George Washington Volume I

George Washington Volume I

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Excerpt: his opponents. In Congress, too, they became more active, and John Jay said that there was in that body a party bitterly hostile to Washington. We know little of the members of that faction now, for they never took the trouble to refer to the matter in after years, and did everything that silence could do to have it all forgotten. But the party existed none the less, and significant letters have come down to us, one of them written by Lovell, and two anonymous, addressed respectively to Patrick Henry and to Laurens, then president, which show a bitter and vindictive spirit, and breathe but one purpose. The same thought is constantly reiterated, that with a good general the northern army had won a great victory, and that the main army, if commanded in the same way, would do likewise. The plan was simple and coherent. The cabal wished to drive Washington out of power and replace him with Gates. With this purpose they wrote to Henry and Laurens; with this purpose they made Conway inspector-general. When they turned from intrigue to action, however, they began to fail. One of their pet schemes was the conquest of Canada, and with this object Lafayette was sent to the lakes, only to find that no preparations had been made, because the originators of the idea were ignorant and inefficient. The expedition promptly collapsed and was abandoned, with much instruction in consequence to Congress and people. Under their control the commissariat also went hopelessly to pieces, and a committee of Congress proceeded to Valley Forge and found that in this direction, too, the new managers had grievously failed. Then the original Conway letter, uncovered so unceremoniously by Washington, kept returning to plague its author. Gates's correspondence went on all through the winter, and with every letter Gates floundered more and more, and Washington's replies grew more and more freezing and severe. Gates undertook to throw the blame on Wilkinson, who became more

Product details

  • Paperback | 108 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 6mm | 209g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236726243
  • 9781236726247