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[123]

The House of Representatives, having sanctioned

Chap XXXI.} 1768. Jan.
this Remonstrance, next addressed Shelburne,1 Chatham, Rockingham,2 Conway, Camden, the Treasury Board, at which sat Grafton, Lord North, and Jenkinson, letters which contained the same sentiments, and especially enforced the impracticability of an American representation in the British Parliament.3 But no memorial was sent to the Lords; no petition to the House of Commons. The colonial Legislature joined issue with the British Parliament, and adopting the draft of Samuel Adams,4 approached the King as umpire with their Petition.

To him, in beautifully simple language, they recounted the story of the colonization of Massachusetts; the forfeiture of their first Charter; and the confirmation to them, on the Revolution, of their most essential rights and liberties; the principal of which was that most sacred right of being taxed only by representatives of their own free election. They complained that the Acts of Parliament, ‘imposing taxes in America, with the express purpose of raising a revenue, left them only the name of free subjects.’

The mode of relief by an American representation in Parliament they declare to be ‘utterly impracticable;’

1 The House of Representatives to Shelburne, 15 January, 1768, Bradford's State Papers, 137. Compare the contrary opinions of Otis, in Gordon's Hist. of the Amer. Rev. i. 228, 229.

2 House to Rockingham, 22 Jan. 1768, in Bradford, 142.

3 The True Sentiments of America: Contained in a Collection of Letters, &c. &c. Published at the instance of Thomas Hollis.

4 Of this document, I possess the draft as made by Samuel Adams with his own hand. Handwriting of itself does not prove authorship, but this paper seems to me to be no copy. The letter of Andrew Eliot also attributes the authorship of the Petition to Samuel Adams. Otis, too, used respecting it language of praise, quite inconsistent with his having been concerned in preparing it. See Bernard to Hillsborough, 9 July, 1768, not the printed Letter, which is an extract, but the original.

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