Parliament will have an American army and an Ame-Rican Revenue.—Charles Townshend
's supremacy in the Administration.
the eclipse of Chatham
left Charles Townshend
the lord of the ascendant.
He was a man of wonderful endowments, dashed with follies and indiscretion.
Impatient of waiting, his ruling passion was present success.
He was for ever carried away by the immediate object of his desires; now hurried into expenses beyond his means, now clutching at the phantoms of the stock market or speculations in America
In social circles he was so fond of taking the lead, that to make sport for his companions, he had no friendship which he would not wound, no love which he would not caricature.
In the House of Commons his brilliant oratory took its inspiration from the prevailing excitement; and careless of consistency, heedless whom he deserted or whom he joined, he followed the floating indications of the loudest cheers.
Applause was the temptation which he had no power to resist.
, volatile and fickle, he lived for the hour and shone for the hour, without the thought of founding an enduring name.
not likely to reappear, his lively imagination was for ever on
the stretch, devising schemes to realize his ambitious
views; and he turned to pay the greatest court wherever political appearances were most inviting.1
In the Cabinet
meeting held on the twelfth of March at the house of Grafton
assumed to dictate to the Ministry its colonial policy.
Till that should be settled, he neither could nor would move the particular sum necessary for the Extraordinaries in America
‘If,’ said he, ‘I cannot fulfil my promise to the House
, I shall be obliged to make it appear that it is not my fault, and is against my opinion.’2
A letter from Shelburne
explained to Chatham
the necessity that Townshend
should no longer remain in the Cabinet
was too ill to thrust his adversary out, or give advice to his colleague.
Nor could Shelburne
by himself alone abandon the ministry; for such a resignation would have seemed to his superior a desertion or a reproach.
He continued, therefore, to protect American liberty as well as he could, but had no support, and was powerless to control events; for Grafton
and even Camden yielded to Townshend
's impetuosity, and were very ready to sacrifice Shelburne
to the royal resentment.
The disappearance of Chatham
reanimated the dissatisfied factions of the aristocracy; yet, in case of success, they had no agreement respecting ulterior measures or the distribution of influence.
They had only a common desire according to the traditions of the old Whig party, to make the King
so far subordinate to his ministers, that it should be ‘impossible
for him not to give them his support.’
gave assurances that his friends, without whom, he persuaded himself, nothing could be carried by the Bedfords, would not join in any thing severe against America
But he was all the while contributing to the success of the policy which he most abhorred.
would not recede from the largest claim to authority on behalf of the imperial Legislature.
Great pains had been successfully taken to irritate the people of England
, especially the freeholders, against the Americans
‘Our interests,’ it was said, ‘are sacrificed to their interests; we are to pay infinite taxes and they none; we are to be burdened that they may be eased;’4
and they would brook no longer heavy impositions on themselves, which were not to be shared by the Colonies.5
The merchants complained of a want of gratitude, and of the failure to make remittances; many were incensed at the Petition from New-York
for a relaxation of the Navigation Acts
; still more at the partial refusal of that Province to billet the troops; and the angry feeling was exasperated by the report from its Governor, that it would never again pay obedience to British statutes, which there was not an army to enforce.
Since the last winter, America had lost friends both in and out of Parliament.
, who kept his old ground, was only laughed at. ‘He is below low-water mark,’ said Townshend
On the thirtieth of March,—two days after news had
arrived, that in one of their messages the Representatives
had given a formal defiance to Parliament, as well as encouraged the resistance of their sister Colony, New-York, to the Billeting Act
papers which Bedford
had demanded were taken into consideration by the House of Lords.
Camden opened the discussion by declaring New-York
to be in a state of delinquency;6
and receding from his old opinions, he justified his change.7 Grafton
said well, that ‘the present question was too serious for faction,’ and promised that the Ministers
would themselves bring forward a suitable measure.
But the Lords
wearied themselves all that day and all the next, in scolding at the Colonies with indiscriminate bitterness.
They were called, ‘undutiful, ungracious and unthankful;’ and ‘rebels,’ ‘traitors,’ were epithets liberally bestowed.
Some wished to make of New-York
an example that might terrify all the others; it was more generally proposed by Act of Parliament to remodel the government of them all.8
America had not yet finished the statues which it was raising to Chatham
; and Mauduit
over word, that the plan for reducing America
would be sanctioned by his name.9
On the tenth of April, Massachusetts
was selected for censure; and Bedford
—notwithstanding the sudden
death of a son, who left infant children, and one
Chap. XXIX.} 1767.
of the loveliest women in England
a heart-broken widow to weep herself to death for sorrow,—came to the House of Lords to move an Address, that the King
in Council would declare the Massachusetts Act
of Amnesty null and void.11
The Ministry contended truly, that the motion was needless, as the Act would certainly be rejected in the usual course of business.
‘Perhaps we had best look into the Massachusetts Charter
before we come to a decision,’ said one of the Administration.
cried Lord Townshend. ‘Let us deliberate no longer; let us act with vigor, now, while we can call the Colonies ours.
If you do not, they will very soon be lost for ever.’
spoke in the same strain, descanting ‘upon the folly and wickedness of the American
incendiaries,’ and drawing an animated picture of the fatal effects to England
and to the Colonies, which the ‘deplorable event of their disjunction must produce.’13
All that he said carried conviction to the House of Lords,14
and hastened the very event which he deplored.
In the six hours debate, the resistance of New-York
had been so highly colored, that Choiseul
began to think the time for the great American insurrection was come.
He resolved, therefore, to send an emissary across the Atlantic
, and selected for that purpose the brave and upright De
, a Colonel of Infantry, from Alsace, able to
Chap. XXIX.} 1767.
converse with Americans
of German parentage in their own tongue.
His written instructions, dated on the twenty-second day of April, enjoined him to repair to Amsterdam
, the free city which was the great centre of commercial intelligence, and to examine the prevailing report respecting the English Colonies
If it should seem well founded, he was ordered to go to them; to ascertain their wants, in respect of engineers and artillery officers, or munitions of war, or provisions; the strength of their purpose to withdraw from the English
government; their resources in troops, citadels and intrenched posts; the plan on which they projected their revolt, and the chiefs who were to assume its direction.
‘The commission which I give you,’ said Choiseul
, ‘is difficult, and demands intelligence.
Ask of me the means which you think necessary for its execution; I will furnish you with them all.’16
The eagerness of the Minister
suffered his hopes to run ahead of realities; for a Frenchman could not compute the power of Anglo-American forbearance; nor had the brave officer whom he employed, sagacity enough to measure the movement of a revolution; but from this time Choiseul
sought in every quarter accurate accounts of the progress of opinion in America
, alike in the writings of Franklin
, the reports current among the best informed merchants, and even in New England
sermons, from which curious extracts are to this day preserved among the State Papers
His judgment on events, though biassed by
Chap. XXIX.} 1767.
national hatred, was more impartial and clear than that of any British Minister who succeeded Shelburne; and his conclusions were essentially just.
The English Ministry were misled by those in whom they trusted.
The civil and military officers of the crown in America
were nearly all men of British birth, who had obtained their places for the sake of profit; and had no higher object than to augment and assure their gains.
For this reason they wished to become independent of colonial Legislatures' for their support, and to strengthen the delegated executive power.
was of a kindly nature, but without sagacity, or any one element of a statesman; reasoning about the debates of free legislative Assemblies as he would about the questioning of military orders; entering complaints against Georgia
,17 South Carolina
, and other Colonies, and holding up New-York
as preeminent in opposition.
The letters of Moore
, who had been appointed Governor of New-York
by the Rockingham Ministry
, advocated an independent civil list and more troops.
The same views were maintained by William Franklin
of New Jersey
, and by the able, but selfish Tryon
, who, under a smooth exterior, concealed the heart of a savage.
The Lieutenant Governor
of South Carolina
was a man of sense; but his moderation was soon to draw upon him a rebuke.
Sir James Wright
, in Georgia
, and Carlton
, in Quebec
, were strenuous supporters of power.
The attention of the British Government
and of Parliament was drawn chiefly
, where Bernard
with perseverance equalled only by their duplicity, sought to increase their emoluments, to free themselves from ‘their dependence on the people for a necessary support,’ and to consolidate their authority by the presence of a small standing army.
The opinions of Hutchinson
were of peculiar importance, for while he assented to Bernard
's views, and was forming relations with Israel Mauduit
, and through them with Jenkinson
, his plausible letters to Richard Jackson
had so imposed upon the more liberal statesmen of England
, that they looked forward with hope to his appointment as Bernard
We are arrived at the last moment in American affairs, when revolution might still have been easily postponed; and must pause to ask after the points in issue.
As yet they were trifling.
The late solemn deliberation of the Peers was but a frivolous caviling on the form of a royal veto.20
The People of Massachusetts
, seeing a disposition to mar its Charter, and use military power in its government, needed more than ever an Agent in England
insisted that no one should receive that appointment without his approval; and repeatedly negatived the dismissal of the last incumbent.
Shelburne held that the right of nomination should
Chap. XXIX.} 1767.
rest essentially with the Representatives
, so that this dispute could not become serious while he remained in the Ministry.
The Lieutenant Governor
, in spite of his want of an election, had taken a seat in the Council, pleading the Charter
as his warrant for doing so; but the Attorney General
, to whom the case was referred, gave his opinion that ‘the right could not be claimed by virtue of any thing contained in the Charter
or the Constitution
of the Province.’22
wished to control the election of Councillors; and gave out that by the use of his veto, he would always keep places open for Hutchinson
The menace was a violation of the spirit of the Constitution
; its only effect was to preserve two perpetual vacancies in the Council.
The Council itself Bernard
advised to alter from an elective body to one of royal nomination.
The change would have been an act of aggression, and an unwarranted breach of faith, for no Council in any one Colony had more uniformly shown loyalty than that of Massachusetts
perceived this so clearly, that he at heart disapproved of the measure which from personal motives he advocated.
The perfidious advice would be harmless, if England
would only respect the Charter
it had granted, and which nearly a century's possession had confirmed.
There remained no grounds of imminent variance except the Navigation Acts
, the Billeting Act
, the Acts restraining industry, and the Slave Trade
To the latter Virginia
led the opposition.
Chap. XXIX.} 1767.
at the North
, especially Worcester, in Massachusetts
, protested against the system; but opinion through the country was divided; and complaints of the grievance had not been made in concert.
The restraints on some manufactures, especially of wool and iron, were flagrant violations of natural rights; but the laws, so tyrannical in their character, were not of recent date, and as they related to products of industry which it was still the interest of the people to import, were in a great degree inoperative and unobserved.24
By the Billeting Act
, Great Britain
exposed its dignity to the discretion or the petulance of provincial Assemblies.
There was no bound to the impropriety of Parliament's enacting what those Legislatures should enact, and accompanying the statute by a Requisition from the throne.
Is the measure compulsory and final?
Then why address it to Assemblies which are not executive officers?
Does it not compel obedience?
Then the Assemblies have a right to deliberate, to accept in whole or in part, or to reject.
And indeed the demand of quarters and provisions without limitation of time or of the number of troops, was a reasonable subject for deliberation.
Such was the opinion of the very few in England
who considered the question on its own merits, and not merely as a test of authority.25
Besides: no Province had absolutely refused to comply with the spirit of the
Act. A slight modification, leaving some option to
Chap. XXIX.} 1767.
the Colonies, would have remedied this disagreement.
The Navigation Acts were a perpetual source of just and ever increasing discontent.
But no public body in America
had denied their validity; nor was there any reluctance to subordinate American commerce to the general interests of the empire; the relaxations which America
most desired were very moderate, relating chiefly to intercourse with the West Indies
, and the free export of such of its products as Great Britain
would not receive.
The illicit trade was partly owing to useless laws, but more to the prevailing corruption among the servants of the crown.
No practical question existed, except that which Otis
had raised, on the legality of the Writs of Assistance first issued by Hutchinson
; and while it was even suggested by one person at least to construe some reported declarations of Otis26
as proofs of treason, and to bring him to trial in England
on an impeachment by the House of Commons, the Attorney
and Solicitor General
, established his opinion that the Writs themselves, which had begun the controversy, were not warranted by law.27
,’ said the calm Andrew Eliot
, of Boston
, ‘the people glory in the name, and only desire to enjoy the liberties of Englishmen.’28
‘There is not the least foundation for the suspicion, that they aim at independence.
If we have no forces, or new Stamp Act, I would almost answer for them.
Our warmest patriots speak of our connection with Great Britain
as our felicity; and to have it broken, as one of the greatest misfortunes that could befall us. We are not so vain as to think we could be able to effect it; and nothing could influence us to desire it, but such attempts on our liberties as I hope Great Britain
will be just enough never to make.
Oppression makes wise men mad.’29
To tranquillize America nothing more was wanting than a respect for its rights, and some accommodation to its confirmed habits and opinions.
The Colonies had, each of them, a direction of its own and a character of its own, which required to be harmoniously reconciled with the motion impressed upon it by the imperial Legislature.
But this demanded study, self-possession and candor.
The Parliament of that day esteemed itself the absolute master of America
; and recognising no reciprocity of obligations, it thought nothing so wrong as thwarting the execution of its will.
It did not doubt its own superiority of intelligence, and to maintain its authority and reduce every refractory body to obedience, appeared to it the perfection of statesmanship, and the true method
of colonial reform.
A good system would have
been a consummate work of deliberative wisdom; the principle of despotic government acted with more speed and uniformity, having passion for its interpreter, and a statesman like Townshend
, to execute its impulses.
That statesman had no ear except for complaints against the Colonies, and for men like Paxton
, who blinded him to every thing but what suited their cupidity.
It was his purpose30
to effect a thorough revolution in colonial government, and to lay the foundation of a vast American revenue.
The American merchants and friends to the Colonies took the utmost pains to moderate resentments and to extinguish jealousies.
Their committee, with Trecothick at its head, interposed with Townshend
;. but he answered: ‘I do not in the least doubt the right of Parliament to tax the Colonies internally; I know no difference between internal or external taxes; yet, since the Americans
are pleased to make that distinction, I am willing to indulge them, and for that reason choose to confine myself to regulations of trade, by which a sufficient revenue may be raised.’
‘Perhaps the army,’ rejoined Trecothick, ‘may with safety be withdrawn from America
, in which case the expense will cease, and then there will be no further occasion for a revenue.’
‘I will hear nothing on that subject,’ such was Townshend
's peremptory declaration; ‘the moment a resolution shall be taken to withdraw the army, I will resign my office and have no more to do in public affairs.
I insist, it is absolutely necessary to keep up a large
army there and here.
An American army and con-
sequently an American revenue, are essential; but I am willing to have both in the manner most easy to the people.’31
On the thirteenth day of May, Townshend
came to the House of Commons, in the flush of his reputation and the consciousness of his supremacy.
A more eventful day for England
had not dawned in that century.
When the resolutions for the Stamp Act were voted, Parliament was unenlightened.
Now it had had the experience of taxing America, and of repealing the tax through fear of civil war. What is done now cannot easily be revoked.
A secret consciousness prevailed that a great wrong was about to be done.
The liberty and interests of America
were at issue, and yet the doors of the House of Commons were, by special order, shut against every Agent of the Colonies, and even against every American merchant.
opened the debate32
with professions of candor and the air of a man of business.
Exculpating alike Pennsylvania
, he named as the delinquent Colonies, Massachusetts, which had invaded the King
's prerogative by a general amnesty, and, in a message to its Governor, had used expressions in derogation of the authority of Parliament; Rhode Island
, which had postponed, but not refused an indemnity to the sufferers by the Stamp Act; and
, which had evaded the Billeting Act
had yet furnished the King
's troops with every essential thing to their perfect satisfaction.
Against these Colonies it was not necessary to institute severe proceedings.
, in the month of June last, beside appointing its own commissary, had limited its supplies to two regiments, and to those articles only which were provided in the rest of the King
's dominions; and in December had refused to do more.
Here was such clear evidence of a direct denial of the authority of Parliament, and such overt acts of disobedience to one of its laws, that an immediate interposition was most strongly called for, as well to secure the just dependence of the Province, as to maintain the majesty and authority of Government.
It became Parliament, not to engage in controversy with its Colonies, but to assert its sovereignty, without uniting them in a common cause.
For this end he proposed to proceed against New-York
, and against New-York
To levy a local tax would be to accept a penalty in lieu of obedience.
He should, therefore, move that New-York
, having disobeyed Parliament, should be restrained from any legislative act of its own, till it should comply.
He then proceeded to advocate the establishment of a Board of Commissioners of the Customs, to be stationed in America
‘Our right of taxation,’ he continued, ‘is indubitable; yet to prevent mischief, I was myself in favor of repealing the Stamp Act.
But there can be no objections to Port Duties on wine, oil and fruits, if allowed to be carried to America
directly from Spain
; on glass, paper, lead, and colors; and especially on tea. Owing to the high charges in England
America has supplied itself with tea by smuggling it
from the Dutch
possessions; to remedy this, duties hitherto levied upon it in England
are to be given up and a specific duty collected in America
A duty on china can be obtained by repealing the drawback.
On salt it was at first intended to lay an impost; but this is abandoned33
from the difficulty of adjusting the drawback to be allowed on exports of cured fish and provisions, and on salt for the fisheries.’
The American revenue, it was further explained, was to be placed at the disposal of the King
for the payment of his civil officers.
To each of the Governors
, an annual salary was to be assigned of two thousand pounds sterling; to each of the Chief Justices
, of five hundred pounds.
This speech, pronounced with gravity and an air of moderation by an orator who was the delight of the House
, implied a revolution in favor of authority.
The Minister was to have the irresponsible power of establishing by sign manual a general civil list in every American province, and at his pleasure to grant salaries and pensions, limited only by the amount of the American
revenue; the national exchequer was to receive no more than the crumbs that fell from his table.34
The proposition bore on its face the mark of owing its parentage to the holders and patrons of American offices;35
and yet it was received in the House
with general favor.
was not regarded, when he spoke36
against the duties themselves, and foretold the mischiefs that would ensue.
who must have shed tears of spite, if he
could not have ‘croaked out’ a presage of evil,37
heard with malignant joy one of the repealers of his Stamp Act propose a revenue from Port Duties. ‘You are deceived,’ said he; ‘I tell you, you are deceived The Americans
will laugh at you for your distinctions.’
He spoke against legalizing a direct trade between Portugal
As to taxes, he demanded more; all that were promised were trifles.
‘I,’ said he,38
‘will tell the Honorable
gentleman of a revenue that will produce something valuable in America
; issue paper bearing interest upon loan there, and apply the interest as you think proper.’
, perceiving that the House
seemed to like the suggestion, stood up again, and said that that was a proposition of his own, which he had intended to have made with the rest, but it had slipped his memory; the Bill for it was already prepared.
The debate would not have continued long, if there had not been a division of opinion as to the mode of coercing New-York
, approving a local tax on importations into that province, opposed the general system.
‘You will never see a single shilling from America
,’ said he propheticlly;39
‘it is not by votes and angry resolutions of this House, but by a slow and steady conduct, that the Americans
are to be reconciled to us.’
Dowdeswell described the new plan as worse than to have softened and enforced the Stamp Tax
. ‘Do like the best of physicians,’ said Beckford
, who alone seemed to understand the subject of American discontents,
and whom nobody minded; ‘heal the disease by
Others thought there should be an amendment to the Billeting Act
itself, directing the civil magistrates to quarter upon private houses, where the Assemblies of America
did not fulfil the present requirements.
advised to invest the Governor
and Council of each Colony with power to draw on the colonial treasurer, who, in case of refusal to answer such bills out of the first aids in his hands, howsoever appropriated, should be judged guilty of a capital crime and be tried and punished in England
And since the Colonies persisted in the denial of the Parliamentary right of taxation, he offered for consideration, that every American, before entering into office, should subscribe a political Test nearly in the words of the Declaratory Act
, acknowledging the unlimited sovereignty of Great Britain
These several points were discussed till one in the morning, when a question was so framed by Grenville
, that the Rockinghams could join him in the division; but their united voices were no more than ninety-eight against one hundred and eighty.
‘The new measures for the Colonies,’ observed Choiseul
‘will, no doubt, meet with opposition in both Houses of Parliament; but their execution will encounter still more considerable resistance in America
On the fifteenth of May, Townshend
reported his resolutions to the House
, when a strenuous effort was made to have them re-committed; the friends of
, pretending to wish a more lenient mea-
sure, yet joining with Grenville
who spoke for one more severe, effective and general.
, by surpassing eloquence, brought the House
back to his first Resolutions, which were adopted at about nine in the evening without a division.
then moved that many of the Colonies denied and oppugned the sovereignty of Great Britain
; in other words, were in a state of open rebellion; and wished that they might be reduced to submission by force; but a large majority was against him. In the midst of one of his speeches, the implacable man stopped short, and, looking up to the gallery, said, ‘I hope there are no American Agents present; I must hold such language as I would not have them hear.’
‘I have expressly ordered the sergeant to admit none,’ said the Speaker
, ‘and you may be assured there are none present.’
, of Connecticut
, had braved the danger of an arrest, and sat in the gallery to record the incidents of the evening for the warning of his countrymen.42
The persevering Grenville
next moved his Test for America
; but the House
dreaded to re-produce a union43
of the Colonies.
‘At least, then,’ renewed Grenville
, ‘take some notice of those in America
, who have suffered for their loyal support of your sovereignty;’ and naming Ingersoll
, and others, he moved an Address in
their favor; and this being seconded by Lord North,
passed without dissent.
After ordering the Bill to disfranchise New-York
, as well as sanctioning the new system of colonial revenue and administration, the House
rose; unconscious that it had taken steps which pride would not allow to be recalled; and which, if not retracted, would force the Colonies to unite for Independence.
The bitterness against America
grew with its indulgence.
On the twenty-first, news came that Georgia45
had refused compliance with the Billeting Act
; and for a Colony, that had been established at the public expense, to question the will of Parliament was held to be ‘unexampled insolence.’
The Secretary at War
, therefore, as if to ensure confusion, introduced a Bill, extending the obnoxious law a year beyond the time when it would have expired by its own limitation.
The moment was inviting to the Opposition.
Raising some trivial questions on the form in which the amnesty Act of Massachusetts
had been disallowed, the united factions of Rockingham
on one division left the Ministry a majority of but six, and on another of but three.46
On both these occasions the King
made two of his brothers vote with the Ministry; of which the dissolution would have left him at the mercy of the coalition.
He wished to enforce the absolute authority of Parliament in America
, and to consummate his victory over the aristocracy in England
For the one he needed to dismiss Shelburne;47
the other, to employ the name of Chatham
readily adopted a plan, to lead the aristocracy into disputes among themselves; and then, separating the Bedfords from the rest, to introduce a part of them to power.
Keen observers saw the certainty of changes, and predicted a ‘mosaic’ Ministry.48
To proceed securely, Grafton
required some understanding with Chatham
; but Chatham
refused to see him, pleading his disability.49
himself intervened by a letter, framed with cool and well considered adroitness, but which seemed an effusion of confidence and affection.
In the House of Lords the Earl
had given an open defiance to the whole nobility; and the King
charged him by his ‘duty, affection, and honor,’ not to ‘truckle’ now, when the ‘hydra’ was at the height of its power.
For success, nothing was wanted but that he should have ‘five minutes conversation’ with Grafton
yielded to such persuasion; though suffering from a universal tremor, which application to business visibly increased.51 Grafton
was filled with grief at ‘the sight of his great mind, bowed down and thus weakened by disorder;’52
but he obtained from him the declaration, that ‘he would not retire except by his majesty's command.’53
At a second interview in June,54 Grafton
, urged by
the wishes of the King
, complained of Shelburne and
intimated, that ‘he could not be allowed to continue in his office.’
summoned spirit to vindicate his friend, and to advise the dismission of Townshend
He was with great difficulty led to believe that a junction was necessary with either the Bedfords or the Rockinghams; but, of the two, Grafton
thought him inclined to prefer the former.
The interview lasted two full hours, and the Ministers
parted with the most cordial professions of good will and mutual attachment.
was left with the position of Prime Minister; but it was the King
, who from this time controlled the Cabinet
and managed affairs.
His influence was adverse to the cause of European Liberty, which, nevertheless, continued to grow in strength.
‘Men are opening their eyes,’ said Voltaire
‘from one end of Europe
to the other.
Fanaticism, which feels its humiliation and implores the arm of authority, makes the involuntary confession of its defeat.
Let us bless this happy revolution which has taken place in the minds of men of probity within fifteen or twenty years. It has exceeded my hopes.’
That a greater change hung over America
could not escape the penetration of Jonathan Trumbull
, the Deputy Governor
He was a perfect model of the virtues of a rural magistrate, never weary of business, profoundly religious, grave in his manners,
calm and discriminating in judgment, fixed in
his principles, steadfast in purpose, and by his ability and patriotism enchaining universal respect and the unfailing confidence of the freemen of his Colony.
His opinion was formed, that if ‘methods tending to violence should be taken to maintain the dependence of the Colonies, it would hasten a separation;’56
that the connection with England
could be preserved by ‘gentle and insensible methods,’ rather than ‘by power or force.’
But not so reasoned Townshend
, who, after the Whitsuntide Holidays
his Bill imperceptibly through both Houses.58
The Stamp Act had called an American revenue ‘just and necessary;’ and had been repealed as impolitic.
's Preamble to his Bill granting duties in America
on glass, red and white lead
, painter's colors and paper, and three pence a pound on tea, declared an American revenue ‘expedient.’59
By another Act60
Board of Customs was established at Boston
; and general Writs of Assistance were legalized.
of Trade, avowedly from political reasons, refused to the Presbyterians any immunities, but such as might be derived from the British Law
while an Act of Parliament62
suspended the functions of its Representatives, till they should render obedience to the Imperial Legislature
On such an alternative, it was thought that that Province would submit without delay; and that the
, as their tea would now come to them at
a less price than to the consumers in England
, would pay the impost in their own ports with only seeming reluctance.
But the new measures were, in their character, even more subversive of right than those of Grenville
He had designedly left the civil officers dependent on the local legislators, and consigned the proceeds of the American
tax to the Exchequer.63 Townshend
's revenue was to be disposed of under the sign manual at the King
This part of the system had no limit as to time or place, and was intended as a perpetual menace.
In so far as it provided an independent support for the crown officers, it did away with the necessity of colonial legislatures.
Wherever the power should be exercised, Governors would have little inducement to call Assemblies, and an angry Minister might dissolve them without inconvenience to his Administration.64
Henceforward ‘no native’ of America
could hope to receive any lucrative commission under the crown, unless he were one of the martyrs to the Stamp Act.
Places would be filled by some Britonborn, who should have exhibited full proof of his readiness to govern so refractory a people as the Americans
according to the principle of bringing them to the most exact and implicit obedience to the dictates of England
Such an one was Tryon
, now Governor
of North Carolina
, a soldier who, in the army, had learned little
but a fondness for display.
To mark the boundary
which in October, 1765, had been agreed upon between the Carolinas and the Cherokees,66
he, at the cost of an impoverished and suffering Colony,67
marched a company of riflemen through the woods,68
to the banks of Reedy River
The Beloved Men of the Cherokees met him on the way. ‘The Man above,’ said their Orator, ‘is head of all He made the land and none other, and he told me that the land I stand on is mine, and all that is in it. True it is, the Deer and the Buffaloes and the Turkeys are almost gone.
I refer all to him above.
The White People eat what they have here; but our food is further off. The land is very good, but I will not love it. The land on this side the line I will not love, I give it to the White People
When they buy land, they give what soon wears out; but land lasts always.
Yet the land is given when the line is run.’69
As he spoke, he laid down a string of beads on the course of the border.
From the Elm Tree
on Reedy River
, the frontier was marked as far as to an Oak on the top of the Mountains
which rise over the sources of the Pacolet
and the Broad
; and thence it was agreed that it should run directly to Chiswell's Lead Mines on the New River branch
of the Kanawha
The Cherokee Chiefs, who knew well the cruelty and craft of the most pernicious beast of prey in the mountains,
ceremoniously distinguished the Governor
name of the Great Wolf.71
The Highlands of North Carolina
were already the homes of a comely and industrious race.72
Well might David Hume
, in view of the ever expanding settlements of those who spoke the same tongue with himself, invite Gibbon
to admire, how ‘the solid and increasing establishments in America
promised superior stability and duration to the English