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Henricus

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

April 22.—An elaborate production in the Lancaster papers of to-day, signed Henricus, concludes thus:—”Believe me, the present time with the enemy is a time of fearful expectation and desperate trial. Their all depends upon being able to procrastinate the approaches of General Washington; in distracting the minds of the people; in producing confusion in our military councils and operations, and concealing their inability to act offensively under a most pompous parade of pushing on the war. Wherefore, while our bleeding country beckons us to shut up the temple of Janus, and annihilate the power of Great Britain in America by one exertion of our combined strength—who dare be idle? Where is the man who lays claim to the enjoyment of freedom that will not exert himself in assisting our great general to complete what he so disinterestedly engaged in—what he preserved after the loss of a capital part of his army, and a most disheartening retreat on the memorable banks of the Delaware, with a handful of brave followers. Is there an American who can fight but this moment wishes to share with our commander the glory of completing the independence and happiness of the continent? I dare say, nay, I am confident of it, that there will not be found one out of the field when it is known their services are required, but such as cowardice or the lurking principles of Toryism detains. Such men we want not.

“‘Tis said that Hannibal swore to his father never to be at peace with the Romans. I call upon all those who are in league with virtue and independence, to swear with me, and to each other, by the honor of their ancestors—by the faith they have pledged to the States—by their abhorrence of chains and slavery—by sacred liberty and religion—by their wives and children—by the ardent principles of revenge kindled up in virtuous bosoms—by the dear spirits of those who have fallen in battle—by the ghosts of their starved and murdered brethren, never to make peace with Britons till they have humbled them with the dust, and taken consummate vengeance for all their outrages, rapines, ravages, and murders, by the final establishment of a Glorious Independence.

[By such pitiful productions have the unthinking multitude been diverted out of their liberty and property—oaths on the holy evangelists having been found, by experience, of no value amongst rebels. We cannot, therefore, be surprised to find them in search of objects more suitable to their purpose than the sacred records. The notion of departed spirits, ghosts, &c., may serve to frighten the ignorant to the field, where they will, like many of their predecessors, procure independency for their sinful souls.] 1

 

1 Rivington’s Gazette, May 9.