Republicanism in the East
and the West
.—Hillsborough's Administration of the Colonies continued.
had not only like Virginia
assert the rights of America
, but also to effect the removal of the troops from Boston
, into whose ‘very streets and lanes’ about two thousand men had been sent, in equal disregard of good policy1
and of an Act of Parliament.
For more than ten months, the Colony remained without an Assembly.
The servants of the Crown who had placed their
hopes on the plan for transporting to England
the principal Sons of Liberty, became irresolute and timid.2
The secret Councils which Bernard
now held with Hutchinson3
, ended only in ‘despair.’
They had furnished ‘ample information;’4
they had got ready to apply the statute of Henry the Eighth; and had persuaded themselves that inferior offenders would have consulted
safety by betraying their leaders.5
Since the propo-
sal to ship Samuel Adams
, and their chief supporters across the water had come to naught, the cabal were left without a plan of conduct.
The Regiments which had been sent at their suggestion were pronounced to be useless, because they were inactive.
Disheartened by the appearance of moderation in the British Government
, they complained that their accusations which had, as they thought, ‘been fully certified, had not been noticed at Westminster
The choice of Representatives showed the sense of the people.
The town of Boston
, on coming together, demanded the withdrawal of the soldiery during the election; but they were only confined within the barracks while the ballot was taken.
Of five hundred and eight votes that were cast, the four old representatives, Otis
, Samuel Adams
, and Hancock
, received more than five hundred.
They were instructed to insist on the departure of the army from the town and Province; and not to pay any thing towards its support.6
Of the ninety-two who voted not to rescind, eighty-one, probably all who were candidates, were re-elected; of the seventeen rescinders, only five.
condemned the conduct of its former representatives and substituted two Sons of Liberty in their stead.
charged Thomas Gardner
, its representative, ‘to use his best endeavors, that all their rights might be transmitted inviolable to the latest posterity;’ and the excellent man proved
true to his New England
Nor let history speak
the praise only of those who win glory in the field or high honors in the State
; a place should be reserved for a husbandman like him, rich in the virtues of daily life, of calm and modest courage, of a character trustworthy and unassuming, who was sent from cultivating his fields to take part in legislation, and carried to his task a discerning mind and an intrepid and guileless heart.—The town of Roxbury
recommended a correspondence between the House of Representatives in Massachusetts
, and the Assemblies of other Provinces.7
received letters, destroying his hope of an appointment in Virginia
, and calling him to England
The blow came on him unexpectedly; as he was procuring settlers for his wild lands, and promising himself a long and secure enjoyment of the emoluments of office under military protection.
True to his character, he remained to get if he could an appropriation for his own salary for a year, and to bequeathe confusion to his successor.
On the last day of May, the Legislature, before even electing a clerk or a speaker, complained to the Governor
of the presence of ‘the armament by sea and land, in the port, and the gates of the city, during the session of the Assembly.’8
‘Gentlemen,’ said Bernard
, in reply to what he thought insolent terms, ‘I have no authority over his Majesty's ships in this port, or his troops in this town; nor can I give any orders for the removal of the
On the election of Councillors, he disapprov-
ed of no less than eleven; among them of Brattle
, who had been chosen by a unanimous vote.9
then considered the presence among them of troops, over whom the Governor
avowed that the civil power in the Province did not extend.
At that very time Gage
, who had been intrusted with discretionary authority to withdraw the forces from Boston
, ordered two regiments to Halifax
, and required Bernard
's written opinion respecting the proper disposition of the rest.10
After some hesitation,11
and after conferring with his associates, Bernard
reported it to be ‘the opinion of all that the removal of the troops at that time would have very dangerous consequences;12
and that it would be quite ruinous to the cause of the Crown to draw them all out of the town of Boston
. Two regiments, one in the town, the other at the castle, might be sufficient.’13
During this secret discussion, the Assembly,14
in a message to the Governor
, represented that the use of the military to enforce the laws was inconsistent with the spirit of a free Constitution, and that a standing army, in so far as it was uncontrollable by the civil authority of the Province, was an absolute power.
, whose chief anxiety was to get a grant
of a year's salary,15
and who, for the moment, mixed
some distrust of Hutchinson16
with his sudden recall, met their complaint of the presence of troops by adjourning the Legislature to Cambridge
; and insisting that by the King
's instruction the grant of salaries must be the first Act of the Session, he chid the House
for ‘a fortnight's non-activity,’ and a consequent waste of ‘time and treasure.’17
‘No time,’ replied the House
, ‘can be better employed, than in the preservation of the rights derived from the British Constitution; no treasure better expended, than in securing that true old English liberty which gives a relish to every enjoyment;’18
and in earnest and distinct resolves, they iterated their opinions.19
The impatient Governor, eager for his salary, again places before them his own support as their first object.20
paid no heed to his entreaties; but by a unanimous vote, one hundred and nine members being present, petitioned the King
to remove him for ever from the Government
, enumerating many and just grounds of complaint.21
All this while Bernard
, sure of the royal protection and blinded by avarice, was mainly intent on getting a year's salary.
Another week passes.
Contrary to the advice of all about him, he communicated to the Assembly22
his order to repair to England
, and, citing
a royal instruction on the subject of provincial grants for the support of Government, coupled his new demand of a year's salary with an intimation, that he should give his assent to no Act, which the grant did not precede.
, having disdainfully rejected his de-
adopted nearly word for word the three Resolutions of Virginia24
intercolonial correspondence, and trial by a jury of the vicinage.
They also enumerated their grievances, and declared the ‘establishment of a standing army in the Colony, in a time of peace, without consent of its General Assembly, an invasion of the natural and chartered rights of the people.’
For the troops thus quartered in Boston
against the will of the Province, Bernard
the appropriations which the Billeting Act
‘Be explicit and distinct,’ said he, in a second Message, ‘that there may be no mistake.’27
The Act of Parliament thus formally referred to, was that, on account of which the legislative powers of New-York
had been suspended; it was one to which other Colonies had partially yielded.
The troops had been sent to Boston
to enforce the laws; their coming had been the deliberate order of the King
and his Ministry, and had been specially commended by Parliament.
It was well known in what body the hatred of America
its strong hold; and an issue was made up between
the hereditary Senate of the modern Imperial Rome
, and the lawyers and farmers to whom the annual election of Massachusetts
entrusted legislative power.
One or the other must give way.
After grave deliberation in a most unusually numerous House of one hundred and seven, and as it were, in the presence of the human race and ages to come, they made answer:28
‘As Representatives, by the royal Charter and the nature of our trust, we are only empowered to grant such aids as are reasonable, of which we are free and independent judges, at liberty to follow the dictates of our own understanding, without regard to the mandates of another.—Your Excellency
must, therefore, excuse us in this express declaration, that, as we cannot, consistently with our honor, or interest, and much less with the duty we owe our constituents, so we shall NEVER29
make provision for the purposes mentioned in your messages.’
‘To his Majesty,’ rejoined Bernard
in his last words, ‘and if he pleases, to his Parliament, must be referred your invasion of the rights of the Imperial Sovereignty
By your own acts you will be judged.
Your publications are plain and explicit, and need no comment.’
And he prorogued the General Court to the tenth of January. ‘Their last message,’ he wrote to Hillsborough, ‘exceeds every thing.’
Newport, Rhode Island
, witnessed still bolder resistance.
A vessel with a cargo of prohibited goods
was rescued from the revenue officers, whose ship
named Liberty, was destroyed.30
Just as this was heard of at Boston
's Circular promising relief from all ‘real’ grievances and a repeal of the duties on glass, paper and colors, as contrary to the true principles of commerce, was received by Bernard
, and was immediately made public.
At once the merchants, assembling on the twenty-seventh of July, voted unanimously, that this partial repeal was insufficient, since the duty on tea was to be retained to save ‘the right’ of taxing; and it was resolved to send for no more goods from Great Britain
, a few specified articles excepted, unless the revenue Acts should be repealed.
The inhabitants of the town were to purchase nothing from violators of this engagement; the names of recusant importers were to be published;31
and the Acts of Trade themselves came under the consideration of a committee,32
appointed to prepare a statement of the embarrassments to commerce, growing out of the late regulations.33
In the midst of this commotion Bernard
, having completed his pecuniary arrangements with Hutchinson
to his own satisfaction,34
on the evening of the last day of July left Boston
to sail for Europe
to have sent home whom he pleased,’ said the Boston
eers; ‘but the die being thrown, poor Sir Francis Bernard
was the rogue to go first.’35
Trained as a wrangling proctor in an ecclesiastical court, he had been a quarrelsome disputant rather than a statesman.
His parsimony went to the extreme of meanness; his avarice was insatiable and restless.
So long as he connived at smuggling, he reaped a harvest in that way; when Grenville
's sternness inspired alarm, it was his study to make the most money out of forfeitures and penalties.
Professing to respect the Charter
, he was unwearied in zeal for its subversion; declaring his opposition to taxation by Parliament, he urged it with all his power.
Asserting most solemnly that he had never asked for troops, his letters reveal his perpetual importunities for ships of war and an armed force.
His reports were often false, partly with design, partly from the credulity of panic.
He placed every thing in the most unfavorable light, and was ready to tell every tale and magnify trivial rumors into acts of Treason.
He desponded when conciliation prevailed in England
The officers of the army and the navy despised him for his cowardice and duplicity, and did not conceal their contempt.
‘He has essentially served us,’ said the patriot clergyman Cooper
‘had he been wise, our liberties might have been lost.’
As he departed from Boston
, the bells were rung, and cannon fired from the wharfs; Liberty Tree
was gay with flags; and at night a great bonfire was kindled upon Fort Hill
When be reached
, he found that the Ministry had promised
merchants never to employ him in America
And yet he was the Governor
whom they had most trusted; for bad men fit bad ends; and the selfish oligarchy by which England
was then governed, feeling themselves rebuked by the noble and the free, hated them as dangerous to their rule.38
was advancing steadily towards Republicanism, the enthusiasm which had made the revolution at New Orleans, could not shape for that Colony a secure and tranquil existence.
A new petition to France
expressed the inflexible resolve of the inhabitants to preserve the dear and inviolable name of French citizens at the greatest peril of their lives and fortunes.
They sought communication with the English
but the Governor
abstained from offending powers with which his Sovereign was at peace.
The dread of Spain
and its Government occasioned the daring design of founding a Republic with a Council of forty, to be elected by the people, and an executive chief to be called a protector.40
It was even proposed, if Louisiana
was to be given up to his Catholic Majesty, to burn New Orleans to the ground, and leave to an unwelcome master, nothing but a desert.
When near the end of July, it was told that O'Reilly
had arrived at the Balise with an overwhelming force, despair prevailed for a moment; and white cockades were distributed
by the Republicans.41
come to ruin the Colony,’ said Aubry
, who had received instructions to feign ingenuous candor.42
‘If you submit,’ he repeated publicly and by authority, ‘the General
will treat you with kindness, and you may have full confidence in the clemency of his Catholic Majesty.’43
These promises won faith; and with Aubry
's concurrence a committee of three, Lafreniere for the Council, Marquis
for the colonists, and Milhet for the merchants, waited on O'Reilly
at the Balise, to recognise his authority and implore his mercy.
, who had no fear except lest the lead-
ing insurgents should escape into the English
welcomed the deputies with treacherous politeness and the fairest promises,45
detained them to dine, and dismissed them full of admiration for his talents and confident of a perfect amnesty.
So general was the persuasion of security, that Villere
who had escaped upon the Mississippi
and was on his way to an English post, returned to the city.
On the morning of the eighth of August, the Spanish squadron of four and twenty vessels, bearing three thousand chosen troops, anchored in front of New Orleans; and before the day was over, possession was taken in behalf of the Catholic King
, and the Spanish
flag was raised at every post in the city.
made a full report of the events of the revolution, and named the chiefs in the enterprise.46
‘It was not easy to arrest them,’ wrote O'Reilly
; ‘but I contrived to cheat their vigilance.’
On the twenty-first he received at his home the principal inhabitants; and he invited the people's syndics, one by one, to pass into his private apartment.
The invitation was regarded as a special honor, till finding themselves all assembled and alone, they showed signs of anxiety.
‘For me,’ says O'Reilly
, ‘I now had none for the success of my plan.’
Entering his cabinet with Aubry
and three Spanish civil officers, he spoke to those who were thus caught in his toils:
‘Gentlemen, the Spanish
nation is venerated throughout the Globe
is then the only country in the universe, where it fails to meet with the respect which is its due. His Catholic Majesty is greatly provoked at the violence to his Governor, and at the publications outraging his government and the Spanish
You are charged with being the chiefs of this revolt; I arrest you in his name.’
The accused were conducted with ostentation from O'Reilly
's presence to separate places of confinement; Villere
was conveyed on board the frigate that lay at the levee.
It is the tradition, that his wife vainly entreated admission to him; that Villere
, hearing her voice, demanded to see her; became frantic with love, anger and grief, struggled with his guard, and fell dead from passion or from their bayonets.47
The official report only declares, that he did
not survive the first day of bondage.48
The blow fell unexpectedly, and spread consternation.
An amnesty for the people reserved the right of making further arrests.
Provisional decrees settled the government.
On the twenty-sixth and the following days, the inhabitants of New Orleans and its vicinity took the oath of allegiance to the Catholic King
Nearly two months passed in collecting evidence against the twelve selected victims.
They denied the jurisdiction of the Spanish
tribunal over actions done under the flag of France
and during the prevalence of French laws.
But the tribunal was inexorable.
The estates of the twelve, who were the richest and most considerable men in the Province, were confiscated in whole or in part for the benefit of the officers employed in the trial; six were sentenced to imprisonment for six, or ten years, or for life; the memory of Villere
was declared infamous; the remaining five, Lafreniere, his young son-in-law, Noyau, Caresse, Marquis
, and Joseph Milhet
, were condemned to be hanged.
The citizens of New Orleans entreated time for a petition to Charles the Third; the wives, daughters, and sisters of those who had not shared in the revolution, appealed to O'Reilly
for mercy; but without effect.
Tradition will have it, that the young and gallant Noyau, newly married, might have escaped; but he refused to fly from the doom of his associates.49
the twenty-fifth of October, the five martyrs to their
love of France
and liberty, were brought forth pinioned, and in presence of the troops and the people, for want of an executioner, were shot.
‘At length,’ said O'Reilly
, ‘the insult done to the King
's dignity and authority in this Province is repaired.
The example now given can never be effaced.’50
Spaniards as well as men of other nations, censured the sanguinary revenge.
In the several parishes of Louisiana O'Reilly
was received with silence and submission.
approved his acts; and the Council for the Indies found in his administration ‘nothing but evidence of the immensity and sublimity of his genius.’51 Aubry
perished on his voyage to France
, in a ship which foundered in the Garonne
The son of Masan, one of those condemned to imprisonment, made his way to Madrid
, offering himself as his father's substitute; by the aid of France
the six prisoners were set free.
The census of the city of New Orleans
showed a population of eighteen hundred and one white persons, thirty-one free blacks, sixty-eight free persons of mixed blood; sixty domiciliated Indians
; and twelve hundred and twenty-five slaves; in all three thousand one hundred and ninety souls.
The whole population in the valley of the Mississippi
, then subject to the Spanish
sway, is estimated at thirteen thousand five hundred.
The privileges which France
had granted, were abolished, and the Colony was organized like other colonial possessions of Spain
willingly kept New Orleans depressed, that it might
not attract too strongly the cupidity of England
Its system of restriction struck its victim to the
The settlement of the wilderness, of which France
had reserved no portion and Spain
feared to develope the resources, was promoted by native Pioneers.
, had in three former years explored the borders of Lake Superior
, and the country of the Sioux
had obtained more accurate accounts of that Great River
, which bore, as he reported, the name of Oregon53
and flowed into the Pacific
; and he now returned to claim reward for his discoveries, to celebrate the richness of the copper mines of the Northwest
; to recommend English settlements on the western extremity of the continent; and to propose opening, by aid of Lakes and Rivers, a passage across the continent, as the best route for communicating with China
and the East Indies
invited emigrants more than ever; for its aboriginal inhabitants were fast disappearing from the earth.
In April, 1769, Pontiac
, so long the dreaded enemy of the English
, had been assassinated by an Illinois55
Indian without provocation and in time of peace;56
the Indians of the Northwest
sent round belts to all the Nations to avenge the murder of their Chief.
In vain did five or six hundred of the Illinois
crowd for protection round the walls of Fort Char-
tres; the ruthless spirit of reciprocal murder was not appeased, till the Illinois
tribes were nearly all exterminated,57
and their beautiful and fertile plains, cooled during the summer by the ever blowing West wind, were left vacant for the white man.
which at this time was exercising a disputed jurisdiction in the valley of Wyoming
did not forget that by its Charter, its possessions extended indefinitely to the West
; and a company of ‘military Adventurers,’ headed by one of its most intelligent sons,59
was also soliciting leave from the Government
to lead forth a Colony to the southwestern banks of the Mississippi
In his peaceful habitation on the banks of the Yadkin River, in North Carolina
, Daniel Boone
the illustrious hunter, had heard Finley
, a trader, so memorable62
as the Pioneer
, describe a tract of land west of Virginia
, as the richest in North America
or in the world.63
In May 1769, leaving his wife and offspring,
as his pilot, and four others as
young man, of about three and twenty, wandered forth through the wilderness of America
, ‘in quest of the country of Kentucky
known to the Savages as ‘the Dark
and Bloody Ground,’ ‘the Middle Ground
’ between the subjects of the Five Nations and the Cherokees.66
After a long and fatiguing journey through mountain ranges, the party found themselves in June on the Red River
, a tributary of the Kentucky
, and from the top of an eminence surveyed with delight the beauti ful plain that stretched to the Northwest
Here they built their shelter and began to reconnoitre the country and to hunt.
All the kinds of wild beasts that were natural to America
, the stately elk, the timid deer, the antlered stag, the wild-cat, the bear, the panther and the wolf, couched among the canes, or roamed over the rich grasses, which even beneath the thickest shade sprung luxuriantly out of the generous soil.
The buffaloes cropped fearlessly the herbage, or browsed on the leaves of the reed, and were more frequent than cattle in the settlements of Carolina
Sometimes there were hundreds in a drove, and round the salt-licks their numbers were amazing.67
The summer in which for the first time, a party of white men enjoyed the brilliancy of nature near, and
in the valley of the Elkhorn
, passed away in the oc-
cupations of exploring parties and the chase.
But one by one, Boone
's companions dropped off, till he was left alone with John Stewart
They jointly found unceasing delight in the wonders of the forest, till, one evening near Kentucky River
, they were taken prisoners by a band of Indians
, wanderers like themselves.
They escaped; and were joined by Boone
's brother; so that when Stewart
was soon after killed by savages, the first victim among the hecatombs of white men, slain by them in their desperate battling for the lovely hunting ground,68 Boone
still had his brother to share with him the dangers and the attractions of the wilderness; the building and occupying the first cottage in Kentucky
In the Spring
of 1770, that brother returned to the settlements for horses and supplies of ammunition, leaving the renowned hunter ‘by himself, without bread, or salt, or sugar, or even a horse or dog.’
‘The idea of a beloved wife’69
anxious for his safety, tinged his thoughts with sadness; but otherwise the cheerful, meditative man, careless of wealth, knowing the use of the rifle, not the plough, of a strong robust frame, in the vigorous health of early manhood, ignorant of books, but versed in the forest and forest life, ever fond of tracking the deer on foot, away from men, yet in his disposition humane, generous and gentle, was happy in the uninterrupted succession ‘of sylvan pleasures.’
He held unconscious intercourse with beauty Old as creation.
One calm summer's evening, as he climbed a com-
manding ridge, and looked out upon the remote ‘venerable mountains’ and the nearer ample plains, and caught a glimpse in the distance of the Ohio
, which bounded the land of his affections with majestic grandeur, his heart exulted in the region he had discovered.
‘All things were still.’70
Not a breeze so much as shook a leaf.
He kindled a fire near a fountain of sweet water, and feasted on the loin of a buck.
He was no more alone than a bee among flowers, but communed familiarly with the whole universe of life.
Nature was his intimate, and as the roving woodsman leaned confidingly on her bosom, she responded to his intelligence.
For him the rocks and the fountains, the leaf and the blade of grass had life; the cooling air laden with the wild perfume, came to him as a friend; the dewy morning wrapped him in its embrace; the trees stood up gloriously round about him as so many myriads of companions.
All forms wore the character of desire or peril.
But how could he be afraid?
Triumphing over danger, he knew no fear.
The perpetual howling of the wolves by night round his cottage or his bivouac in the brake, was his diversion;71
and by day he had joy in surveying the various species of animals that surrounded him. He loved the solitude better than the towered city or the hum of business.72
Near the end of July 1770, his faithful brother
came back to meet him at the old camp.
Shortly after they proceeded together to Cumberland River
, giving names to the different waters; and he then returned to his wife and children; fixed in his purpose at the risk of life and fortune to bring them as soon as possible to live in Kentucky
, which he esteemed a second Paradise.73