Revolutionary New England, 1691-1776

By James Truslow Adams | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII
CIVIL WAR

Patriots Secure Control of Colonial Governments -- English Plunder the Coast -- Character of Patriot Troops -- Washington's Difficult Position -- Evacuation of Boston by British -- Thomas Paine and "Common Sense" -- Radicals Shift Their Ground -- The Radical Spirit -- Declaration of Independence -- The Loyalists -- Civil War

EVEN though the colonists might disrelish the title of rebels there was no doubt that they were in open rebellion. The Congress had published to the world the reasons for taking up arms, and throughout America there was the stir and bustle of military operations. Everywhere the royal governors came into conflict with the popular party. In Connecticut and Rhode Island the governors were elected by the people, and in the former there was no trouble as Governor Trumbull was of the patriot side. In Rhode Island Governor Wanton, who had been successively elected for seven terms, had protested against raising an army and had refused to sign the commissions for the officers, and on that account he was formally suspended from office by the assembly in May 1775.1 In Massachusetts Gage shut up in Boston had ceased to have any control over the rest of the colony, and having been recalled to England sailed on October 10th, being succeeded in military command by General Howe. In New Hampshire the formerly popular John Wentworth had been forced to take refuge in the castle in Portsmouth harbor in June, and although when he sailed for Boston in August he fully intended to return, he was not able to do so and never saw the colony again.2 In all four provinces, therefore, the victory of the patriots in securing control of the organs of government, either

____________________
1
R. I. Col. Records, vol. VII, pp. 325 f., 334 f., 355, 372, 392f.
2
Mayo, John Wentworth, pp. 156 ff.

-433-

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Revolutionary New England, 1691-1776
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface V
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Chapter I Introductory 3
  • Chapter II the Machinery of Empire 18
  • Chapter III the Dawn of the Century 30
  • Chapter IV the Policy of Unified Control 46
  • Chapter V Attempts at CoÖperation, Imperial and Colonial 60
  • Chapter VI the Rising Tide 84
  • Chapter VII Diverging Interests 111
  • Chapter VIII Expanding Energies 138
  • Chapter IX the Great Divide 169
  • Chapter X the Wrong Turning 200
  • Chapter XI the Fate of a Continent 221
  • Chapter XII War and Business 250
  • Chapter XIII the Price of Peace 278
  • Chapter XIV the Insoluble Problem 304
  • Chapter XV Darkening Skies 338
  • Chapter XVI the Issue Defined 369
  • Chapter XVII the Defeat of the Conservatives 406
  • Chapter XVIII Civil War 433
  • Index 453
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