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Providence, R. I. (Rhode Island, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.14
ations in Boston, in which they say, We entreat your Excellency to consider what a tendency this conduct must have to irritate and force a free people, hitherto well disposed to peaceable measures, into hostilities. From this expression Everett argues that the Congress considered themselves the representatives of a people. But, by reference to the proceedings of the Congress, he might readily have ascertained that the letter to General Gage was written in behalf of the town of Boston and Providence of Massachusetts Bay, the people of which were considered by all America as suffering in the common causes for their noble and spirited opposition to oppressive acts of Parliament. The avowed object was to entreat his Excellency, from the assurance we have of the peaceable disposition of the inhabitants of the town of Boston and of the Providence of Massachusetts Bay, to discontinue his fortifications. American Archives, Fourth Series, Vol. I, p. 908. These were the people referred to b
Benin (Benin) (search for this): chapter 2.14
e exactitude of a didactic treatise, and could little have foreseen the extraordinary use to be made of their expressions nearly a century afterward, in sustaining a theory contradictory to history as well as to common sense. It is as if the familiar expressions often employed in our own time, such as the people of Africa, or the people of South America, should be cited, by some ingenious theorist of a future generation, as evidence that the subjects of the Khedive and those of the King of Dahomey were but one people, or that the Peruvians and the Patagonians belonged to the same political community. Everett, it is true, quotes two expressions of the Continental Congress to sustain his remarkable proposition that the colonies were a people. One of these is found in a letter addressed by the Congress to General Gage in October, 1774, remonstrating against the erection of fortifications in Boston, in which they say, We entreat your Excellency to consider what a tendency this condu
England (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 2.14
onies of New England other associations Independence of communities traced from Germany to great Britain, and from great Britain to America Everett's provincial people origin and continuance of great Britain to America Everett's provincial people origin and continuance of the title United States no such political community as the people of the United States. The historical retrospect of the last three chapters and the extracts from the records of a generation now eat preserver of all communal freedom and of mutual harmony—was transplanted by the Saxons into England, and there sustained those personal rights which, after the fall of the Heptarchy, were almost of Judge Story, and with even less caution, boldly declares that, before their independence of England was asserted, they [the colonies] constituted a provincial people. To sustain this position—utty, freedom, and independence of each was distinctly asserted. They were united States when Great Britain acknowledged the absolute freedom and independence of each, distinctly and separately recogn
Massachusetts Bay (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.14
proceedings of the Congress, he might readily have ascertained that the letter to General Gage was written in behalf of the town of Boston and Providence of Massachusetts Bay, the people of which were considered by all America as suffering in the common causes for their noble and spirited opposition to oppressive acts of Parliamenject was to entreat his Excellency, from the assurance we have of the peaceable disposition of the inhabitants of the town of Boston and of the Providence of Massachusetts Bay, to discontinue his fortifications. American Archives, Fourth Series, Vol. I, p. 908. These were the people referred to by the Congress; the children of the Pilgrims, who occupied at that period the town of Boston and the province of Massachusetts Bay, would have been not a little astonished to be reckoned as one people, in any other respect than that of the common cause, with the Roman Catholics of Maryland, the Episcopalians of Virginia, the Quakers of Pennsylvania, or the Baptists
Connecticut (Connecticut, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.14
New York, for a ransom; inasmuch as he belonged to New Hampshire, however, the government of New York took no action for his release. There was not even enough community of feeling to induce individual citizens to provide money for the purpose. There were, however, local and partial confederacies among the New England colonies, long before the Declaration of Independence. As early as the year 1643 a Congress had been organized of delegates from Massachusetts, Plymouth, New Haven, and Connecticut, under the style of The United colonies of New England. The objects of this confederacy, according to Bancroft, were protection against the encroachments of the Dutch and French, security against the tribes of savages, the liberties of the gospel in purity and in peace. Bancroft's History of the United States, Vol. I, Chapter IX. The general affairs of the company were entrusted to commissions, two from each colony; the same historian tells us that to each its respective local jurisd
South America (search for this): chapter 2.14
olloquial phraseology concerning the inhabitants of a distant continent, in the freedom of extemporaneous debate, were not framing their ideas with the exactitude of a didactic treatise, and could little have foreseen the extraordinary use to be made of their expressions nearly a century afterward, in sustaining a theory contradictory to history as well as to common sense. It is as if the familiar expressions often employed in our own time, such as the people of Africa, or the people of South America, should be cited, by some ingenious theorist of a future generation, as evidence that the subjects of the Khedive and those of the King of Dahomey were but one people, or that the Peruvians and the Patagonians belonged to the same political community. Everett, it is true, quotes two expressions of the Continental Congress to sustain his remarkable proposition that the colonies were a people. One of these is found in a letter addressed by the Congress to General Gage in October, 1774
Bennington, Vt. (Vermont, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.14
y disputed. As colonies, they had no claim, and made no pretension, to sovereignty. They were subject to the British Crown, unless, like the Plymouth colony, a law unto themselves, but they were independent of each other—the only point which has any bearing upon their subsequent relations. There was no other bond between them than that of their common allegiance to the government of the mother country. As an illustration of this may be cited the historical fact that when John Stark, of Bennington memory, was before the Revolution engaged in a hunting expedition in the Indian country, he was captured by the savages and brought to Albany, in the colony of New York, for a ransom; inasmuch as he belonged to New Hampshire, however, the government of New York took no action for his release. There was not even enough community of feeling to induce individual citizens to provide money for the purpose. There were, however, local and partial confederacies among the New England colonies,
Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.14
Providence of Massachusetts Bay, to discontinue his fortifications. American Archives, Fourth Series, Vol. I, p. 908. These were the people referred to by the Congress; the children of the Pilgrims, who occupied at that period the town of Boston and the province of Massachusetts Bay, would have been not a little astonished to be reckoned as one people, in any other respect than that of the common cause, with the Roman Catholics of Maryland, the Episcopalians of Virginia, the Quakers of Pennsylvania, or the Baptists of Rhode Island. The other citation of Everett is from the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence: When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, etc., etc. This, he says, characterizes the good people of the colonies as one people. Plainly, it does no such thing. The misconception is so palpable as scarcely to admit of serious answer. The Declaration of Inde
New Hampshire (New Hampshire, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.14
when John Stark, of Bennington memory, was before the Revolution engaged in a hunting expedition in the Indian country, he was captured by the savages and brought to Albany, in the colony of New York, for a ransom; inasmuch as he belonged to New Hampshire, however, the government of New York took no action for his release. There was not even enough community of feeling to induce individual citizens to provide money for the purpose. There were, however, local and partial confederacies amonglent to saying any people. The use of the correlatives one and another was the simple and natural way of stating this general proposition. One people applies, and was obviously intended to apply, to all cases of the same category—to that of New Hampshire, or Delaware, or South Carolina, or of any other people existing or to exist, and whether acting separately or in concert. It applies to any case, and all cases, of dissolution of political bands, as well as to the case of the British coloni
South Carolina (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.14
lonies as one people. Plainly, it does no such thing. The misconception is so palpable as scarcely to admit of serious answer. The Declaration of Independence opens with a general proposition. One people is equivalent to saying any people. The use of the correlatives one and another was the simple and natural way of stating this general proposition. One people applies, and was obviously intended to apply, to all cases of the same category—to that of New Hampshire, or Delaware, or South Carolina, or of any other people existing or to exist, and whether acting separately or in concert. It applies to any case, and all cases, of dissolution of political bands, as well as to the case of the British colonies. It does not, either directly or by implication, assert their unification, and has no bearing whatever upon the question. When the colonies united in sending representatives to a Congress in Philadelphia, there was no purpose—no suggestion of a purpose— to merge their separ<
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