with the Tappans and De Witts of the old Dutch stock. Clinton did not belong to the old colonial families of weight, being almost the only New York Revolutionary leader of note who did not; and in consequence they rather looked down on him, while he in turn repaid their dislike with interest. He was a harsh, narrow-minded man, of obstinate courage and considerable executive capacity, very ambitious, and a fanatical leader of the popular party in the contest with the Crown.
On September 15, Howe, having as usual lost a valuable fortnight by delay, moved against Manhattan Island. His troops landed at Kips Bay, where the Americans opposed to them, mostly militia, broke in disgraceful panic and fled before them. Washington spurred to the scene in a frenzy of rage, and did his best to stop the rout, striking the fugitives with his sword, and hurling at them words of bitter scorn; but it was all in vain, the flight could not be stayed, and Washington himself was only saved from death or capture by his aides-de-camp, who seized his bridle-reins and forced him from the field.
However, Washingtons acts and words had their effect, and as the Americans recovered from their panic they became heartily ashamed of themselves. The kings troops acted with such slowness that the American divisions south of Kips Bay were able to march past them unmolested.