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‘ [316] would be taken off in the ensuing session.’1
Chap. XLII.} 1769. Nov.

The confident promise confirmed the loyalty of

the House, though by way of caution they adopted and put upon their journals the resolves of Virginia.2 Dec. The cardinal policy of New-York was the security and development of colonial liberty through an American Constitution, based upon a union of the Colonies in one general Congress. This purpose, it was believed, might be accomplished, without dissolving the connection with Great Britain. ‘They are jealous of the scheme in England,’ said William Smith; ‘yet they will find the spirit of Democracy so persevering, that they will be under the necessity of coming into it.’3 Under the pretext of framing common regulations of trade with the Indians, the Assembly of New-York at its present session, with the concurrence of its Lieutenant Governor,4 invited each Province to elect representatives to a body which should exercise legislative power for them all. It was a great step towards the American Union. Virginia, when she heard of the proposal, made choice of Patrick Henry and Richard Bland, to appear as her Representatives.5 But the cherished scheme was defeated for the time by the British Ministry, who saw in Union the certain forerunner of independence.

1 Journal of the General Assembly, 4; Speech of the Lieutenant Governor, 22 November, 1769. Compare Hillsborough to Colden, 18 January, 1770.

2 Colden to Hillsborough, 4 Dec. 1769, and 16 Dec. 1769.

3 Letter from William Smith, the historian of New-York, quoted in Hutchinson to Sir Francis Bernard, 18 February, 1770. Compare the narrative of William Smith Jr., in the Biographical Sketch of his father, prefixed to the New-York Historical Society's edition of Smith's History of New-York. See the Journals of the New-York Assembly for 30 Nov. 1769, pages 18 and 95, 98, 103, 105, &c. &c.

4 Colden to Hillsborough, 21 Feb. 1770, and Hillsborough to Colden, 14 April, 1770.

5 Henry and Bland to Golden, 1770.

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