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purposes, Gadsden, of South Carolina, said in their defence: I only wish we would imitate, instead of abusing, them. I thank God we have such a systematic body of men, as an asylum that honest men may resort to in the time of their last distress, if driven out of their own states; so far from being under any apprehensions, I bless God there is such a people in America. Harmony was maintained only by acquiescence in the policy of Dickinson. From Pittsburg, Lewis Morris of New York and James Wilson of Pennsylvania, the commissioners, recommended an expe- Chap. XLVII.} 1775. Sept. dition to take Detroit: the proposal, after a full discussion, was rejected; but the invasion of Canada, by way of the Chaudiere and of Isle aux Noix, was approved; and delegates from a convention of the several parishes of Canada would have been a welcome accession. Much time was spent in wrangling about small expenditures. The prohibition by parliament of the fisheries of New England and the restricti
tisfied at being discarded, took the responsibility of reversing the decision; and referred the subject to congress. That body appointed Wythe, Samuel Adams, and Wilson, to deliberate on the question; and on the report of their able committee they voted, that the free negroes who had served faithfully in the army at Cambridge, miich came suddenly into every one's hands, was written outside of their influence; and its doctrines threatened their overthrow. On the day after its publication, Wilson, to arrest the rapid development of opinion, came to congress with the king's speech in his hand, and quoting from it the words which charged the colonists with arous ground, he rallied the bolder members in the hope to defeat the proposal; but in the absence of John Adams even his colleagues, Cushing and Paine, sided with Wilson, who carried the vote of Massachusetts as a part of his majority. Chap. LVI.} 1776. Jan. When Cushing's constituents heard of his pusillanimous wavering, they e
itude hung on the faltering tongues of the liberated inhabitants; the selectmen of Boston addressed him in their name: Next to the divine power we ascribe to your wisdom, that this acquisition has been made with so little effusion of human blood; and the chief in reply paid a just tribute to their unparalleled fortitude. When the quiet of a week had revived ancient usages, Washington attended the Thursday lecture, Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar. which had been kept up from the days of Winthrop and Wilson, and all rejoiced with exceeding joy at seeing this New England Zion once more a quiet habitation; they called it a tabernacle that should never be taken down, of which not one of the stakes should ever be removed, nor one of the cords be broken; and as the words were spoken, it seemed as if the old century was holding out its hand to the new, and the puritan ancestry of Massachusetts returning to bless the deliverer of their children. On the twenty ninth, the two branches of the legislat
. Yet while the members of congress stammered in their utterance, they listened with disgust to Wilson, when, on the thirteenth of February, he presented a very long, ill written draught of an addres trade will then become of so much consequence that foreigners will protect you. In war, argued Wilson, trade should be carried on with greater vigor than ever, after the manner of the United Provincgress to be in favor of continuing in a state of dependence. Livingston was sustained by Duane, Wilson, and Willing; was opposed by Chase, John Adams, Wythe, Edward Rutledge, Wolcott, and Sherman; anere 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 thitherto 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
ld we support governments under his authority? Floyd of New York was persuaded, that it could not be long before his constituents would think it necessary to take up some more stable form of government than what they then exercised; that there were little or no hopes of commissioners coming to treat of peace; and that therefore America ought to be in a situation to preserve her liberties another way. This preamble contains a reflection upon the conduct of some people in America, interposed Wilson, referring to the assembly of Pennsylvania, which so late as February had required oaths of allegiance of Reed and Rittenhouse. If the preamble passes, he continued, there will be an immediate dissolution of every kind of authority in this province; the people will be instantly in a state of nature. Before we are prepared to build the new house, why should we pull down the old one The delegates of Pennsylvania declined to vote on the question; those of Maryland announced, that, under their
the consideration of Richard Henry Lee's resolve, and the long debate which ensued was the most copious and the most animated ever held on the subject. The argument on the part of its opponents was sustained by Robert Livingston of New York, by Wilson, Dickinson, and Edward Rutledge. They made no objection to a confederacy, and to sending a project of a treaty by proper persons to France; but they contended that a declaration of independence would place America in the power of the British, withat it required the impudence of a New Englander, for them in their disjointed state to propose a treaty to a nation now at peace; that no reason could be assigned for pressing into this measure but the reason of every madman, a show of spirit. Wilson avowed that the removal of the restriction on his vote by the Chap. LXV.} 1776 June. Pennsylvania assembly on that morning, did not change his view of his obligation to resist independence. On the other hand, John Adams defended the proposed m
ed by nine colonies, two thirds of the whole number; the vote of South Carolina, unanimously, it would seem, was in the negative; so was that of Pennsylvania, by the vote of Dickinson, Morris, Humphreys, and Willing, against Franklin, Morton, and Wilson; owing to the absence of Rodney, Delaware was divided, each member voting under the new instruction according to his former known opinion, Mackean for independence and Read against it. The committee rose, and Harrison reported the resolution; rd, war, and more. On the second day of July there were present in 2. congress probably just fifty members. Rodney had arrived from Delaware, and joining Mackean secured that colony. Dickinson and Morris stayed away, which enabled Franklin, Wilson, and Morton, of Pennsylvania, to outvote Willing and Humphreys. The South Carolina members, for the sake of unanimity, came round; so though New York was still unable to vote, twelve colonies, without one dissenting colony, resolved: That these