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cept against their demonstration of legal exemp- | terest, one of them may endeavour to impose tion.”
on the other, may cheat him in the accounts, There never was any occasion of legal may draw to himself more than his share of exemption from what they never had been the profits, may put upon the other more than subject to.
an equal share of the expense and burden. “But then it is to be further observed, that against such injustice. The landholders of
Their having a common interest is no security this same method of arguing is equally favour-Great Britain have a common interest, and able to governors as governed, and to the mother
yet they injure one another in the inequality country as the colonies."
of the land tax. The majority in ParliaHere is the old mistake of all these wri- ment, being favoured in the proportions, ters. The people of the mother country are will never consent to do justice to the misubjects, not governors. The king only is nority by a more equal assessment. sovereign in both countries.
“ But what reasonable ground of apprehen“The colonies will no longer think it equita- sion can there be, that the British Parliament ble to insist upon immunities which the people should be ignorant of so plain a matter, as that of Great Britain do not enjoy.”.
the interests of Britain and the colonies are the Why not, if they have a right to them? “ To claim a right of being taxed by their
If the Parliament is so knowing and so assemblies only, appears to have too much the just, how comes it to restrain Ireland in its air of independence; and though they are not manufactures, America in its trade? Why represented here, would give them an immunity may not an Irishman or an American make beyond the inhabitants of this island.”
the same manufactures, and carry them to It is a right, however; what signifies the same ports as an Englishman? In many what air it has? The inhabitants being instances Britain shows a selfish regard to freeholders ought to have the same. If they her own interest, in prejudice of the colohave it not, they are injured. Then rectify nies. America therefore has no confidence what is amiss among yourselves; and do in her equity. not make it a justification of more wrong. “ But I can conceive no earthly security bet
“Or could they hope to procure any advan- ter, none indeed so good, as that which depends tages from one bundred representatives ? Com- upon the wisdom and integrity of a British king mon sense answers all this in the negative."
and Parliament." Why not, as well as Scotland from forty- hereditary, as those of the House of Lords;
Suppose seats in your House of Commons five, or rather sixty-one ? Common sense, on the contrary, says, that a body of one hun- the king, or chosen by the lords ; could
or suppose the Commons to be nominated by dred votes in Parliament will always be worth the attention of any ministry; and the you then rely upon them? If your members fear of offending them will make every min- were to be chosen by the people of Ireland, ister cautious of injuring the rights of their
could you then rely upon them? Could you country, lest they join with his opposers in depend upon their wisdom and integrity, as
a security, the best possible, for your rights ? Parliament.
And wherein is our case different, if the peo“ Therefore the interest of Great Britain and ple of England choose legislators for the that of the colonies is the same.”
people of America ? All this argument of the interest of Britain “ If they have a spark of virtue left, they will and the colonies being the same is fallacious blush to be found in a posture of hostility against and unsatisfactory. Partners in trade have Great Britain." a common interest, which is the same, the There was no posture of hostility in Ameflourishing of the partnership business ; but rica, but Britain put herself in a posture of they may, moreover, have each a separate hostility against America. Witness the interest, and, in pursuit of that separate in- I landing of the troops in Boston, 1768.
PASSAGES IN “A LETTER FROM A MERCHANT IN LONDON TO HIS
NEPHEW IN NORTH AMERICA.-LONDON, 1766."
“ Tux honest indignation you express against ever an Englishman resides, that country is those artifices and frauds, those robberies and in England. While an Englishman resides in sults, which lost us the hearts and affections of England, he is undoubtedly subject to its the Indians, is particularly to be commended; laws. If he goes into a foreign country, he for these were the things, as you justly observed, is subject to the laws and government he which involved us in the most bloody and ex. finds there. If he finds no government or pensive war that ever was known.”
laws there, he is subject there to none, till This is wickedly intended by the author, he and his companions, if he has any, make Dean Tucker, to represent the North Ame- laws for themselves; and this was the case ricans as the cause of the war. Whereas, of the first settlers in America. Otherwise, it was in fact begun by the French, who and if they carried the English laws and seized the goods and persons of the English power of Parliament with them, what advantraders on the Ohio, who encroached on the tage could the Puritans propose to themking's land in Nova Scotia, and took a fort selves by going, since they would have been from the Ohio Company by force of arms, as subject to bishops, spiritual courts, tythes, which induced England to make reprisals and statutes relating to the church, in Ame. at sea, and to send Braddock to recover the rica, as in England? Can the dean, on his fort on the Ohio, whence came on the war. principles, tell how it happens that those
“ By the spirit of Magna Charta all taxes laid laws, the game acts, the statutes for labouron by Parliament are constitutional, legal taxes.” ers, and an infinity of others, made before
There is no doubt but taxes laid by Par- and since the emigration, are not in force in liament, where the Parliament has jurisdic
force in America, nor ever were ? tion, are legal taxes; but does it follow, that
“Now, upon the first settling of an English taxes laid by the Parliament of England on colony, and before ever you Americans could Scotland before the union, on Guernsey, have chosen any representatives, and therefore Jersey, Ireland, Hanover, or any other do- before any assembly of such representatives minions of the crown, not within the realm, could have possibly met,—to whose laws and to are therefore legal? These writers against what legislative power were you then subject ! the colonies all bewilder themselves by sup- To the English, most undoubtedly; for you posing the colonies within the realm, which could have been subject to no other.” is not the case, nor ever was. This then is the spirit of the constitution, that taxes the fact. The colonies carried no law with
The author here appears quite ignorant of shall not be laid without the consent of those to be taxed. The colonies were not then in them; they carried only a power of making being, and therefore nothing relating to them laws, or adopting such parts of the Eng could be literally expressed. As the Ameri- lish law or any other law, as they should cans are now without the realm, and not of first settlers of Connecticut, for instance, at
think suitable to their circumstances. The the jurisdiction of Parliament, the spirit of their first meeting in that country, finding the British constitution dictates, that they themselves out of all jurisdiction of other should be taxed only by their own represen- governments, resolved and enacted, that, till tatives, as the English are by theirs.
à code of laws should be prepared and “ Now the first emigrants, who settled in agreed to, they would be governed by the law America, were certainly English subjects, sub- of Moses, as contained in the Old Testament. ject to the laws and jurisdiction of Parliament, If the first settlers had no right to expect and consequently to parliamentary taxes, before a better constitution than the English, what the emigration, and therefore subject afterwards, fools were they for going over, to encounter unless some legal constitutional exemption can all the hardships and perils of new settlebe produced.”
ments in a wilderness! For these were so This position supposes, that Englishmen many additions to what they suffered at can never be out of the jurisdiction of Parlia. home from tyrannical and oppressive instiment. It may as well be said, that wher-tutions in church and state ; with a subtrac
tion of all their old enjoyments of the con Suppositions and implications will not veniences and comforts of an old settled weigh in these important cases. No law or country, friends, neighbours, relations, and constitution forbade the king's doing what homes.
he did in granting those charters. “Suppose, therefore, that the crown had “ Confuted, most undoubtedly, you are beyond been so ill advised as to have granted a charter the possibility of a reply, as far as the law and to any city or county here in England, pretend-constitution of the realm are concerned in this ing to exempt them from the power and juris question.” diction of an British Parliament. Is it possi
This is hallooing before you are out of ble for you to believe an absurdity so gross
the wood. glaring ?"
Strange, that though the British Parliament The American settlers needed no exemption has been, from the beginning, thus unreasonable, from the power of Parliament; they were ne- thus unjust and cruel towards you, by levying cessarily exempted, as soon as they landed taxes on many commodities outwards and inout of its jurisdiction. Therefore, all this wards” – rhetorical paragraph is founded on a mistake
False! Never before the restoration. The of the author, and the absurdity he talks of is of his own making.
Parliament, it is acknowledged, have made “Good heavens ! what a sudden alteration which have passed without opposition, partly
many oppressive laws relating to America, is this ! An American pleading for the extend through the weakness of the colonies, partly sion of the prerogative of the crown! Yes, if through their inattention to the full extent it could make for his cause ; and for extending of their rights, while employed in labour to it, too, beyond all the bounds of the law, of rea- procure the necessaries of life. But that is son, and of common sense !"
a wicked guardian, and a shameless one, What stuff! Why may not an American who first takes advantage of the weakness plead for the just prerogatives of the crown ? incident to minority, cheats and imposes on And is it not a just prerogative of the crown his pupil, and when the pupil comes of age, to give the subjects leave to settle in a for
those very impositions as precedents eign country, if they think it necessary to to justify continuing them and adding others. ask such leave? Was the Parliament at all considered, or consulted, in making those “But surely you will not dare to say, that first settlements ? Or did any lawyer then we refuse your votes when you come hither to think it necessary?
offer them, and choose to poll. You cannot
have the face to assert that on an election-day “ Now this clause, which is nothing more any difference is put between the vote of a man than the renunciation of absolute prerogative, is born in America, and of one born here in Engquoted in our newspapers, as if it was a renun- land.” ciation of the rights of Parliament to raise taxes." It was not a renunciation of the rights of know the impossibility of a million of free
This is all banter and insult, when you Parliament. There was no need of such a holders coming over sea to vote here. If renunciation, for Parliament had not even their freeholds in America are within the pretended to such a right. But, since the royal faith was pledged by the king for realm, why have they not, in virtue of these himself and his successors, how can any suc- well as an English freeholder ? Sometimes
freeholds, a right to vote in your elections, as ceeding king, without violating that faith, ever give his assent to an act of Parliament we are told, that our estates are by our char
ters all in the manor of East Greenwich, and for such taxation.
therefore all in England ; and yet have we “ Nay, many of your colony charters assert l'any right to vote among the voters of East quite the contrary, by containing the express Greenwich? Can we trade to the same reservations of parliamentary rights, particularly ports ? In this very paragraph, you suppose that great one of levying taxes.
that we cannot vote in England, if we come A fib, Mr. Dean. In one charter only, and hither, till we have by purchase acquired a that a late one, is the Parliament mentioned ; right; therefore neither we nor our estates and the right reserved is only that of laying are represented in England. duties on commodities imported into England from the colony or exported to it.
“ The cause of your complaint is this; that
you live at too great a distance from the mother “And those charters, which do not make such country to be present at our English elections ; provisions in express terms, must be supposed and that, in consequence of this distance, the virtually to imply them; because the law and freedom of our towns, or the freeholds in our constitution will not allow, that the king can counties, as far as voting is concerned, are not do more either at home or abroad by the prero- worth attending to. It may be so; but pray gative royal, than the law and constitution consider, if you yourselves choose to make it authorizes him to do."
inconvenient for you to come and vote, by reVOL. II.
tiring into distant countries,—what is that to jects are, therefore, not properly vested with
rights relating to government. This is all beside the mark. The Ame
“ Yet we raise no commotions; we ricans are by their constitutions provided neither ring the alarm-bell, nor sound the trumwith a representation, and therefore neither pet, and submit to be taxed without being repreneed nor desire any in the British Parlia- sented; and taxed, let me tell you, for your ment. They have never asked any such sakes. All was granted when you cried for thing. They only say, Since we have a help.” right to grant our own money to the king,
This is wickedly false. While the colosince we have assemblies where we are nies were weak and poor, not a penny or a represented for such purposes, why will you single soldier was ever spared by Britain meddle, out of your sphere, take the money for their defence. But as soon as the trade that is ours, and give us yours, without our with them became an object, and a fear consent?
arose that the French would seize that trade “ Yes, it is, and you demand it too with a and deprive her of it, she sent troops to loud voice, full of anger, of defiance, and de- America unasked. And she now brings nunciation.”
this account of the expense against us, An absolute falsehood! We never de which should be rather carried to her own manded in any manner, much less in the merchants and manufacturers. We joined manner you mention, that the mother coun our troops and treasure with hers to help try should change her constitution.
her in this war.
Of this no notice is taken. “ In the great metropolis, and in many other To refuse to pay a just debt is knavish ; cities, landed property itself hath no representa- not to return an obligation is ingratitude ; tive in Parliament. Copy-holds and lease-holds but to demand payment of a debt where of various kinds have none likewise, though none has been contracted, to forge a bond or of ever so great a value."
an obligation in order to demand what was Copy-holds and lease-holds are supposed
never due, is villany. Every year both to be represented in the original landlord king and Parliament, during the war, acof whom they are held. Thus all the land knowledged that we had done more than in England is in fact represented, notwith our part, and made us some return, which standing what he here says. As to those
equivalent to a receipt in full, and enwho have no landed property in a county,
tirely sets aside this monstrous claim. the allowing them to vote for legislators is If you are not just to your own people, how
By all means redress your own grievances. an impropriety. They are transient inhabitants, and not so connected with the welfare can we trust you? We ask no representaof the state, which they may quit when
tion among you; but if you have any thing they please, as to qualify them properly for wrong among yourselves, rectify it, and do such privilege.
not make one injustice a precedent and plea
for doing another. That would be increasAnd, besides all this, it is well known that ing evil in the world instead of diminishthe East India Company, which have such vast ing it. settlements, and which dispose of the fate of You need not be concerned about the kings and kingdoms abroad, have not so much number to be added from America. We do as a single member, or even a single vote, not desire to come among you; but you quatenus a company, to watch over their interests at home. And may not their property, tional members, by removing those that are
may make some room for your own addiperhaps a little short of one hundred millions sterling, as much deserve to be represented in
sent by the rotten boroughs. Parliament, as the scattered townships or strag “I must now tell you, that every member gling houses of some of your provinces in of Parliament represents you, and me, and our America ?"
interests in all essential points, just as much as
if we had voted for him. For although one By this argument it may be proved, that no man in England has a vote. The clergy place or one set of men may elect and send him have none as clergymen; the lawyers, none up to Parliament, yet, when once he becomes a as lawyers ; the physicians, none as physi- member, he is the equal guardian of all.” cians; and so on. But if they have votes
In the same manner, Mr. Dean, are the as freeholders, that is sufficient; and that pope and cardinals representatives of the no freeholder in America has for a repre
whole Christian church. Why don't you sentative in the British Parliament. The obey them ? stockholders are many of them foreigners, This, then, being the case, it therefore foland all may be so when they please, as no- lows, that our Birminghams, Manchesters, thing is more easy than the transferring of Leeds, Halifaxes, &c. and your Bostons, Newstock and conveying property beyond sea Yorks, and Philadelphias, are as really, though by bills of exchange. Such uncertain sub- not so nominally, represented, as any part what
“ It prov
soever of the British empire; and that each of | Nay, in order to favour your plantations, I am these places have in fact, instead of one or two, not permitted to plant this herb on my own not less than five hundred and fifty-eight guar- estate, though the soil should be ever so proper dians in the British Senate."
for it." What occasion is there then, my dear You lay a duty on the tobacco of other sir, of being at the trouble of elections ? countries, because you must pay money for \The peers alone would do as well for our that, but get ours in exchange for your guardians, though chosen by the king, or manufactures. born such. If their present number is too Tobacco is not permitted to be planted in small, his majesty may be good enough to England, lest it should interfere with corn add five hundred and fifty-eight, or make necessary for your subsistence. Rice you the present House of Commons and their cannot raise. It requires eleven months. heirs-male peers for ever. If having a vote Your summer is too short. Nature, not in elections would be of no use to us, how the laws, denies you this product. is it of any to you? Elections are the cause of much tumult, riot, contention, and The Parliament now gives you a bounty of
“ And what will you say in relation to hemp? mischief. Get rid of them at once, and eight pounds per ton for exporting your hemp for ever.
from North America, but will allow me nothing that no man ought to pay for growing it here in England.” any tax but that only to which the member of his own town, city, or county hath particularly
Did ever any North American bring his assented."
hemp to England for this bounty ? We You seem to take your nephew for a sim- tion. We begin to make our own cordage.
have yet not enough for our own consumppleton, Mr. Dean. Every one, who votes for a representative, knows and intends, and would do it by getting the raw material
You want to suppress that manufacture, that the majority is to govern, and that the
from us. You want to be supplied with consent of the majority is to be understood as the consent of the whole; that being demands money. These were the motives
hemp for your manufactures, and Russia ever the case in all deliberative assemblies.
for giving what you are pleased to call a “ The doctrine of implication is the very bounty to us. We thank you for your bounthing to which you object, and against which ties. We love you, and therefore must be you have raised so many batteries of popular obliged to you for being good to yourselves. noise and clamour."
You do not encourage raising hemp in Eng-How far, my dear sir, would you your land, because you know it impoverishes the self carry the doctrine of implication? If richest grounds; your landholders are all important positions are to be implied, when against it. What you call bounties given not expressed, I suppose you can have no by Parliament and the society, are nothing objection to their being implied where some more than inducements offered us, to perexpression countenances the implication. suade us to leave employments that are If you should say to a friend, “I am your more profitable, and engage in such as would humble servant, sir," ought he to imply be less so without your bounty; to quit a from thence that you will clean his shoes? business profitable to ourselves, and engage “ And consequently you must maintain, that in one that shall be profitable to
This all those in your several provinces who have no is the true spirit of all your bounties. votes," &c.
Your duties on foreign articles are from No freeholder in North America is with the same motives. Pitch, tar, and turpenout a vote. Many, who have no freeholds, tine used to cost you five pounds a barrel have nevertheless a vote; which, indeed, 1 when you had them from foreigners, who
used you ill into the bargain, thinking you don't think was necessary to be allowed.
could not do without them. You gave a “ You have your choice whether you will bounty of five shillings a barrel to the coloaccept of my price for your tobacco; or, after nies, and they have brought you such plenty bringing it here, whether you will carry it
as to reduce the price to ten shillings a baraway, and try your fortune at another market." | rel. Take back your bounties when you
A great kindness this, to oblige me first please, since you upbraid us with them. to bring it here, that the expense of another Buy your indigo, pitch, silk, and tobacco voyage and freight may deter me from carry- where you please, and let us buy our manuing it away, and oblige me to take the price factures where we please. I fancy we shall you are pleased to offer.
be gainers. As to the great kindness of “But I have no alternative allowed, being these five hundred and fifty-eight parliaobliged to buy yours at your own price, or else mentary guardians of American privileges, to pay such a duty for the tobacco of other who can forbear smiling, that has seen the countries, as must amount to a prohibition. I Navigation Act, the Hatters' Act, the Steel