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[327] to dissent from and utterly reject any proposition
Chap. LX.} 1776. Apr.
that might lead to a separation from the mother country, or a change of the proprietary government.

This was the result which Dickinson desired; the support of the assembly of Pennsylvania soothed the irritation that attended his defeats in congress; but Morris was uneasy; ‘Where,’ he asked, ‘where are these commissioners? If they are to come, what is it that detains them? It is time we should be on a certainty.’

Duane of New York, who like Robert Morris was prepared for extreme measures, if the British proposition should prove oppressive or frivolous, like Morris still desired delay. ‘I expect little,’ said he, ‘from the justice, and less from the generosity of administration; but the interest of Great Britain may compel her ministers to offer us reasonable terms; while commissioners are daily looked for, I am unwilling that we should by any irrevocable measure put it out of our power to terminate this destructive war; I wait for the expected propositions with painful anxiety.’

Of this waiting for commissioners Samuel Adams made a scorn. His words were: ‘Is not America already independent? Why not, then, declare it? Because, say some, it will forever shut the door of reconciliation. But Britain will not be reconciled, except upon our abjectly submitting to tyranny, and asking and receiving pardon for resisting it.’ ‘Moderate gentlemen are flattering themselves with the prospect of reconciliation when the commissioners that are talked of shall arrive. But what terms are we to expect from them that will be acceptable to the people of ’

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