Still more they objected to the appropriation of
the revenues from the new duties to the support of American civil officers
and an American army, as introducing an absolute government.
The Judges in the Colonies held their commissions at the pleasure of the Crown; if their salaries were to be independent, a corrupt Governor might employ men who would ‘deprive a bench of justice of its glory, and the people of their security.’
Nor need the money be applied by Parliament to protect the Colonists; they were never backward in defending themselves, and when treated as free subjects, they always granted aids of their own accord, to the extent of their ability, and even beyond it. Nor could a standing army among them secure their dependence; they had towards the mother country an English affection, which would for ever keep them connected with her, unless it should be erased by repeated unkind usage.
They objected to the establishment of Commissioners
of the Customs, as a needless expense in itself, and dangerous to their liberties from the increase of Crown officers.
Still more, they expressed alarm at the Act, conditionally suspending the powers of the Assembly of New-York, and thus annihilating its legislative authority.
‘King James and his successors,’ thus they proceeded, ‘broke the copartnership of the supreme legislative with the supreme executive, and the latter could not exist without the former.
In these remote dominions, there should be a free legislative; otherwise strange effects are to be apprehended, for the laws of God and nature are invariable.’1