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[451] Hopkins, formerly Governor, now Chief Justice, were
Chap. XLIX.} 1773. Jan.
the two pillars on which Rhode Island Liberty depended. They notified the Commissioners that there had been no neglect of duty or connivance on the part of the Provincial Government; from which it followed that the presence of the special Court was was unnecessary as it was alarming.

The Assembly having met at East Greenwich to watch the Commissioners, the Governor laid before it his instructions to arrest offenders and send them for trial to England. The order excited general horror and indignation. The Chief Justice asked directions how he should act. The Assembly referred him to his discretion. ‘Then,’ said Hopkins in the presence of both Houses, ‘for the purpose of transportation for trial, I will neither apprehend any person by my own order, nor suffer any executive officers in the Colony to do it.’1—‘The people would not have borne an actual seizure of persons;’ which ‘nothing but an armed force could have effected.’ The attempt would have produced a crisis.2

The Commissioners elicited nothing and adjourned with bitterness in their hearts. Smyth, the Chief

Justice of New Jersey, who had just been put on the civil list, threw all blame on the popular Government of Rhode Island.3 Horsmanden advised to take away the Charter of that Province, and of Connecticut also; and consolidate the ‘twins ’

1 Ezra Stiles to Rev Wm. Spencer, Newport, 16 Feb. 1773. A very long and carefully prepared letter.

2 Sessions, Hopkins, Cole and Brown, to S. Adams, Providence, 15 Feb. 1773.

3 Smyth to Dartmouth, 8 Feb. 1773.

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