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[139] taxes which it assumed to impose.1 Some still al-
Chap. XXXII} 1768. March
lowed it a right to restrain colonial trade; but the, advanced opinion among the patriots was, that each provincial Legislature must be perfectly free; that laws were not valid unless sanctioned by the consent of America herself. Without disputing what the past had established, they were resolved to oppose any Minister that should attempt to ‘innovate’ a single iota in their privileges. ‘Almighty God himself,’ wrote Dickinson,2 ‘will look down upon your righteous contest with approbation. You will be a band of brothers, strengthened with inconceivable supplies of force and constancy by that sympathetic ardor which animates good men, confederated in a good cause. You are assigned by Divine Providence, in the appointed order of things, the protector of unborn ages, whose fate depends upon your virtue.’

The people of Boston responded to this appeal. In a solemn Meeting,3 Malcom moved their thanks to the ingenious author of the Farmer's Letters; and Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Warren, were of the committee to greet him in the name of the Town as ‘the Friend of Americans, and the benefactor of mankind.’

‘They may with equal reason make one step more;’ wrote Hutchinson to the Duke of Grafton; ‘they may deny the regal as well as the parliamentary authority, although no man as yet has that in his thoughts.’ 4

1 Du Chatelet to Choiseul, 12 March, 1768.

2 Farmer's Letters, XII. Works, i. 282.

3 Bernard to Hillsborough, 28 March, 1768.

4 Hutchinson to the Duke of Grafton, 27 March, 1768.

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