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seven ships of war, to which he immediately gave BOOK chace, and in a few hours the whole were taken. This success was, however, only the prelude to another and much greater.
On the 16th of January, off Cape St. Vincent, Victory of he descried a Spanish squadron, consisting of four- Rodney teen sail of the line, which he directly bore down
Spanish upon, and, notwithstanding the storminess incident fleet off to the season, taking the lee-gage, in order to prevent the enemy from retreating into their own ports; at four in the afternoon the action began, and in little more than half an hour, the San Domingo, one of the Spanish ships blew up with a dreadful explosion. The engagement nevertheless continued with unabating fury in the midst of darkness and confusion, and before morning the Phænix of 30 guns, Don Juan de Langara, the Spanish admiral's own ship; the Monarca, the Princessa, the Diligentè of 70 guns each, struck their colors; the St. Julien and St. Eugenio were also captured, but through the violence of the tempest were afterwards driven on shore and lost. The others escaped in a very shattered condition ; and the whole squadron, as to any immediate capability of service, might be considered as annihilated. Though the force of admiral Rodney was greatly superior, his skill and courage were fully apparent in the mode of conducting the attack, which the violence of the storm, the darkness of the night, and the vicinity of a
Book lee-shore every where encircled with shoals and
breakers, rendered very dangerous. The admiral's own ship, the Sandwich, and several others, were in extreme hazard of being lost on the shoals of St. Lucar, and did not get into deep water till the next day.
After effecting the primary object of his commission, the relief of Gibraltar, sir George Rodney proceeded to the West Indies, sending home his prizes under the care of admiral Digby, who on his passage captured the Prothée, a French ship of 64 guns, and part of her convoy of merchant ships.
No sooner had admiral Rodney taken upon him ments in the command in the West Indies, than every posIndies be- sible exertion was made to bring on a general acGeorge
tion, which count de Guichen, who commanded the Rodney French fleet, cautiously avoided; but intelligence Cuchen being received that in the night of the 15th of
April, 1780, they had put to sea with their whole force, admiral Rodney, who was stationed at St. Lucie, immediately followed, and early on the morning of the 17th came in sight of the enemy; at noon the admiral, being to windward, made the signal for a general and close engagement, setting himself a noble example of courage to the fleet by bearing down upon the French admiral, whom he fought with unremitting fury, attempting in vain, by a manœuvre long unpractised, to break
the enemy's line of battle, till M. de Guichen bore BOOK away, leaving the Sandwich, which, from causes not easily or clearly ascertainable, was with the exception of a few ships very ill supported in this action, a mere wreck upon the water. Other partial and indecisive encounters also took place, in which little inferiority of skill or courage was discernible on the
of the French officers or seamen. During these transactions in the West Indies, West FloDon Galvez, the Spanish governor of Louisiana, quered by
the Spanireduced the British settlements on the Missisippi, ards. and had made great progress in the conquest of the province of West Florida, though Pensacola held out to the next year.
As a very inadequate counterbalance to these Fortress of successes, an expedition had been undertaken from tured by the
English Jamaica to the Spanish main ; and the fortress of Omoa, which contained a considerable booty in specie and merchandise, was taken by storm, but soon afterwards evacuated. A very heavy misfor-East and tune in the autumn of this year took place, in the fleets taken
by the Spaentire capture of the outward-bound East and West niards. India fleets, in the Bay of Biscay, by the Spaniards—a loss which had no parallel in the naval and commercial history of Great Britain, since the famous capture of the Smyrna fieet in the reign of king William. The war in the northern provinces of America Military
operations seemed throughout the whole of the summer ofin Aunerica.
BOOK 1780 to be almost at a stand. On the 10th of XIX.
July, a large body of French troops commanded by the comte de Rochambeau, under convoy of a considerable fleet, arrived at Rhode Island. This the comté assured the States was only the vanguard of a much greater force destined by the king, his sovereign, to their aid. A scheme was soon after formed by sir Henry Clinton and admiral Arbuthnot, of a combined attack against the French and Americans at Rhode Island ; and a large proportion of the forces stationed at New York were embarked for that purpose : but general Washington, by a rapid movement passing the North River, and advancing to New York, compelled them to desist from their purpose.
. Philanthro- It affords a grateful relief from the sensations pic act pase sed by the which oppress the mind in listening to the tale of of Pennsyl- human folly and wretchedness, to revert to an act
of the most exalted philanthropy passed about this period by the legislature of Pennsylvania to the fol. lowing purport :
“ When we contemplate our abhorrence of the condition to which the arms and tyranny of Great Britain were exerted to reduce us—when we look back on the variety of dangers to which we have been exposed, and the deliverances wrought when hope and fortitude have be. come unequal to the contest, --we conceive it to be our duty, and rejoice that it is in our power, to extend a portion of that freedoin to others which
hath been extended to us,-to add one more step BOOK to universal civilization, by removing, as much as possible, the sorrows of those who have lived in undeserved bondage. Weaned by a long course of experience from those narrow prejudices and partialities we had imbibed, we conceive ourselves, at this particular period, called upon, by the blessings we have received, to manifest the sincerity of our profession. In justice, therefore, to persons who, having no prospect before them whereon they may rest their sorrows and their hopes, have no reasonable inducement to render that service to society which otherwise they might; and also in grateful commemoration of our own happy deliverance from that state of UNCONDITIONAL SUBMISSION to which we were doomed by the tyranny of Britain ; Be it ENACTED, That no child born hereafter shall be a SLAVE ; that Negro and Mulatto children shall be servants only till twenty-eight years of all slaves shall be registered before the first of November next ; that they shall be tried like other inhabitants; and that no Negroes or Mulattoes, other than infants, shall be bound for longer than seven years.”—Such were the sentiments, and such the conduct, of a people once attached to Britain by every civil and social tie by which either dignity or advantage could be derived or durability be hoped -but whom Britain, in the hour of her insolence and