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till a congress could be convened, would have seemed to them like abandoning the town to bleed away its life without relief or solace. The king had expected to starve its people into submission; in their circular letter to the committees of the other colonies, they proposed as a counter action a general cessation of trade with Britain. Now, they added, is the time when all should be united in opposition to this violation of the liberties of all. The single question is, whether you consider Boston as suffering in the common cause, and sensibly feel and resent the injury and affront offered to her? We cannot believe otherwise; assuring you that, not in the least intimidated by this inhuman treatment, we are still determined to maintain to the Chap. I.} 1774. May. utmost of our abilities the rights of America. The next day, while Gage was sailing into the harbor with the vice-regal powers of commanderin-chief for the continent, as well as the civil authority of governor in the pr
meeting, of which the spirit far exceeded his own; but even the most zealous acknowledged the necessity of deferring to his advice. Accepting, therefore, moderation and prudence as their watchwords, they did little more than coldly resolve, that Boston was suffering in the general cause, and they appointed a committee of intercolonial correspondence, with Dickinson as its chief. On the next day, Dickinson, with calculating reserve, embodied in a letter to Boston the system which, for the comBoston the system which, for the coming year, was to form the policy of America. It proposed a general congress of deputies from the different colonies, who, in firm but dutiful terms, should make to the king a petition of their Chap. II.} 1774. May. rights. This, he was confident, would be granted through the influence of the wise and good in the mother country; and the most sanguine of his supporters predicted that the very idea of a general congress would compel a change of policy. In like manner the fifty-one who now r
give her a ball. The feeling of loyalty was still predominant; the thought of revolution was not harbored; but they none the less held it their duty to resist the systematic plan of parliamentary despotism, and without waiting for an appeal from Boston, they resolved on its deliverance. First among them as an orator stood Patrick Henry, whose words had power to kindle in his hearers passions like his own. But eloquence was his least merit; he was revered as the ideal of a patriot of Rome in itd been the model for other colonies. Her influence continued undiminished; and her system was promptly adopted by the people of North Carolina. Lord North had no expectation that we should be thus sustained, said Samuel Adams; he trusted that Boston would be left to fall alone. But the love of liberty in America did not flash like electricity on the surface; it penetrated the mass with magnetic energy. The port-act had been received son the tenth of May; and in three weeks, less time than
s questionable both in policy and form, was chosen as the object of cavil. New York had superseded the old committee by a more moderate one; it was proposed that Boston should do the same. The patriot, Samuel Adams, finding himself not only prnscribed by the king, but on trial in a Boston town Chap. V.} 1774. June. meeting, luthority of the kingdom. For nearly two hours, the king continued inquiries respecting Massachusetts and other provinces, and was encouraged in the delusion that Boston would be left unsupported. The author of the pleasing intelligence became at once a favorite, obtained a large pension, was offered the rank of baronet, and was d omnipotent reigneth. The small parish of Brooklyn, in Connecticut, through their committee, of which Israel Putnam was a member, opened a correspondence with Boston. Your zeal in favor of liberty, they said, has gained a name that shall perish but with the glorious constellations of Heaven; and they made an offering of floc
ropics as its son. The committee of fifty-one, with some of whom Hamilton was to be bound by the closest political ties, keeping steadily in view the hope of conciliation with England, disavowed the meeting in the Fields. A minority of nine, Sears, MacDougal, Van Brugh Livingston being of the number, in their turn disavowed the committee from which they withdrew. The conservative party, on their side, offered resolutions which Jay had drafted, and which seemed to question the conduct of Boston in destroying the tea; but the people, moved by the eloquence of John Morin Scott, rejected the whole series, as wanting in vigor, sense, and integrity, and tending to disunion. Thus began the conflict of two parties which Chap. VI.} 1774. July. were to increase in importance and spread throughout the country. The one held to what was established, and made changes only from necessity; the other welcomed reform, and went out to meet it. The one anchored on men of property; the other on t
the charter of the province, and declared the violation of that charter a dissolution of their union with Britain. Thomas Gardner, a Cambridge farmer, promised a similar convention of the county of Middlesex. Friends and brethren, he wrote to Boston, as if at once to allay anxiety and prophesy his own approaching end, the time is come that every one that has a tongue and an arm is called upon by their country to stand forth in its behalf. I consider the call as the call of God, and desire try one's favorite. The officers whom he visited on Boston Common bantered him about coming down to fight. Twenty ships of the line and twenty regiments, said Major Small, may be expected from England in case a submission is not speedily made by Boston. If they come, said the veteran, I am ready to treat them as enemies. The growing excitement attracted to New England Charles Lee, the restless officer whom the Five Nations had named the Boiling Water. As aide-de-camp to the king of Poland
upon one side or the other, said Thayer, of Braintree. The members were unanimous and firm; but they postponed their decision, till it could be promulgated with greater formality. To this end, and in contempt of Gage and the act of parliament, they directed special meetings in every town and precinct in the county, to elect delegates with full powers to appear at Dedham on the first Monday in September. From such a county congress Warren predicted very important consequences. Meantime Boston was not left to deliberate alone. On Friday, the twenty-sixth, its committee were joined at Faneuil Hall by delegates from the several towns of the counties of Worcester, Middlesex, and Essex; and on the next day, after calm consultation, they collectively denied the power of parliament to change the minutest tittle of their laws. As a consequence, they found that all appointments to the newly-instituted council, and all authority exercised by the courts of justice, were unconstitutional;
s and forming magazines of ammunition and such artillery, good and bad, as they could procure; that the civil officers of the British government had no asylum but Boston. In a private letter Gage proposed that the obnoxious acts should be suspended. In an official paper he hinted that it would be well to cut the colonies adrift,erchants took measures to import military stores. At Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Wednesday, the fourteenth of December, just after letters were received from Boston, members of the town committee, with other Sons of Liberty, preceded by a drum and fife, paraded the streets till their number grew to four hundred, when they madions of the enemies of God's people, and promises of the divine blessing on the defenders of his law. But what most animated the country was the magnanimity of Boston; suffering amazing loss, but determined to endure poverty and death, rather than betray America and posterity. Its people, under the eyes of the general, disrega
iments of kindness in our breasts, we cannot hear without the deepest concern a charge, that a system has been formed to enslave you by means of parliament. The mild and affectionate language of this pamphlet, composed for the ministers, printed at the pub- Chap. XXVI.} 1775. April. lie cost, and sent out by public authority to be widely distributed, formed a strange contrast to that written by Samuel Johnson for England, and clashed discordantly with the vengeful orders transmitted to Boston. Yet Lord North was false only as he was weak and uncertain. He really wished to concede and conciliate, but he had not force enough to come to a clear understanding even with himself. When he encountered the opposition in the house of commons, he sustained his administration by speaking confidently for vigorous measures; when alone his heart sank within him from dread of civil war. The remonstrance and memorial of the assembly of New York, which Burke, their agent, presented to parlia
lment of his wishes, the order to engage them was sent directly in his name to the unscrupulous Indian agent, Guy Johnson, whose functions were made independent of Carleton. Lose no time, it was said; induce them to take up the hatchet against his majesty's rebellious subjects in America. It is a service of very great importance; fail not to exert every effort that may tend to accomplish it; use the utmost diligence and activity. It was also the opinion at court, that the next word from Boston would be that of some lively action, for General Gage would wish to make sure of his revenge. The sympathy for America which prevailed more and more in England, reached the king's own brother, the weak but amiable duke of Gloucester. In July Chap. Xxxiii} 1775. July. he crossed the channel, with the view to inspect the citadels along the eastern frontier of France. When he left Dover, nothing had been heard from America later than the retreat of the British from Concord, and the surpr