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that there is not a member in this are inseparable. Yet there is scarcely house but is acquainted with their pur- a man in our streets, though so poor as port also. There ought, therefore, to scarcely to be able to get his daily be no delay in entering upon this mat- bread, but thinks he is the legislator ter; we ought to proceed to it im- of America. 'Our American subjects," mediately; we ought to seize the first is a common phrase in the mouths of moment to open the door of reconcilia- the lowest orders of our citizens; but tion. The Americans will never be in property, my lords, is the sole and ena temper or state to be reconciled; they tire dominion of the owner : it excludes ought not to be, till the troops are all the world besides the owner. None withdrawn. The troops are a per
can intermeddle with it. It is a unity, petual irritation to those people; they a mathematical point. It is an atom ; are a bar to all confidence and all cor- untangible by any but the proprietor. dial reconcilement. The way must be Touch it, and the owner loses his whole immediately opened for reconciliation. property. The touch contaminates the It will soon be too late. I know not whole mass, the whole property vanwho advised the present measures; I ishes. The touch of another anniknow not who advises to a persever- hilates it; for whatever is a man's own, ance and enforcement of them; but is absolutely and exclusively his own.” this I will say, that whoever advises Having stated that the Americans them ought to answer for it at his ut- had been shamefully abused by the most peril. I know that no one will course pursued towards them, he went avow that he advised, or that he was on to ask, “How have this respectable the author of these measures; every people behaved under their grievances ? one shrinks from the charge. But With unexampled patience, with unsomebody has advised his majesty to paralleled wisdom. They chose delethese measures, and if he continues to gates by their free suffrages. No hear such evil counsellors, his majesty | bribery, no corruption, no influence will be undone; his majesty may in- there, my lords. Their representatives deed wear his crown, but, the American meet, with the sentiments and temper, jewel out of it, it will not be worth the and speak the sense of the continent. wearing. What more shall I say? I For genuine sagacity, for singular modmust not say the king is betrayed; but eration, for solid wisdom, manly spirit, this I will say, the nation is ruined. sublime sentiments, and simplicity of What foundation have we for our language, for every thing respectable claims over America? What is our and honorable, the Congress of Philaright to persist in such cruel and vin- delphia shine unrivalled. This wise dictive measures against that loyal, re- people speak out. They do not hold spectable people? They say you have the language of slaves ; they tell you no right to tax them without their con- what they mean. They do not ask sent. They say truly. Representation you to repeal your laws as a favor ; and taxation must go together; they they claim it as a right-they demand
CHATHAM'S ELOQUENT APPEAL.
it. They tell you they will not submit attendance on it at every step and to them; and I tell you the acts must period of this great matter, unless nailbe repealed; they will be repealed; ed down to my bed by the severity of you cannot enforce them. The minis- disease. My lords, there is no time to try are checkmated; they have a move be lost; every moment is big with danto make on the board ; yet not a move, gers. Nay, while I am now speaking, but they are ruined. Repeal, there the decisive blow may be struck, and fore, my lords, I say. But bare repeal millions involved in the consequences. will not satisfy this enlightened and The very first drop of blood will make spirited people. What! repeal a bit a wound that will not easily be skinned of paper! repeal a piece of parchment! over. Years, perhaps ages, may not That alone will not do, my lords. You heal it. It will be immedicabile vulmust go through the work--you must nus : a wound of that rancorous, maligdeclare you have no right to tax—then nant, corroding, festering nature, that, they may trust you; then they will in all probability, it will mortify the have some confidence in you."
whole body. Let us, then, my lords, The eloquent advocate of truth and set to this business in earnest; not take justice concluded in these words: “My it up by bits and scraps as formerly, lords, deeply impressed with the im- just as exigencies pressed, without any portance of taking some healing meas- regard to general relations, connections, ures at this most alarming, distracted and dependencies. I would not, by state of our affairs, though bowed down any thing I have said, my lords, be with a cruel disease, I have crawled to thought to encourage America to prothis house, to give you my best counsel ceed beyond the right line. I reproand experience; and my advice is, to bate all acts of violence by her mobility. . beseech his majesty to withdraw his But when her inherent constitutional troops. This is the best I can think rights are invaded, those rights which of. It will convince America that you she has an equitable claim to enjoy by mean to try her cause, in the spirit, and the fundamental laws of the English by the laws of freedom and fair in constitution, and which are engrafted quiry, and not by codes of blood. How thereon by the unalterable laws of nacan she now trust you, with the bay. ture, then I own myself an American, onet at her breast? She has all the and feeling myself such, shall, to the reason in the world now to believe you verge of my life, vindicate those rights mean her death, or her bondage. Thus against all men who strive to trample entered on the threshold of this busi- upon or oppose them.” ness,
I will knock at your gates for jus- Mr. Josiah Quincy, who was in the tice without ceasing, unless inveterate gallery of the House at the time and infirmities stay my hand. My lords, I heard this speech, speaks of it in rappledge myself never to leave this busi- turous terms: it is to him that we are
I will pursue it to the end in indebted for the able manner in which every shape. I will never fail of my it has been reported. Lord Camden
and several other noblemen supported he had sketched. Dr. Franklin, howthe motion of Chatham, but the min-ever, at the special request of Lord isterial majority was very large against Chatham, was present at the debates it. In the Commons the papers relat- upon it. Lord Dartmouth was at first ing to America were referred to a com- disposed to have the bill lie upon the mittee of the whole. The petition to table; but Lord Sandwich opposed its the king issued by the Continental being received, and moved that it be Congress was among these papers. immediately “rejected with the conFranklin, Lee, and Bollan, as agents tempt it deserved. He could never for the colonies, on the 26th of January, believe," he said, " that it was the protendered a petition to the House, stat- duction of a British
it appeared ing that they were directed by Con- to him rather the work of some Amerigress to present a memorial from it to can." Turning his face towards Dr. Parliament. They also prayed to be Franklin, then standing at the bar, heard at the bar in support of the “He fancied,” he said, “ he had in his memorial. The House refused to grant eye the person who drew it up, one of the application, and the ministry derided the bitterest and most mischievous enethe complaints of America as being mies this country had ever known.” To pretended grievances.
this part of the speech of Lord SandAt the beginning of February, Lord wich, the great Chatham replied, by
Chatham brought forward an- saying, “that it was entirely his own.
other bill“ for settling the troub- This declaration," he said, “ he thought les, and for asserting the supreme legis- himself the more obliged to make, as lative authority and superintending many of their lordships appeared to power of Great Britain over the col- have so mean an opinion of it; for if it onies.” Though this bill, as it contained was so weak or so bad a thing, it was a direct avowal of the supreme author- proper in him to take care that no ity of Parliament over the colonies, in other person should unjustly share in all cases except that of taxation, would the censure it deserved. It had been probably never have received the heretofore reckoned his vice not to be assent of the Americans, yet as it ex- apt to take advice; but he made no pressly denied the Parliamentary power scruple to declare, that if he were the of taxing the colonies, without the con- first minister of this country, and had sent of their Assemblies, and made the care of settling this momentous other important concessions, it was re- business, he should not be ashamed of jected by a vote of two to one, without publicly calling to his assistance a even the courtesy of a second reading person so perfectly acquainted with the Lord Chatham, as Pitkin relates, had whole of American affairs, as the genshown this bill to Dr. Franklin, before tleman alluded to, and so injuriously he submitted it to the House of Lords, reflected on; one whom all Europe but the latter had not an opportunity held in estimation for his knowledge of proposing certain alterations which and wisdom, and ranked with
LORD'S NORTH'S PLAN OF CONCILIATION.
Boyles and Newtons; who was an unwise and impolitic in regard to the honor, not to the English nation only, people of Great Britain. By the loss but to human nature." *
of their foreign trade and the fisheries, Immediately after the failure of the colonists, it was said, particularly Chatham's efforts, a joint address was those of New England, would be unpresented to the king on American able to pay the large balances due from affairs. In this address the Parliament them to the British merchants. But declared, “that a REBELLION actually every argument, however just or reasonexisted in the province of Massachu- able, was urged in vain against the setts Bay, besought his majesty to measures proposed by the minister. An . adopt measures to enforce the author- idea prevailed in Great Britain, that ity of the supreme legislature, and the people of New England were desolemnly assured him that it was their pendent on the fisheries for subsistence, fixed resolution, at the hazard of their and that, when deprived of these, they lives and properties, to stand by him would be starved into obedience and against his rebellious subjects." Not- submission.* withstanding the eloquent opposition Lord North, who, in all personal remade to this address, it passed by a large lations, was an amiable and peace-loving majority. The king's reply was in per- man, ventured to propose a plan fect accordance with the tenor of that of conciliation, which, in its subaddress, and showed how entirely he stance, did not differ much from that sanctioned the course pursued towards advocated by Lord Chatham. It
prothe Americans. On the 10th of Febru- vided," that when the Governor, Counary, Lord North introduced a bill re- cil and Assembly, or General Court, of stricting the commerce of Massachu- any of his majesty's colonies in Amersetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island ica, shall propose to make provision, and Connecticut, to Great Britain, Ire- according to the condition, circumland, and the British West Indies, and stances, and situation of such province prohibiting their carrying on any fish- or colony, for contributing their proeries on the banks of Newfoundland, portion for the common defence, (such and other places, for a limited time; proportion to be raised under the authorthe same restrictions were subsequently ity of the General Court or Assembly extended to all the colonies represented of such colony, and disposable by Parin the Congress at Philadelphia, with liament,) and shall engage to make the exception of New York and North provision also for the support of the Carolina. These bills were opposed by civil government and the administrathe minority in both houses, as unjust tion of justice in such colony, it will be and cruel towards the colonists, involving the innocent with the guilty, and * The reader will be interested in examining the
“Hints for conversation upon the subject of terms,
that might probably produce a durable union be* Pitkin's “Civil and Political History of the tween Great Britain and the colonies." See FrankUnited States,” vol. i.
lin's Autobiography, pp. 283–94 ; 325, etc.
proper, if such proposal shall be ap- eloquence and powerful talents of Mr. proved by his majesty and the two Burke, were rejected by the usual minHouses of Parliament, and for so long isterial majorities.* as such provision shall be made ac- The Americans, meanwhile, were not cordingly, to forbear, in respect to such | idle. The provincial Congress of Mascolony, to levy any duty, tax, or assess- sachusetts met, on the 1st of February, ment, except only such duties as it may 1775, at Cambridge, and about the be expedient to levy or impose for the middle of the month, adjourned to regulation of commerce; the net pro- Concord. They entered with ceeds of the duties last mentioned to be energy and spirit into measures carried to the account of such colony re- and plans for resistance. They earnspectively.” Considerable surprise was estly begged the militia, in general, , excited by this movement on the part and the minute-men, in particular, to of the minister, and it was argued that be indefatigable in improving themhe was giving up the very point in dis- selves in military discipline; they repute. This led to his avowing that in commended the making of fire-arms reality nothing was meant to be con- and bayonets: and they dissuaded the ceded; he only hoped by this measure people from supplying the troops in to divide the colonies and prevent their Boston with any thing necessary for united opposition. With this explana- military service. The Committee of tion, it was adopted, but, as might have Safety resolved to purchase powder, been expected, it was productive of artillery, provisions, and other military none of the wished-for results in favor stores, and to deposit them partly at of the ministerial measures.
Worcester, and partly at Concord. The adoption of the conciliatory General Gage was not an inattentive scheme proposed by Lord North, did spectator of these proceedings. Having not prevent Mr. Burke and Mr. Hartley learned that some military stores of the from presenting to the House their re- colonists were deposited at Salem, he spective plans of reconciliation. That thought it his duty to send Colonel of the former, founded on the principle Leslie with a detachment of soldiers to of expediency, was to permit the col seize them. This was on Sunday, the onies to tax themselves in their Assem- 26th of February. The troops landed blies, according to ancient usage, and to at Marblehead, and proceeded to Salem; repeal all acts of Parliament imposing but not finding any thing there, they duties in America. Mr. Hartley pro- advanced along the road to Danvers, posed, that, at the request of Parlia- whither the stores had been removed, ment, the secretary of state should require a contribution from the colonies for the general expense of the empire, towards the close of the session, a very strongly leaving the amount and application to
worded petition from the General Assembly of that
province. This was quite unlooked for, and disapthe colonial Assemblies. These propo- pointed the ministry greatly. Lord North succeeded sitions, though supported by all the in preventing its being entertained by the House.
* Burke, who was agent for New York, presented,