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V. REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
Mr. Pitt and Lord Camden were the patrons of America. Their declaration gave spirit and argument to the Colonies. They in effect, divided one half of the empire from the other. JUNIUS' LETTERS, Jan. 21, 1769.
I will not, I cannot, enter into the merits of the cause. But I dare say, the American Congress in 1776 will be allowed to be as able, and as enlightened, as the English Convention in 1688; and that their posterity will celebrate the centenary of their deliverance from us, as duly and sincerely as we do ours from the oppressive measures of the wrong-headed house of Stuart. ROBERT BURNS, 1788.
I should be happy to see your Excellency in Europe. Here you would know, and enjoy, what posterity will say of Washington. At present, I enjoy that pleasure for you; as I frequently hear the old generals of this martial country, who study the maps of America, and mark upon them all your operations, speak with sincere approbation and great applause of your conduct; and join in giving you the character of One of the Greatest Captains of the Age. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Passy, France, Mar. 5, 1780.
WAR, DEPRECATED AS AN EVIL.
My first wish is, to see this plague of mankind banished from the earth, and the sons and daughters of this world employed in more pleasing and innocent amusements, than in preparing implements, and exercising them, for the destruction of mankind.
Rather than quarrel about territory, let the poor,
the needy, and oppressed of the earth, and those who want land, resort to the fertile plains of our Western Country, the second land of promise, and there dwell in peace, fulfilling the first and great commandment.
The friends of humanity will deprecate War, wheresoever it may appear; and we have experience enough of its evils, in this country, to know, that it should not be wantonly or unnecessarily entered upon.
I trust, that the good citizens of the United States will show to the world, that they have as much wisdom in preserving peace at this critical juncture, as they have hitherto displayed valor in defending their just rights.
The madness of the European powers, and the calamitous situation into which all of them are thrown by the present ruinous war, ought to be a serious warning to us, to avoid a similar catastrophe, so long as we can with honor and justice to our national character.
Here have fallen thousands of gallant spirits, to satisfy the ambition of their Sovereigns, or to support them, perhaps, in acts of oppression and injustice! Melancholy reflection! For what wise purpose does Providence permit this? Is it as a scourge to man
kind, or is it to prevent them from becoming too populous? If the latter, would not the fertile plains of the Western World receive the redundancy of the Old ?
RESORT TO ARMS, IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM.
At a time, when our lordly masters in Great Britain will be satisfied with nothing less than the deprivation of American freedom, it seems highly necessary, that something should be done to avert the stroke, and maintain the liberty which we have derived from our ancestors. But the manner of doing it, to answer the purpose effectually, is the point in question.
That no man should scruple, or hesitate a moment, to use arms, in defence of so valuable a blessing, is clearly my opinion.
Arms should be the last resource, the dernier resort.
We have already, it is said, proved the inefficacy of addresses to the Throne, and remonstrances to Parliament. How far, then, their attention to our rights and privileges is to be awakened or alarmed, by starving their trade and manufactures, remains to be tried.
NON-IMPORTATION AND DISUSE OF BRITISH COM
The Northern colonies are endeavoring to adopt this scheme. In my opinion, it is a good one, and must be attended with salutary effects, provided it can be carried pretty generally into execution. But. to what extent it is practicable to do so, I will not take upon me to determine. That there will be a difficulty attending the execution of it every where, from clashing interests, and selfish, designing men, ever attentive to their own gains, and watchful of every turn that can assist their lucrative views, cannot be denied. In the tobacco colonies, where the trade is so diffused, and in a manner wholly conducted by factors for their principals at home, these difficulties are certainly enhanced, but, I think, not insurmountably increased, if the gentlemen, in their several counties, will be at some pains to explain matters to the people, and stimulate them to cordial agreements, to purchase none but certain enumerated articles, out of any of the stores, after a definite period, and neither import nor purchase any themselves.
This, if it should not effectually withdraw the factors from their importations, would at least make them extremely cautious in doing it, as the prohibited goods could be vended to none but the non-associators, or those who would pay no regard to their asso
ciation; both of whom ought to be stigmatized, and made the objects of public reproach.
The more I consider a scheme of this sort, the more ardently I wish success to it, because I think there are private as well as public advantages to result from it, the former certain, however precarious the latter may prove.
I have always thought, that, by virtue of the same power which assumes the right of taxation, the Parliament may attempt at least to restrain our manufacturers, especially those of a public nature, the same equity and justice prevailing in the one case as the other, it being no greater hardship to forbid my manufacturing, than it is to order me to buy goods loaded with duties, for the express purpose of raising a reveBut as a measure of this sort would be an additional exertion of arbitrary power, we cannot be placed in a worse condition, I think, by putting it to the test.
That the colonies are considerably indebted to Great Britain, is a truth universally acknowledged. That many families are reduced, almost, if not quite, to penury, and want, by the low ebb of their fortunes, and that estates are daily selling for the discharge of debts, the public prints furnish too many melancholy proofs.
That a scheme of this sort will contribute more