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‘ [279] other powers in the British empire were subordinate,
chap. XIII.} 1765. May.
was the duty and the interest of the colonies; that this supreme legislature, the parliament of Great Britain, was happily the sanctuary of liberty and justice; and that the prince who presided over it realized the idea of a patriot king.’

Contrary to usage, the house made no reply; but on the sixth of June, James Otis,1 of Boston, in single-minded wisdom, advised the calling of an American Congress, which should come together without asking the consent of the king, and should consist of committees from each of the thirteen colonies, to be appointed respectively by the delegates of the people, without regard to the other branches of the legislature. Such an assembly had never existed; and the purpose of deliberating upon the acts of parliament was equally novel. The tories sneered2 at the proposal, as visionary and impracticable; Grenville himself had circulated through the colonies the opinion that ‘from jealousy of neighborhood and clashing interests, they could never form a dangerous alliance among themselves, but must permanently preserve entire their common connection with the mother country.’ But heedless alike of the derision of those about them, and of the prophecy of the minister, the representatives of Massachusetts shared the creative instinct of Otis. Avoiding every expression of a final judgment, and insuring unanimity by even refusing3 to consider the question of their exclusive right to originate measures

1 Diary of Ezra Stiles. Tenth Toast at Liberty Tree, 14 Aug. 1766. The late Alden Bradford the informed me, that Mrs. Warren, of Plymouth, who was the sister of Otis, told him the proposal was planned at her house, on the return of Otis from a visit to Barnstable. The impulse was given in Boston Instructions of 1764.

2 Letter from Boston in New-York Gazette of 3 Feb. 1766.

3 Brigadier Ruggle's Reasons, &c.

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