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[43] But Gadsden had already met patriots of South Caro-
Chap. XXVII} 1766. Dec.
lina under the Live Oak, which was named their Tree of Liberty,1 had set before them the Declaratory Act, explained to them their rights, and leagued with them to oppose all foreign taxation.

Every Colony denied the right of Parliament to control its Legislature. Moffat, of Rhode Island, asked relief for his losses; founding his claim on the resolves of the British House of Commons, and the King's recommendation.2 ‘Neither of them,’ said the Speaker of the Assembly, ‘can ever operate with me; nor ought they to influence the free and independent Representatives of Rhode Island Colony.’ Moffat had leave to withdraw his first petition and substitute an inoffensive one, which was received, but referred to a future session.

At New-York the soldiery continued to irritate the people by insolent language, and by once more cutting down their flagstaff;3 so that the Billeting Act could find no favor. Shelburne4 sought to persuade their Assembly to obedience, holding forth hope of a change of the law on a well-grounded representation of its hardship; and a prudent Governor could have avoided a collision. But Moore was chiefly bent on establishing a Play-house5 against the wishes of the Presbyterians, and his thoughtless frivolity drove the House to a categorical conflict with

1 Drayton's Memoirs of the American Revolution, II. 315; Johnson's Traditions and Reminiscences of the American Revolution, 27, 28, 29, 35; Wm. Johnson's Life of Greene, II. 266.

2 Thomas Moffat to a Member of Parliament, ‘Mr. Burke's cousin.’ 12 Dec. 1766; Moffat's Account sent to the same M. P., and to Sir George Saville and others.

3 Dunlap's New-York, i. 433; Leake's Lamb, 32, 33; Holt's Gazette, 14 Aug. and 21 Aug. 1766, and 25 Sept. 1766.

4 Shelburne to Sir Henry Moore, 9 Aug. 1766.

5 Mss. of Judge Livingston, 1766.

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