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[136] leaders. A series of papers in The Pennsylvania packet, reprinted in a pamphlet with the title A Few Political Reflections Submitted to the Consideration of the British Colonies, by a Citizen of Philadelphia, and attributed to Richard Wells, urged compensation for the tea and the abandonment of violent protest, at the same time arguing for united rejection of the claim to taxation on the ground that the colonies were too old and too strong to be kept in leading-strings. An anonymous Letter from a Virginian, addressed to the Congress at Philadelphia, went further and frankly questioned the constitutional soundness and political wisdom of the arguments put forth by the Congress.

No history of the American Revolution, or of the political literature to which it gave birth, would be complete without consideration of the loyalists. That independence was in fact the work of a minority, and that the methods by which the loyal majority was overawed and, in part, expelled were as high-handed and cruel as they were active and vigorous, must be freely conceded. Weighty as was the colonial argument, force and violence were freely employed to give effect to it. But the great loyalist party, numbering among its leaders many of the ablest, most devoted, and wealthiest men in colonial life, was not crushed without a struggle; and the arguments with which its adherents defended their cause and sought to defeat that of their opponents were not less ably put or trenchantly phrased than those of the patriots themselves.

Soon after the “Association” agreement of the Continental Congress was adopted (October, 1774), there was published in New York the first of four pamphlets by a “Westchester Farmer.” The author was the Rev. Samuel Seabury, then and for some time rector of St. Peter's Church, Westchester, and later, by time's curious working, first bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. The four pamphlets, entitled respectively Free thoughts on the proceedings of the Continental Congress, The Congress Canvassed, A view of the controversy between great-britain and her colonies, and An alarm to the legislature of the province of New-York, were a powerful attack upon the aims and policy of the Congress and the patriot leaders, and a plea for such adjustment as would assure to the colonies local self-government, on the one hand.

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