CHAPTER XIV. THE WAR IN THE MIDDLE STATES AND ON THE SEA
THE FRIGATES. - Of the thirteen frigates ordered by Congress in 1775, only four remained by the end of 1778. Some were captured at sea, some were destroyed to prevent their falling into British hands, and one blew up while gallantly fighting. Of the cruisers bought in 1775, only one remained. Other purchases at home and abroad were made, but three frigates were captured and destroyed at Charleston in 1779, and by the end of the year our navy was reduced to six vessels. During the war 24 vessels of the navy were lost by capture, wreck, or destruction. The British navy lost 102.
THE PRIVATEERS. - So far we have considered only the American navy - the warships owned by the government. Congress also (March, 1776) issued letters of marque, or licenses to citizens to fit out armed vessels and make war on British ships armed or unarmed; and the sea soon swarmed with privateers fitted out, not only by citizens but also by the states. The privateers were active throughout the war, and took hundreds of prizes.
1. After the British left Boston, Washington moved his army to Long Island, where he was attacked by the British and driven up the Hudson to White Plains.
2. Later in the year (1776), Washington crossed the Hudson and retreated through New Jersey to Pennsylvania; then he turned about, won the battles of Trenton (December 26, 1776) and Princeton (January 3, 1777), and spent the rest of the winter in New Jersey.
3. The British plan for the campaign of 1777 was to cut off New England from the Middle States; Burgoyne was to come down from Canada and meet Howe, who was to move up the Hudson.
4. Burgoyne lost several battles, and was forced to surrender at Saratoga (October 17, 1777).
5. Howe put off going up the Hudson till too late; instead, he defeated Washington at Brandywine Creek (September 11, 1777), and captured Philadelphia. Washington then attacked Howe at Germantown, was defeated, and spent the winter at Valley Forge.
6. After Burgoyne's surrender, France recognized our independence (February, 1778) and joined us in the war.
7. Fearing a French attack on New York, the British left Philadelphia (June, 1778); Washington followed and fought the battle of Monmouth; but the British went on to New York, and for three years Washington remained near that city.
8. Congress, in December, 1775, created a little navy; but some of these vessels never got to sea; others under Hopkins and Barry won victories during 1776.
9. In 1777 the cruisers were sent to British waters and under Wilkes and others harried British coasts.
10. In 1778 Paul Jones sailed around Ireland and in 1779 he won his great victory in the Bonhomme Richard.
 Admiral Howe now wrote to Washington, offering pardon to all persons who should desist from rebellion; he addressed the letter to "George Washington, Esq.," and sent it under flag of truce. The messenger was told there was no one in the army with that title. A week later another messenger came with a paper addressed "George Washington, Esq. etc. etc." This time he was received; and when Washington declined to receive the letter, explained that "etc. etc." meant everything. "Indeed," said Washington, "they might mean anything." He was determined that Howe should recognize him as commander in chief of the Continental army, and not treat him as the leader of rebels.
 Many of the prisoners taken in this and other battles were put on board ships anchored near Brooklyn. Their sufferings in these "Jersey prison ships" were terrible, and many died and were buried on the beach. From these rude graves their bones from time to time were washed out. At last in 1808 they were taken up and decently buried near the Brooklyn navy yard, and in 1873 were put in a vault in Washington Park, Brooklyn.
 While Washington was near New York, a young man named Nathan Hale volunteered to enter the British lines on Long Island to procure information greatly needed. As he was returning he was recognized by a Tory kinsman, was captured, tried as a spy, and hanged. His last words were: "I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."
 When Howe, marching across Manhattan Island, reached Murray Hill, Mrs. Lindley Murray sent a servant to invite him to luncheon. The army was halted, and Mrs. Murray entertained Howe and his officers for two hours. It was this delay that enabled Putnam to escape.
 Charles Lee was in general command at Charleston during the attack on Fort Moultrie, and when he joined Washington at New York, was thought a great officer. Lee was jealous, hoped to be made commander in chief, and purposely left Washington to his fate. Later Lee crossed to New Jersey and took up his quarters at Basking Ridge, not far from Morristown, where the British captured him (December 13, 1776).
 Robert Morris was born at Liverpool, England, but came to Philadelphia as a lad and entered on a business career, and when the Revolution opened, was a man of means and influence. He signed the non-importation agreement of 1765, and signed the Declaration of Independence, and at this time (December, 1776) was a leading member of Congress. A year later, when the army was at Valley Forge, he sent it as a gift a large quantity of food and clothing. In 1781 Morris was made Superintendent of Finance, and in order to supply the army in the movement against Yorktown, lent his notes to the amount of $1,400,000. In 1781 he founded the Bank of North America, which is now the oldest bank in our country. After the war Morris was a senator from Pennsylvania. He speculated largely in Western lands, lost his fortune, and from 1798 to 1802 was a prisoner for debt. He died in 1806.