‘the unconstitutional’ Stamp Act should not go into
Nothing less than its absolute repeal would give contentment, much as England
The greatest unanimity happily existed; and all were bent on cherishing it for ever.
Here was something new in the affairs of men. In the time of the crusades, and at the era of the reformation, the world was as widely convulsed; but never had the people of provinces extending over so vast a continent, and so widely sundered from one another, been thus cordially bound together in one spirit and one resolve.
In all their tumults, they deprecated the necessity of declaring independence; but they yet more earnestly abhorred and rejected unconditional submission.
Still satisfied with the revolution of 1688 and its theory of security to liberty and property, they repelled the name of ‘republican’ as a slander on their loyalty, but they spurned against ‘passive obedience.’
Nothing on earth, they insisted, would deprive Great Britain
of her transatlantic dominions but her harboring ungenerous suspicions, and thereupon entering into arbitrary and oppressive measures.
‘All eyes were turned on her with hope and unbounded affection,’ with apprehension and firmness of resolve.
‘Pray for the peace of our Jerusalem
,’ said Otis
, from his heart, fearing ‘the parliament would charge the colonies with presenting petitions in one hand and a dagger in the other.’
Others thought ‘England
would look with favor on what was but an old English spirit of resentment at injurious treatment;’ and all were strong in the consciousness of union.
They trusted that ‘the united voice of this very extensive continent,’ uttering ‘the sober opinions of all its inhabitants,’ would be listened to, so that