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‘ [136] between our no longer parent state, but tyrant
Chap. XLIX.} 1775. Nov.
state, and these colonies. Let us separate; they are unworthy to be our brethren. Let us renounce them; and, instead of supplications, as formerly, for their prosperity and happiness, let us beseech the Almighty to blast their counsels, and bring to nought all their devices.’

Her voice was the voice of New England. Under the general powers of commander, Washington, who had hired vessels, manned them with sea captains and sailors from his camp, and sent them to take vessels laden with soldiers or stores for the British army, now urged on congress the appointment of prize courts for the condemnation of prizes; the legislature of Massachusetts, without waiting for further authority, of themselves, in an act drawn by Elbridge Gerry to encourage the fitting out of armed vessels, instituted such tribunals.

‘The king's silly proclamation will put an end to petitioning,’ wrote James Warren, the speaker, to Samuel Adams; ‘movements worthy of your august body are expected; a declaration of independence, and treaties with foreign powers.’

Hawley was the first to discern through the darkness the coming national government of the republic, even while it still lay far below the horizon; and he wrote from Watertown to Samuel Adams: ‘The eyes of all the continent are fastened on your body, to see whether you act with firmness and intrepidity, with the spirit and dispatch which our situation calls for; it is time for your body to fix on periodical annual elections—nay, to form into a parliament of two houses.’

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