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Hopkins, Stephen 1707-1785

Signer of the Declaration of Independence; born in Scituate, R. I., March 7, 1707; was engaged in early life in mercantile business and land surveying; became an active member of the Rhode Island legislature, and was speaker of the Assembly from 1732 till 1741. In 1739 he was chief-justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and of the Supreme Court from 1751 to 1754. Mr. Hopkins was a delegate in the colonial convention at Albany in 1754, and one of the committee who drew up a plan of union. From 1754 to 1768 he was governor of Rhode Island, excepting four years. He was a member of the first Continental Congress, and remained in that body from 1776 to 1778. He had been from the beginning a stanch opposer of the oppressive measures of Parliament. He was one of the committee that drafted the Articles of Confederation (see Confederation, articles of); was a superior mathematician; and was for many years chancellor of Brown University. Notwithstanding his defective early education, his knowledge of literature, science, and political economy was varied and extensive. He died in Providence, July 13, 1785.

Grievances of the American colonies.

Under date of July 30, 1764, he issued the following statement in the form of a pamphlet bearing the full title of The grievances of the American colonies candidly examined. The pamphlet was printed by order of the General Assembly in 1765, and reissued in London in the following year:

Liberty is the greatest blessing that man can enjoy, and slavery the greatest curse that human nature is capable of. Hence it is a matter of the utmost importance to men which of the two shall be their portion. Absolute liberty is, perhaps, incompatible with any kind of government. The safety resulting from society, and the advantages of just and equal laws, hath caused men to forego some part of their natural liberty, and submit to government. This appears to be the most rational account of its beginning, although, it must be confessed, mankind have by no means been agreed about it; some have found its origin in the divine appointment; others have thought it took its rise from power; enthusiasts have dreamed that dominion was founded in grace. Leaving these points to be settled by the descendants of Filmer, Cromwell, and Venner, we shall consider the British constitution, as it at present stands, on revolution principles; and from thence endeavor to find the [416] measure of the magistrates' power and the people's obedience.

This glorious constitution, the best that ever existed among men, will be confessed by all to be founded on compact, and established by consent of the people. By this most beneficent compact, British subjects are to be governed only agreeably to laws to which themselves have in some way consented, and are not to be compelled to part with their property, but as it is called for by the authority of such laws. The former is truly liberty; the latter is to be really possessed of property, and to have something that may be called one's own.

On the contrary, those who are governed at the will of another, or others, and whose property may be taken from them by taxes, or otherwise, without their own consent, or against their will, are in a miserable condition of slavery; “for,” says Algernon Sidney, in his discourse on government, “liberty solely consists in the independency of the will of another; and by name of slave we understand a man who can neither dispose of his person or goods, and enjoys all at the will of his master.” These things premised, whether the British-American colonies on this continent are justly entitled to like privileges and freedoms as their fellow-subjects in Great Britain are, is a point worthy mature examination. In discussing this question we shall make the colonies of New England, with whose rights we are best acquainted, the rule of our reasoning; not in the least doubting all the others are justly entitled to like rights with them.

New England was first planted by adventurers, who left England, their native country, by permission of King Charles I., and at their own expense transported themselves to America, and, with great risk and difficulty, settled among the savages, and, in a very surprising manner, formed new colonies in the wilderness. Before their departure the terms of their freedom and the relation they should stand in to their mother country were fully settled. They were to remain subject to the King and dependent on the kingdom of Great Britain. In return they were to receive protection and enjoy all the rights and privileges of free-born Englishmen. This is abundantly proved by the charter given to the Massachusetts colony while they were still in England, and which they received and brought over with them as an authentic evidence of the condition they removed upon. The colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island also afterwards obtained charters from the crown granting like ample privileges. By all these charters it is in the most express and solemn manner granted that these adventurers, and their children after them forever, should have and enjoy all the freedom and liberty that the subjects in England enjoy. That they might make laws for their government, suitable to their circumstances, not repugnant to, but as near as might be agreeable to, the laws of England; that they might purchase lands, acquire goods, and use trade for their advantage and have an absolute property in whatever they justly acquired. This, with many other gracious privileges, were granted them by several kings; and they were to pay, as an acknowledgment to the crown, only one-fifth of the ore of gold and silver that should at any time be found in the said colonies, in lieu of a full satisfaction for all dues and demands of the crown and kingdom of England upon them.

There is not anything new or extraordinary in these rights granted to the British colonies. The colonies from all countries at all times have enjoyed equal freedom with the mother state. Indeed, there would be found very few people in the world willing to leave their native country and go through the fatigue and hardship of planting in a new, uncultivated one for the sake of losing their freedom. They who settle new countries must be poor, and in course ought to be free. Advantages, pecuniary and agreeable, are not on the side of the emigrants, and surely they must have something in their stead.

To illustrate this, permit us to examine what hath generally been the condition of the colonies with respect to their freedom. We will begin with those who went out from the ancient commonwealth of Greece, which are the first, perhaps, we have any good account of. Thucydides, that grave and judicious historian, says [417] of them: “They were not sent out to be slaves, but to be the equals of those who remained behind;” and again, the Corinthians gave public notice “that the new colony was going to Epidamus, into which all that should enter should have equal and like privileges with those who stayed at home.”

This was uniformly the condition of the Grecian colonies; they went out and settled new countries; they took such forms of government as themselves chose, though it generally nearly resembled that of the mother state, whether democratical or oligarchical. 'Tis true they were fond to acknowledge their original, and always confessed themselves under obligation to pay a kind of honorary respect to, and show a filial dependence on, the commonwealth from whence they sprung. Thucydides again tells us that the Corinthians complained of the Corcyrans, “from whom, though a colony of their own, they had received some contemptuous treatment; for they neither paid them the usual honor on their solemnities, nor began with the Corinthians in the distribution of the sacrifice which is always done by other colonies.” From hence it is plain what kind of dependence the Greek colonies were in, and what sort of acknowledgment they owed to the mother state.

If we pass from the Grecian to the Roman colonies, we shall find them not less free; but this difference may be observed between them, that the Roman colonies did not, like the Grecian, become separate states, governed by different laws, but always remained a part of the mother state; all that were free of the colonies were always free of Rome. And Grotius gives us an opinion of the Roman King concerning the freedom of the colonies. King Tullus says, “For our part, we look upon it to be neither truth nor justice that the mother cities ought of necessity to rule over their colonies.”

When we come down to the latter ages of the world, and consider the colonies planted in the three last centuries in America from several kingdoms in Europe, we shall find them, says Puffendorf, very different from the ancient colonies; and he gives us an instance in those of the Spaniards. Although it be confessed they fall greatly short of enjoying equal freedom with the ancient Greek and Roman ones, yet it will be truly said they enjoy equal freedom with their countrymen in Spain; but as they are all under the government of an absolute monarch, they have no reason to complain that one enjoys the liberty the other is deprived of. The French colonies will be found nearly in the same condition, and for the same reason, because their fellow-subjects of France have always lost their liberty. And the question is whether all colonies, as compared with one another, enjoy equal liberty, or whether all enjoy as much freedom as the inhabitants of the mother state; and this will hardly be denied in the case of the Spanish, French, and other modern foreign colonies.

By this it fully appears that colonies in general, both ancient and modern, have always enjoyed as much freedom as the mother state from which they went out; and will any one suppose the British colonies of America are an exception to this general rule? Colonies that came from a kingdom renowned for liberty; from the constitution founded on compact; from the people of all the sons of men the most tenacious of freedom; who left the delights of their native country, parted from their homes and all their conveniences, searched out and subdued a foreign country, with the most amazing travail and fortitude, to the infinite advantage and emolument of the mother state; that removed on a firm reliance of the solemn compact and real promise and grant that they and their successors should be free, should be partakers in all the privileges and advantages of the English constitution. If it were possible a doubt could yet remain in the most unbelieving mind that these British colonies are not every way justly and fully entitled to equal liberty and freedom with their fellow-subjects in Europe, we might show that the Parliament of Great Britain have always understood their rights in the same light.

By an act passed in the thirteenth year of the reign of his Majesty King George II., entitled, “An act for Naturalizing foreign Protestants, etc.,” and by another act passed in the same reign, for [418] nearly the same purposes, by both of which it is enacted and ordained “That all foreign Protestants who inhabited, and resided for the space of seven years or more, in his Majesty's colonies in America,” might, on the conditions therein mentioned, be naturalized, and thereupon should be “deemed, adjudged, and taken to be his Majesty's natural-born subjects of the kingdom of Great Britain, to all intents, constructions, and purposes, as if they, and every one of them, had been, or were, born within the same.” No reasonable man will here suppose that Parliament intended, in those acts, to put foreigners who had been in the colonies only seven years in a better condition than those who had been born in them, or had removed from Britain thither, but only to put these foreigners on an equality with them; and to do this they were obliged to give them all the rights of natural-born subjects of Great Britain.

From what has been shown it will appear beyond a doubt that the British subjects in America have equal rights with those in Britain; that they do not hold those rights and privileges as granted them, but possess them as inherent and indefeasible.

And the British legislative and executive powers have considered the colonies as possessed of these rights, and have always, heretofore, in the most tender and parental manner, treated them as their dependent (although free) condition required. The protection promised on the part of the crown, which with cheerfulness and gratitude we acknowledge, hath at all times been given to the colonies. The dependence of the colonies to Great Britain hath been fully testified by a constant and ready obedience to all the commands of his present Majesty, and royal predecessors; both men and money having been raised in them at all times when called for, with as much alacrity and in as large proportion as hath been done in Great Britain, the ability of each considered. It must also be confessed with thankfulness that the first adventurers and their successors, for 130 years, have fully enjoyed all the freedom and immunities promised on their removal from Eng land. But here the scene seems to be unhappily changing. The British ministry, whether induced by jealousy of the colonies, by false information, or by some alteration in the system of political motive, this we are sure of, the Parliament passed an act limiting, restricting, and burdening the trade of these colonies much more than had ever been done before, as also for greatly enlarging the power and jurisdiction of the courts of admiralty in the colonies, and likewise passed another act establishing certain stamp duties. These acts have occasioned great uneasiness among the British subjects on the continent of America. How much reason there is for it, we will endeavor, in the most modest and plain manner we can, to lay before the public.

In the first place, let it be considered that although each of the colonies hath a legislature within itself to take care of its interests and provide for its peace and internal government, yet there are many things of a more general nature, quite out of the reach of these particular legislatures, which it is necessary should be regulated, ordered, and governed. One of this kind is the commerce of the whole British Empire, taken collectively, and that of each kingdom and colony in it as it makes a part of that whole—indeed, everything that concerns the proper interest and fit government of the whole commonwealth, of keeping the peace, and subordination of all parts towards the whole and one among another, must be considered in this light. Among these general concerns, perhaps, money and paper credit, these good instruments of all commerce, will be found also to have a place. These, with all other matters of a greater nature, it is absolutely necessary should have a general power to direct them; some supreme and overruling authority with power to make laws and form regulations for the good of all, and to compel their execution and observance. It being necessary some such general power should exist somewhere, every man of the least knowledge of the British constitution will naturally be led to look for and find it in the Parliament of Great Britain: that grand and august legislative body must from the nature of its authority and the necessity of the thing be justly vested with this power. Hence it becomes the indispensable duty of every good and loyal [419] subject cheerfully to obey and patiently submit to all the acts, laws, orders, and regulations that may be made and passed by Parliament for directing and governing all these general matters.

Here it may be urged by many, and indeed with great appearance of reason, that the equity, justice, and beneficence of the British constitution will require that the separate kingdoms and distinct colonies, who are to obey and be governed by these general laws and regulations, ought to be represented in some way or other in Parliament, at least while these general matters are under consideration. Whether the colonies will ever be admitted to have representatives in Parliament—whether it be consistent with their distant and dependent state; whether,, if it were admitted, it would be to their advantage— are questions we will pass by, and observe that these colonies ought in justice, and for the evident good of the commonwealth, to have notice of every new measure about to be pursued, and new act about to be passed, by which their rights, liberties, and interests may be affected; they ought to have such notice, that they may appear or be heard by their agents, by counsel, or written representation, or by some other equitable and effectual way.

The colonies are at so great a distance from England that the members of Parliament can generally have but little knowledge of their business, connections, and interests, but what is gained from the people who have been there; the most of those have so slight a knowledge themselves that the informations they can give are very little to be depended upon, though they may pretend to determine with confidence on matters far above their reach. All such informations are too uncertain to be depended upon in the transaction of business of so much consequence, and in which the interests of 2,000,000 free people are so deeply concerned. There is no kind of inconvenience or mischief can arise from the colonies having such notice, and being heard in the manner above mentioned; but, on the contrary, very great mischiefs have already happened to the colonies, and always must be expected, if they are not heard before things of such importance are determined concerning them.

Had the colonies been fully heard before the last act had been passed, no reasonable man can suppose it ever would have passed at all, in the manner it now stands. For what good reason can possibly be given for making a law to cramp the trade and interest of many of the colonies, and at the same time lessen in a prodigious manner the consumption of the British manufactures in them? These are certainly the effects this act must produce. The duty of 3d. per gallon on foreign molasses is well known to every man in the least acquainted with it to be much higher than that article can possibly bear, and therefore must operate as an absolute prohibition. This will put a total stop to the exportation of lumber, horses, flour, and fish to the French and Dutch sugarcolonies; and if any one supposes we may find a sufficient sale for these articles in the English West Indies, he verifies what was just now observed, that he wants true information. Putting an end to the importation of foreign molasses at the same time puts an end to all the costly distilleries in these colonies and to the rum trade with the coast of Africa, and throws it into the hands of the French. With the loss of the foreign molasses trade the codfishing in America must also be lost and thrown also into the hands of the French. That this is the real state of the whole business is not mere fancy; neither this nor any part of it is an exaggeration, but a sober and most melancholy truth.

View this duty of 3d. per gallon on foreign molasses, not in the light of a prohibition, but supposing the trade to continue and the duty to be paid. Heretofore hath been imported into the colony of Rhode Island only about 1,250,000 gallons annually; the duty on this quantity is £ 14,375 sterling, to be paid yearly by this little colony; a larger sum than was ever in it at any one time. This money is to be sent away, and never to return; yet the payment is to be repeated every year. Can this possibly be done? Can a new colony, compelled by necessity to purchase all its clothing, furniture, and utensils from England, to support the expenses of its own internal government, obliged by its duty to comply with every call from the crown, to raise money in emergencies; after all this, can every man in it pay [420] 24s. a year for the duties of a single article only? There is surely no man in his right mind believes this possible. The charging foreign molasses with this high duty will not affect all the colonies equally, nor any other near so much as this of Rhode Island, whose trade depends more on foreign molasses and on distilleries than that of any other; this must show that raising money for the general services of the crown or colonies by such a duty will be extremely unequal, and therefore unjust. And, by taking either alternative, and by supposing, on the one hand, the foreign molasses trade is stopped, and with it the principal ability of the colonies to get money, but, on the other hand, that this trade is continued and that the colonies get money from it, but all their money is taken from them by paying their duty; can Britain be the gainer by this? Is it not the chosen interest of Britain to dispose of and be paid for her own manufactures? And doth she not find the greatest and best market for them in her own colonies? Will she find an advantage in disabling the colonies to continue their trade with her? Or can she possibly grow rich by their being made poor?

Ministers have great influence, and parliaments have great power: can either of them change the nature of things, stop our means of getting money, and yet expect us to purchase and pay for British manufactures? The genius of the people in these colonies is as little turned to manufacturing goods for their own use as is possible to suppose in any people whatsoever, yet necessity will compel them either to go naked in this cold country, or to make themselves something of clothing. if it be only of the skins of beasts.

By the same act of Parliament the exportation of all kinds of timber or lumber, the most natural product of these colonies, is greatly encumbered and uselessly embarrassed, and the shipping it to any port in Europe except Great Britain is prohibited. This must greatly affect the linen manufacture in Ireland, as that kingdom used to receive great quantities of flax-seed from America, many cargoes being made of that, and barrel-staves were sent thither every year; but as the staves can no longer be exported thither, the ships carrying flax-seed casks without the staves, which used to be intermixed among them, must lose one-half of their weight, which must prevent their continuing this trade, to the great injury of Ireland and of the plantations; and what advantage is to accrue to Great Britain by it must be told by those who can perceive the utility of this measure.

Enlarging the power and jurisdiction of the courts of vice-admiralty in the colonies is another part of the same act greatly and justly complained of. Courts of admiralty have long been there in most of the colonies, whose authority were circumscribed with moderate territorial jurisdictions, and whose courts have always done the business necessary to be brought before these courts for trial in the manner it ought to be done, and in a way only moderately expensive to the subjects; and if seizures were made, or informations exhibited, without reason or contrary to law, the informer or seizer was left to the justice of the common law, there to pay for his folly or suffer for his temerity.

But now this case is quite altered, and a custom-house officer may make a seizure in Georgia of goods ever so legally imported, and carry the trial to Halifax, at 1,500 miles' distance, and thither the owner must follow him to defend his property; and when he comes there, quite beyond the circle of his friends, acquaintance, and correspondence, among total strangers, he must there give bond, and must find sureties to be bound with him in a large sum before he shall be admitted to claim his own goods; when this is complied with, he hath a trial and his goods acquitted. If the judge can be prevailed upon (which it is very well known may too easily be done) to certify there was only probable cause for making the seizure, the unhappy owner may not maintain any action against the illegal seizure for damages, or obtain any satisfaction; but he may return to Georgia quite ruined and undone, in conformity to an act of Parliament. Such unbounded encouragement and protection given to informers must call to every one's remembrance Tacitus's account of the miserable condition of the Romans in the reign of Tiberius, their emperor, who let loose [421] and encouraged the informers of that age. Surely, if the colonies had been fully heard before this had been done, the liberties of the Americans would not have been so much disregarded.

The resolution that the House of Commons came into during the same session of Parliament, asserting their right to establish stamp duties and internal taxes, to be collected in the colonies without their own consent, hath much more, and for much more reason, alarmed the British subjects in America than anything that had ever been done before. These resolutions have been since carried into execution by an act of Parliament which the colonies do conceive is a violation of their long-enjoyed rights. For it must be confessed by all men that they who are taxed at pleasure by others cannot possibly have any property, can have nothing to be called their own; they who have no property can have no freedom, but are, indeed, reduced to the most abject slavery; are in a state far worse than countries conquered and made tributary, for these have only a fixed sum to pay, which they are left to raise among themselves, in the way that they may think most equal and easy; and, having paid the stipulated sum, the debt is discharged and what is left is their own. This is more tolerable than to be taxed at the will of others, without any bounds, without any stipulations or agreements, contrary to their consent and against their wills. If we are told that those who lay taxes upon the colonies are men of the highest character for wisdom, justice, and integrity, and, therefore, cannot be supposed to deal hardly, unjustly, or unequally by any; admitting and really believing that all this is true, it will make no alteration in the case; for one who is bound to obey the will of another is as really a slave, though he may have a good master, as if he had a bad one; and this is stronger in politic bodies than in natural ones, as the former have a perpetual succession, and remain the same; and although they may have a good master at one time, they may have a very bad one at another. And, indeed, if the people in America are to be taxed by the representatives of the people in Britain, their malady is an increasing evil that must always grow greater by time. Whatever burdens are laid upon the Americans will be that much taken off the Britons; and the doing this will soon be extremely popular, and those who are put up to be members of the House of Commons must obtain the votes of the people by promising to take taxes off them by making new levies on the Americans. This must most assuredly be the case, and it will not be in the power even of Parliament to prevent it; the people's private interests will be concerned, and will govern them; they will have such, and only such, representatives as will act agreeably to their interest; and these taxes laid on Americans will be always a part of the supply bill in which the other branches of the legislature can make no alteration; and, in truth, the subjects in the colonies will be taxed at the will and pleasure of their fellow-subjects in Britain. How equitable and how just this may be must be left to every impartial man to determine.

But it will be said that the moneys drawn from the colonies by duties and by taxes will be laid up and set apart to be used for their future defence. This will not at all alleviate the hardships, but serve only the more strongly to mark the servile state of the people. Free people have ever thought, and will think, that the money necessary for their defence lies safest in their own hands until it be wanted immediately for that purpose. To take the money of the Americans, which they want continually to use in their trade, and lay it up for their defence at 1,000 leagues' distance from them, hath not the greatest probability of friendship or of prudence.

It is not the judgment of free people only that money for defence is safest in their keeping, but it is also the opinion of the best and wisest kings and governors of mankind in every age of the world that the wealth of a state was most securely, as well as most profitably, deposited in the hands of their faithful subjects. Constantius, Emperor of the Romans, though an absolute prince, both practised and praised this method.

“Diocletian sent persons on purpose to reproach him with his neglect of the public and the poverty to which he was [422] reduced by his own fault. Constantius heard these reproaches with patience; and having persuaded those who made them in Diocletian's name to stay a few days with him, he sent word to the most wealthy persons in the province that he wanted money, and that they had now an opportunity of showing whether or not they really loved their prince. Upon this notice every one strove who should be foremost in carrying to the exchequer all their gold, silver and valuable effects, so that in a short time Constantius, from being the poorest, became by far the most wealthy of all the four princes. He then invited the deputies of Diocletian to visit his treasury, desiring them to make a faithful report to their master of the state in which they should find it. They obeyed, and while they stood gazing upon the mighty heaps of gold and silver Constantius told them that the wealth which they beheld with astonishment had long since belonged to him, but that he had left it by way of deposition in the hands of his people, adding that the richest and surest treasure of the prince was the love of his subjects. The deputies were no sooner gone than the generous prince sent for those who had assisted him in his exigency, commended their zeal and returned to every one what they had so readily brought into his treasury.”

We are not insensible that when liberty is in danger the liberty of complaining is dangerous; yet a man on a wreck was never denied the liberty of roaring as loud as he could, says Dean Swift. And we believe no good reason can be given why the colonies should not modestly and soberly inquire what right the Parliament of Great Britain have to tax them. We know that such inquiries have by one letter-writer been branded with the little epithet of “mushroom policy,” and he intimates that if the colonies pretend to claim any privileges they will draw down the resentment of the Parliament on them. Is, then, the defence of liberty so contemptible, and pleading for just rights so dangerous? Can the guardians of liberty be thus ludicrous? Can the patrons of freedom be so jealous and so severe?

Should it be urged that the money expended by the mother-country for the defence and protection of America, and especially during the late war, must justly entitle her to some retaliation from the colonies, and that the stamp duties and taxes intended to be raised in them are only designed for the equitable purpose; if we are permitted to examine how far this may rightfully vest the Parliament with the power of taxing the colonies we shall find this claim to have no foundation. In many of the colonies, especially those in New England, which were planted, as is before observed, not at the charge of the crown or kingdom of England, but at the expense of the planters themselves, and were not only planted, but also defended against the savages and other enemies in long and cruel wars which continued for 100 years, almost without intermission, solely at their own charge; and in the year 1746, when the Duke d'anville came out from France with the most formidable fleet that ever was in the American seas, enraged at these colonies for the loss of Louisburg the year before, and with orders to make an attack on them; even in this greatest exigence these colonies were left to the protection of Heaven and their own efforts. These colonies having thus planted themselves and removed all enemies from their borders, were in hopes to enjoy peace and recruit their state, much exhausted by these long struggles; but they were soon called upon to raise men and send them out to the defence of other colonies, and to make conquests for the crown; they dutifully obeyed the requisition, and with ardor entered into these services and continued in them until all encroachments were removed, and all Canada., and even Havana, conquered. They most cheerfully complied with every call of the crown; they rejoiced, yea, even exulted, in the prosperity of the British Empire. But these colonies whose bounds were fixed, and whose borders were before cleared of enemies by their own expense, reaped no sort of advantage by these conquests; they are not enlarged, have not gained a single acre, have no part in the Indian or interior trade; the immense tracts of land subdued, and no less immense and profitable commerce acquired, all belong to Great Britain, and not the least share or portion to these colonies, though thousands of their numbers have [423] lost their lives, and millions of their money have been expended in the purchase of them—for great part of which we are yet in debt, and from which we shall not in many years be able to extricate ourselves. Hard will be the fate, and cruel the destiny of these unhappy colonies, if the reward they are to receive for all this is the loss of their freedom; better for them Canada still remained French, yea, far more eligible that it should remain so, than that the price of its reduction should be their slavery.

If the colonies are not taxed by Parliament, are they therefore exempt from bearing their proper shares in the necessary burdens of government? This by no means follows. Do they not support a regular internal government in each colony as expensive to the people here as the internal government of Britain is to the people there? Have not the colonies here at all times, when called upon by the crown to raise money for the public service, done it as cheerfully as the Parliament have done on the like occasions? Is not this the most easy way of raising money in the colonies? What occasion then to distrust the colonies, what necessity to fall on the present mode to compel them to do what they have ever done freely? Are not the people in the colonies as loyal and dutiful subjects as any age or nation ever produced, and are they not as useful to the kingdom in this remote quarter of the world as their fellow-subjects are in Britain? The Parliament, it is confessed, have power to regulate the trade of the whole empire; and hath it not full power by this means to draw all the money and wealth of the colonies into the mother-country at pleasure? What motive, after all this, can remain to induce the Parliament to abridge the privileges and lessen the rights of the most loyal and dutiful subjects; subjects justly entitled to ample freedom, who have long enjoyed and not abused or forfeited their liberties, who have used them to their own advantage in dutiful subserviency to the orders and the interests of Great Britain? Why should the gentle current of tranquillity, that has so long run with peace through all the British states, and flowed with gentle joy and happiness in all her countries, be at last obstructed and turned out of its true course into unusual and winding channels, by which many of these colonies must be ruined, but none of them can possibly be made more rich or more happy?

Before we conclude it may be necessary to take notice of the vast difference there is between the raising money in a country by duties, taxes, or otherwise, and employing and laying out the money again in the same country; and raising the like sums of money by the like means and sending it away quite out of the country where it is raised. Where the former of these is the case, although the sums raised may be very great, yet that country may support itself under them; for as fast as the money is collected together is it scattered abroad, to be used in commerce and every kind of business, and money is not made scarcer by this means, but rather the contrary, as this continual circulation must have a tendency in some degree to prevent its being hoarded. But where the latter method is pursued the effect will be extremely different; for here, as fast as the money can be collected, it is immediately sent out of the country, never to return but by a tedious round of commerce, which at best must take up some time; here all trade and every kind of business depending upon it will grow dull and must languish more and more, until it comes to a final stop at last. If the money raised in Great Britain in the last three years of the war, and which exceeded £ 40,000,000 sterling, had been sent out of the kingdom, would not this have nearly ruined the trade of the nation in three years only? Think then what must be the condition of these miserable colonies when all the money proposed to be raised in them by high duties on the importation of divers kinds of goods, by the post-office, by stamp duties, and other taxes, is sent away quite as fast as it can be collected; and this is to be repeated continually! Is it possible for the colonies under these circumstances to support themselves, to have any money, any trade, or other business carried on in them? Certainly not; nor is there at present, or ever was, any country under heaven that did or possibly could support itself under such burdens.

We finally beg leave to assert that the first planters of these colonies were pious [424] Christians, were faithful subjects; who, with a fortitude and perseverance little known and less considered, settled these wild countries, by God's goodness and their own amazing labors, thereby adding a most valuable dependence to the crown of Great Britain; were ever dutifully subservient to her interests; they so taught their children that not one has been disaffected to this day, and all have honestly obeyed every royal command and cheerfully submitted to every constitutional law. They have as little inclination as they have ability to throw off their dependency; they have most carefully avoided every measure that might be offensive, and all such manufactures as were interdicted. Besides all this, they have risked their lives when they have been ordered, and furnished money whenever it has been called for; have never been either troublesome or expensive to the mother-country; have kept all due order, and have supported a regular government; they have maintained peace, and practised Christianity. And in all conditions, upon all occasions, they have always demeaned themselves as loyal, as dutiful subjects ought to do; and no kingdom or state or empire hath, or ever had, colonies more obedient, more serviceable, more profitable than these have ever been.

May the same Divine Goodness that guided the first planters, that protected the settlements, and inspired kings to be gracious, parliaments to be tender, ever preserve, ever protect, and support our present most gracious King; give great wisdom to his ministers and much understanding to his Parliament; perpetuate the sovereignty of the British constitution, and the filial dependency of all the colonies.

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