Page images

had refused to admit surgeons appointed by ertions of their strength and influence. On that house to examine into the state of his the fourteenth of February, a motion was wounds; and his retreat into France rather made in the house of commons, "that a genindicating a distrust of his cause, than any-eral warrant for apprehending and seizing thing amiss in his constitution, the house re- the authors, printers, and publishers of a sesolved, that in so doing, he was guilty of a ditious libel, together with their papers, was contempt of their authority, and that they not warranted by law." The friends of adwould therefore proceed to hear the evidence ministration were far from vindicating the in support of the charge against him. They practice of general warrants; but they considered the letter and the apology he had thought that the abuse of them could not be sent for his non-appearance, together with effectually prevented by a resolution of one the certificate that accompanied it, as quite branch of the legislature on a single case, nugatory. If his wound had been in the con- and that the remedy should be provided by dition in which he represented it, a journey an act of parliament, distinguishing cases, to Paris was a strange measure; and the and specifying those discretionary powers, consequences arose from his own voluntary which the contingent exigencies of government might require to be vested in a secretary of state. They also insisted very strongly on the impropriety of deciding in the house of commons a question then depending in a court of judicature. It was thus they en


WILKES EXPELLED. AFTER the examination of the witnesses against Wilkes had been entered upon by the house, repeated efforts were made by a few of his friends to interrupt, or to procure deavored to ward off the intended blow; and an adjournment of the farther hearing of evi- having, though by a small majority, procured dence: but, to no purpose. The witnesses an adjournment of the question till the sevenwere all successively called in; and their teenth, one of their friends moved, that after information appearing satisfactory as to the the words, "That a general warrant for apauthor of the libel, on the atrocious crimi-prehending and seizing the authors, printers, nality of which the house had already passed and publishers of a seditious and treasonable sentence, the expulsion of Wilkes was voted libel, together with their papers is not warby a very considerable majority; and a new ranted by law;" might be added, "although writ was ordered for electing another mem- such warrant had been issued according to ber for Aylesbury in his room. the usage of office, and hath been frequently To complete the degradation of this late produced to, and, so far as appears to this idol of the populace, a book, entitled "An house, the validity thereof hath never been Essay on Woman," which he had privately debated in the court of king's bench, but the printed and dispersed among his friends, was parties thereupon have been frequently bailed presented by one of the secretaries of state by the said court." This state of the questo the house of lords. This book, full of the tion subjected it to new and insurmountable most indecent and profane ribaldry, reflected difficulties, because a resolution of the comon the character of a right reverend member mons, so worded, would imply no less than of that house (5), whose vast extent of eru- an imputation of perjury on the court of dition and genius added dignity and lustre king's bench, for admitting to bail persons to his high station. The peers proceeded committed upon such illegal warrants, inagainst the author for a breach of privilege, stead of giving them a free discharge. It while he was indicted in the courts below was likewise thought a little extraordinary, for blasphemy. The warmest of his former that the word "treasonable," contained in advocates were now ashamed to utter a word the earl of Halifax's general warrant, was in his favor; and even the mob, though they omitted in the original motion. After a very did not disrelish faction, could not digest long and warm debate, it was carried, that profaneness: they could forgive party-malice, the farther consideration of the question but were shocked at offences against morali- should be adjourned for four months, which ty, religion, and common decency. Wilkes was, in the usual phrase, civilly dismissing was soon run to an outlawry for not appear- it. The minority, however, on this point, ing to the indictments against him; and the was so very considerable, being two hundred suits, which he had carried on against the and twenty against two hundred and thirtysecretaries of state, fell of course to the four, that the ministry may rather be said to ground. have escaped than conquered. The whole fabric of their power seemed to be shaken So far the triumph of the ministry was by this contest; but the progress of the sescomplete. Sentence was passed on the cause, sion showed that the formidable numbers of as well as on the person of their most ma- their opponents were mustered only on this lignant slanderer. But the secretaries of single occasion. On all others there was no state were soon attacked on a point, which great difficulty; and the whole scheme of could hardly be defended by the utmost ex-the supplies in particular met with the most


perfect acquiescence. A short account of by former precedents, by the propriety and the plan, on which they were raised, will wisdom of the measure itself, but principal show how far they were deserving of gene-ly on the credit of having augmented it by ral approbation. near four hundred thousand pounds in the single article of tea, an immense quantity In contriving this new scheme, the minis- of which had been brought to pay duty by try found means to cut off one of the prin- the prudent measures taken for the prevencipal sources of popular clamor. Agreeably tion of smuggling, and the vigilant collecto the principles which they had laid down tion of the revenue.


in the former session, in which they declared Nothing could more evidently demonstrate for the most sparing use of taxation, and the malignant purpose of those writers than from the experience concerning the taxes their total silence. The points which did they had then ventured to propose, they now the ministry indisputable honor, were the resolved neither to open a loan, nor to have application of the French prize-money by recourse to a lottery; though it is well the favor of the crown, at a time when there known, that, in some respects, these loans were, perhaps, other calls, plausible and and lotteries afford no unpleasing opportuni-pressing enough, to divert it another way; ties to a minister of obliging his friends, and the beneficial contract with the bank, by strengthening his connexions. The objects, which one hundred and ten thousand pounds to which they confined their attention, were were brought to the service of the year, befirst, the settlement of exchequer-bills to the sides the transfer and delayed payment at amount of one million eight hundred thou- reduced interest of a million of exchequersand pounds, which had been issued by vir- bills; and the saving on the non-effective tue of an act passed in the preceding year, men, which amounted to so large a sum; and then made chargeable on the first aids were matters of such striking merit and imto be granted in the present session; second-portance, that none but the devoted tools of ly, the discharge of two millions of a debt a party could pass them over unnoticed. contracted on account of the war, and which Among the ways and means of this session still remained to be satisfied; and, thirdly, were some regulations of the American the ways and means for the service of the trade, and some duties imposed on various ensuing year. As the bank contract was to articles of import and export in that extenbe renewed, the treasury availed itself very sive sphere of commerce, which, though prudently of so favorable a conjuncture, and they occasioned but little debate at the stipulated that this body should take a mil- time, proved very soon afterwards a source lion of the exchequer-bills for two years, at of the most violent contests, and gradually an interest reduced by one-fourth, and should led to all the horrors and calamities of a also pay a fine, on the renewal, of one hun- civil war.

dred and ten thousand pounds. This was The fourteenth resolution of the commitcertainly the most beneficial contract ever tee of ways and means, which stated, “that before made with that corporation, whose towards farther defraying the said expenses, vast money trade is supported by the credit it might be proper to charge certain stamp of government. For the rest of the ex- duties in the said colonies and plantations," chequer-bills, they struck new ones. They was thrown out, or rather postponed to the brought to the service of the nation about next session, in order to give the colonies seven hundred and twenty-three thousand an opportunity of petitioning against it, pounds, the produce of the French prizes should they deem it exceptionable, and of taken before the declaration of war, and offering some equivalent for the supposed which the king generously bestowed upon produce of such a tax.

the public. They also brought to account But a bill was passed for restraining the what had been long neglected, to the detri- increase of paper money in the colonies, by ment of the service, and the reproach of declaring that any such paper, which might former administrations, the saving on the be in future issued there, should not be connon-effective men; and this saving amount-sidered as a legal tender in payment. It is ed to one hundred and forty thousand pounds. remarkable, that all those measures, many With these resources, with the land-tax now of which were extremely delicate and hazgrown into a settled and permanent revenue ardous, were proposed, acquiesced in, and of four shillings in the pound, with the duty passed into laws, without the least animadupon malt, with two millions taken from the version, as if the leaders of party, who had sinking fund, being the overplus of that fund, been so clamarous about trifles, anticipated joined to some other savings, they paid off with silent joy the fatal issue of such experithe before-mentioned debt, and provided for ments, and looked upon them as the probable the current service in all its establishments means of introducing themselves into power, and contingencies. They justified their em- even through the distresses and convulsions ployment of the overplus of the sinking fund of the whole empire.

Among the bills prepared for the royal high military rank from the service, and, assent at the close of the session on the among the rest, lieutenant-general Conway, eighteenth of April, was one which had for an officer of distinguished merit and abiliits object the increase of the revenue of the ties. So harsh a step admitted, however, post-office, by correcting and restraining of some little excuse. In the debate on abuses and frauds in the practice of frank- general warrants, the division in the coming. Upon the whole, it was estimated that mons ran so near, as before observed, that the loss to the revenue, in consequence of the ministry carried the question only by a franking amounted to one hundred and sev-majority of fourteen. Had the question enty thousand pounds annually. It there- been decided in favor of the opposition, the fore became necessary for a government, monument was to have been illuminated in which valued itself upon economy, to check the same manner as in the year 1732, when those abuses, and to regulate the privilege. the famous excise scheme was defeated; It was made felony and transportation for and the greatest testimonies of joy were to seven years to forge a frank. have been displayed. Preparations for those GENERAL CONWAY DISMISSED. purposes having been openly made, were Ir is unnecessary to make any remarks considered as so many insults upon governon the speech, with which his majesty closed ment; and however the zeal of the citizens this session, as it contained only the usual or of the uninformed populace might influreturn of thanks to both houses for their ence them, it was thought indecent in any wise and public-spirited exertions; a renewal of the king's servants to countenance such of the assurances which his majesty contin- proceedings. The general officer already ued to receive of the pacific sentiments of mentioned was represented as being an imforeign powers; and an exhortation to em- portant acquisition to the minority, and was ploy this season of tranquillity in considering charged with not only voting against the of the most effectual means for perfecting court in the debate on general warrants, but the works of peace, so happily begun. Thus with speaking in the most disrespectful ended the parliamentary campaign for this terms of the minister's person and capacity season; and the ministry, to whose duration for business. The general and his friends a very short date had been assigned by their very properly insisted upon his being as inadversaries, not only weathered the storms dependent as any other gentleman in the of the session, but seemed to gather new house of commons, and that he ought to be strength to contend with future tempests. as free in giving his vote. The ministry In the moment of triumph, and of indigna- were far from disputing that principle; but tion also at those who had deserted them in they said, that the king ought to have an the hour of greatest danger, they showed equal freedom in employing whom he pleas their power and resentment, perhaps too in- ed in the departments that were in his disdiscreetly, by dismissing some persons of posal (6).


mon council for his just and]
spirited conduct in the late tri-
als. The lord-mayor, alder-
men, and common council of
London improved upon the ex-
ample by a vote, that the free-
dom of the city should be pre-
sented to his lordship, and that
he should also be requested to
sit for his picture, to be placed
in Guildhall, as a lasting me.
morial of their gratitude. Sim-
ilar compliments were trans-
mitted to him from some other
communities in England and
Ireland; and the seal of royal
approbation was soon after af-

1 All Mr. Pitt's former harsh and
outrageous censures of the peace
were softened into this courtly
phrase, in his conversation with
the king.

2 The present duke of York.
3 The orator here alluded to Mr.
Wilkes's famous, or rather in-
famous "Essay on Woman."
4 His lordship acquired great pop-
ularity by his judicial decisions
on the illegality of general war.
rants. The corporation of Dub-
lin took the lead in voting him
the freedom of their city in a
gold box, accompanied with the
thanks of the sheriffs and com-

fixed to those testimonies of
popular esteem, by creating him
a peer of the realm.

5 Dr. Warburton, bishop of Glou-
cester, whose name was most
scurrilously inserted in the title
page as the author of the notes.
The complaint could not other-
wise have been properly brought
before the house of lords.
6 In little more than a year after.
the general had ample amends
made him for the unpleasant.
ness of this dismission, by be-
ing appointed one of the secre-
taries of state.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


Inquiry into the Causes of the Renewal of Hostilities with the Savage Tribes in America-Extent of the Governments of Quebec, of East and West Florida-Incitements to War on the Part of the Indians-Military Operations against the Indians, and Peace with them-Impolitic Suppression of the commercial Intercourse between the British and Spanish Plantations, and between the American Colonies and the French Islands Colonists refuse Compensation for the Stamp Duties-State of the British Logwood-cutters in the Bay of Honduras-French atone for outrage at Turk's Island-Progress of American Stamp Act through both Houses-Prevention of Smuggling Purchase of the Sovereignty of the Isle of Man-A Regency Bill recommended by his Majesty—New Administration formed by the Duke of Cumberland.


CAUSES OF DISTURBANCES WITH THE inspection of the governor of Newfoundland, their value depending wholly on the fishery. 1763.-THE renewal of hostilities on the The islands of St. John and Cape Breton part of the savages in America was barely were annexed, as their situation required, noticed, early in the last chapter, among the to Nova Scotia. important concerns of the British ministry; This distribution of the newly-acquired but any farther details on that head were territories was announced to the public, in a then postponed, on account of the more im- royal proclamation of the seventh of Octomediate and more interesting pressure of ber, 1763. Most people were, indeed, asdomestic occurrences. In order now to lead tonished to find, that the environs of the the reader to a proper idea of the events of great lakes, the fine countries on the whole that savage war, it will be necessary to trace course of the Ohio and Ouabache, and alout the causes which probably gave rise to most all that tract of Louisiana which lies it; and to explain the measures, which were on the hither branch of the Mississippi, were cautiously though at first unsuccessfully de- left out, and, as it were, disregarded in this signed to prevent any such disturbances. boasted plan of territorial regulation. But

By the fourth and seventh articles of the the ministry had many reasons for such an treaty of peace, Canada was ceded to Great apparent omission. A consideration of the Britain in its utmost extent. This stretched Indians carried with it no small weight, bethe northern part of her possessions on the cause it might have given a sensible alarm continent of America from one ocean to the to that people, if they had seen their whole other. The cession of Louisiana to the Mis-country formally cantoned out into regular sissippi, and of the Spanish Florida on both establishments. It was in this idea that the seas, made her American empire complete. proclamation strictly forbade any purchases No frontiers could be more distinctly defin- or settlements beyond the limits of the three ed, nor more perfectly secured. The only before-mentioned governments, or any excare which seemed left for Great Britain, tension of the old colonies beyond the heads was to render these acquisitions as beneficial of the rivers which fall from the westward in traffic, as they were extensive in terri-into the Atlantic ocean; reserving expressly tory. In order to come at an exact know- all the territories behind, as a huntingledge of everything necessary for this pur- ground for the Indians. Another reason, pose, it was judged expedient to divide the probably, why no disposition had been made new acquisitions on the continent into three of the inland country, was, that the charters separate and independent governments. of many of the old colonies gave them no The first and most northerly of these di- other bounds to the westward but the South visions was called the government of Quebec, Sea; and consequently comprehended almost the limitation of which within narrower all the conquered districts. But where the boundaries than those formerly assigned by western boundary ought to be settled, was a the French to Canada, excited some surprise matter which admitted of great dispute; and, and no inconsiderable clamor at home. The to all appearance, could only be finally adsouthern divisions were more easily adjusted, justed by the interposition of parliament. as the two provinces of East and West Flor- That the ministry were not guilty of any ida were regularly parted by the river Apa-blamable neglect is evident from their earnlachicola. The coast of Labrador from the est attention to the improvement of those river St. John to Hudson's Straits, and all parts which they could perfectly command. the neighboring islands in the gulf of St. In order to invite soldiers and seamen, who Laurence, were subject to the authority and had served in the American war, to settle in

the country they had conquered, lots of land British settlements, but from their own bad were offered to them as the rewards of their economy of this single resource of savage services, and in proportion to the rank they life. It was therefore very natural for them held in the army or navy. Every field-officer to look upon every garrison as the first adwas to have five thousand acres, every cap-vances of an encroaching colony; and, in tain three thousand, every subaltern two the midst of all these fears, a report having thousand, every non-commissioned officer been spread amongst them, that a scheme two hundred, and every private soldier or was formed for their entire extirpation, they seaman fifty. But as no encouragement un- did not hesitate a moment longer to take up connected with the idea of liberty could be the hatchet.

flattering to Englishmen, a civil establish- The Delawares and Shawanese, who, as ment, comprehending a popular representa- the cultivation of Pennsylvania advanced, tive, agreeably to the plan of the royal had retired, and settled upon the Ohio, took governments in the other colonies, was di- the lead in this renewal of hostilities. They rected as soon as the circumstances of these had even the address to engage the Senecas, countries would admit of it; and in the one of the five nations to whom they themmean time, such regulations were provided selves had been formerly tributaries, to esas held out to every individual the full en- pouse their quarrel, and to join in the projoyment and benefit of the laws of England. posed attack on the British forts and colonies. And, lastly, that nothing might be wanting General Amherst, the commander-in-chief, for the security of new settlers, and for sensible of the danger to which all the Britawing as well as protecting the Indian na-ish conquests were exposed by the sudden tions, a regular military establishment also breaking out of this war, sent off detachwas formed there, consisting of ten thousand ments as early as possible to strengthen the men, divided into twenty battalions, part of chief posts. Detroit was the first, where whom were to be employed in the defence one of the detachments arrived on the twentyof the West India islands. ninth of July, and where a plan was immediTHE INDIANS COMMENCE HOSTILITIES. ately formed by captain Dalyel, who had the BUT though the most prudent steps were command of these troops, for surprising the thus taken, to avoid giving offence to the savages in their camp, which was about Indians on the one hand, and to intimidate three miles from the fort. The captain set their ferocity on the other, they suddenly out at the head of two hundred and fortyfell upon the frontiers of the most valuable five men, between two and three o'clock in settlements, and upon all the outlying forts, the morning, with all the precautions possi with such a unanimity in the design, and ble. He was also attended by two armed such persevering fury in the attack, as had boats, to co-operate with the land forces, not been experienced even in the hottest whose march lay along the bank of the lake, times of any former war. Various causes or to cover, if necessary, their retreat. They concurred to urge them on to this very un- were not far from the Indian quarters, when expected violence. The English had treat- they received a brisk fire in their front. Ined the savages at all times with too much stantly after it began upon their rear. They indifference, but more especially since the were attacked on all sides, and their com close of the French war. The usual pres-mander fell early in the action. The darkents were omitted. Contrary to the inten-ness of the night hindered their seeing the tions of government, settlements were at- enemy; and the whole party was on the tempted beyond the just limits. Purchases, point of falling into irremediable confusion. indeed, were made of the lands, and some- The Indians had been apprized of their detimes fair ones. But the Indians, conscious sign, and had, with their usual subtlety, of the weakness and facility of their own posted themselves in such a manner behind character in all dealings, have often consid- hedges, and in huts on each side of the road, ered a purchase and an invasion as nearly as gave them a considerable advantage over the same thing. They expect, that the rea- the exposed assailants. In this emergency, son of enlightened nations will rather aid, captain Grant, on whom the command of the than take advantage of their imbecility, and British troops devolved, saw that nothing will not suffer them, even when they are was left but a retreat. He also saw that willing, to do those things which must end even this could be effected only by first in their ruin when done. They were also making a spirited attack on the enemy's alarmed at seeing all the places of strength posts, which was done with great order and in the possession of the British troops, and a resolution. The Indians were driven from chain of forts drawn round the best hunting the road, and at length repulsed everywhere. country they had left, which was an object Captain Grant then made good his retreat to of the more serious concern to them, as such the boats, which carried off the wounded; ground became every day more scarce, not and the rest of the detachment regained the only from the gradual extending of the fort, though with great difficulty, and con

« PreviousContinue »