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desire to live with you on the best understanding and the most perfect friendship. A letter from Lord Stormont, the British ambassador at Paris, was also cited in the house of lords to prove that France equally wished a continuance of peace. It signifies nothing, said Richmond; you can put no trust in Gallic faith, except so long as it shall be their interest to keep their word. With this Rochford, the secretary of state, readily agreed; proving, however, from Raynal's History of the two Indies, that it was not for the interest of France that the English colonies should throw off the yoke. The next courier took to the king of France the report, that neither the opposition nor the British minister put faith in his sincerity; and the inference seemed justified that they themselves were insincere. The English mind was in the process of change. Chap. XXII.} 1775. Feb. The destruction of the tea at Boston had been condemned as a lawless riot, for which the pride of the nation deman
even this semblance of humanity was grudged. To recover his lost ground with the extreme supporters of authority, North was obliged to join with Suffolk and Rochford in publishing a paper declaring his intention to make no concessions. The army in Boston was to be raised to ten thousand men, and the general to be superseded on account of his incapacity to direct such a force. If fifty thousand men and twenty millions of money, said David Hume, were intrusted to such a lukewarm coward as Gage, they never could produce any effect. Amherst declined the service, unless the army should be raised to twenty thousand men; the appointment of William Howe was therefore made public. He possessed no one quality of a great general, and he was selected for his name. On receiving the offer of the command, Is it a proposition? he asked, or an order from the king? and when told an order, he replied, it was his duty to obey it. You should have refused to go against this people, cried the vote
ble. May not a people, taxed without their Chap. XXII.} 1775. Feb. consent, and their petitions against such taxation rejected, their charters taken away without hearing, and an army let loose upon them without a possibility of obtaining justice, be said to be in justifiable rebellion? But the ministerial measure, which, by keeping the New England fishermen at home provoked discontent and provided recruits for an insurgent army, was carried through all its stages by great majorities. Bishop Newton, in the lords, reasoned that rebellion is the sin of witchcraft, and that one so unnatural as that of New England, could be ascribed to nothing less than diabolical infatuation. The minister of France took the occasion to request the most rigorous and precise orders to all British naval officers not to annoy the commerce of the French colonies. Such orders, answered Rochford, have been given; and we have the greatest desire to live with you on the best understanding and the most perf
terrors of legislation, next proposed to restrain the commerce of New England and exclude its fishermen from the Banks of Newfoundland. The best shipbuilders in the world were at Boston, and their yards had been closed; the New England fishermen were now to be restrained from a toil in which they excelled the world. Thus the joint right to the fisheries was made a part of the great American struggle. God and nature, said Johnston, have given that fishery to New England and not to Old. Dunning defended the right of the Americans to fish on the Banks. If rebellion is resistance to government, said Sir George Savile, it must sometimes be justifiable. May not a people, taxed without their Chap. XXII.} 1775. Feb. consent, and their petitions against such taxation rejected, their charters taken away without hearing, and an army let loose upon them without a possibility of obtaining justice, be said to be in justifiable rebellion? But the ministerial measure, which, by keeping the
ribed to nothing less than diabolical infatuation. The minister of France took the occasion to request the most rigorous and precise orders to all British naval officers not to annoy the commerce of the French colonies. Such orders, answered Rochford, have been given; and we have the greatest desire to live with you on the best understanding and the most perfect friendship. A letter from Lord Stormont, the British ambassador at Paris, was also cited in the house of lords to prove that Francm; Chatham proposed to repeal the Massachusetts acts; North was silent about them. Yet even this semblance of humanity was grudged. To recover his lost ground with the extreme supporters of authority, North was obliged to join with Suffolk and Rochford in publishing a paper declaring his intention to make no concessions. The army in Boston was to be raised to ten thousand men, and the general to be superseded on account of his incapacity to direct such a force. If fifty thousand men and tw
Welbore Ellis (search for this): chapter 23
, that parliament, if the colonies would tax themselves to its satisfaction, would impose on them no duties except for the regulation of commerce. A wild opposition ensued. Lord North could not quell the storm, and for two hours he seemed in a considerable minority, more from the knowledge of his disposition to relent, than for the substance of his measure. The plan should have been signed by John Hancock and Otis, said Rigby, in his inconsiderate zeal to con- 12. demn the minister. Welbore Ellis, and others, particularly young Acland, angry at his manifest repugnance to cruelty, declared against him loudly and roughly. Whether any colony will come in on these terms I know not, said Lord North; but it is just and humane to give them the option. If one consents, a link of the great chain is broken. If not, it will convince men of justice and humanity at home, that in America they mean to throw off all dependence. Jenkinson reminded the house, that Lord North stood on ground ch
o keep our eyes wide open. The proposal was formed on the principle, that parliament, if the colonies would tax themselves to its satisfaction, would impose on them no duties except for the regulation of commerce. A wild opposition ensued. Lord North could not quell the storm, and for two hours he seemed in a considerable minority, more from the knowledge of his disposition to relent, than for the substance of his measure. The plan should have been signed by John Hancock and Otis, said Rigby, in his inconsiderate zeal to con- 12. demn the minister. Welbore Ellis, and others, particularly young Acland, angry at his manifest repugnance to cruelty, declared against him loudly and roughly. Whether any colony will come in on these terms I know not, said Lord North; but it is just and humane to give them the option. If one consents, a link of the great chain is broken. If not, it will convince men of justice and humanity at home, that in America they mean to throw off all depende
John Burgoyne (search for this): chapter 23
ogether. Of the two major generals who attended Howe, the first in rank was Sir Henry Clinton, son of a former governor in New York, related to the families of Newcastle and Bedford, and connected by party with the ministry. The other was John Burgoyne. A bastard son of one peer, he had made a runaway match with the daughter of another. In the last war he served in Portugal with spirit, and was brave even to rashness. His talent for description made him respectable as a man of letters; aing's service who does not think the parliamentary right of Great Britain a cause to fight for, to bleed and die for. The assertion was extravagant; many of the best would not willingly bear arms against their kindred in America. In reply to Burgoyne, Henry Temple Luttrell, whom curiosity once led to travel many hundreds of miles along the flourishing and hospitable provinces of the continent, bore testimony to their temperance, urbanity, and spirit, and predicted that, if set to the proof,
George Grenville (search for this): chapter 23
others, particularly young Acland, angry at his manifest repugnance to cruelty, declared against him loudly and roughly. Whether any colony will come in on these terms I know not, said Lord North; but it is just and humane to give them the option. If one consents, a link of the great chain is broken. If not, it will convince men of justice and humanity at home, that in America they mean to throw off all dependence. Jenkinson reminded the house, that Lord North stood on ground chosen by Grenville; but the Bedford party none the less threatened to vote against the minister, till Sir Gilbert Elliot, the well known friend of the king, brought to his aid the royal influence, and secured for the motion a large majority. Lord North must have fallen, but for the active interposition of the king. Yet the conciliation which he offered, could not lead to an agreement, for no confidence could be placed in its author, who was the feeble head of an adverse ministry. Chatham, Chap. XXII.}
issions for the restoration of peace according to a measure to be proposed by Lord North. From Franklin, whose aid in the scheme was earnestly desired, the minister once more sought to learn the least amount of concession that could be accepted. No sooner was Franklin consulted, than he expressed his approbation of the proposed commission, and of Lord Howe as one of its members; and to smooth tters first, and then if you don't like them, we will consider. On the eighteenth of February, Franklin, by appointment, once more saw Lord Howe. Consent, said he, to accompany me, and co-operate wit the conflict with America, yet feebly and vainly resisting the impetuosity of his colleagues. Franklin was informed on the twentieth, that his principles and those of parliament were as yet too wideernment will give up the right of taxing, and the mother country that it will be maintained. Franklin sent advice to Massachusetts by no means to begin war without the advice of the continental con
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