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rd North, he wrote on the fifth of July: You are a member of parliament, and one of that majority which has doomed my country to destruction. You have begun to burn our towns, and murder our people. Look upon your hands, they are stained with the blood of your relations! You and I were long friends; you are now my enemy, and I am yours. But Franklin did not attempt to overrule the opinions or defy the scruples of his colleagues, and, after earnest debates, congress adopted the proposal of Jay to petition the king once more. The second petition to the king was drafted by Dickinson, and in these words put forward Duane's proposal for a negotiation to be preceded by a truce: We beseech your majesty to direct some mode by Chap. XLI.} 1775. July. which the united applications of your faithful colonists to the throne, in pursuance of their common councils, may be improved into a happy and permanent reconciliation; and that, in the mean time, measures may be taken for preventing the
arriers for the British fleet or army; and sanctioned tribunals instituted in the separate colonies to confiscate their cargoes. The captures already made under the authority of Washington they confirmed. To meet the further expenses of the war, they voted bills of credit to the amount of three millions more. A motion by Chase of Maryland to send envoys to France with conditional instructions did not prevail; but on the twenty ninth of November Harrison, Franklin, Johnson, Dickinson, and Jay were appointed a secret committee for the sole purpose of corresponding with friends in Great Britain, Ireland, and other parts of the world; and funds were set aside for the payment of such agents as they might send on this service. It is an immense misfortune to the whole empire, wrote Jefferson to a Chap. XLIX.} 1775. Nov. refugee, to have a king of such a disposition at such a time. We are told, and every thing proves it true, that he is the bitterest enemy we have; his minister is ab
of the royal government. On the fifth of December they resolved themselves into a committee of the whole, to consider the draft of a separate address to the king; but as that mode of action tended to divide and insulate he provinces, Dickinson, Jay, and Wythe were sent by Chap. LV.} 1775. Dec. the general congress to Burlington, to dissuade from the measure. Admitted to the assembly, Dickinson, who still refused to believe that no heed would be taken of the petition delivered by Richard Peetitions, which we should avoid, for they would break our union, and we should become a rope of sand: rest, then, on your former noble petition, and on that of United America. We have nothing to expect from the mercy or justice of Britain, argued Jay; vigor and unanimity, not petitions, are our only means of safety. Wythe of Virginia spoke for a few minutes to the Chap. LV.} 1775. Dec. same purpose, and the well-disposed assembly of New Jersey conformed to their joint advice. Simultaneou
ted, and the women and children of a rich and populous city be removed from danger. This system was maintained alike by the prudent and the bold; by Livingston and Jay, by John Morin Scott and Macdougall. A sort of truce was permitted; the British men-of- Chap. LVIII.} 1776. Jan. war were not fired upon; and in return the commend men in New York affairs, without concert with the New York committee and even without warning, it was resented by the Dutch, and universally by all moderate men. Jay and his colleagues were anxious, lest this high insult to the authority of the New York committee should confirm that jealous distrust of the eastern colonies, whic. All their suggestions were approved, and made general in their application. After the report of a committee, consisting of Samuel Adams, William Livingston, and Jay, the several colonial conventions or committees were authorized to disarm the unworthy Americans who took the part of their oppressors; and were carefully invested
nt than Franklin; more power in debate than Jefferson; more courageous manliness than Dickinson; more force in motion than Jay; so that, by varying and confining his comparisons, he could easily fancy himself the greatest of them all. He was capableinvitation to the Canadians to form a government without any limitation of time, was, for three or four hours, resisted by Jay and others, on the ground that it was an independency; but the words were adopted, and they foreshadowed a similar decisiond Maryland. The other colonies were not sufficiently represented to give their voices. On the nineteenth, Wythe, with Jay and Wilson, was appointed to prepare a preamble to the resolutions. Wythe found himself in a minority in the committee; aontempt. This was new ground: hitherto congress had disclaimed the authority of parliament, not allegiance to the crown. Jay, Wilson, and Johnson opposed the amendment, as effectually severing the king from the thirteen colonies forever; it was su
} 1776. May. the continental congress of the fifteenth recommending the establishment of a new government, was referred to John Morin Scott, Haring, Remsen, Lewis, Jay, Cuyler, and Broome; three days later, Remsen reported from the committee, that the right of creating civil government is and ought to be in the people, and that the old form of government was dissolved; accordingly, on the thirty first, resolutions were proposed by Scott, Jay, and Haring, ordering elections for deputies, with ample powers to institute a government which should continue in force until a future peace with Great Britain. But early in June the New York congress had to pass upon the Virginia proposition of independence. This was the June. moment that showed the firmness and the purity of Jay; the darker the hour, the more he stood ready to cheer; the greater the danger, the more promptly he stepped forward to guide. He had insisted on the doubtful measure of a second petition to the king with no latent
itself; they sought no general overthrow of all kings, no universal system of republics; nor did they cherish in their hearts a lurking hatred against princes. Loyalty to the house of Hanover had, for sixty years, been another name for the love of civil and religious liberty; the vast majority, till within a few years or months, believed the English constitution the best that had ever existed; neither Franklin, nor Washington, nor John Adams, nor Jeffer- Chap. LXX.} 1776. July 4. son, nor Jay, had ever expressed a preference for a republic. The voices that rose for independence, spoke also for alliances with kings. The sovereignty of George the Third was renounced, not because he was a king, but because he was deemed to be a tyrant. The insurgents, as they took up self-government, manifested no impatience at the recollection of having been ruled by a royal line; no eagerness to blot out memorials of their former state; they sent forth no Hugh Peter to recommend to the mother co