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But, not contented with this superiority, the British were tempted to invest and endeavour to storm New Orleans. This was returning to the old blunders, and giving the American sharp-shooters the opportunity of picking off our men at pleasure in the open field from behind their walls and batteries. This ill-advised enterprise was conducted by Sir Edward Pakenham. Nothing was so easy as for our ships to blockade the mouth of the Mississippi, and thus destroy the trade, not only of New Orleans, but of all the towns on that river; but this common-sense plan was abandoned for the formidable and ruinous one of endeavouring to take the place by storm. The city of New Orleans lies at the distance of one hundred and ten miles from the sea, on a low, boggy promontory, defended on the river side by a chain of powerful forts, and on the other by morasses. Having landed as near New Orleans as they could, the British troops, on the 23rd of December, were met by an American army, and received a momentary repulse; but this was quickly reversed, and on Christmas day Sir Edward Pakenham encamped at the distance of six miles from New Orleans. But he found at least twenty thousand Americans posted between him and the city, behind a deep canal and extensive earthworks. There was no way of approaching them except across bogs, or through sugar plantations swarming with riflemen, who could pick off our men at pleasure. This was exactly one of those situations which the whole course of our former wars in that country had warned us to avoid, as it enabled the Americans, by their numerous and excellent riflemen, to destroy our soldiers, without their being in scarcely any danger themselves. In fair and open fight they knew too well that they had no chance with British troops, and the folly of giving them such opportunities of decimating those troops from behind walls and embankments is too palpable to require military knowledge or experience to point it out. Yet Sir Edward Pakenham, who had fought in the Peninsula, was imprudent enough to run himself into this old and often-exposed snare. On the 26th of December he commenced a fight on these unequal terms, the Americans firing red-hot balls from their batteries on the unscreened advancing columns, whilst from the thickets around the Kentucky riflemen picked off the soldiers on the flanks. Pakenham thus, however, advanced two or three miles. He then collected vast quantities of hogsheads of sugar and treacle, and made defences with them, from which he poured a sharp fire on the enemy. By this means he approached to within three or four hundred yards of the American lines, and there, during the very last night of the year, the soldiers worked intensely to cast up still more extensive breastworks of sugar and treacle casks, and earth.
Such were the means employed by the British Government in 1817 to quiet the country under its distressa distress the inevitable result of the long and stupendous war. The only idea was to tighten the reins of Governmentto stimulate the sufferers into overt acts, and then crush them. Fortunately, with the exception of the Derby juries, the juries in general saw through the miserable farce of rebellion, and discharged the greater part of Oliver's and Lord Sidmouth's victims. Watson was acquitted of high treason in London on the 16th of June, less than a week after the Derbyshire insurrection. His son had eluded the pursuit of the police. Seventeen prisoners on the like charges were liberated in July in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and were paid seven shillings each to carry them home. On the 22nd of August, of the twenty-four persons that Oliver had entrapped in Yorkshire, twenty-two were dischargedagainst eleven of them no bills being found by the grand juryand the two left in prison were detained there because, under the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, they were not brought up for trial. The Manchester Blanketeers were, in like manner, all discharged, though the Duke of Northumberland did his utmost to stimulate Lord Sidmouth to get them punished. On the country at large the impression was that the Government had propagated a most needless alarm, and that those who had fallen on the scaffold had been exalted by them from poor, ignorant labourers into burlesque traitors, through the execrable agency of their incendiaries, Oliver, Castles, Mitchell, and others.Finding that there remained no other means of reinforcing his army, he drained the garrisons all over France, and drew what soldiers he could from Soult and Suchet in the south. He was busy daily drilling and reviewing, and nightly engaged in sending dispatches to urge on the provinces to send up their men. The Moniteur and other newspapers represented all France as flying to arms; but the truth was they looked with profound apathy on the progress of the Allies. These issued proclamation after proclamation, assuring the people that it was not against France that they made war, but solely against the man who would give no peace either to France or any of his neighbours; and the French had come to the conclusion that it was time that Buonaparte should be brought to submit to the dictation of force, as he was insensible to that of reason.
FREE TRADE HALL, MANCHESTER. (From a Photograph by Frith and Co., Reigate.)"I recommend you to take into your early consideration whether the principles on which you have acted may not with advantage be yet more extensively applied; and whether it may not be in your power, after a careful review of the existing duties upon many articles, the produce or manufacture of other countries, to make such further reductions and remissions as may tend to ensure the continuance of the great benefits to which I have adverted, and, by enlarging our commercial intercourse, to strengthen the bonds of amity with foreign Powers."
She was awfully funny; you would have thought that we were ten
wagon yesterday. We have three big pigs and nine little piglets,little Judy, and had come occasionally and patted her on the head,
where eleven little tots, from four to seven, occupied eleven littleCompletely and Irrevocably and