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[377] usual, there ‘would be a release of subjects from their
chap. XX.} 1765. Dec.

If patient entreaty was to be of no avail, America must unite and prepare for resistance. In New-York, on Christmas day, the lovers of liberty pledged themselves ‘to march with all dispatch, at their own costs and expense, on the first proper notice, with their whole force, if required, to the relief of those who should, or might be, in danger from the Stamp Act or its abettors.’ Before the year was up, Mott, one of the New-York Committee of Correspondence, arrived with others at New London, bringing a letter from Isaac Sears, and charged to ascertain how far New England would adopt the same covenant.

‘If the great men are determined to enforce the Act,’ said John Adams, on New Year's day, on some

1766 Jan
vague news from New-York, ‘they will find it a more obstinate war than the conquest of Canada and Louisiana.’ ‘Great Sir,’ said Edes and Gill through their newspaper to the king, printing the message in large letters, ‘Great Sir, Retreat or you are ruined.’

‘None,’ said the press of Philadelphia, in words widely diffused, ‘none in this day of liberty will say, that duty binds us to yield obedience to any man or body of men, forming part of the British constitution, when they exceed the limits prescribed by that constitution. The Stamp Act is unconstitutional, and no more obligatory than a decree of the Divan of Turkey.’

Encouraged by public opinion, the Sons of Liberty of New-York held regular meetings, and on the seventh of January, they resolved that ‘there was safety for the colonies only in the firm union of the whole;’ that they themselves ‘would go to the last extremity, ’

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