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[460] the least aware, that he was drifting with the Cabinet
Chap. XLIX.} 1773. May.
towards the very system of coercion against which he gave the most public and the most explicit pledges.

In America men began to prepare for extreme measures. Charles Lee, a British Officer on half-pay, resolved to devote himself ‘to the cause of mankind and of liberty now attacked in their last and only asylum.’1 ‘Glorious Virginia,’ cried the Legislature of Rhode Island, glowing with admiration for ‘its patriotic and illustrious House of Burgesses;’ and this New England Province was the first to follow the example of the Old Dominion, by electing its Committees and sending its Circular through the land.2

In Massachusetts, so soon as the Government for the year was organized, the House on the motion of Samuel Adams, and by a vote of one hundred and nine to four, expressed its gratitude to the Burgesses of Virginia for their uniform vigilance, firmness and wisdom, and its hearty concurrence in their judicious and spirited Resolves. And then it elected its Committee of Correspondence, fifteen in number. New Hampshire and Connecticut did the same, so that all New England and Virginia were now one political body, with an organization inchoate, yet so perfect, that, on the first emergency, they could convene a Congress. Every other Colony on the Continent was sure to follow their example.3

While the patriot party was cheered by the hope

of union, the letters of Hutchinson and Oliver which Franklin had sent over to the Speaker of the Massachusetts

1 Lee to H. Gates, 6 May, 1773.

2 Metcalf Bowler to Speaker of the House of N. H. 15 May, 1773.

3 Letter of Massachusetts to the other Colonies 3 June, 1773: Bradford, 401.

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