For the next twenty years, England
sought for a remedy; and, meantime, the little island of St. Eustatia, a heap of rocks, but two leagues in length by one in breadth, without a rivulet or a spring, gathered in its storehouses the products of Holland
, of the Orient, of the world; and its harbor was more and more filled with fleets of colonial trading-vessels, which, if need were, completed their cargoes by entering the French
islands with Dutch
The British statutes, which made the commercial relations of America
not a union, but a bondage, did but disguise the foreign trade which they affected to prevent.
America bought of England
hardly more than she would have done on the system of freedom; and this small advantage was dearly purchased by the ever-increasing cost of cruisers, custom-house officers, and vice-admiralty courts; so that Great Britain
, after deducting its expenses, received, it was said, less benefit from the trade of New York than the Hanse Towns
; while the oppressive character of the metropolitan legislature made the merchants principal supporters of what royalists called ‘faction.’
The large landholders—whose grants, originally prodigal, irregular, and ill-defined, promised opulence for generations—were equally jealous of British authority, which threatened to bound their pretensions, or question their titles, or, through parliament, to impose a land-tax.
The lawyers of the colony, chiefly Presbyterians, and educated in Connecticut
, joined heartily with the merchants and the great