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ADDRESS TO THE ANGLO-AMERICAN COLONIES.
may be more satisfactory to you to be informed great number of severe penalties and forfeitures; by us in a collective body, than in any other manner and in two sections makes a remarkable distincof those sentiments that have been approved upon tion between the subjects in Great Britain and a full and free discussion, by the representatives of those in America. By the one, the penalties and so great a part of America, we esteem ourselves forfeitures incurred there are to be recovered in obliged to add this address to these resolutions. any of the king's courts of record at Westmin
In every case of opposition by a people to their ster, or in the court of exchequer in Scotland ; rulers, or of one state to another, duty to Al- and by the other, the penalties and forfeitures inmighty God, the Creator of all, requires that a curred here are to be recovered in any court of true and impartial judgment be formed of the record, or in any court of admiralty or vicemeasures leading to such opposition; and of the admiralty, at the election of the informer or prosecauses by which it has been provoked, or can in cutor. any degree be justified, that neither affection on The inhabitants of these colonies, confiding in one hand, nor resentment on the other, being per- the justice of Great Britain, were scarcely allowed mitted to give a wrong bias to reason, it may be sufficient time to receive and consider this act, beenabled to take a dispassionate view of all circum- fore another, well known by the name of the stances, and to settle the public conduct on the Stamp Act, and passed in the fifth year of this solid foundations of wisdom and justice.
reign, engrossed their whole attention. By this From councils thus tempered arise the surest statute the British Parliament exercised in the hopes of the divine favor, the firmest encourage- most explicit manner a power of taxing us, and ment of the parties engaged, and the strongest extending the jurisdiction of courts of admiralty recommendation of their cause to the rest of man
and vice-admiralty in the colonies to matters kind.
arising within the body of a country, and directed With minds deeply impressed by a sense of the numerous penalties and forfeitures thereby inthese truths, we have diligently, deliberately, and flicted, to be recovered in the said courts. calmly inquired into and considered those exer- In the same year a tax was imposed upon us tions, both of the legislative and executive power by an act establishing several new fees in the cusof Great Britain, which have excited so much un- toms. In the next year the Stamp Act was reeasiness in America, and have with equal fidelity | pealed, not because it was founded in an erronand attention considered the conduct of the col- eous principle, but, as the repealing act recites, onies. Upon the whole, we find ourselves re
because the continuance thereof would be atduced to the disagreeable alternative of being tended with many inconveniences, and might be silent and betraying the innocent, or of speaking productive of consequences greatly detrimental out and censuring those we wish to revere. In to the commercial interest of Great Britain." making our choice of these distressing difficulties, In the same year, and by a subsequent act, it we prefer the course dictated by honesty and a was declared, “that his majesty in Parliament, regard for the welfare of our country.
of right, had power to bind the people of these Soon after the conclusion of the late war there colonies by statutes in all cases whatsoever.” In commenced a memorable change in the treatment the same year another act was passed for impoof these colonies. By a statute made in the sing rates and duties payable in these colonies. fourth year in the present reign, a time of pro- In this statute the Commons, avoiding the terms found peace, alleging "the expediency of new of giving and granting, “humbly besought his provisions and regulations for extending the com- majesty, that it might be enacted, etc.” But merce between Great Britain and his majesty's from a declaration in the preamble, that the rates dominions in America, and the necessity of rais- and duties were in lieu of” several others granting a revenue in the said dominions, for defraying ed by the statute first before mentioned for raisthe expenses of defending, protecting, and securing a revenue, and from some other expressions, ing the same," the Commons of Great Britain un- it appears that these duties were intended for that dertook to give and to grant to his majesty many purpose. rates and duties to be paid in these colonies. To In the next year, (1767) an act was made, “ to enforce the observance of this act, it prescribes a enable his majesty to put the customs and other
duties in America under the management of com- said Assembly for furnishing the troops within missioners, etc., and the king thereupon erected that province, not only with all such necessaries the present expensive Board of Commissioners, as were required by the statute, which they were for the express purpose of carrying into execution charged with disobeying, but also with those rethe several acts relating to the revenue and trade quired by two other subsequent statutes, which in America.
were declared to be in force until the twentyAfter the repeal of the Stamp Act, having fourth day of March, 1769. again resigned ourselves to our ancient unsus- The statutes of the year 1767 revived the picious affections for the parent state, and anxious apprehensions and discontents that had entirely to avoid any controversy with her, in hopes of a subsided on the repeal of the Stamp Act; and, favorable alteration in sentiments and measures amidst the just fears and jealousies thereby octowards us, we did not press our objections against casioned, a statute was made in the next year, the above-mentioned statutes made subsequent to (1768) to establish courts of admiralty and vicethat repeal.
admiralty on a new model, expressly for the end Administration attributing to trifling causes, a of more effectually recovering of the penalties and conduct that really proceeded from generous mo- forfeitures inflicted by Acts of Parliament, framed tives, were encouraged in the same year, (1767) for the purpose of raising a revenue in America, to make a bolder experiment on the patience of etc. The immediate tendency of these statutes is America.
to subvert the right of having a share in legislaBy a statute commonly called the Glass, Paper, tion, by rendering Assemblies useless ; the right and Tea Act, made fifteen months after the re- of property, by taking the money of the colonists peal of the Stamp Act, the Commons of Great without their consent; the right of trial by jury, Britain resumed their former language, and again by substituting in their places trials in admiralty undertook to "give and grant rates and duties to and vice-admiralty courts, where single judges be paid in these colonies,” for the express purpose preside, holding their commissions during pleasof “raising a revenue to defray the charges of the ure, and unduly to influence the courts of common administration of justice, the support of civil gov- law, by rendering the judges thereof totally deernment, and defending the king's dominions," on pendent on the crown for their salaries. this continent. The penalties and forfeitures in- These statutes, not to mention many others curred under this statute, are to be recovered in exceedingly exceptionable, compared one with the same manner with those mentioned in the another, will be found not only to form a regular foregoing acts.
system in which every part has great force, but To this statute, so naturally tending to disturb also a pertinacious adherence to that system for the tranquillity then universal throughout the subjugating these colonies, that are not, and from colonies, Parliament in the same session added local circumstances cannot, be represented in the another no less extraordinary.
House of Commons, to the uncontrollable and Ever since the making the present peace, a unlimited power of Parliament, in violation of standing army has been kept in these colonies. their undoubted rights and liberties, in contempt From respect for the mother country, the innova- of their humble and repeated supplications. tion was not only tolerated, but the provincial
This conduct must appear equally astonishing legislatures generally made provision for supply- and unjustifiable, when it is considered how un ing the troops.
provoked it has been by any behavior of these The Assembly of the province of New York colonies. From their first settlement, their bithaving passed an act of this kind, but differing interest enemies never fixed on any of them any some articles from the directions of the Act of charge of disloyalty to their sovereign, or disaffecParliament made in the fifth year of this reign, tion to their mother country. In the wars she the House of Representatives in that colony was has carried on, they have exerted themselves, prohibited by a statute made in the last session whenever required, in giving her assistance ; and mentioned from making any bill, order, resolution, have rendered her services which she has publicly or vote, except for adjourning or choosing a acknowledged to be extremely important. Their speaker, until provision should be made by the fidelity, duty, and usefulness during the last war,
ADDRESS TO THE ANGLO-AMERICAN COLONIES.
required of it hath been complied with ; and the “I shall make such a prudent and proper use
were frequently and affectionately confessed by Earl of Shelburne, Secretary of State, clearly show his late majesty and the present king.
with what grateful tenderness they strove to bury The reproaches of those who are most un- in oblivion the unhappy occasion of the late disfriendly to the freedom of America, are prin- cords, and with what respectful deference they cipally levelled against the province of Massa- endeavored to escape other subjects of future chusetts Bay, but with what little reason will ap- controversy. "The House," says the governor, pear by the following declarations of a person, the from the time of opening the session to this day, truth of whose evidence in their favor will not be has shown a disposition to avoid all dispute with questioned. Governor Bernard thus addresses me ; everything having passed with as much good the two Houses of Assembly in his speech on the humor as I could desire, except only their con24th of April, 1762, " The unanimity and destinuing to act in addressing the king, remonstratpatch with which you have complied with the ing to the Secretary of State, and employing a requisitions of his majesty require my particular separate agent. It is the importance of this inacknowledgment, and it gives me additional pleas-novation, without any wilfulness of my own, which ure to observe, that you have therein acted under induces me to make this remonstrance at a time, no other influence, than a due sense of your duty, when I have a fair prospect of having in all other both as members of a general empire and as the business nothing but good to say of the proceedbody of a particular province."
ings of the House." In another speech, on the 27th of May, in the They have acted in all things, even in their same year, he says, " Whatever shall be the event remonstrance, with temper and moderation; they of the war, it must be no small satisfaction to us, have avoided some subjects of dispute, and have that this province hath contributed its full share laid a foundation for removing some causes of to the support of it. Everything that hath been former altercation."
' I a execution of the powers committed to me for of this letter as I hope will perfectly restore the raising the provincial troops hath been as full and
peace and tranquillity of this province, for which complete as the grant of them. Never before
purpose considerable steps have been made by the were regiments so easily levied, so well composed, House of Representatives.” and so early in the field as they have been this The vindication of the province of Massachusetts year : the common people seem to be animated Bay contained in these letters, will have greater with the spirit of the general court, and to vie force if it be considered that they were written with them in their readiness to serve the king.” several months after the fresh alarm given to the
Such was the conduct of the people of the colonies by the statutes passed in the preceding Massachusetts Bay during the last war. As to
year. their behavior before that period, it ought not to In this place it seems proper to take notice of have been forgot in Great Britain, that not only the insinuation of one of those statutes, that the on every occasion, they had constantly and cheer- interference of Parliament was necessary to profully complied with the frequent royal requisitions, vide for "defraying the charges of the administrabut that chiefly by their vigorous efforts Nova tion of justice, the support of civil government, Scotia was subdued in 1710, and Louisbourg in and defending the king's dominions in America.” 1745.
As to the first two articles of expense, every Foreign quarrels being ended, and the domestic colony had made such provision as by their redisturbances that quickly succeeded on account spective assemblies, the best judges on such occaof the Stamp Act being quieted by its repeal, the sions, was thought expedient and suitable to their Assembly of Massachusetts Bay transmitted an several circumstances; respecting the last, it is humble address of thanks to the king and divers well known to all men, the least acquainted with noblemen, and soon after passed a bill for grant- American affairs, that the colonies were estabing a compensation to the sufferers in the disorder lished and generally defended themselves without occasioned by that act.
the least assistance from Great Britain ; and that These circumstances and the following extracts at the time of her taxing them by the statutes from Governor Bernard's letters, in 1768, to the before mentioned, most of them were laboring
under very heavy debts contracted in the last war. again disturbed, as has been mentioned, by the So far were they from sparing their money when statutes of the year 1767, the Earl of Hillstheir sovereign constitutionally asked their aids, borough, Secretary of State, in a letter to Govthat during the course of that war Parliament ernor Bernard, dated April 22, 1768, censures repeatedly made them compensations for the ex- the "presumption” of the House of Represenpenses of those strenuous efforts which, consult- tatives for “resolving upon a measure of so ing their zeal rather than their strength, they had inflammatory a nature, as that of writing to the cheerfully incurred.
other colonies on the subject of their intended Severe as the acts of Parliament before men- representations against some late acts of Parliationed are, yet the conduct of administration hath ment,” then declares that “his Majesty considers been equally injurious and irritating to this de- this step as evidently tending to create unwarrantvoted country.
able combinations, to excite an unjustifiable oppoUnder pretence of governing them, so many sition to the constitutional authority of Parlianew institutions uniformly rigid and dangerous ment,” and, afterwards adds, “It is the king's have been introduced, as could only be expected pleasure, that as soon as the general court is again from incensed masters for collecting the tribute assembled at the time prescribed by the charter, or rather the plunder of conquered provinces. you should require of the House of Represent
By an order of the king, the authority of the atives, in His Majesty's name, to rescind the commander-in-chief, and under him of the briga-resolutions which gave birth to the circular letter dier-generals, in time of peace, is rendered su- from the speaker, and to declare their disapprobapreme in all civil governments in America, and tion of and dissent to that rash and hasty prothus an uncontrollable military power is vested in ceeding.” officers not known to the constitutions of these “If the new assembly should refuse to comply colonies.
with his majesty's reasonable expectation, it is the A large body of troops, and a considerable | king's pleasure that you should immediately disarmament of ships of war, have been sent to assist solve them." in taking their money without their consent.
This letter being laid before the House, and Expensive and oppressive offices have been the resolution not being rescinded, according to multiplied, and the acts of corruption industrious- order the assembly was dissolved. A letter of a ly practised to divide and destroy.
similar nature was sent to other governors to The judges of the admiralty and vice-admiralty procure resolutions approving the conduct of the courts are empowered to receive their salaries and Representatives of Massachusets Bay, to be refees from the effects to be condemned by them- scinded also ; and the Houses of Representatives selves.
in other colonies refusing to comply, assemblies The commissioners of the customs are empow
were dissolved. ered to break open and enter houses without the These mandates spoke a language to which the authority of any civil magistrate, founded on legal ears of English subjects had for several generainformation
tions been strangers. The nature of assemblies Judges of courts of common law have been implies a power and right of deliberation ; but made entirely dependent on the crown for their these commands proscribing the exercise of judgcommissions and salaries. A court has been es- ment on the propriety of the requisitions made, tablished at Rhode Island for the purpose of tak- left to the assemblies only the election between ing colonists to England to be tried. Humble dictated submission and threatened punishment : and reasonable petitions from the representatives a punishment, too, founded on no other act than of the people have been frequently treated with such as is deemed innocent even in slaves, of contempt, and assemblies have been repeatedly agreeing in petitions for redress of grievances that and arbitrarily dissolved.
equally affect all. From some few instances it will sufficiently The hostile and unjustifiable invasion of the appear on what pretences of justice those disso- town of Boston soon followed these events in the lutions have been founded.
same year ; though that town, the province in The tranquillity of the colonies having been which it is situated, and all the colonies, from
abhorrence of a contest with their parent state, last mentioned, an act was passed for changing permitted the execution even of those statutes the government of Quebec, by which act the Roagainst which they were so unanimously complain- man Catholic religion, instead of being tolerated, ing, remonstrating, and supplicating.
as stipulated by the treaty of peace, is estabAdministration, determined to subdue a spirit lished, and the people there are deprived of a of freedom which English ministers should have right to an Assembly, trials by jury, and the Engrejoiced to cherish, entered into a monopolizing lish laws in civil cases are abolished, and instead combination with the East India company to send thereof, the French laws are established, in direct to this continent vast quantities of tea, an article violation of his majesty's promise by his royal on which a duty was laid by a statute that in a proclamation, under the faith of which many Engparticular manner attacked the liberties of Amer- lish subjects settled in that province; and the ica, and which, therefore, the inhabitants of these limits of that province are extended so as to comcolonies had resolved not to import. The cargo prehend those vast regions that lie adjoining to sent to South Carolina was stored and not allowed
the northerly and westerly boundaries of these to be sold. Those sent to Philadelphia and New colonies. York were not permitted to be landed. That The authors of this arbitrary arrangement flatsent to Boston was destroyed, because Governor ter themselves that the inhabitants, deprived of Hutchinson would not suffer it to be returned. liberty, and artfully provoked against those of
On the intelligence of these transactions arriv- another religion, will be proper instruments for ing in Great Britain, the public-spirited town last assisting in the oppression of such as differ from mentioned was singled out for destruction, and it them in modes of government and faith. was determined the province it belongs to should From the detail of facts hereinbefore recited, partake of its fate. In the last session of Parlia- as well as from authentic intelligence received, it ment, therefore, were passed the acts for shutting is clear, beyond a doubt, that a resolution is up the port of Boston, indemnifying the murderers formed, and now carrying into execution, to exof the inhabitants of Massachusetts Bay, and tiuguish the freedom of these colonies, by subjectchanging their chartered constitution of govern- | ing them to a despotic government. ment. To enforce these acts, that province is At this unhappy period, we have been auagain invaded by a fleet and army.
thorized and directed to meet and consult toTo mention these outrageous proceedings, is gether, for the welfare of our common country. sufficient to explain them. For though it is We accepted the important trust with diffidence, pretended the province of Massuchusetts Bay has but have endeavored to discharge it with integbeen particularly disrespectful to Great Britain, rity. Though the state of these colonies would yet, in truth, the behavior of the people in other certainly justify other measures than we have adcolonies has been an equal opposition to the power vised, yet weighty reasons determined us to preassumed by Parliament." No step, however, has fer those which we have adopted. In the first been taken against any of the rest. This artful place, it appeared to us a conduct becoming the conduct conceals several designs. It is expected character these colonies have ever sustained, to that the province of Massachusetts Bay will be perform, even in the midst of the unnatural disirritated into some violent action that may dis- tresses and immediate dangers which surround please the rest of the continent, or that may in them, every act of loyalty, and, therefore, we duce the people of Great Britain to approve the were induced once more to offer to his majesty meditated vengeance of an imprudent and ex- the petitions of his faithful and oppressed subjects asperated ministry. If the unexampled pacific in America. Secondly, regarding, with the tentemper of that province shall disappoint this part der affection which we knew to be so universal of the plan, it is hoped the other colonies will be among our countrymen, the people of the kingdom so far intimidated as to desert their brethren from which we derive our origin, we could not forsuffering in a common cause, and that thus dis- bear to regulate our steps by an expectation of united all may be subdued.
receiving full conviction that the colonists are To promote these designs another measure equally dear to them. Between these provinces has been pursued. In the session of Parliament and that body subsists the social band, which we