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executive power of a British parliament, said the young statesman, another and another will be tried, till the measure of despotism be filled up. At that time the king was so eager to give effect to the law which subverted the charter of Massachusetts, that acting upon information confessedly insufficient, he, with Dartmouth, made out for that province a complete list of councillors, called mandamus councillors from their appointment by the crown. Copies of letters from Franklin and from Arthur Lee had been obtained; Gage was secretly ordered to procure, if possible, the originals, as the means of arraigning their, authors for treason. Bernard and Hutchinson had reported that the military power failed to intimidate, because no colonial civil officer would sanction its employment: to meet the exigency, Thurlow and Wedderburn furnished their opinion, that such power belonged to the governor himself as the conservator of the peace in all cases Chap. IV.} 1774. June. whatsoever. I a
May. last days of May. The people had been lulled into a belief, that the ministry indulged in menaces only to render the olive branch acceptable; and the measures of parliament implied confidence in peace. And now it was certain that war had begun, that Britain was at war with herself. The Massachusetts congress, by a swift packet in its own service, had sent to England a calm and accurate statement of the events of the nineteenth of April, fortified by depositions, with a charge to Arthur Lee their agent, to give it the widest circulation. These were their words to the inhabitants of Britain: Brethren, we profess to be loyal and dutiful subjects, and so hardly dealt with as we have been, are still ready, with our lives and fortunes, to defend the person, family, crown, and dignity of our royal sovereign. Nevertheless, to the persecution and tyranny of his cruel ministry we will not submit; appealing to Heaven for the justice of our cause, we Chap. Xxxiii} 1775. May. determ