other, what hinders but that, being united in one
head and Sovereign, they may live happily in that connection, and mutually support and protect each other?’
‘But is there any thing,’ the Governor
had asked, ‘which we have more reason to dread than Independence?’
And the House
answered, ‘There is more reason to dread the consequences of absolute uncontrolled power, whether of a nation or of a Monarch.’
‘To draw the line of distinction,’ they continue, ‘between the supreme authority of Parliament, and the total independence of the Colonies would be an arduous undertaking, and of very great importance to all the other Colonies; and, therefore, could we conceive of such a line, we should be unwillng to propose it, without their consent in Congress.’
Having thus won an unsparing victory over the logic of Hutchinson
by accepting all his premises and fitting to them other and apter conclusions, they rebuked the Governor
for having reduced them to the alternative, either of appearing by silence to acquiesce in his sentiments, or of freely discussing the supreme authority of Parliament.
The Governor was overwhelmed with confusion.
He had intended to drive them into a conflict with Parliament; and they had denied its supremacy by implication from his own premises, in a manner that could bring censure on no one but himself.
During this controversy a Commission composed of Admiral Montagu
, the Vice-Admiralty Judge
, the Chief Justices
and New Jersey
, and the Governor
of Rhode Island
, met at Newport
to inquire into the affair of the Gaspee
Deputy Governor Sessions