Page:American History Told by Contemporaries, v2.djvu/608

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580
[1779
French Alliance

a letter desiring Lt. Gov. Hamilton in order to save the impending storm that hung over his head immediately to surrender up the Garrison, Fort, Stores &c &c and at his peril not to destroy any one article now in the said Garrison or to hurt any house &c belonging to the Inhabitants for if he did by Heaven, he might expect no mercy — his answer was Gov. H. begs leave to acquaint Col. C. that he and his Garrison were not disposed to be awed into any action unworthy of British subjects — I then ordered out parties to attack the Fort and the firing began very smartly on both sides one of my men thro' a bravery known but to Americans walking carlesly up the main street was slightly wounded over the left eye but no ways dangerous — About 12 o'clock the firing from the Fort suspended a Flag coming out I order'd my people to stop firing till further orders. I soon perceived it was Capt. Helm who after salutations inform'd me that the purport of his commission was, that Lt. Gov. Hamilton was willing to surrender up the Fort and Garrison provided Col. Clarke would grant him honourable terms and that he beg'd Col. Clarke to come into the Fort to confer with him, first I desired Capt. Helm not to give any intelligence of G. H's strength &c being on his Parole, second my answer to Gov. H was that I should not agree to any other terms than that Lt Gov. H should immediately surrender at discretion and allowed him half an hour to consider thereof —as to entering the Fort my offrs and men would not allow of it, for it was with difficulty I restrained them from storming the Garrison — I dismissed Capt. Helm, with my answer, at the time allowed Capt. Helm came back with Lieut. Gov. H's second proposals which were Lt Govr Hamilton proposes to Col. Clarke a truce for three days, during which time there shall no defensive works be carried on in the Garrison provided Col. Clarke shall observe the like cessation on his part he further proposes that whatever may pass between them two and any person mutually agreed upon to be present shall remain secret untill matters be finally determined. As he wishes that whatever the result of this conference may be — the Honor and credit of each may be considered — so he wishes he may confer with Col. Clarke as soon as may be as Col. Clarke makes a difficulty of coming into the Fort Lt Gov. H will speak to him before the Gate

24 Feby 1779 (signed) H. H.

This moment received intelligence that a party of Indians were coming up from the falls with Prisrs or Scalps, which party was sent out by G. Hamilton for that purpose, my people were so enraged they immedi-