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little dreamt of what has happened, and are disappointed in their views.

Does not every act of Administration, from the Tea Act to the present session of Parliament, declare this, in plain and self-evident characters? Had the Commissioners any powers to treat with America? If they meant peace, would Lord Howe have been detained in England five months after passing the act? Would the powers of these Commissioners have been confined to mere acts of grace, upon condition of absolute submission?, No! surely no! They meant to drive us into what they termed rebellion, that they might be furnished with a pretext to disarm, and then strip us of the rights and privileges of Englishmen and citizens.

If they were actuated by the principles of justice, why did they refuse, indignantly, to accede to the terms which were humbly supplicated before hostilities commenced, and this country was deluged in blood; and now make their principal officers, and even the Commissioners themselves, say, that these terms are just and reasonable; nay, that more will be granted than we have yet asked, if we will relinquish our claim to independency?

What name does such conduct as this deserve? And what punishment is there in store for the men who have distressed millions, involved thousands in ruin, and plunged numberless families in inextricable woe? Could that which is just and reasonable now, have been unjust four years ago?

They must either be wantonly wicked and cruel, or, (which is only another mode of describing the same thing.) under false colors are now endeavoring to deceive the great body of the people, by industriously propagating a belief, that Great Britain is willing to offer ANY terms, and that we will accept NONE; thereby hoping to poison and disaffect the minds of those who wish for peace, and to create feuds and dissensions among ourselves.

In a word, having less dependence now in their arms than their arts, they are practising such low and dirty tricks, that men of sentiment and honor must blush at their fall.

Among other manoeuvres in this way, they are forging letters, and publishing them as intercepted ones of mine, to prove that I am an enemy to the present measures, and have been led into them, step by step, still hoping that Congress would recede from their claims.



The Stamp Act, imposed on the colonies by the Parliament of Great Britain, engrosses the conversation of the speculative part of the colonists, who look upon this unconstitutional method of taxation, as a direful attack upon their liberties, and loudly exclaim against the violation.

What may be the result of this, and of some other

(I think I may add ill-judged) measures, I will not undertake to determine; but this I may venture to affirm, that the advantage accruing to the mothercountry will fall greatly short of the expectations of the ministry; for certain it is, that our whole substance already in a manner flows to Great Britain, and that whatsoever contributes to lessen our importations must be hurtful to our manufactures. The eyes of our people already begin to be opened; and they will perceive, that many luxuries, for which we lavish our substance in Great Britain, can well be dispensed with, while the necessaries of life are mostly to be had within ourselves. This, consequently, will introduce frugality, and be a necessary incitement to industry.

If Great Britain loads her manufactures with heavy taxes, will it not facilitate such results? They will not compel us, I think, to give our money for their exports, whether we will or not. And I am certain, that none of their traders will part with them, without a valuable consideration. Where, then, is the utility of these restrictions?

As to the Stamp Act, regarded in a single view, one and the first bad consequence attending it, is, that our courts of judicature must inevitably be shut up; for it is impossible, or next to impossible, under our present circumstances, that the act of Parliament can be complied with, were we ever so willing to enforce its execution. And, not to say (which alone would be sufficient) that we have not money to pay

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.



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.


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.


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

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