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[131] Act, asserting for the first time the right of Parliament “to bind the colonies and people of America, subjects of the crown of Great Britain, in all cases whatsoever,” received little attention. In June, 1767, however, the New York assembly was suspended by act of Parliament for its refusal to comply with the requirements of an act for the quartering of troops; while the Townshend acts, which followed immediately, laid duties upon a number of colonial imports, established resident customs commissioners in America, legalized writs of assistance, and readjusted the tea duties in the interest of the hard-pressed East India Company. The colonies, in resisting the Stamp Act, had dwelt upon the unconstitutionality of internal taxation — by a Parliament in which they were not represented. Townshend now sought to turn the tables by imposing the external taxes which he professed to think the colonies, by inference, had conceded the right of Parliament to impose.

The passage of the Townshend acts revived, though to a. less wide extent, the controversy over colonial rights. Of the writings which attended this phase of the discussion, easily the most important is John Dickinson's Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the inhabitants of the British colonies.1 First published in a Philadelphia newspaper in 1767-68,2 and reproduced from thence in most of the newspapers then issued in the colonies, they were in 1768 collected in a pamphlet, of which some eight editions appeared in America, two in London, one in Dublin, and a French version in Amsterdam. Without the legal mastery of Thacher or Dulany, but, fortunately, also without the discursiveness and extravagance of Otis or the intellectual and religious bias of John Adams, Dickinson reviewed, earnestly and directly, the colonial case; warned the colonies of the grave danger of admitting any form of parliamentary taxation, external or internal; sustained the right of protest and petition, and urged economy, thrift, and the development of American industry. Forcible resistance, indeed, is with him not to be thought of, and the idea of independence is spurned; yet at the same time Dickinson insists

that we cannot be happy, without being free; that we cannot be free, without being secure in our property; that we cannot be secure

1 Writings, ed. Ford, 1, 307-406.

2 See also Book I, Chap. VII.

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