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PROCEEDINGS OF THE COLONIAL CONGRESS.
be distributed; but on receiving assur- Revolution. 66 In the course of a three ance that there was no such intention, weeks' session,” says Mr. Hildreth, “ a they quietly returned. All the bells in Declaration of the rights and grievances Portsmouth, Newcastle, and Greenland, of the colonies was agreed to. All the were tolled, to denote the decease of privileges of Englishmen were claimed Liberty; and in the course of the day, by this declaration, as the birthright notice was given to her friends to at- of the colonists--among the rest, the tend her funeral. A coffin, neatly right of being taxed only by their own ornamented, and inscribed with “ LIB- consent. Since distance and local cirERTY, aged cxlv. years," was prepared cumstances made a representation in for the funeral procession, which began the British Parliament impossible, these from the state house, attended with representatives, it was maintained, could two unbraced drums; minute guns be no other than the several colonial were fired until the corpse arrived legislatures. Thus was given a flat at the grave, when an oration was pro negative to a scheme lately broached pounced in honor of the deceased; but in England by Pownall and others, for scarcely was the oration concluded, allowing to the colonies a representation when, some remains of life having been in Parliament, a project to which both discovered, the corpse was taken up; Otis and Franklin seemed at first to and the inscription on the lid of the have leaned. A petition to the king, coffin was immediately altered to “LIB- and memorials to each house of ParliaERTY REVIVED;" the bells suddenly ment was also prepared, in which the struck a cheerful sound, and joy ap- cause of the colonies was eloquently peared again in every countenance. In pleaded. Ruggles refused to sign these Connecticut, Mr. Ingersoll, the consti- papers, on the ground that they ought tuted distributer of stamps, was exbib- first to be approved by the several Asited and burnt in effigy in the month semblies, and should be forwarded to of August; and the resentment at England as their acts. Ogden, one of length became so general and alarming, the New Jersey delegates, withheld his that he resigned his office.
signature on the same plea.
The In the midst of this wide-spread ex- delegates from New York did not sign, citement, on the 7th of October, com- because they had no special authority
mittees from nine of the colonies for their attendance; nor did those of
assembled in New York. As-Connecticut or South Carolina, their surances of support and co-operation commissions restricting them to a rewere received from other colonies, not port to their respective Assemblies. represented by committees at the Con- The petition and memorials, signed by gress. Timothy Ruggles, of Massachus- the other delegates, were transmitted, etts, was appointed president, and among early in November, to England for the members were Otis, Johnson, Dick presentation. The several colonial Asinson, Gadsden, etc., all subsequently semblies, at their earliest sessions, gave distinguished in the history of the to the proceedings à cordial approval.
The conduct of Ruggles, in refusing should be delivered to the corporation, his signature, was severely censured and they were deposited in the city by the Massachusetts representatives. hall. Ten boxes of stamps, which arOgden was burned in effigy by the rived subsequently, were committed to people of New Jersey.
the flames. Satirical pamphlets and The first of November was the day cutting articles in the journals, conappointed for the Stamp Act to go in stantly added fresh fuel to the flame. operation; but no stamps were any- One of those published at Boston bore where to be seen on that day. The for its title, “ The Constitutional Coustamp distributer in New York had rier, or Considerations important to resigned, and the obnoxious act was Liberty, without being contrary to Loycontemptuously cried about the streets, alty.” But the device adopted was most labelled, " The Folly of England and original, representing a serpent cut into Ruin of America!” Lieut.-Governor eight pieces, the head bearing the iniColden took every precaution to secure tials of New England, and the other the stamp papers, but many of the in- pieces those of the other colonies as habitants of the city, offended at the far as Carolina, the whole being surconduct and disliking the political sen- mounted by the significant inscription, timents of the governor, having assem- in large letters, “UNITE OR DIE." Simbled on the evening of November 1st, ilar striking demonstrations of the
popbroke open his stable, and took out his ular feeling in regard to the stamp coach ; and after carrying it through tax, occurred in Philadelphia, and in the principal streets of the city, marched Maryland and Virginia. to the common, where a gallows was Notwithstanding the Stamp Act was erected, on one end of which they sus- to go into operation on the first of pended his effigy, with a stamped bill November, yet legal proceedings were of lading in one hand, and a figure of carried on in the courts just the same the devil in the other. When the as before. Vessels entered and left the effigy had hung a considerable time, ports without stamped papers. The they carried it in procession, suspended printers boldly issued their newspato the gallows, to the gate of the fort, pers, and found a sufficient number of whence it was removed to the bowling readers, though they used common green, under the very muzzles of the paper, in defiance of the act of Parliaguns, and a bonfire made, in which ment. In most departments, by comeverything, including the coach, was mon consent, business was carried on consumed, amidst the acclamations of as though no Stamp Act had existed. several thousand spectators. The next This was accompanied by spirited resoday, the people insisting upon having lutions to risk all consequences, rather the stamps, it was agreed that they than submit to use the paper required
by law. While these matters were in Hildreth’s “ History of the United States," vol. agitation, the colonists entered into ii., p. 530.
associations against importing British
OPPOSITION TO THE STAMP TAX.
manufactures till the Stamp Act should march with the utmost expedition, at be repealed. In this manner British their own proper cost and expense, liberty was made to operate against with their whole force, to the relief of British tyranny. Agreeably to the those that should be in danger from free constitution of Great Britain, the the Stamp Act, or its promoters and subject was at liberty to buy, or not abettors, or anything relative to it, to buy, as he pleased. By suspending on account of anything that may have their future purchases till the repeal been done in opposition to its obtainof the Stamp Act, the colonists made it ing." the interest of merchants and manufac- A change in the English ministry turers to solicit for that repeal. They took place in July of this year, the had usually purchased so great a pro- news of which encouraged the portion of British manufactures, that Americans in the stand they the sudden stoppage of all their orders, had taken. The Marquis of Rockingamounting annually to
annually to several mil- ham became the new prime minister, lions sterling, threw some thousands in and was liberally disposed. Parliament England out of employment, and in- met in January, 1766, and the colonial duced them, from a regard to their affairs at once occupied its attention. own interest, to advocate the measures In the speech from the throne wished for by America. The petitions the king declared“his firm confrom the colonies were seconded by pe- fidence in the wisdom and zeal of the titions from the merchants and manu- members, which would, he doubted not, , facturers of Great Britain. What the guide them to such sound and prudent former prayed for as a matter of right, resolutions as might tend at once to the latter solicited from motives of in- preserve the constitutional rights of the
The colonists showed their British legislature over the colonies, spirit by encouraging domestic manu- and to restore to them that harmony factures. Coarse, common cloths came and tranquillity which had lately been into use in preference to those imported interrupted by disorders of the most from the mother country. Foreign dangerous nature.” The correspondelegancies were dispensed with. The ence of the colonial governors, and zeal of the women surpassed that of other papers, were produced. Numerthe men, and they agreed to forego ous petitions also from British merornaments and luxuries to support the chants were presented to the two good cause. This was bringing the Houses. The ex-ministers, who were question to a point; the English ar- now in the opposition, defended their tisans and others felt the effect imme- line of policy and their acts. Pitt, diately, and many of them were re- who was not connected with either the duced to great distress by there being Grenville or the Rockingham ministry, no work for them to do. The Sons and who had taken but little part of of Liberty entered into an agreement late in public affairs, owing to ill health, by which they bound themselves “to now appeared in his place in the House
and strongly advocated the repeal of have been slaves if they had not enthe Stamp Act.
joyed it. At the same time this king"It is a long time, Mr. Speaker,” he dom has ever possessed the power of said, "since I have attended in Parlia- legislative and commercial control. ment: when the resolution was taken The colonies acknowledge your auin this House to tax America, I was ill thority in all things, with the sole in bed. If I could have endured to exception that you shall not take their have been carried in my bed, so great money out of their pockets without was the agitation of my mind for the their consent. Here would I draw the consequences, I would have solicited line-quam ultra citraque nequit consome kind hand to have laid me down sistere rectum." on this floor to have borne my testi- A profound silence succeeded these mony against it. It is my opinion that words, and for a time no one seemed this kingdom has no right to lay a tax disposed to advocate the cause of the upon the colonies. At the same time, late ministry. At length, Grenville* I assert the authority of this kingdom himself, a man of no mean powers, rose to be sovereign and supreme in every and said: “protection and obedience circumstance of government and legis- are reciprocal; Great Britain protects lature whatsoever. Taxation is no part | America, America is therefore bound of the governing or legislative power; to yield obedience. If not, tell me and taxes are a voluntary gift and when were the Americans emancigrant of the commons alone. The con- pated ?"
pated ?" Looking significantly at Mr. currence of the peers and of the crown Pitt, he exclaimed, “The seditious is necessary only as a form of law. spirit of the colonies owes its birth to This House represents the commons the factions in this house ! Gentlemen of Great Britain. When in this House are careless what they say, provided it we give and grant, therefore, we give serves the
purposes of opposition. We and grant what is our own; but can were told we trod on tender ground; we give and grant the property of the we were bid to expect disobedience: commons of America ? It is an ab- what is this but telling America to surdity in terms. There is an idea in some, that the colonies are virtually represented in this House. I would
received at his hands a soubriquet that annoyed him fain know by whom? The idea of not a little. On one occasion, in the course of devirtual representation is the most con
bate, he had called on the gentleman opposite to him temptible that ever entered into the
them tell me where,” he repeated, fretfully. “I say, head of man; it does not deserve a sir, let them tell me where. I repeat it, sir, I am serious refutation. The commons in
entitled to say to them, tell me where." Pitt, who
was in the House that evening, in a whining tone, America, represented in their several resembling Grenville's, hummed a line of a wellAssemblies, have invariably exercised
“ Gentle shepherd, tell me where.” this constitutional right of giving and
Grenville was in a rage, but the House laughed
heartily. The nickname, Gentle Shepherd, stuck to granting their own money; they would
him, and it was long before it was forgotten.
* Grenville was the brother-in-law of Pitt, and
to say where an additional tax could be laid.
PITT'S REPLY TO GRENVILLE.
stand out against the law? to encour- erty upon a general constitutional prinage their obstinacy with the expectation ciple, it is a ground on which I dare of support here? Ungrateful people meet any man. I will not debate of America! The nation has run itself points of law; but what, after all, do into an immense debt to give them the cases of Chester and Durham prove, protection; bounties have been extend- but that under the most arbitrary reigns ed to them; in their favor the Act of Parliament were ashamed of taxing a Navigation, that palladium of British people without their consent, and commerce, has been relaxed; and now allowed them representatives? A that they are called upon to contribute higher and better example might have a small share towards the public ex- been taken from Wales; that principense, they renounce your authority, pality was never taxed by Parliament insult your officers, and break out, I | till it was incorporated with England. might almost say, into open rebellion !" We are told of many classes of
persons The insinuation was not to be borne in this kingdom not represented in for an instant. Every one yielded at Parliament; but are they not all virtuonce to Pitt, who repelled the attack ally represented as Englishmen within with characteristic intrepidity. “Sir, the realm ? Have they not the option, a charge is brought against gentlemen many of them at least, of becoming sitting in this House of giving birth to themselves electors? Every inhabitant sedition in America. The freedom of this kingdom is necessarily included with which they have spoken their in the general system of representation. sentiments against this unhappy Act is It is a misfortune that more are not imputed to them as a crime; but the actually represented. The honorable imputation shall not discourage me. It gentleman boasts of his bounties to is a liberty which I hope no gentleman | America. Are not these bounties inwill be afraid to exercise; it is a liberty tended finally for the benefit of this by which the gentleman who calumni- kingdom? If they are not, he has ates it might have profited. He ought misapplied the national treasures. I to have desisted from his project. We am no courtier of America. I maintain are told America is obstinate-America that Parliament has a right to bind, is almost in open rebellion. Sir, I re- to restrain America. Our legislative joice America has resisted ; three mil. power over the colonies is sovereign lions of people so dead to all the feels and supreme. The honorable gentleings of liberty, as voluntarily to sub- man tells us he understands not the mit to be slaves, would have been fit difference between internal and external instruments to make slaves of all the taxation; but surely there is a plain rest. I came not here armed at all distinction between taxes levied for the points with law cases and acts of Par- purpose of raising a revenue and duties liament, with the statute book doubled imposed for the regulation of commerce. down in dogs-ears, to defend the cause When,' said the honorable gentleman, of liberty; but for the defence of lib- | 'were the colonies emancipated ? At