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parliament, had suffered any injury or damage, ought to have full compensation made to them, by the respective colonies in which such injuries or damages were sustained. The secretary had also recomiended to the governors, to be particularly attentive ibat sucli persons should be effectually secured from any further insult or disgust; and that they might be treated with that respect and justice which their merits towards the crown, and their past sufferings, undoubtedly claimed.
It was principally in the province of Massachusetts, that these disorders bad taken place; and the governor, Bernard, lost no time in communicating to the assembly the resolution of the house of commons; but this he did in such intemperate language as gave great offence to the representatives, and greatly imbittered, on both sides, the inisunderstanding already existing between them. Much altercation ensued ; in which the assembly armed itself sometimes with one excuse, and sometimes with another, for not granting the indemnifications required; till at length, resurning the further consideration of the subject, and reflecting, on the one hand, that in any event the parliament would have the power to raise the sum necessary for the compensations, by imposing some new duty on the maritime ports, and on the other, that this new resistance might render them odious in the eyes of prudent men, as the refractory spirit of Massachusetts had already been greatly censured, they resolved, that the indemnifications should be made, at the expense of the province; and accordingly passed an act for granting compensation to the sufferers, and general pardon, annesty and oblivion, to the offenders ; to which the king afterwards refused his sanction ; denying the authority of the colonial assemblies to grant acts of general pardon. Meanwhile, the indemnifications were made; and the offenders were not prosecuted. The assembly of New York appeared to receive the act of compensation more favorably; and the greater part of the sufferers were indemnified. Colden, the lieutenant-governor, was alone refused compensation; the assembly alleging, that if the people had risen against him, he had brought it upon himself by his misconduct.
But, in the same province, another dispute soon arose, which manifested how imperfectly the seeds of discord were extinguished. General Gage was expected at New York with a considerable body of troops ; in consequence of which, the governor addressed a message to the assembly, requesting it to put in execution the act of parliament called the mutiny act, which requires, that in the colonies where the royal troops are stationed, they shall be provided with barracks and other necessary articles. The assembly complied only in part with this requisition, and with evident repugnance. They passed a bill for providing barracks, fire-wood, candles, bedding, and utensils for the kitchen, as demanded ; but they refused to grant salt, vinegar, and cider or beer; saying, it was not customary to
furoish these articles to soldiers when in quarters, but only when they are on the march.
The governor thought it prudent to acquiesce in this decision. And here is presented a striking example of the mildness of the Britisb ministers at this epoch; for, instead of resenting and chastising, as some advised, this new disobedience, they contented themselves with procuring a law to be passed, by which it was enacted that the legislative power of the general assembly of New York should be totally suspended, until it fully complied with all the terms of the requisition. The assembly afterwards obeyed; and things were restored to their accustomed order.
The same disputes were renewed in Massachusetts. Towards the close of the year, some companies of artillery were driven, by stress of weather, into the port of Boston. The governor was requested to lodge them, and procure them the necessary supplies; the council gave their consent; and the money was drawn from the treasury, by the governor's order. Meanwhile, the assembly met; and, desirous of engaging in controversy, sent a message to the governor, to inquire if any provision had been made for his majesty's troops, and whether more were expected to arrive, to be quartered also in the towo? The governor replied by sending them the minutes of the council, with an account of the expenses incurred; and added, that no olher: troops were expected. They had now ample matter for discussions. They exclaimed, that the governor, in giving orders for these supplies, upon the mere advice of his council, had acted, in an essential point, contrary to the statutes of the province. They added, however, some protestations of their readiness to obey the orders of the king, when requested according to established usages.
This obstinacy of two principal provinces of America, this disposition to seek new causes of contention, sensibly afflicted those persons in England who had shown themselves favorable to American privileges; and furnished a pretext for the bitter sarcasms of their adversaries, who repeated, every where, that such were the fruits of ministerial condescension,--such was the loyalty, such the gratitude of the colonists towards the mother country!
• Behold their attachment for public tranquillity! Behold the respect and deference they bear towards the British government ! They have now thrown off the mask; they now rush, without restraint, towards their favorite object of separation and independence. It is quite time to impose a curb on these audacious spirits ; they must be taught the danger of contending with their powerful progenitors, of resisting the will of Great Britain. Since they are thus insensible to the indulgence and bounty she has shown them in the repeal of the stamp duty, they must be made to pay another; both to maintain the right, and compel them to contribute directly to the common desence of the kingdom.'
These suggestions were greatly countenanced by the land holders of the British islands; who persuaded theinselves, that the more could be raised by a tax laid upon the colonies, the more their own burthens would be lessened. These opinions were also flattering to British pride, which had been hurt to the quick by the revocation of the stamp act, and still more profoundly stung by the repugnance of the Americans to any submission. The king hiinsell, who with extreme reluctance, had consented to the repeal of the act, manifested a violent indignation; and lord Bute, always his most intimate counsellor, and generally considered as the author of rigorous councils, appeared anew much disposed to lay a heavy hand upon the Americans. Hence, about the last of July, an unexpecied change of ministry was effected. The duke of Grafton was appointed first secretary of the treasury, in the place of the marquis of Rockingham; the earl of Shelburne, secretary of state, instead of the duke of. Richmond ; Charles Townsend, a man of versatile character, but of brilliant genius, chancellor of the exchequer, in the room of William Dowdeswell; and finally, William Pitt, who had recently been created viscount Pincent, and earl of Chatham, was promoted (1767) to the charge of keeper of the seals. The new ministers, with the exception, however, of the earl of Chatham, who was prevented by his infirmities from taking part in the councils, resolved to impose certain duties on tea, glass, and paints, upon their introduction into the colonies of America. The bill was drawn up to be submitted to parliament. No sooner was it convened, than Charles Townsend began, vauntingly, to vociferate in the house of commons, that he knew a mode of drawing a revenue from the colonies, without violating their rights or opinions. Grenville caught at the words, and urged the minister to declare what it was, and to promise, that he would bring it before parliament without delay. A short time after, in effect, the chancellor of the exchequer moved in the house of commons, to impose duties on tea, glass and colors, imported from England into the American colonies; he proposed also, to suppress the duties on teas that should be shippeil from England, intended for America ; and iinpose a duty of three pence per pound, upon their introduction into the American ports. These two bills were passed without much opposition, and approved by the king.
In the preamble it was declared that the produce of the duties should be applied to defray the expenses of the government and administration of the colonies. In one article it was provided, that in each province of North America should be formed a general civil list, without any fixed limit; that is, that from the produce of the new duties, a public fund should be composed, of which the government might dispose immediately, even to the last shilling, for the salaries and pensions to be paid in America. The ministers were authorised to draw this money from the treasury, and employ it at
their discretion; the surplus was to remain in the treasury, subject to the disposal of parliament. It was also enacted, that the government might, from the same funds, grant stipends and salaries to the governors and to the judges, in the colonies, and determine the amount of the
same. These last measures were of much greater importance than the taxes themselves, since they were entirely subversive of the British constitution.
In effect, since the time of Charles II., the ministers had many times attempted, but always without success, to establish a civil lisi, or royal chamber, in America, independent of the colonial assemblies; and yet Charles Townsend, with bis shrewd and subtle genius, thus obtained, as it were, while sporting, this difficult point; and obtained it, wbile the remembrance of American opposition, in a matter of much less importance, was still recent; while the traces of so great a conflagration were still smoking! These new measures produced another change of great importance; the governors and the judges being able to obtain, through the ministers, their respective emoluments, from funds raised by an act of parliament, without the intervention, and perhaps against the will of the colonial assemblies, became entirely independent of the American nation, and of its assemblies; and must found all their future hopes on the favor of the general government alone, that is, of the British ministers. The act imposing the new duties was to take effect on the 20th of November; but as if it was apprehended in England that the new tas would be too well received by the colonists; and purposely to irritate their minds, by placing before their eyes the impressive picture of the tax gatherers io be employed in the collection of these duties, another act was passed, creating a permanent adıninistration of the cus'oms in America. And, to crown such a measure, the city of Boston was selected for the seat of this new establishment; for such a purpose, less proper than any oiher ; for no where were the inhabitants more restless or jealous of their privileges; which they interpreted with a subtily peculiar to themselves.
They were, besides, not accustomed to see among them an order of financiers, lavishing in the refinements of luxury, the large emoluments to be defrayed with the money of the colonies, while they were themselves constrained to observe the limits of an extremely narrow mediocrity. From these causes combined, it resulted that many commotions were excited anew among the Americans The recent disturbances had given them a more decided inclination towards resistance; and their political researches had increased the pretensions of rights, and the desire of a liberty more ample. As this was an external tax, if more tranquil times had been chosen for its introduction, and without the combination of so many circumstances, which wounded them in their dearest interests, the people, perhaps, would have submitted to it. But in such a state of things, what
could have been expected from a tax, the produce of which was destined to form a branch of the public revenue, and wbich exceeded the limits of a commercial regulation, a thing which had already furnished the subject of so much controversy ? It was too manifest that the British government had resolved to renew its ancient pretensions, so long and firmly disputed, of establishing a public revenue in the colonies, by the authority of parliament.
Resistance, therefore, was every where promptly resolved ; and as the passions, after being compressed for a time, when rekindled in the human breast, no longer respect their ancient limits, but commonly overleap them with impetuosity; so the political writers of Boston began to fill the coluinns of the public papers with new and bold opinions respecting the authority of parliament. Already intimations were thrown out, illusive to independence; and it was asserted, that freemen ought not to be taxed, any more than governed, without their consent, given by an actual or virtual representation.
he legislative power of the parliament over the colonies was not made the subject of doubt, but denied. Adopting the opinion of those who in the two houses had opposed the repeal of the stamp act, the patriots affirined that all distinction between internal and external taxes was chimerical, and that parliament had no right to impose the one or the other ; that it had no power to make laws to bind the colonies; and, finally, they went so far as to maintain, that not being represented in parliament, they were exempted from every sort of dependence towards it.
The rights which the colonists pretended to enjoy, were explained with great perspicuity, and a certain elegance of style, in a pamphlet entitled, Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer, to the inhabitants of the English colonies. They were received with great and universal favor ; ihe author was John Dickenson.
The excitement soon became general. New associations were formed against the introduction of British manufactures, and in favor of those made at home. A paper to this effect was circulated in Boston, for such to subscribe as were disposed to become parties to the confederacy; they bound themselves by it not to purchase certain articles of commerce, after the last day of December.
But on the other hand, James Otis, from a motive unknown, whether from levity of character, or because the most ardent are frequently the least constant in their opinions, or because he really was apprehensive that the colony of Massachusetts would be left alone in the present controversy, passing from one extreme to the other, pronounced a long discourse in favor of government. Notwitbstanding which, the league was approved at Providence, at Newport, and in all Connecticut. The affair of these combications, however, advanced very slowly this time, in spite of all the efforts of the most zealous patriots.