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might easily be missed in the dark, and the steep above, such as troops, even when unopposed, could not ascend without difficulty. Yet the plan, though bold and hazardous, was well adapted to the desperate situation of affairs, and was determined on.
To conceal their intention, the admiral retired several leagues up the river. During the evening, a strong detachment was put on board the boats, and moved silently down with the tide, to the place of landing, where they arrived an hour before day break. Wolfe leaped on shore, was followed by the troops, and all instantly began, with the assistance of shrubs and projecting rocks, to climb up the precipice. The guard was dispersed, and, by the break of day, the whole army gained the heights of Abraham, where the different corps were formed under their respective leaders.
Montcalm, at first, could not believe that the English had ascended the heights. When convinced of the fact, he comprehended the full advantage they had gained. He saw that a battle was inevitable, and prepared for it with promptness and courage. Leaving his camp at Montmorency, he advanced towards the English army, which was formed in order of battle to receive him.
The French advanced briskly. The English reserved their fire until the enemy were near, and then gave it with decisive effect. Early in the engagement, Wolfe was wounded in the wrist, but, preserving his composure, he continued to encourage his troops. Soon after, he received a shot in the groin. This painful wound he also concealed, placed himself at the head of the grenadiers, and
was leading them to charge, when he received a third and mortal wound.
Undismayed by the fall of their general, the English continued their exertions under Moncton, who, in a short time, was himself wounded, and the command devolved upon Townshend. About the same time, Montcalm received a mortal wound, and the second in command also fell. The left wing and centre of the French gave way. Part were driven into Quebec, and part over the river St. Charles.
On receiving his mortal wound, Wolfe was conveyed into the rear, where, careless about himself, he discovered, in the agonies of death, the most anxious solicitude concerning the fate of the day. From extreme faintness, he had reclined his head on the arm of an officer, but was soon aroused by the cry of, “they fly, they fly.” “Who fly?” exclaimed the dying hero. “The French,” answered his attendant. “Then,” said he, “I die contented,” and immediately expired. A death so glorious, and attended by circumstances so interesting, has seldom been recorded in history.
Five days after the battle, the city surrendered, and received an English garrison. The French concentrated their remaining forces at Montreal, and, early in the spring, made attempts to regain possession of Quebec. Unsuccessful in these, they returned to Montreal, towards which the whole British force in America, under the command of General Amherst, was approaching. This force was too strong to be resisted.
In September, 1760, that city surrendered, and soon after all the French posts in Canada fell into the power of the English.
In the other parts of the world, their arms were equally successful; and, at the commencement of 1763, a peace, highly advantageous to their interests, was concluded at Paris. By the treaty, France ceded to Great Britian all her northern settlements in America, which relieved the colonies from the continual dread of savage incursions.
In the late brilliant contest, England had made unprecedented exertions. At its close, she found that, though she had encircled her name with glory, and added extensive territories to her empire, she had increased in proportion the burdens of her subjects, having added three hundred and twenty millions of dollars to the amount of her debt. To find the means of defraying the annual charges of this debt, and her other increased expenditures, was the first and difficult task of her legislators.
Regard for their own interest and popularity impelled them to avoid, if possible, imposing the whole burden upon themselves and their fellow subjects at home; and their thoughts were turned
to the colonies, as the source whence alleviation and assistance might be derived. On their account, it was alleged, the contest had been waged; they would share the advantages of its glorious termination, and justice required that they should also defray a portion of the expences.
To adopt this expedient, the British ministry were the more naturally led by the opinion which all the European governments entertained of the relation between the mother country and her colonies. They were supposed to be dependent on her will; their inhabitants a distinct and subordinate class of subjects, and their interests entirely subservient to her aggrandizement and prosperity.
Acting upon these principles, Great Britain had, by her laws of trade and navigation, confined the commerce of the colonies almost wholly to herself. To encourage her own artizans, she had even, in some cases, prohibited the establishment of manufactories in America. These restrictions, while they increased her revenues and wealth, greatly diminished the profits of the trade of the colonies, and sensibly impeded their internal prosperity. They were most injurious to New England, where the sterility of the soil repelled the people from the pursuits of agriculture; there they were most frequently violated, and there the arbitrary mode of enforcing them by writs of assistance awakened the attention of a proud and jealous people to their natural rights; to their rights as English subjects, and to the rights granted and secured by their charters.
In the beginning of the year 1764, the British parliament enacted a law imposing duties upon certain articles of merchandise, to be paid in the colonial ports. Mr. Grenville, the prime minister, also proposed a resolution, “ that it would be proper to charge certain stamp duties on the colonies,” but postponed the consideration of that subject to a future session. As it was foreseen that the law would be disregarded, if extraordinary measures were not adopted to enforce it, provision was made that all penalties for violations of it, and of all other revenue laws, might be recovered in the admiralty courts.
The judges of these courts were dependent solely on the king, and decided the causes brought before them without the intervention of a jury.
Intelligence of these proceedings occasioned in America great and universal alarm. They were considered the commencement of a system of taxation, which, if not vigorously resisted, would in time be extended to every article of commerce, and to every internal source of income; and if the colonists could be deprived in one class of causes, why not in all, of that inestimable privilege, the trial by jury?
The general court of Massachusetts, at their session in June, took this law into consideration. The house of representatives sent a spirited letter of instructions to their agent in England, in which they denied the right of parliament to impose duties and taxes upon the people, who are not represented in the house of commons; and directed him to remonstrate against the duties imposed