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At New-York the merchants held a meeting to

Chap. Xxxiii} 1768. May.
join with the inhabitants of Boston in the agreement not to import from Great Britain; and against the opinion of the Governor, the royal Council held, that the meetings were legal; that the people did but assemble to establish among themselves certain rules of economy; that as they were masters of their own fortune, they had a right to dispose of it as they pleased.1

While Massachusetts received encouragement from its sister Colonies, its Crown officers continued and extended their solicitations in England for large and fixed salaries, as the only way to keep the Americans in their dependence. Grenville's influence was the special resource of Hutchinson and Oliver,2 who had supported his Stamp Act and suffered as its martyrs; and they relied on Whately to secure for them his attention and favor; which they valued the more, as it seemed to them probable, that he would one day supersede Grafton.

Bernard, on his part, addressed his importunities to Hillsborough; and asked leave to become an informer, under an assurance that no exposure should be made of his letters.3 Yet how could public measures be properly founded on secret communications, known only to the Minister and the King? Should the right of the humblest individual to confront witnesses against him be held sacred? and should rising nations be exposed to the loss of chartered privileges

1 Moore to Hillsborough, 10 May, 1768. Compare Rev. Dr. Johnson to the Archbishop Seeker, 10 May, 1768.

2 Oliver to Thomas Whately, 11 May, 1768.

3 Bernard to Hillsborough, 12 May, 1768.

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