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[329] usual, without regard to the Stamp Act, and engaged
chap XVII.} 1765. Sept.
to indemnify them and save them harmless.

In the same month, Delaware, by the spontaneous act of the representatives of each of its counties; Connecticut, with the calm approval of its assembly; Maryland, trusting in the express language of its charter, and by the earnest patriotism of its inhabitants, obtaining the consent of every branch of its legislature,—successively elected delegates to the general American Congress.

In Massachusetts, Boston, under the guidance of Samuel Adams, set the example to other towns, and in his words denounced to its representatives the Stamp Act, and its Courts of Admiralty, as contrary to the British constitution, to the charter of the province, and to the common rights of mankind; and built ‘the warmest expectations’ on the union of the colonies in Congress. A week later, the town of Braintree, led by John Adams, declared ‘the most grievous innovation of all’ to be, ‘the extension of the power of Courts of Admiralty; in which one judge presided alone, and, without juries, decided the law and the fact; holding his office during the pleasure of the king, and establishing that most mischievous of all customs, the taking of commissions on all condemnations.’

To the Legislature which convened on the twenty-fifth, Bernard attempted to draw a frightful picture of the general outlawry and rising of the poor against the rich, which were to ensue, if stamps were not used, and so to draw the Assembly into adopting the distinction between the power of parliament and the expediency of the Stamp Act. ‘I shall not,’ so he

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