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cess, for which parliament at this time en- entreaty and persuasion had been tried in deavored to provide a remedy; and though vain, it was at length deemed necessary, in the act for calling in light gold, and regu- the summer of 1772, to order two regilating its value by its weight, was loudly ments from North America to join an equal exclaimed against, especially by bankers, number of troops at St. Vincent's, and to co who were obliged to hold money for others, operate with the fleet on that station in and had received it at its nominal value, yet reducing the refractory savages to obedience. the loss fell where it could best be borne, At this period an inquiry was instituted in upon those who had been gainers by the the house of commons respecting the whole situation which occasioned it, and who had business; and motions were made conveying always profited by the public money. A tax the severest censure on the ministry for on the nation to make good the deficiency adopting measures, which were said to be would have opened a door for very gross" equally repugnant to the humanity of his impositions. Attempts for obtaining an en- majesty's temper, disgraceful to his arms, largement of the toleration act, and the and derogatory to the character of the British abolition of all tests at the time of being nation.” These charges were answered matriculated or admitted a member of either with ability: the motions were negatived; of the universities, were renewed, but with and, about the same time, (Feb. 17th] the no better success than in the last session: expedition, which gave birth to the inquiry, parliament declined interfering in the regu- was also terminated. The Caribbs, after lations, which the universities were fully some fierce encounters, agreed to acknowempowered to make for the government of ledge his majesty's sovereignty without retheir own body; and the plan of more liberal serve; to take an oath of fidelity and alleindulgence to the dissenters, though it again giance; to submit to the laws of the island passed the house of commons by a great in all transactions with the white inhabitmajority, was again rejected by the lords. It ants, while they were allowed to adhere to was almost impossible that any new argu- their own customs and usages in their interments could be urged on so trite a subject; course with each other; and to cede a large but the suggestions of former speakers and tract of very valuable land to the crown, the writers were enforced with all the variety districts which they still retained being of illustration which judgment and genius secured in perpetuity to them and to their could superadd to them. Some very ani- posterity. mated and eloquent debates were also occa- Both houses of parliament continued their sioned by a late expedition against the deliberations till the first of July, when an Caribbs in the island of St. Vincent. A few end was put to the session by a speech from of these were descended from the original the throne, expressing the utmost satisfacpossessors; but the greater part were the tion at their zeal, assiduity, and perseverance. offspring of some African negroes who had His majesty had, the preceding week, affordbeen shipwrecked on the coast about a cen- ed the highest gratification to a considerable tury before. These two tribes of savages number of his subjects by a review of the were scattered in huts over the most fertile navy at Portsmouth. The resort of company and valuable part of the country, of which there during the royal visit was unparalthey had only cleared a few little spots, suf- leled; and his majesty left behind him lasting fering the rest to lie covered with wood, impressions of his benignity and munifiuncultivated and unoccupied, without any cence. The remainder of the year rolled benefit to others, or to themselves. Soon away without any remarkable domestic ocafter the cession of the island to Great Brit- currences; but the events of the same period ain, in consequence of the peace in 1763, in America were very alarming. repeated applications were made to govern- INCREASING DISCONTENT IN AMERICA. ment by the English settlers, to obtain from The repeal of the other port duties, while those people the lands, of which they were that on tea was continued, had not produced in fact but the nominal owners, in exchange all the good effects which were expected for another quarter of the island, less sus- from such a concession. The provincial ceptible of culture, but as comfortable for assemblies persisted in disavowing his matheir habitation, and as convenient for the jesty's right to keep commissioners of the support of savage life, as that which they customs, or to establish any revenue in North now possessed. Proper instructions for this America. A lately-adopted measure of appurpose were accordingly issued by the board pointing the governors and judges of the of treasury in the year 1768; but the Caribbs colonies to be paid by the crown was another obstinately refused to part with their lands, source of much discontent. Still, however, to admit of any exchange, or even to ac- the ill-humor of the people seemed to vent knowledge submission to the government itself in angry complaints; and no act or that held out to them offers of full compen- outrage had taken place for the last three sation and security. After every effort of years, except the burning of an armed
schooner at Rhode Island in June 1772. of such chains.” The landing of the tea Even this was not occasioned by any popular was everywhere violently resisted ; and sevtumult: it was the momentary impulse of eral of the ships returned to England withrevenge inflicted by a party of smugglers out breaking bulk. At Charlestown, after on the commander of that vessel, who had much opposition and tumult, a cargo was made himself obnoxious by his zeal and permitted to be unloaded, but was immedivigilance in the execution of the revenue ately lodged in damp unventilated cellars, laws. But, in the summer of the current where it long remained, and finally perished. year, an extraordinary accident served to Some was also landed at New-York under blow into a flame the unsmothered embers of the cannon of a man-of-war; but the governsedition in Massachusets Bay. Dr. Franklin, ment there were forced to consent to its the agent for that province, had by some being locked up from use. But at Boston unknown means got possession of certain the riots, even before the arrival of the ships, confidential letters written by the governor rose to a height which made the excesses and the lieutenant-governor to their friends committed elsewhere appear trivial. The in England, containing an unfavorable repre- populace surrounded the houses of the consentation of the temper of the people, and signees and demanded their resignation, the views of the leaders, and tending to which not being complied with, their doors show the necessity of more vigorous mea- and windows were broken, and they themsures in order to secure the obedience of the selves narrowly escaped the fury of the mob colony. These letters were immediately by flying from the town and taking shelter transmitted by the doctor to the assembly in Fort William. In vain did the governor then sitting at Boston, who came to several issue a proclamation commanding the civil violent resolutions, which they followed up magistrates to suppress the riots: the sheriff by a petition and remonstrance to the king, was insulted for attempting to read it at one charging Hutchinson the governor, and Oli- of the illegal meetings in the town-hall
. As ver his deputy, with being betrayers of their soon as the ships arrived, the inhabitants met trusts and of the people they governed, and again, and with loud acclamations testified praying for justice against them and for their concurrence in a vote," that the tea their speedy removal (2). Fresh fuel was should not be landed, and that it should be soon after thrown into the blaze of animosity sent back in the same bottoms.” But clearexcited by the publication of the letters. ances from the custom-house, and a pass from The East India company having, in pursu- the governor, being refused, an immense ance of the act for permitting the exporta- crowd repaired to the quay in the evening tion of teas duty free, consigned large of the eighteenth of December, and a numquantities to their agents in the principal ber of the most resolute, in the disguise of ports of America, the factious leaders there Mohawk Indians, boarded the vessels, and easily persuaded the people, that this was discharged their cargoes into the sea. a scheme calculated merely to circumvent 1774.—The ministry not being in possesthem into a compliance with the revenue sion of these facts at the meeting of the parlaw, and thereby open the door to an unlim- liament on the thirteenth of January, no ited taxation. Meetings were held, first at mention was made of American affairs in Philadelphia, and afterwards in several other the speech from the throne; but on the sertowns, where resolutions were passed de- enth of March, a message was delivered claring this new ministerial plan of import- from his majesty to both houses, informing ation to be a violent attack upon the liberties them, “ that, in consequence of the unwarof America,” and pronouncing it to be “the rantable practices carried on in North Ameduty of every American to oppose this at- rica, and particularly of the violent and tempt; and that whoever should directly or outrageous proceedings at Boston, with a indirectly countenance it was an enemy to view of obstructing the commerce of this his country.” The consignees were obliged kingdom, and upon grounds and pretences in most places to relinquish their appoint- immediately subversive of its constitution, ments; and among other inflammatory pa- it was thought fit to lay the whole matter pers then circulated throughout the colonies, before parliament"-recommending to their a waming was given to the pilots on the serious consideration "what farther regulariver Delaware not to conduct any of the tions or permanent provisions might be netea ships into their harbor, as they were sent cessary to be established.” This message only for the purpose of enslaving and poison- was accompanied by a great number of paing all the Americans.” In a similar publi- pers, which sufficiently showed the daring cation at New-York, those ships were said and seditious spirit that now prevailed all to be "freighted with fetters forged in Great over the continent. In the address of thanks Britain;" and every vengeance was denounc- for these communications, the house assured ed against all persons, “who should dare in his majesty, “ that they would not fail to any manner to contribute to the introduction exert every means in their power of effectually providing for the due execution of the gress through both houses, was equally imlaws, and securing the just dependence of potent and unpopular; but another act that the colonies on the crown and parliament followed them, for making more effectua. of Great Britain." The first step taken to provision for the government of the province accomplish so desirable an end was the in- of Quebec, was violently opposed within troduction of a bill, which was rapidly and doors, and excited much clamor without almost unanimously carried through both The objects of this act were, to secure to houses, for shutting up the port of Boston, the inhabitants of that province the free and prohibiting the lading or unlading of all exercise of their religion, and to the Roman goods or merchandise at any place within Catholic clergy their rights, agreeably to the its precincts, from and after the first of articles of capitulation at the time of the June, until it should appear to his majesty surrender of the province; to confirm the that peace and obedience to the laws were English laws, and a trial by jury in criminal so far restored in the town of Boston that cases, but, in civil cases, to restore the antrude might again be safely carried on, and cient French laws and a trial without jury, his majesty's customs be duly collected; in as being more acceptable to the Canadians; which case his majesty might by proclama- to establish a council
, holding their comtion open the harbor ; but not till it should missions from and at the pleasure of the also sufficiently appear, that full compensa- king, who were to exercise all the powers tion had been made to the East India com- of legislation, except that of imposing pany for the destruction of their tea, and to taxes; and lastly to extend the limits of the all others who had suffered by the late riots. province, which, reaching far to the southThe board of customs was, in the mean ward behind the other settlements, might be time, to be removed to the town of Salem. made to serve as a check upon them if neBut as the prevention of future enormities cessary. was an object of still greater importance A GENERAL CONGRESS CALLED AT than the punishment of those which were
PHILADELPHIA. past, and as the latter seemed greatly owing Such were the principal measures adopted to the weakness of the civil power in the this session by the British parliament for colony of Massachusets Bay and to other maintaining the authority of the mother radical defects in the frame of their govern- country over the colonies. Four ships of ment, it was now proposed to assimilate the line had also been fitted out for Boston; their constitution more nearly to that of the and as a military force might in like manrəyal governments in America, and to their ner be necessary to reduce its disorderly prototype the government of Great Britain. inhabitants to obedience, an act was passed For this purpose an act was passed to de- to provide commodious quarters for officers prive the lower house of assembly of the and soldiers on that service; and general privilege of electing the members of the Gage, commander-in-chief in America, was council, and to vest that privilege in the appointed governor of Massachusets Bay, in crown; to authorize the king, or his substi- the room of Mr. Hutchinson, who had detate the governor, to appoint judges, magis- sired leave to come to England. The gentrates, and sheriffs ; to empower the sheriff's eral was farther invested with full powers to summon and return juries; and to pro- to grant pardons for treasons and all other hibit town meetings from being called by the crimes, and to remit all fines and forfeitures select-men, unless with the consent of the to such offenders as should appear to be fit governor. Such a restraint was deemed objects of mercy. But the people of Bosnecessary, not only to suppress the spirit of ton did not seem disposed to court his lenity faction in the province itself, but to prevent or indulgence. Having just received intelthe rest of the colonies from being tainted ligence of the bill for shutting up their port, by its seditious example. The next expe- they were all convened to take it into condient was a bill for the impartial adminis-sideration, the very day after the new govtration of justice in Massachusets Bay, em- ernor's arrival. At this meeting, resolutions powering the governor, with the advice of were passed, and ordered to be transmitted the council
, in case any person was indict- to the other colonies, inviting them to enter ed in that province for murder or any other into an agreement to stop all imports and capital offence, and it should appear by in- exports to and from Great Britain, Ireland, formation on oath that the fact had been and every part of the West Indies, as the committed in the exercise or aid of magis-only means, they said, that were left for the tracy in suppressing riots, and that a fair salvation of North America and her libertrial could not be had in the province, to ties. Copies of the act were also multiplied send the person so indicted into any other with the utmost dispatch, and sent to every colony, or to Great Britain, to be tried; the part of the continent, where they produced act to continue in force four years. The the same effects as poets ascribe to the Fuopposition made to these bills, in their pro-ry's torch, setting all the countries through which they passed in a flame. Addresses --an apology to the people of England for from most of the provinces arrived in a short the suspension of commerce, which, they time at Boston, exhorting the inhabitants to said, necessity alone and a regard to selfpersevere in their opposition to such an at- preservation obliged them to adopt ;-a metack on their civil rights, and declaring that morial to the inhabitants of the colonies, all British America considered themselves designed to explain to them in what manas sufferers in the common cause. A gene- ner they were all interested in the state of ral congress was also determined upon; and the people of Boston; urging them to a Philadelphia being judged commodiously compliance with the non-importation, nonsituated for the purpose, the first meeting consumption, and non-exportation agreeof delegates from the several colonies was ment; and advising them to extend their appointed to take place there in the begin- views to the most unhappy events, and to ning of September; and, in the mean time, be in all respects prepared for every continengagements, under the title of “a solemn gency ;-and, lastly, an address to the Canaleague and covenant,' were universally en- dians, the object of which was to render tered into for the purpose of suspending all them discontented and uneasy under their commercial intercourse with Great Britain, new form of government, to sow the seeds and renouncing all communication with of discord between them and the mother those who should refuse to sign this cove-country, and to induce them to join in the nant, notwithstanding a proclamation from general confederacy. After these public general Gage, styling such agreement an acts, which the congress completed in a unlawful, hostile, and traitorous combination. session of fifty-two days, it dissolved itself, He was even obliged to dissolve the pro- having previously recommended that anvincial assembly, having found every other other congress should be held the tenth of method ineffectual to put a stop to their vio- May following. The effects of its decrees lent proceedings. But those of the general were quickly seen throughout the provinces: congress were of a still morè alarming ten- a spirit of resistance to the British governdency. The delegates met on the day ap- ment discovered itself almost everywhere, pointed at Philadelphia : they were fifty-one but particularly in Massachusets Bay, which in number, chosen in such proportions from was considered as the grand focus of Amerthe different colonies as corresponded with ican rebellion. The courts of judicature their varied extent and population, though were totally suspended : all persons accepteach colony had but one distinct and sepa- ing offices under the late laws were derate vote: they sat with the doors locked, clared enemies to their country: every step To person but a member being permitted to taken by general Gage for the accommodabe present at their deliberations, and all tion and security of the troops under his their proceedings, except what they thought command was obstructed as much as possifit to make known, being kept profoundly ble: his recall of writs which he had issued secret. Among their first resolves was a for convening the general court of reprevote which passed unanimously, expressing sentatives in October, was disregarded : their deep sense of the sufferings of their they met in direct contempt of the authoricountrymen in the province of Massachusets ty which forbade them; voted themselves Bay, under the late unjust, cruel, and op- into a provincial congress, with Hancock at pressive acts of the British parliament; tho- their head; appointed a committee to preroughly approving the wisdom and fortitude sent a remonstrance to the governor in a of the opposition made to those measures ; very daring strain; and on his refusing to and asserting it to be the duty of all Ameri- recognize them as a lawful assembly, they ca not only to contribute to the relief of the proceeded to exercise all the functions not sufferers, but to assist in repelling any force only of the legislative, but of the executive which might be employed to carry such acts power. At one of their subsequent meetinto execution. The congress also drew up ings, a plan was drawn up for the immediate up and published a declaration of rights, defence of the province; magazines of amlittle short of absolute independency, with munition and stores were provided for twelve the copy of a formal instrument in writing, thousand militia ; and an enrolment was signed by the members, and recommended made of minute-men, so called from their to their constituents, renouncing all inter- engaging to turn out with their arms at a course with the mother country, till redress minute's warning: General Gage clearly should be obtained for the alleged violation foresaw the inevitable issue of such proof those rights; a petition to the king, enu- ceedings; but he still confined himself to merating the several grievances, and blend- the mildest measures that were consistent ing professions of loyalty with a firm de- with prudence and necessary caution, being mand of the abolition of the obnoxious stat- resolved, that, if the sword must be at last utes, as the only means of restoring harmo- unsheathed, it should not appear owing to ay between Great Britain and the colonies; any precipitancy on his part. He admanished the people, though in vain, not to be which the disobedience of the colonies con ensnared by the provincial congress, nor led stituted the chief topic, implied a general by their influence to incur the penalties of approbation of the steps taken by his masedition, treason, and rebellion: besides for- jesty to carry into execution the late laws tifying a narrow isthmus, called Boston and to restore peace and good order in Mas Neck, that connects the town with the con- sachusets Bay, an amendment was proposed tinent, by means of which the inhabitants on the side of opposition, and supported by of that place became in some sort hostages all the powers of their oratory, and all the for the behavior of the rest of their coun- strength of their numbers. -The latter, trymen, he took care to secure such maga- however, amounted only to 73 against 264, zines as were within his reach, and to spike who voted for the original address. No the cannon of some batteries, so as to pre- thing else of a remarkable nature occurred vent their being serviceable to an enemy. in parliament before the holidays, except The activity of the Americans sometimes that the estimates, as stated to the commons, defeated his utmost circumspection. An were entirely formed upon a peace estab armed body of them made themselves mas- lishment; and that nine out of thirteen ters of the fort at Portsmouth, in New- peers in the minority signed a protest Hampshire, and sent off the powder it con- against the address, being the first of the tained to a place of safety. They also sur-kind which had ever appeared on the jourprised another small fort in the same prov-nals of the upper house. ince, called William and Mary, which was 1775.—After the recess, a variety of degarrisoned by only one officer and five men, bates took place on different systems of coto whom they did no personal injury, but ercion and lenity with regard to the Ameritook possession of the ammunition and ord- cans, in which much eloquence and party nance. A_proclamation, which had been spirit were displayed. The result of all was issued in England, prohibiting the exporta- the passing of two acts; by the first of which tion of military stores, operated as a strong the New-England provinces, as having se. incitement to the eagerness of the colonists the example of renouncing all intercourse to procure such supplies. Mills for making with the parent state, were prohibited from gunpowder, and manufactories for arms, trading to any other country, and from fishwere set up in several places; and the ad-ing on the banks of Newfoundland; ana vice of congress, " to prepare for every con- by the second, the same restraints were tingency,” was implicitly followed by all extended to the colonies of East and West the provinces.
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia. A NEW PARLIAMENT.
and South Carolina, and to the countries on WHILE everything bore the most rebel- the Delaware, which were found to have lious aspect in America, the British cabinet concurred in the commercial combinations at home thought it highly necessary, before of the people of New-England. But in ora blow was struck, to take the sense of the der to leave it still in the power of the cola nation on a subject which involved the dear-nies to avert the calamities impending over est interests of the whole empire. A dis- them in consequence of these prohibitory solution of parliament was therefore resolv- acts, a resolution was moved by the minised upon, to give the people an opportunity ter, and carried in the house of commons, of manifesting their sentiments in the as the basis of a future agreement, “ that choice of representatives, and to free the when any of the colonies should propose, latter from any restraint with regard to a according to their abilities, to raise their change of system, if it should be deemed due proportion towards the common defence, advisable. The same house of commons, such proportion to be raised under the auwhich had so recently as well as repeatedly thority of the assembly of such province, given its sanction to vigorous measures, and to be disposable by parliament; and could not, with a good grace, rescind its when such colony should also engage to proown most deliberate acts; but another body vide for the support of the civil governof representatives would not be tied down ment, and the administration of justice to an involuntary perseverance in support within such province; it would be proper, of the resolutions of their predecessors. The if such proposal should be approved by his proclamation for dissolving the parliament, majesty in parliament, to forbear, in respect was issued on the thirtieth of September; of such colony, to levy any duties or taxes, and the writs for calling a new one were or to impose any further duties or taxes, exmade returnable on the twenty-ninth of No-cept such as should be necessary for the vember following. On the first day of the regulation of trade." meeting of parliament, no competitor for FRANKLIN'S EFFORT AT CONCILIATION. the chair was started against Sir Fletcher Among the conciliatory attempts which Norton ;-as the address of thanks to his were made at that period, the most specific majesty for his speech from the throne, of and remarkable was a plan digested in pria