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To ensure the arrival of an armed force, the Com-

Chap. XXXII.} 1768. March
missioners of the Customs applied directly to the Naval Commander at Halifax,1 and also sent a second memorial to the Lords of the Treasury. They said that a design had certainly been formed to bring them on the eighteenth of March to Liberty Tree, and oblige them to renounce their commissions. ‘The Governor and magistracy,’ they add, ‘have not the least authority or power in this place. The mob are ready to be assembled on any occasion. Every officer who exerts himself in the execution of his duty will be exposed to their resentment. If the answer from Government to the remonstrances of the Lower House of Assembly should not be agreeable to the people, we are fully persuaded, that they will proceed to violent measures. In the mean time we must depend on the favor of the mob for our protection. We cannot answer for our security for a day, much less will it be in our power to carry the Revenue Laws into effect.’2

These letters went from Boston to the Ministry in March. The tales of riots were scandalously false. The people were opposed to the revenue system of the British Parliament; and they hoped for redress; if the Ministry should refuse it, they on their part were resolved to avoid every act of violence, to escape paying the taxes by never buying the goods on which they were imposed, and to induce their repeal by ceasing to consume

1 Commodore Hood to Mr. Grenville, Halifax, July 11, 1768, in Grenville papers, IV. 306.

2 Memorial from the Commissioners of the Customs at Boston, 28 March, 1768.

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