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‘ [267] the favor of Government,’ by ‘abetting’ ‘the popu-
Chap. XL.} 1769. March
lar party.’1 The people of the near town of Lexington, at their annual meeting, came into a resolution to drink no more tea, till the unconstitutional Revenue Act should be repealed.2 On the anniversary of the repeal of the Stamp Act, Samuel Adams held up to public view the grievances inflicted on Americans, by combining the power of taxation with a commercial monopoly, and enforcing them both by fleets, armies, commissioners, guarda-costas, judges of the Admiralty, and a host of petty officers whose insolence and rapacity were become intolerable. He pointed out, on the one hand, the weakness of Great Britain, arising from its corruption, its debt, its intestine divisions, its scarcity of food, its want of alliances; and, on the other, the state of the American Colonies, their various climates, soils, produce, rapid increase of population, and the virtue of their inhabitants, and he publicly expressed his conviction that the conduct of Old England was ‘permitted and ordained by the unsearchable wisdom of the Almighty for hastening’ American Independence.3

The intrepid Calvinist knew the end at which he aimed; but the British Ministry had no system. ‘We have but one word, that is, our sovereignty,’ wrote Thomas Pownall, describing the opinion of all parties;4 ‘and it is like some word to a madman, which whenever mentioned throws him into his ravings ’

1 Bernard to Hillsborough, 5 March, 1769.

2 Boston Gazette, 27 March, 1769.

3 Providence Gazette, 18 March; Boston Gazette, 27 March, 1769. Bernard to Hillsborough, 27 March, 1769. Compare W. S. Johnson to Dr. Benjamin Gale, 10 April, 1769.

4 T. Pownall to Cooper, 22 March, 1769.

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