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[342] them from America, the forerunner of the gen-
chap. XVIII.} 1765. Oct.
eral hurricane, waited on Rockingham, with the accounts which he had received from Mayhew,1 that the Stamp Act, and the power given to the Admiralty courts to dispense with juries, were detested ‘as instances of grievous oppression, and scarce better than downright tyranny,’ not by Boston only, but by the people throughout the continent; that it could never be carried into execution, unless at the point of the sword, by at least one considerable army in each province at the hazard of either the destruction of the American colonies, or their entire revolt and loss. The ministry shrunk from enforcing by arms the law which a part of them in their hearts disapproved; and on the twenty-fourth of October, the last day but one of the session of the American Congress, and only seven before the time for the Stamp Act to go into effect, Conway, by advice of the Privy Council, sent orders to the American Governors, and to the General, exhorting to ‘persuasive methods,’ and ‘the utmost prudence and lenity.’2

The conduct of America was regulated by the Congress, at New-York. ‘Those who compose it,’ said Gage, ‘are of various characters and opinions; but in general, the spirit of democracy is strong among them; supporting the independence of the provinces, as not subject to the legislative power of Great Britain. The question is not of the inexpediency of the Stamp Act; but that it is unconstitutional and contrary to their rights.’3 No colony

1 Mayhew to Hollis, 26 Sept.

2 Conway to Gage; to Bernard; to the Governors of North America.

3 Gage to Conway, 12 Oct.

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