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nt place on the bench, and when quite ready to use the power of a judge to promote the political interests of the crown, as the parliament at the Revolution thought it the necessary right of Englishmen to have the judges safe from being turned out by the crown, the people of New York claim the right of Englishmen in this respect; and he himself was treated chap. XVIII.} 1761. with such indignity for accepting the office on other terms, that it was thought to have shortened his life. Elbridge Gerry to S. Adams, 2 Nov., 1772. But the idea of equality in political rights between England and the colonies could not be comprehended by the English officials of that day; and in November, about a month after Pitt's retirement, the Board of Trade reported to the king against the tenure of good behavior, as a pernicious proposition, subversive of all true policy, and tending to lessen the just dependence of the colonies upon the government of the mother country. Representation of the
ould declare its sense, our enemies could not divide us; Samuel Adams to Elbridge Gerry, 29 October, 1772. and he urged on Elbridge Gerry of Marblehead, to convokeElbridge Gerry of Marblehead, to convoke the citizens of that port. As the Governor refused to answer the inquiry of the town, they next asked that he would allow the General Assembly to meet on the day orogued. A determined spirit began to show itself in the Nov. country; E. Gerry to S. Adams, Marblehead, 2 Nov. 1772. yet when on the second of November Bos- irst doubted its efficacy. then arose, and made that mo- Samuel Adams to Elbridge Gerry, 5 Nov. 1772. tion, which included the whole revolution, that a Chap. XLVJames Warren of Plymouth, to S Adams, 8 Nov. 1772. Plymouth, Marblehead, Elbridge Gerry to S. Adams, 10 Nov. 1772, and 17 Nov. 1772. Roxbury, S. Adams to ElbridElbridge Gerry, 14 Nov. 1772. Cambridge, prepared to second Boston. God grant, cried Samuel Adams, that the love of liberty, and a zeal to support it, may enkindle in ever
Uncounted and ungoverned, it was already in danger of vanishing like dew, or being dissolved by discontents. The incompetency of Ward for his station was observed by Joseph Warren, now president of the congress, by James Warren of Plymouth, by Gerry and others; every hour made it more imperative, that he should Chap. Xxxvii} 1775. June. be superseded; and yet his private virtues and the fear of exciting dissensions in the province, required the measure to be introduced with delicacy and ce time Samuel Adams received a private letter from Joseph Warren, interpreting the words as a request that the continent should take the command of the army by appointing a generalissimo. The generalissimo whom Joseph Warren, Warren of Plymouth, Gerry and others desired, was Washington. The bearer of the letter who had been commissioned to explain more fully the wishes of Massachusetts, was then called in. His communication had hardly been finished, when an express arrived with further news f
cond in rank in the Massachusetts army, but now postponed to younger men, heedless of the slight, was roused by the continuance of the cannonade, and rode to Charlestown neck; there, thoughtful for his horse, which was a borrowed one, he shouldered his fowling-piece, marched over on foot, and amidst loud cheers of welcome, took a place at the rail fence. Joseph Warren also, after discharging his duty in the committee of safety, resolved to take part in the battle. He was entreated by Elbridge Gerry not thus to expose his life. It is pleasant and becoming to die for one's country, was his answer. Three days before, he had been elected a provincial major-general. He knew perfectly well the defects of the American camp, the danger of the intrenched party, and how the character of his countrymen and the interests of mankind hung in suspense on the conduct of that day. About two o'clock he crossed Bunker Hill, unattended, and with a musket in his hand. He stood for a short time near
ls, 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 Samue
rted. On the other hand, Samuel Adams insisted that congress had already been explicit enough; and apprehensive that they might get themselves upon dangerous ground, he rallied the bolder members in the hope to defeat the proposal; but in the absence of John Adams even his colleagues, Cushing and Paine, sided with Wilson, who carried the vote of Massachusetts as a part of his majority. Chap. LVI.} 1776. Jan. When Cushing's constituents heard of his pusillanimous wavering, they elected Elbridge Gerry to his place; at the moment, Samuel Adams repaired for sympathy and consolation to Franklin. In a free conversation, these two great sons of Boston agreed that confederation must be speedily brought on, even though the concurrence of all the colonies could not be obtained. If none of the rest will join, said Samuel Adams to Franklin, I will endeavor to unite the New England colonies in confederating. I approve your proposal, said Franklin, and if you succeed, I will cast in my lot amo
Chapter 60: The first act of independence. February—April, 1776. on the ninth day of February John Adams re- Chap. LX.} 1776. Feb. sumed his seat in congress, with Elbridge Gerry for a colleague, in place of the feeble Cushing, and with instructions from his constituents to establish liberty in America upon a permanent basis. His nature was robust and manly; now he was in the happiest mood of mind for asserting the independence of his country. He had confidence in the ability of New England to drive away their enemy; in Washington, as a brave and prudent commander; in his wife, who cheered him with the fortitude of womanly heroism; in the cause of his country, which seemed so bound up with the welfare of mankind, that Providence could not suffer its defeat; in himself, for his convictions were clear, his will fixed, and his mind prepared to let his little property and his life go, sooner than the rights of his country. Looking into himself he saw weaknesses enough; b
ch very considerable loans or subsidies in Europe as could be expected only from an ally; and, before the end of October, they instructed Franklin to assure his most Christian majesty, they hoped protection from his power and magnanimity. There Chap. VII.} 1778. were those in congress who would not place their country under protection; but the word was retained by eight states against Rhode Island and Maryland. Samuel Adams and Lovell, of Massachusetts, voted for it, but were balanced by Gerry and Holten; Sherman, of Connecticut, opposed it, but his vote was neutralized by that of Ellsworth. The people of the United States, in proportion to their numbers, were more opulent than the people of France; but they had no means of organizing their resources. The Oct. pride that would not consent to an efficient union, was willing to ask protection from Louis the Sixteenth. The country was also looking to the United Provinces for aid; and in December Laurens retired from Dec. the o
erritory on the Mississippi, Chap. IX.} 1779. from its source to its mouth. On the same day, Gerry obtained a reconsideration of the article on the fisheries. The treaty of Utrecht divided those Chap. IX.} 1779. June 3. up. Secret Journals of Congress, II. 161. On the third of June, Gerry, who was from Marblehead, again appeared as the champion of the American right to the fisheries gage in the slave-trade was rejected by a unanimous vote of twelve states, Georgia being absent; Gerry and Jay alone dissenting. The committee proposed to bind the United States never to extend theenth of June, the content- 19. ment of the French minister and his friends was disturbed. Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts, evading a breach of the rules of congress by a change in form, moved resoThe demand was for no more than Vergennes confessed to belong to them by the law of nations; and Gerry insisted that unless the right received the guarantee of France, or the consent of Great Britain
ed itself as absolutely as South Carolina. As a consequence, the confederation could contain no interdict of the slave-trade, and the importation of slaves would therefore remain open to any state according to its choice. When on the seventeenth of June, 1779, a renunciation of the power to engage in the slave-trade was proposed as an article to be inserted in the treaty of peace, all the states, Georgia alone being absent, refused the concession by the votes of every member except Jay and Gerry. The rigid assertion of the sovereignty of each state 1780. fostered mutual jealousy. Luzerne, the French envoy who succeeded Gerard, soon came to the conclusion that the confederacy would run the risk of an early dissolution if it should give itself up to the hatred which began to show itself between the north and south. Vermont, whose laws from the first never bore with slavery, knocked steadily at the door of congress to be taken in as a state. In August, 1781, its envoys 1781.
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