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JOHN DICKINSON, ESQUIRE,
LATE PRESIDENT OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, AND of
THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
PRINTED AND SOLD BY BONSAL AND NILES.
ALSO, SOLD AT THEIR BOOK-STORE, NO. 173, MARKET-STREET, BALTIMORE.
(Entered according to Act of Congress.)
THE present age has been witness to as great political phenomena, as have appeared in the history of the world.
AMONG other events, we have seen America, in a dignified progression, from resentment of injuries to remonstrances, from remonstrances to arms, and from arms to liberty——after a vicissitude of fortunes delivered from despotism, and establishing her freedom in a repub1ican form of government, on the pure and just principles of popular representation and federal union, delineated in these writings.
THROUGHOUT the course of these contests, the friends of liberty in Great-Britain, many of them peers or members of the house of commons, of the highest characters, were warm advocates for THE JUSTICE OF Our cause.
In the year 1774, the earl of Chatham, in a speech worthy of his distinguished talents and
illustrious reputation, said—" If we take a transient view of those motives, which induced the ancestors of our fellow subjects in America, to leave their native country, to encounter the innumerable difficulties of the unexplored regions of the Western world, our astonishment at the present conduct of their descendents will naturally subside. There was no corner of the globe to which they would not have fled, rather than submit to the slavish and tyrannical spirit, which prevailed at that period in their native country; and viewing them in their original, forlorn, and now flourishing state, they may be cited as illustrious instances to instruct the world--what great exertions mankind will make, when left to the free exercise of their own powers.
"It has always been my fixed and unalterable opinion, and I will carry it with me to the grave, that this country had no right whatever to tax America. It is contrary to all the principles of justice and civil policy: it is contrary to that essential, unalterable right in nature, ingrafted into the British constitution as a fundamental law, that what a man has honestly acquired is absolutely his own, which he may freely
give, but which cannot be taken from him without his own consent.
"PASS then, my lords, instead of these harsh and severe edicts, an amnesty over their errors; by measures of lenity and affection, allure them to their duty; act the part of a generous and forgiving parent. A period may arrive, when this parent may stand in need of every assistance, she can receive from a grateful and affectionate offspring."
SOON afterwards, in a confidential letter to a friend, he writes" Every step on the side of government in America, seems calculated to drive the Americans into open resistance, vainly hoping to crush the spirit of liberty in that vast continent, at one successful blow; but millions must perish there, before the seeds of freedom will cease to grow and spread, in so favourable a soil; and in the mean time, devoted England must sink herself, under the ruins of her own foolish and inhuman system of destruction. It is plain, that America cannot bear chains. Would to heaven it were equally plain, that the oppressor, England, is not doomed one day