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[223] by an act of parliament, in which he professed to
chap. IX.} 1756.
have great reason to think the people would readily, acquiesce. The success of any other measure would be doubtful; and, suggesting a ‘stamp-duty,’ as well as an excise and a poll-tax, he advised ‘for the general satisfaction of the people in each colony, to leave it to their choice to raise the sum assessed upon them according to their own discretion;’ but, in case of failure, ‘proper officers’ were to collect the revenue ‘by warrants of distress and imprisonment of persons.’1 Shirley was a civilian, versed in English law, and now for many years a crown officer in the colonies. His opinion carried great weight, and it became, henceforward, a firm persuasion among the Lords of Trade, especially Halifax, Soame Jenyns, and Rigby, as well as with all who busied themselves with schemes of government for America, that the British parliament must take upon itself the establishment and collection of an American revenue.

While the officers of the Crown were thus conspiring against American liberty, the tomahawk was uplifted along the ranges of the Alleghanies. The governor of Virginia2 pressed upon Washington the rank of colonel and the command of the volunteer companies which were to guard its frontier, from Cumberland, through the whole valley of the Shenandoah. Difficulties of all kinds gathered in his path. The humblest captain that held a royal commission

1 See the Pamphlet written jointly by Win. Knox and George Grenville. The Controversy between Great Britain and her Colonies Reviewed, pp. 196, 197.

2 Dinwiddie to Lords of Trade, 6 September, 1755.

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