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‘ [200] will of America towards Great Britain. Prohibitions
chap. X.} 1764. June.
of trade are neither equitable nor just; but the power of taxing is the grand barrier of British liberty. If this is once broken down, all is lost.’ ‘In a word,’ say they, representing truly the point of resistance at which America was that year ready to halt, ‘a people may be free, and tolerably happy, without a particular branch of trade; but without the privilege of assessing their own taxes they can be neither.’1

At the same time, Otis, Cushing, Thacher, Gray, and Sheafe, as the committee for corresponding with the other colonies, sent a circular letter to them all, exposing the danger that menaced their ‘most essential rights,’ and desiring ‘their united assistance.’ Thus the legislature adopted the principles and the line of conduct which the town of Boston, at the im pulse of Samuel Adams, had recommended.2

On the other hand, Bernard sought to ingratiate himself in England, by sending over for the consideration of his superiors a scheme of American polity which he had employed years in maturing. He urged on the cabinet, that a general reformation of the American governments was not only desirable, but necessary; that the colonies enjoyed their separate legislatures, not as a right, but as a contingent privilege; that parliament could modify their governments as it should see fit; that its power to impose port duties, and levy internal taxes in the colonies, was not to be disputed;

1 Letter of the House to Jasper the Memorial is declared to have Mauduit.

2 In the Rights of the Colonists, by Otis, the Instructions of the town of Boston are printed; and been drawn up by Otis, and to have been presented to the House ‘in pursuance of the above instructions.’

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