chap. XVI.} 1760.
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1 The early life of Edmund Burke is not much known. I have seen a letter from John Pownall to Lieut. Gov. Colden of New York, dated 10 January, 1760, recommending Thomas Burke for the post of agent for that colony, and describing him as a gentleman of honor, ability, and industry, ‘who has particularly made the state and interest of our colonies his study.’ If this was meant for Edmund (and there appears to have been no one of the Burkes named Thomas), it would seem that the great orator was not then a person of importance enough for a patronizing secretary of the Board of Trade to remember his christian name. Edmund came to be agent of New York, but at a later day and under other auspices. At this time he acted in the employment of one of the Board of Trade; and at that Board and in Ireland rendered service enough to obtain through Halifax a pension of £ 300. It is observable that Burke never reveals any thing relating to his employers; and in his historic sketches of the origin of the troubles with America, spares the memory of Halifax. Indeed the name of Halifax scarcely appears in all his published writings. We may see in what school Burke learnt the doctrine of the right of Parliament to tax America.
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