vote of Massachusetts
as a part of his majority.
's constituents heard of his pusillanimous wavering, they elected Elbridge Gerry
to his place; at the moment, Samuel Adams
repaired for sympathy and consolation to Franklin
In a free conversation, these two great sons of Boston
agreed that confederation must be speedily brought on, even though the concurrence of all the colonies could not be obtained.
‘If none of the rest will join,’ said Samuel Adams
, ‘I will endeavor to unite the New England
colonies in confederating.’
‘I approve your proposal,’ said Franklin
, ‘and if you succeed, I will cast in my lot among you.’
But even in New England
the actors who obeyed the living oracles of freedom wrought in darkness and in doubt; to them the formation of a new government was like passing through death to life.
The town of Portsmouth
in New Hampshire
disavowed the intention of separating from the parent country; the convention of that colony, which was the first to frame a government of its own, remembered their comparative weakness, and modestly shrunk from giving the example of a thorough change: they retained their old forms of a house of representatives and a council; they provided no substitute for their governor who had fled, but merged the executive power in the two branches of the legislature; and they authorized the continuance of the new constitution only during ‘the unnatural contest with Great Britain
, protesting that they had never sought to throw off their dependence, and that they would rejoice in such a conciliation as the continental congress should approve.’