to dissent from and utterly reject any proposition
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
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 ’