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‘ [440] retaining the oppression.’ The motion for recommit
chap. XXIV.} 1766. Feb.
ment, was rejected by a vote of two hundred and forty to one hundred and thirty-three; and the bill for the repeal was ordered to be brought in.

Upon this, Blackstone, the commentator on the laws of England, wished clauses to be inserted, that all American resolutions against the right of the legislature of Great Britain to tax America should be expunged; but this was rejected without a division.

Wedderburn would have annexed a clause enact, ing in substance, that it should be as high and mortal a crime to dispute the validity of the Stamp Act as to question the right of the House of Hanover to the British throne.

While he was enforcing his sanguinary amend ment, the American colonies were everywhere in concert putting a denial on the pretension, and choosing the risk of civil war and independence, rather than compliance. Canada, Nova Scotia, and the Floridas, which were military governments, had submitted; the rest of the continent was firm. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maryland had opened their courts. From New-York, the Governor reported that ‘he was left entirely to himself;’ that ‘nothing but a superior force would bring the people to a sense of duty; that every one around him was an abettor of resistance.’1 A merchant, who had signed a stamped bond for a Mediterranean pass, was obliged to stand forth publicly, and ask forgiveness before thousands. The in fluence of the Sons of Liberty spread on every side Following their advice, the people of Woodbridge, in New Jersey, recommended ‘the union of the provinces ’

1 Moore to Conway, 20 Feb., 1766.

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