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[286] in private, for counsel, or in groups in the street, the
chap. XIV.} 1765. June.
‘Sons of Liberty’ told their griefs to one another, and planned retaliation or redress.

‘No good reason can be given,’ observed the more calm among them, ‘why the colonies should not modestly and soberly inquire, what right the parliament of Great Britain has to tax them.’ ‘We were not sent out to be slaves,’ they continued, citing the example of ancient Greece, and the words of Thucydides; ‘we are the equals of those who remained behind. Americans hold equal rights with those in Britain, not as conceded privileges, but as inherent and indefeasible rights.’ ‘We have the rights of Englishmen,’ was the common voice, ‘and as such we are to be ruled by laws of our own making, and tried by men of our own condition.’1

‘If we are Englishmen,’ said one, ‘on what footing is our property?’ ‘The great Mr. Locke,’ said another, ‘lays it down that no man has a right to that which another may take from him.’ And a third, proud of his respect for the law, sheltered himself under the words of the far-famed Coke: ‘The Lord may tax his villain, high or low, but it is against the franchises of the land for freemen to be taxed but by their own consent in parliament.’ ‘If the people in America are to be taxed by the representatives of the people in England, their malady,’ said Hopkins, of Rhode Island, ‘is an increasing evil, that must always grow greater by time.’ ‘When the parliament once begins,’ such was the discourse at Boston, ‘there is no drawing a line.’ ‘And it is only the first step,’ repeated the New-York owners of large

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