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[244]

It was not the hesitancy of New Hampshire alone

Chap. LVI.} 1776. Jan.
that defeated the plan of an immediate confederation; in the presence of John Adams, who had accepted for the time the office of chief justice in Massachusetts, the council in that colony would not concur with its house of representatives in soliciting instructions from the several towns on the question of independence, pretending that such a measure would be precipitate.

The convention of Maryland voted unhesitatingly to put the province in a state of defence; but moved by a sense of the mildness with which their proprietary government had been administered, on the eleventh day of January they bore their testimony to the equity of the English constitution, sanctioned no military operations but for protection, and forbade their delegates in congress to assent to any proposition for independence, foreign alliance, or confederation.

Moreover Lord Drummond, who represented a large proprietary interest in New Jersey, came to Philadelphia, and exhibited a paper which, as he pretended, had been approved by each of the ministers, and which promised freedom to America in point of taxation and internal police, and the restoration of the charter of Massachusetts. Lynch, a delegate of South Carolina, who had written to the north that John Adams should be watched because his intentions might be wicked, was duped by his arts, and thought even of recommending his proposals to the consideration of congress. Besides, it was expected by many, that agents, selected from among the friends of America, would be sent from England with full powers to grant every reasonable measure of redress.

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