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une. to Pitt and to Grafton; and, among many others, to Conway and Barre, to Camden and Shelburne; to Howard, who had refused to draw his sword against the colonies; to Chesterfield, who left retirement for their relief. But as to compensating the sufferers by the late disturbances, it upheld its right of deliberating freely, and would only pro- Chap. XXV.} 1766. June. mise at its next session to act as should then appear just and reasonable. House to the Governor, 25 June—Governor to House, 27 June the—House to Governor, 28 June,—all in Bradford. Also, Bernard's Observations, in Prior Documents, 107. Further: Letters from Ber-nard of 29 June, and 19 July, 1766. Connecticut, Gov. Pitkin to Secretary Conway, 4 Aug., 1766. overjoyed at the repeal of the Stamp Act and applauding its connection with Great Britain, elected as its Governor the discreet and patriotic William Pitkin, in place of the loyalist Fitch. The Legislature of South Carolina, retaining, like Georgia, <
o British taxation. They inquired if more troops were expected; and when the Governor professed, in pursuance of the late Act of Parliament, to have made provision at the Colony's expense for those which had recently touched at Boston Harbor, they did not cease their complaints, till they wrung from him the declaration that his supply did not include articles prescribed by that Act, but was wholly conformable to the usage of the Province. Bernard to Shelburne, 14 Feb. 1767, 18 Feb. 1767; House to Bernard, and Bernard to the House, Feb. 1767; See Bradford's State Papers, 105, 106, 107; Prior Documents, 133. Upon this concession, the House acquiesced in an expenditure which no longer compromised their rights; and they also declared their readiness to grant of their own free accord such aids as the King's service from time to time should require. Message from the House to the Governor, 4 Feb. 1767. By the authority of the same Act of Parliament, Gage demanded quarters for one
ents of a people, the Thirteenth British Parliament, the last which ever legislated for America, was returned. So infamous was the old House in public esteem, that one hundred and seventy of its members failed of being rechosen. W. S. Johnson to Gov. Pitkin, 24 April, 1768. But still corruption lost nothing of its effrontery; boroughs were sold openly, and votes purchased at advanced prices. The market value of a seat in Parliament was four thousand pounds; at which rate the whole venal House would have been bought for not much over two millions sterling, B. Franklin to W. Franklin, 13 March, 1768. Writings, VII. 394. and a majority for not much over one million. Yet in some places a contest cost the candidates twenty to thirty thousand pounds apiece, and it was affirmed that in Cumberland one person lavished a hundred thousand pounds. The election was the warmest and most expensive ever known. The number of disputed returns exceeded all precedent; as did the riots, into wh
ap. XXXIV.} 1768. June. years later, he was to repeat. This is the most glorious day ever seen, responded his friend, Samuel Cooper. The merchants of Boston met, and successfully renewed the agreement not to import from England. Letter from Hutchinson to Bollas, 14 July, 1768. The House, employing the pen of Samuel Adams Eliot's Biographical Dictionary of New England, sub voce Samuel Adams. without altering a word, reported a letter Bradford's Massachusetts State Papers, 151; House to Lord Hillsborough, 30 June, 1768. to Lord Hillsborough, in which they showed that the Circular Letter of February was, indeed, the declared sense of a large majority of their body; and expressed their reliance on the clemency of the King, that to petition him would not be deemed inconsistent with respect for the British constitution, nor to acquaint their fellow-subjects of their having done so, be discountenanced as an inflammatory proceeding. Then came the great question, taken in
on the ninth turned on the capacity and rights of the people, and involved the complaints of America and of Ireland, not less than the discontent of England at the disfranchisement of Wilkes. It is vain and idle to found the authority of this House upon the popular voice, said Charles Jenkinson, pleading for the absolute independence of Parliament. The discontents that are held up as spectres, said Thomas de Grey, brother of the Attorney General, are the senseless clamors of the thoughtlesGilmour invited censure on such unprecedented expressions. Conway excused them as uttered in heat. I am not conscious, resumed Saville, that I have spoken in heat; if I did, I have had time to pool, and I again say, as I said before, that this House has betrayed the rights of its constitu- Chap. XLII.} 1770. Jan. ents. In times of less licentiousness, rejoined Gilmour, members have been sent to the Tower for words of less offence. The mean consideration of my own safety, continued Saville
his reverie to the days of the Revolution of 1688. Hutchinson to Lord Hillsborough, 12 March, 1770. He saw in his mind, Andros seized and imprisoned, and the people instituting a new government; he reflected that the citizens of Boston and the country about it were become four times as numerous as in those days, and their spirit full as high. He fancied them insurgent, and himself their captive; and he turned to the Council for advice. It is not such people as formerly pulled down your House, who conduct the present measures; said Tyler, but they are people of the best characters among us, men of estates, and men of religion. It is impossible for the troops to remain in town; there will be ten thousand men to effect their removal, be the consequence what it may. Russell of Charlestown, and Dexter of Dedham, a man of admirable qualities, confirmed what was said. They spoke truly; men were ready to come down from the hills of Worcester County, and from the vale of the Connect
rom the military Command in Boston, that you have no right to tax them. When beaten out of every argument, they adduce the authority of the first man of the law, and the first man of the State. Grenville assumed fully the responsibility of the Stamp Act; but he revealed to the House that the measure of taxing America had been the wish of the King. On the present occasion, had the King's friends remained neutral, the duty on tea would have been repealed; with all their exertions, in a full House, the majority for retaining it was but sixty-two. Franklin to a Friend in America, 18 March, 1770; Writings, VII. 466. Lord North seemed hardly satisfied with his success; and Chap. XLIV.} 1770. March reserved to himself liberty to accede to the repeal on some agreement with the East India Company; Garth to South Carolina Committee, 6 March, 1770. with fatal weakness of purpose, delaying the measure which his good sense and humanity approved. The decision came from the King who w
al instructions; and in answer to the old question of what is to be done upon the abusive exercise of the prerogative, they went back to the principles of the Revolution, and adopted the words of Locke: In this as in all other cases, where they have no judge on earth, the people have no remedy but to appeal to Heaven. They drew a distinction between the King and his servants; and attributed to wicked Ministers the daring encroachments on their liberty, as well as the impudent mandate to one House, to rescind an excellent resolution of a former one. Hutchinson made haste to expose his Sovereign Aug personally to contempt. On the third day of August he communicated to the House, that the instruction to rescind, which they had called an impudent mandate, was an order from the King himself, whose immediate attention, he assured them, they would not be able to escape. In this manner the royal dignity and character were placed on trial before a colonial Assembly, and Monarchy itself
in the same cause. They marked their affection for Rawlins Lowndes, one of their discarded Judges, and in great esteem throughout the Province, by electing him the Speaker of their Assembly. The Governor directed the Assembly to return to their House and choose another; but they persisted in their first choice. In consequence Mon- Chap. XLIX.} 1773. Jan. tagu prorogued them, and did it in so illegal a manner, that as a remedy, he dissolved them by a proclamation, and immediately issued writs for choosing a new House; Lord Charles Montagu to the Secretary of State, 21 January, 1773; Charles Garth to Committee of South Carolina, 25 Feb. 1773. thus carrying the subject home to the thoughts of every voter in the Province. This controversy was local; the answers of the Legislature of Massachusetts to its Governor's challenge would be of general importance. That of the Council, drafted by Bowdoin, clearly traced the existing discontents to the Acts of Parliament, subjecting the