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[470] surest prospect of success. ‘And when we consider,’
Chap. L.} 1773. Oct.
they said, ‘how one great event has hurried on after another, such a time may come and such circumstances take place, sooner than we are now aware of.’ They advised to contentment with no temporary relief. They explained that the King would certainly maintain the power of Parliament, to extort and to appropriate a tribute from the Colonies; that the connection between Great Britain and America should be broken, unless it could be perpetuated on the terms of equal liberty; that the necessary contest must be entered upon, while ‘the ideas of liberty’ were strong in men's minds; and they closed with desiring each Colony to resist the designs of the English Ministry in allowing the East India Company to ship its teas to America.

That Company was already despatching its consignments simultaneously to Charleston, to Philadelphia, to New-York, and to Boston. The system gave universal offence, not only as an enforcement of the tax on tea, but also as an odious monopoly of trade.1 Philadelphia, the largest town in the Colonies, began the work of prevention. Its inhabitants met on the eighteenth of October in great numbers at the State House, and in eight resolutions, denied the claim of Parliament to tax America; specially condemned the duty on tea; declared every one who should directly or indirectly countenance the attempt, an enemy to his country; and requested the agents of the East India Company to resign. The movement was so general and so commanding,

1 Gen. Haldimand to Dartmouth, 28 Dec. 1773.

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