the British force, much in the same way as Washington had surprised and decisively defeated the Hessians at Trenton. In Germantown, Howe had the 40th Foot spread across his front as pickets. In the main camp, Wilhelm von Knyphausen commanded the British left, while Howe himself led the British right. A heavy fog caused a great deal of confusion among the approaching Americans. After a sharp contest, Sullivan's column routed the British pickets. Unseen in the fog, around 120 men of the British 40th Foot barricaded the Chew Mansion; when the American reserve moved forward, Washington made the erroneous decision to launch repeated assaults on the position, all of which failed with heavy casualties. Penetrating several hundred yards beyond the mansion, Sullivan's wing became dispirited, running low on ammunition and hearing cannon fire behind them; as they withdrew, Anthony Wayne's division collided with part of Greene's late-arriving wing in the fog.
Mistaking each other for the enemy, they opened fire, both units retreated. Meanwhile, Greene's left-centre column threw back the British right. With Sullivan's column repulsed, the British left outflanked Greene's column; the two militia columns had only succeeded in diverting the attention of the British, had made no progress before they withdrew. Despite the defeat, France impressed by the American success at Saratoga, decided to lend greater aid to the Americans. Howe did not vigorously pursue the defeated Americans, instead turning his attention to clearing the Delaware River of obstacles at Red Bank and Fort Mifflin. After unsuccessfully attempting to draw Washington into combat at White Marsh, Howe withdrew to Philadelphia. Washington, his army intact, withdrew to Valley Forge, where he re-trained his forces; the Philadelphia campaign had begun badly for the Americans. Washington's Continental Army suffered a string of defeats at Cooch's Bridge and Paoli. After inflicting a stinging defeat on Anthony Wayne's division at Paoli on September 20, the British army marched north to Valley Forge west to the French Creek bridge.
At this point, Howe's right wing faced Fatland Ford on the Schuylkill River near Valley Forge while the left wing was opposite Gordon's Ford at French Creek and the left center faced Richardson's Ford. The American army defended all these Schuylkill crossings, plus one farther downstream at Swede's Ford near Norristown. On September 22, a small British force under Sir William Erskine feinted north and another force mounted a demonstration at Gordon's Ford. Howe's moves convinced Washington that the Britisher was trying to seize his supply base at Reading and turn his right flank. Washington moved north, they crossed the Schuylkill at Fatland and Richardson's Fords without opposition, after a brief rest, headed downstream toward Swede's Ford where the American militia abandoned three cannons. Charles Cornwallis subsequently seized Philadelphia for the British on September 26, dealing a blow to the revolutionary cause. Howe left a garrison of 3,462 men to defend the city, moving the bulk of his force north, some 9,728 men, to the outlying community of Germantown.
With the campaigning season drawing to a close, Howe determined to locate and destroy the main American army. Howe established his headquarters at the former country home of James Logan. Despite having suffered successive defeats, Washington saw an opportunity to entrap and decisively defeat the divided British army, he resolved to attack the Germantown garrison, as the last effort of the year before entering winter quarters. His plan called for a ambitious assault. Washington's hope was that the British would be surprised and overwhelmed much how the Hessians were at Trenton. Germantown was a hamlet of stone houses, spreading from what is now known as Mount Airy on the north, to what is now Market Square in the south. Extending southwest from Market Square was Schoolhouse Lane, running 1.5 miles to the point where Wissahickon Creek emptied from a steep gorge, into the Schuylkill River. Howe had established his main camp along the high ground of Church lanes; the western wing of the camp, under the command of Hessian general Wilhelm von Knyphausen, had a picket of two Jäger battalions, positioned on the high ground above the mouth of the Wissahickon to the far left.
A brigade of Hessians, two brigades of British regulars camped along Market Square. East of the Square, two British brigades under the command
George Washington was an American political leader, military general and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government, he has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation. Washington received his initial military training and command with the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he was appointed Commanding General of the nation's Continental Army. Washington allied with France, in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. Once victory for the United States was in hand in 1783, Washington resigned his commission. Washington played a key role in the adoption and ratification of the Constitution and was elected president by the Electoral College in the first two elections.
He implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty, he set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title "President of the United States", his Farewell Address is regarded as a pre-eminent statement on republicanism. Washington utilized slave labor and trading African American slaves, but he became troubled with the institution of slavery and freed them in his 1799 will, he was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, he urged tolerance for all religions in his roles as general and president. Upon his death, he was eulogized as "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." He has been memorialized by monuments, geographical locations and currency, many scholars and polls rank him among the top American presidents. Washington's great-grandfather John Washington immigrated in 1656 from Sulgrave, England to the British Colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.
George Washington was born February 22, 1732 at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County and was the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. His father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had three additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler; the family moved to Little Hunting Creek to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia. When Augustine died in 1743, Washington inherited ten slaves. Washington did not have the formal education that his older brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but he did learn mathematics and surveying, he was talented in draftsmanship and map-making. By early adulthood, he was writing with "considerable force" and "precision."Washington visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax, which fueled ambition for the lifestyle of the planter aristocracy. Fairfax became Washington's patron and surrogate father, Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax's Shenandoah Valley property.
He received a surveyor's license the following year from the College of Mary. He resigned from the job in 1750 and had bought 1,500 acres in the Valley, he owned 2,315 acres by 1752. In 1751, Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping that the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him but left his face scarred. Lawrence died in 1752, Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow. Lawrence's service as adjutant general of the Virginia militia inspired Washington to seek a commission, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie appointed him as a major in December 1752 and as commander of one of the four militia districts; the British and French were competing for control of the Ohio Valley at the time, the British building forts along the Ohio River and the French doing between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed.
Dinwiddie appointed him to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy and to gather intelligence about the French forces. Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison and other Iroquois chiefs at Logstown to secure their promise of support against the French, his party reached the Ohio River in November, they were intercepted by a French patrol and escorted to Fort Le Boeuf where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days' delay, he gave Washington's party food and extra winter clothing for the trip back to Virginia. Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days in difficult winter conditions and achieved a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and London. In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia R
The Newburgh Conspiracy was what appeared to be a planned military coup by the Continental Army in March 1783, when the American Revolutionary War was at its end. The conspiracy may have been instigated by members in the Congress of the Confederation, who circulated an anonymous letter in the army camp at Newburgh, New York, on March 10, 1783. Soldiers were unhappy that they had not been paid for some time and that pensions, promised remained unfunded; the letter suggested. The letter was said to have been written by Major John Armstrong, aide to General Horatio Gates, although the authorship of its text and underlying ideas is a subject of historical debate. Commander-in-Chief George Washington stopped any serious talk of rebellion when he appealed on March 15 in an emotional address to his officers asking them to support the supremacy of Congress. Not long afterward, Congress approved a compromise agreement it had rejected: it funded some of the pay arrears, granted soldiers five years of full pay instead of a lifetime pension of half pay.
The motivations of numerous actors in these events are the subject of debate. Some historians allege that serious consideration was given within the army to some sort of coup d'état, while others dispute the notion; the exact motivations of congressmen involved in communications with army officers implicated in the events are debated. After the British loss at the Siege of Yorktown in October 1781, the American Revolutionary War died down in North America, peace talks began between British and American diplomats; the American Continental Army, based at Newburgh, New York, monitored British-occupied New York City. With the end of the war and dissolution of the Continental Army approaching, soldiers who had long been unpaid feared that the Confederation Congress would not meet previous promises concerning back pay and pensions. Congress had in 1780 promised Continental officers a lifetime pension of half their pay when they were discharged. Financier Robert Morris had in early 1782 stopped army pay as a cost-saving measure, arguing that when the war ended the arrears would be made up.
Throughout 1782 these issues were a regular topic of debate in Congress and in the army camp at Newburgh, numerous memos and petitions by individual soldiers had failed to affect Congressional debate on the subject. A number of officers organized under the leadership of General Henry Knox and drafted a memorandum to Congress. Signed by enough general officers that it could not be dismissed as the work of a few malcontents, the memo was delivered to Congress by a delegation consisting of General Alexander McDougall and Colonels John Brooks and Matthias Ogden in late December 1782, it expressed unhappiness over pay, months in arrears, concern over the possibility that the half pay pension would not be forthcoming. In the memo they offered to accept a lump sum payment instead of the lifetime half pay pension, it contained the vague threat that "any further experiments on their patience may have fatal effects." The seriousness of the situation was communicated to Congress by Secretary at War Benjamin Lincoln.
Congress was politically divided on the subject of finance. The treasury was empty, Congress lacked the power to compel the states to provide the necessary funds for meeting its obligations. An attempt to amend the Articles of Confederation to allow Congress to impose an import tariff known as an "impost" was decisively defeated by the states in November 1782, some states had enacted legislation forbidding their representatives from supporting any sort of lifetime pension. Members of the "nationalist" faction in Congress who had supported the tax proposal believed that the army funding issues could be used as a lever to gain for Congress the ability to raise its own revenue; the army delegation first met with other nationalists. The politicians convinced McDougall that it was imperative for the army to remain cooperative while they sought funding; the hope they expressed was to tie the army's demands to those of the government's other creditors to force opposing Congressmen to act. On January 6 Congress established a committee to address the army's memo.
It first met with Robert Morris, who stated that there were no funds to meet the army's demands, that loans for government operations would require evidence of a revenue stream. When it met with McDougall on January 13, the general painted a stark picture of the discontent at Newburgh; when Congress met on January 22 to debate the committee's report, Robert Morris shocked the body by tendering his resignation, heightening tension. The Congressional leadership moved to keep Morris's resignation secret. Debate on a funding scheme turned in part on the issue of the pension. Twice the nationalists urged the body to adopt a commuted pension scheme, but it was rejected both times. After the second rejection on February 4, a plot to further raise tensions began to take shape. Four days Colonel Brooks was dispatched back to Newburgh with instructions to gain the army leadership's agreement with the proposed nationalist plan; the army leadership was urged by Gouverneur Morris to use its influence with state legislatures to secure their approval for needed changes.
On February 12, McDougall sent a letter to General Knox suggesting that the army might have to mutiny by refusing to disband unt