Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

for the stamps, there are many other cogent reasons which prove, that it would be ineffectual.

If a stop be put to our judicial proceedings, I fancy the merchants of Great Britain, trading to the colonies, will not be among the last to wish for a repeal of the

act.

1765.

THE STAMP ACT: ITS REPEAL.

Those who were instrumental in procuring the repeal of the act, are, in my opinion, deservedly entitled to the thanks of the well-wishers to Britain and her colonies; and must reflect with pleasure, that, through their means, many scenes of confusion and distress have been prevented. Mine they accordingly have, and always shall have, for their opposition to any act of oppression; and that act could be looked upon in no other light, by every person who would view it in its proper colors.

1767.

The repeal of the Stamp Act, to whatever cause owing, ought much to be rejoiced at, for, had the Parliament of Great Britain resolved upon enforcing it, the consequences, I conceive, would have been more direful than is generally apprehended, both to the mother-country and her colonies. All, therefore, who were instrumental in procuring the repeal, are entitled to the thanks of every British subject, and have mine cordially.

TAXATION.

I would heartily join in an humble and dutiful petition to the throne, provided there was the most distant hope of success. But have we not tried this, already? Have we not addressed the Lords, and remonstrated to the Commons? And to what end? Did they deign to look at our petitions?

Does it not appear, as clear as the sun in meridian brightness, that there is a regular, systematic plan formed, to fix the right and practice of taxation upon us? Does not the uniform conduct of Parliament, for some years past, confirm this? Do not all the debates, especially those just brought to us, in the House of Commons, on the side of government, expressly declare, that America must be taxed in aid of British funds, and that she has no longer resources within herself?

Is there any thing to be expected from petitioning, after this? Is not the attack upon the liberty and property of the people of Boston, before restitution of the loss to the India Company was demanded, a plain and self-evident proof of what they are aiming at? Do not the subsequent bills, (now, I dare say, acts), for depriving Massachusetts Bay of its charter, and for transporting offenders into other colonies or to Great Britain, for trial, where it is impossible, from the nature of the thing, that justice

can be obtained, convince us, that the Administration is determined to stick at nothing, to carry its point? Ought we not, then, to put our virtue and fortitude to the severest test?

1774.

I think it folly, to attempt more than we can execute, as that will not only bring disgrace upon us, but weaken our cause; yet I think we may do more than is generally believed, in respect to the non-importation scheme.

As to the withholding our remittances, that is another point, in which I own I have my doubts on several accounts, but principally on that of justice; for I think, whilst we are accusing others of injustice, we should be just, ourselves; and how this can be, whilst we owe a considerable debt, and refuse payment of it, to Great Britain, is to me inconceivable. Nothing but the last extremity, I think, can justify it. Whether this is now come, is the question.

TAXATION, A QUESTION OF RIGHT AND HONOR.

What is it we are contending against? Is it against paying the duty of three pence per pound on tea, because burdensome? No; it is the right only, that we have all along disputed.

If, then, as the fact really is, it is against the right of taxation that we now do, and, as I before said, all along have contended, why should they sup

pose an exertion of this power would be less obnoxious now than formerly? And what reason have we to believe that they would make a second attempt, whilst the same sentiments fill the breast of every American, if they did not intend to enforce it, if possible?

I think, the Parliament of Great Britain have no more right to put their hands into my pocket, without my consent, than I have to put my hands into yours. This being already urged to them, in a firm but decent manner, by all the colonies, what reason is there to expect any thing from their justice?

I should much distrust my own judgment, upon the occasion, if my nature did not recoil at the thought of submitting to measures which I think subversive of every thing that I ought to hold dear and valuable, and did I not find, at the same time, that the voice of mankind is with me.

1774.

An innate spirit of freedom first told me, that the measures which the Administration have, for some time, been, and now are, most violently pursuing, are opposed to every principle of natural justice; whilst much abler heads than my own have fully convinced me, that they are not only repugnant to natural right, but subversive of the laws and constitution of Great Britain itself, in the establishment of which some of the best blood in the kingdom has been spilt.

LORD NORTH'S BILLS.

The drafts of bills which have since passed into accounts of British legislation, are so strongly marked with folly and villainy, that one can scarcely tell which predominates, or how to be surprised at any act of a British minister.

This last trite performance of Master North's, is neither more nor less than an insult to common sense, and shows to what extremity of folly wicked men, in a bad cause, are sometimes driven; for this "rude Boreas," who was to bring America to his feet, knew, at the time of drafting these bills, or had good reason to believe, that a treaty had actually been signed between the Court of France and the United States. By what rule of common sense, then, he could expect that such an undisguised artifice would go down in America, I cannot conceive.

in

Thanks to Heaven, the tables are turned; and we, I hope, shall have our Independence secured, its fullest extent, without cringing to this Son of Thunder, who, I am persuaded, will find abundant work for his troops, elsewhere; on which happy prospect I sincerely congratulate every friend of American liberty.

1778.

« AnteriorContinuar »