previous next
[420] in Otis of legal learning with speculative opinion,
chap. XVIII.} 1761.
of principles of natural justice the most abstract and the most radical, with a deeply-fixed respect for the rights of property and obedience to the law, will become familiar with a cast of mind still common in New England.

The subserviency of Hutchinson increased the public discontent. Men lost confidence in the integrity of their highest judicial tribunal. Innovations under pretence of law were confirmed by judgments incompatible with English liberties. The Admiralty Court, hateful because instituted by a British parliament to punish infringements of the Acts of Trade in America without the intervention of a jury, had in distributing the proceeds of forfeitures, violated the very statutes which it was appointed to enforce. Otis endeavored to compel a restitution of the third of forfeitures, which by the revenue laws belonged to the king for the use of the province, but had been misappropriated for the benefit of officers and informers.1 ‘The injury done the province’ was admitted by the chief justice, who yet had no jurisdiction to redress it. The Court of Admiralty, in which the wrong originated, had always been deemed grievous, because unconstitutional; its authority seemed now established by judges devoted to the prerogative.

Unable to arrest the progress of illiberal doctrines in the courts, the people of Boston, in May, 1761, with unbounded and very general enthusiasm, elected Otis one of their representatives to the Assembly. ‘Out of this,’ said Ruggles to the royalist Chandler of Worcester, ‘a faction will arise that will shake ’

1 Gov. Bernard to Lords of Trade, 6 August, 1761. Boston Gazette, 14 Sept., 1769. Bernard to Shelburne, 22 Dec., 1766.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Worcester (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Otis (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
New England (United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
James Otis (2)
Francis Bernard (2)
Shelburne (1)
Ruggles (1)
Thomas Hutchinson (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
September 14th, 1769 AD (1)
December 22nd, 1766 AD (1)
August 6th, 1761 AD (1)
May, 1761 AD (1)
1761 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: