Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 23: Shocking to Humanity

On Dec. 23, 1776, Congressman William Whipple of New Hampshire wrote to Josiah Bartlett that, with the fall of Fort Washington, "...the Success of the Enemy there gave them incouragemt to persue victory, so it struck our troops with a panic that spre[a]d through the Country.... However the People of Pensilvania are now turning out with spirit, great numbers have already join'd Genl Washington, the people of Maryland are also turning out."

Like many of his contemporaries and several historians since, Whipple believed the misconduct of the British soldiery turned Americans against the King's cause. Whipple wrote, "The Jersey Men are by this time fully convic'd of their errors, for the Ravages committed by the Enemy in their way through that state is really shocking to Humanity."

Letters of the Delegates to Congress: Volume 5: August 16, 1776-December 31, 1776 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1979), page 652.
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