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liberties, and who will vindicate them, troops, by a special enactment, as Mr. if ever they should be violated. But Hildreth notes, known as the “Quarterthe subject is too delicate—I will say ing Act,” the colonies in which these no more."
troops might be stationed, were reBarré's eloquence had its effect, but quired to find quarters, fire-wood, bedit was only momentary; the bill passed ding, drink, soap, and candles. by a vote of two hundred and forty- The Virginia Assembly was in sesfive to forty-nine: there was no division, sion, in May, when the news arrived of or the slightest opposition in the Lords; the passage of these acts. The feeland, on the 22d of March, the royal ings of the people had been gradually assent was given, and the Stamp Act becoming more and more exbecame a law.* Barré's words had cited; the minister's plan of
been heard in the gallery by employing only Americans to act as
an American, who wrote them executors of the Stamp tax, gave no out, sent them across the Atlantic, and satisfaction or promise of its being by midsummer, they were as familiar quietly yielded to; and although the as household words to the Americans, aristocracy might hesitate in a case like and the name of Sons OF LIBERTY this, where so many interests seemed cheered and strengthened the hearts to be at stake, the mass of the people of thousands to dare and do in behalf found their fit champion in Patrick of their rights. Franklin, on the very Henry. He had already distinguished night of the passage of the bill, wrote himself in Virginia, in 1763, where, to his friend, Charles Thompson, after-contrary to the law, and notwithstandwards secretary of Congress: “the sun ing the most clear legal rights of the of liberty is set; the Americans must plaintiffs, (the colonial clergy), he had light the lamps of industry and econ- succeeded, by the mere force of his omy.” “Be assured,” was Mr. Thomp- eloquence, in carrying the jury, and the son's response soon after: “we shall whole court, in favor of his clients, the light torches of a very different sort," — defendants.* Chosen a member of the a significant allusion to what would in- Assembly, Henry now, when others evitably follow any attempt to carry hesitated, stepped forth, and proposed out so unjust and impolitic a scheme, these stirring Resolutions : as that of the English ministry.
Resolved, That the first adventurers, In the Annual Mutiny Act, there settlers of this his Majesty's colony and was a clause inserted, which was to dominion of Virginia, brought with carry out another part of the minis- them and transmitted to their posterterial plans, by authorizing as many ity, and all other his Majesty's subjects, troops to be sent to America as the since inhabiting in this his Majesty's ministers might see fit. For these
For these said colony, all the privileges, fran
* See Appendix II., at the end of the present chap
+ See Wirt's “Life of Patrick Henry,” pp. 37–49 : also Hildreth, vol. ii. p. 508, 9.
0227"Ć O the Southern Zistrict of 1.7.
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PATRICK HENRY'S RESOLUTIONS.
chises, and immunities that have at any protracted for hours. Henry, roused time been held, enjoyed, and possessed by imputations freely uttered by those by the people of Great Britain. who opposed action, exclaimed, “ Cæsar
Resolved, That by two royal charters, had his Brutus, Charles I. his Cromgranted by King James I., the colo- well, and George III.” — nies aforesaid are declared entitled to 66 Treason !" cried the speakerall liberties, privileges, and immunities “Treason ! treason !" echoed from of denizens, and natural-born subjects, every part of the house." It was one to all intents and purposes, as if they of those trying moments," as Mr. Wirt had been abiding, and born within the well says, “which are decisive of charrealm of England.
acter. Henry faltered not for an inResolved, That the taxation of the stant, but rising to a loftier attitude, people by themselves, or by persons and fixing on the speaker an eye of the chosen by themselves to represent most determined fire, he finished his them, who can only know what taxes sentence with the firmest emphasis, the people are able to bear, and the and George III.-may profit by their easiest mode of raising them, and are example! If this be treason, sir, make equally affected by such taxes them- | the most of it.?»1* selves, is the distinguishing character- The resolutions were carried, the last istic of British freedom, and without by a majority of only one vote. It is which the ancient constitution cannot true that the next day, when Henry subsist.
was absent, the last resolution was Resolved, That his Majesty's liege rescinded; nevertheless, in their originpeople, of this most ancient colony, al form they were speedily put in cirhave enjoyed the rights of being thus culation throughout the colonies, and governed by their own Assembly, in gave a strong impulse to the popular the article of taxes, and internal police, feeling. The bold stand of Virginia, and that the same have never been for- was well calculated to nerve the patrifeited, or yielded up, but have been otic hearts of true men everywhere. constantly recognized by the king and In Massachusetts, before the news people of Britain.
arrived of what had been done by the Resowed, therefore, That the General Virginians, the General Court Assembly of this Colony, have the sole appointed a committee of nine right and power, to lay taxes and im- to consider the steps necessary to be posts upon the inhabitants of this col-taken in the present emergency. That ony, and that every attempt to vest committee (June 6th,) recommended such
any other person or per
person or per the calling of a Congress at New York, sons whatsoever, than the General As- on the first Tuesday in October, to consembly aforesaid, has a manifest ten- sult upon the affairs of the colonies, and dency to destroy British, as well as “ to consider of a general and humble American freedom.
A violent debate ensued, which was * Wirt's “Life of Patrick Henry,” p. 83.
Address to his Majesty and the Parlia- the house of Benjamin Hallowel, compment, to implore relief." Governor troller of the customs, and repeated Bernard thought it best to concur in similar excesses, and drank and dethe adoption of this plan. James Otis, stroyed his liquors. They afterwards with Ruggles and Partridge, were de- proceeded to the house of Mr. Hutchputed to represent Massachusetts in this inson, and soon demolished it. They Congress.
carried off his plate, furniture, and apA popular outbreak soon after, parel, and scattered or destroyed manshowed how violently the spirit of op- uscripts, and other curious and useful position had begun to work. A large papers, which for thirty years he had elm tree in Boston, under which the been collecting, an irreparable loss. opponents of the stamp tax were ac- About half a dozen of the meanest of customed to assemble, soon became the mob were soon after taken up and famous as “Liberty Tree." Early in committed, but they either broke jail, the morning of August 14th, two effigies or otherwise escaped all punishment. were suspended from the branches of The inhabitants of Boston, in a town this elm; one was designed for Oliver, meeting, expressed their abhorrence of secretary of the colony, and appointed these excesses, and a civic guard was stamp distributer; the other, intended organized to prevent their recurrence; for the Earl of Bute, prime minister, but the rioters, though well known, was a jack boot, with a head and horns were never punished, a proof that the peeping out at the top. Great numbers community generally, though unwilling both from town and country came to to do such things, were not sorry that see them. The spectators soon entered they had been done by others. into the spirit of the thing. In the There were similar outbreaks of evening the whole was cut down and popular fury in the other colonies. On carried in procession by the populace, the 24th of August a gazette extrashouting “liberty and property forever! ordinary was published at Providence, no stamps !” They next pulled down with Vox Populi vox Dei
, for a motto: a new building, lately erected by Mr. effigies were exhibited, and in the Oliver. They then went to his house, evening cut down and burnt. Three before which they beheaded his effigy, days afterwards, the people of Newand at the same time broke his win- port conducted effigies of three obnoxdows. Eleven days after, similar vio- ious persons in a cart, with halters about lences were repeated. The mob at their necks, to a gallows near the town tacked the house of Mr. William Story, house, where they were hung, and after deputy register of the court of admi- a while cut down and burnt amidst the ralty, broke his windows, forced into acclamations of thousands. On the his dwelling house, and destroyed the last day of October, a body of people books and files belonging to the said from the country, approached the town court, and ruined a great part of his of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in furniture. They next
They next proceeded to the apprehension that the stamps would