of the Governor
the grounds of his apprehen-
sions that regiments of his majesty's troops were daily to be expected; and he was also requested ‘in the precarious situation of their invaluable rights and privileges, civil and religious, to issue precepts for a General Assembly.’
On the next morning at ten o'clock, report was made, that troops were expected to arrive; and that Bernard
refused to call an Assembly.
Rashness on the part of the people of Boston
would have forfeited the confidence of their own Province, and the sympathies of the rest; while feebleness would have overwhelmed their cause with ridicule.
It was necessary for them to halt; but to find a position where it was safe to do so; and they began with the declaration that ‘It is the first principle in civil society, founded in nature and reason, that no law of the society can be binding on any individual, without his consent, given by himself in person, or by his representative of his own free election.’
They further appealed not to natural rights only, but to the precedents of the revolution of 1688; to the conditions on which the House of Hanover
received the throne; to the bill of rights
of William and Mary; and to their own Charter; and then they proceeded to resolve, ‘That the inhabitants of the town of Boston
will, at the utmost peril of their lives and fortunes, maintain and defend their rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities.’
To remove uncertainty respecting these rights, they voted, ‘that money could not be levied, nor a standing army be kept up in the Province but by their own free consent.’
This report was divers times distinctly read and