to charge each separate colony with the obliga-
Chap. XLIII.} 1775. July.
tion to provide for sinking its quota of the bills issued by the general congress.
Here, at the creation of the national finances, the question arose as to the proper principle for the apportionment; whether wealth or population; and, if of population, whether slaves should be numbered as well as freemen.
After a long opportunity for deliberation, it was agreed that population should constitute the distributive rule; and that all persons, including free negroes, mulattoes, and slaves, should be counted.
Thus, to the correct principle of ‘no representation, no taxation,’ and of representation in proportion to population, was added the injustice of taxation in proportion to representation; so that the continental revenue was to be sustained by a collective poll tax. Of four annual instalments, by which the continental notes were to be redeemed, the earliest was adjourned to the last day of November, 1779; in other words, was adjourned indefinitely.
Paper money, which was never to be sunk but by the concurring action of twelve or thirteen colonies at distant periods, was virtually irredeemable, and would surely depreciate with rapidity; yet the united colonies had no other available resource, when they rose against a king who easily commanded annually twenty millions of pounds sterling in solid money.
There was no mode of obtaining munitions of war but by throwing open the ports and inviting commerce, especially with the French
colonies; yet the last act of congress, before its adjournment, was the renewal of the agreement, neither